Saturday, August 28, 2010


Nothing much to sneeze about this time. Still whacked out from the goings on in my life the past week or so which have added up to more frustration and overall exhaustion that a normal fellow can take (and believe-you-moi, my week of agony beats your month!). Lucky for you that I was able to crank this 'un out 'stead of rely on one of my standby posts I have ready to go in case of severe writer's block, but ya know this one ain't gonna be collectin' any blog awards any time soon.

Iggy and the Stooges-RAW POWER (LEGACY EDITION) 2-CD set (Columbia Legacy...photographic reflection by Jillery)

Hoo boy, another reason to spend additional hard-earned $$$ on stuff you've possessed for most of your natural born dayze! I really gotta hand it to these people though, re-releasing albums that didn't do squat back when they were originally released and slapping 'em up w/all new packaging, new tracks and of course a booklet filling you in on just why the recording in question was of such importance in the first place even though the market it was aimed at was too busy gobbling up Jethro Tull albums to care.

And if Electra could do it w/the first two Stooges disques why not Columbia with that all-time classic heavy metal (in the best 1973 CREEM sense) album RAW POWER? Good job they did too even if disque one is the same David Bowie mix that originally came out way back inna eighties p'haps cleansed a bit. Only have that nineties re-do so maybe this 'un's an added gem in my collection. It certainly does have its natural charm.

Howevah, the major drawing point here's the second slab which not only has the Stooges live at Richard's in Atlanta that was originally intended for broadcast (!---I guess the radio programmers down Georgia way had no fear of the FCC if they were even going to consider broadcasting this vulgarity-strewn outing!) but two outtakes that will certainly please your punch. The live gig is pretty good, not as raw as the Max's show or the asst. of Bomp-wares that have been coming out but it does have the best quality to date and is about on-par with the rest of those FM broadcasts of the day that have bootlegged o'er the years. Can't complain esp. when we get to hear the between-song patter where Iggy acts like...well, Iggy putting down a heckler whilst strutting about his usually stunted self. The outtakes from the RAW POWER sesh are boss though, with a ne'er heard by my ears before track called "Doojiman" coming off like FUNHOUSE-period avant rock as it bends and reverberates through your beanie and "Head On" featuring that heavy electric piano courtesy Bob "Blue Gene Tyranny" Sheff adding that special oomph to all of those rehearsal tape bootlegs heard these past two decades. That one appeared on a vast array of boots ever since its late-eighties freedom from the vaults, but it's nice to see that Columbia finally "legitimized" the thing so it doesn't have to act like a bastard anymore.

Another hotcha selling point are the liner notes featuring the usual band reminisces as well as a fantab essay by former ZIGZAG mentor Kris Needs which reads as good as most of his rants have since the late-seventies. I guess they couldn't get David Fricke this time, and the switch is more'n appreciated if only because that Fricke guy seemed to have a MONOPOLY w/regards to being the official chronicler of the hotcha archival alternative set these past few eons!
Hawkwind-ASTOUNDING SOUNDS AMAZING MUSIC cassette (The Famous Charisma Label, England)

The late-period United Artists/early-Charisma-period Hawkwind albums seem to get the collective poo-poo from a good number of their fans, or at least that would be the impression I got after reading years of reviews and other opines that have been space-cavorting around for at least thirty-five solar rotates. And given how the vast majority of the Charisma-period platters were pretty hard to snatch up here in the US of Wha? (even QUARK STRANGENESS AND CHARM which Sire picked up for national consumption) it was pretty hard to find out whether or not this was true on my very own lest I dish out the extra few smackers for an overpriced import copy. But damn the nebbishes whose Hawkwind knowledge seems to end with HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GRILL anyway because this debut spinner for Charisma is on the same plateau as their latterday UA albums (and far beyond the rest of the Charisma stable of the day excepting maybe Peter Hammill's NADIR'S BIG CHANCE), sorta tying up the loose ends left by their previous discs and getting into a new groove on a new label without succumbing to the dross that overwrought art rock had long become.

Heck, even the space-y mellotron interlude on "Chronoglide Skyway" sounds orbit-y enough to make you wish Joe Meek had one of those monstrosities at his disposal! And the melodies, temperament and valiant attempts to cling to an ever-fading psychedelic past don't sound dated, that is if you still think of the seventies as a pinnacle of music/tee-vee/moom pitchers that never was surpassed no matter how many flacks tell you otherwise. Maybe it ain't the paen to underground-y punkisms that QUARK was supposed to be (or at least that's what Eddie Flowers said!) but I find it breathtaking enough. Two additional bonuses are the instrumental "The Aubergine That Ate Rangoon", former Deviants guitarist (now bassist) Paul Rudolph's sole composing credit for the group before he was unceremoniously kicked out, whilst "Kerb Crawler" was mixed by none other than Pink Floyd's own David Gilmour whom I only wish woulda taken a cue or two from the real life space kiddettes
The Pink Fairies-FINLAND FREAKOUT 1971 CD (MLP England)

And really, what use would it be talking about Hawkwind whilst ignoring their brother band the Pink Fairies anyway? The Fairies ouput has been mighty slim as of late, but at least the MLP label was able to dish out this tasty little gem from the group's appearance at a '71rock festival in Finland of all places (the first ever rockfest there by the way!). The liner notes from drummer Russell Hunter (along with an excerpt from the indispensable group biography) are what'cha'd call "engrossing" (I thought the part where they get high on meth with Canned Heat was kinda high-larious!), and the music ain't that bad either in fact sounding a lot clearer'n that LP of a few years back which really had the Flintstones-level quality so akin to many an early bootleg.

The midnight sun musings to be found here include their then-current set opener "Tomorrow Never Knows", not to mention current single "The Snake" followed by their extended romp and "Sister Ray" re-do "Uncle Harry's Last Freakout" (complete with the riff from "Billy the Monster" stuck in) all ending with the refurbishing of "Walk Don't Run" which sounds every bit as good live as it did on WHAT A BUNCH OF SWEETIES. And if that doesn't get your toenails tingling I don't know WHAT high energy hard rock that rivals the Detroit bands at their best, and certainly worth a play if you claim to adhere to all of that beautiful atonal blare that mongos like me have been blabbing atcha for lo these many years!
Finally, here are bunch of them ol' Charles Rodrigues cartoons from NATIONAL LAMPOON that really brought back some guffaw-inducing memories for me and p'haps for you too! Y'know, I really gotta admit that it's the kinda humor like this (which seemed so over-the-top daring at the time) which really influenced a lotta my styling and general overview of life itself almost as much as various fan/prozine writings and other pertinant stimulations that were being made available to me during my formative years of brain mush. Besides that, who could deny that Rodrigues was one of the better sick cartoonists of the post-Chaz Addams day who excites me a lot more'n even an old hand like Gahan Wilson (whose "Nuts" in 'POON was the only effort of his I find worth reading) let alone most of today's scribblers ever could. Hope you laughed out loud as much as I did (re)reading 'em! (They should collect these cartoons as well as the other LAMPOON continuing series like "Nuts", "The Appletons", "Timberland Tales", "Trots and Bonnie" and "Dirty Duck" in their own book collections don't'cha think? Now that's something I'd really dish out the shekels for, eh?)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's a reflection in the cover of the Raw Power CD. If only ...