Wednesday, April 28, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! THE COMPLETE HUMBUG GIANT(Gwandanaland Comics)

If you missed out on the deluxe hardbound version here's another chance to snatch these boff late fifties satire mags up. Sure the quality just doesn't measure up to the immaculately repro'd official edition but the humor remains the same even if a whole lotta it will just woosh by the standard denizen of the boring twenties. Plus the fine-penned art is worth dangling your eyes around, especially the way Bill Elder snuck alla that "chicken fat" into those panels giving you a reason to linger about on a panel for ages getting more thrills than you did while tripping out on LSD reading DR. STRANGE.

Only real bouef with this one is how at time the pages get somewhat outta "synch" what with a blank one throwing off articles that were meant to be read across the page from left to right. This makes reading the TRUMP repro of "L'l Ab'r quite difficult. Also, the photographer shoulda been more careful since at times the print that runs into the binding gets cut off leaving dialogue etc. to your own discretion. Sheesh, if you want that sorta quality in your reading material I have a whole load of old crudzines I can pawn off on you cheap!

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Hokay, another boring post just choc-fulla the kinda musical moosh you've been trying to avoid for years on end. Well, why do you think they have ROLLING STONE if it weren't for people like you! But if you want at least a scintilla of sonic ramifications described in wordage you can appreciate well, you certainly have come to the right blog considering how the competition is either dead, decayed or still moving around waiting for someone to euthanize 'em thus giving us all a firm clear future of what this rock 'n roll writing is s'posed to be all about!

One of the highlights of the week WAS getting hold of the first two issues of Eddie/Eddy Flowers' BAMALAMA COMMUNIQUE which I previously didn't have, and as you already know this was a nice, pre-EDDIE PICKS THE HITS newsletter-y thing from the noted Gizmo that reeked of seventies-era fandom in a time and place when things were beginning to get a li'l too, er, hippypunquey for many peoples' tastes. And as you've already guessed they're pretty good too, so good that I reproduced the second one below (the first 'un's kinda hard to scan w/o me mangling it to death) just so you more ignorant people can get a good idea of what the thing was all about yourself. (Just sorta moosh 'em together to get the full flavor of it.) Nice piece of rockscribin' if I do say so myself, and I know some of you lonelier readers will appreciate the appearance of the infamous Adrienne Boobeau in this post. And I wonder why I'm suddenly thirsty for a glass of milk...


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Nice set of reviews I got there. Wouldn't wanna see anything bad happen to 'em! Anyhoo, thanks to the irregular bunch of guys who sent in the freebees for review like Bill, Paul 'n nobody else who I hope feel proud seein' their names in print. Which reminds me of a statement I actually made as a kid and that was --- did Richard Nixon keep a scrapbook of all the clippings he was mentioned in???



Bourbonese Qualk-PREPARING FOR POWER CD (Klanggallerie Records, Austria)

Borbonese Qualk are an English experimental music cum rock aggregation cum radical mouthpiece that has been active since the early-eighties at the least with a whole tubfulla releases out there for your listening enjoyment. There must be tons of these groups o'er there but I thought this 'un'd do me good enough if only to introduce me to some of the more atonal efforts that were coming outta blighty at the time. They're kinda like an AMM/This Heat mixture with some fairly tepid rock modes tossed in here and there. Interesting and perhaps entertaining to an extent but extremely tame next to the efforts of, say, early Throbbing Gristle. Let's just say I don't think I'll be splurging on any more Bourbonese Qualk efforts any time soon.
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Terry Riley-IN C LP (Columbia Masterworks Records)

Good thing that Columbia decided to reish this 'un on vinyl since IN C never was an easy one for me to espy in the record racks of the late-seventies. At least the ones around here, but anyway this boffo thick vinyl issue really does snuggle in well amidst the various "new music" platters I've been coughing up for a good fortysome-plus years awlready. Nice percussive repeato-riff music that sorta reminds me more of Steve Reich than they do Philip Glass with (of course) a nice tad touch of krautrock thrown in for good measure. You progressive rock fans of a seventies variety will probably go for it, and us normal types with inquisitive ideas regarding music and its possibilities might go for it too.

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The Soledad Brothers-THE HARDEST WALK CD-r burn (originally on Polydor Records)

Not bad 2005 release from this newer than new wave-ish English group that was trying for the same White Stripes market as alla those other bands. Still there seems to be a lot held back preventing these bro's from going over the top into total nerve shred. Still, who else on a bigtime label was doing gutbucket rural haller that sounded so rural that you could smell the horses from miles away? Even Blind Melon comes off urban next to this bunch! Lower your standards a bit and you'll probably like it a whole lot!

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The Sidewinders-CUACHA! CD-r burn (originally on San Jacinto Records)

Yeah, I gotta say that I like the old Sidewinders a whole lot more than I like the new ones, but dagnabbit this album really caught this ol' fanabla by surprise! The melodies aren't as downer as these one-dimensional newer 'n gnu amerindie platters can get 'n not only that but the performance has a deep emote to it that for once doesn't make you wanna drift off into Karen Quinlan-land like way too many of these post-seventies bands working in Patti/TV/Ramones territory tend to do. In fact, CUACHA! kinda reminds me of what the Droogs were up to around the same time! Overall they're even more dangerous than slamming up a tailgate at a nudist colony!

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THE PEANUT BUTTER CONSPIRACY IS SPREADING CD-r burn (originally on Columbia Records)

I remember loads of oldsters har-de-har-har-in' about those silly rock group names way back when, these PB types included. Good thing they never got to hear this debut album because they woulda been laffin' their fat asses off even more'n usual. As I'm sure some of the more astute rock 'n roll listeners of the day woulda as well. 

As far as this group being a Jefferson Airplane with strings goes the Conspiracy did have some late-sixties pop moves that could have made this a late-seventies flea market keepie. But overall these guys (and gal) were a pale imitation of a musical act that didn't have all of its oars inna water inna first place unlike some of the more "cheaper" aggregations of the day could do with ease. Why listen to this studio pop when the Seeds could deliver on even more thrills with less chords at their dispense?

Nothing that'd capture my rock 'n roll imagination any time soon and at least Fairport Convention could improve on the source a couple times over making for some efforts that sure stand the test of turntables more'n the Conspiracy ever did.

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Various Artists-IMAGINARY FERDINAND PONSIL CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Sheesh, what does Bill Shute think I am, a spiritual five-year-old? Of course I'm one, but boy does listening to these old kiddie records remind me of my early days of trying to control my bladder until the commercials came on, failing in the process natch! Your favorite radio and tee-vee personalities of the past relate some of the better turdler sagas to amaze any real suburban slob youth, at least enough so mom and sneak off and take a well-deserved nap.

Tex Ritter's country-popsters about good manners kinda makes me wonder just how much he lived up to the pronouncements made on the disc, while listening to Don Wilson (with the help of June Foray) relate the story of Ferdinand the Bull kinda reminds me of some of the platters that still moil away in the fambly collection after a good fiftysome years of inactivity. Jerry Colonna's rendition of the Casey Jones story was more irritating than entertaining, while Mr. I. Magination doesn't seem like the kinda guy I'd want any kids of mine (if I had any) hanging around. 

In closing, I will say that if the folk played that "Peter Ponsil Lost His Tonsil" for me before I underwent my own throat-snip I think I woulda been spending more time in the psych ward than I woulda the kiddie room!

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Wanna have fun? Buy a whole slew of these back issues of BLACK TO COMM, read through 'em and if you find yer name mentioned you can sue me! Just kiddin' --- you can buy 'em and read 'em but you CAN'T sue me .Freedom of da press y'know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

UGLY THINGS #56 

Oh man, it sure feels FANTASTICO writing a mid-week non-aural media review that doesn't have anything to do with cartoons! What a refreshing change from the rut I have fallen into reading-wise, and with the arrival of the latest UGLY THINGS all I can say is that my cravings for that high-energy hardboiled rock 'n roll writing that is in such short supply these days has been sated, at least until the next issue's arrival hopefully in another four or so months.

One of the cover story's on the old READY STEADY GO! series that ran o'er there in England. Sheesh, this 'un reminds me of alla the rock 'n roll tee-vee that we coulda seen over here only some doofus inna industry didn't think straight enough to import such wowzers for an audience that certainly was begging for even more rock 'n roll tee-vee. For years I wondered why PBS wouldn't run things like THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST (which woulda suited their Saturday evening schedule a whole lot better'n WASHINGTON WEEK IN REVIEW that's for sure!) or the MARC show which mighta given the pre-prime time filler hours a boost inna ratings. But noooo ---when it came to English imported rock programming all we got was that hokum LET'S ROCK with Lulu pretending she's still a teenbo re-doing the old standbys for an audience that probably thought the Osmonds were a tad too wild what with that "Crazy Horses" heavy metal blast 'n all.

The majority of pieces were certainly up to UGLY THINGS standards what with the un's on the Shaynes, Genie Greer and of course part two of the Bun E. Carlos interview which I think was UGLY THINGS-worthy enough to appear in these pages even though some may disagree him being too seventies bigtime 'n all. I might agree with the few who think that the ongoing Gabor Szabo coverage is somewhat outta the mag's scope but frankly, uh, I never did care for the guy who certainly is not up there in the higher echelon reaches of a Sonny Sharrock or Rudolph Grey for that matter. But eh, it ain't my mag 'n people used to complain about alla that old tee-vee coverage in mine so wha' th' hey...

Woody's Truck Stop was a good UT choice since I consider their album up there in the "nugget if you dug it" category worthy of a load of seventies flea market discards of an era most rock snobs wanted to forget before it became "fashionable" for them to be listening to it all again. Tho as far as Komintern goes well...for years I have wondered what their album had sounded like and given how much I go for the whole French under-the-underground rock of a Mahogany Brain and Dagon vein I thought this piece would have me rushing to the internet to snatch a copy up! Turns out that although the article was well-researched and written giving us the kinda information one would need in order to discern the pros and cons of snatching the thing up I decided to pass. They sound way too progressive rock to sully up my rather horse-blindered listening parameters and yeah, I've been burned by such wild purchases many a time to know better by now.

For me the highlight of the issue was the article/interview with Jonathan Richman regarding Lou Reed's guitar gear, especially the infamous Gretsch Country Gentleman which was adapted into a totally different sorta monster that could be described either as a home-made version of the Vox Guitar Organ or a prototype guitar synthesizer. That's the wafting sound you hear on "Sweet Sister Ray" and when that axe got swiped at a Velvet Underground show you could surmise that some of the mysticism surround the VU swerve certainly got lost with it. Richman's description of the guitar might come off a little too technical for some but I found it all amazing...too bad Gretsch themselves doesn't market the exact same guitar for a generation of players who could stand a break from those weird angular things that have dominated music for a longer time than I can imagine.

As far as the reviews and such go well, as far as I'm concerned this magazine features the BEST writers that are dabbling about in the realm of rockscreeding though I will not mention anyone by name this time lest all of the glory go to their head. However as far as me wanting to part with any precious and rare shiny stuff or green pieces of paper in exchange for actual recorded or printed ware well...the only thing that catches my eyes at this time is the Terry Stamp of Third World War fame double LP of solo recordings which does seem somewhat up my rather expansive alley. But hey, with the price of pork rinds rising as we speak I might have to pass even on that promising effort! Drat!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Another shorter than my --- attention span --- post this week. Blame it not only on the massive quantity of lethargy that has hit the BLOG TO COMM orifice as of late but the dearth of platters that can really drive a man, particularly this man's, soul to heights of inspiration, spiritual reawakening and other long-lost hippie jargon. Couple with alla that the fact that the INSP network is now running the classic cowboy series CHEYENNE Monday through Thursday at six inna evening extending my tee-vee viewing hours by an additional sixty minutes! 'n it's a great show too done up in that boffo late-fifties/early-sixties Warner Brothers style that added a certain down-home class to the cathode connection whether it be via one of those cookie cutter detective series like 77 SUNSET STRIP or the many westerns that WB cranked out for ABC during those sainted years of boob tube examination. Maybe INSP will get the idea from the obvious success these reruns will ensure and slap some more of those old Warners westerns into their schedule, most notably the great SUGARFOOT with future Dagwood Will Hutchins. That one was the proverbial wowzer as you woulda knowed by reading my western series roundup a good four-plus years back.

Thank yew tew Paul McGarry, Bob Forward, Bill Shute and NOBODY ELSE for this week's contributions to the revolution. And thank ME for writing my opinions regarding these sonic efforts up and presenting them to you, the reader (I assume), who certainly needs to get the straight turds regarding what or what not to listen to here int hese rather tring anti-musical times.


The Art Ensemble of Chicago-THE SPIRITUAL CD-r burn (originally on Polydor/Freedom Records, France)

Paul McGarry shoulda been smart enough t'know that this particular platter woulda not only have been snuggling up in my collection for quite some time (not only as part of THE PARIS SESSIONS twofa but on its lonesome via an early-nineties Black Lion issue) but it looks like he ain't because well...he went and burnt a copy of the recent Polydor/Freedom exhumation of it for me which only goes to prove the guy AIN'T PAYIN' ATTENTION!!!! Oh well, since when have """""I""""" been an attention-payer anyway but  whadevva, at least McGarry's burn gave me an excuse to listen to this top notch sesh one more time. Sounds crisper than the previous issues if that matters, and the cover is great in that old Freedom fashion that really drew my eyes to those new jazz things inna first place. An original vinyl copy of the double set might be cheaper, but if you're of the spendthrift persuasion I wouldn't blame ya for splurgin' on this 'un.

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Knox Mitchell-UPDATE AT FOUR CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)

The second Mitchell effort on Walls Flowing, or at least the second one that I know of. Like the other one reviewed last year UPDATE AT FOUR is made up of mangipulated sounds taken from various sources (mostly radio) twisted and turned with results that make you wonder whether Mitchell is making a commentary on moderne-day consumerisms or the banality of everyday living. If I were an artist I would have entitled this "Man's Inhumanity To Man" or better yet "Man's Inhumanity to Ears"...strong stuff if ya want it. Actually the various tape loops are quite invigorating. 

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Deniz Tek and the Golden Breed-GLASS EYED WORLD CD-r burn (originally on Career Records)

There have been so many of these Deniz Tek and related platters that have come out o'er the years that it would take about a dozen me's to keep up with alla them. This '03 effort totally slipped by me (well, it ain't like I was paying attention) and as you'd expect I gotta say it was a rather good affair as far as cranking out those Detroit jamz goes. Nothing that different from those earlier Alive efforts with a strong heavy Sonic's Rendezvous riff throughout. Contains an interesting cover of Roky's "Bermuda", though I was actually hoping that elpee closer "Calendar Girl" woulda been a rousing version of the Neil Sedaka hit 'stead of the original it turned out to be!

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Nikki Sudden-BIBLE BELT CD-r burn (originally on Secretly Canadian Records)

I never did have the time, moolah or energy to seek out a good portion of the records I would have loved to have seeked out during the Golden Age of trash rock aesthetics of the seventies/eighties. And while I'm at it, I never did have that all-important clout to cull them freebee records like I sure wish I coulda. Wanks like Jay Hinman think I'm a total wuss the way I would half-heartedly joke about the lack of much-needed freebees but man, when yer putting a mag together and can't afford the raw material to review for it things can sometimes get frustrating somewhere in the nervous system, and at times I will admit that yeah, it did get to me and at times got to me rather hard, tortured and misunderstood genius that I am.

I never was able to follow up on the various post-Swell Maps spinoffs that were buzzing about inna eighties, Nikki Sudden included. Not that I think any of these post-Maps platters would have really been to my liking,  but as usual the curiosity of just what those freaked out blokes were up to in an era that was definitely void of the grimy underside of sixties/seventies underground music was gnawin' at  me like that stolen fox at the Spartan boy's guts and a good fortysome years after it all went down I finally get to hear this oft-heralded effort that sure sounded like a reliable effort if alla those cut 'n paste reviews were to be trusted.

Unfortunately BIBLE BELT comes so pristine that little of the sixties trash aesthetics that had the smarter scribes dropping the Velvets/Red Krayola/Shadows of Knight comparisons pops into the mix. Fortunately some of the classic Swell Maps bedroom rock idealizing shows up in between the slicker, professional and dare-I-say well-crafted pop rock that we all hadda put up with, but at least it was way better'n putting up with that caramelized puff rock that was inundating the airwaves at the time. Elements of various well-respected rockers from Johnny Thunders to Peter Perrett can be detected making this way more delicious that some of the fey attempts are sixties-derived big beat sounds that have transpired as of the past few eons.

Not bad, but not quite my cup of pee given the overall high quality that those old Swell Maps records most certainly did not exude. That oft-scorned rawness is why the home recordings that made up those early sides and a good portion of the WHATEVER HAPPENS NEXT collection were so appealing to me in the first place and probably the reason why many of you had so much high hopes for that band. Serious fans of the English pop underground before it fell into that well of twee should go for this fine enough, but although I'll rate this high I doubt I'll be spinning BIBLE BELT any time again soon.

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Various Artists-FUNKY NOWHERE JELLYBREAD JERK     CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill Shute sure has a sickoid sense of hummus that I envy in a man. After all, here he puts a whole load of funky soul rarities on this effort only to stick some nice cornballity into the mix with Jim Lowe of Electric Prunes fame's epochal "Michael J. Pollard For President" single which was probably put on the kibosh after Bobby Kennedy's chest-invasion followed by Wayne Newton during his post-puberty aw-shucksness days when he tried to make up for years of cuteness with an over-the-top masculine image that just didn't seem right. The seventies Cle-pop from Bobby Sull was a good enough surprise for those of you who still think highly of the Babys. Other goodzies here too from ol'schnozolla himself Jimmy Durante to Booker T and even more local soul! Sorta like the soundtrack to a party in your fart-encrusted bedroom without the stale doritos! 

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Just a cheerful reminder that back issues of BLACK TO COMM are still available and that future reminders might not be so cheery. Cuh-monh, I've been running these post-closing mentions for about three years now and hardly any of ya respond --- OK, if ya wanna be a typical aging rock snob awash in the post-crunch eighties musical mindset go ahead, but if you're in the market for something a little bit crunchier...

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! HOW TO DRAW AND SELL CARTOONS BY DAVE BREGER (Putnam, 1966)!

When I was but a mere adlo pubesprout I would take this 'un outta the local library, not necessarily to study the whys wherefores and whatnots of cartooning (like with music, studying about it really took the fun outta the enjoyment) but to read alla the cool comics that popped up in this neato effort written and produced by Dave Breger. Yeah, he's the same guy who did that World War II-era panel PRIVATE BREGER (sort of a second string Sad Sack) and later on MR. BREGER, a neat li'l hits-ya-straight gag comic akin to the should be infamous MR. TWEEDY that ran until Breger's demise sometime in the early-seventies.

I get the idea that HOW TO DRAW AND SELL CARTOONS was a pretty popular book with the budding cartoonists of a warped mentality, for the library copy I relied on was hacked to shreds and desecrated with the usual kiddie crudities and booger stains that seem to befall such cartoon oriented tomes as the Syd Hoff variation on the same theme, the 1971 BATMAN and SUPERMAN anthologies, and of course Les Daniels' COMIX. Because of this I never did get a good chance to really soak myself into this one, and if I did then maybe RATS REAGAN and FEEBLE FABLES would be just as much comic strip staples as alla those other cartoons people seem to read even this late in the game even if they tend to be about as funny as watching a thalidomide baby trying to wipe himself.

Got this old worn out copy for purely nostalgic purposes tho, again not necessarily to know the ins and outs of drawing and selling cartoons but for the various comics presented, perennially stuck in adolescence as I am. 'n you know what? I had forgotten just how good a comic MR. BREGER was, a snappy panel that cut out the gristle and, like NANCY, gave you the gag simply and direct without any extraneous message or convolution that one comes across in way too many modern offerings. 

Maybe it's because the bulk of these comics originated in the early sixties (primo suburban slob living days) that they resonate with me such as they do, but it's sure great seeing a seemingly simplistic drawing portray a humorous situation that, with the aid of a caption, makes me wanna crack up to no end. Unlike anything that is passing for humor or comedy these days which seems like nothing but a political tract being ranted by some maladjusted twat with big daddy problems and tattoos that are gonna look horrid once they fade out on her sagging fleshed out arms.

Serious cartoonists will undoubtedly find much of worth in these pages especially when it comes to things like shadow, pen tips, benday and dimensions but fleabrained fanablas like myself will obviously find it great seeing not only some of those old cartoons but a pile of information that's mostly outdated and show just how far we've changed (mostly for the worse but for the better when applicable) since the mid-sixties. I got a particularly strong charge outta the section on various taboos and the things that were just not permissible in cartoons during them days! After seeing the list it's obvious that NATIONAL LAMPOON got hold of this book and decided to break each and every one of the no-nos, and do it as tastelessly as possible!

Good text and a great way to read them old MR. BREGER comics that deserve the royal treatment in the here and now. And who knows how many successful cartoonists out there followed the advice given and made it big inna funny pages anyway! In fact, I kinda wonder who the previous owner of this book, a Mr. John Howard of San Bernardino California fared in the world of illustration. This book is filled with tons of his artwork, some he merely penciled in while others are professionally inked, and although I don't think the guy was of the caliber that woulda gotten him any big time deals (at least judging from these earlier efforts, he might gotten better!) but if ya really want my opinion he woulda been pretty good on the fanzine circuit. Sheesh, if Howard did indeed hit the big time I'll bet my book would be worth kabillions of bucks and I could comfortably retire after this gets put on the auction block at Bonhams! Oh pleeze, somebody out there tell me I got a verifiable goldmine on my hands now willya???

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Now that spring has sprung all over the place and the prospect of a good seven months of grass cuttin' and other outside activities has reared its ugly head, let's just say well, now I have a good excuse for not givin' ya the kinda It's All Meat no filler added posts you expect from such a high quality blog as this. Actually it ain't like I've been spending a good portion of my time doin' alla that tedious yardwork but sheesh, can't a guy just sit around and immerse himself in the finer things in life like music and old battered rock mags without worrying about such extracurricular activity as curb trimmin'????

It ain't like I've been doin' the ol' household doodies the entire week. Naw, in fact I've been putting the pittance once known as my free time to good use spinning some of my fave disques 'n such! In fact, my current fave rave just has to he the Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe effort reviewed a few weeks back, a platter that has really overtaken my rock 'n roll spirit and memories of what the future of rock was supposed to be way back when to the point of no return. It's really a crime that these totally high-energy guys got ignored by the rockist powers that be in favor of the usually dull puke that passes for wild and uninhibited sounds these days. Gee, did anyone out there document this group;s innermost thoughts like they usedta do in them gal teen magazines??? SOMEONE shoulda!

Credits for this week's freebee train go to Bob Forward, Paul McGarry 'n Bill Shute. Addresses will be provided upon request (boy, will that get 'em all head-scratchin' as to the implications o'er that particular aside!).



 The Fundamentalists-INDUSTRIAL SWEETHEART CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)


This is s'posed to be a reish of an earlier cassette that I probably know nada about but am too lazy to find out whether or not I did hear this during some previous incarnation in my life. oh well, it does follow on the same path as those other fundamentalist efforts, with loads of sound both electronic and found mixed up in a way that you thought nobody but Schlitzie could conjure up. I'm sure that Bob, if he puts his mind to it, can think of some way of milking the National endowment For The Arts outta thousands with these bard-knocked sounds. The ghost of William Proxmire must be puking at the mere thought...

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Satan's Pilgrims-SATAN'S PILGRIMS/PSYCHSPLIOTATION CD-r burn (originally on Musick Recordings and Raucous Records respectively)

I kinda thunk that these Satan's Pilgrims guys woulda been some occult rockers heavily into that whole doom 'n death subgenre but they sure as Sam smells ain't! This group is strictly into the Golden Age of sixties instrumental rock as these two efforts, recorded an entire decade apart, will attest to.

SATAN'S PILGRIMS channels the mid-sixties style as exemplified by a number of all-out rock groups of the day, the Ventures and Davie Allen and the Arrows most likely. Some mid-eastern Dick Dale can be espied on the aptly-named "Casbah" and mostly high reverb-y late-period surf is to be had here all sounding so authentic that visions of the 1975 BOMP! surf issue will just come bobbin' right inside your head. Well, it did in mine, and there's a lotta room there for this music to ricochet all around!

Ten years does not that much of a difference make. PSYCHSPLOITATION's a steady instro effort just like the self-named spinner from a decade earlier. maybe it's a bit slicker but this follow up sure delivers on that pre-hippoid sense of ranch house thrilldom that I sure wish was present in the ranch house I grew up in! A bitta the psychedelic ooze does pop up but it's a good psychedelic...y'know, like GNP Crescendo. Ya wouldn't expect Jefferson Airplane to record anything as close to the suburban slob mentality as this, wouldja? 
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Pointed Sticks-K97 FM, EDMONTON ALBERTA 1980 CD-r burn

Yuh know, for years I was under the impression that this group was one of those early hardcore-styled punquesters that used to get plenty of precious coverage in the big timey fanzine of your choice. Pointed Sticks sure ain't like that, they're more in that hard power pop sorta vein, the kind that sorta wooshed those light weight groups down into the sewer where they belonged! Contains a number of down-to-earth sixties nuggets if you duggits as well as these originals that still hold up long after anyone on earth thought they woulda. A lotta the pop-oriented punques that got big inna nineties shoulda taken a few notes from Pointed Sticks 'in if they only did then maybe we wouldn't've hadda put up with a whole lotta offal that passed itself off as rock 'n roll these past umpteen years!
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Larry Young-OF LOVE AND PEACE CD-r burn (originally on Blue Note Records)

Here's one I haven't seen up and about that much which is too bad considering what a wowzer the thing is. Young's organ gives a nice soul feeling to a rather Coltrane-esque excursion into free sound that's pretty powerful even for a mid-sixties "new wave of jazz" offering. Can't find a thing wrong with it. Avbop for the ages --- if you go for things along the line of Wayne Shorter's SUPERNOVA you'll probably do more shorts wettin' 'n usual o'er this 'un.

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Sir Douglas Quintet-LIVE FROM AUSTIN TX CD-r burn (originally on New West Records)

Yeah, given that this was taken from an AUSTIN CITY LIMITS broadcast there is that sterile tee-vee approach to the presentation that does detract from the true nature of what Doug Sahm and the rest meant for a whole slew of people. Thankfully that doesn't make this Sir Douglas Quintet live platter any less vital as the guys romp through a set that comes off just as mid-sixties boff as we all woulda hoped. The classic originals mixed with the Nuggets brings the whole Texas  rock 'n roll experience straight into your own fart-encrusted bedroom giving it even more thrills'n the time you uncrated a slew of long-forgotten NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICs!
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The Senders-BACK TO SENDER REVISITED CD-r burn (originally on Skydog Records, France)

Eh, this ain't as good as their earlier platters but it's good enough. Pretty much in the seventies-onward neo-retro fifties rock vein ('n speakin' of vein, didja know that Nancy Spungen actually approached Senders leader Phillip Marcade for tips on how to properly shoot heroin?), these guys do have the proper spark and swerve needed to get to the root of the rock 'n roll matter w/o comin' off like one in a millyun Bruce Springsteen bar band imitations. If you spent the seventies stocking up on Dr. Feelgood and Stiff Records, here's one that wouldn't be outta place.

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Various Artists-A HARD DAY'S PEYTON PLACE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Another keeper, as if I'd throw any of these Bill burns away. The avgarde material which opens and closes this is far better'n some of the more beret and stale doritos material out there types could think up. I was especially bowled over by the Ghost Project effort of which I could find nada about onna web. The rest fits in swell from some rare Doug Sahm to Ramsey Lewis playing the Beatles in his own lounge jazz way. Yeah Timothy Leary is his usual phony self and I personally haven't had a Domino's pizza in my life (why get one when the local stores are more attuned to the suburban slob ranch house kiddies mindset I grew up with?) but otherwise I'd call this collection a must to have as far as future spins go.

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When was the last time you really had a hankerin' for some solid no-holds-barred rock 'n roll reading! Y'know, that sloppy gonzoid style that was pretty popular at least until the Powers That Be banished its likes from their pages in favor of some pretty tepid cut 'n paste. Well, you might just get your fill of that hard-edged expression within the pages of these back issues of BLACK TO COMM. But then again, you might not. I'm sick and tired of second-guessing you readers but hey, if you want a change from the usual tawdry tidings of megalolopian miasma you couldn't do any worse.


Wednesday, April 07, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! GAL PALS VOLUME 2 (Gwandanaland Comics)

Yup, another collection of mid-sixties Archie Comics efforts that had fallen into public domain, a happenstance which I personally think is grand! Y'see, if I can buy these comics from Gwandanaland that means none of the fanablas at the former MLJ 're gonna see one red cent from this, and considering what has happened to that particular comics line I'm sure glad about it!!!!

But hey, even though the whole Betty/Veronica line has tended to be "girl stuff" I sure gotta treasure these efforts. Dan DeCarlo's artwork at the Archie line was just beginning to hit its stride by the time these sagas were rolled out and not only that but the writing was starting to get better. And frankly, what red-blooded variety of a boy variety wouldn't get some healthy ideas pounded into his head lookin' at the wild pulchritude of these two femmes as they pose in everything from the latest fashions to swim suits??? Well that would be a whole lot better'n 'em lookin' at the Joe Weider muscleman ads getting the wrong idea from THOSE if ya ask me! 

's got the typically teenbo stories here dealing with how Betty and Veronica backstab each other for whatever nefarious reasons to how they manipulate the guys in order to get their way...real educational material for the pubescent gal who would be tuning in for typically underhanded information as to how to manipulate others. As was the wont with the Archie comic book line (not necessarily the comic strip which I said was in a different dimension than the books or the animated Saturday AM series) Veronica is a rich bitch (or "rich witch" as Betty once put it!) while Betty is the  nicer and sweet one even though she can get rather unscrupulous in her attempts to get hold of Archie when need be.

It's also nice to see the original ads and whatnot accompanying these sagas which do bring back memories of reading such fodder back when it was beginning to fall apart in my hands. The text does tend to veer towards the more feminine side of matters what with stories on modeling and wigs, though historically slanted efforts featuring famous Indians like Red Cloud and Geronimo (not to mention the decidedly non-Indian-esque Wright Brothers) does show that the male gender wasn't exactly left outta the target audience equation. Especially timely was an article on the Beatles mentioning their hit "She Loves Me"! And of course Brad Kohler will be glad to see that the "Li'l Jinx" cartoons were left intact as well.

Saturday, April 03, 2021


Happy Easter greedings to alla ya (well, at least some of ya) BLOG TO COMM readers! Hope things are goin' fine on what I know will be a nice Spring-y day your way, and altho Easter was never whatcha'd call a hugeoid holiday here at BTC central it always meant a few days off from school and maybe a chocolate egg or two that wasn't filled with that ikky fruit and nut stuff. Us kids were so conditioned into liking the famous name chocolates anyway and hated the local brands which were too thick and hard onna teeth...and usually loaded with paraffin to the point where our bowel movements felt likeour intestines had turned into a candle making facility! Eh, we mighta also gotten a turkey dinner outta the thing but as far as the ham 'n scalloped potatoes go --- ewwww!

Big big BIGGIE Easter thanx goes to the usual contributors to the rev'lution, folk like Paul McGarry, Bob Forward, Bill Shute and who knows...your name might appear here if you were so kind enough to slip something worthy of this blog my way. As the old sages (and big guys in the prison shower) say, it is better to give than to receive and I'm hoping deep in my heart that some of you guys out there WILL GIVE ME THE WORKS! Now onto our program...



Various Artists-OSCULUM INFAME 1 CD-r (originally on M.T.T. Records, Italy)

I followed Bill's advice and skipped the  last track on what was the first side of this cassette-only venture released back '86 way, and heavens to Betsy I sure am curious as to what I have missed! I mean, what can be so bad about a track called "Kbenzo.....Happy" as done up by an act called De Fabriek, whose "Drono III" seemed goody good enough to my ears!  

Gotta say it's bugging me to no end as to what this "Kbenzo" thing is all about --- maybe the frequencies are strong enough to make one go mad or ruin my bedside boom box, or perhaps the message that the track relates is one not fit for my rather timid constitution. Maybe it just plain out stinks, but otherwise I kinda feel like a feline more'n anxious to use up eight of my nine lives in order to see what's so verboten about the thing!

Otherwise OSCULUM INFAME works swell enough as a mid-eighties electronic/industrial effort. Some of the oscillating whirl reminds me of a track that coulda been snuck onto TWO VIRGINS while other efforts come off like a garage band Controlled Bleeding. Vox Populi's "Be Hedayat II" even has shades of MARBLE INDEX to it. OSCULUM INFAME does have that academic yet crazoid Italian avgarde sense to it like the Futurists before, 'n compared to some of the jagoff home made electro-free sounds out there this does have a degree of satisfactory soundage to it! 

But sheesh, I wonder what's the big ta-do about that last cut onna first side! This is gonna drive me batty until I lay in my shallow grave...
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Jack Wilson-EASTERLY WINDS CD-r burn (originally on Blue Note Records)

It ain't experimental free form, but this effort from one of the lesser-remembered on the jazz scene did make for find settle down time here at the orifice. Names both big and not-so help out on these driving tracks featuring pianist Wilson who ain't no Cecil Taylor but sure can hit the notes better than any six-year-old sweetie at a piano recital. Might be worth a try if you wanna know where the free splat so prevalent in your record collection grew from. 
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Al Terry-HICKORY'S CAJUN HILLBILLY CD-r burn (originally on Ace Records, England)

Bein' inna mood for something that was --- shall we say --- a bit harder'n usual it wasn't like I exactly felt like giving this collection a spin. Despite all that, I do find these fifties country unto swing unto rockabilly efforts to be snizzling enough moving you in a straightforward fashion that doesn't let you down tracks that won't offend your uncultured aesthetics. If you want a switch from the usual brain-churn these Terry-Tunes would be a fun thing to zone you back to them pre-glitz country days when country wasn't cool, but then again it wasn't Babs Mandrell. Now where did I put my Kleiner's Kabalah Syringe burn?
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The Civics-PEACH CD-r burn (Walls Flowing Records)

There's nothing peachy about this tapework which I think was made not by Walls Flowing mastermind Bob Forward but the robot on FIREBALL XL-5 after Zoonie accidently short-circuited it. Hard electronic buzz backs vocal manipulations that kinda remind me of the tail end of "Greenfield Morning I Pushed An Empty Baby Carriage All Over The City", although I fear that this ain't gonna sell as many platters as YOKO ONO/PLASTIC ONO BAND did. As usual it's your call, though even the most casual of observers has just gotta admit that this is pretty ruff stuff.

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Various Artists-BOOM BOOM CD-r burn

The krauts always caught up with trends from other spheres and made it their own as anyone who has taken amphetamines can tell you. Of course they did a splendid job with rock 'n roll, and when it came to aping mid-sixties English brats aping mid-fifties urban blues well, it certainly is hard to tell a Hans and Fritz from a Jagger and Richard most of the time. 

There's nothing here that boasts of Aryan superiority but you'll still get a kick outta such acts as the Kentuckys managing to make it through a song without farting into the microphones or the Candidates being one outta many to mangle the chords to "Louie Louie". An' t' think that in only a few short years these guys'd be smellin' up the atmosphere even worse not only with their body odor but lousy takes on yet more Amerigan/English soundscapadings!

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Dave Bixby-ODE TO QUETZALCOATL CD-r burn (available via Guerssen Records if you want it)

Not bad at all freako/Christian/drug folk psych from '69 which is more balls out'n a good portion of the high fiber strummers of the day ever could be. It has a drug haze to it that guarantees a disapproval from the local Council of Churches (the Jesus angle here does seem kinda fishy in light of the aforementioned doper moves coupled with a sly occult feel) while the overall atmosphere's acidic enough to ward off the local Donovan wannabes who were into it only as an avenue to screwing impressionable girls. The closest thing I can compare this to is the MIJ album on ESP.  If this had gotten out and Joni Mitchell didn't the world might be a better place today.

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Jeff Chandler in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MICHAEL SHAYNE CD-r burn

Olde tyme radio shows just right for those nostalgia-fueled Sunday afternoons .Sure there are no more flea markets around chock fulla old comics 'n rex t' pick up at depression-era wages but at least I can spin some classic radio dramas to bring back some of those memories of a time when entertainment was FUN. Chandler plays Shayne slow 'n cool in these episodes dealing with a guy who wants Shayne to murder him as well as one where an escaped con forces our hero to tag along as he looks for the real badski who sent him to prison inna first place. Great job from not only Chandler but the supporting actors including Raymond Burr and Jack Webb playing the annoying police inspector who always seems to be snapping at Shayne's butt like an hungry chihuahua.

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Various Artists-IMAGINATION FOUNTAIN EMBLEM CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Yikes, agin I  snatch out some X-mas oriented disque months after the thing's supposed to do its holiday doody on me! Oh well, it was worth it if only to hear Walter Brennan do one of those hokey Yuletide heartwormers  not to mention some guy called Cal Stewart give some proto-Charlie Weaver haw haw about playing Santa on a 1907 recording! 

The rest ain't that much Christmas-oriented what with everything from a hokum version of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" to Pete Fountain's version of "Music To Watch Girls By" which has about all the excitement of watching the kinda gals who parade about in Coraopollis. Some interesting and not-so gnu wave courtesy Marth Truthe and the Liars not to mention Lethal Weapon shows up while the usual single-side rarities from various sixties efforts are sprinkled about. 

Best track here is not the Angus Maclise done-on that closes this thing but some home recording made by some goofball doing animal impressions! 'n I'll take it over alla the platters reviewed in MAXIMUM ROCK 'N' ROLL, or at least alla the issues after #3 or so (maybe).

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You know what's comin' --- another come on in order to get ridda alla these back issues of BLACK TO COMM  that I desperately need to turn into hard green in order to survive. Yeah, I know you think I'm a Richie Rich type with loads of moolah and I am, but those extra bucks mean all the difference between canned ravioli and filet mignon for supper and you don't want me to go 'round UNDERNOURISHED now, do ya?