Friday, November 18, 2022

BOOK REVIEW! BLOODY BILL ANDERSON - THE SHORT, SAVAGE LIFE OF A CIVIL WAR GUERRILLA BY ALBERT CASTEL & TOM GOODRICH (University Press of Kansas, 1998)

Well, it did seem as if it was gonna be an ordinary enough day in Fayette Missouri that September 24th. There was a farmer's market being held about noon and as is expected with such things the locals were out and about not only buying up the local produce but having about as much of a good time as they could amid the carnage around 'em that was known as The War Between the States. During this social gathering a number of men on horseback dressed in Union uniforms rode into town and, perhaps not to everyone's surprise, began a wholesale slaughter on the small city giving credence to the plain ol' fact that these guys weren't exactly on the side of Ol' Glory but Southern sympathizin' Bushwhackers who definitely had more of a taste for pure carnage than they did for the Southern cause. Fortunately a garrison from the local fort were dispatched to quell the violence but not before suffering heavy casualties. The Bushwhackers lost a number of men before retreating, though instead of bein' give proper burials the Union soldiers, nervesplitted by this particularly grisly encounter, decided to line the corpses up on the road and ride their horses over the bunch until the vanquished were nothing but a mass of bloody pulp.

Sheesh, don't ya love it when history comes alive like this?

The Civil War was one big mass of terror 'n cruelty administered by both sides of the conflict, but it was definitely a whole lot worse out in Kansas and Missouri what with the militias going out of their way to inflict total terror upon not only the men in uniform but the populace at large. And when it came to that old cliche of death 'n destruction nobody could really top the Bushwhackers under the leadership of Ohioan (albeit diehard Confederate) James Quantrill who had some rather gnarly reg'lar fellers working with him like "Little Archie" Clement, an aw shucks teenager who happened to like mutilating people while they were still alive. And like, who could forget the legendary even in his own time "Bloody" Bill Anderson, a man who to this day is either viewed as a defender against Northern aggression or a plain ol' maniac which goes to show you how the controversy lives on even to this day.

Anyway this book is a particularly concise and downright explicit saga of one of the more bloodthirsty and ruthless men to pop up in the annals of Amerigan history. And reading through the pages of this biography you really do get the idea of just how much war can turn otherwise everyday decent human beings into madmen who think nothing of committing atrocities before returning to their formerly peaceful live raising a family on a farm as if the past never happened. Only in this case you certainly do get the impression that the likes of Anderson and Clement were, and would have remained had they survived the war, specimens who never had a human bone in their carcasses given the way they likes to play around with their victims before dispatching 'em, cutting their wieners off and stuffing them in their mouths or just plain having a good laugh decapitating their quarry and either mixing the heads and bodies up or placing 'em of their former owner's chest with their dead hands holding 'em in place like something outta Ichabod Crane. Now, that really got Little Archie laughing his own gourd off!

It's all here in detail from Anderson's early days as a horse thief to his first murder of a local judge whose main crime, besides blasting Anderson's dad in the chest with a shotgun, was spurning the guy's sister's hand in marriage, to his days with Quantrill's Raiders (where he worked along sides such future Wild West baddies as the Youngers and James Brothers --- Jesse being particularly fond of the guy). Of course a whole lotta space is given to such antics as the gruesome razing of Lawrence Kansas as revenge for the death of his sister not to mention the train robbery which didn't net much in the way of useful booty but was rich in Union soldiers out on furlough, all of who were lined up, shot and scalped with their luscious glories being attached with the rest of the previously ill gotten hair to their saddles not just as trophies as much as they were warnings.

Y'know, I sure wish this book was around back when I was in grade school...I mean, could you imagine me giving a talk up in front of the class goin' on in detail about Anderson's exploits while the rest of the kids were yappin' on 'bout George Washington's cherry tree? I have the feeling that, although I definitely thought I would've deserved an "A" for my efforts, I probably would have been subjected to a battery of psychological tests being asked all sorts of embarrassing questions about how I spent my free time locked in the bathroom with a copy of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (the hula girl issue). Sheesh, as if Amerigan History was nothin' but Bunker Hill and Iwo Jima and not the good stuff such as this! 

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Yeah I know --- you wonder where the fekawi I've been this past month, right? Well now that I'm back aren'tcha glad you stuck around in eager anticipation for today's epistle to you unwashed types? I mean, given the utter blandness of most rock 'n roll blogs which have either gone semi-comatose like THE NEXT BIG THING or are just too bound up in that modern form of politically pious puke that's so in vogue, BLOG TO COMM just might be the only place onna web where one can devour some really potent and (perhaps even) still meaningful rockist writing without having to endure a whole load of socially-conscious filler, or at least the kinda filler I disagree with! And when I'm talkin' rock 'n roll writing I mean the kind that doesn't rot on ya like the last fortysome years of rockscreeding most certainly has in case you still pay attention to the quap that I assume ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY is still pumping out! (I mean who knows what they're up to now, I fortunately enough have not read a single mainstream periodical since I was at Midas Muffler waiting for my new exhaust!)

Hey, just take a look at what passes for "rock criticism" or whatever it's called these days --- a hefty portion of what I've been coming across as of late is totally cringeworthy with nada of the zap or punch of say, a Bangs or Meltzer unless you want to figure the pair's occasional garment-rending virtue signaling into the mix. Horribly wretch-inducing stuff that even makes those contributions to OP I sent 'em way back in '81 look totally readable in comparison and that's pretty bad!

It obviously must be rather hard for these current "rock critic" (yech!types to separate the rock from the hippydippy right on heart hemorrhaging that goes on these days. And y'know what? In many ways it's really sad to see just how many of my old time favorite writers who used to berate the whole radical right on politicizing of rock 'n roll eventually embracing the exact same lurch leftwards with a passion that would have done even the most starry eyed altruistic teenbo gal with a Che poster in her suburban bedroom proud. 

Just recently I happened upon the website of a certain eighties-vintage rock critic who I must say is a rather loathsome being. That's besides the point, but despite my antagonism towards this particular specimen I must admit that even I never would have thought him to have sunk as low as he has after happening upon this gent's very own website where I espied a recently posted piece on --- now get this--- the Kyle Rittenhouse kerfuffle with an entry which made even the most boo-hoo political punk mewlings of the eighties found in such esteemed periodicals as FLIPSIDE and MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL seem rather solid in comparison! Given the truth about what actually did happen and the eventual trial and outcome I personally felt the case closed and with the right outcome given that a pair of miscreants were attacking a guy with an AR-15 and got what for, but the sappy sobbiness still lingers on, at least in the hearts and minds of those who somehow think that maybe the Shining Path really did have something going for them after all.

I will say that it was a quite a bit of a surprise to find this particular scribe totally down with the "struggle" what with his fists up revolution spew regarding the holy innocence of the thugs who were out to kill Rittenhouse and how My Hero was earlier seen chatting with some policeman (shudder!) who even offered the kid something to drink (egads!) all done up in a way that I'm sure put a smile on Tim Yohannon's ever-putrefying corpse. I woulda called said rock crit many a thing way back during the late-eighties but I NEVER woulda called him a total bleedheart crybaby who would seemingly fall for any sorta radical clarion call hook line and pamphlet or even an "anarchist" fanzine for that matter! Well it now looks as if he now IS everything that I thought even he once stood against and with a good four decades of make up to boot! Good thing I was so disgusted that I didn't read down far enough to glom some of his music critiques, but I assume  that if his social spectacles are skewered the way they are his musical tastes haven't evolved any either!

And man, that is exactly where rock fandom and socially aware one-upmanship stand here in the early days of what is proving to be the bleak twenties. And I really in my heartest of hearts hope the above schpiel will make you APPRECIATE this blog all the more even when I do sound off on those things that probably make a good 99.999...% of you reg'lar readers uncomfortable. Yes, the festooned radicals of today are nothing but a new version of those moral uplifters that D.W. Griffith used to rail against, only those old biddies had a good REASON as to why they smelled bad!
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In other news well, things ain't exactly goin' accordin' to hoyle as far as my own personal universe goes. Naw, it ain't anything GNARLY that I have to contend with at the point in time, but the sit-chew-a-shun around here most certainly could be a whole lot easier on the nervous system. Without mentionin' too much (it's not that I want you to feel sorry for me --- I just don't want you laughing at my misfortune like I would at yours!) let's just say that throughout my life I've hadda down a few reality sandwiches but right now I'm facing a reality hoagie that's gotta be devoured and with relative gusto at that! Thus the reason these blogs have been so far apart, and although I hope to get back to the ol' weekly rigmarole one-a these days such a time will have to wait until who knows when. And if yer hooked up on some machine when the time does arrive don't come cryin' to me!. 
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Hokay, the above does come off quite overwrought and really is an exaggeration of the current state o' affairs, but in the sage words of Eddie Haskell you'd feel the same way too if you were pushed around as much as I've been! But man, the cringe cancer that I've been enduring thanks to everything from precious petunia former rock critics spewing radical treacle to going through the everyday grind of reality can get to ya --- if you let it, that is. And as you can tell I SURE AM!!!!  But actually I'm getting my share of fun time in when I can spare it, like on a Sunday afternoon or in the evening when the moon rises and it's time to put my mind in a sling. My eyeball situation is improving somewhat and I've begun to tackle some books that will probably be written up on this blog in the quite distant future. My toidy-time reading has been devoted to a batch of old HI AND LOIS books I decided to snatch up which is kinda funny because that particular comic strip never was one of my faves, Howevah, I gotta say that HI AND LOIS, like it's "brother" comic BEETLE BAILEY, had a good groove it got into with gags that might not make you laugh out loud but were clever enough to make you wanna sit on the pot a little longer to get to the next few 'uns. And, surprisingly enough, I find the later-on eighties comics to be better'n the earlier ones (both art and writing-wise) which is a surprise given how I think most entertainment has just fizzed out once that dreaded decade settled firmly into place!

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Seems as if Paul McGarry should take the blame for the majority of these contributions but please don't harm him. PD .Fadensonnen sent in the cassette and well, I gotta claim responsible for a couple of these myself. And with that it's time to dig in!!!!
 


Various Artists-THE EARLY SOUNDS OF GARAGE ROCK 2-CD set (Not Now Records)

Well whaddaya know, a NUGGETS for the pre-First Psychedelic Era!  And believe it or leave it but the folk who compiled it did a pretty good job slappin' the thing together! Sure there are some glaring omissions as well as a few inclusions that might seem a bit outta place, but otherwise if you're in the market for a double disc collection of pre-Beatles "nugget if you duggit" platters this does make for a wild time. The only thing that's missing is Lenny Kaye  doin' the liner notes. It just goes to remind ya of just how great rock 'n roll, radio, teenage hijinx and overall funzies were before a buncha National Honor Society types hadda tell us we were all evil for liking cheeseburgers and going to monster movies, being normal  'n stuff like that!
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The Ventures & the Fabulous Wailers-TWO CAR GARAGE CD (EMI Records, Japan)

'n speaking of the pre-First Psychedelic Era here's one that slipped under my radar. And, as you'd expect after all these years, it's an iffy affair what with the updated takes on various past accomplishments done by the original acts who most certainly do not have all of their original members along for the ride. But this 2009 effort is kinda neat, at least if you wanted to know that both the Ventures and Wailers were somewhat up and functioning at the time. I get sloppy sentimental like that sometimes.
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MX-80 Sound-BOARDING HOUSE, SAN FRANCISCO 12/3/79 CD-r burn

Here's an outta-somewhere surprise, an FM broadcast from '79 featuring everybody's fave Bloomington Indiana band not counting the Gizmos. Taken from a record release party for the SUBTERANNEAN MODERN album, this set is a must have for those fans of the group who were picking up their debut EP at the same time they were also scarfing up similar efforts by Pere Ubu and Debris. Features trackage mostly heard on the legendary OUT OF THE TUNNEL platter along with at least one new to mine ears effort that will make you seeking this 'un out all the more tingling (hint: try Youtube!). Somewhat rough around the edges but that only adds to the gnarliess of it all.
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Fadensonnen-HERETIC VISION cassette (Fadensonnen Records)

The latest. And a change of pace what with the horror music organ creeping about while various Controlled Bleeding/Nurse With Wound/John Cage ideas slip by complete with some addled femme  (?) vocals. And that's just the "A" side --- flip it over and you get one of the best re-do's of "LA Blues" since "I'd Rather Be Made Out Of Stone" followed by a Loren Connors cop that might fool a few of that man's fans and like good! When they said cassettes were coming back I wasn't thinking of this in particular, but I'm sure glad they're coming back if they're all gonna sound like that!
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Teenage Head-KING ST. TEDDY BOYS CD-r burn 

Dunno much about the whys and wherefores, but this collection of late-seventies Teenage Head live performances is what us old turds used to call a real roof raiser. You already know what to expect here --- high energy hard rock riffage with enough power and might to light up the entire eastern seaboard. It even has a few obvious musical ref's to the album that this group took their moniker from! A fine tribute to Teenage Head's late guitarist Gordon Lewis. Sure makes alla that stuff that got called punk these past fortysome years sound like the inoffensive pablum that it most certainly was.
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The Heartbreakers-YONKERS DEMOS 1976 CD-r burn 

Every time I see the word "Yonkers" I think about that TWILIGHT ZONE episode with William Demarest and Joan Blondell. You know --- "Yonkers Yonkers Yonkers!" Well I won't let that get inna way of enjoying this collection of treats from the original Heartbreakers back when Richard Hell was acting as the tension builder the same way he did with Tom Verlaine. If you've forgotten about just how energetic and fertile the under-the-underground was a good 45 years back here's a neat refresher.
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The Saints-HOPE AND ANCHOR November 26, 1977 CD-r burn

OK but not awe-inspiring performance by these Australian legends who I gotta admit did some pretty whoa stuff during their lifespan but, for some strange reason, never did really awed me out. Then again, I gotta admit that there was a hefty portion of that thing we called late-seventies punk or new wave or gnu wave for that matter that, while bold and pleasing enough to the ears, never did send me into spasms of obsessive/compulsive madness the way that, say, Pere Ubu did. For brainy eighties aspiring rockscribes, the kind that put out those mimeo'd fanzines that only their creators seem to remember this far down the ol' devolvement of rock line. 
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Lou Reed-WERCHTER FESTIVAL HOLLAND, NETHERLANDS JULY 8, 1984 CD-r burn

Yeah it's eighties Lou with alla that glitz and shuffle, but you gotta remember this was done around the time he released that NEW SENSATIONS platter which was a pleasant surprise to those of us who thought Lou had  gone full force into the serious rock artiste realm. And really, dontcha think that this kinda Lou is better'n no Lou at all? Sheesh, what am I SAYING???
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The 101'ers-OUTTAKES AND DEMOS CD-r burn

I might not think that much about Joe Strummer's career post 1978 or so, but his tenure with the 101er's is the kinda rock 'n roll that I tend to go heavy doody for. With more of that pubby-styled punk rock that labels like Stiff made a fortune on, Strummer shows no signs of future musical embarrassments as he and band romp through a variety of Greg Shaw-approved covers and originals that I'm sure woulda alienated his throng of future fans. More proof to the fact that 1975 was perhaps the watershed year for punk rock given the variety of trends that were enveloping the world during that rather spiffy year.
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Joathan Richman-WANT TO VISIT MY INNER HOUSE? CD-r burn (BandCamp)

Fans of ROCK 'N ROLL WITH THE MODERN LOVERS are bound to love this 'un. Ditto those of you who were truly agog over I JONATHAN. Once again, a straightforward acoustic effort from this septuagenarian who sounds just as youthful and as in wonderment of life as he did back when those first albums came out '76 way, with a slight late-sixties jive only equaled by those Shangs platters not to mention Brian Sands' FIXATION. Never woulda expected it.
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Beechwood-SLEEP WITHOUT DREAMING CD-r burn (originally on Alive Records)

Now I don't hate the people who put this 'un out, but I gotta say that SLEEP WITHOUT DREAMING is about as mimeographed as a whole load of other new garage band efforts out there, Y'know the kind that always get called "the coolest song in the world this week" on the Underground Garage but sound just about as commercially slick and antiseptic as just about every other release that hits the earwaves these sad 'n sorry days. Nothing to really bark about here which is kinda bad considerin' how the Alive label was seemingly created to spread the Detroit sixties underground rock aesthetic far and wide.
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The Jam-MAY 23rd, 1981 Memorial Hall, Toronto Ontario CD-r burn 

I forgot how long it took for these guys to go from being a more'n adequate "new wave" band to being a buncha eighties mock soul fopsters, So this live recording sure came in handy --- well, if it's anything to go by you can see the beginnings of what would become a rather dire attempt to remain meaningful in a music scene that would reject all the power and might that the late-seventies had to offer. Can't really blame 'em for things like the Style Council but uh, this does tend to sound totally listless in parts or is it just the audience sound quality?  Face it, when you get down to it this is about as much fun as titty fucking Olive Oyl!       
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Given the utter lack of response I've received in regards to moving these things I'm going to stop mentioning that there are many worthwhile and budget-approved back issues of BLACK TO COMM just begging to fill up the cracks in your fanzine collection. Just kiddin'!

Sunday, September 04, 2022

I guess it's that time, and no I don't mean that time as in "time of the month" when you feel like locking your wife in a cage for a few days either! Naw, I'm talkin' 'bout time for another big deal a d maybe even long awaited by some BLOG TO COMM post. Well, to be honest about it nothing really superspectacular has happened 'round here since our last get together and it ain't like I'd call this particular doozy one of my best efforts either but hey, with the heavy drag of real life taking up a good portion of my time as well as the ever-continuing saga regarding my eyes (as well as parathyroids) I'm surprised that I was able to crank this particular sausage out! 

So ya better know what yer in for (which maybe ain't that much but hey, who am I to judge?), and while yer at it watch out for the typos caused by my hopefully to improve one of these days eyesight! gee, do yu guys feel sorry for me NOW???If so maybe I should start up a GoFundMe page---betcha I'd really rake the cash sent by you heart wrenched readers like crazy!

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At least I have had some precious time to plop myself smack dab in front of the tee-vee, an activity which I proudly will say has lasted a lifetime or at least did until the boob tube got rather crude and quality-free sometime in the early-eighties. And when I talk abut tee-vee I mean WESTERNS, a form that never did appeal to me when I was a sprout but means all the more these days, especially when the concept of heroism and manliness seem to have been washed away by what we knew all along was the end result of the hippie dream which anyone with a brain woulda seen as a snake oil sham way back when it was first in bloom. 

Kinda worn out my welcome with the classic black 'n white GUNSMOKE reruns on INSP, but the daily RAWHIDEs have been fillin' the bill with the kinda action that I crave in my rather free spirited soul. However even those are getting too re-runny for me which is why I've also been gravitating towards WAGON TRAIN, a show which I recall being watched here at the ol' abode way back when (not only on prime time but when ABC was showing the old ones in the afternoon). 

WAGON TRAIN continues to hold up even sixty years after the fact, not only with the mostly snazzy sagas and big name guests but with characters that, like in any great fifties/sixties series worth its weight in Crispyjack, you can identify with and even get to like in yer own corny suburban slob sorta way. Gotta say that I prefer the early Ward Bond ones (even though that guy has one big strike against him for appearing in that ultimate corn classic IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE) but even the John McIntire ones have their own sense of suburban slob tee-vee class. I only with that fetv would air the 90-minute color ones from the '63-'64 season but I guess we can't have everything, which come to think of it is the story of my life.

Anyway, as a surprise I thought I'd just tag on for you this particularly good episode entitled "Little Gitl Lost" which appeared during the show's final season back '64/'65 way. A strangie for sure which ome imdb commenter described as WAGON TRAIN meets THE TWILIGHT ZONE, this 'un really does have a lotta the soul grip and heart tug that comes off real life even in these cold cyborg days when we're supposed to feel sorry for the sickest aspects of society while ignoring the attributes that reflect man at his best. Sheesh, even crusty old me has gotta admit to feeling kinda lump-throated at the supernatural yet heartfelt climax, but I guess that only goes to show just how softheaded this ol' fanabla can beletting a li'l ol' show get the best of him! 

Anyway, here's "Little Girl Lost" for your own personal enjoyment and if you don't like it well, you just can't call me your friend no more!:

Another big watch here at BTC headquarters is MANNIX, the classy private eye show that was a Tuesday night reg'lar in our abode, at least until the Orson Welles/Lillian Gish-hosted anthology of early cinematic classics entitled THE SILENT YEARS ran opposite on the local PBS station. Again, I gotta say that it's sure grand watching a series like this which features a cool and suave yet not nauseating tough guy lead character who constantly goes up against them bad boys who I really hope either get that bullet from Mannix's gun or better yet knocked over some high rise railing from a well-deserved punch in the jaw. Yeah, I know that my thirst for an entertainment which displays hard-edged justice delivered in a particularly violent manner definitely makes me that knuckle-dragging mouth breather you twats out there have imagined me to be ever since I've been bursting your politically pious bubbles these past thirtysome years but hey, it was programs like MANNIX which helped mold this particular being into the strong and upstanding man he most certainly is today --- certainly not those botched abortions they call television series that have been produced ever since the late-seventies at the earliest. In an age where the concepts of right and wrong not to mention masculinity and femineity have been pretty much been trashed and denigrated only to be replaced by such strange concepts as "gender fluidity", programs like MANNIX only mean all the more, making me mis that world I used to live in when you at least could spot the good guys without needing some sort of roadmap 

Another show I like glomming is EMERGENCY!, a show i skipped back when it was first aired because it seemed so booooring but nowadays settles me into beddy-bye time rather nice and snug-like. It may be somewhat true that the between-action storylines where the guys at the fire station talk about various inanities like burnt chili or their sick fire dog can drag you down quite a bit, but the action sequences display more excitement than one tuning in after THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW could usually handle. 'n besides, Julie London is one of the sexiest older women I've ever seen on tee-vee what with that droolsome nurse's uniform the kind of which have unfortunately been replaced by scrubs o'er the past twentysome years. Come to think of it, sexy nurses have been replaced by plumpoid harridans o'er the past twentysome years as well! And you tell me, which kinda nurse do you want when it comes enema time?

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Gotta thank the usual parties for their contributions to the war effort, particularly Paul McGarry not to mention Thierry Muller who also dropped off a nice load in my mailbox. I also found an old Feeding Tube platter that I sorta brushed aside when my life was heading off in a direction that sure didn't allow me for such frivolities as listening to much music. Hopefully that situation will change once things begin to settle down around here, which from my calculations should be around December --- of 2055 that is. 

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And now, for a rather entertaining interlude which I know you will all enjoy:

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Before we begin with today's festivities a personal plea. I know how kind and thoughtful you readers are, but are any of you just kind and thoughtful enough to make copies of the following fanzine more me??? PANACHE #'s 1 and 2, and JUNGLELAND 1 through 4 and 8. C'mon, its all for a good cause, mainly me. Pretty please with sugar on top?????


The Doozer-CONVALESCENCE LP (Feeding Tube Records)

I was a bit wary, but learned to love the ultra-introspective nature of this English neo-folkster whose music conjures up a whole load of past accomplishment from THE MARBLE INDEX (really!) to those turn of the century Japanese psychedelic retrogobbers who took up a whole lotta my attention and wallet space during those rather forgettable days. Toned down and reflective yet not self-pitying (not that I mind that, if I'm the one doing the self-pity that is), CONVLESENCE is a nice little stripped down listening affair that will please even the more cynical of BLOG TO COMM readers. Not only that but the Doozer is THEE singer/songwriter for those of you who have always wanted to bust James Taylor in the mouth.

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Gunslingers-SUPREME ASPHALT DOSER cassette (Cardinal Fuzz Records, France)

Once again Gregory Raimo drops a hydrogen bomb of an album (or in this case cassette) on us leaving alla you pampered pooches in such shock that you can't even run home to the comfort of your mother's boobies. Hard overdrive rocknroll is once again in store, and it's played to such a fever pitch that those usually daft comparisons to the velvet Underground and Stooges that I have made these past fortysome years sound even more banal than they usually have.. So out-there powerful that alla those eighties hopes of ours (Halo of Flies, the Australian bands) sound pattycakes in comparison. Maybe High Rise with a tad of LSD March added? Hey Raimo, if you read this tell us how we can get a copy for ourselves. 

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Art Ensemble of Chicago-PHASE ONE, WITH FONTELLA BASS CD-r burns (originally on America Records, France)

It's a good thing that Thierry Muller sent these burns to me considerin' that I haven't heard either one of these albums in quite awhile, if at all (memory is usually hazy about such things --- I mean I can remember things that happened to me when I was three yet forget what last week was all about). PHASE ONE, despite consisting of two side longs dedicated to Coltrane and Ayler respectively, doesn't get to hit the heights of freedom frenzy that I woulda hoped for. Still any early AEC is better'n none so why should I bitch? The one with Fontella Bass aka ex-Mrs. Lester Bowie aka the one of "Rescue Me" fame singin' away veers from varying introspective moments a la PEOPLE IN SORROW into that all-out free spirit style that I love in these French recordings of theirs. If you're lucky, the Amerigan reissues on Prestige might be lingering in a flea market bin near YOU!
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THE CREATIVE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY VOLS. 1 & 2 CD (Jazz City Records, Japan)

It's sure swell that someone decided to re-release the two CCC albums together like Muse Records shoulda done way back when even though that entertaining idea probably woulda cut way into their profits. Basically the old Anthony Braxton quartet with the addition of  AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrams and definitely non-AACM-er Richard Davis on bass, this group swings and sways in ways Sammy Kaye never woulda dreamed of as the sextet flows into various shades and moods that sorta sum up a lot of what was going on in the AACM and BAG worlds. And that's complete with all of the "little instruments" and outward scronk that you found plenty of in these free jazz exercises thatwere coming out on such then-impossible to find labels as Muse, Inner City and Nessa. Dunno about you, but I find the various early Braxton efforts that came out in the midst of the man's mid/late-seventies fame a whole lot more interesting, not to mention entertaining, than those Arista efforts that got him big time press. How about you?

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Sid Vicious with Jerry Nolan, Mick Jones, Arthur Killer Kane & Steve Dior-MAX'S KANSAS CITY NEW YORK NY USA Sept 7 1978 CD-r burn

Yup it's the same Sid Vicious show that's been bootlegged from here to Birch Way and back since the early eighties. 'n hey, for a throwaway gig capitalizing on some current events that just wouldn't getcha an "A" in school it does work some sort of wonder. Not only that, but it presages alla them other throwaway tossout punk shows that would be making the rounds around the time Sid's body temperature was matching that of the air around him .Which I'm sure really stunk the atmosphere around him up, but fortunately this recording won't lend itself to any irritation, aurally or olfactory-wise.

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TOP JIMMY AND THE RHYTHM PIGS CD-r burn

Wanted to hear this oft spoken about in hushed tones act for quite an eon already and, thanks to the miracle of Paul McGarry, finally got the opportunity to do so. Can't see what alla the real fuss was about since there were a good number of white urban blues bands treading the same area for ages, but as far as these kinda acts go who can blame the El Lay contingent for paying as close attention to Jimmy as they did. Still the Don Snowden description of Butterfield meets the Sonics rings heavily in my head --- perhaps its time for me to have my third ear cleaned out a little more thoroughly.

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Hot Lunch-CBGB 1978 CD-r burn

Yes, I am embarrassed. Y'see, I'm not an open minded holes-in-the-head individual like I assume almost all of you readers are, and the idea of even sitting down to listen to "the first openly gay punk rock group" isn't anything that, howshallIsay, appeals to my own personal sense of decency. Especially when the lead singer of the group admitted that he's in favor of pedophilia as long as the kid enjoys it which is totally OK unless someone on the right wing is engaged in such nefarious acts at which point its nothing but shame shame shame....

But heh, Hot Lunch (I mean, with a name like that how gay c'n ya get?) really do exemplify the better aspects of what punk rock was supposed to mean to tons of cloistered suburban slob kids, some of whom actually might have been welcomed at a post-gig party. Singer Emilio Cubiero's gruff 'n bellowing New Yawk accent belies his more, er, effeminate tendencies as he screams about matters that might even tend to have a more hetero turn to 'em (it's a good thing that the quality of this recording is of an audience variety or otherwise I might be able to actually make out them words!) while the musicians evoke everything from Thunders to Roxy Music, the latter via a nameless to me number which begins with a feedback roar that reminds me of those Grateful Dead closers of the late sixties which usually turned out to be the most entertaining part of their sets. Pretty hotcha roar there and hey, for a buncha SODOMITES they sure do a good enough job of keeping the entire set as high energy as it most certainly is.

Tacked onto the end's Hot Lunch's rare single "Dizzy"/"Celebrate the Criminal" which has the same sorta prowl and hard-edged drive of a whole load of similar-minded punk efforts of them days. Not only that, but it really sounds great in places. Unfortunately, those are the kinda places where you have to watch yourself lest something grave happens to your nether regions, so I'd advise you to keep a close eye out for yourself lest you get an unintended lesson in Greek and Roman culture.

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Peter Tork-LIVE AT CBGB'S NEW YORK CITY JULY 31, 1977 CD-r burn

Well whaddaya know but here 'tis the entire Peter Tork CBGB show what has been floating around the ether as of the past few months! Not only is the sound a great improvement over the one that we were privy to a good two decades back but the additional songs have this certain hotcha spark that sorta comes off like a strange twist of late-sixties AM pop and mid-seventies street snazz. Contains a cover of "Werewolves of London" that's even as good as the ones the Flamin' Groovies and Roky Erickson did! I remember Lester Bangs giving Tork the bum's rush via a front-cover VILLAGE VOICE smearjob, something which only goes to show ya that even these bigtime cutting edge trendsetting scribes we used to be all agog over could really miss the target even when they were guaranteed to hit a bullseye.

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QUARTET DE TURC CD-r burn

Can't find even a little bitta info on these Frenchmen (and screamin' Mimi) online. And that is a shame considerin' the eighties-styled post-something brand of grog that Quartet De Turc put out on this disque which I guess is the entity of four releases that got launched during or sometime after what I assume is the group's lifespan. Although the typical loud mouthed gal singer (who sounds just like every other punquette slammed in front of a mic during them days) dates this 'un in a not-so-appealing way, the rest of these Turcs are pretty solid in their approach. In all, they remind me somewhat of Blurt crammed in with any typical early-eighties under-the-underground artzy band with loads of those Loisada scronk moves sorta wigglin' their way into the mix. A little may go a looooooong way with some of you reg'lar readers, but as far as this breed of blare goes well, I find it a rather hearty once-in-a-lifetime sorta squall.

    ***

You know just what I'm selling, and you know just how mad I am that you've been ignoring me lo these many years. For once quit feeling sorry for yourselves and feel sorry for ME! Wouldn't that be a wonderful change in your lives, eh?

Sunday, August 21, 2022

BOOK REVIEW! SWELL MAPS 1972-1980 BYJOWE HEAD (Sound on Paper, 2021)

When I heard there was a book about noted English avant punk noisecapaders Swell Maps written by one of the group's own members you can bet that I really was on the get-go to obtain a copy of it for myself. After all, any pre-eighties rocknrollers who've been compared to a wide array of upper echelon acts from the Red Crayola to the Shadows of Knight with all Velvet points in-between is guaranteed to get this particular fanabla's remaining brain cell poppin' on all cylinders.

And can I help from sayin' that SWELL MAPS is the kinda book that really does have a whole lotta satin' goin' on, even if Map-ster Head's writing style is, howshallisay, rather Sahara-esque. But so what since the saga he unveils is one that I'm sure a good portion of you older readers can relate to, and I guess could reallyreallyREALLY  relate to if you were one of those seventies rich kids I usedta hear about who had enough money to not only buy all the records that your personal sense of style could handle but had enough left over for a subscription (speedy air mail even!) to the NME and thus knew alla the pertinent facts back then which took me fortysome years to eventually discover!

It's got a turdload of information including (besides Head's arid style) old articles taken from various weaklies both at home and abroad, a discography which even includes all of those side projects that were difficult to locate, and best of all an EP with more of what I hope will be a deluge of vault finds to hit our spinners in the years to come. The music is surprisingly solid ranging from various sixties garage band refs with a tad of Syd here and there to those weirdo sound cutters that these guys have been cranking out since the early-seventies. If yu still have those old Systematic and Rough Trade catalogs stuffed withing the cracks of your fart-encrusted boudoir you're bound to gobble this one faster than Linda Lovelace on a horny German Shepherd!

Saturday, August 06, 2022

THE BLOG TO COMM INTERVIEW---DAN FEINER!

OK, you probably don't know who Dan Feiner is, but I'm sure you all remember Jesse Farlow, the creator/edito/publisher of the classy early-seventies fanzine we all know and love as BEDLOE'S ISLAND. Part of the first wave of rock fanzines (y'know, before the rest of us morons caught on), Dan and Jesse are one and the same (for reasons you will read about below), BEDLOE'S ISLAND was one pretty solid read devoted to the more British slant on the music scene of the day with what I would call rather top notch writing and a rah-rah section (Greg Shaw, Mike Saunders...) that just about any true fanguy up to his shoulders in the rock ephemera of the day I'm sure strongly appreciated. An excellent endeavor that unfortunately has been forgotten by way too many so-called rockscribe "saviors"  who are more content to heap praise upon some of the most disturbing drive to ahve passed as rock 'n roll "criticism" these past fortysome years.

I got together with Mr. Feiner at his spatial apartment where, after a few shots and tokes, we got down to as many brass tacks as  Ben Fong-Torres did with Lester Bangs in the infamous BRAIN DAMAGE interview. Well, no, not really...



BLACK TO COMM-OK, now which is your real name, Dan or Jesse?

DAN FEINER-My real name is Dan Feiner. When I was a sophomore or junior in high school I realized my need to obtain and hear music vastly exceeded my ability to purchase it. Attempts at fraud (intentionally warping and then returning and exchanging records I was tired of) and petty crime (assisting a friend shop lift albums) were not successful. Third scam was the charm. I volunteered to write reviews for the local newspaper. A few record companies sent me promo copies to evaluate. When I started BEDLOE’s I figured I could get records at the fanzine as well as the newspaper by publishing it under a different name and address. So I created Jesse Farlow and used my dad’s P.O. Box as an address. I got a few double shipments but in short order stopped writing the free column and focused on the fanzine. Rather than straighten out the name situation, I just stayed Jesse for my music writing.

BTC-OK, I'll address you as Dan from hereon in. Anyway, when did the first issue of BEDLOE'S ISLAND come out?

DF-I would have guessed 1970 but reviewing some of the content, there are references to events that occurred and albums that were released in 1971 so that must be the year. I know I was still in school when it came out so officially, sometime prior to June 1971.

BTC-I'm really surprised at the overall quality of the first issue. Certainly not a "crudzine" as one fan remarked. The influence of THE NEW HAVEN ROCK PRESS seems to linger in these pages. Was this fanzine an influence? You also mention Greg Shaw in your pages so I gather BOMP! was as well.

DF-Hi Chris: Thanks for the kind words. The crudzine comment really hurt at the time. But rather than dissuade me from continuing I think it just encouraged me to do better. And, I believe, that progress can be seen in each subsequent issue of BI. The odd thing about the comment was that Greg Shaw was more than an influence on me. He was, I believe, what ultimately motivated me to start the zine. I can’t recall where I first encountered him. I know it was in an article about fanzines but I can’t recall the publication. I’d guess Rolling Stone. I most likely wrote to him, received encouragement and guidance, and got to work. I also name checked King Harvest Review in that first issue so I suspect I must also have corresponded with Robert Wilson.

Jon Tiven was an influence but I’m not sure if I had encountered him yet when I began publishing. I didn’t mention him so I’d guess not. I did subsequently meet him and get a bunch of NHRP issues. I went to college my first year in Vermont. I didn’t have a car so my parents drove me up there when I went and also when I returned after winter break. On one of those trips I arranged to meet Jon in New Haven on the way up or back. I recall going to his house and meeting either Gary Lucas (subsequently Capt Beefheart I believe) or Mitch Kapor (subsequently Lotus Notes) there. Jon was about my age and we got along. He not only helped me with the zine but provided me with what is still one of the more memorable events of my life, the invite to and attendance at the First Annual Rock Writers of the World conference in Memphis.

BTC-What were you listening to at the time? I sense an obvious prog/import bin bent to your collection.

DF-First and foremost British blues. Mayall, Fleetwood Mac (three guitar version), Chicken Shack, Savoy Brown etc. I loved them all. I’ve gotta laugh now at the self-assuredness with which I dismissed the Chicago blues anthology. I also really liked the English folk rock bands, especially Fairport, which later graced a cover. I got to bring them to Goddard when I went there. Goddard being Goddard I wrote it up as an education experience and got college credit for it. Which was summarily taken away when I transferred to Syracuse my junior year. Oh well. 

I pretty much liked anything foreign. I think Virgin records started around that time and I really liked their bands to. Other big faves were the Kinks and pre-Tommy Who.

I can not answer how Carole King made the cover and received a favorable record review. Perhaps one of my contributors wrote that.

BTC-What was the press run, and how did you distribute them?

DF-Now that tests my memory. I think I printed about one hundred. Somehow I got it out there that I had published it as I think I had about 10 subscribers, one of which I still recall was in Klamath Falls, OR not the kind of place one would expect a fanzine devotee to reside. Mostly I think I gave them to school friends and, of course, record company promo folk.

BTC-You brought to my attention New York scene mover and shaker Ruth Polsky's involvement with the early issues. Care to tell us more about her and her involvement with BEDLOE'S ISLAND?

DF-Ruth Polsky was a high school classmate of mine and one of my best friends during those years. I recall we talked on the phone endlessly, baring our teenage souls. I regret I was too young, unformed and unsure of myself to fully appreciate her strength, independence and creativity at that time. I don’t recall specifically what her role in Bedloe’s Island was. It doesn’t appear she wrote anything but I’m sure she must have encouraged me and perhaps helped with editing and assembly of the issues. I don’t recall having much contact during our college years but we must have stayed in touch as an old friend of mine recently reminded me we went to a Springsteen concert with her in the summer of 1974 or 1975. After Ruth graduated from college she got a job in NYC at some magazine publisher. The next thing I knew she was booking bands at Hurrah and Danceteria, spending time with name acts in the UK and arranging U.S. tours for them. I recall visiting her once during this period in NYC and feeling like her country bumpkin cousin. I’ve thought about her a lot in the years since her death. I wish we could get together for a Zoom call and catch up.

BTC-How many issues of BEDLOE'S ISLAND came out anyway?

DF-That proves a tougher question than I would have anticipated. I have copies of four issues. I’m pretty sure the Fairport issue (identified as #4) was the last one I did. I don’t have a copy of the issue with Alice Cooper on the cover that you show on your site. I remember working with that photo but interestingly I don’t see an issue number located on it. Do you have it? If so, does it replicate one of the other issues before Fairport. I might have changed covers. What is curious is that the price is more than any of the other issues .35 as opposed to .25 for Fairport. Maybe it was issue 5? So the direct answer to your question is four, possibly five, issues. Now that you have issue 1 you may be able to answer this question better than me.

BTC-Can you tell us more about your non-BEDLOE'S ISLAND writing?

DF-Before I started BEDLOE'S ISLAND I wrote weekly columns for two newspapers in my hometown of Toms River, N.J., the Daily Observer and the New Jersey Courier. I believe at that time they were both weeklies. My byline was Dan Feiner. BEDLOE’s occupied my writing in 1971 and 1972. I managed to land a review of the Help Yourself album Beware the Shadow in the May 1973 issue of Phonograph Record Magazine as Jesse Farlowe. In the fall of 1973 I transferred to Syracuse University and wrote regularly about music for an alternative weekly, The Syracuse New Times. After graduating with a degree in newspaper journalism I got a couple of reporter jobs in New Jersey, first at the Atlantic City Press and then at the Daily Observer. I covered municipal government and didn’t write about music at either of those publications. I published as Dan Feiner. In 1977 I moved to Seattle and wrote for the Seattle Times, an alternative weekly. I might have written about music but focused on municipal government there. 

As an aside, when I was looking for clippings of my newspaper articles, I found a copy of the Bedloe’s Island issue with Alice Cooper on the cover. I’d completely forgotten that there was indeed a Bedloe’s #5. It appears to have been published in the Summer of 1972. That is the issue with the advertisement for Fish and Chips Imports. By that time, I had made contact with the folks at JEM Records in S. Plainfield N.J. Mostly I bought records for myself but I did sell a few by mail order and at Stockton State College. I met Pete Frame of ZIGZAG and the Rock Writers of the World conference in Memphis and finally made it to the U.K. in the summer of 1973. I was supposed to assist JEM open an office in London but mostly I just slept on the floor of their office space. Peter Tomlinson joined me in London a week or two into my visit and we made our presence felt at concerts and record companies, stores and labels for a couple of what was then for me, wild weeks.

The critics conference and the month in London provided me with the best source material I would ever have had for BEDLOE’s but I guess my flame had burned out and I never published anything about them or an Issue 6 of the fanzine.

BTC-Can you tell us more about the rock writer's convention/ Meet any famous scribes of the day there???

DF-The critics convention remains one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I recall getting the mailed invitation and not immediately understanding that it included air travel, lodging and all events associated with the gathering. I am virtually certain I owe my invitation to Jon Tiven who was close to Ardent Records as I recall (so much for critical objectivity) and a great champion of Big Star who were the showcase live act of the event. To my memory everyone who was anyone in the world of rock writers was there. Because they figured in subsequent events I know I met and/or hung out with Peter Tomlinson, Crescenzo Capece, Pete Frame from ZigZag, R. Meltzer, Ed Ward. I’m sure there were countless others, Lester Bangs, Dave Marsh, Mike Saunders but 49 years later it is all a bit of a blur. 

Two events, sort of connected, are indelible, however. Crescenzo was not an invited participant but was crashing with Peter T as I recall. There was an open bar in the club where Big Star was playing. I wasn’t much of a drinker (I had favored other intoxicants in high school and early college) and knew nothing about mixed drinks. I was determined to take advantage of the free liquor, however, so I headed over to one of the bars and asked the bartender what the most expensive drink they had was. He told me it was a Zombie and I said I’ll have one. Big mistake. I took one sip and decided it was undrinkable. At that moment Crescenzo walked by and I offered the drink to him. He took it. Big mistake. I went back to the bar and ordered the only other premium beverage I knew about, a glass of Heineken. I think I had a second one after the set by Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers. While waiting for Big Star to take the stage I walked out on a balcony that was a floor or two above the street. Someone walking by said “hey man, give me a beer” and I complied, sloshing some of mine over the railing onto him. I have no idea why I did that. Really big mistake. There must have been a bouncer on the balcony behind me because almost instantly I was grabbed and escorted out of the club and onto the empty bus that had taken us from our hotel to the concert. I wasn’t allowed back in and missed the rest of the event, including Big Star and what I recall hearing was some sort of Meltzer incited mayhem on stage. 

Knowing the hard living, heavy drinking reputation of many of my fellow attendees, I still shake my head in disbelief that inexperienced, innocent and intimidated Jesse Farlowe was apparently the only celebrant to be 86’d from the event. I think we were staying at a Holiday Inn. I recall riding up to our rooms in an elevator with Crescenzo who was sitting on the floor looking well worse for wear. When we arrived at our floor of the hotel, two other attendees  grabbed him under the armpits and dragged him out into the hallway. The next morning I went to Peter’s room before breakfast. Crescenzo was there. He said he had puked all night and that the bedsheet was so full of vomit they had just tossed it out the window and down to the roof of the restaurant below. “Every time I puked,” Chris said, “all I could taste was your goddamned Zombie. I never saw Crescenzo again. 

Peter Tomlinson and I connected in London later in 1973 and hung out with Pete Frame. Peter T and I connected in NYC a couple of time in the past decade and keep up on Facebook.I finally got to see Big Star play in 1974 at a small club in Syracuse, NY. I interviewed Alex Chilton for the planned, but never produced, Issue 6 of Bedloe’s Island. When Peter and I reconnected he told me he had been interviewed for the Big Star documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me. I managed to obtain a screen grab of part of the invitation list for the Memphis conference. The page I captured included Jesse Farlowe as one of the invitees.

BTC-So, what has been going on with you since the days of BEDLOE'S ISLAND?

DF-So basically what have I been up to for the past half century? 😀

I graduated from Syracuse University in 1975 with a degree in newspaper journalism. I worked as a reporter in New Jersey for two years and then moved to Seattle, WA. I worked at an alternative weekly there for a bit and then took a much-better-paying PR job at a trade association. Bored shitless, I quit and enrolled in law school in Portland, OR. I graduated in 1981 and soon took a job as a prosecutor in a nearby district attorney’s office. In 1985 I left and started a solo practice as a criminal defense attorney. I retired at the end of 2017. Along the way I worked on some fascinating cases including the Portland 7 terrorism case, the ALF/ELF conspiracy case that included the bombing of the Vail ski resort and the international marijuana importing case that was the subject of the book Reefer Men. Most memorably (and most appropriately) I defended Portland rock club owner (and former Fillmore East employee) Larry Hurwitz on a murder charge. Anyone interested in that story, which warrants a book for sure, can do an internet search on Larry Hurwitz Starry Night.

I think one of the circumstances that led to the discontinuation of BEDLOE'S ISLAND was a change in my relationship with music and the music scene as I experienced it. As I aged and started thinking about a career and my need to support myself music became less a source of my identity and more an interest. That said, it remained my primary interest into my 50’s. I think I felt the change starting when I was still envisioning an issue 6 of Bedloe’s. My difficulty articulating it at that point (I’ve only recently been able to more fully understand what was happening for me) probably was a major factor in letting the zine pass.

That said, my desire to see shows and amass albums did not diminish much after the press passes and promotional pressings became fond memories. At one point I took a hiatus from rock and started listening to reggae and 50’s and 60’s era jazz almost exclusively. In the early 80’s I became somewhat obsessed with Scottish (Postcard Records) and New Zealand (Flying Nun) bands. Somewhat belatedly I discovered Americana and attended SxSW from 2001 to 2004. That first year I reconnected with Chip Lamey who I had palled around with back at Stockton State College in New Jersey. He was a SxSW vet and a great guide for me. In 1996 I went to see Steve Wynn at a small Portland club. I was standing near the entry way when someone walked in and said he was on the guest list. The person working the door asked his name and I heard him answer, Richard Meltzer. I confirmed he was R. Meltzer and introduced myself as Jesse Farlowe. I’d be surprised if he remembered me or that he contributed an article to BEDLOE’s. I think he was living in Vancouver, WA (a Portland suburb) at the time. I thought it might be interesting to track him down and document it but as is not unusual for me, I got sidetracked and nothing ever came of it. I’d love to reconnect with him and talk old days.

As I mentioned in an earlier response, I’m still in touch with Peter Tomlinson, primarily through Facebook. We’ve connected twice in NYC in the past decade. The frequency of my visits to New Jersey have diminshed since both of my parents have passed and my sister moved out of the area. But I hope to get back at some point soon and hang out with Pete again.

Thanks for maintaining the fanzine flame and your interest in BEDLOE'S ISLAND. Those days and my experiences in them are now so far in the past that they feel somewhat like a dream. But a very vivid and memorable one.



Saturday, July 30, 2022


Well, it's happy ol' me again as you can see from the photo on the left, once again presenting for youyouYOU an episode of BLOG TO COMM that I'm sure is gonna tickle your tootsies alla way to Coraopolis and back! An' this particular entry ain't one of those piddling reviews of some comic book or tee-vee series such as the kind I've been shovin' at'cha these past few months neither! Naw, its a hugie that I'll bet will make your eyes swirling and have ya kicking up yer heels more'n Kamala Harris ever did! 

Anyhoo I hope'cha dig the following spew given just how much time I hadda put into it. Especially in between alla those real-life doodies I have to tend to during these unfortunately overworked days. Just bear w/this guy a bit because, frankly I'm way outta condition and the following just might come off a bit...wonky to most of youse out there in real life land.
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Okay, you inquiring minds want to know at least some of the ugly details that have been curtailing my delivering the goods the way I should. As for one---howzabut the fact that I hadda endure getting my left eyeball worked on at Allegheny General Hospital in merry Pittsburgh Pee-YAY! due to a torn retina, and the nitrogen gas bubble that was injected into my bare eyeball in order to push the retinal wall back into place (almost thought this procedure would be a re-enactment of UN CHIEN ANDALOU!) has created a large jiggly circle in my line o' vision that kinda looks like Rover going after Patrick McGoohan right in my very head (either that or the front cover of the Quiet Sun MAINSTREAM album)! To be honest and up front about it this paerticular happening in my usually dullsville life ain't exactly a funzy thing to be enduring...in fact it's hampering even more my ever-decaying vision which is probably the reason why I'm making alla these typos that I will be too stoopid to correct once my sight returns to somewhat of a normality hopefully in the near future.

Other'n that I've been trying to amuse myself in ways quite different than I did when I was fourteen stuck alone in the house with an old NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC hidden under the mattress. Interestingly enough my current faverave time of the day anymore just hasta be six in the evening when I settle back for my nightly viewing of MANNIX on FETV, a switch from the re-re-REruns of GUNSMOKE I've seen over and over again these past few years. MANNIX usedta be a weekly staple at the ol' homestead at least until the Orson Welles/Lillian Gish anthology of silent classics entitled THE SILENT YEARS ran opposite, and watching these ubercool episodes featuring high energy action and characters you can either root for or  wish the worst calamities upon really does remind me of just how hotcha things usedta be, at least until the sensitive mollycoddled pantywaists known as "progressives" or at least "world savers" mucked things up for good with their general castration of everything they laid their grubboid hands upon. Koinda makes me wanna don a seventies sports jacket just like the kind Mannoix wore and knock a few pampered menials (including a good portion of you readers) around until you get some SENSE (regarding the affirmation of the concepts of good/evil and masculinity/femininity) into some skulls that certainly do need some heavy duty pounding into these sad 'n sorry days.

While I'm at it, a fond farewell to Big Brother Wally a.k.a. Tony Dow, who I guess really is dead after a slightly premature call akin to the false report we received regarding Tom Petty a few years back.
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I might as well ( mean---I BETTER!!!) thank a whole lotta people out there who, bless their little peen-pickin' hearts, really do care  'bout me and this particular effort I have torn asunder over the past eight or so months. To those of you who've sent in promo items thanks, though some of your understandably fine efforts (talkin' 'bout YOU Feeding Tube!) will have to wait until I can get my turntable hooked up again (It's a long story I will not bore you with since I get the feeling that you guys are bored enough already) while Paul McGarry's continual dropping off of burnt Cee-Dee offerings also helps out loads even if I have less time to settle down and write these reviews up than I had last year at this time (a situation I sure hope changes in the distantly near future). And of course there are those Cee-Dee-Ares that P.D. Fadensonnen sent past X-mas are still handy enough for me to slap on during those particularly introverted moments in my life. Of course Bill Shute should also be praised for remembering my birthday a few weeks back with a package of old comic books and comic book reprints which I will get to in earnest once I regain some semblance of what it used to be life back inna good ol' days. Anyway, hope you like 'em, and hope on I will...
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BLOG TO COMM sez: choose YOUR punk! And yeah, who in their right might woulda known that the infamous Mr .Rotten would have grown to become the profound one when it came to punkdom anyway??? To be honest about it Henry is right for once since guns are for weak people...I mean, do you really think a 98 lb. grandma can fend off a 200-pound attacker with her mere fists? As the old saying goes, "God created all men---Col. Colt made them equal"!

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Divine Horsemen-HOT RISE OF AN ICE CREAM PHOENIX CD-r burn (originally on In The Red Records)

Gotta admit that o'er the past few decades I have NOT played any of those late-eighties Divine Horsemen platters that are scattered about the collection. Dunno why because they were good enough efforts to appeal to my own sense of long-lost rock aesthetics, or something like that. Perhaps they remind me of a pretty dire time in my life which ain't really saying anything considering just how dire my life has been ever since I entered kindergarten. 

 However, this 2021 release by the new if aged group is pretty hotcha --- not over-the-top engrossing like the Flesheaters were but steady enough to appease any of you fans out there who have at least a few vivid and pleasant memories of early-seventies FM rock radio still embedded in your minds. Chris D. and Julie Christiansen still moosh well enough to please the ears and hey, even though I kinda thought the Horsemen were comparatively piddle next to the A MINUTE TO PRAY=era 'eaters this one does have more'n a few ounces of pure rockist merit to its makeup. Of course I'll never listen to it again.
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Dredd Foole and the Din-SONGS IN HEAT CD (Corbett Vs. Dempsey Records)

This guy is perhaps the last true Bostonian devotee of the long-running Velvets homage brigade dating back to the Boston Tea Party days of Jonathan Richman and Wayne McGuire. And, of course, these '82 recordings with a bulk of what at the time was Mission of Burma doing the backing do have the ring of fading seventies underground bumping into the dank miasma of the eighties with a storm clash of bared-wire intensity that one won't forget for quite awhile. Basic hard repeato riff backs Foole/Ireton's throat scrapes which evoke the best rock screamers of the past from Iggy to Roslie and, of course, alotta of your faverave sixties flashpoints can be heard and with relative ease at that! (Please be sure to check out the hidden track which even threw a heard it all before kinda guy like me for a loop!)

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The Shangs-SONNY BONO TEAR DOWN THAT WALL OF SOUND CD (
Judigee Records, Canada)

The marvelous glop slop production makes the latest Shangs effort even more of a spacious effort than one would have expected from their earlier releases. David Nelson Byers sounds more late-sixties El Lay sunshine pop than his Ontario locale would lead one to believe while the music's just about as slick pop pretend avant garde as you can find outside of, say, Sagittarius. Paens to some of the greats in the Shangs oeuvre are present...the Feminine Complex, Craig Smith (feh!), Joanie Sommers (yay!), Ash Ra Tempel with Timothy Leary (yeeesh!), the Lennon Sisters????
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Oliver-STANDING STONE CD (
Guerrsen Records, Spain)

Sorta like nasal Dylan gone English late-sixties folk. Actually this has a heavy ESP-disk loner style a la Mij, though it certainly is not as expansive as Erica Pomerance. Some Bee-Fartian blooze chooze slips in, 'n ain't that more'n just a li'l Davy Graham here/there as well? I hope that ain't Donovan I'm vibing. Man, this guy sure is an eclectic chap now, ain't he??? Overall kinda West Coast-y in a good time Marin County sorta vein but it sure ain't patchouli smellin', ifyaknowaddamean....

(Hey, note that NOT ONCE did I mention anywhere in the above paragraph the Oliver of shoo-be-doo-be-da-da fame making some lame joke about how I thought this Oliver was that one as someone so OBVIOUS as myself would be wont to do given just how in search of a bad pun or reference I tend to be. I have prided myself on this simple fact and y'know what? I get the feeling that you are happy about it too. Yeah---right...)
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The Slits-THE KEYSTONE, BERKELEY CA NOV. 23rd, 1980 CD

I really thought much of the Slits back in the maybe not so good ol' days but then again they, like a good portion of the Rough Trade/post-punk (yech!) cadre, sorta tired on me with much of that punk rock promise and spark thrown to the wayside in favor of some rather tired ethos that made me doubt my original faith in these groups in the first place. Here they are somewhere in the cusp of it all doing more of that angular music which, in some strange fashion, at times almost echoes the more abstract music heard on the first Alice Cooper album.  Ari and company can actually play some surprisingly engaging modpop before slipping into the usual faux reggae and neo-soul moves probably in order to prove to everyone that they really do like black people after all. It does sound like something you'd expect from a buncha gals who cut their musical parameters on Velvets, Stooges and krautrock records (mixed in with the usual Roxy/Bolan touchpoints) and used their influences to the max, at least until the eighties hit and it all became water under the bridge anyway.
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AN ARTHUR RHAMES COMPENDIUM 5 DISC BOX SET CD-r burn 

Funny, I only got four burns from this Fadensonnon-derived set (one of 'em musta gotten stuck in with my Paul McGarry donations), but wha' th' hey considering that the music heard on what's left is mighty decent sound and noise signifying everything! Rhames was a multi-instrumentalist who handled his various instruments with marvy aplomb as he (along with the help of such able names as Rashied Ali and some I never knew about until now) zap through various jazz highpoints of the past while fortunately enough avoiding the dismal abyss as to what jazz has become ever since the new thing was treated like old hat by the spiritual successors to Leonard Feather. Recognizable nods to Coltrane and Parker can be discerned via Rhames' tenor prowess, and believe it or not but his duos with Ali evoke not only the legendary INTERSTELLAR SPACE but Ali's Survival platter with Frank Lowe! Not only that but Rhames excels on guitar (not as flash as EMERGENCY-era John McLaughlin but rougher than many of the free jazzers steeped in electricity) and piano (again, not as flash as solo Ra or Taylor but enveloping enough). A fine sendoff to a guy whose career was cut short by a bad case of Magic Johnson's Disease. 
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Jah Wobble-METAL BOX: REBUILT IN DUB CD-r burn (originally on Cleopatra Records)

Like the Can SACRILEGE effort it's nice in an interesting kinda/sorta re-visity way, but next to the real deal it's like, why bother? Again a once-time spinner for those of you curious enough to want to hear the least-exciting member of PiL re-do a forty-plus-year-old accomplishment, but don't come complainin' to me about alla them dead cats bound to pile up at your abode due to such a curiosity as this. 
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Stare Kits-LIVE @ TIER 3 1979 CD-r burn

Can't say that I'm familiar with this act which performed all three of their live gigs at the late-seventies under-the-underground haunt Tier 3 (or Tr3 as I recall it being called way back during whatever heyday the place might have had). After giving this surprisingly hi-quality recording a try all I gotta say is---these guys ('n gals) were pretty hotcha even at a time when the underground rock inna burgh was heading into some rather ginchy areas of self-parody. Stare Kits kinda come off like Siouxsie and company only with lotsa early Blondie and no Can, or better yet the plethora of then-current up-and-coming acts that were saturating what we once knew of as "new wave"---only with less of that junk shop jewelry ethos that got kinda tiresome after awhile. I sure wish there were more underground rock acts like this throughout the eighties 'stead of the MTV glitzers that unfortunately got alla the attention and more or less ruined rock 'n roll (as that feral hard-drive form of anger-addled expression) and if you don't agree with me I'm sure there are more'n a few nude Madonna glossies for you losers to spill seed over, ifyaknowaddamean...

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The Golden Cups-LIVE ALBUM CD-r burn (originally on Eastworld Records, Japan)

Only heard these guys via their psychedelic take on "Hey Joe" that appeared on some mid-eighties Japanese sampler, so this later effort did seem somewhat appealing to me. Too bad it's taken from a 1971 performance which shows that these guys were more'n apt to take the worst aspects of "rock music" to heart just as much as they were to take the best of it a few years earlier. Contains covers of Three Dog Night, Mountain and to an extent the Moody Blues amidst other gems that'll not only remind you of just how blah FM rock coulda been at the time but of the old adage "Whites create, Asians imitate"! You might get some sorta heavy rock kick outta the thing but I sure as shootin' didn't.

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Still looking for back issues of BLACK TO COMM? Judging from the lack ot response I get from these tail end come ons I really doubt it. Wise up for once, willya?