Saturday, April 13, 2024


I'm sure I can hear a whole lotta you regular readers out there thinking HAS IT REALLY COME TO THIS????? Is a "graphic novel" about Peter Laughner and the Cleveland "first wave" groups really necessary, can something like this really be represented honestly (and accurately) in comic book form?  And would the end results come off looking like some haughty artzy expression regarding past energies misinterpreted by a new generation of kids wallowing about in a nth generation faded version of the original thrust? 

Or has it come to the point where all of the OCD Velvet Underground fans and punk rock hunters and gatherers of the sixties and seventies have finally been vindicated after years of scorn and being misinterpreted by critics and downright dolts and ON PURPOSE at that? Maybe every suburban slob who stocked up on the high energy big beat and usually got grief for it can bask in the glory that this book has shown whose music really stood the test of time, not that standing the test of time is any testament to the ultimate worth and intensity of the sounds at hand as if anyone should even care, but after all of those years of rejection and loathing directed at folk like us maybe we can do some sneering back at our detractors and bask in some long-deserved revenge.

Hmmm, the visuals are very good, not quite underground comix-ish but extremely professional. Kinda reminds me of some newspaper sports "Believe it or Not"-styled page filler. Layouts are extremely eyeball catching and the detail and committal for exactness is also to be commended. The storytelling well --- I gotta find that I find it a whole load "splurge" for my own tastes what with author Aaron Lange gathering up all sortsa shards and storytelling that might give a good seedy background regarding the whole Northeast Ohio saga, but he does manage to work it out so that everything from Elliot Ness and Same Sheppard to Kent State, DA Levy and Ghoulardi sorta ties in together and the results don't come off looking like some pseudointellectual garble worthy of a book report on gender fluid left-handed Hopi Indians.

The main thrust here is the Cleveland (and various surrounding environs) rock 'n roll underground of the seventies, its gestation and spawn as well. And with Peter Laughner, who you could say was the mad genius and true lover of music whose own case of "too much too soon" led to his own sad and no ways romantic demise. Lange did his homework and captured a whole load of the nerve breaking power and pure genius that came out of that time and place, keeping it all rather focused even when he knots together all sorts of loose strands to create an image of the time and aura that I will say was etapoint. Yeah, the guy leaves out quite a few large and I would think important chunks (like no mention of Brian Sands and his pioneering work with Moses/Mouse/Milk) plus his dismissal of the Raspberries will get your head scratchin', but on other points Lange sure knew what the score was regarding the massive amount of passion and devotion of the bared-wire intensity that got the Cleveland underground a world wide reputation that I know very few people in the area even knew (or cared for that matter) existed.

Thankfully those groups that were so vehemently ignored or even outright scorned during one of the more fertile time in garage band expression are once again given their fair dues. Mirrors appear briefly which I guess wouldn't please a good portion of the members given their disdain for Laughner and the whole Plaza Apartments art colony, but there's more'n you could bargain for when it comes to the Electric Eels and the truths and fabrications that even got 'em a brief if un-named mention in CREEM regarding the lawn mower incident at the Viking Saloon. Something which most likely never did transpire but well, we can pretend.

Of COURSE I love it to pieces when Lange shows up the Cleveland media and the lunkhead "rock" fans for the general dolts they were and I assume remain. Local FM giant WMMS is given its dues for their early innovation in the field of a truly free format where the new and trend breaking could get played next to the firmly entrenched, but Lange gets major kudos for telling us just how that all went down the tubes once the concept of AOR proved you can make a mint catering to a clientele that had somehow figured rock 'n roll to be an update of their parents' passion for the blander, cornier aspects of the big band era. There is an emphasis on just how bad things were for the high energy contingent in this supposed "rock city", a place where such one-dimensional "talents" as Michael Stanley and Pat Benetar were considered the epitome of musical entertainment while the real mavericks and movers hadda struggle to make the rent and pay the bills. I'm sure glad that Lange gave that entire time in rock history a nice swift kick in the balls because frankly, considering the "conspiracy of silence" that these groups suffered from, it sure needs one.

But hey, this book is mainly about Laughner, a guy who was perhaps THEE mover and shaker and town crier for the harder, more feral aspects of a music scene that got its due long after it was dead and gone. Lange must've had a whole wagonload of index cards telling everything about the man and his influence on not only the bubbling under music scene (from folkies to rockers as well as the mainstream if you can imagine), but on those he would come in contact with throughout his almost quarter century of existence. And with the ups and downs and Laughner's shedding of self-control along with his friends it does make for a harrowing read, and perhaps a warning that you know anyone who reads this will never ever heed. 

So eh, this is a good enough one to dish out the big bux for or at least beg someone to get it for you (the smart way). A graphic novel about Laughner and Cleveland might not be the epitome of some sort of much needed vindication for what happened a good half-century back but its a start and like, I for one am glad it all happened.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

So h'warya? Unless you are one of my many enemies doin' fine I hope, what with all of those siorees and lunchies with the big names that you've been invited to 'n all. Unlike most if not all of you swinging souls out there my life hasn't exactly been a-go-go 'r anything remotely exciting, mainly counting flowers on the wall, playing solitaire with a deck of 51, smoking cigarettes and watching CAPTAIN KANGAROO, but despite the lack of cotillions on my events calendar I am keeping myself happily occupied somewhat when time permits. 

But I must say there is one thing, and one thing ONLY, that keeps my spirits up these days, and that's being by myself on a nice day, y'know the kinda day yer mom said you should be outside playing 'stead of cooped up in your room, listening to music and reading old fanzines and articles pertaining to (or even pertaining not to) the music being blasted on the ol' Victrola. Really, there is nothing that gives me that old blissful feeling than to settle back with an issue of DENIM DELINQUENT (or the stacks of Nick Kent/Jonh Ingham/Giovanni Dadomo/Don Snowden/Howard Wuelfing... articles I copied offa Rock's Back Pages) while spinning an old Patti Smith bootleg or sixties punk rock sampler, osmosing all of those old feelings I had when I was much younger knowing that my purchase of a 99-cent Flamin' Groovies cutout was definitely the crowning achievement of the day if not week/month/year. 

I get a similar feeling in the evening watching old Hanna Barbera cartoons (and of course THE RIFLEMAN) thinking about the joy I had experiencing such viewing (even though I was too mindmushed to even know what was going on) back during those glorious pre-kindergarten days when life really was lived to the fullest! Yeah, once you get down to the plain ol' truth of it all I am the modern-day equivalent of that ancient relative of your youth with one foot in the grave who lived in his own world and his own past and spun 78s (or even wax cylinders for all I know!) while reminiscing about Alphonse and Gaston. 'n although you hipper 'n hip plastic jewelry and caked on makeup types might think differently, was there anything wrong with your (great-great-GREAT [and I do mean great!]) grandpa doing such things anyway considering just how out of time and out of circulation the old turd was? In some ways, I feel honored to be traipsing into their long-gone footsteps even if one of them feet is leading to the big ditch of eternity.

Okay, that's all older'n Methuselah news. I've told you all about my personal pleasures and peeves over and over ever since day uno and you're definitely bored silly about the me that nobody knows 'n all that. But I won't stop until everyone on this orb of ours knows the plain ol' truth, and not only that but joins me in my rather simple pleasures at that 'stead of acting all so high minded and moralistic (in the worst connotation of that term) like you always seem to do! Rock 'n roll, NANCY and black and white tee-vee versus anal sex and violent protests--- the choice is up to YOU!


The definite highlight of the past umpteen weeks has hadda've been the arrival of a 1974 vintage issue of CREEM not only into my abode, but into my heart as well (ooh!). Anyone who has read this blog knows just how sick and sorry most if not all writing about rock 'n roll (or even rock singular) has become these past fortysome years (well, it matches most if not all of the rock 'n roll music that has come out during that span of time), so me latching onto an old copy of this hallowed publication that I've never laid eyes upon certainly is a momentous occasion. An event good enough to wash away all of the horrid music "criticism" that has graced my eyeballs ever since the deep six of such good/evil icons as Lester Bangs and the arrival of the cut 'n paste that was nothing but some goon kid playing patty cake with the record labels in order to get in on the gravy train. And if you think I'm jealous that I never was successful with such a ruse're right.

This January '74 ish is a winner too, one that's given me more'n a few excuses to head for the toilet and a better one than had I chug-a-lug'd a bottle of prune juice to get the ol' system rollin'. While ROLLING STONE was exploiting the worst aspects of Baby Doomer kultur make the world safe for James Taylor and his first family of rock consciousness, CREEM grabbed the beautiful consumerist/hedonistic side of Amerigan teenboisms by the spine eschewing alla that BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN offal that was so prevalent that even the teachers used to shove it down our throats! 'n yeah, although I've told you the exact same thing regarding the essence of "cool" (Iggy, early Alice, VU...) versus "stool" (James, Joan, Melanie...) throughout my entire "career" well, I won't stop until everyone reading this GETS THE MESSAGE just as to why I absolutely loathe the entire concept of that ball-less brotherhood I hadda endure during my shoulda been mis-spent youth! Judging from the doofs who leave comments or get in touch "personally", that will definitely be until my dying day.

Cover spot's got that old child pornography-lovin' has-been Pete Townsend doing one of those leaps I'll bet he can't' do no mo', complete with an article by none other'n Charles Shaar Murray which undoubtedly was some abridged NME piece but that's fine enough by me. And if you're a fan of the likes of Murray and the other seventies heavy duty ROCK 'N ROLL FANS MAKING THEIR PASSIONS FOR THE MUSIC KNOWN VIA THE PAGES OF VARIOUS PUBLICATIONS you should love this ish as well what with a great Tee-Vee column from R. Meltzer that'll get you laughing way more'n the time you watched that SALO/ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS double feature, to CREEM star Bangs more/less extrapolating on that hamburger chain rundown that he did for TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE! Of course it was all laid out for you with such a fervor that you could just see 'n hear alla them self-conscious world saving yammering Student Council type of kids you went to stool with all aghast and indignant that precious pulp was "wasted" on articles such as this while there were all those grape pickers, sharecroppers and homos to worry about, to which I say "GOODY FOR YOU!!!!!"  C'n you all act a li'l normal and leave me be for once and let me enjoy myself???

Bangs does put in more of his share what with some pretty good winners such as a double review of Hawkwind's SPACE RITUAL and Amon Duul II's LIVE IN LONDON (his writeup of Bowie's PIN UPS, which even he recognizes as England's answer to NUGGETS, or something along those line, is a winner as well). The guy even wrote a buncha book reviews including one of Duke Ellington's autobiography and blesses us with a piece on Savoy Brown (who never really flibbened my jib), and need I tell you that the aforementioned burger rundown actually had me running to the freezer to pull out at least a dozen White Castle "sliders" as they now call 'em? Rock history abounds here what with a piece on an up 'n coming Elliot Murphy not to mention the latest on the Iggy/Elton friendship complete with a snap that looks as if it was taken in the corner of the upstairs at Max's Kansas City.

And of course the usual CREEM names pop up like Billy Altman and Jaan Uhelzski, the latter with a review of Cher's HALF BREED which definitely ranks as one of the laff riots of the season (the review as well as the album I s'pose --- another obviously beyond belief joke but fitting for the hackneyed reputation of this blog).

Lemme tell ya --- after fifty years these old issues of CREEM sure do hold up swell, a whole lot more'n anything I've seen pro-wise either in print or in pixel for quite a long time. More proof to the plain ol' truth as to what I've said for ages, that we sure have devolved from being futuristic, level-headed and fun-lovin' people (the kind who were around when I was but a mere sprout) to high minded moralists (in the worst possible connotation of the term) who are nothing more than the dictatorship of the sexual pervo nutjobs who mighta seemed funny enough back then but nowadays make those 1930 communist shock troops look like a buncha boy scouts combing the streets looking for old pop bottles!


BLOG TO COMM DRINK OF THE POST! It's a milkshake, only the kind that they sell in New England or else it would be a frappe! Get some milk (I use skim because I don't want to pack on even more pounds than I already have on my living corpse), put it in a blender, add sweetener (sugar or sucralose which I use because ditto) and some vanilla (I use the imitation cheap stuff because it tastes better!). Maybe even something that's 100 proof if you want to make it of the Korova variety, then let it go! It'll turn out all foamy and frothy and alla that fun stuff, and it's a real joy lettin' it all go down the gullet! Kinda like an eggnog without the raw egg that we were once allowed to consume until the goody two shoe health nuts told us nay! Lotsa sweetener really adds to the overall tastebud explosion and like, if you like milkshakes and have no ice cream on hand now you know what to do! Any place can be a soda fountain now, and with Great Shakes long gone this will make for a fine substitute.


Somebody get me a copy of this for my birthday. Or just get me a copy even if it ain't my b-day, I don't care!


I'm surprised at myself for actually buying the first two albums up for review only a measly three or four weeks ago. Trying to keep my purse strings tight sure is difficult when something of interest (let alone worth) does hit the boards, and although I actually think I could have done without the Harrison and Raiders albums reviewed below low sales resistance me just couldn't pass 'em up. Talk about a linguine spine! Anyway the other items under scrutiny (and man, are there a TON of 'em!) were burned for me by Robert Forward (special thanks for the Laughner one!) and Paul McGarry, two people who I get the feeling like this blog for some strange reason (Lord knows why). And I do feel bad for them...I mean, to be associated with me even in the slightest has been utter poison for years!

George Harrison-WONDERWALL MUSIC LP (Apple Records)

Prior to snatching this 'un up I've only heard that "alternative" version of WONDERWALL, the review of which can be found here. I kinda like the idea that I finally have this platter in my possession because well, I used to see this in the bins as a kid and it (like the Lennon/Ono effort LIFE WITH THE LIONS) looked so interesting. Nowhere as fun as ELECTRONIC SOUND but worth at least a wee bit of scrutiny. Funny, I said that the alternative take wasn't enough to get me to wanna dish out the beaucoup for a flesh-and-blood copy but here I go doing just that at least as far as this album went!


Paul Revere and the Raiders-IN THE BEGINNING LP (Jerden Records)

Haw! This is the Raiders' Sande LP that got reissued with an updated cover (which, given the presence of Phil Volk's Vox bass guitar, hints at the then-current chart-topping lineup!) in order to capitalize on the group's newly found fame. Not only that but it was reissued by the same label that gave us the final Sonics LP which gives the thing some added coolness in my book! I think this is supposed to be a live 'un and it does have that roller rink-y sound but anyway, IN THE BEGINNING really captures the spirit of the pre-Beatles local group ethos what with the rather kinetic performance as well as the emphasis on trashy GOLDEN GOODIES VOLUME 13-styled instrumental workouts. All covers (I think) too. If you didn't get the Sande reissue that came out in the early eighties this just might be somewhat easier to get your mitts on. Check your local specialty record shop, and don't balk at the price even tho I got mine relatively cheap.



Dunno if "7/12/67" means July 12th or December 7th like they do it in Europe. But whatever the date this aired here's yet another John Peel aircheck from the days when he was doing the kind of freeform Pirate Radio that a whole load of broadcasters shoulda taken their cues from but eschewed in favor of album oriented prim and properness.

Peel's program is undoubtedly very similar to just what most if not all of the early freeform FM programming cornucopia was most definitely like. Lotsa good music that was up and coming during the late-sixties is played and you ('stead of some asshole radio programmer) were the judge. And with the likes of the Velvet Underground, Beatles (semi-yeesh!), Donovan (yeesh!), Jefferson Airplane (yeesh as well) and Jeff Beck (no yeesh, maybe) 'mongst others to choose from you get a way more exciting slice of what a truly wide open radio format focusing on a wide spectrum of brilliant and doofsville music shoulda been!

Really surprising's the ad for Vitalis which sounds so strange for being a late-fifties styled commercial airing on a hip late-sixties radio show! Really, do you think anybody listening to this station had a need for it? Given the proliferation of aged baldies like myself I doubt there's even a market for it anymore!


Can-LIVE IN PARIS 1973 2 CD-r burn (get it here)

Fresh off the web's this nifty download featuring those krautrock greats during one of the many highs in their career of ups, ups, even more ups then a jump off the cliff low they ended their long run on. This particular show ain't exactly one of the group's better live recordings but the thing sure does bop on the EGE BAMYASI grooves that were causing somewhat of a ruckus at least in hipper'n here Europe. Nice enough rendition of "One More Saturday Night" which ain't as good as the LP but better'n nada. Fantastic sound quality, if you're the kind of Hi-Fi nut who goes for such things even at the cost of the the feral nature at hand. Good job in all, but when is someone gonna release some Malcolm Mooney-era screech for our begging ears?


Dr. Feelgood/Downliners Sect-PEEL SESSIONS CD-r burn

I think the Feelgood tracks were already released back when alla those Peel 12-inchers were comin' out a good fortysome years back but whaddeva, it's good having 'em collected in one place without hearing those snips of Peel intros intrudin' on the thing. It's Feelgood and you already know what it sounds like so for the sake of space I'll refrain. Highlights include a bloozed up version of the Strangeloves punker "Night Time" which, as you'd guess, makes George Thorogood's missing on all points version sound like the theme to CHILDREN'S TEA PARTY TIME.

It's nice that the Downliners Sect were bestowed with a slot on Peel as well considering just what a lousy rap these guys got for years on end. By '77 it seemed that the world finally caught up with them and these tracks have all of the same sorta pounce and energy as the Feelgoods and the rest of those blue wave outfits that made the white English r/b of the past refreshing once again. Not only that, but these guys are still at it after over sixty years which I gotta say is a big feather in their deerstalker caps, don'tcha agree???!!!


Glenn Branca-PRIMAVERA SOUND 2011 WFMU CD-r burn

Mixed feeling regarding these classically-inclined people who used rock 'n roll as a foothold into the world of beret and stale doritos aht-ziness. I mean, once you think about all of those art rock types who seemed so dead set on giving us the big beat yet ended up well ensconced in the definitely anti-rock world of chic cosmo upnosieness you do get the feeling that you've been HAD. Still these Branca recordings got that hard-edged repeato-riff drive that even lunkheads like myself can appreciate on a non snoot level. Grating sheets of sound coming off like one of those subsets of heavy metal that developed o'er the years --- y'know, the kind of metallic K.O. that had them hair band lunkheads of the eighties running home to their mamas crying once they lent ear to that maddening sound. Just don't take it too seriously lest you go searching for a cigarette holder to brandish about.


MARY JANE/THE HELLCATS original soundtracks slapped onto one disque by Robert Forward (MARY JANE originally on Tower Records, THE HELLCATS originally on Capitol/Sidewalk Records)

I do appreciate Mr. Forward sending a burn of this my way. Y'see, I never did get the chance to see MARY JANE when it was on tee-vee. T'was being aired locally on (I believe) a Sunday evening during the summer of (again, I believe) 1976 and that very day the entire fambly had to partake in an outdoor flea market/antiques show, the kind where you get up at five in the morning and are on the go until you get home fourteen hours later. Well, I sure wanted to see MARY JANE and remember telling everyone to hurry up so's we could get home in time (just like I did one Saturday afternoon when RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP was on!)...well, despite my pleas of asking dad to break the speed limit we got back about halfway through the film. Too bad we hadda unload the station wagon and all before I could settle down to watch the thing, which I couldn't due to all of the work that was still in store lugging boxes and whatnot down to the basement. I had the tee-vee on while scooting things about, but all I remember catching of the film was the line where someone mentions about the hashish making some soaked soul feel warmer! Sad to say I never got another chance to see MARY JANE so I am grateful to Mr. F for at least airmailing the soundtrack to these parts.

Never got to lay eyes upon THE HELLCATS either but then again it ain't like it was on tee-vee on a day I had to be at a flea market. The soundtrack with them typically American International pop sounds was probably better than the actual film, but then again what the people on IMDB said about THE HELLCATS I'm sure that the home movies rotting away in your attic were better viewing fare.


Various Artists-MUSIC FROM THE SOUNDTRACK EASY RIDER CD-r burn (originally on ABC/Dunhill Records)

Speaking of sixties youth market soundtrack albums, I've heard that this was perhaps the best of 'em to have ever wiggled its way into your bell bottoms and roach clip big brother's record collection. Dunno if that's true since I also heard the same thing about CANDY but still, if you liked the moom pitcher you might just like this 'un. Given that I only saw EASY RIDER onna late show and thought it was merely okay (at least that ending with those two guys in the pickup was a great piece of cinematic flash) maybe this mix of countrified youth kultur mewls and psychedelic leftovers doesn't quite gel. The good stuff (Steppenwolf, Holy Modal Rounders...) you've heard elsewhere, while the hippie druggo sounds just go right through my system into the toilet bowl of my psyche. Still wanna hear the Fraternity of Man platter though if only for their version of the Mothers' "Oh No" (in case ya didn't know but Elliot Ingber, the guitarist on FREAK OUT who Zappa fired for being a better player, was in the group a few years before his stint with the Captain, Beefheart that is).


Gordon Jackson-LOOKING BACK CD-r burn (originally on Sunbeam Records)

Never having been a Traffic fan the fact that this album is practically saturated with that group's signature style or whatever it's called had little if any appeal. Thus the overt progginess of LOOKING BACK doesn't exactly endear itself to anything in my musical makeup that I'd care to dwell upon. I was expecting a Tim Buckley-esque smart folky singer-songwriter bent but I guess that's out of the question with this slicked up chick backup vocalist and cleencut sound that just seemed like another forty-plus minutes of my life taken up with air ne'er to return.


Mandra Gora Lightshow Society-BEYOND THE MUSHROAM (sic?) GATE CD-r burn (originally on Liquid Sound Records)

I know, haven't we had enough English psychedelic upheaval groups these last fortysome years? Well, one more won't hurt and these Mandra Gora guys do a pretty fair job recreating the sixties mystique for people who probably couldn't care less about it. It has some of the Hawkwind style with loads of late-sixties Pink Floyd (there's a horrible cover of "Point Me at the Sky" ----eh!) and Doors organ mixed in with what sounds like a more sophisticated 1967 UFO/Middle Earth-styled elven bop. Might be somewhat proggo and/or boring in spots for you and I do understand.


NATIONAL STEAM CD-r burn (originally on Eternity's Feet Records)

Electronic music from the late-nineties that reminds me a whole lot of the Stardrive (featuring Robert Mason) albums. That is, seventies-styled syntho quasi-rock (with some sidesteps into white funk) that actually sounds good to me if only because it reminds me of all the fun I had watching mid-seventies television what with all that synthomusic being used to push everything from Drano to the late movie. Some krauty ambience effects a la Cluster add to an entertaining get down that'll remind you of some of the more innovative moments of seventies experimentation. Then again the more, er, overwrought moments might just make you grab the syrup of swill and thus I wouldn't trade my entire booty of PEBBLES and BOULDERS albums for it. And neither would you.



Don't look for this anywhere but here. Gendron once again provides us with some of the oozy laid back folk strums that made the other two or three (lost count) efforts of hers a surprise spin for even a guy who hates them creeps with their protest signs and peace cymbals 'n all. Intelligent enough acoustic odes to a strange dampered (just made that word up, neet eh?) world that I don't think woulda gotten this gal any guest spot on HOOTENANNY had she been 'round a good sixty years back. Even Judy Collins during a "heavy" Midol day couldn't compete with the dark yet dainty paens of Gendron!


Troposphere 7-TO KEYI TOKO ZONGA LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Last minute addition's this new effort from the always keeps you on your toes Feeding Tube record label. And like most of the others, this is one that's bound to surprise you/make you reconsider your past musical prejudices/send waves of revulsion down your inner being (if you're a cube that is) given the sheer beyond the realm of your consciousness sonics encountered therein. It starts off sounding something like kinetic Afro/electronic world music before heading into new age a-go-go territory before some repeato riff sounds charge in backing ancient tribal rituals. Even borders late-seventies krautrock unto early-eighties electronic dance territory if that's your swing of things. Nothing that I would call nerve-end fraying or life-reaffirming for that matter, but a good enough effort that'll sate those of you few smart types reading this looking for an even newer aural excursion.


When I conceived BLACK TO COMM I envisioned a magazine that one would be proud to read on the toilet. Many years later I feel that it not only lived up to my expectations but it perhaps even exceeded my initial goals --- yes, BLACK TO COMM  is a mag you would be proud to read even at a public urinal, especially a trough one! Get yourself a copy or ten and, shall I say. be sure your hand is firm and your aim is steady!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024


What SON OF VULCAN lacked in general comic book hero decency is made up many times over with this well-remembered Steve Ditko entry into the Charlton Comics canon. Not that CAPTAIN ATOM would have ever made it as a Marvel hero (too mentally stable) but these stories are so straight on without the camp and stretching of belief so common with the competition that it fits into its own niche if only for that!

I'll admith that the early stories are somewhat staid and come off quite one-dimensional compared with what Ditko was producing at Marvel at just about the same time (kinda weird to know that he was double timing as an important cog in the makeup of two comic book companies simultaneously), but then again some of those early Spiderman efforts had somewhat of a wonkiness to 'em so don't let that creep into your crack like some old jockeys. But they're still good and even got better once Ditko eventually fled Marvel and settled into Charlton as perhaps their biggest selling point thanks to all of the comic credo he had built up at the competition.

Heck, the post-Marvel Atoms have a particularly strong Marvel influence. Not as mid-sixties campy as just about everything else touching the entertainment medium true, but still somewhat similar if only for those Stan Lee-esque surprise endings and unique villains that you sure wish were good guys (take the Ghost whose rather nifty costume sports Spidermanesque eyes) which is why you end up rootin' for 'em over the heroes. Really a surprise to those of you who only knew Charlton from their hot rod, girly and comic strip/TV tie in efforts.

If you've poured through those old Spiderman and Dr. Strange compendiums and want a li'l extra kick well, do I have to tell you what to do, sap?

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

A RATHER BOLD EDITION OF "SINGLES GOING STROONAD" (a.k.a. I can't seem to figure out why the entire post ended up this way even after hours of hard scrutiny, and yes I checked all of the <b></b>'s and other settings but still came up total goose eggs)

The Troggs-"The Raver"/"You" (Page One Records)

Along with "Come Now" and "Feels Like a Woman", this Troggs track proves just how well attuned to the late-sixties/early-seventies high end of AM hot pop (or FM freeform if there were enough well-attuned program directors) they undoubtedly were. The grinding melody and twanging Jew's harp adds all the right tone colors and spice just needed to help beef up these Troggs sides even more, and it is too bad that the suburban bell bottom hippie wannabe market wasn't as attuned as it shoulda been or else this mighta've been a hit. Sheesh, the Kinks crawled onto the charts with "Lola" just around the same time so why not the Troggs? Flip is a standard bouncy pop effort not unlike quite a few other numbers to be found in these guys' catalog, nothing that I would call startling but still a testament to the eternal tuned-in-ness of the Troggs.

The Stooges-"Open Up and Bleed" (no label bootleg)

You already know... The Whisky-A-Go-Go version of the famed Stooges aural attack in all its lo-fi glory split between two green vinyl sides. The first being the creepy crawl beginning with Scott Thurston's harmonica weaving in and out of a beautiful repeato riff owing a whole lot to the early Velvet Underground (pardon my French) filtered through Alice Cooper at the height of his prowess. The second being the raging "LA Blues"-styled climax complete with feedback galore and a glitzed-out audience that probably didn't know (or care) what was goin' on. A perfect part of the late-sixties/early-seventies cataclysm in rock which gave us peons a good slice of sonic liberation that boldly stood against all of that peace 'n love hucksterism which unfortunately seemed to take the entire world by storm.

The Misfits-"Cough/Cool"/"She" (Blank Records reissue [obviously counterfeit] for jerkoffs like me who were too stupid to get it the first time)

This ain't your daddy's Misfits. More like your granddaddy's Misfits from way back in the days when they were a trio playing a driving electric piano dominated music that was sound quite different from the hardcore overdrive these guys made their fazoola with. The presence of this particular keyboard (or as the credits say, "electric sync piano") presents a nice throb of a pulse that recalls Suicide while overall the bunch seem to be hovering closer to the "progressive punk rock" style as exemplified by the likes of TV Toy and perhaps a few other NYC area acts that I'm sure never got 'round to issuing anything. Nothing to be afraid of in case you're cautious of what others may think. Of course more from this particular period in time would be welcome.

The Fun Things-"Where the Birdmen Fly", "Lipstick"/"(I Ain't Got) Time Enough For You", "Savage" 33 rpm 7-inch EP) (no label)

Dunno who put this mofo together but it sure is a fine reminder as to why Australia was the last hope during a time when high energy scions of rock and roll cataclysms past like ourselves were losing hope in a sea of MTV and the dinge of feelygood myopia. "Where the Birdmen Flew" is homage to Australian rock practitioners past taking the initial thrust and multiplying it in ways even the originators never could fathom, while "Lipstick" is more kineticism taken to the extreme where it ricochets just like that bullet in Andy Warhol's ribcage.  "Time Enough For You" is Rocket From the Tombs' "What Love Is" emulated and flipped over a few times. Closing out this reish's "Savage" which makes the case for the inclusion of Narcan with every purchase of this platter. When God wipes out Australia for its crimes he will spare this 'un. 



It's a given. If you liked Sparks and Christopher Milk as well as Earle Mankey's "Mau Mau" single you're just bound to go whole hog for this slab of El Lay rock 'n preen. You already know that Mendelsohn was not only a member if the original Sparks but Christopher Milk, and besides that he was (is?) a rockscribe of some renown...heck he's the guy who coined the phrase "garage band" which should earn him all the brownie points in the world even if I never cared for the stuff he used to write for CREEM back inna eighties. 

The Pits weren't anything that was going to shake the music industry to its rotten core but they had that El Lay take on the English rock pulse down flat. The so-called "disco" influence is miniscule at best (more mid-seventies bump 'n grind than late-seventies Travolta cheese) so I wouldn't be so self-conscious about listening to this if I were you. I'll bet this would have been a hit at Rodney's English Disco had that teenbo hangout stayed around long enough.


The Nurses-"Love You Again"/"I Will Follow You" (Teen-A-Toons Productions)

Howard Wuelfing never was what I'd call one of my favorite of the 3rd string rockscribes (he was up there!), but he sure did more than his share for THE cause! Not only with his writings for various publications both fan and pro but with a number of musical endeavors, his tenure with 1/2 Japanese sticking out foremost in my mind. The Nurses well --- not up there with the Japanese but they're still nice enough in that late-seventies new pop that was springing up all over the fruity plain sorta way. It doesn't have that hard gnarl one would have expected after reading Wuelfing's various writings re. everything and everyone from Can to Einsturzende Neubauten but sometimes things like that get in the way of my critical thinking. A good enough cramitintoyourskull distillation of that hard pop music that used to sound so revolutionary given that the times they were made in were so staid.

Bobby Fuller Four-"I Fought the Law"/"Love's Made a Fool of You" (Eric Records)

A too obvious choice for a singles going stroonad session but still pertinent to my everyday sorta being. A somewhat rare release on the Eric label, this is the big 'un from a guy who decided to take on the infamous Morris Levy, a man who had the magical power to make Fuller beat himself up and swallow gasoline, and as you woulda guessed Morris Levy won. A double-sided classic that might not mean too much to most of us, but fortysome years ago this really would have been as prized in my collection as all those scratched singles that harkened back to a past that woulda been one to remember had I only been front and center for what was happening.
The Bell Notes-"I've Had It"/"Be Mine" (Time Records)

These guys, along with the Fendermen, the Tune Rockers, the Royal Teens and a few other choices out there reallyreallyREALLY should have been on that early garage band sampler I reviewed last year. Yeah, the Bell Notes produced what some might call slightly "gingerbread-y" local rock, but at least it had a good bounce to it undoubtedly done up by the kinda guys who used to mime their music on BANDSTAND while cleaner cut than you'd expect teenbos sat trying to avoid staring into the camera. Speaking of the Bell Notes, I remember reading how none other than Miriam Linna's own eye doctor was in the group which had me wonderin' whether or not a Bell Notes exclusive was gonna pop up in the next issue of KICKS. None ever did, making me think that perhaps Miriam asked about doing an interview right when doc was doing the pressure test, and he was so startled by the question that the thing done dear rammed right into her socket gouging the dang eyeball out!
Rockin' Robin With The Wailers-"Rosalie"/"Interview on Bandstand with the Fabulous Wailers" (Eticant Records)

A side's the Wailers with Rockin' Robin Roberts doing a 1961 studio version of the LIVE AT THE CASTLE rouser while the flip's got the audio portion of Dick Clark's post-song chat with the Wailers on AMERICAN BANDSTAND back when "Tall Cool One" was rising up the charts a good two years earlier. Quality's AM car radio good enough for me, and for a guy who spent a good portion of the early-eighties trying to get just about any shard of info on these guys this is a godsend I sure wish came out a whole lot sooner! 

A good encapsulation of high energy rock 'n roll from a time when it was being presented on radio and television just as often as Rinso ads. Too bad this (and a ten-inch Wailers collection of mid-sixties demos) hadda've been put out by a couple of chiselers who not only released this material without the express permission of Etiquette Records but swindled me out of money I paid to have an ad printed in an issue of the duo's DO THE POP! fanzine, a mag that naturally never saw the light of day. (Sure I'm petty, but I'm also poorer as well. Hey, why do you really think I wrote this 'un up in the first place?)
Chuck Berry-"Little Queenie"/"Almost Grown" (Chess Records)

I suppose I should hate Chuck Berry if only because a whole slew of scrawny wire-rimmed white yammer-ons love him, but I won't stoop to any of their more pious than thou levels falling into their outdated white snivel trap. However, I gotta say that the overdrool regarding the man from the likes of such critics as Richard Reigel really does tend to turn me off of the guy given how these more "mainstream" scribes tend to elevate the man to godhood status, something which is kinda strange given Berry's various bathroom antics and state line crossings. But we gotta separate the man from the music I guess, and I'll try to do my best as usual.

To a fanabla of my musical caste "Little Queenie" is supposed to be (what am I sayin' --- it IS!!!!!) the record that Marc Bolan swiped the closing line to "Get It On" from (see following review) but it's naturally more'n just that. A fairly good blast of late-fifties rock 'n roll so void of the usual traps that I find it extremely hard to think that such a one-dimensional jerkoff of a character such as Potsy Webber from HAPPY DAYS could have ever liked Berry as he was alleged to do in that episode where Richie has to man the store and forgo the rock 'n roll concert. Ditto for "Almost Grown" even if for the life of me the Ruben and the Jets version seems to overtake my mind.

Maybe Berry was singing for the kids instead of to 'em, but from what I heard about those parties of his where he'd corral some young teen things into his motel room and the shit would literally be flying...boy would I hate to have been a maid at one of those Quality Courts!
T. Rex-"Get It On (Bang a Gong)"/"Raw Ramp" (EMI/Odeon Records, Japan)

And speaking of "Little Queenie" well, I wouldn't exactly call this 'un a ripoff as Nick Kent once surmised. But it's an all-time classic and the song that got me listening to the radio serious-like 'stead of half-heartedly. I went on and on about the glory days of T. Rex and how they affected me in the very last issue of my crudzine so no need to get into it here, but for a surprise the flipster "Raw Ramp" which is not on ELECTRIC WARRIOR pops up and it's a beaut what with the line about "love your breasts" and all. Bound to get the twelve-year-old in you rushing to the bathroom! Sheesh had I heard this way back when I probably woulda done some spontaneous spurting that surely woulda gotten me kicked outta grade school. I mean, trying to control myself in sex ed was bad enough...
David Bowie-"Space Oddity"/"Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud" (RCA or Mercury if you got yours at a flea market like I did)

Yeah, I know..."where were you back in '72, was David Bowie the man for you"??? Maybe I'd take those lyrics a li'l more seriously if none other'n Metal Mike Saunders himself wasn't pumping up the Bowie bandwagon via his heavy metallic praise of the former Mr. Jones in the pages of PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE. But eh, I believe we all have the right to change our minds, unless we don't have the right that is and according to many of you maybe I don't!

As for me, back when I was a mere adlo and the music of Bowie was first being played on the radio I sure thought his tuneage was the coolest thing to hit the airwaves since the previous Stones single or T. Rex for that matter. Of course when we all discovered just what a creepazoid Bowie really was (and I'm not talking about his weird personal lifestyle or open marriage with Mick Jagger either) maybe those old singles didn't sound as good as we remembered 'em. 

Nowadays with a good 50 years of hindquarters hindsight behind us all I can say is yeah, I guess records like "Oddity" were about as good an encapsulation of the anti-hippoid ideal and sway just as much as the works of other Third Generation spokesmen such as Alice Cooper and of course Bolan. And with rock 'n' roll as a potent force and generator of excitement long washed under the bridge to so speak maybe we can't afford to be as picky about it as we once were in 1979 ifyaknowaddamean...
Downliners Sect-"Cadillac"/"Roll Over Beethoven (Penniman Records, France)

Recorded mid-'63, this even out-primitives AT NIGHT IN GT. NEWPORT ST. (which you gotta admit was a pretty Cro Magnon platter in itself), so you can just imagine the pounce and teenage earnestness this effort exudes! Actually this slice of Downliners Sect does have the sort of garage primal push that's made more'n a few of their efforts all the more merrier (or punkier if you so desire), and I guess everyone who's been in on the Sect ever since their original albums began getting the fanzine huzzahs in the early-seventies already has this already so why blab any further?
Talking Heads-"Love Goes To A Building On Fire"/"New Feeling" (Sire Records)

Heh, Talking Heads before they started letting their artzy pretentions get the best of 'em while appearing in horrid videos that embarrassed just about everybody who was championing this bunch only a few years earlier. The horns and other beef ups don't hinder the mid-seventies pop leanings in the least. Dunno or care what you think but I woulda preferred hearing an entire album done up like this as opposed to what we eventually did get...I mean, who wouldn't?. When Greg Shaw wrote that he believed Talking Heads would put out a long player that was on-par with the David's ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER LIFETIME I wonder if he had this single in mind.
The Four Deuces-"W-P-L-J"/"Here Lies My Love" (Music City Records seventies repro)

Yeah we all know the a-side if only because of Frank Zappa's cover version as well as the fact that a New York radio station changed their call letters to this after the success of BURNT WEENIE SANDWICH. Here's the original which naturally has that Southern California r&b feel to it that wouldn't have sounded out of place in THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER...sheesh whenever I hear this, for some odd reason or another I keep thinking of all those Zappa landmark namedrops that conjure up just what a rundown hellhole that the Southern California area musta been even then! Flip's a more streamlined r&b track that's better on this side than that, which only goes to show you what an ignoramus I am about these sorta soundwaves.
TV Jones-"Eskimo Pies"/"Skimp the Pimp" (Nomad Records)

The only surviving artyfact of this pre-Radio Birdman group, unless someone discovered more and didn't tell me. Pretty good at least as far as being an example of what Deniz Tek did before he did that other thing that he became somewhat well known for. Early version of "I 94" graces the plug side sounding perhaps even better due to the rehearsal room quality while the other side's got this wild raver that for all I know never made it into the Birdman set list but it shoulda given its all 'round rousing abilities. 
Roogalator-"All Aboard"/"Cincinatti Fatback" 7-inch 33 rpm single (Stiff Records, England)

Must be a post EMI lawsuit edition because my copy came without a WITH THE BEATLES ripoff cover. Whatever the case may be here's an early Stiff single that's pretty hefty on the rootsier aspects of the pub rock experience which made up a good portion of the Stiff roster at least during their earlier days. Sheesh, I could see a number of my elder relatives thinking that, between the swing of "All Aboard" to the short haircuts sported on the missing sleeve that them kids are finally straightening up and listening to good music, at least until they get an earfulla "Cincinatti Fatback" what with its references to poontang (which I doubt they even knew what it meant, but who knows...). If your tastes in mid-seventies punkist desires tended towards the whole Feelgood/Groovies breed of past accomplishments you'll definitely like this 'un.
Ian Dury-"Wake Up!"/"What a Waste" (Stiff Records, Belgium)

Another Stiffie here, only this is one of those yellow vinyl offerings that popped up in shopping malls nationwide thus making Deviants records once again readily available to the general public. The a-side consists of Dury's big "hit" that was being pushed on FM radio all over the fruity plain, and although I should hate it not only for that but the fact that a faint disco beat can be discerned it does conjure up somewhat happy memories of seventies snazz pop and should be appreciated if only for that. The other side's even jazzier and actually more attuned to my own sense of off-kilter music. Perhaps this is because "What a Waste" reminds me more of the television shows and comic books I was gorging on at the time, but once you get down to it there's nothing at all wrong with that at all. Unless you're a sophisticated creep that is but which one of you readers isn't?
Died Pretty-LIVE DIED EP (Compassion Explosion Records bootleg)

Back to Australia and these guys who originally made a huge impression on me. Unfortunately after a while the quality of their recordings, like many on the Australian scene of the day, began to wane to the point where all of the original energy the group originally exuded seemed to pretty much evaporate. Not really an extended play as it is a 33 rpm single, the plug's got a version of Lou Reed's "Wild Child" that is somewhat faithful to the original and is good enough that it might have even put a smile on Peter Laughner's face. The other side probably would have as well although it bears only slight resemblance to the Pere Ubu original. Well, at least it does remind me of the kind of music that was making the mid-eighties a way more livable place than had we all hadda rely of the drek that CREEM was pushing on us at the time.
The Exploited-"Exploited Barmy Army"/"I Believe in Anarchy", "What You Gonna Do" EP (The Exploited Record Company)

Still dunno why it seemed oh-so-cool to dump on these guys, especially when you consider that records like this 'un were keeping the whole Britpunk moo'ment going on and on at a time when every upnose snoot'd go out of his way to declare p-rock's demise. OK you gotta admit that the Exploited were way deep with the likes of Gary Bushell and his demolishing of everything that was once good about SOUNDS, but at least they knew enough to publicly call him a "wanker" when even he jumped on the punk is dead bandwagon. Good enough for me thud snarl that sounds exactly like the same music that seemed so refreshing in the face of MTV moosh only to fizz out worse'n club soda once 1983 began rollin' in. 

Monday, March 04, 2024


Other'n HERBIE I gotta admit that I know practically nil about the ACG line of comic books, and if FORBIDDEN WORLDS is any example of what the rest of their stable was like I dunno if I'd wanna. Compared to the competition the horror sagas that pop up in this title (at least judging from what's to be found here) are pretty lamesville and woulda probably passed the scrutiny of Dr. Fredric himself, at least if you plied him with a few shots. Artwork's OK enough but doesn't exactly grab you by the kajoobies (none of the big names who did work on the title, people like Al Williamson, Joe Orlando and Frank Frazetta amongst others, pop up in this volume) and I gotta say that there just are too many happy endings, at least as far as the more romantically-inclined stories go.

To be as honest as Brad Kohler about it, there are a few goodies mixed in with the turdburgers like the one where some guy gives a cold shouldered gal a love potion and she still goes for him even after he stabs her and she's rotting away (well, that 'un WOULDA been tops on the Wertham hit parade), or the one where the hotcha lady (of course) married to the aged dudster (natch!) has a shriveled fortune teller type of woman (aren't they all?) put a deadly hex on him, and the lady's handsome boyfriend (well, he does look better'n you!) tells her not to pay the millions the gypsy is owed and to have her killed... Betcha never saw a story like that in yer life have ya??? Still given the track record of at least the stories that pop up here this one did come out on top!

There are plenty of other Gwandanaland titles to splurge on and I think you all got the idea which ones that would be worthy of you having in your own personal library. But whatever, leave FORBIDDEN WORLDS outta it --- no only is the price forbidden but the stories to be found within ain't gonna do your sense of comic book appreciation one bit of good neither! 

Friday, February 16, 2024

It's been awhile. As if you cared. Neither do I but it for those of you whose lives are so starved that you have to wait for something like this blog to lighten up you life well, here it is. To tell you the truth I know how some of you lonelier types feel given that the highlight of my day is to read the various NANCY and FERD'NAND comics that pop up on various sites such as GoComics and "X". Sad true, but at least I'm reverting even more into my single digit days when life seemed a whole lot more worthy of living in.

'n really, there ain't that much "personal" to write about this time, nor anything else that might be rottin' away in that root cellar in my head. Politics is a bore right now other'n for the thrill of seeing bad things happen to people I hate (plus it is fun watching the ongoing mental deterioration of our Commander in Chief [the one I'm sure most of you people voted for] who makes past presidents like Gerald Ford look stoic in comparison...a real hoot in fact!), although I still follow da nooze somewhat rabidly if only through my frequent skeedaddles over to the Ron Unz site. Right at this very nanosecond it seems as if my extracurricular (non-musical) activities are pretty much focused on, besides trying to get some music listening time in, the boob tube what with me watching nothing but black and white westerns (with a few trips towards BONANZA) as well as an occasional peek-a-boo at the Boomerang net for some old Hanna-Barbera cartoons when the mood fits. It might not be as bright lights and big city as your very existence, but it'll do.

In between that well, I'm burrowing through a few dozen boxes of randomly dumped in Cee-Dees collected over thirtysome years still in search of my Hoodoo Rhythm Devils platters. H'aint found them yet but I have about a dozen other recordings I've been looking for during past hankerin's for certain breeds of sound which at least will help ease some strain, or undoubtedly add to it. At this rate expect me to find the Devils spinners around the time they're ready to tote me to the paupers field which is an ignoble way to go out, but I don't think I'll be complainin' one bit. 


There've been quite a few deaths since we last spake that I think I should mention here including Can frontman Damo Suzuki and MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, something which I guess makes Dennis Thompson the MC1. Mary Weiss from the Shangri Las too. And by the time this post hits the screen there will probably be many MANY more who I'll find out about a few months from now. Unfortunately there haint been any deaths that we can sure rah rah about, but I get the feeling that our reason to celebrate might be coming a lot sooner than the enemies of the Reich might think. Or at least we can hope and pray so.


Given my intense obsession with the Velvet Underground and their somewhat expansive saturation of the better moments of 60s/70s musical dynamism I was rather surprised by this particular entry into the myth, thanks to writer Peter Stanfield 'natch who seems to be my only go to source for truly critical appraisals these days. Never heard about filmmaker John Hofsess or his works, and although reading about his filmic efforts doesn't quite flibben my jib his use of the Velvet Underground (and the Who with "My Generation" and "The Ox"!!!) on the soundtrack to his BLACK ZERO split screen effort sure is something that fortunately adds to the canon of new and surprising things regarding the Velvets which was something I thought was mined out ages back. 

I'm even more curious about this act who also appears on the soundtrack called "The Gass Company" (one of many with that very name thus no concrete information's to be had) who surprisingly enough were one of the few acts influenced by the Velvets (at least according to Stanfield's descriptions) while Reed and Co. were still up and about! Heck I don't wanna see the movie at all...give me the soundtrack to Hofsess' BLACK ZERO and REDPATH 25 (or at least the pertinent portions) and I should be about as much of a happy camper as I can get to be these days.


Lotsa sounds to spurt about this time, some courtesy of Paul McGarry, others Robert Forward, and dagnabbit even more others courtesy of memeME! Had a nice time listening to and writing these things up here in the comfy confines of my fart encrusted bedroom, something which is fine by me since it sure beats doing something CONSTRUCTIVE like volunteering for Meals on Wheels. Speaking of being constructive, maybe its time for me do drag out my Creative Construction Company disque for yet another spin. I'll betcha that you've all noticed a rather AACM-ish direction that I've been taking these past few months. Maybe it has something to do with the long-lingering pangs I get thinkin' back to the days of the New Music Distribution Service looking through their catalog trying to figure out the best way to spend the pittance I usually had to spend on such frivolities as experimental jazz/classical albums and the grief I usually got for buyin' 'em as well! (Still remember my folk's puzzlement regarding me buying records by musical acts who weren't on tee-vee or being played on the radio and how they could even survive if nobody they knew heard about them and you couldn't even find their albums at the local record shop. Looking back, I don't think I did too good of a job explaining things either.) Anyway, dig in.

Richard Meltzer-FRANKIE CD-r burn

A portion of a mid-eighties reading of the famed Meltzer/Tosches novella by the first of the two, making for a way better presentation of the story of the infamous wild wall of manhood than had Edward Herrmann's syntho voice made an audio book of it. Unlike anything related to humor since at least the turn of the nineties, this saga is wonderfully offensive and pretty high-larious at that, and for that matter way funnier'n most of the stuff that is supposed to pass for har-de-har-har these sad and sorry days. Lotsa neeto asides regarding everything from Joe Franklin to various local hotspots too. Kinda makes me wish this book was around during my high stool days because if it had been boy would my public speaking class've been a hoot!


Map of the World-HIROSHIMA GIRLS 12-inch 45 rpm EP; NATURAL DISASTERS 12-inch 33 rpm EP (both on Stigmata Records)

A recent back and forth about the heavy duty Arab population located in the state of Michigan had me thinking about this brother/sister team (Khalid and Sophia Hanifi respectively) and their group Map of the World who recorded what I thought a rather dudster record on Atlantic sometime in the late-eighties. Having destroyed that cheapo tape ages back I somehow got to ruminating whether or not this group with the rather unpretentious (really!) name, despite my original judgement, were in fact one of those straightforward local rock acts who lacked the snootiness and pomposity of a good portion of the amerindie/alt sounds I've had the displeasure of hearing these past few decades. Y'know, the kinda act that woulda appeared at your local high school gym in '69, '79, '89 and even beyond and still sound as downhome straightforward each time out! So that's why I parted with some hard-begged to get these records given that sometimes I just gotta play a hunch!

For once that hunch turned out to be right because these pre-Atlantic Map of the World recs show a young bunch of kids who have heads screwed in tight and a musical flair that recalls mid-seventies retro-freshness more than it does quick flash up-to-date doldrums. Sophia has a uniquely strong set o' pipes which really drives the Map oeuvre home even more while brother Khalid's no slouch either handling the singing and guitar on some rather powerful material both original and cover (Patsy Cline's "Crazy" done up pretty unpretentiously straightforward at that). The sound surely ain't REM jangle, closer to Byrds jangle maybe with an approach to the poppier side of rock that might have you conjuring up mid-seventies Flamin' Groovies (no kidding!), early Move (REALLY no kidding!), late-eighties Droogs (reallyreallyREALLY no kidding!) or even better the Disposable God Squad, this obscure-o late-eighties NYC powerpop act who had a nice kinetic drive to their own retropop approach which of course got 'em buried by a load of subpar sputum as did Map of the World for that matter.

Sheesh, I even hear some early pre-puke your entire guts out Jefferson Airplane (at least on "Hiroshima Girls" which actually appears on both platters it's that good) and if I could like a song that reflects those San Franciscan acidstoops it's gotta be good! The rot that seemed to overtake ALL musical genres had not set in with Map of the World and like, when I hear these two spinners I am reminded of the brighter side of local perhaps not-so-innovative but still way digestible rock that always seemed to get tossed to the wayside in favor of some rather dire music.

I think I gotta get hold of their Atlantic LP so's I can remember why I loathed the thing. These records are the exact kind of rock 'n roll that I was craving for back during the early days of my crudzine when I really hadda peck out and search for records that suited my own personal sense of musical aesthetics more often than not failing to find the one that hit the musical G-spot. And for being done up by young 'uns at a time when "rock" "music" was splintered into about ten different factions that all sucked well, I sure wish there was more of this and less of that goin' 'round, nomesame?


Eric Dolphy Septet with Donald Byrd-PARIS '64 CD-r burn (originally on Hi Hat Records, Cyprus)

I dunno if Dolphy ever recorded anything that wasn't worthy of one's ears, and this effort certainly ain't one to do any chain breaking. Donald Byrd (who covered a whole load of jazz territory before and after this, his best known work being that Blackbyrds fave "Walkin' in Rhythm") fits in swell even in a more avgarde setting and to be brief about it I can't find a thing on this that would prevent me from spinnin' it again. Worth anyone's while.


Anthony Braxton/Richard Teitelbaum-SILENCE/TIME ZONES CD (Black Lion Records, Germany)

Definite Cage influence on Leo Smith's "Silence" while Leroy Jenkins' "Off The Top Of My Head" continues on that late-sixties Braxton trio delve into the classical avgarde approach to the new jazz thing. Both tracks should be highly up there on your own personal free music hit parade, that is if you're the type who still has an abnormal hankerin' for this sort of sound swirl that might be old news now but does anyone with a mind really care? 

Braxton's once again teamed up with synth player and former MEV member Teitelbaum on the rest making for even more classical/jazz hybrid what with Braxton's reeds swinging around and sometimes even fighting Teitelbaum's blips and blurbs. The final track was recorded at Bearsville studios making for a connection even if it is so slight between Braxton and Todd Rundgren if you can fathom that.


Ed Sanders-SANDERS TRUCKSTOP CD-r burn (originally on Reprise Records)

Saw this 'un in plenty of used bins during the 70s/80s but shied away thinking that Sanders' backwoods radical bumpkin act would be as overpowering as it was on the Fugs' grand goodbye THE BELLE OF AVENUE A. Actually this is fair as far as for being a representation of a counterkultur icon paying tribute to the music he grew up with while putting down the redneck culture behind it, but there should have been a whole lot more Michael Hurley Americana and a whole lot less Arlo Guthrie Woodstock hippie on display. AFTERTHOUGHT: that LP closer was a fine cap on the album and almost makes up for the hippie hickdom of the rest.


HEAVY RAIN CD-r burn (originally on Guerssen Records, Spain)

Early seventies heavy rock lives on whether we want it to or not. And thankfully this particular entry into the annals of lunkdom is worth the exhumation given how it captures all of the worthy thud of the movement that evaporated once commercial music began to slicken up, heavy metal became a noun rather than a verb, and CREEM magazine was inundated with color glossy snaps of horrid hair groups who thought they were cutting edge tuffguys with their adolescent snarls. 

Like with the best of the movement, nervegrate takes precedence over fine playing (which is why the AOR FM-bred dolt kids of the late-seventies/eighties were the real descendents [no sic] of their hi-fi EZ-listening parents the way they preferred musicianship and quality over bared knuckle excitement like this), reminding me of just how bad things have slid never to return.


The Desperate Bicycles-COMPLETE ANTHOLOGY (1977-1980) CD-r burn (originally on their Refill label etc. and so forth)

DIY sure meant squat once we all realized that maybe the people who were doing it themselves weren't exactly up to the task of making music worthy of listening to. How this fits in with the Desperate Bicycles, a group who formed for the express purposes of releasing their own platters, well...

Early trackage has that basement quality punkitude that makes for a good listening experience, but that later stuff just reminds me of the loss of faith I had in a musical movement I thought would have known better than to fall into some of the stalest ruts these guys said they stood against only a few short years earlier. Remember that feeling you had about what had become of "new wave" once 1981 set in? Yeah, me too.

Anyway, if ya wannit, ya gottit!


Nervous Gender-HEPCATS FROM HELL 9/7/79 CD-r burn

Quality's definitely of the "Assembled in Mexico" variety but it only adds to the beautiful muffledness of it all. The same way that '74 cheapo press of WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT only made it sound the way it shoulda thus disturbing hi fi nuts even more than they were when the original came out. 

Does come somewhat close to various Suicidal electroterror efforts yet retains an El Lay feeling that still woulda sounded boff in the confines of seventies NYC. But it ain't NYC it's LA with all the good and bad that implied. Meltzer's interview with 'em gives some insight into the inner workings and I'm ALMOST sorry I passed on their legit platters when they came out oh so many years later. 

I'm sure it turned more'n just a few heads in the late-seventies but only a few measly years later did it matter in the least?


FULL MOON  CD-r burn (originally on Douglas Records)

I thought this was gonna be a hard-edged fusion/jazz rock effort not only due to free jazz drummer Philip Wilson's presence but because this popped up on the Douglas label, the same one that issued John McLaughlin's pre-flirty flirt albums as well as the essential WILDFLOWERS 5-LP collection of crucial beyond belief Studio Rivbea loft jazz (where Wilson not-so-surprisingly also appears). However this is a way more commercial than I would have expected outing, not without its moments but still slicked up in an El Lay cocaine and sluts all over the place fashion that tends to irritate more than inspire. For a better representation of this genre of music I'd stick with the Good God album or heck, even some of those early-seventies Zappa things that turned off fans of the original Mothers but somehow sound better'n what the guy would come up with a few measly years later.


Mark "Moogy" Klingman-MOOGY CD-r burn (originally on Capitol Records) 

Before and after his tenure with Todd Rundgren's Utopia Moogy Klingman was leading his own acts such as Moogy and the Rhythm Kings appearing at various NYC bistros trying to get a foothold into the industry. Heck, I even reviewed a Max's Kansas City appearance by his Revue featuring Andy Kauffman here even if for all practical purposes it's more of a historical artifact due to Kauffman and not Moogy. This album doesn't do Klingman much better, being in that early-seventies singer/songwriter mode that sounds even lamer today than it must have then. Sorta like Carole King if she transitioned into Billy Joel. Well, at least it reminds me of the theme to some seventies sitcom I probably got a big kick outta way back when.


Yugi Oniki-SHONEN BLUE CD-r burn (originally on Big Art Records)

I usually shy away from these newer than new (which for me is anything recorded after 1982) "updated" takes on various past accomplishments but decided to give this one a try because 1) Yugi Oniki is Japanese and they do tend to have a touch when it comes to various neo-VU sonic moves and 2) Oniki did provide the soundtrack for some Warhol mooms being shown at the University of Michigan 'r some other local school of learning which might not amount to much but the thought is nice.

Unfortunately this SHONEN BLUE effort from back '88 way takes more of its cue from Michael Stipe than it does Jamie Klimek and (as you would expect) tends to seep deep into that wall of gelatin that has effected more than just a few purveyors of the sound without the fury. Oniki should have had his head shackled to that guitar-less feedback screeching amp of Les Rallize Denudes until he learned what Velvets-infected PASSION really meant.


Don't blame me if you couldn't get hold of any of these magazines the first time around. As Lou Costello would have said, "they were there for ya!" (or did I use that 'un already? Too lazy to find out myself). But you could blame the hoity toity distributors who felt that these mags were beneath their high levels of sartorial (at least on a fanzine plateau) elegance, or you can blame it on these rags (and their editor) being so behind the times that it actually was ahead of them (only I was the only one who realized it). Then again while we're playing the blame game maybe I should also dump a load of it on all those distributors who so gladly offered to help out yet stiffed me (Nicholas from Chicago and that guy in Canada highly recommended by Bruce Mowat whose name escapes me come to mind) as well as the ones who gladly flipped me off regarding distribution over the phone in a display of snootful better-than-thouism. Then AGAIN, there were the ones who DID distribute the mag and shortchanged me (including the head of a nefarious record label who at the time was treated as a Brahmin on the "scene" even if he had to employ bodyguards when attending clubs) leading to even more heavy financial loss. So that's why you couldn't find these mags as readily as you should have and if you think I'm bitter about it all here in my advanced age well, naw not really... Still, if you think that these prices are inflated well, I gotta get back at least SOME of the moolah that I lost, right? It's either this or try gettin' 'em from your mother!