Wednesday, March 31, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! GRIMM'S GHOST STORIES #17 (Western Publishing, 1974)

Given how influential the New Trend EC Comics line was on the industry for years after its capitulation it's no surprise that every comic company extant would come up with a wide array of not only MAD comic book and magazine rips but horror titles as well. I will admit that a few of the horror ones did capture the old spirit (especially the Warren ones which weren't affected by the Comics Code) but most of 'em kinda fizzed about trying to be scary but failing miserably. I kinda recall the DC ones being like that, though Marvel's early-seventies entries which usually mixed the new efforts in with classic Kirby/Ditko/Heck reprints were remarkably good considering the conditions that the early-seventies publishers were working under. Wish I could get hold of some of those once again, especially the one whose title escapes me which printed the work of some undergrounder, perhaps Irons or Corben in a foreshadowing of Stan Lee's own dalliance with the underground in the pre-ARCADE effort to bring it into the mainstream, namely COMIX BOOK.

There's nothing as scabrous as anything along those lines in this ish of Western's GRIMM'S GHOST STORIES but I gotta admit that it sure was a fine kick-up-yer-feet Sunday afternoon read. Now I gotta admit that I never was one who was that keen on the whole Gold Key (or its successor Warren) comics because they seemed so kiddy-ish for a sophisticated eleven-year-old such as myself, but this effort would have satisfied me had I snatched the thing up offa the racks way back in the days when that quarter it woulda cost me to buy a title like this was really big money.  But eh, with the fine artwork and pretty good if predictable story lines that were now in their fifteenth or so generation of usage (but new to us young 'uns') I'm sure the money woulda been well spent. But just try explaining that to your parents!

There's a nice and acceptable Comics Code-styled Old Witch type telling these might as well have been Code Approved sagas who I assume is the Grimm mentioned on the cover. For a minute I thought these sagas were gonna be actual Grimm's Fairy Tales gone comic book but I guess this Grimm guy and the brothers have no connection whatsoever 'cept for their monikers. Some coincidence, eh? Well, at least you ain't gonna look like a sissy once your friends see you reading this thus being convinced that you have hit your second childhood and hit it good and HARD!

"Death Rattle" seems typical enough of these tamer horror efforts, yet another Medieval-set story about the evil second-in-line to the throne who offs the infant heir by slowly poisoning him with a baby rattle laced in nightshade. Seems so simple eh? Well, with alla the weird twists and happenstance this 'un provides the evil prince probably woulda wished he just let things be given how these stories always seem to turn out!

"The Cheaters" is a western tale about a slick gambler who murders the bum who helped him cheat at poker. Since these stories always fall into the same pattern I think I've told you enough. Skip it.

Yet another olde tymey European setting for "Portrait of Evil" which is a fairly exciting romp even if the title gives it away. A blind preacher spends an evening in the local haunted house to prove they's not such things as ghosts only to come to a rathe surprising if more or less standard conclusion.

'n now for the cover story "Curtain Call", where a camped up performance of Shakespeare in a theatre haunted by a ham actor turns into the comedy hit of the year, and for a pretty supernatural  reason at that!

Considering how a copy of GRIMM'S GHOST STORIES can probably had in any comic stack seen at a local antiques shop or flea market maybe it would we worth the modern day equivalent of the ten cents you woulda paid then for the thing in the here and now. The artwork is better than I remembered (still somewhat hack-y yet not offensive to the corneas) and the stories are worth reading alla way through without you wanting to shred the danged things in disgust. And who said that man, or at least suburban slob ranch house kiddies, lives on DC, Marvel and Archie alone? For a nice switcheroo from the usual pre-woke comics fare perhaps GRIMM'S GHOST STORIES is worth a trip to the local drive in moom pitcher palace turned rummage sale to pick up ata rather inoffensive price!

Saturday, March 27, 2021


After all these months it looks like it's "YUM YUM EAT 'EM UP!" time here at BLOG TO COMM! I haven't done a cooking post for quite awhile, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy whipping up all sortsa delights inna kitchen! Read on and make sure you have PLENTY of Rolaids on hand...which reminds me of that riddle...stop me if you've heard it, but what do you call a homosexual tumbling down a hill...
When I was a young and sprouting fanabla I absolutely detested eggs in any form. Other'n home made eggnog which was kinda like a thin milkshake to my single-digit mind, and even then they would neglect to put the booze in which made such a drink a delight! First off I hated the smell of eggs frying in heavy grease which reminded me of a Patagonian left out in the hot sun for three days, that searing body stench-like smell with turned my stomach about as much as that of fried shrimp (another food I began to detest at least until the advent of popcorn shrimp which was less offensive to the olfactory). The eggs that were served up were also about as rubbery as one of those Thing Maker bugs that didn't quite make it, so between the texture and the odor you could say that I would much rather enjoy the benefits of huffing my own armpits because well, at least it's MY smell and not some one else's.

My anti-egg mentality changed slowly, first when I would order fried rice at the Chinese restaurant and noticed bits of scrambled eggs in the mix. Not wanting to cause a rabid anti-egg scene I decided to eat 'em up and thought that it tasted OK to me what with the rice overpowering the scrambled stuff! After that I took chances, first with Egg Foo Young and then with lunch counter omelettes and discovered that hey, this hen fruit tastes okey dokey if its mixed well enough and have loads of meat, cheese and hot sauce (an important factor) to help mask the egg taste. So today I must proudly call myself a bonafeed egg fan, although I still refuse to eat 'em sunny-side up or un-mixed in any way (and that includes boiled!) and when they're scrambled there better be plenny of shredded cheese melted on top and of course that aforementioned hot sauce and maybe some meat mixed in with the onions and sausage to help get it down the ol' gullet into my waiting stomach.

However while I would often order omlettes at the local fambly-type restaurants my attempts at making  'em up inna kitchen have usually been disastrous, ending up as scrambled eggs with wiener slices in 'em that looked about as appetizing as your standard puke mixture. However, that all ended when, one day at the supermarket, I saw an item called the Nordic Microwave Omlette Maker hanging in the dairy department and, after much debate inside my usually cavernous head, decided to split with my $5.50 and buy the thing given the tempting idea of me being able to make my own hot breakfast that didn't include instant oatmeal. And hey, I would say that this purchase was the best parting of my $5.50 at least since I spent that tidy sum on the Mothers of Invention's FREAK OUT, which might have seemed like a good waste at the time but was a better purchase than ZOOT ALLURES I'll tell ya.

So yer wond'rin' just how does ol' Chris Crass make his omlettes so early in the mornin' when he should be goofin' off like a nice li'l suburban slob should! Well I'll tell ya. First get three eggs and whip 'em up good (after you break 'em and dump the inner goop into the mixing bowl being sure to check for little shards of shell that might have fallen in...get those fragments out or be prepared for a few annoying crunches in your finished product!). I use the electric mixer for this and whip and whip until the eggs are nice and really frothy. Now, here's where I break away from the standard omlette-making recipe...I add a little bit of milk, some flour and a bit of baking powder (about two tablespoons of milk, a tablespoon of flour and about a teaspoon of powder in case yer one of those anal retentive types who MUST KNOW!) along with a small shake or three of salt, and MIX AWAY SOME MORE. Ahh, nice and airy, plus the added ingredients will get your mind off the fact that you are eating chicken abortions.

No gals, it's not what you think it is.
Now I get my handy Nordic Microwave Omlette Maker (see illustration at left), open its clam-like case, pour in some of the mixture evenly on both sides (be sure to place maker on a microwavable plate in case some spills over, plus it will be easier to remove), and microwave on full power for about a minute to a minute and a half until all of the liquid is gone and you get nothing but nice, fluffy omlette! Now remove the opened case and add your goodies...personally I like to chop up ham really fine (lunchmeat will do or maybe some of the canned variety) and whatever cheese suits you. Swiss or Cheddar happen to be the ones I like. Only remember to fill the innards on one side of the mold. Now close the other side, make sure its clicked shut, and microwave for another minute! When that's over with just plop the omelette into your dish.

Personally one of these omlettes is not enough so I usually make two which makes for a filling breakfast that'll keep ya goin' sometimes right up until supper! And as of the here and now I have yet to make a dud and not only that but I have been doing some experimenting along with ways mostly to good avail. Tomorrow I'm planning on making a western omlette with corned beef hash and diced onions with a few jalapeno peppers diced in (in anticipation, already fried this mess up where it resides in the fridge) and of course the obligatory cheese, which will all be slathered in hot sauce and gobbled up while I fittingly watch THE ROY ROGERS SHOW! A pretty good meal fit for a king, or even a queen with a hunkerin' for a high carb intake.

For a real deal treat, chop up some onion, tomato and pepper (maybe even some raw mushrooms!) real fine and put 'em in with the egg mixture. Cook for an additional minute or so then rinse and repeat! Nice, slightly crunchy and good enough you don't even need to put hot sauce on it!

How if any of you think I've forsaken my CAP'N CRUNCH for this new breakfast feast you must remember the ol' fambly tradition dating back to February 9th of 1964 which still holds firmly in place. Y'know, the one which taught this up 'n budding turdler that breakfast cereal can be eaten ANY TIME OF THE DAY and even with parental blessings which I must admit has made for some rather pleasant late-night snacking if I do say so myself! You reg'lar readers ought to know that I sure ain't goin' overboard on the Guppy in favor of my current early rise 'n shine fave---the Cap'll always rule the cereal roost around here unless there's a good reason for mutiny!

NEXT DAY POSTSCRIPT!-The corned beef hash omelette came out great with the meatiness and potatoes sorta mingling with the hot peppers and the cheese was boffo even if I think Swiss mighta been a better choice to use than sharp cheddar. I already saw that ROY ROGERS episode so eh!

POST-POSTSCRIPT!!!-A variant on the above I thought up myself! I love that Mexican dish chilles rellanos and was thinking up a quicker and easier way to make the thing so voila, what I did was mix some Bisquick and milk in with the egg mixture, microwaved it for a minute and a half or so, then stuffed the thing with shredded sharp white cheddar cheese and diced chilis from right outta the can. Then I microwaved the thing for about two minutes, plopped it out and poured enchilada sauce and sour cream over the resultant mess! A delicious mess if I do say so myself!

It has been said that English food is so bad but it seems good because Scotland is due north! I dunno if that is true, but given how popular the condiment otherwise known as HP Sauce is o'er there I get the idea that the English like to put it on everything because it helps cover up the taste of the stuff that's being served! Sorta like inna USA only we douse everything with hot pepper sauce!

Even though a lotta the English grub I have downed really didn't settle too well (Devon custard not being sweet enough and Marmite a whole load of "WHAT WAS THAT???") I was curious as to just what this HP Sauce was all about. Although I cannot find any of it at any of the local supermarkets (ditto for curry catsup which I have to make myself!) I begged my cyster to get me some for Christmas, more or less that is. And y'know what? She did, perhaps due to the guilt over how she's treated me all these years because what else?!?!

HP Sauce reminds me of a cross between the aforementioned A-1 and the Heinz 57 steak sauce that we used to get way back when, with a spice I believe is cardamom used to give it that unique flavor which really makes whatever it is glopped onto taste even gooder. It "compliments" everything from fried fish to my home made meat pies, though the high price guarantees that I'm gonna use this stuff sparingly at least until next Christmas. But then again who knows...she'll probably get me handkerchiefs next go' 'round so I better save up the pennies for a case or three of HP!
BLOG TO COMM DRINK OF THE YEAR!-an' it's alcoholic too. Take a can of your fave beer or ale, add equal parts Mountain Dew, and get the best nostalgic drinking experience that'll take you back to age twelve when you were swigging HOPPIN' GATOR when nobody was lookin'!
CHICKEN CURRY SERVED MY WAY!-If you like Indian food but are afraid of which hand your waiter uses to wipe you might wanna make some of your own and stay home for once! That's what I did with this recipe that I actually adapted from one snatched from a 1961 vintage TV GUIDE. with a few twists and turns of my own thrown in for good measure. An' it sure tastes good whether you're watching the great shows that were on way back when or even the drek being passed off for entertainment these days!

First get some boneless chicken pieces (or get chicken with bones and rip the flesh off yourself!) and put in a crock pot with some chicken broth/stock, chopped onion, salt,  a stick of butter or margarine, curry powder, ginger and a little turmeric if you can't afford saffron. Let it cook for about six or so hours on low, three hours on high, or ten hours on "keep warm" if you're in no hurry. Then shred the meat, add a small bag of frozen peas into the mix then a cup or three of cashews. Those cheap kind that are busted into small pieces you can get at the five and dime will suit you just fine. Let that all cook up for an hour (man, the smells will drive ya crazy!) before adding a huge cup or so (even more!) of plain yogurt (the Greek kind works wonders), stirring it in until you have a nice gravy-like texture. Warm that up a bit and serve over rice with some naan bread if you really wanna be exotic about it!

Tastes great and really warms you up on a chilly day! Not only that but you don't have to worry about some of those things I heard they stick into Indian cuisine, if the rumors are to be believed... 
NEVER WASTE FOOD! Unless its totally rancid, but even then I gotta make a decision whether or not to throw something away. Like those hot Eyetalian sausages that I found in the freezer, a two pound sack of 'em which still contained the sales slip saying that they were purchased way back 2013 way! I didn't think they looked their best to say the least and the package was kinda sticky as if something was either oozing outta it or something from above had dripped upon the bag. But didja think I was gonna throw the rather price-y package out? NOT ON YOUR NELLY!

What I did was peel off the plastic (some of which had stuck onto the sausages and dumped it into my slow cooker, letting the thing thaw out for awhile. To beef up the taste I dumped a can of beer into it and some brown sugar and let the thing cook overnight. Then I grilled a few and ate three of the things...the taste was kinda strange but edible enough that I had three of 'em with a lotta mustard and they went down the gullet health problems whatsoever which was good. The brown sugar gave it a bit of a sweet taste to counteract the funkiness too!

But what about the rest of the two pounds of cooked sausage? Of course I felt it within my moral and gastronomical duty to put those to good use, so I decided to make some Sausage and Beans, an old tried and true recipe which is always a good way to get rid of things like leftover sausage and vegetables rotting away in the fridge!

First off I soaked a bag of dried pinto beans overnight. Since they always seem to be hard no matter how long you cook 'em you might wanna soak 'em for a MONTH, but overnight'll guarantee that they'll be firm but not tooth-breaking. When ready, rinse and dump 'em into the crock pot. Then slice the sausage up and put that into the pot, followed by a diced large onion, a couple green bell peppers or any other peppers...I put three Jalepenos in for that hot feeling, half a package of cooked, crumbled bacon (I used the imitation turkey stuff), a can of diced tomatoes (or some real ones!) sliced carrots and celery, chopped up garlic and your favorite seasonings (I used basil, parsley, paprika and that good ol' standby salt), all topped off by a four-cup container of chicken broth! If you don't have that peel off a few bouillon cubes and add four cups of water. For an added kick I put a cup of white wine in to give it that ooh la la atmosphere.

Now turn the crock pot onto "low" and forget about it for awhile. If you wanna check onna thing and give it a stir that's fine. I let it cook a looooong time, about a whole day in fact, and I thought the results were pretty good! The sausage still had this funny taste but the other flavors helped mask that. But man does it fill you up and give you that nice and contented feeling when you have a few bowls for it for dinner. But I will say something...when it comes to bedtime you might be celebrating July 4th right beneath your sheets so be warned!

The best thing about this recipe is that you'll have a lotta Sausage and Beans to be had, so it would be smart to freeze some for future usage! Looks like that sausage is gonna have a longer life than I originally thought, eh?


Wednesday, March 24, 2021


Discographies usually don't gel with my own sense of rockist pursuits, they bein' too collect-y 'n all without the passion and energy that the records being mentioned were most capable of splattering all over your brain. Something for the kinda guy who just must have that rare Japanese picture sleeved Jan and Dean single and is willing to mortgage the house (and maybe even the wife!) to get it. But this effort, which comes off more like an overstuffed issue of my own crudzine only looking way more professional, is quite different.

Now a discography of Wisconsin rock from the late-fifties until the mid-seventies might not settle well with some of you rabid rocksters. I mean, like in every other burgh inna world there was lotsa bad karmik hippie stuff comin' out during the latter portion of those years, so if yer the kind of fanabla that would have a natural aversion to something along the lines of "The Purple People Show" you can bet you'll be spending a whole lotta time emptying your breakfast into the porcelain poop pond after givin' a gander to some of the acts who pop up in this book. But thankfully those kinda acts are few and far between, because THEY COULDN'T TAME US concentrates on the music of the fifties and sixties before the idea of rock 'n roll became "rock music" which then devolved into a form of sound that has become quite undecipherable as of these past few eons.

I'm sure you reg'lar reader types are interested in just finding out what kinda sixties garage bands and early instrumental efforts came outta Wisconsin, so naturally this is the book to get. Nice pix and historical backgrounds are easily enough found, and not only that but there are some boffo articles accompanying the entire mess including an interview with local producer Duke Wright and a pretty nice article on the Fendermen, the Milwaukee group that pretty much got the whole local instro-garage band movement rollin' with their still fondly remembered version of "Muleskinner Blues".  Kinda makes me wanna end this writeup off with "bring the book-book-booklet here" but since that's so cornballus even for this blog I won't.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Hey. Still worming my way through the usual miasma they call late-winter/early-spring, a time where it's too hot to stay snuggled up in your love to the rescue blanket yet too cold to run around nekkid in the backyard. Not the kidz that is, ME! Well, I do hope that their prying eyes keep off me while I prance around the sprinkler once the weather gets nice 'n toasty because well, you already get enough laffs outta me without having to resort to reading sordid news reports now, eh?

All funnin' aside, not much is happening 'round here 'cept the usual eat/poop/wipe syndrome and yeah, I know this is supposed to be a "weblog" detailing my every innermost thought and desire but frankly, I don't think you'd wanna know about my new nose hair trimmer (works on other parts of the body too!) or re-re-re-re-listening to some faverave platter I've owned since at least the flood. So here be the reviews...thanks again to the likes of Paul McGarry, Bob Forward and Bill Shute for the contributions. And if you would like, YOU CAN DO THE SAME!

But before we proceed AND IF ANY OF YOU OUT THERE REALLY WUV ME---well, I can use a nice xerox copy of CREEM #1 (or 2 or 3 --- actually any of the early tabloids) if you wanna make me a really happy turdburger!

The Fundamentalists-A LONG WAY TO GET NOWHERE CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)

I'm hoping that one of these days the Fundamentalists will somehow live up to the R. Meltzer method of mighty tape mangipulation, but since I have yet to hear the various Stump/Applejack efforts or 90-minute  Hendrix feedback loop he presented on some HEPCATS FROM HELL radio show I'm only going on touchy-feely modes. Nice tonal squeaks leads to some old coot (Bob Forward hisself?) muttering curses against the younger generation in between weird guitar strums that wouldn't be out of place on some old Art Ensemble of Chicago album. An' it's SUPPOSED to sound like that, ya old fanabla you!


The Vacant Lots-INTERZONE CD-r burn (originally on Fuzz Club Records)

There have been so many groups named "the Vacant Lots" o'er the years that I hadda do a li'l duck duck goin' to find out exactly who these Lots were. Turns out that they're a current act from the New York City area who dabble in an electronic rock sound that is very reminiscent of some of the aural spew that was pretty popular around the early-eighties.  I believe this is their third effort and it's a pretty good one if I do say so myself, moody and droning rock that for once doesn't immediately come off like some precocious art project done up by girls whose idea of feminine hygiene is a packing sponge soaked in pickle juice. INTERZONE might not seem like the kinda recording that he-men with hair on their chest and muscles bulging all over would go for, but it does have somewhat of a driving kick to it. 


Davie Allen and the Arrows-MOVING RIGHT ALONG CD-r burn (originally on Spinout Records)

Like alla these six-oh updates this sure can have the tinge of antisepticism about it. Especially on the vocal track "Listen to the Guitar Man" which sounds even more contrived in its attempts to ooze true sixties homage than any Frankie and Annette reunion special you can dare think of. Kinda drives me bonkers because hey, one of the reasons I luv the sixties sounds is because it sure wasn't slicker'n a KY-laden butthole in San Francisco but downright raw. It even  tried to be as aboriginally primitive in its attempt to broaden the overall sonic spectrum (see THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK for various examples of how everyone from the Velvets to the Paupers tweaked the sound with changes in instrumentation etc.). It just doesn't work that well with these newer efforts even if most all the music is rather good and can hit you in the proper rockist corners of your mind.  IN OTHER WORDS you readers'll probably lap it all up.


The Contortions-MAX'S KANSAS CITY 8/17/78 CD-r burn

There was a time when we were told that the existence of late-seventies no wave live recordings was practically nil, but thankfully the naysayers were wrong again considering the gush of archival digs that have come out in the interim. This gem being among 'em, the Contortions in their prime live at Max's romping through a particularly grueling session that actually makes NO NEW YORK sound like a big budget album just ready for the Christmas market.

Lotsa newies to my ears here including two takes of "Please, Please, Please" and tracks that wouldn't be fleshed out until BUY came out a good year later. The atmosphere is kinda loose but the spirit is willing, and there are quite a few surprises in store most notably Adele Bertei stepping up to the microphone to belt out a rather impressive "Chain of Fools".

Don't miss the subsequent "No Wave Jam" where your favorite under-the-underground musicians get to sit in on a track or two. Eric Mitchell was pretty impressive belting out not only "Be Bop A Lula" but "Satisfaction" while even Rudolph Grey got to stretch his tonsils out on "Nobody But Me"  which unfortunately got "truncated" but enough of the gist can be discerned so it ain't like you get to miss much.


The Outsiders-OUTSIDERS SONGBOOK CD-r burn (originally on Teenbeat Reords, Holland); LIVE FANTASIO VPRO RADIO CD-r burn

I'm no Mike Stax and I ain't as head over heels about the Outsiders as he most certainly is, but who can deny the outright power and overall appeal of not only them but those other late-sixties Dutch groups who thought more about the Pretty Things than the average fanabla ever did. SONGBOOK's a fine selection of '67 styled Thingian music that should please fans of EMOTIONS, though you just might a kick outta lead singer Wally Tax's Dylan impression on the "Thin Man" swipe "Ballad of John B".  The Donovan rip "Summer's Here" might not settle well with some but I actually go for it. In fact this 'un comes closer to the more opiate-riddled cult folkies of the day as opposed to the one called Leech!

The live in the studio radio broadcast sounds pretty solid for the ever progressing 1968 era in which this was recorded, retaining the primitive sound and swerve of the mid-sixties rather'n a time in music that sure led to a whole lotta horrid trends. Considering the era these were recorded they sure do their darndest in keeping the spirit of the pre-hippoid generation of rock roaring on, and maybe for that you should get hold of these records because hey, in a few short years it was ALL gonna be Cat Stevens!


The Fundamentalists-THE NEW THING CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)

Ran outta disques to review so I thought I'd just write this one up even though I was planning on stretching the Bob Forward load out in order to make a little go a long way.  Lemme tell ya to FERGIT this 'un, it's just a load of clunks and clanks that was probably recorded inside Bob's steam boiler. Wotta waste of disque! Nice cover tho.

Various Artists-ONE-TRACK CADILLAC PLEDGE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

The Vince Taylor tracks that start this 'un off were a godsend especially since I must admit that I never heard Taylor's original version of "Brand New Cadillac" lo these many years! (Yes, even a well-respected musical expert such as myself never did have the access to either alla the records OR the money to buy 'em unlike all you rich snoots out there!) The blooze, swing 'n soul jazz helps keep the pace up tho why the familiar Beatles tuneage when such precious Cee-Dee-Are space coulda been used to yet even more obscurities? And speaking of obscurities, the Specters' "Depression" single was a down-tune garage band effort that really lives up to its title. Good thing I didn't try to off myself after hearing this because well, I wouldn't exactly want to play this 'un over the loudspeakers in any mental wards ifyaknowaddamean...


Remember those days when you were so broke that you hadda pass up on alla those fanzines you wanted so dearly? Well now that you're older and undoubtedly richer don't you think it's just about time you parted with some of your precious pennies and bought a buncha these delectable back issues of BLACK TO COMM  that you wished you coulda had back when you were young 'n poor? Hey, I'm OLD and poor and given the orders I shoulda gotten from you guys way back when maybe it's time that you made amends and emptied out your wallet only if outta some guilt on your part! No major credit cards accepted.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! BLONDIE #200, OCTOBER 1972 (Charlton Comics)

Yup, this is the ish of BLONDIE that I was so tempted to buy at Dimoff's way back when but opted out for some CREATURES ON THE PROWL or one of those Marvel monster reprint titles. Now that I actually have this particular magazine in my ever-decaying paws lo these many years later all I can say is...boy did I miss out on a fun time!

This "Special Anniversary Issue" is well-crafted by Paul Fung Jr., a guy who really knew how to get the Chic Young style down and perhaps better'n the creator at that! Given how some of the people who took over the comic strip after Young's vamoosing didn't quite have the feel you kinda wonder why Fung didn't get the job, but his work on the comic book was snat enough and I can't see any longtime BLONDIE fan not wanting to supplement their daily comics fix with this monthly entry which does do the strip more'n just a token slab o' justice!

The nostalgic bent of this particular issue would have thrown me for that good ol' loop had I latched onto the thing that fateful summer day. A series of stories told in flashbacks recalling past highmarks in the BLONDIE saga, Fung's ability to mimic the strip's style at that particular point in time was amazing, something which I'm sure woulda worked swell with not only the old timers who were eating this stuff up first hand but the cornballus nostalgic geeks big on everything old and better'n whatever was going on during them days. And of course kiddos like myself who saw things like comics, music and tee-vee as truly meaningful facets of civilization that were just as important to one's growth and well-being as alla those field trips to go hear PETER AND THE WOLF 'r something like that.

Also boffo in Fung's own recreation of his father's WHEN MAMA WAS A GIRL topper strip comparing some early-twentieth century young gal happenstance with (in this case) an early seventies situation with at times rather humorous and even sarcastic results. The way Fung draws the female form is fantastic...not as yowza as Bob Montana's Betty and Veronica mind you but close enough making me wonder...why don't women look like this anymore? Or if they do, why won't any of 'em even come near me? Well, I'm sure that part of the question can be easily answered, and for purely obvious reasons natch.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

So we meet again...yeah like, so what!!! Still glad you showed up anyway, because I got some great and real personalist things to write about that I know none of you really care about but will feign interest in only to look hip and with it. So take it like you would traveling to some business engagement with your boss listening to every boring aspect of his life as you are suffering outta your mind in abject misery! I've hadda endure things like that for ages, so maybe it should be YOUR TURN f'r once! 

But yeah, it has been a sweeter week than usual with me getting some free time which I used not only to write this piquant prattle but to just settle down and listen to music for my own benefit. Right now my fave platters are the Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe burns I reviewed last week. Just discovered that these tracks (and perhaps more) were actually from the group's mid-OO's days when they were on the Urinpolis label and that in fact they are no more. And from what I can tell lead vocalist S.C. Kleiner's no more as well, which is a shame considering just how much oomph these recordings gave us in an era that seemed to be slipping from its rockist moors faster than you can say ahfanacaga! This one just might become an all-time top spin here at BLOG TO COMM headquarters, and if it ain't in yer abode well, what else is new?


I'll tell ya...sometimes my dreams can turn into nightmares that really can set me on edge for a long time, but when I have a good dream boy can it set the scene for a great day filled with a positive upbeat to it. Haven't had any of those kinds of dreams for eons, but last Sunday morn well... Here I am a mere teenbo in the backseat of some car which is being driven by some shadowy figure who I guess was a high school teach, we (including another teach inna front passenger side and two students in the back with me) going either to or fro some sorta inter-school assembly or debate or the like, and they actually allow me to play my tape of Patti Smith's ever-popular debut album HORSES on their car stereo! It's the cassette alright with the re-arranged song selection I thought was way better programmed than the actual platter, and there was this strange orgiastic feeling goin' through me as this played on (with the teachers not giving one wink about any of the questionable material to be found therein) which equaled the way I felt about the thing when I actually did give it my first ever play around the same time this dream was taking place.

When it came to the number "Break It Up" I actually snuggled my head between the two front seats to give myself a really good listen that song being one of the album's many highlights but was shocked to hear the song sans the piano or guitar sounding like one big bass-laden flop! I had the teach who was driving adjust the tone and then it sounded as crisp as it should be. Seems that everyone in the car loved listening to HORSES but nobody did as much as I.


Dunno about you but I gotta say that, only a good three or months later, that I SURE MISS DONALD TRUMP!  Well, wouldn't you too after watching these last few months of the various internet, newspaper and tee-vee types doin' their best to make our current prez look like some sainted genius by covering some cornhole game he played with his granddaughter or manage to empty his dribble cup on his lonesome? Almost (key word) makes me miss those off-the-rails comments made by MoeLarryandJesus where he shows his sweet innocence by stating that Trayvon Martin was walking down the street minding his own business or George Floyd wasn't fentanyl-riddled at the time of his maybe not-so-early demise! What a sweet, untouched by the realities of life that MLJ is! Anyway I sure do wish the coup would get under way, and like immediately!


'n now for  a li'l video break! Here's a tee-vee espsisode that I've been waiting to see for many-a-year. and thanks to youtube it's finally available to the general public! I dunno about you, but INSIGHT has gotta be my all-time fave religioso television program mainly because the thing was pretty much a swipe from a whole load of classic tee-vee anthology series, TWILIGHT ZONE bein' the most prominent amongst 'em. Anyhow I can recall many a Sunday afternoon sitting through this series while waiting for SHIRLEY TEMPLE THEATER to air (!), and I naturally got a lotta television pleasure watching INSIGHT not for any particularly inspiring spiritual message but for the sheer entertainment value. That entertainment value really must've been something which really must have been part of the overall appeal of this series because I remember the Cleveland ABC station airing INSIGHT on Saturday nights at seven-thirty running it up against such soul-searching programs as DON ADAMS SCREEN TEST and THAT GOOD OL' NASHVILLE MUSIC probably creamin' 'em in the Nielsens for that matter!

The show in question's entitled "The Death of Superman" and no, this ain't some re-enactment of George Reeves' own capsizing but a story about this retarded janitor who reminds me of a cross between Gomer Pyle and Emo Phillips (who woulda been an even better choice for this role --- too bad he wasn't around back '72 way), a strange yet lovable do-gooder living in the basement of an apartment with his dolls who he often shares milk 'n cookies with. I won't give too much away but I gotta say that Britt Leach as the janitor shoulda won some sorta award for his performance as the dolt, one so realistic I wouldn't be surprised if kids who saw this 'un threw stuff at him while he was walking down the street! And a great episode even if the moralistic angle will definitely upset more'n a few of you pampered pooches out there.

Oh yeah, an' if you're wond'rin' just why I wanted to see this 'un for a long time well... Y'see, my cyster just happened to see the thing back when it was fresh and told me about it because well, the guy does dress up in a Superman costume and like I was really into a comic book kick at the time! If you were lookin' for a more philosophical or religious reason as to why I was waiting so long to see this well bub, once again you barked up the wrong oak!

I liked that one so much that I decided to treat you to yet another favorite! I mentioned this one onna blog about a decade or so back but now the entire episode is up and in superior quality! A goodie featuring Bob Hastings as the host of this almost Ray Bradbury-esque PRICE IS RIGHT satire which would figure given how this was obviously filmed at the CBS Studio City facilities!


Oh's some good news I know you'll savor! Cleveland purveyor of musical schmalz Michael Stanley has died on March 5th! About fortysome years too soon but be thankful for small favors!


Also better mention that no wave musician and New York artzy type Barbara Ess has also passed on, but since she nixed an email interview I was doing with her former bandmate Paul McMahon who dropped all forms of correspondence due to her dictum it ain't like I'm gonna be mourning much. 


As usual, gotta give thanks to the men behind the scene who put so much into these posts, human beings like Bill Shute, Paul McGarry, Jakob Boysen and Bob Forward even though he has gone over to the enemy more times that I can count. But since he's sending me this stuff I better act like I'm not offended because he's stop the freebees more sooner than later! It ain't like I'm made outta moolah y'know!

Lou Reed-LIVE AT ALICE TULLY HALL 2-CD-r set (originally on RCA Records)

Sheesh, didn't know that this show was released by RCA given how many version of not only this live gig but the WLIR broadcast are floating about on labels that might just be bubbling right above, or below for that matter, the grey area line. Another one of those gigs with the Tots who I still find a whole lot more palatable as Reedian backup musicians than I do those groupings with all those jiveass neohippies, and Lou has yet to wallow into his wasted rockstar image so you don't get that irritable feeling of him either being so precociously self-conscious of himself or phoning in his performance. As Tin Huey's Harvey Gold once said, back inna sixties Lou was great and now (1973) he's just good. Which kinda makes you wonder what state the guy was in a good ten or so years after all that!


Anthony Braxton Quartet-(SANTA CRUZ) 1993 SECOND SET CD-r burn (originally on Hat Hut Records, Germany)

A lotta the Braxton oomph had left by the time his Arista contract expired, and I gotta say that I didn't think some of the endeavors he was involved with since were really worth the time or energy to explore. I mean, him doing a duet with a standup comedian? But this early '90s show from the Kuumbwa Jazz Center with Marilyn Crispell, Mark Dresser and Gerry Hemingway still has the kinda spark that I woulda expected outta the post-Ornette free sound that was thankfully still wigglin' about long after the jazz mags seemed to lose all interest. It doesn't have that rigid feeling of those earlier Braxton efforts but eh, I find it something that sticks to the essentials and thankfully doesn't stray too far from the original AACM intent of it all.


Dr. Feelgood and the Interns-MISTER MOONLIGHT CD (Olday Records, Japan)

Gotta say that the planned inclusion of "Mr. Moonlight" on the NUGGETS album seemed like one of the more out-there ideas, especially when you consider how them two platters were pretty much the underlying reason for punkitude back 1972 way. Even Smokey and His Cyster seemed like a more viable entry, or so I thought before giving the Doctor's MISTER MOONLIGHT platter a spin.

Dunno if you could consider Piano Red a punk rocker but judging from this effort maybe he is one albeit with an asterisk smack dab next to his moniker. MISTER MOONLIGHT is that much of a jam packed rock 'n roll platter that it can even stand besides TEENAGE HEAD as a spinner that doesn't let up as far as rockist concerns are considered, only with an early-sixties black view 'stead of an early-seventies jaded one a whole lotta white kids had having seen everything bad that has happened to the form in them ten short years since.

Rock thrills through and through, and given how the Interns used to dress as doctors and nurses (yes there were two functioning female members of the band on guitars and backup vocals --- bet that makes all you sociopolitical dyke types all hot under the undies!) the showbizzy camp so attached to much of the mid-sixties punk ethos is all but predicted! And hey, although it might predate the whole garage band blowout of a good three years later who can deny that "Mr. Moonlight" was a nugget if you dug it! 

Various Artists-THE HISTORY OF ROCKS 'N' ONION ROLLS CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)

Lidless Eye remind me a whole lot of This Heat. Knox Mitchell and Stephen Kish plow the usual electro noise beats comin' up with something that has been explored long ago not only here and there but everywhere. At least it does have a beat and you can dance to it. Sounds like 22nd Century rhumba after the robots finally take over.


Rockpile never did tingle my 1980 sense of musical drive the same way that such then-current acts as MX-80 Sound or the Styrene Money Band sure did, but listening to the soundtrack to their German tee-vee appearance does remind me as to why many a fanabla took to 'em in light of what was passing for teen tuneage at the time. Hard enough rock that fits into that whole Stiff ethos that was starting to go into areas that just didn't jibe, but here you can just give a listen to just why Edmunds and the rest were such a refreshing change from the usual drek.


Various Artists-WHAT'S ALL THE  FUZZ ABOUT CD-r burn (originally issued with WHAT WAVE magazine #17)

Here's yet another one of those platters that answers the 1981 question "what is PEBBLES VOLUME 99 gonna sound like?!?!?" A "freebee" giveaway that accompanied the infamous retrowhooziz mag WHAT WAVE, this disque has some of the creme and some of the curds of the eighties under-the-underground six-oh revival acts which does make for a rather rousing listening to session. Some rather big names in the field like Dead Moon and Thee Fourgiven pop into the mix and while some of this does tend to veer off the garage band reservation into more poppish pastures the majority of it'll remind you as to just why things like Voxx Records and the Chesterfield Kings meant so much to a whole lotta suburban slobs torn between wasting their last six dollars on either BATTLE OF THE GARAGES or JOHNNY ARE YOU QUEER?  A nice way to remember the eighties through sixties rose-colored rear view mirrors, something many of us used to do and continued to do for ages come to think of it.


Various Artists-LOVE AND LIFE AND VINYL CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

I thought I was gonna be in for a good time what with the fifties-vintage country and vocal group singles that start this thing off, but sheesh, having to listen to two sides of that stoopid Johnny Carson "replacement" (on WHO DO YOU TRUST --- he later did his own failed attempt at a TONIGHT SHOW swipe before dribbling into a long-deserved oblivion) Woody Woodbury was about as funny as sandpaper on a toilet roll dispenser.  At least those single sides make this 'un rather palatable so don't expect me to smash this one on the sidewalk any time soon. But if any of you can get even an ounce of pleasure outta Woodbury's cornballus humor then you'd probably laugh your head off at a Shakespeare comedy! 


Since history repeats itself all the time, these back issues of BLACK TO COMM remain as up to date and as (to use that old 1971 hippie word) "relevant" as the day they were birthed. Some good readin' in 'em and some bad, but I'm sure that none of you out there can deny that it's "readin'"! Best to fill your library with some of these rather'n take the word of whatever hype-driven Ann Powers wannabe they have up and running in the bigtime mags these days.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021


Well, here it is, the final volume in the Chester Gould-helmed DICK TRACY series, and now that I've finished the entire run of what I would consider the best detective series of the funny pages under the tutelage of its creator I can rest a little easier knowing that one of my life's goals has been consummated. Of course there are plenty of what some would consider MORE IMPORTANT goals in this life of mine that I should have aspired to, but since the run of Ernie Bushmiller NANCY comics has been put on hold what else can I do?

Still it was a fine wrap up to a career that I don't doubt has made Gould a proud man in his own Midwest cornballus sorta way.  After all, the guy didn't just coast through the final days of his career giving not a whit like some relative of yers who decided to use up alla his vacation and personal days right up until the very end --- he sure knew how to go out on a pretty hotcha BANG! what with the stream of interesting new characters and bad boys doin' their best to make Tracy's life one not quite as peaceful as that of Horace Dripple's.

The saga of Pucker Puss, the hitman with the denture gun (sorta reminds me of that new "artiste" who takes pictures through her tuna taco) is wrapped up 'n no, the "gun" didn't backfire on him, while a singing trio called the Gallstones nudge their way into Tracy's existence after he suffers some not-quite-life threatening burns over most of his carcass. Their manager is a guy named Bolo who turns out to be involved in the pirating of his own clients' records. Not only is he ripping off the 'stones , but Bolo wears his hair tied back in a ponytail which really is surprising since that didn't become popular with a good portion of the male populace until the late-eighties. Gould really was ahead of his time predicting these new and wanky fashion statements now, was he?

And talk about keeping the energy levels on full tilt! Not only do we get to enjoy the saga of some guy out of prison getting revenge on the judge, jury and Tracy for putting him there inna first place (him conning some photographer geek to take pics right off the tee-vee screen), but we also get to see a few new members of the Plenty clan, mainly model Perfume and ne'er do well Dade entering into the pic! The story of Dade, a wayward JD fashion designer who is pardoned by the Governor of whatever state TRACY is supposed to take place in (which I always assumed was Illinois though it just might also be that mythical place where GREEN ACRES took place) has as much energy as those earlier sagas with those malformed manglers who liberals always berated Gould for because well, they were ugly and we all know that portraying bad people as such is being lookist against them. 

As for the image-conscious Governor, he turns out to be not as upstanding as he should which may just be Gould commenting on either bleeding heart politicians or Watergate-era high crimes. Whatever message it is that we're supposed to get from this episode it is played serious with the reader actually finding both Dade and the Governor contemptable on one hand yet not quite the same kind of villains seen in a TRACY strip to the point where hey, maybe we can ooze just a li'l tad o' empathy mebbee just this time. Could Gould have been going a little soft on crime himself? Not really, 'n it was a nice way to put the ol' lid on things.

But now that I've read the entire run of Chester Gould DICK TRACYs you think I'm gonna curl up in one-a those fetal balls and cry myself to sleep knowing I have no more worlds to conquer? Heck no! I'm gonna start all over'n read the entire run from the beginning again and again and again! It certainly will be just as exhilarating an experience as it was the first go 'round not only because of the incredible tension these strips exude but well, I do have that sieve-like memory and have forgotten those early sagas so it'll be like reading 'em all for the first time and the first time and the first time...

Saturday, March 06, 2021

As those punk rock faves Emerson Lake and Palmer once said, welcome back my friends to the bore that never ends! But eh, if you like to read my re-fighting of old rock 'n roll wars and personal grudges again people who you thought I woulda forgotten about ages ago you certainly have come to the right place. Yeah I do know that I tend to beat that same ol' horse until it can be sold for ground chuck at the local supermarket but sheesh, not only is ranting about past indiscretions committed against my own personal being as well as other wrongs I hadda do so cathartic, but ya gotta admit that it sure makes for some great reading --- real deep down and personalist soul wrenching that, in a better world, woulda won me a whole slew of awards as well as maybe my own chair at the university of my choice! But eh, this is the REAL WORLD so what else should I expect?

However, for the sake of taste I'm gonna forego any tales regarding various past indignities because eh, recalling past humiliations etc. can even get to me thus ruining what coulda been a rather splendid day I had in store.
Gotta purty nice selection of platters to rant about this week, and I gotta tell ya that if it weren't for Paul McGarry, Jakob Boysen and Bill Shute the only thing you'd be readin' this week would be Cee-Dees of New York handicapped gay rappers that were sent to me a good twennysome years back! You won't believe some of the promos I used to get and thought I threw away upon arrival back during the days of my not-so-sainted crudzine!  Otherwise I think we got a winner here --- after all I gotta say that the Suicide demos have become a popular evening chairside spin and the Kalabah effort written about directly below is something I've been anxious to give a spin to for quite a long time. One for the archives as they used to say.

KABALAH FUCKEN SYRINGE CD-r burn (available 

I've mentioned (over 'n over again!) how, while searching out the various live streams that were emanating from the stages of CBGB during the earlier part of this century, coming across this act called Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe that certainly piqued my interests. Not only did the act look like some whacked throwback to the mid-sixties mop top era filtered through the mid-seventies with three-piece suits and a balding skinny guy with seventies-styled wire rimmed glasses who looked more like an junior accountant than a rock 'n roll singer fronting the thing, but the music had hefty connective tissue attached to the seventies rock take on various late-sixties accomplishments rolled into a nice and downright original ball of rock 'n roll pleasure. I sure wish I could have somehow recorded all of their cybercasts for future enjoyment I'll tell ya, but the lack of technology coupled with a paucity of braincells prevented me from doing so.

Turns out that the act is (presumably) still up and about in some form or another, only now going under the name Kabalah Fucken Syringe, and they're as rockin' and as energetic that I can remember 'em being during those 313 Gallery shows which sure rocked hard but man. if only their lead singer didn't swear so much!. 

That aforementioned lead singer guy certainly has a voice well-suited for the hard rock the Syringe plays --- dark 'n guttural with elements of everyone from Jim Dandy Mangrum to Von Lmo in his vocal cords and delivery, while the band does it great recalling not only those aforementioned 60s/70s cusp under-the-radar acts we all know and love but such past successes as Radio Birdman and down home Rolling Stones when the mood seems to fit. Maybe even some early Groovies can be discerned, but despite the suits not that of the mid-seventies Sire-era band. More or less their TEENAGE HEAD take, or at least a more gritty, urban take, on all matters that rock which as you know is fine enough by me!

I kinda get the impression that Kleiner might be one of yer dirtier sorta fellows given the subject matter of many of his numbers (I mean, you gals ain't gonna go on any "Mustache Ride" at Cedar Point unless yer snuggled in the bushes somewhere) but eh, the hard rockin' drive and at times downhome grit will suit even the more prudish types such as myself. And although it might seem to drag on somewhat you don't have to listen to it all in one take! If edited down to the length of a typically just over half hour 33 rpm platter boy would this have made a great flea market find circa 1981!

I thought that the download price was kinda too big bucks-y for the average Joe Blow's wallet, but when it comes to music like this it's definitely worth raiding yer wife's purse! Just watch out for them swinging rolling pins (ouch!) and latch onto some gravel-level rock 'n roll that you thought woulda been outlawed for being too primal ages ago!
Dale Jenkins-UNDESIRABLE ELEMENTS CD (Guerssen Records, Spain)

For bein' an eighties DIY type of guy, Jenkins comes off as a fairly good singer/songwriter in the old time sense. Even though his then-timely lyrics tend to date the proceedings at hand he sure had a good sense of melodic fortitude and instrumental whiz considerin' he was doin' everything from the moody solo folkie to garage band rattlin' by himself. 

A seventies vibe does intrude but it's of a good seventies bent --- that of the various local basement-level acts that were trying to revive the better portions of the sixties and usually creating their own language in the interim. 

Considering the way these eighties-era self-produced efforts tended to take the more horrid aspects the MTV/silly hair music and do it all even worse this really does sound like the refreshing improvement we all could have used...wish it was way more available back when it came out because it very well might have rated a review in an early issue of my own crudzine, or maybe even yours!


Roscoe Mitchell Quartet-LIVE AT "A SPACE" 1975 CD (Sackville/Delmark Records)

Not as engaging as the Sackville Mitchell/Braxton effort from last go' round but still enveloping enough as far as these even more outre 'n outre AACM albums tend to go. Mostly featuring Mitchell and band in duo or solo settings, this effort could annoy some of the more petunia-esque amongst us but I personally find it the logical conclusion to them various sixties experiments that sure made me wild eyed back during my late teens. With AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrams on piano, future hotshot trombonist George Lewis and guitarist Spencer Barefield, a name I must admit I never heard of before this particular effort although given my sieve-like mind I probably encountered his work many-a-time. Dunno who played the power drill, but that's sure a sound device that John Morton ripped off now, eh?


DEEP REDUCTION 2 CD-r burn (originally on Get Hip Records)

Sheesh it woulda figured that Get Hip'd dump me offa their promo list right around the time this heavy duty Australian-tinged LP came out 2001 way! Oh well, it's not like I'm one of those well-respected and revered rock critics who used to write for Big City newspapers before the big crunch came but whatever, this is a record alla you Detroit-rock freaks would most certainly go for. Deniz Tek fronts this effort which delivers that hard shock sounds better'n many of the post-eighties bands that had been comin' outta that continent, and you too might be able to ooze as many old Alice/Iggy/Five throb thrills outta this effort as I did 'n with relative ease as well. Contains a version of "City Kids" that ain't as good as either the Pink Fairies or Motorhead takes but wha' th' hey...


The New "Luna Band"-LIVE AT THE CBGB THEATER 12/27/77 CD-r burn

A li'l birdie tipped me off to this as well as a radio broadcast of Orchestra Luna doing the well-remembered "Teenage Punk", but although Paul McGarry couldn't dupe that 'un at least he was able to get the former for me. The cavernous sound of the former Anderson Theater does detract somewhat, but strain the ears a little and you can enjoy Richard Kinscherf's post-OL effort which I must say sounds a whole lot better'n what the critics were makin' it out to be. A bit more import bin proggy than one would imagine with influences ranging from Sparks and Queen to Roxy Music, but the performance is good enough that even the overlong track which closes out the thing will kinda remind you of what you hoped a Yes without the aerie faerie and with some rock 'n roll gumption woulda come off like.

Closing out the recording are some Luna demos which have the right sorta energy mixed with some stellar yet not technoglop playing (I really liked "Prima Donna" which reminded me of Boston's Third Rail!), culminating in a version of the old OL standby "Johnny Guitar" which sure makes me wish I had downloaded the original back when I had the chance but not the brains how to do it.


Suicide-1977 DEMOS CD-r burn

I'm always in the market for more of that early Suicide sound before the synths and Barry Manilow got the better of 'em. Nice dry sound to these efforts that equal the first LP as far as capturing that whole NYC aura of decadrive, and if that version of "Frankie Teardrop wasn't the exact same one plunked on that 10-inch Vega 70th birthday release then it sure was an amazingly exact copy! Unfortunately the Martin Rev track that ends this comes close enough to the aforementioned songschmoozer so I just turn the thing off right after "Teardrop" and let the vibrations from that 'un just settle in.


Pharoah Sanders and Sonny Sharrock-FRANKFURT 1992 2 CD-r burn

Yeah it ain't as overwhelming as TAUHID let alone the entire bulk of late-sixties/early-seventies Sanders spinners, but it sure beats the crap outta those eighties/nineties disques of his that were of such a cringeworthy nature. I guess that's due to Sharrock's sheer power and forcefield of sound which would undoubtedly make any musician sound all the better. And the best thing about this 'un is that Bobby McFerrin is nowhere to be found! 


The Lone Ranger-ON THE OTHER SIDE OF DUB CD-r burn (originally on Studio One Masters)

Titty bum titty bum titty bum bum bummm! Oh wait, it ain't that Lone Ranger, it's one of those Jamaican dub guys that some of you readers really go all fanabla about even though I never for the life of me could get into that music. It's cheery enough on those tracks which somehow recall various early-sixties Top Forty hits that coulda been, while the instrumentals make for fine backdrop to doing your household doodies along with other wile away the house activities. Otherwise I really can't find anything soul searing in these sounds that might be just a li'l too rastahappy for this down 'n outer. Of worth for those of you who have been in on the reggae bandwagon for ages and can even tell a Maytal from an Upsetter.

Various Artists-UNDERBEATS AND OVERBITES CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Unlike the last go 'round a total killer diller winner. Nothing but old single sides, some scratchy and some not, recorded by acts some famous and some not. It's got some winners like the Cryan' Shames' "Ben Franklin's Almanac" and Chad 'n Jeremy's "Teenage Failure" as well as the usual batches of fun 'n jamz one can expect from these Bill burns. Like Lena Horne doin' a "Rocky Raccoon" that's suitable enough with her vocalese and all but not up to the version Rich Little did on one of those Dora Hall specials, or the Jazz Crusaders tacklin' "Eleanor Rigby" showing us, along with Horne's own Beatle take, that black people can take from white people who were takin' from black people inna first place!  A nice surprising batch which gives me the same kinda thrills as had I snuck into some relative's attic and begun playin' alla them old recs that were stashed up there since at least 1968.
Rock mags may come and rock mags may go, but as far as I'm concerned these back issues of BLACK TO COMM ain't goin' nowhere! Complete what little you have of 'em in your collection today with these should be award winning mags that only seem to disappoint the weak-kneed and maladjusted amongst us. And of course I don't mean you...

Wednesday, March 03, 2021


Ever since I saw that 1959-vintage TIP TOP cover in some comic book history I sure wanted to get my paws on a copy of that mag which, during the Dell era at least, boasted original stories of some of my favorite comic strips that for some reason weren't being produced at a time when one would think there's certainly be a market for such wares! Talk about being born too late --- sheesh, thinking back alla them fifties-bred kids lucked out not only with comic books like these but funtime tee-vee shows, cheap candy and a general thrilling buzz about 'em where they knew they were livin' in one of the bestest times for anyone these past ten-thousand years! And here I was being force-fed UP WITH PEOPLE and pukka shells while my brain yearned for Tootsie Roll brand fudge and MR. ED reruns!

This collection certainly does fill the bill even though I woulda been much happier had I got it back when I was ten and there was very little out there to really tingle my nerve endings. Just think of it, stores featuring some of my all time fave comics collected in one humongous book capturing alla that late-fifties/early-sixties essence that made up my truly formative years, long before the specter of school and being forced into adjusted kid status had made my life the wreck it was and most certainly shall remain!

Ya get two NANCY stories per ish, one starring the gal herself and the other featuring Sluggo, a neat idea considering just how much those NANCY repro titles were raking in the cash ever since the forties. John Stanley's artwork sticks close enough to the Bushmiller mode at first though you can see the deviations coming what with the introduction of Sluggo's next door neighbor Mr. McOnion and the artwork slowly gravitating towards a less-original style. Sagas are pretty good though although the use of minor NANCY characters you hardly saw such as Nosey Rosie and Lucky Charlie (not to mention the fact that Rollo the Rich Kid is portrayed as a spoiled brat belying his more genteel comic strip persona) might not settle well with Bushmiller purists. Hardcore NANCY lovers should go for it despite the occasional differences.

I've already talked about the PEANUTS comic book back when I wrote up that collection of these comics, though serious fans should note that I found a couple that didn't make their way into that effort. Serious fans please do take note.

As for THE CAPTAIN AND THE KIDS well, alas the original strip as well as its doppelganger THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS have seen better days, and the anarchic feel of those classic early strips is nowhere to be found in these extended romps. Sheesh, I know that Dell Comics did not subscribe to the Comics Code and believed in self-policing, but it wasn't like those classic World War I-era comics that were appearing in the earlier reprint title were that far off the bad taste meter! Sheesh, if only they woulda done a story where Hans und Fritz burned down the school with the teacher  padlocked inside only to get the standard horse-whipping by der Captain until the two were but a mass of ground chuck! Yeah, just like inna good ol' days!

It's yer cherce, and a good 'un for those of you who still thrive on old Amerigan ranch house pre-teenbo culture missing the days of summer vacations and snowed in winters tryin' to have some kick up yer feet fun while wiling away the hours until the GILLIGAN'S ISLAND reruns come on. And really, you can't do much better in re-living your blubberfarm days'n getting hold of this book, unless you just happened to find that NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC pearl diver issue that you thought was lost for good and nobody's home and well...