Sunday, January 14, 2018

Oh well...another week another BLOG TO COMM post! Gotta admit that it ain't easy thinkin' these things up 'specially in the just post-Christmas holidaze days---I almost feels like I'm back in High Stool doin' some hideous book or science report on a Sad-turd-day PM which is probably why this post READS like one! Of course back in those not-so-carefree days the winter blahs could always be remedied by either a hot record or boffo tee-vee show but hey, once you hit the millionth solar rotation like I have sometimes the effect just ain't the same as it was when you were young, dumb and maybe even stupider than you are now. Call it age even if I do get all hot and bothered over Captain Beefheart platters these days as I did way back when.
Anywah, how'd'ja like that wild weather we're having here in the tri-county area anyway? All that blowing ice and snow just piling up making an already cruel winter even more dangerous for drivers and little kids making that ten-mile trek home from those local prisons we know of as schools! It's sure fun for me to watch Mom Nature unveiling all of her power and energy, at least when I'm safe and sound sitting in my warm abode eyeballing the cars doing doughnuts from my window as they plowi over those obnoxious brats in the neighborhood. I get the exact same feeling during the summer months watching kids get struck by lightning knowing that in no way am I gonna be affected. Yes, carnage is great as long as you're watching it from a distance!
I haven't been having any interesting rock 'n roll-related dreams as of late, but my cyst-er had one in which I was a featured player. In her dream I presented a young Frank Zappa (who was wearing this weird braid that was clipped to the back of his collar in order to make his hair look longer) a gift of a refinished antique book shelf with psychedelic decals. And you know what, he was gracious and liked it! More than I can say about some people I send gifts to who don't appreciate them and even make it a point to let me know about it! And you know who you is!
Hope this edition of BLOG TO COMM suits your own personal sense of rockitude as it does mine. Actually, I don't give a fig what you think but to be honest I kinda like it even if I think my writing "qualities" have gone down more'n a few degrees this past week or so. Big heaps to P.D. Fadensonnen, Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and even Bob Forward-thinking for their contributions to the cause, and the rest of you can go pound a fire ant hill for all I care you ungrateful things you!

Spontaneous Music Ensemble w/Rashied Ali-DOUBLE TRIO 3/10/1968 CD-r burn

Given that I don't have as large a Spontaneous Music Ensemble collection as I sure wish I would a disque like this comes in handy. John Stevens' group is aided and abetted by Rashied Ali on this sesh which reminds me of FREE JAZZ only with a smaller group and an equally potent sound impact. Beautiful free play here featuring some of stalwarts of the European scene like Peter Kowald and Dave Holland all done up in that over-the-top-screaming-all-the-way fashion your mother warned you about but as usual you didn't listen. A true motivator...well at least to the point where I'm gonna have to dig up my ONE, TWO, ALBERT AYLER album for yet another dose of this better than you ever will be freedom aggregation.
GENE CLARK WITH THE GOSDIN BROTHERS CD-r burn (originally on Columbia Records)

I'll bet there were a few rock 'n roll souls who were glad that Gene Clark left the Byrds way back '65 way...after all that meant there would be more albums in that folk-rocky style to give a listen to and who wouldn't mind that! Of course once David Crosby got kicked out I'm sure these same people were shudderin' once they got an ear of the CSNY sound but back in '66 who woulda known?

On this debut solo platter Clark got the country greats the Gosdin Brothers to back him vocally and a pretty sharp band (including some Byrds and the Wrecking Guys) to provide the music. Naturally (or something like that) the overall results are boffo! Might be kinda slick to some of you rock sophistacados out there but the combination of Clark's vocals with the contemporary folk rock and orchestra make for a good slab of bright and at times sullen sounds that not only would melt the heart of not only your typical iron-haired teenybopper of a sophomoric sophomore (and believe, I went to high school with a whole slew of 'em!) but even the more grizzled among the faculty.

The original album is driving enough true, but the additional twennysome tracks add a whole load to the experience what with the outtakes, acoustic demos and stereo mixes which don't mean a hoot to me, but it's sure nice to hear the earlier songs again without having to get up and adjust my cheapo boom box!

I dunno if you were the kind who cried while listening to the Byrds, but if your sensitive self is wont to get all enraptured in the strains of folk rock this one might just make you Crimea River!
Various Artists-SOURCE RECORDS 1-6 1968-1971 3-CD set (Pogus Productions)

SOURCE was such a fine magazine (if you could call this oversized ring-bound publication a "magazine"), not only for the information given on a variety of "new music" composers and performers but for the added inserts and the ten-inch records which came with (I believe) ever issue. Reading about everyone from the likes of John Cage to Philip Glass to Anthony Braxton to even Harold Budd  was certainly eye-opening to a budding avant garde fanabla such as I, and I sure loved to pour through those bound volumes that it seems that NO ONE ELSE in the world knew about because hey, they were so pristine and mint-like to the myriad who didn't know just how expensive those issues had become o'er the years!

Lo after all these years the musical portion of the mag has finally been re-issued (or at least it was in 2008---had it all this time but it got lost inna shuffle). That's cool, because since SOURCE was part of the library's periodical department I couldn't take any issues out, and that included the records I was anxious to tape for my own listening pleasure! However I was told that if I could bring my own turntable and stereo into the library I could record them that way but like, no way in heck was that possible!

Pretty good stuff here too---that is, if you think that the idea of sound as pure atonal chance music sure beats the bejabbers outta yer typical I-Heart playlist. Some of it is mildly interesting (like the piece where Alvin Lucier tapes a phrase and generation by generation repeats it until it sounds like total ratsqueal---reminds me of some of the nth-generation tapes of various rock acts that were flyin' around in the early-eighties!) while others sound like just about every other art piece done up my some music major circa 1975 who thinks he's on his way to a flattering cover piece in  ART IN AMERICA.

But most if not all does have some degree of brilliance. Allan Bryant's "Pitch Out", done with various MEV members in their own studio, holds much promise what with the use of electric guitars almost coming off like a bizarre post-rock concept that might be twirling about nowadays. Speaking of twirling, Mark Riener's "Phlegathon" (a name that I'm sure could be used to describe various competing blogs) features these twirling mobile-like devices that create their own sounds that kinda remind me of those 4th of July rockets that whistle about as they blast off.

There's more some from familiar names on the avant garde set as well as those who are probably still stuck in the beret and stale doritos bracket, but whatever I'll betcha you can find a whole load of good and still engaging to the typical light aficionado concepts floating around on these platters. Too bad it took me almost forty years to hear 'em, but better now that I'm a less picky old turdburger than then when I was a starry eyed fanabla who probably woulda thought that Karlheinz Stockhausen's farts were legitimate forms of gastricular expression that Deutsche Grammophone better release just as fast as Stockhausen released his!
Various Artists-RADIO CRAMPS---"THE PURPLE KNIF SHOW" CD-r burn (originally on Skydog Records, France)

Yeah you heard it all before, but you didn't hear it via a radio show hosted by Lux Interior doing a fairly good Mad Daddy impression! Great tracks, great announcing (even though I think he woulda been tossed outta Bus Eubanks' class) and if you gotta hear these tracks what better way'n to hear 'em in a gathering such as this! Two beefs...first is that the Swamp Rats' version of  "Louie Louie" is shallwesay "truncated" inna middle plus the entire Troggs Miller Beer commercial is nowhere to be found even if Mr. Interior did back-announce it! Sheesh Paul, you doin' this tryin' t' be funny 'r sumpthin'??? (Don' worry...I finally heard the ad on Youtube and of course it's a great tune done up by a band who could be both commercial and underground at the same time!)
Perry Leopold-EXPERIMENTS IN METAPHYSICS CD-r burn (originally on Gear Fab, or Guess if you wanna go back to the original version, or Guerssen if you want a vinyl copy, Records)

Do I have to apologize if I think this 'un's nothing but a sappy introspective and downright precocious bit of early-seventies singer/songwriter folkpuke even if alla the hip names out there seem to like it? Couldn't wait to rip this acoustic neo-outsider offering off the laser launch pad what with Leopold's soft and whispering through the winds voice that could probably even knock James Taylor over (not that that ain't hard to do) with the acoustic guitar just plucking about in standard pacifist and patchouli fashion and...well, with a good portion of the so-called punks of the past showing their true peacenik colors these sorry days it's no wonder this has attained a cult following amongst the smart set. It only makes me wanna attend a FEMEN protest and yell things like "HUBBA HUBBA HUBBA" and "SHAKE THEM TITS" at a buncha gals who at that very moment will probably regret this particular form of free expression.
MEN & VOLTS PLAY CAPTAIN BEEFHEART---A GIRAFFE IS LISTENING TO THE RADIO CD-r burn (originally on Feeding Tube Records---Forced Exposure has copies available here)

After the turdburger above it was sure time to CLEAR THE AIR. Which is what I did with this particular goodie done up by the infamous klunkalong group Men & Volts. Now I will admit that I thought some of the Volts's stuff was pretty snappy while other long-forgotten recordings just grated on me as if I were a hunka Romano cheese, but the idea of this band recording a Beefheart tribute album actually works! Well, it's sure a better idea'n those weak-kneed candyasses of the nineties paying "homage" to the Velvet Underground totally lacking the original's deep sense of dark nihilism. All your favorite Beefheartian moments worked up by the infamous M&V sounding just as good as the originals yet not irritating as if done solely for the sake of being self-consciously innovative, coy or cute. A must get 'n I dare you!
Various Artists-SWINGIN' THE TRANSCRIPTIONS CD-r burn (originally on P-Vine Records, Japan)

Kinda surprised that I'm listening to this platter especially when I am NOT in whatcha'd call a forties jazzy/blues/pop mood. But these tracks taken from actual radio transcription discs do kinda bring back memories of early-seventies comic book collecting while Bus Eubanks would explain to us the whys and wherefores of the tracks we've just heard. In fact, this could have used some spoken introductions from Eubanks himself only he's been dead about thirty years. Appearances by many big names of the day (Ink Spots, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Mills Brothers...) are bound to make your typical centenagenarian wanna break out the zoot suit and not wash his hair ever again!
Sonny Sharrock-LIVE IN BREMEN 10/29/1987 CD-r burn

Recorded right around the time Sharrock was starting to break out from the under-the-cultured jazz miasma into the BIG TIME, this German show's got hefty clarity and the virtuoso's guitar lines soaring in ways that seemed to herald a new lookout and vision amongst other corny descriptions. Hot play on themes old and new and the band backing him ain't duff either. I thought it was snat if only someone would find those early-eighties Material and solo gigs that took place at CBGB not to mention other under-the-underground hangouts long gone 'n boarded up.
Various Artists-TIRED RED WINGS AND SAD YELLOW HANDS CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Here's yet another deep dive into the Bill Shute box (which is massive and keeps growing like the Dogpatch Ham) featuring all sortsa goodies that were only excelled by the fact that I was reading THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK while this 'un spun away. Yeah there are a coupla duds here but so what, because the hot stuff from the doo-woppers to the mid-sixties miracles (including Mr. Lucky and the Gamblers' "Take a Look at Me" which sounds better here than it did on BOULDERS) really make me wanna get up and pretend it's 1965 all over again! Even the less-drastic of the selections have a kick to 'em like Froggy Landers and the Cough Drops' "River Rock" not forgetting the Fox Chasers' "Yellow Hand" which is a nice Indian thumper right up their with Johnny Preston's "Running Bear". You even get a "Tequila" swipe from the "Scamps" entitled "Enchilada"! Not only that but the kiddie records were fun, especially that one that tells you how to bring up your cat right! Now if I get a cat I'll know what to do, other'n accidentally run over the thing while backing out of the driveway.

1 comment:

diskojoe said...

Your initial comment in the Gene Clark review reminded me of something that I read once about someone who really didn't mind the Beatles splitting up since it would mean that instead of one ABBEY ROAD, there would be 4 ABBEY ROADS instead! We know how that worked out!

It was a shame that Gene Clark was basically pushed out of the Byrds because McGuinn & Crosby were jealous of his songwriting talent & more importantly, the songwriting royalties that he earned. It seems that they would rather give Bob Dylan the royalty dough than Gene. I think the Byrds would have been a better band if Gene stayed, but I guess there were too many ego problems for that to happen.

Finally, here's a link to a YouTube clip of the Byrds from the Hollywood-A-Go-Go show of the Byrds doing "Set You Free This Time" w/Gene front & center & McGuinn and Crosby switching personas: