Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

June 10, 2020

four more Bill Shute reviews for UGLY THINGS #54

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I was saying a while back how it was a bit of a break to have only four reviews to write for the next Ugly Things, issue #54—-well, those are now written, but UT editor/publisher Mike Stax has convinced me to take on another four reviews, and as I am anxious to get free review copies of all of these, I happily agreed. One CD and three LP’s:

CD: various artists, MORE LONG-LOST HONKERS AND SHAKERS (Ace, UK)

the long-awaited second volume in the fine ACE series of obscure rockin’ instrumentals, with 14 unissued sides

more honkers

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LP’s (all are Record Store Day 2020 vinyl from the Org Music label):

NAT TURNER REBELLION, “Laugh To Keep From Crying”, acclaimed unreleased 1969-70 LP from Philly area soul-funk group

nat turner

Various Artists, “Sun Records Curated by Record Store Day, Volume 7: Blues”, nice one-LP collection of Sun Records blues–don’t forget that Sun started off as a Blues label

sun blues

JIMMY SWEENEY, “Without You”, nice collection of released and unreleased sides from this Southern singer-songwriter whose famous “unknown” demo “Without You” (included here) was played for Elvis by Sam Phillips in 1954 (Elvis later recorded the song in the 1970’s). Sweeney will make a lot of new fans from this eclectic and well-researched set.

jimmy sweeney

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And I’ve already got a few albums set to review in UT #55, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here….

 

May 16, 2020

upcoming Bill Shute reviews for Ugly Things #54

I’ll have four pieces in the new issue of UGLY THINGS, #54, down from my usual number as there have not been a lot of new releases in recent months—-I’d guess the review section of the mag will be a bit shorter and there will be a higher percentage of feature stories in the magazine. And with the passing of Pretty Things main-man PHIL MAY yesterday, I’m sure a piece on this great man (and inspiration for the magazine itself!) will be a cornerstone of issue #54.

Anyway, here are the four albums (two of them multi-disc sets) you can expect from me in the next issue:

serge UT

SERGE GAINSBOURG, “En Studio Avec Serge Gainsbourg” (Mercury, France, 3-cd box), 30 years of fascinating out-takes and obscurities from the master, also including his compositions performed by others, his productions, his film soundtracks, etc.

Template 114 6Panel Wallet with Large Thumb Notches

THE GEMTONES, “Complete Recordings” (Super Oldies, 2-cd set), 52 songs from the early-to-mid 60’s by this wonderful rock-and-roll combo from New Brunswick, Canada, who were also popular in Quebec. Their sound will appeal to fans of, say, The Astronauts or the upper-Midwest bands who recorded on labels like Soma or Cuca.

london american UT

THE LONDON-AMERICAN LABEL, YEAR BY YEAR: 1967 (Ace UK) London-American was the UK outlet for release of American recordings from independent labels who were not part of an international conglomerate that would have its own UK branch, so many of the great rock and roll records from Swan, Jamie, Challenge and the like would come out in the UK on London-American. Surprisingly, they were still at it in 1967, and this mid-blowing assemblage of material from artists as diverse as The Critters, Guy Mitchell, Fantastic Johnny C, The Association, The Knickerbockers, pre-Monkees Micky Dolenz, pre-Atlantic Wilson Pickett, Roy Orbison, Nino Tempo & April Stevens, Charlie Rich, Mel Tillis, and The Fallen Angels will certainly be the most diverse compilation of the year. A unique spin on 1967!

spiritual jazz 11 UT

SPIRITUAL JAZZ 11: STEEPLECHASE RECORDS (Jazzman UK),  I reviewed Volume 10 of this wonderful series, dedicated to Prestige Records, here on the KSE blog (just do a search for it), and I’ll probably review Volume 9, a 2-cd set devoted to Blue Note, later this summer, but Volume 11 was so good and such a surprise that I wanted my review to reach a wider audience, and UT editor Mike Stax kindly allowed me to review it there, where it will reach many more readers than something posted here would. The Danish STEEPLECHASE label is perhaps best-known for its association with Dexter Gordon and Chet Baker (the Chet Baker-Paul Bley duo album on Steeplechase is probably one of my 10 favorite albums of all time), but they gave an outlet to all kinds of American jazz creative-spirits at a time when many other labels weren’t interested, and many of those artists had a foot (or both feet) in the kind of “esoteric, modal and deep jazz” this series is out to document….also, label head Nils Winther, who should get some kind of lifetime achievement award for his amazing commitment to jazz over a 50 year period, ALWAYS gave the artists free rein, welcoming those passion projects the artists had been itching to do for years, but never had the outlet for. Artists include Mary Lou Williams, Billy Gault, Sam Jones, Rene McLean, Jim McNeely, Johnny Dyani with John Tchicai & Dudu Pukwana, Ken McIntyre, Khan Jamal, Michael Carvin, and Jackie McLean.

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UGLY THINGS is now in its 37th year under the visionary leadership of editor-publisher MIKE STAX, and I’m proud to say I’ve been onboard as a writer since the early days of the magazine (issue 2 perhaps? if not, somewhere around then). I faded out for some periods as life got in the way, but I would come back again, and now I’ve been there without fail for the last decade or so. Pretty much everyone reading this will know and probably already love UGLY THINGS, but in case it’s new or unfamiliar to you, go to the website and order an issue or two (it’s entirely a print magazine–no online version–although there are usually a few tidbits put online as a sample–presently my review of the biography of BILL HALEY by Bill Haley, Jr. is available on the front page for your reading pleasure:

http://ugly-things.com/

Bill Shute review of the book CRAZY MAN CRAZY: THE BILL HALEY STORY

February 22, 2020

upcoming Bill Shute reviews for Ugly Things #53 and update on other writings

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:38 pm
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I just submitted the last of my reviews for Ugly Things magazine #53, which should be out in a few months. Here’s what you can expect from me:

EDDIE AND THE SHOWMEN, SQUAD CAR: THE EDDIE BERTRAND STORY (CD, Oldays, Japan), a tribute to the great South Bay surf guitar pioneer, with the complete singles from Eddie & The Showmen, Eddie’s tracks with his earlier band The Bel-airs, along with tracks from other South Bay surf instrumental bands of the era, some with Bertrand connections. Packaged in one of those cardboard mini-LP sleeves the Japanese labels do so well….

Eddie-And-The-Showmen-Squad-Car-Eddie-Bertrand-Story-Japan

ALEXIS KORNER, THE COMPLETE WARNER BROS. RECORDINGS (2-cd, Wounded Bird), includes the career-spanning 2-LP compilation BOOTLEG HIM! and the 1973 ACCIDENTALLY BORNE IN NEW ORLEANS, from the British Blues master

korner warner

MICHAEL NESMITH WITH RED RHODES, COSMIC PARTNERS: THE McCABES TAPES (CD/LP, 7A, UK), a sublime and intimate live set from McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA, from 1973….Nesmith and steel guitarist Red Rhodes were riding on the crest of the wave of their amazing duo album PRETTY MUCH YOUR STANDARD RANCH STASH when they stopped in at McCabes, a place where both men felt very comfortable and at home, and kept the audience spellbound for hour of hypnotic, mind-bending “cosmic cowboy” music….I hesitate to call this “country rock” since Nesmith (one-time San Antonio resident and student at San Antonio College, I’m proud to say!) has always been a genre unto himself…

nesmith cosmic

ELVIS PRESLEY, THE ‘ELVIS IS BACK’ SESSIONS (4-CD box, Follow That Dream/RCA, Denmark) The complete surviving recordings, with every take in the order recorded, of the four days of sessions Elvis did in March and April 1960 upon his release from military service in the Army, the 12 songs from the album ELVIS IS BACK and 6 songs used for 45 rpm singles, among The King’s finest-ever recordings….

ELVIS IS BACK FTD

ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE: GETTING IT TOGETHER IN THE COUNTRY, 1968-1974 (3-cd box, Grapefruit UK)… Compiler David Wells has done an amazing job pulling together a wide variety of music from British and Irish bands moving into a “rural rock” vein in the post-psychedelic era, under the influence of the Clarence White-era Byrds, John Wesley Harding-era Dylan, and The Band….one of those compilations which will cause us to re-evaluate a lot of music we have listened to for years but did not fully contextualize…

ACROSS-THE-GREAT-DIVIDE-Box

IT’S THE BEST STUFF YET! (2-cd set, Frog, UK)…Disc One contains a rich harvest of Piedmont Blues (from Virginia down through Georgia) from the acoustic-blues era, including some private recordings and an X-rated acetate of Josh White doing a version of “Darktown Strutters Ball” unlike any you’ve previously heard, but the real revelation here is Disc Two, the complete, hour-long 1956 Atlanta session from BLIND WILLIE MCTELL, from start to end with all the songs and the talk, in the order it as recorded. Excerpts were included on the Prestige-Bluesville LP LAST SESSION, but here we have everything, and it’s like having McTell himself in your living room talking and playing. A must-own collection!

it's the best stuff

NORMAN PETTY STUDIOS: THE VAULT SERIES VOLUME 7, 1953-59 (CD, Nor-Va-Jak)… Another first-rate excavation into the meticulously-kept vaults of Clovis, New Mexico, producer NORMAN PETTY, featuring a wide variety of 1950’s artists mostly from West Texas and New Mexico, including Roy Orbison, Peanuts Wilson, Sonny Curtis, Alvis “Eddie” Edwards, Bob Church (Terry Noland’s brother), Don Guess, Jimmy Bowen, and some tracks with Buddy Holly on guitar. These albums go out of print quickly and then are available only as downloads. Volume 8 is already out for a few months, so get Volume 7 ASAP.

petty 7

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Nice to get all those off to UT editor-publisher MIKE STAX, with whom I’ve worked for nearly 35 years!

At Chris Stigliano’s inimitable BLOG TO COMM (the online version of the old BLACK TO COMM punk-zine), my column continues to run every-other Tuesday with comments on film, music, comics, books, old-time radio, vintage television, and the occasional pseudo-autobiographical narrative piece. I provide a link to each of these on the KSE Facebook page (and on my own personal FB page) when it appears at BTC, and as I type this on a Saturday morning in late February, Chris has material in the can from me to get through the next 3 1/2 months. I get regular feedback from readers on the BTC pieces, which is very much appreciated. My most recent piece there is a write-up on the 1942 Monogram film RUBBER RACKETEERS, starring Ricardo Cortez, at his suave and sinister best. Here is a link to that:

Rubber Racketeers BTC, Bill Shute

I’m also working on an introductory essay for a new book collecting early 70’s magazine articles from one of my favorite film directors and prose writers….I’ll provide more specifics on this when the project is officially announced. The kind of people who read this blog or BTC will probably find this book to be one of the most essential of the year when it’s eventually issued.

My job keeps me busy well beyond work hours, alas, so I’ve not put much up here on the blog recently (I need to finish some of the 12-15 half-completed blog posts sitting in my draft box when I have time). As with most employers nowadays, mine is requiring more of me each year, seeing how much the camel’s back will take before it breaks. Also, now being 61, I undoubtedly require more effort to do the same tasks I did five years ago. Add those elements together, and you can see the end result.

Fortunately, I continue to plug away at my 2019-2020 book-length poem TOMORROW WON’T BRING THE RAIN, which I hope to complete and edit during my two week writing vacation in June, split between Evangeline Downs racetrack in Opelousas, Louisiana, and a cabin on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, east of Breaux Bridge, LA. This 48-page work is about 70% completed presently. My notebook is always in my pocket, and the work’s structure/format/unifying tropes and image patterns were set before I began the “writing.” An analogy I would give to help people understand how I work would be a film-maker shooting all the footage–master shots, close-ups, two-shots, second-unit sequences, location shooting, etc.–and then going into the editing room for a month or two and creating the finished work. In a sense, that’s what I did during the June writing vacations for the previous two book-length poems, RIVERSIDE FUGUE (2018-2019) and AMONG THE NEWLY FALLEN (2017-2018).

Speaking of poetry, I’ve been spending much of my free time in a number of variorum editions (combining all variant versions of texts in one book) of Wordsworth’s poetry, from the wonderful CORNELL WORDSWORTH series. I’ve been a lifelong reader of the two major versions of THE PRELUDE, but in the last few years, I’ve been studying the lesser-known texts of William Wordsworth, both early and late, and attempting to get a handle on the logic behind his many revisions of his poetry. People generally write off these revisions as being inferior (as, say, W. H. Auden’s later revisions of his earlier work), but Wordsworth was such a devoted re-writer (and often he would not publish ANY of the versions!) and produced such a large quantity of versions of his large quantity of works that a true knowledge of WW’s work requires a jump into the deep end of the pool of variants forms of the works. I’m not sure how many would follow me into such dense (and by today’s standards off-putting) works as THE ECCLESIASTICAL SONNETS, but as a poet I find his method and his variant “finished works” fascinating and an inspiration.

All of the recent Bill Shute KSE poetry paperbacks are available here:

Bill Shute author page

Check them out! All are under $10 each and in handsome perfect-bound editions, each page carefully composed in the open-field format, with stanzas inspired by the late-period William Carlos Williams “stairstep” line, though I’ve been doing this long enough that my work does not really resemble anyone else’s, love it or hate it or avoid it.

The British collection (with original art by David Payne) from A Series of Lizards Press, APPROACHING THE APPARENT, sold out a few months after its release, and the shared poetry book with Michael Casey CULTURE OF COMPLIANCE is available from The Ruminant Press, though they are down to their last few copies. If you are a local here in San Antonio and would like a copy of that, just ask me when I see you as I have a few extras left.

As always, thanks for your interest in my various projects–past, present, and future.

 

October 15, 2019

upcoming reviews for UGLY THINGS #52

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:44 pm
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Just submitted the last of the seven reviews I was assigned for the next issue of UGLY THINGS magazine. As always, UT should not be missed by any serious fan of 50’s-70’s rock and roll and hard-edged roots music in general.

Here’s what you’ll be getting from me:

CD’s:

DION —Ruby Baby/Donna The Prima Donna (Ace, UK), CD

Ace reissue of Dion’s two 1962-1963 post-Laurie albums for Columbia

DION

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V.A.—Los Angeles Soul, Volume 2: Kent-Modern’s Black Music Legacy, 1963-1972 (Ace/Kent, UK), CD

another fine archival dig through the Kent/Modern archives, blues-tinged soul and soul-tinged blues

kent 2

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V.A.—Border Beat!—60’s Instrumental Collection (Nor-Va-Jak), 2-CD

73 (!!!) rockin’ instrumentals, 1960-66, produced by NORMAN PETTY at his Clovis, New Mexico studios (all the bands other than The Fireballs and The String-A-Longs)

border beat

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V.A.–Rhythm ‘n’ Bluesin’ By The Bayou: Bop Cat Stomp (Ace, UK), CD

Volume 21 in Ace’s sublime BY THE BAYOU series, featuring small-label music in a number of styles from Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas (basically, east of Houston, south of Shreveport, north of New Orleans, and west of the Mississippi)…. this volume dedicated to rock and roll-oriented R&B, about half of which is from the deepest recesses of the vaults of Lake Charles’ GOLDBAND label…. you need all 21 volumes of this series

BAYOU 21

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ELVIS PRESLEY—Live 1969 (RCA) 11-CD box

11 complete concerts, from soundboard recordings, from the second half of Elvis Presley’s summer 1969 Las Vegas residency

ELVIS LIVE 1969

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LP’s

V.A.—Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969, Volumes 1 & 2 (Third Man), two 2-LP sets

four LP’s (also available as two CD’s) of unreleased live recordings from the first Ann Arbor Blues Festival, in 1969, including a mind-blowing combination of blues greats including Mississippi Fred McDowell, Roosevelt Sykes, Big Mama Thornton, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Dawkins, Magic Sam, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and many more

ann-arbor.jpg

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BOOK

MY WEEK BEATS YOUR YEAR: ENCOUNTERS WITH LOU REED, 1972-2013
Compiled by Michael Heath, Edited by Pat Thomas
Hat & Beard Press, 300-page hardback, published May 2019

discussed earlier here on the blog (27 July 2019)

This handsome and essential volume was compiled by Michael Layne Heath, punkzine pioneer and acclaimed poet, who published a number of chapbooks with KSE over the years, and who was included in KSE’s 2014 poetry collection POLYMORPHOUS URBAN: POEMS FOR LOU REED, alongside Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal, Jim D. Deuchars, A. J. Kaufman, and Matt Krefting.
Lou Reed turned the interview into performance art. His collected interviews belong right alongside his albums and live shows and collected lyrics when considering his overall body of work. Many of us used to wait excitedly for Reed’s next appearance in print, especially in CREEM, where he would engage in arguments with Lester Bangs or in insightful conversation with Bill Holdship. Different aspects of Reed’s persona came out in each interview, and all were entertaining, giving a slightly different glimpse into the creative mind of Mr. Reed. Get your copy of this from the publisher next payday!

lou book pic

I would guess that editor-publisher Mike Stax will start offering pre-orders for UGLY THINGS #52 in early November….be sure to get yours ASAP. The last issue is almost sold out!

 

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