Saturday, April 11, 2020

Sheesh, with the current "Chinese Gongo" lockdown I'm enduring 'n all it sure don't feel like Easter! Not that I was that big fan of the holiday anyway, since for years ("tradition", ya know) my mom used to always buy her favorite chocolate eggs (Fruit and Nut Nougat) which I hated, never getting the Vanilla, Butter Pecan or Fudge ones which I most certainly would have preferred. She always would tell me that "I wouldn't like it", a line she'd use over and over again when I wanted things like instant pudding or Fizzies, items which I would have liked only well...finances were limited and mom hadda keep the goodies supply down somehow. I also gotta admit that I never cared for the traditional Easter dinner of artichokes stuffed with ground meat covered in tomato sauce. The stuffed pork chops were good but those artichokes...ech! But as far as Chocolate Easter Eggs...sheesh she coulda made the sacrifice and gotten me something I really woulda enjoyed 'stead of her personal fave! (Which reminds me, in order to enjoy this Holy Season a whole lot more than I have maybe I better slip on the mask, go to the Dollar General and buy a few Cadbury eggs to suck on! Better'n nothin'!)

At least Easter signaled the beginning of the warm weather season with lots of bike riding and running around like a wild moron, and it also reminded many of us suburban slob kids that summer vacation was just around the corner so that day did serve its purpose. Not to mention the fact that we got the Monday after Easter off from school , a day which was usually used by hunting down fun stuff to buy at various shopping plazas. However, given the proliferation of the aforementioned Gongo the entire Easter experience has been lost on me this year. Right now I feel as if I'm actually living in some mid-fifties science fiction novella about a new disease that's bound to wipe out the entire planet, something so drastic and apocalyptic that even WEIRD SCIENCE wouldn't print it. Actually I really don't care about Covid 19 that much, just as long as it runs its course a lot sooner than expected while taking out a good portion of the population who deserve to be taken out! Now that's a disaster I can really go for!
So, you may ask, what have I been doin' with all my spare time? Well I have used my newly found freedom from association to engage in a lot of fun-time activities other'n worrying about the great loss of money I am experiencing due to the lack of work. Like pouring through (recently-discovered) boxes of old fanzines and such finding such gems as the first two issues of UGLY THINGS (mildew-smelling and a bit wrinkled due to basement moisture, but I think I can iron that problem out) and a buncha things I don't even remember buying so its like discovering a new find all over again. At least it was a joy not having to re-read my BEETLE BAILEY paperbacks which I have since put away in order to give my head a rest, especially during those excruciating bowel movement times where I'm in a rush to get to the launching pad and I can't find anything else to read before the fireworks go off so-to-speak!

I'm still searching for a load of fanzines that I had stashed away and if I only could remember where... In particular I'm looking for my three or so copies of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, not the Stevie Nicks one but the one named after the actual bonafeed group which some guy named Sal Mercuri put out back inna nineties. I kinda remember it not being as good as the old WHAT GOES ON standby, an endeavor that retained that fantastic seventies typewriter pecked-out and pasted up look I adore (well, at least the Phil Milstein issues did!), but if I recall properly THE VELVET UNDERGROUND still was a great deal I'd like to refresh my mind with considering how Mercuri actually interviewed Doug Yule gettin' his side of the VU story. Too bad nobody thought about putting a Velvet Underground fanzine out in the early-seventies...a project like that at that particular point in Velvets appreciation (geeks like myself hadn't discovered 'em yet!) woulda been a great boon to not only the Velvet Underground mythology, but the entire fanzine process as well. Oh well, maybe if I get another chance at life and am born ten years earlier I could attend to the task myself.

My neighbor, after catching me looking through my NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC island girl collection.
Gotta thank the usual people for their donations...Bill Shute, Paul McGarry, Robert Forward and Feeding Tube. Keep those cards and letters comin' in!

Mako Sika/Hamid Drake-BALANCING TEAR LP  (Astral Spirits Records/Feeding Tube Records)

Chicago-area free rock group once again teams up with noted SHOULD BE jazz legend  Hamid Drake for a record that ain't quite jazz or fusion or even World Music but touches upon all three without making you wanna puke. I don't have their previous effort for Feeding Tube entitled RONDA in my collection, but if its anything like this it's a pretty absorbing piece of work.

At times this reminds me of some of the more over-the-hill-screaming-all-the-way under-the-carpet sorta jazz acts that used to appear at the CBGB Lounge such as the unfortunately forgotten Noisetet, at others like someone's idea of Caribbean folk strums done under the influence of gas fumes. Music that builds up and twists your entire musical psyche like the best rock unto jazz platters have been doin' to ya for more than just a few decades.

In all an album that sorta soaks you up into it like a sponge making you wish there were more records like this when you were prowling the jazz bins of the seventies, something I and I assume you were doing on a regular basis!
Ut-IN GUT'S HOUSE CD (Out Records)

Listening to IN GUT'S HOUSE while reading a cache of recently-discovered NEW YORK ROCKERs really crammed in a whole lotta early-eighties ennui regarding me and my place in this world of ours. It also reminded me of just how disappointed I was with the new Velvet Underground styled music that was comin' out in droves yet had petered out into embarrassing aerie faerie mush. Remember when people were awaiting "The New Velvet Underground"? Well, thousands of 'em eventually popped up and 99% were for the most part USELESS!

But still, I had a fun go of least Ut, unlike many of the 70s/80s cusp underground groups who seemed to change with a sorry vengeance once the eighties got into gear, still had their dark and Velvet approach to music intact unlike those other New York types who fell under the spirit of white funk without the black grit or just opiated themselves outta existence. Still primitive with scratchy paens to John Cale viola screeches past and atonal electric guitar that any twelve-year-old could play which begs the question...why didn't more of 'em do just that???

Good enough in that truly old New York sense of street rock that I wasn't even compelled to slip on a cheap suit, shades and act like I was auditioning for some Godard moom pitcher 'r SOHO WEEKLY NEWS spread! One reissue that maybe should not be passed over in favor of the latest hype to come outta the more sophisticated "rock music" blogs one might chance upon.
Sunburned Hand of the Man-SUGAR MAGNOLIA and PROCESS OF WEEDING OUT; IN ORBIT and IN ORBIT 2 and AGONY; MIND OF A BROTHER CD-r burns (hell if I know what label they're on)

I wrote about Sunburned Hand of the Man before, and lo and behold the same fanabla who sent me that particular Cee-Dee-Are sent me THREE MORE even though I was not particularly fond of the previous one. Just goes to show you the reading capabilities of some of the people who tune into this blog. But whaddaya know, what this particular BTC fanguy sent me is pretty invigorating stuff that really zones me into my O-mind like nothing since GUNSMOKE reruns, and for that I am grateful to him even if I probably would be tempted to punch him out if I saw him on the shuttle bus. You all know what kind of a short fuse I have.

Platter #1 starts off in an instrumental mode that reminded me of the original Mothers of Invention around the time of UNCLE MEAT before things start sounding rather cavernous, almost like someone was taking a "Fantastic Journey" through Robbie the Robot's colon. Other parts have a neo-free jazz thing to 'em like the Sun Ra Arkestra when they'd start playing with their percussion instruments at a Pandit Pran Nath sings "Starsailor" concert while Harmonia and Michael Karoli sit in for good measure. The results remind me of none other than something I cannot for my life remember, as if you could comprehend that obtuse riddle. Or my obtuse memory for that matter.

The second burn features a VERY FAMOUS (I think!) music critic and poet or something like that reading his rather hard-hitting prose to some music that sounds like a rather in-tune psychedelic band doing their late-sixties best groove, the results coming extremely close to the R. Meltzer/Smegma releases which might figure since Meltzer's inflluence can definitely be felt here. Some other people recite various prose in between free form gunk (at times reminiscent of who else but Smegma) with varying results that at times might just please your own musical parameters. Rather exhilarating although what can top "Milk, Milk, Lemonade" anyway?

Third one goes free splat and creeps about in various amorphous time signatures which once again beg for the usual comparisons to the same Outer Edges of Musical Comprehension acts we've known and loved for many a year! (And what about that DIRECT COP taken from the end of the Art Ensemble of Chicago's REESE AND THE COOL ONES???) Of course that's long before the mass off sound slips into this Amon Duul II-esque "First Church of Marilyn Monroe" psychedelic romp that'll have you digging through fifty years of record archives to drag that one out. This just might surprise your staunchly priggish typical old tymey undergound rock fan who hates everything recorded after 1981, and since I am that exact same person this is really saying something.

I'm sure you can find these if you search hard enough. Or if you're a lazy turdburger like I have been known to be who's so lethargic that people have to send me burns like these in order to get me a rise. Pretty fine material here if I do say so myself (and of course I would...).

Sheesh, I remember Perry Farrell 'n company to've been a pretty decent group spearheadin' that late-seventies decadent revival movement that was goin' on a good ten years after-the-fact. But this early album done up before the Big Break really doesn't jab any internal emote signals in me, sounding like just about any other well meaning yet far off the target local release of the day. It's only until the group goes neo-acoustic live with covers of "Rock 'n Roll" and "Sympathy For the Devil" (along with a few originals including the rather boff "Jane Says") that Jane's Addiction show what kind of hard-edged band in the El Lay sleaze tradition they could be. Gotta dig that boot 45 of "Whole Lotta Love" outta the collection one of these days.
Filet of Soul-FREEDOM CD-r burn (originally on Monoquid Records)

When I was a kid there was one word really got my mother all in an uproar, and it wasn't anything dirty or even rude. It was "freedom", a frequently used buzzthing which really got mom blowin' her top since she somehow associated that particular word with hippies and other disgusting forms of non-human existence who were messin' up the atmosphere so-to-speak. I get the feeling she'd hate this album as well, since it's got that late-sixties sound and raucous rhythm that she most certainly detested!

As for me, I find both FREEDOM and Filet of Soul just more of that commercial pop that was most common throughout them days whether you turned on the radio or just happened to be smack dab inside some record shop. Actually some of it is pretty pleasing in that patented Top 40 way (as evidenced by a rather faithful cover of the Zombies' "Tell Her No" while the Paul Revere and the Raiders swipe also perked my ears), but if I were one of those screaming youth types back when this record came out I think I'd skip over it in my search for KICK OUT THE JAMS.

As Spanky once said, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool mom!"
Soft White Underbelly-UNRELEASED ELEKTRA ALBUM CD-r burn

I mentioned this 'un awhile back but since I got a burn of the thing into my sweaty palms I thunk that maybe a deeper, or as deep as your usually shallow mind can handle, appreciation would be due. Well, maybe not that deep, but as ya woulda guessed this'd also make a fine late-seventies flea market find had it only made it out.

The opening Doors-y anti-draft song was actually a hoot, not serious enough to warrant self-righteous angst the way Morrison would while the following instrumental is kinda outta place yet pleasing to the ears even if it does meander on a bit. Reminds me of something the Stories woulda recorded. "Mothra" complete with R. Meltzer lyrics (some of his best next to "Electrocute Your Cock") is a bee-youtiful dreamy waltz-time jazzy thing with a vibraphone solo!

That "J.J. Silhouette Girl/Happiness Boy" thingie with tasteful neo-harpsichord-ish electric piano recalls the Left Banke filtered through a number of late-sixties instant cutout faves. Not as good but still worthy of your time and effort is the one with the line about the three Fleishman's Motorcycle Shops while "Buddha's Knee" with the classic and obligatory late-sixties avgarde freak section will put your mind on a tilt-a-whirl as it cakewalks on in slow proto-metallic fashion!

The next one's a light popster but then again after "Knee" maybe that's what you need. "What Is Quicksand?" which follows shoulda been the album opener but since this was rather unpolished to begin with maybe a sonic beefup woulda been in order before heading to the front of the line. And the original "Arthur Comics" gets cut off but I'm sure an intact version lies in the Elektra vaults somewhere.

Les Vegas sounds like a better, detached yet soulful Morrison and the group hadn't yet gotten their heavy metal chops which is a boon for all you psychedelic fans who dreaded the advent of the sonic overhaul only a few years later. In some ways this reminds me of the IT'S ALL MEAT album with the heavy organ and the ponderous yet zany approach. If you need any more prodding read that Meltzer writeup from CIRCUS that DENIM DELINQUENT reprinted. And a cursory search of Youtube will locate a source which you can burn yourself if only to find out just how right I've been about the Underbelly (and Stalk-Forrest) all along!

As you might have expected the Bow label's output was of a varying quality. Now most of the music to be heard on this particular platter is far from feh, but little of it is anything that will grab you by the stirrups and become the soundtrack for your everyday existence like I'm sure many similar local-label wares of the day have become. However there are some good moments here, my fave being Buzz Clifford's "Pididdle" about that classic game where you and your sweetie sit on the front porch when it's dark and whenever a car with only one headlight on passes by you say "piddidle!" and kiss her. Not so surprisingly enough, the storyline behind this particular song had previously been worked out in a Sunday ARCHIE comic where the title character and Veronica play this very game with quite amazing results until the jig was up! Unfortunately things like that can't happen in real life...after all, would a gal who looked like Veronica even go near you???
Various Artists-ALPINE HONDA BEBOP BEACHES CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Yet another fine burn that's occupied a good hour of my Coronavirus quarantine. From old radio ads with the Hondells and James Brown tellin' kids to dress neatly and bring their Social Security cards for summer job interviews, ALPINE HONDA BEBOP BEACHES has a lotta fun thrilling things to listen to. The Christmas platter might be outta date here during the Easter season, but it still sounds as fun as it woulda had I heard it age three so if I ever turn three again I got this one to listen to! The rockabilly tracks and the Three Thirds doin' "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" helped put me in a more than just amused mood while the weird avgarde of Captcha was earsplitting enough what with the Ono vocals 'n all that I just hadda google 'em (din fine much).

What really got me in a fine and toe-tappy mood were the old 78s by the likes of the Castlewood Marimba Band and Nat Shilkret Orchestra which appear near the end of this one. Kinda reminded me of the obsessive wonderment I used to hold for pre-World War II culture during my up and coming years. Still do hold it in fact, and thanks to Bill I got to osmose some of the class from those days at least one more time before I finally get unsprung from this mortal coil!
So you thought you could do without 'em. Thought you could stand saving up your precious hard-begged for things like toilet paper and Vaseline 'stead of for BLACK TO COMM back issues. eh? Well it ain't too late to send an order in before you go totally stir crazy because you're holed up in your cyster's pad re-reading her HOME AND GARDENING mags while all your good stuff is holed up back at your place and there's no way in heck you can get your mitts on 'em! Next time you're quarantined don't do as Bob Dylan said...think twice because it AIN'T alright!..


Anonymous said...


Charles Hodgson said...

Dig the UT review. But Janes Addiction? Sucko.
Need to check for a Soft White Underbelly download. Anyone got any clues?
You should try the last 3 Wreckless Eric records. Primo guitar abuse, and three best live gigs of the year in a row for me here in Edinaboorg.
Hey, as you say, COVID 19 maybe ain't all bad - hopefully Little Larry Antifa will get a heavy viral load right up the ying-yang. Where he likes it!

Christopher Stigliano said...

Charles---I got my Soft White Underbelly album off Youtube, and YOU CAN TOO!

Charles Hodgson said...

Thanks Chris!
I put "Soft White Underbelly' into the YouTube search engine and came up with a series of films about street hustlers, crystal meth, LSD, crack, PCP, fentanyl & heroin addicts, skid row residents, transgender women, alcoholics, pimps, strippers, and cam models.
I think Moe Larry got there first with his life story!
Will keep digging...

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Anyone with an IQ over 60 can find the Soft White Underbelly gig on Youtube in less than a minute, but Chuckles Hogson is Scottish. The English fed the Scots nothing but lead paint and salt pork for generations. It was so bad they came to see their own dried snot as the national snack. Ah, wait, that would be "regional snack" since they are all too chickenshit to reach for actual nationhood. Now you know why the Scottish flag is just a filthy, crusty hankie that smells like cat piss.

Anonymous said...

lol losers much? lol try prince

Christopher Stigliano said...

Charles---try "Soft White Underbelly" in conjunction with "Blue Oyster Cult" which may take you directly to the source. MLJ---please keep it to a low roar which I doubt is possible in your case.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Spread those warnings both ways, Stiggy. Or are you just favoring Hogson because he sends you rally-worn pairs of Oswald Mosley's underpants?

Christopher Stigliano said...

Ha! A funny one for once!

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am a "loser" to some, but if so, I'm fine with that – as long as I can read a blog like this one, one that defies categorization. And as long as I can listen to the sort of rock music I've been listening to since junior high, the sort that defies categorization. In chronological order, more or less: Zombies, Moody Blues, Ten Years After, Beefheart, Yes, Genesis, Cockney Rebel, Television, Tin Huey, Knack, Smiths, St Vincent, etc! Keep 'em comin', Chris! Cheers! Alvin Bishop

Anonymous said...

AND! Let me hasten to add: Procol Harum, Spirit, Soft Machine, Mahavishnu, Weather Report, BST, CTA! Cheers! Alvin Bishop

Charles Hodgson said...

Ha, thanks Lil' Larry! You wouldn't last two minutes in Scotchland with that mouth. We still breed men here, not SJW jessies like you. The real Begbies of my proud nation would tear you up for arse paper.
Freedom from the English yoke will come. The MI5 and English interlopers stole the vote last time, next time there will be no interference.
A shout out to our Catalan brothers!
'Els Segadors, Catalunya triomfant!'

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

I'm starting to think this Alvin Bishop guy is pulling your eggs, Chris.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

At least the Catalonian people are engaged in open revolt. The Scots are getting drunk and interfering with livestock. Yes, you breed "men" there, but only in the flimsiest biological sense. You admitted yourself that you preferred to remain in the UK because you need the NHS to treat your chronic sniffles and gonorrhea. There's a reason the Aussie-American Gibson had to play Wallace, after all. It's because no living Scot could say the word "Freedom" without shaking and leaving a piss puddle on the ground.

I'll bet you're at least half English yourself.

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaand, allow me to add, no eggs pulled: Quicksilver Messenger Service, Clear Light, Opeth. Cheers! Alvin Bishop

Anonymous said...

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand?!? How could I overlook Can?!? DUH! Cheers! Alvin Bishop

Christopher Stigliano said...

Charles, pay no mind to MLJ. He was kicked out of the IRA because he tried to blow up a bus and burned his lips on the exhaust pipe.

Anonymous said...

Allow a newbie to break up this verbal barroom blitz with a humble request? How about a feature on Canada's premier rock band of the 1960s, Kensington Market? Two LPs on Warner Bros in 1968 and 1969. Somewhere between Tim Buckley, Left Banke, Bee Gees, Jefferson Airplane. Exquisite stuff, especially "Aunt Violet's Knee" from the first LP, "Avenue Road." Both LPs produced by Felix Pappalardi! Cheers! Alvin Bishop

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Well, no, but I was questioned by British police after the boys tried to blow up Margaret Thatcher while she was taking a shit. True story. I asked them if it was true that she had forgotten to flush. The gross old pig had notoriously filthy personal hygiene.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Alan- I never heard Kensington Market!

Anonymous said...

Chris, there are a few tracks on YT. Impossible for me to pick a single track as definative. I'll post one, let you take it from there, if you so desire. Keep in mind, they avoided most of the traits or cliches of their day. No long solos, psych effects, etc. Just songwriting and musicianship that put them in a league with The Beau Brummels and The Zombies. Alas, they fell through the cracks. Cheers! Alvin Bishop

Gary Field said...

I'm hooked on that Gladys Kravitz gif. It brings a smile to my face during these crappy covid times we live in.
I miss the 20th century,dagnabbit!

Charles Hodgson said...

Lil Larry Schmo,
Dont remember ever saying I wanted Scotland to stay in the UK because of the NHS. Why would Scotland not be able to fund it's own services if we retain the taxes funnelled down to Westminster?

Don't you realise we already pay for the NHS, that it is managed separately by our devolved Holyrood Government and we have our own policies and priorities?

I think the point you might be misunderstanding (deliberately or just through ignorance) was when I said (at time the 2019 UK election) that *WHILE SCOTLAND REMAINS PART OF THE UK*, I would have preferred a Corbyn-led Labour Govt, as a safer pair of hands to have the NHS in than the Tories.

As far as the Labour party is concerned, I never have and never would vote for them. There are, however, only two parties that can win the necessary majority to form a UK Govt, Labour or The Tories. So it's just the lesser of two evils, until independence is acheived.

You are clearly so ignorant about the political situation in Scotland or the UK that is pointless discussing the matter further with you.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

"Scotland or the UK"? Silly little man. There is no OR. Scotland is owned by the UK.

Always will be, too, since your lot lacks the testicular fortitude to do anything about it. Basically your "nation" enjoys the taste of English ass too much to get off your knees.

Sad but true.