Saturday, November 23, 2019

So howz it by you? It's pretty much the same by me given how resigned I am to living in a kultur that is totally against the whole BTC grain of general fun 'n jamz, but  I ain't givin' up! At least not right now being unfettered by life support machines and all. With things like TOMBSTONE TERRITORY and BAT MASTERSON to watch on Sunday afternoon (screw sports...I mean who wants to see a buncha guys runnin' around with a ball anyway?) why should I wanna end it all in a wash of mooshy self-pity anyway?

But as far as REAL LIFE is turning out the more time I spend in my fantasy the better. Really, it's gotten to the point where I feel like putting a big ARBEIT MACHT FREI sign over the entrance of my workplace its that nerve-grating anymore. So like, who can BLAME me when I come home, slip into my jammies after a hot bath 'n INDULGE myself in music, funtime reading material and maybe take a trip to the tee-vee if something of worth like an old Laurel and Hardy moom pitcher is being shown. And if only more people would think and act like I do would the world be a much better place, and that includes you sophisticated cosmopolitan readers who just happened to chance upon this blog as well!
Dunno about you, but for me the political highlight of the week was prezbait Eric Swalwell supposedly lettin' off a real loud one live on tee-vee proving that maybe he can get the Suburban Slob vote on that raw basis alone. Perhaps so, but when all's over, done and skidded you must admit that if Mayor Pete was on we'd never get to hear it at all.
The pickins do seem slimmer this week, but given the rather tired state of sounds both "musical" and not these past five decades what else would one expect? Especially given the rawther upscale class that this blog exudes! Anyhoo, I had fun slappin' this one together, and in fact I had fun slappin' some of these disques personally when I got done with 'em! Anyway, you bee dee juj as ushall.

Swell Maps-TRAIN OUT OF IT CD (Mute Records)

Although this ain't whatcha'd call the definitive Cee-Dee version of WHATEVER HAPPENS NEXT (only one track from that 'un on here), TRAIN OUT OF IT's got a good heapin' hunkin' selection of rarer'n usual Swell Maps trackage that should remind you exactly of why the late-seventies were a fun time to exist. Single sides, outtakes, side projects and other "ephemera" fill up this shiny platter going from early punkitude to experimental soundcapes all comin' off like the tinkertoy Red Crayola many have pegged these guys to be. Not a bad way to spend sixty-six minutes of your life!
The Snivelling Shits-I CAN'T COME CD (Damaged Goods Records, England)

As with the Swell Maps above, it's sure good hearing localized underground rock of the late-seventies variety that borrows way more from WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT than it does that silly gal with all the plastic jewelry and heavy makeup strumming "Sweet Jane" and yer actually supposed to drop moolah into her open guitar case! Giovanni Dadomo was one of the better of the FIRST WAVE English rockscribes despite what Lindsay Hutton thinks, and although I doubt that this noted junkie represents ALL dagos at least he had some brilliant rock missives launched at us way back when, his 1977 Velvet Underground cover story for SOUNDS being just one of 'em. Great classic repeato-riff rock here including the title track which says way more about appropriating Velvetisms in a proper way than the entire REM output ever did.
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK TO JOHN CASSAVETES[ FACES CD-r burn (originally on Columbia Records)

Wow, now that I've heard the soundtrack album I don't have to go and see that stoopid movie!
Various Artists-BURGER RECORDS TRIBUTE TO WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT CD-r burn (originally on Burger Records)

While the Swell Maps and Snivelling Shits efforts remind us of just how important the spirit of the Velvets hung like phlegm in your lungs across the landscape for a good decade after the group's demise, this platter shows that the legend had since been trashed to the point where just about any doof could ruin even the simplest enough concept of recreating the VU's classic expression of sound as solid blocks of concrete aimed at your skull.

Not that the idea of re-creating WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT was as bad as I would have gandered it to have been way back when, but these acts (like most Velvets aficionados since at least 1981) fail to grasp any of the carnal energy of the original. Hokay, at times those important sparks of sheer creativity do shine through (Gap Dream's "Sister Ray" at first sounds like an early Eno outtake---then you really get sick of it) but once you get down to the dirty gertie of it all this was just an attempt to take one of the bloodiest hemorrhages ever set to vinyl and water it way down for a buncha ignoramuses who really don't know any better.

At one time I had the idea that the Velvets aficionados, few and far between way back when, knew better than to leap into ideas that were so far outside the group's reason for being. Nowadays I don't think ANY Velvets fan can comprehend the carnage, instead focusing on the "cuter" material that back then seemed more like a charming sidestep. When the terminally disgusting Anastasia Pantsios once wrote that the entire legacy of the Velvet Underground boiled down to whiny guys in glasses maybe she was right for once. But she sure as shit smells shouldn't have been!

Various Artists-SURFIN' DRAGGIN' & TWISTIN' CD-r burn (originally on Yellow Label Records)

From the results of this it's OBVIOUS that Nashville hacks copying the hits of the early-sixties as well as a whole buncha misses were way more pleasant than these same jokers lending their talents to cover versions of Ann Murray a good ten or so years later. Back then I'll just BETCHA that these tracks satisfied the cheaper income'd amongst us just as much as the real deals woulda! And for some strange reason I kinda get the feelin' that the Music City 5, Garry Miles and Marty and the Merits never woulda had a real chance makin' it in the record biz, but then again would any of 'em have been recording progressive rock missives or slobberin' pop for sudzed up housewives a decade on? Of course they don't think I'm a TOTAL stoop now do you???
Various Artists-SURFIN' THE SPILLWAY CD-r burn (originally on Happy Hour Records)

I can't believe it, but these relatively modern (and for me modern is anything after 1981!) groups can do the surf rock thing swell enough that it's almost like 1963 and yer a turdler who just can't wait to grow up and spend your teenbo years just like these cool guys did! Only when you got there it was all BILLY JACK and a load of AM blanditude that just spit in the face of all that was once boss and proud. Even more surprising is that the groups who lent their talents to this release were all from Michigan, and I never thought that the Great Lakes were a place one could catch a wave! It sorta gives you faith deep down in the brisket of your eternal being.

Various Artists-BODACIOUS SMOKIE FEVER CLOCK CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Sometimes it takes JUST THE RIGHT THING to boost me outta the everyday humdrums that plague my life to the point where I've come to accept down in the dumpness as being part and parcel to one's existence. Bill sure did a good job of making a mixtape (or mix-Cee-Dee-Are) that can put a song in your heart and a smile on your lips and let's not talk about any appendages at this time.

The Bill Black Combo's "Smokie" Parts 1 & 2 was particularly powerful especially with the use of a toy piano adding a particularly crazed tone to an already fine late-fifties instrumental. Sharon Cash's soul version of "Fever" actually transcended the usual pitfalls that genre could fall into at times, especially when cover versions are performed. Tracks from the likes of the Royal Chanters, the Virginia Trio, the Southern Stars and the Corinthian Singers might make you remain staunch atheists but at least you'll remain so with a stirring feeling in your soul.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE BATCH---the Mighty Accordion Band's rendition of  "The Syncopated Clock", a tune I always used to sing to my cyster when she was having what I would call "tic tock time" and boy did she get mad sayin' I was wrong 'n all! But I sure knew better, that's for sure! (The nose knows!)
Hey, if you really wanna make me sad, and I'm talkin' cry my eyes out blow my head off sad, why don't you purchase one or even more old issues of BLACK TO COMM that I have been trying to pawn off for you for a longer time'n any of us could imagine. C'mon, make my life ugly, dreary and downright miserable---you know you want to do it!

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