Saturday, March 05, 2011

Hoo boy Natasha, here's another uninspired weekend post. And this one's gonna be a little bit shorter'n the rest, not necessarily due to a lack of raw material, inspiration or lethargy. More or less a combination of all three things rolled up into one big massive ball of fat, guts and nerves. Kinda like ME in many ways, but self-deprecating comments aside here's whatcha gonna get this week:

FREE PLUG DEPT.!: The era of fanzines is not quite dead (yet), for outta the blue what should pop up but yet another issue of DAGGER (see link up on left for internet address...why'd'ya think I put it up there inna first place?). 's a pretty good 'un at that, and although DAGGER editor Tim Hinely's tastes and mine don't always seem to jibe or see eye-to-eye or something like that I still like to read this surviving screed just to see what's happening out there in self-produced underground rock land. And DAGGER's always a fact the latest in a long line (#43 if you can count that high) does contain something that an old fogey like myself can relate to, mainly an interview with none other than Lisa Fancher. That's a name which should ring a bell with anybody who picked up a fanzine between the years 1974 and 1979, or purchased a record released on her very on Frontier records label throughout the eighties (and beyond!). In case you don't remember, Fancher is not the longtime head of that particular company (home of some of the gnarlier El Lay punk during the early-eighties days of hardcore rage) but a respected fanzine writer and editor (STREET LIFE) in her own right whose name appeared in a number of famous rags of the era including BOMP! and BACK DOOR MAN (#4, with an article on the Tubes if you can believe it!). Some called her the Penny Valentine of seventies fandom, and if you can't relate to that, well I guess you're just another typical BLOG TO COMM reader. Sheesh, is there any reader of this blog who's IQ's in the three-digits???

And now for some reviews!

You readers probably know already that I'm not exactly that big a fan of the "Nederbeat" scene that transpired in six-oh Holland, but then again I'm always sometimes in the mood to try new and different modes of sound portrayal that I hope would stimulate the nerve-endings reaching into my backbrain ever-searching for new and exciting vistas to explore. (As you can seem that creative writing class I took paid off, even if I did get an "F"!) And hey, this third and final album by the Netherlands' very own Outsiders just seemed to fill the bill. True this one's from '68 and perhaps a li'l too far outside the mid-sixties epicenter to matter, but then again there were many a smart mid-sixties bunch who were able to transcend the usual late-sixties pratfalls with avant garage aplomb and perhaps the Outsiders were but one of the acts who could pull such a trick with about as much ease as Cary Grant snapping off Randolph Scott's jockstrap.

And at times they do, such as on the noisy freakfest "Doctor" which closes side one and makes most of those other obligatory late-sixties token avant garde tracks seem positively droll. But otherwise the Outsiders put forth with a nice update on their mid-sixties post-Pretty Things stylings though I must say that they can handle the transformation from punk to avant punk with nil effort, perhaps not as vividly as the Detroit bands did but atonally enough. Wally Tax's vocals sure add to the overall bizarre nature of these tracks at times sounding really Dutch snot and at others rather feminine, but whatever his singing gives this album the flipout aspect to make it more'n just another buncha foppy Europeons cranking out kultured pop for the former Nazi sympathizers who used to slurp up Horst Jankowski albums.

Fantastic gatefold packaging as well as insert notes written by Mike Stax, a guy who should know more'n just a little about the entire Nederbeat scene than you or I. And it's a must for those who like the continental rock & roll scene of the sixties and (like I) didn't even know it existed until maybe the early-eighties or even later!

Way back in the Golden Age when I snatched up my copy of NUGGETS via the cut out bin (saw a cassette goin' for $9.99 at Musicland during the Spring of '77 and just figured the thing would be cutout within a good six month's time, and typical garage punk fashion I was right!) I was as nutzo about the Strangeloves as everyone else who happened upon that legendary collection of mid-sixties garageoidisms. I mean, those two platters were pretty revelatory, proving that the music that I thought was of the late-seventies under-the-gnarl strata was in fact up and functioning a good twelve years prior to the news hitting finally hitting the boonies! At least to me acts like the Strangeloves had the same overall impact and meaning as alla them new groups that Sire was cluttering up their roster with and really, was there that much of a chasm between the likes of the Seeds and the Fleshtones other'n maybe a few years of gulcheral development?

However, I began singing a different tune when I found out that the Strangeloves weren't exactly some outta-the-'burbs teenage group but a buncha seasoned Brill Building businessmen pretending to be Australian sheepherders which certainly did lower the property value in my record collection! After all, manufactured music sure didn't light my kindling the same way that rock & roll created by the same kinda jamokes who came outta my neighborhood might've, and yeah I could relate to the likes of the Elevators and Standells as far as my own ranch house existence went, but having my kultur presented to me by a buncha oldsters pretending to be of the same teenage credo as I was a totally different, and perhaps incediary thing in my mind!

But although it didn't take me a while to realize that yeah, the Strangeloves obviously were phonus balonuses but then again in this world of ours what is real? Just about everything is phony once you get down to it, from the news you watch to the blatant emote of your favorite actress-cum-social planner to even the "real" musical stars like the Stones who were always three-dollar bills once you got down to brass tacks. And as any kid knows, sometimes the plastic imitation is a lot better'n the real thing! And way cheaper too, so why should I get worked up because the Feldman/Goldstein/Gottehrer team weren't really the Strange Brothers (Niles, Miles and Giles) from Armstrong Australia anyway? Last time I looked, the Rolling Stones weren't the World's Greatest Rock Group either, or at least they ain't been ever since "Angie" became the musical equivalent of chemical castration.

And because these fakes could put up a good real life sound encompassing mid-Amerigan dribble, English imitation and white guys pretending to be blackisms there's no reason why anybody who tunes into this blog without malice should enjoy the Strangeloves for what they were or maybe even weren't. And hey, I WANT CANDY's got a nice chunk of what made 1965 such a boss time for rock & rollers with everything from the snat hits to the obligatory covers of the charttoppers of the day and even "Hang On Sloopy" (which was considered top durty song extant when I was a wee tyke!) using the original McCoys backing tracks and it's all so good that you don't even notice the clunkers, if there are any that is!

Not only that, but Feldman, Goldstein and Gotterher can sing up a storm so it ain't like this was some vanity project where a buncha over-the-hills try to re-live past glories and have the bux to back it up! I WANT CANDY proves that the Strangeloves were mid-sixties contenders during an era when rock had clearly burst into its second generation, and frankly most applications of it were so good even Brill Building vets with little garage cred could muck it up!
ANOTHER FREE PLUG DEPT.!: Maybe I should charge for these, but being the giving, courteous and stupid type of person I am I most certainly won't!

"We accept every rejection within the tight slope of ideas," says Matthew Wascovich, frontman of Cleveland-based music group, Scarcity Of Tanks. Wascovich founded SOT during the summer of 2004 after stints in a bunch of unheard-of Cleveland bands. Scarcity Of Tanks has toured throughout the U.S. and released two acclaimed records for Total Life Society (Cleveland, USA) and Textile (Paris, FR). The group will play a limited number of shows in 2011 including stops in Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, and Cleveland during March. Scarcity Of Tanks are anti-heroes with no message, "We exist so that you do not have to. We create rock music playing the form as we play the form and that's by our own rules. Distortion. Bass and drums that make one move. Guitars that make you feel sick or alive. Vocals that you cannot relate to most of the time. This would partially describe the SOT experience; a living response," says Wascovich. The current line-up features top notch Clevelanders: Andrew Klimeyk, Jeff Deasy, Theodore Wiggs Null Flynn The Younger, and Brent Gemmill. This is a rare chance to catch the all-Cleveland group playing out of Northeast Ohio. They will be playing songs from all their albums including SENSATIONAL GRADE to be released May 1st.

See Scarcity Of Tanks live at these upcoming gigs:

3/11/11 - Brooklyn, NY at Psychotropa - SCARCITY OF TANKS with Tall Firs (Ecstatic Peace Records), Man Forever Duo (mem of Oneida), Chris Grier/Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers) Duo

3/12/11 - Pittsburgh, PA at The Shop - SCARCITY OF TANKS with Sic Alps (Drag City Records), Magik Markers (Drag City Records), Kim Phuc

3/19/11 - Cleveland, OH at Beachland Ballroom - SCARCITY OF TANKS with Pere Ubu (playing the Modern Dance album and more)

More information about Scarcity Of Tanks: click here .


Serena WmS. Burroughs said...

Chris, funny you should mention The Fleshtones, because Richard Gottehrer went on to produce them, along with combos like The Bongos, who once poked fun at Young Marble Giants with a song called "Ancient Clay Midgets" (I think I got that title right), which reminds me of Caetano Veloso talking about Woody Allen mocking Bob Dylan: "I like his movies, but who is he to mock the giant Bob Dylan?" Thanks for the SOT plug; I hope you have a strong Brooklyn demographic. Have a good weekend, and don't eat too many tamales...

Christopher Stigliano said...

"Funny you should mention The Fleshtones, because Richard Gottehrer went on to produce them..."

Whyd'ja think I mentioned 'em inna first place???

Serena WmS. Burroughs said...

I don't know; why does anyone mention The Fleshtones? I thought maybe you saw a box of Band-Aids...

Serena WmS. Burroughs said...


345 Eldert st. #218
Brooklyn, NY

Friday, 03/11/11
9 pm / All ages / $8

Dude Behind The Record Counter said...

found a copy of that Outsiders Lp and it's a goodin'. Big fan of Black To Comm 'zine AND the blog. Thanks-a-million!

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