Sunday, February 28, 2016

Another week, another-------week??? Shee-yucks, once you get to be as elderly as I am these days just seem to woosh by ya and the thrill of waiting for the weekend for two days off inna row just vanishes into nada! But that's probably because I have to do doody on Sadderdays as well as the other five (Sundays on special occasion) which does tend to screw up the ol' cranial system w/regards to when to suffer and when to let loose. But I try not to let that get hold of me, usually w/o any success.

It was a good week though, what with the freebee platters and such which have made their way to my door and my ears, this week. Not forgetting the oldie moldies that is. Besides listening to the bountiful beauts that the likes of Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and P. D. Fadensonnen have sent my way quite a few BLOG TO COMM faves have been making their way into my musical listening parameters. Such downright classics as Chrome's HALF MACHINE FROM THE SUN (a platter I would now rate a whole lot higher'n I originally did via the piddling review I gave it back '13 way!) and the Can UNOPENED boot have been getting rather heavy airplay around here, much to my own personal inner peace advantage (yeah, hippie jargon!) if I do say so myself, brother! And of course when I just can't think of anything else that'll slip me into addled bliss during these rather tension-packed nights SWEET SISTER RAY is always there to help. Sheesh, if I wrote gunk like this during my high stool English class days maybe I woulda gotten a "C"!
I CAN'T BELIEVE IT, I JUST CAN'T BELIEVE IT! DEPT.: I mean, who woulda thunk that a pre-fame Tiny Tim would have been filmed at "The Factory", which I assume is THEE Factory as in Andy Warhol way back 1963 way performing a number and on a patched up ukulele at that! And playing the thang right-handed if you can believe it. More dredges up from a past that I for one sure can't get enough of, and I get the feeling that you feel the exact same way too! (And of course I am wrong...)

Anyway, enough reminiscing about days that'll never come back (at least then freaks wuz freaks!). Here's what else I've been spinning this week and, as usual, thanks to Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and P.D. Fadensonnen for their contributions to the cause. And Bob Forward, I just found those Iggy and Rick James disques you gave me ages back so, maybe, in the next one???

Various Artists-DARK CLOUDS VOL. 6 CD-r burn (available for download here)

Hokay, this ain't as power-packed jazzed-out as NUGGETS or PEBBLES, but its durn near great! Seventysome minutes of nothing but downer if high energy garage band tracks from the mid-to-late sixties that really do evoke alla those great suburban slob feelings those that scratchy old 45s that were inherited from your older brother in 'nam did (and yer hopin' he'd come home in a body bag just so he wouldn't decide to reclaim 'em!). Judging from this collection there was nothing better for white middle-class kids from across the fruity plain to do but moan about lost love (as if the guy could even get to bat with the love of his life who was more apt to do the dirty deed with the captain of the football team which is why we didn't see her for the last few months of high school) using the patented minor chord changes or even with some sly swipes of hoary old "Louie Louie" and "Hey Joe" riffs. (For the more introspective guys substitute the Byrds.)  Instant classics via some names both familiar and not such as Lindy Blaskey, Billy and the Kids, the Squires and of course the legendary Public Nuisance whose double disque Cee-Dee set on Frantic Records I gotta dig outta the collection mighty soon for a decade-plus re-eval!

And the second of this week's Bill burns is once again on the downer garage band side! But that's OK for me because hey, maybe what we could ALL use these days is more downer garage band gurgle and less up-and-cheerful pop slop the likes which permeate the tee-vees and even radios of this world. Again there's hardly anything here that'll make ya wanna run down the street nekkid screaming in pure addled joy, but it's still pleasant what with the nice 'n poppy tracks (almost said "if poppy tracks" which would convey a snooty feeling that I certainly don't have for these numbers), most of which seem to echo the more clean-cut side of the Amerigan garage band experience but I won't hold it against them. (Though you may want to hold plenty against the Yes It Is for their cornballus version of "Walking The Dog"!)

Mostly total unknown entities make up this particular slab of 29-count-'em tracks, but for those wanting something a little less obscure than the usual ultra-obscurities the infamous Executioners toon "The Noose" appears for your suburban slob pleasure. There's also a faithful cover of "Woolly Bully" that does evoke the spirit of 1965 ranch house pride as much as Kool Ade!  Somehow I think Chad and Jeremy would have heartily approved of it all, and who knows maybe you will too.
Various Artists-VIVA FRANCE! COMP. CD-r burn (courtesy of P. D. Fadensonnen)

You may think it silly (unless you've swallowed all of the propaganda bait hook line and swanker), but France really was a musical hotbed of high energy sounds during the latter portion of the previous century. Not only for the hotcha amt. of music the nation had produced, but because the French weren't exactly the snobs everybody's made 'em out to be and actually liked music that was created from outside their borders. This collection proves that some of the sounds that emanated from that nation was pretty on-target, even if it wasn't actually being produced by native born French types.

The platter starts out with yet another Sonny Sharrock rarity, this time featuring then-wife Linda, MONKEY POCKIE BOO bassist Beb Guerin and Art Ensemble drummer Don Moye from a Tee-Vee sesh that I'm gonna hafta search out on youtube one of these days. (Editor's note---and I did and it's a real eyeful!) Mighty hotcha stuff here what with Sharrock and band starting off with "Peanut" from BLACK WOMAN before segueing into the title track from Sharrock's legendary BYG platter as if I have to repeat its name!

Following is the MC5 live during their European stay doing a "Kick Out The Jams"/"Black to Comm" medley for an undoubtedly appreciative audience once again laying waste to the rumor that the French not only played bad rock 'n roll but didn't like the wild stuff either. Cooking on all hotpoints the band proves why they were so big overseas while inna US of Whoa they were lucky enough if they got mentioned on page 100 of STEREO REVIEW right next to Jan Garber. And people think that the French had no sense of rockism in their souls!

Closing out the disque is Beb Guerin, now with his own band doing a rather Euro-ish sounding set that recalls some of the quieter things that Gunter Hampel did on those self-produced albums that you could once get via NMDS for prices I sure wish were around today. It kinda moves and absorbs as it goes on, and you hear a vibraphone at one point then a slide whistle making me wonder if Sharrock had returned Guerin's favors and decided to sit in on this particular gig!

So despite having bred a whole buncha bad revolutionary movements and horrid philosophers who propped up said movements there still was, at least judging from this compilation, a lot of life in France back in the twentieth century. Burn one if you can, only try to keep it away from all sortsa doofs out there who still like to bandy terms like "surrender monkeys", "cheese eaters" and "freedom fries" around!
Milk 'N' Cookies-SPECIAL EDITION 2-CD-r burn (originally on Captured Tracks)

Well whaddaya know, the classic Milk 'n' Cookies album has once again been reissued for all of you power pop turds out there, and I'm sure the news of this has got y'all jumpin' up an' down like a buncha homos who accidentally got the cayenne mixed in with the KY. And as you probably already know by now this one is a total winner---a typically mid-seventies teenbo platter with the right amount of tough snarl, teenage pop credo and of course the good looks that gals used to swoon over and guys like me wish we had rather'n having to be mirror images of Bernard Punsley.

Disque #1's got the album as well as a batch of rare non-LP numbers that all point towards something akin to a weird cross between the Ramones and Bay City Rollers. That sounds good enough for me despite not being top-notch 1000% boosters of either act (hissssssss!), but for my ears it all works out fine. I prefer the additional disque though, which has a buncha rare demos and rehearsal tracks that are raw and extremely attuned to what this whole idea of punk rock and cheap aesthetics was supposed to be all about back when these sides were recorded (1973). Of particular interest is track #3 entitled "Girls in Gangs" which sounds just like those Harvest-period Move numbers that still appeal to me to the point where other writers have made fun of me for liking 'em so! Well tough turds fella, I got my own anglophile side that I ain't ashamed of, and come to think of it so did Milk 'n' Cookies and it's all for the better if I do say so myself!
The Saucy Jacks-YOU MAKE YOUR OWN WORLD CD-r burn (originally on Chocolate Covered)

I sure dunno why Paul McGarry sent a copy of this 'un to me! I thought the man had enough knock-knock up there to know that I really don't cozy up to most of these soft pop platters that seem to take the hard-edge of those seventies power pop tunes and water 'em down quite a few notches. Maybe somebody in the group is related to Paul, only Paul didn't want to tell me because he wanted me to judge it on its own merits and not be fluzzled by his hard-handed hypeorama regarding this 'un. Well, frankly it is kinda pleasant and la-de-da 'n all, but if ya really wanna know I've heard saucier. Now tell me Paul, who was it? A relative, co-worker, a neighbor, the milkman???
Two Daughters-GLORIA/KISS THE CLOTH CD-r burn (originally on United Dairies tapes)

Fans of Nurse With Wound will undoubtedly wanna gobble up this long-forgotten act's recordings considering how Two Daughters (who sound more like two sons but who am I to say?) seem to be working the same sound mangipulation strata as their more famous labelmates did. Weird tape-loop sounds produce repeato-riff musings that sure come off a whole lot better'n some of the home-made geek on a trip soundscapadings that I've heard o'er the years, with the daughters adding strange vocal sounds over everything from sampled classical music to strange riffage culled from who knows where. And the best thing about it is that you can dance to about a half of these tracks! Of course these motions on your part would have to be clunked out spasmodic moves so if you do decide to engage in improvisational gyrations (like I did age 11 whilst listening to Elvis blast out "Hound Dog") don't let anybody see you or else they'll laugh their gluteous maximuses off!
THE PROFESSIONALS CD-r burn (originally on Virgin)

Yeah I care about as much about these ex-Pistols as I do the season finale of CHAMPIONSHIP FELCHING, but the Cook/Jones axis sure does make for good neo-wave-y power poppish rock that said more about 1980 than...THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY I guess. Pleasant enough hard pop for my tastes though frankly, will I ever listen to this 'un again (your views will be summarily dismissed)? There's a cover of "White Light/White Heat" ripped from Bowie 'stead of Reed which might diminish 'em in your view, but then again maybe not.
THE HONDELLS CD-r burn (originally on Mercury)

This being the middle of winter it ain't like I'm longing for sun and surf music that much (could use some snowbunny ski sounds if any happen to be lying around), but THE HONDELLS does get me right inna labonza the way the dredge up all of those turdler-era memories of hearing songs like these, mostly on someone else's radio. More'n decent surf slurp from these Beach Boys swiperoos that, for at least a brief moment, held the English at bay on the top 40 charts. Then again how could these clean cut wholesome surfer types compete against a buncha mop top rockers goin' wild all over the place??? All I want to know is, which side are you on, peace creep?
Various Artists-NABISCO JANITOR PALSY CAN-CAN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Here's yet another one of Bill's mystery meat samplers in which he gives no hint other'n the title as to what's to be found herein. A classic ad for Mayfield cigarettes (remember those? I sure don't!) starts off a fine selection of tracks ranging from a Japanese language version of "Dominique" to some spoken word cum radio trancemissions between a man and some woman, the man sounding a bit like Bill himself so who knows? There are also some funny old novelty records that sound like they were recorded by some Borscht Belt comedian during his free time (nothing as good as Benny Bell's "Shaving Cream") as well as a few slabs of sparse-sounding free jazz and pre-rock pop that kinda made me think that I was some doofus fiftysomething 1953 lazing about like Mr. Wilson or something. And of course those ads for Nabisco Shredded Wheat really hit the spot, though between you and me I eat mine with honey 'stead of sugar!!!! In all a better way to spend your free time rather'n playing proctologist with the neighborhood cat.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


The Tokyo Happy Coats-LIVE (King Record-Astro Sonic Productions)

My copy has a dedication "To Judy very best wishes and happy new year" complete with autographs by five sisters comprising the Happy Coats, in English and Japanese characters. They are dressed identically and have the same bulbous sixties hair. I'd wager they were sisters like the Ramones were brothers, but it probably got them half a paragraph in THE WAUKEEGAN DEMOCRAT next to the farm implement trade show so...still, Tomika may be Tokyo Rose under an assumed name as she looks old enough to be the Mama-san of cutie-pie Shako on the far left.

Bob Marsano of Astro Sonic Productions (despite the fact that this is a record and not a jet engine, really, how great is that name? I wish I had a vintage business card) writes that he decided after ten years of entertaining HUNDREDS OF THOUSAND (sic) of fans and customers (?) by their stage performances they should record for the pleasure of the listening public and he signed the group to a recording contract. Hundreds of thousand? Hmmm...must be counting all those G.I. "customers" Tomika serviced on her own just after the war. And I bet she wasn't humming "You are my Sunshine" under her breath through gritted teeth.

A happy coat in Japan is a traditional garment and a symbol of love and happiness sez the liners which also mention the Holiday House in Pittsburgh as one of the venues they played. As an eight-year-old I could have been idly drawing on a Holiday Inn place mat and inhaling a few packs of second hand smoke had my parents not been able to find a babysitter and dragged us kids to a show. Imagine the Happy Coats desperately trying to save face by not blowing the lyrics to their medley of "Spinning Wheel"/"Windmill of Your Mind"/"For Once in My Life" that no doubt brought the house down for some traveling salesman with a few whiskey sours in him. Can't you just smell the sour booze as he mimics "LIED A PAINTEE PONY WATCH THE SPINEE WHEES..." loud enough to wake up the drunk next to him, who he then informs how he could go for some "sideways smile" like them orientals got.

I tried to play his but it looks like Godzilla's radioactive breath swept across it (tsk tsk Judy, why didn't you take care of this artifact after the Happy Coats signed it and everything) so I only heard a few minutes. Actually this is one of those records you don't even need to play---you've heard it before you even put it on, and only the shout out to the city changes amongst the stale stage pater and even staler jokes between rigor-mortis stiff renditions of songs.

"This album is dedicated to our mother, Mama Hakomari, who resides in Tokyo, Japan and whose many sacrifices made our career possible." A shame the five Happy Coats, on this forgotten thrift store album that was no doubt only sold at their live appearances, languishes in Limbo while two of their contemporaries live forever in celluloid history as the girls who could sing the song that summoned Mothra, Now there's a gig!
Various Artists-THE YOUNG SOUND 68 (Somerset)

This LP (subtitled OUT OF SIGHT HITS FOR NOW PEOPLE) has a back jacket containing a "Sound Spectrum" graph that details the decibel levels of "all the human ear can sense and hear" in graduation from black to white.Thirty cycles per second is the lowest, which corresponds to the subsonic belches my father would unleash at the dinner table after eating stuffed cabbage. He once caused a pencil to roll off the table. The top level is 16,000 cycles per second, which measures the scream you'll emit when you hear "Strings for Young Lovers" doing "MacArthur Park" off this LP.

I'm pretty sure Sundazed reissued this, which makes for a nice "little record that could" story, except the only standout tracks are the two by the Animated Egg (session whiz Gerry Cole and studio musicians).

BUTTER! PARKAY! It's hard to imagine now what a big deal LAST TANGO was, what with Brando at another peak of his fame in an "X" vehicle, a movie the back sleeve of the LP gleefully points out was "banned by the Pope".  Pickwick no doubt rushed this out so quickly in order to capitalize on the controversy surrounding the film that the fetching redhead in the micro skirt on the cover was probably thrown onto the vinyl seat she's reclining on, and the first photo snapped was rushed to the printer. She does look a little dazed, and not altogether pleased as if she had a premonition of a mumu-wearing 300 lb. Brando of the future bearing down on her making kissy faces while wiping Big Mac sauce off his lips with the back of his hand.

After the title cut Pickwick grafted on some moldy romantic songs from the vault, (Cut two is "The Summer of '42"). The liners suggest you "tenderly take off the wrap, gently pull out the record, and play love". Yes, gently indeed, since Pickwick were such cheap bastards they didn't even supply inner sleeves for their records.
George Mann Orchestra featuring the Golden Trumpet-THEME FROM THE MOTION PICTURE CASINO ROYALE (Custom)

This being poverty row Custom Records, you can be sure that if there was a golden trumpet in George's orchestra it was fool's gold. Or the gold foil covering those chocolate pieces from the dollar store that are supposed to be gold coins but taste like cow pies. The saddest thing about this very sad record is the ersatz Bond on the cover, whose receding hairline allows us to see much forehead. That, and the gun he grips in a gloved hand. The glove in the photo looks so small and dainty one might as well have thrown a tiny ball bearing at someone. The chick to his right looks like she was interrupted from her AM shift at a donut shop, had a cheap vinyl cape fastened to her and presto, instant Bond girl! Nothing about either one makes you think for one second about James Bond, guv'nor!

I remember when I played this that I got the impression that songs such as "Oh! Oh! Seven", "Bottled in Bond", "Who's James Anyway" (certainly not the mook on the cover) and the rest were retrofitted from some BATMAN-themed LP, and "A Tight Bond" probably doubled as "The Joker is Wild" or some such nonsense on that LP.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Long before Leslie Nielsen re-casted his entire career as a comedic genius the guy was in a whole load of films and tee-vee series that I found way too grown up for my definitely ranch house fun and jamz free time. NIGHT TRAIN TO PARIS prob'ly would have been one of those kinda Nielsen vehicles had I happened to catch it on some local tee-vee station sometime in the early-seventies, but now that I'm older'n crotchetier all I can say is hmmmmmmmmmmm, this be a good 'un!

Nielsen plays this expat Amerigan living in London who, on New Year's Eve, takes a train to Paris (must be some sorta holiday express considering how the passengers seem to be there only to yuk it up) to deliver a rare reel of tape to the French Embassy which is so desperately wanted by a whole slew of foreign governments to the point where there's this guy who looks like Lol Coxhill without the cleft chin out to get it no matter how many people he has to strangle to latch onto the thing.

Nielsen plays it nice 'n cool throughout even showing signs of his future comedic career when he interacts with the frolicking passengers on the express, and for once you ain't wishin' that the badguy'd garrote him because the future POLICE SQUAD star doesn't come off like a total asshole unlike some male leads in the same kinda role most certainly would. Aliza Gur as Carolyn does pretty good as the opposite sex lead if only because she's a good twenny-years-old here and thankfully the de-feminization trend hadn't ruined everything with regards to testosterone bubbling to the point of blah. (Though I gotta complain about that forehead which woulda gotten her a lotta behind-the-back commentaries had she attended my high school...and you should have heard what they said about me to my face!)  Heck, I even think that the soon-to-fade Dorinda Stevens as model Olive Davis was pretty snat or was that the french twist hairdo she was wearing? Looking at the kinda gals that were romping about back then you kinda get the feeling that they were total ladies who didn't smell like they forgot to wipe or used packing sponges for tampons like the examples of libbers you see these days.

The whole shebang had the right balance of humor, intrigue and suspense that goes to remind me about just how good these films (even these English ones which at times could get too "pip pip" for my tastes) could be. Another tip top recommendation for this particular piece of cinematic pounce that I somehow think's gonna fly over the heads of most of Nielsen's latterday fans (but I may be wrong).

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Well yeah, the previous post wasn't that funny (if at all), but it really wasn't supposed to be. At least in a har-har knee-slappin' sorta way that you've comes to expect from a blog such as this. It was just a li'l exercise so t' speak, just me ponderin' about what some of those albums that I've actually come across in my dreams dating back as far as my high stool days (usually discovered via outta-the-way flea markets that don't exist in real life or those outta-the-way record shops nobody sees anymore) would have sounded like had I actually spun the things while wrapped up in the arms of Morpheus. To be honest and more up-front than Jayne Mansfield about it that piece was something that would appeal to me and me only, unless you're one of those gifted kinda guys who are able to slip right inside my consciousness like some critters out there think they can, so whatever you do please don't read that much into it. Also be glad that I didn't review the Neil Diamond CHRISTMAS AND THE BEADS OF SWEAT album or any of a large variety of Mothers of Invention knockoffs that I have come across for years on end (those of which I sure wouldn't mind hearing as long as they're from the original MOI days and Zappa keeps his mouth shut for a long enough time!).
And speaking of dreams, HEY BRAD KOHLER, HERE'S ONE FOR YOU AND YOU ONLY! You're the only guy who thinks that my crazy rock 'n roll snoozers are worth the time 'n temperature to annotate for generations present and future, so everyone else skedaddle so I can relay my LATEST (like, last night!) dream to Brad and Brad only! I'm in some strange-looking abode which is decorated mid-sixties suburban ranch house style (the mood's akin to a typical fambly party) and flick on the tee-vee to see a DROOPY cartoon comin' on. Only instead of the famed jowly dog what do I see but a mop top rock group doing the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things" on a typically tee-vee stage. The music isn't quite in sync, but the band is jumping all around with  one of the guitarists who looks sorta like Jeff Beck playing his ax backwards kinda like Hendrix only around his lumbar region while agitatedly fretting with the right hand near the pickups and strumming with the left 'un along the neck!

The camera then pans left to show the rest of the act including an overweight (about 300 pounds) member of the group, blonde with long hair kinda resembling a young Terry Southern if he was as fat and as hairy as he was when he was older (maybe John Candy-esque would be a better comparison), snarling at the camera and blowing a giant bass saxophone which I now find out was the origin of all of those wild sounds on the record, not the feedback as I thought all these years! I also notice behind the group a horn section of about five playing extremely shiny instruments, including this weird tuba that kinda resembled a flower stem neck-wise!

Afterwards the group is shown leaving the studio acting all cocky and all, and the overweight member flashes the camera (at least above the waist) exposing his oversized pecs for all to see! I dunno who these guys really were, but I get the feeling Greg Shaw missed out mentioning them in his British rock rundown in BOMP!
I had a pretty swingin' week as you can see from the ultra-boffo writeups to be found below. Nothing life-reaffirming here true, but they were good enough to get me through six straight days of work 'n degradation so's I guess I came out on top after all! Anyhoo, if ya wanna osmose some of the positive vibrations that have been jangling my nodes these past seven, just read on, MacDuff, read on!

Captain Beefheart-PLASTIC FACTORY CD (Go Faster Records, available via Forced Exposure)

It's always grand getting hold of these new 'n old Beefheart platters, especially after giving a listen to some of the dross that's been passing as good ol' high energy offensive to the precious snowflake types ROCK AND ROLL these past few eons.

This 'un's no exception---sure you've heard the Avalon Ballroom tapes for years on end but they've been spiffied up a bit in case you're interested and besides, there are a whole slewfulla new beings out there who probably haven't heart it yet at all! The live bits that follow seem to vary soundwise (as if we rilly care!) but deliver on all of that old Captain Beefheart punch we've been really big on for a longer time'n any of us can imagine. I detect a few repeats from other compilations legit or not, but at this point in time I'm glad to get my Beef any way I can!

Believe-you-me, if you still get those same throb thrills (like I do) listening to this sorta racket these days that you got way back when you first heard it back when rock 'n roll (as that International Youth Language) was alive and happening, then you really are a rockist BOOSTER who thankfully never gave up on the game when the going got mooshy! And to top it all off there's a BBC interview-cum-chitchat conducted by primo Beefheart buddy John Peel who gets the usually groggy-sounding Van Vliet to open up about as much as anyone really could!

A top play here at the BLOG TO COMM orifices, and maybe it will be in your neck of the torso as well.
Orchestra Luna-LIVE @ CBGB's-1975 CD-r burn

I gotta say that I really do enjoy a whole load of those under-the-counter variety of musical acts that were popping up 'n about the landscape of the mid-seventies, even if they weren't exactly of the whole new wave "save the world" garden variety that eventually got all of the fame 'n notoriety that might or might not have deserved. Perhaps this is due to the plain ol' fact that many of these outta nowhere acts WEREN'T trying to be some sorta altruistic new and improved brand of rock 'n roll out to eradicate the previous ten years of hippoid excess like most of us thought all along! Naw, these young upstarts wanted to be just LIKE those big wheels of the day that a huge hunkerin' portion of the punks claimed to have loathed, only these groups just didn't have the chops or professional whiz to come off as studied as John McLaughlin, Steve Howe or Freddie Mercury so whatever they were able to do they did as a primal punk THUD that made their attempts at cranking out a set of music all the more entertaining.

Well, at least entertaining enough to these longtime jaded ears which is one reason why I still hold my copies of LIVE AT CBGB's near and dear to my heart even if I seem to be one of only a handfulla fanablas out there who will swear allegiance to Manster even this late in the underground rock game.

As I will for Orchestra Luna. I've written about their sole LP on Epic twice or thrice, first in the sixth issue of my crudzine where I was most confused by the overly orchestrated music as well as the more treacly aspects of some of the material which was so comfy cutesy overbearing that I doubt even Billy Joel would have wanted to perform it. However some of the numbers to be found therein were rather satisfying as in hotcha pop (even of an AM radio variety) way that woulda brightened up the speakers of many a transistor had this act made it out of their burgh (in this case Boston) a few years earlier. Well, that and if they got hold of a producer who coulda turn 'em into a nice cheezy li'l singles group 'stead of a confusing if tasty mishmosh that was trying for the Roxy Music, Sparks, Tom Waits, Queen, Manhattan Transfer, Vikki Carr or Rupert Holmes (who actually did produce it!) market.

By the time this live shoot for Metropolis Video took place in October of 1975 the original Orchestra Luna were on their last legs and would eventually break up only to reform around group leader Richard Kinscherf and vocalists Peter Barrett and Liz Gallagher. The new version of the group, from what I've heard of them via a now-gone on-line sampler of their work, were a decidedly slicker act complete with a synthesizer and dual guitars who coulda produced a heck of an album that might have been able to bring together the nerdy import bin crowds and even the hardcore rockers, but when Sire came a' knockin' during the big new wave signing of 1977 Luna turned 'em down thinkin' they could do better'n THAT!!! Unfortunately they couldn't meaning there would be one less bargain bin surprise for suburban slobs like myself to pick up once 1979 rolled around!

Recorded at one of the few places that would give Orchestra Luna a chance (mainly CBGB, thanks to Hilly Kristal who counted himself amongst being one of the group's biggest cheerleaders), this particular afternoon-only gig played to an audience consisting of the CBGB staff does approximate what not only an Orchestra Luna production was like back then but what the spirit and sound of many an act to play that hallowed stage was undoubtedly akin to. For a group who just released a major label platter the entire gig reeks that nice 'n down home amateur hour audition night feeling, and its for the better since thankfully all of the primitive glory that was so appealing to these CBGB bands back in the mid-seventies shines forth, and without all of the studio glop and additional strings of the album the sound is sparse and more in tune with my own suburban slob ideals of what this particular breed o' music should be like!

Two tracks from that platter do show up, specifically "Boy Scouts" as well as "Love Is Not Enough" (complete with a muffed up piano intro) and the pair definitely sound better in this raw mileau, but the new tracks really did make for a particularly chahming time. Standouts include "Joey" (a Kinscherf solo spot that really does evoke those thirties tin can alley Jolson stylings without making you has to do with a presumably true story about the time Kinscherf escaped from a reform school age 14, swiped a car and met up with a guy who perhaps had too much of an interest in our hero) as well as "Pasttime", a spot for guitarist Randy Roos, drummer Don Mulvaney and bassist Scott Chambers to stretch out and do their Mahavishnu thingie only they fortunately sounds better'n that description would imply to a few of you punques. Even their rendition of the Irv Berlin classic "Cheek to Cheek" sounds down to home honest enough to appeal to both the old time fans and their kids who were snarfing this thirties kultur up via Bryan Ferry and the Mael Brothers as much as they were because of alla those late night moom pitchers on tee vee.

For me the standout number from this gig's "Helen of Troy", one of those all-out production numbers sorta like "Doris Dreams" and "Heart" where the props 'n dialogue are trotted out almost as if Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were putting on a show in the barn so's some kid could get an operation only this 'un ain't as syrupy if it is a tad fact "Helen" is actually kinda engrossing to this reviewer what with the ensemble going from rhumba to Broadway tuneage (no, don't gag) before it all tumbles into this weird waltz-time dreamy segue that had me thinking the Velvets ca. CHELSEA GIRLS soundtrack because of its rather dolorous demeanor. And not only that but it even works swell without the visuals!

Of course if you do want to see the on-stage antics the entire set has popped up online. I posted a few trax earlier onna blog last summer and well, if you'd like to possess the entire kaboodle you now have the opportunity to burn one for your own personal collection. If your tastes are whetted by this writeup maybe a quick trip to youtube might be in order, and don't forget to clean yer lenses lest you get a skipper on your hands!

It's about TIME some of those Larry Wallis-era UFO recordings made their way out to the populace, and if this is the cream of the crud well, some mighty good cruddy cream it sure is! If you think that the primal thud sound of guitarist Mick Bolton on the original group's albums (which gave me the impression of what the Stooges would have sounded like had a non-Janis inspired Robert Plant sang with 'em) would be gone by this time  have no fear, since Wallis provides the same ample slab of cro-magnon aesthetics to the group's sound as Bolton did making these faves from the early day sound as critical as they did on such classics as LANDED JAPAN. Hints of Wallis's future forays into Pink Fairies territory can be discerned, and although the sound quality here (taken from a French as well as English gig) is pretty much TAKRL when you hear this you're gonna think this 'un's thee utmost in what that hoary old term known as Heavy Metal was all about! Well, at least before dumbass kids began taking these rock 'n roll terms on prima facie evidence thus ruining concepts and styles beyond repair.

Y'know, I don't recall having seen any Super Snooper cartoons during my young turdler days. Same goes with Yakkey Doodle which I didn't even know about until the late-seventies...I think the reason for this is because back when Snooper 'n Blabber were bein' run during those juicy and tender years I was too busy watching BARNEY BEAN on the other station. And when the first-era Hanna-Barbera cartoons did make it to the same station as Barney during my kiddiegarden days I actually recall our teacher telling us kids that we should let our parents watch the evening news instead of the cartoons because there's a lot of heavy, bad, and downright ikky things goin' on that they should know about and that we, by proxy I guess, should feel terrible about even though we were only five years old and from all reports extant should have been having a good time.

Fair enough but sheesh, couldn't the folks just have watched the earlier ABC news (which was only fifteen minutes and thus better for us all) than the half-hour CBS or NBC broadcasts so's they could have had their fill of the World Scene and us ranch house kiddies the H-B cartoons which immediately followed? Yeah, logic like that just didn't make its way through the hard heads of my teachers who were always trying to pull these guilt games on us stupid turdlers which sadly enough sometimes worked on our under-developed brains!

But back to Super Snooper...although there hadn't been any of his cartoons produced in about three years by this time, the famed cat detective and his mouse sidekick made a comeback on this long-player which was an obvious cash-in on the then-current secret agent craze that seemed just too sexy for a whole slab o' parents out ther (and believe me, I should know!). On this spinner Snooper is mistaken by arch badboys Gold Pinky and Dr. Oh No for none other'n famous Secret Agent James Bomb and is tricked into delivering the dreaded B Bomb to Washington DC where it would blow the entire city to smithereens. Things change when the real James Bomb makes an unscheduled appearance in his flying Rolls Royce and I better stop right where I am because I just know you're dialing up ebay in order to latch on to such a powerful, tension-packed platter as this now, eh?

Of course Daws Butler is fantastic doing his Ed Gardner impression (he of DUFFY'S TAVERN fame which is from whence the voice of Snooper came---like you knew...) and his other 'uns including none other'n LBJ (or was it Huckleberry Hound?) are as top notch as anyone who's lived through sixties-seventies tee-vee cartoons will remember 'em to be. Longtime Hanna-Barbera voice regular Don Messick ain't bad either bringing to mind even more television greatness that didn't seem so bad even when his whole schtick seemed to go out of style. And who can forget those wild musical interludes including a whacked out piss-take of "Goldfinger"???
King Mud-VICTORY MOTEL SESSIONS CD-r burn (originally on Alive/Natural Sound)

Hey it's pretty good...hardcore rock 'n roll that doesn't sound like every bad influence from the eighties on has been tacked onto every good influence from the seventies and before. Kinda heavy metal in the old pre-Goldilocks fashion but something that'll definitely scare off the stoner box boy crowd if they'd ever get a whiff of this. Given that it's on Alive Records and thus has this post-post-post Detroit Rock splat to it I gotta say that it ranks up there with a good portion of their back catalog,. Although I'm supposed to hate this kinda music if only on principle I gotta hand it to King Mud for releasing an album in the year of 2016 that doesn't make me wanna run for the nearest vomitorium.
Death House-ATTRITION CD-r burn (originally on Attrition Tapes)

Oboy, more early-eighties cassette culture! Of course this ain't any of the kinda cassette culture that gave us those DIY punk rock thingies that ended up on one of those HOMEWORK disques that I oughta dig out for an additional spin but it'll do. Whining and wheezing electronics that are played in exactly the way you would expect your typical brooding eighties-vintage English sorta kids to play 'em, with lots of weird drones and hisses that sound like the wind blowing through the barren trees o' winter. I do hate to bring up the K(C)luster comparisons like I do but those of you who lapped up their platters with a hefty side dosage of early Cabaret Voltaire might be able to relate to this. And remember, when you do slash your wrists after hearing this it's DOWN THE RIVER, NOT ACROSS IT!
The Red Krayola-SINGLES CD (Drag City)

Not having spun my Red Krayola singles in quite some time it's sure nifty getting to listen to not only those again but a whole slew of items I missed out on the first time because well...I didn't think that the latterday Krayola was just as jazzed as the original. Good stuff here too dating as far back as an instrumental b-side to an unreleased solo Mayo Thompson single as well as the infamous Saddlesore release that (along with CORKY'S DEBT TO HIS FATHER) was actually advertised in ROLLING STONE, and that's not forgetting a whole slewwa Krayola mk. II/III/IV/V... sides that sure dredge up those old memories of combing through Rough Trade and Systematic catalogs wondering what the records being pushed therein actually sounded like!

To be honest some of those eighties-vintage Krayola sides just don't jibe with me but I find the Rough Trade-era 'uns to be top notch enough that I might even dish out some moolah for KANGAROO one of these days. Especially interesting is a live if unreleased rendition of the "Wives In Orbit"/"Yik Yak" single done up two years before the more famous Radar release made its way into the collections of many a turdburger's collection! Of course I could have used that familiar Radar Records release as well as the flexi-only remake of "Hurricane Fighter Plane" on this, but at this point in time can I afford to be picky???


Taste-WHAT'S GOING ON (live at the Isle of Wight festival 1970) CD-r burn (originally on Eagle Rock)

A not so exciting group performing a not so exciting live album at a not so exciting rock festival unless you wanna count Tiny Tim's exuberant set that had the crowd in tears. You may think it a boss example of late-sixties underground English rock 'n all but next to the Pink Fairies 'n Stackwaddy these guys are just boring noodlers showin' off all of those patented hotcha bloozey guitar licks guaranteed to get the stoner crowd all agog. Its been done better by a whole buncha then-contemporary English acts from Killing Floor to Edgar Broughton, and come to think of it just about any whiteguy blues act of the era coulda put Taste to downright shame and undoubtedly have. Only those kinda bands were struggling just to keep their nostrils above the waterline while Taste had that big label backing and were playing to thousands of hippies who were probably more concerned that the guy next to 'em'd pass the pipe their way. I guess that if people can become nostalgic for underage boys in creepy restroom stalls they can become nostalgia for bad English blooze takes like this as well!

Various Artists-KSE 10TH ANNIVERSARY ALBUM CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions)

Sheesh, I wish I had enough of a brain to figure out if these tracks were from previous Kendra Steiner Editions platters or created brand spanking new for the esteemed label's big tenth anniversary celebration. Whatever the sounds to be found here are a real wunderslurp of atonal scronkdom that helps to remind you about what the real purpose of life is! From intense guitar noodling to sine wave buzz, muffled threats and overt free jazz blast there's something for everyone here...provided that everyone cut their teeth on old scratchy John Cage and Anthony Braxton albums culled from who knows where. PICKS OF THE LITTER: Alfred 23 Harth and Massimo Magee who really know how to turn Dr. Sax's invention into something I'm sure he never woulda conceived his creation could do no matter how long he lived!
Various Artists-YODELIN' KLINKER CRYING BEACH CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill starts this one off with some gooey gal-group type things though they ain't exactly girl group as in Alan Betrock but more or less post-McGuire Sisters/pre-Chantels sorta girls singing neo-rock 'n roll or something like that. Nice for a diversion from the same old (or even same new), but nothing I'd wanna be marooned in a harem of female specimens who look like your mother with. Porky & the Travelers' "Yodlin' Hobo" is also a nice for a one spin sorta experience (cheap country lite I guess)  though Marty Roberts & His Nightriders were pretty funny what with him not only doin' a not-so-sly Elvis impression on "Baby" but a good ugly woman putdown on "Your Feet's Too Big"! Tracks by Ben Morris & the Imperials and the Savoys continue on the cheap crank out fifties tradition of the rest, though some of you might be interested in hearing Johnny Winter as Guitar Slim doing some of those early blues that I think the infamous Roy Ames had a thing or two to do with. Pretty boss set just perfect for fightin' off the winter stir crazies, or summer ones for that matter.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


(Brad Kohler was gonna do illustrations for these mythical spinners but he backed out due to his real life job taking up too much of his time...sorry about that! HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS...)


When this platter hit the racks in late-'72 the world certainly did get a collective rock rush that would have been equal to the oft-rumored get back togethers of both the Beatles and Snobs combined! Yes, the all time mid-sixties sonic reduction itself, thanks to the efforts of one Andy Warhol,  actually got back together after Lou Reed and John Cale's solo career failures for this platter to tour of some of the best beergardens in the tri-state area and boy are the results a doozy!

Of course Warhol got his friend David Bowie (just coming off a recording slump with HUNKY DORY) into the act and Warhol managed to also get HIMSELF into the stew playing "rhythm guitar and nothing but!" in his own words, but the overall results were exactly what the folk-hating top-40 eschewing glitter glam denizens of the day were looking for. And best of all, with both Reed and Bowie in the acts their upcoming solo albums which undoubtedly would prove to be outright turds given their recent works were definitely put on hold, only to see the light of day on future Cee-Dee box set retrospectives where they pad out the more familiar soundage and hey, why do you think they stick those outtakes and flubs at the end of the disque anyway?

With all of those acts of the day ripping off the Velvets and making hay while the influencers could barely scratch together enough moolah for Lou to buy a jar of wheat germ it was high time that the Velvets did a little ripping back! And fortunately for Lou, he kept his ego firmly in line and let the rest of the group's leading lights (in this case Bowie as well as John Cale, who contributed some dazzling instrumental work that ranks with those viola and organ outbursts that people were still talking about on album liner note covers for years on end) stretch out a bit. Cale's in fine form swooping about with a particularly fierce rage perhaps inspired by a recent argument with Reed, while Bowie remains Bowie, but his vocalese along with twelve-string and sax playing adds yet another dimension to the already rhythmic pace of the music. Sterling Morrison's doubling on guitar and bass provides a strong backbone to the group while Maureen Tucker was back from maternity leave pounding her inverted set and playing tambourine looking a little older and wiser but still girlish enough in that innocence in a sea of decadence sorta way that made us all notice her in the first place.

As for Warhol, he sure has proven that along with his art and film work he can sure be a rock steady musician as well. All those years of practicing guitar for therapy really paid off, and reports from Max's say that the man looked stunning if emaciated stage right playing his Teisco guitar wearing a lead-lined leather jacket with white fur collar.

Actually, the presence of  all those guitars does not drown out the music. Quite the opposite. As with the original Plan 9, the Warlocks and Jamie Klimek's recent incarnation of Mirrors, the stringed things stay in tune (well, mostly) and battle themselves in remarkable displays of cross-frequency feedback splurges as Tucker keeps that steady metronome beat that has characterized their sound to the point where more than a few bands were mimicking it as the years plopped on.

Cale's technological advances have also benefited this reunion greatly. Sure he once again had delved into the Velvet Underground past of the dilruba and viola da gamba giving this album a touch of gothic cringe worthy of MARBLE INDEX, but he had also managed to change the weather with his heretofore undiscovered frequencies as well as finally created that special drum for Tucker which the audience couldn't hear, but feel underlying the beat with feeling rather than sound. Those of us lucky enough to have experienced being subject to the creation of wind and rain as well as a pulsating backbone feeling while listening to this album can attest to one fact...don't bring your stereo set outside or you're bound to get an electric shock!

The album is successful especially for the long-time fans who were the first to understand the power and imagery of the Velvets. If you thought that Cale was the de facto leader of the group and that LOADED was an honest attempt to return the group to the mystical pop fury of the debut then THE VELVET UNDERGROUND (REUNION) will toast your testes more'n you could imagine.

Track selection was soo-perb enough that you kinda wonder why these guys hadda break up in the first place when they coulda been giving us something to buy other than Brewer and Shipley. Starting off side one is Reed plowing through a recent group composition (note: all tracks on this platter are credited to "Reed/Cale/Morrison/Tucker/Bowie/Warhol" no matter who may have written them or sung them or even hummed them in the shower, something that Reed must have regretted given his later attempts to claim credit to everything that appeared) called "Metal Machine Moloch", perhaps the most jarring opening to an album since the Deviants' "I'm Coming Home". It's even more eye-gouging than that, setting the pace for future Throbbing Gristle and Nurse With Wound endeavors that were a good six or so years off anyway. Reed had all of the guitars on this one not forgetting Cale's bass tuned to "C" (to make it easy) and feedbacking while Reed recited some of that homoerotic pervo disgusto stuff that THE PARIS REVIEW was publishing at the time in an attempt to turn Reed into a real literary force and not some street homo. The results are fantab and if you listen while wearing headphones you probably will hear various cuss words tossed into the mix that you can't decipher otherwise.

It's now Bowie's turn as he steps up to the microphone to belt out "Kay, Why?", yet another one of those gender confusion tracks that were all the rage back '72 way. The double entendres abound more than they did on those mid-sixties garage band singles dealing with limousines and hot dogs and even a backdoor padlocker like myself can chuckle at the imagery straight outta FIREWORKS if only that the melody is highly reminiscent of all of those Velvet/Stooges imitations Bowie had and continued to pump into his music when he wasn't channeling Danny Kaye.

Next up is Cale with his main contribution to the album, a ten-minute ode to yet another Scandinavian literary achievement, and although it is not Ibsen it's still as moodily powerful as Cale would get during his early solo period. "Pippi Longstockings" rolls and thunders with Cale's dissonant melody (reminds me of "Lady Godiva" if she were getting treated for Krohn's) and when the thunder and storms start brewing boy, you better have your umbrellas ready!

Flip it over and the real surprises begin. This 'un starts off with a newer Reed composition entitled "Walk on the Wild Side" which was gonna be on his first album but got axed because hey, how could this one get played on mid-Amerigan AM radio what with all of those mid-aged moms listening in? But it fits in fine with the mood of the album and thankfully doesn't end up sounding like some soundtrack for some middle-of-the-night gay bar where the only other guy there's Wally Cox. Following "Side"'s the real treat that I'm sure serious Velvets fans had been waiting for for years. You remember how Reed once said that there were so many versions and additions to "Sister Ray" that it would take a day or so to play them all? Well, here he packs all of those "Sweet Sister Ray" and "Sweet Rock and Roll"'s together into one gooey big ball, calls it "Sister Ray Part 1,537"! And it sounds like that, for it's gonna take at least a good ten years of steady listening to decipher and digest all of those "Sister Ray" nuances and get to the meaty crux. An exhilarating listening is the result, and the use of Tucker's "feeling" drum does add a special dimension to this though be warned that if you don't have your stereo balanced properly and suffer from hemorrhoids this could be an extremely painful experience.

Wayne McGuire's production is even better than the one he did for the STOOGES MEET PHAROAH SANDERS album, and even though the jacket might seem tacky at least it sure looked great standing outta those 1979 flea market bins the way it did. If you only have two albums in your collection and both were released in 1972, keep this one next to Roxy Music.
SLIPSTREAM LP (Polydor England); Woodchopper's Ball-CALDONIA LP (Island England)

Speaking of the Velvets, these are the two groups that Andy Mackay from Roxy Music told me were big up-'n-comers on the "who's gonna be the new Velvet Underground" scene o'er in Blighty, and the mere thought that there was even more'n one band (Roxy themselves) that were bubbling it up like refried beans for the Velvets in 1973 England was something that really got my percolator a poppin'. And these debuts (and as it turns out only albums) by these comparatively obscure acts at least proves that maybe there was something interesting goin' on in the import racks of the day that us dumboid Amerigans didn't know about, but as the old adage goes "Better sorry than late" or something like that.

Slipstream's only longplayer's the weaker of the two but still good in that high school decadence sorta way that had more'n a few suburban slobs smuggling copies of COUNTRY LIFE into the bathroom. Echoes of 1967 London psychedelia echoes through their sound making this quintet the logical extension of such 14 Hour Technicolor Dreamers as Kaleidoscope and perhaps even John's Children, but rhythm guitarist Peter Dillsworthy's lead vocals come off pale (sorta like Jon Anderson of Yes if he had only reached puberty) and the songs aren't exactly anything I would consider memorable. "Eyewitness Report" does have a slight sense of urgency and the group's style, sway and performance does recall what groups who would take Slipstream's sound and gain fame with it a few years later (talking the Only Ones, Television Personalities...), but the lackluster production and lack of urgency all around make this a mere sidebar in proto-punk English rock stylings. For ultra-serious students of the form and nobody but.

In comparison Woodchopper's Ball are just about everything a serious fan/follower of post-Velvets musical development in mid-seventies England could wish for. It's surprising that Eno didn't have a hand in this considering that this sextet comes off as if the guy's cummy fingerprints were all over the thing...from the brash music (which, besides elements of Woody Herman and that Big Band drum sound recalls everything from the VU to the Stooges, Hawkwind, AMM, krautrock in general, Jan Steele, the Philip Glass Ensemble, Seeds and [especially] early Roxy Music when they weren't doing their bo-de-oh-oh nostalgia tux 'n tie schmooze) to the hard overdrive sound that recalls "Sister Ray" played on a stereo switched to "aux" this is the record platter only serious import bin fanatics coulda dreamed of not only then but now.

These six Londoners handle a massive array of gear that dwarfs Roxy's instrumentation, with a wild line of woodwinds (all sortsa saxes, clarinets, oboes, bassoons and even an English horn), violin, guitars both bargain bin cheap and adapted as well as calliope-emulating keyboards and bammified drums making CALDONIA the unsuspecting sleeper of mid-seventies English rock. No definite group leader can be found amidst the six geniuses who make up the ranks of Woodchopper's, but if I hadda narrow it down I would say it was between Vince D'Abreau (vocals, keys, guitar), Edmund Collins (vocals, keys, woodwinds, guitar), Chance Runymeade (vocals, woodwinds, keys), Willie Castellano (vocals, guitar, violin, french horn), Derry Parnes (vocals, bass guitar, tapes) and  Keith Tibbles (vocals, drums, African percussion). Wait, that's the entire gorup wot? It's almost as if there were six Lou Reeds and John Cales in this band and not only were they trying to decide which of them were Reed and Cale, but they were fighting constantly because they hated each other to pieces (and where does Robert Calvert come in?)!

The sound??? Imagine "European Son" on a collision course with "LA Blues" while Debris puts a stranglehold on Terry Riley as Nik Turner referees. If that boring rockcrit hyperbole doesn't jab at'cha then maybe this will---take everything you thought that was totally noble and over-the-top about late-sixties rock experimentation and filter it through the most insane moments of krautrock meets DOREMI/CAPTAIN LOCKHEED/JOY OF A TOY and distill it into the Roxy Music cum first two LPs-era Eno. Then settle back for a wild ride that seems to vindicate all of that (oft scorned) rave that Richard Williams was spouting forth from the pages of MELODY MAKER back in '71 which certainly got him a lotta razz from Chris Welch!

Kinda hard to find (even the Repertoire Cee-Dee reissue goes for mucho dinero on ebay) but don't let that scare you off. Also try to snatch up the rare single version of "Lady Pearl" with the non-LP flipside "Window To Your Libido"! Talk about "metaphysical punk rock"!!!!!
Hampton Grease Band-MUSIC TO HEAT LP  (Straight/Reprise)

Can't say that the curse of the second LP didn't quite strike here, but at least they coulda used a photo for the front cover that wasn't snatched outta the gatefold of MUSIC TO EAT. Still it's boffo listening to this revered Atlanta group in shorter song settings playing a fine post-psychedelic guitar rock that reminds me of those Quicksilver live tapes that Gene Sculatti always told us were much better than the actual releases. Hope the backing of Frank Zappa's own personal tax writeoff label did these guys a lot more good than Columbia did!
MAN RAY LP (Kama Sutra)

I really was expecting a late-sixties reconstituted punk sound coupled with some of the fiercest avant rock heard since FUNHOUSE, but what I did get was mildly surprising. Far from the singer/songwriter stylings of SPIDERS IN THE NIGHT, Lenny Kaye and Richard Robinson do swell with this instant cutout classic that pretty much is one part-NUGGETS, one part Hackamore Brick, and one part "Radio Ethiopia/Abyssinia" making me wonder why this particular doodie never got the heaps of praise dumped on it like it shoulda. It's kinda like those later Count Five albums that Lester Bangs was drooling all over, a mix of teenage pop and free jazz at one point, then a Rolling Stones-styled ballad at another while the whole thing seems to collide into one big Beatlesiggymonksgroovies ball of mad teenage sounds and hot rock experimentation that doesn't poop out on you. Worthy of reissue, or build yourself a time machine and go back to 1974 where you can snatch it up for mere pennies at one of those cheapo record shops with sawdust on the floor!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hey it's VALENTINE'S DAY, and I don't mean that short lived ABC series I can recall my mom tuning into back when I was but a mere turdler! For me Valentine's Day will always be associated with loads of fun memories, not necessarily for the mooshy cards and such but for all of the candy one'd receive and consume which naturally made the lovey-dovey aspects of the day more palatable for a suburban slob like me. Come to think of it, I sure miss that cheap VD candy you couldn't get away from back then...y'know, the little hearts with all of those old 1920s sayings like "Oh You Kid" on 'em that tasted like candy cigarettes! I believe that candy such as those small hearts really gave off a better aura of what love (in the true BLOG TO COMM sense) means' n anything having to do with hook up quickie sex and what's your perversion-styled romance these sad 'n sorry days! Ditto a big box of chocolate-covered caramels which were more appealing to the kids than than they were to the moms who got 'em, and thank goodness for that! And if you disagree why don't you go and propose marriage to your personal buttplug anyway because you really are not a fun human being by any stretch of the imagination.

Otherwise things are kinda snoozeville around here as they tend to be anymore. Of course we're in the middle of the Winter Blahs, but if you get into your mind that we're only a month or so away from the SPRING Blahs maybe things won't seem so bad. Actually with the arrival of some fresh goodies inna abode (via the usual suspects as well as Guerrsen and Feeding Tube!) the week hasn't been that dumperoo. Of course it would have been better had some of those archival digs I've wanted to hear for so long had materialized---sheesh, I keep talking about the wake for the seventies I hold each and every day and without more of those long-hidden platters failing to make their way to my psyche how can I keep it up??? But until those Man Ray and C.O.M.E.T albums actually come to fruition I guess it's PARADIESWARTS DUUL each and every night in order to get my USDA required dosage of the Velvet Underground via a contemporary aggregation taking a lot of their avant energy band and you know I ain't kiddin'!
Before we get to the reviews here's thee RIDDLE OF THE WEEK! (courtesy Gavin McInnes) Q:What's the German word for brassiere? A: DasShouldStopEmFromFloppin! Well..."""""I""""" thought it was funny!

ROCKET ROBERT CD (Guerrsen, Spain)

Yeesh! ANOTHER one of those synthesizer albums that flash me back to mid-seventies tee-vee either of a PBS AVIATION WEATHER/CAPTIONED ABC NEWS vintage or some local commercial spot plugging the upcoming wresting card copped on some cold winter night.

Actually Rocket Robert's platter came out in 1982, about five years after synthesizer music lost some of its tee-vee popularity, but it's still evocative of the days when such toys still reeked of gimmickry and novelty at least for highly susceptible to trends sorta guys like my 12-year-old self. And believe it or not but the tracks found here are highly evocative of those early Richard Pinhas platters done up during the pre- and early Heldon days, so if you (like me) still have nostalgic pangs for the wide wonderful world of synthesized music enough to have done a term paper on it (like I have mentioned many a time) then you might just wanna snap this once-rare platter up. And if you start craving copies of solo Rick Wakeman LPs as a result don't come crying to me!
Burnt Envelope-ALIEN NATION: COLLECTED SINGLES THUS FAR LP (Feeding Tube, available via Forced Exposure)

I don't believe it...a moderne-day underground rock 'n roll act that actually uses the same early punkian and garage roots as all of my bonafeed faves and not only that but SOUNDS AS GOOD AS THE REAL THING!!!!!!!!!! (of which it is). Dunno where these Burnt Envelope types have been all my life, but if they really did release all of these tracks as singles and indeed are an up and functional concern, then how in the world did I miss out on 'em other'n via gross stupidity (don't answer that)??? Lo-Fi under-the-underground rock that has more'n a few souls phlegming up hoary hosannas of "Electric Eels" which for once is true, or at least BE sure comes off more like 'em 'n some of the acts who have been compared to that classic Cleveland group these past thirtysome years. I happen to hear Mott the Hoople on a few tracks which might thrill some as it does me, a piddling fan of the group, and to be honest about it their cover of the Doors' "Touch Me"'s something that I sure would have loved to have played for some of those nouveau Doors fans back inna eighties if only to see the look on their faces! One of those outta-nowhere surprises that has me kicking the cat in pure addled joy, and believe-you-me very little music recorded after 1979 can make me do that!
Steve Reich-FOUR ORGANS/PHASE PATTERNS CD (Superior Viaduct, available via Forced Exposure)

It's too bad that Steve Reich never had any rock cred like Terry Riley and Philip Glass or else he might have been signed to the Columbia (and not necessarily "Masterworks") label  and have recorded soundtracks for movies people only hear about on SNEAK PREVIEWS-type shows but never actually go and see. This reissue of his Shandar album via Superior Viaduct might rectify things, but given how late in the post-music world we are I kinda doubt it. Still it's a fine slice of new thing minimalism what with "Four Organs" featuring Reich and crew (consisting of not only Glass but a number of longtime Glass Ensemble members) playing portable organs while one keeps time on maracas. It kinda sounds like an old Sun Ra number trying to get started, while "Phase Patters" features the same four organs doing more patterned Glassian repeato riff music that should appeal to a wide variety of sound seekers who have the same zeal for such music even after four-plus decades after first combing through those library copies (as if any of us could afford 'em!) of SOURCE. After your wear your old Cluster albums down to a nib try giving this one a chance.
Kim Fowley and Metabolismns-SOUNDS OF AN EMPTY ROOM CD-r burn

Not being that familiar with Fowley's post-70s career I really didn't know what to expect, but this hotel room recording done up with an acoustic act presumably of German extraction isn't what I thought it was gonna be. Actually it's better, what with an older and lower register Fowley philosophizing to the strum of acoustic guitars and having conversations with some frau who responds mostly in her mother tongue doin' the old routine more or less in a newer genre so to speak. Considering that I thought this was gonna be some electronic screech-de-force (perhaps because I was confusing Metabolismns with Metabolist) you could say that I was mildly surprised. Dunno where you can find it, but I get the idea that it's available for download somewhere out there.
The Black Box Revelation-HIGHWAY CRUISER CD-r burn (originally on Bana Kin)

Surprisingly good new kinda group that sounds as if they coulda held their own up against all of those bargain bin finds of the mid/late-seventies. For being a duo they really put out a good full sound more akin to a quartet and besides that their original material ain't as tepid or as non-there as some of the new "garage" sounds that have been coming out as of late. In fact, I get the feeling that if you were to file this one along with your Flamin' Groovies and Hackamore Brick albums it would fit in rather snugly. And I'm sure either group wouldn't mind as well. Go on, try it!
THE CHICO HAMILTON TRIO CD-r burn (originally on Fresh Sounds, Spain)

This brand o' jazz usually ain't my cup of pee, but given the day I put in at work Chico Hamilton and crew really helped soothe my oft bruised psyche better'n Vaseline Intensive Care. Unique in it's a guitar/bass/drums trio which I didn't think were that common in jass at the time, and the chamber-ness of it all reminds of those Jimmy Guiffre trio sessions that also had guitarist Jim Hall (who handles the last four numbers on here...the lesser-known yet still beyond capable Howard Roberts doing the rest) adding his special touch. And for being a drummer Hamilton definitely leads his bandmates the same way Mani Neumaier led Guru Guru to the point where you'd just about swear that his drum set was actually playing a whole slew of melodies unheard of on a set of traps. If Cecil Taylor considered his piano 88 tuned drums then Hamilton was pretty much doing it vicey-versey! Good choice in sending me this one Bill!

MORE electronic gurgle! Heavy doody industrial sounds that remind me of a Josef Mengele wet dream, the Grey Wolves really relay the early-eighties miasma of what're we gonna do after punk better'n a wide variety of similar-bended sounds. Not only that but its all done up in that low-fidelity tape fashion that really stood out against the oncoming onslaught of Cee-Dees. True this is dated due to the Ronald Reagan sound clip (sheesh, if there were no such thing as fair use the prez coulda sued for a bundle back then!) but the mix of cheap electronic instruments, malfunctioning household appliances and grumbly vocalizing just might be the thing to snap you back into that self-pitying rut you just got yourself outta!
Various Artists-UNTITLED CD-r burn (originally on Requiem Productions cassettes)

Even MORE electronic gurgle! Sometimes it sounds like annoying thud, at others like Univac going through the pains of computer card withdrawal, and at yet others an episode of some Scandanavian religious program after William Burroughs got hold of it with a pair of scissors. Then again there are some close approximations of what passes for rock music here, though its just more of that bedroom-level beat box and guitar stuff that always seemed to have been created by extremely lonely guys who spend more time in their fart-encrusted bedrooms than even I.

If you're looking for a good approximation as to what was going on in the "cassette culture" of the eighties this might very well be your best best. However if you're in the mood for some nerve-smoothers forget this one. But then again I get the idea this is just the perfect thing to slap onna ol' Victrola after coming home from a hard day at the re-education camp and you might think the exact same way too.
Various Artists-ORIGINAL PEACOCK RAINBOW SCANDALS CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill seeps back to the twenties on this collection of soundie rarities. The tracks for moom pitchers undoubtedly reduced to dust really do settle well with a guy like myself who spent a good portion of his 14-16 years glued to the tee-vee and pouring through cinema history books, and I appreciated the 1929 earliness of it all what with those flapper jazz paradiddles and all. Especially creepy was the bit of dialogue from one film (I believe Mae Murray in PEACOCK ALLEY) where some rather irritating house dick kicks a guy out of his hotel room even though the woman who he's with really is his wife! The old 78s were unbelievable what with none other than Ramon Navarro (the same guy immortalized in Kenneth Anger's HOLLYWOOD BABYLON) doing this sprightly number with lotsa vocal gyrations and Phil Harris long before Jack Benny took him on as the bandleader. Whitey Kaufman's Original Pennsylvania Serenaders doing "Paddlin' Madeline Home" (I'm sure a whole lotta ya woulda rather paddled her on the butt!) also struck a chord and that's not because they're from Brad Kohler's home state either! If there is still a Dudley Dooright stirring inside you, this disque is the one to click!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Sometimes these kraut films can be a little know, leftover SS propaganda refitted for the new 'n guilt-riddled postwar era but CONFESS, DR. CORDA! is what I would call a real deal thriller that's kept me front and center like nothing since NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PRESENTS THE WIDE WORLD OF TITTIES.

Healthy young Aryan specimen Hardy Kruger plays the good anesthesiologist who seems to be having this little fling with a young nurse he's been working side-by-side and perhaps up-and-down with (this despite having a wife who sorta comes off like a Mary Tyler Moore for the Strength Through Joy crowd), only to discover her deader'n Quinlan by some river which really does shock the bejabbers outta him. Being the stoic yet sensitive sorta German that he is, Corda says nary a word about the killing until it's noticed that der fraulein hasn't been seen since last night couldn't just be a coincidence that the guy knew where her body was so soon when the entire medical staff goes looking for her, or that he was acting rather peculiar throughout the operation that morning.

Piecing a few clues together Der Gestapo the police hone in on Corda and question him for hours until they're sure enough that he's the skull-basher that they were looking for all along. Soon Mrs. Sweetness 'n Light, unable to face the fact that hubby was looking for some fresh tuna for lunch, tries to off herself before coming to the sad fact that she's been played like the bulbous boob she is. Thus she shuns her husband just like everyone else in this sorry saga leaving her herr on the brink of psychotic collapse akin to the time he was caned for taking an extra helping of strudel at the Hitlerjunge gathering.

Can't complain about this 'un a bit...the dubbing actually comes off better'n some of those whackjobs that were being made at the time, the synthesizer soundtrack is ahead of its time and the black and white film actually relates to the stark and sordid gatherings goin' on on-screen. There's none of that modern anti-morality being sprung into the dialogue either perpetuating the myth of the strong woman and ditzy dad, and if I were a member of the Academy back then I would have nominated CONFESS, DR. CORDA for an award for BEST FOREIGN PICTURE OF THE YEAR even if there aren't any black people in it!

It's that good and maybe if you're lollygagging around the house some Sunday afternoon it may pop up onna screen and if so be prepared to be affixed to the Naugahyde for a good ninety minutes and no toilet breaks!