Saturday, March 09, 2013

Looks as if spring-timey weather has finally hit the tri-county area which only means one thing, and that is that I'm definitely gonna be spending more time in the great outdoors getting some exercise in so's I can fit into my bermuda shorts this summer! That definitely means there's gonna be less time in front of the ol' computer for me to peck out epic posts for your own personal pleasure which is something that suits me fine but might not go down well with your reg'lar readers out there, or so I assume!

Now don't go crappin' rabbit turds yet, because I'm sure to have many an info-laden bountiful post a comin' up during these warm weather months that will surely tickle your tonsils. It's just that it ain't like I'm gonna be marooned in the house all day with nothing to do but crank out reviews. news and whatever yaz choose for you obviously starved specimens! Let's face it, there's loads more to do in life than write up blogs and pretend to be Meltzer Mk II (well, make that III) in an age that could care less about the feral qualities of music considering the ferality we face on a day-to-day basis! And although I am certainly not shirking my doodies I do feel like I have other obligations to take care of, like taking out the garbage, cleaning out the garage and getting in as much ABBOT AND COSTELLO viewing in as I can! You know, the essentials!

Got a few goodies for you, some oldsters I've been spinning as of late, a few new items to have entered into my collection thanks to the froots of my own toils (meaning I actually paid hard cash for these tea coasters!), and (now get this!) even some items that arrived in the mail GRATIS thanks to the devotion of readers such as Bill Shute, Paul McGarry, and now even Bob Forward has entered into the fray with some items he thought I should kick around and see what pops outta 'em which is good for me, but maybe not for the artists who recorded these wares oh so long ago! Anyway I will admit I hadda ball getting this post together, and maybe if you look hard enough you'll find something of worth and value here that will help you decide whether or not to purchase any of the platters in question for your own listening pleasure. Maybe you will, but I kinda doubt it. I mean, I sure ain't Christgau, and I thank myself for that fact every blinking day of my life!

SLEAZE LP (Sing Sing)

The Adverts never were my idea of a prime late-seventies English punk rock group. They just didn't have the swing, style or guttural emotive power to affect me the way some of their late-seventies brethren did, and if you can sit through any of their albums without having your mind wander towards more fruitful punkist concerns you must have sturdier hammers 'n stirrups than I could ever muster up!

Strangely enough, this pre-Adverts album by TV Smith's mid-seventies aggregation Sleaze is a way better affair'n anything the Adverts came up with. It's an interesting ref. pt. if only to show you where the guy's head was at during those pre-Sexy Pistols days and it warn't up Greg Lake's butt either! A rather unique display of proto-punk aggression with most of the numbers, although clearly focused in a New York Dolls/Stooges deca-glam direction, last almost into the double digits and display various dramatic touches that didn't quite translate into the English punk rock movement a good years or so away from fruition.

This album in fact remind me of something that would have made its way outta the very tail end of the British psychedelic scene which, come to think of it, was still being promulgated by the likes of Hawkwind, the Pink Fairies and other Ladbroke Groovers who were smart enough not to know that the scene was "over" a good four or so years earlier. It might seem a little contrived in spots, but it still packs enough angst-filled energy to set your teenage remembrances alight as if you were actually lucky enough to score one of the handfulla copies of this back when it came out '75 way!
Djin Aquarian, Sir Plastic Crimewave & the Everafter-THE HOLY BREATH OF FIRE CD-R (Kendra Steiner Editions)

Nice unexpected diversion from the Kendra Steiner Editions label, featuring two modern minds (stuck in the late-sixties West Coast scene!) performing a forty-minute dronefest that reminds me of everything from the Second Family Dog Tribal Stomp to Le Stelle di Mario Schifano on a particularly "on" night. A better comparison would be to Parson Sound at their stretchiest, and if you get the impression this is gonna sound similar to many an extended track of recent memory that tends to borrow more than a few ideas from the EPI-era VU you'd be correct as usual. Nothing that's exactly earth-shattering, but surprisingly enveloping mantras do appear before your very ears, Sahib!
Iggy and the Stooges-CALIFORNIA BLEEDING CD (Bomp!)

Remember when Bomp was tossing out their "Iguana Chronicles" series of Stooges live recordings circa the RAW POWER era with an alarming regularity? I sure do, and come to think of it I also recall some scribe in the pages of UGLY THINGS no less putting the series down via a review of WILD LOVE saying that enough was enough and that we really don't need to hear umpteen takes of "Head On" or "She Creatures of the Hollywood Hills" recorded on a cassette player strategically placed straight upside Kim Fowley's seventh wife's ass anymore. Of course I'm paraphrasing, but even I seemed to harbor the same impression if to a much lesser extent, probably because of my own spoiled brat ineptitude which was at the time begging for more early Stooge rattle instead of the RAW POWER-era raves which seemed to be over-documented at the time. As if "overdocumenting" the Stooges was some sorta heinous crime...

Now that my head is older, shinier and clearer, all I wish is that there weren't more recordings being unleashed via this series because hey, anyone with a brain pumping and a heart thinking will admit that the entire Stoogian trek 1967-1974 was one wild ride that undoubtedly epitomized what rock 'n roll was all about, what it aspired to be, and just what every kid WITH HIS HEAD ON STRAIGHT was thinking about when ideas such as music and living and taking a huge bite outta that big ass belonging to the world we all live in was the top priority in any self-respecting kid's life. And you know I'm right, of course.

CALIFORNIA BLEEDING is rock 'n roll personified even more so than THIRTEENTH FLOOR ELEVATORS LIVE was, and a whole lot more'n most of the pathetic pablum that has been passed off as the form lo these many years. It reminds me of a classic seventies bootleg what with the clips from Iggy interviews (including the famous one conducted by Dick Clark where Iggy admits that he has no morals!) stuck between tracks like they used to do on Frank Zappa boots. The sound quality goes from good audience to feh too just like a real boot, though given that I'm such a fan of the Stooges it doesn't matter. I'll listen to these things even if, like I said, they were recorded up Kim Fowley's wife's butt, or even Rodney Binghenheimer's for that matter (but not Robert Hillburn's that's for sure!).

Classic Stoogian mania abounds recorded live not only at the Whisky-Au-go-go but Bimbo's in San Fran. Nothing totally new to our ears true, but a live version of "Johanna" shows up and who among us couldn't thrill over the Paul Revere piano of "Wet My Bed" or the avant weirdness of "Open Up and Bleed" anyway? Only hope, now that the Stooges floodgates seem to be trickling little things here and there, that more of these releases come to light especially since I could really stand to hear such classics as the "Murder of the Virgin" show from Rodney's English Disco (a snap of which is presented on the back cover) not to mention an early live gig when the group's sense of structure was about as wobbly as that of the Deviants or early Suicide for that matter!
Rouge-LIVE 1976 (Captain Trip, Japan)

Surprisingly enough, whatever was hot and rollicking over in England or here inna US was even more hot and rollicking over in Japan! We all know just how bubbling under the famous Jonathan Richman "make it" line the Dolls were over here, but in Japan they were an even bigger success, not as big as Kiss were but that's only because Kiss really appealed to the Japanese sense of twisted and bizarre history. The Dolls were...well, just strange enough to appeal to some sexually confused college student in Osaka who had only enough money to purchase one album a year, and I get the feeling that he was gonna get more outta his yen with the Dolls than he was if he snatched up Kyu Sakamoto, y'know?

The Dolls were big enough not only here but in Japan to have spawned a whole bunch of able imitators, and these guys qualified as good enough Dolly boys to have sated the glam slam crowd over there whenever the hankerin' for something more than records cropped up. Now it ain't like Rouge were out 'n out Dolls clones, far from it, but they had this mid-seventies snide swagger to 'em that seemed copped from more'n a few glimpses of Johansen's pout. Thankfully they were hot and straightforward enough in a say, 1975 Los Angeles pre-punk sorta way that I'm sure that had they been located in Carson City 'stead of Tokyo they would've earned at least one slightly indifferent paragraph in BACK DOOR MAN.

The opening strains of Pink Floyd's "Sisyphus" giving way to Alice Cooper's "Titanic Overture" seem foreboding enough, and from there Rouge get into a decent enough groove that's part Stones, a little Stooges, a touch of Aerosmith and a whole lotta Dolls as they romp through songs with translated titles like "Magic Lady," "Honky Tonk Roller Star," "New York Baby" and of course "Heavy Mama." There's even a cover of :Johnny B. Goode" tossed in, and of course it's done up in that over-amped hard rock way that never did work with most seventies self-centered, self-important rock types but it comes off mildly amusing here.

Nothing that would wow the rubes here in post-rock Ameriga true, but in 1975 Japan I'm sure that more'n a few starved for rock youth would line up to see the group romp through a set complete with someone in an Easter Bunny costume dancing onstage like the group's very own Frankenstein. And come to think of it, I'd sure wait a good hour in line too, because if I were in Japan I'd rather see Rouge than a buncha overweight Sumo wrestlers passing gas while wearing nothing but bulky jockstraps!

Archie Shepp and Dollar Brand-DUET CD-R burn (Denon, Japan)

This '78 set featuring onetime free jazz forerunner Archie Shepp and South African pianist Dollar Brand proves, if anything, that Shepp was already reaching his nadir by the time these numbers were being laid down a good decade after reaching his fire music climax. Now Brand is fine and all in his own post-post Ellington fashion, but Sheep sounds so weak and held back, with little of his Coltrane-induced vision evident in such a setting. Now I must admit that I really don't care for many of Shepp's post-mid-seventies outings where he forsakes the avant garde of his Impluse and BYG days for a more traditional romp, but this one seems like total denouement. Stick with THE MAGIC OF JU JU and avoid unless you happen to get particularly hungry.

A nicety (sent my way by Paul McGarry) of the later-on Groovies sounding very "will '75 be their year?" a good twelve years after Greg Shaw made a fool of himself predicting great things for this long-lived San Franciscan band. Well, I can't think of any other cause to stand up proudly for in this rock 'n roll world, and its too bad for us that Shaw was wrong this time and '75 ended up being the Eagles' year instead! Sound quality may seem too late-seventies hand-held portable smuggled into the concrete venue for your liking, but it still holds up if you're a manic Groovies fan and do ya really need good sound quality to listen to rock 'n roll in the first place?
Brett Smiley-BREATHLESSLY BRETT CD-R burn (originally on RPM)

I originally heard about Smiley via Brian Sands, who told me that not only was he a fan of, but that he was actually in touch with this by-then (1980) forgotten glam rock guy and was planning on releasing a single of Smiley's for the Bizart label. Dunno if that ever came out but if it did boy, would that have been a really neat li'l artifact of early-eighties post-glam slam for alla us Clevo fanatics to have in our collections!

Of course it also would have been way outta time since Smiley's fey glitter pop was more of a 1972-1975 phenomenon, as is evidenced by his debut album from '74. It's a real neat piece too, full of swishy overproduced pop numbers that on one hand would have fit in swell with the confused nature of teenage boydom seventies-style, yet on the other would most definitely get buried under all of the other swishy overproduced pop numbers that were being tossed at us during those days when we hadda hide any refs to glambisexuality from our parents lest they lock us in a closet for the next twenny years!

Some of it reminds me of Sparks, especially Smiley's cover of the Beatles classic "I Want To Hold Your Hand" which Sparks covered in a more "Stereo 99" fashion the following year, not to mention a medley of "I Can't Help Myself"/"Over The Rainbow" which somehow reminded me of Sands' old group Milk doing their own "Getting to Know You"/"Whistle a Happy Tune" medley! If you're up for whimsy such as that (and I sure am, as long as the whimsy is good enough!) this might be a forgotten classic for you!

For more on Smiley, there's a thorough interview with him in the WIRED UP book I wrote up a few weeks back. For a nice peek at a side of glam/slam/proto-punk/bubblegum you probably haven't seen (or shut out of your mind) you can't ignore a book such as this, already #1 on my toilet reads and that's even when I'm doing #2 as well!
The Bryan Ferry Orchestra-THE JAZZ AGE CD-R burn (originally on BMG Rights Management)

Sheesh the gimmix they keep comin' up with! Bryan Ferry gets his old songs done up like twenties 78's, complete with a flat sound guaranteed to back the funniest of your silent movie comedies. As a joke it's good enough as a one-off spin I guess, but I can't see anybody really wanting to play it a second time. What's next, Eno's ambient recordings done up as test pattern tones?
Various Artists-NOWHERE TO RUN, BUT AWAY (original 60's local garage band singles from various MP3 blogs, compiled by Bill Shute) CD-R

Since I haven't been tuning into any of my vast assortment of sixties garage band collections lately this one is certainly a godsend, or at least a Bill Shutesend. Nothing spectacular here, but this does contain more than a few good enough rehashes of various Beatle and surf forms done by guys who probably got kicked outta their high school audio/visual clubs for being too square. Highlights include The Webs' instrumental version of "Blue Skies" (forget the flipster "Lost [Cricket in my Ear]"), Mr. Roberts and the Rhodesmen's version of "My Little Red Book," and The Shoremen's simplistic and definitely knotty pine 1965 Saturday evening family get together party-favorable tribute entitled "Dance USA."
The Group-LIVE CD-R (originally on NoBusiness Records, Lithuania)

This 'n the following one were sent to me by Bob Forward. I don't know why, but I will say that Bob certainly had enough good taste to at least think of me in a positive way by sending me this instead of Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers. The Group were a little-known free jazz outfit consisting of Ahmed Abdullah on trumpet and flugelhorn, Marion Brown on alto sax, Billy Bang on violin, Sirone and/or Fred Hopkins on bass, and Andrew Cyrille on drums, and with a line-up like that you can bet this ain't gonna be some fiddle-faddle light lounge-y sorta affair that's so popular among those "jazz" fans you see nowadays. Bang's playing is always top notch nerve-exposing, while Brown is one guy who shoulda been given the royal Coltrane/Coleman treatment but never did. Of course the rest of The Group ain't no slouches either from Abdullah's neo-AACM stylings to the double bass threat of Hopkins and Sirone, both big players on the seventies loft and related scenes. Can't find any fault with this 'un (other'n they coulda screeched it up a little bit more), but I just know some nitpicker out there would. If so, well do write in because I like to feel superior once in awhile, y'know?

Concrete Rubber Band-RISEN SAVIOR CD-R (New Music-Green Tree Germany)

Uh Bob, you are kidding now, aren't you? I mean, these Christian rock albums never were the best in music listening pleasure. And the fact that the group consists of two keyboardists (who I believe are brother and sister) monkeying around with their new electronic gear making bloops and bleeps that even Tangerine Dream woulda left on the cutting room floor doesn't make it any better now, does it? Really Bob, you thought that I'd actually go for this amateur hour mewling? Well YEAH I do, but only in small doses (even with the Sun Ra-esque instrumental) because sometimes the melodies are entertaining enough and the overly-devout lyrics could be much worse. Another amusing self-produced effort you probably passed up in a flea market bin back in 1986.
SHEESH, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE of this dream I had last week where I was being bombarded with memories regarding Andy Warhol's 1972 efforts to reform the Velvet Underground with the Reed/Cale/Morrison/Tucker lineup (no Nico in sight!) being augmented not only by the addition of David Bowie as a full-fledged member but by Warhol himself on rhythm guitar (and rhythm guitar only as was expressly stated in my dream)! You may think it strange, but I'm more'n anxious to hear this grouping, or any variation thereof, myself! More information as my dreams develop.
IN CLOSING, here's something that I found, via youtube,  that I just naturally had to show ya considerin' how it seems to fit in with my own pre-school sense of television and nervous agitation! It's a rather keen "recreation" of what a nuclear emergency might have come off as on a local (Springfield Ohio) television station during the otherwise halcyon days of 1962, and considering the general accuracy that the guy who created this put into that long-gone early/mid-sixties tee-vee feeling complete with the old-styled announcing and station graphics*, all I gotta say is boy does this 'un dredge up the old memories! Of  course them memories may not be as happy as many of us would like to remember 'em to be, because when I watch this I certainly do flash back to when I was three/four and, while watching a cartoon or whatever on afternoon tee-vee, all of a sudden that Civil Defense logo would unexpectedly pop up on the screen and scare the bejabbers outta me! The ear-piercing tone would naturally heighten the fright levels even more to the point where if I wasn't able to escape to another room in a relatively short amount of time a pant-moistening occurrence was bound to happen at my expense!

I remember once when I was laying on the couch with either a nosebleed or a throbbing headache and was told not to get up, and a conelrad test suddenly popped onto the screen and boy did I have to suffer through it because of my mother's direct orders!!! There I was on the couch quivering in fear as that tone ripped through my entire being, although I will admit that my own piercing screams probably drowned the tone being emitted from the television speaker! Yes, even the remotest thought of instant annihilation was enough to make this preschooler quiver in uncontrollable fear, and even a good half-century later I can recall those panic attacks and fears of instant zilch almost as if it all happened yesterday!

Anyway, if you too want to re-live those bomb-filled days of potential annihilation (and experience a li'l bitta them kiddie creepies) here's your chance to get to the source of your own youthful nightmares about the big one that everybody said was about to come. And considering how life eventually turned out too bad it didn't...


*now, I will admit that I did spot a few comparatively minor inaccuracies, other than the fact that channel 26 wasn't even on the air during the spring of '62 which the creator of this video freely admits! For example, PASSWORD was in actuality broadcast at two in the afternoon 'stead of noon (well, it coulda been a delayed broadcast from the previous day), the word "recycle" as used in the movie promo was more of a seventies construct, any afternoon movie program on a local CBS affiliate would have more likely started at four-thirty in the afternoon instead of four as advertised because that's when the network feed yielded to local programming and the news announcer is giving a report on the 1963, not 1962 Academy Award ceremony (whew!). Of course some stations did preempt these local feeds so they could milk more local dollars out of advertisers but would you expect a quibbler such as I NOT  to mention this little fact, as well as the puzzling question as to why CBS didn't break in with a bulletin themselves and left the dastardly deed to their local affiliates unless they were somehow blown to smithereens by the sneak attack! Whatever, this one sure brought back enough memories, pleasant as well as frightening, to the point where I could use an entire broadcast day complete with local programming recreations and station ID slides, local and national commercials, sign on/off national anthems...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

brett smiley and sleaze are great.

The bromley contingent circa75-76 were big fans of brett smiley.They had posters of brett hanging on their walls.

Speaking of SLEAZE, the last song of their album woud be re-recorded for the 1st adverts lp .The advets song is called " newboys."

looking forward to hearing those new stuff coming soon or later this year.

Henry flynt;double lp 1975-1980

sleepers.e.p 1978 reissue

jook:lp on sing sing glam-punkster

Liquid diamonds.7" sonny vincent's band circa 1972

And ATHANOR lp has just been reissued .so fantastic.If you like creme soda,rockin'horse,the only ones... Athanor were from chicago.And they released 3 singles on their own between 1973 and 1976.