Sunday, April 08, 2012


I dunno if it's me or if it's you for that matter, but ain't this Easter Season one of the dullest and most listless to have graced our existences for as long as any of us can remember? Who knows if it is because of the ever secularization of the world where even the slightest reference to a Christian holiday is verboten lest we offend some Zoroasterian (or even X-Tal aficionado) out there, but for the life of me I can't remember an Easter that has been so feh, unexciting, boring or perhaps even fearful as the one we're currently making our way through. Keeping with the current spirit of glum that's permeated every aspect of once-vital living here's yet another post that, for better or worse, is the perfect summation of just about everything that's graced my hammer 'n stirrups since the last weekend biggie. Nothing to shriek about true, but at least if you're suffering from the same sense of ugh and want to share it with a kindred spirit, maybe you can osmose this particular rundown and we can feel lousy together just like alla them hippie teachers we had in the seventies wanted us to!

Well, at least there's one thing that has brightened up the holiday spirit, and that's the fact that "noted" "artist" Thomas Kinkade just croaked which is something that should bring a smile to any rabid art lover out there. Just think of we won't have to look at any more of his gloppy and saccharine sweet art which hadda've been some of the worst pigment put to canvas since the cover of my last Christmas Card from Aunt Mabel! True the guy was painting for "the people" (yawn!) 'n all that, but his sickening artwork only reflected the banality of moderne-day hokum and an Ameriga that went soft and flabboid a good forty years back. At least Norman Rockwell got the cool suburban slob feeling down pat in his work...Kinkade only rallied the lumpen idiots the same way a good Nazi artist in 1938 brought out the nationalistic goo in a whole lotta aryans the likes we haven't seen at least until Johnny Mann's STAND UP AND JEER a good thirtysome years later. As they say, Rest in Piss.

Now for the funzies!

Shrapnel-LIVE CBGB's 10-10-82 CD-R

I loved that Shrapnel disque that I reviewed a week 'r two back so much that I decided to get yet another show of theirs (this 'un recorded a good five months later), and as you probably coulda guessed in your sleep it sure is a real doozie! Longer'n the other 'un, this also has some more familiar Shrapnel tuneage along with some ne'er before heard by me numbers that really fit into the groups's post-Dictators sense of En Why seventies punkdom. The fact that Schrapnel could start this set with their own take on "Out Of Limits" before careening into the familiar "Theme from UNDERDOG" and even crank out their own version of  "The MUNSTERS Theme" that didn't reek of gnu wave smarm only proves that, as far as paying  homage to boss sixties television went, Shrapnel (along with the Electric Eels) were the real deal'n not a bunch of sissy superficialists who only tacked classoid television themes as a hook to sink into some dying culture that was loathed by the same New York City snoots who would go slummin' by seeing these kinds of groups. If these guys are still playin' war in between watching old COMBAT reruns either via some low wattage station or rusty ol' VCR tapes I wouldn't doubt it one bit!
George Russell and his Orchestra-JAZZ IN THE SPACE AGE CD (Chessmates)

Had this 'un for a long time but'm only now gettin' 'round to giving it one of those "serious" kinda spins that these early avant garde jazz endeavors deserve. From 1960, Russell and orchestra are doing their best to keep the spirit of the original classical-bent (perhaps "Third Stream" if you will) avant flow alive kinda sounding like Sun Ra during his early Chicago days, though for those of you who drool at the thought of total atonal scree that'll hafta wait until at least the latter portion of the decade. A nice offering albeit featuring the talents of pianist Bill Evans, a guy who used to irritate me for the mere fact that he was continually being placed upon those jazz pedestals that were usually reserved for the more nerky amongst whatever new 'n upcoming players there were popping outta jazzland. And you know that these said pedestals were being reserved for the likes of Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis and not Cecil Taylor or Roscoe Mitchell which only goes to prove to you that Eddie Flowers was right in 1977 when he said jazz had no future, unless you consider cocktail schmoozy fusion and laid back tingalings a "future" that is!

This is the album that longtime New York radical rock group and backing band for everyone from John 'n Yoko to Bo Diddley released on the Beatles' Apple label, probably because John was milking 'em for all they were worth and thought maybe he should do 'em right by releasing this platter even though most people out there'd just pass it on by. Surprisingly enough this self-titled longplayer's a pretty hotcha affair, perhaps a li'l too boogie in spots but still energetic enough to get you up on your feet, thrusting your fist into the air and kicking out the jams.

"Liberation Special" was the single that the wise folks at EMI picked, and too bad it didn't make any noise because it's a real rabble rousing knockout that keeps on going. Sure woulda sounded good on the AM dial being played in between the Stylistics and Spinners, but even during that Golden Age of the Top Forty Renaissance (circa '71-'73) that might have been asking for too much. I also liked the tribute to "Chuck 'n Bo" (or was it the other way around?) which only goes to show you that paying homage to your fifties idols doesn't hafta be immersed in sickening nostalgic emote. The rest of the platter's pretty good as well, though like I said kinda boogie-ish in that J. Geils way that never did clamp its electrodes to my potatoes but hey, I'll take this over Franz Ferdinand any day.

I'm surprised this one didn't get a load more attention back then given their connection with the radical Beatle, but then again worse things have happened in the once wild 'n woolly world of rock et roll and it ain't like these Beatle types were known for sticking by their friends at a time when said friend certainly needed a career boost! Another one that's sure to bring back hearty memories of record shop strolls and flea market digs during your more youthful years.
MORE FROM McGARRY!: Why does Paul send these pressed up plastic slabs my way inna first place? What have I done to deserve these outta nowhere slabs of rock et roll reduction anyway? Only Paul knows for sure, and I have the feeling that it has nothing to do with my current financial straits or my impending root canal either. And given how I cut about as much a sympathetic pose as Josef Mengele it can't be that he feels sorry for me! Why do you think Paul McGarry is sending me these Cee-Dee-Ares anyway? Please submit your own theories in the comment section found at the end of this particular post, and no funny stuff either!

The Feelies-HERE BEFORE CD-R (Bar None)

Cain't believe it! I never did like these purposefully nerdoid rockers then (circa "Fa Ce La" and CRAZY RHYTHMS) and I hated 'em and their spawn throughout the whole stinkin' amer-alterna-indie eighties to boot! I especially loathed the way they sullied the names 'n reputations of real life suburban ranch house Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kid types like myself with their pale takes on that classic garage riffage that kept me goin' all these years. But sheesh, this here recent recording is rather listenable, not to mention pleasant! Nothing I would want to listen to again let alone buy, but the way these guys do the aforementioned L-7 rock bit with some testosterone and interest added to it really is surprising given that I've written these doofs off  good quarter-century back. I guess it took 'em a good thirty-six years to finally get a handle on it all, eh?
The Laughing Soup Dish-WE ARE THE DISH CD (Voxx)

Agin, this is like nothing that I'd stampede over a  field of crippled nuns 'n orphans to buy, but at least these guys do a halfway-palatable imitation of classic Syd Barrett moves that don't quite irk me like they should. Or at least it doesn't come off as shallow as many of the various eighties and nineties psychedelic practitioners that I've had the misfortune of listening to o'er the past twennysome years. Yeah, I know that way back in the eighties I was really ranting about these kinda groups to the max, but that's only because it sure was the dickens to latch onto the real meal deal (talking the original recordings, or at least the seventies reissues that were about as rare as Joe Strummer's teeth) and I hadda subside on somethin'. Now that I've pretty much stacked up on all of the classic Floyd/Creation/John's Children trax available this new stuff doesn't quite have the same muscle it did during my early career as a gorified rock fan, but that don't mean it's ready for the trash heap yet!
Wire-THE BLACK SESSION (Fab Distribution)

Coulda reviewed this 'un w/o even givin' it a listen just like Richard Meltzer usedta do, but then again considering how this rockspeak pioneer is persona-non-gratis in the same "rock criticism" world he helped create mebbee it wouldn't be the smart thing t' do. (Actually it would considering what a buncha pious doofuses the dorks who create and read what "the rock press" has had to offer have become...I mean, if you had the choice would YOU want to be identified in any way with the miserable promo sheet hacks of today, or the wildass punk sputers of the sixties and seventies like Meltzer and Bangs???) But yes, I did listen to it and even thought I coulda written this off the top of my beanie so I am glad I stuck through the entire thing. A rawther current (May 10 2011) live show from these ever-aging avant gardesters who sure do a pretty good job of displaying interesting rock watermarks while at the same time saying that they can't stand the genre...gotta say their loathing for various r/r forms sure holds up a lot better'n Donald Fagan's! Hokay, parts to tend to drag in that eighties snobbish post-rock kinda way, but overall this holds up as a seventies rock/roll survivor testimonial a whole lot more'n I woulda thunk!
The Nerves-ONE WAY TICKET (Alive)

OK, kick me outta the Greg Shaw Memorial Pageboy Haircut Fan Club and throw away all of my Bomp! badges, but really ain't this what the Angry Samoans were talkin' 'bout when they once asked if you were a "Power Pop turd"??? As you already know I really have no qualms against the pp genre and there's an autumn '11 post of mine out there to prove it, but sometimes this stuff can wear mighty thin as this particular album definitely proves! I could say something really cutting and oh-so oneupmanshippish 'bout this act that had more'n a few people thinkin' that it really was comin' back, but I don't want this to read like some especially snippy TROUSER PRESS review so I won't.

and MORE (not from McGarry!)


A Shute burn which is why I have no clue as to who exactly put this 'un out. And, after doing some internet research, it seems that I'm not the only one. All I can tell you is that the country of origin is France and that this is some sort of extrapolation on the old PEBBLES VOL. 6 freakbeat rarities collections that you used to see advertised in those overpriced Midnight Records catalogs. Quality ebbs and flows as usual with a few high points of brilliance and the usual thin stabs at Who/Kinks glory, though at least cover boys the Fairies (with Twink pre-"Pink" Fairies on drums) chalk up six numbers that range from Pretty Things primal to coulda been there but didn't quite make it. Nice, but at least PEBBLES 6 had a sorta budget bin quality about it that made having a record collection so enthralling back in the early eighties when we were just being able to AFFORD the kinda jam-packed and totall encompassing collections that we all dreamed about for years on end!
And with that have a happy Easter and may your life be filled with happiness and joy. Now get the hell outta here!


Anonymous said...

That Feelies CD might well be their best to date (!) but all of the others are great too. I *demand* you reappraise them! I can't believe you wouldn't think they were great. The best Velvet Underground - 1969 Live channelling EVER.

Anonymous said...

the feelies back in 1977 in cbgb's were absolutely FANTASTIC!!! i got a copy of one of their earliest gig.A lot of original material on it , and insane covers of "real cool time" "little red book" and my fave "third uncle" .