Saturday, May 31, 2008

Reviews:Coolest Songs 5, Juliane Hough, Len Price 3

It's the beginning of summertime 2K8 here in Crabbland and finally we have some nice sunshine to combat the endless days of gullywashers and tornados that scarred the area.  Overall the May 25th outbreak gave us six whopping twisters of various sizes, the last that was up to the north of North Liberty but thankfully that stayed out of the major population.  And the situation that destroyed the middle of three grain storage units outside of Martelle looked to be a wind sheer of sorts, since it spared the two other ones next to it.

To those that matter, yes I admit that I do have more cds than I can do with but when you're a lover of music and single and have no social life, you have to make with the situation.  It's getting tougher to go into town to try to find some lasting album without going through the tons of CD manure of old Britney Spears and forgotten rap acts.   But even in this day and age, there is still a ray of hope and good music for those who care but it looks every day that people don't.  Listening to a half hour of Z102 will do that, make you give up hope real easy.  But unlike the easily distracted, we do not rely on endless texting or yacking ..phones to get the word out.  But there a few things out there that do give us hope for the future before yours truly finally retires from the countless years of CD bargain hunting.

The Len Price 3 is the big find of the year.  A trio of brits who grew up listening to the mid 60s Invasion bands and settling for a cross between The Creation and My Generation era Who with The Kinks and Beatles thrown in.  They're so committed to this sound that the drummer is a dead ringer for the late great Keith Moon and that they recorded their first album in complete mono.  Their debut has 15 songs in over a half hour barely but the problem is that some of the songs are too short.  Thankfully they upped the ante on the latest Rentacrowd with one of the best songs ever with Doctor Gee  which sounds like 1966 all over again.  Little Steven of the Underground Garage show, loved them so much that he formed a label just to get the word out.  Though Wicked Cool Records got a bit of press last year when they partnered with Best Buy (and later FYE), there hasn't been much in terms of new releases from them this year outside of promoting Rentacrowd (by reissing it on vinyl with bonus tracks) and the Coolest Songs in The World Series Volume 5.  We hope Wicked Cool doesn't go under, it would be a blow to the power pop and acid rock bands on that label.  Len Price 3 remains the reason why I look for stuff; a band so good that I must seek other albums if I like what I hear.

The other anticipated release next month is The Townedgers' Pawnshops For Olivia which celebrates twenty five years of being a part of the Iowa music scene, under the radar of course, but even the guys in the band are touting this one as the best album in years, not that the rest of the albums were subpar but this one is very special. Maier Records will release Ever So Much as the first single next weekend and the album will soon follow the week after.  Includes a couple songs co written with fans and in a way to thank her for her support, Lizzy Williams even was the inspiration of the song Can't Be What You Want Me To Be  (a slight variation of their big hit Can't Be Who You Want Me To Be).  And it includes a drum solo too.


Coolest Songs In The World Volume 5 (Wicked Cool)
At this time last year we had three volumes to review, but this year this is been the only add on to Little Steven's tribute to the garage rockers and power poppers that you don't hear but only on his Undergound Radio show, to which none of these cheap assed "real rock" stations carry.  This volume has more empasis on the gurl rockers and bands out there, and the major bands that show up on here is Cheap Trick from their comeback Rockford album of two years ago, The Racontuers which sounds out of place for some odd reason, and Butch Walker who the more I listen to, the more I think better of Marvelous 3, his band of the late 90s.  Best tracks come from The Hellacopters who offer Nothing Terribly New and Black Tie Review's MC5 like Code Fun and old timer Roy Loney Baby Du Jour, and oh yeah, The Len Price 3 too. This does drag a bit toward the end, and ends on a obscure 1972 single by Jimmy Jukebox to which had to be a regional hit at best but you gotta love Little Steven for finding these things.  But this might just be the weakest of the Coolest Songs Series but doesn't mean we won't give Little Steven credit for trying.  Suggestion; see if Little Steven can haggle Sony out of something by The Hawks or if nothing else, I'm sure The Townedgers could donate a track for the next one.  Call Me.
Grade B plus

Rush-Snakes And Arrows Live (Atlantic)
If you didn't make the Moline show or The Gorge or Phoenix get together (they're coming to your area Detroit next month), you can pick up this 2 cd live document that the song list is the same as the the concerts here.  Interesting for their inclusion of Entre Nous and Circumstances to which they seldom play in concert and yep, there's way too many songs off the last album to make it anything else but for Rush completists only.  Geddy Lee chokes on the helium on Freewill and sounds very shrill but once he keeps himself in a regular voice it really isn't so bad.  And Neil Peart always shines of those big band drum solos that he's gotten to be famous for.  Wish these guys would quit putting their albums in shitty digipaks.
Grade B

The Smithereens-Live In Concert (Koch)
No they don't have much to offer, they really never did albumwise although they would come with a winner single.  They were tailor made for the mid 60s when singles were the thing.  Since 1999, they done a Beatles tribute album and a Christmas album which was a surprise so whats to do for a encore?  A live album.  As they say, you had to be there.

Return To Forever-The Anthology (Concord)
The classic lineup of Al Di Meola, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White only made a couple albums together.  I also found their albums a bit too excessive with all that fusion jazz left and right, they sounded much more heavier than Weather Report ever did, thanks to Stanley Clarke's bass.  Though Bill Connors was the original guitar player, once DiMeola came onboard, they found their own style and became the essensial lineup.  Not rock, not jazz but fusion kiddies, there's a difference.

Junk file

Sex And The City Soundtrack (New Line)  If your not a fan of the overblown HBO series that got nutured when went into synication, chances are you won't be taken by the movie which is overblown in itself.  And soundtracks to movies are reasons why we have global warming, too many crappy soundtrack CDs go into landfills all over the world.   If you want to hear Walk This Way, go find Aerosmith-Toys In The Attic, or Run DMC greatest hits.  Unless you're looking for another Fergie song to stick into your collection.

Fergie-The Dutchess (expanded edition) Here today, gone five years from now.

Jessica Simpson's country single-it is better than anything she did pop but with pro tools, the usual fiddle or steel guitar and hokey lyrics it could be anyboy singing it.

Julianne Hough (Mercury) Thank God for Dancing With The Stars, so we can have the winner go to Nashville and record a album and tout her as the next big country superstar.  What the fuck is wrong with this picture. While real country singers get booted to indee land (nothing wrong with that and in the case of Lizzy Cook, worked out for the best) we get pop tarts and Idol winners becoming the next big superstar.  Manufactured crap.  So the Yayhoos at Universal Nashville came up with this bright idea, how bout if we signed the winner of a dance contest and make a country record!  BRILLIANT! Yep, I've seen her video on CMT and GAC and reminds me of Alicia Elliot, who starred in a TV show and had enough appeal to make a album but now has disappeared from the limelight.  So here we are again, Fiddles! Steel Guitar!, Heavy Metal Guitar! Booming Drums!  Goofy assed lyrics from second rate Nashville songwriters!  Problem is unlike manufactured Idol Carrie Underwood, Hough doesn't sing all that great and her album, just like Elliotts, will be in the dollar bins very soon.  And Hough is about as artificial as the reigning Country Music Queen Underwood hereself.  Don't give up your day job Julie.
Grade C minus

PS, from Steven Thomas Erlewine...and I quote... listening to it in one sitting is like devouring too much neon-colored cotton candy at a carnival: just a little makes you sick, too much will swear you off of it forever.  (from his review of Julieane's album)


Lizzy Williams Ha, hardly a big hit..maybe with you..tehee...your sweet and even sweeter when your Crabby. Smile..

Oh Liz, you always make me smile too.  We luv ya too ;)

Friday, May 30, 2008

RIP Harvey Korman, Sydney Pollack, F Bomb Rain

Seems like there's a endless bunch of folk departing this planet. Mr. Peavey was a great director who directed The Trouble With Tribbles story from Star Trek and other faves, Earle Hagen, the guy who did the Andy Griffith whistling overture and other TV themes such as the Dragnet series, but the most lost was Harvey Korman who made the Carol Burnett show such a funny and memorable one.  Though Harvey can be seen on Blazing Saddles, I don't think nothing can top his role in Carol Burnett's show, espeically when Tim Conway pared up with him.  It was always funny to try to see Harvey trying not to crack up when Carol or Tim made a funny line or look.  I wish one of these high defination TV stations would pick up the Carol Burnett And Friends show and show them instead of trying to peddle each and every show out there on DVD.  Has TV just become a freaking endless supply of infocommercials or Reality crapola?  Anyway Harvey was 82 and will be missed.

Even Sydney Pollack passed away monday due to cancer at age 73.  These four gentlemen made watching a TV or Movie a memorable expierence.

Now back to the rants and raves.  It bothers me to the most extreme that we have to deal with infocommercials of old tv shows to which TV Land used to show but like any other puppet station of Viacom has now regressed into reality television hell or bore me with the same movie every other station is showing.  When TV land came into view 10 years back, they had made a effort to save the TV shows that we used to watch but not any more.  For a while they even had TV cartoon Saturday mornings and western afternoons.  They had SCTV as well but not anymore.  Just the same tired movies that they showed on VH1 or CMT.  Gotta love Viacom Cable domination.  So what's the point of going digital when all it is is propagranda and excuses to show Girls Gone Wild infocommericals in high def.  Big fucking deal.   ESPN is showing the great sporting event in Championship Spelling Bee.  WGN prides itself by showing commericals of baseball but their baseball coverage is not all great.  VH1 insults our intelligence with Flavor Flav and Supermodel reruns all weekend.  Watch and discuss, Watch and discuss what?!?  How fucking bad VH1 had become?   And if that ain't enough, what's the purpose of the Weather Channel when all they show is the same five fucking Storm Stories during prime time, during when Parkersburg and New Hartford is getting grinded up by a F5 Tornado and the fucking channel is too busy showing (Ironically) It Can Happen Here about a Chicago getting hit by a F5 twister.  And the Weather Channel has more fucking commericals per hour than any other channel.  Somebody oughta tell the dumb fucks that tornados don't usually wait for commercial breaks to do damage.

I'm also not too fucking keen on GAC's showing the same damn programs time and time again.  Didn't Kelly Pickler' had that USO tour in Novemeber of last year?!?  And the Nashville Hit men, that's so last august.  So tell me what's the reason why we have high programming costs when all cable shows is the same damn crap that they have been the last five years.  Propaganda BS, made famous by the Bushmen in the White House, just like the supply and demand BS propaganda bullshit that we keep hearing when you see the gas price rise every fucking week.  Conserving don't do shit when you try to and still the fucking prices rise time and time again.  And I dont by the notion that we have 1 billion cars and trucks on the highway all over the world.   Propaganda Bullshit.

Once again, we got severe storms last night and once again for the fifth time this fucking spring water in the basement again although I think I kept the fans on long enough to dry everything out.  You might hear a explosion when I go home and see everything is wet but I pray that won't happen.  But then again, seems like the prayers of this state has fallen on deaf ears as mother nature continued to throw every fucking Monsoon, windstorm and F5 tornados to this area.  And we have been stuck in a this fucking holding pattern of a jet stream on us ever since fucking october.  We're not alone, the folks up around Dundee and Manchester have been praying for no more rain and instead get another eight inches last night to flood the highways up there.  People in Parkersburg been praying for dry weather to pick up from the F5 tornado and get more fucking rain and storms.

Now I can probaly see why Lisa never wanted to move out here, it rains even for her liking (and she is from oregon) and we get too much cold and snow and I'm sure had she seen a F5 tornado and survive that, shed be running back to the west coast.  I thought that we survived the wet weather last night but when I saw the water behind the damn washer and dryer, I thought "fucked again".  It's hard to keep on believing that things are going to get better when all it fucking ever does in this fucking state is rain rain rain or get tornados up the ass.  It's too bad you can't truck this shit to places that need it, cuz we Don't, but mother nature never listens, she sends yet another fucking storm system that rides the jet stream, sucks up the fucking Gulf Of Mexico and throws the shit at us.  The water table index is something like 7 and a quarter inches of rain, We DONT NEED NO MORE FUCKING RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd sell my soul for one dry month, or three weeks of no rain and fucking dry things out.  I'm sick of fucking, like the rest of y'all in this state, cleaning up water in the basement since it will not dry out cuz the ground is too fucking wet.  So we get two glorious days of sunshine this week but next week we have chances of more fucking rain every fucking day.  It just makes you want to give up and move the fuck out of this state but you can't cuz y'all can't afford the fucking gas to go anywhere.

So once again, I didn't sleep at all last night, due to the rains and moving fans into their usual spots in case of fucking water in the basement.  I didn't shut off the fans in the shower, that place always have a small stream going into the drain from the wall.  Next month, IF IT EVER STOPS RAINING, i'm going to try to put down some more Drylock around the effected areas and hopefully won't have that problem but even with four leaf clovers in the yard, our luck sucks at best.  If there's any consolation all the earwigs will be washed away so I won't have to worry about them this year but again, I remain skepitcal at best.

So excuse me folks, I must go walk out into the interstate and go kiss a semi.

Manhattan Babe!

 Hi Crabby,. loved your rant, what a way to start the weekend!!! Im sending you a pair of yellow duck rubber boots that quack, with a matching umbrella and raincoat!!! Just dont wear them during duck season. lol.
I tell you its either too much rain or not any. So either your dry as a bone, like in sahara or as wet as london. oh my god i just realized i was writing a naughty line line in those harlequin love novels,lmao. Or maybe painting the outside of my house with the cement waterproofing paint and the fumes have gotten to me. Next ill be caulking my windows, i real;ly need

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Top Ten:Insert Catchy Title Here

Going to Iowa City looking for cd bargains, I only put a quarter in for twenty minites of time.  Came back and found the meter maid paid me a visit one minite after expiration.  And Martin Daniels telling me, I've should have feed another qurater in there.  Now I had to pay five bucks to park there.  Good fucking grief.

The Top Ten.

1.  Steal My Sunshine-Len 1999  The guilty pleasure single from the guilty pleasure album that I found for three bits at HP Books.  Better than anything Fergie has put out or any of the crap ass top forty BS you hear on the radio.

2.  Wonderful WINO-George Carlin 1968  First time I actually put a comedy routine into the top ten but I liked the original routine that George did rather than the remake that you hear on the FM and AM album.  All goes to show that George had a pulse on the ways and means of radio back then.  Not as dated as you think.

3.  If I Ain't Got You-Len Price 3 2007  Last year Little Steven put out four volumes of the Coolest Songs Of The World Series, this year he's finally put out volume five.  To which I include the best garage rock band of this decade once again. 

4.  Dancing In The Ruins-Blue Oyster Cult 1986  I saw a scratched up copy of Club Ninja CD at Mr Money in Iowa City and even though I'll never see that CD again, I passed not because the CD was too scratched up, I'm sure I could have picked it up as a reference copy, I passed cuz Club Ninja sucked.  But this song was pretty good.

5.  Finding My Way-Rush 1973  RIP John Ritsey.

6.  Pray-King's X 2008  Yup they're still around and yup they still make very good records.  Reason why I bought this and not the Old 97s albums is that I can only review one digipak album per week.   And you know how much I hate digipaks.

7.  Foggy River-Don Gibson 1958  Another strange story.  Found the vinyl cover of the album this song was on called That Gibson Boy but some yahoo had the wrong damn record in there.  Second time I went up I found the vinyl record BUT somebody must have bought the album jacket thinking that record was in there.  Thankfully I found a empty Don Gibson jacket of another title but I do have That Gibson Boy on vinyl and in better shape than the Eddy Arnold Cattle Call album that had a couple scratch marks the size of the equator on one song.

8.  Soul Finger-Bar Kays 1967  Found this album at Record Collector today and all I can say is that the original Bar Kays sounded lots like Booker T and The MGs but with horns.  Rumor has it that Al Jackson may have played on this album as well as Steve Cropper or the Bar Kays played just like them. This was the only album they did for most of them parished in the Lake Monona planecrash that also took Otis Redding from us.

9.  Don't Stop The Dance-Bryan Ferry 1985  I know I should include more Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music stuff but they always keep slipping my mind.  Till I heard this song at Arby's tonight and made a mental note.  Dammed short term memory.

10. Of Thee I Sing-Leon Russell 1971  Brother Leon was on a roll in the early 70s with the Mad Dogs And Englishmen thingy with Joe Cocker and a couple early pretty good albums which kinda makes you forgive him for the Gary Lewis And The Playboys arrangements.  Even sessionmen had to make a living.  His career felled off big time around the time he went to Warner Brothers and got married and make those horrendous late 70s stuff with ex wife Mary to which Wounded Bird has reissued for your listening pleasure.  Think I pass on those, can only review so much anyway.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

This seemed to be a longer Memorial Day Weekend than thought.  Spent this weekend putting together the latest Townedger album and I think it's going to be a good one.  Had lots of help from good friends getting it done and if anything certainly Olivia herself may have been the basis of some of the songs, the album was also the inspriation of good friends and supporters of the band.  Certainly, I think Diggy and Sassy had also given me equal parts of inspiration to finish it and I like the results.  The album will be released in June to those who desire a copy.

Seems like this is the year of extreme weather and nobody likes it.  Especially after the mayhem that was the four county tornado that destoyed parts of New Hartford, Parkersburg, Dunkerton and Hazleton from quarter after four till about eight oclock.  They call it a EF3 tornado but I think its more of a EF4 judging by the size that I have seen in pictures.  The storm blasted through Cedar Rapids and Anamosa had 63 mile an hour winds and a funnel cloud was to the east of here around Whitter to Peralta which is south of Springville.  Thankfully no tornados although we did get a brief but another inch quarter of rain that we didn't need.  And no we also didn't need any tornados either.  I do believe that this big monster storm was the most destructive since the May 15th Charles City/Oelwein tornado of 1968.  And we lived in Waterloo at that time but had the same humid conditions as we did Sunday.

I'm sure as life gets back to normal tomorrow, with the usual high gas prices going up even more till everybody pays 4 bucks a gallon for it thus once again turning our anger to the worthless government of do nothings and an done nothing president.  I think I'll take tomorrow off and see what fun things I can find at Iowa City although goin to Waterloo  seems interesting.

Some observations...I don't like the new WGN logo.  Now when you watching something on the superstation you have a pair of eyes staring back at you.  Frucking creepy if you ask if they're trying to hypotise will watch this channel, you will watch this channel.  TV you can't ignore, you will watch this channel.......

I wish that Viacom would realize that not everybody wants to watch fucking Flavor Flav or Viva Tequila chick on MTV.  You can't find love on fucking reality TV.  It's bad enough in real life.

The guilty pleasure CD of the week is Len You Can't Stop The Bum Rush, which they had one of all time feel good singles of summer back in 99 with Steal My Sunshine. Kinda reminds me of a tamer and less offensive Bloodhound Gang's album for SONY a few years earlier.  Alas, LEN faded after that big hit and you can find their CD anywhere in the dollar bins.  Also I got talked into getting the Elton John Live In Australia CD.  Better be good otherwise I'll never trust you're opinions again BL.

PS  The New Hartford/Parkersburg Tornado was (no surprise) rated a EF5, meaning it was a big MOFO, going as big as a whole mile. The Fairbank to Oneida Twister, EF3 and one by Delaware EF1.  Also, while we had sirens of a possible funnell cloud that night, there was a grain silo to the east and south of Martelle that got leveled.  There were three silos, the middle one got destroyed and thrown into the field like a crushed beer can.  I hate extreme weather and we all don't like to see tornados, but you have to respect them, most so during the April-May period to which the most extreme storms come out around this time.  There's no reasonable way of describing the destruction of one; when we had the IC/Anamosa storms of two years ago, a small EF1 tornado still did a lot more damage and when you see it first hand, it's shock at first site.  It's even more shocking to see a aftermath of a destroyer of a EF5.

We all hope and pray for the ones who lost everything due to these terrible storms.  And pray that it never happens in a heavily populated area, or hopefully anyplace else.

Ever been in the presence of a F5 Tornado coming through your bank?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Top Ten: Coming To You At 50.6 KPS

Just in time for the first true weekend that kicks off summer.  Memorial Day Weekend.  Where's the party at?

1.  Mother Mary-Foxboro Hot Tubs 2008  Green Day incognito. After spending four years promoting American Idiot, the boys go into their 60s roots and dig up loads of garage rock that's fun to listen to.  Not as fun as say Len Price 3 nor Insommiac, but still more worthwhile than anything on radio.

2.  Famous In A Small Town-Miranda Lambert 2007  Congrats to Miranda for getting Album Of The Year from the ACMs Sunday night.  No need to apologize for overtaking Kenny Chesney, your album was ten times better than his.

3.  Sniffin About-Ace 1975  B side to How Long and my favorite song from the Paul Carrack led pub band of that time.  While followups were not good or as chart ranking as How Long, this B side actually got some airplay on the FM underground stations of that time.  Back when radio was good.

4.  Switch Board Susan-The Searchers 1979  Another forgotten album classic, The Searchers have their Sire albums now reissued once again.   There's good music out there.  Too bad you have to find it online since most of the record stores closed up shop around here.  And Best Buy doesn't carry Wounded Bird product.  They didn't have The Coolest Songs In The World Volume 5 either today.

5.  What's Wrong With Yo Yo-The Van DeLecki's  1996 A side project featuring Jamie Hoover of the Spongetones this cd sat for months at Half Priced Books till they slashed the price down to a dollar. Very Rockpileish sounding and nice harmonies to boot.  Dollar well spent I think.

6.  Anytime U Want Me-Alvin Lee 2007  Former Ten Years After frontman makes a pretty good album of late.  Still sounds better in voice than Mick Jagger so to speak.

7.  Love/Sex-Pearls Before Swine 1972  Hippy Dippy music from that era led by Tom Rapp.  Kinda of a backhanded slap at Steve Stills Love The One You're With.  Acquired taste to boot but Tom Rapp has his share of fans.  I'm not too sure I'm one of them.

8.  Packet Of Good Times-Livingston Taylor 1970  James Taylor's brother to which I have never heard anything from till I found his CD at Goodwill the other day.  Again a truckload of hippy dippy on this album (Doctor Man? eck) but there are some songs that do have  a good hook or two. And Livingston sounds a bit more earnest than his brother, although not as successful as James.

9.  Lonely Street-EmmyLou Harris 1989 Found this on vinyl.  EmmyLou is hit and miss for me although it seems on this album she caught me offguard with her sweet vocals on this Carl Belew classic song.  But then again it seems that I can be had at anytime this spring when I hear a lonesome female vocal.  Think I have done more crying the past month than the last five years put together.  So where's this place called Lonely Street?  Just down County Home Road dood.

10.  Hit Me Like A Train-Dan Baird 1994  Dan Baird has done wonderful things since Georgia Satellites.  This is one of them.  Also he has a My Space site too. 

Be safe.

Comment love from Lizzy Williams

 Great taste my friend. And ears too. :p

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Old Fart Rock N Roll Reviews.

In these times of throwaway music,  the bands and musicians that we used to listen to are becoming, like everybody else older and grayer and not as vital as they once were.  Kinda like the many blogs of Crabby.  Still there, blogging away although the ratings continue to slide.  Fact is if we were a TV show we would have been canceled say about sometime last month.  I offer up two cases in point two different musicians who made albums for Columbia back in the 70s and 80s but still remain around.  Against all odds.

First up.

Paul Collins Beat-Flying High (Get Hip)
Back in 1980, Eddie Money got Columbia to sign these new wave rockers for two fun filled albums before lack of sales and the usual band strifes ended things. But Collins has managed to hang around, making a so so country like album in 1995 (From Town To Town) and recently revived the Beat part to make you think it's 1980 all over again.  Not exactly, he's moved the garage indoors to the living room in a somewhat half rocking/half country that resembles more of From Town To Town rather than The Kids Are The Same.  First part of the album does have the harmonies that made the 80s album fun to listen to, but for the most part on the second side it's mostly acoustic and mostly retrospective.  No longer on a major, Paul Collins doesn't have to impress the masses or radio anymore, just the ones that he care most about, his fans.

Next Up...Alvin Lee-Saguitar (Rainman/Shout Factory)
Out of all the acts that played at Woodstock, Alvin Lee remains the only person who still sounds like he did way back then and plays wild guitar whenever he feels the mood is right.  While his old band Ten Years After still hangs around and playing the retro rock of the past, Lee continues to mine the blues and add more rockabilly into his space rock of the past four decades and for the first album I reviewed from him since 1986's Detroit Diesel (to which real rock KRNA actually played that song-go figure) which flounded on a Atlantic satellite label (21/Saja Records, Detroit Diesel was reissued on the Viceroy Label-yup the cigarette maker made a ill attempt fortay into issuing music).  Saguitar is probaly Lee's best record since then (although I have heard that his 2004 Memphis get together with Elvis P's sidemen DJ Fontana and Scotty Moore was pretty good).  An Alvin Lee album, like a good 10 Years After album isn't nothing more than good old rock and roll and like most junk rockers Lee's lyrics won't win any poetry contests, the trick here is to rock on some numbers, play the blues on others and even throw a surprise once in a while (A better than thought Rapper).  Midnight Train sounds like a remake of the old Speed Kills number off Stonedhenge and Memphis is a nice rockabilly number as well.  You want the blues, well there's Motel Blues and The Blues Got A Hold On Me.  And it's a homemade recording like Paul Collins' Flying High although Lee plays on all instrments on all songs except some organ thrown in by Tim Hinckley and a harmonica guy on one other.  In a different era to which if FM was radical like it was back in the early 70s (y'all missed out on some fine music there kiddies, unlike today's stale everything sounds the same format and the same 30 years old classic crock songs now), this album would get some kind of airplay and perhaps maybe it is on some english college stations in the boonies.  Alvin Lee has actually made a pretty decent album although he could have used a Ric Lee or better drummer and it could have rocked a bit harder but that's nit picking.  Saguitar is better than the latest Elvis Costello offering and it's too bad cuz you won't be able to hear it on the radio anywhere.  For the simple fact that, it's too rock and roll for radio.
Hard to figure that nowadays, right?

Green Day incoginto making garage rock just like they did back in the 60s.  Barely past 32 minites, we get to hear The Kinks like Alligator, the Who like Mother Mary and doesn't the flute on Dark Side of Night reminds one of Segio Mendes and Brazil 66 in a way?  Can't say it's better than say The Len Price 3 or Insommiac but taken as a side project it's a bit of fun as they say. Though it is dotched a point for digipak hell.  Grade B plus

KING'S X-XV (SPV/Inside Out)
I kinda lost track of them after the so so Mr Balbous album but in some way this album sounds lots like Tape Head but with a louder production (by Mike Wagener) and the famous guitar hooks and vocals that King's X is famous for.  Problem is that they're much smarter than your average "real rock" band playing on KRNA or Rock 108 with smarter than Hinder songs such as Pray or Broke. I noticed that Ty Tabor sings a bit more these past ten years then he did on the famed Atlantic albums of long ago and far away and sometimes comes as a relief.  Probaly their best album of this decade and since Tape Head, although I reserve judgement to seek out Ogre Tones or Black Like Sunday for future reference.  Inspirational lyric: If you like what you hear, go tell somebody.  I'm trying my best guys I really am.  Side note: the bonus tracks are so so.
Grade A minus

The Searchers:  The Searchers/Love's Melodies (Wounded Bird)
In 1979 Sire Records signed up the oldies act The Searchers and had them record a couple of albums at Rockfield Studios (home of Dave Edmunds) and they put together two great to good new wave albums that didn't sell but those that did buy them swore they were the best that The Searchers did.  The first album, had a top seventy hit with Hearts In Her Eyes (done earlier by The Records) and a seductive Switch Board Susan (covered by Nick Lowe, written by Mickey Jupp) and even Tom Petty wrote them a song as well and this was all on side one.  Airwaves songwriter John David (Later of Dave Edmunds' early 80s preRockpile band) contributed a few numbers (the catchy Feeling Fine and on Love's Melodies You Are The New Day) likewise.   In essence the S/T album remains one of the best albums of 1979.  The followup Love's Melodies, they covered September Gurls by Big Star, added Duck's Deluxe title track of this album and though it paled in comparsion to their 1979 album (appently Sire Records wanted them to be a bit more mainstream) there are enough songs to warrant it a good listen to.  I did buy this album at the old fabled Sweet Living Antiques Store at Iowa City before the 2006 tornado destroyed it and glad I do have the vinyl piece to the album.  But the first album is the one to get.
Raven Records issued both albums under the Sire Sessions Banner in 1996 with a couple more bonus tracks and is the one to get.  But kudos to Wounded Bird for reissuing these albums.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits (Geffen)
Same as the MCA issue back in 1993 with the sole addition of Stop Dragging My Heart Around with Stevie Nicks.  You can live without this.

also from Wounded Bird
Chase (Complete)

All the albums that Bill Chase released on Epic Records and the first two were on One Way before One Way closed up shop. And for 15 dollars, you get Chase/Enna/Pure Music and much more cheaper than the One Way albums out there.  I did sold my Chase One Way copy for about twenty bucks a few years ago.  Famous for the 1971 jazz/fusion Get It On, the rest of the album didn't offer much for me.  Bill Chase seemed to be influenced by Maynard Ferguson with high shrill trumpet sounds.  Chase and his band were killed in a 1973 plane crash.

In the bargain bins from Rhino Flashback  (at $5.98 or less)
Joe Walsh-But Seriously Folks (Life's Been Good/Over And Over)
Doobie Brothers-Troulouse Street (Rockin Down The Highway)
Bad Company-Desolation Angels (Gone Gone Gone, Lonely For Your Love)
Appently Warner Music Group decided to throw these in the 8 dollar bargain bins (or cheaper) at finer record stores or but the shippin and handling makes it out to be like buying it at 11.98.  Buyer Beware.

Friday, May 16, 2008

20 Years At Pearson

On Labor Day 1985, I started out as a temporary at NCS in Iowa City.

Today marks my 20th anniversity of being a permenent employee.

I thought that I would find a closer place of employment but as the years went by, it has come to my attention that I have been a fixture and a charater when we moved operations to the outskirts of C.R in 1997.
Thank you Beverly Madden for granting me the permenent status when I joined up in the old Pell Department on May of 1988. I didn't mind the keyentry of Pell apps for it gave me a chance to listen to cds while I was working.  One year later, Greg Nutter tapped me to join Data Input and I got to do that for about four years till Denny Ballard and Sheri Stockman gave me access to the computer and printing operations in September of 1993.

Since then, I have been here cussing printers and computers out with the best of them.  For the first six years, we worked a 6 to 6 nights format till we moved to second shift in 2000 after Pearson brought out NCS.
I have to say that I am blessed to work with the best of co workers.  Even though that sometimes Bill and Steve would like to smack me upside the head, (and vice versa), these guys are the best seniors to work with.  When it comes to fixing printers, Steven is a magician.

Also thanks be to Denny Ballard and John Allen for being super cool bosses and letting me the chance to do net things while working.   My co workers are also the best workers around.  To Sonya, Mike, Ed,Glarice, Margaret and the inserting folks, I sure hope I didn't scare everybody off with my antics. ;-)

It's hard to fathom twenty years later and still at the place of workage to where it all started.  I cannot picture if I will be around five or ten years or even twenty years from today but when you survive twenty years of a career job at the same place, that is news.  Even to somebody that couldn't hold a job very long like I did back in the past.

Thanks to all that mattered and the drinks are on me.  But y'all going have to buy the pizzas. ;-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Top Ten:Classic Rock Fans Rejoyce

With all the problems that I have been having I have forgotten the fact that prom season has already come and gone and already the Springville Kiddies are be gradurating this weekend.  It's a frightening thought to know that my best friend's son Matt will be gradurating next year!  And I'm sitting here wondering where is all the time is flying to. 

Speaking of which, stay tuned for my 20th anniversity of being at Pearson Inc. on the 15th.  Don't mind me folks, I'll be pulling gray hairs off my sideburns to bullshit people that I'm younger than my age.

The Top Ten Of The Week Songs.

1.  Come Together-The Beatles 1969  I've been listening to their Anthology Series Volume 3 and it's basically outtakes and demos and not required listening.  But even on the demos and the flubs, even The Beatles can mess up a song before fine tuning it for the ages.  Why do The Beatles sound vital today than anything on the radio?  Melody and catchiness.  Which is the reason why you don't see any Beatles in the dollar section but lots of Mariah Carey and Britney Beers.

2.  Snakedance-The Rainmakers 1987  One thing about going to Madison was that I found a better CD copy of Tornado, their second album.  The one I found was fifty cents at the pawnshop but looked like it got dragged on first avenue and skipped in spots. These guys made three great albums for Mercury and one so so on a independent label but nobody talks about The Rainmakers anymore. Which is why I have the Top Ten Of The Week, to let the fifteen faithful readers out there what to look for when they go bargain hunting.

3.  Can't Find My Way Home-Blind Faith 1969 The first get together of Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton made a very spotty album, the price supergroups pay when the sum of the parts don't equal the band but this is one of the better Steve Winwood songs out there.  BTW, I did buy the remastered edition which only has the band picture and not that one of the naked teen girl holding a airplane.  Never quite understood what the hell that meant. (Oh I know, art! rrrrright).

4.  Malignant Narcissism-De Stagworker-Rush 2008  I wasn't going to buy this album but I found it 20 percent off used at Frugal Muse Bookstore in Madison, so therefore I picked it up.  Two hours and forty minites on 2 CDs of live Rush, and I chose the Neil Peart drumsolo, including his part two of the jazz drum solo with faux paus keyboards imiating a jazz band.  For a Live Rush album, this isn't that bad despite way too many songs off Snakes and Arrows (I know it's called Snakes And Arrows Live-Geez) and Geddy Lee blows the high notes on Free Will (he sounds shrill on the bridge) but they do have a rockin version of Limelight and somebody remembered Entre Nous.  Which surprisingly as a hit single, it didn't make the Chronicles best or, or the Retrospective albums 1 and 2.  It's also one of my all time favorite Rush songs (don't tell Russ, he'll play it till i'm sick of it).

5.  Dead Flowers-Rolling Stones 1971  The Stones today are just money grabbing out of time rockers who time has passed long time ago and now are the Baby Boomers answer to Lawrence Welk when he was alive.  Only difference is that Lawrence Welk wouldn't charge 165 bucks to see a screwed up version of Get No Satisfaction.  But this song showed that the Stones could make a decent country song back when they had shitloads of inspiration.  The well has dried up long ago but thankfully we have the past to go back to hear greatness. 

6.  A Passion Play-Jethro Tull 1973  Yep, both A and B sides of this including the children's tale of The Hare Who Lost His Spectacles.  A lotta people got off the bus after Thick As A Brick and this followup bombed but I think it's more listenable than say Metal Machine Music, or Appatite For Distruction. 

7.  Best Years-Whitesnake 2008  Really, this is a very good Whitesnake album. It's a lotta fun, more than their S/T breakthrough and the garbage that's called Slip Of The Tongue.  If it was 1988, this album would get lots of airplay on real rock radio.  Nowadays, rock radio won't play it.  Major labels and FM radio suck today.  Thank Clear Channel and the Telecommuncations Act of 1996, one of Clinton's follys but it was a Republican controlled congress that passed it. But then again any Republican never does anything wrong.  They're perfect.

8.  19-Old 97's 1999 Do you know the Old 97s have a new album out?  And that Best Buy didn't have it?  Gawd I miss the days of Relics when I know they would have had it.

9.  You Got A Hard Time Comin-The Remains 1966  Welcome aboard our new friends The Remains to the Crabb House Of Pancakes and Tunes.  Garage Rock classic.

10.  In The Court Of The Crimson King-King Crimson 1969 And finally, the album that actually started progessive rock.  I remember buying this album at the Church next to Longfellow School without having any knowledge of what I was getting.  I think I got the album for a quarter. My Dad hated that album just like he did with the MC5's Kick Out The Jams.  ah, memories.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Top Ten: Madison 14 Years Onward

In between gas price hikes, I decided to rock up to madison for a day away from Chaos City.  For the rare time, Madison had cheaper gas than Dubuque (3.55 to Q's 3.57) but the winter was bad up there.  Potholes were three feet wide at the Westtowne Mall.  Nevertheless, didn't find much in terms of vinyl (except a couple Marti Jones LPs) and though Mad City Music had lots of vinyl from the 50s and 60s, most of it was pretty scratched up.  For the first time, it didn't rain while I was up there (first time since 05) but I'm sure had I stayed there a extra day, that would have been extended.  Found a bunch of dollar cds at HP Books East Madison, which meant some country stars of yore (i always been a eddy raven fan).  Didn't find anything spectaular but I did find The Rainmakers Tornado CD which will replace my old copy since this one has no scratches.  I do wish that Pre Played would quit buffering those cds when you buy from them, even with a bit of dust and stuff, my way of cleaning them are better suited then buff and run.

Didn't go downtown to State Street, didn't see the need to but did do the annual walk alongside Lake Monona.  And got to watch the college chicks ride their bikes or rollerblade.

Total cost of driving up there and back:  44 dollars in gas money.  Better than I thought.

The top ten of the week with the usual smart assed comments.

1.  Wrong-Waylon Jennings 1990 The last top ten hit for the old outlaw.  I find it ironic that I can still find the Waylon CDs that I'm looking for since most of them have fallen out of print.  But then again it seems like destiny for me to find certain cds.  Too bad I can't substain a career of making a living finding lost cds. But then again CDs are going to be passe by 2010 anyway.  What's a record store anyway?

2.  Gotta Run-Tom Holland 1985  Known as Holland, this band was fronted by the ex lead singer of the B'zzs, who had a regional hit with Get Up, Get Angry.  This album was reissued on Wounded Bird and it's a time piece of dated 80s hair metal, with a whammy bar specialist ruining the songs with his 4th rate Van Halen licks.  There are good classic rock and then there's dated 80s rock.

3.  I Can Help-Billy Swan 1974  Number one back in the 70s, this song you basically hear on the classic country charts more often than not. The long version has a drawn out ending and can be annoying.  Sometimes, 45 edits work wonders.

4.  Lost Woman-The Greenhornes 2005  The hidden track off their V2 album to which I considered to be a retrospective of some sort.   This is a cover of the Yardbirds staple.  I don't think much of hidden tracks, they take forever to get to after the end of the album and most hidden tracks suck.  Donno if these guys are still going but the rhythm section is part of The Racontuers whose latest album is great.

5.  It's Because I Do-Becky Hobbs 1988  Good country songs speak from the heart of life happenings.  Most new country songs today are a pale shell of the stuff that came out in the glory years up to the late 80s.  This song caught me off guard of the words, It's not that I love you cuz I don't, it's because I do.  When RCA reissued this album they left it off but you can find it on the original MTM release.  This song is too country and too good for Carrie Underwood.

6.  Most Of The Time-Bob Dylan 1989 Staying in the 1980s, this is off the comeback album Oh Mercy and is featured in High Fidelity, that John Cusack movie that came out in the late 90s.  I thought the movie was a tad bit overrated. But the soundtrack was classic.

7.  If You Wanna Get To Heaven-Ozark Mountain Daredevils 1974  Damn right Bob Lefsetz, this was the song that got me interested in the OMDs.  Freaking radio is so pussed over, they don't play this song on the classic rock stations anymore.

8.  Dirty City-Steve Winwood 2008  Do you believe that I heard this on Mix 96 today while I was getting a haircut?  Didn't Mix 96.5 have a policy of not playing anything over 1988?  Anyway, Eric Clapton puts in one of his best guitar leads in thirty years and dammed if I heard this song on triple M when I was up in Madison on monday.  Comeback album of the year?  Maybe hadn't Whitesnake put out their new album Born To Be Bad.

9.  Magification-Yes 2001  I have no idea why my best friend Russ thinks that I don't like this album.  Sure it's a epic progessive album and some of the songs run for like 10 minites but it's YES dammit.  They did hit a creative streak with 1999's The Ladder and this album but unfortunly, their label went bellyup soon after the release of this album.  You can still find it for 3 bucks for a sealed copy at FYE, if they're not sold out already.

10.  Fifteen Days Under The Hood-New Riders Of The Purple Sage 1976  By then, these hippy dippys wore out their welcome at Columbia and moved over to MCA for four uneven albums, the best was this album called New Riders.  And The New Riders may have been country's answer to Grand Funk Railroad, the fans love them but critics poopooed them and they were right some of the time.  Robert Christgau hated Powerglide, I loved that album, he like their first album, I thought it was overrated.  But we both hated Brujo, the second album which sounded like a bad attempt to rewrite the Grateful Dead Anthem Of The Sun.  As for the MCA albums, New Riders is the best, Marin Country Line sucks and I'm not about to take a listen to Who Are These Guys?  And back at that time, the kiss of death was when Skip Battin joined.  And any band that Battin joined would break up eventually, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and New Riders, not that it was his fault.  Just bad timing that's all.  Skip passed away two years ago due to Alzheimers.  RIP Skip.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mike Deeds On Whitesnake Good To Be Bad

Mike Deeds from the Washington Post on the new Whitesnake album...

Based solely on its ridiculous title -- "Good to Be Bad" -- Whitesnake's first studio disc in more than a decade suggests you should haul it to the nearest Dumpster. Instead, find a CD player and slide it in. "These are the best years of my life!" frontman David Coverdale, 56, declares immediately, still conquering higher notes with his Robert Plant wail.

Shocker: Whitesnake has zero original members besides Coverdale. Irrelevant. Like AC/DC, he sticks to a brawny hard-rock formula and milks it smartly: a bluesy rocker here ("A Fool in Love"), a power ballad there ("All I Want All I Need"), a "Still of the Night" clone for good measure ("Lay Down Your Love.") It's surprisingly satisfying headbanging, causing you to root through boxes for that melted old Whitesnake cassette you definitely still have.

Still, why does the world even need a new Whitesnake album? Simple. For the same reason Fox Mulder needed that UFO poster in "The X-Files." Because we want to believe. We want to believe there's one more perfect Spandex anthem out there. That one morning, we'll trudge outside to wash the minivan and be greeted by a time-warped, sudsy Tawny Kitaen writhing in the driveway. It's a dream, man. Let sleeping mullets lie.  M.D.

heheheheh  Have you seen Tawny lately?   Ugh.