Follow Ups To Past Posts…

A Good Spot For A Gratuitous Photo Of Jane Birkin Who Is Not Mentioned In This Posting

Some follow ups to past Houndblog postings: Last December was a posting about Sun Ra’s rock’n’roll output, well my pals over at Norton Records have just released three volumes of the stuff, most of not on the Evidence Saturn 45’s box. The first is Rocket Ship Rock which features the most incredible Yochanan, including his masterpiece Hot Skillet Mama b/w Muck Muck as well as the previously unheard Rocket Ship Rock and more. Also represented are Lacy Gibson’s insane verion of I Am Gonna Unmask The Batman, and Ebah’s un-issued rendition of the same, and the ultra rare Pink Clouds disc Space Stroll by Don Dean. The second two volumes Interplanetary Melodies (Doo Wop From Saturn Beyond Vol. 1) and The Second Stop Os Jupiter (Doo Wop From Saturn and Beyond Vol. 2) have classics by the Cosmic Rays and Juanita Rogers, and lots of recently unearthed (or un-Saturned) rehearsal tapes from the Nu Sounds, the Qualities, Crystals (Sun Ra does Don & Dewey!) and Sunny his bad self with Stuff Like That and Tony’s Wife. Great liner notes by Miriam Linna and Michael D. Anderson make these essential.

Andre Williams was the subject of a posting last Nov. and earlier this month, his first novel (!)
Sweets and Other Stories (Kicks Books) is out, I just read it, and it’s a doozie. If you like Donald Goines, Iceberg Slim, Robert Deane Pharr, Herbert Simmons and that sort of ultra realistic ghetto fiction, than this is for you. He’ll be doing a reading from it in Chicago on November 14th, at Phyllis Musical Inn, 1800 West Division St., 8 PM. While on the subject of Mr. Rhythm, his version of the Stones “The Spider & The Fly”, issued by Norton as part of their ongoing Stones’ cover 45’s series is one of his best recordings in years. My other favorites in the series are the Church Keys’ “Who Driving Your Plane” (best Stones b-side ever), and the Dirt Bombs’ No Expectations. The entire series is worth owning.
While you’re over at the Norton site the two volumes of early Kim Fowley productions– One Man’s Garbage (Lost Treasures From The Vaults 1959-69) Vol. 1 and ...Is Another Man’s Gold (Lost Treasures From The Vaults 1959-69) are indispensable, containing, just as described some of the best and worst from the king of the Hollywood hustlers. Great notes by the man himself (as a non-drug user, he has an incredible memory, the Library Of Congress should sit him down like they did Jelly Roll Morton to get an entire oral history of the L.A. scene from Kip Tyler & the Flips to Hanson, since Fowley saw it all). Both discs come in deluxe fold-out sleeves. It’s nice to have some actual new records to play around the house again.
In May, I wrote about John Gilmore’s eye popping Laid Bare, well Gilmore has a new novel out, his second– Crazy Streak (Scapegoat Publishing). It’s sort of a white trash take on the Lolita theme set in the part of Southern California that sees more trailers than limos, and Gilmore captures that world with an unflinching eye. Gilmore is his own genre, and this book is well worth searching out.
Last April I wrote about William Lindsay Gresham, his classic noir novel Nightmare Alley is being re-issued in the spring with a forward by, but of course, Nick Tosches. There’s also a musical with book and songs by Jonathan Brielle, directed by Gilbert Cates that will open at the Geffen Playhouse in L.A. on April 13 and run until May 23 (my birthday). I’d like to see
an amusement park ride based on Nightmare Alley myself. And perhaps a movie version of Monster Midway. There’s other doings in the world of Gresham but I’m not sure if I can divulge the info yet or not, keep an eye on this space.
Bill Wyman turned 73 last week, he’s still on tour and he’s still ugly.
With the demise of The Wire and The Shield (best cop shows ever), TV’s been pretty lame as of late, the best show on right now is in an awful time slot (Sunday at Midnight, AMC) and not available on In Demand, but Breaking Bad, the best TV drama about Meth chefs ever, is worth setting your Tivo/DVR/whatever your cable company calls it. It’s nice to see Bob Odenkirk revive the character he played on the Larry Sanders Show– Stevie the agent, this time as a sleazy drug lawyer, also named Stevie.
I love reference books, especially slang dictionaries, and Stephen Calt, whose previous books were biographies of Charlie Patton and Skip James (both great and both sadly out of print, the latter is one of the most telling books ever written about “the blues” and it’s not a pretty picture) has put together Barrelhouse Words: A Blues Dialect Dictionary (University Of Illinois Press, 2009). If you need to know what “Polack town”,”bug juice”, and to “dust one’s broom” mean, this is the book to find it in.

8 thoughts on “Follow Ups To Past Posts…”

  1. Just finishing up watching the third season of Brotherhood, which is Sopranos except Irish gangsters in Rhode Island. Got cancelled after that season, but it is one of the best…

  2. Mindbendingly awesome nooz on Gresham getting reissued — FINALLY!!! And hoping these other doings you hint at come to pass, and soon, and majestically…I remember when AMC first played NIGHTMARE ALLEY back in the 90's (causing me to wet my pants in excitement — it was harder to find back then than the book, and that's sayin' a lot), the host mentioned when he met Gresham shortly before his death, he'd been planning a musical stage version of the book. So as weird as the idea seems, it does have an odd legitimacy in regard to WLG's legacy… though, not being a fan of Broadway or even off-Broadway in general, I still await it warily…

  3. I've noticed Kip Tyler has been appearing a lot lately in you're blog, from what I can gather he doesn't want to talk about his Rock & Roll days which is pretty sad, but is there any chance you might do a post on what you know?And thanks for the tip on Who Killed Teddy Bear! I picked up the UK reissue the other day and it is really great! The Sal Mineo narrated LSD warning video in the extras is pretty good for a laugh too.

  4. “I've noticed Kip Tyler has been appearing a lot lately in you're blog, from what I can gather he doesn't want to talk about his Rock & Roll days which is pretty sad, but is there any chance you might do a post on what you know?”What I know can be found in the liner notes to the Sundazed CD Wild Men Ride Wild Guitars, a collection of Challenge rockabilly w/ some un-issued sides.It's not just Kip who won't talk, Bruce Johnston has refused interviews on the subject also…very strange.

  5. let's be clear — you can't mention Sun Ra and “John Gilmore” in the same paragraph without specifying which one is dead

  6. “let's be clear — you can't mention Sun Ra and “John Gilmore” in the same paragraph without specifying which one is dead”Yes, right, for some reason Google runs the paragraphs together when I press “post”. The John Gilmore who played tenor saxophone in the Sun Ra Arkestra, and briefly lead the bands after Sunny died, passed away in '95 (he evidently hated Yokanan and refused to play on his records, so is not pertinent to the post anyway) is a whole different person than John Gilmore the former actor and current writer responsible for such classics of modern literature as Laid Bare, Garbage People and L.A. Despair. I hope that clears things up.


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