Saturday, August 28, 2021

As we used to say way back during those dark days of childhood, boy do I have the creeps! Not just any sorta runna the mill everyday creeps mind you, but those kinda creeps that really bug the tarnation outta ya when you realize the plain ol' stinkin' fact that it's 2021 and the world, for the most part, has bypassed ya (or in this case me) for a good fortysome years. That's fortysome years without true happiness, pleasure, success and those other things that I'm sure most alla you reg'lar readers take for granted but come in pretty short supply around here because well, I always was the kinda guy who hadda try twice as hard to get half as far. 

You might say that I am wallowing in the depths of a self-pity worthy of any liberal poster child with a despair that stops off one step short of the ultimate solution but really, I've been wallowing in that for decades already, and despite what the starry-eyed say there's no light at the end of any tunnel and no recourse for that matter. The "no future" that John Lydon predicted happened not too long after he predicted it and let's face it, at this point in time I am pretty much spiritually dead only I keep walking around like a zombie waiting for the big bolt of lightning to strike and turn me into the pile of dust. That pile that I pretty much shoulda been ever since I finally saw what really was at the end of the fork. Reality sandwich anyone?
As you can tell I am experiencing more of that weird nada funk in my existence that's brought upon due to that strange affliction known to many as REAL LIFE. (Won't get into too much detail other'n to mention the current upper rack disaster regarding the dishwasher and spending hours on the phone tryin' to get a repair man over here which has kinda tipped me over the edge into miasmaville. And over a week later nobody showed up to fix the thing and I feel even more ignored than when I was a child!) Y'might know what I'm talkin' 'bout but if you don't its something that's popped up here and there in that miserable thing called livin' and breathin' o'er the years which has generally resulted not only in my capsizing of mind but gettin' yelled at a whole lot. 

This unfortunate set of circumstances usually results in a muddled feeling of merely being in the here and now causing a cloudiness in the ol' memory bank to the point where you just can't tell reality from your nighttime dreams anymore. But the dreams do seem a whole lot more fun. In all, where I had felt like a pile of dried out tinder just waitin' for a match these past few months now I kinda feel like that dish cloth inna kitchen that has either been wrung out a li'l tighter 'n usual or is ready for the rag bag. 'n dollars to doughnuts I have the feelin' it's gonna be the latter fer me. Hope that all of you readers who hate me get loads of joy and pleasure outta the way I feel --- I just know you will and maybe I will get some strange satisfaction of doin' my good deed for you! And please, if you do hate me let me know because NOTHING could make me happier.
Maybe some fairly recent current events will cheer this post up a bit, but I doubt it. Well, I'll still give it the ol' junior college try --- howzbout we talk 'bout the recent fall of the nation of Afghanistan to those ragtags who, by merely staying the course and sticking to their pea shooters, managed to drive the United States outta their area with tail between legs and probably for good at that! Then again, with President Quinlan in charge what else would be expected, a strong response just laden with self-respect and pride? I get the feeling the guy couldn't even handle a Romper Room rebellion let alone a Middle Eastern imbroglio but hey, isn't that the way those people who know better'n all of us combined and keep reminding us of that really want it? To be truthful maybe the USA shoulda gotten outta that fracas long ago, but the way this exit's been pulled off has alla the markings of a right royal you-know-what that only goes to show you that if you prop up inefficient rulers who are merely the veneer for a whole buncha woke and amoral powers behind the scene well, what else would you expect when it comes to that big stage known as the world?

Once again I gotta credit Colin Liddell for hitting the bullseye (and here's a usually broken clock that gets it right this time!) and really, although some of you out there are bound to get upset over this neo-disaster and evoke memories of the 1975 fall of Saigon if yer old enough in twenty years who's gonna know the difference? But for now, all I gotta say is LET THAT DEEP WOUND STING...
An' while we're on the subject of current events howzbout something from the depths of my mind or bowels (what's the diff?) regarding the recent passing of none other'n Rolling Stones drummer and real life Piltdown Man Charlie Watts. I will say that I'm surprised the guy had lasted so long on this earth given his proclivities for self destruction (not as bad as those of his bandmates but wha' th' hey...), but I will mention that the general lack of notice, or even garment-rending angst that his bye bye seems to have elicited from the people who churn out the news day in and day out did puzzle me, if only a tiny bit before the whole truth of the matter gonged me into reality.

Yeah, for bein' a member of such a hotcha 'n important group as the Stones there was no real bigtime to-do at all about his passing unlike there was with Brian Jones which sure got a lotta front page coverage even if in my single-digit mind he was just some guy the big kids liked. I guess back then the press was hungry enough to cover anything so they jumped on that 'un with a passion, unlike today when the stories seem to get picked and tossed like the vegetation being sold at Cash Market.

Perhaps I can see just why...after all, these Stone guys mighta been rollin' a whole lot 45/55 years back but today well, they're just another example of everything that was detestable about the culture that surrounded that generation that was offered alla the goodies that people of not only the previous but the oncoming generations would have died for .To makes matters worse, them boomers with their suburban ranch house upbringings and options no one else had threw it all away like a buncha spoiled brats who were so upset over the fact that they weren't allowed to walk down the street inna nude 'r something equally ridiculous. Bein' a tail-end boomer myself (missed out on the dirty things) I can agree with the hatred that current generations have not only for that entire hippoid line of thinking but for the Stones, as well as to all of the vitriol that is directed against those back-patting boomer dweebs who still feel oh-so SUPERIOR over people who have to work three jobs and struggle with all sorts of problems these well-off types can merely shrug off because, well, they are better creatures or something like that. Think I'm kiddin'? Just tine into some of those on-line comment boards and just see how myopic and starry-eyed those aged revolutionaries continue to be even this far down the ol' intestinal track we call existence.

I'm sure you brighter readers know exactly what I'm talkin' 'bout. You probably remember when it all came to respectable fruition in the early-eighties --- the sanctimonious world-saving zeal of the upper-middle class pampered pooch of a kid that got birthed during the antiwar/civil rights days ending with the self-righteous smarm of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CLASS OF '65 and alla that SECAUCUS SEVEN jiz people actually paid attention to in their own sick masturbatory way. "Classic" rock sopor jamz and flashy glitz taking the place of high energy. Tweedy Gary Trudeau types with virtue signaling self-importance who're still puzzled (even as they casually dismiss their detractors) as to why they are loathed because they gave the world oh-so much. The Stones might not have been part of that whole hippoid wet-nightmare other'n the fact they lent their name to a rather dismal publication, but guilt by association is always big among the lumpen conscientious objector/social worker do-gooder types so why not work some of it into this particular schpiel?  

Hell, in many ways the Stones as they stand in the here and now are about as relevant to the post-eighties generation and their shared musical gropeschnortle as those aging big band singers you used to see hawking nostalgia collections on early-seventies television were to the armchair rabblerousers who were buying Stones albums back when the older generation of the day was so puzzled by just what jerks their kids turned out to be.

BFD 'n all that, because once you get down to brass tacks the Rolling Stones had, for all intent purposes, become the establishment dahlings that one never woulda thought they'd be back when they were pill popping through those old Chuck Berry tunes. "The World's Greatest Rock Band" that unfortunately earned their title long after songs like "Angie" garnered them a flock of fans who probably still sneer at those early platters that Bobby Colomby one deemed "out-of-tune". Yeah, the Stones mighta been extremely boffo in the mid-sixties back when kids still had some shard of decency and wholesome ideals to live by (and of course needed a li'l break from alla that) but once the mid-seventies rolled around weren't they just nothing but flashy decadent fodder for PEOPLE magazine profiles? Not to mention something for utter shits who actually believed Jann Wenner to look upon as the apex of hotcha stardom and alla those things that pretty much ruined that crazed rebel yell called rock 'n roll as time crept on? They weren't your daddy's, or older brother's more likely, Stones anymore. They were in fact now a solid part of the establishment and the fact that these geezers were still fillin' up alla those amphitheater seats long after their initial power and drive shriveled up was quite puzzling if you ask me.

Yeah, those old Stones recs I do own will get enough of a workout as time rolls on, but nowadays does the world really want to bother? Now, when Jagger croaks the archival film and slobber accolades will be coverin' the loogiepresse wall to wall, but as far as Watts goes, eh. At least Jagger still has some ember of hipster cred as far as the powers that be to care, 'n Watts was but a mere stooge (not in the Iggy sense unfortunately) of his so why bother.

Well, at least I thought his drumming was hokay. And while I'm at it, Don Fellman totally disagrees with the above assessment, Go figure.
A bit hunkerin' THANK YOU goes to French reader Thierry for his contribution to the BLOG TO COMM cause in the form of three unsolicited disques featuring some fine music both French and not. The package arrived nice 'n intact and not only that bit it contained some pretty fine sounds that I will be reviewing not only in this but future posts. Keep up the good work Thierry but man, any way you can score some Crouille Marteau efforts for me???? Also kudos to Bob Forward even tho I loath those SCG disques and Bill Shute of course. No thanks to Paul McGarry because well, I think I ran outta everything he sent anyway...

Les Rythmeurs-F.I.N.I. CD-r burn (originally on SMAP Records, France)

Les Rythmeurs are what had become of the French punk rock group Les Olivensteins and if this release is any indication the spirit of Les O's shines through and bright. Hokay, maybe Les Rythmeurs are somewhat poppier in approach but the energy and all 'round fun attitude of their forbearers is still quite evident on this downright fun release that shoulda gotten out a whole lot more than it obviously did. Sounds early-eighties-ish, like just before the big plunge into no fun at all put a big kibosh on all the promise the seventies never quite delivered on. Really worth the effort to find, and there just HAS TO be copies just lyin' 'round somewhere for eager readers like you to pick up.
Various Artists-VAMPIRE CLUB CD-r burn

Another Thierry burn which fits in swell with the swerve and style of what was once called punk rock inna seventies and something else once the years dwindled on. Being of an eighties vintage some of these tracks do have that sorta well-scrubbed feeling that ruined many a fair attempt at capturing the bile that rock 'n roll was known to spew, but even with the usual rock video quap that can be found there are a few gems here/there. Like this one track that sounds like a spiffy rehash of "Mother of Pearl", the cover of Alex Chilton's "Free Again" not to mention two from the Dogs who were still goin' strong at the time they for all intent purposes shoulda been dead 'n buried. Not a total winner but it's a got the same sorta spark and feeling that we got from alla those Skydog platters that really changed more'n a few kiddies' impressions regarding French rock and the continual bad rap it used to get.
White Heaven-OUT CD-r burn (originally on PSF Records, Japan)

It's nice true, but not outstanding. Whatever, it's a fine scrunching together of various late-sixties/early-seventies hard rock pastiches that always seemed to get swept under the rug thanks to the likes of Bobby Sherman. OUT does have the same sort of primitive pounce to it that might remind you of some fringe-jacketed bad boy inna neighborhood who your mother hated because of his long hair (just barely touching the collar even!), and its post-Stones approach should give this a wide berth of appeal stretching into areas you might be surprised it would stretch into! Of course it ain't gonna worm its earwig-like way into your mind the same way various similar-minded efforts from those days of leather and sleaze did, but you gotta give it credit for the general greasiness of it all.
Fushitsusha-LIVE 1 DISC 1 CD-r burn

The first from the series mentioned a coupla weeks back sounding just as cool and as Rallizes-esque as the second. Whether it be stoner blues or reconditioned psychedelic ideas that sure woulda sounded great at the time this particular platter's a great switcheroo from the usual dull that gets passed off as innovative and speaking to one's inner being or whatever hippie type of jargon you care to come up with. A group definitely worth looking into and getting hold of (there's a massive discography out there to ponder) courtesy Keiji Haino, a guy who was also responsible for one of the greatest avant garde jazz excursions of the early-seventies with Lost Aaraaff which features Haino's strangulated wails of pain emulating the horn action of alla your ESP faves.
SCG-RADIO ONE/RADIO TWO CD-r burns (CFR #'s 11 and 12 respectively)

Did my durndest lookin' for some background information on these two burns but to no avail. Too bad, because I really would like to know more about these weird radio mooshes which present mangled Far Eastern radio broadcasts and strange instrumentals meets some mercenary talkin' 'bout his travails to a jazz backdrop (and I mean jazz the way Leonard Feather would like it!). I give up. Bob, don't you ever put me through this again (although I know you will...).
CB (PT. 3)/FUGS/CABARET VOLTAIRE cassette tape

Since there ain't gonna be any cassette cagas for quite awhile I figured why not review this Bob Forward tossoff in the here and now! After all, I gotta get some fresh music into my system lest I spend the rest of this post re-re-reviewing the same ol' slop much to yours and my ever retching disgust!

Can't for the life of me fathom what happened to the first two parts of the Captain Beefheart tapes but he's all over before we get into the Fugs live at the Psychedelic Supermarket in Boston show that's been making the rounds for quite awhile. Never heard it before but it's a pretty solid and good sounding show with tracks from the recent TENDERNESS JUNCTION album and early ESP-age sounding even better'n GOLDEN FILTH. 'n sheesh, I coulda heard Micky Dolenz warbling these tracks on a whole slew of Monkees albums (with minimal lyrical tidying up) so I dunno what those liner notes were hintin' at anyway.

Dunno where the Cabaret Voltaire material emanated from but it definitely is of the earlier, non disco douche variety. As would be expected from these cassette recordings of echo-y hall performances the resultant spurt fits in swell, reminding me of just what promise and power the 70s/80s cusp held for this breed of snarl --- before it all tumbled into the horrid glitz of eighties "expression" that ruined things for more'n a few of us. But quibble about the past I will continue to do until I just can't!

A pretty solid listening experience true, but why did Bob hafta fill up the ends of the tapes with NPR twaddle???

Various Artists-BACK SCRATCHIN' QUEEN JANE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill should be notched a few for puttin' some rather familiar tunage here such the the Daily Flash's "Queen Jane Approximately"/"Jack of Diamonds" single and the Everly Brothers' "Walk Right Back", but this obvious mistake is made up for by the like of such fairly obscure efforts such as the Bostonian band Neats' "Six", the Chain Reaction's "Ever Lovin' Man" single and some soul jazz sides that always seem like a nice change o' pace. Other sparks of ingenuity include Prince Buster's "Dance Cleopatra Dance", the Shirelles (doin' "Ooh Poop Ah Do"!) and James Brown sides. Of course you might think that certain tracks such as Ananda Shankar's sitar-laden rendition of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" have about as much relevance in your life as Anastasia Pantsios, and you'd be right!


For those of you who prefer not to know there are back issues of BLACK TO COMM still anxious to get their pedigreed pages into your hairy clams, and for a reasonable price you can get a whole stack to keep yourself occupied especially during their extremely trying times. Come on, you have done worse --- after all someone out there is buyin' up all those tattered issues of MAXIMUM ROCK'NROLL that're lyin' about!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021


I never was the kinda suburban slob to pick up any of these Gold Key/Charlton type of kiddie comics during my avid flea market scouring days, but if things were kinda slow on the garage sale circuit a few would definitely be headin' their way home with me. And an item just like the one we're blabbin' about today would definitely be stuck iinna same stack of maybe not-so goodies on one of these off-days along with a few other more kiddoid efforts that even a cubeoid such as myself felt uncomfortable readin', but wha' th' hey...

Given it had already been a good decade or so since Quick Draw's heyday when this title hit the stands I wonder just what kinda kiddo out there would even think of snatching a copy for his own combo reading material/snot rag. Maybe the youth who were living in an area where the show was being rerun would be prone to, but otherwise Quick Draw and company seemed pretty much a tombstone to a decade-old realm of juvenile entertainment that was immediately washed away by the generation of bell bottoms and pukka shells. 

But hey, I guess the blubber'd brat who had a good twenny cents in his hand and wanted to "pour it down a rathole" as my father used to say probably just looked at the cover and saw some cute animal characters and plunked his pennies down because well, it looked kinda neat. I mean, what else can you do to make your comic book wares all the more enticing, sorta like Marvel slapping new covers onto those early-sixties Kirby/Ditko monster titles makin' 'em look like up-to-date superhero action efforts and Brad Kohler didn't even notice the difference even with the ladies adorned in Jane Jetson hairdos and nice puffy skirts.

Ray Dirgo was Charlton's Hanna-Barbera go-to guy and his artwork here is pretty much in-tune with the HB style despite a few traipses into what undoubtedly is his own special style. The stories aren't anything that hotcha tho, with the usual rewrites taken from old DROOPY cartoons and other sources of classic entertainment that were sure bright and spanking new at least the younger portion of the Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kid crowd at the time. But for a good half-hour or so of hot comics reading to keep one's mind off of the horrors of school and those mean girls who I blame for the rise of homosexuality once those boys began to enter the pubesprout days I say better this than...MILLIE THE MODEL Well, at least one look at her during a swimsuit shoot woulda straightened out a good portion of those prospective pansies if you ask me!

Also included are some definitely non-QUICK DRAW efforts such as FROG TALK, another anthropomorphic dive into the old ANIMAL CRACKERS/BC realm of trying to be witty but usually missing the mark and LI'L GOODIES, a PEANUTS swipe that really has the rest (even Archie Comics' SHRIMPY) beat all hollow! Surprised that United Features didn't get their lawyers on Charlton for this obvious rip off. Just take a look...the zigzag shirt on the follicle-barren lead character woulda put Charlton outta biz pronto had they only gotten wind of this!)

Saturday, August 21, 2021


I haven't done one of these in awhile but eh, here're some cassettes that have been cluttering up the collection for quite some time, along with a few newies that just happened to be slipped into packages sent me by Bob Forward an' I figured wha' th' hey... Anyway, if you miss those days of assembled in Mexico Cetron-brand three for a buck packages and jammed up machines well, this is the post for you!

The first tape in this column was purchased on a mere lark, and I gotta say that hearing these guys was a way more pleasurable experience than listening to Pablo Cruise in a West Covina shopping mall record shop while purchasing HERE COME THE WARM JETS that's for sure! Never heard of this group simply called Bag before I snatched this up, but these 1994 demos (recorded at CBGB) show them to have been a rather straightforward heavy metal in the old CREEM sense styled band that might have made it somewhere down the line but hey, they had no flashy gimmick or overwrought emotion to 'em so why would they! Still Bag put out a fine sampler of their wares about a few steps down from, say, Dust, but a whole many steps above many of the eighties heavy metal giants who were way big on the hair and glitz but lower than low when it came to high energy music!

This is what I really adore in many of the under-the-counterculture rock acts of the seventies on...those unassuming groups who were vying for stage space at the clubs who might have had more in common with the big metallic guns or the general FM dialsphere than they had with the hot touted "new wave" scene, but they presented a rock 'n roll that was primal, rough around the edges and punk perhaps only on anti-chops mentalities alone! Check the closing track "Heaven and Hell's Blues" which I gotta say sounded to me like a 1974 power rock take on "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" and like, maybe that's something we ALL coulda used way back when we were young and impressionable!
This next 'un was dug outta the ol' crates and boy, was it a nice surprise! In fact listening to this made my day, as well as a few weeks and a month for that matter! The C-90 starts out with a recording of none other than Akron's Tin Huey live at the Mistake opening for Pere Ubu way back in May of 1976! At this time the group was transitioning between their early high energy rock soundstew of Velvets, Detroit, Kraut and Canterbury heading into that slicker style that eventually became known as "new wave" Y'know, that thing which was quite evident on their sole album back '79 way which might have sounded fresh enough at the time but when '82 reared its head you kinda grumbled at the general direction it all led to. 

Not bad given that Tin Huey's penchant for free splat was quite evident here and like, if you bought the Clone records and liked the low budget appeal evident there you will undoubtedly LOVE this effort!

But hey, what is this filling out side two anyway? I was told that these tracks were the actual Electric Eels live on WRUW-FM recordings which were presumably lost for all time, and then I was told this was the second Paul Marotta demo session but it doesn't sound like it could be either! I mean it sure sounds like a live tape with no audience reaction or between song patter either! And the versions of "Dead Man's Curve" and "Agitated" are quite different than the released takes. A big question that needs to remedied, because I just might have a huge humongous goldmine on my hands available to the highest bidder (hee!).
While we're wallowing about in the NE Ohio's a nice slab of sound that never did get out that much. Yes, this tape contains none other than Dave E during his post Electric Eels days back when he was prancing about in groups such as the Cool Marriage Counselors and Jazz Destroyers. Around that 70s/80s cusp he sure was doing his darndest trying to make a bit of a name for himself even though it was very unlikely that Anastasia Pantsios would help bolster his career with a feature in the pages of THE PLAIN DEALER's Friday mag insert but what else would one expect. 

The live portion featuring the Cool Marriage Counselors has E and the future Modern Art Studio romping through a number of oldies like a particularly McCoysesque "Fever" as well as a boffo collection of sixties nuggets sung to the same massive beat. There're also the CLE flexi-disc classic "Searching Through Sears" and a tender song about cockroaches that ranks up there with the David Roter/R. Meltzer classic. E also tells some great badgag jokes in between numbers though considering the quality of the cassette audience tape recorder you have to strain your ears quite a bit to enjoy 'em.

The Jazz Destroyers portion is also of audience quality and is rather short but at least it's good enough to put a smile on one's puss what with an opening that comes off at least 1959 new thing jazzworthy not to mention another version of "Have a Nice Day", a number which always gets me up and going even though the entire gist of the thing is about as anti-nihilism as one could hope for. 

The feller who made this 'un up for me filled out the thing with some Arizona college radio blues programming which is OK enough, though considering the Cle-ness of the groups presented I sure would have loved to have heard some WRUW-FM free form jazz play from a 1976 broadcast! Wonder if any of those airchecks survive?

Hmmm, a C-120 I hope doesn't jam halfway through! Considering the thin nature of those tapes I just hope this 'un makes its way through the player without any struggle! Still I sure got a lotta music for my money, which in this case is nada since this tape was given to me by the same fellow who gave me the one reviewed directly above. 

Side one has a Sonic Youth live show from 1985 where Ut is opening for 'em, sorta like an old home week for these two scions of what used to be known as no wave. The Youth sound their typically good hard-scronkin' self and sound a whole lot more digestible'n they did back when they were believing Anita Hill, while Ut thankfully continues on their one-note grind that never did progress beyond what they were doing when they first begat. 

As far as the side of BBC sessions courtesy Mark Smith and the Fall---stop, stop--I'll confess---I'LL CONFESS!!!!!!

Do you remember when punk funk was creating a larger than usual ripple in many a smartypants kid's record buying habits? That was fortysome years back, but  even after all those years I get the feeling that a whole load of you turdburgers were out there buying records by James "Blood" Ulmer, Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society. Luther Thomas and others who pretty much epitomized this particular movement in under-the-underground sound. But do any of you remember Alfonia Tims who with his Flying Tigers released the FUTURE FUNK/UNCUT cassette on ROIR? Yeah, I thought so which is too bad because after giving this 'un a recent spin I've come to the conclusion that maybe all that post-Contortions neo-jazz decadent dance music really wasn't as faux-chic bad as I'd remembered. In fact it probably was one of the LAST SAVING GRACES of what seventies underground rock had become before all of our old favorites began disappointing us with albums that just weren't up to par with what was goin' on even a good five years earlier.

Sims sings and plays "harmelodic guitar" with a band mostly made up of white guys who look as if they were auditioning for Peter Peter Ivers' old NEW WAVE THEATER program. And the group's sound is definitely last-gasp New York rock with loads of saxophones and more sunglasses and cool poses than you can imagine. But these guys play steady and tense enough and the resultant tracks actually come closer to such earlier punk funk watermarks as the Human Arts Ensemble's oft-neglected classic FUNKY DONKEY than you would have expected. I'll say it sure brought back memories for me, mostly of sad and downtrodden times but thankfully also some of the brighter moments that eventually popped up into the mix. For a once-in-awhile spinner FUTURE FUNK/UNCUT doesh its work swell!
Most of you know just how much I loathed the whole "Tribute Album" trend of the eighties and nineties. Not that there weren't a few...the HARD TO BEAT Stooges trib, the Troggs' GROIN THUNDER and Norton Records' Sam the Sham collection paid homage to their respective idols in the proper fashion, but if HEAVEN AND HELL not to mention a slew of other Velvet Underground "inspired" efforts I had the displeasure of hearing were any indication of just what kind of fury and energy the Velvets presented for us throughout their existence then I'm Dave Lang with a little J. Neo Marvin thrown in for good measure!

However I gotta admit that this SET IT ON FIRE cassette tribute to Australian under-the-underground group the Scientists was one homage to an obscure yet IMPORTANT group that I could get 1000% behind. The songs presented might not sound exactly like the original tracks these guys laid down way back inna seventies and eighties, but they have a total rock-on energy and pounce that doesn't deny the group's gnarlier edge the way those saps who were covering the Velvets sure did. Sheesh, I probably don't even give one whit about most of the acts that pop up on SET IT ON FIRE but they all put out swell, making that sort of music that I used to know as ROCK 'N ROLL even more inspiring and frontal lobe grabbing as the years progress into nothingness!

A rarity that you might like seeking out though golly knows if any of these are still up and about, or intact for that matter.
Oh no...another demo, this time by a trio featuring a female singer who is backed by yet another femme with a male pounding the percussion. Sounds like feminist power pussy-whipped drummer time now, don't it? Well, don't fret too much, because if the two gals in Theories of the Old School are of the Sapphic persuasion they don't sound too bad and who knows, they may even shave their armpits and dab 'em with Secret which would be a move in the right direction!

The sound is acoustic and the songs are rather melodic without getting into some sorta Woodstock moosh (I mean, I'll betcha that Joni Mitchell is some sorta influence but it doesn't translate into neurosis-laden self-pity!). At times Theories of the Old School can, such as on "Taking the Train", get kinda pop rock-ish but you'll love it all just the same. But don't worry---this ain't no Deadly Nightshade country folk lezfest---I hope! 

It's more like the sixties without the back-patting self-congratulatory nausea mixed with seventies Canyon Girl mentalities transferred to the dank of lower Manhattan. Moody yet upbeat almost folk rocky sounds that sure remind me of the better things that were happening in non-glitz music during the early-nineties. A time when for once it seemed as if the more attractive moments of the seventies were getting reshaped into a new sound that I sure hoped woulda spoken reams in the nineties, but boy was I wrong!

So good that I might even pick up Theories' Cee Dee release despite the rather unattractive cover which kinda put me off on buying that before this, whose cover I think is rather fitting considering the admittedly tasteful music enclosed therein.
Do you remember back when the folk at CBGB and Max's Kansas City had the bright idea to promote some of the talent appearing in their clubs by releasing their wares just so's some overzealous rock critics could hype 'em to the roof? I do, and I thought it was a great idea considering just how much good music was being made yet how little of it was actually reaching the ears of Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch Rockism, There were plenty of great songs on these efforts that entered into our consciousnesses, and if it weren't for both of these clubs how many of ya woulda cared about the likes of Mink DeVille, Suicide or even Manster inna first place?

The series of cassette-only releases that CBGB released inna mid-eighties (part of their "Off The Board" series) resulted in some much needed music as well as two albums which collected the best of these tapes in what sorta amounted to an eighties version of the old LIVE AT CBGB album. For awhile they were being advertised in alla the hip mags around, though as the years rolled by they became rarer than dogs and cats in a famine to the point where IN NO WAY can I find a tape of the Tulpa one, a shame considering how I really enjoyed their tracks on the aforementioned albums.

This split release by Jing and Chemical Wedding gives you an idea of what was goin' down at CBGB at a time when things like local groups with talent and energy all but ignored in lieu of flashy rock video glitz and dazzle without grit. Not that I would say that either group represented CBGB at its best but they sure go to show ya that while there might have been weekend spiky hair punk matinees here and angry young folksingers with progressive cause chips on their shoulders there, there also was a music being played that was whatcha'd call downright commercial yet not necessarily vomit-inducing like even a few minutes of Top Forty schmaltz was bound to be. Especially if you were a hardcore rock 'n roller stranded in such a desert as the eighties (and nineties, and outghts, and teens...).

Jing and Chemical Wedding were both spinoffs of the infamous Brooklynites the Shirts hence the split release, and although by that time Shirts singer Annie Golden was rakin' in bucks as a semi-reg'lar on MIAMI VICE the rest of the band kept goin' on in one form or another. Artie Lamonica's Jing had the potential to make some headway with their singer/songwriter music, though even at their worst they sounded like something Billy Joel wouldn't have minded to pilfer from, and thankfully they could come up with tunes just as dread and as New York gritty when they wanted to. Like Lamonica and band do on "World Gone Mad", a downer eighties pop song which might have shocked more'n a few lonely funny hairdo gals into THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION. Too bad that by this time Lamonica looked like one of those old Eyetalian uncles who smoked those small black cigars which burn holes in your lungs, but if looks don't matter to you this just might be the one.

Chemical Wedding have more of a whatcha'd call edgy drive, at least to the point where their re-write of Yes's "And You And I" (the middle part) entitled "Helicopter" does sounds like a palatable electro-wave number that epitomized plenty of things that were happening in the burgh a few years earlier. Lotsa neo-casio synthwork does date Chemical Wedding's sound, but these guys still come off as pleasing enough bar rock that probably would be best experienced at CBGB rather than in the confines of my fart-encrusted bedroom. 

In all, nothing that would offend me (or maybe even you) even when you begin to envision flashing colored lights and one of those sexless veejays who used to populate tee-vee screens back in those sadder than sad days (not counting now).
Boy it really has been a long time since I listened to the Three Johns (mocked by a certain rock critic whose name I detest as "the Three Jonathans"), so it was like listening to an all new to mine ears effort what with me coming across this interesting home-made effort. Most of it consists of a Toronto gig from '85 with surprisingly poor quality with the rest taken from not only a Peel sesh but an appearance on some English tee-vee show called THE TUBE. The broadcast material sounds much better although on all of it you can get yerself into the Three John groove, which is a mighty snat one if I do say so myself.

Never was a Mekons fan (mostly due to not having any of their platters...records cost money, y'know!), but I find former member John Langford's efforts in this act to have continued on that seventies rock trash-garage aesthetic that seemed to flub about around the time the eighties got into full gear. In other words, these track do "rock" (yeah I know, are we still in fourth grade as Patrick Amory would say) and nary a hint of twee is to be found as the group tears through a number of demi-serious efforts including a cover of "Like a Virgin" that tops the original as far as it returning the gnu wave back to its more punkish roots.

Nothing exemplary here true, but it's sure good to know that a straight-ahead rock 'n roll unit that was not into the revival game coulda existed in an ever fashion-conscious music scene during the dank days of the eighties.
That's it for the tapes...maybe in another fifty years...

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


Along with Andy Nowicki, Colin Liddell put a pretty hefty pounce into the old Alternative Right (now Affirmative Right which was in a state of limbo last time I looked) site. Two different kooks you couldn't find, but the two worked yin/yang magic with their site which, during the mid-teens, was a beautifully wicked one. So wicked that I actually hadda take the site offa the blog roll call seen on the left due to a particularly scathing cartoon that was drawn by Liddell himself! I won't tell you what the comic entailed but boy was it a rather over-the-top single-panel effort that woulda gotten someone like me banished to non-existence (even more than I am non-existing in this world of "rock fandom" as we speak!) with nil hope of any sorta sniff-sniff boo-hoo redemption on my part! Lemme tell you, a precious petunia like you would be just poppin' the rage outta your flesh just like you do blackheads had ya seen that 'un!

Gotta admit that Liddell seemed like the more stuck up of the two. Maybe that's due to their somewhat polar opposites even with their shared sociopolitical outlook --- Nowicki the ethnic Catholic who's a good novelist in his own right as UNDER THE NIHIL will attest to and Liddell, the skeptical Scots Irish who, despite spending a good portion of his existence in such seemingly exotic places as South Africa and Japan, still has it in him to hate the ones from the southern counties as well as their local brethren. Sheesh, a good many Scots Irish seem to lose their hostilities to the people they conquered (or are just place different) once they become expats, but Liddell kinda seems like the kinda guy who just might do a li'l recruitin' for the UDL had his ancestors just stayed put.

Still, in order to enjoy a book I thought would satisfy me to somewhat of an extent, I decided to put any preconceived notions regarding Liddell's apparent snobbery behind me. And with that firmly in mind I snatched up this home-produced book collecting a variety of, as the title says, interviews 'n obits under one cover if to get a good snuggle up 'n read experience into my ever-decaying system. And hey, thankfully it worked well enough to the point where I was inspired to re-arrange my reading parameters even more in order to expand my reading preferences beyond the same old, something I would have found rather strange even this far down that pothole-laden road of life I've had the displeasure of experiencing.

In this 'un Liddell, now a perhaps permanent resident of Japan where he writes for such local publications as THE JAPAN TIMES and THE ASAHI SHIMBUM ('n if that ain't Japanese...), presents a smattering of work both retread and previously unpublished featuring various interviews with names fairly big (Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson) and local (Communist Party of Japan leader Kazui Shii) doing a admittingly good job of getting his subject matter to kick back and let it all hang out. And, given the second portion of the title, Liddell also gets to act like the obit man writing about the dearly departed. Some of 'em 're recently gone while others who have been dispatched quite a long while ago such as John Lennon get the crepe-hanging honors (the occasion for this memento morbid being the then-recent opening of one of those John Lennon museums, this 'un in Tokyo where starry-eyed fans get to see not only a few bits of Lennon ephemera along the lines of his old specs but can buy items in the gift shops that would cost 'em way less at any flea market in the immediate area).

I dunno if his subject matter pretty much writes itself or not, but Liddell really does get his interviewees to kick up their feet 'n bring out their best. Longtime British rabble-rouser John Bean actually comes off like a straight-thinking and open-minded sort who had to bear the brunt of the usually rabid English uber-left who never could think outside their own stunted squats wallowing in a self-pity that would make me look stoic. Dirty guy photographer Nobuyoshi Araki might come off a tad unbalanced, but otherwise seems to have a down-home howdy do sincerity about him that would rival Mr. Rogers. Even Jim Morrison's widow gets to spew off a few good bits of gossip in a previously unpublished writeup, but ultimately she comes off as detached and as frozen in a time and place I would never want to be. In other words the same place that a good portion of Doors fans seem to have been these past fiftysome years.

Liddell does manage to strike oil with his John Lydon encounter (which don't touch upon his subject matter's ethnicity lest this 'un end up a modern-day equivalent to the ol' Lou Reed/Lester Bangs showdowns) and with that guy from Tool, who are a band I never heard and don't intend to but, as in the case of those seventies fanzine articles it's fun enough readin' about 'em even if in no way could you cozy up to the sounds that were bein' made.

And in typical Cosby Kids fashion I have learned a few things along the way, at least to the point where I ordered a book created by South African cartoonist Anton Kannemeyer which undoubtedly will be reviewed in these "pages" as time progresses. Can't wait considering what a cutting and perhaps beyond the walls of not only good taste but blaring honesty this man's work seems to be.

The obits seem a bit more cool daddy for some strange reason, and Liddell's farewells to everyone from Hugh Hefner to Nelson Mandela (where Liddell gets to do some rheumy reminiscing regarding his own South African youth) seem like the perfect sendoffs for people either noble or despicable. Especially enlightening was his toodle-oo to Margaret Thatcher, a nice 'n scathing for the right reasons screed regarding her massive failures with a viewpoint that is dramatically opposite of the usual govt. system sucker who cried on about "the milk snatcher" to the point of one wonderin' why said sniveler just didn't go out and get some job so the brats could have their libation. Nice ending to that 'un..."Rest in peace (just like British industry)"! No wonder this book hadda be self-published --- I mean, if even Counter-Currents wouldn't handle it it just has to be that caustic!

I have the sneakin' suspicion that a good 99.999...% of you reg'lar readers would steer clear from a collection like this let along read it. If so don't expect the classic gonz style so appreciated by one such as myself but some entertaining, daring and perhaps "controversial' (at least to the pious prigs who control every aspect of our being) material that is needed now more than ever. And as far as the reams of writers hacking away in the hopes of climbing up that ladder to success with felch and pedication firmly in mind Colin Liddell has each and every one of them beat all hollow. Not that you would care to find out, of course.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Since it's been yet another slow and dreary week here at BTC central I'll forgo the usual woe-is-me opening guaranteed to get most readers switching over to the MANUAL RETRACTION OF DONKEY FORESKINS blog more'n anything. Sheesh, sometimes I wish there would be something worthy to talk about in order to give this blog a bitta class, but I don't think that gabbin' 'bout current events or how I feel is always in the best interest of you readers. Neither are the musical reviews to follow even if some of you really might wanna read about some platter that nobody in their right, or wrong mind for that matter, would even care to listen to inna first place. Just bear with me...
Aw chee, one less watering hole for a good portion of my masochistic (ex) Australian readership to go to!
Paul and Bill again (along with the fruits of my labor, sweetie!)...sheesh, remember the good ol' days of the big promo gravy train (and all the dross that got me?).

Remko Scha-GUITAR MURAL 1 FEATURING THE MACHINES 2-LP set (Black Truffle Records)

Way back in '75 Lester Bangs said that music was being taken over by the Germans and the machines. I think that Remko Scha was Dutch, but this double LP set, originally recorded in 1981 and released on cassette a year later really does prove that Bangs was right about the musical world comin' to a cyborg conclusion, even if the sounds heard on this brand spanking new reissue are way more "human" in approach and groove than some of the computerized piddle that has been making its way outta the electrono-whatziz groove ever since the appearance of "HPSCHD".

Cheap electric guitars mounted and strummed by poking and probing devices might sound like the next step towards that descent into one of those 1950s SciFi dystopian sagas that were such the rage at the time, but the music is way more "positive" in the purest sense of the term than your average doubter would care to think. Not only do they look nice attached to the wall in a modern art chi-chi-ish sort of homage, but the way the machines are programmed to play these flea market finds results in sounds that probably would not have been done that much better had they been strummed by human beings. 

And not only that, but these guitar works can get into some specifically identifiable grooves like they do on side one which as a definitive r 'n b feel brewin' or side three with a repeato-riff accentuated by the percussion of the operating mechanism. At other times the music comes off like a thousand-piece koto band played by geishas who all happen to be on the rag at the same time.

It's an artistic ('n not in the beret 'n stale doritos way either!) endeavor that you can not only look at and listen to in order to appreciate, but one that lacks a whole lotta the self-conscious snoot and pity that has plagued most "art forms" ever since Marcel Duchamp popped onto the scene. And not only that, but you (really!) can dance to it!
The Chocolate Watchband-GET AWAY CD-r burn (originally on Not On Label Records)

This is one of those platters, usually the kind made by reformed sixties rock legends nobody other'n  us music maniacs seem to remember, that gives one a sense of "deja WHA?" as if we hadn't already been through this ruckus long ago. Sometimes it does get quite confusing as if does here, this being yet another (rec'd 1999) effort from the Chocolate Watchband who most rock snobs don't even know of let along care about. GET AWAY doesn't do much if anything for the legend, but you might be able to eke some enjoyment outta it like I did with one track that reminded me of none other than Roxy Music. It does have one or two moments of worth, enough so that even the sociopolitically pious number entitled "Hope" thankfully got washed outta my system, hopefully for good!
Edgar Winter's White Trash-ROADWORK CD (Epic Records)

Got this 'un after reading Charles Shaar Murray's writeup which made this 'un seem a bit interesting even if his feelings about this particular early-seventies effort really did come off quite tepid. But eh, given how I thought "Keep Playin' That Rock 'N Roll" was a fairly crunchy single from these guys I decided to give this long-time bin stuffer a go because well, even the better of rockscreeders have been wrong before.

Turns out that Murray was quite correct as far as the fact goes that these guys shoulda been force-fed MC5 records in order to understand and appreciate just what rock 'n roll was all about. The jams quotient just ain't what it shoulda been on this double duty live set.

The brass doesn't help any and just leaden things like they did in just about every other horn band of the day (they certainly don't accentuate the sound like they did in 15-60-75) while the entire performance is about as down pat rehearsed as anything you coulda gotten outta Guy Lombardo at the time. Their take on "Tobacco Road" drags on in a way 180-degrees from the Nashville Teens/Blues Magoos versions ultimately sounding like something that woulda been more fitting for the June Taylor Dancers to spread their gams to. That is, before it gets into a buncha pointless piano soloing and jiveass musings that remind me of the theme to a bad Norman Lear sitcom, as if there were many good ones inna first place 'cept for FERNWOOD TONIGHT.

Even the live rendition of "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" has a telegraphed-in feeling lacking any crunch the single mighta tingled outta ya. And if ya can believe it, elpee closer "Turn On Your Lovelight" featurin' Jerry LaCroix up front actually makes one long for the sturdy and clear-minded version sung by --- Pigpen???

Unfortunately this ain't the punk rock masterpiece that I thought coulda been lurkin' about. There's gotta be a whole load of good and forgotten efforts recorded around the time and of course I'll be searchin' out some of these long-gone players, if only to deaden some of the pain that they call music 2021. I think most alla you readers know what I'm sayin', but if you too are looking for half-century old thrills that have been tossed by the wayside this is one you'd best let slip your grip.
Fushitsusha-LIVE 1 DISC 2 CD-r burn

Dunno where disc 1 of this double doody ended up but if it's as any good as this 'un well, you can guess the rest!

At first I thought this was a mislabeled Les Rallizes Denudes recording but track two got into some rather definitely non-Denudes territory that evoked more of a Stockhausian groove that Mizutani and company never really got into. Still there is a heavy Rallizian feel to these numbers complete with the same lilting vocals, this time sung by the group's legendary leader Keiji Haino who has had more written about these past umpteen years than you ever will.

In other words, perfect music to absorb into whatever's left of your soul, especially during that ever-dwindling free time that seems to go right past you before it's back to the old drudge. Really would be worthy my while to try'n dig up the first 'un, that is if the guy who gave me this 'un (I'm now on his irreversible no-go list) even sent it in the first place. 
Mondo Topless-GET READY FOR ACTION CD-r burn (originally on Dionysus Records)

By the time 1989 rolled around a lotta this what we used to call "six-oh" revivalist music seemed to go the way of the Hare Krishnas, but there were still some fairly reliable efforts from the genre that were bein' pumped out. Well, actually a lotta these revival bands did hold up pretty well but I could only take so much at a time, these Mondo Topless guys included. Thirteen hard-pounding rockers with roots set in that portion of the past that people who still sing "Imagine" don't want to remember. Not bad at all, in fact Mondo Topless is the tits!
The Ray Charles Singers-FOREVER YOURS LP (Longines Symphonette Society Records)

Didja know that when I was a kid I thought that the Ray Charles who was involved with the Ray Charles Singers was THEE Ray Charles? Come to think of it, when I was an adult I thought the exact same thing! Doesn't surprise me a bit because when I was wallowing about in the earlier teenbo portion of my life I thought that Al Kooper WAS Alice Cooper, only he altered his name to get another recording contract sorta like Buddy Holly had two different labels, one for a solo career and another with the Crickets or George Clinton recording the same group as Parliament or Funkadelic with different companies as well! Didn't matter that Kooper and Cooper looked quite different because at the time alla them longhairs looked alike to me!

Anyway, here's a collection featuring the group's 1962 big hit, a pretty good single as that it evokes a lotta the early-sixties teenage LEAVE IT TO BEAVER cum 77 SUNSET STRIP sorta idea of where the young 'n budding adult stood at the dawn of the space age. Nice striking neo-rock 'n roll melody merged with plenty of suckems-squeezin' slush that typifies the times as well. It goes to shows just how boffo those times were when compared with the crass sounds that were comin' out later in the decade.

Too bad the rest of this platter's nothin' but sordid slop that couldn't raise an eyebrow let alone anything else when played alone with your gal inna den when the folks were away. Total blandoid music that I couldn't even qualify as that catch-all "pop", and if anyone could be emotionally aroused by these sounds then I'm sure they're the same kinda guys who blush when they walk past the casabas at the fruit stand. Lotsa pants-tightening action there, just ask Brad.
Various Artists-MY 45'S VOL. 6 FROM ROCKIN-HOOD.BLOGSPOT.COM CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Never heard of this particular blog 'til recently, and now that I have I've linked it up it's that good a source for those rare sixties local records that continue to spark and incite even a good fiftysome years down the line. Exemplary selection here courtesy Bill Shute featuring some familiar tuneage like the Wig Wags' "I'm On My Way Down The Road" as well as its crazed flipster "The Goofy Google" who was some crazy "gay" feller who lived in a cave. Funny, there was a guy like him around here when I was a kid, and I heard he used to give out candy!

Some of these rarities don't grab ya but you might just listen to 'em for "historical value" sorta like way back during the days when you sat through biology class hoping to learn something about the female anatomy. And yeah, you can do without some of the later-sixties things as if you'd ever need to hear another cover version of either "For What It's Worth" or "Hey Jude" (both done by Harry Zonk on his Thomas organ complete with some tap-dancing straight outta THE LAWRENCE WELK SHOW --- wooh!). But it's here maybe as a reminder as to just how dull those years coulda gotten...if you didn't know where to look for the really good rock 'n roll that is.

Thankfully this 'un does end on a good note with two sides of folky downer rock courtesy the Reefers, a group who I guess could get away with their name because hey, who within a good fifty miles of where they lived even knew what reefers were!


I dunno if I've mentioned this before, but there are back issues of my old fanzine entitled BLACK TO COMM still available. You might have heard about it, the thing was a sure darn good read that was miles ahead of the slog that passed for rockscreeding in the eighties and nineties and well, these things hold up just as well as Jayne Mansfield's bra did even these many years after the fact. C'mon, buy a few and if you tell me they're just pulsating with subpar sputum passing as intelligent and cohesive rock journalism well, you just might be right in your own above-it-all snobbish sorta way.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021


There have been a nice hunkerin' stack of books written about the whole fanzine-fandom relationship that's resulted in a lotta home-produced publications bein' printed up and a lotta trees bein' cut down, and this 'un's the latest in a spankin' long line of 'em. And, in case you didn't know, that mere fact'll do any true blue lover of these "small press" efforts pretty darn good. 

Yeah, in the years before MAXIMUM ROCK'N'ROLL and FLIPSIDE turned punk into punque into the militant wing of the Even More Communist Than Those Other Communists Party there were fanzines devoted to the rougher side of rock 'n roll. And believe-it-or-not, but a good portion of these rags possessed a good amount of spark and vigor that in many cases permeated this breed of whatcha'd call (for lack of a better term) an underground press. Thankfully, PUNKZINES manages to capture the spirit and downright fun of these mags which were around to document a scene that was bound to mutate and change along with the writers and the fanzines themselves probably faster'n even these self-produced publications could keep up with, but that's perhaps something for another book. 

If you weren't there well, PUNKZINES really does bring a whole lotta the passion and emotion up front and atcha to the point where for once you young turds'll stop blabberin' 'bout the boomers as if they were all stoned out hippie no-accounts still pattin' themselves on the back for bein' oh so virtuous.

Not that anyone would call PUNKZINES all inclusive as some bigname titles such as THE NEXT BIG THING are missing which perhaps makes this book about as accurate as a portrait of Abraham Lincoln without that boil on his face. Hokay, maybe author Eddie Piller hadda beef with THING honcho Lindsay Hutton and left him outta this one due to spite alone, but NBT or not PUNKZINES still holds up really swell as far as books regarding that particular era in rockscreeding which came and went while most of us were still out there enjoying it all kinda dumbfounded as to what a good portion of this stew eventually led to.

Personally many of the mags that get mentioned don't really wow me the way a whole lotta the ones that were comin' outta the US of A and elsewhere did. I kinda like the rags which sorta spread their coverage across a wide swath kinda like what BACK DOOR MAN, OUT THEREDENIM DELINQUENT, I WANNA BE YOUR DOG and countless others were able to do, with great visuals and writing that was so good you'd even read an article even if you didn't like the act that was being written about. Unfortunately many of these British mags concentrated on their own particular punk tastes which is fine enough, but I gotta admit to liking the pubs which kinda let their kajoobies drag onna sidewalk a bit 'n didn't mind bucking the trend ifyaknowaddamean...

There are some English mags that did --- the first few issues of PANACHE seemed to ignore the trend towards total wall-to-wall spikoid hair groups while JUNGLELAND, another Scottish effort much in the NBT mold that gets passing praise in these pages, was not above its own punk image to print articles on the likes of John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen at a time when such acts woulda been given the back burner in these mags. Even the first few issues of SNIFFIN' GLUE tended to mix the present with various historically punk prosody as did SIDEBURNS which eventually coagulated into STRANGLED with their heavy duty Stranglers homage intermingled with much needed coverage of the kinda bands that counted. Its the coverage of these mags that make this book kinda/sorta special for me, a read that I'll have on hand to refresh myself as to the special place in rockism these fanzine editors deserve even though for the life of me it'll all be forgotten within a few short years, mark my word.

Up there with a variety of collections and homages that have been floating about as of late and even better'n that sappy book Wertham put out trying to decipher the fanzine idiom while rescuing his soggy image. Good enough that it might even spur me on to pick up that book on British football fanzines that's up and about, even though you all know for the life of me I hate sports. Takes up too much of my energy watching rich people running around for no real particular purpose as if we're supposed to look up to these cretins 'r sum'thin'.

Saturday, August 07, 2021

August was never my fave time o' year, if only because when August doth arrive could September (and stool days) be far behind? Yes, even after all these years that PTDS is finely ingrained into my system and memories of days my folks always told me were the "best years of my life" (hah!) continue to bother me along with alla the other things that bug the bejabbers outta me as time creeps on. I can still recall the calendar I kept in my fart encrusted boudoir crossing off the days until that fateful day, which on second thought I must admit that I kinda looked forward to in some strange fashion since most of my summertime hours were spent doing excruciating yard work and other things that were meant for the betterment of the abode, and school meant a respite from alla that back-breaking slavery I was roped into in order to make me into a "man" 'r somethin' as ludicrous as that. It was sorta like a outta the frying pan situation or better yet the choice they give you in Louisiana, the noose or the firing squad. Best years of my life indeed...

Enough. If you hated the above rehash of many a miserable not-so-teary eyed reminiscence of days that I sure wouldn't wanna live again then by golly you'll hate the following over 'n over rehash of rockist rants that went out with the Edsel as they used to say on mid-sixties sitcoms. Sheesh, if you thought the hippies were bad with all their back-patting about how they "ended" the Vietnam War and gave us the sexual revolution making the world safe for those strange guys you see in rest stops inna middle of the night then you'll really hate my outta-tune attempts to revive THE GOLDEN AGE OF GONZOID ROCK SCREEDING to be found immediately below. Face it, what I have been doin' since 1981 awlready really died out 'round the time Lester Bangs croaked to the delight of many a mainstream magazine editor, the NME fired Nick Kent for good and Giovanni Dadomo hadda start writing for KERRANG in order to fund his drug habit. Of course while the era lasted it was grand giving us plenty of hard-edged reading that holds up even fifty years after the fact, but unfortunately the energy and stamina that kept up many a gonzoid rockscreeder and bedroom-produced fanzine just couldn't sustain itself in an era of MTV and cut 'n paste hype passing itself off as the New Generation of whatever it was that previous rock writing generation was doing. 

I just hadda wake up to the fact that it's 2021 and like, I'm the only breathing membrane on the face of this earth who really did give a shit alla these years even if it only made me more or less look like a modern day version of Charley Weaver. If you like this spew fine, if not you can go rub yourself to some really fine hackdom that can be found with ease on this monster that we call the internet. I mean, what else is new considering the idiotic tastes of most so-called music fans extant?
WHAT THE POST OFFICE CAN DO AMAZON CAN DO EVEN BETTER DEPT.: You all know what happ'd with that George Russell set that the mailman gave to a total stranger (see below for a kinda/sorta update), but as far as general ineptitude goes I must admit that Mr. Zip was topped by Amazon! Well, a package from them was sent to the BLOG TO COMM HQ this past Monday, but to a different suite number where it was unceremoniously left of the front walk where just any ol' fanabla could go and pick the thing up, and that's just what some young enterprising sport did! Yes, no attempt was made to knock on my door or even keep the package until it could be delivered when someone was actually there to receive it --- the blasted package was just left to the elements in front of a totally different address where it could be scarfed up by just about anyone including people with NEFARIOUS INTENT. Makes me wonder where they get these drivers for Amazon, Torrance State Hospital?

It's not that I'm that concerned as this particular parcel was actually Brad Kohler's Christmas present! Oh well, I guess the guy will just have to do without, unless some cad's conscious does get the better of him and the thing is finally delivered to its rightful owner, mainly me then ultimately Brad! I will admit that it would do me good to have some repentant soul surrender his ill gotten to me though --- y'see, I haven't beat anyone up in quite a long time and given the amt. of stress that I've been enduring as of late I sure could stand to wail the daylights outta someone.
Not that I want to sink to the level of my enemas and make fun of Kathy Griffin for her lung cancer diagnosis even though she would be the type to make fun of me had I been in her situation, but I'm sure most of you readers are expecting me to do just that. Y'know, like make jokes like the one where after all these years she finally made someone laugh etc. and so forth. So I won't.

'n while we're on the subject of death, if looks like ol' "Duty To Die" did just that. About thirty years too late but wha' th' hey...


Once again thanks to Paul and Bill for the encouragement.

George Russell-COMPLETE 1956-1960 SMALLTET & ORCHESTRA RECORDINGS 2-CD set (originally on Fresh Sound Records)


Kinda-sorta that is, because the man who sold me the original 'un sent me a replacement outta the goodness of his heart and although I still wonder just why the Post Office would just give away the first one willy nilly at least I have this gigantic highmark in what's known as "avant garde jazz" in my possession and like, I am forever grateful for this mere miracle in life.

'n its a massive effort as well, one that I'm sure will take quite a few listening seshes to sit through and digest, but eat and digest you will these great angular, some may say atonal efforts from one of the bright mind of fifties arrangers who always seemed to lurk about in the jazz idiom without ever receiving the real hotcha accolades that nowadays seem to be awarded to lesser minds but wha' th' hey...

Lotsa bigtime players here too, some of whom aren't exactly known for their role in the advancement of free play but they sure do fit into the new cool bop unto new thing form a whole lot more'n some of you naysays might want to 'fess up to. Lots of 'em, like Benny Golson and Art Farmer, seem more like the usual DOWN BEAT fodder from back during the days when that rag would cover the free plays begrudgingly while pumping the ol' tried 'n true, but their presence here really does upgrade any feh impressions I mighta had of the pre-Ornette days of melodic if stilted sounds that woulda appeased people both cool world and bowtie.  

Disc One's personal fave is "Concerto For Billy the Kid" written with Bill Evans in mind and a fave highlight of the classic MIRAGE sampler of Third Stream efforts both top notch and kinda fruity. The flauten "Fellow Delegates" with the heavy duty pre-African Consciousness rap of the sixties balafon/conga solo also comes outta nowhere to surprise, while the mournful "Ballad of Hix Bleweit" just might bring a sad bluesy tear to even the crustiest of eyeballs.

And yeah, although I never did bring this up before, but dontcha think that "Chromatic Universe" from JAZZ IN THE SPACE AGE (complete with these interesting percussive effects featuring Russell pulling a string of beads...across the head of a drum that is) just might be channeling the early Cecil Taylor efforts which were making themselves more than known around the same time, with maybe just a tad of Sun Ra thrown in for good measure?

Besides featuring the presence of future TONIGHT SHOW bandleader Doc Severinson and John Coltrane, NEW YORK, NY displays some bop-cool narrative from Jon Hendricks. This mere fact perhaps makes this a concept album that beats ol' Sgt. Pepper by a good decade which is fine with me considering the rote rap about the Beatles' effort being the very first in rock concepts 'n all which was nothin' but a load of false hype to begin with. The hipster talk doesn't quite jibe here a good fortysome years after all that cool bop spewed from the lips of many a phony wore way thin, but the music, while not as nerve-wracking engaging, still manages to eke a few morsels of human juice outta one. Coulda been as good as those Stan Kenton traipses into the avgarde that I have written about before but just doesn't quite hit the target like the vast majority of numbers on disque #1 do. Might wanna just listen through it and wait for...

The REST of JAZZ IN THE SPACE AGE which for some strange reason was truncated for disque-fit purposes I guess but still features that new thing that seemed to epitomize an era which seemed to promise a rather bright future BUT LOOK WHAT WE GOT A GOOD SIXTYSOME YEARS LATER!!! Some of the neo-Ra interstellar traipses into the jazz idiom hear here do sound a tad dated but in a good way, as if anyone with real tastes in sound wouldn't wanna slip way back to 1959 when this was recorded and sorta work their way up to, say, 1981 before packing it in for good.

Might good. Even thinkin' of snatching up the Decca/Riverside set that Fresh Sound has released but fear that 'un gettin' lost inna mail as well.
Cub Scout Bowling Pins-CLANG CLANG HO CD-r burn (originally on Rockathon Records)

Robert Pollard plays swingin' sixties pop with a California sunshine meets Beatles sunshine bent singing weirder than you ever were lyrics in a voice that just has to be a put on. Maybe not...sounds kinda respectable in that mellow Gordon Lightfoot style which might appeal to some of the Canadians in the audience. Strangely enough, this one reminds me of (but sounds nothing like) some of the better Shimmydisc (and there were one or two) efforts that came out inna late-eighties, that CAR RADIO JEROME 'un in particular. Quick cuts that seem perfect for this sunny August day, though like much of this new rock for an audience that must be out there somewhere I have the strange feelin' that it won't be gettin' much play 'round here. I mean, sunshine and me just don't mix that well...
The Good Rats-TASTY CD-r burn (originally on Warner Brothers Records)

The Rats' foray into bigtime label territory didn't exactly do their legacy well, but this '74 platter on Warners sure puts to shame a whole load of pus that the WB corporation and their various tentacles were unleashing on an ever-tiring audience at the time. 

Pretty straightforward hard rock that is commercial enough what with the harmony vocals and other teenbo ear-catching stunts, but the bloozy and jazz influx for once doesn't bore but actually tingles the nerve nodes in ways that won't embarrass you one bit. Not bad at all, especially for those of you who went for some of those jazzier rock acts that popped up in the underground at the time. 

One of the New York rock scene bands that kinda/sorta made it bigger'n anyone woulda guessed,  even if in the long run all that resulted were a buncha platters that cluttered up the bargain bin and used racks of the late-seventies.


The Pretty Things-SINGAPORE SILK TORPEDO - LIVE AT THE BBC & OTHER BROADCASTS 2-CD-r burn set (originally on Repertoire Records)

Anyone who was conscious inna mid-seventies remembers the big Pretty Things push courtesy Swan Song Records. After all, the legendary blues bunch had been pretty much outta commish since their '72 Warner Brothers effort FREEWAY MADNESS and with alla the ads popping up in the press and eye-catching album covers well, no wonder more'n a few unsuspecting souls thought these guys were a new glam rock group (especially with a name like that!) with hefty Led Zep backing to make things work out even finer!

Yes there was a lotta positive Things hubbub goin' on at the time and these English broadcasts are just a small reflection of the entire comeback mania that was up 'n about. True these Things weren't the same batch that did those neo-Stonesy platters for Fontana nor the psychedelic bunch that popped up on EMI there and Rare Earth here, but they were still a steady enough rock 'n roll bunch who really sound as if they were ready to make it big. In fact they kinda come off like one of those New York glam acts of the day who were destined for bigger things thanks to Aucoin or Mainman backing but flopped about despite it all. At least the Things had a good decade of practice behind 'em which helped out, even if for the most part this era of the band didn't quite capture the hearts and eardrums of the music listening populace. Drat!

Bright mid-seventies-styled hard rock with decadent tinges to appeal to the sicker members of the audience, recorded live for BBC radio and Tee-Vee with one trip into a German station for alla you lucky Teutonic types out there.


Various Artists-DESPERATE ROCK 'N' ROLL VOLUMES  3 AND 4 CD-r burns (originally on Flame Records)

Yet more outta nowhere tracks from this great series of pre-Beatles raunch with the only real connectivity being that these numbers epitomize everything that was right about those days that leftists tend to hate with a roaring passion. Maybe if "Michael Row The Boat Ashore" was on one of these they'd like it, but no such luck.

Pretty snat collections too featuring tracks that sorta straddle the rockabilly, r 'n b and plain ol' rock borders sounding kinda snug when all stuck together. Highlights from the third volume include a track from I assume is the same John Fred who had the Playboy Band and a surprisingly cookin' Sonny Boy Williamson. Heck, even Ray Vernon's "Danger One Way Love Affair" with brother Link and the Raymen backing him turns up (tho thankfully not the a-side which I'm told is a total flop), and if Link himself didn't pop up on some of the other tracks what with their atonal guitar scratch I would be surprised!

Biggest surprise of all just has to be Fredale Mannew's "It's a Gas" which sounds strikingly similar to the version Alfred E. Neuman recorded way back '65 way! Yeah, I know that Fredale's an incorrect anagram of the famed MAD mascot's moniker (last name shoulda read "Manneu" which is kinda French-like) --- hmmm, maybe the angrammatic nom de whatever means that Brian Eno had something to do with this, eh?

The fourth 'un's equally worthy of your time (that is, unless your time's taken up with figuring out just how the heck to operate yer GRINDR app., sweetie!) with a wild rouser from Steve Alaimo that mighta gotten hin kicked off WHERE THE ACTION IS! not forgettin' a rarity from the back catalogs of Junior Wells. Personally I like the early garage rock of the Racketts doin' the Li'l Richard classic "Ooh My Soul" translating the proceedings into Caucasian and doin' a good job of it too!

Worth finding and probably easily enough to download somewhere out there so's ya don't hafta pay them overblown charges Midnight used to put on platters like these.


Various Artists-LONG WALK TO THE WING-DING CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Rather subdued compared with other burns if I do say so myself. The Little Julian Herrera track with future Mothers of Invention Ray Collins on falsetto was of historical interest and although I never did care for what I had heard from Juicy Lucy this take of "Who Do You Love" with ex-Misunderstood member Glenn Campbell's steel guitar really got me up and stompin' way more than I usually let myself go. I always like those old radio commercial jingle recordings that Bill tosses on these efforts as well. Amid all that are some fairly stable sixties pop sides that don't offend even if they don't stimulate, weirdo avgarde that sounds like Steve Reich via a Burroughsian cut up, and a good dunnowhatchadcallit from the feedback and distortion-riddled Die Raureiter and their "Stellar-Hate", a title that's near and dear to my heart! Even more fun than beating up first graders for their lunch money!

One thing that kills me is the song called "Tattoo" by the Double Dates about some gal who's repulsed by her boyfriend's tattoo covered body. If they did this song nowadays the sexes would be reversed.


Lissen, I put a lotta hard work 'n effort into creating these back issues of BLACK TO COMM for them to be ignored and abused the way they've been for quite a pretty long period of time. Sure the correlation between me actually sweatin' 'n slavin' to create this PURE OF HEART effort and the ultimate results of you buyin' the thing means absolute nada in the end run, but I'm sure that if this was all some other situation where I was a member of some precious petunia protected class you'd think a whole lot different'n you do now! Howbout I tell you that I'm a gender fluid sorta female bald tattoo'd herniated Huguenot you'd buy a whole batch from me, eh? Didn't think so. Rayciss!