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.


Alvin Bishop said...

Not too familiar with most here, Chris.

Davie Allan & The Arrows? As some Boomers are aware, the worst sort of drek. Hey, good for a goof. One thinks of Peter Fonda before Easy Rider in that laughable schlock for American International.

The Contortions? Had the Great Misfortune of seeing them circa 1978. Could not play their instruments. Especially the mousey little girl of keybs. Ahem! I'll take Weather Report, thanks!

I'll research The Outsiders. Sounds promising.

Television's Adventure on the hi-fi today for the first day of spring!


Alvin Bishop said...

Okay... The Outsiders? Meh. Early on, third-rate garage rock. Then by 1968? Fourth-rate psych. (Chuckle!) I guess if someone considers The Seeds or The 13th Floor Elevators to be up to snuff, they're fine.

The thing is, being classically trained as a child, I'm just too aware of the frauds and the wannabes. For all his shortcomings, Capt Beefheart was head and shoulders superior.

Anyhoo, one man's opinion.

Back to Television, then on to Weather Report!


debs said...

lol retarded :)

HHH said...

You should write about today's sounds, the music the kiddies are dancing to. Stuff like Tommy James Brown.

Charles Hodgson said...

Hey, The Dutch Outsiders are alright. Nobody cares about virtuosity. If they could wank their instruments "better" they'd be shit. Like Weather Report, probably.

Charles Hodgson said...

Old Biden is sure a "virtuoso" at climbing Airforce One's stairs, though, am I right or am I right?
I could watch that all night, like Warhol's New York skyline movie. Speed it up, slow it down, show it upside down, you cannot lose!
Funnier than watching Moe Larry try to get into his baby grow for John Podesta's pizza party!

David Brooks (NYT, PBS, NPR, etc) said...

I was wondering if you could find the time to write about Talking Heads? Not only am I one – heh, heh – but back in my college days and beyond they were a favorite. Still are, as a matter of fact. (Yes, I am a bit of a "bobo" myself.)

PS: This doesn't mean I condone Byrne's BDS stance, which I believe borders on anti-Semitism.

Timmy Titsworthy said...

To laugh at an old man falling UP stairs is cruel! SHAME ON YOU!

Alvin Bishop said...

Charles! Thank you for the opportunity for me to enlighten!

Here is a link to 40 minutes of primo Weather Report:

Exquisite stuff! Sublime! Virtuosity driven by passion! I believe you will agree! I'll bet Chris will, as well. This is the freedom that "free jazz" all too often only feinted at. Loose woolly stuff! Jagged! Enjoy!