Saturday, May 30, 2020

BOOTLEG BROUHAHA, or MEMORIES ARE MADE OF RUN-DOWN OLD RECORD SHOPS WITH THE TILING COMING OFF THE FLOOR

Haven't had one of these since last autumn, and as the days dwindle down to a precious few maybe it's time we once again  reminisce about them times waywayway back when the biggest dilemma in your life was whether or not to spend your last $4.99 on a bootleg record thus depriving your favorite star of the money he most surely deserved. And if you plunked down the moolah for the boot boy, you really were the smartest guy onna block! Hey, bootlegs were and REMAIN a cool part of any self-respecting suburban slob's record collection an' your fave rock star's rich enough as it is so why contribute even more to his drug habit anyway (as my father used to bark at me when I'd buy records)? Especially when you could be contributing to your own...

Let's start today's brag off with a platter by a group that not only have I never cared for in any of their incarnations, but one that I never even bought a record by before in my life!

Although it may be a surprise to some of you readers, I never really bothered with Fleetwood Mac whether it be via their early blooze days-unto-FM-rock days or the late-seventies Stevie Nicks-fronted megahits version for that matter. However, when I read a positive review of a platter by someone whose opinions I generally agree with or hear a musician whose sounds I generally agree with mention a certain act in passing (and in a positive way), not only do my musical parameters but my wallet open up if only to give my life a bit of that spice of variety or however that old saying goes.

The Amazing Korneyfone Record Label once again gives us a quality spinner with this particular platter that I was inspired to buy after reading Jymn Parrett's review in an oft-read issue of DENIM DELINQUENT. As to why it took so long for the inspiration to hit me to the point where I'd actually purchase MERELY A PORTMANTEAU I do not know...perhaps things were getting a little too quiet around here and I wanted to liven my existence up just a tad bit. But purchase this one I did and if you think I'm gonna get on my hi-energy horse and bash this 'un to smithereens well...

You're wrong again pod'ner, because MERELY A PORTMANTEAU not only sounds great in that sorta flat but exciting bootleg way but the performances actually fit into the whole BLOG TO COMM late-sixties rock as noise canon and rather snugly at that. Side one's the '68 Mac with that guy who later joined the Children of God starting off with an extended improv that sounds more Hampton Grease Band than Grateful Dead and actually engages you with the rather clever and hard-nosed guitar interplay. "Tiger"'s a rockabilly throwback that sounds like the same group that did "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Heads Kicked in Tonight" rather'n the one that did "Rhiannon". "The Green Manalishi" ain't as phony Eastern Mystical goo as I woulda thought it would be either. A boff side that can work on either the inspiring background clean the room level or as hardcore sound with a universe you don't mind slipping into one bit!

The flip with newer addition Christine Perfect doesn't quite sizzle the nodes but the extended "Tell Me All The Things You Do" does get somewhat into a groove that you can work your way through without feeling like a hippoid 'r anything like that. Kinda moving in fact. And overall this package does condense whatever good there was in the original band into a platter that should please to varying degrees most of the hard-rock high energy total eruption rock fans who were in on the game ever since "Surfin' Bird" hit the airwaves. Unless they're all dead, which I certainly hope is not the case.
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Here's one I bought more for the HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE of it all 'n anything, it being the very first issue to come out on the legendayr Skydog Records label. Now this ain't the original 1973 pressing of Jimi Hendrix's SKY HIGH but the eighties reissue on orange plastic, and as these early Skydog (and European in general) boots go this really was a well-crafted and presented album complete with a full color cover complete with quality artwork and liner notes on the back. Still retaining a grubby European budget album look mind you, but beautiful perhaps BECAUSE of it.

Now I'm not a crazed fan of Hendrix or the "Classic Rock" acts who participated in these studio jams, but the other aspects of these thing's mere existence is something that I know will make SKY HIGH a really big hit in my record collection. I might not be spinnin' it much but boy, when some young gal enters into my bedroom and begins thumbing through my record collection boy will she be impressed enough to show me her LIVE IN MAUI album.

The sound quality is good in that early sorta flat TMOQ/Korneyfone fashion I mentioned in the Fleetwood Mac review, and the performance is...well, rather dull to begin with considering this was a jam conducted by some of the most drug addled brains in the biz who didn't realize that drugs and the creative process were supposed to go hand in hand. However, side two roars on at an exceedingly fierce pace and when Hendrix begins pecking out this "Tomorrow Never Knows" riff it does tend to become somewhat engaging. And for being a Skydog release the thing does have a connection (no matter how tangential) to those Stooges and Flamin' Groovies platters that Skydog continues to release even until this very day, and for some stoopid kiddieish reason I'm proud that I am in possession of this release because it seems so...historical 'n all.
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Here are a coupla more bootlegs I'll write up right after SKY HIGH if only because these, like the aforementioned, were released under the auspices of Skydog. However, both Lou Reed's ROCK 'N ROLL ANIMAL and the Rolling Stones' BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITY do not bear the Skydog imprint, what with ANIMAL appearing under the auspices of "Phantom Records" while the Stones one, a brilliant take on the TMOQ title with the same name, appears without any indication of who put this 'un out inna first place. But since an ad for Skydog in an old WHO PUT THE BOMP! mentioned ANIMAL as being a Skydog product as did a brief mention in a come on for the latter it's like hey, the big secret is out and it's been out for quite a long time and do people really care (other'n me) these days?

I dunno if the RCA ROCK 'N' ROLL ANIMAL or the Skydog one came first (editor's note-according to Marc Zermati the bootleg did and Lou liked the title so much he used it for his legitimate release!), but the presence of two albums with the same moniker by the same person might have caused some confusion amongst unwary buyer back then. Probably not, even though the Skydog take was pressed on the same kinda flimsy vinyl that RCA used albeit in a neato folder sleeve kinda like the ones Berkeley Records used to have. The performance is actually way more enjoyable than the legit version, with Lou tackling the songs both old and new without any of that pretentious over-emotion that bogged down a lot of his later work. The cassette-quality sound also adds to the fun 'n jamz giving ROCK 'N' ROLL ANIMAL the punk rock quality his early solo career sure needed more of. If you'd think I'd give my copy of this up for the legit RCA album of the same name you are sadly mistaken, Bust-turd!
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Skydog did an especially sell job with their BRIGHT LIGHTS BIG CITY reissue even if it does not sport the original William Stout cover that gave those early bootlegs such quality and snazz. But 'eh it's keen enough, one of those semi-pro Euro jobs done up long before the US bootleggers decided to go full force into legit-looking sleeves, 

The sound is fantab on the first side which consists of those early BBC tracks which continue to stimulate nerve-endings a good 55-plus years later, while the flip featuring some decidedly early-seventies Stones rehearsals and demos also cook swell. The early workouts on "Tumbling Dice" sound even better'n the finished version because this is so base and feral not only in sound but approach, giving me (and maybe you) the same chilling sensation you got spinning those pre-refurbished old blues records back when you were young and impressionable. 

Its records like this that make me really homesick for those old record shops with the huge cutout, import and of course bootleg bins that really did give you your money's worth especially if you were a kid stuck with depression-era wages and that $4.98 hadda stretch out a whole lot ifyaknowaddamean...
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Back to Hendrix---sorta. Remember the rash of Hendrix albums that were comin' out throughout the seventies which were nothin' but grave-robbing/coffin-riding excursions taken to a rather mercenary limit? Well, the Eyetalian Joker International label sure knew a good trend to jump on what with the deluge of records dedicated to the left-handed one that they released inna early-seventies which, as you might expect, were really basement-level bottom of the barrel scrapings designed to reel the sucker in! Records that only the most obsessive of Hendrix fans would want to buy and I get the feelin' that alla these postmortem efforts were flyin' off the shelves given the legion of fans the man had for quite a long while after he choked his way into immortality.

Anyway, someone at that not-so-clandestine bootleg label which took advantage of weak copyright laws (thus the presence of Dylan, Beatles and even a Led Zep album in their catalog) issued five platters fulla those off hours get togethers that Hendrix did with saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood, a guy who also put in time with the likes of James Brown. And that mere description'll tell ya just how exciting this is, not that it ain't without some low-fi primitive merit.Ya gotta be a real-deal maniac to wanna get hold of this, and the worst part is there were four other volumes for you to trudge you way through, not to mention some other Joker Hendrix items including a TRIBUTE TO JIMI HENDRIX which sounds like an even more disturbing effort than alla those "tribute" collections one used to see in the late-eighties!  And just when I was starting to "get into" those old Experience recordings...
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And now for some relatively recent vinyl offerings that sure remind me of them Golden Age of bootleg days, only these 'uns seem to be better in just about every wayshapeform (in other words, aimed at the older collector who used to hunt for bootlegs 'stead of the same bloke's 15-year-old self way back when). Heck, they're good enough to the point where you know that if any of these popped up in some shoddy record shop bin way back ya'll woulda just burst with pleasure! And imagine the look on the proprietor's face when he hadda CLEAN IT UP!

Hawkwind boots aren't as easy to find as those by various other space rock gurus, though with all of the legitimate live recordings of theirs that have been released these past few decades do we really need any bootlegs by 'em considering the glut of legit albums? I dunno, but get this I did and I'm not sheddin' any tears of the fact either.

This effort on the recently inaugurated Hoffman Records comes on dark green vinyl with streaks that make it look like fingerprints are all over the place with a sound that, although obviously audience quality, still captures enough clean and crisp highs that won't make all those audiophile creeps who hated METALLIC KO blanch that much. And whoever tapes this did capture a fairly powerful mid-seventies performance that, while not up to SPACE RITUAL standards, captures Hawkwind at the end of their United Artists days right before they were heading off to the Famous Charisma Label and a direction that probably confused not only older fans but maybe a few of the newer ones as well. But I thought it was all swell, and time might have proved me right lo these many years later even if none of you would ever admit it
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Compared with the scarcity of Hawkwind boots Pink Floyd ones are a dime a dozen. However, you have to do a lotta sifting through various seventies-era atrocities to get to the prime rarities that group has laid down and that can become a rather gnarly effort at times.

Thankfully a few essentials have made their way out over the past decade or so including this recent series of seven-inch EPs which look so good (but cost so much) that I sure wish I coulda taken the whole batch of 'em home that's how OBSESSED I am with these things. And from the quality of the one I got I feel the others just might be worth the additional book juggling I'll have to do in order to afford 'em! I will admit that my money was well spent this time and once I get my financial straits in order well, maybe more will arrive.

LOST CHRONICLE is a nifty seven-inch EP on colored vinyl which I must say is an attractive package in itself, and although most of the material on this 'un obviously has appeared elsewhere and many-a-time at that it's always great to hear those PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN backing tracks and obscurities like "Silas Lane" once again. What especially impressed me was the early version of "Vegetable Man" done without vocals and with some voice eerily talking in the background, perhaps giving instructions to the musicians for all I know. Kinda rambling and a bit of a shambles, but the effect works wonders. And I might not know much (as I have been told by many a wag for ages on end), but I can say that it's releases like that which not only remind me of all of the energy and fun that went into buying these off-the-wall efforts, but just how this kind of music affected me when ( was younger and the Starland Vocal Band just weren't cuttin' it like the deejay said they would. I hate to see what kids today have to go through...probably had it worse'n me...
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There's been an avalanche of Frank Zappa-related bootlegs, both grey market and downright under-the-counter, that has been comin' out these past few years. I've reviewed a couple of 'em which came out on the Mr. Natural label a few years back, and now these people at Hoffman have released their own limited edition color cover/color vinyl editions that really are remarkable jobs that once again give the bootleg industry the good name it most naturally deserves.

WEASELS RIPPED MIAMI is surely one that the Mothers fans of old woulda killed for too, not only for the remodeled Neon Park cover but for the live in Miami 1969 concert presented within its grooves. The quality might not be up to par, especially when you wanna hear Zappa givin' some drunk in the audience "what for", but the music is top notch early Mothers without Zappa getting too much in the way playing even farther out than usual. Lots of great free jazz moves and honks that eventually got unaware nimnuls like ourselves to listen to the real avgarde players, or at least it did in my case because like, I was one of those naive obsessive/compulsive types and perhaps that was all for the good despite what the psychoanalysts told me!
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Frank Zappa gets all the credit on the front cover, but this ROAD TAPES 1/1 offering is once again the good ol' original Mothers of Invention recorded live in Vancouver Bee Cee way back 1968 way. It's really an eye pleasing effort too what with the color cover and even pearly sperm-like white vinyl, beckoning back to the bootleg scene of the eighties when it seemed as if the illicit goods were way way better on all levels than the legitimate crumbs that were being tossed out at us hungry freaks, daddy (ow!). The performance ain't that special mostly with instrumental variations on themes we've heard a billion times o'er the past half-century, but thankfully Zappa keeps his mouth shut enough and you can always sink into those various grooves these guys get into when the gettin' gets good! If you were one guy who grew up listening to the original Mothers and even sat through the Flo and Eddie and fusion versions of the band (kinda dropping off after the end of the Discreet record line), you might be able to eke a few thrill chills outta this just like I did!
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Didja ever get that ten-LP set THE COLLECTED WORKS AND IMPROVISATIONS OF FRANK ZAPPA AND THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION? I didn't due to a combination of a high sticker price and depression-era wages, but I sure remember seeing the thing on sale wonderin' if somehow I could cough up the triple digits for this sure to be sonic explosion naive li'l turdburger that I was! Thankfully I never was able to get it because soon after this one hit the boards the entire concept of Zappa seemed to fizzle out with a change into an even more pretentious direction and records that I don't think any of the original MOI fans would recognize.

But that series did produce a few interesting platters, this particular effort from (once again) Hoffman being just one. I WAS A TEENAGE MALTSHOP portends to be an upgrade on the Mud Shark original with newly sourced upgrades and the like, and with the nice production and packaging it sure looks like a good deal to me. Unfortunately the sound really doesn't sound any better'n stuff I already have scattered about, but wha' th' hey as long as you're getting the music that you wanna hear (this ain't some old issue of STEREO REVIEW, ya know!).

Side one's got a variety of old pre-Mothers Zappa/Beefheart recordings as well as a buncha single sides that Zappa was somehow involved in. Some might be a surprise to the Zappa neophytes like when they hear the Penguins' "Memories of El Monte" then suddenly realize that these were the ones who hit with "Earth Angel" once the singer breaks into a few bars of that ol' chestnoot. I particularly dug Bobby Jameson's gruff "Gotta Find My Roogalator" which maybe goes to show that Zappa did have an ear for some of the grittier sounds to come outta the down and dirtier music side of El Lay..

Unfortunately the flip ain't as tough even though this was recorded when Captain Beefheart was a front and center member of the Mothers. Zappa's clearly into his jazz rock game here and I for one felt this particular April '75 set to br rather pallid. If you wanna hear a fusion-y version of "Let's Make the Water Turn Black" well now you got one, and even Beefheart can't save "Willie the Pimp" from turning into a standard Zappa showing off his guitar playing skills set. Hear it once and it'll stand as a reminder of just why the Mothers meant so much to quite a few freaks at one time before they slid off into the industry just like the rest.
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Closing out or selection of recent bootlegs is yet another Zappa monstrosity, MEAT LOVERS #2, a 33 rpm seven-incher with a selection of live rarities including one by the "Hot Rats" band in '70, the "Grand Wazoo"-era Mothers doing a selection of early MOI things "so the audience would hear something that they recognized", a live version of "Cruising for Burgers" without any vocals, and a brief, horn-laden take of "Louie Louie" that kind of reminds me of  the early Art Ensemble of Chicago! Once again it comes on colored plastic and the overall quality is something that I'm sure you wish you had stacked in your record collection back when bootlegs like these were just beginning to come into their own. Into their own what I do not know, but after listening to APOSTROPHE I hope it isn't an old sweat sock!
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Are you one of those guys who thought that Mott the Hoople's legitimate albums were kinda snoozaroonie but liked their live bootlegs a whole lot? If so this TAKRL effort should remind you of just why Mott were considered primo punk rock contenders (and I'm using that term in the purest Charles Shaar Murray sense) in the early seventies at a time when all they hadda worry about was Iggy and the Dolls sneakin' waywayway up their rear echelon. BEHIND ENEMY LINES was recorded offa live radio but the fine folks at that legendary bootleg company decided to edit out all the applause leaving for a compact set that really delivers on more high energy jamz than you thought Ian Hunter and company ever could deliver. Without the studio whiz gettin' in the way Mott do fine as only an early-seventies buncha upstarts who make good could, and just give me a few more of these live albums and maybe I can forget the way I struggled through a few of their studio efforts just to get to the one killer song I liked.
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Here's a weirditie that I played once about twenny-five years back and then plunked into the collection where it got lost and boy did I have a heckuva time retrieving it after stacks and stacks of searches. When Ultravox first arrived onna scene I had 'em pegged as yet another chi-chi import bin kinda flashy glam thing, but time has proved that those early records were a lot better than I had originally perceived. Sorta like a Roxy Music Meets Can in a Hawkwind airtunnel with that sorta tension that made these records all the more desirable even if they would all go fru-fru once 1980 clocked in.

This live album entitled SYSTEMS is a good encapsulation of that feeling you got when you mixed and matched style and the avant garde schmeer of things, pounding away like all of those Teutonic electronic acts did with a beat that came outta the Rolling Stones and more decadence than you could take even if you were Lou Reed. Good sounding audience tape I'll betcha, and all the big stuff from the first few spinners are here making for either a good 'nuff introduction or a topper if you've heard 'em all and still kinda upchuck at the memory of 1982 and John Foxx's solo career.
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Now for a change o' pace, mainly jazz bootlegs! Unlike the rock 'n roll ones it seems that these jazz buggers are not only inexpensive but easily obtainable. Why just last summer I was at an outdoor antique show/flea market and some guy was selling a whole huge bin fulla immaculately new looking jazz bootlegs featuring rare airchecks and such from a number of famous names like Duke Ellington for three bucks a pop! I felt like buying one for the collection but since I was at this show to sell and not buy I decided to tighten the ol' pursestrings at least just this once. However, I did buy this Miles Davis/Sonny Rollins/John Coltrane effort a few years back and dislodged it from the collection after it got snuggled in there a li'l too tightly. Taken from a '59 CBS broadcast back when even the big networks pretended that things exist outside the usual entertainment norm, the sound is great and the performances hard bop enough that fans of the various fifties jazz visionaries from Sun Ra to Ornette can appreciate this as being of a kindred mind. Might be worth looking for if some jazz bootleg dealer just happens to pop up at your own nearby antiques show.
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So until the next shipment of platters from that strange man in the van comes in...good bye and buy boots!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

BOOK REVIEW! THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS by Rudolph Dirks (Dover Publications, 1974)

A few years back I reviewed yet another KATZENJAMMER KIDS collection which I ought to dig out for a re-read, and lo and behold I find this particular effort inna pile which I am not quite sure I shared my opines re. it with you. So lucky you get to read MORE of my etapoint opines regarding this long-lived (still going on in reruns) comic that even as a turdler seemed so antiquated and of another perhaps more interesting than the era I was flourishing in time.

Actually this is a reprint of a 1908 collection of then-two-year-old strips which was around the time the whole KATZENJAMMER idea and ethos was already in firm form, with somewhat of a continuing storyline and Rudolph Dirks having developed the familiar style that would be recognized for many a year. Much different than the KATZENJAMMERS of the late 1890's which ya can read on-line with some easy googlin', everything seems just about right as far as these early comics go which just might be ONE indication as to why the kids and the rest of those classic early comics are still remembered fondly while NOBODY I know can recall TANK MCNAMARA or even BLOOM COUNTY (CATHY???) for that matter. Maybe they just have extremely short memory spans, or better yet maybe I am lucky enough not to know anyone who would have read those strips inna first place?

The strips in this collection start in the middle of a storyline where Hans und Fritz, Mama, der Captain und Inspector (along with the crew of Germans and a Chinese cook who bears a whole lotta resemblance to Chinese cooks in comics for many a year!) are stuck in a ship frozen in the Arctic region. Strangely enough Hans und Fritz actually stymie a number of rescues just for the pleasure of pulling a fast one on der Captain. Kinda like GILLIGAN'S ISLAND only the ultimate rescue screw ups are done on purpose! One strangitie in these early strips is that the brothers (who are surprisingly not twins as was previously speculated considering the episode where Fritz is celebrating his birthday on his lonesome) often stab each other in the back for their own personal gain, something that I haven't seen much of if any in the later 'uns. Does add a spec of grit to the proceedings tho and Machiavellian me actually likes this sort of chicanery if only for the GRIT it adds.

Halfway through the book everyone's back home in Ameriga even tho no rescue has been portrayed or mentioned for that matter (this being long before both of the KATZENJAMMER strips took on an African sort of air with the characters settled on "Cannibal Island" or "Squeegee Island", both filled with male Negros and female Polynesians just like a JUNGLE JIM moom pitcher!). However the sagas retain the same sorta rhyme/reason as the earlier ones. A few interesting characters who disappeared almost immediately turn up, such as a delivery boy named Sandy who kinda reminds me of a teenage Sluggo only meaner as well as a poor-sighted school teacher who thankfully wasn't as irritating as Miss Twiddle would be later on.

I gotta say that these examples are perhaps the strip at its best (even tho the Knerr years turned up some pretty violent doozies---after that, feh!) complete with more bad boy action that almost equals DENNIS THE MENACE at his worst. Unlike Dennis the Kids always seem to get a brutal whipping in the last panel but as it was with you and me did all that rear end pain really do 'em any good?

And yeah, I KNOW that a few of you more liberated readers will believe that my love of these 110+-year-old comics shows the deep, inner bigoted and backwards being that I have been portraying myself as for quite some time already, turning off more than a few precious petunias afraid of having their values and amorality judged in such a way that I do. All I gotta say to that is...sheesh, you guys are RIGHT for once!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Hiya. Ya still sweating it out out there in Gongo-land, eh? Hope you're all enjoyin' yourself because I sure am, what with me keeping my distance from people thus avoiding the usually stench-y body odors that tend to emanate from a few of the denizens of this town (let's just say that there ain't no run on deodorant around here!). Those masks you hafta wear sure help cut down on the rank-ness as well, tho they do start smellin' like unwashed g-strings after awhile especially if you have one of those strange nose discharges that come off as if they were emanating from an area far below your cyster's olfactory system. Now some of you guys might go for that, but at least I have some taste (and a weak stomach).

Naturally it's also great having more and more time to hang around the house playin' records and re-discoverin' ol' friends (mainly my comic books and fanzines) while washing years of UP WITH PEOPLE propaganda outta my naturally curmudgeonly system with a healthy does of Throbbing Gristle. Scientists, take your time and do a good job finding a cure (the longer the better), and if ya do come up with one maybe ya can put it on sugar cubes and give it to us just like when I was a kid getting my polio vaccine. l still remember the neat taste of that lo these many years later and hope the new one tastes just as good if not better. Yum!
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What're you lookin' at, squirt?
RIP EDDIE HASKELL, perennial BLOG TO COMM hero and the first real punk to appear on the boob tube back inna fifties. Now that was a time when the early stages of true punkdom were in bloom even tho it really came to fruition in the sixties and sorta exploded all over you a good ten years after that. But as far as Eddie Haskell goes, he was THEE punk and I don't mean punque like we got a whole load of once the eighties were in bloom. Talk about bein' a role model for all of us pushed-around kids even though our parents would most certainly have wished otherwise (personally I strived for Eddie but came out too Lumpy).

The mere appearance of Eddie Haskell as a reg'lar character on a national tee-vee series was a brilliant respite from some of the squeaky clean kids one could find on tee-vee if not REAL LIFE, not only them days but for years to come. Too bad he didn't stay a teenbo goof tho...personally I kinda wish that Eddie's doppleganger Ken Osmond had become a punk rocker 'stead of a cop after his BEAVER tenure (and not exactly Alice Cooper, maybe an Iggy, Reg, Kim, Cyril, Gerry, Jean-Pierre or even Sky) but whatever, the creep's passing has surely gotta be the biggest blow to suburban slobdom at least since they took GILLIGAN'S ISLAND reruns (and BEAVER ones too!) offa local tee-vee oh so long ago. So long Sam, Leroy, Gertrude...
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I know you've all been champing at the bit! Here are the rekkid revooze, and thanks to Bill, Paul and even that radical type Bob for the donations. It's people like you who know who to dish the charity out to!


Lou Reed-TRANSFORMER CD (RCA Records)

Gosh-darn-it-all, but it does seem strange. Here I am in my old age actually owning a copy of this legendary album after borrowing it (and on a very rare occasion, maybe once or twice AT THE MOST) o'er the entire span of its existence. After years of fingering copies in the record bins taking a look at the front and backs it wasn't until now that I even thought of goin' out and buyin' a copy for myself. All I really did think during the entire time I did come across this album was...was that thingie in the guy on the back cover's jeans for REAL????

I have matured since my rather obtuse teenbo days (of course it's fake!) but as I've said in the above paragraph the mere thought of laying down the proper amt. of buckskins for a copy of TRANSFORMER never really did cross my mind until now. Yeah I mean NOW here in the early '20s, a time when the entire Lou Reed/Velvet Underground/Andy Warhol/New York decadent mystique has been overrun by a buncha prissies with overblown romantic notions about the music and people who were, for the most part, some of the worst specimens of human debris ever to trod upon this planet we call Earth! And that is all despite the fact that, for all intent purposes, the likes of Lou and those he used to sing about were abject epitomes of PURE EVIL and avarice. All except for Warhol himself that is...I mean, you can't blame him because of his IQ of 60 as noted faggot Gore Vidal so succinctly put it.

But I'll cut Warhol and Reed some slack for once. After all, I have been cutting it to a whole variety of people including some who regularly comment on this very blog so why not today's subjects at hand?Anyway, TRANSFORMER does sound great here a good almost decade since Lou had the sense to leave the scene for good (after all, what did he have to offer us since STREET HASSLE stretching things QUITE A LONG WAY) with everything you'd want outta Lou comin' out in full force. I like it all from Lou's voice to the songs to the backing band, who as some guy reviewin' this on the 'net said, were "a poor man's Velvet Underground" and I already went through enough of that in the review of LES IDOLES a few weeks back to get into this particular subject any further than should be allowed. Tho additional searching has me adding SONIC YOUTH to the aforementioned poor man's list in case you are keeping track.

Its great, like a Velvets album that mighta come out in '72, a real reunion one that is (well, a much better one 'n that then-recent Byrds get together was supposed to have been) and by a stretch of the imagination something that was way more VU than that SQUEEZE "sucker the import buyers" effort that almost had me parting with $6.98 AT A TIME WHEN I COULD NOT AFFORD TO BUY ANY RECORD WITH A PRICE TAG THAT HIGH! And frankly given how that 'un woulda made me swear off any VU allegiance if I had heard it age 16, maybe the prohibitive price was a good thing.

Some of it, like "Vicious" and "Wagon Wheel", is straight ahead early-Velvets as good as any of the other "early-Velvets" acts that were hangin' around (hee!) at the time. Others have the right touch of early-seventies emotion-tugging chord moves that used to get my ear perked up in those pre-pubesprout times when "cutting edge" wild side rock seemed like some strange secret club one cold join if they only had the moolah to buy the album and gain entry into a world the Campfire Girls never could offer! Of course the Campfire Girls would never have me, but I wouldn't have minded listening to TRANSFORMER with them if only someone had brought a battery-operated record player on one of their woodland prowls.

Of course the big bit about all those sick New York types you used to hear about makes this more of a period piece you were expecting. Still remember the first time I heard in onna radio after being told it was DAVID BOWIE'S NEW SINGLE by my very cousin...after the first line of "Walk on the Wild Side" I was running away in abject fear that this song just might somehow cause me to be kidnapped by some maniacal boy pimp to be sold to the gypsies for perverted purposes! Donny Osmond it was most certainly not!

But it did grow on me. Of course the hidden meaning of a few things Lou mentioned therein didn't get by the censors as Mark Jenkins mentioned in an article in his Lou-friendly fanzine HYPERION. Mark's own pre-pubesprout kid brother caught the sly slip-in in the song's very first line, F.L.A. standing for Fucking, Laying and Ass Licking which I do admit does give the song an even stranger dimension, at least if you're an adolescent wiseacre who sees DIRTY in everything. I might have mentioned that on this blog earlier, but such facts should never be lost to history!

Yeah, you can get on Lou's case for re-writing "Wild Child" as "Hangin' 'Round". Maybe even for this gaylib anthem "Make Up" which reeks of man/boy "Desmond is Amazing"/"Lactacia" bump 'n twerk-styled pedo pride. And for the obvious fact that "New York Telephone Conversation" really needed Maureen Tucker to sing with Lou 'stead of whatever Thunderthigh was available. While yer at it spew some venom at him for "ruining" those once-great Velvets tracks that didn't sound as good here as they did on those 22 DEMOS tapes. I guess Lou had the license to do whatever he wanted and if you hate him for it well, that's cool. Not for him,good for you. Then again you have the right not to like any of this and frankly I don't blame you considering Lou's post decarock era which, frankly, only seemed to appeal to snobbish rock critics and those kinda people who flocked to the 1992 Velvets reunion and actually held up their flicked bics in virtue signaling appreciation of long-gone musical pioneering that had no real meaning thirty years later. But if you, like I tend to, try to cut any memories of under-the-underground rock 'n roll post-1979 outta your skull this does work wonders. Try it sometimes.
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Various Artists-MY MIND GOES HIGH -- PSYCHEDELIC POP NUGGETS FROM THE WEA VAULTS CD-r burn (originally on Wea/Warner Brothers Records)

Now when I think of Nuggets I think of some really trashy crank out single that came and went (but sure left an impression) that one woulda heard on some small off-the-air-by-sundown mom 'n pop rural radio station in the sixties. One that had some high school floor sweeper doin' the dee-jayin' and he mighta seemed like a total fanabla but hey, in many ways he was YOU.
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Some of the tracks that appear on MY MIND GOES HIGH do kinda sound like the kinda tracks the kids inna carpool woulda heard onna way home from stool one sunny afternoon, but I dunno if I can call all of 'em "nuggets" in a boffo Lenny Kaye sorta way. Maybe in a side four of NUGGETS get into baroque pop and Sagittarius (or even Third Rail!)  kinda way. Still the raga pop really fits in swell. It even has classics like the Association's "Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies", the Monkees' "Porpoise Song", Electric Prunes and Music Machine obscuros and (get this!) Kim Fowley's lone trek onto the Reprise label!

The only real turdburger here's this sitar-backed Donovan imitation which shoulda been left in the can until Wea decides to compile LATE SIXTIES DOWNER PRETENTIOUS FOLK PSYCH, a set which I get the idea will be a total winner with many of your readers.

Really, how could anyone who reads this blog not appreciate the loping mid-east rhythms and other nifty psychedelic touches that have been tossed in for added pop punch? Kinda like the modern day equivalent of prowling through some old relative's attic if only to absorb the culture and civilization that those old antiques stashed away ages back continue to permeate. I used to do that, and in many ways when I trek inside a cheap antiques shop I get to relive some of those past glories. And it made a more lasting, historical impression on me and who knows, it just might with you!
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The Fundamentalists-ONCE/I THOUGHT CD-r burn (see display on left for more info)

Here we go agin w/more aural mangipulations that kinda sound exactly like the same aural mangipulations we've heard from these guys (and many more) ever since OP told alla you cassette culture kids to GO FOR IT! And ya all did, hard-style in fact. It does have a nice repeato-riff chug-a-chug to it at times, the kind that kinda helps ya go to sleep during these rather trying caffeine nerve times. So if electronic steady beats are your idea of a relaxing good time all I gotta say is get as many as your li'l ol' heart desires and WEAR OUT THE GROOVES AS FAST AS YA CAN! Gee, I do hope that Bob Forward ain't one who wants to be taken seriously as an artist!
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Tin Huey-THE INDUSTRIAL WASTELAND, WKSU-FM 4.6.78; KENT RATHSKELLER 2/23/79 BROADCAST ON WKSU-FM CD-r burn

Sheesh, I mean who coulda imagined it inna first place---a local original music band of some renown being supported and promoted by a local radio station. I mean, can you believe it? Well, things like that usedta happen and although it may be a shocker to some but Kent-area rock 'n rollers Tin Huey were actually recorded and broadcast on Kent State's WKSU-FM at least three times inna late-seventies! The third 'un I know about, taken from the 4/28/79 Kent Creative Arts Festival, ain't here but the other two are and that's fine by me!

The first offerin' here's the "Tin Huey Day" broadcast featuring some live trackage as well as a special fifteen-minute "Tin Huey Story" narrative with funny music and classic tracks which was patched together especially for this show! Sound quality here is wonky and there are a few truncations but if I had this at the time it was aired I'd take it any way I could.

The second bit's from a live show almost a year later...sound is much better and the performance is ripe but for some reason my Cee-Dee kept skipping towards the end. Sheesh, can't a guy get a break no mo'? Whatever, all three of the Huey broadcasts should be slapped together for general consumption because like, they sure represented the band a whole lot better'n I thought the Warner Brothers album did.
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The Sea Ensemble-WE MOVE TOGETHER CD-r burn (originally on ESP-disk Records)

Sheesh, Bill shoulda knowed that I already had this 'un in my collection...maybe he sent me this burn to coax me into reviewing it again! Good for you Bill, and good for all of use tuned in because WE MOVE TOGETHER, besides being one of the last ESP releases before that label 86'd, is a pretty hotcha set featuring the team of Donald Rafael Garrett and his wife Zusann Fasteau performing this free-flow sound featuring a nice li'l asst. of woodwinds, strings and Far Eastern soundmakers that give this a sorta stripped down AACM feel that might getcherself yelled at if you play it in front of the parents. Heck, the KIDS will sneer as well but it all goes well if you like that neo-chamber new thing jazz that veers into not only world music but classical realms when the mood fits. Aw heck, let your folk listen to their Current 93 albums...I mean, you got this...
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THE ORIGINAL NORTHWEST SOUND OF DON AND THE GOODTIMES CD-r burn (originally on Beat Rocket Records)

The group that gave us ex-Kingsmen keyboard player Don Gallucci and future Paul Revere and the Raiders Jim "Harpo" Valley, these Goodtimes are probably best remembered (but not by me!) for their tenure on WHERE THE ACTION IS some while before that 'un finally got axed by ABC. Dunno why I forgot all about 'em, since the Goodtimes were pretty stylish and commercial yet strong enough Pacific Northwest group that woulda made a good impression on any single-digit blubberfarm who was tuned in for Dick Clark's afternoon rock 'n roll fest.

It's typical Northwest rock that teeters in between the hard raunch and the frat splat, with ample Sonics and Wailers covers mixed with trashy post-fifties r 'n b redo's and yet another one of those NW tee-vee commercial themed tracks that I'll bet the Goodtimes were hoping'd get them sued thus gettin' a whole lotta free publicity inna process! Take it from me guys, bad publicity DOESN'T WORK!!!!

Maybe the Goodtimes weren't as rough as the Etiquette label roster but these guys could probably fill a dance floor pretty fast and they had the right sound and approach. An' sure you kinda get the idea that they, like most of the Northwest contingent, woulda sunk deep into slick pop slop as the sixties crept to an end. But these mid-sixties recordings really do present these guys as a fairly good contender in the local hard rock sweepstakes and if you were one (like me) who spent a good portion of the eighties hunting down whatever rare reissue or expensive sixties original that passed your eyes well, need I tell you any more???
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Various Artists-LET IT ALL HANG OUT VOL. 1 CD-r burn (originally on Alopecia Records)

Wow man, a buncha "modern" groups doin' the mid-sixties English Big Beat sound! Of course for me "modern" can mean anything done after Og the Caveman invented the double dildo, but this mid-nineties effort does have the bop even if it ain't anything that'll draw me in the same way the originals had way back when. Some familiar names pop up in the mid but most of 'em are newies who probably came and went. Squint your ears a bit and it might sound like the real thing. (By the way, didja know that when I was a kid I got hollered at for singing "SOCK IT TO ME BABY LET IT ALL HANG OUT!"??????) 'n I didn't even know it was dirty!
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Various Artists-BEAUTIFUL CREEL ELROD BLUES CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Starts out kinda middling with a half-there psychedelic popper that doesn't take me on trips to worlds unknown (more or less takes me on trips to Coraopolis PA) but it gets better. The Creels' low-budget gal group thing works its magic halfway, while Major Lance works all the way through even to the point where you don't mind the monotone shrieks that come afterwards.

From there it goes from and old 78 to lounge soul and radio ads (rock 'n roll and not) along with some surprisingly primal rock 'n roll (the Rope River Blues Band) and even more of those "song poems" that all you sophisticates like to snicker over. Its a barrel of funzies featuring things that'll really catch you by surprise, but boy did I think those later-on Kingsmen sides to be totally doof-esque! Well, it was probably a TOTALLY DIFFERENT GROUP than the one that did "Louie Louie" by the time that 'un was laid down but still...
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And now for my weekly plea for you to purchase one, or many , or perhaps ever ALL of these wondrous back issue of BLACK TO COMM that I've had hanging around the abode taking up precious space where I could be storing my torture chamber. Now's the time for you to fill in the cracks in your collection, or fill in the crack between your butt cheeks if you're that kinda guy. Hey, I don't care what ya do with 'em once ya buy 'em!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

BOOK REVIEW! DINKY TOYS by Dr. Edward Force (Schiffer Books, 1996)

Brad Kohler gave me this book because the ol' stroonad thinks that I used to line up my Dinky Toys along the side of my bath tub when I was a mere youf pretending that they were cars at the lake (my filled tub an' with me innit!) out on a summer lark or something along those typical kiddoid lines. Well, he was sorta right and sorta wrong...I mean, I used to line my toy cars up on the tub edge pretending that they were at the lake I was bathing in, but believe it or don't I did not own any Dinky Toys at the time! The sad reality was that NOBODY around here was sellin' em much to the relief of my parents who sure didn't want to be dishing out even more moolah for my toys! And besides, I was more concerned that my submarine didn't crash into the rocks just by the lighthouse or (worse yet!) ram into the SECRET UNDERWATER CAVE which could spell disaster for all involved!

It took me years to figure out why I was allowed to take all those cars and boats into the bathroom for my daily dip into cleanliness. The folk probably believed that if I were playing with these toys then well, that took my mind off other things that could easily enough be played with ifyaknowaddamean!!!! But as far as Dinky Toys go well...I remember when the fambly was out and about in Niagara Falls Canada and we just happened to drive by this department store which had a big sign advertising that they sold Dinky Toys, and seven-year-old me wanted so badly that we stop in there so the parents could buy me one or at least a dozen. No dice---they told me that we had to go through customs and if they saw anything like Dinky Toys in our luggage we could be in grave trouble. Years later I kinda get the feeling that they were pulling my leg...sheesh they'd do just about ANYTHING to save on a few bucks which makes me wonder why we were taking a vacation inna first place since if they stayed home and just bought me a few they could have kept a huge bundle of money to go towards them important things, like maybe an antenna onna roof so's we could get some decent reception!

I managed to get a few Dinky Toys via flea markets and garage sales so it was obvious that they were being sold somewhere in the vicinity, and to this day I find things like Dinkys not to mention the competition (Corgi Toys being the most well known of the batch) the highlight of an otherwise unimpressive growing into maturity time in my life. And lo and behold but this price guide sure brings back the memories of alla them toys I sure wish I coulda had but well, as you know we can't all be Richie Rich!

Nice selection of pix here featuring a bright bevy of scale model toys that woulda gotten any ranch house suburban slob all agog in blubberfarm glory. I think there may have been a few omissions, but nobody can be that perfect and besides seeing what is pictured sure dredges up more than a few turdler-era thrills when things like the grille on a 1959 Buick made me think it was some wild metallic beast just created to tear up the roads. Dinky also had a good sense of true Amerigan automotive pride and joy (despite being British and French, later on Hong Kong as well) what with their bright idea to issue the late-fifties Lincoln Premiere not to mention a whole slew of Studebakers and Packards which I gotta say shows a WHOLE LOTTA CLASS ON THEIR PART! Corgi might have been the first with plastic windows, interiors, opening bonnet and boots (as they say over there) and other neat gimmicks, but Meccano Ltd. led the TASTE IN AUTOMOBILES pack with their Dinky line!

And to show ya just how good enough a job at detailing the whole Dinky phenomenon they do there's even a section devoted to Dinky knockoffs from various entities that either bought up old molds or better yet just swiped the models for themselves! And if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery well...I dunno how Dinky would have been flattered by the models Nicky Toys in India released since they weren't quite up to the standards that Dinky had set, but eh, a diecast toy car in the hands of any eight-year-old is probably just good enough for them and why ruin the whole aura of it all?

So yeah, DINKY TOYS should dredge up a whole load of ranch house kiddie memories unless you're some sorta sick NYC sophisticate who grew up with Judy Blume books and if that in fact is the case boy did you miss out on some good lowbrow fun! I gotta admit that I still get a tingle up the ol' spine whenever I dig out my own Dinkys for a well needed visit, and at times I have been known to purchase such cars IN THE HERE AND NOW whenever I do hit an antiques shop or flea market and find some battered beaut just waiting to be restored. Anyway please excuse me...y'see I have to take a bath and wanna gather a few things before I take that big plunge...

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

CEE-DEE REVIEW BY BILL SHUTE! STEVE MARRIOTT AND THE DT'S-SING THE BLUES LIVE (Edel Records)


I bought this CD out of the budget-bin in 2000, when it came out, at a K-Mart that went out of business soon after. It was thrown in with dozens of other discs containing cheapo hits collections, some of which were surely re-recordings. I wondered why a live album of Steve Marriott, former Small Faces and Humble Pie frontman, doing blues covers live in some club in 1989, just two years before his passing, would be mixed in with cheap, amateurish-looking ten-track collections of “greatest hits” from the likes of Johnny Mathis or the Jefferson Airplane or Sam & Dave or Tina Turner, but at $3.99 or so, I took the plunge, and I’m glad I did.

Marriott was always among the most respected among his 60’s UK peers, not surprising considering how The Small Faces made so many great records and were THE most stylish of the major mod bands. He barnstormed all across North America in the 70’s as part of Humble Pie, finding an all-new audience with their blues-based hard-rock, and though he no doubt had many enticing offers, he never really sold out. When he died in 1991 in a fire (only 44 years old!), he’d been playing small gigs across England with a local blues band (the band on this album), and from what I’ve read, he was quite happy and satisfied. Keith Richards wanted Marriott to replace Mick Taylor in the Rolling Stones in the 1970’s, but evidently that was nixed by Jagger, who knew that he’d be upstaged by Marriott. Though that would have given Steve a level of financial security, he was probably pleased and comfortable doing the mid-level shows where the stress-level was much less. Stones fans would have demanded Marriott do a song or two on each Stones album or live show, and we all know that the insecure, spandex-clad Jagger could not have dealt with that in the welcoming way other frontmen would have.

So what is this album like? It reminds me of some of those reissue albums of UK freakbeat bands released on labels like Angel Air where their original two or three singles along with some 60’s demos and acetates are compiled, but to get the album up to CD running time we get some live tracks from a 90’s revival version of the band, recorded at some pub where the guys are local heroes, and they blast through various Chess or Excello blues covers with abandon and sounding like both the band and the audience had had a few pints before the show. Of course, it doesn’t sound like 1965 again….the recording quality and the band’s equipment and amps guarantee that….but the boys play a hard-edged set with impassioned and raw vocals, slide guitar, harmonica, and the like, showing that they have not forgotten their 60’s blues roots. With a repertoire ono this album including Tampa Red, Wilbert Harrison, Rufus Thomas, Bobby Parker, and Eddie Boyd, all you need is a tall-boy of your favorite malt liquor, and you’ve got it made.

I know I have more of a taste for post-1960’s blues bands than many reading this do, but if you’re the kind of person who enjoyed the Canned Heat BOOGIE HOUSE TAPES collection I reviewed here a year or so back, you’ll probably like this. If you get excited (as I do) when you’re at some bar, and the band’s guitarist whips out a pocket knife and launches into a slide-guitar Elmore James “Dust My Broom” riff (the kind of thing that filled the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac albums), then this is the album for you. It also shows that Steve Marriott went down a champion, trusting the no-BS honesty of the blues as a means of expression and not worried about his celebrity status.

There are a number of posthumous live albums recorded in the last five years of Steve Marriott’s life floating around, including multiple-disc box sets, and you can also find live material online if you’d like to get a taste of where the man was at during this period. This album has no covers of earlier Marriott hits; it’s all blues material. I could have spent my $3.99 that day 20 years ago at K-Mart on a hot-dog and Icee combo (at the infamous K-Mart snack bar) instead of on this album, but other than the indigestion, I’d have forgotten that meal in an hour. This album I am still cranking up today and raising a can of Karbach Hopadillo beer to Steve Marriott’s memory!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Well, I see that you have survived the past week or else you obviously wouldn't be reading this! I'm doin' fine myself, keeping busy with the things I love to keep busy with and of course what you read below is pretty much the end result of it all. As you can tell I've had a pretty good time of it, and frankly what lies beneath is but the tip of the musical/tee-vee/reading iceberg---let's just say that I have more'n a few irons in the fire and who knows when I'm gonna sneak up on ya with a particularly potent BRAND. Thank goodness for pandemic-promulgated free time.

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I'm doin' a li'l afternoon readin' now, kickin' my feet up on the bed and listenin' to music which will probably be mentioned in these pages either below or rather shortly. In udder words I'm engaging in one of my favorite pastimes which can really zone me into a special realm once the music gets tantric and the wordage gets heavy. And in the course of all this all I must say that, it has been revealed and even in a Biblical sense, that there is an addition to my list of great rock screeding which tends to grow ever-so-slightly as the years go on. The new addition...Mark Jenkins' review of the Jefferson Airplane's LONG JOHN SILVER which appears in HYPERION vol. four number two (Winter 1973). Sheesh, someone should get that article out into the general public to show alla these weak-kneed upstarts what rock writing is supposed to be all about! IN OTHER WORDS, if I hadda compile my own PENGUIN BOOKS COLLECTION OF THE BEST ROCK WRITING EVER sorta like that one which came out back inna eighties this review, along with many forgotten bits of fanzine/gonzoid efforts, would appear while the vile likes of Ellen Willis and Robert Christgau would most certainly NOT!  Better yet, a collection of THE ENTIRE RUN OF HYPERION/HYPE would be most welcome...hey Hozac, are you listening in hmmmmmmmmmmmmm?
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I'll bet that more'n a few of you are just champin' at the bit to read my reactions to the recent passing of one Richard Penniman aka Little Richard, the famous rock 'n roll originator whose musical career veered off into a whole slew of strange tangents that I'm sure few casual observers would find hard to believe EVEN THO EVERY BIT OF IT WAS TRUE. Well, if you're one of those people who are expecting the expression of my well-advanced opinions all I gotta say is YOU GOT ANOTHER THINK COMIN'!
Little Richard...left and right???

All kiddin' aside well, here's what I gotta (no doubt about it) hafta say. My overall opinion of Richard has been mixed and even controversial. His mid-eighties comeback was something that quite irritated me after I saw his mooshing it up with Phil Donahue on the latter's long-lasting progressively political weepathon to the point where I did write some nasty stuff that I'm still having a very hard time living down. Not that I especially care, but witnessing the return of a wild fifties rock 'n roller in the staid and complacent eighties did not settle well in my stomach and it is perhaps because of that I never really cozied up to the guy that much musically or otherwise. Oh I do have some of Richard's recordings snuggled in the collection and enjoy them but he, like Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry (and in another rock 'n roll generation Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton), had a sort of aura around 'em that kept me from total appreciation...nothing generational mind ya, but societal and personal perhaps.

Still I BETTER say somethin' good since the guy has kicked the bucket and is nada and nyet when he was once up and smearin' makeup all over his face. And what can one add to the litany of a guy who was so faggy yet didn't die of AIDS when his compatriots were droppin' like flies ('n yeah, he once claimed he never actually did the sodomite deal with those of his assigned gender but I still find that extremely hard to get down, if you will pardon the expression, my throat), influenced tons of local late-fifties garage bands and was even signed to Emerson Lake and Palmer's Manticore label? Yeah, what can I say other' this guy's entire reason for existence might have been eve more skewered than Sammy Davis Jr's which is really sayin' somethin'! But it is good to know that the guy died a reg'lar kind of death like your relatives and neighbors seemed to, living his days out like most normal people who never had the chance to grasp at the glorious universe and all that psychobabble just holed up in their ancient digs goin' out perhaps on the same socio (tho not economical---I hope!) plain they entered into this world in. I find that pretty cool, something I can only hope to aspire to when I get on up in years and settle back at the old fanablas home. But don't bet on it.
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FOR THOSE OF YOU NOSTALGIC FOR DISGUSTING THINGS DEPARTMENT: while thumbing thru an old TEE-VEE GUIDE just yesterday I came across an ad that sure churned up a whole load of NAUSEATING THOUGHTS about something I thought I had forgotten about for years! Yeah, its those nude creatures seen on the left that at one time you just couldn't escape, especially if you happened to go near some schoolgal with a plastic billfold or a notepad with lotsa peace signs and "I LOVE DONNY"'s written all over it!

I used to think (still do!) that those LOVE IS noodie children with no genitals were not only OBSCENE but pretty disturbing, the most disturbing thing bein' that you used to see these creatures in the newspapers and just about anywhere back in the seventies and couldn't escape 'em even with the graphicness of the things starin' ya right inna face! Boy did that grate on my nerves not only because the things were ultra-cutesy-wootsey but downright sick what with them nipples 'n all! Not that you could get your rocks off lookin' at 'em, but I do think that if you did look at 'em hard enough your rocks would be headin' straight back to your rib cage!

Still don't know how whoever that gal was who made millyuns with these images got such a big audience inna first place (she really musta known which adolescent teengal outlets to plug into!) but LOVE IS sure caught on like syphilis and I consider these, along with hippies and genital liberation, one of the things that really led to the downfall of civilization as it used to stand before people who kept trying to improve things that maybe didn't need improving in the first place only made it worse. Oooh, I can still remember the nerve-grating feeling I used to get just lookin' at these things' belly buttons...an' while I'm at it I wonder just how many of the people I loathe in this  life grew up thinkin' that LOVE IS was the peachy keeniest thing ever to enter into their usually horse-blindered awareness capacities. I dunno about you, but when I was a kiddo I used to like my teenage-era heroes CLOTHED!!! You never saw the Lone Ranger flappin' his pud all over the place!

And whaddaya know, but a li'l internet searchin' has me unfortunately discoverin' that the whole bloomin' franchise continues on! I woulda hoped LOVE IS crashed into the ocean when the husband the male nude was patterned on was dying of cancer thus putting a kibosh on the whole sordid mess but no... Who knows, this thing might still be running in YOUR local paper which kinda makes me glad that the whole printed news format is facing a long-wished demise. If you're out of Ipecac this site really will come in handy. Will irritability ever cease?
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On to something a whole lot more palatable. mainly some writeups of various platters old and nude (sheesh, can't get the above disgustingness outta my mind!) new which I must admit is a proud piece of work. Some of the following, like the Wurm double set and Fadensonnen cassettes, just might rate as major spins of the year while the New York Dolls thing was a nice surprise and...well, don't wanna give TOO much away especially given the hours I've spent writing the following! Thanks goes to not only Fadensonnen but Bill Shute and Paul McGarry for the following which only goes to show their devotion to THE REVOLUTION! And unlike those modern day useful idiots you see prancing around these days I don't get the impression any of 'em 'r gonna be lined up in front of a brick wall with rifles aimed at 'em any day soon.


Wurm-EXHUMED 2-LP set (ORG Music)

Wurm's "Time Has Come Today" EP and FEAST album were such welcome surprises back inna eighties, which as you might remember was a time when we were seeing rock 'n roll as it once stood decaying right before our very eyes (and the KIDS were cheerin' it on!). That's just one reason why this new double set of Wurm recordings really does bring a tear to this ol' fanabla's face.

At least groups like Wurm, along with a few thou others you can read about in a good thirtysome year's worth of my writings,stood against the raging forces of slick processed sounds that pretended to speak for a generation which wasn't my
generation but eh, people have been manipulated before and will continue to be. Yeah the battle is over and unfortunately the ever-omnipresent they have won, but albums like EXHUMED remind me of that valiant fight many of us struck up in that war against the jive that ruined the concept of Burroughian youth miasma for GOOD. And man do I love chaos, at least some of the time, and EXHUMED delivers on it many-fold!

The first of this double platter blue vinyl set (a nice gimmick...reminds me of buying Stiff Records singles!) features Wurm's FEAST album in its entirety. You probably already have that 'un in your collection but another one should be welcome considering how the grooves are probably all worn on yours, and its no wonder because FEAST has got that true blue HEAVY METAL SOUND WE ALL NEED IN IT, an' I don't mean that phony faggot Van Halen polished until it glistens inna dark sorta spew but the hard-edged 1971 CREEM magazine churns your guts type of sound that put off a whole lotta people then, and continues to do so a good 35 years after you thought the coast was clear. After tons of fake HM being thrown at us by people who I guess "know better" it sure feels GREAT hearin' the sordid strains of Ed Danky's beneath primitive guitar lines as new vocalist Simon Smallwood of Dead Hippie howls as if his manhood got caught in a bear trap! If this had only gotten out inna early seventies when it shoulda, boy would it had made a great flea market find ten years later.

Side three's got all of the non-LP previously-released material (I think---weren't Wurm on the infamous COPULATION sampler?) which makes this a good enough place to hear it all collected into one neat pile. The TIME HAS COME TODAY EP is such a high mark in the annals of what GOOD there was about the eighties that more people should hear it any way they can, and that mere EP even stands to remind me that despite the generally stale air of rock music at the time which everyone from Anastasia Pantsios to Andy Secher believed was right and wholesome there was a gritty underbelly to it all that polite people just don't want to talk about! But who ever said this music was "polite"???? Or myself being polite for that matter?

The final side'll surprise the whole lot of ya, consisting of nothing but tracks recorded in the "Wurm Hole" back '77 way. And boy does the band tear into your inner mind with these wowzers that are only IMPROVED ON by the low fidelity presented. Total woooosh and whirrrrs an' alla those clever onomatopoeias that Lester Bangs used to describe Dust are up front on these total abandon hard-edged numbers that sound as if they were recorded after a marathon listening session of SPACE RITUAL and FUNHOUSE!!! And to imagine just around the same times these scars were being scraped across town the elite would be felching each other to the strains of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER while immersing themselves into every pseudo-philosophical scam that passed by their ever-twinkling eyes! Talk about a clash of (anti) civilizations!

Need I say more about this double duty reminder of just why many of you save up lunch money to buy records back when there was this certain feral inspiration about 'em? Yeah rock 'n roll as if had stood for quite some time is long gone 'n decayed, but at least efforts like EXHUMED can summon up a few spirits in your now over-throbbed mind.
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Fadensonnen-DEKADE 1/DEKADE 2 2-cassette set (fadensonnen.music@gmail.com)

Ya could describe Fadensonnen's music as the missing link between "Sister Ray" and METAL MACHINE MUSIC, and ya might be right! However there's a whole lot more to it what with the shreds of no wave disturbance (Jack Ruby) and various eighties on influences from industrial to pure anti-rock/sound/LIFE that sorta appeals to an aged crank like myself.

These two cassettes feature a number of Fadensonnen outtakes that just might jar you into that reality you've been avoiding for years, what with the high adrenaline rush a la Controlled Bleeding-meets Ash Ra Tempel 1st LP meshing with a robotic pounding that sounds like a million automated Maureen Tuckers clamping down on your skull. And between these two tapes you get over eighty minute of supreme pressure!
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Various Artists-NORTHERN LIGHTS CD-r burn

Remember "cassette culture"? Remember all of those English cassette tapes that were comin' out featuring rare beyond belief tracks by some of the more obscure anarcho-punks of the day? Remember how poor quality they were, not only due to the cheap tape that was used but the portable tape machine quality? Well if you miss that particular era in DIY flopdom (and I kinda do!) you might go for this "audio magazine" which features, besides two Cabaret Voltaire live tracks I kinda get the feeling were used without their permission, spoken word  cuts so poor in quality I can't make out what was being said as well as some pleasant enough acoustic guitar done up in that English folk trad that actually sound antique due to the lack of fidelity. Someone should do a tapeography of all these underhanded releases that gave us plenty of rarities during the eighties under-the-underground movement that did seem fresh enough, at least for a short while.
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Gold-LOST TREASURES FROM 1974 CD-r burn (originally on Jazzman Records)

These seventies soul junk numbers might not quite fit into a BLOG TO COMM accepted frame of what belongs here, but knowing me I'm not gonna shirk from my doody and avoid mentioning LOST TREASURES if only to look above-it-all and better than you are, even it I am.

Good thing too...these fairly recently-released (2011) tracks by a seventies soul act I never heard of before really do come off better than a lot of swill I've had the misfortune to be exposed to o'er the years. Or is that just because the stench of pop has gotten so strong that even these seventies tracks merely smell like sharp cheese? But like it I do (kinda), what with the cliches that sound good because really, what are wrong with cliches inna first place if they're good enough with interesting hooks?

Anyway, this pre-disco black music had more goin' for it than most wags would wanna agree. If you're man enough to appreciate early-seventies Motown or Philly at its best this also might strike some chord in you but I doubt it. An interesting piece of rare bubbling under funky soundz that you won't get, so like why should I waste my breath on you anyway (believe me, I've tried for years)?
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The New York Dolls with Mick Ronson-LIVE @ MAX'S KANSAS CITY JULY 4, 1976 2-CD-r burn set

Never got to hear the "new" Dolls (billed without the "New York" part) so this gig was quite a revelation. With the addition of keyboards the sound really ain't the Dolls of old but it's still Dolls-y enough to past muster in my book (THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK an' yeah I know that Meltzer HATED the Dolls!).

The music heard herein not only pays homage to the Dolls past, but points the way towards David Johansen's solo days long before the specter of Buster Poindexter reared its Vitalis head (an' yeah, Johansen introduces himself as Poindexter leading to a lotta wonder on my part!). Thankfully these toonz don't sound as stale or as camp as those various incarnations of the Johansen "mystique" could tend to get.

The appearance of special guest Ronson kinda goes right by ya, so if you were one who did not spin PLAY, DON'T WORRY incessantly when it first came out this will not bother you in the least. Overall I gotta say that this particular night was a way better celebration of the big 200 than what I hadda endure.
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Various Artists-SILENCE CONQUEST CIRCUS CLOWN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

A shorty (less that a half hour) but still packed burn with some interesting tho not mandatory sixties garage band efforts from the likes of Silence, the Noise and the Candidates (Vat 66 were fine as well tho I am not sure if they really did hail from the last greatest decade to grace kiddiedom). Ernie Freeman's piano jazz doesn't do too much for me but it sure beats that soft stuff which permeates the jazz world these days. And for you old tyme 78 lovers John Fischer's Band's "Circus Clown's Gallop" will have you really nostalgic for 1904 and dodging horse plop when you run around the streets barefoot!

There's also some good stuff from Joy McCoy doin' it Wanda-like and another "Louie Louie" you might wanna hear even if is more Kingsmen than Sonics, and it all ends with a cover of the Pretty Things' "Get the Picture" which might just get me digging out a few old albums of theirs more sooner than later! Much better than watching Don Lemon trying to prove just how much morally superior he is to the rest of us because he's only had a measly twenty anonymous lovers this month.
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Just the usual reminder about BLACK TO COMM back issues still being available in case you missed out on 'em back when they were freshly popped outta the printer. I'll forgive you for once, if only you'll take a few of these CRUCIAL, HEAVILY NEEDED magazines off my hands. Good stuff in 'em and I should know, because I wrote a good portion of 'em!