Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Yeah, I know that the last day for CBGB as a "performace space" was back on the fifteenth when Patti Smith closed out the joint to expected rave reviews (though I thought it woulda been quite appropriate for Hilly Kristal to get the VERY FIRST ACT to set foot upon the CBGB [as CBGB and not Hilly's on the Bowery...there is a distinction!] stage to close the thing out...perhaps some long-forgotten fingerpicker whose folkie strains would end the club the way it had opened, on a solemn note), but in actuality this Spooky Holiday marks the final real day that CBGB is, for all intent purposes, CBGB. I guess this piece of real estate will reverts back to that dogooder homeless shelter organization who pined for CBGB's demise come tomorrow, though that's not the only reason I waited so long to note the death of this bonafide living legend Amerigan rock club...y'see, I also wanted to check out a lotta the obituaries for CBGB that have been printed all over the internet and maybe assess things from a POV counter to the usual lightweight laurels that have been tossed out by the usual chic-er than thou suspects. And once again I was right, given the absolute soul-less and life-less eulogies for the fallen rock zone that I've come across to date. (Only Lenny Kaye's adieu in THE VILLAGE [retch!] VOICE was worth the time to read, which would figure since he did a similarly good adios to Max's Kansas City for the same fishwrap back in the early days of 1982!)

Listen people, I could care less that CBGB was "the birthplace of punk rock"...actually it wasn't (leave that to some late-fifties Northwest hangout such as the Spanish Castle where the Wailers and loads of other loudfastwhite teenagers playing the hard black stomp would perform) or that a few big "save-the-world" stars of the late-seventies on got their start and BIG BREAK (gosh!) there and that every alternative crybaby buttwipe group vying for "the only band that matters" tag this week appeared on CB's stage at one point or another in their existence. I mean, Patti Smith and Talking Heads certainly had some great, nay earth-shattering moments down the line as did all those other seventies aggregates who sure knew how to speak for a new disengaged generation way back when, but little if anything these groups did after the decadent seventies gyrated into the glitz eighties really catered to a high-energy rock & roll mindset. (Although even a suspicious soul such as I has been mesmerized by a number of recently-recorded Smith bootlegs which have a seventies retro-charm to them...go figure!) All of that stuff is "nice" mind you, but once you get down to it very little of the whole hyped-up 1977 CBGB hotspot rose-colored lookbacks I've read as of late really mean that much to me, nor should they. Now don't get me wrong, I do have many reasons to be sad seeing this infamous flopdive deep-six even though I never set foot in the place nor felt like doing so after a certain point in time...maybe it's for whatever that was good about CBGB that I have (dare I say) semi-nostalgic pangs of seventies rockism-laden ennui seeing the dive turned into some soup kitchen, but these "feelings" do come off differently than all of the one-dimensional ultra-light praise that has been heaped on by writers whom you would have thought hated CBGB deep inside for its helping to destroy their sense of megalomorphic technical mainstream musical perfection.

In case you doubt my sincerity, let me just list a few of the reasons I think that CBGB was, in general, a cool place for rock & roll nurturing:

1) CBGB had a policy of booking original music groups ONLY, and this radical policy was being enforced at a time when almost every other beerjoint on the planet was raking in the dough with cover bands doing the hits and "tributes" to the big name arena acts in the biz. Strangely enough, a good portion of the "rock fans" out there thought that such fun and games were a great sign of musical vitality (or perhaps they just liked the music for backdrop to picking up some fast sex), and because of this avoided original (or underground) rock with a hell-bent passion. And if thinking original rock & roll was way superior to cover band hijinx and that the people who liked that sorta smudge were a load of manuremongers makes me an elitist, well then I guess I can't find a better thing to be elite about! CBGB helped pave the way for original music rock & roll bands to flourish, so the next time you happen to hear some whining adolescent faux-boho jive vaguely reminiscent of the past quarter-century of what alternative rock doth wrought, thank CBGB for it!

2) However, despite the wide array of original music peep rock jamz unfortunately on the end-line of about fifty years of hard-edged attitude, I must 'fess up to the fact that a good number of those groups who never got beyond the performing stage (let alone recording or releasing their tasty wares) were pretty good and certainly didn't deserve their eternal status in the vast chasm of garage band obscurity. An act like Kongress back in the seventies coulda run rings around just about any other live practitioner of more "commercial" sounds and the fact they didn't get their stuff out only shows us that we're the poorer for it. In the eighties there were some mighty groups coming from the stages of CB's (or their next door sister club CB's Canteen/313 Gallery, and even later on in '99 CB's Lounge)...bands such as Fire in the Kitchen and Disposable God Squad who could rock out or do the inward-turned high-intensity trip like few others. Even well into the oh-ohs there were a whole lotta acts playing all three stages who I felt could match might with some of my fave raves, only they never got a chance to get their acts together and record, or at least get their own myspace page to drum up even a shard of support for their meaningful endeavors. I used to watch a lot of cybercasts featuring small-change fly-by-night bands who seemed to come and go and true, a whole load of them were rather pale copies of the big guns and had very little meaning or relevance regarding my personal sense o' values, but once in awhile there'd be some killer act playing their white-hot nova music only to disappear for all time leaving my personal psyche to wallow in the dust so to speak. Just scour this blog for reviews and mentions of a number of acts of varying stripes that I've caught on the virtual reality stage of CBGB whom you'll never read about anywhere else on this planet, and having tuned into these various cybercasts since their inception in '99 and osmosing the vast array of flybynight talent to play CBGB only has me thinking...what forgotten wonders of the previous 26 years did I miss out on?

3) CBGB (and sister clubs) booked a lotta acts that fit in well with my favorite styles and sways of all sorts of music. True I'd occasionally tune into the main club and come across a lotta derivative alternative and metallic musings that didn't quite fit in with my sense of pride, and more than once I'd be honed in on the action going down at the gallery only to come across some femme singer/songwriter telling us about her unbridled love for the music of Joni Mitchell (even though I gotta say I found nothing offensive about the gal's performance or even her Joni reference which makes me wonder why I brought it up in the first place!), but even with the attention paid to musics that don't quite light my pitted butt CBGB still seemed to have a natural sense for showcasing a lotta styles that I've been rah-rah-ing for quite some time now which only goes to show you that great minds think on the same wavelength. Not only the garage rock that the club made its name with (mainly because at the time there was nothing else for New York rock critics to claim they had discovered), but avant garde jazz, no wave, high-energy heavy metal and other whacked-out sonic excursions that could easily mingle side-by-side with the usual underground rock trends being hyped incessantly at the time. You could say that CBGB was a punk rock club, but then again you would have to extend the meaning of the word to include such acts as Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Sonny Sharrock, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, Luther Thomas, Byard Lancaster, Loudon Wainright III and a buncha outside-the-rim aggregates and personalities I'll find out about one of these days. And if you wanna call alla 'em punks, well it sure comes off a lot better'n calling Eddie Vedder (yet another CBGB alumni) one!

4) CBGB was a major promoter and champion of what's called the Velvet Underground-sound! I dunno about you, but for a good spell of the late-seventies I was more or less intrigued by the whole Velvets reason-for-being, although I really wasn't fretting about the fact that this group didn't exist no mo' like a lotta aficionados of the form were...y'see, I figured that with the likes of Television, Patti Smith etc. creating the same sense of power and energy as the Velvets (while looking as innocently dangerous as they did), who really needed a Velvets reunion anyway! Sure, it woulda been nice if the VU got back together in '77 and did their album and tour then split sorta like the original Byrds did a few years earlier, but it only would have been a nice "aside" especially with all of these "new" Velvet Undergrounds springing forth from the stage of CBGB as well as its friendly competitor Max's Kansas City. No nostalgia trips were needed especially when the energy was being revealed before my very ears!

So hey, let's all bid a fond bye-bye to CBGB and maybe even all of those great acts that made the place home (though with the vast array of original music clubs there are in En Why See, I don't think any of the groups who were playing there will have problems obtaining gigs), not to mention all the mythmaking (like Handsome Dick Manitoba getting clunked on the head by Wayne County) and of course all the nastiness. (Their employees weren't exactly graduates of the Emily Post School of Etiquette...in fact Paul McGarry told me about the time he went to CBGB during the daytime and some jamoke working there started yelling at him to get lost because the place was closed and he yelled back even louder saying he came all the way from Canada to see CBGB and by golly he was gonna see it or else! And y'know what? The worker actually relented and gave Paul the cook's tour!) It was nice while it lasted all these thirty-three years, and who knows but maybe the next generation of underground scuzz will be springing up soon somewhere else to catch all of us by surprise but don't get too rambunctious about it because, hey, this is the twenty-first century and do you think rock & roll will be allowed to live much longer??? So say goodbye, cry a little if you wish, and hope that someday soon someone has the initiative to go and reopen the 82 Club so we can all act seventies decadent once again!

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Not much of a weekend blogschpiel this time because (frankly) I pretty much said all I hadda say in the past three posts and sometimes the creative juices don't flow as fast as they should. (It's not like I wake up inna morn with a lightbulb hanging above my head which clicks on and all of a sudden blessed rockism inspiration flows from my brain to my fingers to the keyboard to you...) Anyhoo, all I have submitted for your approval today is one measly CD review (woulda had more but the entire CD-R order including some Gunter Hampel Birth reissues I got from mtnwad jazz sticks like nothing you'd believe and until I drag out my old rentbuster or take a long drive in a small car I can't judge any of those for you). Also on hand are writeups of some choice reading material you may or may not care about to begin with, and if you think you're getting slim pickins today you are RIGHT! But maybe if you're nice I'll make it up to you sooner or later with one of my big special edition posts featuring a subject near and dear to all our hearts, if I luck out enough that is.

Bob Dylan-HARD RAIN CD (Columbia)

I dunno what your particular opinion of Bob Dylan is, but for me he sure is one tricky fellow to figure out! Back when I was a kiddo and the man was whining his way up the charts with such unabashed folk-rockers as "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Just Like a Woman," I had no (nada, nyet!) idea who he was since the guy wasn't exactly filling up the tee-vee screens with hot WHERE THE ACTION IS and SHINDIG appearances, and besides that it wasn't like I had my ears attuned to the transistor radio at such a delicate age digesting every shard and snap-crackle pop of the teenage top 40 scene like most of the other kids did. Much later on when I began sorting through the record bins at a variety of shopping mall hideaways, I kept coming across a whole batcha these Dylan platters just wonderin' who this guy who at first looked like Woody (brother to Arlo or so I thought!) Guthrie and later on like Jimi Hendrix exactly was. I figured that since he had so many albums out he just hadda be big and popular, and when the buzz came out about his controversial George Jackson song that nobody on the radio would play I had him figured out to be one of those New York rabble-rousin' beat types like John Lennon and David Peel or somethin'. Or maybe nothin' for that matter.

Anyway, before long it was like you just couldn't escape this Dylan (whose name I thought was pronounced DIE-lan 'stead of like the tee-vee marshal's moniker...at the same time I was pronouncing "Jimi" as JY-MY so what does a stoopid kid know anyway???) character! Especially with all the bigtime publishers plasterin' his face on the covers of their rags proclaimin' him to be on the same sainted plateau as the Beatles and Stones, and with a whole slewwa attention being made to his every slight move (such as Dylan's signing to Asylum records and his tour with the Band) even a stick-inna-mud like myself was wondrin' just who this character may be! Pretty soon we were even starting to get Dylan imitators out there from Stealer's Wheel to Bruce Springsteen, and for a kid who was kinda bummed out that he didn't get a chance to "come of age" inna sixties when all that hot stuff was happenin' all I gotta say was getting it second hand was at least the next big thing even though, for what its worth, this seventies Dylan trip wasn't exactly the stuff rock dreams were made of!

Of course we eventually hadda put up with a whole slew of Dylan atrocities from his Rolling Thunder Revue barnstorming tour (which resulted in a duff feature called RENALDO AND CLARA and perhaps one of Dylan's top ten recorded disasters, the overwrought and lackluster "Hurricane") up through his late-seventies alleged Christian conversion which was about as sincere as Larry Flynt's plus an additional quarter-century of magnified laurel resting and you all know what you can do with that! Maybe you could say that Dylan, just like all of those ex-Beatles and partying Stones and whatever washed-up hasbeen rockstars out there who haven't done a blasted thing in years, wipes his butt just like the rest of us...true, but at least if you pick and choose hard enough you'll come up with a few tasty morsels through his career, and believe-it-or-not but even jaded I feel that a few of them are actually very good here thirty/forty years later! So who cares if he's a haggard old nobody these days who seems to have less "relevance" to whatever music scene that may remain than Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole had once the rock & rollers stole their thunder. At least when Dylan struck that hot iron (mostly on old bootlegs and various mid-sixties endeavors) he was worth a little more than all those Joan Baez wishywashy tootlings and Melanie and James Taylor folkstenchers who were BIRTHED from the loin of the one called "Z".

But whynheck did I buy this oldtime Dylan live throwaway anyhow??? Was it the cutesified pic of a long 'n curled Bobby looking like the latest bi-rocker starlet that Columbia had the good enough decadent sense to emblazon on the cover, or perhaps it was the thrills and chills of reliving past protest glories with the rest of the Rolling Thunder Brigade to the point of where I wish I had a draft card so I could burn it with unbridled anti-LBJ glee?? Perhaps I snatched the thing up because of the way Dylan likes to rework stale bread into fresh pudding??? Naw, I got it because I read Mick Farren's review of the thing originally printed in NME way back in the day, and it was solely because Farren (a critic who I certainly pay attention to on musical matters even if his subject matter isn't worth the paper said review is printed on) had the good sense to at least publish this one line (written in the safe pre-mania confines of 1976) "...at least three other tracks sound like the early Velvet Underground (my emphasis) running on good natured yahoo instead of junkie pervert sleaze." Yes, one simple plopping of the phrase "early Velvet Underground" (used in proper rockism context) is enough to make this rather jaded fan drop upwards of a hundred smackers, or even something more disgusting, and at a moment's notice as well.

Still trying to figure out exactly which three songs here sound like the Velvets, and while I'm at it I wonder if their sounding such a way has anything to do directly with Bobby Dylan or perhaps because of the presence of backing guitarist Mick Ronson (who was certainly having a busy time of it in '76 not only backing up Dylan but working with Ian Hunter and producing/performing live at Max's Kansas City with Mary Hogan and the New(er) York Dolls come to think of it). Whatever, HARD RAIN is a "document"...maybe a good one at that as the man and his all-star backing group don't come off looking like the doofuses they did when appearing on SOUNDSTAGE around the same time this gem came out. I have the strange feeling that bootlegs of the same tour probably show Dylan and company in a better light, but whether they do or not would have to be decided in some future post...thankfully, what we do get is a tasty "Maggie's Farm" which has enough equal parts street smart and cornpone to make it with both the country and city kids and a stronger "Lay Lady Lay" which fortunately transcends the usual thirty-plus ex-hippie ROLLING STONE mag dinge which seems to have permeated just about everything that was youth-related ('cept for fanzines and underground rock!) at the time. Still, HARD RAIN doesn't quite reveal alla that Patti Smith-influenced sixties reshaping that I was hoping for. Leave that to another '76 sleeper, mainly Elliot Murphy's NIGHT LIGHTS which does a better Dylan/Lou Reed mooshing than this one ever could. Definitely a lower-case must get for the casual peruser, and I'll probably be playing this one once in a blue moon while, if only for the fiber.


MAD FOR KEEPS (Crown Publishers, 1958)

When I was a mid-teen getting hold of a lotta the earlier (mostly 1963-vintage) issues of MAD magazine, I was surprised to find out that besides the availability of the then-long-in-print MAD paperback collections (which not so surprisingly I had a complete collection of) which were being sold via the mag there was also a series of hard-covered books with rare MAD material that I definitely could not live without! Being the MAD maniac that I am, I longfully lusted over wanting to own these more-enduring books as well (as a youth, my idea of the perfect ranch house existence was one chock-fulla all sorts of late-fifties to mid-sixties gulcher with models, paperbacks, comic books and magazines, records and other pertinent Amerigan youth fodder crammed all over the place in the bedroom, garage, basement, attic etc. revealing to one and all who would pass within the front portals that WITHIN THESE WALLS LIVES A THROBBING YOUTHFUL CONSUMER OF FUN AND FROLIC!!!), and although I got hold of MAD FOR KEEPS a good thirty-plus years afterwards I'm still drooling over the fact that I have a flesh and pulp copy of the thing in my grimy paws and even though the natural erotic glow of owning such an item has worn off ages back I still feel a little tingle here and there just like I do when I get hold of some old real-life issue and solemnly study the great Kelly Freas art and Wallace Wood comic strip mimicking just like I did when I was a kid and would get laughed at for such things.

One thing I'll say about this book and that's the ads for 'em in MAD sure made 'em look a lot thicker'n they actually were! Too bad MAD couldn't have spoofed themselves in this regard like they used to make fun of deceitful packaging and consumer frauds but frankly, the folks at MAD who were so intent on protecting us from dishonest labeling and revealing to us just how the camera can lie were doing the same things with regards to their own product! But still, at least MAD FOR KEEPS is a neat collection with loads not only from the comic book days but the early Harvey Kurtzman magazine era which was always the best time for the serious fans. A lot of this has since been re-reprinted in paperbacks and those recent nostalgic forays, but at least we don't have the taint of fifty years of hindsight telling us in which sort of light we have to view these stories, and thankfully the lack of fifties-guilt makes such a trip all the more enjoyable.

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND by Richard Witts (Indiana University Press, 2006

Only an unrepentant Velvet Underground maniac like myself would seek out just about any shard of information on the band via these books, and although that would mean sweating through worthless prattle the level of Albin Zak's THE VELVET UNDERGROUND COMPANION or totally immersing myself in the wit and wisdom of ALL YESTERDAY'S PARTIES, at least such endeavors can be totally engrossing even though they could be quite painful at times. And after re-reading this 'un over and over these past few days all I gotta say is that Richard Witts' book on the same subject at hand lies somewhere between these two poles. Not sure exactly where THE VELVET UNDERGROUND may be placed with regards to all of the words both wonderful and hideous that have been written about the VU, for the thing itself is quite a mixed bag of pertinent information smothered in a whole lotta nada that only a dry and downright intellectual college professor could bear to put forth upon a gonzo rockism populace.

I mean, Professor Witts has cleared up a few things about the early days telling us approximately when those earlier Velvet Underground members were in and out of the band (even the obscure Electra gets a mention!), and although he contradicts himself here and there and even I caught a few incorrect facts scattered about at least Witts' sense of Velvetisms seems properly attuned as he cleverly avoids all the cliches and overwrought hackery that has plagued the band for the past two decades. However, Witts' typically academic reason-for-being is clearly set in the here and now, so's we get tagged with a whole slew of extraneous gunk that people had the good sense to leave out of the original Velvets mix. Like, reading about Joe McCarthy this and Stonewall that (I mean, Lou might have been homo, but he didn't turn gay until the record label heads told him to back in the late-eighties!) as if it really had anything to do with the Velvets or anything in particular for that matter is just a lotta extra baggage being tacked on to fudge certain points more Witts' way, if you know what I mean. He has the right to do just that (it's his book!), but in doing so THE VELVET UNDERGROUND can be about as intellectual as a discussion of Sartre contemplating his navel, and frankly, I would think the Velvets deserve a lot more than tiresome intellectual drudgery, especially in these days when tiresome intellectual drudgery seems to be the norm.

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND would make a nice cheap find read if you come across it at the right (cheapest) price, but for the real meal deal stick with ALL YESTERDAY's PARTIES for true Velvet appreciation and wait with baited breath for my own Velvet Underground tome which I hope some eager publisher out there will wanna snatch up and put forth to an anxiously awaiting world of aging Velvet goombahs. This book'll be one of those cut and paste jobs like Rudolph Grey did where famous and not-so rockers of the sixties and seventies tell their own stories about how the Velvet Underground changed their lives for the better, and if you think this is one of the best ideas to have hit the publishing world since TWENTY MINUTE FANDANGOS AND FOREVER CHANGES then say a few Hail Marys or even a Glory Be or two in the hopes that my book gets pasted, published and sent to every young and throbbing potential rocker on this planet thus insuring a future of total rock & rolling despite all the amputations (cute, hunh?).


RAW POWER numbers 3 and 4

A year or so ago, I reviewed the fifth issue of this Los Angeles heavy metal/punk fanzine and found it to be a pretty neat trip back to the late-seventies rock days of yore which were much better than fans of the eighties (yek!) would dare to imagine. In many ways RAW POWER was a 'zine on the same stream-of-consciousness level as a whole load of fellow Los Angeles-area mags like BACK DOOR MAN, DENIM DELINQUENT, TB SHEETS and perhaps even RADIO FREE LA with its honest, talk-to-you styled writing coupled with a mix of the old and the new making for a pretty exciting reading experience even if you weren't too hot on the heavy metal groups (this being metal after the fall) in question or you thought that the punks were too punque for your tastes, if you know what I mean.

The RAW POWER issue that I reviewed earlier was a pretty pro job with a glossy cover and newsprint insides not that different than what CREEM or ROCK SCENE were doing at the time, so it's interesting to see just what the preceding two issues looked like. Well, #3 (from August '77) is an interesting-enough trip...a xeroxed one-sided one staple in the upper-left corner job that hardly owes anything to what would soon be. Despite the low-fidelity, the overall quality is quite good and this RAW POWER actually reminds me of an early issue of BEDLOE'S ISLAND, not in content (BI was British rock-oriented) but in personality. Featured: co-conspirators Quick Draw and Babalooie's interview with cover stars Legs Diamond and of course their moaning and crying about how hard it is to get new wave in the valley! Live reports feature early info on the likes of the Zeroes and germs (small "g", please!) with an early Darby snap to boot, and though this RAW POWER doesn't have the same snideness as BACK DOOR MAN nor any of the quality of DENIM DELINQUENT it sure was a nice artyfact that survives a lot better down the line than a whole batch of more recent fanzine fodder that got praised to the hilt despite not quite ringing the bell, dontcha think???

Strangely enough, the next issue saw a big boost in quality from two-sided saddle-stapled printing and two color cover (featuring Iggy), all in newsprint to boot! More of the same Quick Draw/Babalooie hijinx can be found here (it's great reading these interview the two have with various up-and-coming plopsters from Angel and Widowmaker to Sister [featuring the ex-"Doll"/future WASP singer Blackie Lawless] asking them what they think of punk rock!), and I gotta admit that the professionalism that can be found in comparison with the previous issue is fantastic! One of the highlights of this one is the interview done at some hotel with the Dictators which is perhaps one of their funniest...these guys were always going out of their way to be obnoxious and un-pious as they could and here they are no exception. (And if you're one of those "Politically Correct" types who moans over some of my more caustic commentaries, let it be said that the Dictators would make you downright CRY!!!!!) And I asked this before and I'll keep asking it until I'm blue in the face, but Quick Draw...where are YOU??????


I dunno if you remember this one, but I WANNA BE YOUR DOG started out as a French fanzine in 1976 covering the budding punk rock scene back when the past ties to the likes of the Velvet Underground and Detroit groups weren't exactly being hidden as they would be a year later when the Sex Pistols proudly declared they had no roots! Soon an English-language edition followed, and both of these rags have become collectible amongst the kinda dolts who collect stuff like this no doubt! I have a few of the French language versions of this mag, but this #7 is my first one in English and it's a cooker as well...all glossy with loads of news on the up-and-coming punks amongst other worthies, with Eddie Money (???) featured on the cover complete with interview inside. Didn't read that one yet, but the stories and interviews that I did are totally in that hot BACK DOOR MAN style of fanzine journalism that unfortunately died out around the same time people like John Kordosh were coming in. Well, actually the only thing I've read so far in this 'un are the pieces on Deaf School, Cheap Trick, Crime and the Dogs, not to mention the record review section which includes such winners as Gregg Turner's writeup of the Stooges "I Got a Right"/"Gimme Some Skin" single that's bound to get the heart palipitatin' the same way Lester Bangs used to do. A verifiable wowzer for sure, and one to make just about every shard of rock writing that has come down the pike since 1984 or so look like the loser's game it most surely is!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

NANCY ARLEN (1942-2006)

Sad news, via Artnet. Nancy Arlen, 64, sculptor who showed her cast-polyester abstractions at Robert Steffanotti Gallery and the New Museum in the 1970s, died following heart surgery on Sept. 17, 2006. Arlen made a series of glass works in 1983 and then more-or-less retired as an artist. She was also the drummer for Mars, one of the "No Wave" bands featured on the 1978 NO NEW YORK record album produced by Brian Eno. Mitchell Algus Gallery exhibited some of her works in 1998, and is working with the estate.

(This obituary is also available in the comments section of my Mars studio recordings review which is where I retrieved it 'cuz such news would benefit more people if posted in the here and now. Anyway, the passing of Arlen is is something I'm sure fans of the seventies underground would certainly want to know about, and naturally such an occasion as this is one for deep reflection and perhaps even the shedding of a tear or two [though I didn't know she was so old... I guess these New York punkers were doing the best they could to keep their ages mum, eh???].)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kraftwerk-BREMEN RADIO 1971 CD-R (bootleg)

Yeah, the bootleg scene hasn't been that hotsy-totsy as of late (give or take TWELVE YEARS), but here's a really snat one that's come across my path only just yesterday thanks to the kind generosity of Mr. Imants Krumins. 'n not only that, but if you click on the above link (and have a little bitta computer savvy) maybe YOU TOO could be the proud owner of this brand-spanking-new boot cee-dee without paying the big buckskins that are usually associated with procuring these long-desired rarities guaranteed to make your heart (amongst other things) go "boom!" Who says we're living in a vast internet wasteland with such unforseen wonders as INSTANT BOOTLEGS at the reach of our very fingertips anyway???

So here it is (if you so wish), Kraftwerk live in 1971 right after their debut album was already corrupting impressionable young krauts to the height of collective mass guilt for the existence of James Last. Besides that, this ain't one of those Ralf Hutter/Florian Schneider efforts where they prance off into the outer reaches of minimalist space cantatas (nothing wrong with that mind ye!) nor their latterday electronic disco iceberg emotion style that fit in well with the post-Devo gang, but the now-infamous Hutter-less edition of the band when future Neu!-meisters Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger were filling in for the bespectacled one to amazing effect! And (as you'd already know from their "Truckstop Gondolero" video that was bootlegged all over the place these past ten years), they add to the German expressionist motif in a fashion that I (in retrospect) wished the Kraftwerkian infrastructure would have been permanently modeled on with their downright punkoid playing that coulda made Kraftwerk the Stooges of Germany if they tried hard enough! Too bad Hutter decided to come back to the fold with the Neu!-faction vamoosing and Kraftwerk hadda eventually get sandwiched into the dancerock/futuristic hoodoo pigeonhole, but at the time BREMEN RADIO was broadcast (7/25/71) Kraftwerk were perhaps at their pinnacle, presenting a pretty hard-edged variation of krautrock that I would say actually equalled the similar primitive garage band aural crankouts that the competition from Amon Duul II and Can to even the more addled groups of the land (German Oak come to mind) were putsching forth in relative obscurity.

The aural quality's immaculate (especially given the 35-year-old "maturity" of the source material) and the performance is so unlike the legit Kraftwerk offerings with Rother's rudimentary guitar and Dinger's "motorik" drumming dominating the sound (Schneider is pretty much mixed to the back) to the point where this group arguably ceases to be Kraftwerk and more or less ends up as a proto-Neu! effort I'm sure 75% of the kraut-loving British punk rock scene in '76 woulda slashed for.

The disque begins with an outta left field and totally-unexpected soo-prize called "Heavy Metal Kids," 'n although I believe this is one of those spurious bootleg titles that have misled many an ignorant neophyte over the years the name of this one really does fit the subject-at-hand. Remember that old issue of GULCHER where a then-unknown Thurston Moore referred to Suicide a "heavy metal Kraftwerk"??? Well, this Kraftwerk IS "thee" heavy metal, bub, especially with Rother's guitar doing the best primal thud that early-seventies metal was known and loved in the fanzine world for, sorta coming off like the daftest Tony Iommi wannabe cranking along with the cultured European school of minimalism that somehow seems to be plunging to the same depths of atonal despair as Sabbath etc. were around the same time. And don't tell me it was only a "coincidence"!!!

And what's really super about BREMEN RADIO 1971 is that there's only ONE previously-released number here, the once-well-known "Ruckzuck" which sure enough begins like the album version, but without Hutter's keyboards (and with Rother's guitar) the song veers off into a decidedly different direction sounding more late-sixties guitar psychedelia than early-seventies techno. (One of the best things about krautrock, like Hawkwind, the Pink Fairies, punk rock and the best movements of our time, is that it was reactionary and hearkened back to past triumphs that were perhaps jettisoned way too fast from the memories of the pop-listening public of the day.) In fact, other than the (very) basic structure, there's really nothing here that compares to the more familiar take so it's "almost" like a totally different song at that!

The whole of BREMEN RADIO 1971 is like that...heavy-duty repeato-riff quasi-psychedelic rock which has a Stockhausen-bred sense of Teutonic order on one hand and Stooges-level dunce-thud on the other. A winning combination, especially on the final track (entitled "K4") where Schneider plays his violin with what sounds like a wah-pedal coming off more like Ron Asheton than David LaFlamme. Krautrock (in its best incarnations) always had that provincial soundwarpage to it, and if you think that late-sixties garage primacy and the European classic tradition could walk hand in hand, maybe BREMEN RADIO 1971 is for you. Anyway, if this one had gotten around back then, maybe groups like Kongress wouldn't've come off as such a shock.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I dunno what the weather's like in your part of the world, but here in Sharon Pee-Yay we're smack dab inna middle of Autumn and boy do I hate it! Gotta say that for me Fall's the second worst season of the year...oh, it's OK at the beginning, but when the leaves start tumblin' down and you have to rake 'em up and scoop 'em outta the rain gutters hopefully avoiding any unseen cat manure or dormant bats in the process, the natural situation surely collides with one's sense of laziness! Then again, I also hate Winter because of all that snow one has to shovel up, and Spring ain't that hot of a time because the tree fuzz wreaks havoc with my nasal passages. Summer...well, I do have a soft spot in my heart for that time o' year mainly because it reminds me of when I was a kid and didn't have to go to school or act civilized'r anything! It's always nice to keep in touch with your Inner Brat.

Enough chat...before I clue you in to a number of interesting items that have come my way as of late (which I assume is the reason you tune into this blog, perhaps looking for a shard of something in-line with your sense of primitive rockism, or general slobboid Amerigan tastes, or both, or none for that matter), I know that you're more than anxiously awaiting my opinions on a certain new blog that has appeared on the internet scene which I assume will be making a big splash in the days to come. And yes, you would also be correct to think that I surely breathed a sigh of relief when the said blogschpieler had decided to abandon his previous blog for what at the time seemed like some totally occult reason. And while we're at it, yes dear reader, even """""I""""" harbored a few ideas/wishes that it was my own personal salvos against this bulwark of misinformation and downright distortion which brought his blog to a thankful demise, but alas that is not the case since the "man" has brought forth a totally new blog (not counting his beer-oriented one which I haven't yet perused since I never really cozied up to chic alcoholic microbrewery snobbery) onto the internet scene which, unlike his previous endeavor, will deal with subjects beyond the standard alternative/indie music clique which was the sum whole of the previous blog's existence for all the good or bad that may imply.

OK, as we all know by now that this mysterioso blogger is none other than one Jay Hinman, and his new blog goes under the moniker of Detailed Twang which, as Hinman explains on the said blog's initial post, is the name of some number by the British post-something group The Door and the Window. Funny, I almost bought one of their discs back in '79 back when Systematic Distribution had just changed their name from Renaissance Records, but I got over it. Still, I'm sure that more than a few recent visitors to BLOG TO COMM must wonder exactly what it is that I have against this guy (or more accurately, vice versa), and given the solemn occasion of a new blog from the pen, er, keyboard of Mr. Hinman maybe it is time to explain things all over again. After all, the year 2004 seems soooo long ago and memories are perhaps a bit hazy at this point in time, so for the newcomers to the BLOG TO COMM sphere of influence perhaps a little, or even a LOT of background and analysis is in ordure (no sic).

Anyhoo, for a little history if you will...as you might or might not know, besides being the creator/moderator of this humble blog I am also the editor of what in my admittedly biased opinion is a nice albeit shifting-quality fanzine called BLACK TO COMM. Rather than give you a detailed rundown of the history of the fanzine which you can easily enough read elsewhere, let me just say that this title began in 1985 (for the previous four years I had been contributing to a variety of magazines and wanted less, uh, "editorial restrictions" with regards to many of my more scabrous submissions) and within a few years the creation had evolved from a fun yet low-budget crudzine to a nice offset-printed publication which at times has even included a bonus compact disc featuring some extremely rare (still!) music that I had been championing yet had not made it out beyond the confines of a few eager beaver collectors and rockism maniacs like myself. And, after over twenny years at the helm all I gotta says is that I most certainly am proud of my efforts in dishing these BLACK TO COMMs out at an unsuspecting (or perhaps unprepared) populace, although I certainly would have done a lotta things differently had I the chance to do it all over again like be even nastier to a lotta the enemies of rock & roll and all high energy musics who unforunately wield a little too much power out there, if you get my drift.

The oddest thing about putting out these BLACK TO COMMs not only on such a shoestring budget with an irregularity more akin to the winner of a peanut butter eating contest has always been that...although I'd been doing it for what seems like ages on end and have more or less cultivated a mystique and aura about the thing, it always seemed as if when each new issue had arrived it was like I was starting all over again in getting people to know that not only did this fanzine exist, but that """""I""""" did as well. Believe-you-me, it sure did get frustrating after awhile banging my head on doors and coming up with the "who's he???" response more often than not, and you can bet that I sure understood what Eddie Haskell meant when he told Wally that he hadda act like a big brass band to get anyone out there to notice him because I sure hadda as well. And yeah, at times the self-hype and publicity-generation (or what I could do with such limited resources) did help a bit, but unfortunately when the much-needed publicity did come more often enough it was either way-too-patronising or more often than not downright destructive as Gerard Cosloy's oh-so-cute remarks in his once-Peter Gabriel-dominated fanzine would attest to.

That's why I had been anxiously awaiting any positive mention or comment (no matter how small or humble, though the bigger the better I always say!) regarding BLACK TO COMM when the blasted thing would arrive from the printers and into your sweaty palms. Sure, such responses never resulted in any issues instantly selling out nor did whatever publicity that may have been generated really add up to any great shakes on my behalf, but at least a mention from Byron Coley in SPIN would bring in two or three orders at best plus would plant a few seeds in a number of fertile minds out there. And, like I said, with doing a new issue almost like starting from scratch and many distributors refusing to touch the thing (and with helpful and friendly people the likes of Ted Gottfried going under with his very beneficial SEE HEAR distribution biz and magazine shoppe) I was anxiously awaiting any real positive appraisals of the thing given all of the brick walls I had been ramming into all these years. So maybe that's why I was hoping that I would have gotten a pretty nice writeup of my latest issue from blogger David Lang (see picture immediately below). And let me just add that at the time Dave was writing up a review of the mag, I really coulda used an uplifting pat on the back. Not that's I'm that much of a down-inna-dumps feller, but let's just say (without breaking out the violins playing "My Heart Bleeds For You"!) that besides the heavy tension of having to put out this fanzine and a lotta the personal upheavals happening in my life (things which delayed the latest issue's release by over a year), my spirits were pretty much chungered given alla the emotional strain and stress coming from all directions at the time, and the LAST thing that I needed was a back-stab the intensity of the one I was to get from Mr. Lang on his Lexicon Devil blog! And although this was well over two years ago all I STILL gotta say is man, was that a deep cut!

In order to sum things up in the proper perspective sorta way, lemmee just say that on his blog Lang nonchanantly told his lumpen audience that oh, he really likes the fanzine and thinks its all gosharootie, but boy is he hot and bothered by the (get this!) racism, sexism, homophobia etc. that certainly reeks in my work! Heavy-duty claims dontcha think, and claims that really can be uttered with ease but as Joseph Sobran said are pretty hard to defend. Now, given that Lang is a liberal and one of the particularly rancid European variety I can understand just how he would have little real comprehension of just what racism really is (especially given that he lives in Australia, where racism against Asians is rampant yet I have no evidence that Lang is a basher of anyone so at least I will not cast aspersions upon whatever is left of his dignity!). After all, in today's rather restrictive clime, a white man who is murdered by black thugs is a racist while a black man murdered by white thugs is a victim...OK, that is way too much a generality but perhaps not too far from the point. (I mean, remember that black guy who got dragged to his death by some klan-types in Texas awhile back? That made the front pages and evening news and had garments rent all over this land, though similar crimes where whites have been dragged to their deaths by blacks have certainly been, er, consigned to the back section if lucky!) Now, I don't expect Dave, living in the comfy confines of Australia and all, to comprehend what American race relations are all about, and if complaining about certain situations where there certainly are injustices dealt against white people by blacks (vice-versa for that matter) or via whatever court-sanctioned injustice and arbitrary law there is out there makes me a "racist" then I'm sure that racism is blooming all over the place, and I guess that also makes a lotta black people racist against their own as well!

I could say the same things about all them other charges, but I think I put Lang in his proper place (the toilet) with my original response to his pallid argument here so why rehash a lotta old turds anyway? However, one bad thing that came from Lang's post was that another, way more popular blog, went on the record seconding Lang's position, sort of. Y'see, a day or so after Lang made his "damning" accusations against me and my magazines (while dragging in all sortsa conjecture regarding my "private life" which I believe should have remained private given that I'm not gay or at any risk to the populace at hand), our old pal Jay Hinman wrote a post that pretty much stated that he (gosh darn it!) agreed with Lang, although this personal smear also went out of its way to attack my musical faves (most notably Von Lmo and the Plastic People of the Universe, both acts who I guess are "beneath contempt" in Jayzey's sphere o' things although he once did write me a nice li'l note praising the likes of Lmo live more or less so I guess he's changed his tune). Not only that, but he cast aspersions upon my personal life and mocked what he called my repetitive nature (a gross exaggeration, especially for a guy who writes about the same tired eighties underground acts incessantly!), garnering a whole lotta pile-on hatred directed towards me and my fanzine in the process. Not that I mind snippy little hit-and-run remarks especially when they're tossed out by mental midgies and talentless hacks the likes of J. Neo Marvin, but amongst the pilers were a few people who I, hate to admit it, considered friends at least on a distant, pen-pal sorta level. Like that dumb Swede Heinrich Olausson who has turned out to have been the Viduken Quisling of the fanzine world for taking the word of an outright DISTORTER over mine. Really, I never had any beefs with any of these people, not Tom Lax (who has turned out to be a bigger decadent buttwipe than any of us could have fathomed during his SILTBREEZE days) nor Scott Soriano (who made me ashamed that I even dared review his Monoshock compilation, a disque you can bet I'll never be playing again!), and I especially had no qualms with Steve Hesske who hadda turn from top-notch BLACK TO COMM booster to trendy turncoat heel when he discovered his bread was better buttered on the Hinman side of things. Listen Steve, I never had any argument, any qualms with you and considered you a useful lieutenant in the war against the jive, but hey if you wanna pick little fights and berate me every chance you can get via email while siding with the enemy go ahead. Maybe if you weren't acting like such a hothead I would have given you credit for sending me that MC5 burn in my review (I know that little faux pas got you so bent-outta-shape!), but hey, it's not like I'm that much of a sucker for punishment. And by-the-way, my description of your comments regarding boxer Jack Johnson were related IN PERFECT CONTEXT without any personal distortions whatsoever, as your letter reprinted from TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE below will perfectly illustrate:

Dear Adny,

Right after I wrote you that last letter I got the latest and greatest copy of TWG, and I just wanted to fill you in on the recent survey we conducted concerning Armed Forces TV over here. Pops Savage says its pretty good cause you don't have to worry about which show to watch since we only get one American station (the rest are German). Ray Schuyler from up in your neck of the woods (ed. note: a cliche!) likes it cause there are no commercials except for the anti-drug ones and the re-up ones. Jack Johnson (not the famous spook boxer [my itals], nor any relation because he's white) doesn't like it on account when you don't like something you can't change the station unless you want to watch a bunch of dumb krauts speaking krautese. Myself, I got pretty pissed off when they took off HAWAII FIVE-O and changed the time of BOXING AT THE FORUM from saturday afternoon to late monday night and they also took ROLLER DERBY. On the other hand, they show ROUTE 66 now and also NAKED CITY so, as you can readily see it was no easy decision to make so I'm going to hold off for awhile. Later WALT DISNEY PRESENTS came on and it was all about this crippled kid who raised pigeons in his spare time cause he had a lot of spare time cause he was a gimp and lived in a wheel chair......... What a show!! Keep up the good work.

Hats off to Larry (not Willette),

Sgt. Steve Hesske

Now, frankly I don't see any sign of racism in Hesske's above missive, nor did I originally present his above comment out of context like Hesske claims. (He told me it was all in the spirit of what was going on at TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE, and I agreed since even Adny Shernoff himself had a disclaimer about the humor in one ish!) And after all this nastiness back and forth twixt the two of us all I gotta say is hey Steve, if you wanna be pal-zy again I have no qualms, but at least fess up to the fact that I in no way was gunnin' to smear your reputation, and while we're at it I'm not the only one to use cliches either!

Of course all of this happened over the course of the past two years, seemingly an incredible chasm in time once you get down to it. And hey, I gotta admit that I'm still smartin' over all of those gut kicks placed by the likes of Lang and Hinman, with sales in the red and a general lack of interest regarding my fanzine, this blog, and my other endeavors whatever they may be. True, both of these fine upstanding self-made men deleted their posts concerning their abject hatred of me for occult reasons (frankly I was hoping they'd leave 'em up if only to eventually bury themselves), but the seething hatred I have for them, and their turncoat lackeys remains. As it should.

But what does that have to do with Hinman's new blog? Well, little if anything. Y'see, I probably won't be reading the thing even though I know that a whole buncha his radical left pals will undoubtedly be leaving comments quoting Jay's little snide asides regarding me (so what else is old?). And who knows, maybe I'll POST 'em! But frankly, should I really care? I mean, being a high-energy music lover and cheerleader for the BLOG TO COMM "lifestyle" whether it be regarding books, tee-vee, moom pitchers etc., you ought to know by now that most if not all of the things that Jay posts about has very little appeal to my sense of gulcheral values! Y'see, I gave up on a lotta what was getting tossed around as "post-punk" or "amerindie" or what-have-you beginning in the very-late-eighties (figuring that little if any of it has any relevance to my own personal tastes), and frankly reading the rants and raves of a "militant athiest" the likes of Jay won't exactly mesh with a Pope Pius XII fan like myself. Y'see, I'm more into this thing called rock & roll, and saying that Jay doesn't write about music meaningful to me would be like saying that THE ADVOCATE doesn't publish articles relevant to my sexual slant, or that COMEDY CENTRAL isn't attuned to my own sense of humor. So good luck with your new endeavor, and remember that what you and Dave did to me will probably somehow come around full circle one of these days and smack you upsides the heads. And who knows, maybe I'll be around to enjoy the fun and games, which would be fitting!

OK, now onto something a lot more entertaining...anyway, following are reviews of just a few of the gulcheral items that have passed my eyes and ears over the past week or so, and I do know that you'll enjoy reading about all this booty as much as I've had stealing it!

SONNETS FOR BILL DOGGETT by Bill Shute (Kendra Steiner Editions)

Dag nabbit, but I just gotta admit to you that I'm downright jealous of this Bill Shute fellow. Here it's been nine whopping years that he's vamoosed himself outta my life (and the lives of just about everyone but Paul McGarry, who actually got invited to Bill's wedding a few years ago!) especially at a time when I coulda used some of his insightfulness and downright homespun telephone hospitality, and now that he's making a "comeback" everybody's drooling over the guy's deck shoes as if he's Peter Laughner fresh from the grave! In the meanwhile, what do I get but a whole lotta grief, bad publicity and a stack of fanzines just beggin' to be turned into moolah for musical and dining purposes! All kiddin' aside, it's sure nice to see Bill Shute shinin' on the spotlight after pullin' that Houdini-inspired disappearing act, and as he commanded me to do I will now review one of the chapbooks he has so graciously flung my way being such a gracious guy 'n all.

I've always considered Bill a friend even when we were locking horns over my Downliners Sect review or when I expressed to Mike Stax my frustrations over not being able to talk to him like we did inna old days, so don't expect me to give you a totally impartial writeup regarding his latest endeavor. And it's a wowzer, dedicated to the late Bill Doggett (whom I believe Shute used to rail off to me some profound musical descriptions some of which may have even made the pages of my mag via his old "Inner Mystique" column) and not only that but this book's filled to the brim with some great verseage that's even loads better'n the slop Bobby Troupe used to spout off when he was playing a murdering beatnik on PERRY MASON. Even a retarded dullard like myself can appreciate this 'un, for Bill's "blank" verse does not shovel romantic or political dross like all that stuff you read in various VILLAGE VOICE-type fishwraps, because BILL DOGGETT focuses itself on a real life segment of living that you or I, but not the usual above-it-all upper-crust limousine libs, can most certainly relate to. Take "Slow Walk" and its dank New Jersey "ambience" where not only can you smell the anchovy pizza but feel the pit in Denny's guts as his life is about to take a turn for... Well, I really can't tell you, but reading it sorta gives me the feeling I used to get the night before a big job interview. And amidst the "buttery clam chowder" and hot rolls (and Buster Keaton vids!) of "Ready Mix" to the one about the nun who finds joy despite the extra-busy regiment of serving others (which come to think of it is her joy), you get the feeling that Bill, unlike the earlier-mentioned bloggers more attuned to gazing at their own sphincters, is still firmly rooted in real life and would rather spend his days talking to pensioners, guys on the edge, factory workers and nuns rather than "amerindie"-minded wastrels. BLACK TO COMM readers tend to be that way. It's like when Brad Kohler tells me about the people he works for at the old age home and there's this one lady in her 80s or 90s and he asked her about Joe Cook and she drew a blank, but she sure lit up when he mentioned Harry Langdon saying "You could laugh by just looking at the man!" You may think its corny, but really, I can't stand all this decadent porno gutter living nohow and being a downhome workaday fellow is a lot better'n being a bigtime hothead porn-saturated white-collar cluck, albeit it probably doesn't pay as much. I think Bill thinks the same way too, and his down-to-earth and direct-hitting poems sure say a lot more to/for/and even about me than all of the negative schpiels and fancy oneupmanship out there directed against me ever could!

(And I liked the one about weird dreams too, though I gotta say that the gal in question's night-time brain activity certainly doesn't top the ones I've been having, and have documented on this blog for all to analyze!)

The Marbles-LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY 5/27/78 CD-R

As I said in the previous post, a certain (or uncertain for that matter!) Mr. J. B. has just recently sent a number of burnt discs my way, and although for the life of me I can't get the Pink Floyd and Raspberries ones to play on my home entertainment system the audio disques are no problem at all, at least on the car deck. Anyway, I was pleased as punch to have received them even if I have to take long car trips to Alliance Ohio in order to enjoy the things, and once again Mr. B. deserves a huge THANK YOU for his neato efforts in helping to uplift the sad sack state of musical affairs here at BLOG TO COMM central with his occasional care packages. Anyway, this particular disque in question was the tops for pops as far as the aforementioned package goes, it being a live show from the oft-talked about but rarely listened to En Why See band the Marbles recorded back during the punk-active summer of 1978 when punk meant having to say that you were an original music band (and probably very little else).

Like the Planets and many other groups perusing the CBGB/Max's circuit during the Glory Days of Underground Rock, the Marbles were one of those bands that were often read about but rarely if ever seen (live), or heard for that matter. Maybe they were too much indebted to the poppier side of the sixties (with hefty Left Banke/Hollies/Beatles influences) to "make it" with the punk-active crowd at hand, but at least their name and faces were kept in the public eye thanks to a couple of now-rare singles and publicity thanks to the likes of BOMP magazine and FFANZEEN, who actually did an interview with these guys in the same issue they had a gab with the James Chance-era Teenage Jesus and the Jerks! And even I, after all these years, have gotta admit that the only Marbles I've heard was a track on one of those old ROIR samplers, the poppy "Red Lights" which was nice yet didn't quite make me think that the Marbles were any sort of higher echelon local garage band types 'r anything along those lines but hey, I get that way sometimes.

So you can bet that B.'s disque sure came in handy with regards to educatin' this particular sap! At this live Max's show, the Marbles proudly show off their sixties roots (complete with their sixties-Beatlecut stylings which for once match the patented late-seventies/early-eighties "power-pop" retro sound too many scenegrabbers took way to heart) not only with the better-than-you'd-expect three-part harmony but with the snat playing, especially from Eric Li and his electric piano. Musically the Marbles seem to scour the best of the '66 pop brigade (Left Banke, early San Francisco post-Brummels) with their energetic set (why do you think they would cover Johnny Rivers' "Poor Side of Town" anyway?) and the only fault I could find with this disque was that too many songs had too many melodies jam-packed tightly into each other making for at-times difficult listening. I mean, the Marbles utilize great melodies and couple 'em with pertinent lyrics to boot, but it seems that the seven different riffs that fit into one number would have been put to better use as seven different songs! Not as good as the long-missed Disposable God Squad, but I would definitely say that the Marbles are better than even the more-current Morgan Taylor's Rock Group, a band who I hung a few hopes on as far as resurrecting seventies-bred sixties pop for the oh-ohs, but then again I think they're out of commission as well so I'll have to go looking for a new generation of popmeisters to bring back the energy and excitement of yore.


Another Mr. B. find, this immaculately-sounding disque is none other'n THE CARS under their original name recording some demos smack dab inna middle of one of the more proactive times for Boston rock, at least if all those fanzine articles can be trusted. Now frankly, I gotta admit that I never was that much of a Cars fan and found their entire oeuvre a bit too nauseating during the candy-coat gnu wave days of the eighties, and because of that I didn't have high hopes about these demos either even though they were recorded long before the seventies underground seemed solid enough and didn't peter off into various directions and factions. But B.'s description of these early Cars as being sorta like the Velvet Underground filtered through...I think B. also mentioned Roxy Music and Steely Dan (a band whom I gotta say I used to have an affinity for, at least during their early single days, though that might have just been adolescent confusion) sounded interesting enough, like when people would describe a certain group as coming off like the Stooges meet Mantovani or something equally stupid yet for some reason the """SUCKER!!!"""-light didn't start blinking on and off in your mind, so I guess I figured WHY NOT???

So these early Cars really don't sound that much different than the group of more reknown, though at least their mid-seventies sense of rock aesthetics sure comes off more digestable than the late-seventies ones that made 'em such hot fodder for the gnu wave crowd. In many ways Cap 'n Swing sound a lot like some of the more pop-oriented groups who were playing Boston at the time like Susan f'rinstance, only even this early in the game the pop slop is saturating the hot pop chordings and more of Roxy's suave stylings as opposed to avant leanings are obviously being tampered with for purely commercial effect. A special surprise on this disque are the two rewrites of the Velvets' "Here She Comes Now" done with a Bryan Ferry chicness that sounds more in tune with what that man (and the Cars as well) were doing in the early-eighties. Nice enough as a once-in-awhile listen, but the Fans outta Georgia did this much better and at the same time as well.

Lake Of Dracula-SKELETAL REMAINS CD (Savage Land)

I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that I had an aversion of sorts to all of the talk about a Chicago no wave revival that was going on a decade back. As I've said many times before I always considered no wave "proper" the primitive style of punk (and other musics mixed in) that was happening in New York City during the years 1977 to 1981 or so, and anything else even from the burgh in its aftermath (such as God is my Co-Pilot) was more or less "post" no wave, a totally different animal if you ask me. So maybe that's why I had some trepidation with regards to this new collection of decade-old material that head Lake of Dracula (and Chicago no wave leader) Weasel Walter sent my way. Frankly I didn't know what to expect with this one...rehashed Lydia Lunch bleats or Mars slide guitar cantatas? Good thing I didn't do a Meltzer and review this one by solely looking at the cover!

As it turns out, Lake of Dracula were a pretty good, tight if you will punk band, not really "no wave" to these ears but pretty much in-tune with a lotta the other punkers who were making their blare known to a wide array of fanzine scribblers at the time. Personally, at the time I sat out on most of this blast (figuring that what I did hear couldn't hold a candle to the sounds that paved the way for this modern blarescapading), but even though I ain't an au-thor-oh-tee on most of this nineties scrunch I was held rapt by what Lake of Dracula were doing on this live outing (with various single sides tossed in for good measure). It's good enough post-whatever music I guess and it probably won't be burning up the lasar launch pad the way other current faves do, but Lake of Dracula were much better than even I would have given them credit for ten years back and if your tastes tend to lean towards the more atonal modern ice-stare, then why not pick it up???

Can-INNER SPACE CD (Thunderbolt UK)

Silly me...I was under the impression that INNER SPACE contained nothin' but those recently-reissued early Can sides on one shiny disque, but it turns out that INNER SPACE is nothing but the final Can album when the band had all devolved to the point of art rock nada 'n even the guys at FUTURE fanzine couldn't get behind 'em anymore! And yeah, I've been trying to avoid this particular period of Can's existence for years, but since I plunked down the money for this I guess I takes my cherce as Iggy once said so onto the launch pad it goes! At its best, INNER SPACE sounds like some of those nicer mid-seventies Can space-soothers that sound so relaxing during those late-night fanzine reading sessions I'm so fond of. At its worst (which is most of this disque), INNER SPACE paves the way for way too much eighties dance-rock tragedy that has made me an even bigger crank than I should have been to begin with. Judging from this one I would say that they broke up at the right time...I mean, imagine what the one after this woulda sounded like!

Don Cherry/Krzysztof Penderecki/The New Eternal Rhythm Orchestra-ACTIONS CD (no label)

I knew it was gonna be a dud since some other blogster of "note" (see above) gave it a good writeup, and y'know, I was right! I never did cozy up to Cherry's "world music" leanings though I thought that maybe the avant garde classicisms of Penderecki would have tamed them a bit. (And besides, I was hungering for some of those hot euro players the likes of Peter Brotzmann and Gunter Hampel.) But most of ACTIONS just lumps on lazily without any truly real hot avant playing to redeem Cherry's krishna overtones. Only does the 16:30 title track show any true promise, and believe it or not but it's Terje Rypdal's guitar that helps save this from being yet another budget tossaway!

BEFORE I GO, I thought I'd point out to you what promises to be the first of a new feature on Eddie Flowers' SLIPPYTOWN website, mainly the posting of classic old fanzines for modern-day perusal and abuse! Yes, Eddie probably got tired of me pestering him to make me copies of his SPOONFUL and NIX ON PIX fanzines and, in a fit of rage (or perhaps to save his sanity) he has decided to start sharing his collection with rock fandom fiends like ourselves online! And to start things off Eddie has actually made available for us in the here and now the debut (and best) issue (#0) of the infamous GULCHER fanzine...yes, why pay beaucoup bucks like I did for something you can now get for free, and besides the fanzine (which you can easily enough print up for your own bathroom reading material!) you're also entitled to some thirty-one-years-later musings from Flowers himself regarding the whys and wherefores of this important title, which besides being one of the classier fanzine reads of the day has also spawned a virtual dynasty as well as record/CD label! Believe-you-me, between the class writing (from the likes of Bangs, Meltzer, Highland, Flowers, Saunders and Cub Koda!) and the marvelous layout and mid-seventies hipster opinions sprinkled throughout, GULCHER #0 could teach Jay, Dave and the rest of the aforementioned blobs above what rock writing (and rock & roll) is all about, but I doubt any of them would have the mental acumen to take advantage of Flowers' free offer. Anyway, here's looking at you Eddie, and here's hoping that more fanzine classics from the REAL Golden Age (1971-1975) of Rock Writing will make it on-line and in the very-near future as well! (And Eddie, if you're reading this don't worry, I'll be winging my order your way as soon as Get Hip finally decides to pay me for the mags I sent 'em three years ago!)

Thursday, October 19, 2006


No, I don't wanna talk about any of the nice and wondrous Cee-Dees and DVDs that my adoring fans have sent me (including a certain Mr. Jonathan Behar of Los Angeles, who out of the goodness of his heart has flung my way some 1976 vintage pre-Cars Captain Swing demos plus the Marbles live and two-count-'em-TWO DVDs of early Pink Floyd and the Raspberries onna telly! Thanks be to Mr. B!!!!), nor do I want to talk about the hardcover collection of early MAD magazine rarities that I got my mitts on this past week either. Heck, I don't even wanna talk about this new and exciting blog that has just appeared on the internet scene that's bound to make waves with all of you hot and up-on-it swingers wanting to be in with the in crowd! All of this stuff is fine and good and will get the Royal (and I do mean Farouk!) Treatment this coming Sunday, but for now lemme just type to you about a subject that has been for the past hunkin' quarter-of-a-century or so very very near and dear to my heart, mainly the world of fanzines (and a few that I just happened to snarf up as of late...see how it all fits in???).

According to some hideous nabobs of negativity out there in ex-friends land, the fanzine has pretty much gone the way of the Edsel considering the new immediacy of just any dumb bub putting his views to type onna blog and wooshing! 'em out to an eager public with a lot less effort and angst than having said views printed out and distributed (maybe). And yeah, these hideous examples of turds acting as people are RIGHT for once in their hidebound lives, for in this age of instant gratification why wait six months for a putdown than can appear TODAY and to a potentially larger audience t' boot! Still, the concept of the fanzine remains near and dear to my ever-clogging heart probably because I still get thrill-tingles up and down the system thinking about all the pertinent information on my favorite underground stars of the day back when the LAST thing that the "mainstream" press 'n media wanted to do was to acknowledge the presence of high-energy musics working outside of their decaying star system! And yeah, even that sounds way too altie/socialist for someone with strict freeform thought patterns such as I, but I gotta admit that I was totally excited to have lived through an era in rock music which was totally vibrant and as exciting as the late-sixties Velvets/Detroit sonic upheaval (which I was way too young to know about or appreciate had I only been told!), and fanzines certainly were a part of that entire throbbing soundputsch with their circumventing of the traditional media ways, dontcha think?

Anyway, the first fanzine on our itinerary ain't even a musically-oriented one along the lines of those that certainly inspired me to put out my own wondrous efforts, but a self-produced magazine that was believe-it-or-not trying to outdo the old MAD comic book and in ditto format too! And believe-it-or-not, but I even reviewed a couple of these ODDs in my latest issue where I compliment its co-conspirators (the Herring Brothers Dave and Steve, or was it Sid???...wait, he was the guy in the Gants, right?) on their amazing artistic abilities and sorta shrug off the fact that a lotta the stories in their mag just weren't that funny although I really didn't mind given (as I stated) that the two were giving it the ol' college try. Well, anyway it seems that just like all of the comic book publishers (and MAD themselves!) were doing at the time the Herrings just hadda go and put out their own GIANT-SIZE ANNUAL featuring some of what the two considered their best stories o'er the past year, and they did it ditto-style (with an offset cover in order to lure the unsuspecting) and called it VERY, VERY, VERY ODD! I'll bet having their own "Giant" collection of past works re-presented as if the public was clamoring for such printed matter was a big masturbatory ego-boost for the two, yet I dunno if the rest of comic fandom was getting all hot under the collar as our dynamic duo were over this fanzoon which spent its time mocking the comic book and tee-vee scene with seemingly teenage ease.

Actually, VERY, VERY, VERY ODD #1 (dated summer '65) was a lot better'n sarcastic ol' me is letting on, with the fantastic artwork and halfway-decent stories making for a much better fanzine time than THE COLLECTED UNINTELLIGIBLE MUSINGS OF JACK C. THOMPSON AND SWELLSVILLE (yeah, I'm beating a dead fish, but it's a dead one that still deserves a flogging!) ever could. Like all good self-backpatting fanzines are wont to do, alla ODD's previous covers (even the aborted late-fifties issues that NOBODY saw!) are nicely shrunken and reprinted, plus the sagas ain't really that bad'n appeal to a guy like me who enjoys a good groaner gag once in awhile figuring a good bad pun is way better'n a bad good one. True, the "Souperman" punchline where "Lax Loafer" brings The Man of Steel down with a big magnet won't appeal to your more "sophisticated" readers who think they have an edge on the rest of us because they work in porno bookstores, but REAL PEOPLE like you and me who live and breathe in the non-cultured lunchbucket world and easily survive without the needless input of what are being called "Secular Progressives" can enjoy such adolescent humor for what it's worth. The same goes for the "Blunder Woman" saga (where her long-suffering boyfriend Steve disguises himself as an ugly teenage gal so he could step onto Blunder Woman Island and destroy her power!) or even the spoofs of such old tee-vee standbys as SEA HUNT and THE FUGITIVE which sure dredge up the old memories of when I was five watching both of these shows having NO IDEA what was going on, but eyeballing Lloyd Bridges knifing oozy octopussies sure appealed to my kindergarten brain so it didn't MATTER!

Next on the fanzine list for today is 12 O'CLOCK JULY, a mag devoted to the sixties Detroit garage band scene that appeared for a few brief shining moments in the early-nineties then disappeared to where all good (and not-so) fanzines go...the basement! Funny, but being a fan of these sixties punks especially of the Detroit variety and looking for more and more information on the bands and sounds that influenced the MC5 way-of-rocking (and vicey-versey), I wrote to the editor of 12 O'CLOCK JULY way back when asking for information on how to obtain his magazine and guess what...I didn't hear a thing. Hmmmmmmm, I wonder why??? Anyway, given that the editor of the rag must be a bonafide JERK if he dared to snub 'n ignore such a fine and upstanding member of the fanzine community such as I, yours truly hadda go and settle for a mere photocopy of the issue that featured a neat article and interview with the Unrelated Segments, and only now am I getting hold of the real deal which is nice enough but a good fourteen years too late inna game if you ask me!

Half-serious gripes aside, this particular ish (#3) is more or less geared towards the Michigan way of thinking not only with a lotta that local garage rock on the cusp of the teen clubs/Grande Ballroom scene information that always got me drooling (still searching out the Apostles and alla those bands who imitated the MC5, and as early as 1967 mind you!), but 12 O'CLOCK JULY actually had the smarts to include not only a neat piece and interview regarding the Thyme (on A-Square records, also home to that rip-roaring MC5 thriller "Looking At You"/"Borderline") but a piece on the Mussies (yes, a band with that name actually existed!) plus a whole bunch on the Rationals and Scott Morgan that (dare I say) puts the information given in issue #17 of my own fanzine to shame (I think that the guy who did this one was sober, but who knows). It's so funny, but after all these years the Detroit/Ann Arbor/MC5-derived scene still hasn't been documented in a proper and detailed fashion, and yeah a book/compilation is just what the average BLOG TO COMM fan is begging for even this late in the game. But at least we have things like 12 O'CLOCK JULY to help put the pieces together, and for that we should sleep a little easier at night knowing that the saga of the Aardvarks will live on in the hearts and minds of anal-retentive record collectors everywhere.

As you probably know, its the seventies brand of rock fanzinedom that really lights a fire beneath my pitted butt, so latching onto a copy of the first issue of SNIFFIN' GLUE was more than a welcome treat especially in these days of flaccid blogscribing passing as important and pertinent thoughts. And considering how I pretty much don't care that much for the whole late-seventies breed of English fanzine-ing (in fact, I don't care that much for the other issues of this fanzine that I got my hands on), I gotta say that this debut SNIFFIN' GLUE is a pretty hot fanzine ticket to informative bliss, and I wasn't exactly expecting that in a scene saturated with unbearable crudzines that existed only to try to glom some freebie wares (where have I heard that before?). However, I shouldn't be that surprised especially how even """""I""""" mentioned earlier on some post where SNIFFIN' GLUE editor Mark Perry was more or less a "peripheral punk" (sorta like Claude Bessy and Richard Meltzer) whose tastes and maturity spanned a whole lotta games and even styles and certainly transcended a lotta the self-imposed trapping that the "punques" put on themselves at the time, and if anything this debut issue of his magazine proves it.

Far from being a typical English Wanking Class Socialist fishwrap as are wont too many of these UK self-produced fanzines (sheesh, if Thatcher had only lost perhaps we wouldn't have hadda put up with the thought of punk going the same route as the IWW!), Perry's SNIFFIN' GLUE is a nice talk-to-you affair that's fortunately not bound by any of the pre-conceived notions regarding what is/ain't punkdom that seemingly were being handed down on a platter by the gods of Mount Olympus. Besides honest appraisals of the likes of the Ramones and Flamin' Groovies (the former getting the thumbs up while the latter were considered too "Beatles/THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS" for Perry's tastes, though the Groovies were a prospective future feature so I guess Perry wasn't giving up on 'em!), we the unsuspecting are given the no-holds-barred lowdown on a whole bunch of his then-current faveraves from the likes of the Blue Oyster Cult and Todd Rundgren (a review of RUNT) amongst the rah rahs directed at a whole cityfulla up and coming bands. And yeah, you even get some actual relevant obscuro info here such as a writeup of a live gig by some group that was opening for Eddie and the Hot Rods called Violent Luck (Perry making 'em out to be a wild Mott/Dolls/Stooges mutation) who before the issue went to press changed their name to none other'n SISTER RAY! Naturally this Sister Ray was no relation to the well-unknown and unloved (in hometown Youngstown at least) groupage other'n maybe in spirit, but they sure sound total early-mid-seventies proto-punk tough from Perry's description (he say they looked like the Stooges, a blessing in an age when English punk was bound to become fashion-mad) and I and probably you gotta know more about 'em so all I gotta say to you English cats 'n kittens out there is...any information, tapes or pix available???

In all SNIFFIN' GLUE #1 reminds me of none other'n Lindsay Hutton's own ever-lovin' fanzine called what else but THE NEXT BIG THING, at least the early issues although that one was much meatier and owed loads more to the early proto-punk reads the likes of BACK DOOR MAN and DENIM DELINQUENT. But still, SNIFFIN' GLUE was a much better wowzer than even I would have been led to believe even...yesterday???, and certainly worth your seeking out for real exciting punk thrills!

FINAL INSPIRATIONAL WORDS! (or: IT'S NICE TO KNOW TONTO STILL ALIVE): Jay! Why you quit? Maybe you somewhat possibly truthful analysis of rock is right! I reed above comments about Cris Stiglino and he seams like agent against the freedom! If this "mans" against you meybe you need to stik to it! Personnally I think he is stranje man. Sharon Pa? Where is this place? Near burning tyre pit? Rekkords do not put hairs on a chest! This man must be stopped! Start wiht him and muve ups! Meybe this land can be saves from the crayzies. Peace!
Kaspar Szumlak | 09.29.06 - 3:04 am | #

No concert pix yet...wait for the big weekend blowout (which might just turn into a blowUP!) for snazzy snaps and a whole lot more!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Yeah, you're probably wondering what I was doing this weekend, eh? Well, it wasn't the usual thumb uppa ass weekend that many a lonesome blogger has to go through that's for sure! Y'see, Jillery invited me to go out with her and her hubby to see the above-highlighted show, and the lady said she'd even pay for the whole swingin' time'n all so I figured that between a free concert and a free meal how could I go wrong? So after downing some pretty good wop food and strolling the local environs (and believe me, for being a "small city" downtown Uniontown looks rather spiffy especially compared with such rundowns urban areas the likes of Youngstown Ohio and Sharon Pennsylvania...heck, I'll bet Uniontown looks like Disneyland next to Erie!), the three of us headed for the State Theater, a pretty nice and well-preserved moom pitcher emporium of old that now handles the likes of these outta-town package deals (coming up: doo-wop and the Smothers Brothers!) for an evening of Sonny Geraci (Outsiders, Climax), the Turtles "featuring Flo and Eddie" and the big kahuna for the evening, Peter Noone who I guess has legally appropriated the "Herman's Hermits" moniker for his own usage.

Kinda nice milling amidst all the cornballus grandpappies who made me feel like one happy spring chicken (there were a few youngsters splattered here there'n about who I guess felt that it was Saturday night'n they hadda do something!), and even with the bad premonitions (such as some gal handing out those glowing sticks you're supposed to wave to the music at hand, "appropriated" by Jillery for some future arts and crafts project no doubt) I sure had a swell time which is more'n I can say about a lotta concerts I've attended which had all the spark and zeal of a rectal probe. Rubber gloves aside, opening act Sonny Geraci went through the old hits and more (like a cover of the Righteous Brothers' "Rock & Roll Heaven" which I didn't know Geraci had originally recorded) and did a pretty good job of it for an oldster despite the use of pre-recorded backings and a load of turdly banter twixt him and his drummer.

Next up were Flo and Eddie, and you can bet that (at least) for me this was the highlight of the evening. Hey, these guys have been performing longer than most people have been alive on this earth and have made a pretty good slew of records either as leaders or as backups, and considering the Herculean task I had in the mid/late-seventies trying to order their two hopelessly o.p. Reprise albums you could bet your bottom buckskin I've been awaiting this moment for a much longer time'n any of you could imagine. And yeah, the two doing the same comedy routine sans the X-rated humor (no "Dildos of the Stars" for this aged audience!) that they've been doing for ages or at least since I saw 'em with Martin Mull on SOUNDSTAGE three whopping decades back sure was pretty snat, and naturally (or "of course"???) they didn't do such old-timey showstoppers as "Mud Shark," "Afterglow" or even "Out of Our Tree" (which they actually learned straight from the Wailers) but they managed to throw in a cover of Jan and Arnie's "Gas Money" amidst the big Turtles hits and their overall gab was funny enough without being condescending to the hicks. (Though Mark Volman seemed to be slightly irritated about something that evening...maybe no backstage buffet!) Naturally I was a little bummed by the omission of what is perhaps my fave-rave Turtles song (the folk-punkin' "Let Me Be") but I was sure having a ball watching the two cavortin' about seemingly having enough fun doin' something they probably can do in their sleep by this time.

Headliner Peter Noone certainly got the crowd throbbin' with an hour-long set lookin' pretty good for an old-timer himself who thankfully still has that showbiz energy and presence, cracking jokes about the local yokels, the Turtles and his own physique that seemed to come straight outta some English Holiday Camp. Now I gotta admit that I think Herman's Hermits were pretty good at what they did which might not be "cool" with some considering the fact that many English Invasion fans fancy them to be the wimpoids of the movement along with the likes of Freddy and the Dreamers and the Hullabaloos, but they always had solid hits that might not have been high energy rockers but were straight-ahead and enjoyable for what they were. (If you don't believe me, read Tim Ellison's snat English sixties rock post right here and see just how important even the so-called "expendables" were.) And for a guy who likes the Hermits for a myriad assortment of reasons (one being that they actually copped their original/proper name from Jay Ward creations "Peabody and Sherman") I thought that Noone certainly still knew how to wow an audience to heights of mid-sixties frenzy whether he was doing the old hits, the aforementioned veddy English humour or even his Johnny Cash and Mick Jagger impersonations. It sure was a whole lot better'n scouring the local clubs to catch the latest in cultured alternative sounds, mind you.

I should be getting some hot photos from the show that Jillery managed to snap hopefully more sooner'n later. Might even post a few if she ever emails 'em my way!

OTHER WONDERS TO HAVE TAKEN HOLD OF MY LIFE: given that nobody out there inna family has picked up on my hints re. giving me a new turntable and stereo system (I wouldn't mind buying them myself, but I figure that if I purchased a system that I don't particularly care for I only have myself to blame...if someone gets me one for a gift and I don't like it, I can always blame them!), I'm starting to scarf up more and more Cee-Dees in order to reacquaint myself with old vinyl faves I haven't had the chance to hear in quite some time. And, in a magic stroke of luck (considering their contributions to the compost heap we now call heavy metal), I managed to get hold of both Black Sabbath's PARANOID and the Stooges' RAW POWER in one order, a feat which wouldn't've have gone unnoticed by the likes of Lester Bangs or Jymn Parrett thirty-three whopping years ago. PARANOID as you might have guessed continues to hold up with a good-enough metallic thud (which seems to have been surpassed by the true heirs of early-seventies HM soundscapading, mainly the mid-eighties "metalcore"/"speedmetal" groups who also seemed to burn themselves into oblivion but what else is new) and blabbing more about it especially after having reviewed the thing in both issues #2 and #25 (!) would only be a waste of space if you ask me. However, before I convienently switch subjects let me just add this...at the time PARANOID was speaking for long-haired pimplefarms torn between a future in Southeast Asia or the local Foodmart, heavy metal "proper" was still the sound of sixties punk revved up and downed out simultaneously and it's not that hard to see how pundits the likes of Metal Mike Saunders thought that Sabbath were the logical extension of such late-sixties punk forebearers as the Stooges. (Why do you think Sabbath producer Rodger Bain tried his skills with the Troggs anyway???) And speaking of the Stooges, this "remixed" take of RAW POWER finally reaches my earlobes after a good nine years of on/off interest, and although I think it sounds just as eerily muddy as the original I still gotta say I love this one to death all the more. After having heard all of those still-vital '73/'74 Stooges live and outtake platters both legal and not for the past umpteen years it's nice to refresh yourself at the well of RAW POWER, and its cooling waters of pure adrenaline rush still manage to eternally shut up all of those latterday heavy metal pretenders who were raking in the cold cash while the Stooges were having trouble scratching up enough moolah to pay off Kim Fowley after he caught them hitting hard on Rodney's latest kindergarten find. It's too bad that the true-strain heavy metal of the early-seventies...bands like the Stooges, MC-5, Hawkwind, Pink Fairies etc. hadda take the back seat to a load of instant burn-out "Classic Rock" fodder, though it's really great that these same bands managed to give us something even better...mainly punk rock.

While we're on the subject of the Stooges, here's one that's been in the collection for quite some time yet I haven't had the time to listen to TELLURIC CHAOS alla way through until recently, but now that I have I can safely say that it's probably one of the tippy-top-est items I've heard by a relatively-well known band all this year. Skydog, the same label that gave us a whole simperin' batch of rare items both legal and not, is still in the business as you know and thankfully they've had the uncontested SMARTS to have released this fantab live disc of the reunited Stooges for all of us starving mongrels. Recorded way back in the dark days of '04, TELLURIC CHAOS features what else but Iggy and crew delighting a Japanese audience with a load of numbers old and new that PROVE these guys have BUCKED THE TREND to give us a reunion that ain't pure pedestrian pablum like a load of the ones we've had to experience over the past thirtysome years. (I mean, I like Moby Grape, but everybody tells me that all those reunion attempts of theirs since the early seventies have been total wastes-of-time, and given the scarcity of money why should I take a gamble'n find out for myself????) The audience is eating it all up and's perhaps as fine as any Japanese audience since UFO's LANDED JAPAN or even Deep Purple's double effort, and for being an oldster Iggy is still fit as a fiddle which I'm sure is something that would have surprised even the Iggiest of fans back in 1975! The rest of the band (even with Mike Watt, who is to these Stooges what Joe DeRita was to the Moe and Larry variety} is as violent as ever which certainly helps matters out. Really, I didn't think Iggy still "had it" with all those bad solo career moves and general rockstar lethargy, but this disque is a total winner from front-to-back and you just gotta love Skydog for keeping the spirit of the seventies alive while everyone else out there seems to be thinking eighties, nineties and TODAY for that matter which really bugs the turds outta me as it should you!

NEXT TIME: more goodies (of the aural and printed variety) will be up for review, plus maybe I'll post some hot Peter Noone pix while I'm at it. Stay tuned or stay cube!