Sunday, January 29, 2023

I GUESS THINGS AREN'T AS QUITE QUACKED UP AS THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE least as far as getting these bigger'n big "regular" posts out. As usual, it 's a combination of time, energy, lack of brain stimulation and JUST PLAIN NOT CARING about doin' any of these posts inna first place that's keeping me from crankin' 'em out like sausages like I used to do. But in the end it's like so what! --- really, does writing about long-gone remnants of mid/late-twentieth-century teenbo "culture" amount to what you would call a hill of beans difference here in the jaded beyond belief (and I've been jaded a whole long time) twenties??? Who in their right mind would want to read anybody's opines re. the 1964-1981 underground swell in cacophonous sound and scribing" Who cares? Fortunately enough I've never been in a "right mind" which is why I created the above headline as a half-hearted and downright lame excuse to slip in a picture of Nansy Duck in order to give this post some sort of snide fifties satire-inspired cheerfulness.

But bitchiness aside it's been a pretty good few weeks between posts here at BTC HQ. Sure there's more work to be done here than there is at Boy's Ranch, but when I get some moments to kick up the heels, boy do I try to make my time more impactful than it would be had I just let my natural inclinations get into gear and lump out in front of the tee-vee. And sometimes I just work on the blog because, well sometimes the urge to write about things nobody in their right mind would care to read about just OOZES outta me like pus from the pores of a well-squeezed nose!

Anyhow I gotta admit that I do feel kinda peaceful here in my farted up boudoir as I type this Sunday afternoon. With the overcast skies and just plain wintertime dankness I feel as if I'm fifteen or so again and it's one of those days off from school (either due to snow or some teacher in-service day) where I had nothing to do but indulge myself via the boob tube and watch those fifteen-minute educational programs like INSIDE OUT and DEMONSTRATIONS IN PHYSICS WITH PROFESSOR JULIUS SUMNER MILLER while occasionally sneaking off to the kitchen for a piece of cheese while bopping Sam onna nose if he came by sniffin' 'round as usual. Oddly enough, I find those moments of lazing about while watching the tee-vee some of the happiest of my teenbo years, other'n those times when I had a clandestine copy of some NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC hula girl issue and a lock on the bathroom door that was in fine working order! I'll bet yer just as tired of these teenbo jagoff references as I am, eh?

Anyhoo I think we've got another winner of a post on our hands here, something which I'm sure you'll beg to differ with and might even tell me so via the comment box. Yeah, right... Just remember, my eyeballs are as wonky as ever so if something doesn't seem quite right don't debase yerself by ragging on the handicapped!


NEEDED! A copy of the article on rock fanzines by Greg Shaw that ran in ROLLING STONE magazine, December 10, 1970. I'm sure someone out there can direct me to where i can find it via this web of ours, or even outta the goodness of your heart send me a copy???


DRINK OF THE WEEK!: dump a few scoops (or more) of Cherry Vanilla ice cream into a huge glass or one of those plastic tumblers you get at the 7-11, the kind that I keep for drinks such as this. Add some seltzer and you get this concoction which balances the sparkly plainness of the seltzer with the sweetness of the ice cream! Really good and a switch from the same old as well.


Read THIS, which reminds me of what happened to alla those once-straight-headed under-the-underground types way back inna eighties who smirked at the whole socio-political neo-hippie radicalization going on at the time (unlike me) and who have since 180'd into the exact same soft and mooshy rad types they once railed against (unlike me). It sums it up way better'n I ever could as to why I hate you.


Dunno about you, but I think this is the funniest thing I've seen since ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS! Kinda makes me wanna dig out that old SNL episode with Cook and Moore hosting where Garrett Morris sings the now-infamous "I'm Gonna Buy Me a Shotgun and Kill Me All the Whiteys I See"!

Before we get to the crux of it all, here's a rundown regarding some current tuneage that have been filling my ears (and whatever's left of my brain) these past few:

Xhol Caravan-"Raise Up High" (from ELECTRIP)-The album tends towards a decent Mothers/Canterbury mode as those of you who have read my ELECTRIP review would know, but this vocal track which closes the album makes the entire effort one reason why you punkoids better have this in your collections. Heavy duty rage-on vocals mixed with a funky jazz backing makes for a decidedly Detroit-ish effort that woulda brought the house down if that house happened to be the Grande Ballroom. Recorded a good year before FUNHOUSE too and it sure woulda fit on that platter along with a good portion of the Umela Hmota 3 catalog!

The Rice Miller Band-"Red House"/"Shot in the Head"-Here are a couple tracks by one of those groups that got quite a bit of notice during the New York of the mid-seventies yet never got to leave any recorded grime behind, just like a good portion of those acts that the Miller Band was sharing stages with while barely having enough cash to make the trip home. The Rice Miller guys seem like they'd be a good enough buncha true blue types too, especially since Hilly Kristal did note that they used to haul their equipment in a dump truck! 

Thanks to Paul McGarry I, after years of almost heavy duty curiosity, got the chance to hear two tracks these guys have left behind, And believe it or leave it but the Rice Miller Band's a surprisingly good white rhythm 'n blues act especially when you consider just how off-center some of these white blues groups can be. "Red House" is the Hendrix 'un and does sound a little too close to the whole tuffguy George Thorogood style for my tastes, but "Shot in the Head" has a bit more grit to it that makes even a guy who's usually indifferent to these sounds at least not wanna dismiss these groups in my typically offhanded way. Kinda snat in its own particularly white 'n gritty fashion 'n nothing to up your booger-infested nose at either.

The Guitar Bashers-"Don't Mess With The USA"-These Bashers played out only twice as far as I know, once at CBGB and the other at Max's before vanishing like so many of these groups right into the ether. The story of these fly-by-night groups who had something good to say can kinda get heartbreaking, at least in this case where the concept of "power pop" ain't reduced to simpdom as it coulda gotten many a time. "Don't Mess With The USA" (rec'd at the CBGB show) is overwrought with hard-gnashed chording meets mid-seventies popmodes (I even hear a bit of the Beckies in here) to a point where it all remind you that there were a whole lotta over-the-top rock sounds to be heard in between the usual gnu wave giddiness that seemed to prevail. If you can find this and their "NY Stomp" (also from CB's) via Youtube, record them, press them up on a 45 rpm and you got one of the best singles of 1980 that never ever did come out!
And now for the goodies...

Patrick Greussay/Stephane Vilar-LES IDOLES LP (Monster Melodies Records, France)

Hey, this ain't the original soundtrack that I reviewed quite awhile back (look it up yourself), but alternative takes and fresh trackage that might or migiht not have made it into the actual film. 

If you liked that particular piece of gallic cinematic freakout you'll probably want to latch onto this. Sure I gotta admit that some of the brassier moments don't flibben my jib, but the straight-on rockers (sung by the film's stars Buelle Olgier, Pierre Clementi and New York Dolls emulator Jean-Pierre Kalfon) will hit you just as hard and as "nugget if you duggit" straight-on as alla those sixties rock ons everybody seemed to forget about until punk rock sorta jostled their memories. 

Too bad Les Rollsticks (the group created for the stage production and film) didn't hang around long enough to become a real rock force on the French underground. I get the sneakin' suspicion they coulda made some records that would pepper up any collection a real deal BLOG TO COMM would harbor in his knotty pine den!
The Monkees-LIVE IN JAPAN 1968 LP (Sixties Recordings, England)

Can't locate my Rhino Monkees live disque, so this new release comes in quite handy even though I am not your typical 70-year-old chubboid grandma Monkees fan with her hair in curlers and her mind on Davy. 

An overly rambunctious and appreciating Japanese audience goes ape over these teenbo idols romping through their hits as well as a few LP tracks known only to the ones who could afford albums, and it's all done up pretty driving-like considering the pre-fabness of it all, It comes complete with the Davy Jones popsters, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork solo spots where they get to show off their folksy country roots, and Mickey Dolenz bringing the house down now only with a hard-edged version of "I Got a Woman" (not as good as Ray Charles at Newport but eh!) but a surprisingly gnarl-filled "Stepping Stone" that's different from the hit but in a dark and nerve-twisting way.  

It is energy personified. And alla you Class o' '68 high stool snoots thought they were just a buncha puppets, eh?
Greg "Stackhouse" Prevost-VINTAGE VIOLENCE : BARBARIC, CRUDE & PRIMITIVE 1975-1979 CD (
Mean Disposition Records, Spain)

Given that for years Prevost wanted to keep his pre-Chesterfield Kings career under wraps it's sure surprising to see an entire album devoted to a hefty portion of those early obscurities. Lotsa them early efforts mentioned in the pages of FUTURE (such as the Mr. Electro series of bands) are finally seeing the light of day 'n it sure is great hearin' the Distorted Levels single again and all the stronger for it ("it" being the sonic scrubbing these cassette recordings got in this age of crystical clarity). The just-post natal bellowings of the Chesterfield Kings are represented as well 'n in a fashion that makes their legitimate releases sound like Mantovani in comparison.

Oh yeah, the title of this package is more obvious than the syphilis sores on your face a direct swipe from that of the first John Cale album. I would suspect that anybody who would tune into this blog would know this more obvious 'n obvious fact, but I mention it only because if I didn't want a whole lotta wags out there who want to feel oh-so-"superior" to me  writin' in sayin' I STOOPIDLY forgot to mention such an Encyclopedia Brown fact as that. I mean, there sure are a lotta anal retentive types out there and you should know because you are one!


Despite some level shifting and tape garble this is a pretty solid sounding recording that, with some studio magic, woulda made a great mid-seventies bootleg had TMOQ or TAKRL been hip to Amon Duul II way back in them mid-seventies. Extended psychedelic excursions here, not of the San Franciscan variety as I would have believed at this stage in Amon Duul II's career, but of a strongly Teutonic variety with a bared-wire intensity that woulda given Can a run for the deutschmarks!  Also includes a version of "Canaan" from PHALLUS DEI that's got all of the mid-east mystical feel of the original!

The Lyres-JAN 14 2005 Debaser, Stockholm, Sweden CD-r burn

Speaking of guys inna eighties doing music inna sixties in the 21st century it's more'n obvious that Jeff Connolly from DMZ/the Lyres has been at it for almost as long as Prevost. And for a group who seemed to go way up and crashing to the depths down ss far as the energy went (remember that terrible A PROMISE IS A PROMISE album from late-80s way?) this 'un's pretty much at the tippy top of that roller coaster ride we call the Lyres' career. Great 'nuff heavy duty garageband organ crank that coulda been mistaken for the original thing had this 'un been mis-labeled as such. By the way, while we're talkin' Lyres has that "special track" these guys did on BACK FROM THE GRAVE #1 ever been reissued? Too bad it wasn't included on any of the vaious Lyres reissues that have come out o'er the years  (my original vinyl is locked up somewhere and won't be obtainable for a few months) and like, in these days we could sure usse it.
DG-307-PTAK UTRZENEJ ZE RETEZU /PODZIM 1979/ CD (Can't make out what label it's on, but it's definitely of Czechoslovakian heritage)

The title loosely translates into A BIRD TORN FROM A CHAIN, AUTUMN 1979 if that makes any sort of sense to you. And somehow, given the collective lack of scrutiny some of you reg'lar BLOG TO COMM readers have, I don't expect you to really understand let alone appreciate the goings on to be found on this platter, recorded and perhaps even issued by the infamous industrial rock collective DG-307. 

In case you  aren't up on your Czech underground rock 'n roll history or perhaps are a total lunkhead when it comes to this sort of squall like Jay Hinman* is, DG-307 were (and perhaps still are) contemporaries of such seventies-era Czech underground groups as the Plastic People of the Universe and Umela Hmota, working out their frustrations with a sound that consisted of the use of discarded mufflers and trash cans mixed in with a standard rock feedback approach. The results convey the agony of the social system these guys hadda endure, where their art had to be approved by a buncha upper-snoot stiffs who had no appreciation of sound outside of patriotic military marches and schmoozy adult pop. 

And it really does make me laff that there are a whole slew of pampered pooches passing as youth who think it would be just GRAND for the return of such a stifling social system. The funny part being, once the new regime does get into gear these well-offs are gonna be the first ones marching into the showers for a deliceing that's really gonna prove what a bitch karma can be!

You might want to imagine an eastern-euro Red Crayola but not quite. In fact, the use of even a shard of a basic rock 'n roll format (complete with the requisite Velvet Underground nervesplice) which could be spotted on their earlier recordings has been jettisoned in favor of a quite stark style more in the tone of the avant drive that was starting to creep into the throes of everyday life sometime in the fifties. Anguished vocals with nerve-scraping Jack Benny violin. Paranoid muttering over the emptying of trash cans. Bongolated kettle drums, antique zithers and vaguely folk-music melodies pecked out on pianos. Think Nurse With Wound --- you just might be halfway there.

Of course the average BLOG TO COMM bopster's gonna find this rather stark and severe, and I wouldn't blame ya if you think as such. But for an expression of where some people who just wanted to be free, and not in your typically loveydovey way, found themselves in the face of a boot-grinding reality this just might make an impact of some sort on you.
ALBERT AYLER LP (Philology Records Bootleg, Italy)

Another one of those jazz bootlegs that, unlike those of the rock 'n roll variety, came relatively cheap and in semi-professional packaging as well. Side one's live from a '64 show at the  Montmartre in Copenhagen (home of the essential Cecil Taylor epic NEFERTITI, THE BEAUTIFUL ONE HAS COME) while the flip's from a gig two years later at the Berlin Jazz Festival and face it, both sides are more than just slightly essential. Especially tantalizing as far as the Ayler canon goes is the Berlin show which features the presence of violinist Michael Sampson, who while not as acidic as the likes of Leroy Jenkins or Billy Bang adds a whole load of maddening gnarl to an already excruciatinly emotional performance. I think this has been reissues legal-like, but live dangerously for once now, willya?
If you really wanna make me feel mean, miserable, suicidal, morbidly depressed and just downright ikky, buy all of the available back issues of BLACK TO COMM and push me over the edge! I mean it!!! Hurry up and KILL ME OFF RIGHT NOW!

*A "man" who now has his own blog dedicated to reviewing old fanzines (though not as old as the ones I handle, his being mostly from the "punque" era), an idea which I am positive he swiped directly from my very own efforts regarding the whys, wherefores and general fun these magazines exude. I mean, where else would he cop the idea from given all the rah-rahing I've done about these home-made wonders ever since the days of my own crudzine efforts!? Somehow I doubt that he will review or even acknowledge any of my admittedly low-fi efforts, but I thank God for small favors considering just what Jayzey would say about them considering his past attempts at tearing me down for reasons only really known to him (a tear down which worked, unfortunately).  God, how I hope someone doxxes him so some inspired reader of this blog would go kill him and his family (yeah, I know they're his wife and perhaps even kids but really, the shit doesn't fall far from the asshole) and make me a somewhat complacent person in this life. Die you cunt...DIE!!!!


Monomensch said...

That "terrible" Lyres record isn't so bad, and it's a keeper because it's got Pete Frame's Lyres family tree in the gatefold.

Mark Pino On Drums said...

Lyres at 9:30 Club in 1988, still one of the best live shows I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing. Plus Mono Man stole the girl I was crushing on, hahaha.

Jay Hinman said...

Chris, as I know you know, I am in my mid-50s and apologized to you YEARS ago for something childish that I wrote and then deleted on an old blog in my mid-30s. It was a mistake and not even properly representative of how I felt overall about the Pfudd and BTC magazines I bought in the 80s/90s and still own now. You’re more than welcome to keep digging away at it twenty years later, but once again: I’m sorry I wrote a doofus review of your blog in 2003; it wasn’t who I am as a person nor did it even properly capture my thoughts about your work; when you were angered by it, I deleted it, and it can never be found nor read by anyone. I grew up a little bit and haven’t written that way ever since. Sorry once again.

Christopher Stigliano said...

I dunno about the validity of what you've written, given all of the veiled digs at me (well, at least two that I am aware of, perhaps more) that appeared in DYNAMITE HEMMORHAGE, but wha' th' hey. Other sources too which I won't go into at this time. But, as Mencken would have said, your sincerity rings about as much true as P.T. Barnum's.

Jay said...

No one should have a mean-spirited post written about them on the internet, particularly when the topic is music, of all unimportant things. This is why I deleted a childish post I wrote about you 20 years ago, and why I've apologized to you multiple times. Any bewilderment you've seen on my part in other places comes from your inability to forgive and incessant focus on this decades-old stupidity of mine.

Give the last paragraph you wrote in this post a re-read for a sense of proportion here: your 2023 call to murder my family vs. my long-deleted 2004 blog post about a fanzine. I don't expect an apology. But I've publicly, as I have privately, apologized to you and said repeatedly that I was in the wrong, and that your magazine that I paid for and still own didn't deserve the digs at it that I made in 2004 on the early internet. You grow up, you learn from your mistakes, you do your best to make amends, and you try to move on. That whole snarky fanzine culture in which writers took potshots at each other was something I found hilarious for years, but I was terribly cut-out for it myself, and when I tried to do it, as in my ham-handed post about your fanzine, I stepped on a rake and pissed off someone far more than I'd ever intended to. It's a folly of youth, and I wasn't even that young, making it even more embarrassing. Anyway, I'm sorry.

Christopher Stigliano said...

You mention snark, but you couldn't even see it in that footnote of mine. Though I must admit that if there was some zealous fan of mine who took my over the top words to heart and did cause you mayhem well zheesh I would feel honored in my own downhome hokey way.

Rene Boucher said...

As someone who has given large measures of scheisse to both Jay H. (due to his weird old libertarian blog) and Stigs (due to his fascist fanboy posturing) I vote for them to kiss and make up.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Renee (if that's your real mnniker as if I don't know who you really are), it's best to stay out of personal matters especially when you can very easily become the next subject with his head on the chopping block.

Rene Boucher said...

Look up Rene Boucher, Stigs, and maybe you’ll get a good laugh.

And my head is safe.

Both of you guys have suggested boatloads of great records which is what matters to readers. I remember how shocked I was when it turned out people take all this online wienie-wagging seriously. Jaysus.

Christopher Stigliano said...

Another aside Jay, when Gerard Cosloy was making the same not-so-veiled threats against his supposed enemies in the pages of his 'zine, were you all aghast at what he wrote or were you cheering him on just like the rest of his minions most certainly were? (And Cosloy definitely wrote quite a few things that were way more severe than what I said about your kin, though his at-time apologies were quite pitiful.) My guess is the latter. Prove me wrong.

Bwian Burger said...

That dude Cosloy was mean to me and I did an entire fanzine about it. That sure showed him!

Christopher Stigliano said...

Make that "moniker" (remember, my failing eyesight).