Saturday, April 09, 2016

I hate to keep talking about the weather'n all (actually I don't...I just don't wanna end up lookin' all bowtie square'n all), but did any of you Northeastern Ohio/Western Pennsylvania types take a good look out the window Saturday morning? Talk about a tragic return to sad 'n sorry winter weather smack dab sorta inna middle of April! Sheesh, here I go putting away the sled and galoshes and what do we get but a big winter blowout (notice how I didn't make any references to certain BLOG TO COMM adversaries such as "calm down, so-and-so"??? Keeping true to my New Year's Resolution this late in the game 'n I'm proud!) that's just about as bad or even worse'n the actual winter we experienced here in the Tri-County area. Of course I've noticed, thanks to good ol' fashioned EXPERIENCE, that spring snow storms like this usually mean we're gonna have a hot 'n nasty summer on our hands, and if that's so let's get settled down for some wild heat, severe thunderstorms and maybe even a twister or two! Sheesh, if I only still watched reg'lar tee-vee I could get all scared over those weather warning interruptions the same way I did when I was four, only now I thankfully have more control over my beneath-the-bellybutton regions that I did way back when so no damp underwear to make fun of me over now, CYSTER!!!!
But otherwise I guess I should be proud of myself that I managed to trudge through another winter fairly intact. No major diseases were contracted (even the dread Chinese Gongo) leaving me fitter than even a fiddle played by Ornette Coleman throughout the not as bitterly cold months as we've had. But you didn't come here to read my rattle about the weather and kissing diseases now did you? Naw, yer here for DA MOOZIC and with that here da reviews be! Thanks for Bill, Fadensonnen, Paul, and nobody else for the burnt offerings which have made this week a...well, a week!

The Gizmos-21st CENTURY GIZMOS FANS CAN'T BE WRONG 7-inch 33 rpm EP (Gulcher)

As the title track suggests, who would have thunk back in '76 that there were not only BE a twenty-first century, but if there was one there'd be an up-and-functioning Gizmos in it! Continuing on the grand 7-inch 33 rpm EP tradition of the original (and not-so) Gizmos comes this classic a good forty years after the fact which not only features most of the creme of the original act (Highland/Flowers/Niemec/Coffee) but two new guys (gal?) and the infamous bassist known to one and all as Darwin Layne.

Of course it's all FANTABULOUS, almost as if the original Gizmos never left us in the lurch and neither did the kind of hard-edged rock 'n roll they played for that matter! And although all of the lyrics are nice 'n cleen you can still dance to it as much as you did "Mean Screen" back when you were young and nobody was home to yell at you if you took your clothes off to do such a thing (admit it, you usedta do stuff like that!).

Not a fault can be found with this extended platter which sounds like it could have been outtakes from that famed '76 session but one thing does kinda stick in my anus like a half-digested peanut...y'see, I thought "21st Century Gizmos Fans" was gonna be a swipe from the King Crimson number "21st Century Schizoid Man", nothing I would have expected to be part of the Gizmos overall musical outlook mind you but it woulda been fun anyway.
Snakefinger-BOARDING HOUSE, SAN FRANCISCO 9/11/79 CD-r burn

It may be heresy to you (but so what!), but I never was a big fan 'n follower of Snakefinger even during those early Ralph Records big underground putsch days when his name seemed to be on everyone's lips, or at least some bodily orifice. In fact I recall loathing a late-eighties live tape of his that some mag or another saddled me with, but I surely ain't gonna let past impressions dampen any critical assessments of this particular audience-quality recording.

Overall this is whatcha'd call "fair" although it does bring up various aspects of 70s/80s cusp underground rock that didn't quite settle with me like it might have with you. But then again I might be confusing the musician with his audience which always can be a damning affair. If you were one of the more serious Residents/Ralph fans of those sensory overload days you'll undoubtedly enjoy hearing those album and single tracks done live, but when it comes to Ralphist Glories Past its MX-80 Sound for me and nothing else, baby.
Young Canadians a.k.a. the K-Tels-UNKNOWN RADIO SHOW VANCOUVER, BC 1979 Cd-r burn

NeverneverNEVER heard these guys before so you could say that it was a virginal experience for my well-traveled ears. And considering how my ears have been poked by some of the vilest music imaginable o'er these past thirtysome I gotta say that this particular sit down went rather swimmingly if I do say so myself.

Given that I haven't been cozying up to punk as pUnk the way I did only a good two or so decades back, I actually was able to get into its, uh, universe (as R. Meltzer would put it) and even though the Young 'uns can be considered derivative and heard before many a time and everything else that snooty rock critics have been damning this music with I certainly had a jolly time with the whole thing.

Punk trio drive-throughs that are about two years away from hardcore and three beyond punk as we knew about it via CREEM...loads of tough guy originals and a slew of classic oldies covers that don't sound ridiculous in the least. A nice surprise for a guy like me even though I was spending those days going on a rather different musical trajectory despite keeping allegiance to anything that was the anti-Christopher Cross, y'know.
The Hi-Risers-LOST WEEKEND CD-r burn (originally on Spinout)

So maybe you ain't as hot on sixties-revival rock now as you were a good thirtysome years back when it all seemed fresh inna face of the usual AM/FM blandies of the day. Well, neither am I, though I will admit that this 2004 recording is pretty tough stuff even though it does come a few decades after the fact. If you like those surf-y kinda groups like the Barracudas who mixed a little bitta garage band slam into their sound then the Hi-Risers will be way up your expanded alley, what with their spunky originals that really do recall some of those great pre-Sunshine surf hits along with some of the punk snarl that was coming outta the El Lay area at the time. I usually don't toss the confetti over these kinda groups but this one is pretty stimulating, even for a jaded fanabla like myself.
Hugo Montenegro-ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK ALBUM---LADY IN CEMENT CD-r burn (originally on 20th Century Fox Records)

Another 'un for the stereo nut dad in the knotty pine rec room. I guess without the moom pitcher to actually look at a good bunch of these soundtrack elpees ain't exactly that thrilling (especially if you were one of those suburban slob kids who was inundated with MARY POPPINS back '64 way because your mom loved it so), and this 'un ain't any different. I mean, without the presence of Dan Blocker or Raquel Welch's suckems to look at where's the joy in a platter like this? Good enough to ease you outta those everyday blooze if you're the kinda workaday guy who likes to come home from work 'n slap the slippers on while fantasizing about being Ozzie Nelson...and who in their right mind isn't?
Eno and the Winkies-A YEAR WITH A COLLAPSED LUNG - 1974 CD-r burn

As most of us can remember Eno was real hot patooties back in the mid-seventies what with all of those album appearances as well as magazine articles out the legendary wazoo. And if a teenaged turdball such as myself knew who he was (even though for some strange reason I had originally harbored the impression that he was a member of the original Velvet Underground), then just about everyone outside the AV Club did as well. And a lot sooner than I would have expected too.

Most of the infamous Peel sessions Eno did with the Winkies start off the thing, but you'll probably be more interested in the live tape of one of the very few Eno/Winkies shows that was recorded at some place called King's Hall in Derby which I guess is the city where the famed hat came from. Sound quality is definitely 1967 General Electric portable cassette machine, but the spirit shines through as Eno take his band through not only the standard WARM JETS songbook but a few interesting covers not only including the Peel Sesh fave "Fever" but the Who's "I'm a Boy", "What Goes On" (done with the same drive and fervor of the 1969 LIVE take that was fresh in most of our memories) and the Neil Sedaka (and Rockin' Vickers) showstopper "I Go Ape"! Too bad nobody at Island thought of doing a professional recording of these gigs because like, they do hit the high Roxy strata of English rock energy more than those MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS platters ever did!

Sheesh, I only thought that the Monkees and nobody else but were on Colgems...turns out this teenage pop bunch originating from Fredericksburg Texas made it onto the label as well. And really, if there was a group custom-made for Colgems other'n the Monkees it was Fountain of Youth! Teenage, poppy, good looking and snugly fit into the late-sixties gal heart throb market, the Fountains had a whole lot goin' for 'em even if they sadly didn't really go anywhere making me wonder who at Colgems dared SLIP UP!

A bright mix of bubblegum, late-garage band-era chords and AM sunshine pop that really does excite even with (because of?) the slick production guaranteed to get alla the iron-haired gals to listen up. In fact this is so good I wish that Meltzer had given 'em ample space in THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK and that at least half of these tracks had somehow charted in '68 'stead of Dionne Warwick. Gals, if your teenybop bedroom still has a poster with a unicorn and a rainbow, you need Fountain of Youth on your li'l portable player an' like, right now! Boys, if you wanna check and see if yer gals' bedrooms have not only that unicorn and rainbow poster but the Fountain of Youth on the portable player...lucky YOU!!!
Various Artists-BAMALAMA TEENAGE PINKO CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Dunno who this Benjamin Booker guy is, though he sure seems to be one HONEST continuations of the blues idiom if these two tracks can be trusted. Turns out he has his own website as well a a debut album, so maybe he will go places even though they're places you'd probably be too chicken to go to. The various country swing stuff did settle fine with me and listening to Lonnie Mae cookin' up a hotcha early-sixties gal screamer with the aid of future Rascal Gene Cornish was something that made my day but for exactly what reason I do not know.

The Little Richard swipe from "Big John Greer" did me fine as did the post Van Them track, but the biggest surprise was the Charades single which I guess tackled some pertinent political questions as early as '66, the surprise being they sound more like 1970 country-rock era Byrds than they do mid-sixties bonafeed country types! And hey, are ex-Swamp Rat Bob Hocko's Galactus (here represented by two middling sides of a single) the same Galactus that was spotted on various spring '76 NYC club listings, one in which they actually opened for the Shirts? I'd like to know if only for the sake of personal obsessive historical concerns though frankly, with a name like Galactus there must have been dozens of 'em roamin' the club scenes back then.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hey, thanks for the Gizmos review! Now the question is: Are you gonna write something for the new VULCHER fanzoon? Co-edited by 26-year-old Gizmos drummer Kelsey Simpson (yes, she's a girl!) and yours truly. Krazee Ken has already turned in TWO Meltzeresque pieces. Plus I've got a buncha people already on board to contribute: Carl Biancucci (art!),Jymn Parrett, Max Demata, David Laing, John Bialas, Craig Bell, Claude Bell, Bob Morris (hitched from Bloomington to Chicago with Kenne & me 1974!), Todd Novak, Eric Friedl, Mike Rippy, Jeremy Cargill, Kelly Burnette, Bebop Betsy Shepherd, Rick Wilkerson--WHEW! You should be there too. Write me at