Wednesday, June 23, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! ASK - THE CHATTER OF POP BY PAUL MORLEY (FABER AND FABER, 1986)

Yeh, there are a whole lotta people out there in rocksnob land who really hate Paul Morley. 'n y'know, I can see why given his involvement with the whole Frankie Goes To Hollywood sordid affair and hey, what rock scribe out there isn't immune to the barbs and insults of a whole load of subhuman sputum who kinda make me wish there was a new Dr. Ishii out there in need of fresh specimens. Believe you me, I should know given the kneejerk retarded responses to some of my way more astute than ever comments I have bestowed upon you these past fortysome years. 

But with a whole lot more worthier clumps of cells out there to loathe until death why should anyone really bother loathing the man!  After all he was one of the new gunslingers to grace the seventies NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS and a much better one than Julie Burchill if not as keen a mind as Nick Kent. Not only that but Morley's one and only issue of OUT THERE remains a highlight of mid-seventies rock fanzineing that sure reads a whole lot sweller'n alla the gunk that has clogged up the rockscribe arteries from the eighties onwards.

Perhaps this collection of various Morleyisms lends credence as to why the ol' fanabla seems to be persona-non-gratis as far as highly visible rockscreeding goes. Not that the stories that appear in ASK which consist of various NME scribings from the v. late seventies until mid-eighties were dire --- far from it --- but the subject matter Morley had to contend with is far from the kind of sounds that any true rock 'n roll maniac would care to spend their time cluttering up their already dizzified heads with.

Of course the mid-seventies sputum that the ol' pooperoo heaped praise upon was worthy of the introspective pieces that were published, and you too might remember just how exciting finding out about the under-the-counterculture rock of those days were with each and every review from people like Morley and others that passed your eyeballs. Morley's talents were capable of describing just why the Stranglers and Ramones were good and his puzzlement over why the poopulace went for some of the more offal-esque sounds was something that a whole buncha us folk really could identify with. But when the 1964-1981 period of rock gave way to MTV glitz and rock critzy types who we once lent ear to started waxing overbearing praise to the likes of Prince and Van Halen in the same fashion they once rah-rah'd the Stooges, well...

I gotta give Morley credit for making his way through these interviews, gabbing it up with such lightloafers as Quentin Crisp and Boy George when he coulda been devoting that precious time to some act he thought truly deserving of publicity. But still Morley gets to sink his fangs in on a scant few occasions like when he lifts the mask off of a few Phantoms out there. I particularly found it quite high-larious when Morley actually got Ted Nugent to admit he really liked --- the Police??? Never woulda seen that comin' inna millyun years. But still, why would anyone with a sense of spirit want to read about such fluff as Duran Duran and Phil Collins even if Morley's natural snide permeates the entire shebang like --- y'know --- read between the lines 'n you'll find out what real one-dimensional types alla your big name idols REALLY are!

I suppose that the hardcore fan of English Weaklies rockscribing would really enjoy these interviews and essays reflecting the strange yet sad world of eighties rock 'n pop. But frankly I suppose that if Morley had never received that telegram from NME we'd be graced with even more issues of  OUT THERE to keep us all awe-struck and in-the-know about a music that thankfully transcended the triteness that can come with stifling ranch house kiddie upbringings. Well yeah, that second ish that promised not only a piece on Roxy Music but John Cage sure sounds delicious even over forty-five years later, as it most certainly should...

Saturday, June 19, 2021

It's Corpulent Chris again dishing out the transgressive newz that'z newz to youze, plus a whole buncha record and other sundry forms of sound reproduction reviews that you might be able to ooze some snooze over. Nice enough batch here which includes one effort that I was inspired to pick up thanks to some comments via Alvin Bishop and Bob Forward. Who sez I don't pay attention to what my minions think 'n feel even if I am superior in every which way to ALL of 'em!
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Hey, we're in the middle of "Pride Month" and yeah, I guess this is the time when a whole slew of us everyday fanablas can be proud! I sure am --- I'm sure as shit smells proud of my record, cassette, Cee-Dee,  book, midgie car, fanzine, comic paperback and other sundry collections that populate the various home and storage spaces in which they reside. I'm also proud of some of my life accomplishments including (but not limited to) publishing a certain crudzine which I'll admit had more'n just a "few" moments of brilliance and downright fun 'n jamz in 'em. I'm also have deep pride in the the fact that I write about the sounds in my life that have captured a whole lot of my inner spirit or whatever hippie jargon you can come up with and that I talked to and have even met face-to-face some of my under-the-underground favorites o'er these past few decades! Who knows, I just might continue to meet up with as time roars on. 

I even harbor a tad bit of personal satisfaction knowing that, no matter how under-the-radar and unknown my many writing and publishing efforts have been and remain to this day (something I used to care about deeply but NOT ANYMORE considering just what a shitpile of hack 'n hype "rock criticism" has become these last fortysome years), that I have influenced a very small yet significant enough to me cadre of people who fortunately now look upon rock 'n roll and other forms of musical expression as something akin to a soundtrack for one's existence rather'n backdrop to doobie doings or cheap pickup trysts. 

OH WAIT --- when they mention "pride" these days it has something to do with rump wrangling hijinx or tongue-in-groove Sapphic superiority, right? Well if that's the case, I AM definitely proud (and GLAAD-er than you can imagine), that I was never sexually molested by my father or any "funny" relatives that I thankfully did not have to encounter because there WEREN'T any! If I had, who knows how many jock straps stuffed with feathers I woulda worn out marching down many a city street! Frankly, an occurrence along the lines of molestation woulda been something that might have done a li'l loafer lightenin' in my life, that's for sure! Happy Father's Day, Dad!
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A li'l aside, but as of late I've been doing some funtime research on the original (and a few might say "better") edition of the Mothers of Invention and came across some heretofore unknown facts that I thought I'd pass on to you. Now this newz for yewz may be old turd but boy was I thrown for a loop --- like f'rinstance, didja know that the cover of BURNT WEENIE SANDWICH was originally intended for an Eric Dolphy album? Which one I do not know but I sure kinda/sorta wonder if this project was to have appeared under the auspices of Bizarre/Straight records even though for the life of me I can't locate any information indicating whether or not a Dolphy album was scheduled for that Frank Zappa tax loss effort! Any Mother People out there in onna whole tale behind this project (if it indeed was in the making) that woulda made for a pretty snazzy effort?

On a way less pleasing note, I just found out about the sick case of original Mothers bass guitarist Roy Estrada who is now serving time in the Big Hoosegow (and is unlikely to get out alive) for child molestation! His second offense as well, and although maybe I shoulda guessed that he woulda been somewhat less-than-straight 'n narrow hanging out with Zappa 'n all I never woulda been led to believe that the man was THAT off the scales of what everyday people out there used to call basic decency! Yeah, I know that there's another sicko who ain't walkin' the streets now which is fine and dandy by me, but from now on whenever I listen to "Prelude to an Afternoon of a Sexually-Aroused Gas Mask" I'm gonna think about how that guy howling away used to diddle way-way-way underaged girls! If yer a fan, send him a carton of cigarettes which might just ease his problems if only a tad.
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REST-IN-SOMETHINGOROTHER Frank Bonner, the guy who played the sleazy salesman Herb Tarleck on WKRP IN CINCINNATTI. I liked him better in EQUINOX.

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LAST MINUTE ADDENDUM! A reg'lar reader just wrote in to me to say that the real reason we should celebrate "Juneteenth" is because on that day in 1953 we fried Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (or as he says, "Rosenratzen")!

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Nice buncha record reviews ya got ther Chris, wouldn't want anything to happen to 'em, eh? Hefty Beanie Beastie hoo-ha's to Paul, Bob, Bill, Guerssen and the rest of the guys at the corral for their freebee donations to an effort that I'm sure nobody will know about 500 years from now but wha' th' hey...



Noah-BRAIN SUCK CD (
Guerssen Records, Spain)

The release of this obscure platter by a Salem Ohio band of some local notoriety (but unfortunately not that much) has been promised for years, and thankfully while we all have our wits about us it has been issued in a nice li'l package that is accustomed to these Guerssen platters that bring a li'l joy into my life once in a blue moon. Noah's hard-edged heavy rock fits perfectly the spirit of the very early seventies what with its doom organ straight outta Ken Hensley mixed with an early heavy metal ooze that recalls acts like early Black Sabbath and Deep Purple at their scrankiest. I will admit that it's a whole lot more heavy metal (in that original, uncompromising fashion) than the sissified version of the sound many of you idiots prefer. Has the drive, nerve-twist and pure energy that one wants in their early-seventies hard rock 'n it's a shame that this thing hadda be held up for so long because hey, it woulda made a great flea market find 'round '76 way.

Also included are some boffo demos and single sides not only from Noah proper but their predecessor, mainly the Sound Barrier whose "My Baby's Gone" was one of the many wonders that popped up on the ever-lovin' PEBBLES VOLUME 8 along with such hearty company as the Chocolate Watchband, Lollipop Shoppe, ? and the Mysterians and of course the Human Beinz from nearby Youngstown.  That and its equally fuzztoned flipster are on here along with some demos that start to show the more Noah-esque "intricacies" and they're all right up the expansive alleys of crazed fans who've been thumbing through boxes of garage sale singles ever since they were teenbos and now they're ninety-five!

Especially interesting is the inclusion of the elusive to me second Sound Barrier single featuring covers of the Who faverave "I Can't Explain" and the Jefferson Airplane's "Greasy Heart" featuring the pipes of new femme vocalist Pat Pshsniak, a gal who comes off like a Grace Slick who at least had the good sense to keep her suckems covered up in public. Interesting factoid, I was trying to wrangle an interview with Pshsniak for my crudzine way back when in an attempt to get to the bottom of the Sound Barrier story, an effort which was rather stillborn but just think of what woulda happed if only... A nice li'l addition to a spinner that was pretty boff already and one that's custom made for those remnants of a time when Cat Stevens ruled the racks and riding on them peace trains was the last thing on yer mind!
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Dave Holland-CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS CD (ECM Records)

Yeah I know that some of you people out there think that all ECM was good for was sterile-sounding neo-gnu age albums featuring musicians with umlauts all over their names. I did too though I still used to spin and adore various easy to find back then efforts from the likes of Circle's THE PARIS CONCERT. Come to think of it this Dave Holland effort (with Anthony Braxton and Barry Altschul) is pretty much Circle with the legendary Sam Rivers replacing soon to be e-metered (and eventually to be dead) Chick Corea long before Return to Forever propelled that guy into jazz-unto-jizz stardom. 

What can I say other'n this 'un still packs that proverbial free punch with that more edge-y sound and style that one got outta that Braxton double set on Arista/Freedom (which also prominently featured Holland and Altschul, not to mention Corea on some rather hot duets come t' think about it). I really like it when they get all regal sounding baroque on "Interception", sounding kinda like something Musica Orbis might worked up for some unsuspecting audience. I do get like that some times.
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The Ohio Express-OHIO EXPRESS/CHEWY CHEWY CD (Wounded Bird Records)

Surprisingly refreshing efforts from one of the groups from the Kasenetz/Katz fambly of fine product that actually got me into listening to top forty seriously back when I was still in the single digits. The bubblegum hits that appear here still register happier memories of them times (I gotta say that I still marvel at the way Jackie Charlson and the Toenails were able to mimic the classic "Yummy Yummy Yummy", especially for being a buncha wood blocks!) while the newer material actually captures the psychedelic sunshine sound with a menacing air. That's probably why various comparisons twixt these sounds and various Lou Reedian efforts were often brought up by various folk who undoubtedly know better than I. CHEWY CHEWY deserves an extra huzzah if only because of the sly Stan Freberg "John and Marsha" spoof.
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Jackie-O Motherfucker-CHANGE CD-r burn (originally on Ecstatic Peace Records)

 'n with a name like that y'all wonder why I've been trying to avoid this group lo these many years! Well, I finally pulled out a burn that was sent my way ages back and although I think I DID spin this somewhere down the line it sure seemed like a total newie to me. Sorta this strange mix of folk and new jazz with certain abstract splotches here and there --- not exactly my cup of sassafras but still interesting enough for those of you who have followed the under-the-underground experimental sound scrapers ever since mags like SOUND CHOICE exposed homespun jagoffs to more'n a few cassette culture types. I'd probably enjoy this one a whole lot better if it only didn't have a name like that --- at least Josef Vondruska's Laser Fuckers seemed like a more enticing aggregation given the pedigree of that particular act!

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FIRE IN THE BOATHOUSE CD (Accurate Records, PO Box 390115, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA)

I first chanced upon these guys' moniker back in the mid-oh-ohs and thought that perhaps this was the legendary Fire In The Kitchen under a new name. That ain't true, though when I recently discovered that these guys shared a CB's 313 Gallery bill with current metallic faves Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe I just hadda get hold of this Cee-Dee if only to see if any of the decadent hard rock roar of Kleiner had rubbed off on this group...

...and of course it didn't, but these Boathouse guys are still a rather interesting enough country/rock amalgamation which might please a few of you readers with their neo-Neil Young approach. Y'know, that kinda music that sounds like the early-seventies back to nature music that was preferred by more whole wheat kids than one can imagine, only this has more of a gritty backbone and enough later-on amerunderground moves to dissuade most yammering world-saver bleats from buying it. Not quite my type of platter, but not bad either and worth a few spins in this lifetime of mind.

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SOUND CEREMONY CD-r burn (originally on Celestial Sound Records, Canada)

Paul McGarry sez that Sound Ceremony "sounds like a jacked up mix of Modern Lovers if they were football hooligans and a British Velvet Underground". Gee thanks Paul, now I don't hafta listen to the album!

All kidding aside, Paul's opinions are pretty spot on in some respects, though their style reminds me more of some trash mid-Amerigan (or in this case Canadian) outta nowheres who hadda get their records via mail and hung onto every wordlettercommaandperiod that was written on every obscure unheralded under-the-underground group of the day with a strong passion! 

Sorta like me, though since I thought I was the only fanabla within miles who knew about the kinda stuff I liked I did feel kinda on my own. Great outta toon vocals mixed with basic $29.95 guitar chords and sell twenny-five boxes and get this drum kit playing. 

Yeah I know, you'd opt out for the talking doll, and maybe you'd be RIGHT.

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JUNK RAGA cassette

Inneresting concept. A tape loop cassette which plays the same rattatattatata over and over again for people who like the same sound and like the same sound NOW! First side comes off like a college dorm tape experiment made by some really forward-thinking hygiene majors 'round 1984 way (like I said above, they read SOUND CHOICE!) while the other kinda reminds me of a player piano playing a roll of extra-ply Bounty. To whoever it was that created this thing...have you tried macramé? 

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Various Artists-SWEATIN' HOOTENANNY MUSICSHIP CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Yeah it's a goodun, what with the great Ray Gee and the Counts doing a spiffy rockahoola on one side and a driving early-sixties-styled instrumental on the other, and that's not counting the Montereys' surf twangons either. Then there's the soulful garage approach of the Lost Souls and the Malibus pre-Bastille and vicey-versey getting even backer into the grave than one could imagine Best thing about this 'un's not the music but the cover featuring an ad sporting the likeness of none other'n that all 'round bad as Hitler and not good as Stalin type Donald Trump peddling steaks! Sheesh, I can just now see the reams of rendered garments from alla you precious petunias clutching pearls or gonads depending on what your own personal case may be having to gaze upon his visage. Sure made my day, even though I know none of you more sanctimonious than thou types out there would never be willing to let on just how upset you are now, eh?

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Didja manage to make it through the eighties, nineties and oh-oh's less than, shall we say, intact? If not, it was probably because you didn't get as much BLACK TO COMM into your system as you shoulda. It's still not too late to get some of these still-available back issues which contain the secret ingredient FANABLASOL, a life enhancing carcinogenic yet zany chemical which can only be found within the pages of this rather unique publication. Definitely worth more than just a casual perusal and who knows, maybe these maGS can keep you from getting laid --- by a snotty hairy-pitted bitch with a thousand face piercings that is.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

BOOKS REVIEW! THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS VOLUMES ONE AND TWO (Gwandanaland Comics)

My earliest memories of this program was way back when I was in kiddiegarden days and a local tee-vee station was airing reruns in the early prime time hours. I clearly remember the episode where Zelda's family was getting a swimming pool installed in their back yard if only because my mother laughed at Maynard's remarks about the big muddy hole there (the pool was discontinued if memory serves), but all I could think of was why did Gilligan have that little beard attached to his chin!

I thought DC were keen enough to keep tabs on alla their copyrighted material but thankfully the entire DOBIE GILLIS line escaped into the PD, a good thing too since these guys were never allowed to reprint any of their celebrity/tee-vee titles due to strict copyright doo-dah on their behalf. So finally we get this li'l taste of Golden Age of Tee-Vee meets Silver Age of Comic Books item presented for us peons who never were able to find much but an old MY FRIEND IRMA or BILKO when it came to these fondly remembered (by tee-vee ranch house kiddies into the comics game!) titles.

There're three volumes of these books spanning twenny-two issues but I only got the first two. 'n those should be good enough for me to at least get that good ol' taste w/o breaking the bank for the entire series. If any of you wanna gimme a X-mas gift this year well, perhaps y'all can take a li'l hint hint HINT???

Artwork's swell enough with Bob Oskner handling his assigned chores as DC's chief comedy-oriented artist, at least on the earlier ones. The later-on ones don't seem to bear his style, 'n for the life of me I think those might have been handled by none other'n Mort Drucker (who got his pro start at National doing BOB HOPE and contributes some of the incidental cartoons to be found herein) which surprises me since I thought that he was working solely for MAD lo these many years. Well, you learn a few things here and there as you travel down that intestinal tract known as life which naturally leads to the toilet bowl of eternity.

Stories are rather snat too and should appeal to longtime fans of the show. Oskner/Drucker handle the parents swell enough to the point where you can just osmose Mrs. Gillis' naivety and feel those proto-heart attack pangs in Mr.'s  chest. The gals of Dobie's desires all seem to look alike but if you, like me, have noticed how pulchritude has given ways to  asexual confusion o'er the years you won't mind one bit. 'n once you get down to it, this does make for some much-neeeed reading especially since the only stations I know who still air DOBIE are those low-wattage UHF ones usually spotted in the more rural portions of this nation, the ones who stuff their schedules with cheap enough series like this in between chintzy religious programming and infomercials for Shriners Hospitals featuring those two kids you thought woulda been dead ages back.

Funny thing, outside of Thalia who pops up in the first few issues as well as a neo-appearance from Chatsworth Osbourne Jr., none of the other reg'lar DOBIE characters are to be seen. No Mrs. Tarantino  or Mr. Pomfritt are to be seen, and especially M.I.A. is Zelda Gilroy, the blandoid gal who was always after Dobie provoking him to do that Jack Benny-swiped "now cut that out!" whenever she got him to scrunch his face. Maybe considering the real-life proclivities of actress Sheila James DC thought it would not be prudent to have her populate what was otherwise a rather wholesome and suburban slobbish comic book, ifyaknowaddamean...

As with these Gwandanaland reprints ya get the original covers, all of the enclosed ads and extraneous goodies, and of course a page of Hollywood gossip that often included verbatim tee-vee dialogue and hints of projects that were never to be. In all, I gotta say that the world that THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS represented is sure a sweller 'un the one that NCIS does!

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Yeah I know, who cares about of the following mutterings which revolve 'round a buncha acts that 99.999...% of the poopulace doesn't even know one whit about! Well. I SURE DO 'n since this is my blog I am master of all I survey an' you better like it because what transpires and perspires within these pixels is some of the BEST rock 'n roll scribing that one can find anywhere in these sorry suckass times we call the boring twenties! Sheesh, I'm so GREAT that I'm surprised some adoring fans out there haven't devoted a fanzine to my own personal being. What a wasted opportunity these people have in many ways to honor me I'll tell ya...


On second thought, I believe I used the EXACT SAME OPENING COME-ON a few years back and given my sieve-like mind I inadvertently regurgitated the entire goo thinking it was nice, fresh 'n tasty. Well, given the cranial capacity of some of you readers you probably wouldn't have caught on yourselves so why should I have brought this particular piece of nada up inna first place? 
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Here's a funny one that I thought I'd post just so I could like, well, offend some of ya (tho this coulda been much stronger in the ol' MURDOCH MURDOCH vein if it only wanted to be!). Hope it does its job since...well...I haven't been writing much deservedly shocking material to make you precious petunia all uproarious in your own special self-indignant ways. So like, here's another chance where you get to prove your (a)moral superiority to us ignorant peons, Ya kin thank me later...

 



AND WHILE I'M AT IT, how about this particular tribute to Czech rock 'n roll hero Josef Vondruska which really dredges up a whole slew of rockism thrill chills that, although abundant throughout the seventies if you looked in the right places, is all but dead and buried these sad and sorry days. (I take no responsibility for any brain damage on your part). Beautiful music, weirdo shots of Vondruska stroking the hair of a dolly, general air of decadence the kind we used to get in those aforementioned seventies which I sure miss --- I really do feel refreshed knowing that the DRONE survives somewhere on this planet of ours 'n why don't these Johannis and his Pale Boys have a record out yet becuz if they did I'd be first in line to buy it!


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By the way, if you (like me) were won'drin where Jim Goad had gone off too after leaving TAKI'S MAGAZINE (with a noticeable drop in quality as a result), it turns out he's skedaddled over to
COUNTER-CURRENTS, a site which makes ol' Taki's look like fuddy-duddy George Will in comparison! Nice to see that the early spirit of free thought (in the best politically incorrect way) lives on even in these rather tepid times.
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Otherwise t'was a pretty hokay week here at the BLOG TO COMM orifices, perhaps made even more hokay by the arrival of a parcel from none other'n Paul McGarry.  Among some pretty tasty-looking burns you will read about not only in this but future posts came a nice hodgepodge lodge of requested items including the soundtrack from some local Bloomington Indiana tee-vee special on MX-80 Sound which defiitely was a very enlightening affair even if Rich Stim's vocals were buried like heck, while the two tracks from the 1969 Mr. Charlie show featuring a high stool Peter Laughner and band doing "Waiting For My Man" and "Ferryboat Bill" sounded way more together/professional'n alla those turdburger teenage mock rock imitation Chuck Eddy neo-hair bands that were sprouting up throughout the eighties. Oh for kids to have been REALLY deca-degenerate back inna eighties like alla those Clevelanders were --- then maybe the past fortysome years woulda been much more of a joy to live through than they actually turned out to be!

Especially interesting was an FM-radio broadcast of an Orchestra Luna toon recorded at CBGB back '76 way entitled "Teenage Punk". This is the number that alla the OL haters I've come up against seemed to go for, perhaps because of the title I guess even if the song itself ain't quite of the p-rock variety that many of you fanablas seem to go for. It's a good 'un tho, even if it does come off a tad slick in performance like a lotta those groups out there in "notice me!' land tended to. But it ain't exactly like I mind given how the instrumental rush sure drives on a whole lot more'n most of the gunk that was being played on FM radio at the time or for that matter the next few decades. Wouldn't mind hearing more of those CBGB tracks that ended up on NYC FM way back in those transitional (into what I kinda do fear!) days which might make for a good future self-compiled bootleg of sorts.

Oh yeah, noted Hinman-lover Bob Forward and Bill Shute should also be thanked for their contributions. If I didn't mention 'em they'd probably both throw big hissy fits and hold their breath until they turned blue, and I wouldn't want then to do anything like that! Not that they would ---I SURE WOULD but not them.


Ethix-"Bad Trip"/"Skins" 45 rpm Single (Mary Jane Records)

In a definite running for "Best Archival Singles Dig Up of 2021" comes this proto-Fifty Foot Hose effort from group leader Cork Marcheschi that was recorded in the sanctity of his parents' very own Detroit suburban ranch house! 

A way better approximation of the late-sixties mind blown style than anything you would have read about in, say, ROLLING STONE'S HISTORY OF LAID-BACK NEO-MARXISM FOR PAMPERED UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS INGRATES, this rec teeters in between the anti-intellectual garage band thud of PEBBLES VOLUME 3/BEHIND THE CALICO WALL and the kinda post-acid mind damage you'd hear about at an anti-drug pep rally at your local high school. Primal sound experiments intermingle with some sub-sub-SUB Blue Cheer acid guitar noodling and addled howls from the attic making for a pretty good total eruption that, come to think of it, could only come out of the wilds of Michigan. 

For a real treat, take Marcheschi's advice and play these sides at 33 and 78 for an additional thrill --- "Bad Trip" at 78 kinda reminds me of Georgio Moroder meets Throbbing Gristle and I'm not kidding!
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Really Red-"Crowd Control"/"Corporate Settings" 45 rpm single (Mad Butcher Records)

Really Red weren't as much a hardcore punk band as they were clingers on to the tail end of the 1964-81 spurt in sound that sorta began with the Trashmen and ended with the demise of not only Max's Kansas City and Lester Bangs but the mileau both were heavily identified with. And yeah, back in the mid-eighties it sure was a joy hearing an album by an up 'n comin' punk rock group that paid homage to Nico, givin' me the impression that these guys weren't spendin' the seventies holed up in their fart-encrusted boudoirs listening to the latest Melanie platter that's for sure!

This debut single (recently reish'd in an edition of 500 for us lazy louts who missed out on it the first time) doesn't quite capture the rage and taste of TEACHING YOU THE FEAR but it's still bo-dee-oh-doh in its pop punk drive 'n oomph. Imagine a whole slew of sped up power chords with a more upbeat drive that sure brightened up those at-times confusing days when we were so adrift in that post-Bangs era of nullitude that we hadda rely on discovering records via MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL and FLIPSIDE. Talk about desperation!

Maybe in some ways it's hard to get through yer bean that this very same group would go on to cover the Red Crayola's classic "War Sucks" (and do a very stirring rendition of it) after giving this single a spin, but then again I've been surprised by things that in retrospect were even stranger...

It would be great if they gathered up the entire Really Red catalog and slapped it all in a fancy velvet-lined box with tons of liner notes 'n all, but until then like --- this will do real swell.

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Oliver Lake-NTU: POINT FORM WHICH CREATION BEGINS CD (Freedom Records, Japan)

Had this 'un on zilch-hand vinyl for years so an update was kinda neato in its own sentimental way. Boffo mini-LP sleeve reish of this classic BAG side featuring Lake with a whole buncha the Human Arts Ensemble types plowing through a number of  efforts that somehow come off tamer now than when I first heard 'em but that's only because I'm deteriorating.  But it still drives that hardened force right into ya even though yer supposed to be too mature to get all emotional over such things as free-moving sound. Yet another one for you who, like me, were really enamored with the ways aural vibrations could be twisted and distorted into works of pure energy way back inna Golden Age of Bargain Bin days and well, I'm still kinda come off all adolescent agog over this stuff well into the age of Medicare and Depends which I must say sez more for my fortitude than it does yours!

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Captain Beefheart & Magic Band-GOLDEN BEAR HAMPTON BEACH CA. 7/15/77 (2 SETS) PARTS ONE AND TWO (CD-r burns) 

Live audience tapes that not only sound pretty swell but amplify the hostile audience reaction that pops up at least after the first set. Pretty good aprox. of the whole SHINY BEAST style period that had those snobbier rockcrits once again polishing up on their Beefheart appreciation for all to see, but I certainly won't hold it against anybody. Actually these sets really do reflect the nervegrind neo-anguish that I happen to be experiencing as of late and if I needed any new soundtrack to the terror otherwise known as life perhaps this is it! 
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Club of Rome-GROBE CD-r burn (originally on ADN tapes, Italy)

Hmmm, thought I reviewed this 'un quite awhile back given its standard eighties cassette cover look and feel but I guess not. The confusion might be due to the typical industrial-sounding eighties cassette culture grind which I gotta admit I experienced PLENTY OF when in the course of my human events. First track sounds like horror movie soundtrack cut-ups, convincing enough to the point where you think there's a monster hiding in your closet but it turns out only to be your "funny" uncle. The rest has a sorta cling clang electrospurt to it which sounds official enough to the point where if someone told me it was a composition from one of those mid-seventies English experimental composers who used to record for Obscure Records I'd believe it. But once you get down to it this was a whole world different in approach and philosophical whooziz than what the likes of Michael Nyman et. al. were up to. I guess if you still re-read those tape reviews that OP used to publish you'd go for this 'un a heck of a whole lot.

***

THE NATIONAL WRECKING COMPANY CD-r burn

Taken from a home-produced cassette, this obscuro from a Philly-area act is a whole lot more surprising than I was conditioning myself into believing it would be. Featuring plenty of seemingly neo-authentic fiddle-country music with some Holy Modality thrown in, the National Wrecking Crew do swing and sway in definitely non-Sammy Kaye ways that recall a whole load of past accomplishments that people such as you often go out of your way to ignore. 

Some very interesting seventies moves mixed in with the OK but not enthralling early-oh-oh's amerunderground rock style make this sound like the kinda demo that Capricorn Records woulda tossed in the wastebasket way back when. That good! I might check out their SOUND OF MUSIC Cee-Dee if things get a little too quiet around here.

***
The Fundamentalists-SUMMER COLE SLAW cassette (Walls Flowing Records)

A recording of Bob Forward shredding cabbage to make some coleslaw on May 14th of last year which wasn't exactly summertime but perhaps SPRING COLE SLAW was already taken. Didn't do much for my listening enjoyment but boy did it make me hungry! Flip of tape has a remix for anal retentive listening purposes.

***

Various Artists-FRUITBOOT PRYSOCK WOOL ZOMBIE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

These Bill burns are getting scarcer than feminine hygiene products in Coraopolis, but at least I managed to find this rarity in the bedroom pile o' platters that's toppled all over the place. Another hodgepodge of various efforts, some good and some feh, with the former including a take of Elvis Presley doin' "If You Talk In Your Sleep", a boff Zombies rarity and the Dark providing some hefty psychedelic stream-of-unconsciousness that resonates many a decade later. The latter includes the usual early-sixties doof takes from the likes of Barbie Gaye and Marty Gino that are good for a laff and maybe some musical pleasure if you stretch yer ears a bit. Other surprises pop up from an Indiana garage bunch called Elves Inc., some hotcha jazzy moves from Red Prysock and Ramsey Lewis and even a rare Tremoloes side which ain't that good, but it sure sounds better'n many acts at their best ifyaknowaddamean! Bill certainly was on the tippy top of his tootsies when he put this one together!

***

I might be a failure (well, a few of you nabobs out there tend to think so) but don't you be one too! Purchase all of the available back issues of BLACK TO COMM and I guarantee you a successful life as far as your rockism character and general musical well being goes. Plus I won't be that much of a loser in life if you do snatch up a hunk of these efforts now, eh?

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! SAD SACK ARMY LIFE PARADE, VOLUME ONE NUMBER 16 MARCH 1967 (Harvey Comics)

I gotta say that these old cover-less comics that have entered into mine life for ages do have a sorta cheapoid charm to 'em which dredge up a whole load of funtime memories. I get these weird vibes about their previous owners and alla the fun they mighta had reading such comics which have become all war torn and ragged o'er the years before being discarded, and now the fun and jamz have been passed down to me. A kinda romantic way to look at these things unlike Bill Shute's old comic book reminiscences which reek of cabbage and ass with a few old litter boxes tossed in.

Harvey Comics have a special reverberation in my own sense o' existence but for a very strange reason. When I was a kid my father used to give me haircuts with this pair of clippers he had (still has, since he was giving me especially requested baldies as late as 2009!) but he'd let me go with him to the barber shop just to do some father/son bonding other'n me getting whacked on the rear end with a belt. (I guess dad wasn't wise enough to figure that since he cut his hair, maybe I should be cutting his!)  

Anyway that's the place where I was introduced, not to THE POLICE GAZETTE but to Harvey Comics which were piled on the little stand near the door. Being a fan of the tee-vee CASPER cartoons these were rather popular with me as were the other Harvey titles I wasn't quite familiar with until then, like HOT STUFF (which I later eschewed reading due to its connections with the occult) and of course SAD SACK. Being a BEETLE BAILEY fan I really went for these army toons which to me came off as a cheap imitation of the real thing but then again even as a kid I knew that cheapness was a lasting virtue when it came to things made especially for us single-digit fidgits. Things like snacks and of course Harvey Comics.

I'm sure this particular issue of  SAD SACK ARMY LIFE PARADE had a pretty good life of its own before it came into my possession, and although Bill Shute has spewed out enough fun facts about this particular character maybe it's time for me to do some rheumy reminiscing myself. Back to this coverless issue --- considering the math problem featured in the margins of page one and the occasional magic marker blacking out of various characters whoever was in possession of this got his moneysworth outta the thing. Makes it kinda nice and lived in so to speak, and I also gotta admit that the stories in here were good enough to entertain this aged fanabla as much as it woulda my grade school self. Of course now I can appreciate alla the sexy references to females that wooshed right by me when I was a kid, and considering the kinda gals I was surrounded by back when I was a kid it's no wonder it all went by me faster'n Milk of Magnesia!

Lotsa BAILEY cops here from a Killer Diller cum Cosmo swipe (Hi-Fi) to a pudgy oaf who is reminiscent of the long discarded Dawg, while the Sarge can be gruesome enough to even make Snorkel come off cuddly. The General ain't so Halftrackesque tho and can be rather dull as he is in the final story where he decides hold a show for the entire camp to prove he's not a humorless turd and ends up being the butt of a ventriloquist's jokes. Which reminds me that if I ever do come across SAD SACK AND HIS FUNNY FRIENDS FEATURING THE GENERAL maybe I should do a little bit of avoidance in order to save a precious dime from a buy I probably should not make.

Sure this mag contains some tales that were old 'n tired even by the time this 1967 ish hit the stands but eh, this 'un still please me enough. Fearless Fosdick's old nemesis Anyface gets remade as "Anybody", a criminal who can make himself look like anyone he wants and thus disguises himself as all the men in the company on payday in order to cop their salary. Even funnier's the old brain exchange gag which always gets me up 'n roarin', and although this 'un ain't as funny as the time the castaways got their brains switched around on GILLIGAN'S ISLAND it was still a hoot seeing Sack and a giant frog get their identities topsy-turvied around thus fooling the bejabbers outta Sarge!

Frankly I can't see any teenbo ranch house kiddie not being amused by a beat up comic like this, unless he happens to come across a Japanese pearl diver issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC instead. Kinda makes me wanna go out 'n get a haircut, but then again I haven't had hair in twenny-five years and like, I don't think I can get my scalp trimmed any without doin' a whole lotta bleedin'!

Saturday, June 05, 2021

IT'S BOOTLEG BRAGADOCCIO TIME ONCE AGIN FER ALL YOU OLDE TYME BEAT UP RECORD STORE AND HIPPIE HEAD SHOP BACK ROOM PROWLERS YOU!

Never thought I'd scrounge together enough platters to fill up another one of these trips back in time into the age of alla that illicit vinyl that seemed so mystical and contraband to the point where I usedta hide mine inna pile just so's some cops peeking into my windows wouldn't bust me. Anyway you're allowed to share in my decades-old fascination with these charming in their own special way spinners that has clung to my musical whooziz ever since my teenbo days. Days I wouldn't mind re-living, albeit with a whole lot more money stuffed in my wallet mind you! 
***
In honor on hizzoner's big Eight-Oh I decided to latch onto this old Dylan boot, a double-disc effort on Kornyfone entitled PASSED OVER AND ROLLING THUNDER which I'm sure a few of you remember seeing in the record shops of the day.' n hey, what a better way to celebrate ol' Mr. Die-lan (as I usedta pronounce his surname before none other'n MY FATHER [who wouldn't know a folk singer from Ish Kabbibble] corrected me!) and his trip into the octogenarian realm than to spin an effort of his that is good! Well, at least not one of those LIVE AT BUDOKAN quick crank outs that seemed to mar a whole load of his career to the point where we eventually came to expect irregularity from that ol' contrarian ball of confusion.

Yeah, like I said there are TWO platters here chock fulla some pretty good music in excellent quality, and although the entire shebang seems sped up just a tiny bit it still has a rage and urgency to it. That's perhaps because it now sounds more rushed, and thus more urgent, in its overall attack.

The infamous 1975 Newport Folk Fest with Dylan joining Butterfield on "Maggie's Farm" ain't exactly new but still sounds like the perfect backdrop for late-springtime lazing about while the flip featuring the infamous SOUNDSTAGE show I sure recall cozying up to way back when sounds a whole loads better in its stripped down intimacy. Believe me, Dylan and band come off as if they coulda been some wayward folk aggregate stuck on a CBGB poetry night from exactly the same timespan they're so non-slick a way you sure wish most acts back then coulda been. 

Never thought I'd say this, but Scarlet Rivera shoulda been the new John Cale what with her careening violin adding an additional nerve-fray to the music --- heck, if she only she had made a few better career choices*. Even the extremely overwrought "Hurricane" sounds swell without the studio glitz to the point where tryin' to follow the lyrics takes second place to enjoying the more driving and subliminally intense music that was broadcast nationwide during them Second Golden Age of Tee-Vee days! 

The BLOOD ON THE TRACKS outtakes sure struck me as bein' much better'n the official release what with these minimalist excursions which kinda make me think that the powers that be were trying to update Dylan to a more decadent Elliot Murphy stature flopping about in the process!

Topping it all off's a side of the Rolling Thunder Review in Providence Rhode Island and thankfully this belated wake for the sixties (well, more or less) sure doesn't conjure up memories of flailing about hippoids still trying to live the kumbaya dream as much as it does a pretty straightforward folk rock excursion that surprisingly doesn't let its guard down. A guy like moi who spins HARD RAIN on occasion was sated to the point where a whole load of curiosity regarding what else I've been missing regarding Dylan has popped to the surface like a whitehead --- perhaps a look at those other mid-seventies performances would do this body a whole lot more good'n this corpse woulda thought way back in those penny-pinching days when records like this were first up and about?

So hey, a happy birthday to you ya ol' fanabla you! 'n yeah, yer so big you got away with just about every stoopid move you coulda made these past fortysome years but eh, at least you got a real good bootleg outta this 'un. Next time --- JOAQUIN ANTIQUE???
***
Sometimes the recent reissuing of old 'n notoriously famous bootlegs (complete with the original artwork or a cheap facsimile thereof) works, most of the time it just plain don't. However, I just can't help but to snuggle up to this recent exhumation of the classic Siouxsie and the Banshees LOVE IN A VOID boot not only because it does stand as a testimonial to the power of the entire bootleg idiom (having been released before any legitimate Siouxsie efforts had come out) but because it surpasses what we eventually got when THE SCREAM was released and, although that Polydor effort was a classic effort to the end, it just couldn't compete with this collection of radio and whatnot efforts that present the act in the raw, primal state that I prefer my music to wallow in.

The flat AM-ish reproduction does bring back memories of various "intentional" (of which I assume this wasn't) efforts to re-create the WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT sway and style, while the pre-major label performances recall not only the original Siouxsie and company's early approach to their instruments but thankfully brings them all to the forefront atonal spirals and all. The definite home made approach of this makes LOVE IN A VOID as much of a classic representation of ROCK AS A FERAL, TANTRIC SOUND as the variety of acts that were poured into the Siouxsie mode (Velvets, Stooges, Can if you do believe Nick Kent and why not?) and for that reason it should be considered a definite wanna get for any record collection that dares to reflect the primal blare of the sixties and seventies. 

Get those memories of eighties and beyond Siouxsie outta your system and latch onto this particular godsend to the cult of recorded plastic or, if you can spare the extra change, try to find an original at a halfway decent price which of course is rather impossible in these collectors consciousness times.
***
I remember espying the Roxy Music BETTER THAN FOOD bootleg when I was browsing the bins at White Wing Records in Niles Ohio way back inna mid-seventies, tho I certainly recall an entirely different cover on it! The one that continues to ricochet in my brain had an insert sleeve picturing a buncha what looked like prepubescent gals in full frontal mode smiling away, something which kinda disgusted my teenbo self since I, not being of the Brazilian persuasion, certainly liked fuzz on the peaches I've seen and for that matter still do! (As far as I'm concerned, a gal without the fuzzies is like a rabbit without a fluffy tail!) Maybe that particular version of BETTER THAN FOOD was a knockoff that was taken off the market for obvious reasons or maybe my memory is faultier than usual...I mean I do have some pretty creepy memories of a past that I sure hope I didn't have to live through!

This take on BETTER THAN FOOD has an actual cover with a neat Jay Kinney drawing and the expectedly inaccurate credits on the back. Most of it was taken from various BBC broadcasts and non-LP single sides with the sound quality getting kinda mooshed in the process, but as far as these old bootleg artifacts go man, does it sure look good stuffed in the ol' collection.

You probably already have the double Cee-Dee FIRST KISS somewhere in the house and that's got all this 'n more (a real budget deal!), but if you (like me) sure have a hankerin' for old vinyl as well as that whole mid-seventies Roxy mystique that gave us some pretty much against the grain music then man, you know what to do! Its recs like this which make me wanna turn the house into something resembling an old beat up record shop with sawdust on the floor, and come to think of it I wouldn't have to do that much in the way of interior decorating!

And speaking of Roxy Music album covers...get a load outta this one! Hot stuff, hunh?  But after ya slip yer eyeballs back into yer sockets just plop the two enclosed platters on and getcherself into some pretty into the groove (needle that is) listening!

This early-eighties edition of CHAMPAGNE AND NOVOCAINE is a gotta have not only for the cover, but for the fact that the first platter was lifted from a great sounding NYC live show recorded around the time SIREN was starting to hit the shops. It's a soundboard one too where Brawn Fairy of course mentions that it was being reviewed for a legitimate live effort and the crowd of course yaps it up like nothing since the days when someone would mention "Brooklyn" on some by-now ancient radio show!

As you might have expected, the second album in this set's a reissue of the original mid-seventies bootleg perennial CHAMPAGNE AND NOVOCAINE. Those of you in-the-know are aware that this particular Roxy boot's the most infamous of these seventies not-so-under-the-counter platters given its ability to turn up even in high-end shopping mall record stores where you normally wouldn't expect bootlegs to be peddled. The bootleggers didn't even bother to re-process this 'un in the right speed so it's all a tad slow, but it still sounds as good as the original plus the additional live show will have you tearing into that old pile of albums to spin those Roxy and offshoot platters that took up more than just a little of your teenbo hipster wannabe time. 'n so what if you (like me) have multiple copies of these recordings in your collection...that cover's gonna keep you lonely baldoids occupied for quite some time ifyaknowaddamean...
***
My "recent" dream of listening to HORSES in an automobile as a high stooler had me digging the Patti Smith SUPERBUNNY bootleg outta the stack, and as you can guess the subliminal suggestion sure did a world of good for my own sense of rockism. The quality is definitely audience but the performance is tippy top what with Patti and crew careening through such classics as "Free Money" and "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" not forgetting that tearjerker version of "Pale Blue Eyes" that was part of their 1975 set. You have to strain yer ears to listen to Patti's between-song patter but its worth it, as well as it is to listen to the ever-changing narrative that is thrown into her live renditions of "Horses" where Johnny travels through all sortsa weird neo-Burroughsian concepts that change and intertwine almost like a good thirties serial.  And to think that people were actually buying up her platters back inna seventies with even the more nerdoid amongst us talkin' 'bout her with unbridles pangs of lust in between the usual mindless America and James Taylor droolathons...from this jaded era we call 2021 and years of seeing rock 'n roll reduced to sham MTV graphics and meaningless sizzle that does seem like an eon away.
***
I was rather (dare I say) "enthralled" by last brouhaha entry ROCK 'N ROLL ANIMAL that I decided to snatch up yet another Lou Reed offering, this time the STIFF ON HIS LEGEND outing. Nice package here what with a snap of bleached blonde Lou on the cover and liner notes swiped from who-knows-where onna back, and the sound ain't that bad as well. Too bad this is taken from the '74 SALLY CAN'T DANCE days back when Lou hired some rhumba band to back him and the re-arrangements of old faves along with them new efforts just don't quite cut the mustard like ya kinda hoped they woulda. Not that it's atrocious, but it just doesn't rev up them Lou Reed memories they way you sure woulda liked 'em to have been revved up. If you can latch onto the original edition of this (entitled WHATEVER HAPPENED TO DICK AND STEVE?) bully for you, but alla you hard rocksters who grew up on the RCA version of ANIMAL (Lou loved the Skydog album so much that he decided to bootleg the name for himself!) just might be just a tad li'l let down.
***
Seems as if boots of the original late-sixties version of the Mothers of Invention are still coming out at a rather snat pace, and although I sure woulda liked to have heard these way back 1976 way at least I got to hear 'em now. And considering the fine packaging and color vinyl and other cheapazoid collectors come ons these newer efforts are jambus packtus with I am sure glad I got hold of a few of these recent releases that woulda done me swell had they been released in the mid-seventies even if I woulda been too poor to buy 'em all. 

WE MAY PLAY SOME THINGS THAT MIGHT SOUND STRANGE was taken from two consecutive nights on the Fall '67 Scandinavian tour --- sound is kinda audience wobbly but still strong enough for any mother listening in with an overall effect that'll zoom you back to those days when stuff like this really did seem exciting. I wouldn't call it mandatory 'r anything along those lines, but the performance is fair enough and the early Mothers' musicianship thankfully do detract from Zappa's often condescending stage patter. Besides, this kinda humor did seem kinda refreshing at one point in the lives of many a record purchaser and in some ways that late-sixties sense of satire does remain, if only in a purely nostalgic sense.  As with many of these original Mothers of Invention-period live shows there's a lotta stuff you HAVE heard before, but the things new to yer lobes'll have you washing "Valley Girl" outta yer system for good!

Way back when things like shopping malls were one way to connect with what was going on in life, I thought that the cover to THE FRANK ZAPPA SONGBOOK VOL. 1 woulda looked boffo on a bootleg. Turns out that not only one, but two enterprising bootleggers took my advice, one of 'em being the folks who released A TOKEN OF MY EXTREME way back during the seventies Golden Age of Zappa bootlegs. Unfortunately it was reproduced in black and white when the original color would have been more appealing, but thanks be that my psychic recommendations got to these ne'erdowells inna first place even if the results were monochromatic.

Again, this "Zapped" reissue is on colored vinyl and again the sound leaves a little to be desired. It perhaps is a tad fast (not benefitting the overall effects unlike the Dylan effort mentioned above) and it is definitely of an audience source, but this '75 show has Captain Beefheart in the band and he does shine not only on them familiar BONGO FURY efforts but a newie entiled "Why Doesn't Somebody Get Him A Pepsi" which, from my ears, sounds like an early version of "The Torture Never Stops". But it's better since Beefheart could save the Albanian National Anthem with his mere tonsils...if he wanted to that is and for some reason I don't think he woulda wanted to but if he did it sure woulda sounded sweller'n "Jewish Princess".

Actually the rest of the Mothers do well enough even if the group was becoming more and more fusion-y as time went on. But at least they can create some driving intense melodies that keep Zappa's ooga booga in check, and even with the usual bootleg shortcomings this does prove to be a record that got me up and bouncing at a time when it seems that being up and bouncing could develop into a serious crime if the Powers That Be have their way.

The problem with IF YOU GET A HEADACHE is that there is so little Captain Beefheart on it, and he's only on the first side of this '75 live effort which has that cavernous sound that forces you to stick your head right up to the speakers in order to make any real sense outta the thing! Still that first side kicks off fine with a blistering version of "Apostrophe" as well as a halfway decent "Stinkfoot" which I gotta admit used to make me crack up back during my high stool days. Once you get down to the whole matter of it all IF YOU GET A HEADACHE is just another documentation of Zappa during his even steeper slide into self-indulgent hoo-hahs which started a few years earlier, even if we all knew he was as big a jerk as Jerry Lewis even as far back as those original Mothers of Invention days.
***
As with the last brouhaha I'm wrapping this 'un up with a sidestep into the realm of jazz bootlegs, an area which deserves its own separate study considering their own unique history and overall adaptation to the jazz as opposed to rock frame of absorption. 

Now these bootlegs, as with classical music or Broadway show platters of a non-legit variety, ain't exactly part of the same realm as rock boots given their more authentic if budget-y look. Not only that but they sure go for much less because well, there probably ain't as much of a demand for jazz boots as there are rock ones. But who can argue that these albums aren't worthy of their own scrutiny what with the wide variety of 'em that are available and at cheapo prices at that!

There are a few worthwhile jazz bootlegs out and about, and although I've yet to see any boots devoted to some of the more Fire Music-oriented in the jazz genre there have been some Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler ones that really made my record collection more'n just one to bemusedly thumb through. As if I'd let any of you even near my less bountiful than it should be stacks o' wax you thievin' scoundrels you! 

STATING THE CASE is one Coleman boot that I only came across recently, a good 'un from a French label called "Jazz Anthology" that, according to the discography listed on the back cover, has a pretty hefty line of wares to offer from various John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy efforts to early Louis Armstrong live gigs that may not have been released legitimately even if you would think such an audience existed for it. But this Coleman album's pretty boffo, perhaps even improved by the reel-to-reel in the audience live sound that adds a certain feral element to the performance, and a good one it most certainly is.

Credits are sketchy ("early sixties" is given as the recording date, the venue unknown and the band lineup nonexistent) and the song listing ("Ornette's Suite" parts one and two) totally inaccurate as these efforts and themes have appeared on a variety of Coleman releases. But when ya plunk the needle down ya get a good fifty-five-plus minutes of music that really does stretch out into the clogged corners of your mind. I even get the idea that you'll wonder just how you managed to spend your entire life without this, it's that much a part of the Coleman "canon" as his legit efforts. 

And although I am pretty sure STATING THE CASE has been legitimately released in the interim ya just can't help but thank Jazz Anthology for making the thing available at a time when jazz was starting to regain some of its feeling after years of bloated DOWN BEAT inertia dragging everything down to a Wynton Marsalis level of bowties and flowery flamingo sounds. Worth a search and come to think of it, a definitive jazz bootleg article would be welcome on this (or any other) blog. Any takers out there?

If any of you happen to come across Coleman's BROADCASTS on the J For Jazz label pick it up as well. It's got a snat cover with iffy liner notes from a Harris Venuti whoever he is. It also has THE EXACT SAME MUSIC that appears on STATING THE CASE and with equally dubious credits! But hey, I know you guys out there want everything you can get by Coleman and I'm not crying over the dupe so why should you?

After buying, digesting and ultimately filing away the above albums I found two outta three Charles Mingus bootlegs that really have filled my bill so-to-speak, Released on the Eyetalian Ingo lable, three volumes of this April '64 show were released --- managed to get the second and third 'un's and although the first volume entitled HOPE SO, ERIC remains outta my grasp at press time the other two, FABLES OF FAUBUS and PARKERIANA are firmly entrenched within and I gotta say that I feel lucky enough that even those have been obtained by me in the ol' here and now even if I should have had 'em in the there and then.

Sound's usual bootleg flat (though would still be rated an "excellent" by HOT WACKS) but is fine enough for a hard-edged fanatic who'll listen through virtual blizzards of distortion to get to the meat of the matter. And really, what sorta new thing jazzbo type wouldn't want to hear an entire album featuring the classic ode to the Arkansas segregationist (who I remember tried to make a comeback in the mid-eighties all apologetic about his political past making me wonder if he ever heard this composition!) complete with some great piano from Jacki Byard and reed-destruction courtesy Eric Dolphy who was only a couple of months away from that big gig inna sky. 

The side longs on Volume Three are as memorable a part of the Mingus/Dolphy legend as such mindwowzers as THE BLACK SAINT AND SINNER LADY (really!), especially on "Meditations" which gets into one of those clouds of sound that foreshadows various Art Ensemble of Chicago moodgropes that were maybe not-so-clearly on the horizon. Both are much needed even in your own nascent jazz collection and for bootleg hounds like myself well, wow-whee!
***
If you have any semblance of a soul left you'll want 'em all, just like you want a whole slew of bootlegs that I will probably be fillin' ya in on once the next "Bootleg Bragadoccio" hits the screens a whole lot sooner than you'll care but wha' th' hey? Until then, count your pennies and who knows, maybe that old dusty head shop or "alternative" book store with the back room is still in business lo these many years later and like, they're probably still too stones to know that there are a few dozen uncracked crates from TMOQ just moiling in between the unsold Anais Nin porn and Paul Ehrich Chicken Little rewrites one's bound to find in these shops lo these many years later!

___________________________________________________
*'s funny, because I recall hating her playing way back when the gal was up and about...musta been the budding anti-folkie in me.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! IVAN TORS' GENTLE BEN #4 (DELL COMICS)

This 'un reminds me of that old joke that was goin' 'round a few years back, the one about that old tee-vee show where a Jewish family adopted a Christian bear---GENTILE BEN! Hokay, only someone with a cornballus sense of hummus such as myself can appreciate a gag such as that, but I do recall watching this Sunday night program back during my single digit days an' fer the life of me I can't recall appreciating the thing one darn bit! At least when Walt Disney was filling up the Sunday night cathode connection there might be a cartoon in it but all ya got here was Ronny Howard's little brother walking around with some bear and his father used to be on GUNSMOKE and we all wonder why he left it because his career sure didn't seem so hot until he starred in McCLOUD 'n by that time he was startin' to look old anyway. 

Well at least GENTLE BEN spawned a comic series from Dell from their later-on days after Western Printing decided to form Gold Key thus leaving 'em inna lurch, and this comic echoed every bit of mundane triteness the series had successfully transferring it to the comic book medium without one beat being skipped. 

I dunno, maybe I have such a feh opinion of the series because for me Sunday night only meant Monday morning school which is why everything from ED SULLIVAN to BONANZA holds creepy kidhood memories for me. All these centuries later I still have weirditie feelings about GENTLE BEN, like this was supposed to be the kinda show I was supposed to watch so I watched it if only to placate the oldsters in my life plus I hadda look forward to another week of degradation thinkin' about it all while plopped in front of the boob tube...yech!v The nature angle was way too dull for a ranch house suburban slob such as me as well, though next to an outright turdster like LINCOLN VALE OF THE EVERGLADES it was kinda sturdy sorta as Beaver woulda put it.

The sagas in his particular ish are as blanded out the tee-vee show what with youth identification character Mark and pet bear Ben getting set adrift on an old beat up houseboat and being accused of swiping a purse from some stuck up city lady and things like that. I think that the best of these stories is the final one where some mean kid is shooting arrows at the preserve and taunts Mark for being such a hick, until he gets into a pickle himself and has to be rescued by Ben. It's good if only for the appearance of the Eddie Haskell-ish antagonist (who doesn't have the admirable negativity of Our Hero but is still irritable enough), though if I were to write the story I woulda left that bigmouth stranded in the middle of the lake to rot if only to teach him a lesson! Hey, Dell didn't subscribe to the Comics Code so maybe they woulda gotten away with that even if for the most part they were more timid'n even Harvey!

Artwork's typically post-Gold Key Dell dull and the stories coulda used some more paprika in 'em. But eh, how else are you gonna relive those laze-about summer afternoon days without a book like this! Sure brought back some youthful memories of times that coulda been better but wha' th' hey, as well as make me wonder why Dennis Weaver left GUNSMOKE inna first place because like the show wasn't the same without him and Festus seemed like a total slob in comparison. And come to think of it, by that time that other Sunday night perennial LASSIE wasn't so hot either without some kid onna farm to get into adventures with but eh, alla that great fifties/early-sixties kid action and adventure tee-vee wasn't quite the same once the hippoids started stinkin' up the place so what else was new?

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Like dogs with especially cold noses, these weekend posts can really sneak up on ya! An' why should any of ya complain since well, it's one way for your pooch to say howdy to ya and besides they're really good at tellin' when some female acquaintance is gonna have that special monthly visitor we all know about and fear (that's when doggie starts running away with that high pitched yip-like warning!). Yes, maybe we should have plenty more dogs around us to make sure we know when to herd the missus into the special padded cell for a few days of misery on her part but peace and quiet on ours!

Anyway, welcome to another edition of BLOG TO COMM and although I would like to say that this is a very special entry into the canon it obviously ain't! But as far as being fair to middling well, I won't complain about that --- pretty pedestrian if you ask me. Spent my ever-dwindling free time searching out old faves to play amidst the newies, having zilch luck trying to find a few that I was interested in re-spinning such as MESSTHETICS GREATEST HISS (having the "Greatest Hits" one nearby does help a bit considering how the Puritan Guitars are perhaps my faverave group of the week), but as R. Meltzer once said "wha' th' hey". At least what I have been listening to continues to reaffirm not only my life being but general will to go on, and if you wanna blame anyone for my will to survive blame the music f'r once! 
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As usual, gotta give thanx to those who thanxed me with these goodies, most namely Bill Shute, Bob Forward and Paul McGarry. No special thanx goes to an EX friend of the blog who, probably in a fit of self-righteous flakeitude, disowned having even known me he having decided to side with the eternal enemies of not only me but what I stand for which may not be "popular" or "cool" but certainly are not destined for that ash heap of history ol Barack O used to talk about. Eh, the pickings were slim and anyway I ain't gonna mention this turncoat's name lest I sully up this blog QUITE A BIT. Smarter folk out there will know who I'm referring to, obviously.



Sun Ra and his Mythic Science Arkestra-THE PARIS TAPES 2-CD-r set burn (originally on Kindred Spirits Records)

Never could catch up with these Sun Ra releases and this live effort from '71 (although released in 2010) is but another good one to have and to hold.  I gotta say that these early-seventies Sun Ra albums seem to be some of my favorites and this live effort is no different, what with a heavier than usual percussive bent to it which really does get me into a particularly deep NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC mood. Not quite enough John Gilmore or Marshall Allen for my tastes, but the early analog synth squalls and overall tension always seemed to do this body well and continues to even thought I've grown up since the days my cyster ruined my high stool electronic music term paper what with the "Sien Ra" typo 'n all. As if I'll ever forget her and forget it for that matter, right Brad?
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John Cale/Tony Conrad/Angus Maclise/LaMonte Young/Marian Zazeela-INSIDE THE DREAM SYNDICATE VOLUME  1: DAY OF NIAGARA (1965) CD (Table of the Elements Records)

Upon first spin a good decade or two back I just wasn't in the mood. But that drone sure didn't seem so monotonal once I settled back, picked up an old TV GUIDE to peruse, and sorta let the sounds settle into me. Worked swell. The original Theatre of Eternal Music more or less trying to make even John Cage come off sounding normil. Roots of everything from the Velvet Underground and Stooges to alla those boring performance artists of the eighties can be discerned even without tweaking your parameters in order to "get it".
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Various Artists-TOKYO FLASHBACK VOL. 5 CD (Modern Music/P.S.F. Records Japan)

It's always good getting a dose of this Japanese neu-psychedelic hard rock into my system, especially at a time when such music seems to be rather sparse if not outright banned! Yeah, this collection contains even more of that hard nova sound which, when not heading into the pure realm of atonal cut up,  always came off like the best the closing moments of the sixties hadda offer! Some familiar names here such as White Heaven, Overhang Party and Suisho No Fune (coulda used some Les Rallizes Denudes but we can't have nearly everything in our lives) are intermingled with acts that have slipped through my typically sieve-like mind and well, if this cold steel shank of aural indulgence just doesn't stab you in your musical psyche like it SHOULD I guess there is no help for you, sweetie!
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Ya Ho Wa 13-PENETRATION, AN AQUARIAN SYMPHONY CD-r burn (originally on Higher Key Records)

Didn't care for it that much back when I first heard it, but thirtysome years later I actually got a bitta a kick outta this crazed fambly outing worthy of Manson or at least Amon Duul I. Now it ain't that freakazoid communal, but PENETRATION does have its share of whacked out repeato-riff rock that kept my attention while the third portion of this "symphony" had this nice squeaky violin added to the hard thud beat that kinda reminded me of some doofoid English teenbos in the late-seventies tryin' their best to ape certain Velvets moves and press it up complete with a home-made sleeve. I'll probably never listen to this again but will admit that my opinion has, er, changed some o'er the years.
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DMZ CD-r burn (originally on Sire Records)

This McGarry burn popped up inna pile and kinda made me feel guilty o'er not playing either my vinyl or Cee-Dee proper version for quite some time. 's too bad that this platter, like fellow Bostonian efforts from the Sidewinders, Reddy Teddy and other worthies, hadda get shoved to the side during the Golden Age of Seventies Record Bin Plunging while lesser efforts clogged up the charts and subsequent flea market pules. Like those other Boston-area efforts this holds up really well, enough that I can see just how these guys got a bigtime deal at a time when it wasn't like the major labels were that eager to bank their bucks on rock 'n roll. Interesting fact --- according to producers Flo and Eddie, the porcine former Turtles were the ones who taught DMZ the Wailers Classic "Out Of Our Tree", a song the duo first heard when playing a bill with the legendary Northwest group and eventually performed during their Reprise records day! Wow!
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Various Artists-IN THE NAME OF THUNDERBALL CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Mixie-moshier than usual, but still funzie-wunzie. Some big names like Johnny Nash and 3/4ths of the Monkees in different guises pop up and we do get some strangeties like a soppoid version of "Fools Rush In" produced by famous shower taker Huey Meaux. And yeah, it all makes for a good diversion from this boring thing we call life. A couple PEBBLES/BOULDERS things in the guise of the Gentlemen and Basooties pop up, the latter doing their version of Zappa's "You Didn't Try To Call Me" that might make more'n a few Mother Peoples' ears pop up. And for all you cheezoids out there, this thing ends with Billy Strange's very own rendition of the theme from the infamous moom pitcher none of us were allowed to see when it made it to tee-vee, namely THUNDERBALL.

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Still have a buncha these back issues of BLACK TO COMM to unload on you unsuspecting menials who probably think that ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY is the last word in haute spare time activity wasting. Hey, if you wanna waste your time you can't do better'n these, so like what is keeping you fools and your monies from being soon parted anyway?