Saturday, September 29, 2012


Image swiped from some homo site that hates a whole lot more'n they'll
ever admit!
You all know what a kneejerk reactionary I am, and it's nothing that I make no bones about unlike a number of compats out there who are scared to face the roars of the vocal opponents of "progress"! Well, in may ways I am way more revolutionary and radical than the whole mass of you hotsy totsy BLOG TO COMM perusers combined, especially when you consider the just what the beliefs and credo of the other side of the aisle ultimately became once alla those "people's" types finally got their way. And frankly, in no way would I like to see the area where I exist turn out anything near Stalin's Russia or Mao's China or Pol Pot's Cambodia, and while I'm at it this bit of news just in...Che Guevara thought your radical and revolutionary rock 'n roll music was just more of the capitalist consumer hooey he stood proudly against and once shot a twelve-year-old boy (OK, he might have been fourteen) in the neck. And although it may seem total blasphemy to say so, but Hitler and Mussolini sure came off as inept bumblers next to the Communists considering how the Nazis could only muster to knock off about 12 million people while the Red Fascists' numbers tower 'em manyfold. I'll have to dig out my copies of LEFTISM REVISITED and THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM to see what the exact tally is, but no doubt about it the Communists sure take the prize for bloody mass murder and ruination disguised as "benevolence."

However, once you strip away the totalitarianism and mass graves brought about by upper class Sorbonne-educated starry eyed types the one thing that really galls me about the progressive types is their hidebound air of moral superiority. It's been like that for ages ever since litsy well-bred types decided that "three generations of idiots is enough" or that there should be more children for the fit and less for the unfit (and they and they only were definitely smart enough to decide which is which), and sometimes I just wonder how these people have developed such gall to decide that they were better arbitors of how we all should live than we are. But I guess if you were blessed with the gift of world-saving humanist knowledge you're supposed to spread it about even if nobody in their right mind would want you to do so. And with the miracle of internet you can sure get a hefty dose of  all-encompassing rainbow coalition singing in angelic harmony, with enough world betterment and jackboot threat to make all of the Rockefellers combined look like mere pikers in their quest to make the world more like them...

For a better'n usual example take none other'n the oft-loathed Anastasia Pantsios. We all know of her pallid, distorted and totally ass kissing to the powers of Cleveland Rock Incorporated rock screeding that be she's been spewing for quite some time, but did you know that the Greek Gawdawfulness is also a downright uber-lib cause-bandwagon-jumping hater of what else but hatred??? Really, when she isn't writing rather pathetic paens to hippoid rock dreams past Pantsios actually posts on one of those Even Newer Than the New Left sites that have proliferated the web (not THE DAILY KOS which is a lesson in unsettled hatred all in itself), and as you probably have guessed by now one of her not-so-recent pieces was actually done on the subject of hate! In fact, it was entitled "Hate" (some imagination ya got there Ana!) and for a dame who used to spew it weekly from her perch at THE PLAIN DEALER all I can say is that hypocrisy sure can rise to the top like scum in a leper's bathtub. This piece also proves what we've known all along...that Pantsios is nothing but an aged flower child still clinging to that same lost youth of incense and patchouli that the lot of us ran away from with a passion and, if anything, her views regarding rock music (forget "rock & roll") are more suited to the likes of Jon Weiner than Lester Bangs which is enough evidence for one to shoot on sight!.

Frankly, I gotta say that I am a hater, and I'm proud of it! Sure there are things that I love, but if I didn't say that there are things in this world that I loathe with a passion I'd just be another one of those empty sets you continue to see all over the blogosphere. Actually, I love hate, and I believe that hate makes the things you love even more important to you and your own personal well being. And frankly, anybody who doesn't hate is only fooling himself because I find that even the most altruistic starry eyed person out there has hate in his heart, only he's too chickenshit to admit it.

Don't kid yerself...there are MANY upper-crust well-educated and ultralib types out there who hate others (myself included) if only for their tried true and time-tested morals and tastes, only the people in question mask their loathings behind various catch-words/phrases and politically pious stances that seem copped from thirty-plus-year-old issues of MS. and THE VILLAGE VOICE. Naturally when cornered, these people will of course admit that they do hate, only in a roundabout way in which they state that their hatred is (to use aged catchphrase) "politically correct" since people of their ilk only care what happens to people who matter to them and their own political/social causes on that great climb to a dictatorship of the well-adjusted and politically keen post-baby boomer generation. It's the same old schpiel that assuages the guilt and values of those who cry or moan when a designated oppressed type is murdered (take the Trayvon Martin hoo-hah of a few months back), but act as if nothing happened or give a "gee, that's too bad" when some everyday schmuck who is somehow considered "privileged" (even though he is a workaday blue collar type with a wife and three kids and teeth that look like they came straight from an archaeological dig) gets the ax to the skull.

Take that kid who was murdered by a couple of horny homosexuals who kidnapped and suffocated him....oh yeah, you forgot about him, right? So did all of the people who were sniffing away while holding lit candles when some faked hate crime was committed at some college not so long ago (take your pick of the many frauds perpetrated as of late).

There are many things out there for me to hate, and I don't mind letting you know what they are. For one thing, I will admit that I hate women! Really loathe the beasts, because frankly once you strip away the facades and workshops and symposiums away all you get are a bunch of wallowing clumps of cells just writhing in menopausal angst! Now I like ladies (remember them?)---they're the ones who dress exquisitely,  look attractive even if they might be overweight or have big schnozzes (well, at least they try) and don't smell like they forgot to change their rag for the past ten weeks. They're your mothers and aunts and the ones you see at the supermarket or babysitting three-year-olds lucky enough not to get stuck into one of those day care centers which look about as fun as the ones they probably had at Buchenwald. "Women" (or "womyn" or even "wimmer" as some were fixin' to use as the new designated term) are quite a different species what with their overdrive angst and loathing of all things male, not forgetting their unfortunately successful drive to live their lives of decay and have normal people foot the bill for their wanton desires no matter how much said people would rather hold onto their loot to provide for their own desires wanton or not!

Ladies get married, bear and raise kids, and they even do volunteer duties for causes that have nothing to do with anything promulgated in the pages of any of those free New York weekly papers you can pick up with ease in the area. Women (as opposed to "ladies") work as well, but they do so with that all-pervasive chip planted firmly upon non-padded shoulder (with yellowing "Cathy" cartoons taped all over their work cells), cheered on test tube fertilization since the other method was so man-oriented, and continue to attend workshops that are promoted by the same New York weeklies who pushed this claptrap at a time when the last thing we needed was another self-conscious mewling movement to usurp a matriarchy that actually was working swell!

Murray Rothbard had you weaker sex types figured out a good forty years ago, and if only if somebody coulda nipped these gals inna bud (and I don't mean "Rosebud" as in CITIZEN KANE as in Kenneth Anger's HOLLYWOOD BABYLON) you know we wouldn't have to put up with the dearth of unflattering, grumpy Swamp Things that are parading around under the feminist banner!

I also hate the new breed of anti-capitalist types with a passion! Even if they do make points that are worth checking out and disseminating in your mind while utilizing your own set of beliefs, a good portion of 'em come off with that air of smug superiority that's only rivaled by the strident neo-capitalists from the other side of the aisle they loathe with a passion. And what's worse, many of 'em seem to lack the education that at least would've taught 'em the basics of economics, at least in a fashion that didn't make it all as snoozeville as it is most of the time. The chick (who looks like a nice enough lady, but I doubt it) in question on the left being one good example of the old failed (over and over) socialist screed repackaged as hot offa presses news. If a sign is just begging for a retort all I gotta say is that judging from the sentiments expressed it looks as if way too many people out there think that the successful in life got things from stealing and exploiting from others and that if someone succeeds at a business venture or makes a profit then another person fails. Or the common fallacy goin' round that the "hard work" of some translated into the boffo bonanza bucks of others as if the person doin' the hard work ain't being paid for his toil. Or better yet that financial success can only be made by "exploiting" people in some of the most nefarious ways possible straight outta some cruddy Charles Dickens novel.

And believe-it-or-not, but I didn't even know that the "Wobblies" still existed!

Boiling it all down to the bones, these strange sentiments imply that the rich man (or the poor man who became so) made his fortune only through the toil of a poor man as if the ideas and execution of the rich or soon-to-be were not quite as important to the creation of capital. Thoughts such as these would be totally alien to those Vietnamese who escaped the exact same economic philosophy only to become very successful in their family run businesses, or even that guy in Pittsburgh who became a millionaire after working two full time jobs and a part time one sleeping every other night while raising a family. Or how about my dad (tried and true old tyme Democrat who still voted for Barack O even if the party probably left him in many ways a good twenty-five years back) who came from very humble beginnings yet made out pretty good with a great paying job and an antiques biz helmed by my mother who didn't exactly come from the Hamptons either. Yeah I know it ain't gonna work for everyone (take my own failed bid to revolutionize the publishing world), but when it does maybe we should all raise a fine and hearty hail 'stead of sneer at 'em all for being so "rich" or whatever it is that makes a guy who earns $500,000 a year (or even $50, 000 for that matter) more evil that one who earns $30,000. Well, at least the Vietnamese, the Pittsburgher and my folks weren't spending their time standing on street corners holding signs espousing a logic that can be deflated with the prick of a pin when they could be out working.

But that's the thing with these money-hating types from the Occupy gang on down. As one of my fave commentators Thomas Fleming once wrote, you can criticize the Tea Party Movement for many legitimate reasons, but at least the people who are part of their local chapters seem like everyday folk you see at the farmer's market buying produce or sitting next to you at everything from the bowling alley to the proctologist. The Occupy types have always come off more like the scions of pouty mid/upperclass toffee noses either on the world-saving kick or just too altruistic to be allowed to live, and a buncha pantywaists to boot considering how they all skeedaddled for their comfy bedrooms once the weather became a li'l too chilly for their tender and underexposed skin. Didn't anybody tell them about the harshness of the Soviet winters when Moscow was being besieged by the forces of Hitler? I mean if those Russkies didn't have any electric blankets to keep their tootsies all toasty warm then you pampered pooches don't need any either too. You gotta suffer for the sake of that state you wanna smash, at least before you become the state that is!

And you can get outta my face about the 47% too. Although Mitt Romney is just the latest in a line of moderate/left republican candidates acting conservative to wow the rube vote, I'm certainly no fan of all of those leeches who believe that producers like me (I'm not too sure about you) have to support every lazybones out there's whim and fancy. Not that I don't mind asking people for assistance when needed or giving it to people in need, but the overrambunctiousness of some "uplifter" types demanding that people give of their property, time and eventually lives for the sake of those who just might kill you as much as look at you is nothing but more Rockefeller do-gooder mentality that never did pan out well. And if I do say so myself, t's especially bone-chilling when there are a whole number of guns aimed at ya if you don't crack that big smile while doling out your hard-earned, since like they gotta keep up that holy image.

Sheesh, if I didn't support these people with my ever-expanding taxes maybe I could actually indulge in more of my own whims and fancies! And really, I've had enough of that crying over the perceived misfortunes (better yet lack of insight regarding getting some good insurance when  the opportunity arose) of the so-called worse off after being pressured by all of those lameass teachers I had who said we all should give and give and give, and we all know what jerkoffs teachers can be! Let's just say that Romney was right about these takers even if coming out against the so-called oppressed (whose lifestyles any Somalian would envy) is tantamount to committing every great crime in the Roosevelt/Kennedy/Clinton book of over-rambunctious heartbleed vol. 1. And cue up the UP WITH PEOPLE album to drown out our screams while yer at it.

I also hate war. I will not call myself a "peacenik" if only because peaceniks won't fight for anything and. I do believe in self-defense, and it better be that and not an excuse to start some conflict just because you know you can smash your intended target to a pulp in tried and true backwoods Scots-Irish fashion! While I'm at it, let it be known that I'm not one of those guys who hate the wars that my political opponents begin but love (or ignore) the ones my political allies continue, mainly because none of my political faves would start a war in a million years given the historical fact that almost all wars (including those sacred ones like the War Between the States and World War II) could have easily been averted or weren't worth the lives, money and historical ramifications they always tended to cause. And although saying so would pretty much be tantamount to treason,  I certainly do find much value in Pat Buchanan's oft loathed assertion that Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia could have easily beaten each other to a pulp while the rest of the world looked on with glee, and if that only did happen don't you think the past seventy years would have been GRAND
w/o that Cold War and Soviet expansion jive that drove us to brinks we almost never came back from?.
Nowadays what's passing for the antiwar movement is nothing but a giddy self-patting get together that's glad the president has done all of the superficial window dressing work to show you he's committed to bringing the troops home while sending more troops elsewhere. At least the folk who man the site always knew where they stood no matter which marionette is in power and of course they've gotten pounded for it by both the liberals and conservatives. Sadly, I don't see much of a difference if there is a regime change this November, if only with an escalation in that brave new bid to spread democracy all over the world with the same passion and drive of Hitler and Stalin's move to make us all get along. Well, in the sage words of Captain Beefheart "out of the frying pan..."

And would it be imprudent of me to mention that I also hate homos (and their straight lackeys)? Yeah, what these people do in the privacy of their own stall at the bath house is none of your biz, but when they get out into the real world and start talking about marriage rights and being so oppressed as if they were dragged over here from Fagland to work the fashion industries of Ameriga it's no wonder a whole fire department worth of bells start blarin' in my head. Moaning about not being able to be boy scout leaders also really gets to me...I mean look what happened when the Catholic Church decided to let gays be priests back in the seventies, and don't tell me that it's a different situation because it all boils down to the unchaining of the libido and just ignore the consequences (or better yet blame 'em on the good ol' boy structure)! Those foxes always wanted to get their paws in the henhouse, and what better henhouse can you think of'n a pack of ten-year-old boys working on their beaver patrol badges!

The entire make up of what gaydom is today...forced acceptance of them not for what they are but for what they do, faux outrage at every perceived slight and unbridled guerrilla tactics when they don't get their legislative way (people talk about the actions of their chosen hoo-hah the Westboro Baptist Church with disdain, but when gays use the sames ones and worse lotsa blind eyes are obviously being turned) is enough to make me wanna go and get Charles Dannemyer outta retirement for good! Now I don't think injecting infants with an anti-gay vaccine is quite the right response...considering the spoiled brat crybaby behavior of the more vocal gay exponents maybe injecting them with an anti-narcissism one is!

I could go on, from people of different creeds who love to tout some misconceived notions of triumphalism my way to those of different races who tag me as the enemy because in this war the only uniform I have is my skin color, and in no way will I forget all of those backstabbing punk credo types who turned on me with a vengeance (just because I don't fill my posts with disdain for their very existences anymore doesn't exactly mean I have forgiven or forgotten, as if any opportunity for such a thing ever would arise), but you're (hopefully) astute enough to follow along and agree! The point of the matter is...when you see someone frothing at the mouth about "hate" and its evils you know they're an unwittingly walking billboard for it! At least I admit that I do hate, although unlike the loving examples of humanity who claim not to harbor any ill will I do not abuse my emotions regarding the subject at hand. And like I said but you surely do need reminded,  if you do use your hate selectively, you undoubtedly will find the things you love mean all the more to you. So go on and admit that you hate, whether it's people who don't agree with your own horse-blindered views of life or the music you like or your looks for that matter. Since you've all admitted that you hate me and have for years on end I'm sure you can spread some of the loathing around...c'mon, give it the ol' college try!
After that much needed release (perhaps the most truthful spewing of deeply held thoughts since Jim Goad's latest TAKI'S MAGAZINE missive) I don't feel like writing long essay-length reviews in the grand CAN'T BUY A THRILL tradition at all. Just too pissed, y'know, so I'm gonna keep these writeups short 'n sweet in the CREEM "Rock-a-rama" tradition. Maybe next week when I've calmed down and some new items have captured my fancy I'll present some extended reviews worthy of the punk intellectual tradition, but for now all I wanna do are these "quickies" and if you know what's best for you you'd appreciate these like manna from heaven. If not, there's always Chuck Eddy's blog where he goes gaga over his favorite colored vinyl indie releases of the eighties which I at least had the brains to ditch as soon as I recovered from the boring similarity of it all!
Thee Oh Sees-PUTRIFIERS II CD-R burn (originally on In The Red)

Dunno why McGarry burned this for me (doesn't seem like his cup of java) but this long-heralded San Franciscan group are...OK. Nothing to toss the cornflakes about, but I like the way they take various late-sixties psychedelic pop rock moments from Pink Floyd to the Association and reshape 'em for the 'teens...without coming off like a bunch of amateur practitioner X-Tal types who are only in it for the superficiality. My fave of the bunch just has to be track #7, "Will We Be Scared", which sounds like some early-sixties single track with its echo-y sound and production which seems custom made for the '62/'63 Top Forty season. That is if they allowed retarded people to make pop records back then, other than Laurie London!

Noah Howard-RED STAR CD-R burn (Boxholder reissue)

Nice of Bill Shute to send me a dub of this Noah Howard rarity. Don't expect too much of a post-Coltrane sound with the presence of be-bop great Kenny Clarke on drums, but the mood is swinging enough and there's even a fine enough avant garde approach once the gang start trekking into the title track. But still this is a comparatively mild outing, and sheesh when I come home from a hard day at the salt mines and plop down besides the chairside boom box I'm looking for a little more grate and atonal stimulation to hone my already overtaxed nerve
endings. Better make it some Frank Lowe next time, willya Bill?
The Beach Boys-SMILE SESSIONS two-CD set burn (bootleg)

Never got to hear any of those SMILE bootlegs from the eighties that purported to the thee album as nature intended, nor did I get hold of that recent Brian Wilson-manned reworking that had alla them old-tyme rock critics pining away for the old days when they didn't have to pretend to like Lady Caga to be "with it." Needless to say, these outtakes and pastiches and other fancy words for leftovers make for a good collection. For the Beach Boys and SMILE fan this is a great look into the inner workings of just what went into a legendary album that's only come to fruition recently. For the rest, well you'll probably be bored outta your gourd with all of the alternate takes and backing tracks and ideas that still need fleshed out leaving your mind hungerin' for the completed form, but I know that if you put your heart and mind into it you'll be able to stick it out throughout its entirety. After all, if you could survive listening to the entire output of George Harrison solo albums without wincing you can certainly make your way through this with ease!
M2-AT LAND'S END LP (Feeding Tube)

The Miller Boys of Sproton Layer/Destroy All Monsters fame are at it again, this time making an album which I guess could be described as soft post-industrial Cageian tones. If you can imagine the halfway point between 1942 Cage and 1978 AMM, with perhaps some hefty sidesteps into Nurse With Wound you probably will get an idea of what's goin' on here. But they again probably not...after all, I've read some of you reader's comments on this blog and I get the impression that the whole bunch of you are perhaps the worst literalists imaginable. I only wish I knew more people like you in grade school, because I coulda sold you alla those old rubbers I found under the bridge as finger cots.
LISTENING CD-R burn (originally on Vanguard)

There must be a hundred or so albums of  60/70s vintage that I've had quite a curiosity about, and the Listening one's been just one of 'em. Given that future Velveeta Undergrounder Walter Powers performs on it and even Willie Loco Alexander pops up on a track I figured this 'un might've had the right amt. of  late-sixties punkitude to satisfy a guy like me who (for the past thirty-five or so years) had been searching through tons of printed refuse to pick up on even the slightest p-rock thrill. Unfortunately Listening don't satisfy me the way those Deviants and Flamin' Groovies recs had oh so long ago. Hammond B-3 trills come off more Keith Emerson'n anything while the entire performance tends to lean towards the ever-maturing West Coast ramalama that didn't sound so hot once the decade began to clock over into vistas best left untouched. I do get the feeling that this'll grow on me like finger fungus as the years unravel, but sheesh izzit like I'm gonna live to be 200?

Y'all know that I'm not "into" the blues the same way a 1975 iron-haired post-hippie college gal was into macrame. However, I'm at least aware of the eternal hipnitude that comes outta admitting that the musical form has relevance and meaning. This comes in handy when in the company of various 55-plus-year-old white guys who osmosed the black originals via all of those crucial British Invasion groups like Gerry and the Pacemakers as well as the Hullabaloos. Or something like that, but anyway this collection of pre-WW II blues recordings (sent by guess who?, and I don't mean Burton Cummings!) really has nothing much to differentiate it from similar-minded collections that have bubbled all over the last these past fiftysome years. Great primitive sound and hypnotic drone abounds, and although the likes of Tom Bell and Noah Moore can sorta run into Oscar Woods and Kid West you don't quite mind during those late-hour wind downs one bit. Biggest surprise: the Washboard Trio's "Red Cross Blues" which kinda sounds like a one-man band times three with strange percussive clangs you haven't heard since you started banging on alla the kitchen utensils and pans until mom came in a wailed the daylights outta you!
Expect a moom pitcher review midweek (one of a Bill Shute burn...what else?) followed by another big weekend blowout. Until then, remember to not kid yourself and hate, though be careful with your hate since it really is a gift from God that should not be abused, like you've done with that other gift of his that you've been abusing ever since you were a mere toddler!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Coming out just in time for the great early-seventies nostalgia boom, GREAT COMICS sure seemed custom-made for your ever-aging Uncle Eb 'n Aunt Selma types out there. Remember back during them years of protest 'n riots when the pair were doin' the Silent Majority shuffle just like alla the rest of those fifty-plussers who used to sneer atcha worse'n Al Capp? Well, who could deny that during those sorry times the more mature members of our society certainly needed a sane return to them good ol' days when not only life but entertainment seemed to have that boffo bang that was relegated to the late show or that stack of old newspapers in the attic. And no bout a doubt it, this is the book ya coulda gotten 'em for Christmas because not only would they have appreciated the funtime lookback at a whole load of gone but not forgotten favorites, but you know they'd never buy a book like this is a millyun years because they were always so busy raising kids and planting gardens and working, and who had any money to spend on frivolities like they do today?

Of course who'd know what pair'd think when they open the book 'n strain eyes to the bad reproduction, panels squooshed down so's they could fit six dailies to a page and other abominations that really stick out worse'n those skin tags around my eyes! Gents, you coulda done us all a whole world of a lot better if you put some effort into it and didn't do such a crapezoid job tryin' to rush this book out to Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch, but then again in any form (or any quality) this book was just what the doc ordered for the older generation flippin' a few fingers back at their comparatively pampered youth scion!

This is the kinda item that was also aimed at kiddoes like us who used to love reading our folk's latest issue of THE GOOD OLD DAYS for the full-page Sunday strip repros. Or the ones who used to go to the library to read the funnies via the old microfilms while telling the librarian that they were doing a history report. The Daily News/Chicago Tribune syndicate might not have been as big time as United Features or King Features, nor were they as fertile as NEA Services, but they sure came up with their share of legendary strips that stood the test of time at least as long as their creators were still at the helm...strips like DICK TRACY and TERRY AND THE PIRATES amongst 'em. 'n yeah those names may not mean too much these days (the former a mere shadow of its forties self and the latter a sore thumb by the time the early-seventies liberals pretty much shamed all of the old conservative-type strips off the funny pages) but back when you only hadda few pennies to scrape together and your daily thrill was the comic page, was it like you had any other option?

So, amidst the lousy repro job and slapdash effect what do """""I""""" think? Off the bat it's OBVIOUS that LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE and BRENDA STARR are "for girls"...can't see any red blooded boy with boogers in his nose and skidmarks on his undies readin' sop such as this, though the artwork on ANNIE is creepy enough to enjoy at a few glances. SMITTY's OK as a twenties kid strip, though I'd hate to see what it ended up looking like after artist Walter Berndt aged him and eventually had him married off. MOON MULLINS was a fantastically high-larious strip in the twenties unlike the worn down take I remember glancing at years later, while HAROLD TEEN was "Ameriga's Typical Teenager" before Carl Ed went and aged him thus making it possible for Archie to cop the title. And although GASOLINE ALLEY is still up and running I kinda wonder why the plug wasn't pulled at least by 1960 considering how its best days from those special Sunday pages on down had been long gone by that time.

At risk of re-re-repeating myself we all know my opinions regarding such longtime BLOG TO COMM faves like DICK TRACY and SMOKEY STOVER, while I gotta admit that I'll always look at Milton Caniff's art even if I found his various adventure strips (such as the TERRY AND THE PIRATES reprinted here) not quite the kinda continuity strip that really holds me. The rest ranges from rather eyeball-inducing (TEXAS SLIM, TINY TIM, SWEENEY AND SON,  WINNIE WINKLE) to stodgy people stuff (THE NEIGHBORS) to things you remember fondly when you were a kid but look so puerile nowadays (TEENIE WEENIES). As for THE GUMPS  well, the original strip in the twenties had the perfect balance of humor and soap opera continuity, but it's easy to see by the fifties that it turned into one of those tired comics that quickly lost a whole lot of its vim and vigor once a new artist took over. And this new artist was Gus Edson who had just gotten off a job drawing Green Lantern and JSA stories for DC and who would eventually end up inking DONDI in the funny pages and... Well, I made enough of those references last post to dare milk 'em all again so let me refrain!

You may be irked, offended and turned off by the slapdashness but you just might squeeze some worth outta it. Everybody else might as well just head down to the library to peruse the old microfilms, and whatever you do, never ask the librarian (if a female) where the "C" section is!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yeah, I know that all of these "when I wuzza kid" stories that I spout off are usually about as boring as watching those sixty-year-old home movies that your next door neighbors shot during their trip to Mount Yercelmate. But maybe if you can share in a li'l bit of the author's pangs and visions perhaps these paens to a bygone age just might make some sense to your otherwise jaded being. Who knows, if you just happened to have been born with a heart you can osmose my own childhood joys 'n travails which I've regaled you lumpen readers with for years without taking on airs of being "above it all", especially if your own childhood was spent in some ritzy WASP-ish setting so far removed from the muddled confusion of late-sixties suburban fun and games that I unashamedly had to endure.

And as far as childhood joys go, comic books sure made up a hefty part of being able to make it through the age of 11 until 15 (at which time the entire medium became too cringe-y for me 'cept for some EC reprints and the like), and I will go to my doom saying that if it weren't for these inexpensive pieces of pure joy I might have ended up a lesser human being than I am today! Who knows, perhaps I would have turned out to be a physician or computer technician or something equally staid, but thanks to comics I am the weak, ineffectual schlub that the public views with utter contempt but of course you true believers know a whole lot more better, right?

When DC began (re)printing these 80 (later on 100) Page "Giants" back inna late-nineties (on high-quality paper no less!) you could bet that I was happier 'n Larry Flynt at a Depends bulk sale if only because it was these selfsame collections of earlier and perhaps long-forgotten works that made for avid comic book reading when I was but a yoot. Easy to find at garage sales and flea markets for mere pennies (and, when I was lucky enough to have fifty cents to my name, available fresh from the stands), these "Giants" were not only a good source for those long-gone sensationalistic forties/fifties saga, but they were studier'n the standard books which seemed to flop apart after a good fifty or so readings. As with the Marvel collections of the late-sixties (especially the ones with the shrunken original covers proudly emblazoned on the front adding even more tingle thrills to the package!) these DC's certainly were a boffo way for a goon such as myself to waste away the evening hours, as if settling down for a prime time viewing of the 1971-72 ABC schedule wasn't as braincell-killing an ordeal as reading some old collection of BINKY stories ripping off the Archie credo to a 't'.

Out of a combination of nostalgic yearning and boredom, I snatched these slick repros outta the basement just last night if only to do some comic resensification, and as you can guess the old adolescent feelings just kept flyin' outta me faster'n pus from a bursting whitehead. Unfortunately most of those feelings were of the negative variety regarding school worries, home worries and whether or not I remembered to lock the bathroom door, but once I got over those deeply-held fears you can bet that I was able to enjoy these books the same way I did oh-so long ago. And hey, I was able to appreciate the pure adolescent joy of these repros without the aid of a can of soda and bowl of Cheetos beside me (gotta watch the girth, y'know). Heck, while about halfway through book #2 I even got that enveloping glow of joy that has eluded me for so long, as if some spirit was telling me that by reading comic books such as these while Factrix was spinning on the Cee-Dee player perhaps I was achieving what man has strived for all the centuries he's been on this planet, a perfect copasetic existence where art at its height and music at its most extreme are combined in a bliss that is more meaningful than the flowering of the Aquarian Age and the alignment of the planets combined. Then I passed a particularly loud and pungent fart and the feeling left for good.
The PLASTIC MAN giant is a strangity if only because this particular title never even appeared on the shelves...y'see, it was created solely as a "what if" item which really is weird since at least one of the stories that pops up in this collection originally appeared long after DC dumped their long-running "slug" logo as seen on the left. Now, there was a DC SPECIAL featuring some classic Plastic Man sagas that popped up back in late '71, but this is not that and why that SPECIAL wasn't just reprinted I do not know considering the similarities between that 'un and this. But naturally I like the job DC did with this where not only do they reprint the origins of not only Plastic Man but sidekick Woozy Winks again, but run a story from his short-lived mid-sixties revival (a neat saga written by DOOM PATROL creator Arnold Drake even if the entire history and substance of the original comic was "updated") as well as a '76 saga which is more faithful to the original intent but still has that seventies slickness I never did desire. There's even one of those strange "Dial H for Hero" sagas where some geekoid kid conjures up his own version of the character, and although that 'un reeks of DC at their least imaginative I can still osmose it in a 1972 flea market find sorta way! Perhaps the lack of newsprint and iffy reproductions does detract from the thing, but if I squeeze this 'un just hard enough I'm bound to get the right amount of sixth grade addledness outta it which suites me more'n MS. TREE ever did!
Despite the huge cover price, I will 'fess up to the fact that I found the "100 Page Super Spectaculars" which DC introduced in 1972 to have been just as big a hit as I did the 80 pagers, mainly because they really seemed like humongous bargains back when I was buying these books up (although my father thought that fifty cents spent on anything was "pouring money down a rathole" as he used to say). But eh, the vast array of classic Golden Age sagas being presented to me in these reprint collections almost made up for the guilt that I would incur every time I'd trek down to the newsstand to buy my latest stash of goodies. And in the nineties these Spectaculars were still flying around the flea market circuit and at pretty good prices, and you can bet your bottom buck I was spending even more moolah on such classics as that SUPERGIRL special which featured nothing but DC-owned superheroine characters including the classic Phantom Lady complete with her two ample waterwings as much as I was on the ever-dwindling punk rock and garage band finds that might be espied elsewhere at your favorite local grange or abandoned department store.

This JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA title never did happen either, though I assume that's because by '75 when this 'un was planned to hit the boards the big paper crunch put a huge kibosh on any risky publishing excursions. Maybe not (I mean, some of the things that DC and Marvel were tossing at us during the mid-seventies didn't even deserve to even pop into the fetid imaginations of whoever thought 'em up in the first place), but still, this 'un looks like something I sure wish I coulda had only a few years earlier, only now I was like fifteen and music had become my main obsession in life!

Will admit that the only real thrill for me in this 'un's a late-forties JSA saga that just happened to be drawn by the same guy who later ended up doing DONDI, but don't let that get you down because the art is top notch as far as late Golden Age stories happen to go. And although the saga is a typical JSA one where the characters split up and fight rather'n gang up on the bad boys it's still a whole lot better'n some of the stuff that would eventually come outta the comic industry at the same time which seemed more or less to spit on the legacy of their heroes rather than exploit and uplift their better, and perhaps more noble aspects.
If I'm not mistaken, ain't this GIANT SUPERMAN ANNUAL the very first one that DC managed to crank out way back '61 way? Maybe not, but I do know that it was this very issue that figured heavily into fanzine heavyweight Bill Schelly's own entry into comicdom as recounted in his autobio/comic fanzine history SENSE OF WONDER...I remember the part where his father was questioning Bill's choice of title after offering him and his brother a free book to read on a train ride because Bill picked a twenty-five center and his brother a reg'lar sized one for a dime, but squibbling over a few pennies aside it's easy to see why this 'un would affect Schelly enough that the guy would devote a good portion of his life to comic books. Jam-packed with choice fifties freakiness, not only does this giant have lotsa that weird Wayne Boring art (as well as that of Curt Swan, who wasn't at all that weird) but some strange sagas dealing with "Superbaby" (actually a saga on the Toddler of Steel Energy's first exploit), Lois Lane as an ugly-bugly and Jimmy Olson as a swelled head genius who knows Superman's true identity, There's even a heart-tugging story where Superboy has to put dog Krypto down and a weird 'un where Batman sneaks into Superman's Fortress of Solitude to play a dirty trick on him! (And frankly I find it strange that Superman plays it so cool when he finds out...if I were he I woulda sent Batman's head into orbit while re-arranging the rest of his corpse Jeffrey Dahmer-style!). Even that against-the-grain 'un about Superman falling in love with Lori the Mermaid shows up, which only goes to show you that even the mightiest ones amongst us have a nose for nookie, wherever that may be on a half-woman/half fish creature such as she!
The reproduction of the  BATMAN ANNUAL is also boffo enough in its attempts to bring back them early-sixties throb thrills with those extreme cover come ons and action poses that no self-respecting eight-year-old could afford to pass up! Again, this 'un has a tiptop collection of various fifties sagas of varying thrills and chills, the best one perhaps being the strange "Origin of the Bat Cave" saga where the Dynamic Duo head back in time DARK SHADOWS style to solve an ancient mystery regarding their secret love nest hideaway. (Sorry, the professor couldn't resist throwing in a good gay baiting joke!)  At least this 'un was good enough to be reprinted in the BATMAN FROM THE THIRTIES TO THE SEVENTIES tome I reviewed a short while back, and I guess if the folk at DC could get this much mileage outta it they did a pretty good job with the story inna first place! The rest of it ain't bad either especially if you like those credibility-stretching DC sagas that usually did live up to their promise of whacko chills and thrills in a way only a tubba lard kid with snotbreath and terminal skidmarks could really appreciate! And somehow, I always get the feeling that you're still that kid no matter how old and decrepit you turn out to be, which is undoubtedly why this blog is for you!!!
Like the PLASTIC MAN and JSA titles above, this JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA issue never happened as well but stands as what yet another proposed issue might have looked like had DC not bailed outta the giant sized mags in the mid-seventies. It's bound to be a treat if you're really that gung ho on the early Silver Age DC look and feel, though if you aren't you've probably thrown in your lot with the MMMS by this time anyway. I find it rather interesting myself, from that debut story where the fledgling JLA fights that giant starfish to the Atom story which looks like one of those early-seventies DC fillers that used to appear in the back pages of ADVENTURE comics (it aint' exactly like the Atom was that much of a star in the DC universe to warrant his own title...which I think he had for a short while before sales plummeted more'n Brad Kohler's bank account after a night at the track). And as yet another bonus the editors felt it wise to include yet another good ol' timey JSA saga that again was drawn by the same guy who used to do DONDI but you don't have to worry about Missy McGowan or Queenie showing up anywhere here (don't worry, I've dispensed with enough DONDI jokes for a good long time but sheesh, you gotta forgive me since there really ain't that many opportunities to spew any of 'em out these days!).
In closing here's a double header, two issues of a title that I certainly remember fondly even though I've never seen an issue of this 'un anywhere during my rabid collecting days. The SECRET ORIGINS series was something that was custom-made for an obsessive like myself who wanted to read these ancient origin stories first hand, and the fact that these titles were long gone by the time I was heavily into comic books was a whole lot more frustrating than a "No Vacancy" sign on a honeymoon night. Now that I have two of these repros all I gotta say is that waiting to read these "origins" was akin to waiting to get a Vac-U-Form for Christmas, only the thing arrived ten years after the fact and what're you gonna do with one of 'em when you're bloody sixteen anyway???

I guess these "origin" stories are "secret" because most of 'em are actually retellings that take place within other sagas. So if you're expecting the original story of how Batman teamed up with Robin you'll have to settle for a twenty-years-later rehash which transpires amidst a saga dealing with some bizarre circus hijinx! Ditto with the story of Superman which ain't those early pages of wonderment but a fifties-era re-do of his life story presented within the span of thirteen pages. Nice for getting back into that pimply frame o' mind of course, but nothing I would have wanted to read esp. when compared with the original meat 'n potatoes that DC seemed to skittish in reprinting as if the pure unadulterated truth would ruin things for them!

And what really puts the frosting on my cupcakes is that when there is something here that really catches my eye wouldn't you know the story is truncated into some "what was that about?" meaninglessness! Take the CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN I for one am a fan of this Jack Kirby-created series because it does foreshadow a whole lotta the Marvel Age style and excitement a good five or so years before the debut of THE FANTASTIC FOUR, but cutting the story off after six pages certainly was a faux pax of a major dimension if you ask me! They shoulda reprinted it intact and left some of the snoozier stuff like "The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman" off for yet another collection of Silver Age retellings that pale next to the originals. But hey, who said that the terms "caveat emptor" didn't apply to the comic book world, and after reading loads of commentaries and critiques of the biz all jaded me's gotta say is, is there really that much difference between the comic book industry and Big Time Wrestling or Tarot Card Reading or Pornography for that matter?
I think I missed a few of these repros somewhere down the line, and it ain't like I feel like snatching any of the ones I've missed given that I already own seven of these already. However, if the one SUPERMAN annual that's advertised on the reverse of the first SECRET ORIGINS exists I wouldn't mind seein' the thing...that's the one which is subtitled "The Strange Lives of Superman" and features a wide array of stories dealing with the effects of red kryptonite on Our Hero. There are strories about an aged Superman, a Lion Superman, an ugly Superman and best of all a Superman who looks strangely enough like Alfred E. Neuman! Now that's something which I can wrap my emotionally/mentally halted psyche around, and for some not-so-strange reason I know you can too!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Another from the Bill Shute library of fine cinematic caga, this time a matinee spectacular that rivals TABLE, DONKEY AND STICK for cheapazoid kiddie thrills you just can't get anymore. Really, watching this one sure brought back snoozeville memories of Sunday afternoons bored outta my gourd television viewing, and if you were one of those goofs whose parents made you watch wholesome films like this and MISTEROGERS and MISTEROGERS only (and the CBS CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL only if you ate all of your veggies) when it came to your tee-vee habits boy, do I sympathize with you.

It's St. Patrick's Day, and Matthew O'Brien (played by up 'n comer David Bailey) decides to go fishing 'stead of school in celebration of the great day. On his way home he not only notices that the scenery looks a li'l bit different (shades of the climax of the infamous MAD spoof "Mickey Rodent") but discovers a real life honest to flesh and blood leprechaun who happens to have gotten his beard snagged in a log! Since Matthew caught the li'l mischief maker he's entitled to the lep's gold which turns out not to be just any gold but magic coins, only the hitch is you can't wish good for yourself but for others!

And thus the tale goes with Matthew encountering a talking signpost, a fuddy duddy English knight, a mad wizard who shoulda been played by Geofrey Crozier and other characters in this feature that reminds me of something that channel 23 in Akron woulda run as a "special" some snowy 1976 weekday afternoon in lieu of the usual TARZAN with Ron Ely reruns. Bailey actually plays is pretty good in your typical sixtes tee-vee kiddoid fashion, but really nothing could save the film with its loose script, cheap look (you'll be paying more attention to the microphone at the top of the screen as opposed to the acting during the Sahara desert scene) and general low budget slapdash permeating this film. Heck, I'm sure most single-digiters who went to see this 'un back '65 way would been bored stiff at this slo mo train wreck which just seems like yet more adult ideas of what kids like, or what they think kids should like in order to grow and mature into dull, robotic adults.

And while I'm at it, musical numbers that sound like rejects from a piano bar catering to men and men only were never meant for kid flicks even if the Disney Corporation were lucky enough to get Dame Elton John to do it for a nice juicy fee, or a nice juicy boy scout for all I know. When I was a kid I thought those musical interludes were just boring filler for the oldsters who hadda drag their unaware scions to films such as these, and for me they were always a good excuse to go to the snack bar or take a tinkle.

Well, there was one redeeming social value in this film, and it's the presence of Nancy De Carl as Esmerelda the Gypsy Gal who does have a sexiness to her with her straight black hair that looks more mid-sixties Sunset Strip'n fairy tale time. Dunno if any of the li'l kiddies in the audience woulda felt any primal tinglings of sexual maturity at the sight of her lovely visage, but maybe the dads who brought 'em felt their Saturday afternoon wasn't entirely wasted!

A couple of K. Gordon Murray-produced Christmas shorts were stuck on afterwards, and they certainly gave me a feeling of extreme discomfort. Not because they were gross or sickening, but due to the unadulteracted fact that they reminded me of something I would have watched on tee-vee when I was seven or so only I felt that this stuff was so turdleresque it was beneath my IQ to watch it! But I watched it anyway because it was the kinda thing I thought I was supposed to watch, then my mother'd come into the room and yell at me for being so immature for my age and naturally I'd shut if off feeling oh so embarrassed but glad that I didn't have to watch the blasted telecast! I know that sounds confusing, but when I was a kid I was getting so many contradicting messages from people all over you could bet my mind was spinning faster'n a Mattel Whizzer trying to separate the smart stuff and the crapola I was being handed day in and day out!

At least some classic tee-vee commercials pad the platter out, and they should bring back fond boob tube memories if you happened to've been conscious in the early-sixties and actually enjoyed watching shows and films we can only experience through DVDs and hazy memories lo these many years later. Find out why One-A-Day vitamins are better'n the rest (they're double coated!) and discover the time when Coca-Cola was now available in three sizes! Stuff like this should be taught in History Class 'stead of the usual dates, names and places we all hadda memorize, because in the end they certainly mattered more to all of us.

One revelation of surprise was the commercial for the Dell Books/American Heritage sixteen-volume history of the United States which was going for 99-cents a volume, the first one costing a mere forty-nine pennies if you can believe that! Given that we've had the entire series with a written introduction by John F. Kennedy(!) in our abode for years since Jillery got 'em as a Christmas present in the year of 1963, that 'un sure resonated deep within my late-period baby boomer mentality! Of course when I think about my folks actually dishing out $16.33 for an educational present the mind boggles because hey, back then you sure coulda bought a whole lotta great toys for that amount of money! True, books may be educational and guideposts on a road to a wholesome healthy life, toys are fun 'n gratuitous and make for finer memories once you reach my advanced age!  I sure don't look back on reading MRS. WIGGS OF THE CABBAGE PATCH with any particular fondness but I sure do scarfing up Matchbox cars like any self-respecting ADD-droid such as myself should! Readers, don't make the same mistake with your brats!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

This ain't gonna be one of those "Chris at his best" specialties, but then again they can't all be gems. Chalk it up to a combination of laziness, lack of enthusiasm and nothing within my grasp that really makes me want to crank out one of those long-winded bornados where I attempt to usurp Lester Bangs in the punk intellectual department and fail miserably. Not that I don't think that a good portion of the following platters from the Cecil Taylor one to the Killing Joke to the Dolls aren't worthy of detailed twings, but at this point in my life (or at least this week) the last thing I feel like doing is sitting in front of the keyboard and letting my innermost feelings regarding whatever I'm writing about flow from my fingers onto the screen before you. Complete with a whole lotta autobiographical goo that only Brad Kohler seems to like, perhaps because we share similar upbringings drenched in Western Pennsylvania suburban ennui having matured in the glow of UHF rays, ugly girls of Eastern/Southern European ancestry and the thrill of finding life at its fullest via the mid-seventies CREEM. But just because he's among the elite doesn't mean that some schmuck trolling about will understand, and frankly I do have to "write down" for the benefit of the less mentally balanced out there, at least some of the time.

So anyway, here are a buncha things I've been spinning this past week for better or worse. Well, at least there ain't any repeats from previous posts or printed magazine submissions that I know of 'cept for the Dolls 'un. And best of all they are short 'n sweet just like those fanzine reviews of yore that Eddie Flowers used to write for a variety of fanzines from GULCHER to INITIAL SHOCK. And if anyone goes outta their way to tell me I'm the printed answer to Sominex it's Flowers, so let's just say this one's for you Eduardo!!!

Cecil Taylor/Buell Neidlinger-NEW YORK CITY R&B LP (Candid/Barnaby)

So many Cecil Taylor albums and so little time to hear 'n digest 'em all!!! A lousy pressing houses some excruciatingly pow'rful '61 sides from this Neidlinger-led session (reished with Taylor's name front and center for the boffo bux rake in) that has the same thrust and drive as all of those other early-sixties Taylor platters I'd sure like to give a listen to before cashing into the big nightclub inna sky. Band works best in trio setting with Billy Higgins, but when they get into Duke Ellington's "Things Just Ain't What They Used To Be" with Steve Lacy, Archie Shepp and Roswell Rudd helping out expect something a little bit more trad and true to the elpee's name. Another outta nowhere surprise that I'm flabbergasted hasn't been digitized by this time (has it?).

Killing Joke-THE PEEL SESSIONS 1979-1981 CD (Virgin/BBC)
An acquired taste maybe, but these guys always roared best when they were doing their heavy metal routine and worst when they let their "post punk" proclivities get the best of 'em. You get both genres on these BBC sessions (three for Peel, one for Skinner) which should sate you whether or not you're feeling your metallic oats or British working class angst. Makes for a good change from the standard albums if only for that more live-sounding atmosphere these sessions typically ooze. And for once be glad these weren't taken from zilch-generation tapes that have been circulating for nigh on thirty years!

Various Artists-INNER MYSTIQUE RADIO #32 (CD-R which might still be available through Kendra Steiner Editions [see link on left])

Ahh, talk about soo-prizes! Back in the late-eighties, none other than Bill Shute had his own radio show on CFMU-FM in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada which also happened to be home to Bruce Mowat, a name that rings a bell somewhat. Living in Catawba Virginia at the time it wasn't like Bill was driving up every week to do the show...but what he did was pure genius! In the privacy of his own bathroom (good acoustics) he record the show on a tape and mailed it in for broadcast at a future date!. I always wondered how Bill finagled his way into getting his own radio program on this station...I guess he had some behind-the-scenes "pull" with someone who worked there or else why would anybody bother inna first place?

Well, I'm sure that Bill's show was a shining diamond in a sea of diarrhea considering the "Feminist Braided Armpit Hair Symposiums" and "Toothless Suburban Hippies Pretending To Be Toothless Backwoods Folk Singers"-related programs the station regularly produces. And this Christmas 1989 show is but proof that, as far as "college radio" went (and perhaps still "goes"), Bill did a rather exemplary job of it. I mean, how many other so-called "free form" radio shows being broadcast on "alternative" radio either then or now had the mojo to mix early-sixties instrumentals (trax from the Moxie Surf EP!), British Invasion obscuros, the New Order, early-eighties Oi and the Jesus and Marychain? And toss in some mid-fifties cowboy music and a Trashmen Christmas single to celebrate the holidays? Not quite the standard playlist mind you, unless you were one of those "eclectic" types who used to publish a fanzine in the late-seventies/eighties which boasted playlists as diverse as this selection with perhaps even stranger oddities tossed in to confuse all of the patented hipster types who were tuning in to your wavelength.

Bill plays it surprisingly cool, perhaps even a bit detached, but it all adds up swell as he rattles off the names of the songs you've just heard with all of the calm and collectedness of Vera Vague in the SQUARE DANCE KATY churnout. As for me, this platter made for great evening relaxation to the point where I just hadda put my book down and listen to the music and Bill's comments before catching myself dozing off before signoff. And you can do it too, but only if Bill still has any of these left (like I said, check out his blog 'n see fuh yuhself!) sure beats having to listen to those new internet radio podcasts that are all the rage!

The Hollywood Argyles-THE ALBUM, PLUS GARY PAXTON SOLO SINGLES CD-R burn (originally on Marginal Records, Belgium)

Kim Fowley's magic touch obviously saves this 'un from being another extreme pad out (he even taking over the lead for regular Gary Paxton on "Long Hair, Unsquare Dude Called Jack" 'n perhaps even "Alley Oop '66") but as far as filler material goes this ranges from brilliant to prune juice. At best the spirit of 1960 speaks far and wide (title track and various imitations/covers), at worst Paxton shows he's headed for a future of outhouse gospel with his teenage idol floppers and country crankouts that wouldn't have gotten him through the front door at any Nashville studio. If you ask me (and I know you would) the guy shoulda just stuck it out with Skip Batton and they coulda milked their Everly Brothers schtick for all it was worth.

Jeff Beck-SESSION MAN, VOLUME IV CD-R burn (originally issued on Head Records)

In the tradition of the infamous Jimmy Page SESSION MAN series (which originally came out as a bootleg before Bomp! craftily swiped the cover art and released it all rather legit like!) comes this similar series devoted to that other Yardbirds guitarist other'n Clapton who also became a rock star of magnificent stature before the punk rock brigades put him outta commish for a few years. Even if Beck wasn't front and center on the cover this'd make a good selection in an early-seventies free form radio sorta way, with some early sides by Blues Anytime, two Donovan tracks (including the boffo "Barabajagal") that don't make me wanna puke, Screaming Lord Sutch and the GTO's from their not over or under but just rated PERMANENT DAMAGE album. The live track with Bowie was a nice tidbit, and although I have about as much patience with Stevie Ray Vaughan as I do with  people who are filled with love for everything except for the things I love, I didn't touch the stop button once during the three closing tracks where the two do the blooze jam. Either I'm getting old, or I'm becoming more tolerant of music that doesn't always fit into the BLOG TO COMM ideal (I'd say the former...gets so tiring having to press buttons and all anymore...).

The New York Dolls-ACTRESS, BIRTH OF THE NEW YORK DOLLS CD-R burn (bootleg)

Paul McGarry sent me this 'un. Paul's a funny guy, especially if he thinks that I've existed lo these many years without having heard/owned these classic '71 pre-Dolls sides which have been available on a passel of bootlegs for quite some time. Oh well, it's sure swell giving these pre-Johansen tracks another spin thanks to Paul's insight. Raw and alive early versions of Dolls faves and ne'er to be heard froms done up in that primitive cassette in the corner of the basement fashion. They certainly do expose an urgency that really ain't that far removed from the likes of the various '74/5 Television tapes not to mention the Electric Eels. If I were Richard Nusser or one of those early VILLAGE VOICE rockcrits nobody heard from again since the mid-seventies, I'd probably be doin' the "sounds like the early Velvet Underground meets the early Who with scads of early Rolling Stones and early Kinks tossed in" schtick. I mean, it worked so well on young gobble-it-up blubberfarms pouring into just about every rockread they could lay paws upon, and I for one should know!

Apache Dropout-BUBBLEGOM GRAVEYARD CD-R burn (originally on Trouble in Mind)

Another Paul McGarry burnt offering, this time of a new group doing a sixties pastiche (bubblegum, Syd, Roky...) in an eighties self-produced manner. And hey, they actually succeed mightily at it even if I personally haven't been caring about any of it for nigh on twenty years. There's nothing on this half-hour venture that I'd call outstanding, but the music ain't offensive to your rockist standards and it might even come off rather powerful in spots. I will admit that Apache Dropout are much better'n some of the milder practitioners of the form who were making their presence known during the heyday of Greg Shaw's Cavern Club, some of who were good enough considering they weren't eighties "rock" but came off rather superficial if I do remember clearly. This ain't gonna get me searchin' through boxes of discarded flotsam for my Roger McGuinn grannies and fuzzy vest, but it almost might.

The Bevis Frond-THE LEAVING OF LONDON CD-R burn (originally on Woronzow, England)

Apparently these psychedelic wonders are still around, and obviously they're still in the record-making business just like they were back inna late-eighties. That was back when Bevis Frond began making an indentation on the underground fanzine oneupmanship scene each that every one of us is a part of no matter how much we may deny it. And Bevis Frond can still do the blitzoid neo-space rock thingie just as good on this 2011 release as they did back when they were first sprouting antennae, but frankly a very little of this stuff can go a loooooooong way. Kinda got bored with the more staid progressions about ten minutes in, and even though there are bright spots and interesting intricacies here and there all I could think about was where my copy of Dr. Feelgood's debut was stashed in my extensive collection. And I know you might feel the same way too, at least about your copy.

The White Wires-WWIII CD-R (originally on Dirtnap)

I thought McGarry would have known better than to burn me so many "new" groups, but then again using my typically razor sharp reasoning any group formed after 1976 is "new"! Well, I will admit that the White Wires are swell musicians and can make with the power pop-styled musings, but there seems to be too much 1979 somethingorother that rubs me like a Polish masseuse who got the witch hazel mixed up with the paint remover. Might be a good enough live in their own special way 'n all, but I'll recommend this 'un for all of you who still have your 20/20 albums at the front of the stack, and even PLAY 'em as well!!!

Thaz it for now. Next Sat./Sun. expect one of my non-music related switcharoonies and who knows, perhaps a return to the same old the following weekend! After that who knows if I'll even be around but don't get your hopes up, I'll probably survive it all! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! MAN BEAST (directed by Jerry Warren, 1956)

The never-ending array of Bill Shute burns certainly pops up a few cinematic pimples, and it's obvious that Bill sure knows how to surprise a person with his choice of moom wonders to pass along to unsuspecting friends. Given some of the strangities that he has sent my way (see last week's I WAS A MAN for more startling evidence) who knows what's gonna be in store when it comes to slipping the ol' Dee-Vee-Dee into the slot'n waiting to see what sorta abomination's about to unravel before my very eyes. Now don't get me wrong, I love abominations (in fact I am one myself!), but as years of moom watching can tell you not all abominations are created equally as a flick like MAN BEAST will attest to.

Not really much I can say about this '56 romp which was the directorial debut of "turkey" film mainstay Jerry Warren, other than it's yet another one of those cheapazoid flicks that went straight from the zilch theatres in your area to your loco tee-vee screen in less than a year. And yeah, the subject of the Abominable Snowman (or, as they call it here, the "Yeti") is custom made for these kind of films I gotta say that I thought this 'un was quite snoozeville. Even with the staid acting, feh direction, slow moving plot and stock music roaring on no matter what the action on-screen is (all hallmarks of fantastic cinematic viewing) I really couldn't get into this 'un the way I could a downright charmer that Ed Wood or William Beaudine woulda made around the same time. Maybe it was just me, but MAN BEAST had my mind wanderin' around kinda like when I was back in high school and some suspiciously dykoid teacher was attempting to drill in the significant factors that made A SEPARATE PEACE such a meaningful novel when all I could care about it was the fact that the main character died because bone marrow got into his heart! Years later after suffering two broken arms that's all I could think about as if I truly was spending my final night on this earth because of my current malady! Like I said Wood, Beaudine or a variety of other directors coulda used the same actors and script and done a good cheapoid wonder job but this 'un just limps on w/o the redeeming value of trash aesthetics.

Another one for the terminally unemployed to catch on their local small wattage stations, and I guess that the presence of something to alter the spirit would help! You know, just like it did all of those Firesign Theatre and Grateful Dead platters that just didn't make sense once the "inspiration" had been spent. Of course I'd obviously take this 'un over the latest Scientology-laden big bucks bonanza in a flash, but not until I work my way through those Crown International Dee-Vee-Dee's that Lou Rone sent me a couple years back ifyaknowaddamean...

Saturday, September 08, 2012

And they said that the era of the LP was dead! How wrong those technogeeks and fifties loathers (amongst many others) were, for it looks as if the plastic spinning record of yore is making a slow if steady (and perhaps even sturdy!) comeback! To which I say "huzzah!"...not that it really went away, but after listening to more than a few starry-eyed altruists and eighties-bred damaged brains (and I know we've all had to put up with them o'er the years) telling me how they were the first on their block to get a Cee-Dee player  I sure woulda gotta the idea that vinyl recordings were about as up to date and as "relevant" to current through processes as the Edsel. You know that old schpiel by heart already. It's the one that's been handed to us by everyone from early-seventies bell-bottomed/John Lennon eyeglass-framed hippies who berated us for hating David Crosby*, to late-seventies disco droids who felt so superior for to music that was custom made for men who are attracted to each other to dance to in order to get their minds off the fact that nobody would pick 'em off the meat rack in a million years with their receding hairlines and shaggy mustaches which made 'em look more like one of the Mario Brothers as opposed to Michaelangelo's David! Yeah, I know I shouldn't waste my time with such losers, but in real life (and on the internet) they're so hard to avoid...

And as time speeds on even more fresh spinners are headin' their way into my collection to intermingle with albums that are pushing up to sixty years in age yet remain as meaningful as the day they were plopped into the presser. Things like this sure make me glad that there is a clear connection between then and now, and that despite what a few young bucks might tell you some things thankfully just do not change. And as far as things that don't change go one of 'em has just gotta be albums that are what I shall call of "questionable" legality, like the following offerings that have come out on a strange label of either Italian (as the catalog description said) or Russian (as the Cyrillic lettering would lead you to believe) origin goin' under the obscure moniker B 13.

B 13's yet another one of those outta-the-way companies that have been coming out of Europe since the days of Joker International and a variety of other small organizations of questionable legality that make their living milking old recordings from non-Italian acts for all they're worth.  However, while most other bootleg labels release their items in standard cardboard sleeves with pretty pictures to catch the inquiring eye, B 13's wares come in plastic see-through sleeves with the pertinent (and sometimes incomplete) information printed up on 'em. Not only that, but they're all pressed up on colored vinyl of differing shades complete with a label that's so small it looks like a 45 rpm adapter! B13 also claim to release albums in quantities of 500 and not one album more which is probably the reason why these discs are goin' for a good $25 or more a pop wherever you can find 'em. Sounds like a neat concept in vinyl production though a drag on the pocketbook, and that's exactly why I snapped up a whole buncha (but not too many) of these albums in order to spice up not only the collection but my life as well!

I passed on a good portion of what's available because hey, these are kinda pricey and besides, the Mothers of Invention 'un that B 13's offering's the exact same item as THE ARTISAN ACETATE RS-6406 on the Mr. Natural label that I told you about back in May. Of course I could do without the Stevie Ray Vaughan albums as well as some of the other B 13 releases that just don't flibben my jib, but sheesh if the following records just don't seem so nice looking, pleasing and enticing with their obscure and unique offerings bound to make any true BTC reader raid the piggy bank! You all know what a pushover I am for psyche-puncturing sounds that helped change me from being an insecure loathed pile of blubber boy into an insecure loathed pile of blubber MAN (with a line like that you can tell I'm in the mood for lameoid sixty-year-old MAD magazine gags!), and records like these are what most definitely helped me on my "life's journey" and continue to do so!

The Velvet Underground platter B 13's got up for sale's pretty much the same collection give or take (tracks and stage banter) that we all got a good earful of not only on the infamous LIVE 1969 album but the by-now classic END OF COLE AVENUE double set that was turning heads back in the late-eighties. Sound quality is exemplary (better'n my long-standing originals which weren't pressed up that hot to begin with) and sheesh, every time I hear these numbers I can't just help but zone back to my senior year of forced drudgery (otherwise known as high school) at a time when I was so anxious to leave that horrid grind yet kinda cautious as to what was gonna be in store once I headed out into whatever it was that I was gonna be heading out into. There's a certain wondrous feeling I get when I hear these numbers performed by Lou and company for an appreciative Texas crowd that I also get when listening to albums such as HORSES, SHAKE SOME ACTION, the debut Modern Lovers and many more that only goes to remind me that the seventies certainly weren't the dungheap that many people who I guess know better made 'em out to be. Music like this is timeless, and although you know that a good fifty years from now it's all gonna be as forgotten as BEULAH reruns at least this still hits me hard in my soul and makes me long for the days when we all could find a solution to our teenage blues if we looked hard enough and didn't let teachers or authority figures get in our way. I wasn't smart enough to figure it out then, but if I only knew then what I knew now I would've been serving a good stretch in a boy's reformatory!

The Yardbirds' STOCKHOLM 1967 looked pretty tasty as well even though I already had this show via side three of BROKEN WINGS, a particularly potent Yardbirds double set that came out on the Della Quercia label around 1980 or so. Taken from Swedish radio, the sound is excellent especially when you consider that most radio broadcasts from the day come off as if they were recorded during a thunderstorm a good hundred miles away from the transmitte. Even if you ain't a hi-fi nut you should go for this gig which presents the latter day "streamlined" version of the group (with Jimmy Page holding everything down on his lonesome) romping through old favorites as well as current recordings including their new single "Little Games". True the folks at B13 spread the entire twentysome-minute show over two sides which ain't any special bargain, but then again just try locating a copy of the aforementioned WINGS or any other recordings of this boffo show that might have come out over the past XXXX years!

In comparison to the above entries, the first of the three Can releases on B13 really does put the "caveat" in "emptor", especially when you latch up what sure looks like a humdinger, slap in on the ol' Victrola and find out that MONSTER MOVIE LIVE ain't exactly what you thought/hoped it would be but the exact same legit platter and nothing but!. You can bet that when I played this one I was madder than Larry Flynt at a foot race, and I could imagine you'd feel the same way too unless you're the kinda guy who likes to be gypped outta your hard begged moolah in such an inglorious fashion. No interesting quirks, changes or revelations are to be found (as if I'd ever expect to find any in the first place), making me wonder just how B13 got away with pulling such a fast one other'n the legal loopholes that allowed this travesty to happen in the first place. A definite back of the bin stasher here, and an utter embarrassment to all involved in this needless repackaging!

Thankfully the other two B13 Can releases make up for this hideous swindle. TAGO MAGO LIVE, while perhaps not recorded in front of an audience, at least presents the side of Can people like us (or so I assume) have always cherished...the mad, anarcho screech that had English writers like Ian MacDonald heaping hefty Velvets/Stooges/MC5 comparisons upon 'em unseen at least until the p-rock revolt of a few years later had staid big city rockcrits plagiarizing leftover CREEM back issues due to their own lack of punkist acumen. I never heard this extended romp before so it not only surprised me but got me all hot 'n bothered with its repeato-riff madness and singer Damo Suzuki going through the same vocal gymnastics that made TAGO such a maddening effort. Describing this really can get beyond words especially when you can get overwhelmed due to the outright drive and verve presented like I have. A must for people who still thumb through their dog-eared issues of EUROCK if only to find the offhand comparisons to the punkier groups Hot Scott Fischer snuck into his articles!

After recovering from the full-fledged blast of the above FUTURE DAYS LIVE is yet another must have you might want to slip into your collection soon. Again this ain't a "live" album in the strictest sense but so what, mainly because as far as I can tell this 'un contains the entire (and legendary) "Dai Doko E" track uncut and the way nature intended! True we've heard that brief segment on (UN)LIMITED EDITION years ago but nothing will really prepare you for the entire enchilada that transpires here! Mesmerizing, especially when the simple, neo-Asian melody goes on and on while Suzuki mutters in both Japanese and English about "going back to Germany" and other strangities that used to get him compared to Iggy Pop by Eddie Flowers. You can just imagine the members of Mirrors smoking pot while listening to this and the above back when they were holed up on Storer Ave during the freeform (and freefall) mid-seventies. And although I don't want to contribute to the delinquency of minors or even old fogies like myself let me say that you just might want to do the same thing, though Coke and aspirin will probably have to make for a more legal substitute to the devil's weed.

If Can were the Velvet Underground of krautrock then Guru Guru just hadda've been the Stooges. Dunno how well an analogy like that holds up here in the beyond sophisticated 'teens, but I'm sure that if I were popping off a whole lotta rockscreed insight and information a good forty years ago such words would come off as being totally enlightening. Whatevah, B13 felt fit to release two live Guru Guru albums which were recorded at Wiesbaden during the years '72 and '73, and all I gotta say is too bad they didn't slap these two together because this woulda made for one of those boss two record live sets that were all the rage back in the mid-seventies! Oh wait, if they did that B13'd have to charge less for the two, and if anything you can tell this outfit is bound and determined to squeeze every last penny outta us starved rock 'n roll freaks and if they have to release albums separately to do that then so be it! In my own sick, addled way I gotta admire 'em for being such cutthroats, though why do they have to be popping the shekels outta me like blackheads on a teenage rump???

SQ on these is a whole lot better'n I woulda expected given the audience hand-held cassette ambiance of some previously-released early Guru Guru live settings. The performances are over-the-top crazy as well which is a startler esp. when you consider these were recorded right around the time Guru Guru started their long slide into music that I've been warned about for years on end (one reason I never had the nerve to plunk down any marks for their later efforts even with their neat covers). Performance is pretty pounding, pagan and perhaps even burundi in spots but it all does me well even when I have to endure one of Mani Neumaier's extended drum solos which don't sound as much Rashied Ali to me as they do Ginger Baker. But still these are some fun sets chock fulla excellent performances even with the noodling, and pretty surprising in spots like the part where what sounds like an African chorus appears to add even more confusion to the already third world atmosphere!

If Can and Guru Guru are the Velvets 'n Stooges of krautrock then Kraftwerk's just gotta be the Beatles. While the others were just barely lucky enough to get noticed outside of the continent Kraftwerk became international superstars not only with their worldwide hit "Autobahn" but with those late-seventies/early-eighties albums that were so dance-groove oriented that even black kids were buying 'em up! Since Kraftwerk never really jangled me as much as many of the other German expressionist groups of the day (other'n when I bought the AUTOBAHN album age fifteen and was bowled over because of the novelty of synthesizers blah blah snooze snooze) it wasn't like I was that anxious to snatch this live album up. But I did, and I am at least a little smidgen glad doing so even if that means I'm gonna get drummed outta the NORTON records fan club for admitting so ingrate that I am!

Side one's from a '76 French radio broadcast and comes off pretty snat even if the source was probably an nth-generation cheap-o cassette tape assembled in Pakistan. Can't really complain what with the Frog announcer and the performance of AUTOBAHN-period tracks that at least veer off the familiar path 'n sound perhaps improved because of the slight distortion. Kinda snappy even though it sounds like Ralf and Florian are using cheap chord organs they picked up at some flea market 'stead of state-of-the-art synths, but then again that's part of the charm, maybe...

Flipster's an '81 live show that I didn't think was gonna get me all excited considering how I'd written off the group as a buncha jackboot disco droids by this time, but surprisingly I thought this performance was entertaining at least in part. The better moments reminded me of latterday Kongress of all things (strange considering how that group derived their energies more from the Can and Amon Duul Zwei spectrum of German rockism) while the worse were about as on-target as some electronic gnu wave band of the day only with a lot more vigor. Considering how I was expecting something in the electro-disco variety a la Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer (which nowadays doesn't quite freak me out considering Gene Sculatti's positive review of the SON OF MY FATHER album with Seeds comparisons abounding and the fact that Donna Summer was front and center for the Velvet Underground's Boston performances) this is a hotcha surprise, only one that I'll be spinning in a good ten or so years after I FORGET what the thing sounded like!

I passed on the two Albert Ayler platters B13 have up for sale mainly because I don't wanna have too many dupes in my space-starved collection. However, I did manage to wrangle this particular wowzer with Ornette Coleman and crew live in Beograd (I think they meant Belgrade) Yugoslavia in 1971. Something in the back of my bean tells me that this 'un's been flying around for quite awhile but since it's the first time I ever laid paws on the thing I'm not letting this small fact get the best of me. Whaddeva it's a hot performance from the classic Coleman/Redman/Haden/Blackwell lineup that I doubt'll disappoint any of you staunch Coleman fans (or even casual passersby types) complete with his spazzoid violin playing which I thought at first was some clever avant electric guitar mutating and trumpet blurts which wouldn't've given Miles Davis any sleepless nights (but then again, was Coleman's playing supposed to???). The rest of the guys keep up pretty well, and I do get the idea that performing "Song For Che" woulda really gone over well with the audience at the time even though Yugoslavia was more West friendly than their neighbors as far as international leanings went. Nowadays they'd get run outta town on a rail doin' a song like that but hey, wasn't Communist chic such a big thing at the time? Judging from some of the things I've read on the web I think that it still is!

So there they are....Forced Exposure had some left when I last looked and of course ebay's just brimmin' with 'em. If you have the cash I guess they have the stash, and I know you could do worse, because honestly  you always have!

*tho is his IF I COULD ONLY REMEMBER MY NAME as hazy cool as many people I dig make it out to be? And if Byron Coley could get beaten up by a pack of punks for wearing a t-shirt with that album's cover emblazoned on it then it just might have been the hippie pick 'o '70 we could all agree on!