Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Top Ten:Solid Gold Punk

I guess I have been ranting and raving for so long that I can't believe we are at the end of July.  And I'm still trying to get over the freaking poison ivy that I gotten up in Mad City last weekend.  Anyway, take a look at the songs of the week.

1.  Irish-Mighty Joe Plum 1997  Long forgotten band from the 90s that had a hit with Live Through This (13 Stories) and made the usual one album before disappearing off the map.  This is the leadoff track off The Happiest Dogs and would have made a nice followup had Atlantic decided to promote it.  But then again, reviews of this album weren't all that great.  Worth a dollar if you find it used.

2.  Jealous Again-The Black Crowes 1990  I brung this up due to a report that the BC management team are suing Gretchen Wilson  on the premise that her new song sounds lots like this song.  Does this mean that The Faces can sue them for ripping them off? The Stones?  Or can we sue The Black Crowes for making a crappy album this year?  I don't think Gretchen Wilson wrote the song herself but perhaps Big And Rich or The Nashville Hitmen.  Maybe I will take a gander of the new Gretchen Wilson album when it comes availble for my take on it.  Next.

3.  When The Whip Comes Down-The Rolling Stones 1978  Speaking of Stones....Does it excite anybody to hear that The Stones are taking their masters from EMI to Universal for five years?  This means that The Stones have been on all of the major labels, unless Sony breaks up with BMG Music, then the Stones won't have that honor.  They'll have to wait till BMG breaks away then I'm sure they'll complete the major label tour.  I can't stand Miss You, so I usually fast forward to the next song.

4.  For You-The Outfield 1990  Basically everybody thinks of these guys as making five albums of the same four chords and songs about love but I think some of their songs have a hook that can make you sing along.  From Diamond Days.

5.  C-I-T-Y-John Cafferty/Beaver Brown Band 1985  The fixtation of The Hold Steady being saviours of Springsteenish rock n roll made me go back to this band which got slammed for being too Springsteenish.  Which isn't fair to John and the Beaver Brownies.  The Iron City Houserockers were in the same boat although they were from Pittsburgh and Bruce himself helped them out from time to time.   These guys will be forever known at the Eddie And The Cruisers band who made the soundtrack to the movie their claim to fame.  This album Tough All Over was credited to John and company and it bombed big time.  Later copies of this album reversed over to Eddie And The Crusiers.  And still didn't sell.

6.  Gotta Get Away-The Offspring 1994  Time has a way of getting away from us and I'm sure being on the internet 24/7 may have something to do with that.  Hard to fathom this song came out in the mid 90s.  The kids of 18 back then are now 32 and probaly having their own familes and don't punk rock too often anymore.  And if they are, you'd probaly would stay the hell away from them.

7.  Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody-Louis Prima 1956  I actually never heard much from Louis himself but you all know the version that David Lee Roth put out is note for note with the original.  Found a copy of Louis' The Wildest for a dollar in Madison and have to say Louis was definly too jazz for pop, too pop for jazz and simply too off the wall for rock and roll.  Perhaps he was the first true alternative musician.

8.  Cobwebs And Strange-The Who 1966   Keith Moon.  Best rock drummer ever.

9.  You Talk Too Much-George Thorogood 1987  From the vinyl album Born To Be Bad.  I remember the folks at DeSoda's used to play I Really Like Girls every night when I hung up there and the waitresses would jump on the table and gyrate to the song.  Not much room on the table to do otherwise.  Desoda's, a nice little meet market just like Bulicek's used to be.  Both places now a distant memory.

10.  Walk On Out Of My Mind-Waylon Jennings 1967  Not the outlaw yet, but he's getting there.  But I'm sure Diggy will tell you, that Waylon is the one and only outlaw that matters.  In fact I'm betting on that he will tell you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Top Ten: Rock And Roll Has Beens

Yup, this is kinda early but I'm jumping in my car and going out of town.  I don't know where, just need to get the hell out of Hell for a while.

Top Ten Songs.

1.  Sequestered In Memphis-The Hold Steady 2008  These guys can do no wrong. Critics love their albums cuz it has that Springsteen vibe.  But so did Mariah but nobody ever bought their albums except for Kids In Philly.  I did also have their previous album to which got released on Black Dog Records.  Let's Go Out And Go Get Drunk or something to that title.  Anyway how did I managed to start talking about Mariah and not The Hold Steady clearly shows that either my memory isn't too well or I'm borderline demetria.  The Hold Steady does rock a bit harder than Mariah.  But then again I don't play much Hold Steady although I do love the artwork for their new album Stay Positive.  Anything with Drive Ins for pictures always gets high praises from me.
Geezus, I'm sick of these damn earwigs.  Never see these bastards anywhere but here.  Back to the top ten.

2.  Cemeteries Of London-Coldplay 2008 Everybody's favorite band.  Except Jon Pareles although I'm sure he's disheartened to learn that even Pitchfork media gave them a decent review.  I know he's probaly losing sleep over my rave review of them too.

3.  Trick Of The Light-The Who 1978  The original version and not the one that's on the remastered edtion of Who Are You CD that came out a few years ago.  One of a select few CDs that I perfer the first edtion CD version simply of the fact that Keith Moon is better on the beat than on the remaster.  I can still tell the difference even though I'm deaf (or have selective hearing).

4.  Free And Easy (Down The Road I Go)-Dierks Bentley 2008  Since Dierks was gracious enough to wait out the 206th monsoon storm of the summer and put on a great show at the Jones County Fair last Saturday, I thought I would reward him with a place on the top ten.  I'm such a gracious guy ain't I?

5.  Live In A Box-Spider Bait 2004  An Aussie band that did a God awful version of Black Betty that made it on a movie called Without A Paddle (you don't remember Without A Paddle?  It was a movie about a canoe trip gone haywire....something like that)  Don't know much about these folk but they had a female drummer that sang on a couple songs, the best songs off that album.  Like this one.  Sounds a bit like Belly.  Or The Toadies.  Or whatever you want them to sound.

6.  Bullet The Blue Sky-U2 1986  In celebration of Island/Universal/Interscope releasing two cd sets of U2's early album, I dug out the Joshua Tree and play this little number.  The 20th anniversity edition mind you, that I found for five bucks at HP Books.  Why go anywhere else for used music?

7.  Driven-Rush 1996  But it's my turn to drive.  Not when I'm behind the wheel dude.  I trust my driving better than yours.

8.  Topsy (part 3)-The Townedgers 2008  Nobody listens to drum solos anymore judging by the three plays on the Townedgers My Space Site.  Probaly the only time I stick a drum solo up on this top ten.

9.  Hocus Pocus-Focus 1973  What the hell Crabb?  Another song with a drum solo.  Ah relax, nobody will know.  Nobody ever reads my top ten anymore.  We're safe brother.

10. Watching And Waiting-The Moody Blues 1969  From the  re remastered Moody Blues classic albums one of my all time favorite songs from The Moodies.  In the coming months, I plan to replace my first generation Moody CDs with the remasters, with bonus tracks and better sound.  I mean on the new albums we get to hear the album the way we remembered it on vinyl.  Lots of bass and a very dreamy sound with keyboards.  They simplified everything in the 80s and I lost interests but the albums starting with Days Of Future Passed up to Every Good Boy Deserves Favour remain Crabb Classics.  Who knows, maybe I'll buy them all over again when they come out on 5.1 Dolby Soundaround in Blu Ray Disc.

The Who VH1 Honors Fiasco. 

I donno, everybody has their own thing they like.

Didn't care much for the Foo Fighters.  I tend to figure that Young Man Blues was done better by Route 66 back in the late 80s.  I like Incubus a bit better though.  Jack Black's band, Spinal Tap was funnier.  The Flaming Lips was just plain weird.  Pearl Jam went one for two, Love Reign Over Me, Vedder sounded shrill but Real Me did rocked.

I love Pete and Roger but without Keith and John, they're not The Who and haven't been for 30 years.  Yup, Roger can't sing anymore but I still bought Endless Wire of the fact that I'm a fan and if they get the next album out, I'll buy that too.  I disagree on the hired hand quote from Bob, Zak Starkey is the closest thing they came to Keith Moon and Keith did give Zak drum lessons when he was alive.  Pino Palladino knows he can't duplicate John so he does it his way.

If nothing else, we still care about the old bands that we grew up listening to and know damn well we're not goin to get another Live At Leeds or Who's Next or even Who Are You.  But we still support the act.
Perhaps VH1 should have gotten the Len Price 3 or some Who Tribute band to do the songs but then again, that wouldn't be ratings worthy.  I did like the Sean Penn telling Vh1 to stop with the reality shit for shows but I'm sure that fell on deaf ears.

Still, the best Rock Honors The Who would have been to show The Kids Are Alright and let the music speak for itself.  I know I would have watched it from start to end.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Crabb Bits: Coldplay, Dierks Bentley, 2008 Flood

RIP Ebert and Roeper At The Movies, last show will be the week of August 16.

For almost thirty years At The Movies was the place to see reviews of movies.  When Gene Siskel passed away it wasn't the same for me so I didn't watch much of that.  With Roger Ebert still recovering from throat cancer and Disney thinking of a change it was time to bury this.

There's one thing about Dierks Bentley and that is he is one of the more exciting country artists to see live and I'm sure the show with Miranda Lambert was a lot of fun although fans had to wait for the 67th severe thunderstorm of the summer to go through.  Gotta love it when he played till one AM regardless.  I really wanted to see Boston friday night but the 66th heavy rain storm prohibited me from doing so.  Could have gone, the storm didn't hit till midnight and flooded Viola with 4 more inches of rain.  Can you now see why I hate rain folks?  All it has done all year is either icestorms, or blizzards and now extreme weather that has made living in this state a fucking chore.  And the Jones County Fair this year has been one major storm after another although I'm sure it didn't rain last night when the Diddy Bops popped on stage.

Tired of flooded basements, I decided this weekend to close up the damn moat with rocks which have been sitting in our driveway for the past two years and nothing got done about it.   Shoving rocks and using a wheelbarrel with a flat tire for two hours in humid weather is not a good idea ffor anybody but it had to be done.  Trying to shovel rocks and pretty much getting sunburned beyond belief, I finally got all the rocks into the holes before a bad case of heat rash started up.  I probaly lost twenty pounds in the process and yes we got another round of windy thunderstorms this morning but everything stayed dry for a change.

But I am paying a price for it today, my back is pretty sore and the damn printers at work are the usual.  Had to switch the cutters to split merge from whole and it took forty minites before the damn thing work.  And then having Lyle at work coming over and saying they needed a test job back to whole mode...........
I dont care where I go on vacation in august, and I don't care if the fucking gas is twenty dollars a gallon, I'm getting the hell out of here.

COLDPLAY-Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends (EMI)
Sometimes I can be swayed by reviewing an album just by the negativity that surrounds it.  Not too often (don't look for a Jessica Simpson country review anytime soon) but when I heard of the constant bashing of Chris Martin and his band's latest album, I think it either the NY Times bashathon or Jon Pareles's bashing of it that made me to decide to check it out.

Fuck them all, I think this album is pretty damn hooky although it actually sounds more U2ish than the dreaded R word band that used to be on the same label as Coldplay. Beginning with the dreamy Life In Technicolor which also concludes the album as Death And All His Friends we get a more poppy Coldplay, a lot less on the piano and a bit more on guitars and lots of  Brian Eno's production work.   I also tend to think this album, if mixed properly instead of the compressed MP3 sound would have a lot more memorable in the end.  Cemetries Of London sounds a bit Stingish with those U2 guitar chiming in the background.  I can't say this album will replace Rush Of Blood To The Head in terms of being a classic album but I think it's better than the last album, which I think tried too hard of being too serious.  Lost! kinda remains me of the Moody Blues in a way, but then again I've been tracking through the Moody Blues new Remasters so I might be a bit blind to reason.  42 the song, might be the closest thing to the piano ballads of Rush Of Blood To The Head with a piano figure that sounds akin to Imagine by John Lennon before going kinda of a jam groove, a curve ball thrown in for good measure a bit like Red era King Crimson without the nasty overtones on that album before going back to the piano and the song ends there. 

Nevertheless, Viva La Vida is certainly a lot more enjoyable than X and Y and a helluva lot more fun than the indee alt rock that the NY times enjoy and better than Jon's boy Bruce Springsteen. VLV might be the keeper that X and Y wasn't.  Note to Mr. Perles;  Coldplay isn't the insufferable band of the decade as you say, it's only insufferable to closed minds.  Radiohead might be that insufferable band but In Rainbows proves that otherwise, so perhaps insufferable band could be Hinder or Three Doors Down or Taking Back Sunday.  I reserve judgement on the most insufferable band myself but when you decided to be closed minded on the new Coldplay, it opened up my mind to review it.  And find myself I should look up Parachutes to review.  Closed minded critcs;  what do they know?
Grade B plus

More Whine for your cheese

There was a link to a critic bitching about the recent Elton John and Ray Davies albums but since that didn't work, he basically said that they both sucked and they need to die.

Basically another critic's  point of view.  I for one, did give Elton John's last album a decent grade and still think Ray Davies can make a listenable album.  I agree with him that The Who should call it a day and the Stones too.  Roger Daltry can't sing anymore but if they should make a complete album with Zak Starkey on drums then it will be worth a listen.  Springsteen's last album got a shitty mix that made it unlistenable, Elvis Costello is overrated and if anything, music is in the eyes and ears of the beholder.  Even with narrow or closed minded critics.

RangerDan Sez.

 I'm gonna run right out and buy another Cold Play CD.  AGGGH, cough, vomit, ZZZZZZZZZZZZ, snore.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Top Ten:Jesse Helms Died And Gone To Hell

When you work four days of ten hours, you tend to forget how time flies.  We're already halfway through the month.  We're hoping to do Madison the end of month before the Final Arizona Trip in August and while we have plane fare to get there, I still am not sure if I want to subject myself to the humilation of going through security at the airports anymore.

Cedar Rapids one month later going through the old neighborhood, it's simply too dark to go driving through Czech Village.  And still can't believe how dark it gets.  Most of the Czech Village stores have their doors open and with the sounds of running fans.  Nothing like seeing the old train bridge from Penick Ford, in the river, watching the moonlight shine off it.  And this river was 31 feet a month ago, now back into its banks.
And at work while i don't see a single earwig, I come home and have four of them fucking things scurrying about in the basement.  Like everything else, harmless but annoying this time of year.

The songs of the week as follows.

1.  You Got The Look I Like-Nick Lowe 1990  This was the last good Lowe album and the last that had anything to do with Dave Edmunds who produced it. He's no longer the pop master of the Rockpile years but rather does a lot more mellower and spare stuff.  Didn't care much for his last couple albums but this song did get some radio airplay from KFMH 99 plus back when we had decent radio stations and not Clear Channel Clones or Cummulus Clones.  They all sound the same.  I miss the Rockpile years too.

2.  Nobody Said It Was Easy-LeRoux 1982  Formerly Louisana LeRoux who made a bunch of albums for Capitol before moving on to RCA and making a good album which never came out on CD called Last Safe Place.  This was their biggest hit to which even I don't think this song is on any compliation.  Certainly nothing on Time Life Music.  Another forgotten hit single from a band nobody knows about anymore.

3.  Media Man-Flash And The Pan 1980  Song from the second album from the Vanda/Young team that was once part of The Easybeats and produced the best of the AC DC albums of the late 70s.  Inspriation final line to song.  Popularity, Ratings!  Bullshit.  So much for hit single potential on that guys.

4.  Good Grief-Foo Fighters 1995  Nothing against Dave Grohl's band but he's never topped anything since his first album which was actually Dave playing everything and adding drums to them.  Or was it the other way around?  Last time I visited Erin at Alter Ego she was playing this album and I meant to mention it on a Top Ten but kept forgetting till now.  The Foos have done quite well in making albums since then but I quit buying after One By One.  They're really not that bad, just nothing I can't remember and nothing I'd rather listen to.  Heck I don't play One By One anymore.  When I wanna hear some Foos, I'll pull out number one.

5.  Comin Down-Switches 2008  This is a British band that owes a lot to Blur, Glam rock and Franz Ferdinand and given the high background singers, The Darkness although not as bombastic and more pop.   This is better than The Darkness, it does come close to Franz Ferdinand.  But you won't hear this on the radio.  In other words another tax write off for Doug Morris and Universal.

6.  The Hand That Feeds-Aerosmith 1977  Draw The Line had a tough act to follow.  In fact, Aerosmith had a three pong attack of A albums such as Get Your Wings, Toys In The Attic and Rocks, plus the guys were so wacked out on drugs and booze they couldn't remember much of this album.  It's ragged as hell and when I first played it and reviewed it, I didn't care much for it but that B minus grade turned out to be a B plus and most of this album is listenable.  Which is more than I can say for the next offerings, 1978's Live Bootleg and 1979's Night In The Ruts.  Actually Draw The Line pretty much beats out most of the Geffen albums that fueled their comeback.  No prissy ballads here, just sex, drugs and more drugs and rock and roll.

7.  Long Way To The Top-Nantucket 1980  Cover of the AC DC original done after the passing of Bon Scott.  Nantucket was a average bar band on the east coast that made three albums for Epic including namesake title but priced at 5.98 to promote the band and it did become their biggest selling album to date but not enough to keep them going.  Epic dropped them and Nantucket made a forgettible finale for RCA in 1982.  However, they must be remembered, Wounded Bird issued their Epic albums on CD. 

8.  Spice Of Life-Lizzy Williams 2005  To me Lizzy still remains that one of a kind artist.  An artist with a heart of gold and good singing voice and unlike most of these My Space artists and bands out there, keeps in touch with her fans.  And sometimes takes time out to read a blog or two.  As a music fan I love that. An artist that who is dedicated to her fans as vice versa.  I think Lizzy has more staying power than, say Lily Allen or Pink, she's a lot more honest than they are.

9.  Drop It (An Old Disguise)-REO Speedwagon 1979  A shout out to REO for helping out during the floods and getting the key to the city of Des Moines in the process.  REO remains one of the good guys of rock and roll and care about the fans as well as the fans care about REO.  I haven't bought anything from them since 1982's underperformed Good Trouble, the ballads just turned me away but for their good deed maybe I'll check out their latest album.  Soundstage recorded them on a very good night and that was shown on PBS last weekend. Sure they're a tribute band now but since getting rid of Gary Ricrath, at least the egos have been trimmed down a bit.

10.  Let's See Action-The Who 1972  To me, the only band that mattered before Rockpile was The Who, why because they had Keith Moon, the drummer that made me want to play drums and during this period they were better than The Stones and better than Zeppelin which is saying a lot.  Although classic rock radio still overplays Who's Next, I still find myself cranking up Won't Get Fooled Again from time to time.  It's a song i haven't gotten sick of (yet).  I'm sure Pete had his reasons to keep Who's Next down to a single album, but had he gone on to include the songs that made up Lifehouse, I can see  that Who's Next would have been the greatest two album set ever. Since that didn't happen, it was Physical Graffati.  Or perhaps Live At Leeds had that been a two record set.  Too bad Keith and John are not around.  I miss them a lot.

Good riddence Jesse Helms
Consertive bigshot expired on Independence Day at age 86. Partly reponsible for the woes of the country we now in.

Dustin Eglseder, super big Cub fan who won the the chance to sing take me out to the ball game last September 21, 2007 against the Pirates, succumbed to cancer Wednesday this week.  He will be missed.

Diggy Kat's Last word:

 OMG!!! "Good Grief"!!! you know there is something amazing about that song! i have loved that song since i first heard it back in 1995. and it still brings me right back to 1995!

you're right! their debut was terrific! i personally thought their 2nd cd "Colour And The Shape" was just as top notch! and then they released "Nothing Left To Lose" =| ok, mind you i haven't actually given this album a spin in quite a long time but that's because i heard the single "Learn To Fly" and fell in love with the song, i still adore it and i got the cd from the library and save for that song and "Gimme Stitches" there was

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week:Bo Is Dead Long Live Bo

With Bo Diddley passing on monday, rock music and myself lost a very important pioneer.  Bo Diddley did more to music than you think.  He may have started heavy metal with his space guitar solos, although I think Louis Jordan may have been the first true rapper, Bo did a lotta rapping on his songs.  If nothing else had there been no Bo, The Yardbirds, and the Stones wouldn't be who they are and Buddy Holly may have just been a country star. 

Certainly the biggest loss in music since Stevie Ray Vaughn I think.  Opinions may vary.

The CD sales shelves at Wal Mart keep getting less and less.  The Beverly Hills, er Anamosa Wally World CD department is now a half for rock, half for country and the rest and half of those crappy box sets of remakes that nobody buys that they stuff in steel boxes.  Eventually, it's all going to come down to order things online to which I'm still waiting for the CD Baby order of indee music that I placed two weeks ago.  I'm sure CD Baby will come through but geez, I could have walked to Portland and back with the order.

Carrie Underwood continues to not convince me otherwise that all she is is a tool for the American Idol name.  I get a queasy feeling when I see her on the GAC's Opry Live show, that all she is is nothing more than flash and eye candy for the horny schoolboys out there.  She's the most successful Idol out there true but that's because they modeled her to the country folk who has taken to her but all i hear from her is more Whitney Houston or Celine Dion rather than Loretta or Tammy or even Martina.  Tomorrow when I come up with the latest Top Ten of the Week, there will be a song dedicated for Carrie Underwood.  It fits her perfectly.

Everybody is sick of storms that have been here ever since April came around. Even the Wapsi and the Cedar Rivers are sick of being over the banks with ten inch rainfall up north.  We worry about two inch rainfall on saturated ground, which the water table in the soil hasn't been this wet since the fucked up 1993 season but on that case and point, the rains hit from June to July and there was only one road anybody could take to get home from Iowa City that year.  Everybody is sick and tired of the tornados that have been bigger than usual.  I've seen the camera videos of the Parkersburg Tornado destroy a house and tore up a bank that weekend.  There's no good way of describe it, thank your lucky stars you wern't there when you see lightning and then a big dark spinning cloud come on through in a millasecond.  Nobody should go through a F5 Tornado or 10 inch rains in a two hour basis and see everything you had destroyed.  Perhaps my ex GF had her reasons why of not moving out here, I sometimes wonder about my decision bout being here.  But then again, I work here and therefore must suffer along the rest of the Iowans bout making a life here.  No it's not California or Arizona, but at least up here you can walk the streets at night and not have to worry about gangbangers robbing or beating you up (unless you're in parts of Waterloo or Cedar Rapids and have to deal with bored teenagers too hung on rap and mountain dew).  It's home and untill I can find a 20 dollar an hour job in the desert, this is where I'll be.

Finally, The Best Of Radiohead is out this week and captures all that you can ever want of this highly influental British band.  I did like parts of In Rainbows, and thought about checking out OK Computer but I still remain to my beliefs that Thom Yorke and company were a tad bit overrated in the music department.  Kid A remains their nadir.  I still give it a C plus and leave it to the listeners out there to hear it themselves.

The Top Songs Of The Week.

1.  Bo Diddley-Bo Diddley 1955  Certainly, Bo had it right when he said that he and Chuck Berry are the two pioneers who started rock and roll, sure Chuck may have borrowed something from Louis Jordan and the blues but what Bo did, nobody ever did and put it on record till he did it.  Rewrote the music book in the 50s and then fell off the map, making illadvised fortays into funk or heavy soul music in the 70s but the man always put on great shows untill he had that fateful stroke last year and never recovered.  Rocking them bigtime in the great beyond, Go Bo Go.

2.  El Toro-The Woggles 2007  Another of those garage bands that Little Steven talks about on his Underground Garage show, I figured that I check out this album.  I could have gone to Iowa City and gotten it for six bucks but waste about ten bucks gas getting there or just go to the Best Buy and pick it up for ten bucks.  We have to be cost effective nowadays.  And basically FYE has started to pick up on the Wicked Cool artists since Best Buy still hasn't gotten Coolest Songs In The World Volume 5 but I did get it at FYE last week.

3.  Trouble's All I See-Johnny Shines 1975  Acoustic blues done 70s style, another CD on my list but Half Priced Books had this for five and a half dollars whereas FYE had it too but FYE is in Coralville. Thus we saved another trip by finding something up here.  Who sez you can't find deals in Cedar Rapids?
4.  Life Begins At The Hop-XTC 1979 A fan favorite and always requested here at Crabb Radio, I have most of the XTC albums that have been put out.

5.  Can't Be What You Want Me To Be-The Townedgers 2008  New TEs from the brand new release Pawnshops For Olivia, this may be the best album that R.Smith and company has ever put out.  The title was actually inspired by Lizzy Williams to which The TEs thought that would make a nice song.  EZ to sing along, thanks for the inspiration Lizzy.

6.  Chic n Stu/Innervision/Bubbles-System Of A Down 2002 a medley of songs from their Steal This Album record which I thought was better than Toxicity.  But then again your opinion may vary.

7.  Lie Lie Lie Lie/Dumbing Down-Chumbawamba 2000  Dedicated to Carrie Underwood.  Everytime I hear the bridge on Lie Lie Lie Lie, I think of Carrie's cornball acceptance speech when she won Country Female Of The Year.   Dumbing Down is dedicated to TMZ and Perez Hilton for their role in the decline of western civilization.  Chumbawamba were way ahead of their time but this record bombed after the massive sales of their Tubthumping album. 

8.  Bayou Tortous-James McMutry 2008  Twenty years on, James is beginning to break through into the spotlight with his dead on views of the midwest and the idiot in the white house, (no that not one but the Nazi VP instead).  He's always made great albums I think but he struck a chord with We Can't Make It Here Anymore three years ago, which too bad, didn't come out in 2004, otherwise we may have had a change in leadership.  But then again, the Democrats didn't exactly put in the best man either at that time.  Although, yes Obama won the nomination, I still get the feeling Al Gore might figure into this.

9.  Ballad Of A Thin Man-Bob Dylan 1965  Dedicated to FOX news who are as clueless as Ann Coulter has ever been.  The Redeye show is the most dumbass show I have seen yet and it even makes Rush Limpbaugh look smart.  And that's scary kiddies.  I forgot to mentioned that I did see I'm Not Here, the Bob fantasy movie of sorts.  I thought it was dumb myself and fell asleep an hour a half into it.

10. Sixteen Tons-Bo Diddley 1960  We conclude with a cover by Bo to which he was supposed to sing on Ed Sullivan but decided to do his own song which pissed the old man off and he didn't see himself on TV for seven years after that. But really, Bo does a wonderful version of this song, a lot more rocking than the Tennessee Ernie Ford version and the one Don Harrison did back in 76.  As I stated before, Bo Diddley was one of  a kind, often imitated, but never duplicated.  That's Bo. 


7th And Beale-Crossroads And Highways (self released)
A band of music lovers based out in Kingman Arizona getting together to make a very country/Americana sounding album that's shines when Kathy Stewart takes the microphone and drives the point home.  Mustang Man is the long lost Patsy Cline track that would have fitted in quite well with Ms. Cline.  In some ways 7th And Beale reminds me of another long lost arizona band, 35 Summers, whose best songs were done by the female lead singer in the band.  In this case Gilbert Sanchez sounds a bit like one of the guys in New Riders Of The Purple Sage and takes a bit of getting used to. But you gotta love the play on the words on Your The Only Train On My One Track Mind.  However the guest drummer gets in the way and they have better luck with a drum machine.  Still they save the best for last with the remarkable For Lack Of A Better World to which Sanchez and Stewart harmonize like Gram and Emmylou did back in the past.  Promising.  But the digipak sucks.  Also, the main songwriter is Stanford Major. BTW guys, good music is timeless, never dated.  Unlike top forty and rap today.  Too bad they didn't let Kathy sing all the songs this would have been a classic!

Grade B plus

Dead Rock West-Honey And Salt (self released)
One thing about CD Baby is that there's no shortage of bands out there, trying for your hard earn bucks and while most of them are good and worthy, chances are that it comes down to so many bands, not enough time.  Which is why The Townedgers can't get arrested, great music shoved down the wayline that nobody ever hears them.  Dead Rock West is somewhat a better known band that has a X like sound or even reminds me of Billy Pilgrim, the band that made two albums for Atlantic before one of them moved on to Sugarland. 

Cindy Wasserman you probaly heard with Grant Lee Phillips and has a nice vocal to counterpoint Frank Lee Drennan.  Phil Parlapiano has been a in demand session player and played in TheBrothers Figaros' only Geffen album.  Think The Jayhawks meeting X somewhere along the Lost Highway and you got a sound of how Dead Rock West sounds.  Highlights include a rockin Highway One and the sassy sounding  I Really Wanted You (but don't like you).  Mixed by Richard Dodd for a more polished sound, Dead Rock West might make it despite the odds.

Grade B+

Top Ten: Year Of The River

One month after the historic flood, things in Cedar Rapids are one day at a time.  You gotta feel for the poor Time Check folk, the Czech Village folk and anybody else who was in the flood plain.  This year the heads of the town proclaimed it year of the river and the Red Cedar lived up to that name.

9 out of 10 Crabb readers have annouced their favorite blogs remain the top ten songs of the week.  6 out of 10 liked the reviews section, but a overwhelming 7 out of 10 of you readers thought I was full of hot air on the other subjects at hand and 3 out of 10 readers think I bitched too much on oil prices...but still enjoyed reading them.  Thank you all for you comments.  Good and bad.

The Top Ten Of The Week.

1.  Diamond Hoo Ha Man-Supergrass 2008  New Supergrass album is all over the place and at times recalls a glam version of a poppier Smashing Pumpkins if you can imagine that.  Ya think they would play this on the radio when Jaz Coombes yells "Bite Me" before the chorus?  Probaly not, it isn't rap.

2.  Hymm For My Soul-Joe Cocker 2008  Yep, I got to see him singing this on The View today and for a guy whose in retirement age, Cocker still sounds as grittier than ever.  He's always been a good guy, he even got a chuckle when Woopie asked him about the SNL show he did when John Belushi was acting like him on stage.  His new album is actually pretty good.  Kinda wished he left the soul chicks doing backups on this song back home.

3.  I Don't Know What I Was Thinking-Teddy Thompson 2008  This song is radio ready for Mix 96.5 if they ever go back to promoting some new songs instead of rehashing the tried and tired out.  When I played his new album A Piece Of What You Wanted the first time, I didn't know what to think but the more I play this album to more it grows on me.  And this must be a good song, it's been playing in my head the last couple days.

4.  Vegetable Kingdom-Pell Mell 1995  A rare album on a major, strictly instrumental that managed to get released on Geffen Records and had a video played on 120 Minites, back when MTV was still playing videos and not trying to get Tila Tequila laid every show nowadays.  Pell Mell was the alt rock Ventures.

5.  Small Town Trap-Eve 6-1998  Ten years ago they had this off the wall number one hit called Inside Out which you couldn't escape hearing it on the radio.  Basically to me, they were a more pop version of Green Day, right down to Max Collins' Billy Joe accent.  Unlike Green Day, their albums were spotty as hell, well their first album was released on RCA, they were still in high school.  For reference, I played their first album the other day and although there are some decent songs such as this pick, and How Much Longer, there's a lotta crap on there (Jesus Litenite, ugh) as well.  Broke bigger with Horrorscope and Here's To The Night and then disbanded after album number three bombed.  But like any bands nowadays, they reunited last year and now are touring again. The drummer is the son of Don Was FYI.

6.  Oklahoma-Sordid Humor 1994  These guys were not part of the Counting Crows but rather two guys who both played bass guitar and had a collective band of roving musicians to which Adam Durwitz of CC and David Bryson helped out.  When Light Music For Dying People came out, they have already broken up so it actually served to be an anthology of sorts.  14 years after the fact, this album has held up very well.  If you see it in the dollar bins, pick it up and see what you're missing.

7.  Waka-Camper Von Beethoven 1988  When these guys tried to buy back the masters to their Virgin/EMI albums, the major label gave them a BIG FAT NO.  They were probaly afraid that CVB was going reissue them via digipaks. Remember kiddies, when you sign with a major label, you pretty much gave up any rights to your music.  Unless you're Bruce Springsteen or Radiohead.

8.  Glad/Freedom Rider-Traffic 1970  The classic rock track of the week.  The former rocks in a jazzy way but Freedom Rider does drag a bit I think.

9.  Messin With The Mekon-Robert Plant 1983  Mr. Plant broke it big with this album which this song comes off of, Principial Of Moments and I still find that and his first album a bit too eccentric and not enough rock and roll, although the breaks on this song suggest a progessive rock of sorts.  Phil Collins helps out on drums and can be a help at times but others he gets in the way too much.  Just ask Eric Clapton on that one.

10.  Throwing It All Away-Genesis 1986  To which we give Phil Collins the last spot of this weeks top ten.  With Peter Gabriel Genesis was a Prog rock band, with Phil being leader, they were a Prog Pop band, a major difference.   I can't say what processed me into buying Invisible Touch except maybe being a bit nostagic for the 80s (Ha) but I come to find myself enjoying that album although the disco electric drums have dated itself.  Perhaps the most hookier songs that Phil, Mike and Tony came up with and this song was on the easy listening top ten for a while.  There's so shame of being a closet Genesis 80s era fan, there are much worser stuff out there (such as Dead Or Alive, Human League, A-ha, I could go on........).

I think I'm going to move my political bitchings back to Yahoo's blog under the Crabb banner over there.  That way this site will be a bit more user friendly and I'm sure nobody bothers to read that over there so I'll continue to rant and rave and feel better about it.

Welcome Super 400 to this site.  They made a album for Island back in 1998 that I raved about, but unlike Mach Five who faded away, Super 400 kept it together and made some indee albums in the process and got back the Island album to re release it with bonus tracks.  Like Radio Moscow, Super 400 has that power trio 60s vibe.  Thanks for choosing Crabb.

Link of the week. Marie Prevost, silent movie star which was immoralized by Nick Lowe in a 1978 song.  Seen a silent movie that TCM showed sunday night The Verdict (1927).  She didn't get eaten up by her doggie, she died of a broken heart.  Here's a cute picture of her and a dog around 1931.  I get a kick out of seeing Fido's look.  So cute.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Top Ten:Broke My Rocking Chair Feel Sorry For Me

Some thoughts of note.  If we not in the depression we sure are in the mist of a bigger recession.  Perhaps I'll try to change my currency over to Euros.

Who needs Viagra or Cilalis when you can eat Watermelon rinds and get the same stuff as the little blue pill with the same results as they say.  VIVA Watermelons Rinds, so long Bob don't need your stinkin drugs.
CiCi's, I enjoy those Pepperoni/Jalapenos Pizza combos although it gives me heartburn so after.
ZZ Top is moving over to American Recordings for their next recording.  I'm sure it'll be in a digipak. (it was)

Songs of the week of note.

1.  Midnight Highway-Southern Pacific 1988  Sort of a minor super group of Doobies, CCR and Pablo Cruise that had a few country hits but this song was as close as they got to the Doobie harmonies that made those songs worth singing to.  Hotshot singer Tim Goodman left to persuade a solo career before this song came out and was never heard from again.  Southern Pacific made another album before John McFee and Keith Kundsen returned to the Doobies and Stu Cook went back to CCR revisited.  This song would have felt at home on Mix 96.5 during their 80s weekend tribute thingys.

2.  Let The Music Do The Talking-Joe Perry Project 1980  From the first Joe Perry Project album of the same name, this record beats the hell out of Night In The Ruts or Rock In A Hard Place.  Of course, Joe Perry couldn't keep a band going himself, Ralph Morman leaving to join up with Savoy Brown soon afterward.  Aerosmith did a version of this song, with different lyrics on Done With Mirrors five years later.  Sloppier but just as fun.

3.  Maggie's Farm-Bob Dylan (from the Newport folk 1965 show)  The beginning of something different and something new to which the folk purists didn't get and booed ole Bobby when he went electric that year.  History in the making, but if you thought the Newport crowd was pissed, you should have heard the Brits when he went over there in 66.  Swim with the tide or get swept away.

4.  Club Mekon-The Mekons 1989  I know Jim Messer swears by Jon Langford and his projects but I only found The Mekons to be enjoyable on their 1989 classic Mekons Rock And Roll album.  Found this CD in the cutouts at Camelot when they were out in Westdale years ago.

5.  Tales Of Endurance (Parts 4,5 & 6)-Supergrass 2005  They do have a new album out but I had to check out Road To Rouen, their overlooked album of three years ago.  A bit more darker sound which alienated their fan base so they return to a more pop sound on Diamond Hoo Ha.  But I think like Road To Rouen better.  I like darker music, goes well with the events of this year.

6.  The Wrong Thing To Do-Mudcrutch 2008  Okay so I was interested to hear how this new album sounded on vinyl so I drove down to Real Records in Iowa City and plucked down 30 bucks for the effort and found that the vinyl does sound better than the cd that was in it.  Note that when you bought the album, they threw the CD in as a bonus, and it does beat the compressed version that Warner Brothers threw out earlier in the year.  Mudcrutch is the original band that Tom Petty was in before he formed the Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch had Tom Leadon playing guitar and Petty playing bass.  Sounds like a Tom Petty band, only a bit more countrified and a bit more jammy.  Rest assured that Tom will return with The Heartbreakers very soon.

7.  Poetry Man-Queen Latifah 2007  Don't laugh, she's actually pretty good in this remake of the Phoebe Snow song you all know and love.  And actually, I find her quite attractive as well too.  I think I perfer a plus sized woman over those sticks you call actresses these days.  Kinda like reminding me of the long forgotten Big Fat Blonde song by The Rainmakers.  I doubt if the Queen would give me a second look if it ever happened.

8.  Jacob's Latter-Huey Lewis And The News 1986  Dedicated to the Muckrakers and their top ten Huey Lewis songs.  Yup Bruce Hornsby wrote a great song and Huey did a fine job covering it.  It's actually better than the one that Hornsby put on his album a year later. Does The Muckrakers ever look at our top ten?!?

9. Darkness Darkness-Mott The Hoople 1972  Wicked cover of the Youngbloods version.  Apparently, Guy Stevens recorded this song and many others off Brain Capers in one take.  I should include more Mott songs in my top tens but you know I only have 10 spots and usually by then, I have to wait till next week, if I remember to.  That's the problem of getting old, the short term memory ain't worth a shit anymore.

10. Space Wrangler-Widespread Panic 1988 Perhaps the last longstanding jam band that's still around, which is twenty years now.  Life after the Grateful Dead for a jam head has been painful. Yeh, Phish did their best then they disbanded but Widespread continued to keep the jams going.  I passed on their latest album due to digipak issues but this album was recommended to me by Bob Lefsetz who calls this track their best.  I'm sure I'll catch up more on the Widespread Panic backcatalog later on but for now this song will do.
There's other I would have liked to include but you'll have to wait till next week to see what's on the list.
Finally, I broke another fucking bolt on my rocking recliner.  Jeezus they don't make rocker recliners worth a shit anymore. In the two years I have had it, I broken three of them damn bolts.  How can I jam to my tunes when I don't have  a decent rocker to rock to?!?  I don't need another reminder of how this year has sucked.

Comments from friends:

Lizzy Williams: I LOVE Maggie's Farm. So funny about your rocking chair. :)

Diggy Kat:  Speaking of top 10s, you had mentioned Ned's Atomic Dustbin in one and i FINALLY got round to listening to them! lol so far on first listen they're OK for me =)

i had completely forgotten about hearing about them until you brought that up, thank you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Record Reviews:Ringo,Queen,Teddy,Switches, POD

Ringo Starr-Liverpool 8 (Capitol)
Only thing different about this album is that Ringo has return to the great EMI and made this so so effort.  We all like love songs but this tends to even try one's patience.  Ever since hooking with Mark Hudson, the albums tended to get more mundane but they had a big falling out and Dave Stewart came in to remix and juice up the sound.  A bit more darker than what we come to expect from Ringo but like most of the Hudson collerbations, more blah than beautiful.  Best song, a song about death (RU Ready).

Grade B minus

Queen Latifah-Travelin' Light (Verve)
She's come a long way from the black rapper that she used to be when Motown had her, the Queen tackles some jazz and blues and some soul standards with varied results.  Ron Fair tends to overdo things as producer, this is no exception.  So Tommy LiPuma comes to balance things out with a bit more empasis on the jazzier and slower tunes.  Does a super version of Phoebe Snow's Poetry Man and steps all over the Pointer Sisters' How Long (Betcha got a chick on the side) which is just as long as their version.  And the only time that you hear the Queen does any type of rapping.  Have to give her credit for at least attempting to do something different than the usual R and B rhythm box method must movie stars or black artists do nowadays.  And I still find the Queen to be one of the more beautiful looking plus sized actress around.
Grade B

Teddy Thompson-A Piece Of What You Need (Verve Forecast)
Last time he did a almost straight country album of weepers, he's now back to the pop rock he's getting to be known for.  Already on number three in as many years on Verve, Teddy keeps popping them out and although we don't have a clue who plays on this album (you have to access his website to see who does, bright idea--especially if those still living in the dark ages that don't have internet) a couple tracks does feature his dad Richard and perhaps Dave Mattacks is playing drums on others too.  Some interesting arrangements are done by producer Marius De Vires, which uses oddtime horns on the title track.  I perfer Thompson when he's more uptempo but I think he's getting too close to Rufus Wainwright territory with the falsettos, then I don't perfer him.  Never been much into Wainwright myself.  Four albums onward, I have a good idea of what to expect from Teddy, he's got part of his singing voice from mom Linda and a slight off the wall humor that's not as biting as dad Richard.  A good combination of both but so far hasn't translated into record sales except for the cult following like both his parents have.  But so far, he's been worth more as finding decent songs to sing like his last album did.  Something to think about for the next album.  But it is dotched a notch for lack of credits on the CD.
Grade B+

Alejandro Escovedo-Real Animal (EMI)
Another cult hero whose critics love but at times I find him frustrating to listen to.  He's been in great cutting edge bands (Alt rock pioneers Rank And File to which Alejandro helped Chip and Tony Kinman make their classic Sundown and his own True Believers whose 1985 album for Rounder is hard to find although Rykodisc issued it for about a year) and survived a near death to hepitisis and made the critics' favorite Boxing Mirror from two years ago.  I found that album too eccentric for my liking and perhaps having John Cale produced it had something to do with that.  On this album, Alejandro decides to rock out a bit more with the help of Tony Visconti and having co writing help from Chuck Prophet.  And the album is the day to Boxing Mirror's night, a better combination of rock and roll and a bit of Springsteenisms to boot.  He even pays homage to the Kinmans on Chip N Tony and even revisits his Nuns roots with his brother who used to play in The True Believers.  The only time the album bogs down is on the ballads Hollywood Hills and Shallows Of San Juan to which at the end weeping cellos bird like solos bring the song up to a code that you have to got to listen to be believed.  Which leaves us back to the uptempo songs that you can listen to over and over again.  Message: People (We  Only Gonna Live So Long), we still got time, but never quite as much as we think. Well said
Grade A minus

Supergrass-Diamond Hoo Ha (EMI)
Road To Rouen was a dark and melodic effort which kinda blew part of their fan base away to other things so Jaz and company have returned to a more familar territory of glam rock and attempt to reclaim their past glories and they enlisted Nick Launay to get them back to the radio.  Doesn't quite work all that well with this selling out, although they do have moments with Diamond Hoo Ha Man and Whisky And Green Tea. Upon further listening I think I perfer Life On Other Planets and even Road To Rouen myself.  I tend to favor the darker pop music myself.  Unlike you  Grade B
Mudcrutch (Reprise)

A rare album indeed, something that sounds better on vinyl than it did on the compressed CDs that Warner stuck out in crappy digipaks to which Tom Petty decided to remix the album to comply with analog standards.  Even more rare, when you buy the vinyl album, you get a bonus CD, of the same mix that was with the album.  Of course they should get you something extra for the 29.99 price I paid for the vinyl piece.  As for the album itself, it's still a Tom Petty project, he switches over to bass and lets Tom Leadon play guitar alongside Mike Campbell and Ben Tench on the keys.  A bit more country sounding than the Heartbreakers and a nice groove to boot to which key cut is the 9 and half minite Crystal River to which Petty reveals the inner jam groove he had inside of him.  Plus nice covers such as Shady Grove, Six Days On The Road and Lover Of The Bayou to which Petty would like you to know that Roger McGuinn was a big influence on himself.   Probaly the best album that Tom has made up since the overplayed Full Moon Fever.
Grade B plus

Joe Cocker-Hymm For My Soul (Fantasy)
A Joe Cocker album is basically what you see is what you get.  Some good covers and some not so good but Ethan Johns does more to help JC this time out then the assorted producers who gummed up 2005s Heart And Soul.  Some soul covers of Percy Mayfield (River's Invitation), Stevie Wonder (You Haven't Done Nothing) even old Daniel Boone (Just Pass It On, you remember Daniel Boone of Beautiful Sunday fame?  Perhaps you don't, most of you weren't born yet).  Does a cool make of a Dylan song (Ring Them Bells which might even beat Bob's), a so so George Harrison number (Beware Of Darkness, still done better by brother Leon Russell), and obscure stuff from Andy Fairweather-Low (the title track). Reminds me of the days of Mad Dogs and Englishmen era Joe. Worth a few more spins I do believe
Grade B plus

P.O.D-Where Angels And Serpents Dance (Columbia/INO)
Hard to figure that these guys have been around for 10 plus years.  Not exactly the Christian Metal Rappers they once were, they have kinda soured on things in life like you and me and at times they do rock out and cameos by Page Hamilton and the Marley Girls help out a lot, especially I'll Be Ready.  This is their best since Satellite but not as inspired as Satellite was and perhaps that album will be their high water mark.  Sounding quite like the Chili Peppers towards the end of the album to which it goes on a bit too long. Mostly for them that's a bad thing.
Grade B minus

Switches Presents Lay Down The Law (Interscope)
Another tax write off by the Universal folks but this band has that Franz Ferdinand/Nine Black Alps vibe with lots of backing vocals that owe to glam and Weezer at times.  Really, this album is quite fun with Franz knockoff Drama Queen with a easy to sing along chorus.  Likewise Snakes And Ladders. I'm sure the masses would perfer Maroon 5 or Metro Station but I perfer this band's Franz vibe and popness. Sounds good on a Saturday Night cruise but chances are you probaly won't remember this.  Kinda like Franz Ferdinand and Nine Black Alps, whose second album didn't see a US release.
Grade B