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!

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