Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yes, that's actually a snap of me, clumsily cropped so you didn't have to see anybody else who was snuck in this pic that was obviously taken w/o my permission oh so long ago. Thought I'd share 'em if only to prove that yes, I indeed had a youth as well as a pair of spectacles that had a very hard time staying on my face as you can not only see from the above snap but from this pic taken a few years later (circa issue #9 or so) which I've had the decency to post directly below:

Boy, wasn't I the skinny minny back then! Same slipping specs natch and the 'stache and beard an obvious tribute to the writer most near and dear to my heart, Byron Coley! Actually, looking back on those days all I can say is I'm sure glad that I don't have to re-live 'em, though I sure as shit wish that I had even more moolah to spread around considering the hike in price a hefty portion of the records I wanted back then have taken on the ebay circuit!

And, in order to get even with her, here are a couple snaps of Jillery from the same batch. Sheesh, there must be something wrong with gene pools if a fine specimen such as I could be even remotely related to someone of her stature!

OK, now that we've had our laugh here are just a few of the platters that I've been spinning this past week. Again I ain't been feeling up to writing what'cha'd call essay length reviews in the fine Russell Desmond/CAN'T BUY A THRILL tradition (guess the longwindedness has gotten outta me with my last major gastritis attack) but hopefully they're short 'n succinct enough to make an impact with you!  Thanks to Bill Shute for whatever burns may appear below, and while I'm at it thanks to CD Baby for making the recordings of nth-string New York acts of the 80s/90s/00s available no matter how forgotten or loathed by the same snides who would have championed these acts in the 70s they may be!

It seems as if my jass leanings have been tilting towards the AACM sorta thing these past few months, and this oft-forgotten album helped out during a fine afternoon display of basement box rummaging this past Sunday. McIntyre, along with the rest of the original AACM stable, really had his Ayler feelers working on optimum and this sesh is no exception. A-side's got a number of rather primal short numbers punctuated not only by McIntyre's playing but a chap by the name of George Hines who emits some of the most guttural Heimlich Maneuver vocalizing I've heard since those eighties John Cage recordings, while the flip's an extended workout not as free sounding as the Art Ensemble yet not as classical as Anthony Braxton could get when he was perhaps paying too close attention. If you like the rest of the AACM Delmark releases, especially Joseph Jarman's amazing output as a leader, this should fit snugly inside your own personal discomfort zone just fine.
Devo-BE STIFF 12-inch EP (Stiff, England)

Can't believe it, but this collection of pre-first elpee single sides 'n whatnot doesn't sound that bad at all in the light of the future which we all hadda do duty now for back inna early-eighties. True I don't really cozy up to "Jocko Homo" or their choppy take of "Satisfaction" in any form, but when Devo were trying to sound more like Roxy Music and Sparks than their college bred pseudointellectual selves at least the futuristic jumble can be set aside if just this once. A comparison spin twixt this and the group's tres-Hollywood output of just a few years later makes for a fine lesson in comparison between the original blueprint and too many cooks' hands making light work out of spoiled broth. Or something like that.
Streetkidz-LOOKING FOR A THRILL LP (Rave Up)

Dunno how this particular act bypassed me for so long but I guess now is the only time in my life that matters. Streetkidz were one of the many En Why-area rock groups who sprung up on the club scene in the seventies, and judging from this selection they really had the concept of what was goin' on punkwize down pat. Hotcha straight-ahead rocking here, sometimes in a Ramones blur and others a Motorhead screech. But whatever they do you can be sure the results are pretty energetic w/o the gnu wave smarm that would overtake just about everything in a good three year's time. If you like the early Rubber City Rebels tracks on that split album they did with the Bizarros back when they were still leather-jacketed scum attempting to osmose into the new direction in rock you'll probably love it. And it's perhaps enhanced by the fact that the people at Rave Up learned how to have their records pressed up the same way that Dave Gibson at Moxie did his and that's no joke!
Various Artists-Kyoto Jazz Massive presents SUCCESSION OF SPIRIT CD-R burn (originally on Impulse Japan)

Dunno exactly who the Kyoto Jazz Massives are, but one thing's for sure and that's they sure know how to put together a jazz comp! SUCCESSION OF SPIRIT collects a number of appropriate rarities from the Impulse vaults, and although this is far from being an Impulse "Greatest Hits" package it sure knows how to pack an avant garde wallop aimed right at your most starry-eyed and youthful recollections of just what this music was supposed to be after reading about it in CREEM. Two Pharoah Sanders tracks from his pre-sellout days make this one for those who can't afford the entire Sanders Impulse catalog (which was for the most part top notch even with Lonnie Liston Smith aboard) while (if you can believe it) Alice Coltrane doesn't make me wanna run for cover even with the tamboura drone. For me the best track here's from Albert Ayler's oft-loathed MUSIC IS THE HEALING FORCE OF THE UNIVERSE (which probably ain't the heaping comedown it's made out to be even though I've been frightened away from it 'n NEW GRASS on word of mouth alone!) though why in heck were two John Klemmer numbers stuck on??? Talk about bringing the property value down with these two turdbombs, but considering how I got it free maybe I shouldn't act like the spoiled brat ingrate that I've come to be known as lo these many years. But I will.
THE GREAT LOST KNICKERBOCKERS ALBUM CD-R burn (originally on Sundazed)

The "Lies" guys never were what I would've called "prime" NUGGETS material and in fact seemed more "show-bizzy"' than the other groups on that collection of prime mid-six-oh Amerigana. Standells included. However who other'n the most hidebound big city "rock critic" breastfed on late-sixties hippie screeds could deny that these guys were one of the more powerful local acts around to the point where they even made Johnny Ramone hang up his guitar strap for a few years in utter desperation! The always boffo Sundazed label should be commended for getting this particular collection out consisting of ne'er before released tunage that shows the group at their more "professional," "commercial" and of course exciting. Ups and downs abound, but you gotta admit that the Knicks at their lowest was much higher'n most groups at their tippy top and I ain't complainin' one bit! Best of the batch includes disque closer "My Feet Are Off The Ground" which has a fantastico churn to it that reminds me of something that woulda made a good Standells b-side 'n hokay, maybe you are turned off by the group's more 1963 hair and dress but as Bill Shute constantly tells me sometimes "get over it!"
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs-THE MGM SINGLES CD-R burn (originally on Sundazed)

Sheesh, didn't know Sam the Sham released so many singles for MGM but I guess he did, and if you can believe the cover they're all collected on this nice shiny platter (or pitch black one in this case). Fourteen single sides here including the biggies, not to mention the flopsters and the legendary one that I'm surprised didn't make a bigger splash with the already over-rocked teenage crowd of the day. As with the Knickerbockers collection there are plenty of niceties and a few that don't quite light my fart, but I'll take this entire ring dang doo over Santana anyday, even the disque closer (as just "Sam the Sham") "Fate"/"Oh Lo" which really gets into the late-sixties proto-lowrider sound that seemed to permeate the early-seventies AM dial with a vengeance!
Transcendental Psychology-REDEFINITION CD (Chromium, also available from CD Baby)

Y'know, I had my doubts about an act that considered both Rick James and the Art Ensemble of Chicago major influences, but once I gave this 'un a spin I thought well... Transcendental Psychology are a rawther decent outfit despite their alleged love for hip hop and watered down eighties funk, and if more acts could work out such disparate influences and come up with something like this its best I dump my preconceived notions in the trashbin and start listening to other kinds of music like Eddie Flowers told me to do a good twenny-five years back. I figure "OK" to that, just as long as I don't have to surrender to myself.

Pretty straight ahead at times whilst intricately avant garde at others. Nothing that different than the various new free jazz groups that have sprung up o'er the past few decades but still in-groove enough to satiate my own personal listening patterns during those frequently introverted moments which I encounter more and more these winter days of my life. Grab a bottle of Geritol and encounter your own New Year's Eve with this under-the-radar classic!
Pinups-ALL THAT WE WANTED CD (Poptown Music, PO Box 52, Lincolndale, NY 10540 or try CD Baby)

Here's another one of those obscure late-seventies NYC groups that actually put something out back inna nineties, making me wonder how they managed to make it through the eighties considering how their music  was about as outta place as an Isetta at a Rolls Royce collector's club meet. Pinups played what I guess you could call a punk pop style with heavy paens to commercial (non) rock, and although a whole lot of this was I guess you'd say "halfway decent" it's nothing that really connected with me the way similar popsters gone the punkster route back inna seventies could. Probably needs a few more spins to sink in like a good rainfall on my hard-as-earth mind but prima facie-like it's a take or leave situation.
The Rousers-PLAYING THE ROCK AND ROLL FOR YOU CD (Rocktime, available through CD Baby)

Oh no, not more aging seventies survivors getting back together to record their old songs in order to get over their mid/late-life crises or re-live some of their misspent youth or something like that. Anyway, I always got the Rousers confused with the Rudies (aka Day Old Bread or the Jupiter Jets) which is an easy thing to do considering both groups were more or less pop rock power trios playing the same turf with similar names, but whatever it's sure nice to have these guys back even if they could spare to split a bottle of Grecian Formula between 'em. Too poppy for my tastes true, but if you were the kinda guy whose NYC listening parameters came closer to the Heats and aforementioned Pinups as opposed to the harder and angrier sort you'll probably love this 'un up to the rafters and I don't blame you! 

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