MEDIA BLACKOUT #672.335!
The Rolling Stones – Tokyo Dome 1990 (Rolling
Stones Archives) :: Sad sad sad is putting it mildly. Not only is the sound tinnier than a cheap transistor radio, the singer
sounds like he was recorded at the bottom of a well. With a bucket over his head. Where’s Gojira when you really
Blue Öyster Cult
– “Godzilla” (Columbia) :: Exactly!
SIZZLING PLATTERS OF THE
WEEK: John Zorn – Spillane (Elektra) & The Lounge Lizards –
Live 79-81 (RIOR):: You might recall how, a couple of weeks ago, I listed my Top Five noir albums that I
habitually listen to whenever I’m revising my 100,000 word noir novel; you know, the doom-laden discs that
I can always count on to set me up for the hard letdown.
Well, it occurred to me shortly thereafter that some
of you mugs might not get the connection between an expunge album like In Utero and the bottomless pit known as noir.
Perhaps if Cobain had used his original album title—I Hate Myself And I Want To Die—it’d be a tad
easier to tie the two. As James Ellroy says: “It’s the long drop off the short pier. Noir is opportunity
as fatality.” Which pretty much nails what those five albums I listed are all about, to a toe tag.
say for argument’s sake—and there’s always argument—that maybe you’re looking for something
a little more on the resignedly romantic side; something that uneasily evokes, in the words of Otto Penzler: “A
femme fatale; some tough criminals; an equally tough cop or private eye; an urban environment with endless night, bars, nightclubs,
menacing alleys, and seedy hotel rooms.” If that’s the hard case, then here’s a couple of Johns
who have your out of service telephone exchange—and they’re dialing DEgeneracy 0-0000.
On the half-hour
long title track to Spillane, every trick in the book—and I don’t mean the two-legged kind—is on
display as Zorn serves up an aural tribute to Ayn Rand’s favorite hard-boiled master of sex and violence. Screams merge
with squealing tires and every genre of noir music abounds, from opulent lounge to opium den, all strung together
by the strung out voice-over of Robert Quine as Mike Hammer.
Or perhaps you’d care to partake instead
of John Lurie’s queasy excursion into the sleazy sax-sodden world that his jazzbo Lounge Lizards habitually
inhabit. Originally available only as an under the counter lo-fi cassette with far cooler cover graphics, this digitally replastered
scattershot compilation was recorded at a number of Commie dives back in the hood old days when anti-rads would rhyme “dead”
and “red” with knee-jerk regularity.
The song titles say it all. From “Thrown Or
Was Pushed” and “Harlem Nocturne” to “Dutch Schulz” and “I Can’t Hardly Walk,”
this is the kind of bug-spastic music that vein stickers from Brooklyn to Berlin can relate to.
But when the going
gets tough, the weak get a good going over as evidenced by the tense moment when some hapless clod in the audience is dumb
enough to yell out “Bullshit!” at the conclusion of the decidedly discordant “Epistrophy”—at
which point Lurie intimidatingly instructs: “Throw that guy outta here.” The way I heard it, no one ever
saw him again.
Be seeing you!