Wednesday, March 23, 2011


(or...I don't have to wait until the weekend to indulge in my favorite gulcheral pastimes anymore so dig my reality!)

1) STATION WAGONS, text by Byron Olsen and photography by Dan Lyons (MBI 2000)-This here's a very hotcha book regarding the rise and fall of the station wagon in Amerigan life from its humble beginnings to its glory days as something to pile the kids into in order to take 'em to McDonalds. Unfortunately this 'un concentrates on United States makes only, but it's sure jam-packed with loads of photos (mostly taken from ads showing families camping or at the stables, but that's good enough for me!) and enough memories to bring back them days when these wagons were the fun way for a nine-year-old to travel. Did I ever tell you that when I was a kid I had this strange "thing" about station wagons as opposed to reg'lar sedans? T'was an obsessive attitude about 'em too, especially if the rear taillight/body structure was vastly different than that of the sedan variety which would excite me to no end! You may remember the stark differences between the '58/'59 Edsel, the '60 to '63 Mercury Comet, or especially the '63 to '66 Studebaker Lark sedan and wagon variations, because I sure do! I believe I had these feelings towards automobiles because of a misplaced, youthfully confusing sexual ideal replacing automobiles with the two sexes, with women being wagons so to speak and men being sedans. Only women have different headlights than men do!
2) Les Rallizes Denudes-67/69 STUDIO ET LIVE CD-R-Part of an 11-CD set of various rare and not-so Rallizes disques, this is a reish of the now-impossible to find group-related early-nineties official sampling of their earliest recorded output from the swinging late-sixties. I still find the group's handling of choice late-sixties soundpoints (Velvets, San Fran, UK acid...) especially in a Japanese rock/"group sounds" setting to be quite exemplary, and given the number of Japanese groups around these days who are playing in their "tradition" what else can I say but these guys were trailblazers in certainly more'n one way. I'm sure you knew that already, which is but one reason I wonder why I even BOTHER writing these posts up for you unappreciative blog followers in the first place!
...which features nothing but 1973 vintage Max's Kansas City ads taken from old VILLAGE VOICE microfilms. Talk about a screwy year for the club, which within those twelve months had booked everybody from the Stooges and Philip Glass (not forgetting the Druids [of Stonehenge]...opening for and reportedly wiping Ruben and the Jets off the stage!) to such seventies schlongs as Billy Joel and Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show (and I left out Bachman Turner Overdrive and BW Stevenson, amongst many others whom you wouldn't expect an underground venue as Max's to have booked inna first place!). Reminds me of the days when I would comb through such esoterica at the Youngstown Public Library at the peak of my New York Scene obsessive/compulsiveness, a time that seemed ages ago even though it was perhaps only a good three years since the seventies underground generation had given way to something more...disco?
4) Alien Planetscapes-LIVE CBGB 7/31/99 CD-R-Those Alien Planetscapes burnt Cee-Dee offerings that I got off their website (see link at left) have held up pretty well esp. for serving as background for my evening reading excursions. This particular CBGB gig (which I believe was their last before the illness that eventually killed leader Brian Walker got the best of him) doesn't fail in stirring up deeply-seated emotions buried within a good forty years of tonal frustration. Surprisingly hard, almost heavy metal-ish Chrome-inspired rock et roll here with Walker's synthesizers revving up all over the place like well-oiled cyborgs giving these numbuhs a particularly otherworldly appeal. The rather extreme moment in the opening number where the guitars and synth repeat this one riff brutally for about a minute still makes the hair on my head wanna stand on end and I've been baldoid for quite a long time! Might be traipsing back to the site to get a few more Alien Planetscapes recordings to upload for the upcoming PM downtime, because they really are inspiring in the boffo-est seventies electronic rock way extant (and they're free too)!
5) POLLY AND HER PALS COMIC STRIP SHOWCASE 2 by Cliff Sterrett (Arcadia Publications, 1990)-An oldie to tide me over until the Ken Pierce order arrives. Sterrett's full-page Pollies are the ones everybody remembers for their (to use the already hackneyed-beyond-belief term) "surreal" nature, but these 1930-31 dailies are just as good as anything that Ahern, Herriman or Gross were putting out during this Golden Age of the Comics Page. It would help if some of the panels were printed in correct order, but maybe that only adds to the bizarre nature of these strips. Contains at least one racist gag that makes a guy who's been around the comic strip block a few times like myself absolutely shudder!
6) Kung Pao Chicken (food)-Despite being on a kinda/sorta strict diet I actually broke down and ordered some takeouts (that's "takeaways" for you British bums) from the local Chinese food emporium. Could drool on a few paragraphs about the new gal who works there, but instead I'll tell you about the joy of having some Kung Pao Chicken after about a good year of staying away from the restaurant for fear of enlarging my mantits even more. Wonderful concoction that KPC is...pieces of stir-fried chicken ("velveted" I believe) with cubes of carrots, celery and other Far East goodies all mixed in a hot green-ish sauce with (get this!) peanuts! Believe-you-me, with all of these veggies as well as the tasty meat I was so protein'd up I felt like moving a few buildings with my bare hands. Could be the official dish of BLOG TO COMM, though I am especially partial to the boneless chicken in "brow" sauce (as the menu says) which is deep-fried bits of chicken and veggies in a tasty gravy that's really good splattered all over some steamed rice and downed with a few Chinese pirogy (a.k.a. dumplings or pot stickers if you will). Calorie city true, but then again who's gonna look at me?


diskojoe said...

That was an interesting range of acts that were playing in Max's. I would have loved to see the Charlie Rich/Tom Waits paring, but whoever booked the Coiln Bluestone/Kinky Freidman bill was surely smoking something!

Christopher Stigliano said...

The Max's book HIGH ON REBELLION mentioned the Waylon Jennings/Billy Joel gig. I guess the artist community (who populated the restaurant/bar area as opposed to the back room where the Warhol/freak contingent hung out) wanted to see Jennings really bad. Joel trodded his way through his set to indifference, and later that night when walking through the bar area got booed! Jennings supposedly hit the stage with a few white streaks under his nose, having just sampled some crystallized intoxicant in the front of the venue.

Unknown said...

If you're going to go off of a diet, then Kung Pao Chicken is a good way to go...I love the stuff, too.

Bill S. said...

cars, the glory days of Max's, archival cdr's, vintage comics, and food...THAT'S why I love Blog to Comm...