Sunday, September 04, 2016

Considering that tomorrow's Labor Day I was considering just chucking it in for a few days in order to take advantage of this National Day of Goof-Off, but then again shirking my RESPONSIBILITIES is definitely not the way to do things. So work on I will giving you some nice slabs of rock fanscreeding to read while you're doing your own goofing off!

But eh. I gotta say that Labor Day sure ain't what it used to be, those days of picnics and cookouts and gathering in the tee-vee room switching between the Muscular Distrophy telethon and reruns while the old folks gabbed outside. And of course having to look forward to going back to school the next day which I will admit seemed kinda exciting as in there was gonna be something new to do, but then again after a week or so I sure came to the stark realization that I was dead wrong!

And if the lack of cookouts is enough to drive this kid hard and heavy into fits of suburban slob rage then the absence of Jerry Lewis is enough to drive him to sheer madness! Not that I was one of those who really felt the need to sit through one of these shows---in fact, I actually answered the phone bank for about three hours live from the Eastwood Mall in 1982 after having been corralled into it for reasons unknown where I met up with a former classmate of mine who, after I said "hi" to her, curtly turned her back and walked away. If any of you happen to know what Andrea A. is doing these days please tell me that it's wasting away in a hospital ward---but... Oh yeah, after that stark rehash of snubs past where was I??? Yeah, a Labor Day without Jerry Lewis no matter what an annoying being he could be is almost as bad as a New Year's Eve without Guy Lombardo or a Thanksgiving without Lorne Greene and Betty White describing all of the balloons we could very well digest with our own eyeballs but hey, he's a guy I can remember seeing since I can remember seeing things and it's really gag-inducing seeing things change for the worse.

But with summer drawing to a close like this all that rushes through my mind is the sad fact that right now as it stands, I really can't appreciate the changes in season for all the pros and cons that might regurgitate up. Face it, as far as September 2016 is concerned life is just ONE BIG BLUR and there ain't anything particular for me to look forward to, unless it's raking leaves, cleaning gutters, then having to shovel thick and heavy snow while hoping that a heart attack doesn't suddenly change my entire existence for being, though in this case probably for the better.
Nize li'l selection of sounds we got goin' this week, an' ya know who we can thank for a good portion of 'em ehhhhhh?????? Anyway thanks Bill, and keep the goods a'gushin'. Well, at least one of the wares written up this time was purchased with my own filthy lucre, but frankly if it weren't for Bill well...frankly, considering how much a part of my life he's been since 1982 or so, he's definitely been such a great influence and support for my very well being that in no way could I properly thank the ol' bean! In other words, if it weren't for Bill there probably wouldn't even be a Chris Stigliano as we know the monster or a BLOG TO COMM or anything remotely resembling whatever it is this blog and those connected with it are best known for. So, to put what I'm sure your feelings regarding me and this blog are in as few words as possible...BLAME HIM!!!!!

Hawkwind-THE TEXT OF FESTIVAL CD (Eastworld)

Dunno whether I shoulda put this 'un in the year-end review of familiar goodies or in with the current crop of recently-received collection scramblers, but since I'm on a big Hawkwind jag as I write this I figure why not strike hot while the iron is good! Part of the rash of eighties semi-legit Hawkwind releases, these early live sides obviously capture that Sci-Fi outer space vibration that the group was reknown for, and as we all know even with the standard  radio tape cassette sound the power and energy shine through. You've undoubtedly heard these numbers before on legit albums and live tapes, but it never does hurt to listen to 'em all again. By the way, considering the title of this 'un (which as you know is also the title of Mick Farren's futuristic dystopian novel regarding a new primitive form of late-sixties rock worship that Classic Radio never dreamed of), has Farren's Hawkwind book ever been published? Or better yet, did Farren ever finish writing the thing??? As the old tee-vee ad said, inquiring minds would like to know.
Jim Messina and his Jesters-THE DRAGSTERS CD-r burn (originally on Audio Fidelity)

I'm sure just 'bout every review of this '64 surf rocker mentions the fact that the band was led by none other than future laid back soft schlocker Jim Messina, so I won't. However, I will mention that I originally was drawn to this particular platter after reading a review of it in WHO PUT THE BOMP! where Greg Shaw compares one of the tracks to be found herein to Big Brother and the Holding Company during the Trips Festivals. Messina's lead lines do compare in some ways to that of James Gurley's, though the overall effect of the Jesters is pure adrenaline surf as opposed to San Francisco lysergic.  A good example of just how out-there and high energy surf music (a genre that was routinely poo-poo'd for being too white 'n suburban) could be but sheesh, you would think that a guy who had good sense enough to play such powerful guitar would have known better'n to dabble in effete Ameriga Comes Home backwoodsy hippiedippy sounds, y'know?
Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues-CAMBRIA HOTEL CD-r burn (originally on SSB Records, available via CD Baby)

Peter Tork may look like his own grandfather now, but he can still cook just like you woulda thought the most bopster of the Monkees would. Folk rock the way you thought it woulda sounded thankfully w/o the Marin County/turquoise feeling so prevalent in the seventies. Even the chick backup singers don't drag this effort down as Tork drives his way through a slew of bluesy/jazzy/folky numbers that manage NOT to offend my at-times pristine sensibilities. The varied selection of originals and covers just go to prove what an eclectic guy this Tork can be what with a cover of "Annie Had a Baby" and the Holy Modal Rounders faverave "Bound to Lose" all in one package. All done with a smooth sheer to it but still sounding way more engaging than some of the everyday schlubs who have been failing at the post-folkie boom beat game these past fortysome years.
Joey Dee and his Starlighters-BACK AT THE PEPPERMINT LOUNGE (THE ONE IN MIAMI BEACH!) CD-r burn (originally on Roulette)

This album has that same live sound as the Paul Revere and the Raiders one on Sande or the Kingsmen's debut on Wand. Early-sixties flat, like the tape recorder was set up in a roller rink right next to the snack bar and if you listen hard enough you can hear a kid ordering a hot dog. One of the least enthusiastic audiences I've spotted on a legit live platter too, or maybe they were just scared about the possibilities of some guys visiting 'em in the middle of the night for some infraction or another. Performance is fairly good, heavy on the organ with Dee doing everybody's hits but himself's but hey, he's doing them fairly well and maybe you shouldn't complain even though the entire idea is just one big milk off Dee's past twist reputation.
Pope Paul Pot-ADVENTURES IN PLASTIC T.V. CD-r burn (originally on No Fidelity Records)

Y'know, this art damage doesn't sound that bad a good 35 years later. Maybe because it ain't as much of a threat as it was to good ol' wholesome hard blare passing as rock 'n roll now as it was then. Casio sounds bleep up and down the speakers as a vocalist does his durndest to fulfill his art project assignment. No real complaints about it, but is that closing track really the same "Carolina on My Mind" that James Taylor recorded??? No it ain't---that 'un sounded totally different 'n this halfway decent attempt at a gutzier form of singer/songwriterdom. Besides, Taylors' version was kinda schleppy in his own junked out way now, wasn't it? Oh the confusion of it all!

Every so often, and usually for more than just plain ol' nostalgic purposes, I like to pull one of these Winchell broadcasts that Bill burned for me outta the pile and give it a good twirl. This one's from the late-forties featuring the famed radio personality reporting in his ratta-tat style the news, and other things of the day which in many ways captures that gutsy he-man toughness that sorta faded away once the testosterone levels started reaching Alan Alda levels.

It's kinda funny thinking that this guy was such a biggie back during the thirties, forties and fifties, but in NO WAY could such a personality be allowed even near a microphone in these softee days when everybody has to watch what they're sayin' lest they be outta a job. Hard edged and at times uttered so fast it flies right by you, Winchell names names, reports stories that you wouldn't hear elsewhere and makes some rather surprising accusations such as when someone whose name had been brought up by the HUAC dies suddenly and Winchell blames them for the guy's demise...indirectly but the intent was still there. Just try something like that today bub!

The final show sponsored by Jergens (called "Jerkins" by us kids for obvious reasons) was a real heart-renderer what with the announcer reading a heartfelt letter from the president of the company and Winchell responding thusly. Sheesh, it kinda makes me wish I used their product for its intended purpose!
Various Artists-GO GO GO TANZEN CD-r burn (originally on Hor Zu, Germany)

I was going to writing this review up in pidgin German but decided not to because hey, that would have been too obvious as well as something that would be rather difficult to do. So taking the easy way out as usual let me tell you that this sampler of various German acts on the EMI label o'er there playing their wares with the addition of fake audience cheers (giving us the impression that this was recorded at a real-life wing ding of a SS reunion) really ain't that much of a doozy. That is, unless you actually enjoy listening to European middle-of-the-autobahn schmaltz done up in a way that woulda made Bert Kaempfert look like Can! Only real boss track on this 'un was by the Lords who do a version of Eddie Cochran's "Something Else" sounding like a buncha guards taking a break between shifts at Bergen-Belsen. I mean, after a workday there how else are ya gonna unwind???

Various Artists-PACO TELEVISION AMMUNITION BEAK CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Got hold of some sound glitches on this particular platter so it ain't like I could absorb it all like Bill had intended. But from what I could make out this had some interesting sounds to osmose, from Katrina Krimsky's tinkling piano strains to Bob and Jerry's answer record to "Who Put the Bomp", all innocent toe tappers true. The abstract sounds from Monitor (gotta dig out their alb one of these years) to Group 180 playing Steve Reich were engaging as were Paintbox doing some sorta late-seventies punk rock thing and even Duane Eddy during his music-by-numbers days (but it still worked!) in England. Even Red Norvo's Big Band brouhaha seemed totally copasetic with my current mood, and of course I really liked those radio backgrounds where some local announcer would V.O. pertinent info. And really, I dunno what the whole Madman Muntz family of appliances and automobiles has to do with this collection thematically-wise or whatever, but it sure made for nice decoration, eh?

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