Saturday, October 28, 2017

If it weren't for the recent Feeding Tube package this post woulda been danker than usual, and considering the dankness of some of the posts that have appeared you know I'm really talking somethin'! Don't expect that much even if there definitely are a few good 'uns that you might actually want to spend your thrifting money to. Part of the change in weather if I do say so myself.

Also...RIP Mike Hudson of Pagans fame. Hate to think of this at a time like now but maybe we'll finally get to hear the Mad Staggers tape.

Viewer-TRUE FRIEND RECORD LP (Feeding Tube, available via Forced Exposure)

Another finer-than-fine release via the always on top of somethingorother folk at Feeding Tube, this time from a duo who seem to be rather obscure in their direction as if that really did matter to any of you. Slow and delicate acoustic music with satin femme vocals permeates, most if not all reminding me of some of the more introspective work to be found in the Japanese underground of the previous decade. A nice dank MARBLE INDEX aura helps before it all seems to tumble into an electronic music that reminds me of some early-seventies German Expressionist flavor that has yet to be discovered. Perfect snuggle up music for these chillier and damper than usual autumn days we have to look forward to in the tri-state area.
Meadow House-THIS SHOULD NOT BE HAPPENING LP (Feeding Tube, available via Forced Exposure)

Spooked selection of a variety of neo-damaged pseudo-suicidal rantings and raving that...actually sound entertaining and pleasant. Created by the "cassette-dropping" musician Dan Wilson, this Londoner better get in on the National Health soon before he totally flips out the way he sings about automobile exhaust filling his lungs to tuneage that is so over-the-wall singsong folky that they might have even scared Syd Barrett. So professionally done even though these literally are bedroom recordings that sure sound better'n the bizarroid gunk I attempted a lot longer time ago than any of you would care to know about. Worth more than "just a try" and I mean it!

Shades of Joy-MUSIC OF EL TOPO CD-r burn (originally on Douglas Records)

Never saw the moom so I'm comin' in on this first timey, and despite a rather flaccid opening (early-seventies horn band schmooze) this soundtrack really cooks more'n hot tamales! A quaint interlude leads to a whole slew of sounds that remind me of the New British Jazz more'n anything, and although the music doesn't escape into realms of Sun Ra stratospherian sonatas it still hold up for those of us who like acts such as Nucleus and Soft Machine. A surprise outta nowhere release that I'm sure most people who only heard about the movie were too scared off to try!
Cowbell-BEAT STAMPEDE CD-r burn (originally on Damaged Goods Records)

With a name like that I thought Cowbell woulda been filled with a buncha people who were fans of the old SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE skit where some band's recording "Don't Fear the Reaper" and the engineer keeps saying "MORE COWBELL" (a famous but not so funny skit...wonder why everyone seems to like it?). Whoever these Cowbell guys are they sure made a good enough record which borrows from groups such as the Sonics, Droogs, Imperial Dogs and early-seventies bloozy Stones. Hard pounding rock 'n roll that actually sounds refreshing even in these jaded days when we're frankly not allowed to behave this way. The moody and driven "Castle Walls" might make you wanna cry, but then again maybe it won't.
THE MERSEYBEATS CD-r burn (originally on Fontana Records)

Like a good portion of the mop topped brigades making themselves known back '64 way, the Merseybeats really weren't anything special without their bangs 'n fancy threads. Not that these guys were a lousy act, but there sure wasn't a hook or gimmick or what-have-ya to separate themselves from a thousand other rock 'n rollers trying to eke precious cents outta overweight pimplefarm girls who were only a few years away from solid Jimi Hendrix adulation. Still they were able to belt out some good ones amid the average and not always expected covers ("The Girl That I Marry"???) and if you've had your fill of Beatles and Pacemakers maybe these Merseytypes can help satiate the inner yeahyeahyeah in you!
Dick Hyman-THE MAN FROM O.R.G.A.N. CD-r burn (originally on Command Records)

Although a long way from the electronic space sound of MOON GAS Hyman still manages to please the inner lounge lizard in me with this concept platter of spy music. Re-live those old days when tee-vee still had a spark of ingenuity and spies were the rage as Hyman's keys turn you into a middle-aged balding necktied office worker trying to come to terms with the mid-sixties. One thing though, with a name like Dick Hyman is a title like that really appropriate???
Beck-MORNING PHASE CD-r burn (originally on Universal Records)

Paul, don't ever send me stuff like this again! You really don't know how much you've wrecked my digestive system (tract 'n all) by slipping this into yer package! You should know better than to foister upon my person anything by this overrated swill whose whole idea of rock was copped from constant repeats of THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW filtered through bad Roger Waters outtakes. Fie on thee Paul!
THE GIFT OF RANDY JOHNSON CD-r burn (originally on Amaret Records)

For late-sixties singer/songwriter stuff----not bad. Of course it ain't anything that I'll wanna play again in my life, but then again I don't think I'm gonna play ANYTHING reviewed on this blogpost more'n once ('cept for maybe the Feeding Tube offerings) so like what's the big deal anyway? The DAYS OF FUTURE PAST orchestral flourishes add an interesting tinge to Johnson's not-so-bad (at least some of the time) songs and his voice, while ragged, does fit the whimsy rather well. You know he never really woulda gone anywhere on a label like Amaret but hey, he sure beats alla those other singer-songwriter types of the same strata all hollow and maybe he should get credit for just THAT!
Bill Doggett-THE BAND WITH THE BEAT CD-r burn (originally on Warner Brothers Records)

One of Bill's faves spreads himself thick on these hotcha mostly-instrumental outings that really fit in with the late-fifties/early-sixties instrumental mood that cluttered up the charts in a good way back then. Dunno if there was any chart activity or singles with this one but any of these tracks coulda made the INSTRUMENTAL GOLDEN GOODIES volume had these only been on one of those smaller labels that Roulette could easily enough obtain the rights to (hah!). Sometimes kinda commercial and cornballus, but next to a good portion of the commercial/cornballus crowd of the day (and after) this is about as hipster as hipster can be. Remember that word???

THE WORST CD-r burn (originally on Dig Records)

Naw, this ain't as bad as their name'd imply. Actually the Worst sound like one of those halfway decent eighties "garage revival" groups albeit they seem stuck in the same rut of riff swipeage as most of the bands they most surely emulated. In other words if you heard one Worst you probably heard 'em all. But let's not dock 'em anything for being more talented than usual members of the rock world who knew better than to go with the flow of musical hackdom.
Various Artists-LONG TALL POISONED MOJO (Bill Shute)

Don't let the presence of a certain troubadour for the times onna cover fool ya, this one is packed with nothing but hotcha musical items that in no way will have you blowin' inna wind. Starts off with some fairly good garage band garble from Mickey and the Motions, and from there on goes into a variety of modes and forms that should please just about everybody in the family, as long as it's the Lyman Family that is. Gary Vallet's "Guitar Bass Boogie" is good enough late-fifties instrumental mulch while I kinda like France's Les Denvers and their fairly good approximation of the girl group thing especially since it was done in a totally alien language (they even got the Amerigan accents right!). Even Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers pop up on some maybe predictable covers that sound pretty hotcha soul jazz more'n anything to me! Frankly you can't have just as much fun in a half-hour, unless you're watching THE MUNSTERS or something like that!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


There have been a whole hunkerin' load of good rock reads these past few years, and I must admit that Hozak Books must take credit for releasing what I would call THE BEST OF THE BATCH! From the Brian McMahon autobiography to the DENIM DELINQUENT compendium which still gets hefty reading time here at BLOG TO COMM, Hozak has done a superb job in publishing rock 'n roll books that appeal to the heavy duty fans like us who have been in on the game for ages and sure hated to see how the entire kaboodle wasted away as time rolled on.

Hozak is perhaps thee leader in the rock book game (or at least one of 'em), because unlike many attempting to capture the spirit of the 1964-1981 years of ROCK 'N ROLL AS A MEDIUM WHERE ANYONE COULD BE A STAR (even if it was only kids like us in our own outta kilter record collecting way), Hozak thankfully eschews the whole failed dream of late-sixties self-conscious youth piety and the we are one people and culture mantra that the sickening likes of ROLLING STONE would marinate their entire oeuvre in. Sadly enough this inescapable trait unfortunately carried over into many other sensitive/touchy-feely books dealing with a subject matter that was (in its right state) feral beyond belief which is where we separate the Lester Bangses from the Anastasia Pantsioes I guess. And besides that Hozak knows what kind of bands and what kind of flash best emphasizes the entire rock 'n roll credo, something which Jann Wenner never could understand from the ever-crumbling bulwarks of what frankly was everything WRONG with the supposed "youth culture" these past fiftysome years. It sure ain't movements or backstabbing's ROCK 'N ROLL and if that makes me a seventh grade stooge better than than a college degree'd prissy.

So Sal Maida wrote his own autobiography, and frankly it's pretty good. You may remember the guy from his appearances in the pages of WHO PUT THE BOMP! during his time with the famed teenypunk band Milk & Cookies, or maybe ya knew him through his tenures as temporary bassist with both Roxy Music and Sparks, or perhaps you caught the interview with Rudolph Grey in the sixteenth issue of my crudzine where Sal gets a mention hanging out with Grey and Beaver Harris. However you heard about him, he's a guy who has been around for ages playing in a variety of rock acts and experiencing the whole New York/London scene first hand so if anyone out there is destined to create the Great Amerigan Rock 'n Roll tome for the times it's this guy for sure!

Not quite the autobio one would expect, Maida skips around from the seventies and Roxy and Sparks then goes back to his growing up days before telling us all about his time in England and the people he met there and all of those things cloistered suburban slobs like myself could only dream about doing. And for outta the loopers like myself it's all pretty fine reading, especially when Maida gets to meet up with those heroes of his from the Stones to George Harrison as well as the eternally wasted like Steve Took in a rather funny interlude which naturally didn't seem so funny to Maida at the time. It's not exactly a detailed and intricate account of his life and even an outsider like myself could tell that certain things were missing (such as in his paragraph or two on Funeral of Art which does not mention fellow bandmates and personalities in their own right Otto von Ruggins and Von Lmo), but if Maida wants to woosh over such things its like his biz...I mean he doesn't exactly have an obligation to mention everybody he knew even if his brief meeting with Jerry Garcia will appeal to the virulently anti-Dead readers who may chance upon this particular writeup.

That's the first half---the second lists Maida's 300 fave singles and man does he have some good taste in music! Loads of oldies of course with a few surprises and a general feeling of awe as if the guy just got hold of said record THIS VERY DAY and he's all enthralled about having it in his calloused paws! This is the next best thing to breaking into Brad Kohler's apartment and thumbing through all of his singles while he's at work, and maybe playin' a few and accidentally breaking some in the process which I will admit happens when I'm playing your discs. You can't have any more fun than that, and besides Maida ain't gonna come after you with the garden shears after he finds out about it so have fun and don't raid the fridge!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nice one we got here. Really, I do mean it 'n not only because of the bevy of beauts I have up for review but the mere fact that my writing doesn't seem as suckoid as it has been these past few weeks. Dunno what kinda funk I've gotten outta, but I think I got outta it just fine and (as usual) you the readers are the true beneficiaries. Big heaping hunking thanks to the usual and Bob, I promise I'll find something from your package in the mess that passes for my bedroom more sooner than later.
I've been keeping myself occupied as usual not only writing a whole slew of reviews for posts present and future, but by watching some really good tee-vee which of course stimulates the inner-turdler in all of us more than Tootsietoys even. Not necessarily talkin' 'bout he current stuff being aired (haven't even had the time to catch a peek at currently cablecast faves as Soupy or Roy for that matter) but the old dee-vee-dees which I can peruse during a quiet evening while pretending to be that four-year-old suburban slob that in many ways I wish I could have remained! I just put away the ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE set and dug out FIREBALL XL-5 (better'n STAR TREK ever was!) for another settle back 'n watch (that's what I like...INSTANT RERUNS!!!) and am still working my way through other collections that are bound to get plenty of press in these pages as the months float by. Sure it ain't the same as being that fifties/sixties/seventies-kinda UHF-TV watchin' doof runnin' 'round in his stocking feet as the parents yell at him to go outside and get some fresh air (just so's they can get hold of the boob tube to watch some slobberin' pic), but here in 2017 it'll hafta do...
A BITTER VISION OF A FUTURE I HAVE NO DOUBT I WILL BE EXISTING (CERTAINLY NOT LIVING) IN: It's ten/twenny/even thirty years from now and I'm a not so happy member of the vegetable kingdom. I can still hear, see and feel, more Woody Guthrie than Karen Quinlan since I still have a sense of who and where and why I am, but in no way can I move my limbs, make facial expressions or express my feelings, inner or outer, to the world even with obscure Italian hand gestures. I'm in a hospital or an old folk's home where a young and seemingly inexperienced staff of somethingorothers are trying to keep me from going stir crazy knowing how awfully boring it must be to be hitched up to catheters and monitors while not being able to move but still being conscious enough to be aware of my surroundings. In order to "make me feel better" the staff decide to bombard me with mental and visual stimulation based on my younger days, though instead of presenting to me music or television and moom pitchers that I surely would prefer these nurses, erroneously judging from my years, assume that I would be most pleased listening to music of the late-seventies and beyond while watching the variety of horrid television programming and moom pitchers that were being created at the time!

Here I am, stranded in a hospital bed, being force fed "classic rock" and giddy disco Madonna pop day in/day out while having no choice but to watch THE PAPER CHASE, I'LL FLY AWAY and ST. ELSEWHERE kinda like that guy in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Only I can't throw up since I'm being IV fed, but boy am I suffering through the entire process as the doctors unknowingly persist in making my life even more miserable than it is having a plastic tube shoved up my butt.

Then suddenly I hear a nurse walk into the room and from what I can tell she is carrying a box full of what looks like Dee-Vee-Dee sets and other various media, asking her superiors what she should do with all of those GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, OUTER LIMITSLEAVE IT TO BEAVER, TWILIGHT ZONE etc. collections as well as the various Velvet Underground, Can, Stooges, Elevators and Seeds albums that were being stored in some closet. The chief nurse responds, right in front of my paralyzed self no less, "Throw 'em away...nobody cares about that stuff anymore!" to which point I produce the loudest non-groan ever known to man as W.A.S.P. plays the last notes I'll most certainly be hearing in this lifetime.
Hope you like this batch even though these mostly oldies do reflect the miasma of modern musical trends which as you know just haven't been as exciting as they were back when I was a young and impressionable retardo just gettin' into this brew. Awww, if it's good enough for Bill or Brad it's good enough for you but the question it really good enough for them???


You probably read my review of the Jokers singles that originally came out on this particular label quite some time back. Well here's the Greco label's entire catalog on one platter for those of you who might have an interest in the kind of music that this label released, and who reading this blog wouldn't? (Yeah I know...MOST of you readers wouldn't, but try to bear with me for once willya?)

Well, in the process of wanting to know more about the Jokers I found one interesting thing out, and that's that Greco Records was actually a reissue label run by a man named George Greco who was busy putting out not only old obscurities but newer fare "in the tradition" back in the late-seventies. Sorta like a fifties version of Dave Gibson and Moxie Records, only his records would probably pass the strict Hi-Fi quality that collectors were looking for back in those STEREO REVIEW minded days.

Not surprisingly, the Jokers sound clearer here than they do on the recs (which were---now get this---"reissues" of early forgotten platters) and are definitely worth seeking out if you like the late-fifties garage band pound it out style that was popular during those pre-Beatle days. The rest is a mixed up package featuring everything from hotcha r 'n b/rockabilly (the Juke Jumpers' four sides) to loads of doo-wop and a-capella of varying degress of which a good portion which doesn't quite snuggle up to me as if I would like a doo-wop version of "Over The Rainbow" in the first place.

Whatever is on here it's interesting enough to the point where I woulda loved to have read a neat insert book with detailed bios of the acts and snaps galore .Alas none are to be found which I must admit I do find quite a disappointment especially in these info-conscious times. Something along these lines is just begging for the royal treatment which you woulda thought the guy who created the whole shebang woulda given it but who knows...maybe Greco's working in the "grey" area and the less said the better ifyaknowaddamean.

My best bet is that given the costs to make these babies inna first place its probably money concerns, and given my own experiences putting out fanzines with Cee-Dee enclosures in 'em I SHOULD KNOW!!!

The Jokers can be heard via youtube and I'm guessing maybe the others too.. Might wanna seek these out there before you decide to tingle your toes in the entire Greco shebang which might set you back upwards of two digits worth of money in these rather scrunched times. Or just record 'em off there and save the moolah...I'm sure Greco would understand.
FINK ALONG WITH MAD CD-r burn (originally on Big Top Records)

Not as bad as I was thinking it would be, this MAD-sponsored collection captures a whole lotta 1963 spirit with music that actually stacks up to the big hitters of the day along with lyrics that actually can make my ears perk up a bit. In fact, FINK ALONG WITH MAD is just as good as other dated-if-comedy-oriented platters such as NATIONAL LAMPOON'S LEMMINGS and other attempts at spoofing the top forty sounds and by gum it oughta be in your comedy album collection smack dab next to THE ASTRONAUT and alla those Bill Cosby albums you just aren't gonna play anymore. Personal fave...what else but the legendary "It's a Gas" by Alfred E. Neuman himself!
Various Artists-THE LOST KING RECORDINGS CD-r burn

Yet another "grey area" recording came out inna eighties that was just plum ripe for the up and coming rockabilly audience that was discovering these ancient recordings thanks to the tireless efforts of such brave revivalists as the Stray Cats and Phantom, Slick and Rocker. But sheesh, this King label sure sounds different from the King label that gave us alla those James Brown records with the ultra cheap covers. Oh, that must be a different "King" label...heeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! But all kiddin' aside this is a hotcha collection for those who wanna hear even more of that long forgotten local countrified rockabilly done up before it became yet another excuse for glammed up excess and if you can't relate to that well...I do have a copy of BUILT FOR SPEED  I can sell you for a real nice price.

Yes it's time to put on your thinking caps and match wits with Bailey doing his Johnny Dollar routine trying to not only solve certain cases but recoup alla that insurance money his company hadda dole out. The first 'un's a doozy dealing with people from a company being knocked off in a strange pattern which is costing Dollar's insurance company beaucoup, while the second has to do with this missing importer whose young wife could care less if he is gone since she's playing hide the slim jim with the guy's lawyer. And then where does this mysterious sailor called "Blinker" fit in anyway??? Good stuff from the tail end of the "Golden Age of Radio" which oddly enough partially coincided with "The Golden Age of Tee-Vee" and I ain't talkin' KRAFT EBBING THEATER either!
McCoy Tyner-LIVE AT NEWPORT CD-r burn (originally on Impulse Records)

I dunno, but without John Coltrane leading him McCoy Tyner just wasn't anything that spectacular. Typical Leonard Feather DOWN BEAT poll-topping good jazz stuff you wear suits to go listen to. This set hasn't changed my opinion one bit what with him and band playing the old worn-outs like "My Funny Valentine" to a nice and polite audience that sounds like it numbers in the tens. He shoulda just stuck with Coltrane and maybe I wouldn't quite cringe while thinking of all those accolades he was getting from fellow schmoozers throughout the seventies.
VIBRASONIC CD-r burn originally on Yep Records)

Retro true, but it has enough psycho-doof attitude to make it a once-in-a lifetime spin. Fair 'nuff usage of various a go go mid-sixties cheapo riffage with some hotcha electronic effects to keep you hip and with it while you're goin' through your Bikini Luv comics. If PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN was too far out for you and the Deep, Fire Escape and Deviled Ham were too punky you should like the neo-eastern pseudo El Lay exploito sounds even more than LAUGH IN reruns.
The Stench Band-PRAY FOR THE FRED CD-r burn

There must have been more than a few of these Zappa-influenced aggregates cluttering up the fruity plain back in the seventies, but how many of them actually got to put a record out? The Stench Band from Omaha Nebraska did even if it was years after their existence, and as far as freaky neo-satiical rock goes it's well...not bad even with the cornballus country rock goofs and daft stabs at humor. Nothing that really stimulates the nodes mind you what with the emphasis on the strangeness, but it does stand as a good enough tribute. Flashes of Mothers, Beefheart and maybe even a little Hampton Grease Band here and there, and a definite must for that guy on the WAX FLAGS bootleg who kept yelling "YOU'RE ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY FRANK!" at the stage.
Athanor-FLASHBACK CD-r burn (originally on Guerssen Records, Spain)

Don't let the dorky looking guys onna cover fool ya, this platter contains some pretty good seventies-era neo-Beatles (filtered through the Nazz, Blue Ash and Move) local pop rock to have come out of that best/worst of time decade. Mid-energy pop that has a sort of Badfinger quality to it, so if early-seventies post-rabble AM radio was your main bag back then (or else if you were too young to enjoy or not even born during those times) this was the kinda music that sure made sense amidst the Melanies and Cat Taylors who were sure clogging up the youth consciousness mindset at the time.

I wonder where Bill tracks down these weird gritty rock 'n roll and related (sorta) kinda recordings he slaps on these disques. Take this particular piece of musical placenta he decided to submit for my approval...I mean, what mental hospital raid resulted in these? All kidding aside, this is yet another one of those wild compilations that only could come from the fetid fertile mind of Bill what with the inclusion of the infamous yet under-documented Koobas, Mae West during her rock 'n roll cash in days, Mona Thomas doing her best to out-Leslie Gore Gore herself and some guys called Spoon who do a good enough Creedence styled riffage mixed with various late-sixties punk rock techniques. The real odditie of the package just happens to be a fellow named Paul McGarry who takes on the Syndicate of Sound fave "Hey Little Girl" as well as the Flamin' Groovie great "Shake Some Action"...sounds like a teenage puberty pouncer getting in on the old classics which only goes to show you that ROCK 'N ROLL IS NOT DEAD, at least as far as confused adolescents with tonsillitis go.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Here's another one of those who woulda guessed? books to actually reach fruition, 'specially when you consider that not only does the subject matter fail to elicit hoots from the better than thou crowd but that there already was a book on the rock group Suicide called NO COMPROMISE written quite awhile back. Is the world ready for another tome on this legendary if obscure (to smaller "rock" minds that is) book? I for sure thought that one book woulda been it and ne'er would we have the opportunity to read about this infamous sound machine again in book form no matter how long we managed to waste precious air.

Well, there was a time when I thought that one book on the Velvet Underground was gonna be the ONLY book on the Velvet Underground and time proved me wrong, so what's two books on Suicide in one lifetime after all? At least these two books don't suck like a few of the Velvet Underground ones do, and in this definitely anti-rock 'n roll as a suburban slob anthem time that's sayin' somethin' good!.

It's grand that Kris Needs (one of the better scribes to pop outta seventies England---a guy on par with all of my favorite Britsters pro or otherwise and miles beyond the fetid likes of Julie Whazername) wrote this book not only because he is an utmost-mode Suicide fan, but because ol' Chris's also one of the more talented survivors of those rather florid days who knows how to translate fan-level emotion and intellectual critique into type! While the biggies of the day like Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent seem to have been making themselves rather scarce (not that I've been exactly looking, and subscriptions to LIBERATION sure do cost plenty) it's sure pleasing to the mental palate that a man like Needs is spreading himself thicker than Cheez Whiz on crackers. Hey, who else is writing about rock 'n roll on all hooves these days rather'n rehashing Sony Records promo sheets which seems to have been the norm in rock "criticism" circles since at least 1982.

Great detective work here what with Needs uncovering a whole load of previously-unknown info regarding the team of Alan Vega and Martin Rev---and that's including their early days and upbringings and even little heretofore unknown bits about everything to Rev's "Reverend B" jazz group to Vega's early attempts at an act with that guy who later ended up as the third Suicide member. Y'know, the guitarist who eventually left in a haze of fear??? Of course there are a few things in here that I wish I didn't know about like how Vega scrambooched from his wife in order to live on the streets and be a music-mad bum, but I never thought that any of my faves were perfect. But whatever the situation is, Needs presents it to you in a way that actually puts you up front just as if you were in the same room when these various happenings and downright epiphanies were transpiring, like the time Vega got a two AM phonecall from a friend telling him to turn on the Allison Steele show because she was playing the first Stooges album!

A few misses here and there such as the ones regarding the various late-seventies/early-eighties Suicide side projects (no mention of the Blue Humans!) but if people can accuse me of not being thorough then I guess Needs can be too! Believe you me, this will remind you about EVERYTHING that got you hot, bothered and excited back inna seventies and I ain't kiddin' one bit!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


The Press Guardian was a character who had an ongoing series in PEP COMICS in 1940-41 for 11 issues, and thus this collection contains eleven stories of six pages each from PEP #1- #11. PEP was published by MLJ, which was the fore-runner of Archie Comics. The earliest appearance of the Archie-related characters was in PEP COMICS #22 in December 1941--Press Guardian’s final appearance was in Pep #11, dated January 1941 (so he was gone before Archie began)--and after the huge popularity of the Archie franchise, the company changed its name to Archie Comics, and it’s still doing big business today. Archie Comics radically changed its visual style a few years ago. To me, that was like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but the Archie corporation has always tried to keep contemporary (they were in on the online comics bandwagon early, for instance)....and even when I have not liked the directions they’ve moved into, which is pretty much always, their gambles seem to have paid off financially. The RIVERDALE TV show has been a huge ratings success, and even though it has little to do with the Archie characters and images we longtime readers know and love (and have championed here at BTC), it’s making money. And Archie Comics is a business. As most of you know, only a fraction of Marvel’s income comes from comics themselves nowadays--it’s mostly from licensing, film deals, etc. Obviously, the Archie corporation has seen the dollars signs in that strategy.

Thankfully, the Press Guardian comics come from a period when the pre-Archie MLJ was trying to keep afloat in the general comics market, populating their PEP COMICS with all kinds of stories and characters and moods to appeal to the 12-year-old boys of all ages and genders. Thus, these stories seem as fresh and as alive as a Columbia B-crime film or a Shadow pulp story (one can assume that the present-day Archie product will have only camp/kitsch appeal in 25 years or be used as research in some deadly and humorless college “popular culture” study).

When I first heard of Press Guardian, I assumed that was his name a la BRICK Bradford or BLAZE Baylor or FLASH Fulton, but no....he is the Guardian of the Press. As with Bruce Wayne/Batman, he has an everyday identity--Perry Chase, son of the publisher of the Daily Express newspaper, and “society reporter” (!!!) for the paper. His everyday persona is somewhat milquetoast, and at the beginning of one comic, he’s even described as sissified (!!!). His secretary, Cynthia Blake, knows that he is secretly the Press Guardian, and she accompanies him on his adventures.

Usually, the newspaper is out to break some crime-related story, and Perry asks his father if he can cover it. He’s always told no, go back to your society reporting, and then he seems to agree and sulks away. Then he and Cynthia go undercover, he puts on his Press Guardian uniform, and he beats up the bad guys and cleans up the crime situation. As with Clark Kent, who always seems to have “just missed” the big situation that Superman cleans up, Perry “just misses” the stories that his alter ego Press Guardian cleans up.

Clearly, they were making it up as they were going along with the Press Guardian series. In the first story, his identity is not divulged or even hinted at. I even guessed wrong about who it was. Then once Perry Chase was identified and given a female partner, the series proceeded with stand-alone stories which were totally completed in six pages. Then we had a story which ran from one issue to another, with a serial-like cliffhanger. Then the stories became somewhat complete, but there was an ongoing villain named The Claw, who never seemed to get killed at the end of the previous chapter, and who continued on. The final installment obviously was not planned as the final installment, since that story in issue #11 ends with a teaser about how we can catch more of his adventures next month in Pep Comics.

Also, the early entries in the series are more hard-boiled urban crime in their orientation, and as the series continued, it veered off into strange sci-fi/horror oriented stories, with The Claw creating a race of Beast-Men with devil horns who will do his bidding in taking over the world. Interestingly, although The Claw is not really defeated or caught in story #10, hinting that he’d be back, he does not appear in the final story, #11, which deals with hard-boiled urban criminals blackmailing good-hearted immigrants who are in the country illegally and who are being blackmailed with the threat of turning them in to the authorities. Then the series ends...

Crusading newspapermen and women seem as antiquated today as stagecoaches and 8-track tapes, so it’s refreshing to make the acquaintance of The Press Guardian. The stories are over-the-top enough to bring a grin to the pimpled face of the reader, exciting enough to please the action fan, odd enough to satisfy the urge for something different, and straight-forward enough to be resolved (mostly) in six pages. The art seems somewhat hurried and with a lack of consistency in the depiction of the characters....and classically-trained comics artists such as Burne Hogarth would be outraged by the crimes against perspective and the human form and the horizon line and the like in the compositions. However, as with a quickly-written pulp magazine story (or Ed Wood’s adult fiction), the very quickness of the drawing captures a kind of momentum which brings action and immediacy to the story. Like a one-take, low-budget 1930’s indie crime film or western, you can tell that these people are working without a net.

For me, THE COMPLETE PRESS GUARDIAN is just the antidote I need to today’s over-hyped “must see TV” and pretentious comics. It’s available now, and it’s reasonably priced. What’s stopping you from ordering a copy?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bein' mid-October 'n all, boy am I zoning back to many an autumn past! I just can't get that suburban slob ranch house kid feelin' outta my cyst-em even this late inna game o' life, what with certain times of the year doin' nothin' but reminding me of what I was doin' as a kid back in my high school days. And those days, my fren, usually had me reminiscing about things that happened when I was but a mere turdler back when the weather was changing and I was being introduced to the new tee-vee season which at the time seemed like the biggest event next to them holidaze we all used to look forward to.

Against all odds I must say that I had a downright splendid week, what with not only the huge hunks of musical goodies that have permeated the thick hymen-like walls of my mental comprehension but the plethora of reading material which has thankfully made its way to my door. And when I'm talkin' readin' I'm not talkin' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK OF REVIEWS type of intellectual quap 'r anything like that...I'm flappin' my gums o'er not only a buncha old rock mags including a buncha old ZIG ZAGs but two rare English fanzines that are bound to be mentioned in these "pages" one of these dayze. Not only that but I just got hold of a book received gratis via Hozak which is howshallIsay a real winner that's kept me up more nights than impure sexual thoughts ever could! You'll be reading about this 'un (and more) in the upcoming weeks but for now let's just say that I'm in high energy heaven thanks to these recent acquisitions!!!

Until then, howzbout settlin' back with these writeups that might even coax you into getting hold of a hot rock 'n roll platter and spinnin' it until the grooves run dry! A good stack for sure, and thanks to Bill, Paul and Bob for shootin' 'em out my way. And as they used to say, keep those cards and letters comin' in!

Ravjunk-UPPSALA STADHOTELL BRINNER IGEN CD (Normal Records Germany, available via Forced Exposure)

It sure soothes whatever there is in me left to be soothed that there are still a few archival seventies-era rock artyfacts being spewed forth to keep old fogies like me reminded of just why those days were the great attempt to get rock 'n roll BACK ON TRACK! Although these attempts failed miserably (at least in grabbing hold of the minds and hearts of the kidz these toonz were meant for!) at least we have a few thou acts out there to thank for their brave if flopperoonie tries to make rock relevant again. Sweden's Ravjunk were but one of the many who gave it that all-engrossing go at it and judging from this platter (also available as an elpee) they did a fine spanking good job at it.

Upon first listen you might think this is closer to an arty attempt at an otherworldly rock landscape so common amongst bedroom practitioners of the form, but this platter rocks straight out like all those groups that made your 1978 top ten list with a fine blend of mid-sixties accomplishment, late-sixties shock and seventies miasma with a hope for that better future that never came. Big surprise, track #5 "Skjut Jultomten Nu" (I think) which surprisingly enough sounds like Cleveland faves Mirrors' classic "Sea Chains" even including the bridge if you can imagine it! Must be something about wavelengths runnin' on the same frequency.

UPPSALA STADHOTELL BRINNER IGEN...ya can't miss it! It's the one with a pic of a fox taking a piss bitch style onna cover!
Moby Grape-THE PLACE AND THE TIME CD-r burn (originally on Sundazed Records)

Wow (no pun intended), an even better package than that Columbia two-disque set from a good twenny years back! Loads of Moby Grape rarities and ne'er before heards gathered on one spinner which, when eaten, digested, pooped and wiped, goes to show you why these guys were perhaps the real leading light of the whole San Francisco hype what with their true abilities to merge various styles and not look like a buncha precocious pretenders. (Which the Grateful Dead certainly did look like when doin' the eclectic influence game, only their fans were too brain-grogged to realize it.) It's funny, at first I could not hear what it was in these guys that was so great, but after awhile it FINALLY SUNK INTO MY EVER-SHINY HEAD and for that I should be eternally thankful.
SUNN TRIO CD-r burn (originally on Sky Lantern Records)

My what a wild middle-eastern excursion into jazz forms we have here!Yeah, the whole idea of jazz meets the shifting sands ain't exactly a new 'un but this Sunn Trio really knows how to mesh the mideast groove with various new jazz and even some rock formations to make for a record that you know woulda been too wild for those pseudo intellectual college kids tryin' to be so hip 'n with it back inna early sixties. Fine production, extremely innovative guitar playing and driving compositions make this platter a surprise outta nowhere and y'know what? These guys ain't any sixties or seventies leftovers but are up and about in the HERE AND NOW---can ya believe it??? (And I better considerin' how I tend to shun current accomplishment because's current!)
Various Artists-COME SPY WITH US---THE SECRET AGENT SONGBOOK CD-r burn (Ace Records, England)

While Bill Shute's burns filled with radio and tee-vee jingles zone me back to them days when I'd be but a mere turdler tumbling across the back seat to the front while the radio was playin' in the '62 Catalina, this dub courtesy Paul McGarry reminds me of those first 'n second grade experiences when I was totally traumatized not only by the cruelty of my teachers and classmates but my parents once I got home and handed over that sealed note. But there were good times to be had, and watching spy shows does remain one of the happier memories of those days along with eating penny candy and saving up enough moolah to buy a Matchbox toy car. Things were cheap, but I got a whole lot more outta such cheapness than I'm sure you spoiled kids who got everything you wanted and probably broke it as soon as it got into your precocious paws.

A lotta this stuff contains versions of hits and such not done by the original artists, but they're still neat enough for me to enjoy in my own unbridled suburban slob way. I particularly like the covers of various moom pitcher and such themes by faves like Johnny and the Hurricanes, the Challengers and the Ventures, and while the takes on such shows as THE MAN FROM UNCLE ain't as good as the McCoy they still sound better'n the same nineties hits that continue to be spun in restaurants this late down the line. And yeah, Al Caiola remains a doof in the annals of guitardom, but his take on SECRET AGENT MAN still runs rings around anything Joe Satriani and other big toots inna biz has been up to these past few decades. Good enough if you were the spy type as a kid, especially when your cyster was taking a shower.
The Dream Syndicate-HOW DID I FIND MYSELF HERE? CD-r burn (originally on Anti Records)

I've been heralding the return of the Dream Syndicate about as much as I've longed for a job as a tester at at French tickler factory, but frankly this one isn't that bad. Not that I particularly care for that whole "post punk" misinterpretation of Velvets drone as "atmospheric" rock that had plagued way too many an act both then and now, but I don't find this offensive to my tastes that much despite the lack of tension. I wouldn't buy it in a millyun years, but if you're keen on eighties acts who played an important musical role in the lives of self-important precocious mirror-gazing altruistic types throughout that decade then hey, you can't do better than this!
Jay Bentley and the Jet Set-WATUSI 64 CD-r burn (originally on Vogue, France)

An Amerigan release that actually got a French do-over and predictably sank like a stale baguette. With all of the home grown and English talent to contend with it's no wonder, but actually these guys ain't as turdburgeresque as you might think. Good enough (at least for me) British Invasion rockswipe that doesn't sound as cornballus as some of the jerkisms that were coming out, but then again this just doesn't hit that total eruption mark that makes this one of those platters you'll remember for the rest of your miserable life. As if that really mattered.
WILD BUTTER CD-r burn (originally on United Artists Records)

Another late-sixties obscure rocker from the days when the major labels would sign just about anything in the hopes that it became the new Beatles. Of course most if not ALL of the time these outta-nowhere acts failed miserably, but at least they left us with disques that sounds pretty good even in these dismally anti-rock times. Akron's Wild Butter fail in delivering us a healthy dose of jamz, but just barely. In all they make a nice enough hard rock presentation with harmony vocals that don't elicit ipecac-like reactions and a good sense of pop, but the thing just doesn't blast off into the same rock strata that made other hard rockers of the era such long-lived classics. If left alone to their own devices Wild Butter might have made that all-out rock 'n roll album we all coulda used back then, but as usual the chance to really break on through to the other side just didn't happen and I for one am just SICK about it!
Punks on Mars-BAD EXPECTATIONS CD-r burn (originally on 101 Distribution Records)

I was expecting the usual 201X applications of the whole PUNK! after punkque after pUnafter punk usage of the hoary old term with this one, but surprisingly enough these Martians really do put on a swell show, or at least sound. Musical references date closer to the mid-seventies early poppage of the p-rock term with a sound that comes off a little Sweet, sorta Sparks-ish, kinda Ramones-y yet with various avant pop ideas thrown in to the point where (with a proper name change) this band might made their way onto (egads!) Harvest Records just like Be Bop Deluxe or the Frenchies had they only appeared on the scene a good forty years earlier! Not bad a-tall, and for me at least a good once-in-a-lifetime spinner for sure.
HEY, WINCH! CD-r burn

Here's a surprise that could come outta nowhere but only the mind of Bill Shute, a collection of various Paul Winchell and related tracks I for sure am not familiar with! These trax include various novelty records done with famed dummies Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, the theme to a Hanna-Barbera Saturday Morning cartoon show I'm vaguely aware of (by that time I was becoming too old for these cartoons and they were becoming too young for me ifyaknowaddamean...) and these rather entertaining NAME THAT TUNE-styled radio shows done for Mutual  circa 1949 where Winch and Mahoney call up unsuspecting housewives to see if they can recognize them old forties melodies for amounts of money that couldn't even buy you cab fare to Flushing!

These radio shows really show yet another facet of the Winchell genius as he plays two "people" so to speak at once and also (given these were the days before two-way telephone calls could be broadcast) has to relay to the audience what the lucky contestant is saying. Thankfully Winchell doesn't make these programs sound constipated and dull what with his ability to gab on and try to coax some positive response from the subject at hand along with Mahoney's witty asides injected at the right time. Just goes to show you how people could take what little they had and done as much as they could given the time and the tools at hand. Too bad that lesson fell flat on me while I was producing my not-so-famous crudzine, but then again wha' th' hey!
Green on Red-HERE COME THE SNAKES CD-r burn (originally on China Records)

It was acts like Green on Red that helped cool me towards a huge hunkerin' hunk of the newer breed of psychedelic "revivalists" that were comin' out at an alarming rate and a platter like this only serves to remind me WHY??? Not that I wasn't apt to read the opinions of many a critic that I kinda/sorta agreed with back during those tepid times but these paisley underground groups sure didn't seem like the logical extension of the seventies swill I liked, not with the kind of neo-country folkie rock with college trust fund kiddie attitudes that many of these groups exuded. Green on Red just don't break from any special molds and sound just as commercially tame as everything else that was competing for my moolah back during those oft cash-strapped times. Good thing that I spent whatever I did have on pricey Velvet Underground bootlegs (even MORE BERMUDA THAN PIZZA...well, not that!) instead of this post-gonz fanzine fodder.

It's kinda funny, but none of the tracks on this sixties local-garage-rock compilation have anything to do with nightclubs. It's all high school (even grade school!) gyms and grange halls for these teenage mopers who sure know how to do the moanin' on these pre-relevance sides. Despite the aura of gloom that permeates this platter this 'un's a pretty good groover (or maybe even groper) what with the likes of the Castaways, Pyramids (who might be the famed surf band just before turning into the Family Dog) and others doing the kind of rock 'n roll job most American's just wouldn't do. Personal fave of this mess is the Dennis and the Times nugget "Flight Patters" which approaches PEBBLES VOL. 3 "acid punk" what with its "Eight Miles High"-inspired 12-string guitar twang and an ending that would make Roger McGuinn twist his granny shades in frustration!
Various Artists-THE THICK DARKNESS LIKE A BLANKET CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

MORE "floor sweepings" from Bill, this batch consists mostly of old raydio and tee-vee commercials from the past which really do conjure up a whole load of turdler-era memories in my thinned-out beanie (ooops, there I go flying into the front seat of the Catalina again!). There are even some pretty good 'uns I haven't heard in a long time (the Stan Freberg radio ad about the hot chocolate and giant maraschino cherry) or haven't heard at all (Freberg's 008 Prince Macaroni ad featuring "Goldnoodle"). Like nothing today these spots are engaging to the mind and downright fun (well, the early-seventies ads reflect that sensitive male miasma we all went through) and I even flashed back to some really early funtime frolicking upon hearing the theme to PIXIE & DIXIE after quite a long spell. Of course Bill hadda stick more of those middle-eastern mandolin and baklava records in for some reason but they sounded so old and historically pleasing that I could practically smell the musty attic these platters came outta!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

BOOK REVIEW! UNDER THE NIHIL BY ANDY NOWICKI (Counter-Currents Publishing, 2011)

Andy Nowicki ranks as one of my fave raves amongst the new era of cutting-edge political commentators. The co-founder of the ALTERNATIVE RIGHT blogspot along with Colin Liddell and Richard Spencer, for the past decade-plus Nowicki has been cranking out some mighty though-provoking and dare-I-say "edgy" socio-political commentary especially in/for these eggshell tip toeing times, and while he certainly isn't as controversial as Liddell (a South African living in Japan who considers the Irish a bunch of wogs) he's controversial enough to be on the current SPLC and ADL hit lists even if his writings aren't anti-black or Jewish (critical at times true, not anti---but as we know that doesn't matter anymore). Even if he's not as hot button as some of the newer commentators on the "scene" his opines can still blanch a patch of precocious petunias especially in these overwrought garment rending times.

Of course I like him if only for this. I've read many of the new alt right breed and might disagree with some or even most of their opines, but I find Nowicki pretty on-the-ball as far as any personal copasetic feelings regarding politics and the current clime go, not sans certain faults mind you but then again the greatest men in time had the greatest faults and who am I (or you) to judge as they say.

Being not much of a fiction lover I decided to get Nowicki's 2011 novella (one of a number of books by the man) a go anyway if only because of what I have read by him via ALTERNATIVE RIGHT and other on-line sources. Never was a big fan of fiction unless it was encased in word balloons with lotsa pictures to behold, but this particular title seemed like just the particular piece of fantasy to get (if I hadda only get one) and man it is a good enough read.

Given how sometimes these tomes for the times can strike at your soul (heck, I even liked Ayn Rand's ANTHEM perhaps because it was her least cluttered and overall least irritating work) I felt that I couldn't do that bad by giving it a try. Y'know what, I was right once again. UNDER THE NIHIL is a dark, engrossing and reams-your-brain kinda novel that's probably not in much of a demand by the typically library-combing book readers of these days. (Heck, I tried to obtain a copy via library search and none in the state was in possession of a copy...wonder why???) But if they only knew what the book was, who wrote it and who published it (Counter-Currents) maybe I wouldn't even be here to tell you all about expression is such a limited commodity these days.

In this 'un a nameless seminary school washout found beaten in the bad part of town is approached by some official-looking type with a JFK accent and prodded to be a guinea pig in an experiment where said subject is to take a pill called Nihil (which eliminates all fear and woe in a person making him the ultimate ubermench) and record the day-by-day effects of it on his personality and behavior. Feeling abandoned by the fambly, by humanity and by God in particular the guy agrees to the deal because for the most part, he is already "nihil" himself. Sounds good enough considering the pay, and like what do twentysomething ex-seminarians living on skid row have to look forward to anyway?

The experiment takes on a whole slew of strange turns until coming to a surprising conclusion, and then a bright and blazing symbolic if anything coda which might even have some of your more "enlightened" readers throwing the book in utterly righteous disgust considering the ultimate moral about liberty and freedom which is espoused during page-turning conclusion. Who knows, most readers might just begin to think twice about these modern day concepts which seem to have oozed themselves into twisted chasms that I don't think anyone woulda thought they woulda gone into a good fifty years least back then the powers that be knew enough right from wrong to see just where humanity was heading but given the free form spreading and metastasized concept of what man is truly to be (and never could be) it's been all washed up into a basin of nothing reading to be flushed away into eternity. Billy said both those words were dead only he was a few decades ahead of himself. Nihil indeed!

You'll think, maybe even shudder at the message this book contains.  I don't think you're gonna be able to shake it off that easily. And really, that is good thing especially in these times when we've all become too complacent about just where we are to the point where most of us couldn't even care about the big bulldozing of everything we've created being torn down like some old gas station that has been abandoned sixty years ago. Definitely an "I dare you" read, of course you won't take me up on it.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

I had so much fun doin' that previous "Singles Going Stroonad" a short while back that I thought hey, why not do another of these things?!?! I mean not only was it grand prowling through my singles collection after quite a spell of neglect but it was just heart-cockle warming to get back together with my TRUE friends down inna basement and talk about old times that are long gone and all. Well, they've turned out to be better friends than some of you turncoat backstabbers out there that's for sure!!!

Anyhoo, here's the latest go 'round. I believe a few of these have been reviewed on this blog about a decade back but given my sieve-like mind (and yours) it's like so what! Maybe you'll discover a new fave, or link up with a lost relic, or just be amazed at the wealth of singles that came out thus benefiting our lives, but then again maybe you'll find a millyun dollars under your doormat tomorrow.

Johnnie Allan-"Promised Land"/Pete Fowler-"One Heart One Song" (Stiff Records, or Ovalstiff as it sez onna cover, Holland)

This is one of those yellow vinyl singles that flooded even the more sophisticado record shops during the colored vinyl craze of the late-seventies. For some strange reason I passed on it, or didn't even notice it for that matter, but it was there next to the Klark Kents and Nick Lowes for all to see. Allan cooks Cajun on the a-side doin' Chuck Berry with an accordion and it all works ya over the same way one a them Justin Wilson cooking shows had ya droolin' all over the place. Fowler comes closer to the whole Stiff retro-cool mode that the label made its mark with---it's a wonder why this 'un didn't end up on the box set like it shoulda. Being too cheap to delve into either guys' careers any further this does make for a good taste.
Wurm-"We're Off", "I'm Dead"/"Time Has Come Today" EP (SST Records)

One can only thank God 'n with a big "G" at that that Chuck Dukowski of Black Flag fame was in this metallic trio before joining forces with Greg Ginn et. al., for if he hadn't would anyone know about Wurm 'r care for that matter? This reunion single from '85 had a whole slew of people who were searching for rock 'n roll life in the eighties ravin' to the roof with its perfect merging of the TRUE heavy metal aesthetic (clue---you won't hear about it from Andy Secher) and the hardcore blare which, come to think of it, WAS the logical end point in the whole HM game as it should have stood ten years after the fact. Too bad the LP entitled FEAST wasn't this hot even if it did scorch more than a few earholes including my own. Hope and prey that the 1973 rehearsal tapes will eventually see the light of day as a legit release 'n all boosted up soundwise  t' boot!
The Jokers-"Little Mama"/"Say You're Mine"; "Red Headed Woman"/"I Ain't Gonna Be Your Fool (Greco Records)

Until GRECO RECORDS---THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS makes its way to my abode this is gonna have to do as far as this obscure New Jersey-oriented garage band (late-fifties division) goes. The "Little Mama" single sounds a whole lot more focused than the other which would figure since the other single never even got a legit release, but it still pounds on in a neo-rockabilly cum doo-wop fashion that even boasts an imitation Jordonaires backing vocal! Great piano work too that sounds like someone's been listening to a whole lotta Jerry Lee Lewis and admired Jo Ann Castle's tack piano sound via THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW. "Red Headed Woman" even sounds like it probably was recorded in the garage, or at least in Aunt Mabel's living room (hence the piano) while she wasn't home. She just don't abide by that raucous devil's music, y'know.
Rik L. Rik-"Meat House"/"I Got Power" (Posh Boy Records)

Can't see why BOMP! bomped Rik L. Rik but good in the final issue of that sainted rag because even though he was doin' the Ig of Stooge game he was sure doin' it a whole lot better'n many of the also rans who seemed happy enough ramming the whole sordid legend into the ground. Not quite raw power but maybe medium rare power'd rock that has a good enough drive to make you recall alla that sound and fury which most definitely signified something back during those best/worst of times days. Nice white vinyl in clear sleeve package that kinda makes me think about those days of yore, then get madder'n all fanabla because I was broke most of the time and couldn't afford everything I most dearly wanted to get into my mitts!
Anonymous-"Snake Attack"/"Corporate Food" (label sez "Flat Records", "cover sez "Mr. Brown Records"...take yer pick)

A lotta this college kid caper cut up experimental "Hey Mom Look At Me!" stuff never did sound more than the usual masturbatory doo-whiz with the lifespan appeal of a moth, but at least Anonymous created a noisy wall of late-seventies ka-POW! that sounded just as goofed up as those Smegma records that were also making the rounds at the time. Fast-paced, maddening and definitely avant garde as opposed to avant flub, Anonymous put out a crazed (as in Residents' "Satisfaction") record that lives up to the late-seventies aura of rock as madness and thankfully doesn't sound like an "art project". Kudos to R. Meltzer for giving this one some precious broadcast time on his long-missed radio program.
The Curse-"Shoeshine Boy"/"Killer Bees" (Hi Fi Records, Canada)

Toronto's all-gal Curse really knew how to tweak the cheeks back then, as this record was about as hot off the presses as an extra of THE DAILY PLANET regarding some greasy foreign-kinda shoeshine boy who learned an easy way to make a few extra buck by being friendlier than one would normally be to the local clientele! Only this time his junior achievement got the best of him as the rough trade got roughed up just a little too much leading to quite a big hoo hah and a lotta newspapers gettin' sold! But taste never did matter to this group because singer Mickey Skin was brave enough to actually taunt the dead li'l rascal asking how exactly did he make a hunnerd bux in one day and boy did this rec get the publicity because of it! Fair enough as a punk rock artyfact goes, or maybe I'm still amazed at that pic of Skin that popped in in THE NEW YORK ROCKER where she's not wearing a bra and like well, it's a little chilly outside 'n all and I think you can guess the rest...
The Slickee Boys-MAGNESIUM ANDROID PUPPIES EP (Dacoit Records)

For bein' one of those under-the-underground acts first sproutin' about inna mid-seventies the Boys sure lived a longer and healthier life than many of their compadres. Here's their first offering from '76, a nicely packaged platter that plays at 33 and gives you a lot more music that you'd expect outta such a small package. I gotta say that maybe the performance ain't as tippy top notch as I woulda liked these sixties worshippers to have cranked out but it's still a wild ride that ranks with other self-produced seven-inch offerings of that year like those from Sneakers, Pere Ubu and MX-80 Sound.

Mostly covers consisting of "What a Boy Can't Do", "Brand New Cadillac", "Psychodaisies" and the theme from EXODUS with the only original being the title track and it's a good 'un too. If you're hot for the mid-seventies refurbishing of the mid-sixties sounds that most of the hippoids of the day forgot about, and on purpose for that matter, try locating this 'n give it a try.
Monte Carmont-"Think Dance"/"Neat, Clean, Perfect", "In Another Land" (Bizart Records)

A 1980 wonder from Brian Sands' classic if short-lived record label. Boffo electronic pop that sorta sounds like Sparks veering off into various new wave pre "gnu" wave (thanks again Bill!) directions that don't suck one bit! A few sidesteps into Syd Barrett whimsy and a spec of Bolan help out a whole lot, and like it's too bad that this 'un hadda be buried under the weight of a whole load of lesser sounds that, strangely enough, seem to be remembered with a strange fondness these more screwed up than ever days.
Wayne Kramer's Gang War featuring Johnny Thunders-"New York City", "I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys"/"Endless Party", "Just Because I'm White" EP (Venus Records)

This is the short-lived act that got a whole load of NEW YORK ROCKER press because of the presence of the former MC5 and New York Dolls guitar villains (well, they sure ain't heroes in a world where every swivelhipped string bender with long flowery hair claims heir to the title). A hotcha night at Max's Kansas City was captured here what with the band doing some old Dolls faves as well as the Rolling Stones  METAMORPHOSIS classic "I'd Much Rather Be With The Boys" which I remember Jane Scott comparing, if tangentially, to David Bowie in her review! That Jane!!! It all ends with the blooze number "Just Because I'm White" which got a few people yelling racist back in the old days though if it came out in the here and now you could just see the antifanabla types marching through the streets with the entire bands' heads on sticks! Sheesh, can anyone take a sick joke no mo'?
Window Pain-"Mindbender"/"Green", "Underworld" (Nuclear Waste Records)

There have been a lot of forgotten singles, EPs and such issued over the past half-century plus, and it's sure pleasing to the ol' pectorals when I uncover one of 'em that really holds up with time and continues to zoom your mind into places it's never been to and might never return to again! Of course you might need a little "stimulation" to achieve such mental heights, but with this Window Pain who needs Window Pane???

Neo-sixties psych meets early-seventies electronic Roxyisms to make for a music that sounds part Debris with a little Chrome tossed in. I'll bet Chuck Warner could tell you reams about these guys and who knows, they may even appear on one or more of his HOMEWORK Cee-Dees and I kid you not!
Soul Asylum-Tied to the Tracks"/"Long Way Home" (Twin Tone Records)

Gettin' a li'l too deep into the eighties with this 'un, but WHO CARES because these Soul Asylum guys really put a hotcha slice of seventies-styled hard pop transposed into the bleakness of the eighties on this potent puncher. True it's got that punk rock drive that made more'n a few parents abuse their Fourth Commandment privileges over it, but the influence of a good portion of what made the seventies sound so good can be discerned to the point where you kinda get the idea that Soul Asylum woulda made a grand signing to Capitol 'round '74 way before being unceremoniously dumped. Of course this kinda music would get kinda stale once the eighties clocked out but hey, enjoy it while you can.
Roky Erickson-"Mine, Mine, Mind", "Click Your Fingers Applauding the Play"/"Two Headed Dog", "I Have Always Been Here Before" EP (Sponge Records, France)

The French always knew, and no I ain't talkin' about them letting Jean Genet outta prison while the Amerigans left Wilhelm Reich to rot as Patti Smith once said. I'm talkin' 'bout ROCK N' ROLL and not only the bevy of hotcha acts that emanated from that saintly country but the magazines and people that promoted them. And the labels like Sponge who not only released this classic slab from the former 13th Floor Elevators frontman but a Real Kids platter I also have in the collection somewhere.

Roky in his post-Elevators prime as the legend grew even greater. Dark and ominous, kinda like the man was singing from the depths of the pyramids to every rock being extant at the time this was laid down and the effort still reverberates. And the best part about it is that the guy wasn't even trying to be a punk! Can you dig that as Tim Yohannon used to say!
Harold Kelling-"Jezebel"/"Harlem Nocturne" (Hib-Tone Records)

Ex-Hampton Grease Band guitarist Kelling was one of the stronger points in that particular band, and here he stretches out on his own on this early-eighties vintage single put out by the same people who also gave you REM. Both sides are covers of way-too-familiar numbers but are worth the purchase if only for their reverb-y surf sound that was a good twenny-years-old by the time this was laid down. Might not settle well with long-time fans but as far as being a true Southern Rock Artyfact you can't get any more artyfactier than this!
The Rolling Stones-"You Better Move On", "Poison Ivy"/"Bye Bye Johnny", "Money" EP (Decca Records, England)

Nothing special. You heard it all before and thought it was great from the get-go, but this EP (a reissue?) does come in handy for short Rolling Stones spurts. It might even rekindle some sorta sixties spirit in your soul, remind you of the days when rock 'n roll was a pretty good juice-spurter as far as generating some powerful force inside your already overcooked beanie and that you could suss out the world itself via the mere existence of the Velvet Underground. Of course that whole notion died out around the time Charles Manson was oozing meaning outta the white album and rock 'n roll morphed into rock and was too saturated with evil intent to mean anything cogent, but we can still bask in the warmth of innocence now, can we?
Rudolph Grey-"Implosion-73"/"Transformation" (New Alliance Records)

Long neglected sides from the former Red Transistor guy himself playing with jazz great Rashied Ali on the a-side and on his lonesome on the flip. If you were in on the man's game since at least the Blue Humans this should also swivel your snizzle, what with the no chord atonal sound the man ekes outta his Mosrite which, coupled with Ali's total clang, makes for one of the better jazz (and I do mean it!) duos since those Survival Records platters where Ali would team up with the likes of Frank Lowe or Leroy Jenkins! Now, those were some duo exchanges that really fire up the old soul like nothing since Old Grandad. I only hope that Grey got his money outta this particular platter because hey, from what I understand the guy sure got little outta his recording efforts.
Radio Stars-STOP IT EP (Chiswick Records, England)

Ex-John's Children/Jet singer Andy Ellison might not have meant for Radio Stars to be a punk rock band per se as they say, but you can't deny the overt punkian tones on the likes of "No Russians in Russia". The rest wafts between a more new pre-gnu-wave pop style and even a throwback to the mid-seventies Sparks-influenced glam that Jet was making themselves known with before the mode of the music began to change. If you were one of those glitter types who used to pose at Rodney' English Disco this might rekindle a few long lost feelings in your paraphernalia package!

These here's them early Pickwick Records sides where Lou Reed cut his teeth on recording long before he became a twinkle in the eye of the one called Bowie. These tracks are so well-known amongst tribal maniacs like us that you could say they're just as legendary as those old Beatles platters are to the mid-sixties ironed-hair gals but hey, it's sure boffo givin' 'em another listen to once in awhile.

It's kinda crazy to know that these have actually been re-released legitimately, to which I say what's keeping you guys with the Velvet Underground exhumations that seem to have come to a complete stop! It's not like we have that much longer to live on the planet and like, I'm sure there's a great market for alla those early Falling Spikes efforts which I'd sure like to spin 'stead of the usual Velvets repackages being released in configurations that boggle the mind. C'mon Polyglot, you know that I'm not gonna dish out any money for anything else so like, why delay the ultimate pleasure???
The Creation-"Making Time"/"Painter Man" (Raw Records, England)

Like the above entry this record is old news, but for guys like me who were too late to get hold of the mid-seventies reissue on Charisma (which I never did see in the import bins) and didn't necessarily have the cash to buy the IF I STAY TOO LONG pirate that was parading itself around the TROUSER PRESS record ads, this was the only Creation readily available for a looooooong time. And in my own opinion these were two of the better tracks the group laid down, "Biff Bang Pow" being the third as if you really do care what I think inna first place.

But man does this sure bring back memories of those cash strapped days when even seemingly little things like self-produced and distributed singles sure made suburban slobs like me even happier than Allen Ginsburg marooned on a Crete Island with nothing but loin clothed boys for companionship (go see JOHNNY MINOTAUR if you think I'm kidding!). A nice bit of rock 'n roll legend released at a time when the legend was big enough but with all of those Toto amd Triumph albums out, who really cared?
Peter Tosh-"Legalize It", "Why Must I Cry"/"Till your Well Runs Dry" 33 rpm EP (Columbia Records)

Special white label promo sent out to "important people" in the biz, most of whom probably chucked this one in the wastebasket for being too drug-referenced for radio airplay or commercial appeal for that matter! Too bad because I like these numbers in a sorta mid-seventies singer/songwriter (tough SS for that matter) way as Tosh pushes forth an emotion that seemed barren in most of these seventies solo stars 'cept for a few (like maybe Dylan, most definitely Elliot Murphy). Some parts ain't even reggae in the strictest sense while even the more Jamaican of the batch have a nice lilt that doesn't bore me like this music usually does. Good enough surprise for a definitely non-rastafazoolian like myself.
Sneakers-"Ruby", "On the Brink", "Love is Like a Cuban Crisis"/"Condition Red", "Non Sequitur", "Driving 33 rpm EP (Carnivore Records)

Part of the first garde of major home-produced recordings documenting the big change to come (see Slickee Boys review above), Sneakers toss in every good thing you liked about rock 'n roll at the time from Big Star and the Raspberries to Roy Wood and Flamin' Groovies and come up with a platter that is rather...luxurious. Phony English accents make a welcome return as these guys cop all of their fave British Invasion moves and throw it into a nice little platter that says a whole lot about what 1976 meant to quite a few people looking If you remember the Bon Vivants who put out some entertaining neo-new pop platters a decade back this is this same, only thirty years earlier than those ignored classics.
David Peel and Death-"Junk Rock"/"I Hate You" (Auravox Records)

Peel could rock out with the best of 'em even though most rock critics of the seventies would certainly not agree. On these sides His Cheapness himself screams his guts out to a maybe slicker than should be but still punkifying backing group. And it's all done up in a fashion that really wasn't at all different from the reams of competitors vying for precious stage time at your favorite New York rock club. A good cheap pounder that will stir up something in your musical soul, if you have one that is.
Bonjour Aviators-"The Fury in Your Eyes"/"Boston City Limits" (Romantic Records)

Boston sure had its share of hard-rockin', kickin' 'em out bands back inna seventies, and while Bonjour Aviators sure didn't get as much notoriety as the Sidewinders or DMZ they sure held up pretty swell as far as these kinda acts go. Singer's got this great doof voice that fits the overkill material quite swell while the rest of the group play it just like the teenage boys wanted their rock to be back then, at least before they all got turned on to Laurie Anderson in order to get closer to their gals. Kinda like Thundertrain's long lost brothers, or maybe even a garage band Aerosmith.
The Eight Balls-"Science Gone Too Far"/"When the Spirit Moves Me" (Underdog Records)

Along with Sister Ray and scant few others these guys were theeee best live under-the-counterculture band playing the Youngstown Ohio area back inna eighties, bridging the likes of Eastern Ohio pop rock, mid-seventies punkarama and even some heavy metal before that term became co-opted by the likes of Andy Secher. Thankfully they left us with this single which conveys part of their appeal...a-side is not the Dictators number but a straightforward midwest rock ode about the over-reaching effects of science, especially into areas where it shouldn't even traipse at all ifyaknowaddamean. Lyrics might not suit the precious pansy crowd so in vogue today (they're in the vein of "you think you've kissed Blanche but discover it's Blanche over there") but they stimulate my suburban slob pride all the more! Flipster's a good evocation of the neo-Nazz meets Circus mindset speeded up to punkified perfection. Of course it never went anywhere despite my help and support...hissssssssssss!
Various Artists-THE FUNNIEST OF MOXIE 33 rpm EP (Moxie Records)

If this stuff is funny then I'm Jay Hinman, but next to the kinda humor to be found these days this 'un's a verifiable LAFF RIOT!!! From a James Bond and nuclear radiation rocker to a tepid take on "Gloria" featuring all your fave ugly gal jokes this might be a comedy record you can play again and again. Personal faves from the batch include the remake of "Get off My Cloud" as a Christmas ditty and Nikita the K's "Go Go Radio Moscow" which is a good enough switcheroo AM spoof done up to Cold War perfection.
Treatment'"Stamp Out Mutants"/"Dontcha Know" (no label)

Did you ever wonder what alla those guys in English punk rock bands back during the seventies were doing before they spiked up their hair and got all outrageous? My bet is that a good portion of them were in a slew of Pink Fairies/Hawkwind-styled acts that certainly deserve a royal (re)issue treatment even as we speak. I know of a few like Bastard (the one Brian James was in, not the early Motorhead) that should be worth the while to uncover, but as far as groups who went the spacey rock route after them punk dayze you can't do better (or maybe even worse!) than Treatment. Great single that rocks and grinds, kinda reminding me of QUARK STRANGENESS AND CHARM of all things not to mention that Bad Religion album with the synths nobody likes to talk about. There's more Treatment available out there but I think I'll pass on it all for now.
Expect another trek into the trenches in a month or two. Gee, this single prowling is not only fun, but GOOD for ya (and me) too!