Thursday, October 26, 2023

So many records and so little money! Well not really as far as the moolah goes, but I'm trying to save at least a sliver of my bank account for my ever-approaching old age even if by that time the only thing I will be able to afford will be banged up cans of beans found in the dumpster behind Dollar General. But man there are some items being plunked onto the "market" that I'd sure like holding in my once come-stained mitts but the price tag usually has me shudderin' in sticker shock. For example, take the recent re-re-REPACKAGING of the Hawkwind SPACE RITUAL extravaganza (this time as a ten-disc set complete with a blu ray which means nada to me and a thick enough book to peruse through it all) which is sure tempting but is going for upwards of three-hundred-something dollars!!! Thankfully there are a few items that are just within the realm of my pocketbook, that is if I don't go hog wild and "pour my money down a rat hole" as I was told while growing up and wanting a quarter for some candy. 

THE BAD NEWS: when I tally up the cost of even all of the less pocketbook-pounding items I would sure love to have and to hold the total can be quite staggering, but thankfully there's always ramen to help out on one's entertainment budget. Surprisingly enough considering my financial straits I managed to get ONE hot off the press item that I'll gladly blab about this go 'round, but still those care packages I get from Paul McGarry and Robert Forward sure do help out a whole load ('n not that kinda "load" you stupid perv you!).


Other things that have been accomplished since we last met --- well, not that much though I have been getting in my share of thrills doing things that only a true rockist would dare to do here so late in the rock died in 1968 but its malady lingers on game. Things like rock 'n roll-related reading when I have the time including quite a few old classic-era fanzines, the ones which were reporting on a rock 'n roll re-birth (or maybe even after-birth) that was blossoming before many a wide eye during the mid-seventies. Also eyeballed recently was the book that was enclosed with the Peter Laughner 5-LP set which collects a good portion of the man's --- er --- "rock criticism" (yech!). Them Laughner records haven't touched needle since I first spun 'em way back when, but the book has been opened a few times and reading his opines lifted outta ancient issues of CREEM and various small Cleveland papers really is inspirational even when he's writing about something most of us care nothing about. Like with all of our favorite seventies scribes, Laughner's prose is as musical as the sounds he was describing, even invigorating to the point where his commentaries re. everything from Lou Reed to even Rory Gallagher sure makes me wish I was born five-ten years earlier and aware of the music being made (it wasn't like essentials such as Iggy Pop and Beefheart were exactly prevailing on the radio dial) and that I had the money to afford it all and that I possessed a state-of-the-art stereo system and had parents who weren't so uptight about my personal tastes in sound/literature I need to go on???


Another thing that's been occupying my dwindling free hours has been goofing around on the internet with Artificial Intelligence, which I somehow tend to feel could be just as hazardous to one's state of nervous system as fooling around with sub-atomic particles. Threw a few interesting ideas into the ol' AI generator and came up with (at times since some of my suggestions were seemingly impossible to translate into pictures!) a few interesting things that I sure get a hoot outta! F'rexample take these following illustrations that came up when I, off the top of my rather shiny dome, pecked out "Iggy and the Stooges at Max's Kansas City" and got the following strange wonders! This Brave New World is sure better'n anything Huxley coulda come up with!:

Here're some more AI "Stooges" pics I conjured up. They don't look like 'em but I get the feeling these guys from Dimension X coulda been the ultimate heavy metal band (in the best CREEM  magazine sense) had they actually existed! And I really gotta give credit to anyone who could play those Bizarro-world electric guitars! Oh how I wanna give 'em a good listenin' to!

And this is Lou Reed and John Cale performing on the street --- in 1965!

I'm not even going to tell you what group this is supposed to be!


Given the time of the year I thought this cartoon just might remind you of the days when Halloween wasn't just a holiday by kids for kids but a time when them inhibitions regarding respect of property and general goody goodiness went flying out the soaped up window. Sheesh, it looks like the axis powers were right after all, at least regarding us kids runnin' WILD at least once a year! Light a cat doo-doo bag on yer teacher's front porch and give Adolf a helping hand...


THINGS LISTENED TO IN THE INTERIM that I'm listing not only to pad out this post but to look "cool" even though my selections are so obvious that they really will convince many that I'm just a phonus balonus who's trying too hard flopping about in the process. But really, my only true regret is that I haven't had that much time to connect with my vinyl --- maybe next list:

Elliot Murphy-LOST GENERATION LP (RCA Records)

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

Charles Gayle-TIME ZONES CD (Tompkins Square Records)


David Bowie-CHANGES CD (Lobster Records bootleg, Italy)

David Bowie-CLEVELAND MUSIC HALL CD (Gold Standard Records bootleg --- same tour and set as above and not sounding as hotcha for that matter, but think of all of the Cle underground luminaries in the audience!)

Guru Guru-ESSEN 1970 CD (Garden of Earthly Delights Records, Germany)

Anthony Braxton-ALTO SAXOPHONE IMPROVISATIONS 1979 2-LP set (Arista Records)

Zusaan Kali Fasteau-Noah Howard-Bobby Few Trio-EXPATRIATE KIN CD (Creative Improvised Music Projects Records)

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

Moebius-Plank-Neumeier-ZERO SET CD (Sky/Gyroscope Records)

Loose Gravel-THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES CD (Bucketfull of Brains Records, England)

David Wertman-KARA SUITE CD-r burn (originally on Mustevic Sound Inc. Records --- an official reissue should be out by now)

Sonny Boy Williamson-KING BISCUIT TIME CD (Arhoolie Records)

The Revolutionary Ensemble-VIETNAM 1 & 2 CD (ESP Disk/ZYX Music Records)

MUSIK VON HARMONIA CD (Brain Records, Germany)

Harmonia-LIVE 1974 CD (Water Records) 


Sirone Bang Ensemble-CONFIGURATION CD (Silkheart Records, Sweden)

Country Joe and the Fish-THE RAG BABY EPs box set (Akarma Records)

The Velvet Frogs-tracks off THE STORY OF OAK RECORDS and PSYCHEDELIC SCHMIELS 4 CDs (Wooden Hill Records, England)


Various Artists-MESSTHETICS GREATEST HISS (Vol. 1) (Hyped to Death Records)

Joseph Jarman/Anthony Braxton-TOGETHER ALONE CD (Delmark Records)

Muhal Richard Abrams-LEVELS AND DEGREES OF LIGHT CD (Delmark Records)

Cluster-SOWIESOSO CD (Sky Records, Germany)


Here are the sounds that get lined up against the brick wall this week, and as usual thanks be to Bob Forward and Paul McGarry for their contributions to the discord. A nice slab of booty here too if I must say and who knows, some of 'em might actually fit in with the breadth and scope of the blog (and before that the crudzine)!

The Final Solution-THE FILLMORE WEST July 7, 1966 LP (Take It Acid Is Records)

If it weren't for Alec Palao and Jud Cost's essential and much-missed fanzine CREAM PUFF WAR I doubt I would have ever heard of the Final Solution, and for that I should be forever grateful to the two. These  guys were part and parcel of the San Francisco scene back when it was still PUNK ROCK (in the purest sense possible), a scene which even I will admit was something that was downright awe-inspiring at least until the drugs and pretension set in. The Final Solution's raga-folk sounds, along with such luminaries as the Great Society and some ne'er do wells calling themselves the Warlocks, were definitely the highlight of a long strange trip that sure went off on a wilder tangent than I'm sure many people even in San Francisco coulda conjured up in their then comparatively-unaddled minds.

Great sound, lousy audience (well, all three seemed appreciative!). Musically the Solution were a cross between the Society and Beau Brummels with some Vejtables/Mojo Men influx still sounding as NUGGETS as we'd hope any group outta 1966 woulda. Long Indian-influenced tracks and a Pigpen-ish "Turn On Your Lovelight" romp unveil before your very ears, and just wait until you hear the strange "America the Beautiful" and "2120 South Michigan Avenue" mishmosh that closes out the entire shebang!


Alison Cotton-ONLY DARKNESS NOW CD-r burn (Bloxham Tapes, England)

First utterance had me thinking MARBLE INDEX what with the presence of Cotton's harmonium and viola, and then the shifting drones conjured LaMonte Young. Only this is dolorous and reminds me of what some very early tones of pagan praise might have sounded like. Actually if you combine all three this makes pretty darn sense. Femme oohs mate with that heavenly blare that makes me think that maybe these are MARBLE INDEX outtakes ('r at least backing tracks) after all!


PROBLEM - HATE/GREY CD (Easy Listening Records)

I approach every eighties (and beyond) vintage experimental rock effort done by art majors who can't find jobs with more than just a small spec of suspicion. You would too given some of the musical atrocities of the past few decades. And frankly I did the same with these guys (and gal) who were doing the ol' art project thing in the culturally pumping city of Port Huron Michigan. Gawrsh how I thought this bunch (pretty much same group under different monikers) was gonna scrape the bottom gobbling up alla the worst aspects of art wave cheap electronics/drum machine dorm room precociousness but guess what? They pull it off just as snatly as the same bands who were doing the same things in larger cities and maybe gettring away with it as well!

If you have an imagination, try conjuring up a somewhat halfway there cross between Tuxedomoon, Sick Dick and the Volkswagens and Throbbing Gristle. Now imagine someing just a tad angrier'n a good hunk of the aural school glue that many a precocious petunia type was conjuring up out there in the middle hunk of the United State during the dankness of the eighties. 'n fact this is rather hard and intense with growling vocals mixed with cyborg electronic grave new world visions that I kinda get the impression coulda only been created by drug-hardened coasters who lived and died by their wits and they probably didn't smell too good either. A surprise outta that oft-visited place called nowhere.  


The Pagans-THE PINK ALBUM --- PLUS! CD-r burn (originally on Crypt Records)

Dunno if McGarry sent this to me so's I can eke a review outta it or just to bug me for skipping this 'un over as well as their debut 45 "Six and Change" when I had ample opportunity to buy both. Whatever the reason here's a burn which re-introduces me as to just why these Cleveland rock 'n rollers seemed like the only hope for some high energy jamz even if they were stuck smak dab in the center of Pantsiosville.

Being the doofus I am and shall remain, I kinda forgotten just how much of a rich rock history this group had. They weren't just a buncha fanablas who read about punk rock and decided to do some bandwagon jumping on, and lotsa past rock 'n roll highlights can be discerned from lo fi rockabilly to early-sixties teen combo crankout to mid-sixties punk rock (t'was fitting that Crypt Records handled this reish!), all done in that total p-rock abandon that separated the Pagans and their likes from a whole slew of hippies in disguise who were creeping in on the real deal. Y'know, the ones who were turning the entire mulch of "punk" into a touchy-feely movement that was so socio-politically stilted it made the early-seventies BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN/BILLY JACK crowd look stoic in comparison!

Additional tracks help out from the CLEVELAND CONFIDENTIAL EP take on the tune of the same name (aka "Real World") to live versions of the Drome tracks that sure make me wish that label woulda put out them Bernie and the Invisibles and Harlan and the Whips recs that were slated for release before the entire shebang capsized. Yeah, this style of rock 'n roll sure woulda seemed outta place given how that decade (and beyond) was devoted to glitz over energy, but for true blues like ourselves it sure came off even fresher than that hackneyed "breath of fresh air" everybody seems to be talking about.

Closing the sesh's two perhaps not-so-surprising choices of covers, the first one being a decent enough take on Alice's "Eighteen" and the other a twisto changeo version of "Final Solution" that I don't think will upset fans of the original although I might be wrong.

For an old turd like myself it sure hurts in the ol' compost heap I call a memory that this music is, for all intent purposes, ancient. Still, its fresher'n even the freshest tampon the likes of any of 'em devil worshipping pop stars who are up and about these days would dare shove into their over-traveled holes, and at this moment in time all I gotta say is that's all that matters, and NOTHIN' MORE!!!!!


Albert Ayler-REVELATIONS (THE COMPLETE ORTF 1970 FONDATIONS MAEGHT RECORDINGS) 4-CD-r set (originally on Elemental Records)

If you weren't bright enough to buy these back when they were packaged in awful generic sleeves and goin' for budget prices, here's a chance to redeem yourself even if it might cost you an arm and some other appendage you might wanna keep. Believe it or not but these are the complete Ayler Foundation gigs in one package, and if I had the real deal 'stead of a burn I'd gander that there would also be a booklet with rare pics and all sorta reminiscences t'boot!

What else could be said to add to everything anyone has ALREADY said 'bout these shows which were Ayler's last stand a few months before his plop into the East River. As far as being a swansong it's great to know that Ayler went out on such a keen note --- contrary to the Wikipedia entry his group was just as copasetic with his entire being as any of those earlier classic lineups (I'd say markedly better than the early Swedish efforts), and although you might disagree I gotta say that Mary Maria wasn't the inhibitor that many armchair snoots out there tended to make her out to be. In fact I'd say she fits in quite swell with her passionate voice which complements Ayler's soul scrape! The unrehearsed nature of these shows make this all the more fresh and spontaneous and far from the splatterfest that I get the impression some people assume this effort to be. Well, whaddaya want, to see 'em playing from scores like my cyster assumed these improvisors did?????

You might think you already have too many Ayler spinners in your abode, but in reality is there anything wrong with having as many of his efforts as you can in your already overstuffed collections? That's like saying you were gonna get someone a book for his birthday but he already has one. Purely illogical.


The Art Ensemble of Chicago-CHICAGO JAZZ FESTIVAL 8/31/80 CD-r burn (download it here)

Eh, by this time they lost a lotta that spark 'n move that defined their early days, but some AEC is better'n NO AEC 'n I'll take this over just about all of the other acts that popped up at this fest. The NPR patter is somewhat interesting even if you get the impression that Billy Taylor coulda cared less about 'em. If you (like Brad Kohler) were the type of guy who snatched up their ECM albums at cutout prices you might just go for this one bigtime!


Matchez-MACHINES CD-r burn (originally on Matchez Records)

The electronic splurt had me thinkin' those obscuros that popped up on the R. Meltzer radio show while the twenty-three-minute "Daylight Fades to Darkness" reminded me of something that woulda fit in snugly on any one of those Mother Mallard albums I reviewed a few months back. It's nothing "new" mind ya, but it still has a rather decent approach and feel to it that sure stirs up the stirrups in a fashion that's way more appealing that a whole load of the electronic mulch I've heard as of late. Might be worth your while if you were the kinda kid who did a term paper on electronic music when you were a sophomore in high stool and your sister mis-typed "Sun Ra" as "Sien Ra" 'n I'll NEVER forgive her for that!


Yeah, even an egotist such as I has gotta admit that they are quite shallow. Not only in writing skills but in overall content, with articles and reviews that blither on about very little that would interest anybody anywhere and at any time in recorded history. A few of the "facts" that are spewed within these pages are far from the honest truth (which really wasn't my fault given the fuzzy memory information sources I hadda rely on) and most if not all come with a horrid layout and (at times) print job for your eyes (or self-respect) to suffer through. But then again they're MINE, and like a good bowel movement I was somewhat satisfied with it all after the "digestion" of putting out such an ordeal was over and done with. Won't you join in the resultant plop?

Saturday, October 14, 2023


Well, a couple of these are recent acquisitions but still, a hefty portion of these random plucks have been hanging around here quite a long while and like, maybe they oughta get their due respect now before nobody on this planet of ours is gonna give a durn!

Roy Orbison-"Crying"/"Candy Man" (Monument Records)

This big 'un (once referred to as a "rock bolero"  ---- and you thought I was bad!) isn't offensive to my musical make up one iota, but frankly I'd rather be spinning Von Lmo if I had the time. I actually prefer the flip with a more rollicking country feel that perks me up like a good Charlie Rich song but hey, much better hearing "Crying" on the car radio than "Spinning Wheel" played to the point of insanity.
The Untamed Youth-"California Street"/"Jennie Lee" (Norton Records)

I saw these guys put on a totally whacked out and over the top running across the other side screaming all the way show long ago, and thankfully their records (like this particular item) have the same blurt of energy within the grooves as they do when experienced in person. These tracks are about as authentic to the ideal of early rock 'n roll as this blog is to the spirit of the Golden Age of Rock Fandom, and although I was a tad disappointed that the flipster was not the Jan and Arnie song well, there are a whole lot more things to be disappointed about in life so why get worked up over it?

Funhouse-"All Is All"/"Let's Go!" (Kuba Enterprises)

Here's a platter outta nowhere that features ex-Kongress/Von Lmo bass guitarist Kip Kuba and perhaps even Lou Rone, also of Kongress/Von Lmo fame (see BLACK TO COMM #25). Dunno for sure if Lou is on here (judging from the label Kuba obviously is) because some of the members listed in the credits seem to be using aliases, but it sure sounds like him so I would ponder so! Still wish he was around so I could ask him personally...

Even a good thirty seconds into this 'un you can tell that Funhouse were a pretty straightforward hard rock group, one that happened to be bubbling about way way WAY under the New York scene in the late-eighties which is why you've never read any hotcha info on 'em in the fanzines of the day. This Crash Landing '88 single proves just how brass knuckles the group were when it came to hard rock in an age when the term most certainly became an oxymoron...surprisingly potent heavy duty sound (heavy metal utilizing the seventies use of that term as an adjective) which satisfies and perhaps meant even MORE especially in an age when hair groups and watered down glitz ruled the day. This single roars on like those bands that ended up on the BONEHEAD CRUNCHERS series which is especially cool given how this was recorded a good fifteen or so years after the heyday of local (good) hard rock singles! And with alla that MTV jive that was ruining rock 'n roll seemingly for good back in those horrid times it just reverberates in my soul all the more. 

I wish I knew about this 'un when it first came out a good thirty-plus years back! Well, I woulda loved snatching this one up promowise 'stead of the reams of horrid aural Glade Air Freshener amerindie drivel that dolts who thought that BLACK TO COMM was a carbon-copy college music journal were wont to send my way.


Shackle-"Mr. Tripper"/"Mr. Lover" (Hybrid Records)

I searched for this one after reading Eddie Flowers' reminiscence re. some "weird Meltzer-influenced rock writer from Chicago" that went by the moniker of Graham Carlton who once picked up a hitchhiking Flowers back '74 way. Funny, but I can't find any examples of Mr. Carlton's scribing anywhere on the web which is a shame since he sounds as if he coulda been a real contender if only because he was "weird" and a "Meltzer-influenced rock writer from Chicago" which sure does sound quite appealing. Well, it sure comes off a whole lot better'n being a "normal" and "Christgau-influenced rock writer from Chicago" ifyaknowaddamean...

Carlton's group Shackle, at least judging by this single that escaped sometime in the mid-seventies, may not be Vom but they're still a good enough listen-to for fans of the seventies self-produced single sweepstakes. Playing acoustic garage-y tunes with a sound that hints at things to come, Shackle do a drug song on the a-side --- I dunno if it is pro or con but at this point I'd say the former given how chemical brain stimulation seems to have been the rule of the day. The flip's a little sweeter in tone but is still a good enough bet for some mid-seventies post-psychedelic era sampler of the future. Of course it all makes me wanna know more about the man behind it and his writings, so if anyone out there has any personal recollections regarding either of 'em well, keep 'em secret like you've always done!


Jan and Dean-"Popsicle"/"Norwegian Wood"  (Liberty Records)

This late '66 release was one of many attempts to salvage the Jan and Dean team after Jan's fateful drive to (or at least near) Dead Man's Curve. I'm glad it did fairly well considering the a-side was originally issued a good three or so years earlier and I'm sure Jan needed all the help with the bills that were comin' his way. The Beatles cover sadly does hint at the downslide that acts like Jan and Dean were experiencing at the hands of the mop top brigade to the point where they hadda jump onna bandwagon to remain up to date, but danged if I don't find this arrangement way better'n the original. You might think so too but you're all just too "sophisticated" to agree, hippydippys you are and shall remain.

Oh, and if Miss Roseann Zimmerman of 6 Brian Road Wapping Connecticut wants her old record back well...tough turds you gave it up!


The Mob-"Witch Hunt"/"Shuffling Souls" (All The Madman Records, England)

The Mob were thee early '80s anarcho-punk band with the most classiness to 'em, even more than the Cravats or Astronauts who were rather classy compared to the smellier acts roaming 'round. They played a straightforward and surprisingly melodic rock 'n roll that owed a whole lot to the English blare that was sellin' like hotcakes a good five years earlier and besides, they didn't come off like a buncha screaming menopausal women all upset because they couldn't write their names in the snow.

This is but one of a handful of singles (not forgetting their album) and perhaps the best, with a '77 approach that most likely is due to the influence of this one group whose name I just hate to bring up. You know, that band whose mere mention evokes years of the might of the music they played being co-opted and downright ruined by the recent upcropping of young gifted and snoozeroo types who churn out chords learned off internet sites and do it all in an annoying plastic jewelry and dyed blue hair sorta way. And as for the women...


The Zantees-"Rockin' In The House"/"Mornin' Light" (Little Ricky Records)

These Zantees just barely predated the big rockabilly upheaval of 1981, but for some strange reason they never did get the kinda notoriety the likes of Phantom, Rocker and Slick did. I guess they just didn't have the same kind of publicity machine rollin' behind 'em (or heapin' bags of cocaine to use for promotional purposes) but wha' th' hey????? 

This debut sure 'nuff was a rather convincing cause for the Zantees being higher up on the rockabilly totem pole than they unfortunately are. Straightforward yet not cloying and pandering to the giddier gnu 'billy fans, nor are they "down pat" with their approach like too many of these revivalists were. The so-so sound quality only helps me believe even more that this is the real deal homage to a music (what'm I sayin' --- A WAY OF LIFE!) long gone but certainly not forgotten, 'least by the kinda folk who lived through the fifties and sixties enjoying it without feeling guilty like alla them hippies did. 

Certainly not the kinda music that a buncha cling ons woulda whipped up after hearing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" thinkin' they could do better by using more mascara. Will be seeking out the Bomp! album for a re-assess one of these eons.


The Spades-"You're Gonna Miss Me"/"We Sell Soul" (Zero Records seventies reissue)

Pre-Elevators Roky taking it into territory that was even more primitive than a good portion of those other home made singles of the sixties we all know and love. The "Emil Schwartze" version of "Miss Me" cranks with a basement rock passion that I gotta admit makes the better known hit sound slightly staid, while the early version of "Don't Fall Down" has that repeato-riff lurch that recalls that one group mentioned in the Mob writeup whose mere name I want to refrain from using because of reasons I don't wanna repeat for that sake of not boring you all to bits --- you can read all about it above. As expected the low-fi quality adds the overall intensity of it all.


Elvis Costello-"Watching the Detectives"/"Blame it on Cain"; "Mystery Dance" EP (Stiff Records, Belgium [the yellow vinyl ones you usedta see all over the place!])

I'm sure you don't remember, but Costello really was at the top of his form during them early days when people thought alla that punk rock stuff of his was so offensive! Well at least he was at the top until he left the underground credo of Stiff and Radar records and became what some people would call a big time "new Dylan" 'r something like that. Phony reggae on the a-side ain't as derivative as some might think while the live flip's still got that booma-la-fa that kinda dissipated when Costello landed on F-Beat. 's hard to believe in this day and age, but people like Costello and his pal Nick Lowe were pointing music in a whole better direction away from the usual AM offal and FM phony stoner mentalities that seemed to be such a rage during the worst moments of them already worst days. As if any of that mattered now that it's ALL  over, done 'n stick a fork in it.


The Birdhouse-"My Birdman"/"Don't Wanna Shake" (Powerhouse Records, England)

Hitting the underground rock scene smack dab at the beginning of the Big Detroit Rock Revival of the mid-eighties, the Birdhouse weren't Australian but they sure had the same sense of all-out high energy madness as the best practitioners of Michigan homage --- ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS, RADIO BIRDMAN, THE PINK FAIRIESUMELA HMOTA 3, THE FUN THINGS and about a hundred other groups whose monikers I'll remember about ten years after this review is posted. 

Off key vocals might make some of you purists wish for the return of The Masked Ginny Lynne, but they fit in swell with the straight ahead guitar rock cacophony that the Birds thrust forth. Not only that but these guys (and one gal) get pretty rambunctious when it comes to keeping the spirit of rock 'n roll going in the face of all that eighties gloss we all hadda suffer through. One of the highlights of the real underground revival of the day, and anyone who's read the eleventh issue of my crudzine should already know that by now.
Pylon-"Cool"/"Dub" (Caution Records)

For being from Athens Georgia, and for being there during the early-eighties days of new unto gnu wave, AND for being there during a time when musical acts from that locale and era were being incessantly hyped in the pages of various publications we thought shoulda known better --- well, it is halfway there. Pylon played a good enough (I guess) post-something rock complete with a lead singer who reminds me somewhat of Lydia Lunch with a backing band that was about as angular as many of those English groups of the day. If you miss the mail order mania you had way back when if only because there weren't any local record shops selling these things and you had no other choice but to save your pennies and choose your purchases wisely well, this 'un'll bring back really fond memories of how just one little record like this could brighten not only your whole day but a good portion of the week as well.


Girl Trouble-"Tarantula"/"Old Time Religion" (K Records)

For the life of me I can't remember even possessing this single let alone having heard it before, but since a whole lotta trauma's gone down since them days no wonder my memory's as clogged up as a peanut butter lover's toilet. 

To be totally upfront tippy top honest about it, I really do feel like such a doofus knowing that this platter has been moiling away in my collection for decades awlready because it's such a good 'un that I coulda been enjoying all these years! Girl Trouble take the better moments of the Cramps and various other retro-creep types and crushes 'em all together to come up with a wild rock 'n roll sound that doesn't come off all posed and coy like a lotta these acts can get. Pretty straight ahead in approach and outcome to the point where I think it coulda even put a smile on the faces of some of those strict and stodgy early rock fans who loathed anything that popped up after 1959. 

And I was briefly under the impression that "K" Records and Calvin Johnson were as bad as a few of those amerindie snobs sure led us to believe! Feh!!!



This particular one outta a million Vibracathedral Orchestra releases sports a splattering percussion workout on one side and what sounds like various stringed instruments of different nationalities being plunked in a seemingly random fashion on the flip. You'll be surprised to hear me say this, but this does have somewhat of a skewered avgarde appeal to it which does jigsaw in with the other Vibracathedral Orchestra recordings I have heard o'er the years. It may sound rather put on-ish when compared to the "serious" percussion ensemble works of composers such as John Cage and Lou Harrison or those Sun Ra string workouts from the sixties, but it's here for you if you want it and who knows but you just might!


The Boston Tea Party-"Free Service"/"I'm Tellin' You" (Flick-Disc Records)

As far as non-hit late-sixties rarities go this is nothing special, although the Boston Tea Party did have a flicker of an idea as to what AM rock shoulda sounded like even if they were part and parcel to the neckerchief and Nehru jacket scene of the day. Of course  it has that '69 hipster groove to it that makes you think that this is just the kind of record Fred from SCOOBY DOO woulda spun while trying to get some you-know-whatie offa Daphne, but so did some other boff efforts of the time like, say, It's All Meat and they weren't one bit bad at all! Sure it misses the mark as far as the type of music I love to associate with the late-sixties goes, but even with its lackluster style and approach I'd take this over Steam any day!


Charlie Wiener-FOR OTTO SCHMIDDLAPP 7-inch 33 rpm "mini album" (Lode Records)

No shittin' ya, this is a really important (and that ain't no everyday exaggeration given that I printed "really" not only in italics but in bold and underlined t'boot!) recording that has some notable significans when it comes to documenting the the Cleveland First Wave underground scene. That's only because original Rocket From The Tombs bass guitarist and singer Charlie Wiener performs a number on this '75 release that (no foolin'!) was actually a part of the original Rocket set list! Now there might have been others on here that popped up into the mix but "Ixnay Guys (Loose Lips Sink Ships)" has been documented as one of the group's early pre-"serious" version of the group efforts and like, for that reason alone any Cle music fan should at least have its ears perked up regarding this rarity even if only a little...

I was hopin' that Wiener's old "Funn Bunns" would have backed the guy up thus making this about as close to a document of the early Rocket as we can get at this time (Wiener and Behemoth, free them tapes!) but eh! If it's any consolation Viking Saloon owner and one-time Rocket sitter inner Dick Korn plays drums so maybe you can ooze even more historical significance outta this even though this ain't exactly whatcha'd call underground rock by any stretch of the imagination.

Naw, Wiener's pretty well settled into his "Hot Country" groove which did him rather well o'er the years, so if you're expectin' some sorta Detroit rock assault whatever you do don't look here. But for alla you readers who have even a slight curiosity about the early Rocket well..."Ixnay Guys" sure doesn't come off like what I woulda imagined the original quartet to sound like one bit, it being a downright rockacountry rouser with a pretty hotcha beat that keeps your entire innards palpitatin'. 

The rest dives even deeper through the country sphincter with a romantic moaner ("It's Over"), a patriotic (I think) paen to the upcoming Bicentennial ("America") and a love song to the wife ("For My Wife").  Sure it ain't anything for the standard BLOG TO COMM turdburger to delve into, but it sure is a curiosity that needs to be documented especially for those of us who were fans of the Cle underground way way back and still wanna know every little shard and detail about Cleveland's seventies under-the-underground. If you're curious enough I guess you locate your very own copy somewhere, just don't ask for (or steal) mine!

By the way, if you want to see a "meeting of minds" or at least both Rocket From The Tombs bass guitarists talking about things like Crocus Behemoth and Peter Laughner, just watch this (unfortunately truncated right when it was getting good!) video shot at Cleveland's Beachland Ballroom:

The Left Banke-"Queen of Paradise"/"And One Day" (Camerica Records)

Having not listened to this 'un in nigh over thirty years all I can say is --- "a" side is gunky disco cash-in from an act on the rebound that was way above doing such trash. However, it still does have what I would call at least a shard of serious "Greg Shaw approved" pop appeal that makes it worth at least one spin. I prefer "And One Day" which even I'll admit also reflects the miasma that we used to call seventies teenbo radio, but this one comes out shining if only because of the talent behind it. Kinda like a slightly pepped up version of solo Eric Carmen without the gloop. Very West Coast sounding for a New York-based group, but for that matter not as potent as that previous Left Banke reunion attempt that gave us those tracks on the HOT PARTS soundtrack. Still, it is an artyfact that's important enough for whatever Left Banke fans that remain after all these years.
Kack Klick-"Lord My Cell is Cold"/"One More Day and One More Night" (House of Guitar Records)

A pre-Churchmice Armand Schaubroeck getting way ahead of the low-fi repeato riff crowd. That is, if this really is a 1963 recording like some sources out there have been telling us for years. Shaubroeck's vocals mix the Jagger and Dylan sneers that were so prevalent '65 way while the music has the same cheap garage sound (and barely "there" performance) that made those Lou Reed Primitives/Roughnecks recordings the 180 degree opposite of them "well produced" and "pristine" pop efforts that were popping up in the fambly collection. Deep and soulful recordings that definitely matched Schaubroeck's mental state while serving time in the pokey.
Elephant's Memory-"Mongoose"/"I Couldn't Dream" (Metromedia Records)

Don't know (or care) what you think, but "Mongoose" was one of the better and shoulda been bigger singles (other'n in Pittsburgh where it hit #1) to come outta the rather pathetic year of 1970. Considering the success that horn bands like Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears were having at the time it's not surprising that this 'un did as well as it did, but while those acts were doing their strictly commercial pump up the kiddos sounds Elephant's Memory had a pretty snazz way of mixing the brass with a particularly good creepy-crawl that separated this 'un from the usual cuddly cute that was then passing for AM radio (see labelmate Bobby Sherman for an example). Flip's one of those neo-retro numbers with whistling and a piano, a bit on the minor side but a bit spright and toe-tapping. Quite pleasing to the hammer and stirrups. Coulda even passed for a Montage outtake!
Super K-"Recurring Nightmare"/"Go Go" (Citadel Records, Australia)

From outta the eighties Detroit rock revival scene that took Australia by storm (see Birdhouse review above) came this spin that I recall gobbling up like anything way back when. "Recurring Nightmare" does have a downer edge to it with a melody that reminds me of "96 Tears" filtered through a Jim Morrison barbiturate haze. Fitting music for an era (and a label) that held past accomplishment in such a high esteem. "Go Go" is kinda/sorta bubblegum with bite and femme vocalizing. Something that really would throw off people who hears the "a" side and expected more angst. I didn't think rock 'n roll had it so good back in the eighties (the worst era for rock until the nineties, oughts, teens...), but records like this helped ease the misery.
The Phantom-"Love Me"/"Whisper Your Love" (eighties-vintage Dot Records knockoff)
Rockabilly makes its way to the Dot label with this over-the-top-and-then-some screamer that put the oomph in the budding genre 'n then even more! I'm sure that a vast majority of people would think that "Love Me" had NIL to do with any sort of idealized romantic interest and come to think it doesn't, but it's still a crazed impassioned call that I'm sure woulda wowed some of the looser members of the female persuasion had this 'un only gotten out more. "Whisper" sounds like whatcha'd expect from something in the old Southern rock 'n roll style, 'n I still have a hard time believing that Pat Boone had ANYTHING to do with this guy!      

Sunday, October 01, 2023

Brace yourselves, for here I go taking the time and energy to spout off about my current obsessions in the half-baked hope that someone out there will see this and want to connect with me for whatever reasons they may conjure up in their pea-sized brains. But then again probably not because frankly I could care less about any of you anymore but back to the subject --- ever since I can remember I've been a person who has been a slave to the various fancies, passions and/or obsessions that have passed my psyche, enough to the point where I would bore telephone callers with whatever subject I was deeply engrossed in at the time of the unfortunate ring up. It could have been anything from old television programs to long-forgotten three-wheeled automobiles and now-obscure actors who may have put in an appearance or two at the legendary Educational Films Exchange. Although you might not think that much of it and perhaps even think less about me for it but as far as this particular fanabla was concerned well, these current interests were the blood 'n guts of my otherwise feh-like existence!

This blog continues on with the tradition so-to-speak, and let's just say that if you're the kind of person who just ain't savvy to my downright love for the old, obscure and somewhat SACRED sorta sights and sounds that earwig their way through my soul there might be a much better blog suited to your personal tastes like SEXUAL RESPONSE OF THE ADOLESCENT IBEX or some other keen-o title I could swipe out of any sixty-five-year-old issue of MAD. Otherwise just settle down and get used to it --- it's my life and I can do whatever I want to you in it and if you so dare you can always hang up as many a bored recipient has.
You probably have it already, but if you don't I'm sure there are plenty of issues of FAUX WOOD PANELING #3 available for you to give an eyeballing to (see link on the left and get in touch!). Of course its great, sorta like one of those "personal" genzines of the sixties/seventies with a stream of somethingorother flow and a massive jump from one thing to another like not just from A to B to C but like from A to Q and maybe a sidestep to G and then maybe back to B and C before hitting Z (guess where I lifted that concept from and I'll send you absolutely nothing!). Subjects to be found in this issue --- Bon Scott (s'posedly a Joe Carducci effort), Damo Suzuki, polka, book reviews (including one that was inspired by a post found on this very blog!) and quite a bit on anime ---- well, at least it ain't hentai!

Sad to say tho that I haven't played the FAUX WOOD PANELING ROCKS CD-r that came with this ish yet. It's a doozy of a spinner too with a variety of songs both heard and not by me, something which I get the idea would make for splendid sunny afternoon driving backdrop. Next time I have a splendid sunny afternoon where I'm goin' somewhere this will be on the deck.
This modern day animation had me thinkin' for a minute (OK a whole hour) that it was actually some real deal lost video! Just think how lifelike this is gonna look ten years from now when technology (hopefully) gets into overdrive!

Words can't really express the gratitude that I have for people like Paul McGarry and Robert Forward for sending me these burns of new and not-so recordings that appear in most every one of my "normal" ifyaknowaddamean posts. Considering the hefty cost of purchasing such items especially for a cheapskate such as I these recordings really do take a strain off the ol' pocketbook and helps me divert my dinero to other perhaps not-so-crucial concerns such as taxes, medicine and various other thingies that I personally could do without (blackmail). Bought one or maybe even more (we'll see) items that are up for the ol' scrutiny but let's just say that if it weren't for these fine friends these posts would be just about as long as a Cambodian lifespan.

Special thanx to Forward who keeps sending these Ornette Coleman "boot" burns, an entire turdload at that which is taking me forever to go through. Only able to spin a short portion of these given my rather fractured free time, so I get the feeling that I'll be listening to the final minutes of these during my final minutes.

Alice Cooper-KILLER, EXPANDED VERSION 2-CD set (Warners/Rhino Records)

Sheesh, these bigtime labels really know how to getcha to dig deep into yer pockets for things ya had for eons awlready! However when it come to memeME I better have a GOOD reason to spend my precious pennies for such items that I would otherwise ignore, and with this double duty Alice Cooper spinner I sure got the excuse that I was lookin' for!

Platter #1's the same KILLER we've (presumably) have heard for ages, but although it purports to be a better mix I can't tell the diff. Of course listening on a cheap portable player doesn't always bring out them nuances that hi fi nuts are on the lookout for but eh, at least this new edition's a pretty good enough excuse to listen to it again.

Disque #2's got a Cooper set from the '72 Mar y Sol fest that sounds as if it coulda been a fair contender for an actual live spinner, or at least the bootleg of the year had somebody had the wherewithal to smuggle this 'un out. Still, these live trax don't quite match the originals and the show doesn't kick in at least until the "Dead Babies"/"Killer" climax but wha' th' hey. The early, slowed down (and instrumental) version of "School's Out"'s something that even the casual Cooper follower would splurge the good twennysome-plus bucks this'll cost'cha for.

The big surprise of the album's the ne'er before heard outtakes, with a radically rearranged "You Drive Me Nervous", a horn-less "Under My Wheels" and a "Dead Babies" that ain't that much of a switch from the more famous version, but they stuck in on here anyway and you get extra music so quit complainin'!
The Electric Eels-SPIN AGE BLASTERS CD-r burn (originally on Scat Records)

It's kinda/sorta surprising that McGarry sent me this 'round the same time I got the Alice thingie directly above. I always thought that Alice's "Yeah Yeah Yeah" sounded rather Eels-ish and well, after re-listening to that 'un it's more'n obvious where the Eels got a whole lotta their inspiration from! Talk about good timing on your part Paul!

I believe most of you've already heard these numbers but even if you have you'll still want this. SQ's been upgraded a bit --- about as good as a cheap studio as if that matters to you non-audiophile nuts out there. Nice cover too and eh, maybe there are some new and insightful liner notes that came with this one making a flesh and blood purchase worth my while. Now when's Mr. Griffin gonna release them Summer '76 "Eclectic Eels" rehearsals with Tim Wright on bass guitar 'n even some Adele Bertei???

Might be worth the pennies you're scrimping and saving with in these inflation-laden days because hey, even if you've been in on the legend for decades the Electric Eels are more important than food!

The Dum Dum Boys-NOTHING MEANS NOTHING CD-r burn (originally on Closer Records, France?)

I guess these ain't the New Zealand Dum Dum Boys but a late-eighties French variant who I "might have" heard a long time back. These Dum Dum's are not bad what with their eighties-era take on past punk accomplishment, but they're somewhat pale when compared to the Detroit-inspired blare that was so potent that the NZ band of the same name hadda skedaddle to Australia for its own good. Well, they do play some pretty competent and straight ahead rock 'n roll that reminds me of the (French) Dogs and other local yokels who kept on doin' it high energy in a world that couldn't care less. If you were the kind of person who purchased such European publications as HARTBEAT or RIPPLE you'll definitely go for this 'un.


The Wipers-IS THIS REAL? CD-r burn (originally on Park Avenue Records, then Sub Pop much later on)

(WARNING: a whole load of personalist hatethrash and tearing open of old wounds appears in the following, some of it which might be just too boring and unnecessary to your very existence to withstand! But then again given how I can sus most of you readers out you just might go for it if only out of a morbid curiosity. As many of you know I am a bitter person and I pretty much explain why I happen to be so in the following soul-bear. It might totally turn you off not only to this blog but myself given how I am prone to feel sorry for myself [well, somebody has to!] so let's just say it ain't like I didn't tell ya.

Then again, if I totally delete this review like I tend to do most if not all of my hatescreeds directed at the enemies of myself and this blog well, you don't have to worry about making your way through all this steam-letting. But I personally think it's some of my best writing as of late so I will do my durndest to keep it all intact and, for that matter, unexpurgated. Because frankly, at this stage of my life, I don't give a dingdong how petty and immature I come off!)

Haven't listened to very much Wipers o'er these past thirtysome years. That's because, when you get way deep down into it, I really am whatcha'd call a feeling, sensitive, cry over a broken flower sort of person this world sure could use a whole lot more of. 

Y'see, back 'round '87 way a certain "rock critic" actually used a Wipers review to poke some pretty damning fun at me, and although I usually brushed such things off I couldn't this time since this crit had treated me rather nice just a short time earlier and the 180 sure came off like a hefty gut punch. It did hurt, in the wallet that is since I was one who REALLY hadda scrimp and save to put a mag out on an even less than shoestring budget and I couldn't afford a loss in readership and besides like, this was all happening at a time in my life that wasn't exactly the tippy toppest and in fact was pretty depressing for reasons I won't go into here. And here comes some rich Boston to New York record label "mogul" trying to make underground brownie points by doin' the ol' build up/tear down game with me costing me perhaps half if not more of my potential readership! (I tried making nicey nice with the guy but he [a real snob as I could tell from merely talking to him purposefully mis-reading my reviews because he deep down really is a jerk deserving of death] wouldn't have any part of it perhaps because, once you get down to it, he definitely is of a higher realm and looks down upon lower forms of life such as myself.) Really does hit you hard, in the ol' pocketbook ifyaknowaddamean...

Well, until I either get a whole load of much needed revenge (justice just don't cut it no mo') or have a good laugh at this certain "person"'s inevitable demise I'll try to get them decades old feelings outta the way and enjoy this particular piece of what I'd call an important watermark in rock 'n roll history (no hyperbole about that!). IS THIS REAL is one platter that screeches out the high energy rock 'n roll while spewing out a lotta the same punk unto post-punk (yech!) neo-cliches making them WORK for once. Unlike the Northwest grunge this music had ultimately led to the Wipers mix a whole load of taste in (and leave the stoner outta) their swivel making for a music you can enjoy especially because (at least on the surface) it appears that the musicians DON'T want to wallow in the same pigsty of precocious self-consciousness that many of the groups they've influenced seemed to crave.

Some of them typical eighties hard-thud bass/neo-badass guitar moves can be discerned making IS THIS REAL? a heavy metal monster as much as it is a punk monument. Thanks to the more'n just "obvious" talents of Wipers leader Greg Sage and band a whole load of what could have been instant tossout comes off rather sleek and just what the doctor ordered with regards to music in "that raw state of becoming" as Wayne McGuire once so succinctly put it. Unfettered forcefulness with control which gives that overused "power trio" term the proper rectal kick it needed for years on end. 

The reish comes with some additional goodies that thankfully were not left on the cutting room floor as well as the ALIEN BOY EP which I might have reviewed on this blog way back when but am too lazy to find out for sure. It all stirs up the rock spirit in me (dunno about you) and the plain fact that this platter is jarring enough to remind me of various eighties accomplishment is strong enough to make me wanna dig up my copy of the TRAP SAMPLER with the Wipers sharing some precious vinyl space with locals such as Pell Mell, Drum Bunny and Napalm Beach. Shee-yit, my review of that 'un's what started the whole disgusting mess which turned me off the Wipers for a good many years --- let's hope it don't make me even MORE hate-filled than I already am! 


New Math-DIE TRYING OR OTHER HOT SOUNDS CD-r burn (originally on Propeller Sound Recordings, 2023)

Not being one iota familiar with this group (or if I had been I totally excised 'em from my memory) I approached this one thinking it was gonna be one a those early-eighties styled "gnu wave" cute and precocious efforts that got all the attention at the expense of the more gnarly sounds. For once in my life I'm (more or less) wrong, because I'll admit that this Rochester NY group did a fairly good job with their late-seventies pop-punk pounce that someone like myself never really got "into" but eh, it's there for ya! New Math will appeal to the more flash dress shades 'n badges types that used to proliferate the local hipster cool cat scene a good forty-plus years back and I found it somewhat entertaining myself. Just don't ask me to listen to it again.  


Charles Gayle-UNTO I AM CD (Les Disques VICTO, Canada)

Here's the legendary Gayle solo session recorded in Montreal that sorta, uh, shook up a few of the recent fannage that gathered 'round the late multi-instrumentalist a good thirty or so years back. And not necessarily from the music itself which is shattering enough even for those of you born and bred of the AACM/BAG system of sound deconstruction.

It is an extreme affair to say the least what with Gayle's solo sax and bass clarinet coming off highly reminiscent of those Roscoe Mitchell efforts that ended up on a whole slew of small labels throughout the seventies. More amazing's when Gayle plays drums AND sax simultaneously actually sounding like two separate entities a la INTERSTELLAR SPACE or DUO EXCHANGE ifyoucanbelieveit! An incredible achievement that really knocks one for that oft-used "loop" term, making me wonder if anyone else had come up with the same idea earlier (of course any help'd be appreciated although I double any of you would bother responding). 

Of course the piano track where Gayle gets into his street preacher mode and offends a good portion of his uppercrust fans is the real deal reason to get this, not only because of the free splat piano playing (as far as I know not even Cecil Taylor had gone this far!) but for the impassioned sermonizing regarding all of those hot button morality-based subjects that are bound to "offend". Sheesh, after all of the OFFENDING these precious petunia types have been shoving down decent peoples' throats for what seems like ages don'tcha think that said people should be on the RECEIVING end for once in their sick and shallow lives? I sure do, even though these flowering types think they're too anointed and above us all to have any sort of contrary opine reach their so-tender ears!

A real worthy to have and to hold. Perhaps the pick of the week/month/whatever.


Listen, I can set up some Paypal account or a GoFundMe in order to get some much needed money flowin' my way, but all I ask of you is to buy some back issues of BLACK TO COMM not only for me to get some of the moolah I spent on them back but to get some more moving around space here at the old abode. Whaddaya wan' me t'do anyway, make up some story about my basement getting flooded in order to squeeze the compassion outta you like some soaking rag???