Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Magik Markers-A PANEGYRIC TO THE THINGS I DO NOT UNDERSTAND CD (Gulcher, visit the group's own site at

Sorry to disappoint (or dissipate?) all you hearty BLOG TO COMM readers who have been anxiously awaiting my typical weekend blowout (calm down, you know what I mean!), but I gotta admit that this past week just wasn't exactly the tops for osmosing a lotta new 'n different music to tell all you anxiously awaiting guppies about! Oh yeah, I know I could just toss out a buncha reviews of some golden oldies I have been spinning constantly over the past seven days (describing in one or more words exactly why I must repeatedly play these disques that have nothing less than a CAMEL CLUTCH on my musical psyche) like the first Roxy Music album and the first two Alice Coopers, but why bore you even more with heaping praise on items I've already written about over and over again when I can bore you with a review of some totally new item? (I'll wait awhile with regards to Roxy and Alice, at least when such writeups'll come off looking fresh!) Howevah, I do feel that it's my personal and God-given DUTY (as a selfless blogger who dedicates his life to making yours better by giving you a taste of my vastly-superior opines, or something like that!) to at least peck out something to keep all you adoring blogpeons in gear, so sans further ado here's something I hope you'll really like!

Still, why should I blog on about the disque in question for today when there is this el fantastico hypesheet out there where none other than old-timey fanzine maniac Eddie Flowers himself said just all there is that has to be said about the Magik Markers, and a lot better'n I ever could for that matter??? 'n lemme tell ya, Mr. Flowers' "review" for this brand-spanking-new Gulcher release is a real honest-to-Meltzer doozy of a promosheet writeup by this longtime fanzine mafia don which only goes to prove that maybe this here guy is definitely one who shouldn't've left the underground rock writing game while way too many galoobs (myself included) stuck around! And if I could only FIND THE BLASTED THING which got lost in my computer somewhere maybe I should just put that onna post and let Flowers' more-descriptive rant speak for itself, but unfortunately I can't locate it anywhere and since I was pretty much gonna say a lotta what he said I'll just say it but in my own words which I only hope I doesn't get me called on the carpet for plagiarism! But I'll try to keep it cool so don't you worry.

Anyhoo here are "thee" Magik Markers, two gals and a boy from Asheville North Carolina of all places who I guess have been making quite a raucous racket for quite some time with this free rock that doesn't sound moderne with all its negative connotations one bit, but nice dark and feral like the best underground hatchet jobs from the sixties and seventies did before the dorkoids discovered you didn't need "chops" to play rock & roll (but you needed brains which seem to be in short supply given alla the leaden and self-indulgent thud these newbies unleashed on us!) and ran it into the ground. But with the Markers you don't have to worry, because for once their rock & roll sounds like what you woulda thought it woulda sounded like back in 1977 hearing the underground singles and all those stories about punk rock just wonderin' what it was gonna end up like thirty years down the line (like...NOW!).

I recall Eddie dragging around the name of Patti Smith's by-now classic (though pretty much loathed at the time) heavy metal opus RADIO ETHIOPIA in his description of the Markers' raison de DESTRUCTION and how he heard the title track on the FM dial nigh on three decades back thinking that it was the wyldest slice of free-music to come outta the rock & roll genre to date yet was disappointed that the entire shebang didn't have that over-the-top pounce 'n feel. Well, the guy said SOMETHING along those lines, but anyway I can see where Eddie is coming from in his appraisal of this new and exciting trio who have a lotta the same free-rock drive and verve that Smith exuded on that epochal sophomoric run, because these Markers certainly take the best of the past forty years of avant rock and cram the cream into their own special brand of free-splat fortunately jettisoning all the tired post-punk Christgau-approved precociousness in the process!

(And lemme tell you that Flowers' hypesheet musings were some of the best rockscreed seen by these eyes in quite some time making me wish that the man had his own blog just so's he could enlighten us lumpen proles with regards to some of the better soundscapading that's been crossing his ears for the past umpteen years...I mean, his accurate description of the Magik Markers' entire modus operandi comes pretty close if not on-target to what Richard Meltzer did in his beautiful dissection of the Smegma sound that can be found on their website if one wants to do a little hard-nerve searching for it!)

I can agree with Mr. Flowers' comparisons regarding the title track from the second Smith slaughterfest and the Magik ones' approach to the hilt, but then again in order to clue you in as to where these people are coming from I would also toss in some of the music that definitely influenced Patti's extended romp way back during the hump of the seventies. The MC5's original soundscreed "Black To Comm" (which Smith admitted was a bonafide "Radio Ethiopia" influence) comes to mind as well (and it's no accident that lead singer/guitarist Elisa Ambroglo moans the names of such MC5 tuneage as "Sister Ann" in her freeform vocalese) not to mention that infamous un-named group (which might be the Richard Robinson/Lenny Kaye/Robert Palmer [?] aggregate entitled "Man Ray") which Kaye and Patti would spin nightly and gab with Palmer on the phone about. (Facts are kinda sketchy at this point as to whether or not this was Man Ray or yet another Kaye assemblage, but read what you can about it in Robert [not the rockabilly guy] Gordon's IT CAME FROM MEMPHIS tome if you can come across a copy!) And if you can't make anything outta the garble I'm writing I don't blame you, but lemme just say that if you have the same sorta jaded outlook as I over what underground rock hath begat and what it is like here in the present day, and you're one of those old-timey buzzards who likes the sound loud, hot 'n atonal like it was in the sixties and seventies when you were just discovering Cap'n Beefheart and NO NEW YORK, A PANEGYRIC TO THE THINGS I DO NOT UNDERSTAND will more'n satiate you because no matter what, these guys sound like they're sixties bohos (in a pure MAHOGANY BRAIN fashion) playing rock bred straight from a Beefheart/Velvets/Godz taproot without that strange sense of pretension?/studiousness??? that seems to have ruined a lotta the blare 'n bleat by the time "do it yourself" became "please, stop doing it!!!!" And really, only a few people can pull something like this off these days and they're usually oldtimers like Meltzer and his Smegmates, so it's nice to see some youngsters being able to make a racket without coming off like trust-funded darlings with their preconceived notions of what this "new music" is supposed to be all about.

I dunno if I've described the music at hand enough in the previous paragraph, but I hope the following will help a bit. There are two tracks here both running about nineteen-plus minutes, and they're both pretty much atonal and almost free-jazz-inspired drifting avant-rock in a Mahogany Brain cum Godz style with Ambroglio's guitar spazzing out as she talks-sings her equally freeform lyrics like a cross between a tranced out Patti and Michel Bulteau. Bassist Leah "Queequeg" Quimby and drummer Pete Nolan do their best NOT to get in the way of Ambroglio's bliss/blitzed-out visionary play and moan with the resultant spew sounding not as much the predictable amerindie tossout that has been so much in demand these past few decades, but more or less as something that would have transpired in some avant garde artist's NYC loft in 1972 (still being too wild for the Mercer Arts Center!) or perhaps a Paris anarchist convention around the same time. Yes, you can tell that, despite their attempts to be current and all, these Magik Markers are totally RETROGARDE which is perhaps the best thing one can be considering how all the good stuff (in the most brain-searingest, aural-destroying way) was done long ago and its better just to revamp the old ravings rather'n be new 'n tiresome, dontcha think?

There's a ltd. ed. CD-R of a live in Asheville gig that Flowers is sellin', and you can bet that as soon as I get my monthly allotment of entertainment money for February I'm sendin' the guy an order with that item smack dab at the top of the list. That is, unless you pesky blogsters beat me to it by buyin' up all of the available copies after glomming this over-the-top-and-running-down-the-side-of-the-hill writeup! Whaddeva, if you're hankerin' for a good ear-wringing and the new garageoids just don't fill the bill...well, Mark(er) my words (euugh!).

Friday, January 27, 2006


(Blogmeister's note: hey, I can swipe ideas from other blogs too! Anyway, here's a prince of a piece if-I-do-say-so-myself that I did on this by-now-classic collection of Richard Meltzer scribblings that appeared way back in BLACK TO COMM #24, and unlike the issue of Tim Ellison's MODERN ROCK MAGAZINE where the competition's "review" originally appeared a short time aftwerwards there are plenty of copies of my sainted magazine still available which I hope you'll buy up faster than you can say "post-punk college amerindie rock"! So y'see, this post is more or less a little teaser that'll hopefully spur on some of you unaware perusers of the web into buying up a fistfulla back issues of my own fanzine that will not only benefit you (that is, if you're totally unaware of the force rockism still holds at least for a few obsessive/compulsives out there), but for me (I certainly could use the loot!). It's also a lesson in comparison between "dunce talk" and "smart talk" [as you'll see below] 'n besides, for a certain someone who hasn't even read my magazine in umpteen years yet claims to know more about myself that I do, this might be a grand opportunity to start doing a little catching up on all those issues he's missed at least with this li'l writeup so don't go around saying I don't do anything beneficial for ya even though yer highness can't stand reading a word of my work anyways! [But don't worry Jay...I'm only trying to win the "thinnest skin" award again this year and {golly gee!} maybe even the next as well so's I'll get to keep the trophy PERMANENTLY!] Sheesh, doesn't anybody have a sense of humor anymore???)

Given the above book {ed. note-that being a review of HIGH ON REBELLION, a tome devoted to the life and times of the classic En Why See hangout Max's Kansas City) and the Lester Bangs bio (ed. note-which I hadn't read at the time I reviewed A WHORE JUST LIKE THE REST but which ended up getting its own writeup later on) not forgetting a ton of "archival" releases, there really must be some rumbling under-the-counterculture for 70 underground rock at this point. If I had to guess why, I'd say that this might be because enough individuals (myself included) are SICK of what has happened to rock & roll music for a good umpteen years whether it be the VOICE music section or the charts (both underground or not) and maybe nostalgia for the good ol' ANARCHIC days is much more palatable than the current neo-Nazi generally staid and calculated scene run by people who PRETEND to be open and accepting and compassionate and all those things they AREN'T. After all, wouldn't you think that an era/segment that spawned everything from no wave to DENIM DELINQUENT magazine would be infinitesimally better than the one that gave us POP SMEAR?

Which is where this book comes in..."this book" being a freshly-released collection of choice prime-cut writings by the "noted" rock scribe/BTC-influencer Richard Meltzer. A man who is to be HONORED not only for his large body (actually, he's only 5' 6" or something) of non-esoteric garble passed off as rock criticism, but also for having the only TRULY punk attitude (Lester Bangs was a distant #2, Brian Doherty and Russell Desmond might be in there as well) in classic 60s/70s rockism-speak not counting Wayne McGuire who was more punk intellectual like MODERN ROCK MAGAZINE's Tim Ellison. Besides, Meltzer never really left the boards like McGuire nor did he hafta die like Bangs so's we could read this stuff "posthumously", and that adds up to even more greatness on the man's part! Y'see, he's ALIVE in the here and now and not only that but Meltzer's the new lead singer with Smegma and that ought to amount to something even though he DID the Smegma trip back in 1967 when he created with his original industrial (pre-Stalk Forrest Group/pre-PRE Vom) "group" called either "Applejack" or "The Stump" a one-and-a-half-hour long track/tract entitled "Piss Bust", nothing but "3-second bits of Jimi Hendrix ad infinitum" that ought to be slapped onto the next Smegma release in order to Meltzerize the thing EVEN MORE, because we need it!

Those hungering for more Meltzer will be sated...ONE-HUNDRED-AND-TWENTY-EIGHT Meltzer pieces do appear here and though it coulda been about twice as good if it were twice and long and you don't get to read such classics as "Manitoba's Last Hurrah" from the 1/76 CREEM (first Meltzer read by impression) or his review of Hackamore Brick's ONE KISS LEADS TO ANOTHER (though you do get to read a paragraph on 'em page 566) this does have more'n enough zoomph to keep your palms sweaty and yourself glued to the lavvy. Such mind-altering entries include his Throbbing Gristle review from the old halfway decent VOICE ca. '79, the review of Redd Foxx's YOU GOTTA WASH YOUR ASS (also VOICE which is a surprise considering its non-Marshcus anti-"nice to negro culture" edited version also ended up in PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE which is where I first laid eyes upon it), and his SCREW piece on the Stooges (also found in Jon Eisen's FANDANGOS book) that captures the anarcho spirit of the entire proto-punk scene evident in both Meltzer/Stooges at the time. While I'm at it, shouldn't forget the lyrics to "Electrocute Your C--k" (and it ain't "cook", wordage being just as asininely brilliant as Nick Tosches' "Gaul and You", written for the Dictators) plus his review of Patti Smith's Mapplethorpe nude pix which are also worth a hoot especially because she's a dog. If you're stuck in an early anatcho/garage timewarp musico/social twilight zone such as I, this book along with hefty doses of early-sixties TV and repeated batterings of free jazz and 60s/70s garage punkdom can alleviate the pain. I find that even Smegma makes good background music for a sitdown reading, which given the current state of affairs makes for a fine time that can't be had on Napster!

Being totally objective and all, gotta say that there are parts of this read that don't do me too well. A lotta Meltzer's post-rock (mid-80s or so?) scribing for the LA READER and other sources don't digest too well all the time and might even be downright instant douse. Meltzer does get onto the hip/lefto bandwagon as well and usually to disgusting ends, reminding me of those shrill New York City liberal types who usedta complain about the crime and brutal cops and trash yet now BERATE Mayor Guilliani because he cleaned up the streets and crime plummeted! (They only complain about John Law if the cops act brutal towards non-white though...when a buncha stoned out thugs began raping white women during the Puerto Rican Day parade last spring 'n the cops did nada so's not to stir up "oppressed peoples" mob riots, these same Compassion Ltd. types remained silent WITH BIG SMILES ON THEIR FACES!)

Meltzer's WORST offense in this regard just hasta be his post-LA Riot droppage, a piece where, like EVERYONE ELSE nowadays, Meltzer just hadda apply Marx where he should have applied Mencken (or applied MOTHER JONES instead of REASON, if you get my drift) in showing off a whole load of self-righteous indignation (shudder!)! This is awful stuff where a guy I thought woulda known better slams EVERYTHING from Hollywood, THE BIRTH OF A NATION (a movie I'll defend because the Klan of Griffith is more palatable than the Klan of Compton), right-leaning blacks/latinos and of course his own white skin only to top off the heard-it-before white angst with a strange utterance stating that the world would be MUCH BETTER with ALL WHITE PEOPLE PAST AND PRESENT eradicated from the face of the earth (himself included?). An interesting wish so to speak that puts him in line with just about every seven-per-center in this nation and elsewhere and one (of many out there) that just REEKS of the current rampage against the last 5000 or so years of civilization now so chic amongst a good hefty portion of you readers. I think its funny how these white crits, so anxious to walk hand-in-hand with peoples of color and the like, can't seperate black artist X's music for good or bad and said artist's totally totalitarian political beliefs (Miles Davis' infamous "strangle a white boy" response to the question asking what he would like to do if he only had ten minutes to live is just one case in point...personally I wish that if Davis had gotten his wish, it would've been some self-loathing white critic who'd've gotten the wrenching), and frankly Meltzer falls into the SAME PIT OF DOOM with his own white race-baiting white attitude that might've (SHOULD'VE???) earned him some kickback money from Khalid Muhammed somewhere down the line. Of course Meltzer spouts off the same old tired stats that kinda seemed stilted to begin with in order to boost his case (here's one stat I DIDN'T on white crime is MUCH MORE PREVALENT than white on black, though black on black is the worst of all), though I dunno just how much of a case can be made for a very small fraction of rioters who got off with mere handslaps for bashing a truckdriver's white skull in and cried the day after riot's end because the Welfare Office was totaled! Maybe more to be pitied than loathed. Now Richard, I really like ya and all and think you're one of the swellest around, but how can anyone with BRAINS relate to a piece like that??!?! Prob'ly was a little TOO swept up in the current mode of emotions.

If you get this book be sure to staple "One White Man's Opinion" (pages 496-510) together and READ THE REST! It's fun, informative (makes a better consumer guide than 30 years of Christgau!) plus each article is personally prefaced by Meltzer giving us even more autobiographical info including dirt on people he's always hated or liked then hated such as Patti Smith (Meltzer reiterates her personal snobbishness the same way that Jymn Parrett did in DENIM DELINQUENT #7). It'll keep you busy at nights since TV rots the brain, and if anything oughta rot it it should be Meltzer. Proves that one CAN age with grace despite a few sideroads into unacceptable pose and whatnot. Read or Ignore or Die!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

fanzine review...HOO HAH!; THE BEST OF EC'S FINEST FANZINE (published around 1984 or so...check out occasional ebay auctions for availability or if you dare, write to Ron Parker, 324 Warwick, Oakland CA 94610)

In what might be yet another limp attempt to break the "conspiracy of silence" that surrounds not only this blog, but this writer and his self-published endeavors, I've decided to do a small midweek posting if only to alert some unassuming soul out there about me, myself and a tonna sweat and fervor I've hadda put into my "hobby" for oh-so-long. Anyway, since this week has been rather slow (in fact, downright creeping) with regards to various BLOG TO GULCHERAL happenings especially geared to jolt your humble blogmeister outta his usual ennui (save for a boss Cee-Dee from the Magic Markers that I'm saving for this weekend's big review blowout), you can betcha that I was in a quandary as to just what I should write about here in order to wow you rubes'n all into NOTICING ME! (like I know you should). That is, I was stymied until I decided to pull something outta one-a the big boxes in my room in order to glom a little reading material to accompany today's early-morning relief session and plucked out none other than this neat-o collection of the "best" from the "groundbreaking" (I guess) fifties-era EC fanzine HOO HAH! and the proverbial light bulb just began a-gleaming above my sweaty (remember, I was anxious to go about doing my daily duty!) brow! I dunno if this was an act of God or perhaps just plain ol' lady luck that popped this classic collection into my hands or not, but believe-you-me, stranger things (like Chuck Eddy being considered an apt, well-versed rock critic) have happened so why should I argue with kismet?

Of course you can't believe EVERYTHING you read including the cover blurb "THE BEST OF EC'S FINEST FANZINE" (I'd give that honor to a host of sixties/seventies four-color covered wonders with such classically EC-Sci Fi-inspired titles as SPA FON, QUA BROT and CHIN HO), but perhaps it was the finest back in the mid/late fifties when the EC legend was only freshly dead'n still ruminating and the only other EC fanzine on the boards that I can think of was Bhob Stewart's POTRZEBIE (created by Stewart as a wonderfully kneejerk reaction to none other than latent communist Fred Wertham!). Whatever your take is, HOO HAH! was a very good (in fact excellent given the time and effort) fanzine project that I believe (for what you'd take of that) suited the EC fan base gurgle pretty well in those pre-mania times long before comic books became the hardcore matter of hipster youthdom when Stan Lee decided to adapt a more Comics Code-prone view of the EC fan style and made megamillions with it.

THE BEST OF HOO HAH! is packaged pretty much like one of those over-sized eighties/nineties fanzines (the second issue of KICKS comes to mind) complete with some (but strangely enough not all) original covers on display as well as not only choice reprints but the sagas behind just about every word and semicolon that appeared in HOO HAH!'s halcyon pages. A pretty detailed endeavor considering just how limited such a product must have been outside the EC/fandom realm (I mean, I was actually considering a similar "Best Of" collection of tasty tidbits taken from the pages of the infamous TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE back in the early-nineties only publishing costs, copyrights and all the technicalities finally got the best of me!---that and the thought that I might be the only person alive who'd wanna read the thing!), but one that I feel needs to be done lest all this great fanzine drive of the past be totally forgotten!

But what's exactly in store once you open the plastic protector and get to the meaty self-published pow'r of it all? Well, what'cha get's a lotta early amateur-yet-engrossing endeavors not only by the soon-to-be-forgotten scribes like Larry Stark, but art and type by people who used their fanzine experience to blast off into mainstream comics fame such as Archie Goodwin, Marv Wolfman and the aforementioned Stewart. And not only that, but we also get the meaty EC articles on where it was and where it was going (which, after the "New Direction" and "Picto-Fiction" lines bombed, was MAD and nothing but!), and yeah, some of the articles appearing here may have been written (and unintentionally at that!) in your typically staid term paper fashion (not an uncommon occurrence amongst comic fandom...too bad they didn't have their own Meltzer to swipe from like we do!) but it at least gives us that li'l inkling of just what it was like to be a nerdy shell ready to burst forth into a broth of a buttsop within the short span of a good seven/eight issues trying to sneak in alla snide female nudity one could get away with a good half-century back.

Personal fave moments: the "Kurtzman Vs. Feldstein" debate regarding who was the better MAD editor (with such future heavyweights as E. Nelson Bridwell and underground comix spurrer-onner Marty Pahls giving their what for), the reviews of EC's "Picto-Fiction" titles by Stewart and Archie Goodwin (who was perhaps "thee" true force behind HOO HAH! given his contributions and cover illios), and naturally all of the rare EC arcana that's been reprinted over and over I'm sure, but at least it appears for my own perusal in the here and now thanks to this fanzine appreciation. And yeah, there are always the CARTOONS to enjoy, and although HOO HAH! wasn't a MAD fanzine "emulation" along the lines of ODD and a slewwa other proto-underground affairs the influence can certainly be felt like a heavy-handed sledge, from the six-page spoof of William Gaines' appearance before the Kefauver Crime Committee ("The Gaines Mutiny") to the bad taste cartoons along the lines of Gene Kelly's "Wilbur" (no, not the Archie Comics self-ripoff, but a kiddie comic involving a puppy that drops a turd about twice the dog's size which really makes for interactive reading if you yourself are doing a dump...hefty stuff for a kiddie comic spoof inna mid-fifties I might add?). Hokay, I gotta admit that a lotta the comic wares reprinted in HOO HAH! ain't quite up to my guffawing standards more or less reading like bad college mag gagsters that don't even appeal on a good groan level like a classic NANCY does, but I gotta say that I like the snot attitude more than...say the comic fanzine altruism of the sixties onwards and you can bet that I'll be reading HOO HAH! a lot closer tonight. In fact, if you see me making additions and corrections to this very blog post like I tend to do you'll know it's because I'm finding even more insight into this collection than I already have. Yes, in today's vigilant blogworld, your ever-ready blog author refuses to SLEEP in the name of truth and a good post that'll knock yer socks off!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

MORE STUFF FOR YOUSE TO PERUSE (well, they can't all be creative and clever!)

Didn't get to do my usual middle-of-the-week posting, nor did I even get the chance to mail out the Sparks CD-R which I reviewed last go 'round to the long-suffering Mike Snider either! Let's face it, this past week was pretty heck-tick for your faithful blogger if you ask me, what with being called up for JURY DUTY and all which is something that'll zap a lotta the sap outta this tree (I didn't get asked to sit on any juries so there wasn't any chance of me frying anyone, but then again I think the reason I didn't get picked was not only because of an old high school teacher who hated my guts that was gonna testify for the prosecution [I think he called me a lang to my face, and probably got a raise for it!], but when I sat on a previous jury a decade back I helped to send some DUI guy uppa river which I guess didn't sound like sweet music to the defense's ears either!). Naturally I still found the time (between trying to catch up on alla work I missed) to do a little enjoyin' myself with my frequent evening music spinning and reading sessions, and here are just a fewwa the things that helped occupy my free-time (between the usual internet browsing and and occasional boob-tube perusals, that is) I just know all you life-starved bloggin' fools'll wanna know about! So you can all go on LIVING again thanks to ME and my impeccable tastes which I just know you'll cherish and perhaps swipe as your own in order to impress the lads and lassies out there! And a note to Lou Rone, I really appreciate you burning Jeff Beck's ORANGE album for me, but the stoopid thing won't play on my INDOORS cee-dee player. I'll hafta give that one a spin in the station wagon once I have the chance to do a little pizza pie picking up or somethin', so it wasn't like I was ignoring it, or you!

Jayne County-SO NEW YORK CD (Ratcage)

Dunno where you can get it direct-like (both web-'dresses given for Ratcage seem t' be pubic domain now) but Peter Crowley occasionally has it up for auction on ebay (his user name is "Mr. Earl") in case you wanna latch onto this pretty good retro-garde platter. Now, I gotta admit that I never was that much of a Wayne/Jayne fan back during the heyday of the late-seventies punkerground (maybe there was too much right-side brainclog in gear), but considering how this guy/gal has only recently put out a pretty searing high-energy New York street rock affair while just about everyone else either dozed off or jumped I gotta commend he/she for sticking to his/her guns 'stead of going for the big gnu wave bucks like he/she coulda. From yet another Max's Kansas City take (also heard on THE RATCAGE SAMPLER which is reviewed in BLACK TO COMM #25 in case you're counting beans out there) to more re-re-recordings (is Jayne trying to be the new Chuck Berry in more ways than one???) to even a nice ballad that sounds more seventies-appropos than something a relative turd like Cyndi Lauper woulda whipped up, I gotta admit that I thought this one had more rockism-derived catch and oomph'n a lotta things that were supposed to be "custom made" for me o'er the past quarter-century yet sound totally alien to ANY pure rock/roll concepts that I grew up with! A surprise for sure!

Day-Z Daze-LITTLE TRAMP CD-R (Ratcage)

Crowley burned this thing for me complete w/cover graphics, and if you think that the lady on the front sure looks sweet and would make the perfect date, THINK AGAIN!!!! Yeah she's kinda cute, but on further examination (and upon hearing the baritone voice) you'll come to the realization that """she""" may really be a """"""""""HE""""""""""! But then again I think you hafta be a little cautious when you're approaching the Ratcage label roster anyhoo, so just don't go around throwing caution to the wind because you just don't know who you'll pick up at the next label board meeting. Day-Z plays the ukelele, and on this all-cover mini-disque (only 24-some mins. here!) the lad performs tuneage by everything from the Bad Brains to Jimi H. and even the Purps and Ramones (in the same song), and even if you think that ukelele rock is strictly for sissies (I don't, being a big fan of Brian Sands' overdubbed ukelele ballad "White Chocolate" on his REHEATED CHOCOLATE TANGOES mini-album from 1979!) I gotta tell ya that these tracks're just as New York (talkin' all those things you wanted to run away to the burgh for back inna seventies) as hanging out at Max's and comparing makeup techniques! There's even an appearance from Sonic Uke, who some of you might remember as Ted Gottfried from the late/lamented SEE HEAR fanzine shoppe and yeah, I'm sure a lotta you self-publishers must've hated him when he hadda declare bankruptcy, but at least he sent all the unsold mags o' mine back w/o question and I gotta SALUTE him for keeping up the Herculean task for so long! I sure miss yer store Ted...since you went outta biz it's been harder and harder to move my rag than ever...between that and all the back-stabbing that has gone on over the past two years, that is!

Dead Fingers Talk-STORM THE REALITY STUDIOS...PLUS CD (Sanctuary)

Good cover, well-placed seventies-rock Burroughs-ref, late-seventies decadence, early-seventies Stones (filtered through early-Velvets) grrrffff...all the things you'd think I'd drool over in a band and album, right? And STORM THE REALITY STUDIOS does "make it" on the boss Stones riff-energy and interesting deca-lyrics alone, though if I didn't admit that I just snoozed out as the thing progressed I'd be a regular Fibber Fox. As it stands...good in doses though hardly engaging, gonad-grabbing or just plain high-enough energy for me to give this more than the occasional referential spin.

The Deviants-"Taste The Blue"/"You've Got To Hold On"/"Let's Loot The Supermarket" CD-R (Captain Trip, Japan)

Ltd. ed. burnt offering from the fine folks at the Japanese Captain Trip label, who not only give us a recent live song taken from one of Mick Farren's umpteenth resurrections of "The Deviants" but the "remixed version" of the group's '68 Stable-era single (which really was released in Japan, and they used the picture sleeve for the cover!), and although the single sides don't sound that much diff'n the album tracks I find the entire kitten kaboodle nice enough, or at least nice enough to snuggle into my collection along with the rest of the Deviants/Farren/Fairies platters rusting away until their needed calling for some future BLOG TO COMM listening session in the hopefully near future.

Luther Thomas/Daniel Carter/Blaise Siwula/Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut-OUTCRY CD-R (No Label)

Along with Rent Control Records, Jeffrey Shurdut's No Label has been issuing a lotta fine modern-times avant jazz that covers the current improv scene just as well as the old CBGB Lounge Freestyle Series now taking place at Jimmy's Tavern did, and in order to test the waters so to speak I bought this disc starring none other than longtime BAG fave Luther Thomas honking his brains out along with Freestyle regs Daniel Carter and Blaise Siwula, not to mention the omnipresent Shurdut in there somewhere. And I dunno who this Shurdut guy is, but I gotta commend him for recording and releasing such interesting and engrossing sessions on his lonesome even though he seems to be in the background at least on this one, playing guitar, amplifier, broken chimes and metal while adding "third voice" (Thomas presumably does the "first voice," a Yoko Ono impression which sounds pretty gnarly, at least coming from a man that is!). Anyway, OUTCRY starts off with a great three-way freeplay between Thomas, Carter and Siwula before dying down to the point where Shurdut gets to do his solo on what sounds like a buzzing amp and chimes (you'll have to turn your speakers way up to get a good listen) before the thing works itself into one of those slow Human Arts Ensemble-styled workouts. If you like those early Art Ensemble discs before Don Moye joined up you'll probably get into this 'un as well. And the rest of the No Label offerings looks pretty enticing, though since I've already gone over my $1000 a month entertainment allotment for January I'll have to wait until next month to latch onto 'em. Keep tuned.


's funny, but I didn't quite cozy up to the second Keisatsu album (where the band went electric a la their main influence Tyrannosaurus Rex) nor did their appearance on the GENYA CONCERT CD and DVD elicit any strong feelings one way or the other, but I find this debut self-released disc by the original duo of Panta and whateverhisnameis to be a lot more enthralling than I thought it would've been. Kinda like early Marc meets David Peel if you wanna get hackneyed about it, but the acoustic guitar crank (sorta like Ritchie Havens doing the freedom thing without the panache and brotherhood schtick) and bongo popping sounds a lot more gritty'n the peace vibes I assume potential teen idol Panta hoped were emanating from his guitbox, amongst other things. A nice set, though beware the encroaching Kyu Sakamotoisms that always seem to creep their way into these Japanese underground forms. Comes with a shrunken version of the original inserts including that weird snap of the starved 'n nude guys with halos which only makes me wanna know...what was it all about???

THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS by Rudolph Dirks (Dover, 1974)

Interesting collection of 1906/07 Katzenjammer strips that hold up surprisingly well considering their age, but then again I've noticed that most of these dawn-of-comics offering sure read swell while most moderne-day product tends to bore instantly. Of course what else is new, since moderne strips are reflecting moderne concerns and the last thing I wanna be these days is "current," "up-to-date" or "on-top-of-things!" And just because something is "old" doesn't mean it's worthless...believe me, I'll take that "old" music, tee-vee, archetecture and COMIC ENTERTAINMENT over the new stuff anyday...just give me the "new" medical discoveries and "new" make-my-life-easier technological breakthroughs, OK? Everything else better be antiquated!

Anyway, this book begins in the middle of a continuing series where the kids, Mama, the ship's crew and der Captain (the original father and grandfather somehow getting jettisoned from the strip during the turn of the century...perhaps lost in a fatal attack similar to the one that must've offed the original third Katzenjammer brother who appeared in their earliest adventures!) were shipwrecked near the North Pole, with Hans und Fritz maliciously bungling every rescue attempt with typical aryan glee. Lemme tell you, if you're only familiar with the comparatively sedate modern version of the strip (which only seems to exist either because nobody at King Features Syndicate has the heart to give it the guillotine or perhaps because of an overseas popularity I'm not aware of) these early ones'll come as a surprise...not only are the Kids especially cruel to their elders but often turn on each other with abandon making for some especially tasty storytelling especially in light of what the post-H. H. Knerr strip in the fifties had become. By the middle of the book the cast is inexplicably back to civilization but the stories continue having the kids attacking authority (and themselves) with relish, and usually with the strip ending with the pair getting walloped by der Captain (thankfully, they never do learn their lesson!). If you can, search out Blackthorne's collection of early-thirties strips done by Knerr, who actually was an improvement over series creator Rudolph Dirks (Dirks continuing his strip as THE CAPTAIN AND THE KIDS after a long battle to retain ownership of his creation) and who was perhaps even more violent in his approach, which always is a good thing.

SMOKEY STOVER by Bill Holman (Blackthorne, 1985)

What else can I or anyone else say about this classic screwball comedy strip that still tends to guffaw me up and down the page even this far down the jaded path? Being a lover of daily groans and bad-gags, Bill Holman was the master, and you can tell that SMOKEY STOVER was perhaps "thee" bestest of the screwball batch because when MAD magazine decided to spoof it in their 1960 newspaper funnies insert they did a totally serious, staid lampoon more or less shaming the strip for "making fun of firemen" which couldn't be further from the truth. I mean, wouldn't that be like saying strips like HENRY, THE LITTLE KING, LOUIE and FERD'NAND make fun of mutes???

IT'S A FANZINE #47 (fanzine published by Gene Kehoe, 1421 Bertch Ave., Waterloo IA 50702)

While it seems as if rock fanzines have gone the way of the Edsel (albeit one shall rise again, as we shall see!), there are still a few comic book fanzines cranking away out there despite the entire idiom more or less being overrun by the prozines and websites out there doing the job that these 'zine creators more or less started! And the niftily-named IT'S A FANZINE is but one, a long-running pub that seems to be covering the same classic comic book terrain that it and many others have for quite some time. And although my tastes are more or less rooted in Velvetisms and the fandom that surrounds that particular obsession of mine, I can sure see the same effort and just plain ol' mania in IT'S A FANZINE that helped get me off my butt and start my own illustrious writing and fanzineing efforts and to that I say...HATS OFF!!!

The ish I got (#47, dated Summer 1998) has, besides an Adam Strange cover (never did like that 'un for some odd reason...perhaps the staid sixties DC art and lackluster storylines come to mind), a review of SUPERMAN #233 from January 1971 (the one where all the green kryptonite on Earth is turned to lead), an appraisal of Barry Smith (which doesn't excite me much because I never did like Smith's style though I gotta kick outta the splash page taken from his "Norman the Barbarian" spoof in an early-'72 ish of the old NATIONAL LAMPOON) and a wonderful Milton Caniff overview that kinda makes me wish I had followed STEVE CANYON more closely back when it was still around even though adventure comics weren't exactly my forte. Of course, the reason I bought this issue of IT'S A FANZINE was for the the old Scribbly/Red Tornado story editor Kehoe had the smarts to publish, this series being a rather new fave of mine that I only wish DC would immediately reprint, and not in one of those expensive hardcover editions either! It's the love-labor and pure energy in things like IT'S A FANZINE that help spur me on with regards to my own writings and fanzine aspirations, so if you have any hate mail to send, send it to Gene, not me!

CLOSING WORDS-I told you just how much I was going to post those Lou Rone and Cross photos for you...well, here they are, and reprinted nice and LARGE in order to wow your already blurry eyes! (In case you don't know, that's none other than Our Hero Lou on the left playing under the influence of Blackmore while on yer right Cross not only consider their future on the New York Rock Scene but keep on the lookout for a lead singer who won't end up hosting his own Saturday Morning Cartoon Show!!!) With the publication of these rare snaps you can now say that another blow for rockism history has been struck, though as you'll notice there will be little if any accolades heading my way. But I've come to expect that, and besides I'm not doing this for the glory and certainly not the's all because this music continues to drive me insane, and what better way to express my own obsessive/compulsiveness about underground music (and comics, tee-vee, food...) than to bore all you ignoramuses with my idle prattle!

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Yes, it'a another sunny Sunday afternoon, and while the rest of the world is out romping around at flea markets and watching boring educational programs and even more boring sports on tee-vee, what is your faithful blogger up to when he could be doing all of those wonderful things to preoccupy his time? Why, nothing but filling you all in on some of the top hot property and other things that's going on in his rather fruitful (not "fruity"...leave that to Dame Elton John) life, whether it be music or...really what else is there to bother yerself with anymore/anyway? So, here are a few things that, if you're the kind who likes to follow my every burp and bleep, you'd probably want to know about in a sorta playlist/whatever I do to keep myself outta trouble fashion...

Before I do commence with the critiquing, let me just explain to you'ins the social significance of today's blogspot title. "Kickout D. Jamz" was none other than the moniker of a totally rock & roll oriented comic character who used to sporadically appear in the earlier issues of my (stand-by for yet another freebie back-issues plug) fanzine, a butch-haired, sweat-shirted and sunglassed total rockism-devoted encapsulation of what BLACK/BLOG TO COMM stood for and continues to stand for especially in the face of a sagging anti-rock climate that was so pervasive then and continues to linger on even into these not exactly rock-friendly times. Looking back on these strips, it's not hard to see that Kickout definitely was a no-holds-barred maniac who would perhaps give his all for the music that not-so-surprisingly I too would do the same for (while remaining deep-in-the-heart of the suburban sprawl that not only he, but I love!), and I'm sure that some could say that he was perhaps rock & roll's answer to East Germany's freckle-faced commie cheerleader Manne Murmelauge, perhaps on a totally BLOG TO COMM plane and without the red scarf. (Upcoming cartoon: Kickout EXECUTES Murmelauge while various members of choice Eastern European underground groups applaud!) I'm sure we haven't seen the last of this guy (Kickout, not Manne!), who just might pop up in an upcoming ish of my aforementioned self-published wonder the same way Greg Prevost's "Dad" continues to have a life of his own, whenever Greg gets away from his Kenner's Give-A-Show Projector long enough to publish something, that is!

Sparks-KIMONO MY HOUSE CD (Island Japan, mini-LP cover version)

I'm burning this one for Michael Snider, and while I'm not sure that the CD-R in question's gonna be as crystalline clear as the original artyfact (if you ask me, these burnt CDs seem to be lacking in a li'l something more than "personality"), at least it gave me an excuse to pull this longtime faverave outta the collection as I tend to do with these teenage toppers every so often. I dunno about you, but way back then I was lumping Sparks in with T. Rex as far as hard 'n tough early-seventies rock (of a "pop" variety) went (complete with a frizzed haired androgynous-yet-hetero-oriented teen idol singer...that helped!), and years later it's so amazing just how well this stuff holds up despite Sparks having been dumped upon by a good portion of the more-effete-than-thou rock critics and hard rock fans alike. And while not as engrossing or as decadent (in a healthy seventies way) as followup PROPAGANDA I still find KIMONO MY HOUSE a rather fine Brit-pop offering where one can hear the roots of a lotta NEW YORK mythmaking (Fast, early Blondie...) which ironically had the Mael Brothers clubhopping for new members a few years later! (Plus dig the inclusion of then-current Pink Fairies Larry Wallis and Russell Hunter on "In My Family" and b-side "Lost and Found" adding a tasty heavy metal punch to the already-patented Sparks sound!)


And this is one of the groups Sparks got a lotta their inspiration (you know what I'm talking about...this ain't the kind of inspiration that you pay for by the ounce!) from, and although I gotta say that I've never been that much an up-and-front Kinks fan (oh yeah, I used to drool at their album covers during my pre-curlysprout days wishing I could hear the music onna insides, and this was at a time when they weren't even overtly popular with the mass of classmates more concerned with Beatle beards than rock & roll!) I gotta say that it's sure nice to refresh myself after a time away from the elegance of it all. Kinda sappy at times especially if you're forever indebted to the early heavy metal the Kinks in part helped to create (you can easily see just how far the Troggs had surpassed their influence at the time) but there never really was anything wrong with sap was only when said sap became more or less the foundation for entire genres of pop kultchur that I drew the line. And while I never will be as front-and-center a Kinks fan as Imants Krumins, Edgar Breau or Jymn Parrett (must be something in the Kinks that appeals to the Canadian in a feller!) I find their adaptation of then-current popisms in a British sorta-fop sense a lot more exciting than a lotta band trends that were happening in music (and elsewhere) back in them dayze! A "returner" for sure!

VIVA! ROXY MUSIC CD (Virgin Ameriga)

Here's one from that came straight outta the Golden Age of Crankout Live Albums when it seemed as if cheap-o and low-quality live sets were the norm as far as up-and-coming British acts went. I mean, amongst a slew of usually (but not always) unreleased-outside-the isles offerings there was GENESIS LIVE, King Crimson's EARTHBOUND and this wonder which not only earned the ire of record buyers worldwide but helped spur on the bootleg industry...after all, their wares, usually taken straight from FM broadcasts, surpassed the legit companies hands down! Quality on this '76 throwaway's OK...a step or two above METALLIC KO yet the whole thing sounds like just another big company tossing the bone out for us eager poochies to gobble up and nothing more. Performances are fair, maybe even snoozy in comparison to the original albums or even a slew of choice boots (CHAMPAGNE AND NOVOCAINE, a then-common platter oft seen in back-alley record shops across the globe, is way-preferrable considering its mix of Eno/Jobson as well as exemplary performances both live and Peel). Still, a good cheapie for what these things are worth and considering the number of copies that ended up in used record flea market bins, perhaps not that much!

Amon Duul II-LIVE IN LONDON CD (Captain Trip, Japan)

Another live cheapie of the seventies, yet since Amon Duul II were krauts I couldn't include them in with the British progressives listed above. Yet still, since this disc was originally issued in Gee Bee only and to coincide with a tour you could say that the same spirit that was beind such a cassette-recorded monstrosity as EARTHBOUND (well, I think that was the name of that live Crimson budget atrocity!) was behind this moolah-maker as well! The songs and performances are nothing to complain about...Renate Knaup-Whatzername's trying to be Grace Slick, Nico and Yoko Ono all at once while the rest of the band is doing their kraut-y best not knowing whether to sound like the Jefferson Airplane or Hawkwind, though even at this early stage (December, 1972) you can hear the progressive jazz chops replacing the punk drive of the earlier material. And contrary to one South-of-the-Equator naysayer I must heartily admit that I most certainly can hear a heavy Velvet Underground influence in both this and Roxy Music...have """you""" (ineffectual pipsqueak that you are) ever listened to the heavy riffage of "Phallus Dei" or (in Roxy's case) "Editions of You" not to mention "Remake/Remodel" (which early-seventies GA crit Alan Niector referred to as a Velvets/Stooges hump)? Sheesh, I guess some people ought to pick up the Q-tips and swab their ears before picking up a blog!!! Anyway, a nice messy affair for diehards only.

Various Artists-GET IN THE GROOVE CD (Norton)

Here's a Norton promosapiens that somehow got lost amidst a whole slewwa leaning-town-of-Cee Dees in my bedroom (also found two Australian-released disques, one by a Detroit group called Back in Spades and another a CD-Rom sampler of Australian punk history, but since I'm still sore at the entire continent because of a certain person who resides there it's not like I'm champing at the bit to review anything coming out of that island of sin and degradation!). Anyhoo this platter was rec'd at some swinging r&b hoedown in Brooklyn a coupla years back and not only do you get a whole buncha the Norton r&b roster (living division) front and center (Andre Williams, Mighty Hannibal, Lonnie Youngblood, the Great Gaylord...all hosted by none other than Rudy Ray Moore) screaming their souls out for you but the patented Norton pastyfaces are backing 'em up and it sounds a lot more ebony/ivory than Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder putting on the sanctimonious pose thinking they're doing something for the Harmonic Convergence! Considerin' tomorrow's Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday maybe this is the best way we can celebrate tuning into the REAL black core of it all which really lays more on the line than all of those boring and preachy sermons everybody's been subject to throughout these years! Well, at least it's a lot more dignified than watching something with Cicely Tyson or James Earl Jones innit!

IN OTHER NEWS-If you wanna go to (former Von Lmo guitarist and metallic talent in his own right) Lou Rone's website and see a lotta wyld pix and get the latest (I tried posting some Cross-era pix Lou had sent me to no avail, but as they say try, try again...), just click here, and no, I am NOT shillin' for the guy despite what a few of you out there might think...shills are brainless/heartless (or perhaps overtly heart-rendering) hacks who write juicy hagiography about whatever their boss at the company tells 'em to rag on about. Me, I'm just a FAN and nothing more, a guy who wants to see his faverave musical acts get ahead in this ratrace they call the "music biz" while remaining as far from it as possible. In the sage words of Handsome Dick Manitoba "This is nuthin' to me but a hobby", and yeah, maybe I do rave on about my faves to the point where this might even turn into a hagioblog at times, but at least my hobby's more engrossing, obsessive and ultimately enriching than collecting records, that's for sure!

And an aside to Jeroen: gee, I never hear you put down Lindsay Hutton when he's getting into his anti-Amerigan "rants" (which he's allowed to's his blog after all and you're more or less his employee, but howcum his pro-government leftwing political tirades get the green light while you're pulling me over and slapping me with a whole lotta tickets??? Been reading too much of the competition???).

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Gotta say one thing about the GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK CRITICISM (to paraphrase Eddie Flowers in some long-buried mid-eighties newsletter of his), and that's although this undoubtedly GA of rockscribing coincided w/what many on the home front found to be the unmitigated worst time for rock & roll ever (at least until the eighties made rock & roll flaccid for good!), said downspiral for music certainly didn't affect the vast array of classic rockist screeds being pumped out by a wide array of upstart punkoids who certainly had their planets aligned straight enough when detailing to you exactly why group "X" wasn't worth the salt you pounded for it. And let's face it, but it was the downfall of this selfsame GA that in part inspired none other'n ME (I really wish this blog had the capability of making words blink on and off in a vast array of colorful NOTICE ME hues, because I certainly do deserve it!) to pick up the pen and start writing about obsessive/compulsive groups that most others out there were ignoring on-purpose, and although frankly I don't think I succeeded in my perhaps limp attempts to single-handedly restore the art of rock writing as a purely rockist form to its former self, (if you're a liberal) you can always congratulate me for these gosh-honest tries because "my heart was in the right place!" But still, all I gotta say is that "ONE MERE PARAGRAPH OF MY WRITING STYLE AND SWERVE OBLITERATES TEN CURRENTLY-RUNNING BLOGS WITH ONE HARD-FELT SWOOP!", and if you don't believe me just check out a good hunkerin' portion of the blog competition and see just how sterile and hackneyed moderne, post-"zine" culture VILLAGE VOICE/SPIN-influenced/promoted rock "criticism" can be. And these same doofuses think they're carrying on some sort of "tradition" and "precedent" set by the late-sixties trailblazers who were nothing more than these "editors'" very own Davy Crockett and Dan'l Boone of the printed, HAH!

So maybe that's why I like to pull such old chestnuts as TWENTY MINUTE FANDANGOS (as well as a few choice classic fanzines) outta the fire when I'm being dragged down to the bottom of the muddy river after being weighted by way too much current-day lily-livered preachy piousness (and pseudo-decadent swill) being passed off as "honest rock criticism." And yes, the writing found within such a book (and such fanzines) are, as I've said, "old" (the book being pub'd 1971, hardly a year for banner rock & roll but like Eddie said tops for rock scribbling!) and perhaps ANCIENT to a variety of young shrubs who must've been negative-fifteen-years-old when this book was unleashed on the flea-bitten hippie populace, but then again most of the best things around today are "old"...I mean, where would we be w/o "old" tee-vee shows or "old" punk rock or "old" people who grew up with this stuff for that matter, and I gotta admit that when this humble blogschpieler hisself feels "old" all he hasta do is pick up a book like TWENTY MINUTE FANDANGOS and alla the sudden he's BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL, and this time he's calling the shots!

TWENTY MINUTE FANDANGOS is not only a great encapsulation of exactly what was RIGHT w/rockscreeding nigh on three-and-a-half decades back, but it really hits the heart w/regards to the bared-wire essence of it all. "It all" being the total energy and proto-punk NERVEGRATE that drove a young/impressionable person like myself to not only the music but the writers who were telling me all about it (and in the best, booger-nosed and non-PC-est ways possible) in the first place. I mean, this book is just dripping Richard Meltzer (now sexagenarian lead singer for Smegma) and Iggy Stooge influx to the point of condensation that I couldn't see just how the average ironed-hair girls aping the Melanie look coulda gone for a book like this one iota...

...or maybe they could! Y'see, TWENTY MINUTE FANDANGOS tries to cover most/some if not all of the early-seventies bases regarding the public's taste (or lack of it), so we do get a nice and tasty slab of Bobby Sherman's "My Secret Love List" (page 86) where he says "Last, but by no means least, in my heart and on my secret 'Love List' is the way I feel about each and every one of you!" Of course the book ain't totally made up of such heart-rendering caca (which sounded bad when Mark Lindsay was dedicating his sax solo to a girl he didn't even know, but at least Paul Revere and the Raiders made up for it with their high energy music!), so's we get plenty of Meltzer (either as Meltzer or under two pseudos inc. Borneo Jimmy and Lars Tush, not Tusb!), writings directly influenced by Meltzer (including acolyte Bobby [here Robert!] Abrams and Steve Sidorsky), references to Meltzer (the topical index to THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK printed en toto) and loads more'n your average horse-blindered blog-reading moderne-day bunsnitch could POSSIBLY stand! And if I dare say so, TWENTY MINUTE FANDANGOS is "thee" perfect antidote to Ann Powers and all that post-hippie "coolness" ol' hatchet face oozes outta every unclogged pore!!!

And you can bet TWENTY MINUTE FANDANGOS spares no semicolon in giving you the entire scope/range of early-seventies miasma that """I""", but not necessarily you, hadda grow up in! True you get loads on the early-seventies highpoints (like THREE Stoogepieces, one by fan club prez Natalie Stoogeling, another a beaut of a makeup w/more truth than you could expect from none other'n Meltzer, and the last nothing but Jackie Curtis and Rita Redd talking back/forth about Iggy and his importance to the coming gulcheral upheaval taking place as we speak), but then again you get a slice of mid-Ameriga at its snooziest (pic of ultra-square mom 'n son w/latter holding banner displaying vulgar patriotic sentiments) which is sometimes spiced up by the writer in question whether it be Danny Fields on Mrs. Miller (p. 201) and an interview with a rock & roll record burning minister conducted by Deday LaRene's cousin/niece? Janet (a bonafide teenager) who, after noticing that all of the records being melted were at least ten/fifteen years old, asks the reverend if he's heard the MC5! Yes, TWENTY MINUTE FANDANGOS is a book that will fill you in on the true trials and tribulations of early-seventies living more than a double bill of BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN and BILLY JACK (with maybe THE CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH thrown in for good measure) would ever dare!

(Which reminds me of a funny aside...for some reason in a history class back during my stool days the subject of BILLY JACK and the sequel entitled THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK came up for discussion, I think in relation to My Lai or whatever it was called and Lt. Calley's role in that slaughter. I hadn't seen either of 'em but I recall the more bleedheart amongst the classmates discussing it with the teacher, himself a bitta a post-New Deal Generation lib I surmise, with total gusto. The only thing I can clearly remember from that class "rap session" was when the aforementioned teach said something along the lines of "If they had shown the shot up dead bodies in that mass grave, the movie would have gotten an 'R' would have looked like lasagna or something!" Somehow, that line sticks in my mind even this far down the road, though I was now able to eat lasagna which I previously had abhorred...and God only knows why!)

True, some of this book tends to snooze (the Byrds interview doesn't quite gel the way I thought it would but considering that I never cozied up to the late-sixties variety maybe it's I who has the mental blockheadedness fully in gear), but as editor Eisen (who also contributes his own material including a writeup on Liberace [page 253]) says, you can do a John Cage on this one and pop in anywhere and go forth at your own rate. (Funny, you can say the same thing about any issue of BLACK TO COMM!) So if you're not really inna mood to read about Mrs. Miller or comb through the drug/Manson refs (though do not pass up Abrams' Manson spew which starts the thing's as fictitious yet engrossing as anything Meltzer has written!) you can just SKIP IT! and concentrate on the high energy all you want. And the entire trip's great because not only do you get to read a whole lotta unexpurgated rockist thumbnose that's been more or less whitewashed from the entire rock critique scam a la some Stalinist purge of a deviationist, but you also get to read the roots of ME! which I know is something you've always wanted to do. And aren't you glad that, although you can't easily enough read rock critiques by the likes of Meltzer or Tosches w/any ease these days, you CAN read my to-the-point dissections of Amerigan (and International) rockism wonders? Be GRATEFUL for once in your alternative life!

Sunday, January 08, 2006



Lemme start this one off with a funny story (well, you may not think it's funny if you're one of those stuck-up alternative blog types, but real people might gedda kick outta it!) all started when I was six years old and guess what..., local tee-vee station WYTV, channel 33 was gonna start running THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN during the afternoon hours right around the time all of us homebody kidz were front and center for some real life fun and games after a hard day of being pushed around by teachers and bullies and junk. Anyway, Yours Truly was naturally intrigued that this new to me show was hitting the airwaves...I mean, I did have some vague notions about this Man of Steel guy who flew around wearing a cape, and I remember my one cousin (who obviously was more familiar w/the guy than I) telling me over and over about this dream he had where he was wearing nothing but a Superman cape taking a bath in the Shenango River, but still, I was a bit inna dark as to what this whole Superman concept/thingie was about. But I was gonna find out soon, and boy I could hardly wait!

Well, I happened to be over at my cousin who took a bath inna river's house a few days before THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN's grand return to the local airwaves and besides myself and my aforementioned cousin discussing this and that in the kitchen were another cousin who was three years older than us and my uncle (father to the Superman caped one). Anyway, the subject of SUPERMAN just hadda pop up, and after being given a brief rundown about the guy and his super powers and things along those kiddie-level lines, my cape-draped cousin just hadda blurt out this (I guess) undeniable fact that THE GUY WHO PLAYED SUPERMAN SHOT HIMSELF INNA HEAD!!! Naturally, six-year-old me was taken aback by all this...after all, at that age I was being shielded from a lotta "real life" stuff by the grownups around me and things like people shooting themselves inna head seemed pretty much beyond-the-pale, or at least beyond the ken of whatever a kiddie's mind can comprehend! "Oh yeah" piped in my uncle, "the guy couldn't get any roles after SUPERMAN went off the air so he got a revolver and blew out his brains!" To which my older cousin responded, in a typically Eddie Haskell-ish fashion wrought with melodrama (and with index finger placed to temple and thumb straight up to represent the imaginary gun's hammer) "I don't want to LIVE anymore!" before making a huge "BLAMMM!!!!" complete with contorted facial expression.

Needless to say this affected my entire SUPERMAN viewing perception to the proverbial FULLEST...I mean, in no way could I watch the show without thinking that the guy who was playing Superman actually killed himself! Now, I did watch SUPERMAN pretty religiously (at first) and even recall trying (along with some other doofs) to climb the side of the school by placing my fingers and edge of shoes between the mortar, but everytime I'd tune into THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN this blinking neon light in my brain would go on and off saying "HE SHOT HIMSELF INNA HEAD!!!!" and that really did put a damper of sorts at least on my youthful inner-sense. And y'know what, I don't think I continued watching the show for long because for some reason it just was too grown-up and believe-it-or-not mature for my single-digit tastes...even the later color episodes that were geared towards a youthful audience and not as hard-edged as the earlier, Phyllis Coates as Lois period were more or less for the "Big Kids." But then again at that time the only things that appealed to me tee-vee-wize were cartoons and sitcoms and call me a sissy if you will, but I just didn't give a hoot about alla the action and adventure shows the other boys in school were gobbling up w/masculine gusto!

Thankfully, by the time I was mature enough to be able to enjoy such a program as THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, 33 began airing it on weekends at noon and although I woulda preferred they ran the thing weekday afternoons like they usedta I was still glad that the program was on and you can bet I was front-and-center for it as often as I could be! By this time I could understand and enjoy it all (though I still preferred Noel Neill as Lois because she seemed friendlier than Phyllis Coates plus warmer and downright sexy...not that Coates wasn't sexy, but she just gave me the creeps!), though I do remember that "Truth, Justice and the American Way" line not going down well with me perhaps because of the fact that I was listening to a lotta Frank Zappa then. Still, it was great seeing this classic show once again, and if you ask me I'd tell you that the seventies were yet another fine time for television viewing not only because of the prime-time fare (which wasn't that hot except for a smattering of watchable programs like WHEN THINGS WERE ROTTEN and the early WELCOME BACK KOTTER, not forgetting HAPPY DAYS before Henry Winkler took over that show for good!) but for the classic reruns like THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN as well as a bevy more which kept the truly intelligent kids (the ones attuned to class Amerigan culture, not those straight-C students!) glued to their sets during one of the best times to be a kiddo extant!

Anyway, it's more'n wild to actually have the entire first season of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN on Dee-Vee-Dee, and I gotta thank none other than LOU RONE for that because that's exactly what he gave me for the Holiday Season (in exchange for the entire run of SUPERCAR and AT LAST THE 1948 SHOW starring John Cleese and Marty Feldman!). Anyway, like I said, these early SUPERMANs are pretty boss and go beyond the "kiddie program" reputation that some TV GUIDE wizenheimer slapped on these shows way back when...and giving these early shows an eyeballing after all these years goes to show you that they certainly weren't meant for first-graders who just learned to wipe their langs one bit (leave that stuff to UNDERDOG, which'll only get the young'uns ready for SUPERMAN when the time comes). Believe you me, THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN is so hard-edged and tension-packed that I'm surprised I didn't try shooting MYSELF inna head after seeing the high-intensity one mere episode could pack! (And it's no wonder that the appeal of the program was so fact, one of my World War II HEROES, mainly Emperor Hirohito wrote a fan letter to George Reeves saying how much he liked the show, and who am I to argue with greatness?)

And I gotta give the entire cast credit for being able to pull off this first season with such aplomb...I mean, not only is George Reeves tops whether playing Superman or Clark Kent (who's about as rough-and-tumble as they come here...none of this sissy faints-at-the-sight-of-a-turd Clark Kent like you see inna comix!), but Phyllis Coates is boss as Lois as well, so tough you'd think she could be a superheroine herself (and that isn't put past one badski who had the hunch that maybe Lois could disguise herself and turn into Superman somehow [in episode #10..."The Secret of Superman"]!). And of course there's Jack Larson as the "jeepers"-touting Jimmy Olsen (Superman's Best Friend, or at least his Gilligan to Superman's Skipper???) while John Hamilton plays it "gruff-but-loveable" as DAILY PLANET editor Perry White. And who could forget Robert Shayne as Inspector Henderson who really plays it good as the tough cop who's brave enough to take on everyone especially when the heat's on (though the infamous episode where he quits the police force when the heat is way on doesn't appear here...I believe we'll have to wait for Season Two to get an eyefulla that one!). Anyway, put 'em all together and you'll get more than an inkling as to why "Golden Age" television was so highly respected, and why afternoon rerun/indie television in the sixties/seventies is also held in regard, at least by me!

Anyway, here are just a few highlights from the first year that you'll want to know a li'l something about. Take episode five, "The Monkey Mystery," which features not only spies but a little monkey inna Superman suit. The coming attractions for this one showed the monkey popping in through a window and some bad guy pulling a gun on it ready to BLAST THE CRITTER AWAY, leaving way too many kids to think that if they tuned in next week they'd get to see either the bullets bouncing off the monkey's suit or (preferrably) the monkey getting blown to smithereens! (Actually, none of that happens which I'm sure upset a lotta gruesome-minded gore-obsessed grade schoolers!) "The Mind Machine" (#8) not only has classic baldie character actor Ben Welden in his first SUPERMAN appearance but the great premise of a machine that can force witnesses at a trial not to testify before dying due to the strain, and Lois is next on the stand! Personal faves include "The Stolen Costume" (#13) because its the one where it kinda maybe looks as if Superman LET those two crooks who discovered his identity die the way they did ON PURPOSE which is why this one was taken outta circulation for a few years, not to mention "Crime Wave" (#24) because of that scene where it looks like Superman is done for when he gets into that room with all that electricity zapping away at him. Also tops for Season #1's "The Human Bomb" (#21) which has Lois asking the dynamite-strapped gent "Is that spelled B-A-U-M?" albeit it's kinda ruined towards the end when Jimmy starts acting like a total ass and tries to rescue Lois from the madman on the window ledge! If I were Superman I woulda pushed Jimmy off...the idiot!!!!

Anyway, if I were smart I'd ensure a happy and healthy future for the youth of Ameriga by taking over a tee-vee station, 33 perhaps, and run nothing but SUPERMAN and SUPERCAR and all those old shows that the station used to air inna old days when we didn't hafta worry about our kids (or ourselves) being exposed to ELLEN DEGENERES and THE VIEW and all that disgusting stuff seen these days. Just think...nothing but old shows and friendly announcers and just plain ol' FUN tee-vee and you don't hafta worry about whatever hip cause of the day getting stuck into a storyline either. But then again I dunno...after all, the kidz who DID grow up watching all those fantastic shows eventually did become the pampered progeny who ended up rioting on college campuses and pushing all those libber agendas that eventually RUINED life for us free-thinking types for good (they did not ALL turn out like Don Fellman, unfortunately!), so maybe my guerilla plans for a happy future would be for naught after all!

Les Rallizes Denudes-BLIND BABY HAS ITS MOTHERS EYES CD-R (no label)

For a group steeped in OBSCURITY, Les Rallizes Denudes sure have a hefty backlog of material coming out that not only clears up a lotta the mystery, but adds to it! Anyway, this CD has some relatively good quality performances (probably dating back to the late-seventies/early-eighties) including the title track (a creepy crawl spy movie repeato-riff monster) and "An Aweful (sic) Eternitie (sic again!)" (middle-eastern heavy metal market music!) not to mention the trad show closer "The Last One" which is as grating and head-throb as it ever was. Makes me hunger to read just what Julian Cope has to write up on these mysteriosos in his upcoming JAPROCKSAMPLER book. Weirdest liner notes ever too!

Paraphrase-PRE-EMPTIVE DENIAL CD (Screwgun)

I know that Dee Pop's Freestyle Series is continuing at Jimmy's Tavern, but I sure miss the days when I could tune it in when the shebang was going on at the CBGB Lounge and catch a whole lotta great, unknown and mind-twisting free jazz made better by the fact that it was all going down at the birthplace of underground rock, jazz, folk and whatnot! Anyway, Paraphrase were one of the groups that graced the original freestyle series, and although they are playing at Jimmy's soon it's not like I can tune 'em fact I hear the place doesn't even have a sound system! Anyhow, for a great current avant trip you should try this CD, with Tim Berne's tenor playing somewhat like a more structured Shepp's w/o the gospel or communism for that matter, while Drew Gress is ample enough on bass and Tom Rainey plays forceful on drums. Two extended tracks tend to tell all, and although this ain't an epiphany within the realms of avant jazzdom I find it much better'n the smooth stuff that seems to get the accolades from what is left of a "jazz establishment" these days.

IN OTHER NEWS-I thought I'd link up a few sites I'm sure you reg'lar BLOG TO COMM-sters (all two of you!) would wanna tune into given there's more to life than just me. I've seemed to have lost the link to Lou Rone's site (of course he'll send it to me more sooner than later!), but fanzine editor and libertarian genius Brian Doherty has his own blog up and rolling (actually it's been around for quite some time, only I just discovered it) called SURRENDER #6 (this being in actuality the sixth issue of his fanzine, now "on line") and although it seems to be lacking in a musical content that is sorely needed (perhaps because politics has somehow supplanted rock & roll in Brian's mind?) I'll read anything Brian writes unless it's something nasty about me, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! Not enough postings (he seems to toss out reviews every so often), but what is there is worth a perusal even if he hasn't done anything for it in almost a year. Also a must-see and hear for the average BLOG TO COMM reader is the Magic Tramps site which not only has new pix and writeups to entertain your eyeballs but a video where you can see clips of the REUNITED Tramps playing to an experimental collage of sorts, laying down this great music that on one hand comes off late-seventies New York City underground cool just like it was coming right off the stage of Max's Kansas City sometime in 1979...almost no wave in its deep repeato-riff leather-clad energy seep yet there's this kinda rural feeling extant thanks to Lary Chaplin's folk-y violin...maybe this is relatively close to what the early Velvet Underground sounded like when Henry Flynt was sitting in? You be the judge! For an unexpected New Year's treet, tune this one in!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


...that I'm only linking up here for my own personal I could care one whit whether you read it or don't!