Saturday, June 20, 2009


Sheesh. I never meant this blog to become just a showcase for just reviews of my latest acquisitions, not forgetting some long-buried faves I just discovered after a few years of neglect. Actually I wanted it to be something bigger and better than the standard runna-the-mouth blogs one may see out there in "Notice Me!" land, so perhaps I should put a little more oomph into this thing in order to placate the more discerning of you readers. Maybe I should blab more about the current world situation or the entertainment media at large, or perhaps toss in a little vitriol directed against some of those spiritual undigested peanuts wigglin' 'round in our collective rectums giving us a pretty uncomfortable time (Lord knows I don't do enough of that!). If I put a li'l more variation into this blog who knows what wonderful, award-winning reading I could come up with! So, in order to spice this blog up and prove to even the most caustic of naysayers that I am not just any sorta flybynight outta nowhere poster who comes and goes as he please, here are some thoughts and ruminations dealing with things other than music:

THE POLITICAL SITUATION: What else can I say? If anything Prez Obama has proven than a black man can be just as fuddy-duddy and screw up the economy/international scene just as much as any white man can. Now that's true equality! As far as things overseas go, after the victory Nick Griffin secured a few weeks back I guess all of those snooty Europeans who would always berate Amerigans for having George W. Bush don't have so much to say now, eh? Or is that "Heh!"??? Though in all fairness I gotta say that next to those whiny and altruistic European working class louts and their sycophantic media lackeys over there whose socialistic wankoffs I've read for years, perhaps Griffin does come off like the voice of moderation. Which only says more about the European working class and the press over there than it does Griffin. I guess Britain, France et. al. deserves that Radical Muslim influx they encouraged via limp immigration laws after all!

THE ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA: The bad news: TV Land is slipping with too many 80s/90s programs, the kind I tried avoiding at all costs back when they were being run the first time around! I always thought that would eventually happen given TV Land's superficial love of the classic television formula. At least a few of the remnants of what used to be the indies and UHF outlets do come up with the goods if you search long and hard enough, or live next to one of those ten-watt mini-stations that program the forgotten gems of the pre-hippie GA, or like to stay up until three in the morning. But man, I want Bilko and Ozzie and Dobie on my set, not the usual programming made by and for inbred Hollywood elites! One bright spot...THE BULLWINKLE SHOW is now on WGN-TV Saturday midnight???? (But not this week giving me no reason to stay up past my beddy bye time...drat!)

VITRIOL DIRECTED AGAINST SOME OF THE UNDIGESTED PEANUTS WIGGLING IN OUR COLLECTIVE RECTUMS: Fie on thee! But really, haven't I pretty much shot my wad at these ineffectual snoots long ago and to the point where I've beaten this dead horse 'til the point it could be sold for ground round at the supermarket? I know how tempting it is to make fun of a certain antipodean's beard and his holding of a silly frilly sissy cake while equally retarded mates laugh on, but really, hasn't the guy pretty much damned himself o'er the past five years with his infantile and imbecilic rants passing for "rock criticism"? Oh well, that's what happens when humans and marsupials intermarry.

OK, now that I got that infantile bit of soapboxing outta my system on with the show...


After feeling more than merely "let down" by the previous few Up-Tight releases which I thought were treading too much on the past glories and in a rather tepid manner at that, this one's surprisingly copasetic with my personal tastes regarding music as noise and on par with those early releases hearkening the return to the group's Les Rallizes Denudes influences and a dang good feeling for feedback-drenched intensity. Highlight is the title track beginning side two that sorta functions in the same atonal shriek capacity as Guru Guru's UFO did with a guitar buzz that I thought was a weed-whacker being filtered through free percussive clang. Red colored vinyl brought back more than a few memories of album collecting, that is if you were one to go gaga over the colored vinyl section of your fave 1978 record shop looking for disco remixes of the Rolling Stones' "Miss You".
Onna-"Holy Mountain"/"Tolo Uqbar" (not sure if these are the correct titles since the ones on the cover were written in Japanese lingo, but I found 'em printed on one of the labels so I assume they are) 33 rpm single (Cupid & Psyche, Japan)

I don't know how many of these recs Onna leader and manja artist (that means he likes to draw Eyetalians eating) Keizo Miyanishi is expecting to sell with a cover like that, but don't ask me to explain the sicker side of the Japanese sexual mind! All kidding aside, for once I am glad that I fell for the mini-hype surrounding this I guess famous artist's underground rock & roll group. Onna, at least on this release, is a twin guitar duo who work in consort with a rhythm machine, and thankfully despite the pointed eighties "new music" approach such a device usually gives to these kind of outings this platter surprisingly delivers forth. A Les Rallizes Denudes swirl envelops this release with the a-side reminding me of "Venus in Furs" as the early Comateens might have done it. Flip actually brought forth memories of Eno-period Roxy Music at their more experimental. Don't know (or think) that the other Onna releases (some which are actually still available!) are as interesting as this 'un butif anyone out there can tell me please chime in. As for now this is a strong contender and proof once again that even here in 2009 one can make like it's 1976 or even 1962 if one tries hard enough.

OTHER BITS AND PIECES THAT HAVE GRACED MY EARS AS OF LATE: Spun side one of the VELVETEEN 12-inch EP that I reviewed in the latest issue of my very own might remember them, they were the "vehicle" for former Pretty Poison/solo star Lisa Burns and Milk and Cookies bassist Sal Maida (later of the Lovin' Kind) throughout the eighties who actually released their sole recording on Atlantic records at a time when I thought just about every label out there had its fill of New York underground rock. Velveteen were a fixture at Max's Kansas City during that club's final hours plus appeared plenty at CBGB throughout the eighties being one of a smattering of bands still playing at that haunt who had connections with the club's mid-seventies early bouts of fame. Their sound was pretty new wave bordering on gnu, but I found their applications of key Velvets/Roxy moves and even a few sixties punk variations to have helped out even with the linn drum sound courtesy of former Cookie Ian North. The replay of this 'un after about six years of lethargy didn't have me thinking Velveteen had "aged" as well as I originally opined which is probably why I didn't feel like spinning side two, but I think that's because I was hot for a more seventies-style of pummeling brought about by repeated readings of Miriam Linna's KICKSVILLE 66 blog, which is why I dragged out...

THE DAY THE EARTH MET THE ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS, a collection of this "seminal" Cleveland band's better recordings which I own in both vinyl and digital format. Since I was poking around on my turntable while reading a cache of mid-seventies TV GUIDEs pretending it was 1975 I figure the vinyl version would suit me better than Cee-Dee, and glory be but listening to Rocket in its final throes on side three was a blessed event that really helped create the proper atmosphere for zoning one a good thirty-four years back. After decades of extremely pallid music trying to pass itself off as the true runaway son of the great sixties/seventies barnstorming efforts of the Velvets/Stooges etc., it's sure great to re-listen to the likes of Rocket and a variety of other groups performing their own brand of nova sounds in a virtual vacuum perpetrating a music that was unfortunately wrangled and shred to bits by kids sans o-minds firmly in place. You know, those blokes who eventually created the soggy sounds we all know as "alternative music" which claims allegiance to the likes of Rocket but frankly has little if anything to do with the "inspiration". And the vinyl take on these songs has got the digital beat to all hell, or at least Melbourne. Let's just say that this particular set has got me hungerin' for more Rocket From the Tombs and all of those undocumented numbers and covers they performed (still would love to hear them wrap their tonsils and fingers around "Remake/Remodel") so hey Smog Veil, if you're reading this can you take a hint? Not only is it time for you to fill us in on the rest of the Laughner-era archived goodies but even one detailing the original "comedy" days of the group! That's about five good releases there, and think of all the extra spending cash you'll have once you put my bright idea into action!

Since even Rocket wasn't enough to help sate my seventies lust I decided to yank on yet another neglected buncha tracks, namely the MX-80 Sound cuts from the SUBTERRANEAN MODERN album that Ralph Records unleashed onto a public that couldn't care less back in the waning days of that talent-loaded decade. Being the first MX-80 to grace my ears, I found these three numbers to pretty much set the standards for how I judge this group's entire output (recorded or not) and they are doozies, especially for being so ignored that only one of 'em (the raucous cover of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco") has been reissued in the Cee-Dee era. "Lady in Pain" is a cruncher that pretty much bridges MX-80's mid-seventies sound with the onslaught of their Ralph-era albums, while "Possessed" is thee (no doubt about it) most haunting, chilling and nerve-bending number these guys have tackled in their entire career, showing the group's Blue Oyster Cult/mid-seventies mainstream hard rock/heavy metal influence in a way that puts that entire genre to shame! The rest of the album ranges from pretty darn good enough (Chrome) to ignorable (side one's Residents/Tuxedomoon offerings) but if you must dish out the inflated ebay prices for it in the here and now, do so for the MX-80 melodies which'll play on in your head long after the needle has relieved itself for good!

Also, I finally dug up and began spinning those Serge Gainsbourg burns that Mike Snider had sent me so long back. Woulda played 'em sooner but right when I got 'em some wizenheimer decided to devote an entire post to the famous French horny toad and I didn't want to look like a copycat. More on these in a future post.

Before I get to my "bootleg of the week" finale, here's a link to some crazy Joe McDoakes comedy shorts that THE THIRD BANANA blog has posted for our dining and dancing enjoyment. Talk about fuh-NEE!...if you think humor is some dork like Bill "Penis Nose" Maher ranting about his loathing for mid-Ameriga or Judy Tenuta and her toy accordion, give these classic Warner Brothers shorts a try and see if your pants don't wet within a good minute or two! (Viewing on the toilet is recommended.) Really, I haven't laughed this hard since I saw that documentary on Thalidomide! In fact, as soon as I publish this post I'm headin' for the Third Banana just so's I can resensify myself..the RIGHT way!

WARNING: the first paragraph of this review contains boring personal anecdotal references relating to the author of this blog. In actuality there is very little here that pertains to the actual recording at hand, but the jamoke writing this thought that it would make for nice "background" to bring up some interesting autobiographical spew not only to pad this piece out, but to aid in the research that any future students of late-twentieth/early-twenty-first century rockfan fanzine/blogger types will undoubtedly need lest the entire genre fall into an oceam of indifference. If you are of the mindset that such supposedly narcissistic hooey should remain on the cutting room floor yet still want to read this review, please skip over the next paragraph and enjoy the general meat and potatoes of it all while the rest of us get warm 'n toasty over the downhome suburban teenaged record-playing fun of it all!

Hoo boy, here's a set that I sure was droolin' over ever since I saw it advertised in one of those old Pied Piper Records bootleg/rare imports catalogs that I used to get way back when a variety of these boot dealers, mostly of mid-south location, would offer us alla dem bootleg records we so wanted and at pretty good prices as well! And for being a bootleg with a "deluxe" black and white cover...whew! I remember LIVE IN LONDON being on my gotta get list even to the point where I can recall mowing my neighbor's lawn as the rains came trying to hurry it up anticipating an order I was gonna ship out which definitely would include this tasty rarity! Dunno what happened, but I never did get LIVE IN LONDON, or perhaps I ordered it but the records never came but if that happened I usually would remember and still be frothing at the mouth because of it! But whaddeva, this double-bomber with the actual printed cover had eluded my grasps ever since, but thankfully I have recently latched onto it and boy is it a wowzer! Of course it would have been much more effectual if I had gotten the thing way back when...

Nice job Smilin' Ears did too, what with the cover which at the time was pretty state of the art for bootlegs as well as the general package which includes song-separation and rather good for the time even if it is kinda flat sound. The actual Roundhouse show is cut up and spread across two of the four sides, the rest taken up with a Patti poetry reading at St. Mark's Church, Patti giving Harry Chapin what for on a radio Hungerthon interview, and a performance by the pre-drums group at a live outdoors gig in New York City celebrating the Vietcong victory in Vietnam '75 which would figure given Smith's glowingly optimistic opines regarding famed pastry chef Ho Chi Minh. There's even a side-long interview taken from WNEW in New York which sheds some light on the original mid-seventies Patti mystique...naturally the broadcast album cuts are poorly truncated and the overall effect is rather amateurish, but Smith being Smith w/o getting too much into the arab boys and angels making love while ripping each others' entrails out bit is rather refreshing, at least this once.

The actual Roundhouse recordings present a surprisingly together enough professional performance, showing how much the group had honed its act since those earlier gigs during the days when Patti and crew were stormtrooping their way across the USA. More professional, perhaps sleeker, but still high energy enough to at least make people who were conscious about this music believe that Patti indeed was the end result of a music that sorta worked its way from the Velvets up through the Stooges, Groovies, Hackamore Brick and maybe Crazy Horse on through to the early-seventies New York underground. Naturally the entire stew would have to end up with Madonna and her ilk ruining the entire game, but back in '76 who could have conceived that???


Anonymous said...

Hey Chris! That Up-Tight is definitely a good-un! I just got that Onna 7" and was pretty revolted by the cover art as well! Just pulled out the Rocket From the Tombs 2xLP this afternoon for airplay tonight! 10 PM EST Sundays @ After midnight all summer I'll be spinning more out sounds on LP, pre-midnight I usually play newr more song oriented stuff. Cheers, PhilthyRex D.

Unknown said...

I don't expect you to take requests or even be swayed by the beseechings of us oddballs out here in the internets, but if there is any way you can ever find and scan and post (or e-mail me) any copies of those great Electro Harmonix fuzzbox ads like they used to have in mags like Hit Parader back in the 70s and 80s I would be forever grateful.

They were great 2-page spreads that used to seem like they were written by pot-addled hippies, and they basically started me playing guitar and collecting equipment. I know Hit Parader was lame but it was all I could get in my smalltown that covered KISS and some punk rock.

I have searched the internet high and low and short of buying old Hit Paraders off of Ebay I have not a clue how to find just these ads. I would put my nuts in a blender for a repro of one of these.

Unknown said...

Oh yeah, I think it was Nipsey Russell who told the joke:

Question: Can a black man ever become President of the USA?

Answer: Yes, if he's running against a Mexican.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Daydream, wish I could help you but can't find that ad anywhere in my not-so-massive collection! Any readers out there able to help???