Monday, December 31, 2018

Well, """""I""""" made it! Dunno about you, but I'm sure glad about it even if the thought of living in the year 2019 does seem mighty creepazoid if you ask me. Maybe even creep-ier than it should considering how this fragile soul can still remember being around in the sixties and seventies and what fun times they were compared with what came after, not talkin' about school or grown ups or things like that (yeeeesh!). But although there was a good share of misery during those years there sure was a lotta FUN if you knew just where to find the kind of music that ignites your mental synapses and helps you become the MAN OF THE YEAR you always wanted to be and still could be if only you added a little oomph to YOUR life! And if you fell for that dribble may I interest you in a used fanzine?

But '18 did me no harm even if I managed to become a year older in the process. I had my fun, starting new projects and abandoning them almost immediately amongst other travails. After all, this was the year of a few extremely quick flashes in my mind like the one I had in January when I conceived and discarded within the course of a day and a half the idea for my Richard Meltzer tribute fanzine which was to be called either OUTER PUMICE or STILLBORN KITTENS IN JELLO (in the tradition of the old fanboy fanzines a la WHITE STUFF and SLADE PARADER). But other bright thoughts are still germinating in the fertile poop-laden field I call my brain, and you might be thrilled to see some of the surprises that are bound to be in store for '19.

And so, on this most solemn of occasions, here are my faves and not-so's for 2018 (hokay, some of the items may be of strict 2017 or even older vintage but remember, we're talking BTCT {Blog To Comm Time]). Despite my aging and financial straits and general mental miasma I managed to find more than a few good things that have erupted o'er the past 365, and although I have the feeling that you will disagree with me I figure what else is old???

CEE-DEE ALBUM OF THE YEAR!-Gaea's FUTURE UNIVERSE. Seventies electronics done up the way you wish more seventies electronic rock albums were made...with SWING! Kudos to Otto von Ruggins for the tip!
VINYL ALBUM(S) OF THE YEAR!-Smegma's ABACUS INCOGNITO AND LOOKIN' FOR YA which only goes to show ya that ABSTRACT MUSIC IS STILL THE ONLY WAY TO GO if ya wanna be truly timeless and play for the ages instead of for the same few dolts who never did get their third eyes pried wide open.
SINGLE OF THE YEAR!-F.U.K.'s "Road Kill"/"I Got a Head", a great reminder of just how much undiscovered hard rock is wasting away in dresser drawers and attic boxes just waiting to be unleashed on us total eruption listeners! Naw, let's make that the Endless Boogie/Sorcerers' "Acknowledgements"/Dog's Life" one that came in the FEEL THE MUSIC book---total eruption! Awwww-they're BOTH #1!
BOX SET OF THE YEAR!-International Harvester's REMAINS (Silence Records)--- five platters of total repeato riff bliss! It's also the REISSUE OF THE YEAR which doesn't surprise me one bit!
LIVE ALBUM OF THE YEAR!-the Remains LIVE 1969 (Sundazed Records) like, who woulda thought that the mid-sixties woulda had such a long lasting power, other'n maybe Greg Shaw that is!
JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR!-Milford Graves' BABI MUSIC---makes me glad that I had enough ears to catch some of this during the end of the avant garde era before it became the french word for mer de bouef.
CASSETTE RELEASE OF THE YEAR!-HOPITAL DE LA CONCEPTION which is one good reason that I'm glad I didn't off myself when all of my "associates" were begging me to! If this came out on vinyl it woulda been LP of the year but we can't have everything!
BLOG OF THE YEAR!-this one
DOO WAH-CLASSIC OF THE YEAR!-Xterip's THE FRISBEE SESSIONS which you probably missed out on and if you did that's your tough luck! Total free play music that's so edgy it makes those Can rehearsals sound like Mantovani!
BOOK OF THE YEAR (MUSIC DIVISION)!-The Paul Major tome for the times FEEL THE MUSIC---part biography, part rare record collecting homage and part rare catalogs you threw away but are now worth up to twenny bucks each!!!
BOOK OF THE YEAR (SECULAR DIVISION)!-GAG ON THIS by Charles Rodrigues. So funny it even makes me forget Henry Lee Lucas!
POST OF THE YEAR!-Interview with OTTO VON RUGGINS. Close anti-gun control one
where I deservedly puked all over David "Camera" Hogg and the new Curly Howard Emma Gonzales and get hell for it from some more "open minded" readers! Thankfully I survived their spewing some of the worst cases for those two that I've heard since coming up against all those sanctimonious self-virtuous teachers and students in high school...tell it to your circle jerk pals, not me!
HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR!-talking to Jeff Roth on the telephone. Wotta guy!
TRAITOR OF THE YEAR!-Milo Yiannopolous
And that is it---I hope the new year's good for those of you I like and treacherous for those of you I hate, though I got the feeling it's gonna be somewhere in between the two, as usual. PREDICTIONS FOR 2019!---my writing will get even worse (if that's humanly possible!) and my computer will get even slower! That's all---sheesh, ya want me to go out on a limb and predict nuclear wars and cures for hemorrhoids like Jeanne Dixon used to do?

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Hi guy. Now that I've gotten my inner Chuck McCann outta the way lemme say that I had a nice enough (considering the fact that everything I have grown to love and cherish in this life, especially loads of toys is LONG GONE) Christmas. Personally I woulda had more fun if I celebrated it like the Japanese and got some Kentucky Fried Chicken, but I ain't complainin', at least that much.

I spent my holiday rather spiffy-like considering that I just can't get enough pure unadulterated and uninterrupted goof off time into my system these days. But I did make the best in order to keep my sanity straight and have a good thing that I did knowing that the nights were growing shorter and the jamz were dwindling down to a precious few was take Bill Shute's advice (more or less) and purchase the ENTIRE THIRTEEN ISSUE RUN of none other than the Marvel DENNIS THE MENACE comic books! It sure is kinda strange seeing Dennis being produced under the Marvel banner, but considering how Marvel went from that wildly chance-taking and exciting yet campy enough for the snobbier kids company of the sixties/early-seventies to the megamonster it turned into after Stan Lee went from being Editor-in-Chief to demigod what else would I have expected in between all that STAR WARS and ROM gunk they were tossing at us!

But sheesh, could you think of a better way to spend your cold winter nights'n snuggled up besides your own personal boom box listening to your own personal beyond-the-outre albums while reading old comics like these??? (Well of course you can, but we're talking about something that ain't "statutory" ifyaknowaddamean...) 'n really, nothing would make me feel happier than coming home from the Salt Mines some freezing winter's day and settling down with a stack of DENNIS THE MENACEs while playing Mahogany Brain, secure in the knowledge that a big snowstorm is about to hit the area and I won't have to go to work the next day just like when we wuz kidz 'n they closed school for a well-deserved if nature-caused break from those evil teachers and students I hadda contend with! In fact I kinda wish I could be snowed in for a good week or two (with enough handy snax to keep me alive) just so's I could spend even MORE time playing records and pouring through my massive collection of old comics, books, music and other remnants of a long-gone, but much better (hah!) time.

Some of the sagas that pop up in these titles ain't that menace-y---no Mr. Wilson skulls are to be seen, while others downplay the violent nature entirely what with Margaret trying to educate Dennis or Joey about something and failing miserably. But when the story does get going it gets going good enough to make these comics just as fun as those early-seventies Marvel reprints of fifties-era kid comics like LITTLE LIZZIE not to mention Stan Lee's own PETER THE LITTLE PEST swipe which outdoes DENNIS on all levels of typical tot-like terror imaginable! C'mon, you gonna sit in front of the boob tube for another viewing of CSI when you could be reading these???
Interesting turdbit of information that I thought I would pass on to you readers before I forget. Anyhoo, you've heard me rambling on about the French group Dagon, the crazed proto-somethingorother French early-seventies rock 'n roll groupthat was so legendary (even if their only recorded output was a four minute excerpt of an organ-based instrumental on the French underground rock box set entitled 30 YEARS OF MUSICAL INSURRECTION IN FRANCE) that the likes of Yves Adrien called them "the French Velvet Underground" way back during his I SING THE MUSIC ELECTRIC days. Well, after some serious internet digging and a look into the precious few shards of print items I have on them, I discovered that one of their members (along with French underground rock mainstay Patrick Vian) was none other than, now get this, J. D. Martignon of Midnight Records ripoff fame! Sheeeeesh!!!!! Still wanna hear more Dagon tho...maybe I will be able to forgive the guy for being such a Gallic Geek for at least part of his life!
Good 'nuff batch this week if I do say so myself (where have I heard that before???).  Gotta thank the usual culprits like Bill, Paul, and Feeding Tube for their wondrous donations as well as the unusual culprit Bob Forward since I found some of the wares he sent under stacks of long-forgotten flotsam wasting away in my bedroom! Big hefty thanks goes to PD Fadensonnen for this recent X-mas package which really made my December 25th a happier day'n usual! Take that Brad!!!!


Sheesh, what is this? Sounds kinda like some of those Art Ensemble of Chicago (pre Moye) workouts only with less of a jazz influence (until [of course!] the jazz influence makes its mark known thanks to some strong Roscoe Mitchell-esque saxophone) while a woman's voice can be heard in the background and darn if I can tell know what she's singing! She reminds me of that one chick on the first Mahogany Brain album, not only because MB is my current over-play fave this week but there's that strange sense that what she's singing is supposed to be urgent but in no way can I discern if this is true due to the lack of clarity. (Kinda like that previous sentence!!!) That's some interesting Joseph Jarman clarinet in there as well...don't tell me this wasn't recorded with those Arista/Freedom sessions in mind!

That was just platter #1...the second one has flute (can't discern if its Mitchell or Jarmanesque) and more circular-breathing horn marathons that, like the real deal, sorta encircle your mind and sucks you in like music did back when you were young and didn't know any better. Well, I'll tell ya one thing and that is that Crazy Dobermans are a whole lot more soul-reaffirming than PETER AND THE WOLF ever was!

Both slabs are of the totally anarchistic, crazed soundscapading variety. I'll be you could find yourselves copies without much internet effort.
Dire Wolves-PARADISIACAL MIND LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Well whaddaya know! Hippoids do good on this new Feeding Tube release not only with a cover that reminds me of late-sixties ESP-Disk at their most psychowhatsis, but a sound that doesn't come off like no back porch jug band get-together nohow! It's kinda nice and dreamy but not karmik...maybe something like PHALLUS DEI-era Amon Duul II without the Zappafied inserts or even some of those more outta the way German records of the early-seventies like Emtidi's SAAT without the folk references. I'm sure there are even some Amerigan acts of the day I could name drop as well. Nice instrumental repeato riff music to sink your spirit into while female voices coo above it all---not as bad as that may sound either!
Black Unity Trio-AL-FATIHAH CD-r burn (originally on (Salaam Records)

I know that there are more than a good share of self-released freedom jazz albums out there that one can shake a stick at, but here's a platter that I've never heard of so it must be a lulu! The Black Unity Trio play like Archie Shepp in a studio even cheaper than the ones he recorded those BYG albums in, coming up with an effort that equals the best of the NMDS catalog only this one woulda been sold out by the time you decided to order it. Dunno who this Yusef Mumin guy is (he being the definitely post-Coltranesque alto saxophonist) but the fact that he never did reach the upper echelons of avant jazz hosannas proves something about life that I'm afraid has to be proved before I check outta the mortal spring we call life.
EARLY KRAFTWERK LIVE '70/'71 four CD-r set burn

If someone woulda told me in 1975 that I woulda spent the Christmas of 2018 listening to Kraftwerk I probably woulda believed 'im. If he said 1980 I woulda said no way Charlie but here I actually am in Christmas 2018 and like, my 1975 inclinations were totally right after all!

Three of the four disques in this burn courtesy Mr. Fadensonnen himself I have not heard. The fourth, the Bremen FM show, has been goin' 'round for a long time but so what because it remains perhaps the best early Kraftwerk recording extant. Totally powerful hard rock guitar gunch with the band  kicking out guitar-laden jams the way I like it. If these guys were trying for "The New Velvet Underground" title that more'n a few fans of the day were anxious in discovering for their very own I'd say they had a good shot at it, at least as good as Mahogany Brain, Mirrors, the Dolls, the Modern Lovers and early Siouxsie not forgetting a few thou other bands who somehow put that old canard about the Velvets never having been the popular or influential act that gonzo rockscribes have claimed they were in the first place (and believe me, I've heard it many times first-hand) to its proper rest.

One disc has the Hutter/Schneider line-up with Dinger, the other three are Schneider and Neu, all surpassing previous hopes that these guys were worth every bit of attention being laid upon 'em by Lester Bangs. In all, four shows in their entirety that you really can wrap your prehensile brain around and ooze into as the music was meant to be rock 'n roll that just happens to be played by a buncha Teutonic geniuses but better they perform such guttural sounds as this than build concentration camps.

But in all earnestness, I sure would like to hear that early version of "Autobahn" that was mentioned in some old issue of EUROCK, the one which was described as sounding nada like the famed hit of yore and in fact some strange if welcome collaboration between Karlheinz Stockhausen and the Stooges! I might have mentioned this before. It all seems so hazy...
THE GURUS ARE HEAR! CD-r burn (originally on Sundazed Records)

These guys never did make it to actual LOOK, WE GOT AN ALBUM OUT! status, but that doesn't mean they're feh-like 'r anything. It just means that they were yet another group with not-quite fleshed out ideas and a shallow usage of mideast hip kitsch in the right places that got 'em noticed inna first place. Pop rock which coulda risen to some cheap though fun NUGGETS styled outta the way charmer but mostly it's just something that we never shoulda missed even if it never really affected us like the Seeds or Stooges did.
Various Artists-SHAZAM! AND OTHER INSTRUMENTALS WRITTEN BY LEE HAZLEWOOD CD-r burn (originally on Ace Records, England)

's sure good to give these early Hazelwood productions a go on this lonesome Sunday morn when such music seems to have such a profound effect on the brain snapping. Might be a little too slick for some of you instrumental fans who like it down 'n Link Wray dirty, but I can sure appreciate the powerful guitar driven tracks that sure made the soundtrack for more'n a few baby-boomer-era teenage thrills. Personal faves include Duane Eddy's "Shazam!" which got my ten-year-old rock appreciation a'poppin' when I first heard it via the Dick Clark motion picture vehicle BECAUSE THEY'RE YOUNG plus various Astronauts/Challengers/Ventures efforts that sure make me wish I was born a good ten-fifteen years earlier than I was so's I coulda gotten in on the action first hand like!
Various Artists-READY JAN-JAN DUDE ENCHANTER CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Anudder one of those can go anywhere (and maybe even do anything!) Bill Burns which present a nice slice of down home somethingorother to help pass the time away. It won't make you kill your neighbor (drat!) but it still will put a smirk on your face what with such hotcha instrumentals as Grant Green's "Jan Jan" not to mention the mooshy tit-squeezer "Enchanted Love". I personally went nuts for the Dude Ranchers' country rockin' instrumentals which, with a little rigging here and there, coulda been hotcha late-fifties rock 'n roll chart entries. One quibble---why does utter lounge schmooze like Ike Quebec's "Me 'n' You" hafta be stuck inna mix and ruin the mood anyway???
Oh, did I ever tell you that there are many unsold old issues of BLACK TO COMM still available? Didn't think so. Go do your doody in keeping Western Civilization capsized.

Thursday, December 27, 2018


I bought this Dee-Vee-Dee for Paul McGarry figurin' it was gonna be a swell enough Christmas present given Paul's penchant for the wilder aspects of slam-pow entertainment. But after watching it myself I was so blasted by what transpired before my senses that I decided to KEEP THE FOOL THING FOR MY OWN SELF! It's that good of a moom that one can watch over and over again if only for the nice and violent parts an' y'know what...that's just what I'm gonna do! Fooey on you Paul, FOOEY!

Yeah, FRAMED is one of those mooms that really hits ya right between the soul, one where you can stand up and cheer at the end just like you used to do when watching Roy Rogers only these guys are so mean they make those crooked bankers and swindlers come off rather nicey-nice in comparison. An' the good guys might not seem that angelic to begin with, but when stacked up next to the cruds they might as well be St. Francis ifyaknowaddamean...

Former WALKING TALL star/true folk hero Joe Don Baker plays this gambler named Lewis who, after striking it big in a Texas big stakes poker game, heads home to Tennessee only to be (what else but) framed after killing a deputy sheriff in self defense (albeit on shaky grounds). That's after being shot at when driving home on a country road, all of which somehow (as we find out at the end) ties Lewis to this ya better believe true-to-life debacle. The gendarmes duly enough arrest him, confiscate the money and thanks to a bugged hospital room, a defense lawyer in cahoots with the sheriff's office and a couple of thugs who rape Lewis' gal (played just right without any of the modern day bitchiness you see by none other than Conny Van Dyke) into abject fear, Lewis takes the plea bargain and gets six-to-ten at the state pen for his troubles.

Not a bad stretch despite a rough start (threatening to gouge a guard's eye out ain't the way to endear yourself to the powers that be) because Lewis and his card prowess just happen to be noticed by a mob boss who can use the guy in his prison yard poker racket. And thanks to a little manipulation courtesy the mobster Lewis gets out after serving only four years, at which point he returns to his Tennessee town to gets some answers, extract some bloody revenge and (best of all) get alla that gambling money back.

As far as these get-even films go I can't think of any offhand that got me roarin' as FRAMED did. Baker is of course slow burning cool bursting into violent rage the way he "convinces" crooked politicians to tell the truth or deals out real justice to the hoods that raped his gal. (I was especially impressed by the part where the guy plugs an auto battery cable into one particularly unrepentant bad boy's ear before shooting it off.) Man, I can't see any true-blue BLOG TO COMM reader cheering Baker on in his search for the truth about what went on that fateful night and, given the times we've all hadda suck it up and take it like a man 'n all that who amongst us WOULDN'T  be cheering our heads off seeing some of the sickest beings ever on film (at least until ROLLING THUNDER, which FRAMED tops in my book!) get their comeuppance in the goriest ways possible.

The supporting actors are realistic enough to the point where you'd kinda think half the actors here playing the villains would have been accosted had they dared to show their mugs on the street. One of my fave heavies was H.B. Haggerty as Bickford, the beefoid cousin of the murdered deputy who's givin' Lewis a real hard time which Our Man certainly ain't taking! Also snat was John Morley, playing a mobster for a switch (remember, he's the one who went to bed with the horse's head in THE GODFATHER) who helps Lewis out with a little help from the paid off prison guards. Even snatter is Brock Peters as Deputy Perry, the sole black guy on the squad and the only one who has a real sense of justice despite him being a little too afraid of ending up a good six feet down himself. Far from the sensitive soul of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Peters is cold and callous in his own way but possesses a conscience, at least enough of one to give Lewis some pertinent leads. I gotta say that this was one of the best serious black man roles I've seen in quite awhile, or at least since Nehemiah Hill (or was it Leigh Whipper as I originally wrote?) in OF MICE AND MEN!

Special accolades must be given to none other'n Gabriel Dell---yeah, the Bowery Boy!---as a hit man who pals up with Lewis in prison and, surprisingly enough re-enters into his life to off him! Dell might be the only reason you'd want to see this one...he's still cool and cocky like in the old days, and he plays the psycho with a heart of gold rather well looking surprisingly young in his mustache and greasy long hair. Why this role didn't lead to more big time slots in films I'll never know because, and I am being serious, Dell not getting a Supporting Actor Academy Award is akin to Arch Hall Jr. not getting that golden statue for THE SADIST!

Non stop action and tension abound, and the finale is enough to make you glad you're a living breathing mammal who needs your own sense of justice, vigilante-like or not! And Paul, yer gonna get this 'un from me this year...I was only teasin' ya!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


As someone who frequents junk stores and so-called antique malls, and who enjoys visiting old “historic” homes and abandoned buildings (I lived within an hour or two of some western Ghost Towns, growing up in Colorado, which gave me a lifelong taste for the abandoned and the discarded), I’ve always been fascinated by the flotsam and jetsam of Christmas Past. Christmas cards to and from strangers that sat in a shoebox in a closet for years before being tossed away by the recipients’ children after Mom and Dad moved on to that endless Golden Corral buffet in the sky….budget-label Christmas albums played once or twice and then put at the back of the stack, now warped and unable to be played, but still being sold for a dollar, and sitting at the junk store year-after-year, as if someday the right customer will stop by and exclaim, “oh, I’ve always been wanting an unplayable warped copy of this Fred Waring Christmas album—how lucky I am!”….unopened boxes of Nutcracker-themed kitchen items that never got a chance to sit on the table next to Aunt Martha’s mince pies….Christmas tree ornaments emblazoned with the logos of businesses long forgotten, congratulating themselves on a successful 1939 or whatever….faded and yellowed Polaroids of awkward-looking children sitting on the laps of department store Santas, probably displayed on the family’s refrigerator for a season or two and then forgotten----all discarded as quickly as the imitation joy that’s piped into society at large for six weeks every year, like the oldies music that’s piped into my supermarket, providing an aural backdrop as I toss cartons of oatmeal and rice-cakes and dog biscuits into my cart. I would say that all this faux-joy is forgotten on January 2nd of each year, but nowadays as people have fewer, if any, vacation days from work, it’s probably forgotten on the morning of December 26th, and if you work in retail, it’s probably forgotten VERY early on the 26th, because you have to be at work at 5 a.m. to deal with the throngs of people looking to return the presents others gave them or to pick up post-Christmas markdown bargains. There’s not a lot of “peace on earth or goodwill among men” as people fight over parking spaces or step over each other to get places in line to return that chafing dish (whatever the f*ck a chafing dish is!) given to them by that brother-in-law they never liked.

I used to listen regularly to Garner Ted Armstrong’s “World Tomorrow” radio broadcasts as a youngster and adolescent, so I was probably permanently poisoned against Christmas by those, as you could guarantee each year that Garner Ted would devote at least two shows in the November and December period to how the celebration of Christmas is completely un-Christian, how Jesus was most likely born in late September or early October, how Jesus never asked anyone to celebrate his birthday and how such a celebration would be totally contrary to what He stood for, etc. Just Google Mr. Armstrong’s name and the word “Christmas” and you too can read or listen to his anti-Christmas diatribes.

There’s no need to try to get that warped 1950’s Christmas album to play by putting pennies on the tone-arm and hearing the needle gouge into the grooves, when instead you can go even further back and savor vintage Christmas recordings from Thomas Edison’s organization, taken from test pressing cylinders and disks, dating from 1906-1927, collected on this wonderful CD from Document Records, best-known for their exhaustive chronological collections of pre-WWII blues 78’s. They have a number of releases of historic recordings from the archives of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in New Jersey. This particular one contains 67 minutes of holiday-themed treasures taken from such legendary Edison recording formats as Blue Ambersol Cylinders and Diamond Discs. The album opens with a 1906 performance by the Edison Concert Band, taken from a Gold Moulded Cylinder, of “Joy To The World,” sounding like the kind of semi-symphonic brass band you might hear coming from a gazebo on a mound on the city square in some cold and windy moderate-sized midwestern town, as you stood there, hands in pockets, freezing your ass off, doing your best to be festive. You’ll feel like you have come to life on the pages of some lesser-known novel by Sinclair Lewis or Theodore Dreiser, sitting unread as a link on the Project Gutenberg website. This is followed by an overly-formal reading of “Silent Night,” with the requisite chimes, reminding you of the stiff formality of the Christmas holiday performances you were forced to sing in as a child. Following that is a tear-jerking violin performance of Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” which would be the perfect music to use as the soundtrack for some D.W. Griffith film where Lillian Gish is dying of consumption and her child is starving as she wraps herself and the child in blankets, with no wood or coal for heat…and she looks out the window to see the Christmas revelers out on the street, throwing snowballs and drinking egg-nog. Griffith would probably include some title cards with melancholy passages from the poems of Browning or Tennyson or ironically-presented lines from the words of Jesus. Of course, there are also holiday monologues on this album, delivered in that wonderful early 1900’s stage-y oratorical style you would hear in low-budget indie films during the early sound-film era from actors who’d worked a lot during the silent-era but were rooted in the turn-of-the-century regional stage, actors like William Farnum or Robert Frazer. And perhaps most interesting is a promotional record (see picture) sent to Edison sales-persons and distributors as a Christmas gift that doubles as a reminder to boost sales and be more aggressive in working accounts in 1925, to make it more profitable than 1924. Anyone who’s ever worked in sales will shake their heads in recognition that nothing has really changed in 100 years, only the technology.

I’ve never liked the film IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, and I’m not likely to tune in to the countless Christmas films on the Hallmark Channel, aimed at stay-at-home Moms whose families earn more than $250,000 per year who enjoy seeing a romanticized version of themselves projected on-screen….so I can’t think of a better way to experience a “classic Christmas” than to play this collection of cylinders and discs from 100 years ago and tap into the ongoing permanence of the Christmas tradition.

So….let’s all stuff ourselves today and hope that there’s an Alka Seltzer on the shelf somewhere for later when our gluttony comes back to haunt us. Tomorrow morning, this scuzzy apartment building I live in is still going to smell like sewage, the Grandpa across the hall whose children rarely call him will continue to water down his medicine or cut his pills in half because he can’t afford the full dosage of his medications, and the long-haired stoner down the hall who refuses to work will continue to mooch off the single mom he’s shacked up with and eat the majority of the groceries that she purchases with food stamps, food which is intended for her child. The Christmas message will be as hollow as the foil-wrapped faux-chocolate dollar-store Christmas trees and Santas left outside my door by the garlic-breathed woman in the next apartment who peeks out her blinds whenever anyone walks past the broken-down charcoal grill in the courtyard that birds have turned into a nest and who launches into unwanted and shrill lectures, beginning October 1st of each year, about how some cabal of conspiratorial forces out there are working to take the Christ out of Christmas.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

HO HO HO---MERRY CHRISTMAS! To the left of ya is none other than the customized Christmas card sent to who else but Don Fellman showing him in an extraordinarily horny situation with none other'n Betty and Veronica! It was such a good card that I thought I would share it with all you readers if only because of the workmanship (or actually workwomanship since my cyster created the card under my direction) and the fact that you just don't see enough bare boobies of the female variety on this post! I wish you could see the actual card which was done in relief, wotta wowzer with the bullseyes actually popping up inna middle 'n all---you can read 'em like braille! I hope that you all have as much a funtime holiday season as Don seems to be having on the left, even if the only bared breast you're probably gonna see is off the turkey that's about to be carved up!

Got some Christmas cards and though most of them are probably stashed away in the gifts that I am about to receive come this Chrismas morn I will show you a couple that I decided to open in advance because hey...I can be that sneaky if I sure wanna!

Here's the Christmas card I got from none other than BRAD KOHLER!
Only he would have known and appreciated what a troubled time the holiday season can be, which is
perhaps thee only reason I find the above sentiments oh-so-meaningful
to the current Christmas situation. A time which, shall I way,  just doesn't measure up to
funtimes (or tragedies)  of holidays past. And after hearing similar stories of Yuletide freakouts
from parents to various other holiday disasters all I can say is---I am not

And really, I gotta say that I never would have expected getting such a nice, life-reafforming letter like the one I got from the Droogs above. Stuff like this can really help make the Holidays such a festive time, especially NOW when everything that was once fun and exciting's been neutered beyond recognition to the point where them jolly ol' Christmas records have been replaced by sappy pap custom-made for the IQ zero in your life.
Hope you guys, you deserving ones that is, got yer Christmas gifts safe and sound. In case yer won'drin' why the parcels are smaller'n usual well...I got to thinkin' that really, the more money I spend on what you get only means that there's less moolah that I can spend on MYSELF which really does kinda bum me out once the January doldrums start rollin' around and I'm short on the long green! And since Christmas is the time o' givin' well, think of all the fun you're giving ME what with you getting less so I can get more! See, it all works out fine (even these sick attempts to be CHEAP!) if you adjust your moral parameters in just the right way...
Another good batch, one which really has inspired me these hollow-day seasons in ways more'n all of those fruit cakes and gift certificates to Golden Corral ever could. Thanks to Feeding Tube, Bill Shute and Paul McGarry, who I get the idea has already broken all the toys I sent him this year, rambunctious inner child that he has...

Zebu-OWLSEY LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Interesting one from Feeding Tube here, but then again aren't they all interesting? A duo (at time supplemented by female vocal, sax and organ), Zebu at first come off straight ahead like some kids in your average 1965 basement whanging away on their cheap $19.99 guitar and sell twenty boxes and get a drumset, then all of a sudden it's like the same kids only after that bottle of airplane glue lying on the floor got punctured and nobody knew until it was too late. Then there's that gal singin' and it reminds me of the Paradise Lounge late show and yer dad's entertaining a buncha outta town customers wishin' he could be home watching Carson. If a good portion of this reminds you of the Smashcords then well, your thinking is in the same stratosphere as mine but there's a lot more to it, kid!
The Cords-CORD POWER 2-single set (Oktay Records, available here)

Who in a million years woulda guessed that a double-single set by the Cords of BACK FROM THE GRAVE fame woulda made its way onto a slickly-packaged set like this anyway! But one has, and I gotta say that these Cords are sure a high-powered group who were actually keeping an early-sixties style of garage band rock alive in 1970 when these track were recorded! I guess being real-life Franciscan monks and all they didn't have much time to get out in the world, but thankfully these numbers were laid down and prove that even rigidly-disciplined guys wearing black robes could play better rock 'n roll than spaced out hippies!

Two blazing instrumentals (think 1962 local group crank out) and two vocal tracks (think 1962 softer b-sides, or a-sides for that matter) make this package up, and if you were ever tempted to join the monastic life in order to get away from it all maybe this will change your mind! From the sound of it, its  probably a whole lot wilder on the inside than it is on the outside!
A-Pfeffer Quitter-PELLER LP (Feeding Tube Records)

There seem to be about as many of these electronic sound manipulation releases on the market these days as there are sexual orientations, and A-Pfeffer Quitter are just but one of the "acts" that have been able to get their soundscapades down to vinyl without seemingly much of a hassle. A-Pfeffer Quitter's mode is of electronic sheets of sound floating in and out of your listening scope, adding various clanks here and other effects for a style that just might appeal to the fringier side of your very own parameters. Gotta say that I feel kinda/sorta good in the breadbasket that things like this are being created in the here and now ('stead of those douchier works of "art" that used to crave funding back in the 90s), because this has the spirit and swerve of that wild ride in art that began when Marcel Duchamp decided to display that urinal at the Armory Show and it was such a shocker that nobody even complained about Robert Henri's wowzer of a nudie painting "Figure in Motion"!
Electric Wizard-DOPETHRONE CD-r burn (originally on Rise Above Records)

Slowed down devilcore grind that might have made it to the same levels as those groups on the now impossible-to-latch-onto DO WHAT THOU WILT compilation album. Of course with about thirtysome years of bad rock influence not affected their sound. Actually not bad despite the usual paens to the usual sludge-y stylistic fact this is way better'n a whole lotta groups I've heard playin' the same hard crunch post-metal groove these sad and sorry days which ain't much but I don't wanna show off my moozikal ignorance like I tend to do. Nothing I'm gonna let my ears munch on too much as the years go by, but I will admit this has got a lot of the hard non-schmooze metal I've heard trounced on all counts!

Sheesh, if this really was Canada's most exciting band as the announcer on this early-fifties CBC broadcast sez, then P.J. O'Rourke was right about 'em after all! Lucky that Ish Kabible didn't wander up north of the border or he would have been arrested as a subversive! I dunno what prompted Bill Shute to burn this one for me other'n as a sick joke, but it just might make a hit piped into the Alzheimer Ward at the local old folk's home because hey, what else are they gonna listen to...Throbbing Gristle?
Hal Blaine and the Young Cougars-DEUCES, T's, ROADSTERS & MORE CD-r burn (originally on RCA Records)

Neato idea actually having Blaine do a surf platter with his percussive talents up front and natural. The results are a good groove to soak into as Blaine gets more than his share of soloing in and the rest of the Cougars just fill in the sound in a way that most early-eighties new wave aficionados woulda called "minimalist". There are even some vocal tracks tagged on that sound cheezy enough on first spin but when you realize that it captures the spirit of the mid-sixties slot car and skateboard teen mindset you'll be thankful they existed in the first place. Makes me nostalgic for Shake-A-Puddin'.
Various Artists-FRIDAY AT THE CAGE A Go GO CD-r burn (originally on Westchester Records)

If the above album makes me long for the days of Shake-A-Puddin', FRIDAY AT THE CAGE A GO GO makes me nostalgic for bargain bins filled with inexpensive Flamin' Groovies albums. Mid-sixties Detroit rock doin' the local scene romp a good year or so before the John Sinclair effect was put to good measure. Great covers of the day (and some originals I gather)  from the top bands on the local scene performed beautifully and primitively in gorgeous low-fidelity, and even Helen Keller could  have heard the genesis of the MC5 and Stooges sound in the stark thud that the likes of the Oxford 5 and Fugitives pound out on this definitely teenage rebellion (in the purest, non-compromised way) recordings.
Various Artists-BANANA CURTAIN MONKEY MICHOACAN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

I think Bill skroo'd up on the song listings somewhere along the way but that duzzn't matter because he did a really cool job this go 'round. The Cowsills of all people start this one out and surprisingly enough d a pretty good job given their milk-minded image (this track actually reminds me of none other than BIG STAR!) while the Sir Douglas Quintet under another name ain't gonna fool nobody! The rest varies, but in a nice way with this strange abstract piece from Joe South (!) giving way to some neat-o bubblegum rock by the likes of Fun and Games not to mention Peter Hobbins, who is probably best known for being the original voice of Charlie Brown on those PEANUTS specials! Most surprising of all is the track by the Knack---no, not the new wave band for people who hated new wave but the sixties one who do up "Hole in my Pocket" sounding very close to the version (complete with violin) on that pre-Crazy Horse Rockets album! I gotta wonder which one came first, and of course I'm too stoopid lazy busy to find out.
Guess what! Your lack of response regarding these hypes for you to buy up my back issues of BLACK TO COMM have gotten me sooo mad that I will NOT post any more of these come ons! No more, zip, finito and all that! Hope you're all satisfied! Well, maybe this once...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! BERMUDA MYSTERY starring Preston Foster and Ann Rutherford (20th Century Fox, 1944)

Once again proof that these thirties/forties cheap crankout b-films have more action, fun, stamina and just plain goodness 'n anything being shown on what passes for tee-vee today! Ann Rutherford plays this deceptively scatterbrained gal who believes that her uncle was murdered even though the coroner said he passed on due to heart failure. Turns out that unca was part of a group of World War I soldier pals who each put ten thou into a trust with the surviving members splitting up the goodies a good quarter century later or something like that. It's rather peculiar that her unc would expire so near to the Big Day, and it turns out that the rest of the survivors are slowly getting killed as well, usually right after they lit up a cigarette that was given to them from a fancy engraved box.

Preston Foster plays the private dick who takes the case on the eve of his wedding to a particularly shrewish gal who seems so draconian next to Rutherford, all the while being trailed by the usually one step behind the action dumb policeman seen in these crankers, this time played by Richard Lane. Of course the action builds and moves and thankfully this is occasionally played for laughs, but yet it's gonna keep ya on your toes trying to guess who exactly was the one out to off his fellow pals with poisoned cigarettes.

So entertaining that I kinda wonder why they even make moom pitchers and tee-vee shows these days. BERMUDA MYSTERY's got the action 'n suspense not forgetting the relief-giving light moments, and best of all you don't have to worry about the usually not so occult messages that are being pounded into yer skull every other minute like ya do even when watching a douchebag commercial. Give your un-conscious mind a break and watch this flicker as soon as you can lay your paws on it. Come to think of it, give your consciousness a break when watching BERMUDA MYSTERY as well!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Speed Spaulding is the perfect hero for a 1930’s or early 1940’s B-movie or serial or comic book---a former college football star, a former championship boxer, a man who is knowledgeable in many fields, a handsome and athletic blonde who is attractive to the ladies (but is devoted to his main squeeze), a quick wit with a self-deprecating charm. I can easily imagine the late 30’s Buster Crabbe or Kane Richmond playing him on screen.

FAMOUS FUNNIES ran from 1934 through 1955, putting out 218 (!!!) issues in that time. It’s considered a pioneering comic book, and while not the first comic book, is one of the first publications to resemble what we’d today consider the classic comic book form. Much of its content consisted of republished comic strips, which had appeared in newspapers and then pretty much vanished unless someone clipped the strips and collected them. Famous Funnies founder Maxwell C. Gaines (whose son was William Gaines of Mad Magazine and EC Comics fame!) felt that those old discarded strips still had secondary value and that people would pay to read them—FAMOUS FUNNIES then took off, but unfortunately Gaines was ousted from it by the publisher, Eastern Color Printing (he later had a lot of success doing the same kind of thing elsewhere, so he probably had the last laugh). FAMOUS FUNNIES DID have some original content, not just reprints of strips, and when I got this SPEED SPAULDING collection, I first assumed that it was an original creation (Golden Age Reprints books have no information in them about the source of the material and no introductory essays—you’re on your own!). Liking the book a lot, I decided to review it for BTC and then did some online research, which has turned out to be like peeling away the layers of an onion. Yes, it is based on an obscure strip, which had both a daily (see the B&W pic of sample) and a Sunday (see the color pic of an excerpt of a Sunday page) version….but both of these were an adaptation of a science fiction novel, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, and the credited “authors” of the strip are the authors of the novel. Art is credited to Marvin Bradley, who later worked for many years on the well-known strip REX MORGAN, M.D., which still runs today in many newspapers. Because the comics in the book under review are in color, I presume they are Sunday strips, which were somehow re-edited or re-contextualized for the comic book page.

The novel WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE was made into a classic science fiction film in 1951, produced by George Pal. This strip has less to do with the source novel than the film does, beyond taking the general premise….about two distant bodies in space which are headed to crash into and destroy earth…and weaving it into an overall plot which at any time has 3 or 4 OTHER subplots running. It’s kind of like WHILE Speed Spaulding is posing as a boxer or fighting organized crime or having relationship issues with his girlfriend or helping the State Department or whatever, there is the thread of a plot about his girlfriend’s father, who is a scientist, having discovered that the worlds will collide and trying to figure out some way to keep the event from happening.

What I like so much about the SPEED SPAULDING comics is that they contain pretty much everything one would want in a 30’s/40’s action movie serial or comic book: gangsters, aviation thrills, brawls-a-plenty, intrigue in exotic foreign lands, all held together by the bizarre science fiction premise of the world potentially ending from this interplanetary collision, and with the usual B-movie/comic-book thugs and clichéd foreign agents trying to get in the way of the heroes. I’m reminded of those late-period Republic serials where some alien takeover is planned, and the entire invasion force consists of three or four fedora-wearing, dark-suited gangster types working for the alien powers and using such advanced interplanetary methods as fistfights and revolvers and running cars off highways to help conquer the earth! Also, as the newspaper comic strips appeared in 1940 and 1941 (and the FAMOUS FUNNIES version came soon after that), right before the American entry into WWII, you can be sure that there are a number of faux-Japanese and vaguely Germanic villains and flunkies to liven up the proceedings. This reprint ends with the final installment of the comic strip, which kind of leaves a lot up in the air….or does it? I’m not going to be a spoiler—you read for yourself and decide.

Golden Age Reprints offers an attractive printed collection of the SPEED SPAULDING comics from FAMOUS FUNNNIES, but they are also available for free online (as they are in the public domain) at earliest issue of FAMOUS I see Speed listed in is issue #71, and the latest issue is #86, so you could just do a search for FAMOUS FUNNIES on the comicbookplus website and read them for free, if you’d like. You’ll be glad you did….

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me? Why it's none other than the GREAT ROCK 'N ROLL HERALD OF SONIC SUBSTANCE himself, welcoming you to yet another exciting episode of BLOG TO COMM. Also known as Ameriga's ONLY High Energy Blog or a hagioblog if you so desire, but whatever it is you know you're gonna be in for a whole buncha thrills you certainly can NOT get by tuning into any other the other comparatively ersatz blogs that have made their way to the screen as of late. It really amazes me just how I can keep pumping out this pure, unadulterated pure rockist energy transposed into print week after week, and considering just how much of a post-post-post rock world we're living in that certainly is a deed of Herculean taskitude if I do say so myself!

Why I haven't been nominated for a Bloggy Award by now certainly is a question that needs answerin', but rather than pout and scream about the indignity of it all plow on I must! And although you may tell people of your disgust and hatred of not only this blog by me personally I know that deep in your blood pumper you do find a sort of affinity for the thing. Of course admitting so in public might be akin to admitting that you skid your underwear---let's just say that its one of those things we hate to talk about in public but as we all know EVERYBODY's got them brown stripes down there and I know that a whole lot people out there love BLOG TO COMM even if 'fessing up to the fact might not be the key to any popularity in your cloistered chi-chi set!
The new Mahogany Brain album: "Smooth Slick Lights" (title that can be translated as : "Soft Lights Ill") projects us into a spooky and terrifying universe : "the immense blinking of amphetamines ..." as written Michel Bulteau in his book: "Ether mouth, Slit, Hypodermic" published by Seghere editions.
Michel Bulteau and Patrick Geoffrois have poured their images both sumptuous and lacerating throughout the eight tracks that make up the record.
Note that "Green Winter of Revolvers" (first piece, first side), constitutes the soundtrack of the film "Main Line" (1971), which in the junkie slang means the "good vein", film that Bulteau has made with the mime "ghosts" musicians / actors (including Patrick Geoffrois, another electric poet) ac are between pilfering pilots. Needless to say that after a series of plans quite clean (the long apprêt arm, pavane of the approaching syringe and the needle "pulling his tongue crazy" (Bulteau, Slit), the tension of a white face, their eyes fixed, with serrated teeth), the camera, the inoculated substance making its effect), is more and more imprecise manice and the picture of Plun in addition (involuntarily) abstract wrote a critic in the magazine 'Living Art'.
We think of the Velvet Underground of "White Light / White Heat". "Green Winter of Revolver" that opens side 1 is another "Sister Ray" even more ruthless.
"Silkskin Dawn", another fascinating piece, is sung by Adeline, a character from Bulteau's films.
This music, this group Mahogany Brain, because it has something mythical, will adepts and imitators, but can we imitate such groups (Velvet Underground, Stooges) so that such music coincides with the life of those who do it.

The above was taken from POLE #1, a mid-seventies French fanzine that was put out by Pole Records' Jose Ferre with a bit of involvement of Helden leader Richard Pinhas. A definitely loose translation so-to-say, but I sure like the way it came out in that English as a third/fourth/fifth language style that made things like Reiko Kose's letters to DENIM DELINQUENT and HONEY THAT AIN'T NO ROMANCE so fun to read!

Needless to say it was this particular piece that spurred me on to give both Mahogany Brain albums a recent play which I must say was a treat that cant be beat! I do adore both in that whacked-out true rock 'n roll decadent European fashion that rock 'n roll as a third/fourth/fifth musical language that always brings out the more feral elements of the music so much in need of these days. With France burning the way it is right now perhaps Mahogany Brain are the true muses for the current uprising, even if this music is pushing the fifty-year mark in late-sixties metallic dissonance and purist punk concerns.

I think yer gonna like the batch of writeups that I pumped out for you this week. Of course I've been wrong once or twice before, but who knows, I might just luck out this time.  Nice batch if I do say so myself, only made better by being written about by a nicer than usual guy, ifyaknowaddamean...

The Third Ear Band-ELEMENTS 1970-1971 3-CD set (Esoteric Recordings, England)

Bee-youtiful reissue of not only the debut Third Ear Band platter but the second (ABELARD AND HELOISE) along with a whole load of goodies like outtakes and BBC sessions that'll get you howling and throbbing like the mammal you are and will most certainly remain. Great quality recordings here which bring out the nuances that sometimes slip by ya, and the familiar blended with the new all slapped onto disques lasting an hour or more really did make for a funtime afternoon for me, and it just might make for one for you too!

Not "quite" hippie music as in West Coast "so laid out I haven't been outside of Marin County for five decades" West Coast swilldom, the early acoustic Band put as much psychedelic pounce into their style without electricity as Pink Floyd did with the entire Con Edison corporation churning away. ABELARD AND HELOISE remains a powerful confluence of Medieval and psychedelic styles and goes down fine, even if you are aware of what happened to the famed French intellectual Peter Abelard after he knocked up Heloise----ow!!

The new material is copasetic with the previously released sounds, at first not exactly engaging to me what with that electric guitar that was added to the stew, but after awhile the thing blends along fine in your mind like (really!) a long extrapolation by 1974-vintage Can would. Of course all of the BBC session material is great, and I especially enjoyed the '71 live in the studio Peel one which, besides featuring Elton John arranger or something like that Paul Buckmaster on cello and bass guitar also gets into a good growl that, thanks to the recent inclusion of an actual drum set, takes on a more straightforward rock style than anything these guys had previously slapped onto vinyl!

Big kudos go to Imants Krumins for turning me onto these guys long ago (and at a time when I probably woulda thought the whole batch yet another Incredible String Band snoozerino!) or else you might never have read this review in the first place! Wonder whatever happened to that man's massive record/tape/etc. collection anyway...I thought it woulda been tossed to the ebay winds by now.
David "Honeyboy" Edwards-DELTA BLUESMAN CD-r burn (originally on Earwig Records)

I even surprised myself last Sunday when I slipped on one of my Spivey Records samplers to give their Sugar Blues tracks a listen to! Well, it was more outta me once again giving a frequent performer on the Max's Kansas City/Club 82 New York City rock scene of the mid-seventies a spin rather'n due to the fact this guy's a blues performer, but play Sugar Blues I did and I enjoyed his contributions greatly. Maybe I am ready to treat these old performers in the definitely non-Robert Cray/George Thorogood fashion they most certainly deserve, and this Honeyboy guy really does fit in with the music as is always shoulda been presented. Early recorded live-on-the-plantation recordings by Alan Lomax start this 'un off sounding as primal as you would hope, while the later electric tracks, while showing a tad bit of "maturity", still have that grit and grime that I've always associated with the best of the genre. Sorry to get redundant with the Cray/Thorogood and primal/grit references, but sheesh what else can I say about this music that seems to be screaming from the bowels of existence anyway???
(New England) Patriots-PATRIOTS LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Hardcore, at times slowed down a pace or three to neo-grindcore standards, that should remind one of what was goin' on as far as the hip-de-la-creme of mid-eighties under-the-counterculture fun and jamz went. Not bad actually, even if by the late-eighties I began to tire of these sounds to the point where I couldn't wait to snuggle myself in the lactating boobies of fresh 1964-1981 bared-wire intensity that seemed to have  been washed away by the advent of rock music presented as pure glitz and a brave push against it all by a movement that was only jealous that it wasn't PART of that scene (as we found out much to our chagrin a short time later)! Might stir up a few phony anarchic memories in your own long-suppressed punkitudinal lobes, unless you're the kinda guy who proudly marches for trans-species rights these sad and sorry days!

Well, first off this record does not contain solely Spanish or Hispanic-related recordings unless you count the Premiers who open the thing, and second off these tracks are only psychedelic in the NUGGETS "first psychedelic era" vein meaning you ain't gonna be getting any of that phased out craziness that made those 1966 singles so tasty. In fact this disque contains pretty much the usual "soft rock" as they called it back then downer sounds that sure make a good backdrop to your own personal teenage crisis which, come to think of it, lingers on even this far down the ol' proverbial line! My track listing notes are rather shall we say blurry, but various names well known to sixties collectors can be discerned...the Springfield Rifle. Something Else, the Mystic Tide...
Big Boy Pete-PSYCHO-RELICS CD-r burn (originally on Bacchus Archives Records)

Never having to my knowledge heard this legendary psychedelic popster before I got the hankerin' that I was gonna be in for a pretty good time. Nothing especially transcendental or fluorescental for that matter, but I sure got the idea that I was gonna be in for a nice enjoyable listening excursion that wasn't gonna make me angry with those various and flagrant obscenities against the rock 'n roll credo that have ruined many a listening excursion for me. I was right, for this set's got more'n a few nice tracks featuring what could be called a more restrained yet still pop take on late-sixties lysergic sounds, the kind that wouldn't've gotten your dad mad at the hidden drug references unless you have my dad to contend with (nothing went by HIM)! If you wanted to hear what Donovan woulda come up with had he been born with balls, this 'un might be a better than usual place to start.
SOD CD-r burn (originally on Decca Records)

I am tempted to say that only a sod (in the strictest English vernacular) would like SOD. I mean, how many of those Chicago/BS&T-styled horn bands were around back at the turn of the 60s/70s anyway? I guess every big and little label hadda have one, and unfortunately for us all Decca got stuck with these turdburgers. Sheesh Bill, if yer gonna send me something with wailing horns abounding with a rock music frame howzbout Nucleus or something a li'l more copasetic with the entire BLOG TO COMM reason for existence in the first place?
Various Artists-HIT THE SAVAGE CLIFFS! CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Shorter 'n usual but still packed enough Bill-Burn here, and ya gotta admit that putting LYLE TALBOT on the front of a Cee-Dee-Are cover is one way to grab my attention! Lotsa tracks from the British Invasion-era warbler (who never made it here!) Cliff Bennett show up here and he is quite a power-packed performer even if you get the idea the gals woulda trampled over him to get to Ringo. Le Chats Sauvages prove that France was a much bigger rock 'n roll haven for the wild Big Beat than snoots ever gave 'em credit for, while a sound reel from the lost film HIT THE DECK shows that if that 'un had somehow survived it woulda been a big hit on the late-night tee-vee circuit of the sixties and seventies. The little ads filling it out help too. As usual, Bill brings back the spirit of Saturday afternoons without me having to either go to the barber shop or poke around the record departments while dad's looking at power tools.
Have I been getting too HARD SELL on these BLACK TO COMM back issues? Well, howzbout this...oh won't you pleeze buy these up so's I can have food on the table, money in my pockets and (with a little luck) pay off all the mortgages I placed on the house just so's I could print these magazines up in the first place??? And they say you young up and coming types are compassionate 'n caring----sheesh!

Thursday, December 13, 2018


You can tell (or at least can!) that it's a good issue of UGLY THINGS if I find myself springing from the magazine and onto my computer trying to dial up all sortsa information on things that I never knew existed before but gosh, I just gotta know more about 'em. It's sorta heart-warming to know that my Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder still lingers on after lo these many years, and boy did UT #49 get me all hot and bothered not only with the great Jay Dobis' piece on Turkish rock groups (and even traditional Turkish music which approaches psychedelic Velvet Underground frenzy!) but the Herve (Stinky Toys. Strike Up) Zenouda interview with that blurb not only about all-time rockscribe king Yves Adrien but those early French rock fanzines that I knew nothing about prior to picking this magazine up! Whoever said the French couldn't rock 'n roll certainly had more'n just a baguette stuck up their rear end!

Boy I feel like I did back when I was a mere sprout trying to locate any and ALL information on the slew of high energy post-Velvet Underground era of rock and all I hadda go on were a few tattered old CREEM magazine and maybe a CIRCUS, so frustrated that I would even check out THE MUSIC INDEX and be even more upset that such crucial reads like JAZZ AND POP were nowhere to be found within my sphere!

I sure hope I do find those Turkish recordings (hey, I know you read this blog Jay Dobis so howzbout sending some pertinent Turk music discography our way and end this undying pain!) as well as French fanzines I sure can't read but sure can OSMOSE,  but these items are not what make UGLY THINGS #49 such a wonderful read for this most festive of seasons (hah!). The cover story on Manfred Mann and the Manfreds was a pretty neat treat even if I ranked him more or less as mid-level British Invasion fun and jamz, and the story behind the Knaves of "Leave Me Alone" fame really got my mid-sixties juices a' flowin' even more'n when I was a kid and used to see Tina Louise's belly button on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND. The extended article on Cleveland's Death of Samantha seemed a li'l outside the usual UGLY THINGS scope but it was great even if Anastasia Pantsios loves not only the group but John Petkovic (she was interviewed for his Peter Laughner piece in (I believe but probably am wrong) THE PLAIN DEALER sayin' how highly she thought of him even if she did call him an asshole in her review of FROM THE VELVETS TO THE VOIDOIDS), and reading Greg Prevost's interview with Emitt Rhodes (originally published in OUTASITE) was great if only because Rhodes was like the least cooperative and most forgetful interview subject I've ever seen in my life! Unintentionally funny to the max and I'm surprised that Mr. Prevost consented to the re-publication of the piece!

One thing I must say about UGLY THINGS is that thankfully it retains that GOOD OLD STYLE OF TALK-TO-YOU AND NOT AT YOU ROCK 'N ROLL WRITING THAT WAS PRETTY MUCH ERADICATED IN THE EIGHTIES WHEN THE GONZ GENERATION DIED OUT AND WAS REPLACED BY HYPESHEET-PASTING HACKS! Remember back when you thought that people like Lester Bangs, Richard Meltzer, Mike Saunders, you know the drill, were on YOUR side by the way they expressed their appreciation or disdain for certain sounds that were more or less the makeup of your entire musical DNA? Well, the folk at UGLY THINGS are ON YOUR SIDE, and taking a dive into this particular mag is kinda like taking a bath after being grubbed up by the boring old fogey sounds that pass for the music of our lives that you just can't escape from no matter how hard you try! And as you know boy do I do my best to avoid the tasteful and talented sounds of today, which is why I cling to my UGLY THINGS the way Bill Shute would shoot anyone who tried to pry his Elvis collection from his not yet dead fingers!

Naturally there's much more to this issue like the various reviews and reg'lar columns, and as you might guess when I go through the review section the first thing I look for are  not only Shute's various to-the-point write-ups, scholarly guy he is, but a lotta the other guys whose opinions I cherish more than Ann Powers'. Not as much hotcha good stuff comin' out like it should, but I just might get that double EP set made up by those Cords guys from BACK FROM THE GRAVE VOLUME ONE if the entire thing is as crazy as their "Ghost Power" single side was! Kinda tapped out now, but that one definitely is on my gotta have list, as it gotta be on yours!

A really good job, this mag, and it just might save you from succumbing to the doldrums that post 1980 living has got you in. I wonder if anybody in the real world knows about UGLY THINGS and has showered it with the accolades this magazine most surely deserves? Naaaaah...

Saturday, December 08, 2018

I know that quite a few of you reg'lar readers might not have the cognitive abilities to do so, but if any of you are able maybe you'll see from this exhaustive and (admittedly) blow-hardy post that I've been...shall I say... keeping busy! Yeah, there sure was a lotsa records and gunk to write up this week, and as usual lots of things for motormouth me to say because well...why not? And, as you might have guessed, I sure had a lotta fun DOIN' it up even if the odds of anywhere from 10-20 people reading this schpiel might be chancing it a li'l too high, but so what---I gotta say that this is about as FUN as those kiddie science projects which ended up blasting the entire school to smithereens, and what healthy minded brat wouldn't go for THAT especially if the principal was locked in the basement!!!
One thing that I've been up to as of late has been doin' a bit of DAYDREAMING, and not the kind you think I'm doing ifyaknowaddamean... It helps with the reviews, it helps me sleep at night (hmmmmmm...maybe it is the kind you think I'm doing!) and sometimes boy do I come up with a whole load of whoppin' good ideas that I wish I could turn into COLD HARD CASH if I only had the ability to flesh 'em into actual moolah-making product. Like f'rinstance, I recently was thinking about that horrid nineties-era tee-vee series called THE WONDER YEARS and just how unreal it was in its portrayal of baby-boomer kids and the world around them in the, when I was a good ten years old NOBODY I knew would consider kissing a gal let alone onna lips, and we weren't as sexually savvy and know-it-all about life as those teleplay writers made us sixties-bred and buttered kids out to be. After all, Hollywood is a long way from the real world.

I have a better idea, a highlariously FUNNY (remember that word?) take on those days...title unknown at presstime...but the results would obviously be quite outrageous and despite the overdone plots still way closer to the suburban slob aspects of growing up the way I and people around me did. An ASUNDER YEARS so to speak featuring these under-the-audio/visual club types doing over-the-top stoopid things just like WE used to do and you actually get to see their parents WALLOP 'em just like in real life!

One proposed episode had these doofy kids meeting in the woods behind the drive in theater one Friday night to see some hot "adults only" kinda flick. and although they remembered to bring the binoculars they forgot the Vaseline and get chased out by that fat redneck whose land they were on! But it doesn't matter anyway because all the good stuff was matted out. Another one has the guys being invited over to a friend's house so they can have some fun beating up and tossing this girl they hate down the stairs in a sly variation on the old Sylvia Likens story! All played for laffs, of course, sorta like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER filtered through Charles Addams or better yet Charles Rodrigues! Boy, I could sure think up a lotta gags for that 'un! I might think up a few more proposals but sheesh, if I could only get this one going it's sure gonna be Emmy time, dontcha think? Oh, I keep forgetting---I'm not a lesbian!
And like, what else have I been doody dooin' these past few weeks you might (but probably won't) ask? Well, for one thing I've been undergoing one major, Herculean task that I've been trying to avoid like Melbournites and that's ORGANIZING MY RECORD COLLECTION SO IT HAS SOME SEMBLANCE OF ORDER TO IT! Well, the organizing part is what I'd call rather minimal so far where I'm segregating my twelve-inch platters into nine count 'em categories; bootlegs, albums that would have popped up in the import bins until the late-seventies, krautrock, classic-era Zappa and related (this one does cross-over with the import bin category making for some confusion), sixties (and early-seventies) garage band collections, classical avant garde, freedom (and related) jazz, records I will be playing shortly and those I probably never will play again or at least won't be playing as often as---say---SWEET SISTER RAY. I've been having fun doing this not only finding old tyme favorites that deserve another go at it but even a few platters I haven't played yet, so expect a whole bunch of surprise reviews to pepper up this blog as the months progress, unless I lose these platters in the shuffle again...

Naturally I do tend to throw myself into fun projects like this, and boy does the re-discovery of these friends of mine as I've called 'em then and now dredge up the ol' memories. Like man, do I flash back forty-plus years when I pull out, say, that copy of Tim Buckley's LORCA which I had been looking for endlessly until chancing about a copy in the dollar rack at a Cleveland record shop, or remember the heavy sadness and loss of hope in life (and, as it turns out, I WAS RIGHT!) when coming across another fave that was purchased during one of MANY less-than-happy times in my existence. Some of these reminiscences do bring back a tear or two, but then again all I have to do is take a swig of NyQuil and everything is mellow down fine.

But sheesh, all I gotta say is that if you hadda same kinda life to lead like I did I'll bet you so-called stalwarts wouldn't have been able to make it through kindergarten ALIVE! Now I know what Eddie Haskell meant when he said that you'd think differently (about life, music, the core of your very being) if you'd been pushed around as much as he was! And now I really know why Eddie Haskell was perhaps the only real, true to life character to make his way to the cathode connection ever! Wish me luck...I might find yet another wowzer that I never had the energy to open up back when I picked it up at some warehouse flea market a good few decades back!
Wanna talk about something a little more timely, and somewhat controversial? Well, although it's already a few weeks old howzbout the fact that ALL OF A SUDDEN viewers have noticed that Franklin, the black kid from the ol' PEANUTS gang, sits to one side at the Thanksgiving table while the rest hover across the way during the infamous A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING tee-vee special! Not only that, but Franklin has to suffer the indignity of sitting on a foldaway chair while the rest ('cept for Marcie on the folding chair) are seated on nice sturdy hardwood dining room table chairs! Sheesh, I caught on to the very same things that many observers seemingly just discovered back when this one first hit the tube '73 way! Come to think of it so did everyone else watching along with me catch this what is now called a "microaggression" and of course we were sayin' to each other stuff like "Well, looks like Franklin's sitting by himself...I wonder why?" snicker snortle playing dumb and all. Well, you know why...the same reason the Cabin Kids hadda sleep in their own room at the orphanage in that one Educational Pictures short of theirs. And howzbout the time the Little Rascals were on that train and Stymie hadda sleep with Petey? (Personally I thought Stymie got lucky---I mean, I always wanted Sam to sleep with me because we all loved our dogs so much and wanted to be with them all the time!) Or better yet that one black cowhand in OF MICE AND MEN who had his own shack with a "nice view of the dungheap!" Sheesh, you have to knock people over the head sometimes before the ol' reality sets into 'em!

It's strange that what I caught immediately is like all of a sudden a hot topic which goes to show ya that even in this age of flash and instant information at our fingertips it takes some people forty-five years to notice the obvious. Maybe Franklin's seating was accepted as a "given" for all these years, but nowadays NOTHING goes by the self-appointed moral guardians meaning that it's ALL gonna go down (all the good stuff we grew up with, that is!) more sooner than later. But hey, howcum nobody says anything about Franklin slapping Charlie Brown "five" and Charlie Brown looking on in total befuddlement? Now, that's more racially divisive than where Franklin got seated if ya ask moi!

And while we're at it. howcum the sudden controversy (via the who else but HUFFINGTON POST) o'er the RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER special, one which I remember seeing as it debuted that wintery 1964 Sunday evening (my dad was tutoring this college kid and we had him for roasted wieners and beans cooked up in the basement rec room before us kidz trodded upstairs to watch the thing. I even remember that tall elf with the glasses hawking various Norelco electric razors during the commercial breaks, something that was cut out of every other viewing as far as I can recall!). Sheesh, it seems as if nothing old and mid-twentieth century and ranch house living is exempt from the scrutiny of the powers that be who have taken over the old nosy reform league type roles dictating what is and isn't good for us because well, they naturally know better because they're better looking! Well, what other explanation do you have as to why these lofty ones are so eager to tell the rest of us what to do! What's next...segregated rock 'n roll groups???
Enough. Here are the writeups of recordings you've been drooling away like a boxer puppy for. Thanks again goes to Bill Shute, Feeding Tube Records and Whatshisname McGarry for the freebees which really helped because hey, I didn't have to pay for any one of 'em this time around! Really helps out on the ol' pocketbook, especially during this time of year when people expect me to dish out money for them so they can have an excuse to like me, or something like that.

Takiji Naka/Tim Olive-QUINCE CD-r (Kendra Steiner Editions, see link on left for more information)

Having completed undergoing some experimental pile surgery this afternoon I found this release to have been the perfect soundtrack for what went on in my nether regions. Electronic drones compete with in-between the beat throbs for a good half hour of experimental music you might be able to enter into, mentally that is. As with these new under-the-counter sound collage offerings this is a bit hard for a neophyte like me to describe, but anyone who has been in on the New Music game since finding some old Max Neuhaus platter at the used record shop and playing it to bits should be able to appreciate the efforts of KSE star Olive and co-inspirationist Naka with more'n just mere aplomb!
Arkm Foam-BLOODROOT SPITBALL LP (Feeding Tube Records, available here)

There have been tape manipulators (or as I like to say, "tape mangipulators") around at least since John Cage produced "Williams Mix" if not earlier, but this guy has got 'em all beat! Well, not really but this Arkm Foam person does do some interesting things with the old ferrous oxide coated thin slip of plastic that many similar-minded yet feeble attempts (including my own 1978 excursion using radio and the sounds of Brioschi bubbling in a glass!) failed miserably at. It definitely rates as more'n just plain ol' "interesting", especially on side two when Foam ventures onto the streets of Boston and mixes his sounds in with the natural goings on including sirens and a crying baby! One of these days you're gonna wonder why you didn't think of this yourself!
CLIMAX LANDERS LP (Feeding Tube Records)

When I saw the cover of this 'un I thought it was gonna be yet another one of those goofy neo-Velvets type of groups who seem to have taken most of their cues from late-seventies Talking Heads and the Feelies and other eighties pop takes rather than WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT. Wrong again, for Climax Landers are a fairly good variation on the old three guys/one gal precocious and forward looking kinda rock acts we've been inundated with for the past four decades only done up with some interesting lyrical and musical moves that keep my attention going, at least for a short spell. Songs about Muslims tend to make my ears perk up does this poem the group's singer recites on side two, and although the specter of "twee" might wanna slip into your own personal psyche, it certainly doesn't want to slip into mine.
Meade "Lux" Lewis-ALTERNATE TAKES, LIVE PERFORMANCES, SOUNDIES ETC. CD-r burn (originally on Document Records)

This album (well, two album set) honed down to a single disque sure reminds me of that Red Allen Merritt Record Society double-header I reviewed a few months back. That is, this set takes various radio broadcasts, film appearances, fragments and outtakes and slaps 'em together sorta like one of those old bootlegs you and I used to treasure back inna seventies. I'm sure the album cover neatly denotes where all of these tracks came from and so forth just like all of these nice packages should. And, in between the radio announcments and listening to James Stewart trying to order a martini or at least trying to find a guy named Martini there's some really toe-tapping boogie woogie blues piano here that proves that those "nostalgic" kinda days we all were bombarded with during the early-seventies weren't all Kay Kyser!
Southern Culture on the Skids-ZOMBIFIED CD-r burn (originally on Cortex Records)

Like most of these punkabilly platters, ZOMBIFIED is good for one spin before slipping your copy back into the collection next to Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers. However, that one spin you'll give this 'un will be a more'n joyous occasion around your stereo system if only for Southern Culture's snat usage of various hotcha late-fifties forms that don't sound THAT bad updated for modern geek consumption. Even if you go for those tuffer late-eighties-and-on updates like the Mummies you'll probably love this particular effort to no end, at least before you forget all about it like I tend to do.

Prob'ly a Bomp! issue of some sort, but whatever the origin of this specie is well, it's a good 'un. Frankly I tried avoiding a good portion of the late-seventies under-the-counterculture days going for the "punk rock" (whether that be in an early-seventies CREEM mode or not) bands that came off what I would call "giddy", and these gals were no exception. Nowadays I find their style of pop to be rather smooth going and easy on the nerves, even at a time when for all practical purposes I want something that snizzles the nodes just like Pere Ubu was wont to do so long ago. Straightforward punky pop sound that were considered extremely verboten by the FM AOR dolts...even this life-reaffirming stew...which only goes to show ya just how far into the ol' colon the radio listening fans in the Youngstown Ohio area were willing to stick their heads deep into back when this stuff was guaranteed to save us ALL!
The Astronauts-COMPETITION COUPE CD-r burn (originally on RCA Records)

When the Astronauts were imitating the vocal harmonies bein' done up by the big guns on the surf set they did come off kinda Johnny Come Lately, but when they stuck to their instrumental and definitely non-Beach Boys styled sounds they weren't bad at all! These totally forgotten guys (well, you ask somebody who the Astronauts were and they'l probably answer you with "Neil Armstrong" or "Tony Nelson" if not "Tom (yech!) Hank") sure do swell as RCA's attempt to get in on the whole surf/hot rod game, and perhaps it isn't too bad they never did go as far as they shoulda because well...maybe someone inna eighties woulda done a gloppy TV movie about 'em if they did and you know how bad that woulda been!
Jesse Malin-NEW YORK BEFORE THE WAR CD-r burn (originally on One Little Indian Records)

Malin's been around for ages, and just for that maybe he should be given some testimonial dinner complete with a slice of vein-y roast beef!  Anyway, this 2015 platter shows Malin in more of an introspective singer/songwriter mood than as a rocker, kinda sounding something like what I would've expected James Taylor to come up with had his connection been a few hours late. No, it's not that bad but it is kind of a downer with all of those slow songs that are bound to put a frown on even Mr. Roger's face. You might like it and I might love some of Malin's other efforts, but boy did I wish I coulda checked into McLean Hospital for a few months after giving this one a listen!
The Cute Lepers-SMART ACCESSORIES CD-r burn (originally on Damaged Goods Records)

Nothin' cute about this '09 hodgepodge of every pop punk riff and move that I've been hearing these past fortysome years that got me more Quinlan'd out than Sominex! Mebbe a few moments wander into late-seventies expressionism that sounded so fresh next to BT Express, but for the most part this just reeks of the same ol' pampered upper-middle class school kid sounds that made me think hey, maybe Chuck Eddy was right after all! (Just kidding!!!!)
Dinah Lee-THE VIKING RECORDINGS 1964-1967 CD-r burn

For being a talented kinda gal in New Zealand making local versions of international hits for the local population, Dinah Lee did a better job of it than I would have expected from a mere female. Still slick and girl-y, but her vocalese isn't anything that would make you sick and if you had heard it onna radio way back when you wouldn't've turned it off just like I wouldn't've unless I was on the search for a fave like "Simon Says"! I understand that she was pretty popular over there, but given how most people couldn't even spot New Zealand on a map it's no wonder why she never gained any fame (that I know of ) north of the equator. I might be presumptuous, but people like you just might lap this up!
Various Artists-HUNDRED-DOLLAR SNOWFALL CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Izzat Bill Shute on the cover? Hope not (and I don't think so, even though he is a "wise-cracker"), but whoever it is ought to be ashamed! Laid back instrumentals meet weirdo commercial rock and soul talkovers in yet another one of those incongruous Bill-burns. A track from the Sally Starr space album shows up giving us at least some interesting kiddie-fun styled entertainment while I dunno wha' th' heck that "Million Dollar Weekend" thing is supposed to be what with the sexy coo-ing and all. At least the easy listening numbers had me flashed back to a 1960s where I'm some old hi-fi nut in his knotty pine rec room listening to the local FM station with headphones on and doors locked so the nervy wife doesn't go interrupt my pleasure to have me do the dishes or something equally un-hi-fi nut like!
Remember those little ads in MAD magazine for glossy Alfred E. Neuman snaps? Remember how year after year they hadda think up new, funny and interesting little blurbs in order to get those dumbfounded readers to buy a few? And remember just how long those ads ran givin' ya the impression that selling Alfred E. Neuman glossies was not as easy as it seemed? Well, here at BLACK TO COMM headquarters I sure know what a struggle it can be getting rid of all my available back issues, that's fo' sure! Not to mention think up clever come-ons just so's you'll buy a bunch. C'mon, think of all the hard effort I have to put in week after week in order to coax you guys into getting hold of these fantastic fanzines and at least pick up a few....pleeeeze?