Saturday, December 14, 2019


Just another visit with my old friends, who seem a whole lot more faithful than any of my NEW friends that's for sure!

The Electric Prunes-"I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night"/"Luvvin" (Radar Records, England)

I gotta admit that I really liked those late-seventies Radar reissues featurin' a whole slew of sixties-era mid-Amerigan "Nuggets" as it only proved that there was a solid connection between alla those low-wattage AM radio favorites of the past and the new breed of hard-edged rock 'n roll that was comin' out during those punked out days. And wonder of wonders the Electric Prunes even got the Radar treatment with this reish of their classic hit that still sounds as "hip" and "with it" as it did when I first heard it on some car radio blastin' all across the neighborhood. I still wish I picked this 'un up when I saw it at the old Drome way back when, but what can a feller do when he only has fifty-five cents in his pocket? Those depression-era wages!!!
The Box Tops-"Cry Like a Baby"/"The Letter" (Stiff Records, England)

What goes for Radar also goes double for Stiff, and the fact that they had the smarts to re-release these two gigantic Box Tops hits proves that they too knew there sure was a connection between the snat pop of the sixties and the late-seventies stew that Stiff made their big bux with. Nice sleeve (complete with important Box Top facts 'n fancies on the backside) houses a double-sided whammy that sounds so good in analog to the point where I don't ever wanna listen to my sixties hit collections with 'em on anymore. And considering just how popular Alex Chilton was on the cooler than underground scene at the time this was released it makes all the more sense.
Shakin' Stevens and the Sunsets-FRANTIC EP (Skydog Records, France)

Never knew about this Skydog release which I'm positive predates the rash of singles that label would dump on the newer than gnu wave market for the next few years. From '75, this platter has Stevens and band rompin' through material both familiar and not, the latter including a "death rock" number which is nothing but a re-do of "Tell Laura I Love Her".  But what a re-do it is! Totally straight-ahead Welsh-bred rockabilly that should even appeal to the purists in the field. Interesting aside---didja know that Stevens was and perhaps remains a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain?
Lou Reed-"You're Driving Me Insane"/"Cycle Annie: (Impossible Records, France)

Another one circulated by the fine folk at Skydog Records in order to cash in on the big time rock 'n roll rebellion of the late-seventies. Lou's Pickwick period is once again brought to the forefront with two sides taken off the infamous SOUNDSVILLE album which you coulda picked up at the flea market for fifty cents at the time 'stead of paying the inflated import prices for this single. Still, a powerful slice of pre-Velvets Lou back when it really didn't matter how much of a sick twisted pervo he was and perhaps remained throughout his life. (I mean, I really did think he was going to ask for a priest during his final days just like Oscar Wilde did...they just don't make decadents like they used to these days!)
The Paniks-"I Can Beat Him Up"/"Playin' Games" (20th-Century-Fox Records)

Bill burned me the a-side to this quite awhile back so's I thought I'd return to my original copy to revisit old sounds or something like that. The a-side's Superman vs. Batman theme obviously dates it and so does the comedic garage band ramp up, but so what since ya gotta admit that 1966 was one year that most of us smarter people wouldn't mind being stuck in eternally! The flip's an instrumental with a rhumba kinda beat that sends this record back to 1962. For some reason it reminded me of "El Watusi" without the Fidel Castro guy talking through it. Too bad it flopped about, but what would you expect with a label like 20th-Century-Fox!
Patti Smith-"Brian Jones", "Stockinged Feet", "Jesus Christ" one-sided EP (blank label bootleg)

It's finally been discovered that these three track were actually recorded by Patti and Lenny Kaye while opening for the New York Dolls at Max's Kansas City in 1973. I can't locate the exact date given my limited resources, but according to a youtube link (where you can pick this up for FREE!!!!!) Patti bombed the first night with the Doll's crowd so she asked Lenny to assist her the next one. The results are pure high energy with Lenny sounding like a one-man interpretation of the early Velvet Underground at their Warhol soundtrack best as Patti spews out the usual goo-goo-muck she made her shorts-skiddin' career with. In some ways this reminds me of "It Was a Pleasure Then".  I still can't believe that Kaye did the music all by himself...there just hadda be someone else there adding even more caterwauling ax sounds into the mix!
Third Rail-"Rondey Rush"/"Sweet Jane" (Rat Records)

The first of many (all right...three) Third Rail releases which I hope will be stuck together in a massive collection complete with various compilation tracks, ne'er before heard material and perhaps a nifty booklet with pictures. "Rush" really pounds the thumper what with singer Richard Nolan's affected fey yet driving vocals merged against the band's neo-Blue Oyster Cult-ish (at their early best) roar, while their interpretation of the Velvet Underground classic undoubtedly runs rings around that one Brad Kohler heard some over-makeup'd gal singing at an open mike. If you still cherish all of the under-the-underground energy that 1975-6 begat this will stir something deep inside you, kinda making ya wonder why punk hadda leave this plain and head off for directions that just didn't zone you the way they shoulda!
Third Rail-"It's Over Now"/"Dark Ages" (Spoonfed Records)

Two years after the above hit the punk racks this blue-vinyl followup appeared, also showcasing the (by this time) "new" Rail's drive which fortunately varied little from the original version of the group's all-around thrust. In many ways this could have been a commercial surprise only by the time this came out Ameriga was too brain dead from the sappy influx of calculated stylings on the FM band! And forget the AM with all those yacht "rockers" and disco doldrums in the forefront as if the pop revival of the early-seventies had never happened. Big kudos to the band for ripping off the Electric Prunes' "I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night" on the flip!
Dredd Foole and the Din-SONGS IN HEAT ("Sanctuary"/"So Tough") (Religious Records)

There are quite a few similarities between Foole/Din and the Third Rail, some of 'em being that both emanated from the Boston area and were led by older than you'd expect guys with a fluctuating group of backup musicians. Their re-making/re-modeling of various Velvets/Stooges aspects also figures in heavily. Oh yeah, and both groups are woefully under-represented in the reissue department and cry out for a proper showcase of their music which might just influence young 'uns out there to carry on in the proud tradition.

This debut has the Mission of Burma guys backing Foole on a couple of long tracks (this plays 33) which fit into that whole FUSION/VIBRATIONS/Boston Tea Party cult of the Velvet Underground that overtook the local rock scene  Aerosmith and the band bearing the city's name notwithstanding. Foole howls like a crazed imbecile as the Burma guys crank out an even more primitive than you could imagine THUD complete with Maureen Tucker drums (Peter Prescott on "drum and cymbal") and distortion perhaps caused more by the rather low-fidelity sound quality than the instruments themselves.

Given that it was recorded in early '82 this does qualify for late-slip in on the whole '64-'81 era of rock as trash as art that began around the time of "Surfin' Bird" and died along with Lester Bangs. The "Sister Ray" coda on "Sanctuary" also slips in just under the wire for if Foole were to have pulled that off even a year later it would have been mere amerindie piddle. As usual, this makes me want to hear MUCH more and I do hope some entrepreneurs out there do take as a hint.
The Kinks-"Lola"/"Mindless Child of Motherhood" (Reprise Records)

Still packs that punch a good fortysome years after I first heard this and was almost as totally knocked out as I was the first time I listened to "Bang a Gong". I'm sure glad that there were songs like this for me to listen to back when I was a young and impressionable lad who didn't understand the whole namby-pamby decasexual meaning of "Lola", but that didn't really matter because I was too dumb to understand things like s-x even if it was spelled out for me. The flip is magnificent with its typical Kinks flourishes and should have also been promoted because hey, when it came to radio we sure needed a whole lot more Kinks and a whole lot less Chicago!
Pavement-( SLAY TRACKS, 1933 - 1969  ) EP (Treble Kicker Records)

Later records didn't come off quite as good, but this debut from Pavement is a winner as far as a whole lotta things that I like in rock 'n roll music go! Low fidelity, strident Velvet guitars, trash performance, basement-level brouhaha. This sounds as if it could have been some embryonic workings of an unknown bunch of high school twats circa. 1976 trying to crank out their own vision regarding what had been happening in various hotspots across the globe at about the same time. Brad Kohler hates them, but then again do you have to hate Pavement just because Ann Powers likes them?
The Mutants-"So American"/"Piece O' Shit" (FTM Records)

These guys were around back when John Sinclair and the MC5 were still ruling the local scene and stayed around for quite some time. This, their first disc from that magical year of 1977, shows the Mutants to have been steady enough hard pop rockers with perhaps too much of a giddiness to 'em. I don't mind that at all, and this platter does affect me the same way many of these self-produced efforts did back when there really was so much to choose from. Does anyone have that 1972-era live show that was floating around on various lists back during the glory days of cassette trading?
The Mutants-"I Say Yeah"/"Cafe Au Lait" (FTM Records)

More Detroit Rock humor from these guys with "Cafe" being a weird saga of French romance or something like that complete with a Peppy Le Pew impression. I didn't find myself laughing over this the way I would a busload of orphans getting hit by a train, but it does fit in swell with the group's entire spiritual makeup. "Yeah" is more funny hard pop that kinda makes me wonder if I should actually pay the sixty or so bucks people are asking for the early-eighties Mutants mini-LP/maxi-EP on ebay. And unless you croak and will me all your hard-begged moolah the answer is "nein"!
Crawlspace-SILENT INVISIBLE CONVERSATION EP (Grown Up Wrong Records, Australia)

Crawlspace has been through so many configurations and aural twisto-changeos it's hard to rememeber what these guys sounded like back when they were a more conventional rock 'n roll aggregation. On this classic slab the original manifestation of the group rocks on like most any true to the rock 'n roll core acts who were reduced to releasing their own platters during the eighties and nineties...straightforward hard-edged attack with little regard for alla those things that were to make hit records but so what! Eddie Flowers' warbling fits in swell with the entire teenage hard rock approach and although the cover of the Can classic on the flipster doesn't measure up to the original it still beats each and every krautrock homage I've managed to hear these past few years!
Fox Pass-"Prized Possession"/"I Believed" (Paradise Records)
Fox Pass got a bit of fanzine press thanks to this 1976 single, but if they weren't part of the rising Boston underground scene I don't think too many would have noticed. Fortunately they were in the right place at the right time, plus a few thousand kids hungerin' for real life rock 'n roll didn't hurt any. Still I find this record a little too much on the neo-commercial side, sounding as if group leader Jon Macey and company were trying for a big record deal with their most e-z on the ears numbers set to wax in the hope that some label bigwig would get around to hearing it. In other words this is good, but has little to differentiate it from the scores of similar minded local groups that were playing out during the mid-seventies. Gotta give their early-00's reunion album another chance one of these days.

I believe this is the second set of demos that Jonh Ingham pressed up, volume one wallowing somewhere else in my collection if memory serves me right. Recorded '77 way, this one shows Billy Brat and company to still have a solid idea of punk prior to its punquing out so to speak---heavy duty hard thud ROCK 'N ROLL (remember them words?) that benefits from the less-than-Windham Hill pressing and already sub-lo-fi recording. It really was a long way from this to "Rebel Yell" and looking back I still gotta say that I didn't know that the Confederate Army took homos!
Eddie and the Hot Rods-"Get Out Of Denver"/"Teenage Depression" (Island Records)

Hmmmm, didn't know that this single rated an Amerigan release but it did. On the plug side Eddie and crew take on a pre-schmalz Bob Segar tune that's bound to get the chest pumpin' and the adrenaline rushin'. Of course it wouldn't have been a was just too good to have been one considerin' the spaced state of teendom USA in that bicentennial year. Flipster's from the debut LP and mighta made a better plug side that coulda hit on the fringes of the charts the way Thin Lizzy did. But then again' ya know I'm dreamin' on considering what turds kids were back then and remain for that matter. It's funny to think that music like this was considered unlistenable trash by most of the stoops I used to know, but then again next to those a-holes most Special Ed kids you see would come off like Dilton Doiley!
The New York Dolls-REHEARSAL & LIVE bootleg EP (no label)

Seven-inch bootlegs were flooding the mail order lists of the eighties and nineties and it's not hard to see why given their cheap and exciting aura. The rehearsal side sounds typically bootleg muddy yet still rather high quality enough for HOT WACKS to have rated it an "EX", while the live from somewhere in Canada tracks have an FM feel to 'em that makes me wonder exactly what kinda station woulda broadcast the Dolls live inna first place! Or broadcast them at all for that matter. Like I once said, records like these are the real compact disques, cramming some mighty hotcha listening at'cha within the space of a seven-inch plastic platter!
Ralph Nielsen and the Chancellors-"Scream"/"Never, Not Again"; "Little Demon" EP (Crypt Records)

By-now ancient re-release of a coupla classics from the New Jersey garage band scene circa. 1961. The a-side lives up to its wild BACK FROM THE GRAVE image what with the continuing wall of screams and the frantic pace that Nielsen puts the band through. If this 'un came on the radio when I was but a mere turdler some adult in the room woulda quickly snapped it off complete with a whole load of complaints about us kids listening to such trash. The tracks on the other side include one previously unreleased '59 effort with a tad Everly Brothers feel to it as well as the equally '59-ish "Little Demon" that only goes to prove that when everyone else was seemingly getting into the whole "Day The Music Died" dilemma which only the Beatles could save us from there were some spirits out there keeping the flame alive!
Various Artists-1st 60s SURF E.P. (Moxie Records)

I'm positive these tracks have since been reissued complete with crystal clear sound and stellar liner notes, but dagnabbit if these old Moxie releases just don't have their own flat-sounding charm to 'em! Six tracks total on 33 rpm that present to us surf music long before it toppled over into sunshine rock and was still heavily influenced by the instrumental rock onslaught of the '58/'59 season. Personal fave of the batch has gotta be Elliot Ingber and the Gamblers' "LSD - 25" which proves that Kim Fowley was onto major teenage trends long before they even a glint in a load of post-pubescent already glazed eyeballs.
Billy Synth-HERE & THERE EP  (Cracked Records)

Ooooh, clear yellow vinyl doesn't help make this sub-basement electronic trash rock any less gnarly for you early-eighties cheap sixties reissue guys who probably still hold your Metro Music catalogs firmly pressed to your oversized manboobs. For those of you who remember the early sprouts of garageian revival back '79 way Synth will be a familiar name what with his records both solo and with the Turn Ups, not forgetting the PSYCHEDELIC UNKNOWNS series of EPs that first gave us a taste of many a classic self released garage band side that are now considered tru blu classix. Crazed neo punk rock trash gratification that thankfully lowers the rock 'n roll credo to a more suburban slob appeal like an old UHF station that showed GILLIGAN'S ISLAND for the last fifty years.You'll love the Captain Groovy Bubblegum Army track which makes me glad SOMEONE out there remembered.
The Left Banke-"Pretty Ballerina"/"Lazy Day" (Smash Records)

Its the other Left Banke hit that didn't make it as big as "Walk Away Renee", but that doesn't mean it was any less of a wowzer when it came to 14-year-old gals who melted over things like this. "Ballerina" remains a radio-worthy AM Baroque rocker that captures the group in an even more grandiose state than on "Renee", but I prefer the other side which is one tension-packed rock 'n roller that once again serves to remind us all of just how much of a boffo year 1966 was for those whose ears were attuned to the teenbo music wavelength. You can probably still find their essential debut album on-line for free somewhere and downloading it might just do yourself a whole lot better than downloading yourself to some of those free pix that seem to pop up on the internet even when you're not looking for 'em.
The Phantom-"Love Me"/"Whisper Your Love" (Dot Records)

From what I can gather, all the trouble Dot had with Little Phil and the Nightshadows in the sixties they also had with the Phantom a good ten years earlier! Rockabilly that makes those revivalists of the eighties sound like fragile art rock practitioners complete with a total pounce that even Elvis would have feared to use. Pat Boone must have been putting something in his milk if he actually did recommend this guy to his label bosses!
Nick Lowe-BOWI EP (Stiff Records, England)

It's the yellow vinyl one that was popping up in a whole load of bigtime legit record shops back 1978 way. The same shops where I bought the Ian Dury, X-Ray Spex and Deviants seven-inchers that were displayed alongside it. And yes, this spinner still packs a good power pop wallop forty years later and I can understand just what the hubbub was about even if that whole Stiff thing seemed to fizzle out once the eighties got in gear. It all really does capture a whole load of late-seventies promise that the suddenly AOR formatted FM stations just couldn't handle (tho WMMS gave it the old gotta look hip try even if Peter Laughner wasn't around to shame 'em anymore). Reminds me of just how innocent and more or less STUPID a whole lot of us were way back when.
Darryl Hall & John Oates-"Do What You Want, Be What You Are"/"You'll Never Learn" (RCA Victor)

And for this last entry into today's stroonada...well like, how did this one ever get into my collection in the first place! Actually I do know...I "inherited" it and if you'd like to just know who I inherited it from boy would you be surprised! Frankly this ain't as irritating as one would think considering just how worse a lotta the soul and jive during the banner year of 1976 was. Straightforward whitekid take on the not-quite disco scene that kinda works its magic sure reminds us of just why punk rock was so necessary at the time!


MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Oscar Wilde didn't ask for a priest when he was dying any more than Lou did. The godpushers haul out the same bullshit anytime a prominent "enemy" of theirs dies. They did the same thing to Charles Darwin and to Christopher Hitchens. Just total horseshit - don't spread it for them.

Meanwhile another great single came out on Columbus Discount a while back and you should check it out if you missed it. Mike Rep "Donovan's Brain/Ballad of Jim Croce." Jim is "colder than a Frigidaire" if you don't know.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris:

I've always liked your magazine and your blog. I've been a reader since the last century and have purchased most of the issues of Black to Comm's run (leaving myself open to a sales pitch there). You turned me on to great acts I never would have otherwise encountered. Get rid of these recent rancid commenters. They're worse than the Baader Meinhof gang. They might even be that gang. They're obviously fake Antifa types and have nothing to do with the music we like.


Don Broccoli
Hobbiton NJ

Anonymous said...

(((Lou Reed)))

Patti Smith = The Sea Hag

Lola?!? Just imagine – shudder! – the Stig lounging in his dwelling a la Glen or Glenda, reading a magazine and listening to... Lola!


Christopher Stigliano said...

BLOG TO COMM welcomes all sorts of rebuttals and comments no matter how caustic, unless they reflect badly and are defamatory of people associated with the blog other than me. Or me if the blog discusses some private affairs that are frankly none of your business! I figure MoeLarryandJesus has enough of a right to spout his beliefs here as Che Guevara or John Winthrop for that matter, and they are welcome which is more than I can say about these "National Discussions" which usually turn into one-way shaming marathons where the opposition does not get a chance to reply because well, like they're beneath it and deserve wall-to-wall lecturing by their moral superiors.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

I have ALL of the issues of Fud/Black To Comm, so Anonymous can crawl up his own ass and die like the pissant he is. Maybe he can attach a mike to his balls and record the event for posterior, or maybe posterity. Tis the season for such festivities. Feliz Blah-ble-blah. Or he can just stick to his old family traditions and ask Mrs. Broccoli to give him yet another Cleveland Steamer. I don't judge.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Charming, isn't he?

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Just ask my wife. She seems to think so. Meanwhile, Anonymous hasn't touched a woman since he turned 7 and his mother refused to breast feed him any longer. Apparently he was a biter.

Charles Hodgson said...

"Hobbiton" - is that Middle Earth?
Talking about Antifa spassies, "For Adolfs Only" by Edinburgh's The Valves is better than all the records reviewed above, also "Singing In The Showers" by Fun 4 (from the genetically inferior Glasgow), and I recommend both to ML&J (and The House).