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! 

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