Saturday, July 30, 2005

Gays in the Military-PEOPLE IS BEAUTIFUL CD (Gulcher)

First off, lemme talk about the cover. It was delineated by one Peter Bagge, a guy who I'm positive more'n a few of you BLOG TO COMM-sters have been familiar with for the past twennysome years given his overexposure in more fanzines and underground comix than you can shake a stick at. And yeah, I remember when intelligent snoots the likes of Lindsay Hutton and Billy and Miriam at KICKS were singing the praises of this up-and-cumming artist, but besides maybe a few strips here and there that retained a sense of Bushmillerian simplicity I was totally non-sussed by the man's talents and even let you know that in some decade-old issue of my very own fanzine. Knowitall "I" had Bagge pegged as just another one of those new radical bunsnitches that you've seen popping up all across the alternative magspew ever since the eighties turned the mildly antisocial into rabid Trotskyites deserving of their own personal icepicks. But then again I've recently been getting an eyefulla Bagge's work in the pages of REASON magazine, and while I don't particularly subscribe to the magazine's more, er, Hinmanian beliefs (whenever they may be spouted, that is---although most of the time REASON's definition of libertarianism seems about as tight as that of Hinman's and J. Neo Marvin's they admittedly do offer a little bit of leeway in their range of libertarian opines albeit they sure seem loathe to accommodate the more Birchian/Sobranian/Raimondoian/anarcho-right brand I like to swagger around), I gotta say that it's great reading some underground snat cartooning that doesn't cozy up to the more thumbscrew-left braggadocio that way too many young and starry-eyed kiddies love to smash into yer face. (And the best thing about that is...when the radical leftists do come to power, it's the young and starry eyed who are first to get the shiv!)

Getting all of that superfluous stuff outta the way, now onto the music. Given the Gulcher imprimatur of quality (and the group's name), I was expecting Gays in the Military to be the Gizmos for the oh-ohs! I mean, isn't that exactly what we need in these sterile and can't make fun of people who deserve to be made fun of days, and if anyone could woosh it out for an eagerly-awaiting-the-return-of-seventies-bad-taste crowd it would hafta be Bob "Bear" Richert. But alas, I guess a Gizguy update is outta-the-question which is too bad, but that don't mean PEOPLE IS BEAUTIFUL is strictly grade-z turdsville either.

I was confused at the beginning...after a brief sound clip from THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER we're offered an instrumental which for some reason reminded me of an outtake from Emerson Lake and Palmer's BRAIN SALAD SURGERY, and that shouldn't excite any reg'lar readers of this blog unless your name happens to be Tim Ellison! (And I gotta say that I really enjoyed Tim's ELP [or is it ULP!!!] as no wave article written for an old ROCK MAG despite not buying a word of what Tim was trying to say!) But after that bit of musical onanism comes a pretty, er, solid rock & rolling album. The musical genre is more or less mid-eighties-on alternanderground post/pseudo-hardcore crunch slowed down to heavy metal beats which I must admit hasn't exactly been my tour-de-farce ever since I was getting sent album after cassette after EP ca. 1988-1992 and all of 'em sounded as if they came from the same gristmill, but if you like that brand of hard rock chicanery then by all means go fer it!!! As for me, I can osmose to the hard-edged pseudo-Butthole Surfers post-psycho clangacrunch (the Surfers' "Human Cannonball" even gets covered here!), but time has, uh, honed my tastes in bizarroid and difficult-to-describe ways over the years which can only be fully explained by repeated readings of my blog (and other writings on my part), preferably with third-eye viciously gouged out.

AMANDA MONACO 4 CD (Genevive, available through CD Baby)

Whatta letdown! After giving the Four the time-o'-day with a recent writeup where the group earned a general thumbs-up despite a few nagging reservations, I actually splurged for a CEE-DEE of their music expecting something perhaps as primitive (re. Monaco's guitar) and as 1959 avant (as the general backing) as what I saw and heard that night. Turns out that the AM4 put out a well-produced, clean-sounding and generally straightforward avant-lite platter, and although I wasn't exactly expecting Roscoe Mitchell I was hoping for something a little more...engaging??? Some interesting notes abound on tracks like "Speedy Green" but frankly this quartet covers ground that's been traipsed upon before, and while that's not exactly a crime of any great dimensions I coulda used a little more gunch in here somewhere. And why do they have to look like a buncha alternative rock weenies anyway??? If the Ayatollah or Castro or whoever's gonna open up the poppy-fields again in order to hasten the downfall of the decadent west, how about giving this band some white stuff? It could only be an improvement!

AND WHILE I'M AT IT, does anyone out there have any information, recordings, photos, reviews, articles etc. regarding the early-seventies Gallic group Rotomagus, considered by some aficionados of the form to have been the Stooges of France? (Which would make sense if you consider Mahogany Brain the Velvet Underground of France and the Frenchies the Dolls!) I know practically nada about 'em other'n what I picked up on the web (and from Mike Snider)...they had three singles on CBS that certain people like to affix the hoary tag "proto-punk" to while members later ended up in the group Phoenix, who released an LP containing several Led Zep covers. First person to leave info as to how I can obtain a CD-R or article or whatever via this blog (press "#" below to be taken to THE PROPER PAGE to leave comments) gets one or more BLACK TO COMM back issue of his liking! (By the way, the offer is still good [back issues of your choice!] for anyone who can get me that album of UMELA HMOTA's late-seventies recordings that Globus released a few years back!)


Christopher Stigliano said...

I spotted one mistake in my above Rotomagus spew...their third single actually came out on the Butterfly label and not CBS! By the way, Mike Snider describes the track he heard as sounding like a cross between early Hawkwind and Les Rallizes Denudes!

Jean-Marie CHAPPET said...

I know well ROTOMAGUS and some musicians who formed it. They're from ROUEN (my home)in Normandy. More their 3 SP, they effectively are PHOENIX for Led Zep Covers on the wellknown label :lES TRETEAUX in 72 . Possible to have complete discography on CD, just contact me for more information.