Thursday, December 13, 2018

2019 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame

In order of importance.

Roxy Music

For many years they been ignored by the HOF but this year the biggest surprise.  Led by Bryan Ferry and helped by Phil Manzera and Andy McKay, they went from Prog rock glammers to a more mellower MOR rock sound.    They were rock with Phil Thompson on drums and John Gufstason on bass and Brian Eno added oddball sounds on the first two albums.  They never made a bad album, in fact Avalon is fun music to get romantic with, but I enjoy the craziness that is their 1979 album Manifesto.  Siren is a bit overrated, Country Life is better.  Ferry's solo albums of that time had Roxy members guest starring but by the 1990s, Ferry's albums weren't standing out either.  After Avalon, Roxy Music never made a new album, but did put out a couple a reunion albums that kinda captured the spirit of the early years.

The  Zombies:

One of the best singles band from the UK, their Odessey And Oracle album probably were the inspiration for another Rock Inductee band Radiohead.  The best introduction remains any of their best ofs out there.  Rod Argent and Colin Blumstone are the only two remaining members of that band still out there.  Varese Records did issued a couple comps with lesser known and b sides that are worth seeking out and loaded up the bonus tracks on OAO, which can be a good thing since the original album didn't go past 30 minutes.

The rest;

The Cure

Cutting edge mope rock.  Their best years were with Sire but I really didn't pay a lot of attention to them.  I did get a chuckle out of their Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me album but the only album that ever made to my player was Staring At The Sea best of, later replaced with The Cure Greatest Hits.  Maybe sometime I'll search the Sire albums to see what I have missed but for a band that gets lumped in with Bauhaus, I don't have that much enthusiasm to go look. Unless the records are in the dollar bins.

Stevie Nicks

I'm sure Lindsay Buckingham is LOL on this one and truthfully, Stevie's albums have been problematic.  She was a sex symbol around the time of Rumors and Bella Donna and as time marches on, you wonder what the fuss the solo albums were about.  Not exactly hall of fame material.  Trouble In Shanghai has been my favorite of her solo output even with Sheryl Crow (2027 rock inductee) on it.  Her shining moment remains, Silver Springs, the B side to Go Your Own Way and should have been included on Rumors, to which Rhino did tack on a limited edition reissue.


For most overblown and overhyped band Radiohead is first ballot all the way baby!  OK Computer being the most overhyped album ever,tho' it does seem to be one of the more listenable albums, overall best ever?  No.  Kid A influenced a lot of the new acts (Lukas Graham, Franz Ferdinand) but to me it's a crap album. Best album I'd think would be In Rainbows, but I don't have a lot of use for Radiohead.  They did shed that Cure Mope rock skin after Pablo Honey and became something more to the critics but they never did rock much.

Def Lepherd

This year's fan favorite.  Their best was On Through The Night, which remains their hardest rocking album, and they traded Tom Allom for Robert John Lange and scored big time.  There's a AC/DC influence on the next two albums and then Pyromania broke them big.  They really had nothing to say with their goofy lyrics (rock rock till you drop, rock rock never stop) and Photograph had that trademark RJ Lange method of catchy lyrics and riffs and a hooky chorus to remember that song by.  On Hysteria, they sold their soul to the classic rock radio mode (mold).  Pour Some Sugar On Me is their answer to Yummy Yummy Yummy.

Janet Jackson

Like Radiohead  JJ's induction was coming and like brother Micheal, Janet dominated the R and B charts of the 1980s, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis the secret weapon.  Control and Rhythm Nation are her two best but after that, I couldn't tell you anything off later albums.

And there you have it.  Your 2019 rock hall members.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Crabbys: 2018 Best of Places.

And so, it begins again.

The year end of awarding the Crabby Awards to my favorite places.   And they're getting to be few and far between.

2002.  Was the year that CD sales were sliding down and places to hang out to buy CDs are now faded memories.  2002 was the year that Pawnshops decided that CDs weren't worth selling and nobody was bringing their Pink Floyd or Zeppelin but the tons of dog shit rappers and plastic pop and American Idol rejects making shitty EPs or CDs.   But in 2002 we still have FYE and Hastings to find the cheap stuff. Trans World or who ever owned FYE bought up the Wherehouse Music stores, which made my trip to Seattle tolerable since the woman I was seeing at the time was making my vacation a trip to hell.  At that time,  I had a choice of 7 Wherehouse Music stores or in Spokane 4 Hastings stores to keep me occupied.

Going to the big cities would enable me to find the hard to find stuff.  Cellophane Square Music in Seattle was the place to go to, in Phoenix there was FYE, Wherehouse Music, Zia's, at least 25 stores in the area, not including Goodwill.  For a bargain hunter I was doing well.  But as the 2000's continued on, record stores were closing up.  The Virgin Music Store in Vegas and Phoenix closed their doors, so did Tower Records, yeah they were overpriced as hell but I could waste 2 to 3 hours looking at inventory.  Up in my town, Relics closed shop, so did Rock n Bach.  Co Op Cedar Rapids and Waterloo were no match for either stores but at least I didn't have get on a airplane to look.

Northern Arizona had Hastings as well and all of a sudden, I had a place to hang out when I was in Kingman or Flagstaff and even discovered one in Ames before they pulled the plug in 2010 in the area and gave up the ghost in 2016.  I haven't been back to Arizona in over five years, but as far as I know Zia's is still going strong, but FYE did closed my favorite hangout on Longmore across from Fiesta Mall, now also history.  The places that I used to go to are now long gone.

I think the vinyl revival is finally slowing down, however  Wal Mart and Target continue to shrink their CDs down to a paltry 500  and Best Buy stopped selling them this summer.  We still places that sell records and CDs, and they're still hanging on.  The places and people are changing tho'.  Thrift stores are doing well but Marion decided to boot the Salvation Army out of their longtime area on 7th Avenue in favor of a Dollar Tree.  One less thrift store to find records or donate.  The demise of Best Buy has opened Books A Million to have their own used DVD and CD section  and I managed to find some cheap finds at both Dubuque and Davenport locations.  The Books A Million buy back program is no different than say, Half Price Books but at least you can get something back for your unwanted stuff.   The BAM selection will not wow people but once in a while they might have something 30 percent off if you planned it just right.

So anyway, the rules are simple.  I put up the best places to look for records being used or whatever. But it's not what it was were.  What is number 1 is my go to place and the rest do get a visit.  But the top rated ones are, shall we say, more reliable than your local Wally World or Target or the obsolete K Mart.

Best Record Stores In My Area

Moondog Music-Dubuque
Analog Vault-Cedar Rapids
Ragged Records-Davenport/Rock Island
Wax Ecstatic-Marshalltown
Co Op Records-Moline
Weird Harolds-Burlington
CD's 4 Change-Dubuque
Record Collector-Iowa City
Metro Records-Cedar Falls
Mohair Pear-Cedar Falls
Books A Million-Dubuque/Davenport
Wal Mart-(Various locations)
Barnes And Noble-(Cedar Rapids, Davenport)
Target  (Various)
Best Buy (Lp's only)

If you're looking for new releases on Cd, Moondog Music remains, hands down, the best for that. Look hard enough and they might have some new releases on sale. Ragged Records has grown so much that they now have a second location in Rock Island.  Bob Harrington continues to outdo the competition on new vinyl releases.  Analog Vault is the closest and therefore remain the second best place, they're in New Bo, what better place to relax and chat and hear music from scratchy LPs. Wax Estatic in Marshalltown had a tornado that tore through town and cause the store to shut down for about six weeks but they have rebounded quite nicely.  Co Op Moline does a better job in terms of new CDs,  Reid Robinson has done wonders.  The new owners of Record Collector in Iowa City continue the tradition of Kirk Waltier and they still are worth a trip to Iowa City, even if they are the last standing record store in Iowa City.  But I have found going to Dubuque is a better place, they have three record stores in a two mile radius, with Books A Million getting into the used Cds field.  Until Dubque or Davenport get a Half Price Bookstore, they're not match for BAM.  Davenport has their share of good stores, but Waterloo is lacking and Cedar Falls I only heard of Metro Records, and judging by their inventory, I wouldn't be in there very long. Mohair Pear is owned by the leader of House Of Large Sizes band, and is the place to go if you're looking for their music on vinyl.

As for the the retail stores, It's Wally World or nothing else.  Target only has the top 10 best sellers or new releases.  They haven't been relevant in quite some time.  Barnes N Noble, better on the lesser known but still overpriced most of the time than not.

Best Used Stores for Music;

Half Price Books (CR, Des Moines, Madison)
Stuff Etc:  (CR, Coralville, IC, Davenport, Waterloo)
Sweet Living Antiques (Iowa City)
Housewerks (Iowa City)
The Closest Door (Iowa City)
Goodwill (Various locations)
Salvation Army (Davenport, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo)
St. Vincent De Paul (Madison, Waterloo, DBQ)
Books A Million (DBQ, Davenport)
Super Pawn (Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo)

As long as there's a Half Price Book store in the area, there'll still be plenty of bargains to be found in their bargain bins, And still will be my second home.  Per usual, the thrift stores and bric bracs stores are always hit and miss, but I did notice that Stuff Etc did have, for a while, major inventory of decent music.  For old time pop 45s, St Vincent De Paul have them, tho' the only rock records they get are scratched up to the point of decent plays.  The closing of the Marion Salvation Army store, now has only the Council St Army still in business.  But now, that 45s are now no longer made, except the overpriced Record Store Day crap that really makes no dollar sense to get. I'll take my chances of one song both sides promo every time.

What's missing from this list?  Pawnshops.  Super Pawn up in Waterloo has the most, but even what they have are junk that nobody wants but for 50 cents you might score a Beatles Sgt Pepper CD.  Iowa City did have Klaatu's first on CD but it was too scratched to buy, but they did have Ted Nugent's S/T remaster and also where I got a cheap copy of Pearl Jam 10.  Siegal's Jewelry has dropped out of this list, they don't sell CDs any more.

Best Stores for music instruments.

Uncle Ike's (Asbury-DBQ)
965 Guitars (CR)
Bob's Guitars (Cedar Falls)
Musician's Pro Shop (IC)
Rondellei's (DBQ)
West Music (CR, IC, DBQ)
Guitar Center (CR,Davenport)
Griggs Music (Davenport, CR)

It's sad to see the kids of today not playing music as we did growing up.  The internet has made slaves out of us all.  Uncle Ike's in Dubuque always takes me back to the days of hanging at a old forgotten store and they still have the best used drum selection in the area.  In town, you're got a choice of Guitar Center or West Music, who seems to have the latest drums and cymbals than Guitar Center.  Darwin at 965 Guitars is the place to go if you're in Cedar Rapids, Bob's Guitar in Cedar Falls worth the drive itself.  Griggs continues to disappoint but then again nobody can't afford the latest DW sets.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

November Thoughts

There seems to be some viewers coming in from the cold.  So thought I pop in to let the world know the Crab Curator of Record World is still around.

The major story is the major winter storm that dumped a foot of snow, an all time record in November in the Quad Cities and Iowa City got 7 inches of the lovely white crap but up here in Cedar Rapids we missed out.  Which doesn't break my heart.  The car doesn't do well trying to get up an icy 2 inch snow cover that we had two weeks ago.  We missed out but rest assured I saw the storm from afar as I made my way to Stone City to play in the Acoustic Showcase Sunday.  Snowstorms do glow in the darkness.  We were supposed to have 4 to 6 and a Winter Storm Warning was issued, but as Saturday Night progressed on and waking up to take pee breaks and looking outside, all I saw was brown grounds and howling winds.  But no snow. Sunday Morning, the storm teased and threatened us but nothing came of it.  But I was watching the Rochelle Train cam and watching that turned into the nightmarish scene from the Shining of blurry lights and a blinding snow with an occasional snow covered train coming in from time to time.  In the meantime, Oskaloosa got 17 inches of snow and traffic stalled on the I-80, but up here, the winds howl and nothing came out of the skies.    On Monday, The Quad Cities continue to dig themselves out of a foot of snow and traffic is still not recommended.  But this does seem to signal that winter, it will be a lot more snowy and colder than previous.  And, as most people know, I'm no fan of the snow or cold.  But we did managed to miss this storm,

If Kane Brown was pop he'd be taken more seriously than his "country" album.  I have no use for him, autotuned rap masquerading as country isn't for me but the folks at Saving Country Music wrote up the review.  We'll take them at their word on this forgettable album that nobody will remember a year from now.  As with new music anyway.

I'm surprised at the ratings jump for the month here since Record World is no longer an active blog, unless I find a bunch of 45s to write about.   12 years ago, Record World came into being after My Space decided to drop the blog and I toiled around in another obscure website before using Blogspot.  So far the archives are full of forgotten songs, thoughts and sports related nonsense and some eye candy.  And some of the old pictures have disappeared, never to be seen again.  I try my best to keep things up for use and replace the old deleted pictures but nowadays it seems like a lost cause.  Time flies and yes I spend too much time on the internet, 12 years gone just like that.  I do have a special friend (not GF) that I get together every now and then and go watch a movie with or hang at the house.  As they say, It's complicated.  Like you and yours.

The big story and reissue is The Beatles White Album which has loads of outtakes but that has never been one of my favorite albums and most of the highlights were on Anthology anyway.  I have gotten burned out of rebuying these albums back in the past. I did decide on the single CD of More Blood More Tracks, rather than buying the complete coffee table 6 CD box set of the Blood On The Tracks sessions.    Probably would have been better had Columbia issued the first edition of BOTT but for a different view, the single CD More Blood will do.  But it won't replace the original go to album.

Samantha Fish, the Kansas City dynamo guitar blues slinger has been signed to Rounder Records after many years on Ruf.  Fish has managed to play in this neighborhood on a regular basis for close to 8 years now and continues to get better.

Paste Magazine has already put together a the best of 2018 albums and I don't have any of the top 50 albums at all.  Kinda like that in 2017.  I have no use for Father John Misty, he tends to be one of those overblown critics darlings and the last album I heard I didn't care much for.  The only album I thought about was Ashley McBridye Girl Going Nowhere, and it's more country than Kasey Musgraves last album, which Kasey made her pop move.  From what I heard on You Tube, Ashley's songs are more folk than country and make nice background music at coffee houses.  A bit too mellow for my listening consumption.

RIP Steve Hillenburg

In decemeber I'll try to put together the best of 2018 in music and of course the famed Crabby Awards for best places but that list is also shorter than usual.   Plus we await who will be the next Rock and Roll Hall Of Famers for next year, but the interest is waning on that too.  But I am surprised at the surge of readership this month  Even when this was dormant for a while.

Sit back, do nothing and watch the ratings rise.  But we're  back to only 40 or less views per day.

Back to normal again.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Black Friday Singles From Davenport and Elsewhere

I'm surprised I have 993 views on one day.  So for that effort, I throw together yet another batch of singles found in various locations.  Even the Marion store had some decent shape of 60 year old 45s.

Betcha they're pop singles.

1)   Tiger Lilly-Rusty Draper (Mercury 70989)  #88  1957

Mercury's answer to Guy Mitchell, tho' Mitchell was more convincing as a country star than pop.  Tiger Lilly was arranged by Hugo Peretti (of the Hugo/Lugini production team). This song is aimed for the teen pop crowd, it did some airplay enough to hang on the billboard top 100.  B side Confidential is a ballad of course.  Draper would eventually go straight country and recorded some sides for Monument in the 60s.  Fun fact: this 45 was sold from Ferris Records up in Austin Minnesota.  It's like archaeological finds, seeing tags and price stickers from forgotten record stores.

2)   Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes-Johnnie and Joe (RCA 47-5040)  1952

Country remake of the Perry Como super hit.  Johnnie Wright would marry Kitty Wells and had a nice long life together.  I tend to favor hillbilly music over poptopia stuff and Johnnie and Joe has a better version tho' not as memorable.  For a 66 year old 45, this is better sounding than most 45s.  Whoever had this one, took great care of it.

3)    A Girl Like You-Larry Hall (Strand 25013)  1960

Hall was a one hit wonder with Sandy (#15 1959) but this followup didn't chart.  Sounding somewhat like Frankie Avalon's Venus.  B side Rosemary basically the same format and pop style. In fact, some radio stations went with Rosemary as the Plug side. Burt Bachurach co wrote A Girl Like You.  I don't know, it's passable teen pop.  For better or worse.

4)    Sing Me Something Sentimental-Marty Robbins (Columbia 4-21145)  1953

It's hard to believe how far back Marty goes with his music.  I remember him with El Paso, A White Sport Coat and Singing The Blues but in 53, he was honky tonk hillbilly. And I have found quite a few of his singles in thrift stores.  To find them in excellent sounding shape is a different story.  Hillbilly music in the early 50s didn't stand out all that much, mid tempo ballads moreorless.  Tho' the record is slightly warped, it sounds like you're in the recording studio, it's that pristine.  B side At The End Of A Long Lonely Day is hillbilly  blues with a steel guitar.   Both songs written by Marty

5)   Mirage-Johnny Mathis (Mercury 72464)  1965

Johnny's Mercury years aren't documented all that much, Collector's Choice issued some of his albums on CD.  Usually when I pick up his Mercury sides, it's curiosity.  Quincy Jones co wrote this 2 minute ditty. Sounds a bit like Maria, with a bit of mysterious strings and melody.  It might have been a bigger hit in 1959 rather than 1965 tho'.  Mercury didn't promote this very well and one year later Mathis returned back to Columbia to where he still records to this day.

6)   Teenage Sonata-Sam Cooke (RCA 47-7701)  #50  1960

Sam Cooke could sing just about everything, sometimes good, sometimes bad and sometimes he had to sing what the label or Hugo & Luigi wanted him to play.  Jeff Barry wrote this banal pop number and it isn't one of Sam's best songs.  In fact it might one of the worst that he ever did.  Glenn Osser, who also arranged Mirage from Johnny Mathis can be blamed for this sappy sound.  B side If You Were The Only Girl is better suited for Frankie Avalon.  Cooke would have much better songs later on.

7)   Oh Carol-Neil Sedaka (RCA 47-7595)  #8 1959

I'm not sure if my mom had this 45 in her collection or not,  Neil had a bit more grit to his teen pop numbers more than Paul Anka.  I think Anka had better songs at that time but Neil made better albums in the 70s, after all Neil had Elton John helping him out, Paul got lucky with You're Having My Baby and getting raked over the coals.  Oh Carol was written about Carol King or so the story goes.  B side One Way Ticket (to the blues) is a better song I think.  A bit more catchy on the tunes.

8)  Just As Long As You Love Me-Jim Edward & Maxine & Bonnie Brown (RCA 47-6631)  1956

Back to hillbilly country blues, Jim Ed and his sisters had some nice harmonies for their 50s recording for RCA.  In my return to collecting forgotten 45s,  I think I have found about 10 of their singles but never bought The Old Lamplighter or The Three Bells, I have those on the classic Town And Country album that came out on CD for a short time.  Next to Don Gibson and Porter Wagoner The Browns are probably my favorite RCA recording acts of the 1950s.  B side Don't Tell Me Your Troubles is not the same song as Don Gibson.

9)   Ashes Of Love-Don Gibson (RCA 47-9460)  1968

Speaking of Don, he continued to record for RCA and still managed to get Chet Atkins to produce his music, and Don had free reign to find songs from Acuff-Rose to sing and Ashes Of Love is an old Johnnie And Jack song, b side Good Morning Dear did get some country airplay as well, it's a MOR ballad.  Mickey Newbury wrote Good Morning Dear; he also wrote Funny, Familiar, Forgotten Feelings as well.  Both are not my favorites.

10)  Norwegian  Wood-Waylon Jennings (RCA  47-8822)  1966

Time To Bum Again was the A side but Waylon wanted to record the Beatles number.  Can't say that I blame Waylon.

11)  Darlin'-Tom Jones (Mercury 76100)  1981

A sizable country hit, I remember the days when I was roller skating on Wednesday nights at Super Skate they would play this song.  Memories.

12)  Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)-Melanie (Buddah  BDA-167)  #6 1970

Hippie singer songwriter....I found a dollar copy of her greatest hits and found most of her songs silly (Brand New Key anybody?)  but I always loved Lay Down, thanks to the Edwin Hawkins Singers in the background.wailing away.  Mott The Hoople did their own version of Lay Down.

13)   Well Did Ya Evea?-Bing Crosby/Frank Sinatra  (Capitol F-3507)   #92 1956
         True Love-Bing Crosby with Grace Kelly #3

Grace had the bigger hit but Frank had the most fun on this double sided single written by Cole Porter.  Never in my life I ever thought I would have this single in my collection.  It brings out the hoarder in me.

14)  My Maria-B W Stevenson (RCA APB0-0030)  #6 1973

Later a number 1 country hit for Brooks and Dunn but this original gets my nod for better song.

15)  You Need Love-Styx  (Wooden Nickel PB-10272)  #88   1975

Of course any followup to Lady, would be a bomb but You Need Love did score on the regional top 30 here.  At times I prefer this to Lady since radio doesn't play it that much.  Once Wooden Nickel closed their doors, Styx would find new life with A&M.  For better or, namely worse.

So this ends the Black Friday finds.  On Sunday, a big snowstorm would hit the Davenport area, getting one foot of snow for a record breaking snowfall in November.  Surprisingly, my area didn't get snow but it's an early snow season and I'm sure there'll be many more chances of a white Christmas.

For now, the NO SNOW chant worked for me great this weekend.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Gobble Gobble Gobble, Turkey Shoot 2018

Yay, that time again.

That time to really hand out the Turkey Turds of the year and there's no shortage of them. Take a look at the blubbering idiot in the White House.  The King Turkey of them all.

With that out of the way,  I'm amazed of the dwindling of music, and good music mind you.  it's too EZ to tell you of the usual suspects, which is, artists continuing to fuck us over with shitty digipacks, major labels bankrupt for ideas and not producing future rock and rollers continuing to mine the archives for 50th anniversary issues of albums.  And basically I'm sure Beatles fans will fork over the big bucks for the Complete White Album Sessions or More Blood More Tracks that captures everything Bob Dylan did for the 1974 Blood On The Track album but Sony Music opted not to reissued the first edition of Blood On The Track before Bob decided to redo five songs up in Minneapolis. The single edition of More Blood, More Tracks was worth the 15 dollars that Co Op Moline had it.  But I am not interested in buying overpriced coffee table albums just to play once and file away forever.  Come 2019, I might decide to get married and need to do a rummage sale to clear space.  Hopefully somebody will talk sense into my special somebody and convince her that being single and free is the way to go.  You really don't want to spend the rest of your life 24/7 with a bargain hunting record hoarder.

In terms of theory, new music has been crappy and unremarkable.  The guy at Co Op was raving about The Struts and calling them the next big rock band, but from I heard, they're second rate Buckcherry.  The Greta Van Fleet album debut got lambasted and raked over the coals by Pitchfork and they might have been right.  The band was a lie, they weren't influenced by Aerosmith as Rolling Stone claimed but by Led Zeppelin.  They do have the sound down but the inspiration is not there. Anthem Of The Peaceful Army (Lava/Universal) starts out all wrong with Age Of Man and never quite recovers.  There are some promising moments but hey, the lead singer is 22, the drummer and bass player are 19 and they'll have better days and albums ahead once they develop their own sound and leave the Zep behind.  But then again they could morph into Kingdom Come as well.  With that Anthem Of The Peaceful Army gets a gobble gobble gobble

Mark Knopfler.  The voice and sound of Dire Straits has continued to slowly devolve into middle of the road laid back muzak and his latest Down The Road Whenever (Virgin/Blue Note) he continues to make songs that are mini stories, alas, the music is boring.  He was never King Kickass with the Straits but at least they did have a uptempo to counter the slow and bore.  The problem is the length of these songs, 13 totaling 71 minutes, and if you're a bigger fan you're free to try the deluxe digipack edition with 2 more songs that balloon up to 78 minutes.  At least he doesn't go full Celtic and left the penny whistle at home.  This record is better suited for late night listening as you dose off into sleep.  I damn near dozed off going home trying to listen to this in the car stereo.

It's easy to slam to so called country rappers and artists but let's face it folks, old country isn't coming back.  It has mutated into watered down southern rock and half baked rap and Kane Brown Experiment (RCA) shows Brown taking over for Florida Georgia Line as the new Hick Hop artist.  I really don't know what brings these autotuned doughnut holes to think they're country. The video Weekend is dumb autotuned red neck fun at the Wally World.  The rest of the album is that bad.  Yes it sucks.

And Five Finger Death Punch, And Justice For None.  No wonder people don't listen to new rock anymore.

And The Pistol Annies are back with a new album as well, the most anticipated turned out to be a depressing album  Gospel Interstate (RCA).  Times have changed, Two divorces, two kids and one the way and sad songs about breakups and cheating boyfriends and husbands. It seems to be more in tuned with Miranda Lambert's last album, which also disappointed me and finding a second cheap copy confirmed my initial feelings that a sad Miranda is less fun than a sassy Miranda being a Crazy Ex Girlfriend.  I may take another listen to Gospel Interstate, but I don't think it's the A album that Robert Christgau gave it. Overgraded to say the very least.

So far the Turkey's of the year fall go to sports as well.  The 2018 Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles who were tied for most 1 run or less games.  One team lost a record 115 games, the other blew the division title and wild card game and had the second best NL record.  It didn't help the Cubs signing Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood, to which one had a bad shoulder and the other was too busy walking opposing batters.   Darvish gets a pass for this season but next season fans will be screaming for his head if he doesn't earn that big contract that he got.

The College Football gobble gobble gobble goes to Iowa who, with a cupcake schedule couldn't beat a decent big ten team and watched Northwestern win the West title in Iowa City, to which fans had to see Pat Fitzgerald, so full of himself, rub the win in the Hawkeyes fans' faces.   Iowa did come back to blow out Illinois 63-0  to which the Fighting Illini will show Lovie Smith out the door after this season. We'll see if Iowa can beat Nebraska to savage a season full of promises but once again thanks to Nathan Stanley's dumb fuck play calling and interceptions all Iowa can hope for is a pre Christmas bowl game, but Hawkeye fans have moved on to Basketball to which Iowa beat Oregon and U Conn and won the Big Apple tournament last week.  (Iowa outlasted Nebraska 31-28 on a last second FG, but they did their damnest to give Nebraska the game, missing a FG and then opting to take a FG away by fucking up a fourth and goal on the 3 and Nebraska went 97 yards for a TD.  Iowa has beaten the Mighty Corn 4 straight times, but I doubt there'll be a fifth).

This just in.  Michigan gets Gobble Gobble Gobbled for the 13th time in 14 games as Ohio State lambasted them 62-39, the most points ever scored.  And Michigan's defense was number 1.  Not anymore.  The love affair between Jim Harbaugh and the state of Michigan is now officially over.  He has yet to beat them in four games.  The hard core will screaming for his head now.

But the big Screw You Gobble Gobble Gobble goes to Best Buy for not selling CDs anymore and Wal Mart and Target continuing to shrink their inventory to plain Greatest Hits and Top five best sellers. In fact, Wally World has now one small aisle of the CD section.  If you want the latest Bottlerockets or Rhett Miller, you're better off to go to a CD record store (Zia's Records, Mad City Music X, Moondog Music, Co Op Moline) and get it there instead of Best Buy.  In fact, I haven't step foot in Best Buy since they quit selling CDs. I have better luck finding new releases at Books A Million than Target/Wally World.  The Vinyl Revival is still going although people are beginning to tire of that and I've noticed more records coming into the used stores and Half Price Books.  I think it's a crock of shit to buy a album for 25  or 30 dollars when 30 years ago you could get the same album as a nice price 5.99 special.  Don't look for me to pony up big bucks for Record Store Day Specials this Black Friday.  I wish I could have kept Devo Are We Not Men but paying 30 bucks for a RSD release, nah, I pass.  Nor do I desire Sheryl Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club on LP for 25 dollars.  You can find the CD for 2 dollars or less without ease.

So now that we are all thoroughly depressed of the Turkey Turds of the Year, here' hoping that your Thanksgiving will be peaceful and you'll be spared of family feuds.   Just put on Alice Restaurant  Massacre by Arlo Guthrie and you'll feel better.

Gobble Gobble Gobble.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Singles Going Steady-Dubuque St. Vincent De Paul Pop Singles Of The 50s

For a quarter I didn't expect much but they were such in good shape.

Nobody played them.

1)   Wimoweh-Wilder Brothers (Wing 90046)  1955

The basics of this song would become The Lion Sleeps Tonight and it's basically a big band stomp.  Corny as it gets, but puts a smile on my face when I hear it.  B Side Love That Melody is more cornball based on Here Comes The Bride.  Smarter teens went for the R and B and Elvis, and to a lesser extent, The Crew Cuts.

2)  Baby Girl Of Mine-Bobby Sharp (Wing 90056)  1956

Best known as a songwriter (he wrote Unchain My Heart, a big hit for Ray Charles and later Joe Cocker) Sharp did a one off single for Mercury's second tier label Wing,  Somewhat of a country number with harmonica too.  Other side Flowers, Mr. Florist Please might have been pitched to a Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra,it has that Pop sound among the doo wop backing vocalist.

3)  The Jogger-Bobby Bare (Columbia 38-03809)  1983

Bare continued to record Shel Silverstein's songs late into the 1980s and scored a minor country hit with this song, which sounds like The Winner Part 25 of something like that.  B side The Gravy Train is passable Silverstein fun.

4)  Smiles-Crazy Otto (Decca 9-92403)  1955

 Fritz Schulz-Reichel  was his real name and he was a German jazz pianist, who had a knack of playing the melody with his left hand and the rhythm with his right.  Johnny Maddox had a hit of doing Reichel's Crazy Otto songs with the Crazy Otto Melody.  Fritz's songs were recorded via Deusche Grammophon in Germany and on the fledgling Polydor later on, but Decca picked up his recordings in the 1950s. Smiles is ragtime jazz as well as Glad Doll Rag, which does owe a bit to Kansas City Jazz, via Germany. Reichel passed away in 1990.

5)  Tropical-Stanley Black (London 45-1720)  1956

Another jazz pianist, this time from the UK, Black recorded many recordings for Decca/Phase 4 in his career and is probably the most heard of piano player on the muzak side of things.  Tropical is a Mort Gould composition.  B side is the piano work Begin the Beguine, the Cole Porter standard.  Not rock and roll but it's fun if you take it in its muzak context.

6)   You're Driving Me Crazy (What Did I Do)  Buddy Greco  (Coral 9-60979)  1953

Cheesy lounge pop complete with female backing vocals (The Heathertones) Greco enjoyed a Vegas' style career of cheesy lounge pop songs.  B side I Predict is more boring cheese pop crapola.   Big Joe Turner had a much more swinging version of You're Driving Me Crazy from his classic album The Boss Of The Blues.  Start there to hear this song.

7)   I'm Dancing With Tears In My Eyes-Ralph Flanagan (RCA Victor 47-4078)  1951

X did a cover version of this song, which in no way is similar to this big band version.  Dancing On The Ceiling is the stuff of Guy Lombardo legends made of.  

8)   Rap Your Troubles In Drums-George Shearing Quintet (MGM-K-11600)  1953

Bossa Nova with Bongos as drum solo by Cal Tjeder.  More jazz slanted than the big band stuff of this blog.  Probably was the inspiration for Bongo Rock by Preston Epps a few years later.  B side Easy To Love is muzak jazz.  George Shearing always seemed to be more in line with easy listening jazz anyway.

9)  Drive In-Nelson Riddle (Capitol F2648)  1954

A missing entry in 45 Cat,  the guess is this song was heard at drive in's at intermission time.  Somehow the melody was incorporated in the American Bandstand theme.  B side You Won't Forget Me is background noise for a movie soundtrack.

10)  Dragnet-Ray Anthony (Capitol  F2562) 1954

A big band remake of the theme of a certain detective show that I used to watch growing up and have most of those shows.   Anthony would score a hit with Peter Gunn.  It's debatable who had the better version,him or Henry Mancini  but I tend to have lots of fun when I play Dragnet or Peter Gunn.  Worthless trivia: I had one of those EP 45's, where they cram 3 songs on one side.  The Waldorf 45 was red vinyl and that version of Dragnet done by Enoch Light, who would be one of more better known muzak arrangers, with plenty of his albums that still can be found in the dollar bins at your local junk store or St Vincent De Paul.

With that, these record finds were the best of the batch, but not rock n roll, not by a long shot.   I doubt that we won't get much of a following from those who want to seek these records out. Except for a couple of these, most of these records will be returned to the St Vincent De Paul as soon as I make another donation.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

October Singles Going Steady Finds; Outside of Asbury: Private Sale

I admit I don't go to many record sales from people.  But something grabbed my attention with a yard sign showing that somebody had a big record sale.  This looked serious, the guy had a throwaway recording of Buzz Buzz Buzz by The Hollywood Flames on Ebb.  I was about a half a block away from Uncle Ike's Music but decided maybe I should scope this place out.  Well, to make a long story short it took me five miles away from Asbury, more closer to Centrialia, but it was inside an barn garage, and with the wind blowing in, it was a chilly day to spend shivering in a hour and half of going through about 10 boxes of 45s.  But I did managed to get a few eye openers.

The first thing I noticed that this guy had a bunch of Apple 45s, a lot of Beatles stuff for sale reasonably priced.  Nothing more than 3 dollars.  I know the Old Hippie (now retired from Moondog Music) took an Apple 45 that I wanted but exchanged me California Sun by The Riverias for Junior's Farm.  To which I did find at least three copies of said song available.

So anyway, I have to admit this private has some great 45s, that took me back to my early years of life and managed to find a couple that were part of my mom's collection.  I'll never get all of them back but rest assured that I have gotten about 90 percent of the collection back.

1)   Stranger From Durango-Richie Allen (podolor)  (Imperial X5683)  1960 #90

Richard Podolor is best known for producing Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf but back around the late 50s and early 60s, he was helping Sandy Nelson (Let There Be Drums, Teen Beat) but his heart was into the twanging guitars such as Duane Eddy. He recorded for Radio, Era and made a revisit of his only top 100 single for Tower Records but most of his recordings were singles for Imperial Records.   Fun stuff but you'll never hear it played on the radio.

2)   Rock Island Line-The Lonnie Donegan Skiffle Group  (London 45-1650)  1956  #8

Skiffle music was the punk rock of the 1950s and basically homemade instruments and cardboard boxes served as wonderful noisemakers.  Donegan was quite popular in the UK, not so much in the US tho' he did score a number 8 record on London Records, home of Stanley Black and Montovani. Lonnie did incorporate folk songs and put them under his name, but this song is better known as a Ledbelly song.  As with B side John Henry.

3)   She Knows-Bobby Darin (Atlantic 45-2433)  1967

Bobby Darin at Atlantic phase 2 was Bobby getting into the folk rock music scene tho' b side Talk To The Animals he returns back to swinging jazz.  She Knows didn't chart, it was written by the Bonner/Gordon songwriters that gave us Happy Together, She's My Girl from The Turtles and a few others.  In some ways, this does seem to be stale attempt to rewrite Happy Together.  Darin does give his all, but the results simply weren't of a memorable song.

4)   Okefenokee/Kookie Kat-Freddy Cannon (Swan 4038OK) 1959  #43

Life as a child was full of Freddy Cannon songs.  Okefenokee was a top ten best seller on the regional markets but not so much on the Billboard, peaking at number 43.  Kookie Hat has The Chipmunks adding backing vocals and goofy fun.  Well, not the David Seville Chipmunks but Bob Crewe having fun with slowed down voices.   I still love this forgotten piece of history that should have made it on a Freddy Cannon best of.

5)   Black Slacks-Joe Bennett And The Sparkletones (ABC Paramount 45-9837)  1957  #17

Funny thing about rockabilly music is that they kept it simple and fun.  Yeah the B B B B B B Black Slacks lead off track doesn't take much thought to sing, but I can't do the B B B B B myself and mindless fun is a hell of a lot better than Radiohead anyday.  And I suppose it shows my age to enjoy such rockabilly nonsense of Black Slacks.  I think my mom had this in her record collection years ago.   And I did find a decent copy for a dollar too.

6)    Guitar Boogie Shuffle-The Virtues (Hunt H-324)  1959 #5

Another interesting record my mom had was this instrumental by The Virtues, a  garage rock guitar band, who's other hit was (guess) Guitar Boogie Shuffle Twist.  They sure love Arthur "Guitar" Smith for sure.  B side was Guitars In Orbit.  They also loved The Ventures, tho' Walk Don't Run didn't come out till a year later.

7)   Stick Shift-Duals (Sue 745)  1961  #25

Could black people make cool surf and turf songs?  Yeah, they did.  Henry Ballinger was the main writer of this song.  Originally on Star Revue, Sue Records picked this up for distribution, that label was specialized in R and B and jazz and home to Ike And Tina Turner and Jimmy McGriff. Collectibles later reissued the Duals' sole album and it remains a guilty pleasure.  The followup, Cha Cha Guitars failed to dent the charts.  One final single, The Big Race (Infinity INX-032) is a rare single that collectors are on the lookout for.  The Big Race can be on You Tube, which has more in common with The Trashmen, vocals by Ronnie Bennett.  B side Oozy Groove can be found on You Tube as well.   The Ventures did record their own version of Stick Shift, but the Duals win flat out with their more rougher and rowdier version.   The Star Revue version of Stick Shift is different than the Sue version.

8)   Long Green-The Fireballs (Atco 45-6681)  1968  #73 1969

The last charting single, The Fireball's Atco career was more folk rock driven than the surf rockers they did for Top Rank, or the Dot pop single of Sugar Shack, but they had grit in their music with Bottle Of Wine and the original take on Say I Am (What I Am) which Tommy James had the bigger hit. Think Long Green as Louie Louie with different words.

9)  I Can't Stand Myself  When You Touch Me-James Brown (King 45-6144)  1967 #28

James Brown could find a groove with any band he picked up, and on this steamy soul cooker, Soul Brother number 1 got a decent white band laying it down, (Tim Drummond is playing bass and Bill Bowman is playing drums)  Some copies of this song as a two part 45.  And others had the B side There Was A Time that charted at number 36 in 1968.  I rarely see any James Brown 45s while out looking for 45s, but this estate sale had a few others.   Funky tough, I defy anybody to keep that beat for 7:22.

10)   Ain't Too Proud To Beg-The Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones RS-19302)  1974  #17

The Stones could do good Motown and I still enjoy this version, classic rock radio doesn't play this as much, which is fine by me. Somehow the B side Dance Little Sister would find a spot on the Made In The Shade best of, but Ain't Too Proud To Beg is rarely seen on a best of.

11)   Junior's Farm-Wings (Apple 1875)  #5 1974

Paul McCartney is better known for Silly Love Songs but once in a while he can come up with a rocking number such as this single release and of course Helen Wheels and Rock Show.  B side Sally G (#17) is a country hoot.  But Junior's Farm is one of the toughest rockers Macca ever came up with.

12)  I Call My Baby STP-The Del-Vetts (Dunwich D-142)  1966

The find of the trip. The Del Vetts were like Paul Revere and The Raiders, they could do corny car songs and they can rock out (Last Time Around).  The double entre of STP is there, but at that time, it was a promotion for a gunky oil formula that was supposed to get more miles out of your car but in the process gum up at the same time.   For the ones whose minds are stuck in the gutter, you could call it Super Tight Pussy (STP get it?!)  and for all intent purposes, it's about the guy's car.  Or is it?

13)   Clancy (Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing)-fever tree (Uni 55172)  1969

One of these bands that I never gotten into.  They had a minor hit with San Francisco Girls (#91 1968) but this Buffalo Springfield remake got little airplay.  Not a great song by any means but at least Buffalo Springfield's version is more memorable.

14)  Rockin' My Life Away-Jerry Lee Lewis (Elektra E-46050)  1979

Jerry Lee Lewis would have loved to been known as the King Of Rock N Roll and had he not married his 13 year old cousin he might have had that come true, tho' Little Richard and Elvis would concur. He did make a nice living on the country charts but somehow rock radio ignored him after 1973.  Which is a shame of course.  This song George Thorogood would get FM airplay but this would have fitted in nicely on rock radio, if rock radio had a open mind.   In his 80s, Jerry Lee doesn't tour very often but he's in the company of great musicians when he does.  Kenny Aoronoff has been drumming for the Killer this year.  If you're going rock, get yourself a rock drummer.  Jerry Lee still means business, even though his classic music is years behind him.  But at least he's still alive.