Monday, December 31, 2012


Another one that  I wish I could photoshop
 or airbrush if only to change the dates
and get rid of the "bug" on the lower right corner
of the cover. True, this is not as good as last
year's NATIONAL LAMPOON cover but, oddly
enough, this was my original choice for that
particular post so go figure! shall I start this 'un out anyhow? Howz'bout this..."So that was 2012 hunh? Sure glad to see that 'un in my rear-view mirror as we all head into the greener pastures of 2013." Way too hokey, and although I like hokeyness when its fried up right I don't think this particular quip is fitting enough for such an important year-end wrap up as this 'un should be considerin' the solemnity of the day 'n all (besides, I believe I have used that one before). Maybe this slice of sputum will suffice..."Gee it's New Year's Eve already? Just seems like 366 days ago that I was writing a year end summation for time flies!" Hokier still, and come to think of it I did use that in a previous year-end wrangle up! Ah fuggitit!...let me just say that here it is, my picks and chooses for the top moments of the year, music and otherwise, which I all know you have been waiting for in the same way that I used to wait for the produce distributor to deliver the honeydew melons to the local supermarket!

Obviously the ol' year didn't have the same teenage throb musical/television/suburban slob living passion that '63-'67 or '71-'72 had for millions of swingers, or even '74-'81 for me when I wasn't letting schoolwork and anti-social behavior get the best of me. But then again, how long has it been since we were suburban slob teenage pimplefarms who pretty much LIVED for the late-afternoon/pre-prime time rerun slot on tee-vee? Well, there was one good thing about the year and that was I was able to make it through the entire shebang and come out alive, so maybe I shouldn't complain that much when I see the dearth of anything out there that gets me as hot and heavy as I would get when I was a mere teenager getting all excited over the "new releases" being presented on the wall at National Record Mart. After all my heart's still pumpin', and I guess that's one thing I can be thankful for even if there's nothing out there for it to really pump over.

I know that '12 wasn't exactly a happy year for some of you readers out there, and unless you're a stupid scum slime I must say that I can understand your own personal travails. True, there are many a sideways turd throughout the bowel movement of life that we all have to endure, and undoubtedly a few of you had it a whole lot worse than others even though I'm sure none of us had what we'd call a perfect, tip-top go of it. For me there were quite a few ups and plenty of downs that I'd prefer not to have to re-live again ever (but I will) and if anything this past year was the one which has begun in earnest my general bodily break-down to the point where I'm sure that in a decade's time what's left of me will be able to be sold for choice bucks on the black medical market. Good thing I really don't need the money now or else I'd start auctioning my liver off on ebay, but if such an opportunity would arise within a few year's time I'm not sure if I would want to pass it up!

But enough of my own problems (which aren't as drastic as I am making them out to be, and with such miracles of modern medicine aa orange-flavored baby aspirin I could probably live for another ten, twenty or even thirty years as long as I look both ways before crossing the street). Onto the music. No, I am not going to say that 2012 was a duff year for sounds recorded or otherwise EVEN THOUGH rock 'n roll as we knew it is pretty much dead and scrounging like a virus waiting to strike some unaware pubescent pud. There were some pretty hot recordings, articles, happenstance and what-have-ya goin' on that made the past solar rotation a rather pleasant time in between doctor's appointments and fighting off finger fungus. Who knows, maybe you too will agree with some of the best and worst conclusions I obviously have jumped to with regards to 2012 directly below, but deep in my heart I must say that I really do doubt it.
ALBUM (or Cee-Dee these days) OF THE YEAR!- Man the choices, from the Kiosk to Dark Sunny Land to Fadensonnen with their home made ramalama careening through the inner stretches of your imagination not forgetting the Neatbeats actin' like 1967 never did happen, but for all-time best non-archival new as it's happening spins go it's just gotta be Mark Stewart's THE POLITICS OF ENVY which is one platter that proves that these late-seventies artsy punk types can still kick it out even though the music and the mode and the backdrop to it all fizzled out a good thirty years back. Good lineup too, with the likes of Gina Birch, Youth, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Richard Hell and Kenneth Anger (!) helping Mark in his quest to firmly implant the Rough Trade credo in a world that never did give a fig even if ROLLING STONE told 'em it was OK to back '80 way. An outta-nowhere surprise and if you don't care for it then, in the sage words of Madonna, I won't take my clothes off. Close second: AVANT DUEL. Close third: THE KIOSK. Even closer third: FADENSONNEN. (Edgar Breau's  PATCHES OF BLUE should fit in here somewhere...)

ALBUM (or album these days) OF THE YEAR!- Gary Wilson's LISA WANTS TO TALK TO YOU which repro's an '08 cassette release but is still "current" enough to qualify as a newie at least around these parts. It's sure grand to see these "outsider" musicians still cranking it out long after the snooty mainstream press began looking beyond their Eagles press releases for at least a few seconds, and I guess the fack that Wilson is still recording a good thirtysome years after the fact while many of his compadres have fallen by the wayside does prove at least one thing...that some people just don't know when to give up even if they've been beaten and run roughshod over beyond repair! And I, for one, should know.

SINGLE OF THE YEAR!- Public Toilet's "I Woke Up With Your Mom", a downright classic in the late-seventies/early-eighties "diy" style that reeks Meltzer so much (and Dictators too) that I'm surprised no three-way lawsuit has ensued! Also worth a dribble (even if it was recorded way back inna sixties); Jonathan Halper's PUCE MOMENT soundtrack, an idea which has come about thirty years too late considering the early eighties was the era of rare psychedelic exhumations of this order but I'm not complaining even if its appearance on PEBBLES Vol. 3 never did occur like it shoulda.

EP OF THE YEAR!- The Flamin' Groovies' SNEAKERS (Skydog France), which only goes to prove to you that the era of the self-produced, garage-recorded crank out EP is dead and buried if I have to rely on a classic slice of late-sixties San Fran punkadelia like this classic as my choice for best of year! But this one has it all, from that wonderful cover that (on the reverse) looks like a boffo old-time European platter to the music heard therein, which I at first (like in 1982) will admit sounded a little too good-timey giddy but now makes more sense to me than all of the self-conscious prattle that's been passing for youth-driven passion these past few decades.

ARCHIVAL DIG OF THE YEAR!- Can's THE LOST TAPES 3-CD set on Mute , which not only is a swift package complete with an informative booklet but contains a great smattering of Can rarities plucked from the vaults where we thought they were gonna stay for all eternity! Fortunately this 'un concentrates on the classic 1968-1975 era 'stead of the later-on days when the act seemed to be wandering about just waiting for a reason to break up. It's sure great to hear Malcolm Mooney bellowing forth on tracks that would have been splendid on DELAY 1968, while the Damo era's given its own dues as well which is fine by me considering the obvious importance of albums along the lines of TAGO MAGO and EGE BAMYASI. If your favorite Can album is the (UN)LIMITED EDITION package of odds and sods this will definitely be your part zein. Coming in at a close second is Rotomagus' THE SKY TURNS RED which only goes to prove what a buncha pussies those heavy metal lameoids that came in the wake of this 'n many other seventies accomplishments were all along! Total eruption rock that I'm on one hand sad to see got its proper dues so long after the fact but look on the bright tleast Chuck Eddy didn't know about it when he was scribbling his STAIRWAY TO HELL book back inna eighties!

DOWNLOAD OF THE YEAR!- no bout a doubt it the Rocket From the Tombs live at the Viking Saloon 12/21/74 offering that the Pere Ubu website is offering up to us pikers for a mere ten smackers a shot. Yeah it'll only be a matter of time before someone of European descent presses this 'un up on vinyl complete with a full-color gatefold sleeve but until then you might wanna bug your more internet-savvy friend into burning a copy of this for your personal pleasure. Hope that future downloads are headed our way including shows from the original "comedy" version of the group when Charlie Weiner co-led the band, not forgetting the nova-esque final days when for once we might be able to hear the opening portion of "Sonic Reducer" but I guess its stuff like that in which we have '13 to look forward to, eh? Well, at least I hope so (hint hint!).

RE-PACKAGE OF THE YEAR!- the MAINSTREAM album by Quiet Sun which, surprisingly enough, now comes housed in a hard-cover book containing the history of not only the album, but one regarding Roxy guitarist Phil Manzanara's first group who re-united after fame and fortune set in to record this legendary outing for the Antilles label. Yeah I know that these record labels are thinking up all sortsa gimmicks to get people to re-buy items that have been in their collections for eons awlready but look at it this least this money is going to something that will be with you for hopefully the rest of your life as opposed to the food that you could be buying with the same moolah, and after you're done eating what good is it then?

BOOTLEG OF THE YEAR!-Either Alice Cooper's PARRICIDAL SLUMBERS or the Mothers of Invention's ARTISAN ACETATE, even though one is an ancient classic from the head shop seventies and the other a brand-spanking new effort that would have been boffo had it only made its way out in the same seventies that made Zappa a superstar stinko. Either way both really helped to make 2012 a top bop year for boots at least in my basement, which someday I hope to turn into a replica of an outta-the-way record store complete with a rack of underground comix and publications not to mention a seedy-looking guy who'd better keep an eagle eye on me lest I pilfer some of my own record collection wares!

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR!- Tim Buckley and the Starsailor Band's LIVE AT ESCONDIDO burn containing one of the few live documents of Buckley during his avant garde fling, a masterful performance that most of the "original" Buckley fans seemed to want to forget at least until it became underground "hip" 'n "cool" to like these atonal outings. Oddly enough it was this particular period in Buckley's career that made me wanna seek LORCA and STARSAILOR out a good three-anna-half decades back 'n I really haven't had that much of a drive 'r verve to hear any of his other recs which have longtime fans making him out as the male sex's answer to Joni Mitchell! Go figure!!!

DISAPPOINTMENT/BUMMER OF THE YEAR!- the Can MONSTER MOVIE LIVE (and Amon Duul II 1969 LIVE) LP on the B13 label, a cheap pawning off of the official Can debut with an extremely enticing title. Makes me wonder where the thugs with hammers who are out there protecting our interests may be especially in these caveat emptor days! CLOSE SECOND-the cancellation of Judge Andrew Napolitano's FREEDOM WATCH show on the Fox Business Network, the only political program which not only made for a fine relief from watching Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity schmooze up to Republican Party bigwigs on the major Fox News Network and "man with a womb" Rachel Maddow trying to come up with a better comeback than "you're living in the fifties!" on MSNBC, but actually had ideas being spouted off that...gosh!...I could agree with! With such subversive ideas regarding personal freedom and how BOTH sides of the spectrum (and that even includes you altruistic, self-congratulating progressive types out there!) are curtaining speech and business being spewed forth on the Judge's show, no wonder the "mainstream" Fox bigwigs dropped the ax!

BOOK OF THE YEAR (ROCK MUSIC DIVISION)!- THE INEVITABLE WORLD OF THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, yet another collection of articles and other memorabilia regarding the only band that did matter for quite a long time. At least this period-piece lookback and encapsulation of the excitement of the 1966-1981 season sure outshines all of those collections of recent writings mostly done by some of the worst 'droids to hit the "rock criticism" bandwagon led by that schmuck Alban Zeck.

BOOK OF THE YEAR (SECULAR DIVISION)!- Gustave Verbeck's THE UPSIDE DOWNS, a collection of this legendary comic strip from the birth of the modern form which you hadda flip over to finish reading! If you like the long-gone charm and feeling of an early pre-Griffith Biograph or an ancient cylinder spinning in an antique shop, you might enjoy this almost as much as prowling through granny's attic! Close second, the NANCY IS HAPPY collection of 1943-1945 NANCY dailies (too soon to let the tipsy topsy followup NANCY LIKES CHRISTMAS sink in deep enough to warrant a best of for the year though you know it should) while whatever DICK TRACY volume came out deserves mention as well. Here's hoping for the next edition real soon because I for one would like to find out what exactly did happen to that mewling mutant Bonnie Braids!

DEATH OF THE YEAR!-Too many to list and too many greats to mention (Frank Cady, Andy Griffith, Ernest Borgnine, Lol Coxhill, Jack Klugman you'll burn for that punk rock QUINCY episode...) have passed on these past 366, so why not go out on a limb and give that honor to Byard Lancaster, a man who at least spent a lifetime devoted to the ever-popular new thing in jazz and, although not receiving an iota of the attention lesser minds in that world have, benefited people such as ourselves with a great number of recordings and appearances that I'm sure will live lovingly in our minds long after the last horrid shards of Chick Corea have been long shuffled off to the darkest reaches of our cranium hopefully never to be retrieved!

POST OF THE YEAR!- Can't deny that the post I feel the proudest in presenting to you, the discerning BLOG TO COMM reader, is (believe it or leave it!) my review of the AL CAPP biography which, despite the typical reservations I have regarding modern day amorality being used to combat Silent Majority "hypocrisy," at least gives us (more or less) the story behind the infamous LI'L ABNER creator and a decent, if prima facie, explanation as to who the man was and perhaps why he did what he did. (Though leaving a lot out, perhaps to bolster the authors' own hippie credo.) Sure the review is rambling and perhaps will irritate those who certainly stand on the more dictatorial side of World Politix but hey, if they can't take the heat they shoulda gotten outta the pressure cooker a long time ago!

WRITER OF THE YEAR!-Naw, nobody in the rock et roll division made it this year (too many retirements and not enough fresh plasma), but then again has rock "criticism" really meant a hill of beans ever since the major magazine outlets shut out "The Noise Boys" and packed their pages with yesmen willing to hype the latest hubbub for the honor of seeing their name in print? At least the writing to be found on the more polly-ticking-oriented websites can tingle my nerve-endings the way a good Meltzer schpiel from '70 can, and if I can't read Lester Bangs on my box anymore maybe I can find some Paul Craig Roberts, Kathy Shaidle or Gavin McInnes to jolt me back into total froth mode. Have to say that this year the writing of Jim Goad at the TAKI'S MAGAZINE site (see linkup on left, idiot!)  has really jostled me to no ends, especially when the guy really gets into his no-holds-barred opinionating regarding every latest tragedy out there custom-made to break the hearts of Huffington Post readers nationwide. Given the current trend towards being nice and sweet, unless yer dealing with ogres along the lines of myself, it's sure grand to read a guy being people we're just not supposed to be nasty to anymore lest we offend someone who most certainly needs to be offended these days!

BLOG OF THE YEAR!- Mighty hard choice again considering how many of the blogs I have been following have deep-sixed into a needless oblivion. The ever-popular HOUND BLOG seems to have gone the way of the Edsel (though not author Jim Marshall, who left an encouraging comment on my Peter Laughner birthday post this past August), while most of the other rock 'n roll-related blogs have suffocated under their own self-conscious weight or just ain't worth the effort to dial up. Thus, my favorite blog this year just has to be SCREWBALL COMICS (see link up on left) where the classic works of everyone from Bill Holman (SMOKEY STOVER) to Gene Ahern (THE SQUIRREL CAGE) are reprinted with an astounding regularity much to my delight considering I wasn't around to sprawl out on the living room floor and read these comics back in 1945. For a more detailed look at the latter's work, I heartily recommend THE SQUIRREL CAGE blog (again, see link on left!) which is totally devoted to my personal favorites like Paul Bunyan and of course the crazy hitchhiker who keeps saying "Nov Schmoz Ka Pop!"  As far as other blogs go well, I like tuning into some of the more "hard right" ones out there from Jewamongyou's to Kathy Shaidle's (who sometimes veers into the uncomfortable realm of mainstream neo-conservatism, but at least she's still upsetting enough to love) FIVE FEET OF FURY, but that's only after I'm through reading the rock stuff!

MOOM PITCHER OF THE YEAR!-The only one I sat through with bated breath (and it does smell like worms) was SKIDOO!, the Jackie Gleason/Groucho Marx LSD-inspired cinematic wigout from 1968 that I have the feeling most involved would prefer to forget. Great period piece, if only to see old time moom and tee-vee faves acting in the kinda pitcher you woulda thought they would have been embarrassed to be caught acting in!

HERO OF THE YEAR!-John Derbyshire, who once again proved what some of us have known for ages, mainly that a racist is anybody a liberal doesn't like. After the shafting he got from NATIONAL REVIEW for writing what was pretty much the hard truth to Pat Buchanan's axing at MSNBC, I guess more'n a few of us are gonna be padded into a lavender-fumigated gas chamber a whole lot sooner'n we would have guessed!

I guess that's it for the year. See you for a midweek post in a few days followed by my usual bigtime weekend shebang, and here's hoping the material keeps flowin' and the music keeps spinnin' and maybe that the New Year will bring us more'n the usual leftovers tossed our way via the internet, the major labels and even the fans themselves. Frankly, when it comes to hot sixties/seventies rockist excursions I could sure use a whole lot more, and not just the table scraps we hungry pooches have been tossed over the past few decades or so! C'mon people, I want a bountiful buffet, not these kibbles 'n bits that are so condescendingly handed to us as if someone's doing us a big favor!!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Although this is being posted sometime during the final weekend of 2012 I am typing this particular entry on Christmas day. The time is 1:07 PM to be exact, and at this very moment and being totally upfront and honest with you all I can say is that this has been at least one of the TOP TEN WORST CHRISTMASES I'VE EXPERIENCED IN MY SAD AND SORDID LIFE!!! No contest otherwise...even worse than the one Christmas when, after getting a smattering of "C"'s and "D"'s in the less "cake" subjects, I was inundated with books and "games" that were meant to bolster my learning capabilities (they didn't) in lieu of the kinda toys, comic books and other flotsam that would have most benefitted a typical suburban slob mass of tissue such as I. Not to mention the Christmases where family get-togethers of various sorts turned into shouting matches and flaring tempers which were totally at odds with the festive time of the season. Certainly the polar opposite of some of the better Christmas Seasons I've endured (with 1971, 1975 and maybe even 1976 sticking out as the most fun-tastic) and, to be uncustomarily blunt about it, one that's doused on even more by the fact that the further out we go in time heading towards that future of uncontrollable decay and loathe-of-life, the further the classic Christmases of old are but fading memories that only serve to remind us as to how cyborg and cold existence has become ever since the reigns of civilization were given to the same breed of do-gooder thieves and perverts Al Capp warned us about many moons back!

Sheesh, last week at this time I was remarking about how this Christmas is the fiftieth one I can recall, and exactly that long ago up to the very minute or so I'm typing this I was undoubtedly being readied up to go the Christmas Party my aunt and uncle down the street were holding. Not surprisingly I'd sure love to re-live that day, though I'd do so only if I had enough adult composure to not bite my cousin on the neck and enough maturity to let him alone with his toy garage. Only an asshole would argue that those weren't overall better times for ALL of us even if we were right in the middle of a Cold War that deserved to be won by the good guys who were so indistinguishable from the badskis (though nobody I've talked to ever said they thought an all out nuclear war would really actually happen and certainly didn't live in cowering fear over it like us kids who watched too many TWILIGHT ZONE reruns and listened to too many teachers) and we all knew who the ones who deserved to win should have been...mainly us FREE-LIVING, CAR-DRIVING, BIKE-RIDING, COMIC-BOOK READING KIDS, that's who!  But nowadays its inarguable that the enemies we have to fight are right here living next door to us or are propagandizing about their pet causes on TV, radio and print, and they're certainly doing their best to make the righteous feel like ogres while bemoaning the fact that nobody buys their reading material or watches their television programs so we can discover just how more miserable we really should be! Too bad too many eat up the guilt game even though they're probably about as guilty as some kid with Down's Syndrome who gets the knife to the skull...but then again I've discovered that most of these people who look down upon themselves as the problem and not the solution are nothing but self-conscious, guilt-riddled masochists. And they want everyone else around them to feel just as self-consciously bad as they do too. Edgar Breau once wrote that the wolf was at the door...if you ask me the creature has barged in and is calling the cable company so he can get all the porno channels he wants, and on your bill!

So, what did I do while the rest of you were out carousing, caroling, scoring and whoring like you do every other Christmas? Spent the entire day in my room 'cept for Dr. Pepper and pee breaks, that's what! One way I tried fighting off the Christmas douse was digging out my hardcover collection of the entire run of AMAZING ADVENTURES/AMAZING (ADULT) FANTASY that I raved about a good four or so years back and which, come to think of it, would have best befitted by Christmas of forty years ago back when I was in the middle of my own personal Marvelmania and valiant if vain attempts to scarf up not only current Marvel superhero issues but reprints of early Marvel-age sagas and all Golden/Silver Age points in-between. These are the same stories that Marvel continued to milk for all they were worth throughout the late-sixties and well into the seventies via a slew of reprint titles such as MONSTERS ON THE PROWL and CREATURES ON THE LOOSE; y'know, those obviously early-sixties stories about grotesque science fiction monsters and creepy aliens that were collected with new covers in order to fool kids like Brad Kohler into thinking that the stories inside were as up to date as the modern Marvel style that housed it all.

But the AMAZING ADVENTURES/AMAZING (ADULT) FANTASY title was certainly an important one even with all of the Gagoons and Stroonads that you could find in the other early Marvel mags. This is so if only because it began life featuring the first bonafeed Marvel Age hero (Dr. Droom) and ended with the debut of Spiderman making this collection historic even if Droom flopped out so bad he remained in comic book limbo until the mid-seventies. It's all junk food and stocking feet good in the same way that I sure wish I was born a good decade earlier just so's I could have enjoyed these tales first hand (though you know that if I had been born earlier the parents I would have ended up with'd probably been the strictest beasts on the earth and would have forbidden me to even look at let alone buy such "trash"...such is life!). Not only that, but (re)reading these sagas I loved so much via reprints and osmosing the original covers and finally getting to read Spiderman's debut as it happened (not to mention those whimsical Steve Ditko sagas which showed a finesse lacking from his Charlton work) really would have been one of the bestest Christmas gifts I coulda had back in those rather entertaining times when the ol' skull was just beggin' to be penetrated with this style of brain addle. Of course reading these without the pressures of school and growing up doesn't add that certain dimension that's needed to appreciate comics at an adolescent level, but if I try hard enough and maybe precede my reading with a bowl of Cap'n Crunch so I can relive some kiddoid feeling if only a tad bit.

That didn't quite fill the bill, so I pulled out a box of fanzines from the closet and grabbed hold of the next-to-last issue of the former HYPERION (now called HYPE) for what has turned out to be a bi-annual (at best) perusal of this classic if now-forgotten publication. As I've written many a time, HYPE was one of the better rock fanzines to burst forth from the early/mid-seventies scene with its professional printing, fine stable of writers led by Mark Jenkins, and best of all an approach and feeling that really didn't differ that much from what CREEM was doing under the tutelage of Lester Bangs at that very same nanosecond. Seventies appraisals of the more interesting aspects of then-current musical endeavors have always read better than most everything since (given the anti-hippie snide and loathing attitude of these proto-punk scribes no doubt), and given that HYPE covered the more important releases with their social consciousness drowned in a well each and every issue that is within my possession is a treasure that goes to remind me of just how aggressive and against the (hippie) grain a whole lot of rock scribing was way back in the sarcastic seventies. But still, a pouring through the Fall/Winter '74 issue even with all of the New York Dolls and Stooges coverage coupled with the usual Velvet Underground homage didn't lift me out of any holiday funk.

Neither did watching an ABBOT & COSTELLO DVD of a choice second season episode which usually tends to lift my spirits even on the dankest days imaginable. You can tell that I'm in sour spirits when I can't even get off on the one where Bud and Lou attempt to fix Mr. Fields' television set and bust if after winning $1000 from a TV quizmaster and all of the boffo gags that one let forth! Really, I was still so bummed out that I didn't even watch the "Efficiency Experts" one (with the classic roulette table scene!) that I was planning on after this usually gloom-chasing episode!
Following are the recordings I've listened to throughout the week, some written before my Christmas crash, some after, and some even during. Nothing much to bark at true, but I know you all expected me to work through the holiday while you were out goofing off so you're lucky you got this 'stead of one of those typical "I'm taking the week off, so here's a list of previous posts for you to enjoy" entries, eh?

Jimmy McGriff-CHRISTMAS WITH McGRIFF CD-R burn (originally on Sue)

Managed to spend the middle portion of Christmas day listening to this platter with the dim hope of eking some holiday cheer out of it. Didn't quite work though I must say that the strains of Cleveland jazz/blues organist Jimmy McGriff (author of not only the GHOULARDI tribute "Turn Blue" but the theme to SOULMAN) did help lift some of the spirits that accompanied my reading experiences detailed above. Jazzed up organ trio takes on the Holiday Classics that were probably being spun right across the country right at the very same nanosecond I was enjoying my very first Christmas in memory. A hefty tip of the eggnog to Bill Shute who not only burned this one and many others for me but sent a rather exceptional Christmas present which will get its just dues in a future post.

Another totally gonzoid offering from Feeding Tube, this time from a new Boston act that sounds as if they were still stuck in early-eighties NEW YORK ROCKER experimental gotcha mode. Kassie Carlson sings like a young Lydia Lunch after the clitorectomy while the rest of the act produce an electronic rock sound that reminds me of some of the early-eighties El Lay beneath-the-underground groups that were coming at'cha like B-People and Human Hands. Nevertheless its a rough 'n tumble trip that evokes the best of the experimental punkisms of the past with some no wave influx here and LAFMS drive there...and it is heavily recommended for those of you who still find this brew your cuppa tea. Note to all of you pervo readers out there...the name of the group is "Guerilla Toss," not "Guerilla Toss-Off"!
Julius Hemphill-REFLECTIONS CD (Freedom)

One of those once-in-awhile spins from this well-punctured St. Louis BAG-man. Side one (in real album time) veers from post-Ellingtonian themes twisted beyond belief to a darker appreciation of the new thing while side-long "The Hard Blues" comes off like the soundtrack to that part of town where you're afraid to get out of your car. Hemphill plays especially guttural here in a way you woulda expected from one of the St. Louis crew who were bridging the gap between avant jazz, hard funk and what would later be known as the "funk-punk-jazz-thingamabob." Special mention should be made of Abdul Wadud's cello playing which, due to his instrument's range, makes fine substitution for both string bass and violin. While I'm on the subject, anybody know where I can get a free download of DOGON AD?
The Remains-A SESSION WITH THE REMAINS CD (Sundazed); THE REMAINS CD (Fan Club France)

No need to spill even more seed over this group after having done so in issue #21 of my sainted fanzine (the one with the massive appreciation of then-recent comps and a repro of the cover of JAMZ #3 that I had a dickens of a time retouching for publication) so lemme just jot down some fresh 'n friendly late 2012 opinions on a group who was being birthed a good fifty years back which is more'n enough to make one feel older'n Anastasia Pantsios' last tampon. The Sundazed set sounds just as crisp and booger-free as that high-standard label can get (without sacrificing any of the inherent energy) and feature the infamous Capitol demos that Lenny Kaye was fretting were lost for all time in the liner notes to NUGGETS, not forgetting a passel of outtakes and such which actually sound better'n what eventually ended up on their album! The Fan Club one's got the original album as well as the rare single b-sides, a track from the group's brief 1976 reunion and a slightly-rawer sounding version of the Capitol demos without "I'm a Man" for some strange reason. Great, but really none of these "legit" Capitol takes sound as good as the direct from the acetate demo I first heard courtesy Lawrence Azrin back in the those tore through me like a pack of Turkish sailors on shore leave at the local YMCA locker room and I know that if you heard 'em you'd agree with me 100%.Of course you won't admit it, but...
Various Artists-TALKING ABOUT THE GOOD TIMES VOLUME 1 CD-R burn (originally on Past and Present, England)

It's sure grand that these outta nowhere psychedelic rarities from the late-sixties have survived via acetate and tape lo these many years, or else the groups who recorded 'em would probably be lost to time like an ancient silent film of legend we'd all like to see. Of course a set like this is pretty much mix 'n match with some hard-gnarl here and a lotta pussy wuss there...Skip Bifferty (who at least got around quite a bit) leads off fine enough while the Smoke (with future Pink Fairy for a week Mick Wayne) get into their own flower power groove without making one wanna upchuck. The rest wavers between imaginative and derivative without anything really reaching out and grabbing you by the fanablas like you'd kinda hope they would. Of course I could have used some of that hard Deviants-styled punk drive in order to saturate my senses, but how often does a rarity of that stature come along?
Various Artists-WOLF CALL! CD-R burn (originally on Norton)

It's now December 26th, and although it ain't like I'm back in the holiday swing of things I will admit that I am feeling a little better. Maybe it's this collection of tracks from the old Golden Crest label that Norton released way back in 1999 (sent graciously by Bill Shute) that helped lift my spirits about "half" way which is kinda like getting that blackhead half way out the pore but it's good enough anyway. Known only to me as the label that The Wailers released their early wares on before deciding to do it themselves via Etiquette, Golden Crest was also home to a wide variety of musics, styles, educational records and whatnot as their gigando-packed catalog of yore woulda revealed to you if you were smart enough to send for one like I did.  This collection of hot single sides from the label is only one facet of Golden Crest's contributions to the wild world of vinyl and it's a doozy too...of course The Wailers show up with not only "Tall Cool One" but "Snake Pit," but fellow Northwesterners Lord Dent & The Invaders do the late-fifties instrumental drill pretty snat themselves as well (you may remember this track from the HIGHS IN THE MID-SIXTIES Northwest volume, but then again you might not). The rest veers in between various weirdities such as an obscure Isley Brothers knockoff ("Roaches" by Mask Man/The Agents) and early-sixties-styled vocal/instrumental stylings with a rather strong New York feel to 'em. The latest in the batch undoubtedly has to be the Japanese Beatles' very own "The Beatles Song" featuring faux Brit Invasion riffs with a guy doing a bad Japanese accented rant about the moptops over it all (he better watch it or else Yoko'll sick the authorities on him the same way she had 'em sock it to Paul back in '79!). He keeps saying "Ah So" all through the side, but given the opinion that most recording artists and moguls have towards their audience he could be using a similar word to describe the listener, ifyaknowaddamean...
Lonnie Mack-LONNIE ON THE MOVE CD-R burn (originally on Ace, England)

I'm typing this on the 28th and must admit that the dour feelings of Christmas have passed completely! And that even includes the overtime I've been putting in at work as well as the sweatshop conditions I have to endure there, but I'm not complainin'. In fact, I gotta say that I really enjoyed this Bill Shute-dispatched Lonnie Mack platter a whole lot, and I never really considered myself to be a Mack fan in the first place! A selection of mid/late-sixties sides that mostly remained in the filing cabinet, LONNIE ON THE MOVE's got hotcha originals, stunning covers (the Bell Notes' "I've Had It" among 'em) and loads of fine guitar slinging with even a few vocals from the guy himself  tossed in for good measure! They ain't that bad if you squint yer ears a bit, but you'd buy this for his guitar playing anyway. True the later-on numbers have that sideburns and neckerchief sorta feeling that sound as if Mack was going for the same crowd that bought Glenn Campbell albums, but how can you put down a rockin' guy who is the idol of both The Sonics' Larry Parypa and MX-80's Bruce Anderson!
And with the year closing faster than a lesbian's vagina at the sight of a penis here's a particularly potent piece that comes from none other than the blog of former NATIONAL LAMPOON cartoonist Balloo who, sad to say, is pretty much not only summing up the current state of affairs we all have to suffer through but will continue to at least throughout the Aquarian Age (yech!). Hate to say this, but it's all ruined, dead and done with, and what's even scarier is that this microcosm of what is happening is just a taste of what the next two thousand years of civilization (or what's left of it) has in store for us! Thanks a whole load all of you sixties do-gooders and world savers...too bad most of your breed is now dead 'n buried because I sure woulda loved to have seen you all roasting in the pit you helped fan the flames of with your good intentions oh so long ago.
See ya early Monday morn with my year-end rundown/runover, which won't be the last word regarding the year 2012 at hand but I get the feeling you will think more highly of it than the rest of the summations that will undoubtedly pop up on the web. Until then, keep it up and while you're at it, keep feeling sorry for me!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Unlike many of you longtime BLOG TO COMM readers, I must admit that THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS wasn't exactly a show that was burned into my kiddie growing up days psyche as fondly as, say THE LUCY SHOW or Bob "Maynard G. Krebs" Denver's future series GILLIGAN'S ISLAND were. And although I am old enough that I could have remembered at least part of the series' final season with ease, I don't recall anybody having this 'un blaring away on the boob tube the same way that ANDY GRIFFITH or McHALE'S NAVY were prime time favorites here at BLOG TO COMM central. In fact, the only time I can recall DOBIE being watched around here was when I was of kindergarten age and the show had slipped into the pre-prime time syndication package slot at seven PM...the local station was showin' the one where perennial Dobie-chaser Zelda's family's swimming pool got repossessed by the bank leaving 'em with one big hole in their backyard, a line I do recall my mother laughing high-lariously at although the only thing I can recall that fateful night was the realization that one of the guys on that show was Gilligan with a beard!

So now, after years of watching bits and pieces of the series via inviting myself over to people who have cable's houses and tuning into low-wattage UHF stations while holed up in various motels I finally get the opportunity to settle back and enjoy the entire series, more or less in chronological order and in a variety of qualities ranging from good to severe thunderstorm warning! In many ways my viewing of these long-running and still-remembered episodes was almost like a sworn solemn duty to my own youth and upbringing, or at least if I went through my existence (won't call it "life") without doing so I would feel less a man. That's only because DOBIE GILLIS, in its own goofball way, epitomized the boffo 1959-1963 span in time which has been getting quite a few knocks for being so white and privileged, but in retrospect sure comes off a whole lot better'n being multikultural and fearful for your life just because somebody thinks you looked at him the wrong way!

In no way could I call DOBIE a "realistic" series the same way LEAVE IT TO BEAVER (suburban slob growing up) or THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET (kinda like sneaking a peek at your aunts 'n uncles while they weren't looking) were, but it did make for fine settle down with a bowl of popcorn  and don't get any butter on the furniture entertainment. And after watching the entire run of DOBIE one thing's for certain, and that is had DOBIE been running weeknights locally during my teenbo year I'd've been front 'n center watching 'stead of lusting after electrolytes in my science book like I was supposed to do! Good acting, good ensemble rapport and (most of the time) good scripts made DOBIE a four-season wowzer, and it didn't hurt that a lotta flipped out, almost screwball humor was tossed in that lent a certain dimension to the series that helped separate it from some of the lesser efforts hitting the boob tube at the time (witness the rather timely BEN CASEY spoof). Fortunately for us this element worked because ever since day one (and probably even until today) various fringe-y developments in an almost surreal fashion had been crammed into sitcoms, and although Don Fellman may disagree most of the ones I've seen fall flatter'n my arches after a hard day at the salt mines. And if I wanna watch surreal humor it better be via DOBIE GILLIS than MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE or THE DAYS AND NIGHTS OF MOLLY DODD!!!

Dwayne Hickman as Dobie was perfect as the girl-crazy if slightly nerdoid kid (at first bleached blonder'n Leee Black Childers) who's always in some sort of fix over money to support his girls or his inability to obtain some new piece that comes his way or his own self-shame over his lack of big time luck in the rocks off department. It's obvious just how much Hickman borrows from none other than Jack Benny from his on-screen monologues next to the omnipresent statue of "The Thinker" to his various mannerisms and speech patterns (witness Dobie's reaction to Zelda scrunching her face at him which comes rather close to Benny's perennial "Now cut that out!" quip)...kinda makes you wonder why Benny didn't sue given the overt similarities! Of course Bob Denver as the watered-down tee-vee beatnik (albeit by the time the show was winding down the only thing actually beat about the guy was his "chin spinach") Maynard G. Krebs was just about as boffo a second banana as Ed Norton was to Ralph Kramden that you kinda think that he was gonna steal the show just like Art Carney almost did at times. Of course Frank Faylen and Florida Friebus as Dobie's folks were good enough if kinda irritating (especially Faylen, whose catch-phrase "I'm gonna murder that boy!" was soon to be axed perhaps due to sponsor pressure), though even a non-watcher of THAT SEVENTIES SHOW such as myself could see that the pair would more or less be models for the Formans albeit with a load of Archie and Edith Bunker tossed into the mix.

Can't complain about the supporting cast from semi-regs Tuesday Weld and Steven Franken to Zelda herself Sheila James, all of whom fit into the comedic situations just the way I would have hoped. Maybe I can complain about the dumbfounded way Maynard was briefly written outta the series during the beginning of the first season after Bob Denver was drafted, only to be return within a month or so after he 4-F'd out in real life. And while I'm on a bitch and moan tirade, whose idea was it to have Dobie and Maynard graduate from high school during the middle of season two and then join the army (I know continuity on these programs never was the best, but you woulda thunk that if the Army kicked Krebs out once they wouldn't have the sense to re-take him!). It was a bone-headed move on the part of whoever, but thankfully their enlistment was up at the beginning of season three and the pair could then return to school, this time at the local Peter Pryor Junior College where not so surprisingly their old high school teacher (played by tee-vee omnipresent actor William Schallert) was now working.

Speaking of Schallert, you'll get a kick espying the variety of actors later to proliferate mid/late-sixties prime time who made early appearances on DOBIE. In fact Schallert's soon-to-be tee-vee wife on the also worthy of re-evaluation PATTY DUKE SHOW Jean Byron plays college instructor Dr. Imogene Burkhart (her real life name, without the "Dr.") and surprisingly enough I thought she was a real hot tomato even when they have her wearing her hair flat 'n straight with the large horn rimmed specs! Sitcom character actor Steven Franken as rich kid Chatsworth Osborne Jr. might not have been as wondrously numb as Warren Beatty briefly was as Milton Armitage, but he sure does make a good enough nasal whine at it (and of course Doris Packer as mum to both Armitage and Osborne [she playing her own twin sister was how it was explained] will be more'n familiar to all of you LEAVE IT TO BEAVER fans who remember Mrs. Rayburn with a certain fondness). Stranger still was Raymond Bailey doing some double timing as both Dean Magruder and, with a toupee, Mr. Drysdale on THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES. And although such not-so-recurring last-season characters as Dobie's cousins Dunky (played by Steve Diamond) and Virgil, a Tennessee-bred scheming rockabilly singer (Roy Hemphill) coulda been dispensed with, it ain't like I'd wanna change stations while the pair were helping to make that final season a bit "wobbly" unless an uncut Bridgette Bardot film was being aired!

Of course the parade of future famous faces from John Banner to Barbara Bain, Mrs. Kravitz herself Alice Pearce and even the overtly sexarama future Batgirl Yvonne Craig'll get you peeling eyes to espy other future television standbys who've been long gone from the screen (and perhaps life itself) to the point where you too will be rushing to wikipedia to play the old "alive or dead" game with your fading memory. (And maybe I should mention the brief appearance of Maynard's cousin Jerome, a replacement tee-vee beatnik played by none other'n Michael J. Pollard who actually appears in a scene with future BONNIE AND CLYDE co-star Beatty on one of the non-Maynard episodes!)

I guess I've gotta give special dues to none other than Sheila James as Zelda, the Dobie-crazed gal who will do anything (even underhandedly) to drag him in front of the local justice of the peace or ship's captain actually succeeding twice although both attempts blow up at the very last minute as was wont these sitcom situations. I must admit that James was a rather fine actor and this was perhaps the role she was born to play, though the revelations about her real life will undoubtedly pop straight into your bean whenever she appears on screen. You can't help it, and I will 'fess up to the fact that the mere knowledge of James' not-so-secret orientation did make for plenty of fun and unintended double-entendres throughout the entire viewing of this series! Whether it be her mentioning how "gay" she might feel or how she loves (presumably platonic-like but who knows?) a member of the same sex, you just can't help but guffaw and chortle whenever these (and many other) situations arise. Really, I haven't had the snickers like this since I was about twelve and some kid actually decided to use the words "crap" and "shit" in class to prove to the teach that there were two words in the English language that meant the exact same thing!

Now in the Public Domain, these "grey area" GILLIS collections are mighty easy to come by in case you're not living in an area where the show might be airing or cablecast. It might be worth picking up a set of 'em in case you're getting those hunger pangs for some real Golden Age ('58-'67 and don't let anybody tell you different!) television and TV LAND just ain't been cutting it for the past eight or so years making me ponder why we ever bothered to get a satellite dish in the first place!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I guess this is the last post I'll be doing before the big day, and I don't mean when I'm getting my next colonoscopy either! Naw, I'm talking 'bout CHRISTMAS, and although I really don't feel like writing anything special about it this year (just mull over last year's wondrous collection of the holiday season's worst for that tingling feeling) maybe I should mention to you that this particular X-mas is (now get this!) the fiftieth one that I can remember from the furthest reaches of my mind! Yeah, lo these many eons later I can still vividly recall that day way back in '62 which will forever remain burned into my memory the same way other memorable days such as my fourth birthday party and the infamous skidmark incident most certainly are, as well as the wild joy I had driving over everybody's gifts in my pedal car and being filmed with those hot lights whilst tearing into presents that would end up smashed to bits before the day was over. This was also the exact same day I mentioned in last year's roundup where I bit my cousin on the back of the neck because he wouldn't let me play with his new lithographed metal gas station getting some grief (but no spanking!) for my deed. Dunno exactly what this might mean, but deep down inside I'd kinda like to re-enact that day oh so long ago even though that is an impossibility. I mean, that toy garage has probably been consigned to the trash heap within the span of a good three years, but maybe if an exact copy can be purchased from an antique shop and if my aunt will let me back into her basement...

But anyway, Merry Christmas even if in this day and age I really don't feel like celebrating (though maybe you do, and why should I step on your tootsies?), and I hope you get all of the Dinky Toys and Mattel games that I didn't way back in the kid-saturated sixties 'n seventies! As for all of those who couldn't give a fanabla, just read the rest of this and maybe your senses will be deadened enough to the point where alla the holiday glitz just won't matter anymore.
Just finished polishing off the last of the Fadensonnen Christmas Cee-Dee-Ares he most graciously sent, this time sitting through three whole volumes of Andrew White platters that actually originated from the collection of none other than no wave/free music revivalist Weasel Walter himself! Like I may or may not have told you before, this White guy is a rabid fan and follower of John Coltrane, and besides having released a ton of albums on his own label (which were available via New Music Distribution Service for years) he even annotated all of Coltrane's solos straight onto staff  and clef that's what kind of guy White is! The playing ain't late-sixties/seventies hard-and-outre AACM/BAG or even ESP/BYG for that matter, but if you're still agog over what jazz was saying in the early/mid-sixties and think that the death of 'trane was a bigger late-sixties loss than that of RFK/MLK combined, I get the feeling you'd enjoy the entire White catalog which might be available via ebay if you have enough moolah to bid on any.

And I guess that tops off the Fadensonnen Christmas package for this year. Between these latest acquisitions and the Tim Buckley STARSAILOR-period live show I received last January (not to mention the guy's original recordings which have a drive and swing to 'em that I'm surprised hasn't been outlawed) all I gotta say is Fadensonnen, if it weren't for you I'd probably still be spinning that CBGB album of mine in an attempt to review it for the twentieth time in my sorry life!
Not as many platter to offer this as I woulda liked to have written about, though if I must pat myself onna back (which is the only "touching" that I seem to be doing these days) I will admit that I did a pretty good job with what I did have at my disposal. I do hope that 2013 brings more archival digs and discoveries of highly-charged rockist delights both old and new than the previous solar spin has, but for now I shan't complain considering how these mostly newies (with one toasty tossed in at the end) really do fill the bill with regards to high energy jamz! And if you don't think I feel honored in my own cornballus way writing about these spins and tipping you off to 'em (thus enriching your life, and mine as well for that matter) then you don't know what kind of cloistered antisocial stay-at-home one-track-mind excuse for a glob of cells and tissue I've become over the past seven or so years! Anyway as they used to say, read on MacDuff!

Can-A DOUBLE LIVE PROMO ALBUM BY CAN 2-LP set; Ash Ra Tempel-ASH RA TEMPEL REUNION 3-sided 2-LP set (both on B 13, available via Forced Exposure)

Here are two of the three latest B 13 releases (the third being a live recording of Joy Division at the Paradisio in Amsterdam) that have made their way outta whatever clandestine factory they were produced at and into my abode, and if you're an old-timey krautrock fan like I assume you are let's just say that these two platters were worth the thirty-five years after you broke your last syringe and cracked your bong wait! The Can set was recorded right around the time the group was just beginning to latch onto a wider transcontinental audience (with TOP OF THE POPS appearances and British hit singles just around the bend) and as you'd expect the group do a pretty good job weaving in and out of their interstellar journeys even though former frontman Damo Suzuki had been long gone from the act. For those of you who miss Suzuki rest assured that a Thaiga Rag Raga Ratnam pops in here and there to do some rather Damoesque vocalizing which does lend a nice touch. Anybody out there wanna download that recently-unearthed disque where none other than Magic Michael fronts the band for me (and yourself while you're at it)??? Check the links on the left (I believe it was the "Mutant Sounds" one...).

The Ash Ra Tempel set is a boon considering how it ain't the so-so later-on band who were more of a new age outfit but (get this!) a reunion of the original trio with now-bigwig star in his own right Klaus Schultze rejoining his old bandmates Manuel Gottsching and Hartmut Enke on drums and electric lap steel guitar! So if you're a humongous fan of the debut Ash Ra album and tracks such as the side-long acid rock brain-scrambler "Amboss" you'll probably if not undoubtedly like this '73 show where the trio sways and dabbles through three sides of krautified space rock that makes you remember the power and frazzling nerve-end frayed feeling Ash Ra were once known for. OK, it ain't as downright earth-shattering as the debut, but these track are a fine example of what space rock represented before the entire genre tumbled into the whole laser light show gimmick of the late-seventies where doped up teens would enhance their highs to flashy effects while DARK SIDE OF THE MOON blared over the sound system.
Various Artists-30 YEARS OF MUSICAL INSURRECTION IN FRANCE 3-CD set (Spalax, France)

I must admit that, outside of three Magma albums and an Etron Fou Leloublan platter, I really haven't paid as much attention to the French underground rock scene as I perhaps should have. Not because of all of the negative remarks that have been made regarding French rock groups mind you, but because a whole lotta the music that was coming outta the French scene was beyond the grasp of any pus-poppin' teenager's local record store or wallet for that matter. Now that we're living in the days of internet and instant gratification things have changed, and after all of these years we can now listen to (and perhaps even enjoy!) the same outer space washes and wooshes that French radicals and the merely disenchanted got to hear way back in the late-sixties and seventies while making up our own minds as to whether or not this brand of brie is the utmost in rockist expression or just more progressive hogswill that deserves to be buried in the memories of insomniacs who spent a good portion of the late-seventies listening to all-night college radio stations.

Three disques here ranging from 1968 to 1997, and as you'd prob'ly surmise only the first and thus earliest tracks were able to grab my primitive psyche. In fact that first platter is a doozy not only with a collection of previously-released wonders like Mahogany Brain's "Silkskin Dawn" (kinda sounds like an early Raincoats session before the gals really got a handle on their equipment) but some ne'er before wonders by some woefully undocumented acts that have remained outside of my sphere for quite too long. Naturally the more pre/proto-punky material is what appeals to me (I just hafta get the Red Dawn album on Futura downloaded even if I thought the youtube tracks I've lent ear to were more Zappa 'n Beefheart if you get my drift), though none of this is what you would call Rotomagus or even Les Blousons Noir proto-punky. More like them French freaks who wanted tp sound like The Soft Machine but come out "Sister Ray" instead, merging the best of each genre in a mess that might even remind you more of some 1968 basement band who never did get outta their knotty pine recreation room intact!

(Anybody out there know if Dagon, whose "Suite Pour Orgue" from 1972 appears here albeit in part, have any other recordings extant? Talk about a band whose entire history has been swallowed up in classic earthquake fashion!)

The rest of the set doesn't quite affect me like the first platter...too slick experimental progressive that's dated perhaps even more by the occasional nods of the head to new wave rock. I will admit to liking the always engaging Etron Fou Leloublan as well as Gilbert Artman's Urban Sax (Lard Free's appearance is also a definite jazz-rock highlight), but otherwise the later-on trackage is strictly pick and choose. If you're a poor boy maybe you can get someone to burn the first 'un for ya thus saving the expense of buying a long-box set with only one sturdy goodie for you to hold near and dear to whatever there is that's left of your heart. At least that 'un proves just how powerful and exciting French rock could be, and although I knew the French always had their heads on straight after I read an article (right before a high school history class commenced no less) as to how Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye got a special award from the French rock industry maybe it's time the rest of the world caught on, savvy?

Part of the "Harvest Heritage" budget reissue series aimed to milk more money outta your standard MELODY MAKER reader, this reish now has guitarist Steve Howe's name proudly emblazoned right next to singer Keith West's in order to grab the attentions of the standard import bin hopper of the day. A good idea too, because your average FM/progressive radio type would certainly have benefited from hearing the Yes-man's earlier outings 'stead of the mulch he is best known for and who knows, if this 'un had only gotten out more'n it did maybe the future of rock would have changed for the better, with kids worldwide being hipped to the fact that the boring dross they were listening to at the time really did have roots in a sound that was young, fresh and downright innovative 'stead of the usual rock-devolved doldrums doused in Vaughn Williams here (Pink Floyd) and Igor Stravinsky there (who else but Yes?).

Nice packaging (even if it is custom made for the '75-'77 prog romanticists among us) and even better liner notes, though I sure would have thought ZIG ZAG's John Tobler to have been smarter than to write two major faux passes regarding John "Twink" Alder, first saying that he joined Tomorrow straight from the Pretty Things and that he "vanished" afterwards. Then again, I think I've made similar errors in my "career" which is why I'll forego dragging out the guillotine, at least for now.
Jandek-HASSELT SATURDAY CD-R burn (originally on Corwood Industries)

Not having played any Jandek releases in quite a long time I went into this with a whole lotta trepidation. Didn't know what to expect of the guy in the here and now (to me, Jandek'll always remain an eighties phenomenon who was mostly a memory to me once 1990 rolled around), and reading that he was playing the piano whilst singing on this 'un sure had me bracing myself for the worst, whatever that might be. Turns out my fears were unfounded, sort of. At this live show, Jandek plays simple yet effective piano while talk-singing his obscure, lonesome lyrics over the tinkling making for a surprisingly restrained yet powerful set. You can tell by even a cursory listening that Jandek made it through at least the second John Schaum book, and while I was spinnig this the main thought that entered my mind this kinda like that demo recording Robert Nedelkoff sent to Gary Sperrazza which got reviewed in the final issue of BOMP's "Crib Death" column back '78 way??? Bizarre and totally unexpected, I gotta say that this legend has lived on (both artistically and functionally) for a longer time than I'm sure any of us would have imagined back when The Units' READY FOR THIS HOUSE first hit our turntables back during the hazy days of 1981.
Parameter-GALACTIC RAMBLE CD (Kissing Spell, England)

Although I never really did cozy up to this way back when I got the thick vinyl/sturdy cover edition Kissing Spell issued back in the early-nineties, I must admit that Parameter and their sole ltd. ed. album GALACTIC RAMBLE has grown on me even more'n those weird blebs of skin that spring up all across my eyelids. As far as garage-level home recordings go these tracks do satisfy you in that mid-Amerigan teenage CREEM magazine way (even though they were English and probably scarfed up every NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS that landed in their paws), and when the group gets to producing their own straight-ahead rocking they do kinda come off like anygroup 1971 stuck in the basement trying to pay homage to the Velvet Underground via Kevin Ayers' "Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes."  An outta nowhere punk rock (in the classiest 1972 Charles Shaar Murray sense) surprise that might have caught the attention of at least Harvest Records who I'm sure were on the lookout for a new Syd Barrett just around this time.
Once again a hearty Merry Christmas to all you BLOG TO COMM readers, and if you don't get that album or turntable or Teisco guitar you asked for remember...I never did get that Vac-U-Form I've always wanted so I know how you feel! However,  I DID buy a much-sought after LIE DETECTOR game at a flea market a good five or so years ago which was cool since that was something I was gung ho on gettin' after watching alla those Saturday Morning television commercials that were hawking this battery operated game!!! Only problem is, I can't find anybody who wanted to play it with me, so if you're in the area and wanna take me on (you know what I mean, silly!)  howzbout dropping me a line 'r somethin' so I can clear off the kitchen table and maybe we can play a game or two before watching some Kenner's Give-A-Show Projector slides?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Just in time for the Holiday Season comes this new volume of NANCY dailies with a title just fitting for this time of year! An event to which I say "YAY" instead of "BAW WAH!" even though I really could have used this book for funtime reading during the Christmas breaks of 1969 through at least 1972 when I was really on a hefty comic strip appreciation roll!  And although such a serious reprinting of classic (for me 1945-1982) NANCY strips as this would have really suited me fantastic-like during my pre-pimples and body hair days, at least I can now live securely knowing that at least some of the public's tastes have finally caught up to my own to the point where such an enterprise as a collection of this friz-topped gal's oft-laughed at ('stead of with) strip is now commercially viable enough to have even warranted a second volume. Believe-you-me that's one thing that will make me happy here in the post-everything that's fun in this world kultur we now live in!

By the time these strips were hitting the funny pages being spread across the living room floors of Ameriga, NANCY was certainly becoming the funnie that it would be famous for at least until the fateful demise (in the late-seventies) and ultimate bye-bye (in 1982) of strip creator Ernie Bushmiller. That only means we've got thirty-five-plus more years of dailies (I guess they'll get to the Sundays one of these days) of NANCYs to look forward to, a boss concept to absorb even if Bushmiller was apt to repeat a mid-forties gag twenty/thirty years later when inspiration failed him. But still, 'tis fantab re-living those single-digit NANCY memories that I've told you about repeatedly, even if these particular strips were produced a good long time before I even hit the zygote stage but hey an appreciation of every pen line and badgag is still embedded into my DNA (along with HENRY and FERD'NAND too!) and it might be in your's too.

Highlights include a week's full of gags where Nancy and Sluggo meet up with a new brainy girl who resembles a seven-year-old Janeane Garofalo, Nancy's lookalike cousin Judy visiting, Sluggo's attempts to become a major ukulele performer and his getting a job carrying a sandwich sign all over town. (The various week-longs where Nancy stays with her neighbors the Sputters also rank high, if only because they pit Nancy up against a grown man 'stead of Aunt Fritzi for a change.) You may have your own personal favorites and you may sneer at the entire idea of anybody giving NANCY the time o' day when there are all of those "important" strips one could follow, but there's only one way to find out now and it ain't by upping your nose at this class act strip without reminding to what kind of a snobbish asshole you've been for your entire life and will remain until the bitter end, that's for sure! Buy this 'un and discover your true inner wretchedness!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Although I am one fellow who is never at a loss of words, I must 'fess up to you that I really don't know how I should begin this weekend's post. Perhaps with a snappy joke or a mean ol' snarl at this poophole we call a world?  Howz'bout with a bit of current events, like (for the sake of being on top of a hot and breaking story) the Sandy Hook school shooting of a few days ago? Even with a hot button topic such as this I don't really know what to say, other than all of you "cause"-related people really now have a hot and potent tragedy you can all exploit and wagon jump onto! Yes, whether you're for gun control or prayer in school or even mandatory medicating all youth who display anti-"social" or even extreme nerdoid  behavior, now you can pester your friends and family with the unquestionable righteousness of your ways! Sheesh, if that kid didn't go and plow down all of those students and teachers then I guess somebody who strongly adheres to any or all of the above causes (and more!) would have had to have done the dirty deed if only to get the causemongers all cackling like deeply offended schoolmarms!

Now that I got the "socially conscious" portion of the blog outta the way, down to the nitty gritty, mainly da MUSIC!!! I am, happy to say, still plowing through the Fadensonnen pile of Cee-Dee burns which I have so graciously received last week, and even a good week-plus later I must admit that this is (so far) the bestest Christmas present that has wormed my way into my over-wormed heart so far this year (of course I haven't received any presents other'n this to date, but the sentiments do remain!). I mean,  even if I were lucky enough to have been offered a weekend at the Tokyo Health Spa this year, I'd forego the opportunity of having Kim and Han play bongos on my pitted butt to stay home and spin these shiny disques that the obscure yet talented Mr. F sent my way, thaz how good they iz! This week I played his double-spinner Tony Williams Lifetime show recorded live in Newcastle, England way back '70 way and let me tell you these guys are simply di-voon! as Patrick Amory would say. Fine enough even if this was recorded when Jack Bruce had joined the original Williams/McLaughlin/Young trio on bass guitar and unfortunately deemed to torture us with his vocal rendition of "One Word," that hideous bonus track available on the Cee-Dee reish of the second Lifetime album. Some early Mahavishnuisms also appear though they don't sound bad at all (although I must admit that I like Good God's rendition of "Dragon Song" so maybe I am a Mahavishnuista at heart!), and although the sound quality isn't quite up to snuff you can still get the same spiritual effect as if you were sitting at a choice spot at some club listening to this unfold right next to the rest room and it hasn't been cleaned in ages! Guess that's what I get for adding too much cabbage into my diet.

Next week I hope to tell you about the three disques of Andrew White recordings that I've finally lent ear to a good three-plus decades after wondering about this Coltrane obsessive who sold his wares through the New Music Distribution Service. Sheesh, these recordings really do make me miss the seventies, or at least the joys of tearing through just about any record shop extant with an open mind towards what was available, joy in my heart over the thrills I was about to experience, and only $2.98 in my wallet which does bring those old timey memories down quite a bit, eh?

Also played a preview of the new Fadensonnen platter, one which I better not tell you too much about lest I blow the entire schpiel but it's a hot noisy one for those who enjoy distortion and mayhem over clarity and nice manners. If its any indication of how 2013 is going to turn out musicwize, you can bet it'll be a banner year with people like Fadensonnen pumping these beyond-belief recordings our way.
Seems like it was just a short while ago that the previous issue of UGLY THINGS hit the newsstands with a rather Shaw-esque bomp, and here it is December and lo and behold none other than issue #34 is up and running giving us rockism fans even more reason to rejoice this holiday season! You just can't believe how important any new issue of UGLY THINGS is to my own well being, for when said magazine wings its way to my door I'm more or less cozied up in my pungent boudoir reading the thing cover to cover looking for new releases, interesting hooks and whatever else may be within its pages that will undoubtedly enrich my life manyfold!  No bout a doubt it, UGLY THINGS really zaps my ever-thirsting desire to know EVERYTHING about rockism, and zaps it well enough that I even suffer withdrawal symptoms when the next issue just don't come out fast 'nuff! Believe me, I will scrutinize any freshly printed and even oldie moldie issue of UT just to find that new and elusive hook to latch onto, and so far I've found more than a few (and really, if you want to know where the roots of it all came from the name Anestis Delias should be looked into) so you know this really is gonna be a boss issue!

Not a bum note in the symphony, with personal faves ranging from Mike Stax's interview with Robbie Wood from The Bees (of "Voices Green and Purple" fame), Cyril Jordan giving us his own personal reminiscences of the early Beatlemania days and how he thought they were singing "I get high" on "I Want to Hold Your Hand," PEBBLES garage band faves The Haunted (remember "1-2-5"??????) and a spiffy interview with Mick Sahuc from The Rob Jo Star Band which is tasty enough to make me wanna give their only platter, which I thought was midway appealing, another spin. Reading Greg Prevost's record collecting obsessions is always a gas, and this time he talks about the thrills and spills of grabbing up every Byrds variation and pic sleeve and whatnot he could get his grubby little paws on!  Only goes to show you that I'm not the only obsessive/compulsive "gotta-have-it-all" kinda guy in the world!

Of course it's fantab reading the pages of reviews regarding records that we might consider purchasing for our own, if only these 300-press run platters were still available by the time we found out about 'em. Not only that, but it's sure boffo lending eyeballs to Jymn Parrett of DENIM DELINQUENT's writing once again, this time with the legendary fanzine publisher/editor/writer/ultimate rock 'n roll fan goin' on and on about a Michel Pagliaro 13-CD career-spanning collection that unfortunately left off the early Les Chanceliers numbers I sure woulda loved to have heard! (Jymn also did a writeup of an album featuring some ex-Savage Rose [yay!] guitarist's early group which was boss...the review that is, dunno about the album.) Hey Jymn, if you're reading this let me tell you I found that live tape of Pagliaro's recorded around '73 if you're interested in a dub (which I will have to have somebody make for me since I do not have the technology to reproduce any sorta sound whether on to disque or tape!).

(BIGGEST REVELATION OF THE ISSUE!: the "Steven Weed" from the Velvet Illusions musical group, the ones who did "Acid Head" on a now-obscure Moxie garage band EP was not, as previously reported, the same "Steven Weed" who was living with Patty Hearst when she was kidnaped by the Symbionese Liberation Army on that fateful day way back in 1974!)

Event of the year? Well, maybe one of 'em, and a pretty durn good one at that. Lots to read, digest and osmose here, and frankly I can't think of a better way to spend a late-autumn evening than curling up with the latest UGLY THINGS while some high energy sounds blast away on the bedroom boom box. So whatever you do, don't bug me during the post-supper/pre-beddy bye hours at least for the next two weeks because I'll be reading UT with rapt attention, and better yet get yourself your own copy so's you can occupy your own evening hours enriching yourself 'stead of pestering me with your inanities! Check the link on the left, or add one to your next FORCED EXPOSURE order like I dood!
As usual, here's a selection of previously (I hope!) un-reviewed items that I just know you'll love reading about, some oldies scattered among the newies and some recent purchases mingling with the ancient booty. Can't say that it wasn't a pleasurable experience giving these platters a spin, with even the tried and trues serving to remind me as to what music used to mean back when there was that bared-wire line of intensity which seemed to permeate just about everything that was good, and that even included those Sweet singles that were hitting the top of the charts at the time! Let's face it, although you may still stomp and rave and wax poetic about rock 'n roll as that all-out mind-distorting beyond belief music, the plain fact is that it's really been dead 'n gone for quite a long time even to the point where it ain't even big in Japan anymore! A sad thought once you realize just how long it's been since high energy ruled the waves (and clubs and rock mags...), and if you don't think I'm the modern-day equivalent to those old-timey fogies you used to see as a kid who lived for old comic strips, radio shows and early-tee-vee even but seemed totally lost in a world of protesters, lawbreakers and people making excuses for the worst aspects of mankind are right! I am (at this very moment even!) what those old war vets and hippie-hating curmudgeons of the past were, and looking back I can see all of the reason for their ire (and love of a past that slipped by too fast!) more than ever! Makes me want to spin a side of Glenn Miller before listening to my old World War II radio broadcast tapes of IT PAYS TO BE IGNORANT (the version with the comedy team of Tom Howard and George Shelton at the helm) while drinking lime rickeys, and I do mean it!

The Velvet Underground-LA CAVE 1968 CD (Keyhole UK); SQUEEZE CD (Kismet)

Not so surprisingly (considering how the band has been awarded supercult status for the past thirty-five years if not more) here come some Velvet Underground releases that, although not containing anything you'd even remotely say was "rare" and "crucial," just might fit into your own collection, mind and maybe even psyche nice and comfortably. Maybe not, but frankly I'd rather see my hard-begged go towards something along the lines of new Velvets disques of questionable legality than less essential items like food, shelter and of course that old standby fresh underwear. I mean, why buy all that when there are thousands of albums, singles, tapes and even Cee-Dees calling me like Sirens to a buncha sailors who haven't had any nookie for months on end!

LA CAVE 1968 is yet another issue of the infamous October '68 Cleveland gig which introduced Doug Yule to the world, and although this one has been around the block in various forms for the past thirtysome years who can deny that the people who released this really went to work on the sound quality improving it immensely from those nth generation dubs you paid $15 for back in 1979. Not that this sounds like a Windham Hill album by any stretch of the imagination (thankfully), but it does gain some clarity and cohesiveness in the process and hey, even some new trackage unheard by me via my own tape list trade has popped up making this the consumer buy of the year. And as anyone who's heard this 'un o'er the years can tell ya, the Velvets are pumping on all tubes here even though Mr. Yule had been in the band for only a good two or three days! Powerful enough that even those John Cale lovers who always thought the group took a nosedive when he left'll listen to this with rapt attention thinking to themselves that the band was just running on Cale gas fumes until the reality of Yule's presence in the organization was finally felt. They may be right, but at this point in time its like I could care less.

Believe it or not, but for all these years I have avoided listening to SQUEEZE, at least until this allegedly legit release on the Kismet label was released just recently! Yeah I was tempted to snatch this up way back '76 way considering just how much this post-Reed spin was an omnipresent import bin stuffer and that I was really wowed by the potency of LOADED, but naturally with my lack of funds it wasn't like I could indulge in every costly whim that would come before me. (Since I now have a real job I can now fulfill all of those empty teenage yearnings of mine, but a good three-plus decades later it just ain't as fun as if I had been able to splurge back when I was young with a mind as impressionable as Play Dough!) But hey, now that I've heard this sneakily packaged Doug Yule solo album all I gotta say is that it ain't as bad as the naysayers and effete rock critics made it out to be oh so long ago. Yeah it ain't anything along the lines of a "real" VU album, but Yule does a good enough job with some sly '71-period Grateful Dead musings that actually don't offend ("Dopey Joe"), Hackamore Brick-styled retro-flash ("Crash"), a sequel of sorts to "Sweet Jane" ("Jack and Jane"), some LOADED-inspired mishmosh that isn't as insulting as you'd think (forget which exact ones those are) and even this deca-glam number called "Louise" which sounds like something that the early Bearsville-period Sparks coulda worked wonders with! Once again proof that you just can't trust "rock critics" one iota like you thought you could, but then again could you ever take stock in what a geeky ass-licking gravy-train jumping big city self-important schmuck who's in the back pocket of a corrupt media and gangster-ridden industry has to say as if it ever would be intelligently thought out and true to one's soul 'stead of more churnout for twenty pieces of silver?

From one important cult group to another, this time the usually incredible MC5 recorded live in the studio for French television and elsewhere. I really woulda preferred the Skydog issue of this given their all-important stature in the punk and bootleg canon, but this recent reissue on Spain's Munster label suits just spiffy and in fact comes off like what those tracks on KICK OUT THE JAMS would have sounded like had it been a studio album. The sound is professional, and not only that but there are some additional tracks to be found here that I don't think made the tee-vee broadcast (or at least the circulating videos) which makes this a boffo bargain bonanza especially in these penny pinching times! And to show us just what kind of give-the-customer-more-than-he-asks-for kinda guys Munster are, they stuck on the first MC5 single (the '68 revised for the High Energy crowd reissued version) at the end and although you've all heard that a millyun times a millyun and one certainly will not hurt!
Various Artists-CBGB's AND THE BIRTH OF US PUNK CD (Ocho UK)

Said it before 'n I'll say it again, but these rather recent garage/punk/whatever it was being called at a certain point in time collections that have been coming out on small labels really do tickle my fancy! They all seem to come off as if somebody got the rights to a certain number of tracks and slapped 'em on a platter, and it was some outta work schlub's job to create some sort of tangentical connection outta the mess and write booklet notes tying all of the tracks together in some cohesive fashion. Surprisingly enough the results are usually stirring in a thematic way, even if most of these tunes are available somewhere in the reaches of my forty-plus-year-old record collection (well, I do consider my collection days beginning with the acquisition of the Mar-Ketts' "Batman Theme" which I won at a carnival back when I was seven even if I didn't get an honest-to-goodness record for at least another five years).

This set, purportedly having to do with the birth of the American punk rock scene and the importance of the famed NYC club CBGB in its growth and dissemination, is snatty enough even if you can tell right off the bat that the track selection is rather wobbly at best with a lotta things that don't quite fit the storyline popping up at the expense of tracks that the label probably couldn't wrangle the rights to. Still it all works out, and it even makes sense in a 1978 Greg Shaw-styled editorial way back when he was tracing the roots of late-seventies punk rock all the way to the mid-sixties garage band era thus helping to jack up the prices of albums one used to be able to score for mere pennies at any budget bin but now went for upwards of ten smackers a pop in collectors circles!

There is method in the madness even if the likes of the Seeds and Sonics weren't around for the CBGB scene and the Velvet Underground, Pere Ubu, New York Dolls, Suicide, the Heartbreakers and Wayne County were closer to the Max's Kansas City axis (and although I love the Electric Eels to the utmost they never even played a gig outside of Ohio so why slap 'em on here other'n to help fill in a line of rock evolution from the sixties garage bands to the late-seventies punks?). It's just a fun collection, a whole lot better'n the various punk history lessons that were coming outta ol' Blighty in the early-eighties, and it's programmed expertly enough that you don't mind sitting through a relative snoozer like the Dead Kennedys' "California Uber Alles" to get to the Dead Boys' "Sonic Reducer" one bit! The booklet notes even make more sense than you'd think given the high level of hackdom out there, and if there was any real fault with this 'un I'd say that it was presenting a Television track that originally appeared on their BLOW UP cassette release as a bonafeed CBGB recording. Oh well, I think I've made a few factual errors in my own scribing once or twice throughout the years...
The Fundamentalists-"A CIRCLE IS NEVER COMPLETE" cassette (Walls Flowing, contact ubgun12@yahoocom for more information)

Gee, like I am one person who doesn't miss the eighties, especially the music! So what should appear in my mailbox just the other day but a cassette (masterminded by Bob Forward of OWN THE WHOLE WORLD fame) featuring some of the more noisome bedroom "cassette culture" clank heard in a good two decades! Tell you what, between the home appliance squeaks and the manipulated Ronald Reagan State of the Union speech it was just like 1983 all over again, and considering how that year was one of the worst for me on all fronts it wasn't like I was cherishing sitting through this garble one bit. Actually the rock 'n roll-y fragments do hold my attention span for their short duration, and maybe I should console myself that this could have sounded like a true eighties abomination that could have been birthed from the fetid imagination of a J. Neo Marvin or someone of his pansypunk ilk!
Various Punks-PEBBLES VOL. 2 CD (AIP)

Twenty-year-old Cee-Dee cop of a thirty-five-year-old album that really helped expand my own rock history consciousness during a time when I thought NUGGETS was the first last and only word as far as any truthful garage band history went. Little did I know that the infamous Lenny Kaye compilation of mid-sixties proto-punkism was only the tippy top of the humongous iceberg and that albums such as the PEBBLES and BOULDERS series were merely the first steps in edjamacating us lumpen rock 'n rollers to the finer points of punk rock history! And no, it didn't all begin with Malcolm McLaren no matter how much the fraud woulda wanted us to believe so. (I mean, what do you think the real reason he had Sid Vicious and Jah Wobble splatter Nick Kent's gore all over the walls at that Sex Pistols gig? To cover his tracks, man!)

Volume two of this series was always one of my favorites. It was done up long before these collections of garage band obscurities lost their initial impact, and as far as sampling the pan-American scene it does a pretty swell job of it. I always liked the more pop-rock/Brit Invasion feel of #2 with the likes of the Choir belting out their mini-hit "It's Cold Outside" and Phil and the Frantics trying to fool everyone into thinking that their Zombies rip was their own creation. The Texas psychedelic aspect is also important from the pre-Z.Z. Top Moving Sidewalks and Zachary Thaks to Randy Alvey's "Green Fuz" each giving the Thirteenth Floor Elevators a run for the acid-damaged money. And of course who could ignore such classics as the Dovers' double-sided whammy (which proves that nasal voices were as much conduit to mid-sixties garage groups as fuzztone guitars), the Satans doing the "Can you guess my name" Rolling Stones schtick two years before BEGGARS BANQUET, and of course the Electric Prunes hawking Vox Wah-Wah Pedals! But hey, why did they ax the Litter's "I'm a Man" from this reish? Can't be due to copyright laws (as if Greg Shaw was paying attention to 'em in the first place), or maybe somebody from the group found out and threatened to bomp him a few times if he did put it on?

The bonus numbers are compatible to the entire thematic structure (such as it is), with yet another Choir side, the oft-used Avengers "Be a Caveman" and even more English rock "homages" including a keen "Tobacco Road" re-vamp. In all, this shouldn't have remained buried in the collection as long as it was, though why Shaw didn't re-publish the high-larious "A. Seltzer" liner notes from the original album is way beyond comprehension.

Most krautsters consider this fourth Guru Guru release their last "real" album, and although I haven't heard any of these Jello Biafra faves' later-on material (not counting that "reunion" three-CD set with Damo Suzuki that fortunately had a bonus disque filled with a vintage live set to cure our boredom over the other sides) I'm more than likely to take their word for it. Nothing as stark or as intense as anything from their Ohr Records period here, but this final spin for the Brain label still has a load of that left-field punch and stamina that people who consider themselves krautskateers fondly remember the band for. Some jazz spazz here and hard 'n heaviness there, and what kinda fanabla would I be by not mentioning the Eddie Cochran medley where Mani Neumaier and his co-horts rework those classic rockabilly sides in their own special way! Not one of the better platters to have come out of early/mid-seventies Germany, but a durn sight better'n most of the albums that were coming out at the time 'n you better believe it!
The Runaways-BORN TO BE BAD CD (Marilyn)

The original group from August '75, right after Kim Fowley published that infamous call to arms for a seventies girl group in the pages of BOMP and long before the actual living and breathing version of the act began inflicting El Lay clubs with their particular brand of hard metallic pop. The original trio (Joan Jett and Sandy West being joined by the soon to be axed Micki Steele) do have that El Lay street beat down pat, kinda comin' off like a cheap Sweet imitation with some bits and pieces of the Imperial Dogs and (maybe even) Atomic Kid tossed in for good measure. After hearing these romps through a variety of familiar and not-so originals and covers it's no wonder the staff of BACK DOOR MAN (or at least some of 'em) thought they saw the future of El Lay rock in the Runaways' teenage pudendal pounce!

Ra's first two from the late-fifties which won't dazzle those familiar with his more outre material but the "roots" can clearly be heard. Bop-period neo-Ellingtonian stylings abound here with only a tad trace of extraterrestrial jetstream. Just ignore the bonus vocal cuts on JOY and you'll do fine. Your (great) grandpappy might even enjoy it, so don't let him catch you listening to these lest you get the ribbing regarding how you're now listening to nice 'n wholesome music! At which point you'd do best to slip on a choice BYG or ESP side and bring it all back to reality.
Dark Sunny Land-EMANATIONS FOR A RETURNING CD (Skachimawakee, try obtaining it via

Comin' in right under the wire, here's the new release from Steven Painter a.k.a. Dark Sunny Land which, as you'd expect, is every bit as powerful as those other Dark Sunny Land and 12-Cent Donkey albums that have come out and have been ignored by people who I must admit are lesser beings than WE most definitely are! In case you were wondering, EMANATIONS FOR A RETURNING is, like Mr. Painter's other recording endeavors, stark ambient music (perhaps even in a "rock" vein) that for some not-so-strange reason reminds me of the early recordings of the infamous German duo Cluster. You don't exactly feel as if you are "floating on air" while listening to this (to use Greg Prevost's description of the early Cluster sound), but you are taken through a rather enticing aural trip that on one hand relaxes and the other creates a strangely eerie if enveloping emotional atmosphere. Listen closely and you'll even be able to discern the guitar and percussive lines amid the keyboard wash. Made for good late-evening listening last night and will most definitely be a nerve-calmer for weeks to come. Another hefty one to chalk up there, Steve, and too bad it came out so late in the year or else it might have garnered a mention in the year end wrapup. I mean, otherwise how would it look?
In the sage words of Tim Moore as George "Kingfish" Stevens, I guess that's a wrap it up I'll take it! As things usually go, 'll see ya again midweek with a little enticer then next week with something a lot more substantial. Maybe even a Christmas-themed post though after last year's big Christmas Jeer I might just link that 'un up and let you relive your own Christmas miseries as well as mine! We'll see what will transpire, but until then hang in there and don't take any wooden Santas!