Sunday, January 28, 2024

Time for me to do a li'l vileness signaling (which, like the spewing of oh-so-smart set prosody you readers engage in, is only done to make me feel warm and toasty not to mention SUPERIOR to you all) with another one of my big deal posts where I get to tell you about records and all other sorts of things that are happening in this utopian world of yours which just happens to be a dystopian world of mine. Gotta admit that I did have some moments of joy 'tween these "bigtime" posts what with the weather being so cold (at least it was for a good January weekend --- it's springtime warm as I type this!) that I had nothing better to do than stay snuggled up in the old farted up boudoir with a whole load of recordings and books to keep me well occupied. Just hope that we get one of them good ol' snowstorms soon so I can be holed up for a few days and just devote myself to these better things in life, getting away from the rat race that's been wearing me out for quite awhile so's I can really indulge in them oft neglected sounds 'n pix that make life more worthwhile than Bud Lite. But knowing me I'd probably have an appendicitis attack and die due to the ambulance not being able to make it through, so maybe I just better be glad just for the way things are right now.


Despite the tragedy of real life I sure have been crankin' these posts out at what could be described as a fever pitch as of late. Way more than I had been the last two years, and although I'm not quite ready to get back into my old weekly grind (which I doubt I ever will but eh!) I gotta say it sure is grand to be perhaps a bit more active in the rock fandom game than usual even if (as if I really cared) nobody's gonna read this. Actually this new pace is just fine since I don't feel as if I have to be pressured to get these posts out to you peons who eagerly await every dribble I have to spew, and to top that I really don't give a hoot when these things hit the blogosphere because really, does this blog matter at all other than to give me something to do with the little free time I have? Remember, it's my world and Frank Sinatra is just living in it, or something like that.


Hey, howdja like that way doctored up snap of me I've posted on the upper left of the screen in yet another lame attempt at grabbing a little attention? AI sure can do some goldurned wonders, which it sure did with the pic taken from my teenbo years (and during a particularly enthralling Christmas break spent buying records and watching tee-vee!). Sheesh, I don't remember looking anything at all like that, especially with that luscious glory on top of my skull having skedaddled a good twenny or so years after this snap was taken!

Hey, I like it. It kinda reminds me of some eighties vintage Warhol work that was done up after everyone on this earth knew he had nothing to do with it but he was so mimeographed that it didn't matter. Better yet, it comes off like a snap from one of those SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE 'tween commercial inserts that they used way back when the show was actually funny. Then again it also reminds me of the front cover of the first Lewis Furey album and everyone knows what a floperoo that was (well, it was back when I gave it a listen oh so long ago --- who knows, maybe it's changed). Whatever I think of it one thing's for sure, and that is I never knew that my left hand could be so Plastic Man-esque pliable!


A good fiftysome years too late, but at least it happened.

Now onto the writeups, which I'll warn you aren't quite as on the ball as I would have liked but I can't be Christgau every day! Maybe my lack of Wheaties in the morn has contributed to my even more lack of creativity than usual or more likely it's the utter stupidity built right into my DNA, but rather than have no reviews I thought I'd just trudge on and present whatever I was able to muster up even during this dip in the roller coaster of my creative process. Be thankful for that, that is if your life is so vapid that you actually long for the type of dribble that I've been cranking out for a longer time that I can remember. Thanks be to Bob Forward for the donations.

Martin Rev-THE SUM OF OUR WOUNDS (CASSETTE RECORDINGS 1973-1985) CD (Bureau B records, Germany)

Smattering of various idea fleshouts courtesy the not-so staid mind of Suicide's "musical half". Familiar themes pop up just begging for the feral yelps of Alan Vega, although these tracks are powerful enough on their lonesome that maybe he isn't necessary a'tall. Stimulating to the nervous system in ways that haven't affected me in quite a while, THE SUM OF OUR WOUNDS not-so strangely enough has me flashing back to the days of my original prowling of the avgarde idiom, a time that I was pretty open to this music to the point where a whole load of yells and shouts were directed at me whenever something along the line of Varese would be spinning on the ol' stereo. Coulda used some detailed info on what's what tho. 


John's Children-A STRANGE AFFAIR --- THE SIXTIES RECORDINGS 2 CD set (Grapefruit Records, England)

Shee-yucks! After making a Gnu Year's resolution not to spend any precious lucre on non-essentials what do I do but plunk down that hard-earned for John's Childrens material I've had in various configurations for years on end! Eh, it's got the Silence tracks which I've never lent ear to as well as some Andy Ellison singles that have eluded me so it ain't exactly like I was spending my moolah like a drunken sailor. It also got all of ORGASM not to mention a whole batch of different takes and other bits 'n feces which all sound great when placed under one solid roof. 'cept whoever put this one together left off the BBC seshes and Bolan's vocalized "Sally Was An Angel" from THE BEGINNING OF DOVES, but were these compilers ever perfect? Got any leftover Xmas cashage? If so, one of these little dandies just might be good way for you to pour your precious pennies down a rathole!



One from Mr. Forward who seems to (at least some of the time) hone in on the musical wants and needs of mine with little if no error. This is the first time I got to hear all of the Space Ghost music laid down by guitarist supremo Sonny Sharrock right before his own capsizing and it sure exceeded my expectations. This swan song material's nowhere near the neo-new fusion I thought it was going to be and in fact it's pretty much on par with the man's various seventies workouts so don't worry that the guy went out on a sour note like Lou Reed did. I've heard and reviewed the 1974 Savages material before but it's pretty much hokay having this repeat in my collection! Now if someone could locate those live shows the man did with Material which everyone seemed so interested in yet hardly anybody got to actually hear.


Bill Cosby-WHERE YOU LAY YOUR HEAD CD (Verve Records)

Don't worry, I only got this one for Sharrock's presence on the thirteen-minute closer "Why is It I Can Never Find Anything In The Closet (It's Long But It's Alright") which also has Don Pullen on the keyboards and Jack DeJohnette on drums. It ain't MONKEY POCKIE BOO but it's still listenable, as is the entirety of this album featuring various Bill Cosby compositions that were written pretty much in the same way Jackie Gleason did with all those make out albums of his that you still see at flea markets. He even does some percussion on a few of 'em. Other players featured include David Murray and John Scofield so you know that Cosby has some taste regarding the more out-there areas of jass (at least as far as Murray's concerned since Scofield was always a refined sort of guitarist --- classy yet somewhat engaging).


Neo Neos-KILL SOMEONE YOU HATE CD-r burn (originally on Neck Chop Records/Another Label)

Refreshing switch from the usual neo neo-hippie feely-feel that passes for punk rock these days. Low-fi reminiscent of the old Screamin' Mee-Mees/Fuckin' Flyin' A-Heads scronk that seemed oh so admirable before many a lesser mind rammed the whole home-produced DIY lo-fi concept right into the dirt. The six-year-old singer spouting obscenities was a nice touch. Maybe its because I haven't been listening to any of the ten thousand other groups doing the frenetic grind lately that this sounds fair enough but whatever, I sure feel glad that the future is in the hands of such stalwart, stoic youth as these.


Various Artists-A RECOMMENDED SAMPLER 2 CD-r set (originally on ReR Megacorp Records, England)

Now that some of that "Rock In Opposition" music that once seemed somewhat obtuse sounds rather adventurous and even toe-tapping in retrospect, perhaps I should hail Mr. Forward for jetting this 25th anniversary of the '82 Recommended Sampler my very way. 

Some of it sounds as unique as I'm sure it did to many an against the grain musical freak looking for something different in their musical pottage, while at times the usual Zappa specter seems to seep in (and I mean Zappa like in late-seventies Zappa when his usual egotistical musical approach became too overbearing even for the old time fans). It's full of surprises though, from soundtrack music for thirties-vintage French avant garde films (Felix Gasul) to late-seventies punk rock with the proper oomph to it (the Homosexuals). Something for (almost) everyone who at least reads this blog, and for me the more European it sounds the better. Even ends with Robert Wyatt's own version of "The Internationale" for all you spiritual communists out there, and judging from the response I get regarding this blog there must be many!

(One weirditie here's the presence of a Henry Cow spinoff group called the Black Sheep who perform a number called "Strangelove"...making me wonder whether or not this track is indeed a tribute to the famed Strangeloves of "I Want Candy" fame considering that those guys also went under the name the Sheep! Is the mess of a sound they make here supposed to be some sort of tribute to an act that I really doubt would have ever considered the Strangeloves to be part of their musical DNA makeup? Doubt it is but sheesh, wouldn't it be just marvy if it was?????)



I tried to get info on this 'un via the internet, but all I could latch onto was some Arthur C. Clarke short story compilation. I guess this collection of early Hawkwind single sides was one of those come and go things if it's so obscure that it doesn't even turn up on discographies. (The Butterboy blog has not only the only mention of this item on the 'net but a download as well for all you penny pinchers out there.) Longtime Hawkwind fans have no need for this one, but if you're an upsprout wanting to learn something about this band and don't wanna spend the moolah why not go on Butterboy and discover for yourself what kind of a group Hawkwind was? It's got the classics from the English hit "Silver Machine" to those familiar Hawkwind showstoppers that unfortunately never did make their way to the charts here in the United States. Personal fave's the Robert Calvert effort "Urban Guerilla" which Jon Tiven once mentioned was custom made for the Deviants fan in us all. And it was!


Yes, it has been reduced to me just wanting to see these magazines ridded from my presence. It used to be fun writing, pasting, distributing and waiting for the response as to what I and my various contributors have pecked out, but eventually it all became more like a business I took way too seriously which certainly did put somewhat of a damper on things. And besides, it does get rather tiresome painting a target on my back and having all of my "friends" take pot shots at it. It's come to the point where whenever I glance upon the stack of these unsold items piled up in the corner all I can think about is what a bad move (one amongst many) that I made in this at-times hideous thing called life. Tell you what, buy a whole sack load of these fanzines from me and maybe I'll stop with the nauseating self-pity. But I doubt it.

Saturday, January 27, 2024



It was more'n obvious that many a comic book publisher woulda swiped quite a few ideas from Marvel once the much-heralded "Marvel Age of Comics" drastically revolutionized the superhero concept (from stoic hero to piddling neurotic that is!). DC did well enough with DOOM PATROL while Archie flopped big time when they resurrected their Golden Age hero line, and whose idea at Tower Comics was it to create that beyond camp "Captain Marvel" character whose body would split up in a way that woulda even stymied Bloody Bill Anderson?

Not to be outdone in the idea snitching department, Charlton's SON OF VULCAN was that mobbed up company's attempt to recreate the MIGHTY THOR mythical god in a sixties comic setting look and feel that did so well for Marvel, along with the big bucks that went along with it of course. And although I gotta admit that these guys gave it the good ol' college try it's no wonder why this one flubbed the same way the rest of those nth-string efforts had.  Not that the entire Charlton line wasn't without merit, but I think they shoulda just stuck to their comic strip renditions, Steve Ditko workouts and cowboy/hot rod books and left the majority of the superhero exploits to the smart ones. Nothing here is what I would call of a higher notch quality and not even in that good 'n CHEAP fashion that always delivered even without the finesse of the more "respected" titles.

Feh art and tiresome storylines don't contribute to the superhero canon of excitement and adventure, and I find the tale of a reporter given power by the Gods of Olympus themselves not as fine tuned as a crippled doctor finding a gnarly piece of wood, banging it on the ground and becoming the God of Thunder. SON OF VULCAN had the good intentions, but none of the swerve and sway that Stan Lee was exacting upon his dominion.

Interesting aside: the cover of the final ish sports this interesting hype: "ATTENTION FANZINE READERS!!! CHALLENGE HAS BEEN ANSWERED...THE STORY IN THIS ISSUE WAS WRITTEN BY ONE OF YOU!!! DON'T MISS!!!" Actually, none other than Roy Thomas of ALTER EGO renown who went from low man on the totem pole to pro thanks to his prowess in the fanzine world was the writer of this particular effort dealing with the filming of a Trojan War epic.  It's OK though I find his Marvel efforts just a few years later somewhat better even if I never really could appreciate the guy's overall style (somewhat staid despite many a good saga). Still, seeing a lure to the comic book fanzine crowd smack dab on the front cover of a sixties-era title was somewhat of a surprise, but then again it was only a few short years until Marvel actually issued their own "fanzine" entitled FOOM! which I actually was not allowed to subscribe to because I was wasting way too many precious pennies on candy and tootsietoys already! (Charlton eventually followed suit with their own 'zine but by that time it was music for me, and not much else for that matter.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2024


I haven't read any of those all time greatest music venue books that have made their way out into the public realm, but considering that this particular noted Cleveland hangout was not only the place where the up-and-coming folkies got their early-sixties chops but the late-sixties creme-de-la rock groups their own foothold into the music biz well, maybe a read such as this is a little bit overdue considering the absolute dearth of Cleveland music club histories now, dontcha think?

Sure glad I got this 'un (unsolicited via Amazon --- wonder who the Secret Satan here was?) because this book really is a tonic for the rockist soul that I thought died out well over forty years back. And whoever this Steve Traina guy is, he sure did a fine job getting all of the details as to the who what when where why and hows about this hangout that pushed upon the more smart set types a whole buncha acts that pretty much set the stage for whatever good there was that came out of the sixties. A few bad eggs too but when lined up against the mighty (Velvets, Fugs, Blues Magoos, Silver Apples, Moby Grape...) the whole shebang merely comes off like a report card with one "C" amidst a whole pack of "A"'s.

It would figure that La Cave woulda been birthed near the beginning of that swinging decade and peter out around the time them years closed up shop. And really, the whole Cle atmosphere which made the place such a fertile ground for music on the up and coming side can be felt here what with Traina's concentration on the new and cutting edge acts as well as those who were getting little notice anywhere else, all of it getting detailed in a way one can be thankful for. MEANING: Traina ain't one of those fellas who makes up quotes and lost conversation in order to give this more of a Great Amerigan Novel feeling which woulda flopped had he did. It's nice and straightforward without any of the extraneous glop that has marred more than a few books about rock 'n roll NOT as a commodity or as that soundtrack for spoiled middle class kids to acts all Peace Corps altruistic upper rung on the evolution scale.

A good one. Worth at least a once over. For those of you in the area who made it through those years alive and would do it again well, here's your tribute and like, don't say you didn't earn it. 

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Here I am, the MAN WITHOUT COMPUNCTION (doing Dave Lang one better!) with another one of these ever spaced out in more ways than one posts where I get to blab on about everything from records 'n sounds compatible with my nervous system to politics and everyday happenstance, hoping your lives are just boring enough to buy into it all.

Other'n that well, once again welcome to MY world, MY turf so to speak and feel grateful that I allowed you to enter into it due to my undying kindness and love of my fellow music connoisseur (hah!). The new year's bound to bring a few surprises, not only regarding music in the "raw stages of becoming" (that died out ages back) but archival digs featuring that aforementioned music in the raw stages of becoming or whatever other put on descriptor you can think of regarding the vibrations that has been dished out these past fortysome (or even more!) years now, eh?


Wonder of wonders! The cathode connection has once again welcomed back THE RIFLEMAN to its realm, this time on the INSP channel M-W and F at eight in the evening and somewhere or other on the weekends.  Powerful programs here --- just saw the one where Royal Dano plays that mangled up Civil War vet in a role which really wrenches the emotions even outta even the more stoic amongst us! Sheesh, he could make the evilest person alive, or even you for that matter, look sympathetic! The spirit of Sam Peckinpaugh lives on, thankfully without the bared squeezies.


Yeah I PROMISED, no mo' AI unless twas to be used in the line of doody but sheesh, I've been having so much fun with it that I even ran a few covers of my old crudzine through the AI generator and came up with quite a few mind-boggling doozies. I thought I'd let you get a peek at 'em because well, I heard it was nice to share things and better this than anonymous bodily fluids:

And if that wasn't a retardo way to pad out a post I don't know what was!


Before we get "serious" I do have something to say that has been gnawing at me for some time (though I might have brought this one up before so don't behead me!). Don't you think that the theme to THE HIGH CHAPPARAL sounds too close to comfort to "Telstar"?


And as for the recording reviews which follow --- well, Robert Forward better feel glad that there was a cold snap up here in the Western Pee-YAY area or else his latest package of goodies woulda been lost in the rubble along with the rest. Well, with the weather being so cold it was either listen to his bountiful batch of burns or plop in front of the boob tube and watch the umpteenth rerun of DANIEL BOONE which I gotta admit is better'n the old days when Sunday afternoon tee-vee seemed to consist of either some dull movie, people in uniforms running around and getting paid for it, or watching Phil Harris go fishing on THE AMERICAN SPORTSMAN but eh! 

The first 'un was obviously written under the influence of "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung" (not to mention Peter Stanfield's numerous reviews including that of the obscure rock fantasy ARGO) and should be taken as being a streak of juvenilia on my part. It should also be taken as total fluff since for the most part tis way too obvious a piece to be called "creative" by any stretch of the word. Trash, but as somebody or other once said a few times a good fifty years back "it's MY trash" and if I can stand reading yours maybe you can mine.


Yes it's true! After fifty years (or more) of haggling, frivilous lawsuits, Sicilian vengeance via former manager Jimmy DeAngelo and haggling between surviving bandmembers, the Willy's Rats albums have finally been reissued legal-like. Yeah, now you can throw away all of those horrid pirate copies you bought from Midnight Records back in the eighties --- the real deal meal is here for you to enjoy and burp!

The Festival Records label knew doody about how to handle rock groups what with their making their booty with albums by Murray Frogweather and The Don Fellman Chorale and letting the rest fend for themselves. Maybe that's why rock maniacs of the day were willing to pay that extra two buck for those import copies with the flimsy yet classy covers, whenever a copy would be lucky enough to wash up on our shores that is. 

But after lo these many years Festival finally got it right and reissued the Willy's Rats catalog with a class that is usually reserved for the less enthralling musical acts on their roster, and given the hassles and bad management and overall disdain Willy's Rats got from the rock press (excluding such fanzines as ELITE METAL GAZETTE and VOMIT VISIONS) it is tasty that these guys are finally getting the red carpet that shoulda been rolled out for 'em ages back. 

Yeah, the cover screw ups that came with the very first batch wasn't exactly a testimonial to Festival's quality control which I assume is jointly run by Helen Keller and Karen Quinlan (though I managed to get 'em eager beaver I am and I am proud to say that I own some downright collectable items that I can sell and retire on if I so wish to). I mean--- WILLY STONES??? But otherwise the label did 'em swell not only with the overall packaging (each coming with an insert featuring a history written by famous rockscribe A. Seltzer) but with pressings that are a thousand per-cent better than those old tire mat excuses for vinyl that Festival stuck on the public back 1969 way.

Debut THE TALE OF WILLY'S RATS did surprise us all back when it was flung into the record bins of 1968 and directly into the cutout section the following year. Yeah, the hype about 'em being like the Rolling Stones with a Bob Dylan influence really had a good portion of us record ravers all agog but the actual effort proved Willy and crew to be much more.

(WARNING!: tune out of the next two paragraphs if you want to avoid a load of boring autobiographical bilge I thought would help give this review some added dimension --- hah! Get ready in five --- four --- three --- two --- ONE!) Personally, when I heard this as a single-digit pooperoo back when WPIC-FM was into the freeform mode of programming before they went Stereo 99 with a top forty twist. I went nuts 'n begged the folk for even more moolah to "throw down a rat hole" (how appropriate!) as they used to say. No go Joe --- Corgi Toys were fine enough but none of that decadent drivel was going to touch the family stereo no way!
Oh well, the parents only stalled my slide into the turdpit of hard rock knocks by a few years but when I did find this 'un at a garage sale amid copies of everything from IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING to MEMORIAL ALBUM FOR JOHN F. KENNEDY. I snatched it up for a quarter after locating the thing smack dab between copies of those very albums which I bought only so I could smuggle this into the house.

And when I spun it (folks weren't home) those memories of my earlier tuner inner days sure came rushing back like the water breaking in King Kong's wife. Lead singer Lou Francis really was an underrated figure on the English rock scene, or any other scene for that matter. His vocalese oozed Jagger true, but there were also more'n just "traces" of all the big lead singer guns from Reg Presley and Sky Saxon to Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper. The way he "belts out" the lyrics to such Willy's Rats classics as "Guided Missile To Your Groin" (later covered so eloquently by The Electric Eels who I assume heard this via repeated WMMS-FM plays during the freeform year of 1970) evokes a terror that rarely comes up in the rock canon, conjuring up a fear and feelings of impending doom that not even Jagger at his most satanic could have envisioned.

Of course the backing is most suited to Francis's role as a modern day magus summoning the spirits once known and rock & roll. No big surprise since he honed his craft in a Shadows ripoff band before heading into the mid-sixties r&b emulation society and becoming one of the heralding lights of Third Generation Rock. 

Let's just say that even the denizens of Ladbroke Grove who strolled by Willy's Rats rehearsal space hearing a version of "Waiting For My Man" that would have turned Lou Reed straight would be in for a frightening surprise. The benefit of a diet of cigarettes and crisps and watching the nth rerun of THE FLINTSTONES. Lead guitarist Jerry plays with a fiery intensity that recalls James Gurley via "I Heard Her Call My Name" with more than a shard of Michael Karoli thrown in. Willy's Rats have definitely moved on from their mid-sixties Eel Pie Island influences, not that there was anything wrong with Eel Pie in the first place (though for the life of me who'd want to eat one?) but the places they go here--- whew!

Tracks like "Book of the Damned" sound as if they were written co-jointly by Francis and Aliester Crowley's guardian angel while the production has an eerie sense of nervescrape that wouldn't be duplicated at least until those Crawlspace releases from thirty years later. Only the acoustic drag "Child of the Earth" lets us down but I guess that was just an afterthought reject tossed in to add some sort of counterpoint to the metallic madness. You can always skip it, or at least look upon it as a brief respite from the high energy levels. That is, if you really need a respite.

A lot of the stick it to the man attitude that Willy's Rats were known for isn't evident here but that's all remedied with the up against the wall-ness of WILLY'S RATS, LP #2 guaranteed to get any phony high school rebel kicked outta the house for sedition and general antisocial behavior. Believe-you-me, the revolutionary rhetoric spewed on this spinner makes the Jefferson Airplane's VOLUNTEERS sound like the theme song for the Daughters of the American Revolution and the MC5 like the incidental music for THE DONNA REED SHOW. Rock statements via the music being combined with fitting album art were the standard at the time, and both of them shine on this gatefold showing most of the group on the front and an obviously blasted into oblivion Francis on the back, but IN NO WAY does that prepare one for the anti-police/army/maybe even you attitude to be found within the 35 minutes embedded into those grooves. I'm surprised Festival didn't receive surprise visits from the FBI after their audacity to release this searing scar of an album on the public!

It wasn't surprising that during their US tour that the obscene and radical Rats joined that California Death Cult which almost had the entire group reduced to La Bianca status. But I guess that's what these guys got for dabbling in the realm of radical free love apocalypse mixed with the dark arts and some bomb totin' anarchism. A cocktail that was bound to explode in their face but miraculously the Rats made it back into their hole. Just barely, but they made it in.

And I just wouldn't be honest if I told you I didn't think this review sucked even your own number two. Well, it (like just about everything I do) seemed like a good idea at the time.
Jerome Cooper-A MAGICAL APPROACH CD-r burn (originally on Mutablemusic Records)

Like Gomer Pyle woulda said, I liked Jerome Cooper's ROOT ASSUMPTION album but I didn't love it. In fact, I recall being downright bored by it at least during one spin but might have been due to fraying at the nerve ends. However this live album by the former Revolutionary Ensemble percussionist has me thinkin' that maybe my head was slightly off-kilter during that particular playing of the man's premiere effort 'cuz this is a high ranker as far as seventies jazz (and its aural remnants) accomplishment goes. 

The live take of "Root" here's mesmerizing what with Jerome's rhythmic bass drum/high hat beat to a rather driving balaphone solo. Other tracks feature a recorder-like flute called a chiramia as well as one of those chintzy eighties-era cheapo Casio-like keyboards giving off some seeming outta place synth sounds that, strangely enough, fit in with Cooper's various excursions into African idiophonic clank. Dagnabbit but it sure is surprising just how much music Cooper can get using such a small arsenal of instruments. 

Ornette Coleman himself gives this a rah-rah and like, who'd wanna argue with him?  
Anthony Braxton-LIVE AT THE RAINBOW GALLERY '79 CD-r burn (originally on Hi Hat Records, Cyprus)

When this live in Minneapolis sesh was released Braxton was still riding high on all of the good publicity he was gettin' ever since Arista signed the guy up and made him the new Brubeck (as R. Meltzer kinda/sorta said in his 77 things 'bout 1977 piece). Well, the beret and stale doritos college students who think they know better than everyone else needed someone to rah rah, eh? Maybe in this case they were right. This is a pretty hotcha spinner what with Braxton and a band fulla veterans of foreign sessions doing their best to keep that AACM drive going on for as long as it did before all of the majors began dropping their free jazz companies. If you wonder what that rumble was, that was Charlie Barnett spinning in his grave after hearing Braxton's rendition of "Cherokee". 
Jimmy Giuffre 3-1961 2 CD-r set (originally on ECM Records, Germany)

Robert Forward must be a mind reader (well, not really since there are some thoughts in there no one should be privy to!) because I was looking for this one for quite some time. These Verve sessions don't have that avant-chamber feeling that made FREE FALL from the following year such a stand out as far as the early-sixties new thing went, but they're still boff as far as those explorations in jazz that must have seemed so strange even to the then-prevailing bop crowd. Sheesh, and it was only a few years before Giuffre went total Ornette thus confusing even more of those jazzbos who remembered him from the days of Woody Herman!
Albert Ayler-MORE LOST PERFORMANCES REVISITED CD-r burn (originally on Hat Hut Records, Switzerland)

Some repeats from the Revenant box set show up but sheesh, who cares what with the beautiful blare being made available to me once again which I'll take in any form. Mental instability set to a sound that could only come outta heaven, or Belleview whichever comes first. Personal highlights include the Newport version of "Japan" (which you all will recognize from Pharoah Sanders' TAUHID album, done in a manner I don't think even Sanders himself would recognize!) as well as the twenty-minute "Four" where Ayler joins the Cecil Taylor Trio a whole week before their recording of the classic NEFERTITTI THE BEAUTIFUL ONE HAS COME album. One worth getting fanatical about which sometimes comes too easy to me.
Various Artists-BRITISH OI! WORKING CLASS ANTHEMS CD-r burn (originally on Hammer Records, England)

Hain't been listening to much Oi sounds lately, so this burn made for a swell refresher course which only makes me wanna dig out alla them early-eighties platters of mine that really seemed to upset a whole load of souls at NME. (SOUNDS was hip on 'em though, but that was before everybody found out just what a fraud Gary Bushell really was.) Makes for a much better burst of rock as energy than the comparative piddle that's been made by way too many a punque act (as in sodomy) who are so stuck in the hippie mindset that they actually believe in "community". Should wither a few lite metal aficionados while they're at it. I'm so glad that most people (especially those I loathe) are so easily offended.
Various Artists-BAY AREA BLUES BLASTERS VOL. 1 --- THE 60's CD-r burn (originally on El Cerrito Records)

What I said about those early blues and sanctified yelps last big post can also be said about this 'un. At least the original whiteys who liked these black Amerigan efforts grew up to make some rather good music as any fan of the Downliners Sect or Them can tell you. Not the kind of music that I really go whole hog for but eh, it sure sounds better'n anything I've managed to hear in the supermarket lately.
It is true that not only I but my very crudzine have been taken as a joke for a longer time than even Methuselah could have remembered, but so what. I'm just waiting for the PUNCHLINE which I'm sure will knock more'n a few naysayers out there for that legendary loop. Until then, you can help lighten the load by grabbing up all of the available back issues and then we can all settle down, see how everything turns out, and perhaps even have the biggest ever guffaw in our entire pitiful lives!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024


Really didn't want to dish out the cold hard for this book considering that not only have I implemented a moratorium on buying any Stooges-related books (heck, I gave up on Velvet Underground-related re-think/re-hash ages ago!). as well as the plain fact that money isn't as easy to hang onto these days what with Bidenflation getting more out of control than a diabetic lush. So maybe I shouldn't be going whole hog for such "frivolities" (hah!) as this and save my dough for frozen White Castle burgers.

I bought it anyway given the hefty rah rahs of one Peter Stanfield and y'know what? I'm sure glad I did part with the filthy stuff that probably would have been put to worse use had it gone to things like medicine and taxes. This ain't just any ol' Stooges book but one which really deals with the deep down whys and wherefores of just what the group was up to during their original pre-RAW POWER romp and like, if you were ever one who wanted to get down to the bared-wire nitty gritty regarding the genetic makeup of this once-reviled/now praised by the same jamokes who reviled 'em way back when group well, you can't do better'n to latch onto this 'un and like PRONTO!

You might be somewhat put off by a casual skim over what with author Begnal's various sociopolitical weave-ins as well as frequent mentions of indecipherable theorists like Theodor Adorno, but this is far from being some heady intellectual snoozefest aimed at the more brainiac and terminally constipated amongst us. Lemme tell you, TONS of pertinent information, a whole load of it unknown even to me if you can believe that is presented here along with the insight and workings of what was so unique and downright special about the Stooges. Information we sure coulda used a whole longtime ago but were never privy to until now which is a darn shame since if we only knew what is discussed here our appreciation of Iggy and Co. might have been deepened quite a bit if that is even possible.

I, for example, never knew that Robert Ashley's "Wolfman" (from one of the records that was included in the infamous avant garde magazine SOURCE) was such an important influence on Iggy, and the detailing of the group's early days when Iggy played a Hawaiian guitar with all strings tuned to "E" and Ron Asheton a bass guitar with a wah wah (never mind bro Scott with the oil drums) is, to be hambone about it, "priceless". The way Begnal dug up and dissected what happened and put it into heady but understandable terms kinda reminds me of how I attacked and mangled that formaldehyded rat way back in seventh grade --- in other words you might think the guy wrote a virtual textbook but if you're hotcha on the subject man are you gonna go whole hog over it! There's even a whole load about the Stooges' political bent smack dab in the middle of John Sinclair's Ann Arbor, and maybe they weren't so much the spiritual rednecks that many of us had grown to believe after all! 

Really, this is worth the while. If you were wiped out by the neo-Troggs thud of the debut and thought that side two of FUNHOUSE just hadda've been the bravest statement in free jazz since Sun Ra then well, I'm sure you've already bought, read, digested and puked up a few furballs about this 'un already, right?

Saturday, January 13, 2024



If any of you want to know what TALES OF SUSPENSE was like before the debut of Iron Man here's your chance. But don't expect that much, for these comics suffer a whole bunch from the Comics Code dinge that dampened a good portion of the industry to the point where the tension impact was reduced to the level of a Hello Kitty cartoon. At least until DC got into full gear with their Silver Age line of heroes and Atlas oozed into Marvel mode and did a whole load of remake/remodel on the entire shebang which did 'em just swell. 

Gotta admit that the tales presented here really ain't up to the ol' Marvel snuff, but since this was '59 at least you can see 'em beginning to get some good bearings on the situation. Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Don Heck are already on board drawing stories that are just beginning to point ain the direction of the Marvel Age of Comics even if it is oh so slightly, just like them gigundo monster and alien creepazoid ones which seemed to herald the upcoming age when introduced a year or so later. EC legend Al Williamson is here although his art is sure slapdash next to his WEIRD SCIENCE-FANTASY efforts --- I guess the Comics Code really affected him spiritually or was it the fact that Al Feldstein wasn't constantly looking over his shoulder to make sure his art was better'n the usual crankout. Even some future Bullpen regulars like John Buscema and Joe Sinnott show up and hey, if you liked those Marvel reprint titles of the seventies with the updated covers that fooled Brad Kohler into thinking they were brand new efforts you'll get a swift kick outta these tales which did make for fine toilet reading as all good comics do, getting your mind offa some of the more disgusting things we all have to go through in life.

Also included in this book's a pre-Code title entitled SPACE WORLDS, a one-ish Atlas effort that shoulda never left the drawing board given the utter banality of the stories at hand. You can tell this 'un's gonna be a turdburger when not just one, but three Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers ripoffs pop up in tales that are about as stimulating as a maple syrup enema. Somehow I think it woulda been all for the better had Wertham gone after dudsters like this and left the good 'un's alone! (I mean, when I was young and saw that Comics Code stamp on the covers I thought that meant that each and every story was read by a group of experts who made sure that the mags up for sale contained quality stories guaranteed to get the depression-era waged kids reading these things more bang for their buck! REALLY!!! That's probably why I never went near any Dell or Gold Key books but eh, I was having enough fun as it was.)

Oh, and to pad out the thing Gwandanalad stuck on a Golden Age Blue Beetle story that ain't whatcha'd call one of them superhero efforts that sticks in your mind like an early Batman saga. Pretty snoozeville in fact and, after giving the Beetle's costume a once-over I wonder just why Lee Falk didn't sue!

Sunday, January 07, 2024

Once again it's your favorite clump of unviable cells back from Christmas holiday and ready to do some more much-needed blog-oriented jam kicking. I do hope that you didn't get too blitzed out by the celebrations 'n all unlike the wiry batch of kids seen directly to the left of us. Sheesh, don't these Little Rascals rejects look like they've taken the brown acid, which I'm sure quite a few of the real deal ones took when they became of pharmaceutical age??? Well, now that January is in full gear maybe the haze has lifted. For them, but not for me!


I might as well use this space to thank all of you wonderful people out there who sent me presents this past Holiday Season, some which, like the history of cassette tapes by a chap who calls himself Mark Masters (a name that rings a bell somewhat) look like highly engrossing fare especially given my own appreciation of them things in light of the more popular 8-Tracks back during my teenbo days. Bill Shute sent a buncha fine comic book collections I'll also be writing up once I get the chance, whenever that'll be natch! 

Too bad just about alla these gifts arrived after the big day, but that don't bug me any since I hardly got anything good anyway and these belated beauts sure make up for my disappointment if only a tad. Fortunately these recent arrivals did manage to ooze some of them old X-mas funtime feelings outta me (well. not as much as if I would had I gotten alla those Corgi and Dinky Toys I didn't get back then), reminding me of alla those great days spending my newly gained moolah on records and only TELLING the folk I deposited it all in the bank, devious little fanabla that I was and probably shall remain.


Better late than never's this year's Christmas card (which also arrived a day too late but eh!) from the Droogs and Plug and Socket Records, who also sent an entry from an encyclopedia of Power Pop giving mention to the group (never thought they were exactly power pop but with the way rock terminology gets twisto chango'ed these days...). At least this inclusion shows that they're still remembered by someone other than me which sure does some cockle warming of my heart if I do say so myself! 

Sheesh, who woulda thunk that there'd've ever been a day when I would have been deemed important enough to rate a card from this legendary rock group (or any rock group for that matter)   ---  kinda makes me feel somewhat important and big man on campus-like in the same way I felt like I was front and center on rock 'n roll history back when Lou Rone would play me various Von Lmo guitar riffs over the phone I'll tell ya...


Interesting indigenous people's history
fact! Long before anyone else, the Native
Americans were skilled experts at catheterizing!
Anyhoo, maybe now is the best time to tell you that (once again) the year of 2024 is, especially after the spendthrifty days of last year, going to be a real tighten the belt on one meaning NO RECORDS OR TAPES OR CEE-DEES OR WHATEVER UNLESS ITS ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NO DOUBT ABOUT IT NECESSARY!!!!! (Of course it is arbitrary as to what exactly I would consider must have booty which just might ruin my financial planning after all!) I went through these periods of austerity before and of course told you all about 'em in particularly painful terms, but sheesh I just gotta save more of that filthy lucre for the future even if, for some unseen reason, there isn't any then it all gets buried with me! It probably won't be that much of a pain, since I think I already have enough goodies to keep me well and happy until the big bang, so why splurge unless it's for something I just gotta have to tingle the ol'  hammers and stirrups! 

Oh yeah I know I will be tempted, but pocketbook concerns do come first. But oh the temptation, not only to buy some hot music but to generally keep the cash in my possession and not spend any of it on frivolities and other items I really can do without. I just hope you're around here to remind me of that when I head on down to Aldi's and see all of those tasty treats they stick in their specialty cooler! Goat cheese and sliced tomatoes frozen pizza, those little Mexican pastries filled with spicy meat and of course German Black Forest cake, one of which I believe still resides in the freezer even after a good two years!

Gee, I gotta admit that this Bing AI chat thing is pretty neat! But "respected"??? Ya gotta be kiddin'!:


Know your enemy, part one-million:


Not that I shoulda been surprised, but the "new" and "revamped" CREEM (you know, once the home of high energy Detroit heavy metal) has reached a level of sociopolitical wokeness that makes even those weepy enough eighties issues of theirs (not to mention anything ROLLING STONE was worthy of cranking out) look positively stoic. Guess Brad Kohler was right all along to which I say....dagnabbit!


I believe that I do have quite a good selection of soundage up for inspection this time, and since I didn't have to pay a penny for any of it (all sent by the likes of Paul McGarry, P.D. Fadensonnen and Bob Forward) t'is all for the better! Like I said, if I gotta start acting like a Scotsman I better start doing it now, which reminds me of a funny story regarding when I was a kid and my father told me that I should be more like the Scots and I said "STINGY????" to which he shouted back "NO YOU MORON --- THRIFTY !!!!!" And a hoot mon to you too!

The Pink Fairies-SCREWED UP! CD-r burn (originally on Cleopatra Records

Yup, the Pink Geriatrics (Canadian division) are back kinda/sorta, with North Amerigan rep Paul Rudolph hitching up with some old Hawkwind and Motorhead pals for a trip I thought woulda fizzed out ages ago! Like that platter Rudolph did with Twink a couple decades back this really ain't anything as beautifully psyched as the Polydor albums, but if you liked any of the Pink Fairies reunion disques that have come out since the mid-eighties this'll suit you just fine and dandy. And for you old-timers there's a boff version of the Deviants "chestnut" "Screwed Up" not to mention that Hawkwind fave off QUARK STRANGENESS AND CHARM "Hassan I Sabbah" complete with violinist Simon House adding the exact same flourishes that he did on the original. Heck, this really is good enough (especially when you consider that most if not all of the musicians here are septuagenarians!) that I'd even go see 'em if they were playin' in my back yard, Who knows, if I were the kind of guy who'd only indulge in some of the chemicals that fueled these guys for years on end maybe I WILL (see pic above)...

I believe that some of this was sent by Mr. Fadensonnen as part of a general smattering of STARSAILOR material done up live, but this is the entire debut of that infamous bout of career suicide on Buckley's part that continues to amaze...well at least continues to amaze me. It's not hard to imagine what Buckley's old fans thought of his one-and-a-half avgarde albums but fie on them anyway because this is a fine slice of 60s/70s cusp cataclysm music every bit as important as all of those sonic screams for a true sanity that we've all been rah-rahing for ages. One listen and you'll know why Buckley ended up on Straight Records...that was supposed to be a tax write off and really, what honest to goodness Boone's Farm hippie would ever go for this! Bad part, my copy stops right smack dab in the middle of the second version of "Come Here Woman"!
Lucia Dlugoszewski-DISPARATE STAIRWAY RADICAL OTHER CD-r burn (originally on New World Records)

There are so many of these twentieth-century avgarde composers to keep track of that even a person well-versed in the genre would find it a hassle to keep up with 'em all. For me it's really pick 'n choose because, for the life of me, I find some of these composers radically brilliant while others seem to be taking the same ol' Schoenberg and Varese moves milking 'em as if they were at a La Leche convention. Sad to say that I find Dlugoszweski to fit into the latter category, as there's really nothing here that moves my inner being (ooooh!) like a forties-vintage John Cage piano piece or some out of left field Nam June Paik performance put on. Even the idea of the "timbre piano" doesn't tend to flib my jib which is saying something considering my interest in "prepared" instrumentation of all sorts. Guess I'll have to turn in my beret and stale doritos and go back to being the outside-the-outkids doof that I've been and will probably remain for the rest of my life.

Blue Cheer-1968 LIVE FAMILY DOG, DENVER CD-r burn

And I thought the Family Dog was in San Francisco! Well, that's a new one on me! The Cheer blasting it so loud and hard that you can't even hear 'em singing!  Oh well, this is probably how everyone in the audience that day heard it, before they all heard nothing that is. Not so long (maybe fifteen minutes or so) but it has a rather good riffed up jam as well as "Doctor Please" on it. 
Sun Ra Arkestra-THE HAGUE NORTH SEA JAZZ FESTIVAL 7/14/79 2-CD-r set

Eh, t'aint the best live Arkestra offering out there. Ra's getting perhaps a little too far into his Big Band roots for at least my tastes, maybe not yours either but who knows? One for those of you who've heard the rest and want a li'l topper.
Various Artists-AT THE HOP! 2-LP set (Brookeville Records)

What happens when budget oldies collections no longer serve the purpose of their original owners who have possessed such platters since the heyday of misplaced seventies nostalgia? Why, they're given to ME as this double duty collection of various blasts from the dawn of the big beat (or something like that) ultimately proves.

Actually this isn't a bad sampling of previous transistor triumphs even if it is somewhat incongruous, what with the like of Little Eva and the Music Machine being included in the same package 'n all. Well, those platters peddled on afternoon television never were known to just stick to one distinct theme other'n to cram together whatever there was available for Morris Levy to peddle to the kids watching GILLIGAN'S ISLAND reruns. Still, AT THE HOP! does collect some beauts such as the Beach Boys' "Surfin'", the Surfaris' "Wipe Out" and the Fendermen's "Mule Skinner Blues" which (at least for me) was one record that seemed nigh on impossible to latch onto in the history of serious record shop, garage sale and flea market scouring!
Various Artists-AMERICAN PRIMITIVE Volumes 1 and 2 CD-r burns (Revenant Records)

Believe it or leave it, but I really do hate writing about these old folk/blues collections that have been cluttering up many a record collection for more years than I can even remember. It's probably because I'm oh-so-self-conscious about myself and just don't wanna look like I'm even remotely coming off like one of the reams of upper crust white college-bred music scribes we've all seen for ages who seem to devour this stuff with a haughtiness that might even put your Aunt Petunia to shame. Y'know, the kid (or aging precursor from the glory days of the New Left) who used to, and probably still does, slobber and drool over just about anything that has an abundance of melanin in it if only for the sake of doing just that even though said scribe might convince himself otherwise. After all, someone out there has to keep that "we are all one people" schtick going even longer than most observers out there would have thought humanly possible, right?

When I think about those kinda people I tend to conjure up some pretty accurate visions of what I would call a WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CLASS OF '64 born and bred bowl of mush --- skinny wire-rimmed seventies/eighties longhairs (neat looking well trimmed longhairs at that) who are still around and look quite the same albeit with wrinkles and white hair wearing sports jackets with patches on the sleeves and sweaters underneath 'em even on the hottest days of the year. Social Anthropology majors who actually were able to get a job with their degree. The kind who used to watch SUNSHINE and THE PAPER CHASE on television and actually oozed some warm 'n toasties outta 'em while sneering at the HAWAII FIVE-O crowd for being so --- I dunno --- violent? Probably got some physical disability as well. The kind who can't help but bring up they were conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War whether you wanted to hear so or not. Read Ellen Willis. Males who, when reviewing such items, come off more like they're apologizing for being white which seems to be that original sin imposed upon ultra-guilt riddled WASP-y types who couldn't find a black musician to hate even if he were to cave his head in for some drug money. 

Being Vinnie Virtuous these days can get a body far, and in no way will I ever do that old humble bumble act like the one where that guy who owns Chick-Fil-A went and polished some black guy's shoes acting oh so contrite about something he was never guilty of in the first place. So feel a whole lot surprised when I tell you that I find these early pre WW II gospel blues pretty snat even though it certainly ain't because I'm gonna do a whole lotta groveling to atone for past transgressions real or imaginary. I'm doing it because this is fine enough raw music that, like those one-string guitar efforts I reviewed way back, resonates because it is raw and crackly and thus fits in with the state of my nervous system the same way Suicide and Can do, even if for the life of me I doubt I'll ever listen to this collection again.

Big surprise---Eddie Head and his Family's "Down On Me" which is the same song Big Brother and the Holding Company used to do, only this version comes off better if only because the (original) lyrics are more deadly and therefore truthful. Walter Taylor's "Deal Rag" sure sounds good because it wasn't done up by some hippies on a Marin County front porch thus hitting the spot a whole lot more'n Pepsi ever did. Sheesh, at least Peter Laughner knew how to sing this stuff probably because his own frayed nervous system was way more in tune with this breed of down home folk than most refugees from a high school hootenanny's ever were!

Great hypno-drone to "You Better Quit Drinking Shine" by Rev. L.B. Ware and I should be thankful that the 1897-vintage "Poor Mourner" by Cousins and DeMoss isn't some early take on the various folk duos of the sixties like Simon and Garfunkel or Brewer and Shipley. And to get downright frightening about it, Rev. Edward Clayborn's "This Time Next Year You May Be Gone" is one track I sure hope doesn't manifest itself into my destiny I'll tell ya! Other people's yeah but not me that's for sure!!! 

And whatever Tommy Settlers' doing on "Big Bed Bug (Red Bed Bug)" it sure sounds like I could use some of the "inspiration" that he must have partook in before recording such a whacked out toon such as that!

Three disques that just might make you wanna listen to something other'n the usual new flash, that is if they still have new flashes anymore. And although I sincerely doubt it, I do hope to high hog heaven that in no way in this review did I come off like some precious petunia of a "rock critic" who probably learned about music by watching Ken Burns documentaries and nothing else! You might think I come across as a low class jerkoff "poseur" type as Amy Gelman might have put it, but then again do I really care what any of you think about me anymore?

Gee you'd think there'd be a thousand or two rock-mad, mouth-frothing life-loathing individuals out there who would be just more than willing to buy up these back issues of BLACK TO COMM at what I would call a rather accelerated rate. But I guess there ain't, although YOU readers would sure do yourselves good by picking up a stack or two. Try a few and see if your hatred of "the other" as they say doesn't just grow by leaps and bounds, like it should.