Saturday, January 07, 2012

Considering this is the first "real" jambus packtus post I've produced for the new calendar flip, maybe I should introduce it as such if only to set the tone for what hopefully will transpire for the rest of yet another uneventuful year. Yeah, I know that this just might come off downright stodgy 'n pretentious, but perhaps a few words regarding just how I feel entering into yet another 365 366 should be in order if only to pull off yet another lame attempt at showing some sort of dignity and class thus stymieing you reg'lar readers even more. And, in keeping with form, I'll try to make it as rambling and as incoherently stream-of-unconsciousness as possible.

Perhaps I should start off by mentioning something along the line of how weird I feel having even survived this long into the new century, which I would say is long enough to have experienced the "no future" that Johnny R 'n company have told us about a good 35 years back. Only now we're over a quarter century into that mass of blahdom that some consider the bright new future but I find an alternative universe worse than any Hell Dante could've imagined. Maybe the weird chill that it's been over a century since a lotta the things I used to hold near and dear to my heart were created (the modern comic strip being amongst 'em) and that all of the originators and extrapolators of the form were just hitting their stride a good 100 solar spins back also tends to make me feel older'n Methuselah. Of course that doesn't say much about comic strips TODAY, but then again any industry that would even remotely think that DOONESBURY and CATHY are anywhere the spiritual successors to LI'L ABNER and NANCY has taken a wrong turn long ago. If you ask me, the comic strip, along with the entire newspaper industry, deserves to die a long, agonizing death, and that goes for the rest of the so-called "media" which has stayed afloat on hackdom and a playing up to the worst aspects of Mr. and Mrs. Boob Ameriga for a longer period of time than I'm sure even the most curmudgeonesque amongst us would have ever believed.

The third place showing of personal political fave-rave Ron Paul in the Iowa Caucuses did incur the usual mixed feelings, especially after all of the exit polls showed him to be a strong frontrunner this past Tuesday night. Naturally deep in whatever's left of my once overly-bled-out heart I knew that he wouldn't do as well as many of us hoped he would given the stupidity of the average Republican lever-pusher (which is only equalled by the average Democrat who never did graduate beyond the "Kumbaya" level of social consciousness), but at least I can dream a li'l, eh? And if Lew Rockwell could be trusted (and why not?), the reactions amongst the usual elite smirkers commentators at MSNBC towards a possible Paul victory were typically hilarious...I really liked the way Rockwell described Rachel Maddow as having "the expression of a woman giving birth to a bowling ball" when discussing Paul's exit poll first place showing, while compat Chris Matthews "looked like a man who has just been told that his pet dog was run over" which I guess would be too much for a guy who has to talk down to his audience like a Sunday School teacher trying to describe what "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery" means to a class of six-year-olds! I'll bet that the facial scrunching was just as bad over at Fox News, who like the rest of the "mainstream" (read: "yawn") conservative media is just praying for the return to the steady, hard-driving and clear vision of a George Bush via Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum! As for myself, I sure wish I had the chance to check in on the vastly superior Fox Business News Channel to see what the blowhard-y (in a nice way!) yet etapoint Judge Andrew Napolitano, who has been perhaps the only visible Paul cheerleader seen on the tube these past few months, had to say about Paul's showing! Naturally I feel glad in my own ginchy-goochy way that Paul has done as well as he has so far, though I was hoping for a better placing considering all of the ups and downs that the polls have been spewing forth for the last month or so that gave more'n a few spectators like myself the queazie-weazies!

But still, Paul's twentysome % does prove that there is some hope for this wretched land of ours and that perhaps he will be able to do stronger in other states thus giving massive gut thrompings to the yakking heads on both the left and the right who see him as being one of the biggest threats to (their own personal sense of, and at the expense of everybody else's) liberty! And with regards to his enemies on both the left and the right, I gotta say that if a candidate such as Paul can really get these rumor-mongers and armchair Criswells frothing like they do then he definitely will remain my fave as long as I live! After all, anybody who could be such a threat as to actually "want to establish, at the state level, a male-dominated religion that will stone gays to death" (???) must be doing something right if his ideological enemies are stooping so low as to actually spew something THAT outrageous! All I gotta say is keep it up Ron...the unhinged comments your enemies are spewing make for some of the best laff parade material I've come across since they took GILLIGAN'S ISLAND off the air!

In case you're keeping track, I will now come out of the closet so to speak and say that, after about eight or nine years of really not paying attention and having it on in the car if only to keep my mind off of my driving, I have now sworn to never again flick on the radio to give Rush Limbaugh or any of his substitute hosts (perhaps even Walter Williams) a listen to again! The man's own political journey and mine have certainly swayed o'er the past few, what with his disavowal of the paleoconservative roots of his own credo to the abject dismissal of the likes of Ron Paul (no wonder the new nickname for the radio host amongst the more enlightened has become "El Neoconbo"!), a man whom Limbaugh has previously praised though now dismisses with the same half-truths and outright prefabrications you usually hear amongst the no-name commentators at CNN! Now I will say that there was some animosity twixt us brewing back when Limbaugh turned on Pat Buchanan with a typical party-line vengeance, and Limbaugh's paranoia at the paleo politics that could be found at CHRONICLES (not to mention his obvious dismay at having to mention Joseph Sobran's name when plugging THE CONSERVATIVE CHRONICLES, no relation to the other pub!) just helped piss me off even more, but his recent railing against Paul is how shall we say the camel-back-breaking last straw for this radio tuner-inner. Guess from now on it's gonna hafta be Neal Boortz (not exactly a fave rave though he's at least a shard interesting---forget it when that "Red States USA" Ericson guy substitutes for him!) when I'm out driving, and as far as the new media goes it's Lew Rockwell, Taki's Top Drawer and CHRONICLES all the way!

I hope that's enough blab passed off as viable sociopolitical speak in a lame attempt to make myself come off as something more'n an overgrown adolescent anal-retentive pseudo-autistic music obsessive! X-mas money's starting to wear thin, but I was able to eke out a few items (not including the freebies received!) to make this yet another one for the annals of history, at least as far as self-important one-dimensional fannish bleats go...

Tim Buckley and the Starsailor Band-LIVE AT ESCONDIDO, CA 10/1970 CD-R (burnt offering)

Yes, while the rest of you were out galavanting this past 12/31, I was spending the waining hours of the year listening to this rarity sent to me via the kindness of Mr. PD Fadensonnen, who also sent the Loren Conners and what else but Fadensonnen platters which also get the royal treatment below. Yes, lonely me wasn't getting plastered outta his skull whilst surrounded by friends (not that I have any!) while ringing in the New Year, but I will say that I truly had a fun time giving this particular one a spin even without the enhancement of various body stimulants/depressants which I'm sure many of you folk rely on daily. And considering its nature (Buckley during the height of his avant garde phase which was represented via one-and-a-half albums that puzzled most fans and critics of the day) I'm surprised this hasn't been pressed up into either a deluxe double-record set complete with the fannish liner notes and the deluxe color cover let alone a fashionable Cee-Dee via whatever's left of the bootleg industry these days. Hey TMOQ, if you're still in business here's one that'll just fly off the racks!

Sound quality is OK some times, pretty clear at others, but it's the band that really gets hot as Buckley 'n crew try to out-do the likes of Shepp and Sun Ra with this total mass upheaval! Naturally there are traces of Buckley as the SoCal singer/songwriter tortured soul that he had originally made his mark with, but most if not all of this can easily pass for a live show by one of the up-and-coming freedom explorers of the day even with Buckley's yelps and screams permeating this platter! Brilliant improvs abound, and the "chorale" is even stranger'n that over-tracked title cut on the STARSAILOR album to the point where if someone passed it as some 197X work by a then up-and-coming "serious" composer most avant sneers'd probably believe it as such! One deserving of wider distribution, and if you google hard enough you might even find a free download!
Loren Connors-RED MARS CD (Family Vineyard)

The second of Fadendonnen's gifts, this 'un's a recent ('10) recording from the famous "out" guitarist on electric accompanied by a Margardia Garcia on electric string bass.  And as you'd expect this is moving as it is pleasing, with Connors' wafting electric lines giving you that floating feeling with just the right touch of pathos and ennui and all of those fun things that you like to have pounded into your music. Reminds me a lot of "The Hymn to the North Star" in its enveloping beauty, and you know that if I could use such descriptive language as that this one really has affected me in a positive, life-reaffirming way! Of the many Connors albums out there to choose from, this one is, like, perhaps a mandatory if you want it kinda pick!
Fadensonnen-LIVE AT ACTIONIST STUDIOS CD (Fadensonnen Music...check the blog on the left for address and other important info)

The final of the three, LIVE AT ACTIONIST STUDIOS just happens to be the latest release this unheralded (and under-documented, under-appreciated and under-weight for all I know) musician has dared to unleash on us modern music maniacs , some of us who still harbor some hope that there's interesting underground avant garde rock being made a good thirty years after it all sorta went 'n deep sixed!
A lotta the same aspects of previous Fadensonnen releases can be discerned, but I was able to pick out a whole batch of new influences here (or was that just my ears hallucinating?) from Les Rallizes Denudes to even some of those Kongress workouts that I thought had only graced mine ears (esp. the one where Von Lmo was extrapolating on his own trapology!) It is heartening to know that people still play with stylophones! A pretty hotcha way to begin the new year if you ask me, and if this is any sorta start I just hope my hard can stand it these next twelve months!
Balloons for the Dog-"Tuna Tonight"/"Assassination Candidate" 45 (Baltech Industries/Random Radar)

Gee, I never bought any balloons for my dog, though it I did I'd bet he'd chew it until it popped in his face! The thought still kinda makes me feel guilty for neglecting him this way, even though it would have been fun to see the look on his face as the thing went kablooey!

But all kidding aside here's a weirditie that I snatched up if only because I saw this group's name on some old Max's Kansas City flier. The fact that the usually prog-in-opposition oriented Random Radar label had something to do with this also piqued my attention, and although these Balloon people sound nothing like the Muffins or Art Bears they do put up a pretty good pre-ginch new wave sound on these sides. The use of synthesizer and electric organ gives this group a rather Kongress-ish sound which certainly seperates this from the typical new unto gnu wave acts that were appearing on the scene at the time this was unleashed. Not only that, but Balloon had a hard New York-ish (strange since they were from Washington DC) sense of drive in their approach kinda making 'em kith 'n kin to the likes of the Comateens, Dizzy and the Romilars and other local acts that still had a sense of late-seventies dirt and grime in their style which would soon get wooshed away after the major labels and rock video movement discovered this untapped potential geek goldmine!

Nice sleeve for this which in actuality is an envelope that you probably coulda used for mailing purposes had you run out of one and needed to get your order to Bomp! in like quicksilver. Of course a collectorphile like yourself never would even consider doing something as destructive as that but hey, there were times in my life when the idea kinda popped into my brain when the envelopes just weren't to be found.
Nevertheless, this sure was a nice kinda package for an interesting group that's somehow slipped through the cracks and crevices of underground rock consciousness. Any more information on this group would greatly be appreciated!  (And while we're at it, check the Max's listing to see who the opening spot for the 12/10 gig was...none other than Lou Barone soon to be Lou Rone, ace guitarist who was by this time rockin' out in his own band featuring none other'n Iolsa Hatt on vocals! And while we're at it, that's none other'n the famed beat hippoid Copernicus playing 12/3 on a bill alongside other than the Mad and Howard Wuelfing's old group the Nurses!!! Betcha can't guess where I'm going as soon as the Wayback Machine is tuned to peak perfection, and it ain't to the founding of the Temperance League that's for sure!)
WHITE CLOUD LP (Good Medicine)

Y'know how much I like to take chances on early seventies obscuros hoping that I might find a new Sidewinders or Hackamore Brick in the batch. And this one looked a li'l promising if only because vocalist Joanne Vent later had a notable career of sorts singing backup on Lou Reed's CONEY ISLAND BABY album as well as leading her own aggregate (who were scheduled to appear at CBGB 11/76 yet canceled out---even more underground mystique to to dig into my own hook-laden psyche!). Alas, li'l early-seventies rockist magic transpires on this country bumpkin effort featuring the talents of one Thomas Jefferson Kaye who was put to better use producing the first Barbarians single on the Joy label...naw, this group's pretty much in that New Nashville rocking vein that was probably too freaky for the old country fans yet too cube for the rockers.

Now I will admit that Vent has a good set of pipes on her (sounds more Sally Struthers than Janis Joplin) and some of the material is what I would deem pleasant enough, but I sure coulda used a buncha good cheap fast rockers interspersed twixt the Mid-South twang. As it is, WHITE CLOUD is pretty much a stuck in neutral drag that only proves these guys 'n gal were custom made for backing the likes of a New Folkie moosh like Loudon Wainwright III after all!

The Flamin' Groovies-SNEAKERS 10-inch LP/EP (Skydog, France)

'n finally (at least as far the music reviews go) heres' a recent acquistion which I know will look good in the collection, the 1975 Skydog reissue of the debut Flamin' Groovies ten-incher, also done up as a ten-inch platter which certainly does lend an air of authenticity. Nice, european look to the cover and label ('s funny, this must be the only bootleg extant which advertises the group's legit albums on the back cover) and overall cool production make this 'un a definite keeper. Strangely enough, even though I didn't quite care for this early Groovies side when I first spun it way back inna early-eighties, I find that these definitely post-Moby Grape-ish cuts have a whole lot more to say about what San Francisco was than the entire recorded output of the Dead 'n Airplane combined! (And frankly, it ain't like I'm as much of a hater of this stuff as I was a good decade or two back, but the Groovies still trounce 'em on all counts!)

Of course, the sad part about the story is that, although I now have whatcha'd call a hotcha, excitement-prone vinyl collection which I could only have dreamed about when I was sixteen, who on earth would really want to pour through it to marvel at the obscurities and other such jetsam that is now in my possession? Sure it woulda been a thrill way back when...y'know, "come on over to my place 'n I'll show ya some REAL records!"...but now with the seventies age of music relegated into the restricted "classic rock"genre and most of the people I knew back then (thankfully) scattered across the globe, not only is there nobody I know who would want to see my collection, but nobody around to see it even if somebody would be interested! I know I told you about my wish to turn my record collection into someting that resembled one of those old record shops you used to see, the outta the way kind where you could get bootlegs, cutouts and imports at sometimes reasonable prices and there was some grumpy twenty-something guy keeping his eye on you behind the counter unless he decided to sneak back for a quickie you-know-what. A place where I could just go 'n prowl the racks 'n look at the goodies like I did when I was a mere adolescent and could only dream about owning this stuff, only now I have it and somehow it sates this raging feeling that if I didn't have these records I would be less the man that I am now. If that were the case you know I'd drag everyone who ever prowled a record rack to come down to my basement and pretend it was the old days skimmin' through the albums as I regale a whole slew of stories surrounding the whys wherefores and circumstances connected with my purchasing of said platter.  It would make me feel proud, though you know I'm gonna watch out for the usual shoplifting subjects with a typical eagle eye, especially those skinny kids with the big raincoats! They're the ones that "boost" (as they used to say) tons of platters to sell to unwary classmates at undoubtedly bargain prices and I'm sure many a record store went under (and record collection got depleted) because of cads like them!!!
BOY, IF YOU THOUGHT YOUR DREAMS WERE WHACKED OUT I JUST HAD ONE THAT COULD MAKE ME A MILLION! A million of what might be the question, but while the rest of you were out ringing in the New Year I had a dream spurred on by a combination melatonin/dirixoral/vicodin gulpdown (and maybe the spin of Tim Buckley mentioned above) that not only was clearer than a satellite beacon from Mars but would really make a good idea for a hotcha Britcom because that's exactly what I was watching in the dream! Somehow I was in some strange setting watching WVIZ-TV (that's channel 25, the PBS station from Cleveland) on some futuristic JETSONS-looking screen, and what was being broadcast was, suprisingly enough, a well-crafted if at times incomprehensible BBC-created comedy that seemed a little bit RED DWARF and a whole lot SUPERCAR combined! In fact, the show was so SUPERCAR-esque to the point where I could ideantify the obviously early-sixties looking Amerigan lead actor (clean cut style) as a Mike Mercury clone, and the old (albeit female) German scientist as a take on Professor Popkiss Doctor Beaker on down the line. No Jimmy or Mitch in sight, though the storyline, or what there could be of it in a dream such as this, had to do with the main characters being part of a rescue team or sorts which was centered around the all-purpose vehicle that was used for a variety of purposes, this flying, submarining creation somehow resembling a late-model De Soto. The strange part about it is that parts of this comedy were cheaply animated, including a scene where the hero has to rescue a family of African heritage who were stranded in some arctic-like snowstorm, the hero muffing his rescue to the point where the entire family get dunked into the freezing waters and come up encased in ice-cubes! This was something that not only the studio audience but all of us viewers in the dream laughed at, but for what reason I do not know! There was also a reference to the vehicle (which was draped in a variety of cape-like cloth attached from the wings!) being called "Superbilko" after the lead character in the famed Phil Silvers sitcom, and if there was such a program which featured our bald hero as a flying righter of wrongs I'd sure like to see it!

Oddly enough, the only other thing that I can remember about this dream is that I was chagrined that it was being aired on channel 25 since that meant it would most definitely not be airing on channel 45, the local PBS outlet. Y'see, there's been quite a squabble between the two stations going on for years regarding what "syndicated" PBS shows can or can't be shown since the signals of the two overlap thus causing a whole lotta similar programming to be aired in the same market. For whatever reasons there may be, this really got the people at 25 upset perhaps because more people were watching certain shows on 45 'stead of their station. It even came to the point where the people @ 'VIZ actually got channel 45 to stop airing DR. WHO back inna eighties because of this conflict. Thus, channel 25 can air MONTY PYTHON, MR BEAN and Canadian import NEW RED GREEN while 45 can't, though in retaliation 45 can run ARE YOU BEING SERVED? and a variety of programs that 25 will never be able to broadcast making for one of the strangest cases of tit for tat I've seen in quite a long time! Now, this sort of programming scheme might be just fine and dandy for the folk at 25, but for people like myself who can't get that station in anymore even if there is a tornado warning it can lead to a whole load of frustration! Funny I should be concerned about something like this in a dream, which must go to prove just how nitpicking my subconscious can get!

Yeah, I know it's filled with so many loose ends and all, but if anyone at the BBC wants to turn it into a series be my guest! Maybe if you mention this was based on a dream of mine, and perhaps give me a cameo...


Pd said...

Thanks for the kind words as always chris - glad you liked all the tunage.

Were recording the full length record right now which will hopefully get pressed real deal by the late spring.

Pd Fadensonnen

Serena WmS. Burroughs said...

Obligatory Cleveland connection (although for all I know, there was a Clevelander in Tim Buckley's band): that Max's ad lists a gig with Buzz and the Flyers, who had an ex-Styrenes/George Money Band member in its ranks...their guitarist Michael Gene was Mike Antle, a bassist in the aforementioned bands. More info here: Dig Wayne was originally Tim Ball; I remember him sitting in my room in Lakewood speaking fondly and excitedly about Lenny Bruce (I'm sure)and the Sex Pistols (I think), before moving up to New York. Later he was in the band JoBoxers, which was him fronting a line-up of Vic Godard's Subway Sect. They are mentioned in this, one of my favorite meditations on improvisation:
Here is a video of Buzz and the Flyers in action:
"There was a video and it was surprised."

Serena WmS. Burroughs said...

I should also mention that Mike had a beautiful Telecaster with a green sparkle finish; I remember little Adele Bertei playing it in a jam session at the house, with Laura Kennedy on bass, and me playing probably a lousy Teisco guitar...the first guitar I bought.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your stuff since the 1980's. We exchanged some letters around 1986 or so when I bought all the back issues I needed of "Black to Comm". As someone who grew up in your neck of the woods (try Fredonia, if you can stand to) I can appreciate your writing stuff such as fixing up your record collection to resemble an old store, but nobody would care. I have mine sort of like that, but nobody cares here either.

Ron Paul? "Chronicles"? We're on the same page. I reckon Mitt and Rick Santorum (probably spelled wrong, but he hasn't made an impression on me enough to notice correct spelling.)

Oh well. Just testing to see if this goes through or not. Local college is gearing up for "Diversity Days" and I want to be ready so I best go for now.

One more thing - awhile back you mentioned the fanzine "Boogie". If you want to sell issue 3 (I think it was 3 - had a review of "Full House" by J Geils) at a price I can afford, make some mention of it somewhere. I received it in the mail in 1973 (?) the same day I bought "Best of the Beach Boys Volume 3" at the ten-cent store in Mercer for 67 cents. A pleasant day indeed.

Keep up the great blogging (I dislike that word, but one can't have everything),

--Ken from KY

Christopher Stigliano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian C. said...

Glad to hear you're digging "The Scream". The Peel Sessions are pretty much the same thing, except they include "Love In A Void", one of their early thrash songs. I've never heard a decent fidelity "Lord's Prayer", except there's a version on "Join Hands". "Join Hands" is pretty underrated, and if you like "The Scream", give it a try...they didn't slick it up until the 3rd and 4th albums, which have a different lineup but superior songwriting. If something like "King's Lead Hat" or "154" isn't too wave for you, "Kaleidoscope" and "Juju" should impress. I haven't worn eyeliner for years and I still rock darkly to them. (I remember you always used to call '80s limey stuff "save the world" bands, but it took the Banshees a long time to skulk down that road.)

If you're more into their thrash material, the bootleg to get is "Track Sessions", which contains early songs like "Captain Scarlet" and "Bad Shape" which are pretty classic. There's a clip of "Bad Shape" from Don Lett's "Punk Movie" that's pretty impressive. "Make Up To Break Up" is another demo song some people consider a lost classic - to me it's pretty generic. "Love In A Void" is best heard in it's B-side version. A few of their other singles have cool B-sides...pretty much any early Banshees is good meaty Heart of Darkness rock.

Nothing Finer said...

How do I purchase a copy of Tim Buckley and the Starsailor Band-LIVE AT ESCONDIDO? Is PD Fadensonnen producing it. If so, how do I get in touch with PD? Please email me at: Thanks, Lance

John said...

I have that Balloons for the Dog 7". It's pretty great, in my opinion! I also have a CDR of an excellent live set, which I was given years ago. I get the impression from the live set that they were part of that era of old guard rockers/proggers who worked to update their sound to adapt to the new wave. If I had to compare them to anyone, I'd put them with groups like Mallard, Tin Huey, and Thermos Greenwood (great, obscure Atlanta band with ties to The Brains).