Wednesday, August 31, 2016


When I was a young and comics-saturated fanabla (talking age 9-10) I thought it was rather peculiar that there wasn't a PEANUTS comic book onna racks like there were of many a comic strip able to make the transition to the periodical world. When I eventually discovered that there were PEANUTS comics readily available (via Dell, a company that had pretty much been usurped by Gold Key in the kiddie-oriented market as the sixties stumbled on) but not since 1964 I was pretty much flabbergasted because hey, wasn't that strip like thee most popular of the day, even more so than BLONDIE or even BEETLE BAILEY which were both represented by a number of comic book titles? I mean, throughout the late-sixties the entire PEANUIS gang's images were being plastered on everything from posters and badges to book collections galore, but at the peak of their fame they most certainly weren't being seen cuddled up against the latest FANTASTIC FOURs or ARCHIEs, that's for sure!

When I fully flung myself into comic book grab-dom some time later I eventually came across some of those Dell titles, and frankly I didn't think they were bad at all. Charles Schulz's assistant Jim Sasseville's art might not have been as close to the original as some would have hoped but I thought it was a better mimicry than say, Paul Fung Jr.'s various BLONDIE and DAGWOOD offerings. And sure the stories to be found therein were more or less re-creations of various strip fare extrapolated on, but they used to do that in ARCHIE and really, it ain't like ya can come up with something hot and original every day of the week now, can ya? And the way I see it, if those John Stanley NANCY comic book stories from the late-fifties on can be reprinted in classy hardcover book form then why can't these Sasseville knockoffs which I gotta say are sure due their posthumous praise even if I'm sure that a few of the comic book snobs out there would heartily disagree!

Very recently I discovered that there was a new PEANUTS comic being put out by the definitely non-major Kaboom line and naturally I decided to give a few of 'em the ol' college try. 'n hey, even with the added fortysome years of definitely post-non suburban slob comfort levels I gotta say that I like 'em! Not a whole heaping hunkerin' lot mind ya, but maybe just enough to wanna thumb through my various copies during those slow times when I'm wanting to do something in between din-din and sleepytime and I still can't get outta my mind the fact that THE MUNSTERS haven't been on prime time network tee-vee for over fifty years!

Artwork's good enough, lacking the Schulz touch that Sasseville definitely had but still compatible enough for at least my senses. Stories are fine too even if they are just as dependent on the original sagas as the Dell-era title was. And perhaps not-so-strangely enough you once again get to see long-gone characters that haven't appeared in the strip for years so if you had a thing for Violet, the original Patty or even Faron the cat they pop up, as does Shermy who was always such a bland guy that when he eventually got phased out in the late-fifties nobody seemed to notice, or care for that matter.

Wouldn't mind seeing the grand return of the irritating Charlotte Braun, but she doesn't seem to appear at least in any of the comics I have let alone the cover reprinted above which I would have assumed featured every PEANUTS character major or minor throughout the years (two Frieda's are pictured for some reason, or is one of them Tapioca Pudding?).

I'm not as big a PEANUTS fan as I am of the original Bob Montana ARCHIE or DICK TRACY or NANCY for that matter, but these particular stories actually survived their humble kid strip beginnings and are amazingly continuing into an era when frankly, there aren't any kids anymore but young adults just waiting to be older ones. It's sure heartening to know that there still is a flickering of that good ol' ranch house suburban slob ideal alive somewhere, and frankly these books just might be the next best thing to the revamped Fiat 500 as far as sixty-plus-year-old ideals reshaped and revamped for the post-post-DECADENCE era. And although these magazines can be pricey, they sure go good with root beer and potato chips while the 1972 Top 40 plays away on some tinny transistor radio.
While we're on the subject I thought I'm also bring up the recent PEANUTS tee-vee series which can now be seen on one of those cartoon nets available via cable or satellite or even Youtube for that matter. Gotta say that even though they don't have that old-time animation look probably due to that relatively new computer animation style these (again) adaptations of sagas from the actual strip do capture some of the old ranch house feelings that I like. Nothing that is shall I say "must-see" but considering the competition I find these new adaptations enjoyable to the point where I'm hoping that some of my favorite PEANUTS storylines get animated which only goes to show you...I don't get out as often as I should.

Interestingly enough, this new series was created in France and the same folk have also adapted the should-be infamous GASTON LAGAFFE in pretty much the same fashion, and with some rather good results coming remarkably close to the actual Franquin style I might add. Don't think any of those will be making their way to Amerigan tee-vee soon, but I can always pick up a few on the computer and just let the French dialogue wooooosh right by me. And if you're a fan of the euro comics scene maybe you should too.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I'll tell ya, given the kinda life I hafta lead doing this blog is one of the few real pleasures I do have remaining.

I really do mean it...what with the way work's goin' and the drudgery of modern day living (and worst of all very little tee-vee to watch during the evening hours when I'd like to wind down a bit) it's certainly a FUN THING for me to just settle back with a new disque or two, kick my feet up, grab some light reading material and listen to said recording while I (as Meltzer said) "get into its uh, universe". Then write up said opines of the aforementioned recording directly onto my compose page and do some fine tuning before sending it all out your way. Some people like to go out dancing and other people they gotta work, but for me having a downright fun time of it here in the post-fun and games 21st Century is settling back with some deeply involving and perhaps moving music, feeling rather pleased about the experience, then telling you all about it in my own inimitable and perhaps to showoffy way.

And if you think that I'm more or less acting just like the kinda fanablas who spend their hours hobbying away with HO train sets or collecting gas station memorabilia from the thirties you're RIGHT! Only difference is I like those kinda people and their everyday tastes and you, being such a conceited nose-upper, don't! In fact I get the feeling you probably LOATHE us because y'know, we're different! But deep down when all the cards are laid out on the table and the truth be known I kinda get the feeling that it's suburban slobs like us who are having the most fun with out hobbies and collecting and music and generally having a good time reliving the best moments the past has given us...unless your idea of "fun" means passing out leaflets regarding the sad situation in whatever socially relevant hot spot there is today inna world with that perpetually dour look on your face. To each his own...I think.
In this year of living frugally I once again must thank the persons who donated their wares to "da cause", or whatever it's supposed to be called these days. Big heaping hugs to Bill Shute for his various contributions as well as Paul McGarry for the Fuzz thing I found snuggled in between some other burns. As for Hozac Records don't worry, I'll get to your latest package once I have the opportunity to make a trip down to the dungeon where the old hand-cranked Victrola resides. And who knows, maybe I'll get lucky enough and be able to score something on my own this upcoming week, though considering the recordings that would pass our sensitive tastes I kinda do doubt that.

In other words---BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YEZ GET!!!, so w/o further somethingorother...

The Batboys-BATMAN THEME CD-r burn (originally on Design Records)

If your Aunt Flabby got you one of those cheap-o Beatle knockoff LPs for Christmas in 1964 she sure and shootin' bought you something like this for '66! Things really were goin' bat guano for many a suburban slob during that year and of course the Batman knockoffs were bound to fill the bins of supermarkets nationwide just anxious to sucker the unaware consumer outta a hard-earned buck.

Undoubtedly this little gem managed to find its way beneath the X-mas trees of more'n a few budding pimplefarms, that is in between the toy Batmobiles and Batgames and other Bat-necessities that were just custom made for us ranch house kiddies. Too bad its such a snoozer what with these Batboys performing a lackluster version of the Marketts hit take as well as wrecking a buncha classical numbers with titles slapped on 'em that have nothing to do with the tee-vee series at all!

Funny thing is there's a souped-up version of Rimsky-Whatzizname's "Flight of the Bumble Bee" on this 'un which must mean that THE GREEN HORNET was onna air by the time this 'un got out or that the folks at Design just lucked out in the best way possible! Well, I guess this was a better present 'n the Bobby Sherman album Flab got ya in '70 but whatever you do, don't act unappreciative!
The Bob Seger System-NOAH CD-r burn (originally on Capitol)

Even after getting years of bearded schmaltz outta my mind I still can't manage to stomach any of Bob Seger's overwrought music. And while these tracks ain't exactly the ballads that Seger made his moolah with NOAH is still a rather pedestrian effort that stands still next to the kinda sounds that the rest of the Detroit area was making at the time. It wasn't that far from the socially relevant sounds of "Johnson, Lennie" to those late-seventies weepies that got all the puff-haired gals a'crying, though if you're that desperate to hear the roots of it all you probably couldn't find a better place. As was the fashion in the late-sixties there's the obligatory avant garde track this time entitled "Cat", a work out that reminds me of the percussion backing Seger himself contributed to on the MC5 tune "Skunk (Sonicly Speaking)". "Cat" woulda sounded better anywhere but on NOAH but then again. maybe not.
Mal Waldron & Terumasa Hino-REMINISCENCE SUITE CD-r burn (originally on JVC-Victor Japan)

Remember reading about all of those Japanese-only jazz records that were all but impossible to come by o'er here in Ameriga? And man did a whole buncha 'em sound really tasty from those rare Anthony Braxton sides to the one with the Fowler Brothers of Zappa/Beefheart fame, but even if you could get hold of 'em they were sure to go for beaucoup bucks. Fortunately a whole buncha those once-impossible to latch onto platters are now available via download, so if you were the kinda kid who sold plasma and collected pop bottles for rarities such as this back inna seventies well, you coulda saved all of the time and effort if you only waited a good fortysome years!

 I'm really not that familiar with Mal Waldron compared with the other free players of the days, but he sure sounds rather driving what with his minor key cantatas sprawling about all over the place. Hino is fine enough playing more in a Ted Curson rather than Lester Bowie sorta way, while the rhythm section is so glued to the major form (for what it is) that you woulda thought they came straight outta Studio Rivbea. Nothing that's totally out-there AACM free splurge and perhaps a tad restrained, but still slow burn drive in that British avant garde sorta matter which really is all right with me.

Better later'n whatever with these once rarities that definitely shoulda gotten around a whole lot more'n they did back then.
ZZ Top-LIVE PENSACOLA 1970 CD-r burn

Not having been much of a ZZ Top fan (even during their Roky Erickson-inspired early-eighties "new wave" era) it wasn't like I was exactly looking "forward" to listening to this live platter recorded early on. But eh, it's good enough even if you thought the worst part of the Moving Sidewalks oeuvre was the blues moves that didn't sound as good as the actual stuff that was still being made by the originators. Sound quality is typical hand-held cassette but it only exacerbates the dingy club feeling of it all, and while the playing can get a li'l too noodling for my tastes it ain't like I'm exactly offended by it all the way I am some of the patchouli and tinklebell sounds being made around the same time. Nothing I'm gonna spin that much, but if yer tastes veer into early-seventies post-garage heavy blues rock you'll probably have this 'un somewhere in the ol' trailer, eh?
Fuzz-FUZZ II CD-r burn (originally on In the Red)

Haw, can't believe that after XXX years of flitzy glitz heavy metal the original hard-gnarled edgy stuff would still be alive and kickin'! Fuzz do live up to their moniker what with their definitely early-seventies hotcha HM approach that seemed to peter out once '73 started rolling in and Metal Mike Saunders penned that eulogy to the form which passed as a review of Led Zep's HOUSES OF THE HOLY. This is not the kinda metal that everyone from the likes of Von Lmo and MX-80 Sound to the Stooges and DMZ practiced let alone "Sister Ray" as the ultimate experience in blissful blast, but it's good enough in its early Sabs meets Budgie sorta way that sure woulda sounded good on an FM radio 'round '72 way in between the umpteeth plays of "Suite Judy Blue Eyes". Great Iommiesque leads and a vocalist in the trad crazed whiner mode makes for a great experience, and the sonic overload complete with those tricky Indian-styled modal moves that will bring out the bongster in you!
Various Artists-DIAMOND JOE-THE SOUND OF MEEKVILLE CD-r burn (originally on ACe, England)

It's been almost fifty years since his tragic swan song but like John Brown's body (or was it his "soul"?), Joe Meek keeps marching on. A whole slewwa rarities from the famed producer are stacked up on this platter showing that (considering some of these acts weren't quite uppa snuff using universal BLOG TO COMM standards) the man coulda gotten hold of a tape of  me farting in the bathtub and made that sound good. Not that the likes of Ray Dexter or "Joy and Dave" were exactly grade-z turdsville, but they sure didn't have the vim and vigor that the Tornados or the Syndicats could muster up without any effort. The rock group tracks fare a lot better with the Saints (no, not them) doing a version of  "Parade of the Tin Soldiers" that sounds as if it coulda been an outtake from the Blue Men I HEAR A NEW WORLD album (their version of "Happy Talk" from SOUTH PACIFIC was boffo what with the chattering space voices at the end), not to mention the Moontrekkers doing a coupla rocked up public domain hummers including what else but the Civil War fave "John Brown's Body" (which is exactly why I mentioned it in the opening sentence---originality has never been one of my better efforts!). A good 'un even with the more "grown up" stuff that wouldn't have appealed to my group sound tastes, or something like that.
Hank Mobley-HANK CD-r burn (originally on Blue Note Records)

'57 sesh showing off all the bop power that the jazz world was capable of at the time. Nothing that's really my cup of Sleepy Time Tea but still engaging not only with a batch of sidemen who were well known in such circles (Donald Byrd, Bobby Timmins, Philly Joe Jones...) but them ol' bowtie 'n tux standards jazzed up to the point where we can actually listen to 'em without wincing. Naturally the bared-wire intensity that was the hallmark of the new thing jazz only a few years later just ain't here, but this might get you excited enough to dwell more into the pre-Ornette era of jazz that in many was was just as cataclysmic as the kinda brew that was gonna be cooked up in a rather short period of time.
Various Artists-UGLIEST MALFUNCTION MUTINY CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

With a name like "Art Brut" I was expecting "art damage" ifyaknowaddamean... And I was RIGHT but oh what art damage it is...real freaking free jazz-styled play done by guys who wouldn't've made it in the real jazz world but they sure sound decomposed enough in an early-eighties Systematic catalog sorta way. Does Blurt come to mind? You tell me! The Leer Brothers Band's "Mystery of Love" which immediately follows sounds totally staid in comparison even if it is a fairly steady enough single that coulda been punk rock with some more guts added to it. The Bombs are standard early-eighties punk from the just post-Pistols phase in the music. Kinda power-poppy yet still hard, not that different from the Cleveland groups of the day who did their durndest despite the evil efforts of Anastasia Pantsios. "Fortune and Fame" even has some cheep organ synth added for good measure. Gene Marshall's song poems sound pro enough even with the duff rhymes he has to turn to music. Back to the art damage with the Viking Suicide Orchestra who channel the spirit of Jimi and Sonny via Rudolph and Bruce and don't come out sounding like total idjits for it either. Are the Fifth Estate heard here the same one who did "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" by any chance? Sounds like it and "Lost Generation" is yet another one of those boff late-sixties nostalgia trips that got my mom all aflame. Roach Motel...haven't gone for much of this "hardcore" growl in a few decades but this reminds me of the better efforts complete with Greg Ginn-influenced guitar solos! West once again show that Bob Dylan covers can be just as inept as Bob Dylan himself could have gotten. Song Poem vocalist Norm Burns tries to do soul on "Baby You're So Fine" while Rick Wilson's attempt at the same gig flops even on hokum country levels. Rowdies sound like Johnny Rotten singing with a sixties 'stead of seventies punk act and the Plastic Pianos are anything but...sorta like cheap casio keyboards doing a Soft Machine-styled jazz workout. Closing everything out is Peter Piper's "Magic Book" which kinda sounds like the theme for some early-seventies Saturday Morning neo-educational kinda cartoon, the kind fanablas such as I were sure to miss...on purpose. Oh, and the radio ads in between were killer, especially the ones for the Leaves and Kaleidoscope.

I'll betcha didn't know that I listened to this one through and types my opines down as the music spun. Had no idea I did that eh? Shame on ya.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Hey it's the last MIDNIGHT volume and guess what!?!?!? Jack Cole is back and although I do like Paul Gustavson's work and all it's sure nice seeing Cole once again penciling his creation and writing the stories in his inimitable crazed style! If you like the way PLASTIC MAN turned out during the postwar years with those slinky and sexy gals as well as creepy villains who look like THREE STOOGES rejects you'll really like this 'un! This one is so true to the PLASTIC MAN credo of nutty if viscous storylines that even (none other than) Woozy Winks makes a cameo in one saga! 

Not only that but the reproduction is a whole lot better'n the previous volume which is sure a sight for my sore orbs! Unfortunately there is one major flub, mainly that one of the stories has its last two pages reversed which did add up to some late night mental confusion on my part, but other'n that this one is a pretty hot document of MIDNIGHT's final days, which were pretty doozy-filled in that inimitable PLASTIC MAN style!

Sure it's sad to see this series come to an end, but as with the EC library and various other comic reprint endeavors I'm sure glad that I got to read the entire run of this, something which would have only been a wild dream (the kind you don't have to change your underwear after) that I never thought I would have had the opportunity to experience during my early-teenbo comic book gobbling days. As the old moom pitcher line goes, maybe I can now rest a little easier knowing that I've been able to experience these comics en toto even if those missing pages from volume 3 did screw up the fulfillment a bit. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW BY BILL SHUTE! KILL A DRAGON starring Jack Palance, Fernando Lamas and Aldo Ray (1967)!!!

Producer Aubrey Schenck had a very good run of B-movies from the mid-1940’s through the early 1970’s. He knew what qualities were exploitable, what phrases would push the buttons of potential ticket-buyers, which actors possessed name value and worked inexpensively yet had that certain something which could make relatively flat dialogue come alive, what fads in popular culture were still semi-hot, and most importantly how to make a film inexpensively. He was around in the 1940’s when one could make films based on the fame of radio stars (such as IT’S A JOKE SON and THE FAT MAN) and still working in the 1970’s when Filipino T&A horror films ruled the drive-ins. He knew that there was an audience out there (people like me) who would automatically go see a film with a title like HOT CARS, or WAR PAINT or UNDERCOVER GIRL or UNTAMED YOUTH or BIG HOUSE U.S.A. or VOODOO ISLAND or ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS, or BOP GIRL GOES CALYPSO or FRANKENSTEIN 1970, or SHIELD FOR MURDER, or THREE BAD SISTERS with no questions asked. He was old enough to have worked with people like Wallace Ford and Mack Sennett yet around long enough to give Tom Selleck his first starring role! He probably would have been a great guy to have a beer with!

In the mid-1960’s there were many second-string spy and international crime films following, at fifty paces, in the footsteps of James Bond. Matt Helm films with Dean Martin and European-made spy films with American actors were playing regularly and successfully at the drive-ins and small-town theaters which were the bread and butter of the independent producer such as Schenck, and KILL A DRAGON seems to be his attempt to cash in on that market. One wonders whether Schenck either knew about or had met legendary offshore producer Harry Alan Towers, as KILL A DRAGON could easily be a Towers production and follows his formula (seen in films such as CODE 7, VICTIM 5 with Lex Barker): a few name stars who are either workaholics or down on their luck, a colorful third-world setting where the film could be made cheaply with a lot of location shooting and thus fewer sets to be constructed, and an exploitable title which vaguely fits into some popular film genre of the day. We have all that and more with the 1967 United Artists release KILL A DRAGON.

The basic plot is that a large amount of nitroglycerin was left on a sunken ship, and by the laws of maritime salvage, after a certain period, it’s available to whoever can claim it first. A local businessman from a small island off Hong Kong and his crew have claimed it and salvaged it, but local organized crime lord Fernando Lamas has other ideas and threatens the community unless he gets the cargo. They then turn to adventurer-for-hire Jack Palance (first seen bedding a woman, reminding you of the James Bond/Matt Helm roots) to assist them against Lamas for a cut of the cargo’s value. After accepting the job, Palance then turns to Aldo Ray for assistance, and Ray is kind of the comic relief in the film, playing a local tour guide who is clued in to pretty much everything that’s happening in the area. Of course, no one plays a tough guy better than Jack Palance (the man was originally a boxer and also he was the understudy for Marlon Brando in STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, and then took over the role when Brando moved on to films), but this film also has a witty, sarcastic edge, and Palance handles that well too. The inimitable Fernando Lamas barks orders and threatens the locals convincingly, always with a touch of class of course, and he dresses in outfits that look like he’s going to guest star on the Dean Martin Show when he finishes his crime-boss chores for the day. His and Palance’s characters have a long mutual history, being on various sides of past conflicts, sometimes together, sometimes against each other, so there’s a nice tension and camaraderie between the two of them. Aldo Ray probably made RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP right after this, and while he may be remembered today for guest appearances in z-grade films of the 70’s and 80’s, the man is a fine actor who was a major star at one time, and even in the lowest budget indie slasher film or whatever, he retained his gravitas (it’s a shame that Fred Olen Ray’s adaptation of THE INDESTRUCTIBLE MAN with Aldo Ray in the Lon Chaney, Jr. role was never completed).. He might have been phoning it in, but in the manner of a true professional who CAN phone it in and still be effective. His scenes help to lighten the tone between the more intense sequences, and he even appears in drag in a scene I can’t begin to describe. An action film with light touches seems to build up goodwill in the audience in a way that leads the audience to forgive the film’s faults. That I’m not focusing on the film’s flaws is a testament to Aldo Ray’s entertaining performance.

One of the film’s strong points is the location shooting. Many of the indoor scenes seem to be shot in existing buildings, leading to the occasional room tone in the medium shots. However, this is more than compensated for by the interesting visuals and the large local supporting cast of Hong Kong people.

If you take away the scenes of Palance bedding women (there’s a running joke about him “celebrating his birthday” each time he’s involved with a rendezvous, in one scene telling Lamas that he’s had two birthdays that week!), this plot could have come right out of a western, with Aldo Ray filling the Smiley Burnette role, and with cattle being rustled or water rights being threatened. It matters little. Genre films do not require original plots....give Eugene O’Neill a call if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s all about atmosphere, and a good pace, and interesting location shooting, and actors like Palance, Lamas, and Ray chewing the scenery in such a way that the person in the back row of the drive-in and with a cracked speaker attached to their car window will not just know exactly what’s going on but also pick up on the tone of the character’s sarcasm and machismo. While Palance and Lamas play the material relatively straight, they do hoke it up enough to remind you that this is a movie with generic good guys and bad guys, not some serious exploration of someone’s psyche. Producer Schenck had worked previously with talents such as Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and Mamie Van Doren, all of whom were expert at fleshing out a hackneyed script with their larger-than-life presence, and KILL A DRAGON’s three stars do that quite well. If the viewer left the theater feeling satisfied, it’s largely due to their presence (and the location photography).

The one flaw of the film that can’t be explained away that easily is the sloppiness of the fight scenes, always a sign of a quick production which lacks the time to choreograph fight movements, but that’s never been a problem for me. Remember, these films were made before VHS and DVD’s and cable boxes that record films. By the time you notice how sloppy the fight scene is done, it’s over and you’ve moved on and forget it. It’s not like today where you can stop the DVD and watch the scene again to verify how sloppy it was. Pre-1980’s film-makers understood that and took advantage of it. Despite the Asian setting, there is not really any martial arts action in the film, just fist-fights and chases and brawls and explosions,

Maybe because of the foreign setting, this film reminds me somewhat of the Euro-spy genre. Occasionally I feel like I’m watching one of the German ‘Kommissar X’ films, which were set in various exotic locales, and of course, as mentioned above, it also has the flavor of a Harry Alan Towers production. In fact, it would make a great double-bill with Towers’ Asian-set FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS, which came out the same year.

Speaking of double bills, United Artists released this on the same bill as the amazing NAVAJO JOE starring Burt Reynolds, a totally over-the-top Euro-western which is one my all time fave spaghetti westerns. Just imagine for a moment that you are some poor overworked guy (and I’m guessing this double bill would have had a largely male audience) at the end of a grueling week, looking forward to veg-ing out on Friday night at a rural drive-in or some small-town theater whose heyday had been 25 years previous and still had posters on the wall from old Roy Rogers and Johnny Mack Brown films. Imagine how satisfying these films would have been in that context. Charismatic leading men like Burt Reynolds and Jack Palance, colorful villains, interesting foreign location filming, wild musical scores (KILL A DRAGON has an odd mod-lounge theme song that works the word “psychedelic” into it, which somehow fits the odd, screwloose, everything-but-the-kitchen sink approach of the film), good pacing.....why, these films had everything the B-movie action film fan would want!

KILL A DRAGON was not meant to be analyzed; it was meant to be disposable action entertainment which left a pleasing taste in the mouth and which made a profit for its makers so they could deliver something else six months later which would also make a profit, and the genre-film perpetual motion machine would keep cranking them out. Something which would pay Jack Palance’s mortgage until he could get his next meaty role in an “A” picture. There’s not one pretentious or artsy millisecond in this film. Like a good pulp action story or a paperback original crime novel or a 1961 garage-band rock-and-roll instrumental 45, it exists in its own world and satisfies the same need as an ice cold beer after mowing the lawn in 100-degree weather. Enjoy it, savor it while you’re consuming it, and move on. Jack Palance, Fernando Lamas, and Aldo Ray were professionals who could read the phone book and be entertaining. That’s what they did for a living, and they did it well. That’s why they are stars and most of us are not. A dollar admission for KILL A DRAGON in 1967 was a dollar well spent. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016


I was looking through some boxes in my room and like well, I came across some long-stashed away tapes that I had pretty much neglected o'er these past years and thought hey, why not if only for a much needed change from the same old same old do nothing but reviews of old cassettes I ain't tetched in years! People have been complaining about the lack of originality in this blog anyway, and given my current mental straits this might just be the most original I can get until I can cook up yet another "Yum Yum Eat 'Em Up" so like, quit yer gripin' at least once in yer life. Anyway, listening to these tapes was sorta like re-connecting with old friends, and since I don't have any flesh and blood friends to get back in touch with these tapes will do me just fine!


Ninety minutes of practices plus the lunchtime gig at Fat Glen's on the campus of Cleveland State University during the summer of 1974.

Rehearsals got that beautifully distorted clatter probably due to some cheap cassette player/tape and deafening volume which actually gives these numbers a decidedly biting effect that is lacking from most recordings made by many of the so-called Velvets aficionados of the form. The Fat Glens show sounds like it was recorded in a concrete bunker which it was, and it has the infamous version of Captain Lockheed's "Ejection" as well as the Troggs' "Too Much of a Good Thing".  After that comes more rehearsal material sounding better 'n the original batch, complete with what sounds like a drummerless if five minute version of "Sweet Rocknroll" (with Marotta on electric piano---it barely sounds as if he's playing a violin on "Venus in Furs" but he might), "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and even more Velvets stuff, plus a tender original called "Why Must You Be All Alone" and the instrumental "Van Der Walls" which, with vocals, became the Electric Eels' "Flapping Jets".

Now if I were the crafty type I'd bootleg this 'un in a minute, but thankfully I am not. Still someone out there (like the guy I got this 'un from) should take the hint.

These tracks have probably been bootlegged on a variety of vinyl and disque formats before or even since this cassette was circulating back in the eighties. Whatever, MYSTERY DISC (or in this case, "cassette") is still a good slab of early Zappa material done up before and during the Mothers of Invention days, complete with some rather nifty surprises like those classic tracks from the Zappa/Beefheart radio broadcast without their at-times pithy voiceovers. The early version of "Plastic People" live at that show they did with Lenny Bruce from the Fillmore 1965 (not too sure about that date) features the original quintet with Elliot Ingber before he got kicked outta the band because his guitar prowess was showing Zappa up. And true all of the humor and satire comes off so staid and phony intellectual these jaded times, but just think about how funny this was when you were young and upsprouting and those early memories with just come RUSHING back!

Unlike the above two, an actual legit cassette and not a slap together done up for undoubtedly nefarious reasons. Overtracked guitars play a symphony of convoluted terror that really defied a whole lotta description amongst the young up 'n comers of the late-seventies (during y'know, the age of the "anti" guitar solo), but if you like the "angular" lines of say, Zappa not to mention WHITE LIGHT-period Reed you might just let this one sink into your being a little longer than you usually would. Yet another one from one of the better ax-grinders of the late-strata rock era before it all went down.
Room 101-O.P.D. SEPTEMBER 1984 (101 Records)

Mark Hanley's pre-/co-existent Sister Ray band really headed off into total energy levels making me wonder...why did the lumpen music listening popular ignore this fiery storm? (Of course you and I know why---STOOPIDITY!!!!!) Hanley's leads might not quite approach a say, John McLaughlinesque level but they sure fit the steady bass/drums drive swell, and overall you could call this music heavy metal in the old CREEM fashion given the snide slides into various Ron Ashetonesque maneuvers. But whatever, these tracks burst forth in their low-fidelity glory and if you were wondering what else was going on in Youngstown during the eighties other than dismal bar bands and shameless AOR worship well, you can't do any better than this!
Hawkwind-1999 PARTY 3-21-74

Dunno anything about the Cee-Dee this was taken from but man, it's another pretty hotcha Hawkwind show that really gets you up and moving especially with an extended version of "Brainstorm" that I swear has some additional stanzas added. Sound quality is almost legit release worthy, and the performance is high energy over-the-top which makes you wonder exactly just how did these guys garner such a large following in the US of Whoa considering just how down-homey laid back everybody seemed to be getting during those post-Vietnam times. To fill the cassette out a couple of Motorhead tracks were added including a rip-roaring version of "Train Kept a' Rollin'" which once again makes me wonder exactly why THOSE guys were so popular in an era which for the most part eschewed high energy jamz for low-voltage pap passing as metallic thunder!

Mighta mentioned this one in these "pages" before, but then again I mighta NOT! Archie Patterson of EUROCK fame once had some sorta college type of class (no credits as far as I can tell) where he lectured those smart enough to take his course about the birth and growth of European underground/"progressive" rock. These classes were taped and briefly made available though Patterson's Eurock distribution services and me, being ever so curious about this kinda music, decided to snatch up the first and first only volume up because hey, why not! Of course nothing that is mentioned here's heretofore unknown knowledge that'll flip your mind but it's nice being re-educated so-to-speak, plus the musical excerpts from Amon Duul II, Can and Embryo sound perfectly fine especially in this context. If only your college class cassette recordings sounded this exciting!
THIRD WORLD WAR/THIRD WORLD WAR 2 (tapes of recordings originally released on Fly Records)

Often touted as being every bit the hard-gunch rockers that the MC5 and Pink Fairies were, I never felt Third World War to have been any great shakes especially in the company of those high energy monsters. Re-listening to their albums have reinforced my belief in this. Doug Sheppard's review of a reissue of the debut platter in the pages of the latest UGLY THINGS pretty much said it all about this act that had a hard rock approach and hip radical attitude but just didn't go as far as anyone with a sense of rockism would have wished. More lost potential but you might be able to find a few moments of innovation here if you strain your ears hard enough.

Human Arts Ensemble-LIVE Vols. 1 & 2 (originally on Circle Records, Holland)

Jazz fest trio settings with Charlie "Bobo" Shaw the only constant. On the first one Luther Thomas blows Ayleresque while John Linberg manages  to play even freer'n Shaw, while on the second Joseph Bowie's trombone manages to cop some strangely trumpet-esque moves while guitarist James Emery manages to not only reach Sharrockesque levels but sound strangely like a moog in spots! Each set also contains a version of  the lilting "Concere Natashiah" which I would assume is the ensemble's theme song. From what I can tell all of these Circle releases (recorded at the same series of gigs from what I can tell) are worth latching onto, and maybe someday they will be made available again to a public just begging for such entertaining music. But then again maybe someday I'll win a bazillion dollars so who am I kidding?

This Robert Forward offering begins with the contents of a one-sided LP featuring some guy called Timmy Vulgar who plays synths and other funzie noisemakers. He sings like a grizzled midaged malcontent (which should appeal to me for some unknown reason) doing a one-man band Hawkwind sorta thing, or is that one-man band Metal Urbain? Whaddeva the results are strange enough to get my curiosity up if just a tad, but not enough to get me googlin' this guy because hey, I am a lazy fanabla. Filling out the tape's some James Brown bound to get me hopped up even if my animated corpse might want to be otherwise snoozed out.
Jr. Grenadier-WHAT IS A KISS

A few reviews above I tackled one of MX-80 Sound member Bruce Anderson's solo tapes. Here's one from MX-80 frontman Rich Stim a.k.a. Jr. Grenadier doing a decidedly eighties new wave thing that for once doesn't conjure up retch-filled memories of that rather hairy decade. Assisted by Anderson, MX-80 drummer Dave Mahoney and Stim's own wife Angel Ross, Jr. shows that his musical might can be directed towards melodic pop rock as much as it was the heavy rock of MX-80, and dang it if most of these numbers are the kinda toe-tappers I sure wish eighties radio was filled with 'stead of the Madonna gunk that it was. While we're on the subject, does anyone out there have tapes of Poetraphonics (another Stim/Ross/Mahoney side project) they're willing to burn for me? Never could latch onto any of those despite at least one request directly to the source.
Milk/Andy Gerome Band

Short 'n sweet collection of  under-the-counter Cleveland pop, losers in a scene where the Raspberries and Circus were the winners. Well, "losers" ain't exactly the word since these tracks are pure winners as far as fans of the form should be concerned. The Milk tracks are unique as they represent the group's only studio recordings AND the fact that group leader Brian Kinchey/Sands does not sing lead...on the "Getting To Know You"/"Whistle a Happy Tune" medley he actually mimed to the song in the studio as he did live and hey, listening to this again after all these years I sure wish I included this 'un on the Cee-Dee that appeared with BLACK TO COMM #22 because it sure sounds like a great glam pop killer deserving of more exposure. (And you can hear it if you get the Denny Carleton collection available as a download from CD Baby!) "Alice" does appear on the BTC Cee-Dee as well as the Carleton collection, and any way you can get it is fine with me because it's another wild Clepop stomper with Move moves that you kinda get the feeling Anastasia Pantsios woulda trampled over to get to the latest Journey. Too bad it didn't get out then, but what else is new?

After Milk, guitarist Al Globekar was in Circus during their final days of gasp (which produced a single I'm gonna have to dig outta the collection again) then in Bon Voyage with ex-Milk drummer Dave Alexy and Circus guitarist Mick Sabol before all three were in the Andy Gerome Band. Yet another Cleveland power pop act who didn't get anywhere near the notoriety they should have, at least a single (as well as WMMS-FM broadcast and the outtakes that pop up here) survive and all are worth looking into. With a decidedly commercial tinge, the music isn't sickeningly overtly macho like most of the big local band of the day were, and one could only wish that "Radio" (pretty much in the same thematic vein as Elvis Costello's "Radio Radio" yet attuned to the early-seventies Clepop set of ears) and "Tell Me You Love Me" have that slow drive pop sound that sounds like the logical extension of early Beatles through a baroque Raspberries. Unfortunately it was 1980 and like, only Cheap Trick could get away with it so bye bye Andy Gerome Band. Hopefully more will surface but I wouldn't hold my bladder until it does lest there be a mess.
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Rocket From the Tombs/Paragon/Left End-AGORA 5/7/73

That ain't the correct date...the guy who dubbed this for me shoulda put 1975 on the cassette shell 'stead of the erroneous year stated above. But whatever...I guess this is a selection of the actual broadcast from that fateful evening containing not only those Rocket tracks we've heard for years (sound quality being quite so-so heavy on the bass guitar!) but the rest of the bill including the long-lived Paragon who do clunky Hendrix guitar lines but manage to create a few interesting moves when you're not noticing. However the guy who sings lead does the worst Hendrix impression I've ever had the displeasure of hearing...he sounds more like Rollo from SANFORD AND SON than the choked up one thus reducing the effect to mere posture. Let's just say that with Hendrix imitators such as these Randy Hanson has nothing to worry about. As for Left End, they sound good enough in this particular company even with the overt boogie though no great shakes since none of the carnage and violence they were noted for translates to pure sound. Still better'n nothing, but you shoulda been there when they let out the rats! I guess it was a "Night of Heavy Music" as the ads said, though frankly what was that horrid bitta pop prog that the guy who taped this stuck at the end?!?!?!?

No cover for this 'un because there just ain't any, but the music which is included is sure fine by me! The original Friction with Peter Laughner on guitar, vocals and harmonica, Anton Fier on drums and Tony Maimone on bass guitar (and some gal doing special guest vocals on "Summertime") live at a restaurant called Earth By April during October of cyster ate there once and said it was a nice li'l ethnic Greek-y kinda spot, and it would be strange for such a place as this to host a band such as Friction but I think it was a party so I can see why at least this time.

Unfortunately too many covers appear in these sets which I guess proved all of those stories about Laughner's queasiness regarding the performance of his originals. That's too bad because hey, he had plenty which would have fit in with Friction's overall underground-y vision. The choice of covers is good though with loads of Velvet Underground as you would guess, Television's "Prove It" and a myriad assortment of sixties faves that are given that seventies deca-rock feeling that still lingers on in choice recordings and forgotten fanzines.

One perhaps unintentionally funny part on the recording is the part where Laughner dedicates "What Goes On" to Jamie Klimek or "George Money" in this case because you know just how much Jamie and a whole buncha the Mirrors/Styrenes contingent hated the Prospect Ave. Plaza crowd. And with the brouhaha about Craig Bell joining Rocket From the Tombs and Laughner writing Klimek that note about how it was unfair to act like Bell was going over to the enemy and all well, it does show you that Laughner had a side to him that was perhaps more conciliatory that I ever would be!

Closing out side one is a version of "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" that really surprises me since it sounds somewhere between the Rocket and Ubu versions, and not only that but it is arrange quite differently. No synth that I can discern yet the arrangement is sparse compared with the take we all know. Maybe it's an embryonic workout version? Who knows...

Last up for today're these airchecks from '58 and '59 respectively featuring Pete Myers, the "Mad Daddy" who was so freaked out that his horror show on WJW was cancelled mid-program due to outraged delinquents and pornographers phoning in to complain about Myers' unsettling nature. On these late-fifties programs Myers proves just why he was such a talent with his verbal jive flippin' and boppin' all over the place complete with reverb effects guaranteed to flip out even the most jaded listener. The selection of sounds to be heard are handy as well giving us an idea of just what the top tunes of the day were like, and given just how much Andre Williams has been praised to the hilt ever since his comeback in the nineties it's quite a surprise to hear his "Greasy Chicken" getting airplay considering just how obscure I thought the guy woulda been even back in them days. And Myers is such a talent doing his hip horror routine that he could even make the 1968 Top Forty sounds come off grand...I'd even listen to Donovan just to get to a sample of Myers' boppin' routine, and hardly anything else would be able to make me do that!

Thursday, August 18, 2016


's funny, but although I can remember BURKE'S LAW being blasted on our tee-vee during them good ol' turdler years in no way do I recall  this 1965 version of the series which was obviously a failed if noble attempt to rescue it from a swift cancellation! I guess most people out there don't remember this 17-episode swan song in which Gene Barry's millionaire cop vamped into a secret agent because I sure ain't heard any of the old tee-vee fans I grew up with gabbin' about this 'un the way they did TWILIGHT ZONE and other firmly etched into the suburban slob mindset shows that continue to resonate even this far down the long creaky line.

And judging from these two episodes courtesy of who else but Bill Shute. we now know what we were all missing because way too many tee-vee viewers were undoubtedly tuning into CBS instead of ABC and watching...THE DANNY KAYE SHOW??!?!?!?!?!?!? As you'd expect it's all pretty much down pat secret agent fare closer to MATT HELM than THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E., complete with the Mister Big character running the show as well as the whacked out badskis and of course some hotcha femme to kiss and maybe even turn in per episode. Not that many transistorized gadgets to be seen other'n some Dick Tracy-type watch but let's be thankful this one wasn't too spy gimmick obvious.

First episode has Burke heading off to a Polynesian island in order to find and drag back an AWOL scientist but coming up against this Midget of Indian heritage called Dr. Sin who seems to have a strong psychological grasp on the guests at his resort-styled HQ. The second one is even battier what with this world peace advocate's plans to end war by spreading LSD via gas exhaust fumes pumped into the air turning everybody into carefree clutzes who don't even mind when they see someone murdered! Probably one of the better critiques of the early anti-war moo-ment seen in quite awhile, even if they hadda cop out and give a slight thumbs up to the protest generation inna last scene.

And yeah, this is GOOD STUFF that could be as ridiculous as U.N.C.L.E. but again in a fun camp way, with loads of hotcha gals to ogle, evil badboys to hiss and of course Gene Barry as a guy who isn't fazed by anything even when staring down the barrel of a gun! Loads of cheap scares, hideous torture and enough fights that would have made the Concerned Mothers of Ameriga faint because their adolescent boys were watching this instead of LITTLE WOMEN and with all those horrible murders out wonder they went after Bugs Bunny with a vengeance!

'n well, you'd probably wanna spend your times watching DANNY KAYE, right? Sheesh, wotta buncha pantywaists I have for readers!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Nice week I had there (dunno about you), and no I won't bore you with a buncha off-the-top-of-my-shiny-head ramblings about everything from the current kulturkampf to politics or foodsies and whatnot. No, I'll just bore you with these reviews! Haw, fooled you there for a minute, didn't I?

As usual, thanks to Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and nobody else.

Birge Gorge-AVANT TOUTE LP (Souffle Continu France, available via Forced Exposure)

These mid-seventies electronic albums really do hit a certain atonal chord with me, perhaps because it was around the time them albums such as this one were recorded I was doing that term paper on the exact same subject (though not necessarily limited to the mid-seventies) with that famed misspelling I have still not forgive my cyster for typing. And I gotta say that these French electronic albums do have a certain swerve to 'em I like even if the specter of progressive snootism does tend to permeate, if only a tad bit but permeate nonetheless. Birge Gorge are different---well, kinda/sorta---but that difference is what counts. Total abandon music here with seventies analog synth crashing up again avant garde free guitar making for some pretty exciting works that sound like European rock/jazz/classical modes taken to their perhaps illogical extreme. Cathartic sounds here that you kinda wish Eno woulda gotten Island to sign up at the time considering just what a spokesman he was for continental clatter such as this.

Souffle Continu is one label you should get out and support for your French under-the-underground jollies with not only platters by Heldon to their name but Mahongany Brain's and Red Noise's Futura-era offerings as well. And if anyone from the label just happens to read this...howzbout some Dagon while yer at it!
Baba Yaga-COLLAGE CD-r burn (originally on Alemania, Germany)

Ingo Werner of My Solid Ground fame is part (actually one-half) of this obscure krautrock group, but don't expect COLLAGE to sound like a strange mating of Pink Floyd and 1971 Stooges. This project from Baba Yaga is a strange one to digest in your brain, at first sounding like an electronic storm before turning into Indian sitar twangs then piano workouts on similar themes before settling into Soft Machine territory. At first I thought it was George Harrison wondering whether to record WONDERWALL MUSIC or ELECTRONIC SOUND then doing both simultaneously, but subsequently I found this to be a strange throwback to that Eastern Consciousness hype which was still going strong at the time (1974) done up with a load of interesting twists and turns added in. Not bad even if at times it comes off like the kinda music some nefarious cultmeister would haved pushed on his brain-dead disciples in order to induce karmik konsciousness.
THE GODZ CD-r burn (originally on Millennium Records)

Sounding better than I remember from way back in the not-so good ol' days, the Godz play a form of tough guy pose rock on this debut platter that at times surpasses the cock rock style from whence the entire genre they sprang built its rep on. In part this does pull through on the metal meter, though the haughty lead vocal routine was done better by David Johansen during his old Dolls days while the band itself's mid-level hard rock charge pales next to say, Von Lmo. Thankfully the final results ain't as gag-inducing as a good portion of that horrid late-seventies metal which was fighting it out with the Godz for precious AOR time. IMPORTANT NOTE!-it is my duty as a rock scriber to tell you that these Godz are not the same Godz who recorded a number of freaky psychedelic excursions for ESP-disk in the late-sixties, a fact which I get the idea from after reading just about every review of this album I've read must be mentioned lest confusion reign re. the less knowledgeable amongst us.
Lionel Barrymore-RIP VAN WINKLE CD-r burn (originally on MGM)

I know that Barrymore should be on my perennial hate list for acting in that moom pitcher slopper IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, but then again so was Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and I sure haven't stopped watching his stuff even if he was an out of control hothead! Ahhh, this kiddie record narrated by the great  actor really does dredge up them afternoon nap time memories what with the orchestral backing and the neat story about the nice if lackadaisical Van Winkle meeting up with a buncha gnomes inna mountains and taking a twenty year nap for his troubles. Listening to records like this sure would do the kids of today a whole lot of good (as long as they're fortified with loads of LITTLE RASCALS and THREE STOOGES shorts) and who knows, if this nefarious plan works the suburban slob generation from whence I sprang might just rise again!
Tennessee Ernie Ford-ROCK CITY BOOGIE CD-r burn (originally on Proper Records)

Bless my little ol' peen-pickin' heart, but these Tennessee Ernie Ford recordings from his early days of fame (before he got on I LOVE LUCY and had a variety of tee-vee shows all culminating in HEE HAW appearances) do get the ol' juices flowin' like I knew they would. The country world would eventually turn its collective back on Ernie's swing country stompers but at one time these sides represented just what country music meant, at least to those rural royals who were buyin' this stuff up no matter how much they were being scorned by the upper crust snooties out there.

Did I ever tell you that we used to tune into Ford's ABC daily show when I was a mere turdler with me specifically remembering the time when Charley Weaver was a guest and the two duetted on the old classic "Shine On Harvest Moon"? Well, this was the first time I heard the song and I was really puzzled by the part which went "January, February, June or July"!  I wondered where the missing "March, April and May" were and from then on when anyone would sing this song in my presence I demanded they include the missing months! Anal retentiveness must start at an early age, y'know.
HOOTCH CD-r burn

The mid-seventies were a rather late for psychedelia to be flourishing unless you were Hawkwind or the Pink Fairies and could deliver on transmuting the original thrust into contemporary realms, and these Wisconsians do manage to succeed on only a few tracks like the spidery "Arabian Style". But they really flop on the funk ("African Boogie") and sometimes the psych noodling meanders more than inspires or whatever it is that psychedelic music is supposed to do. And that's with or without the additional stimulants I'll bet a few of you reg'lar readers habitually indulge in. Low budget studio sound helps out tremendously, but otherwise the only trip I got outta this one was when I stumbled on the throw rug tryin' to get to the box to change disques, impatient me!
Jonathan Richman-ISHKODE! ISHKODE! CD-r burn (originally on Blue Arrow)

Hokay, so I don't pay as close attention to Jonathan Richman as anyone should (or so I'm told), but this 'un (his latest) does dredge up many a buried seventies memory of why I went for Velvet Underground and Patti Smith albums at a time when my interests most certainly lied elsewhere. Speaking of Velvets, ISHKODE! X2 is perhaps the closest he's come to them since his paen to his precursors on the I JONATHAN platter of yore, while the music lends to an early VU intensity filtered through third LP acoustics (and on recent listen I find that oft-neglected spinner every bit the gruff intense offering its predecessor was) that reminds me more of early wonderment than latterday disappointment. At times the early-sixties vibe has me wishing I heard this during my younger days, and if "Mother I Give You My Soul" isn't one of the loneliest album closers since "Elegy to Lenny Bruce" then I don't know what is! Even the accordion on "Longtemps" had me thinking a whole lot more'n 'ALLO 'ALLO. Fits in more with my idea of rock 'n roll as vision-driven energy than all of the final years of AM/FM rock as a universal pimplefarm stoner mentality music put together!
Various Artists-HIGH-HEEL SHARKSKIN SWITCHBLADE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Standard yeah, good definitely collection that starts off with some of that great clunky '59/'60 instrumental rock that I really like (I sure wanna know more about the Monzels of "Sharkskin" fame) before Bill gets his opportunity to slip in some of that country obscurity stuff that he most certainly loves. The Maros are kinda pedestrian if passable romping through "Johnny B. Goode" and "High Heeled Sneakers", and if you like those late-sixties Grateful Dead versions of these songs you'll probably like them too. Dunno what to make of Loos Foos and the Fiberglass Cornflake but they ain't as cornballus as their name what with "Bless Me Father" (a rock 'n roll confession!) and "I Think I Got You" (both organ-dominated garage band unto psych pop), while Vigor Fisher sounds like yet another one of those early-sixties Johnny Rivers wannabes who fell flat on their faces like you thought they woulda (no fault of their own of course!). A good slice of something, and if you can identify exactly what it is a good slice OF you get your choice of whatever available back issue of my crudzine you want! Just kidding!!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! ARIZONA MAHONEY (1936) starring Buster Crabbe, Robert Cummings and Joe Cook!!!

Given the comparative lack of Joe Cook material available on the silver screen it's sure great being able to see whatever you can get of him! And for a guy who only did two feature length films (as well as a smattering of shorts for Educational Pictures) it's like you gotta see what you CAN of Joe Cook, because that's all you're gonna get so be thankful for that!

As in RAIN OR SHINE,  Cook plays the owner of a floundering circus...however, the setting's now in the ol' Wild West with Cook riding an elephant into town pulling a cart containing only one circus member played by a rather young Robert Cummings. Meanwhile a nice looking in those old thirties films sorta way lass has arrived on the stagecoach to take over an inherited cattle ranch only the moocows have all been rustled away, and it's up to none other'n Buster Crabbe playing one of those sorta bad guys who are good to see that they're gotten back 'n gotten back GOOD!!!

In all of the honesty that I can manage to muster up I gotta say that maybe this 'un ain't the best vehicle for Cook's (timeworn descriptor warning) "surreal" humor, what with the whole seriocomedy nature of the film and the not-that-hot scenes which are supposed to display Cook's out-there talents but just don't gag ya like they should (maybe it's the dark tee-vee print?). Buster Crabbe is fine as the stagecoach robber turned good guy, while Cummings is just too ikky playing the aw gosh-it ex-clown who falls flat for the new gal and ends up getting a job in the local general store that just happens to be run by the local rustler.

Still way better'n a good hunk of the slag that pops up as "entertainment" these sucky days, but for those who want to see Cook at his unadulterated comedic best try the Educational shorts he did just before this 'un, which I'm sure some enterprising "grey area" dealer onna web is willing to part with for but a mere sum which you BETTER cough up (hack!) if you know what's good for your sense of depraved yuck ups.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Yeah I know I gotta start this blogpost off by sayin' somethin' other'n "Sheesh, what a boring week it was!", so I will. But man was it yet another dudster in a long line of 'em (so I didn't). Barring any personal fambly things that you could care less about the last seven were rather Quindlanesque in their sameness, and telling you about whatever did transpire would be akin to you telling me all about your latest GILLIGAN'S ISLAND sex fantasy that I thought we all got over once we hit the age of twelve!

So howz'bout some polly-tix hmmmmmmmm? Gotta say that the thought of a Hillary presidency is enough to make me want to move...NOT to Canuckistan like alla those chic Amerigan entertainers claim they wanna do if Donald Trump gets in, but to the former Soviet Union which at least has a leader who is really concerned about the locals more than he is about everybody else. Too bad I can't write in Putin this November, though doing so would certainly be a better "protest vote" that pulling the Gus Hall lever was for many a year (or so the Communists kept telling us). Naturally Hillary's uber-corrupt nature never did matter to her fans as if she really was sneakier'n the usual pol, but sheesh, the mere thought of her as leader of the kinda/sorta free world should be enough to send menopausal pharmaceutical stocks clear through the roof. And hey, it's not that I loathe the female sex (well, not that much), but it ain't like Hillary's got the same focused foresight nor the sense of duty that a real femme role model like Marine Le Pen most certainly does. Heck, at this point I'd even settle for Bernie Sanders in drag!

I gotta say that I like Trump if ONLY because he wrecked the Republican neocon establishment and got a whole buncha commentators on the right all apoplectic over his definitely meteoric rise, but do I think he's gonna build that wall? Do we really need to build it because hey, there are pole vaulters out there. Of course at this point in time just about anything would be better'n Hillary and her status quo crony capitalist/socialism, but then again that choice these days might even include Elmer Fudd that's how badski things have become! Still a whole lotta people that I kinda agree with think that Trump's the best thing to happen to politics in years and like, why should I think for myself?

The Greens? Didn't even know they still existed. The Libertarians??? What a buncha jokes. I'm getting tired of these guys who were once called Republicans who liked to smoke dope but are now Democrats who don't like paying taxes. Gary Johnson and William Weld (who I understand was part of the Boston Velvet Underground cadre which included Jonathan Richman, Wayne McGuire and Donna Summer!) are the biggest insults to a movement that once boasted the likes of Murray Rothbard, Justin Raimondo and Ron Paul, and they can all go swim in the septic tank of libertine ideas posing as deep political thought with the rest of those neo-hippies (no insult to hippies intended) who may be a-greyin' like you and me but still hold their Dead Kennedys albums close to their ever ragin' hearts.

So where does all of this leave me you might ask. Well, at this point (and I do see it as a point of no return), it's ALT RIGHT and nothin' but! Chew on that one for awhile, Sunshine!
It happened a few weeks back or so, but sayonara to JACK DAVIS, the last of the original MAD magazine staff to leave the premises and perhaps the most successful of the bunch what with all of those moom pitcher posters and TEE VEE GUIDE covers he did from the seventies on. Considering just how omnipresent the guy's art was during my growing up years this really is a grave loss and speaking of graves,
who can ignore all of those boffo and at times gut-churning EC horror comics he made his name with! Think I'll grab one of my A MAD LOOK AT OLD MOVIES paperbacks and honor him in a way that would be most fitting to a suburban slob ranch house kiddie such as myself. Alfred would understand.
Well, as you expected, here are this week's music raves. Hope you dig 'em even if the pickins are slim, but frankly there just ain't that much comin' out that really tingles me these days so I gotta get what I get 'n all that gettin'! If you wanna see a better batch of items up for review in these pages, why not send something of yours you'd like to get publicized or better yet pester your fave underground label to dig up some hefty archival platters that we can all enjoy because hey, rock as we knew it is deader'n Elvis and like, I sure could use more of the REAL stuff these pithy-like days! So without further whatever...

Equipe 84-ID CD (RPM England)

These wopadagos had it all from a cool name to a big rep in Italy as well as being name-checked in the Le Stelle Di Mario Schifano insert booklet, and that doesn't even count the story where Gerard Malanga was hanging out with them and wrote Lou Reed to ask if they could record "Heroin"! Turns out that all these guys really were wuz just a local market bunch who basically took the big overseas hits and guineafied 'em for the pastafazool crowd, usually losing a whole bunch of fun and energy in the translation! If these guys were "thee" drug band of the day you kinda get the idea that the only thing they were mainlining was tomato sauce! Limp neo-prog pop here with a whole lotta that classico schmaltz that permeated the pop scene in all of Europe, with little if any of the fun and jamz that I would have expected from a group such as this!

I wrote up a batch of these a few weeks back and discovered this 'un on top of the pile f'r once! Yes, it's more of those quickie radio filler "can you match wits with..." shows that, according to Bill Shute's liner notes, actually ran in some markets well into the early eighties! Some of these are easier than your sister (like the one where somebody is selling a piano that arrived in Jamestown Colony in 1607 when we all know that the modern day version of the thang wasn't invented until a good century later) while others will twist the brain a bit given there's some strange obscuro reason for whatever happened and you never knew that certain roads lead in certain directions etc. and so forth. But whatever these radio whodunnits do in one minute what alla them tee-vee shows do in an hour, and I know you can put your time to better use listening to one of these 'stead of sitting through a whole buncha those, right?
DOCTOR MARIGOLD'S PRESCRIPTION CD-r burn (originally on Alshire)

There must've been countless quickie English albums comin' out from the mid-to-late-sixties, and it wouldn't be that strange considering just how much big bux bonanzas that British Invasion music had over here that even the more obscure groups would get a release. Doctor Marigold's Prescription were but one of 'em, and although they didn't exactly get a big label gig at least this li'l spinner was picked up by the Alshire (formerly Somerset) label, best known for all of those 101 Strings albums your Aunt Flabby still has stocked in her console. It's not a bad record really, with the opening cover of "Sweet Cherry Wine" setting the tone for some rather pop-oriented sounds that once again seemed geared towards those gals in school who were going from Barbie to boobies within the wink of an eye. Not recommended for you hardcore BLOG TO COMM readers, but if you were a gal growin' up inna late-sixties with Ohio Express albums galore and a poster with a unicorn and rainbow in your room might just wanna re-live those slumber party days of yore even if you can't find your vibrator!

Given that one of the few tee-vee shows I tune into these days is THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM it's sure great listening to these old shows which continue to be funny well into the new millennium while more recent "comedy fare" flops about upon impact. Show number one's a gusset buster dealing with Jack and Mary's trip to a football game complete with appearances by not only Frank Nelson but Frank Fontaine doing a variation on his Crazy Guggenheim character later to be seen on Jackie Gleason's AMERICAN SCENE MAGAZINE. The second one has Jack torturing Don Wilson into signing his new contract as well as muscling in on a FORD THEATER RADIO program starring Claudette Colbert and Vincent Price! Har hars galore are to be found here, and if you can't find anything to chortle over in these programs may I call you Elizabeth Simpson?
The Champs-THE LATER SINGLES CD-r burn (originally on Ace Records, England)

I never thought that the Champs were whatcha'd call a top notch kinda late-fifties instrumental group. Rilly, next to the likes of the Raymen and Rock-A-Teens they were kinda fiz. But then again since I sometimes find fiz to be a pretty good commodity in music (take the String-A-Longs f'rinstance) maybe I can enjoy the Champs even if the specter of Seals and Crofts continues to dwell in my mind all these years later.

Actually it's fairly good if at time slick and overproduced pre-moptop rock that can get on your nerves but by the time yer ready to bean the boom box with a can of refried beans the band plows into a pretty hotcha and driving number that keeps you buoyant enough to digest those late-fifties grooves a whole lot more. Features the kinda/sorta "hit" "Experiment in Terror" which later became the theme to the Chilly Billy horror moom pitcher show on Channel 11 in Pittsburgh.
Paul Bley-TURNS CD-r burn (originally on Savoy Jazz)

If you liked Bley's ESP albums from the same stratum you'll probably go stroonad over this side featuring Sun Ra sideman John Gilmore, Gary Peacock and Paul Motian. Typical of the mid-sixties new thing before it really went into orbit TURNS is par for the atonal course, though I gotta complain about yet another version of "Ida Lupino" showing up here as if there weren't any other songs that Bley coulda stuck on his albums. (Ditto for "Ictus" which somehow doesn't "get" to me that much.)  Maybe he hadda re-re-record the thing for some strange occult reason everybody but I know about, and it really isn't that bad of a toe tapper once you get into Gilmore's sax extrapolations. Maybe he was being paid by the former Mrs. Hayward/Duff to keep her name in the spotlight even though she was directing GILLIGAN'S ISLAND episodes 'n all. Whatever, another good if oft-overlooked (by me) platter that might get a few more spins before being filed away until next time...
The B-G System-FUNNY LOVE AFFAIR CD-r burn (originally on Ex-Libris, Switzerland)

You may think that alla that continental rock that was comin' outta the late-sixties was over-the-top freakarama fa fa fanabla, but a good portion of it was undoubtely middle of the road moosh that was aimed at the Europeon version of those girls you knew in eighth grade who liked to press leaves inside pages of old books. (Equipe 84 is living proof of that!) B-G System ain't exactly one of those kinda acts, but they sure do a good job of trying to be a teenybop act that can still put out some interesting rock moves. The retro thirties moves of "Je Baille" do come off like the Swiss counterpart of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" and "Winchester Cathedral" without the orchestral pomp, but the rock bounce is still evident. Somewhat. And although most all of the numbers are good in their own overproduced pop ways there really isn't anything here that grabs you by the nerve endings and makes you wanna run down the street screaming at the top of your lungs. In the long run these guys shoulda stuck to making cheese and left the rockin' to the krauts.

Various Artists-MEAN STORMY SHOUT CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Gotta admit that a really huge portion of the soul jazz that Bill snuck on this platter is doing rather little for me. Maybe I should pick these spinners out more carefully 'stead of whatever's onna toppa the pile, but right now it's like I could use my jazz a little more AACM-ish, ifyaknowaddamean.

Pretty standard mid-energy (at best) neo-funk (at best) sounds that very rarely stirred up any soul in me, and frankly I thought the whole thing as nothing but incidental music used for commercials on local late-sixties tee-vee, Only King Curtis covering "Honky Tonk" seems to break through the monotony but hey, even "James Brown's Boogaloo" falls short of the target (the target being full throttled total eruption music) and I for one feel like the last hour I spent listening to this music has taken one humongous chunk outta my life that could have been put to better use plucking chickens.