Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Time for another excruciatingly painful and snail paced edition of a blog that would get most people in this world of ours bored silly, enraged or for that matter totally pissed off! Not that this ain't anything new considering just how easy (and fun!) it is for me to go out of my way to irritate folk who are just asking no, make that BEGGING me to offended them. Sheesh, can you imagine just how many people there are out there (many who loathe me and my various works) who actually believe that they're no-doubt-about-it superior to and thus must rule over me (and maybe even you) because they were especially chosen by God or nature or whatever (if only because they're so kind and pure of heart) to have been "gifted" with tastes, opinions and good enough looks which gives them a heavenly enough reason to treat me like dirt. Well, I guess I'm just asking for it considering I'm so ikky 'n all but sheesh, with alla the people out there who claim that they're "God's Chosen" and especially anointed by Him to act snobbishly superior and rule over the hoards of us great unwashed types I think I'd prefer to be the shit from His ass. Well, it would be a whole lot more honest and for that matter self-respecting.


Thankfully things are on a somewhat of an upswing here, if only because (on the same day!) I opened up a coupla neat packages sent to me by two devoted readers who'll do anything I say (except take out the garbage), Paul McGarry and Robert Forward! Paul's parcel contained a number of really hot burns not only requested by me (including a few rare mid-sixties airchecks of historical and funtime relevancy) but a number of items that I think he really wants me to hear and digest in my own intestinal way. Robert's was chock full of nothing but even more HEPCATS FROM HELL radio shows (some with and some without the infamous "R" Meltzer as host) which is great because that means I don't have to listen to NPR anymore! Not like I have at least since I was working a night shift and it was either the jazz show or Larry King gargling with gravel, and I was kicked outta that carpool with alla those blessed types mentioned in the paragraph above so I don't have to suffer through ALL THINGS CONSIDERED anymore! Anyway, lots of funtime listening is in store, so whatever you do don't bug me between the hours and six and eleven in the evenings, or Sat./Sun. PMs depending on my schedule.

As far as these broadcasts go, I've already trudged through the Murray the K one Paul sent which comes from the days when the K was inaugurating the concept of pre-stodgy AOR programming on WOR-FM. And to be more upfront than Chesty Morgan about it I am kinda surprised as to what actually was going down in the FM band them days --- y'see, I thought that the records that the man was spinning were going to be more in the early pre-hippoid FM style with some of those rarer "nugget if ya duggit" tunes that might have been just a li'l too strange for the transistor crowd (like I told you a millyun times, the guy got 86'd for spinnin' "War Sucks" which I will admit is a cool daddy way to go out!). It must've been too early in the FM rock game for that, but anyhoo it's pretty solid Top 40 that's in store without any of the more "adventurous" sounds that I would have associated with these early treks into the "maturing" of the rock 'n roll idiom. I find it way more'n "palatable" since this was during the top tier days of teenbo musical stomp, but why did the folk who posted this have to edit alla the music out?  Well, even without the recs it's (to be NYC swanky about it) mah-valous hearin' Mr. "K" roaring through the broadcast givin' us a reminder of just how flashy deejays (even on the FM band) used to be before the days of wine and sopors. 

Still goin' through the new batch of HEPCATS and as ya'd surely ponder what I have lent ear to is pretty much in the same outre mode as the other shows which did their best to portray the El Lay music scene in terms other than hack. Still comparatively restrained as far as some of the stories I've heard about this program...would love to encounter the ones where Meltzer'd spin turntables by hand frontwards and backwards and other decidedly non-professional actions that woulda gotten any high-stool deejay at least ten years detention. Maybe it'll turn up among these disques --- who knows?


AS IF YOU CARED DEPT.: Cleaning out the bedroom sure can uncover some of the darndest things imaginable. Like half-eaten candy bars, rejection slips and this weirditie, a mouse-nibbled copy of...well, it's a comic book true but one made outta two beat up throwaways stapled together with a brand-spanking new cover and not only that but an original cartoon drawn by none other than me! During my pre-self abuse days I was creating comics books with my (perhaps not-so) original stories for my own amusement, but I guess the time came when I figured it would be easier if I just slapped together some old beat up coverless books I got at various flea markets and wrapped 'em up as if it was some sorta original creation of mine! Well, it sure took less time than drawing these bastards.

And so came COMIC STRIP #1, and as you can tell by the cover I sure didn't have any real artistic talent or abilities to create the same kinda cover come-ons that you found in the DC and Marvel titles of the day. But hey, with Archie, Blondie and Dagwood having so many "adventures" what pre-pube suburban slob amongst us wouldn't want to pick up a comic such as this, especially with that heart-palpitating drawing showing Archie and Jughead taking on Reggie in a drag race!

Jamming cheap comic book discards together to make a new and fresh title really is a kinda/sorta original thing, even if it is taking the easy way out as far as creating some downhome self-produced fun 'n jamz go. Still, COMIC STRIP sure is a winner what with the selection of early-seventies Archie stories and Paul Fung Jr. delineated Chic Young imitations, not to mention an entire page with but one single NANCY comic (guess I forgot to paste in more to fill it up) which only goes to show that I was wont to leave projects half-finished, something which reflects my general philosophy as well as my sieve-like mind. (I am tempted to get some NANCY's and finish up what I started to do a half-century back, but somehow I think I'd be tampering with HISTORY or something along those lines.)

My budding artistic talents are most certainly on display in the only original piece to pop up here, mainly the DICK TRACY cartoon seen on the back cover. What a style and mimicry I had, one that was sure to match that of Wally Wood or Bill Elder in their various endeavors throught the fifties and sixties! Not to mention a storyline that's as gripping as anything Chester Gould could have mustered up during his prime! Really folks, I'm surprised something like this wasn't used as evidence to have me shipped all the way to Polk State Hospital where I could be drawing comics to my heart's content, while dodging all of the dung I'm sure that would have been thrown my way.

But setting my youthful stoopidity aside, after giving this comic a go over and marveling over the resultant spew I'm thinking that perhaps I should have tried to sell some of my creations like RATS REAGAN and FEEBLE FABLES to the newspaper syndicates perhaps revolutionizing the entire comic strip industry in the process. Well, they most definitely woulda put most of the offal popping up in the funny pages these days to quite a shame that's fer sure!  

Gee, I gotta say that I am so proud of this to the point where I'd like to get the thing slapped twixt to sheets of thick UV-ray prone plastic with one of those professional comic book gradings on top hermetically sealing the book for all eternity! Sheesh, even in its dilapidated form I'm sure some collector would want to snatch it up given my own fame and notoriety. But do you think I'd EVER give it up? Hmmmm, dangle a few thou in front of my snout and I may reconsider...


Hey, I finally found that cartoon showing Richard Nixon getting raped in prison via the pages of NATIONAL LAMPOON after all them years of looking in what I thought would be vain! Actually the illustration was not part of the LAMPOON's "regular programming" so-to-speak but from a poster ad which was not the impression I got when I was told about its existence via some classmate in the locker room after gym class oh so long ago! (And being in the locker room 'n all well, I'm sure glad that pic wasn't "inspirational" to him ifyaknowaddamean...) But still, the curiosity regarding this particular illustration has been solved, and just to prove how all gushin' shucks I am about it I am reprinting it here for your own enjoyment, if you enjoy that kinda stuff that is. You might think it's tasteless, but personally I haven't laughed so hard since I saw that documentary on Unit 731!

(Now, if only I had the knowledge and technology to put one of my many enemies' faces over that of Nixon's --- boy would I then be one happy camper lettin' off all of that pent up-ness in a somewhat satisfying fashion! I know that it ain't "nice" to still harbor such ill will 'n all, but then again I kinda like the way mobsters and pornographers operate and their take no prisoners hatred and loathing does come off mighty inspiring to me.)

Here's yet another list of some of the items I've been listening to (besides the goop reviewed way down below) during the creation of this post. Maybe now you'll believe that I am the complete man due to my hipper'n ever musical tastes just like you did with alla 'em kids writin' in with their own lists to MRR and FLIPSIDE!:

Umela Hmota 3 disc from the Josef Vondruska ROCK 'N' ROLLOVE MILACEK 2-CD set (Guerilla Records, Czech Republic)

UFO 1 CD with additional tracks CD (Repertoire Records, Germany)

The Shangs-SONNY BONO TEAR DOWN THIS WALL OF SOUND CD (Judigee! Records, Canada)

Art Ensemble of Chicago-AEC WITH FONTELLA BASS CD-r burn (originally on America Records, France)

Roscoe Mitchell-NONAAH 2-CD set (Nessa Records)

Terry Riley-PERSIAN SURGERY DERVISHES 2-CD set (Mantra Records, France)

The Heartbreakers-CBGB-NEW YORK 25th JULY 1975/7th SEPTEMBER 1975 CD-r burn

Suicide-disc two of THE SECOND SUICIDE ALBUM/THE FIRST REHEARSAL TAPES 2-CD set (Blast First Records, England)

The Fruit Eating Bears-THE LOST 1977 PUNK RECORDINGS CD-r burn

Various Artists-TOOTH AND NAIL CD-r burn

Fred Frith-GUITAR SOLOS LP (Caroline Records, England)

Frith/Fitzgerald/Reichel/Bailey-GUITAR SOLOS 2 LP (Caroline Records, England)

Parliament-RHENIUM LP (HTH Records, England)

Roxy Music-FIRST KISS 2-CD set (Gold Standard bootleg, Japan)

Can-TAGO MAGO 40th ANNIVERSARY 2 CD EDITION (Spoon Records, Germany)



The Human Arts Ensemble-LIVE VOL. II LP (Circle Records, Germany)

Kim Fowley-ANIMAL GOD OF THE STREET LP (Skydog Records, France)


You know what I've discovered about the current state of peopledom? You can't help but loathe 'em, and I do mean all. Still, if you can USE 'em fine, but just don't let 'em let onto your true feelings!


BE SMART AND LEARN SPANISH! Phrase of the day (directed to a good portion of my readership out there) --- "Usted es un maracon y un chupapollas!" As Eddie Haskell would have said, "It means you're a swell guy!"


You can bet that when I get some time on my hands I'm gonna be pouring through these downloads of the entire run of the infamous folk (with sidesteps into rock 'n roll) fanzine LITTLE SANDY REVIEW! And since I went to the trouble to link this 'un up you'd better too.


ALMOST bought the PULL DOWN THE SHADES compilation of the New Zealand fanzine entitled GARAGE that HoZac Books has recently sprung upon the world of rock reader-ism. What killed the deal you might ask? The Tom Lax interview (he being one of many who deserves the treatment I wished upon Jay Hinman a good six months back), that's what! And he lives a whole lot closer to me than Jay, so a one day trip could fill the bill just fine!

BORENADO WARNING: Going against my own better judgement (and Eddie Flowers', who warned me that nobody really gives a number two about my long-winded reviews which often recount various episodes in my comparatively dull and boring existence*), I decided to really let go and crank out some multi-paragraphed and definitely elongated writeups this go 'round. My own personal opinion's that these longer'n usual writeups just might be some of the better scribbling efforts I've put out in quite some time, though I know most of you will undoubtedly think that these personalist blabathons are about as exciting as my pornography collection (NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, SEARS CATALOG, mid-seventies issues of TIME and NEWSWEEK...). Well good for you, even though at this stage in the game I don't care what you think or care about me or what I write --- until I change my mind that is.

Lester Bowie-AMERICAN GUMBO 2-CD set (32 Jazz Records)

The rekindling of various AACM stirrings within the wax of my third ear had me latching onto this collection of the first two of the three Lester Bowie  albums that came out on the short-lived Muse label (the third, a trumpet/drums duo with Charles "Bobo" Shaw which is entitled BUGLE BOY BOP might get the review treatment in a future post, or at least I hope it does!). 

I've already had the first of the pair entitled FAST LAST! for quite some time, but since I hadda get it paired with LP #2 ROPE-A-DOPE which isn't available on its lonesome lest I want to buy an overpriced vinyl copy so its like I had little choice. Well, you could say that snatching this 'un up was an excuse to give FAST LAST! another spin and of course it's still good, flocculating between out there AACM/BAG squalls and somewhat straightforward takes on tuneage as squaresville as (if you can believe it, and I can!) "Hello Dolly"! Bowie's sidemen rank among the top outre types of the day from Julius Hemphill and Philip Wilson to some dudes who were not exactly known for their adherence to the way out aesthetics that the AACM was known for. Bassist Cecil McBee and even Art Blakey mainstay John Hicks pop up here and it ain't like these guys were quite in the same strata as Bowie and all of thise Midwest maulers. But don't fret, for it all comes out in the wash, 'specially the closing number "F Troop Rides Again" which makes me feel really good inside knowing that even the more further out players of the past used to get their kicks watching old tee-vee sitcoms just like I did and certainly will continue to do!

ROPE-A-DOPE's got the sound, a good buzz and fellow Art Ensemble of Chicago members Malachi Favors and Don Moye helping out. It also has Lester's brother and future Defunkt leader Joseph on trombone and violinist Raymond "The Wizard" Cheng on the opening track, he being a guy who not only pops up on the Frank Lowe classic BLACK BEINGS but a man who has a style that sounds like a smoother and fluider Leroy Jenkins (Jenkins being the standard of how I rate jazz violin!). Wonder why he never went as far as he shoulda...prob'ly the drugs.

Even some of my less-alert readers would call ROPE-A-DOPE more of the same what with an original arrangement of "St Louis Blues" taking the song in one distinct direction the way the Flamin' Groovies took it in quite another. Like its predecessor its quite the experience, with me finding the trumpet/bass/drums "Mirage" the kind of freeform jazz set-up I wish more working trios would have delved into. In fact the totality of "side two" lacks even one woodwind resulting in a sound that affects me (maybe even you) in quite an unusual way as the Bowie bros. rip and tear around the bass and percussion onslaught dredging up some long- buried emotions you've been keeping deep inside lo these many years. Maybe they're the emotions you would have preferred to have been left buried within the stockroom of your mind, but in my case they sure brought back warm 'n toasty memories regarding a whole lotta the somewhat occult excitement I encountered discovering this new thing during the later years of my teenbo existence. It's sorta like a music that represents your inner child caught playing with himself and OUT COME THE SCISSORS!!!!!!

From the sound of these I'm guessing BUGLE BOY BOP to be an equally stellar example of minimalist brass and percussion taken to perhaps even more stark reaches. Hey Paul you old fanabla you, hurry up with that burn willya? (And as I noted above, he did --- see next post for a write-up!)

Poetraphonics-COME LIKE BOMBS cassette tape (P-Fon Records)

Here's one that I was quite curiouser than curiouser about in typical Alice in Wonderland fashion about after comin' across some boffo writeups way back in the Dark Ages we call the late eighties. Heck, I even recall writing to the fine folk behind this particular cassette (the same people who gave us MX-80 Sound in case you're interested) and for some odd reason hearing nada back, something which I considered strange because I had nil trouble getting ahold of the Junior Grenadier and Angel Corpus-Christi releases they were dishing out just a short time earlier. Having written, half-jokingly at that, about my lack of success in getting hold of this and other efforts in the pages of my own fine publication (back then I was being sent some of the worst offal passing as "amerindie" piddle whilst the truly vital goodies I hadda pay hard to come by bucks for) I was told, by a certain ex-CREEM staffer who has one of the biggest cases of Virtuosus Signatalus ever seen by man (he was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam hoohah, and how more self-righteous can one get???) that my failure in latching onto this very cassette was DEFINITELY because two of the people involved in this effort were of the Hebrew persuasion and obviously they would never deal with such an outright anti-Semite such as I! Funny, but I never thought it really showed...

Anyway, said rock critic (whose work I admired but found difficult to read afterwards sensitive soul that I was and shall remain) was definitely talking up his pacifist ass because, like I said, I managed to get a whole slew of tapes from these exact same people without them pulling any snobbish moral superiority tricks on me! Maybe my request just didn't reach them, but waddevvah my curiosity regarding this tape was buggin' me for quite some time considering the positive press that this band and release received. It eventually came to the point where what it sounded like became one of those gnawing questions that I've been trying to answer for what seems like ages. Aural hallucinations swirled in my brain, and just what this musical act had laid down became one of those gnawing things I just hadda know more about, along the lines of things like just who was that country and western heavy metal band from Texas that played at CBGB and Max's Kansas City way back in September 1981 anyway?  

Well, thanks to the miracle of email I was able to finally get to hear this 'un courtesy the kindness of one Mr. Lindsay Hutton, who maybe not-so-graciously but graciously enough anyway sent me a cassette dub of Poetraphonics' COME LIKE BOMBS in exchange for a coupla back issues of my crudzine that I've been trying to pawn off for ages. A good trade on my part, but for some perhaps not-so-odd reason I think Mr. Hutton got stiffed in this deal since those mags ain't exactly of what I would call tippy top quality and this tape's a pretty good humdinger, not without its faults mind you but something that reminds me of the better aspects of eighties under-the-underground rock 'n roll that unfortunately got wooshed away by the more irritating musical aspects of those worser-than-worse times.

A good heapin' hunkin' portion of these Poetraphonics' repertoire is slightly reminiscent (but reminiscent enough) of some of the wonkier moments of eighties musical glitz. Syn-drums (or what sounds like 'em) are evident and the emotionless chanted femme vocals recall the less satisfying moments of eighties pop, of which there were more than just many. However, as with a few similar-minded efforts (the Lisa Burns/Sal Maida group Velveteen come to mind) any suspected SOLID GOLD-styled nausea is somewhat redeemed by a strong sense of rock dynamics mixed in with the material girl aura, at least with shaved armpits or so I hope. 

Jr. Lloyd's vocals (along with those of an accordion-less Angel Corpus Christi, who also does some drumming here) are flat, lacking any sorta dynamics needed for such a group and generally void of any flash, but they fit in with a sound that sure reminds me of a time when those local bands at least knew enough to swipe their riffage straight outta "Sweet Jane" staying somewhat true to their Lou/Iggy form.  COME LIKE BOMBS does have a flighty bounce yet bared-wire intensity (really!), sounding closer to Max's Kansas City 1981 than Danceteria 1982 (a comparison that any New York rocker woulda gotten back in them mode-changing days). Guitar flash comes courtesy of none other than MX-80 lead vocalist and music biz lawyer Rich Stim while the other drummer (who I will admit most of the time sounds syn-less---heh!) is none other than former MX-80 pounder Dave Mahoney making this about as much of a bonafeed MX-80 spinoff as Playette or even Chinaboise!

In fact you Chinaboise fans will be glad to know that "The Greatest Story Ever Told" pops up here, slightly reworked as "Work Is Hard" but still pounding enough for fans of the Bloomington brigade that gave us acts like this as well as the Gizmos, the Social Climbers and those West Coast wannabes the Screaming Gypsy Bandits. Fans of the late-seventies zeitgeist will also be thrilled to the tits by the Poets' take on the Iggy classic "Funtime" which (at least for me), sure dredged up memories of the spiritual opening of my musical appreciation 'round them times, even though I thought THE IDIOT was a flopperoo back when I first heard it upon release! Oh, and there's that "deconstruction" of "As Tears Go By" which is about as different from Marianne Faithful's take as BLOG TO COMM is from DEMOCRACY NOW.

Dunno if the people behind Poetraphonics are planning to re-release this with the required bonus tracks and of course a neato booklet detailing the group's history and bitter days of struggle. I kinda/sorta doubt it but they better, because even with the tendency to drive into my brain some of the reasons I struggled through (and continue to struggle through for that matter!) the post-'81 huge drop off in rock 'n roll quality COME LIKE BOMBS also reminds me of the freshness and at-times unique appeal that some of those groups that sprang forth from the loins of the likes of Patti, Iggy, Lou etc. were able to muster up with seemingly little or no effort. And no, I'm not on any special medication that would affect my abilities to reason and judge what is and ain't worthy for any of our ears as far as soundscapading goes. This is a pretty good wowzer in its own special wayshapeform and I'll even put your life on the line to defend my frank and forthright opinion!

Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co.-LIKE A DUCK TO WATER CD-r burn (originally on Earthquack Records, or Cuneiform if you're of the Cee-Dee age)

OK, I'm only doing shorties from now on (at least in this post), but given how I usedta pour through the NMDS catalog drooling all over all those records I could never afford en masse I could go on and on about this one. And although I had my doubts about LIKE A DUCK TO WATER thinkin' it might just be one of those neo-proggy electronic efforts with gnu age-y overtones it sure sounds like the better moments of alla that mid-seventies analog synth stuff I usedta hear all over PBS, the bumper music that seemed adventurous and exciting to my underdeveloped teenbo brain. Almost like Harmonia in its approach with a little bit of Klaus Schultze, Philip Glass and Terry Riley chucked in, DUCK is surprisingly original and refreshing to them ears especially for an all-synth (w/some sidesteps into electric piano) ensemble. Alla you readers who discovered krautrock in the mid-nineties will go for this with more gusto than any of us would have ever imagined!


Hawkwind during their QUARK STRANGENESS AND CHARM days, undoubtedly one of their better times even though Brad Kohler would disagree, roaring through a couple of pretty hotcha sets laid down smack inna middle of Holland of all places! Band's in finer'n fine form what with Robert Calvert once again fronting and the better selections from their latest getting played for a small club audience who seem pretty appreciative given that they well, are from Holland, the land of treats, uncles and rubs. Each show climaxes with a boffo cover of "Waiting For My Man" showing that Hawkwind were staying true to their Ladbroke Grove roots even that far down the ol' line and were perhaps even more on the ball compared with some of their younger and punkier competition. You can burn both of 'em via Youtube, though if you're one of those hi-fi nut sound quality type of guys I'd suggest the Luxor one if only so's you stay true to your anal-retentive sense of sonic integrity.


The Unholy Modal Rounders-LIVE FOLK CITY 1976 CD-r burn

If you think that HAVE MOICY represents the spirit of lysergic Americana way more than all of those Marin County casualties ever did you'll want to burn this 'un off Youtube as well. Stampfel and co. dig out a number of newies to my ear as well as the hits offa their most recent chartbuster and if all of them feelings you had when you first discovered these guys don't come rushin' back then your third ear undoubtedly needs a good wax cleanin'. Makes you feel proud to be a member of urban hillbilly freakdom, or at least spiritually a part of it. Best parts, the covers of "Wooly Bully" and "Be True To Your School" not forgetting the infamous HMR chestnut "Fucking Sailors in Chinatown" which I somehow think would offend quite a few sensitive souls in these sad 'n sorry times.


The Wailers-OUTBURST CD-r burn (originally on Collectables Records, United Artists before that)

This a sorta cleaned up version of the OUT OF OUR TREE-era Wailers for national consumption. The inclusion of such tit-rubbers as "It's You Alone" at the expense of  the more raucous material from TREE was sure to placate those more mellow rock types who weren't into the raucousness of it all. Fine for them although fans of the hard rock Northwest Sound are sure to get pee'd. 

Quite a few Beatles influence can be sniffed out (the Fab ones shoulda sued for the way the Wailers re-conditioned "Drive My Car" on "Turn and Run"!) and the nod to Indian mysticism via "Bad Trip" shows that the guys were not the baggy suit shorthairs of their first platter anymore. 

Like it or lump it, but ya gotta admit that when the Wailers were taking on current pop trends they took it on in their own special fashion and weren't just mere copycats out to scam cooze with the female pantie wetters of the day! Not bad even with the slowies!

James "Blood" Ulmer and Sam Rivers Group-JAZZTAGE FORUM, LEVERKUSEN GERMANY 1993-10-9 CD-r burn

Warn't aware of this particular grouping until I chanced upon a posted video of 'em during a recent Youtube stroll. Got Mr. McGarry to burn it for me and now I have a really good show by this quartet that'll be a pretty keeno backdrop to late night readings of the various mid-seventies CREEMs that are living in my clothes closet forevermore. 

Ulmer's at his usual fit form playing a really small electric guitar that kinda looks like one of those Audiovox solid bodies of the thirties while Rivers does pretty good for a 69-er going from free to blues to even some rock territory fitting in with the new "punk funk" mode just fine. The rest of the quartet (Kim Clarke on bass guitar and Aubrey Dayle on drums) keep it all together as much as you'd expect...btw Clarke is the current bassist for Defunkt, one of them eighties-born heroin-infused lower Manhattan aggregates (led by noted trombonist and brother to Lester Joseph Bowie) that I didn't even know were even still around. You'll think it's a bit too commercial in spots but eh, I can withstand it if only to get to the gnarly moments!


After combing through some of these (no, all of these) back issues of BLACK TO COMM I've come to the conclusion that they really are the pits. The writing (well, at least mine) is atrocious with nth degree Meltzer swipes lacking in any honest insight or dazzle, the photo reproduction is for the most part horrid, the layout looks as if Stevie Wonder did it and the overall spirit and joy that should have been part and parcel to a publication such as this has been replaced by a dog-tiredness that for the most part comes off desperate. You think the above writing's bad??? Right now I just can't stand even looking at these losers staring me straight inna puss. Please do me a favor and GET THESE FANZINES OUT OF MY LIFE and hopefully for good!


*Perhaps the best criticism of my writing (good natured criticism that is, otherwise I woulda ignored it with a passion sensitive soul that I am!) that was ever leveled my way. Only wish I wish I had adhered to it much earlier in my career.

Monday, June 12, 2023


I know I've been remiss in my duties (which seems to be the rule more than the exception in these here times --- eh!), but as some might say the longer the wait the better! Not because there's a nice gap o' time between my postings of this trash, it's just that I have more time to concentrate on the details and nuances of the music at hand rather'n just dash out some prima facie opines. Also, because I'm not under the gun and doing this at a more leisurely pace I can even put more time into correcting some of the typos and unintended misspellings and grammatical errors that usually befall even the most honest and pure of BLOG TO COMM posts. (I'll keep the run-on sentences intact --- always loved their tangled drive.) You won't care, but two thousand years from now I get the impression that someone'll be studying this blog like it was an ancient dinosaur turd so I better put my all into these efforts rather'n just dish out the usual slop that I've been writing for the past umpteen (or more) years.

Not that there's anything really earth-shattering to report about these days, nor is there the time for me to do just that. As usual I have been busier than a gerbil salesman in San Francisco (by the way, happy "Gay Shame" month as Don Fellman says) doing way too much real-life things that sure take the time outta goofing off and other activities crucial to the BLOG TO COMM lifestyle. Fortunately I have had some precious moments where I could kick up the feet and lend ear to many a good recording as you will see below, but otherwise it's pretty yawnsville 'round here even when the drudgery of real life work gives way to those scant hours (who'm I kiddin' --- minutes) of funtime. Not only that but there hasn't been anything positive in a deep, spiritual way to affect me as of late. I mean, nobody that I hate has died recently and that's usually a call for "drinks on the house" as far as this fanabla is concerned!

A big hefty and hearty thanks to Robert Forward who jetted my way a burn of the 5-CD Yardbirds collection of radio and other weirdities entitled GLIMPSES. I really do appreciate the thought you put into sending 'em, but frankly if you did your homework you would have known that I've already reviewed it here and you could have saved a whole lotta time and money that could have been put to much better use, like buying up some of my back issues! Oh well --- if any of you readers would like these burns (and if you're in good standing) why not ask before Brad Kohler gets 'em whether he likes it or not! (No rush since the thing got lost in my room, but when I do find 'em them burns will be going somewhere!)

Members of the Against Me!
 fan club showing their
disapproval at the lack of 
any gender fluid trans
acts in today's space filler.
In order to fill up space and make this post look beefier'n a can of Dinty Moore's here's a list of some items that I have been spinnin' during the creation of this particular post.  I am also doing this to show you just what a well-rounded person with relatively universal tastes I most truly am and shall remain, just like all of them guys who wrote letters to THE NEW YORK ROCKER and MAXIMUM ROCK 'N ROLL and jotted down their top tens if only to look "hip" and "with it":

Roky Erickson EP on Sponge Records

Myriam Gendron-MA DELYRE CD (Feeding Tube Records)

Transcendental Psychology-REDEFINITION CD (Chromium Recordings)

Joseph Jarman-SONG FOR CD (Delmark Records)

International Harvester-SOV GOTT ROSE-MARIE CD (Silence Records, Sweden)

Moby Grape-MOBY GRAPE '69 CD (Sundazed Records)

Frank Lowe-DOCTOR TOO MUCH CD-r burn (originally on Kharma Records)

Gang of Four-ENTERTAINMENT! LP (Warner Brothers Records)

Can-UNOPENED CD (Asteroid Records)

Tim Buckley-STARSAILOR CD (Enigma/Retro/Straight Records)

Comus-FIRST UTTERANCE CD (BGO Records, England)

Les Rallizes Denudes-ARE YOU RALLIZISED? 2-CD set (Ignuitas Records)

Stanley Cowell-BLUES FOR THE VIET KONG LP (Arista/Freedom Records)

Wayne Shorter-SUPERNOVA LP (Blue Note Records)

Lol Coxhill-WELFARE STATE LP (Caroline Records, England)

Smegma-"PIGS FOR LEPERS" CD (Harbinger Sound Records)

The Ventures & The Fabulous Wailers-TWO CAR GARAGE CD (Blue Horizon Records)

The Grateful Dead-FROM THE ARCHIVES VOL. 1 CD (Deadhead Corporation Records)


The Magic Michael track from the GREASY TRUCKERS PARTY 2-LP set (United Artist Records, England)

Hawkwind-THE TEXT OF FESTIVAL CD (Eastworld Records)

Chrome-HALF MACHINE FROM THE SUN CD (King of Spades Records)


Don't say I don't do anything good for you, like post this link to where you can download your very own issue of GULCHER #0!


Y'know, it's quite interesting on one hand yet in no way surprising on the other how something like a comic strip can remain witty and more attuned to one's sense of humor and artistic taste a good hundred-plus years after its creation, while strips fresh off the press flop about like a fish as soon as they hit your eyes:


Does anyone out there in blogland know where the following bit originally appeared (one source says MAD TV but they were never as cutting as this)? Dunno about you but I found this takeoff on fifties-era educational films quite high-larious given how the concept of radical no-holds-barred humor (started by the likes of Monty Python and nurtured through various outlets throughout the seventies) is now strictly verboten in a world where the modern-day version of those "reform leagues" that D.W. Griffith so eloquently railed against are watching us with the gleeful intent to ruin. It's surprising that such truly righteous offensiveness was even permitted in the first place, at least in this dungeon we call the 21st century:


If we unplugged Karen Quinlan and plugged her back in a few minutes later, would she work?


And now for some albums that didn't set the world on fire (even when someone was looking!) and in fact nobody gives a good gol durn about even to this day. 'cept me of course, but what good am I in a day and age when music "criticism" has long gone beyond even the cut and paste of the eighties and into some rather dismal ultraslick hypoid direction I'm sure even the more turdlike rock critics of the eighties couldn't have imagined? Thanks to Paul McGarry, the aforementioned Mr. Forward and a record collection that's been growing like tumors on my anus ever since the seventies.

RAT AT RAT R LP (Neutral Records)

Way more coherent than I remember it to have been. Sure the rot of late-eighties noise for the sake of striking a pretentious New York artistic pose can be discerned (the forbearer of many of those angst scrawls one has heard since the nineties) but a hefty slab of experimentalism back when that concept was still exciting is clearly more'n just howshallIsay present. It's no surprise that this came out on Glenn Branca's Neutral label considering the similarities between Rat and Branca's various sonically-related endeavors. Actually a pretty gnarly listen-to especially if you were one of those guys in the eighties that really missed the cataclysmic crash that was seventies underground music and longed for its return. And if that sounds like me it should sound like you too.



Unit Five and Chi Pig live in 2005? Didn't know about it (or else I forgot about it) but I wouldn't've been there anyway because --- well, I have a hard time finding my way 'round Akron and going out costs money. 'n you all know what a cheapskate moocher I am!

I remember Unit Five as being one of those NE Ohio new unto gnu wave groups that were probably boring beyond belief (I mighta heard 'em before, but I sure don't remember given the blur of abysmal music that made its way to my ears throughout the eighties/nineties!) but here they seem downright passable. I guess the studio slickness that I faintly recall is what gave me such a terrible impression of 'em. Here they don't sound half bad, or half good for that matter. Still it is better'n just about all of the drek on the NE Ohio scene that music like this ultimately led to.

Chi Pig are surprisingly wowzer here, perhaps because once again the recording quality only adds the kinda rawness that I prefer in a lotta my music, accentuating the grittiness that rock 'n roll used to stand for before nauseating gloss and older generation professionalism took forth. Dunno if this was a one-off reunion or if they have been playin' out for some time, but the band sounds exactly as I remember 'em from those WMMS and WKSU recordings that Bob Forward had most graciously made for me. The reformed Rocket From The Tombs coulda taken a few lessons from Sue and Debbie given how those reunion platters, hokay as they were, needed some of the original THRUST.

Closing out the show's some Tin Huey who sound more late-seventies professional than mid-seventies underground here.  I guess they couldn't argue with the sound that got them signed to Warners which is fair enough, but given how dismal that 'un sold I dunno... Their version of "Gimme Danger" was a masterful touch --- I mean, to my knowledge NOBODY has ever covered that 'un! Too bad they hadda fade it out right when it was gettin' good.


The Revolutionary Ensemble-THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC CD-r burn (originally on A&M/Horizon Records)

Believe-you-me, I've had this in my collection for well over forty years (got it at the same flea market, the same booth, and the same day I got that Arnold Corns single that still has Brad Kohler cracking up left and right!), but I forced Paul McGarry to burn me one anyway just so's I can drive around with it playing on the sound system with the window down! Boy I'll bet the girls'll be pullin' up and winking at me like anything!

Being their only big label release, this '76 effort sure shows the trio of Jenkins/Sirone/Cooper not wasting the opportunity to take it to the max throwing every bit of sweat, sinew and perhaps even a few whole body parts into this effort. The upkick in quality doesn't make this any better of an album than does the same spirited violin-led neo-chamber jazz that the Ensemble made somewhat of a name for themselves with. Introspective in fact, sorta like a chopped down string quartet with percussion and forays into what some might call "whimsy", but it is nothing less than pure genius (using the word a little loosely, but just a little...).

Shee-it, but "Chinese Rocks" really does have a rock 'n roll (well, rhythm and blues) base that yings Jenkins' homage to mid-sixties Ornette's yang 'n you can dance to it! 

The title track starts off with a Back to Africa percussion workout complete with chanting before turning into Anton Webern (or is it Arnold Schoenberg? John Cage???). Then it's back to everything you liked about such 60s/70s players like Jenkins who (no doubt about it!) was the Albert Ayler of the violin to Sirone who invented lead bass and Cooper who could get Sunny Murray-ish then refined then tribalist, or maybe all three things at once if you can believe it!

T'is interesting to realize that, for a brief period in the seventies, the music of Braxton as well as these guys could actually get major label backing not to mention some press coverage with everything drying up as soon as the eighties took hold. Heck, I even recall seeing THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC proudly on display on the wall at the National Record Mart at the Youngstown Ohio Southern Park Mall along with the rest of the new releases of note proving its prominence as a platter that was worthy of all the push it deserved! And people wonder why I think so highly of the mid-seventies.


Lamonte Young/Marian Zazeela-THE BLACK RECORD CD-r burn (originally on Not On Label Records, Japan)

I haven't been keeping up with the flood of Lamonte Young albums that have been (re)issued over the pasty twentysome years, so this '69 effort is definitely a newie to me. Young and Zazeela moan to sine waves on the first track while a gong is bowed on the second sans any vocal contributions. It kind of reminds me of some of those early-sixties experimental Fluxus-inspired pieces where items are dragged across the floor and amplified by contact mics. This is gonna be a great spin for me whenever I get into one of my classical avant drag out the Cage moods.



Another one from the US tour and really not that different from any of the other Radio Birdman recordings from the same era. Noteworthy for the inclusion of some stellar covers from the Who ("Circles") and Blue Oyster Cult ("Hot Rails to Hell") not forgetting the Kinks raver "Till the End of the Day" 'long with the familiar Birdman rep. Good enough for me, howzbout you?

Au Pairs-STEPPING OUT OF LINE THE ANTHOLOGY 2-CD set (Castle Music Records)

Sheesh what's with it with these early-eighties English "post-punque" bands anyway? You start off liking what you hear, then you begin picking out various nuances that hamper the band's overall direction and approach, then you get just downright irritated after even only a few numbers. This is especially frustrating on anthologies when the music starts off sounding rather creative but eventually devolves into Feminist Youth Disco pickup dance music puke (12-inch remix). You can just guess how you'll feel when you're done with the entire shebang! The worst part was that groups like Au Pairs sounded a whole load better'n alla the fluff-weight metal and preening gnu wave posturing that was all the rage at the time! Gawd if I had a knife I'd cut any memories of the eighties on right outta my brain!


AMM-THE CRYPT : 12 JUNE 1968 THE COMPLETE SESSION 2-CDr burn (originally on Matchless Recordings)

Heard a snippet of this off AN AFFLICTED MAN'S MUSICAL BAG but the entirety of this '92 release is new to mine ears. Bee-youtiful stuff too, what with the wall of feedback covering up the conventional (?) instruments weaving in and out, up and down and it still comes off like 90 minutes of "LA Blues" to me. I should like this --- after all I used to spin the AMM side of the LIVE ELECTRONIC MUSIC IMPROVISED album in bed back in the late-seventies and it sure helped relax me straight into the arms of Morpheus more'n Sominex ever could!


I've come to a surprising change o' mind regarding these back issues of BLACK TO COMM I've been hustling since time immemorial (well, at least it seems that way). Maybe I'm just not pushing them hard enough, so PUSH PUSH PUSH I must! Now if only some of you readers out there'd do a little pulling (and you know what I mean, silly!).