Saturday, December 19, 2020

Merry Christmas you patriotic stocking stuffers you. Well, I will say that this really is one holiday season we should all lean back and enjoy for once especially considering alla the low-down-JIVE we've hadda endure this past year, a year which coulda been jivier but is jived up enough as it is for anyone above the awareness of Karen Quinlan to take notice. Naturally I'm gonna be too busy working and trying to survive the overload of cheap cookies to enjoy anything this year, but at least I can "osmose" some Olde Tymey Cheer by thinking back to them good ol' days of fambly get-togethers and parties where I didn't get whooped for misbehaving!

Anyway here's hoping that you can at least enjoy a day or two off this season (me, I'm working right through it!), and don't worry because if you tend to cringe throughout alla the festivities because well, it'll be all over in a few weeks and think about how much money you'll be saving buying up all that unsold Christmas candy come January!

Here's a card I got from those fine folk at Plug 'n Socket, label of the Droogs amongst other delightful acts whose names escape me at this moment! Like, who woulda thought some fortysome years after the fact that not only the Droogs, but the music they were inspired by and have inspired others by, would still be meaningful and fuel our lives here while we're in whatcha'd call "an advanced state"??? Certainly not me---I mean, I thought that by the time 2020 rolled around we'd all be on those same machines that toted Christopher Pike (post-accident) around on STAR TREK!
One thing that I will admit after all these years (and after listening to the modernized supermarket muzak being pumped out incessantly during the holiday season) is that maybe the Phil Spector Christmas album ain't so hot after all! In fact I have come to loathe the platter which I can tell you will never grace my turntable again!!! If I hear "it's Chris-mazz" one more time I just might turn pagan if only out of spite!
But enough holiday jeer 'n onto the reviews. Nice buncha spins this time courtesy not only MYSELF but Bill Shute and Paul McGarry (two fellows who aren't AFRAID to have their names mentioned in the company of mine) to whom I say thank you ever so much! Its things like these (mostly) unsolicited gifts that make me not want to hide from the mailman like I usedta do back when I was a mere turdler given the bevy of surprises that are packed into those precious parcels that's for sure! So read on and bask in the glory of that music that sure meant a whole lot to you when you were sprouting pubes, and means just as much even though those same curls are now a dingy grey!

Black Pearl-BLACK PEARL/BLACK PEARL LIVE! CD (Lion Records, Germany)

Sheesh, if I knew this two-on-one disque was available I never woulda bought that reissue on Wounded Bird I reviewed a few months back!

Like the first two Alice Cooper albums or the first two Stooges, or first two MC5 or TROUT MASK REPLICA for that matter, BLACK PEARL and BLACK PEARL LIVE! are two perfect platters that heralded the end of the apocalyptic sixties and welcomed in the anarchistic sounds that would lay the bedrock for the ultimate cataclysm that gave us the creme de la seventies. After that things were comparatively pasteurized, but ya gotta admit that records like these had enough potency and power to 'em that, had they only gotten out a little more, might have put an end to all that snobbish AM/FM drivel that was cluttering up the airwaves and bedroom turntables of kids who didn't know there was anything better out there which is probably why Robin Trower sold as many records as he did.

Bernie "B.B." Fieldings screeches like the best kinda frontmen the late-sixties hadda offer, while the double/triple lead guitar sound adds the right amt. of pressure needed to keep the energy flowing to extremely pleasurable (in a sonically-speaking suburban slob sorta way) levels. It is a shame that none of this got the kinda airplay that you woulda thought that the free form stations of the day woulda allotted...I mean, if a track like "Forget It" wasn't meant to be played either on the FM hipster stations or some rural mom-n-pop AM late-afternoon shift by some high stooler working part time as deejay then I dunno WHAT would!

The live album is really hot...don't let any of them naysayers tell you it's a turdburger because the thing really is a full throttle live show effort that'll get you up doin' a dance like I usedta do when I was eleven listening to Elvis's "Hound Dog" over and over on my cousins' Zayre's stereo. Fieldings really knows how to whip it up whilst doin' his Whafrican-American act (you don't want me to use the other term now, do you?) tryin' to wow what sounds like an indifferent audience, but the electricity shines through making this one of the better live platters to come out of the 60s/70s cusp and with things like KICK OUT THE JAMS and RAW AND ALIVE onna market you know that this ain't no hollow feat!

Black Pearl have been ignored by way too many people who shoulda known better for way too long. Yeah I know it's gonna be too much to get those Big City Rockscribe types to sit up and take notice (are there any of those creatures left?), but what's keeping you, sweetie?

Perhaps one of the best pairings of two stellar efforts since the heydays of those budget "twofas" that cluttered up the seventies. The only thing keeping you from getting this is you, and if you pass onto them pearlies before giving this a listen you only have yourself to blame! Heck, if you never do hear it they probably won't let you in which means you'll have to go down there and listen to Anastasia Pantsios talk about her unrequited love for Eric Carmen for all eternity.
Hawkwind-LIVE '74 CD (EMI Records)

Got this 'un if only because of the rave writeup that Mick Farren gave the show it was copped from in some ancient NME. As usual (at least when it comes to music) Farren was right. Sure this March '74 live in Chicago effort might sound a little more professional and less cataclysmic than the SPACE RITUAL double set that was hogging up plenty of turntable time during those days, but Hawkwind were still able to deal out the psychedelic brainscrunch, holding firm to the early Ladbrook Grove aesthetics while heading for the more ethereal planes of their mid-seventies releases. The violin was a nice touch, the Mellotron not so, and they were still able to end the proceedings with that heavy wall of screech that kinda/sorta echoed alla those Grateful Dead feedback codas but eh, at this time in history it sounds a whole loads better'n what was eventually to come.

The Unholy Modal Rounders-WBAI RADIO 3/27/75. LIVE 1976 2-CD-r burn set

It's timely for Paul McGarry to send me this 'un since I was looking for my tapes of this oft-mentioned (by me via either this blog or that crudzine of mine) broadcast. Unfortunately the last forty or so minutes are missing, a shame since than is when all of the technological bugaboos that hindered a good portion of this broadcast were eventually ironed out, but for those of you who were in on the Amerigana of Peter Stampfel and company this sure will fill in the gaps between the various Rounders albums that probably are rotting away in your collection as we speak. For some reason the disque closes with some old Dylan wheezers but in many ways that does seem fitting.

The second 'un features a slightly different Unholy Modal Rounders lineup live around the time that HAVE MOICY! was beginning to hit the bins. Now with a drummer the group sounds even more primal as the guy bashes away like a ten-year-old who got a set on Christmas Day yet its still down-home psych-o-delic folkie mewls that sure sounded way better'n most of those other sixties "survivors" who were lingering on a good decade later. A music that never did die out thankfully, as the mere existence of such neo-Rounders-styled acts as the Muscular Christians have attested to for many a year after.
Chet Baker-AT ONKEL PO'S CARNEGIE HALL 2-CD-r burn set

I don't wanna sound like one of those knownada eighties fanzine writers who would wax eloquent (or so they thought) over some mystical musical figure of the past, dumping enough artificial sweetener on his memory to the point where said writer was guaranteed a position as a Big City Newspaper music crit.

I've read enough of that Glade Air Freshener prose in my lifetime to fumigate the Aegean Stables and I don't wanna contribute to the scent by heaping any more on the world! Let's just put things nice and succinct-like...good groove jazz by legendary bad boy who actually contributes some driving lines and an intense aura, and that's even without going into outer-strata spheres like my favorite jazzbos have been doing for ages!

Lou Donaldson-MR. SHING-A-LING CD-r burn (originally on Blue Note Records)

Donaldson's soul-jazz just ain't hittin' me now like it might have in some sorta way a few good months earlier. If you're in the mood for laid back takes on "Ode To Billy Joe" or "The Shadow of Your Smile" maybe MR. SHING-A-LING is for you, but frankly right now I'd rather hear Roscoe Mitchell wrench his guts on a bass saxophone while a few African rattles and stringed plunkers shoot sonic ricochets. That's just how my nerves work and if they don't on you sorry about your shot beyond belief nodes.
The Only Ones-LIVE IN CHICAGO 1979 --- SUNDAY MORNING NIGHTMARE VOL. 1 CD-r burn (originally on Alona's Dream Records)

Peter Perrett might be a junkie but he sure ain't no James Taylor! Sure he seems to be doing a good Johnny Thunders-styled nod-out on most of this excellent live platter but he holds himself together rather nobly and can deliver on a great show which sure brings back a whole lotta memories regarding where rock 'n roll really stood back in them days. Reminds me of all the promise of a rock resurrection that got wooshed out with the descent of decadent Velvet-pangs and the advance of technodoodle glitz. Kinda comes off like the Heartbreakers had Tom Verlaine 'stead of Richard Hell joined 'em 'r sumpin', really this is a good document of one of those acts that you never woulda heard of had there not been a strong undercurrent of rock cultism sweeping the world. (It coulda been stronger but at this stage in the game I should be thankful for what we did get!) (Hey, I mighta reviewed this 'un onna blog earlier and if so, boy are you in luck getting two reviews of the same item!)

Various Artists-SITAR NOBODY AIRDALE CRYSTAL CD -r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill gets kinda sitar-y on this mixdisque what with Phil Upchurch and a pretty boff team up of Larry Williams, Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Kaleidoscope doin' a twanged up r/b wonder. Dutch progressive rockers Timebox doin' Tim Hardin actually succeed despite the usual limitations of the musical style they're performing in, while the use of that Indian twanger actually does add the proper cheeziness to the various Chris Farlowe, Association and S.D. Narang tracks (well, I woulda expected it from the last 'un!). In all, a pretty twangy affair if I do say so myself (and why not, it's MY blog!)

It's too late to get any of 'em for Christmas gift, but maybe you can send out some of these BLACK TO COMM back issues  to friends and family the next holiday season! That is, if there IS a next holiday season which if is the case buy a buncha these and give 'em out for the Ides of March for all I care!


New York 'Dolf said...

Hippies, junkies, faggots, coloreds. Sheesh.

Hey, Mr Stigliano! Why not Sgt Barry Sadler?

Alvin Bishop said...

I've got a bit of 1970s Chet Baker, his fusion period. Poignant stuff! Often overlooked!


Charles Hodgson said...

Good to see the Only Ones get a fair shake this week, but what about The Feelies last week? I like a lot of their stuff, but Crazy Rhythms is an all time favourite, unimpeachable, blah blah. Found it in the record section of a gay cafe in Edinburgh's gayest street of all places, in the mid-80's. Not a regular hang-out of mine, but I was looking for some Sylvester or Divine (Moe would understand). Too preppy for your tastes?

Anyhow, thanks for all the top class entertainment you provided this year. This is virtually the only place I bother to check out regularly (and even post). Hope you got the "Scottish" CD okay, not sure you'll get any enjoyment out of it though! Give it both barrels!

Merry Christmas to you and everybody here!

debs said...

"...Found it in the record section of a gay cafe in Edinburgh's gayest street of all places, in the mid-80's. Not a regular hang-out of mine..."

lol that's what they all say lol

bob f. said...

sitar & tablas are the best...& Big Muffs, too!

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Happy Christmas to you, too, Hoggy, you wee porridge-eating bastid!

And a whiskey-soaked Ho Ho Ho to the rest!