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???).


Jeroen Vedder said...

Hi Chris,

If you were pulled over it was just so I could say I really enjoy your blog (and the stack of well worn copies of Pfhudd and BTC I have over here at HQ is more testiomonial to said fact) No tickets, just a tip of the hat and a wish you well on your journey. Just beware of diversions that might spoil your ride...

Or to put it differently: Gimme Velvets boots, obsuro mid 70s 45s, krautrock, six-o garage, fanzine histories. I'm well aware that the world is goin' down the drain, but I don't wanna be reminded in the middle of a Von Lmo review!

If Lindsay is anti-anything, I guess he's anti-stupidity. But mostly, I think, he's just grumpy. And I'll tell you what; some of his best friends are American.

Take care,


Anonymous said...

The V.U. influence is so great on the first two Roxy albums I don't know how anyone could NOT see it. I always saw Roxy's basic aesthetic blueprint as being the "White Light/White Heat" era V.U. backing Elvis Presley

Christopher Stigliano said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christopher Stigliano said...

Roxy wore their Velvets influences pretty flagrantly if you ask me, and well into the COUNTRY LIFE period (I never did hear SIREN for some strange reason, mostly lack of money or interest). It's funny, I must admit that at first I couldn't quite hear the Velvetisms in Roxy's music (heeee---I originally didn't cozy up to the Roxy tracks I did hear though I really enjoyed Eno's early endeavors so call me a zomboid!) perhaps because the Ethel Mermanisms of a lotta their songs was showing through (plus they seemed more or less faux-punk at the time), but as my ears became more honed to such things, PLUS I began reading reviews where Greg Shaw would compare "Virginia Plain" to the Modern Lovers over the early Velvets (and in 1972) and I'd come across items about how Bryan Ferry would talk the VU up and down in 1971 London when nobody else cared, well, let's just say that my interests were more than piqued...
And believe-it-or-not, but even this far down the line I can even toss the "punk" tag around when talking about Roxy, or at least in an early-seventies punkcrit way, like when people would call Mike Heron's music "metaphysical punk rock" and it seems that the birth of the punkisms that we know and love were gestating in a number of fanzines world-wide...

I once made a comment somewhere down the line about how, in the late-seventies after reading a blurb about how the Velvets were the most influential rock band of all time (and this at the height of my Velvets-obsession, which in many ways was stronger than it is now!) I just wanted to know exactly which groups the author in question had in mind then go straight to the record shop in search of their platters! At the time I thought that rock music in general was rather anti-Velvets/high energy save for a few fine items only I seemingly knew about, so the quest was something that you could bet I was more than anxiously looking forward to! It seems that this far down the line I'm realizing more and more exactly how much the VU gave the extra putsch with regards to just about everything good about the late-sixties and seventies, and everything dire that came after! And call me a stick-inna-mud, but I'm still the kinda guy who palipitates wildly over the thought of some new Velvets platter (or Velvets-influenced platter) that comes down the line, though it seems that the material closer to the organism-of-it-all satiates me the most. As I've said many a time (this is for the newcomers), too many of these current Velvets wannabes leave way too much to be's like they're all having a contest to see who can become the biggest bleeding heart or something! If more bands took the energy, avant gardeness and flippant attitude of the Velvets to heart and just forgot about the rote chord changes and balladry...