Tuesday, November 21, 2023


My recent review of THE FUNNIES not only rekindled (hah! --- as if it ever went away!) the strong passion I held for the funny papers during my single-digit days but had me scurrying to ebay to get hold of some ALLEY OOP collections. The OOPs that were reprinted in that particular BORM conjured an interest in that strip which I must admit is somewhat strange considering I never really gave it the time of day. Just didn't appeal to me other'n for its even then antiquated style which harkened back to hem days when finely detailed comic art, which even at the cusp of the 60/70s was in rather short supply, seemed to rule the roost to be cornball about it. 

Perhaps the concept of a time-travelling caveman didn't quite make sense even in a comics world where one already had to suspend a whole load of logic and reality and just get down to the matter of enjoying them. Maybe the attempts to be relevant to the current events of the day were just too stilted and half-baked for the senses of any midclass suburban slob what with the references to flower children and hippies --- as satire or commentary such strips just didn't work so swell, coming off exactly the way the older generation perceived the youth of the day while failing miserably in the process. At least Al Capp was able to spoof the youth to the point where he rightfully enraged a whole slew of people who DESERVED IT!

Well, OOP was runnin' at a time when I had nada appreciation of continuing storylines other'n the ABNER and DICK TRACY sagas that really were capturing an imagination that didn't have much to capture. I'm sure that if I were some depression-era kid (I was receiving depression-era wages that's for sure!) the lack of other stimulation woulda have me following the strip with a raving eagerness, but as it stood ALLEY OOP just didn't spark anything inside my comics-saturated soul. It was something for the old folks the same way that Jimi Hendrix and the Jefferson Airplane were for the big kids 'n not little turdburgers like myself.

Now that I AM an old folk maybe it's time that I tried again and so I did. Sure woulda loved to've read this strip starting at the very beginning but with the variety of reprints available both fan-oriented and legit, and with the somewhat exorbitant prices they've got tagged on 'em it is rather hard to know exactly where to start.

This Kitchen Sink book does help out somewhat. Starting in '47 we're treated to three Oop arcs. The first one deals with his cranial impressions of ROBINSON CRUSOE projected onto Professor Wonmug's "View Screen" and man do they turn out quite differently than the actual novel what with Crusoe being a sexy blonde, much to the dismay of Oop's galpal Ooola who has enough goin' for her as well. Then Oop's flung back to the Kingdom of Moo where he's in deep trouble for beating up a cute femme who, as they all do, was just lying about the whole kaboodle (some things never change). Afterwards Our Hero and the somewhat shady Oscar Boom travel via the fourth dimension to ancient Arabia to check out the legend of the golden fleece getting into some mystical experiences which eventually get the two into some rather strange circumstances when their thoughts actually become fleshed out so-to-speak. Sure glad that didn't happen to me when I was a mid-teenbo or I'd still be in detention!

They are somewhat appealing what with that great hatchworked and detailed art that looks as if each panel took a good half-hour to delineate. The actual adventures ain't anything to complain about neither...sure they could have been somewhat more intense but I'm not exactly complaining mind ya. Well, these sagas sure kept my attention going about as strong as it would have had this book come around back when I was eleven, and even without me being too familiar with the previous storyline ins and outs it was easy enough for me to somewhat fit into the tongue and groove without having to resort to reading the first fourteen years of the thing!

Oh yeah, as far as the cover story goes  --- well, we all have read various SciFi sagas about time travelers who change the past making for a way different place to be found when they return to the present? Well, this particular time-traveling caveman is one fellow who actually MAKES the history when he zooms to the Middle East a good ten thou years back and helps create the Egyptian Dynasty by leading some wandering tribe in the Sahara to the Fertile Crescent. The people are so grateful that Oop's face pops up on the (now get this!) Sphinx! The possibilities of Oop changing the course of history are endless, such as if he just happened to be at the Texas School Book Depository on November 22 of 1963 or maybe with him posing as a clutzy doctor who attempted to deliver a number of future political figures who just "happen" to be stillborn, or accidentally dropped on the floor, or fed to the dogs for that matter. 

Like another once-legendary NEA Services strip CAPTAIN EASY, there is a balance between adventure and humor that yin/yangs a whole lot more'n casual perusers could possibly fathom. Overall, these strips make for good lazy afternoon reading that brings back those comic strip memories of an obsession that practically ruled my life. But hey, better it be comics than all of those stoopid things the other guys were involved in like sports, race baiting, self-abuse...

After pecking out the typically abysmal gunk this blog is renowned for directly above I discovered that (wonder of wonders!) there's actually a new series of ALLEY OOP daily reprints that have begun to creep into the comics anthology world! I dunno how long this endeavor will last (I get the sneakin' suspicion that it's gonna eventually peter out the way all of those LI'L ABNER attempts have) but it at least is a smart start and any OOP fans there are left out there in funny pages land better rejoice with their hearts, or any other bodily organs that might be at hand.

Even if the series eventually flops, at least it's a start and as far as comic strip history goes these are indispensable (even the original run drawn for the soon-to-be-even-more-extinct-than-the-Fellmandon Bonnet-Brown syndicate pop up!). These pre-time travel stone age sagas that appear (most of which seem to center around a love/hate relationship between Oop and King Guzzle similar to the Popeye and Bluto situation) keep you tuned in more'n any episode of RING-A-DING-DING SCHOOL ever did that's for sure! It's no wonder why this 'un became a big hit with the depression-wages era kids (who at least had an excuse for the pittance they earned!) and if you're really that interested after all of this schpiel why dont'cha write to alleyoop@aruffo.com and see what wonders await.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

I still hold humanity and most of its values and beliefs in utter contempt but yeah, I do feel somewhat better now than I did last week at the same time. Gotta stop having little things like seeing the name of someone trigger me into waves of utter revulsion (I should be embarrassed by this infantile train of thought but I don't care anymore) and although I DO NOT take back anything I said last go 'round and don't feel any remorse for coming off like such a self-centered pantywaist I must say that even a good hour or two after pecking out that rant on I felt quite shallIsay "chipper" and kinda wonder why I was making such a fuss over it all in the first place. Things like my failure in life (at least as far as smiting the people I loathe go) usually doesn't affect me much and then, one second LATER...

But hey, I'll try to keep all of my pent up inner angst over not being as handsome or as famous as Jay Hinman deep down in the guts, at least until next time. And until that fateful day arrives I'm going to do my best to be the closest anyone on this planet can get to being Casper the Friendly Ghost and act about as happy and as pleasant as a 13-year-old boy locked in a porn shop overnight. Maybe not as pulse pounding, but still you have nothing to worry about with regard to me lashing out at the same ol' demons that have been pestering me since at least the dawn of first grade.


OK --- howzbout some more of that AI generated nonsense that I've been monkeying around with! And boy did I come up with some doozies!!! The first illustration on today's itinerary is supposed to be John Cage and it does look somewhat like him, but what is he doing? Either playing a musical instrument of his own creation (perhaps a "prepared switchboard") or engaging in a little foosball.

Here's another badass rocker who's so cool that he even has a guitar neck protruding from his left arm! And hey, would you want to take a ride in any of those automobiles seen in the distance? Not me, bub!

The following two pictures are supposed to be Norman Rockwell's impressions of a race riot although (contrary to the text I typed in) there are no white people being butchered, children hung from lampposts, looting or, for that matter, policemen just standing around doing nothing. Given the "rioters'" body contortions, you could look upon these as being Rockwell paintings filtered through Robert Longo. I'm sure a few of you readers could come up with some really interesting takes on these two!

And now for something a little easier on the eyes. This AI-induced lass is (really!) supposed to be none other than Yoko Ono during the recording of (I believe) her PLASTIC ONO BAND album, or was it TWO VIRGINS judging from the abundance of anatomy on display?! All I gotta say is this in fact is Yoko then maybe I should "give PIECE a chance"!

Okay, eyeballs back into sockets. The following picture is what I got when I typed in "Nazis beating up first graders with soggy broccoli"...

This is supposed to be Eddie Haskell doing malicious bodily harm to Beaver while his friends watch approvingly. I think I better be more descriptive while typing these AI requests out, though given the word "beaver" I'm glad something we'd all call scurrilous didn't appear.

And this is supposed to be Jerry Lewis walloping his son Gary because Gary didn't refer to his father as "Your Majesty"! Nice belt Gary, and while I'm at it nice tie dad!

I decided to create a few comic strip-oriented images. First off I asked for AI to conjure up a pic of Charlie Brown beating up Lucy and Peppermint Patty while Linus and Snoopy look on in shock. Kinda makes me wonder what an AI-created PEANUTS comic strip would look like.

And this "ARCHIEE" image is (naturally) nothing at all what I asked for! And I assume that is Jughead in the necktie --- didn't know he was such a masculine figure! I sure like the way the characters are walking and kneeling on water, and what is that roast chicken (I think) doing floating in the lower left portion of the panel? And if you can tell me what that scribbly thing is on the redhead's thigh (never mind describing her footwear or the strange legwork on the blonde in the polka dot swimsuit) you too can win a no prize!

This is supposed to be Nancy and "Siluung" robbing a candy store. I guess Siluung (who actually stuffed some lollipops in his cap) wants Nancy's take of the heist.

OBVIOUSLY AI never heard of BEETLE BAILEY because I requested a picture of Beetle, Killer, Zero and Sgt. Snorkel bayoneting babies in the jungles of Vietnam.

And this is a party with R. Crumb characters Mr. Natural, Angelfood McSpade and the Snoids with S. Clay Wilson's Checkered Demon as well as Nard 'n Pat. Well, at least they got SOMEWHAT of a Crumbian aura in this result.

OK, I'll refrain from any more of these for now, which is too bad for you because I conjured up some goodies like the cast of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND gone mad with hunger butchering each other up with machetes and George Washington and Abraham Lincoln playing strip poker with Betsy Ross and Louisa Mae Alcott with George and Abraham winning. Of course nothing came out looking like anything I described, but if I get a good one referring to a group or album cover I don't have that would look rather swell next to one of my mini reviews maybe --- just MAYBE --- that'll show up. But in general I'd call AI, at least from the results I've been gettin', less BRAVE NEW WORLD and more HEAVE NEW WORLD!

Hey, the JUCIKA "X" page has been terminated which is a dang shame given how I've come to look forward to seeing the Hungarian comic strip gal in various stages of tight-fitting outfits as part of my daily decompression. Perhaps this title was just too much for the prudes at "X" who run things to handle, except that the prudes haven't been running anything in years unless you count the NEW prudes out there, of which I have the feeling many of you readers out there just happen to be! Too bad --- gonna miss them squeezies on her.


I believe I have already told you about this, but if not  I'm sure you Golden Age of Rock Fanzine types will sure want to know this! Digital copies of the infamous GULCHER can be snatched up on-line, so if you want #0 or maybe even #4 and see where I swiped a whole lot of my ideas from well then, GO DOG GO!!!


Whenever I look through my record, tape and whatever else produces music collection I think about how blessed I am to have such a vast array of music (as well as boffo album art) at my fingertips. Sure's better'n having flesh 'n blood friends if you ask me but anyhoo --- given the rush job this post has turned out to be don't expect the usual --- er --- genius that usually goes into these crucial to the cause of Western Civilization missives. Perhaps I'd call this 'un "sub-genius" but I don't wanna get sued by any religion out there. Paul McGarry and Thierry Muller provided the goods that went into this one.

Roky Erickson-MAD DOG CD-r burn (originally on Swordfish Records)

With all of the Roky and Elevators reissues and samplers that have been floating around for ages it's understandable that a cheapskate like myself would never be able to keep up with it all. In fact I don't even recall having heard about this particular collection which has been out on the under-the-underground market since 1992, something which is way too bad for me because that means I missed out on thirty years of the opportunity to give this particular effort a listen. And as we all would have hoped, this is a pretty solid set of rare Roky not only featuring him with a couple of his famed backing bands but some hot solo acoustic ravers that have the electricity baked smack dab right into 'em. Baked in solid like any good rock 'n roll effort that is, and I gotta admit that I find it amazing that a guy with Roky's mental shakeupiness could have ever create such straight-ahead and deep growl efforts. Kinda proves that Kenneth Anger was right when he wrote that genius and madness go hand in hand.
Lolitas-FUSEE D'AMOUR CD-r burn (originally on New Rose Records, France)

Not just yer anyday gal group playing up the butts 'n bullseyes angle, these femmes have the same deep drive and under-the-underground seriousness of all those other Gallic greats that France seemed to proliferate in ever since the glory days of Open Market and PARAPULIE magazine. Eschewing the giddy gal play-up of many of the weaker (hah!) sex, these Lolitias just might be the best all-female musical act since Dangerous Birds. Neet version of "Little Queenie" renditioned in a style that I would tend to term "Skydog" if you get my drift. A surprisingly solid and driving effort, even if we all know that boys are better than girls (yech!). (Weird note --- a day after writing the above I discovered that these gals're from Berlin which really surprises me since it was Thierry who sent this 'un to me and like, they don't have any sorta Teutonic steel bra and braided hair sensibility to 'em!)


Freddie King-LET'S HIDE AWAY AND DANCE AWAY CD-r burn (originally on King Records)

King's r/b really fits in with the rest of them instrumental biggies of the late-fifties/early-sixties instro heyday, and there's no real reason why one couldn't rank these pretty rockin' in their own way efforts up there with the Ventures or Johnny and the Hurricanes for that matter. Solid sounds that hold up just as well as any of those trashy garage bands that were cranking out a similar sound at cheapo hall dances, at least until the second strata of rock set in a few measly years later put an emphasis on fake English accents.


Various Artists-MAD ABOUT YOU CD-r burn

I wonder why Thierry named this mixdisque after one of those lousy sitcoms I purposefully missed way back when but he did and well, this MAD ABOUT YOU (a more solid that you'd expect collection of French under-the-underground rarites of the eighties) has nothing to do with that one so there's nothing to fret your little minds over this time. 

Disque starts off with some '83 vintage French group that went by the same name as them Amerigan reggae punks. Yes, there were two Bad Brains out there but this bunch sound more punk rock 1976 here as opposed to the blare the other guys with the same name made their rasta known with around the same time. Really liked the way they de/reconstructed the old "Milk Cow Blues" via the Chocolate Watchband's "Don't Need Your Lovin'"! Mighty good --- dunno how I missed out on the original Closer records issue and I am sad that I did even though my wallet is all the happier for it.

Hate to (once again) show my more'n obvious ignorance but I must since I know practically nada 'bout the Rhythmeurs and worse off can't locate any solid info on the web in order not to look as doofus as I already do regarding the group's very existence. They do have that Gallic sound and sway that reminds me of some of those groups that Skydog plopped onto an unsuspecting audience 'round '77 way like Asphalt Jungle. 

Kid Pharaon and the Lonely Ones come closer to that mid-eighties sense of underground pop modes. Pretty melodic and well-produced, great sounding and the riffs do remind me of that shard of hope I had that the mode and feel of the seventies would live on into the next decade (this was right when I was stuck smack dab inna middle of it!).

"Someone To Talk To" by the Shifters doesn't have the extracurricular sputum to make it anything I would call soul-stabbing or out of the ordinary while the Batmen's "Las Vegas" is a fairly entertaining re-write of "Shout". And hey, I've heard of Les Thugs before but my opinion regarding them really isn't that much different than the one I have for the Shifters. But thankfully this group did their best to ramp up on the usual energy levels that were lacking in a whole slew of acts purporting to be "rock & roll" at the time, hardcore adherents included.

Hey, there's some more LOLITAS for my perusal, and I'm not buying the German thing with 'em one bit since they're singing en francais and do a pretty good Berlitz-y job of it as well! I feel like Vinnie Barbarino --- so confused...

Les Coronados --- "fair". Closer to the old "six-oh" revivalists in many ways and perhaps lacking in the swerve that most of the earlier groups in that movement oozed making it one fine antidote to all of the anti-rock hijinx that were happening at the time.

As far as Les Gloires Locales go, they approach trash punk aesthetics with some sixties input like all good (and trad rad) punks were tending to do during those days.

Closing it all out are two tracks by the French Dogs, a band who really got a lotta fanzine press during the eighties perhaps because there wasn't really that much else going on to write about. Their contribs don't seem as forceful as their early trackage but these Chiens really did give us true bleu rock 'n rollers some hope that it wasn't all gonna be blanded out into unrecognizable pus. A good enough cap on a collection of French goodies that I think shoulda gotten more'n just a honorable mention on this side of the aisle, ifyaknowaddamean...  


LES GRYS-GRYS CD-r burn (originally on Groovie Records)

A modern-day "six-oh" revival group that, like the better groups from that long-lived genre, actually sounds authentic from the recording quality to the overtly-Pretty Things-esque performance. With some early Who thrown because, why not? Ain't been goin' googie over these kinda groups for awhile (or at least until the bands that inspired 'em started to get reissued) but somehow les Grys-Grys has me flashing back to the v. early-eighties when money was scarce and Creation singles even scarcer. I still kept all my old Systematic and Rough Trade catalogs, so this 'un should resonate in me somewhat. 


The Feelies-SOME KINDA LOVE CD-r burn (originally on BarNone Records)

Y'all know that I never was anywhere near being a Feelies fanatic the way many people out there who shoulda known better've been for nigh on forty-five years. So it would be startling to you to read that I find these tunes taken from a show consisting of nothing but Velvet Underground covers (which is a bad idea in itself, or at least it was for the past fifty years) faithful enough, and perhaps even downright enjoyable. Of course it ain't as beautifully and clandestinely subversive as that all-VU Plastic People of the Universe live show that they snuck under the auspices of the Communists by turning it into a lecture but still, it's great enough for my own sense of what's prim 'n proper.


These fanzines have been getting a bad rap for ages already, and if you really are that curious to find out why then, as the old cliche goes, what's stopping you??? Buy 'em by the bag and have a good time wallowing in your usual self-important indignation while maybe learning a thing or two about your favorite musical act that has probably been disproven over the years.

Saturday, November 04, 2023

(Well Ray Dio Byrdman, you wanted a new post and, unfortunately, you GOT it!)

Here I am, Mister PERSONA NON GRATIS himself once again with a batch of personal frivolities and recording reviews for you to either take or leave and I know it's gonna be the former. And if you're wonderin' why I'm referring to myself in such deprecating terms well, once again I have to get something off my chest in typical Gypsy Rose Lee fashion --- mainly the plain fact that it is starting to bug me EVEN MORE THAN USUAL that I've been treated so shabbily by just about everyone in this thing that we used to call "rock fandom". Y'know, on one hand it is irritating in typical stick-in-my-craw fashion thinking back upon less halcyon days and remembering just how many of my former compats have deserted me for whatever not-so-strange reasons there may be (and yeah, we know what they all are!). I mean sheesh, it wasn't like I was antagonizing anybody and we were gettin' along so fine and being rather buddy-buddy copasetic for quite awhile without personal nuances and swelled senses of importance getting in the way of our "friendships". But then the knives were pulled out and a lotta stab wounds were found on my back and well, lesser types do like to skedaddle a sinking ship so to speak and turn on people when them chips are way down, and I should know having experienced all of this first hand and thinking about it does kinda dig into me like an undigested peanut stuck in one's colon. 

Then again I'm kinda GLAD that a good portion of my readership has felt so offended and shamed by my writings, especially when these same blokes don't mind offending and shaming people themselves and in a pretty hoity-toity my species is better than yours way at that. I kinda get the idea (at least from watching the spiritual decendents [no sic] of my former buddies via Libs of Tic Tok) that these precious petunia types actually think that it's their natural birthright (them being so blessed and all) to have cut all ties and berate me the way they have. Was I actually so antagonistic to these people in an overtly boistrous way? Perhaps they do this only to masturbate their (I guess) fragile egos and sense of esteem, or maybe they are as prissy and as uptight as the new leftists (who are the spiritual spawn of those "uplifters" seen in DW Griffith films) have been for quite some time lacking any of the tolerance they claim to exude like pus from a syphilitic penis. 

It would be the best explanation for their utter contempt for me and, once you get to the heart of these folks' general attitudes and behavior, it only confirms my deeply held convictions that people really are shit after all. Given the tendency of the likes of Jay Hinman (I forgive, but in no way will I forget) and Ken Shimamoto to go out of their way to treat me as hideous as they have I've begun to realize that I really can't love my neighbor let alone be tolerant of anything that I find offensive even in the slightest. And if you think I'm being nothing by a big crybaby about it what do you want me to do. walk away with a smile? Hey, I really could direct a few things your way that might get quite a few of you doing some major league sniffling but I am (really!) trying to keep my temper in control.

To put it in simpler terms, I gotta eschew any shard of the humanist cop-out (as Wayne McGuire so succinctly put it) that has been shoved down my throat ever since entering them hallowed halls of grade school. I've come to realize a good long time ago that a good portion of the people who are involved in rock fandom were, and maybe are, massive hypocrites who believe themselves to be superior in any way shape and form to lesser forms of life like myself. Frankly, people like this can only be handled by shoving the same anti-life evil straight back into their faces, so if I am treating you with respect and kindness it does mean that I hold you in some sort of exalted fashion and that you are one of the rare ones. However that just might change. Other than that, I'd enjoy seeing you all take a swan dive into the La Brea Tar Pits.
Now it's funtime, or so I hope. Anyhow, despite the opening rant of pure hate I must admit that things can be somewhat jolly around here if I put my mind to it (well, most all of it was written before I got into my bad mood mode which was set off by the discovery of a person who did some stabbing himself's own blog and boy did those feeling just come rushing back like the water breaking on a pregnant fifty foot woman). Not that there's much to have fun with in these days of cyborg anti-emotion but still, if I look hard enough I can ooze into that awed-out feeling of total suburban slob bliss. 

Why just yesterday I spent a good hour or three listening to old albums (of the vinyl variety even) while reading a few of the writeups I got via RocksBackPages a few years back. Gotta say that the mix of Charles Shaar Murray and Giovanni Dadomo on the printed page with Iggy Pop and the (original pre-jazz fusion) Mothers of Invention on the stereo sure goes swell and like, if I hadda spend the rest of my life just goofin' off and indulging in such heavenly blitz I'd consider myself way better off'n any of you will ever be!
Hey, if you missed out on Paul Morley's 1976 fanzine OUT THERE you can always eyeball a kinda/sorta virtual copy here! Don't say I don't go 'round doin' nuthin' good fer ya! And if you decide to print the thing out on glossy paper digest-sized you'll get a close approximation of what the real deal looked like, devious fanzine lover you most certainly are and which you most certainly will remain.
I just LOVE goofing around with Artificial Intelligence and made even more whacked out pix for my own (and maybe even yours as well) personal pleasure. I get a wild kick outta whatever does pop up what with their inherent absurdities which come off like those weirdo dreams that pull images from all over the psyche that I have with an alarming frequency, all fleshed out and quite puzzling in their lack of logic so-to-speak. And something tells me that you never saw Sky Saxon and the Seeds looking like this!

I guess this is supposed to be Jan Savage.

And this Seed looks like he'd be more at home in Guns 'n Roses.

This pic was taken at a jam session featuring Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Alice Cooper and Tim Buckley. There are obviously TWO  Zappas in the pic and that just might be Beefheart playing drums complete with a cymbal on the (I think it is a) floor tom. Who knows, that also might be Beefheart playing the other guitar making me wonder where Alice and Tim are.

The following three are movie posters for the Don Fellman classic A NUMBER LIKE N:

The following are two covers for the unreleased third Velvet Underground (excuse me, "Ublased Oovndgorund" or is it "Veet: Siveer Andougiriand"???) album with John Cale featuring "Sweet Sister Ray" --- hmmm, that second one looks like a good candidate for an actual Velvets bootleg!

AI really screwed up the pic I wanted here! I guess I better learn how to give better descriptions of what I'm looking for.

Here's a pic that reminds me of a late-thirties vintage Salvador Dali/Norman Rockwell flub-a-dub. I especially like the way that extra calf extends from the blonde's left leg similar to the male pant leg emanating from the teacher above. And that fellow seen in the center of the pic is supposed to be Spanky McFarland.

Have a few winners in here that you might feel like swiping next time you go to the record shop --- that is if there just happens to be a record shop in your neck of the area and you didn't ditch your oversized raincoat. Paul McGarry is to be thanked and is certainly not one on my ever-growing shit list.

Les Rallizes Denudes-STUDIO SESSIONS 1972 & 1980 LP (Take It Acid Is Records, Italy)

Side one's got that previously ish'd 23-minute instrumental rave which reminds me of Dave Allen and the Arrows taken to even more gear-grinding extremes. Well, it's a good excuse for me to hear it again considering I dunno where in my collection I can find the original. "A Tale of Love" which starts off the second side takes the pressure down a few notches but still delivers on some prime blast while yet another version of "Field of Artificial Flowers" caps the thing off sounding quite late-sixties Amerigan garage band stoic! These might be available on one of the many Denudes quickie Cee Dee burns that cluttered up ebay a good two decades back so if you missed out on the carnage the first time you have a chance to redeem your sorry self.


15-60-75-20 CD (Reedurban Records, PO Box 80007, Canton, OH 44708)

Nobody that I know seems to remember this early oughts collection chock fulla Numbers Band recordings from '74 up until the mid-eighties, and to this NE Ohio camp follower that is a dang ol' shame. 

Robert Kidney is, as you'd expect given his pronounced passion and energy, at the top of his form doing alla them things those "rock poets" we oh so admired way back when were famed for. Given the lack of "look at me" pretension perhaps he did it even better. The band, as you would've expected all these years later, delivers on what Laughner called "voodoo music" making most if not all of those other white r/b acts sound particularly stilted in comparison. 

The Numbers do come off a little more rock 'n roll than usual (at least on the eighties-vintage numbers) which surprises but doesn't bother me one iota and man, after listening to all of the down-to-it that the group delivers it sure is a mystery why this band didn't break through like BIG. (Knew a guy who saw 'em ca. '74 and he was stymied they didn't overtake the entire sphere!) "Stolen Cadillac", the oldest track in the batch, was produced by fames Ann Arbor somethingorother John Sinclair which should count for some musically significant brownie points. 

Dunno if the address above is still valid but if you want it, you'll try as hard as you can to obtain. (TRUE STORY: I played "Not Fade Away" for my cyster and she thought it was Elvis! Reminds me of the time when I was watching the Music Machine on television and my mother thought they were the Beatles which proves that some things happily do not change!)

The Nude Party-MIDNIGHT MANOR CD-r burn (originally on New West Records)

I was once invited to a nude party but didn't go because I didn't have anything to wear! Now that I got my bad gag joke outta the way lemme just say that this is an interesting item, a fairly good effort even though it's something that (as usual) I probably wouldn't listen to again. It has a nice tinge of late-sixties pop to it and the cuts that sound like Todd's "I Saw The Light" were something I didn't hafta struggle through. Somehow I get the idea that this, had it actually come out 'round the turn of them decades (sixties unto seventies), would have made a great flea market find a good ten or so years later.
F.U.2.-PUNK ROCK CD-r burn (originally on Beat Records, England)

This punk rock cash-in recorded by the Downliners Sect really does a lot, not only for punk bandwagon jumping but for the cause of punk rock itself. Actually surpasses its kitsch bargain bin trappings to become a legit contender to the realm what with it (almost) coming off like what an actual Raw Records Sect album woulda had someone thought of slapping one together. (I think one was recorded --- 's been so long I can't remember.) Now if someone'd only reissue that punk exploito platter where various Sect members along with future Pretender James Honeyman-Scott slapped out some more of these cash-in punk classics complete with a Standells cover (and perhaps even more NUGGET-y treats) tossed in!


Polygraph Lounge-THE EP CD (Polygraph Lounge Records) 

I've wanted to know about these multi-instrumentalists ever since I tuned into a CB's 313 Gallery cybercast only to see the two of 'em packing up a massive amount of gear that even made the Art Ensemble of Chicago's barrage look scant. Fifteen or so years later I finally got the opportunity to hear 'em and like, I am somewhat impressed. The PDQ Bach and Spike Jones angle does not appeal to me and the country spoof might be a bit too obvious, but Polygraph Lounge do deliver on some interesting soundsqualls and parody that doesn't make you think this is some nauseating Ray Stevens "take off" not even worth a listen. The live re-do of "The Nutcracker" actually hit a positive nerve in the grey room and would make for a bright Christmas track to spin on my own podcast if I only had one. A once-in-awhile effort that I hope I'll be able to find in my massive collection when I do want to hear it again. 

Johnny Dowd-HOMEMADE PIE CD-r burn (originally on Mother Jinx Records)

Like a lotta these new country twang unto rock recordings this becomes tiresome and perhaps even trite within a few cuts. Since I never did cozy up to the Dwight Yoakum type of giddyap perhaps I shouldn't be reviewing this, but given I'm in a particularly angry mood (wrote this after I did that opening schpiel) I feel it safer to do my venting via this here writeup rather than go out and sock some ol' granny inna jaw. One of those recordings that some nimnul out there will think I gave an unfair review to and that I should have listened to it about fifty times in order to absorb its nuances and that I'm such a horrible writer anyway so take that along with your run on sentences and who cares what you think anyway even though I did go out of my way to deliver this hatescreed to you etc. and so forth. Sheesh, if I could only PICK my readership!


I used to get really frothing at the mouth mad back when various pundits would PURPOSEFULLY spew misinformation about my fanzine for whatever not-so-occult purposes they may have so desired. Well, if you want to find out if said scribes were on-target or not with their ideas then you can always latch onto one or hopefully even more back issues by clicking on the highlighted word "fanzine" above. You too might want to see the truth revealed for once, or at least help me get back some needed dollars by buying something that should have been purchased ages back and then you wouldn't have to be reading these pathetic pleads at the end of most of these bigtime posts now, would you?

Thursday, October 26, 2023

So many records and so little money! Well not really as far as the moolah goes, but I'm trying to save at least a sliver of my bank account for my ever-approaching old age even if by that time the only thing I will be able to afford will be banged up cans of beans found in the dumpster behind Dollar General. But man there are some items being plunked onto the "market" that I'd sure like holding in my once come-stained mitts but the price tag usually has me shudderin' in sticker shock. For example, take the recent re-re-REPACKAGING of the Hawkwind SPACE RITUAL extravaganza (this time as a ten-disc set complete with a blu ray which means nada to me and a thick enough book to peruse through it all) which is sure tempting but is going for upwards of three-hundred-something dollars!!! Thankfully there are a few items that are just within the realm of my pocketbook, that is if I don't go hog wild and "pour my money down a rat hole" as I was told while growing up and wanting a quarter for some candy. 

THE BAD NEWS: when I tally up the cost of even all of the less pocketbook-pounding items I would sure love to have and to hold the total can be quite staggering, but thankfully there's always ramen to help out on one's entertainment budget. Surprisingly enough considering my financial straits I managed to get ONE hot off the press item that I'll gladly blab about this go 'round, but still those care packages I get from Paul McGarry and Robert Forward sure do help out a whole load ('n not that kinda "load" you stupid perv you!).


Other things that have been accomplished since we last met --- well, not that much though I have been getting in my share of thrills doing things that only a true rockist would dare to do here so late in the rock died in 1968 but its malady lingers on game. Things like rock 'n roll-related reading when I have the time including quite a few old classic-era fanzines, the ones which were reporting on a rock 'n roll re-birth (or maybe even after-birth) that was blossoming before many a wide eye during the mid-seventies. Also eyeballed recently was the book that was enclosed with the Peter Laughner 5-LP set which collects a good portion of the man's --- er --- "rock criticism" (yech!). Them Laughner records haven't touched needle since I first spun 'em way back when, but the book has been opened a few times and reading his opines lifted outta ancient issues of CREEM and various small Cleveland papers really is inspirational even when he's writing about something most of us care nothing about. Like with all of our favorite seventies scribes, Laughner's prose is as musical as the sounds he was describing, even invigorating to the point where his commentaries re. everything from Lou Reed to even Rory Gallagher sure makes me wish I was born five-ten years earlier and aware of the music being made (it wasn't like essentials such as Iggy Pop and Beefheart were exactly prevailing on the radio dial) and that I had the money to afford it all and that I possessed a state-of-the-art stereo system and had parents who weren't so uptight about my personal tastes in sound/literature and...do I need to go on???


Another thing that's been occupying my dwindling free hours has been goofing around on the internet with Artificial Intelligence, which I somehow tend to feel could be just as hazardous to one's state of nervous system as fooling around with sub-atomic particles. Threw a few interesting ideas into the ol' AI generator and came up with (at times since some of my suggestions were seemingly impossible to translate into pictures!) a few interesting things that I sure get a hoot outta! F'rexample take these following illustrations that came up when I, off the top of my rather shiny dome, pecked out "Iggy and the Stooges at Max's Kansas City" and got the following strange wonders! This Brave New World is sure better'n anything Huxley coulda come up with!:

Here're some more AI "Stooges" pics I conjured up. They don't look like 'em but I get the feeling these guys from Dimension X coulda been the ultimate heavy metal (in the best CREEM  magazine sense) had they actually existed! And I really gotta give credit to anyone who could play those Bizarro-world electric guitars! Oh how I wanna give 'em a good listenin' to!

And this is Lou Reed and John Cale performing on the street --- in 1965!

I'm not even going to tell you what group this is supposed to be!


Given the time of the year I thought this cartoon just might remind you of the days when Halloween wasn't just a holiday by kids for kids but a time when them inhibitions regarding respect of property and general goody goodiness went flying out the soaped up window. Sheesh, it looks like the axis powers were right after all, at least regarding us kids runnin' WILD at least once a year! Light a cat doo-doo bag on yer teacher's front porch and give Adolf a helping hand...


THINGS LISTENED TO IN THE INTERIM that I'm listing not only to pad out this post but to look "cool" even though my selections are so obvious that they really will convince many that I'm just a phonus balonus who's trying too hard flopping about in the process. But really, my only true regret is that I haven't had that much time to connect with my vinyl --- maybe next list:

Elliot Murphy-LOST GENERATION LP (RCA Records)

Frank Lowe-DOCTOR TOO MUCH CD-r burn (originally on Karma Records)

Charles Gayle-TIME ZONES CD (Tompkins Square Records)


David Bowie-CHANGES CD (Lobster Records bootleg, Italy)

David Bowie-CLEVELAND MUSIC HALL CD (Gold Standard Records bootleg --- same tour and set as above and not sounding as hotcha for that matter, but think of all of the Cle underground luminaries in the audience!)

Guru Guru-ESSEN 1970 CD (Garden of Earthly Delights Records, Germany)

Anthony Braxton-ALTO SAXOPHONE IMPROVISATIONS 1979 2-LP set (Arista Records)

Zusaan Kali Fasteau-Noah Howard-Bobby Few Trio-EXPATRIATE KIN CD (Creative Improvised Music Projects Records)

International Harvester-SOV GOTT ROSE-MARIE CD (Silence Records)

Moebius-Plank-Neumeier-ZERO SET CD (Sky/Gyroscope Records)

Loose Gravel-THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES CD (Bucketfull of Brains Records, England)

David Wertman-KARA SUITE CD-r burn (originally on Mustevic Sound Inc. Records --- an official reissue should be out by now)

Sonny Boy Williamson-KING BISCUIT TIME CD (Arhoolie Records)

The Revolutionary Ensemble-VIETNAM 1 & 2 CD (ESP Disk/ZYX Music Records)

MUSIK VON HARMONIA CD (Brain Records, Germany)

Harmonia-LIVE 1974 CD (Water Records) 


Sirone Bang Ensemble-CONFIGURATION CD (Silkheart Records, Sweden)

Country Joe and the Fish-THE RAG BABY EPs box set (Akarma Records)

The Velvet Frogs-tracks off THE STORY OF OAK RECORDS and PSYCHEDELIC SCHMIELS 4 CDs (Wooden Hill Records, England)


Various Artists-MESSTHETICS GREATEST HISS (Vol. 1) (Hyped to Death Records)

Joseph Jarman/Anthony Braxton-TOGETHER ALONE CD (Delmark Records)

Muhal Richard Abrams-LEVELS AND DEGREES OF LIGHT CD (Delmark Records)

Cluster-SOWIESOSO CD (Sky Records, Germany)


Here are the sounds that get lined up against the brick wall this week, and as usual thanks be to Bob Forward and Paul McGarry for their contributions to the discord. A nice slab of booty here too if I must say and who knows, some of 'em might actually fit in with the breadth and scope of the blog (and before that the crudzine)!

The Final Solution-THE FILLMORE WEST July 7, 1966 LP (Take It Acid Is Records)

If it weren't for Alec Palao and Jud Cost's essential and much-missed fanzine CREAM PUFF WAR I doubt I would have ever heard of the Final Solution, and for that I should be forever grateful to the two. These  guys were part and parcel of the San Francisco scene back when it was still PUNK ROCK (in the purest sense possible), a scene which even I will admit was something that was downright awe-inspiring at least until the drugs and pretension set in. The Final Solution's raga-folk sounds, along with such luminaries as the Great Society and some ne'er do wells calling themselves the Warlocks, were definitely the highlight of a long strange trip that sure went off on a wilder tangent than I'm sure many people even in San Francisco coulda conjured up in their then comparatively-unaddled minds.

Great sound, lousy audience (well, all three seemed appreciative!). Musically the Solution were a cross between the Society and Beau Brummels with some Vejtables/Mojo Men influx still sounding as NUGGETS as we'd hope any group outta 1966 woulda. Long Indian-influenced tracks and a Pigpen-ish "Turn On Your Lovelight" romp unveil before your very ears, and just wait until you hear the strange "America the Beautiful" and "2120 South Michigan Avenue" mishmosh that closes out the entire shebang!


Alison Cotton-ONLY DARKNESS NOW CD-r burn (Bloxham Tapes, England)

First utterance had me thinking MARBLE INDEX what with the presence of Cotton's harmonium and viola, and then the shifting drones conjured LaMonte Young. Only this is dolorous and reminds me of what some very early tones of pagan praise might have sounded like. Actually if you combine all three this makes pretty darn sense. Femme oohs mate with that heavenly blare that makes me think that maybe these are MARBLE INDEX outtakes ('r at least backing tracks) after all!


PROBLEM - HATE/GREY CD (Easy Listening Records)

I approach every eighties (and beyond) vintage experimental rock effort done by art majors who can't find jobs with more than just a small spec of suspicion. You would too given some of the musical atrocities of the past few decades. And frankly I did the same with these guys (and gal) who were doing the ol' art project thing in the culturally pumping city of Port Huron Michigan. Gawrsh how I thought this bunch (pretty much same group under different monikers) was gonna scrape the bottom gobbling up alla the worst aspects of art wave cheap electronics/drum machine dorm room precociousness but guess what? They pull it off just as snatly as the same bands who were doing the same things in larger cities and maybe gettring away with it as well!

If you have an imagination, try conjuring up a somewhat halfway there cross between Tuxedomoon, Sick Dick and the Volkswagens and Throbbing Gristle. Now imagine someing just a tad angrier'n a good hunk of the aural school glue that many a precocious petunia type was conjuring up out there in the middle hunk of the United State during the dankness of the eighties. 'n fact this is rather hard and intense with growling vocals mixed with cyborg electronic grave new world visions that I kinda get the impression coulda only been created by drug-hardened coasters who lived and died by their wits and they probably didn't smell too good either. A surprise outta that oft-visited place called nowhere.  


The Pagans-THE PINK ALBUM --- PLUS! CD-r burn (originally on Crypt Records)

Dunno if McGarry sent this to me so's I can eke a review outta it or just to bug me for skipping this 'un over as well as their debut 45 "Six and Change" when I had ample opportunity to buy both. Whatever the reason here's a burn which re-introduces me as to just why these Cleveland rock 'n rollers seemed like the only hope for some high energy jamz even if they were stuck smak dab in the center of Pantsiosville.

Being the doofus I am and shall remain, I kinda forgotten just how much of a rich rock history this group had. They weren't just a buncha fanablas who read about punk rock and decided to do some bandwagon jumping on, and lotsa past rock 'n roll highlights can be discerned from lo fi rockabilly to early-sixties teen combo crankout to mid-sixties punk rock (t'was fitting that Crypt Records handled this reish!), all done in that total p-rock abandon that separated the Pagans and their likes from a whole slew of hippies in disguise who were creeping in on the real deal. Y'know, the ones who were turning the entire mulch of "punk" into a touchy-feely movement that was so socio-politically stilted it made the early-seventies BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN/BILLY JACK crowd look stoic in comparison!

Additional tracks help out from the CLEVELAND CONFIDENTIAL EP take on the tune of the same name (aka "Real World") to live versions of the Drome tracks that sure make me wish that label woulda put out them Bernie and the Invisibles and Harlan and the Whips recs that were slated for release before the entire shebang capsized. Yeah, this style of rock 'n roll sure woulda seemed outta place given how that decade (and beyond) was devoted to glitz over energy, but for true blues like ourselves it sure came off even fresher than that hackneyed "breath of fresh air" everybody seems to be talking about.

Closing the sesh's two perhaps not-so-surprising choices of covers, the first one being a decent enough take on Alice's "Eighteen" and the other a twisto changeo version of "Final Solution" that I don't think will upset fans of the original although I might be wrong.

For an old turd like myself it sure hurts in the ol' compost heap I call a memory that this music is, for all intent purposes, ancient. Still, its fresher'n even the freshest tampon the likes of any of 'em devil worshipping pop stars who are up and about these days would dare shove into their over-traveled holes, and at this moment in time all I gotta say is that's all that matters, and NOTHIN' MORE!!!!!


Albert Ayler-REVELATIONS (THE COMPLETE ORTF 1970 FONDATIONS MAEGHT RECORDINGS) 4-CD-r set (originally on Elemental Records)

If you weren't bright enough to buy these back when they were packaged in awful generic sleeves and goin' for budget prices, here's a chance to redeem yourself even if it might cost you an arm and some other appendage you might wanna keep. Believe it or not but these are the complete Ayler Foundation gigs in one package, and if I had the real deal 'stead of a burn I'd gander that there would also be a booklet with rare pics and all sorta reminiscences t'boot!

What else could be said to add to everything anyone has ALREADY said 'bout these shows which were Ayler's last stand a few months before his plop into the East River. As far as being a swansong it's great to know that Ayler went out on such a keen note --- contrary to the Wikipedia entry his group was just as copasetic with his entire being as any of those earlier classic lineups (I'd say markedly better than the early Swedish efforts), and although you might disagree I gotta say that Mary Maria wasn't the inhibitor that many armchair snoots out there tended to make her out to be. In fact I'd say she fits in quite swell with her passionate voice which complements Ayler's soul scrape! The unrehearsed nature of these shows make this all the more fresh and spontaneous and far from the splatterfest that I get the impression some people assume this effort to be. Well, whaddaya want, to see 'em playing from scores like my cyster assumed these improvisors did?????

You might think you already have too many Ayler spinners in your abode, but in reality is there anything wrong with having as many of his efforts as you can in your already overstuffed collections? That's like saying you were gonna get someone a book for his birthday but he already has one. Purely illogical.


The Art Ensemble of Chicago-CHICAGO JAZZ FESTIVAL 8/31/80 CD-r burn (download it here)

Eh, by this time they lost a lotta that spark 'n move that defined their early days, but some AEC is better'n NO AEC 'n I'll take this over just about all of the other acts that popped up at this fest. The NPR patter is somewhat interesting even if you get the impression that Billy Taylor coulda cared less about 'em. If you (like Brad Kohler) were the type of guy who snatched up their ECM albums at cutout prices you might just go for this one bigtime!


Matchez-MACHINES CD-r burn (originally on Matchez Records)

The electronic splurt had me thinkin' those obscuros that popped up on the R. Meltzer radio show while the twenty-three-minute "Daylight Fades to Darkness" reminded me of something that woulda fit in snugly on any one of those Mother Mallard albums I reviewed a few months back. It's nothing "new" mind ya, but it still has a rather decent approach and feel to it that sure stirs up the stirrups in a fashion that's way more appealing that a whole load of the electronic mulch I've heard as of late. Might be worth your while if you were the kinda kid who did a term paper on electronic music when you were a sophomore in high stool and your sister mis-typed "Sun Ra" as "Sien Ra" 'n I'll NEVER forgive her for that!


Yeah, even an egotist such as I has gotta admit that they are quite shallow. Not only in writing skills but in overall content, with articles and reviews that blither on about very little that would interest anybody anywhere and at any time in recorded history. A few of the "facts" that are spewed within these pages are far from the honest truth (which really wasn't my fault given the fuzzy memory information sources I hadda rely on) and most if not all come with a horrid layout and (at times) print job for your eyes (or self-respect) to suffer through. But then again they're MINE, and like a good bowel movement I was somewhat satisfied with it all after the "digestion" of putting out such an ordeal was over and done with. Won't you join in the resultant plop?