Sunday, April 01, 2012

So yer wonderin' just what kinda nefarious and evil trick I'm gonna pull on ya readers this April first, eh? Like maybe type out some scabrous and potentially libelous screed with the name of some decidedly anti-BLOG TO COMM peen attached in order to rub him and maybe more'n a few of his patented cronies the wrong way? Well, guess again buster, for this April Fools Day I thought I'd do something a bit more beneficial and perhaps even public service-like, such as reprint this rare and long-forgotten Jay Ward Productions TV GUIDE spoof which appeared in the back pages of the March 29-April 5 1963 edition of that very same magazine! Yes, if you can actually believe it, here's a particularly potent 49-year-old Blast From The Past take off on Ameriga's favorite rag written by the fine folks who also did ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS, and if I didn't say that it tackled the tee-vee situation as it stood with surprising aplomb back in those glorious days I'd surely be lying to you! Even keeping your own pro-Jay Ward prejudices outta the picture it's easy to see that this one is a particularly high-larious and well-deserved ribbing of the early-sixties broadcast idiom that continues to vibrate at least in my own cavernous beanie, and if you can't get at least a few chuckles outta it then you must be one of those sickos I've heard about who gets their jollies looking at World War II atrocity photos!

This satire is so good that I must admit that it's even funnier'n that "TV Guise" spoof that popped up as a freebee enclosure in a late-'63 edition of MORE TRASH FROM MAD (note the date...making me wonder if the folks at MAD didn't read this 'un before doing their own swipe on the same subject). Unfortunately that 'un was lacking in the kind of humor I thought it'd excel in (though the '72 revisiting of the same idea remains one of my more smile-inducing adolescent  memories extant, so go figure). You're also in store for a surprise or two as well, since at least one joke that pops up (the schedule listing for "Unfair Exchange") was later recycled into a FRACTURED FLICKERS  gag which in my humble opinion naturally raises the pixel value of these pages plentifold.

Hope you too can eke out a smile and perhaps osmose some deep-set joy outta this 'un, though remember we're talking early-sixties humor here so if you happen to think the current brand of preachy and foul mouthed comedians are the toppest of the top you might get way more laffs reading the restroom walls or something else which is more up your ever-expansive alley!

(And remember...if the print is too tiny for thine eyes just "click" the image or at least "right mouse" on it and be taken to an enlarged version that won't cause you to have to break out the Clark Kents!)

Ah yes, this 'un just goes to remind you about just what a fun, uninhibited, wild place the post-World War II/pre-hippoid world was...that is, if you were a fun-loving, Saturday Afternoon barbershop kid who dug comic books and transistor radios and junk like that. And if you weren't, then why the hell are you reading this blog in the first place???
Now that we've gotten the frivolities out of the way, onto the meaty potatoes. Here are just a few of the crusties that were able to make their way past the earwax this week, most if not ALL of 'em from the Bill Shute collection as you could probably guess if only because, being the cost-conscious nebbish that I am, I wouldn't have actually purchased any of these platters in a millyun years. Still sweating out the current dry spell, so these gifts of his really do come in handy. Only I wonder...what is it that makes Bill send me these things? It couldn't be them baby blue eyes of mine, cuz mine are bloodshot green! Maybe Bill is making "amends" for some past indiscretion, something of which I certainly do NOT want to know about, unless it has something to do with that blonde in Philly (grrrrr!).
Van Dyke Parks-SONG CYCLE CE-R (Warner Brothers)

Gee Bill, I hate to say this but you have a lousy memory! Remember that phone call we had back on May 25, 1987? It lasted from seven thirty-one in the evening until nine-oh-four and it really was a doozy! Naturally you wouldn't have remembered it because during the course of that call (somewhere around eight-thirty-five but don't quote me) I told you that I really thought Van Dyke Parks was an overrated pretentious twat who was so dull that only "rock critics" could like him given their minds were fried even worse'n this self-proclaimed genius's! I remember, because you chortled at my dark fantasy about booby-trapped copies of this very album blowing off the arms of everybody from Dave Marsh to Anastasia Pantsios the same way those cute li'l Soviet toys turned an entire generation of Afghan kids into retroactive Thalidomide Babies. I mean, how could you not remember something as vivid as that 'n send me a dub of this loser after all these years? Unless you got your packages mixed up and were gonna send this 'un to Brad Kohler as some sort of April Fool's joke!
Tatsuya Nakatani-PRIMAL COMMUNICATION CD-R (H and H)

With a name like Tatsuya Nakatani I was thinkin' it was a made up one the kind you would have heard on SGT. BILKO or GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. But hey it's for real, and it's about as real as the hour-long number that makes up this solo percussion platter that reminds me of a whole load of similar-minded excursions from everybody from Andrew Cyrille to Max Neuhaus. Nakatani sure can get more'n the usual rat-a-tat outta his set using everything from mallets to bows, conjuring a sound that's akin to listening to a cyborg having a bowel movement or the tide rolling in and out on Deneb 4. At times this comes off like he's doing a duo on a bowed guitar and percussion, or perhaps just tossing all of his gear down the stairs in search of a new sound that's bound to become the basis for our everyday way of living. Whatever, this is one of those interesting recordings that, like the usual Kendra Steiner Editions things I mention here and there, goes to show you that there still is an "avant garde" brewing about, and something tells me it's gonna be a least a good two millenniums before this kinda blare makes its way into the general populace.

The English record companies've been dishing out collections like this 'un for quite a long time, and anybody who's cruised the import section of his local record shop throughout the seventies could tell you just how much these usually budget-priced (over there) platters were cluttering up the same bins that were also housing Electric Light Orchestra albums on the Harvest label or Alex Harvey platters which for some reason had strikingly different covers than their Amerigan counterparts. INSANE TIMES reminds me of those compilations right down to the Swinging Londonesque artwork and song selection which contains everything from juicy album tracks to rare sides by faded favorites. Mixing the familiar with the obscure, a good hunk of this appeared on earlier EMI collections not to mention a wide variety of "greatest hits" tossouts. Much of it just might be the object of desire that you've been looking for for ages and given their rare nature I'm sure more'n a few of you could benefit from owning your own copy.

Gotta say that the entire effect is uneven, though just when you're about to rip the disque outta the player something of worth such as the Bonzo Dog Bands "Equestrian Statue" or future Gentle Giant Simon Dupree's "Castle in the Sky" pops up making you glad you stuck it out this long. If you still cherish that English psychedelic roundup issue of GORILLA BEAT with Arthur Brown on the cover this might make for a good soundtrack for an introverted late-night reading session.

Can't say that I've been keeping up with these various Sundazed reissues, but then again it ain't like I'm one of those white-collar snobbish upped nose types who can afford all of these wonderful sixties-bred knotty pine teenage favorites while hating the audience for which these records were made. But this 'un does fit in rather snatly at that...masterminded by Richard Delvy, the Clee-Shays come off like the Mar-Ketts without the strings and horns yet with the same mid-sixties sense of adolescent slot cars 'n glue  feeling that was implanted into just about every kiddo worth his weight in Marvel Comics. With wild variations on familiar moom pitcher and tee-vee themes as well as a few in-tune originals and one interesting surprise (such as "Manha De Carnaval"...was Delvy dipping into the Sandy Bull discography for inspiration?) these boss numbers really do have that whole pre-hippoid teenage beat number down pat! Add a lil'l metallic thrust to this affair 'n maybe we woulda gotten around to MX-80 Sound a good five years earlier!
JAMME CD-R (Now Sounds)

These late-sixties pop-schock tossouts tend to work their sloppy wonders at times, and whenever I come across some old flower power teenybopper platter in my collection I tend to spin it if only to give myself a refresher course as to the finer aspects of late-sixties pop craftsmanship. I will say that a steady diet of Harpers Bizarre or the Yellow Balloon can become quite diabetes-inducing for my delicate system, but I certainly ain't one of those progressive rock snobs who tends to think that the entire genre was just one embarrassing chapter in the "hip" history of rock. That's undoubtedly why I like them old bubblegum singles, and making an admission along those lines used to really get the classic rock snobs I knew in the seventies/eighties madder'n Tawana Brawley being lectured about cleaning up after her dog! Which is why I made statements like that, of course!!!

I must admit that I never knew about this El Lay pop group called Jamme until Bill sent me this burn of a recent reissue of what the internet calls a downright rarity. I guess these guys were being produced by none other'n John Phillips of Mamas and... fame, and one of the guys just happened to get a li'l too friendly with Michelle which was wont a whole lotta guys at the time. Well, one thing led to another and... I think you get the drift as to why JAMME staggered into the shops and outta the picture like shazam, but at least this slab of late-sixties teenpop survives to give us an idea of what coulda happened had things gone smoother between producer and group. Don't think any real hits woulda come outta it, but at least this woulda made a wonderful 1971 cut out classic!

Take some Beatlepop and insert a little late-sixties post-surf era Beach Boys and a tad of the Cleveland moptop musings that had critics calling the area "The New Liverpool" before Pere Ubu turned it into the "New Dresden" and I think you get the idea of what this sounds like. Nothing here that really reached out and grabbed ya like the Choir or Left Banke did, but ya gotta admit this sure was a nice attempt at it that sure stands proud next to some of the turds that were being pooped out in the late-sixties!
Heather Leigh-EMPIRE CD-R (Kendra Steiner Editions, available from link on left)

Today's final trip ain't an old classic, but a new release courtesy of the fine folk (namely, Bill Shute) at Kendra Steiner Editions. This one's quite different from the spell of releases the label excels in...the lone track kinda starts off like "Cambridge 1969" with a careening slide guitar sound giving off a whole lotta feedback only the femme vocals are soft and almost operatic, content to stay in the background. Then it becomes extremely quiet and dream-like with the vocals down to a quiet coo, all in the span of around a half hour. Kinda reminds me of the music these uppity wonks always say that their six-year-old brother could play, to which I always retort "then why doesn't he? It'd sure sound better'n that goody-two-shoes  Bon Jovi crap you really excel in!" And I wonder why I have no friends!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


A rotomagus double lp is on its way.
It's called " the sky turns red:complete anthology"