Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Observations From The Forefront-January

Good evening.

While Record World is dormant, there are still news going around and I would agree to hang around to document the more noteworthy news .  Already we are only half way through the month and already we lost a few notables.  My good friend Duane Connaughton's wife Sioux suddenly passed away today. Anything I can do Duane, please let me know.  Your wife was a great person.

The big news of the week is that The Chrome Horse has returned to New Bo, in the former New Bo Ale House and US Bank building.  This Friday Slap N Tickle will be the first band to play there and Lonesome Road will play on Saturday. It's nice to see the Chrome Horse return to familiar surroundings although they insist that the Blairs Ferry location will still be up and running.  For the past couple years, I tend to park the car in that area to do my Sunday walk but now it looks like finding a parking spot will be a bit more harder to find.

While it looks like I may have returned, I'm basically pacing myself to at least stay in touch once in a while with these observations from the forefront blogs.   I have a band that takes up a lot of my time and to add to that, a special somebody  although she's been sidelined with the flu for the past month and I haven't seen much of her. When she gets sick, she sees nobody including the other half.  But she needs to get better.  Her singing partner in Dreams Of Arcadia is coming back into town for a couple weeks and they'll be hitting the ground running.  Which means I won't be seeing much of her unless I get the night off and go see her play and help her out.   Perhaps in the future, we can form our own duo, but I tend to get in the way more than I help.

Even being in love with a great special woman, I will tend to do my bargain hunts and see what kind of music I can find in 2018.  And of course Madison and the river towns as well.  I would love to see Arizona this year, I haven't been there in five years.  But already things have changed.  No more Hastings and FYE shut down the location I used to frequent when I lived there years ago.  There's Bookman's and Zia's but anything else I would have to scour the thrift stores.

With a special woman in my life, I'm trying to settle my fears and phobias.  The usual feeling that the more she knows me, the more she'll want to run away screaming.  Usually if a woman knows once she finds a great man no matter how skewed he is, she's not going to give him up without a fight. I mean she really wanted to be around me, even when I didn't think she wanted me at all.  So I'm trying to combat that negative thought.  I really want this relationship to succeed so I'm doing my best to curtail the Crabb inside of me.  And I never thought I would ever say that.

I don't have much goals for 2018.  I'll listen to new music if it's worth a listen but I'm not going go out of my way to buy the flavor CD of the month, play it once and then donate it back to Goodwill. There's not much for reissues I'm looking for, unless Universal finally decides to reissue The Brains first album.  Let's face it, 50 years ago, the music on the radio was great.  50 years later nobody gives a fuck about new music and most of it sucks anyway. 50 years later the classic rock and rollers are now 70, Eric Clapton is going deaf and we'll lose more rockers along the way. Maybe even myself if I'm not careful.  If I compile a best of 2018, it will be less albums than last year and most will be forgotten anyway.   I'm sure Half Price Books will continue to have some interesting stuff in the 2 dollar bins, likewise Stuff Etc. and I'll be amused of what 45s I find in the future.   If I can make it to May I would be at my place of employment for 30 years.  Never thought that would come to light.

I hope my family and friends can hang around another year. But things can and will change.  If I lose a certain family member or friend that might drive me over the edge and the world will never hear from me again.   Likewise my special woman,  if I lose her it might break me as well.   But who knows what time will bring.  But if you know me, it will not stop me from continuing to buy used music.  If it's worth a blog, I post it.   But I'm leaving the politics to somebody else.  As well as the cheesecake photo of the month.

So that's it for now.  Keep the cards and letters and comments coming in and I get back to you ASAP. And remember Tide Pods are for washing clothes, not eating them.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Passings: Eddie Clarke, Keith Jackson....

On Wednesday Fast Eddie Clarke, went to join Lemmy and Phil Taylor in reforming the classic Motorhead lineup in the great beyond.   He was 67 and passed from phenomena.  Although the last Motorhead lineup of Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee were in the band longer then Eddie, it is considered that the early Motorhead albums are their defining moment. Overkill I like a bit more than Ace Of Spades but that's a great album in its own right.  No Sleep Till Hammersmith broke the band into the hard rock scene (they were not metal, Lemmy loved three chord garage rock and roll)  But with Iron Fist, Clarke departed after Lemmy wanted to do a version of Stand By Your Man with Wendy O Williams.

His next band was Fastway, which he started with Pete Way but Chrysalis wouldn't let Way out of his contract, so Way departed and Charlie McCracken replaced him.  Bonus points were given when Jerry Shirley played drums and the first Fastway album is one of the best albums of the 1980s, Eddie Kramer produced that one and the followup All Fired Up, which seemed to be more outtakes from the first album.  But they did have a bona fide hit with Say What You Will.  Waiting For The Roar was a career killer, Terry Manning, the producer opting to update Fastway's sound with keyboards and processed beats.  The followup, Trick Or Treat was a slight return to form but David King left (he went on to Flogging Molly) and  On Target, Clarke went for a Def Leppard sound to which fans got off the bus.  In 2011, Clarke revived Fastway for Eat Dog Eat, which was his hardest rocking album since the first album.  Clarke would jam with Lemmy a couple times in Motorhead and was rumored to be working on something with Lemmy till the iconic bass player died.  With Clarke's passing, the book on Fastway is closed.  A very underrated guitar player but at times when he tried to change with the times, it didn't quite work as well as his years with Motorhead and the first year of Fastway.

On Friday Keith Jackson, classic football announcer died at age 89.  He was the voice of College Football but also announced the first season of Monday Night Football.  With his passing, college football will never be the same again. One of my favorite announcers.

Dolores O'riordan, Cranberry's lead singer and solo artist died Monday. She was 46

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/15/cranberries-singer-dolores-oriordan-dies-aged-46

Edwin Hawkins, with his gospel band gave the world Oh Happy Day, a top ten hit in 1969 passed away on Monday from pancreatic cancer.  He was 74

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/8094294/edwin-hawkins-dead-gospel-singer-oh-happy-day

Monday, January 8, 2018

Iowa Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame 2018 Inductees

The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association is honored to be able to recognize Iowa artists with induction into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame and help retain Iowa’s musical legacy. 2018 Inductees into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame include: David Ellefson (Individual Artist), The Nadas (Band), Marilyn Maye (Lifetime Achievement), The Bushmen (Band), Rob Lumbard (Individual Artist), Buckeye (Band), Pam Dixon (DJ), IV Pauli (Band), Cabala (Band), Gary Richards (Individual Artist), George Rondinelli (Support People), Crusin’ (Band), Rick Hillyard (Individual Artist), A Stitch ‘n Tyme (Band), Torkays (Band), Lavendar Hill (Band), Dennis McMurrin (Lifetime Achievement), Johnny Green (Individual Artist), Festival (Band), The Trippers (Band), The El Riadas (Band), Dean Davis (Matousek Lifetime Achievement), Rich Mock (Individual Artist), Julie Christensen (Women Who Rock), Duane “Nudie” Binder (Individual Artist), Ralph Goldheim (Individual Artist), Dickinson County News (Media Representative), Jim Musser (Media Representative), and Lorados (Venue). Festivities for the 2018 Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame Inductions will take place September 1st and 2nd in and around Arnolds Park, IA. Tickets will be available for the general public March 1st.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Passings

Ray Thomas-Moody Blues

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/moody-blues-ray-thomas-dies/

Chris Tsangarides-Producer for Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore and others

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/chris-tsangarides-rip/

Rick Hall

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/chris-tsangarides-rip/https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/obituaries/rick-hall-muscle-shoals-dies.html


Since I have a dedicated following (all 2 of you) I have decided to continue to publish music news of interest for the year.  There won't be much comments if any. But I do think I do need to document the happenings of the world of 2018.

Feel free to check in from time to time.


Denise LaSalle 1/9/18  age 78

http://www.jacksonsun.com/story/news/local/2018/01/09/jackson-music-legend-denise-lasalle-dieslegendary-rhythm-blues-recording-artist-and-jackson-resident/1016580001/

in May of 2017 Craig Gill killed himself he was 44.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/05/05/inspiral-carpets-drummer-killed-suffering-tinnitus/

Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Final Posting From Record World

And now a few final words from this blogger.

Last year we had 12,000 views and it was decided to keep this running for another year.  This year we cleared 2,000.  I think the ratings are a bit overblown but I tend to believe the 2,000 views better than the inflated one of last year. But still for 15 years, we had a great run.

While, blogs have come and gone, Tad, has continue to keep his going in the time that I started here.  He's been very supportive   http://tadsbackupplan.blogspot.com/2017/12/9-years.html

As always, Half Price Books have been my number 1 place of finding off the wall CDs and bargain bin favorites.  Since the demise of Hastings, Borders, FYE and many others, HP Books bucks the trend.  They have now been here for over a decade.  The majority of reviews came from them.  I shall continue to live there as long as they stay in business.   Stuff Etc was another thrift store that I could find out of print albums as well from the kindness of people getting rid of their cds.  Of course I have to sort through all of the crappy rap albums and One Direction CDs but once in a while I come across something interesting.  I basically got my Leo Kotteke albums from Stuff Etc one August day.

To the record stores still existence.. Moondog Music in Dubuque, Mad City Music X and Strictly Discs in Madison, Ragged Records-Davenport, Co Op Records-Moline, Record Collector-Iowa City and Analog Vault and Vintage Vinyl in Cedar Rapids, I shall return as always.

I miss the days of going to Arizona and finding music but with Hastings closing their doors, it really doesn't seem much fun driving past the empty buildings in Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City and Kingman to name a few.  They still got Bookman's and they still got Zia's Records and they still got a ton of thrift stores.  The ever passive audiophile will know where to look.

The most fun this year was finding 45s and this year was one of the best, if not the best ever to find them.  Which is saying a lot since a lot of folks are buying records and finding any 45s have been few and far between.  But I got lucky a few times.  There might be a notion to continue to document them whenever I find more next year but on a whole I think things ran their course.  I don't think I'm setting the rock world on fire with all those Paul Anka finds.


I think the early years of Record World (Back when MSN had them up) were the best ones, full of sarcastic remarks and outrageous thoughts and most of disappeared and My Space was more of the same.  I didn't act quite fast enough and the 2006-2007 blogs are now in the black hole of cyberland. Ditto with Multiply, I lost the Neil Young Discography over  there, I have no intent of revisiting that.  Try Greatest Hits, then After The Gold Rush,  Rust Never Sleeps, Re-Act-ot, Ragged Glory, Harvest Moon, and then try your luck when you find the rest in the dollar bins at your local thrift store. Good luck.

The state of music today is that what you hear on top 40 radio, you won't remember the next week. I still think there is good music out there, but they have to compete with the classic albums of the 60s 70s etc and with Corporate interests owning all the major labels and most of radio, today's bands have a hard time getting noticed.   Yes, there's net radio, and of course the local bars and perhaps one day we might have a return to the good ole days that new music paved the new way.  But whatever SPIN or Pitchfork touts, I just cannot get into.  The Father John Misty, The Arcade Fire, and  certainly not new country, the Kane Brown, Old Dominion,  Walker Hayes,  it's easier to make fun of them but in reality if I can't get into their music, there's not point of saying how much they suck.   Public Radio hasn't wowed me with what they been playing either.   Maybe it's the end of music as I know it.  But I do know there's still much out there to be discovered from 60 years of rock and roll and another 40 of the beginnings.  I'll still continue to support the local artists and what they put out but as for rehashed reissues of albums I already have and autotuned chipmunks and kayne west wannabees are not for me. As my late IBM repairman Mark Lasack said, You're On Your Own.

And like the first blog that I did in 2002, we were going through 10 below temps and me trying to make use of my time to write about music and things that I wanted the world to know.  But something happened along the way this year that changed everything.  On the jam circuit I met my future girlfriend and it took a while to finally catch her.  I really did have to be patient to win her over.  We had a few false starts but this month she did finally wanted to be a part of this rock and roll record hoarder's life.  I wasn't sure if I was the one till November at the jam on a subpar night and going home, she caught me at the door, then invited me over to her place to work on some music.  And then things just fell into place.  She didn't have to worry about anybody else, I wasn't looking anyway.  Only her.

And now it's the last day of December, the last day of the year, it's 30 below wind chill and the GD starter went out of one of the cars and the other car is grunting and groaning.  I look in despair, that this month we started out above normal and now after Christmas we can't catch a break with below zero weather and fucking snow every day.  But the place is warm, my woman is in her bed sleeping with a smile on her face and I still got music playing on the box.   So things could be worse.

I no idea what 2018 will be like, but I do know is the music will continue and people will continue to die and there will be babies being born into a world that we have a Fraud as president in tow and a congress representing the 1 percent.  There'll be a revolution coming and people will either rise to the occasion and vote them out or stay home and let the evils and the hobbyists and bought out Congressmen, women continue to take away our way of living.  There'll be floods, and tornadoes and droughts and fires and hurricanes for next year.  Bands will come, bands will go, the trade mags will continue to hang on each word Liam and Noel Gallagher will spill out, and some will care what they say.  I don't.   Of course, the music world will continue to lose the hippies and music makers of the past seven decades, death never takes a holiday and as they say we never know when our time is up.  There'll be new blogs to replace the old blogs, newbies taking over for the oldsters.  It's not the end for me if I conclude Record World, it's been a fun ride and for a decade and a half too.  From here on out, it becomes the archives and I'm sure will be here longer than My Space or MSN put together.  The intent was to turn people on to music you have not heard or new music I know you have not heard or music and bands that were forgotten.  Once in a while it would strike a chord with somebody (Thanks to  Swinging Steaks, and the manager of Mom's Apple Pie), which meant I actually did my job.  The curtain falls but I'll be around somewhere.   If you read this far dear reader, thanks for your support.

I bid you all goodbye and Happy New Year 2018.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 A Look Back.

Well, here we are.  We made it to the end of the year.  Yes it's cold here.  Yes we have 10 below temps right now, yes we have snow.

2017 kinda slide on by, and I really didn't notice it that much.  Since giving up television, I am no longer slave to the Big Pharma Commercials, the crap reality shit shows on TV, the propaganda channels of FOX, CNN and MSNBC and basically had to deal with the crap that flooded my inbox at Facebook or Twitter.  I did enough of that back in the 2000s when we had W as POTUS. We sure have come a long way....backwards.

I continued to search the thrift stores for records and CDs and by golly I continued to find them.  It really does pay to have an open mind to give forgotten bands and local artists some airplay love.  For a while I had a internet radio show called Townedger Radio and managed to keep an interest to keep the forgotten music playing.  Till I ran out of CD R's and acoustic jams got the better of my mind.  But it was a fun run.


The bargain hunts this year were exceptional, especially finding 45s of my childhood days.  Two trips to Madison this year proved that if I waited long enough and kept going there more than three times, I might have completed the record collection that my mom had when we were growing up.  And most were under a quarter.  I had my other favorite places to hit, the St Vincent De Paul of Mad City, The Junk Salvation Army in Davenport, even the Dubuque Goodwill had some classic finds.  But the uptown Marion Antique Mall that housed BDW Records got booted out, and thus the BDW finds came to an end this summer.  But I still managed to find them.  People say the CD are out of style, I call bullshit and cleaned up with lots of decent finds, I don't think nobody as many Wounded Bird cutouts as I do.  Most were good, some were classic and a few stunk to high heaven.  For new music, you'll have read my Best of 2017 blog.

Thankfully, my family stayed healthy although my Aunt Fern is not long for this world, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are slowly taking their toll on her 93 years of being here on this planet.  I doubt if I'll make it that far.  I turn 57 next year.  The same year that one of my best friends Bruce Stanley took a nap on the couch and never woke up. Or Tommy Keene passing away in his sleep at age 59.   There were plenty of death's this year, Tom Petty the best known, Chuck Berry too, Mel Tillis, Kirk Walter of Record Collector, Malcolm Young, Dick Enburg, Grant Hart, Pat Dinizo, Chuck Barris, Clyde Stubblefield, Greg Trooper, Alan Holdsworth, John Wetton.  Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell decided they had enough to they took themselves out of this world.  But the most painful one was watching Col Bruce Hampton rocking out to Turn On Your Lovelight and on a guitar solo by a up and coming guitarist, simply gave up the ghost in mid tempo.  The best way to go out in life, on stage doing what you like.  I saw it on You Tube and cried afterward.   It still touches me today. Don Williams also let us, as did Glen Campbell who finally lost his battle with dementia,  And death will continue to take people into the next life, Rose Marie passed away today at age 94.  She lived a long and fruitful life.



On the sports side of things The Quad Cities River Bandits won the Midwestern League title and the Chicago Cubs did win the division title for the second straight year but they had nothing left to give in the playoffs and Los Angeles overtook them to go to the world series.  Arizona State improved to 7-5 and they still canned Todd Graham and hired Herman Edwards for next season.  Iowa ruined Ohio State's bid for the NCAA championship by whopping them 55-24 in November.  Even Colin Cowherd gave Iowa Credit.  And two weeks later Iowa whopped Nebraska 56-14 to earn a bid to a cold bowl game, the Pin Stripe Game in New York.  Nebraska then said goodbye to Mike Riley (who returned back to Oregon State as a assistant coach) and welcome back Scott Frost who might turn them around.  And then Iowa did end their bowl losing streak with a 27-20 victory over Boston College in the Pin Stripe Bowl.  Akim Wadley refused to lose on his final game as he became MVP with 223 all purpose yards.  And Josh Jackson capped a great season by getting his 8th interception joining the likes of Desmond King as most in a season (with a few others).  He'll make a good impact in the NFL.  (James Daniels, you best to stick around for another year in the college side of things).  Iowa State is going to a bowl game but like Iowa, their bowl game was going to Norman Oklahoma and derailing Heisman Award winning QB Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma 38-31 in October.  The experts said that wouldn't be possible.  Todd Graham goes 7-5 and gets fired and Herman Edwards takes over.  Todd's final game, North Carolina State creams ASU 52-31. And so it goes.

For Iowa State, they win the Liberty Bowl on a tipped pass to Allan Lazard, who might make an impact in the NFL and they outlasted the home team Memphis 21-10.  So with both Iowa and Iowa State winning, this makes a remarkable year for both teams.  It's hard to tell what game made the best impact, Iowa double nickels on Ohio State and taking the Buckeyes out of the playoffs picture, or The Cyclones going to Norman and defeating OU.  I'd say on the epic scale, Iowa wins out by a hair. Nevertheless Joel Lanning and Allan Lazard were true Cyclones to the end and both scored TDs. In his first year at linebacker Lanning made All American.  He'll be missed when he graduates.

For the Los Angeles Chargers, not having a kicker ruined their chances for the playoffs, They did beat Oakland 30-10, and getting Jack Del Rio fired but in the end, a shit kicker the first three games of the season is why they're watching the playoffs from home.

For personal fun, I did the World Naked Bike Ride Madison 2016 but wore my silk boxers and then rode off the the bargain stores for more music and fun.  Weather wise we stayed dry and no floods to speak of but we had tornadoes in the area, one tore a path about 20 miles from Alburnett to Prairieburg.  Even up on Madison in October while bike riding a small tornado paid a visit to some houses and store fronts on Washington Avenue over to the hotel I was staying at.  But for the most part, I particpated in a few jams in the area this summer, my band was the headliner in Vinton in September and in usual style, the band broke up soon afterwards.  I also was part of the Cabin Jam on The Wapsi this July.   And in the process managed to cast a spell on one of the local musicians.

And it should be the best store of 2017.  Five years after my breakup with the brat, I swore never to fall in love again, never to succumb to temptations of eve and certainly not give my heart away. But somehow it happened.  It's a case of she chased me till I caught her and for eight months of false starts, good intentions and awkward moments this month she finally decided she was ready to date. All I had to do was be patient.  And I couldn't ask for a better woman.   It's hard to tell what the future will bring and I have always a checkered past when it comes to love, but I know she's been around me for the past year or so in various jams and she made it known she wanted to know me better. So here we are.I don't have much to offer outside my big record collection and no money but she'll never find a more loyal person than me.  I think the seeds were sown back in 2016 when I saw her and her band playing at the Sanity Room and I struck up a conversation with her and she offered me a ride back to my car on the other side of the river.  And over that year and a half it grew into something more.   Some things you can't explain but all you can do is enjoy them when they come around.

I've been blogging for 15 years straight, the last three under the Record World banner, the rest under RS Crabb's top ten and review consortium for various blog sites around internet land and this has been my most steady exposure job ever.  No, it don't pay but it did provide an outlet for my favorite music and bands.  Once the top ten wore out its welcome, I then settled on buying 45s and documenting them.  And then the local bands, and then basically sports.  But I basically quit talking about politics (waste of time even when we have President Idiot or the Grab Our Pocketbook party) and as the months continued to go by even begin to lose interest in the things that I like to talk about. Things have changed in the 15 years that I have done this blog,  Blockbuster closed their doors, Tower Records likewise and pawnshop begin not to take in CDs anymore.  FYE shrunk their stores down to almost nothing but perhaps the  end all was Hastings Entertainment closing all their stores last year.  Not to mention that the Major labels shrunk down to 3 and whatever came out was rehashed greatest hits, countless reissues of the same old product and new bands sucking big time. As well as most of our rock and rollers who we grew up with passing away.  To which after this year it was decided that I have taken Record World as far as I could.

The ratings issue has been there.  Last year we had 12,546 views, very much inflated but it gave a false sense of hope that I was making an impact on the music blogging biz.  But this December we'll squeak past 2,000 views but hardly anybody makes comments, unless it's Blogger spam.  The writing was on the wall.  And our time has come and gone.

For the most part I'm proud to share the 45 finds most of all and rediscovered the music that I grew up with in some ways, the Madison bargain hunts proved that. I could continue doing that for 2018 but in reality, there's not much rock and roll in the finds that I did produce  most of the year and the Montavini Clair De Lune 45 was the most glaring example of hoarding.  But I was curious and next year will promise to more interesting 45s to be found.  Unless it's decided that I should be more serious in doing things with my better half.    But it's not over just quite left.  I'll do another entry and then head off into the next adventure.  And marvel at the fact that I have done this for 15 years.  Total dedication on a hobby that, like my music career, a attempt at exposure.   And perhaps I have succeeded.

(to be continued)

Worst country albums: https://www.savingcountrymusic.com/saving-country-musics-worst-albums-of-2017/

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017

For the first time in three years, Mother Nature has given us a white Christmas.  The best kind,  An inch of snow to make everything white and not make the roads too slick.  So the kids are happy and the traditionalists happy as well.  We can all sleep better now.



We were spoiled by the warm weather of this winter before the reality set in and we now have a back to normal Christmas with cold sunshine and sub zero wind chills.  It's has been dry, we have been in a stage 3 level drought and a half inch of snow won't help things much.  Of course there might be a slight tick in the jet stream that might bring back the blizzards and snow that made previous years a living hell to live here.  But for now we can actually sing the words to White Christmas and feel good about it.



It's been a strange year with a Fake and a Fraud POTUS and a GOP party more concerned with the one percent than the rest of the world and basically I rather not talk about it.  It's supposed to be a day of peace and goodwill toward man, and not a middle finger to our government.   The future of net neutrality hangs up in the air to see if everything becomes a bundle package deal.   Let's face it, it's hard to come together when there's a radical split between Trump supporters and the Trump haters.  Needless to say, since I voted, neither Fraud 45, nor the incompetent Joni Ernst and the senile Chuck Grassley or Rod Blum are my congressmen nor government.  They do not support my ideas at all. Who decided that Joni baby should be in congress till 2020 should be hanged as well.



So now that tirade putting me in a dour mood, let's get back to the celebration of this special day. Christmas is supposed to be a time for family and friends.  Christmas is where we give thanks where thanks is due.  Sometimes I think about the previous girlfriends that I had in my life and hope they're doing well.  It's a shame that one year you can be truly in love with somebody and then the next year they're hated for life.  I have friends that have suffered through this ordeal.  At least they managed to raise decent children despite the negativity.



Gas prices are 2.29 a gallon at most places. But we all know that can change from year to year, especially when we had 4 dollars a gallon a few years ago.  It's easy getting to Mom and Dad's on 2.29 a gallon rather than 3.75

Christmas is the time we play Christmas with Buck Owens, family favorite and The Christmas Spirit from Johnny Cash. But there have been favorites along the way.  Sock It To Me Santa, Christmas Spirit?!?, Santa Claus from The Sonics, Jingle Bells from the Singing Dogs.  But I did buy the new Cheap Trick Christmas Christmas CD and by golly, these guys have really gotten back to playing power pop rock and roll without the balladry that almost ruined it for me.  It was good enough to be included on the best of 2017.  Yeah, Cheap Trick managed to get decent reviews of their albums after leaving Epic but once they latched on to Big Machine, they found their inner rock and roll groove all over again.  Bun E Carlos might be missed but Dax Nielsen has a powerful beat all his own. For a Christmas album, this one will be played alongside Buck Owens in the future.

I tend to favor rocking albums and with the passing of Pat Diznio, I pulled out Christmas With The Smithereens and it still holds up fairly well, but after that Christmas In The Heart from Bob Dylan kinda put a downer on the mood.  Must Be Santa is still fun but that voice doesn't do much justice to the old chestnuts everybody sings.  Perhaps it's not the album to play after Cheap Trick or Smithereens?  Yuletunes is much better.



It's hard to believe that The Townedgers did a Christmas album although Christmas With The Townedgers is still worth hearing on that drive into town although Jingle Bells may as well called Cheesy Bells since it sounds like cheese and nobody might get the Elvis reference on Merry Christmas Baby, but it's all good intentions.  In keeping with tradition, we also offer up some Christmas cheer with one of Santa's little helpers.  The thought that counts.

As we celebrate Christmas, death also continues to work on this holiday.  Dick Enberg, one of the all time great broadcasters ever had a heart attack over the weekend and left us at age 82.  I remember Dick replacing Kurt Gowdy in the football games of the 1970s with Merlin Olsen, his "oh my" the trademark next to Harry Carey's Holy Cow. Life goes on even after the thrill of living is gone.



But it's a new day and if you're still alive and celebrating Christmas, that's all that matters if you have somebody special to share it with.  Happy Holidays!



RIP Chickenman: https://radioink.com/2017/12/25/chickenman-silenced-forever/