Sunday, February 22, 2015

Philosophical Conversations/Hide with Mirrors/CLE #3/Fauvist Music 1975/See Me on the Bigbeat show [Repost 2010]

Nothing like seeing John Morton and Dave. E's lyrics Hit Parader style. Just the words you know as well as any school poem you memorized. From CLE Magazine #3 found in the barn. How could I have missed the Elton John reference in "Cyclotron" until now though I did know about Mirrors?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dangerhouse is bitchen!/Future Direction #2/Nick Gilder [Repost 2010]

Not to be confused with Greg Prevost's fantastic and iconic east coast fanzine "Future," writ presumably when Greg was not rocking, here is a real time, 1978 fanzine in the truest sense of the word. Straight out of South Pasadena/Arcadia/Covina/San Gabriel Valley. Written by two gals at their best, Chere and Janaee, with contributing writers Kimberlee and Tami Dingle. I guess 1978 high school or college students given their clear disdain for midterms. Not sure how many of these freebies would have even slipped out of Southern California given the home mimeograph quality to the thing and price (3 stamps). Not unlike the "real people" music genre: a "real person" fanzine. Slash/Flipside/Search & Destroy it aint. No Samioff or Vale art design creds. The pages ooze the push-pull some people felt about going public with their love of punk/high energy music aka "new wave" to mall denizens in these banlieues. Interestingly, the zine itself is totally in the punk camp with Chere and Janaee having to deal with the occasional lunkhead band locals still into the Gazzari's covers scene (hello Diamond DLR!) Not always the case though. In an interview with local band Item (together since 1975!), when asked which local bands they like, Joe said "I like the Screamers , the Alley Cats." There is some mersh coverage like pre-"Ticket to Paradise" Eddie Money but clearly it may have provided some free tickets and drinks on the Sunset Strip. Their hearts are totally in the right place as the record of the issue is Patti Smith Group's "Easter."

Cover stars: Alley Cats, Nick Gilder, Gen X, Eclypse, Grand Ave, the aforementioned Money – a lot of South Pasadena, Arcadia locals (who all look a little like Rapid Fire versus the “new wave” Cotton Candy).

Straddling the local tug and pull of hard rock versus punk, the coverage varies between full page Dangerhouse salute (below) to interviews of the local kingpins whom the gals like. I can relate as per our "Over the Edge"/Cap n’ Swing post, i.e., we like the first Van Halen and Cheap Trick lps as much now as those Dangerhouse singles. The Copemeister would agree m’lud. Other reviews include UK music that was in vogue circa 1978 before people hepped to the fact that the LA music was just as valid as anything the UK could churn out (review on Boomtown Rats, Costello, Nick Lowe, Gen X, Sex Pistols status as a viable band). But you also get a review of yanks called White Hot on Casablanca Records (the label itself tangentially the subject of a forthcoming post here).

Below is a review of a triple bill I would have liked to have seen on the Strip: the 1978 line-up of "Hawk Wind" (sic), Nick Gilder and MDB's Detective. Yes, you read that right: Hawkwind and this ain't your momma's "Hawkwind Show" (thank you Rubin, Grady and Scott). After splitting Sweeny Todd and thus paving the way for the world of Bryan "Cut's Like a Knife" Adams, Gilder released the most excellent first solo lp "You Know Who You Are." Glamtastic, bombastic and catchy as hell. Here are "Tantalize," "Roxy Roller" and "All Across The Nation (The Wheels Are Rolling)." One of the worst lp covers of the 70's means it is doomed to be found in dollar bins "all across the nation" for lucky crate diggers. Really an undiscovered post-glam gem.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Peter Laughner reviews The Harder They Come OST (1973)/"Oosh so sweet and dandy!"

I have written here about the appeal of reggae in real time during the proto-punk era as an aural and cultural signifier. In Richard Hell’s most excellent memoir I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp (Harper Collins, New York, 2013), he outlined the “basic” disagreement between himself and Robert Quine over reggae. Put simply, he stated: "[Bob's] aversion to reggae was especially mysterious, since that music is so wacky and homemade, the way Bob liked recordings, and Bob liked a lot of New Orleans rock and roll, and reggae comes out of a New Orleans beat. I think maybe these gaps of his came from being so guitar or solo oriented, which reggae and Dylan and country music and punk aren't." Here is a quick take on Peter Laughner's thinking circa 1973. While he identifies correctly the "slightly crazed rawness" (c.f. Hell's on-point "wacky and homemade" articulation), his offhand dismissal of social consciousness in popular music and its supposed deleterious effect on the "rawness" of diasporic music (both in the US and JA) was subsequently disproved by the entire roots era. Laughner couldn't have predicted the rise of roots and culture from CLE though his radar was attuned to it by his early championing (rightly so) of the original Wailers. These days I have to flip a coin as to whether Rockers (Bafaloukos, 1978) or The Harder They Come is the ultimate 1970's reggae film - though again they represent two very different eras of JA music. Also enjoy Keef's take on the insta classic b-side of his 1978 Christmas single, "Run Rudolph Run." Jack and Anjelica supplying photographic evidence that the soundtrack was ubiquitous in discerning households!:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Belinda, Kathy, Iggy, Herbie, Billy, Lionel and MJ/MTV Music Video Awards 1984

Iggy classing it up in a satin tux . . . and accepting the award for the best song of . . . . 1977!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

SST Unreleased/"Help Us Hurt You"/"We Think You Can Handle It"

We all know of the cinematic collaborations of Henry Rollins and Lydia Lunch. Let’s see. There is the seldom seen Where Are You Going? from 1983 with Exene. Then there is R. Kern’s The Right Side of My Brain (1984) with a Rollins cameo. Then there is 1990’s Kiss Napoleon Goodbye by Babeth Mondini vanLoo. Straight to euro TV and VHS? What you may not know was that in 1985 there was a planned and shelved SST LP collaboration that even had a release number and date attached to it. Right at the height of Flagdom. Do you even care? I guess I still do. Certain Dylanologists have dissected the written work of Rollins to discern any seepage into the lyrical content of some of Dylan's best late period works like Time Out of Mind (1997). I was a fan of Black Flag pre-Henry Rollins and have kept an interest (that waxes and wanes) in his doings up to this day (saw him in LA back on his 50th). I can remember going to the old Music Plus in Sherman Oaks and buying Damaged the week it came out (with a mitzvah gift certificate and thus not from my usual Moby Disc). No real trepidation as I knew of SOA in advance and liked immensely what I heard (Flex Your Head – violin pressing, borrowed and taped from Fiberglass through a mutual friend). A high water mark for 1982 and a game changer no doubt, though I think that My War is the band’s (or GG’s) definitive artistic statement. Post My War, and until I originally bailed for Santa Cruz, when Rollins would make a spoken word appearance in LA, me and my pals would try to go. The Lhasa Club usually. Perusing the March 1985 New Releases schedule (thanks Grady!), SST 40 was supposed to be the Rollins/Lunch lp Help Us Hurt You. SST 40 ended up being the 1986 Das Damen release instead. Somehow we missed this performance/reading (and the one with Nick Cave as well), though it is unclear what year Help Us Hurt You took place, and if it was even a live taping of the "happening." A little research has turned up a bit. Carducci referenced the live spoken word performance on Watt's hootpage:
In 1985 or so, Henry Rollins and Lydia Lunch performed at the Club Lingerie for the hipsters of Hollywood. The attendees lined up and went into a room one at a time only to find themselves verbally accosted and physically abused by these two scamps. The L.A. Weekly's La De Da column the next week was full of outrage directed at La Lunch and El Rollins on behalf of friends of the editors. The performance was called, 'Help Us Hurt You.'
I also found reference to the Rollins/Lunch live piece in James Parker’s Rollins bio Henry Rollins: Turned On (Orion Books, 2001), but not as an lp. Help Us Hurt You sounded like the children’s tactile dome at MOTAT except you were assaulted with vague psychological terror by the Rollins/Lunch tag team. A great rock record or spoken word verite document it doesn’t sound like. From Parker:
The Rollins/Lunch double-act’s most notorious outing took place at the Lhasa Club in Hollywood, in late 1983. The flyer for the evening ran: Why You Murder Me Productions presents the dynamic duo of Rollins and Lunch versus You. . . Lunch’s concept was for her and Rollins to occupy a darkened back room of the club and await the punters, who would enter one at a time to be raked with a torchlight and savage wit. On the other side of the door, friends of the duo were deployed to spread fear among the crowd. Lydia Lunch: “According to how you reacted to being thrown into a pitch dark room with me and Rollins, that’s how you were treated . . .
Henry also makes no mention of it in Get in the Van: On the Road with Black Flag (2.13.61 Publications, 1994). So far no insight from Messrs. Schwartz and Farrell though Henry is likely to provide some more information. To be continued.