Saturday, September 16, 2017

As if you really care, there's nothing really special goin' on here in the bowels of Pee-YAY other'n the usual certainties like death and poop. Been spending my free time recouping from the drudgery of work mostly by catching up on some Dee-Vee-Dees I actually got for Christmas only I've been too preoccupied with things like real life (hisss!) and various doodies to watch 'em until now. (Plus they were buried under a pile of other stuff and typically were lost for quite a long time.) These items should make for some interesting mid-week review fodder in the upcoming months so as they used to say "DON'T TOUCH THAT KNOB!" Ditto goes for some moom pitchers which have been tingling my cinematic sense of fun 'n jamz, a wonder in a time and place where jamz seem to have been extracted from our souls just like when I was five and I hadda go to the hospital to get neutered. Sure wish the folks didn't mix me up with the dog that day---he got the tonsillectomy!
The definite highlight of my week was, whilst pouring through even more boxes of long-forgotten rarities (which, in my humble case, usually means rather static-looking computer laid out and static-reading lifeless-non gonz styled 1990s-era mags with all the heart and soul of a..."'zine editor")... was discovering that other issue of LOVE AND LAUGHTER that I was looking for a few months back. This is the second ish which I find just as boffo as I did the one mentioned a few months back, and even though the pieces that were presented on Radio Birdman and Red Crayola have been superseded by either books or more in-depth articles since the mid-eighties when this came out I still dig it all if only for the great taste in music and ability to display such a strong feeling for rock 'n roll without coming off like a gasbag buffoon or whatever it is you find in my own scribings. Although this was being done in the mid-eighties which was one of those best of (promising new underground surge that was being documented in such publications of this and FORCED EXPOSURE) and worst of (the general squeaky clean kultur sans any of the gruff tussle of the seventies) times LOVE AND LAUGHTER has that great spirit to it that drove the best rock mags of the past into realms that would be unimaginable today without any Meltzers or Saunders (or their spiritual heirs) to guide us all. I'd say that someone should gather all of these and make a book outta 'em, but I wouldn't want anyone to lose a large sum of money on the project.
D'ya think I should mention a few words regarding the recent passing of Can's longtime bass guitarist creative force Holger Czukay? I'll mention more than a few even though sheesh, what can I say even if the major news outlets have already trotted out the usual tropes and press release fanabla in order to look just as on top of it as all of those fanzine kiddies who were in on the game since day one. Or at least in on it since EGE BAMYASI got an Amerigan release thus introducing a generation of thriving teenagers to the fact that there actually was life outside of mindless love and good will.

Dunno if you coulda called Czukay the group's leader, but he sure was a major light along with the especially mystical keyboardist Irmin Schmidt who's the only Can member alive at eighty despite years of occult practice and narcotics useage. For me it seemed as if there was a struggle between those two to see just who was the John Cale of the band...they both were soooooo academic and utilized quite a few great sonic-reduction ideas which made those early Can albums some of the definitive rock 'n roll highlights of the early-to-mid seventies. Of course any doof smart enough to own the entire EUROCK collection or at least a few fanzines with Eddie Flowers' rave Can reviews in 'em would know that, but I'm just filling in the gaps you won't read about in most of the obituaries you will eventually stumble across online.

Strangely enough, for years I was under the impression that Can just weren't the type of brew to glug my high energy jamz to! Well, at least I thought that way until I discovered 'n quite by accident (wouldja believe via Archie Patterson's EUROCK classroom course?) that they were just what I was looking for in sound morph albeit a good ten years after I shoulda been buying their platters via the local and by then long gone import bins! Perhaps it was because some of the reviews of the day were more oriented in detailing the classical and progressive nature of their act as opposed to their ability to rock out, something that just wasn't in the canon of sophisticated rockscribes who felt that primitive applications of tribal beats and offkey melodies were beneath the entire scope of what music was to aspire to. Or something like that. Stoopid me...if I only knew that these guys were on Mirrors' top influences list back during them days...

Won't get into any of those later albums nor Czukay's solo career which just didn't tizzle me, but when this guy was pumping on all cylinders Can really were one of the real hard-force driving rock 'n roll bands of the 1964-1981 outer fringe era. And I will continue to say so until my dying day, or at least until I'm tossed into the great gulag for unrepentant members of the lower class and driven crazy by repeated spins of Melanie albums.
I haven't been having many rock 'n roll-related dreams as of late, although last night amidst a whole buncha real doozies I encountered a real vivid one if I do say so myself. In this particular dream I'm at what is supposed to be CBGB (the place looked more like some outta the way cozy restaurant and not like the refurbished high school gym that I encountered in a previous dream!) to see the Velvet Underground play to a sparse but appreciative audience. Lou was in fine form and even duetted on "I'm Sticking With You" with Maureen Tucker looking rather young and healthy. Lou himself looked great for being in his mid-seventies so this appearance must have been happening in the here and now in some strange dimension where Lou (and CBGB) did not kick off like they did. Of course when he was singing "Lisa Says" the lyrics were about Lou's recent face lift and all of a sudden I could see the blue lines on his face where the snipping occurred, he standing up (he was sitting down whilst performing!) to bring attention to what had happened. Sterling Morrison looking particularly EPI-esque remained partially hidden and I dunno who else was up there, but it was a great show from what I could remember and I'm glad you weren't there.

Did I tell you that I also had yet another (repeating) dream about the advent of BLACK TO COMM #26? Don't bother, it was a smaller issue than usual and the print came out faint like a cheap early-seventies mimeo job. I guess I shouldn't be eating those dutch loaf and horseradish sandwiches too close to bedtime.
And with that brilliant revelation behind you like a particularly tough bowel movement here are this week's reviews. As usual kudos to Bill Shute and Paul McGarry for the donations which do help out (man, do I feel like an online Goodwill or somethin'!). Must say this was a good bunch, not exactly a Beefheartian "Best Batch Yet" but good enough for the late-teens. Anyway, you know enough to read on so do just that, hokay?

THE PERFORMING FERRET BAND LP (Beat Generation, available through Forced Exposure)

I dunno about you, but sometimes I miss the whimsy and excitement of those English groups that had a bright sense of humor as well as some primitive if interesting musical chops that, while not "professional" 'r anything like that, still had an amateur hour sense of fun 'n jamz to 'em. The Performing Ferret Band definitely were one of many of these kind of groups who roamed Blighty from the seventies onward, and this album really does display just what these ozobs had in store for a whole worldfulla maladjusted suburban slobs on the lookout for the next big musical thrill.

The Ferrets had it all from boffo original material to smartypants humorous lyrics, and the way they approach their whole sound and vision through rather primitive means (even using the likes of a melodica, an instrument unseen in rock since Stevie Wonder who ain't rock but he ain't seen either) is pretty snat. Or maybe I'm just smitten by that gal with the braids who looks real wholesome and cute especially in these slut days.

And for those of you who mourn the passing of new-unto-gnu wave, these Ferrets are pretty dang close to the whole "cassette culture" mood (see Chuck Warner for more information) which should tip you off plenty as to what you'll be in store for if you'll only get it. Reminds me a lot of Swell Maps, and if only these funsters could have been just as "successful"...

German Oak-DOWN IN THE BUNKER 3-CD set (Now-Again Records)

Hah, the famous obscure "krautrock" platter from these Dusseldofians is once again available and not only that but it's been expanded into a three-Cee Dee package featuring even more outtakes and other weirdities for us to digest! No excuse not to pick this entertaining collection up even if you might find disque #2 a little too long for your jamz and the proceedings kinda veer off into directions that you think might end up at the nearest meth lab. This is good 'nuff get-into-your-own-groove music that snuggles in tightly with your comic book reading or whatever it is you're doing around the house, and I might have said this before but will say it again...the modes and moods heard here really do remind me of the infamous "Sister Ray" "side project" "Room 101" who never did make it out as much as they should have.

Oh, and there's a booklet complete with an interview and rare photos included. Nothing much to holler about since there are no major revelations to be found and the guys in this group looked silly even by early-seventies standards. But so what...let the music noodle on for itself. and you'll get more than your money's worth, that is if you're using dollars or sumpin' 'stead of those paper coins you get when you buy a package of Mallow Cups.
The Flamin' Groovies-FANTASTIC PLASTIC CD-r burn (originally on Sonic Kicks Records)

Somehow it does make me feel spry and happy to know that the Groovies are still up and about and as you'd expect these guy, whoever they may be other'n Cyril Jordan and (maybe) George Alexander, can still drum up a good enough record that holds up to past endeavors. Still these guys sound tired and old in spots, almost dragging in an FM/"Classic Rock" fashion on a number of toonz here (and sheesh Cyril, we thought you were a punk!). But right when I'm all set to leave the room for my daily dose of Syrup of Swill Cyril kicks back into either some Byrds-y 12-string mood or Stalk Forrest-influenced BOC psychedelia and I'm all aglow inside like a teenage girl who just developed her first drop o' gooey after hearing "Turn Turn Turn". One thing's for sure, and that is that SEPTUAGENARIANS RULE!!!
The Blasters-AMERICAN MUSIC CD-r burn (originally on Hightone Records)

I assume that this contains the long-suppressed Rollin' Rock version of the classic Blasters album (withdrawn after a major rift twixt the band and RR headguy Ron Weiser) plus some leftover tracks from the same living room session. If so all I gotta say it that these toonz really capture the great cheapness that I've always liked in these homage to the fifties kinda records that usually fall flatter 'n any HAPPY DAYS episode where Scott Baio's hair is longer than the Rolling Stones'. Nice living room reverb that you could only get from the sound bouncing off the Naugahyde recliner. I can even see a pipe stand with a TV GUIDE nestled beside it somewhere. Turn your suburban slob ranch house into a recording studio and make yourself a record like this TODAY!!!
Alex Chilton-LIVE AT THE HOWLIN' WOLF CLUB NEW ORLEANS, LA 1994 2-CD-r burn set

I gotta admit that I wasn't "wowed" by that Chilton platter where he was schmoozing up the old adult contempt hits like "Volare" one bit. In fact I hated the thing. But here in the dark recesses of the post-post-post rock 'n roll as your obsessive drive era, you can't deny that his rather poppish takes on various old chestnuts mixed in with recent compositions are whatcha'd call the gosh durnest best!

Don't believe me? Just download the thing here and see for yourself!

Marvel at the intimate quality of this live recording which gives you a front row seat in the sanctity of your own fart-encrusted bedroom. Re-live those great sixties covers that'll send you back to the days when the tough kids knocked you senseless. And while you're soaking it all in, remember when this kind of music used to get tagged as punk rock by people who thought they knew about it all after reading some article in GENTLEMAN'S QUARTERLY! You should like it enough even if you weren't in on this guy's career ever since his Box Tops days. Chilton was a national treasure and like I'd sure pay to see him if he were around 'stead of all of those doofuses milking the nostalgia train these days!
Don Sebesky-THE DISTANT GALAXY CD-r burn (originally on Verve Records)

Jazz arranger Sebesky really pulled out more than the kitchen sink (like, lotsa electronics and studio gimmickry) to make this album the older generation trip it was bound to be. Now my folks woulda thought that the jazzed up arrangements of various hits and classical tuneage to be either outright blasphemy or just more of that hippie kid stuff, but I'm sure there were more'n a few aging hipsters out there willing to dig into the e-zy listening mode of everything from "Lady Madonna" to  a version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" that sounded like something outta an occult Joe Meek nightmare. Those of you still into that RE-SEARCH incredibly strange music gig'll just love it, but why did I feel like I was locked inside some swinging bachelor pad after his date walked out in a huff and he hadda resign himself to the bathroom with a towel and an issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC?
KURT RUSSELL CD-r burn (originally on Capitol Records)

's funny, but I was just gazing upon the latest INQUIRER cover at the supermarket with alla the hot scoop about Russell and Goldie Hawn splitskying after like thirty-four years of connubial common law bliss and here I find this obscuro teenybopper longplay inna mail! I wonder if this attempt to capture the late-sixties teenage gal heart throb market had anything to do with the breakup but I dunno...I guess that Russell, riding high on a slew of Walt Disney teenbo features, was ripe for picking as far as these kinda discs go, but with his irritating high-pitched voice and lackluster arrangements on a variety of already hits of the day you can tell why this one swirled down in flames. Maybe if he had a Filmation Saturday morn cartoon series on ABC...
Richard H. Kirk-VIETSONG CD-r burn

A solo project dating from '76 which doesn't convey much of the terror or atonal beauty that Cabaret Voltaire excelled in, at least until the eighties rendered them dance music for people who are about as coordinated as Clarabell the Clown. Still an interesting woosh for those of you who were entranced by the thought of electronic music whether it be of the amped up self-generating Velvet Underground variety or the doo-doo putzying around on a stylophone. Needs more dimension to it but I guess the rest of the band were holidaying somewhere and like Kirk couldn't remain idle for that long a period of time!
UNIVERSE CD-r burn (originally on Experience Records, Norway)

If you thought that rock 'n roll was a rare commodity in early-seventies Ameriga you don't know that half of it. Other nations suffered from the curse of rancid music if this particularly putrid platter is any indication. I really can't describe to you the utter nada that this group exudes in their quest to take already tired moves from a variety of US and British acts and translate them into an even duller mode. And William Burroughs thought the Danes were a bunch of bores!
The Primitives-BLOW-UP CD-r burn (originally on Arc Records, Italy)

English transplanted to Italy beat band (just like the Tages) do pretty well on this album mostly featuring hits of the day either sung in English or the local dialect in order to ooze more lire outta the teenage dago gals nationwide. Must've been a good idea because I can see a whole bunch of those hairy legs just rushin' to the local record shop to snatch this pretty cookin' platter which comes complete with a rugged lead vocalist as well as some rather potent performances on everything from "Cara Lin" to "I'll Be There". And believe it or nits, but the Primitives' versions rank as good as the original takes. Sure it's pretty much another mop top tossout, but at least when the tossin' was done back then it was tossed out right!
The Fathoms-FATHOMLESS CD-r burn (originally on Atomic Records)

A lotta these retro type bands mighta been hot pus back in the early-eighties when I was young 'n anxious to hear it all in one fell swoop, but even I would have to admit that a whole buncha 'em just didn't have the same punch that the originals had. Of course they did make good substitutes. The Fathoms, however, are one post-sixties surf band that really conveys the excitement and fun that those early-sixties acts just oozed outta their not-so-clogged pores. Whereas many bands doin' the surf stomp sounded like 197X/8X/9X/0X groups playin' the classics through the miracle of 20/20 hindsight the Fathoms sound so fresh and authentico that I should be forgiven for thinkin' this was a bonafeed buncha guys smack dab outta the early-sixties Downey California scene. They're that real, and if you're of Californian blood and joyfully recall those reverb-y sounds as well as a scene that seemed to die out too soon you'll probably be filled with joy upon hearing this!
Les and Larry Elgart-SOUND OF THE TIMES Cd-r burn (originally on Columbia Records)

Hey Bill, are you sure that this one was meant for me and not Aunt Mabel? And when I mean Aunt Mabel I mean Aunt Mabel 1966 'stead of Aunt Mabel today rottin' away at the Bide-A-Wee Rest Home. I mean, I wouldn't have even thought to give a platter like this to my dad for Christmas that sainted year because to him that woulda been nothin' but kid rock 'n roll or somethin' equally non-Glenn Milleresque. In no way would he have given a thought to any record with a Beatles or Mamas and Papas cover on it---just too raucous if you ask him. If I heard this stuff back when it came out I woulda thought it was just more of that grown up music for people who were somewhere in between the rock 'n roll generation and my parents' world. If you know which kind of market this record was aimed at, at least as it stood in the Sharon PA area circa the mid-sixties, please write in.

Thankfully the cruddy production and primitive performance saves this early-seventies self-produced platter from being yet another instant tossout. The usual inspirational suspects can be heard here (Grand Funk before they became pop hit material amongst 'em) only these tracks are all done up so cheesy that Fresh Blueberry Pancake might as well have been that buncha creepy guys from down the street you remember from your own youth who used to bang away endlessly in some ancient attic. There's even a God song that dates this to the Jesus Christ Superstar days of the early-seventies, though frankly this 'un hold up much better lo these many years later.
Various Artists-THE RHYTHM AND BLUES SHOW CD-r burn (originally on Brunswick Records, Germany)

Hot non-stop big band bloozey music just perfect for those particularly pathetic days one comes across once in awhile. Not a turdburger in the bunch what with the likes of Stomp Gordon,  Big Bob Dougherty and Tiny Davis amongst others deliverin' onna hard bop neo-rock r&beezers that make me wonder (considerin' what this music eventually led to) where did it all go wrong??? Fave of the batch---Gordon's "Damp Rag" which I somehow could see being worked into a feminine hygiene commercial, though maybe that would be too tasteful for what transpires on the tube these days.
Various Artists-ABANDONED ZEPHYRS TURN ON OPEN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

SOMEBODY goofed with this one because nothing that's mentioned onna cover correlates?/colloborates??? with what's onna disc. No Dick Clark, No New Fun Quartet, no Cecil Taylor to be found...all that's here is a flashy silent moom pitcher organ rendition of "White Christmas", a whole slewwa early-eighties vintage hardcore punk that sounds as if it's of the short and punchy DC variety, an extended track featuring atonal guitars weaving in and out of each other's paths that I found quite entertaining, some soul jazz followed by some late-fifties teenage angst ended with a kiddie record which tells you all about how to be a motorcycle cop and windshield wipers!!! Made for a pretty nice period of time even if I didn't know what the heck I was getting into.

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