Saturday, May 31, 2014

Yeah, another week another post, and I gotta admit that it sure seems strange watching the days whiz on here at BLOG TO COMM central. Sheesh, it feels as if only a few short weeks ago we were suffering under the spell of one of the lousiest winters since 1977 (which wasn't that lousy since we gotta miss a whole lotta school because of it!) and now summertime is peeking at us from just around the corner just ready to shed some hot sunrays and humid day tornado warnings on us just like they did when we wuz all kids! As Shemp Howard said when he busted that guy's watch at the baseball game "how time flies", and when you get older and crotchety-er like me it sure flies by faster and faster until the point where life becomes nothing but one big blur that only ends once you hit the Big Jackpot, probably due to the fact that some guy at the Old Fogy's Home you'll undoubtedly be staying at hitched up a bag of Root Beer syrup to your dripper by mistake. I do get the feeling that in a relatively short time I'm gonna be devoting posts to changing colostomy bags, but for now we'll keep it nice'n non-geriatric, OK?
BLOG TO COMM HERO OF THE YEAR---ELLIOT RODGER!!! No need to wait until December 31st to announce this 'un, and yeah I know what you're thinking, like wotta loser richkid spoiled brat who couldn't get any action even though his father was a hotshot Hollyweird director with all of the socially gosharoonie benefits that go along with that! 'n yup, I know that Rodger was a guy who had to get his thrills stabbing and shooting and running over people in his BMW while making even more rambling than a BLOG TO COMM post bizzaroid threats for all the world to see posthumously, but REALLY, how can alla you outer'n the outkid types in yer schooldayze not empathize with a guy who was so pent up with that infamous teenbo disease testicallus bleuballus to the point where he went out and done just what the rest of you sure woulda liked to have done during your young 'n tender years! I can see it in your eyes (and your correspondence) and your general attitudes towards the so-called "weaker" (hah!) too would've wanted to brutally off all 'em blonde sluts in typing class who wouldn't give you the mouth organ treatment even when they were blitzed outta their minds at those high school get together they used to call parties! And frankly, I can empathize with you because hey, it's always been a rough goin' for us front 'n center rockists out there who always seemed to have an incurable BO of the spiritual kind, and I only hope that the actions of Rodger spurs you readers on to even greater heights of give 'em hell mayhem!

Hey, them modern day wymyn types (the kind that shut Rodger, and probably YOU, down) really do deserve all the bloody justice they deserve what with the way they ruined male/femme relationships for what seems like good with their feminist-approved sluttiness! And besides, it's sure fun watching the usual watchdog types use these tragedies to pump up their favorite causes whether it be regarding the kultur's inherent misogyny or gun control or even the fact that Rodger is the resultant spew of miscegenation even if he does look more like your typical Eastern European Slav type the kind you see working at the local pirogy palace! Whatever, here's to you Mr. Rodger, and I'd have a plaque for you to pick up but why bother, because how in heaven's name are you gonna be able to pick it up?
AND WHILE I'M AT IT---r.i.p. Maya Angelou, who proved that all you hadda do to get your dull and lifeless poetry noticed was change your name to somethin' foreign sounding and the snob types who read THE NEW YORKER'll beat a path to your door faster'n you can say "We shall overcome!" Still marveling at her deeply moving Clinton inauguration poem "River, Rock, Tree"...or was that "Paper, Rock, Scissors"??? Well, it wasn't anything like my all-time fave "Milk, Milk, Lemonade" that's for sure!
Anyhow, here are the writeups for this weekend which I know you will adore not only because of the selection of engaging and emotion-packed produce I picked outta my garden of musical delights, but because some of these platters were not given to me gratis...meaning I actually PAID for them mothers and in a way boy am I glad I did it! Now, I sure do appreciate the burns that the likes of Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and Tom Gilmore have been floating my way, but when I actually send some of my hard-begged to either Forced Exposure Mailorder or an ebay dealer for some soon-to-be-rare piece of plastic I must say that I do have this potent pride burning in my system, like I accomplished something good with my money 'stead of spend it on unnecessary things like food or taxes. Anyway, the following items are what more or less have been tingling my inner workings as of this past week, and who knows, maybe they have been doing the same for you too!

Kenneth Anger/Brian Butler-TECHNICOLOR SKULL one-sided LP (The ANJA Offensive)

Really, I didn't know what to expect from legendary underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger's new audio/visual product, but this one's surprisingly good especially for a disque recorded by someone who's old enough to be your (great) grandfather! Along with the talents of former Von Lmo collaborator Brian Butler, Anger has created a wild electronic music that merges old technology (the theremin) with the new (samplers) making for a sound that is as terrifying as it is inspiring with its sine wave sonatas interrupted by the crashing of mad drums, otherworldly shards of sheet metal storms and other ethereal vibrations that conjure everything from Pere Ubu's "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" to METAL MACHINE MUSIC in its beautiful terror.

Listen for a bit of Jagger's DEMON BROTHER soundtrack at the start which naturally gets your ready for what's in store within these red-vinyled grooves. As far as any recent electronic music I've heard being made in the here and now goes, this one leaves the competition (even the stuff I LOVE!) far behind in its deep intensity and ability to conjure up various 20th Century accomplishments as a template for what I hope the next hundred years will bring to fruition music-wise (but I doubt it). A must-find, though hurry up because supplies are limited.

True the presence of Dana Gillespie, Thundermug and Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters might point to the fact that this sampler of early-seventies glam rockers ain't as obscuro as one might wish, but this album's worth of (mostly) European single sides sure does make for a fine sit-down listening experience in the GLITTERBEST tradition. And hey, the familiar acts do fit in swell with the various obscurities by the likes of Gumbo and Nils to the point where it all has the same effect on you that it would have on some dumpy high school chubboid of a gal who'd be listening to these numbers in between reading copies of ROCK SCENE and pricking bloody boils that have popped up on her thighs. If you've been reading about acts like Bearded Lady, Mabel and Heart (not the Wilson sisters!) online and wanted to know what they sounded like, do I need to tell you any more???
Loose Heart-"Alone"/"Hot As The Sun"/"1000 Dreams" 7-inch 45 rpm EP (Danger Records, France)

After reading the "punk rock" issue of ROCK NEWS once again I was spurred on to see if there were any recordings by the long forgotten French group Strike Up available for mass consumption. Haven't been able to find anything by that group yet but I was able to latch onto this spin-off which not only features Strike Up's guitarist Pierre Goddard but once and future Angel Face bassist Pascal Regoli and Herve Zenouda (he being ex-Strike Up, Angel Face and future Stinky Toys) on drums.

It's every bit as violent as you woulda guessed what with the manic FUN HOUSE-period Stooges pace and the hard-edged super-intense performance that reflects more of that down 'n drivin' French punk attitude than it does the comparatively restrained and copycat English vision. Think Skydog Records and you'll be on the right rue de excitement. Its archival digs like this that make me feel like I'm forty again!
 Natural Child-DANCIN' WITH WOLVES CD-r burn (originally on Burger)

A McGarry send that had me wond'rin'...why would the guy wanna even listen to an act with the name Natural Child inna first place? Judging from this choice undoubtedly Paul must've been spendin' a li'l too much time on Boone's Farm if you know what I mean. But really, these guys are good, sounding like top-notch late-sixties/early-seventies country rock done good (meaning more Gram Parsons and less Eagles) with maybe a tad bit of Kama Sutra-period Flamin' Groovies tossed in for good measure. Good choice of disques you got here Paul, though with a cover like that I was thinkin' this was gonna be another seventies-styled NEW ZOO REVUE knockoff!
John Coltrane-COLTRANE LIVE AT BIRDLAND CD-r burn (originally on Impulse)

Yeah it ain't as life-reaffirming as Ornette nor as psychotic as Ayler or as free splat as the early Art Ensemble of Chicago, but this live sesh (not to mention the additional studio tracks which were added on for whatever reason) does hold its own in a field of Coltrane platters that were comin' out at almost as fast a rate as those Miles Davis ones. Downright introspective at times, though lacking the fire that Coltrane would eventually unleash on his mid-sixties platters. If you're new to the man, hit ASCENSION first and save this for those well-honed moments.

I was gonna review this 'un along with a whole batch of recently reaped Cage-and-related platters that I happened to get via Forced Exposure. I was but hey, right now I am not inna mood to peck out any long-winded writeups based on a gaggle of similar-minded spinners if only for the fact that---well, it reminds me too much of "school" and this being the time of year when school lets out for the summer why exert myself? Besides, I already did a term paper on electronic music during my sophomoric days in high stool and you know just how much I'm still smarting over that 'un...y'know, the "Sien Ra" 'stead of "Sun Ra" goof up that was the resultof my sister transcribing my scribbles to type and I'll bet that stuff never happened to Nick Kent no matter how drug-induced his penmanship might have gotten during the throes of opiate addiction!

These are all-new renditions which really don't have the same aura those original recordings did, but if you don't have the Mainstream albums and can't get hold of Cathy Berberian wrapping her tonsils around "Fontana Mix with Aria" this effort will do. Some new to my ears tracks such as "Imaginary Landscape No. 5" show up, and this 'un even has the premier recording of the long-forgotten "WBAI" (named after the infamous Pacifica station in En Why See where Cage first realized what I always thought was a tape) which I know you'll wanna hear at least once. Vibrant enough to joggle those oft-dormant memories of a teendom where experimental free sound like this was considered a mighty appealing form of artzy expression, at least to this ADD-riddled specimen!
THE VISITORS CD-r burn (originally on Chinese Takeaway, Australia)

Haven't spun this 'un in an age or two, so it was plumb nice that Paul McGarry'd send me a burn of this late-eighties post-Birdman spinoff just to remind me of what all the hubbub was about a good thirtysome years ago. At its worst just anudder Doors ripoff the kind that's been heard from here to Montana and back, but at its best pretty catchy hard rock that sounds like it came straight off the table of a 1979 flea market stack o' platters, and for a mere quarter at that. Pick of the platter: elpee closer "Disperse" which actually takes elements of Rocket From The Tombs' "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" and Roxy Music's "The Pride and the Pain" and makes 'em work without you wanting to puke your guts out.
Telly Savalas-WHO LOVES YA BABY? CD-r burn (originally on MCA)

This 'un was obviously recorded back when men still had balls, because frankly in today's harpie-run emasculated kultur who'd dare release an album like this? Savalas and his masculine crooning's actually a refreshing change from the usual pop slop even with the occasional dated disco drek because hey, has there been any proud 'n upfront celebration of the male gender complete with some nifty e-z listening schmoozers made these past three or so decades??? True the guy ain't no Tony Rolletti and he shoulda taken a few more lessons before hitting the recording studio, but gosh if I didn't get that same fifties fun and jamz feeling from listening to "The Men in my Little Girl's Life" which really does evoke a time and place that's never gonna come back no matter how much Hai Karate you splash on yourself. A nice reminder of the good ol' male/female relationship before those Andrea Dworkin types began telling us "up" is "down" and most of us guys have been "down" ever since, if you know what I mean...
Various Artists-SASSY SUNNYDAY DELUSION CD-r (courtesy Bill Shute)

Unlike most if not all of Bill's previous collections, this one at least attempts a thematic form, this 'un being late-sixties psychedelic pop of both an Amerigan and English bent. These tracks are best exemplified by the inclusions of worthy if definitely non-Norton approved numbers by the likes of Masters of Stonehenge, the Fruit Machine and  PERFUMED GARDEN faves Mandrake Paddle Streamer. (I have a particular hankerin' for Felius Andromeda's "Cheaple Heath Delusions".) But when you're getting settled into the multicolored lava lamp sounds therein all of a sudden Bill switches gears on ya and tosses in interesting soul s tirrers like the Percells' "Hully Gully Guitar" or Roscoe Weathers' "Penny Whistle Montuna". A typically good in the Shute tradition selection of long-ignored rarities, even if it made me wanna don one of those kerchiefs like Fred used to wear on the Scooby Doo show.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! 79 AD starring Brad Harris (1962)

Not as snoozaroonie as I thought it was gonna be, but sheesh when I was watching it didn't I once again flash back to the seventies watching some Sunday afternoon moom pitcher slot not only outta boredom, but to keep in touch with the latest on that tornado that was spotted in New Castle, known in these parts as tornado alley.

Musclebound expat Brad Harris stars in this dago feature that has something to do with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Or something like that because the infamous mount doesn't do the spurt-spurt until the final five or so minutes in this film and like, ya kinda wonder whar took it so long in typical Aunt Jemima fashion! The rest of the thing has to do a lot with local governmental intrigue, warring factions fighting for and against the emperor and the rise of Christianity alongside things that I might have missed out on during the weather updates . Actually it's kind of a hodgepodge of a film, but it does keep up the pace with an occasional fight of some kind, lotsa stabbings and Beaver will be happy to know that there are hardly any slobbering scenes in it at all.

Nice ebb and tide at least to the point where you can go take a leak during a slower part in the film and not miss much. Also's got a great chemistry between the actors (some may poo-poo the thespian abilities of the people involved, but then again they never saw the fourth grade play we wee-peens hadda put on!) and nothing that'll make ya wanna upchuck like CALIGULA did. There's even a mass crucifixion scene that doesn't have everybody singing "Look on the Bright Side of Life" although you wonder why its taking so long for everyone to die.

However I know that if (dredging up anudder BEAVER fave) Eddie Haskell saw it, that student of history would be checking the thing out for inaccuracies all over the place! And yeah, I know you coulda done better watching CHAMPIONSHIP BOWLING on the other station, but that channel never was that good with the alarming weather break-ins now, were they???

Sunday, May 25, 2014

AND if you thought last week's post was thinner than a book on Frenchmen who don't mind if you mangle their mother tongue, wait 'til you see THIS one! Well, it is what I would call "hokay" given that I got hold of some pretty spicy slabs to write about this week, but then again I'd sure like to unleash something a li'l meatier on you, like one of my top notch interviews with somebody who only means something to me and his mother alone, or maybe one of my specials regarding rare fanzines, bootlegs, television series and other forgotten forms of long-gone fun 'n jamz. I will admit that I do have some funtime fanablaisms in the works, but they're still in whatcha'd call the "gestation" stage and at this point in time who knows whether they're gonna make it to fruition or get the partial-birth treatment! Keep your fingers and any other pertinent digits crossed for some neet surprises down the line, but for now it's gonna be rekkid reviews and rekkid reviews ONLY!!!

Armand Schaubroeck Steals-GOD MADE THE BLUES TO KILL ME 10-inch 33 rpm single + CD (Mirror Records)

Gee, I didn't know what to expect. I mean, although I really dig those early/mid-sixties singles Schaubroeck did I gotta 'fess up to the fact that I really never could make my way through those seventies albums of his (or at least the one I latched onto) with any ease, especially that one where he goes to prison 'n all. But this thing is incredible especially when you consider it was recorded by a septuagenarian who still sounds like he's a horny sixteen year old hoping to score on the basis of this very disque!

Both sides are the same (albeit with different mixes if that matters to you) but boy what sides they are, with Schaubroeck rattling off this Vietnam odyssey filtered through frayed nerve sixties conscious that makes "American Pie" sound like MAD magazine, and to a hard whiteguy blues riff at that! The best thing about it is that for once this doesn't sound like it was being cranked by the usual leather-fringed droopy mustached types you usually hear doin' the blues these days.

Pretty downright intense crank that'll get more'n the hair on your neck standin' on end, and a solid driver that (both musically and lyrically) maybe goes to show ya that there still is some mighty intense bluesy music being made today if you only know where to snoop it all out. Even comes with a Cee Dee of the exact same rattle in case you're one of them modern snob types who hates vinyl.
Various Artists-PUNK 45 (SICK ON YOU! ONE WAY SPIT!) CD (Soul Jazz England)

Even though they're mostly money wasters, I gotta admit that I really like these punk collections that have been coming out faster'n a scab outbreak on a lint-headed mid-South inbred these past few years. Sure ya already have most if not all of the material available on 'em in one form or another (and had it for YEARS), but these platters are programmed just right for a nightly spin to go along with your inspirational readings of  RICHIE RICH, and no matter how many times I give these once-obscuros a spin I gotta admit they sound just as fresh and as life-reaffirming as the time I first gave 'em a whirl back when I was younger, and therefore more apt to be taken in by just about anything that passed by my suburban slob fun 'n games detector.

This volume of Soul Jazz's recent punk-era 45 collections is no exception. Concentrating on the "proto punk" years (meaning the days when those acts that were getting corralled into the p-rock genre long before the hippoids at ROLLING STONE were forced to notice 'n act like they were in on the game all along), ONE WAY SPIT's got some of the choicest trackage of the era available within 77 minutes of run time. From the opening track on the wowzer Debris album to the Electric Eels, Mirrors, George Brigman (!), Jack Ruby (!!!) and other Amerigan under-the-counterculture wonders, just about every reason for your being swooned and swayed by the oncoming high energy bandwagon of the seventies can be found on this mere shiny pancake of a compact disque!

There are even some English (and other) faves to be found like the Count Bishops and 101'ers, and yeah the Hollywood Brats, Death and Hammersmith Gorillas inclusions have appeared on a whole lotta other punk rock outings but hey, if the song's good I don't care even if the space coulda been used to promulgate the punk credo of some other mid-seventies worthies like Umela Hmota or Stud Leather who could use the notoriety and the $$$ for that matter.

Noted fru fru Jon Savage did the booklet notes and they read about as good as you would expect from just about any ex-eighties UK weekly writer, and even if the info divulged ain't exactly hot off the press it ain't like you're gonna be throwing the booklet away any day soon. So what'll it be tonight, PUNK 45 or turning on the tee-vee to watch Ellen Degeneris pretend she can dance???
Rockpile-LIVE AT ROCKPALAST CD-r burn (originally on Repertoire, Germany)

Sheesh, do I remember when the whole Dave Edmunds/Nick Lowe circuit of post-pub rockabloozy was considered too far out for the typical AM/FM-bred teenage boxboy/burnout/"rock music" fans of the late-seventies to handle! Fuh-knee, because at the time the likes of Nick Lowe 'n Elvis Costello were shocking the hippie sensibilities out there I was more or less wont to spend my evening hours spinning everything from the likes of Pere Ubu's THE MODERN DANCE to Xenakis' ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC MUSIC, sounds that you'd think woulda made the entire Stiff Records catalog sound rather radio-dolt friendly in comparison! But whatever, listening to these rather smooth yet toe-tappin' tracks by the old Rockpile band does bring back memories of the old me vs. them battles as to what was rockism proper, and we all know who won out in the long run, right? THEM, because hey---did anything even remotely high-energy either of a rock, jazz or avant garde mentality ever make it either in the commercial or aesthetic sense here in the Pantsios-riddled North Coast area, even in the slightest? Ya gotta remember, back when the Styrene Money Band hadda walk home after one of their under-attended gigs doofs like the Wild Horses were getting alla the choice gigs and hefty coverage in the local music press. And thirtysome years later we know whose music holds up much better now, don't we?????

So give a listen to what the smarter goombahs were listening to while everyone else was phoning into WMMS to hear the umpteenth playing of "Almost Cut My Hair". Smooth and commercial true, yet gnarly enough to get the usual laid backs all in a huff about that wicked punk stuff. Familiar stuff like Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts" and "I Knew the Bride" intermingle with oldies and rehashes, and when you think back as to what there was out there that was supposed to speak for you as a member of the Now Generation maybe it wasn't as staid as you eventually kidded yourself that it was, at least until the whole era fizzled out into MTV gush a few years later.
The Soda Pop Kids-TEEN BOP DREAM CD-r burn (originally on Full Breach Kicks)

Hey, a moderne-day group that sounds like one of the many New York Dolls knockoffs that were bopping about back inna mid-to-late seventies! Only the Soda Pop Kids sound less decadent than the Frenchies, and straighter than Wayne County, and healthier than the Magic Tramps, and more hygienic than the Hollywood Brats and Teenage Lust combined! If someone were to tell me that this one got played at Rodney's English Disco on a regular rotation I'd believe it! Tough guy lead vocals a la Johansen backed by tough glam rock pout pounce in the best Sweet/Slade tradition (not to mention some darn good girly background vocals straight outta the Shangri Las school of pouty emote) and the fact that this was born and bred in the twenty-first century certainly does give me some hope for the future of this dreary thing we call a planet. And the strangest thing of all is that I don't think Kim Fowley had a thing to do with it at all!
Craig Leon-NOMMOS CD-r burn (originally on Takoma, then Superior Viaduct records)

Bizarro platter from famous new wave producer Leon, here sounding like the missing link between Suicide and Philip Glass or better yet the mid-seventies synthesizer sounds that were suddenly beginning to invade the sanctity of our living rooms after Walter (now Wendy) Carlos popularized electronics via SWITCHED ON BACH. It's a surprise that John Fahey's Takoma label would have released this '81 platter given just how un-Faheyesque it may be, but I'm sure stranger things have happened considering the alleged mental instability of the famed guitarist.

Actually the strangest thing that happened to me while listening to this 'un was that, during the non-beat-box dominated tracks that start NOMMOS off, I was reminded as to how I'd spend these ennui-laden nights watching none other than AVIATION WEATHER and the CAPTIONED ABC NEWS on late-night PBS soaking up the electronic sounds that would play during the commercial breaks on the latter, wondering whether or not to check out the late movie on channel 17 (usually some mid-thirties British import) or hit the hay feeling extremely passed over by life as well as by my benefactors who really didn't know any better even though I do think they tried. But maybe it was the diet Shasta that did it. Whatever, thanks for the warm 'n fuzzy memories Craig!
Deniz Tek-DETROIT CD-r (originally on Citadel, Australia)

Yeah it ain't as good as them mid-eighties Tek-related singles (which gave me about as much hope for a rockism future as those mid-seventies singles did!), but the man sure can pump out the rock 'n roll a whole lot harder'n most anyone else these days. A bit commercial in spots, but still evocative of past triumphs enough to make me realize exactly why more'n a few turdburgers were scraping up hard-begged for an Au Go Go order back when those Detroit by the way of Sydney platters were capturing the imaginations of more'n a few rock fans who were kinda upset that the 1964-1981 underground seasons hadda end on such a sour note as they did! And if you can come up with a better run on sentence filled with such a heartbreaking panache as that please email it to me immediately!
Various Artists-SUNSHINE, SHADOW AND SEAWEED Cd-r burn (compiled by Bill Shute)

It's definitely old acetates at home week here at BLOG TO COMM, what with Bill sending me this disque of mostly unreleased rarities of an easily worn down status not to mention some other items that just might have stayed stuck in the pre-release mode'n never made it to the direct-to-garage sale market. Some of the things here are whatcha'd call fairly recognizable among serious collectors of the form (ain't Jimmy Campbell the same guy who had a pregnant clown on the cover of his oft-espied Vertigo album entitled HALF BAKED?) while acts like Schibbinz and Five Steps Beyond display a nice late-sixties sorta Beatle-pop that shoulda gotten out to a wider array of listeners than their family and friends! The Elite Boys were good enough white soul, while the Orange Seaweed sound like something you'd've known that yer typical Britophile would have upped toffee nose at for the upcoming Yes album, or something like that...they're that good!

The rest is palatable enough for this lazy Sunday afternoon 'n all, but Bill, I'm surprised at you! No honky tonk deep fried Southern hillbilly twang to be heard at all! Whazzamaddawitchaboy?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Dunno how this obscurity got lost in the vast array of CREATURES ON THE LOOSE and LITTLE LOTTAs that clutter up my bedroom, but better late'n never for this high priced (five bucks!) info/entertainment-packed comic book that's bound to be one of the best reads between 32 and 100 pages around. And what's more, there ain't any ads for finishing high school or selling GRIT to be found anywhere in its pages, (though the ads that do exist expired November 9, 1963 which I know must have been a grand day in my life even if I can't remember how many times I moved my bowels that very day).

Yep, it's the whole KICKS/NORTON RECORDS story done up comic style and pretty nattily at that which would figure since hey, why not do a comic book about the real prime movers and shakers in rockism while those other hippie rock comic book types re-tell the Beatles story for the zillionth time? And really, isn't it wonderful that a comic book version of the whole KICKS story with Billy Miller and Miriam Linna along with their many pals even exists in the first place? You gotta admit that things really are getting strange around here when such underneath-the-underground pillars of pure rockist desire (distilled into nice flashy vinyl and even Cee-Dees at times!) as these two become the subject of their own comic book...its almost as if they're acting as the Crypt Keeper and Old Witch for the music set now, ain't it?

But whatever the ghastly case may be, the book is done in whatcha'd call an "underground" fashion (frankly I woulda preferred something more befitting, like the mid-sixties DC house style) by an Ari Spivak who's pretty good even if his Ricky Nelson and Richard Nixon don't look anything like the real deal. But hey, who cares since the rock tales (all true!) that are being spewed forth in the comic are just as exciting and as nerve-tingling as it was reading the old KICKS fanzine or listening to the myriad asst. of Norton platters, or settling down in front of your tee-vee to watch REAL McCOYS reruns while everybody else was shaking their rump to the funk 'n like, you knew you were the avant garde one even when you were fourteen and you didn't even know what avant garde was!

Nice seeing a lotta the long-bantered about stories that B&M have been spewing for ages get visualized, like the one about the time Billy and famed flaming voolah Esquirita met up with none other'n Al Sharpton and the latter two got in a heated argument as to who knew James Brown best! (Again Spivak's Sharpton ain't the bulbous butter-haired eighties figure who was always standing next to Tawana Brawley on the evening nooze, but maybe he didn't wanna tear open old race-baiting wounds or something.) Folks we've first read about in KICKS  come alive right before your floater-filled eyes as the sagas are once again trotted out for those of us who thought that it was no later than '68 when the big beat died for sure, and not a second later!

Really, all of your faveraves who made the Norton roster in one way or another are here from Iggy and Johnny Thunders in their peen-age pre-fame combos, to those once-obscure rockabilly guys whom you probably thought Ron Weiser had invented in the fertle reaches of his awopbopaloola mind. Even some surprise sagas pop up such as the one recounted in Kim Fowley's LORD OF GARBAGE where none other'n Sky Saxon snuck up behind a dancing Fowley at some Las Vegas sixties a-go-go romp and knocked him silly before jumping on-stage with the A Bones to rant some timely Christmas poesy! Gene Vincent even gets a whole page to himself, while Jack Starr rates two whole panels! Roky Erickson one!!! Screamin' Jay Hawkins's fatherhood fables are even trotted out again and the tally now reads up to 75 siblings spawned by the Father of the Century which only proves that the man was a walking billboard for Vigero!

And like, what's keeping you from snatching this 'un up like right now??? (Last time I looked Norton was stocking 'em albeit at an even higher price'n you woulda hadda pay a good four years ago!) You gonna wait until they reprint 'em in an 80 Page Giant'r somethin'?

I just hope there's gonna be a second ish to this one, since I gotta see just how Spivak's gonna handle such not-so-delicate subject matter as the time the Zantees asked to open for Robert Gordon only he wanted them to supply him with some special stimulation for the honors, or better yet the infamous Miriam meets Robert Christgau back-and-forth which I oh-so-dearly wanted to publish verbatim in one of the final issues of my not-so-saintly crudzine! Well I guess they couldn't publish that because it's be too wild to earn a seal of approval from the Comics Code Authority what with all of that violence, but just thinking about it sure gives me the hot tingles all over! Just as long as they leave the Louis Prima, Keely Smith and some Vegas blackjack dealer saga that Nick Tosches recounted in one of the later issues out, since that one really ruined any appreciation I may have had of the former two and ruined it for good (eck!).

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Well, after the week we've all been through here in the tri-county area (nightly thunderstorms and other inclement forms of weather among other real-life hoohahs) I'm surprised that I was even able to crank out this much of a post! Let's just say that if last week's post was thinner than an English sex manual, this one's thinner than a Scottish book on how to spend a lotta money and have a real good time! (OK, howzbout it's thinner'n an Irish book called I HATE POTATOES? Or an Italian one called WARS IN WHICH WE HAVEN'T SURRENDERED?????) Awww, c'mon 'n read 'em now, willya???

MX-80 Sound-HARD ATTACK 2-CD set (Superior Viaduct, PO Box 193563, San Francisco, CA 94119)

Like, uh, what else could get me to dish out even more ever-scarce shekels to hear material I've had via vinyl, disque and tape for years on end??? A bonus platter of unreleased tuneage, that's what and that's exactly what we get on this recent reissue of the debut MX-80 Sound album which has stuck around so long in the pantheon of underground goodies that it's even considered as being of legendary status! Well, at least it has for people who've been collecting locally-produced hard crank for years on end and have been snatching these midwestern screechers up as soon as someone wrote about 'em in the pages of  THE MUSIC GIG back '76 way.

This smattering of live, rehearsal and outtakes recorded around the same time those early platters were sparking the nodes of everybody from Howard Thompson to Caroline Coon (!) really are as ear-opening as the Ralph material was the first time I gave it all a spin, and if tracks like "Diaphanous Ginger" (not to mention the twisted ode to the Statue of Liberty) don't immediately wiggle their way into your groove spot then may I tell you that I pity you to the end.

Of course there's the original HARD ATTACK album to also contend with, and of course it remains an all-time hard-cranker. Maybe not as heavy metalloid as OUT OF THE TUNNEL or as post-fusion as CROWD CONTROL, but it still hits the target even if you think that Rich Stim's deadpan humor and yours don't just quite line up the way you'd have liked 'em to. Well, at least this made for a good excuse to give it a listen after a few years of my other Cee-Dee copy being buried somewhere deep in the leaning tower of disques here in this fart-encrusted retreat of mine I call a bedroom.

Oh yeah, and Byron Coley did some nice liners that are included in the rare snap-infested booklet. And how often have you been reading any good rockscapading these days anyway?
John Lacey, John Gunni Busck, Coum Transmissions-MUSIC FOR STOCKING TOP, SWING AND STAIRCASE LP + CD (Other Ideas)

You may remember my Coum Transmissions elpee review from earlier in the year. Well, given how much that 'un got me interested in the inner workings of the pre-Throbbing Gristle Genesis P'Orridge with or without the Breyer "art collective", I decided to snatch this particular pair of platters up that feature English freakout scene hanger on John Lacey working in tandem with this rather sickoid bunch recorded at some live installation, or something roughly to that effect.

Actually the music heard here is nothing as occult-like as you might have been led to believe, mainly electronic oscillating sounds moving up and down in interesting patterns that recall a few thousand other efforts also being made in the mid-seventies. Throw in some cheap chord organ and broken down beat box sounds and you got something that sounds like your cousin Ned trying to play "Telstar" on your newly-acquired 1962 Christmas present and failing miserably. True your kid brother coulda done this by manipulating the tone arm on the hi-fi set, but he didn't and that only proves he's a dunce!

Besides the album, the entire performance recording on Cee-Dee is included which makes me wonder...why did they bother pressing it up on vinyl inna first place?
The Fleshtones-WHEEL OF TALENT CD-r burn (originally on Yep Rock)

Paul McGarry burned this one for me, and in doing so told me that WHEEL OF TALENT was definitely NOT one of his favorite 'tones platters! This fact of life kinda made me wonder why he made a copy for me inna first place if it wasn't up to snuff but hey, stranger things have happened, and one of the strangest things happening right now is that I really enjoy this particular platter even though it was made by a band who has been together for thirty-five years who are now hitting the sexagenarian mark and never had any real shard of financial or charttopping success in all the years they've been together. But like I am wont to what!

The Fleshtones prove that they can still put out those teenage sixties-like albums that have something to tell us, and that rock 'n roll of a garage/suburban slob variety can survive here in the beyond jaded present w/o having to succumb to any of the mishaps of modern existence like hippydippy moral values and the lack of MR. ED reruns. If McGarry thinks this 'un's not 100% rock 'n roll might, I'd sure like to hear the albums he thinks are!
The Red Rippers-OVER THERE...AND OVER HERE CD-r burn (originally on Bachelors of Paradise) 

I know whatcha thinkin'...yet another one of those home-made albums by some shellshocked Vietnam vets who still don't know that the war is over and who hit the deck every time a car backfires. Well like hey, maybe yes and maybe no, but this particular concept album is one that's sure got all other Vietnam concept albums beat all hollow, that is I would say so had I heard at least another one of these platters so I could compare it with this. Nice delivery on this 'un, sorta like eighties country punk with some late-seventies AM guitar pop moves tossed in and the results ain't as awkward or as cloying as you might want to believe. Once available via an ad in SOLDIER OF FORTUNE!

Bo Anders Persson-LOVE IS HERE TO STAY CD-r burn (originally on Subliminal Sounds)

The future Parson Sound/International Harvester/Trad Gas Och Stenar member in the mid-sixties doing the avant garde classical thing, probably just a few nanoseconds before someone told him that rock 'n roll was in fact the new avant garde and it wasn't hip to snub the stuff anymore. Maybe not, but whatever this brew is it's good enough primitive experimental jagoff sound not that dissimilar to the stuff John Cale was doing in his loft when the Falling Spikes were falling deep into the collective veins of the group in question. The flutier stuff recalls those once-rare mid-sixties Sun Ra excursions that are only now getting the post-mortem examination, while one of the tracks with an ethereal femme vocal sounds like music for a spy flick of continental origin! I guess addled minds do run in the same direction, especially when wallowing in the sewer of sixties expression, eh?
Cathal Rodgers-INSTRUMENTAL CONDITIONING CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions)

The latest from KSE's no slouch either, what with this outside-the-"outsider" musician alternating between deep soundscapading and guitar solos that are vaguely reminiscent of Loren Connors. And the best part about is you don't have to pay an arm and a leg (yet) to hear the thing! For those of you who believe that the drone is the best thing that's happened to music since the invention of the wheel, and that music really didn't start until Marcel Duchamp presented his very own fountain at the 1913 Armory Show or something like that.

Kaoru Abe/Sabu Toyozumi-OVERHANG PARTY/SENSEI CD-r burn (originally on Qbico)

More sax/drums improvisational duetting from the late-seventies, a must for those of you who think that Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano are the only ones performing in 2014 with the loft ideals of 1976 firmly in place. True it ain't as feral as those Rashied Ali/Frank Lowe tracks that popped up on DUO EXCHANGE, but they're rather inspiring in themselves if you know how the Japanese are apt to take various Amerigan (and other) forms of expression and do 'em up their own way. Made for good inspirational playing while reading an article on JIMMY SAVILE of all people!
Jooklo Duo-LIVE 2012 AT OCCII-AMSTERDAM CD-r burn (the original was released for their 2014 US tour)

Wow, what is this sound??? Reminds me a whole lot of Roscoe Mitchell's "Chant" off the last side of the infamous WILDFLOWERS loft jazz series what with the crazed circular breathing (or is it my ears?) stylings courtesy of Virginia Genta while David Vanzan handles not only the drums but tambourine and castanets (yes, I thought the Cee-Dee was skipping when I first put it on too!). I just can't express how energetic and downright pleasing (in that late-seventies form of expression that was so out-there that only THE VILLAGE VOICE would dare cover it outside of their usual persecution complex hijinx) and let's just say that if you liked alla that AACM stuff before it became too backwoodsy primitive complete with bone firmly inserted in nose ethnic you might just cozy up to this one with a special pre-jaded glee!
Various Artists-NO FISHING ON THE RAILROAD CD-r burn (courtesy of Bill Shute)

Starts off like a late-fifties top-forty rock 'n roll station playing the obscuros in between the big hitsters of the day (the Kittens, Joey Vann, Ezra and the Iveys!) before Bill gets back into his old timey country and western waxings that send you deep South faster 'n Sherman's march through Georgia. Some entertaining tidbits here, what with eleven-year-old Nita Eubanks (any relation to Bus?) sounding as if she's ripe plum pickins for a mountain marriage and Emry Arthur and Della Hatfield doing some sweet harmonizin' that I'm sure'd stymie anybody tuning into contemporary country radio these days. Another nice Sunday afternoon slice of forgotten musical might that sure fit in with my standard catch-up on classic comic book perusin'.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BOOK REVIEW! THE COMPLETE DICK TRACY VOLUME 16: 1954-56 by Chester Gould (IDW 2014)

Now that we're heading into the mid-fifties, I guess we got at least another good ten years of action-drenched episodes of  DICK TRACYs to look forward to. Well, maybe even more because frankly I recall enjoying Chez Gould's creation right up to the end of his 1977 run even if I only had the Sunday strips to go by at the time (local paper scared silly by the claims that TRACY was responsible for everything from the Kennedy assassination to inner city bloodshed happening a few thousand miles away). But for many the Moon episodes were way beyond the pale even for a strip that was pushing the boundaries of "believability" for quite some time, and  quite often the early-seventies Law 'n Order message tended to overcome the grotesque crime stories that a suburban slob such as I certainly went for. And yeah I know that Gould was a proud purveyor of the Silent Majority way o' living'n all, but he shoulda at least known enough to pump out that good ol' GRISLY stuff that I sure needed back when I was being inundated with that peace 'n love shuck 'n jive that certainly did a number on more'n a few knuckleheads out there!

At least in the mid-fifties a good portion of our entertainment dollar was still runnin' on good wholesome All-Amerigan blood and murder, and of course we get more'n our share of it in volume 16 of this crucial series reprinting all of those great DICK TRACY strips that helped more'n a few suburban slob kids make their way through growing up on depression-era wages and ultra rigid upbringings. The Rughead saga continues in its own middling way before giving way to the grand return of the infamous Mumbles who we all thought had drowned way back '47 way, he now a rhumba singer taking care of these wild kids for an octogenarian millionaire health nut.

After Mumbles is efficiently dispatched to the netherworld comes yet another classic Tracy villain in the 467 pound form of Oodles, whom you may remember from the old DICK TRACY cartoons where he was often paired with The Brow with the legendary Joe Jitsu hot on the pursuit. The introduction of "Lizz" into the storyline soon pops up right around the time we're introduced to teenage hoodlum Joe Period (I'd hate to know what kind of razzing his sister might have gotten, like if she ever missed her last name!*) and ultimately one of the best TRACY storylines of the fifties, the Flattop Jr. episode. But that's gonna hafta wait until volume 17 before it reaches its shocking, and supernatural, conclusion!

Yet another fine slice of classic mid-Amerigan fun and jamz that should satisfy any pimplefarm who usedta spread out on the living room floor and read the funnies as part of his daily doodies. And frankly, if you are one fellow who upped snoot at such "base" chicanery as DICK TRACY as well as all of those other comics, tee-vee shows and records that made me the stellar bastion of suburban slime that I am well, frankly I don't wanna have anything to do with you or your cultured ilk! Get lost, willya? ............pleeze?????

*a variation on a gag that closed out last weekend's post true---hey, I can't space 'em all out so's they come off sounding fresh!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sorry that this post is thinner than an English sex manual but...uh...well, it IS mudder's day, a day where Brad Kohler goes to the track and hopes it rains enough so that he has a chance to win back some of the $57,942 he lost the previous year and maybe even year before for that matter. The rest of us will just have to settle back and cajole our mothers to cook up a huge meal because hey, it is their day and we don't want to let them feel like they're about as useful around the house as Karen Quinlan.

As far as other things in mine life go well, there just aren't any major two-minute hates or axes to grind pressuring me at this point...though I guarantee you that by this time next week there'll probably be enough to burn a whole slew of pixels off this computer screen but good! So until I get all lathered up, howzbout reading these reviews of some items that have been scorching my stirrups as of these past seven days...

Led Zeppelin-DISTURBANCE HOUSE bootleg 2-CD set (Wendy, Japan)

Nah, I still wouldn't call myself a Led Zeppelin lunkhead by any stretch of the imagination, but that detail in the Nick Kent autobio regarding the group's December '72 Cardiff show (the one where Zep began to use Kent as a verbal punching bag before the budding NME contributor let off with the ultimate nerve-grating insult regarding the group's frequent swiping from various blues artists) had me palpitating as to just what a crazo show that must've been. Especially with the version of "Louie Louie" the band whipped up which sounded like "the four horsemen of the apocalypse inventing the concept of testosterone driven punk rock" that got stuck in between one of many Zep meandering that produced more'n a few oldies but goodies covers. The Cardiff show only survives in part and it might not even contain this potentially paint peeling version of the Kingsmen classic, but this gig from the same British Isles tour does survive and well, it wasn't exactly what I was anticipating with baited breath.

The audience sound actually gives this a nice, distant, rough feeling that I can appreciate, but the performance isn't exactly whatcha'd call as firing on all heart valves as I woulda hoped. The rawness of the sound does take the gloss off of the more proggy aspects of Zep's early-seventies approach (if only they could have been as non-adept as Rotomagus if not Les Rallizes Denudes) while signs of tour wear do show up in the overall performance, but they manage to trudge through a variety of old and then-new numbers with varying results. And hey, I still do have a rather strong compunction spinning "Stairway to Heaven" even if that song has thankfully not graced my ears for a good two-plus decades (until this very night...gotta do my doody y'know), but I really can't complain that much considering some of the gunk that had come outta the world of metallic schmooze in the wake of the early-seventies collapse of the form which actually makes "Stairway" sound kinda...feh!

At least there's a cutback on those horrid appreciations of da blooze and Robert Plant seems to cool it with the Janis-inspired "wah wahs" to a fair minimum, so it can't be that bad. Can it?
Fadensonnen-BADLANDS 12-inch 45 rpm record (One Hand)

Outta (practically) nowhere and onto your turntable comes this dandy art/rock package from none other'n one of our favorite modern-day practitioners of the scronk form, Fadensonnen! If you're interested in something successful in the way of avant-energy musings that wasn't recorded forty-eight years ago this be thee reel deel, and as I've told you many a time these limited-edition releases (this one only 250 vinyl-wise via the can't -believe-they're-even-allowed-to-exist One Hand label) dwell into soundscapading areas that definitely would upset more'n a few prim and proper rock applecarts out there in prissyland. As usual, hearing this on vinyl comes off as such a delight with those warn drones sounding even warmer...if such a term can be applied to the total guitar distorto/electronic rock that Fadensonnen has been releasing for quite a few years now already.

One that might just snuggle into your album collection a lot more comfier than you think, if you slip it in between METAL MACHINE MUSIC and VINCEBUS ERUPTUM.
The Crunch-BUSY MAKING NOISE CD-r burn (originally on Legal, Sweden)

I really am glad that old punks never die, but I sure with that the recordings they had made since at least 1982 (and earlier!) had a whole lot more snizzle and snap'n this! Actually this is decent power pop that woulda earned a special berth in that BOMP! magazine special oh so long ago,  but frankly it all comes off like the second string stuff I would have been listening to ca. 1980 if and only when I couldn't find my MX-80 Sound or Pere Ubu platters. If you still swoon steadily over the Records, you might find this one right up your ever-expanding alley.
Al Jolson-ACOUSTIC RECORDINGS 1912-1920 CD-r burn

Dunno if this is a copy of a bonafeed release or something Bill Shute gathered up via the web, but whatever it is it's a good selection of early Jolson at his wowzerst doing them songs that really knew how to bring a tear to your Aunt Flabby's face. And why not because ya gotta admit that Jolson really had the talent to drive that soulful oomph deep 'n hard into a couple of generations that were more human'n the sad species that's wallowing among us these days.

It's sure nice to hear some really emotional (not in an abusive Huffpo way) and melodic music once in awhile that sorta balances out the atonal metallic clang which is such a part and parcel of my life, and listening to the man strut his way through such weepers as "Hello Central, Give Me No Man's Land" kinda makes me wonder where did we go wrong??? (Personal favorite of the batch just has to be "My Little Yellow Jacket Girl", for obvious reasons.)

I really do get the feeling that Bus Eubanks himself is sure glad I'm spending the Sunday afternoon I'm reviewing this the way he sure intended it to be spent back when he was doing his old A TIME FOR REMINISCENCE (preceded by MEMORIES) on WPIC-AM back inna early seventies! That being right before everything switched over to top 40 and some weird mystical spell he cast was broken until next time.

Heck I gave Jolson some space so why not Sophie Tucker? All that survives of this particular film feature's a buncha scratchy discs, but what a buncha scratchy discs they are since they not only give you more'n a good idea of what this moom pitcher was about, but they feature plenny of that hot jazzy finger-waggin' music that Tucker was best known for.

The plot ain't anything that'll get yer average Pauline Kael all bubbly but it suits me fine (jazz singin' mama's flapper daughter comes home from school in Europe and finds out mom's a night club floozie and doesn't want anything to do with her, mom's all sad but it works out inna end) and the music is about as toe-tapping as ya can stand what with "I'm Doing What I Do For Love" and "I'm The Last of the Red Hot Mamas" coming off a whole lot more oomph'n the past thirty years of sexually explicit pop slop that's about as exciting as a gynecology textbook (OK, I'm sure that's all many of you readers had in hand when trying to relieve those inner pressures back in the good ol days!). And even if you can't see the thing, hearing it's just as snat as well. I'm reminded of a hot summer's night watching OLD MOVIES, THE GOLDEN ERA on channel 25 outta Cleveland when I couldn't pick up the pic too good but the sound was slightly audible, and for me that's about as nostalgic as I can get about anything these days!

As a bonus, Bill snuck on the disc from the trailer as well as some Euro-only things that you might like enough if you think that the rest of the film was boffo classic early-talkie fodder that's so obscure even TCM wouldn't dare show it other'n three inna morning!
The Ketamines-SPACED OUT 12-inch 45 r.p.m. record (Mammoth Cave Recording Company)

As far as these neuvo garage band releases go, this is not bad at all! Yeah, I and I assume you got tired of all of those rote imitation garage revivalists of the eighties who, despite their blessed hearts, never really captured the energy and emotion of the mid-sixties variety, but sometimes these acts came up with more'n a few brilliant gems that sound swell even to this day. And so do the Ketamines (wonder why Bona Fide Records haven't sued over the name) even if their traipses into psychedelic territory might make 'em a little too "inauthentic" for some of the pickier BLOG TO COMM readers out there.

Odes to the late-sixties can be heard from the sampled opening of "Magic Carpet Ride" to the rather "Don't Fear The Reaper"-ish via mid-eighties Droogs styling, and if you're one to go for that particular brand of late-sixties hotcha then the Ketamines might just be the band for you. Smooth enough that your standard iron-haired gravestone-rubbing gal woulda spun this incessantly while reading Rod McKuen, while I could imagine this 'un getting repeated spins at the Hell's Angels gang-bang taking place across town in one of those beat up old houses your granma used to live in. The Ketamines really got the moves that'll affect both ends of the late-sixties teenage gulcheral spectrum and hey, they even work a good forty-five years down the line as well!

Don't let the Linda Ronstadt lookalike on the cover frighten you away...this is a platter you won't mind buying, downloading or pilfering from your friends and I do mean it.
Wau y los Arrrgh.....-TODO ROTO CD-r burn (originally on Slovenly)

Not to be confused with Wah Heat or Evelyn Waugh for that matter, Wau y los Arrrgh..... do the six-oh fuzz buzz a whole lot better'n some of the recent practitioners of the form who definitely do take on the superficial aspects of the quest. As I said in the previous review, many of those neo-garage acts sure failed in capturing the wilder sides of those primal 'n raw bands that were cluttering up the mid-sixties like boils on a German's face, but these Spaniards crank it out hard and energetic-like with all of the power and vox sounds you liked in your older sisters' scratched up teenybop single collection. Not quite in the stellar gunch realm of the Sonics, but it gets there.
Various Artists-TREMBLING PIXIE IN A HAPPY MOOD CD-r burn (via Bill Shute)

Nize selection featuring everything from local yokels like Eddie Heywood and Lynn Reed to exotics like Gene Rains and selections from the other side of town (the Consolers, Marva Whitney and Vivian Copeland). The international set will be pleased by the appearance of the famed Italian slut Mina doing some early-sixties dagopop while the Modern Age's "Bullfrog Rock" does the fifties country via seventies rock twang almost as good as New Legion Rock Spectacular. My fave of the batch undoubtedly has to be the Soupy Sales "Macarthur Park" spoof that'll have you laughing harder'n the time your dog just happened to get the whiff of a local bitch in heat and your little nephew thought that Rover hadda go to the bathroom.
Once again a happy mothers day to you and yours, and in honor of those who are in the process of popping out a kid whether it be your first or (if you're an Iranian) your fifteenth I am going to do something rather obvious if slightly funny, like skip a period  Have a good day!

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


Today marks the TENTH anniversary of BLOG TO COMM, and if you think I'm going to commemorate this momentous occasion in any way shape or form you're sadly mistaken. Sorry to disappoint all of you sickoid thrillseekers out there, but this ain't exactly a time I feel like tooting any horns, my own or otherwise.

And now on to the review. A few months back I pecked out a piece on the premier collection of early Detective Comics Batman sagas, and as you can tell if you'd only click on the link and find out for yourself I was pretty gung ho on these stories that were created long before the Batman character was domesticated to the point where he was nothing but a cop who walked around wearing a faggy costume. Given that the original Batman character was a vigilante who was not only making life hard for the bad boys but making the police look like a buncha ballerinas I found plenty of adolescent oomph in these sagas. Really,  just look at how different they were from the Batman stories of the sixties with that anti-authoritarian element that never could get past the Comics Code what with the way Batman always got the best of everyone that got in his way without looking like the Dudley Dooright that he could have been only a few years were these comics downright even more subversive than those sickening dark Knight fables that popped up in the eighties!

After that boffo volume of classic stories of which you'd now have to pay millions to see in their original form, what else could I do but snatch up these wondrous eyeball strainers that originally appeared in Batman's own title way back in the dawn of the forties. And yeah, these comics are pretty hotcha as well even if some of 'em just don't snap the ol' nerve endings like ya hope they woulda, but then again a good portion of 'em most certainly DO and with a perverted vengeance to boot!

A few points of nausea do turn up, such as when the moral guardians at DC just hadda make Batman and Robin look just too straight and clean/skidmark-free living for any self-respecting kid to truly appreciate. Y'know, that total whitebread geekdom style of hero role model paragon of virtue that makes Pat Boone look like Larry Flynt to the point where you almost wanna puke your pablum given the head crushing goody-two-shoesness of it all. Like in that one story where the Dynamic Duo set a buncha street brats straight as to just how jerkoff those toughguy gangsters they idolize really are by using the old "throw away your guns and I'll show you a real coward" schtick...sheesh!

I'm sure you guys all had enough of that tinhorn moralizing when you were sprouting pubes to last a lifetime, and although going the crime route whether organized or not might be one of the worst career choices since butt cleavage boil biting I sure hate it when these gangster types are portrayed as cowards sans balls who just don't fall for the sappily sentimental aspects of what constitutes right and wrong. Maybe if they made these bad guys look bad inna eyes of any self-respecting blubberfarm kid---y'know, squeaky clean cubeoid dressers who probably wipe with their left hand. I wouldn't wanna root for 'em inna first place, but then again many people always get virtue and outright squaredom mixed up with a passion---and some wonder why I keep rooting for the Germans and Japanese in those old World War II moom pitchers considering "our guys" seem like such hokey dolts who deserve to be rounded up and taken on death marches!

But when these DARK KNIGHT sagas are pumping on all cylinders they're pushing the speedometer up to a good hundred with no motorcycle cop in sight. The early Joker sagas are particularly tension-grabbing especially because he's an extremely creepy and merciless foe who always seems to cheat death even when he accidentally gouges a dagger into his very own chest! The original Catwoman is a tasty enough character considering how she's more or less on of those "good bad" characters rather than "bad bad" or even "bad good" like Batman, who even lets her escape in one story because well, he's such a soft touch and she does have a nice set on her. And even the token "Dr. Jekyll" swipe has enough interesting twists and wrong turns to come off at least a one-time read that won't make you wanna reach for that copy of LITTLE DOT you have stashed away somewhere.

Fave of the volume's ish #1's "Professor Hugo Strange and the Monsters," a saga which was to have appeared in DETECTIVE #38 only it got bumped in favor of the Robin origin story which I guess was a more important scoop at the time. Noted among Batfans for its unmerciful brutality, Batman does away with a gaggle of maniac giants (originally retarded patients injected with growth hormones by the evil Prof. Strange, I assume no relation to Marvel's Master of the Mystic Arts) in some rather extreme ways, such as by turning two against each other so that they rip themselves to shreds or by machine-gunning them in his Bat-Plane ("Much as I hate to take human life, I'm afraid this time its necessary!") and lassoing yet another around the neck and flying around with him dangling from the plane until he dies ("He's probably better off this way")! And as the story climaxes Batman re-enacts the famous scene from KING KONG when he swoops his plane around the tallest building in town until the remaining monster plunges to his splattering demise!

Stories like this make me wish there weren't any moral do gooders going after comic books and other forms of fun kiddoid entertainment because hey, I sure coulda used a story like this with its disregard for touchy-feely aspects of growing up concerns when I was a budding turdburger! It sure woulda made a good counterpoint to alla that "Kumbaya" moralizing that was going on I'll tell ya!

So if you really wanna get in touch with your inner pimplefarm like I try to as often as I can, you know what to do.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Are any of you tri-county readers still waiting for spring to appear in the area what with all of the rain and cold, windy weather we've been having? And here it is early May and the trees are still bare! Frankly """""I""""" could stand some warm and sunny weather to soothe these old bones of mine, but at this point in time it's like hey, why BOTHER??? Like I wrote a tad while back the faster I experience the changing of the seasons the faster I'm heading for THAT BIG DAY when the grim you-know-what's gonna be visiting me, and I still remember the time when I was about ten telling my mother I wish I was grown up and she said not to do that, because the sooner you grow up the sooner you're heading to your grave and there's like no turning back! Well in my case it's probably gonna be the incinerator at the old fogey's home (someone's gotta cover up them mistakes!) but now that I am an old turdly sorta fellow I can see my mother's point a whole lot more clearly than I did way back when.

HOWEVER, considering the kinda life I've led (through no fault of my own I might add) maybe I shoulda wished it woulda zoomed by even faster...then alla them past indignations and embarrassments and cringe-inducing moments would be further and further in that dark past and maybe I wouldn't be feeling like the over-abused whipping boy that I've been for a variety of uber-mean spirited figures in this life for a longer time than I can imagine!

Yeah I know you just think that I'm feeling sorry for myself, but as Eddie Haskell said (and I've repeated many a time) you'd feel the same way if you've been pushed around as much as I've been! But enough of the are just a few of the recordings I've been spinning for my own personal pleasure these past seven or so days. I actually even spent some hard-begged moolah for a few of these items (the rest came courtesy of the usual suspects) which makes me feel even prouder than usual because hey, it ain't like I particularly like the idea of mooching off people even if they think they're being "kind" to me because I do cut such a pathetic pose. Awwww, just go 'n read the things, willya?!?!?!

The Planeteers-CROSSINGS SHADOWS 2-CD set (Life Rock, available through CD Baby)

Dunno about you, but it seems as if only me, Lydia Lunch, Gilda Radner and precious few others were awash in the freaky jazz-fusion sounds of Man-ster. Stars of the LIVE AT CBGB'S double album set, Man-ster's neo-Zappa-esque cum John McLaughlin-styled rock taken to mid-seventies New York underground heights didn't seem to satisfy anyone. Other'n Fred Kirby's writeup in VARIETY it seems as if this unique quintet turned a whole slew of big city crits (and even people who shoulda known better) off faster'n a stream of urine during a thunderclap. THE NEW YORK ROCKER wrote their appearance at the Max's Kansas City 1976 Easter Festival up saying something along the lines of when their lead vocalist (Warren Stahurski) left the stage during the long instrumental breaks the group became unbearable, while just about every review of LIVE AT CBGB'S (other'n the dozen or so I wrote) were merciless towards the band. A real shame too, because I know that Man-ster were probably the best fusion group to come down the pike since at least Tony Williams' (original) Lifetime, and it's really a shame that the Genya Raven-produced album recorded during the group's brief 1982 reunion never did make it out because hey, it woulda been a much needed artyfact at a time when the seventies underground rock scene was really becoming worn and fizzling out into either self-parody or boring giddiness that lacked the intestinal fortitude that made seventies under-the-counterculture rock such a fun flea market experience.

Dunno what Stahurski or most of the other ex-Man-ster guys are doing these days, but bass guitarist Thomas Giordano is still up and about as this double disque offering will attest to. While the post-Man-ster careers of most of the other members remains relatively unknown (other'n in an article on the '79 Zu Fest written by one of the worst ever rock writers for BOSTON ROCK which mentioned what was reportedly a no wave group featuring both Stahurski and Hertzberg, the latter who is reportedly a much in-demand session guitarist these days), Giordano led a couple of groups by the names T.V.M.D and Pets on the Couch that filled out those CBGB Tuesday night bills for a few years in the eighties. And now he has this offering to give us that might just satisfy, and surprise the few of us who sure wished that Man-ster woulda offered us more during their fifteen minutes of fame (and ten minutes of recorded posterity, not counting a brief minute-long clip of a show where Stahurski annouces "New York's most eligible bachelor, Mr. Joe Garagiola!" before the band breaks into a jazzy twin lead guitar instrumental).

Giordano, now known as "Tommy Gee", plays most of the instruments here from guitar, bass guitar, drums and mandolin and sings in a voice that reminds one of some adolescent cousin in 1978 doing his Steve Martin/"King Tut" impressions under the influence of a massive head cold. Femme backing vocals chirp along pleasingly to what sounds like early-eighties rock that woulda been done by the survivors of the mid-seventies CBGB onslaught who were still stuck in going nowhere bands but refused to die!

Brilliant at times, slow at others, CROSSING SHADOWS  has that sorta home-made outside-the-realm feeling that made many of those outside "underground" recordings of the late-stratum (roughly 1981-1983) rather interesting and perhaps the true last gasp of something that was getting major music press coverage only a few short years earlier. Of course those records weren't exactly the kind of raw meat that many of you "serious" appreciators of the new wave were shedding shekels over, but a lowly practitioner of the rockist form such as I found just as much if not more in these groups than you did. I know many of you reg'lar readers believe that such ignored items as FUTURE LANGUAGE and Another Pretty Face's FACE FACTS sound truer to an underground rock ideal than the Waitresses ever did, and so do the Planeteers even if the sophisticados would in no way cozy up to the autobiographical, personalist and down-homey sounds that Gee cranks out on these twenty-two tracks.

Well hey, I like it not only in a rock continuum dating back to the mid-seventies sorta way but as an entertaining sit down slice of honest gosh-it-all bare-your-soul music. You might feel the same way about CROSSING SHADOWS as well, but judging from the inherent snobbishness of some of you readers I kinda doubt it. Sheesh, sometimes I do get disappointed with you guys!
JUMP CD (Kismet)

Yet another early eighties Hartville Flea Market pass-up that I at times thought I had only dreamed about, this pre-Stooges Scott Thurston effort never did get the fan-panting notoriety you kinda thought it would have given not only his presence, but the glitzy glam rock-y cover this thing came in. It's too bad because although Jump and JUMP exhibit some of the slicker aspects of 1971 FM rock there's a nice punky jazzy feeling to it that makes most of the numbers listenable even for a jaded fanabla such as myself. For some reason I am reminded of Germany's My Solid Ground who also teetered between progressive inclinations and punk rock aspects, and that's not just because Jump actually got a release on Bellaphon over in Germany! Pretty good effort here, though what the band really needed was a mighty powerful lead singer the caliber of Iggy to really pull it off!
Chris Wilson-IT'S FLAMIN' GROOVY! CD-r burn (originally on Twenty Stone Blatt)

The longtime Groovie himself goes the aged schlock route here with the aid of some other Groovies both past and present who I sure wish woulda known better than to be involved with drek like this. Although touted as a return to past accomplishments, IT'S FLAMIN' GROOVY! has more of a Bob Segar bar booze approach to rock 'n roll with none of the sleek British Invasion push that characterized the Sire-era Groovies albums I cut my punkitude on. Rather disappointing, though maybe I shoulda seen it comin' considerin' the rather middling solo albums that Wilson and various other members of that rather venerable group were putting out back in the nineties.
Bruce Anderson & Rich Stim-BAR STOOL WALKER CD (via CD Baby)

Not quite the MX-80 album I was expecting, longtime members Anderson and Stim continue on their decades-long sidesteps into other realms on this outta nowhere newie. The two, along with Angel Corpus Christi and George Earth, create a wide array of sounds from e-z listening to spy soundtrack to something that woudn't have sounded outta place on one of those eighties Quadruped cassettes I still tend to go caga over. Nice "Peter Gunn" swipe on "Major Fips", and the rest should satisfy anybody who's been in on the MX-80 (Sound) groove ever since those guys were creating an interesting Midwest underground ruckus that rivaled all of those early Northeast underground rumors that were flyin' around back inna late-seventies.
Joey Welz & Link Wray-BROTHERS AND LEGENDS CD-r (Canadian American, also available via CD Baby)

Former Bill Haley sideman Welz hitches up with Link Wray and the original Raymen for this '69/'70 recording that originally got unleashed on the Music City label outta Nashville and of course nobody told you about it. Not bad at all despite some ill-conceived production flubs (I mean, whose idea was it to glop some synthesizer on those already saccharine tracks?) and a must for fanz who dug not only the original Raymen bop via YESTERDAY AND TODAY but those who grooved to Wray's first Polydor album released a few years later.

Yeah, Welz's voice can get kinda irritating but so was Dylan's when you first laid ears upon it, and even if some of the lyrics are whatcha'd call stoopid have you heard any of the things Lou Reed was writing since the late-seventies? It's still smooth enough to conjure up late-fifties accomplishments even in the void of the '69/'70 cusp. Top notch of the bunch..."Jesus Be My Friend", a song which, given Welz's vocals, not only predicted Bobby D's own dalliance with Christianity a good ten years later but has a clanky clank piano line and guitar riff straight outta the early Velvet Underground which I guess does vindicate Richard Nusser's own Wray=VU comparison in a VILLAGE VOICE review of a Max's Kansas City gig a good two or so years later!
Kim Fowley-KING OF THE CREEPS CD (Norton)

Dunno how I missed out on this particular third volume of Norton's Kim Fowley producer and performer rarities but I did. It's too good a platter to miss out on too, not only with a whole load of various sixties productions to keep count of (including a post Skip and Flip side by Skip and Johnny!) but some actual Fowley single side wonders like '63's "Astrology" that I and I'm sure you have never heard of prior to this coaster being popped out on the music scene like pus against a teenager's bathroom mirror.

Some of it treads in familiar waters like the Grains of Sand's "Goin' Away Baby" (but I'll betcha never heard the psychedelic flip, recorded with the aid of Tacoma's very own Wailers!) and of course Fowley's own sainted "The Trip" (I hear in this what Robert Hillburn heard in David Crosby!) graciously pops up, but most is so out-there obscure that I don't think any of 'em even made it to them Greg Shaw want lists that permeated the final issues of BOMP! And to top it off there's a radio ad for Kim's infamous OUTRAGEOUS album which, if your mom heard it, would guarantee that you'd never bring it into the house while SHE'S on morality patrol! Yet another Norton winner which only makes me wish that Billy and Miriam would get really busy and dish this stuff out at us at ten times the rate they do now!
Pat Todd and the Rank Outsiders-14th AND NOWHERE CD-r burn (originally on Rankoutsider Records)

This effort from the former Lazy Cowgirls (or "Cowlgirls" as I inexplicably/retardedly would type it during the mid-eighties) warbler surprisingly enough reminds me of Kama Sutra-era Flamin' Groovies in spots, and thus the Rolling Stones around the time that STICKY FINGERS had more'n a few record bin hopping kiddoes busting zippers. "Known to Stumble/Known to Fall" even comes way too close to "Dead Flowers" at least in the same ways "Makin' Deals" sounds like "Sympathy For the Devil", and if the Stones could swipe with impunity like they've been doing for the past hundred years maybe they should suck it up for once! Surprisingly good sounds here that remind me of the rootsy stuff that was coming out in the eighties which was echoing various seventies endeavors that were being praised sometime in the sixties. And it does go back further than that, y'know.
Various Artists-PHANTOM PORTER SHUFFLE FOR SALE CD-r burn (courtesy Bill Shute)

Another crazoid hodgepodge that certainly belongs in your lodge (Canadian tee-vee ref for all two of my north of the border readers). Speaking of Canada, the Phantoms (who are from Canada but dunno where) contribute five tracks inna early-sixties instrumental mode including covers of "Sleepwalk" among other familiar ware which date this in a nice, pre-hippie sorta way. Come to think of it, this 'un tends to take on an instrumental sorta flair what with Jimmy Smith and his organ cranking out not only two versions of the GOLDFINGER theme but the Munsters as well. And I ain't even mentioning the slew of Cole Porter covers taken offa some Capitol album recorded by one Joe Bushkin. They're good e-zy listening relaxers true, but do you know where Porter's mouth has been???

Downside includes a Steve Allen horror/rock cash in that's about as convincing as Mr. Rogers talking about mortal combat not to mention a bunch of Korean kiddies singing a rote English version of "Daydream Believer" that'll soak your undies. But topping 'em all is this extremely cornballus gospel groan regarding the thorny subject of evolution recorded by some Hugh X. Lewis that strangely enough gives off an entirely different message than the one that the Rev .Lewis had intended, and that is H. L. MENCKEN WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!