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

( ) 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.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Rudy Ray Moore (as "The Prince") "The Sensuous Black Man"

(Kent, 1972) This is one of the most interesting, and certainly the most focussed, LP in the bawdy comic's lengthy discography. While Moore's name does not appear on the album cover as an artist (though The Prince, Black Prince, and Captain Midnight are all listed, and "R.R. Moore" appears in small print as the producer), on the record he is all Rudy Ray. He is bold, crude, fearless, somewhat artless, funny, and loud. But this is not a comedy album, and while graphic it is also not pornography. It is an exercise is pride (boasting about his exploits, but more significantly, positing that the Black Man is a physical, sensual marvel) and education. The A side is Moore giving sex advice, including actual play by plays of what he considers ideal sessions, but done essentially for the same results Dr. Ruth strived for years later. He is presenting frank talk about stimulation, oral sex, masturbation, and sexual positions to make sure his kinsmen reach their mighty potential. Side two is a questions and answers talkback, and though Rudy sets it up with some toast/joke material, and it ends with a sexy voiced ringer asking a fake question for Rudy to bring home with a punchline boast, most of it seems to be a lively small crowd asking genuine questions and Rudy giving his best answers (with middle-aged women in the peanut gallery chiming in with cutting commentary). This includes a lengthy exchange with a young man suffering from premature ejaculation (though Moore makes it clear that labeling it with such a scientific sounding name is a white approach as opposed to his street-level language). Frank sexual talk is often a little uncomfortable to hear, and for non-Black listeners there is an extra level of unease. I recall at some point in the late 80s, I believe, the mostly white DJs at the South Side radio station WHPK  began playing this (or perhaps its sister companion album) late at night and it became a tremendous issue with with the mostly Black community audience. Certainly the dirty words were a thing, but I got the impression that a bigger objection was to the idea of something that belonged to them and was, in a way, private being shared (and seemingly mocked) by the Other. However, The Prince's offering here is a remarkable record and experiencing it (in the privacy of your home, not on the airwaves) is worth a little discomfort.

Timmy Vulgar "S/T"

(Terror Trash, 2014) I have seen and dug the Timmy's Organism band and the method to the madness is apparent and the raw cacophony has an almost sophisticated artistry. But if you told me this lo fi one sided 45 was by a true chemically challenged hard-to-track-down-for-field recordings borderline danger-to-himself-and-others outsider artist I would have believed you. And then been impressed with the elusiveness of the method to the madness and the unexpectedness that the raw cacophony has an almost sophisticated artistry. So not that big a diff. But this mess is amazing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Donnie Shafer "Banjo Riot" b/w "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"

(TAD, 1973 or '74) Boy is this record good! Really just a furious bluegrass breakdown-get down 45, so not crazy different than any other great entry in the genre, but the A-side is a pretty pleasant composition for a boy barely Bar Mitzvah age (though as the sticker indicates, as conveyed by whomever was still trying to get airplay for this three years later as the Star Wars-era approached, he is "16 NOW" [possibly the stickers were put on by a DJ who was still spinning this, not a record plugger]).  Could not find out anything about him, and this single does not appear on Discogs (though a previous one by him does). He is not the son of Whitey "All My Exes Live In Texas" Shafer according to obits, and I can't find a 60 year old Donnie giving Youtube banjo tutorials. But this sure is a hoot!

Phylums "Decisions" b/w "Vexed"

(Dusty Medical Records, 2015) This sounds like porno would feel if everyone involved was happy and not miserable.

Aaron + the Burrs "Release the Bats" b/w "Oh No, More Bats"

(UT, 2014) Like I always say, NTMSF!*

* (Never Too Many Surf Bats)**

** This is produced, magnificently I might add, by Geza X, his best record since Meredith Brooks' "Bitch" reached #2 Pop, or maybe since "Lexicon Devil" convinced scores of people to burn themselves with cigarettes.***

*** This is also the first instrumental record in history with a lyrics sheet!****

**** This came out months before Hamilton, so I believe they have a solid lawsuit!*****

***** I am not an attorney

Nihilist Cunt "Everything Falls Apart" EP

(2014, Suburban White Trash) If the name is not enough to convince you (one way or the other) there's nothing else I can add.

The Artist Formally Known As Vince "Chaperone" b/w "Hold Tight"

(2014, no label) Listening to this bowery punk party platter turned me into The Reviewer Currently Known as Con-VINCE-d.

Sharks from Mars "Friday Night" EP

(2013, no label) Sexy kegstand chug rock that greased my axles.

Junius Paul "ISM"

(2019, International Anthem) This record is too good to describe. Just listen to this over and over and over, please.

Verboten EP

(2020, no label) Although I am the right age to have had the Verbten demo in 1983 I was not really into local punk and hardcore so much, though I was super-impressed that one kid in my school had an actual record out (Jay from Rights of the Accused). I have long been aware of Jason Narducy's Chicago punk lineage, but the semi-official next phase of this band (Verbow) was not my cup of tea, so I have not listened to this stuff prior to this year. Which was a mistake. This is a pure fucking joy! This fancy, overpriced (I felt stupid buying it at LP price until I heard it) 7" was released because a musical based on Jason's teenage band experience was being staged in Chicago. I heard mixed reviews from various Chicago punk lifers who had seen it, and the fact that they did not use any of these songs was one of their biggest gripes. I had tickets on the night they cancelled the world for Coronavirus, so I did not get a chance to judge it myself, unfortunately. But as far as these songs, bottom line is that even as a pre-pubescent Jason was a solid songwriter and had poppy, hooky tendencies that transcended any self-imposed limitations DIY punk often suffers from, and the fact that the band was little children makes the music more ridiculous and wonderful than could be expected. This includes a live track from Cubby Bear including stage banter that makes the Squeaky Voiced Teen from The Simpsons sound like Barry White, plus tons of great photos. For a special treat see the bands on local kids show Kidding Around. Fun fact: I tried to get on the show with some Metal kids in my neighborhood to sing the "Heavy Metal" movie theme song, and was rejected.

Speed Guru vs Plastic Crimewave book and comic set

(2013, Prophase) Plastic Crimewave has improved his portraiture, design,  and drawing markedly over the years of doing his Secret History comics, but because his narrative(ish) comics were frequently psychedelic non-linear underground comix tributes he has proven himself more as an illustrator than a comics maker. But this high concept (as in, you had to be high for a long time to fully execute this concept) project proves his merits as a member of the Kirby-tribe. Recreating a 1970s Power Record (the lavish comic book and read-along 45-single sets put out by the usually chintzy children's record label Peter Pan) this houses a psyche freakout EP by Plastic Criwewave, Speed Guru (of Acid Mother's Temple) and co-conspirators from the AMT/Mainliner/Moonrises camps.  The full length comic (complete with 70s-style ads for actual labels and record stores) features a tribute to Ditko's Dr. Strange (with Neal Adams' Batman thrown in) in which cartoonist PCW, afflicted with damaged hands and desperate for a cure beyond science's capabilities, travels to a treacherous mountaintop to meet an ancient guru (played by Japanese psyche-godfather Asahito Nanjo) who trains him in mystic rock arts, earning him the ire of fellow trainee Speed Guru. What follows is are competing inter-dimensional rock band tours leading to an ultimate conflict...or is it the ultimate conflict? Unlike Power's original records, there are no beeps or literal readings of the text (with  a couple of dramatic exceptions) but some Senseis might offer that in a true psychedelic cacophony all words and beeps can be heard if you listen with your third ear.

Fire Exit ""Timewall" b/w "Talkin' About Myself"

(Last Laugh 2013 [originally Timebomb, 1979]) Reissue of a record with songs you may know from Killed By Death/Bloodstains compilation canonization, and may know because this Scottish band is still around, making them cockroach-like punk rock survivors. But I didn't know that this was all they put out in the entire 20th Century, though demos and other scraps appear on recent compilations. If you only release four minutes of music in the first 25 years of your existence it better be good and this sure the fuck is. These great Scotts make concise, scrappy, joyful yet angry, dystopian, street punk, with one almost Prog-gish guitar excursion somehow squeezed in. That a dude names himself Gerry Attrick in the 70s and then rocked for forty more years and counting is the greatest punk rock punchline of all time.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Question Mark and the Mysterians "The Luv Tracks"

(Night Train, 2018) The Prince of wearing Orange instead of Purple returns with a reissue of a reissue (amazing early 70s borderline sweet soul/smooth funk tracks on the Luv label which were reissued with an unreleased track by Norton years ago, then re-released as an overpriced Record Store Day release still touting the previously released unreleased track as still unreleased). But regardless of me paying too much (and the picture sleeve seemingly designed by a high school student new to Photoshop, featuring a great photo of 90s Question Mark, decades older than these recordings [yet somehow ageless]) I would pay it again, because you can't get too much Q!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Crazy Rider "Rock N Roll" b/w "High School Rock 'n Roll"

(Crazy Rider Records, 1981/Columbia 1982) I got these two singles in China and did not know they were the same group initially (even though the same songs is on both 45s, but I assumed every 70s/80s Japanese 50s leather band had a tune called "Rock N Roll"...Carol is the only onne of this type group I knew previously and they had a song called "Good Old Rock N Roll"). So for the Columbia single where the band's name is in Japanese I searched online for ten minutes for clues, found footage of the reformed band playing a classic car show in 2014, but even that had the band name on Zjamapanese characters, and on Discogs this record does not exist, BUT, I found the same tracks on a record from the previous year on a different label, so I learned the band name was Crazy Rider. Then I saw on the other record that their name in English (and the label name, which was the band's name, was also in English). But in my defense, there are beards and mustaches on the 1980 (according to Discogs, though it says 1981 on my copy) record, and by '82 (or '81 if Discogs is right about that alternate release) they had successfully transitioned from facial hair Sha Na Na greaser 50s rock to clean shaven Stray Cats 50s greaser rock. However, musically (though OK and bouncy and raw-ish), they are sub-Sha Na Na (Happy Days-theme song level sub-Sha Na Na), with no traces of punk influence at all. Carol was in 1972 and was more savage than this (which is why Guitar Wolf [who had multiple songs with 'Rock N Roll' in the title on "Missle Me"] cite Carol more than Crazy Rider. Still, this was worth the Yen. And the adventure of finding out who they were. And the minutes of my life watching this that I will GLADLY never get back.