Saturday, April 11, 2009


Well, happy day before Easter anyway. Holiday greetings aside, here are a few items of interest that I scraped up for this posting despite the current financial/musical crisis taking more than a little bitta the stuffing outta me. (As per my last post, I'm pretty much survivin' on old releases in order to stave off insanity, but boy could I sure use a collection of junkshop glam punk just about now!) Although I hope the situation will correct itself more sooner than later (meaning more obscurity reissues!) I guess we'll all have to make do with just what we've got even if the pickins seem to be gettin' slimmer all the time. Now believe-you-me, I do have some hot irons up my sleeve with regards to some hotcha posts featuring a few recently purloined platters, but those'll have to moil in the serenity of my mind just so's they'll have the opportunity to ferment awhile before I transfer my feelings regarding these items to keypad. Until then, read on and be glad you don't have to put together a bi-weekly blog in order to sate some of the hungriest of rockism appetites out there (talk about the white suburban slob's burden!).

Kenny Young and the Eggplants-EVEN ONE IS QUITE A FEW; TOXIC SWAMP & OTHER LOVE SONGS; ARRR!, THE SEARCH FOR EGGPLANTIS CDs (Coney Island Records, available via CD Baby)

I don't usually go trollin' 'round for tweepop or ameramericanism or geekfreaks or whatever that eighties/nineties-bred college rock is being called now, but I gotta admit that on a few occasions these kinda groups do come up with some mighty interesting rockaroll that doesn't make me wanna rush for the ipecac. Well, not interesting per se, but maybe just downright listenable even if it does have elements of that aforementioned tweedom hard-baked somewhere in its DNA.

I also don't usually go buying previously-unheard recordings unless I have some sorta strong hunch that it's gonna be worth the shekels to plunk down for such mysteries o' life, but believe it or not I actually am guilty of impulse buying these four platters by a group whom I discovered only after finding their name on an old CBGB's Canteen listing and doing a li'l googlin' outta curiosity. And soo-prize soo-prize soo-prize, but Kenny Young and the Eggplants, even with their geekoid covers and songs about pirates and squirrels, do have more'n a little amt. of testosterone that is sorely missing in this music that, albeit born and bred of that extremely-influential drone band and variations thereof (Jonathan Richman comes to mind), never even came near the high energy promise that even these aggregations' more acoustic leanings would have lent to their overall makeup.

Debut EVERY ONE IS QUITE A FEW (well, I think it's their debut!) is more stripped down, quiet and perhaps even a tad dour in its makeup. Of course I like it. The others are way more upbeat, not simpy like those guys in the Free Credit ads but downright hard rock enough even with the use of Young's acoustic guitar as a lead instrument. Young's vocals aren't annoying either and even when this trio do rage on into their more-childlike moments it's not like you wanna start beating up every toddler in your path like you do with a good portion of the touchy-feely music that has sprung up outta the underground with an alarming regularity o'er the past twentysome years.

I wouldn't call these Eggplanters anything I'll be championing from the highest rafters and in fact I doubt I'll spin any of these platters with any regularity for quite some time, but when I hear something pretty decent coming out of a genre that threw away any promise it once had for the sake of simpering sentimentality, I guess I gotta take notice!
TWISTED #1 (fanzine, 1977)

I haven't been reviewing that many old and well-deserving-of-recognition fanzines as of late, mainly because I haven't been getting HOLD of that many if any old fanzines like I mighta even a good year ago. Luckily enough I latched onto this curiosity...a fanzine called TWISTED that, with its glossy blue cover and newsprint insides, reminds me more of those weekly magazines we used to get in high school which we would read and discuss in English class (always a good break from the literature quap and such even if the stories contained therein were dork city). Actually TWISTED does seem suited for the more teenaged readers amongst the late-seventies new wave crowd with its nice-if-bopperish coverage of Iggy, Blondie and even the oft hyped Screamers, so if you're searching out TWISTED under the impression that its contents and attitude would be akin to something along the lines of BACK DOOR MAN don't expect any NATIONAL LAMPOON/SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE-styled attempts at bad taste here. However, an interview with manager/hipster par excellence Danny Fields proves that TWISTED's good taste was exemplary by far.
BOOTLEG OF THE WEEK!: Remember Mystery Date, that crazy board game for pre-sprout gals where they got the chance to pick a dream date with either Ted Bundy or Wally Cox? It was always a mystery just exactly who was gonna be behind that door ('n I always wondered just how that photo of the date in question was able to slip into the special slot behind said door w/o any of the girlies playing the game seein' it!). Well, trying to figure out exactly what bootleg I was to present for your edification (or is it mortification?) this week has become quite the problem...y'see, said bootleg did not have any printed cover or even paper insert for me to identify it by, and the only clue I had as to what this particular item might be was the use of the "Ruthless Rhymes" label which featured that pic off an old NATIONAL LAMPOON cover with the dog about to be shot through the head. Not that much to go on even with my HOT WACKS handy, so I guess I had to take the hard way out and play the dang thing to see just what this el-pee exactly is.

Problem alleviated, because today's group in question is the Ramones, and the album is...well, even HOT WACKS doesn't seem to know other'n this is side three/four of AT YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY, a two-LP Ramones bootleg set that I have already owned for quite awhile. Recorded live in Aberdeen Washington, this is the platter from that particular set that was sandwiched in between clips from various radio reports on the group (including a brief interview with the group themselves) discussing club violence with the venue owner not forgetting this gab with a longtime faithful follower of the fellows. Quality is pretty good even with a hint of a worn-down battery on side two, and I wouldn't complain about owning it even if the platter's true origin seems to be a mystery. Can any eager beaver bootleg maniac out there tell me if this was released on its lonesome and re-packaged with another offering by the Dragonfly label (who were known for such twofa repackages in the v.-late seventies) later on in the game?

But whaddeva. I think I did pretty good with this mystery date. I mean, it coulda been a James Taylor boot once owned by Dave Lang or somethin', at which point I would've had to have the house fumigated!


Anonymous said...

Hey, Chris!
Wishing you and yours a great Easter. Saw a mind-blowing concert of the music of minimalist composer Alvin Lucier last night in Austin.
I've got a package of free-jazz CD's coming your way so hopefully some new music will get you out of those doldrums (sp?)and the music of sunny murray, derek bailey, marion brown, etc. will get you going...
Best wishes from South Texas...

Bill S. and family

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter! Cheers, PhilthyRex