Sunday, October 01, 2017

Before I say anything that will undoubtedly get somebody out there angry lemme welcome none other than BILL SHUTE back from the dead! Or at least let's welcome him back from the racetrack given that his much missed (and much needed) comic book and other similarly Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kid-minded entertainment reviews have returned to BLOG TO COMM after quite a long dry spell. Bill's writeups of these recent and totally PD comic book reissues (and moom pitchers for that matter) really have perked up this blog over the past few years, and it's sure grand to know that he's once again contributing his opines to us lumpen proles out of the kindness of his good heart!

Hey, with one masterful stroke of the keyboard Bill has once again made this blog the printed equivalent of them good ol' days. Y'know, the times when I (and maybe even you) would scour the flea markets of the early/mid-seventies in search of various blasts from the past available for mere dimes before rushing home to watch some old cheap moom pitcher on tee-vee you've waited all week to see. Although I never did come across anything that was as obscure as the books Bill's been writin' up I feel just as youthful and as spendthrift-y as I was back when I would sometimes dump as much as 75 pennies for a collection of coverless ARCHIEs and MILLIE THE MODELs which my dad would razz me for reading not knowing that it in fact MILLIE was an Archie ripoff by the time I was readin' 'em! Lemme tell ya I was the happiest twelve-year-old onna block reading these old comics which would figure because hey, I was the ONLY twelve-year-old on the block! But the feeling is there and you know what I mean so quit bustin' my case!

All that's missing is that greasy smell of frying hamburgers not to mention that old turd who kept yelling at me for reading the mags on his table w/o actually purchasing anything. Wotta bum...I was and shall remain that is!
I gotta say that it is fun livin' in the here and now after all! After years of downslide decadence and unbridled chicanery usually being passed off as good downright wholesomeness bad things are finally starting to happen to the bad guys for once in my life! I mean, who woulda ever thought that the tumor of the boomer generation ROLLING STONE would have to be put on life support what with noted owner and swish-hitter Jann Wenner begging some rich patsy to buy the magazine and keep it going as a "vanity" project! I guess that after years of coasting on previous "New Journalism" credo and lousy music coverage aimed at the ex-hippie/current pensioner crowd someone needs to keep the dreams and spirits of "the sixties" alive even if Wenner no long has the social conscious punch to do so. Given the reams of millionaire Marxists out there there should be more'n a few takers, eh?

Sheesh, no wonder Ron Weiser always calls them days the "sick-sties"! 
Hugh Hefner dead at 91. Make your own "half mast" jokes.
Another nice batch, good enough to make me feel happier than a bloodhound in a room full of menstruating women the way some of these platters have really caught me by the ear and have given me a well-needed shakedown! Thanks to Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and even Bob Forward, who could do me a favor by clipping the xeroxed sleeves to the Cee-Dees he's burnt and wrap 'em around said disque envelope to make everything nice and neat and un-fall-apart-y for me to lose. I mean, if yer gonna do me a big favor for a HIGHLY RESPECTED music fandom schlub like me ya might as well at least do it right! And don't think I'm putting you out'r anything---after all, considering my importance I should be demanding these burnt offerings in sturdy plastic cases!

Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates-LIVE AT CBGB LP (Feeding Tube, available via Forced Exposure)

Just when I thought the seemingly endless deluge of live at CBGB's albums had come to a sad and somewhat sorry conclusion, this surprise makes its way into my abode and into my overtaxed brain for that matter. But sheesh, is this a great live platter complete with all of the energy and excitement of the entire under-the-rock-underground experience, even if parts did come out as a double EP quite awhile back.

Fortunately the sound is sparkling and the performance really shines in a straight-ahead no gimmicks way as done by people who undoubtedly wanted to be as big as the Rolling Stones but thankfully could only rise to Sky Saxon levels. In many ways this album encapsulates everything I dig about the whole creative spirit of the seventies from the driving performance to the whacked-out sense of purpose, and if this one had only gotten out a whole lot sooner (like, when I was still in my teenbo mode) it could have made a whole lot of impact on my musical third ear or whatever it's called! Or at least it would have impacted me more'n it can here in the dark cyborg late-teens which is for all matters extant a graveyard of long-rotting talent that never did get its share of hosannas during its lifetime!

True I'm overcome with emotion, but I just can't help it after giving this album a once-over. If you liked Wilson's other endeavors (which have all be faithfully re-released by Feeding have no excuse not to have 'em!) this is even more of that great trounced over jazz-fusion rock which seems to fit perfectly with the other fusion greats of the day from MX-80 Sound to Manster. And like those and many other long-forgotten faves this continues to have mucho musical relevance a good thirtysome years later as Wilson's horno-destructo lyrics merge with his band's spot-on refurbishing of past low-points in musical history (recent Zappa and Mahavishnu ideals) turning 'em into something that should have blessed the dull FM dial at a time when spinning the theme to STAR WARS incessantly seemed like a thought-provoking way to go for many a program director. If only "Popsicle Toes" could have been this invigorating!

Definitely one to get the heavy re-play honors and hey Feeding Tube, if you can locate Wilson's 1977 live @ CBGB show howz'bout checkin' that one over for possible release, eh?
YOKO ONO/PLASTIC ONO BAND CD (Secretly Canadian Records, available via Forced Exposure...available as an LP too!)

Although this 'un came out o'er a year ago I just snatched it from the FE mailorder website into my own pithy paws. And boy did the memories of diggin' this 'un up outta the bargain cassette bin during THE GREAT APPLE RECORDS BACK CATALOG DUMP OF 1976 (which also yielded me two copies of George Harrison's ELECTRONIC SOUND) just come a-rushin' back! It was a classic when foisted upon my teenage brain then, and it remains one lo these many years later what with the duo of John 'n Yoko once again givin' their all for the cause of high energy. Lennon does some of the best string-scrapin' he ever did in his entire life while Ono screeches on like she's losing her virginity with an electric carving knife (I mighta used that one before but wha' th' hey???). I mean, what else would you want in your early-seventies rock anyway?

Top quality earth erupting swallow you whole rock 'n roll here which does rank with various other outer fringe recordings of the same strata. Violent then bloozy then trance-inducing, you'll never believe that this was a beddy bye fave of mine the minute I got my hands on a copy way back when!
Here & Now/Alternative TV-WHAT YOU SEE...IS WHAT YOU ARE CD (Green Scale Records, England)

Alternative TV do their avant garde brand of punk rock spiffily enough on this platter they shared with Here & Now way back in '78, getting into that minimalist (copyright 1980 NEW YORK ROCKER) sound that leaves you filling the blanks in in your head. This enough should satisfy those seeking the fringes of English under-the-counterculture music but the Here & Now guys deliver more even if it is of the whole late-seventies hippie ban the bomb variety. Definite Hawkwind (and of course Gong) refs to be heard along with the expected Syd Barrett vocal thrown in, and even with the dour sound quality this makes for a rather exciting live excursion if I do say so myself...

This thing was reproduced way too slow, almost to 1970 heavy metal sludge speed with the vocals dragging way down into the basso profundo, but given these are the Droogs and that this is a pretty powerful show at any speed why should I cry? Not only does this live inna studio set contain a whole buncha those mid-eighties Droogs pounders (the kind that inspired me to slap these guys mugs' on the cover of the twelfth issue of my crudzine) but it all ends with a potent cover of "Waiting For My Man" which does send ya into a swirl of seventies rock memories when that song was the National Tantrum for more'n a few sour minds. Lemme tell you, these guys were one of the last "big" good 'un's.
Various Artists-GLIMPSES VOLUME 4 CD-r burn (originally on Wellington Records)

As you may know many of these garage band compilations collecting crazy self produced and other rarities from the sixties don't always light my fart, but when a good one comes around boy you can bet that I'll be raising the flag and salutin' Unca Sam from here to eternity! GLIMPSES VOLUME 4 is just one of those collections that really gets me all hot and bothered---not a dud in the batch (even via the Jefferson Airplane mimeo courtesy the Four O'Clock Balloon) with each and every number here done up in that raw basement-recording fashion that made these records so exciting in the first place. Personal faves go to the Traits' "Nobody Loves the Hulk" (which I remember being advertised in the back pages of various late-sixties issues of Marvel comics!), the Electras' "This Week's Children", Bobby Dee and the Crestliners'  "Graveyard Twist" (proof that the early-sixties were cooler'n those tight-sphinctered intellectuals would like us to think) and man it's sure great hearin' Kack Klick's low-fi chiller "Lord My Cell is Cold" without the skip!
TWIST WITH B.B. KING CD-r burn (originally on Crown Records)

Sheesh, talk about suckerin' the rubes! This record is about as "twist" as Peter Pansy given it ain't nothin' but old B.B. King sides scooped up and slapped onto a longplayer with TWIST brazenly emblazoned onna cover in order to cash in on a current craze. I'll betcha that Eddie Haskell's mother bought him a copy for Christmas and boy did Eddie come up with the best bon mots of his career! If yer a twistin' type you might bust your sacroiliac or some other body part that sounds dirty tryin' to dance to it, but if you go for the just-post World War II big band blooze that King made his rep with you might just like it shoddy sound quality and all. Come to think of it, I woulda gotten a kick watching Jackie Kennedy swivel her bony hips to this urban blare!
Karlheinz Stockhausen-MANTRA CD-r burn (originally on Naxos Records)

These recordings do have that clarified butter edge to 'em that certainly sets it all off as being totally Teutonic. Howcum Stockhausen (or Joesph Beuys for that matter) never got flack for their involvement in the Third Reich anyway? Sure Stockhausen was a kid who had little choice (tho he coulda defected like the former Pope Ratzinger) but Bueys was a pilot and probably strafed the living hell outta your Polski grandparents. Well, this piano duo and electronics blast might grate on your nerves a bit but it does provide enough overall Germanic satisfaction the same way early Kraftwerk or Can do. Just keep it outta your mind that at times this sounds like it was performed by a buncha guys with Albert Einstein hair on some Sunday Morning CAMERA THREE program you once caught on tee-vee before goin' to church.
Sammy Price-RIB JOINT - ROOTS OF ROCK N ROLL, VOLUME 7 CD-r burn (originally on Savoy Jazz Records)

Fans of late-fifties instrumental rock 'n roll and/or bouncy r 'n b-laced jazz should go for these two sides which do capture that strange nether-region between various prototypes and what eventually became rock 'n roll "proper". If you like that INSTRUMENTAL GOLDEN GOODIES album with all of those Johnny and the Hurricanes tracks this is more of the same only veering in the King Curtis (who also appears on these sides) and Les Cooper direction. The Spacemen even. Now some of you might not find it quite to your taste, but these ribs do taste better'n I expected.
The Three O'Clock-BAROQUE HOEDOWN CD-r burn (originally on Frontier Records)

Sounds like something that woulda given me the retro-creeps had I heard this back '88 way, but considering how BAROQUE HOEDOWN came out in '82 it's early enough for me to appreciate w/o having to be reminded of similar dips into psychedelic pop moves past that have come out in its wake. Nice commercial (in the right way!) homage to sixties sunshine pop gone garage band that probably woulda made a great 99 49-cent markdown pick up in the drug store bin of your choice come 1971. Not a bad start to an eighties under-the-counterculture rock movement that would sound rather tired once grunge came to rescue us all from the clutches of Madonna.
The Green Hornets-FASTER THAN THE BUGZAPPER CD-r burn (originally on Alopecia Records)

Dagnabbit if I still find some of these retro-sixties groups howshallIsay a little annoying what with their rehashing of the same six-oh riffs over and over to the point of flatness. But hey, why do I keep tapping foot to the rewrites of "Deacon Jones" and "Tobacco Road" that pop up on this particular platter, recorded twenny years back yet still as revivalesque as all those eighties groups we used to read about. Better not let Bill Shute find out or else he'd be razzing me about this no end!

Here're more of those "minute mysteries" that aired on various radio stations for years on end, each of 'em givin' ya a chance to solve a case along with master detective Ellery Queen. There are some toughies in this batch and you might agree, that is unless you know all about how potatoes sprout out them roots or various gun technicalities regarding ballistics or force. Man, I gotta say that I felt stoopider than the drool bucket handler at the Special Olympics tryin' to figure these brain twisters out. Still nice listening---kinda reminds me of something those older kinda pot bellied guys with bowties who used to read mystery magazines back when I was but a mere turdler would have just loved tuning into way back when.
The Members-AT CHELSEA NIGHTCLUB CD-r burn (originally on Captain Oi, England)

Not having heard 'em in at least three decades I forgot why I thought the Members were a lousy group. Thanks for reminding me Paul!

Here's a disque I can wrap my prehensile eyes, ears, nose and throat around considering that, except for two musical numbers of a definitely Eastern/Southern Europeon nature, they all consist of the sound portions of familiar tee-vee commercials or in one case the theme to LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. Those nostalgic for the Golden Age of Fun if Trash Tee-Vee will probably have the likes of the Ajax Foaming Cleanser or "My Dog's Better Than Your Dog" Ken-L-Ration commercials in their music/VCR/Dee-Vee-Dee collection somewhere, but I will admit that it sure brought joy to my Sunday PM tee-vee old movie watching memories hearing that horrid anti-smoking PSA where dad 'n his son do things together then the music gets tense while kiddo reaches for pop's pack of cigarettes! One thing's for sure...emote-riddled ads like this taught me how not to be an impassioned humanist type way back when!

The musical tracks are rather ear-perking if I do say so myself even if they kinda remind me of something that would be played at an Armenian wedding reception right before the bomb goes off. No ka-booms here, but I must admit that I did get a little fidgety at times listening to the accordion wheeze away with those mandolins a' plunkin'. If you have relatives that came from the old OLD country you might be able to ooze some kultural pride outta it, but I don't.
Looking over the copy and doing the usual tweaks and editing expected of me, all I can say at this very moment is boy. was this edition of BLOG TO COMM a turdburger!!! I'll try to do better next time, really!

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