Saturday, November 11, 2017

Aren't you glad that we're finally settling into that frigid winter weather ahead of schedule here in the tri-county area? I sure am, for once again I have an actual excuse (and a good one at that, guilt free too!) to stay indoors, listen to music, read old comic book reprints and fanzines of the past, and write it all up if only to present to you the enlightened ways of true suburban slobdom as it stands here in the 21st century. And I'm doing this all outta the goodness of my heart, as well as so's I can at least read some hot rock screeding (even if I wrote it!) in the old "gonzo" style that seems to have been poo-poo'd with a vengeance these past thirtysome years. Or at least it has been ever since Lester Bangs deep sixed and Richard Meltzer was exiled to Portland during the reign of Secher. I mean, if nobody else wants to keep the Bangs drumming here in 2017 I certainly don't mind giving it a try no matter how feeble an attempt it may be.
So for once I had a really good week of it listening to some music that managed to move my inner fanabla like spiritual Ex-Lax. The Lords of Thyme album might actually stand the test of time and become an eternal wowzer (no hyperbole here---really!), while the Droogs, Koala and Tom Crean efforts are items that I will not be filing away with the dirty underwear and socks under the bed. Yes things are really looking up what with these sounds that actually can earwig their way into those dark recesses of my and maybe even your mind, and the best thing about it is that they're being made in the HERE AND NOW which really is one reason not to do an 86 despite all the temptations that are incessantly needling you to do so. But hey, if you do decideto go the self-extermination route...can I have your records???
For those of you who are taking notes, my current free time playlist (that is, thingies outside the scope of today's reviews) consists of practically nada but the Electric Eels (especially their anthem "You Crummy Fags" which is soooooo inspiring these days) and the Velvet Underground's SCREEN TEST bootleg, the Cee-Dee version since I don't wanna sully my original vinyl collection with scratches and the like. Sheesh, is that CHELSEA GIRLS soundtrack the most bee-you-tiful thing I've heard ever even with that homo blathering on at the beginning...kinda makes you wonder if any fragments from the CG "rock opera" that Lou Reed and John Cale were writing survive not to mention heretofore unknown recordings that should be issued in any wayshapeform since like, man can not live on hippie revisionism alone. As we all know there are loads of unreleased rarities that we can all use especially now when time is slipping by and frankly, I think that when I'm gonna be hooked up to a millyun machines with tubes sticking into me all over while I emanate that sweaty urine smell so common amongst hospital denizens, getting hold of Velvets bootlegs is gonna be the least of my problems!
Big heap thanks go to Feeding Tube Records, Plug 'n Socket Records, Kendra Steiner Editions, Bill Shute and Paul McGarry for the contributions. Sure appreciated it, because you guys saved me a ton of money!

The Lords of Thyme-THE FUTURE OF THINGS PAST LP (Feeding Tube/Shagrat, available via
Forced Exposure)

The folk at Feeding tube must read this blog because after my "complaint" about not getting a Lords of Thyme elpee inside a sleeve last time around I get an album sleeve with a record in it! Glad to see that I have some rather attentive readers out there!

It certainly was worth the wait to get this 'un too, for THE FUTURE OF THINGS PAST is one of those albums that you thought they quit making long ago. Thankfully these Englishmen (well, one's a Paddy) are an up and about aggregation and not only that but they sure do make quite a good music what with their folk rock cum psychedelic rock that reminds me of what some of those overall'd hippies on the front porch woulda made in the late-sixties had they only a sense of passion and verve in their mission.

Naw, forget the hippoid connection...think more of the ultimo ZIGZAG music/West Coast fanzine raveup of the early-seventies done up right. The early Fairport Convention mixed with a few other late-sixties bold English folk moves without the overwrought countryside pip pip 'n all those other things they say over there. Nice little jazz touches abound as well...I guess that's where Byron Coley gets the Pentangle angle from in his hypenotes. Not only that but THE FUTURE OF THINGS PAST is a bold statement regarding just WHERE music of a non-commercial yet soul-searing variety should be hovering about in an era where frankly the original rock "message" as that "International Youth Language" has dried up at least a good thirty-five years back.

A collection of material culled from various releases cassette or otherwise, this does make for a cohesive whole as it sounds just as much a contained album more than it does a put together. It's also has a beautiful swing to it that I'm sure few have heard in folk rock once the denim, cocaine and turquoise began to permeate the California crowd 'round '72 way. A pretty emotional album without the self-indulgent and narcissistic factors that made you and me shudder every time Linda Whatzername or the Eagles would release some AM single during those seventies days of slush.

Great cover too (reminds me of a mid-seventies Harvest Heritage effort) and if there is any fault with this let me blame the compilers for NOT PUTTING ENOUGH MUSIC ON THE DANG THING!!! But let me also thank Byron Coley (Feeding Tube) and Nigel Cross (Shagrat) for conceptualizing and releasing this in the first place. We all need it.
The Droogs-YOUNG GUN CD (Plug n Socket)

I sure didn't know that the Droogs were still together after over forty years but hey, they are and they're still cranking out albums that I can certainly give a rat's hoot about! YOUNG GUN is the name of the latest, and like a good portion of the past thirty years of Droogdom it's a hot set of rock 'n roll done up the way I would have expected guys who've been in on the Big Beat for so long to do it all up.

Rick Albin still comes off like Gerry Roslie meets Jim Sohns while the rest of the band play perfecto yet raw sounds that will make any expensive hi-fi system sound like that Mickey Mouse portable you had in your youth. And the material's so good that at points (especially on "For Redemption") I could discern a pretty hefty SIDEWINDERS influence, or is it just my imagination?!?!? And it's all capped off by a cover of the Seeds' "Out of the Question"! Man, what a platter this one is, and definitely should be for you!

Sky Saxon singing with the Droogs at Greg Shaw's Cavern Club back during the infamous "garage band  revival" movement days of the late-eighties---talk about a "meeting of minds" that would've curled Steve Allen's hair!
Tom Crean-3 HEADS TAME CD-r burn (Kendra Steiner Editions, see blogroll at left for more information)

Sheesh I just don't know about this Crean guy. I mean, does he wanna be Derek Bailey, Loren Conners or Robbie Basho? Well, I hope he stays confused because this offering is a blast of pure string-driven musical pumice to hit my mind in quite a long time, a selection of stringbenders that evoke a whole load of inward emote and wafting mind excursions that naturally remind me of earlier encounters with solo guitar (or banjo or bass in this case) yet break out into new paths I'm sure others will be filching from as the years go by. Even if this wasn't the only solo guitar platter I've heard this years I'd still say it was the best...or something like that.
THE KOALA CD-r burn (originally on Capitol Records)

Always wanted to hear this wooshed over classic featuring lead vocalist Jay Mala (later to be Eric Emerson's replacement in the Magic Tramps as well as a three-gig frontman for the Joe Perry Project) and now that I have boy am I glad I did! It's nothing like I expected but definitely one of those outta-left-field surprises like JUMP and THE SIDEWINDERS, with a sound that comes off like a pop post-Yardbirds with various Byrdsian, Beatles, NUGGETS and Raiders moves that lend a kind of "upscale" class to it. I even discern some first-LP era Good Rats here though thankfully without the additional orchestra which knocked that effort down a notch or two. Mala's gruff voice also helps even if the material that pops up here ain't exactly the heavy metal the man would become better known for. Hard rock teenybop sounds that really holds up well...too bad this one isn't the stoner classic it ought to be!
Beady Eye-BE CD-r burn (originally on Columbia Records)

Sheesh, a nekkid gal onna cover and this time you can see some bullseye! Too bad wimmen today ain't as hotcha as they were when I was growing up when they still had the sense to engage seriously in attractive styles and feminine hygiene or otherwise I might just have some sorta throb thrills for the thingie pictured. Actually I find her, like a good amount of the music made by these ex-Oasis-ers, rather derivative of various sixties/seventies accomplishment, the former via the on-target gal photographers (and models) of the past and the latter various late-sixties shockers and the seventies emulators who tried to keep the spirit alive against all of the FM-rock bred dolts who thought rock 'n roll was a completely different life form than I sure did. But hey, both s-x and rock music has lost most if not all of its original drive and splendor and what else should an aged fanabla like me expect here in the rather muddled teens anyway?

A lotta people think that Canada's a boring place to live, and if they got an earfulla these two CBC radio broadcasts they'd probably have some evidence to back it up! Actually I like these shows since I like cornballus stuff, and frankly a lotta squaresville material has appeared on radio elsewhere on this planet so why should the Canadians get singled out! Harvey's a fun guy who not only sings with and without the aid of his other regulars but appears in a comedy sketch of various guffaw-inducing abilities. His announcer Whittaker actually had his own program as well, a more serious affair with a variety of musical acts and little in the way of genuine har hars. Golden Age of Radio nuts should go for this like a Canadian goes for his macaroni and cheese!
Wes Dakus and the Rebels-THE WES DAKUS ALBUM CD-r burn (originally on Capitol Records, Canada)

'n speaking of Canadians (and not macaroni and cheese), here's a pretty spiffy mid-sixties vintage album from an Edmonton group that as far as I know came out in Canada and Canada only! It's mostly of an instrumental nature and it ain't anything of a hard-hitting Northwest variety true, but it's still a better than fair representation of a genre that by the time the moptops invaded these shores was slowly going out of favor with the teenbo record grabbers out there. Fairly good neo-surf sounds that will keep your attention especially when you're reading old fanzines as the minutes go by. Beware of the two covers of  "So Fine" and "Do-Wah-Diddy-Diddy" which feature some pretty high pitched squeaking vocals but the rest...yup! Personal fave---"Roulette" which is the only rock instrumental I can think of that has a xylophone as the lead instrument!
Various Artists-CAUSTIC BONBON GINGERFLOAT SNIDE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Like a blind date on Fire Island, you never know what to expect with these Bill Shute collections. This nice-sized one (not too big, not too small) is but one with a nice selection of music that believe-it-or-not actually sounds good enough in these post-living days. Les Aigles fly in with some good early-sixties instrumental rock that really makes me wanna kill all those people who thought music twixt "the day the music died" and the Beatles' appearance on ED SULLYGUM was total drek. Heck, even the early Cliff Richard number is late-fifties rockin' enough to make me forget about alla them little boys he purloined during those Billy Graham crusades! And James Brown doin' "Caldonia" was pure genius...he shoulda also've done "That's What I Like About The South" while he was on a Woody Herman kick. Even the country songs and Louis Prima (see what I wrote about Cliff Richard above only subtract the boys and add the story about that steamy night in Las Vegas with Keely Smith and a blackjack dealer) were fine, and if you didn't get to hear that rockabilly orgasm moaner "Little Girl" on SIN ALLEY well it shows up here as well!


MoeLarryAndJesus said...

FYI, the guitarist "Louis Caine" on the Koala went on to be Louis Dambra of Sir Lord Baltimore.

Roger Clay said...

Thanks Chris, You warmed the cockles of our hearts! Great write up man. oxox

Cliff Richard said...

You'll be hearing from my lawyer.