Sunday, August 26, 2012


And although I dig the Holy Modal Rounders to the utmost I gotta say that this particular back-to-the-woods number never did settle well with me. Maybe because right now I am living off the land, or at least living off the fat of my thirty-five-plus year collection of music that's been gathering dust in the abode. I'm doing this if only because there really ain't anything new and alive comin' at me this week and as you know there's really nothing wrong with re-living past glories mind you, especially when the trough is kinda runnin' on empty. No lyin',  I can use a nice shot of some high-energy, no holds barred music in my mainline right about now given the high stress surroundings I have been suddenly thrust fact, I could use just about anything from rare folkies to singer-songwriter intensity to hard-edged mumblings that'll stimulate my back brain at this time, but until the tide of releases comes out I guess I'll just have to stick with the following tried and trues and sweat it out until the NEXT big revolution in high energy music takes place, with my luck the first nanosecond after I breathe my last gulp of stench-laden air!

Will try to keep these short, sweet, and perhaps even pithy enough for anyone who will venture forth can surmise, I have been reading a whole lotta CREEM "rock-a-rama"s lately.

Pink Floyd-THE EMBRYO CD (Swingin' Pig bootleg)

This one's undoubtably been "surpassed" by a whole slew of complete and annotated recordings, but these early Gilmour-period Floyd BBC trax're good enough any way you can get 'em. With the spirit of Syd still tingling about and the specter of post-psychedelic noodling still a good year or two off, these BBC sessions actually come off  more potent than the official releases. The flat if clear sound also gives it a raw AM radio feeling you just can't get outta slick commercial recordings. Dunno why "Baby Blue Shuffle in D Major " (also known as "The Narrow Way Part One") from these same sessions was left off, but it ain't like these bootleggers ever had any sense of moral decency!

Faust-RIEN CD (Table of the Elements)

Gotta say that I ain't exactly as much of a follower of the latterday version of Faust as many people think I should be, perhaps because I never thought the "reformed" group was as exciting or as rockin' as the original. For me the new Faust came off too "industrial" for my own personal tastes. Anyhow it's still good giving these mid-nineties releases a spin once in awhile, and RIEN at least has some interesting rockist moments that would please the casual listener for at least a few seconds. A variety of musique concrete and post-rock stylings borrowed from the likes of Cage, Stockhausen, Velvets, Floyd and even themselves with a strange detachment that can bring out some of the more deeply held feelings in your very psyche. Nice 'un...see you in another fifteen years!

Les Rallizes Denudes-WILD PARTY 1975 CD-R

Got this during the big Rallizes craze of the mid-noughties back when many a CD-R burn and box set of dubious legality was being auctioned off on ebay in order to fill the ever-rising demand. This October '75 show is typical of the group during their mid/late-seventies period, complete with the soft ballads being harshly interrupted by Takashi Mizutani's guitar leads spewing atonal feedback-drenched blare that you continue hearing for hours after. And it's all topped off with yet another version of "The Last One" which sounds like the soundtrack to one of my four-year-old death-related nightmares that were undoubtedly induced by visiting the graves of my ancestors. Dunno if this has been "upgraded" to legal status yet, but if not I guess you can get a "black"-area copy somewhere.

The Beach Boys-SURF'S UP (heard it via youtube) (Brother/Reprise)

Gotta say that this '71 Beach Boys album is a bonafeed winner that shoulda done a whole lot better'n it did! Sure there might have a propensity for too many slow and perhaps maudlin tunes on this obvious attempt to "update", but the Boys had EVERY RIGHT TO sing 'em considering how their entire reason for existing by this time was just a faded memory. Don't kid yourself, if you were stuck in 1971 and sure missed '62 you'd be singing the same songs too! True you do have to put up with throwaways like "Get a Load Off Your Feet" and the one having to do with trees, but the somber tone sure comes off better'n all of those way-too-depressing singer/songwriters who were raking in the bucks at the time. Kinda life-reaffirming in spots even. And although the "Cell Block #9" swipe "Student Demonstration Time" (a popular FM spin in these parts) was a potent play for the radical crowd I don't mind this in-your-face attitude at all!

Nucleus-ELASTIC ROCK CD (Repertoire Germany)

Yeah, I've stated MANY A TIME that the "New English Jazz" didn't quite gel with me for reason that might seem to obvious (mainly the fact that it was English inna first place), but I can absorb enough of the pseudo-Soft Machineish jazz-cum-rock attitude when I feel up to it.. Ian Carr and Karl Jenkins seem to be the principal players here, but it's Chris Spedding's guitar which saves this from being yet another import snoozer with his hotter'n average playing. If you spent your last shekel buying up THE NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS you'd probably wanna pass it up, but MELODY MAKER followers will undoubtedly gobble the thing just fine!

Die Engel Des Herrn-LIVE AS HIPPIE PUNKS CD (Captain Trip, Japan)

I remember way too many Neu! fanatics "dissing" the rash of Klaus Dinger platters that were coming out throughout the early-nineties, but, going against the grain of conventional wisdom as usual I found some of them rather entertaining. In fact, I thought they at least captured the "motorik" fun of the Neu! and La Dusseldorf originals and at a time when I guess all but a few Sonic Youth fans who read Thurston Moore mention 'em in some interview coulda cared less. And yeah, these platters were really too little too late, but next to the goopy pop that was being churned out throughout the eighties and nineties recordings like this were the closest thing any of us were gonna get to "Sister Ray" and don't believe one word otherwise!


If yer expectin' nothin' but sonic wailings I'm afraid you will be disappointed, but as far as being a "history" goes at least you could say this was one as focused through the microphones of the infamous Jerden label. They were the same guys who gave us those mid-sixties reissues of early Raiders albums and of course the Kingsmen (at least on a local level) and as far as representing the swing and sway of the early-sixties went they did pull their own. Mostly instrumental, this does have a rare vocal (including the gloppy "I Love An Angel" by Little Bill & the Bluenotes), and for being a small portion of what was goin' on in the area twixt 1958 and 1964 or so I can't complain. Highlights include Dave Lewis' various r&b organ instrumentals whose influences could be heard for some time, as well as the Beachcombers' "Purple Peanuts" which reminds me of "Pushin' Too Hard" makin' me wonder which chicken or egg came first (liners are sketchy).

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band-THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM cassette (Vertigo)

Here's an oldie that must have been like my third, fourth or fifth musicassette puchase! And true, Harvey's career had been a hit or miss affair but I will admit preferring THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM's pun-filled pastiche to predecessor NEXT, the album that started it all for Alex inna US but came off rather third rate next to the face-smashing effect of a classic like FRAMED. It's great hearing Harvey rampaging through his act doing clever imitations of everything from toothless pirates to New Jersey wopadagos, and his band can keep up with him at a clever enough pace to the point where I wonder why they weren't getting as much notice for their prowess as many other mights of the day. Yeah this can get a li'l overblown at times but the satire can sting and the music comes off as good as if not better'n many of the mid-seventies heavies. So whattaya waitin' for, an engraved invitation from Charles Shaar Murray?

1 comment:

Robert Cook said...

I saw SAHB on an episode of Don Kirshner's ROCK CONCERT in 1973, totally unprepared, having never heard of 'em. (This was in Jacksonville, FL.) Their first number was "Vambo Rools," and I was gone Gone GONE!!! I called around town the next day and found a record store in town that said they had a SAHB album in stock, so I got my brother to drive me in, (I was 18 but didn't have my driver's license yet). The album was "The Impossible Dream," featuring the aforesaid Vambo and other great tunes. I snapped up their succeeding and preceding product as I was able, and their final album (with the original lineup), "Rock Drill," was their best.

I was fortunate to see them live as openers for Jethro Tull in 74, I think it was or 75, no later. The night before they had had their equipment stolen in Miami...a situation Harvey used as material for the title tune to SAHB's last album, (with mostly or wholly different musicians), "The Mafia Stole My Guitar," also a great album.

I think they were just too eccentric for their time. American rock fans were mostly stoned out halfwits, and had taste for shit, mostly.