Saturday, September 26, 2020

Hi. I'm typing this opening schpiel early in the week, a week which for the life of me I cannot wrap my prehensile mind around no matter how hard I try. Oh I can appreciate, dissect and spew out opines regarding music (see below for a whole slew of writeups of varying quality) but otherwise I feel kinda stunted, like all the grooves in my brain have suddenly smoothed out 'r somethin' and my whole cranial/nervous system has gone flabby to match my stomach. Now music still affects me, but in a numbed up novocained sorta way that I really cannot immerse myself into which in many ways equals some of the musical funks I would get into throughout the nineties, a good enough time conduit to getting into funks that is.

Not only that, but I was lookin' at the Gawandanaland comic collections that are available on Amazon thinkin' about buyin' a batch of good enough timewasters yet I couldn't find any that I surely would enjoy snuggling up with on a nice dark evening. I just feel like why bother even if the Miss Fury and Dr. Occult ones looked fine enough for at least a few go throughs. Its like something's stopping me from letting loose and spending an entire paycheck or two on some of those public domain Archie items even if they are in black and white and thus cheaper. I do hope it's just me getting more tightwad in my later years...after all I am gonna croak one of these days 'n more sooner 'n later at that and I don't want to see my comic collection end up at some flea market table going for a fraction of what I paid for 'em all throughout these past fiftysome years!

(Actually Brad Kohler can have the whole lot of my books 'n stuff when I do pass on to that great bedroom filled with goodies inna sky, but he's gonna hafta rent a dump truck to come 'n get it all!)

Still I will do my doody for you readers 'n crank out a post of exemplary worth. I mean, what else do you losers have to look forward to anyway?
Otherwise I surprisingly am able to come head to head with life and its goodzies as well as badzies. In many ways I consider myself lucky. Back when I was a single-digit stool kid I used to get bored all the time given the lack of a lotta stimulation plus the fact that there were times when nothing interesting was on tee-vee. Now with a lifetime of books, music and the kinda tee-vee I adore available at the tips of my cuticle-ridden fingers I don't have to go outta my mind reading and re-reading the same five PEANUTS paperbacks I owned and a kid over and over. Sheesh, I ain't gonna live long enough to re-read alla the wild books, fanzines and other ephemera I now possess nor will my viewing time be stunted by subpar sputum with the Dee-Vee-Dees (and VCR's which I hope have not disintegrated o'er the years) I've acquired for those slim times I thought would always be just around the corner.

That's not counting currently running reruns that inspire my soul and give me something worthwhile to do once the skies darken and it gets spooky outside. Thankfully I have enough music (but can always use more!) to the point where I could play my entire collection end-to-end and it I'd be long gone before its done! Sheesh, if there is anything that could be said about my life's accomplishments its that I don't hafta worry about nothing to do inna evenings if only because my 10-year-old goals in life have been accomplished and I have alla those old comic strip collections and old time comedy book histories I wanted so dearly back then but money 'n stingy parents 'n alla that sorta kept my inna lurch for a longer period than I hoped. An' if you don't think I'm downright proud about it well, I sure am in my own cornbally suburban slob kid sorta way.
Hope ya like them reviews. A few of 'em get a little long in the britches, some may say long-winded and rightfully so, but I have been keeping up with my (now canceled) ROCKSBACKPAGES collection of rare Charles Shaar Murray, Nick Kent etc. efforts and the "influence", no matter how dribbly, does tend to seep through. Of course muchas graciases go to Bill Shute and Paul McGarry for the freebees, and thanks to the likes of Murray, Kent, Ingham, Dadomo, Bangs, Meltzer and many more for the inspiration. If it weren't for you guys well, a whole lotta people out there would certainly feel happier that's for sure!

The Grateful Dead-FROM THE MARS HOTEL CD-r burn (Grateful Dead/WEA Records)

Paul McGarry is tryin' t' convert me to the Deadhead realm, but naturally I know better given how I've been around the GOOD STUFF for nigh on fortysome years awlready and can sniff out turds from miles away. Now he's even sendin' me disques featurin' these mid-seventies Dead platters that were legendary for alienating those who had been cheerleadin' 'em the past few years yet catapulted 'em into way more teenbo record collections with their patented post-psychedelic country bumpkin jive.

While listening to FROM THE MARS HOTEL  I kinda get the idea that the cult of the teenager, or at least the young pseudo-intellectual that blossomed a few decades earlier, was but a stench-y myth and that it was the new under-the-underdog breed of young duncitude that was attuned to the suburban rockscronk vibe (of which I was but one measly denizen) that really kept the high energy ball rolling. Don't mind braggin' about it, but WE were the real new breed of anarcho-frontline music aficionados set to inherit the entire globe with the definitely high energy musics that we cut against the grain with. The likes of the Dead more or less represented yet another portion of that youth culture that totally alienated a whole lot more people than the likes of Jan Wenner would have cared to admit, yet another sign of music having gone downstream to a place which seemed just as hostile and alien to me as the music (and sometimes, the"culture") that the folk kept tryin' to push on me at the expense of the rock 'n roll I most surely desired.

Mid-seventies Dead sure don't settle well with me like the mid-sixties version when Pigpen at least played that cheap organ straight outta ? and the Mysterians. Most all of FROM THE MARS HOTEL (and the bonus live 'n outtake tracks) sure remind me of way too many reviews not only then but now which ridiculed the entire Dead aura what with their jive funk cool and melodies which just don't break through like "lesser" acts from the Seeds to the Velvet Underground could do with a mere snap of the fingers. Sometimes it gels but mostly it sounds like something any bad bar band of the day coulda whipped up when it was time for 'em to do their token original number in between the Doobie Brothers covers.

Most of the time I just want to strangle Robert Hunter for comin' up with those inane lyrics that (don't let anybody fool ya!) nobody could decipher no matter how stoned they were. And after listening to Jerry Garcia singing "US Blues" I'm wond'rin' whether this is supposed to be a commentary on the state of Amerigan circa Watergate or more of that hippified flashback to the old tymey downhome turn of the century musical cornpone that used to get snuck in with the usual hippie dope 'n twat mysticism that sure smelled rancid even then.

(to be honest about it...) some interesting points do pop up including the live "Save the Flag" which reminded me of the early Moby Grape cum Lovin' Spoonful-influenced Flamin' Groovies tho it woulda come off way better if it were they who were performing it, not forgetting "Unbroken Chain", which actually noodles its way into some rather ear-pleasing intricate guitar trails that come off way more San Francisco during the '66 heyday than anything else the Dead were able to muster up for years. Not enough to make this 'un a "keepie" ('n besides the loco record shop does not take in Cee-Dee burns on trade or for money!) but a surprise considering how brain-damaged these old hippies were after years of chemical abuse to the point where talkin' 'bout the Dead back in them days pretty much became THE COMEDY HIT OF THE SEASON!
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators-YOU AND I AND ME 2 CD-r burn set (originally on Sunset Blvd. Records)

('n talk about chemical abuse...) The Roky Erickson/Thirteenth Floor Elevators rehashes just keep on comin' 'n comin', 'n although almost if not all of this has been passed around before whether it be via a variety of bootlegs or the infamous Collectables label well, it's sure great hearin' these tracks any way ya can.

Whoever it was that did gather these bits 'n pieces up sure did a good job in capturing the whole Elevators mystique. Y'know, the one that rivals similar group-to-fan interactions that could be found within the cults of the Velvet Underground to the Detroit acts in rock music as total eruption that seemed to come into full force around the time of the late-sixties. And if anything it is the mystique of the Elevators which has kept them in the under-the-underground hushed tone wonder and amazement which could still be sighted in rock mags even in the early-seventies when many would have thought the legend long dead and buried!

First disque features some oft-heard but still stirring tracks complete with that live version of "Levitation" where Roky forgets the lyrics and material originally on the debut album that for once doesn't have that demo quality to it which never did go over well with me (or was it Radar Records' usage of old vinyl with quite a drop in quality?). With the sequencing and spirited performance this really is "excitement personified".

The other'n focuses on a post-Elevators Roky with that brief radio snippet also on the EPITAPH FOR A LEGEND double set and those acoustic Dylan/Donovan tracks which sure are improved by Roky's natural abilities to take just about anything from "Hattie Carroll" to "Werewolves of London" and make it his own. And these songs are revealing for those of a punk rock mentality...for the first time in my life I noticed just how much "Lay Down Your Weary Tune" has such an early-Velvet Underground repeato-riff to it to the point where I sure wish Patti Smith woulda covered it somewhere in her storied career. John Cale's viola would have benefited this quite a bit. Or maybe not.

The concluding interview is naturally orbiting Pluto along with Roky's mind. I believe it was conducted by Gregg Turner (naturally I was not provided with any notes regarding this thing which would figure since it was for free and as we all know beggars cannot be choosers!) but I'm not sure. Sure sounds like Turner tho. Try to follow it at the risk of losing your own sanity.
Wire-10:20 CD-r burn (originally on Pink Flag Records)

They might ('cept for the new guy) look like ancient fanablas, but Wire has put out a platter that really captures their old tried and true style which sounded so in vogue to way too many back when it originally came out (tho I smelt a hype), but sounds even better NOW 'n you know why---y'see, it's 2020 and do you feel comfortable in a world that has eschewed rock 'n roll for a shallow imitation and has done so ever since you were a young chicken and didn't need Geritol to make your way through the next bowel movement?

The sound is so thick on "Boiling Boy". I wonder what Richard Williams would think of it, especially given his eternal allegiance to WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT and the "Sister Ray" motif which he expostulated upon in his boffo Suicide vs. David Bowie etc. use of the Velvetized repeato-riff article in MELODY MAKER many moons ago.

"German Shepherds" reminds me a bit of the early-eighties remnants of '77 accomplishment which hollowed out once things got uglier and fatter than me, but it still shimmers in a way that didn't make you regret picking up on some of those 1982-vintage NEW YORK ROCKER up and comers in the first place. Perhaps a bit too romantic for me but romantic in an old, not "new" way ifyagetmydrift...

For sheer intense maudlinisms "He Knows" has 'em all beat. Listening to this I wonder if the guys in Wire ever smile. The brittle beat and guitar strum has me recalling some past accomplishment deep in the barrel of my mind, tho for the life of me I can't remember which one.

Now for some return to the original Wire intent with a new version of "Underwater Experiences" which I'll put my head on the chopping block and say is every bit as good as that 'un we've heard on DOCUMENT AND EYEWITNESS lo these many years. Never knew old folk could get it on like this or sound as fresh as they did o'er four decades back.

"The Art of Persistence" and "Small Black Reptile"...back to the 154-era group which really doesn't offend me other'n when I think of all the sappy imitations that record doth wrought. They hold their own here in the bleakness of music 2020 but in some ways I can't help but ponder whether or not this period of Wire perhaps got the itty bitty snowball rollin' to the point where it became a huge ball of pretension.

At least "Wolf Collides" swerves slightly back into a more-recognizable kinda/sorta early Harvest Records mode. The synth lurking in the background does emit some sorta Mellotron-ish drone which does have me thinking 1973, though in other respects 1983 does tingle about in my mind. And despite all that, I gotta say I prefer this to the previous two tracks.

Closing the set's "Over Theirs" which once again hearkens back to past efforts with a slow, crunchy beat that recalls "Kashmir" a bit which only goes to show ya that the gnu punk thang and them dinosaurs were a lot closer than you'd care to believe. (Which we shoulda known all along given how MX-80 Sound's "Tidal Wave" borrowed freely from "Kashmir" as well and nobody was out callin' them old stodgies!). 'n not only that but the end drone's the best since either "Sister Ray", "Rip Off" or "John, John (Let's Hope For Peace)"!

Surprisingly good when you consider these were outtakes which only makes me wonder why they were outtaken inna first place! Some peoples' outtakes are better'n some's polished product which only goes to show you that Wire ain't the artzy old hasbeens you mighta been led to believe (by who, but not me!) an' maybe you can learn more from yer gran'pappy than you can your favorite rock 'n roll bloggers out there in self-consciousness land (also known as the internet)!
Slapp Happy/Henry Cow-DESPERATE STRAIGHTS CD (ReR Records)

Not having spun DESPERATE STRAIGHTS in over forty or so years (even tho it is still safely snuggled in the "imports" section of my record collection) I find it almost as if I were listening to an entirely fresh and previously-unheard effort.

The waltz-like title track and the overall European/Brechtian density I do recall, but where I originally found the more rocking songs not that hotcha in the face of Patti Lou etc they now sound pretty flash in their own cloistered way. Sure the woodwind-heavy sound reminds me of something that would have been stuck on some underground art film from the forties (the kind that got the gals all filled up with koochie koo emotion) and it doesn't exactly endear me to a more rock 'n rollin' high energy time, but they do have a certain artzy if appealin' feelin' to 'em that sorta makes me wish I was young and attending some classical concert in order to impress some cute femme to the FACT that I'm not exactly the boor she has been led to believe I was thanks to the cruel talk of classmates (and my own actions of course).

One could say that this did come off rather weak, simpy and lacking the hard drive usually associated with the better aspects of the form, but DESPERATE STRAIGHTS sure sounded grand next to the post-energy heavy metal and yacht rock overbloat that was all the rage as time foraged on. And, come to think of it, it continues to.
Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs-THE STORY OF BONNIE & CLYDE LP (Columbia Records)

I sure remember a whole lotta talk about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow goin' on durin' my kiddoid days thanks to the rather popular moom pitcher that was created in their honor! And in between vivid memories of hearing a radio interview with Bonnie's own cyster who revealed some grisly details about the shooting (like Bonnie was eating a sandwich when she got shot, and the whole hand holding same sandwich was totally dismembered from the rest of what was left of her) and my own relatives talking about alla them people inna thirties who would do anything to get their names inna paper and robbin' banks was just one of 'em! I also remember Flatt & Scruggs' "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" gettin' a lotta airplay in between them bubblegum classics I liked not to mention the soul music, something I always thought was for the more mature listeners in the radio audience (sorta the halfway point between mop top music and Sinatra!).

But with alla that old time gangster talk goin' 'round who would have ever thunk that inna middle of it all Flatt & Scruggs woulda released a golly ned CONCEPT ALBUM that equals such classics as JAN AND DEAN MEET BATMAN and METAL MACHINE MUSIC!

Loads of classic bluegrass blarin' goin' on here with a buncha vocals giving us various sides to the whole Bonnie and Clyde mystique that was goin' on at the time. Naturally there ain't no higher spiritual meaning or artzy pretensions to put up with here like you mighta got with similar efforts of the same stratum, but it's all done in good spirits and y'know what? Next to a good hunk of the pacifist and puerile folk mewlings that were all the rage this sure has a whole lotta TESTOSTERONE tacked onto it! A surprise flea market find you might get a kick outta for a small sum.
The Retros-INNER CITY ROCKERS CD-r burn (originally on BDR Records)

If you were listening to this music in 1979 you get bonus points for flying in the face of decrepit FM album-oriented rock. If you were listening to this in 1989 you probably weren't able to find your old Suicide and Pere Ubu albums. If you were listening to Suicide and Pere Ubu in 1989 it better had been their seventies efforts rather than the quite different music they eventually began to perform once the eighties really got into gear. If you still listen to the Retros, Suicide and Pere Ubu in 2020 you thankfully are to smart to realize that time has passed you by but considering what "time" amounts to these days consider yourself lucky. Funny how "time" can change a whole lotta things for the better and/or worse, eh?
Various Artists-TOM-TOM FROM MAGGIE'S BAIT FARM CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Starts off pretty snat what with the fun doof local rock of the Swingin' Stingrays and La Familia Inc. doin' some hotcha Latino music that I'll bet woulda even got Che Guevara to do some toe tappin' in between him bashin' skulls in with a shovel. The pre-Monkees Mickey Dolenz track was a pretty nice mid-sixties sleazer that I'm surprised didn't get pushed harder by whatever podunk label had the rights to it during the man's heyday, while the Davy Jones 'un from 1965 is just as girly pop as that post-Monkees stuff he ended up doing.

Lotsa other noogies here that woulda served your ears swell had they popped up on your sixties transistor. Like Dick 'n Dee Dee's ear-screechin' rendition of "Not Fade Away" not to mention Jerry Lee's cyster Linda Gayle putting more punch into Dylan than Joanie Phonie every could. Of course Jay White's "Autumn in Rome" has about as much energy as Karen Quinlan's life support system must have these days, but the rest is pretty good as far as unique bopsterisms go.
Do you miss the days when you anxiously waited by the mailbox for the latest issue of some fanzine of worth that really inspired you to spend all your pop bottle money on some record that most of the time lived up to the expectations said fanzine led you to believe it would? Well, if so I'll bet you were one of the many who I expected to get but missed out on BLACK TO COMM and all of the hip 'n with it music that was touted in its massive pages. It's not too late for you to correct the errors of your youth, though  considering some of the responses I get on this blog I doubt that any of you really have the mental acumen to do such a thing. Well, I did give it the ol' college try, eh?
Late update on my current mental stasis---actually broke down and got a few comic book/strip reprints so thankfully my vital juices still are flowin'. And I sure hope I live into the triple digits so I can enjoy these books over and over again for a loooooong time without worrying whose grubby hands are gonna get hold of 'em to either ruin, dump into some landfill or something certainly not worthy of a boffo book collection! But just wait, tomorrow I'll feel just as blah as usual.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

BOOK REVIEW! BLAST 2 -- WAR NUMBER BY WYNDHAM LEWIS, EZRA POUND ETC. (Black Sparrow Press, 1993  -- originally published by John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1915)

Much to the dismay of such luminaries as Bill Shute and Brad Kohler I am not what you'd call a huge fan of prose and poetry whether printed or bleated for that matter. Sure I can dig Patti Smith talking about being beaten up by dykes accompanied by the original duo of Lenny Kaye and DNV Sohl while I find Tuli Kupferberg rather entertaining either with or without music, but for the most part I am reminded of high stool English and old biddies trying to convince malleable students of the "pleasures" of Keats 'n Longfellow as if, for some strange reason, either one had any relevance to a 'luded out chippie who thinks she knows it all. Sheesh, just give me "Milk Milk Lemonade" and leave me alone with alla this hearts and flowers stuff now, willya???

Hokay, this stuff is different. Vorticism, England's only (and some may say "Thank God!") contribution to the Modern Art Miasma is a bit different in that there was an underlying current ot bared-wire intensity to it that the Cubists and other Stalinist wannabes who thought that art would change the world for the better (sorta like David Crosby thinking that SGT. PEPPER woulda ended the Vietnam War inna jiffy) just didn't have in 'em. And like a whole lotta the "avant garde" musings of the earlier portion of the previous decade Vorticism sure comes off DATED when compared to that gal who used to shove yams up her twat, but dated in a good way in like I wonder why the great-great-GREAT grandparents didn't get into this stuff like they did with Valentino?

Anyway here's that recent reprint of the Vortiicist mag BLAST, #2 to be exact (#1 is languishing somewhere in about fifty years worth of collected books and magazines, probably along with all of those other books I am seeking but just can't locate right when I need 'em!). Its an oversized effort which reminds me of an old forties-vintage high stool yearbook the folks would thumb through in order to sneer at alla the teachers and pupils who hated 'em (well, at least I did that with mine before they all ended up in the trash heap)...heck, all of the ads are crammed inna back just like in an old yearbook though there's nothing along the lines of congrats from the local dairy or Sam's Pizza Palace. Just plain ol' ads stacked there just like you would see with an old ish of PUNCH or any other English publication of that, despite their irreverence and snobbish demeanor were just as staid 'n banal as one would imagine.

But BLAST sure ain't any of that, what with the neat layout (love the type, crooked and all) and the examples of Vorticist art which can range from primal degenerate to mind-pattern expanding. The Nazis really would have had a ball with Jacob Kramer. The art is snazz, tho I will admit that the overall writing affects me less given my definitive lack of appreciation for the printed word given it lacks the bop of a Meltzer or Patti Smith singing about brain spittles, and although you might gander that T.S. Elliot was a fine scribbler to me he doesn't really hold that much of a candle to some of the more feral writers of his century whether they be dibbling in dalliances impure or just trying to screw the system just like everyone else.

Wyndam Lewis tho, really was one who hit the whole Vorticist pressure point on the noggin with his rather mean-spirited style, reflecting the carnage he really must have been knee-deep in while stuck in the trenches of the First World War (or did he join after BLAST #2 made its way out? Not too sure and please do not pick on me for my utter lack of chronological order!). His piece on the competing art movements sweeping across Europe made for a good early evaluation from a guy who seemed to be scouting out the enemies in the realm of creativity more than he was the Jerries.

Ezra Pound makes his stand here too with some early examples of that writing that Ernest Hemingway would later say proved the man's insanity almost as cranky as Lewis, and the man even says ill about the People You Are Not Allowed To Say Ill Of even at this early stage in the game which did surprise me a bit given how he was a friend of fellow Vorticist Jacob Epstein and others of the kosher persuasion. Maybe if he had been captured by the local authorities when these writings were being scribbled he wouldn't have been making those radio broadcasts for Italy. But he still would have been crazy.

Historical true, fun reading at times and a nice bit of word and vision to appreciate in the truest sense, this book naturally has me on an ever greater search for the first BLAST. After that comes THE ENEMY, but am I way too ignorant and obtuse to appreciate those? I know I sure am if this very review is any indication.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Wow, that past week sure went by faster than potrzebie now, didn't it? But the upside to all that is now you have a new BLOG TO COMM weekend post to enjoy while waiting for the days to turn cooler and shorter thus giving us all more time to goof off in that hallowed suburban slob tradition that we just can't get enough of anymore!

Here's a pretty good selection of reviews and such which I just KNOW will make you all nice 'n happy, perhaps even happy enough that you'll drop your pious pretenses and loosen up to this blog a bit! As usual a nice gooey hot fudge sundae thank you to Feeding Tube, Bill Shute and Paul McGarry for the disques sent, and as I am wont to say keep those cards and letters comin' in, folk!

Joseph Allred-MICHAEL LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Sheesh, for a minute given the title 'n all I thought it was gonna be nothin' but one long version of "Michael Row The Boat Ashore"! Shows how wrong a feller can be, for the latest from Feeding Tube mainstay Allred's a fantastic li'l journey into one of the heavenlier realms of music featuring a beautifully droning harmonium along with an autoharp and singing bowls making for a sound that should appeal to a whole slew of musical types who probably hate each other!

Think of Nico and Indian raga modes combined for a sacred sound that transcends alla that hokey hippie trash and travels into the deeper stretches of the musical imagination. Now let the sounds emanating from the speakers envelop ya like a big warm ball o' goo. Nice huh? Can't wait for the days to get short and the weather to get cold because MICHAEL would be the perfect record to spin while watching the sky turn that special early winter deep blue you just can't get any other time of the year. See, I can get all esoterically schmaltzy too!
JULIE DRISCOLL, BRIAN AUGER & THE TRINITY CD (Polydor Special Products, England)

If ya really wanna know, I bought this one on the advice of a man who, although he has great tastes in music as far as I know, has sworn himself a downright enemy of not only myself but everything that BLOG TO COMM stands for, kinda/sorta that is. Yes, that fellow's name just happens to be one Michael Layne Heath, also known as ML Heath aka Mike Livewire, a guy who had been in contact with the whole BTC empire since the late eighties and who had contributed some astute commentaries regarding this blog inna past. However as of late has been deeply offended by a few of the commentaries that have been expressed here to the point where he has claimed that he will never darken his computer screen with this blog as long as he lives and maybe even longer if he can help it! Sheesh, and this very same human once told me to avoid Mark Jenkins because he was a grouch!

I dunno, but I think that Livewire will be spyin' on us now and then despite his threats (although I really don't care if he bruised his pompous ass when the BTC door slammed behind him) but then again living in San Francisco and having J. Neo Marvin for a friend can do strange things to a person. However, despite his adamant rejection of the BTC credo I still gotta admit that I do have a whole lotta respect for the guy, if only because of his own fanzine past which yielded a number of issues of VINTAGE VIOLENCE a publication that did for the Washington DC area what FUTURE did for Rochester as far as promoting the BIG BEAT and all it entails went. And me bein' a seventies rock fanzine gobbler of the highest order I naturally was drawn to this download of the very first issue of VINTAGE VIOLENCE that Livewire donated to the University of Maryland Digital Libraries for all to read...but not to copy! Y'see, for some strange reason this issue can't be downloaded and put to paper for easier reading which is a dad-burned shame because hey, if you can't read and enjoy a fanzine on the toilet where else can ya???

VINTAGE VIOLENCE, at least from this debut, sure seems like the kind of funtime home produced read I really could get into. No photos and a rather lousy reproduction that makes a good portion of this unreadable definitely puts VV in the crudzine category true, but loads of great and to-the-point reading is to be found within these xeroxed pages, all of it revealin' that typical fanzine spunk that mixed the old accomplishments with the (relatively) new rock 'n roll output which sure was a relief next to some of those punk rock fanzines which seemed to eschew anything old with a tainted vengeance. And among the hotcha writeups to be found therein could be found a review of this Polydor label album from the infamous "Ready Mount"(soon to be followed by the "Safety Film") series o'er in England, a budget line that gave us some pretty worthwhile collections of Fairport Convention, Mothers of Invention, Lifetime, Pink Fairies and Velvet Underground material at budget prices if you happened to be an English kiddie. Us Amerigan slobs hadda pay the same standard prices as the rest of those imports that looked so classy yet cost at times a whole dollar more than their Amerigan equivalents which is something that really did hit us hard in the ol' wallet, ifyaknowaddamean...

Of course the Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger offering looked enticing. After all, their English hit "This Wheel's On Fire" sure beat the tar outta alla those other Bob Dylan covers clogging the radiowaves of the day while their appearance on 33 1/3 REVOLUTIONS PER MONKEE was a surprising highlight which exposed money-tossing teenbos to what seemed to be a new and exciting English act that had the much needed amount of bared-wire intensity that wasn't exactly comin' on full force at the time. I'm sure that many kids coulda used these guys in their collection a whole lot more in the face of the Baja Marimba Band and other moneygrabbing acts that really didn't appeal to that cold core in their souls.

But how do Driscoll Auger etc. hold up recordwize? Purty good actually, even when they're weaving their way through a whole load of chic covers that you'd end up hearing in Holiday Inn restaurants for years on end, makin' 'em all sound way better'n the sudzy music of the Older Generation who probably didn't go for that sorta stuff inna first place anyway. The fact that Driscoll has such a smooth yet powerful set o' lungs does help turn the mundane into something lively, and while the Trinity can get somewhat studiowhiz slick at least they don't get into surgery room sterility unlike a whole slew of wannabe hipturds cashing in on the new rock thingie drive. So good that even the funkiness of various Nina Simone/Aretha Franklin/Richie Havens efforts doesn't go totally blandout, 'n even Laura Nyro sounds cozy enough in this company! Of course I woulda liked it if they did "Light My Fire" Doorsish as opposed to Felicianoized but at least "Season of the Witch" washes out a whole load of Donovan in its interpretation. No if only someone coulda washed Donovan outta the music biz when it most mattered!

Of course this ain't gonna measure up to your rather toffee nosed tastes, but here at BLOG TO COMM we at least appreciate our music through way purer filters rather'n via the wasted credo of the music as balm contingent who, unfortunately, have been ruining our lives since day one  and most of the time they have SUCCEEDED!!!
Sheesh, maybe I should try to track down more of these VINTAGE VIOLENCEs. Judging from the views and opinions expressed in the debut it sure looks like a good fanzine effort to me even if Heath hadda be hip 'n all and put Johnny Rotten on one of its covers!

Good but typical of the time sound quality doesn't detract (that much) from this DUBHOUSING-era Pere Ubu live show. Actually very little of the electronic madhouse fear that was pumped into that effort is discernible. To be honest about it the synthesizer is buried in the mix which gives these guys a basic, more primal, almost CRAMPS-ish sound.

However, if you squint yer ears enough the old feelings of atonal splendor you got outta these records and more (Chrome, early Cab Volt etc.) will come back to you faster 'n gas pains. A fine little document of Cleveland's pride, at least until the eighties rolled in and David Thomas got a case of the giggles he just couldn't shake!
Endless Boogie-VOLUME TWO CD-r burn (originally on Mound Duci Records)

Always like it when I get an Endless Boogie recording shipped my way. These guys really know how to drive home a wild hard-edged melody and play it until it drives its way into your head earwig-like and sticks around even during your nightly dreams, something which really has to be strange especially if you're dreaming of walking around in third grade entirely naked trying to hide from everyone. Some great riffage here that'll bring back more memories of the seventies (the good stuff!) than being bound and gagged forced to watch the entire run of THE SAN PEDRO BEACH BUMS ever could! Now if someone'd have the sense to release a Sorcerers album!
Various Artists-NORMAN PETTY VAULT SERIES, VOLUME 9 1965-1969 CD-r burn (originally on Nor-Ca-Jak Music)

The Buddy Holly guy doin' his thing long after Buddy left this mortal coil for something much less springy. You snobs won't care about these efforts featuring mostly unknowns with at least one big name inna pile (Chita Rivera!), and considering that most of this isn't exactly whatcha'd call ear-grabbin' even when using well-honed BTC values and morals maybe you won't either.

However, I find the mixed-up bag of pop, garage band and tough country and western a way better passing of time than I would had I still the misfortune of being on the Atlantic Records promo list. Some neat and fuzztone-y surprises that please my lobes doth appear here, and they just might please your usually staid tastes too.
Various Artists-FACTORY LOWDOWN STRANGER VELVET CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

I'm such a sucker for anything Studebaker-related, thus my snatching this 'un outta a stack of burns that Bill has sent me o'er the years. Turns out my instincts were keener 'n Spidey Sense, for this does have its share of goodies from a Controlled Bleeding-styled electronic romper by an act called ZS to some stinkoid punque that's good for a laff (Cell 609, Genetic Control) and a variety of radio ads (dig the one for that CHEETAH magazine with the nude Cass Elliot pull out!) that I never recalled hearin' onna Top 40 during those school carpool trips. "Stranger Danger" by Anna and Dick Albin sure brought back memories of the mid-eighties kiddie diddle scare and that Julie Miller thing sure had me scourin' Google for at least a shard of info. (EDITOR'S NOTE : I just did and considering the lady plays in a group called "Volcano Radar" I'm kinda sad about it.) Only real beef was the "Christmas Is For Caring" radio spots which really comes off stoopid in September. I mean, Christmas in December is bad enough as it is!

If you wanna feel really hip 'n with it, why don't you do what dozens (see illustration on right) have done and buy yourself a big heapin' hunkin' copy (or ten, or twenty, or a thousand) of BLACK TO COMM back issues and feel superior to the rest of humanity, for the right reasons this time! I'm not happy to say that copies are not goin' as fast as I would have liked 'em to, but don't take your time gettin' these because hey, I can use the money more than you can an' the sooner the better! 

Thursday, September 17, 2020


Sheesh, here's another one of those cheapo public domain crankouts showin' the same old same old that has not only been aired on tee-vee for ages, but packaged and re-packaged on slow-speed VHS tapes hawked at flea markets usually with a quality that would suggest that these were assembled by slave labor in Mexico and smuggled over the border disguised as dirty comic books.

But the quality is good enough and well, best of all the material found herein is something that should make most BLOG TO COMM readers happy the same way they were when they were mere turdlers and their fave cartoon show was poppin' up on the idiot box making for a nice backdrop to a keep middle Amerigan upbringing. Happy that there's still a world where one can see the well-circulated PD THREE STOOGES shorts (including "Brideless Groom" with the infamous "Cousin Basil" scene!) or "Our Gang Follies of 1938 via some old Interstate Television print that hasn't been circulated since the mid-sixties! Or (guess what!) these old Fleisher-era SUPERMAN cartoons which had been talked about for eons but only made their way into our minds around 1980 when MATINEE AT THE BIJOU was smart enough to gather all of those classic and long-buried shorts and b-features and slap 'em onna same frequency usually devoted to boring English dramas and chic lefto propaganda. Well, better my tax bucks go toward some old Educational Pictures short than TONGUES UNTIED, ifyaknowaddamean...

Hokay, there are only eight SUPERMAN shorts on this second volume and I will not watch two of 'em because they're anti-Japanese and I think the Japanese are cool enough people at least when they're making cartoons or holding orchestral concerts with young nude gals playin' and conductin', but ya just can't deny the quality and overall power that these cartoons provide. For one who grew up with the Saturday morning SUPERMAN cartoons which I remember were fine in their own cardboard way these early efforts really affect me just like when I was a kid and could tell the cool World War II-era BUGS BUNNY cartoons that were on early Saturday AM from the noon BUGS BUNNY SHOW that introduced me to the concept of portable holes. Good, but a certain amount of soul was missing from those late-fifties vintage efforts that abounded in most animation of a decade earlier.

But most of all, when I watch these early-forties SUPERMANs I kinda let my mind drift watching the amazing animation and technicolor as the music roars on, choking up over the fact that the art techniques, the sound and the passion has been long gone and even those baby boomer geeks who used to eat up old tee-vee and mooms back inna seventies and eighties seemingly couldn't care less about these brilliant, life-reaffirming cartoons anymore.

Besides the SUPERMANs ya get a buncha old BETTY BOOPs, POPEYEs, FELIX THE CATs and a GUMBY, not to mention five CLUTCH CARGOs making for the best recreation of a suburban slob turdler youth one can think of. All you have to do is wear your Doctor Dentons and splatter that bowl of CAP'N CRUNCH all over the living room carpet to get the full effect. If you can get mom to yell at you it's all the better!

Sheesh, I never thought I'd be corny enough to say it, but I miss the world these were made in. 'n if you don't, boy will my revenge be even sweeter...

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Really gotta apologize for this 'un. Fer the life of me I just don't feel like causing any big stir by offending your deeply-held beliefs (and lord knows what a contrary opinion will do to some of you!), and even if I did have some tasty ammo to use I just don't have the energy to launch such potently offensive guided missiles at ya anyway. I guess the cancel culture campaign that's being directed against me (yawn!) will have to wait yet another week while I get my internal juices flowin' again, but until then just lay back 'n enjoy the goodies I do have in store for ya!
REST IN PEACE SIMEON COXE OF THE SILVER APPLES, whose demise might have been brought upon after him reading my August 22nd review of the original Silver Apples albums which are now available in neat digipacks with boosted sound 'n class all over. Considering all of the other "coincidental" deaths that have occurred shortly after these postings of my recent reviews I have been ya think I should review some J. Neo Marvin efforts just to prove my theory???
Thanks to Paul McGarry for pointing this one out! Sheesh, I thought I'd never get to see it as long as I lived!:

I discovered this one myself:

Feeding Tube Records, Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and Bob Forward contributed the freebees, all of which are appreciated somewhat (I aint no ingrate!). Bob sent a pretty good packet of which only one of his wares I managed to get to this week, but next time ya better watch out! ( (Watch out exactly for what I ain't too sure of, but I'm sure it will be something way more exciting than SUPERMARKET SWEEP...)

Wednesday Knudsen and Willie Lane-LONG TIME 'TIL TOMORROW LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Y'know, when I first pulled this 'un outta the cardboard I really wanted to hate the thing. No, make that LOATHE it! Not for any personal reasons ming you but only to prove to you usually dense reg'lar tuner-inners that I shouldn't give good reviews to every Feeding Tube platter that I have passed on to me because I'm my own man and think for myself instead of follow the hipster lead like most all of you readers do!

From the kinda sweetie pie cover to the plain unadulterated fact that this duo features a guitarist playing with a woodwind blower I thought gee, now I have the chance to be all brave inside an' show alla ya obtuser than thou types that I kin dish it out as good as the rest of 'em! An' you all think I'm nothing but a punk poseur because I don't share the same sorta views as the heads of every woke conglomeration on the planet!

Well, the first few strains of guitar and flute almost had me thinkin' up some really wikkid putdowns worthy of my ire at the mid-eighties Windham Hill craze that was sweeping the more tendertoes part of this nation, but as the record progressed I felt myself whistling a rather different tune. Aural images of some of the more "chamber" krautrock moments (and more chamber jazz moments for that matter) started penetrating my beanie while the echoplexed woodwinds started flashing TERRY RILEY in beaming letters as Lane's electric guitar playing recalled Loren Connors along with a few other contemporaries whose names you just don't see splattered around as much as they should be. Well, I guess LONG TIME 'TIL TOMORROW just ain't the Feeding Tube platter to toss off ever so savagely after all---in fact ranking along with the Eddie Flowers effort as one of this year's tippy-top best!

Maybe the next one guys, but for now this Wednesday Knudsen/Willie Lane effort is one that really ranks high as far as outer-reaches neo-folk avgarde freeform workouts go. As usual its limited, and when they're all gone you CAN'T have my copy...nyaaaah!
The Fundamentalists-CRACKED EGG CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Tapes)

If Bob Forward thinks he's Lamonte Young well...the first of these "Three Fissures" does come rather close to that famed composer' "forte" what with the repeating of a machine-like rhythm with some delicate phasing ever-so-slightly noticeable. The rest of this sounds like Forward had 'em record his last colonoscopy with the removal of at least ten polyps. Thankfully none of 'em were cancerous, so Bob will be doin' a whole lot less worrying even if he will be upping the Metamucil usage from now on.
James Blood Ulmer-ARE YOU GLAD TO BE IN AMERICA? CD (DIW Records, Japan)

It's been a good fortysome years since punk funk was first bein' spotted in a variety of New York clubs, and lo these many years later all I gotta say is that a whole lotta it never lost any of its initial catch you by surprise impact and deeply satisfying catharsis one gets from either punk rock, hard funk or freer than usual jazz.

This platter, which turned more'n just the heads of THE NEW YORK ROCKER cadre when it was released way back when, is no different. Ulmer plays it less free-splat yet funkier than Sonny Sharrock and really gets into the whole dissonance and blues mode started in part by former boss Ornette Coleman. In the process he's wrapped up the previous 80 + years of jazz and spewed out this tight li'l masterpiece that was so omnitonal that even geeks who bought FEAR OF MUSIC could get into it! Part of the last of the great hard drive that unfortunately petered out once the eighties got into gear and the entire under-the-underground musical mode seemed to change along with it. 'n considering the glop that came after, ARE YOU GLAD TO BE IN AMERICA? comes off all the better for it.

Rustix-BEDLAM CD-r burn (originally on Rare Earth Records)

The first thing that pops into my mind when I think of Rare Earth Records, Motown's white music subsidiary, is of course the hit group of the same name as well as the SF SORROW and PARACHUTE-era Pretty Things. That "Indiana Wants Me" guy was on Rare Earth too. These Rustixs are clearly in the Rare Earth the band category what with their white guy soul that sure doesn't cut it next to the performance and production of the original Motown hits that these guys were obviously copying. I guess Motown were tryin' to get to the white kids who couldn't take the original stuff with this, at times succeeding musically but not financially.
THEM - BELFAST GYPSIES CD-r burn (originally on Cherry Red Records, England)

Another bring back 'em old memories 'un that reminds me of when I would stare at that import copy of this with the Brian Hogg liner notes wishin' I had enough dinero to buy the thing! Trouble was that it was goin' for a whoppin' SEVEN-NINETY-NINE and what depression-era wages kid could afford that? Since I didn't even hafta pay for this Cee-Dee-Are burn all I gotta say is that I'm sure glad I saved the money to get this inna first place, albeit I hadda wait well over forty years for it. But save money I did and ya gotta credit me for being thrifty now, don'tcha?

Not that I haven't heard a good portion of this awlready but it's sure nice havin' it all in one place. And of course the thing is up there with alla the Them and Them spinoffs you can keep up with featuring the famed if once ultra-obscure original album as well as the French EP with the different mix if your ears are attuned to such things. 

Why would I complain about these boff tracks (produced by Kim Fowley if that'll give this any underground cred) which deliver on everything rock 'n roll was supposed to promise us in the mid-sixties? It's so straight ahead in its approach to THE BIG BEAT that even the tubbiest of pimple-thighed fat gals with that acidic body odor knew just as much about its power and message as the rest of us "D" average students! 'n if yer the same gal all grown up, you'll still get it unless years of sudzy muzak and Whoppers have washed it all outta your system!
Various Artists-RICH SOUNDS OF THE SIXTIES VOLUME 2 CD-r burn (originally on Forum Records)

Nothing crucial, but still hot enough sampler of mid-sixties local rock mania in the tradition of NUGGETS and a hundred other emulators. Some big names appear alongside the usual wannabes who never did get their fill of teenage gals like you woulda thought with their Beatle wigs and Japanese guitars. A few familiar tracks appear in between the new-to-my-ears efforts, but in all RICH SOUNDS OF THE SIXTIES VOLUME 2 is another reminder as to the wealth of homegrown rock 'n roll that was pretty snat, at least until the San Francisco sophisticados and English art rockers hadda go and change a whole lotta teenbo mind to the point of lysergic brain damage.

You mighta thought EASY RIDER was the ultimate statement regarding the death of the sixties and THE LAST MOVIE one of the bigger dares in seventies motion picture history. That might be true but as far as soundtrack albums go I find the one to EASY RIDER way superior to the one that sprung forth from this Dennis Hopper documentary filmed during one of his more successful period in cinematic thrills.

While the former was gritty as well as aimed at the wallets of the contemporary youth consciousness this one's loaded with that post-Woodstock frizzle and burn wholesome acoustic patchouli of sound---y'know, that ironed-haired sensitivity girl style that was so popular at the time that teachers actually had kids singing James Taylor songs in music class in order to help bridge that ever growin' generation gap. You might like acoustic diddle daddles with titles like "Sun, Moon and Stars" because they give you some whole wheat goodness nostalgia for acoustic days gone by, but tinkletunes like these remind me of an adolescence I'd just as soon like to forget (well, at least the sappier portions which were so in vogue).

This rec only kicks up when the Abby Road Singers at least show some neo country blues guts on "The Other Side of This Life" but after that, the record's over and so may be your sanity for all I know.
Various Artists-WATERMELON STATE REALIZATIONS CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

As usual, Bill titillates and delivers. Like the Moby Grape radio ad not to mention a pre-"Raindrops" B.J. Thomas and the Triumphs doin' a fairly good Bobby Fuller imitation. Even that old jerk Steve Allen shows up tryin' to be cool playin' "Watermelon Man" 'n all! I thought the Trans-Atlantic Rage was just another art project put to record because...why not?...but at least Bill put that Canadian underground single by the Government entitled "Hemingway Hated Disco Music backed with "I Only Drive My Car At Night" and that saved me the money I would have spent buying it at collectors' prices (it ain't that great so thanks for the inclusion, Bill!) Ditto for the all gal dago punk of the Kande Going Gang who play it good without getting too feminista on ya. I can go on, about two versions of a song called "Space Flight" back-to-back (the first one sounds like a "song poem" while the second is more or less the backing track), the tape mangipulation of "Buy a Toyota" or the country tribute to Ralph Nader but why bother when you can search the internet and find out for yourself!
There are days when I just ponder whether there are still some sane, honest and brave men in this world. Prove me wrong and buy a buncha these BLACK TO COMM back issues now, willya?

Thursday, September 10, 2020


Yes, I remembered. For years I would think back on my turdler days (perhaps the best, as well as worst, of times for me whilst other stratas in my existence were usually worse, as well as worser times) and the fun times I had watching SUPERCAR on Saturday nights and then FIREBALL XL-5 Saturday mornings, part of a real wild youth that suddenly VANISHED when I began to enter into those not-so-hallowed halls of learning and hadda put up with psycho teachers and equally nutzoid classmates. By then it all vanished like those LITTLE RASCALS shorts, a long gone memory of a time I sure wish woulda lasted longer but eh, these era's ends in my life just hadda stop somewhere even if they did way too prematurely. Unfortunately none of the local tee-vee stations dared pick up on the later Supermarionation series like STINGRAY or THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO (channel 8 in Cle was running that 'un but alas we didn't have a VHF antenna) which is sad because hey, maybe if I was watching 'em those glorious pre-stool day feelings woulda lingered on just a li'l bit...

The SUPERCAR cravings never did leave fact during my later-single digits days when my dad 'n I would drive by channel 33 in Youngstown, they who ran SUPERCAR for a few years on/off, I would envision that they had the ENTIRE SERIES on film stashed away in their basement just waiting to be shown to a new generation of kiddoids who coulda used it in the face of GROOVY GHOULIES saturation. If I had any sorta courage about these things I woulda asked dad to let me stop into the station in order to make an impassioned plea for them to dig 'em out and start airin' 'em the same way they were milking the fifties-era BUGS BUNNY cartoons and GILLIGAN'S ISLAND for all they were worth. I'm sure my begging woulda fallen on deaf ears, but just think of the story that station cameraman "Uncle Hal" coulda told his fambly that night if I only had...

Little did I know that I wasn't the only one hungry for the Supermarionation talents of Gerry Anderson, the brain behind the above and many other shows both of a puppet and human nature! Unbeknownst to me there were societies and fan clubs springing up across England (and undoubtedly elsewhere) where equally stunted suburban slob types would discuss such shows and maybe even watch a few not-so-pristine prints while soaking up all that lost goodtime feeling that came from early-sixties television. Yeah, I know that someone stranded in nowheresville like myself wouldn't be able to attend, but think of all the chills I coulda gotten knowing that somewhere on this sphere there were people JUST LIKE MYSELF (sorta) who had way better tastes in tee-vee than whoever it is that hacks away for THE NEW YORK TIMES these days!

I'm sure there are a millyun more, but THE COMPLETE GERRY ANDERSON is one definitive piece of information and homage to a guy who knew what the throbbing kiddoid public kinda/sorta wanted, and not only that but the man also put it in front of the entire world thanks to the sideline savvy of Lew Grade. Yes, within the softcovers of this book the entire Gerry Anderson output is detailed from those fifties cheapo shows for the li'l sissyboys up through the Sci-Fi oriented adventure shows right into the live action ones that (other'n the overblitzed SPACE 1999) seemed to pop up at weird hours on stations that were well outside the reach of my corner-reflector roof top antenna. Not that I'd particularly care to watch THE PROTECTORS with Robert Vaughn but if it were on up against CHAMPIONSHIP FELCHING maybe I would!

Great pix and neat capsuled rundowns of all the goodies from SUPERCAR (sure brings back memories such as the time I first saw "Flight of Fancy" which was undoubtedly the first ever "It's only a DREAM" saga I ever experienced!) and of course FIREBALL XL-5 into the late-sixties biggies which like I said never did get much attention here so it's all new 'n FRESH to me. Some of the live stuff such as UFO rings a slight bell since I remember walking in on my one cousin while she was watching it some Saturday afternoon (the gal with the weird hair kinda creeped me out) and while a good portion of what eventually came probably would appeal as much to me as a lecture on Greek Culture from Dan Savage at least it's there for posterity. I mean, if anyone were to drag me to see DICK SPANNER PI (which from the description seems like an eighties-styled spoof complete with all of the bad taste accouterments such productions entailed not only then but now) I'd only watch under penalty of death!

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Well it's been a nice ' load lite (and for that matter so is my paycheck) so I got some more free time to myself especially for the long Labor Day Weekend. Finally got hold of my TERRAPIN fanzines and have been immensely enjoying myself with 'em. I gotta admit that these TERRAPINs could have been beefier, but I alway fall for a good seventies rock fanzine when I come across one.  Not only that but the article lifted from some Amerigan mag which states that if it weren't for Syd Barrett where would Iggy, Emerson Lake and Palmer, the Soft Machine, the Moody Blues, the Deviants, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator, Bowie, Alice and of course Pink Floyd themselves be today is a real hoot if you ask me! (I might have mentioned this piece the last time I brought TERRAPIN up on this blog...and wouldn't be surprised considering my sieve-like mind.)

Also been spinning lotsa mind-rearranging music (usually in conjunction with classic rock 'n roll reading) with my current faves right now being those early Hawkwind live shows that sound as if they were recorded on smuggled in portable cassette players. Gotta wonder why few people mention Hawkwind's strong Velvet Underground influences which is a fact that didn't go past a whole lotta people who were writing' about 'em back when THE SPACE RITUAL was blazing on in full force. A few souls I know hear a Black Sabbath groove while hardly anything else...go figure.
He may not be as cute as Greta, but he sure knows how to
put his message across!
Seems as if I created a li'l stir last week with my praise of Kyle Rittenhouse, the BRAVE teenager who defended himself from three uber-left thugs who were out to inflict grave bodily harm upon him whilst dispatching two of 'em to a rather warm climate and landing the third (the one with the gun) into the hospital where he has been bitching and moaning about how he regrets he didn't off that seventeen-year-old TRUE BELIEVER (in things that seem to matter more to me as the years roll on)! Sure makes me wish that I had an AR15 myself to do a li'l cleansin' 'round these parts, that's how inspirational Mr. Rittenhouse and his actions are ifyaknowaddamean... And yeah, I know a few of you would disagree with someone blowing away people intent on killing him, but when all's said and done its kids like Rittenhouse, along with the Covington Catholics and scant few others, who really do give me hope that maybe the younger generation really is on the right track after all! Now if they'd only create a music that can turn their actions into pure sound...

Or, to use the same reasoning used by those wags who were so upset that I would dare criticize David Hogg and Emma Gonzales in the wake of that Florida school shooting a few years back....Kyle Rittenhouse's political opinions are still forming at his early age and since he is under 18 we should handle him a whole lot differently than we would had he been a legal adult! Naw, I didn't think that would work!

Meanwhile, here's one I really hope upsets that 99.999...% of people (yawn!) who really love my musical opinions but shudder when I get all socio-political their entire lives they've never heard a contrary view to their own secure worldvision and it kinda scares 'em a bit. Ya better run to the safety of mom's boobies after clickin' on this sweeties, cuz it's potent (and much needed especially during these sad 'n sorry because of world-savers like YOU days!).

Thanks be to Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and Feeding Tube for the donations. Everyone else can get lost, unless they decide to donate as well!

Mordecai-LIBRARY MUSIC LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Comin' at'cha this September 25th's this album from a Butte Montana band that proves that alla the primitive teenbo hoedown music of the late-seventies onward has, after over forty years, finally filtered down into the hinterlands and goody good good for that! It's a real soundsquall of total rockist fun too, especially for those of you who have struggled through years of intentionally primitive college dorm bangaroos and trashoid garage crank outs and thought they sure beat album-oriented-rock schlock hands down. Sorta starts off in a Half-Japanese way and gets early Pavement-ish at one point before it all gets wooshed over into an area of total incomprehension and tribal chants to the suburban slob god Oooaaaooo. Sure there are many of these outta-the-basement "noise rock" acts up and about, but only one of them is named Mordecai.
Frank Zappa-THE GRAND WAZOO/WAKA/JAWAKA CDs (Rykodisc Records)

Here're two Zappa items that I surprisingly did not buy during my teenbo discovery of the Mothers of Invention catalog for some strange reason or another. Well, actually I did tape one of these from a borrowed album way back when, and since Bill Shute's semi-autobiographical stories make for such great reading maybe I should tell you one from my own sordid past which, more or less, was brought back to me thanks to the arrival of this Cee-Dee not so long ago! Only this one ain't "semi" or even "demi", but the out and out truth!

During my high stool days we had this music teacher who we all thought kinda cool, a young 'n just outta college type guy who actually treated people like me rather nice and even struck up conversations with me about music after finding out about my whole keenness for the Mothers of Invention platters that I was buying up with regularity at the time. (In fact, I recall seeing him at the local mall where he showed me his latest record buy, a copy of OVERNIGHT SENSATION.) Anyway this music teacher was so nice and copasetic with me to the point where he even let me use his stereo cassette recorder in the music room during study hall to tape various borrowed booty I'd obtain from a certain student who had similar musical tastes. Not only that, but Mr. X lent me his very copy of THE GRAND WAZOO to dub for my own personal pleasure! I had the run of the music room so-to-speak, just as long as I didn't slam the lid down on the cabinet which would knock all the knobs off the front of the stereo amplifier, something I was very aware and careful of when using his property.

That all ended one day when I was confronted by this teacher in the gym when he accused me of slamming down the cabinet thus ruining his stereo component! Naturally I believed myself innocent and that some other miscreant would have done the dastardly deed, but still he was fussing and fuming about the damage I've done and even though I offered to pay for the repairs he refused, he more content to vent his anger on me and treat me like total trash from that day on. I guess it didn't help when I asked if I could bring my own budget cassette recorder in order to tape albums because boy did he rip into me for naively believing that he ever would consent to that! Talk about youthful innocence stupidity!

The guy was not of a forgive and forget nature either. I got a "C" in his music class on some stupid technicality and graduating from those not-so-hallowed halls didn't even stop him from harboring ill will against me! A year or two later I was in a car with some older female cousins who wanted to briefly visit their galpal, who believe-it-or-not was now MARRIED to the very same teacher and living their early connubial lives in some run down house on the ranky side of town. Anyway, former teach just happened to come out to the car with his new wife, and while the gals were chattin' it up he just looked at me and scowled, perhaps angry that I was seated in the back and well out of his reach! Ah, the guy was an asshole anyway.

So that's what I think of when I hear THE GRAND WAZOO, and despite the sour feelings behind it I find the record fairly OK. Mainly since Zappa and band play a straight-ahead sort of fusion that, while failing to reach any early Mothers brand of crank, does please these ears on occasion. Still WAZOO points the way towards future Zappa snooze-a-thons which jettisoned the old hungry freaks style for DOWN BEAT snazz that might not rock out as much, but sure sold beaucoup.

While the more engaging portions actually do captivate me to a small extent, the pedestrian moves which are scattered about tend to drag the listener back into "what's on TV" or "stare out the window and watch the tree limbs sway" stature. You might like it better'n the Flo and Eddie era of Zappadom (an era of Zappadom I tended to enjoy more than most of you readers), but I find it not so potent when compared with the plethora of late-sixties (and even early/mid-seventies) live shows that have come out either legally or bootleg-style these past few decades.

The same pretty much goes for WAKA/JAWAKA which for years I though was gonna be a straight ahead hard jazz/blues effort a la the HOT RATS namedrop onna cover but treads the same smart moves followed by standard feh moves as WAZOO. Although there are times like, on the title track, where Zappa and band come pretty close to the English New Jazz of the Seventies fusion feel there are the failed attempts at trying something new such as on "It Just Might Be a One Shot Deal" which features a bevy of slide string work that I thought would inspire, but even that unique idea doesn't go anywhere like it should've just wallowing about even with a nice solo from the infamous Sneaky Pete Keinlow. I guess after this period in his post-leg break career Zappa was up inna air about which was to go to prove to all he was still a genius, and maybe that's why he went the slick FM route with such upcoming faves as "Dinah Moe Humm" and "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow" which guaranteed him more radio cred as the years rolled on.

I wonder if I should appeal that "C" grade. It could lead to something big, like the move to get Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals back or England begging for forgiveness from Ireland for their role in the potato famine, the Riley character on FAWLTY TOWERS and for looking better than anyone else on the isles. Sure I might earn that more deserved grade long after I'm croaked, but in these days it's the heartfelt thought and appreciation that goes into things even if I'll be wormfood by the time the school board makes their final decision.
Various Artists-SON OF GUTBUCKET CD-r burn (originally on Liberty Records, England)

The Europeans always knew how to put out some rather good compilation albums and this one is no exception. And Liberty Records in England sure did a fine job with this 'un, mixing up the big name acts with the obscuros who needed a li'l push with their back catalog. SON OF GUTBUCKET's not only got the familiar acts such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Canned Heat and a pre-Columbia Johnny Winter but loads of rather under-the-radar blues, jugband and downright countrified sounds that's make a good backdrop for any youth gathering of the day. The kind that's usually in conjunction with pharmaceuticals. Personal fave's the Groundhogs' "Mean Mistreater" which some of you might remember famed English anarcho-punks the Apostles recording on one of their cassette releases way back when.
The Rumblers-RUMBLIN' AND RARE CD-r burn (originally on Ace Records)

These guys are the exact same Rumblers who put out that rave BOSS album that I reviewed in the pages of my crudzine a good thirty or so years back, and even this far down the ol' trail of tumult we call life these guys sound way fresher'n anything that's now pounding the airwaves ever did. Consisting of some mighty fine early-sixties-styled instrumental rock which fans of that time and era have probably gobbled up ages back (with two vocals thrown in for good measure), these Downey Record sides say way more about what teenbodom meant than all the Ann Landers books on sex combined did. If you (like me) have a soft spot for the last of the truly innocent and primal times for NORMAL people to live through you might have a great appreciation for the Rumblers' straighforward multi-faceted (surf, instrumental, r 'n b) recordings.
Various Artists-BACK TO PERU - THE MOST COMPLETE COLLECTION OF PERUVIAN UNDERGROUND 64-74 CD-r burn (originally on Vampi Soul Records)

Whenever I think of Peru I think of that Paul Simon song that all the gals usedta go crazy over when I was a kid..."El Condor Pasta" or something like that which is obviously about an Italian dish using carrion-eating birds. Hokay, I also think about THE LAST MOVIE, especially that scene where Dennis Hopper and that sexy local do the do right inna dirt while little schoolkids unobtrusively walk by. But as far as rock 'n roll go well, Peru doesn't exactly stick well in my mind unless yer talkin' 'bout those South Amerigan Beatles wannabes the Shakers...were they Peruvian or Uruguayan? I don't seem to remember if they were but they were CLOSE ENOUGH!

Nice collection of Peruvian rarities from early instrumental and British Invasion knockoffs to cheap psychedelia and equally crazed takes on the big guns. 'n it ain't just carbon copy rote rock as the Hot Butter's Sound's "Pa Pa Pa" or even the "Purple Haze" "tribute" might lead you to believe. Sure it ain't anything special especially if you were one to tried avoiding the late-sixties AM dial because it was heavy on the bleat, but these Peruvian platters are worth at least sifting through for the tasty bits here and there.

'n waddaya know but an actual "El Condor Pasta" swipe (which gets kinda hoedown-y at the end!) entitled "Mi Cuerva" which loosely translates into either "My Female Beer" or "My Cervix" appears which means that once again the originals are swiping back from those evil Caucasians who stole everythin' from 'em inna first place! All this instrumental really needs are some heartfelt early-seventies contempo lyrics like "I'd rather be a pickle than a duck..." C'mon, you try it!
Various Artists-BOSSANOVA DEMOCRAT MUTANT TORCH CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

An especially long one here featuring all sortsa strange goodies from nineties-era Arkansas Radio Network news to some off the wall guitar, electro 'n vocals neo-wavey things from "Songs From a Random House", whatever that is! Also included : unintentionally high-larious covers of Pink Floyd by a "B. Bruno" as well as a definitely put-on version of "Little Egypt", some good rockabilly and a few moments that were about as exciting as the last MERCER COUNTY EROTIC FILM FESTIVAL ("Barnyard Buggeroo", a tale of animal husbandry, came in at #3 so you know how bad it was!). A much better way to spend seventy minutes of your life than running down the street with your clothes on fire, and a whole lot more pleasurable for that matter.
Ya wanna know somethin'? These BLACK TO COMM back issues ain't "rare" or "scarce" or anything of the kind! In fact they're about as common as chancres on a whore---just take a peek into my cyster's basement and see for yourself just how many of these mags are up 'n about lookin' fer a new home! Well, I do wanna be honest, and all these years of me tellin' ya just how rare and precious these things are has been tuggin' at my conscious. Howz'bout buyin' some---at least that will ease my guilty feelin's somewhat...