Saturday, May 30, 2015

As usual there's nothing to really roar about this go 'round, but given the ever-encroaching lack of FREE TIME around here what else is gnu? So expect yet another weekend (weakened?) post featuring a few oldies, a few rediscovered faves and of course the usual Bill Shute (ran outta Paul McGarry wares, I think) contributions that certainly light up my limpids. But as for hotcha new releases well, I sure can't wait for some classic exhumations to brighten up my next FORCED EXPOSURE order or better yet some hotcha gotcha musical aggregation to make me get all sis-boom-bah about sounds in the here and now (still waiting for someone to flesh out Wayne McGuire's New Musical Form ideas dating back to '68!), but even at this late stage in the game I doubt anyone or anything could return musical listening to its previous underground heights of glory no matter how hard they tried!

But until then I guess I'll just have to dig deeper into the archives to experience music as a way of life 'stead of music as background noise for socially-sanctioned thumbnosing, and considering the humongous collection I have (as well as the myriad asst. of musics available on line 'n for free!) I should be doing pretty good fending for myself for at least a couple of years.

Otherwise, I must admit that I am feeling even bouncier than an all girls shirts/skins basketball game, and of course the beginning of the summer season is at least bringing out a tad smidgen of those long-repressed kiddie feelings in me. Y'know, the kind you usedta get when school was out 'n you had three months to just goof off and do junk like you've been wired for ever since you were a turdler, eating penny candy for breakfast when no one was looking and watching World War II-era Bugs Bunny cartoons before the taste nazis lopped 'em off the air. Hope it's a good 'un with lotsa nice weather as well as those severe thunderstorms that used to scare the bejabbers outta me when I was a kid (and adult too!), though I don't get the feeling that the folks'll wanna drag me to the Reynolds Drive In to see SNOW WHITE and BAMBI like they used to back when us kids'd lay in the back of the station wagon and watch belly-side down. Some things are just too perfect to recreate lo these many years later.


I've blabbed about this 'un for quite awhile but as far as I can recall I never wrote it up on this here blog. So with so little new musical stimulation goin' on this week I figure why not toss this one out to the lions and see if they gobble it up. Jazz great Larry Young brings his Hammond in for this live show (which was recorded across the street from the White House at some antiwar protest) featuring an early synthesized guitar and a whole buncha other electronic treatments that picks up where everyone from Tony Williams' Lifetime to Quiet Sun left off. Great abstract spacial jazz true, but I gotta admit to getting a li'l snoozed out towards the end...dunno if that's the disque or me, but these warm spring afternoons really do take out alla the zap in ya.

When I first reviewed this 'un back during my "serious" rockscribing day I tore into it with a froth-mouthed loathing that I usually reserve for some of the worst turds to pass as rock 'n roll music (of which there was an abundance back inna late-eighties). At least in my so-called "blinkered" musicview the Fleshtones had forsaken their late-seventies basement jamz for MTV's 120 MINUTES and IRS label slickness, and considering what else was happening on the once wild and woolly world of underground rock it wasn't like the music on TIME BOMB! was exactly tingling my inner workings the way I sure woulda liked!

But then again in the late-eighties I was one mighty pissed off individual---come to think of it I was perhaps even more P.O.'d then than I am today though my own current pissed offness is of a different garden variety so maybe I am comparing my apple-y pissed offness of the late-eighties with my orange-y pissed offness of today which is a pissed offness that I sometimes don't even want to acknowledge myself!

By the time I wanted to give TIME BOMB! another listen (thinking that maybe I'd been a li'l hard onna thing and not as open minded or as all encompassing to various musical merits as Patrick Amory and the rest of those well respected rock critics) it had been long gone in my collection, and after more than a fair amount of years I decided to snatch up another copy to find out myself whether or not my head was up my hindquarters more than that one doof's on the cover of "jct"'s rather tepid publication SWELLSVILLE. So buy one I did (they're CHEAP now!) and whaddya know, I like it a whole lot more'n I did a good twenny some back. Only goes to show you that my mind is decomposing faster than the rest of me, or izzit?

The Fleshtones stuff rocks out a whole lot more'n I remember. 's not as gnu-wavey as I recalled it twennysome years back, and in fact their track approaches the heights of mid-Amerigan jamz just as tip toppy as anything that came outta the same seventies garage-y punk-y clique that gave us KICKS magazine, the Zantees, Alan Betrock and Todd Abramson for that matter. This rawk's so smashing that I was able to wash a good portion of my eighties loathing for what this batch had become away with one mere re-spin which is something that stodgy ol' me'd never 'fess up to admitting!

The various 'tones offshoots fare a whole lot more'n I remembered. They mostly consist of what I would call neo-garage band rock outs, maybe a bit more commercial and attuned to the geekier amongst us but nothing that I would turn off if it would only have popped up on the ol' AM back when we thought music like this would ever make a grand return to the dial. Of course it ain't anything that really rushes to my high energy resensified mind the way a good Stooges song does, but next to a good portion of the late-eighties college radio ginchy goo it sure comes off snat!

So what's the verdict---is this a case of Chris scrubbing his past in order to look like less of a turdburger, an honest reappraisal of a platter that got wooshed under a ton of subpar amerindie sputum, or just the ramblings of a guy who's really hard up for new 'n exciting grub who has to once again turn to a past he'd prefer not to return to? If YOU dear reader have an opinion please do send it in care of this blog, but don't be surprised if I ignore your comments l00% like, which I will most certainly do anyway.
The Jet Black's-TWIST CD-r burn (originally on Chantecler, Brazil)

Really, who woulda thunk that the early-sixties twist craze woulda made it as far south of the US of Whoa as South Ameriga? I guess the existence of this album proves that it did, and for a buncha south of the equator types the Jet Black's did a good enough job mimicking North Amerigan concerns. Some of it is a li'l too cooshy comfy for my tastes, but the standard guitar tracks please about as much as one of those latterday Duane Eddy numbers that nobody seems to talk about anymore. Nice 88-cent supermarket bin feeling to it, and I'd bet that twist record collector Eddie Haskell woulda bought a copy if one had only crept his way.
T. Rex-UNCAGED Enhanced CD (Pilot, Germany)

I've been on a Bolan kick as of late (multiple spinnings of John' Children 'n so forth) so this buried behind the rest of all the other T. Rex Cee-Dees was like a refreshing change after years of ignoring the thang. Marc 'n crew live '71/'73 doing a whole buncha the old time faves like "Ride a White Swan" and "Baby Strange" for the same audience who, with a little twinging here and there, would be listening to some pretty gut-wrenching music once the eighties got in gear. Comes with a whole buncha visual files you can watch on your computer if you wanna ruin it, so don't and just look for the same material on youtube because someone was surely bound to upload all of it, including the weird interview where Marc lays out the plans for a porno T. Rex feature film!
The Rationals-TEMPTATION 'BOUT TO GET ME CD (Total Energy/Bomp!)

Another one that might've gotten the royal BLOG TO COMM treatment in the past, but since I tried googling myself (sounds dirty, don't it?) and nothing came up (ditto!) mebbee I dint. Still a goodun recorded at the Grande Ballroom October '68 a few days before the MC5 recorded their KICK OUT THE JAMS on the very same stage. Not too bad for a buncha guys who got pegged into the local teenybop white soul category too, with enough hot jazz approaches and downright hot white soul here to classify 'em as bona fide Detroit high energy rock types. And don't let the disclaimer fool you, this sounds a whole lot better'n many of those recordings of the same strata that sound so dismal but we listen to 'em anyway because hey, why not?!?!?!

Duh-no why Bill included a whole buncha ads for Roma Wines in between many of the cuts---either he took out stock inna company or he wants to get me sloshed! But hey, these ads along with the ones for Schlitz Beer and Turtle Wax are just want the docturd ordered for this olde tymey ad-starved ozob. The rest of it ain't anything to guffaw at either what with the Velvet Underground doing "Guess I'm Falling in Love" from the Gymnasium show, some guy named Steve Palmer oozing out a nice jazzy drone-on thing called "Cassini", more song poems from Rod Rogers as well as a whole batch of rarities including some Spanish punk rock that sounds more sixties garage than seventies spike and even some rare enough for me Fats Domino.

 For you seventies tee-vee fans there's Carlton the Doorman from RHODA doing yet another one of those commercial cash-in singles that, like the rest of those tee-vee oriented novelty records, never went anywhere making you wonder why these small screen stars did 'em inna first place! The entire shebang ends with a special message for you female readers regarding your very own personal hygiene (or better yet how to not knock out your boyfriend ifyaknowaddamean, or for that matter the family dog who happened to get hold of some of your old soiled panties), so if you all wanna be dainty and fresh-like you know what you gotta do! (In other words...PLEASE PASS THE NORFORMS!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! BILLY THE KID IN TEXAS starring Bob Steele and Al "Fuzzy" St. John (PRC, 1940)

Naw, I ain't gonna treat you to a put on collection of innerlektuel hooey here like I did with that review of those Sunset Carson films last autumn. But really, what else can be told to you comparatively ignorant peons about a western like this which milks the same formula that's been used in mooms ever since the early days of Tom Mix complete with not only the good guy who might be bad but a bad good guy at that, as well as the bad good guy sidekick, the bad guys who are bad and of course the good looking gal who doesn't look as if the ravages of frontier living have made her old before her time.

What can I say? That's it's great stuff that's what! Fine entertainment on all levels with a hotcha plot having to so with the real ('n not some goody-two-shoe second cousin twice removed on his mother's side who's being mistaken for the real thing!) Billy being made sheriff of a small western town that's being terrorized by this band of outlaws who made off with a payroll. Billy's job---get it back!

Steele always played it great and subdued whether he was doing this obv. glorified version of the real thing or getting his hand crushed by Lenny in OF MICE AND MEN a year earlier. Former silent comedian St. John is a better'n usual sidekick, of course perfect for the comedy relief but still ballzy enough to come off intense when the moment arises. And of course Terry Walker as good gal Mary Barton plays it b-movie wholesome like, though I kinda get the feeling that the whole time she was acting in this 'un she was burning inside that she wasn't at one of the major studios doing her emotive best 'stead of stuck in this PRC western that was custom-made for the 11:00 PM Sunday night slot on channel 56.

But it's what I want on my boob tube, and I kinda feeling it would fit in well on yours too. Goes right through you like entertainment prunes and you get no irritable aftertaste in your subconsciousness either. Good enough that I wonder how the rest of the PRC "Billy the Kid" series went if the slam-bam in those are as good as they were in this!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Eh, another slow week here in at BLOG TO COMM central. But I managed to make the most outta it that I could, and given the old "if life gives you lemons make lemonade" yadda I figured that if life could give me turds I'd better make some fertilizer! (I think I used this gag a whole decade back but hey, its' a good 'un!) Got a few newies to write up and one from the ol' box, and although I wouldn't vote this 'un in the "Best of '15" category I wouldn't say it was one of the worst I've managed to pop up. But hey, happy new week 'n all that, and hope you like what I have in store even if I have all of the pep, vim and vigor of Karen Quinlan (that one's for Brad Kohler---hi Brad!).

R.I.P. Chris Burden, perhaps the only conceptual artist of the seventies ('n forget any other decade!), at least the only one in the BIG NAME ($$$$$$) art world which would leave John Morton out who could create performance (and other) displays that were comparable to what the Velvet Underground and Stooges were doing in the realm o' sound. 'n as far as bared-wired danger and intensity went Burden might've even outdid 'em on a number of occasions (like the time he tempted his own fate by sticking live wires into buckets of water and positioning himself close enough that if someone wanted to tip one of the buckets over bye bye Burden). But whatever, the fact that Burden would create "pieces" where he would have himself shot, nailed to a VW or jammed into a bus locker had a whole load of nerve-twist to 'em that made alla those pretenders who followed look like the self-conscious and effete crybaby yam jammers they most certainly were. And hey, who could forget that Burden even had an installation/piece that went by the name of "White Light/White Heat" which appeared a good five or so years before overwrought Velvet Underground homage by a buncha people you think woulda turned pale had they heard 'em in 1966 became the de facto rule of true blue hipsterdom!
Should I say something about David Letterman's last show if only to be even more current events and with it and all? Well, how about this...good bye Dave, and don't let the studio door slam you in your geriatric ass! Yeah you used to be fun ripping off Ernie Kovacs to the point where you also had a short-lived NBC morning show, and when you had guests like Mousie Garner, Emil Sitka and Huntz Hall on I thought you were one of the last vestiges of seventies comedy fun and jamz to make it into the decidedly unfunny eighties. And how about all of those skits you had on your show that seemed as if they were inspired by the late-fifties MAD magazine as well as your serializing of old flicks like PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE if only to make fun of 'em but eh, that was cool anyway!

Dunno what happened, but within the span of a few short years you became a shrill unfunny status quo enforcer to the point where your schmoozing up to guests (political or otherwise) your network was backing and cold shoulders to those they weren't just reeked of typical upper crust snob appeal custom made for the ultra-rich 'n chic and hate-filled (for the things they are permitted to hate) people who populate New York City. Thanks for setting the stage Dave, and if it weren't for my LEAVE IT TO BEAVER Dee-Vee-Dee set I'd undoubtedly be smashing the ol' idiot box to smithereens because of the snobbish anti-suburban slob attitude you helped inject into every aspect of the entire television medium!
Nothing else to say within the realm of BLOG TO COMM-approved turdspeak, so here are the reviews!!!


As y'all know, I do hold an abnormal curiosity for many of the under-the-under-the-counter rock groups that used to play the New York City "punk rock" circuit throughout the seventies. 'n though I've eventually learned that many of these obscurities, the ones lucky enough to have left recordings in their wake that is, weren't exactly anything to jump up 'n down 'n holler about some were surprisingly better (in their own trying to be slickly commercial and falling flat on their faces sorta way) than I had expected. Better perhaps even to the point where I could refer to these whoa where'd they go??? types as being long forgotten rock et roll treasures without looking too obtuse, which is something I've often become championing a few acts you readers couldn't give one whit about lo these many years.

Where Doug Brockie's Infinity (a group whose name I first espied on a spring '77 Max's Kansas City listing and haven't seen anywhere until now) fit in with all of this twistoid rock taste reasoning  I do not know, but you could just imagine my surprise when I found out that this totally obscuro act had a Cee-Dee out 'n for quite some time (2003) at that. Naturally I snatched said Cee-Dee up like pronto, and although I wasn't expecting much outta it I kinda had the feeling that some outta nowhere recording by some long-gone seventies-rock act who played Max's would be a better bet than a good portion of all of those amerindie acts that flooded NYC a good five or so years later. (And besides, a lotta those under-the-cover bands at the time seemed to be more concerned with some of the earlier form of rock expression and like, maybe I could stand a li'l change once in awhile!)

And (as usual) I was right, for THE HIGH COUNCIL OF INTERGALACTIC BLUES is a way better package (by a buncha guys getting into the studio to record a Cee-Dee a good twenny-six years after the fact) than any of you reg'lar readers would think. Yeah there is a tendency for the ol' jam on post-Hendrix blooze stylings that have been milked for ages to show up, and Brockie sure ain't exactly got whatcha'd call a strong voice (sounds like he coulda used a few packs o' Ludens before stepping up to the mic). Not only that but the first few songs sound so typical "classic rock" to the point where I thought hair was gonna grow on my soles just by listening, but the playing is cut-to-the core pow'rful without alla that rock guitar god crap you've been inundated with for years and the resultant grind comes off like some weird post-psychedelic hybrid with clear early-guru-period John McLaughlin references and a whole LOAD of mid-seventies rock chording!!! And that's the kinda chord progression that I like, not that hippoid rehashing of Chuck Berry that became popular to the point of nausea.

But it must be a better'n expected treat or else would I have spent about twice as much time on this obscuro than I normally would! And given that I'm usually not drawn to these "HEY LOOK AT ME PLAY THE GUITAR---NOW WORSHIP!" brand of stud rock I can tell that Brockie has sure earned any sorta thumbs up accolades that might come his way. From what I can tell not too many have but hey, in the world of retch 'n roll what else is old?

Izzit good enough for you (the self-conscious rock snob) to enjoy the same way you do the REAL LIFE guitar manglers you've enjoyed for doped up years on end? Judge for yourself, fanabla.
Alice Cooper-LIVE AT THE WHISKY, 1969 CD (Bizarre/Straight)

(Did I review this on-line before? Well if I ain't it's been so long and given the dearth of hotcha new items to peruse well...) This one zipped by 'n went back during the early-nineties reactivation of the Bizarre/Straight label (which issued a few oldies, some newies, and NO Wild Man Fisher), and if you were lucky enough to latch onto a copy well, you were lucky since this one vanished faster'n  moist dog caga on a 100 degree day. Great quality recording of Alice ca. PRETTIES romping through the upcoming album (and more) to the applause of about one audience member. Makes a good companion to the oft-bootlegged Toronto show, though like that 'un docked a few Christgooian notches for being a little under a half hour.
Thee Mighty Caesars-ACROPOLIS NOW CD-r burn (originally on Hangman's Daughter)

Sheesh, didn't even know these guys were still around. I mean, how many years back did those Crypt label elpees come out anyway? But they are and the Caesars are still good. I'm not as nutzo about 'em as Paul McGarry (the guy who sent me this 'un) is but I really do think that they do a better job of the whole sixties garage band revival thing than some of the acts that were popping up inna late-eighties. This effort  (complete with lo-fi scrunch worthy of your favorite forgotten originals) does more for the form than a bushelfulla self-produced indie singles of the same time strata. The cover of "Little Red Riding Hood" is a li'l too obvious, but I still had a good time sittin' through it all.
Johnny Dowd-THAT'S YOUR WIFE ON THE BACK OF MY HORSE CD-r burn (originally on Mother Jinx)

Didn't like the earlier Dowd release that Paul McGarry sent me and I don't quite like this 'un either. But I gotta review something up and comin' just so I don't look like the total old turdball stick inna mud that I usually am. All I gotta say is that if you like that backwoods voodoo country rockapunk jive that's been used to varying degrees o'er the past thirtysome you'll like this more'n Tina Louise's belly button. As for me it all sounds like those two inbred rural rectums from NAKED LUNCH if they had gotten a recording contract with 415 Records back '80 way. Come to think of it that would make a winning combination if them backwoodsers could only get Valerie Solanis to play tambourine for 'em or somethin'.

Nice title there, and nice selection too. The "additional" gunch like the voice-o-graph recording and various messages that might have come from Bill's actual phone for all I know are fine in that cheap mid-Amerigan ranch house living sorta way, and the African field recordings and Japonais organ piece from Niger really help set the tone. The tone for what I do not know, but tone-setting it is.

Bill even snuck some jazz on here (Andrew Hill/Clifford Jordan, Connie Crothers/Jessica Jones, Mary Lou Williams) that doesn't make me think of dressing up like one of the Marsalises, and the obligatory soul and country offerings remind me of just how interesting both genres could be until they got way too popped up to tell apart. And hey, if I could only make out the century-plus old comedy routine from Cal Stewart as Uncle Josh I might be able to laugh along with it like I'm sure a whole slew of Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch types did back when this was first making the rounds way back when! And y'know, I somehow get the impression that the guy is way funnier'n any of those snoozathon late-night comedians scolding us suburban bumpkins for being such nice people, so maybe I should give the ol' unc a thorough listen!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

BOOK REVIEW! THE COMPLETE DICK TRACY VOLUME 18 (1957-1959) by Chester Gould (The Library of American Comics/IDW 2015)!

Dunno about you, but for this Johnny Onna Spot we're now heading into some of the best years that DICK TRACY hadda offer! Maybe that's because we were also heading into perhaps thee boffo-est times for high class down home Amerigan living, and comics back then did intermingle with fun tee-vee, fast foods, music and all of those other things that kept kiddoids a'goin' at least until the do-gooder types told us to turn off SUPERCAR and listen to Joan Baez before the world fell into that great abyss of consumerist nada. And you know how well that turned out, dontcha!

Some of Chester Gould's best art and storylines appear here. The brief segment where Junior and Tracy discuss the former's planned career in the police department (page 13) is not only brilliantly executed with all of that heavy shadow but contains a whole passel of now-antiquated bit of heart-tug and pathos that went out with the Edsel as the sitcoms used to say! But hey, this brand of cornballism sure beats TODAY'S breed of touchy-feelyisms that attempt to get Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch all heart-throbbing concerned about the plight of your local no-count 'stead of the elderly couple who were robbed and beaten by said badski! Now THAT'S the REAL cornball, not these classic Gould strips which do well to display emotion and feeling in an otherwise violent and at times downright cruel strip.

The rest is top notch as well. The part where the goatee'd crook Pantsy and his wife try to find where a buried stash of loot is by playing the secret message recorded within the grooves pressed under the label is a hoot (and once again we get to see someone get shot through the head with not only brain and skull matter but the bullet wiggling away upon exit), while the extended Egghead saga dealing with illegal cockfights and Tracy being banished to a granite-laden island in the Caribbean sure kept me in suspense the two days I read it just like it must have to all of the comic strip fans who spent a good eight months going through that rather nail-biting episode. And especially creepy is the Headache storyline which not only features the saga of a guy who makes slot machines that look like baby buggies but the aging fanabla's attempted romance with his partner's seventeen-year-old daughter Popsie!  Between all of the violence and this bitta jailbaiting I wonder why the local old ladies and veterans groups weren't trying to ban TRACY inna late fifties 'stead of in the sixties when they thought that it was strips like this as well as BUGS BUNNY cartoons that were influencing everyone from Lee Harvey Oswald to Richard Speck to do all of them dirty deeds.

Good volume here for sure but one thing...I kinda wish that someone other'n Max Allan Collins would write these forwards. Not that I hate the fanabla, but Collins is stuck in neutral rehashing and revisiting a whole load of critical/societal points and causes that cropped up in earlier editions. Now, a recycler like myself might be able to get away with it (or so I hope), here it just seems like a waste of pages what with Collins trying to be his seventies hipster self coming to terms with Gould's old time tough guy ideas even though he has all the respect for the guy who he came to loggerheads with on more'n a few occasions. Fresh blood time, or at least a case of Geritol for the one-time hotshot who seems to have seen better days but now comes off even tireder than I have trying to think up new avenues and modes to crank out my usually flaccid ideas and thoughts that mean about as much to most people as a temperance lecture woulda meant to Jackie Gleason and Dean Martin!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Well, after going through the entire run of SUPERCAR a month or so back I finally made it through the second Lew Grade-distributed Supermarionation series FIREBALL XL-5 with flying coloreds as Archie Bunker would have put it. Of course it's nice seeing this 'un again (and as with SUPERCAR my head just didn't retain most all of the episodes that I originally espied way back when I was a kid, or when I first got this Dee-Vee-Dee set for that matter*), but I gotta admit that I just didn't get the same zing watching these again that I did with SUPERCAR. My only explanation for this is that while SUPERCAR reminds me of my earliest and undoubtedly happiest times on this planet when I was a mere three and just about EVERYTHING that life offered had a fun turdler feeling to it, FIREBALL reminds me of my more "coming of age" days when I was getting all primed up for Kindergarten not to mention a good chunk of my life being devoted to being socialized and turning into something I just didn't want to be even if everyone around me told me I should be Dilton Doiley instead of Dennis the Menace (which come to think of it, followed FIREBALL Saturday mornings on NBC which is where I first knew the show even existed!). Sure it's still a fantab series which really brightened up the already fantastic 1963-64 tee-vee season (a year which brought us a number of true wowzers along with the expected turdballs), but when I see this I am reminded about alla that school talk that was going on and whether or not I was mature enough to mingle with other children or whether I shoulda been held back until I wised up a little. If the latter was the case, I get the feeling that I'd be entering those hallowed halls a good five years from now!

I gotta admit to getting a real rush watching the incredibly sexy Doctor Venus, something I didn't get when I was four because the only girls I knew smelled like a sweat/urine mixture. Dunno if it's because of her boffo coiffure which really reflects that early-sixties feminine pulchritude or her rather massive for a marionette mams but now that I'm an old fanabla I gotta say that this puppet's the most! Makes me wonder if she was created anatomically correct, and if the good doctor and Steve Zodiac were doing a little hiding from Zoonie who'd blurt out "welcome home" during those most intimate beach house moments. Don't worry, if I were fourteen and watching FIREBALL for the first time I'd be saying the exact same things!

Is the next stop STINGRAY??? No way Gertrude---while SUPERCAR and FIREBALL were filmed in glorious black 'n white STINGRAY was shot in color which for me really distinguishes between early-sixties cool and late-sixties puton hipsterism. Not that the late-sixties were bereft of fine programming, but when it comes to suburban slob junk food fun 'n jamz it's b&w UHF perennial reruns all the way!!!
I must admit that for some maybe not to strange reasons I am rather dismayed that there is an ongoing campaign to remove Andrew Jackson from the United States twenny dollar bill. True Jackson by those oft stringent MODERN standards ain't exactly the kinda guy who would win the brotherhood award these days what with him being a slave owner (and as far as I can tell an unrepentant one unlike those pre-Civil War southerners who changed their minds about the peculiar institution, freed their slaves [and even gave the elderly ones pensions] yet still get grilled over the coals), and his "repatriating" the Cherokees and other Indian tribes to the west of the Mississippi doesn't exactly bode too well with many, but then again I see few enlightened types (some do true) castigating Abraham Lincoln for holding opinions regarding black people that made even most Southerners during those years wince, and when was the last time you've heard garments being torn over EVANGELINE and the expulsion of the Acadians? Heart bleeding can get rather selective these days, or so I've noticed.

Yeah Jackson just wasn't as much of a 21st-century putz as the rest of us but I gotta admit that I kinda like the guy in many ways that wouldn't phase your typically muddled minds. Perhaps because, once you get down to it, he could have been the over-the-top SOB that I always wished I was. After all here was a mid-southern hillbilly kid who fought in the Amerigan Revolution when a mere eleven, got captured with his brother, got scarred by an officer for refusing to shine said officer's boots, contracted smallpox and survived while his brother died, became a fierce soldier whose body contained more arrowheads and musket balls (including one lodged in his lung which gave him great discomfort throughout the rest of his life) than one would think a body could stand, captured Florida without the president even knowing, had two English soldiers hung just for being English (!), killed a guy in a duel over some remarks regarding his recently departed wife and basically got all of his friends and supporters comfy jobs in the government when he became president! Yeah, just TRY getting away with something like what Jackson would do these days---somehow I get the feeling that these people who want Jackson removed from the twenny buckskin bill ain't really upset over the Trail of Tears---maybe they're just mad because the guy had balls which are something that most men have checked in at the diversity institute upon entrance these sad 'n sorry times.

And what's worse about this whole rigmarole is that the people who want Jackson 86'd want his replaced with some meaningful woman wombyn, and you know what THAT means! Harriet Tubman won some online poll which I guess is a whole lot better'n Margaret Sanger or Lizzy Borden for that matter (I actually like the fact that Tubman would threaten to shoot any runaway slave who would dare chicken out on her) but sheesh, doesn't it all reek of politically/socially pious pose custom made for the new breed of even newer than new feminist stinkpens with more hair on their left armpits than I have on my entire sub-neck (forget above) body? Howz'bout a woman lady all of us true BLOG TO COMM believers can relate to in both a historical and gulcheral way? If they're gonna put some vag on the twenny dollar bill it better be VERA VAGUE and nobody else but her, unnerstan'?
Well after all that, here they (the record reviews) come! Again, big thanks to Paul McGarry and Bill Shute for this meager smattering of platters, because if it weren't for them there's be nothing for me to write about at all! Not that there ain't any good platters to be spinnin' these days---it's just that I ain't got the time, inclination or (for that matter) moolah to know about it let alone hear it all. So better me be spongin' off the likes of these two (and more!) than digging deep into my collection for that old Homestead promo I more or less "neglected" a good quarter-century-plus years back (even though most all of those 'cept the Stampfel and Flesheaters 'uns went directly to the used record shop---gee it was sure nice the way those indie labels went out of their way to support me financially back in those currency-starved times!).

Muck and the Mires-DIAL M FOR MUCK CD-r burn (originally on Dirty Water)

This is yet another one of those Cee-Dee-Ares that Paul McGarry sent me, and although I probably won't be spinning much it's pretty durn good to say the least. Its hard rock with some power pop asides yet it ain't giddy like some of that stuff could get at times. Kinda driving even, and although it isn't anything that I'm gonna quite get all sis-boom-bah about I find this a good enough rock 'n roll effort that puts a whole load of the stinkeroos passing as the form for the past fiftysome years to dread shame. Features one track produced by the late Kim Fowley in case you want to shed a tear over the dispatch of one of the greater names in the music biz ne'er to grace us with his sour sarcasm again!
Steve Flato-EXHAUST SYSTEM CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions

Mighty hot stuff here from Flato, the latest in a long line of under-the-radar experimentalists who pepper up the KSE roster with their decidedly non-Tom Laxian fare. Not your standard college kid jagginov (if that were so Bill would probably wanna release some of my 1978 weirdo cassette experiments obv. influenced by Cage mixing AM radio sounds and fizzing Brioschi), Flato presents for us four tracks of beauteous drone and such created in "just intonation" for various woodwinds, cello, bass and sine waves that recall a whole passel o' recordings, not only that "serious" avant garde stuff to munch stale doritos by but SEASTONES (and with less the moolah and hippie cred than that one took to record!) as well as the Figures of Light's FEEDBACK CONCERT recreation of their live show that did just that! Intriguing and downright relaxing even, EXHAUST SYSTEM sure sounds better'n whatever's come outta yours these past umpteen years.
Dwight Twilley-ALWAYS CD-r burn (originally on Big Oak)

Never did go for the whole Dwight Twilley power pop rampage whether it be the reams of positive press both major and fanzine level nor the AMERICAN BANDSTAND appearance for that matter. Nothing really grasped me the way the Flamin' Groovies or Modern Lovers press of the time made me wanna search out their various wares. Needless to say numbers like "I'm On Fire" didn't quite zone me the way they did Greg Shaw and all of those "It's ALL Coming Back!" people you used to read about in magazines but never did see in real life, and it remained that way for me for quite a longer time than any of us could have imagined..

I didn't know that Twilley is still around, and this release from late last year is, shall I say, rather surprising. Surprising in that I haven't heard seventies pop riffs like this since some self-produced stuff that YOUR FLESH used to send me thinking I'd loathe it (I didn't), and it doesn't sound like that El Lay studio slick crankathon I thought it would. In fact it's so good that it reminds me of some rare seventies-era flea market find from the early-eighties I picked up because I thought it might have had a garage band twang to it. No "twang" here, but the Beatles cum Badfinger via Raspberries approach sure sounds boffo once you realize that the Beatles were drug-sotted occultists and Badfinger chronically-depressed fizouts while the Raspberries went from bright promise to Eric Carmen's neo-Elton John solo career within the span of three years. A who woulda thunk it surprise.
The New Christs-INCANTATION CD-r burn (originally on Impedance)

I haven't spun anything by this group ever since I heard that album with the dayglo Virgin Mary pic onna cover and wrote 'em off as beyond their prime. Keeping that in mind this was in fact a re-introduction to the group that in fact helped inspire me to do a fanzine way back when if only to rah-rah acts like this. Turns out that the New Christs in 2014 most certainly weren't the same group that was bustin' forth with all of those hot post-Birdman rockers a good thirty years back. In fact this one reminds me of just why I began tiring of these Australian acts around the time 1990 began clocking in and the drive that was once there just seemed to go flatter'n Olive Oyl's chest (I was gonna say "Sally Fielding's chest" but nobody knows who she is. Hi Sally!). Once you get over the fact that this is all ex-Radio Birdman it's really nothing but more of that tiresome post-seventies rock burnout that just keeps fizzling on. A total shame, and I do mean it!
Various Artists-GREMMIE FRESCA CHRISTMAS WINDOWS CD-r burn (courtesy of Bill Shute)

Some of it may be quite fru-fru (like the tracks by the post Devoto Buzzcocks who I found good then horrible then great) but the hunk of commercials by everyone from the Box Tops to Frank Zappa/Linda Whazername with the Parkinson's ("Remington Electric Razor") are just what I needed to make it through this morning. The glam track from Buster was a nice li'l change of pace, while Mei-Chan's rockabilly sure came off better'n the Shanghai Holiday Inn Lounge musings I thought it was going to be!

Not only that but there's a good heaping hefty helping of surf rock here including some tracks by the Californian act going by the name the Tornados, and after all these years I finally get to hear whet the non-"Telstar" act sounded like! Might be a good one to reconstruct if you wanna do a little bitta internet searching and downloading yourself!
*however I can distinctly remember the Granatoid tanks episode from back when it was originally aired, not necessarily because of those weird robots who were laying destruction to everything in their path but because of the strange Mellotron-like instrument that Professor Matic was playing!

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Funny, I don't remember seeing this 'un when I was a kid. I guess that it either didn't play the local market or (better yet) it appeared on the screen during one of the more traumatic periods in my life (mainly first grade) and I certainly don't wanna remember it! That was a time when a whole lotta things were shuffled right into the ol' unconscious because of the evil memories associated with those days or (better yet) because the kids who tormented me undoubtedly loved the program and I didn't want to be associated with it in any way/shape/form due to it. Probably the latter, because I couldn't stand listening to Tommy James' "Hanky Panky" for years because these same kiddoids would run up and hit me hard before singing that one-time hit as a taunt of sorts, and when you're a single-digit suburban turdball it's sure hard getting seemingly minuscule things like that out of your system.

But hey, I managed to grow to enjoy not only "Hanky Panky" but Tommy James with or without the Shondells over the years so why not SINBAD JR., even if I might never have heard of the bastard before Bill Shute sent me this double-Cee-Dee collection with the hope that I enjoy the dickens outta the thing. And enjoy these cartoons I most certainly did now that Boomerang has gone the TV Land route and wouldn't dare run any of these obscurities from the Hanna-Barbera vaults like the might have been wont to do even a good decade or so back. That was when the fambly first got satellite tee-vee and at least for a few short years alla them old classic fifties/sixties series were making their way to my screen for the first time since their original run when the only thing that kept me from being front and center for such shows was mom being too slow on the draw to wipe me!

Custom-made for the afternoon local kiddie show time slot, SINBAD JR. consisted of eightysome five-minute  'toons featuring the recently-axed JONNY QUEST voice himself Tim Mathieson as the title character, a adolescent version of the famed sailor who willy-nillily travels around the world with his parrot sidekick Salty, aptly portrayed by Mel Blanc doing one of his FLINTSTONES kitchen appliance (the can opener I believe) voices. Thanks to his magic belt, Junior can gain instant strength by tightening it and instantly growing a he-man body and various super powers, that is after taking a licking by a bevy of regular badguys like Rotcoddam and such if only to make the stories a tad more interesting and hey, you have to do something to pad out these one-minute plots now, don't you?

Gotta say that I thought alla these 'toons were good enough in that ranch house UHF suburban slob sorta way, what with that patented mid-sixties Hanna-Barbera animation (way cheaper'n QUEST but so what!), adventurous plots and of course the same JONNY QUEST music that I thought was so cool 'n jazzy during my kindergarten days. Quite sophisticated next to today's standards in fact...I mean, I can't see any kids (do they still have those?) appreciating these stories whether it be plot-wise or within the realm of what heroism used to mean before the do-gooders and other social planners decided to turn those truly golden years into day in and day out indoctrination hell bent on making everyone think like Dave Berg.

Face it, you just don't see plots like these (let alone ranch house kiddie morals) prevailing on Hello Kitty cartoons, not that today's breed o' turdler is apt enough to notice or care.

But if you like your cartoons lowbrow and a snug fit inside the BARNEY BEAN SHOW of your mind you can't go wrong with SINBAD JR. Might be worth a grey area search if only to fulfill some hidden kiddoid missing jigsaw piece in your mind because hey, it was stuff like this from your childhood that certainly made more sense'n those Walt Disney wildlife pictures your parents were always pushing on you!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

IZZIT TIME FOR ME TO EXPERIENCE ANOTHER ROCK 'N ROLL-RELATED DREAM SO SOON??? Well like maybe "yeah", and although it ain't exactly a rock n' roll dream like the kind I've been having ever since my teenbo days it's a good enough dream for me to mention on this blog so thus be it! I mean hey, in some ways this particular nocturnal expression does mirror my real life feelings regarding life and the way it used to be and the way it is and how I still hold all of those old emotions and tastes and ideals near and dear to my heart, and o'er the years I've discovered that my own personal feelings and wants and desires mean more to me than yours ever did, that's for sure!.

Anyway in this 'un I'm driving around in Cleveland Ohio on a nice sunny spring or autumn day (I'm wearing a windbreaker and it seems to be about fifty degrees outside), and what do I spot but an old store which at one time in the distant past was perhaps my all time favorite record shop, the kind that had every record I wanted including old ones, imports, singles and even rare rock mags which, come to think of it, is probably the reason the place went out of business. I know that it ain't a record shop anymore but, undoubtedly for nostalgic purposes, I decide to pull into the parking lot next to this building (located in a now run down area that urban renewal somehow forgot) just to take a look around---y'know, re-live old timey fun 'n fuzzy memories 'n all that which I tend to do in dreams such as these.

This particular shop now sells electronic devices and parts for said devices, and although it still houses the same old wooden doors that it had when I was buying up loads of vinyl from 'em back inna seventies/eighties those very same doors are now covered with ads for current bargains available from within said portal as well as an invitation for customers to come in and watch ELLEN with them in order to find out who the winner of a certain contest the shop was running was gonna be.

I peek in and notice that, although the place now resembles a low-grade Radio Shack, many of the original fixtures from the checkout counter to even some of the wall racks dating back to the record emporium days were still there. However, instead of displaying the latest releases they now held up cords and wires as well as various computer innards that keep machines like the one I'm pecking this saga out on going.  I also noticed that the people working at the place looked exactly like the kind of clerks one would find in many a record store throughout the seventies...young neo-hipster upstarts and the usual college undergrad suspect types with long hair and casual dress who used to chuckle at you when you'd buy an old Ventures album.

I then head back to my car feeling kinda low, like this was yet another sign that the things that gave me so much fun amid a world o' agony inna past are now pretty much dead 'n buried for all time. Dunno if I headed for the nearest location where a Dog House drive-in restaurant used to stand just to stare at it, but if I did I wouldn't be surprised one iota!
Meltzer's reaction after reading the paragraph to your right (and you
thought I was gonna make a Dave Lang joke!).
Hey gang! Guess what----tomorrow (May 11th) is none other than famed rock ex-critic and renaissance man for the sixties and seventies Richard Meltzer's SEVENTIETH (gosh ding it!) BIRTHDAY!!!! Can you believe it, the world's only rock 'n' roll fanabla has actually made it to the hoary old age of septuagenarianism which is more than I'm sure any of us woulda thought woulda happ'd inna first place! But hey, since longtime Meltzer adversary Lou Reed made it that far plus a few years why not the ol' "R" himself? Anyway, you've read more'n a few items about the man whether it be on this blog or in my crudzine (which I won't link up anymore because none of you felchites wanna buy any of the myriad assortment of mags available, either that or you outta-country types are too cheap to pay the postage!) so just search those things out yourself via the handy engine that adorns the top of this page if you so desire. As for me I'm gonna party up the right way and that's by spinning a few Smegma platters and tooting a noisemaker whilst eating a piece of Pepperidge Farms party cake. Maybe I can find a goat embryo and stick it in a bowl of half-wiggled gelatin (lime flavor preferred) and let it set up nice and firm. So here's to you Meltzer happy birthday and all, and thank you for making me the man I sure wouldn't have been had I picked up JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL 'stead of GULCHER off the book rack lo those many years back!
Well here they are---pretty much all of the newies that I've been spinning this past week. Not much this time, but then again I've been doing my darndest not to let the evil specter of real life get inna way and failing mighty miserably at it. Some more goodies here courtesy of Paul McGarry and Bill Shute along with one platter that I actually forked over some nice dough for, and although it might be a comparatively skimpoid entry compared with some of my others I get the feeling that this mere post packs more high energy rockist goodness into each and every letter than the majority of internet blab going on about rock 'n roll as a music that perhaps DEFINED our midclass suburban slob lives more'n UP WITH PEOPLE! ever could! But then again, when was the last time you read anything even remotely positive, transcendent and even gosh-it-all THRILLING relating to your pro-rock lifestyle and stacks fulla fifty-plus years of atonal jamz anyway? And any wizenhimer who dares utter "Christgau" in my presence will be banished to a fate worse than Melbourne, that's for sure!

SHAKE ALL NIGHT WITH THE OUTTA SITES CD-r burn (originally on Spinout...I think CD Baby might have some)

Heyheyhey---here's a batch of beyond "fairly decent" retro-revival stuff that might be too slick for you, but when played next to those early-eighties AM/FM rockers this sure sounds like the Stooges and Seeds crammed together. Nice slabs of British Invasion (early Dave Clark Five) crush up against mid-sixties Amerigan garage (early McCoys) and it all ends up sounding like AM radio car fulla kids in 1965 and you're coming home from school feeling so good because that ordeal is over! Nothing Northwest or strangulated about it, but much preferable to everything else being touted these days and considering that the Sites have been appearing on national tee-vee and the like all I gotta say is more power to 'em!
The Dolly Rocker Movement-ELECTRIC SUNSHINE CD-r burn (originally on Off the Hip)

Pleasant (kinda, sorta) retro-retro-sixties rock from this Sydney Australia band. I probably won't listen to it again in a million years, but I won't deny ya that their polished taken on various late-sixties rock forms (including West Coast pop psychedelia) done up in a particularly sparkling fashion sure beats the tar outta some of the competition, or at least it would had I the resources to HEAR some of the competition. Somehow I don't think that I would be missing much. Still there's that taint of post-197X production and execution to this one that keeps it from being a downright classic, but then again haven't you come to expect that from many of these sixties worshipers who might have had the right idea, but the wrong methods to put it forth responsibly.
Various Artists-PUNKS FROM THE UNDERGROUND CD (Skydog France)

I always liked these Skydog samplers if only because that particular label never did forget what the term "punk rock" has meant to many a cloistered suburban slob o'er the past thirtysome years. Y'know, punk as that brash return to mid-sixties excellence that seemed just about as much a part of your life as tee-vee reruns and the latest fast food flash. Nothing sophisticado like the kinda music your classmates enjoyed, but something that made you GLAD you were a living, breathing turd and made no bones about being one either!

This 'un's no diff, and although I'm not sure about its original configuration or whether or not this is fresh produce or a late-seventies creation (or a mix of both which it most likely is) it's pretty good. Three tracks by Giovanni Dadomo's (Sniveling) Shits might frighten some of you off, but I find these numbers to be cheaply straightforward in their presentation of the cheap straightforward rock n' roll clatter that was upsetting more'n a few Chris Welches back in the late-seventies. The Lightning Raiders with ex-Deviant/Pink Fairy Duncan Sanderson do a credible Rolling Stones circa STICKY FINGERS tribute, while the Heartbreakers are actually the Heroes but I guess Skydog thought they'd sell more copies crediting these classic tracks as the real done duji deal. And even the obscurities like the Vegetable Men's version of the Syd Barrett swan song from Floyd rock more'n a whole slew of classic rock caga this kinda music was poised to obliterate. But it didn't and of course we're all the worse off for it.

Biggest surprise---two Nick Kent tracks, one on his lonesome and the other with the Subteranneans who were more or less a mutated version of the Only Ones. Nice bared-wire intensity bit on the solo electric guitar outing while the band number has the kind of punk-intellectual neo-Lou cum Stones approach you would have expected even if you've only known Kent from his various scribblings. So successful on a slew of rockist levels that you know they would fail like anything what with the lack of rock 'n roll finesse and taste that abounded not only then but now. Good thing you didn't give up your day job Nick because hey, somehow I could tell by these offerings you weren't gonna get signed to the Rocket Record Company any time soon.
Various Artists-LEMON DANTE MIDNIGHTER MOON CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Hmmmmm-two ? and the Mysterians tracks make this an obvious keeper (not that I throw any of these Shute burns out), while James Brown's "Don't Be a Dropout" is probably gonna rank up there with "Funky President" as one of those numbers his white liberal rock critic fans would prefer not to remember. Lotsa neato soul too for a guy like myself who kinda likes these off-the-charts efforts, and although I was hoping that the Mark IV here was the early incarnation of Creation their "Dante's Inferno" is kinda sorta funny in the way one of those MAD magazine record inserts were.

Come to think of it, the gaggers here are what makes LEMON DANTE MIDNIGHTER MOON such a hoot. I never was one to snuggle up to David Frost, but his spoof of "Deck of Cards" (the story about the soldier who uses a stack of 52 as a bible) is funny even if it is too English for me to understand the whys and wherefores of Cricket (if I were to spoof it I'd have the hapless soldier toting a game of MONOPOLY into the church, something which I might have said while reviewing the original version!), though the NATIONAL LAMPOON classic "Deteriorata" remains a fave if only because I remember how the iron-haired gals used to swoon to the Les Crane original and the parody really makes me feel superior to all of those wretched excuses for human beings with their love, peace and murderous urges!

 Oh yeah, and the Denny Dale tracks that closes this disque out is standard and of course top notch mid-sixties garage band rock and I should know because it came out on Soma who also released the Trashmen (on their Garrett subsidiary) and Castaways. And like with a track record like that I get the feeling that they weren't gonna be releasing much crapazoid music, eh?

Thursday, May 07, 2015

 BOOK REVIEW! JESS...O! TRICKY CAD & OTHER JESSOTERICA edited by Michael Duncan (Siglio, 2012)

San Fran beatno/collagist Jess Collins actually wrote Chester Gould for permission to publish the "Tricky Cad" series of DICK TRACY reimages that Collins had spliced together during the mid-fifties. Gould's retort was curt 'n sweet..."IF YOU PRINT THESE I'LL SUE YOU FOR EVERY PENNY YOU HAVE!" which is probably why you haven't seen any of these mentally askew takes on the classic comic strip unless you peeked into one of a few pop art books that dared publish  'em. But now that Chester Gould is dead 'n gone and come to think of it so is Jess it's safe to read 'em, and of course "Tricky Cad" appears in this collection of Jess collages along with a whole slew of his work and the freakier amongst us should be all the more happier because of it.

Jess' creations were to scissors, paste and a whole lotta old books and newspapers what William Burroughs' cut ups were to novels and John Cage's aleatory methods were to music. Maybe not as chance-taking as any dadaist around you might have cared, but the results were good enough especially for a Bay Area homo who wasn't exactly gonna set the art world on fire with his techniques. Good enough that I can stare at his comic disasterpieces finding heretofore undetected weirdo gags for minutes on end while some atonal drone blares away on my boom box. Good enough that his work makes fellow collage types like Winston Smith (not exactly a top notch fave I will admit) look positively wilted in comparison. Good enough that I ain't even bugged by the frequent homo angle that consciously or not winds its way into the art (at least it's tasteful which is something you could rarely say about the homo experience). And if you like clean cut, well oiled sailors you too will go for it but please, don't let me know about it.

Besides "Tricky Cad" we are also treated to his "deconstructions" so-to-say of Warren Tufts'  LANCE now entitled "Nance" (gotta say I was disappointed because I thought that Jess was gonna take on none other than my other personal comic fave NANCY!) and John Cullen Murphy's BIG BEN BOLT which was cut up into "Ben Big Bolt" ('n how gay c'n ya get with that!). Somehow I get the feeling that these along with "Tricky Cad" are the way most of the inmates residents at the old fogies home where Brad Kohler works actually see the comics presented to them whenever a newspaper is tossed their way which makes me wonder...if they read these Jess takes on 'em would they look normil??? Maybe Brad can toss a copy of this book their way and let us know the results!

Saturday, May 02, 2015

It happened late December of last year only I heard about it now...r.i.p. Josef Vondruska, Czech rock 'n roll dissident, singer, writer, lyricist, poet, collage-ist and leader of a variety of groups both Iron Curtain bound and beyond including Umela Hmota, Umela Hmota 3, Dom and (later on) the Laser Fuckers. True the name probably means nil to you unless you too were front and center in the mid-seventies Czech rock underground (or spent your nineties rock reading time combing through a certain crudzine I will refrain from mentioning by name), but a self-professed authority such as myself WILL definitely go out on that cliched limb and say that a man like Vondruska was, for all intent purposes, as important to the growth and spreadth of rock 'n roll (as that international youth language we used to hear about) as Peter Laughner and a myriad assortment of fallen rock prophets who either spoke to deaf ears or to downright hostile creatures who have yet to get their comeuppance for ruining the once grand world of rock 'n roll. But in the world of rock (as well as real life), what else is new?

A fan and follower of the fabled Plastic People of the Universe since their late-sixties inception (as well as a one-time member of the Czechoslovakian Army, conscripted I believe), Vonsdruska was an on-the-edge personality who perhaps epitomized that indulgent rock lifestyle we've heard so much about even if some of us were too chicken-hearted to fall into it. By late-'73 he became, along with Dino Volpalka and Alfred Michl, one of the leaders of Umela Hmota aka "Artificial Matter" aka "Plastic" (get it?), a group whose first concert came off like one of the most primitive scrapes of sound taking the early zeal of the Stooges and Fugs to even lower levels (Wild Man Fisher was an inspiration) complete with screeching violin, thudding guitars and a drum solo that sounded like a seven-year-old trying to ape Ginger Baker before petering out beddy-bye style. The Third Generation coming to fruition, though friction eventually broke out between Vondruska and Michl after the former wanted to introduce some blatantly pro-heroin lyrics into the group's repertoire. (Vondruska later had a falling out with Dino over some matter that Michl could not remember but there had been hard feeling over the years...Michl saying that it was a mistake to have invited him to perform at  a '92 Umela Hmota reunion show but why should I dig into the memory of a dead man who I admire anyway?)

This split did result in the formation of two Umela Hmotas, one with the original lineup sans Vondruska and one with Vondruska leading a new group, the acts therefore being known as Umela Hmota 2 and Umela Hmota 3 respectively. Both were high energy early punk rave rockers with clear Detroit/Velvets leanings along with noticeable references to local heroes the Plastic People and DG-307 that did add a certain local edge to their approach. Fortunately both of these groups' rehearsal, studio and live material has been reissued and can be available rather readily from various Czech music sources, and of course they're highly recommended for fans of mid-seventies just pre-punk primitive rock acts like the Electric Eels or James Chance's Death. (Try if you so desire.) And if you're whipped up by my description of these acts and want to read more just search this very blog for my own reviews which I must admit are some of the better scribble I've put forth to pixel these past ten or so years.

Vondruska's Dom followed, a late-seventies group which sounded to me kinda like Bryan Ferry singing with the Cramps, also highly recommended. However, with the Czech government cracking down on rock 'n roll dissidents who were sullying up the enlightened atmosphere of the place with a voracity, Vondruska skedaddled to Austria before making his way to Australia where he got a job spray painting automobiles for the Ford Motor Company becoming rather ill in the process. (He remained out of sight for the most part, though his correspondence with Czech writer Egon Bondy eventually made it into book form and remains highly desirable among connoisseurs of the East Bloc struggle.)

After the fall of the communist government in '92 Vondruska was back home writing, making collages and singing in the Laser Fuckers (any recordings available out there?) while working as a janitor for the sole purpose of reality. Rumor has it his health was deteriorating and his own mood took a downturn after his wife died, and soon he was out of work living on the dole as they like to say in England. Dunno the exact whys and wherefores of his passing, though I would (probably erroneously) guess that it was a combination of high energy living, work-related lack of precautions and a general run-downness that led to the man leaving us so early (age 62). Another one from that great rock 'n roll generation no longer with us, and certainly a man who shoulda gotten his dues only all of you rock snobs ignored him probably because """""I""""" (unrepentant blogschpieler willing enough to stick a death mirror up to your face) had championed him as a TRUE rock hero.

The Umela Hmota 3 snaps that pepper this particular portion of the blog were taken from a Czech documentary on the whole Charter 77/anti-government movement of the day (hence the Youtube bug) and, if I do say so myself, look pretty cool what with Umela Hmota 3 playing those cheap East Bloc guitars and posing with their long hair, not forgetting Vondruska and his Ron Asheton shades. And if any of you out there think that this sendoff to one of the greatest unsung rock 'n rollers (of all time!) is a lotta hooey and that I should be concentrating on more up-to-date and therefore "relevant" matters this is all I have to say...radši bych byl z kamene!

Of course I should mention that it was Vondruska who also helped me greatly with my various underground Czech rock articles and gave me permission to use his UH and Dom tracks on the CD which accompanied issue #22 of my own crudzine. Not only that, but he expressed pleasure with the resultant platter, expressing a refreshing affinity for the Milk Tiny Tim medley that appeared on it and seemingly felt some pride that his music and art was being appreciated somewhere outside of the former Czechoslovakia! So maybe this is one reason I'm willing to prop up and support a true rock 'n' roller like Vondruska while  poo-pooing a good portion of moderne drek that has been passing itself off as "cutting edge" and "socially significant" for eons awlready. If you can't appreciate that you deserve all of the latest webhype that's been inundating us ad infinitum ("listen to this! I discovered it first!!!----sheesh!) and deserve it GOOD!
Well, after a whole lotta struggle and rather Hindenburg-esque gutbusting pain (healthy foods will do that to you!) here are this week's reviews. Gotta say that I believe this is a pretty good crop of 'em (thanks to the contributions of not only a certain Mr. W. Walter but certain Misters B. Shute and P. McGarry), and I must admit that I've had more fun listening to this batch of freebies than I have some of the batches sent my way o'er the past few months, hand-licking mongrel that I was and shall always be! So while I'm still in a good mood (which won't be for long) here are the writeups!

Deadly Orgone Radiation-POWER TRIPS CD (Copepod UK), Henry Kaiser/Damon Smith/Weasel Walter-PLANE CRASH TWO CD (New Atlantis), Lydia Lunch Retrovirus-URGE TO KILL CD (Widowspeak/Brava)

Three newies that have none other than Weasel Walter as the common denominator, and as you know I can always use some of his special soundscapading to get me through these rather low-fidelity times.

Deadly Orgone Radiation features Weasel on drums and the dual guitar lineup of James Sedwards and Alex Ward, the latter also throwing in some alto sax. The result is shattering, with the guitars raving it up almost like Bruce Anderson and Sonny Sharrock having an all-out while WW plays even deadlier than Sunny Murray could have thought up.

Henry Kaiser actually sounds gnarlier on PLANE CRASH TWO than he has for years. Maybe it's the presence of WW that brings out the angular in him. Not that I'm an expert on the man, but I gotta say that HK is one of the more interesting guys holding a stringed contraption these days---maybe it was all of his blabber about Eddie Van Halen being one of the best guitarists extant that soured me on the guy way back inna eighties.

And lo and behold, it's none other than Lydia Lunch making a return to the recording studio after who knows how long a break...anyway she's in fine form here even though she's really hoarse and scratchy throat-wise and doesn't do the ol' bleating game like she used to. But her band is almost as good as 8 Eyed Spy and they really coagulate to her eternally PMS'd visions fantabulously. Even to the point where it's almost 1981 again and the only thing we have to look forward to is Max's Kansas City closing up for good. A surprise hit outta nowhere because frankly, I thought it was gonna suck.
Various Artists-BACK FROM THE GRAVE VOLUME 10 CD-r burn (originally on Crypt)

Hot on the heels of #9 comes this hotcha volume of BACK FROM THE GRAVE and boy is it a lou-lou and I don't mean Reed! Dunno where Crypt compiler Tim Warren snatches these platters up but he's got some real rarities here and none of 'em are of the hazy late-sixties introspective pretensioso psych vein either! Maybe there are a few tracks that don't grab me where my cojones used to be (sold 'em for a copy of DENIM DELINQUENT #1 twenty-five years ago)---kinda more suited for those early-teen PEBBLES if you ask me---but most of this is hot snot enough to have appeared on those early BACK FROM THE GRAVEs and that's really saying something, Chollie!

Personal faves...The Four's "69" (which sounds more 1966 to me, confusing ain't it?), The Orphans' "Hey Gyp" (better'n the Animals, Donovan and even the Yardbirds but not as good as Greg Prevost), Nobody's Children's "Mother's Tin Mustache" (kinda reminds me of a long-forgotten Stooges studio goof track) and (best of all!) GMC and the Arcells's take on the Sonics classic "The Witch"! Sounds like someone got this IQ 70 nutzoid from the local asswipe factory to giggle and sing it while a less than professional (yet still gung ho) buncha pre-teen rockers aspiring to be the Kinks but reaching about as far as the Marquis Chimps pounded it out. Too bad I didn't get the liner notes for this ' they're a hoot!
THE BEST OF THE MARSHMALLOW OVERCOAT CD-r burn (originally on Garage Nation)

I believe that I was beginning to tire of the whole "garage revival" movement of the eighties by the time these guys (and one gal) hit the scene, but I do recall liking their first EP way back when. And even this late in life the Marshmallow Overcoat sound a whole loads better'n alla that crap that plagued the eighties music scene (which was one of the worst at least until the nineties, oh-ohs and teens hit). Rather palatable psychedelic rock which might be a little bit candy coaty for some, but it sure pleases me more'n some of the competition which didn't quite capture the rec room and UHF tee-vee atmosphere of the original movement (at least as it was related to by certain suburban slobs like myself). Might be worth a spin or three.
Elliott Murphy-AQUASHOW DECONSTRUCTED CD-r burn (originally on Blue Rose)

There's a hot idea! Re-record your debut album the way it should be done these days, and although I would usually poo-poo such an idea as being more of a lack of direction or innovation it's sure fab hearing a fave rave album like this again done up totally different-like. Murphy still cooks despite a few rather recent fizzles, and this platter dredges up all of those positive feelings I have about seventies rock without the bad taste that much of the music produced during that time can leave in your mind. No gimmicks or technological whizzes here! So good that even the "Marilyn Monroe died for our sins" line ain't gonna make you upchuck like it woulda in the hands of lesser seventies singer/songwriter emotive types like Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen.
GYPSY ROSE LEE REMEMBERS BURLESQUE CD-r burn (originally on Stereo Oddities)

Boy is this one dirty...dirty enough that I kinda get the feeling that if you were searching through your bachelor uncle's record collection when he wasn't home back '63 way and found this album stashed in between the Billy May and Bill Dana your mother would be givin' ol' unc' a scolding worse'n the time when you forgot to lock the bathroom door! Yes, this is a documentary album about the history of burlesque narrated by the famed stripper herself, complete with comedy asides and more double entendres than your sophomore English teacher would have dared let you get away with. Hotcha naughty spins for the just into the double digit crowd, but then again I get the feeling that most of you sincere pud piddlers will continue to stick with LACTATING LOVELIES and wouldn't be caught dead rising to this release in a millyun years.

When Bill took the photo that accompanies the cover I was wondering whether or not those were his sunglasses wallowing in the bottom of the "fountain" and in fact if he gathered up the manhood to reach in and pick 'em up, rinse 'em off and put 'em back on his bean! Kinda reminds me of the time I was really broke and there was a nickel down there in the pee-can and at that time I really sure coulda used it!!! I didn't reach in for it though because well...there were people in that restroom and after all, how would it LOOK? 

Cheap tendencies aside (no more urinals for me, though sidewalks and parking lots are fair game), I gotta say that I really enjoyed Bill's offering. Never heard the pre-Stiff era Mickey Jupp, but his Legend are hokay country neo-rock, sorta in the same vein as future Stiff artists Ian Dury and Nick Lowe who were playing neo-rock with reggae (Dury/Kilburn) or neo-rock with West Coast hippie moves (Lowe/Brinsley) before slipping into the new wave shape of things. Delores Early's organ r&b was crunchy enough for those of us who like that Jimmy McGriff-styled pre-gentrified black sound. Bob Storm's song poem plays it both patriotic and ecological while the Strawberry Children were better than I would have expected---West Coast-styled folk rock right around the time it was all going to fall into the hippie chasm that typified the seventies music scene to rather disgusting effect.

The rest varies from Scab Cadillac doing a slow grind that comes off either post-hardcore or post-heavy metal depending where you like to stick your posts, while the Stone Canyon Band (not the Rick Nelson group as the liners say) do a good if rather lackluster version of the Chantays hip "Pipeline". Bandanna sound like the Grateful Dead when Donna Godchaux was singing with 'em, while the unknown acetate's some typical late-fifties doo-wop that doesn't settle well with my more, er, "refined" first generation rock tastes (Wray, Holly, Hurricanes...).  But considering the decadent depths of giddy anti-rock 'n roll depravity we've sunk into I'll take it all over the latest Ringo Starr and I get the feeling that you would as well.