Yes, I have still been sniffing around in thrift shops and other various establishments in search of more LPs that I need like I need a root canal. What’s that?…y’know…a root canal. A big canal full of roots. What would I do with that aside from paddling a gigantic hot pepper canoe through it? Nothing, that’s what.
Alrighty, first outta’ da’ box is LA roots-punk outfit X…I initially turned my nose up at these folks as well as the Germs, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, and all those West Coast bands because I thought since the Pistols had broken up and the Clash and the Ramones (Remember End Of The Century?) were evolving away from short, loud, fast that punk was DEAD, DEAD, DEAD …I did finally take notice when somebody turned me on to Wild Gift and Under The Big, Black Sun. To my ears, even their first record never fit into whatever my definition of punk was at the time. Consensus seems to be that this record may not be quite as solid as the first three but I like it quite a bit. Solid songwriting, the Doe/Exene vocal combo was and remains quite unique, Billy Zoom pulls off the 50’s/ Garage/Punk blend flawlessly, and the Bonebrake fellow is a machine behind the traps. What’s not to like? I saw ‘em live around the time of this record and they tore it up… The Bowie record I have only listened to once and I did not quite assimilate the folky, Donovan-on-steroids vibe. Nothing really stuck with me beyond the familiar title track. Needs a few more spins I s’pose…I was in England when “Brass In Pocket” was climbing the charts and I was taken immediately with Chrissie H.’s super-sexy delivery and that slinky little groove. When I heard the rest of the LP it wasn’t really what I was expecting but I was pleased nonetheless and after listening to it again for the first time in ages I find that it holds up nicely…I have been neither an AC/DC supporter or detractor( though I admit to being sick of a few of the hits). I always figured them for a “Ramones for the metal set” and after spinning Flick Of The Switch I will stick by that evaluation. These brutish little Australians only have a couple of moves but they execute them with total confidence and despite the impression that anyone could do this, no one does…at least not with the reptilian gusto they employ…I sort of missed out on the whole Jeff Beck/Yardbirds deal and I’m thinking that my introduction to him as a solo artist was probably Wired or Blow By Blow which, at the time, I had no interest in whatsoever. Truth, while still featuring ample examples of the Beck chops, is actually the dawn of the Jeff Beck Group, a sort of Led Zeppelin configuration that featured future Faces (ooooh how ’bout that alliteration, eh?) Rodney Stewart and Ronald Wood.These fancy boys are certainly not as powerful as the Lead Balloon boys but Rod sounds good, Beck shows off but not to excess, and I have to say that I mostly enjoyed my one spin through it and will most likely “go there” again… The Ohio Fucking Express! Need I say more? Well, I suppose I should. I was a clueless little preteen when the Classic Bubblegum Era was in full swing so I got to hear stuff like “1-2-3 Red Light” and “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” in real time on the AM airwaves…what’s funny is I thought that stuff was beneath even me since I was already diggin’ on Sly and CCR, but of course now I absolutely adore this simplistic, faux-psychedelic, garage poop. There is a tune on here that is perhaps the most blatant “Louie, Louie” rip-off ever attempted and it’s fabulous in a indescribably non-fabulous way. Five Bazooka Joe-pink stars! …It’s never easy forging ahead after your iconic group with an utterly distinctive sound and style disintegrates. The band David Johansen put together for this record was a spunky E-Street/Silver Bullet sort of outfit that played with a considerable amount of bar-band fire. That may sound condescending but it’s not meant to be because I like this live David Johansen Band record just fine…and I bet the folks that witnessed it in person enjoyed themselves immensely…EXCEPT for the ones that just couldn’t get past their longing for the sloppy majesty of Johnny Thunders and the Dolls, and I do sympathize. However, I’ll wager even they would agree this beats the pants off of Buster Poindexter…I have been less interested in C&W lately than perhaps anytime in the last 25 years or so but when I spied this Gary Stewart record for 3 bucks I snapped it up. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Stewart ever since hearing his classic honky-tonk tunes like “Single Again”, “Whisky Trip”, and “She’s Acting Single (I’m Drinking Doubles). Mr. Stewart had a lot of Hank in his vocal delivery and if you poke around the internetweb for info on his personal life, you’ll find some Hank-sized demons as well. Some of his later material flirted with Allman Brothers-style country rock but You’re Not The Woman You Used To Be is firmly in the hardcore honky tonk vein and is all the better for it. The manic, maniacal, almost-verbose “Snuff Queen” has to be heard to be believed. And no, it is not a reference to snuff films, it is one of TWO references to women chewing tobacco contained on the record. Let’s see Nick Cave try that!…And finally we have Music from Big Pink, a surprisingly decent original copy for the price (two bucks). I hadn’t listened repeatedly or intently to this record until sometime in the 2000s and had foolishly thought of these hairy dudes as Dylan’s back-up group whose most well-known songs (to me) were “Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down , neither of which I was crazy about (still not faves but appreciated). However this record just tore me up over time and when I hear those lethargic, Salvation Army horns on “Tears Of Rage” it makes me want to sail a raft down the Mississippi with a jug of corn liquor and a corn-cob pipe. And a bag of sandwiches.