Saturday, February 22, 2020

Well I managed to survive the past week, and considering the work load and other emotional stress I hadda endure be thankful that I am still relatively in one piece! Not that the previous seven were total crunchville, but they came pretty close psychotic reaction-wise. Thankfully there are things to do in those oft-dwindling free time hours that sorta make up for all of the bad that has happened, like the beautiful and bountiful stack o' platters that I have received this week (courtesy of Bill Shute and Paul McGarry) not to mention the stellar fact that the original half-hour (and best) episodes of GUNSMOKE are now being shown (two back-to-back) on INSP weeknights at seven, one good reason for a fanabla such as I to pry myself away from the bedside boom box for an hour! I'm so happy that television which is copasetic with my own neural make-up is once again being offered for us suburban slob types who time has forgotten, and even though this means that I have one less hour per day to prepare for these blogposts at least I have a good excuse whenever the blog's overall quality takes a serious nosedive. And these days that's a whole lot more frequently than even I would have ever expected. But ya still luv me, right?
As far as my busier than usual week had gone well, I did receive a package of unsolicited niceties from Bob Forward, a guy who I thought I never would hear from again given people's penchants for being overtly offended ever so slightly an' I don't mean ME! Or something like that, but in this package, besides some Cee-Dee-Are burns which I will review if I like or not if I don't or happen to lose them, he sent me an issue of THE WIRE which is a mag I have heard about for eons but never felt excited enough to buy for mostly monetary reasons. But my interest was piqued....after years of seeing THE WIRE quoted and touted I was expecting a whole lot but boy did I think the thing was dry. Not that there wasn't any information to feed my usually frenzied brain (and I'm sure that somewhere in their history of the English new music experimentalists they've written on the Velvet Underground's influence on that particular scene, a subject that I would love to know a whole lot more about than what's readily available), but otherwise I felt THE WIRE's overall approach and feeling was just as sterile and COLD as most other efforts that try to take a music's excitement and appeal to your musical soul and for wont of a better term flop around like a stomach full of hot peppers and greens in the process.

The cover story on longtime under-the-underground rock faves Wire might have had something to do with my opinion, especially after seeing the elderly members of the group looking even more aged than my grandparents did when I was but a mere sprout. Then I got a good eyeballing of myself in the mirror and you can bet I felt like gulping down a bottle of Geritol before settling down for THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW! Overall, THE WIRE is a mag I don't think I'll be seeking out a subscription should some kid trying to work his way through college comes knocking at my door, but if people give me free copies I might just as well accept them.
Before we begin, I thought I'd link up this recent Jewamongyou post which I thought was rather reflective of a lotta things that I tend to believe, and a post where I think that both MoeLarryandJesus as well as Charles Hodgson could pick up a few interesting facts that nobody seems to believe true but overall redeem everything I've been saying these past few years. You can thank me whenever, guys.

The Flesheaters-NO QUESTIONS ASKED CD (Atavistic Records)

Now that it's safe to listen to the Flesheaters again (all of the negative energy from my enemies who swear by the ravings of Chris D has been dissipated at least somewhat), I'm once again enjoying the classic approach of an act that never did forget what punk rock circa. 1971 (in the best CREEM/fanzine sense) meant while spewing the whole mess into what punk rock circa 1978 meant at least in El Lay. A platter that's been a daily spinner these past few, on this debut ell-pee effort Chris D and band take the whole mad thrash of the El Lay scene and splatters it even more with not only that sanctified voodoo approach so evident on their classic A MINUTE TO PRAY but with enough smart Stooges/Black Pearl/Seeds moves (really, I MEAN it!) that sure sates a sixties-soaked "historian" such as I. Listening to this sure makes me wish that D somehow broke on over the "made it" line thus giving people like me that maybe there was some hope for rock 'n roll once the eighties began fizzling into sonic death.

Oh yeah, this Atavistic reish from way back when also has the TOOTH AND NAIL and EP tracks for the sake of complete pleasure plus some early on demos that only add to the mystical legend of it all.

A perfect tonic for one of those Sundays where all I have goin' for me is sittin' in my room going through boxes of my old friends, mainly my fanzine collection! Actually I'm in hawg heaven when I devote my free time to such frivolities, but when bolstered by this particular set of rare mid-sixties English delicacies the glow is only brighter. Loads of tracks both rare and not are splattered across these shiny platters and although some of 'em are fairly common (like Ambrose Slade's brilliant version of Frank Zappa's "I Ain't Got No Heart") I will say that it's sure great hearing things like a rare side from "Those" (formerly "The Belfast Gypsies" and even before that "Them") and the Liverbirds going on one of their Bo Diddley kicks again. Especially enthralling were the Who doing "Good Lovin'" on the BBC as well as the sparse folk rockers "I Won't Let You Down" by the Richmond from a LIVE AT THE CAVERN album emceed by noted bashed ribber Bob Wooler. And once again I get to hear that all-time obscuro "Bumble Bee" by the Searchers which really wowed me when I first heard it on the 1973???

Aim-FOR THE HIGHEST LP (Blue Thumb Records)

Here's one of those platters that I reckoned was probably a total turd yet had some sorta historical significance to it. That significance being that bassist Patrick O'Connor was a fixture not only in Lenny Kaye's avant rock group Jimmy the Flea but in some of Kaye's various non-Patti Smith endeavors later on. From the looks of that it might seem that Aim had some promise, but one listen'll prove that these guys were just another funky whiteboy outfit doomed to instant flea market bin status, at least until a doof like myself decided to take a chance on the thing in the hopes of hearing yet another Sidewinders or Hackamore Brick. Too bad, because when Aim veers ever so slightly into a halfway-there pop mode they just barely remind me of the Magic Tramps!


Another jive title considering this has some definitely non studio smatterings including "Love In Vain" from THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. Most if not all you've probably heard before and before and before, but it's no pain to give these many takes of "Honky Tonk Women" done up acoustic-like another go at it because they're so good in the way the late-sixties Stones were a fairly potent antidote to some of the sappier moments their rivals were whipping up. It's hard to see from the light of such seventies atrocities as "Angie" and even "Heartbreaker" just what standard bearers the Stones were during those pre-coked out days, but on these under-the-carpet spins you really can.
Los Peyotes-PSYCHOTIC REACTION CD0r burn (originally on ATMC Records, Argentina)

These south of the equator guys do the mid-sixties experience swell enough. In fact they're good enough that they would have rated at least a small paragraph in some late-seventies issue of BOMP...TROUSER PRESS had this come out in the late-seventies! Back then these guys woulda come off huge on this just-post high stool kid's hotcha list considering just how knocked out I was by these various NUGGETS and flea market finds that were plumping up my record collection quite a bit. Nowadays the thrill ain't as hotcha after years of hearing the originals until they were well-saturated in the sponge of my mind, but these Peyotes sure do get the gold stars for their uncanny efforts at re-creating the knocked out raveup experience without coming off like a buncha cutesy poos. And come to think of it, we in the here and now could sure use a whole lot more of that in our bloodstreams 'stead of the sorry rehash that has been pumped into us whether we like it or not!
The Litter-$100 FINE CD (Arf! Arf! Records)

Not so bad second album from the "Action Woman" guys who coulda been another late-sixties bigtime high energy group to contend with had ABC/Probe only knew how to handle 'em. Like the better rock 'n roll to appear during those maybe not-so-dismal days, the Litter take the slow and intense route when necessary yet never fail to crank it out down on all fours when the desire arises. If these guys came from Detroit you can bet that TIME and NEWSWEEK woulda been name dropping 'em in those MC5 articles that appeared just around the same time this effort came out. The early demos are too cuddly gal cute in my opinion but hey, they were just startin' out so who can blame 'em?
Various Artists-TONGUE-TWISTIN NERVOUS SUGAR CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill goes soul music on this various artists collection, really plumbing the depths of trackage that never went anywhere that I know of even though a good portion of this most definitely shoulda. WAIT, right when I'm gettin' into a decidedly urban temperament Bill switches gears and slips in a sixties-vintage ranch house white neo-surf rocker that's titled "Let's Dance" but ain't the Chris Montez favorite! The rest of this seems well-settled between early and mid-sixties white teenage music of varying bents which kinda makes me wonder...Bill, whose side are you on???

All kiddin' aside (somethin' ya GOTTA say nowadays), the best of this batch just happens to be the Marcus Brothers' raucous tribute to the Everlys and cocaine..."Sugar Booger"! A VERY CLOSE SECOND would be the Rambling Dogs' "Eye of the Needle", a true rock 'n roll revelation because I first knew about this group when they were going under their complete name of Elmer City Rambling Dogs if only due to an appearance at CBGB way back 1976 way. Lookin' at the cover of their self-produced album I kinda got the impression that these Dogs'd be a goodtime biker band complete with the heavy-set and balding guy in overalls, but judging from this track they really were a down-to-terra grovelling rock boogie outfit who sorta came off like the missing link between Canned Heat and those early pub-rockin' Stiff Records bands. Perfect for the breed of rocker who was plunking down the dinero for everything from the Count Bishops to Sean Tyla with change left over for an early Eddie and the Hot Rods. Definitely one not only to search out for your own pride and pleasure but for one of those snazzy reissue labels to lap up and dish out for a definitely grit-starved audience!
Ya see the pic onna left? That's what I gotta get rid of in order to not only recoup my losses putting these issues of BLACK TO COMM out but maybe even (now get this!) get up enough moolah to put out another issue of my oft loathed crudzine. Wow, just what you want to see...BLACK TO COMM #26 starin' you inna face an' you haven't even finished pouring through your most recent issue of DYNAMITE HEMORRHAGE yet! Really, your Unca Chris could use not only the money but the extra room, so why not empty out your piggy bank and spring for a whole buncha nice 'n juicy issues before they end up in the incinerator along with the rest of my fortysome years of rock collectibles which my "heirs" will undoubtedly mistake for trash!


Anonymous said...

lol the litter? lol who dat? lol losers lol

Bill S. said...

As someone who ran an experimental-music label for over ten years, I can tell you that I NEVER sent a promo copy of anything to THE WIRE. There are a hundred reasons why... one being the way that they have tried to turn the experimental music scene into a celebrity-based culture, the way the art world has become. Another being the, ahem, ethically-challenged status of some of the reviewers, which I will be happy to discuss online when certain individuals die and I'm protected from libel claims. Also, talk to people who run small forward-thinking labels, as I did, and you'll hear a common story about THE WIRE...the "suggestion" that you take out a $250 ad to "partner" with the magazine if a person who records for your label is featured in the mag, the suggestion being that you are not likely to get your label mentioned in the write-up unless you pay. "Partnering", don't you know! An artist who recorded 12 (!!!!) albums for my label in the then-previous decade was covered in THE WIRE, and the mag made no mention of that body of work (it's kind of significant, don't you think, 12 albums--also, KSE was his present label at the time!) or my label because I did not pay. A dozen other label-heads have told me about getting that pitch. Pay to play.

THE WIRE will probably not be around that long. Let it go. Read VITAL WEEKLY online. Read Massimo Ricci's online reviews. Listen to WFMU and Free-Form Freakout. There are many many other legit sources for experimental music info out there. F*ck THE WIRE and the horse it rode in on.


MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Chris, your pal Jewamongyou misses the boat completely when calling for "objective" newspapers. He just doesn't have any historical perspective on the subject, like so many other half-educated young'uns. We've discussed our mutual admiration for Mencken - and Mencken was about as "objective" as your soon-to-croak pal Rush Limbaugh is. The highest and best journalists have been opinionated bastards - Zola, Sinclair, Mencken, Thompson, etc., and none of them would have considered your buddy Trump to be good for anything but human spittoon duty.

I've read a bunch of Wires over the years but it's definitely a magazine to skim through for the good bits while ignoring 90% of the content. Bill's revelations about "partnership" are gross, no doubt, and their best contribution has been providing Coley with a revenue stream. I picked up most of the copies I read in scrap piles with the covers torn off. Has anyone alive ever made it all the way through one of their CD samplers? I know I haven't.

Christopher Stigliano said...

MLJ---I was thinking more about Jewamongyou's mentions of the Charlottesville protest which he says the media got completely wrong. Hey, I know that Mencken was opinionated, no news flash there. And personally I think that objective journalism has gone the way of the bustle if there really was any to begin with. I'm just saying that people have been getting skewered news for ages with pure fiction being reported as fact, and when a black calls into a liberal radio host to talk about what the black experienced at Charlottesville (a quite different story than the one that got reported) and gets lectured by the host because of the misinformation the host believes to be true then things really are messed up!

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

What was “completely wrong” about the Charlottesville reporting? And where did your supposed “correct” version come from if not some segment of the media?

Calling for “objective journalism” is objectively lazy and stupid. That’s one right-wing whine which should be buried ASAP. The demand is especially stupid when made by dingleberries who mainly get their news from dung beetles like Limbaugh or Hannity or Beck, three uneducated whorebags who are completely unconcerned with facts.

Please let me know when the heyday of “objective journalism” occurred according to your imagination. You are pulling your own leg.

Christopher Stigliano said...

The facts that what the press reported happened at Charlottesville and what really DID are miles apart shows that there is a great subjectivity in reporting these days. I've read differing reports across the web as I'm sure you can. You can believe them or not, like I choose to, in whatever way you feel like. Hey, why don't you ask Jewamongyou what he heard from people who were there instead of relying of the usually tainted news feeds?

Reporting WAS fairly objective at one time (not perfectly, but any old high school journalism text would have told you to KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF!), and if you compare the slant you see in THE NEW YORK TIMES it sure seems far greater than anything the establishment conservatives are saying on the radio. Heck, the international news media tends to be one giant screed against truth and facts merely slanting various facts or presenting innuendo and hearsay as truth in order to present that so-comfortable.

Lessee what stories the media got wrong over the past few years...Trayvon Martin, "Hands up don't shoot", all priests are infant molesters (not that some are homos who like teenage boys---that would ruin the narrative), gays make for great parents, Hillary Clinton would make the perfect president, Fidel Castro was forced to turn to the Soviet Union because of US policy, there were no famine in the Ukraine (remember Walter Duranty?), anti-abortionists are white racist (remember Margaret Sanger?), punk rockers are murdering racists...

Anonymous said...

Jim Fields did nothing wrong.

Anonymous said...

Margaret Sanger did nothing wrong. She was a friend of Lothrop Stoddard. And he did nothing wrong.

Anonymous said...

lol what is this? debate club? lol

Wheez Von Klaw said...

Action Woman. 'Nuff said, dillweed.

Anonymous said...

How about an article on The Undertones? Punk heroes! Cheers! Alvin Bishop