Saturday, November 09, 2019

It's sure tough being a suburban slob punk rock fanzine collectin' comic book readin' Dr. Pepper guzzlin' underwear skiddin' sorta guy in the kinda world we have today. But try I must, and I gotta say that I am succeedin' if only because I refuse to expose my precious juices to the offal that one calls MODERN DAY LIVING!!! And it does help when you keep the tee-vee set fixed on old moom pitchers and re-re-reruns of those old shows you've seen ever since you were an embryo but they still have more appeal than alla those rump wranglers and shrub scouts you see around ever did! Hey, who sez that the BLOG TO COMM PHILOSOPHY was piddle next to what Hugh Hefner was pumping out with his mixed up Nietzscheisms a good sixtysome years back!
On the emotional roller coaster of life let's just say that I've evened out. A few weeks back I was way up onna peak thinking about all the good stuff that makes life for me so enjoyable, then I took the plunge and got upset over alla the nasty stuff that is ruining existence for myself if not you. (Hey, I get the idea that most of you tuner-inners enjoy the miasma and dystopian existence we all find ourselves in.) Right now I'm just hangin' on tryin' to get by. Doin' a fairly good job at it as well, much to your derision I surmise.

OF COURSE a healthy influx of great sound stimulation coupled with exciting reading material helped stave off what coulda been another trip to the bouncy room. Always being on the lookout for good rockist writeups and such I actually spent last Saturday AM scouring the internet for some rare Giovanni Dadomo material which I printed up and stapled into my own personal fanzine for late-night reading enjoyment. I know that many of you really couldn't stand this writer cum musician cum drug addict (in fact, Dadomo is the main reason as to why Lindsay Hutton hates dagos!) but I find his various contributions to a number of English publications to be every bit as attuned to the BLOG TO COMM sense of music as that cathartic liberating yet totally foul expression of uptightness! In fact, I would even go out on a limb and say that Dadomo was as good as everyone from Jonh Ingham to Charles Shaar Murray to Nick Kent and the rest of the smart set that was cranking rockscribe fodder in Olde England during the seventies.

Dadomo's various pieces from a 1971 Syd Barrett interview (back before everybody seemed to really care!) to a smattering of writeups on everybody from the Doctors of Madness to Frank Zappa still have the kind of hits-you-STRAIGHT ON vigor that I like in my rockist writings which are in mighty short supply these days. Along with my boxes of old fanzines and such cluttering up my closet (my shoes lie under my bed...I know my priorities) and some hotcha sounds on the little cheapo boom box at chairside (ya think I can AFFORD the megahuge stereo system I've wanted for well over forty years????) I'm sure to be in rockism heaven when I get my jammies on and settle back for some pre-beddy bye reading as the night wiles away!

And as far as that music listening goes I've decided to pull out some Swell Maps for a change. To be more specific the Alive Records releases from quite awhile back. I have a love/hate/indifference relationship with this act...when I first spun the budget Rough Trade double set of rare home recordings and Peel material (WHATEVER HAPPENS NEXT, which for some reason has never been reissued as far as I can tell which is a shame since it captures the group at their rawest) I thought these guys were the logical extension of what the Red Crayola were doing with the Familiar Ugly way back when (a thought that John Platt also hit upon in his COMSTOCK LODE fanzine). However their first album proper just didn't measure up to any special standards at least on my part. By that time it was 1983 (hadda wait until it was cheap, like I used to do with most all my purchases) and the mode of the music was changing into something that didn't appeal to my inner musical gyroscope that tries to keep me on balance. I hit upon their recordings on and off ever since, liking them immensely at one time then having a seething hatred after I would read Jay Hinman write something good about 'em thus ruining the aura for quite a spell. Tonight I'm gonna give 'em another go at it hoping that any of the negativity from past experiences has vanished for good, though I'm not positive that it has. We'll see.

But excited I am as I would have hoped what with the Dadomo material that I picked up for FREE (Rock's Back Pages costs an arm and a leg to acquire and if I ever do re-enlist with them I'm gonna make sure that I do a whole LOT of copying before my subscription runs out) and the Swell Maps to listen to. Might even be inspired to pick up that collection of Snivelling Shits recordings featuring Dadomo even if I thought that Arthur Comics track "Isgodaman?" was kinda off punk kilter not as bad as X-Ray Spex but still kinda eh! Your recommendations, as usual, will be ignored.

When the Dadomo ran out I went back to my fanzine boxes which really did help uplift me in a way that would have made Penelope Playtex proud. For reasons that may seem odd only to you I really do get a spiritual kick reading hard-edged rock screeding whether it be from The Masters or some unknown dodo with a typewriter circa. 1976, and while pouring through these mags I got a charge that really helped electroshock me into feeling like that step up the evolutionary ladder like whatever does come after homo HETERO SUPERIOR???? Reading old issues of PANACHE back when they were sticking pix of Stooges-era Iggy on their cover and actually reviewing Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt albums (which shows they had a whole lotta cheek which the world sure needed more of) really does give me the inner glow that a zillion kreeshna kreeshes could never do! And given how these fanzine guys (at least those with less of a budget than a BACK DOOR MAN or even CAN'T BUY A THRILL) could deliver on a printed version of what OUR ROCK HEROES were doing musically really does amaze me to no end. What's even more mind-expolding is that after reading a whole load of these under-the-underground wonders I don't feel as if my own excursions into crudzine publishing were as crude or as hackneyed as I sometimes remember them to be. Let's just say that fanzines like the ones that used to come out way back when RULE but just try gettin' a few into the palm of yer hands these days!

PS-Played the two Swell Maps platters and found both of them to be exactly what the Doctor Strange ordered. The aforementioned fanzine hype does stand up what with these guys' immersion in sixties rock glory (Velvets, Crayola, Beefheart, Can, Syd...) and then-current punkitude folding together into a style that could appeal to both the old fanzine guard and the snots who were just getting into the stuff via import catalogs. Well, at least I can say it about MOST of this soundstew...the closing instrumental tracks from SWEEP THE DESERT sounded like totally hackneyed early-eighties post-music lost in a clash of middling ideas. IN OTHER WORDS Swell Maps satisfies the softie in me that's wanting to tighten up a whole lot the same way the more driven musics of the sixties and seventies have. Y'know, with their hypnotic repeato-riffs and abilities to take utter noise and make into something that stands as a testament to what rock 'n roll used to mean to more people than the usual "classic rock" snob types would dare admit. After listening to this group I kinda wonder where we went wrong in that trip down life's lonely highway to the point where it doesn't even exist the way we used to know it anymore.
Oh boy, it's review time! Big thanks to Bill, Paul and Guerssen for the raw materials, and an even BIGGER
thanks to me for having my brain discern the sounds concealed within and translating their meaning into words even someone like you could understand!

Lucifer Was-UNDERGROUND AND BEYOND CD (Guerssen Records, Spain)

An early-seventies Norwegian group reunited over a quarter century later to record material written and performed way back when, and the really amazing thing is that after all these years these guys didn't miss a beat! Guitar, bass, drums and two flautists, Lucifer Was do draw various Tullian references what with the flutes and early-seventies hard rock moves but most often they recall a late-sixties just-post psychedelic group heading into early heavy metal territory. The results spew is at least 1970 Vertigo-worthy which makes me wonder how that label could have missed out on a goldmine like this. If only this came out way back when...I'd love to have known what Metal Mike Saunders woulda thought of the thing in the pages of some old PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE!
Eddie Cochran-SESSION MAN CD-r burn (originally on NMC Records)

A variety of musical modes to make the walls of the city shake turn up on this collection of Cochran's sesh work, from straight ahead country twang to gal pop complete with the patented "ooh ooh" backup. Not surprisingly some of it actually sounds like an Eddie Cochran record "proper"! In order to lure in even more buyers this 'un closes out with some songs by Eddie himself including what I believe is a broadcast version of "C'Mon Everybody" and various outtakes that should please more'n a few devotees of late-fifties rock sproutings everywhere. This stuff is probably too "old" for some of you readers and maybe it was for me at one point in time, but now I'd have to say that it sure beats a whole lotta stuffing outta Anastasia Pantsios' Top Ten of Harmonic Hippieness!
THE YANKEES CD-r burn (originally on Bear Family Records, Germany)

Haw! A buncha Germans dress up like Civil War soldiers and do the rock 'n roll thing for the locals who somehow connect the Union Army with early and mid sixties-rock motifs! Of course it works even if that European sterility manages to seep through. Lotsa covers intermingle with cutesy originals sung both in der mater tongue as well as English and it all goes down so perfect that even Himmler would smile. Here I must refrain form further Third Reich references a la "You vill listen und you vill LIKE it!" Sorry, that 'un just slipped out.

Bill slapped this sampling of late-fifties rarities together and for a slap together it holds both thematically and sonicly speaking. The material here fits exactly what one would think of when coming across a local label (in this case from Illinois) with a rock 'n roll (or at least some sort of early youth market) bent...vocal groups and neo-rockabilly rule the roost while Lennie Lacour sounds as if he's trying to take on the who rock 'n roll shebang HIS way and doing a fairly good job at it if I do say so myself. If you think I'm going crazy this following turdbit might prove you right...when I was listening to Denni Alan's "Sixth Solid Baby" and "Turn-A-Bout Date" I thought he was actually singing "Steak Salad Baby" and "Tuna Boat Date"! Kinda reminds me of "She's a Muscular Boy", "Take a Bike Ride Sir" and "Blinded By The Light, She Tore Up Her Douchebag in the Middle of the Night"!
Various Artists-ROVIN DELTA RAMROD REIGN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Hmmm, a pretty glued together well selection of mostly mid-Amerigan local releases with a few surprises like the Rockin' Berries and a smattering of old radio ads stuck here/there. The local releases range from early-sixties teenage basement rock (Valas Craig and the High Counts) to mid-sixties teen club floor-fillers (the Rockin' Ramrods) and even a late-sixties heavy blooze rock take that ain't too Boone's Farmed out (the Triad). Even other goodies manage to take this stubborn fanabla by surprise like the News' "Blue Shoes", which  reminds me of a track that woulda ended up on PRETTIES FOR YOU!  It ain't as cohesive as your everyday runna da mill standard PEBBLES compilation, but if you'd like hearing these real obscurities at least once I'd get Bill to burn you a copy! However I do believe his Cee Dee fryer as conked out for all eternity so tough turds to you.
Just a reminder to those who might care, back issues of BLACK TO COMM are still available and at prices lower than those you will find tryin' to search these out on ebay. Believe me, you will find some good reading in these pages. Of course you will have to do some sifting...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's another 1971 interview with Syd Barrett:

Q: How long have you been playing guitar?

Syd: Hnmmm... Lmmp, brrrrr duh um...

Q: Who influenced your playing initially?

Syd: Gub der uh... Lrrrr... Drool...

Q: What plans do you have for future musical projects?

Syd: Eeeehhhrrrr... Duh...

Q: Well, that concludes our scintillating interview with the great genius, Syd Barrett, a man of vision!