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! 


debs said...

lol more stuff no one ever even heard of lol what on earth is a potrzebie? will i wish i hadn't asked? :)

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Potrzebie refers to the giant, oozing boil on Rush Limbaugh’s ass that kept him out of Vietnam. It is now the size of a baby’s head.

Joseph Allred is cranking out great records at an insane pace. Check him out on his set in the Quarantunes live series Feeding Tube is running. The archives are up on Youtube. Allred is primarily a guitarist but when he pulls out his harmonium it’s an amazing moment. It looks like it’s 200 years old and he found it in the cellar of an old German bar. Then he starts playing and it’s a miracle in your head.

The first two Endless Boogies are out on a reissue. They also have a 4 LP set coming out in a month.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pennsylvania asshole: you might at least promote my collection of Lou Reed interviews.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Sheesh, I mean well, I thought you were through! Welcome back, pard'!

Little Eva Braun said...

(((Lou Reed))) would have made a nice... lampshade.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Eva, I'd tell you to stick to the topic, but since you're BANNED for that comment doing so really wouldn't be necessary.

Alvin Bishop said...

Driscoll and Auger! That's the stuff!


Anonymous said...

To paraphrase a far more interesting contrarian than you (female and British, two up on you as well)...
Fuck off, you crazy old bastard.
ML Heath

Christopher Stigliano said...

Heath, I knew you wouldn't stay mad for long!

Anonymous said...

Actually, there are other issues of Vintage Violence on the Maryversity of Uniland servers, namely issues 2, 4, 5, and 6 (no idea what happened to No. 3). Also Infiltrator fanzine Issues 1, 3, 4, and 5, which Livewire contributed to. Just search for "Michael Heath" in Digital Collections.

You can't download these issues (copyright fears on UM's part, i guess), but at least you can read them.