Friday, March 17, 2023

Is it time for yet another BLOG TO COMM post already? Are you kidding me --- it's NEVER time for one of these posts given the abject scorn and hatred that is directed upon not only this blog but me just because I'm so --- gentle and pure! But blog on I must because hey, blogging about the things nearest and dearest to my heart (music, old tee-vee, things that upset the snoots) is my life and if it wasn't for my eternal quest to clue you all in on music and suburban slob culture you won't be reading about elsewhere where would I be? And, for that matter, where would YOU be? Reading the competition which might make you about as complete and as right minded a person as Dave Lang that's where!
A few people (OK, only one) told me that perhaps I should start up a BLOG TO COMM podcast where I sit around chatting about everything from my personal opinions regarding music to the socio-political climate while playing tracks that would, in some fashion, correlate to what I was blabbing about. At first I thought it would be a good idea ... after all I can play loads of funtime tuneage that I have acquired throughout the years, everything from rare Eclectic Eels tracks with not only Tim Wright on bass guitar but Adele Bertei on organ to x-tra long Can explorations and Ornette Coleman bootlegs, of course with a load of LEGITIMATE sounds thrown in between all the esoteric grooves. Something like an aural version of this very blog or perhaps a vain attempt to resurrect R. Meltzer's HEPCATS FROM HELL radio show without all the dirty words but maybe with a re-creation of his Hendrix feedback loop played for 90 minutes straight. 

I'm not too sorry to say that such an endeavor would be way beyond my capabilities. First off, I don't have the equipment to transfer tape or vinyl (let alone disques) to whatever medium is supposed to be used for a podcast, and secondly I don't have the technology to even produce a podcast! Thirdly I wouldn't even know HOW to produce a podcast and am probably too stupid to learn how to and while we're at it, FOURTHLY I really don't care to do one considering just how much hassle I would get from the usual sources if I would undergo such a project.  OK ---FIFTHLY --- who'd even care to listen to the thing given the zero respect and appreciation given not only to this blog but myself!

I'm TIRED of doing things which take up a good portion of my existence yet only get me troubles which is one reason why I quit putting out BLACK TO COMM when it became more work than pleasure (and more costly to put out). But eh, doin' a podcast sure looks like fun even if it would undoubtedly turn into one massive ball of frustration and regret that would wear me out more than I was after putting out BLACK TO COMM #25!
Hey! here's an interesting article on none other than Ultravox! that I found on...COUNTER-CURRENTS???
For those of you who were enraptured by the Czech Underground coverage found in the later-on issues of my crudzine...


And now, because you didn't ask for it... 


You've read plenty about these guys via a slew of knotty-pine basement-produced fanzines over the past fiftysome years, but have you ever read anything about 'em written by none other'n me? Of course you have but not in the form of an article, and I figure that if every other tinhorn with a keypad can crank out an appreciation of these guys and have hosannas of hallelujahs bestowed upon them why not me? After all, I have feelings too! 

I don't have to tell you that the Watchband were a big joke to the denizens of record buying land during the late-sixties, but that doesn't mean much given the plethora of braindead youth culture bigtime spenders who would rather plunk daddy's hard earned down on a Woodstock soundtrack triple-setter that a rip-roarin' high energy album any day! Sure there was nil coverage of them in the big mags with their sole appearance in ROLLING STONE being an ad for their second album (which I guess was more space given to 'em than those two guys from the Texas fanzine MOTHER gave to the 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola in their local scene rundown published in a '68 STONE), but the Watchband were surely registered in the minds of many a true rock 'n roller who I'm sure missed 'em as much as the Seeds once 1971 and James Taylormania crept into the mix. And even some not-so-hip types were clued in, or at least somewhat --- after all, it was none other'n noted rock stodge Greil Marcus who, when writing to Lester Bangs about the Stooges, compared Iggy and company to the Watchband!*  

NO WAY OUT seems like a fair enough start although a foreshadowing of all the problems their other platters would eventually dump into. The tracks with Don Bennett filling in for regular lead vocalist Dave Aguilar do stick out rather sore-thumbish, but even amidst the mess that coulda been NO WAY OUT comes off as the kinda spinner that should stick out swell in any tru blu punk's record collection. Heck, the appearance of the (said it before and will say it again) ultimo p-rock effort of all time otherwise known as "Are You Gonna Be There" makes this a must-have even if some of the attempts at psychedelic mindnab like "Expo 2000" and "Gossamer Wings" really don't register in my psychedelic grey room the way that "Up In Her Room" does. I should have somewhat of an aversion to this platter considering how I gave it my initial spin during one of the sadder parts of my existence, but then again when was I ever really happy other'n during my turdler years!

Get the Sundazed Cee-Dee reissue which tags on some extra goodies including their rendition of "Milk Cow Blues" later improved on via "Don't Need Your Loving" and an early (and more straightforward) version of the title track which goes by the name of "Psychedelic Trip" here.

Hokay, elpee #2 THE INNER MYSTIQUE may have been the inspiration for the name of one of the better fanzines to have come out of the early-eighties miasma, but if you ask me (and why not since you're stupid enough to READ this inna first place!) it really doesn't do the Watchband credo that much good. Watchband/Standells guru Ed Cobb's the blame given that the group is shut out of their own platter even more here'n on their debut, but thankfully you can still ooze your daily requirement of suburban slob fortitude outta this like the bloody water after a goodly squeezed pimple. 

Side one really can't be called the Watchband proper what with the trackage (including the title track) coming off more like exploito tossout than psychedelic brilliance. INNER MYSTIQUE doesn't really kick in until the actual flesh and blood group gets into the grooves, commencing with the boff re-do of the Kinks' "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" that pounces with the same strength that any local bunch covering it woulda tossed into their local single version. 'n hey, Don Bennett even does swell doing the vocals on "Medication" and "Let's go Let's Go Let's Go" but the question still remains as to why Cobb had Aguilar's vocals wiped off the originals (which may have been answered in one of the many articles on the group that have come out over the past twennysome years, as if I have access to any of 'em!).

But still THE INNER MYSTIQUE did have the potential to actually break forth into the ozone. Too bad the suits hadda fiddle with the formula which is why these guys were hampered almost as much as the 13th Floor Elevators!

Now for the album all Chocolate Watchband fans tend to hate...ONE STEP BEYOND whose best attribute has to be that the title of that one was lifted from a rather good television anthology series of the early-sixties. Actually this 'un isn't that bad even if the ghost of late-sixties hippoid can be discerned seeping into the mix and Aguilar was out only to be replaced by original lead vocalist Danny Phay. But don't pay attention to the snoots who hate this...after all, given some of the turdburgers that were beginning to make their way into the once wild work of rock 'n roll this does sound like a welcome relief. Kinda like one of the later Moby Grape albums which should be no surprise given that Grape guitarist Jerry Miller sessioned on "Devil's Motorcycle" --- well at least it wasn't Jerry Garcia as original reports had it.

High point (at least according to none other'n me) is the cover of Ashford and Simpson/Ray Charles' "I Don't Need No Doctor" and you'll best enjoy this keeping in mind that if you were stranded on a desert island with a record player and you only had this and the first Crosby Stills Nash and Young on hand that the latter would be best put to use cleaning out the deeper reaches of your rectum after a particularly sticky bowel movement. 

If you get the Sundazed Cee-Dee of THE INNER MYSTIQUE you'll wind up with a load of neat tracks including the non-album singles which could at one time only be found on collections like PEBBLES VOLUME SEVEN or a Moxie EP with a sound that improves the cheap record player idea of it all. If you're a cheapie like me and got the Big Beat reissue of LPs 2/3 you won't get 'em, but don't fret because those rarities (and other surprises) pop up on Big Beat's 44 which gathers the rarities and adds a few familiarities to pad it out. All of their RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP trackage appears along with the Uptown singles and of course the Hogs "side project" for Hanna Barbera which got a lotta notice by Zappa aficionados who thought he was in fact the mysterious producer of the session what with "The Phantom" giving us that weird fifties grease segment spoken in true Zappa fashion on "Loose Lip Sync Ship" ("Gossamer Wings" done right!). Years later we finally discovered that it was not FZ doing the production and general teen angst spoofing but that doesn't mean there wasn't a Watchband/Mothers connection even if was tenuous. Aguilar himself says that the two had crossed paths way back when and that "they were swell guys, but boy did they smell!" 

In conclusion, why not watch the moom pitcher that catapulted the group into many a household via Saturday afternoon broadcasts well into the seventies thus keeping the legend alive:

And after all that... Anyway, you all heard of fake news? Well here are some fake record reviews for y'all to cram into your already over-rocked craniums and remember, it could be wrestling or the nightly updates or even rock 'n roll, but no matter what IT AIN'T REAL... And I should know. Thanks to Paul McGarry and P.D. Fadensonnen for the freebees.

Various Artists-THE HISTORY OF SURF MUSIC VOL. 1 LP (Rhino Records)

Here's one I snatched up in 1982, right around the time that I was becoming disenchanted with some of what was being presented to us lumpen proles as "new music" (soon to be marketed as "alternative"), egged on by recent readings of BOMP! xeroxes of course. A pretty good slab of surf music is to be heard here from the familiar to the obscure --- put it all together and you get a pretty hotcha idea of what early-sixties pre-flake California was like given that an environment where John Birchers like Tony Hilder and teenage surf groups like these could exist hand-in-hand and nobody would even bat an eye!
Various Artists-BOULDERS VOLUME 8 LP (Dave Records)

During my latest archival dig I also came up with this gem from a series that has gotten a whole load of disdain and scorn tossed at it during the early days of garage band compilating. The flat sound doesn't bother me in the least and the selection is just as good as anything on the original PEBBLES entries, what with trackage like both sides of the post-Van Morrison Them single from back when the group was holed up in Texas as well as two versions of "Hey Joe" (the first by the Tangents and the second by Fever Tree) placed back to back! Say what you want about BOULDERS, but these records are just as much a part of my swan dive into the wild world of punk before punk as the PEBBLES/PSYCHEDELIC UNKNOWN platters were, not to mention all of the Greg Shaw rah-rah'd sides that thankfully were being made available to a buncha doofs like myself who missed out on it all the first time 'round. 
The Sonics-ORIGINAL NORTHWEST PUNK LP (First American Records)

This is the '80 reissue of the third Sonics album, originally released on Jerden after a kerfuffle between the Sonics and Wailers got the former doin' a little label shopping. A pretty solid platter at that, not as intense as BOOM! but still way up there in the pantheon of primal punkitude. The hits from their Etiquette days, "The Witch" and "Psycho" reappear for good measure, and not only that but the Sonics do the Lovin' Spoonful right with a driving cover of "On The Road Again" that'll remind you that maybe John Sebastian and Co. weren't as hippie as they tended to come off as at times. Numbers like "Maintaining My Cool" and "Going Home" continue with the Sonics style that thankfully also infested the minds of kids in Cleveland and Orlando thanks to the miracle of local markets in a pre-formulized radio formatted world, and even the slow schmoozer "Love Lights" sounds dreamy in an otherwise hard rock mix! Hey, do any of you have a copy of the Rascals' COLLECTIONS album where their "Turn On Your Love Light" (side two track one) was mistakenly credited as this particular number complete with Gerry Roslie receiving songwriting credits???
Payton MacDonald-EXPLORATIONS 31 

Marimbaist MacDonald teams up with Weasel Walter to create an effort that sure dredges up some of the happier memories of searching through the NMDS catalog while on the lookout for a sound that was bound to jar you out of the doldrums of everyday music. Reminds me of the Karl Berger/Ed Blackwell album where the former Quinlaned his vibraphone (unplugged it!) for a session that wandered into the same realm of percussive paranoia as this 'un. Actually a whole lot more surprising, engaging and musical than some wonks out there would lead you to believe. Big thanks to P.D. for pointing this one in my direction.
The Dream Syndicate-ULTRAVIOLET BATTLE HYMNS AND TRUE CONFESSIONS CD-r burn (originally on Fire Records)

I wasn't held that much under the sway of Wynn etc. when they were first making an underground shuffle back in the early eighties, and in fact grew to the point where I actually loathed them if only for what they represented. Nowadays well, I can take it or leave it and therefore feel rather ambivalent not only about the Syndicate but the musical realm in which they (and a whole slew of groups that ran on the gas fumes of sixties/seventies accomplishment) wallowed about in. Forty years later I see no reason why I should do any opinion changing, do you?
Nervous Eaters-MONSTERS + ANGELS CD-r burn (originally on Wicked Cool Records)

Not surprised that these guys are still around. Also not surprised that they're still playing the same punked up pop rock that they've been playing for longer than I can comprehend in my rather ape-like mind. Not bad, but it doesn't quite light my musical fart the way some of these guys' contemporaries turned my hind quarters into a human flame thrower.
Just a li'l reminder that there are many back issues of BLACK TO COMM still available for those of you who want to fill up the holes in your collection. Or any hole you may want to have this point in time I'll sell these to anyone...

*'n isn't it true that Bangs' first ever published review was a thingie on the Watchband in some high school newspaper which, as far as I know, has never been unearthed?

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

It's time for (once again) my entry into the culture of narcissism with yet another post as if you would ever in your right mind care one whit what I think about anything in the first place. But read on you must because well frankly, even in this day and age there ain't that much neo-gonz musical info available anywhere let alone on the internet, and since you've probably paid beaucoup wampum for your computer you gotta put it to some good use other'n to seek out porn, right?
So what's been "floating my boat" as the cornballs like to say these days? Not much really, though you might like to know that I've been cutting down on the turntable and going to Youtube for a nice hefty portion of my entertainment pleasure. It might surprise you (but maybe not) that, perhaps through no control of my own, I've been watching a whole load of things that have been reminding me, or better yet triggering me as the fru fru's like to say, of buried memories from the depths of my brain which are almost always related to the events of my youth. Mostly bad things too y'know, like at night when I'm trying to get to sleep and my mind wanders from one subject to the next and then --- ALL OF A SUDDEN --- something ugly that happened to me age fifteen pops into my skull and I can't slip back into slumberland because it's just too embarrassing or downright depressing to shake outta my head! And given the kind of life I've had to endure, there have been quite a few sleepless nights o'er the years.

Sometimes this "triggering" is for the better, especially when those old warm 'n toasties come oozing their way into my cranium reminding me that maybe things weren't always that hideous during those supposedly best years of my life (hah!).

And speaking of some of the more enjoyable memories of youth well, you might be surprised to know that I have been absorbing many a happy recollection of them days past by watching a whole load of old clips from the famed PBS phonics, grammar 'n punctuation kiddie series which I'm sure some of you readers used to glom, mainly THE ELECTRIC COMPANY! Like with THE MONSTER SQUAD mentioned awhile back, I was a tad bit too old for it when this series was permeating the late-afternoon hours on your local educational station but watched I did because it was either this or the umpteenth rerun of Dick Van Dyke. Truth be told, you can fantasize about Mary Tyler Moore's suckems only so much! 

Of course it helped if you had your daily requirement of Mad Dog in you but anyway, despite being made for the single-digit set I thought that the show's comedy skits with a purpose and surprisingly good musical numbers were also aimed at a more mature audience. Like those old Hanna-Barbera cartoons, it was something the folk could get a kick out of along with the brats, and you kinda get the idea they were watching even if the kids weren't home (after all, dad can fantasize about MTM's suckems only so much too!). Besides, when Spiderman joined the cast the show was mandatory viewing given the big superhero jag I was on at the time. 
And after giving these clips the once-over after all these years, I gotta say that I'm especially impressed by the Phyllis and the Pharaohs numbers where Rita Moreno et. al. spoof fifties nostalgia the way it shoulda been done back then but never was! 

Other memories of THE ELECTRIC COMPANY remain strong even after years of mental clutter shoving a lotta the more fun moments of tee-vee past to the back burner. You remember the "blends" --- the silhouettes where two facing outlines would combine words with the one on the left saying the first part, the one on the right saying the second and then both saying the word in its entirety? Me and my cousin used to do that, only with vulgar words such as "sh" --- "it"---"shit" while getting a whole lotta laughs outta it because well, we were gutter-minded to some extent. The trouble was that when I said "f", my cousin would say "uck" --- "fuck" and my uncle would of course get all mad at us even though it wasn't exactly as if his own vocabulary was always that prissy. Funny, I thought the obvious coupling for "f" was "art" because we were more in an excretory groove rather than a sexual one but my cousin felt different, perhaps thinking that we were just doing bad words without any specific categorizing.

These old ELECTRIC COMPANY clips also reminded me of way back when PBS was actually kind of fun not only with shows like this but things like MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS (which actually earned me a "cover your eyes" and then "change the channel" demand during Terry Gilliam's "Full Frontal Nudity" cartoon) to of course the old movies which really pushed me into the realm of moom pitcher obsession. But one thing that these ELECTRIC COMPANY segments dredged up from years of sediment inside the brain was my early teenbo appreciation for the show's "Short Circus" member June Angela, and from what I understand I wasn't the only one!
THE FEEL BAD VIDEO OF THE WEEK: For some strange reason or another the following episode of DRAGNET featuring stock Mark VII actor Timothy Donnelly as a comic book afficionado who steals old movie posters while dressed as a costumed crimefighter didn't register with me when first viewed, but in the dank twenties it seems to mean all the more. I must have viewed this for the first time long before my aforementioned comic book obsession because otherwise I should have gone for this 'un bigtime. Somehow this show went straight through that sieve I call my mind...strange how the old jelly in one's head can work, especially when it's left to its own machinations which might go awry at times.

Now I'm positive that to most of you readers this character who dresses in a cheap superhero outfit which he wears while swiping valuable movie posters might come off as a perpetual loser who deserves nothing but scorn (though as far as for being a pudgy type that the kids picked on Donnelly looks fairly svelte), but the combination of a downright honest pathos and Donnelly's acting really brings out a dimension that kinda strikes a sad chord within me. You'll just might loathe him just because of a perhaps not-so perceived jerkiness on his part, but for once I can do a little empathizin'.

Maybe it's because of a real life experience that my soul gravitates towards this particular entry into the Jack Webb canon. For some perhaps maybe not-so-odd reason this Crimson Crusader reminded me of a sordid chapter in my family's existence pertaining to an uncle (the one mentioned above in fact). He was my mother's oldest sibling, a good fifteen years older than her in fact and in many ways a second father given the difference in age. The big brother/little sister relationship made the situation perhaps even more straining on her own attempts to go on with life, and if you think it was exactly pleasant during those days you are sadly mistaken!  

A combination of out-of-control diabetes and the onset of dementia was making my uncle behave quite erratically to the point where he was just about to not only lose total control of his mental faculties but very likely his home as well. It was a late September day when I was informed of trouble brewing between the two, so I rushed over to my uncle's place only to see him and mother in a heated argument over his not eating his prepared meals and other sundries with the situation almost getting to the point where I pretty much believed it would all erupt into a major tragedy. Then all of a sudden, in the midst of this rather frightening uproar, my uncle briefly paused and then burst into tears with the look of total bewilderment over his current state of affairs. Watch the conclusion of the program and you'll get an idea of how I was feelin' while seein' my uncle down pat.

And y'know, it really is sad to be a man who knows there's something wrong with him but doesn't know what it is. And that, dear reader, is why this episode of DRAGNET really beings out those old, disturbing feelings in me that will never go away the same way THE ELECTRIC COMPANY reminds me of some of the happier moments of growing up suburban ranch house UHF-TV middle class 'n all.

The record situation has been as dismal as ever, what with the lack of any really new or truly life-reaffirming platters making their way to my abode these past few weeks if not months. It's not just that I don't have the filthy lucre that keeps me from indulging in what was once a strong obsession --- its actually the lack of anything worth purchasing that gets me rather uptight.

Given that there really hasn't been a music scene worth diving into for nigh on what, forty long years, and given how life in general has devolved into a fight to just merely exist instead of live, AND given that something that was once a vital and perhaps the ONLY reason for me to stick around and not commit spiritual suicide (I don't actually cozy up to the thought of the real thing), mainly my appreciation for that sonic wiggle otherwise known as MUSIC, hasn't been able to stir the kettle inside me the way it used to is what's been getting me rather down and out these sad 'n sorry days. Only goes to show you what being a mature human being rather than a typical suburban slob can do to you, and how I long for the days when music, art, television and literature were a pathway to a world that I sure would have loved to have spent the rest of my life wallowing in!

But I still spin the old stuff, and unlike Nancy I still get a few groovy throb thrills outta it even though at this point in time I should be feeling just like our heroine. Current faves that are getting the repeato play here include the Lou Reed demo tape from '65 which is, for all intent purposes, a Falling Spikes platter, and the Creative Construction Company CD of their back from Europe concert, a recording which made a life-long indent on my perception of music even if everyone around me thought it was just a sick put-on. 

I've also been spinning the THOSE WERE DIFFERENT TIMES collection of Mirrors/Electric Eels/Styrenes efforts, after all these years still finding the Styrene's "1967" to be quite an impressive part of their musical catalog. Or at least as impressive as it was when I saw them do it (with the Styrene Dancers) live at the Kent Creative Arts Festival. Anyone out there who can send me a copy of the lyrics?

I told you about this quite awhile back, but since I came across it again only a few days ago I thought I'd show it for all to see. Yes it's a letter from none other than Jay Hinman where, surprisingly enough, the chap seems to come off rather fine and dandy and even appreciative of my own humble efforts! Heck, he's even acting downright gracious regarding my positive review of his own fanzine efforts which sure seems strange given his eventual heavy-duty putdown of myself and the past X-some years of work in and out of the fanzine idiom that I have produced! As you will see once you get to the blasted thing, this note (which came with the then-latest issue of SUPERDOPE, not exactly the best one I've seen what with articles on a number of groups I never heard of and probably wouldn't WANT to hear of for that matter) was written a good eight or so years before the big slam came which, in retrospect, doesn't sound so strange considering the one-upmanship loathing that people in this "rock underground" sometimes have for each other. Anyway, read on MacDuff!:

Sounds really appreciative 'n all, don't he? Unfortunately for me I didn't realize that Hinman was merely fattening me up for the slaughter so-to-speak (not the first time that happened), so shame on me for not being more aware of these people who shake with their right hand, and have a knife aimed at your back with their left. And in his take down of me he had the nerve to say what a lousy rock 'n roller Von Lmo was!


There are a few decent beings on this planet like Paul McGarry, who donated a couple of the platters that have been reviewed this go 'round. I also dug a couple outta the LP pile which I haven't touched in quite awhile. Hope that there's something in here that will make you wanna rush to your nearest record shop and snatch up one of these items, until you realize that your favorite record shop closed down ages ago.

Alice Cooper-LIVE FROM THE ASTROTURF CD-r burn (originally on Good Records)

I mean, who can replace Glen Buxton? Still, the rest of the classic Cooper lineup play as snat in 2015 as they did in 1970, right before the entire group became, how shall we say, well oiled. CLICHE WARNING!: these old fogeys can teach them young turdburgers a two or thing!

Brian Jonestown Massacre-FIRE DOESN'T GROW ON TREES CD-r bur (originally on A Recordings)

Nothing worth tossing the cornflakes over, but somewhat better than I remember the other BJM platters to have been. At least the references to past accomplishment are more vivid than usual, from the 1967 English psych of "The Real" to "What's in a Name?"'s solid adherence to the San Fran ballroom mode. True there's a whole load of modern production and false memories of previous musical successes (like the raging droneathon that was more of a late-eighties creation) but still, this makes way more sense to my own musical parameters than some of those overpriced psych imports I dumped a lotta money on back in the early nineties.

EARTH OPERA LP (United States Sound Records)

I only bought this album by Colorado's Earth Opera (who are not to be confused with THEE Earth Opera on Elektra) because I espied their name on a '76 CBGB listing opening for none other than Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers. And like I've often said, if curiosity killed the cat there must be a millyun of 'em slaughtered what with me checking out these obscuros while on the lookout for a sound and style that I thought would somehow sate my sonic cravings. Or at least be a new Hackamore Brick or Sidewinders. Trite rock without any discernable ref. pts. that lacks the drive many original music acts of the seventies just seemed to ejaculate. In other words, this certainly ain't no Polystyrene Jass Band!


Pete Townshend-WHO CAME FIRST? LP (Track/Decca Records)

A dig into the vaults pulled up this album that, or so I thought at the time, was actually the new Who LP! The version of "Pure and Easy" which starts it off is good though not as good as the one on ODDS AND SODS, while the rest comes off a bit too early-seventies twee for my tastes. I guess Sri Chinmoy wasn't into the same kinda hard rock the Who had been making their name with for a good half-decade or so.


SLADE ALIVE! LP (Polydor Records)

Vault dig #2 upchucked this once popular effort from Slade, a bunch that was hot cakes all over the world 'cept in the USA where they were more like hot turds. SLADE ALIVE! ain't quite the KICK OUT THE JAMS that Greg Shaw and Mike Saunders made it out to be in an old issue of PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE, but it does have the notion to rock away when it wants to. Such as on the Ten Years After cover that opens the album as well as the not as good as the original but still rousing version of "Born To Be Wild" which closes it. Not hard to find and really, pretty much worth the pennies you can pick it up with if you scour the flea market bins with some sort of diligence.

By the way, has anyone out there ever even seen the Slade single that came out on Skydog Records?


Sixteenth-century sacred vocal music that emits an air of total ethereal sanctity and unspeakable beauty that gives me a feeling like nothing I've heard since Thomas Tallas or at least THE MARBLE INDEX. Des Prez was a highly-regarded and imitated composer back in the 16th century and was famous for his use of harmony and counterpoint and a whole lotta things you forgot about in music class, but don't let that deter you from giving these chorales a go. They're so straightforward and pure in the way they envelop your sense of nobility that you'll wish they'd sing these songs in church 'stead of that horrid pop jive that's supposed to "inspire" people but just turns 'em off.

If you liked the above, you just might like reading these back issues of BLACK TO COMM  that are still available even thought they should have sold out ages ago given their overall importance to the development of the fanzine form. Then again, if you liked reading the above maybe you should seek professional help. I mean, look at the mental predicament I've revealed by just merely writing the above sputum in the first place!

Thursday, February 23, 2023


Should be obvious to you. NONE of 'em have ever read an issue of BLACK TO COMM in their entire bloomin' lives! That and the fact that they look like they failed their last pap test but that's another thing. If they did read it do you think they would be stupid enough to look like THIS??? Anyway, if you don't wanna end up like any of them bowzers onna left howzbout buyin' one (or three, or ten, or a millyun for all I care!) old copies of this essential (to my bank account) fanzine befur they're all gobbled up by the landfill! Prices are up due to inflation, and if you're outside of the USA forget it because the postage will kill you! (But if you're a rich kinda guy up your bank account!)

Two ways you can get 'em. One is to leave a message in the comments section (I will not publish it!) with your email and I will get back to you with more detailed information. Or you can send me the cash (check or money order suggested) to Christopher Stigliano (checks payable to him!) at 701 North Hermitage Road, Suite 23, Hermitage PA 16148 USA  just like you used to do in the old days.

PHFUDD! #11-Still have a few copies of this once-gone and forgotten issue featuring Mirrors (complete with the usual rare photos and flyers and ads and esoterica like that), Von Lmo photos taken at Max's Kansas City with Lou Rone mugging it up for the camera (plus a Rudolph Grey chronology!), Sonny Sharrock, Jeff Dahl and Powertrip, a live Styrenes photo taken by ME (which accounts for its fuzziness!), Birdhouse (remember them?), the Standells and some live Rocket From the Tombs snaps with lyrics that should cause your heart to be racing by now. Also included is the enticing article entitled "Is There No End To Those Pesky Chuck Eddy Rumors?" which, as we know, is still as relevant today as it was in April/May 1988 when this issue originally came out. Since this is a rarity, I'm asking $20.00 each, and no frowning! 

BLACK TO COMM #14-Early 1989. Featuring part one of the Ron Asheton interview, a nice though could be much better given all the information discovered since piece on the Deviants, an article on Peter Laughner's Cinderella Backstreet, the Seeds and Charlemagne Palestine. $12.00 and if that's too expensive just try getting hold of one on ebay at that price!

BLACK TO COMM #16-From summer 1989. This one has the Rudolph Grey interview, some reprints of various Peter Laughner things I copped out of old issues of ZEPPELIN and elsewhere, more Electric Eels lyrics complete with a pic that's been reprinted all to heck, Laughing Hyenas and of course tributes to the recently departed Lucille Ball and Jim Backus. The first, cruddy version can be had for $7.00, the other for $8.00 or maybe I'll just send you whatever I come up with first! 

BLACK TO COMM #17-Early '90. The first of the "big" issues has a cover story/interview with Scott Morgan and Gary Rasmussen from the old Scott Morgan band, also inside's an interview with Borbetomagus' Donald Miller as well as one with Maureen Tucker, not to mention pieces on Fish Karma (who I liked until hearing his overly-preachy kiss kiss moosh anti-gun song entitled "God Bless The NRA" which blew Fish's snot-nosed toss off attitude to sanctimonious heck), the Dogs (from Detroit, not the French ones or the Flamin' Groovies for that matter!), Rocket From the Tombs (with loads of old photos and the like, some never seen before or since!), the top 25 of heavy metal, METAL MACHINE MUSIC, a piece on the then-new proto-punk reissues and archival digs of the day and the usual reviews and news. $12.00. 

BLACK TO COMM #19-Just found a few of these niceties with my Miriam Linna interview plus one done with Jeff Clayton of Antiseen, not to mention the Pink Fairies, Czech Underground Rock (Plastic People of the Universe, Umela Hmota...), Lester Bangs (unpublished photos too!), NUGGETS, the Shangs, a history of proto/early punk fanzines, lotsa old TV stuff and of course the regular departments. This is the first ish to really dig into a lotta the anti-youth fascism mentality so popular in rock circles these days, so sissies beware!!! Since this is getting rare you can have one of these soon-to-be collector's items for $15.00 each if you can believe it! A real steal deal!!! 

BLACK TO COMM #20-Found a few of these featuring tasty articles on the Seeds, MX-80 Sound, Lenny Kaye, Richard Meltzer, the Bowery Boys DENIM DELINQUENT magazine and a smattering of praise regarding old television programs. Also featured are interviews  with Mick Farren, Roky Erickson, Adny Shernoff and Craig Moore (Gonn), $12          

BLACK TO COMM #21-From November '94. VON LMO cover story and interview grace this ish, as do interviews with Metal Mike Saunders, Brian McMahon (Electric Eels) and rockabilly star Ronnie Dawson, plus you can read much-desired items on the Trashmen, Velvet Underground and Hawkwind like I knew you would! Not to mention a piece on the infamous TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE fanzine! $10.00 

BLACK TO COMM #24- From spring 2001. This issue's cover feature's a nice interview with Doug Snyder of DAILY DANCE/Sick Dick and the Volkswagens fame, plus there are interviews with the Dogs (Detroit) and Greg Shaw, a piece on the old CAN'T BUY A THRILL fanzine and the usual feature-length reviews and the like. $12. 

BLACK TO COMM #25-The latest (December 2003), 162 pages brimming with such goodies as a New York City Scene history (featuring interviews with Max's Kansas City's Peter Crowley and Ruby Lynn Reyner from Ruby and the Rednecks plus pieces on coverboys the New York Dolls and VARIETY scene-booster Fred Kirby), an interview with J. D. King (Coachmen, comix) plus one with guitarist Lou Rone, who would probably be best known to you as leader of the early CBGB-era band Cross as well as one-time guitarist for both Kongress and VON LMO, the Screamin' Mee-Mees, CRETINOUS CONTENTIONS, Simply Saucer rare photos, family tree and gigography, rare fanzines of the Golden Age (and more), tons of book and record reviews (which make up the bulk of this ish!), plus a CD with live Simply Saucer 1975, the Coachmen, The Battleship, Ethel with David Nelson Byers and Ruby and the Rednecks. $15.00 

If you would like, I can slip in a Cee-Dee that came with the now dead and buried #22 for free with your order. Also, I am sorry to say that my previous offer to photocopy long-gone issues has been rescinded if only because the masters are so old they are deteriorating right before my very eyes. Well, ya shoulda bought 'em back when they were up and about, sweetheart!

Friday, February 17, 2023

I don't blame ya if ya don't read this. It's so obvious that I've run outta steam loooong ago and ain't been relevant to the whole concept/idea of rock fandom since what...1986 if not earlier. As if that every mattered since I've always been way outside the scope of what is "hip" and "cool" w/regards to this thing they call "under-the-underground" music, although, frankly considering some of the downright creeps who permeate this "scene" I think I'm all the better because of it. But that doesn't mean you have to read my rehashing of old musical forms that might have lit a few sparks way back when but are today about as meaningful to anyone's day-to-day existence as The Trojan Wars. Don't expect much, as if you ever did.

But for those of you who do actually follow my every word, syllable and punctuation mark while actually caring about my own personal comings and goings well, I have been keeping myself out of mischief mostly thanks to the miracle of internet. When the evening hits and it's time to kick off the ol' shoes, I find myself scouring the usual sociopolitical sites I oft head towards as well as catching a good portion of my video entertainment via youtube. Most of the time I end up watching a cooking demonstration (usually during my frequent hungerthons) or old tee-vee show that passes my fancy (see below!), or maybe some thirties-vintage comedy, the kind I've been blabbing about since the early-nineties at the very least. Seems that as of late there have been many new to me shorts popping up with an alarming frequency thanks to some film collector named Joseph Blough, a man who is generous enough to share his collection of rare Educational Films Exchange comedies with us.

Not so surprising (at least to me) is how my current tastes in cinema seem to be turning towards the American Mutoscope and Biograph films of the pre-D.W. Griffith era such as the quickie trick-photography ones like SHERLOCK HOLMES BAFFLED (1900, and I don't think any rights were applied or given) as well as other early one-minute comedies and dramas which really settle well with the ten-year-old doofus that still seems to reside in me. Y'see, when I was that age and the other kids were all agog over Peter Max, I was taking a big interest in the culture and overall how do you do's of the turn of the century and thus stuck out as an even bigger sore thumb amid my "peers" because of it!

Them Victorian Age feelings continue to live on even this late in my life considering how, right at this very moment, my favorite pre-World War I comic strip just has to be THE LOVE OF LULU AND LEANDER! Artist F. M. Howarth's finely detailed style might seem antiquated and perhaps even downright reactionary to today's not-so-discerning tastes, but I find it quite appealing especially in these times when it seems as if it takes only thirty seconds to crank out a daily (a wnole minute for a Sunday!). What especially draws me to this legendary strip is the detailed art with oversized heads and vivid eyes which lend much to the characters' oft aggravated facial expressions. Naturally the amusing storylines dealing with the courtship of Lulu Peachtree and her boyfriend Leander Lavender (!) help out plenty. 

Now these strips might not be downright belly-laugh material, but they're still quite pleasing in their own way as they reflect a part of the past that unfortunately has drifted away as if people actually do care about romance and courtship in the same way today as they did 115 years back.

Old fashioned and perhaps even hokey to a fault, but for a turd like me who was always interested in comic strip history I find LULU AND LEANDER a whole lot more life-reaffirming and a reflection of the tribulations and happiness that tru-blu love can bring. The affection (and jealousy) the pair have for each other as well as comedic tribulations that they often go through do seem to reflect, amid the occasional chaos their relationship would tumble into, an idea of love that I believe has left the planet and perhaps for good!  

If you don't think I'm on the lookout for a collection of these strips in book form (other'n an original 1906 edition which is probably crumbling beyond belief) you certainly must be out of your ever-lovin' gourd! Fortunately there are some strips available online which should hold my interest for awhile. Directly below I printed a few of the LULU AND LEANDER hidden image postcards that were out and about during the strip's run in which the revealing drawings completing the gag were made visible after the cards were heated up! I put these on the blog just because, well, I just thought you'd get a kick outta seein' 'em! Maybe not but I'll sure give it a try...

As far as other internet fun 'n jamz go, its no great shakes to you to know that I've been perusing the same old blogs that I've been reading for almost twenny years awlready. Naturally those blogs are fading away but still, tune in I must. Surprisingly enough, one of my current faves is a newly created one, none other than (now get this!) Jay Hinman's alleged attempt to steal my thunder, FANZINE HEMMORHAGE! Yes, the very same blog I accused Hinman of ripping off from ME (accusing him in a perhaps half-hearted way but still...) only a few posts back!!! 

In case you've been hiding under a turd you should know that this is the place where Hinman reviews them home-made publications of the past that have been cluttering up his collection for years on end, usually doing so in glowing if not nostalgic terms that might seem a tad alien to someone who's been outta the loop like myself! I espy it not only to see if Hinman (who I still think is a creep par excellence) is saying anything negative regarding me and my "stature" in the world of fandom (so far so good but that will change), but gosh darn if my own appreciation of the fanzine form doesn't have me reading on if only to find out more about a lotta these rags of the eighties I just dad blamed couldn't afford to pick up back in those penny-pinching days! Of course most if not all of them I wouldn't want to peruse (mainly because I'm not exactly inside Hinman's "clique" --- not that I'd want to be) but still...

The above FACT should be quite obvious to most of you, for the kind of music fanzines I go for (seventies-era neo-Meltzerian gonz) and his (eighties underground coma-inducing) are worlds apart as far as aesthetics and general snide attitude go. But read on I must given my near-Werthamian interest in the general fanzine form which is why I can't help but take a sneak peak at FANZINE HEMMORHAGE now and again! Perhaps I might learn something from it, but in the long run I sincerely doubt it.

Whatever you do, don't tell Jay that I'm a secret fan...who knows what nefarious trick he'll pull on me in order to get my oft-gotten goat!


I was way too old (and way too busy) for Saturday Morning Tee-Vee when those especially made for the kids sitcoms (LOST SAUCER, BIG JOHN LITTLE JOHN,,,) made their way to the mid-seventies television screens. However, I do recall seeing at least one episode of NBC's THE MONSTER SQUAD, prob'ly on some rainy Saturday morn when there were no chores to be done or any other way to occupy my spare time. Who knows, some of you may even remember this series (no relation to the 1987 moom pitcher of the same name) that featured a post-DEATH RACE 2000/pre-LOVE BOAT Fred Grandy leading a buncha wax museum monster figures brought to life in campy crime fighting adventures that pretty much mimicked the fantasy sitcoms of the sixties, only with an extremely limited budget. A cursory viewing lo these many years later has led me to believe that THE MONSTER SQUAD was aimed not only at the kiddos spilling Cap'n Crunch all over the carpet but the blurry-eyed boozers recovering from a long Friday night! 

After re-watching this particular episode featuring Marty Allen heading up a gang of thieves decked out in glitter regalia, it's more'n obvious that THE MONSTER SQUAD was way better'n some of the comedies that were popping up on the prime time schedule at just about the same nanosecond! Well, it made for way better viewing than a good portion of the offal of the day like THE SAN PEDRO BEACH BUMS as well as those totally dismal variety shows like the kind Cher and Tony Orlando hosted. The exact type of tee-vee which helped wean me off of a good portion of boob tube watching for good, or at least the new stuff! As the guy in the meme says, "prove me wrong!!!!"


Yeah yeah I know...enough with the personalism and on with the reviews! Paul McGarry (as usual) is to be credited with contributing all of the donations (God will reward him for this, although I do not know whether it will be in a good or bad way.) Anyway, read on, and tell me that I wasn't right about how I've been going through the same ol' motions for nigh on twennysome years awlready!

The Sons of Adam-SATURDAY'S SONS CD-r burn (originally on High Moon Records)

Yeah, this is the same group that not only once boasted the presence of future Blue Cheer guitarist Randy Holden in its ranks but recorded the then-unreleased Love number "Feathered Fish" which eventually wound up on the second volume of PEBBLES

A lack of liner notes has me more in the dark than had I fallen into the Black Hole of Calcutta, but I can tell you that the live from the Avalon set that opens this disque is chock full of that San Francisco ballroom feel that was oozing forth from that city shortly before it all fell into loveandpeacedrivel, Punk rock in the same fashion Nick Kent called the first Grateful Dead platter punk, but perhaps closer to the Dead '65 during their definitely punk "Confusion Prince" period than what would transpire in a few rotten years time

The studio tracks which follow show a softer and definitely influenced by the quieter side of the British Inversion sound, again coming close to the earlier San Fran style back when the inspiration was way more Peter and Gordon than the Dave Clark Five. By the time "Feathered Fish" rolls around the pulse rises and the sphincter tightens (the stomach sphincter mind you) and we're into that notion of what "West Coast" rock 'n roll was supposed to have meant to a good portion of us had the flakier elements not overcome the scene.

Following these Sons of Adam proper tracks are a series of cuts done during the group's earlier Fender IV days, surf instruments that sounds as if they came straight outta Downey California. Only from what I can tell these tracks were recorded while the bunch were still living on the East Coast with just goes to show ya that ideas and musical modes traveled a whole lot faster than what I would have thought in them pre-internet days!


Randy Holden-POPULATION III CD-r burn (originally on Riding Wasy Records)

(And speaking of  the Sons of Adam...) Frankly I didn't have much hope that Holden's follow-up to his mega-opus would be anywhere as hard-edged as the original, and although I really HATE to admit that I'm wrong well... If POPULATION III actually is a sequel to Holden's 1970 earbuster it's sure an unexpectedly wonderful one that surpasses if not equals the original what with that hard-edged seventies thud doom metal approach that seemed to have been washed outta the genre by the time the sissified eighties rolled in, if not earlier. I particularly liked the hypno-beat of  "Sands of Time" while "Land of Sun" has a rather powerful lurch to it that's gonna grow on you like that lump on the back of John Fetterman's neck! It's sure great knowin' that old turds like Holden can teach them young 'uns a thing or two! 

Iggy Pop-EVERY LOSER CD-r burn (originally on Atlantic/Gold Tooth Records)

I like (well, most of) Iggy's latest because it reminds me of something outta the early eighties that at least had a modicum of class. The Bowie influence rages on and the synths sound like they were lifted outta some new wave album right around the time the terms transformed into "gnu" wave (copyright 1983 Bill Shute). It still registers in me perhaps because, even with that Larry King voice and the technoslick production, the Ig of old shines just enough to bring back dem warm 'n fuzzy memories of the days when music seemed to be an extremely driving force in my genetics. If this is how Iggy's gonna go outta his career better be this way'n singin' duos with that thing from the B-52s. 


Robert Gordon with Link Wray-NYU LOEB AUDITORIUM, NEW YORK NY Dec 2, 1977 CD-r burn

Given all the negative commentary that has been bestowed upon Robert Gordon for quite a spell (and the rumors I've heard aren't exactly complimentary) I might feel quite uncomfortable writing about the man in positive terms! But eh, I find this live 'un to be a whole loads more entertaining 'n some of those stiffoids pretending to capture the glory of fifties rock 'n roll I've had the misfortune of hearing for a longer time 'n I can imagine. Gordon ain't any real talent mind you, but Link Wray could even make Wally Cox sound exciting! Bruce Springsteen guests on one track although Wray's natural magnetism overcomes any of the emote that "The Boss" might exude.

Popular Creeps-ALL THIS WILL END IN TEARS CD-r burn (orignally on Big Stir Records)

Ya know I tend to shy away from these modern "power pop" efforts given how I believe it to my soul that the idea of ANY seventies modes being performed in the twenties is rather --- shall we say --- a bit too retro for my sense of listening. I won't be shying away from Popular Creeps tho, or at least this particular platter which thankfully displays a gutsier take on the retro-mop top trends of the past. Now I'll admit that portions of ALL THIS WILL END IN TEARS might ooze shards of post-sixties over-professionalism that marred a number of efforts from the Shoes on down, but despite that it holds up a whole lot better (and smoother) than some of the more sweety pie p.p. efforts I've heard o'er the years. Nothin' creepy about these guys that's for sure! 


Hey, why should I (like other fanzine publishers of the past) put my entire run on line for free especially when I have so many of 'em I need to move outta my basement! BLACK TO COMM  is not quite ready for the digital age, but until it is why not buy a few (or more) available back issues (click highlight above) and who knows, maybe if I sell 'em all out you'll be paying to see it online some day (like I'm gonna give it away for free!).

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Well whaddaya know, a heapin' hunkerin' big BLOG TO COMM post, and so soon at that! Fortunately enough for you I had the time, wherewithal and patience to crank this one out and like, you need to read this as opposed to that, I s'pose. Given how my eyesight seems to be failing even more than it should I sure as shootin' wish I could read and edit this as clearly as I could have even a year ago, and believe-it-or-not but I haven't even done "that thing" in years...
I had a painfully long, drawn out and exceedingly snide explanation pertaining to the remarks I made re. Jay Hinman just last week but deleted it in favor of a briefer and hopefully more to-the-point dissertation. That is, one hopefully more to the point until I at least start embellishing on it. The first draft was just too windbaggy, perhaps overly caustic in spots and well, we wouldn't want to see any of that on this blog now, would we? So I did what I thought was best and 86'd the original and whipped up a neater, shorter and hopefully more to-the-point meltdown for all of you more brainfogged types out there in blogland to comprehend. That is, until I start adding to it until it's bigger than the Dogpatch Ham which I am wont to do!

First off, in reality I do not wish, hope or pray that any harm will befall either Jay's wife or his brood even though I believe the former made a bad choice in picking a mate and from what I can tell you can't choose your parents (though I hope Jay's genes didn't affect 'em too much). And, believe it or not, I don't wish any bad voodoo on Jay himself even though I'm more than certain, despite his mea culpas in the previous comments section, the man'd just love to wish a whole load of ill upon me given his past actions! (Frankly, I don't recall any apologies from Jay regarding his effective tear down which separated me from a lot of "friends" and cost me some outlets to peddle my fanzine --- perhaps it was not "sackcloth and ashes" enough to register in my mind.)  You probably wouldn't think so but really, I am not the type of guy, even though for all intent purposes I SHOULD be, who really deep down inside wants my enemies smitten in the cruelest and most Elizabethan ways possible. But eh, I can sure fantasize about it, can't I? 

All kidding aside, given the way the likes of Jay et. al. have used a slew of half-truths, innuendos and downright fabrications against me (and rather effectively at that) why shouldn't I use the same sort of crude and callous remarks against him and his loved ones? And considering Hinman's reactions to my post all I gotta say is, people think I can dish it out but can't take it???

But you really have nothing to worry about because after what you have written about me hardly anyone even goes NEAR me let alone this site!

Is this the face of a truly
contrite soul, or a deceiving
cad out to make more
80s rock fandom brownie points
by luring me into a deadly
trap? As usual, your opinions
COUNT!!!!! (yeah right!)

OK, so maybe Jay's new FANZINE HEMMORHAGE blog isn't a not-so-direct rip-off of my various posts extolling the glories of rock fandom past. After all, in his blog's statement of purpose he seems to credit a load of people for the inspiration --- everyone but me that is! I'd be lying if I said that didn't think the man's givin' me the ol' jagoff because after all, Jay has been more than willing to make veiled negative comments and snide digs about me in his own magazine (or he allowed his lackeys to do so) despite his (suspicious) mea culpa. At this point in time I AIN'T TRUSTIN' NO ONE!!!!! Eh, why should I kid myself because the guy wouldn't even go NEAR my lowly blog in a million years, probably afraid he'll catch my cooties 'r sumpthin'!

Maybe I am over-reacting, maybe it is projection, but so what! Eh, all of this blog back 'n forth is just kid stuff anyway, although in many ways I gotta admit that I sure do miss them old days of one-upmanship and backstabbing even if it seems that all of the people who excelled in it way back when have gone the kumbaya route to total peace and love through excessive violence duncitude. Except me, thankfully.

It was all a joke, a sick one at that but just one of my attempts to stir up a wasp's nest that I thought needed stirring up. And Jay, if you really do want forgiveness (I have my doubts) well, OK. But that doesn't mean I have to forget. Or even like you for that matter, though I do get the feeling (believe it or not!) that some day, some time, we definitely will be compatico with each other and perhaps in a gosh darn buddy-buddy sorta way at that. And that's not something I would ever say or think about Dave Lang, a subsputum example I hope will do some self-termination soon. Or all of the other former buddies who sure didn't miss a chance to pile on me back when Jay wrote his initial teardown.  But until then sheesh, if you can have your fun at my expense I believe that I should be able to have some at yours!

'n I guess if there's no hard feelings on yer part, howzbout a real doozy and positive (of course!) review of one of my old mags, eh? Do me right for once in my life!!! Boy am I askin' for trouble!
After all that bound to win me the Blog of the Year award screeding howzbout I skip any other personal comments about life and what I've been doing and thinking this past week (not much really since the politico/socio geiger counter just hasn't been clickin' away as rapidly as it should) and head on out into RECORD REVIEW TERRITORY!!!! Starting off with a mega-humongous gang-bang writeup of (now get this!) the entire BACK FROM THE GRAVE series, and as it appears in the digital age t'boot. Now, that's something that we all know is sure worthy of mention here at the BTC blog considerin' just how much these platters have made an indent on a whole slew of not only you readers, but myself natch! After that there are a few dibdabs regarding some other albums that I assume would be worthy of your precious kopeks, so tighten up your bladders because there's gonna be some mighty fine readin' (hah!) straight ahead and you just won't want to tear away from your screens for a well-deserved piss break!


Lookin' back o'er the years I gotta say that there were quite a few of these sixties-era garage band samplers that really made my existence a better one to revel in amidst a world of turmoil and constipation. The PEBBLES series, or at least the first ten volumes (the rest being of intermittent high energy squalls) certainly rate as all-time collectibles featuring the whole gist and movement of a rather short yet potent time in rock 'n roll history, while the entire BOULDERS collection remains close to my heart if only because of the low-fidelity placed not only on the actual recordings and pressings but the beautifully simplistic covers. I'll confess that the various other garage band series and one-offs out there really don't jibe with me as much as these classics did, either because they seemed to mix too much clarity and quality in with the teenage trash or were just way too expensive for a guy like myself who was putting out a crudzine on far less than what some would call a shoestring budget. 

But as far as the only real sixties garage band "punk" series that not only could hold their own with PEBBLES and BOULDERS but in many ways supersede 'em, BACK FROM THE GRAVE has alla the competition beat hands down. Sheesh, all I gotta say is that an eighties without BACK FROM THE GRAVE woulda been akin to a seventies without a UHF television station and a bottle of pop to watch alla my favorites reruns with!

The entire series (or at least most of it with some interchangeable inclusions I understand) is now available on Cee-Dee and well, I just hadda dish out the hard-begged in order to add these particular pleasantries to my collection. If you do feel that the following is a lame excuse to pay tribute to a classic set of platters done up in a rather pale fanboy-ish fashion well pod'ner, once again you'd be right on the money it took to buy alla these disques.


Shee-yucks but does this one take me back to October 1983, a time when I was in one of my even danker 'n usual lifemodes waitin' in line at the local post office so's I could buy a money order to purchase this very first, and as they said at the time "limited edition" volume! Mind you there were many of these garage band compilations up and about at the time although like I said most were exceedingly expensive especially for a fanabla like me who was working a minimum wage job tryin' to keep sane given everything happening around me. Needless to say when the package finally arrived and BACK FROM THE GRAVE VOLUME ONE got plopped on the turntable things did come off rather pleasing even if life for the most part was rather dismalsville.

This Cee-Dee pairing of the first two volumes of this series (sorry but I don't have any particularly strong memories of obtaining the second 'un) does remind me of all of the action and energy that just wasn't being presented in a good portion of the rock music that had been produced since those days of youth and innocence (right!). Yeah that "new" track done up by the Lyres (a cover of the Sonics' "chestnut' "The Witch") was left off for some perhaps not-so-strange reason, but the hefties are here from Michigan's Ju Jus who had that singer who does not sound like David Surkamp to the famed Cle garage banders the Alarm Clocks who probably got the entire seventies local undergrund scene rollin' if yuo want to stretch things a bit! Two Rats appear, the Rats proper with both sides of their wondrous doof classic "Rat's Revenge" and thee Swamp Rats doin' the Sonics long before that group became the toast of the under-the-underground garage band crowd thanks to Mark Shipper. Yeah I woulda preferred Larry and the Blue Notes' "Night of the Sadist" 'stead of the bowdlerized "Phantom" overdubber, but I think that might be on another 'un-a-these.

The second BACK FROM THE GRAVE picks up on the first's "vibes" with not only even more killer tuneage but a cover pick that features Chuck Eddy being roasted on a spit. That'll give ya a good approximation of what's inside of here (even tho Eddy did give one of these volumes a good rave, perhaps in atonement for past rock critic faux pissoffs of which there were many). Too much to talk about on this 'un but I'm sure glad that this 'un includes the Ralph Nielsen and the Chancellors' "Scream" (the Crypt EP of which I reviewed a few months back), the Hysterics trying to steal Sky Saxon's thunder with "Won't Get Far" (a BOULDERS fave from way back when), the Mods reverbing "Satisfaction" their way and (best of all) this totally unknown to mankind band doin' a really heavy version of the ol' whatchamcallit "Little By Little" on one of those Film Board of Canada moom pitchers they usedta make ya watch in school! Funny but I don't remember seeing that 'un unless there was a wild moose in it 'r sumpin'!

First beef... the sound quality is TOP NOTCH unlike those worn, crackly discs that were used on the original platters. Sheesh, I was hoping that once again I could turn my cheap bedroom boom box into the modern day equivalent of some teenbo gal's portable player circa. 1963! Second beef...lotsa stuff that should be here is missing, like the Novas' wrestling homage "The Crusher" and the Unrelated Segments' "Cry Cry Cry" along with a few others  whose monikers just don't come to what's left of my mind right now.Yeah I know that in the good ol'  meanwhile those missing toons have been reissued on other platters but I like AUTHENTICITY with these reissues, not latterday revisionism!


Another nice pair o' screamers complete with those offensive covers that shoulda set off a whole load of VILLAGE VOICE freak types but didn't because back then a whole bunch of 'em were clued in on the har-de-har-har game. Thankfully even the New York snoot types could get off on these accurate if tasteless portrayals of music done up by kids you thought woulda been held in detention for life! 

But when it comes to the music to  be found inside's still everything that the likes of Robert Christgau and a whole buncha them Big City rock crit types (who are either planted six-feet-under or have lost their cushy newspaper jobs ages back) just loathe to smithereens, Then again, how can ya argue with a 70+-year-old Alzheimer's victim who thinks that the best thing ever to happen to  rock 'n roll was the cowbell?

Plenty of hot stuff here, from one of a millyun Nomads doin' "Be Nice" to the Tamrons' "Wild Man" and the Fabs (who I thought were Texans but weren't exactly, the neat-o book with updated liner notes and plenny of photos will fill ya in on it all!) doin' "Dinah Wants Religion"! Other top notch faves include the Vectors' "What In The World" which was written and performed by future Shadows of Knight guitarist Joe Kelley to the infamous Bunker Hill with Link Wray and the Wraymen's "The Girl Can't Dance"! Yeah, this '62 screecher just might be a li'l bit outta the mid-sixties teenage garage band realm but if Dr. Feelgood and the Interns' pre-Beatles "Mister Moonlight" coulda made the next-to-final cut for inclusion on the original NUGGETS then why not this bonafeed howler passing as plain' ol' unadulterated music?


More mid sixties anti-malarky here featuring alla those groups whose members I'm sure you sneered at way back when inna cafeteria line. There are a few definite classics here (such as the Keggs' "To Find Out" and it's not-so-boss but still superfine flip) to contend with, and if any of you think that these groups are gonna be wafting over into late sixties psychedelia well, wrong again chummo!


This might just be the one that busted a whole lotta previous records for DOWNRIGHT ADDLED AND STOOPIDLY BEAUTIFUL MID-SIXTIES LOCALLY PRODUCED ROCK PRIMITIVISM!    True #7 covers a lotta area where many reissues have gone before (the Bugs, the Mustangs, and a pre-fame Alice Cooper) but what an area it was so-to-speak. The high energy quotient of this package could even make KICK OUT THE JAMS sound like third-grade flute-o-phone music class what with the likes of the Gentrys (an' not the ones of "Keep On Dancin'" fame) doin' the appropriately named "Wild" or this Deep South act called the Snails (complete with a lead singer who sounds somewhat like Bruce Hampton) throwin' a party complete with calls for hamburgers right inna middle of their recordin' session! Some of those later-on PEBBLES and HIGHS IN THE MID-SIXTIES do come off kinda pale next to this particularly potent pounder, and for all of these years I thought that was because alla the good 'un's were taken! Oh how wrong I was!!!


Starts off pretty screamin' with some outright wailers courtesy bands with such names as the Groop and the Benders, the latter who got the hard-edged Iggy yelp down pretty snat which wasn't anything outta place when it came to the mid-sixties spirit of knotty pine basement suburban slob aesthetics. The Bojax's heavy duty "Like a Rolling Stone" meets "All Day and All of the Night" "Go Alone" rises above the ranch house snarl like a particularly purple pimple on a sea of blackheads splattered across your teenbo cheeks and really, there are so many tracks here which represent the true spirit of mid-sixties teenbo USA that it's hard to specify which one is better than the other because it all comes off so rough...

But (at least in my who cares opinion) the best of the batch is the Dave Myers and the Disciples track "Come On Baby" which to my tin ears sounds more late-sixties psychedelic garage but was recorded smack dab in the definitely teenbo culture year os 1965! That should make this cut a proto something of worth which'll surprise a few considerin' Myers prestige as a surf guitarist of the tippy-toppest order. The Painted Ship's "I Told All Those Little White Lies" is the same one that Greg Prevost belted on the first Chesterfield Kings album and I don't think he'd wanna kill me for saying that the original tops the re-do. But who knows --- this offhand remark just might get him to tear a big mad on against me! I mean, things like that have happened before (see above).


This final entry in the Cee-Dee series captures the last two vinyl efforts in one nice splat and like, for a series closer it's sure a swell way to make an exit! Lotsa slob gems to be found, like the tambourine-drenched "Tamborine" (sick!) by the Why Nots who prove that you can use a tambourine as a lead instrument, to the Classics' "I'm Hurtin'" which was definitely sung by the five-foot-five kid who used to get real nervous in the boys' gang shower after gym class. Personal pick of the volume's an acetate of the Gentlemen's "It's a Cryin' Shame" which you might remember from PEBBLES VOL. 5 only here it is in an even more feral form!

Special kudos to the Donshires who really knew how to use the ol' repeato-roff mode to the Fours' "69" which was recorded in '66 so I assume they were rather anxious about things happening three years later, like high school graduation or something along those lines. And it all ends with that legendary whacked out version of "The Witch" by GMC and the Arcells which'll get you either really PO'd or rollin' on the floor laughing your bean off, your choice.

And that's all there is folk, and here's hoping that more'll make their way out to the populace faster than yo can say "Knoll Allen and the Noble Savages"! (ewwwww...)
OK, now for the regular portion of our program for today...

Human Adult Band-SLOG QUEST CROSSTIME LP (Feeding Tube Records)

If I were the type of person to apologize, I'd tell the folk at Feeding Tube that I am sorry to have waited so long to review this. Since I've given up on apologies (apologies are a sign of weakness as Duke Wayne said and besides, I figure there are a lotta weaklings out there who should line up to apologize to me), well I won't. 

But hey, these Human Adult guys are pretty interesting. A lo-fi bunch who've released a slew of sound o'er the years, on this Feeding Tube debut they rage from noise blare to hard rock to garage band here to and fro with that sorta creepy feeling you only seem to get from Feeding Tube. Gotta admit that some of this dragged on quite a bit but that's OK considering the general scrunginess of it all. If you're on the lookout for some atonal yet still rockist soundscapading well the search is up!
Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society-MONTREAUX 1985 CD-r burn

The mere word "Montreaux" can conjure up images  of quite a few state-of-the-sad-state-of-jazz acts that have graced that fest's stage, but then again there have been many good live efforts from the kinda new thing groups we like that've emanated from that stage. And the Decoding Society are but just one of 'em.

Jackson and his Society already had a buncha LPs out and a pretty decent reputation in the under-the-underground jazz community when they popped up at the 'fest, and by the time this '85 gig was recorded a lotta the roughness that could be heard on the earlier releases seems to have been ironed out of the sound. It might sound somewhat slick in spots to a few of you readers, but I find this particular gig something that should settle well with those who have been fans and followers of the punk funk genre ever since the very late-seventies, if not before. Go ahead, watch it on youtube and burn yourself a copy to play while beating the kids.

Magic Tuber Stringband-TARANTISM LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Mighty sweet downhome folk here with a bizarre avant twist that might remind you of something John Fahey would've cooked up had he hung around with the Red Krayola a little more. Classic finger-pickin' and fiddlin' folk instrumentation flows and weaves like something you thought you've experienced before but you just wonder where, coming off so fine in that real Amerigana fashion that comes off more rustic than anything the Grateful Dead ever attempted.  If you're bigtime on things llike that well, it's your choice.


Saphron-RED AMBER LP (Feeding Tube/Shagrat Records)

Whew! Judging from the name of this act I thought I was gonna be in store for a bunch of lesbians singin' 'bout lappin' lilies and munchin' menses! Turns out that these recordings (discovered by the essential Nigel Cross) were actually made by a group of innocent early-seventies London schoolgals who were into the folk and singer/songwriter realm of the day. And despite what you might think they pulled it all off with total smoothness recording these acoustic folky tracks that'll please yuo even if you ain't exactly the kinda guy who'd go for some Cat Stevens-lovin' hippoid wannabe. Don't kid yourself, these Saphrons perform a music that's got a strong and nervy backbone to it, quite pleasant without being all joss stick. And believe it or not but this even ends with a cover of "Moonchild" from IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING!


SPECIAL NOTE TO MISTERS FORWARD AND OBERLIN---Sorry but I still haven't received anything from youse in the mail as of yet! 


DOWN TO THE WIRE LAST MINUTE MENTION!-Humungous big huzzahs go to Mr, Vance Vilandre from Johnson City, Tennessee who (now get this!!) sent me that Ed Ward (and not Greg Shaw as I have read elsewhere!) fanzine article from a 1970 ish of ROLLING STONE, the exact same one that I had requested just last week! Way to go noble reader but sheesh, I only wanted the article and not the entire dad blamed magazine --- I hope nobody sees me reading this thinking I'm a Leon Russell fan! Just kidding Mr. V and thanks, pal!

Winter's here, so why not buy some of these back issues of BLACK TO COMM to store in your hut during the remainder of these cold months? Yeah you might not wanna read 'em, but just think of how warm they'll keep you when you stick a few of 'em in the pot bellied stove! You'll probably think they''ll be put to their best usage that way, and in some snarky way so do I!