Saturday, October 23, 2021

Be thankful. Amid all of the hassles and anxiety-riddled goings on in these quarters (drat that real life!) you should be thankful that you've got another BLOG TO COMM post to enjoy this presumably pallid weekend. Between the usual madness that I have to endure I was able to crank out this particular missive which I think you might be able to ooze some information, or perhaps even some enjoyment outta. Thanks again to Paul and Bill, not to mention Peter Crowley for the Max's offering. When I find Fellini's Basement, it's in the mail for ya bud!


Various Artists-MAX'S SKANSAS CITY CD (Jungle Records, European Union)

As many of you know, I never was whatcha'd call a follower of the Caribbean musical genres that have captured the imaginations of many of secluded suburban hipster wannabes. However, it's not like I can't appreciate these traipses into the ska realm despite some rather iffy records by the likes of acts such as the Selector as well as a few others that were actually able to get some major label hype back inna early eighties. Here's a collection of various Max's-related ska efforts, some which have appeared elsewhere over and over while others sound new to my ears. You're probably familiar with the likes of the Terrorists and the Offs, while Roland Alphonso adds a strong sense of authenticity to the entire shebang which would figure since he was one of the innovators and not a clinger on. Now if the folk at Jungle could do a Max's comp featuring some of those obscuro regulars who never did get their chance to shine in the sun!
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Ducks Deluxe-ALL TOO MUCH CD-r burn (originally on Skydog Records, France)

Heh, it's English thud blues from the mid-seventies and can anything really go wrong with that? I mean, what else would you expect from this infamous pub group that was so important in its own sphere of fans that they even accrued a number of serious admirers over this way! I believe these are the Skydog tracks from the seventies with a few newies added to make the thing   LP-length. I kinda go for it in my own mid-seventies import bin conscious way and if you remember combing through the racks seein' alla those wild covers that were different from the US versions you just might too.
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RORY GALLAGHER CD-r burn (originally on Capo Records)

Not exactly one of the best platters of '71, but it sure beats alla that TAPESTRY gunk for sheer rawness. A must for those English (or in this case, Irish) seventies blues types that's exciting enough to keep you from exerting your punque pride, and it comes with a boffo straight ahead rocker ("I Fall Apart") complete with those descending power chords that were all the rage at the time. You can hear where Peter Laughner got a lot of his own prowess from. Cee-Dee reissue contains two bonus efforts including a straight-ahead blues romper and a Muddy Waters backwoods slider that I'm sure Laughner once played in the middle of some desolate night.

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The Untamed Youth-LIVE FROM THE FABULOUS LAS VEGAS STRIP CD-r burn (originally on Estrus Records)

I heard a lot of the Youth during their Norton days, so this later-on effort really did fill me in on what I've been missing since. Which is not much, and that is great enough for me! Y'see, while other groups have "evolved" and "mutated" into creatures that just don't figure in well with my personal sense of musical appreciation the Youth remain youth and seem quite satisfied snuggled inside of their mid-sixties suburban ranch house frame of mind. Listening to this, it's almost like the Beatles never did set foot on these shores which, in some weird perverse kinda/sorta way, is fine by me!

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Certain General-SIGNALS FROM THE SOURCE CD (CBGB Records)

Heh, sounds better'n when I first heard it. Maybe that's because the angular new wave sound doesn't seem to irritate as much as it did after massive overload in the eighties back when it looked as if everybody was putting out duff albums including those acts which we had come to love and admire. Features some intriguing Mideastern raga ("Hello My God") while the rest seems to fit into the latterday New York underground neo-Television style snugger than a boy scout in his scoutmaster's sleeping bag. If you miss the 1981 brand of underground rock that went out of style once Pere Ubu got cheerful this platter should come in real handy.

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The dB's-PARIS AVENUE CD-r burn (originally on Monkey Hill Records)

There was a time when I woulda thrown a huge hissy fit if you shoved the dB's in front of my chin, but nowadays I find 'em a nice 'n refreshing change from the usual ruckus that passes for entertainment these sad 'n sorry days. Their post-Chiltonesque mid-South pop, albeit toned down from the original source a bit, still has enough of a spark to keep my attention from drifting off into thinking about alla the jerks who've given me grief o'er the years. This '94 release definitely was out of place for the time, but considering some of the offal being pushed it sure comes off like the kinda platter that I might have given a fair review of had I snatched it up way back when. Not bad, really.

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Various Artists-GEMINI JEMIMA ANTIQUE HASH CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

A nicety from Bill starting off with a radio ad featuring the now-canceled Aunt Jemima before getting into some hotcha garage band rarities not to mention the usual bits of country and other esoterica that always seem to pop up on these burns. If you're on a diet it best not be in your best interest to hear Johnny Cash singing about "Houston Hash" lest you start runnin' for the fridge in a mad and crazed dash. Good thing Bill also stuck a Bromo Seltzer ad on. And it all ends with the Gemini Five trying to make us think this single was actually recorded in front of a live audience.

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It's that time of the year...wha' th' heck, EVERYTIME is that time of year to pick up copies of BLACK TO COMM for the best in rockism reading that'll put a whole lot more'n whatever it has been that you've been reading right into your tiny little brain. C'mon, pick up a passel and find a better way to spend your evenings 'stead of spinning your Content Providers platters incessantly.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! THE COMPLETE Q-13 : AMERICA'S SPY FIGHTER (Gwandanaland Comics)

This short-running title from SUPER-MYSTERY COMICS over at Ace really does deliver on them Golden Age thrills the same way all of your favorite titles of the just-pre World War II Golden Age did. And hoo-boy, does this comic have it all, from international intrigue and sabotage to the special guest good looking gal of the month not to forget Q-13's own secret agent abilities and methods to worm his way outta even the most dangerous of situations what with alla these bad guys ganging up on him ready to kill at a moment's notice. Funny, but I get the idea that if any of the weak and meek boys who read this comic had tried the same tricks on a gang of toughs he'd be bashed into the ground even harder.

The artwork ain't anything to crow about but it coulda been worse (and it usually was), and the overall splash and verve that I liked outta those early Quality Comics titles featuring those masked SPIRIT types who didn't last quite as long sure pops up plentiful! These sagas do hold one's attention enough that sitting through the entire run covered here sure makes for a better way to waste a Sunday afternoon than watching some self-help guru on PBS!

Kinda wonder why the series deep-sixed so fast, what with the Big One just about to burst all over the place. Maybe there actually WAS a concluding episode where the bad boys finally caught up with Q-13 and gave it to him real hard like. Only Ace decided not to publish it because --- well --- what would the kids say?

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Hiya. Had a pretty excruciating week the details I will not get into. After all, why should I bore you more than the reviews which are up and comin' at'cha? But despite some major boulders being tossed my way I was still able to crank out this post for you not only in order to put on some sort of façade of being so tip top and with it, but because I know you readers have waited all week to read this and why should I disappoint you faithful frolickers out there anyway? I mean, here you are after a long week at the salt mines just waiting for a brief respite from your daily travails, and who am I to let any of you darlings down anyway? So lap it pards, 'cause its either this or ROLLING STONE

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Brad Kohler mentioned in last Saturday's comment section --- r.i.p. Dee Pop. You can read my interview with him here.

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Got some goodies this week that I think you might wanna chow down. Once again the lion's share of burns came courtesy of Paul McGarry while Bill Shute contributed one little straggler to be found at the tail end. Plus a few are oldies from my collection that I decided to dig up after years of neglect. Something which I must admit will become quite a staple of future BLOG TO COMM's because, well, frankly now that I'm getting old I gotta think about my financial situation and saving money for luxuries like food and heat considering that one day the gravy train is gonna dry up really fast. 'n besides, with the medical bills I've racked up its better that I just live on my largesse, or is that "large ass"??? In all, I'd said this one was --- adequate.


The Rolling Stones-RAW POWER CD (Dragon Records bootleg)

Here's an oldie from the collection which I purchased for obvious reasons. There's nothing that new to the ears on this one what with the  Camden Theatre and L'Olympia shows having been bootlegged to death already, but if you ain't got 'em there here for ya. The studio seshes with half of what would become Led Zeppelin might be of some hysterical importance to a few of you readers, ditto the "rough demo" of "Going Home" with Mick and Keith on their lonesome working out that infamous extended track that influenced a whole load of upcoming goodies. You can probably make yourself a copy of this with various free online sources.

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Hawkwind-SOMNIA CD-r burn (originally on Cherry Red Records, England)

It's amazing that Hawkwind sound just as mid-seventies space rock-ygood in the here and now as they did back when their platters were getting distributed by Atco over here. Sure these guys might sound a little too polished in spots but maybe they did even then, and the cosmic ooze of the music is enough to make you glad you never did cash in all of your Astral Monetary Credits for punk rock platters. Dave Brock with a whole bunch of newer-than-new members as well as the return of Tim Blake after quite a number of years wallowing among the asteroids.

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THE GENESIS OF SLADE CD (TMC Records, Austria)

The early sides from those seventies glam rock monsters shows 'em starting off in rather pedestrian yet pleasing neo-Liverpudlian ways (the Vendors) before getting a little more rambunctious yet still slick enough to bug you in their Steve Brett and the Mavericks days. The 'N Betweens seem to be more in the swing of things (as far as gritty English rock went) and if you're a big fan of the big beat done up mop top style this one just might be for you. Personally I think the only people who'll be scarfing this one up would be alla those seventies rock fans who were purchasing Slade albums back when they were poised to be the next big thing but never did quite make it in the USA.

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Ty Segall-SLEEPER CD-r burn (originally on Drag City Records)

Another pleasant outing from Segall, who continues on his Bolan worshipping ways in ways that might actually get you to light up your own joss stick. Acoustic rock that doesn't get all granola on ya, with the same underlying current of energy that kept the better troubadours of the sixties going strong while the rest flittered about. If Donovan had testosterone pumped into him he woulda sounded like this. 

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The Fugs-LIVE FROM THE SIXTIES CD (Fugs Records)

Nineties-era comp of classic Fugdom covering their sixties lifespan from their first gig at the Peace Eye bookshop through BELLE OF AVENUE A  which did seem quite a comedown come to think of it. Lotsa weirdo psycho screech can be heard in between the intellectual William Blake filtered through McCarthy loathing with a slight Burroughsian intent. You'll still get a whole load of fun outta it even if you were in remedial English and didn't care one whit about Swineburne back in your high stool days.

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Various Artists-DIGGIN' FOR GOLD VOLUME 12 CD-r burn (originally on Busy Bee Records)

Another one of those collections featuring old sixties local rock records that somehow just don't hit the same feverish pitch that the likes of those early PEBBLES and BOULDERS did well over forty years ago. Let's face it, most of these groups just don't strike you out the same way that acts like the Litter and the Sound Barrier among a few thousand more did back in the eighties when we were all younger and not quite as jaded about life as we are now. One thing about this effort that I do wonder --- were the group called "the Jormas" who do actually spry enough song entitled "Locomotion" (not the Little Eva smasheroo)  named after the famed Jefferson Airplane guitarist? Makes me wonder...

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Various Artists-WHITER JOHNSON IMAGE SOLO CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Some mighty mix 'n match on this one, from a Lou Harrison composition for tenor bells to some pale ale gnu wave from Shox that works on a seventies pop rock level to an Anthony Braxton/David Rosenboom effort that merges the jazz and classical in ways that woulda had NMDS puzzled as how to market this 'un. The faux Beach Boys sound from Stevenson's Rocket conjures up images of mid-seventies English gals dressed to a "t" and might just even appeal to someone like yourself. There are some other hoots here including a mishmosh of live Vegas Elvis to some gal ranting about at a PIL concert (a bore to end all bores) but you'd probably go for the rest including some teenbo cryslop to Tuli Kupferberg singing "Marching Through Georgia" among other things. And of course the Portsmouth Sinfonia sounding like they actually did some practicin'!

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Do any of you fanablas even read this far down the post? Here I am, offering you precious back issues of BLACK TO COMM and do I get any orders? Nah! C'mon, you know you need these classic old fanzines to beef up your rock 'n roll knowledge so delaying purchase is only hurting you in the long run. Hurry up before they're all gone. After all, these are limited edition magazines, limited to the space in my cyster's basement that is.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! THE EARLY YEARS OF MUTT & JEFF BY HAM FISHER, EDITED BY JEFFREY LINDENBLATT (Nantier * Beall * Mimoustchine, no date given as to year of publication!)

Being an olde tymey comic strip fan I gotta admit that the few twenties/thirties vintage MUTT & JEFFs that I have read were of superb quality and funny enough to warrant quite a few hosannas from this corner. The Sundays that were done during the Golden Age of strips taking up an entire page with all sortsa fun crammed in were on par with most all of the other greats competing for the attention of kiddoids nationwide, while the humor was quite on-target enough to elicit at least one of those "I'm laughing --- in here" pointing to throat with index finger that Mr. Kotter's prospective manager hid behind a stone face. 

But really, I gotta admit that these early examples from the strip's run are dryer than the Sahara or my sense of humor, take your pick. Yeah, I know that a lotta these early comics could get rather one-beat and lose their joke after a very short period of time (I mean, think of that one-gag classic FOXY GRANDPA which kept on despite repeating the same gag over and over) but these M&J's can become rather predictable and even dareIsay dull what with some cornballus yet staid dialogue resulting in a rather fizzled punchline and usually a beating at the hands of Mutt. 'n really, I hate to write this (I do!) because when compared to the strips of the here and now these comics are vastly superior from the fine-lined artwork to even the gags themselves --- I mean, when was the last time YOU saw an honest to goodness laughable or even smirkable for that matter joke presented in the present day comic section! Intentionally that is. For all intent purposes these early strips have the current crop heat all hollow, and while I'm at it I suggest that you keep up with the M&J reprints that pop up on Gocomics daily. Those can get to be a real hoot sometimes.

Comic strip historians (if there are any left who could bear what has happened to the page between the classifieds and department store ads) will probably lap it up, but for my current bowel moving distractions I'm relying on some old BEETLE BAILEYs I discovered in the room. No actual har-de-har-hars with those but they were engaging enough to occupy my privy time. 

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Sorry for yet another didn't throw my heart and soul into it post, but there have been various extenuating circumstances as they say. I have been keeping myself very busy with real-life travails, enough to the point where I haven't had the time to search out those Kilpig tapes which are somewhere in years of accumulated mess piled up around these environs. I did find the Fellini's Basement CD for Peter Crowley tho and it should be on its way by the time you lay your peepers upon this very post. Hopefully somewhere down the line I'll be able to cop a whole lot more time for relaxation, which is something I really could use at this time. Maybe a dose of Covid would help ---  that might keep me outta action for a LOOOONG time.
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If it weren't for Paul McGarry's latest package (not to mention some straggling Bill Shute burn) there probably wouldn't even be a post this week. And of course I pulled a few oldies and neglecties outta the box in order to re-evaluate some efforts that sorta got noodged in the pile. As far as the lack of fresh bait goes well, 1) my medical bills have shot through the roof this month (far exceeding my last paycheck) and I don't want the collection agency to come pounding at the door and 2) there really aren't that many spinners out there that I would prefer to dump my precious lucre on. There are a few items that I wouldn't mind hearing such as the early John Brannon recordings with his first group Static, but at this point in the game there are loads of people with their palms stuck out and well, I guess such frivolities as records have gotta wait until more of the long green comes a'flowin' in. In other words, BUY MORE OLD ISSUES OF BLACK TO COMM!!!! (See link below, and don't be stingy.)



Leaf Hound-GROWERS OF MUSHROOMS CD-r burn (originally on Repertoire Records, Germany)

Early-seventies hard 'n heavy English rock always coulda struck some sorta communicative chord in my system and this bunch really are no different. Like alla them Sabs/Purps type groups Leaf Hound were even able to jazz 'n blues things up when the mood hit which made for some nice 'n sublime moments of skronk. There's even a bit of early-seventies Who tossed into the title track which might make a few of you reg'lar readers somewhat excited, not to mention a b-side piano ballad which probably won't. The Repertoire reissue (reviewed here)  has three bonus tracks that woulda put a smile on any stoner box boy with a crop of pimples to have adorned your local supermarket circa. 1973.
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Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell-DON'T HEAR IT CD-r burn (originally on Rise Above Records, England)

An almost decade-old  issue of rock that sounds almost a half-century (if not more) old what with the usual sixties-unto-seventies hard doom and depressing hard rock that was pretty rage-worthy at the time. Well, next to some of the hippoid expressions in music at the time I guess dirges like these woulda been a welcome relief but anyway, Heavy PARANOID vibes should keep some of you fans well 'n happy
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Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society-EYE ON YOU CD-r burn (originally on About Time Records)

Released just in time to capitalize on the En Why See funk punk movement, EYE ON YOU's the debut spinner from Jackson and his Decoding Society and a pretty hotcha way to start out a long 'n respected aggregation at that. With the likes of such free jazz heavy mitters as Billy Bang and Byard Lancaster (as well as future Living Colour Vernon Reid), this 'un features a good smattering of  comparatively short but definitely not sweet post-loft jazz meets funk trackage which has that sorta lilting drive that typified a good portion of the new thing that was coming out at the time. This and the German ones on Moers Music are definitely the ones to start with before tackling the mid-eighties efforts which might not slap you so hard inna face.
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Paul Bley Quintet-BARRAGE CD (ESP-disk/ZYX Music, Germany)

Haven't spun this ESP classic in quite some time so like, maybe the time is NOW. Bley might not have had the same piz that the likes of Cecil Taylor or Muhal Richard Abrams glooped onto their various efforts but he's still in gear, and in fact is improved on by the addition of a big name backing group including Sun Ra standby Marshall Allen and drummer Milford Graves. Results are a pretty striking mid-sixties sesh in which "the artists alone decide what you will hear" 'stead of some airhead higher up still in the bowtie 'n tux realm of jazz expression.
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The Velvet Underground-SWEET SISTER RAY'S MURDER MYSTERY CD-r burn (originally on Brand New Beat Records)

Didja know I bought a copy of this 'un about twenny-seven years back from one of those flybynight bootleg dealers and actually returned it because my copy had suffered from rust which I guess was a common ailment with this particular title? Sheesh, I musta been a doof to think they would replace the thing but anyway, here's yet another copy of the infamous extended "Sister Ray" prelude that was done during the Velvets' Spring/Summer '68 tour for you to osmose without having to search for your delicate CAUGHT BETWEEN THE TWISTED STARS collection. The additional live '69 take on "Sister Ray" with "The Murder Mystery" sandwiched in-between is also worthy of your ears (along with the live "Story of My Life") and even it you've heard these gems ever since they first popped up on the tape lists they still sound as vital and engaging as they did the first time. At least they do for me --- dunno about you...
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The Dum Dum Boys-LET THERE BE NOISE CD-r burn (originally on In The Red Records)

I reviewed a quickie burn of this back 2018 way but it looks as if there has been a legitimate reissue since those not-so wondrous days. Therefor there is NO EXCUSE for you not to have this high energy masterpiece in your probably lacking for some true meaning collection. Of course even if you do have this album in its original configuration like I do you don't have the keeno interview that caps the thing, so why wait gettin' a fresh copy for yourself?
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Various Artists- POPCORN PARTYLINE TEENAGE SWAY CD-r (Bill Shute)

Nicer'n usual sampler from Mr. Shute, this one starting off with a post-garage neo-psych effort from a Wisconsin act called Fresh Air and continuing on through various trajectories that might even satisfy a stuck up fanabla like you! Nice hearing things like the Diodes (who remind me of what this punk thing was s'posed to sound like before it decayed into punque and got all Yohannonesque on us) not to mention a rare side from the Honeycombs of "Have I The Right" fame and of course that legendary attempt by Roy Orbison to get down with the late-sixties "relevant" crowd  with a whole lotta "MacArthur Park" passion on "Southbound Jericho Parkway"! There's even more soo-prizes from a radio broadcast regarding the hippie movement and how they bring the rats with 'em wherever they go to a single by one-time teenbo heartthrob Jack Wild that should make alla you H. R. PUFNSTUF fans quite happy. Of course Bill also hadda stick on some interesting bits of abstract avgarde classical cum jazz done up by someone called Andres Elstein,  on entitled "3=4", the other "Nunca" but I guess he did it just to make the thing look a li'l dignified...

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Don't worry. I'm only putting this back issues of BLACK TO COMM schpiel at the end of this post in order to beef the thing up a li'l. Nothing else really. Just forget you saw the thing, you always have.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! CHIC YOUNG'S BLONDIE #213, April 1975 ISSUE (Charlton Comics)

Gotta say that I really do dig the dickens outta these old comic books that Bill Shute spirited my way, this ish of BLONDIE being no exception.

Sure the stories are the typical rehash of stories that have been rehashed for years (boss stays out late and wife is on the warpath, Dagwood fixes the Woodley's 1940's styled washing machine and ruins the thing,  you get da drift) plus the puppies who have been absent from the comic strip since the fifties at least are all over the place here. But dang if these stories (aptly drawn by noted Young associate Paul Fung Jr. who does a great job even if he did slim Cora Dithers down considerably) just don't hit at the heart of my everlastin' teenbo existence like nothin' since NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC pearl diver issues. True the natural rhythm and downright snarl of the seventies-vintage strip seems absent but for a comic you probably coulda picked up second/third hand at any decent flea market at the time this sure does wonders making you forget just how much of a useless wretch everybody out there in real-life land tries to make you out to be!

And naturally for a Charlton title that wasn't exactly aimed at those intellectual comic book types still all aglow over GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW this comes complete with alla those great ads featuring items you wanted to waste your money on as a kid only either you were livin' on depression-era wages or the folks wouldn't let ya. Only real beef is...howcum no "When Mama Was a Girl" comic to pad this 'un out??? I really love the way Fung draws those young female types who really brought out the ol' hidden libido in many a repressed pen pocket protector and pimplefarm teenbo too shy to even peek at a statue of Venus!

Saturday, October 02, 2021

THESE SINGLES ARE STROONADIER 'N EVER SO WATCH OUT!!!    

Just some more of those seven-inchers from the ol' collection that I thought I'd blab on about as if I were some obnoxious relative visitin' ya giving heavily descriptive recollections of the past ninety years of my life.


Various Artists-UNRELEASED INSTRUMENTALS FROM THE NORTHWEST! 7-inch 33 rpm EP (Hillsdale Records)

Here's a nice obscuro that slipped into my singles stack sometime in the 90s, a collection of ne'er-before-released acetates recorded in the wild 'n woolly Northwest portion of them thar United States during the early days of rock 'n roll.

Frankly I gotta admit that there is very little of what we consider the NW sound in these grooves as these late-fifties/early-sixties rockers coulda been recorded in just about any part of the United States and all points north. But for those of you who think that it was the instrumental genre of the day which helped save rock 'n roll from some of the sappier aspects of teenage music these go down smoother'n Linda Lovelace on a German Shepard.

After you hear all the other Washington State 'n Oregon recordings of the day give UNRELEASED INSTRUMENTALS FROM THE NORTHWEST a go, although I sure woulda loved to have given the Casuals' instro version of "Louie Louie" a try even if the liner notes say the thing stunk to high heaven!
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The Slickee Boys-10TH ANNIVERSARY EP (D.S.T. Records)

Sometimes I forget that this boffo Washington DC-area group even existed, but when I pull one of their platters out for a spin boy, is it an occasion worthy of Thanksgiving!

Oft tagged in with the six-oh revival of the eighties, the Slickee Boys were more often than not the product of the mid-seventies local rock group upheaval that sprung from the minds of not only a number of serious music collectors and fanzine mongers but serious enough rock 'n rollers who just didn't care for the kinda sounds that were bein' made at the time and THEY KNEW THEY COULD DO BETTER!  And of course they did.

Includes a live version of Sam Cooke's "Shake" as well as that Afrika Korps classic "Sea of Love" that does kinda suffer a bit without Solomon Gruberger's thud-like singing but wha' th' hey...
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The Castaways-SIX GREAT SONGS! EP (Soma Records)

Yeah, like in any wayshapeform this is a legitimate Soma release! Naw, some crafty sixties rock fan just gathered up the three legit Castaways (they of "Liar Liar" fame) singles and slapped them on this EP for handy keeping. It works too even if the sound fails somewhat (TURN IT UP!) because the grooves are so squooshed together. You not only get the hit but the five other songs that luckily made it out, and I gotta say that they're all doozies that capture that mid-sixties magic more than any Jann Wenner wet dream of a baby boomer laid back progressive political frisbee-tossin' world could. Of course this ain't like hearin' 'em on some tinny cheap radio inna summer while romping around inna wading pool while sippin' on a glass of Chinese Cherry, but it'll do.
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Liz Gizzad-CRIME TRILOGY 33 rpm single (Behemoth Records)

A supergroup featuring a couple members of Cosmonauts Hail Satan and some guy who was in one of those later on versions of Hawkwind long after them seventies heydayze. As you might have expected this is but one great ball of fuzzed out spacerock with a heavy Ladbroke Grove attitude and a repeato-riff that will stay stuck in your system more than a constipated bowel movement. I woulda thought that anything of true interest as far as that music called rock 'n roll would have vanished from them English shores long ago, but judging from this thing the Big Beat, or in this case Big Drone has lasted a little longer than anyone would have expected. As the snoots say, highly recommended.
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The Subteranneans-"My Flamingo"/"Veiled Woman" (Demon Records, England)

When you compare this Nick Kent-helmed single to the tracks that appeared on that Skydog Cee-Dee reviewed quite awhile back this sure does have an air of downright commercialism about it. Thankfully Kent manages to keep his rockism oars in the ocean of gnu wave capitulation on this '80 single which kinda reminds me of former galpal Chrissie Hynde's Pretenders, only with somewhat more of a gritty seventies underground rock focus 'stead of a custom made for people who can't take the real thing approach. Even if you ain't a fan of Kent's rockscapade-riddled writing you should enjoy this effort from a guy who, after many failed attempts and even an offer from the Flamin' Groovies, finally lived out his dream to be a rock 'n roll artist. Of course that didn't go over well but wha' th' hey...

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Little Milton-"If You Love Me"/"Alone and Blue" (Sun Records)

Repro item from the infamous Little Milton, here doin' the "Milk Cow Blues" thang on the top side and gettin' all down and out woe is me but hold the pity on the flipster. I must admit that I am not, unlike more aware and with-it types such as Bill Shute, as well versed in the whole whys and wherefores of the blues idiom (even though I've read countless articles on the subject and its various adherents o'er the past XXXXXXXXXXXXX or so years) but as the old guy lookin' at the painting of the nude lady said, I may not know about art but I know what I like! You may think this review is yet another attempt to reveal my overall ignorance and contemptibility to a generally hostile public, and if you do you'd be RIGHT!
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RICHARD HALLIDAY PRESENTS EDWIN LESTER'S PRODUCTION OF MARY MARTIN AS PETER PAN EP (RCA Victor Records)

I ain't gone light in the loafers listenin' to B-way soundtracks, but this one just popped up in the pile and well --- I gotta say that I spun the thing if only for purely sentimental reasons. The folk at Lipton were pretty cagey creatures pawning this 'un off as an album, but these highlights from the famed Tee-Vee special sure do bring back the kind of memories I like. 'n not the one when, right inna middle of the original broadcast the tee-vee blew a tube...more of less the ones of my many friendly relatives who I won't be seein' again at least on this sphere, as well as the fun times I had as a turdler before school and extremely cruel teachers did their darndest to break my spirit 'n for the most part SUCCEEDED AT IT!!! And of course my mother spinning this for me after the entire fambly watched (at least PART of!) and really enjoyed that NBC special that introduced to me that fine character whose mere existence was an inspiration in the face of bigger in size people who unfortunately always had to have the upper hand. No "Ugg-A-Wugg" here (was it too controversial even then???), but "I Won't Grow Up" does seem all the more meaningful as time goes on especially after you see what kinda anti-life things grown ups tend to be.
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The Flat Duo Jets-JET SET EP (Norton Records)

There was so much music happening during the nineties, both good, bad and atrocious. Sometimes in the haze of it all I forget what the good stuff was and thus it gets banished to the furthest corners of my collection until I just happen to come across the thing usually while looking for other platters I usually tend to deem more "important".

This 'un being just one amongst 'em, an EP from the overlooked Flat Duo Jets who recorded this li'l gem of a spinner under the auspices of the infamous and much-missed Billy Miller over at Norton Records.

Four real good smackers here, one original ("Blackbeard") and three covers that sure bring back a slew of tingling memories regarding just how exciting this kinda music was back when I was young and it sure sounded swell in light of whatever the Eagles were up to at the time. Trashy punk rock (in the truest, 1972 CREEM magazine sense even!) that sounds like it coulda come outta any knotty pine rec room back in 1962, or 1977 or 1984 for that matter it's that timeless in its suburban slob appeal.

Gotta admit that I prefer the vocal tracks that close each side out. "Surfer Joe" is true to the Surfaris' original which stood as a great precursor to the rampage that mid-sixties rock would be, while I must admit that I find their version of "Mr. Moonlight" way better'n the Beatles' and on par with the Dr. Feelgood and the Interns' take from a few years earlier! 'n in light of alla the updates 'n redos on the old sixties sound we've hadda endure o'er these past few decades (as if slick studios and eighties/nineties "consciousnesses" were a POSITIVE part of the creative endeavor) it's sure great to know that some people out there still knew their TRASH...

A search through years of refuse will undoubtedly turn their longplayer up. Tune in for more one of these eons...
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Ante-Up-"Live on the Wire"/"The Memphis Blues" (CBGB Records)

Got this 'un after reading how guitarist/singer Jaried Minnies learned to play a right-handed guitar even though he's a leftie, and that didn't even involve changing the strings to make things easier! Take that Jimi Hendrix! And on this single he sure proves that he can play a better upside-down right-handed guitar left-handed style than many right-handed types can play the proper 'n normil way! A-side is a solid hard-rocker that didn't latch on to any then-current (eighties) crap musical movements which is why it's such a hard pouncer, while the flip is what alla those geeks who were under the impression that they were getting the real deal from alla those white r/b guys on AOR radio THOUGHT they were hearin'!
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Mike Waggoner and the Bops-"Basher #5"/"Baby Baby" (Vee Records)

Really good early garage band boppings from this Wisconsin bunch who got their start when leader Mike Waggoner saw Gene Vincent arrive in town in a fancy car dressed so snattily and like, thought maybe that rock 'n roll made more sense than selling GRIT door-to-door! "Basher #5"'s one of those snatty 50s/60s cusp instrumentals that pointed the way towards some pretty hotcha music that would come to fruition once the likes of the Trashmen began recording, while "Baby Baby"'s a wild rockabilly rouser that not surprisingly owes a lot to the whole Gene Vincent credo that seemed to be falling outta favor around the time this was being laid down. A double-side wowzer brought to you by none other than Bobby Vee!
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Deniz Tek-"100 Fools"/"Radio Birdman-"Alien Skies" (Citadel Records, Australia)

Another oldie that was so boff that the front sleeve actually appeared on the cover of the second issue of my very own crudzine. Solo Deniz Tek pops up on the a-side sounding like a whole lotta those driving Tek songs that he's been recording with alarming (or maybe not-so) frequency ever since the days of Radio Birdman. Those guys are on the flipside doin' an instrumental that has good enough of a Detroit rock drive that would have guaranteed the band a gig in some of the most worthless dives in the vicinity. Sure brings back memories of the once-heralded Australian underground rock scene which kinda fizzled out once the years progressed and a whole lot of energy was dissipated.
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Destroy All Monsters 7-inch 33 r.p.m. EP (track listing : "Introduction", "Assassination Photograph", "Dream Song"/"Destroy All Monsters", "There is No End") (Black Hole Records)

The above review had me digging deeper and deeper into my collection to pull this noogie out, one of those Destroy All Monsters records (the other under the Xanadu nom-de-fanabla) that former member Cary Loren released after his departure from the act. Low-fi yet totally wired in that Detroit hard rock style that had kids buying old MC5 albums with a passion for years on end. Niagara credited on "presence". Captures the entire essence of what the whole early Michigan/CREEM/midwest high energy scene was about and shall  remain for all I know (or care). Features that inspiring Virgil Finlay cover that's such a mindblower that I even published it in the 21st ish of my own crudzine which might be one reason why I decided to once again plaster this 'un up for all to see lo these many years down the line. Dunno about you, but I still believe in beauty.
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Muckrakers-"Fallin' Down"/"Muckrakers" (Rocket Reducer Records)

Believe I "dissed" as they say this 'un upon first arrival way back when, but today it comes off as a pretty good straight-on local rocker without any of that punque pretense that has ruined what mighta been otherwise coulda been good effort. So head-on straight in its rock approach that if you woulda told me this was some mid-seventies local single effort from the wilds of the west I woulda believed ya. Features former Die Kreuzen frontman Dan Kubinski which might have led to much confusion on my part, not sayin' that I'm ALWAYS confused to begin with.
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Paul Anka-"Goodnight My Love"/"This Crazy World" (RCA Victor Records)

Considering that this Anka hit (as well as a good hunkin' portion of 'em fer that matter) was definitely ona-a-those get her inna mood records I'm wonderin' who the tit-squeezin' relative I inherited this 'un from just mighta been! Hmmmm, this would make for some very interesting dinner table discussion fodder not to mention images of certain cousins slippin' this onna turntable in order to have their way with a member of the other (at least I hope!) s-x. Testosterone-filled goosh oozes outta the speakers and right into that pleasure point in your skull which you thought got worn out from way too much self-stimulation these past umpteen years.
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HEAR THE WORLD'S MOST BEAUTIFUL MUSIC ON THIS DEMONSTRATION RECORD cardboard flexi-disc

When I was a kid it was like a holiday if we got some flexi-disc advertisement in the mail...yes, it was another reason to trot down to the rec room and spin somethin' thus givin' us a slight break from the same old. Here's one advertising a "best of" set of classical themes designed to slip a little culture into your very own suburban slob-dominated ranch house, complete with the same sales pitch used by many a kid workin' his way through college sellin' magazine subscriptions. Of course we don't get to hear all of the "50 Great Moments of Music" on this platter, but within the span of a few minutes you too will feel so culturally enriched that you might even wanna turn to the lower portion of your FM dial to hear more of these classy symphonies. Well, spinnin' this is a whole lot cheaper'n buyin' either a beret or stale doritos for that matter.
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The Saucers-"Cha Wailey Routa"/"Why Do I Dream" (Felco Records)

A-side's a good rhumba-sorta workout for this vocal group that'll sorta remind you of when you were young rompin' about inna rec room on some cold rainy day and stuff like this would come on in over the radio in between the usual sorta goop that sometimes would get stuck in. The flip is a slow moosher that probably won't get your mind into any sorta proper gear but I guess that's why they stuck it on the b-side. And if you think that I bought this 'un because I thought it would be some really wild and rambunctious late-fifties garage band screamer recorded in some old maid aunt's living room well, you just might be right.
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King Bee-"Zip Gun"/"Hot Pistol" (Whizeagle Records)

Fred Cole in 1978 showed us that he was way more in gear with the hard-crunch end of underground rock than many of the snob-end rock critics who were out and about could ever be. Heavy duty "blue wave" sounds accentuated by the WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT sound quality and a good 'un to snuggle into yer vinyl collection in between alla those old Raw Records entries that I'm sure still get plenty of double duty play on your Victrola. Nice cover, and they didn't even get sued by EMI like Roogalator was for their WITH THE BEATLES-inspired sleeve for Stiff  a good two or so years earlier!
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Peter Laughner and the Finns-"Baby's On Fire"/"What Goes On" (SOL Records)

Here's one I believe I had previously reviewed on this blog but sure deserves another mention. Laughner's post Revenge/pre-Rocket From The Tombs one-off live in the backyard band doin' early classic Eno proud on one side and mid-period Velvets on the other, perhaps showing all of us that the mid-seventies were the perfect period where youth, music, art and ambition were perfectly aligned in a way they probably never will be for at least a few hundred years. Makes one long for the days of high energy, talent, decadence and of course that spirit in music that was always poo-poo'd by the people with the power until it got too big, at which point they DESTROYED it all.
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The Waldos-"Crazy Little Baby"/"Cry Baby" (Baylor Records)

Here's Walter Lure's long-lived post-Heartbreakers band doin' it the way he did it back when he was side-by-side with Johnny Thunders which is really great considerin' just how outta time this music had become in an era of flash 'n glitz. Sounds strangely akin to those "Heartbreaker" tracks that appeared on a buncha Skydog platters which makes me think that perhaps those actually were Waldos recordings. But hey, I'm sure we all coulda trusted Marc Zermati for bein' a totally up-front and honest person, eh?  A single that I'm sure most of you reg'lar readers either don't know about or shoved under the rug, in which case I suggest you do a li'l rug liftin' to go out 'n find the thing!
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The Rivieras-"California Sun"/"H B Goose Step" (Riviera Records)

And in closing, here's a single that I gotta say makes me feel rather sad. Sad because not only was this hit a brief respite from the domination of the Beatles on the charts but because it was perhaps the last, if not one of the, big time singles which reflected a lotta the fun and teenbo energy that the early-sixties hadda offer us. Face it, within a few years that "California Sun" was gonna look rather austere while the idea of teenage youth took a drastic turn southwards. The organ-dominated flip makes for an even more rheumy reminiscence of fun times long gone. Big mystery to this 'un is --- just who is the mysterious "DB" who dared to mark the label of this single with his initials? "Dave Berg"? "David Brenner"??? "David Bowie"????? I guess the world will never know.
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Don't hold your breath waitin' for another one of these, for I get the feelin' that the next 'un's a looooong way off.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! 77 SUNSET STRIP #01-742-209 JULY-SEPTEMBER 1962 (Dell Comics)

Gotta admit that 77 SUNSET STRIP's one program that I sure wish woulda permeated the rerun screens of the seventies because hey, this is one series that I coulda really sunk my teenbo mindset into! In an age of emasculated sensitivity and BLESS THE BEASTS AND BOOBIES some tuff stuff private eye slam 'n dunk woulda suited my oft sodomized psyche rather well. And, come to think of it, I sure coulda used a few ishes of the 77 SUNSET STRIP comic book given the at-times sappiness of what some of those ultra-preachy DC comics were spewin' out with alla the subtlety of a sledgehammer aimed right at my gosh-it-all skull.

OK the stories aren't exactly up to tee-vee standards and the art is typical Dell you can't tell the characters apart crankout, but this still fills somewhat of a comic book bill what with the standard if convolutedness of it all. Two sagas here, the first featuring Jedd Spencer and Kookie (now graduated to full-fledged PI thus making the cover shot showing him in his car parking gear quite outta date) on the run tryin' to make a deadline for an important meeting getting roadblocked in their attempt to make that rendezvous regarding the heir to a lumber mill fortune. The second one's more Stuart Bailey's affair as he attempts to save the brother of a friend from some mighty hefty capital punishment with the only real clue on hand being a trident watch fob of some sort. Of course even with such a flimsy clue to go on Bailey and Spencer manage to get to the truth of the matter even if you kinda get the idea that by the time the two do come to the right and proper conclusion the brother woulda long been one crispy critter.

Yeah the slam-band violence of not only 77 SUNSET STRIP but the rest of the Warner Brothers detective shows that spun off from it just doesn't translate to the comic pages but the stories do come through somewhat. And if you didn't have access to a boob tube way back when these still delivers on the comic thrill goods rather swell when you're in a pinch for some actual entertainment Entertainment that actually works as such and not some flimsy excuse to preach the same phony moralities of the past four decades which nobody other'n a few Hollywood perverts really cared about anyway.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Things are gettin' hecticer 'n hectic here at BTC central, so if this post seems to have a rushed feeling about it now you know why! Drat this real life deal...if only fantasy would once again rear its not-so-ugly head and make things a little more normal around here but anyway, I hope you can absorb as much pleasure outta this episode of BLOG TO COMM as possible even though this 'un was pretty much done "on the run" with me snatching platters outta the pile left 'n right in between many duties both at home and abroad. But, as usual, I know you will just toss it off.

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It's kinda funny seein' alla the praise and accolades that are being heaped upon the late comedian or whatever they're callin' 'em nowadays Norm MacDonald, who I guess was out there doin' high-larious stuff as if I'd ever know given my three-plus decades of tryin' to ignore such things. Funny, but I didn't even know who he was until I read the various obituaries about him from people (even some whose opinions I value) making him out to have been the funniest thing on this planet since TILLIE'S PUNCTURED ROMANCE! Then again it ain't like I get out much these days. Let's just say that the guy's but yet another one whose passing really does mean about as much to me as Baby Huey's, and in many ways considering the sad state of what passes for entertainment these days perhaps that is a good thing.

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Thanks to the usual ones who have contributed to these weekend posts, and maybe one more.


Fushitsusha-ALLEGORICAL MISUNDERSTANDING CD-r burn (originally on Avant Records)

Yet another one from the "former buddy" as Skipper would so defiantly have put it. ALLEGORICAL MISUNDERSTANDING is probably about as free-tone down-groove as many of these Keiji Haino efforts, perhaps even more so than usual with some of the man's pertinent moans and groans present and accounted for within the not-so-cacophonous yet still striking din. I love it when the melodies get into those abstract tangents that seem part and parcel to these experimental Japanese rock spins mixing free form guitar rock with something truly out of the modern day classical expansion. If you wonder what the logical conclusion to a good portion of the avagarde rock that first sprouted its beanie in the sixties and worked its way through all sortsa rivulets and channels of sounds while most of the world just yawned SHOULD sound like well, this just might be one of many places for you to give yourself a little education.

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Sun Ra and his Myth Science Arkestra-ANGELS AND DEMONS AT PLAY CD-r burn (originally on Saturn/Impulse/Evidence, take yer pick)

For bein' a 1960 effort ANGELS AND DEMONS sure points its snout in the direction of future Arkestra efforts of an especially outerworldly nature. Features the usual Ra greats from John Gilmore and Marshall Allen as well as Phil Cochran who did his own Arkestrating himself with the Artistic Heritage Ensemble making some strange string-y thing sounds with a bowed (and plucked for the sound of it) psaltery. From big band sway to avgarde solar explorations you got another Ra rec that should fit in with the other two hundred or so wallowing away in your by now half-century old collection you spendthrift old fanabla you!

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Various Artists-FUZZ FLAYKES AND SHAKES VOLUME 7 CD-r burn (originally on Bacchus Archives Records)

Like them other FUZZ FLAYKES AND SHAKES platters reviewed over the past umpteen years the sounds found therein kinda remind me of the kinda music that square guy with the glasses who went all hi-yaaah! in those Hai Karate ads woulda listened to. In other words tough mid-sixties rock 'n roll that's getting into various commercial for the days moves with a polish that mighta even gotten a few of 'em on the local talent time tee-vee show. A few classics like the Outsiders' "Boy With the Long Liverpool Hair" pop up and a lotta that British Invasion swerve and style can be detected even if it was translated into ranch house Amerigan. Like any good lower-case rock 'n roll record of the  day you can hear the chart potential that these acts unfortunately missed out on lest some large label just happ'd to pick up on it. Big puzzlement in the Gass Co.'s "First I Look At The Purse" which asks the question "which part of the body of a gal does the guy look at first?" mentioning everything but what every wholesome man really does look at! And it sure ain't her tootsies I'll tell ya!

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The Ready Men-GET READY!! CD (Norton Records)

In anticipation of the upcoming issue of KICKS magazine ("due when the snow flies" or so I'm told) I thought I'd whip out this particular platter which I must admit has been ignored way too long here at BTC headquarters. Not that I wouldn't expect anything else from a group from the area, but these Ready guys really do capture that mid-sixties rockin' Minnesota sound that was sorta started by the likes of the Fendermen and wormed its way into the whole Trashmen ethos to the point where there were some kids in the area who were known to have muttered "what's a Beatle?"!!!! Hot vocals (as on the freaky for me --- the line "one of them's sick and the other one's dead" used to strike fear into me!) "Shortnin' Bread" and a load of instrumentals goes to show you that there was probably something in the air when these groups were up and about, just as there was something up and about when the kids in my class (including myself) we being birthed oh so long ago.

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Terry Hartman and Peter Laughner-NOTES ON A COCKTAIL NAPKIN CD-r burn

I thought there was a legit reissue of this infamous '69 collab between future Backdoor Men/Deadbeat Poets Terry Hartman (bound for Vietnam) and extremely legendary Cleveland mover and shaker Peter Laughner (bound for eternity) but for the life of me I can't find any evidence that the thing actually did come out.  Good thing we have these recordings direct from the ltd. ed. acetate to go by, and as you probably already know the resultant spew is one classic collection of what that whole late-sixties spiz that was up 'n comin' at the time shoulda amounted to. From gutzy singer/songwriter and country twang to neo-Velvets and Laughner's sole singing spot bound to squeeze the blood outta your heart this is a surprisingly sturdy effort, especially when you consider how these guys were still in high school when these tracks were bein' laid down in Laughner's soundproofed bedroom. And what were you doin' at that stage in your particularly pitiful life anyway --- just don't ask me the same question!

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The No Neck Blues Band-STICKS AND STONES WILL BREAK MY BONES BUT NAMES WILL NEVER HURT ME CD-r burn (originally on Sound One Records)

Haven't played these New York astutes doing the deep south swagger in quite some time so this spin was a nice diversion from the usual nice diversions that I've come across as of late. Produced by Jerry Yester who did that album with Judy Henske for Frank Zappa that everybody but me likes, the No Necks play a good sludgy sorta cackle that can get rather annoying in a good way and perhaps even slick enough that it coulda been marketed to the same brains that bought up those aforementioned Zappa tax write offs once they hit the 99-cent bins. Kinda like a good portion of your fave sixties mind death mavens with an eighties chic Manhattan sense of smug superiority about 'em. It actually sounds as good as the original snarl before that got all politically pious and undigestible. Just tell yourself that these ain't stuck up art snobs tryin' to get down with the broken tooth hillbilly crowd and you just might appreciate it a whole lot! 

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Various Artists-FLIPPED TARANTULA THUNDER CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

There seems to be a lotta those teenbo moaners from the sixties that Bill has a special place in his heart for here, and that's fine by me.

There are some interesting twists and turns even with these, like the male/femme duo of the Stratfords who even add a some trumpet into the mix! Of course early-sixties instrumental wowzers by the Storms ("Thunder"/"Tarantula") and various garage band doofers from the likes of the Accents ("Roadrunner") and the Count IV's "Mickey Mouse" (a decent try for the "Jolly Green Giant" market) do offer a break from the sniffles, but if you're one of those guys who likes to stew in self-pity all rowed over due to unrequited love and a general sense of bathroom door lock loneliness then boy, will you go for this Bill burn that only I and Brad Kohler have copies of! 

Not recommended for those who are easily triggered by minor chord local rock efforts or the severely depressed. I mean, life is bad enough without you having to osmose these teenbo losers' paens to the outer than the outkids frame of mind.

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For a change from the ordinary why dontcha try some of these back issues of BLACK TO COMM instead of your normal reading fodder which is guaranteed to cause dry rot not only in your brain but in your spirit. Given the nights are getting longer and your existence a whole lot shorter you really do need alla these highly recommended (by me --- yes, I am ashamed to admit that I have read early issues of CRACKED) magazines which are guaranteed to do someone like you a whole lot better. Any why not --- I mean, ANYTHING would be an improvement!