Saturday, June 22, 2019

It doesn't take much to please me. Just gimme a back of Cheetos (fried to a crackly crunch) and a glass of Hawaiian Punch and I'm in suburban slob heaven. It also helps if there's something great onna tube like an old Hanna Barbera cartoon (hey Boomerang, what's wrong with ya???) or some soul-stirring music on the boom box or what passes for my stereo system (wouldja believe I NEVER owned a proper stereo with big speakers and an amplifier 'n all that?---it was always a turntable run through a beat up boom box or something even more primitive when it came to living high off the hog on depression-era wages for me!). But like Ted Berrigan once said, I'm doin' all right!

Thankfully the big joy in my life these days is watching ROUTE 66 reruns being shown via FETV! Yeah, I sure wish they were being shown on a local tee-vee station for FREE 'n all, but at this late date in life (mine, at least!) why should I complain! Anyway, it's sure a hoot (and brings back old memories of the days when Chevrolet would sponsor the show what with those commercials showing the new models placed upon some desert plateaus in a most striking way) what with Martin Milner and George Maharis drivin' about from place to place and getting into all sortsa early-sixties type adventures without succumbing to that whole EASY RIDER looking for Ameriga headiness that eventually seeped its way into television programming as the years rolled by.

These hold up a whole lot better'n any of your doubters would expect. In fact, if I were well-versed in various eighties-nineties hour long dramas (wouldja believe the last one I saw was an episode of ST. ELSEWHERE or two? ---and that was bad enough!) I'd say the ROUTE 66 holds up much better'n any of those would had I been aware enough to judge them. These episodes are sleek, to-the-point and like NAKED CITY or BEN CASEY (two series they oughta bring back and like now!) you can easily get sucked in because even though this is all tee-vee and make-believe, these shows seem to fit into life the way YOU see it more'n all the overly preachy and sanctimonious programming these past few decades ever could. It's sure great to know that television programmers and advertisers were aware that there were people living in between New York City and Los Angeles back then.

Still awaiting the Youngstown Ohio one with Darrin McGavin...that should bring back a few memories of turdler-era trips back when all the mills were up and runnin' and given the sounds and billowing smoke that area could be a rather scary place for a three-year-old!
As yew-kan-cee, there are quite a few goodies for us all to slip into this week, and I ever tried my best to correct all the typos which that anal retentive nitpicker Brad Kohler seems to spot out with little if any effort! I guess goin' through the corn and picking out all the caterpillars at Cash Market will do that to a guy. Anyhoo, enjoy! Thanks again go to Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and Feeding Tube for the freebees, and to me for having a pair of ears and something substantial in between 'em to discern what is goin' on within those grooves!

Mozzaleum-DARK RIDE LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Mozzaleum? Isn't that the place where all dead pizzas go??? All funnin' aside, this is yet another fear-packed Feeding Tube record, ever so tastefully packaged (with beautiful orange puke vinyl) featuring some of that sonically jacked off music that this label is particularly known for. Sometimes I am reminded of a pretty messed up soundtrack to a moom pitcher that might be a little too weird for my tastes, while others have a sorta rock chug with electronic distortions that would madden the most serene of STEREO REVIEW subscribers in their knotty pine dens. It is hard to put into letters exactly how fringe on one hand yet straightforward rock-y this effort more certainly is.  If you go for the freakier aspects of that newer-than-new under-the-underground style of soundscapading well, you probably wore your copy out by now!
Nothing On Semble-CORNERS AND THEIR PLACES cassette (Feeding Tube Records)

It would be fitting that this effort was released on cassette. After all, everything you can say about Nothing On Semble seems to be based in that decade of decades we know as the seventies what with the archaic electronic keyboards and the overall performance which sounds like just about anyone USA's bedroom recordings that just happened to be heard outside of their own small clique. It ain't exactly the kinda progressive rock spew that was prevalent then, but some of you might think so what with the neo-Floydian chording, import bin classical touches and occasional buzzes that'll have you thinking krautrock before you even realize it.

Actually it's much better'n that because even with the mellotron strings and ARP intrusions there seems to be less'n the usual Yes-styled goop to contend with. It does come off headier than the English classical schmooze which is undoubtedly why this works a whole lot better on my system. Maybe even like Floyd right after Syd got the boot. But those vocals...sheesh!
The Plastic People of the Universe-TROUBLE EVERY DAY CD (Globus Music, Czech Republic)

I know most of you readers could care one whit, but I have TREMENDOUS RESPECT for the Plastic People and other under-the-underground Czech rockers not only for their ability to play rock 'n roll as it was meant to be in the early-seventies, but also for standing up to the EVIL powers that be when it mattered most. Yes, the Plastic People were fighting the GOOD CAUSE and suffering tremendously for doing so under circumstances that would have most of you pampered pudendas runnin' home to mama wif big baby tears in your eyes if Big Government threatened you in the same way.

Here they are in concert twixt 1971 and 1977 doing nothing but covers, eight by the Velvets, three by the Fugs and one by Zappa, and boy do they do 'em PROUD! True you can laff at the unintentional lyrical bloopers and jumble ups but if you do you are nothing but a SNOB no better'n those prog wags who complained that the Kingsmen couldn't play their instruments.

Overall the performances are top notch, about as good as any local Amerigan band from the same time or maybe  even better, and the sound is surprisingly clear as well in case you're a stickler for such things being the sophisticated one you mostcertainly are. You don't just get the feeling that you are listening to something clandestine, but something that can transcend time, age, maybe even your mentality and bring back all those early latent memories of just why you chose to listen to rock 'n roll for your own personal soundtrack instead of as for mere backdrop to something less stimulating. Rock As A Way of Life indeed!

 Extra kudos go to vocalist Paul Wilson for getting the perfect Lou Reed inflections on "Sweet Jane" and "Some Kinda Love", something you never did hear those acoustic mimeographed missies with their heavy duty makeup get down pat.
Various Artists-THE KNIGHTS OF FUZZ --- THE GARAGE AND PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC EXPLOSION, 1980-2000 CD-r burn (originally on None Records)

Remember back when it seemed that each and every rock 'n roll revved fanzine of the eighties devoted more'n just a few lines to the up-and-comin' garage band revival? Well, considerin' what little else was goin' on during those MTV-drenched days what else would you expect! This collection of various tracks from the Voxx Records archives and elsewhere proves that the entire movement was a whole lot more'n just cheap copycat approached to past accomplishments...much of this holds up rather well even here in the dark reaches of the late-teens and even those acts we thought a little too pretentious with their Sean Bonniwell poses sure sound a whole lot PURER that I originally believed. Maybe it's time I gather up all those old promos that are wasting about in the collection and give 'em a real run through one of these days! Yeah...RIGHT!!!
Oscar and the Majestics-NO CHANCE BABY CD-r burn (originally on Sundazed Records)

I know...even when """""I""""" think of Gary Indiana I think of that one family with the slavedriver father and the whole slew of children who were terrified into becoming one of the bigger music sensations (for worse or worse-r) o'er the past few decades. But there was more to Gary Indiana such as this group whose boffo local singles (and more) were collected on this neeto disque much to the satisfaction of any true six-oh collector and aficionado. Oscar and the Majestics had that '66 pounce down pretty good---and true some wags might consider their entire reason for existence to be mere downer groove tones that most every other batch of high stool sophomores were layin' down at the time, but I find these guys bared-wire intense enough for my own tastes when their teenbo dander gets rowled up enough. Just don't try chucklin' when you hear the background vocals on "I Can't Explain"!
Waylon Speed-HORSESHOES AND HAND GRENADES CD-r burn (originally on Crow on Ten Records)

More post-Byrds/Burritos-styled country and western-tinged rock 'n roll that, in this case, sounds rather authentico yet leaves this soul a li'l bit more'n addled. I'm sure that more'na few students of the form could wax eloquent (or wax bikini lines for that matter) over this and while I find the numbers snappy and quite well crafted I gotta say that I don't think this one quite measures up to previous country-unto-rock and vice-versa efforts from past practitioners like Gram Parsons on down. Well, at least it beats all holy heck outta the Eagles and for that Waylon Speed ought to get ALL THE GOLD STARS IN THE WORLD!!!

(Note to Paul who sent this---are the final tracks on this disque Waylon Speed or a totally unrelated halfway-decent hard rock act? Those instrumentals sound rather non-country if ya ask me and like, some of it is pretty good in its own dull thud way.)
Frolk Haven-AT THE APEX OF HIGH CD-r burn

Future Police drummer Stewart Copeland's presence on this self-produced spin better not deter you from hearing this, for this album is just about everything I go for as far as home-made neo-jazz avant rock music goes! Low fidelity free splats of sound give way to more than halfway decent riff rock that has the same self-produced feel as the White Light album with its stilted yet driving crunch of an approach. It sounds exactly like what I would imagine a buncha kids with the instruments and the money not forgetting the hard into the whole under-the-underground mindset to have put out back 1973 way, to little or no huzzahs of course. After hearing it you'll wonder why it went from this to "Don't Stand So Close To Me" within the span of a good seven years.
Various Artists-EASTSIDE STRANGER JUDGE DEL-SATIN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

If Bill were in my presence he'd get a nice swift kick inna pants for slapping on that adolescent art project music known as "Unrest, Work & Play" (Beefheart would weep!) but the Paul Revere and the Raiders "Judge" ad was swell as were the Eastside Kids who unfortunately did not have Scruno in their ranks at the time. The skiffle thing and Monkees HEAD ad didn't quite fit in with my mood while the Scabs' punk thing had some good imitation of the biggies' spirit but, as expected, was done better before. Overall (and that includes the early-sixties gal singer flop) it passes the mustard, but I dunno if I'd put any on my sausage sandwich.
I've been trying to unload these BLACK TO COMM back issues for a longer time than you can imagine, and you can just bet your own bottom buck that you don't have all of the thoughtful, insightful and downright entertaining issues of this mag that you need in your collection! Instead of betting that bottom dollar, how about sending it in to me (along with a few more bottom dollars!) for some of these award-losing and generally scorned mags that, given the Bizarro Rock World we live in, proves they're good!

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