Sunday, November 04, 2012

Thought I'd do something a li'l bit (but not grossly) diff this week amidst all of the hustle bustle of work and the Frankenstorm which is just starting to hit the tri-county area as I type this, and that is present for you a running tally (more or less in chronological order) of just about everything I've listened to (not including incidental music from the radio or tee-vee or things forced upon me against my will) from the time I clicked the "publish" tab on last weekend's post and this 'un, whenever THAT'LL be (most likely Sunday afternoon or thereabouts). After all, the format in which I'm presenting for you all of these wondrous reviews of items you just won't read about elsewhere is known as a "blog" which is short for "weblog," and what better "web log" is there than for me to tell you about everything that's goin' on in my moozical life as it happened and in the correct chronology for that matter? Well, it sure was a better idea'n the blog I originally had in mind having to do with my top ten list of movies I hope never get made (SEXUAL PRACTICES IN CORAOPOLIS boldly holding the #1 spot with 120 DAYS OF FREDONIA taking a close #2).

But before I get into the meaty potatoes of what has been spinning on the decks, perhaps a word of political/kultural significance. Next Wednesday is the BIG day for alla you Amerigans out there who are called upon to do their doody and go 'n vote! All kidding aside, talk about the worship of jackals by jackasses which really fits in with this particular election cycle especially when you consider the two major candidates (known around these parts as duds) who are heading up their party's respective tickets. I'll say one thing about this election and that is that this is the first one I can remember where people are totally flabbergasted by the choice they have to make, hating just about everything about both Prez Obama and Mitt Romney all aghast at the choice of having to vote for one or the other and hinting around that neither will get their support come voting booth time. (And finally coming to the logical conclusion that "voting for the lesser of two evils" still includes an "evil" in the quotient.) All I can say to these people stuck in such a quandary is..."wha' th' hell TOOK YOU SO LONG????????"

My own personal prediction is that Obama's gonna hang onto the presidency by a one/two point margin at the best and a popular vote loss but electoral college win at the very worst. I don't see any major changes in the house or senate races enough to change the status quo, but despite all of the victories and defeats this Wednesday I get the feeling that the final four years for Obama will be those of quagmire, quicksand, quandaries and perhaps a little quackery to keep my usage of words beginning with the letters "qu" on a roll. Who knows, by 2016 I get the feeling that maybe the guy'd wish he didn't make the effort to extend his job an additional term but naturally we'll see what happens when we get there.

Either way it's gonna be a trip, though if Romney does pull a fast one and captures the presidency it's gonna be a gas watching all of the riots, name calling, charges of fraud, personal attacks and (best of all) the even Newer Left than the New Left of yore crying and flaring nostrils with a particularly hardened vengeance! I mean, if these people were unsettled and volatile before you should see 'em when their candidates lose! And of course if Obama wins you're gonna see that mainstream right wing types (who lost their cred around the time William F. Buckley decided to be nicer just so's people would like him which you knew they never would) do a slow burn routine to make Edgar Kennedy proud...nothing wrong with that only they sure don't know how to flare up the way they used to back inna sixties when the LBJ types were runnin' roughshod all over 'em to the point where many of the pseudo-conservatives like Nixon began acting like East Coast progressive snoots! But other than that, remember this Wednesday to head on down to your local polling booth and express how you feel, just as long as you don't mess things up with any bodily fluids.

Well, after that PSA here's the juicy stuff that you've been waiting for a good four paragraphs ago.

ELECTRIC DEATH CD (available via. CD Baby )

This is one of those New York groups I decided to give a try considering all of the ones from the nineties I missed because I thought it all went to crap by that time. Naturally I was wrong, because although the New York Scene (and elsewhere) began to fill up with loads of groups imitating jamz and styles that were mere imitations of earlier endeavors, there were some acts that had that refreshing approach and appearance that seemed to hearken back to the innovations of the seventies instead of the xeroxes of the eighties. Electric Death were but one of those refreshing bands that intermingled with the usual alternative waveoid crap and post-hardcore memorex that clubs had booked since the death of the seventies underground groundswell, and these Puerto Rican roughshods play a pretty good if potentially commercial hard rock that's part heavy metal, part punk rock and slightly reminiscent of the BOC/Dictators school of tuff En Why musical display. Nothing that'll eke superlatives of utter rockist grandeur outt my pipes, but a surprisingly sharp release from a group I never heard mentioned before in my life and probably never will read about outside of this very review.

The Grateful Dead-MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON CD bootleg (click here to read my original review of not only this but a number of other Grateful Dead bootlegs)

I must be turning into an old hippoid because I actually prefer listening to this than Grand Funk Railroad! The oldies material sounds about as rockin' as if some definitely non-San Fran local group was churning 'em out in the privacy of their own garage and even the meandering weave in and outta a whole bunch of Dead chestnuts didn't bore me like they're supposed to. Maybe I'd like these guys more if they got their hair cut, didn't do mind-"expanding" hallucinogens, weren't into esoteric hucksterism, wiped after they took a dump...

Ainigma-DILUVIUM CD (Garden of Delights, Germany---read my original on-line review here)

Not bad at all, especially in the way these teenagers mixed oh-so-precious progressive rock leanings with late-sixties mid-Amerigan punk rock credo making for a record that sounds like it can't decide whether it wants to be Triumvrat or It's All Meat (yeah they were Canadian, but you're smart enough to get the message, I think). Talk about the stormfront collision of two warring factions in the great seventies battle for the minds of the stoner teens of the world! Perhaps the biggest intrusion of prog on punk turf at least until groups like Amber Waves and Elixir began getting gigs at Max's Kansas City.

JOHN CAGE SHOCK 2-LP set (EM Japan, available through Forced Exposure)

Biggo surprise that arrived just in time for Daddy Cage's 100th birthday bash last September. The long-rumored 1962 Japanese live tapes recorded during Cage's tour of the nation with David Tudor and Toshi Ichiyanagi in tow.  Totally aleatory (that means these toons take a chance and things just happen, sorta like in your own bedroom) with loads of screeches, random sounds and even a few surprises such as the appearance of the soon-to-be former Mrs. Ichiyanagi Yoko Ono doin' some hot warbles, phlegm launchers and even some Japanese wordspeak. I'd've loved to've heard the take on "Fontana Mix" she did during this period which future hubby John Lennon once hinted was going to see the light of day, but maybe that appears on one of the three Cee-Dees that EM has simultaneously issued which most definitely are on my watch list...are they on yours???

Ascension-DETROIT, 9/20/73 CD-R burn

Dunno why this boffo live show (or any other recordings for that matter) never got released considering just how high energy and orbiting Saturn this short-live MC5 spinoff was. Somehow slipping within the cracks of Detroit history being too late for the late-sixties movement and too early for the late-seventies, Ascension took the best moments of what was to be (Sonic's, New Order, Destroy All Monsters...) and charged 'em up in the best hard-driving avant-rock way possible for an audience who would much prefer to hear Led Zep covers (no foolin'!). There's even a turn down the amps request from the owner of the venue and (best of all) a whole buncha tracks that have never been heard before or since for that matter making this a must have if you've ever sworn allegiance to the Detroit epiphany. And to sweeten the pot so-to-speak the guy who burned this for me (wouldja believe Mike Kolesar of CHEESE READER fame?) added the MC5 contributions to the GOLD soundtrack at the end which really brings back alla those memories of what sorta promise these guys had for us at least until it all came down rather hard 'round '72 time!


What a nice 'un to slip on the ol' box after a hard day at the salt mines! Those Gleason albums cluttering up the flea market and antique shop bins for the past four decades were actually beneficial when it came to easin' the old tired nerves for the fifties workaday slob masqueradin' as a hi-fi nut, and not only that they made good background music for gettin' inna mood with a gal wearin' one of those torpedo bras and Toni home perms. Feelin' tired, romantic or just wanna long-deserved break from the horrid drek passing as twenty-first century entertainment? Then place this on the ol' launching pad and reminisce about the days when being masculine (or feminine if you are of the lady persuasion), hard-driving and just plain straight wasn't the crime it most surely is today!


Another edition of the long-running Bill Shute radio program emanating from his old digs in Catawba Virginia and proudly broadcast on CFMU radio for some reason or another. Great selection (as usual) from Bill's bountiful collection including a whole slew of live pre-laurel-resting Van Morrison tracks where he's backed by Cuby and the Blizzards (!) as well as some Hasil Adkins insanity and Blue Things rarities including a strangeoid late-sixties take on the thirties nostalgia trip, the kind that used to get my mother oh-so-mad! There are even three tracks by Carmaig DeForest (remember him?), a guy who sure vanished w/o a trace just after the time he recorded a couple albums which seemed to get boffo raves but were ignored by the general populace (mainly you!). Special guest host this week was none other than Bill's son Eric who, judging by his performance that evening, sure as shootin'  proved that he had a great future in drive time shock radio.


I wrote a rambling review of this back 2010 way, and I guess that if I have to ramble on any more about this live collection better do so now'n to forever hold my piece. The sounds of a group poised for big things that never made it out the gate bungled by poor commercial judgement and underage gals, all ending in the magnificent extended live take of "Dark Magic" which certainly knows how to weave its San Franciscan (as in what the place was for a spell and should have been by the late-sixties 'stead of what the place eventually became) spell. Can't get any less rambling that that now, can we?

Tuesday's Children-STRANGE LIGHT FROM THE EAST: COMPLETE RECORDINGS 1966-1969 CD-R (originally on Rev-Ola)

After the ass-reaming day I experienced at work this pop-psych muck's the last thing inna world I want to listen to! Dunno why I picked it outta the pile o' platters that Bill Shute recently sent but I did and boy am I the worse off for it. This English group sounds like one of many in the Beatle soundalike ripoff sweepstakes that were proliferating the scene back in the perhaps not-so wild 'n woolly late-sixties, and while they did have their "charm" it ain't exactly like this music's gonna soothe my nerves after today's travails the way METAL MACHINE MUSIC most certainly can. Maybe when I'm in a much better mood you say? After today I will forever associate Tuesday's Children with today's utter torment the same way the Flesheaters have been on my "never again!" list ever since a certain fellow ruined their appeal for me a good nine years back! (Yeah I know, as Paul McGarry told me I'm letting other people rule me, but then again I sure do have my scruples, and as you all can tell they're tossing and turning in eternal torment!)

David Bowie-LOW CD (Ryko)

You might have written Bowie off as a shuck and jive chameleon who went from mod to folkie to glamster to afro to avant gardist (after that I lost track) within the span of a good ten years, and so have I! But gosh, if I don't like slipping this one on if only because it brings back hefty memories of high school obsessions and when life could be enjoyed to the fullest on one level and feared to the utmost on the other (this being long before I discovered that perhaps I too could use fear as a weapon the same way others used it on me). Anyway, the hype about LOW being Bowie's avant trip in the same fashion that Tim Buckley's STARSAILOR and George Harrison's ELECTRONIC SOUND were their outlets for non-commercial ideas still holds up, with Bowie doing some rather kraut-y moderne pop things with Iggy guesting on vocals (his IDIOT's gonna be the next platter to come in for a 35-year-later re-eval one-a-these-days) before sliding into some excellent moody "tone poems" that sound almost as good as the real thing Columbia used to put on the grey label. Believe-you-moi, LOW made this 'umble reviewer who was into Terry Riley and Philip Glass the same way some femme philosophy major was into est and macrame such a fan that he hadda spin it nightly  in order to soothe his troubled brow after a hard day at school gettin' hassled by shithead teachers and cornholed pupils alike. Not that I'm nostalgic for that, but I sure am for laying in bed and listening to music as if it had some strong narcotic power to sate my angst and erotic (in the Jonathan Richman sense) yearnings. Can you believe that? You better, bub!

SUISHOU NO FUNE CD (click here for my original review)

At the time I didn't think this Japanese psychedelic underground act (with a bonafeed ex-Les Rallizes Denudes member in the ranks to give 'em a li'l more credo) was anything that I would want to spin on a daily basis, but the dreamy soundscapes and harsh atonal nightmare extant reminded me of just how varied the post-Rallizes scene could be over in the Land of the Rising Yen. And yeah, I will admit that that Suishou No Fune have more meaning (in the post-sixties/seventies underground rock fashion birthed by the Velvets and nurtured throughout the late-sixties) than a good portion of today's post-"underground" acts, and if you catch me during a rather depressed time in my life I will tell you that yeah, this was probably the final true gulp of it all..


First album by the famed English hippiefest regulars who began life as avant garde jazzers Hydrogen Jukebox before flipping back to the seventeenth century. Funny, but at first I thought the Third Ears were proto-punks considering how they used to plop up on gigs alongside the MC5 and Pink Fairies but they were pretty much acoustic traversers who were more part 'n parcel to the joss stick crowd than the high energy maniacs. However, judging from recordings like this they didn't need electric instruments to create a beaut of a droning sound that took elements of East and West and re-shaped it all in a way that could appeal to the underground hardcore fan as well as the flower child! Slip it in between a spin of any of your fave seventies all-outs and don't tell me the Third Ear Band ain't warbling on the same wavelength even if the style fits more into the Harvest Records groove than it does Skydog!

The Tony Williams Lifetime-TURN IT OVER CD (Verve)

The typical rockcrit line on this being a cross between Ornette Coleman and the Velvets doesn't quite hold up in true Maidenform fashion, but TURN IT OVER sure stands its ground in typical George Zimmerman fashion! And yeah, you can easily consider it (as well as predecessor EMERGENCY) as a platter that can drive with the best of the late-sixties punk rock excursions extant while paving the way for some of the more technogeeked seventies mishaps to plague the once untamed world of jazz. Even the addition of Jack Bruce on bass guitar doesn't turn this into a classic rock rubfest (though his vocals on the bonus track are about as Woodstock as can be) and if only John McLaughlin coulda continued on the fine path he blazed here 'stead of gone the Mahavishnu route we wouldn't've hadda put up with all of that Sri Chinmoy jive he was handing us throughout the seventies. Maybe it's not to late to slip a li'l the white stuff his way so he could at least go out in style, though as James Taylor (and Lester Bangs) taught us the use of opiates and the "creative process" do not necessarily go hand in hand.

Patti Smith-A WING AND A PRAYER CD-R bootleg (Head)

Patti just about the time you discovered her, live on tee-vee in England (OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST) and in San Fran and at some New York college where she undoubtedly gained a number of new wave advocates in the process. Considering most of this was recorded right before Patti lost her initial spark it's a definite keeper with the boffo live take of "Radio Ethiopia," the entire shebang concluding with a karaoke-esque version of "White Christmas." Sparks are still flying pretty fast here, making the likes of me wonder "wha' 'appn'd???

Zuno Keisatsu-2ND ALBUM CD (Invitation/Victor Japan)

Last on this week's sweep through the galleys of my collection is this obscuro, a re-release of T(yrannosaurus) Rex obsessives Zuno Keisatsu's second album, considered by some an important "proto punk" document. Like their main influence, Zuno Keisatsu went from an acoustic duo to a full-fledged group (with bongos blasting away natch) on this outing producing everything from all-out rockers to Dylanesque drivers with a whole lotta weird stops in-between. As you'd expect there are Bolanesque "bopping elf" styled tracks, commercial pop rockers and even the dips into Kyu Sakamoto-esque sentimental Japanese schmoozers which, judging from these items, seems to be par for the course! Nothing that I'd wanna kill you for, but this one does snuggle neatly into your early-seventies punk collection amid the likes of TEENAGE HEAD and even THE SIDEWINDERS if you can imagine that!

Well, that's if for this week. And you patriotic Amerigans, remember to head out to the polls this Wednesday and do your doody! And when I say "doody" I mean it!!!!

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