Saturday, February 27, 2010


Sheesh, a reg'lar weekend post! After all of the little bits I've been tossing out at you over the past seven it's a surprise that I could find enough hot and pertinent beefiness to slam into this one! But given that this is the age of immediacy I felt it my duty to get the latest shards of gossip and hotcha information out at'cha as soon as it happened rather'n wait until Sunday to divulge of such important musings, and (as usual) you better be more than thankful you're getting your BLOG TO COMM as often as you do especially considering all of the computer-less children there are over in India just starving for this information!

Anyhoo, here're a few newies that graced my ears this past week that I know you could care less about but I feel I should let you know because...5000 years from now they're going to study this in universities.

Various Artists-SPIVEY'S BLUES PARADE LP (Spivey)

The Victoria Spivey album reviewed a week back really got me hankerin' to hear more of these "primitive" blues moans which is why I latched onto this sampler that came out via Spivey's own label that's not surprisingly named after the songstress herself. A pretty vast and varied sampler too, featuring not only Spivey doing her country blues but a whole lotta her friends and acquaintences, some of whom were big enough names in the black entertainment world at the time. Sonny Boy Williamson appears as do some pretty hotcha blues/r&b movers and shakers from a whole lotta people I never knew about before and probably never will hear again. And there ain't no dud in the batch which'll keep you well jelled form the big band-ish shouters to the backwoods wax-paper and comb bouncers. There's even a comedy routine here from Billy Mitchell, "the colored Charlie Chaplin" who moans and cries through his skit which sounds dirty, but frankly you have to listen hard to make out what he's sayin'! What I would call a great introduction to the pre-pre-Robert Cray style of blues back when it was a phenomenon that was pretty much confined to the chitlin circuit and backwoods radio stations.

Word (actually, Wikipedia) has it that the Spivey label's been digitized with Cee-Dee takes on their entire catalog (which even surpassed its namesake's demise) availabe out there somewhere in the great unknown. A tasty proposition to be sure, especially since the label actually released a Screamin' Jay Hawkins album around the mid-eighties which I must admit I never knew existed but sounds pretty desirable (as do most of Hawkins' outta the way releases) to say the least! Anyone familiar with this particular platter as far as contents or even worthiness goes? If so, howzbout dropping a line!
Riot-ROCK CITY LP (Ariola Germany)

As you may know, discovering whatever you can about the under-the-underground New York bands of the seventies can be a mighty difficult and sometimes unrewarding task. True, many of those groups whose names appeared on CBGB and Max's bills were satisfying to the BLOG TO COMM modus operandi, but others weren't quite as entertaining as a few treks to the used record shop might have pointed out for a whole lotta kids who were suckered into buying "the next big kahuna" and got instant douse. Take these Riot guys f'rexample...their name pops up on many a Max's bill throughout the mid-late seventies usually opening for yet another nth-string group or even a verifiable "New York Rock" favorite like the Poppees, giving me the impression that they might've been yet another one of those under-the-radar punk groups with their chops down pat but unable to go anywhere with 'em.

Which only goes to show you how wrong I can get, for Riot were actually a heavy metal group that, right around the time they were finally thinking of cashing their chips, somehow got rollercoastered on the British New Wave of Heavy Metal bandwagon where they gained some fame and fortune with that particular crowd. True they were probably confused with Quiet Riot a good portion of the time, but at least a string of albums and some notoriety in the eighties heavy metal fanbase should prove that Riot were much more'n just Wednesday Night fodder at the rock clubs.

That doesn't mean that I have to like 'em, for Riot, at least evidenced by this debut album from early '77, were nothing more than typical late-seventies mainstream metal w/o the energy, conviction or just plain air-shredding tendencies of a Motorhead or Blue Cheer. Very fluff-weight in fact, more geared to the worst aspects of "classic rock" in that knock-'em-out-with-the-conditioning-impulses way to the point where the lead vocalist sounds so bad you'd swear he was that guy from Boston singing "People living in competition" ad nauseum. I guess that the presence of Riot on the New York Scene does prove one thing about CBGB...they were right having a policy of allowing people who didn't want to hear a certain group to leave and re-enter when the act they came to see would appear. Otherwise, I can see the club emptying out pronto ne'er to be filled again!

If you've ever wondered what the remnants of the old Orchestra Luna/New Luna Band were up to around the time 1980 rolled around this is the answer. I don't think that there's much of a membership change if any twixt these guys and their previous outfit in case you're interested, but I will admit that they put out a pretty good early-eighties album that offers some of the better aspects of what was going under the "new wave" banner along with a few obvious Meatloaf moves that don't seem to agitate me that much. I guess that if you like some of the music that was popping outta the 1981-82 cusp like the Comateens or Get Wet you'd like this as well. At least they didn't hire Frank Frazetta to do the cover.

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