Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Sandy Nelson presents The Veebles

(2016, Burger) In the 60s drummer Sandy Nelson found himself in the Los Angeles galaxy of Kim Fowley and Art Laboe and Phil Spector and his sticks stuck it to some of the best 45s of the era. But his more flavorful drumming was saved for his own instrumental records which were a joy, and occasionally even popular. He was prolific through the 70s, and in 2008 Eddie Angel and some of our other friends did a great surf record with him. But what was he doing in those decades in between? Wouldya believe messing around with goofy alien visitors? This cassette presents a few slices of fun from the early 90s where Nelson did some whimsical, innovative, experimental home recordings that feature some nutty atmospheric instrumentals, but more notably one Chipmunks-sped up vocal number where wacky spacemen visit earth to spread humor and joy. Unfortunately there is no image of the Veebles so I just picture 12" tall Kim Fowleys and Phil Spectors painted green.

Let There Be Funs!

Monday, June 1, 2020

My Kind of Sound: The Secret History of Chicago Music Compendium by Plastic Crimewave aka Steve Krakow

(2015, Curbside Splendor) Mr. Krakow's deep dives into eccentric and obscure (and not so obscure) Chicagoland musicians in jazz, rock, blues, pop, gospel, country garage, psyche, punk, new wave, experimental,  metal and genres unknown is a joy to behold. A few of this cartoon portrait-meets crate digging detective biographical portrait entries are too short (this collection is arranged alphabetically so some some early strips from before he got his groove right turn up in the middle) and sometimes the text is a little cramped, but every one of these is illustrated with a striking figure somewhat reminiscent of R. Crumb's blues portraits, but with  a little more drama and whimsy. I wish the book was published way bigger to spotlight the art and give the hand-lettered biographies room to breath, but there is something solid and almost hymnal-like to this physical book that makes it feel important and holy. And it is.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Honey Ltd. "The Comlete LHI Recordings

(Light In The Attic/Burger, 2013)  You can't know everything, and I have no shame admitting had never heard a peep about these lovely Lee Hazlewood labelmates, who came out of Detroit in the late 60s and had one remarkable, ultra rare LP  (featured here plus some unreleased tracks). Being a few rock n roll rotations past the era of cookie cutter girl groups this is an act that fell halfway between the Ronettes and Fanny, with lush production celebrating their gorgeous voices but some rocking radical takes. The anti-Viet Nam "Warrior" starts out a little too pretty, which makes the heavy and soulful chorus stand out (and makes the killing and dying themes more striking). Obviously the Wrecking Crew tracks are tight AF, but there's still a couple of loose swings, including a slinky, seaworthy "Louie Louie." These women could SING and "I've Got Your Man" and "Come On Down" are welcome workouts. As Light In The Attic is known for, the vinyl comes packaged with such deluxe extras that I can't recommend it highly enough, but...

Artifact wise, I just really want to gush over the cassette version. Yes, the sound is worse, but I can fantasize about this group getting the airplay they deserved and listening to this on a shitty transistor radio, and sure the voluminous liner notes (with interviews with the whole band) are absent, but that lets me fantasize (of the actual reality) of this being an intriguing mystery group -- just seeing the gorgeous, glamorous photo in an iffy color xerox begs so many tantalizing questions. And this is packaged in a compact, light cardboard box that open on the side like James Bond offering a smoke to a sexy spy from a cigarette case. I love how this looks and feels so much, right down to it being hand numbered in my grandma's handwriting! 

Honey, Do!

Aspic Tines "Enchante MAdame A.I."

(Johann's Face, 2016) On their return from space this alien from Planet Nomi continues on his out of this world rubberband lazer ride. While no song on this EP reaches the heights of his 2009 intergalactic hit "Music of the Spheres," this release demonstrates more cogent space mythology than Klaus Nomi was able to bring to earth. Also, despite not possessing his hero's operatic chops (even if his bizarre futuristic teutonic rolling "r's" game is tight) AT demonstrates a more cogent space mythology than his late predecessor, and in this galaxy that still counts for something.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Kim Fowley "Live at Burger Records November 24, 2013 "

(Burger, 2016) A wonderfully strange recording of a weirdo legend improvising songs with accompanists (the guitarist Burger thought would be game for the inanity, plus random people from the crowd that Fowley borderline forces to play) for about a total of three minutes (or 2 1/8 songs), and then just gloriously rambling about his rock n roll philosophies, his lengthy history, his admiration of PJ Proby, his health, society's health, and all else under the fluorescent lights, with fascinating mundanity as dull magnificence. While there must be other memorable moments on the album what made the biggest impression on me was a  sad, brief passage where Fowley has a teenage would be rock god shit the bed during a semi-consensual America's Got Talent audition. I sure hope that young man is Post Malone or Thomas Rhett or in 100 Gecs today. 

Elisa Lovelle & the Device "Undertow"

(Elisalovelie.com, 2013) The band (to my damaged brain) instantly evoked Lushsus Daim and the Pretty Vain, and I was not totally off, as like L.D.'s nothing-special 80s R&B, this lowkey bar rock is not particularly groundbreaking. But Elisa's strives towards being the perfect bar rock chick, balancing the belting it out with the pretty melodic tunes. And like Ms. Daim, I'm certain she is More Than I Can Handle.

Rudy Ray Moore "The Streaker"

(Kent, 1976-ish) While many would be attracted (or repelled) to this album because of its photospread on the front and back covers of Rudy "streaking" (an activity that seems to involve nude backyard calisthenics) it is the naked creativity on the grooves that should draw you in. While this album oddly has two guest artists (Lady Reed delivering a substantial Man-ifesto on her philosophy concerning the weaker gender, and oddly, someone named Linda Broadcloth being given the last minute of the LP to tell a single dirty joke (punchline [spoiler alert]: "Yeah baby, you look into that tree you'll shit") it also delivers exactly what Rudy fans want, including a sequel to his immortal "Shine on the Titanic" toast. But what makes this record stand out are two weirdo sound experiments on side 1. "On "Sighs of Love," a rare studio track, Dolemite takes us into the the amorphous dream realm of a sleepy, ecstatic orgasm using echo-drenched electronic sound techniques, making this the most gloriously nasty psychedelic record of the Seventies. But more exciting is "Leprochon," where Rudy plays the dozens responding to the semi-decipherable insults of a Chipmunk-voiced leprechaun. What makes this even weirder is that it certainly seems to be a legit live recording, so Rudy likely had to stick to a precisely timed script to keep up with the pre-recorded speed-altered patter of his green nemesis. Did he perform with a puppet, or a midget, or his own Senor Wences-painted hand? I have not found a photo or description, so I have no idea, but man do I wish we had asked him about this in our interview years back.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Jimbo Easter "rum rubbish" EP

(Terror Trash, 2016) Some of the songs they played on Dr. Demento were genuinely scary. Like, terrifying.

Platinum Boys "Raw Romance"

(Dusty Medical Records, 2019) The Sweet might have been sweet, but these sweets not only glam it Sweet-ly, but also cause tooth decay, gum disease, and sound like a rotten mouth smells!

Betty Paginated, Boobs 'N' Blood

(bpzine.blogspot.com.au ) Dann loves trashy cinema and porn with shameless, earnest affection, yet will also tell you in a second if his favorite actress has starred in a dud. His special tribute issue to Australian exploitation films celebrates his homeland while also admitting that a lot of the trash belongs in the bin.  He is also game for new things, which he approaches with unjaded eyes. One of the best things I ever read from him was his discovery of, and experiences with the work of, conceptual performance artist Marina Abramovic. Honest and shameless is all you can ask from someone alongside naked pics. And anyone who loves Vanessa Del Rio that much is a King in my book.