Saturday, May 08, 2004

UPDATE: I just read this and it's an awful piece of Trouser Pantload crapola and I have to say THE SYSTEM DOESN'T WORK!! If I wasn't such a lazy ass I would get out an HTML reference and learn how to put those cross-markey thingies all over that post. I'll just let it sit there and fester and humiliate me for the rest of my natural known life.

First -- why hasn't this blog been updated lately -- my two readers wanna know. Well, first of all some major malfunction took my home CPU out of commission from early March through late April. Damn Radio Shack and Compaq to hell. For the money (and time, my current billing rate is $200/hour plus expenses) I spent getting it fixed, I could have probably bought a new and upgraded computer! The upshot is that that the repair toad ended up wiping my system (and me with no backups because I'm lazy when it comes to 'puters) and reloading -- of course they returned it to me still broken and I had to take it back for another three weeks. I've been spending all my free time trying to recover and reload all my software and come up with a back-up scheme.

So anyway during that time I only listened to two pieces of vinyl (this one below) and a disc from Dr. Nerve which I hope to get to later.

Here's the REAL review for Tin Huey:

Did you know Debby Harry can't sing for shit? "Call Me" which is a hard vocal song was all enhanced in the studio. I mean look at her singing live on A&E and you'll see what I mean. Her band (Blondie) were always in shadows because everyone focused on Debby and her unique looks (Andy Warhol loved her because she so personified the blankness that his materialist nihilism worshipped) and tight small bod. But now that she's wrapped in a shawl and looking more like the diner waitresses she plays in movies, we got a chance on A&E's Live by Request (is it Request Live, it's certainly not Total Request Live for Idiot Adults, nicht wahr) and we can focus on the band. First of all, god love Chris Stein -- he was a hoot and Blondie's drummer is the real shit -- wish I could play like THAT.

So what does this have to do with Tin Huey? Man, I'm GLAD you asked. 1979. I was suffering through the ignobleness of senior year watching all the retreads around me glomming on about oh so how they were punky 'cuz they had a cassette by Blondie. The other half were still caught in their Led Zep years (in retrospect, both bands have some very good cuts). 1979. West Coast: Tin Huey are no doubt giving the Warner Brother execs SHIT FITS over this album. I mean can you imagine them listening to "Puppet Wipes" and squirming in their tightie whiteys, glaring at the A&R rep saying, "I thought you said they were an accessible Devo? What's this shit about a car filled with puppet heads?? Dude, you are so fired!" And while aforementioned song is probably the weakest, you gotta hand it to them for sneaking it in among all this untechnogroob and that brings me back to Blondie -- if TH wanted to they had all the access to all the studio gadgets they needed to make "New York's Finest Dining Experience" into a aural-funkadelic cut -- instead they chose to stick with their gut and made some garagewhiteboyfunk that still rocks. The task still remains for anyone who wants to take up the gauntlet.

FUNNY...So, I love "Pink Berets" -- a send-up of what was a hot topic at the time (women in the military) as told from the perspective of the go-go boy in the U.S.O. going abroad to entertain the ladies. The lyrics are a plain hoot -- "Discussing strategy/With General Jean/Arm wrestling with/A lady Marine/Black market nylons/Baby, give me your dough/Now I'm a boy in the U.S.O." Or check out side one's "I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts" in which the singer can't find the equipment he needs to take over the world and instead is dealt a smorgasbord of Army high-tech: "Lazer razors/Electric bone tweezers/Spincter raters/Nuclear coffee pots."

SERIOUS: "Coronation" with simple lyrics and a repeating stattaco underplaying riff makes the point of the blindness that comes with power. Public Image never did this as well. "Hump Day" is the song that fellow Ohion Drew Carey SHOULDA used in his second season opening credits. All about the mindlessness of the Joe Sixpack Birth/Work/Death mentality -- yeah, been said and done before and doesn't offer any real alternative but it bears repeating that there's more to life than the camper in the driveway and two days on the weekend.

SO YEAH -- this is an effing fine slab of plastic -- a few cuts aren't up to my standards - despite my love for the whole idea of "Puppet Wipes", it just doesn't make it as a classic like some of the others. But I dunno, I used to hate "The Revelations of Dr. Modesto" but it kinda grew on me. And yeah, there are a couple of times where they could have dropped the saxophone.

There, so that said, I wish I had this record when it was first released. It wasn't until the mid-80's when I was exploring the '70's Cleveland-Akron scene (thanks mostly to Phfuddd! the best xerox fanzine in the world -- Stigliano is still publishing but under the name Black to Comm -- see Slippytown for copies. I'm not sure I appreciated it as much as repeated listening has pointed out. All I remember from my mid-80's listens was the much played cover track of "I'm a Believer"...

Okay, feeling MUCH better about this posting...

Tin Huey contents dislodged during shipment Warner Brothers (1979). So this has been re-released in CD after many years - for awhile I suppose this was sought by collectors although perhaps not as much as their indie releases. Tin Huey were and are one of the great mid-70's Akron-Cleveland axis of garage-punk-wave bands that included Ubu, Devo, Rocket from the Tombs, Dead Boys, Electric Eels, Human Switchboard and so on. They were known for their offbeat shows and costumes and probably inspired some of Devo's goofiness. WB, I suppose, hoping to capitalize on some trends at the time (and the hot Cleveland scene) signed 'em up and then the bottom fell out of punk-new wave 'n' dropped 'em like a...well Tin Huey.

Most of the members went onto other things -- you can read about their wonderful achievements on the website. Good thing is that they are still playing together in various configurations around Cleveland and working on new songs. Their site has an MP3 for download (see also here -- unfortunately, it doesn't approximate some of the better cuts from this album including a play-it-loud cover of N. Diamond's "I'm a Believer", "I Could Rule the World If I could Only Get the Parts," "Coronation", "Squirm you Worm".

I don't like some of the cuts where the Ralph Carney's reeds are prominently mixed. I just don't like the sound of soprano saxes, I guess. Trouser Press touts Carney as one of the great reedman of the era. Perhaps its more like one of the only. But whatever...

The record itself is G -- the vinyl is fine but the LP cover is a cut-out and something like a sticker was ripped off the bottom. I'd be willing to part with it after I rip a few MP3s.