Friday, June 30, 2006

ROCK SCENE (January 1975 issue)

I used to do a lotta newsstand reading when I was a lad (I probably hold the record for the sassiest backtalking to many a newsagent extant!) and the reason I spent a good portion of my freetime at the 'stands gobbling up everything from CREEM to NATIONAL LAMPOON during my pube-sprouting days was because, well frankly I never could afford all of the magazines (rock, humor, comic...) that I surely needed in the palms of my hands, being such a po' boy and all. Nowadays I don't go for reading at the newsstands one bit...not only is there very little I'd want to read via the rock (and "rap") magazines that are available in the here and now (at least there hasn't been since they exiled all of the cool gonzoid writers I grew up with), but sheesh, how do you think I as a baldoid pudge midager would feel fighting it out with the new crop of bobbysoxers trying to take a gander at the new magz just so I could get a glimpse of something I can just see as easily onna internet by "dialing up" said flavor-of-the-week's pic??? Besides, them days where I could hope to snatch up a copy of CREEM or even HIT PARADER to get a whiff of the newest outrage to hit Max's Kansas City are long gone, along with that club and a lotta the energy and pow'r that went into that scene as well, mind you.

Which is why re-reading those old rock mags in the here-and-now is an especially tasty treat! Given that rock & roll sure ain't what it used to be, and neither is rock writing or rock as the International Youth Language for that matter (or all the promise the stuff had for us back when were actually young and bothered cretins who were in on the plan), these seventies-vintage rock mags sure know how to strike some proverbial chords especially as we all head smack dab into the late oh-ohs and even more boredom. Where rock & roll was once experimental, it is now entrenched, where it was once exciting it is now commonplace, and where it was once a maddening cult phenomenon it is now just about as important as all of your old toys rotting away in the basement. Yeah there are a few bright rock & roll spots you'll read about on this blog and this blog ONLY which should prove to you no matter how jaded thee may bee that there's still some relevancy to the form, but for the most part rock (with or without the "& roll") is just another stuck up and self-conscious racket that would never dare allow another Seeds, another Velvet Underground, or Lester Bangs and Wayne McGuire within its confines, and frankly we are ALL the smellier for it.

Which brings us to ROCK SCENE. Funny, it never seemed as if the Charlton brand of rock magazine (which included besides ROCK SCENE none other than that old standby HIT PARADER) made it big with my musical inclinations. Perhaps it was the corniness that seemed to permeate both to an extent, with the cheapo ads for iron-on transfers and "Sell Kerosene Lamps For Your Organization"...things like that which seemed aimed at the gullible dorkazoids who obviously gobbled such stuff up. Or maybe it was the at-time inaccurate lyrics that were reprinted in the back of HP, a practice which was a throwback to the old days when the entire family would gather around the piano and sing the hits of the day, though could you IMAGINE some family huddled together singing the hits of 1969 together??? "Alright kids, let's do 'HONKY TONK WOMAN'...lessee, it says here it goes 'I later did the same in New York City'! Wow, that's a relief!!!!!"

Yet with all of the old timey hokum that both mags coulda exuded there seemed to be the right amount of fun seventies high-energy thrown into the mix. HIT PARADER had more than a few interesting articles amidst the paens to mid-seventies Amerigan pantywaisterisms, with Lauren Agnelli writing about the Modern Lovers and Lance Loud telling us nuevo-Lou Reed fans about seeing the Velvet Underground live at the Shrine in '68 on one hand, or Patti Smith in ROCK SCENE tipping us off to this new buncha punx called Television that were gonna make an indent on your fine tuning! So you could say that these rags were playing both sides of the street so to speak, the Mr. & Mrs. Front Porch Amerigan one and the deca-suburban teens, and frankly that (either then or in retrospect) comes off a lot more downright energetic than ROLLING STONE latching onto the sick remnants of the psychedelic Californian scene, which not surprisingly developed into the Eagles!

Anyway I gotta admit that this ROCK SCENE mag that's just recently made its ways into my palms (dated 1/75 which is cool considering there was still a lotta hip quap going on on both the mainstream and underground circuits to latch onto) is one mighty fine fact it's so good that not only has it replaced my ROCK ONs for quick-grab toidy reading but it's also been one to help soothe me into sueno time and that's usually reserved for only the most absorbing, enveloping reads that are available within chairside reach! Reading one of these old ROCK SCENEs is like reading an old TV GUIDE, though instead of easing you back to the days of pure UHF trash wonders you're smack dab in the front row at CBGB waiting for a totally new assault to your senses and it better happen pretty damn soon!

Good choice in putting Roxy Music onna fronta the mag...after all, they were big whizzes over in blighty and ready to make it big Stateside (I remember when someone at CREEM mentioned how Bryan Ferry was going to play a swinging neuro-surgeon in the new Hollywood production of GIDGET GOES NEUTER!!!) and if anything coulda given these guys the little ex-lax of a push it was ROCk SCENE (and besides, with a totally cranked-up album like COUNTRY LIFE just freshly released, it would have been like ROCK SCENE was doing us a PUBLIC SERVICE by telling us to go 'n get this one rather than the new Captain and Tennille!). There ain't that much of an article inside though...just standard promo pix of each member of the band (not counting the always anonymous bassist) and little bios near each, but then again I guess the folks at ROCK SCENE (mainly Richard Robinson, wife Lisa and pal Lenny Kaye) figured that the teenyboppers bought the mags for the pix, so let's concentrate on that for them, and for the decadent glam-punk kiddies let's go for the gusto...

...and gusto they did go for, because amongst the kidstuff teenage flackfandom (which is as good as the product it is putsching) there's a lotta hardcore mouthdrool that ROCK SCENE gives to the Podunkian who wants to beam himself directly into the women's room at Club 82. Take an article on...Club 82 for example written by one Lance Loud, who in fact says that the restrooms at this famed watering hole were believe-it-or-not unisex which might have pleased a buncha foxes on the prowl though maybe Lance wouldn't've exactly cozied up to that idea at least from what I've heard (he being a bona-fide HIV casualty during the height of AIDS-chic... in case you didn't know his gay recantation just-post-AN AMERICAN FAMILY was nothing but a big put on done at a time when being queer wasn't so dear!!!!). And while we're talkin' 'bout the weirdos there's also an advice column written by none other than Wayne County him(?)self---I couldn't help that one but anyway he sorta acts like Ann Landers without the upper-class Rockefeller Republican stance telling kidz what to do about things like their overdeveloped organs (this to an aspiring male ballet dancer who is ashamed of the big bulge!) as well as shaving more than one's face because when it comes to sweaty rock & rollers Wayne "just hate(s) to see them standing up there with their shirts open showing all that horrible, unsightly hair"! And if you can't get enough of Wayne, there's also Doc Rock who gives us the answers to everybody's fave questions regarding Velvet Underground album covers and whether or not Sylvain Sylvain walks around with a roll of half-dollars in his pocket. (Believe me, this mag was bulge crazy!)

One of the best things about ROCK SCENE was its favoritism, or nepotism, or just plain ol' incestuousness, which is why we see the same pix of the same people month after month and nobody complains because the reader's in on the chic decadence of it all as well. Like, Cyrinda Foxe is all over this issue as she is just about every one of these ROCK she's with sorta-husband (pre-Steve Tyler) David Johansen going through a typical day of dressing up, down and going through album collections just like all the rest of us do! Makes you feel like a star as well, hunh? Lenny Kaye's omnipresent as well, including in a rare snap of him backing up Patti Smith when Kaye still was wearing his horn-rims along with shoulder-length hair and big 'chops onstage at Max's looking rather cool as he always has (and I always wanted to look like Kaye myself...wonder what happened???). And of course you see loads of famed Lorraine Newman lookalike Lisa Robinson here, though not that much of hubby and editor Richard which makes me wonder that had he still had his own band Man Ray in gear would we be seeing them all over the place??? (I certainly hope so!)

(STRANGE ASIDE TIME!: Speaking of Man Ray [the purportedly wild proto-no wave band formed by Robinson and I believe Lenny Kaye sometime in 1969 that may or may not have performed a few monochromatic gigs in the New York area], I had a strange dream a few nights back which I originally thought didn't warrant any mention anywhere given that only "I" would understand its grave complexities, but this segment of it sure seems bizarre [and rock-oriented] enough to fit into this blog'd reason for being so here goes...anyway in this dream I was at some sort of flea market/antique show setup where I came across this strange boxed item having something to do with Hackamore Brick [it looked like a box set packaging of sorts, with the familiar ONE KISS LEADS TO ANOTHER cover emblazoned on the front and back]. In, or perhaps on the box were liner notes that gave a very detailed history of the group [something that I wish came with the recent reissue] mentioning how in fact Hackamore Brick were Man Ray at one time, this being due to a member of the group who went under the name of...what else but Man Ray! No, he wasn't the famous dadaist from whence the group got its name but some other mysterious face on the New York scene, but anyway this particular Ray left the band which resulted in the name change, [and, you gotta remember, ex-Man Ray member Robinson ended up producing Hackamore Brick which ties things up a bit, or at least they did in my dream] and although I can't remember anything else from those strange liners I must 'fess up to the fact that having vivid, in-depth dreams such as this one certainly goes to show you that my rockism obsessions do creep into my subconscious mind, dontcha think???)

Of course you get the extraneous stuff like Rick Wakeman playing pool and Suzi Quatro attending a Mark Eden seminar, but it's the wild and woolly things that make ROCK SCENE the mag for me. The snaps of the "new bands" including the second publication of a pic of the Harlots of 42nd St. (now without their glam makeup!) and Zolar X, plus loads of Iggy, Alice, Eno and other bright lights is what puts this rag at the top of the pile for me. Frankly I gotta say that its these old fogie reads like ROCK SCENE (not to mention CREEM as well as a whole slew of seventies fanzine fodder I've only scratched the tip of the iceberg as far as documenting and reading goes) really puts the new breed of pious, political and putrid gunch to shame which, come to think of it, isn't really a difficult task. Anyway, if you have a strange jones for 30-plus years of manic rockism that seems to have been buried under the weight of all that horrid and pallid sputum that has happened since, maybe a trip to your nearest ebay site is in order???

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Stillettos-PUNK TRAMPOLINE! CD (Elda Sez, available through CD Baby or the group's own website)

Yeah, all of the pertinent punque info on those obscure En Why See bands you used to hear about way back when is comin' atcha at least twenny-eight years after most of you old fogies out there yearned for it, but lemme tell ya that I'm glad I'm getting this much-needed music NOW rather'n sometime in 2040 when I'm being wheeled into the Genocidal Elimination Chamber located smack dab inside your fave local Eugenics Camp! And yeah, it sure is great getting to hear a whole bunch of these seventies underground punkers like The Magic Tramps even if it is way after the fact, and believe-it-or-leave-it but it's just as great lending ear to this brand-spanking-new release put out by Tramps frontman Eric Emerson's one-time squeeze (a kid to prove it!) Elda Stilletto which should appeal to alla those people who used to dig the ever-lovin' daylights outta THE NEW YORK ROCKER, at least until that periodical began shoving the local bands to the back of the bus in favor of the latest British flash-o'-the-week, that is!

And if you were one of those kiddos in Podunk Iowa who used to comb through the ROCKER, ROCK SCENE and a whole slew of hipster rock reads to osmose to the Nightlife then going on in New York there's no doubt that you'll know all about this should-be-infamous lower Manhattan band that's best known for being the "original" version of Blondie, or something like that. I mean, any avid Blondie fan will undoubtedly have read the obligatory blurb about the Stillettos found in a wide array of punk history pubs and still consider them the true roots of Debbie Harry's decaglitz stardom, but as most En Why See scenewatchers'll tell ya Elda Stilletto (ne. Gentile) and her group pre- and post-date the involvement of Harry, Chris Stein and the rest of the natal Blondies that eventually sprang from this Stillettos lineup thanks to Elda's vamoosing and that other gal singer getting knocked up. Actually, Elda's involvement on the proto-punk scene in En Why dates back to the early-seventies and a Stillettos that lasted through a whole slew of membership changes and "special guest stars" ranging from the aforementioned Blondie buggers to Cheetah Chrome, Neon Leon and even jazz clarinetist Perry Robinson (looking rather loose in the booklet snap!), and it's pretty neat that SOMETHING has survived because this 'un's a hot potato that ranks with the Tramps for straight-ahead New York punk rock that lacks a lotta the self-consciousness and pretention that's plagued a hefty portion of the "underground" music "scene" for quite some time.

In fact, if I dare say so myself, the Stillettos are much better than Blondie ever were! Elda's got this great high-pitched voice that's a lot more appealing than Harry's breathy twirble (well, can you think of a better word?), singing like a punk take on early-sixties dago teendom and not only that but she doesn't play it all t&a even if she used to pop up onstage wearing nothing but strategically-placed suspenders above the waist! Plus the Stillettos have this New York Dolls groove that wouldn't surprise me a bit because one of the songs ("Can't Keep Foolin' Yourself") is an out-and-out plea to none other than one Johnny Thunders (and co-written with Billy Rath!) to watch it with the white stuff! (The song also has a little "Fox On The Run" and T. Rex tossed in, which doesn't hurt the thing one bit!) But yeah, it's all really pleasing New York seventies punk with a small slab of showbiz thrown in for good glam measure. If you like the Tramps and Ruby and the Rednecks and wish you coulda hung around at the 82 Club so's you could get a glimpse of Marlene Dietrich watching Wayne County in action then you'll love this 'un!

Lotsa faves here. Cee-Dee opener "Blood From a Stone" was Elda's attempt to write the world's fastest song in 1972, and while it's nowhere near the velocity of the hardcore speedmetal of a decade later it is sorta like "Personality Crisis" filtered through the Dictators' "Cars and Girls" with the Gizmos thrown in for good measure. "Wonder Why" is the Shangri-Las meets the Heartbreakers, while "Let There Be Pain" (written by the Wyndbrant Bros. of Miamis fame) is another one of those fifties rockers done seventies-style sorta like what the Dolls, Sweet and Hackamore Brick amongst a thousand others were doing at the time and lemme tell ya they all came off a whole lot better'n the patented phony HAPPY DAYS fodder, probably because the Stillettos sound like they actually LOVE the stuff and for the right reasons as well! And the fact that they're mixing fifties love paens with seventies decadent s&m imagery only adds to the ironic beauty. (Anudder track entitled "Tar On My Back" which was the first numbah written by Ms. Stilletto also uses the fifties motif, and the fact that this one's about people who get their jollies fooling around in public places only adds an even kinkier seventies feeling to it! Let's face it, PUNK TRAMPOLINE is one disque you can listen to while reading PENTHOUSE FORUM!)

"Pink Stilettos" (no sic here since this is how it tis spelled correct-like) also deserves mention because it's about how Sylvain Sylvain would borrow Elda's dresses and make-up, and according to the liner notes he still owes her for the latter!

I was expecting a lotta feedback due to "Feedback Rock"'s title but didn't get much of that, though I did get a whole lotta hot pseudo-funkpunk that sorta Velvet Underground drives everything into some weird post-Roxy mess that's a beaut! And of course Elda deserves the punque crown of '78 for writing the aptly-titled "Anti-Disco" which at least tops the usual disco sux rants with some wunnerful high-energy rock & roll music that proves that a lotta the '78 alternative to disco (mainly, FM classic rock) wasn't any better!

"Mercer Street" might as well be about the infamous Mercer Arts Center (breeding ground for many a local band pre-CBGB's) but I guess it ain't. It's about transvestites and transexuals and transistors and Transylvania for all I know and it was co-written by future Mink DeVille Fast Floyd of Famous Firebirds Fame, who did a wild flashout himself by killing his narc-snitching ex-galpal, the cop who was escorting her, and ultimately himself! After hearing this song, you'll believe it. Kinda sounds like Ruby and the Rednecks, and considering the similarities twixt the two I get the feeling that there were some people getting these aggregates confused just like Byron Coley used to get VON LMO, Walter Steding and Boris Policeband all mixed up!

Cee-Dee closer "Feedback Jazz" is a perfect capper on a surprise outta-nowhere disque coming off like a weird funky cross 'twixt Can's "Pinch" and some magical Kongress chant heightened by Perry Robiinson's avant garde clarinet playing. In all this thing is a proverbial "cooker" which only makes me wonder just how much power and energy the Stillettos could whip up in front of a hot and sweaty live audience during one of the most creative times for rock (as a movement, and International Youth Language, a maddening obsession...) to date.

We need more or this stuff. Reading old Fred Kirby reviews in VARIETY and obscure information in ancient NEW YORK ROCKERs only makes me more hungry for the likes of such promising seventies New York (amongst other) underground groupings whether they be Uncle Son, Ice, Sorcerers or a thousand more bands that somehow got the shaft while twaddle the likes of Madonna (yech!) made it big. So please all you aging New York City survivors...release your underground wares as soon as possible! Really, we need your down-to-earth atonal mumblings a lot more than we need the new alternaindie collegeboy quackdom out there that somehow mutated outta the trailblazing you guys did way back when. And Elda, I sure hope you're reading this, and if you are here's a nice little tip---why not put out something by your own progeny's group! (For the uninitiated, that's the Bratles who was formed by the then-ten-year-old kid she had with Emerson...their two gigs were hot ones as well, the first being at Max's Kansas City while their last was at the Palladium opening for the Clash...and all I was doing at the same age was playing with my Dinkys, watching BARNEY BEAN and drawing "Impy" comics while kicking my dog Sam upsides the head! Goes to show you what an underachieving mental nut I was and shall remain!)

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Hiya puds. Mommy always taught me to be truthful so I might as well start off this post by being just that. Anyway, I dunno if it's because of the summer heat or the ol' backbreaking job o' mine or even brain-fry from too many repeated listenings to VON LMO, but right now all I gotta say is that I'm chungered. Now I'm not exactly talkin' ennui or any other long-forgotten mid-seventies Lou Reed song for that matter, but frankly at this point in time I'd much rather be doing nothing 'cept maybe stare at my bedroom walls than do all of the fun stuff that I've liked to do ever since I lept out into this brave gnu world o' ours. Maybe it's the lack of high energy resensifiers out there (after all, I ain't come across a new archival dig in quite some time) or maybe it's that dream I had a few nights back where I'm a teenager again and I'm trying to choose which of two cute Asian gals I should hit on that's gotten me into this mode, but frankly I've even stopped watching classic tee-vee (still have a few volumes of LOST IN SPACE to make my way through, though frankly I could care less about that or ANY old-timey program right now) which really oughta say something! So yeah, I don't know what it is that's gotten me into one of my typically teenage modes (believe me, I used to feel this way all through my high stool days!), and at the expense of all the people out there who hate my guts (and rightly so!) lemme just say that I don't even know why I go about cranking out these educational, worthwhile, witty and downright Front Porch Amerigan posts for all two of you eager beavers out there. Hey, maybe yer voodoo curses are working, but then again all of my current sense of whatzit might just stem from this li'l note I discovered while snooping around for fresh reading material...anyway, this tiny missive came in a large envelope postmarked May 28, 1998 with the following return address: SUPERDOPE, PO Box 95649, Seattle WA 98145-2649. The note enclosed (attached via post-it to a copy of somethingorother entitled "forty-five 45s that moved Heaven and Earth") reads as follows:

Hey Chris-

Here's the latest SUPERDOPE, first in years. Hope you enjoy, & keep crankin' out your much-needed mag.


I really don't know what to think...I mean, here I am wishing ill not only upon Jay himself but his wife and son, and I unexpectedly and without warning come across the above about feeling creepy, like the evil eye is upon me or something equally occult which I'm sure wouldn't please Jay one bit because he don't believe in that stuff. Frankly I dunno what exactly it was that made Jay do his 180-degree (remember, issue #22 [the last issue eyeballed by Jay] had been out for almost a year by the time this "gift" had arrived), but I still think it was none other than him trying to climb higher and higher into the ranks of amerindie hipsterisms by lashing out at a convienent kick-him-while-he's-down target, mainly me! Who knows how long it'll be before I ooze my way outta this current funk, but all I gotta say is that the above little missive only makes me wanna wish ill upon Jay (and his wife and son) even more!

OK, enough light-heartedness. Now for the meat and potatoes.


I don't remember whether or not if I cozied up to these eighties Branca guitar symphonies as much as a lotta you indie-buying record maniacs of the day had. True, the various guitar ensembles of Branca's throughout the decade were legitimite extensions of all the fun goings on in the very same late-seventies no wave scene that Branca came out of via his groups Theoretical Girls, Daily Life and the Static, and considering how the eighties mainstream and underground wanted as little to do with the seventies underground of any stripe as possible it was stuff like this (and Rhys Chatham's works amongst other things) that kept that torch alive so to speak especially for hungry homebodies like me. But frankly, it wasn't quite the same as it was back when the noise was first a-blarin'. To use the old canard the music was changing and so was I, or maybe I wasn't changing as fast enough because around 1982 with the seemingly capitulation of the seventies underground fully in place I sure became hungry for a lotta the energy and power that the music had even a good two years earlier. So maybe I did pay more attention to Branca than I originally admitted, because frankly with the hardcore punk scene starting to fizzle out and the old standbys either breaking up or mellowing out into visions of hippie purity I needed that atonal noise more and more in order to keep from turning into a regular Percy Dovetonsils, dontcha think?

Anyway, I gotta say that I dig this reissue of Branca's first symphony, recorded back in '81 when in fact the last shards of the original no wave era (talking Ut and VON LMO) were still alive and kicking. Anyway Branca assembled a real no wave supergroup to carry out this project including a whole buncha Sonic Youth guys back when they were coming pretty close to the Theoretical Girls taproot (including original drummer Richard Edson, later to make a fool of himself acting in a Spike Lee film!) plus members of the downtown's chic-est avant garde including former Girls Wharton Tiers and Daily Life Barbara Ess filled out the ranks so you could call (with a little reason-juggling) SYMPHONY NO. 1 a Theoretical Girls supersession so to speak! True it has that artzy seriousness to it straight outta Phil Glass (who came from the same classical via Velvets direction on his early recs anyway!) but it's still crazy noise in itself and what's more the fourth movement's opening drum ratta-tat is lifted straight from the Girls' "You Got Me" which makes it even more Max's if you know wadda mean. Pretty nice slab here which makes me Branca's first solo disque on the 99 label (y'know, the one with the jackhammer!) available on Cee-Dee yet?

Anthrax-FISTFUL OF METAL CD (Megaforce)

One of the myriad assortment of things that's always griped me has been that very little of the heavy metal bands that came outta the late-seventies New York Scene never did put any records out, or if they did these records were so under-the-counter obscure that there would be no way of me knowing about 'em. (I mean, it wasn't like the NEW YORK ROCKER was covering every band that was frequenting the Manhattan club scene!) True the likes of VON LMO released the all-time classic metalmongering album FUTURE LANGUAGE during the closing days of '81, but even that was an obscurity that took me a good four years to seek out! And I gotta be the first to say that heavy metal on "punk" terrain (or at least those spheres that would continually overlap) was perhaps the best form of rockism that you could come across, but where are all those recordings from the likes of Junior Birdmen, Cold Steel, Sorcerers (who used to end their gigs with a rabid reduction of "Brainstorm"!) and a whole buncha groups whose names are perhaps forever lost to time? I certainly wouldn't mind hearing each and every one of them even if yearning for such recordings would have had me drummed outta the hipster alternative poseur association faster than you can say "D.I.Y.", but I guess that's the kinda guy I am!

Dunno if Anthrax actually falls into the En Why See metal movement...true their singer Neil Turbin spent his early yammering days as the throat for the Newrace who were one of the aforementioned metallic maniacs duking it out on punk terrain and I know that they did frequent CBGB whilst on the ascent, but their brand of metal is more or less staid eighties yammer albeit with a certain spark of energy that keeps me from tossing this in the "sell" pile. Funny, I kinda remembered these guys as sounding more like early Metallica and less like British new wave of metal patented cliche # whatever (be that cliche good or bad!). Maybe I was thinking of Megadeth or Voi Vod, but hey I still wanna hear Sorcerers with a maddening passion!!!

OK, gonna break out the Paxol right now, so see you in a few days. Maybe by then something really interesting will fly my way'n I can write about something more constructive than finding old notes that dredge up a lotta uncomfortable feelings! Until then...hide the razor blades!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


Here's a fantab spoof of those great Gerry Anderson "Supermarionation" programs performed by none other than the comedy team of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Obviously dating from the mid-sixties (my guess being the magic year of '66), this skit was done when the duo was/were (dependin' on where ya readin' this!) so secure in and of themselves and their talents that they didn't have to bother trying to break into the Amerigan entertainment market like too many Britsters (and Cook and Moore eventually) did only to fall flat on their goose eggs. (Not that Cook and Moore failed, far from that in fact given a stellar early SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE appearance and better-than-average movie/sitcom Eric Idle-styled schlup-ups for these two!!!) A big heaping hunk of thanks to Dawn Eden for pointing this one out on her own blog!

Friday, June 23, 2006


1) VELVET UNDERGROUND-Actually any gig of theirs not counting the '93 reunions (after buying a ticket to see 'em, I couldn't afford the disposable lighter to "flick" in appreciation) would have been worth my while, but an emphasis on the Cale period, particularly of the 1964/65 variety which seems even more of a mystery even after the release of those early demos, would be especially tasty.

2) DEVIANTS-Ditto, though the Devie's '66/'67 days when they were amongst the first groups to heavily borrow from the Velvets and perhaps the only ones in Britian extant to do so sound enticing enough to me. Of course, any public appearance made by Mick Farren, especially during his Stiff Records days (see left) should be just as engrossing...

3) RED TRANSISTOR-Really, almost any '77/'79 no wave band counts (especially the groups considered "too wild and primitive" for the NO NEW YORK disque such as Daily Life, Terminal and the Gynecologists) but of the batch I've heard I'd say that Red Transistor would be the most desirable. Mars comes a close second, and naturally (the) VON LMO (band) should pop up in this category somewhere. Even Kongress other'n the gig where Geofrey Crozier threw the pigeon dust into his cauldron thus driving the entire audience at Max's Kansas City out the door would have been exciting...

4) ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS-Of all the Cleveland "first wave" groups who seem to have gotten their just desserts (coconut cream pie?) thirty years after the fact these are the guys I'd most love to have seen, either in their original "comedy" version or of the later high-energy variety best known to us from a number of bootleg records and tapes that have been floating around ever since the Rocket crash landed in 1975. The only other first wavers I would have really enjoyed lending an ear to would have been Milk with Brian Sands and Dennis Carleton (as well as Al Globekar and Dave Alexy) who certainly put a nice twist on the ol' Cleveland Pop movement that was taking the world by storm at the time (and debuting at a Circus gig at the height of their popularity in 1973 was certainly a smart coup!). It's too bad that these guys continually get left out of the Cle underground saga because Milk were every bit as important to the development of an original music scene in Cleveland and as high-intensity as Rocket and the other local underground units, even though the idea of an original music high-energy rock band in Cleveland seemed about as popular as a Studebaker with flame decals. I mean, that's cool as well, but not to the bong-headed Pantsios-reading nimnuls who permeated the burgh at the time with WMMS continually stuck into their ever-deafening ears if you know what I mean...

5) THE STOOGES' DEBUT, HALLOWEEN 1967-Yeah, just about any Stooges gig (even the reunion ones with Mike Watt of all people subbing for a departed Dave Alexander!) would be worthy of mine eyes and ears, but I still wonder what the very first Stooges show with Iggy playing a rented Hawaiian guitar and blowing out the amps in the process would have sounded like. The descriptions that survive are incredible (read Julian Cope's unabashed praise of Iggy's own account of this show recounted in the Ash Ra Tempel chapter of his KRAUTROCKSAMPLERSCHPIEL book) and I have the sneaking suspicion that tapes do survive along with more early Detroit high energy wonders out there (Seventh Seal, Power of Woman...) I've been yearning to hear for more than just a few years. All I gotta say is...paging Bomp Records!!!

6) THE PLANETS' 1975 LINEUP-Believe-you-me, there would be plenty of gigs happening on the New York Scene throughout the late-sixties until even today that I woulda loved to have been front and center for (sample list...any Manster appearance as well as any of those legendary and undocumented heavy metal groups that would scatter amidst the CBGB and Max's Kansas City schedules during the late-seventies/early-eighties such as Sorcerers, Junior Birdmen and Cold Steel...), and amongst the reams of unheard and probably ne'er-to-hear groups (as you can see I've pretty much limited this list to bands I am already familiar with just so's I wouldn't go off on a tangent mentioning a thousand or so groups out there I would love to hear at least once before clocking out for good) in that big burgh of En Why See I must say that eyeballing the classic Planets lineup woulda done me more'n just "some good". I dunno how the original glam-era group woulda come off and a tape of the post-Tally Talliafarrow lineup that I have sounds rather "straight" and almost Frampton-esque in spots, but the "famous" '76/'76 version of the band with Binky Phillips doing his Townshend trip while Talliafarrow is front and center doing the best black punk strut extant (with Anthony Jones on bass and Steve Korff on drums) might have been the wildest yet most commercial thing going on the New York Scene at the time, with a strong Who meets Stooges meets Cleveland power-pop sound and a clear-intensity that might have even rivaled Rocket From The Tombs for sheer ear-bursting power! There's a nice and detailed article on these guys (complete with the obligatory rare pictures!) that appeared in the twenty-second issue of BLACK TO COMM in case any of you blog-perusers are interested in educating yerselves.

7) ANY GIG BY LES RALLIZES DENUDES FROM 1968 UNTIL THE LATE SEVENTIES OR SO-Actually, just about any gig from the likes of the Denudes guys or their current-day emulators would be boffo for me, but I really woulda dug experiencing the Denudes way back when they seemed to be at the height of their avant-garde crank und strum which was roughly from the late-sixties (when Takashi Mizutani and his cohorts seemed to be closest to a Velvet Underground-inspired garage tap root) until the late-seventies which in retrospect were the final years of their peak efforts. Frankly I'd love to see just about all of the early-Velvetesque noisemongering aggregates of the late-sixties on (though I have a FAT CHANCE of ever doing so!), but given that these guys thankfully have some wonderful recorded material out and readily available Les Rallizes Denudes don't have to be on my atonal energy wish list any longer!

8) MX-80 SOUND LIVE PRE-RICH STIM AND DAVE MAHONEY-Now don't get me wrong, I really dig the effort and energy those guys put into the classic MX-80 recordings and all, but dag-nabbit if the two available tracks recorded by the original version of the group (top-splat guitarist Bruce Anderson and throb-bassist Dale Sophiea with dual drumming from Kevin Teare and Jeff Armour) have my appetite whetted for experiencing an entire concert from these instrumental atrocity mongers in some Bloomington Indiana student watering hole sometime on a muggy 1974 summer weekend. Original reports of these guys having a Mahavishnu Orchestra influence had me shying away from wanting to hear this stuff, but "Spoonfight" off the BLOOMINGTON ONE sampler was jarring enough to have me thinking more Sharrock than McLaughlin (believe me, I was expecting Anderson to toss flowers into the audience, not sharp metal filings!) while that track on DAS LOVE BOOT or whatever it's called (can't find the thing which makes it tough for me to come off looking all researched and proper like I should being such the gifted rock scriber that I am!) was equally spaced out with a heavier emphasis on free jazz avant gardities and less on DOWN BEAT-sanctioned fusion mush. I sure could use an entire album of this stuff, and I only hope that Anderson or Family Vineyard or whoever releases MX-80 Sound wares these days chances upon this blog and decides to take my earnest yearnings to solid fruitation!

9) CAN-Naturally when I say "Can" I mean the original high energy punk rockish Malcolm Mooney variation, but anything up to the mid-seventies would suffice. As far as other krautrock acts go, Amon Duul I would probably be a massive treat, as would Ash Ra Tempel (at least judging from those live CD's which had almost immediately gone out of print).

10) UMELA HMOTA (ANY VARIETY INCLUDING UH 2 AND UH 3)-Perhaps my favorite Czech underground (in the purest form considering the governmental crackdowns that made them international cause celebres in the late-seventies) band. And in case you're still puzzled as to why Umela Hmota ended up on this list when there are probably a lot more "famous" bands who should have, its because that of all the Czech underground aggregates I've heard o'er the years (and that includes biggies like the Plastic People of the Universe), these guys were naturally the punkiest of the batch attempting to do for Prague what groups like the Imperial Dogs and Simply Saucer were trying to do for their local scenes. Umela Hmota 2 have a two-CD set out which is definitely worth latching onto, mainly because its an all-encompassing collection of a huge hunkering portion of '76/'77-vintage studio and live goodies recorded when these guys were coming strangely close to what such non-Czech aggros as Pere Ubu not to mention a buncha British late-seventies explorers were doing a few years later! You can hear some Umela Hmota 3 numbers (this spinoff being led by Josef Vondruska, legendary poet and shattered artist) on the CD which comes with BLACK TO COMM #22, and those numbuhs have a striking similarity to their sister band, perhaps with a stronger Detroit influence that should earn UH 3 more followers amongst the same aficionados of the form who made bands like Radio Birdman cult heroes way back when. And I guess seeing either of these groups or the original Umela Hmota with Alfred, Dino and Vondruska sharing the leadership chair blasting forth from some clandestine barn or non-government approved wedding reception would have been more of a "rock & roll experience" than sweating it out in a small, safe "alternative" club catching the latest watered-down unoriginal "original music" band which is something that I had more of my share of in the past and frankly don't want to experience again!

Anyway, do any of you BLOG TO COMM readers wanna SHOW ME UP??? (One groups I did leave outta the mix in case you wanna chastize me...the Sonics!) If so, howzbout sending in your own fave fantasy gigs in order to spice up this entry, hmmmmm?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Blue Cheer-VINCEBUS ERUPTUM CD (Mercury)

Yeah, you could say that I am a little bit miffed that the camera wasn't turned on (neither was the sound!) for last night's Blue Cheer/Black Hollies show at CBGB, though that exactly ain't the first time someone "forgot" to turn on the blasted thing...I remember being really gung ho for a CBGB performance by a one-off grouping calling themselves "the Dopes" consisting of James Chance, Walter Steding, Billy Ficca and someoneorother back in '00 only to find out that they weren't cybercasting that night and as far as I can tell nobody even hadda smarts to sneak a recorder into the dive and bootleg it for all posterity! Maybe someone had the nerve to tape or whatever they do these days the Blue Cheer set and we can only hope that alla these final day gigs at CB's (or at least the hot ones) will be or have been recorded and preserved so's that anal-retentive obsessives like myself will have eons of great jamz to osmose to from now to eternity which would be a trip, especially since kicks certainly are getting harder to find as the entire music industry/scene sinks into a deeper chasm to the point where frankly it ain't even worth DEFENDING anymore.

At least I have this Cee-Dee to console myself with. Yeah, none other'n Blue Cheer's very first one from back in the opening days of '68, a platter so base and illiterate in its production and performance that a strong case can be made that this 'un really separated the intellect-o's from the brain-dead in just about every high school across the fruity plain. (And, in case you're puzzled, the smart kids weren't listening to VINCEBUS ERUPTUM by any stretch of the imagination!) A stone gronker that even inspired future garage-revival icon Greg Prevost to stick these guys on the front cover of the first issue of his now-infamous FUTURE fanzine way back in February of 1977, and everyone KNOWS that Greg Prevost is the arbiter of a different sort of sixties taste than the usual peruser! Hey, even I can remember when I first gave a listen to Blue Cheer's mega-thud hit "Summertime Blues" sometime in '72/'73 on one of those then-unique oldies programs which scattered the "peculiar" offbeat tracks with the standard bearers, the dee-jay expressing bewilderment perhaps with a slight scoff at the blast he just played which must go to show you the effects of a brain after too many plays of "It's Summertime" by the Jamies! Let's face it, for many people (even commentators I do pay attention to) Blue Cheer were thee mental midget rock band of the late-sixties purely because they took the freakier elements of pyschedelic love and peace music and proceeded to ramjam the entire mess into one huge shaking ball of phlegm that it seemed just about any dope-addled teenogre could play after just a mere listen. (Of course the hype about their volume which alledgedly killed a dog who happened to wander into a Blue Cheer show seemed to help...funny, Jonathan Cott [in the tenth-anniversary edition of ROLLING STONE] said the same thing happed at a Red Krayola show!) And naturally, a very strong case can be made that VINCEBUS ERUPTUM was the kicker that helped pave the way for the heavy metal onslaught of the 1969-1972 seasons...even the Detroit proto-punk brand of heavy metal (which seemed like a totally different breed of animal even back then) owed a hefty thanks to Blue Cheer and while we're at it the likes of Sir Lord Baltimore, Dust and alla those Metal Mike Saunders bedroom jams should prostrate themselves in homage as well.

It's an amazing miasma created by the trio of Dickie Peterson, Leigh Stephens and Paul Whaley, from the opening chord mangle of "Blues" to the freeform fall end of "Second Time Around" and for a bunch who still haven't shaken off their garage band roots (not that they shoulda) it's amazing that an inward-turned power trio as raw and unpolished as this was even ALLOWED to come out and ruin the good vibe trips that seemed totally in-synch with the big commercialization of the hippie movement going on at the time. Of course the best San Francisco rock of the day was anything but sunshine and misty-goo...and Blue Cheer's "success" only showed to proved that, had San Francisco evolved into a different breed of radical osmosis akin to the Velvet Underground maybe more bands would've produced a wail like Cheer did, one which might have rivaled the Velvets for psychotic fury perhaps leading to a better rock & roll future for the whole lot of us.

Don't get bent outta shape that half the tracks here are covers...Blue Cheer breathe their own life into such classics as "Parchment Farm" ("And all I did was shoot my arm"!!!!!!) and "Rock Me Baby" (not forgetting the hit single) that they sound like they might as well be originals anyway! And though I could be a Christgau type and dock Blue Cheer a grade for releasing such a short album (only 32 mins.) I gotta say that they pack more power and energy into that brief timespan than most metal bands did in entire careers and they even did it without the trite and wheezing Robert Plant-inspired Janis yelps and that ought to count for something!

If you want more early Blue Cheer (and who with their rockism heads on straight doesn't?), check out Eddie Flowers and the vast array of Cheer-oriented Captain Trip CDs he sometimes has for sale (not right now---all but one're outta stock!) including the one taken from THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW (which unfortunately cuts out Allen's opening wizecracking and post-"Blues" audible shock at the group's volume) not to mention some '75 demos that were covered extensively in BACK DOOR MAN at the time. And while you're waiting, why not just catching the following clip from BEAT CLUB which I'm sure will sate your thirst while you're awaiting a package of Cheer which ought to be heading your way (given your natural ability to sniff out the good in rock & roll and separate it from the sham which YOU have undoubtedly proven merely by tuning into this blog!) any day now.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Dunno exactly why I bought this set...perhaps my viewing of Kenneth Anger's SCORPIO RISING on YouTube had something to do with it (or at least I think I was eyeballing SCORPIO might have been a film of Dave Lang's birthday party for all I know!) but anyway the last "segment" of that 'un with the quick-cut editing of bikes coming and going and images of skulls smoking cigarettes labeled "youth" as the classic surf instrumental "Wipe Out" plays on certainly got this addled rock fan into pure surf instrumental gear and heading straight for ebay where a 2-CD of classic Surfaris sides was purchased post-haste in a serious bid to slake my 1963 lust.

Naturally I shoulda realized that the take of "Wipe Out" here (and maybe "Surfer Joe") ain't the well-known original versions since Dot records still owns 'em (which is why they released that bogus Surfaris album with the three or so Surfaris tracks they do own along with a buncha imposter material in order to milk the unaware bumpuses even MORE), and I also shoulda realized that the re-do of their biggest hit wouldn't sound anything like the well-known punk precursor that still stands as a testament to pre-Beatles thud. However, that's no reason to ignore this classic slab which covers the best and not-so moments of the group's Decca-period booty, ranging from the follow up pseudo-hits like "Point Panic" to a whole slab of Beach Boy imitations not forgetting the Surfaris' final days as a folk-rock band where they really musta felt outta place doing their Byrds imitations with a moniker straight outta the short-hair and matching suits era which only ended a few years prior!

Perhaps the biggest reason I latched onto this collection was to hear the Surfaris' take of what I like to call the "National Anthem" of 1966, mainly "Hey Joe". For years (at least since I saw it on an old Bomp auction list) I've been curious as to how the Surfaris woulda tackled this classic garage-band raver and y'know what, they do it with sheer aplomb almost as good as the Leaves, Byrds and Swamp Rats but better than Jimi Hendrix, Fever Tree and Creation. The Surfaris added a nice touch to the song with the entire group shouting "HEY---JOE!" before the lead singer would continue "...where you goin' with that gun in your hand" and why this one missed being included on one of the original PEBBLES volumes back in 1979/80 when we sure coulda used it is way beyond me.

WHITE STUFF (fanzine collected on a shiny disque, originally edited by Sandy Robertson during the years 1977/1978)

It's not like I've had the opportunity to read every last word of this magnificent fanzine, but I'm sure glad that I've finally gotten around to reading these WORTHWHILE scribings for once in my bloated life. For along with the ROCK ON's also recently received (and nearest and dearest to my frequent commode-visiting heart) you could say that I've been having the bestest fanzine-immersing time of my life at least since the early-nineties when eager-beaver fans were running off their old hard-to-get issues of BACK DOOR MAN, DENIM DELINQUENT and THE NEXT BIG THING for yours truly just because I was a big fanzine editurd who deserved this much-needed and still-craved reading material solely because I am ME!!! You should try it sometime.

Yeah, WHITE STUFF is a Patti Smith fanzine and I'm sure that you, I and the bedpost have had our various "qualms" about Patti and the things she has said and done o'er the past thirtysome years or so. And hey, even you (like I) might just have a big steaming MAD ON about her and her current state of socio-political bravado no matter who or what it may entail (for me, it's her anti-capitalist neo-Marxism that seems more or less like some last great grasp at reviving the sixties/seventies radical ultra-lib bent that still tinkles on here and there) but no matter whatcha think, I gotta say that her earlier endeavors still hold up even with her usual asides to various chic hipster pose not to mention a whole array of seventies relevant/kitsch causes. (Such as her, along with a good portion of the avant youth gulcher of the day's, deification of Wilhelm Reich, a guy who seems more or less like an "interesting figure" the same way that I might read on about Bobby Beausoliel or Mel Lyman, but raising him to the status of a persecuted prophet who...if only he were set free...would have changed the universe for the better is nothing more than a pipe dream an unlimited stay in an orgone box couldn't diminish in a millyun years!)

Reichian therapy and hipster bohoisms aside, I gotta say that I love the living dickens outta these WHITE STUFFs. Naturally there's lots on Patti and her Pals, but there's loads more because y'see, this fanzine came outta the cold reaches of Scotland as does editor Sandy Robertson, and as ye all know the Scots are good for giving bargains because they're all cheapskates up there! So that's why you really getcher money's worth outta mags like WHITE STUFF not to mention BAM BALAAM and that old standby THE NEXT BIG THING, because if folks like Robertson and Lindsay Hutton (who is a swell guy even if he does hate dagos) didn't give their countrymen a good magazine at a good price, you know that the entire clan would storm these fellows' huts and chop 'em up into pure haggis just like their forefather Sawney Beane did way back when! So besides the fantastic Patti coverage (complete with the bared-wire intensity that I used to associate with the lady and her music, at least when she was scraping through the heavy metal no wave of "Radio Ethiopia" while I would fret away about the next day at school!) there's loads more that in fact makes WHITE STUFF a "genzine" and not necessarily a purely Patti vehicle. Take ish #1 where one can espy amidst the intelligent Patti rah-rahs a review of the first Lou Reed album plus bits on the Ramones and those pesky Sex Pistols, not forgetting a writeup of that John Mendelsohn's Pits EP on Bomp which NOBODY seemed to like except Robertson, which is probably why he got on their promo list! (Ish #2 has a review of the Snatch single which I passed on at the time but sounds good enough judging from Robertson's tossing about of the Velvets tag which always lit my fire in those brave new wave days...I think that one might be on one of those Chuck Warner samplers I probably have in my collection somewhere...) And yeah, amidst the articles on all those old-timey arbitors of just how boho you can get such as Artaud, Harry Crosby, Rimbaud and the aforementioned Reich amongst other Smith watermarks are pieces on...KIM FOWLEY (who yeah, I know most of you reg'lar readers HATE with a passion but I personally never encountered him face-to-face or via phone and from what I've heard both musically and not he still comes off tres-seventies deca-chic enough for me...), THE RUNAWAYS (great pieces here---no pun intended!), ENO, HELEN REDDY (a writeup brought about by Fowley's then-recent production...fantastic in both writing and putting forth an unpopular view!) and even shemale Amanda Lear make the grade which should say something because even though this was the age of rock-going-in-every-direction, there still were some views out there that were too hard for certain hipsters to take and Amanda Lear was but one of them! Ain't encountered the Lear article yet (given the difficulty I sometimes have in not only reading this but calling up certain pages it's amazing that I've absorbed as much of WHITE STUFF as I have!) but if it's as good as the stuff Robertson did on Fowley and Reddy I know I'm in for an all-enveloping reading experience akin to the time I first flipped open a NEW YORK ROCKER and discovered that someone put out an ENTIRE MAGAZINE fulla the good stuff!

And Robertson's writing is snat as well...sorta comes off like the best of the hip-cool English critstars of the time like Charles Shaar Murray, Nick Kent and even Paul Morley whose OUT THERE kinda reminds me of a slick, well-produced take on what Robertson was doing here. Another one that comes very close to what WHITE STUFF was going for is Bill Shute's INNER MYSTIQUE which also housed intellecto-punk musings in a great slapdash dada layout that influenced a certain mentally-impaired rock cretin to paste together his own fanzoonie which, in perhaps a totally different, pixel'd form, lasts to this day. And especially with the stuck-up, self-important, gosh-it-all writing one sees on blogs and in "entertainment papers" these days it's sure nice to get a dose of the REAL THING in order to resensify yourself as to what all this rock & roll (as a grating, nerve-bending musical form-as-obsessive cult) used to mean in the seventies, and perhaps still continues to mean for at least a few torch-bearing true believers out there in the great void of internet and obsessive print fandom.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Dunno if you have any sorta affinity for the old time avant-garde and/or underground films that used to make such a splash in the sixties to the point where I can even remember Alan King and Paul Lynde (as a Warhol-inspired filmmaker showing a flick of a soft-boiled egg) making sport of 'em on some tee-vee comedy/variety series, but I gotta say that I've had an interest in the stuff ever since my obsessions got the best of me around the time I was about fifteen. However, I can't say that I've seen a film of the "underground" variety like DREAMS THAT MONEY CAN BUY...true it's directed by longtime avant garde father figure Hans Richter and it features segments from everyone from Ferdinand Leger to Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp (with John Cage musical backing!), but in many (most?) ways this one resembles a low-budget (albeit in color) late-forties attempt to get an underground film into the urban theatre market. From what looks like a poverty even on Poverty Row company (I mean, who were "Films International of America" anyway?) backing this feature (77 whole minutes!) to the typical zilch-style acting, DREAMS THAT MONEY CAN BUY comes off like some of the greatest experimental minds of the early/mid-twentieth century somehow trying to cash in their artistic chips trying to get a film out and rake in something for all their surrealistic efforts. After all, you can't eat accolades. I wonder if 1) this film was ever released to the general public and if 2) it made any sorta impact amongst whoever might have seen it because there's a certain smarm to this 'un that reminds me of those "Adults Only" films of the same stratum, only without the seaminess or general gratuity (albeit a bitta boobs in the Duchamp segment which probably meant it certainly wouldn't play Pennsylvania given their stringent censorship board!).

You could call DREAMS THAT MONEY CAN BUY an ingenious collaboration although I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that certain parts tended to bore the living daylights outta me. The segment with mannequins "directed" by Leger was way too artsy-cutesy for my digestion (if you will, think of a filmed variation on the same frilliness that went into those early Warhol shoe graphics) while the part featuring the Alexander Calder mobiles whirling in light/shadow play came off more or less like something outta some classroom film they used to show us when we were kids. Even the Man Ray one was a bit obtuse. But heavens-to-Betsy if I didn't groove to the Duchamp contribution (basically a remake of his ANEMIC CINEMA) complete with a nude descending a staircase and John Cage playing a prepared piano that sounds more or less like a gamelan, which I think was the point of Cage inventing it in the first place anyway! And yeah, it's interesting seeing these artistic segs framed by what looks more or less like a z-movie dealing with a man who people pay to look into their dreams, complete with the beautiful skirt and the tough guy gangster even though there's a strange combination of artistic pretense and cheesiness that keeps me from liking this any more than I do. In all, DREAMS THAT MONEY CAN BUY recollects a lotta the early talkie-period avant garde features from THE BLOOD OF A POET to ECSTASY, and maybe this one will grow on me to the point where I could enjoy it as much as I do those other now-classic flickers of some importance. But for today, I'd rather just look at Richter's debut film exercise RHYTHMUS 21 which is much shorter and to the point, and if you tuned in earlier you could have actually seen the film via Youtube, who have since yanked if from their site so tuff turds.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pure Hell-NOISE ADDICTION CD & DVD (Welfare)

OK, I'm gonna keep this short and sweet because really, either I can rave about this new package with a few quick and shallow words of praise, or I can blab on for hour upon hour on end about every little insignificant piece of trivia pertaining to me and my upbringing and my musical tastes whether or not they have anything to do with Pure Hell directly or not, and frankly I think I'd do you readers a disservice either way so lemme just give you a nice, detailed yet not too brainy (me, brainy?) dissertation as to why you should scarf this sucker up post haste before it's lost to all eternity and you're gonna hafta perform unnatural acts upon certain well-known rockscribe collectors (not counting ME) in order to procure a nth-rate burn that you'll all cherish nonetheless.

Anyway, for the uninitiated...Pure Hell were an all black punk rock & roll band from Philadelphia who formed in 1975 and almost immediately got a prestigeous Big Apple gig at Max's Kansas City that very same year, and until at least 1980 (last ref I can find of them via a gig listing at Max's very early in the year) they sorta made waves on the NYC scene and elsewhere getting some nice incidental press in the meanwhile. A single ("These Boots Were Made For Walking"/"No Rules") on the British Golden Sphinx label even earned them a short English tour in '78, and considering that they were also opening for Sid V's Max's gigs that very year you could say that these punks were at the height of their power if not popularity during that cream o' the punk crop time. However, after all of this hubbub Pure Hell decided they didn't wanna be known as punks anymore and started considering themselves a heavy metal outfit, but whichever way you wanna categorize the band they still come off as top high energy noisemakers who still sound up-to-date three-plus decades down the line which is more than I can say about some new aggros who sound stillborn upon launch. And face it bub, a lotta the all-black groups who made it superduper big in the nineties owe more than a pat on the back to Pure Hell, who I am told reformed (with a white bassist, so maybe they don't count anymore!) in the mid-nineties even getting some label attention from the folks at Mercury Records of all places!

So, you're probably wondering whether or not Pure Hell are punks or metal mongers, right? Well, like all of the great BLOG TO COMM faves I've rah-rah'd over they years all I gotta say is they sure straddle the boundaries in a way that seemed oh-so-normal in the early/mid-seventies when the folks at BACK DOOR MAN and DENIM DELINQUENT were more'n anxious to utter the names of such bands as Aerosmith, the Stooges, Blue Oyster Cult and the Dolls in the same breath although boundaries seemed to be more or less, er, defined as the decade wore on. Guitarist Preston Morris III (aka Chip Wreck) can thunder along with the heaviest of them all, but he's also a power-chord master par-excellence inna Tommy Ramone vein. Vocalist Kenny Gordon reminds me of a whole slew of black punkers from Hiawatha Bailey (Cult Heroes) on down with his cock-sure approach, 'n rhythm section Kerry Boles and Michael Sanders (nom-de-punkques being Lenny Still and Spider resp'v'ly) seem about as ham-fisted good enough for such an endeavor, Spider somehow recalling the likes of one Scott Asheton in the addled thud department. So really, the whole punk vs. metal question is superfluous, since like the best groups from both camps there are probably more similarities than differences and besides all I care about is what's GOOD (read: high energy and nerve-twisting) and what's ATROCIOUS (weak-kneed music especially when it's played by people who think they know enough for all of us!) and really, given all of the musical inbreeding that has gone on for ages are "labels" really that helpful anymore (other'n to give the prospective buyer a little leeway in knowing what he's gonna be in store for when he gets home, unwraps the shrink and submits himself to some of the worst prattle to pass as rock & roll extant???).

Naturally the single sides are here (their "Boots" almost as good as Destroy All Monsters if not on the same sainted plateau) as are a whole lotta other studio wonders which all have that hot late-seventies punk-a-rama thrill-chill to 'em that reminds me of the feeling I'd get (1978) picking up some hot Stiff-label cruncher before that company gnu-waved itself outta existence. Yeah, I'm sure there will be quite a few naysayers out there who think all the songs "sound alike" just like they did with ? and the Mysterians, but if they all sound good and sound alike, what's wrong with that. And besides they DON'T...I mean, just take the song "American" which starts off with this wild "LA Blues"-styled scrangacronka (well, could YOU think up a better word?) as Stinker recites his own Pledge kinda coming off like David Peel doing heavy metal! Believe you me, it's enthralling enough even if you've heard all the seventies punk reissues and rehashes that have been clogging up the Bomp! catalog ever since those sainted days of TRUE ROCK ORIGINALITY!!!

The DVD that's included's taken from some unknown-to-me gig (unless the credits are too small for mine eyes) and captures Pure Hell in a fine state of big-intensity punk bliss. And it's a professional two-camera job too unlike a lotta the hand-held videos being shot in clubs back then, and what's great about the whole schmeer is that when the picture starts getting all weirdo and distorted (otherwise this looks about as fresh as the day it was video'd), someone had the keen idea to use the chromakey effect to give the picture a weird psychedelic edge that come to think of it does fit in with the wild proceedings going on on camera. And in front of an appreciative (if polite) audience Pure Hell are totally frenetic with more'n a few references to various past masters black and white, and if anything can be said about Pure Hell it's that these guys sure knew how to WHIP UP A CROWD which is more'n I can say about a good portion of the so-called amerindie/alternative drek I've had the misfortune to see live back in the eighties when the independant music decay was only beginning...

Supposedly this NOISE ADDICTION set was released in a very limited edition (1000 only!) so before it dries up totally (and you have to resort to certain unspeakable crimes in order to latch onto your own copy) I'd click on the label link above and getcher credit card number handy while yer at it. Can't say that the reissue/exhumation scene has been that hot this year, but if this one is any indication...

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Sorry if this usual Sunday mega-post ain't as mega as it should be, but what would ya expect with me shooting my wad with all of these mid-week writeups (in keeping with my personal goal of making this June one of the most post-filled in BLOG TO COMM history) only to fizzle out like a soggy fart by the end of the week! But don't worry Kyoko, cuz I'll be trying my durndest to make this one just as exciting and as jingle/tingle of a post as alla the rest, even though I'll probably have to stretch a few things in order to make this 'un epic length like a good Sunday post should be, so no poke-ing around for I better dig into it and soon! (I gotta congratulate myself for making alla the above sly s-xual asides and not once mentioning Dave Lang...I guess I do have some self-control!)

First off maybe I should talk about what is perhaps the gulcheral event of the year, mainly the arrival of a stack of old fanzines (from the glory days of the seventies, not the pallid yet overhyped eighties and nineties) that always make my day a whole heckkuva lot more interesting than...cruising the web for meager mentions of my faves amidst a load of lousy rock scribing out there! Being a humongous fan of the first generation of (proto-) punk fanzines and general gonzoid writings you can bet that the arrival of the old BOMPs, HOT WACKS and ROCK ONs was cause for celebration (FROZEN TEE-VEE DINNERS EVEN!), and although I've already had the WHO PUT THE BOMPs for well o'er a quarter-century (albeit in cheap photocopy mode) and the HOT WACKS (not the bootleg mag) more or less consisted of West Coastie musings even with Brian Hogg on board it was the ROCK ONs that got me all hot and bothered, and given that this one was (in part) the brainchild of one Kenne Highland ex-Gizmos and seventies fanzine scribbler/editor in his own right, really how can one go wrong??? Reading ROCK ON is like taking a time machine back to the early-seventies, only instead of being bombarded with alla the daffness that era could have dished out all we're saturated with are the rays of high energy metallic hope, with loads of musings on all our faves from the Raspberries and T. Rex on down the line.

Highland is an interesting rock scribe, more Charles Shaar Murray than Nick Kent maybe (though still firmly entrenched in a Kent-ish sense of sleek rockism style), for although Highland is a punk one thing he's not afraid to do is rave on about a lotta things that more self-conscious people (like myself) would be afraid to because of "what people might think." So yeah, you do get a lotta the same Iggy raves and hard rock rah-rahs that you saw from a lotta the other "proto-punk" putschers back in the earlier days of the seventies, but Highland is still man enough to tell you that he really goes for the likes of Jethro Tull's AQUALUNG and the "Living in the Past" single and that the Doobie Brothers were just as good as Moby Grape and that even Elton John's "Levon" was a boss 'un as well. I gotta admit that I don't exactly cozy up to the Doobies and that I wouldn't kiss Elton John on the mouth if you paid me (I mean, you don't know where its been!), but I find Highland's championing of such acts a lot more palatable than the rote party-line rants regarding the patented "hip" product out there (which, dear readers, I sometimes fall into myself) nor the Chuck Eddy "hip-to-be-square" huckster jive which seems like just another FM-jock stab at all that was really good and energetic to come out of the vague rubric known as "punk rock." And Highland is far more down-to-earth and seventies teenage locker room than most prissies writing about "rock & roll" these days!

Ish #1 (April, 1972) oddly enough doesn't seem to have any Highland in it other than a page where you can order then-current bootlegs (Neil Young, Jefferson Airplane, Elton...) from a 16-year-old Kenne for the mere price of $2.50 for a single and a whopping $3.50 for a double! The whole thing is mimeographed (blue ink, just like the cafeteria menus for the week!) and the cover features, besides a black power fist complete with middle finger raised, a review of Sha Na Na live done by co-conspirator (and co-classmate) Al Baase. Inside Al also does a review of Alice Cooper's KILLER that inspired me to do yesterday's post (but then again I always flip when I read the Velvet Underground's name used in the context of early-seventies rock) and yeah, maybe it is a "crudzine" with one-sided pages and faint repros and poor layout values, but it's a good one and I probably got more out of this debut offering than I did the entire run of most rock-oriented blogs out there (even some of the ones I like!) so punk you!

Future issues of ROCK ON upped the production ante more or less. My #2 doesn't seem to have a cover though it does have Solomon Gruberger on T. Rex and so-so album reviews including a nice mention of the Velvet Underground's LIVE AT MAX'S KANSAS CITY by a Phyllis Korlipp, plus a quick aside regarding cult hero Nick Drake saying that if you like Cat Stevens you'll like him! Sorta puts all that current-day alternative worship of the guy in its proper place, dontcha think??? Also cool...#5 with the Stooges on the cover inside with a good Kenne Highland rundown (which includes a heretofore unknown factoid stating that after Iggy left the band in 1971 none other than KIM FOWLEY offered to take his place...after being refused, he took consolation in recording his I'M BAD album for Capitol!), and speaking of Fowley there's a sordid tour diary featuring his exploits (with Meltzer tagging along!) plus good Highland pieces on the Move, Raspberries and the same David Bowie article printed in CRETINOUS CONTENTIONS without Crescenzo Capece's wizeacre comments!

(By the way, the Move piece in ROCK ON mentions a film of their 1967 stage act appearing on LAUGH IN of all places, with Rowan commenting how he thought the destruction of cars and tee-vee sets was a bad example for kidz to observe while Martin seemed to lap it all up! Any of you readers out there care to tell me if this prime-time atrocity is true or not???)

I already wrote up #6 in BLACK TO COMM #25 and didn't bother to re-read it, but #7 (the final one) seemed to be a return to the one-sided page days of yore, with a pic of Richard Nixon as a rocker on the front and double-spaced reviews straight from the typewriters of contributors Natalie ELECTRIC WARRIOR FREE PRESS McDonald and Metal Mike Saunders on TANX and Robert Christgau's ANY OLD WAY YOU CHOOSE IT respectively. Not really a fine sendoff, but despite all the amputations ROCK ON was an admirable endeavor which was not only smart and current on one hand but fannish and primitive on the other, and if rock groups could use such attributes and make wonderful blare with it why not fanzines?

As far as other fanzine frolicking goes, I got the complete run of two Patti Smith fanzines of reknown, WHITE STUFF and ANOTHER DIMENSION on disque which makes it hard for me to read but I'm getting there, slowly but surely. Since I've read the latter and still have copies bought directly from the source I'm not that anxious to rap about it at this time (which doesn't diminish its own greatness), but the former is a new trip for me, a fanzine that, although more or less bred of the late-seventies punk rock "explosion" in England, still seems fixed in an early-mid-seventies frame of mind and layout which does help someone like me who turned off by certain aspects of British punkisms a bit (more or less preferring Amerigan wares, chauvinist that I am!). And besides, the mag ain't totally Patti per-se, but has neat bits and pieces on some of her influences (Harry Crosby, Wilhelm Reich [!] by Jon Savage [!!]) as well as other top spins in editor Sandy Robertson's collection from Eno to the Ramones, John Mendelsohn's Pits {!!!) and even that old Imants Krumins fave Amanda Lear!!!! Sounds like a fanzine worth immersing myself into, and when I have a chance I'll wing a full report your way, hokay???

Last night I tuned into the cybercast of the show going on at the CB's 313 Gallery in order to catch the appearances of both Radio I-Ching and Uncle Monk. Given the short life span the club has left, I gotta admit that tuning into these cybercasts reminds me of the final year or so of Johnny Carson's tenure on THE TONIGHT SHOW back when that show became so self-referential conscious of its host's retirement that every program began with a standing ovation and every Mighty Carson Art Players skit was cheered on like it was the last. Well, you don't get the same sense of doom watching the goings on at CB's like you did watching Carson, but the sense of final days eerieness does hang in the air a bit.

Radio I-Ching is fabled jazz drummer Dee Pop's new three-piece with a coupla guys who used to be in Tertiary Trio and are also in the Hanuman Ensemble laying down some particulary free-stretch music including a cover of Duke Ellington's "Caravan" (almost as good as the Fendermen's!) as well as some Dr. John thing and a few other items I recognized last night but forgot about because I was too busy to take notes! They're a slightly different trip from the standard all-out nerve grate freeplay I love so much, but that's fine. Can't wait for the album to come out (and it will soon!).

As for Uncle Monk, well I had some high hopes for 'em considering none other than TOMMY RAMONE was in this group, and visions of him being in some wild garage band avant/splurge/bash act overtook my already-saturated mind, but it turns out that Uncle Monk didn't even live up to their "alt-country punk bluegrass" label...after all, this band is nothing but a now-aged Tommy who looks like some old geezer at the flea market on vocals and mandolin and a slightly springier female cohort on acoustic guitar and vocals, and if you like me had preconceived notions, well it's time to flush them down the toilet with the rest of your youthful memories!

Hey, I don't have anything personal against bluegrass (though I don't particularly care for the's just that I don't have an animus against the thing like I do disco!), but seeing a guy like Ramone older and wheezier singing folk musings that would have probably gotten the original Ramones crowd all agag (no sic) was to me probably as bad as some fanzine hipster first seeing Sky Saxon in 1977 live with Star's New Seeds. Remember that part on the live album where someone in the audience yells up to Sky asking why he doesn't wear his hair like he did in 1966 and he replied "It isn't 1966 anymore."??? Well, I can see the reasoning in such a response even though it did make me cringe back when I first heard it, but really, seeing Tommy Ramone playing a mandolin and singing hippified bluegrass folkieisms didn't quite do my system good. But then again I'm not exactly as "open-minded" (read: holes in the head) as a whole slew of "rock critics" out there like to believe they are and I do have my own tastes and faves and losers for that matter, and while I wouldn't put Tommy Ramone and friend in the loser's column it wasn't like I wanted to do any cheerleading for 'em as well. However there are some consolations...I could see Uncle Monk as being some sort of Peter Laughner-ish folkie sidestep (like the groups he had all through the duration of his high energy outfits), and at least the guy is ALIVE, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna buy their CD!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Alice Cooper-KILLER CD (Warner Brothers)

Yeah, I know, why should I review an album by a group that I've already spewed a good thirteen pages of bile on way back in the twenty-second issue of my own dear fanzine, even though that ish was a good nine years back! Boy, that Chriz certainly must be as repetitive as alla them blogsters out there make him out to be, right-o? Well "yeah", right-o. Y'see, I'm so ga-ga over this thing called "rock & roll" (as a nerve-grating, soul-searing, life-affirming sound) that if you pampered brats don't get the rockism message about the music and the groups and the PEOPLE behind it all well, yeah, I'll be "repetitive" and yammer on about everything GOOD and WHOLESOME about this thing called ENERGY as sound-patterns until you're all firmly entrenched in the fine rays of enlightenment, even if I have to drag you there by your nipple rings. And guess probably ain't gonna be the last time I'll be raving on either so you better get used to it and PRONTO!

But y'see, the real reason that I'm posting a dissectation of KILLER, the fourth album by that mysterious pop/beat band going under the strange moniker of "Alice Cooper," is because I've chanced upon a review of it in an old vintage fanzine, and given how these Golden Age fanzines are so to-the-point and high-energy in their sway and style (plus the fact that fanzine and web refs. to particularly fave musical acts can have me digging way into my collection in search of an obsession-filled listening session, especially if said mention hits my musical parameters in the right way) well, how could I resist writing about a disque that somehow seems to fit itself into everything that's been driving me BATTY for the past few weeks anyway? I'll probably be dropping hefty wordage on the fanzine said ref. came from another day, but for now all I wanna do is write about KILLER which is perhaps the most aptly-named album in the history of LPs or at least was until MX-80 Sound's HARD ATTACK which was six years down the line anyway.

Since it was a fanzine review that got me all hot and bothered in the first place, maybe I should do this writeup in a (classic-era) fanzine style...real down to earth and cruddy like you used to see in mags such as BACK DOOR MAN and DENIM DELINQUENT (to be "repetitive" about it)...anyway, KILLER remains a certain top-notch wowzer and not only in the heavy metal arena where it was born and bred but in a whole passel of other "genres" as well. Not only was it released in 1971 which was perhaps the last killer (sic) year for the original heavy metal generation, but in retrospect it definitely ranks as one of the best albums of that best of/worst of time year alongside T. Rex's ELECTRIC WARRIOR and Black Sabbath's PARANOID. '71 certainly was a good year for heavy metal (Sir Lord Baltimore, Dust, Hawkwind...) and it's too bad that the whole thing seemed to get wooshed over into boring doldrums within a year or so. Or at least Metal Mike Saunders said something along those lines in his thrashing of Led Zep's HOUSES OF THE HOLY not to mention his heavy metal cover saga also in PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE, and who am I to argue with the spokesman for a generation? Maybe it was burnout, but as far as '71 goes it was heavy metal all the way, with a good deal of punkism thrown in for good measure (just to keep it exciting).

But no matter what good (T. Rex) or dire (Carole King's TAPESTRY, not forgetting James Taylor, Cat Stevens and that whole mellow-out scene) came out of 1971, KILLER certainly stuck out like a sore nose. I mean, how many other groups back then were drawing heavily from the Detroit heavy metal sound (which bore a distinct difference from heavy metal proper) that it seemed NOBODY wanted to remember two years after Danny Fields detailed the "hype", not to mention the mid-sixties garage bands that were about as "cool" as Studebakers, or the Velvet Underground for that matter? Mixing and matching those influences should have made KILLER instant bargain bin fodder but it made for one of the bigger sellers of the year, which should prove to you readers that miracles do happen especially when you least expect them.

"Under My Wheels" starts the thing off about as good as a classic album can be started off. One of my beefs in life has been how a whole slew of top fave-rave albums from THE VELVET UNDERGROUND AND NICO through Hackamore Brick's ONE KISS LEADS TO ANOTHER (another '71 winner!) started off with soft, outta place tuneage. Not so with Alice Cooper (the singer, not the band) leads off Alice Cooper (the band, without the singer) on a hard-rocking Rolling Stones-influenced all-out rocker that still seems to retain its original high energy throttle even though too many pseudo heavy metal acts (especially in the eighties) have taken their ideas from this song (and Cooper in general) and used them to further their own stuffed-crotch visions which always seemed like a joke to me. Oh well, it's about as bad as all of the phony gnu wave posturing of the early-eighties which took the ideas of the mid-seventies originators and "commercialized" them outta existence. Only I thought that the gnu wavers woulda known better given alla the pratfalls of the past they accused everyone else of falling into.

Following "Wheels" comes "Be My Lover"...I remember hearing this one back when it was onna radio getting played on a local AM tries to hint around at FM freeform station. I was in the other room reading a comic book, but even though Green Lantern was more or less front and center in my mind "Lover" really stuck out in my mind! There was also a contest on the same station (where you didn't win anything, but had the glory of knowing you had the right answer and your name mentioned over the airwaves!) where whoever could identify which song the lines "'cause it's a long long way to Paradise/And I'm still on my own" would "win". I dunno if this is the tune that won me over to the Cooper brigades or not, but it sure had me hopping around the local department store album bins wanting to know more! The song reeks Velvets, from the "Sweet Jane" ripoff opening to the atonal guitar at the end...and with all that good energy going for it "Be My Lover" shoulda been a huge '71 hit though considering all the worthy flops of the early-seventies who could blame it for sinking like it did! (A useless aside...the liner notes to the Velvets' ARCHETYPES budget reissue of WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT refer to this song as "Woman Love" which at first had me thinking it was some unknown outtake or a tune available only on certain variations of the album! So I guess I was a Velvets obsessive even before hearing a note of their music!)

"Halo of Flies"---OK, I gotta 'fess up to the fact that this one doesn't quite grab me by the lobes like it should. Maybe it reminds me too much of the extended theatrical production numbers Alice Cooper (with or w/o Alice Cooper the band) ended up doing in a "gee, ain't I bold and daring" fashion while other bands were outgrossing the originator at every turn. It's not like I'm writing this one off en toto, because "Halo"'s still a proverbial wowzer even though I've been finding myself more often than not clicking the "forward" button for...

"Desperado" which is a real top notcher, especially considering how it uses an acoustic guitar as well as a string quartet to heighten the metal effect. Sounds strange to you? Well, lemme too you that I too have always hated a lotta the softer, introspective moments that have ruined many a heavy metal epiphany for me. Those acoustic interludes on Dust's HARD ATTACK didn't do that 'un any good while the slow schmooze of Metallica's MASTERS OF PUPPETS was enough for me to write that band off for me despite the protestations of a certain "heavy metal" rock critic who shall remain nameless. But "Desperado" wins precisely because of the acoustic guitar and strings, with the former giving the tune a striking, almost harpsichord-ish spine tingle and the latter...well, I am moved to the same heights that strings brought to bands like the Left Banke, Montage and STREET HASSLE...

In the old days we hadda flip it over, but now we can just stay still and listen to "You Drive Me Nervous" which is yet another metallic stormtrooper of a tale dealing with the teenage diaspora. I remember hearing this one on the same station mentioned about and around the same time as well (Warners must've been dumping a lotta SOMETHING to warrant such airplay!) in disbelief that a song could be so hard-edged powerful. Especially with those drums doing the hard thump in an almost vain attempt to break a pre-adolescent's spine.

With a title like "Yeah Yeah Yeah" (not the Amon Duul I song!) you'd kinda think that Alice was trying to cash in on Beatlemania. Not so Gertrude, and although I can't hear any Moby Grape here like the aforementioned fanzine review(er) mentioned earlier did, I can hear a lotta the Electric Eels! Especially Brian McMahon's, er Michael Bruce's acerbic rhythm playing leaving a hard base for the John Morton-ish leads of Glenn Buxton. It's so primitive right down to Alice's (intentional?) sub-garage band speak-singing that I'm surprised that the Eels didn't even consider covering it.

"Dead Babies" never did thrill me that much. Lemme take that did when I was writing my article on them way back when, and I do remember the controversy surrounding this song (some thought it a commentary, either pro or con, on abortion, and believe you me I remember when even mentioning that word brought gags and sputters amongst the more upstanding of people in this nation!) but nowadays it just gives me the creeps. Not that its creepy per-se or that creepiness is necessarily a bad option in rockism, but maybe I just hear future echoes of mid-seventies castrated Alice, which doesn't do that much good for my gullet.

But at least the disque ends on the good note of "Killer", the title track being a nice under-the-beat groover that kinda reminds me of that part on the Deviants' PTOOFF! where Farren and the guys are discussing the anatomical dimensions of some English toffee (a "piece"...get it?) while this sub-Diddley beat goes on and on. At this point the record shifts over to the live portion of our show where the band drags Alice to the scaffold (as spooky pre-recorded organ music plays) where he does his hanging routine as the music suddenly switches over into moog dementia. A fine ending for one of the best moments of early-seventies rockism that I'm pretty positive got the opposite end of the spectrum a bit peeved (making me wish I was more aware of the hard vs. soft struggle going on at the I said, I was too busy reading comics!). I mean, I know that John Denver once mentioned how "People like David Bowie and the New York Dolls exist only to satisfy the sick and far out," and one wonders if Cooper would have joined this litany if only Nature Boy had given KILLER a spin!

But then again, by the time heavy metal did "make it" as a bona-fide teenage rabble-rousing means of expression a lotta the haller had gone out of it. I believe Saunders himself had said "No later than '72" while I'm sure his mentor Bangs would have agreed. It wasn't until the eighties underground thrash/speed groups began ejecting some vim and verve back into the mix (not forgetting the bands that did keep the faith like MX-80, Von Lmo and all those heavy metal nights at Max's Kansas City), but after awhile all I can say is, given the likes of "Only Women Bleed" and "You and Me" Alice Cooper might as well have been John Denver, and that's no bunk even with all of those well-meaning comebacks and revivals!

Hope this track-by-track nitpick helps keep you in tune! Will be back tomorrow with a hopefully traditional Sunday weekend wrap-it-up!