Sunday, April 09, 2017

Well it's sure sad to see that things ain't exactly going to Hoyle right around now, what with Trump emptying a chamber pot full on us all when he broke one of his BIGGEST campaign promises 'n bombed Syria (hey, we would have expected that from the last five prezez but Trump was comin' off the peace candidate and I at least trusted him on THAT!---meet the new Woodrow Wilson, chaps!) and then outta nowhere who else but Don Rickles ups and dies at the same age as...Chuck Berry??? Sheesh, as a kid I never thought that the two of 'em woulda been of the same generation let alone age given just how much Rickles was a humongous part of the "grown up" entertainment establishment and looked a lot older than he was with his bald head 'n paunch. And Berry, if we can trust the aging hippies who wax eloquent about him, was connected so closely with teenage culture that some might have even envisioned him a teenage white guy the way he sang about mid-class Amerigan youth even though you get the idea that he never had the same kinda teen life the kidz listening to his music did. 

Like in the case of Berry, Rickles died right around the time I was thinking about him quite a bit, this time regarding his TWILIGHT ZONE appearance with Burgess Meredith which certainly ranks amongst his better tee-vee roles (and he had many from GILLIGAN'S ISLAND to I DREAM OF JEANNIE) if I do say so myself! Sheesh, I better stop these reminiscences given how deadly they could be...who knows, maybe next time I could be thinking about you...
As far as any recent ROCK 'N ROLL-related dreams go, I must admit that I haven't had any that I really thought worthy of relaying to you readers they being so vague and dull and all. However, after months of dry spell dreams I had a really weirdo one a few nights back which had to do with me picking up a late-fifties vintage television magazine and discovering that the Winter brothers Johnny and Edgar actually had their own western tee-vee series back then! Even in my dream I'm figuring out that the pair woulda been way too young to have been grown up tee-vee gunslingers at the time, bu lo and behold I'm looking upon pics of the pair dressed in standard fifties cowboy duds, Johnny with burly whiskers and Edgar clean-shaven, both playing adult gunslingers in what I would hope was a real slam bang series! Didn't catch the name of the show but I kinda think it woulda had a title like ALBINO JUSTICE or PINK EYE.
Here are the picking for this week. Some good 'un's here too which I think you'll even wanna seek out 'stead of just schmooze over, though I might as well keep my trap shut because I can't figure any of you guys out anymore. Better watch out, or I'll start thinking about you with a rather strong intensity...

Chico Hamilton-CHIC CHIC CHICO CD-r burn (originally on Impulse Records)

A perfect remedy for these down inna dumps days. Great Impulse sound (thanks to Bob Thiele) and stellar performance from drummer Hamilton and band make this one of those records you can...y'know...just sink yourself into. Gabor Szabo's guitar doesn't sound as cultured as you thought it would, the arrangements are driving, and best of all CHIC CHIC CHICO mixes relaxation and tension in a way very few artists could manage without it all falling apart like overcooked piroghy. Just another reminder of the COOL we were all blessed with at one time, before the jazz mainstream got into the whole bowtie and tux attitude which unfortunately has come to define the sad term these sorriest of sorry days.
Running-VAGUELY ETHNIC CD-r burn (originally on Castle Face Records)

I really would have given this grog a go a good thirty years ago when my musical tastes were comparatively more hot-flash go than they are now. Slow grinding post-hardcore drill...y'know, the stuff that Imants Krumins used to travel to Bizoo and back to get hold of. Right now I'm kinda backing off...sure sounds grand in light of many things that are out there mind you, but Running doesn't exactly have me running to find any more examples of their various wares. Good for the hard rock reach of things with enough distortion to sate, but recommended for the true believers out there and I know a whole bunch of you regular readers are.
Various Artists-NON-DAIRY CREAMER CD-r burn (originally on Warner Brothers)

For a spell I thought this was gonna be one of those Warner Brothers two-dollar send-away albums that teenbo budget conscious wannabes like myself could get via the mail, though this one is a single album and weren't those all doubles??? I guess you hadda pay a higher price for it because this platter was undoubtedly something that was meant for regular retail, aimed at the more sophisticado listener 'stead of the teenyboppers. But why bother...I mean those other collections (known as "Loss Leaders") might have been filled with gunk but at least you got a few good songs for your money in 'em. NON-DAIRY CREAMER hardly has any...its heavy on the singer/songwriter and intellectual youth sounds that never really gave 1971 a good name, all ending in a heavy rocked up version of "Rumble" by Brownsville Station that would have even made your standard 1959 local kid band's take sound cool and crazy.

The Quireboys-HOMEWRECKERS & HEARTBREAKERS 2-CD-r burn (originally on Off Yer Rocks Records)

Hah! The studio material what starts this off actually sounds kinda nice. The singer affects a Rod Steward sperm-coated throat vocal and the band actually sounds like what I would have liked Faces to sound like (who knows, maybe this is what Faces fans think Faces sounded like!). There's even a little bit of the Sidewinders and other early-mid-seventies straight ahead rockers to be found in the sound! Nothing that's gonna make me snatch up any more of this long-lived band's output but I felt it almost as enjoyable as if this were to be some mid-seventies discovery gettin' their dues a good fortysome years after the fact!

Too bad the live material, while good enough, just doesn't rama-lama the fa-fa-fa the way it should. Sounds like an overlong FM radio broadcast which doesn't quite hit the high energy heights it could have. Still pretty hotcha for the studio segment, if you really wanna dish out alla that money for just that.

THE ILLUSION CD-r burn (originally on Sinergia Records)

I ain't exactly the kinda guy who cuddles up to early-seventies self-produced laid-back music so why I scooped this one out of the Bill Shute pile I do not know. But then again why Bill Shute would have wanted to send a copy of this to me in the first place is a mystery I'll bet Ellery Queen couldn't solve in a minute! They must be really ethereal over in Hawaii where this one was made because even the token rocking number (every seventies s/s platter just hadda have one!) doesn't spark much if at all. Not much else to say other than if this thing wasn't meant to be a demo for George Harrison's Dark Horse label I dunno what in heck it was supposed to be!
SPIELGUSHER CD-r burn (originally on Clenched Wrench)

Dunno how this little gem of a platter slipped through my clams but it did, and although this has been out about five or so years it's like hey, this is perhaps thee outta nowhere surprise of the year which might even chart a top rating once 2017 clocks out!  After all, its platters like this that make the earth rotate and me wanna kick up a little dirt and maybe do something quite OBSCENE, like take double dibs of pudding for dessert its that earth-shattering!

You may remember that planned Forced Exposure single that Richard (formerly R) Meltzer was to have made with then Minutemen Mike Watt and George Hurley, right? Well, this is pretty much what became of that effort a good twentysome years after it was announced only the thing was eventually fleshed out by Meltzer and Watt without Hurley, the other musicians being of the Japanese persuasion and how they got involved I dunno but they sure did and I'm sure glad they did as well!

Meltzer sounds like his typically dirty old punk rocker self on these as he recites out some old faves like "The Sonny Liston Fan Club" along with a variety of things untouched by my ears, or eyes for that matter. The backing music by Watt and the two Japanese fit in swell giving the efforts a bright, jazzy feeling at one time and straight artzy approach the next, but it's always nice and fresh and in fact kinda reminds me of the incidental music I would hear on some weird mid-seventies PBS consumer affairs show that I didn't think sounded bad a-tall! Kinda like the Minutemen when they were striving to get away from their earlier approach yet not quite into their late-eighties dive into the fIREHOUSE mung. A treasure for sure.

Fans of Meltzer's contributions to the Smegma canon should enjoy this, and even a guy like myself who eschewed a good portion of the punk-to-punque-to-aht sound found this a whole lot more adrenaline-pumping than most if not all of the mire that had become of early-eighties hardcore. Another one that like, shoulda gotten out a lot more'n it did.
David Bowie-PINUPS RADIO SHOW CD-r burn

Not having heard the original PINUPS platter it was like I was goin' into this blind. Being scared off by the cover as a self-conscious teenbo way back can do strange things to you. But what little of that album that was presented on this special promo package (which I assume was sent to radio stations who promptly tossed it in the waste basket) really ain't that bad, at least compared to some re-dos of various mid-sixties faves years after the fact. Sure Bowie Bowieizes such fave raves by the Yardbirds, Them and Who as you would have guessed, but these covers still retain some of that pre-moosh rock feeling that I really can't complain about this late in the game. Really (if you can believe it), this ain't as bad as all of us Bowie haters thought it was back when the thing came out!!!
Various Artists-SHAKE GIRL SPEEDIE SUBSTITUTE CD-r burn (Bill Shute)
Here's a surprisingly even more upbeat 'n usual Bill Shute burn collecting forty-plus minutes of good up-tempo rock 'n roll that tosses some living into your life, or at least attempts to while beating you senseless. Hearing an early Adam Faith and the Roulettes doing "It's Alright" will shake you outta your slumbers while the primitive garage band crank of  The 'In"-Vaders" sounds like a cheap alarm clock ready to fall apart the way it clanks and groans on. Even the neo-Beatles pop of Apple Corps and the"gnu wave"-y stuff sounds fantab by today's sickening standards, and like back in 1980 who woulda thought???.

Take the Speedies for example, this power-pop band from En Why See whose "Can I Take Your Foto" is pretty good straight-ahead rock complete with faux English accents that I'm sure a whole load of people back then coulda gathered about in unbridled joy. Well yeah, all except this rather Pantsios-ish bitch who did an anti-punk rock story for none other'n the tres-chic NEW YORK magazine back '80 way or so who singled out the Speedies in her article because well, she needed a hook and they needed the publicity! I guess the Speedies were rattling her hippie chain by coming out in favor of nuclear energy (a big no-no given just how chic the anti-nuclear movement had become in the wake of Three Mile Island) and that along with a number of opines espoused by  a number of regulars on the scene who rattled her even more was just enough to send her into the comforting arms of...disco which she eventually revealed is where her true music love lied! Kinda makes me wish I could remember her name (some googling might help) just so's I can give her a personal razz the way I did that Simpson dame who wrote the feminist-frothing Harriet Nelson obit way back when but y'know, I somehow get the idea she softened her opinion with the softening of punk rock itself!

1 comment:

Bill S. said...

May I confess that I did not actually listen to that ILLUSION album before sending it to you (which I never do). I burned 3 copies of it, for you and me and Brad, and sent it before I played it myself. It being from Hawaii and being a private pressing, I was thinking perhaps it might have had some kind of Merrell Fankhauser MU vibe to it....I GUESS NOT! Oh well, if you don't turn over every rock, you'll never find a gem hiding underneath a few of them.... As my late mother might have said, "you can never get those 35 minutes of your life back again." Why not get those 35 minutes back by NOT reviewing the next Neko Case album you are sent...