Sunday, August 31, 2008

Arizona 2008 Highlights,

Thanks be to Allegiant Airlines for choosing the Phoenix/Mesa Airport instead of the bloated Sky Harbor Airport.  One thing about Allegiant Airlines is that it's great to head to the desert without stopping in other airport hubs.  For the first time since 2000, I didn't get body searched.  Here's hoping that Allegiant doesn't go out of business.  However, I'd gladly pay a extra hundred for a childless flight.  Although the baby next to me slept most of the way through, we always have one child that is the burr in the ass.  And this kid's scream are the kind of screams that pierced the ears of people.  If I'm going go deaf, I don't want be deafened by a banshee scream.  And I think this was the same brat that was screaming up a storm when we went to Phoenix.

With the closing of Fuddruckers at Longmore and Eatza Pizza Buffet all closed, this was the first trip that I didn't have any pizza nor a Fudd burger. 

I think the era of finding decent CDs at a cheap price is over.  With only six cds bought at Zias, I don't think it was the selection but knowing that most cds sell at 8.99 means that I could probaly find them down here.  I also didn't buy a single cd at Hastings in the three locations that i did visit and gave up going to the Prescott store due to too much traffic and not a realistic chance of finding something out of print. The traffic in Prescott was very bad, wall to wall cars and stop lights that take forever to change.  Sedona and Prescott, the two low points of the AZ Trip.

Around the pawnshops no shortage of riff raff and had to deal with one beaner rapper yakking on a cellphone outside of Super Pawn in Phx.  I must have a good dirty look to scare them away.  The object is to walk fast and walk away from them.  Another reason why I don't call Phoenix home, too much of that riff raff.

Three days after the big storm down there, power is still out in parts of Central Phoenix.  If there's one word to describe the weather in arizona last week, it would be humid.  It was more humid than it was up here in Iowa and Chandler/Mesa defintly got more rain there than up here.  I know each and every night in the valley there was a lightning show going on.  When Phoenix had that big storm thursday night, I could still see lightning from as far as Kingman.

And finally, I got to meet Angel Delgadillo, the historian and original supporter of Route 66 when I was in Seligman Friday.  In the four times prior of going to that town I have never met the man but really wanted to.  And I have never met a more open and friendlier man than Angel.  We got to talk for about ten minites and I told him I played in a band when he then told me about his big band that used to play around the Arizona area in the late 40s.  Angel's brother Juan owns the Snow Cap, the burger place a half block down and I got a choclate malt from Juan and of course he brought out the mustard that squirts silly string and still has that funny sense of humor.  But even though, I never met Angel beforehand, the man treated me like a long lost friend and I think that was the high point of the trip.  To finally meet a part of route 66 history.  81 years young, we salute ya Angel Delgadillo and hope to meet you once again real soon.

Review Central.

John Cale/Terry Riley-Church Of Anthrax (wounded bird)
Reissue of the 1970 album on Columbia.  A lot of piano avant garde jazz type of rock that critics couldn't make heads or tails out of.  I do enjoy the double piano/double drumming of the track Ides Of March.  Watch out the ear piercing The Protege feedback at end of song.
Grade B plus

The Charlatans UK-You Cross My Path (cooking vinyl)
Going for a more techno sound this time out, they spend most of the album dicking around and not catching fire till the middle of side two.  Not saying this is a regression to the disappointing Us and Us Only and worse Wonderland, they did manage to get my attention on Up At The Lake (import only since Island Def Jam pussed out on them) and comeback Simpatico of a couple years ago but I can't find anything on this album that I'll remember afterwards, except for the ominous album closer This Is The End.  And it may be for me.
Grade B minus

Groovers: Oh! Vanity, This Is The End

Randy Newman-Harps And Angels (Nonesuch)
Those who called this his first album of originals since Bad Love are mistaken that this rocks.  In fact, Randy ups the horns and strings and the dixieland music, and does a nice bash instead of the evil bashing of Governor Bush.  In The Defense Of This Country it's called.  But don't let the sarcasms here fool you, Randy can come up with a great missing you song in between observations too.  Not that bad although I seem to recall Bad Love rocked a little harder.  If you can Randy Newman rock and roll that is.  Nah.
Grade B plus

Suggested Cuts: Losing You, Korean Parents, Feels Like Home

The Wailers-Walk Thru The People (Arista)

Like The Fireballs, The Wailers started out as a tough instrumental band with Tall Cool One being one of their better known songs and then played tough R and B rockers such as Out Of Our Tree to which are still avaible on Etiquette Records and Collectibles CDs as well.  By the time they made this forgettible finale for Bell Records they tried to be hippy dippy and ended up sounding more dated in the process.  Unlike The Fireballs, they didn't have a Bottle Of Wine or Come On React single in them, all they had was a remake of Smokestack Lightning that owed something more to the Grateful Dead than Howlin Wolf.  By then they weren't The Fabulous Wailers anymore.  Just forgotten.  Grade C
Download it if you can find it: Smokestack Lightning.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Top Ten From Arizona

The monsoon season is still going strong.  Monday, Mesa Chandler had a 70 mile an hour wind gust that knocked over trees, planes and some poor woman in Apache Junction was getting swept away in a canal that used to be a street.  Last time they had major monsoons here was 1999, about the time I was here at that time.  Geezus I must be the fucking rainman.  Tuesday morning after the weatherman promised a clear evening, we got woke up at 3 AM by a heavy thunderstorm.  I thought I got away from that crap at Iowa, so next day I decided to high tail it up to the north country and Kingman and finally, we got a complete sunny day.  Looks like I'm going to do the Route 66 trip to Oatman and then move on to Bullhead City and see how much the gas is in Needles before retiring back to Kingman tonight and then return to the rain forest called Mesa tomorrow. The top ten will be completed once I get home.

Other things going on here in AZ.  The Fuddruckers in Fiesta Mall closed down. So I've been on a diet of Mexican food and probably will gain back that 15 pounds that I lost.  Been doing some morning walks around Mesa and now here in Kingman.  It's a bit more windy up in Kingman which means we won't get our face burned off by the 100 degree heat.

For concerts we missed Dave Matthews by a day, but just in time to see Poison (pass), Frank Marino N Mahgory Rush.  Motorhead, Judas Priest and Heaven And Hell are playing a metal fest in Tempe tonight but I'll miss that.  I heard the new Motorhead album and have to say it's probaly their least interesting since No Sleep At All. 

For bargains, haven't found much and most of what they play at Zia's and FYE are fucking rap.  Which means from here on out, we'll just have to stay close to home and go to Madison or just shop online.  Went to one Hastings store in Flagstaff and that was a joke. A used cd at 10 bucks?!? Blow me.

Traffic here has been quite easy to get around with, unless you go to Phoenix and then it sucks and somehow I got stuck in rush hour and couldn't get anywhere.  So looks like I'm staying the hell away from metro Phoenix till we go home and BTW, the Mesa airport so far has been a surprise, got in and out quite well but got a show from a couple playing suckface in front of people and some tampon head woman, almost ran into her while she was throwing baby up in the air.  Save that shit at home sweet tits.  Airports are no place for romper room or real sex.  Some of us folk don't get any anymore.

The highlight so far was spending the afternoon on the BNSF overpass outside Seligman.  Got to watch some nice monsoon clouds spreading rain far away and got to count trains and have the wind blow.  It may have been the highlight of the year.

So far cheapest gas found was 3.49 a gallon and highest 4.14 at Grand Canyon Caverns between Seligman and Peach Springs on AZ 66.  I'm sure that fucking hurricane Gustav (who thinks of these stupid assed names for hurricanes?) is going to play havoc with oil prices again along with OPEC but for now, i got the finances and I got the traveling bones in me so let's do this before we can't no more.

What is it about Kingman that I love so much?  I donno, the trains, the small town feel of downtown although Andy Devine Blvd. is so damn busy. Sure ain't no cd stores of note and Hastings don't count anymore but I'll check them out as a courtesy call.  The AZ week ends early Sunday afternoon when I get home, so after tomorrow, I'll be away from a computer.

I'll add more things as the day progress but now my 30 mintes are up.  Off to catch the wind...............................................

Gas in Needles was 4.79 a gallon FYI.

Last night while up in Kingman I got to miss out on a big monsoon gullywasher that reminded me of the 40 days and 40 nights of monsoons up in Iowa.  Sky Harbor and Chandler had 75 to 77 mile an hour wind gusts and rained about an inch in ten minutes and flooded a lot of the lower roads there in the supposedly sun valley and knocked power out of lotta places.  Sure hope that crap is done by the time i get back tonight.  As I finish up my Kingman escapade  I must say that the Kingman Route 66 thingy managed to mellowed me out before a sneeze attack returned me to my old lovable self.

On the way back down from Stirgraves Pass, got to see a whole bunch of cows on the old mother road.  One horny bull was trying to get some in the middle of the road.  Wondered if that was the inspiration of that old Beatle song Why Don't We Do It In The Road.  Whatever you want Future Steak on a Plate.
At Pawn World, yesterday got to see one of Arizona's Finest Freaks.  Appently he had a tiff with the owner on something and while I was searching through the dollar bins, saw this freak staring back at me.  Pretty much gave him my "fuck off" look.  Must of scared him off hehe, sometimes I even scare myself with "the look".

Needles has got to be the gateway to Hell.  It was 110 in the shade and there's nothing downtown except empty buildings and seedy hotels with folk pushing stolen carts and trying to bum money off the tourists.  Always pays to not dress up they didn't bother me.  Had a pretty good shake at the Route 66 Hamburger place to which the guy gave me a cup and half of chocolate malt.  Needless to say I was impressed.  Then I saw the 4.79 a gallon gas price at Union 76.  Time to move on.

The old Route 66 road is getting more rougher as the years progressed on and all it's good for when your in California is to knock your car out of alignment.  I don't think I'll be driving on that part on the way to the Colorado River.  At least Arizona keeps the road better maintained.

One thought about Bullhead City which is five degrees cooler than Needles, the traffic down there is terrible, even worse than Phoenix at times. But for intense heat without the cartpusher money hustlers in Needles it's perferable.

I'd love to return to Kingman if in the area or in Vegas.  I still believe that this is the place to get away from it all.  Time to hit the road y'all, next time you hear from me will be at home.

Top Ten Of The Week

1. Life On Earth-Robin Trower 1981  Hooking up with Jack Bruce, Robin did two albums with Bruce with uneven results.  Chrysalis had a bright idea to combine the best moments of those albums to a single overview.  Hard to find and it does add all but one song from BLT and takes half a side from Truce, which wasn't that great but Robin did get Reg Isadore to play drums on that from the Bridge Of Sighs years.

2. Big Steal And Borrow-Swinging Steaks 1994  Band that made a interesting album for Capricorn and then got Gary Katz (Elliott Randall's ex friend) to produce it.  This album is kind of a cult album and is also hard to find but I did get it at Pawn World in Kingman for a couple bucks while meeting some freaky fuck up there.

3. Ain't Life Grand-Widespread Panic 1994  Don't ask me why I've been in a WP mood of late, WP was even on Austin City Limits Friday night.  They're still jamming away, one of the oldest jam bands around and John Bell is a distinct singer in the way of Lemmy is with Motorhead.

4. Long Island Lady-Marshall Tucker Band 1983  Marshall Tucker had distribution problems when they reissued their back catalog in the late 90s.  Sure you can get the early albums up to Carolina Dreams on KTel, but anything after that it was hard to get.  They moved over to Platimun Records, saw them go bankrupt then moved over to Beyond Records and they went belly up.  They're now on Shout Factory but for all problems they had with mentioned labels, those albums you can now find for five bucks or less at FYE or selected Goodwill stores up in Waterloo.  By then, Marshall Tucker Band was becoming more country than rock but Just Us, the 1983 album shows them embracing a jazzier side before returning to be a country band.

5.  This Is The End-Charlatans UK 2008  New track from new Charlatans and judging from what I heard from this album and digipak it may be for reviewing their album.

6.  Take It All-Badfinger 1972  From Straight Up, this album showcased Badfinger to be a decent Beatles soundalike band but they have got to be the most hardluck band to ever be in rock and roll.  Their tales of label and management fuckups would get them in the R n R Hall Of Fame on the first ballot.  Only Joey Malland remains the sole living member of the band.

7.  Sally Can't Dance-Lou Reed 1974 One of the few times that the single version was better than the album version.  The disappointment of Modern Times was that they stuck the album version while Walk On The Wild Side had the two minite forty eight single version on that album.  The album cut is a bit more grimmer too.  The reissue of Sally Can't Dance, they do add the single version.

8.  I Hear Her Call My Name-Velvet Underground 1968  Rush hour in Phoenix or Prescott or Sedone is not the place to hear Velvet Underground music, or even hearing VU's Heroin.

9.  I'm Telling You Now-Freddie and The Dreamers 1963  Another minor band from Merseyland riding on the British Wave of The Beatles, I think they were a step ahead of Gerry And The Pacemakers but a step behind The Dave Clark Five who were grittier. Fred Garrity looked more like of a clone between Jerry Lewis and Buddy Holly and although they did have their moment in the sun, I do recall seeing a lot of their Mercury albums being sold for fifty cents at Eisner's Grocery Store in Lincoln in the late 60s.  Hard to believe I can remember such things but can't remember yesterday for the life of me.

10.  Theme From Route 66-Nelson Riddle 1960  The theme of the Arizona trip. Taking a spin on Arizona 66, the longest reminder of Route 66 as I drove to Kingman from Ash Fork and then back again.  Had a interesting CD to listen to on this treck, it was a classical album of songs set to driving on Route 66 and it was fun to hear them that way but I would like to make a suggestion that they should have had Hugo Montegero's version of Good Bad and Ugly instead.  But we'll give them points for paying EMI to use this song on the cd.  The CD is called Drive Time/Route 66 and can be found as selected Route 66 tourist traps across that highway.

While it stormed in Phoenix, the metal gods performed that night at the Cricket.
Judas Priest, Heaven and Hell (Dio Black Sabbath era band), Motorhead and Testament.   I didn't go but here's a review of it. (updated the link due to issues with the old link-something about it being an attack site, whatever that is).

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Crabb Bits:Wreck Beach, Doors, Dumbass Bush

And now, I take a look at the Crabb mail bag to read the couple comments that were presented to me.
The Arizona Trip was plan B to the original intent of trying to get to Seattle once again and I hope some day I can get to the northwest to hook up with friends up there.  When you live in the wasteland we call Floodland, er Iowa, the airports don't give you a lot of choices and the reason why Southwest Airlines is so profitable is that they don't have any planes going through Iowa.  Which means it sucks we can't do the Wanna Get Away thingy that they're always putting on Cub games, if and when WGN gets off their ass and shows Cub games.  We have Allegiant Airlines that gives us the ability to fly to the deserts in one setting rather than go through four or five airport hubs to get to Washington State.  In the end, it was more cost effective just to go to the familar rather than deal with the unknown and play to the rules of United or Northwest.  It's been seven years since I've been to the NW and now I probaly have forgotten where everything is at, except what's on the interstate. But still something about Ritzville or Moses Lake makes me want to go up there and see it before I'm gone from this life.  Perhaps I'll be reborn to be up there, or in Kingman, or someplace out in the high country of AZ.

I need new pictures of myself since I don't have any recent pics of me and thought I pull one out of the archives and one that actually showing the world I can actually smile.  The pics from the Chain Of Rocks vacation of last year, the pics of me simply sucked, it was very windy and most of the time I looked bloated so I never posted any.  The picture of me and Olivia is from the archives and is a few years old.   We still keep in touch from time to time and remain friends.  There's no pefect match out there, or soulmates (gawd can you imagine a woman that thinks like Crabby?) and perhaps we'll never find that special one to share life with.  It helps if you're "curvy" or "busty", have real long hair and can pass gas with the best of them (yeh, i know, gross but everybody farts, I'm sure Jessica Simpson does her share too) and can talk music for hours.  I do have other pics with friends from Mingles, I do have one with Sonya that is a co worker in the archives too who at age 36 still manages to make Bill n Steve at work wag their tongues when she walks by.  I do find that most of the My Spacers that I talk to are women and they do a better job of keeping in touch than most male friends I have out there.  As I said before, whoever writes to me, I reply back but true, most of whoever writes are women.  And there's nothing wrong with that.

August is winding down bigtime and the earwigs this year have been less of a pest than the last couple years and perhaps the 40 days and nights of rains had something to do with that.  After a very very wet winter and spring, we are finally in a dry period for the past month and thankfully the gullywashers have been few and far between.  Now the fucking weathermen are saying "we can sure use some rain" to which I say Bullshit, should have stockpile some of that 31 foot Epic Surge we had two months ago.  This place can turn dry as a bone and I wouldn't complain.

For seven years, we have had Governor Bush drive this country into the brink of the next depression and now he's back to his usual blame the Democrats for high gas prices, while he pocketing some of that oil money himself.  Normally, I would blast the hell out of him and the Nazi Clone VP but the Democrats who have controlled congress have done even less than the Republicunts have done beforehand.  And to reward yourself by going on vacation all summer isn't setting too well with us either.  Maybe in my next life i can be a oil baron so I can get in with the tax credits and cuts that Bush and the Republicunts gave Big Oil so they can have triple digit profits which is going to stop.  Nobody is going to be very happy paying for 10 dollar a gallon gas that's for sure. As I said before the Democraps have gotta learn to start bullshitting better than sitting on their ass and giving themselves raises for doing nothing.  It's one thing to stand up to Governor Dubya but after hurricanes, floods and seeing your town become a ghost town due to floods and four dollar gallon gas and two dollar loaf of bread the public gets a little tired of do nothing government.  All democraps want to do is form committees to discuss floods and what to do, or form a committee on discussing lifting oil bans.  Just fucking do something and quickly.  It's easy just to toss the do nothings out and get the Republicunts back in with McCain in there and live with the aftermath.  I don't want to sound like FOX news but Obama isn't impressing me that much and McCain less with his dumbass attack ads that don't address anything but slander and gave us Perez Hilton and Flavor Flav.  I'm also thinking if McCain gets Milt Romney to be VP, this may not look good for the Democrappers.  But then again it's all speculation and don't get me started on that department.

Also to the folks in Washington State, too bad you gotta deal with Dino Rossi, he seems to be a like a zit that always keeps popping up every time y'all vote for a new Govenor.  He reminds me of the late Even Mecham, who kept running for Governor of Arizona, then got it, then screwed the state up to a point he got impeached.  You can probaly do better than Christine but you wouldn't get it in Dino.  Why is it that we never get a good qualified person to run for government but always seem to get the dumbasses that don't have a clue but to spend taxpayers money on stupid shit?  I hope the next world things are run by reason and not by fear and warmongers who are hellbent in destroying the world by wars, drilling for oil half a planet down  and Hummers?

I have to comment on The Doors, who finally are going to be shut for good after the three surviving member settle the whole thing.  It seems that John Densmore was the bad guy out of this, the guy that wouldn't sign off Doors songs for commericals and IPODs, the guy that didn't tour with them when the Faux'pas Doors toured with Ian Asbury in the decade.  It is so easy to take the money on the table and sell out, ya think with royalties recieved from overplayed Doors songs weren't enough.  Actually The Doors did continue to tour and make a couple of poopy albums after Jim Morrison left the world.  I think John Densmore did a pretty noble thing considering that people would love to rake him over the coals.  Without Jim Morrison, The Doors weren't The Doors and Ian Asbury is not Jim Morrison.  And I think that's the problem of Classic Rock itself, that the bands that ruled radio and records forty years ago are no longer a complete band, most of now senior citizens and it isn't the same as it was when you were watching them on TV back in the 60s or 70s.  It was a wonderful time to be in a band, to creative music and the original review of Woodstock was that it sucked, and it rained too much during the shows up there.  I wish we can all get back to the garden, but you can't go back to the past to when it all begin.  And all the Viagara in the world might get that four hour hard-on, the Just For Men can recolored your hair and botox might make you young if it doesn't turn you into Frankenstein but that big belly and winkles elsewhere shows that you're much older now.  And you cannot buy back time (and if you can let me in on that secret so I can buy back about thirty years), no matter what ya do.

And finally, perhaps my last thing to do on the to do list is go check out a nude beach, just to take it all off and blend in with the crowd.  I really don't wanna hear about the prudes out there about being naked in a beach setting.  You're born into the world naked and even prudes take it all off to get some anyway so shut up on that.  It seems like a interesting idea and nobody there is going to make fun of you anyway so it's a thought.  But I have done is starting riding a bike when I go up to Madison and we do have some trails so maybe I can start getting a two wheeler here and just go into town and ride the pavement without getting run over.  Once the CD stores close up here, and once Best Buy and Wal Mart keep the CDs in a single aisle up by the checkouts, I'm going have to do something with the time I have left in life.   We don't have nude beaches up here.  Too many mosquitoes and gnats getting into the wrong places.  Ugh.  (Note: somehow this link was reported as an attack site,whatever the fuck that means. Time and time again I have to update certain links so that we don't get a attack site report.  The link is safe, however the dumb fucks who report this as attack site, I would like to attack with an baseball bat.  My definition of a attack site).

And that's the bi monthly look in the email file and my weekly industry of thought.  Rock on.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Townedgers-Band Out Of Time

2008 hasn't been very kind to The Townedgers, whose lastest album Pawnshops For Olivia flopped despite getting hyped up in My Space. The album which was offered in two different packages, CD and a collection of MP3 free for the asking. Despite word of mouth, the album didn't sell 10 copies and nobody took up on the offer of getting the MP3 free from the source.
In fact, Neil Delanie, who oversees their label Maier Records was perplexed himself about the lack of interest. "I can't figure it out either" he said. "It is one of the best albums that they have ever done in their history".

This year also marked the 25th Anniversity of Town's Edge Rock, the classic low-fi recording that gave songwriter Rodney Smith the creative spark that he needed to break away from the hard rock bar band he played in Paraphernalia (known as Open Highway and Tyrus in the area). It was supposed to be a landmark year of forthcoming albums and a tour to honour the songs of long ago and promote a new album in the process. Hooking up with Jack Orbit, they started as Route 66 and then changed the name after a couple Iowa bands had the same name and confused the fans of that music to the more original Townedgers moniker.

In the past couple years Orbit retired from the stage and Geoff Redding left leaving Smith with only himself and sound recorder Martin Daniels to continue the band. Mostly it was Smith himself only. Then the year started out with one of the worst winters ever, and led to one of the wettest springs ever. Pawnshops For Olivia, originally called Fitting Finales took a different life of its own while Smith was battling heavy rains and water in the basement he got a letter from a old girlfriend that became Pawnshops.

"It started out as a rock album", Smith says "but the floods of this year and reconnecting with somebody from the past changed the mood to a more moodier album. Didn't intented to be that way but things took a helluva toll on me. The Floods, the high gas prices, old age....all of a sudden it wasn't a Townedger album sotospeak but rather a solo album and a very personal one at that."

Perhaps too personal as the reviews came in. And even Smith knew it to the point that in May he went back to write new songs and added a drum solo to "add a bit more sunshine" to the moody songs that were done. He asked for and got help writing songs from fans of the band. Jack Orbit returned to co write a couple new songs. But even with that, it wasn't the best of times of being in the studio with Smith. He was at war with himself going through tirades when the music got bogged down. Long time engineer/producer Richard Dennanbaugh got the wrath of Smith when he erased a finished track for a song and was relieved of production duties, although he did oversee some of the mixing later on. When Ken Miller, orginal bass player called up to ask about writing credits to a song, he was told to "mind his own F'n business". Even the usually docile Geoff Redding complained that he wanted to play some guitar rather than just add backing vocals on some of the finished music. Smith replied that Redding wasn't availble at one AM, and his guitar work didn't need a counterpart. It was supposed to be a solo record remember?

But when the album finally was done, it wasn't a solo record but a record credited to The Townedgers even though Smith played most of the music himself sans the two electric numbers I Wonder and Uptown Chevy Girl the latter written for a friend of the band. Smith recalled that though the friend thought it was a nice gesture, she really don't like it all that much. To promote the album, they did add new cuts to the Townedgers My Space Site. In two months, only 48 total plays were recorded. Discouraged both Smith and Maier Records decided not to add any more songs to the player due to lackluster plays. "It just seemed nobody really cared about the new songs", Smith replied.

In the music world today, Independent rock and roll is released one day and forgotten the next. Even Jack Orbit was even shocked of the way Pawnshops For Olivia fell off the map as soon as it was made availble. "Like Rodney, I thought that Pawnshops was the best album they have done in years" he said. "It may have been a bit too eccentric or too simple for the buying public. Plus there weren't any songs that would make a good ringtone".

Delanie has this to say...."My Space isn't a very good place anymore to get your music heard if you're pushing middle age and I think that's the dilemma that Rodney and The Townedgers have to deal with now. They're now the dinosaurs of today unlike 25 years ago that they were new to the scene. Unless you got a pretty face and is a teenager, chances are you'll be one of millions of bands out there and nobody will give a shit about you, even if you have one of the best albums out there. What it comes down to is to promoting and getting the world out and performing live".

Which isn't one of Smith's better suits. The Townedgers have always been a very iffy band when playing live. If Rodney is playing drums and backing up a band he's more worthwhile but if he gets behind a mic with a guitar in his hand, you simply don't know what you're going to end up with. He's always been eccentric but he's also have had a past of being very erratic.

"Maybe so", said Orbit "but I also know that when Rodney gets it together, there's not one band out there that can match his intensity when he rocks out. You cannot count him out, he's the closest thing to rock and roll around this area."

For now Pawnshops For Olivia has now ran its course and and now falling by the wayside and the question remains "what's next?". Smith has mentioned that he's working on a new album and Orbit has mentioned that he would like to produce it. There's also a reunion of Smith and former Parahernalia bassist Russ Swearingen that might become a full time band. Regardless, a album of songs that didn't make it to Pawnshops For Olivia will be released on their own called simply Country.

Twenty five years later, Pawnshops For Olivia remains a great album that would hold up to anything The Flaming Lips or The Hold Steady has put out recently. But it also getting to be known that twenty five years onward The Townedgers are seeing time passing them by. And judging by their lack of interest from the My Space generation and like the CD sales, their time may have gone.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week-Who Knows Where Time Goes

Between stacks of CDs and requested favorites I left out a a couple songs that I wanted to add to the Top Ten but my memory fails me more often than not.  So here we go with another Top Ten before the party plane heads to the desert and I'll be at my favorite haunts there.  You can find me at the local Zias at Tempe or Chandler or the FYE that used to be Wherehouse Music around the Fiesta Mall area.  And on the Arizona Route 66 North country area.  If I should die before my time, throw my ashes downtown Kingman next to the train tracks, or around the old Route 66 BNSF bridge outside Seligman.  Or even the Chain Of Rocks Bridge in St louis if need be but that's for another trip for later on the year.

The tunes of the week.

1.  Nothing-Ian Moore 1993  Some nasty slide that starts out this song and off a album that when I think I want to trade it in or donate it, I play this song and decide that I'll hang on to it a bit longer.  Whatever
happened to Ian Moore?  He was supposed to be the next big guitar player in the Stevie Ray Vaughn mode.

2.  Coming Home-Delaney & Bonnie & Friends 1970  The start of Derek And The Dominoes, Eric Clapton liked this band so much that he pretty much made them the Dominoes to his Derek.

3.  Wear You Love Like Heaven-Donovan 1967  One of many forty fives that I used to have.   I finally ended up getting Donovan's Greatest Hits and actually discovered a few songs that I do not hear on the radio anymore.  Such as this top ten semi hit.

4.  So Afraid-The Outlaws 1977  Not exactly a critic band I always enjoyed this band playing some nice southern rock and they did have hits in There Goes Another Love Song and Green Grass And High Tides.  Certainly Henry Paul was the country artist to Hughie Thomassen's rock n roll with Billy Jones somewhere in between.  For about three album Harvey Dalton Arnold came on board and was the fourth singer songwriter and was a pretty fair at that too.  This is probaly the most bluegrass sounding that The Outlaws ever got to be and was the B side to Hurry Sundown to which I can't recall seeing copies of that at Marion TV n Records.  But I have been playing a bit more Outlaws lately rediscovering a band that was underappeciated even to this day.  Sadly there's no more Outlaws anymore, Hughie and Billy Jones have become the new Ghost Riders In The Skies, but Henry Paul still plays in Blackhawk who had a few hits in their time (and other passings too).  Wonder whatever happened to Harvey Dalton Arnold.

5.  Running Shoes-The Fabulous Thunderbirds 1980  I went to Waterloo and all I found was this lousy cd from the Fab Birds.  There ain't shit for music stores up there anymore.

6.  News-Dire Straits 1979  Rest in peace Jerry Wexler, who co produced the second album from Mark Knopler and company.

7. Chelsea Dagger-The Fratellis 2007  Heard this song at the Olympics and thought it sounded familar, or maybe it was a commerical.  Betcha can't stop singing along with the chorus boys.

8.  Breathe Me In-Candlebox 2008  New Candlebox!  My life is now complete.  I know a lot of people out there don't give a shit about them and I have yet to read a review that's positive.  I think I gave them the best review so far.  Guess I should turn in my critics' badge now.

9.  Blind Man-Black Stone Cherry 2008  This is new rock and roll that probaly the best out there right now.  If you like Soundgarden, you will dig the Black Stone Cherry.

10.  Catherine Street-Looking Glass 1972 Yup, the Brandy You're A Fine Girl band.  They made a pretty good debut album for Epic to which I originally had on a 8 track and this was one of two songs that I played a lot.  Certainly The Looking Glass had more to offer than that overplayed hit and most certainly I think Crabb Radio is the only place that you will hear this song.  Unless Beaker Street has it in their collection (and I believe they played this back in the 70s as well).

And now Rod's observations of the week.

Gas here is 3.55 a gallon, and was as cheap as 3.41 up in Waterloo Wasteland.

The more I read about John Edwards the less I think of him.  Sure it's hard not to be tempted by seduction while running for president, but own up to it and quit doing this holier than thou attitude.  Of course he would cancel out a trip here after the affair but then again this only makes me feel more contempt of politicians.  And on a discouraging note, McCain is ahead in the polls.  Wanna see the end of the world and return for five dollar gallon gas?  McCain's your man.  Not mine.

Seems like Ellen Degeneries is becoming the Liz Taylor of the Lesbian type.  Isn't this her third or fourth marriage to another woman?   She might be a great talk show host and can be funny but I think she is downright creepy.  If I had any daughters, I definly would keep them away from Ellen.

Sheryl Crow is trying to steal my heart.  She told a crowd to steal her music during a concert in New York last month.  Better watch it, the major labels will be throwing you to the dungeon again.  But I'd probably admire you for your outspoken ness but seriously, I don't download myself.

RIP Leroi Jones, the saxophone player for Dave Matthews Band who died of injuries from a ATV accident. He was 46.

On the subject of All Summer Long by LeRoy P. Marinell

Kid Rock......A man of honor 

I keep reading/hearing about how Bob Richie, AKA Kid Rock, "stole" the music for "All Summer Long" from "Werewolves" and "Sweet Home Alabama".....And what a bad guy he is for doing so…..Well, I'm here to tell you that aint the case at all......Not even close……In fact, not only did he get licenses for those tunes, he was generous in the extreme…..By law he was entitled to 50 % of "All Summer Long" as the lyricist….He would have been well within his rights to have told all of us, us being the writers of "Werewolves" and "Sweet Home", to split the other 50% between us……But he didn't do that…..Instead, he offered to split the royalties equally amongst all of us…..Such honorable behavior is, virtually, unheard of in the music business…And, probably, in any other business….

As one of the writers of "Werewolves", I say, "Bravo, Bob…..You're a gentleman and a man of honor"……
Kid Rock remains a rock n roller and I'm surprised nobody else out there could see the connection with Sweet Home Alabama and Werewolves Of London. It does deserve the Summer Single of 2008 and yep, Kid Rock did credited all the writers involved with the song.  I do admit that I wasn't a Kid Rock fan at the beginning but do find he's gotten lots better as he gotten older and let's forgive him about that Pamela Lee Anderson debacle.  I'd party with him (if he would let me) ;-}

Old 97s Blame It On Gravity (New West Vinyl LP)

An improvement over their last effort which wasn't that bad, it was probaly the digipak that put me off so on this effort we bought the vinyl instead of  CD.  I think Rhett and company have made the most consistant albums of this decade although they got raked over the coals over Satellite Rides.  Still a lot of the quirky rhythms and Rhett observations that make them fun (Dance With Me with references to Billy Squier and The Grassroots and perhaps...Bread) and Here's To The Halcyon which has that Old 97 chugging sound that recalls the Bloodshot years.  Murray adds This Beautiful Life and the yearning Color Of A Lonely Heart Is Blue, and is that one of the others singing The Easy Way.  They actually sound like they're having more fun too without major label hassles.  Radio won't give them any airplay but The Old 97s remains the best kept secret. Blame It On Gravity?  Let's blame it on stupid, indifferent radio airplay.  The vinyl sound is sweet sounding.  And just after I said that, I heard a goddam pop. F'n records.

Grade A minus

Suggested Cuts: Color Of A Lonely Heart Is Blue, My Two Feet, No Baby I, Ride, Dance With Me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Crabb Bits: Shawn Johnson, Jerry Wexler, Black Stone Cherry

Shawn Johnson, Super Girl, Plus other things

You can't but to love her and she is from Iowa.  I got to watch her floor exercise the other night, only to see her lose out to a great performance by somebody else.  Although three sliver medals are nothing to be ashamed about, I just feel that Good Karma needed to give her a gold metal.

Is My Space losing its luster?  The ratings are in and so far they are not looking very good.  For the past six years the Crabb Top Ten Of The WeekTM has been the weekly lookat in the tunes that have been playing here at that week.   Unfortunly, it seems that my weekly commentators have now moved on to other things and the last couple months have hardly anybody to discuss music things anymore.  I suppose the writing is on the wall or people have decided to play Mafia Wars rather than discuss why the hell we put up a Tony Orlando/Dawn song.  It's not only here but in the Crabb Corner at that also has been very quiet too.  I really don't know what else to do anymore to get the word out or perhaps the world is blogged out and blogged down.  This has been a fun rotine to track what's being played in Crabbland and to committ to the archives.  But it seems more we're becoming a lone wolf in this.  I suppose everything comes to an end and maybe we have to consider ending this chapter.  I thought the top ten was a better alternative to the charts out there but then again I may be delusional.
Jerry Wexler was a writer for Goldmine in the 40s and 50s before he partnered with Armand Ertugen and made Atlantic Records the best independent label of the 50s and beyond.  He died over the weekend at age 91.  He produced Aretha Franklin's best known hits as well as Dire Straits Communique album from 1979.  Jerry joins the Ertegun brothers in the great beyond, the likes to which we'll never see again.
Don't fence me in.   Amazing that in this day and age, nobody can have anything nice without having some fucktard vandalizing things and I have noticed a lot of that while going to Arizona to check out buildings from the past.  Nothing like history being crapped out by tagging baggy pant moron whigger wannabees who have detoriated the way of life out in the deserts and California.  Can't blame James Hetfield who probaly got tired of the vandals and taggers and stupid fucks who don't respect other people's property.  Always gotta be one dumb fuck that has to ruin it for the rest of the world.  Sorry but I have to side with James on this one.

BLACK STONE CHERRY-Folklore And Superstition (Roadrunner)

Album number two starts out rocking harder than ever with Blind Man and Please Come In, with a lead guitar hook that still reminds one of the harder edge southern rock bands of long time ago although Chris Robertson sounds more Chris Cornell than Rickey Medlocke.  However when the ballads come on the album gets more strange.  Seems to me that What My Father Says  is a desperate attempt for the radio and sounds out of place on this album.  So is You (the song).  The dilemma of being on a major label, label is screaming hits now, ballads as a plan B and if things fail, they're good as gone.   Still Black Stone Cherry remains one of the better hard rock bands that is out there right now and too bad they were ten years behind the times,  They would have fit in perfectly with the Soundgardens and Pearl Jams of the past decade. Still John Paul Young does his uncle proud with his drumming, part of the fun of growing up being a son of a Kentucky Headhunter.  Nevertheless, Folklore and Superstitions is a nice follow up to their debut although there's a bit more commercialism cropping up.  Rest of the album has some interesting moments, including the reagge beat on Sunrise, but first album remains a bit more to the point.

Grade +
Suggested Cuts: Revenend Wrinkle, Please Come In, The Bitter End

and  a big F U to Goldman sachs to their 149 dollar barrel of oil prediction. You'll get it when your boy McCain gets to be president.  And another F bomb goes out to Big Oil who continues to buy the polticians who supposely work for us too.  Seems like we're not any better than Russia in terms of crack head government.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Love 2008

I have heard that a couple of my good friends have finally found love.  Sherry out in Louisana, to which I sparred over her and her country music way back when she was in Mingles and actually got me to open that closed mind to check out some country and we became pretty good friends after that.  Well, she has found the man of her dreams and they'll be getting married sometime next week I do believe.  Congratulations Sherry, and all the best to you.

I've known Becky for about five years as well.  She's part of the Mingles crowd and we gotten together to meet at various Vegas Mingles parties as well.  Looks like she found herself a good guy finally.  Always believers in love and someday trying again when one fails.  All the best to ya Becks, we still luv ya.
As for myself, it's never been easy for me to find anybody.  It's been going on 11 years since I dated anybody in this state and it's been 7 since Isabella.

While people can't live without having somebody around, I have learned to live on my own without anybody since realtionships are few and far between here.  Oh, I have plutronic friends out there and I do have more female friends to talk to than guys.   But nobody out here that I forsee in the future to be together with.
I don't know what it takes to have somebody to share life with 24/7 in this era.  Last time i had that was back in the mid 90s and it's true that once the excitement and entertainment wears off, it eventually comes down to looking at one another and wondering why they're still here, or I'm still here.  As you get older and hitting middle age, there's simply nobody left around that shares your likes and places to go see and do.  Most of their time, they have to deal with what life gave them, kids, grandkids, etc etc. 

I did go to the mall the other day and see how out of place I am in today.  Hard to believe while growing up we have chances to meet some other girl or girls from other schools and perhaps take up a conversation and go there.  Nowadays, all you see is teenboppers with cellphones gluded to their ears yacking away.  And you kinda wish for the old days that all this technology not invented that you probaly get to talk to somebody better than now.

I suppose somewhere in these 40 plus years, that Miss Right went past me and I didn't know it till years later.  I know there's a girl in my PR Class at Kirkwood that I ran into at Kitty's that she smiled across from my table and I was too timid to say anything, only to see her in tears leaving the place after my failure to say anything.  And then the next weekend after a walk out on the trails decide maybe I should find her at Kirkwood and try to explain my line of thinking. I'm still looking for her this day.

As I sit through mountain of stacks of CDs and records that there's always a price to pay in terms of life.  Of making choices.  That go way back to high school in trying to decide to be committed to some girl up in Michigan that I only seen during summer or perhaps take a chance with somebody in my social studies class.  Or even return to a high school sweetheart number two after not being so nice when we were dating together.  You gotta be careful when you dump sombody without notice in high school, they will remember and if and when the time is right to be together and you get a weak moment, don't think you'll get off easy. In 1989 I did just that, only to get dropped on my head and then getting pink eye the next day.

In love there are so many obsticiles that get in the way.  Kids from a previous marriage, kids from different dads, a jealous husband, a woman that can't handle finances and almost cost a good credit rating, been there done that.  When you're alone you tend to think whatever happened to Leah from Webster City or Michelle from Nevada, school boy crushes from the second grade.  Or even Kindergarden,  I remember Donna, she was kind of a tomboy and she used to chase me around the school yard (if you wanna get to a Crabb's heart, chase him around the building a few times and he's yours) and we did some kind of dance recital and when I held her hand back then, it was very sweaty.  I remember in 1980 when Marion won the Football Championship that I spend the afternoon going to Crossroads Center and thinking that I have seen her for the first time in years.  We didn't talk, I was up on the top floor, she was on the bottom and she looked like, well she looked a bit muscular and had short hair.  But for that brief moment the present and the past came together and went in seperate directions like ships in the night. She might have been a lesbian by that time judging the way that she looked too.

I always wondered about Michelle from Nevada.  It's more than forty years later and I know she doesn't live there anymore or even has a thought of me.  Leah lived down the road from me in Webster City on High Street (actual name) and she was a year younger and told me one day she would give me a big kiss.  She actually did, got a bunch of other guys to chase me around and held me till she put a big smack on the Goofy gloves on my hand.  She was a little sparkplug, I'm sure life would have been interesting had I stayed up there longer.

Which brings me back to the present and where things are at now.  I don't understand where in when we lose it in terms of attraction.  Perhaps I was never that smart, even when the girl at Krackers Records would always give a wink and smile after each purchase.  Or the girl in PR class who thought the world of me enough to bring herself out to the open and getting a very shy guy freezing up inside.  I think about the ones that used to be in my life when I get a moment and wondered if there was anything that could have been changed.  Had that been the case I'm sure I wouldn't be the musical fanatic that i am today had I decided to take my chance on the Social Studies girl instead of the Girl from Jackson Michigan who would end up getting pregnant by some other dude before she even turned 16.  I'm sure Janice and I would have stayed together for the course of this life, she was very committed to someone, even if we weren't going together.  But then again her only crime in life was trying to impress me to be her one and only.  There was times we had chances, but it just seemed we were doomed to fail, even when she offered to buy me a ticket on some wacky ride during Fun Days. 

I'm sure she's doing fine down in Texas or whereeve she may be as well as the girl in PR class.  I was really not that type of person to really settle down with anybody, my second home was the record store.  I'm sure I'm doomed to be the loner crabby old crabb that I used to make fun of when I was riding my bike down the road and being a brat.  I don't I have given up on love as much as I have given up on even finding anybody to share a life with.  I do not want to hear "someday you'll find her" anymore,  I kinda hoped that would have taken place had I have been younger.  I come to the conclusion that perhaps I'm too wild and too set in my ways to ever find anybody close enough to settle down with.

I thought I did found that somebody when she was around and we'd spend nights making up song titles and discussing music, maybe she found somebody else a few years ago. So I must live life the way that I have been for the past thirty years, music and observations and if somebody out there thinks that it may work out for us, perhaps it might.  Broken hearts are a part of life but one thing I do know is that the sun will rise again tomorrow and there's always a chance that perhaps somebody will come around that horizon or at the used bins at HP Books.

The only i can be is to be true to myself and by myself.

And maybe somebody will see that.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mom is 64

Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
When I'm sixty four?
happy 64th Mom.

Crabby loves you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week:New And Old

1.  Lady Madonna-The Beatles 1967   For the material girl who turned fifty this week.  Reminds me of the Moody Blues song, don't it make you feel small, it happens to us all.  So I might be getting off topic, I'm approaching fifty too in a couple years so quit bothering me...

2.  He Don't Love You (like i love you)-Tony Orlando And Dawn 1975  Shows you the mindset of Crabby; I had this on a scratchy forty five in my collection.  I think I got it at Rock N Bach when he had his store in the flooded Time Check area way back when they opened up and instead of studying at Kirkwood on my off breaks, I'd go over to RnB and waste a few hours there.  Anyway, you all know the history of Tony Orlando and Dawn, big hit with Candida and then had the runaway hit Tie A Yellow Ribbon to which everybody recorded but they did signed to Elektra in the mid 70s and had a top ten hit with this Curtis Mayfield remake.   Although they did record for the big E label, I don't recall any other singles making the top ten or maybe I didn't pay too much attention to them after that.  It is a pretty good song I think.  And no, I don't have any other Tony Orlando and Dawn in my collection, why do you ask?

3.  Jupiter Child-Steppenwolf 1969  B-side to Rock Me.  The great thing about growing up in the 60s was that Woolworth's would have those 4 for a dollar specials on forty fives and the Webster City Woolworth's was no exception.  Fact was they had a pretty big selection of 45s considering they were a small town.  I remember going up there and picking Rock Me/Jupiter Child with Richard Harris' Yard Goes On Forever and one other song I can't remember (after all it has been forty years since that day).  But Steppenwolf was one of those bands that if you saw their singles in the 29 cent bins, you picked it up regardless.  Steppenwolf bascially made great singles, but spotty albums just like 3 Dog Night but I do have all their albums likewise.  BTW, Dunhill/ABC records were so inept that they threw out most of the single mixes of singles. The forty five version of Jupiter Child starts out drums only. I'd be happy to play you my copy but I think I wore the grooves off it. But then again, there's more to Steppenwolf than Born To Be Wild or Magic Carpet Ride.  Too fucking bad that classic oldies radio don't play any other ones (such as Jupiter Child).

4.  Keeps Me Wondering Why-Steve Miller Band 1982  I like Rock N Me but am sick of hearing it on the radio.  Likewise Take The  Money And Run and Some People Call Me The Space Cowboy.  Don't need to hear it from the Pompoustous Of Love himself so I dusted off Abracadaba and played this power pop song from the Jokerman himself.  Anyhoo, this backup band of Gary Mallaber and company helped out Gerard McMahon and made the classic Blue Rue of a year before, to which Miller was so impressed by that album that he got the guys back and they helped co write Abracadaba.  The album bombed but at least you won't get to hear these songs like you do The Joker or Fly Like A Eagle.  Entertain me but don't bore the hell out me with the same old songs.

5.  Singing Man-The Roots 2008  It's hard typing this top ten out at work, cuz the damn computer is so fucking slow and I have to watch out for snooping seniors.  I know I should be doing my work and everything, but the damn cutters so far this week have chopped off six jobs and had to redo them all over again. Plus I still can't remember much of the new Hold Steady album but do remember this number from Rising Down from the Roots.   Sing your song singing man indeed.

6.  Belinda-The Stabilizers 2007  This band remembers The Buzzcocks and good old pub rock of that era.  Plus it's off The Coolest Songs In The World Volume 6.  To which you can get at FYE for 8 bucks.  Get in quick before the help there bothers you.

7.  Horse And Crow-Peter Case 1987  Nice of somebody to remind me of this song from Peter's first Geffen album and they brung up his old band The Plimsouls whose shining moment was A Million Miles Away to which it did reach all the way up to 87 on the Billboard's singles chart of 1983.  I did buy the single when it came out but never did see the movie Valley Girl to which Peter and company played in that movie till TBS showed it a few years later.  Peter Case has been mostly a folk artist and most of his albums after Blue Guitar tend to lose me anyway (his last album was a snoozer) but I think his Geffen albums is where I go to when I want to hear his music. Or the Plimsouls.......Probaly The Plimsouls more befoer PC.
8.  Good Pain-Live 1991  They got way too preachy and too pompous on me which each new album they did after Mental Jewelery but I  still love their first album and it still gets played on regular rotation here at Crabb Radio. Pennsylvania's answer to U2.

9.  Slapped Actress-The Hold Steady 2008   Rock n roll today. They have the Springsteenisms in them, but which album is it?  I say Born To Run, Rolling Stone sez Wild, Willing and the E Street Band, and All music guide compares this to Darkness On The Side Of Town. Martin Daniels, the tiebreaker gives it to Human Touch.  Smartass.  Critics are mixed on this album and no, Stay Positive isn't album of the year here but I'm sure Jim Musser will disagree with me on that one.  I do know Thom Jurek agrees with me from his review at AMG.  I tend to enjoy John Cafferty better although The Hold Steady wins out over Mariah by a eyelash, or a soulpatch.

10.  Till The Rivers All Run Dry-Pete Townsend/Ronnie Lane 1977  Perhaps the only song that Don Williams ever sang that was covered by a band that featured Pete, Ronnie, Eric Clapton and John Entwhisle. And a perfect way to close out yet another award winning top ten.  From the Rough Mix album that is in print (and on Hip O if you care).


Little Steven's 16 picks totaling a Ramoneslike 40 minites and half the songs are 2 and half minites or less.  Best song is a Andrew Oldman theme song, 2nd best is a track from last year's Record Of The Year.  Obscure song comes from The Cake, a girl band that was too late for the Phil Spector years.  Turds include a acoustic song that is the longest on the album and overstays its welcome, The Maggots' King Of The Freaks with a feedback ending that's guaranteed to clean out any maggots in a pile of poo in a three mile radius and Turd number three comes from a Sire Records band that got bounced after one record and it must have been a secret, even I didn't hear of it.  The Go Gos make a apperance with a track off their God Bless The Go Gos flop of 2001, The Stooges make a nice new song done in a very bad Albini mix and the Pretty Things are still around just to let you know they are the second oldest band that's still plugging away.  Plus the usual Little Steven pickings from garage bands all over the world that mostly miss than hit but you gotta admire him for at least giving them a chance to shine.  Better than Volume 5 although repeat listenings doesn't quite hold up as well as I originally thought but I'll wait for Volume 7 when it comes out.  Certainly better than the Corporate explotitation That's What I Call Music garbage.
Grade B plus

Suggested cuts: 365 Rolling Stones-Andrew Loog Oldham Orchestra, The Paybacks-Stranger In This House, Stabilizers-Belinda, The Stooges-Free and Freaky

Candlebox-Into The Sun (Silent Majority Records)

Hard to figure these dudes to be geezer rock although fifteen years ago, Candlebox was lumped in with all the Seattle bands in the short lived Grunge scene.  But along with Stone Temple Pilots, these guys were more straight ahead rock and roll than the screamfest that was Soundgarden, or the three chords and a bash Nirvana.  Certainly more melodic with an eye on radio, they did made three rockin but uneven album.  Never did hear their soul selling Happy Pills which lost me on the songs but Into The Sun, Candlebox returns to a more rock and roll sound that was on their first two albums.   Fact is they never rock as hard as they did on the first two songs Stand and Bitches Brewing.  For no bullshit RnR, Candlebox can't be beat in this day and age. They have more hooks in their songs then Hinder or kOrn or what passes for "real rock" anymore but like their Maverick albums Candlebox can't decide if they want to be a No Bullshit band or going for the prissy ballads that hinder their albums and Into The Sun is no exception.  Perhaps they should have ended the album on a high note with the Zeppelin sounding Beathe Me In (courtesy of Dave Krusden guesting on drums).  With album enders Lover-Come Back To Me and Consider Us they go into Matchbox 20 territory and the wheels fall off.  But if nothing else Into The Sun does have more hooks and memorable songs than on The Black Crowes last album.  Consider that a small victory.

Grade B-
Suggested cuts: Beathe Me In, Stand, Underneath It All


Interesting pairing of the voice of The Rascals and the guitar behind the MGs, helped by power poper Jon Tiven but with uneven results and not helped by overbearing David Z mix that is tailor made for the MP3 player and not the CD. You gotta like the concept though, nobody has made this soulful music since Michael McDonald tackled Motown.  Although Felix is in fine form, his hippy dippy lyrics which has hampered his solo career is still there and one could only wish that these guys would have up it a notch instead of playing everything at mid tempo beat.  Chester Thompson (Genesis) plays drums.

Grade C+
Suggested Cuts:  Make The Time Go Faster, Love Appatite

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Reviews and RIP Jerry Finn and Isaac Hayes

Mowing the yard yesterday, my brother was also chopping up the rest of the treelimbs that fell during various ice and rainstorms when we heard a sharp crack and saw part of the tree in the southwest corner of the yard split and fall down and took out part of the fence and wiped out our brand new raspberry bush that was growing there.

This morning I woke up only to find that the other part of the fucking tree split and fell and took out another part of the fence.  Of course my brother didn't know about it till I went up to his workplace to replace a burned out light bulb on my car.

Our luck has just been shit this year.  As you can tell.


LOS LONELY BOYS-Forgiven (epic)

Part of the joy of getting my car back is that I can now play cds on the discman and not to hear them on my brother's cd player which scratches them up and his speakers are lousy.  Part of the fun of reviewing music is that I can hear them in the car and base a opinion there although driving condictions of having to deal with dumbass drivers and fucking red lights that i can't base a opinion without being pissed off at something.
Anyway, The Garza brothers are back with album number three of basically the same rock and blues that made them flavors of the month a few years ago with their self titled album. Actually Forgiven is more mainstream and they have cut out on the Spanish speaking songs.  There's traces of Stevie Ray here and there (Heart Won't Told A Lie and Another Broken Heart), attempts to recreate a hit (Staying With Me), mellow love songs (Loving You Always, The Way I Feel) and a love of Santana (Superman).  They also do a Hendrix like version of I'm A Man (The Spencer Davis version) which showcases Henry Garza's wah wah lead work.  Dr. John appears on three tracks and the album is produced with Steve Jordan but there's seems to be a sameness of the songs that don't really make Forgiven stand out anymore than the previous efforts.  Certainly Los Lonely Boys are a likeable band and most of the album makes a fun listen on the drive home.  Forgiven isn't bad, but once the drive home is done, you'd probaly won't remember most of it.
Grade B

Pick Hits: Forgiven, Staying With Me, I'm A Man

THE HOLD STEADY-Stay Positive (Vagrant)

For those who love Born To Run, should check out this effort.  After three albums, I really begin to find the appeal of this band beginning to wear off.  Perhaps it is the Born To Run production that sets me off, or is it the unfinishness of the songs here.  Starts out fine with the rip roaring Constructed Summer and failed single Sequenced In Memphis and then goes nowherefast.  Perhaps we asked way too much of this band after the fine Boys And Girls In America.  Or perhaps the media is trying to make them the next big thing after BS and The E Street Band. Any good bar band can do Springsteen rock and roll, even John Cafferty has succeeded at some point.  Nevertheless Stay Positive lacks something that I can't put my finger .. hearing it in the car.  It's fun in spots but after a while even I can't remember what I've just listened to.  Fun but could be a bit memorable.  PS this album came with 3 bonus tracks, but done as one long band.  They go one for three in the bonus tracks department.
Grade B

Selected songs: Constructive Summer, Sequested In Memphis, Slapped Actress

The Roots-Rising Down (Def Jam)

This band with guest rappers do everything right in terms of presenting rap music as beats, poetry, commentary on the ways of the world.  I can't tell you that I hate all rap, in fact I still get a buzz out of the first Last Poets album and part of the White Flag Wu Tang Clan album that was given to me on vinyl.  The Roots have always been blessed with ?uestlove's back beat and instead of relying on beats to steal from other recordings, they do it their own way.  Last album was a bit too much on the tribute to a dead producer but on this album, they seem to take a page out of the Last Poets style.  Angry as hell but at the end of the album they tend to hold out some kind of home that things will get better.  But in terms of rage against the world, certainly Rising Down remains their crown jewel.  In fact, it's too bad that ?uestlove wasn't around when the Last Poets made their debut; he would have made that album an event to remember.
Grade A minus

Suggested Cuts: Criminal, I Will Not Apologize, Rising Down, Get Busy

RIP Jerry Finn, producer and choice recording engineer for the punk rock generation of the 1990s.  He recorded Green Day, mixed the first Suicide Machines album, produced the best MxPx album and helped the Offspring likewise. He had a massive brain hemmorage over the weekend and was taken off life support yesterday.  He was 38.

RIP Isaac Hayes who died of a stroke saturday.  Best known as Chef on South Park, Hayes was famous for being a songwriter for Sam N Dave and of course, became one of the best loved soul men of the 70s with Theme From Shaft, Do Your Thing and a 16 minite version of By The Time I Get To Phoenix.  He was 65.

  • Lizzy Williams I know its been tough lately. I'm sorry that the Raspberry bush got taken out..nature will destroy. I'm glad that your well. I think your luck will change in a big way.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Crabb Bits: John Edwards, Bernie Mac RIP

Boy did John Edwards' popularity went down the pipe didn't it?  The man seemed to have it all and then a weak moment and now he's in the soup.  I would have given any candidate who made John their VP my support, I think he had some great ideas but his little head was making decisions for him.  But let's not throw all the blame on him, after all the hussy who made the allegations was probaly into threesomes and moresomes.  Gotta feel bad for the baby who has to have her as a mother.  One three minite affair can ruin a lifetime of achivements and it has done it to John Edwards.  He's probaly no different now than to old Slick Willie who may have screwed some intern but at least he wasn'tt screwing the country like the idiots we have in congress and the white house is doing now.

The latest blog from Bob Lefsetz has gotten him in trouble with John Mellencamp.  In the Weekley Sales Review he blasted Mellencamp's album by the so called lack of sales and John Mellencamp actually read it and responded in his own way.  And so did Elaine, John's wife.  I believe that John still cares enough in his music to bite back to critics although whatever reason he had for annoying America with Our Country in those Chevy commercials one can only guess.  It got him more expose that way but in the process annoyed enough of us to not buy it or change the music channel when it came on.  These are tough times in the music world and since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to which killed radio and music, the starving artist has very limited ways and means to get the music out  So many music stations out there, ya'd think it would be easier but it's worser than ever.  I'm sure Bob will respond in his own way but I do admire Mellencamp for standing up to his own beliefs. 

In this day and age there's way too much empasis on the shock and awe negativity that is Mainstream America anymore.  We see it all the time in dumbass reality crap shows, or list shows such as Best Week Ever as 30 something unfunny-living at home-in-daddy's-basement jackasses try to make funny barbs about things in life and about celeberites who has no bearing on my life, let along yours.  Nobody promotes new music anymore, all we get is 40 year old playlists of the same 200 songs each and every day and what gets promoted is usually a 30 second clip at the end of a boring reality show.  I think John Mellencamp is one of the more honest singer songwriters out there but I didn't review his last couple albums since they came out on cheap digipaks and I am not a big fan of digipaks.  His new album is produced by John Henry Burnett (T Bone) and Burnett has done wonderful things with Robert Plant's last recording.  But I haven't been paying much attention to Mellencamp lately, fact is the last album I did review from him was the hodge podge Rough Harvest album of 1997.  I respect his opinions and give him points for standing up to the crabby old fart who slammed his album, but I have to also say that Our Country overexposed commercials turned me off into buying his last album.  Till he can stick them in a jewel case, I'll doubt that I'll review this album.  Digipaks get lost in the shuffle here.

It's a shock to see Bernie Mac passing away at age 50 friday night.  I think he was one of the funniest black comedians that we have had in this decade and his Bernie Mac show reminded me of a more rowdier Cosby show.  Death is a strange thing, we forget a artist or a musician till we see their name in the orbituarties.  Everybody dies in the end but we're never prepared anyway.  The Bernie Mac Show is seen at 2:30 in the morning around here to which late night ratings has it neck and neck to the Pinpoint Doppler Radar Show on KCRG.  Bernie will be missed by all.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Top Ten:Clash Of Interest

Another week gone by and yet another invasion of the Goodwill stores and didn't find anything to bring home although I did see a Carlton 45 of some guy that had arrangements by Barry Gordy before he started up Motown.  Be Bop A Lula by Gene Vincent, Jim Dandy by LaVern Baker and The Impressions Greatest Hits which didn't looked too chewed up but it smelled too much like mildew for me to buy it.   I like going through old records but sadly, too many of them got overplayed or got destroyed by water in the basement. Anyway, the songs of the week are as follows.

1.  365 Rolling Stones (One for everyday in the year)-Andrew Oldham Orchestra 1965  From Little Steven's Coolest Songs In The World Volume 6 probaly one of the more obscure tracks from the British Invasion Era that featured some Rolling Stones in the background plus John McLaughlin played guitar on this.  Also Mike Leander plays piano, he'd go on to produce pedofile in the making Gary Glitter's Rock n Roll Part 2.  Don't think this song ever made it stateside although Oldman did have two singles for Parrot.  But then again he was more famous for producing the early Rolling Stones, before they started repeating themselves.

2.  My Size-John Entwistle 1971  From Smash Your Head Against The Wall, the best solo album that John ever put out.  Rumour has it  that Jerry Shirley fell asleep on this song thus the messed up beat on the first verse but nobody thought of it to be that bad so they left it in the recording.  Got this album for free at Pigeons Furntiure Store back around the time it came out, but the record skipped.  George Patrick was giving them out for free, there were other albums of note, but don't remember them.

3.  Dear Lisa-The Townedgers 2008  Pawnshops For Olivia remains one of the more requested albums on the Crabb show and although The Townedger's website has been quiet of late, over here we're still promoting the album.   Somebody has to.

4.  Lively Up Yourself-Bob Marley and The Wailers 1975  First Marley album I've ever bought was the Live album and had it on squeaky cassette.  I also have the studio version somewhere but it's not as intense as the live album.  But then again I don't think Bob ever topped that live album in terms of pure intensity.

5. Down  On The Streets-The Stooges 1970  Sad to hear that Iggy and the boys got their music gear stolen up in Montreal in a motel parking lot.  Geezus talk about lax security.  Little Steven includes a track off their last album on the Coolest Songs In The World 6.  I never did buy it, heard it wasn't that great.

6.  Holiday-Bee Gees 1968  In terms of theory, I don't have much Bee Gee product in the house although there are albums that I do enjoy hearing.  Mostly Mr. Natural, their forgotten 1974 effort which was sort of a blueprint of better things to come.  This is off their first album which showed a heavy reliance on Sgt Pepper era Beatles trickery.  Polygram reissued this album as a budget priced CD, and then Reprise replaced it with a much more expensive 2 cd set of outtakes and alt takes.

7.  Postcard-Widespread Panic 1993  This band's music reminds me of driving on Route 66 from Kingman to Oatman.  Lotta twists and turns and tempos galore.  I guess they replaced Phish as the ultimate Jam band although a little jam band goes a long way.  Especially when they do a 36 minite version of Godzilla.

8.  Matriarch-Montrose 1975  Every time I think of Montrose, I think  back to the band days to which every time we did a Montrose song, the hired hand numbnutz whammy bar specialist would always go 'A little Montrose for you'.  How bout a "little shut the fuk up douchebag".  Memories....anyway this comes off the first album that Ronnie did without Sammy Hagar and the album got slammed in reviews.  Even Ronnie didn't like the production on this, should have kept Ted Templeman around.  Good song, so-so album.

9.  Sex Type Thing-Stone Temple Pilots 1992  Half the fun of going to a STP show is seeing if Scott Wieland can remember the words.  The sign of the true rock and roll star, just like remember old Numbnutz and "a little Montrose for you"......................

10.  Keep On Walking-Spanic Boys 1990  KUNI used to play this song a lot.  I forgot all bout this father/son duo till I found the album this song was on at the pawnshop for a dollar.  They made a few more albums of varying degree and quality.  Just another band that if you find their stuff in the clarence section at HP Books, you can check them out.

Celeb marriages...they just don't last.  Charlie Robison, the chainsmoking singer songwriter is divorcing Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks after eight years and three children.  Clash of interests they call it.

In the latest efforts of karoke sing along with a dead icon, there will be a Christmas album of Elvis and some of country's finest female singers, which only can be of one reason; to get the odious Carrie Underwood to sing along with Elvis.  So where's Lisa Marie on that one?  Not around, she's got twins to be born later.  Sure hope she don't name them Knox Leon or Apple.  But basically this falls under the catagory of who cares?  Lady across the street got one in the oven ready to pop out to add to her miniclan of Dugger Wannabees. Some people just don't stop at one or two, they have to have four or five.

On the saga of Brett Favre, I'm sure this will somewhat tarnish his reputation at Green Bay but I'm sure he'll do fine as a Jet.  But then again, I had the same thoughts when Johnny Unitas became a Charger and you can guess the rest of what happened.  I think there's a bit of ego that happened on this and had Brett bided his time and not gone "diva" to the media he could have been the Packers QB for the regular season.  Aaron Rogers does have a lot to prove and he has shown to be injury prone.  Does this make the Packers a lesser team? Donno but it does make the Jets a better team.  Just not Super Bowl worthy that's all.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Crabb Bits: Sony/BMG bye bye Fuzzface

This year sucks.   Last night on the way home, the brakeline in my brother's car snapped in two after I had some dumbfuck possom in the roadway and trying not to hit the fucking thing ended up getting the brakes messed up.  Pretty much goes with the way things have been going on here.  I should get my car back by the end of week.  It probaly has about another year's worth of driving left before I have to replace it.  Damn Iowa winters will do that to your car, rust it out.  I am getting tired of varmits on the highway trying to commit suicide and trying to use my ride.

I have over 5000 cds in my collection but the only fucking songs that I have been hearing of late, is nothing than The Moody Blues remasters to which I like but I don't like hearing the same fucking three songs over and over in my head.  I know I have played other CDs, why the hell is it that i only hear the same damn shit in my head on continuous play?!?

I think I might be losing it.  I heard the new Jessica Simpson song Come On Over and I think it's not too bad.

Sony is buying out BMG's shares of Sony/BMG and will be known as Sony Entertainment to which there will not be anymore BMG to contend with.

Somebody stole Iggy and The Stooges gear in Canada couple nights ago.

We managed to avoid the major storms last night which stopped the Cubs game Monday night.  It got dark around five oclock but it didn't rain down here,  it did though up at home judging by the mud puddle outside the house.

Gas prices are at 3.69 here.

What is it with these old geezer rock stars growing goatees and beards?  Next in line of the fuzzfaces, Jackson Browne.  If I start growing a face full of Brillo, kill me.  Nothing more sexier than some out of touch brillo face.  Touch of gray makes you that much older dood.  Didn't work for Jerry Garcia either.
I've read a interesting article about The Pink Spiders, a Nashville pop band.  They made a independent release that got them in a bidding war and they signed with Geffen, got produced by Ric Ocasek and then, like any other struggling band get shot down in a load of red tape BS.  I think I did a review of them, which I can't find anywhere now that I didn't think much of the album, Tom Lord/Alge stuck such a godawful remix that I downgraded it a couple notches and found no songs that stood out.  Sad to say, the band is down to one original member, the two others moved back to Nashville to work in another band.  Kinda reminds me of that movie Rock Star.  The Link to the story here.

They weren't the first to get screwed by the major labels.  They won't be the last.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pawnshops For Olivia By The Townedgers Review

Pawnshops For Olivia-The Townedgers (Radio Maierburg Records)

Rodney Smith remains a mystery in Iowa rock and roll.  For twenty five years, his projects which varied from the long lost Route 66 (who had to change their name in 1995 due to another band using it in state) to the more recent Townedgers.  Whereas, while other musicians rather bask in the limelight in state (nobody moreso than Billy Lee Janey) or others who work behind the scenes (Bo Ramsey), Smith remains hidden from view.  Even The Townedgers' My Space site rarely gets much hits  (in the five months of adding songs, only 418 plays have been recorded) from the masses.  While it may been true that Smith could have been a dominant drummer (in the 80s with Paraphernalia/Tyrus, he was voted in the top five of up and coming musicians) and could have made a living playing in bars, he gave it up once he found that making 1983's Town Edge Rock proved he could write decent albums.  He remains a rare cult artist.  But even with his cult following, Smith is always throwing curves at his fan base.

For twenty five years, he's been inspired by the happenings of his life and writing them to music.  Most often than not, it's about love gone wrong or the lure of a open highway, grooving to tunes while going to destinations unknown.  Most of the time, he writes and performs on his own and crediting it to The TEs.  Such is the case of the brand new Pawnshops For Olivia, a wry, somewhat dark and depressionary trip down the road of loneliness.  A mostly acoustic but sometimes rocking effort, Pawnshops is a very rough listen even for the dedicated.  And some of the subject matter does deal with love and loss.  But also a album of forgiving and redemption at the end of the album.

On the album Smith plays most of the songs himself with the exception of I Wonder and Uptown Chevy Girl to which Geoff Redding and Martin Daniels help out.  The former a bit of Crazy Horse sounding but with a vocal that suggest Ian Curtis leading CH.  And the latter sounding more like the Townedgers that the world knows.  And then after that, they go unplugged all the way to the end with the exception of Topsy (Part 3) to which Smith finally puts together a drum solo for the first time since 1989.  A rare change of pace for the head Townedger.

For the first time since 1989, outside songwriters help out to try to put a more posititive spin.  And it works with the countryish Downer's Grove (co written with Diggy Kat of Atomic Squirrels fame) to the folklike of Time And Place (another co write with another fan Nicole Passmore) which counterpoints the sadness that is So Alone and album closer Beyond The Sun to which the one that got away  did just that but with Time And Place, Smith sings out "Good friends are like a bottle of wine, they help you through the hard times).  And even dusting off Ever So Much which did appeared on Town Edge Rock, the new version is better put together, that Smith finally makes the song the country rocker it was intended to be (complete with a nice Geoff Redding backing vocal).  To which Smith sings out "stay by my side and you'll never lose/a perfect love that you have read in your dirty book".   Even in a dour song such as Beyond The Sun, Smith sings about the house is empty without you here/ although the bed is more roomy at night, thus throwing in a bit of humor even in the moment of loneliness, then concludes that "it's so lonely without you here/so tell me why is this all for the best?

This is Rodney Smith at his best.  The ability of twenty five years to write about love and loneliness.  Or rant and rave in a two minite song about The Summer Of Your Discontent.  "write a letter in twenty words or less/and tell me how you really do...feel/The answer isn't what you expect/Welcome to the summer of your discontent.  He also writes about a old barn, like life itself, once stood proud and mighty only to be fell by the winds of change in new single Somewhere Down The Line another remake of a song, whereas the original version goes on five plus minites, the new version is stripped down to a single guitar and drums and a counterpoint vocal on the chorus.  And even wonders about his role in life in There Are Times.  But he also addresses of a song about being the odd man out in love in Dear Lisa (you were the best that I ever had/for a day and a half) and the consqences (So Alone) but knows of his limitations of being in love (Can't Be Who You Want Me To Be), and falling out of love, even telling the one in question to "put on your red dress tonite/And let's go out and have a good time/maybe then we can set things right/and remind us when it was love at first sight".  And then perhaps throwing in the towel and saying that I Don't Fall In Love/Falling In Love Is Wrong, and the reason given is "you don't get enough, and stay around too long".

Perhaps the key song remains Summer Of Your Discontent to which Smith growls out 'You can pledge forever and don't mean it/May as well start looking for the Fountain Of Youth' and he may be singing it to either A) the one that got away or B) the band that never got past the point of being a closet cult band.  At age 47, Smith is past his prime on rock radio but still remains more committed to his folk garage than in previous albums.  Pawnshops For Olivia is a album that is not going to convert the masses over to a twenty five year overnight sensation and it still won't get him to even the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.  The Townedgers and Rodney Smith are way too eccentric for that.

Again Rodney Smith has thrown a curve ball once again.  But the fact of the matter is that Pawnshops For Olivia is a classic album of the fact that it comes deep down into a soul of a tormented rocker, past his prime but still proving to those who listen, that he continues to amaze while dealing on the subjects that he know so well.   Even with Beyond The Sun, he remains hopeful.  And hope will always triumph over despair in the end.  Pawnshops For Olivia is certainly the best album that The Townedgers have come up since 1991's Diamonds In The Skies or 1993's Modern Problems.

Even in darkness Smith sings about good fortune will come to us, somewhere down the line, but not singing only for himself but for those who still care and believe.  And that's all one could ask for.
Grade A

Friday, August 1, 2008

Review Of Pawnshops For Olivia

Ok, I've had the cd for sometime. Listened to it a few times now and thought I'd finally write a review about the CD.

1) I Wonder - Reminds me of a combination of CCR and Doors song.

2)Summer of Your Discontent - Was interesting. Give me a few more days might end up with a better verdict.

3)Uptown Chevy Girl - Thought it was a great song.

4)There Are Times -  There Are Times - Ok, I think I found a new theme song. Sorry Gretchen Wilson, move over, Crabby and TE's took over.

5)Can't Be What You Want Me To Be -  Another song I see as my theme song. Oh wait, I think it is on my account here.

6)Dear Lisa - I thought the beginning sounded like CCR's song "Bad Moon Rising" but I think I'm having a need for CCR at the moment.

7)I Don't Fall In Love- Ok, I think the TE's still have their special touch. They are the only band that can relax me. Make more songs like this one please.

8) Somewhere Down the Line - I'm starting to wonder when these people are going to go professional?

9) So Alone - Has the booking agent on the phone seeing if I can start putting these dudes on the road.

10) Downer's Grove - Tought this was a great song. Especially since there's 2 people I think are pretty cool.

11) Topsy - I didn't know there was a new version of the song Wipeout Townedger style! Ok, I'm diggin' this one only because I have a thing for drums.  Oops, now ya'll now a secret of mine.

12) Ever So Much - Another great song. I'm currently waiting for a response from the booking agent on the tour dates.

13)Time And Space - This is my favorite song. A special person gave me a few bright ideas (he's a good-looking man who is really sweet and funny, I think he goes by the name Crabby) and helped with the song.  Hey Crabby, love ya!

14) Beyond The Sun - Ok, now I had a flash back of an Eagles song. TE's, I think you could whip some tush against the Eagles, CCR, the Doors, and a few others.

I think this band needs to go out on tour so I can hear all the great songs they come out with. Best CD so far guys.