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.


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. 


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!


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.


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! 


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...


Alvin Bishop said...

Ah! The AEC... I believe Wynton Marsalis put Lester Bowie in his place, exposed him for the fraud he was. Granted, Bowie was a virtuoso of sorts, a maestro of barnyard and bathroom noises. But a musician? Lacking, to say the least. The class clown, beloved for antics. But when it came to taking his finals? F. (Chuckle!)

As for jazz, good jazz, give me Weather Report, Chicago, BST, Oregon, Metheny, Mahavishnu, Kenton, Mulligan, DBQ, MJQ. Real musicians who have mastered their instruments.

Michael J Pollard for President? We've done worse! (Chuckle!)


Christopher Stigliano said...

Whatever you do Alvin, don't give your home address out!

debs said...

my dose of retardation for the day lol :)

Brad said...

What the heck chris? My copy of glass eye world doesnt have either of those songs on it. You bigshot blog kings get special treatment.

bob f. said...

man, Sonny Simmons(aged 87) died last week...

Alvin Bishop said...

Chris, thanks for the advice! (Chuckle!)

BTW, this weekend I've been playing all of the Paul Winter Consort LPs in chronological order! A veritable orgy of PWC! Exquisite stuff!


Phil Upchurnt said...

Sonny Simmons? From his Wiki entry:

"Personal problems derailed both his music career and home life, leading to divorce and homelessness. He busked on the streets of San Francisco for many years, until he resurrected his career in the early 1990s and began playing in night clubs again."

I'm a-gonna guess he was, erm, a drug addict. Loser! Moron! Homeless? Erm, a... bum.

So-called "free jazz" musicians simply cannot play their instruments.

PS: His "career"? LOL!

HHH said...

Officer Chauvin did nothing wrong.

MLK, Jr said...

Which is better: Ultimate Spinach or The VU?

PS: Yes, it is true. I laughed when my fren was raping the bitch. What can I say? It was funny!

PPS: A menstural cycle is NOT a laughing matter! Period!

bob f. said...

re: Wiki...see history of Henry Grimes. Re: Wynton...he still hanging w/ Ken Burns since Stanley Crouch is dead? (Note: i actually dig some of Stan's writing). Baraka hated Crouch.

GL said...

Great read as ever but you got the wrong Jim Lowe there.

Christopher Stigliano said...

With a name as uncommon as "Jim Lowe"...

Phil Upchurnt said...

Bob F:

Leroy Jones hated someone? Shocking!

"Baraka"? LOL! A flea-bitten bum with layers of pretense.

Loved it when he bowed and scraped in that Warren Beatty movie.

PS: Even Leroy loved him some LCJO. So, you can lighten up on Wynton. It's okay to enjoy Wynton.

Phil Upchurnt said...





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