Saturday, June 8, 2013

How many c***'s could a c***-s***er s*** if a c***-s***er could s*** c***s?

When you're young and innocent and unaware yet of your own unique personality, you do things, say things, live things (?) without fear of consequence because you inherently just KNOW that everyone is like you: NOT like you, to an extent. Meaning, like you in that every individual is exactly that.
For example: in early elementary school (or all of elementary school),  there was "Show & Tell". You bring something to school, like a flower, or a picture of your mom, or a Barbie doll, or your new Knight Rider lunchbox with David Hasellbach's face on the thermos-thing, or you just point at your shoes, and then tell something about the whatever.

So in Grade 4 I brought in my working miniature model of a guillotine. "This is a gilloteen. The man lays down here all tied up, and then you bring the blade up [it was made out of lead, for the weight/striking action] with this string and then um, you let the string go and um..." and the little lead blade falls and the tiny man's head [red paint splashed around the neck] pops off into the little basket with a rattle.

The substitute teacher sort of looked nervous but smiled and said something like, "Hey that's really neat! Umm.... Nancy? Dear, what did you bring?" (pretty sure it was a Barbie doll). This was the same sub who earlier in the year turned off the lights in the portable-classroom unit and then played the track from Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon", the track with all the sound effects and screaming and "I know that I'm mad, I've always been mad..." and then asked us to write down our thoughts afterwards.  
So thought that my model death machine would have impressed her into bringing to reality whatever pre-adolescent, pre-sexual fantasies I had of her. Nope. No being kidnapped and fed a diet of candy and Alpha-ghetti while watching cartoons forever and ever. (I really want to dive into that whole grey area period of life where you fantasize about whoever you're attracted to, that little window before you know about sex? And it's full of oddball undeveloped fetishes that either fade out of memory or stay with you, either repressed as a guilty "perversion" or shamelessly flaunted by walking around in a giant teddy bear outfit (I don't do that). But yeah, some other time.)

That was most likely the first time where something that I thought was totally awesome was regarded with... oh how about 'lack of enthusiasm', by my peers. (It'd make a manifestly cooler tale to say my parents were Addams-Family-esque and bought the model kit for me with earnest encouragement to one day level up, but the blame goes towards my Mom's brother, uncle Denny, who was the resident Black Sheep of that side of the family: when I was like eight or whatever age you are in grade four he gave me a huge box of original Aurora "Universal Movie Monster" models [all 1961-1964] - all completed and masterfully painted - along with about 40lbs-worth of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" and CarToons/Hot Rod Cartoons/Drag Cartoons magazines from the early-mid-'60s. Also the first four (and only) issues of "Big Daddy Roth" magazine which was put out by Pete Millar, the dude behind early CarToons and later his own Drag Cartoons, but my A-hole brother stole those and sold them some decades back. Today the Roth mag's can go to $100 apiece. Vengeance shall be mine....) 
Sure, once the shock wore off and they were reasonably sure I wasn't going to "show" them a butcher's knife not from a model kit, they gathered around with morbid fascination. But you get that from everyday people at a highway accident or the ubiquitous American school shootings/bullet-festivals.

Another way of going about the discovery that you're stepping outside the traditional margins (or careening back and forth drunken-insanely across five lanes) is by releasing some music that the general populace ignores, or runs screaming from while dropping all personal belongings in hopes that the flailing beast behind them becomes distracted long enough for them to hide safely.

I think this may be one of the latter. Contrary to the mentality of the status quo, though, the latter is quite a good thing.
Tripping over the corpse of HAIR's salad days (and from that magical era before AIDS and a fear-mongering media) in a sexual frenzy of most likely unequal proportions comes (...frequently!) Phil Oesterman, Earl Wilson, and Billy Cunningham's "Let My People Come" from 1974, obviously a take on 'Let my people go' and a self-purposed body-liberating musical celebrating every single aspect of squishy wet human rubbin's. Just try to find another recording with a chorus of "Gurgle, slurp!", and email me when you do. I wrote something else concerning this release right here, if you care to do a bit of scrolling.
I hope you do, because I go into a tad more detail there, if in a more frenetic and evidently drunken way. Suffice it to say, this ain't for the prudish, so there's the warning if everything else in this write-up didn't hint at that already.

Astonishingly, this thing has very recently been off-Broadway revived as of this past February. I just wonder if the music had been updated. If anyone managed to see this, please leave a note on the experience! 

Now if you don't mind, I'm off to tap me some Jack Daniels.


(PS - The post title is an actual line from the recording)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dedicated to Scratch Records (R.I.P. sorta)

The year was 1980-something. 1988? Okay. '87 maybe. We heard about this little tiny record store in downtown Vancouver. We were from the odious 'burbs against our wills. We were used to heading out every week to Odyssey Imports, to Track Records, to Collector's RPM and A&B Sound and Sam the Record Man, all on one strip (after Odyssey moved over from Granville St). So here we had yet another record store to go to, on Cambie, near Hastings (apologies to non-locals - reading about "familiar" street names is totally irritating).
It wasn't on street-level, it was just off the sidewalk and down some hazardous steps into a narrow pit that also housed three other shops - as far as I know, the only place in Van where such a thing exists - and second from the end before you popped back up the opposing staircase. Of the two, I preferred that other-end-staircase, but I can't say why.

Creak open the door and shit, this place is small. Triangular too. 9 out of 10 times heading in and to your immediate left on the sofa behind the till was Keith Parry, owner-proprietor, music-lover of any genre and all-around swell fellow (as well as member of Superconducter among others), with a How-dy! and we were like, "Uh - hey." And hit the racks. We weren't used to benevolent (or non-paranoid, or anxiety-free) music-shop owners, but time went on and we eventually got on famously.  

Tons of vinyl we'd never seen before. A small table full of used 7"'s (I refused to pay $8 for a worn copy of the DK's first single "California Uber Alles" and now kinda sorta wish I'd bought it, since I think brand new 7"s go for the same amount) and weird stuff all over the walls and ceiling including a giant homemade Residents eyeball-with-top-hat made out of macrame. No, paper-mache. Whatever. And rail-thin Keith with the hair down to the waist, perpetual smile and infinite (okay almost) knowledge on the local scene and anything vaguely underground.Tape cassette shelves on the walls, small zine-display, some rarities, GG Allin voodoo doll, tiny video cabinet with obscure VHS tapes, cheap dollar-boxes under the used bins filled with unexpected treasures. Like when I found that 1982 12" version of BAD RELIGION's first 7" (after the initial 1981 7" sold out they repressed it the next year in bigger size), and my buddy said, "Hey, cool - let me see that...". 
Yeeeeeah. Next moment I looked up and the fucker was at the counter buying the thing.
I eventually got it back 22 years later.

Carl (The New Pornographers) Newman behind the cash register when Keith was out, staring down potential consumers just daring them to buy anything that didn't meet his approval. Small surprises like candy added to your purchase or doodled artwork on the store bags and yes I actually still have my plastic record bag with a big Scratch logo on one side and a life-size multi-colored open vadge adorning the back.
Mr. Parry giving me an original 11x17 gig flyer for the Dead Kennedys/D.O.A./Toxic Reasons show at the Commodore Ballroom from 1982 after he saw me eyeing it with insane lust.
It was just a warm, neat place. 
Then he moved shop.
Like half a block away, across from the ass-side of the ancient Woodward's building and permanently shadowed by the parking garage next door. I helped move a bit of stuff along with Claudio (where he at?), but my S.A.D. was spiking and it was a little weird. The new place was way bigger and had an awesome secret: a stairway somewhat in the middle of the floor-space led down to a series of rooms (used for storage, parties and - I believe - photo-shoots) that, as you traveled along, became smaller and smaller until you ended up in a tiny dank-ish concrete area with a manhole over your head that popped you up into the middle of Hastings. The rear of the place opened to a tight alley that threw you out onto the edge of Gastown.
Only a few years later and Keith pulled up stakes and took a smaller location on Richards, a non-descript building with only a doorway and sandwich-board to let you know where you were. Head down the long hall and there ya go. At this point I had pretty much stopped hitting the place for stuff, maybe once every three months or so: all the record shops previously mentioned had bit the dust, Granville - once a main punk-hangout - was in the first stages of personality-suicide and getting downtown was less and less of a fun pastime and more of that depressing punch of reality we only feel fully in retrospect that things move forward and change has to happen. Other reasons being that old-school punk LP's in the used bins were on the decline and all the new music I was getting introduced to wasn't really available at the shop. It was also a weird feeling being in Scratch without any Keith ever in sight anymore (he retreated to the office for the distro work and other office-y business), and 2-3 workers in there busy doing figures or shuffling product away and not knowing you, or that you had been buying stuff from other incarnations of the place for like ten years. The laid-back relaxed vibe we felt had gotten necessarily replaced and there we are being moved forward. 

Jump ahead to sometime last year and Scratch moves to a spot on Hastings. Like, almost literally a spot, something matching 50 square feet almost right across from Pigeon Park. Incredibly cramped but also kinda cozy, and I guess far too small to accommodate the both old and new stock needed for a venture to hold out for very long. Also, the two times I was in there, the clerk seemed to have ADHD and a nervous anxiety usually reserved for startled squirrels. 

After 25 years, the physical store is dead, fully survived, however, by their online services, so go there instead and order away.

As a tribute, I serve up "The Sensuous Black Woman",  by "The Madam" who was actually Lady Reed, a familiar face around Rudy Ray Moore (of many a Blaxploitation flick such as Dolomite and Petey Wheatstraw). You can also hear Lady Reed in outtakes - tho' not from this LP - on N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton" on the track 'Gangsta Gangsta', if you're at all familiar with the release (damn, you should be). 
But here she lays down the simple rules for sexually attracting, seducing and keeping your man, and keeping him interested and horny for your beautiful Black pussy. And, if you're prone to discomfort around words such as pussy and cock, please, please do not bring these things onto your computer, because it's pretty much nothing else BUT those words and better. Or worse I guess. As the jacket says, "Rated for Mature Adults Only". Not the immature ones who are gonna start heckling their monitor drunkenly half-way through.  And produced by R.R. Moore as well, put out on Kent Records which had a roster which included bluesman Guitar Slim Green and something called Snatch and the Poontangs. The year? Sources say 1977, but it sounds like something from '70-'72.

Side one is her monologue on the subject, while side two is her giving a smaller version with a Q&A session, and it's hilarious. The audience of a seeming few is completely awesome. 
Caveat on the sound quality: my copy seems to have been played several hundred times by someone using a rusty axe as a stylus and has been run through a 'click & hiss' eliminator, so that odd aural activity in the background is not the tides of the ocean or elevator noises.

Sensuous Black Woman

Monday, April 15, 2013

Superstar From the Far East

Antony Villa - Superstar From the Far East Sings a Special Tribute to Elvis

Quick recap: Bad neighbors are out, new neighbors are pretty much up there like ghosts, have a new roommate. All of which equals less stress mentally and monetarily, so maybe I'll buy another record sooner or later. Everything's go.

So, here's another gold hit of vinyl that has had a fair run through the "bad LP" sites and has apparently also pleased/spiritually-benumbed many an unsuspecting listener over the many years since it's unleashment into this world: "Anto..." well just look at the title above again. 

Okay. Perhaps a year after E.Presley's ungainly death one might have had one's eye unceremoniously mugged with the 12x12" vibrant hues of blue/green jacketry offset by the familiar Bejewelry-implanted white jumpsuit now adorned by a fellow of seemingly Asian heritage while strolling past your favorite record-parlour.
I really don't know how an adult human brain functioned in 1978, but would an adult who was a fan of EP grab something like this product, maybe in a fit of grief or "dear-god-Elvis-will-never-release-another-album-again-because-of-all-the-deadness-so-THIS-will-help-deal-with-the-loss"-thinking? 
See, I simply don't know. Why the tribute album at all? If you like music and saw the mid-90's you also saw AT LEAST nine hundred 'tribute' albums dedicated to everyone from Nirvana to that guy busking outside of your local Safeway and how many of those survived any mental replay? Tribute albums have always been a higher form of novelty item, so why do people still throw their talent at the things like crumpled foil Teen-burger wrappers at a dustbin? For many it's the only way to showcase what they have if what they have isn't uhhh, say, history-making. In that, they went and wrote their own history anyway.

Antony Villa AKA Antony Starluck AKA Antony Starluck Villa-Real AKA "The Singing Inventor" recorded this LP here in Vancouver in '78 at Total Sounds West studios - a studio owned by Vancouver jazz player Dale Jacobs who also poked around some piano & synth on some tracks (and also had his own couple of bands, "The Dale Jacobs Group", and simply "Dale Jacobs" who a year later would release "Cobra" - something you've most likely come across in the thrifts, the cover featuring a very large snake let loose in a very fine apartment) and put it out on the ubiquitous (no, not really) "Golden Constellation International Records Ltd" label located at what is now Al Halal Meats up on Victoria Drive near the Dairy Queen. Tiny shop. 

Anyways, Let's look at the back of the LP cover.

READ all of that and decide not to hear it, I dare you.

The music is balanced out between soft rock-ish balladeering and disco, but a kind of disco that that group of older teens in the neighborhood worked for years at engineering, felt it was the high point of their lives and then later they all just went different ways and landed jobs managing lube-shop franchises in placed like Franklinville or something.
The mystery as to why this Ernie Manuel gets his own photo-box and blurb may never be resolved, since he only gets co-writing creds on one track along with back-up vocals. Other than this the internets reveal nothing on the man.
As for Antony himself, the man holds several patents - mostly on medical items - and still does musical work, although you can judge for yourself  if his talents have been honed to perfection in the years since. And then there's his own Facebook profile. A man of varied talents, to be sure.
You can preview what this thing will sound like here, just to see if it's worth downloading the whole album HERE.
Then we can all do the Moon Cat Dance!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Everything is back up.

Woo! Thanks to Blogger Rick Shide, all old entries are once again online and downloadable.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Back, sort of.

Apologies everywhoever, I... wow, a YEAR!? Man, that's bad. Soooo bad.

Several things why!: FACEBOOK. God Damn Facebook. I was warned, but I laughed it off. I fucking laughed it off.

Also, no $$$ for new weird vinyl since the roomie moved away. Been to thrifts like 10 times in the last year and it was all for clothes and stuff. Actually passed up a live album from that man/woman duet who do the slightly-off piano recordings in the 50's? Forget the names. Jack Davis art, too.

Also, spending a lot of mental time battling the upstairs neighbors who feel the need to share their music/TV/parties with everyone else but get horrifically offended when they hear anything else from around them. However, my subwoofer is now against the ceiling and I have 47,000 music/noise files on the hard drives as well as 6,000+ vinyl/etc recordings, so vengeance is at hand.... May start off with some Justin Beiber mixed with Diamanda Galas' "wild women with steak-knives (homicidal love song for solo scream)".

Also struggling with two types of S.A.D. and some other brainy-mental things which keeps a happy, productive spirit nailed to the floor much of the time;

AND still searching for a free sharing site, of which I've had a couple suggestions from viewers which I will hopefully investigate soon. That last sentence sounds wrong, but you get the idea.

Plus I've been spending my precious writing time doing up poetry (prose-poetry, sort of in the Bukowski vein - excellent way of exorcising some little demons, and mostly done when blindingly drunk) and gig/food reviews on the site which may have brought you to this thing.

SO, there's my plight. Want to get some more up here! Very much a "Once I get my shit together..." situation. This whole 'adulthood' scenario is really disagreeing with me....

 (tattooed backwards on my chest)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Let's Celebrate Freedom

Okay, many or most items here are now saved from mass distribution by being held securely in the loving arms of the all-knowing U.S. Government. As such, the same files will soon (heh) be available via some other file-thingie.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Notice about past posts!

It's been a while, but I should have some items up soon. In the meantime, I've gone back and zipped up all the music files on the blog. Well, most. Some of the 1-to-four track listings I left as is. But the rest are all one-time downloads, and boy I wish I knew about that when starting out.

In lieu of any audio this time around, here's a picture of a naked woman made out of typewriter parts.

(Jeremy Mayer)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vancouver Independence

Being a middle-school punk ('84 not '76) in Vancouver, both this and the Vancouver Complication were something of Holee Grails of compilation albums to find at the many used record shops around town. I double-scored one Saturday afternoon at the lamentably-long-gone Track Records (a 7-11 now takes the space if I have the address right) by getting both this and D.O.A.'s "Something Better Change" for $11 each - which was still hefty for me at the time. I asked why so cheap and Grant replied that the vinyl was perfect, but the ring-wear on the jackets left them all but worthless, collector-wise. 
Ring-wear, schming-wear. Aesthetically scuffed but eminently playable, I jammed them in with my other grabs from Zulu (every week, nabbing on average 6-7 old punk albums at $7 apiece. I'm starting a petition to get those old days back) and got myself the hell back home... be horribly disappointed. At least by the V.I. LP. I got four punk tracks and ten other cuts of utter shite, not worth perusing again, not worth the incalculably-small amount of wear on the cartridge needle incurred from letting it bore through those microscopic ravines of displeasure on it's circular trek to my misery.

So, 17-plus years later, yesterday, I pull the thing from the shelf for the third time (the Subs tracks were already classics in my head, but I had to memorize the No Exit's before shuffling the disc away forever, so I actually officially played it two times) and flap it on the Ion digital, and find myself like loving every damn track, or at least liking it or them more.
How does this happen? Hell, I'm not complaining.

Everybody knows about the Subhumans and bassist Gerry Hannah's imprisonment as part of the "Squamish Five" and their legendary punk status both here and around and all the awesome songs so we have "Behind the Smile", but a slightly different version than the later recording that was included on the "Terminal City Ricochet" movie soundtrack, and "Out of Line".

The Metros are on here with their more new-wavey "Don't Like It At All" and "In with the Crowd", and a nice bio of the band by Wolf Roxon can be read about here after scrolling a bit.

The enigmatic Si Monkey and their electro-experimental "The Conquest of Daytime" and "Get Rigid", and very little information about this outfit is Googleable. Any Vancouverites got some history for me?

And the loveable No Exit, getting under the skin with "No Excuse" and "Nothing New";

Doors-y neo-psychedelia from the Droogs' "Nuremburg '34" & "J.K.O.";

New wave and 2nd-wave ska coming from the B-Sides' "Spy vs Spy" and "Underground Radio Stars";

What I can only describe as sci-fi-influenced punk out of M.E.C.'s "What Would You Say?";

and I dunno what the Singing Cowboys are about, but "Midnight Cowboy" is a very cool instrumental.

Now, Vancouver still has a vibrant music-scene. It has slid away from the punk stronghold that held sway for most of the 90's and early 00's and into indie-rock territory with about ten new bands forming every month where ten bands disbanded and made room in the city's casualty-ridden play-space scene, so why haven't we had more compilations put out to showcase this?

I dunno.

Listen up.

Vancouver Independence

EDIT: APOLOGIES! Apparently, when I re-uploaded this after Mega-whatever went under, I put up the Vancouver COMPLICATION album. I have now corrected this and the VI comp is here where it should be.