Thursday, September 21, 2017

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! SCARLET STREET starring EDWARD G. ROBINSON, JOAN BENNETT and DAN DURYEA! (1945)

I rarely watch the boob tube anymore unless there's an exciting storm warning or major disaster happening somewhere on this orb of ours (not to mention Jack Benny or Soupy Sales!), but I just hadda sit down and give this mid-forties "noirish" flick a go when it popped up on TCM recently. SCARLET STREET's a pretty hotcha film as far as these mooms go too...not too brainy yet still gripping enough to keep you up 'n front like the best Monogram or PRC film of the era most certainly could. And yeah, that innerlektual fave Fritz Lang did direct it, but frankly this 'un coulda been directed by William Beaudine or Christy Cabanne and it woulda been every bit as good (and perhaps even better if maybe Billy Benedict had a small role in it or something).

Edward G. Robinson plays Christopher Cross (not the famed late-seventies crooner), a cashier at some clothing retailer who's stuck with a shrewish wife and a whole lotta artistic aspirations down the ol' chute who comes across this slutsky type being roughed up by what turns out to be her boyfriend (played by Joan Bennett 'n Dan Duryea respectively). During some post-attack chitchat at a bar "Kitty" believes that Chris is actually a famous painter whose works are worth a ton of dough, and thus she starts acting all romantic and hitting up the obviously infatuated guy for loads of dough for a new fancy apartment because well, he ain't no starving artists type unloading melons at Cash Market or anything like that!

Meanwhile boyfriend Johnny takes some of Chris' paintings to an art dealer who sez they're nothing but caga, though a starving artist type of gallery takes a few on consignment and whaddaya know but the most famous art critic in the world just happens to see 'em and now Chris is one of the new rising stars in the art world! Only Kitty, under Johnny's maybe not-so-sure advice, signs her name to the paintings and is now the newest flash instead!

Nice bitta filmage here to be honest with a whole lotta neat twists and turns to keep this from being one of those gloppier mid-forties grownup flickers. Robinson is good enough as the fuddy duddy lead (gotta admit that some of his more sympathetic roles just didn't mesh with me) while the role of Kitty mighta been better suited to some other Hollywood bitch of the day. Big kudos do go to Duryea as Johnny, a guy who, although the dialogue doesn't actually come out 'n say it, was probably not just Kitty's boyfriend but her pimp. Well, it would seem that way the way he bitch slaps her around all the time!

And although Billy Benedict is nowhere to be seen, two bonafeed BLOG TO COMM faves turn up in small roles one being Byron Foulger as the crippled landlord who rents Kitty her new apartment and former Educational Pictures star and Shemp Howard foil Charles Kemper as Mrs. Cross' first hubby who surprisingly enough does come back from the dead and wants some money to keep things quiet! Nice, but maybe Benedict would have been good doing a delivery boy walk on 'r something like that.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

As if you really care, there's nothing really special goin' on here in the bowels of Pee-YAY other'n the usual certainties like death and poop. Been spending my free time recouping from the drudgery of work mostly by catching up on some Dee-Vee-Dees I actually got for Christmas only I've been too preoccupied with things like real life (hisss!) and various doodies to watch 'em until now. (Plus they were buried under a pile of other stuff and typically were lost for quite a long time.) These items should make for some interesting mid-week review fodder in the upcoming months so as they used to say "DON'T TOUCH THAT KNOB!" Ditto goes for some moom pitchers which have been tingling my cinematic sense of fun 'n jamz, a wonder in a time and place where jamz seem to have been extracted from our souls just like when I was five and I hadda go to the hospital to get neutered. Sure wish the folks didn't mix me up with the dog that day---he got the tonsillectomy!
***
The definite highlight of my week was, whilst pouring through even more boxes of long-forgotten rarities (which, in my humble case, usually means rather static-looking computer laid out and static-reading lifeless-non gonz styled 1990s-era mags with all the heart and soul of a..."'zine editor")... was discovering that other issue of LOVE AND LAUGHTER that I was looking for a few months back. This is the second ish which I find just as boffo as I did the one mentioned a few months back, and even though the pieces that were presented on Radio Birdman and Red Crayola have been superseded by either books or more in-depth articles since the mid-eighties when this came out I still dig it all if only for the great taste in music and ability to display such a strong feeling for rock 'n roll without coming off like a gasbag buffoon or whatever it is you find in my own scribings. Although this was being done in the mid-eighties which was one of those best of (promising new underground surge that was being documented in such publications of this and FORCED EXPOSURE) and worst of (the general squeaky clean kultur sans any of the gruff tussle of the seventies) times LOVE AND LAUGHTER has that great spirit to it that drove the best rock mags of the past into realms that would be unimaginable today without any Meltzers or Saunders (or their spiritual heirs) to guide us all. I'd say that someone should gather all of these and make a book outta 'em, but I wouldn't want anyone to lose a large sum of money on the project.
***
D'ya think I should mention a few words regarding the recent passing of Can's longtime bass guitarist creative force Holger Czukay? I'll mention more than a few even though sheesh, what can I say even if the major news outlets have already trotted out the usual tropes and press release fanabla in order to look just as on top of it as all of those fanzine kiddies who were in on the game since day one. Or at least in on it since EGE BAMYASI got an Amerigan release thus introducing a generation of thriving teenagers to the fact that there actually was life outside of mindless love and good will.

Dunno if you coulda called Czukay the group's leader, but he sure was a major light along with the especially mystical keyboardist Irmin Schmidt who's the only Can member alive at eighty despite years of occult practice and narcotics useage. For me it seemed as if there was a struggle between those two to see just who was the John Cale of the band...they both were soooooo academic and utilized quite a few great sonic-reduction ideas which made those early Can albums some of the definitive rock 'n roll highlights of the early-to-mid seventies. Of course any doof smart enough to own the entire EUROCK collection or at least a few fanzines with Eddie Flowers' rave Can reviews in 'em would know that, but I'm just filling in the gaps you won't read about in most of the obituaries you will eventually stumble across online.

Strangely enough, for years I was under the impression that Can just weren't the type of brew to glug my high energy jamz to! Well, at least I thought that way until I discovered 'n quite by accident (wouldja believe via Archie Patterson's EUROCK classroom course?) that they were just what I was looking for in sound morph albeit a good ten years after I shoulda been buying their platters via the local and by then long gone import bins! Perhaps it was because some of the reviews of the day were more oriented in detailing the classical and progressive nature of their act as opposed to their ability to rock out, something that just wasn't in the canon of sophisticated rockscribes who felt that primitive applications of tribal beats and offkey melodies were beneath the entire scope of what music was to aspire to. Or something like that. Stoopid me...if I only knew that these guys were on Mirrors' top influences list back during them days...

Won't get into any of those later albums nor Czukay's solo career which just didn't tizzle me, but when this guy was pumping on all cylinders Can really were one of the real hard-force driving rock 'n roll bands of the 1964-1981 outer fringe era. And I will continue to say so until my dying day, or at least until I'm tossed into the great gulag for unrepentant members of the lower class and driven crazy by repeated spins of Melanie albums.
***
I haven't been having many rock 'n roll-related dreams as of late, although last night amidst a whole buncha real doozies I encountered a real vivid one if I do say so myself. In this particular dream I'm at what is supposed to be CBGB (the place looked more like some outta the way cozy restaurant and not like the refurbished high school gym that I encountered in a previous dream!) to see the Velvet Underground play to a sparse but appreciative audience. Lou was in fine form and even duetted on "I'm Sticking With You" with Maureen Tucker looking rather young and healthy. Lou himself looked great for being in his mid-seventies so this appearance must have been happening in the here and now in some strange dimension where Lou (and CBGB) did not kick off like they did. Of course when he was singing "Lisa Says" the lyrics were about Lou's recent face lift and all of a sudden I could see the blue lines on his face where the snipping occurred, he standing up (he was sitting down whilst performing!) to bring attention to what had happened. Sterling Morrison looking particularly EPI-esque remained partially hidden and I dunno who else was up there, but it was a great show from what I could remember and I'm glad you weren't there.

Did I tell you that I also had yet another (repeating) dream about the advent of BLACK TO COMM #26? Don't bother, it was a smaller issue than usual and the print came out faint like a cheap early-seventies mimeo job. I guess I shouldn't be eating those dutch loaf and horseradish sandwiches too close to bedtime.
***
And with that brilliant revelation behind you like a particularly tough bowel movement here are this week's reviews. As usual kudos to Bill Shute and Paul McGarry for the donations which do help out (man, do I feel like an online Goodwill or somethin'!). Must say this was a good bunch, not exactly a Beefheartian "Best Batch Yet" but good enough for the late-teens. Anyway, you know enough to read on so do just that, hokay?





THE PERFORMING FERRET BAND LP (Beat Generation, available through Forced Exposure)

I dunno about you, but sometimes I miss the whimsy and excitement of those English groups that had a bright sense of humor as well as some primitive if interesting musical chops that, while not "professional" 'r anything like that, still had an amateur hour sense of fun 'n jamz to 'em. The Performing Ferret Band definitely were one of many of these kind of groups who roamed Blighty from the seventies onward, and this album really does display just what these ozobs had in store for a whole worldfulla maladjusted suburban slobs on the lookout for the next big musical thrill.

The Ferrets had it all from boffo original material to smartypants humorous lyrics, and the way they approach their whole sound and vision through rather primitive means (even using the likes of a melodica, an instrument unseen in rock since Stevie Wonder who ain't rock but he ain't seen either) is pretty snat. Or maybe I'm just smitten by that gal with the braids who looks real wholesome and cute especially in these slut days.

And for those of you who mourn the passing of new-unto-gnu wave, these Ferrets are pretty dang close to the whole "cassette culture" mood (see Chuck Warner for more information) which should tip you off plenty as to what you'll be in store for if you'll only get it. Reminds me a lot of Swell Maps, and if only these funsters could have been just as "successful"...
***

German Oak-DOWN IN THE BUNKER 3-CD set (Now-Again Records)

Hah, the famous obscure "krautrock" platter from these Dusseldofians is once again available and not only that but it's been expanded into a three-Cee Dee package featuring even more outtakes and other weirdities for us to digest! No excuse not to pick this entertaining collection up even if you might find disque #2 a little too long for your jamz and the proceedings kinda veer off into directions that you think might end up at the nearest meth lab. This is good 'nuff get-into-your-own-groove music that snuggles in tightly with your comic book reading or whatever it is you're doing around the house, and I might have said this before but will say it again...the modes and moods heard here really do remind me of the infamous "Sister Ray" "side project" "Room 101" who never did make it out as much as they should have.

Oh, and there's a booklet complete with an interview and rare photos included. Nothing much to holler about since there are no major revelations to be found and the guys in this group looked silly even by early-seventies standards. But so what...let the music noodle on for itself. and you'll get more than your money's worth, that is if you're using dollars or sumpin' 'stead of those paper coins you get when you buy a package of Mallow Cups.
***
The Flamin' Groovies-FANTASTIC PLASTIC CD-r burn (originally on Sonic Kicks Records)

Somehow it does make me feel spry and happy to know that the Groovies are still up and about and as you'd expect these guy, whoever they may be other'n Cyril Jordan and (maybe) George Alexander, can still drum up a good enough record that holds up to past endeavors. Still these guys sound tired and old in spots, almost dragging in an FM/"Classic Rock" fashion on a number of toonz here (and sheesh Cyril, we thought you were a punk!). But right when I'm all set to leave the room for my daily dose of Syrup of Swill Cyril kicks back into either some Byrds-y 12-string mood or Stalk Forrest-influenced BOC psychedelia and I'm all aglow inside like a teenage girl who just developed her first drop o' gooey after hearing "Turn Turn Turn". One thing's for sure, and that is that SEPTUAGENARIANS RULE!!!
***
The Blasters-AMERICAN MUSIC CD-r burn (originally on Hightone Records)

I assume that this contains the long-suppressed Rollin' Rock version of the classic Blasters album (withdrawn after a major rift twixt the band and RR headguy Ron Weiser) plus some leftover tracks from the same living room session. If so all I gotta say it that these toonz really capture the great cheapness that I've always liked in these homage to the fifties kinda records that usually fall flatter 'n any HAPPY DAYS episode where Scott Baio's hair is longer than the Rolling Stones'. Nice living room reverb that you could only get from the sound bouncing off the Naugahyde recliner. I can even see a pipe stand with a TV GUIDE nestled beside it somewhere. Turn your suburban slob ranch house into a recording studio and make yourself a record like this TODAY!!!
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Alex Chilton-LIVE AT THE HOWLIN' WOLF CLUB NEW ORLEANS, LA 1994 2-CD-r burn set

I gotta admit that I wasn't "wowed" by that Chilton platter where he was schmoozing up the old adult contempt hits like "Volare" one bit. In fact I hated the thing. But here in the dark recesses of the post-post-post rock 'n roll as your obsessive drive era, you can't deny that his rather poppish takes on various old chestnuts mixed in with recent compositions are whatcha'd call the gosh durnest best!

Don't believe me? Just download the thing here and see for yourself!

Marvel at the intimate quality of this live recording which gives you a front row seat in the sanctity of your own fart-encrusted bedroom. Re-live those great sixties covers that'll send you back to the days when the tough kids knocked you senseless. And while you're soaking it all in, remember when this kind of music used to get tagged as punk rock by people who thought they knew about it all after reading some article in GENTLEMAN'S QUARTERLY! You should like it enough even if you weren't in on this guy's career ever since his Box Tops days. Chilton was a national treasure and like I'd sure pay to see him if he were around 'stead of all of those doofuses milking the nostalgia train these days!
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Don Sebesky-THE DISTANT GALAXY CD-r burn (originally on Verve Records)

Jazz arranger Sebesky really pulled out more than the kitchen sink (like, lotsa electronics and studio gimmickry) to make this album the older generation trip it was bound to be. Now my folks woulda thought that the jazzed up arrangements of various hits and classical tuneage to be either outright blasphemy or just more of that hippie kid stuff, but I'm sure there were more'n a few aging hipsters out there willing to dig into the e-zy listening mode of everything from "Lady Madonna" to  a version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" that sounded like something outta an occult Joe Meek nightmare. Those of you still into that RE-SEARCH incredibly strange music gig'll just love it, but why did I feel like I was locked inside some swinging bachelor pad after his date walked out in a huff and he hadda resign himself to the bathroom with a towel and an issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC?
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KURT RUSSELL CD-r burn (originally on Capitol Records)

's funny, but I was just gazing upon the latest INQUIRER cover at the supermarket with alla the hot scoop about Russell and Goldie Hawn splitskying after like thirty-four years of connubial common law bliss and here I find this obscuro teenybopper longplay inna mail! I wonder if this attempt to capture the late-sixties teenage gal heart throb market had anything to do with the breakup but I dunno...I guess that Russell, riding high on a slew of Walt Disney teenbo features, was ripe for picking as far as these kinda discs go, but with his irritating high-pitched voice and lackluster arrangements on a variety of already hits of the day you can tell why this one swirled down in flames. Maybe if he had a Filmation Saturday morn cartoon series on ABC...
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Richard H. Kirk-VIETSONG CD-r burn

A solo project dating from '76 which doesn't convey much of the terror or atonal beauty that Cabaret Voltaire excelled in, at least until the eighties rendered them dance music for people who are about as coordinated as Clarabell the Clown. Still an interesting woosh for those of you who were entranced by the thought of electronic music whether it be of the amped up self-generating Velvet Underground variety or the doo-doo putzying around on a stylophone. Needs more dimension to it but I guess the rest of the band were holidaying somewhere and like Kirk couldn't remain idle for that long a period of time!
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UNIVERSE CD-r burn (originally on Experience Records, Norway)

If you thought that rock 'n roll was a rare commodity in early-seventies Ameriga you don't know that half of it. Other nations suffered from the curse of rancid music if this particularly putrid platter is any indication. I really can't describe to you the utter nada that this group exudes in their quest to take already tired moves from a variety of US and British acts and translate them into an even duller mode. And William Burroughs thought the Danes were a bunch of bores!
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The Primitives-BLOW-UP CD-r burn (originally on Arc Records, Italy)

English transplanted to Italy beat band (just like the Tages) do pretty well on this album mostly featuring hits of the day either sung in English or the local dialect in order to ooze more lire outta the teenage dago gals nationwide. Must've been a good idea because I can see a whole bunch of those hairy legs just rushin' to the local record shop to snatch this pretty cookin' platter which comes complete with a rugged lead vocalist as well as some rather potent performances on everything from "Cara Lin" to "I'll Be There". And believe it or nits, but the Primitives' versions rank as good as the original takes. Sure it's pretty much another mop top tossout, but at least when the tossin' was done back then it was tossed out right!
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The Fathoms-FATHOMLESS CD-r burn (originally on Atomic Records)

A lotta these retro type bands mighta been hot pus back in the early-eighties when I was young 'n anxious to hear it all in one fell swoop, but even I would have to admit that a whole buncha 'em just didn't have the same punch that the originals had. Of course they did make good substitutes. The Fathoms, however, are one post-sixties surf band that really conveys the excitement and fun that those early-sixties acts just oozed outta their not-so-clogged pores. Whereas many bands doin' the surf stomp sounded like 197X/8X/9X/0X groups playin' the classics through the miracle of 20/20 hindsight the Fathoms sound so fresh and authentico that I should be forgiven for thinkin' this was a bonafeed buncha guys smack dab outta the early-sixties Downey California scene. They're that real, and if you're of Californian blood and joyfully recall those reverb-y sounds as well as a scene that seemed to die out too soon you'll probably be filled with joy upon hearing this!
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Les and Larry Elgart-SOUND OF THE TIMES Cd-r burn (originally on Columbia Records)

Hey Bill, are you sure that this one was meant for me and not Aunt Mabel? And when I mean Aunt Mabel I mean Aunt Mabel 1966 'stead of Aunt Mabel today rottin' away at the Bide-A-Wee Rest Home. I mean, I wouldn't have even thought to give a platter like this to my dad for Christmas that sainted year because to him that woulda been nothin' but kid rock 'n roll or somethin' equally non-Glenn Milleresque. In no way would he have given a thought to any record with a Beatles or Mamas and Papas cover on it---just too raucous if you ask him. If I heard this stuff back when it came out I woulda thought it was just more of that grown up music for people who were somewhere in between the rock 'n roll generation and my parents' world. If you know which kind of market this record was aimed at, at least as it stood in the Sharon PA area circa the mid-sixties, please write in.
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FRESH BLUEBERRY PANCAKE CD-r burn

Thankfully the cruddy production and primitive performance saves this early-seventies self-produced platter from being yet another instant tossout. The usual inspirational suspects can be heard here (Grand Funk before they became pop hit material amongst 'em) only these tracks are all done up so cheesy that Fresh Blueberry Pancake might as well have been that buncha creepy guys from down the street you remember from your own youth who used to bang away endlessly in some ancient attic. There's even a God song that dates this to the Jesus Christ Superstar days of the early-seventies, though frankly this 'un hold up much better lo these many years later.
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Various Artists-THE RHYTHM AND BLUES SHOW CD-r burn (originally on Brunswick Records, Germany)

Hot non-stop big band bloozey music just perfect for those particularly pathetic days one comes across once in awhile. Not a turdburger in the bunch what with the likes of Stomp Gordon,  Big Bob Dougherty and Tiny Davis amongst others deliverin' onna hard bop neo-rock r&beezers that make me wonder (considerin' what this music eventually led to) where did it all go wrong??? Fave of the batch---Gordon's "Damp Rag" which I somehow could see being worked into a feminine hygiene commercial, though maybe that would be too tasteful for what transpires on the tube these days.
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Various Artists-ABANDONED ZEPHYRS TURN ON OPEN CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

SOMEBODY goofed with this one because nothing that's mentioned onna cover correlates?/colloborates??? with what's onna disc. No Dick Clark, No New Fun Quartet, no Cecil Taylor to be found...all that's here is a flashy silent moom pitcher organ rendition of "White Christmas", a whole slewwa early-eighties vintage hardcore punk that sounds as if it's of the short and punchy DC variety, an extended track featuring atonal guitars weaving in and out of each other's paths that I found quite entertaining, some soul jazz followed by some late-fifties teenage angst ended with a kiddie record which tells you all about how to be a motorcycle cop and windshield wipers!!! Made for a pretty nice period of time even if I didn't know what the heck I was getting into.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

MOOM PITCHER REVIEW! WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH HELEN starring Debbie Reynolds and Shelly Winters (1972)

If you wanna see some feel-bad mooms dealing with the 1930s (as seen through turd-stained rear view mirrors) there are a bunch to choose from, from THE DAY OF THE LOCUST to this particularly cool humdinger.

It's the mid-thirties, and Adele Bruckner and Helen Hill's sons have just been convicted for the grisly murder of the richest woman in some small forsaken podunk town. The trial gets national coverage, the kids get life, and the moms get these weird phone calls from some guy who thinks that their progeny got off lightly and that the mumzies should be executed because hey, they raised them murderers! Not only that but this mysterious man is willing to do the job himself, and knowing a good hint when it knocks 'em over the head the two not only change their names but skedaddle for Hollywood! Adele always thought herself the new Jean Harlow so she dyes her hair platinum blond and while waiting for the big break the two open a dancing and singing school for precocious little gals whose mothers want them to be the next Shirley Temple.

It gets even better, what with the now Adele Stuart hitching up with the millionaire father of a student and the extremely religious Helen Martin doing a slow motion flipout being haunted by the deaths not only at the hands of her son but of her husband seen in a particularly gruesome flashback (hold the pause button for maximum effect). Adele tries to put up with it but pretty soon things start coming to a head and the past starts catching up with the two until it all goes into a nice freaked out boil over that I gotta say I thought was gonna turn out differently but hey, I've been wrong before.

Great acting here from Debbie Reynolds eschewing that sickening wholesome gal image for once (actually looking kinda sexy in those thirties dance duds) to Shelley Winters as her friend who just can't shake the voice on the phone or recent happenings. Even a not always pleasing actor as Dennis Weaver shines as the slimy millionaire while Michael MacLiammoir as a cornballus diction teacher fits in even if I have no idea why he was stuck in this moom inna first place. The cameo appearances from the once-omnipresent Timothy Carey as a bum to Agnes Moorehead (in a drama-drenched scene that I'm glad she ended her career with) as an Aimee Semple McPherson type who Helen is particularly fond of add a little cheese on the top of this cinematic chili making it all the more tastier if I do say so myself. Kinda funny to think that Moorehead and Reynolds were in the same film considering that story that's been goin' 'round for years on end about the two, but if you've seen Rock Hudson on THE JIM NABORS SHOW you might get the idea that one close friend was doing a favor for another who coulda used a few extra bucks, ifyaknowaddamean...

And for all you Uncle Roys out there, you get to see a whole lotta single-digit gals doin' their dance routines from Shirley Temple swipes to a particularly potent Mae West impersonation...the next best thing to those dance numbers you used to see on THE LITTLE RASCALS you short eyes you!

That ending is catch you by surprise enough, but I for one would sure would like to see what director Curtis Harrington had in mind and what the heads at MGM nixed because they didn't want this film to head out into "R" territory! Bet that really woulda packed an even bigger punch into this film which already has a number of good 'uns innit, eh?!?!?!

Saturday, September 09, 2017

THE RETURN OF SINGLES GOING STROONAD!!!


While romping through my vast collection of good ol' vinyl recordings just the other day I reckoned to myself that sheesh, there sure were a whole lotta good seven-inch singles and extended plays that came out back during the glory days of rock 'n roll as a true soundtrack for lives like the kind I tried to live. There were also a whole lot of bad ones too but we won't talk about 'em right now. Amazingly enough a few of the acts that recorded these paens to popitude have for the most part remained lost to time, something which I gotta say is a pity because even though a whole lotta these groups got shuffled about under the weight of items that were more heavily touted they sure had the zip, vim, vigor and old tah-DAAH! that coulda made 'em big guns in a music world that just wasn't big enough for everyone to grab hold of every platter extant.

So with this in mind I thought hey, why not do a post devoted to some of these rarities as well as (now get this!) random plunks into the pile that have been plopping about in my collection for years, mostly ignored o'er the sands of time but worth yet another spin in order to see if my brain was working on all nerve nodes back when I snatched these things up inna first place. Some nice surprises abound while other offerings weren't exactly worth the $1.99 I pried from my wallet to purchase, but I am getting ahead of myself. Anyway read on, absorb my spacial opinions and once again get ready to tell me what a jerk I've been lo these many years.


The Invaders-"Could You, Would You"/"Long Time Comin'" (Sea West Records)

Remember that bunch who corralled former Sonics vocalist Gerry Roslie into recording a new Sonics album for Bomp! way back inna early eighties? Well these guys were the ones who did it, a band called the Invaders who I guess already knew that there were two groups with the same name working the Northwest circuit in the sixties (not counting all of the other Invaders that popped up including a New York act inna late seventies), but do you think they cared??? No way, Louie!

These Invaders did keep the old Northwest spirit going, or at least they kept it going the way it should have gone considering how the hard rush of the Wailers/Sonics/Kingsmen et. al. kinda petered out once 1968 got into gear and it was Gary Puckett and nothing else. Both sides contain some pretty hard neo-metal rock that has quite an early-seventies approach to it. Kinda reminds me of Mott the Hoople for some strange reason. Maybe "The Moon Upstairs" stuff but nothing much else. Top notch really, though I prefer their version of "She's Boss" that popped up on that late-seventies Bomp! sampler with the picture of the kid with the acne and pocket protector filled with pens and such...the ultimate BLOG TO COMM reader if I do say so myself!
***
TOOL PRESENTS PAUL L. MAROTTA EP (Tool Records)

I forget the story behind this 1973 issue that future Mirrors/Electric Eels/Styrenes member Marotta recorded on his lonesome...something about him being approached by some guy to do a record which he did, even playing a few gigs to get the word out before abandoning a whole bunch of 'em in a bus depot. Well if that's so I'll betcha that some janitor got hold of a goldmine because hey, just try to find a copy of this 'un these days because you just can't!

The sound quality ain't as bad as I remembered it to be and the songs, while quite melancholy and maybe even downright depressing, have that nice neo-classical moody sound that would eventually seep into the Mirrors/Styrenes mode of late-sixties English rock influences put to a pretty good use. A chill akin to the kind people who let their guards down get while listening to THE MARBLE INDEX also seemed to permeate my nerve nodes in spots, and for some reason even a bitta the specter of the you-know-who (initials "V.U.") kinda crept in amidst what I thought were some clever Syd Barrett cops.  If Nick Drake sounded like this maybe I'd like his records!

Nice package too which even includes a silk-screened cover by none other than John Morton! Talk about one of the best music-cum-artwork packages seen since LE STELLE DI MARIO SCHIFANO or Alice Cooper's SCHOOL'S OUT for that matter!
***
DEEP SPACE SEXTET EP (Nile Records)

Had trouble finding this one for some time and then like ta-DAAH! the thing pops up from outta the box and into my loving arms! This is the kind of group I really lusted after during those dank late-eighties/early-nineties days...acts that were heavily steeped in rock history (especially that of the 1964-1981 rock as something beautifully stupid yet worthy of intellectual scrutiny which suddenly made it "smart" for all the good and bad that would dredge up) yet something that sounded modern enough, but only in a retrogarde way or something totally convoluted like that. You figure it out, but since I really like those outta nowhere and back there again band that came outta New York City this 1989 release from a comparatively obscure group seemed the thing that would shivver me timbers more'n the usual under-the-armpit radical schmooze that was making a name for itself at the time.

Big Brother and the Holding Company look to be the Sextet's (who are actually a quartet but want to confuse us for some occult reason or another) main source of inspiration what with not only Elin Hunter Heilman's vocals (closer to Betty Boop than Janis Joplin, but still fitting) and a cover of "Turtle Blues" which I will rank being as tops as the original! The guitarist (Stephen B. Williams) has a way to go before he can approach the sonic sheer of James Gurley but he's still better'n those slickster shysters out for your music moolah, and the songs do take on this neo-sixties garage meets new pop style that works swell with a guy like me on the lookout for something that takes the best of the past and realizes that there ain't nothing that hot about the present!

Yet another lost to time act that appeals to my more rockist sense of existence. At least they put a record out which is more than I could say about most of the bands that sure had something goin' for 'em but they gave up while lesser talent got all the fame 'n glory! Maybe there's more by this group available...well I sure would hope so
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Peko & Naka-"Ageso-Na-Omae"/"Kamete" (The Label, England)

Dunno the whys and wherefores of this Japanese duo getting a release on an English punk rock label. Heck this record ain't even punque let alone pUnK but a new wave-y sorta disco rocker on the "a" side and a Japanese slosh popper a la "Sukiyaki" glossed up to Roxy Music levels on the flip. It does have that Far East pop charm that makes these records so sixties-ish (flashes me back to my five-year-old self getting sweaty inna basement while the radio would be pouring out adult contemporary sounds that somehow set the soundtrack for my stickiness). Frankly I was hoping for something else from Peko and Naka like maybe a sound akin to Talking Heads going to the local love motel or something like that, but it's good enough to keep because I know someone I hate undoubtedly wants this record and will act all nice to me in order to GET IT! Tough luck, dude.
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David Bowie-John Cale-TWO GENTLEMEN IN NEW YORK ("Velvet Couch"/"Piano-la") (F1 Records)

Of all the bootleg singles I own none can get any bootleggier than this particular offering. Recorded in the Ciarbissstudio in New York City on October 5th of 1979, Bowie and Cale joke around and have it all recorded for some strange reason. Basically this is Cale playing his classical woosh piano while Bowie croons like nothing since Alfalfa, and natrually you can expect something that---only the biggest sucker who plunked down his moolah for this 'un would pretend to enjoy! Historical true, but the quality of this is akin to those cassette tapes of some local piano recital that Mr and Mrs Merkel recorded of daughter Suzie back in 1973 but since Bubby and his pals recorded over it doing their usual kiddie jokes and fart sounds it's all lost to history and boy was Bubby given a good wailin'! I'm tempted to say that I would probably prefer hearing Bubby and friends goofing off 'stead of Cale and Bowie doing this same..but if I did I would be lying, sorta.
***
Styrene Money-"Radial Arm Saws"/"Just Waking" (Mustard Records)

The Marotta EP above had me grasping for this longtime fave, with the original a-side version of "Radial Arm Saws" that I must say is vastly superior to the take that ended up on the CD collection along with their polystyrene jass number "Just Waking" (which used to make a fine capper to the Styrene shows esp. when they had the dancers with 'em). Dunno exactly why the powers that be used another take for the plug side when doing the reissuing because this one's a wild ride in itself as it builds up those chords in the beginning and the song builds and overtakes you as it sounds as if its rushing towards a cliff and you're about to be tossed off. Maybe someone can correct this oversight in the future but for now well...try to search this one out because you'll love it, and might even love me in the process as well toots!
***
Mushroom-"Cosmic Dance"/"This is It" (Vulcan Records)

Talk about bands that hung around on the periphery of the New York "rock" scene. Mushroom were up and about as early as 1973 and actually got mentioned and interviewed in ROLLING STONE when the Mercer Arts Center came tumblin' down along with all of their equipment. After that they were playing around clubs like CBGB and Max's as well as getting some opening gigs for big names like Uriah Heep until giving up like most of these bands tended to do in the face of little if any financial success.

But at least they left us with this platter, the "a-side" being a good enough hard rocker that veers somewhere in between the Dolls and Kiss, teetering between snotty punkisms and hard pop energy. It works as a mid-seventies hard rock pounder for the bratski in your life but I prefer the flip which, although resplendent in three-part harmonies that would bring a tear to David Crosby's face (but whether for good or naught I do not know), rocks out like a high powered country number that comes off like one of those early Stiff Records singles! Not bad at all, and good enough for some sort of compilation keeping tabs of these things a la BONEHEAD CRUSHERS and the like...really.
***
Jefferson Airplane-"Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil"/"Two Heads" (RCA Victor Records)

Here's one from DEEP within the bowels of my collection (OK, it was given to me decades ago!), a not-so-rarity from the Airplane that is wallowing about with some of the also rans in the dark corner of my collection which at times can be akin to the dark corners of the internet. "Pooneil" starts off hot with some feedback and a crunching riff but stumbles about with Paul Kantner meandering on about somethingorother as the melody rambles on in typical psychedelic blunderbuss fashion. The other side isn't much better what with Grace Slick singing her typically pseudo-intellectual lyrics which probably have something to do with Lewis Carroll as an equally irritating tune wheezes about. And people actually thought the Airplane were one of if not the best American group of the sixties? Sheesh, Fairport Convention had those bozos beat hands down, and even when copying their entire schtick!
***
The Left Banke-"Things Go Better". "Hertz Rent-a-Car", "Toni Hairspray" EP with both sides exactly the same! (bootleg)

Yes, the sweet classical rock of the Banke goes "commercial" on these commercials which really take that familiar hit format and puts it to good buck-ka'chinging use. Steve Caro Martin's voice smoothly suckers in the iron-haired gals out there in radioland extolling the virtues of Coca-Cola, Hertz and Toni while the backing is pure baroque rock complete with what sounds like the patented Michael Brown keyboard style (or maybe it's a keen imitator?). Rock 'n roll acts never did "prostitute" themselves this way once the sixties fizzled into oblivion, so we should really be thankful that our favorite recording stars from them days were so moolah conscious because otherwise we'd never hear not only this but a few thousand other gems by everyone from Jan and Dean to the Troggs (btw...is their Miller Beer ad available anywhere???). Too bad the Stooges never "plugged" Massengill's fine line of products...woulda loved to've heard that, to the tune of "Fresh Rag" of course.
***
Harvey Gold-EXPERIMENTS single ("I Keep a Close Watch"/"Armadillo") (Clone Records)

Tin Huey keyboardist/guitarist/singer Gold's solo single once again exemplifies the English import bin roots of much of the early Huey sound. The cover of the John Cale classic was definitely bound to bring tears to more than a few mid-seventies co-eds roaming the University of Akron campus, while the flip reminds me of Robert Wyatt or even Kevin Ayers himself filtered through the giddier aspects of that "new wave" which would overtake the musical imagination within a few short years. It's still way better'n what it would all lead to once the eighties churned innovation into hackdom. Worth a look-see if you were the kinda guy who thumbed through a Jem Records catalog back during those rather confusing (but oh-so-satisfying!) times.
***
Kronos-9 PUNK POEMS EP (Moxie Records)

This is one of the rarer Moxie Records releases featuring none other'n the man behind it all Dave Gibson (Kronos) reading some of his prosody either all by himself or with backing from "the Felching Vampires". Who in actuality are nothing but a buncha tape cut ups utilized in order to suit the wordage (and with varying results). Gibson recites his lines in pretty much the same way Meltzer does and like ol' R even gets into some questionable for all members of the family language and subject matter that might not be to your liking (sissy!). The results comes off so El Lay cheap that you could easily enough imagine Gibson in his Kronos guise as some bizarre self-promoting musical act roaming the streets of the Sunset Strip ca. 1966 in typical Kim Fowley/Sky Saxon/Sur Royal Da Count/Wild Man Fisher fashion! The back cover sez only 150 of these were pressed (and not onto old automobile floormats as Billy Miller once said!), but I think otherwise.
***
Tavares-"Whodunit"/"Fool of the Year" (Capitol Records)

Yet another inherited platter, as if I would ever think of buying a Tavares record in the first place! But hey, this one does have some interesting pre-disco soul moves that weren't so offensive back when I was listening to this stuff playing in the other room (cyster's radio blaring) while I was reading THE INCREDIBLE HULK. Gets points for adhering to various past soul accomplishments, but by the time the decade was about to bust into the cornballus late-seventies you can bet that it was all gonna be oomp-thumpa-thump disco from these guys and nothin' else! Music to meet strange men at bars to and to go home and do certain things that I understand are still illegal in Zaire.
***
DMZ-LIVE!! 1978!! 7-inch EP (Crypt Records)

This li'l wonder seemed to pass by more'n a few worthy brains when it came out in 1986, which I guess would figure because the rock 'n roll scene was so down back then that I'm sure most people who would have jumped at the opportunity to buy such a hot item had given up and didn't even know the thing existed! The heavy metal kids from Boston roar on through three covers and one original doin' it just as hard and heavy as they did on all those OTHER records of theirs whether they have the Crypt imprimatur of quality on 'em or not. Nice package and nice sound gives me the feeling that I'm some 1967 suburban slob kid slapping this on the ol' console inna living room and prancing around to it in my stocking feet right before THE BARNEY BEAN SHOW comes on!
***
Gary Glitter-"Hello! Hello! I'm Back Again!"/"I.O.U." (Bell Records, Germany)

If Garry Glitter's back ya'd better lock up all the boys! Keeping the guy's, er, "sexual preferences" outta it this single's another good pounder on the hit side while the flip's no drip either with Glitter taking a classic sixties-styled leftover of some sort injecting a whole lotta early-seventies hit potential pounce to it. If this one doesn't become popular at your local transgendered boy scout hoot I don't know what will!
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Gee wasn't that fun? Gotta do another one of these and like, real soon!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

DEE-VEE-DEE REVIEW! ROCKY & BULLWINKLE & FRIENDS 18 disc set (Sony)

Yeah, I know...like, what gives?!? This series was just one you couldn't escape viewing ever since Moose 'n Squirrel made their ABC tee-vee debut some afternoon back '59 way, and at one time I can recall these cartoons being aired in a variety of formats at a variety of times on a variety of television stations throughout the then not-so-busy broadcast day. I remember at one time in my life THE BULLWINKLE SHOW (ostensibly the 1961-1964 NBC version that ran on Sunday nights for a spell) could be eyed and eared for that matter on NBC early Saturday afternoons while the fifteen minute ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS (supposedly the "cut downs" from the ABC version) would run daily in some market or other, while yet another BULLWINKLE show would run in syndication on another station about an hour earlier than the one on NBC. And from what I can tell THEY ALL CONTAINED THE EXACT SAME EPISODES!!!! Over saturation ain't the word for it---this was BLUDGEONING!!!

But I knew something was amiss when the local tee-vee station that had been airing these cartoons in one form or another since the year of 1963 canned BULLWINKLE in place of ALF reruns back 1991 way, and I even complained about it in typically shocked and indignant form in a brief edi-too-real to be found in the pages of my own long-forgotten crudzine. Back then the last of the good old shows that I grew up, were familiar with and just couldn't get enough of were disappearing from broadcast tee-vee and heading towards cable which really irked a UHF corner reflector person such as I, and although I resisted as much as I possibly could I hadda get the sad fact into me that THIS GENERATION OF TEE-VEE WAS LONG DEAD AND GONE---THE INTELLECTUALS AND DO-GOODERS GOT HOLD OF THE PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENTS (BECAUSE THEY "KNOW BETTER" THAN YOU VIEWERS) AND YOU'LL NEVER SEE FUN SHOWS LIKE THIS AGAIN EVER!!!!! And sadly enough it was true.

Even these days you can't find BULLWINKLE anywhere on the tube, not even on cable lest you look into one of those sub-sub-stations I can't even pick up locally! Lemme t ell you it still bugs me to no end even though I shoulda already had my fill of these programs by now but hey, BULLWINKLE was just as much a part of my suburban slob growing up life as snack foods and getting horny over feminine underwear ads in the newspaper supplement so don't be too hard on me all you better than me pseudo-intellectuals out there.

Thankfully these programs remain preserved on Dee-Vee-Dee, so I decided to splurge on the complete series because if there's anything I need more of in life it's not companionship or a positive outlook on life, but OLD TEE-VEE SHOWS!!! So bought it I did and like well...I'm sure glad I never tossed out my early-nineties VCR recordings despite the local station "bugs" and loss of quality due to slower tape speed. Like, I can do with those diversions if only to see the original episode openings without the new trademarked "Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends" logo masking out the original thus tampering with a whole lot history in the process! Plus in no way were these episodes presented properly...the later half-hour BULLWINKLE SHOWs are only fifteen minutes long and use the old ABC credits 'stead of the familiar dancing moose animation, and like when I want my old memories back I want them back proper! Also woulda liked to have seen the old ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS ones shown with the syndicated opening but alas, even that wasn't included as a bonus while some newer material custom chopped for this package (and mostly a waste) were!

Speaking of the bonuses sheesh, did the people who put this package together skimp! Yeah we get a few commercials with Bullwinkle hawking various General Mills cereals but none of the ones where he's appearing with one or both of the Cheerios Kids! A few appearances of the Bullwinkle hand puppet (later to make a guest appearance on FRACTURED FLICKERS) do show up and are proverbial doozies, but frankly more of these particularly sarcastic interludes were needed. And while I'm at it, what happened to that one series of episodes that looked as if it were animated by someone other than Gamma Productions and actually contained a laugh track? Might have missed that one somewhere in the mess but I dunno...

Mebbee I shouldn't quibble like this, since at least a good portion of my favorite era of tee-vee viewing has been made readily available to me again. These shows hold up swell with the neat gags and surprisingly adult humor (I even caught a "turn your head and cough" gag that was snuck in...fortunately the parents weren't in the room like they were when one was used in a mid-seventies TOM & JERRY thus causing a rather uncomfortable moment), and the whole shebang really fit in with the fine form of satire that was rife not only on tee-vee but in mags like HELP! not to mention via the burgeoning "sick humor" brigades. And hey, I better enjoy what I can while I can, because Don Fellman tells me that they ain't stopping with AMOS 'N ANDY...the New Reform Leagues brewin' even as we speak are gonna get rid of ALL of this evil and outmoded entertainment more sooner than later! An' if you complain it's gonna be nothin' but THE PAPER CHASE and I'LL FLY AWAY reruns for you at the Peace & Justice Gulag! And hide these we must, for the current crop of Pavliks are gonna be so ruthless they'll even make Kim Jong Un blush!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

So it's "howz trix" time agin and like, hope things are going swimmingly well for you unless you're one of those people on my "do not love" list. And believe-you-me, that list is growin' and growin' day by day!
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Still mourning the passing of the Man God (not talking about the one who's still up and about) otherwise known as JERRY LEWIS and with what else but some Lewis media I have readily on hand. Starting off the "wake"...none other than his 1970 animated comedy series for ABC WILL THE REAL JERRY LEWIS PLEASE SIT DOWN! I reviewed this program a loooooooong time back, but given my sieve-like brain it was like watching a whole batch of new cartoons all over again! That doesn't say mucho about my recollection abilities, but boy does it help me save money! 'n hey, although I never held the Filmation Studios or seventies-era Saturday AM animation for that matter in very high regard I must admit that these shows are just goin' so smoothly down my psyche...they flash me back to an era in time when life coulda been pretty irritating but I always had those comic strips and old tee-vee shows and even newer stuff like this to buffer any of the bad effects of school and life in general. Not only that but I gotta admit that the badgags bein' tossed at'cha really do soothe a rumpled old soul such as I even more than a tattered issue of ARMY LAFFS ever could!

Best of all---this series is socially, racially and even sexual role-type OFFENSIVE, but that's only if you're an asshole. Any NORMAL person should love the thing and gag and moan in glee as their favorite "protected class" is satirized, and it's sure grand seeing something funny and of a "questionable" nature being shot into the forbidden corners of your over Pee-Cee'd mind here in the late-teens!

Try tracking this 'un down onna grey area market and see if you too don't burst out in adolescent giggles like the time that bitchy gal in school gave a talk in front of the class and everyone was goin' nuts because of the tightness of cloth around her crotch showing the mons the way nature intended (though I of course was too stoopid to take it all in for reasons that should be obvious).

I also dug up that episode of the NBC JERRY LEWIS SHOW that was also written up on this blog a good decade or so back. Sure was swell watching Jerry do his great characters and skits, even doin' 'em with not only Sonny & Cher back when she looked partially human but the Baja Marimba Band, and those cornballus gags that only Jerry could turn into something watchable were funnier'n anything I've come across in ages. Maybe we do need some Renaissance Men like Jerry these days, only what they can all be Renaissance about is certainly open to question.
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Yes, it's time that I came out to support the LGBT movement! In my case it stands for Lust, Girls, Butts and Tits! Just thought I'd set you straight on such a delicate subject as this! You can add a "Q" afterwards for something else, but since this is a family blog I thought I'd better just leave that up to your own imagination.
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Not that much to schmooze to blab about recorded music-wise...though once again maybe we should give thanks to Bill S and Paul M for the goodies that we are about to receive and don't worry Bob, I will get to your goodies once I find out where I placed 'em. Bow your heads and at least try to look grateful for once you jerks! As usual the reish/archival dig up scene seems to have come to a standstill, but there are some interesting items available out there in "Pour Your Money Down a Rat Hole Land" that should appeal to you...at least the Thollot album ranks as an important reissue worthy of your ears if you really do want my humble advice. G'wan, try one of these platters for once in your measly life!


Jacques Thollot-INTRAMUSIQUE LP (Alga Marghen Records, France, available via Forced Exposure)

If you're keen on all of those Weasel Walter recordings where plummeting drums overtake a free sound that remains quite indescribable you should hear what some folk were doing with the same design a good fifty years back!

Yes, the should be famous drummer Jacques Thollot (check the Sonny Sharrock outing MONKEY POCKIE BOO for more pertinent information) actually leads his own band on this 1969 release which takes the whole new jazz-unto-rock question of the day and drives it into areas that would have even made the most focused of minds come up speechless. With its use of piano, flute, sax and guitar playing up and around various melodies as Thollot hovers over it all with his percussive attack, I wonder if this is akin to the various Ann Arbor acts of the same strata who were also taking the new thing into strange, rockist territory. It's quite enveloping with some neo-classical piano tinkling and flute (or sax) spurts one minute then then an entire wall of drums crushing over the sound as stray guitar chords chime (not exactly the right word).  Slow burn at times and pretty gnawing for the most part...and the iffy live sound only makes it all the more feral.

Fans of Carnal Kitchen (or those enraptured by the direction side two of FUNHOUSE took as it careened off into eternal energy), keep an eye out for this limited reissue!
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Dennis Bovell-MEK IT RUN CD-r burn (originally on Pressure Sounds Records)

Boy this Bovell guy sure stole a lot from the Pop Group! Bad joke aside, this disque contains more of that reggae dub stuff I never really could rastajah myself into although some of the instrumental grooves do have a nice li'l relaxin' feeling to 'em. Maybe I can understand the draw of this kind of music that would make quite a few well-off Amerigan college-age kiddies wanna grow their hair into dreadlocks and smoke whatever it is that the Devil's Weed is called these days and act like total fools while out in public, but somehow it all flies right over my head just like algebra. Maybe I should join antifa or somethin'.
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SWEET AND DANDY...THE BEST OF TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS CD-r burn (originally on Trojan Records, England)

Sheesh, Paul McGarry must have rasta on the brain considerin' he not only sent me the above but this reggae chartbuster! And I gotta say that I like this collection a whole lot more'n the above if only because 1) it has a nice early-sixties sound and production and 2) the melodies and vocalese for that matter have the same pre-hippoid effect on me as any classic garage band single or late-fifties neo-rockabilly attempt can. These guys even took a sloppo and downright boring number like John Denver's "Country Roads" and turned it into a bonafeed reggae classic that sounds toe tapping enough even if the entire song is downhome folkie slop you just can't improve on nohow (or so we thought)! Nothing to dismiss outta hand as I tend to do sometimes.
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Various Artists-EMERGENCE DU REFUS Volume 5 CD-r burn (originally on cassette)

Did Bill send me this 'un before? Maybe he did and he's testing me to see how closely I'm listening to these eighties-era free sound industrial music cassettes trying to catch me up off guard. Leave it to him to do something like that! All kidding aside, this is actually a rather surprising mix of French "musique concrete", some with actual melodical soundscapading within the clunks and (surprise) an actual rock et roll number with a clear punkian approach that doesn't sound as contrived as Chuck Eddy made it all out to be. It's a nice grab-bag of music that never did get out and about like some sure wish it coulda, and you can just guess which 'uns in the batch I like the best, sport!
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Humble Pie-IN CONCERT CD-r burn (originaloly on BMG, England)

Heh, these guys don't sound as bad as I remembered 'em to have. A li'l too much on the heavy side ifyaknowaddamean, but nothing that comes out offensive to my low-brow love of rock 'n roll passing for pure addled noise. Steve Marriott's singsongy intros are a bit too much for me to stomach but at least these guys pretend to rock out as much as all of those other DENIM DELINQUENT faves. Even the blooze chooze packs a wallop for once. Won't trade my Suicide albums for it (well, maybe the later ones) but still an outta-the-ballpark surprise.
***
The Thomas Group-THE DUNHILL 45's CD-r burn 

You read about 'em in the next-to-latest UGLY THINGS so no historical recap here. Commercially sweet pop well produced and sparkling clear yet downright palatable. Music done up long before the entire concept of AM as art sorta got flushed into a style that was something for girls and for girls only! I kinda wonder how R. Meltzer himself woulda handled these platters had they only gotten into his mitts during the creation of THE AESTHETICS OF ROCK. Not surprisingly these tracks zoom me back to those early grade school days dredging up a whole load of memories that for once don't make me shudder in fear. Like most of the hit single (or wannabe) top 40 schmooze of the day this does have a sleek appeal that did make for an alternative to the harder crash to be heard. Not that anyone particularly asked for one.
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Various Artists-CLUSTERS OF GOLD GRAPES GLOWING CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Dunno why Bill named this Cee-Dee-Are after a rare radioactive hemmorhoid condition because this thing's anything from anal. Kinda bloozey actually what with those Jimmy McGriff organ instrumentals and Spencer Davis doin' a better Afro-English sound than many I have heard from them isles. The Gold Diggers trailer once again gives us a glimpse into the early talkie days complete with alla that confusion that seemed to overtake the film industry at least until 1930. Dunno why Bill stuck this Jimmy Justice guy on (he ain't nothin' but a exponent of that early-sixties teenage pop schmooze that was created just for the frosh in your life who couldn't take those daring Mitch Miller albums), but at least it's all capped off by Maurice and Mac trying their best to imitate Sam and Dave. Listening to this really gets ya in the brisket I'll tell ya.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

MAGAZINE REVIEW!!!! UGLY THINGS #45 (Summer/Fall 2017 issue)

It sure is great to get my claws on a new UGLY THINGS especially when the reading situation is starting to get thin and its either grab an old fanzine or comic book to pass the time away or look for some buried copy of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC in order to play yet another exciting game of Count the Bullseyes. As usual, this latest ish does not fail us in any way/shape/form even if Cyril Jordan wasn't able to continue on his year-by-year autobiographical trek through a rock 'n roll career that was filled with so many twists and turns that we can all live vicariously through.

The quality just keeps roaring on what with the massive cover saga on the mid/late-sixties Dutch Beat Boom featuring those longtime faves like the Outsiders (need I say not the Cleveland or English or any other band with the same moniker?) and Q-65 not forgetting things like a piece on the all-gal band the Untouchable (who were an influence on Iggy and the Stooges which should plunk them in a Punk Rock Hall of Fame glass enclosure rather soon), the Left Banke (!!!!!) and even some El Lay-area biker rockers called Puke, Spit and Guts who tried their hand at the whole punk thing and didn't even end up looking as silly as some of the bands that were trying to squeeze precious moolah outta kids who didn't know any better. Heck, there's even an interview with Kid Strange of Doctors of Madness fame that gets into the meat and potatoes of their whole reason for being even if it didn't mention their appearance on the old NBC WEEKEND show back '76 way. (And fortunately nothing about Strange's "New Romantic"---or was it "Blitz"---period is brought up. The less said about that the better!)

There's also a thing on some John Entwistle auction of rare items that's going to some worthy cause (or so they say) with his name on it, a good interview with Neil Ford of the Fanatic and  even more on country singer Joe Stampley's garage band side project the Uniques! And of course the other pieces I didn't quite get to but I wanted to get this review to you out in a timely fashion for once in my life!

My favorites of the whole batch of pieces though were (first off) the thing that Phil Milstein did with Victor "Moulty" Moulton of Barbarians fame who gives us a long and detailed account of what happened the day he lost his left hand, and let me tell you the story is so painful to listen to (as it must have been for Moulton to recollect) that if he talked about it on the legendary "Moulty" single the way it happened that record never woulda gotten played nohow! (You can tell I'm excited by this issue given all of the exclamation points I've been using---gotta control myself somehow.) (Second off) I also dug part two of the Geofrey Krozier saga which goes into the man's New York days which reveal a few things that even I didn't know about. You may be surprised too, but given just how nonchalant you readers are I kinda doubt it.

Of course there are the reviews of items that pertain to the UGLY THINGS universe that might interest you (unfortunately nothing reviewed here is begging for my attention---sheesh guys, release something that I'd like to splurge on for once) and all of my favorite writers from Bill Shute and Tim Stegall on appear. And if you need an excuse to take the day off and devote it to something that will soothe your suburban slob soul then hey, why not give this latest ish a go? OK, in most of you readers' cases why not skip going to the welfare office and read this in the comfort of your Section 8 fart-encrusted bedroom???

Saturday, August 26, 2017

So like, eh----hi. Spent the week going through even more boxes of thirtysome years of rock-related jiz that I ought to throw away but just don't have the heart to. When I do get back on ebay a whole lotta the magazines and whatnot I have gathered up o'er this period in time are bound to get the auctioneer treatment while I don't doubt that a nice portion will be tossed into the trash because like...who cares other'n a few anal retentives who don't have the money for this stuff anyway. Did find a few interesting things throughout the search like what remains of a late-eighties fanzine done up by a once-friend/now-enemy that was so cutting, biting and downright hoo-hah that the thing actually had me rolling in the aisles (or in this case smack dab outta my e-zy recliner)! However, since the guy is on my eternal hate list for fraternizing with the enemy I won't mention any of it. Now if he wants to read this blog or even make comments well, he's free to do so...not that I'm exactly up to PRINTING any of his spew (though I did about ten years back). But sheesh, if that fanzine ever came out it woulda been the biggest laff riot since ILSA: SHE WOLF OF THE SS!
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Well it was bound to happen and although by now it's older than Methuselah news lemme just drop a few words regarding the passing of none other than Jerry Lewis at the ripe old age of 91. Usually I wouldn't comment on these deaths if only because this blog ain't exactly WHATEVER HAPPENED TO... but sheesh, at one time Jerry Lewis was like, a GUIDING FORCE in my life! Y'see, when I was 10/11-years-old Lewis was one of my bonafeed heroes next to Bugs Bunny and Dennis the Menace (Tee-Vee and comic versions!). Back in those rather weirded out days I thought Lewis was the coolest thing since Bill Cullen (you can bet that when I hadda wear glasses I was glad because my hero Cullen wore glasses and now I could be even more like him) and you can bet that I used to watch his moom pitchers whether they were on local rerun or national first time around Tee-Vee---ya just couldn't escape 'em which was all the better for me.

Lewis's various prime time variety/comedy shows were long gone by this time (I occasionally would peek at his NBC show of the late-sixties and don't even remember any hubbub regarding his failed ABC series which I have written about before) but I still got my fill of Lewis considering how all his old movies with and without Dean Martin were popping up on the boob tube with regularity, and of course whenever I had the chance I'd tune into the Muscular Distrophy telethon on Labor Day just to catch the guy clowning it up despite the sleep deprivation, getting all woozed out and sometimes slipping in some "language" that I sure wasn't allowed to use around the house. I just couldn't get enough Jerry I'll tell ya!
You can catch Brad Kohler's imitation CREEM
BTC logo in reverse if you strain your eyes
hard enough.

When I got older I gotta admit that I began tiring of the guy (maybe it was a viewing of DON'T RAISE THE BRIDGE, LOWER THE RIVER that did it, or maybe the MAD peek inside Jerry Lewis's wallet article, or maybe it was them dirty jokes he was slipping in during the telethon) and watching those old moom pitchers just wasn't as exciting as they used to be for my pre-adolescent suburban slob ranch house kid self. At least those early movies and tee-vee programs were definitely worth an occasional viewing (especially on those nothing to do Sunday afternoons) and the guy was one who could deliver on some pretty hefty har-hars when the time and place fit. And who could deny that Lewis was an even bigger do-it-aller than we all thought. I mean, who else but Jerry could have his own DC comic (the last of their celebrity line to get axed and in 1971, a good five or so year after Bob Hope's) or ABC Saturday morning cartoon series not to mention a few thou other things that I'm sure none the obits mentioned. Sure he had a larger ego'n most H'wood bigshots but then so do most of these rock fandom dolts I have/had dealt with so what's the big hoo-hah anyway?

Anyway, yet another big name that I can remember hearing about since day uno has passed and you can bet that I'll be more affected by Lewis' passing than I would some big name who came up during my own physical if not mental growth and has been proclaimed some sorta "spokesperson" (sheesh!) for "my" generation and alla that comfy feely rot we've all be subjected to whether we like it or not!
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Some goodies this time. Most of this is courtesy of Bill Shute and Paul McGarry. Note to Bob Forward...RIP RIG AND PANIC still plays intermittently, though it's definitely the boom box's fault. Only one actual purchase by me which I gotta say is one more than I had expected. Aww c'mon, read the thing for once in your life!


Samuel Dunscombe & Tim Olive-ZANSHI CD-r (Kendra Steiner Editions)

"Zanshi: reside, vestigial traces, dregs. Zanshi is what is left after the core of an object, sound, image, has been removed" Them's the liner notes and I still don't know how the heck the team of Dunscombe and Olive made these sounds. The first of the two features this hum that reminds me of a basement dehumidifier on a hot August day kinda like the one I'm experiencing now (y'know them days when it was so hot and you'd spend the entire afternoon looking through stacks of old comic books trying to forget how sticky you are?) while the other sounded like the sperm being formed in Robbie the Robot's nuts---subdued gurgle that's bound to push through once Robbie has some hot dream about Univac. Well, can you think of a better way to describe the rather wondrous form of "musique concrete" (more/less) without looking like a phony intellectual thumbing through his Thesaurus looking for new ways to say "wowzer"???
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Julie Driscoll-1969 CD-r burn (originally on Polydor Records, England)

Starts off with some interesting jazz rock moves that actually sound inspiring considering the time and source, then it gets a little dippy with some soft acoustic numbers but even those hold up surprisingly well without Brian Auger's organ wails. Let's face it, Driscoll was a fine femme vocalist whose tones really stood out against the yammering of the female competition of the day. Interesting neo-singer/songwriter effort that doesn't insult your sense of rockism propriety even with the low points. And the horn-laden tracks even add a whole dimension of vim that you never did get outta Chicago! Give it at least one little try.

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Xhol Caravan-ELECTRIP CD (Garden of Delights Records, Germany)

These late-sixties platters with the hip covers always did seem kinda "chance-y" when delivering on the jamz, so I approached this one with quite a bitta caution. Sure I liked their Ohr release with the naughty title (never did hear the others) but I thought that one was perhaps too much of a Zappa-knockoff to appreciate for its own good ifyaknowaddamean. This pre-Ohr release (originally on Hansa Records) does have its share of late-sixties Mothers of Inventionisms to contend with but the sounds of the New English Jazz can thoroughly be discerned which does add a nice li'l ting to it all. Although ELECTRIP ain't gonna be one of those top beddy-bye spins to lull me into slumberland it's still a good enough jazz-rock-y excursion that actually does stimulate the nodes when the nodes most certainly need it.

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GO! WITH THE TIMES CD-r burn (dunno the label it was originally on...probably some English one because like, who else?)

I should have a perpetual mad-on about this group since they stiffed me $20 on an order I had sent them THREE DECADES BACK, but I can't really stay angry even after all these years. I mean, there's a good chance that they never even GOT the order in the first place. So right now let's just say that the Times are off my hate list, though really I could use that twenty bucks just about now...

It's good. Nothing great but since this was perhaps the only way we could hear any of that Creation meets Who meets John's Children-styled rock at the time it does hold a certain nostalgic warmth for me. Good enough flash music that does dive into that early-eighties "twee" sound but then again nobody did twee like these English foppy revival groups of the early-eighties. Even with the soft sop these guys come off a whole lot more straightforward than the bands that came in their wake. Even has a version of Generation X's "Your Generation" that sounds like how the Who woulda handled in around '66. Let's face it, when the eighties were clocking out it all sounded so strained that I would have sworn I was listening to the aural equivalent of baby food. Goo!
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PAUL BLEY & SCORPIO CD-r burn (originally on Milestone Records)

This is one of those early-seventies Bley platters where he decided to do a li'l "experimenting" with a synthesizer in order to look hip and with it. And it worked! Naw, this ain't no Weather Report fusion extrapolation but a pretty darn good attempt at taking the new thing of the sixties and (if you will pardon the expression) "jazzing it up" a bit. Dave Holland and Barry Altschul play their typical seventies under-the-beat best here, while Bley shines on both new and old numbers, the latter including "Ictus" which was not only written by Bley's former Mrs. Carla but must've made its fiftieth recorded appearance here.
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YOU BET YOUR LIFE WITH GROUCHO MARX CD-r burn

I'm sure most of you reg'lar readers have been watching YOU BET YOUR LIFE ever since you were able to turn on a tee-vee set. Heck, I'll bet there are a few of you olde tymers who remember watching the show when it was originally being broadcast on NBC, and I for one can recall seeing Groucho asking the questions back when I was a mere kiddie on rainy Sunday evenings right before the prime time programming got into gear! (Sheesh, I even remember watching the show while a sick kiddiegardener and afterwards eating a whole can of Franco American macaroni that dad bought in order to cheer me up...and eating canned macaroni for the first time in my life as well!)

YOU BET YOUR LIFE also ran on radio (look up the exact dates yerself!) and thankfully a whole slew of 'em have survived, the shows popping up here being just two of 'em. Great listening not only for Groucho's actually funny patter (I prefer him in this setting rather'n with those brothers of his and yeah, I remember what Brad Kohler told me!) but for the quiz questions which don't wrack your brain as much as they do on JEOPARDY. And you better watch out, because next week the "secret word" is gonna be Fellman!
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THE BEST OF CANNON'S JUG STOMPERS CD-r burn

Dunno the label this came out on either (if you wanna know Google Duck Duck Go it yourself) but whatever label it is they shoulda gotten some sorta reward from the industry for producing such a fine collection of late-twenties/early-thirties jug band music. Of course the industry couldn't care squat about Cannon's Jug Stompers but I can...this is hotcha real down folk blooze that sounds as if it were recorded right at the plantation between breaks and rushed out to whatever adoring public there was to buy this...plunky banjo and guitar merge with actual oomphy jug sounds to make a real downhome kinda music I couldn't see the Lovin' Spoonful dirtying their autoharps with. If you like it primal and feral without the slickness that has affected music in general ever since the business became THE BUSINESS you might like that, and it even has a version of "Walk Right In" done thirtysome years before the Rooftop Singers struck gold with it (and where does that leave their version of a pre-Dead "Viola Lee Blues"?).
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Various Artists-SENATOR BADMOON A-GO-GO-GO!!! CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Here's another one that Bill must have sent me a good two or ten years back only I chance upon it now. Still plays swell and the selection's nothing to spurt snot over either, what with some pretty hotcha tracks by acts you've never heard of before and probably never will hear from again. Lemme take that back since we all know who Giorgio Moroder is and his version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival smasheroo "Bad Moon Rising" is on her, but other'n that how many of you have heard of George Goodman and his Headliners or Daisy Clan?

In all the tracks seem to range from fair enough bubblygum to cornballus country blues shuffle and jazzy schmooze for the Geritol set, and it all gets ya here (thump chest) in one way or another. Special surprise...Senator (hah!) Rosco Dean's "A Ballad to George Wallace" which takes the earlier "Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley" mode (complete with "Battle Hymn of the Republic" backing as if you're that dense) and uses the dadblamed thing to lionize the infamous Alabama Governor who was at the time of this recording recovering from his assassination attempt at the hands of Arthur Bremer, perhaps the blandest political assassin ever. Yes, you can say his truth is rolling on but my, would that be in bad taste!