Thursday, July 30, 2020


Great moom here. Thought I was gonna hate the thing because well, it's a World War II film and sometimes those can get a little too sappy in the patrioats dept. for my liking. That's but one reason I always seem to be rootin' for the Nazis and Hirohito when I sit down in front of some of these wartime crankouts! Take that you goody too shoes boy from Brooklyn with the freckles on your face and the song in your heart!!!!

I'll put some of this home 'n country aversion aside for once since THE CAME TO BLOW UP AMERIGA entertains on all levels from the great z-film style to the general acting. George Sanders plays it pretty cool as the undercover Bund member for the FBI who goes back to der faterland in order to learn sabotage techniques to use back home, in the meanwhile meeting up with Anna Sten as a cutesypie Austrian working for the allies who hides anti-nazi messages in hollow candles. 

It holds yer attention and has some pretty downhome emotional acting like in that scene where FBI agent Ward Bond visits Sanders' ailing because his son is a traitor father (played by that little old winemaker you usedta see on tee-vee if yer over 70) to tell him that his son is really working for the goodskis. Also great is the part where the real wife of the Nazi that Sanders is impersonating is made out not only by Sanders but eventually her own words to look crazy and is locked up, eventually getting a bullet when she proves too dangerous to let out with the truth! Kinda makes up for the part where Sten is interrogated by a Nazi who is throwing darts at a pic of Winston Churchill...sheesh!

A not bad way to spend some free time since THEY CAME TO BLOW UP AMERIGA has everything I and perhaps even you if yer not some tightass worldsaving type would want in a moom. Action, tension, believable characters and an early-forties directness that cuts out the extraneous gunk that coulda padded this 'un up somewhat. Best of all the Nazis, even though they look cool 'n all in those uniforms and are hep enough to shoot women in cold blood, ain't any more attractive to this reviewer who actually was rootin' for the home team this time! One to catch if they ever bring back The Late Late Late Show.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


One thing I love about Asian markets is the availability of fish and seafood-based snacks. I’m the kind of person who can eat dried smelts or leftover shrimp or crawfish for breakfast, so the idea of munching on dried and salted mini-shrimp or dried and salted shredded fish the way other people would scarf down potato chips is heaven to me, and I always grab a few fish-snacks of that type whenever I hit the huge Asian supermarket “99 Ranch Market” in Houston or Austin (we don’t have one here in San Antonio, alas).

Therefore, I was happy to make the acquaintance of CHYUM SALTED EGG FISH CHIPS, buying three 4-ounce bags online, when the company recently offered a free shipping sale. My only question is…where has this product been all my life.

I’ve eaten dozens of kinds of dried and salted fish snack foods over the years, but have not had a fish skin-based one before. Evidently, this kind of product is very popular in Southeast Asia, and a brand named IRVIN’S SALTED EGG FISH CHIPS is the #1 snack food in Singapore!

The brand I’m discussing today, though, is sourced from Vietnam and distributed by a small American company out of San Francisco, CHYUM FOODS. Presently, this is their only offering, so I thought I’d help them along by promoting their delicious product.

I do love fish skin. Whenever I cook fish on the grill, the skin gets crispy and also absorbs the juices from the fish meat, and the rest of the family, most of whom are not fish-skin fans, offer their skin to me when they finish the non-skin part (do I hear someone making reference to the film I EAT YOUR SKIN, the re-titled zombie movie put on a double bill with I DRINK YOUR BLOOD in 1971 by Jerry Gross’ legendary Cinemation Industries? I remember well the ads for that show, although I was too young to get in as I DRINK YOUR BLOOD was rated “X” for violence—I had to wait until the VHS era to see it).

Essentially the product consists of strips of fish skin, fried in palm oil with a bit of tapioca starch and salt, and a coating mixture dominated by powdered (I’d guess) egg yolk and curry leaves. There’s also a bit of lard introduced somewhere in the process, and any tamale-loving readers know you can’t fake the presence of lard. Lard may kill me, but its basic creaminess and its meaty “bite” make the dying a pleasure. From a distance, you’d think these were chicharrones/pork rinds, but once you get closer, you notice the shiny fish skin and the green chunks of curry leaf. The egg yolk and the mix of coconut oil and sunflower oil give the chips a nice sweetness which balances the saltiness and the fishiness perfectly. And it’s as crunchy as pork rinds/chicharrones, so you’ve got the ultimate snack-food trifecta of crunchy, salty and sweet. The bag reads CRISPY CRUNCHY HAPPINESS, and I totally agree.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Sheesh, it's hard to get down the ol' obdulla oblongata the mere fact that the month of July is almost over! And the worst part about it is that due to the lack of a whole lotta inclement weather it seems as if it really hasn't gotten into gear yet! Can you imagine, a whole summer without a destructive tornado or stalled storm system making outdoor living unbearable for hours on end? Actually I don't mind bad weather, just as long as I'm hiding under my bed sniveling in fear while it rages on.

Other'n that it was a nice enough week, with a few more entries into the annals of BLOG TO COMM-dom to keep me goin' like I was back when I was younger and couldn't afford alla the fun music and fanzines that were up 'n about. But I sure tried, and as the years went on made up for those years of depression-era wages keeping me pretty much outta a whole buncha loops. You can even read about some of the music I've experienced o'er the past week (mostly newies plus a rediscovered gem), the kind that never did seem to fit too well into the usual Anastasia Pantsios frame of proper flower child starry-eyed reasons for existence. In other words, I do get the strange feeling that there are no Throbbing Gristle or MX-80 Sound platters in that gal's collection, but if I ever wanted to borrow a mid-eighties Cleveland HM disque (after all, they were promoting their own shows and writing their own fanzines unlike alla those punk rock creeps!) I'd know where to go! Oh yeah, and Lemmy really was a nice guy unlike his stage persona would have led us all to believe. Thanks for that hot flash Ana!
My current favorite Facebook page!
Not really much more to say this week other'n THANKS BE to all the fine dupes who sent me material to be reviewed. People like Bill Shute and Paul McGarry and who knows, maybe Bob Forward would be on the list if I could only remember where all of those thingies he sent went! Anyway read on, and maybe next week I'll be able to whip something really tasty up for you uncompromising gormandizers out there.

The Mighty Mofos-SHO' HARD! LP (Treehouse Records)

Another one of those dig-outs (this 'un inspired by my review of their EP a short while back) which has me wond'rin exactly WHY I WAS SO STOOPID TO BRUSH THESE GUYS OFF WAY BACK WHEN! Now I think I liked the Mofo's platters when I first gave 'em a spin (too lazy to search through my teeny-tiny print size back issues to remind myself) but I obviously wasn't inspired enough to seek out their other spinners! For that matter nor did I want to search the band out for an interview which would certainly have helped raise the property value of my crudzine. In retrospect, all I can say is WHAT A DUMMY I WAS AND PERHAPS SHALL REMAIN!!!! 'n it's too late to change anything because YOU CAN'T TEACH OLD BLOGGERS NEW TRICKS!!!!

If you squint your ears ever-so-slightly, the Mofos sound like a cross between the Flamin' Groovies (both the early-seventies and mop-top variations) and early Cheap Trick mixed with equal parts New Legion Rock Spectacular and pre-TOMMY Who. Hard pop seventies-styled rock, the kind that was hyped up by the smarter minds on the set but really didn't go anywhere back inna seventies much to the dismay of various pop cheerleaders like Greg Shaw and Cary Baker. Listening to this kinda reminds me of back circa '78 when I picked up TEENAGE HEAD for a mere buck and spun the thing in wild-eyed amazement thinkin' this was the right and proper direction that all rock 'n roll should head in thus guaranteeing a bright and happy future for us all. I get the exact feeling listening to SHO' HARD! lo these many years later hearin' the way the Batson brothers who ran the whole shebang took those fifties rock roots and reshaped 'em into something that at least held strong during the last great era of rock inna seventies.

Smart-set originals all wrapped up with covers of the Small Faces ("Afterglow"...also on the previously-mentioned  EP!) and MC5 making this worth the inflated price you'll have to pay for this today. Sheesh, what better accolades can I give these guys anyway? Maybe a search of their other efforts is in order, and more sooner than later before they really become expensive!
Alan Davey's Psychedelic Warlords-CAPTAIN LOCKHEED & THE STARFIGHTERS CD (Purple Pyramid Records)

It might kinda seem strange to you that this ex-Hawkwind bass guitarist and bonafeed fan would wanna re-create the entire CAPTAIN LOCKHEED album as it was originally intended to be done in front of a breathing audience way back when. But he did, and the results are sure worthy of all the effort that must have gone into this bigtime production. Dunno how the lightshow and action on-stage went, but the music comes close enough for comfort w/o sounding like some reshaped for modern tastes atrocity and I can't see any fan of the original, at least those with slightly-opened ears, poo-pooing this unless their sphincters are even tighter'n your cyster's. I get the impression that Robert Calvert himself would have approved, at least if he was in one of his manic states. The Warlords also did a live appreciation of HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GRILL which might be worth looking into as well.
Albert Ayler-NEW GRASS CD (Impulse/Verve Records)

I dunno why people dump on this 'un! NEW GRASS swings with an r 'n b gospel jazz fervor that might have pointed in some grand directions had Ayler lived long enough to hear some Stooges records! Ayler's tenor gets back to those early roots without comin' off too soppy-eyed and if those old melodies he toots sounded great with just string bass and drums they sound just as good with a full band keeping it all in check (somewhat). Now this ain't the place to start if you're just gettin' into the guy, but if you were scared off by the naysayers all these years like I was then this should excite you a whole lot more'n the latest hotcha underground blogosphere flash, whatever that happens to be this week.
Various Artists-COME AND GET IT - A TRIBUTE TO BADFINGER CD-r burn (originally on Copper Records)

What can ya say about a tribute album like that that hasn't been said about a thousand other tribute albums o'er the past thirtysome years? Well, it ain't as horrid as any of the Velvet Underground ones I've heard (VU thru rose colored moderne precocious youth lenses that always filters out WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT). Performances are faithful enough and still retain some glistening of just why Badfinger were one of those bright spots on the radio during my growin' up days, but can anything here hope to match the original spark and dazzle that sounded even better when scattered amid the Carole King so prevalent then? Course not...stick with the original and spare yourself the extra lucre it would take to track down and buy this well-intention'd yet non-groundbreaking effort.
Alex Chilton, Chris Stamey, Tav Falco-LIVE DOWN SOUTH VOL. ONE two CD-r burn

Hey, didn't I hear this in part a few years back? Sure sounds familiar what with these three south of the Mason/Dixon legends playing (very loosely) a buncha old hits and such in front of an audience that was probably too zoned to notice. I kinda like the party atmosphere of it especially since it sounds so spontaneous and as if the practitioners were havin' a good time of it regardless of what any tightened anus rock critic might have thought. Two platters (each over seventysome minutes) that just might make the best soundtrack to your next one-man party that you'll be holding once you are able to scrape up enough money for a bag of pork rinds and budget beer.
Various Artists-GROOVY DROP DADDY ITCH CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

And now as is customary with all of these "reg'lar" BLOG TO COMM posts, a review of one of those Bill Shute samplers out of many that I don't think I'll ever catch up with there's so many of 'em clutterin' up the usedta-be-bedroom of mine. As usual, Bill stuck some really exciting things on here, not exciting like wow WHEE! but exciting like "Gee, I never knew this thing existed!"  The original version of the Kenny Rogers hit "Just Dropped In" sounds better'n the hit while the various rarities by the Blue Stars, Charms and the Pacifics show the side of sixties singles that most people seem to have long forgotten. Only Claudine Longet's squeaky-pitched slop popper turned me off. Sheesh, an' I used to think she was somethin' back when I'd watch her on THE ANDY WILLIAMS SHOW which goes to show ya just what a malleable buncha silly putty I possess for a brain!
Just remindin' ya that BLACK TO COMM back issues are still available in case you wanna read some real rock 'n roll musings 'stead of the mush that passes for rock writing these days. Some real bright stuff is to be found within those pages so if I were you I'd forego the chocolate bars and enema you were thinkin' of buyin' and order as many of these mags as you can RIGHT NOW. You can always go back to your sickening habits next week.

Thursday, July 23, 2020


We're headin' down the home stretch with this next-to-last Chester Gould-era TRACY volume, an' boy do I like it. I like it even with the larger daily panels which lack that four panel beat to it (and besides, now it take a whole week to read a plot that coulda been handed in two days). I like it even when each of the Christmastime strips feature a hospital crisis that ends all sweetness and light right when the Big Day is just upon us and (best of all) I think these mid-seventies TRACYs are great even if Chester Gould decided to "update" Tracy's looks once again makin' his the comic strip's answer to Clint Eastwood and DIRTY HARRY what with that tousled hair of his!

But even with the new TRACY look and Gould's continuance re. the "Law and Order" drumbeat that's been goin' on ever since the very early seventies these stories are still driving enough to keep a jaded ol' fanabla like myself's attention goin'. Well, the TRACY of the seventies can't hold a high beam blinding flashlight to the forties strip, but it sure is good seein' the classic hands tackle this strip especially when even a teenbo like myself knew that the jig wasn't gonna last forever.

The cover star this volume's Brain, not that bespectacled guy you saw on THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO but this sleek gangster type who wears a fedora topped with what looks like yer average cranial matter. Funny thing is, when his hat flies off hie actual scalp looks like a brain as well meaning the guy really is curly headed! Along the way Tracy comes up against some pretty weirdo criminals from Earl Welz (the father of an obscene phone caller...Gould really was keeping up with the times!), Le Maude (a one-eyed funeral home operator who is involved with the follicle inundated Hairy in a drug ring), Bulky (involved in an extortion racket involving Sparkle Plenty's cartoonist hubby Vera Allred which results in Sparkle's eventual abandonment of Allred and her eventual suicide attempt...hey, this storyline ain't so bad at all!) and eventually this female bank robbery/murder gang led by the mid-aged Lispy and her toothless pal Pucker Puss who prove the old adage that wimmen are the "dangerous" sex. As another puss, Snagglepuss that is, would say, "Ain't it the truth!"

Throw in a killer tornado which leaves a character's corpse lodged in a tree as well as an exploding hilltop which is set off by the crippled daughter of a farmer turned mobster (killing both and trapping both Tracy and Sam Ketchem under rock leaving 'em sitting ducks for a helicopter sniper) and you know this ain't exactly gonna be THE KEWPIES.

The mid-seventies "miasma" seems to have settled into TRACY making it was more uppa-date than I'm sure many wags woulda thought. Sure the pressures of then-modern cartooning seemed to have taken somewhat of a toll, but at least the old TRACY spirit remains what with Out Hero slugging out a criminal who spit on him (with said criminal then muttering somethin' about "The Supreme Court") and enough violence and belittling of soft on crime courts and their lackeys. When was the last time you saw anything nearly as caustic and as proudly non-progressive as this in any newspaper as of late anyhow? Opinions like the kind espoused in DICK TRACY are JUST NOT ALLOWED TO BE EXPRESSED in any wayshapeform these sad 'n sorry times and although I might have my qualms about certain aspects of policing or the death penalty that might contradict those of Gould all I gotta say is IT SURE IS REFRESHING TO READ THESE VIEWS BEING ESPOUSED INNA FUNNY PAGES especially when some ideas are permitted if they reflect the opinions of their multi-millionaire masters (have ya seen DOONESBURY recently?) while others are strictly verboten especially with the pretext of journalistic (and comic page!) objectivity having been thrown out the window ages back. 

Sure can use a whole lot more of this refreshing strip, and given how the original TRACY spirit's days were numbered you can bet I'll be cherishing the final volume all the more.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

As that famed comedian Harpo Marx once said... Hmmmm, Henry, the Little King and Ferd'nand (Louie too!) said the exact same thing! Anyway, you can tell that I've been thumbing through back issues of my crudzine (see link below) what with my lame yet appealing on a personal level humor bein' regurgitated in a such a way! Anyhoo, here's yet another entry into the annals of BLOG TO COMM-unism that I think you might find particularly pedestrian if not downright pallid! In udder words, don't get your hopes up because IN NO WAY will this BTC be considered one for the archives even if people will probably be dialin' it up a thousand years from now in order to get the STRAIGHT AND UNABASHED TRUTH when it comes to what music (and gen'rul livin') was like in these here times and just how dad-blamed terrible a good hunk of it most surely was.
Besides workin' on future endeavors and generally just livin' off the land (or in my case years of record, book and fanzine collecting), I've also been toilin' away tryin' to copy about as many of the good 'n rare rockscribe goodies on Rocksbackpages as I can. Doin' a pretty good job of it as well what with me pilin' away reviews and such by the likes of some pretty good writers out there like Kris Needs, Ralph Traitor (or was it Jeremy Gluck?) and Metal Mike Saunders, discoverin' a whole lotta new horsemeat to sink my hooks into. A difficult task printin' and staplin' away for sure, but the rewards are plentiful what with the bevy of beauteous readin' that I'm in store for once I slap the boom box on an' my feet up onna bed! Unfortunately I gotta say that there is a dearth of crucial writings by many the biggies inna biz that I wish was available...need to re-read both Lester Bangs's putdown of some Don Moye album as well as Richard Meltzer's writeup of Throbbing Gristle's "Zyklon B. Zombie" single, both from the pages of various 1979 issues of THE VILLAGE (retch!) VOICE. Those ain't on Rocksbackpages and neither are a few other items I thought woulda be front and center (did I mention I was looking for Chrissie Hynde's Mose Allison piece? Prob'ly a millyun times!!!), but what I am gathering up is good for this goose and maybe a few ganders as well.
Thanks to Bill, Bob and Paul for the goodies. Now don't disappoint 'em because of their generosity towards me and read the blasted things, hokay?!

Can-LIVE ROCKPALAST 1970 CD (Rox Vox Records)

If you wanna know what kinda music really soothes this savage tit it's the LONG DRONE. Born of Caleized Velvet Underground with tangents reaching from the late-sixties Ladbroke Groovers to seventies New York throttle (with some sidesteps into decadence a la Francais...Mahogany Brain and Red Noise etc.) and with endpoints in the likes of Suicide and Throbbing Gristle with hefty doses of various Teutonic throbs in the Amon Duul I/II and Can modes for good measure. Did I just mention Can??? Sure, why not??? I mean, how obvious can I get?

Unlike the Velvet Underground, it seems as if Can left a whole slew of archival material that's thankfully gushing out into the rock world as compared to the dribbles here and there we get from whoever it is that has control of the VU legacy. This '70 tee-vee soundtrack is supposed to be the earliest intact Can live show to survive en toto, and it's a pretty good (though not as over-the-top as I woulda loved) as well what with Damo Suzuki acting his best crazed lead vocalist self while the rest of the group lay down a heavy crank that comes off fine especially during those evening hours when ya wanna get your nerve ends all tinglin'. All I gotta say is that I want MORE, and maybe if one searches hard enough some Malcolm Mooney-era Can live shows'll turn up an' hopefully while we all still have ears.
The Fundamentalists-BLUES FOR ANITA BERBER CD-r burn (see cover for email info)

I dunno why anybody would wanna dedicate the blues to that dyke, but these Fundamentalists have done just that an' its too late to put the toothpaste back inna tube. Fitting as well, because for the most part these mumbles and metal machine musings probably replicate the exact same sounds Berber's nervous system was making throughout that sorry figure's entire lifespan. Much better'n the distorto radiowave recordings this batch did earlier, quite hypnotizing in fact reminding me of when I was a young sprout wandering through the appliance department at Sears and I'd get really overcome and emotional while the washing machines would chug and roar. Maybe if someone added phasing to them they coulda come pretty close to what the Fundamentalists manage to do when they hit the spin cycle!
Scott H. Biram-LO-FI MOJO CD-r burn (originally on Knuckle Sandwich Records)

More o' dat down-home cookin' that sounds pretty authentico to these ears, though as you might have guessed I'm not exactly the kinda guy who can just authenticoism the same way that, say, Bill Shute can. Solo guitar picking with vocals come closer to that backwoods hillbilly style than a whole slew of hippoid imitators ever have, and besides that Biram throws a few old bloozy classics in with what I assume are originals. Now that the Holy Modal Rounders are a thing of the past you might wanna try this guy for your real deal non-pasteurized listening pleasure.
The Branded-EVIL GONE WRONG CD-r burn (originally on Soundflat Records)

Some of us still call it "six-oh", and with groups like the Branded up 'n about (I hope...this is a 2012 release) WE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO!!!!! Strong enough for me "revival" music that has the guts and grit that many of those mid-eighties types lacked, with boffo originals (which rip off the oldies as if that's anything to be ashamed of!) that stand up to some of the better fandom-oriented sixties music extant. Nothing to sneeze at. Cough at maybe but not sneeze.
Smokey Emery-LIVES V.IV CD-r burn (originally on Kiamesha Drive Records --- try Smokey's bandcamp page for more information)

Yeah, I know that for most BLOG TO COMM readers ambient music is about as pleasant as eating a whole lotta bran and getting the feeling as if you're defecating pine cones (something which I think just might appeal to at least a few of ya more rectally oriented readers!), but this massively proficient post-Cage composer sure does crank out a sound that puts those tiresome early-eighties Eno efforts to pure shame. I dunno the exact whys and wherefores of Emery's music (this recording being "the fourth in an ongoing series of albums composed of recordings from live performances captured with video cameras, smartphones, and other portable devices") or how the recording process is supposed to relate to the tonal apparitions at hand for that matter, but the results are what I would call a pure avgarde experience which has had many-a-precedent ever since Marcel Duchamp decided to dabble in sound. But eh, it's sure great hearin' it bein' done again over a hunnerd years later, and without the usual pretension that sometimes comes attached to this kind of music as well.

I whipped this 'un outta the collection in honor of Bill Shute, and found that EARLY LA SESSIONS really does capture a facet of the neo/post-Byrds aura about as well as I thought it would be. Even the could get slick session musicians can't stop EARLY LA SESSIONS from bein' one of those mid-sixties efforts which show a certain (and welcome) "maturity" to the sound which does veer a bit off the mop top reservation . If you were one of those eggheads who went for the likes of Tim Rose or Tim Hardin you probably woulda went for this 'un as well. Pretty hotcha folk-unto-country transition ya got there Gene!
Stan Bronstein/Elephant's Memory Band-OUR ISLAND MUSIC LP (Muse Records)

Funny how I hated this final Elephant's Memory effort when I first spun it about a good two decades back but today find it just sounds like rather middling yet palatable jazz. Well it is kind of a shame since these guys released some rather good records such as the TAKE IT TO THE STREETS album on Metromedia as well as the one one Apple that John 'n Yoko produced that had earned hushed hosannas with the word "MC5" muttered in passing. (Never did hear ANGELS FOREVER on RCA...and its too pricey for me these penny-pinched days!) Stick with the early stuff and leave this on the back-burner until your craving for this oft overlooked band gets really out-of-hand!
Various Artists-HARD TIMES IN THE COUNTRY (DOWN AND OUT IN THE RURAL SOUTH) CD-r burn (originally on Rebel Records)

Sheesh, I gotta say this it sure is grand listening to downhome 'n DEEP SOUTH folk strums that ARE NOT BEIN' PERFORMED BY RICH UPPER-CLASS KIDS LIVING OFF TRUST FUNDS TRYIN' TO BE DOWN FOR THE CAUSE 'n the rest of that altruistic crap that only resulted in unsuspecting gals gettin' the nine-month treatment ifyaknowaddamean... Sure these tracks wouldn't sound outta place on those old Holy Modal Rounders recs but them BEIN' THE REAL DEAL does add a certain credibility to 'em that doesn't give ya the SNEAKIN' SUSPICION that these guys are bein' made fun of. Recorded twixt '27 and '38 the entire grit of the lower class musical set can be discerned easily enough and it sure sounds better comin' from the soul 'stead of from the Anthropology class. The lyrics to "Riley the Furniture Man" by the Georgia Crackers might get a few precious petunias out there a li'l more outraged than usual, but that's the price ya pay for bein' more superior 'n the rest of us'll ever be!
James Luther Dickinson-AXCV (DELTA EXPERIMENTAL PROJECTS COMPILATION VOL. 1 - THE BLUES, VOL. 2 - SPRING POEMS) CD-r burn (originally on New Rose Records, France)

No this is not a James Luther Dickinson platter as in he's the star performer but a sampler of various mid-South musings that sorta snuggle into the IT CAME FROM MEMPHIS book, at least sideways .The first volume I can "get" what with the field recording of the blues as they were done long before the likes of Robert Cray and George Thorogood got their hands on the form, and believe-you-me I'd rather hear my blues accompanied by the chopping of wood (as on Alex Teal's "Roll Me Over Slow") than I would with flash guitar!

The second part, the "Spring Poems" set I do not cozy up to. Sounds too professional with loads of early-eighties avgarde pop moves filtered in making for an even more unpleasant listening experience. At least when the Painters of the South start doin' "Camptown Races" with nothin' but outta tune pennywhistle and drums I can eke some enjoyment in the same way that Farina's kazoo and home-made drum set got into its own spiritual groove in that one LITTLE RASCALS where Wheezer's puppies were following the sound of bells all over the place. Otherwise those "poems", while produced swell enough without any grit or grime, sure don't have the same inner-movement that a classic low-fi blues holler laid down on a wire recorder did.
Various Artists-PRIMITIVE GREEN JUNK UNIVERSE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

As is wont these Bill Shute "Virtual Floor Sweepings", PRIMITIVE GREEN JUNK UNIVERSE is a real mixed bag o' nuts with its share of Brazils along with the cashews. Although at least one reg'lar reader might disagree I thought that Australia's Primitive Calculators were nothing-at-all-special "electro-punque" the world has had more than enough of while all of the spoken word and mind rambles weren't even that fun to listen to even on first spin. However I gotta say that I thought the radio ads stuck in between tracks as well as the song poems and the punk rarities (tho Bill shoulda known that the Controllers have been snuggled in my collection for years) not forgetting that anonymous take on the Raiders and Cyrkle were a bright part of my otherwise droll day. Even that Jimbo Easter talkin' like Captain Beefheart thingamafanabla was gropeable, tho personally I don't think that the one call Van Vliet woulda lost any sleep over someone imitating him like that.
One of the things that I am most proud of in my rather checkered (and chessed, and acey ducey'd) life is having created this BLACK TO COMM magazine to help and enrich you readers' generally drab lives. Of course I'd even be prouder if more of you people bought more of 'em up. Just click on the link and help booster this poor blogschpieler's self image a few notches, and help him turn some of his HARD, UN-APPRECIATED WORK into moolah for his present and future endeavors, savvy?

Thursday, July 16, 2020


Every once in awhile I like to get a good ol' silent moom into my system, although I really dread seein' the way they are presented whenever TCM gets hold of one. No, let me rephrase that---I really dread hearin'em considerin' the horrible up-to-date schlocky music they attach to these otherwise stellar examples of funtime entertainment that might make 'em "view-able" for your standard post-human upscale "cinema"-lover but pretty dismal for a downright suburban slob lover of the past like I am!

Mebbee that's why I really dig these Grapevine Video (see link on left hand of screen) silent film offerings which contain music that really does fit in with the visuals and give ya the same downhome entertainment value that I'm sure your ancestors got outta the exact same films a good century or so back. Y'know, that classic organ more akin to a roller rink, but it sure does bring back memories and GOOD ones regarding moom pitcher fun 'n jamz and how it appealed to some poor slob out for an evening of entertainment.  And as far as silent films go they seem to deliver way more of what's important in the development and general rendering of a story than alla these things with special effects yet dire, anti-life values and production that one such as I unfortunately has been in contact with these sad 'n sorry days.

THE SUCKER PUNCH ain't exactly what I would call the cream of the silent moom pitcher crop, but it sure delivers on a pretty hotcha story that kept my attention goin' despite the various pitfalls that would keep this from becoming an instant classic. Really, the idea of getting matinee idol Richard Dix to play a role meant for Harold Lloyd (complete with the acrobatic and nerve-gripping tension found not only in SAFETY LAST but a slew of Lloyd vehicles where he ripped off himself) doesn't quite seem right and in many cases just seems awkward, but better him than the team of Jim Belushi and Michael Keaton ripping off the famed building climbing scene in some hideous sitcom whose title I thankfully forgot. But still the entire film works out even if I wouldn't call it a top notcher of twenties "cinema" (ooooh!), and if this 'un turned up on the WVIZ-TV OLD MOVIES show back inna mid-seventies you could bet I woulda been front and center even with that weird organ soundtrack that rambled on no matter what the action on-screen just happened to be.

Dix plays the son of a well-to-do businessman training to be a boxer (thus the title---he's got a "shock punch" to rival Dempsey) who falls for the daughter of a construction magnate who just happens to loathe boxing. Of course Dix gives it all up for her (thus ending any hope I had of this being yet another classic pugilistic romp so common way back when) and actually gets a job at his new gal's father's firm among the girders leading to a whole lot of those comedic close calls that echo a good portion of those aforementioned Lloyd flickers that kept folk like me on edge for ages. Along the way he meets up (again) with the foreman (silent screen heavy Walter Long) who was punched out by Dix in an earlier scene, leading to some pretty interesting added tension which culminates in the nerve-racking girder about to break loose and ruin everything in sight climax that, if it doesn't wow audiences these days, proves that for all intent purposes life as we knew it died out around the time EVERYBODY hadda become sophisticated and forget their past, good or bad, with a sorry vengeance.

Hokay, so THE SHOCK PUNCH ain't exactly a four star winner here at BLOG TO COMM, but it really beats out all of the classy high art filmic excursions that people with first names like Judith and Pauline had been hosanna-ing to the rafters for the longest time. And for that little truth maybe we should all be grateful.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Dell’s “Four Color” comics line ran from 1939 through 1962, for a total of 1332 issues. A number of those comics in the second half of the run were movie adaptations. For what by today’s standards was a modest licensing fee, a movie comic book pretty much made everyone happy: the comics publisher had a pre-sold audience for an existing and popular property; the movie studio had tie-in publicity on the comics racks of America, which could only help build up box office for the films; fans could get a souvenir of a favorite star or film and “re-experience” the film in comic book form, much the way movie tie-in novelizations offered a similar experience. Also, those who missed the film or were not old enough to see the film could at least read the comic book of it, since in that pre-video age, you’d have to wait years for something to come onto television, and you’d have to be lucky that your local station or network affiliate was playing it.

The original comics of these adaptations usually go for more money than you’d expect, because not just comics fans but movie fans are bidding up the price, and with John Wayne, you’ve got a very large following, people who are prepared to pay $75 or more for a VG copy of a Dell movie adaptation comic that would go for $5 had the film starred Sonny Tufts or Guy Madison.

Wayne had his own series of “John Wayne Adventure Comics” at Toby Comics, which ran between 1949 and 1955 for 31 issues. One rarely sees an acceptable copy of one of those online for under $100. Fortunately, they have been collected in four handsome volumes by Gwandanaland Comics, so anyone can own pristine reproductions of the comics at a reasonable price (I own all 4 volumes and sent Chris an extra copy of Volume 4, which he reviewed here at BTC on 10 January 2019).

The four films adapted into Dell comic books here are THE CONQUEROR (1956), THE HORSE SOLDIERS (1959), NORTH TO ALASKA (1960), and THE COMANCHEROS (1961), directed by Dick Powell, John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and Michael Curtiz. I believe that I’ve seen all of the films at one time or another, but not in the last 15 years. I enjoyed them all, but they are not among my favorite Wayne films…. ahhh, alas, there are no comic book adaptations of BRANNIGAN or BIG JIM MCLAIN or ISLAND IN THE SKY or THE SHADOW OF THE EAGLE or PITTSBURGH or IDOL OF THE CROWDS or THREE TEXAS STEERS.

Since I don’t have very clear memories of any of the movies adapted here, I must say that I’m VERY happy with the comic books inspired by them. As would be expected, to take a two-hour feature film (and all of these were very much “A-picture” events being John Wayne films of the late 50’s and early 60’s) and shoehorn it into a 32-page comic book requires some pruning and streamlining, which only benefits the comic since subplots or dialogue-heavy sequences from the film are trimmed. The comic book writers have to create something that resembles the film enough to satisfy those who’ve seen it, but at the same time, have a product that makes sense and tells a complete story to someone who has not seen and never will see the film. That’s a tall order, but all four of these comics deliver that very well here.

THE CONQUEROR is essentially a sword-and-sandal film (Wayne as Genghis Khan), and that genre has always adapted well to comics, probably because the films themselves often have a comic book-like feel to them, at least when they are unpretentious bread-and-butter B-movie product. This comic is not as turgid as the film, though the characters speak in that delicious stilted storybook/Biblical style found in creaky Hollywood historical epics. I’m probably one of the few people who would have enjoyed seeing a whole comic book series devoted to “The Duke as Genghis Khan,” though with the film not being a hit, that prospect was never considered.
THE HORSE SOLDIERS, which co-starred William Holden, is a Civil War adventure, and that too adapts well to the comic book page, with troops on horseback engaging in battles, bridges being blown up, trains being commandeered, small towns being occupied by troops, Confederate snipers on rooftops, etc. If you own an original copy of this comic, you’re lucky, but this reprint does very nicely.

NORTH TO ALASKA is a Northwest comedy-adventure, with a wild cast including Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, and Fabian. As with Dell’s adaptation of THE DETECTIVES TV show with Robert Taylor, the star is depicted accurately, but the supporting characters in the comic don’t really look like or act like the characters in the film or TV show. The Fabian character here has blonde hair and looks to be about 13. The Ernie Kovacs character does appear in the comic, but he’s de-emphasized and not very Kovacs-like (although that would be difficult to capture on the comics page). Still, it’s a freewheeling, fast-moving comic with enough humor and rough-housing to satisfy some bank security guard reading it after work on a lonely Friday night, sitting on the balcony of his furnished room above a loan office in Salina, Kansas in 1960, trying to summon up the nerve to ask that attractive red-haired bank teller on a date, and getting more courage with every Pabst Blue Ribbon he pounds down on a hot prairie evening as the sun hangs low on the western horizon, endlessly dragging out those last moments of daylight.

THE COMANCHEROS, co-starring Stuart Whitman and Lee Marvin, has as the tagline on its poster, THE LAW…THE LAWLESS….THE LOVERS, RECKLESS ADVENTURES ON THE BORDER OF NO RETURN, and it certainly delivered those goods. A rugged story of Texas Rangers taking on gun-runners and bandits and assorted sleazes, the comic version is perhaps the best of the four because it captures the unique John Wayne persona well in the art and the dialogue and also gives Stuart Whitman, a Frenchman from Louisiana who kills someone in a duel he does not want to fight and then gets blamed for murder, a lot of space and a good characterization. For instance, Wayne calls Whitman through the whole film “mon-sewer” instead of Monsieur in that patented John Wayne drawl, and the comic dialogue fits well into the Wayne persona, which wasn’t really a priority in the other comics (well, it wouldn’t have been fitting when he was playing Genghis Khan, I suppose). THE COMANCHEROS, more than the others, in its comic book form gives the feeling of experiencing an actual John Wayne movie, which is surely high praise for its creators.

The next time you need a fix of The Duke, and you’ve already watched THE HURRICANE EXPRESS serial and a few of his 16 hour-long Lone Star westerns (distributed by Monogram) from 1933-35 (like THE STAR PACKER and BLUE STEEL) on You Tube, why not get your fix of Wayne via comic book reprints. The four volumes of JOHN WAYNE ADVENTURE COMICS and this JOHN WAYNE MOVIE COMICS compilation from Gwandanaland Comics collect high-grade material which you could never find in the wild or afford online….but now they are available as reprints in handsome volumes that will fit well next to your stack of original copies of  BLACK TO COMM.

Saturday, July 11, 2020


Just another trip into the forgotten no man's land of singles either bought, stolen, inherited or just magically popped into places you'd least expect!

The Tune Rockers-"No Stoppin' This Boppin'"/"Easy Does It" (Pet Records)

Yes, from what I can discern these Tune Rockers are the same ones who did the ultra-boff "Green Mosquito" for United Artists Records, that being a record which actually made enough of a noise to the point where the Rockers got to "lip-synch" it on AMERICAN BANDSTAND back 1958 way. This release on the smaller and therefore less prestigious Pet Records "obviously" came out right after the United Artists deal collapsed, and for a follow up it ain't that bad. Both sides feature a bouncy, rollicking "Raunchy"-styled rhythm on what seems to be the exact same song only with a few lead sax/guitar changes and some fine-tuning here and there. I'd rate it up there with all of those other late-fifties/early-sixties instrumental rock groups who seemed to hold down the fort while all the girls began gettin' giggly over those teen idols who were on the ass-scent at the time.
Mouth & Macneal-"How Do You Do?"/"Land of Milk And Honey" (Philips Records)

Awww it ain't that bad! But I'd be lyin' if I didn't say that it sure was stuff like this which made me shun the AM with a pre-teen vengeance! In all "How Do You Do?" sounds just like the kind of record that your just popping into adolescence female cousin would purchase and spin a few times with her galpals while the folks were away and the siblings were handily locked in the basement just so's they would come up and cause any trouble. And considering that this very same platter is the same one my very same cousin purchased with her hard-earned almost five decades back, you know I'm right!
The Infidels-"Mad About That Girl"/"A Thousand Years Ago" (Jim's Records)

My cuz (brother to the cuz mentioned in the previous review) once told me that there was this kid goin' to Sharon High School who wore a jacket with the Infidels' name embroidered across the back of it along with the various punk accouterments which were part/parcel to a lotta counter-countercultural kids making their existences known back during the saggy days we called the eighties. Of course nobody liked this guy, but as I coulda told ya even then this Infidels fan was the only RIGHT THINKING BULB IN THE PACKAGE while all of the MTV swillers who made his existence a living Hades are the real turds in the toilet ifyaknowaddamean...

Here the first of what I believe were a few Infidels records, and if this Youngstown band's single is any example then the youth of the past were even more Quindlanesque than I originally gave 'em credit for! This is straight ahead good time power pop with a decidedly Ohio flavor which would figure since Blue Ash's Frank Secich did the production! And although many of you readers might shriek at the "twee-ness" of it all I find the thing rather pleasing along with many of those other faves you might have seen mentioned in an old issue of BOMP! Good for a break from the standard snizzle that I tend to spin during my ever-growing free time.

It will remind you of, in lieu of what a dungheap a good portion of your musical life has been, just what downright entertaining pop spins could be found in between the AM glitz and FM ponderousness that had been pushed at us for almost a good forty years on end!
The Shadows of Knight-"Shake"/"From Way Out To Way Under" (Shake Records)

The Shadows of Knight under the spell of the Kasenetz-Katz Bubblegum Army sound just as swell as they did under the spell of Bob Traut and Dunwich. "Shake"'s a brave stab at keeping the Top 40 charts of 1968 rock 'n roll-oriented and it's too bad the thing relatively flopped or maybe we wouldn't have hadda put up with David Crosby's brand of sap in the upcoming years. The instrumental on the flip has a surprisingly strong urge to it that one wouldn't necessarily associate with teenybopper music...pretty underground-y if you ask me! If the original owner "M. L." happens to be reading this (check masking tape on label), ya ain't gettin' yer copy back no matter how much ya beg!
Knickers-"Drums of Love"/"Denunciations" (Reckless Records)

Mid-seventies powerpop that kinda sounds like the half-way point between the likes of the Blue Ash/Raspberries style and the eighties breed a la the Infidels mentioned above. Featuring TROUSER PRESS editor Ira Robbins and some future Blondie guy, these Knickers really know how to revive those mid-sixties Beatles ideas merging 'em with the New York sound making for a record that should have been a big under-the-counterculture hit 'stead of a posthumous memorial. Yet another one of those "coulda beens" who ended up more like "never weres", though I get the idea that even if the Knickers had stuck around a little longer they would have been buried under the weight of many a Sire Records cutout cluttering up the bins of 1979.
Elvis Presley-"Shake Rattle And Roll"/"I Got a Woman" (White Knight Records)

Don't let that "Blue Moon Boys" tag fool ya...this is early Elvis long before his plunge into a diet more attuned to your average BLOG TO COMM writer's. Sound quality's actually pretty good considering the age and the performance is that of the early days of rock 'n roll long before it got gunked up thanks to the interference of people who never shoulda gone near a microphone, or a recording booth, or a talent agency for that matter. Hokay, to be rather au contraire about it like you all think I would be I gotta say that I do prefer Von Lmo's version of "Shake Rattle And Roll" while the Ray Charles live at Newport "I Got a Woman" with that extended riff where Charles keeps goin' "nyahh nyahh nyahh" is tops in my book as well! Hoo boy, am I a controversial figure in this sad and sorry business called rock fandom or what!
Johnny Kannis-"King of the Surf!"/"Pushin' Too Hard" (Dog Meat Records, Australia)

Fans of the Australian neo-Detroit rock scene take notice! An early nineties reissue of Kannis' RCA single on the a-side with a ne'er before released spin onna back, both sides taking the old standbys and, while not adding anything new to them, still make for a rockin' time. Reminds me of all the hope many people above the equator had for the Antipodean scene, at least until many of the newer acts began to lose their intensity and we discovered that some of the people who did reside down there could be real creeps! As usual, this is gonna have me diggin' more Australian by-now rarities outta the crates for a good posthumous analysis of which recordings like this are most deserving of!
Hackamore Brick-"Searchin'"/"Radio" (Kama Sutra Records)

Hey, it's a familiar spin around the BTC orifice and since the a-side's now on a number of  ONE KISS LEADS TO ANOTHER reishes it ain't like it's a rarity any mo'! But man if it just don't feel GREAT picking up a single and slappin' it on a good ol' fashion-style turntable just like we usedta do back when we were a whole lot younger and the impact coulda knocked ya right off your seat! Like any classic side by the rest of the seventies plowed unders (Flamin' Groovies, Stooges, Sidewinders...) one of those records that sure makes one glad that things like ears were invented.
The Bags-"L. Frank Baum"/"Max Roach" (Stanton Park Records)

My relatively recent review of THE NEW WIZARD OF OZ got me into thinkin' about this particular record, and as far as a tribute to that loathed by me moom pitcher goes (the original WIZARD OF OZ that is), I gotta say that I like it more than I thought I would goin' into the thing.

Pretty good metallic thud music with a wild coda that'll make any of those eighties hair groups go bald. The flip has about as much to do with Max Roach as Little Archie but it's a wild speedthrough that'll have you catching your breath in no time! Did I tell you that both sides play at 33 rpm giving you way more music for your buck? Gonna hafta search out these Bags' (not to be confused with any other Bags since these guys came from Boston) album with the cheap paste up cover which lies somewhere in my should be massive but ain't (just did some inventory!) collection!
The Bags-"Hide And Seek"/"I Know" (Stanton Park Records)

Another one from the above group, and while it's not quite as over-the-top manic as "L. Frank Baum" these sides do hold up a whole lot. Well, at least they hold up way more'n any of that fake hard rock that the likes of Andy Secher had been pushing on downer kids who'll believe anything as long as it's presented in a lowest common denominator fashion. I discern a bit of classic-era T. Rex influences on the flip which I gotta say helps things out a bit. In all, a group that I sure wish got more coverage back when they were up 'n about, though with all of those "rock critics" using up their precious time hyping the likes of Sade no wonder these Bags flopped about like they did!
Dizzy and the Romilars-"Elizabeth's Lover"/"Star Time" (Jimboco Records)

This got reviewed a loooong time ago but wha' th' hey as R. Meltzer once so succinctly put it. This Comateens spinoff might have had various elements of future new unto gnu wave elements but when this came out most rock pretensions on the underground scene were relatively under control (or least I would like to have thought so). In fact this is quite intense in its own electronic rock way and has nary a trace of that same ginchiness that made the early-eighties such a dreary place. Comes with a neat insert which you can turn into your own Romilar box!
Lucky Wray-"Teenage Cutie"/"You're My Song" (Starday Records)

Early Link Wray on guitar with his brother Ray aka Lucky aka Ray Vernon singing and other brother Doug doin' somethin' but I don't think its drums on this definitely swinging country side. Echoes of future Raymen glory can be heard on the plug side, though the flip's a real slow weeper that hardly does anything for my sense of rockism. If you have the Norton MISSING LINKS albums you'll hear the a-side and MUCH MORE to satisfy your soul. If not you can still get 'em and the sooner the better for all you rock 'n roll losers out there!
The Barbarians-"Hey Little Bird"/"You've Got To Understand" (Joy Records)

As far as Beatle ripoffs go these Provincetown straight guys had the usual Bugs/Spiders/Centipede types beat all hollow. However why did Joy Records decided to put the definitely more upbeat "Understand" on the flipside since this is the one that woulda been the best bet for moptop chart-topping success. With business moves like that it's no wonder that they didn't stay in business long! Available on a number of NUGGETS imitations, but having a single, albeit a repress, in my grubby hands sure enhances the whole rock 'n roll spirit of it all a lot quicker if I do say so myself!
Davey Payne-"Saxophone Man"/"Foggy Day" (Stiff Records, England)

Ian Dury sideman goes solo and proves that by the time this was recorded no one was safe from the new-unto-gnu wave fashion that was beginning to permeate the under-the-counterculture listening world to the point of madness! Whereas Stiff Records in 1976 was pub, psychedelic and proto-punkish enough to please a lotta fans of the Big Beat, by the time the eighties rolled in it had fallen into the same glitz rut as a whole lotta other bright hopes who shoulda known better given past rock experiences. At least we had over-the-edge hard and offensive rockers like MX-80 Sound, Von Lmo and Black Flag to alleviate the disappointment that many of us were beginning to feel, eh?
The Subs-"Gimme Your Heart"/"Party Clothes" (Stiff Records, Belgium)

During the color vinyl craze this 'un used to pop up in the singles section of many a local record chain shop next to similar items whether they be on Stiff Records or not. Ahhh, if you have certain nostalgic feelings for some of the better aspects of 1978 boy do you need this record! Actually both sides are whatcha'd call standard tough bounce English punk rock (note-I had just been reminded that the Subs were from Glasgow...that's in Scotland!) but everything is kept on track thanks to Larry Wallis' production and abilities to take something in a raw and unpolished state...and make sure it stays that way! I'm sure someone out there knows what happened to these guys...for years I actually thought they were the UK Subs which just goes to show you how those brain stems fail to connect when your head is only working at 35% capacity!
Steel Tips-"96 Tears"/"Krazy Baby"

Not as outrageously finger-biting as I thought it would be, but still a fantabulous effort as these New York punks take on ? and the Mysterians on the A-side and do a fairlly good job capturing at least something good about it. The original on the flip ain't some sorta punk pretension either. Yet another one of those under-the-underground records that really didn't get out enough for the reasons you might expect, but at least some of these have survived into the new eon even tho you now have to pay about twenny times the original cost to obtain a copy.
Celia and the Mutations-"Mony Mony"/"Mean to Me" (United Artists Records, England)

Personally I think it was a really boff idea to hook this piano/lounge singer up with the gruff likes of the Stranglers, even if the fact that Celia used to play Velvet Underground songs surely did give her enough counter-counterculture cred in mein book. And the results are even better than one woulda expected considering that this was recorded in 1977 long before the new-unto-gnu wave acts (see Davey Payne review above) began rendering sixties covers in a particularly sappy way. Tommy James done right by his "heirs", and the harder flip has that punk pre "punque" style that gave many a music maniac a choice instead of the echo many of us were forced to experience via the radios and tee-vee sets of the day!
The Mighty Mofos-"Mindreader"/"Screw", "Afterglow" EP (Treehouse Records)

The late eighties was filled with more than enough gunk to clog the carburetor of any surviving rock 'n roll maniac. Perhaps that is why some of the groups that did do the rock credo well got lost amid the thousands of totally crap neo-hippie hardcore and amerindie goo that was passing itself off as pure punk hysteria. These Mofos would definitely be included in a humongous list of acts that shoulda but didn't...kinda forgot what a real good group these guys were and this rec reminded me that not all of those promo singles that I was gettin' by the bushel back then were instant freeway filler.

The Mofos rock straight like an eighties version of the Kama Sutra-era Flamin' Groovies or maybe an eighties New Legion Rock Spectacular with an approach that should have earned these guys more than just a few followers along the way. The cover of the Small Faces' "Afterglow" was choice, proving that these Mofos had the same set of rock feelers out there as Flo ' n Eddie not to forget Miriam Linna. Again, one of those groups that really shoulda gone somewhere but were too outta place and time (and stuck in the middle of ROCK AT ITS WORST) to go anywhere which is a dad burned shame.

Side two plays at 33 and the rec comes on purple vinyl for those of you whose anuses aren't just quite tight enough.
The Fifty Foot Hose-"Red The Sign Post (alternate take)"/"If Not This Time (alternate take)" (Get Hip Records)

Budget-conscious me never did get the legitimately released Fifty Foot Hose album when it was reissued back inna nineties, but I did manage to pick this particular single up featuring two different versions of tracks off their long-gone Limelight LP. Great if only for the fact that these hoses took the whole Jefferson Airplane schtick and did it right with interesting electronic color and a female vocalist whose mind wasn't orbiting Neptune. For an act that came outta late-sixties San Francisco, pretty driving hard rock that doesn't spurt a scent of patchouli no matter how hard you sniff!
The Dictators-CBGB 1977 EP (blank label)

Seven-inch bootlegs like these seemed to pop up all over the place back inna late-eighties, this li'l nugget bein' just one a many. The sound ain't that hotcha but the energy really pours through what with the overload sound and the powerful performance of The Handsome One along with the rest of these rock miscreants doing their best to save the seventies from the hideous evils of disco. Do I like it??? Do I like strangling newborn puppies???
Rancid Vat-RULEBREAKERS RULE EP (Brilliancy Prize Records)

Rancid Vat were one of a few good groups to come outta that stew that was known as punk rock back inna eighties, especially because that stew had become mighty bad tastin' what with most of them punkoids bein' nothin' more'n hippies with short hair spouting the same Grace Slick drivel with a buzzsaw velocity. But Rancid Vat, boy were they a top notch effort both musically and lyrically, sportin' a cuttin' satire that still has me laughing a good long while after the band had dissipated. 'n really, who couldn't guffaw, snortle and just plain shake belly over such Rancid Vat faves as "Larger Than Life" or my own personal theme "Lonely at the Bottom" anyway?

Ostensibly a tribute to the bad boys of mid-eighties wrestling, Rancid Vat cover everyone from Elvis and Fred Blassie to NW wresting legend Beauregarde to themselves on four tracks that really capture the beautiful dunce side of suburban slob ranch house Saturday afternoon UHF tee-vee livin'. Vocalist Steve Wilson belts 'em out with his great foghorn voice somewhat reminiscent of Crocus Behemoth during his early atonal howl days while the music recalls more or less mid-seventies punk-a-rama what with the basement quality and the fantasticly raw playing that coulda earned Rancid Vat an opening spot on the Gizmos World Tour. It'll make you feel happy all over and not only that but this comes in a fold-open sleeve with some liner notes that are bound to curl your straighties!
The Misfits-"Cough Cool"/"She" (blank label)

It may sound like heresy to you readers, but I immensely prefer this early 1977 version of the Misfits to the horror show hardcore group that they eventually became and made heavy duty dinero with as the eighties rolled on. Cool "electric sync-piano" and vocals from Glenn Danzig along with bass guitar and drums come off more mid-seventies art rock in a pseudo-Roxy Music fashion that recalls TV Toy more'n anything else on the rock underground, and in an era of refreshing twists and turns on already twisted and turned rock forms I'd say this was almost as inspirational-ly outre as anything Suicide or the no wave groups were comin' up with. Sure would like to hear much more from the original combo---uh, any hints out there?
Eugene Church and the Fellows-"Pretty Girls Everywhere"/"For the Rest of My Life" (Class Records)

Here's a 1959 hit that, like a whole lotta hits from that stellar year, sorta got swept under the throw rug because it somehow doesn't fit in with the corporate/hippie riche concept of what 1959 was s'posed to be all about, Y'know, them years bein' so evil 'n all. Actually "Pretty Girls Everywhere" ain't what I think should be remembered about '59 the way singles by Johnny and the Hurricanes or heck, even the Fleetwoods should be, but it's a fairly good r 'n b number that did take a stand against a lotta the giddier schmooze that was starting to pop up on the radio band when cigar-chompin' businessmen decided to appeal to the geekier side of teendom. Actually not a record to toss off lightly.
Chris Spedding-"Motor Bikin'"/"Working for the Union" (Rak Records, England)

If I remember correctly, the first time I was made aware of the entire genre of punk rock as it stood in the seventies (and believe-you-me, I don't recall people calling Patti Smith or the Dolls punk with the velocity they would as time crept on) was in conjunction with this very record! Well, it does sound about as punk rock in a 1976 assessment of the term as some of those groups that popped up at the Mount de Marsan festival! Neo-kitch rock that doesn't offend and might even be responsible for an ear perk-up during some of those down times in your record listening excursions.
The New York Dolls-"Lookin' For a Kiss"/"Who Are The Mystery Girls?";"Something Else" (Trash Records)

I kinda wonder who these bootleg people are foolin' with these phony baloney names they give these artists. I mean, unless the pressing plant owner was Karen Quinlan anybody would know that these guys were the New York Dolls...I mean, who else! Three live sides of rather good quality featuring David J and company, a tad slowed down but still powerful enough to make you long for the record bins of the mid-seventies. And you know they're good because the mere mention of 'em still manages to make boomer Classic Rock (hah!) fans froth at the mouth with a rage unseen since the big head shop busts of the early-eighties.
Sun Ra-"I Am Strange"/"I Am An Instrument" (Norton Records)

I reviewed this in these very pages back 2009 way, but haven't spun the thing since because well, these items do get buried in the piles sometime (no, I don't mean those piles sweetie!). Two bee-youtiful sides recorded inna fifties with Ra accompanying his own spoken word prose to piano and a stringed instrument which might be a zither of some sort, or perhaps the very innards of the piano he used on the a-side. Either way this is a great creepy single where Ra exposes some more of that intellectual goo-goo-muck that added a whole lot to his overall interstellar mystique. Kinda reminds me of those solo piano Charles Gayle tracks condemning both abortion and homosexuality which had alla his lib whiteboy fans, so glad to discover a remnant of the sixties new thing who never did get his proper due, kinda embarrassed that they bought his discs inna first place!
The Daily Flash-"Jack of Diamonds"; "Queen Jane Approximately"/"Green Rocky Road"; "French Girl" EP (Ron Records)

Ya can't fool me! Only a Quinlanite (see Dolls review above) wouldn't know that Ron Records is actually Moxie, the infamous reissue label known for their peculiar flat sound and rubber mat pressings! But hey, this collection of the Daily Flash's two Parrot Records singles sounds pretty good to me, more like local AM radio 'stead of kinda far off AM during a rainy day like the others tended to be. The folk rock shines through on these tunes as well, bringing back a whole lotta weepy-eyed 1965 memories even if you were born a good thirty years later, and who reading this wouldn't have wanted to be born thirty years earlier just so's they coulda experienced the rock 'n roll onslaught first hand 'stead of via rheumy reminiscences from old fanablas like myself! This has probably been reissued on clearer pressings taken from original masters since the days this EP came out, but because of its quaint quality boy do I luv it so!
The Rockin' Rebels-"Western"/"Rebel Sound" (Skydog Records, France)

For a buncha latterday French rockabilly types I gotta say...not bad a' tall! Of course rockabilly revivalists can get about as off the beating off track as blues 'un's, and as we've learned re. the Stray Cats the populace is more likely to gobble the faded version up while ignoring the honest read deal. That's why them Cats and as far as da blooze goes George Thorogood were rakin' in the bucks while the Zantees and Numbers Band were lucky if the money they got that night paid for the gas. I dunno how much petroleum the Rebels were able to pump into their Renaults after a show, but judging from this they shoulda made well enough francs to take them to the outskirts of the French Riviera and back its that good!
The Steve Miller Band-"Roll With It"/"Sittin' In Circles" (Capitol Records)

Naw this ain't anything like "The Joker" or "Jet Airliner" fact it's better than I would have expected late-sixties neo-folk blues-tinged rock that still retains somewhat of an appeal even if you're familiar with the stuff these guys eventually became famous for. Sorta reminds me of what some of those more folk-oriented sorta-rock type things like Skymonters woulda sounded like had only they had more'n just a little testosterone pumped into their glands. Nothing that would drive me to buy any of those early Miller platters, but ya just gotta give the guy some sorta due for making a halfway decent record!
I'll try to get more seven inchers from the bowels of my collection up and about, as soon as I give them bowels a good flushing out! So stand by for some more rarities poppin' out from the rectum, er, record collection and be sure to wear your masks, not due to the Covid but because them cleaning outs can get quite aromatic ifyaknowaddamean...