Saturday, December 09, 2017


Here's the latest in hopefully a long line of these singles that, like the earlier entries, were mostly random picks from the leaning tower(s) in my collection. I must confess that a few of the items listen below were personally sought after due to years of neglect and I just forgot what the blasted things sounded like which can happen if you're a music-obsessed mental midgie such as I! And I believe that a few items have already been reviewed in these "pages" before, but like that was ages back and well, who can remember back that far. I guess not even me if I plucked these outta the stacks of single not knowing that I've already giving these the blogspot royal treatment! Talk about my short-term memory...sheesh, I can remember things that happened when I was three clearer'n ever, but something that happened a decade ago....phhhhhhhhtttttt!

Ian Fisher-"Girls Like That"/"It's a Riot" (Monster Wax Records)

Remember the Invaders, whose "Could You, Would You" single was written up and in a positive way a good two or so SINGLES GOING STROONAD back? Well, some if not all of 'em back this cool looking Northwestern rocker named Ian Fisher on these two marble-vinyled sides and the results are what I would most definitely call outta this sphere! Fisher belies his cute Peter Noone looks what with an overall roar of a vocal that echoes the screamers of Northwest Rock past as well as a few more recent practitioners like Iggy Pop and Greg Prevost! Not only that but the backup goes over-the-top eruption just the way you remembered rock 'n roll to be long before the mellow rot set in. The b-side even opens up with a spoken dedication to the MC5 in case you still have your doubts as to the pummeling nature of this effort! I wonder what Fisher is doing these days, and if it is selling used cars in Dubuque I frankly wouldn't be surprised one bit.
The Human Beingz-"Mony Mony (Part One)"/"Mony Mony (Part Two)"

Youngstown Ohio's Human Beinz made the sixties garage band hall of somethingorother with their hit version of "Nobody But Me", and surprisingly enough they have been active in one form or another ever since the eighties when they recorded this single which naturally went over the heads of the FM-bred dolts who made up the local music listening clientele. Still the Beingz did us sixties-loving fans well with this single (with the "g" properly replaced in their last name) which actually contains a fairly decent cover of the Shondells fave beefed up a bit for local blue collar hard rock consumption. Dunno why they hadda do two versions of the same song and label it "Part One" and "Part Two" but I'm glad it came out back then because hey, what else was goin' on in rock 'n roll other'n a perhaps not so hot 'n bubblin' under the underground scene anyway?
The Spotnicks-"Le Deernier Train de L'Espace"/"Space Creature" (Polydor Records, Japan)

I (and most certainly you) must give thanks to the Spotnicks for not going the hipster route and (like the Ventures) sticking to their early-sixties instrumental credo rock at a time when they must have seemed like total fanablas to the tastemongers in charge. Sure by the time this record came out the Spotnicks ditched their space suits and eventually would cover the hip de la hip Frank Zappa toon "Lumpy Gravy", but they did that 'un in such a 1962 down home way that who in their right mind could accuse them of freaking out??? On these mid-sixties sides the Space Swedes keep their guitars treblin' while taking on a couple of numbers that don't show any influence or indication that the Beatles even happened let alone existed, and although I do enjoy those mid-sixties longhair records more than you'd suspect I would well...I kinda like the idea that the Spotnicks were trying to hold off the oncoming sludge of hippydippy love and backstabbing as much as they could with numbers such as these. Too bad they failed but wha' th' hey.

By the way, I happened to obtain this one FREE via the fine folk at Forever Records from Tokyo a good thirty-five years back! Y'see,  I tried to obtain a Japanese Spotnicks album and due to some confusion I didn't get it even though I should have, or something along those sordid lines. As a consolation for my travails they actually gave this since to me for which I'm eternally grateful! Sheesh, and they say there's no justice left in this hyper-sensitive world of ours!
Earle Mankey-"Maumau"/"Crazy!" (Bomp! Exhibit "J" Records)

This is the Bomp! reissue of Mankey's '76 Bearsville single that came out in England and let me tell you it is a bigger gas than the time we had baked beans for lunch at school followed by a gym class fulla pelvic squats! Most of you will know about Mankey's behind-the-boards work with Todd Rundgren, but you must also remember that he was an original member of Sparks and a lotta the things he was doin' with the Mael Brothers certainly rubbed off on him as this electro-quirk pop platter would belie. A-side take the old "Poppa Ooo Mow Mow" riff and gives it the Eno "Lion Sleeps  Tonight" treatment while the flip has Amerigan Indian tom tom sounds dragged through an electronic jungle sounding like something a fashion conscious tribe would have used as a war cry. No wonder the folk at THE NEW YORK ROCKER gave more than ample space to not only Mankey but this single in one of their earliest issues!
Snatch-"All I Want"/"When I'm Bored" (Lightning Records, England)

While waiting for the Snatch album to arrive I thought I'd play this particular specimen in order to warm up for that anxiously awaited longplayer. The duo of Judy Nylon and Patti Palladin sing typical punk rock chick style on these bright sides that reflect all of those good moments to have been had in the pre-gnu (copyright 1982 Bill Shute) new wave scene with a force that comes off like the two shoved everyone from the New York Dolls to Television and maybe even some Blondie into a mixmaster and LET GO! A certain Jerry Nolan sits in on drums, which doesn't surprise me one bit. Reminds me of all of those things I missed out on the first time around and by the time I had enough moolah to buy some...pooooof!
Room 101-"Red No. 5"/"Another Holiday" (101 Records); "Annabella"/"Moondog" (KX4 Records)

Sister Ray guitarist Mark Hanley's other band who, despite not exactly being a play out every week sorta affair, managed to release two singles and a cassette-length album during their on-and-off lifespan. I reviewed their cassette quite awhile are the singles including the debut (recorded live) which captures that dingy bar feeling best known to these kinda of acts complete with the bass guitar recorded way too loud as the murk wafts in. Kinda reminds me of METAL BOX settling in on Killing Joke territory for some reason, though the pre-recorded tape of a little girl screaming is quite unsettling.

The second single's a studio affair and like its predecessor is instrumental if clearer sounding. It reminds me more of those neo-jazz rock-y MX-80 Sound side projects that were coming out on the Quadruped label under the titles Half Life and O-Type---angular and jagged yet crisp and clear enough to the point where you can tell which stringbenders Hanley had been getting his guitar chops from. Worthy of a massive reissue package complete with liner notes and detailed history...even if I get the feeling that I'd be the only one who'd buy it.
Rodney Bingenheimer-"Let's Make the Scene"/"Then He Kissed Me" (Razor Records)

I know Rodney has been about as popular in certain El Lay rock circles as I would be at a Gerard Cosloy circle jerk, but doggone it if I just can't snuggle up to the li'l rascal if only because of his street-smart Kim Fowley-esque ways and self-promoting whiz. I hear that the Blondie people play the backup on these sides and it would figure, what with Bingenheimer roaring on a la Fowley himself over a rock beat on the a-side and singing (vocals quite buried) the Phil Spectre classic on the flip. A toss away, but a FUN toss away if you ask me. Somehow it seems rather charming seeing this one snuggled up between the old Peter Pan fairy tale singles and the Longines Symphonette freebee flexidiscs that continue to moil away in a collection that must be pushing a good sixtysome years by now (I'm counting the old Big Band platters of my dad's etc. amongst the more current offal...I'm not that old even if I do feel so!).
The Vice-Roys-"Liverpool"/"Tonk" (USA Records)

I bought this one ages back under the impression that these Vice-Roys were the same Viceroys of Northwest hard poundin' rock fame. One listen proved otherwise even if there was a heavy sax sound on the flipster...still it's a good spinner trying to cash in ever so slightly on the British Invasion craze of the day even if the a-side sounds more like a surf band heavily under the influence of the pre-Beatles Tornados and their "Telstar". The flip heralds back to the instrumental craze of a few years prior which only goes to show you just how stubborn (in a GOOD way) these Amerigan kidz were. Not bad at all, and about as conduit to the sixties teen mindset as all of those other things that us brain-dead youth were eventually told was antithetical to "The Movement (Inc.)".
The Showmen-"It Will Stand"/"Country Fool" (Imperial Records)

This is the 1964 reish of the '61 hit that had a whole lotta people from Kim Fowley to Jonathan Richman to Iggy all hot and bothered, and like a lotta these early-sixties records that intellectual rock critics sneer at it's not hard to hear why. It's all pretty hotcha vocal group music, not quite doo-wop yet nothing that would be confused with vocal group sounds a good ten or so years later. One of the better efforts in this field from a day and time which I sure wish I was more conscious of in this rather dullsville life of mine.
The Gooses-"Just a Tailor"/"Is It New"

Other'n the brief mention in an early ish of CLE I know nada about this Gooses band at all, which is a shame because both sides of this self-produced effort are what I'd call bee's knees worthy. A-side sorta straddles the power pop and punk rock realms while the flip is standard 1967-era teen pop. But then again both sides very well could have hailed from the late-sixties 'stead of a good decade later. It is rather confusing but still who CARES what with this nice home-produced effort which only adds more mystery to that whole under-the-underground scene. Y'know what I'm talkin' about...the kind of records that people like Anastasia Pantsios would never acknowledge even existed because hey, they just didn't fit in with the script.
GREAT SHAKEN' WITH GROUPS FROM THE 60'S (Mo-Donna Presents Records)

It sure is nice hearing some of my favorite sixties groups prostituting themselves by endorsing such definitely non-revolutionary products as Great Shakes (which for the life of me I can't remember ever seeing at the stores...I do remember Borden's milkshake in a can being advertised on tee-vee as a kiddiegarden ager). Of special interest are the Who and Yardbirds versions with the Keiths Moon and Relf plugging new flavors Milk Chocolate and Cherry Vanilla as if they'd ever let the goop touch their lips in a millyun years! You also get to hear Linda Whatzername with the Stone Poneys advertising Pepsi (funny, with Linda I thought it would be Coke!) and the Troggs for H.I.S. men's clothes where I assume you could also buy those fancy striped matching suits just the Reg and Co. used to wear! Still waiting to hear the Troggs' Miller's High Life commercial which for some reason ain't floating around in the internet ether somewhere like I hoped it would.
John Cage-THE CREDO IN US (Dolor Del Estramago Records)

Haw! A John Cage 45 from the nineties consisting of an early realization of this World War II-era composition as it originally was created way back when it was first conceived. Mostly consists of what I believe are the sounds of pianos (some pre-recorded I gather) which when put all together reminds me of Conlon Nancarrow and his prefab player piano music more'n anything. A better version of the composition than the more recent one which, having been recorded in the nineties, features some rather intruding modern top 40 radio clips which just ruined the mood for me. Still can't hear music with that third ear of mine I guess.
Ray Campi-"Pan American Boogie"/"Sixteen Chicks " (Rollin' Rock Records)

Another one of those Ron Weiser living room session releases that I must say captures the original cheap studio fifties intent of it all, what with Campi rip-roarin' it all over the place as if it were still the fifties and the guy wasn't some nobody who was living long past his time. I got this one straight from Weiser in the eighties when he was still operating even if on a limited basis trying to sell his remaining record and fanzine stock, so I doubt that you'll get any response if you write to the address on the label asking if he still has that legendary Tony Conn album up for sale. Because I for one know that he DON'T!
The Fleetwoods-"Lovers By Night, Strangers By Day"/"They Tell Me It's Summer" (Dolton Records)

The definitely non Northwest-sounding guy and gal team return for a slightly spry single whose a-side I'm not sure I got right. Sounds like the kinda "get-the-gal-inna-mood" music that would have really put a date into romance gear had this one hit as big as "Come Softly To Me" and "Mr Blue". Frankly it ain't bad at all as far as these early-sixties teenage pop records that Lou Reed found more avant garde than the avant garde actually was. Flipside was written by Randy Newman long before his tenure as one of those hip rock critic faves had been well established. Label scrawled with the name of the original owner "Debbie" who, if she wants this back bad enough, will have to prove to me that she is in fact "the" Debbie and not an imposter and to my liking as well. Shouldn't have gotten rid of it in the first place, girl!
Hawkwind-"Silver Machine"/"Silver Machine (Full Version)"/"Psychedelic Warlords (RCA Records, England)

Early-eighties live re-do done up obviously to try and garner some interest in a rock act that was seemingly being buried under the weight of the competition. Of course this is nada like the more familiar hit version with Lemmy singing away but it'll do. Flip the platter over, turn the speed down to 33 and you get the entire number as well as an especially creepy-crawl take of "Psychedelic Warlords" that proves Hawkwind still had it in 'em even after some of the listening audience had probably written 'em off.
Sunlight and the New Seeds-"Diamonds in the Rough"/Universal Sun-"Universal Stars" (Emerald Light Records)

I always thought Sky Saxon's post-Seeds career was a roller coaster of hard punk flash and hippie excess but thankfully he remains true to his roots on this double-sider which inexplicably is credited to two different acts. Basically the same song taken from the same long jam, they show Saxon ranting and raving while a killer group (probably the same guys who were on JUICY GROOVE and a slew of other Saxon efforts) rage on like it was still 1966 and granola never happened. Remember when Greg Shaw said that the Rainbow Red "Two Shy" single was a good enough punk rock platter? Well so is this one which could wipe out a whole slew of those tiresome new wave-o efforts of the early-eighties with one felt guitar ka-CHING! and don't you doubt it one second!
Mr. Epp and the Calculations-OF COURSE I'M HAPPY, WHY? EP (Pravda Records)

Not only a by-now legendary effort but a personal if forgotten fave, Epp and band take on the punksters with their own weapons on "Mohawk Man" and reduce rock to two notes on "No Rights". The other side is closer to the whole hardcore punkitude of the day which I will admit still sounds better'n what was transpiring in the "real" rock world at the same sorry time. A whole lot better'n what the entire schtick led to once it became hard to tell the MAXIMUM ROCK crowd from the folk at the local feminist anarcho-left cunnilingus workshop.

Yuppers, an entire EP's worth of deep down sentimental moosh just custom made for those early-seventies moods you have when you've forgotten why you bought those old heavy metal records in the first place. I guess Mayor Perk could sing better than he could govern which ain't sayin' much and boy could he schmooze his way through such old heart warming classics as "May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You". Somehow I get the feeling that the black kids pictured on the cover wish they were doing something else than chiming in on these definitely cornballus numbers, but at least the Women's Council had the good sense to make sure that there was something for every member of the fambly by including a rendition of that Sammy Davis Jr. hit "Candy Man". Produced by Anastasia Pantsios.
Circus-"Too Much To Handle"/"Bad Feelins" (Bro Records)

Circus never did live up to the promise they oozed all over the Cleveland power pop scene after "Stop Wait and Listen" failed to climb the charts, and this '78 single shows 'em at the end of the line tryin' to make it back on track and not quite hitting the bullseye. Original member Mick Sabol's "Too Much To Handle" has a little too much of that disco bop for me to appreciate to the fullest though the flip features ex Milk-man Al Globekar's "Bad Feelin's" which is a good attempt at a late-seventies local hard 'n heavy rocker that wouldn't have been outta place on one of those BONEHEAD CRUSHERS albums. As far as the b-side goes this really wasn't that bad of a vinyl farewell for this legendary group and who knows, maybe a retrospective on 'em will pop up one of these days tho I doubt it.
Dorothy Morrison-"Brand New Day"/"Border Song (Holy Moses)" (Buddah Records)

Another deep reach into the collection, this early-seventies slab features a rather talented soulstress doing Van Morrison on the a-side and Elton John on the back end, which would figure. You probably will adore if if you're still into that rootzy gospel sound that used to make occasional inroads into the early-seventies AM playlist but really, can anyone ever manage to make "Border Song" palatable no matter what they try to do with it???
The Crickets-"That'll Be The Day"/"I'm Looking For Someone to Love" (Brunswick Records)

Maybe a tad too familiar to appear in this post (I tossed away various Pere Ubu, Stooges and Creedence finds for that very same reason) but wha' th' hey it's still a boffo spin considering just how stoked I get for late-fifties rock 'n roll combos of varying talent. And once you get down to it the only thing that separates Buddy and the Crickets from the likes of the Rock-A-Teens or Rhythm Rockers is that they happened to stay big after hitting it big, or else Linda Ronstadt would've been singin' "Woo Hoo" back 1976 way much to Billy Miller's dismay. After lo these many years it is STILL a great reflection of that boffo late-fifties period as much as LEAVE IT TO BEAVER or MAD magazine were, and if original owner Angie Dramis wants this copy back all I gotta say is tough lost it and I got it and that's THAT!
The Clash-"White Riot"/"1977" (CBS Records, England)

Sounds familiar, like (as I always tend to say) a group that sure influenced a whole lotta other groups down the line. Nice enough growl that shows the influence of various mid-seventies rock kultural landmarks yet there's a little something that keeps me from really going craparoonie over this...maybe the fact that the guys in this group ended up recording long tiring dirges with disco beats long after the original rush had dried up. Good enough but they'll never be the Subway Sect.
The Scientists-"We Had Love"/"Clear Spot" (Au Go Go Records, Australia)

I remember the big hubbub about this eighties-era Australian band which I first embraced then got tired of for some reason or another. But on this side the Scientists do the O-mind hard-edged growl a whole lot better'n I remember as they gather up all of the boff rock 'n roll references of the late-sixties onward (c'mon, you know the groups I'm talking about!) and slice and dice 'em into an even wilder sound that anyone out there in cult rock group land could imagine. Low-fi helps immensely and any group that has the nerve to cover a Beefheart song even at a time when covers had become extremely verboten due to THE GREAT "I WANNA BE YOUR DOG" COVER VERSION OVERKILL OF THE EIGHTIES yet pull it off without pretension really deserves an award. Or at least an award for rising above it all like that sticky foam on Jello's One-Two-Three.
Next one...maybe March? (or even sooner if the lack of inspiration moves me).


Charles Hodgson said...

Perfect summation of the career of The Clash: "Good enough but they'll never be the Subway Sect". Thanks, Chris!
Did you know the master tapes of the Sect's unreleased 1978 LP turned up in Strummers archive about a year ago? (My bet had always been that they were in Jones archive, so I was close!).
Hopefully we'll get to hear it in this lifetime, although Vic Godard threatened to burn the tapes a là Malcolm McLaren's son at the time. Hope he refrained from doing so, it's about all I'm living for!
All the best,

Bill S. said...

Chris, I included a few versions of the Troggs' beer commercial on one of the Virtual Thrift Store compilations I made a few years ago. Not sure if it's one you have not played yet....or one that would not play for you...or one I have not made a cover for and not sent to you yet. It's great hearing them do a restrained version of the old "If You've Got To Time, We've Got The Beer" song.

Re The Clash, my favorite Clash 45 has always been the "Groovy Times/Gates of the West" 7"....I remember it came as a free bonus with some Clash LP (maybe the first?), and I thought (and still think) that it was better than anything on the album.

Head Company AB said...

I remember finding out about dental dams by reading maximum rock n roll back in school detention in the eighties, so you must have been reading it from the beginning