Saturday, November 28, 2015

I'll take the one on the left, and the one on the
right as well!
Welcome to BLOG TO COMM, the "safe space" for everyday high energy rockist old tee-vee watching fanablas who really can't give a hoot about the latest season of THE SIMPSONS or whatever it is the modern day turdtwisters out there watch onna boob tube. (Sheesh, after OUR MISS BROOKS it's all a blur to me!). Hope you're feeling all hopped up after the big Thanksgiving weekend most of us (not me---gotta work!) are living through, and I do get the sneakin' suspicion that your Christmas jollies, like mine, are just building UP in anticipation of the Big Day o' gift getting!

I also hope you're doin' what I used to do back when the season was upon us by going through the new Sears catalog and circling (originally cutting out and pasting to a laundry shirt cardboard!) all of the hot and new toy items (amongst other things like games and bikes) that you want Santa to drop under yer tree like a fresh reindeer turd. I can still remember myself during those funner 'n fun days clipping out loads of toy cars and games that, not surprisingly, I never did receive once December 25 popped up on the calendar. I also remember clipping out pics of nice looking ladies in underwear which really got the folks upset because they undoubtedly thought I was a fag for doing so. It wasn't until years later that they realized that I didn't want the undergarments these shapelies were wearing, but the wimmen themselves (with or w/o their unmentionable) which only goes to show you just how advanced some of us nursery school types can be ---heheheheh!
I WAS GONNA IGNORE IT BUT WHA' TH' HEY, I NEED TO PLUMP THIS OTHERWISE SKIMPY POST UP A BIT...funny the kinda things you come up with when you google yer name, and boy did I get the LAFF RIOT OF THE CENTURY w/ this li'l gem! In typical Sidney Harris fashion I was searching the web for something that was totally unrelated, but (you won't believe this!) not only did I discover that longtime bigger 'n big underground rock 'n roll magnate of the eighties GERARD COSLOY is still alive, but he is still an active sorta fella at least to a certain extent because he actually has a blog that deals in music (thought he'd given the music biz up but then again I really haven't been paying much attention).

I ain't gonna give out the name of it because hey, said blog's probably being BOMBARDED with hits and it'll take ya at least a week to get through, but on said blog (and a few weeks ago at that!) the man actually pecked out his own personal reply to my very own THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY reminiscences where I say a few rather unkind things about him, and given the lack of free publicity BLOG TO COMM gets I must admit---in my own gosh-it-all good natured self way---that am I glad I'm starting to get noticed after all these years of sweat and toil!

Gerard, I know you care about me and all so let me say that the shoulder separation surgery went fine...glad you thought so much about sending your best wishes, but there might have been a few li'l bits 'n feces in your lovely post that I think should be noted if only for pure historical purposes!

To start things off---well---I would say in my own humble opinion for what it's worth 'n all that Cosloy was doing just a little bit more'n "making fun" of me like he claims. Naw, he didn't call me a sissyfag or crack jokes about my schnoz or anything relatively innocent...what he's guilty of is pretty much going all out hog wild casting aspersions upon my "critical" abilities as well as general tastes in a more'n just nyah nyah way! (And at a time when I really coulda used the prop up, not that it's any concern to anyone!) And yeah, what he did say about me was kinda cutting in that typical Cosloy fashion he's been known for for ages, and surely a bruise to this tender soul who cries over broken flowers 'n all. Quit the innocent bit, huh? But all kidding aside, the words that were being spewed by Mr. C weren't exactly nicey-nice good natured fun but hardcore raves against my entire reason for publishing. Sure didn't know I was that much of a lousy writer, but then again what are my scribings next to a GIANT in the industry as you?

Not that Cosloy is especially creative in his attacks either... I mean, ain't it rather OBVIOUS to drag up comparisons between Adolf Hitler/Archie Bunker and myself??? Couldn't you have done better? Thought you had a little more of an expressive, creative element in your obviously superior beanie Mr. C! Now I would have been flattered if you compared me to such less-known yet vastly superior souls as Wyndham Lewis or George Lincoln Rockwell...that'd show a shard of creativity re. the grey matter. But in these days of post-rock screeding I can't expect anyone to add any Wayne McGuire-styled intellect to the form which is a dad-blamed shame. Besides, my opines are far closer to an amalgamation of Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, Jim Goad, Paul Craig Roberts, Justin Raimondo and Andy Nowicki than they are to Hitler/Bunker but yeah, who in your socio-political circle knows who most of 'em are anyway? Or can tell the difference for that matter! And for some strange reason I think any one 'em could make mince outta your personal fave far left crybaby commentators in a fair debate which come to think of it would be a rather easy task.

(And please note that I do include the uber-left COUNTERPUNCH site on my linkroll, if only because many of the opinions expressed there are worthy of perusal and even agreement at times [can't argue that much with at least a portion of what Ralph Nader has to say anymore], and besides its one of the few places where the works of such vastly superior forms of life as Roberts as well as Sheldon Richman are being promoted anywhere on the web.)

Sheesh, where in the world did I wish cancer upon you in this writeup? Death sure...I mean I sure could use a laugh, can't we ALL??? But then again for you an agonizing death would undoubtedly be caused by discovering a 10% drop in your stock portfolio! How you have changed---I sure remember some of your vitriolic CONFLICT tirades where you'd dish out the patently adolescent spew such as the time you told Mike Saunders to go back across the room and stick Eddie Flowers' dick back in his mouth (whatever the hell that meant), or sneer on about how you wished certain people you weren't so hot on would die while engaged in sexual asphyxiation. Maybe that was the Angry Young Cosloy speaking, but still them wuz mighty fightin' words! I also remember your own pal Patrick Amory writing an article in his own rag entitled "Death to Stigliano" which I guess expressed sentiments you're 100% copasetic with! Sure got a lot of blowback (sorry!) from that one! Sheesh, I'm only carrying on a fine and upstanding "'zine" tradition with my opines, and maybe you should be proud if only in the slightest for helping to get the ball rolling. But really, I do like your "play innocent" act---wish I could borrow it sometimes!

(Oh, and that's some fatwa I swore against you, huh? I seriously doubt it, for other than when I was writing up my thirtieth anniversary celebration and scant few other posts I must admit that I SELDOM think of you.)

I also remember you pullin' the ol' ageism game on me...y'know, you're so young and I'm so old as a dyslexic Paul Anka mighta sang it. Yeah, I should be writin' my personal memoirs regarding the signing of the Magna Carta and all 'stead of about rock 'n roll but anyway, how does it feel to be among the geriatric now, Cos?

Back to the post!  I know how HUMBLE you are but it ain't no big MYSTERY why the sales of my mag took a drop right when you, a pretty powerful cog in the '80s underground machine (you don't have to be so modest about the power you wielded!), started up your li'l infantile rants against me and my (ahem!) writing abilities and tastes! Ain't no mere coincidence like you say, chum. Of course you were one who at first praised the mag tellin' your readership about how you first read about the Silver Apples in issue #6 after hearing 'em on the radio wonderin' who they were (and writing me some downright pleasant notes as well!) before turning on me based on certain patches of information I've put together from different sources that still make little if any sense (though you'll come up with a few nice li'l reasons as to why). Sheesh, give yourself a little credit for being a shifty human being now, willya???

(By the way, outside of an old FORCED EXPOSURE ad I've never heard of Wishes and Water in my life! And who in heck are these Lewis Largent and Dino Costa fellows you mention in your post anyway, next door neighbors? And people think I'M being obscure with my references!)

I am surprised how you got that notion that a "cabal" of Pee-Cee "Thought Police" has been created to lead to my very downfall and loss of riches and all that. Must be my suspicious mind looking for bigshot En Why rockcrit/underground suckerfish hiding under the bed again! You wouldn't know, but my slow if ever-coagulating move towards the (ahem) "right" didn't really come to total fruition until the v. late-eighties at which time the disturbing if not disgusting actions of certain people you love (those who can easily have their core beliefs easily shred by observers greater than myself, and for that matter have) really became too much for this straight arrow to take. And frankly, I still don't know who was worse, the rampaging fags, feminist blowhards, NEA money grubbing trash artists or the limo lib lackeys (a category in which you more or less fit in) who were defending it all. But I keep forgetting---small city suburban hourly wage workers who are anywhere to the right of Stalin have no rights. The destructive actions of these fine upstanding citizens made me an even straighter soul so maybe I do have you to thank for my transformation, at least in part. Of course ya wouldn't know any of this because hey, for years you weren't READING the mag but I can forgive you (hah!) for getting all of your timelines tangled up.

And (naturally) I really can tell that you're speaking out the well-traveled (sorry---though maybe exit-wise more than entrance) anal cavity when you wrote "At least this dude's still writing about non-garbage music in 2015 (gosh oh gee, what a change from the Gerard of yore!-editor), which is more than most of his more successful (?-editor) contemporaries can claim. On the other hand, most of those contemporaries reside on PLANET EARTH (space is the place, man!-editor), and some might've actually brought something new to the table over the past quarter century."  Something new???...of course most avid readers know of my contempt for most current variations of the once-bountiful world of r/r o'er the past few decades, but if Stephen Painter, Fadensonnen, Fossils, Kurt Vile (remember him?), Pete Molinari, Marcus Rubio, Magik Markers, the New Piccadillys, Denny and the Jets, Mamitori Ulithi Emoress Yonaguni San, the Bon Vivants (you know I could go on) and others reviewed and interviewed on this blog aren't exactly current and fresh upstart acts (at least since the dawn of the BLOG TO COMM era which is far less'n the past quarter century) then I haven't been to a moom pitcher theatre since TILLIE'S PUNCTURED ROMANCE was playin' the circuit! If I brought anything to the table these past twenny-five years it's a virtual BANQUET but hey, since you obviously weren't reading I can't blame you for your IGNORANCE (but perhaps I'm being too judgmental...).

"Why can't you be NORMAL like us,
Anyway, it's no surprise that Coz's post elicited at least one response (and he sez my blog's "barely trafficked"!) from none other than #1 Cozfan himself Jay Hinman. I guess things have been goin' slow at Smootco Enterprises because Hinman, after saying that he didn't even know BTC still existed (for shame---you think he would read his friend Jon Behar's Waitekere Walks blog!) actually GOOGLED all of the times he's been mentioned here, listing the number of references on this blog at least back to '09! (Or course he was only googling his own name, so references to him using the words "turdbucket" or "snatchscent" obviously went right past.) And people think I'm anal-retentive---I feel like sending him a bag of navy beans to count!  I thought that all of those visits BLOG TO COMM was getting from Mountain View California were from nice and faithful fans but now we know who the real culprit is!

Of course we also all know Hinman still has it in for me despite his equally innocent pose because hey, why would someone (him??? didn't read it) in the first ish of his new mag (forget title---this is all second hand info anyway!) print an article listing the best rock writers of the last few decades and mention Bill Shute (probably one of the few who deserves the praise!) but not the mag he did a whole slew of scribin' for! Y'know, something along the lines of "Bill Shute was also a great writer for some magazine move on nothing to see here" as if the name of my read would soil the punky pleasures that were to be found within the pages of his delicate publication! Well, I guess it's nice to see that Bill ain't exactly the "Inner Mystique stooge" anymore! Grow some 'nads willya Jay, and I guess maybe your funeral isn't my party after all. I couldn't care less if you lived or died.

(An aside...back when I was on twitter which I eventually discontinued because there were more people I didn't want to get in touch with in this sick world of ours than I did, Hinman even requested that I buddy up with him which you can imagine surprised me to no end! Well he was one of those sick people I didn't want to get in touch with but that's beside the point. I mean, haven't I already gotten enough abuse from that ubermoosh w/o asking for more???)

Anyway folk, I must admit that the the fame and notoriety from Cosloy's blog is just making me feel oh so popular and all (even though I never heard about his blog before today and, come to think of it, probably never will hear about it after just like you...). Hey, if I gotta be HATED better it be from a couple of effete stuck ups like these than anyone who'd really matter in this sick game called life. I'm really enjoyin' it! I do mean it!
Before we get on to today's proceedings let me share with you an article that really made me feel good! In these downright evil bad is good days, it's nice to see the side of right win despite usually impossible odds.
Anyway, here are some more goodies I'm bringing to the table...CHOW DOWN!!!

Miriam-DOWN TODAY CD (Norton know where to find it!)

The hypesheet (yeah, I really got one with it!) sez that the songs on this platter are the kind that we all dug and blasted during our zit-popping years! No way Hozay...when the type of music that appears on the new Miriam (that's Linna, not Makeba in case you're confused) album was first being broadcast on transistor radios nationwide I was more or less buggin' my mom to help get me a deferment from kindergarten! Still, I can remember hearing hotcha pop sorta like this as a young turd usually in a car filled with other kids or at an appliance store, so when I listen to Miriam plowing her way through some nice 'n tough post-gal group tuneage (with some interesting lineage courtesy Bob Lind, Barry-Greenwich, Beau Brummels and Neil Diamond [don't laugh!]) I'm reminded of those times where I would stare at the rows of tee-vees being sold watching BATMAN while some guy was trying to sell my dad a three-prong adapter. And more or less something akin to this Cee-Dee was blaring in the background making for a cross-media effect that rivaled the best pop art happenings of the day!

Wonderful memories aside, this selection of covers really does go down smoothly in the ear canals of my mind. The production ranges from jangly El Lay folk rock to neo-Spectorian and string fling that might even appeal to your own daddy who perhaps has softened up a bit o'er the years. At least for me it's one big reminder of the fun and underlying intensity of all of those things that mid-sixties teenage kultur stood for, and I was hopin' it would be the same for me when I reached that age but by that time all I got was "Chevy Van".

Miriam has a gal-tough yet tender tone to her that fits not only the rockin' numbers but the dreamers pretty swell, and coupled with the backing band (actually a backing person) DOWN TODAY covers that great mid-sixties gamut that woulda given Greg Shaw unlimited spasms 'o joy back when he was editing the girl group issue of BOMP! Folk rock garage band pounce with a female bent is what I call it, and if you ever held a special somethin' for those days of fun that seemed to change into chaos overnight you'll go for this particular slab of sound plenty! Or at least a whole lot more than you will most if not all of that current girl garage stuff I keep hearing on Sirius Radio. (And really, why doesn't the well-draped Little Steven Underground Garage play Miriam all the time 'stead of plugging the Darlene Love album which I gotta say sounds really slick, overproduced and MODERN???)

And where else, here in the mid-teens, is anyone gonna hear that Small Faces via Flo and Eddie classic "Afterglow" done up in any sorta fashion!

We all know that Miriam is a class act as well as a class human being, and this release really does conjure up all sorta memories that I thought Jann Wenner woulda had suppressed by now. Pick it up, and while you're at it say a prayer or three for Miriam's husband Billy Miller who I'm sure would appreciate it.
Krozier and the Generator-TRANCEFORMER 2-LP set (Finders Keepers)

I wasn't expecting anyone to ever re-release the infamous and terribly obscure (only 750 made) Geofrey Crozier/Generator double set, but lo and behold the maybe not-so but should be famous collectors label Finders Keepers went and put the thing out for us surviving members of the late-seventies underground rock contingent who still wear our Max's Kansas City t-shirts at half mast!

Thankfully this didn't turn out to be the gnu wavey gloppy electronic casiocrap I sorta had the idea it might be...naw, the sounds that emanate from the synths (as well as guitars 'n drum machine...might even be some actual percussion in there!) are played creatively and evoke more of the mid-seventies era of Hawkwind circa HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GRILL than they do the Human League. I'd throw a li'l Suicide in there as well. Not surprisingly Last Sacrifice's obscure yet potently powerful "Suspended" also comes to mind although the Generator layer their sounds intermingling the old patchcord synthesizer buzz in with fairly expressive guitar lines that make heady backdrop for Crozier's speak-singing which, true, ain't anything special but it sure suits its hidden purpose well.

Crozier's downright creepy vocal cords can grate on my nerves during a few stretches on these platters, but what better whiny irritable sound for him to express his magic moods to! The live tracks on the last side give a taste of not only the stream-of-madness spontaneity Crozier could spew out but what the Generator were capable of in front of a breathing audience, and between Crozier's free flow prose (reminded me of Patti Smith!) and the neo-kraut sounds of Generator I can only moan over the fact that this stuck in Australia act had no way of really making itself known to the vast reaches of the globe. At least not in 1980, but in this shrinking world now we can all join in on the mystical fun.

A nice li'l surprise to shake up the stirrups, and if Finders Keepers ever gets hold of the various Generator (w/o Crozier) releases I hope they can get those out to an awaiting public (of one?) as well.
Alfred 23 Harth - John Bell-CAMELLIA CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions, check out their blog for more information!)

Can't really find any offhand correlative offerings to compare this particular teaming up with so it's obviously a pretty unique listening experience. In fact its the kind you probably would have loved to have heard back when you were first getting into all of that even-newer-than-the-new-jazz-thing after a few choice scribes dropped hints about it in the pages of CREEM. Harth plays smooth on this one teamed up with "Extended Vibraphone", "Teopyeongso" (a Korean horn) and "Buk" (a Korean drum...guess where this was recorded!) player Bell, and the use of those exotic instruments does lend itself to a "world music" vibe that probably would frighten most fans of the form. If you like Alan Sondheim's various sixties offerings this might be something that'll fit in within the cracks of your already atonally-saturated mind.
The Clash-FRIDAYS ABC-TV 25th APRIL 1980 CD-r burn, Joe Strummer-WHEN PIGS FLY SOUNDTRACK LP CD-r burn

By the time FRIDAYS was tryin' their durndest to out-gross SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE I had pretty much given up on the breed of new comedy that was tending to levitate towards political/social sensitivity and the stretching the old boundaries like those protected by law rumpensteins stretch their rectums in lieu of that UNIVERSAL OFFENSIVENESS shows like SNL reveled in. At that time I would say that I had also given up on the Clash, but since I never bought into them like many of my contemporaries had I couldn't say that I'd ever to have been able to drop them outta whatever there was going on in my musical life. However these Clash appearances from the ABC ripoff series don't sound that bad to me. Nothing spectacular, but the tee-vee recording quality gets rid of the studio techwhiz somewhat and the resulting numbers ain't anything that offends me like most modern sounds and creeds tend to.

I never heard of any film called WHEN PIGS FLY (but then again I'm vastly unfamiliar with most cinematic excursions made after American Mutoscope and Biograph went out of business) but I guess there was one and Joe Strummer did the soundtrack for it. Nothing offensive here yet nothing special...'s just more of that early-eighties new wavey stuff that brings back memories of Dexy's Midnight Runners and other vapid MTV fodder that made things like post-Detroit Australian rock and the Raunch Hands so tasty in comparison. When I hear music like this I just can't get people like Kurt Loder or Bob Palmer outta my mind for one strange reason or another, so if you're more in a Bangs/Meltzer mood spin Throbbing Gristle.
THE MUSIC FROM THE TELEVISION SERIES THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E., produced/conducted by Teddy Randazzo CD-r burn (originally on MGM)

I remember us havin' this show blarin' on the tee-vee once in awhile, although I can't remember any specific episodes or even the basic gist of what THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E. was about. But the soundtrack music for this series, created by former teenybop singer turned Third Bardo producer Teddy Randazzo, does rumble up some of the old 'n musty memories of single-digit tee-vee kultur (just like Miriam!) back when programs like these were just too wild for the grownup generation yet kinda advanced for the BARNEY BEAN crowd. Good cheapo spy music mixed in with some hotcha e-zy listening that, like I keep telling you, I can sure use after a hard day at the salt mines. So authentic that I actually picked three warts on my knee while listening to this, that's how zoned back to my past this recording got me! (I was gonna say "picked the back of my underwear that was creeping up my crack" or "smeared my snot on the wall" but sheesh, I do that kinda stuff everyday!)
Various Artists-RUNNING LOOSE DUCK LOLITA CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

A rather low-keyed Cee-Dee-Are you gotcha here Bill. Nice if comparatively softer 'n usual selection of post-Elvis/pre-Beatles local rock that ain't always garage, but at times sweet enough that even your next door neighbor coulda recorded it. Some of it is kinda cheezoid like the 5 Sable Sisters' "Little Wee Lady" and some of it is definitely in the nerdo garage band vein (which proves that, even if the early-sixties, the lowliest goofoid kid in school could rise above it all with his $29.95 Factory Closeout Guitar) but in all this did at least have the benefit of lowering my blood pressure a good twennysome points. Highlights for me include Phil V and his Viscounts doing some '56 neo-Elvis and Johnstown Pee-YAY's Twilights doin' their version of "Guitar Boogie" under the moniker "Running Loose Twist". More fun than playin' spaceship in the back of your dad's 1963 Falcon station wagon!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

MAGAZINE REVIEW! BULL TONGUE REVIEW #4, edited by Byron Coley (and available via Forced Exposure)

Along with UGLY THINGS #40 (review naturally forthcoming), this li'l pub's the spiritual pacemaker that keeps my battered geriatric soul goin'. And like the previous three, BULL TONGUE REVIEW #4's a godgoshsend that continues to vibrate sweet and pleasant memories of the GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK SCREEDING AND FANZINE WRITING and if your heart still palpitates with puerile pleasure over the entire concept of post-Bangs fanzine scribing that always seemed to alienate 99% of the mirror-gazing hipstoids out there in Wennerland then you already know where your next check is going, eh?

Once again Byron Coley and Thurston Moore make the best they can outta a post-post underground rock world that really doesn't have much to offer other'n some vivid and eye-gobbing reminiscences, and they sure do a smack-dab fine job of it what with not only their own energetic displays of rockist spurting but by lining up some of the brightest and best of today's (but mostly yesterday's) top writing talents (well, with a few exceptions), each and every one of them giving you the lowdown on their own current personal favorites. And a nice portion of the writing to be found herein is such a fresh RELIEF from the usual rot seen in the pages of just about any post STONE craphaul you might come across, let alone the thousands of online imitators who think of themselves as being unique and oh-so-clever with their cheap fanboy droolathons passing for cutting critiques.

Not much new mentioned here that's worthy of my shekels but that's hokay, for at least it's probably about twice as much FUN readin' about 'em as it is hearin' 'em! And as usual there are some rather interesting snatches of rockist pearls to choose from. Well, it's not all rock 'n roll...the infamous Flesheater himself Chris Desjardins has been limiting himself to film reviews that might seem too Pauline Kael-ish to some but I find them rather entertaining...but for the most part it's sure nice to see exactly what the upper crust of the surviving underground past is up to long after we all thought it would be long gone. And who knows, but maybe even you can cop a few smart ideas from these geniuses' words if only to osmose in your own special way being just LIKE THEM!

Personal faves...Eddie Flowers' CREEM "Rock-A-Rama" influenced review of various Cee Dees he got from bandmembers etc. during the recent Gizmos tour, Nigel Cross (who was once described to me as being a 300 pound early-seventies-styled hippie which is fine by me as long as he likes Larry Wallis!) on English neo-beat Jeff Cloves, Alan Bishop on Pink Floyd's ANIMALS album (!!!!!---the part where he 'fesses up to plagiarizing "Dogs" off the album for a Creative Writing class reminded me of various doofs I knew who did the exact same thing and actually got their stuff printed in the school literary mag!), former fanzine contributor/NEW YORK ROCKER editor Andy Schwartz's cruel yet accurate (I guess---didn't read the book!) dissection of Mark Ribowsky's recent Otis Redding bio, and Meltzer's proposed tombstone which surprised me because I thought he'd just wanna be dumped in a hole, covered over and be done with it!

Low points...not many really. I mean, some of the contributions might have zoomed by me which is par for the course but anyone'd expect me to maybe be not that keen on Danny Kaye outside of his work for Educational Pictures. Other writers tend to bore, and since there are a couple contributors here who are on my enemies list (one to rival Nixon's) I better just keep my mouth shut.

I know there's no way any of us can expect a TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE here in '15, but things like this are (maybe/not likely) about as close as we'll ever come to regaining that long lost Golden Age of Rock Screeding magic. Give it a go, it might be the best thing you've done since you picked up all over the available back issues of BLACK TO COMM, which I know you haven't.
By the way hope you're having a boffo Thanksgiving Day. Weather here is perfect, in the low sixties but more Easter-y than Autumn-y and I can't complain about that! Anyway have a great day and may all of your mountain views be clear and bright (hee!).

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I guess the biggest news of the week, at least concerning us high energy maniacs goes, would be my (and perhaps your) finding out about the recent passing of none other than Stooges saxophonist Steve Mackay, dead at the still too young age of 66! Actually this sad occurrence happened about a month or so back but none of you ozobs dared tell me which does make me wonder about what kinda friends I do have...I mean, I hadda find out about it via Brad Kohler and his snail mail letters if you can believe that! (Not that the previous reports of death had been greatly exaggerated but from what I can tell this one is the real deal.) The very same man who added alla that glory and zoom to side two of the ever-incredible FUNHOUSE album (and a guy who also made it unlistenable even for hefty Stooges fans such as Mark Shipper), Mackay's intense wailings on that epochal scar of an album transformed Iggy & co's sophomoric effort into something that I will proudly admit, even a good fortysome years later, was perhaps even more otherworldly than what many of the the other heavy hitters of the day were able to come up with. Avant garde rock yet nothing like the art flash of those days, and hefty funk that kinda echoes those various James Brown excursions into the realm yet in some ways was rather white kid knotty pine suburban in execution, and you know there's nothing wrong with that.

Back in the late-nineties I engaged in a few extensive phone calls with Mackay during the execution and delivery of the abortion that also went under the name BLACK TO COMM #22, and he sure came off like a totally cool guy who really seemed interested (and not just feigning interest in order to put on a happy smiling face) in not only the project at hand but how I was coming along with it all. And next to some of the jagoffs I'm come across these past thirtysome years let's just say that Mackay was a prince in comparison! Not only that, but Mackay, who had OK'd the use of a pre-Stooges Carnal Kitchen track for the Cee-Dee that came with the ish, even paid me a REALLY BIG compliment when, after I had sent him a stack of issues to do whatever he wanted to with 'em, he cheerfully told me that he gave away all of the cut 'n paste Cee-Dees that came with the ish (mostly consisting of old comic strips like LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE and LI'L ABNER that were affixed to the numbered yet otherwise blank covers) but kept the one with a quickie drawing that I did for himself because it was the only special, unique one in the entire batch! And here I thought that particular cover was just a cheap tossout done up because I'd just run out of clip art to use! Nowadays I feel kinda kiddie oh-gosh proud of it all (back then I was so wiped out by the agony of getting that ish out and seeing the sad results that I was totally oblivious!) because hey, a Stooge actually said something nice and constructive about a suburban slob nobody like me and how many times in this world of ours does that happen???

So here's to you Steve, and forever may nimnul rock critics and fly-by-night fans alike spell your last name CORRECTLY which ya know they never did.
Other'n that...what else can I say about a week where the closest thing I had to a "rock 'n roll dream" featured none other than the even more sensitive half of the "Simon and..." team, namely Art Garfunkel? As they say, Ny-Quil does have some amazing powers! Anyhoo in this 'un I actually meet up with the famed frizzy-topped singer at work of all places and, after a short pause of wondering whether I should do so or not, query him about a certain (and real, this not being part of the dream) BEETLE BAILEY cartoon where Simon and Garfunkel were actually mentioned! In that 'un guards Beetle and Plato, in order to test an out-of-sight General  Halftrack (who already gave 'em the password) to find out whether or not he was an Amerigan and not the enemy, toss out some specifically culturally succinct questions only a US and A-er could answer correctly. Y'know, things such as "Who won the World's Series" and "What's a BLT", all of which Halftrack responds to with the right answer. However, when Beetle asks him "What's the name of Simon and Garfunkel's latest album" the General (who we finally see in the fifth panel) mutters to himself "Simon and Garfunkel???" and is immediately caught in a hail of bullets! Since there was no date on the cartoon that I have in my possession (taken from an old paperback which sometimes neglects to reprint the original en toto) I was wondering what the answer to this was myself, though for some reason BOOKENDS kept popping into my mind and at least in my dream I was whatcha'd call extremely curious as to what album of their was current when that 'un first hit the Sunday papers.

What a fine upstanding supporter of the BLOG TO
COMM aesthetic you are, Art! Kick 'em out!!!
Turns out that ol' Art (who looked like his early 1970's CARNAL KNOWLEDGE-period frizzed-out girlie heart melter self) was familiar with the particular episode of BAILEY rather well (I could tell from the smirky look on his face after bringing it up to him) and said that the correct answer was PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY AND THYME in a way that revealed a sorta nostalgic happiness on his part. But hey, the dream was not over yet, for soon after an elderly couple (who were probably the same age as Art is today) were talking to him asking about the MC5 of all acts, and Mr. G immediately pointed at """""ME""""" stating to the pair that here was one of the biggest experts on 'em and that included not just everyone in the Ann Arbor area but  the whole wide world! Boy did I feel wonderful and Art, you're a really boffo guy to say such great things about a lowly peon such as myself. I promise not to make fun of ANGEL CLAIRE again or bring up that story R Meltzer wrote about in GULCHER where you hailed a taxi and the driver, knowing who you were, decided to have a little fun by not mentioning S&G as one of his favorite folkie acoustic singing duos!
N. E. Howe, here's what's been occupying my ever-shrinking free time these past few days, and a good batch it most certainly is. Didn't have to rely on the Cee-Dee-Are burns (other'n the traditional Bill Shute mixdisque closer) since this edition contains some real flesh 'n blood offerings that I either bought or got as hipster promotional items to peruse! Only goes to show ya that I'M MOVING UP IN THIS WORLD NOW, AIN'T I??? Sure glad I got these platters to help me through the oncoming cold weather and frankly, I do hope you can osmose my joy in listening to these newbies because the way things are going in my life even finding a penny on the pavement is cause for great celebration in my otherwise humdrum existence. So if you find any on the street send 'em all to me but before that, dig these realities...


I've been waiting for this for quite a long time (that is, if you think thirty-five years is a long time!) so those sounds you hear really are my salivary glands working overtime!

These Mars exhumations which have been coming out on labels such as Feeding Tube and Widowspeak are steady listening here at BLOG TO COMM central and this new edition/addition is no exception. In fact given its uniqueness and chock fulla rarityness it's perhaps one Mars album that's gonna get played until the grooves wear down, that's how important to the canon of pre-amerindie Velvets-touched rock 'n roll sound as energy this particular release is!

Side one features some early Marsian mischief that was done back when the act was toiling away under the China moniker in February and June of the glorious year 1977. I gotta say that for being one of a thousand under-the-covers NYC bands yet to make their mark (if lucky) China sure sound as good as the rest of the upheaval goin' on around them. Perhaps even better than the majority of the competition if I'd only get a chance to hear more of what China were up against, but snat nonetheless.

The no wave warble of the familiar material has yet to sink its fangs deeply into the future Mars sound, yet you can hear the roots of the terror in the cross-frequency vocal harmonies amid the earnest attempts to capture the post-Patti Smith/Television attitude and spirit that was sure getting its fair share of notice in the burgh back then. I'm sure it seemed shocking to at least a few of the members of the audience, and that even includes the ones who were already buffered by a few years of New York maelstrom that had been going down quite fine. But even today this sounds as new and as fresh as it was originally meant to be back in those rather pumped up days.

Flip it over and we're now in September and China is definitely Mars, and a little more of the clank und dirge that made these guys no wave frontrunners can be detected. Still in the standard punk rock mileau true, but the frequencies now bear more a more atonal splendor and you can hear the aesthetics behind the soon-to-be-released "3E" single being fleshed out right before your very ears. Pretty exhilaratingand bound to appeal to the same types of BLOG TO COMM-sters who came of age with the early Patti, TV and Ramones records before throwing themselves whole hog into the entire hot bubbling underground goin' on in New York and other places before noticing in 1981that this music was starting to suck!

A definite BTC highly recommended spinner, and if I in fact call this the record of the year (and knowing me I probably won't) I might be passing myself off as an even smarter sorta fanabla than I even gave myself credit for lo these many years. If you buy only one album this must be a real tightwad!
Fadensonnen-PRODROMES-SONGS FOR GUITARS CD-r burn (Fadensonnen, see blog link on left for information)

This one is supposed to be a "solo" album and it is if only because PD is not joined by any other earthly entity on this platter and handles all of the musical gear by himself. Perhaps it is one of the PUREST solo albums one can find these days as well because PD "accompanist" RD played all of the fear himself. And it's all for the better too, for this ain't one of those OLIAS OF SUNHILLOW platters that shows off all of the artiste's talents as ten-thousand instruments (played in the humblest way possible) are overdubbed to a throbbing mess but those lyrics, oh how MELODY MAKER artistic they are!

The WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT unto METAL MACHINE MUSIC sound of the other Fadensonnen platters does not rear its head here, but the results are still high of energy. Driving even. Sounds tingle and intermingle like a CLUSTER album more in an electro-acoustic mode while I am at other moments reminded of Loren Connors doing something not quite as aesthetically floating yet bare-wired. Totally against the grain of much of the DIY mulch being passed off as innovative, and hey do I hear a tad of the now sadly MIA Bruce Anderson as a bonifeed prime Fadensonnen influence? I for one hope so!

Totally caught me off guard I'll tell ya, and if I heard a whole lot more of these new (which for me is anything recorded after John Charles Thomas) experimental home-produced outings I could compare them to this but I haven't. Even if I had I'd still think PRODROMES a better way to spend your freetime enjoyment money because hey, why not????......whew!!!

The Flamin' Groovies-IN THE USA '79 CD (Echoes, available via Forced Exposure)

Yeah it ain't like there's anything new on this release of a '79 FM radio broadcast, but the Flamin' Groovies are sure good in any dose you can get and whether it be their late-sixties "goodtime", early-seventies grungey blooze or mid/late-sixties British Invasion incarnations this band is WORTH IT! Sound quality's about as clear as one of those first-generation dubs you woulda hadda pay $10 for a chrome tape of this back '80 way, and the performance is top notch post-British Invasion homage that never really did go out of style. Or you can call it punk rock if you still used that pre-Sex Pistols terminology to describe the baser elements of under-the-counterculture Amerigan (and World Wide) rockism. Might be a tad too many covers, but I'll take the Groovies in any wayshapeform and if they were doing Mantovani I'd probably still root for 'em like I do for my favorite badguys! And it sure made good backdrop for reading Cyril Jordan's TEENAGE HEAD reminiscences in the latest UGLY THINGS (review forthcoming probably more later than sooner!)
Asteroid B-612-YOU MEANT THIS FOR THE WORLD ALBUM/TEEN SUBLIMATION RIFFS EP 2-CD set (Off the Hip, Australia); ALL NEW HITS CD (Lance Rock, Canada)

By the time these Australian high energy guys hit the under-the-counterculture scene back inna nineties I thought I was finished with Antipodean rock for what I felt was good! The high energy Stooges/Detroit metallic output that shone like a bright beacon in a sea of post-rock nada in the eighties just wasn't shining anymore, and to be frank about it the load of new releases that were coming outta the continent weren't pumping on all cylinders like a whole slew of bands only a few years earlier had. I figured hey, why pay an exorbitant amount of money for Australian rock when I could pay much less for local produce that just was just as lifeless. You can see that even then I was doing my darndest to save as many pennies as I could, a noble task considering the rising costs of pork rinds.

A few mentions in those VICIOUS KITTEN mags I reviewed awhile back got me interested in Asteroid B-612 even though they just hadda cop their name from a rather iffy novella (or was it a boffo Sonics Rendevous Band track?). But even with the keen Detroit moves that were promised as well as the Lester Bangs "Teen Sublimation Riffs" ref I must admit that I find these Asteroids only passable. They do have the local sound down pat and were smart enough to cover Alice Cooper ca. LOVE IT TO DEATH, but I find little on either of these offerings that transcend the third generation Detroit style that Australian rock had made its underground mark with well over three decades back.

Groups like Rocket From The Tombs delivered on the heavy metal crunch with aplomb and even the Umela Hmotas in Prague took the basic repeato-riff and came up with some memorable rock sludge that sure beat the other form practitioners all hollow. But Asteroid B-612, even with their overdrive energy and obvious homage to punk forefathers both Detroitish and Australian, just don't break through into the same realm of total eruption that bands like Radio Birdman and many others (the Fun Things come to mind) had. Maybe it was the post-energy doldrums that did it, but I for one wasn't quite as jazzed as maybe I shoulda been.

This may be a surprise to you, but both of these offerings are recommended despite my seemingly lukewarm attitude. You just can't get much of anything even remotely energy rock these days and these guys earn mucho brownie points for giving it a good go. Sure you might wanna spend shekels on the original Michigan and Australian bands first, but for those of you who want to hear a nice capper to the entire overdrive rock movemnt Asteroid B-612 just might deliver on oozing out some latent throb thrills in ya.
Wolf Eyes-"Enemy Ladder"/"Dull Murder Two" 45 rpm single (Third Man Records)

Bob Forward sent me a buncha platters a few weeks ago but I'm only gettin' to 'em now because...well...some of 'em looked kinda stoopid! And I was right about one, a long-playing album that I thought had no BLOG TO COMM anti-commercial high-drive potential no-how! Thanks for the suffering, Bob! However this single from Wolf Eyes is rather boffo...low-fidelity hard riff rock with growly muffled vocals that reminded me of some of Smegma's similar repeato-action recordings which would figure since these guys seem to have borrowed more'n a few moves from that El Lay unto Seattle ever-rotating aggregation. Sure there are more'n a thousand singles like this that have been recorded since the late-fifties, but once in a while it's nice to know that they're still being made and pressed up on the same technology that those original singles came out on well over fifty-five years back!
Eugene Chadbourne/Han Bennink-"Miss Ann"/"Woooo" 33 rpm single (Ecstatic Yod)

Haven't heard Chadbourne in so long so it was nice to also get this 2001 single from Forward. Chadourne's version of the Eric Dolphy chestnut is about as late-seventies neo-true to form as the man could get (and totally devoid of those jagoff har har tendencies that turn me off most of the time) while the flip with Bennink brings back every good memory you had of NMDS catalog scouring long before the free jazz/music scene became co-opted into mirror-gazing pretentious hip VILLAGE VOICE scene-dying-before-your-very-eyes fodder. Only question...why the solo version of "Miss Ann" when Chadbourne, in his insert notes, mentioned playing the tune live with Bennink??? That woulda fit in here nice and snug-like, eh?
Mike Rep and the Quotas-"Mama Was a Schitzo Daddy Was a Vegetable Man"/"Rocket Music On" 7-inch 45 rpm, True Believers-"Accept It!"/"Gusto Hungry"; "Death By Freezing" 7-inch 45 rpm (both on Hozac Records)

I'm only doing this 'un as a favor to Hozac Records since they did send these to me for the express purpose of reviewing 'em so's they can move a few units if not more. But otherwise I wouldn't go near them for all of the scabs in first grade if only because the people behind these two platters decided to side with the other instead of this particular guy who never gave 'em an ounce of trouble and in fact pumped up their stock at a time when most of the fanzine world was heaving a collective snore. Thanks for the loyalty guys, but otherwise (keeping personal feelings outta it) both discs are top notch. The Quotas '75 recordings reek that same punk rock riff rock aura that a thousand other bands across the world were playing at the exact same time, only those thousand other bands never thought of getting their cheapo tapes pressed to vinyl. The 8-track channel change on "Rocket Music" is still a beautiful sign of mid-seventies technology the way we hate to remember it. The True Believers 'un comes from five years later and still retains the Ohio basement sound of its predecessor. And like that one it's also out-of-date not only because of its sound but for the repeato-riff machinations that must have sounded cornballus even to the same kinda post-greasers who woulda loved the stuff up even a good twelve years earlier. A fine pair of did-it-themselves local rock releases...for a buncha turncoats that is!
Various Artists-NOW MORE THAN EVER CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Drat! I was hoping that the Connie Francis platter pictured onna sleeve (which was the subject of a hilarious review in KICKS magazoon complete with a boffo play on the title re. an unfortunate occurrence that was to happen a good seven or so years later) was gonna be on this particular disque but no luck. NOW MORE THAN EVER does have more'n its share o' goodies however, with the likes of Sandy Nelson doing some rather boffo versions of the Yardbirds and Association, not those Premiers going through some early-sixties rave, blooze from Mighty Sam and B. B. King, the Spectors and 2 of Clubs doing ca. '64 pop and a slew of sides from a band called the Others who might have been able to crank out one garage anthem in this batch ("I Can't Stand This Love Goodbye") but only managed to fill the rest of the disque up with some '67 sunshine pop that has that laid-back New England feeling to 'em. Another good one you got there Bill but sheesh, why didja hafta spare me the Connie Francis song, you nattering nabob of negativity you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Not since BILLY THE KID VS. DRACULA have I seen such a mind-curdling coming together as this 'un!

Call me a retard (I know you have), but for all these years I thought that Zorro was a fellow who dressed in black, wore a mask and operated in 19th century California! I guess I and Guy Williams were wrong all along, for it turns out that the masked one was operating in 17th century Spain, and not only that but at one time he actually fought side-by-side with the legendary Three Musketeers during one of those wars that always seemed to crop up over some minor infraction or piece of land! Sheesh, all of this makes me wonder what else I saw on tee-vee back in them days that was nothin' but a pack of hooey, like mebbee the castaways on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND couldn't have survived the way they did all those years and that some janitor at THE DAILY PLANET would surely have seen Clark Kent sneak into that same closet over and over and come bouncing out as Superman!

I'd like to say that this team up worthy of a seventies Marvel Comics title (with Spiderman taking the place of Zorro natch) was a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon but frankly it wasn't. In fact I thought this was one of those films that even Brad Kohler would have had a hard time sitting through and that ain't only because of the bean casserole he just ate! Seventeenth-century intrigue and swashbuckling action (though by the way these guys are dressed maybe they shoulda called it swishbuckling!) never did appeal that much to me the way those old Martin and Lewis films that were popping up on weekend tee-vee sure did, and after all these years all I can say is that I haven't changed my mind regarding these furrin' adventure mooms one bit!

This has been touted as being a serio-comedy, only the fun parts seem lost in the translation with the rather unfunny jokes flying by you even worse than they did on SEINFELD. Y'know, like they're supposed to be funny but they aren't, but laugh anyway or people will think you're a cube. Even I'M DICKENS HE'S FENSTER could get some gag-worthy humor out amid the at-times stiff scripts, but ZORRO AND THE THREE MUSKETEERS just blobs on an on to the point where I didn't even bother stopping the disque to take one of my semi-hourly pee-breaks.

One little bitta dialogue here did perk my ears up, and that was the part where a soldier mentioned that in order to get to sleep he ate a lot of potato chips which made him drink a lot more wine to wash away the salt which evidently made him soused and sleepy! Besides the convoluted gag used to make what was passing as a joke (I wonder what the original joke was pre-translation) one can only wonder about the historical accuracy of potato chips in early 1600's France! I'm surprised someone didn't also mention downing a six-pack of Dr. Pepper instead of wine which woulda made the early-sixties connection to the pimplefarms this was aimed at a whole lot more to-the-point! Ya gotta go for the heart of the audience ya know!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Can't agree with your more cysta, because here at BLOG TO COMM we deal in hard edged 'n to the core rockism 'n nothin' but! The rock might be high energy, middling or even at times tepid (tho w/strong undercurrents of primal potency) but it definitely is consumption worthy to the max, and while I'm at it there's also a high percentage of rock 'n roll-related jamz we deal with and by that I mean everything from funtime tee-vee to unhealthy deep fried grub, cozmic bookage and various related anti-innerlektual activities you never did read about on Salon!!! But whatever the case, if you don't love BLOG TO COMM then you can get your tripe-like butt outta here and go find yourself a place to rub yourself in the company of similar-minded self-absorbed entities. At this point in my life I really couldn't care less how you spend your free time even if I think that spending it on my blog is definitely a beneficial experience in these downright offensive times. But if you wanna stick around I'm sure you'll find some of the best rock 'n roll related scribblings to be seen since the sad days when the likes of Meltzer and Saunders (and their brethren) were banished from the pages of rock mags only to be replaced by a generation of dolts who couldn't write worth a fanabla, but boy could they cut 'n paste press releases!
In other news---gawrsh, I can sure tell that I've been having one of them stuck-in-neutral weeks (which kinda fits in with my stuck-in-neutral life) when I have yet another one of my recurring GILLIGAN'S ISLAND dreams! You reg'lar readers'll know what I'm gabbin' about but for those who don't, they're the ones where I see/osmose (as if I am right there experiencing the action firsthand) one of those mid-eighties episodes from the revival series that were made and syndicated to local stations which is why, in my dreaming mind, I missed seeing them back then as no local stations picked up on it! However in this one Richard Deacon did not take Jim Backus's place nor did the Professor sport one of those then-hip ponytails although the rest of his hair was strictly forties, but the actor who portrays him, Russell Johnson, certainly looked about as bad as James Arness did in those GUNSMOKE tee-vee movies with dyed hair (or a wig) as well as a poor makeup job that tried to hide all of them wrinkles! Sheesh, I wonder what it is in my subconscious excuse for a mind that causes me to have such a repeating theme in my dreams as a nonexistent mid-eighties GILLIGAN'S ISLAND revival series's almost as bad as those recurring dreams I used to have where I discover that there was an independent station nearby airing all of those great fifties/sixties programs I still flip over, but nobody told me about it so I missed out on years of great suburban slob stocking feet all day television viewing (and you can just imagine the angst-filled feeling that permeated my soul even after I woke up!).
In even more other news---my own personal tastes in rockism have lurched back a good forty years or so and straight into the import bins which, come to think of it, isn't anything out of the ordinary. Perennial faves this week include such all-time wowzers as Amon Duul II's YETI (which wasn't as nearly the bin stuffer that PHALLUS DEI and TANZ DER LEMMINGS were unless you happened to live in a big sorta city) as well as the Expression super-duper hardcover book edition of Quiet Sun's MAINSTREAM, an album which you couldn't escape from had you been as serious a record shop prowler as I was. As for the former well...the carnage might not be as overdrive as Can let alone various other early-seventies sound molestations as FUNHOUSE let alone that 1975 best album of the year METAL MACHINE MUSIC, but it does retain a certain punk-y charm even when the (admittedly) more carnal aspects of late-sixties West Coast rock come roaring through. MAINSTREAM does share some of the overdrive if intellectual aspects of its import brethren, though the inspiration is purely English avant garde rather than a Teutonic take on then under-the-cover Amerigan concerns. If you go for the mid-seventies fusion with dignity (but still listenable enough) drive of the Soft Machine and, like me, wonder about the London experimental/classical cadre's fascination with various rock 'n roll fixtures translated into their own cloistered value system, this might give us a good idea of what really happened o'er there at least until that COMET album finally makes its way out.
I also got hold of a couple of old issues of CREEM, '72 vintage no less, in order to help resensify myself after way too much (accidental) logging on to "Ear Candle Blog" under the delusion that it might have some handy tips with regards to clearing my waxy aural canal blockage. A good idea true, but unfortunately the end results weren't as hotcha as I would have hoped...y'see, I thought that these issues would have improved my already keen sense of rockist acumen what with they being issues of classic, Lester Bangs-period CREEM (and what more needs to be said?), but given just how dull things could have gotten back in them dayze it really must have been difficult for these guys to crank out a what I would have hoped to have been total eruption publications considering that Ameriga was stuck somewhere in between the death of the New Left college kid tactics and the up-n-coming decadence that would slide into down home country jamz, not particularly in that order.

Smokey Robinson adorns the cover of the April '72 ish, but that's about all of the good I can say about this particular 'un which is sorely lacking in Lester Bangs (who in one of his rare appearances here even gives thumbs up to Carole King's MUSIC album....sheesh it really must have been a slow month considering that his lame "first time I've felt about a records since...Black Sabbath released MASTER OF REALITY" line predates Chuck Eddy's inverse hipsterism by a good twelve years) as well as the other front-runners in the CREEM sphere of things. And frankly, any magazine that relies on the likes of Dave Marsh and his spiritually sodomite-inclined bunch to keep it going is heading for a disaster even greater than BLACK TO COMM #22. I will 'fess up to the fact that there is some spunk in the Mad Peck's typically aloof review of the infamous JAMMING WITH EDWARD album (which I thought I could actually afford back then [turns out I couldn't] given how some stores were selling it for a cool $1.99) but mostly this 'un just had me down and out sans the usual rockist stimulation that's kept me alive for a longer time'n I can imagine.

The September '72 'un doesn't fare that much better, though the one item that does save this from being yet another bottom of the boxer's the appearance of legendary fanzine/British Weekly writer Jonh Ingham's article-length review of the infamous TAMI SHOW flick which hit the teenage theatre circuit during the closing days of 1964. I guess that given how much really wasn't going on in the early-seventies (unless you were able to get beneath the surface and dig way deep into the garages and basements of teenage USA) this was a top notch rock 'n roll article, and even judging by today's definitely anti-CREEM standards it passes the teenage oompah and high energy test with flying colors.

Definitely the spiritual equivalent of Lester Bangs' own missives on everything from the Stooges, Black Sabbath, Godz, Alice and Count Five, "Monster Rock Flick Flips Out Freaks Coast to Coast" sure did capture the feel and magic of an era that, although a good seven years in the past, must have seemed like a hunnerd given all of the socio-political upheaval and hippie drooling that had gone on since. Ingham's writing drips with that suburban slob teenage punk appeal that we all knew and love from other early-seventies rock writing classics and besides, where else could you find out that (according to Kim Fowley himself, or so Ingham sez) Gerry Marsden couldn't achieve climax unless a gal moved bowels upon his forehead and that Dean Torrence was arrested five times for something that is considered an enshrined right these sad 'n sorry days! Good thing Ingham didn't even dare to bring up fellow TAMI-er Leslie Gore who only admitted near the end something we all knew about from the get go! Sheesh, this article really makes me yearn for the better and simpler days when we knew right from wrong, and it wasn't what some smelly Social Justice Warrior (who, despite what some liberated types might think never woulda read CREEM even if you snuck it into its copy of OUR BODIES, OUR SELVES, 2015 edition) said it was!
Keeping with the same standards set by the previous few BLOG TO COMMs, here are this week's mostly freebee (all of 'em courtesy Bill Shute!) writeups of items that have graced mine ears other'n the ones mentioned above which we all knew about from previous posts anyway. Bill's really been keeping me busy with these burns, and if I do say so myself his selections of online wares downloadable with the flick of a wrist are getting better and better as the weeks progress. As for my own attempts at acquiring fresh and not-so booty to keep myself a-goin' well, still holding off on any really big purchases at least until Christmas when I'll have more time to listen (hah!), but thanks to Bill, Paul McGarry and the rest of you (some of who might be getting special requests from me for custom burns) I at least am managing to stay afloat in these somewhat rocky seas of blogdom. It would also help if more items conduit to the BLOG TO COMM way o' existence were comin' out, but we can't wish for everything now, can we?


As you may know I've always approached most of the Don Cherry platters extant with caution (his world music-y tendencies never did do me right), so it wasn't like I was looking forward to this the way I would THE COMPLETE SURVIVING RECORDINGS OF REVEREND B. But hey, these tracks laid down in Copenhagen and Stockholm satisfy me a whole lot more'n the usual outerworldly Cherry recordings of the past have. Disque #1 has a session done with an act called Opportunity that comes off as much "serious" classical as it does jazz. but thankfully it doesn't get into alla that intricate gamelan and neo-Afro/Eastern sound that sure bored me silly. The tracks with Terry Riley fare even better making me wonder why Shandar didn't have the good sense to release these back when the gettin' was good. The pairing of the two was a match up just as good as the time Riley hitched up with John Cale, and this taste of what might have been does make me wonder what else the duo was able to cook up and perhaps even lay down to tape.

The second platter features a session from '65 (or maybe it is '66...coulda been a typo either way) with Cherry leading a hot group that even features MJQ drummer Albert Heath. Kinda bop unto avant sounds here that won't satisfy the hardcore noise lovers, but if you like the various fifties pathways to freedom that the likes of Giuffre and Taylor were laying down these will sound better'n you probably expected, One caveat...there's only about fifteen minutes of sound available so right when you're really getting into the fever of the sesh poof it's gone!
Albert Brooks-A STAR IS BOUGHT CD-r burn (originally on Asylum)

Many comedy albums are usually about as funny as a felching contest on a marine corp base, and other'n a choice few old Monty Python cutouts I can't see myself spinning any that I've come across more'n a few times if that. 1975's A STAR IS BOUGHT ain't any different despite Albert Brooks being one of the brighter funnyguys to have popped up in the post-World War II era of snide. This is "perhaps" because (unfortunately) many of his gags tend to miss their prospective targets even worse than when Frank Zappa would take on disco or punk rock in his usual above-it-all way sounding nothing like the music that was being satirized. A few mildly amusing gems do appear such as his version of "Bolero" with sexed-up lyrics and THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM spoof, but otherwise the only future I could see for this 'un is some Sunday flea market circa 1979-1983.
Minoy-DOCTOR IN A DARK ROOK CD-r burn of a 1985 cassette (originally on Minoy Cassettworks)

Where were you during the mid-eighties "cassette culture", hmmmmmm? If you were the kind of person who would prowl the pages of OP and its various spinoffs back then you probably would have heard about things such as this mass of noise that hovers around the industrial aspects of things. Minoy do a good (if typical) home-cooked electronic sound here with loads of garble and buzz mixed in with other source materials that give off a musique concrete that is reminiscent of a few thousand similar experiments but so what. The second track entitled "Babel" features a whole lotta AM-radio crossfeed that reminds me of more'n a few cold rainy night listenings trying to get a station in after dark which does kinda fit in well because hey, I'm listening to (and reviewing) this on a cold rainy night!

This is obviously one of those easily-enough downloadable platters that sixties collectors woulda paid a hefty amount to get on a cheap C-60 tape forty years ago but can obtain for next to nothing via the computer of their choice. That is, if any serious British Invasion maniac back then (or today for that matter) woulda 'fessed up to liking this bunch who were considered the most poppy geek English group on the scene. Of course time has proven that Peter Noone and company were a whole lot straightforwardly energetic and top forty savvy (in the best ways) than most punks woulda given 'em credit for, and this rehash of the biggies (and other covers including a fairly driving version of "Talking About You") for the gal screamers proves their ultimate worth in the moptop shape of things. This was taken from the soundtrack to a British tee-vee special which (once again) makes me wonder why these kinda performances hardly ever made it to the cathodes over here and, for that matter, why we yankoffs were deprived of such programming as this as well as the MARC series which continues to bug me even to this day!

But past sour grapes aside, this recording does evoke the feeling of the British Invasion even w/o the visuals. Burn a copy for that overweight aged former 16-reading screaming meemee in your life!
Various Artists-UNSTOPPABLE EATMORE ERICKSON CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Yeesh, another one in which Bill neglected to put track listings on! So I guess I'll have to guess and guess good! Nice and vintage-y of the kinda vintage I like old ads (including one for the "Eno Upholstering Service"!) are sandwiched between things like a solo violin track that sounds like a Henry Flynt experiment of some sorts, a jazzy r&b number, a country twanger, some 78 probably taken from an old Grapevine Video release ("Singing in the Rain" is included in the medley making me wonder if this release is somehow related to the Joe Cook Broadway hit RAIN OR SHINE) early-eighties neo-hardcore drive from the days when even the folks at FORCED EXPOSURE were paying attention, a medley containing "Tea For Two" done symphonic-like (perhaps this was taken from the disque for a long lost early soundie?), a nice bouncy instrumental with chicken sounds and some early-seventies funk that coulda been the theme to a Norman Lear comedy that didn't make it past the pilot stage. The title did mislead me though...not a shred of Roky Erickson in sight and boy does that make me pout!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! WAY DOWN EAST starring Lillian Gish and Richard Barthelmess, directed by D.W. Griffith (1920)

OK, so Griffith was still doing fine at this time. I'll certainly agree to that. However, maybe it was a tad noticeable to some that after the original Griffith players had dispersed and the World War I years gave birth to the twenties it wasn't the quite the same moom pitcher industry that it used to be. After '22's ORPHANS OF THE STORM the Gish sisters were gone, and although Griffith continued making some rather potent product as the twenties dragged on you could tell that he was being surpassed by the same people that he helped create in the first place.

I guess the only reason he was allowed to stick around so long was because he was still a name just like Pickford, Chaplin and the rest of the United Artists types who had seen better days, and as we all know stuck up intellectuals hadda go see something at the mooms that appealed to their so above-it-all artsy tastes. And hey, if Chaplin wasn't doing his worn out schtick for the few remaining fans of his (tho Pickford still played the overgrown kid to maximum if kinda nauseating effect in William Beaudine's SPARROWS) then there was no choice other'n Griffith, right?

WAY DOWN EAST is a moom that seems custom-made for the melodramatic organ-pumping living room stereoscope-browsing Griffith regulars.Y'know, the kinda backwoods rural folk who you still see at the smaller supermarkets albeit in culturally-beaten form. But like in many of Griffith's early one-reel Biographs these same folks are surely the object of his ire which I'll bet rubbed more'n a few button-downs (among 'em the Pennsylvania Board of Censors) the wrong way when they settled in for this particular piece of cinematic excursion!

Longtime Griffith fave Lillian Gish stars as the sweet yet dumboid country gal Anna who becomes the apple of local well-connected lothario Lennox Sanderson's lascivious eyeball. Looking for a nice li'l quickie, Lennox arranges for a fake marriage with Anna (how these gals ever fell for that old scam I do not know!) before splitting when the gal becomes big with bastard. Of course the li'l illegit one conveniently croaks in one of the best infant dying scenes ever staged (I wonder how they trained the kid to fake death in such a realistic fashion...that ain't no overwrought Stanislavsky Method he was usin'!) but that don't keep Anna from getting kicked outta her digs because of her evil status.

Soon the duped one is out and about looking for work, and finds it as a maid for a stiff 'n upper lipped man who runs a local farm. Soon the "squire"'s son (played by new Griffith fave Richard Barthelmess) falls head over gosh-it-all heels for Anna, but she won't give him the time of day because well...she does have that sordid past that's still gettin' her all hot and bothered inside. Things "seem" to be going fine until the local gossip mill starts a-churning and whaddaya know but the ol' lothario himself Sanderson makes yet another appearance into her life threatening all sorts of sense and sanity.

As these things usually pan out in film lore everything comes to a by-now film historically potent conclusion as Anna gets kicked out of her home during the worst snowstorm of the year (and in typically finger-pointing dramatic fashion as well!) and deliriously falls upon an hunka ice on a river heading, along with a few hundred other ice floes all heading towards a raging waterfall! It's up to Barthelmess to save our young damsel in distress but will he??? Although you know that H.L. Mencken woulda wanted not only she but her rescuer to go over with the floes that is not to case, and I am so sorry to spoil this 'un for ya in case you were thinking about tracking a copy of this 'un down!

Only Griffith could make me wanna watch such cornballus entertainment w/o making me wanna laugh it up in typical DUDLEY DOO-RIGHT fashion, and his old-tymey mastery of intercutting between scenes to build tension (like when the local wag stomps her way to the squire's hut to blab what she heard about Anna) is just as good as it was over a decade earlier when he used the same technique with someone utilizing the relatively new invention of telephone to thwart a crime. Nice look (best use of color tints since BROKEN BLOSSOMS)  and feel as well, and as usual the entire shebang really dredges up memories of all of those old things that I never did experience in the first place making me wonder where I got them memories to begin with!

One thing about WAY DOWN EAST did  "get to me" though, and that was the role of Kate Bruce (yet another longtime Griffith actress) as the squire's wife. Oh she's a good enough thespian alright, but while we're on the subject of thespians let's think of a SIMILAR word we can use to describe her after seeing that scene where she and Gish (who is on record as being of that third sex persuasion even though you woulda thunk being balled by Babe Ruth woulda set her straight!) engage in a long mouth-to-mouth kiss that's supposed to be taken all Victorian an' all but... Sheesh, it's almost as bad as in ORPHANS OF THE STORM where Lillian and Dorothy are reunited giving way to their face-sucking scene and well, if you can't believe Kenneth Anger on these matters who can you believe?

Seeing it in the here and now ain't as potent as it woulda been had I eyeballed the thing years earlier, but watching something that's a good 95-years-old sure makes more sense to me than tuning into the crud 'n corruption that they call "entertainment" these sad 'n sorry days. And if that makes me an old fogy then gimme some spats, mustache wax, an ear horn and while yer at it call me gramps! It's sure better'n being called Robert Christgau that's for sure!