Saturday, April 27, 2019

Continuin' on with the utter PLEASURE of livin' in the NEW, ADVANCED WORLD we call the late-teens, a time when, although the best and brightest in music, comics, literature and plain ol' gonzoid rock scribin' is looooooong gone at least we have the rottin' carcass (in the form of archival digs and the like) to feast on. And as you might be able to decipher from my past umpteen years of writin' this blog I'm still hungrier'n a ten-year-old blubberfarm at an all-you-can-eat buffet when it comes to the glorious sounds of the 1964-1981 (roughly) era of rock 'n roll music and GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK SCRIBING that I can't get outta my system nohow! And with more goodies promised from those sainted days headin' our way (early Velvet Underground exhumations and the Suicide PUNK MUSIC MASS from 1971!) there ain't no way I'm gonna leave this earthly existence as long as I got these eternal efforts to look forward to!

The readin' situation is plenty hotcha in the here/now will be readin' my impressions regardin' the latest UGLY THINGS in a short while, plus some recent books of interest are bound to get a mention or two in these "pages" as time crawls on. And between these wonders as well as the stacks of a good fortysome years of fanzines snuggled in my closet where my shoes oughta be (they're crammed under the bed!) you can bet that I won't be spendin' my free time volunteerin' for Meals on Wheels or dishin' slop out at the rescue mission when I could be readin' some old NME that has just come my way (more on those as time goes by as well!)

You won't believe this (as if you ever would lower yourselves to believe ME!), but 2019 is the BEST TIME EVER to appreciate the raw, driving music that typified the Metal Machine sound that captivated more'n a few souls during the at-times dank days of the seventies. And true, although most rock reading has been reduced to hypesheet cut 'n pasting there can be some downright exhilarating pro-rockist prose that captures the true excitement and energy of a sound that has been dismissed and loathed by way too many, including those fakes who pretend to love the sounds but only love the feeling of their egos being stroked. And if you're looking for some real deal topnotch scribblin' that embodies the spirit of that exciting music that has been dampered down for a much longer period in time than we care to imagine, well LOOK NO FURTHER THAN HERE!!!
MORE SPACE-FILLING TIME-current turntable or whatever faves include Suicide-Alan Vega/Martin Rev (Ze)-after all these years the second album sounds quite better than I remembered, not so slick and perhaps the last truly New York City rock album to make its way out before the eighties dampened everything including Suicide for that matter! THE PAGE BLUES BAND LIVE IN EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, MO 1969-raw 'n alive post-English guy blues rock which really doesn't evoke all those bad memories I've had of white guys playing their amped up versions of old standards that was all the rage back then! Ornette Coleman-DANCING IN YOUR HEAD (Columbia)-I remember when this came out and all the pseudo-intelligentsia within earshot were gabbin' about its greatness. Sheesh, even phonus balonuses can be right some time! The Stooges-A THOUSAND LIGHTS CD (Easy Action)-It's always a pleasure to hear prime FUNHOUSE-era Stooges live and this cache from Natalie Stoogeling's collection really does fit the bill on those nights when I should be doing something more beneficial---like sleeping! MUSIK VON HARMONIA (Brain Records) und Can-MONSTER MOVIE (Spoon)-They haff vays uf making you bop!
Well, after that pile o' somethingorother here are the writeups for this week. Got a few nice surprises in here for ya including a few things I've been waitin' to hear for quite awhile. Let's just call this 'un A VERY SPECIAL EPISODE OF BLOG TO COMM which is something that I titled one of these posts a good decade-plus back but since nobody reads those old 'un's who's gonna know that I'm doin' a little recyclin' unless I tell 'em so! Thanks to Bill, Paul and Feeding Tube---I would thank Bob Forward as well but sheesh, if only his Cee-Dee-Are burns would play without stopping or skipping every few seconds!!!

Various Artists-A2, AN A-SQUARE COMPILATION 2-LP set (Third Man Records)

This is merely a beefing-up of the old A-SQUARE OF COURSE Cee-Dee that was up and about awhile back, but this double duty set's got additional tracks and a cover that really brings back a whole lotta memories of what album covers used to look like back when albums mattered to a suburban slob such as I! Naturally all the greats are here from the poppier Thyme to the rip-roarin' MC5, plus the Rationals, Apostles and SRC help fill in the high energy gaps with those singles that were at one time so rare that we jumped for joy when a low-fidelity version of the latter's "Get The Picture" popped up on one of those early BOULDERS collections. What's best about this 'un is that now I finally get to hear the legendary Stoney and the Jagged Edge who prove that, had they only stuck around awhile, they could have been as popular as the Big Guns on the scene complete with albums that would be initially ignored only to be re-discovered by another generation looking for top notch rockist thrills via the cutout bins of their choice.
Ancient Pools-COSINE LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Although COSINE might be that soothing sort of sound that you'll love slipping onto the ol' Victrola after a hard day at the Pedophile Support Group of your choice I gotta say that this one did not gel with me. Not that I'd call it an iffy spin, but the electronic pop heard on COSINE was not only too sullen and spiritless for my own being but rather reminiscent of plenty of these downer gal pop electronica grooves that have been goin' on ever since we were told we too could "do it ourselves" only when we did the results weren't just quite the same. I think some of you more forward-looking readers might snuggle up to it and if so well then snuggle you must!
P.F. Sloane-SAILOVER CD-r burn (originally on Hightone Records)

This ain't one of those old guy re-does hit hits for a new label sorta jive nohow! Some old timers like Felix Cavaliere and Lucinda Williams help out and thankfully don't get in the way. Still powerful, perhaps because this doesn't make any concessions to the sick state of commercial pap that followed in its wake. As good as classic Dylan, and oddly enough reminiscent of ...Mott the Hoople? Yeah! Worth the search.
Various Artists-SUGAR LUMPS VOLUME ONE CD-r burn (originally on Acid Jazz Records)

Boy did this 'un get all hot and bothered like a good record should! SUGAR LUMPS contains whatcha'd call a good selection of late-sixties English psychedelic pop and what has become known as "freakbeat", and it doesn't let up one bit what with the bevy o' talent that's in store within these grooves. Other'n the Factory's "Path Through the Forest" none of this is familiar to me but it sure cooks with heavy duty kinetic rock 'n roll that doesn't quit, what with the likes of Andy Lewis and Andy Ellison doing that post-John's Children deca-pop and the likes ot Templar and the Argonauts performing some of the better repeato-riff rock I've heard from a sixties group since the Velvet Underground! I was especially blown away by Groovy Ruben's recitation of "The Woeful Tale of Shakes Magoo" which I sure wish was one of those off-the-wall novelty-type records that hit the charts back when I was but a mere turdling.

You might not be as jump up and down excited over the thing, but if you get it and take it for a spin don't be surprised if you don't revert to age ten and start doing strange interpretive dances all over the basement!
Ray Harlowe and Gyp Fox-FIRST RAYS CD-r burn

Some people may spill much more'n seed onna ground when they hear these early-seventies locally produced albums, but I found this particular one part and parcel as to just exactly what was WRONG with rock music (no longer rock 'n roll because that was like too---greasy or something) back during my growing up suburban slob days. 's got some jazzy moves and standard FM grooves that woulda been perfect for the more doobified in the audience, and listening to this makes me understand all the more whatever hatred and ire people like Greg Shaw had for the musical situation that popped up at the time. Maybe a whiff of incense, some pukka shells dangling in the doorway and an issue of GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW would help? All I need to do is throw in a few "right on"'s for good measure and maybe a Peter Max poster or two.
Tommy Keene-EXCITEMENT AT YOUR FEET CD-r burn (originally on Second Motion Records)

I know that I should hate this guy especially on aesthetic principles (as well as hate by association), but I will admit this spinner was better'n I or maybe even you would have guessed. Keene jangles his way through a slew of covers including those by Mink DeVille, the Flamin' Groovies, Television, Roxy Music and DONOVAN???...and doesn't come off like the doof you thought he would tryin' to attempt such a task! Actually Keene holds his own and thankfully eschews more modern electronese and gimmickry to present a straight-ahead pop rock sound that should appear to fans of the likes of not only Alex Chilton but the Raspberries and early-seventies Hollies for that matter. Quite a few guaranteed choice 1972 vintage AM spinners here with a production that makes me think THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN THE PERFECT FLEA MARKET FIND OF 1979 HAD IT COME OUT WAY BACK WHEN! It sure didn't, but we can dream can't we?

No track listing on this 'un so as usual I'll have to do a LOTTA GUESSING! Well, some of it is easy like the Seeds' "Two Fingers Pointing At You" plus I believe that the Christian rock track present was taken from the Fraction MOON BLOOD album (could be wrong---that 'un's due to a re-play one of these days). But the rest is pretty up inna air. Some of it comes off like rather iffy early-seventies rock cusp FM fodder while the English psychedelic whimsy songs did have a rather bright neo-Tall Dwarfs meet Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett touch to 'em...any clue to who they are Bill? Otherwise, a pretty good way for me to waste yet another Saturday afternoon when I should be out there playin' with the kids.
Now that Easter's over and you have a li'l time to lay back and enjoy yourself, howzbout enjoying it with some BLACK TO COMM back issues that'll help you digest your rabbit casserole just as much as Brioschi! And it tastes better too! When it comes to easy chairs and BLACK TO COMM the two go hand in hand and you know it's true!

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Last week's Spectre writeup had me scurrying into my book pile to pull this long-ignored effort out, one that I didn't especially cozy up to when first purchased way back inna 90s. That probably accounts for the fact that this copy is not all dog-eared and filled with sticky bits keeping pages glued together like way too many books in my personal library are besotted. Surprisingly enough, a good twennysome years later I happen to enjoy this ALL STAR effort as much as I did those old Spectres which probably does prove that perhaps I am regressing back into my pre-pubesprout days when things were still pressure cooker hard on me but hey, I still had those old comic books and tee-vee shows to add more'n just a little release to a stressed out world!

When I was of comic books-as-a-way-of-life reading age (as opposed to records-as-a-way-of-life or locking-oneself-in-the-bathroom-with-a-copy-of-NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC-as-a-way-of-life) I really enjoyed those JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA issues where the heroes at National Periodicals would join hands so-to-speak with the Justice Society of Earth Two in order to fight some cosmic cataclysm that would threaten both worlds. At that time (we're like talkin' age twelve) the Golden Age heroes actually seemed more up my alley not only because they seemed to have retained a flair that had been lost to time, but the fact that those Golden Age sagas weren't so high-minded as the comics were beginning to get. Remember when subjects like the Population Explosion and drug abuse were screaming RELEVANCY form the covers of just about every DC title except THE ADVENTURES OF JERRY LEWIS? Thankfully that trend didn't last too long, at least until DC began grasping for whatever remained of their dwindling readership by becoming incomprehensibly cutting edge whenever they thought they could get away with it.

Thankfully those old World War II-era comics were geared more towards the suburban slob kinda Saturday Afternoon Barber Shop kids long before they evolved into long-haired flared trousers pseudo-intellectual types, and frankly I was more at home reading about how Hour-Man tackled some gangsters than I was Superman lecturing the Teen Titans about racism. When DC began publishing those 25-cent expanded issues usually filled out with a classic Golden Age story you could bet that I was happier than Elton John at whatever all-boy youth gathering that will come to your mind .Sure I hadda put up with the moral superiority being plopped about, but when I was done with that story at least there was a Golden Age reprint to enjoy.

'n with the Justice Society stories you were gettin' a boffo total of eight heroes in one setting! Talk about real deal meals, and although the big boys at DC, mainly Superman and Batman, weren't anywhere to be seen (because they were part of the National and not Max Gaines' All-American line) they at least get mentioned as being "honorary members" which I guess is cool enough for me. Fortunately for us the All-American heroes were boff enough on their own, what with the likes of the original Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkman and Atom* not forgetting Doctor Fate, Hour-Man, the Sandman (back when he wore a suit, hat and cape and was not yet costumed complete with a Robin-esque sidekick) and the Spectre on hand to deal blows to the neer-do-fanablas in sagas that sorta go down a whole lot easier because like, you don't need a scorecard to tell the heroes from the villains like you do with most of today's morally ambiguous entertainment.

In fact. these sagas are good enough that I don't even find myself rah-rahing for the Dictator Powers who are overrunning Ameriga in issue #4! The good guys manage to do their patriotic doody without succumbing to the squeaky clean fly-spec free credo that sure made those Nazi and Japanese nogoods so appealing to me for ages. Even during them dayze of heightened national awareness the schmalz ain't as thick as it could get, so lemme stand up and salute ol' glory for once before I decide to go join the bund of my choice!

Gettin' ahead of myself as usual...first, lemme give you a li'l backdrop regarding these comics. The first ALL STAR Justice Society issue (#3--the first two featured solo sagas by the heroes at hand) isn't really a Justice Society saga per se but the heroes hanging around spinning tales that are delineated by their original creators, chatting it up between the action as if they were in the back room at Max's 'r somethin'! Guest appearances by the original Johnny Thunder and Red Tornado add some comedy relief, and although this issue probably wasn't much diff. 'n the first two ALL STARs it at least was a champing start for what would be a good eight or so year run of DC superhero teamups.

By ish #4 the Society was gettin' into some actual collective work---somewhat. Y'see, although by now they were fighting a focused enemy (in this case the Fifth Columnists who were infecting every aspect of Amerigan life) these heroes were doing it on their own eventually coming to a jointed clampdown on the last few pages after each of 'em uncover a crucial clue to the case which all dribbles down to its logical conclusion. The only read mingling they get into is during the framing of each episode, and while I was hoping to see 'em all goin' gangbusters at once it's nice just to read these old sagas, marvel at the at-times atrocious yet amazing art, and let it sink in without letting my subconscious (or consciousness for that matter) let things like reality get in the way.

The next two issues also fall into the same format, the third one having to do with a crime syndicate and this strange little guy who keeps popping up throughout the action tying the story together sorta like in some early-forties Monogram picture. The final one in this volume is an ever greater hoot where the Society initiates Johnny Thunder (a doofy Jimmy Olsen lookalike down to his suit and bowtie whose power is his ability to summon up a lightning bolt man/genie who grants his wishes for an hour) with a fool's errand which turns violent when some real deal hoodlums unwittingly get in on the set up!

Don't think I'll be springing for any more of these collections (prices have gone up!) but this li'l book'll keep me onna go for quite awhile. It's sure great to see these superheroes operating under forties B-moom pitcher conditions (or sixties space age thrills a la the Justice League)  rather'n schmooze to modern anti-morality like they have for about thirtysome years awlready, and although I've been taking a break from modern day entertainment for the last four or so decades lemme just say that I'm glad I have stuff like this to enjoy myself with (along with years of old tee-vee and radio shows not to mention comics of the newspaper variety) rather than be forced to endure the usual nil that passes for a fun evening in these downright irritating times of ours!

* All of whom were quite different than their more modern Earth One counterparts...heck, the Atom didn't even have any special powers other than super strength, he getting his moniker because he was a rather short sorta guy!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


BTC readers probably already know whether or not they like CANNED HEAT, the 60’s West Coast “heavy” blues band that’s still around today (with one 60’s member) after 50 years. At their best, the late 60’s version of the band, with Bob The Bear Hite, Alan Wilson, Larry Taylor, Fito De La Parra, and either Henry Vestine or Harvey Mandel on guitar, was an unstoppable force, churning out their grungy brand of high octane blues’n’boogie. Because the guys were blues purists at heart, and the original members were all specialist collectors of blues 78’s, even when they were trafficking in 40 minute fuzzed-out jams, there was always a blues base, and everything was always blues-drenched, no matter how far out they went….and many of their tunes were “extensions” of old 1930’s material.

Their studio albums tend to be solid, but many would argue that live performance was where the band really excelled, so this 2-cd set of unreleased material from the 1967-1976 period (released in 2000 on the German blues label RUF) really satisfies, prime cuts from the band’s greatest period. Bob “The Bear” Hite is featured on all the material here, with his inimitable soulful growl, and replacement members, as the group evolved into the 70’s, Joel Scott Hill (also in the 70’s Flying Burrito Brothers) and bassist Richard Hite (who later ran the great Memphis Archives label) fit right in to the blues’n’boogie machine as it choogles along. Canned Heat is really a brand as much as a specific band, and as long as whoever is in the present line-up of the band “gets” the concept, they should do fine. This is not a group that emphasizes exactitude, it’s about catching the spirit and running with it, and each performance of any particular tune tends to go in its own direction. There’s also a good chemistry with the audiences, and for me, Canned Heat certainly qualify as a “people’s band” in the broadest and best sense of that term. Everything that’s good about Canned Heat is found here on these rough live tapes in its pure form.

There are two further volumes in this series, each a 2-cd set, but the second and third volumes contain recordings from later periods. I don’t own those, although I may pick them up if the price is right (the third volume, the least known, usually sells for $25 and up nowadays—the first two can still be found cheap). This first volume is the most essential one, being all earlier recordings featuring The Bear. When they crank up the volume and dig in deep for a jam on some Jimmy Rogers or Sam Myers tune learned from some well-worn 45 or 78 in one of the boys’ collections, you can almost taste the lukewarm malt liquor and smell the harsh burning seeds and stems from the cheap ragweed being consumed by the audience, loaded to the gills. Truly, Canned Heat deliver the goods (assuming you want these goods).

Monday, April 22, 2019


It's more of a scandal than the condition of my gym shorts back in high school, but Vox Pop may now be best remembered for being dismissed as a "joke band" by Darby Crash's boy toy in the Germs bio flick WHAT WE DO IS SECRET.As the bemused front man for the Germs looks on, Germs drummer and Vox Pop mastermind Don Bolles prances about in a dress before flashing the audience.

Well, slap me silly, a Nietzsche reader without a sense of humor. The joke was on Darby. Vox Pop would make a very palatable appetizer before an entree of X-Blank-X, but of course that would be lost on someone weaned on Queen before following the glitterati into punk. 

On this record Bolles is joined by members of 45 Grave, the Dream Syndicate, Nervous Gender and Jeff Dahl.

"Cab Driver", which appeared in a studio form on KILLED BY DEATH VOLUME ONE, and initially turned me on to the band leads leads off, and its a wild bumper car ride throughout. There's a version of "Heroin" that should like a dream you had where Mouse and the Traps covered it. (A real hoot in these days where tedious indie bands have sucked the life out of the Velvets' catalog with their fussy academic trust fund approach.)

Bolles, when traveling from Arizona to audition for Germs' drum chair after hearing their first 45, told the band he could tell they were into Faust and krautrock, a statement that solicited blank stares from the band. LIVE 1980 contains not one but two Faust covers done in the fashion of a teen garage band after sneaking a few beers and random pulls from mom's purse. Was your band covering Faust in 1980? Don't bother to answer.

Pick this up. John Morton would. All its missing is cover art by him.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Welp, it's Easter time again which means that now Lent's over I can give up my Lenten doody being nice to people (not counting Sunday of course)! In other words, screweth youeth as they used to say in the Old Testament, or something like that. Anyhow I hope that you are having a good holiday go of it, eating those roasted rabbits that are so in demand during this time of year. I'll bet you all got a kick outta the look on yer kids' faces when they realize that's Fuffy they're munching down along with the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole! Oh well, they shoulda gotten the hint back when you were force-feeding the thing.
Otherwise I'm having a pretty good time of it what with me spinning a whole lotsa great sounds to accompany my otherwise dreadful state o' being. You probably already know what my faves are (mainly the SAME AS USUAL) so there's no point in tellin' ya yet again what's lighting my fancy this week, but if I told you that I'm still experiencing the same tingling vibrating sensations in the here and now while listening to this music that I did when I was still but a mere teenbo oh so long ago well, you might be surprised. But then again maybe not given just how stuck I remain in my Asperger's-riddled youth even at a time when I automatically am given Seniors' Discounts and little old ladies want to help me across the street! Ya know, Peter Pan was right after all, even if my elderly state o' looks is savin' me a whole lotta money!
EDI-TOO-REAL COMMENT: I suppose it was in bad taste for me to sing "Notre Dame is burning down" to the tune of "My Fair Lady" last Monday, but I can't let a good tragedy go to waste. Believe it or not, but I actually was kinda startled by it all, not as much as when the twin towers came a'tumblin' down but jarred I was at the news of this massive historical structure built during one of the heights in World History (also known as "the Dark Ages" [hah!]) took on so much damage. I still think there's more to this disaster than the authorities have let on, and given the spate of church desecrations happening across France as of late even Karen Quinlan would come to the same conclusion given the facts. Somebody out there (Macron?, the gendarmes???) is trying to keep the rest of us in the shade so to speak, and ya know that they're gonna thankfully slip up somewhere down the line with the whole sordid mess coming to light making a lotta folk out there (not only in France but the rest of the civilized world) look totally stoopid! If LePen were in office she wouldn't have let any of this happen I'll tell ya! As that infamous TIME magazine letter writer Al Epstein used to say, "THEY ALL LAY DOWN SOONER OR LATER" and the sooner the better in this case!
Despite claims to the contrary, things are looking good not only with such fun items as the latest UGLY THINGS heading our way but the fact that the Peter Laughner box set is ready to be released which really does send this mind for a whirl! Only five disques true (wonder what they left out---and since this should have been at least a ten Cee-Dee set I should say PLENTY!) but its appearance is bound to be the highlight of this or any other year. I dunno if I will be purchasing this upon release (monetary concerns---drat!) but it's gonna be a must-to-get even if I'll eventually pick it up in the cheapo bin at Mason's a good ten years from now.
Enuff ov's this week's batch o' beauts that I know you'll wanna read about. Blame Bill and Paul for these gibs. But before we do, lemme just say try to have a hotcha weekend even if you are one of the many unjustly jailed people out there who are rotting away in prisons and other centers of detention---and if you are one of these unfortunate denizens of the dungeons howzbout sayin' hi to Julian for me.

Fuzzy Knight-COUNT TWO THREE CD-r burn (originally on The Chautauqua Group label)

Like, who woulda thunk that the famed western comedic sidekick of yore would be around in more recent times (in this case 2012) recording that new rock folk thingie, the kind that seems to be big with some of the younger portion of our society armed with an acoustic guitar and a hat for passerbys to plunk their change in. Sheesh, this guy is just like all those other new folkies for fanabla times singing down 'n dire songs that ya can't tell apart (at least when the Seeds and Troggs sounded alike ya really went for it full blast). As you can tell, Fuzzy's rep just doesn't snuggle up to mine ideals of what this breed of brew oughta come off like here in an era where new ideas better spark our nerve endings. (They won't but it's nice to fantasize a bit!) Might raise part of an eyebrow at a local high school talent night.
Doug Fowlkes & the Airdales-THE AIRDALE WALK CD-r burn (originally on Atco Records)

With a name like the Airdales I was reminded of Moe Howard's famous retort. But there ain't anything to laff at with this pretty good twist soul effort that puts an entirely better light on the musical year of 1962 than one might imagine. Surprisingly enough this does have its crudity that makes it so listenable...nothing near the likes of the Northwest brigades of the day but still good enough. Even the emphasis on the twist craze ain't gonna make ya wanna puke either! A nice surprise that won't turn any heads but should be pleasing enough to fans of the pre-British Invasion form.
The Love Me Nots-THE DEMON AND THE DEVOTEE CD-r burn (originally on Atomic A-Go-Go Records)

Starts off hard enough but like much of these post-post-garage band platters the energy just seems to fall off. Good effort and a good enough approach, but the Love Me Nots reall don't spark any real inner whooziz the way similar items from the eighties era of revivalism might have, at least up to a point. I'll give 'em notches for not being anywhere near what the standards for rock 'n roll "proper" have been since the seventies AOR era, but some more oomph shoulda been in place.
Dave Rave-ANTHOLOGY VOL. 2 CD-r burn (originally on Bullseye Records)

He's a talented kinda guy, but dang if there is more than just a little lacking in Dave Rave's entire musical existence that makes me have to listen harder. I could go off into all sortsa weird tangents to describe just what it is that keeps this guy from breaking through the hymen of my inner musical appreciation of the eternal form, but to put it mildly the guy just lacks the gnawing tension that makes the listening experience play out in your mind. Good musician tho, and even if that lounge-y jazz thing that pops up near the end of the platter'll make you wanna schmooze to martoonies his singing might even make some of you sappier gals in the audience shed a tear or three.
Earl Palmer-DRUMSVILLE Cd-r burn (originally on Liberty Records)

Palmer leads this sesh filled with covers of recent hits that sounded better the first time around so like, why bother inna first place unless yer tryin' to fool some unsuspecting grownups into buying it like those budget platters I often review usedta do. I found it kinda cornballus myself, though the drumming was good.

Gotta admit that I was rather woozy after a hard day at the dildo factory when I heard these epsidoes, so it ain't like I was paying that close attention. However I did pay enough to get that hard-edged grit into my system that programs like these usually dish out in droves. First Marlowe episode has to do with him taking the case of some rich biddy who is found murdered a half-hour later while the second has Marlowe trying to find the missing son of a widow and on a slim clue (mainly a letter addressed to the kid that mom just "happened" to's happened to me too or so I highly suspect!) and discovering that "Chip" wasn't exactly the wholesome and robust guy he sure used to be! Good acting (radio and tee-vee faves Virginia Gregg and Howard McNair pop up) and the scripts are way better'n what those Junior College dropouts who write for tee-vee these days could ever come up with.

Once again Bill loads up on those old country tunes that I'm sure'll upset more and more of the more urbane sophisticado types who tune into this blog. But hey, at least there's some good stuff here that gets to my inner inbredness what with an early (original?) version of the early-seventies Jerry Lee Lewis hit "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" by Lov Gordon and His Pleasant Valley Boys as well as a nice blood curdler entitled "Rebel Yell" which I am proud to say sounds NOTHING like the Billy Idol hit of the same name. Bill also gets inner city with a selection of tracks by the likes of Artie Christopher and the infamous Rufus Thomas who deep fry soul this burn so-to-speak. I dunno if this is Bill's own personal version of "Ebony and Ivory" but it sure makes the real life hit sound rather stinkola which isn't anything hard to do, but he did it!
I haven't been getting as many orders for old issues of BLACK TO COMM as I would like. And brother, do I really need the moolah right now what with the possibilities of rare Velvet Underground releases not to mention a new collection of the NOT BRAND ECHH comic book in the pipes. You don't want me to miss out on these tasty treats now, do you? Oh...NEVER MIND!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2019


Gotta say that when DC first got into the superhero biz they had a lotta good characters fillin' up their roster. Of course by the time The Big One ended and the comic book industry began pumping out crazy teenage boy and fatgal love comics it wasn't like the superheroes were what they once usedta be. Oh yeah, I kinda like those Justice Society of Ameriga 'uns drawn by the guy who later did DONDI, but many of those comic characters who seemed so dark and promising back in 1940 just weren't cuttin' the mustard in '47 like they usedta. Cuttin' the cheese may be more like it which is probably the only reason why the whole superhero idiom kinda limped along between the end of #2 and before the grand start of the Silver Age back when a good portion of DC's old superhero roster was gettin' the remake/remodel treatment.

But then again ya gotta wonder if the big guns at National were aware that many of these boys were probably way more interested in looking at Betty and Veronica in bikinis than they were some guy flyin' around. I mean, once yer a he-man kinda kid and hit fourteen who wouldn't?

Enough of that adolescent pubesprout horniness and back to the action heroes that populated DC at the time. The time being very early 1940 when guys like Green Lantern, Dr. Fate, Hourman and today's creep in case the Spectre were appearing for the first time in titles like ALL AMERICAN and (in the Spectre's case) MORE FUN comics. Gotta say that when I picked this collection up way back inna double-ohs these sagas really didn't do the big whoopee for me, but x-teen some years later reading these early Spectre sagas really does flash be me back to those early days of comic wonderment, a time when after comic strips and tinkertoys and before rock music and movies-as-a-way-of-life I had something new to become OBSESSIVE and/or COMPULSIVE about! And in my life-cycle obsessive/compulsiveness has been the NAME OF THE GAME and why should it be any different now than it was when I was but a mere suburban slob???

I'm not that well versed in Dr. Fate, Hourman, Johnny Thunder or most of the other "All American" DC heroes of the day (even the original Green Lantern that came outta the closet in one of those sappy attempts to be "up to date" and "with it"), but the Spectre really has struck a certain gut twang in me that shook me from my usually tepid appreciation of the whole Golden Age DC line. In may ways the Spectre has to be the best of the GA batch if only for his mere existence. Y'see, for all practical purposes the guy's DEAD, a ghost, and in perhaps one of the grimmer origin stories of the era (or so the experts at XERO and ALTER EGO said) he hadda be murdered in order to gain his powers.

And talk about powers, the Spectre's got the kind that actually make Superman look kinda Dagwood Bumsteady...even when Superman was flying to distant planets and busting up meteors  it wasn't like he could read people's minds, grow or shrink, become invisible, split from his secret identity and adapt the laws of nature to suit his own purpose. The mishandling of these powers does kinda stymie me in sagas where I would think the Spectre could save a victim from deadly force but because he just isn't using his powers properly just lets the poor slob die. Oh well, if he did that these stories would probably only last two pages and they hadda get the plot up and goin', y'know.

But when the Spectre does get on a rampage boy do things get cookin'. As detective Jim Corrigan he's the toughest guy on the force (the rest are as clueless as any seen in a contemporary B-flick---even the chief wants Corrigan to bring in the Spectre even though the hero has never done a thing even remotely evil!), and not only that but they're so stoopid that they don't notice that he, being dead and all, doesn't even breathe!

When he becomes the Spectre it's like watch out world, because this guy deals out that ultimate justice that makes Mr. A. look more like Mr. Rogers in comparison. Many of you casual readers who grew up under the tutelage of Comics Code Authority titles might be surprised to see scenes where a giant-sized Spectre picks up an automobile filled with gangsters and crushes it with his mitts, or kills some evildoers with a mere stare that frightens the miscreants to an early grave, or in one episode wills an entire planet filled with bad guys to explode. Yeah, over the years I've come across a few moralists who might say that such dealings of justice are anything but that and we gotta consider the rights of the accused 'n all blahblahblub...and they are right. Only the Spectre, being an otherworldly being who was given his powers by GOD (or someone doing his understudy work) knows who is good and bad more'n Santa ever will, and ya gotta admit that the guy has about as much mercy for gangsters, evil aliens and inter-dimensional zealots as Sherman had for Georgia!

Like Bill Shute, I immensely enjoy old crime films, low budget fifties/sixties tee-vee and comic books that deliver(ed) on the same kind of crank out yet pleasing entertainment custom made for some boy's post lawn mowing afternoon time off. And these Spectre sagas fulfill that penchant for old pre-enlightenment entertainment at its BEST. That's one thing which I've held to heart ever since I was a mere turdler watching Bugs Bunny selling grenade-filled ice cream bars to Japanese soldiers on Saturday morning tee-vee. My enjoyment of these Spectre sagas proves that I still am that arrested development ranch house kiddie who really lived in a world of fun and jamz at least until I hadda be dragged to kindergarten so I could "assimilate" with a buncha kids who I wouldn't pay to shovel my bowel movements outta the sandbox. I mean, it's so satisfying to read a comic story with irredeemable villains who get their just desserts from a superpowered entity who isn't mentally ill or so squeaky clean that you just GOTTA root for the Japanese and Germans who at least have a certain swerve to 'em!

For real THE GOLDEN AGE SPECTRE collection next to the garbage cans on a nice hot summer's day. Y'see, this hero, albeit draped in a green hood, cloak, gloves and jogging shorts, is NOT covered in white body paint with contact lenses covering his pupils...he's DEAD and you are looking at his rotted yet animated corpse which I'm sure even the most trusted deodorant could not tame! For a double-senses treat (of sorts), maybe a good whiff of the offal of your choice will add even more dimension to these pretty exciting sagas. (Though Corrigan's one-time galpal nor the rest of the cops seem to notice...perhaps he only reeks when he's in his Spectre identity. Whatever the case....phew!!!!!!)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

How are you doing. Tomorrow's Palm Sunday, which for some strange reason is a big day for many of the more lonely BLOG TO COMM readers out there. I think I might have used that joke before but it's so good that it deserves another go at it.

As can be expected, it was a "there" week. Lived through it, but that's about all. The lack of moolah (and lack of items that I would particularly want to part said moolah with for) had me scurrying back to a good fortysome year backlog of music, books and whatnot to keep my post-Salt Mine hours occupied. Currently making my way through the old BATMAN, FROM THE THIRTIES TO THE SEVENTIES collection (y'know, the book that along with its Superman counterpart was ultimately to be found damaged and tattered in every library across this land of ours) not to mention what is left of my old stack of comic books which, despite being kept in relatively good shape throughout the years, still ain't worth the millyuns of dollars I thought they would be back when I was ten. Musicwize the sounds I've been listening to (other'n those to be mentioned below) are the same old faves, with Suicide's early demos being the repeato riff fave for the second straight week inna row. Of course the ultimate discovery of the past few days has been the fragment of the lost Velvet Underground song "Never Get Emotionally Involved..." which I found out about via the Oliver Landimere page. If you wanna hear that snippet just go here and pray that the rest of those early rediscovered tapes make their way to the starving public and sooner than any of us woulda ever hoped!
Thanks as usual go to Bill, Paul, Feeding Tube and this time 'round Guerssen who sent a few spiffy selections to brighten up this corner of the internet.

One of Hours-WHEN YOU HEAR THE MUSIC, IT'S YOURS CD (Out-Sider, available via Guerssen Records)

It's amazing just how many unreleased albums there were back inna late-sixties, and (as if you couldn't sense it) this brand new item is just one of 'em! From Lexington Kentucky, One of Hours never did get the opportunity to unleash this psychopop platter onto the usual unsuspecting public type of people and that is a shame, because WHEN YOU HEART THE MUSIC's got that top pop bap slap to it that woulda had Greg Prevost drooling all over it in FUTURE #1 had this only gotten out into the supermarket bins of the United States where it seems it would have been most welcome.

Not only is the group's sense of Beatles/Zombies cool pop firmly in place but there are even the expected paens to garage band supremacy to be found not to mention the typical nods to Eastern spells and psychedelic bizarratudes that were FORTUNATELY par for the course at the time. Let's just say that is is too bad One of Hours failed to get that big break cuz this woulda been the ultimate flea market record stack surprise of 1979!
Care of the Cow-DOGS' EARS ARE STUPID CD (Mental Experience, availabla via Guerssen Records)

Never've been a fan of eighties-era electronic new unto gnu wave pop slop, but Care of the Cow handles the form so differently that they transcend the usual glitz that marred many a slab of vinyl. With choir-like harmonies and actual discernible melodies, Care of the Cow's entire reason for existence recalls a whole lotta past booty from mid-seventies synth workouts to downer folk music resulting in a rec that you'd swear you woulda found in the local import bins only it woulda been too radical for even the standard Tonto's Expanding Headband crowd let alone Beaver and Krause. A pretty engrossing experience that's really too difficult to describe with a mere peck of the typewriter...perfect for those of you who spent more than a few hours writing term papers on electronic music and got points knocked off because Sun Ra was spelled "Sien" Ra (as if I'll ever forgive ya cyster!).
Phurnne-TO LOVE LIGHTLY... LP (Feeding Tube Records)

The spiffy black onna inside and see-thru onna outside vinyl ain't the only thing spiffy about this release featuring some ex-Eggs Eggs guy. The electronic squeals mixed with everyday instruments (and even some voice inna mix I could swear was Porky Pig!) might lead you to believe that this is yet "another" Feeding Tube release", and if fact it is! That is, if you're big on the sound sprawl some of these instant classics on the label can drill into your consciousness. The words to describe this escape me as usual but lemme just say that, once again that squealing violin sawing away reminds me of none other than Leroy Jenkins which has become thee thing for me to mention whenever I hear squealing violins! And under-the-curb classic.
The Ramblers-RAMBLIN' BACK TO THE GRAVE CD-r burn (originally on GMG Records)

Many-a-those mid-eighties "garage revival" groups just didn't seem to hold their worth in salt once that decade crept to a sad close, but these Rambler sure kept up a solid holler that many of the competing groups just couldn't handle! While some groups played it cool yet sounded comparatively thin, these Ramblers sure pumped it up with their beefy revisions of sounds that just weren't copasetic with the more peace creep types amongst us. Contains credible covers of "White Light/White Heat" and "Fire Engine" too!
Roscoe Mitchell Trio-THE DAY AND THE NIGHT CD-r burn (originally on Dizim Records)

Well, there's one thing you can be thankful for and that is this is not the CHAD Mitchell Trio!

Although this '96 release lacks the crazed abstraction of the early AACM albums this set up with Mitchell backed by Art Ensemble mainstay Malachi Favors and drummer Gerald Cleaver still packs more nerve-grinding intensity than anything I've heard from the straight jazz idiom in ages. Mostly downer yet introspective, Mitchell actually recalls mid-sixties Ornette more'n anything in this setting while Favors and Cleaver do their best to play in, out and around the beat. Still electrifying even a good sixtysome years after the birth of the Real Deal. As far as these '96 recordings go Mitchell still had it then, and judging from some of his more recent outings reviewed in these "pages" he still has it NOW!
The Attack-ABOUT TIME! CD-r burn (originally on RPM Records, England)

I knew of the legendary "Created By Clive" that actually made the GORILLA BEAT top English psychedelic singles list, but danged if I ever got to hear these guys! At least before now..."Clive" is commercial pop psych true but it holds up about as good as Tomorrow do while these guys could get gnarly when the situation arose. A better than you woulda expected cover of "Sympathy For the Devil" not to mention a listenable enough "Hi Ho Silver Lining" pop up alongside some rather surprising originals that should appeal to the late-sixties hard gunch English fans out there in the audience.
Chin-Chin-SOUND OF THE WEST WAY CD-r burn (originally on Farmer Records, Switzerland)

What a surprise! Mid-eighties all-gal Swiss punk rock, and it's all done up in the old melodic fashion,with even some classic sixties moves and harmonica thrown in for good measure. Personally I can't see a whole load of the more-devout-than-thou anarcho-communist types of that era cozying up to this nor can I see the anti-all-gal types of the same era goin' ga-ga for that matter. However, if you liked things like the Dangerous Birds and their sleek approach to sounding like females with all of the brains of male rock intact I can't see why you might not just go for this.
Flower Travelling Band-FROM PUSSY TO DEATH IN 10,000 YEARS OF FREAKOUT CD-r burn

Couldn't find much info on this 'un on-line (but it ain't like I tried any---whaddaya think this is, a High Stool term paper 'r sumpthin'?), but I get the feelin' that this is one of the recordings that the "reformed" Flower Travellin' Band put out in the last decade or so. Still sounds authentico enough to me what with the standard psychedelic moves straight outta the Yardbirds mixed with ultra-long lysergic workouts that woulda made Amon Duul II proud. Started off wonky but I liked the way this long-loved Japanese group turned out. Even the Robert Plant imitations don't hurt it any.
Various Artists-THE SHAME OF GERALDINE'S GOATEE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

With a title like that you can tell Bill's really tuned into the 57 Varieties of sexes that are so in vogue these days! But in all seriousness this is a hot number what with the cheap-o garage moaners from Sir Charles and the Daze of Old opening and closing this effort, not forgetting the great cheap blooze of Doug Quattlebaum and Chuck Blevins (and by cheap I mean this stuff ain't gonna be heard at the glitzy blooze club that gets plugged on "Classic Rock Radio") and some good sixties-styled gurl music from Joan Heaton and Jean Dixon. There's even a hipster rec about goatees that is sure to get none other than Maynard G. Krebs himself all rowled up! As it is with these Bill burns, a good way to spend a good portion of time when you could be doing something "constructive" (yech!).
For a real fun thrill why dontcha try orderin' up a couple or even more BLACK TO COMM back issues if only to edjamcate yourself about the true bestial nature of this music that too many have claimed to have known and loved  but if that's so howcum the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and concept of "Classic Rock" exist in the first place? Bound to be much desired in coming centuries, treat your distant progeny to this fanzine lest it all be swept away due to unbridled Pantsiosisms and you KNOW it's true...

Thursday, April 11, 2019


When I was but a fledgling suburban slob I used to get hooked on a variety of tee-vee reruns that I just hadda be front and center for whether it be GILLIGAN'S ISLAND, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, GOMER'S PILES or a variety of other fifties/sixties wonders that lingered on in the ether of rerun-land for a good fiftysome or so years. Even today I try to catch THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM or THE ROY ROGERS SHOW whenever I am in charge to controlling the television so thankfully this age-old habit is still firmly in place. And y'know what...with the advent of complete collections of television series available at times for mere pennies I can now watch reruns whenever I want to without having to work my eating and pooping time around whenever such shows will pop up outta the ether of satellite land! And no, I don't have any of that modern-day ability to save shows for when I want to watch 'em like Bill Shute does....sheesh, I'm trying to get the hang of getting as much life outta my own dying computer before it heads for the scrapyard to worry about such frivolities as that!

Anyway, I sure got hooked onto these FIBBER McGEE & MOLLY programs from the '45/'46 season the same way I did everything from ANDY GRIFFITH to I DREAM OF JEANNIE---it's that good an effort to cool down after a hard day at the salt mines to and even without the visuals you can sure create a whole lotta 'em in your brain just like Stan Freberg used to say. It might take a while to get used to, but once you just settle back and stare aimlessly into that same sorta bulb-lighted room that has the same glow to it that such rooms oozed for years and let the sounds digest in your Clarabellum, it's almost as if you're back during those just post-war days and the only thing you hadda worry about was the shortage of meat, medicine and paying the bills so you at least had some electricity to listen to next week's episode!

But these sitcom sagas are just as good as anything that you'll come across on the fifties/sixties rerun circuit. The real life hubby/wife team of Jim and Marian Jordan do swell as the low-class couple living in whatcha'd call a smaller 'n small town Amerigan burgh gettin' into more of those dumb and dumber situations that made shows like these so popular with the hoi polloi for a longer time'n any of us could imagine. Lotsa pre-patterned predict the outcome well in advance scripts here true, but it sure is fun wondrin' whether McGee's gonna accidently blow up the orphanage he's volunteerin' in, and then just when you think the coast is clear and nothin's gonna happen he does and kills everyone inside leadin' to a laff fest you're not gonna forget in quite some time!

Actually there's never anything along those lines in store on FIBBER McGEE (after all, this ain't my fantasy sitcom based on various kid-type hijinx loosely adapted from real life youthful atrocities that I've mused about in these pages before) but the humor certainly is there! I particularly like the reoccurring gag where Gale Gordon as Mayor LaTrivia gets into some really funny Abbot and Costello-styled Who's on First-styled back 'n forth with McGee and Molly getting even more flustered than Mr. Bluster himself in the process. Marian Jordan also doubles as "Sis", the little girl who always seems to be giving Fibber a whole load of grief tryin' to cadge stray pennies outta him. Bill Thompson doing his Droopy voice as Mr. Wimple's also a good segment, and even Elmer Fudd himself Arthur Q. Bryan pops up as Dr. Gamble who sounds rather non-Fudd-esque here and in fact kinda irritating, as is announcer Harlow Wilcox who's continually plugging various Johnson's Wax products to the pair but can never pronounce "linoleum" for some strange reason..

Yeah, Billy Mills and his Orchestra and the King's Men vocal group are a good excuse to go take a wee or raid the fridge, but as soon as they're outta the way boy are you gonna be in for a comedy treat that sure sounds great without all the jibberjabber moralizing that goes on these days (tho I do get kinda tired at all the World War II references to the point where I once again end up rooting for the Japanese). But yeah, I dare fact DAST dare ya to pick up an entire season of FIBBER McGEE AND MOLLY and not get totally immersed in the thing to the point where you, like I, will keep using such catchphrases as "taint funny McGee" and have Don Fellman retort "my grandmother always used to say that" as if I was some old stuck way inna past fuddyduddy type to bring that 'un up inna first place! Well, come to think of it ain't I perhaps the LAST fuddyduddy on this planet? I kinda hope not, but I am continuing on a proud tradition that probably won't die out until """""I""""" do!

CLOSING NOTE: after writing all this dribble how could I've forgotten to mention the infamous "hall closet" running gag which, interestingly enough, was a big influence on future dyke composer Pauline Oliveros!

Tuesday, April 09, 2019


During its brief run in the early-to-mid 1940’s, PRC Pictures (Producers Releasing Corporation) made a lot of westerns, featuring Bob Steele, Buster Crabbe, Lash LaRue, and a number of others. Though the films were a rung below Monogram in terms of production level, they usually delivered the goods in just under an hour, had supporting casts full of western veterans, and were made by people who could produce this kind of thing in their sleep.

Because of the success of The Three Mesquiteers team over at Republic, beginning in 1937, there were imitation Western trios over at Monogram….The Range Busters, with Ray Crash Corrigan, John Dusty King, and Max Alibi Terhune (with his ventriloquist dummy Elmer, someone I need to devote an entire review to in the future), and The Trail Blazers, with Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard, and Bob Steele. PRC also jumped into that world with The Texas Rangers, with Dave O’Brien, James Newill (replaced by Tex Ritter in the final eight films), and BTC fave Guy Wilkerson as “Panhandle Perkins.” PRC had another trio series, though, which released six films in the 1942 season, THE FRONTIER MARSHALS. They’ve received little attention over the years, although the combination of talent on offer was quite successful and gave the films a lot of variety within their 56 or 57 minutes. Even by PRC standards, the films had a ramshackle look to them, and they are not well-remembered today-- it took me years to collect all six of them on VHS back in the 80’s and 90’s.

PRC took original Lone Ranger LEE POWELL, who’d also starred in the US Marines-oriented serial FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS (a man with a tough demeanor, a gruff and manly voice, and a strong screen presence), and paired him with two Western Swing musicians then popular throughout the South and Southwest and Midwest, BILL BOYD, who led a band called the COWBOY RAMBLERS, and his vocalist (who was to Bill what Tommy Duncan was to Bob Wills) ART DAVIS. Boyd and Davis had successful radio programs and dozens of RCA-Bluebird 78’s and were veteran entertainers—taking their shtick to the movie screen was undoubtedly not too difficult. Generally, the plots involved Powell, the “tough guy” and hero of the films, working independently from “the boys” toward the same goals to round up some outlaw gang or stop some evil-doer. I haven’t watched most of the films in decades, but as I remember, in most of them the three were all marshals….it’s just that Boyd and Davis would be posing as cowhands or entertainers or whatever, and their affable, joking personas kept anyone from ever suspecting they were undercover marshals. Of course, being successful radio and record and live performance stars of western swing, they performed a number of songs in each film (SIX in the one under review, five in the actual film, and one in the closing credits), and played themselves (as did Powell in this film). The mixture of western action, gunfights, fistfights (VERY loosely choreographed, if it all----this is certainly NOT a Republic western!), comedy from Boyd and Davis as well as their songs, and Powell’s charm with the ladies, as well as fine casts of villains (this one features Kermit Maynard, Ken’s brother, as well as Charles King, John Merton, and I Stanford Jolley, with Maynard doubling as a stuntman), makes the films move at a good clip and provides a lot of variety within the short running time. It’s solid Western entertainment, done quickly and cheaply by people who knew what they were doing. Truly, this was the Golden Age of B-Western series, when something like this was tossed off as a disposable piece of product, playing second-and-third-run houses and small towns for a week, and then vanishing until revived for late night TV in the 1950’s and 1960’s. PRC features like this don’t even survive in decent form. PRC’s classic film noir from 1946, DETOUR, starring Tom Neal and directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, only survives in one 35mm print, which the Austin Film Society borrowed from its owner a year or two ago and I had the privilege of viewing. And that was one of the most acclaimed PRC features! One doubts any effort was put into preserving the Powell-Boyd-Davis FRONTIER MARSHALS films.

For the record, there were six films in this series released in 1942: TEXAS MANHUNT (where Powell played “Marshal Lee Clark,” in all the others he played himself, Marshal Lee Powell), RAIDERS OF THE WEST, ROLLING DOWN THE GREAT DIVIDE, TUMBLEWEED TRAIL, PRAIRIE PALS, and ALONG THE SUNDOWN TRAIL. Powell then enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1942 and served in the Pacific in WWII against the Japanese, including the battle of Tinian, in the Northern Mariana Islands, where he died in 1944. Powell had also worked in circuses doing trick riding and the like after his Lone Ranger fame, and before this series of films, and certainly a man who was the original Lone Ranger, had his own western series of feature films, starred in a circus act, and fought with honor in World War II, passing away during his service in Asia, is the kind of REAL hero who should have had his own comic book (had he lived after WWII, he might have, and we’d be reviewing it here at BTC).

PRAIRIE PALS was the fifth in the FRONTIER MARSHALS series (available for free online), and it’s a fine introduction to the pleasures of this series. The surviving print is a bit rough, but that just shows how road-worn it is from multiple small-town showings back in the day, and for me it just adds to the charm, like the surface noise on the sole surviving “fair condition” copy of an obscure blues 78, released only on Paramount Records’s dime-store subsidiary Broadway Records. When the film starts, Boyd and Davis croon the jaunty title song under a tree, with gang members Kermit Maynard and John Merton looking on. Expository dialogue after the song (thanks, guys, for cluing us in) tells us that the boys have joined an outlaw gang, and with their “aw shucks” vibe, you KNOW that they aren’t REAL outlaws. They are undercover. Later, Marshall Lee Powell arrives in the area, and arrests and takes the boys into custody, in front of the whole town AND their criminal cohorts…just to prove they really are outlaws. Of course, they escape (with Marshal Powell’s help), get back into the gang, and continue to feed Powell info whenever they can. The plot here is somewhat outrageous, with lead bad-guy I. Stanford Jolley having kidnapped a scientist who has a formula to turn some element called Vanadium into gold, and he’s being forced to practice this outlaw alchemy at the gang’s hidden hideout. All the while, the scientist’s daughter (stop me if you’ve heard this plot device before), played by the spunky and charming Esther Estrella (who also appeared in two Hopalong Cassidy films, with the other and the better-known Bill Boyd, William Boyd, whose Hoppy films were two or three or four rungs above PRC in the grand scheme of things), is working as a waitress at the local café, looking to gather information about her father’s whereabouts. She and Powell discover they are after the same thing and begin to work as a team. Meanwhile, Boyd and Davis alternate comic relief and good-natured, toe-tapping western swing songs, and before you know it, the hour is up, and the magic has concluded.
Bill Boyd and His Cowboy Ramblers recorded hundreds of sides from the 1930’s-1950’s and were huge here in Texas—his brother Jim Boyd was also in the band (and made solo records). In the mid-50’s, as with many country music stars whose hits began fading, Boyd moved into radio DJ’ing, where he worked until the 1970’s. The British BACM (British Archive of Country Music) label has released a few fine Boyd CD’s, as has the Cattle/Bronco Buster family of labels in Germany. And of course, you can find much of their material on You Tube and in some of the collections of 78’s at the Internet Archive. I’m surprised Bear Family never released a massive Bill Boyd and related recordings box set. Why not listen to some of the Cowboy Ramblers excellent 78’s online, pop open a Foster’s oil-can beer, and find the 1942 film PRAIRIE PALS on You Tube. Get some microwave popcorn at the local dollar store, turn the lights down, and pretend you’re in some backwater Oklahoma Panhandle hamlet in 1942, in town for the evening from the ranch. It will be an hour well-spent, in a world much preferable to the one in which you’re reading this review.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Hey all you longtime BLOG TO COMM readers---ready for some culturally insensitive and downright offensive rockscreeding this go 'round? Well, sorry if I just couldn't muster up more 'o that inner bile in me to produce a post that's truly garment rending to the kinda people who usually tear their shirts over anything even remotely counter to their already tiresome counter-cultural credos. But I will try even if I have to eke out every cell in my already barren bean of a brain to do so. One thing I always strive for is to give the audience JUST WHAT THEY'RE EXPECTING, and after some of the things I've written inna past boy are they expecting a whole stinkin' lot, or at least enough that'll really get me in trouble with someone in these oh-so free speech for thee but not for me as Nat Hentoff usedta say days!
Given that this is my blog and like, I'm s'posed to blab on about whatever it is that I'm s'posed toi blab on about in these things as if any of you readers really give a fig, I guess I better get started. The political scene? Great, the best shape it's been in at least since Grover Cleveland or maybe even Calvin Coolidge was president. It could be a tad better but then again Spiro Agnew isn't alive anymore but I ain't complainin' with THE NEXT BEST THING in charge. The tee-vee situation is also palatable now that I get to watch JACK BENNY almost every day. Comics ain't that hot tho---where once buying a comic book for a dime was your best in entertainment value bet the last forty years have been one giant slide into nada to the point where both  DC and Marvel have to depend on big-budget moom pitchers to make their moolah given that the magazine medium has been shot to all heck (as Bill Shute reminded us recently). And other'n for those classic NANCY and PEANUTS strips from a day gone by well, if any of you can manage to squeeze a chuckle or two outta RHYMES WITH ORANGE then you'd probably laugh at the disaster scene of your choice! Even the old standbys like BEETLE BAILEY, BLONDIE and DENNIS THE MENACE lack their old reason for gag-inducing. And as for music'll be reading a lot more about that as this blog rolls on (and on...).
Something REALLY WEIRD musta happ'd on this blog last Wednesday. For some at-this-time inexplicable reason, around ten or eleven AM  the readership for this blog SPIKED really high, like to about 800/900 more readers than BLOG TO COMM usually handles which is a might upturn indeed! Dunno what the reason for this sudden rise in communicants was, but I tried googling things like "Dave Lang dies in marsupial bestiality mishap" and "Jay Hinman suicide after Flesheaters collection burned in house fire" to see if such incidents spurred on a mad dash to this blog but found nary a thing. Guess it's just gonna remain one of those mysteries. Maybe I shoulda typed in "How NOT to put a blog together"---yeah, I'm sure that woulda drawn millyuns to this site!
LATE BREAKING NEWS! (ACCORDING TO BOB FORWARD)-RIP Ron Sweed, alias THE GHOUL! Fuzzy screened late-night Saturdays just ain't gonna be the same again (even if I was more apt to try tuning in OLD MOVIES, THE GOLDEN ERA on channel 25!).
As you will see, there have been a few recordings that were worthy enough to merit mention in this week's post. And given just how hard it has been comin' across the jamz here on the verge of what I will call THE BORING TWENTIES  that is more'n just an idle feat we're talkin' about. The recent Paul McGarry package helped, and who knows, maybe I will get hold of some of those Bob Forward burns even though they do slip into the pile soooo easily (maybe if he repro'd the covers with track listings like Paul and Bill do...that'd help!). An' since I'm typing this paragraph a good week in advance who knows what new wonders will grace my ears before this post greets your very eyes? (One week later...) not as big a selection as I woulda hoped, but eh! Thanks to Bill, Paul, Feeding Tube and the Glorias Navales people for their offerings which did pump up this post at least a wee bit. Yeah there's nothing here that's gonna change the course of (what's left of) music as we used to know it, but I'll betcha that ten million years from now people will look back at this era in time...and wonder how we all managed to survive without automatic butt cleaners and smegma annihilators. As far as music is concerned, they're just gonna mutter one big hefty "EH!"
AND HERE'S WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO WHILE SLAPPING THIS WEEK'S POST TOGETHER!: Doug Brockie's Infinity-THE HIGH COUNCIL OF INTERGALACTIC BLUES CD (Arcturus)- hard edged neo-Hendrix/Winters rock from a quick flash New York City act that had the smarts to re-do their schtick a good fifteen or so years after their brief sweep of the local clubs; Kraftwerk-LIVE '70/'71 4-CD-r set-early rockin' neo-NEU! sides showing off that Velvet Underground influence even I'm embarrassed to mention (especially given all the sappy lip service the VU's got since the advent of amerindie snooze-talents); Suicide-the mid-seventies demo disque that came with the reissue of their second album (Blast First Records)-along with the Electric Eels, Throbbing Gristle and v. early Patti Smith proof of rock 'n roll's ability to become the aural equivalent of Burroughian prose or Chris Burden body-art era performance; MAX'S KANSAS CITY 1976 AND BEYOND (Jungle Records)-I dunno, but it sure made good backdrop while re-readin' Kris Needs' Suicide book---a worthy document of a time when the planets were aligned right for once in our lives; Can-MONSTER MOVIE (Spoon Records)-an obvious fave; Brian Sands on the WKSU-FM INDUSTRIAL WASTELAND program in 1980-you never missed him, but I still do!; THE FUGS FIRST ALBUM CD (Fugs Records)-primitive trash that appeals to me now even more than it did when I first heard it in 1977!; and not much else.

Sea Moss-BIDET DREAMING LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Electronic duo who make quite a mooshed up racket that sends me back to the days when such racketeers were more'n par for the course when it came to this sorta soundstew.  Of course I've never dreamed of a bidet in my life, but after hearing this I just might be having many a butthole bath dream considerin' how this guy/gal act really knows how to take the chintziest electronic gear and make quite a wail with it. Unintelligible female vocals duke it out with sound squeal and banging drums....quite an experience that should remind some of you of the kinda things you could find whilst searching through the pages of everything from OP to SOUND CHOICE...once you passed over David Ciaffardini's inane prattle that is.

Straight outta Chile comes this hot tamale (ow!) of a platter featuring two sides of acoustic repeato-riff music that will intrigue you as much as it will hypnotize with its fragile drone. Glorias Navales kinda reminds me of the Third Ear Band as their music ebbs and flows in and out of its acoustic groove. Some of you regular readers (OK,irrregular ones at that) might not quite cozy up to this disc thinkin' it's nothing but whole wheat down home hippie folk noodling (it isn't, but who knows what goes on in your minds) but one thing can't be argued---as far as South Amerigan-bred sounds go it sure beats "El Condor Pasta" to all heck!

This hubby/wife fronted Detroit punk rock band always seems to get swept under the rug when it comes to various seventies look backs, but this collection of studio and live rarities really does drive home that seventies message (regarding rock 'n roll as a sharp stick aimed at the eye of everyone you HATE) that only the better groups of the era could pull off w/o looking stupid. Coulda used more info on these guys (and gal) but the package is mighty slim...however they make up for it with a powerful post-Stooge pounce that sure reminds me about what this punk rock thing was s'posed to be before the peace and love through repression contingent moved in on it.

Head-on high energy rock 'n roll that makes me glad I'm a warm blooded mammal. The Dee-Vee-Dee is hotcha as well featuring clips from some relatively recent reunion shows (hubby now bald but the gal still has some oomph to her!) that capture old ideals rather beautifully, and it truly is a shame that Flirt have fallen down the rock memory hole while lesser beings from that time and space are now retrospectively praised as the end all.
Chocolate Watchband-THIS IS MY VOICE CD-r burn (originally on Dirty Water Records)

I was surprised in the fact that these guys could put out a halfway decent platter despite Dave Aguilar not sounding like Mick Jagger anymore and the fact that these guys are old enough to give Methuselah a run for the money! The cover versions of old faves weren't really needed all that much...I mean, could you stand to hear another version of Zappa's "Trouble Every Day" even though the Watchband had the good sense to leave out that "I'm not black, but there's a whole lots of times I wish I could say I'm not white" line---ech! Still a rather solid, if non Chocolate Watchband sounding album that should go down about as smoothly as any other revival/retro-sixties aggregation long gone from the original taproot of it all.
Madman Sam-NOTHING IN THE CLOUDS BUT RAIN CD-r burn (originally on What in Sam Hell Productions)

With all this talk about cultural appropriation goin' on these days I'm surprised that there aren't any race-conscious types bangin' down the door tryin' to get this Madman Sam's bloozified scalp. But then again the folk that Sam plays on this platter have been appropriated by non-white people for quite a long time now, so maybe it's whitey music after all. Sorta like Sam Phillips looking for that white guy who can sing like a black guy tryin' to sing like a white guy or whatever that was. If ya like yr music rootzy 'n all this might appeal to you, but frankly I've heard too much of it too often so like, maybe I'll pass (out) this time.
Various Artists-LE BEAT BESPOKE VOL. 1 CD-r burn (originally on Discotheque Records)

This 'un takes me more back to the plastic boots, Twiggy and miniskirts portion of the sixties than it does the GOOD STUFF. But it still has enough rock and imitation soul punch to it to be spared the trash can...highlights include Ola and the Janglers' sex-change ditty (well, I interpreted it that way!) "No No No", Plastic Penny with future Elton John drummer Nigel Olsson (feh!) and future Troggs bassist Tony Murray (yay!) and future somethingorother Phil Wainman's "Going Going Gone". Ain't bad, really.
Various Artists-ACTION PAINTED SOUL TRAIN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

I'm a li'l too late or way too early with the Christmas-themed cover, but this selection still fits in with the BTC credo whether the weather outside be frightful or not. Ya kinda know what to expect with these Bill burns and this 'un's got more'n enough to expect from just about everything from the almost-there psychedelia of Today's Special, early-sixties wimp rock doofed up to beautiful expectations ("Little Orange Annie"), the Ravonettes inserting at least some excitement into post-twentieth century rock, hotcha horn-soul rock that sounds a whole lot better'n the disco that followed (Sound Experience) and loads more.

Speaking of horns, the promo platter plugging the Varitone Optimatic saxophone enhancer is something that makes me wish the thing got out more than it did...I mean, could you imagine what Steve Mackay woulda sounded like in the Stooges with that? Lots more too from some pretty whacked out punk rock and beer commercials to old time Texaco ads and even more cheapo singles that unfortunately never did make it big. Sure better 'n listening to erectile dysfunction ads, and makes you less conscious of your own shortcomings.
Do any of you oldtimers remember Joe Penner and his catchphrase "WANNA BUY A DUCK?" Well, any of you newtimers out there remember MY catchphrase "WANNA BUY A FANZINE???" If not, well, here it is again!