Sunday, May 28, 2017

You can just tell that spring has set into mine weary bones by the way I've become (once again) extremely long-winded about the musical subject matter at hand! Yes dear readers, I do know what has revived my youthful revelry in all things musical that once excited me to no end---it was me pouring through some old boxes of gunk not knowing what to save and what to recycle as paper for Brad Kohler's bi-yearly blogpost rundown and in the process of saving and tossing having chanced upon a whole slew of long forgotten and olde-tymey reading which really got my rockscribe roots showin' like hemorrhoids in a nudist colony! The biggest catalyst for my exuberant joy commenced when I came upon (no, not that!) famed somethingorother Robert Nedelkoff's fanzine of interest LOVE AND LAUGHTER, a read which I gotta say is one of the few self-published screeds which still had strong connections to the definitely non-ginch intellectual punkist seventies rock fandom of HYPERION and CAN'T BUY A THRILL done up in a day and age when the music and the audience for that matter had wound down like an antique vibrator. It was rather hard to chance upon good rockscreed in the eighties (and nineties, and beyond) so when I did come upon something that was worthy of my eyes it certainly was time to celebrate!!!

And LOVE AND LAUGHTER was the kinda read that reminds one of the real Golden Age of rockscreed, what with Nedelkoff's punk intellectual opines on everything from the Red Crayola and Peter Blegvad (holdovers from CLE #3-A!) along with the usual musical cherces of the day which are mostly made up of forgettable eighties amerindie faves but wha' th' hey??? Great tastes, great cheap pecked-out look and frankly I love the entire thing (and am searching for the other issues that I have stashed inna abode) even if the guy praises, and to the hilt at that. some of the then-current alternative music that never could stand the test of time. Oh well, that's his perversion and so did I but it's still a winner that tops most crudzine efforts of the time, other'n my own natch! One thing I do wonder tho is...whatever HAPPENED to Robert Nedelkoff anyway?

My lengthy and loopy opines might also have to do with the fact that I've finally, after a few months of scrimping and saving, have purchased a variety of music and reading material that really is stimulating my mind in ways like nothing since the last great spurt of musical anarchy both old and new. Yeah, now I don't have to rely on those garage revival tossaways that Bill Shute hates so much because for once there's gonna be some fresh (more or less) meat on the table to munch upon. And hey, I even got hold of some new rock-oriented reading to soothe your suckems 'stead of more comic strip collections and moom pitcher writeups during the weekdays (although I gotta say that I love 'em all equally and hey, next to music old comic strips are the love of my ever-changing and usually for the worse life!) so if you're tired of the same old, tune in for some same new!

But please do bear with my bornado writing this week if only because I feel (hope?) that it is a passing fancy and that by next week I'll creep back into my usual capsule review self (well, capsule enough so's that I at least have enough room to stick a nifty album cover next to said writeup!). Like I once or twice told you, the far-more experienced Eddie Flowers told me that elongated extrapolations on one's personal encounters (or not) with the subject at hand might have worked for Lester Bangs and Richard Meltzer (and, although he didn't say it, Bill Shute) but THEY SURE AS HELL DON'T WORK FOR ME as if anyone out there really is interested in the sordid details of my more boring than thou life in the first place. Best advice re. rock writing that I ever got, and although I broke the rules out of sure joy de rockism next time I will have more of a sense of brevity in mind while telling you all just how you should think, act and buy.
YET ANOTHER EARLY HEAVY METAL SPOTTING, this time in the pages of something called GO (dated 8/22/69), which in the course of a review of the first Stooges album brands the group's music as being "hard, heavy, heavy-metal ego rock" which again does predate the Saunderian usage from the Sir Lord Baltimore review even if it falls behind the Electric Flag 'un by two years. Again this might all be old turd long flushed but sheesh, somebody's gotta be categorizing this anal retentivity before it all gets lost to time!
OK,time to settle back for some long windedness...

The Velvet Underground-BOSTON TEA PARTY JANUARY 10th 1969 2-CD set; JULY 11th 1969 2-LP set (both on Spyclass Records, available via Forced Exposure)

Am I the only person alive who believes that the Velvet Underground remain the most positive, focused, purest and (heck) even most danceable concept to ever hit the world of rock 'n roll (at least until the Stooges and Man Ray)? Put all of that lame eighties-beyond hype and sensitive girlypoo appreciation aside and focus of the Velvet Underground as they were.  I'm talking the Velvets as that Wayne McGuire-hyped FORCE that might as well have been the Fifth Horse of the Apocalypse playing the soundtrack to a world in chaos as the mode of the music changes into something that...well, I wasn't expecting James Taylor but what did come in their wake was mighty earth-shattering indeed.

It's grand seeing both of these oft-circulated and bootlegged shows get the royal  remastered and generally cleaned up treatment. Fantastic sound especially on the January show, and the performances are even better than I remembered. I even prefer these over the Quine tapes which for some reason never get a spin anymore...dunno why but I think it's that one version of "Waiting For My Man" which must have been the ultimate live piss-take on this verifiable stoner anthem. But really, these two offerings are fantastic slices of the Velvets as they stood as the premier exponents of creative applications of sonic ideals in rock performing in one of the few cities that welcomed them with open arms and influenced a generation of bands playing in their image, at least until the self-conscious radical element got the best of everyone as it all slid down the commode.

I can't see how amerindie/new music/alternative types could appreciate the Velvets one iota. They don't have the 3-D depth or O-mind or mental capacity for that matter to slip into the Velvets' entire reason for existence. It ain't all soft paens and clunky chords being churned out at those modern day equivalents of folk's the hard grind churn of WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT as the catalyst for the heart and soul of the (real) new age you just can't get outta tinkling chimes and George Winston. But hey, you just wouldn't know that given just what some of the exceedingly dwindling spawn is up to these days now, can ya?

January---sounds like Lou and gang were at least ticked off if not downright angry and it transposes into sound well. "I'm Set Free" is performed passionately yet intense enough to the point where it coulda made me cry had I heard this version age seventeen, while even "Candy Says" and "Pale Blue Eyes" sound wiry. A particularly potent "Sister Ray" caps it all and maybe after this performance you kinda think Lou wasn't kidding us about how all the instruments are wrecked after this number's performed.

Six months later they seem more at ease and even "Ray" comes off loose complete with the "Murder Mystery" tag on which was about as close to doing that famed song live as they could get away with.

Even (ESPECIALLY?) if you have heard these circulatin' through the tape lists for the past thirtysome years it's essential listening for the true Velvets obsessives gathered here. Remember, it's 2017 and we all need the Velvet Underground even more because frankly, because of all those amputations (and the fact that there just ain't any rock 'n roll stations anymore) this and precious few others are all we have. And ya better be appreciative about it---you have no other choice left unless you consider today's post-post-post rock an "alternative"!
Sameti-HUNGRY FOR LOVE CD (Sireena, Germany)

Krautrock buggers always went for Sameti's Hawkwind-influenced and typically Teutonic space album on Brain Records but they never really cozied up to this followup featuring a revamped band, an equally revamped sound, a flashy cover and a new label, Warner Brothers. HUNGRY FOR LOVE was too commercial for the same audience that was just coming outta the psychedelic haze of TANZ DER LEMMINGS true, but that doesn't mean that it was a total dudster like so many made it out to be. In fact I gotta align myself with the pro-HUNGRY crowd (all three of 'em!) which has deemed this 'un a fantastic outta-nowhere surprise and a downright listenable mid-seventies punk rock excursion that of course woulda been turded upon by those "real" punk types who, along with their spiritual spawn seen popping up at antifa and related neo-Marxist rallies these days, look pretty assholeish when compared to the authentic brand.

Michael Paul Ferrera in the pages of FUTURE called HUNGRY Germany's answer to RAW POWER and he did have a point. Not that it sounds like an atonal homage to that overdriven monsterwerk but it does have the same sense of energy and knock the audience out power and might. At times its a Slade stomper and at others a weird shift back to BLACK MONK TIME's robot riff rock. Just give a listen to the LP opener (aptly entitled "Intro") where a guy imitating an Amerigan radio dee-jay talkin' pidgin English gives these guys a rave up unheard since KICK OUT THE JAMS.

True nothing here approaches the frenzy of those Detroit pioneers but hey, they do a really good job kicking up the testosterone almost in the same way the Good Rats did on their first platter. Best track's the all out closer entitled "More and More" which has a fake live audience cheering while the band pumps you up and up until you think you're gonna explode like a balloon! Good stuff here that's been washed under the import bin rug because it doesn't sound like what krautrock is supposed to sound like, but if you're big on hard pop bonecrusher early punk doings then this record might at least (in part) help you have that good time you've been denying yourself for quite a longer time than any of us can imagine.

Don't be a copy and kick out them jams Teutonic-style!
Iggy & the Stooges-ST. LOUIS AMERICAN THEATRE 10/8/1973 CD-r burn

I don't care what the ever-tightening sphincter types out there in rock criticism land say, I can listen to any of these Stooges live shows and find something noteworthy and fresh even if the set list might be exactly the same as every other tape from that particular timescope. Portions of the St. Louis show have been previously released, but it's sure nice hearin' these all in one big gulp as the action (tension) unfolds before your very ears and the man called Iggy proves once again why he was the real king of the slag heap in an era when there were many pretenders (some legit, mind ya) to the throne. SQ is raw, but this is probably the way it sounded to alla those tender ears of the day weaned on Cat Stevens records.
MX-80 Sound-SO FUNNY LP (Feeding Tube Records, available via Forced Exposure)

The grand return of MX-80 Sound after a good decade or so of virtual zilch, and it is a good return indeed! Nothing super special mind you, but it does sound like a grand attempt to recapture seventies glories of those over-the-scalp Ralph albums that solidified this band's rep as a different 'n the usual batch to contend with. Bruce Anderson's guitar playing is as overdrive shards of sound  as you'd expect after all these years, and Rich Stim comes off just as young 'n addled as he did back in the mid-seventies when he was. Dale Sophiea is back on bass guitar (is that his son on drums???) while Jim Hrabetin handles the third guitar spot making for an even fuller sound if you can imagine that. Lyrics are typically witty, humorous, deadpan, dry, sardonic and various other words that'll have you rushing to the dictionary, and frankly I don't know how I could have lived so long without hearing this (actually I do, Bob Forward burned this for me but the darn thing kept sticking!). The cartoon cover belies the fact that this is a head on collision into a roadblock of sound, and if you were in on the trip way back when then hey, why bug out now?


I grew to hate Philip Glass with a passion in the eighties if only because of the more spiritual-than-thou commercial brand he had acquired thanks to his soundtracks for films with titles I cannot pronounce and general fru-fruness by association (the Dalai Lama???). Gotta get those impure thoughts outta my system if only because I can't deny that the guy's earlier works were pretty darn good in their own repetitive modern classical this can appeal to you if you like krautrock sorta way. In fact, if you think of the Philip Glass Ensemble not as a collection of serious experimental musicians playing at art galleries but as a wild Velvet-y rock group with nothing but cheap "96 Tears" organs and saxes and flutes and weirdo ooh-wah vocals playing at Max's Kansas City the concept works pretty swell.

Two long OP albums (one hard to find, the other not so) appear on this Nonesuch collection giving us an idea of what the Glass Ensemble were up to long before they hit the art snob prime time. The Shandar tracks are stripped down to the basics either with Glass solo or with pianist Michael Reisman sounding much like the Glass of the seventies albeit without much of the added dimension that the Ensemble gives this music. Still mesmerizing and able to grasp your attention nodes the same way Terry Riley's PERSIAN SURGERY DERVISHES does at two inna morn. Come to think of it, there is a marked resemblance between "Two Pages" and that epochal all-night wonder which means that if you have the late-night jitters and want some appropriate sounds to exacerbate the experience you can't do better than this!

The rest came out on Glass's own Chatham Square label which is still easy enough to locate and affordable t'boot, but this might be the cheaper alternative and besides you also get the Shandar disc and just try latching onto one of those! These feature the Ensemble in all or in part and like the Shandar material feature more of that etude-y music that you (I will admit) do have to get your third ear in gear to understand and digest. But hey, it's a whole lot easier to digest this sorta sound than it is to put up with the use of staid hippie jargon like "third ear" to describe focusing on music via deeper level's'n just having it on while you pop the blackheads off your nose (which is still a valid option if you wanna get even more hippiedippy about it).

A worthy spin for those searching for such worthiness, but remember that after NORTH STAR it really does get worse no matter how many times VANITY FAIR and their likes may have told you otherwise.
Brother Jack McDuff-SOUL CIRCLE CD-r burn (originally on Prestige Records)

I dunno about you but I was bored stiff by McDuff's organ soul jazz sounds which reminded me more of some e-zy listening piped in sound I woulda heard in a Holiday Inn restaurant during one of those family getaways. It figures that one of the leading lights of seventies schmuck jazz, George Benson, performs on two tracks. McDuff shoulda been locked in a closet and forced to listen to all of Larry Young's output in order before he was allowed to go near any keyboard.

First off, whazzaheck is the ol' TEENA comic strip by Hilda Terry doin' headin' off this particular Bill burn cover??? Bill told me that he bought a collection of TEENA comics that GOLDEN AGE REPRINTS released a short while back and thought they were pretty lame girly stuff unworthy of anyone's attention. I requested he review the book in question to share his opinions with us iggerant readers but he's rebuffed that comment for some occult reason or another, probably because it was that dudsville that it didn't deserve any additional precious pixel time. However, he did put an example of the strip on this cover and although it ain't exactly barf-worthy like a good portion of the strips seen today are (which are not surprisingly also drawn by a batch of so-called "females" who shoulda been kept away from the pens and shoved in front of Easy-Bake ovens as turdlers) you can't deny that this particular example is kinda iffy. I guess Bill is trying to pull my chain, or daisy, or leg, and hopefully NOTHING ELSE!!!

Comics aside, I thought this was gonna be another one of those garage band-y collections Bill has the sense to send my way. Sorta like his version of BACK FROM THE GRAVE only done up by people who were too corny to come up with anything as outta tune spazz and the music that ended up on those legendary plats. Bill did have the smarts to sneak in some old commercials in between tracks (and one extended romp that sounds like someone changing the radio dial 'round 1940 way) and that always brightens these things up, and the tracks once again range from good corny to slick corny to non-corny. I like them all, even Martin and the Radicals' "I Lied" which had a nice '66 dirge sound to it that nobody could dance to but then again, who reading this blog dances? Overall a fun collection featuring a variety of garage-y offerings done up by guys who might as well have lived next door to you, but sheesh, why the STEREO REVIEW Cee-Dee propaganda anyway?

1 comment:

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Nedelkoff's on twitter. Still worth following.