Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gobble Gobble Gobble-The Annual Turkey Shoot

Thanksgiving is coming. That must mean that it's bout time to review the albums of this year.
And usually we start things out with the turd albums of the year. Since I've only reviewed 68 albums this year, I try not to buy crappy albums. Which means that Guns and Roses missed out with Chinese Democracy. I heard enough songs off that album to decide that it wasn't worth reviewing, which means I've saved 12 bucks and a spot on the top ten turkeys of the year.

At this point in my life we try to look at the good parts of these albums. The worst album is a C plus, which isn't bad but for reasons of my own choosing something stood out that made me put it on the list. Like last year I don't think I have 10 turkey albums, call them the Zoey Pizza Top Ten. A bit too much and leaves the listener bloated. Not that I'm ragging on Zoey's Pizza, lot of folks swear by them but I still like Naso's Pizza better. It's a Marion Iowa thingy.

And now the albums of subpar.

1. The Black Crowes-Warpaint (Silver Arrow)
Back in the 90s they were the best thing for rock and roll but as the years progressed onward, they seemed to lose their edge and after they left American Recordings, they have done a Led Zeppelin tribute album with Jimmy Page and two tuneless albums in this decade. Warpaint is heavy on the ballads and when they do rock out, you can't remember the songs. In some ways they probaly do remind one of the boogie sonics of The Small Faces but did they have to minic the late 70s version of that band?

2. Pat Monahan-Last Of Seven (Columbia)
Say what you will of Train but they do have some good moments of hookery and charm. With Pat's first solo album, he adds way too many slow to medium tempo songs and even Train fans didn't buy this album either. Okay but too much of an yawnfest.

3. Ringo Starr-Liverpool 8 (Capitol)
A return to his own label and a falling out with Mark Hudson during the recording led him to tap Dave Stewart to remix and redo some of the songs for this album. Best song was a song about death and the afterlife, but for the most part, the usual songs about Love and Choose Love. But Ringo didn't help himself when he lashed a tirade about not signing any more autographs after October 20, which fans gave him a big FU. Although Mark Hudson may have gotten Ringo some airplay in the past ten years, Hudson also helped shape up some real awful albums as well. Liverpool 8, though not that bad, wasn't memorable either. Perhaps Ringo should look up the guys who helped him on Time Takes Time, his 1991 comeback album.

4. Asia-Phoenix (EMI)
Yup they did regroup, the original lineup and left John Payne in the dust with his own Asia tribute band. Again it's not that bad, but I only played it twice all year and it goes on too long (64 minites). But at least we are spared with John Payne's shriek.

5. Bruce Springsteen-Magic (Columbia)
This was done in by a very bad CD mix and the usually reliable Brendan O'Brien gives a bad overproduction. Starts out with a great song and then the wheels fell off. And the bad digipak didn't help either.

6. Felix Cavalire/Steve Cropper-Nudge It Up A Notch (Stax)
A meeting of legends, the guitar hero of the Memphis Sound and the vocalist of The Rascals, getting together to make a dull recording of mid tempo soul music. It's better than Taylor Hicks though.

7. Candlebox-Into The Sun (Silent Majority)
Still rocking like it was 1993. First two songs they had some F Bombs to the lyrics for shock value. I still perfer them over Hinder (who's last album bombed two weeks after it's release) or Buckcherry or latter day Puddle Of Mudd. And so it goes.

8. The Charlatans-You Cross My Path (Cooking Vinyl)
They decided to go toward more the outdated dance music of the Manchester scene of the early 90s and a lot of the songs have a unfinished feel. But this album makes the turkey list due to a crappy digipak packaging.

9. Kooks-Konk (Virgin)
Overrated brit pop but with a couple of decent songs. I guess this is why people are downloading singles rather than albums, the ability to pick their favorites and leave the less satisfying numbers. Again The Kooks have their moments but for this type of music, I'll stick with The Kinks. Or Blur. Or The Fratellis, Or The Stablizers.

10. Waylon Jennings-Waylon Forever (Vagrant)
And finally, about 10 years ago Waylon was recording songs with his son Shooter and shopped it around and got no takers. Appently Waylon had some demos laying around and so his son shaped his band's music with Waylon's demos and this was the end result. At 35 minites it's not very long but the music by Shooter and his band sounds more desperate than desperados and the worst song of the year was something called I Found The Body and had some chick screamer at the end singing like Clare Torry on Great Gig In The Sky from Dark Side by Pink Floyd, which is why I never bought that album. Waylon Forever the album has good intentions and a labor of love but in the end the songs go on forever and even Waylon thinks the outlaw shit got out of hand years ago.

Of course opinions vary. Such as from Diggy Kat on Waylon Forever, Take it away DK!

speaking of Waylon, like i always am, i bought Waylon Forever, overall absolutely loved it! thought Ain't Living Long Like This never sounded better! Lonesome On'ry And Mean is one of my all-time ever fave songs by him and sounds amazing in this rendition too. i loooove the new version of Outlaw Shit, even better than the original! never cared much for Jack Of Diamonds, but this version is better. i skip Are You Ready For The Country because it makes me breathe too fast lol, i feel they were trying to come off with a Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" type feel, but it makes me feel all a-panic! lol Waymore's Blues, nothing can beat the original, but great to hear Shooter. i always LOVED White Room! amazing job! i really like I Found The Body but i hope they don't find that woman's body at the end of the song =

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week-City Of Five Smells

Peter Greenburg wrote a book called "Don't Go There" and appently we made the list of five cities not to go visit.  Good thing he didn't visit here when we had the Wilson Meat Packing plant, it would have been the city of six smells.

Cedar Rapids is a stinky town for sure.  Out by highway 30 you have the sewage treatment plant, in town you have Quaker Oats, Penford Products and Cedar River Paper and perhaps the biggest stink place of all is PMX Industries.  Driving by there on the way to Taco Time, the smell is damn gastly that I just about lost my lunch.  It makes anyplace else smell like roses.  Anyway, here's a link about our distinction.  Or Dis Stink Tion ;-)

1.  Right Place, Wrong Time-Dr John 1973  Thought I start you out with a modern day classic rock song from the good doctor.  Recorded with the glorious Meters.

2.  Atomic Hearts-Secret Machines 2008  Contrary to rumour, I'm playing the new Secret Machines album and think it's a improvement over Ten Silver Drops.  Critics don't seem to like them since they sound too progressive rock and have plenty of Hawkwind influence.  What do they know?  Despite it being a digipak I did picked it up and am grooving to it.

3.  Ain't No Fun Waiting Around To Be A Millionare- AC DC 1976  From Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, this shows more boogie from Bon and the boys than usually considered.  Hard to figure that Bon was only with the band for seven years while Brian Johnson has been there for 28.

4.  Lightning Strikes/Can I/Face To Face-Yes 1999  The Ladder is one of the best later day Yes albums that came out that nobody heard much, although Beaker Street plays this medley from time to time.  Hearing the live House Of Yes made me go back to pull out The Ladder and hear it again.  For a prog rock band Yes could sound pop at times.

5.  I Wonder-The Townedgers 2008  Probaly one of the more unfriendler TE albums out there, I did listen to it on the way to work yesterday and still think it's one of the best albums that they put out.  But only a select few of you know that.

6.  Legend Of The USS Titantic-Jamie Brockett 1969  Too bad Celine Dion never did a cover of this song. ;-)

7.  Come Back June-Pussy 1969  That's right kiddies, there was a band called Pussy that made a import only album that only a few diehard Prog Rock fans knew about and made enough waves for it to be issued on CD.  Certainly you're not going to see this come from Rhino or Hip O Select, hell the Hip O folks don't seem to think The Brains are worthy of reissue so what makes you think they're going to reissue Pussy?  This band sounded like a cross between Uriah Heep and Pink Floyd via Piper at The Gates Of Dawn.  If you're looking for the album it's called Pussy Plays and it was the only album that they ever released in their short career.  Starman sent me a copy of this album since I have to hear it and knew if I wanted it from Amazon I'd have to pay thirty bucks for it.  (now kiddies, this is where you insert funny punch line here.........)

8.  Perfectly Good Guitar-John Hiatt 1993  Probaly the only time John beat Neil Young in this Crazy Horse sounding number which got some airplay on worthless real rock station KRNA back around the early 90s.  Don't get me started on KRNA, for more about that you can read the blog Dammed By The Radio at rscrabb.multiply.com. (Patronizing promo there folks)

9.  Midnight Mary-Joey Powers 1966  Little known top forty number from somebody that you could hear on the better oldies radio stations out there.  I like to sing along with the chorus sometimes.

10.  Whatever You Decide-Randy Van Warmer 1980  Best known as Just When I Needed You Most, the late RVW had this followup hit that didn't chart but it's a nice forgotten power pop classic from a 45 that I got cheap at the old Marion TV and Records store.  Collector's Choice Music reissued Randy's albums on 2 on 1 CDs last year.  Go out and discover it. ;-)

And congratulations to the Marion Girls Volleyball Team for beating Mount Vernon to win the 3A Title.  If I was in high school 30 years ago, I'd have been down at the five seasons center to root them on.  Go Indians!

Results for the great chili cookoff at Pearson 2008

Interesting to be name judge of the Pearson annual Chili Cookoff this month. I got a chance to test four different kinds of chili and have to say that it was very hard to pick a winner but the winner will be announced on Monday.  Of course Steve, our senior at work, found out about my judging and told me which one was his (the spicy one).  One had chicken and corn bits to it, the other my boss cooked up and it was kind of a mild flavor and easy on the guts.  The Chicken Chili wasn't too bad but the one I picked had enough onions and tomato to make it pretty tasty, but everything tasted better when I combined all four of the chilis into one bowl.  Yum.  The biggest complaint was that the crackers were stale.  Yuk.

Again thanks be to the kind folk for letting me judge a bit and getting a good meal out of it (although I did kick in another two bucks for seconds) ;-)

And the winners are.

Dan Moyer-1st place
Steve Rasmussen-2nd place
John Allen-3rd place
Runner Up: Jeff Pauley

Sunday, November 16, 2008

November Gray Days

We haven't seen the full moon this week. I think it came out a little bit last night but for the most part it's been one grey day and night.

I usually do things on a full moon cycle or on the early quarter moon. That way if I go into a city or town I can see the moonlight on the highway and when the moon is out you can see a different landscape. I still have four days left of vacation but it's been so cold and so cloudy that I haven't had much urge of going anywhere. Fact was that I stayed home all weekend and vegged out on the sofa watching ball games. I guess this has come down to this in my life. Close to being 48 and not having much interest in things anymore.

Nine years ago this week, I managed to go out to Portland to see who would be my girlfriend for about three months, although we talked on the net for six and had a great time. And wondered where did the nine years gone by so fast? Well, being on the net 24/7 might have something to do with that but since having the internet at home, I do find time goes by faster than it did before discovering the net.

Perhaps if i could have been a bit more outgoing or headstrong, I could have somebody in this life but it has been seven years, over seven years that is. But at this particular point I quit looking a long time ago. Thank God for the net, I haven't dated anybody in this area in 11 years! There was somebody in another department at work but she didn't show any interest and she's probaly a lesbian. And everybody else is too young for me anyway. Bizarre to note when me and best friend Russ would go to Iowa City, we'd scan for the girls down there and once in awhile we'd get a look or a smile. Now, it's sad to see that I'm old enough to be their dad now.

November in Iowa is usually more gray days than sunny days and it sure felt like it last week. We're halfway through, and the temps only get colder and eventually it will snow and we'll have to deal with winter. I probaly won't do anymore bargain hunts after Thanksgiving, can't stand the same christmas crap songs that the Malls play. So all I do now is order a pizza on the weekend and watch some football and get fatter.

Just another fact of life that I'm getting older.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week-alternative radicalness

Continuing the losing battle for alternative radical radio.  What's torture to you?  Torture to me is top forty radio and classic rock radio with a playlist of 200 songs every damn day.

To the faithful thank you for your support, to the newbies and casual readers the rules are simple.  Ten songs off ten albums that I've played during the week and I made comments on the songs.  Your job is to go out and get these recordings.  Ready? Let's play!

1.  To Be Free-Health And Happiness Show 1995  Forgotten alt americana rockers that made two records for Bar None, first record most country, second album a bit more Wilco without the weirdness.  Perhaps Sirius or XM is playing this song somewhere in their 100 channels of music.

2.  Makers Mound-The Dexateens 2006  Americana music today from a band that got their album produced by Patterson Hood of DBTs.  That's Drive By Truckers to y'all that don't know the abbreivation.  I think they remind me more of the Damnwells more than Drive By Truckers, in terms of music and being regulated to second string.  Some good songs here and there but doesn't make a consistant album listening.  But then again, I'm a boring old poop crabb.  Don't like it? Make your own top ten and give a counterpoint......I'm waiting.....

3.  Little Picture Playhouse-The Stillroven 1966  One of many many garage bands of the 60s that did mostly covers but once in a while could sneak in an original on the b side of a obscure 45.  They were from Minneapolis, they could cover obscure stuff such as Little Games by The Yardbirds, or Signed DC and get their inspiration of Hey Joe from Love and not the Byrds.  Well enough to capture the attention of Bob Irwin and Sundazed Records to get their stuff issued on CD back in the 90s to which I found their compliation in the 2 dollar bin at Sam Goody in Westdale a few years ago.  Back when Sam Goody was still around and still doing business at Westdale, aka the Mall Of Death.  Does anybody give a shit about Sam Goody anymore?  No, not really.

4.  Bomb The Twist-The 5,6,7,8's 1996  Japenese all girl guitar band whose big hit was used for Vontage.  Actually it wasn't a hit for them, but for The Rock A Teens.  Also known as the band that appeared in Kill Bill a movie that I watched in pieces but never the whole way through.  Fun loving geisha girls as they are called.  Yup.

5.  Satellite Blues-AC DC 2000  Another track from the band of the month.  I love these guys but damn I'm so sick and tired of hearing For Those About To Rock in the damn background while trying to watch a football game on saturday.  This is from the lackluster Stiff Upper Lip album.  I'll try to do better next week in choosing the next song from the Young brothers and may include Bon Scott as well.  And on a side note it was thirty years ago that I discovered AC DC via If You Want Blood You Got It and then after that picked up all the rest of the albums, including (on import only at the time) Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

6.  Shannon-The Sinartas 1991  Some wisecracker at Pravda Records decided that the world needed a alt rock answer record to K Tel and their storied 70s collection of 20 Explosive Hits etc etc to make something called 20 Explosive Dymatic Super Smash Hit Explosions and get alt rock bands of that day and age to do cover versions of K Tel hits. Some would good, some were okay, but the majority of them sucked (Cheer-Accident's crapfest Theme From Shaft; Isaac Hayes should have sued the fucks) but this was actually a cool version of the 1976 Henry Gross hit.  Appently this record sold enough for Pravda to issue another K Tel tribute album but with better results.  Why should you care about this?  I donno, just a way to say free your ears and your brain will follow.

7.  Stomp And Buck Dance-Crusaders 1975  They were known as the Jazz Crusaders and made a few albums for World Pacific Jazz before moving to Blue Thumb and moving toward a funk fusion sound.  This actually got some airplay on G100, which used to be the underground FM station here in the mid 70s before eventually selling out and becoming the increasingly bland classic rock 100.7 The FOX.  And no, the FOX don't play this type of music anymore.  Did I mention that I hate listening to the radio?  Just wanted to see if you're paying attention.

8.  Hide Away-Freddie King 1961  From my 18 King Sized Rhythm and Blues hits that i've had on vinyl for almost forty years and now the damn record skips on the next track.  Be a long freaking time before I can find another copy of that album ever again, and I've only seen it one time and I bought it.

9.  The Night Chicago Died-Paper Lace 1974  For good campy fun, you can't beat this bubblegum classic to which No Empathy covered it for the Pravda Comp said earlier in the top ten.  I think somebody made the siren out of one of those starter circult board sets that Radio Shack used to put out years ago.  I tell you young whippersnappers that even though we didn't have BlackBerry or the net, we did managed to keep ourselves amused fairly well.  Such as buying 45s of one hit wonder bubblegum bands.  Na na na na na nana to you too.

10.  Travels In Nihilon-XTC 1980  The first time I was exposed to this band was buying Black Sea when I saw it in the cutout bins at Record Realm around that time.  Virgin Records back then was a import label but couldn't find a label to hang their hat on but this album was released on RSO and came with a green sack cover like Led Zep's In Through the Out Door.  Damn record used to skip all over the place so I finally replaced it with the Epic label when Virgin changed labels. The drums boom all over the place and it sounded great when you turn the bass up all the way but I have to admit it wasn't one of my favorite albums.  Like Wire, XTC took a lot of plays for me to finally get it and now I have all the XTC albums in my collection.  And most of the worthwhile Wire too.  Cool music for the cool music collector.

RIP Herb Score, famed pitcher for Cleveland back in the 50s.

Also, RIP Mitch Mitchell, famed drummer for Jimi Hendrix who died of natural causes yesterday at age 61 or 62 in some papers.

And once again proving that the CMAs are a joke, Carrie Underwood won best female vocalist again.  Is Simon paying off the CMAs or Clive Davis?  Once again we get more phoney baloney, not that Carrie probaly earned it.  But you can't tell me that she had a better year than Taylor Swift, and of course we knew Miranda Lambert was a long shot anyway, she wrote her own songs and was a bit more rock than country.  So we get yet another Carrie "who me?" speech and that she was a long shot in the industry bla bla. Nope, just good old American idol plandering Carrie baby.  It's all about the music and where things will be leading a year or two from now and if they're still playing something from Some Hearts or Carnival Ride, then maybe then I'll shut up about Carrie's fortay into being the new Queen of Country Music, but till then she remains prefabicated and artifical as top forty radio.  I don't buy it then, nor I do now.  Carrie remains the most successful American Idol winner but until she shakes off the manufactured music of her label, I still call her the Queen of Artifical Country Music TM.

And finally Chet Flippo gets the last word on Miranda Lambert's CMA performance.

For me, it was watching Miranda Lambert sing an original song with her own guitar accompaniment. Lambert is known to many as the hell-fire girl, the scorched-earth vixen who will burn your playhouse down, baby. But just give a listen to her on her "More Like Her" and, if you've just been a casual listener to her, you'll have a new appreciation of her. And of what current country music can be. This is a very serious singer-songwriter with much to say. I feel certain she will be a factor in the future of country music.

That song contained what I wasn't hearing a lot of on the CMA Awards show: substance. And style. And personality. And grit.
.....And that's why I think Miranda is better than Carrie Underwood too.  There's way too much fakery from the likes of Underwood who for three straight years took the CMA's top award, to which I don't get.  Miranda is the real deal and as long as she can write them and play them out, I'll listen to her stuff.  Carrie Underwood just don't convince me.  She has a good voice granted, but some of us don't like the hear all octaves in a final chorus.  But she has yet to compile a album of decent songs to convince me and untill she gets into a studio with session players like Lambert's and write songs of depth I'll ignore Underwood and continue to question her winning the CMAs, or Grammys.  So there.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crabb Bits: Taylor Swift, Nash Bridges,Jack Jonas

Taylor Swift is a bit more believable than Carrie Underwood.
Whereas Carrie will go down in history as the most successful product coming from American Idol, Taylor did it the old fashioned way.  Lots of hard work and lots of videos that get played on GAC if and when they show videos and seems to be more accessible than Miss Underwood.   And writes her own songs.
And is only 18 years old.
If I was thirty years younger, I certainly would have a high school crush on her.  In some ways Taylor reminds me of my old high school flame, tall for her age, has those curly locks but unlike the old high school flame, could write a song and play some guitar in the process. 
Taylor is America's sweetheart and as I read the reviews of her latest album, there's a real good chance that Swift might hang around a while in the country music field.  Alas, she hasn't found the Prince Charming or the Romeo to her Juliet, since she was kinda with one of the Jonas Brothers Jack, and Jack blew her off in a twenty second "it's over" call.  Ah, teenage love  you can't beat it.  But Mr Jonas did raffle a few feathers from the country side of the things, mostly from Hazel Smith, the CMT columist.  Well perhaps twenty years from now, when Taylor is the new Queen of Country Music and Jack Jonas is in one of many Disney's where-are-they-now flash in the pans, picking up trash in Orlando's Disneyworld.  But then again Taylor only 18 years old, she'll have plenty of time for boys and realtionships.  Just revel in the moment that's she is the new Country IT girl, and hopefully her staying power will be twice more longer than Miss Underwood and that plastic cheesey smile Underwood is famous for.

I don't plan to review her new album, too many fiddles for my liking but I'll root for her to keep being a positive part of Country and at least trying to smack sense into Kelly Pickler once in a while.
Other thoughts:  After consideration I decided to pass on the new Brad Paisley album but I give him points for making for keeping Buck Owens' spirit alive on a demo that Buck did before he died and giving to Brad.  Perhaps, if I see the new album used I'll take a listen to it.  I consider Brad one of the good guys, even though when he grows a goatee he looks odd.

Our guilty pleasure of the day is reruns of Nash Bridges simply of the fact that Cheech Marin plays Don Johnson's sidekick.  Plus Mr. Johnson gets to have Yasmine Bleeth as his love interest too although it is doomed to fail.  Season one is out on DVD.

On the subject from Jack Jonas who says

"I never cheated on a girlfriend. It might make someone feel better to assume or imply I have been unfaithful but it is simply not true. Maybe there were reasons for a breakup. Maybe the heart moved on. Perhaps feelings changed. I am truly saddened that anything would potentially cause you to think less of me."
He goes on to say: "For those who have expressed concern over the '27 second' phone call. I called to discuss feelings with the other person. Those feelings were obviously not well received. I did not end the conversation. Someone else did. Phone calls can only last as long as the person on the other end of the line is willing to talk. A phone call can be pretty short when someone else ends the call. The only difference in this conversation was that I shared something the other person did not want to hear."

So before we jump on anybody's bandwagon or take sides let's hear it from both sides.  Young love especially. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rock n Roll and Lou Reed

Did anybody see the the Spin Interview with Lou Reed (or read it what I'm trying to say)?

I always been a Lou Reed fan but I don't think I would want to meet him anywhere. He tears up the interviewer and makes them look like idiots and himself an asshole of sorts. His go around with Lester Bangs is legendary. He got into it with a NY Times person earlier in the year about his Sirius radio show.

But then again I don't think we have to worry about ever crossing paths with the guy much less interview him and having him ham on me about Berlin, his much maligned 1973 album to which he did a new live version of every song off that album.

I heard bad things about that album and didn't care much for the selections that made it to his 1995 Different Times compliation. But FYE had the remastered Berlin in the cutouts for half a year and since there was no takers, I decided to revisit it and come to the conclusion that while it's not the masterpiece that Lou wants you to think it is, it's not as bad as the critics make it out to be. It's one of those albums to which the songs sound better in context on Berlin than on any other best ofs to which the songs came up.

Lou Reed does things his own way, if you like it fine but if you don't (especially Berlin) you'll join the enemy list. Heck if you like any of the Velvet's stuff or New Sensations you would get a look of disgust and a few triades thrown your way. Lester Bangs called Berlin "the most depressing album" he's ever heard but then again Bangs loved Metal Machine Music which is nothing more than four sides of feedback guitar on vinyl or a hour's worth of it on CD. It's still in print while New Sensations or Legendary Hearts is out of print in the US (some things you can't explain). I don't think Reed is a walking contradiction as people make him out to be, he knows what he wants and he sticks to the principals. Even though he's now married to Laurie Anderson, he still is King Crabbass number one but I do admire his musical tastes, playing the Easybeats' Falling Off The Edge Of The World a hundred times at the local jukebox back in the VU days.

Perhaps I'll check out the Live Berlin album, which came out on Matador Records, which also means that he's no longer on Sire Records and probaly better off for that. And I'll still play the VU albums when I get a chance and (yes) New Sensations too. But if Lou does get my number and wants to do an interview, just tell him I took the garbage out and never came back.

And a final thought, I wonder who was the wise guy that yelled out "lou reed sucks" at the end of Berlin's Sad Song off the Lou Reed Live album of long ago. There's probaly four million suspects out there in New York that could have.

Maybe a critic.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week-Change

It's finally over.  Come tomorrow we can all turn on the TV and not have to see another political commerical for a couple months.  We can finally put to end eight years of dumbass arrogance, of finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of the worst two term president that we have had the misfortune to suffer through.  I hope to God that in someway, there will be happier days in store, I hope that we can somehow get back into the good graces of the rest of the world and maybe start making good on promises of getting off the oil that we have to buy from oil bandits such as Sucko Chavez and the rest of the OPEC bandits to.

I didn't vote a straight party line, just for the ones that I thought that would work in my best interests and most got elected.  I still think if McCain would have chosen right VP instead of the flakey Palin, it would have been much closer.  But Obama wins it and we have seen the first black president of the US.  I hope all the best to him.   Still, some idiots got relected once again, notibly Steve King, which means I don't plan any trip to Council Bluffs anytime soon.  Or any red state.  Which means I'll hang around either Wisconsin, Illinois or Minnesota.  Or Nevada.

And I never thought I would see the day ever again of going to the gas station and seeing gas prices under 2 dollars a gallon.  First time since 2005.  It's at a 1.97.  Even with cheaper gas, we still remain skeptical at best and probaly won't do any major drives anytime soon.   But at least it's nice to fill up under thirty bucks for a change.

The songs of the week.

1.  Heaven And Hell-The Who 1970  B side to Summertime Blues, this is actually one of a few John Entwistle songs that The Who did play live.  John did a much slower version of said song on Smash Your Head Against The Wall, but nothing compares to Keith and Peter pounding along.

2.  Low Ridin' Man-Geronimo Black 1972  And now another musician has departed this earth.  Jimmy Carl Black, former drummer of Mothers In Invention and leader of this band has passed away after losing his battle with cancer.  He was 70.  I know we all get older but this year it seems that we have been losing a lot of our favorite artists as they become senior citizens and their bodies begin to fall apart due to wear and tear of life.  This weekend, Yma Sumac, the five and half octave singer died and she was 86 years old.  Yma probaly was the inspiration of Mariah Carey, but that was one thing.  Jimmy Carl is another and it's strange to see his appearance on 200 Motels, playing the cowboy last weekend and now he's dead.  And 200 Motels was one of the strangest movies that I've ever seen.  But I love his most famous line about Frank Zappa by saying that when Frank joined the band, he was going to make them rich and famous.  JC Black says he was half right, but we sure in the fuck never got rich.  But they did become famous.  RIP

3.  Mood Indigo-Nina Simone 1957  Another artist who you could not pigeonhole, Nina did any song that came to her mind, Tin Pin Alley, Avant Garde, pop, soul you name it.  But when she did this song, she was playing straight up jazz on a Duke Ellington number.  Everybody should own a Nina Simone album.  That includes you Russ. ;-)

4.  Spice Of Life-Lizzy Williams 2005  Congrats to Lizzie for getting nominated for a award for best folk song.  And a heartfelt thank you from myself for keeping in touch and taking a look at our top ten when she gets time.  I don't want to sound too patronizing but I continue to say that Lizzie remains more committed to her My Space friends than most other bands out there.  And I still cannot wait for her next album to come out over here, be it album or EP.  I'll always will save a place in my shelf for the next Lizzy Williams album.

5.  American Life In The Summertime-Francis Dunnery 1994  Cult artist that used to be the leader of It Bites, and then moved to a solo career.  He has played guitar in Robert Plant's touring band of Fate Of Nations 1993.  Made a couple albums for Atlantic then others.  Speaking of which, his old band It Bites is still around but with a different lead singer.  They kinda of remind me of Marllion but with a more pop rock edge than progressive.

6.  If You Can Want-Smokey Robinson And The Miracles 1968  This was a top thirty hit, and I should know.  There's a snippet of this song that was on one of my old cassettes that I was messing around with.  Found their Greatest Hits CD for three bucks which I was happy but not too happy when I found out that the damn record label used the 45 mono mixes.  45 mono mixes only sound good on 45s, not CDs that's for sure.

7.  Annie Use Your Telescope-Jack's Mannequin 2008  Goddam that Bob Lefsetz.  He blows up praise bout this band, gets me to check out their songs on My Space and gets me to buy this record only to find out----that I bought a freaking Emo album.  Andrew McMahon played in Something Corporate and that should have been the tipoff, never did like that band.  Have to say, this is a good song and McMahon knows a decent hook, but I just can't stand that whiny voice of his.  Gag.

8.  Don't Look At Me-Rick Nelson 1981  I really like Rick's Playing To Win album of said year but Capitol Records didn't promote it whatsoever and this turned out to be the last album that Rick would make in his life.  The songwriter of this song is actually the one that wrote Girls Just Want To Have Fun for Cyndi Lauper.

9.  2 + 2 = ?-Bob Seger System 1968  A excellent protest song by Bob and actually the first single that he did for Capitol.  The first version of this song has a freaky guitar break at the end before Bob goes back to rocking out.  However there is a second version of this song was done in stereo with instrments going left and right, unlike the original mono mix 45 to which I heard on EBAY while somebody trying to unload their original copy.  I guess that why I like this song alot, they don't overkill it, like they do with Old Time Rock N Roll or Main Street.  And back around 1968, Bob rocked a lot harder than he did in 1975.  Jes saying.

10.  Landslide-AC/DC 1983  From the band of the month, this is perhaps the most fastest song that they ever attempted to do.  Sounds a lot like Motor City Madhouse by Republican Ted Nugent and a highlight off Flick of The Switch.  But they don't do this song live.  Appently Phil Rudd can't play that fast anymore.... ;-)

Well neither can't we.

Lizzy Williams speaks:

 Hey Crabby,

I thank you for the kudos's on the Award. It should be a very exciting night. The Award Show is geared around Music in Film and Television. These are the days when this kind of Media is the only way or one of the best ways for an Artist to gain some leverage for their music. I am really excited about it because it is possible it will lead to the song getting a decent placement. You'll be the first to know.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Trails Dr. John Becker

I don't watch much television when it comes to shows.  The only show I do watch is The Sheild and watching Vic Mackey's world crashing down on him.  With only four shows left each and every show is a nailbiting cliffhanger that I have to rewatch it on the weeekend.  For reruns, I've been fascinated by the Ted Danson Becker show that for four and half seasons follows the life of a bitchy but caring doctor and his friends who put up with his rant and raves.  I think I can identify him a lot since I act lot like Becker.
And the first two seasons he had plenty of love interests but as the show unfolded it would be Regina Kostas, or Reggie, a failed model who inherited her dad's crappy restrauant to which she shares with Jake, a blind newspaper peddler.  Certainly Becker had love interests or friends with benefits, including with a doctor that saves Becker's life (Frances Farmer) that eventually ends when she leaves for a job in Chicago.  Eventually, Chris Connor  (Nancy Travis), a woman that tries to put a smile on everything figures into the mix but Reggie though attractive to John, would trip on herself trying to get to courage to ask john out and it takes up to the finale to which Reggie sleeps with John one night and then realizes her mistake and then disappers afterward.  To which the next season and half show Chris and John fighting each other, hating each other but down inside love each other to which on the last season, John tries to adapt himself to at least learn to live with her as boyfriend/girlfriend but still living in seperate apartments.

I started watching Becker when TBS had it at the 11 oclock AM slot and then after that, come home from work and watched it on WGN at 11 30 PM.  I'd sit through the whole beginning as Becker goes from contankerous crabbass to a content crabbass at the end.  While critics blasted this show (after all it was created by the guy who gave us the less interesting WINGS), I found that each and every charater was believable and though some were annoying and dingy, they too eventually became the person I rooted for.  The dingy Linda, the dumbass Bob, the caring Margaret, who manages the doctor's office, the nice guy Jake who can't find a decent woman to save his blind self and to newcomer Hector, whose money making ideas don't work out but you root for him anyway.   And the love interests such as Reggie, who cares but not enough to substain a long lasting relationship and bails out (although Terry Farrell, the CR native who played Reggie actually wasn't invited back the next season due to reasons unknown).  Chris is more rooted even though her realtionships were doomed to fail, she refuses to give up on such a pathethic person such as Becker.  And in the last episode she confronts Becker on this to which he admits for the first time he's happy with their relationship and we leave them on the balcony outside John's apartment, ready for a life of togetherness that we would never see.

To which WGN showed the other night and announceing that Bob And Tom, the comedy duo with their own tv show would replace John Becker at that time slot.  Although Becker will be moving to the afternoon show, it's time for us to bid adieu since I'll be working at that time and pretty much know most of the story line enough not to see it again.  (I think I probaly watched the show over and over about seven times).  But Becker actually parallels quite well with the life of Crabb although unlike John, the Crabb's lovelife isn't there.
So on that, we toast a final toast to Chris and John and wish them a happy life in rerun land as they once again go back to start and find their way to each other in four and half seasons of madcap fun.

Cheers Becker ya old Crabb.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Crabb Bits:Led Zeppelin Reunion?, Dingbats & Raging Rivers

A couple things that are on my mind.

Looks like while Robert Plant will sit out on the big money making venture known as Led Zeppelin, rumours have it that Alter Bridge lead throat Myles Kennedy will be the one singing Karoke Zeppelin.  Alter Bridge used to be known as Creed before Scott Stapp left to do a failed solo career and if the stars align right there may be a Creed reunion in the future.

I've heard Alter Bridge's stuff and don't care for their music although it is a step up from Creed.  In fact Creed remains a joke upon itself.  I do wish Jimmy, John Paul and Jason all the best but if you decide upon Myles as your vocalist of choice I'll sit this one out too.  But if Robert Plant decides to do another album with Alison Krauss, I'll sign on.  Likewise Zep.

It's November and we finally close another successful couple months of nice sunny weather. With daylight savings time now over, the sun goes down at five PM and when the sun does go down, it goes down fast.  Went out to Matsell's tonight and about five thirty I was in the darkness of that place but got to do a nice walk among the The Wapsipinicon River, which is so peaceful and so low tide, after four months ago, it was raging everywhere.  I like walking by rivers if they're not flood stage, The Wapsi counterpart The Red Cedar is also around four feet deep, far from the 31 foot of mad flood that changed the face of CR.  The weather has been quite warm, about 70 degrees which is nice but you have to deal with biting asian beetles and damn gnats that try to go into your eyeballs.  Record highs tomorrow and then chance of snow on thursday night.  Weather in Iowa in November. Ridiclous but not as bad as it gets in the rainy season.

Don't know about y'all but we have one more day of poltical add bullshit and then on Tuesday we can vote for the lesser evils.  If you think that McCain and Palin is the answer then check them, if Obama is the answer then vote for him.  We have gone through eight up and down years with a dumbass president and an endless war and fucking four dollar gallon gas and record profits from EXXON.   We once had a surplus before this idiot became president, now we'll all eighty thousand in debt.   If McCain got a better VP in there, it would have benefited him but Palin I just don't like too much.  Palin reminds me of Wynna Wittmer, some bimbo chick that I worked with at NCS years ago.  This chick would show interest in me but when I did ask her out a couple times, she reminded me that she had a boyfriend and not interested but still would flirt from time to time.  In fact Wynna does look lots like Sarah Palin and probaly just as psycho too.

I don't have a fond memory of Wynna, but the last time I've seen her, I was walking across the street from NCS to the HandiMart (RIP) to get  a coke and a hot dog and I heard this honking from behind me and lo and behold there's Wynnie, boring the hell out of me about her ass kicking life.  She married her boyfriend who ran unsuccessfully for Muscatine Country Sheriff and had a baby in the back of the car.  She never did shut up enough to ask about my life, perhaps she never cared.  But I did wish her well in her life and endeavors but I also thought that if there's a God that I'll never see her again. It has been 14 years ago and hopefully maybe more.  Out of all the relationships that I have been with, I believe Wynna was the biggest mindfuck I have ever known.  That's the feeling I get when I see Sarah Palin and then she makes me think of Wynna.

why led zeppelin should not reunite by Steve Kandell

Sometimes getting a taste of something sweet only to see it disappear is worse than never tasting it at all.
Which, I guess, is what's going through the minds of Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones right around now. How else to explain why the excitement from last December's Led Zeppelin show at London's O2 Arena — by all accounts the rare triumphant reunion that actually lived up to its unfathomable ballyhoo — and subsequent tour rumors have now deteriorated, nearly a year later, to this:
The dude who replaced the dude from Creed might be the new lead singer for Led Zeppelin.
There's no amount of times that one can re-read the previous sentence before it makes a modicum of sense. But rather than wait on Alison Krauss' duet partner to get the bluegrass out of his system, which doesn't seem close to happening yet, Page and Jones appear willing to fritter away their legendary band's entire mythos on The Guy Who Isn't Even Scott Stapp for a big-bucks world tour.
This would be hilarious if it weren't reportedly close to being true. Jones, in particular, seems eager to paint Robert Plant as the villain in this story -- the stubborn holdout selfishly depriving his fans of a treasured experience and his bandmates of, well, treasure.
But -- and this is merely speculative, as Plant hasn't yet told me -- it just may be that a 60-year-old man who now more closely resembles the Cowardly Lion than a bare-chested golden god in too-tight jeans wants to preserve that bedroom-poster image, and his dignity, rather than treat us all to the mental image of the juice dripping down his leg. (Who among us wants to hear rock's gnarliest bit of double-entendre turned into a Depends gag?)
Or, maybe he just has enough fucking money, thanks.
Plant's ambivalence is not what's shocking. What's shocking is that Page and Jones can't abide by this reasonable, if disappointing notion. And it wouldn't be the first time Page hired a Plant manqué, but at least David Coverdale and Paul Rodgers had their own sizable, if still inferior, pedigrees. Hell, at least Coverdale had long, curly blonde hair. From the back row, if you squinted just so…
But, with all due respect to Myles Kennedy, who may well have a set of pipes and a set of balls up to the unenviable task, his "joining" "Led Zeppelin" feels closer to Journey trolling YouTube for a replacement Steve Perry than a personnel decision worthy of the name on the t-shirts waiting to be sold.
And certainly the box office for this compromised version would be a fraction of the bonanza that could be expected if Plant were on board, but are the numbers still low enough to keep this nothing more than a bad idea rampantly overblown on the Internet?
The song remains the same. Here's hoping sanity prevails and everything else does as well.