Thursday, March 31, 2016

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! THE LAST CHANCE starring Tab Hunter and Michael Rennie (1968)

I dunno, but I think something was lost here, and it was more'n in the translation! THE LAST CHANCE stars Tab Hunter about eight years after his decline as a teenage heartthrob and about six before he began posing in BLUE BOY as this Amerigan reporter in dagoland (where this film was made) who ticks off a whole buncha people with an article he wrote about a gun-running ship being blown up. Exactly why these people are angry is unclear since all of the headlines shown on-screen are in Eyetalian and I can't read that. Meanwhile his boss (Michael Rennie) is calling him on the carpet for the piece and Hunter still has his eye on the boss's wife who he had a fling with a long time ago while his own wife is so desperately wanting to go on a getaway with ol' Tab. Got all that?

Well here's more---the captain of the blown up ship asks to visit the only other survivor and offs him as soon as he's left alone. He is offed as well by this rather evil looking guy who's not only a crack rifleman (though his gear has nary the power as Chuck Connors's) but drives around in a classic late-fifties Opel. That guy was also caught taking snaps of Hunter but for what reason I do not know. Hunter also plays some croquet with his former lover and some old fanabla who lives in a beach house who later sells him out to the police, and then there's the part where, at a ritzy party, Hunter and Rennie have a discussion behind closed doors only when wifey opens up said door all she finds is Rennie dead. We find out Hunter didn't do the dastardly deed at all---it was the assassin mentioned earlier, who locks Hunter in a classic Studebaker Lark while a train's rolling down the track and...he survives???

Man is this moom hard to follow what with all of the plot twists, turns and whatnot. The whole gun running notion is impossible to get hold of what with the brief shots of Mao-era Chinese soldiers and peasants adding even more to the confusion, and I still don't know who half of the people in the film are. Even stranger is the ending which seems to make the entire film out to be one big lie. And then it seems they all make up and like am I missing out on something or is this film really an intellectual thriller only the brainiest amongst us can decipher like a NEW YORK TIMES crossword puzzle that's aimed at the eggheadier amongst us.

What's your take? If you've happened to see this particular pelicula and want to add your usually worthless chatter to the clatter, just drop a comment and try to look even stupider'n this ubermess of a writeup!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Given it's that time o' year again (sorta like Christmas for the candy set) I thought I'd stick a suitable picture of pulchritude on the left as a nice li'l Easter gift, especially for alla ya old horny male readers (if you're a horny female [hah!] reader who'd go for this kinda photo I don't even wanna know ya!). Hope you all like it given the sanctity of the season, so don't go 'round sayin' I ain't no RELIGIOUS person!

Anyway I hope you got your nice li'l share of candy this go 'round even though as far as I can tell Easter sure ain't the chocolate egg 'n jelly bean holiday that it used to be back when the world was just caterin' to alla us Suburban Slob kids with the buyin' power! Well, it was our parents who had the buyin' power but who do you think it was throwing tantrums and holding breath until they BOUGHT alla them goodies for us anyway???
And even though we are right smack dab inna middle of the Easter Season today (March 27th) also holds a special day on my own calendar especially this particular year. Y'see, today of all days is the 40th anniversary of me (after quite some time of thought re. the subject, such as "what if the PARENTS find out???") purchasing my very first Velvet Underground record! That's right---forty years ago at about 3:30 in the afternoon I made my way to White Wing Records in Niles Ohio and picked up none other than the ever-boffo  LOADED album (if only because it was so rare that it hardly ever popped up on the shelves in the first place---passed on LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY even though I had ditto reasons for buying that also hard-to-finder!) which, as you can surely guess, was a pivotal moment in my suburban slob rockist upbringing! I didn't listen to it until a few days later (on my cousin's Zayres-purchased portable stereo...ours was busted as usual), and although some other details of this primo listening session are a bit hazy I do remember said cousin remarking that she thought album opener "Who Loves The Sun" sounded just like the Beatles! Which, of course, it sure did even though Lou Reed would turn on the Fab Four with a strong vengeance once the seventies got into gear!

Come to think of it, I can also recall my initial impressions of "Sweet Jane" following immediately after "Sun", not only marveling at that sparkling introduction but thinking about just how different it was from the Mott the Hoople version which was one of the things that helped ease me into wanting to hear the Velvets in the first place. In case any future biographers or film-makers would care to know, that March 27th was a nice and sunny day with a high of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Surprisingly enough I don't remember what I ate for supper although memories of fish and chips are somehow popping up 'n about in my mind.
As you can plainly see I've been keeping extremely busy with the laser launching pad as well as the good ol' fashioned turntable this week. Then again with the quality of everything else that's passing for life these days what else would you expect me to do? Anyhow, I do have a nice slab of high energy items to relay to you on this, the most diabetic of days, and I just KNOW you will appreciate reading my opinions on a whole slewwa spins that hardly anyone else onna planet'll even acknowledge exist let alone play. So whatcha waiting on and EDJAMCATE YOURSELF for once in your prune-pitted butt lives!

CIRCLES CD; Circles-MORE CIRCLES CD (both on Mental Experience, available via Guerssen Records, Spain)

I always knew that there were thousands of hotcha under-the-kultur recordings out 'n about that were either unreleased or never made it out farther'n the block which they were recorded on. These two spinners prove my point 1000% if not more. Circles were a German group that specialized in the krautrock of a more motorik/Kraftwerkian nature, only instead of coming outta early-seventies Germany they were up and about a whole decade later long after you woulda thought this stuff gave way to Motor Boys 3 and similar acts. Their sound is closer to the seventies mode, and with groups such like Kraftwerk, Neu, Cluster, Harmonia and even La Dusseldorf as touchstones you can just guess what these guys sound like

And if your guess is good and you're still a fan of the early electronic sounds that came outta Germany in the era of Baader-Meinhoff you'll undoubtedly wanna get hold of both of 'em. Even some late-seventies electronic monstrosities can be discerned, so if you spent your early-eighties import bin hunting sessions looking for the likes of DAF and Der Plan you won't be disappointed one iota. As for me I certainly like Circles' garage-take on the past decade or so of Teutonic accomplishment and if you don't think these two'll be snuggled up comfortably between the rest of my kraut spins you'll be sadly mistaken, as usual.
Werewheels-LIVE, RAW AND PSYCHO IN JAPAN CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions, see blogroll on left for more info)

It's amazing what one will find under the bed these days, and I'm not talking about centipedes either! I knew that I had some of these Kendra Steiner Editions limited edition releases floating around somewhere, and pray tell but I found a couple of 'em in with a whole buncha burns that I just haven't had the time to get to yet!

This 'un's the first, a live platter featuring a group composed of (led by?) none other than Sir Plastic Crimewave, a man who I have been impressed with via past releases even though I just ain't as hubba hubba over his recordings like I have say, Fadensonnen (no slur to SPC). But hubba hubba I got over this 'un recorded live in Japan (complete with good ol' bootleg sound quality) where SPC is joined not only by fellow Werewheel Dawn Aquarius but famed Japanese psychedelic kingpin Kawabata Makoto playing some pretty hotcha sounds that waft somewhere between late-sixties Amerigan punk rock and late-seventies English experimental torture. Neato versions of everything from Faust's "Krautrock" as well as Twink's "10,000 Words in a Cardboard Box" (here called "100,000 Boards in a Boxcar World"?!?!) and it all has the same fun appeal that the originals had only it's in the here and now that this was made and I thought the past had been dead and buried for a longer time than I can imagine!

Definitely one to look for if you're a fan of not only Sir Plastic Crimewave but the entire history of trash psychedelia attuned to the low-fi O-mind. Hurry up too, because these disques ain't gonna be stickin' around for too long!
The Killer Kane Band-"Mr. Cool"/"Don't Need You"; "Long Haired Woman" 33 rpm 7-inch EP (Hozac)

I'm sure most of you come-latelies (like me) only have these particular trax via that French quickie compilation SONS OF THE DOLLS, but if you want to hear these power-packed high energy tracks in a slightly better quality (as if that mattered!) then pick this new reissue up courtesy of the always on the get-go Hozac label!

It's incredible to think that Killer Kane from the Dolls was not only able to pick himself up like this right around the time those big hopes were going the 86 route, but actually put together a hard rock act that took the best aspects of Alice, the Dolls and other heavy faves and mooshed 'em into a group like this. Not only that but he actually got his old friend and future hair metal geek Blackie Goozeman/Lawless to front the thing which is kinda strange given how Mr. L was one of the more gut-wrenching musicians to come outta that sorry decade (even if he did have some stellar credentials). And even with him in the act these guys could do no wrong with their hard-rock that was so etapoint they went over the heads of alla them Laurel Canyon youth who were still trying to figure out which types of antidepressants weren't working on Joni Mitchell!

Not "really" punk as it was being touted at the time nor exactly heavy metal, the Killer Kane Band were wallowing in the same El Lay cesspool of provocative primitive soundscapading as the Imperial Dogs and New Order. Y'know, that tough longhair screamfest sound that seemed to owe about as much to Aerosmith as it did the wonder BACK DOOR MAN was really big on these guys to the point of downright froth! For those of you who think that the hard rock (and OK, heavy metal) genre sorta petered out around the time HOUSES OF THE HOLY hit the FM waves pick this slab of  under-the-curb-its-so-low rock for a li'l bitta re-education.
Prix-HISTORIX CD (Hozac)

I know that most of you he-man types who read this blog have a great aversion to anything remotely associated with the whole seventies (and beyond) "power pop" genre, but dang if this collection of tracks by the infamous Jon Tiven-helmed Big Star refiguration ain't whatcha'd call a downright boffo spin. Gathering the remnants of that infamous group (a band that Tiven was championing for quite some time what with his review of #1 RECORD in...I believe but may be wrong...FUSION???) up in mid-seventies Memphis along with budding somethingorother Tommy Hoehn, Prix continued on that whole mid-South pop rock extravaganza that I guess some people thought was gonna click but as you'd expect didn't. And it's shame too since this kinda extrapolation on various mid-sixties accomplishments for a mid-seventies audience mighta clicked onna charts at least the same ways other popsters with  attitude did around the same time. Kinda twangy, kinda hard...if you were one of those rarities who actually followed Big Star when they were up and about (I sure wasn't!) then you know where your next on-line order is goin', eh? (HINT---click on link directly above!)
Various Artists-LIVE @ CBGB CD-r burn

No, this ain't my umpteenth review of the 1976 double-LP set that came out on Atlantic but a collection of youtube and elsewhere-related trackage that I had the infamous P. D. Fadensonnen burn on a platter for my own personal use. Starting off the set are a couple of songs from Kitty Brazelton's late-eighties group Hide the Babies, a heavy metal act that specialized in a more commercial version of the style albeit with a particularly pop-tinged if driving sound, better melodies and of course Brazelton's singing talents which you just couldn't hear in most if not all of the competition. And the t&a playup most common amongst female-led HM practitioners is absent thank goodniz, strange considering how Brazelton once worked in a topless bar in order to bring the bux in. If the Wilson sisters from Heart spent more time listening to the better early-seventies metal acts 'stead of overdosing on Queen they might have been as good as this.

Following is a clip from the Aliens recorded at CBGB in '76. I don't know much about these particular Aliens but I do recall reading in the Kongress article that was printed in THE AQUARIAN about how their drummer was briefly called in to play for 'em after Von Lmo broke his leg drop-kicking somebody who was sitting on his car. The guy said that he remembered auditioning for one of Lmo's groups and was told to jump from a tall ladder into his drum set with an ax in hand! Judging from the sounds that can be heard here (mid-seventies all-out hard rock blare) maybe he was doin' that to his kit this very same night!

After that comes the infamous Pentagram, the long-lived Washington DC heavy metal monsters who never did hit it big despite all of the press and support that they were afforded throughout the seventies and beyond. Too bad these guys never did make the big time because Pentagram were one act who sure coulda taught those sissy HM guys a thing or two but hey, if you wanna hear what every stoned out pimplefarm of a boxboy missed out on back in those rather downed out times give these low-fidelity tracks a go. Then maybe you'll be glad you didn't ditch their mid-eighties long-playing epic (like I did!).

Closing out the set's a tape from the Suicide live show recorded during their big "reunion" (not counting the ones from '83, '84 or '85) that eventually gave us a whole slew of albums that measure up to the Suicide legend as much as solo-era Iggy Pop (see review below) measures up to his oh-my-and-a-boo-hoo '69 youth. Surprisingly the band cranks out a pretty high-energy set here (thankfully sans the Barry Manilow mooshers of those later spinners) with a sound that's particularly raw like those seventies live tapes most certainly were. In fact the keyboard sounds like a twangy guitar giving the act yet another dimension and if these guys wanna make some dough selling their old live shows to various labels maybe this 'un'd be something that would sell bazillions 'stead of some of those platters the duo have pawned off on us!
Sun Ra & his Solar Arkestra-ART FORMS OF DIMENSIONS TOMORROW CD-r burn (originally on Saturn)

's sure swell that these Saturn albums have been dribblin' out ever since Sun Ra died a good twentysome years back and the spell on anyone ever hearin' 'em was broken, and this particular beaut is up there with the rest of the Ra rousers that I've had the pleasure of hearing. Ranging from outerworldly to big band hotcha, ART FORMS brings back all of those great Ra memories you got via those once-unobtainable BYG and ESP albums. Y'know, the ones that mixed percussive workouts with ethereal keyboard stylings that had you tryin' to mimic 'em on the family grand. Feel lucky that you are alive and kicking even this far away from the original high energy taproot of it all, for in no way were you gonna be able to hear anything like this back when Ra and company were taking alla them dollar bills stuffed into envelopes and pocketing it leaving a whole lotta fans in the lurch!
Sun Ra Arkestra-SOME BLUES BUT NOT THE KIND THAT'S BLUE CD-r burn (originally on El Saturn/Atavistic)

Sheesh, yet another Sun Ra spinner! But a good one as usual where Ra's rootsy big band origins get mixed with the more familiar outerworldly space crazed music that the Arkestra had been making jazz waves with for quite some time. Chock fulla some pretty enticing ('n at times small group-y) renditions of old tymey faves done up that special Ra way, BLUES isn't what I would call your standard Sun Ran album! And if you thought that the jazz avant garde was the only way to hear these souped up old reliables you gotta admit that even Ra can take a turdburger like "My Favorite Things" and make it sound worth the time to listen to (and you know I never did cozy up to Coltrane's take which is something I've pouted about on this very blog!). Also featuring stellar takes on such longtime fave raves as "Tenderly" (best known to me. and maybe to you, as part of the incidental music used on THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW), "That Old Black Magic" and the ever popular Eden Ahbez-penned proto-hippie paen "Nature Boy".

I'm tempted to say that the poster for this 'un was much better'n the actual film, but hey how can I judge a moom just on the basis of its surviving soundtrack? Given that the discs sound as if they were used for shuffleboard pucks it ain't like I could make out everything that was being said, but amidst the musical numbers and all this does sound like it woulda been perfect for the early talkie audience to swoon to. Charlie Rogers has a voice like a whining teenager, though Nancy Carroll does seem to be charming enough as was wont those horny early moom pitcher actresses. The "don't reveal the ending" climax kinda makes me wish the celluloid was preserved, because somehow or other I get the idea this woulda made for a fantastic episode of the much-lauded OLD MOVIES THE GOLDEN ERA series that ran on channel 25 in Cleveland during the mid-seventies.
The Kudzu Band-CHITLIN' CIRCUIT CD-r burn (originally on De Vine)

Other'n early Black Oak Arkansas and the Hampton Grease Band I gotta say that I really haven't cottoned up to the whole Southern Rock genre that was making a whole lotta waves back inna seventies. Naw it ain't one of those snobbish Northern nose uppings regarding the entire Dixie mindset 'n all of those horrid race riots that were taking place in such Deep South cities as Detroit and just didn't excite me. Now I know that a whole load of hotcha inna know rock scribes that I have and still admire have sung the praises of everyone from the Allman Brothers and Wet Willie to Lynryd Sknyryd, but I for one never was able to get into the rock 'n roll mindset of the Confederacy 197X-style, and I doubt that I really ever will.

Dunno if the Kudzu Band really fall into the Southern Rock genre but since they were from Georgia and this came out in '76 I kinda get the feeling that they do. And if so I gotta admit that these guys put out a fairly good album that doesn't just get into the usual country-ish sound that the Allmans etc. milked their Capricorn Records contracts on. At times the band veers into straight-ahead commercial-type mid-seventies rock and even a bitta prog slop, but overall your senses ain't as offended over this as they would be in some other similar rockquest. Might be worth a free download but as far as buying an original for umpteen-plus bucks well---your dinero would be put to better use buying a new motor for your burnt out acc-u-jack or something like that, y'know.

ANOTHER private press Southern Rock album! Didn't know that so many of these have come out back inna seventies but hey, that's probably because I ain't from the South! ASHHOLLOW are from somewhere suid of the Pixie/Dixie line, and their album is about as good as the Kudzu guys' as in it is performed OK enough and doesn't really offend you in those ways that early-seventies rock of the more enlightened hippoid variety most certainly can. Hokay enough even with a little Allmans this and a lotta Grateful Dead that seeping into their sound. Again, nothing that I'd prefer listening to even on a sporadic basis, but if there is a Purgatory and I hadda spend a few eons with this 'un playin' well...I think I could handle that with at least a little Black Oak stuck inna mix.
Iggy Pop-POST POP DEPRESSION CD-r burn (originally on Loma Vista)

If you happen to be bummed out over David Bowie's recent 86-ing have no fear, for Iggy Pop is continuing on Bowie's entire electro-late-seventies-on dance rock schtick to the point where you kinda wonder what his videos for this foray'd look like. Sure Iggy in 2016 has about as much relevance to us as Bing Crosby did right around the time he last passed gas (though both Der Bingle and Ig duetted with Bowie during that fateful year of '77 which should say something, even though I don't know exactly what) but even in old age and with that new booming baritone of his Iggy can pull through some of the time. Not like he did during his oh my and a boo hoo days of glory, but if you like those solo platters that had somewhat of a mystic cocaine-addled aura to 'em you might go for this too. And maybe even with a clearer mind'n the one I used writing this review up after trying to make total sense outta the thing.
Cosmic Hoffmann-SHIVA CONNECTION CD-r burn

Wow, a recent (actually from 2000 but recent enough when you're talkin' my language!) release by an act that sure does their darndest trying to ape the old German electronic krautrock thing the way many have attempted by few (other'n Circles and a few fellow travelers) have succeeded. Closer to the overall synthesizer/mellotron glop of Tangerine Dream as opposed to the primitive drive of Amon Duul or Can, Hoffmann create more of those interstellar soundscapes that your fourteen-year-old pimplefarm side can just slip right into after a rough day of gym class and sex education. Nothing tragically eighties new age about this, more in the seventies avant garde style that gave us such platters as CYBORG and even the first Harmonia album. Be the star of your bong set with this li'l slice of lysergic lollapallooza guaranteed to get you the first hit!
Various Artists-CLEANSE MY UMBRELLA DOWN SOUTH  Cd-r burn (Bill Shute)

Short 'n sweet one here. Amidst a whole slew of seventies-vintage radio commercials (including the infamous Rodney Allen Rippy "Take Life a Little Easier" 'un which I never did hear because Jackoff Box drive ins aren't onna East Coast) comes two song poem sides and an old 78 the kind Bill Shute'd kill old ladies at a St. Vincent DePaul for. The song poems range from late-sixties white sorta funk to country, the latter sporting some great non-rhyming/non-meter prose on "Tomorrow I May Make the Headlines" which must've been written by Dean Corll or at least a close admirer. The 78 from Jay C. Flippen and his Gang is better'n usual late-twenties-styled pop that has a bit of the ol' shoo-bee-doo-ba in it. In all, a better way to spend twenty minutes'n listening to "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vinci" that's for sure!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

BOOK REVIEW! CHARLIE BROWN & CHARLIE SCHULZ by Lee Mendelson in association with Charles M. Schulz (Signet, 1970)

Slower'n a quadriplegic footrace sorta week, so I'm digging into my box of old paperbacks to find something to blab on about especially during these times of dismal economic hoo-hah. And what better book to write about'n this olde tyme flea market snatch that I wanted to get really bad way back when it first hit the paperback stands in '70, only the 95-cent price tag was way too much for my depression-era wages to handle. Hadda wait a good year or two before it hit the flea markets where I snatched it up for a lot less'n it woulda cost had I been one of those spendthrift gimme dat kinda kids like the rest of my baby boobie generation types most certainly were!

Hey, did I review this 'un on this blog before? Mebbee so but so what, because given my sieve-like mind (and yours) reviewing it here in the mid-teens is probably just as relevant to us as as if I had reviewed it ten or even twenty years back. And besides, since I spent the entire winter thumbing through my bound collection of PEANUTS comics (1950-1964, perhaps more to come) and found that, other'n for a few ebbs and flows in quality, they were pretty good. A few early/mid-seventies PEANUTS paperbacks tossed my way as of late were also way better'n I remember the strip being at the time, perhaps this particular book is just the kinda thing I could go for given how my opinion of the strip having petered out around the time it became a mega-hit might have been a bit rush-to-judgement which is something I know my critics wallow in. And I sure don't wanna be like them one bit, y'know.

Nice li'l book too, even if the reprints of early days of comics masterpieces, no matter how eye-pleasing they are, come off patronizing to those of us who aren't familiar with THE YELLOW KID or THE KATZENJAMMERS. The chapters on home life at the Schulz's and how the animated specials were created come off pat and predictable (that doesn't include the story behind A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS which is rather intriguing considering just how much the CBS execs were aghast at the religious content), while the heaps of praise regarding all of the PEANUTS tie-ins from features to cute li'l plush toys read more like an advertisement for Charles Schulz Enterprises. Even the material on the overall kultural effect of the strip can get overbearing, even if some of it is rather informational and entertaining and all sortsa socially redeeming things. But it's the comics I got this 'un for and they're great, even the ones translated into a whole slew of languages that you'll never see FERD'NAND done up like!

The best things about CHARLIE BROWN AND CHARLIE SCHULZ are the reprints of old PEANUTS strips that are presented year by year. Sure these have been published to all heck for years on end, but not like this. Y'see, when all of the PEANUTS anthologies from paperbacks to hardcovers came out they always left off not only the copyright but the white-on-black "Peanuts" name tag on the upper left portion of the first panel off! I gotta admit that both gave the strip a nice look of which the tag, at least according to my four-year-old mind, reminded me of the packaging on the old Clove Gum my mother would chew (she chewed the gum, not the packaging). I sure miss seeing little things that remind me of the happier portion of my growing up days like that and, come to think of it, maybe it was when the upper left title was removed from the strip in the late-seventies that it began going downhill. Given the sorta logic my mind can churn out that would be something to ponder now, eh?

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Everybody I know other'n Dick Gregory just loves to chow down and if you are one of them, this post is dedicated to THEE!

Of course I have to watch my weight because hey, if I don't I get the feeling that I'll be getting unsolicited mail requesting my membership in the La Leche League. But that doesn't mean that I still can't enjoy a few occasional spurts of gluttony, and when I do afford myself time for a good meal (usually self-prepared), I try to make the BEST of it. Following are just a few items that I've whipped up or snatched outta the freezer these past few months:

NEET FOOD TRICK YOU MIGHT LIKE TO TRY! I got this idea during the big fried cheese onslaught of the late-seventies. My mom told me that her mother from dagoland used to make fried cheese, and although it wasn't the deep-fried and breaded stuff we all dip marinara to it seemed like a good idea...just dump the cheese into a hot skillet and fry until crunchy! Tried it myself (using some old shredded swiss) with a non-stick pan and it worked wonders. First the glop melted into a nice omelette kinda pancake shape before the fat started oozing out and the mess started bubbling up and about. I flipped it around a few times until it started getting brown and crusty then I took it out and let it cool off a bit. Result: something that came off like a nice Cheeto-tasting lump of dried cheese that had a neet fried flavor to it. Might be good with or without the marinara sauce, and I get the idea that sharp white cheddar would be the ultimo cheese to use when making up yet another fried hunk for a meal or snack. Any smoked cheese would be fine as well, and if you have a hankerin' for some junk food yet there's nothing in the cupboard don't do a Mother Hubbard despair---get some cheese, a nonstick pan, and FRY AWAY!!!!
TRY THIS 'UN, IF YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH IT!: How many of you hate apple juice? How many of you like cider? Well, if you think that the standard cheapo apple juice you find at the supermarket is how-shall-I-say bland, here's a great way to liven it up and turn the stuff into sparkling cider!

It may not be "hard" but it's good. First, empty the apple juice into a sturdy plastic container of whatever sort your'e about to toss out. Make sure it has a tight screw top on it. Now, add about a cup or even less of sugar to the mix and SHAKE IT UP, then, dissolve some everyday yeast in warm water and add to the juice as well. Seal tightly, and store in a warm place.

Be sure to check the bottle for bulging, and if so slowly release to cap to let the bottle fart out any gas buildup kinda like you do in bed after a dinner of baked beans. Now BE CAREFUL not to let the bottle expand TOO MUCH, because it may explode. In fact, that JUST WHAT IT DID at the ol' abode last Monday, and after only one day of wiling away in the corner if you can believe that, (I even checked the bottle that morning to let off some gas and hey, I didn't think it would build up THAT FAST!!!). Boy you shoulda been sounded like a truck hit the house and did it leave a mess!

So if you want some nice sparkling cider please be sure to monitor the bottle AT ALL TIMES!!! If you do get a nice fermented batch of the stuff goin' just chill it and have a nice tasty treat for your evening junk food tee-vee watching hours.
A NEW TWIST ON AN OLD FAVE-RAVE! If you like pierogy, or pirohy, or parogen or whatever you call those dough-wrapped mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, sweet cabbage etc. treets you'll like this. It's a variation on the ol' butter 'n onions sauce that goes so well with 'em, only you add some SLICED MUSHROOMS and (now get this) some finely chopped garlic to the onions which should be fried to caramelized perfection! Do it in the same kinda nonstick you made the fried cheese in for less agony. Not only that, but after the Mrs. T's are properly boiled, drain 'em and stick 'em in the pan to crisp up a bit. Then serve and eat with sour cream before heading to the nearest heart center! A verifiable comfort food that might even be comfy enough to take a nap in (if you make enough of it!)
HUEVOS RANCHEROS MY WAY! I'm what you would call a rather complicated egg fan. I hate 'em boiled and will not touch 'em over easy, sunny side up or poached. Even scrambled eggs'll have me turning my nostrils up at 'em, but I like omelets, egg foo young, Chinese fried rice, custard and other dishes where the egg flavor is overcome by whatever else there may be in the pan or casserole. And for years I was tempted to try making the infamous Mexican dish huevos rancheros until I found out that the eggs in 'em were more or less plopped into the spicy mixture which didn't really set my stomach on growl. But then again, I knew there was a way out of this., and I created my own version to satisfy my rather particular egg-eating rules if I do say so myself.

First, fry some corn tortillas and put 'em in a sprayed casserole so's they cover the bottom. Then spread some spicy hot salsa over 'em, then spoon on a can of black beans (spread evenly!) before dumping some shredded cheese (New York Sharp's my fave!) over the entire mess. Then break about six or so eggs into a mixing bowl, add some water, a little cayenne pepper and a touch of flour or Bisquick and mix until smooth. Then pour the egg mixture over the rest of the ingredients in the casserole and bake it all at about 350/400 degrees until it's all nice, firm and bubbly. Cut yerself a piece after it's cooled off a bit and eat with lotsa hot sauce or Mexican salsa, some more tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded lettuce and maybe even a few sliced olives and cilantro! Pretty good stuff there if I do say so myself Chris!
BOILED PEANUTS WITHOUT THE SHELLS!: Like the boy who sat on the burning deck I can eat peanuts by the peck, and I love those li'l things so much that I'll eat 'em dry roasted with or without the salt or cocktail style no matter how much oil I get on my hands (good to have a sofa handy to wipe 'em on!). I also like 'em boiled like they do it way down yonder, but I find peeling the soggy skins and all to be a rather messy affair that reminds me of when I was a turdler sticking my hand inna dish to see the picture on the bottom without eating the gruel that was being served up!

An on-line search came up with a nifty recipe for Southern Styled Boiled Peanuts without the shells that I adapted and will now share with you. Buy a couple bags of shelled raw peanuts and put 'em in your crock pot. Soak 'em in water overnight or even longer if you want, add salt (use your own discretion) and cook 'em on low for about eight hours, then about high for an additional one and a half! Then scoop 'em out into some container (make sure they're drained nice 'n good) and eat some hot if you wish, but put the rest in the fridge so's they don't rot on ya!

Serve 'em at room temperature. For an added kick you may wanna add some cayenne pepper (a fave spice around here as you might be able to guess), some liquid smoke and other fun flavorings to the water. You also might want to try a nut before terminating the cooking to see if it's tender enough...if not just let 'em moil in the hot water a few more hours and try again until you reach the proper texture for your funtime snack!
THINGS JUST AIN'T THE SAME ANYMORE DEPT.: I can still remember the big to-do about the arrival of a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in the area back when I was a whopping five-years-old when stories regaled by relatives lucky enough to try this seemingly exotic dish about how good their chicken was began pouring outta various family encounters. By the time I had hit my mid-teens Kentucky Fried Chicken was one of my favorites as well, with frequent dining at local KFC franchise Morgan's as well as a few all you can eat buffets at the Garden Inn heading towards Butler PA (building's still there but the garden supply store/greenhouse part took over the entire building---no restaurant no more!) helping to add at least a good twennysome pounds to my teenage girth. Sheesh, I can still remember the worried look on the manager's face every time I'd go back for more, with heaping mounds of bones being piled up almost immediately. And of course there were the mashed potatoes, stuffing and of course the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken gravy to contend with.

Since those days my "KFC" input has been rather limited to perhaps a once every two years drive through dinner, but just a few weeks back I managed to convince the folk that maybe we should have some instead of the spaghetti with caramel sauce that I had originally planned. Although Morgan's is no longer in biz a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant stands in its very place, and in many ways it was like old times going into the new building on the old site ordering up a meal for the fambly that I thought would hearken back to the good eating days of yore when food seemed to really mean something!

Well, I dunno how the others felt but there was something to this batch that didn't settle right with me. The thighs seemed under-fried, the breast fair, and the whole mess came off rather greasy to the point where I was up half the night imagining that my gall bladder had become Fort Knox. The potatoes were a little too thin (like my mashed p's nice 'n heavy) and the gravy lacked the same zip I remember it having back when I was a mere single-digiter. Biscuits were good, but somehow the same magic and thrill of my Kentucky Fried Chicken eating days of yore seem to have vanished for good.

Have you had any bad KFC-related eating as of late? Hope not, because sooner'n later I'd like to give these guys another chance, only I'm gonna ask for extra-crispy which always left a good enough crunch in my gobber!
FOODSTUFF RIPOFF OF THE CENTURY---EDY'S FROZEN CUSTARD!!!! Being a bigger fan of soft serve vanilla custard than I am of even the reg'lar cool stuff I decided to snatch a carton of this up while it was on special at the local supermarket and y'know what? I heard the sage voice of one Johnny Lydon echoing into my beanie "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" I sure have---twas expecting a nice 'n sweet creamy concoction to bring back alla those funtime drive-in memories and all I got was some not-so-sweet hard ice cream that was certainly lacking in taste and texture. Totally lacking in any spirit and verve, the Robert Christgau of frozen confections and certainly not worth your time or effort. If you want some really good frozen custard like mom never used to make hit some now-ancient drive in on some local route near to you before they go under for good.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


Each year I treat myself to a DVD reissue of some old television series that I either remember fondly or would have liked to have seen for years based on its under-the-TV GUIDE legendary status. Only I really didn't treat myself to JERICHO, I got this as a Christmas gift from Bill Shute so it came right at me unexpected-like. Actually (and I don't wanna sound like an ingrate Bill, even though I truly may be), for a guy who thinks highly and fondly of tee-vee past I must admit that I don't remember watching JERICHO so it wasn't like I was champing at the bit to see this 'un inna first place.

Y'see, when this mid-season cancellation was running on CBS you can betcha that I was up front for BATMAN on the other channel just like everyone else on this planet and besides, World War II series like this along with COMBAT, THE RAT PATROL, TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGHGARRISON' S GORILLAS and of course HOGAN'S HEROES seemed like stuff for the older folks who lived through those years who sure liked to reminisce a lot. For me they were more like history class (the latest chapter) done up tee-vee style, and I got enough of that in school so why bother watching it on the boob tube!

'n besides, wasn't there some sorta controversy surrounding this series? Maybe it was too violent for the Concerned Mother types, or better yet there was some sorta lapse in morality prevalent on this 'un that was bound to ruin the strict guidance that your cousin who was caught with the cigarettes and diaphragm had drilled into her. I seem to remember a program on CBS that was going by the same name or something very similar, though it was on later in the decade and I recall the leading role being played by some wild-looking guy with a mustache and maybe a 5:00 face who yelled a lot, looking somewhat like Bobby Darin during his Bob Dylan phase. I'm still trying to track down after all these years exactly what show this was, and what the heck was so immoral about it, obviously to no avail!

But back to JERICHO, a series which certainly did fit in with the mid-sixties World War II tee-vee chic that was so prevalent at the time. However, instead of a combat battalion on the rampage this series featured a special team consisting of three highly-skilled agents out to get their usually Herculeanesque tasks (ranging from rescuing kidnapped generals to hijacking cargoes of Tijuana Bibles heading for Ameriga in order to corrupt schoolchildren) done in a good hour, and that includes commercials too!

There's the Amerigan, sorta the older guiding light in the ol' Reed Richards sense, a French weapons expert who I guess is there to appeal to the continental (and maybe even incontinent) crowd and an English acrobat complete with a shaggy Beatle-type haircut, played by John Leyton of Joe Meek fame! And it's all kinda like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE meets HOGAN'S HEROES, and despite looking a bit disposable the series wasn't exactly that bad, nor that good. Good enough at least for mid-sixties television fans to peruse but sheesh, this 'un can get kinda draggy at times.

Not to say that JERICHO doesn't have its share of interesting twists and turns but man, watch two episodes and you got the entire series down pat from the old priest/headmaster/mayor that has to be won over to the overly-idealistic youthful freedom fighter (one of whom happens to be Jay North!) and of course the gal du jour, or episode as this case may be who's always a hotcha knockout even in a crappy ol' peasant dress. Sheesh, why no ugly buglies who smell like turdpiles? But hey, if ya gotta see Europe during World War II what better way can you think of 'n this? At least those gals make risking your life a li'l more fun!

Of course you have to suspend a lotta belief but you even have to do that with the tee-vee news so what else is new??? And Leyton's hair is so mop-toppy (yet I only caught one reference to him needing a haircut in the entire series!) you kinda expect him to be pluggin' his latest Brit Invasion single any minute! But even with the at-times slow moving action (only to be punctuated by a nice li'l brawl) and so many red herrings to the point where you kinda hope the trio do get blown to bits once we return from the commercials, JERICHO does make for a better hour of tee-vee fun'n anything new I've had the chance to peruse as of late.

And for me "of late" means at least thirty-five years which is probably longer'n any of you have been stomping this earth of ours! Too bad it hadda get stuck up against BATMAN or else it may have had a future, and while I'm at it couldn't you just see yer pop and uncles watching this rip roarin' about all the action they saw back when they were part and parcel of the whole Big 'un all the while chugging beer and gulping peanuts? Me three!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

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Thursday, March 10, 2016


If ya wanna know where Half Japanese got their moniker look no further'n this neat if screwy collision of an authentic Toho production Ameriganized by additional footage featuring famed Oscar winner John Carradine filling in the details that we didn't see on screen because well, people would probably be more drawn to a film with his name on it than they would one with Akira Takarada. Then again his name didn't help MYRA BRECKENRIDGE out any now, diddit?

Whadevva it is HALF HUMAN's a great mish mosh of a mid-fifties sci-fi flick with some quickie additions that kinda make ya wonder why Carradine and his cohorts just didn't discuss the entire Japanese portion of the film themselves and spare us the foreign footage if they wuz gonna be so cheap about it. But hey, why quibble over what is essentially a good moom having to do with this scientific skiing expedition who just happen to tangle not only with an actual Yeti and his son, but the remnants of a long-lost primitive society living in the mountains about two or three steps up from prehistoric conditions, or maybe five up from Italians.

My print's a great and worn out one obviously taken from a VCR tape which makes it even more mid-seventies UHF-Tee Vee exciting, and really who can complain about the film even with Carradine narrating practically the entire thing (like I said, cheaper 'n dubbing) while the story bends and weaves in ways that maybe would have benefited w/o the additional footage (but like I said, over here Carradine's name's probably gonna move a whole lot more tickets 'n Takarada's). But when all's said and done and I've sat through this thing with all of the attention span of your typical baby-boomer-era Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kid...since when was the Abominable Snowman ever in Japan???

Saturday, March 05, 2016

So what's there to talk about anyway...howzbout the current political situation, mainly the race for the big house with alla dem pillars an' I don't mean Leavenworth! Kinda yawnsville if you ask me, though I gotta say that I am sorry to see Bernie Sanders flopping about like he is especially since compared to Hillary just about anybody seems better. At least the admitted socialist (as if anybody else out there on his side has admitted their own pinko tendencies in that sorta fashion) puts up a false face and says he even cares about the welfare and being of nobody suburban slobs like us, though somehow I get the feeling that if the ex-folkie ever gets in charge we slobs'd be the first fanablas rounded up for CAMP BAEZ where we'll all learn to be productive citizens for the dictatorship of the even newer than new left proletariat, or at least have all of our fat rendered and made into organic KY or something equally gay-friendly if that don't work.

As for Trump well heck, I gotta say that I'M ALL FOR HIM if he indeed will destroy the Republican Party as we know it, or at least dismantle the concept of what conservatism has become here in the 'teens long after the entire movement went off course sometime around the fall of Robert Taft. Sure I wanna hate the guy (rich kazillionaire snob who seems more concerned with Eastern Euro p***y than any normal hetero type should), but given the kinda people who hate him and go into all sorts of hissy fits comparing him to every evil entity of the past few hundred years other'n Stalin, Mao, Lenin or Yohannon he definitely seems like the kinda guy I'd wanna see with the finger on the button 'n that's a fact! True a lot of my rah-rahing for him is driven by pure spite, but sometimes voting is like having to choose between Ex-Lax and an enema, ifyaknowaddamean.

What's funny about the whole shebang goin' on is how the olde tymey establishment press 'n tee-vee, both of a leftoid and neocon variety, is going all hog wild in their denunciations of the man throwing out every kinda slam bam accusation regarding things we've known about for years as if anyone really cares about what these seventies heartbleed leftovers have to say in this day 'n age! I mean, if people don't read my usually astute commentaries regarding everything from rare euro underground recordings to reprints of seventy-year-old comic books, why should they give a fig about whatever TIME magazine or the excruciatingly unfunny Gary Trudeau have to say about the political situation in their obviously put on "true" patriotic ways (and man, next to them I am an anarchist!)? I mean, when I want to get an idea of which way the political/social winds are blowin' its TAKI'S MAGAZINE for me and precious little else! And Trudeau, at least Al Capp could draw, was funny and had your type pegged (you know what I'm talking about!) perfectly!

I for one sure would have loved to have seen a Sanders vs. Trump battle royale but I guess that's ne'er to be (unless something bad were to happen to the ex-first pearl diver...or is that clam digger?), but if Trump does survive the expected GOP night o' the long knives and has to face it up against Miss Excess Baggage boy will that be a fun 'un to watch! Not for the politicians themselves but the indignant press, academia and Social Justice Warrior crowd types if Trump would just happen to cream his expected opponent into oblivion! A Herculean task in itself but sheesh, somebody's gotta do it and why should the job of destroying the postmodern world be all left to me?

PREDICTION: if Trump does win in November all of those cackling people in Hollywood and elsewhere who said they were going to move out of the United States because of his election.....................won't! However they will still refer to his inauguration as a "coronation"...I mean, what else?
How'dja like that li'l bitta filler fluff anyhow? I figure that I just gotta stay all current events 'n all just so's people'll think I'm a hip 'n uppa date and totally "with it" cool kinda guy! Hope it worked, just so I can up my standing in the post-hippie dippy music community which has been steadily declining due to my unwillingness to take part in the latest Five Year Plan. But all seriousness aside here're the latest offerings to pass muster here at BLOG TO COMM central, and once again thanks to the USUAL SUSPECTS (Bill, Paul and P. D.) for the donations. Yes I still am on my self-imposed austerity drive trying to save the shekels for future endeavors like eating, though thankfully I just might have enough lucre to spare once April rolls around to order at least a few recordings out there that just might fill the ever-popular bill. And hey, maybe some of you three might be seeing a little surprise come your own way in the near future...details to follow (more or less).
But before we get to this week's writeups it's time for...15-60-75 THE NUMBERS BAND LIVE @ KENT STATE UNIVERSITY 1977!!!

Bob Dylan-SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT CD-r burn (originally on Clodumbia)

It's like an old MAD magazine spoof come true! I mean sheesh, if this 'un had only come out in 1966 would cornballus older generation Ameriga have STOOD UP AND TAKEN NOTICE! Bob Dylan, the protest generation's answer to Julius LaRosa, singing the old standards that made Mom 'n Dad forget alla that long hair crudola you've been wasting your time on these past umpteen years! What more could you have wished for...not only would they've quit buggin' ya about yer curly locks (at least for a few minoots) but they might even have congratulated you for your fine taste in music! "Some Enchanted Evening"..."Autumn Leaves", they'd've been so happy that they'd even forget about that copy of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (the hula girl issue) they found hidden under yer mattress!

Of course once they get a good earfulla Dylan's bullfrog voice and off-key singing all bets'r off 'n it's back to bein' just another suburban slob fanabla fighting with the folks alla the time. But still I can see that MAD article right before mine eyes..."TODAY'S ROCK SINGERS' ALBUMS OF TOMORROW" or some such fol-de-rol complete with illustrations by Jack Rickard! Sure beats Dave Berg's "THE LIGHTER SIDE OF BORING NEW YORK FIFTIES-LIBERALS LIKE MYSELF TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE SEVENTIES".

Bill Shute burned me this collection of "song-poems" which really must prove the old Barnum adage given how many of these platters are around. Obviously Edith Bunker wasn't the only one saving up money inna cookie jar in order to have her poetry set to music, though one wonders if her lyrics would have fit in with any of the melodies that are presented on this particular spin. From early-sixties pop to old time country and big band (even a Bobby Rydell/Darin/Vee... swipe), the song poem people really knew how to set a set of so-so lyrics to some halfway, even fullway decent music.

Sure I kinda feel like a cad listening to something that was written by a 57-year-old housewife in Terre Haute around 1963 (almost as bad as if I were to have snuck into her house, crept into her bedroom AND...thumbed through her photo album!) but this is the age of TRANSPARENCY. Bill also put some vintage radio ads in between the tracks which really bring back fond memories of...the last time Bill did something like this!
Various Artists-ANATOMY OF COINCIDENCE CD-r burn (originally on Clandestine Recordings)

The eighties cassette revolution lives on...somewhat kinda sorta. Long before confused college kiddies began doing the white mea culpa trip on campuses nationwide they were too busy cloistered in their fart-encrusted dorms recording music that sounds exactly like this. Some of it halfway decent (like the neo-funky opener) but most just seems to be the usual home synth blurpy stuff that's been the rage with someone somewhere. It's stuff that means a whole load to the people who actually gathered in those dusky rooms with their gear 'n all but I, bein' in a hard-edged dissonance and blues mode 'n all, just can't swing into the same abstract if paranoid mindset of the people who made these sounds. I'm sure I'll be whole hog for this 'un after the colostomy.
The Milford Graves Trio-LIVE 6/16/1976 CD-r burn (courtesy of P. D. Fadensonnen)

I don't have the trio's now rare-beyond-belief Ak-Ba album so this 'un was a long awaited surprise. The chatter and audience hoo-hahs kinda make me wish I knew what was goin' on (it seems as if Graves was talking to the assembled without the aid of a microphone) but the free play between Graves and reedmen Arthur Doyle and Hugh Glover is a true fury of beyond-the-beat splendor. Of course I sure would love to hear the Ak-Ba platter (which I tried ordering via NMDS way back when only it was outta they shoulda dropped it from their listing like they also shoulda DAILY DANCE stedda gettin' alla my hopes up like that only to be left flat!) but until the day it does get a proper reissue this'll do.
The Packers w/Packy Axton-HOLE IN THE WALL CD-r burn (originally on Pure Soul Records)

Hooo boy, what a cheezeball of a record this be! Low-energy soul that even beats the usual lowness in power and oomph some soul records just oozed. Its got that instrumental organ and sax live from the Down 'n Dirty Club on the bad side of town kinda sound, only the performance reminds me of Jimmy McGriff coming outta the haze right after his vasectomy.

Sounds like something you would have heard on one of those "Unsold Pilots" that used to end up on many a summer evening tee-vee schedule. Y'know, the ones that were chock fulla hipster relevance in the hopes that the makers were about to hit on a "new" ALL IN THE FAMILY or SANFORD AND SON only for it to end up fodder for a jumbled up schedule just waiting for the new season to arrive.

'n hey, notice how I didn't make any homofaggic comments regarding the name of the group and the leader's "Christian" moniker, hunh? Betcha you guys are all proud of me for being so heartbleed and deep-felt and all of those nicey things towards those who are less than the rest of us, right?  Naw???? Oh fudge!
Freddie McCoy-LONELY AVENUE CD-r burn (originally on Prestige)

Bluesy enough vibist playing the pre-bop sound not moving any earth in the process but still pacifying enough for those late-night instrospective moments. I'd still trample on a pile of these to get to a Tony Williams Lifetime album (at least the ones with Larry Young and John McLaughlin), but the soulful takes on such olde tymey faves as "Harlem Nocturne" and "Willow Weep For Me" coupled with a whole buncha unfamiliar trackage ain't really that bad, especially when you get an earfulla the kinda stillborn music records like this ULTIMATELY led to! And if ya don't believe me just switch yer cable tee-vee to the jazz channel for some sorry examples of what I'm gabbin' about!
CHILDREN OF THE MUSHROOM CD-r burn (originally on Outset)

You probably thought this reissue of some late-sixties outta nowhere (if you consider Sherman Oaks California "outta nowhere") tracks by a buncha guys who thought they were the Doors but couldn't even ascend to the same levels as Teddy and His Patches was gonna be straight-A grade turdsville, right? Well no, for Children of the Mushroom were actually a really good buncha teenage big name wannabes that remind me of none other than It's All Meat in the way they merge late-sixties organ-dominated hard rock with just enough mid-sixties ranch house action in it to keep this from being just another hippie artifact. Some of it may be a tad too overwrought, but that driving organ and knotty pine rec room sound'll having you wishing you were the next door neighbor kid huddling by the cellar window while these guys were rehearsing way back in that decade which dare not speak its name (or was that the fifties? Hard to tell anymore...).
Terumasa Hino Quartet-INTO THE HEAVEN CD-r burn (originally on Takt Jazz, Japan)

Remember the old saying "Whites create, Asians imitate"? Well that is true to a certain extent even though it might not be the "proper" thing to say so in fru-fru company. But this group not only proves that ol' adage but the other well-known one which sez "Blacks create, Asians imitate"!!!!

Trumpeter Hino does elicit a fair amount of Miles Davisisms on the side-long title track (and elsewhere) while the rest of the group (sporting names which in no way could be mistaken for Amish)  perform what could be taken for a nice late-fifties sorta bop approach that (at least for me) evokes a whole lotta that Blue Note feeling that had its own special aura about it.

Surprisingly good jazz that even borders on various early avantisms yet doesn't take the plunge into all-out abandon. Lemme make one small change..."Whites/Blacks create, Asians emulate"!
Various Artists-DUSTER LOUISE CARPENTER SERENADE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

And closing out today's gathering of the tribe's this collection of weird rarities including a guy called Marty Roberts doing these funny rockabilly dribblers (including the high-larious "Baby" which ventures into Stan Freberg ridicule territory!) and the Dusters (no relation the automobile despite Bill putting an ad for the Plymouth vehicle on the cover of this smacker!) doing some r 'n b vocal group-ism the kind that just ain't heard no more! Akron's Cross-Walks sound rather hippydippyish to the point where I just start to sizzle thinkin' how the Numbers Band were probably slaving away at some seedy dive right at the same moment these guys were undoubtedly getting heavy doody luvvin' because of their laid-back style. Jazzbo Hank Crawford's attempt at a commercial hit (or so I think) is hokay though its nothing that'll make me dribble, while the country twang of Ralph Pruitt, and Shorty Underwood is pleezin' enuff and who wouldn't want to run out and buy an Edsel after hearing a radio ad like that!