Saturday, March 17, 2012


Like a television program that was originally scheduled to be broadcast during the Cuban Missile Crisis then re-scheduled for the evening of November 22 1963, it looks as if the "Special Edition" post that I originally had planned for last week and was holding off for this go 'round will have to wait to see the light of day even further into the future! And obviously with good reason...y'see, without any prior warning other'n perhaps a quickly read email that I forgot about one minute after deletion, what should happen but none other than longtime BLOG TO COMM reader (and onetime contributor to my old fanzine of nearly the same name) Paul McGarry actually went out and did something that really threw me for a loop! Y'see, the Cagey Canukian, a man who I continue to respect and admire if only for his running abilities and alcohol consumption, sent a huge hunkerin' package filled with deeply meaningful and pertinent to my listening parameters material my way, and the arrival and ultimate absorption and dissemination of this parcel just can't be ignored, postponed or even tossed into the far reaches of my already over-strained Cee-Dee collection! In these days of back-stabbing oneupmanship and general hostilities from all quarters it's sure great to know that there's someone out there who likes this blog enough to burn off a whole slew of platters that would undoubtedly fit into its genetic makeup, and if someone would only run Mr. McGarry up a flagpole then maybe I could salute him!

Now, unlike what you would be most inclined to think given the above graphic,  this post ain't gonna be Paul ranting and raving about these various artyfacts like he did in the exact same ish of my aforementioned crudzine that I swiped the above pic outta. Naw, I'm gonna do all the tripewriting as usual...y'see, I'm only using the cartoon to make a strong enough point that you all definitely should be aware of, mainly that that today's Cee-Dee-Ares were sent courtesy of Paul, a man who had a sneakin' suspicion that I might like these spinners given how he has kinda sussed out my own tastes and values these past twenty-five year! And as you can obviously tell I am eternally grateful. But once we get down to brass balls the question remains, do I REALLY like the selection of pre-recorded material that Paul has jetted my way or am I gonna just lay right into this nice garden variety of music both old and older like some big oafish ingrate who relishes in biting off the hand that feeds him? Read on and see, MacDuff!

You probably will think that the following graphics used to illustrate this post are not suitable for children or adults for that matter given their grainy and distorted visage. If so you're right as usual, though I will 'fess up and tell ya that the reason I used these various cover shots (taken straight from the paper inserts that McGarry sent me), and ON PURPOSE at that, was only to stir up hefty old memories of not only my own long-deceased crudzine but all of those cheapo crank out 'zines you used to see throughout the eighties and nineties. I'm talkin' 'bout those 'zines which struggled vainly with the problem of putting out whatcha'd call a "professional" piece of work usually failing miserably in the process yet coming up with something that sure looks better in my own twisted, Addams Family values way. In case you can't get it through your thick skulls, I find the old rough and tumble look of the various 'zines of the past shadow lines, blurred snaps and all, rather invigorating as far as humbleness and low-fidelity goes, and perhaps a return to those days when all we hadda rely on were the barest of essentials to crank out even a halfway-modest fanzine like the one I did would be in order now that any doofus can put out a blog and make it look about as fresh and dainty as a page outta VANITY FAIR. And hey, I figure that even with technology being so keen that anybody could make a relatively low-fidelity blog look big budget maybe I can try to make my post look about as downright scuzzy as most of the distorted and definitely low-fi music that I've been listening to for nigh on the past thirty-plus years!

Well, ya gotta admit that a cheaply-laid out and poorly reproduced blog would reflect the obviously burned out and overworked writing you've been reading here these past three or so years. I only wish that I could add some ink stains or perhaps a few thumbprints to the layout, but even I am not that computer unsavvy!

Not sure exactly where this platter originates, but it sure is a third-eye opener considering that it's jam-packed with a whole lotta rare Thirteenth Floor Elevators-oriented interview material copped from television, radio and elsewhere. You've probably already heard a good chunk of this via the Elevators boots of the nineties, but most of it's fresh to my ears which only proves that perhaps there is something new under the fingers of the sun at least for a budget-conscious fan such as I. Roky Erickson plays it sane, introverted and all out orbital (the Gregg Turner CLE interview being just one juicy example) while electric juggist Tommy Hall even delivers some interesting insights into group's er..."inner workings." This sure adds even more to the mystique which I thought was penetrated long ago, y'know?
HOMER (Breeder Records)

Mr. McGarry really loves this 'un to smithereens but (if you really must know) I poisonally found Homer to be too much middling '67 pop psychedelia for my digestive tract. Not without its moments of brilliance mind you, but this album consists of what I would deem rather standard psychedelic pop music that didn't sear my soul or reach the core of my inner being (ecch!) the way a late-sixties pop-psych act like, say, the David did. Even The Cowsills could have whipped Homer's butts on any given night, but (let me reiterate) that doesn't mean they were without any merit with a sound that does take the choicer moments of the Association and Harpers Bizarre and uses them for a springboard into some interesting late-sixties popadelic moves. (See what a nice guy I am...gotta at least end the review on an upbeat note!)

Yeah, I've heard about this Lewis backed by the Nashville Teens album for years on end and was mystified by it all enough to the point where I believe I even attempted to order a European edition of this via the old Midnight catalog back inna eighties (naturally it was outta stock). So giving this 'un a listen to no matter how late in the game does close yet another "cold case file" or brings "closure" into my life as a whole lotta metrosexual snobs would say. At the risk of having a good portion of my readership head on over to do some hedge-clipper neutering I'm gonna admit that this 'un ain't exactly the all-out screamin' all over the place platter that I was kinda hopin' it to be, but then again as you all know I have mighty high expectations regarding what I permit to pass through my ear canals and into my mind. It's an energetic and hotcha excursion nonetheless, one that at least still captures the mania and froth-inducing power of the first generation of rock 'n roll at a time when the second generation made it seem so passe in the eyes of way too many trendy teenagers. And hey, this really does pack a whole lot more whallop into its grooves (or whatever Cee-Dee-Ares have) than any of those Jerry Lee and Gail Lewis longplayers that continue to rot away in flea market record bins nationwide!
Magic Christian-EVOLVER (Dirty Water)

Considering just how humongous a Flamin' Groovies fan that I like to fashion myself to be (well, maybe not that much of a fan since I've not in possession of let alone never heard some of the group's v. late-seventies offerings like JUMPING IN THE NIGHT), it is a surprise that I passed up this platter by perennial Groovies head Cyril Jordan's group back when it came out. Well thanks to Mr. McGarry I can now sleep a little more comfier at nights because he dared to send me a burn of this, and man is it a good 'un! It sounds a whole lot like the latterday version of the Groovies only even tougher, and in fact reminds me of the Poppees in spots which wouldn't be outta the ordinary considering how none other'n Jordan produced their first Bomp! single way back when. Other moments recall various eighties tough boy takes on sixties standbys, the kind you used to read about in BUCKETFUL OF BRAINS back in those queasy times, and let's just say that if you still cherish your Long Ryders albums and thought that Voxx Records was the toppest label onna face of the earth you might get an extraterrestrial kick outta this 'un as well!
Albert Ayler-STOCKHOLM, BERLIN-1966 (Hat Hut)

The Berlin portion of this program has already been reissued on the infamous Revenant box set which helped rearrange my own personal thought processes a good eight years back, but the Stockholm tracks are new to me unless they've popped up on some rare Italian bootleg that's languishing somewhere in my collection. And as usual, what else could I say except that this is yet another one of those Ayler recordings that showcase the man's talents at their peak back when it seems as if the rest of the jazz world was either scratching their heads in utter confusion or ready to ride the guy outta town on a rail. If you (like me) see something special and perhaps even holy in the Revenant box set or even a cut out Arista/Freedom album of his dating back to the mid-seventies, you'll undoubtedly more'n appreciate this.
The Vibrators-LIVE AT THE MARQUEE CL:UB LONDON 1977 (Gig Records)

Lotsa young and budding punquers used to think that the Vibrators were nothing but a buncha old fogies. Since I am an old fogie I can most certainly identify with the scorn that the Vibrators hadda endure not only back in those vary ageist days but in these equally youth-loving times as well. Considering that this group is still up and running they must be geriatric by now, but ya gotta admit that being older'n most of the punques of the day didn't stop 'em from making their way outta the seventies with their dignity relatively intact...unlike a hefty portion of the spiky hair contingent who immediately dabbled their tootsies into a variety of new trends only to end up even creepier'n most of the old turds these kiddoes thought they were replacing. I mean just take one look at Julie Burchill and don't tell me the end result of late-seventies pose wasn't one of ugliness and utter repression!

Naturally none of that has anything to do with the Vibrators, who on this disque are not only performing right in the middle of 1977 English punkitude (the Marquee Club to be exact) but are having to put up with a buncha young spuds who think they're so young'n fresh that anybody over twenty was looked upon with suspicion. Knox and the rest do the punk credo proud here rip roaring their way through a good fiftysome-minute set flinging the familiar with some crucial covers (Stones, Stooges) all balled into one nice long blur that makes you feel like you've just broken the record to the dash (even if you're sitting nice and pretty!)

Hardly ever play my good ol' vinyl version of this anymore, so maybe it's a good thing that Mr. McGarry sent me a burn of this if only to remind myself as to what a...a not-so inspiring album this really can be. Oh yeah, I gotta admit that I was bowled over by the tinkling gamelan sounds that open the album plus the brief section entitled "Sonny Sharrock" which was the only part of this album where you can hear the famous guitarist at all was brilliant, but after yet another spin I can't say that I find anything terribly special goin' on about this not-so-uncommon disc. Like a good portion of these Don Cherry albums which get a little too ECM for my tastes, ETERNAL RHYTHM takes that plunge into the "World Music" realm which is something that's more'n guaranteed to set off my various eighties-bred loathings (which include everything from Chuck Eddy and what eventually became of CREEM magazine to rock videos and even the Compact Disque format!). And given how my blood perssure's been acting like an oil gush these irritants are the last thing I need in my life! I will tell ya that next to just about anything that is being spurted outta the loins of the jazz mainstream these sick 'n sorry times ETERNAL RHYTHM may as well be ASCENSION if that's any consolation to you Don Cherry fans out there, but personally I coulda used a lot more of that bared-wire arrrgh!
The Sadies-DARKER CIRCLES (Outside/Yep Roc)

Mr. McGarry himself said that this particular platter was his favorite release of the year 2010. Considering that the only other release he heard from that year was CARL SZYMYZNSKY'S ACCORDION FAVOURITES it's not hard to fathom why. All kidding aside, I found this group (from Toronto of all places!) to be OK, sounding rather late-eighties West Coast to the point where I thought they would have been part of that whole "Paisley Underground" scene that used to get rock critics all hot and bothered at least until the next Grateful Dead tour. A number of songs reminded me of the eighties Droogs filtered through the mid-sixties Byrds which was fine enough for me, while others were just too twee for my already tweeded out senses. A worthy effort but would I buy a copy for my very own???? NOT ON YOUR NELLY!!!!!
Oh yeah, 'n a HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY to yez Ghoulardi woulda said, turn green!

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