I’ve been playing the collection I’m a Freak Baby … on and off this week and am now certain that all the selections of the bands I knew beforehand are outstanding cuts. But I would push this most as a starter set for the curious youngster. Hear something that blows your brain out the window — explore some more (you’re not in my running pack if you can resist “Do It” by the Pink Fairies). A surprise throwback to the days of meticulous anthology boxes. (And I’m going to check out the debut album by Stray (S/T), which I gather is their consensus masterpiece and certainly kicks off the program with a wowser.)
(You may now add one with Xs over its eyes.)
According to us hardcores, there are three levels of Old Tech Monsters:
Worst: Lizards and frogs with shit glued onto them.
Meh: Guys in suits, no matter how nifty the suit (James Arness, as “The Thing From Another World” was the best, except I keeping seeing it wearing a cowboy hat since I found out who it was.)
Best: “Dynamation” and its relatives — this required serious art and craft and the payoff could be superb. If you haven’t seen “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad,” what are you waiting for?
I’ve been asked what in hell does this refer to, and it is confusing since there are more things called “Shinola” than I thought possible.
(I know, I know — UK release date.)
My current Sarge Pep vinyl is a replacement for a high-school copy that got lost in the shuffles (the undeniable tip-off is that it has a plastic inner sleeve). But I got it (I think) because I heard future LP editions would curtail the fold-out inner graphics, not because I played it all the time. Or even regularly — on the renewed turntable, this copy sounds as pure and pristine as brand-new. Since Sgt. P has become such a deathless cultural phenomenon, artistic assessment is irrelevant. But I will say two things: on June 1 (US release date) I will play some of these tunes in what I consider a superior format — The Beatles/1967-1970 anthology — and try to make it “Stuff That Came Out of Speakers #64.”
I tried to make up for decades of underrating him by doing a “Fresh Air” review of his biography. Now, in the latest bad joke in this banner year for bad jokes, the final, long-lost Kurtzman work has been reissued by Kitchen Sink Press — the original magazine was sponsored by Hugh Hefner and only lasted two issues and was called … wait for it … Trump.
It’s hard to explain now how impossible it was to find stuff like Trump once it was gone from the magazine stands. Kitchen Sink has done a first-rate job of reprinting all the published work and even the unfinished fragments that were to appear in the third issue.
So I’m working my way through it. Jack Davis’s magnificent satire “Rin Tin Tin Rin Tin” is highly recommended to Susan Orlean, if only because Davis draws the most outrageously perfect “psycho” dog imaginable. (Can’t seem to find even a single panel of the art on line. Damnation.)