Saturday, February 27, 2021

Still celebratin' the winter blahs here at BLOG TO COMM central, and I gotta say that this sure is a nice time of the year if I wanna be quarantined in my abode with nothin' to do but watch tee-vee, eat junk food and of course listen to all of the fine recordings that I've accumulated over the years. Unfortunately it looks as if things are gettin' back to normil despite the continuing Chinese Gongo thingamabob, and since the weatherman ain't predictin' any snow days any time soon I guess I'll have to make do with whatever goof off time I do have and put it to good use! But man, could I use the thrill of knowin' that I got an instant day off due to a huge blizzard or (better yet!) the school burning down with nothin' to do but eat Bugles and slurp down sodas while switching between afternoon game shows and those weird 15-minute kiddie shows on PBS just like I had the pleasure of doin' way back when! That's what we used to call Suburban Slob Heaven, and come to think of it we can still call it that even at our advanced states of decay!
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Gotta welcome back into the fold one Mr. Jakob Boysen, a long-time reader who decided to jump on the Bill Shute/Paul McGarry bandwagon and send me some burns for review purpose! Glad to see you again after all these long years Jakob, and obviously your package did make its way to my doors albeit by way of Madagascar! Or at least the thing sure LOOKS as if it did! Some good efforts appeared twixt the envelope, a few of which you can read about below.



THE KNOWBODY ELSE LP (Purple Pyramid Records)

Eh, it ain't as hard as those Black Oak Arkansas albums but then again it ain't as stifferoo as the naysayers make it out to be.  A rather toned down early effort that shows the promise that would be those early BOA albums, but otherwise something that a good portion of you thrifty types might wanna pass over unless you happen to hit some 1975 flea market any day soon and have fifty cents to spend. Best tracks include the oft-mentioned by me "Winged Horse of Louisiana" and elpee closer "Black Blues", a track which certainly shows the White South's abilities to transform the Black South's music into a rather different if no less engaging form.
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Roscoe Mitchell-DUETS WITH ANTHONY BRAXTON CD (Sackville/Delmark Records)

I kinda find it strange that Roscoe Mitchell should get the top billing on this duet platter considering that co-conspirator Braxton was then riding high as the Bright New Face of Experimental Music what with him being signed to Arista Records'n getting hefty jazz press t'boot. Whatever, this December '76 recording is pretty much whatcha'd expect of a meeting of minds between these two AACM stalwarts who were performing a music that oft crossed over from the jazz to new classical idioms when you weren't quite noticing. Worth the effort to obtain, though I gotta say that I do prefer that Braxton team up with the other Art Ensemble reedist, mainly Joseph Jarman, around a year or so before this. 
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Gabriel Tavares-LIVE AT CBGB'S 313 GALLERY CD 

As I said many-a-time, I used to luv tuning into the old CBGB cybercasts to catch the action that was goin' down at the club back during the switcheroo of the century, and although I thought many of the acts that were playing the big stage weren't quite my cup o' lava I gotta say that I enjoyed many of the quieter, mainly acoustic acts that were playing at the 313 Gallery next door. 

Gabriel Tavares typifies the kinda act that I liked to tune into---an acoustic singer/songwriter without the petunia passion playing his acoustic guitar and singing to tape loop percussion which gave his sound a slight Sandy Bull-ish feel to an already Robbie Basho-styled raga edge. At times Tavares reminds me somewhat of Tim Buckley during his more experimental "Monterrey"-styled moments, and between that and the down-groove repeato riffs a fine live 'n perfect for lonely intimate evenings platter has emerged. Might not be totally satisfying (some moderne twists and turns do appear) but I found myself suckered in without having to try much.

One I would recommend even though I get the idea most of you would loathe the thing---should be easy enough to latch onto via Tavares' bandcamp site if you are so tempted.
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THE GUN CD-r burn (originally on Epic Records)

A Boysen donation, and a rather good one at that. Who knows how many times I passed this 'un up in flea market and garage sale stacks o'er the years, but this early Adrian Gurvitz effort ain't that bad a-tall. Sure it gets overworked with the orchestra background but the spirit of late-sixties English psychedelia (soon to doodle its way into early-seventies progressive rock --- no wonder Chris Welch loved 'em!) is still intact. If you go for those Move platters from around the same time this one probably points the way to ELO even more'n Roy Wood and Company did! Some of those irritating 1969 bloviating hard rock moves can be heard but next to some of the bloviation that has gone down in its wake who really cares?
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STAN KENTON CONDUCTS THIS MODERN WORLD 10-inch LP (Capitol Records)

More of those Bob Graettinger compositions that seemed to light up more'n a few dim bulbs over the years. Goes to prove that maybe alla that Gunther Schuller-styled Third Stream squawk wasn't so bad after all.  Forays into that future sound that many thought would typify our adult lives just as much as Supercar or Mars voyages would, but unfortunately things came out quite different than what we all expected. Hmmmm, maybe a guy who rapes his own daughter can't be so bad after all!

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Pere Ubu-BY ORDER OF MAYOR PAWLICKI 2-CD-r set (originally on Cherry Red Records, England)

Given how I pretty much petered out on the Pere Ubu experience once 1982 rolled around this Europeon live set does affect me somewhat, only because David Thomas and crew were concentrating on the early Ubu stylings at this show and very little of that latterday rent-a-Ubu feeling seeps in to ruin the whole thing. 

Not that these new renditions with the new group are particularly special but eh, they do jar up those old feelings of the avant garageness that I thought would be the cornerstone of eighties existence and boy was I wrong about that! 

Thomas' preambles are pretty whacked out entertaining in themselves and add a proper dimension to the musical proceedings even though I doubt anyone in the audience understood what he was saying.

Disque #2 features them rare Ubu encores where the group'd let some old hoary cover rip so's we get interesting takes on the likes of "Kick Out The Jams", "Final Solution" and "Sonic Reducer" kinda making me wonder what the 1980 Thomas, who at the time was eschewing his past with a vengeance, woulda thought of himself a good thirtysome years into the future!
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Zero Boys-VICIOUS CIRCLE CD-r burn (originally on Toxic Shock Records)

A whole lotta the eighties hardcore tends to sound about as dated as a Tim Yohannon editorial, but these Zero Boys sure sound as fresh and energetic as the day these rockin' efforts were birthed. Void of the cloying message music and rote approach of way too many of their brethren, the Boys have a rock-out approach that concentrates on drive and sound as expression rather'n precocious pronouncements or flavor of the issue politics. Short structures say in a minute what it took others hours to produce. For fans of those bands who exemplified the better aspects of the quest...Powertrip, Angry Samoans, Vox Pop... 
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Various Artists-DEADFUN ELEVATOR ZORBA CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Gotta say that Bill didn't quite hit the usual heights with this selection. Other'n a roarin' rocker from Yesterday's Children entitled "Wanna Be With You" (comped a few times awlready but wha' th' hey???) DEADFUN ELEVATOR doesn't quite hit the ol' rockist g-spot like I kinda hoped it coulda. From lower-tiered punque to just plain ol' moderne avgarde that lacks the wonder of the earlier noisespew I felt a tad wanting for more. And frankly the Shadows doing "Perfidia" only proves that those bozos were nothing but slicksters next to the Ventures and somehow I feel like A PROUD AMERIGAN knowing that them bozos never made it here inna US of Whoa while they were rakin' in the moolah everywhere else onna planet!

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Just a reminder that back issues of BLACK TO COMM can be had for a mere song. Actually, I'd prefer money for 'em but if any of you so have a way with the ol' tonsils well, why not give 'em a workout for a mag or three?

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

OLD TYMEY RADIO SHOW REVIEW! THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHIE ANDREWS VOLUME TWO  EIGHT-CD SET (Radio Archives)

Quite a few of these old radio shows that get jetted my way are hard for me to concentrate on and follow especially after enduring a long day at the dildo factory, but these old ARCHIE programs really do hit the spot! They're the closest thing next to THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM that I can really absorb myself into, probably in part because I recall my mother mentioning how she used to listen to this show. Given mom's penchant for pinching pennies to the point where Abraham Lincoln is wincing, she undoubtedly was not familiar with the comic strip or book variants that begat the radio series, although not exactly in that order.

Anyhoo the sixteen shows that can be found on the second Radio Archives volume of ARCHIE shows are the perfect way to cap off one of those typically tough days what with the snappy humor and classic sitcom situations the familiar characters are engaged in. Bob Hastings (of McHALE'S NAVY and Kelsey on ALL IN THE FAMILY fame) is great as Archie sounding like a more realistic take on Dallas MacKinnon's late-sixties cartoon take, 'n in fact its easy to see just how much the voice actors for the various Filmation ARCHIE series copped their stylings from these shows which definitely is in a different universe than the strip or book (or subsequent television adaptations) so don't be so surprised when you find out that on these programs Jughead actually goes for the female gender!

Some interesting differences and quirks...Betty lives next door, while most all of the situations seem to be focused on non-school activities meaning no Mr. Weatherbee or Miss Grundy are to he found anywhere here! Also of note is Archie's sly giggle whenever he meets up with Veronica as well as Jughead's "who were you expecting, _______________" response which ain't particularly funny but does add a nice li'l beat to the proceedings.

Light enough that you can even do simplistic things like house-cleaning, light reading or even typing out blogposts while THE ADVENTURES OF ARCHIE ANDREWS spins away in your fart-encrusted bedroom. 'n man, like I should know!

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Hate to hit you up with yet another hackneyed opening mentioning the current weather situation here in Western Pee-YAY, but since I have nada else to help you readers cozy up to this particular episode of BLOG TO COMM with I guess I have little choice. So here's my assessment of the weather outside...boy is it COLD! Well, can you think of any other way for me to keep up my status for being an autistic One Horse Pony zilch-dimensional personality-less blubberfarm who just happens to like music that's in "the raw state of becoming" as Wayne McGuire once wrote?
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I guess more'n just "a few" of you readers have tuned in today to read my musings 'r whatever you'd care to call 'em regarding Wednesday's passing of Rush Limbaugh. I know many of you are happier'n a gay couple at a gerbil ranch over his deep sixingwhile others kinda feel that the whole conservative or whatever's left of it movement is now akin to Howdy Doody without any strings. Well, I for one am gonna mourn the passing of the old fanabla for more'n a few reasons that I know none of you actually care about, but this is my po-dee-yum an' I can whatever I wanna, right???

I remember first tuning into the guy on Bill Shute's advice (my first actual encounter with him being the old Dennis "Credibility Gap" (or was it the Hardly Worth It Players?) Wholey talk show on PBS) and thought his show was an absolute hoot, what with his then-acerbic humor that I really thought would get him into deep if attention-grabbing trouble. (The first show I heard had him encouraging listeners to send Idaho potatoes to then-NOW head Molly Yard for reasons that somewhat escape me.) I actually agreed with some points he was making (I was just crawling outta my commie rat days, prodded on by the leftoid-snobbism that was prevalent in the under-the-underground music scene at the time --- y'know, people who never could do any deep soul-searching self-examination while berating anything they disagree with even in the slightest) and while the guy did irritate with a lot of his pronouncements I found myself listening in whenever I could. Soon I found myself beginning to agree with him even more than I thought I shoulda, that's how much common horse sense the guy was making in a world of horseshit shoveling being done by most everyone who I seemed to be in contact with at the time.

One thing I do regret is never having heard his old AIDS updates when some flaming fashion designer would die from the dread disease and Limbaugh'd make some handy snide comment in an age when people who were succumbing to it were being lionized as "modern day saints"!!! As if the twelve apostles were spending their evenings doing something other than praying, sheesh!

Natch my ever-evolving sociopolitical beliefs got me into hot doody with some people in "The Hive" who seemed to believe that any free-minded rock underground type should ne'er steer one iota from THE TRUTH whatever it may be that week as dictated from the pages of wide selection of punkzines one could choose from.  I made a few reg'lar readers turn on me with a froth-mouthed rage but eh, I couldn't care less given how some of these types were stuck up armchair socialist types who still patted themselves on the back for all that daring do they participated in during the sainted sixties while in fact were nothing but living rejects from some old R. Crumb comic satirizing the inanities of the Now Generation. No room for such myopic narcissus types in my existence, and to be up front and center about it I'm glad they've vacated my life once and for all!

True Limbaugh did have some irritating faults like his clinging on to Conservatism Inc. and whatever it seemed to stand for at the time, and his championing of then tossing aside the likes of Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul while cheerleeding for some of the more irritating neocons out there was nauseating beyond belief. And it was a bit hard to ignore his pension for the whole "eternal war" credo that had overtaken the Republican Party thanks to the infiltration of way too many uberhawks of the John Bolton variety (his praise of General Sherman's dictum for all out land-shearing conflict leaving everybody in its path destroyed was definitely one point of irritation.) But with the rise of Donald Trump and the prez's jettisoning (with some exceptions ie. Bolton) of these warmongers from the ranks of Republicanism Inc. Limbaugh did redeem himself handily and for that I can safely say that the man stepped out on a good note.  A hawk true, but he sure noted and approved of Trump as being thee Peace President of our time which was certainly one big step in what we used to call the right direction!

If only he had stayed away from his beloved cigars maybe we'd still be listening to him give some good insight on today's political situation. At least he gave me a good reason to even turn the radio on if I was driving to who-knows-where on some dreary afternoon. And not-so-strangely enough, it was grand knowing that he was beginning to agree with me more and more as time rolled on. 

And frankly none of those pallid local talk show guys will be able to take his place. Maybe Mark Steyn somewhat with that English accent that all the gals still go wild over but eh, it won't be the same.
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You already know who gets the credit for the freebees but I'll mention 'em anyway...Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and Feeding Tube Records. It's nice to know that some people out there in this world of ours know what the words DUTY means!



Sex Tide-OHIO LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Who woulda thought that anything good would come outta Ohio this late in the rock 'n roll as that International Youth Language game! Sex Tide prove that alla those years of bad Ohio rock both above and under the radar might have just been one big fluke what with this album that has the sonic quality of any good 1962 basement band recorded by an overzealous dad who thought Junior had some talent and buck-making abilities as well. Femme drummer Miss Celine also sings all the lead superseding the usual punque "I'm My Own Chick" stylings coming about as close to a female Iggy as anyone has, while the entire lot of 'em have a primal pounce that, aided by Celine's sub-Maureen Tucker drums, has gotta be the musical statement of this or any other decade! Kinda comes off like an even more primal Siouxsie take on early Can at one point then approaches a sub-garage thud that makes the Stooges sound like Mahavishnu! Needless to say, a must-getter for the tru blu rockist beings who tune into this blog!
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Hawkwind-WEIRD TAPES 1 - DAVE BROCK, SONIC ASSASSINS CD (Hawkwind Records, England)

I for one am so glad to finally get to hear that Christmas ' Eve '77 "Sonic Assassins" show featuring a surprisingly wired Robert Calvert fronting this one-off group, and believe me when I say that these tracks come off about as electropunk as anything Pere Ubu or Tanz Der Youth (not to mention a few thou other Hawkwind-inspired aggregates world-wide) were up to around the same nanosecond this effort was being cranked out in from of an appreciative audience.

Besides another track featuring the Assassins without Calvert this disque consists of Brock solo efforts recorded on his lonesome, and unlike many of these home-studio sonic workouts the results are actually worth your time to listen to they're that invigorating without being leaden or masturbatory, something I'm sure most of you readers are way too familiar with.
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Faust-SOMETHING DIRTY CD (Bureau B Records, EU)

These post-seventies Faust records, despite their overall brainscraping quotient, never did match up to the originals that crowded import bins at exorbitantly high prices. However this 1'1 effort just might match up to those early un's that had more'n a few English rockscribes doing wall crawls of ecstasy. The opening track entitled "Tell That Bitch To Go Home" has a nice cheap organ drive repeato riff that woulda fit in swell on the Polydor platters while the rest, ranging from electro squiggles to repeato loops, has that Varese-with-a-beat style that sure sets the likes of Faust apart from some of the more aerie faerie examples of progressive rock (yech!) that remain on the market these days. Some mighty sub-bedroom guitar to be heard straight outta the Ron Asheton school too! A surprising, and rock 'n rolling in the proper hard-edged fashion effort from these old fanablas.

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Booker T & The MGs-SOUL MEN/PLAY THE HIP HITS CD-r burn (originally on Ace Records, England)

If your idea of a funzie afternoon is spinning a disque featuring the legendary "Green Onions" guys covering the big mid-sixties (and even before!) hits in their own inimitable way you'll probably go for this like Jussie Smollet goes for the KY. 

Not so oddly enough I also would consider a PM spin of this a pretty good way to back up some much-needed goofin' off.

Pretty palatable portrayals of such transistor-tooglin' spinners from people like Stevie Wonder and the Box Tops, and with this accompanied by some chip 'n dip and Dr. Pepper you can have a real swingin' time on your lonesome...who needs people when you have a Booker T. & the MGs record to get down to anyway?

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The Exception-THE EAGLE FLIES ON FRIDAY CD-r burn (originally on RPM Records)

Nothing dire about these late-sixties English popsters, but then again there ain't anything here that'll thrust you into total anarchic sonic-tude. Only noted for featuring future Fairport Conventioneer Dave Pegg, otherwise I dunno if anyone would really be giving two hoots and a holler about this good albeit standard collection which just might hit it big with some of the more Anglophiliac readers of this blog.

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The Tomcats-RUNNING AT SHADOWS, THE SPANISH RECORDINGS 1965-66 CD-r burn (originally on RPM Records, England)

Here's one of those expat English beat groups who headed to --- this time Spain --- in order to be big fish in small ponds so to speak. 

Like alla those Eyetalian-based English acts such as the Rokes and Primitives these Tomcats really knew how to milk the then-fashionable big beat in ways to really wow the locals, and these Spanish-era efforts sound just as boff as those nth-grade English rarities that have made their way onto various platters these past few years. Best of all it has that hard primitive sound that usually got washed out on the bigger hits of the British Invasion days.

Even if you don't have fond memories of the mid-sixties deluge of fine rock 'n roll permeating every aspect of your existence you just might take a liking to this compilation.

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Jesse Malin-OUTSIDERS CD-r burn (originally on One Little Indian Records)

This guy's been around for a long time and a good thing, because Jesse Malin has put out some rather interesting efforts over his thirtysome year career. OUTSIDERS being just one of 'em, a sly 'n gutsy pop rock effort which kinda reminds me of some seventies Elliot Murphy wannabe tryin' to lay off on the Dylan just a tad. Throw some post-Heartbreakers Johnny in there and you're only part way there. Another good 'un (even if it is an old one, from 2015) from this underrated New York fixture who a lotta fanablas don't mind talkin' negative about behind his back, and you should hear what they say behind mine!

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Various Artists-LONELY MELODY DOLLSTONES CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill really must be a real sentimental fanabla to mixdisque this thing together given the universal zip zam and zooey of the thing. The Charlie Rich cover was a good start to things while the likes of the Boyfriends (who I don't think are the NYC band of late-seventies post-Poppees fame --- might be one of a thou others with the same moniker) are listenable enough power pop but nothing I'd wanna straight diet of. Sure the likes of Norm Burns and Victor and the Trophies are about as exciting as watching Thalidomide babies doing jumping jacks but the Zeros and Fugitives make up for the hokey gospel (but good hokey nonetheless) 'n sappy plopsters (but not that good sappy if you want me to be upfront about it) that also moil about. Tingling enough to save a rather dullsville winter afternoon from being totally Quindlanesque.

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If you think that all rock 'n roll writing is cut 'n paste puff pieces that are nothing but a musical version of the same vapid journalism one can read in everypaper USA then getcherself hold of a few back issues of BLACK TO COMM! Maybe then you'll find out that there is way more to life than alla that post-Christgau goo that you were led to believe was "rock journalism" lo these many years. Some of the best rockfanscribing to be seen can be found in these pages and hey, if you want to know what a world without hackery is like then look no further than these!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

BOOKS REVIEW! CRAZY, MAN, CRAZY AND ZANY (Gwandanaland Comics, 2020)!

I've poured through both of these volumes over and over again, via normal bowel-movement reading and late-night glimpses, to the point where I probably have each and every story presented in these pages memorized by heart.

But dang it if I could find at least one thing here that would make me laugh or even take notice of its genius or just plain natural abilities to make me smile let alone laugh.

Reading the variety of old and continually in-print MAD paperbacks when I was busting into the double-digits way back when was something I would call a learning experience. Although the Glory Days of that magazine were, at least to a few experts on the subject, a good decade or so back those stories still were relevant to my late-sixties/early-seventies existence. What with movies like THE WILD ONE getting frequent broadcast time along with a whole slew of oft-rerunned television series that were being spoofed, not to mention the remnants of a forties/fifties world that was still being lived by friends, family and neighbors whose very demeanors seemed birthed from those pre-hippoid times those old copies of  THE BROTHERS MAD and THE MAD FRONTIER were still as current events as the latest issue hot off the press! And hey, what ranch house suburban slob overweight "C" average doof out there couldn't  get a big charge outta that NANSY lampoon where Ernie Bushmiller's infamous character is transformed into everyone from "Nansy Duck" to "Dick Nansy" anyway???

But alas, none of the flippant, snide humor found in those classic books (which, not surprisingly, still make for dark Saturday evening wintertime reading fodder!) can be found in the pages of these two short-lived MAD swipes. Let's face it, MAD had the charm and feel to pull alla them spoofs off and appeal to the wizenheimer Eddie Haskells who ate them pages up --- CRAZY, MAN, CRAZY and ZANY were but two efforts in that ol' CRACKED tradition that took the "dare to be dumb" credo and run as far as it could before the suits higher up saw too much red ink and it was other work for alla them free-lancers who would be lucky enough to pencil a Marvel title or two sometime inna sixties.

Not that these satire mags weren't able to muster up some sorta sagas of worth...that one Elvis Sci-Fi spoof that John Severin did ('n not fer CRACKED) printed in that collection of late-fifties satire work was a pretty decent effort at that. But nothing in the entire run of these two humor efforts reaches the heights of wizenheimer laffs what with the wilted stories and art which, while at times worthwhile, can easily be traced to various Wallace Wood, Jack Davis, Bill Elder and George Woodbridge efforts that were still front and center in the rag that started it all off.

CRAZY, MAN, CRAZY is the worst what with the extremely lame jabs at current affairs using jokes that were already stale by MAD standards (such as the old Joe/Charlie McCarthy switcheroo) mixed with the attempts at being off-color that were so restricted in their attempts that it's hard to discern if they were even supposed to be off color in the first place (take the ad for "falsies"). The photo-funnies and magazine-styled articles are must-to-skip-overs, while the snap-doctoring doesn't come off funny as much as it does desperate. 

The only thing worth anyone's while in CRAZY, MAN, CRAZY's a contribution by the infamous Basil Wolverton whose work would have, as you would have expected, been more in place had he decided to sell his "Spring Fashions For The Miserable Motorist" to MAD like he would have only a few years earlier (and for that matter well into the seventies when his work was once again welcome in their pages). 

ZANY doesn't fare much better even though they decided to cop their cover scheme from CRACKED who copped theirs from MAD anyway. There's more of a MAD vibe here, though not so good what with the comic strip takeoffs lacking the exact-o talents of a Bill Elder or Wallace Wood while the writing, as you would expect, takes a nose-dive coming off as an nth as opposed to a second generation copy. Some good artists do appear such as the legendary Bill Everett, but the utter convolution of turning GUNSMOKE and HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL into monster and underwater anthropomorphic sea creatures is about on target as aiming for the bullseye and hitting your butt. Sheesh, I'll take R. Crumb's convoluted "Noah's Ark" produced by Jack Webb comic that ran in FOO over this mulch anyday...

'n if I were you I'd take the HUMBUG collection which might have missed its own targets but had excellent artwork and a way better approach to the taproot of snarky satire than any of these titles could conceive of. Well, for being take-the-money-and-runs who could fault them, and being such a curious fanabla'n all who could fault me for buying and being stuck with these books inna first place? 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Happy Presidents Day, that day when people who work for the government get a day off for reasons nobody seems to remember anymore. But it must be important considering all of the white sales that pop up around this time. Anyway, I do hope you enjoy your Presidents Day and will celebrate it in the way you find most deserving to do so, even if I do get the sneakin' suspicion that it may be in ways that are far from what any normal human being would call "moral". Also happy Valentine's Day even though what is there left to love anymore other than ourselves?

In other news, am I worried about the current rash of witch hunts being perpetrated by the powers that be (and their punque rock lackeys) against any form of speech that they may disagree with even in the slightest? Y'know, that whole "cancel culture" rigmarole which has led to a whole slew of left-wing McCarthyite tactics directed against individuals and groups alike, but I'm told that it's okey-dokey when they do it or something like that. It kinda reminds me of that old cliche about how they first came for the Proud Boys then they came for Lou Dobbs and then when they came for ME boy were they hootin' and hollerin' for joy! 

Actually I'm not to concerned o'er that big PC boulder rollin' down the hill takin' out every even slightly reactionary nabob inna way because hey, like with the French Revolution and other forms of Dictatorships by the Maladjusted Spoiled Children of Upper Class Do-Gooders things are MOST LIKELY to boomerang on 'em to the point where they wished they never thought up their supposedly watertight works of revenge! It did happen before in the former Soviet Union although a few million plus were obliterated in its path, but maybe not so many'll get offed this time around. Who knows? And besides, as I've said many a time they can only kill you once, but oh what a death! And if I do get offed in whatever purge just might happen to be comin' my way then what would I care about a buncha sissified pampered menials takin' over the entire world with their love through excessive hate campaigns anyway?

Frankly I think that the entire actions of the hard left seen today (along with their "right wing" lackeys) is a hoot, a sick hoot by a hoot nonetheless, and what they say about castles built on sand and ideologies that have the backbone of an éclair can certainly be made in these strangeoid sociopolitical times now, can't they?!?!?! 

Me, I give it a good three years before the entire reset agenda cracks right in front of our eyes giving way to the era of the New Man, one who is quite different from the ones the communists have been envisioning for well over a few centuries already. And in my own sick fashion I'm gonna be cackling at it the whole way through. Unless I really do get offed that is and if so well, that's my own tough turds!
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RIP ("Rest In Poop") Larry Flynt, the original "Diaper Dan" himself  who I know was an important being in many of you reg'lar readers' growth 'n upbringing 'n whatever it was that made you the kinda/sorta human specimens you are today. If you can, lock your bathroom doors at half mast.

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I don't have a lovely buncha coconuts, but I do have a nice batch of music to relay y'all's on this week. As usual, thanks be to Feeding Tube, Bill Shute, Paul McGarry and MYSELF for the contributions to the cause, a cause that might not be worth dying for but killing, that's another thing!

Dead Sea Apes and and Black Tempest-THE SUN BEHIND THE SUN LP (Feeding Tube/Cardinal Fuzz Records)

Another brilliant effort from this unheralded Manchester (dunno if that's the English or New Hampshire 'un) group working in conjunction with Black Tempest, whoever they are and whoever they are they are great! More of that beautiful hard kraut moan that continues to dazzle a good fifty years after its manifestation in the minds of pure heads and thirty after the rest of you dopes discovered it via the rantings of various fanzines that were in the know. If you went for their NIGHT LANDS album (reviewed a coupla weeks back) you just might go for this considering how they both have that masterful glob of experimental repetition that continues to drive corkscrews into your mind even at your advanced age. 

The shiny cover brings back memories of the first Silver Apples, the Rascals' FREEDOM SUITE and even Uriah Heep's LOOK AT YOURSELF in case you're the kinda guy who still like to stare at his reflection in the mirror on the front while perusing the album racks way back when! I know, because I sure was even though all I saw in the mirror was some overweight suburban slob!
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The Knowbody Else-SOLDIERS OF PURE PEACE CD (Arf! Arf! Records)

Remember back inna seventies when Black Oak Arkansas were the toast of the gonzoid (soon to be punk) rock crowd? I once mentioned how R. Meltzer called 'em the closest thing anyone's come to the Velvet Underground on record, while I believe Nick Kent was apt to draw comparisons with the Thirteenth Floor Elevators which I do believe makes a tad more sense'n some of the MC5 comparisons that were being tossed about. Of course that all fizzed into oblivion once the seventies rolled on and these guys ended up looking like total fanablas next to the newer breed of rock 'n rollers who were coming even closer to the Velvets and Elevators in their sound than these guys did. 

A blubberfarm like me who finds the early platters pretty hotcha somehow missed out on the '69 pre-BOA Knowbody Else album that came out at the height of their fame, That's on order, though I did get these demos that Erik Lindgren at Arf! Arf! released quite awhile which do help the need for late-sixties mid-South psychedelic rambles rather swell if you ask me (and why not?)

Some Elevators folk jangle can be discerned along with the various nods to San Fran and El Lay folkisms. It's pretty good too even though the need for some fine tuning and roughing up is needed. Nothing I would call a nugget if ya duggit here, though I expect more'n a few of those on the legit album once that wings it way to my door given some of the advance buzz (as well as my appreciation of the massive "Winged Horse of Louisiana" heard via an old Bill burn).

But if ya wanna hear the pipes of Jim Dandy Mangrum before he went all hoarse and hard well, what's stoppin' ya?
***
Wayu y los Arrrghs!!!-VIVEN CD-r burn (originally on Munster Records, Spain)

The garage band revival rolled on long after Greg Shaw closed his Cavern Club, or so it would seem from this 2009 release from the infamous Munster record label. It's all in Spanish but that International Youth Language roars on in case you, like me, hadda struggle to pass high stool language classes which were required in case we happened to meet up with someone who only spoke Latin. Good rock 'n roll that's worth a spin or two if you can latch onto the thing somewhere on this vast storage bin they call the internet.
***
THE HONEYCOMBS CD-r burn (originally on Repertoire Records, Germany)

Gotta say that these ozobs were a tad too twee to last too long, but the Honeycombs still made what I would call fairly decent British Invasion music. Especially when ya consider that they weren't that hot an act and hadda have their tapes sped up and embellished by their producer. The producer in question being Joe Meek who didn't quite care for the new beat sounds but did a whole buncha them kinda groups fine enough. The sap oozes well on these ballad-y efforts that I'm sure were guaranteed to get your average mid-six oh teenbo gal all reduced to pure jelly even while she was beating her little brother up.
***
The Mess Makers-WIPE YOUR FACE CD-r burn (originally on Off The Hip Records)

It's too bad that I like this record. With a title like WIPE YOUR FACE I had a whole lotta good badgag puns I planned to use in this review. 
 
I don't find this platter a total winner, but it's sure a nice listen-to what with its rehash of various garage band and punk rock riffs that have been used over and over by a whole slew of acts o'er the past fortysome years. Then again when I listen to those exact same riffs I gotta admit that I'm way more excited and zoned to that area of pure rock 'n roll bliss than I am when listening to THE EXACT SAME PHONY POSTURINGS OF "CLASSIC" FM ROCK that still seems to be somewhat in vogue even these many years later. 

A whole lot more straight ahead than one would expect from some of these 21st century rockers, and there's two versions, one in stereo and one in mono available together on one disque in case you only have one ear.
***
Ruby and the Rednecks-LIVE MAX's KANSAS CITY 1998 CDE-r burn (Stigsounds Records)

Here's Ruby Lynn Reyner and the then-current version of the Rednecks playin' at that short-lived Max's Kansas City that got shut down after it was discovered that Mickey Ruskin's widow owned the rights to the name or somethin' like that. But whatever the situation may be it sure was a hotcha show...Ruby is of course in fine form doing her crazed frontwoman contortions and penetrating singing duties as is the group which, even with the slick techno-update electronics'n all (heck, there's a keyboard that sounds just like a vibraphone!) has a neat seventies-era pop-rock drive to it that kinda reminds of those seventies pop hits I actually liked! Lotsa new stuff as well as old faves (such as a tearful cover of Johnny Ray's "Cry") and yeah, Ruby even did her old maracas bit where she shakes her suckems!
***
Jean-Pierre Kalfon and P.I.B.-EXTRAITS CONCERT DIJON 6/10/12 CD-r burn (Stigsounds Records)

Kalfon might have been a punk rock pappy over there in France not only with his MY FRIEND MON AMI EP, appearance in the legendary LES IDOLES play and film not to mention membership in acts as diverse as Crouille Marteau, Sugar Baby Bitch and Kalfon Rock Chaud, but it is kinda painful listening to the 74-year-old (now 82!) actor half-heartedly singing his way through a variety of numbers as his backup lays out alla the passion of a Holiday Inn touring band on the last stop before unemployment check time. 

Songs fade out fast enough that you just don't get the entire essence of where they would be able to go and frankly it all seems kinda futile. Now I could go for a good encapsulation of Kalfon's rock 'n roll career and if there is one I hope they leave this faded image of a guy who looks like an old Eyetalian grandfather singing like Maurice Chevalier to a pat backup band outta the thing!
***
Various Artists-SPARROW CHECKER ELEMENT CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Yikes, another holiday-oriented spinner from Bill that I just happen to pick up a good month after all the festivities have ceased! New Year greetings from Johnny Otis as well as Christmas tingalings from Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell (keenfully imitating the competition for Christmas Seals!) and Walter Brennan might not exactly be timely, but you can bet my tardiness will teach me a lesson!  Which I will forget about by next December but then again what else is new?

Starts out funzy-like with the Gentlemen Bleu doing the Association bit without getting too sunshine California folk rock bogged down like others might have done. From there it gets off on the usual tangents from avgarde fun 'n jamz to six-oh basement workouts and tough pop to seventies punk rarities which all hit these ears rather pleasing-like. Or let's just say they hit these ears a whole lot better'n the New Crusty Nostrils ever did! 

Of course Bill has to stick some more soul jazz organ on (this time from Rusty Bryant) to which I say....bravo job Bill!
***
You're in a sinking boat with back issues of BLACK TO COMM and your mother, and you can only rescue one. Well I don't have to tell you what you will naturally do without any forethought, eh? Bye bye mom!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! PIN (1988), STARRING DAVID HEWLETT AND CYNTHIA PRESTON!

After alla the buzz that PSYCHOTRONIC VIDEO huzza'd about this film way back inna late-eighties I figured that this'd be a real winner as far as kick up your feet entertainment. Turns out that PIN actually is a fairly well made and slightly creepy moom pitcher that just might appeal to the average BLOG TO COMM reader but as far as something to go ooh and aah over well, it ain't quite that much of the messterpiece I was certainly hopin' and a' prayin' for.

At least in my classic tee-vee addled bean PIN is perhaps another update on those old ventriloquist dummies come to life episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE and ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS that used to scare the bejabbers outta us kids until we grew up and showed 'em to our own progeny to scare 'em even more. I can also throw in that "Talky Tina" ZONE which actually gave my own mother a nightmare, but for all practical purposes PIN  ain't as scary as any of 'em. It's actually more disgusting than frightening, a story about these young richkid snoots whose doctor paw (with talents that would make Paul Winchell blush) convinces the brats that his life-size 'n anatomically-correct "Visible Man" (named Pin, short for Pinocchio) is alive in order to teach 'em some rather important lessons about life and other disturbing things. The boy grows up to be your typical sensitive wimp type while the girl ends up a slut, and when sonny starts using his own ventriloquist abilities on Pin to keep the advice free flowing things really start to get into an uproar I don't think anything on this planet short of a rest cure at Bellvue could cure!

Still the thing just doesn't work its ways on ya like ya woulda thunk it woulda. Even with the good acting on the part of the brother (David Hewlett) and cyster (Cynthia Preston) PIN coulda been a tee-vee movie without the foul language and obligatory suckems scene. The shockeroos just don't grab ya (I still wonder what the purpose of the scene where the nurse engages in hanky panky with Pin while the boy watches is supposed to be, other'n for a quick attempt at offending the rubes) while the ending leaves ya even hazier than the one from RAIDERS BENEATH THE SEA if that's a possibility. Still PIN might just rate another eyeballing since I found the thing to be overall (despite the usual sublime social comment and nauseating eighties setting) a fairly decent effort that coulda used some fine tuning and maybe Curtis Harrington doing his usual behind the camera magick.

Wanna see for yourself? Just click below and make sure ya gotta lotta butter onna popcorn!

Saturday, February 06, 2021

ITS FANZINE FANABLA TIME AGIN!


"Chrissy, Chrissy, Old and Pissy, How Does Your Fanzine Collection Grow?"


Judging from this week's post pretty good, what with a number of obscuros and crucially-needed publications having made their way to the stacks of fanzine cluttering up a closet where I should be stashing my shoes! Which are under my bed where I should be storing my fanzines!!! Anyhoo got a nice 'un this go 'round featuring fanzines that have been produced in nations other than the good ol' US of Whoa, which goes to show you that people outside the borders were hippity hoppin' when it came to music and perhaps even more so than most of the dorks who pass as many of the human beings herein the United States of Whoa  as well!

Considering how the seventies-era under-the-underground rock 'n roll fanzines from Ameriga have ceased entering into my collection as of late maybe it's time that I start searchin' out more of the other fanzines of that time and space which just might sate my cravings for good writings regarding even greater music. Fortunately I've found a few of these rags o'er the past few months and let's just say that ALL of 'em really not only made me feel nice 'n all knowledgeable inside but really helped get me through my daily doodies keepin' my mind off the fact that I'm goin' through yet another rough bowel movement with all the mental strain (amongst other things) one of those can cause.

First onna list's this li'l forgotten effort, a fanzine that I probably never would have sniffed about for lest I happened to see the cover of the fifth issue and the roster of acts that were being paraded about inside. And hey, if I had found out that the guy who put this out later on spent time with the likes of such acts as the Waterboys and Oasis I never would have picked up a copy of JUNGLELAND inna first place, but like the best fanzines of the seventies this one straddles a whole slew of genres and is written up as a fan to fan effort and like, why would anyone wanna knock something like that!

Managed to get three issues via PDF thanks to one Lindsay Hutton of THE NEXT BIG THING fame,a man who proved that he is NOT one true Scotsman because he wouldn't even accept anything in return for his efforts! Sheesh, now I am glad that I did get to save some mighty scarce dinero thanks to the efforts of this man, but now all I really wanna know it...does he put sugar on his porridge?

All kiddin' aside the three mags he did wing my way kinda/sorta are EVERYTHING that I really like about those fanzines of the mid-to-late seventies. Y'know, the ones that decided to deal with the Big Beat their own special personalist way. JUNGLELAND reminds me a bit of Hutton's earlier editions of THE NEXT BIG THING right down to the double-up reduced paged along the same breed of musical tastes...punk and its precedents...and while the title is clearly an allusion to a certain singer best known for his sperm-coated throat there was only ONE article devoted to the man which appeared in JUNGLELAND's nine-issue run. Maybe that's one Springsteen article too many but hey, I'll read it anyway because JUNGLELAND, like BACK DOOR MAN or DENIM DELINQUENT was so good in delivering the rock views on a more base, gnarly level that you'd wanna read the whole thing cover to cover despite occasional affronts to your own personal tastes!

(By the way, there was a JUNGLELAND that was devoted 100% to the man some call "Boss" and in no way shall these two be confused even if some Springsteen sites have insisted that this JUNGLELAND was in fact a "Springzine" which is most certainly was not!)

The entire JUNGLELAND run sans issue #5, which can be seen above anyway in case you're that sensory-deprived enough not to notice.
A better view of JUNGLELAND #1 with the WHITE HEAT 
bootleg cover!
Ish #5's whatcha'd call a rather spiffy effort in the annals of seventies British fanzines what with a Velvet Underground history that ain't factual (but considering the info that was dished out on 'em in '77 rather outstanding in what is did reveal!), a review of the latest Iggy and Bowie efforts which really did seem to capture the imaginations of quite a few fanzine writers of the day, and things on Springsteen and Blue Oyster Cult which does show some bravery in light of a whole lotta rock fans wanting to slit the throats of everyone who would have admitted to cozying up to those two acts!  There's also the second part of a John Lennon summary continued from the previous ish, Richard Hell circa the Ork EP,  the Heartbreakers' LAMF and the usual tons of new under-the-underground reviews that seemed compulsory for these kinda home-made mags that had no overseer to tell 'em how to think so THEY THUNK FOR THEMSELVES!!!!!!!!!!!

The seventh has a thingie on Tom "Whatever Happened to HIM?" Robinson which  I skipped thus breaking my own "gotta read it all!" rule mentioned above (don't worry, I'll get around to it once 2040 rolls around), lengthy interviews with John Cale plus the Damned and the usual definitely non-punk enclosures (Brian Wilson's "Surf's Up". Donovan???...) to add just the right touch of fanzine dignity. The true makings of a well-rounded rock magazine with that teenage fan attitude that always seemed to be in short supply even within the teenager realm.

The final (#9) issue from '79 seems more or less a sorry goodbye from editor Mike Scott given its hodgepodge-y layout using comic book art to the lack of anything really cohesive. It's a goodie if you do want a complete JUNGLELAND collection and I sure do, so if any of you have issues laying about and want to exchange them for money or better yet back issues of BLACK TO COMM then hooray for me! If you want to make copies of JUNGLELAND for me that are so good they could fool an expert hooray for me as well. Yeah I know that none of you snobbish readers would dare respond to my plea given your superiority complexes, but I'd kill myself if I didn't at least give it the ol' college heave-ho! Remember, THIS IS FOR HISTORY and not just my usual funtime reading desires (yeah, right!).
***
Sheesh, I just wonder exactly what a "gun rubber" is. Is it something you put on the barrel of a gun so's you can practice "safe shooting"? Anyhoo, there actually was a classic '77-era English fanzine called THE GUN RUBBER, I managed to download a copy an' it's a pretty good one in the trad of the various mags that were comin' outta the Isles back then that weren't so full of either themselves or the flashier part of the moo-ment that seemed kinda tiresome what with alla those kids who were imitating the look but not the backbone.

This "Summer 1977" one has the feel and swerve of the day long before things began petering out into various "post-punque" fragments to the point where it all might as well have been on the Anastasia Pantsios Top Ten list. It's got interviews (The Stranglers and Saints!), reggae ruminations and live rundowns as well as the expected rec reviews and fannish raves that really represent just why alla those layabout punk rock types were the only real faction keeping rock 'n roll alive during those rather fetid (at least as far as everyday affairs went) times.

The biggest things that lit a spark in this ish, at least for me, was a mention of a South African punk rock group called Dirty Stuff who reportedly were gettin' heck from the locals not only for their long hair but the fact they had some black guy on bass guitar! Now that's a bit of news that seems to slip by whenever anyone goes on discussing the apartheid era! Any of you South African readers (I know there is at least one of you out there occasionally!) have the goods on these guys?
***
While we're on the subject of English punk rock fanzines I gotta admit that the early issues of Mick Mercer's
PANACHE were top notch fanzine fodder for any tru blu suburban slob! Top notch enough to the point where I'm champing at the bit to get hold of a photocopy (or very inexpensive original) of the first ish with a pic of RAW POWER-era Iggy onna cover and hypes for Linda Ronstadt, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith and Runaways bootlegs proudly listed below! The early PANACHEs were definitely more of a "genzine" than one purely fixated on a specific feature of the rock 'n roll experience, though later issues were somewhat different.

Managed to get PANACHEs #'s 12 and 24 in the meanwhile, and while I must marvel at the intriguing layout with the use of fifties-vintage cartoon work 'n all I gotta say that they do lack a lotta the spirit of many of the early p-rock fanzine efforts which were so open to all sorts of "rebel music" that made 'em look even more universal than CREEM was during their height in Bangs-for-the-buck.. Or maybe it is the plain fact that I can't immerse myself into a mag that has gone from a Skydog-approved credo to Toyah and Adam and the Ants within the span of a few issues. Either way you can find some worth in the reviews as well as in the coverage of various types of English acts which you might have learned about via an old Renaissance Records flier yet passed on because of...well...maybe you were subject to the same depression-era wages I hadda endure back when records were cheap but yardwork pay even cheaper...
***
Never did get hold of any issues of KID'S STUFF before, so this 'un was a bit of a surprise what with the photo layouts on such noted acts as Crime, Siouxsie and the Banshees pre-eighties goth glop and Destroy All Monsters. 

Still, there's not that much here to read other'n Steve Morrissey's billionth piece on the New York Dolls which at least has that spark considering what a madman Morrissey was about these guys! But otherwise I didn't quite get "into" that fanzine sorta sense of awe looking through KID'S STUFF #8 even if the pics are properly reproduced and the spirit is there and does seem rather willing. Tried gettin' other issues of this which seem pretty good perhaps because of their lower fidelity but to no avail. And like I once said, if any of you readers can help me obtain some of these rags either in original or neatly copied form I would be grateful, but knowing you readers why should I waste my breath even trying to connect with ya??? That's what ya ALL are...creeps!
***
Proudly making an appearance in my fanzine collection's this nineteenth issue of NINETEEN, the eighties-era fanzine which I must admit continues on that high-quality French fanzine tradition which started out with the likes of ROCK NEWS INTERNATIONAL, I WANNA BE YOUR DOG, FEELING and quite a few other publications of worth and general spiffiness that cluttered up many a Francophile bedroom back inna seventies. Only thing is that NINETEEN was more or less reporting on the flotsam and jetsam left over from the massive under-the-counterculture rock screech of the seventies 'stead of documenting it as it hit the eardrums of many-an-inquiring suburban slob looking for a new hook. Still 'tis good, a nice thick ish with the likes of X, Sky and the Seeds, Radio Birdman and many more acts that you just weren't gonna read about in the pages of ROLLING STONE or hear on WMMS because well, even though they were trailblazers in exposing the daring and helped mold teenage tastes in a more "feral" direction (somewhat) I guess alla that wild stuff hadda be jettisoned in order to appeal to the flitzier side of pre-adult existence ifyaknowaddamean...
***
SUMMER SALT was another nice li'l English fanzine that featured nothing but contributions from others. Not that something like that is a reason to call up the people at the six o'clock news but it was an interesting effort where a buncha nobody slobs could send in their articles and get published just like the big guys. And considering how the guys who published SUMMER SALT (whadevva that means!) were probably slobs themselves that's no mean feat!

Overall SUMMER SALT was a humble li'l affair that mostly concentrated on the then-up 'n comin' hipster stuff which, at least by this time, was really hipster in the purest sense and not just another hype aimed at the usual gullible teens stoopid enough to fall for just about every scam that came their way. Good times are to be had tho, what with the pieces on everyone from Patti Smith and Generation X to Steel Pulse and Lou Reed that people JUST LIKE YOU AND ME sent in if only to see our names in print. Well, it is a whole lot better'n goin' out and causin' trouble if only to read about yourself in the paper marveling at the high bond that your criminal activities were worth!
***
Gotta admit that FAT ANGEL ain't one of my favorite rock fanzines, English or otherwise. A strangetie in itself since I really enjoyed that other ZIGZAG fanzine spinoff AYLESBURY ROXETTE, but maybe that's because Kris Needs was at the helm there while FAT ANGEL was the brainboom of Andy Childs, a guy whose tastes in music seemed closer to the original ZIGZAG spirit of Amerigan West Coast grumbles that came off rather tiring even when those kinda sounds were sellin' like little boys at a NAMBLA convention. Still I gotta admire FAT ANGEL's quality and adherence to the whole ZZ ethos, and once in awhile Childs does surprise what with a Stooges cover story in which he spends a good portion of space apologizing for liking 'em, a fact that might have turned off a good portion of his laid back readership who probably never could handle anything wilder 'n David Crosby on a barbiturate fix.

This "Winter '76" ish is fairly good what with a cover story on former Hampton Grease Band and then solo star Glenn Phillips, where a couple unknown (or at least forgotten) by me facts are revealed such as Phillips' jamming with Little Feat thus eliciting a positive comment from Lowell George. Also featured is a revealing article on Buzzy Linhart which does kinda skimp on the Seventh Sons info but still fills in a few blanks about 'em that I didn't know about before so hooray! There's even a rather informative even if we've known all this info for years Chris Bell piece, and even if things like the music of the Bahamas or Andy Roberts really ain't that important to a mind like mine I can't fault FAT ANGEL for being a better than many would expect fanzine. It's all done in that olde tymey pre-punk unto punque style that did manage to redeem itself in an underground fashion as time went by (as evidenced by that issue which reprinted the Crocus Behemoth interview from NY ROCKER and also featured a Modern Lovers appraisal!).
***
While we're on the subject of English fanzines that should be paying ZIGZAG hefty royalties for their entire existence how can ya leave NUGGETS outta the equation? Yet another one of those all-encompassing mags that came and went in the late-seventies mileau of so many fanzines to choose from and digest in your rock 'n roll saturated mind, NUGGETS has the same sorta professional air as the other fanzines aspiring to ZIGZAG greatness coming up to snuff or falling flat on their faces in the process. I gotta admit that NUGGETS does lack a lotta that fanzine zip that would make a cruddier affair all the rage despite the print job, but Giovanni Dadomo liked it so it can't be all bad.

Any way you slice it, NUGGETS is something I definitely would say is good to have around the house especially when you just happen to hanker upon reading an article on people as diverse as Don Williams, Stephen Stills, Lenny Kaye (talkin' 'bout what else but NUGGETS, his NUGGETS that is!) and the Doctors of Madness...all in the same issue! Issues still seem to by flyin' 'round if you look hard enough, so if I were you I would definitely keep them peepers WIDE open because, in a world saturated with ROLLING STONE-inspired "rock journalism" it's sure nice reading something that's intelligent yet not so full of that post-hippie stuck-upness that seems to have metastasized itself into the public consciousness to the point of why bother!
***
An' now for an oldie...a mag dedicated to the rock 'n roll of the fifties written for humorless fans and collectors by humorless fans and collectors! RUMBLE was a nice and informative li'l mag mind ya, but with the lack of illustrations and the writing which surely does lack the verve and swing that the music had, it just lags about and lacks all of the fun and charm of similar mags devoted to a certain niche in the r/r canon. Of course there's a LOT of information dished out here and much of it has to do with groups I'm sure most outside of the instrumental rock fanbase haven't even heard of, but I sure coulda used a lot more slip, slide, slam and an early-sixties pre-Beatle pounce to the proceedings. IN OTHER WORDS, I can just see some aficionado of the form pouring through RUMBLE looking at the discographies suddenly a-lighting face and feeling so proud that they own the Chantays' "Three Coins in the Fountain" single after seeing it mentioned in these pages. And you too can do the same!
***

It ain't exactly a fanzine, but JAZZ FORUM is a mag that I wouldn't exactly wanna poo-poo. Of Polish origin (no jokes please), JAZZ FORUM is definitely a rag that's more'n anxious to cover  the New Jazz that is being performed in that famous country, and although I can't understand the language I sure can tell from the illustrations and the general feel that it's the kinda mag that would stimulate more'n a few Polish teenagers to ditch the polka and head straight for the jazz bins where they can find some of that decadent western sound that really does set one on a tangent you just can't get from boiled cabbage!

Buying point for me was the cover story on the punk funk moo'ment in music which really was getting a whole lotta traction in the eighties and still seems to linger on even a good four decades afterwards if my interests in the late Ronald Shannon Jackson is any indication. This article was written by famed Euro jazz critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt so I think it might have been translated into English, plus the James "Blood" Ulmer piece by Mike Zwerin and Jackson by Jurg Solothurnmann might be as well for all I know. But sheesh, this mag sure looks nice inna collection and when archaeologists go through my bedroom in the distant future boy will they be impressed!
***
Strange as it may seem to those who seem to see strange things hiding under their beds, I latched onto this particular issue of THE PANIC BUTTON (#7) shortly after I got hold of the one mentioned in the previous FANZINE FANABLA! Gotta say that the quality of this particular one was pretty much in the same line of thinking 'n all with the usual HELP!-inspired "fumettis" and some weird cartoon contributions that look like all of those other early-sixties (and beyond) fanzine cartoons that don't seem to make sense, but the inclusion of everything from poetry (including one from then-fanzine regular Roger Ebert) to a sci-fi art portfolio prove that THE PANIC BUTTON was more than just a satire fanzine in the FOO tradition. Some of the opinions expressed in this issue really tend to be part and parcel of that whole free thinking anti-bourgeois morality and hypocrisy of people who work for a living sorta mindset that seems to have gone full-tilt these days, but as far as I can tell THE PANIC BUTTON must have been the first fanzine ever to do an article on the CND long before a buncha English hippie punks decided to take up the no nukes banner! And that also includes the peace symbol that pops up on page 18 at a time when everyone probably thought the thing had something to do with Mercedes Benz! PANIC BUTTON is a rag that's part of the fanzine tradition bub, and being without a copy is just as bad as being without that special thing in your wallet when you're on a hot date! Talkin' 'bout money of course...sheesh, why do you think some gal'd wanna go out with somebody as ugly as you other'n for a free meal!

Thursday, February 04, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! BLONDIE #210 (Charlton Comics, October 1974 issue)

I tend to know all of my comic books like I know the pimples on my ass, but I forget where I actually got this particular effort! I think it was part of my Christmas gift from Bill Shute, or did Brad Kohler send it to me? Or was this in my collection for ages only I just happened to pull the mafaga out due to abject boredom? Who knows, and who cares because I have another comic to read on this Sunday afternoon and if anything out there can take my mind off of the misery and degradation that passes for life these days it's a good ol' comic book from the BZ ("Before ZZZZZZZ") era.

Well, this particular effort didn't exactly do that, but it sure did help pass the time swell. Back during them serious comic book collecting days of mine I never really got into the whole range of Blondie/Dagwood titles (originally popping up under the Harvey flagship before sailing off to Charlton), though I was tempted to pick up the 200th anniversary edition of BLONDIE comics that had just hit the racks at Dimoff's in Sharon right smack dab during the height of my passion for these 20-cent wonders. However since I only had a measly two dimes to spend and I hadda make a good choice of it the money went to one of those Marvel gigundo monster titles that still tingle a little pre-pube feelings in my soul, those of the MONSTERS ON THE PROWL variety featuring the Kirby/Ditko/Heck bullpen right before the advent of the Marvel Age of Comics. Maybe I'll try tracking that particular BLONDIE down one of these days in order to give my life "closure" like I did with that Civil War Centennial issue of LIFE WITH ARCHIE I wrote up on this blog about ten or so years back.

This particular ish of BLONDIE woulda made for some good teenbo reading if it had only made its way to my abode then, It naturally was a good way to kill some time (as I have been doing my entire existence) before headin' to the john with that pearl diver issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC I had hidden under the mattress. It's a pretty snazzoid effort as well considering that it was worked up at a time when the funny pages and comics in general had that hard-edged undercurrent to 'em (even---especially so-called kiddie titles like NANCY and FERD'NAND) that almost gave the legit comics every bit of a snide air as NATIONAL LAMPOON. Let's just say that if you were front and center for BLONDIE in the daily paper these comics wouldn't let you down that  much if any at all.

I gotta admire artist Paul Fung Jr's abilities to mimic the Chic Young style. His father Paul Sr was the guy who took over Young's DUMB DORA after Young left it for BLONDIE, and I will fess up to the fact that I like his approximation of the original style a lot better'n I do Young's work himself. More floral with the flapper-era gals looking even more feminine and sexier'n what Young was comin' up with. Jr ain't as delicate as his father's but he sure does his subject matter proud along with the stories which are purty much extended Sunday pages that maybe go on a bit longer'n necessary. But if I hadda choose between this and anesthetic-free hemorrhoid surgery...

The usual BLONDIE tropes are trotted out as if lifelong readers would expect anything else, with such situations as Dagwood being late for work and getting into violent fits with next door neighbor Herb getting run through the wringer once again. Of course you expect it, want it and perhaps even crave it. Surprisingly enough one of the long-discarded by the daily devices is still in effect here, mainly the large litter of puppies birthed by Daisy who I don't think have even been mentioned for about sixtysome years, 'n its sure grand knowing that they haven't been run over by some car or sold off like your mean uncle told ya!

One neat surprise is Fung Jr's revival of his father's DUMB DORA Sunday topper entitled WHEN MAMA WAS A GIRL. The original theme was fitting for the thirties, what with a situation from a gal's turn of the century life was contrasted with her daughter's way less feminine and more brusque behavior under similar circumstances. Oddly enough, though the Sunday page featured life a good thirtysome years earlier, Fung Jr. decided to do a side-by-side of Victorian-era happenings with those in the then-current seventies making me think the new comics shoulda been called WHEN GREAT-GRANMA WAS A GIRL

I find Fung Jr.s efforts especially pleasing in this particular portion what with a more fine-pen look that recalls the way comic strips used to look during the birth of the medium. Oddly enough, the seventies counterpoint has a sort of decadent sleaze look to it, as if I were watching a comic book version of a then-current "R" rated movie only without the swearing and the suckems. Sheesh, who woulda thunk that even seventies decadent sleaze could find its way into a nice 'n wholesome title such as this!

As Bill Shute said, "comics are your best entertainment value", as if you'd even THINK of watching Netflix rather'n spend a good half-hour reading an old BLONDIE comic!