Saturday, October 30, 2021
Friday, October 29, 2021
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
(General Mills) Kinda bad in certain ways (the crispness makes it seem kinda stale, for example), but definitely does taste pretty good in a bowl of milk. Cookies for breakfast indeed, respect for the cookie wolves, crooks, dogs, and cops who have kept this legacy alive.
Monday, October 25, 2021
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Friday, October 22, 2021
(LIGHT IN THE ATTIC, 2021)
GUEST REVIEW BY GARY PIG GOLD
On the driz-laden afternoon of March 9, 1969, three guitar-and-drum beating sisters from tiny Fremont, NH entered an even tinier recording studio and emerged, just a few hours later, with a dozen original rock ‘n’ roll songs on some quarter-inch tape. These twelve songs were then pressed onto one thousand long-playing records, nine hundred of which immediately vanished forever off the face of the Earth. Within a year however, no less an authority than Frank Zappa declared this album, prophetically entitled Philosophy Of The World, to be “better than the Beatles,” and a decade after that the similarly inclined visionaries in NRBQ re-pressed Philosophy briefly on their very own Red Rooster label.
Now then, if you’ve already grabbed either of these scarcer-than-rare items, then you’re undoubtedly already a complete convert …or at least a collector with mighty deep connections and/or pockets. But for those thousands upon untold thousands of unfortunates out there who have not yet come face-to-foot with The Shaggs, why, Now’s Your Chance! For Philosophy Of The World, with all of its original 1969 mix, sequence and even cover art lovingly intact, has been made available once again courtesy of the fine folk over at Light In The Attic.
It is, believe you me, the greatest album you may never have heard.
From its opening title track (so lyrically brilliant that there’s a knee-deep moral lesson packed into each and every stanza!) through its garage-brand benediction (“We Have A Savior”) thirty-one ear-boggling minutes later, Philosophy is absolutely brimming with the sort of decorum-be-dumped bash ‘n’ popping that such supposed heirs-to-the-genre as Half Japanese and even them Replacements couldn’t ever come within a million notes of emulating. And how could they …or anyone else for that matter? For The Shaggs, as their daddy-slash-producer-slash-drill sergeant Austin Wiggin, Jr. wrote at the time, “are real, pure, and unaffected by outside influences. Their music is different; it is theirs alone.” Indeed.
Sure, a cursory half-listen suggests only a trio of inept-at-best gals trying to differentiate their fingers from their toes, musically speaking that is. Yet a closer examination reveals some fiercely detailed and all-the-way-downright ingenious compositional skills beneath all of the Neanderthal strum und drumming (for example, one should hear how flawlessly Dorothy Wiggin’s lead guitar ghosts her melody lines during most every song, in true Muddy-Waters-by-way-of-Peter-Tork fashion). Dorothy’s lyrics too run raging gamuts between nervous nursery rhyming (“My Pal Foot Foot”) on the one hand hand, to blazing teen-fiery pontificating on the other (“Who Are Parents” makes J. Lennon’s post-primal Plastic Ono natterings appear pretty darn Romper Room by comparison, while “Things I Wonder” and “Why Do I Feel?” actually reel towards near B. Wilson realms of agoraphobic self-analysis). And “Sweet Thing,” with its more than touching timelessness vis-a-vis that ol’ love-gone-wrong thang, makes one wonder if the Wiggin sisters didn’t have a battered copy of Another Side Of Bob Dylan hidden under their bedroom dresser all along.
But this / that being the Swinging Sixties – and The Shaggs playing House Band at the prestigious Fremont Town Hall for roughly the entire Nixon Presidency – there’s lotsa slap-happy, good olden rock ‘n’ roll littering Philosophy Of The World as well: “That Little Sports Car” (the only Shaggsong, by the way, to feature the mysterious fourth Shagg, Rachel, on bass) is wholly, happily, ham-fistedly frug-worthy …despite drummist Helen Wiggin’s never-less-than Beefheartian way with a tempo lurch. Plus “What Should I Do?” would not sound one bar out of place upon your favorite Lesley Gore or even, dare I say it, Shangri-La’s platter (dig Dorothy’s put-down of some Fremont stud-about-town: “He’s a two-face, he’s a disgrace, he never wins a race” …yeah, you go grrl!).
So, while it may be all too easy to file this album alongside your Wild Man Fischer or even Smoking Catapillar rekkids (personally, I place The Shaggs somewhere between Sun Ra and Dino, Desi & Billy), it simply cannot be denied that Philosophy Of The World is one of the greatest musical, uh, curiosities to ever be created by man or even beast. And I for one am glad that this true, off-blue cultural treasure is FINALLY getting the chance it’s so long deserved to make a lasting and loving imprint upon what remains of our socio-musical consciousness.
So God Bless those Wiggins then, and Please grab at least two copies of their album immediately, won’t you?
(Hulu, 2021) When I saw the trailer for this, with its New York as the 4th character, pseudo dry, not quite funny vibe, I thought this was going to be bad. But Steve Martin was in The Jerk and plays banjo well and writes funny jokes and had that white suit, and Martin Short was Ed Grimley and Clifford, and I didn't not watch Wizards of Waverly Place, so you know, I was still going to give this a chance. And it turned out to be very, very good. So to summarize. Thought it bad. It good. There were a lot of genuinely impressive things (the deaf character's perspective, Nathan Lane's emergence as a non-annoying, impressive actor, Short going from over the top caricature to genuine human), but bottom line is, show good, avoid spoilers, enjoy.
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
(outstandingfoods.com) DEFINITELY better than Trader Joe's fake pork rinds, but I'm not sure why you have to add Nacho Cheese flavor to pork flavor. For centuries pork has been enough, and that should apply even when the pork is made out of high-oleic expeller pressed sunflower oil, pea grits, and rice.
Monday, October 18, 2021
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Saturday, October 16, 2021
(White Castle) The definitely err on the batter side of batter-to-onion ratio, and it is not iunusual for them to be fried a bit harder than perfection, but that just adds to the bite and crispness, and these are a generally solid side. They come in two sizes, and the larger one is called "Sack."
Friday, October 15, 2021
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Monday, October 11, 2021
Sunday, October 10, 2021
(https://www.greatlakespotatochips.com/) This is not my g to, but it is great. Parm and ranch seem like they would be lot, and the distinct, authentic parmesan profile is strong and takes precedent, and trhese are great. Still, some of their more subtle flavors are stronger.
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Friday, October 8, 2021
Thursday, October 7, 2021
https://www.greatlakespotatochips.com/) These are just very, very good. I will Midwest pride all over these chips even if they ain't from Chicago. Just the right kettle-y crispness, never too much or too little seasoning on any flavor, and the original chip is just a god damn good fine potato chip. Not a greater chip than Lake Michigan is a great lake, but Erie and Ontario ain't got nothing on these.
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
(UA, 1971) For genius jazzsters who took the LP format pretty seriously a comp/best of seems like a cheat, and a double cheat is reissue of two 50s Blue Note comps presented as a big double LP with a 70s looking cover. But this is just the coolest fucking music ever recorded and it's hard to gripe about anything listening to this.
Monday, October 4, 2021
(kibofoods.com) Sure. These are fine. If tortillas are made of corn, tortilla chips made of beans isn't an aberration and these taste fine. Not sure how beans are a huge step up from corn, it's not like it's replacing pork rinds, and it's not like there's enough protein in tortilla chips to put you over the top, but sure. These are fine.
(Cadet, 1970) Obviously it is good that Minnie Ripperton made those solo records, and obviously we would have lost her no matter what path her career took, but if we can have multiple Spiderverse/What If?/Bill & Ted/Back to the Future alternate reality fantasies, I can wish I lived in a world where one of the best bands Chicago ever produced had the longest, most successful career of any group from this fine city, and Charles Stepney was using Grammys for paperweights to hold down his notes for his Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction speech while fanning himself with millions of dollars in cash.
Sunday, October 3, 2021
Saturday, October 2, 2021
(Reprise, 1972) In the Kicks issue of Ugly Things some genius troll superhero wrote an incredibly passionate defense of the cobbled together post-death Hendrix studio Frankenstein-parts albums, while going as far as to denigrate all the actual musicians in his living bands as hacks who needed to be replaced with studio musicians. That was clearly a powerful article because listening to this more"legit" cash in cash grab live collection I can't stop questioning the band's skills, and while a lot of this is amazing, especially "Voodoo Chile," featuring the reviled (by at least one person, and maybe only one person) Noel on bass, some (like the Sgt. Pepper fragment) seem kinda sub-par as far as making it onto an album like this. But hey, keep them coming! If they had holograms back then this LP woulda toured!