Wednesday, April 21, 2021

UGLY THINGS #56 

Oh man, it sure feels FANTASTICO writing a mid-week non-aural media review that doesn't have anything to do with cartoons! What a refreshing change from the rut I have fallen into reading-wise, and with the arrival of the latest UGLY THINGS all I can say is that my cravings for that high-energy hardboiled rock 'n roll writing that is in such short supply these days has been sated, at least until the next issue's arrival hopefully in another four or so months.

One of the cover story's on the old READY STEADY GO! series that ran o'er there in England. Sheesh, this 'un reminds me of alla the rock 'n roll tee-vee that we coulda seen over here only some doofus inna industry didn't think straight enough to import such wowzers for an audience that certainly was begging for even more rock 'n roll tee-vee. For years I wondered why PBS wouldn't run things like THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST (which woulda suited their Saturday evening schedule a whole lot better'n WASHINGTON WEEK IN REVIEW that's for sure!) or the MARC show which mighta given the pre-prime time filler hours a boost inna ratings. But noooo ---when it came to English imported rock programming all we got was that hokum LET'S ROCK with Lulu pretending she's still a teenbo re-doing the old standbys for an audience that probably thought the Osmonds were a tad too wild what with that "Crazy Horses" heavy metal blast 'n all.

The majority of pieces were certainly up to UGLY THINGS standards what with the un's on the Shaynes, Genie Greer and of course part two of the Bun E. Carlos interview which I think was UGLY THINGS-worthy enough to appear in these pages even though some may disagree him being too seventies bigtime 'n all. I might agree with the few who think that the ongoing Gabor Szabo coverage is somewhat outta the mag's scope but frankly, uh, I never did care for the guy who certainly is not up there in the higher echelon reaches of a Sonny Sharrock or Rudolph Grey for that matter. But eh, it ain't my mag 'n people used to complain about alla that old tee-vee coverage in mine so wha' th' hey...

Woody's Truck Stop was a good UT choice since I consider their album up there in the "nugget if you dug it" category worthy of a load of seventies flea market discards of an era most rock snobs wanted to forget before it became "fashionable" for them to be listening to it all again. Tho as far as Komintern goes well...for years I have wondered what their album had sounded like and given how much I go for the whole French under-the-underground rock of a Mahogany Brain and Dagon vein I thought this piece would have me rushing to the internet to snatch a copy up! Turns out that although the article was well-researched and written giving us the kinda information one would need in order to discern the pros and cons of snatching the thing up I decided to pass. They sound way too progressive rock to sully up my rather horse-blindered listening parameters and yeah, I've been burned by such wild purchases many a time to know better by now.

For me the highlight of the issue was the article/interview with Jonathan Richman regarding Lou Reed's guitar gear, especially the infamous Gretsch Country Gentleman which was adapted into a totally different sorta monster that could be described either as a home-made version of the Vox Guitar Organ or a prototype guitar synthesizer. That's the wafting sound you hear on "Sweet Sister Ray" and when that axe got swiped at a Velvet Underground show you could surmise that some of the mysticism surround the VU swerve certainly got lost with it. Richman's description of the guitar might come off a little too technical for some but I found it all amazing...too bad Gretsch themselves doesn't market the exact same guitar for a generation of players who could stand a break from those weird angular things that have dominated music for a longer time than I can imagine.

As far as the reviews and such go well, as far as I'm concerned this magazine features the BEST writers that are dabbling about in the realm of rockscreeding though I will not mention anyone by name this time lest all of the glory go to their head. However as far as me wanting to part with any precious and rare shiny stuff or green pieces of paper in exchange for actual recorded or printed ware well...the only thing that catches my eyes at this time is the Terry Stamp of Third World War fame double LP of solo recordings which does seem somewhat up my rather expansive alley. But hey, with the price of pork rinds rising as we speak I might have to pass even on that promising effort! Drat!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Another shorter than my --- attention span --- post this week. Blame it not only on the massive quantity of lethargy that has hit the BLOG TO COMM orifice as of late but the dearth of platters that can really drive a man, particularly this man's, soul to heights of inspiration, spiritual reawakening and other long-lost hippie jargon. Couple with alla that the fact that the INSP network is now running the classic cowboy series CHEYENNE Monday through Thursday at six inna evening extending my tee-vee viewing hours by an additional sixty minutes! 'n it's a great show too done up in that boffo late-fifties/early-sixties Warner Brothers style that added a certain down-home class to the cathode connection whether it be via one of those cookie cutter detective series like 77 SUNSET STRIP or the many westerns that WB cranked out for ABC during those sainted years of boob tube examination. Maybe INSP will get the idea from the obvious success these reruns will ensure and slap some more of those old Warners westerns into their schedule, most notably the great SUGARFOOT with future Dagwood Will Hutchins. That one was the proverbial wowzer as you woulda knowed by reading my western series roundup a good four-plus years back.

Thank yew tew Paul McGarry, Bob Forward, Bill Shute and NOBODY ELSE for this week's contributions to the revolution. And thank ME for writing my opinions regarding these sonic efforts up and presenting them to you, the reader (I assume), who certainly needs to get the straight turds regarding what or what not to listen to here int hese rather tring anti-musical times.


The Art Ensemble of Chicago-THE SPIRITUAL CD-r burn (originally on Polydor/Freedom Records, France)

Paul McGarry shoulda been smart enough t'know that this particular platter woulda not only have been snuggling up in my collection for quite some time (not only as part of THE PARIS SESSIONS twofa but on its lonesome via an early-nineties Black Lion issue) but it looks like he ain't because well...he went and burnt a copy of the recent Polydor/Freedom exhumation of it for me which only goes to prove the guy AIN'T PAYIN' ATTENTION!!!! Oh well, since when have """""I""""" been an attention-payer anyway but  whadevva, at least McGarry's burn gave me an excuse to listen to this top notch sesh one more time. Sounds crisper than the previous issues if that matters, and the cover is great in that old Freedom fashion that really drew my eyes to those new jazz things inna first place. An original vinyl copy of the double set might be cheaper, but if you're of the spendthrift persuasion I wouldn't blame ya for splurgin' on this 'un.

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Knox Mitchell-UPDATE AT FOUR CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)

The second Mitchell effort on Walls Flowing, or at least the second one that I know of. Like the other one reviewed last year UPDATE AT FOUR is made up of mangipulated sounds taken from various sources (mostly radio) twisted and turned with results that make you wonder whether Mitchell is making a commentary on moderne-day consumerisms or the banality of everyday living. If I were an artist I would have entitled this "Man's Inhumanity To Man" or better yet "Man's Inhumanity to Ears"...strong stuff if ya want it. Actually the various tape loops are quite invigorating. 

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Deniz Tek and the Golden Breed-GLASS EYED WORLD CD-r burn (originally on Career Records)

There have been so many of these Deniz Tek and related platters that have come out o'er the years that it would take about a dozen me's to keep up with alla them. This '03 effort totally slipped by me (well, it ain't like I was paying attention) and as you'd expect I gotta say it was a rather good affair as far as cranking out those Detroit jamz goes. Nothing that different from those earlier Alive efforts with a strong heavy Sonic's Rendezvous riff throughout. Contains an interesting cover of Roky's "Bermuda", though I was actually hoping that elpee closer "Calendar Girl" woulda been a rousing version of the Neil Sedaka hit 'stead of the original it turned out to be!

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Nikki Sudden-BIBLE BELT CD-r burn (originally on Secretly Canadian Records)

I never did have the time, moolah or energy to seek out a good portion of the records I would have loved to have seeked out during the Golden Age of trash rock aesthetics of the seventies/eighties. And while I'm at it, I never did have that all-important clout to cull them freebee records like I sure wish I coulda. Wanks like Jay Hinman think I'm a total wuss the way I would half-heartedly joke about the lack of much-needed freebees but man, when yer putting a mag together and can't afford the raw material to review for it things can sometimes get frustrating somewhere in the nervous system, and at times I will admit that yeah, it did get to me and at times got to me rather hard, tortured and misunderstood genius that I am.

I never was able to follow up on the various post-Swell Maps spinoffs that were buzzing about inna eighties, Nikki Sudden included. Not that I think any of these post-Maps platters would have really been to my liking,  but as usual the curiosity of just what those freaked out blokes were up to in an era that was definitely void of the grimy underside of sixties/seventies underground music was gnawin' at  me like that stolen fox at the Spartan boy's guts and a good fortysome years after it all went down I finally get to hear this oft-heralded effort that sure sounded like a reliable effort if alla those cut 'n paste reviews were to be trusted.

Unfortunately BIBLE BELT comes so pristine that little of the sixties trash aesthetics that had the smarter scribes dropping the Velvets/Red Krayola/Shadows of Knight comparisons pops into the mix. Fortunately some of the classic Swell Maps bedroom rock idealizing shows up in between the slicker, professional and dare-I-say well-crafted pop rock that we all hadda put up with, but at least it was way better'n putting up with that caramelized puff rock that was inundating the airwaves at the time. Elements of various well-respected rockers from Johnny Thunders to Peter Perrett can be detected making this way more delicious that some of the fey attempts are sixties-derived big beat sounds that have transpired as of the past few eons.

Not bad, but not quite my cup of pee given the overall high quality that those old Swell Maps records most certainly did not exude. That oft-scorned rawness is why the home recordings that made up those early sides and a good portion of the WHATEVER HAPPENS NEXT collection were so appealing to me in the first place and probably the reason why many of you had so much high hopes for that band. Serious fans of the English pop underground before it fell into that well of twee should go for this fine enough, but although I'll rate this high I doubt I'll be spinning BIBLE BELT any time again soon.

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Various Artists-FUNKY NOWHERE JELLYBREAD JERK     CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill Shute sure has a sickoid sense of hummus that I envy in a man. After all, here he puts a whole load of funky soul rarities on this effort only to stick some nice cornballity into the mix with Jim Lowe of Electric Prunes fame's epochal "Michael J. Pollard For President" single which was probably put on the kibosh after Bobby Kennedy's chest-invasion followed by Wayne Newton during his post-puberty aw-shucksness days when he tried to make up for years of cuteness with an over-the-top masculine image that just didn't seem right. The seventies Cle-pop from Bobby Sull was a good enough surprise for those of you who still think highly of the Babys. Other goodzies here too from ol'schnozolla himself Jimmy Durante to Booker T and even more local soul! Sorta like the soundtrack to a party in your fart-encrusted bedroom without the stale doritos! 

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Just a cheerful reminder that back issues of BLACK TO COMM are still available and that future reminders might not be so cheery. Cuh-monh, I've been running these post-closing mentions for about three years now and hardly any of ya respond --- OK, if ya wanna be a typical aging rock snob awash in the post-crunch eighties musical mindset go ahead, but if you're in the market for something a little bit crunchier...

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! HOW TO DRAW AND SELL CARTOONS BY DAVE BREGER (Putnam, 1966)!

When I was but a mere adlo pubesprout I would take this 'un outta the local library, not necessarily to study the whys wherefores and whatnots of cartooning (like with music, studying about it really took the fun outta the enjoyment) but to read alla the cool comics that popped up in this neato effort written and produced by Dave Breger. Yeah, he's the same guy who did that World War II-era panel PRIVATE BREGER (sort of a second string Sad Sack) and later on MR. BREGER, a neat li'l hits-ya-straight gag comic akin to the should be infamous MR. TWEEDY that ran until Breger's demise sometime in the early-seventies.

I get the idea that HOW TO DRAW AND SELL CARTOONS was a pretty popular book with the budding cartoonists of a warped mentality, for the library copy I relied on was hacked to shreds and desecrated with the usual kiddie crudities and booger stains that seem to befall such cartoon oriented tomes as the Syd Hoff variation on the same theme, the 1971 BATMAN and SUPERMAN anthologies, and of course Les Daniels' COMIX. Because of this I never did get a good chance to really soak myself into this one, and if I did then maybe RATS REAGAN and FEEBLE FABLES would be just as much comic strip staples as alla those other cartoons people seem to read even this late in the game even if they tend to be about as funny as watching a thalidomide baby trying to wipe himself.

Got this old worn out copy for purely nostalgic purposes tho, again not necessarily to know the ins and outs of drawing and selling cartoons but for the various comics presented, perennially stuck in adolescence as I am. 'n you know what? I had forgotten just how good a comic MR. BREGER was, a snappy panel that cut out the gristle and, like NANCY, gave you the gag simply and direct without any extraneous message or convolution that one comes across in way too many modern offerings. 

Maybe it's because the bulk of these comics originated in the early sixties (primo suburban slob living days) that they resonate with me such as they do, but it's sure great seeing a seemingly simplistic drawing portray a humorous situation that, with the aid of a caption, makes me wanna crack up to no end. Unlike anything that is passing for humor or comedy these days which seems like nothing but a political tract being ranted by some maladjusted twat with big daddy problems and tattoos that are gonna look horrid once they fade out on her sagging fleshed out arms.

Serious cartoonists will undoubtedly find much of worth in these pages especially when it comes to things like shadow, pen tips, benday and dimensions but fleabrained fanablas like myself will obviously find it great seeing not only some of those old cartoons but a pile of information that's mostly outdated and show just how far we've changed (mostly for the worse but for the better when applicable) since the mid-sixties. I got a particularly strong charge outta the section on various taboos and the things that were just not permissible in cartoons during them days! After seeing the list it's obvious that NATIONAL LAMPOON got hold of this book and decided to break each and every one of the no-nos, and do it as tastelessly as possible!

Good text and a great way to read them old MR. BREGER comics that deserve the royal treatment in the here and now. And who knows how many successful cartoonists out there followed the advice given and made it big inna funny pages anyway! In fact, I kinda wonder who the previous owner of this book, a Mr. John Howard of San Bernardino California fared in the world of illustration. This book is filled with tons of his artwork, some he merely penciled in while others are professionally inked, and although I don't think the guy was of the caliber that woulda gotten him any big time deals (at least judging from these earlier efforts, he might gotten better!) but if ya really want my opinion he woulda been pretty good on the fanzine circuit. Sheesh, if Howard did indeed hit the big time I'll bet my book would be worth kabillions of bucks and I could comfortably retire after this gets put on the auction block at Bonhams! Oh pleeze, somebody out there tell me I got a verifiable goldmine on my hands now willya???

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Now that spring has sprung all over the place and the prospect of a good seven months of grass cuttin' and other outside activities has reared its ugly head, let's just say well, now I have a good excuse for not givin' ya the kinda It's All Meat no filler added posts you expect from such a high quality blog as this. Actually it ain't like I've been spending a good portion of my time doin' alla that tedious yardwork but sheesh, can't a guy just sit around and immerse himself in the finer things in life like music and old battered rock mags without worrying about such extracurricular activity as curb trimmin'????

It ain't like I've been doin' the ol' household doodies the entire week. Naw, in fact I've been putting the pittance once known as my free time to good use spinning some of my fave disques 'n such! In fact, my current fave rave just has to he the Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe effort reviewed a few weeks back, a platter that has really overtaken my rock 'n roll spirit and memories of what the future of rock was supposed to be way back when to the point of no return. It's really a crime that these totally high-energy guys got ignored by the rockist powers that be in favor of the usually dull puke that passes for wild and uninhibited sounds these days. Gee, did anyone out there document this group;s innermost thoughts like they usedta do in them gal teen magazines??? SOMEONE shoulda!

Credits for this week's freebee train go to Bob Forward, Paul McGarry 'n Bill Shute. Addresses will be provided upon request (boy, will that get 'em all head-scratchin' as to the implications o'er that particular aside!).



 The Fundamentalists-INDUSTRIAL SWEETHEART CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)


This is s'posed to be a reish of an earlier cassette that I probably know nada about but am too lazy to find out whether or not I did hear this during some previous incarnation in my life. oh well, it does follow on the same path as those other fundamentalist efforts, with loads of sound both electronic and found mixed up in a way that you thought nobody but Schlitzie could conjure up. I'm sure that Bob, if he puts his mind to it, can think of some way of milking the National endowment For The Arts outta thousands with these bard-knocked sounds. The ghost of William Proxmire must be puking at the mere thought...

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Satan's Pilgrims-SATAN'S PILGRIMS/PSYCHSPLIOTATION CD-r burn (originally on Musick Recordings and Raucous Records respectively)

I kinda thunk that these Satan's Pilgrims guys woulda been some occult rockers heavily into that whole doom 'n death subgenre but they sure as Sam smells ain't! This group is strictly into the Golden Age of sixties instrumental rock as these two efforts, recorded an entire decade apart, will attest to.

SATAN'S PILGRIMS channels the mid-sixties style as exemplified by a number of all-out rock groups of the day, the Ventures and Davie Allen and the Arrows most likely. Some mid-eastern Dick Dale can be espied on the aptly-named "Casbah" and mostly high reverb-y late-period surf is to be had here all sounding so authentic that visions of the 1975 BOMP! surf issue will just come bobbin' right inside your head. Well, it did in mine, and there's a lotta room there for this music to ricochet all around!

Ten years does not that much of a difference make. PSYCHSPLOITATION's a steady instro effort just like the self-named spinner from a decade earlier. maybe it's a bit slicker but this follow up sure delivers on that pre-hippoid sense of ranch house thrilldom that I sure wish was present in the ranch house I grew up in! A bitta the psychedelic ooze does pop up but it's a good psychedelic...y'know, like GNP Crescendo. Ya wouldn't expect Jefferson Airplane to record anything as close to the suburban slob mentality as this, wouldja? 
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Pointed Sticks-K97 FM, EDMONTON ALBERTA 1980 CD-r burn

Yuh know, for years I was under the impression that this group was one of those early hardcore-styled punquesters that used to get plenty of precious coverage in the big timey fanzine of your choice. Pointed Sticks sure ain't like that, they're more in that hard power pop sorta vein, the kind that sorta wooshed those light weight groups down into the sewer where they belonged! Contains a number of down-to-earth sixties nuggets if you duggits as well as these originals that still hold up long after anyone on earth thought they woulda. A lotta the pop-oriented punques that got big inna nineties shoulda taken a few notes from Pointed Sticks 'in if they only did then maybe we wouldn't've hadda put up with a whole lotta offal that passed itself off as rock 'n roll these past umpteen years!
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Larry Young-OF LOVE AND PEACE CD-r burn (originally on Blue Note Records)

Here's one I haven't seen up and about that much which is too bad considering what a wowzer the thing is. Young's organ gives a nice soul feeling to a rather Coltrane-esque excursion into free sound that's pretty powerful even for a mid-sixties "new wave of jazz" offering. Can't find a thing wrong with it. Avbop for the ages --- if you go for things along the line of Wayne Shorter's SUPERNOVA you'll probably do more shorts wettin' 'n usual o'er this 'un.

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Sir Douglas Quintet-LIVE FROM AUSTIN TX CD-r burn (originally on New West Records)

Yeah, given that this was taken from an AUSTIN CITY LIMITS broadcast there is that sterile tee-vee approach to the presentation that does detract from the true nature of what Doug Sahm and the rest meant for a whole slew of people. Thankfully that doesn't make this Sir Douglas Quintet live platter any less vital as the guys romp through a set that comes off just as mid-sixties boff as we all woulda hoped. The classic originals mixed with the Nuggets brings the whole Texas  rock 'n roll experience straight into your own fart-encrusted bedroom giving it even more thrills'n the time you uncrated a slew of long-forgotten NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICs!
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The Senders-BACK TO SENDER REVISITED CD-r burn (originally on Skydog Records, France)

Eh, this ain't as good as their earlier platters but it's good enough. Pretty much in the seventies-onward neo-retro fifties rock vein ('n speakin' of vein, didja know that Nancy Spungen actually approached Senders leader Phillip Marcade for tips on how to properly shoot heroin?), these guys do have the proper spark and swerve needed to get to the root of the rock 'n roll matter w/o comin' off like one in a millyun Bruce Springsteen bar band imitations. If you spent the seventies stocking up on Dr. Feelgood and Stiff Records, here's one that wouldn't be outta place.

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Various Artists-A HARD DAY'S PEYTON PLACE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Another keeper, as if I'd throw any of these Bill burns away. The avgarde material which opens and closes this is far better'n some of the more beret and stale doritos material out there types could think up. I was especially bowled over by the Ghost Project effort of which I could find nada about onna web. The rest fits in swell from some rare Doug Sahm to Ramsey Lewis playing the Beatles in his own lounge jazz way. Yeah Timothy Leary is his usual phony self and I personally haven't had a Domino's pizza in my life (why get one when the local stores are more attuned to the suburban slob ranch house kiddies mindset I grew up with?) but otherwise I'd call this collection a must to have as far as future spins go.

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When was the last time you really had a hankerin' for some solid no-holds-barred rock 'n roll reading! Y'know, that sloppy gonzoid style that was pretty popular at least until the Powers That Be banished its likes from their pages in favor of some pretty tepid cut 'n paste. Well, you might just get your fill of that hard-edged expression within the pages of these back issues of BLACK TO COMM. But then again, you might not. I'm sick and tired of second-guessing you readers but hey, if you want a change from the usual tawdry tidings of megalolopian miasma you couldn't do any worse.


Wednesday, April 07, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! GAL PALS VOLUME 2 (Gwandanaland Comics)

Yup, another collection of mid-sixties Archie Comics efforts that had fallen into public domain, a happenstance which I personally think is grand! Y'see, if I can buy these comics from Gwandanaland that means none of the fanablas at the former MLJ 're gonna see one red cent from this, and considering what has happened to that particular comics line I'm sure glad about it!!!!

But hey, even though the whole Betty/Veronica line has tended to be "girl stuff" I sure gotta treasure these efforts. Dan DeCarlo's artwork at the Archie line was just beginning to hit its stride by the time these sagas were rolled out and not only that but the writing was starting to get better. And frankly, what red-blooded variety of a boy variety wouldn't get some healthy ideas pounded into his head lookin' at the wild pulchritude of these two femmes as they pose in everything from the latest fashions to swim suits??? Well that would be a whole lot better'n 'em lookin' at the Joe Weider muscleman ads getting the wrong idea from THOSE if ya ask me! 

's got the typically teenbo stories here dealing with how Betty and Veronica backstab each other for whatever nefarious reasons to how they manipulate the guys in order to get their way...real educational material for the pubescent gal who would be tuning in for typically underhanded information as to how to manipulate others. As was the wont with the Archie comic book line (not necessarily the comic strip which I said was in a different dimension than the books or the animated Saturday AM series) Veronica is a rich bitch (or "rich witch" as Betty once put it!) while Betty is the  nicer and sweet one even though she can get rather unscrupulous in her attempts to get hold of Archie when need be.

It's also nice to see the original ads and whatnot accompanying these sagas which do bring back memories of reading such fodder back when it was beginning to fall apart in my hands. The text does tend to veer towards the more feminine side of matters what with stories on modeling and wigs, though historically slanted efforts featuring famous Indians like Red Cloud and Geronimo (not to mention the decidedly non-Indian-esque Wright Brothers) does show that the male gender wasn't exactly left outta the target audience equation. Especially timely was an article on the Beatles mentioning their hit "She Loves Me"! And of course Brad Kohler will be glad to see that the "Li'l Jinx" cartoons were left intact as well.

Saturday, April 03, 2021


Happy Easter greedings to alla ya (well, at least some of ya) BLOG TO COMM readers! Hope things are goin' fine on what I know will be a nice Spring-y day your way, and altho Easter was never whatcha'd call a hugeoid holiday here at BTC central it always meant a few days off from school and maybe a chocolate egg or two that wasn't filled with that ikky fruit and nut stuff. Us kids were so conditioned into liking the famous name chocolates anyway and hated the local brands which were too thick and hard onna teeth...and usually loaded with paraffin to the point where our bowel movements felt likeour intestines had turned into a candle making facility! Eh, we mighta also gotten a turkey dinner outta the thing but as far as the ham 'n scalloped potatoes go --- ewwww!

Big big BIGGIE Easter thanx goes to the usual contributors to the rev'lution, folk like Paul McGarry, Bob Forward, Bill Shute and who knows...your name might appear here if you were so kind enough to slip something worthy of this blog my way. As the old sages (and big guys in the prison shower) say, it is better to give than to receive and I'm hoping deep in my heart that some of you guys out there WILL GIVE ME THE WORKS! Now onto our program...



Various Artists-OSCULUM INFAME 1 CD-r (originally on M.T.T. Records, Italy)

I followed Bill's advice and skipped the  last track on what was the first side of this cassette-only venture released back '86 way, and heavens to Betsy I sure am curious as to what I have missed! I mean, what can be so bad about a track called "Kbenzo.....Happy" as done up by an act called De Fabriek, whose "Drono III" seemed goody good enough to my ears!  

Gotta say it's bugging me to no end as to what this "Kbenzo" thing is all about --- maybe the frequencies are strong enough to make one go mad or ruin my bedside boom box, or perhaps the message that the track relates is one not fit for my rather timid constitution. Maybe it just plain out stinks, but otherwise I kinda feel like a feline more'n anxious to use up eight of my nine lives in order to see what's so verboten about the thing!

Otherwise OSCULUM INFAME works swell enough as a mid-eighties electronic/industrial effort. Some of the oscillating whirl reminds me of a track that coulda been snuck onto TWO VIRGINS while other efforts come off like a garage band Controlled Bleeding. Vox Populi's "Be Hedayat II" even has shades of MARBLE INDEX to it. OSCULUM INFAME does have that academic yet crazoid Italian avgarde sense to it like the Futurists before, 'n compared to some of the jagoff home made electro-free sounds out there this does have a degree of satisfactory soundage to it! 

But sheesh, I wonder what's the big ta-do about that last cut onna first side! This is gonna drive me batty until I lay in my shallow grave...
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Jack Wilson-EASTERLY WINDS CD-r burn (originally on Blue Note Records)

It ain't experimental free form, but this effort from one of the lesser-remembered on the jazz scene did make for find settle down time here at the orifice. Names both big and not-so help out on these driving tracks featuring pianist Wilson who ain't no Cecil Taylor but sure can hit the notes better than any six-year-old sweetie at a piano recital. Might be worth a try if you wanna know where the free splat so prevalent in your record collection grew from. 
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Al Terry-HICKORY'S CAJUN HILLBILLY CD-r burn (originally on Ace Records, England)

Bein' inna mood for something that was --- shall we say --- a bit harder'n usual it wasn't like I exactly felt like giving this collection a spin. Despite all that, I do find these fifties country unto swing unto rockabilly efforts to be snizzling enough moving you in a straightforward fashion that doesn't let you down tracks that won't offend your uncultured aesthetics. If you want a switch from the usual brain-churn these Terry-Tunes would be a fun thing to zone you back to them pre-glitz country days when country wasn't cool, but then again it wasn't Babs Mandrell. Now where did I put my Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe burn?
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The Civics-PEACH CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)

There's nothing peachy about this tapework which I think was made not by Walls Flowing mastermind Bob Forward but the robot on FIREBALL XL-5 after Zoonie accidently short-circuited it. Hard electronic buzz backs vocal manipulations that kinda remind me of the tail end of "Greenfield Morning I Pushed An Empty Baby Carriage All Over The City", although I fear that this ain't gonna sell as many platters as YOKO ONO/PLASTIC ONO BAND did. As usual it's your call, though even the most casual of observers has just gotta admit that this is pretty ruff stuff.

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Various Artists-BOOM BOOM CD-r burn

The krauts always caught up with trends from other spheres and made it their own as anyone who has taken amphetamines can tell you. Of course they did a splendid job with rock 'n roll, and when it came to aping mid-sixties English brats aping mid-fifties urban blues well, it certainly is hard to tell a Hans and Fritz from a Jagger and Richard most of the time. 

There's nothing here that boasts of Aryan superiority but you'll still get a kick outta such acts as the Kentuckys managing to make it through a song without farting into the microphones or the Candidates being one outta many to mangle the chords to "Louie Louie". An' t' think that in only a few short years these guys'd be smellin' up the atmosphere even worse not only with their body odor but lousy takes on yet more Amerigan/English soundscapadings!

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Dave Bixby-ODE TO QUETZALCOATL CD-r burn (available via Guerssen Records if you want it)

Not bad at all freako/Christian/drug folk psych from '69 which is more balls out'n a good portion of the high fiber strummers of the day ever could be. It has a drug haze to it that guarantees a disapproval from the local Council of Churches (the Jesus angle here does seem kinda fishy in light of the aforementioned doper moves coupled with a sly occult feel) while the overall atmosphere's acidic enough to ward off the local Donovan wannabes who were into it only as an avenue to screwing impressionable girls. The closest thing I can compare this to is the MIJ album on ESP.  If this had gotten out and Joni Mitchell didn't the world might be a better place today.

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Jeff Chandler in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MICHAEL SHAYNE CD-r burn

Olde tyme radio shows just right for those nostalgia-fueled Sunday afternoons .Sure there are no more flea markets around chock fulla old comics 'n rex t' pick up at depression-era wages but at least I can spin some classic radio dramas to bring back some of those memories of a time when entertainment was FUN. Chandler plays Shayne slow 'n cool in these episodes dealing with a guy who wants Shayne to murder him as well as one where an escaped con forces our hero to tag along as he looks for the real badski who sent him to prison inna first place. Great job from not only Chandler but the supporting actors including Raymond Burr and Jack Webb playing the annoying police inspector who always seems to be snapping at Shayne's butt like an hungry chihuahua.

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Various Artists-IMAGINATION FOUNTAIN EMBLEM CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Yikes, agin I  snatch out some X-mas oriented disque months after the thing's supposed to do its holiday doody on me! Oh well, it was worth it if only to hear Walter Brennan do one of those hokey Yuletide heartwormers  not to mention some guy called Cal Stewart give some proto-Charlie Weaver haw haw about playing Santa on a 1907 recording! 

The rest ain't that much Christmas-oriented what with everything from a hokum version of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" to Pete Fountain's version of "Music To Watch Girls By" which has about all the excitement of watching the kinda gals who parade about in Coraopollis. Some interesting and not-so gnu wave courtesy Marth Truthe and the Liars not to mention Lethal Weapon shows up while the usual single-side rarities from various sixties efforts are sprinkled about. 

Best track here is not the Angus Maclise done-on that closes this thing but some home recording made by some goofball doing animal impressions! 'n I'll take it over alla the platters reviewed in MAXIMUM ROCK 'N' ROLL, or at least alla the issues after #3 or so (maybe).

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You know what's comin' --- another come on in order to get ridda alla these back issues of BLACK TO COMM  that I desperately need to turn into hard green in order to survive. Yeah, I know you think I'm a Richie Rich type with loads of moolah and I am, but those extra bucks mean all the difference between canned ravioli and filet mignon for supper and you don't want me to go 'round UNDERNOURISHED now, do ya?

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! GRIMM'S GHOST STORIES #17 (Western Publishing, 1974)

Given how influential the New Trend EC Comics line was on the industry for years after its capitulation it's no surprise that every comic company extant would come up with a wide array of not only MAD comic book and magazine rips but horror titles as well. I will admit that a few of the horror ones did capture the old spirit (especially the Warren ones which weren't affected by the Comics Code) but most of 'em kinda fizzed about trying to be scary but failing miserably. I kinda recall the DC ones being like that, though Marvel's early-seventies entries which usually mixed the new efforts in with classic Kirby/Ditko/Heck reprints were remarkably good considering the conditions that the early-seventies publishers were working under. Wish I could get hold of some of those once again, especially the one whose title escapes me which printed the work of some undergrounder, perhaps Irons or Corben in a foreshadowing of Stan Lee's own dalliance with the underground in the pre-ARCADE effort to bring it into the mainstream, namely COMIX BOOK.

There's nothing as scabrous as anything along those lines in this ish of Western's GRIMM'S GHOST STORIES but I gotta admit that it sure was a fine kick-up-yer-feet Sunday afternoon read. Now I gotta admit that I never was one who was that keen on the whole Gold Key (or its successor Warren) comics because they seemed so kiddy-ish for a sophisticated eleven-year-old such as myself, but this effort would have satisfied me had I snatched the thing up offa the racks way back in the days when that quarter it woulda cost me to buy a title like this was really big money.  But eh, with the fine artwork and pretty good if predictable story lines that were now in their fifteenth or so generation of usage (but new to us young 'uns') I'm sure the money woulda been well spent. But just try explaining that to your parents!

There's a nice and acceptable Comics Code-styled Old Witch type telling these might as well have been Code Approved sagas who I assume is the Grimm mentioned on the cover. For a minute I thought these sagas were gonna be actual Grimm's Fairy Tales gone comic book but I guess this Grimm guy and the brothers have no connection whatsoever 'cept for their monikers. Some coincidence, eh? Well, at least you ain't gonna look like a sissy once your friends see you reading this thus being convinced that you have hit your second childhood and hit it good and HARD!

"Death Rattle" seems typical enough of these tamer horror efforts, yet another Medieval-set story about the evil second-in-line to the throne who offs the infant heir by slowly poisoning him with a baby rattle laced in nightshade. Seems so simple eh? Well, with alla the weird twists and happenstance this 'un provides the evil prince probably woulda wished he just let things be given how these stories always seem to turn out!

"The Cheaters" is a western tale about a slick gambler who murders the bum who helped him cheat at poker. Since these stories always fall into the same pattern I think I've told you enough. Skip it.

Yet another olde tymey European setting for "Portrait of Evil" which is a fairly exciting romp even if the title gives it away. A blind preacher spends an evening in the local haunted house to prove they's not such things as ghosts only to come to a rathe surprising if more or less standard conclusion.

'n now for the cover story "Curtain Call", where a camped up performance of Shakespeare in a theatre haunted by a ham actor turns into the comedy hit of the year, and for a pretty supernatural  reason at that!

Considering how a copy of GRIMM'S GHOST STORIES can probably had in any comic stack seen at a local antiques shop or flea market maybe it would we worth the modern day equivalent of the ten cents you woulda paid then for the thing in the here and now. The artwork is better than I remembered (still somewhat hack-y yet not offensive to the corneas) and the stories are worth reading alla way through without you wanting to shred the danged things in disgust. And who said that man, or at least suburban slob ranch house kiddies, lives on DC, Marvel and Archie alone? For a nice switcheroo from the usual pre-woke comics fare perhaps GRIMM'S GHOST STORIES is worth a trip to the local drive in moom pitcher palace turned rummage sale to pick up ata rather inoffensive price!


Saturday, March 27, 2021

BLOBS LIKE US, BABY WE WERE BORN TO COOK!

After all these months it looks like it's "YUM YUM EAT 'EM UP!" time here at BLOG TO COMM! I haven't done a cooking post for quite awhile, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy whipping up all sortsa delights inna kitchen! Read on and make sure you have PLENTY of Rolaids on hand...which reminds me of that riddle...stop me if you've heard it, but what do you call a homosexual tumbling down a hill...
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When I was a young and sprouting fanabla I absolutely detested eggs in any form. Other'n home made eggnog which was kinda like a thin milkshake to my single-digit mind, and even then they would neglect to put the booze in which made such a drink a delight! First off I hated the smell of eggs frying in heavy grease which reminded me of a Patagonian left out in the hot sun for three days, that searing body stench-like smell with turned my stomach about as much as that of fried shrimp (another food I began to detest at least until the advent of popcorn shrimp which was less offensive to the olfactory). The eggs that were served up were also about as rubbery as one of those Thing Maker bugs that didn't quite make it, so between the texture and the odor you could say that I would much rather enjoy the benefits of huffing my own armpits because well, at least it's MY smell and not some one else's.

My anti-egg mentality changed slowly, first when I would order fried rice at the Chinese restaurant and noticed bits of scrambled eggs in the mix. Not wanting to cause a rabid anti-egg scene I decided to eat 'em up and thought that it tasted OK to me what with the rice overpowering the scrambled stuff! After that I took chances, first with Egg Foo Young and then with lunch counter omelettes and discovered that hey, this hen fruit tastes okey dokey if its mixed well enough and have loads of meat, cheese and hot sauce (an important factor) to help mask the egg taste. So today I must proudly call myself a bonafeed egg fan, although I still refuse to eat 'em sunny-side up or un-mixed in any way (and that includes boiled!) and when they're scrambled there better be plenny of shredded cheese melted on top and of course that aforementioned hot sauce and maybe some meat mixed in with the onions and sausage to help get it down the ol' gullet into my waiting stomach.

However while I would often order omlettes at the local fambly-type restaurants my attempts at making  'em up inna kitchen have usually been disastrous, ending up as scrambled eggs with wiener slices in 'em that looked about as appetizing as your standard puke mixture. However, that all ended when, one day at the supermarket, I saw an item called the Nordic Microwave Omlette Maker hanging in the dairy department and, after much debate inside my usually cavernous head, decided to split with my $5.50 and buy the thing given the tempting idea of me being able to make my own hot breakfast that didn't include instant oatmeal. And hey, I would say that this purchase was the best parting of my $5.50 at least since I spent that tidy sum on the Mothers of Invention's FREAK OUT, which might have seemed like a good waste at the time but was a better purchase than ZOOT ALLURES I'll tell ya.

So yer wond'rin' just how does ol' Chris Crass make his omlettes so early in the mornin' when he should be goofin' off like a nice li'l suburban slob should! Well I'll tell ya. First get three eggs and whip 'em up good (after you break 'em and dump the inner goop into the mixing bowl being sure to check for little shards of shell that might have fallen in...get those fragments out or be prepared for a few annoying crunches in your finished product!). I use the electric mixer for this and whip and whip until the eggs are nice and really frothy. Now, here's where I break away from the standard omlette-making recipe...I add a little bit of milk, some flour and a bit of baking powder (about two tablespoons of milk, a tablespoon of flour and about a teaspoon of powder in case yer one of those anal retentive types who MUST KNOW!) along with a small shake or three of salt, and MIX AWAY SOME MORE. Ahh, nice and airy, plus the added ingredients will get your mind off the fact that you are eating chicken abortions.

No gals, it's not what you think it is.
Now I get my handy Nordic Microwave Omlette Maker (see illustration at left), open its clam-like case, pour in some of the mixture evenly on both sides (be sure to place maker on a microwavable plate in case some spills over, plus it will be easier to remove), and microwave on full power for about a minute to a minute and a half until all of the liquid is gone and you get nothing but nice, fluffy omlette! Now remove the opened case and add your goodies...personally I like to chop up ham really fine (lunchmeat will do or maybe some of the canned variety) and whatever cheese suits you. Swiss or Cheddar happen to be the ones I like. Only remember to fill the innards on one side of the mold. Now close the other side, make sure its clicked shut, and microwave for another minute! When that's over with just plop the omelette into your dish.

Personally one of these omlettes is not enough so I usually make two which makes for a filling breakfast that'll keep ya goin' sometimes right up until supper! And as of the here and now I have yet to make a dud and not only that but I have been doing some experimenting along with ways mostly to good avail. Tomorrow I'm planning on making a western omlette with corned beef hash and diced onions with a few jalapeno peppers diced in (in anticipation, already fried this mess up where it resides in the fridge) and of course the obligatory cheese, which will all be slathered in hot sauce and gobbled up while I fittingly watch THE ROY ROGERS SHOW! A pretty good meal fit for a king, or even a queen with a hunkerin' for a high carb intake.

For a real deal treat, chop up some onion, tomato and pepper (maybe even some raw mushrooms!) real fine and put 'em in with the egg mixture. Cook for an additional minute or so then rinse and repeat! Nice, slightly crunchy and good enough you don't even need to put hot sauce on it!

How if any of you think I've forsaken my CAP'N CRUNCH for this new breakfast feast you must remember the ol' fambly tradition dating back to February 9th of 1964 which still holds firmly in place. Y'know, the one which taught this up 'n budding turdler that breakfast cereal can be eaten ANY TIME OF THE DAY and even with parental blessings which I must admit has made for some rather pleasant late-night snacking if I do say so myself! You reg'lar readers ought to know that I sure ain't goin' overboard on the Guppy in favor of my current early rise 'n shine fave---the Cap'll always rule the cereal roost around here unless there's a good reason for mutiny!

NEXT DAY POSTSCRIPT!-The corned beef hash omelette came out great with the meatiness and potatoes sorta mingling with the hot peppers and the cheese was boffo even if I think Swiss mighta been a better choice to use than sharp cheddar. I already saw that ROY ROGERS episode so eh!

POST-POSTSCRIPT!!!-A variant on the above I thought up myself! I love that Mexican dish chilles rellanos and was thinking up a quicker and easier way to make the thing so voila, what I did was mix some Bisquick and milk in with the egg mixture, microwaved it for a minute and a half or so, then stuffed the thing with shredded sharp white cheddar cheese and diced chilis from right outta the can. Then I microwaved the thing for about two minutes, plopped it out and poured enchilada sauce and sour cream over the resultant mess! A delicious mess if I do say so myself!
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HP SAUCE --- GLORIFIED A-1?
It has been said that English food is so bad but it seems good because Scotland is due north! I dunno if that is true, but given how popular the condiment otherwise known as HP Sauce is o'er there I get the idea that the English like to put it on everything because it helps cover up the taste of the stuff that's being served! Sorta like inna USA only we douse everything with hot pepper sauce!

Even though a lotta the English grub I have downed really didn't settle too well (Devon custard not being sweet enough and Marmite a whole load of "WHAT WAS THAT???") I was curious as to just what this HP Sauce was all about. Although I cannot find any of it at any of the local supermarkets (ditto for curry catsup which I have to make myself!) I begged my cyster to get me some for Christmas, more or less that is. And y'know what? She did, perhaps due to the guilt over how she's treated me all these years because what else?!?!

HP Sauce reminds me of a cross between the aforementioned A-1 and the Heinz 57 steak sauce that we used to get way back when, with a spice I believe is cardamom used to give it that unique flavor which really makes whatever it is glopped onto taste even gooder. It "compliments" everything from fried fish to my home made meat pies, though the high price guarantees that I'm gonna use this stuff sparingly at least until next Christmas. But then again who knows...she'll probably get me handkerchiefs next go' 'round so I better save up the pennies for a case or three of HP!
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BLOG TO COMM DRINK OF THE YEAR!-an' it's alcoholic too. Take a can of your fave beer or ale, add equal parts Mountain Dew, and get the best nostalgic drinking experience that'll take you back to age twelve when you were swigging HOPPIN' GATOR when nobody was lookin'!
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CHICKEN CURRY SERVED MY WAY!-If you like Indian food but are afraid of which hand your waiter uses to wipe you might wanna make some of your own and stay home for once! That's what I did with this recipe that I actually adapted from one snatched from a 1961 vintage TV GUIDE. with a few twists and turns of my own thrown in for good measure. An' it sure tastes good whether you're watching the great shows that were on way back when or even the drek being passed off for entertainment these days!

First get some boneless chicken pieces (or get chicken with bones and rip the flesh off yourself!) and put in a crock pot with some chicken broth/stock, chopped onion, salt,  a stick of butter or margarine, curry powder, ginger and a little turmeric if you can't afford saffron. Let it cook for about six or so hours on low, three hours on high, or ten hours on "keep warm" if you're in no hurry. Then shred the meat, add a small bag of frozen peas into the mix then a cup or three of cashews. Those cheap kind that are busted into small pieces you can get at the five and dime will suit you just fine. Let that all cook up for an hour (man, the smells will drive ya crazy!) before adding a huge cup or so (even more!) of plain yogurt (the Greek kind works wonders), stirring it in until you have a nice gravy-like texture. Warm that up a bit and serve over rice with some naan bread if you really wanna be exotic about it!

Tastes great and really warms you up on a chilly day! Not only that but you don't have to worry about some of those things I heard they stick into Indian cuisine, if the rumors are to be believed... 
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NEVER WASTE FOOD! Unless its totally rancid, but even then I gotta make a decision whether or not to throw something away. Like those hot Eyetalian sausages that I found in the freezer, a two pound sack of 'em which still contained the sales slip saying that they were purchased way back 2013 way! I didn't think they looked their best to say the least and the package was kinda sticky as if something was either oozing outta it or something from above had dripped upon the bag. But didja think I was gonna throw the rather price-y package out? NOT ON YOUR NELLY!

What I did was peel off the plastic (some of which had stuck onto the sausages and dumped it into my slow cooker, letting the thing thaw out for awhile. To beef up the taste I dumped a can of beer into it and some brown sugar and let the thing cook overnight. Then I grilled a few and ate three of the things...the taste was kinda strange but edible enough that I had three of 'em with a lotta mustard and they went down the gullet fine...no health problems whatsoever which was good. The brown sugar gave it a bit of a sweet taste to counteract the funkiness too!

But what about the rest of the two pounds of cooked sausage? Of course I felt it within my moral and gastronomical duty to put those to good use, so I decided to make some Sausage and Beans, an old tried and true recipe which is always a good way to get rid of things like leftover sausage and vegetables rotting away in the fridge!

First off I soaked a bag of dried pinto beans overnight. Since they always seem to be hard no matter how long you cook 'em you might wanna soak 'em for a MONTH, but overnight'll guarantee that they'll be firm but not tooth-breaking. When ready, rinse and dump 'em into the crock pot. Then slice the sausage up and put that into the pot, followed by a diced large onion, a couple green bell peppers or any other peppers...I put three Jalepenos in for that hot feeling, half a package of cooked, crumbled bacon (I used the imitation turkey stuff), a can of diced tomatoes (or some real ones!) sliced carrots and celery, chopped up garlic and your favorite seasonings (I used basil, parsley, paprika and that good ol' standby salt), all topped off by a four-cup container of chicken broth! If you don't have that peel off a few bouillon cubes and add four cups of water. For an added kick I put a cup of white wine in to give it that ooh la la atmosphere.

Now turn the crock pot onto "low" and forget about it for awhile. If you wanna check onna thing and give it a stir that's fine. I let it cook a looooong time, about a whole day in fact, and I thought the results were pretty good! The sausage still had this funny taste but the other flavors helped mask that. But man does it fill you up and give you that nice and contented feeling when you have a few bowls for it for dinner. But I will say something...when it comes to bedtime you might be celebrating July 4th right beneath your sheets so be warned!

The best thing about this recipe is that you'll have a lotta Sausage and Beans to be had, so it would be smart to freeze some for future usage! Looks like that sausage is gonna have a longer life than I originally thought, eh?


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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! THEY COULDN'T TAME US---THE WISCONSIN 60'S ROCK DISCOGRAPHY BY TOM W. TOURVILLE (Midwest Publications, 1992)

Discographies usually don't gel with my own sense of rockist pursuits, they bein' too collect-y 'n all without the passion and energy that the records being mentioned were most capable of splattering all over your brain. Something for the kinda guy who just must have that rare Japanese picture sleeved Jan and Dean single and is willing to mortgage the house (and maybe even the wife!) to get it. But this effort, which comes off more like an overstuffed issue of my own crudzine only looking way more professional, is quite different.

Now a discography of Wisconsin rock from the late-fifties until the mid-seventies might not settle well with some of you rabid rocksters. I mean, like in every other burgh inna world there was lotsa bad karmik hippie stuff comin' out during the latter portion of those years, so if yer the kind of fanabla that would have a natural aversion to something along the lines of "The Purple People Show" you can bet you'll be spending a whole lotta time emptying your breakfast into the porcelain poop pond after givin' a gander to some of the acts who pop up in this book. But thankfully those kinda acts are few and far between, because THEY COULDN'T TAME US concentrates on the music of the fifties and sixties before the idea of rock 'n roll became "rock music" which then devolved into a form of sound that has become quite undecipherable as of these past few eons.

I'm sure you reg'lar reader types are interested in just finding out what kinda sixties garage bands and early instrumental efforts came outta Wisconsin, so naturally this is the book to get. Nice pix and historical backgrounds are easily enough found, and not only that but there are some boffo articles accompanying the entire mess including an interview with local producer Duke Wright and a pretty nice article on the Fendermen, the Milwaukee group that pretty much got the whole local instro-garage band movement rollin' with their still fondly remembered version of "Muleskinner Blues".  Kinda makes me wanna end this writeup off with "bring the book-book-booklet here" but since that's so cornballus even for this blog I won't.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Hey. Still worming my way through the usual miasma they call late-winter/early-spring, a time where it's too hot to stay snuggled up in your love to the rescue blanket yet too cold to run around nekkid in the backyard. Not the kidz that is, ME! Well, I do hope that their prying eyes keep off me while I prance around the sprinkler once the weather gets nice 'n toasty because well, you already get enough laffs outta me without having to resort to reading sordid news reports now, eh?

All funnin' aside, not much is happening 'round here 'cept the usual eat/poop/wipe syndrome and yeah, I know this is supposed to be a "weblog" detailing my every innermost thought and desire but frankly, I don't think you'd wanna know about my new nose hair trimmer (works on other parts of the body too!) or re-re-re-re-listening to some faverave platter I've owned since at least the flood. So here be the reviews...thanks again to the likes of Paul McGarry, Bob Forward and Bill Shute for the contributions. And if you would like, YOU CAN DO THE SAME!

But before we proceed AND IF ANY OF YOU OUT THERE REALLY WUV ME---well, I can use a nice xerox copy of CREEM #1 (or 2 or 3 --- actually any of the early tabloids) if you wanna make me a really happy turdburger!


The Fundamentalists-A LONG WAY TO GET NOWHERE CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)

I'm hoping that one of these days the Fundamentalists will somehow live up to the R. Meltzer method of mighty tape mangipulation, but since I have yet to hear the various Stump/Applejack efforts or 90-minute  Hendrix feedback loop he presented on some HEPCATS FROM HELL radio show I'm only going on touchy-feely modes. Nice tonal squeaks leads to some old coot (Bob Forward hisself?) muttering curses against the younger generation in between weird guitar strums that wouldn't be out of place on some old Art Ensemble of Chicago album. An' it's SUPPOSED to sound like that, ya old fanabla you!

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The Vacant Lots-INTERZONE CD-r burn (originally on Fuzz Club Records)

There have been so many groups named "the Vacant Lots" o'er the years that I hadda do a li'l duck duck goin' to find out exactly who these Lots were. Turns out that they're a current act from the New York City area who dabble in an electronic rock sound that is very reminiscent of some of the aural spew that was pretty popular around the early-eighties.  I believe this is their third effort and it's a pretty good one if I do say so myself, moody and droning rock that for once doesn't immediately come off like some precocious art project done up by girls whose idea of feminine hygiene is a packing sponge soaked in pickle juice. INTERZONE might not seem like the kinda recording that he-men with hair on their chest and muscles bulging all over would go for, but it does have somewhat of a driving kick to it. 

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Davie Allen and the Arrows-MOVING RIGHT ALONG CD-r burn (originally on Spinout Records)

Like alla these six-oh updates this sure can have the tinge of antisepticism about it. Especially on the vocal track "Listen to the Guitar Man" which sounds even more contrived in its attempts to ooze true sixties homage than any Frankie and Annette reunion special you can dare think of. Kinda drives me bonkers because hey, one of the reasons I luv the sixties sounds is because it sure wasn't slicker'n a KY-laden butthole in San Francisco but downright raw. It even  tried to be as aboriginally primitive in its attempt to broaden the overall sonic spectrum (see THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK for various examples of how everyone from the Velvets to the Paupers tweaked the sound with changes in instrumentation etc.). It just doesn't work that well with these newer efforts even if most all the music is rather good and can hit you in the proper rockist corners of your mind.  IN OTHER WORDS you readers'll probably lap it all up.

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The Contortions-MAX'S KANSAS CITY 8/17/78 CD-r burn

There was a time when we were told that the existence of late-seventies no wave live recordings was practically nil, but thankfully the naysayers were wrong again considering the gush of archival digs that have come out in the interim. This gem being among 'em, the Contortions in their prime live at Max's romping through a particularly grueling session that actually makes NO NEW YORK sound like a big budget album just ready for the Christmas market.

Lotsa newies to my ears here including two takes of "Please, Please, Please" and tracks that wouldn't be fleshed out until BUY came out a good year later. The atmosphere is kinda loose but the spirit is willing, and there are quite a few surprises in store most notably Adele Bertei stepping up to the microphone to belt out a rather impressive "Chain of Fools".

Don't miss the subsequent "No Wave Jam" where your favorite under-the-underground musicians get to sit in on a track or two. Eric Mitchell was pretty impressive belting out not only "Be Bop A Lula" but "Satisfaction" while even Rudolph Grey got to stretch his tonsils out on "Nobody But Me"  which unfortunately got "truncated" but enough of the gist can be discerned so it ain't like you get to miss much.

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The Outsiders-OUTSIDERS SONGBOOK CD-r burn (originally on Teenbeat Reords, Holland); LIVE FANTASIO VPRO RADIO CD-r burn

I'm no Mike Stax and I ain't as head over heels about the Outsiders as he most certainly is, but who can deny the outright power and overall appeal of not only them but those other late-sixties Dutch groups who thought more about the Pretty Things than the average fanabla ever did. SONGBOOK's a fine selection of '67 styled Thingian music that should please fans of EMOTIONS, though you just might a kick outta lead singer Wally Tax's Dylan impression on the "Thin Man" swipe "Ballad of John B".  The Donovan rip "Summer's Here" might not settle well with some but I actually go for it. In fact this 'un comes closer to the more opiate-riddled cult folkies of the day as opposed to the one called Leech!

The live in the studio radio broadcast sounds pretty solid for the ever progressing 1968 era in which this was recorded, retaining the primitive sound and swerve of the mid-sixties rather'n a time in music that sure led to a whole lotta horrid trends. Considering the era these were recorded they sure do their darndest in keeping the spirit of the pre-hippoid generation of rock roaring on, and maybe for that you should get hold of these records because hey, in a few short years it was ALL gonna be Cat Stevens!

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The Fundamentalists-THE NEW THING CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)

Ran outta disques to review so I thought I'd just write this one up even though I was planning on stretching the Bob Forward load out in order to make a little go a long way.  Lemme tell ya to FERGIT this 'un, it's just a load of clunks and clanks that was probably recorded inside Bob's steam boiler. Wotta waste of disque! Nice cover tho.

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Various Artists-ONE-TRACK CADILLAC PLEDGE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

The Vince Taylor tracks that start this 'un off were a godsend especially since I must admit that I never heard Taylor's original version of "Brand New Cadillac" lo these many years! (Yes, even a well-respected musical expert such as myself never did have the access to either alla the records OR the money to buy 'em unlike all you rich snoots out there!) The blooze, swing 'n soul jazz helps keep the pace up tho why the familiar Beatles tuneage when such precious Cee-Dee-Are space coulda been used to yet even more obscurities? And speaking of obscurities, the Specters' "Depression" single was a down-tune garage band effort that really lives up to its title. Good thing I didn't try to off myself after hearing this because well, I wouldn't exactly want to play this 'un over the loudspeakers in any mental wards ifyaknowaddamean...

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Remember those days when you were so broke that you hadda pass up on alla those fanzines you wanted so dearly? Well now that you're older and undoubtedly richer don't you think it's just about time you parted with some of your precious pennies and bought a buncha these delectable back issues of BLACK TO COMM  that you wished you coulda had back when you were young 'n poor? Hey, I'm OLD and poor and given the orders I shoulda gotten from you guys way back when maybe it's time that you made amends and emptied out your wallet only if outta some guilt on your part! No major credit cards accepted.