Monday, October 17, 2016

Week In Review: Townedger Radio 23, NO BO Festival, Chuck Berry 90,

Here we are halfway through October and the temps have been around 80 degrees. Gotta love that climate change.  Over the weekend we saw the first NO BO Festival to which a few heavy metal and hard rocking bands played on the parking lot of Tornados.  Something like 2500 people came out to witness the likes of CR Dicks, FLEX and October Rage playing outdoors in summerlike temps

(Photo: Tammy Thatcher-Shock Treatment 10/15/16)

Over at Campbell Steele, the Ramones Tribute band Shock Treatment opened for the Cynx who played Gabe's Friday Night.  Shock Treatment features Surf Zombie and Flaming Camaros Brook Hoover with Lincoln Hinzman playing their favorite Ramones songs.

(Photo: Linda McClintic-Dave Diebler/HOLS Reunion 10/15/16)

And that's not all, Dave Diebler reunited House Of Large Sizes for a benefit for Mark Munn's who is fighting cancer and needed some help from the fans. They put on a pretty good show at Octopus in Cedar Falls.

Football:  Marion has seen their playoff chances go by the wayside after West Delaware beat them 35-21.  Arizona State continues to show why they are more pretender than contender with a 33-13 smackdown at Colorado.  And Iowa outlasted Purdue 49-35 which turned out to be Darrel Hazel's last game as Purdue coach, he was fired on Monday.  While the Hawks played a flawless first half leading 35-7 at the half, Iowa defense once again fell apart.  At least Purdue's first team could score at will on the 2nd stringers of Iowa, which the first team did come back and Purdue scored a final touchdown on a defected pass, by then the game was decided. Both Akim Wadley and LeShawn Daniels went over 100 yards rushing, Wadley with a 54 yard TD scamper. Despite Desmond King's pick six TD interception, David Blough lit up Iowa's crappy pass defense for 458 yards and 5 TDs.  One canny deny that the Hawks played a great first half but in the second half became their mediocre selves and couldn't stop the pass, nor that fourth down stop.  Iowa's next game is home against a pissed off Wisconsin team that blew the lead and game with Ohio State.  Iowa has shown to be very ordinary in the games against teams they should blow out of the stadium   Wisconsin will the be 2nd toughest team Iowa has faced (the first North Dakota State still not taken seriously by ESPN) and basically we'll see if Iowa will fall flat on their faces just like the script says or finally wake up to play two halves with the same intensity. The road to Indianapolis is going to get that much harder in the next five weeks. In the meantime Colin Custardpie will have his mind on other things and better teams.

Passings: Dennis Byrd, beloved Jets player who had to quit football due to a broken neck injury was killed in a auto accident in Oklahoma last Saturday, he was only 50 years old.

Phil Chess: Legendary owner of Chess Records died Tuesday from natural causes. He was 95

Milestone:  Tuesday marks the 90th birthday of one of the most famous rock and rollers still alive: the one and only Chuck Berry.  If it wasn't for the riffs of Johnny B Goode, we wouldn't have The Rolling Stones and million of other bands that play the local bars.  I certainly have played Johnny B Goode many times, from The Townedgers, to Paraphernalia Tyrus to Julie And The Mad Dogs and it still remains a fun song to do.  Without Chuck we'd be nothing.  That said, Chuck's best moments did come in the 50s and early 60s when he was thinking up stuff like Sweet Little Sixteen, Bye Bye Johnnie,  Memphis Tennessee and No Particular Place To Go.  He made classic singles that still hold up, The Great Twenty Eight remains the best overview of Chuck's work.  His albums have been spotty, although Chess did issue Rockin At The Hops and From St Louis To Liverpool, but by 1965 he was beginning to take a back seat to the bands he inspired, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and while my first album was Fresh Berries, it sounded like Chuck repeating himself, even to the point of the same riffs to the same song, My Mustang Ford and Ain't That Just Like A Woman, the old Louis Jordan cover.  Chuck Berry has mentioned and given credit to Jordan as an inspiration, basically calling Louis the first true rock and roller.

By 1965 thereabouts, he signed with Mercury Records and the decline really started to sit in.Chuck Berry In Memphis might have been the best one but that's debatable.  At that time, Berry started putting together pick up bands, wherever he went he would seek out local bands and took his chances with them, or in some point started fucking around with them and play his hits in various chords not like the single version and challenged them to read his mind or 'lead' so to speak.  He did this with everybody he played, be it the Steve Miller Band on the Mercury Live At The Fillmore (The Mercury CD has more bonus cuts than the cheaper Rebound reissue) or the Keith Richard led band on Hail Hail Rock And Roll.  He turned the rock and roll hall of fame jam into a trainwreck leading the all stars into a bizarre arrangement of one of his songs to where everybody was playing different chords and notes and proceed to duck walk off the stage with a smirk.  He's had run ins with the law, served jail time and had to deal with the messy episode a lawsuit that accused him of video taping women and Johnnie Johnson, his long time piano playing musician claimed he helped Chuck write the hits, which later dismissed.

Leaving Mercury to return back to Chess, he then scored his first number 1, the goofy and awful My Ding A Ling but basically his Chess albums of that time showed him really out of step of the musical trends. His final studio album for Atco Rock It (1979) had some moments of greatness (Oh What A Thrill to which Rockpile would record a better version for the 1980 album Seconds Of Pleasure) but the strange double tracking of Berry's vocals made it more of a novelty then rock and roll return.  By then Berry didn't have nothing to prove, his hits of the 50s had generated enough royalties for him to make a decent living, playing at his Blueberry Hill bar in the Delmar district in St Louis every Wednesday till 2014 when he decided to really cut back.  The last time he played live was August this year and for a very short set.  However if he should decide to get down to Blueberry Hill on a Wednesday Night, he can set a record for the oldest rock and roller to play a gig at age 90.  He also is putting together his first album in over 35 years out in 2017, To which Berry would be the first ever rock and roller to record an album at age 90.

John Lennon might be right when he mentioned a long time ago that when you think of rock and roll, you think of Chuck Berry.  His music will continue to live on and inspire the local lads who want to play classic rock and oldies.  If you want to know the true history of rock and roll, The Great 28 (now replaced by the The Definite Collection   which has all the hits (including My Ding A Ling). But also Rockin At The Hops, Chuck Berry Is On Top and St. Louis to Liverpool are essential records to get as well.   The Mercury and Atco albums are luxuries you can live without.

 (Photo: Cunningham Group-The New Rhythm City Casino-Davenport)

Davenport on Tuesday  was one of the better days of finding things in the junk bins. Every store I went to had some decent bargains, The Source Book store had a Best Of The Herd and James Brown Please Please Please on CD, plus Jethro Tull's MU on LP, Ragged Records had a Best Of Ronnie Hawkins and Jackie Lomax Three, which was in better shape than the record I used to have.  Salvation Army had a few odd 45s, the best known was a Dunhill copy of Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf (not the ABC Dunhill version) and The Call Reconciled for fifty cents on CD.  CO OP Moline had the new BlackBerry Smoke album and The Rhino version of Robyn Hitchcock Fegmania! (which I like better than the Yep Roc version and this was a sealed copy too). Although there was 45s of note at Goodwill and the Moline Salvation Army, they were in poor shape.  I did finally pay a visit to the brand new casino Rhythm City off the interstate and it's a nice place to gamble or take in a band, or watch a ball game in the lounge to which I wasted an hour watching the Cubs sucking up a storm in game three.  So I went to do the slots and managed to win 255 dollars in the process on the fourth try.  It's kinda nice to do a bit of dancing in the aisle while the music is playing and the money keeps tallying up till it finally stopped around 254.16.  I never usually win gambling like most folks do, and when I usually do, it's gone in a flash.  Case in point: Excalibur in Vegas where I won 350 dollars and promptly gave it back in five minutes.  Not this time, I played the penny slots and did it very conservatively till the big pay came.   I'm sure Rhythm City will get it back in future endeavors but for now, I thought I would end things on a high note.

(From  a Meme seen in twitter)

And Joe Buck is the worst announcer with his continuing to bring up Bartman every time the Cubs are down.  Doesn't help that the last two games, they have been shut out, the latter by former Cubs Rich Hill, who looked like Rich Arrieta did when he no hit the Dodgers last year.  If the 2 3 4 hitters don't start producing runs or least hit the ball, it will be yet another wait till next year sob story.  Hash tag of the week: #Joebuckyourself.  Really Joe go buck yourself.

Townedger Radio 23  Broadcast on Lucky Star Radio (10/20/16)  Playlist

Next To You-The Police
Everybody's Next One-Steppenwolf
Slippin' Away-Jean Shepherd
Having A Blast-Green Day
That's What Dream Are Made Of-Green On Red
I Wouldn't Put It Past Me-Dwight Yoakam
May Not Be A Next Time-The Townedgers
No One Would Believe A Summer Would Be So Cold-John Dillon
Stalker-Kasey Chambers
Dogs Are Talking-The Angels From Angel City
Nightmares-The Creation
Sundown-The Townedgers
Sizzling Rivalry-Tommy Bruner
Can't Get Back-The Poorboys
Queen Of Eyes-Soft Boys
Mean Machine-Sugar Ray
Good Lovin'-It's A Beautiful Day

Bonus tracks:
Sick And Tired-Waylon Jennings
Where It Leads-The Townedgers 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week In Review: Cubs Win Again, Hurricane Brat, Floyd Stays Home, Desert Trip

And here we are again.  As with last week, this blog will be updated when the time comes or when something news worthy comes around or I have music to review.  Someday it will come to an end but for now I move onward.

The big story was Hurricane Matthew tearing the hell out of the east coast, from Florida to Georgia to the Carolinas.  It wasn't exactly the storm of the century but rather powerful enough to cause major damage and messes and so far at least 10 people lost their lives.

 (photo: Willow Blu Dickinson-St. Augustine under water)

At the same time, there was Hurricane Nicole off to the side of Matthew.  Now, during the big hurricane of the past couple days, there have been a few smartasses out there making funny meme's about this storm and the closeness between Matthew and Nicole, which Nicole won't be causing havoc in the states but rather keeping a close eye and safe distance from Matthew.  Bermuda might be the closest country if Nicole keeps going on but it projected that Nicole will steer north and east as a cold front begins to shred away at Matthew.  There was talk about the meeting of Matthew and Nicole at some point but that's not going to happen.  Nicole will be far and away into the Atlantic, and the hurricane love affair will come to an end. But not before Matthew floods the east coast.

And so it goes.

(photo: AP)

On the football side, Iowa gets to keep Floyd Of Rosedale for another year as they outlasted Minnesota 14-7 in yet another uninspired performance, saved only by Akim Wadley's 54 yard Touchdown run to put Iowa ahead and a successful two point conversion.  Mitch Leidner, the 5th year senior QB did drive the Gophers down the field with time running out but then he threw four incomplete passes and the much maligned Iowa defense kept them out of the end zone.  While kudos is praised on the Iowa O line, CJ Betherd continued to get hammered at every chance he threw the ball, he managed to get sacked one time.  I don't think it much as a defense battle as it was a lack of offensive output from both teams, except when Wadley did his game winning TD run with 5:38 seconds left in the game. Iowa dropped three passes that stalled drives and they had to settle for two FGs before Minnesota went ahead 7-6.  Usually Leidner had some stellar games against the Hawks, two years ago he went 10-13 passing in the 51-14 rout two years ago, and last year shredded the defense for 259 yards but came up short in a 40-35 Iowa win.  This time out, Leidner went 13-33 for 159 yards passing but didn't complete a pass till late in the second quarter.  For his final game against the Hawks it would be his worst showing, and in the end got to watch Floyd and the Hawkeyes wave bye bye as they go back to Iowa City, another year for Floyd to call Iowa City its home.  Next up, Purdue, the Hawks should win that.  On a side note Rutgers which lost to Iowa by the same 14-7 score got beheaded by Michigan 78-0.  Iowa gets to play Michigan sometime this year.

Arizona State beat UCLA 23-20 in a upset, but ASU is now 5-1 and we didn't see that one coming at all. Zane Gonzales kicked three field goals and ASU held the Bruins off.  ASU also lost their second string QB Brady White to an injury.  Gonzales now hold the FBS record for most FG made. The road gets harder as ASU goes to Boulder and play a much improved Colorado team. Without Brady White or Wilkens Jr, the QB might be very iffy and there's no cupcakes to play either.  Washington State blew out Stanford at Stanford 42-16 as hot shot RB Christian McCaffery got hurt and his streak of 100 yard games came into an end.  As well as his Heisman chances.


(Photo: Chicago Cubs)

In the meantime Chicago took the first two games from the San Francisco Giants in Chicago.  Friday Night  Javier Baez hit a home run and Jon Lester outdueled Johnny Cueto 1-0.  Saturday, The Cubs greeted former Cubs pitcher Jeff Smaritzja rudely, Travis Wood hit a home run, the first cubs player to do that since Kerry Wood and took game two 5-2.  It's out to San Francisco to see if the Cubs can put them away and move on to the finals.  Game three  The Cubs blew a 3 run lead, Jake Arrieta hit a 3 run Homer and the rest of the team couldn't get anymore runs till the ninth when Kris Bryant hit a HR to tie the game but San Francisco would win in 13 innings after the Cubs put two on and promptly hit into a double play. Game four, San Francisco had their way with the Cubs for 8 innings till The Cubs came through big time, scoring 4 runs in the 9th inning.  The Giant relievers simply couldn't not put the Cubs away, neither Derek Law, whose antics pissed off a late night crowd, nor 4 other pictures to which Javier Baez, drove in Jason Hayward with the winning run, and Aroldis Chapman came back big time to strike out three Giants with power pitching and The Cubs take the series with a 6-5 victory.  Chapman does pitch better when nobody is on base, unlike game 3 which he had to inherit runners to try to get six outs.  For the first time in 11 elimination games The Giants lost.  The Cubs move on the division finals and for the first time, the loss could not be blamed on goats or Bartman.  The key is to win the last game of the season.  Cubs have 8 to go in order to do that.  The competition will not be easy, but the trick is to keep winning.  We'll see if history will be made.

(Photo; Ronnie Wood)

(Photo: Anna Rumer)

There is music to talk about.  Big event is the Desert Trip playing this weekend which there has been some surprises from the likes of Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and The Who. Neil Young gave them a 25 minute workout of Down By The River (no word if he did the full hour version of Love And Only Love) and quip to the people to come back tomorrow and see Roger Waters build the wall and make Mexico again.  Bob Dylan did a decent run through of his songs but his interaction with the crowd was non existant.  The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger did more moving around the stage in 30 seconds than what Dylan did the whole show.  The Stones actually did cover a Beatles song, Come Together.   Perhaps the highlight was a rousing You Can't Always Get What You Want.  For 70 year old men, The Rolling Stones can still put a surprise or two, even if Bob Dylan acts like he'd rather go to bed or something to that effect. Neil Young set, with the new Crazy Horse known as The Promise Of Real might have outdone themselves and even getting Paul McCartney to come up to sing Give Peace A Chance.  Neil might be old and cranky but he's always been his best railing against Corporations and idiots like Donald Trump. Paul McCartney did a excellent set which Neil Young did pop up on a couple numbers.  We'll see how the Who and Roger Waters do later in the blog.

From reports The Who did a workmanlike set list of their best known stuff but Roger Waters let his feelings known for Donald Trump in a spirited performance.  I'm sure the Donald will probably wake up at 3 AM and post his displeasure but Waters may have been the best of the Desert Trip festival, which will take place again next weekend.


Passings:  Joan Marie Johnson, singer for the Dixie Cups (Chapel Of Love) died from heart failure Sunday.  She was 72.

If it means anything I have left Besides It's A B Side site after 5 or 6 years.  Guess Mark decided I didn't look good in those T Shirts and unfriended me somewhere along the way, he was very quiet on my timeline despite us being cubs fans.  Can't please them all I guess.  We'll all live on. 

Record Reviews:

Porter Wagoner-The Definitive Collection (Real Gone 2016)

Finally it took somebody to finally capture just about all of the best solo stuff that Porter put out in his 3 decades of being with RCA.  The Essential Porter Wagoner and the RCA Legends as well as the Pair best ofs, had highlights but this is the complete of where you can get his barstool classics (I Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand, Misery Loves Company) and some of the more graphic bizarre story songs Porter is famous for (Cold Hard Facts Of Live, Julie, The First Mrs Jones, two of them written by Whispering Bill Anderson, Julie by Waylon Jennings).  In today's world country would not touch The Carroll County Accident or The Rubber Room, the latter probably the only psychedelic country song ever known. Or Cold Dark Waters, which is one of more direct songs about suicide ever recorded.  This 2 CD overview defines Wagoner, as narrator (Confessions Of  A Broken Man, Skid Row Joe, What Would You Do (if Jesus came to your door) but for the first time anywhere, the original version of Uncle Pen makes its debut.  Wagoner was also excellent at bluegrass as well.  This doesn't cover all of the RCA years, it ends with Highway Headed South which is just as well, Porter did lose his way after Dolly Pardon moved on.  Nevertheless, this compilation does show that Porter Wagoner was one of the best honky tonk country artists of the 1960s, even in the dark mood of Cold Dark Waters, or the stalker going after The First Mrs Jones, Wagoner was one of a kind and could provide some uptempo knee slappers (Company's Coming, Howdy Neighbor Howdy) and could leave you With A Satisfied Mind.
Grade A

Webb Pierce-The Essential Hits  (Primo 2015)

Leave it to a import budget label to issue one of country music's all time chart topping stars of the 1950s, Universal's best of cheats the world out of Webb's late 50 and early 60s honky tonk, to which I like a bit more than the mundane disc one,  despite major hits like Why Baby Why or There Stands The Glass, and Sparking Brown Eyes has a falsetto worthy of Slim Whitman.  It also helps that Webb covered some songs by an up and coming songwriter named Mel Tillis which gave him a big hit with I Ain't Never and personal favorite No Love Have I.  It's also worthy of hearing Webb cover Bye Bye Love, which the Everly Brothers would get a major hit.  Nothing wrong with disc 1, with Webb taking the Hank Sr vibe during the early 50s but once Webb opened himself up to more uptempo honky tonk songs he does catch fire.  Like budget imports the sound is all over the place and of course buyer beware.  But since we can't get a decent overview of the one of the best selling country artists of the 1950s, this would have to do, warts and all and subpar 3rd generation scratchy 45 versions.
Grade B+

Kirsty MacColl-Kite (Greatpress/Charisma 1989)

I think she's always been more of a new wave star rather than pop, her collaborations with Johnny Marr confirms this.  The best songs are with Marr, even copping Mel Graynor (Simple Minds) on drums shows her new wave roots.  The cover of You Just Haven't Earned It Baby is great, the cover of Days is just as good.  For the rest of the album, MacColl's sly word play is worth hearing (Free World, Fifteen Minutes). I think Galore, her 1995 best of, is the one the seek out if you want to know about her time at Charisma, plus it has her They Don't Know song which Tracy Ullman had the bigger hit. Her studio solo albums tends to wander all over the place.  The French songs I can do without.
Grade B

Barry Gibb-In The Now (Columbia 2016)

Not bad for the last brother Gibb standing, who has his siblings helping out on the songs this time out.  Side 1 does rock out a lot bit harder than the average Bee Gees album (Blowin A Fuse, In The Now) and Starcrossed Lovers actually is nice decent ballad reminding one of How Deep Is Your Love.  Side 2 crumbles over too many ballads, although I'll give him credit for End Of The Rainbow, a nice farewell to Maurice and Robin Gibb plus Andy, all now in the great beyond.   The high falsetto tend to grate after a while, Barry has known to sing it straight before stumbling on the high notes that became Bee Gees trademark vocal starting with Main Course and afterward.  Another problem is that some of the songs go on forever (Shadows comes to mind) and at 54 and half minutes the ballads will tend to make your mind wonder.  I'm sure the nostalgic fans will buy this album enough for it to place on the top 100 and then play it once or twice and file it away.   That is if there are fans out there that still buy CDs.
Grade B-

Forgotten issues:

Three years ago, I decided to do a little camping the hard way.  A night spent in Seminole Valley Park, in the forbidden zone.  Never go past open gates into the woods, you may have to wait till morning to get out, that is if you can find somebody to let you out. Hillary insures.

Marion Indians are assured of their first winning season in over three years by upsetting Clear Creek/Amana 15-14 in overtime when Marion opted to go for two and succeeded.  They have three games remaining, three tough ones but still have an outside chance of making the football playoffs.

Finally, Hurricane Brat aka Nicole, after a couple days of spinning around the Atlantic and regained strength into becoming a Category 4 Hurricane after Hurricane Matthew disappeared and is ready to cause havoc on Bermuda this week.  There have been other Hurricane Nicoles in the past, but this one might be the better known of them all if predictions come true.  But if Hurricane Nicole is the brat of the two, Matthew is the bastard, with 17 people losing their lives.   I don't know, I tend to think of if and when I retire, it will be back out into the desert rather than on the east coast.  They don't have as many hurricanes as they do around Florida or Bermuda.   Stay safe everybody, next week is the monthly Townedger Radio playlist .  Plus other assorted observations.

(photo: AP)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week In Review: Madison, Hell, Iowa stinks again

I have decided that I am in Hell.  It seems that no matter what I do, I'm always either get inconsiderate drivers either going too fast, or too slow, mother nature hates us. The GD tree is shedding it's leaves and they seem to go into every crack around my car, windows, doors, under the hood, trunk, etc.  This fucking computer continues to mess up, fuck up and even while typing the keyboard doesn't work, and this Lenovo piece of shit is not even a year and half old.  A bit of good news, the rivers are returning to their banks, Rumors has their popcorn jam on for Sunday (if I'm there i'll blog about it) and that's about it.

Each week The Iowa Hawkeyes continue to stink and suck and Saturday was no exception, Northwestern going hog wild (with plenty of help from the referees) and Iowa offense line can't stop nobody.  They're very good being look out blockers to which C J Bethard got nailed 6 times and countless more after trying to pass. 38-31 Northwestern won it but Kirk Ferenez will be around for another 10 years.  Good thing Gene Barta gave him that decade long extension.  Can't blame Beth Mowins for this suckjob, she was in California.  It didn't help Iowa lost Matt VandeneBerg in practice but the so called great Iowa running game was non existant once again despite Akem Wadley scoring two touchdowns.  With no Iowa blocking they were stymied once again, and Iowa's run defense couldn't stop NW running backs either.   To quote Colin Cockadoodledoo: please don't talk about Iowa being any sort of contender anymore this season. If they stay above 500 that will be a miracle.  Iowa State can play 3 quarters to which they had Baylor 35-21 and looked great (at least the offense did). But teams that only play 3 quarters don't win ballgames and Baylor came back with 17 unanswered points and the victory.   Didn't help that the Cyclone offense quit after the 3rd quarter.  Baylor is the real deal, Iowa State has a very long road to go before they have any sort of credibility.  Too bad they didn't play Iowa Saturday, they might have won that game.  And Arizona State showed the world why they're in last place in pass defense.  USC blew them out of LA 40-21.

On the good side of things, The Chicago Cubs finished the year winning 103 games and coming from behind to beat Cincinnati 7-4.  It's the first time the Cubs won 103 games since 1910 and sorry folks I wasn't around to witness that, nor the 1908 Cubs winning it all.   A lot of people are saying that this is the best chance that The Cubs have had getting to the World Series, while we cannot deny the heroics of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Dexter Fowler, Addison Russell, it's been Miguel Montoro and the old man Dan Ross providing some much need RBI's.  While Jason Hayward's bat couldn't get past .235, his defense in the outfield helped in gunning baserunners out at the plate.  For those was thinking of a St. Louis/Chicago rematch, that didn't take place.  The Cardinals never seem to break out in any major winning streaks and while they did lead the league in home runs it seems, they didn't have the pitching this season.  So, for the wild card teams it ended up San Francisco which kept winning where needed and the Cubs nemesis The New York Mets.   For now The Cubs can earn some time off, but come Friday they'll start on their conquest to make the World Series, and hopefully win the last game of the year. 

Madison this time out...did I mention I live in Hell?  Madison is the 6th tier of Dante's Inferno.  Last time was a much better time, did the WNBR in June but this time without no nude bikers around, I just walked around Lake Monona and scanned through record stores looking for music to write about.  And then I had to deal with constant idiot bike riders riding through stop lights and stop signs, had dumbass people walk behind my car as I tried to get out the of thrift stores, or had walker walk out in front of me while trying to turn. I'm surprised that I didn't hit nobody or got hit.  Then it rained on Friday, the damn rain came from Lake Michigan.  Strange weather but it goes along with this strange year.  I did find some cool stuff but I come to find out that I did have David Johansen's Then Came The Night on CD at home when I found a copy for 2 dollars.  Reviews are down below of course, as soon as I can type the fucking things.

It's been a while since I posted some eye candy, so we will go with the new singer for Lez Zeppelin, Marlain Angelides.   Lez Zeppelin is an all girl tribute band to you know who.

A week ago, the HESCO barriers were in place and Tornados was fighting the flood with sandbags. This Monday shows the T Shirt place (with the gas pump now back in place) and Tornados surviving the flood aftermath.  The 16th Avenue bridge over the Cedar to Czech Village is now open.  Parlor City Blues Jam not ready to go this Tuesday Night but Daddy O and DJ Johnson will be playing Thursday Night.  Getting somewhat back to normal now.  (Photo from Red Ball Printing)

The flooding did put an end to Coopers Mill/Best Western, which decided to close their doors and sell themselves off to the City of Cedar Rapids for 2.2 Million or so it seems.  Coopers Mill Restaurant did have some nice breakfast menus and their pancakes were the city's best.

Best Buy continues to shrink their CD selection, now they're down to about a 10 feet section over by the refrigerators and perhaps its best just to order online, from someplace else.  At least they did have the new Drive By Truckers' CD American Band.  I think I like their last album better but American Band isn't that bad.

Another sign of the times, our wonderful shitty cable company has ended analog service, which means my TV has now 53 channels of snow.  I really see no point of having cable anymore, or upgrade to 100 channels of digital nothing on the tube.  The sporting events are clogged up by shitty GMO beer and Big Pharma shoving E.D. drugs down your throat.  I'll leave it up to my brother to upgrade to overpriced digital cable but for myself I have killed my television once and for all.  No more political bullshit, no more Viagra.  And I think I'll be much better off than the dumbing down of America be it, CNN, Fox news or whatever the hell Trump spews out.  Up theirs ass once and for all.

Passings: Rod Temperton, songwriter for Heatwave (Boogie Nights) and Michael Jackson (Thriller) died from cancer Monday.  He was 66. 

And it was 20 years ago that the movie That Thing You Do came out. One of the great fiction music movies ever, I think I like it better than This Is Spinal Tap (and I do like TIST a lot)  

And now, let's ride with.....Record Reviews Of Mad City stuff:

Steve Forbert-Little Stevie Orbit (Nemperor 1980)

The Missing piece of the Steve Forbert  catalog is this oddball album which got overlooked on the What Kinda Guy best of and perhaps there's a good reason why.  While Steve is a decent folk soft rocker, he goes Springsteen on this, or is a parody?  Fuck I don't know and it's so freaking weird it might be his Metal Machine Music.   Get Well Soon is so over the top, it makes Springsteen sound like Tennessee Ernie Ford.  Cellophane City might have been picked as a single but it's ruined by the ending.  I think I'm An Automobile the most straightforward song on this.  Reviews seem to be favorable and it's a album you have to listen multiple times to "get it". It's different but I'll stick with Alive On Arrival or Jackrabbit Slim  Excellent recording from Steve Brown though.
Grade C+

The Golliwogs Pre Creedence (Fantasy 1975)

Funny how Fantasy continues to rehash Creedence albums but for the early edition of CCR known as The Golliwogs, their output was part of a Creedence Clearwater Revival boxset and the stand alone album has been sought after from record collectors or curio record hoarders.  And there's a good reason why John Fogerty became main songwriter/singer-brother Tom's songs do not stand out.  To be honest Tom Fogerty had his eyes on the British Invasion, You Better Be Careful is a nod to The Zombies, Brown Eyed Girl (the first song John sings on this), is not the Van Morrison cover but rather an original that borrows from Them.  Side 1, there's plenty of doo wop songs and a couple times that Tom Fogerty borrows from The Beatles or Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas.  The only Tom Fogerty song that does stand out is the garage rocker Fight Fire, which found its way on a Nuggets box set, which hints at the future of CCR via The Shadows Of Knight.  Side 2 finds little brother John taking over the band and even if the songs are a bit rough in the Americana side of things (Fragile Child is John's last attempt at garage rock before moving toward the CCR sound), it's plainly clear that John was the better of the songwriters and it shows on Porterville, which eventually became the start of the CCR sound (B side Call It Pretending is a throwaway).  I do think there's more of a full band participation as Stu,Tom, John and perhaps even Doug Clifford adding harmonies on the songs. John may have been  an  tyrant in the band, but even Doug and Stu know that the songs John wrote for CCR still generates plenty of revenue and airplay on radio enough to tour as the ultimate CCR tribute band, I'm sure they're not playing anything from the Golliwogs era.  Even though The Golliwogs Pre Creedence might be a minor work from CCR, it's still a historical album showing the transformation of a band going from a doo wop garage rock band to a more original and rocking band.  One may disagree with me, but paying 25 dollars for a DJ used copy still is a bargain compared to the prices that I have seen on Ebay and Amazon.  Perhaps Concord should issue this as a stand alone CD.
Grade B+

Streetwalkers-Red Card (Mercury 1975)

Another dollar special find, The Streetwalkers was a short lived band featuring the likes of Roger Chapman (Family), teaming up with Bobby Tench (Jeff Beck Group, Humble Pie)  and Nicko McBrain (later of Iron Maiden fame) putting together an album of something sort of what Humble Pie was doing around Tinderbox/Smokin timeframe.  I think it's somewhat by the numbers boogie rock blues, but they don't alter the mid tempo of the songs.  Chapman's vocals can be a bit hard to take, he's part Steve Marriott, part Joe Cocker and a bit of John Baldry.  I tend to like Run for Cover which does echo Tinderbox Humble Pie and Daddy Rolling Stone is a nifty cover, mixed to mono for fun and giggles.  Like latter day Humble Pie when The Streetwalkers fall into a funk (as in snoozer type of boogie) it tends to plod on by. Christgau called them Aerosmith for grownups and it is their best album of the three they issue.  I'll go along with that.
Grade B

The Police-Outlandos d'Amour (A&M 1979)

It's funny how in my senior year of high school, music was so varied.  I mean I listen to the boogie of Foghat, the by now classic rock cliche of Journey and REO Speedwagon on the albums that made them becoming headliners and still found time for up and comers like Van Halen, and touted The Godz 2nd album as if it was the new Beatles.  Silly me.  But The Police was one of those bands that I took a chance on due to the name.  At that time, Roxanne was yet to be played on the radio and the song that FM radio did play was Next To You, which was punk rock masquerading as regular rock. At that time Andy Summers was the better known, playing in The Animals around the time Love Is came out and then played with the eccentric Kevin Coyne.  Stewart Copeland's dad was Miles Copeland, manager of Wishbone Ash and later formed IRS Records in the late 70s (or Illegal Records, where John Cale and Tom Robinson made their albums for) and the punk was Gordon Summer aka Sting who had a love of punk and reggae.  In 1979 I loved this album, 36 summers later, not so much love but rather tolerate.  Classic rock didn't do Roxanne any favors by overplaying it like they do today, and while Masoro Tanga was one my favorite songs before bedtime back then, it kinda dated itself today and I don't play it as much.  In fact I did look up a dollar CD copy to revisit the album and the songs at hand.  Next To You still comes out rocking, Hole In My Life is reggae jam fun and Peanuts is more goofy pub rock than goofy punk rock.  Make no mistake and even if Sting pretty much washes his hands of this band, the contributions of Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland are not to be avoided.  In fact, Copeland is one of the best drummers out there, one of the best reggae white boy drummers at that time.  Side 2 tends to weaken itself after Can't Stand Losing You, and the ode to the blow up doll sounds a bit more creepy then it used to be. Still Masoro Tanga ends the record on a positive note and even if its a throwaway, Copeland's drummer is still damn good.   Out of all their albums, this remains their most punkish. And rocking as well.
Grade B+

Soft Boys-Underwater Moonlight (Rykodisc 1980)

The second album from Robyn Hitchock and Kimberly Rew is their overall best. That is if you like weird lyrical consent from Hitchcock, but somehow I Wanna Destroy You brings out the mutation of The Byrds crossed with The Kaleidoscope.  The original ten song album could have been the answer to Side Trips from the former band mention above.  College radio did love them for the 2 minute Byrds tribute Queen Of Eyes, (with a nod toward The Cramps) but where the hell Robyn thought up of Old Pervert, Kim Rew adds mad guitar.  The Rykodisc adds 8 bonus tracks to really throw everything up in a chaoic loop (the drawn out Where Are The Prawns?), but it still doesn't deter the original the original album itself.  Later issued on Yep Roc.
Grade A- 

Green Day-Revolution Radio (Reprise 2016)

Given their persona over the years, they have become The Who, otherwise old farts disguised as old punks, what else to describes the woahs and shout along Ouis to Bang Bang or even the title track.  Billy Joe Armstrong still wants you young kids to know that they can still be punks, even though the parents that grooved to Dookie and Insomniac probably have moved on something else. Somewhere New shows more of a Pete Townsend slashing guitar riffs.  And while Bang Bang was touted as the next big single, it has actually bombed on the alternative and modern rock charts.  I didn't even know it was out as a single till I stumbled upon it in the shortened Best Buy CD section.  Say what you want about those trio of albums that they stuck out in 2012, it would have been a nice single Uno/Dos/Tres  CD.  There is a misstep on this album, and that is Outlaws, to which it is a desperate attempt to make top 40 radio or even modern rock for that matter, but for 5 minutes it lacks anything memorable to a 21 Guns off 21st Century Breakdown, Green Day's less interesting album of this century.  The second half of the album does get better, and Forever Now is another Billy Joe Armstrong mini opera which gets redeemed at the end with  a very complex Tre Cool drum attack before things conclude with an acoustic farewell called Ordinary World.  For back to the basics of what Green Day can do and do well, and that is to rock out full volume, Revolution Radio isn't all bad.  It won't make you forget Dookie, but it does suggest that any band that cites The Who as an influence and play like The Who when they were in their prime is doing something right.  And it's not a concept album too.  Maybe their answer to Who Are You.  Maybe.
Grade B

From Robert Christgau.

Drive-By Truckers: American Band (ATO) In part because the Hood-to-Cooley ratio is back up and in part because they're less relaxed as the Obama Age ends, this superb song collection is raggedier than the last superb song collection. But in recompense it's more explicit and bereaved. Having resettled in Oregon just in time to detail an Umpqua massacre preceded by a victim's nice morning and idyllic weekend, Hood also spends 6:27 in Ferguson and its branches nationwide. Cooley opens with "Ramon Casiano," which minimal Googling makes clear is an assault on the NRA, and soon follows with "Surrender Under Protest," about the actual outcome of that war the starry-eyed say ended at Appomattox. Then there's the finale that begins "I was listening to the radio when they said that you were gone." Gotta be Merle, right? Uh-uh—Robin Williams. It's about mood swings and depression out of control, a somatic heritage Hood tells us he knows firsthand. A

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Flood Of 2016 (Part 2-The Crest And Week In Review)

Taking our mind off the flood at hand.  A few things happened over the weekend.

The Asian King Buffet has closed their doors.  I ate there a couple times in my trips to Dubuque and it was located near Moondog Music and Kennedy Mall.

The Chicago Cubs won their 100th game of the season, the first time since 1935 with a 12-2 blowout of Pittsburgh Monday Night.  Kris Bryant hit a Home Run and drove in his 100th RBI. Javier Baez hit a grand slam home run.  Kyle Hendricks continues to pitch great.

The Iowa Hawkeyes beat Rutgers 17-7 but looked sluggish throughout the game.  In the process they lost their best WR due to a broken foot in practice.  Despite winning, Iowa falls out of the Top 25 coaches poll and will not return.

Arizona State scored 31 points in the fourth quarter to come back and beat Cal in football 51-41 to start their season 4-0. The defense gave Davis Webb fits as he threw for 2 interceptions, one a pick six and fumbled at the end when ASU's defense got through to him. After Davis did throw a TD pass to bring Cal to 44-41, Cal's onside kick was then returned for a touchdown.  Game over.  Next up, a trip to Los Angeles to play the reeling USC team who lost to Utah 31-27.

Music passings: Buckwheat Zydeco, who gave Zydeco music some much needed popularity in the 1980s passed away Friday from lung cancer, he was 68....Jean Shepard, last of the hard core traditional country artists and had many hits for Capitol and later United Artists died Sunday at age 82.  Although she was married to Hawkshaw Hawkins, (who later died in that same plane crash that claimed him, Cowboy Copas and Pasty Cline), she was married for 50 years to current husband Benny Birchfield. She was a part of Grand Ole Opry and The Country Music Hall Of Fame for just as long too....Arnold Palmer is not a musician but he was one of the greatest golfers the world has ever known.  The King Of Golf died from heart failure, he was 87....Update on John D Loudermilk, word is now he too past from a heart attack last week. He was 82....Randy Duncan, star quarterback who helped Iowa win one of their two rose bowl victories in 1957 and 1959 passed away from brain cancer Tuesday. He was 79

Back to The Flood of 2016.

(photo: Karsin Leigh)


The Cedar River crested at 21.97 feet at 11  AM today.  As you can tell, New Bo remained a lot drier than the folks on the right side of the Hesco Dam, (now called NO BO).  This has been typical of floods of the past (1929, 1961, 1993).

The owner of Tornados's Bar and Grill isn't too pleased of the actions of the city and he made that known during a KRNA interview.  He had a couple folks climb the Hesco Dam to give him some sump pumps to pump the water out, and the city wasn't too pleased with that and might file charges on that.  I hope not.  We're supposed to work together and trying to help one out, but this does reek of favoritism as the city tries to protect what they invested in bringing New Bo back to life.   While the river has crested, it will take a couple of days for it to go down and there's a possibility that the Cedar might invade from the storm drains below and the concern is ongoing pressure from the floodwaters that might weaken the earthen dams and Hesco Berms.   For Tornado's the sand bags seem to be helping keeping water out of the first floor, the basement is flooded for sure.

The Kickstand, a block away from Tornado's.

The other flooded area is in Time Check.  This is a photo not too far from Cooper's Mill/Best Western.

(photo: Lisa Stick  Wapsi River at Paris Iowa 9/27/16)

So far the Cedar River has not impeded my drive home on Hwy 30, but the river has filled up the flood plains and as well on hwy 13.  The farmers got lucky and got their crops harvested before the water seeped into their corn fields but west of the Cedar some farmer didn't get there in time. All the side roads of the Cedar, Cedar River Road, Ivanhoe Rd, Otis Rd, C St are closed due to water in the low lying areas of the road.   Over around Anamosa, the Wapsi continues to invade the golf course, and the back entrance to Stone City Access Park.  It's supposed to be cresting around 24 feet tomorrow.

Ruby's Pizzeria, my favorite pizza place in downtown Cedar Rapids has remained dry as well. They are next door to Cobble Hill winery/restaurant. Before the sand bags get put into place they put 2X4's up to level the sandbags.  This was taken last Thursday I do believe.

And the Wapsi River at Anamosa crested around 24 feet this afternoon.  So begins the slow returning of the river, still in flood stage but should be under 16 feet in time for Anamosa's annual Pumpkinfest this Saturday. Anamosa's crest of 22.76 feet is forth highest in history.


Photo: Nate Slaughter from inside of Tornados 9-27-16

They have started taking down HESCO barriers around the Linn Country Sheriff's building and flood clean up is beginning to start up river at Cedar Falls and Palo.  It looks like the swift heeding of warnings and sandbagging did help prevent the Cedar into being a major flood event.  It still remained the second highest crest ever but unlike the 2008 and 1993 floods quick action prevented more heartache outside of the usual water in the basement and seepage.  It also helped greatly that we didn't have the rains like we did in 2008 and with dry weather and windy days this too played a big role.  That said, The Paramount did cancel Grace Potter's show for Thursday Night.  There's really no way to even think about getting that show going, since the seats were removed Saturday.

(Photo: Kyle Dunn, entrance to Tornados 9-28-16)  Still looking dry due to sandbags holding back three feet of water

Despite what Ron Corbitt says about beating the river this time out, it's better to wait to see what happens. Victory can only be claimed if the storm drainage system doesn't failed and we still have at least two days to even claim victory.  The usual politician display of arrogance and smugness.  Credit must given to all that helped before and after the flood event.   Even the Anamosa folk managed to do things different from the 26.18 foot mess of 2008, building two earthen dams and drudge part of the Wapsipinicon which helped greatly.  Even Czech Village this time out didn't get flooded as bad. The Iowa Brewing Company only got some seepage in the basement area but that quickly dried out.  The guess is that the jams around the area will continue in another week or two at the latest.   It's not over, there's still plenty of water in Palo and the low lying areas but we won't have to worry about a 2008 repeat.  We can rest easy till the next flood comes.  Hopefully much later than this one.

Last Update:

The weekend looks promising.  The downtown bridges will open and Rumors continues on with the Popcorn Jam and The Paramount Theater will host their first show on Sunday, Celtic Thunder. This is the final update, the Cedar River is now under 16 feet, major flood stage, it should be back in its banks come Monday and we can finally put the Flood of 2016 to rest.  This time out, CR won out.  Thankfully it didn't rain at all during the week and that was the telling point.  Had this been during May or June, the story would be different. And with things drying down, I basically went to Madison for the last big bargain hunt of the year.  But that will be saved for the next installment of Record World.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Flood Of 2016 (Part 1 Watching The River Flow)

If you haven't heard or seen the news, you might not know that our area is once again at the mercy of a raging river, that will be coming through town around 23 to 24 feet of muddy water.  The past couple weeks the Cedar Valley has gotten hit with 15 to 20 inches of rain for this month, an ungodly amount of rain.  Just like in 2008 we have had a stalled front throwing many many monsoon storms, but this time more centered in around southern Minnesota and north eastern Iowa.

(photo: KWWL-Cedar Falls 9-24-16)

(Photo: KWWL- 4th Street Bridge at Waterloo 9-24-16)

Unlike the 2008 flood, which Cedar Rapids got socked with 10 inches of rain to go with the upper rivers runoff which gave us the EPIC SURGE of 31.3 feet, we managed to not get hit too hard, but we did get three inches of rain here.  I seen the ditch culverts fill up and seeing a raging creek going through the back yard but thankfully the basement stayed dry.  Of course we got it waterproof, 8,000 dollars of peace and mind and so far so good.   But I don't live in the floodplain which is New Bo, a place where I do spend lots of time in that area.     Still, with the announcements of the impending flood, people in this town banded together, and started sandbagging places, putting up Nesco dams of whatever they are called, and moving things out of harms' way.  In 2008 The Paramount lost their pipe organ, to which it got repaired and put in place but volunteers have moved the pipe organ into a more safe place.    Right now Cedar Rapids downtown, you can only use the 380 bridge to get through town.  Better safe than sorry.

(Photo: Big Show Farm via Twitter)

Even the farmers are hurrying up their harvest in flood plains.  This afternoon I seen at least 5 harvesters and tractors cleaning up the corn and soybeans over by US 30 and the Sewage Treatment Plant and on the way home tonight, there was still a few of them on the other side of the highway completing their harvest.  Everybody is heeding warnings.  Fellow musicians helping others move their gear and stuff out of the basements in the floodplain areas of Time Check and New Bo.   You cannot escape the wrath of the Red Cedar, it was here before anybody was around and best to minimize the damage by heeding the warnings and picking things up before the flood arrives.

Photo: Cale Henderson

Photo:Edwin Montgomery (Updated late Sunday night)

Like Tornadoes Pub and Kick Stand, The Mad Modern Art Galley across from Tornado's Pub is on the outside of the NESCO wall that was put in place in the middle of 16th Avenue.  It's a frustrating sight seeing the owner of the place having to rely on a few sand bags and hoping that the river won't be too bad, but even with 23 foot crest, it will be the second highest crest of the river ever.  And the first time we have ever had a major flood of this sort ever in the fall.

Needless to say, the river has risen a couple feet today.  The walking trails at the Nature Center are now underwater in low areas and both Prairie Creek and Indian Creek are taking in Cedar River runoff.   This blog will chronicle the happenings as they happen.  The calm before the storm so to speak.      However, while they're trying to save New Bo, the core of engineers decided to keep the folks who own Tornado's Pub and Grill out of the makeshift Nesco Dam, as well as Kickstand and a couple buildings being remodeled.  The Art Gallery, Antique store across the street, they managed to get everything out of the building into storage before the NESCO dam was built.  Updates to come next few days, till the river crest and things slowly return back to normal.  Grace Potter is supposed to be playing at The Paramount on the 29th, two days after the flood crest. The Fab Four Beatles Tribute Band had to be postponed till next month.   But this will be a blog in progress.

Photo: Tracy Bell  Wapsipinicon River over 150 in Independence 9-25-16

Sunday:  River continues to rise to 13 feet in CR.  The Wapsi to the east has flooded out Littleton and Independence despite the efforts of sandbaggers trying to save houses in Littleton.  30 miles downriver, Lou Lou's in Olin, a camping ground is already beginning to flood.  River is supposed to crest around 24.5 feet in Anamosa on Wednesday.

Palo 9-26-16   Photo from KCRG. 

Vinton 9-26-16 From Ann and Larry via KWWL.  The Cedar has crested up there.

(photo: Ted Reilly  I-380 leading into downtown CR 9-26-16)

Photo: Red Bull Printing 9-26-16

Monday:  The Cedar continues to creep closer and closer to town.  Only 380 is the open bridge across the Cedar and during rush hour it's been wall to wall traffic.  Roads to the Nature Center are now under water and good thing that the farmers managed to clear their harvest on 13/151.  That area is now under water.  The river is beginning to flood on the lower streets in Czech Village and New Bo.  Meanwhile the Wapsipinicon River is now at 20 feet at Shaw Rd outside of Anamosa.  Which means getting into town via E-34 will not be possible.  Road leading to Matsell's now under water.  Buffalo Creek, taking the Wapsi runoff is now flooding the fields to the N and E of Anamosa.

Jenee Ryan's Photo of the Wapsi slowly taking over Lead Mine Road outside of Anamosa.

Not surprisingly, The Cedar River has begun to take over some of the buildings and areas not protected from the NESCO dams.  McGrath Amphitheater is becoming an island in itself.  Jim Slosiarek from the CR gazette took this shot, and the one below.

Shot looking at downtown CR, and the New Bo/Bo Town area.  Some flood water going into the low lying areas but so far as of 5 PM Monday things are looking better than originally thought. However the picture below might suggest otherwise.  James Carter takes this photo of train tracks to Quaker Oats.  To be continued tomorrow for the crest and aftermath.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week In Review: TE Radio 22, Eagles Snub, Cubs Win

(Photo: SB Nation)

So ends the last weekend of summer.  New Bo park hosted the first ever harvest moon fest with local bands SaLOONatics, JC Project, Crankshaft in front of a small circle of musician friends and family.  I basically stayed home to watch Iowa get manhandled by North Dakota State (see last blog about that experience) and mowed the yard.  Almost fall and the grass still grows.  Friday Night sports, Marion's two game winning streak came to an end up in Dubuque as Wahlert beat them 17-13,  Arizona State almost got upset by University of Texas-San Antonio but managed to win on a last second Ballage TD and nuff said.  That would have been a more big upset than North Dakota State's so called shock heard around the world but then again ESPN or Fox sports don't hate ASU as much as they do of the Iowa Pretenders known as the Hawkeyes. ASU is 3-0, but their next foe is Cal, who managed to upset University of Texas-Austin (the real TX team).  Given how both teams have no defense whatsoever, it should be another basketball score in the making.

(photo: Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs, managed to win the Central Division Friday when they beat Milwaukee, the fastest time they won the pennant since my grandpa was in grade school. Joe Maddon decided to give the guys time off over the weekend and Milwaukee whopped them on Saturday after yet another Jake Arrieta sub par pitching performance, he simply hasn't been the same since his Cy Young winning season of last year, in fact he's fading to be the number 3 ace behind Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester. Sunday, Hendricks got outpitched by a pitcher with a 5.91 era, to which Maddon decided vacation is over and played the regulars Monday for a win over the lowly Cincinnati Reds.

(Credit: Bob Yeazel)

Jerry Corbetta passed away, he was 68 and had Pick's Syndrome.   Best known as the vocalist for Chocolate Hair, later known as Sugarloaf since their record label didn't like the original name.  Big hit was Green Eyed Lady, which fit on AM radio, FM radio, underground radio, classic rock radio, oldies radio and so on. Later singles didn't figure much but their final top 2 hit, 1975's Don't Call Us We'll Call You used the phone number to CBS Records in New York as a ring tone, kinda of a novelty hit but the song really deal with (back then) bands trying to break into a major label and getting rejected.   Corbetta later would join the Four Seasons before touring as part of the Legends Of Rock groups that played state fairs around the country.

The Kennedy Center had announced that Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner and Don Felder should not be included when The Eagles get honored in that televised gala  Kennedy Center Honors crap in December.  Probably a decision that Don Henley may have suggested since his feud with Felder has been tabloid fodder for the past 2 decades.  It was decided that Henley, Joe Walsh, Tim Schmit and the late Glenn Frey, casting his vote from beyond the grave, were the ones carrying the torch would be honored.  It way it goes. Say what you want about Felder, but if it wasn't for him kicking the Eagles in the ass to get that guitar lead sound right on the overplayed Hotel California, the Eagles would not sound the same.  Meisner played a crucial role as well as we all know from another overplayed song Take It To The Limit.  Without Bernie Leadon, they would be a very minor country rock band.  I won't take away Frey and Henley's role of perfecting those harmonies, but without Leadon, they'd be nothing.  And you won't see or hear that on the Kennedy Center Asskissing Honors show.  I love Joe Walsh, I can tolerate Tim Schmit, but on a whole, it remains the Henley/Frey show. They work well for live shows and excellent paydays, but that last Eagles album really was boring. If I want to celebrate their legacy, I'll just throw on any of their first three albums.

Places to go eat when you want something different.

And the ratings so far this month, no views over 200 since September 7, hell no views over 100 since September 7.  If it wasn't for the Bruce Stanley Tribute blog, I might not have 100 views at all this month. Rest assured it'll be another 2,000 views but I rather not do another death blog about a good friend if this means higher ratings.   Usually the rule of thumb is that out of every 10 blogs I do write for the past month, only 1 or 2 get read.  Unless it's one of the ole reliable blogs (Circumstances beyond our control, Hanging With The Band) that continue to pop up in the most viewed, to which I probably blame some picture of a model for that.  And I still can't get into that candy apple red hair that Ivy Doomkitty has been sporting lately.

John D Loudermilk, one of the best all time songwriters known (Tobacco Road, Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, Break My Mind, It's My Time covered by The Townedgers) passed away Tuesday from a heart attack. He was 82.

Record Reviews:

Aaron Lewis-Sinner (Dot/Big Machine 2016)

Given the fact that Aaron is better known for Staind, the Nu Metal band of the 1990s he tends to come across as yet another rocker trying to make it in country music but unlike Steven Tyler or Bret Michaels Aaron at least is making a valiant effort to come across as a country singer. He certainly is outlaw enough to be a convincing David Allen Coe, although I tend to think Coe is more imposter than Waylon and Willie  or Hank Jr. as all four plus Johnny and June and George Jones gets namechecked on That Ain't Country.  While Aaron gets bounty points for calling out fake Bro Country imposters such as FGL to which he shares the same label with, simply being on Big Machine does give suspicions if Lewis is actually country enough to really care about.   Lewis gets credit by adding Willie Nelson (sounding even more  of his 80 plus years voice on the title track) and hooking up with Buddy Cannon, who did produce albums from Willie and George Jones when the possum was still alive.  And likewise tapping Vince Gill and Alison Krauss for vocal support.  The downside is that being on Big Machine, Lewis is probably required to write a song about trucks and back roads and we get that on Northern Redneck, probably Lewis's trying to appease the Bro Country crowd, but I think it comes across as tongue in cheek rather than horse manure that FGL or Luke Bryan is known for.  Another downside is that there's quite a bit of slow tempo outlaw songs that meander on the second side of the album.  Plus there's a Straind  like bellow on Mama that suggest Lewis is trying too hard to hit those out of reach notes in the chorus.  In the end, the record wins out, due to that Lewis took on a Chris Stapleton song in Whiskey And You and it sounds fine, but what wins me over is daughter Zoe covering Bruce Robison's Travelin' Soldier, originally done by The Dixie Chicks.  For being 13 years old, Zoe sounds right at home with the traditional country sound.   It's still hard for me to even think ever about listening or even buying Aaron Lewis's album, given that I never cared much for Staind.  Since Aaron was adamant about blasting the bro country crowd and that the folks at Saving Country Music even talked about this gave me the reason to listen to Sinner. He does show himself to be more David Allen Coe than the original outlaws of country, and even if Coe is the least of them all, it's not that bad to be compared to Coe.   It's rough around the edges like Willie and Waylon and a bit inconsistent like David Allen Coe, but it's a hell of a lot more honest than Steven Tyler's country attempt.  It is a good country album.
Grade B

John Fogerty-Centerfield (Warner Brothers 1984, later issued via Dreamworks/Geffen)

With CCR, Fogerty made some of the best swamp rock albums in the history of music, to which his vision or the music clashed with the CCR rhythm section and after Marti Gra, John cut them loose and begin somewhat of decade an half exile, throwing together DIY projects like The Blue Ridge Rangers and a Asylum album that has disappeared from sight.  That Asylum J.F. album had a great song in Almost Saturday Night and a good one with Rockin All Over The World but the rest of that album I can't remember.  And then for 9 years he'd disappear to the point that Joe Strummer actually requested that John would come up with something new and John did, by surprising the world with Centerfield, a album that seemed to pick up where Marti Gras left off, but without Doug and Stu hanging around.  I guess they are missed from a fan's viewpoint but John thought good riddence.  In fact The Old Man Down The Road is so damn CCR sounding you have to check the credits and no, that's John doing all instruments and vocals.   Take away the electric drums and you would swear it was 1969 all over again.  I think the title track remains a bit corny, Vanz Can't Danz might have ole Zal Zentz still spinning in his grave but even for the disco beat and goofy drum solo I like it fine and the short and simple songs of Big Train From Memphis and I Saw It on TV are vintage Fogerty, even though he did add some Creedence riffs to Saw It On TV.  John has managed to stick around and put out more albums in the next few years and finally learned to embrace the magic sounds of Creedence and has become more of a better tribute artist to that band than his estranged bandmates, but I do admit I haven't had much interest in the past two albums that Fogerty has done.  If his Asylum 1975 effort was a misstep, Centerfield was a full fledged return back to the basis and the fact that simple three chord rock and roll if done right can remain timeless.  By far Centerfield, is John's solo masterpiece.
Grade A-

Frank Zappa-ZAPPatite (Zappa 2016)

I don't think there'll be a best of Frank Zappa album we can all be happy with.  Strictly Commercial, the Rykodisc 90s best of, is probably is the best of the bunch and Zappa tried to compile a best of the Mothers with Mothermania  but Zappatite, while adventurous, pales next to Commercial, and poor choice of songs from Overnight Sensation (trading Montana for Dirty Love), perhaps I'm The Slime makes a great lead off song and probably says more about Zappa's output overall. Zappa could play it straight, although rare,  Peaches En Regalia might be his best overall song ever, and Trouble Comin Every Day his best rock song overall.  And of course his usual progressive rock fun of Cosmic Debrik and Titties And Beer.  G Spot Tornado, hints of a synclavier future we could do without and Strictly Genteel is Zappa reaching to be a classical composer.  For a sampler of what Zappa was, it's uneven as hell, but if you're looking for something that has Peaches, I'm The Slime, Valley Girl, and Joe's Garage here you go.  But Strictly Commercial is a much better overview.
Grade B-

Adele-21 (Columbia 2011)

I know.  She's got a good voice and lord almighty she can belt out those heartbreaking torch songs, but she doesn't rock enough for me and the sob songs get tiring after a while. Rolling In The Deep and Rumor Has It are excellent songs, the former probably the best song she's ever done and she has enough variety to Rumor Has It that  it's worth to hear a few more times.  Whitney Houston also had a great voice and I would have liked her better had she not shout and scream out of control.  The uptempo stuff, there's much of, outside of Take It All and Rolling and Rumor.  Her last album probably had the same amount of ballads as well and I think I liked it better than 25.  But for a 1.88 special, it's one of those albums that I had to listen just to see what the fuss is about.   21, Adele puts her heart and soul into these songs but I think I prefer Amy Rigby or Linda Thompson if I want to hear love gone wrong songs.
Grade C+

Doc Holliday-Doc Holliday Rides Again (A&M 1981-later issued on Rock Candy 2006)

Strange how some albums are yet to be issued on CD (The Brains....) but some minor stuff has seen CD reissued.  Doc Holliday was a Southern rock styled band from Texas that made two albums for A & M but even I knew nothing about them back then.  Legend has it that Jerry Moss wasn't too thrilled of hearing Tom Allom's original production and David Anderle remixed it judging from the exhaustive liner notes.  Perhaps Mr. Moss had a point.  Doc Holliday is like the 2nd tier Southern Rock bands of the late 70s and early 80s that made pleasant enough rock and roll but not enough to stand out, somewhat like Arista era Point Blank or Great Southern or early 38 Special before Jim Peterik came to give them some much needed hit singles.  Somewhat of a poor man's Blackfoot (Southern Man, Last Ride) Doc Holliday didn't do ballads very well and Let Me Be Your Lover issued as a failed single shows it.  Jerry Moss wrote them off as a tax loss anyway although there was enough interest for Rock Candy to reissue it on CD with two bonus tracks: covers of Whiskey Train and Travelin' Band, sounding like a bar band on a Saturday Night when the lead singer had a bit too much of Jack Daniels.
Grade C+

Music Of My Years-Cinderella Night Songs (Mercury 1987)

This is too hard rock for me consider it to be hair metal.  Tom Keifer had more Nazareth in him than Bon Jovi, who was instrumental of getting Cinderella on Mercury Records.  Certainly a lot of Aerosmith comes into play, but credit Andy Johns (RIP) for giving them the hard rock and roll sound that wasn't hair metal.  The hard rock riffs of Push Push and hit singles Somebody Save Me and Shake Me  were head banging fun, although Keifer's lyrics are very simpleminded.  If Nobody's Fool reminded one of Bringing On The Heartbreak by Def Leppard, Leifer channels his inner Dan McCaffery to make it sound harder than Poison or Motley Crue for that matter.  Hell On Wheels even sounds a bit like Blackfoot's Warped although I'm sure Keifer and the boys would ever deny of hearing Blackfoot, maybe Ted Nugent was thought of?  No matter, I tend to enjoy Cinderella's first album more than Motley Crue and Poison or even Ratt for that matter, but with Long Cold Winter and otherwise I never paid much attention.  Night Songs remains their bona fide classic album.  Their poofy hairdo might have made them come across as Hair Metal but in reality, Cinderella was pure hard rock and roll.
Grade B+

Townedger Radio 22-Broadcast via Lucky Star Radio 9/22/16

Listen-Screaming Jay Hawkins
Trying To Forget You-Howlin Wolf
It Don't Come Easy-The Smithereens
Aging Eyes-Tommy Bruner
Nickels And Dimes-Wooden Nickel Lottery
Orion Subsiding-King Buffalo 
Different Shade Of Blue-The Townedgers
Myth Of Love-The Georgia Satellites
Feel This/No Fat Burger-Descendants
Him Or Me-Bun E. Carlos
Black Rose (A Rock Legend)-Thin Lizzy

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Rock and Roll and the Mockery Of Iowa Football

I don't think this could have waited till the next week in review blog.  This loss is historic in the fact that anybody suggesting that Iowa had a legitimate chance to be a force in the Big Ten West should be laughed at.  Fox Sports spudboy Colin Cowpie Cowherd is going to rub it in your face.  Iowa you're simply not good enough to even be considered in the top 25 ever again.

For a FCB school North Dakota State is a force to be reckon with. They win and win and wind and then sometimes they go play a Power 5 college and beat them.  They have done that six straight times now.  They were picked to win this game.  It wasn't the shot heard around the world as ESPN Butchie  Beth Mowens  wold exclaim time and time again after NDSU won on the last second field goal 23-21.  The Bison did exactly what Michigan State did to Iowa in the championship game last year,  they simply played power run football and shoved it down the Hawkeyes throat.  And the defense failed.  And the offense failed.  For a high powered bunch of running backs and all American pretty boy C J Bethard at quarterback and WRs, the offense managed to have negative nine yards in the forth quarter.  Not exactly the stuff that winning teams are made of.

The 2016 Iowa Hawkeyes wanted to prove that last year was not a fluke, they went undefeated all season till they trip up against Michigan State and then got blown out of the Rose Bowl by Stanford.  Critics like Cowpie Cowerd scoffed all along the way, saying Iowa played nobody, they got lucky at Wisconsin and they got lucky against Nebraska.  There was no North Dakota State last year and good thing too, Iowa would have lost that game as well.   But in order for Iowa to be taken seriously, they had to pony up a tough team before the Big Ten, why not drop a half a million to North Dakota State and have them show up and lay down and take the money home, why not?  Only problem is NDS was on a mission to come to Iowa City and kick ass and win the game, not just win it but dominate it and that they did in the final quarter against a tired Iowa defense that ran out of gas once again due to piss poor offense plays.

There was no line on the game, but I figured North Dakota State would win it.  Of course around the state, hardly anybody noticed and predicted that since the Big Ten had better players they would win regardless. The Bisons didn't see it that way as they shredded Iowa's defense for big yards rushing.  One of the greatest upsets in college football history?  Bullshit. North Dakota State could have beaten anybody from the Big Ten West and give Ohio State a good run for the money. But ESPN, the anti Hawkeye channel and FOX SPORTS with Colin Kocksuck will blow their horn and give this game the top story.  But even you, me and Colin Clueless will tell you this game is not a upset.  But this game has branded The Iowa Hawkeyes to be forever pretenders to the NCAA championship this season.  They are going to have to win ALL of the games, plus the bowl game against the other team and thank their lucky stars North Dakota State will not be that team.  But I have a better chance at winning the lottery then the Hawks winning the championship this season.

Whatever shred of credibility Iowa had left went out the door.  It doesn't matter if they blow out their foes 100-0 from here on out, nobody is going to give them any credit, Iowa will be, like Colin Clitherd will remind you, pretenders and shouldn't be there.  In fact, maybe The Big Ten West should trade Iowa for North Dakota State since NDS wins more the games they should rather than the Hawks who continue to crack under pressure of playing a top rated team be it Power 5 or FCB.    There was hope that perhaps beating NDS they would at least get some sort of cred.  Not anymore. This game pretty sums up the feelings of what the naysayers have said about Iowa, they're not good enough, they're pretenders.  And sorry to say, I have to agree with the hated Colin Custardpie, they're are pretenders and there's not a damn thing they can do about it, till they finally get off their collective asses and beat a Michigan or a Michigan State or a Stanford but rest assured they won't be going to the Rose Bowl this year.

They just don't have it and North Dakota State proved it.

PS:  Now that I calmed down, it isn't a total waste of a season and that one game would shape up the scope of the rest of the season, which BIG TEN games start taking over. That said, North Dakota State is a force to be reckon with and if Michigan or Ohio State don't want to play them, that's fine too.  The Bisons would have battled them tooth and nail.  But I remain unconvinced that this was a upset and an embarrassment,  the latter yes it was since it made top news around the sports channel across the America and the naysayers laughing their asses off, as an upset, it wasn't.  By adding NDSU, Iowa did try to toughen up themselves by playing quality rivals, but in the process they failed since they couldn't stop the power run in the final quarter, to which their opponents will now use in their plan of attack on future Hawkeye games.  And in any case the other teams they play will be tougher than last year, Nebraska is tougher, likewise Wisconsin and Minnesota and they want their trophies back.  Wisconsin remains the most shaky of the trio, Nebraska upset Oregon and who knows what the Gophers have in store.   Even Maryland is not a gimme game either, nor Rutgers, which the Hawks go to play there. If Rutgers win, that would be considered a bigger upset than the so called NDSU game.  Nevertheless, with each loss to a quality team does not help Iowa at all but rather confirms everybody belief that they will be pretenders and until Iowa beats a Michigan, a Michigan State or a Ohio State, the masses will not be convinced. And the falling out has begun, in the Amway top twenty five  coaches poll, they falter down to number 25.

However history has shown that after a bad loss, Iowa would come back and kick butt.  They did that when Arizona State blitzed them out of Tempe in 2004 but Iowa came back to share the title and a bowl game victory, and in 2002 after Iowa State took them out, went 8-0 to share the title and then lose in the Orange Bowl. And another Missouri Valley team in 2009 almost beat them if their FG kicker didn't miss a couple of field goals, after that Iowa did wake up and start winning and then winning the Orange Bowl that year.  Wake up calls like those did enable Iowa to get serious about playing again and playing winning football.   It has been done before.  But they are not going to convince Cowpie Cowerd, not now and maybe not later, unless it's a top 3 NCAA football powerhouse. It would have been easier to give half a million to Northern Iowa and perhaps a easier game but nothing is a gimme, unless your playing cupcake schools and junior colleges in need of money.  North Dakota State gladly took the money and promptly kicked Iowa's offense and defense line's ass all over Iowa City.   When your punter moves the ball better than your vaulted Running attack (only 34 rushing yards all day from all of them) and NDSU runs it that much plus 205 more yards, it's going to be a loss regardless.  Perhaps the Hawks should have given half a mil to Prairie View A and M or Trump University, ESPN would have ridiculed them (like Colin Cookiepuss Cowerd) anyway but it still would have been a win.  Next week's game with Rutgers will tell if The Hawks will be as advertised or worse, not even a ordinary subpar team.  Guess we'll wait and see next week.