Saturday, October 03, 2015

What a bee-youtifully gloomy Saturday morning we're having right now what with alla that overcast, rain and downright depressing weather that resonates powerfully within my system! Takes me back to that one fall morning back 1971 way when I was stuck at my uncle/aunt/cousins' house and in the midst of what was appearing to be a rained-out garage sale my uncle took me to the now-demolished Valley View department store where I bought one of those 35-cent "Giant" issues of WORLD'S FINEST! Y'know, the title which used to feature Superman and Batman (later Superman and someone/thing else) battling the bad boys of the DC empire, only this one reprinted some of those early-sixties adventures where Superman and Batman would tangle with the likes of aliens and time-travel in a way that certainly did not fit in with the socio-relevant comics that DC was churning out at the time. I still recall (and with fondness too!) that very day protected from the elements snuggled up on the couch reading this still-inexpensive-enough comic book through twice (my uncle even saying that since I read the thing already maybe I should return it and get my money back!) and if I hadda live any day over again in my life wouldn't be this one that's for sure! Y'see, we had asparagus for supper.

But still, if I had my druthers I'd be curled up on the comfy chair in my boudoir right now reading that very same comic (or at least another issue of it which I re-bought years later and reviewed on this blog somewhere although I can't find the proper post to link up!), but I'm not. I'm typing this post out for you so you can find out exactly what kinda music has been jiggling my jangles this past week or so and (once again) thanks to Bill Shute, Paul MGarry 'n the folks at Bruit for their contributions to the cause. Personally I think this one's a must-dig blogpost to bookmark for all eternity, but as usual you'll think otherwise...

Various Artists-LAST OF THE GARAGE PUNK UNKNOWNS VOLUME 2 CD-r burn (originally on Crypt)

More scrape-scrape-scrapin' than an abortion clinic's goin' on with these volumes of rare mid-sixties teenage garage band wonders, and for a buncha scrapin's they're pretty good ones if I do say so myself! Nothing that would fit in on that other Crypt-label collection BACK FROM THE GRAVE true, but this still's got some fine mumblings from the likes of Our Gang (and not the kind with that chubby gal singer), Half Pint and the Fifths, and a whole buncha guys you probably beat up and pissed on back when they were goin' to school with you some time inna sixties. You've known the drill for ages and should know by now to pick this up w/o me having to spin a few hundred platitudes in its behalf. However I will mention that the unknown group's version of "Got Love If You Want It" coulda held its own with any English nth-stringer intact, but you'll have to wait for the LAST OF THE TRANS-WORLD PUNK RAVEUPS series to find out for yourself.
THE FRIGHTENING LIGHTS LP (Bruit Direct Disques, France...check Forced Exposure as well)

Parisian torch singer Fifi Fontaine and her accompanist try to break a world's record by performing a marathon set at the Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania Holiday Inn lounge. This is her during the fourteenth hour, and that bloke at table two still hasn't ordered a drink! Slow, lush, perhaps lethargic yet ethereal and suckering you in music from this duo who recall everyone from MARBLE INDEX-era Nico to the Shangs and even some of those obscure Japanese acts that appeared on THE NIGHT GALLERY sampler. THE FRIGHTENING LIGHTS are so sluggish that this would make good backdrop for a constipated toidy session, but it has that interesting "real" avant garde approach and appeal to it just the same.
4th CEKCION CD-r burn (originally on Solar Records)

Drat...y'see I kinda was hoping that 4th Cekcion were gonna be one of those late-sixties Texas psychedelic bands that were still around even after the likes of the 13th Floor Elevators had skooted off for asylums unknown. But what did I get but this horn rock act that has about as much verve to it as the bumper music for an episode of THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW. A sad shame since I'll betcha that everybody involved with the Cekcion was probably in some super-boffo rock act that might have even given the better known acts of the local scene a run for the lysergic money!

These Soul Jazz releases may be ultra-repeato when it comes to my own personal collection, but the good side of it is that now I don't have to shuffle through a good forty years of stacked singles to find the Pressler/Morgan Hearthan release nor do I have to worry about wearing out the grooves even more when I play "Drano In Your Veins" for the umpteen-thousandth time. Some glaring omissions true (like, why no Milk?) and I don't see how the Human Switchboard could be considered a Cleveland act, but Jon Savage's liner notes are entertaining even if we've known the drill for ages. I mean, it's sure nice seeing these releases getting some NOTICE for a change. Best of all, the whole idea of these Soul Jazz Cle/Ako/Kento collections flies in the face of that whole Bruno Bornino/Anastasia Pantsios dribble goin' around at the time that these groups were just mere aberrations and nothing to pay attention to what with Michael Stanley speaking to/for an entire generation of workshirt narcissistic types. Can you believe that?

Yeah I know, you probably want to spend an evening listening to Quentin Crisp about as much as you'd like to spend it in a hot tub with him. And I do agree with you. However, on this particular disque the nekkid civil servant doesn't bore you with ribald tales of s*xual conquests and the proper care and cleaning of your doodyhole like you thought he would. Naw, he just bores you with talk about a whole load of subjects under the sun while ritzy New Yawkers listen with rapt attention. Frankly I was taken back to those sorry days of higher education when I'd have to listen to the wavering tones of some aged professor expounding on the whys and wherefores of some long gone Greek guy. Only this time I didn't hafta take any notes, and I'll bet I'd get better'n a "C" even without trying!
The Merseymen-VISIT TO THE BEATLE INN CD-r burn (originally on Zodiac, New Zealand)

Haw, that's a good way to get the Aunt Flabbies and Uncle Ferds of this world to pick up some definitely not exactly whatcha think it is elpee. Slap the word Beatle onna from of the thing and even a pic of 'em t' boot and you'll have the entire Jack Benny Fan Club stomping into your record department to gobble these things up and dish 'em out to their teenage relatives who naturally want the real thing!

Of course that ain't exactly what was going on here, what with the Aukland teen club pictured on the front being called the "Beatle Inn" and the group the Merseymen being a local teenage cash in on one of the bigger musical movements since Johann S. Bach discovered curlers.

Good enough versions of the biggies (Manfred Mann, Holly, Berry...) that might get a little too soft in the translation but still do me fine. Even the scant originals show signs of promise, and the performance is "there" without being tepid. Goes to show you that even the copycats of the mid-sixties had a lot more to offer us than the "serious" FM rock types who cluttered up the late-sixties and after.

Original Music and Stars from the Warner Bros. Hit Television Show HAWAIIAN EYE CD-r burn (originally on Warner Brothers)

These tee-vee soundtrack albums usually don't conjure up the fun feeling we actually had watching these shows, but this HAWAIIAN EYE 'un does manage to transcend the "eh!" Nice pre-hippie FM sorta lilt to this, and even the vocal numbers tend to stand out. By the way, I remember when this show was being rerun (don't recall the original airings) on channel 33 during the afternoon hours on Sundays when I was a kiddiegarden ager, and I would be totally TERRIFIED of that big tiki they used to show between commercials...and I do mean run out of the room crying scared worthy of any choice episode of OUTER CREATURES or TWIBLIGHT ZONE not to mention a Conelrad test! In fact I hadda be told when it was safe to re-enter the tee-vee room once that evil-looking thing was gone, and even to this day I get a bit of the chills just thinking about that South Seas idol with those big alien eyes and square forehead. Funny but I never got the scares watching ADDAMS FAMILY or THE MUNSTERS at exactly the same time, but this show...wooooh!
Galactic Explorers-EPITAPH FOR VENUS CD-r burn (originally on Psi-Fi, Germany)

I heard that this electronic offering is actually a blatant hoax, but frankly if you like early-seventies krautrock enough you won't care one iota if it is or not. A trio of keyboard players make a slow, ethereal sound that's partially reminiscent of early-seventies Tangerine Dream and a whole lot more reminiscent of the early Klaus Schultze efforts. Analog-sounding too! Really, if this platter is a recent recording packaged up to recall earlier triumph I'm sure hoping that a whole load of OTHER hoaxes make their way to my door as well!
WE'RE THE BANANA SPLITS CD-r burn (originally on Decca)

Here's a platter that's guaranteed to give Lindsay Hutton a hard-on on his death bed. Yes, the original Banana Splits did release an album and it was a pretty dandy one too given that these guys didn't exactly burn up the charts the way the Monkees and Archies did. And although there's a whole lot lost in translation from tee-vee to disque (after all, it ain't the same without watching the foursome frolic at King's Island) I can't complain about the sounds to be found herein. The best cliches of the day (sitars, baroque modes) are put to better than adequate use and they still sound snappier than the entire Grunt and Round Record catalogs put together. Good tunes, snappy lyrics and if anything'll get you in the mood for a Three Musketeers cartoon it's this!

The Pretty Things-THE SWEET PRETTY THINGS (ARE IN BED NOW OF COURSE) CD-r burn (originally on Repertoire)

Yeah it's nice seeing this long-lived rock act still up and about this far down the line, but I gotta admit that just about everything I've heard by the Pretty Things from about FREEWAY MADNESS on really doesn't do much for my sense of rockism. Oh most of it is what I would call palatable and perhaps even exhilarating in spots, but none of it can measure up to what the group had been doing back when Viv Prince was getting beat up in Australia or New Zealand and they were the toast of every maladjusted longhair punk world-wide. Well at least they're still alive, though I must admit that I nary got a throb thrill jolt outta this one like I did with GET THE PICTURE.

Wonder where they dug up some of the early/mid-sixties garage band stuff that pops up on this 'un...probably right next to Paul Revere's horse or something like that. Still good listening here what with the Teentones trying to cut in on the Cascades market with their sullen teenage rock that sounds perfect for your next drive to the Dog House, while the Chessmen sound just like every other band that copped the same name sometime between the birth of the British Invasion and the arrival of that guy with the raincoat and shades who used to hang around the school parking lot around dismissal. Even wilder are the Hitch Hikers, whose "Beaver Shot" sounds like a Gizmos song in gestataion. The "song poems" from Brosh Records are just as cornballus as your Uncle Ferd likes 'em while those radio ads Bill always sneaks in bring back memories of me being stuck inna car after school because of some stupid reason or another. If memories are made of these, then my entire turdler-pimplefarm existence was one of being stranded in some sorta automobile while some relative was holed up at the drug store waiting for a perscription to be filled.


Anonymous said...

I think that the "unknown track" is off of the first Terry Knight and the Pack LP. It is titled "Got Love" and is "credited" to Terry...

Charles Hodgson said...

Quentin Crisp is more punk rock than Johnny Rotten multiplied by Joe Strummer! (Oo-er!)

Christopher Stigliano said...

Oh yeah???? I guess you never saw Crisp's appearance on THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW where he got into a heated argument re. gaydom with none other than Wayne County. I never saw it either but I heard that the feathers were really flying!