Monday, September 29, 2008

Crabb Bits: Bush BS, Crappy Metallica, GB lose drummer

By now you have known that the 700 billion dollar bailout brought to you by Harry Paulson got shut down and once again we get to see Bush warning of recession again bla bla bla.  Funny thing is that the depression has been here for about two years now and Bush and especially Mr Paulson do not get it.  It's about high time that the CEO's of the failed Wall Street get to feel what we all feel and that golden parachute of bigtime million dollar severence pay should be replaced by a anvil crashing down upon their head as they freefall down.  For eight years we have had the government fail us time after time after time.  Seems logical now that the chickens have come home to roost that Paulson and the other idiot before him Beneke are getting their just due.  Seems to me also that we the taxpayers of this country believe that Bush and company work for us and if this was like any other workplace, Bush and company would have been given the heave ho about seven years ago.  Not all this should be bestrow upon Dubya, democrat do nothings have also done squat in the two years they have been in and still we get those annoying campaign mudslinging commercials.  Basically Obama can't do anything more than what the other idiots have done to throw this country into what it is today.  I love the fact that Goldman Sachs prediction of 150 dollar barrel of oil by this time have blown up in their face but I'm sure oil barrell prices will be back up eventually.  But I think the American taxpayer has had more than enough than to hear Bush's scare tactics.  In 2000, we have a big surplus and respect, now we got a fucking debt that your great grandkids won't be able to pay off and the solution from Paulson is to print more money that ain't worth more than toilet paper.  To the CEOs of Wall Street, I suggest if you see any loose change on the street better pick it up and do like the rest of us and save it for a rainy day.  Or a better solution is to get the MF lobbyists and porkers to contribute those funds to the US cause.  And to the Hanniry and Combes dumbasses on FOX news, get your head out of your asses.  Being stupid and right wing seems to get you a show on FOX.  We're tired of seeing our money been thrown away on "the war on terror" and "wall street" to which perhaps the evil Bin laden, to which Bush the Idiot never found was right, we're watching the destruction of America and he didn't have to do anything, the Goldman Sach assholes did it to us (and wall street). 

Yeh y'all right I should stick to music subjects, so here goes.  Tone deaf Lars Urlich of Metallica still thinks the mixing of the new Metallica album was great but Ted Jensen, who knows a thing about mastering an album called it an embarrassment and when he got the tapes to master Death Magnetic they sounded like that.  And that is the difference of making a great album and a classic album such as Master Of Puppets, Yup that album was loud too, but it had some type of loudness that doesn't give you a headache.  And that has been the problem of most if not all albums of this decade, good music ruined by compressed loudness with no distinction between the soft and loud sounds. When you have to turn the stereo down just to get a comfortible listen to an album that's a problem.  The obvious used to be if you wanted to hear something turn it up, not down.  All this technology out there and anything new sounds like shite.  Hell, I was playing the first Led Zeppelin CD before the remasters and I thought that sounded very good.

Which leads to Robert Plant.  He has told the guys in his former band to move on if they want to continue to rock.  As much as everybody would love to see a nostagic Led Zeppelin reunion tour, he has had more fun with his get together with Alison Krauss to which I also believe that Raising Sand was his best effort in ten plus years and still remains in heavy play here.  At sixty years old Plant had reinvented himself into somewhat of a folkie.  And it would be fun to hear him and Alison do a take on The Battle Of Evermore.  Classic rock is fun but when you're a senior citizen rocker you can't go back to the garden anymore as CSNY used to sing.  The garden has long ago been replaced by a high rise.

Scott Kusmirek has left The Gin Blossoms after being a part of the band for five years but never really fit into the band.  In some ways I'm sure he felt like a second class citizen, you never seen his face on the album covers but at least history will show him as the drummer for Major Lodge Victory.  Does this mean that Phillip Rhodes will return to the throne?  Hard to say but I'm sure Scott will be successful when he returns back to the Arizona music scene.

A review.

Wreckless Eric/Amy Rigby (Stiff)
Now husband and wife Eric and Amy have put together their first home recording (and it's on the revised Stiff label which is a feat in itself, for more information look up Eric's website for a more detailed perpective) and the results couldn't have been this radical. At times sounding like The Ravonettes with double tracked vocals and both playing all instruments, this is perhaps the most punk that Amy has ever sounded and Eric still sounding like a more eccentric Nick Lowe.  On "trotters" think of The Beach Boys jamming with My Bloody Valentine and Please Be Nice To Her, one wonders had Nick Lowe made that album with Carlene Carter when they were married if the results would sound like this.  Eric still remains to eccentric for the american audience but I think I do perfer him over today's Nick Lowe or for that matter, Elvis Costello is all over the place.  But even in today's net word, this album was released without All Music making a comment about it, nor Best Buy knowing anything about it.  Even though this is mostly Eric's effort, I'm sure Amy had something to do with this by covering Johnny Cash's I Still Miss Someone.  Nevertheless a fun get together by the new decade's Johnny And June (although I do miss the old Amy)
Grade A minus

Pick hits: Please Be Kind To Her, Men In Sandals, The Downside Of Being A Fuck Up

Updates:  I am still working on getting around to listen to Ashton Shepard's album but haven't seen it anywhere.....Half Priced Books had the Beau Brammels four cd box set from Rhino Handmade for the price of 8 dollars!  Now you see why I love HP Books?  Ya never know what the people will bring in to trade.  Amazon had the CD listed at 79.95 at the cheapest. 

Box sets are moreorless coffee table CDs that I moreoreless show off more than I play.  FYE has managed to have the Prestige Story 4 cd set for 23 bucks and is worth every penny likewise the five CD Speciality Records Story for thirty five bucks.  I also note that HP Books seem to have lots of Shout Factory albums for five ninety eight or less in the cutout section.  Not that you can live without the Violet Femmes albums or later day Marshall Tucker Band but I have seen John Lee Hooker's albums in the cut out bins on Shout Factory.  Buyer beware.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rock n roll and the TV

TV anymore is just mindless. But it's always there when I wake up, thinking I'm going to get things done around the house and then turn on the box and then see another eight to ten hours of my life drained away by countless commerical crap such as male enlargement, diabete drug commericals, other drug commericals, the annoying Verizon guy and even more male enlargement commercials.

Once upon a time music videos used to be on tv but not anymore. Watching the asnine MTV and VH1 networks proves that and CMT has gone the unreal reality shows as well. GAC remains probaly the only channel that provides some kind of music video but after a while one does get tired of seeing the same two to three videos and like anything overplayed annoys. But if nothing else you can always order up some Midnight Special DVDs to which are hocked around the hour that they used to show the show. And once upon a time television was a great way to be exposed to new music but not anymore. Just wasted infocommericals of a time thirty years ago that you had to live at that time to enjoy it.

As a old hippie, now a old crank I'm too old to really go out and expierence new music or hang in smoky bars to check out bands trying to cover something off the radio. It's a bitch getting old, you can't hit on the young ladies like you once could (but even then the success rate wasn't that great anyway). Nothing like introducing "hey sweetheart" only to get a curt "yea Grandpa?!" in return. So basically saturdays are now reserved to college football games up till bedtime and then the next day more football or between breaks trying to watch some overplayed move on TBS that was seen on TNT the other week or AMC the previous. We live in a era to which there's so much out there to see and hear and all we get is the same old same old. AMC used to be the movie channel to which you can watch commerical free but they're the worst in terms to trying to watch a movie, five minites of show, ten minites of commericals per hour.

My favorite channels still remain TCM because they remain the only channel that doesn't cut up their movies with commericals every five minites and they do show some relics from the past. Where else can you see the original William Castle version of 13 Ghosts? Now, if we can get a channel that can promote the classic tv shows without trying to hock them as DVDs that you can see only that way. I still turn on to GAC more often but have been getting a bit more annoyed with them with repeated programming rather than trying to turn us on new music. The Edge Of Country showed be promoted more than usual but I'm sure that the bigwigs will eventually retire that for endless repeats of the Top 20 Videos to which are probaly the only videos that GAC plays that week. And Brad Paisely still looks more wimpy with a goatee.

Still as much as I bitch about ESPN and ESPN2 they still get watched a lot, despite endless Sports Center repeats and the usual No clue announcers and the odious and overblown Chris (Bore me) Berman, thirty years later trying to add cute nicknames to football players. Cartoon Network's Adult Swim has been getting worse and worse with their horrible shows and since losing Futurama, I haven't noticed except for Family Guy or American Dad or Robot Chicken, the only decent show that Adult Swim developed on their own. WGN remains my choice for superstation fun although it looks like they have taken off Becker at the 11 30 slot and once was the place to watch Chicago baseball, it's not like the old days to which you got to see 150 Cub games. Hell, we're lucky just to get to see half of them and the White Sox paultry 30 games. Yup cable was much better thirty years ago, we seem to have more variety on less channels.

Now we have more channels but less programming. Go figure.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

RIP Paul Newman

Paul Newman.  What can I say about him that hasn't been said before.  He passed away from cancer at age 83.  It's funny that we grow up watching movie stars from the past and never quite get over the fact that they are older than they were when they made the classics.  Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid but also Hud, or lesser known stuff like Never Give An Itch (aka Sometimes A Great Notion) or the voice over as a cranky sheriff car in Cars.  Paul can do just about everything and make it great, even making salad dressing or spegetti sauce.  Been a long year for losing icons of the screen and music stage. 

It's the last week of September and I'm still running the AC today.  It just seems that this year we never could find a happy medium in terms of weather.  It snowed and snowed all winter and then got it all melted away by forty days and nights of rain and flooded everything.  But after the fourth of July, we finally got some nice dry time to which continues to this day and to which the dreaded weathermen here starting talking bout droughts even though the water table in the ground still remain fairly wet.  Once in a while we would get a soaking but not like the gullywashers of the rainy season this year.  Actually, the weather we got the last couple months have been perfect sunshine although the dryness made my allergies a living hell.  But you will never hear me crying for rain, not after this spring.

I do think the new Metallica album is pretty damn good but once again the major labels gave us a very painful and very compressed sound that absolutely robs the album of its personality and this has been the biggest complaint in the past five years of the major labels and their goddam recording practices of recording it for IPODs and not the stereo.  You wish that somebody would fucking listen to the finished product before sending it out.  If you wanted to hear a decent sound of the new Mudcrutch album (tom petty's original band) you had to buy the vinyl album to get a bonus CD without such compressed sound.  Half the time on new cds, i have to turn the damn volume on the stereo down.  Makes you wonder if getting the import cd would be a better solution, it might cost more but at least you have to spare your ears of such shrill and highness.  There is a reason why cd sales are tanking and I'm guessing the reason is of crappy music and crappy recorded albums likewise.  Even reissues are getting too compressed.  Keep pissing off the comsumer RIAA and the majors and we won't be back ever again.  But then again the RIAA and the majors never listen to the consumer, they only sue them and give out compressed crap.

The self portrait that you see as my welcoming pic this month is me taken at the famous Oatie room at the Oatman Hotel in downtown Oatman.  Oatie is the spirit that seems to hang around in this area and at night you can hear the footsteps walking that hotel.  If you flash bulbs sometimes you can get an image of something in the background.  Oatie has been seen in pics of the Honeymoon Suite of Carole Lombard and Clark Gable which is across the stairs on the other side of the building but so far looks like I haven't gotten the pleasure of seeing Oatie in any of my pics.  I guarantee you this, you haven't seen as much teeth in any of my pics than of this latest.  I don't take good pictures but this is probaly as good as it gets.  On a side note, I don't think you can spend the night at the Oatman anymore and even if you do, it's too damn stuffy and too hot in the summer to do so.  I wonder how Clark and Carole survived being there so long ago without AC and a good milkshake.

Looks like the 61 Drive In will still be going strong till October and I may take a night off to go see Lakeview Terrance.  It may be the only time I'll be in that part of the state for I might venture into Davenport just to be disappointed in trying to find some decent music and hope that if I buy anything from freaking Co Op Records that the cd isn't scratched up.  If Big Lots is still around Davenport then we'll have to stock up.  Otherwise.........

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week-Own Me Cuz I'm Worth It


1.  Soul Finger-Bar Kays 1967  What I miss most about AM radio is that back in the 60s they would play soul music alongside rock and roll and easy listening and sometimes country.  I think I lived mostly for the instrumentals to which most of them would be played only before the top of the hour before the newscast.  The original Bar Kays made two albums before like Otis Redding, took a dive into Lake Monona and most would not make it out.  And BTW, Concord Music has reissued Otis Redding's Live 1967 Stax perfomances from London and Paris into one big cd.  I still would recommend Live In Europe if you can find it or this effort.

2.  Ring A Ling-Johnny Otis 1958  This was hard rock and roll late 50s as a B side to Willie And The Hand Jive and yep, that's Earl Palmer bashing away on the drums.  For a reference, play Keep A Knockin by Little Richard and then Rock And Roll by Led Zeppelin and see who John Bonham is giving tribute to. In the 50s era Palmer played on just about everything.

3.  Children Of The Night-Steppenwolf 1974  John Kay was blasting the Nixon Administration on Steppenwolf's comeback 1974 album Slow Flux and while trying to compile a top ten listing, I had to include this protest song which could fit well in with Governor Bush's government who has taken us into the New Depression of the Millenium.  Alas, this song sounds like it would fit in today with the problems of this Bushit Government. 

4.  Rhinocratic Oaths-Bonzo Dog Band 1968  Before Monty Python, there was the Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band and their music, not exactly rock and roll but a bit more jazz and vaudeville.  Compare this song with side two of Monty Python And The Holy Grail Soundtrack.

5.  Be Like That-3 Doors Down 2000  Have 3 Doors Down been around for eight years already?!?  I was playing this CD on the way to Portland to meet up with somebody in March of 2000.  This band hasn't interests me all that much since then but I do play their first album on occasion.

6.  I Really Wanted You-Dead Rock West 2008  Up and coming band with a great rockin track off their first album.  Hey, I own these guys on the own your friends app so I can promote them whenever I like.  So there.

7.  Don't Be Angry-Nappy Brown 1955  RIP Nappy who passed away last weekend, this was his best known hit.

8.  You, Me And Everything-Blues Traveler 2008  Their new album can be a EP of sorts, out of all the BT albums out there, their new album clocks in at 42 minites, which is a EP to John Popper and company.  This song would have been a great followup to Runaround had radio stayed the way it was back in the mid 90s.  Kinda reminds me of Van Morrison if you ask me but we all know that radio don't play shit anymore and unfortunly, you won't be able to hear this great song on the radio, unless it's on satellite radio.  Hell the only Blues Traveler that ever gets played anymore is Runaround.  And Clear Channel wonders why nobody listens to the radio no more.

9.  Twenty Flight Rock-Eddie Cochran 1958  Another forgotten classic that I wanted to turn your attention to.

10.  I Want To Hold Your Hand-The Chipmunks 1964  And if you don't have a sense of humor on this, maybe you should return back to the McCain camp.  Jes saying ;-)
...
Wreckless Eric is back with a new album with Amy Rigby to which I stumbled across it while at FYE the other day.  Actually, I wanted to marry Amy Rigby since I always loved her albums but Eric was at the right place right time.  Here's a bit of a interview with Eric with his well known hit Take the KASH.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postrock/2008/09/way_more_than_six_questions_fo.html

http://www.cbsundstrom.com/fuckyoujohnmccain.jpg
Barracuda this McCain.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

RIP Wally Hilgenberg

Back in the 70s I used to be a big fan of the Minnesota Vikings and of the big four called the Purple People Eaters...The lineup of Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, Alan Page, Doug Sutherland (who replaced Gary Larsen) the front four, Matt Blair, Jeff Siemon and Wally Hilgenberg at linebacker, and Bobby Bryant, Nate Wright, Jeff Wright and Paul Krause who in the mid 70s dominated the NFL till playoff time and they never did win the big game.  The thing I remember most was that these Vikings played a long long time.

Wally Hilgenberg was a Iowa Hawkeye and later became a mainstay for Minnesota, back when the Vikings played outdoor at the old Metropolitan Stadium which is now the Mall Of America.  Back when real Vikings played out doors in blizzards, twenty below temps, humid nights in september and the brightest sunshine.  None of this Baggie dome BS that happen around in the early 80s. 

Wally died of the dreaded Lou Gehrig disease at age 66.  Yet another icon of my childhood is no longer around.  He will be missed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kill Your Television-Why Cable Sucks

There's no shortage of things that piss me off.  Turn on the TV, get on the web and read the usual bullshit of news.  Yup, oil barrel price back over 120 dollars fucking speculators, fucking OPEC, fucking Hugo Chavez.  Yup, an endless war in Iraq, an endless debt thanks to six years of Republican rhetoric and two years of Democratic do nothingness.  Oh, and the great depression number two trying to bail out Freddie and Fannie and the AIG assholes with the dumbass CSer CEO and his million upon millions sendoff pay.  Hard to believe eight years ago, we had a surplus in the bank, no war and a respect around the world,  Eight years later, your children children children's will have to pay off a fucking trillion dollar debt since Bush thinks the answer is print more money and sell off the to the Chinese.  And just think you got McCain and the Psycho Palin ready to take over if Obama doesn't come through.  And we'll still have to deal with fucking Hugo Chavez and his suckcock Russian idealogic.  But this is not what the subject is.....

Commerical are fucking annoying, don't need me to tell you that.  I've noticed that Chevron and BP are starting to show more commercials, probaly due to too much money they want you to think they're on your side.  But they don't annoy me all that much if you can believe that.

What annoys me is to turn on the TV and see shitloads upon shitloads of drug commericals.  I'm thinking the pharmacudial drug companies are even more shyster than the oil companies. Used to be Sally Field was everybody's sweetheart till she starting talking bout her OP and now gets free amount of drugs just to have them on commericals.  Or Winfried Brimley coming on three times in a hour to talk bout his free drugs from Liberty Medical.  Sure ain't helping him too much, he looks like death warmed over.  Everybody has diabetes when they turn 65 it seems, you can probaly blame it on Big Macs, Whoppers and Pepsi to which every slip gets you closer....To diabetes.

What's annoying is pop up ads while you're watching a TV show.  Do I give a rat's ass about the new Survivor or some USA detective show, or how bout trying to watch The Sheild and you get a fucking pop up that covers the screen talking bout NASCAR on FOX?!?  With commericals a whopping 20 minites per hour, the networks still find ways of cramming crap reality shit down your throat or a marathon of That 70s Show or Family Guy to which you can watch on three other channels on cable.   Schrubs are on four channels around here, how bout something other than Scrubs or American Idol Rewind to which everybody don't care about Clay Aiken or Fantasia and gave the world the odious Carrie Underwood, the queen of country music.

On the local scene we got Kaplin University shoving their fucking college down our throat eight times per hour on Judge Judy.  Some annoying bitch actress saying "I Can't get a job cuz I got no expierience, got no expierience cuz I got no job.  Or the annoying C word crying to mom, I'm SOOOooo Tired.  We are too.  Kaplin is such a nice place to throw away 4000 bucks a year just to get a miminum paying job at the hospital disposing used needles.  Kraplin got me where I am today, not very fuckin far if you ask me.
Or how bout this, Billy Mays, the big whiny voice who hocks everything from Insurance to Spot removal.  Sad thing about it is that the fucker probaly makes more than you and I do.  Surpised that he aint touting viagra.

To which the biggest annoying commericals is those goddam male penis enlargement pills to which we have never seen ten years ago but nowadays we got male enhancement drugs every fucking where you turn on the TV.  Now where the fuck did it get to this in life that males over 40 have to have a fucking blue pill to take to get it up.  You don't see female birth control pills on tv,nor Trojan rubber commericals but oh boy you get smiling Bob, the Nashville Musician touting Viva Viagara at 1 am in a Nashville recording studio with nothing but guys around, the happy loving couple with seperate bathtubs for Cialis (I cannot figure that one out, ya think they be doing each other in one tub, get the fucking facts straight-Cialis cunts), or the dood with COPD but needs Levaita to get it up.  I think as a guy it really insults my intelligence to tout all these male enhancement bullshit from these drug companies who are no fucking different than the lying CSers from the oil companies or the Swiftboat mutherfuckers that are throwing political mud down our throats the last two fucking years.  In the old days, Grandpa didn't need no stinking Vigara or Cialis, just his hand and a damn stag magazine did the trick.  I think it's about time that the fucking FCC got some damn balls on them and outlaw these goddam male enhancement commercials.  Dick Cheney can stick all the viagra down his throat, all it takes for the average man is a bit of imagination and a choice of lefty or righty or better yet, get your better half to help you out.   It makes me sick to see the US become a bunch of male enhancement junkies who have to rely on a blue pill to get it up.  Ridiclous.  But then again, you have to feel sorry for Hugo Chavez who looks like he got a few viagara stuck in his throat and have a stiff neck and brain.
Typically all commercials are annoying but these are the ones that annoy me most of all. 

Between that and Tampon commericals, Vigasil Commericals, annoying car commericals with those dammed "Professional driver on a closed course do not attempt to do", same commercials being shown over and over again, stupid Coors Lite commericals with morons asking exNFL stupid question about Coors Lite, Burger King commerical with the freaky King, Carrie Underwood commericals, MTV commericals, people who eat food commercials, people who throw up on commericals.......................................

and on and on.......................

and on and on................

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bees

There is a underground yellow jacket bee nest that for the last month and a half I have been trying to get rid of.

Now I have been a big admirer of bees, but in my life history if I see too many of the yellow jackets I freak out and run away screaming. 

Yesterday, somehow the Yellow Jackets have invaded our space and I saw about four or five of them chasing me back into the house after getting the mail.  They also were chasing and stinging the poor neighbor's dog who managed to come into the yard for her treat fix.  Something had to be done.

I had some Ortho Bug Be Gone that was used for the earwigs, who after two months of not seeing them, one of them MF's earwig made a apperance last night on my CD player to which it got a burial at sea.  But the yellow jackets were just too many around the house so it was time to fight back.  I poured about three big buckets of hot water down the hole and then when Yellow Jackets started coming out, zapped them with bug spray of all kinds and even started acting brave enough to bop them out of the air with a broom or a shovel.  Geezus, it was hard work, even had a fucking heat rash attack to which I couldn't stop itching but still had enough reaction to bop more bees with the broom.  I don't think I moved that fast in years.
You can tell when the bees were coming with deeper buzzing for the bigger ones.  I think all night all I heard was BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and more Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz .

I try not to get stung, I am allergic to beestings and even I'm surprised that I haven't gotten stung yet.  But my thinking remains that we have 3 acres of yard for the damn yellow jackets to call home, and they're free to buzz around....just as long as they don't build their underground nest on the sidewalk leading to the kitchen.  And last year the bees stung my brother about seven or eight times while we have removing old boards around the shed.  My theroy is spray and run, and run like hell.  Stalling only makes you a stationary target so spray and spray some more and after midnight if there's a hole opening in the ground, pour about ten buckets of water in the ground and spray more more more. Maybe by then, the yellow jackets will get the idea and move on.  One can only hope.

Yellow Jackets remain an curio though. While mowing on Sunday, I did see about ten of them buzzing around the lawnmower trying to sting that.  They're also persistant in the way they attack, even though I had just about used up most of the Yard Guard spraying them and cussing out the can when it jammed up.  I'm sure the neighbors got a hoot of watching the crazy old dude running around the yard smacking the ground twenty times in ten seconds with a broom and hoping he don't get zapped in the ass.  Geezus, why doesn't these fucking bees go bother the neighbors, why us?   We got a ditch, next to the road, go there and you won't be bothered.  But next to the house?!?  No fucking way, uh uh.  Move on down the road.
Followup, the next day, the holes in the sidewalk were covered up, a quick fix but I didn't see much happening, did get the stray smaller yellow jackets and if they stayed around that area too long, they got sprayed.  They seem to be the thickest around the 2 oclock range to which I sprayed five of the bigger Yellow jacket with more cans of Raid that i gotten last night.   So far, the entrance to the hole in the yard hasn't been breached but if it had, plan b would have been put in place, which would be ten boiling buckets of soapy water and a copy of Metal Machine Music to keep them out.

And then they can buzz off.

While driving last night I saw something buzzing to the side of me and then I realized it was a praying mantis.  I wouldn't mind seeing a few Praying Mantis around the house area, I think they're so cool.  So anyway, I managed to scoot the bug off the road and drove a half block before stopping and realizing that Mr Mantis was hanging on the side of the cardoor!  But the good samarian crabb did put the mantis on a tree branch and saved it from being a splat on somebody's windshield.  I have to say that when I did come back from AZ, I was greeted by a praying mantis on a side window of the Airport.  Such fun bugs, I'd be happy to share a hole in the yard with them around rather than angry Yellow Jackets.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week-Smarter, Older, Wiser...

Than the idiots in the White House and who's running for President.  Republicans sure don't have a clue in anything but bailing out Wall Street. If the Great Depression Part Two ain't here it's sure is a start.
From what I have read nobody cares much for the VP Psycho Palin.  Definly from Rosie and Margaret Cho.  And for that rare occasion I do agree with Rosie.

Nice of Southwest Airlines to broadcast commercials on regular TV.  Only problem is if you want to fly Southwest Airlines, ya have to leave the fucking state.  Defeats the sense of purpose on that.  At least fly Allegiant Airlines nonstop to Vegas, Phoenix or Florida and hope they add flights to Seattle (to which I doubt they will).

The Top Ten of The Week.  Unfortunately  when I got my car fixed, my brother put a radio with a cd player that skips on every damn CD I put in, so I can't listen to the player.  Unless I take the discman and get some headphones.  I give my brother an A for effort but may as well return the old player back in the car.  The discman is a bit cumbersome but it never skips and doesn't scratch up the cd either.

1.  Forever-Neu! 1973  Kraut rock from a couple guys that started out in Kraftwerk but then left to form this odd band.  They seemed  to inspire Radiohead in some way but Neu! may be a bit too odd for classic rock taste.  I review them so you don't have to, and BTW, the first three Neu! albums have been reissued once again for your listening pleasure.  Sometimes I love me some weird Kraut rock. You have to hear side two of Neu! 2 to believe it.

2.  Broken, Beaten and Scarred-Metallica 2008  They're back and thrashing harder than ever.  One thing I must say about the new Metallica album is that it IS LOUD.  Sure ain't no Load or Black Album.

3.  Like To Get To Know You-Spanky And Our Gang 1967  No top ten in the world would have  Neu! to Metallica to Spanky And Our Gang in any setting.  And to further complicate things, this song was played on KAHM.FM, the beautiful music station.  Don't ask KAHM to play Neu!

4.  What's On My Mind-Kansas 1976  If memory serves me well, I think this was the follow up to Carry On Wayward Sun and a bit more poppier too.

5.  Hum Along And Dance-Rare Earth 1973 RIP Norman Whitfield who produced this song and also was famous for getting the funk to the Temptations and made Gladys Knight And The Pips rock out.  It's been a rough year for musicians moving on to the other side of life.

6.  Days Like These-Asia 1989  Top ten hit from the original lineup who reformed during the Then And Now sessions and then half assed till this year when they put together Phoenix, their first album since Astra.  John Payne never seems to get any respect.

7.  Backwater Blues-BB King 2008  83 years old and still plays the blues.  As they say, timeless.

8.  Eat The Rich-1983 Krokus  Did ya know that the original lineup of Krokus reformed to play some reunion dates in Denmark, or was it Switzerland?  Either way it was too far for me to really go there.

9.  Ocean Drive-The Telescopes 1992 One of many bands signed to Creation Records and somewhat of a distant cousin to My Bloody Valentine, they were definly a shoegazer band.  To which I'm sure most of, if not all of you have never heard of.

10.  Earache My Eye-Cheech And Chong 1974 and finally to celebrate the reunion of our favorite druggies, this was featured in the movie Up And Smoke. And probaly was the inspiration for Spinal Tap as well.
This had to redone thanks again to My Space wonderful unexpected errors.Good Old My Space, A big assed Unexpected error in itself.

Reissue of the week

The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles (EMI)

Credit the Chipmunk Movie for the reinterest in back catalog of Simon, Theodore and Alvin as they tackle the songs of the Beatles.  The album isn't that hard to find on vinyl but most copies that I have seen were scratched up and played to the tilt.  Big shot engineer Dave Hassinger engineered this and those who are familar with the albums of the 60s would have heard his sound.  Lots of echo and treble and sometimes Alvin does sound shrill.  But overall, they're mostly straight ahead versions of the Fab Four.  If you feel like a karoke version of the songs, you can turn off the left speaker (or is it right?) and you too can sing in with the fun.  Don't ask Best Buy for a copy, better to find it at the local Wally World.  A bit slight nowadays but it is a bit of fun and not a lot of goofing around from Alvin.  Which is a bit of a letdown come to think of it, but the kids would get a kick out of it for about four plays.
Grade B
Pick hits: PS I Love You, Please Please Me

John Hiatt-Same Old Man (New West)

Older and more gruffer, John continues to put out decent sounding albums.  He also sings a bit more offkey on the title track but once in a while he can still rock out when he wants to, Which isn't too often.
Grade B plus

Pick hits: Let's Give This Love A Try, Old Days, Cherry Red.


BB King-One Kind Favor (Geffen)

BB King turned 83 Tuesday (the 16th) and although his voice has shown a bit more age than last album, he can still shout them out.  Perhaps the most blues based album of his career (sixty years onward)  King rediscovers blues classics from the likes of Howlin Wolf, T Bone Walker, Lonnie Johnson and Rev Gary Davis and others.  It can be a tribute to all the original bluesmen or it can be a summerization of a long and storied music career but on the concert scene, BB isn't slowing down.  He and Willie Nelson are our two musical institutions, they continue to put out better than anything new music albums and they still teach the young ones how to do it, with style and grace and it does help that another T Bone (John Henry), Burnett could produce it with the style and grace that makes this critic go wow.  I think for a bonus album that they should have simply recorded BB with Dr John accomply him only  since the interplay between BB and the good Doctor is stellar and at least the recording isn't too loud and compressed which seems to be the norm.  So can 80 year old bluesmen still play the blues like it was long ago?  Why yes, yes indeed (and it might even get one or two of the young un's to seek out the originals and see what the blues was all about.
Grade A minus

Suggested cuts: How Many More Years, Backwater Blues, Tomorrow Night

RIP Rick Wright of Pink Floyd
RIP Don Julio, Smoochy

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When Bad Things Happen To Good People

I tend to be a old traditionist.

I have a old 1994 Corsica with a casette player but I have a trusty old Discman that has a adapter that can let me listen to cds. My brother, (God bless him) while working on a brakeline that broke, decided that I needed a upgrade and stuck a car player with a built in CD player to which was very nice of him.

Unfortly, the CD player sucks. I tried about five cds of varying quality and shape into the player and it didn't matter what CD was in there, it skipped on the first song, from a scratched up Waylon Jennings best of, to a Manfred Mann Cd that was brought new and a used copy of Delta Moon's last album. Each and every CD skipped on the first song.

Told my brother, nice effort but he should reconsider putting the cassette player back in the car.

I may be a old traditionist but I know what works.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Carlos Zambrano Pitches No Hitter, We Didn't See It

I missed it thanks to WGN and their wimpy assed programming.

Congrats Carlos for throwing the first no hitter since Milt Pappas 1972 nono against Montreal.

You Can Catch It All On WGN (bullshit)

The Cubs and Astros Sunday night game from Miller Park in Milwaukee will be seen on WGN-TV in Chicago only, not on WGN America. ESPN has a Sunday night exclusive window for the baseball, but Major League Baseball and ESPN have graciously allowed us to bring the game to Chicago.
For Cub fans outside Chicago, depending on the weather in Chicago for the White Sox and Tigers telecast, ESPN may be doing "look-ins" on our coverage throughout the night.
.....
It seems in this day and age that the cable watchers get screwed out of watching baseball anymore. TBS shows games that are blackouts most of the time here and The Superstation WGN ain't so much a superstation but rather a station that's no different than any other cable channels.  Unfortly, due to ESPN excusiveness, which isn't saying much since ESPN would  rather show SportsCenter repeats up the arse rather than the day baseball games that they used to show years ago.  But WGN Chicago is much different than the Superstation WGN which is more concern of showing America's Funniest Videos rather than the days of yore which you could see most of Cub games before Cable got too full of iself and big money and infocommercials took over.

Yes it would been nice to see Big Z throw a no hitter but alas that different happen.  WGN Chicago TV although mostly a CW station still manages to show a few more Cub games than the Baloney that Superstation WGN is the place for baseball for the Sox n Cubs.  Bullshit.  In a perfect world, like about twenty years ago, there was more baseball and more programming on less channels.  Nowadays we have more channels but less programming and higher prices due to "programming'.

What other line of bullshit are they going to feed us?

Congrats Big Z.  Too bad we didn't get to see it thanks to Hurricane Ike and the money grabbing basturds of ESPN and WGN.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rock n Roll and Rick Cicalo

Yesterday, Rick Cicalo was laid to rest in Washington Iowa after dying of cancer. He was 54.

Fifty four years doesn't seem like a long time if you live life. The older we get the faster time flies and visable changes happen. Such as balding or gray hairs, or a pot belly getting bigger as time flies.

Rick was mayor of Washington since 2005 but before that was one of the premier bass players in the state. Playing alongside Bo Ramsey and The Backsliders for years while before that with Patrick Hazell with the storied Mother Earth Blues Band to which Ramsey was part of. In fact Cicalo with Steve Hayes on drums were one of the best rhythm sections to ever come out of the state of Iowa, or from the midwest. Cicalo also played on recordings with Dave Moore, Dave Zollo and the legendary Greg Brown.

The Mother Earth Blues Band was a bit too early for me but there remains a retrospective CD that I found at a pawnshop for a couple dollars and it gives a peek into the shows of Hazell and the ME Blues Band, a perfect example of white boy blues done with a Midwestern flair. That's the problem of being in a Midwestern state such as Iowa; nobody has a clue that there has always been great music going on. But around 1982, Hazell broke up the band and Cicalo cast his lot with Bo Ramsey's Backsliders (no relation to the Backsliders of the late 90s, they were from North Carolina) and Ramsey recorded a bunch of albums in the 80s and 90s. Cicalo can also be heard on the Ramsey blues tribute Stranger Blues which came out in 2005.

Perhaps Cicalo's greatest achivement turned out to be the mayor of Washington Iowa. From the newswire...
During his shortened tenure, Cicalo was an advocate for downtown improvements and the city's library. Cicalo was also a supporter of PAWS & More, Washington County's non-profit animal shelter.After noticing it had fallen into disrepair, Cicalo launched an effort to refurbish the grave of Ola Babcock Miller, the Washington native who began what became the Iowa State Patrol while she was the state's secretary of state in 1933. The gravesite was renewed, and a dedication held in August 2006.

When I heard about his passing, I didn't put two and two together till I read further that he was part of the Iowa City music scene before becoming Mayor. And that his two and half years (and then some) as mayor he did turn around the fortunes of Washington. He probaly could have done it in Washington DC as well but Rick was first and foremost a Iowan who cared a lot about the state and town and the music scene.

He will be missed.

More about Patrick Hazell and the ME Blues Band
http://www.patrickhazell.com/mablues.html

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week-Death Magnetic And Other Songs

METALLICA-Death Magnetic (Warner Bros)
As if Bob Rock never happened, Metallica go back to days of ..and Justice For All and Master Of Puppets to make their most aggressive album in twenty years. Ten songs clocking over seventy minites with twisted thrash metal, one wonders what would have happened had Rick Rubin got hold of them before Load.  Not that Load was a complete waste of time, I did enjoy that album a bit more than the black album but ReLoad regressed and I passed on St Anger due to scalding reviews.  Kirk Hammett is soloing once again, and the stop start of the songs give a rush not seen since (need I say it) Master Of Puppets. Suicide and Redemption does drag a bit too long but the guys haven't been this hungry and inspired since (.........)

AND IT'S LOUD TOO.  So give em a hand guys, they deserve it (despite their napster hating ways) ;-)
Grade A minus

Suggested Cuts: Judas Kiss, The Day That Never Comes, That Was Your Life

Fall in Iowa, finally we get some beautiful sunsets, clear blue skies that you can see forever and the peacefulness that makes living here tolerable.  It was seven years ago today that we had weather like this but it was a day that forever changed the way life was.  We remember the World Trade Center and the brave people who lost their lives due to braindead zealots.  Always and forever may they be in a better afterlife.
Now the tunes of the week.

1.  The Sound Of Your Voice-38 Special 1991  Their attempt to be Survivor, the band not the reality show that is.  Max Carl have never sounded out of place in a Southern Rock band.

2.  Leaving On A Jet Plane-The Mitchell Trio 1967  The debut of the John Denver written song.  Denver replaced Chad Mitchell as lead singer and songwriter of this folk trio and this was their last album.  Collector's Choice Music actually reissued this on CD a few years ago but I did find a decent copy of the Reprise album.  The Chad Mitchell Trio was second only to the Kingston Trio in the folk rock moment but lost chances and dumbass label heads render these guys to the forgotten bands of the 60s.  John Denver actually did very well himself as a solo artist before a ill fated plane ride command him for the ages.
3.  Just To Satisfy You-Waylon and Willie 1981  Originally Waylon did this years before he redid it with Willie and they got a top ten hit.  And The Townedgers have been playing around with this song for a possible release in the future.

4.  Stranded-Manfred Mann Earth Band 1980  Trevor Rabin, later of YES fame would produced this album for the Earth Band and it became a FM classic here simply of the title Stranded In Iowa.  And of course you know us Iowans love to hear songs promoting our state.  Just look at the fame of Slipknot if you don't agree with me.  Anyway, Chance was a hard to find CD that you can sell on Ebay and get at least 30 bucks from some desperate Iowan but Water Music has reissued this with bonus tracks.  Despite Stranded, For You and a cover of The Brains' Heart In The Street, the rest of the album sucks.  BTW, what happened to the reissue only American Beat Records?  Seems like nothing has come out lately from that label.

5.  Howdy Neighbor Howdy-Porter Wagoner 1963  Porter Wagoner was a Nashville oddity.  He could sing songs such as this number or Good Time Was Had By All with the happy call and response and he could sing sappy stuff too.  But he was also famous for singing some of the more morbid songs too.  The First Mrs Jones, is about a stalker ex husband who offs his ex, The Rubber Room was about being committed in a Psycho Rode and the Cold Hard Facts Of Life, finds out that some dude is going over to do his wife and he finds out and catches them and kills them and gets life in prison.  And this all made top ten on the country charts back in the 60s.  Back when country music was a real as life got and none of this Nashville hack crap that Carrie Underwood or The Lost Trailers shove down your throat.  Think The Lost Trailers would sing Cold Hard Facts Of Life?  Not while they're on BNA records.  Gawd, I miss Porter and his real country music.

6.  Hoedown-Emerson, Lake And Palmer 1972  Every time I hear this song I think of Robert Mitchem's Beef commercial.  And this ELP song came from a 8 track that I had of them.  8 Tracks, the cutting edge of the early 70s. Click.

7.  Set Me Free-Danny Wilde 1988  One half of The Rembrants going the pop rock route.  And Any Man's Hunger is a very good album although Danny sounds a bit too Bon Jovi ish.  But really I love this album enough to get a extra copy when I was in AZ.

8.  Fever Shot-Linn County 1969  Hometown band makes album number two for Mercury Records and get legendary status in the state.  Doesn't mean it's all that great, it just shows you where the Hippy Dippy blues came from.  This song gets regular play on Beaker Street.

9.  A Few Words In Defense Of This Country-Randy Newman 2008 Pretty much means what it says.  Worst president in our lifetime and there have been worse ones (Harding, Cooledge comes to mind but your opinion will vary). And it might get worse if McCain and the female Cheney become the new occupiers.
10.  I'm Going Home-Ten Years After 1967  From Undead, their second album and not the Woodstock version although I think the Undead version is easier to take.  Alvin Lee is a pretty good guitar player but I tend to think his lyrics are tossed off.  Not Greshwin or Harold Arlen but good enough for rock and roll.
And finally, a sad passing to tell you.  Rick Cicalo, the mayor of Washington Iowa but used to play bass in Bo Ramsey and The Backsliders and other notable Iowa City bands passed away due to a short illness.  He was 54.  As a drummer I tend to disagree with Jim Musser's assessment that Rick and Steve Hayes were the finest rhythm section ever to come out of Iowa, but I do agree that they made a excellent drum and bass combo to The Backsliders and The Mother Earth Blues Band.  He will be missed.

http://rscrabb.blogspot.com/

Diggy Kat comments:

 Waylon? what now? i could have sworn i heard his name! lol

i never knew John Denver was in The Mitchell Trio...well never heard of them! i do have a John Denver greatest hits though! i always swoon for Sunshine On Your Shoulders =)  (Crabby: Chad Mitchell was way before your time bro!, I think he may have been ahead of my time too).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Crabb Bits:VMA's, Jessie Simpson, Linn County, Flood Follies

Gone and died years ago.

http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2008/09/08/the-vmas/
I don't watch MTV unless they have Spongebob on around midnight at times.  I guess it's a way to bring out Britney to parade around the world and give her a worthless VMA.  VH1 and MTV are no longer music releted.  Just a waste of reality crap that nobody gives two shits about.  It's not about the music anymore and it hasn't for the past ten years.  Without TMZ and Perez Hilton, Britney would be dancing on a pole to make her living.

I'm thinking that Jessica Simpson might have a better luck with a country career but you know she's still a vamp.  While watching her on GAC's Opry Live, her funpuppies were about ready for climb out of her skimpy Daisy Duke shirt.  I don't exactly feel sorry about her love life, just wait till she's forty eight and in our situation but technially she still going around thinking of herself as a sex symbol.  I'm sure her country album will do well but history will show that like anything else, it won't stay on the charts very long.  Just curio sales and then poof.  And on a side note I don't think Jewel is washed up, it just the fact that cd sales are not as they once were.

Best Buy has now chopped down their CD aisle in half and added more DVD spots.  And Best Buy is getting piss poor in terms of having what you want.  They didn't have the new BB King album so I couldn't review it.

What is it with city government when the mayor of Cedar Rapids falls asleep during the meetings?  Ain't y'all glad that you voted for this new government which has fallen flat on its face with the Epic Surge of 2008.  Ole Rip Van Halloren says that the garbage and debis from the floods have been hauled away?  Well I guess that she doesn't venture too much into the Czech Village part of CR, or around my old neighborhood on 16th ave.  Or go into Time Check, or come down the hill on First Avenue.  Yup, it's hard to stay awake during any kind of meetings for myself but when you're mayor and have to oversee the major event of a lifetime and can't stay awake, then perhaps you better either drink more Redbull or pop a Viviran.  People who have lost their livelihood tend to take a dim view of a napping official.  But then again if anybody votes for McCain and the Psycho Palin for President and VP will get to see a real case of demetria and Alzheimer's in action.  The more I hear about Palin, the more I'm thinking she's a female Putin or Socialist.  The freedoms of our world is slipping away, between corruption, hurricanes and floods...

Well another weekend wasted on The Cubs and their falling all over themselves. The great Kerry Wood blew another save and the Reds came back to win.  Fucking Cubs had a chance to gain a game on the Brewers who got smoked 10 to 1 but the Wild Wood return to walk two batters and Ronny Cedeno ole'd a ball for the tying runs.  It's easy to blame the infielder for errors but there's no excuse and no defense for walks.  Ten years ago, Wood pitched the best game as he one hit and stuck out 18 Astros and that qualified him to stick around all these years.  But you never know what you're going to get when Wood pitches and once again Wood was Wild, walking Reds here and there.  Get it together Cubs before you become the biggest choke job yet. 


Record from the past.

Linn County-Fever Shot (Mercury)

I only mentioned these guys since they are from Cedar Rapids and managed to score a recording contract with Mercury for one album and Phillips for another and featured the late Steven Miller ..boards.  The Mercury albums are hard to come by and I did find a somewhat playable album to hear this band.  And I can see where the Truth and Janey got their influence at, or for that matter most of the blues based bands from this area.  Iowa doesn't have very many bands that break into the big time, most of which only scored independent labels with the rare exception of Slipknot who has managed to live ten years on Roadrunner Records, a major feet in itself.

Perhaps it's the mystic and legend of Linn County rather than the recordings themselves for I found that Fever Shot to be somewhat a dated piece of hippie blues and blooze to which they kinda remind me of Sir Lord Baltimore and Blue Cheer with Miller shouting through the hippy dippyness.  Perhaps I didn't care when the record skipped on their remake of Girl Can't Help It and most of side one didn't offer much, although they did progressive on Suspended.  Side two has their signature song Fever Shot which is psycho blues and and a jazzy take on Lonely Avenue and Miller adds two covers from both Sonny Boy Williamsons, John Lee and Rice Miller. Impressive yes, but bascially the album has dated very badly and shows it's 1969 roots.  If I ever find the Phillips album I'll take a listen to that too, I do have a single from that album and it seems to be a bit more inspired.  Fever Shot the album on the other hand is legendary for the fact that hometown band goes to Chicago and makes a major album and it is a cult classic.  In fact, play this alongside No Rest For The Wicked from Truth and Janey and you'll get a inkling of how Cedar Rapids played the psycho blues. Which may or may not be worth hearing if you're not into psycho blues
Grade C

Album tracks that did get played on Beakerstreet or the underground stations; Fever Shot, Lonely Street, Suspended.


On the subject of FEMA taking away the portapotties in the flood affected areas, Carl offers up this suggestion.

I suggest we organize a community effort to fund replacement port-a-potties. We could call it Cedar Rapids Adopt-a-Pot, or CRAP. Donors would receive port-a-pottie shaped buttons which say, "I gave a CRAP". If you wanted to break it down, businesses could donate via "Corp-CRAP" and residents could donate via "Cit-CRAP". Donation levels would be One-Ply for a single pot, Two-Ply for two potties or Wet Wipe for more than two potties. Group efforts would be Friends And Relatives Together (FART).

Friday, September 5, 2008

RIP Steak And Shake, Mi Casa 5 Years after

The Steak And Shake over by Wally World was decommissoned and closed by the powers to be.  Not that I used to go eat there, in fact I think I ate there about three times in the ten years it was there.  Steak And Shake had some great places over in Galesburg to which we would stop before going to Grandma's in Lincoln.  But I never cared much for those shoestring french fries that they had.

Time has flown by.  It was five years ago that Mi Casa in Mount Vernon closed their doors.  They were the best Mexican place in the area and unfortly, the location didn't suit them very well.  They were across the tracks on highway one. and they actually knew me by name.  But for almost four and half years, Mi Casa managed to bring out the masses with great burritos, chimachungas and had they stayed in business, I'd be weighing three hundred pounds. An old classmate of mine, Jenny Palmer used to bring her family down there to eat.  Their food was so great that a engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad stopped his train and placed an order before going down the line.  Today, Mi Casa's building was torn down and is now a storage place, but once upon a time for the best Mexican food, Mi Casa was second to none.

The Kum And Go on C Ave/Bowling Street was torn down and the first avenue Dairy Queen to which made the headlines as the Cedar River shallowed it up during the forty days and nights rains and thirty one foot floods, also will not reopened, two more businesses done in by the Epic Surge of 2008.

As of this writing The Cedar and Wapsipinicon Rivers which turned everything into oceans and lakes are now around four feet deep.  In fact, you can probaly walk across the Wapsi at Matsell's.  Hard to believe that three months ago, the river was raging but seems to be drying up.  But I suspect come springtime, we'll have enough rains to get them back up to normal levels.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Top Ten: Go Kernels Go Away Gustav

According to the weather bureau, the remains of Hurricane Gustav will be sideswiping here tomorrow so it will probaly rain all day.  Of course the crybabies here are crying for rain and looking at the Cedar River of late, it is drying up, hard to believe almost three months ago it was everywhere you didn't want it to be.  There's a house about a half mile down highway 1 and you can see the mudline of where the Cedar was at, about up to the windows.  Anyway, the streetlights are back on around Czech Village but it still a ghost town.  Life is slowly coming back more away from CV, the Sinclair gas station has reopened and Sav-A-Lot might be opened again in October.

I didn't get a chance to see the C R Kernels play all year till they made the playoffs and won game one tonight 3-0.  Jeremy Moore hit a solo home run, another run was scored on a suicide squeeze and three pitchers combine on a shutout.  If they win one more game at Clinton, then I might make it to another playoff game next week.  But I recall last year, they won game one and then dropped the next two.   Nevertheless when I go see the Kernels play in the playoffs they are 2-0.


Russ called me at 1 today to tell me that his house caught on fire.   It made the news.  Sad to say that two of the cats didn't make it out due to smoke inhalation. It also took forever for the insurance company to pay out for the losses and still causing havoc to my best friend's life.  They claim he started the fire, everybody knows that's bullshit. Don Julio was a vary funny cat, Smoochy, a fat pumpkin cat that Deb adored a lot.

And now time for your musical top ten and history lesson.

1.  Toot Toot Tootsie (Goodbye)-Max Roach/Buddy Rich 1959  World's best drummer ever Buddy Rich and he takes on Jazz's best drummer Max Roach and plays to a draw.  Lots of mad drum solos left and right.  But the one thing I noticed about Buddy Rich's bands is that they play wild uptempo swing jazz and not exactly rock and roll.  Rock and roll is not Buddy's forte but he's so damn good you can't help but listen to try to figure out what the hell he's playing.  Max Roach is more laid back but pair him up with Buddy, and he's bashing them too.  Too bad that Buddy wasn't alive to take on Keith Moon (actually he was but decided to pass on Keith since he was more wild than Buddy ever was) or Neil Peart or Gavin Harrison.  From the Rich vs Roach album to somehow the halfwit from Rolling Stone Reviews gave it a one star rating.   Add three more stars to it and for the bidding drummer check it out if you can find it.

2.  21st Century Digital Boy-Bad Religion 1994  Not all real rock stations are alike.  I'm sure KRNA never plays anything from Bad Religion but KUPD does. And they played this song.  Not that I listen to "real rock" stations but if they do play Bad Religion I'll stick around.

3.  X Ray Spex-Starz 1978  Minor rock band that got signed to Rock Steady productions (at that time part of the KISS empire) and made four albums for Capitol and then disappeared awhile.  The Capitol albums got reissued thru Metal Blade in the 90s and this decade moved over to Rykodisc.  Had their album Attention Shoppers which had this little ditty.  They were pop metal at best.  In fact two members of that band played in The Looking Glass who you know as the Brandy Your A Fine Girl band.  However Joe Dube didn't join the Looking Glass till number two and played on their other top forty single Jimmy Loves Mary Anne.  Some useless triva for y'all.

4.  Amos Moses-Jerry Reed 1971 RIP.  Jerry was one of the best guitar pickers in Nashville and had a few hits for RCA in the 60s and 70s but he's better known as The Snowman on those Smokey And The Bandit movies that Russ and I used to go sneak at the theaters and watch them twice in a row.  Jerry also starred with Dom Deluise in the 1980 Hot Stuff, which starred them as undercover cops opening up a pawnshop to trap villians.  Jerry died at age 71 due to empaesyma (sic), another victim done in by cigarettes.

5.  Easy To Slip-Little Feat 1972  I can't tell you what I think of the early Feat years when Lowell George led them.  They had some great songs but spotty albums too quirky for my liking.  When Bob Lefsetz talked about them in his blog, he got me interested to check the album out again and this lead off song is super great but Rhino fucked up by not putting it on their best of.  It is on the box set and the sampler that came out.  I tend to enjoy Little Feat now more than I did when I was a teenager.

6.  Three Days-Thermadore 1996 Another band that made one album that you can find for fifty cents at selected pawnshops and the record wasn't that great but the first two songs off this album (Monkey on Rico) are excellent. Originally a band made up of members from Mary's Danish and Rob Rule, both bands making forgettible albums.  Could be wrong but I'm not about to go look for them, I've heard enough subpar albums in this lifetime (and the Rob Rule album did suck).

7.  Say It-Voices Of The Beehive 1991  The followup to their Let It Bee album was called Honey Lingers and it bombed and copies can be found for fifty cents at the pawnshop but album number two wasn't that bad although a lot more uneven.  Hugh Jones seemed to get more mileage out of them since he produced this track and the girls do have a heavenly pair of vocals.  Next to the Dance Hall Crashers they were probaly my favorite girl band although The Beehive made a crappy album Sex And Misery a couple years later on Discovery Records.  But then again I bought their three albums for a grand total of 2 dollars and fifty cents, a bargain within itself, but still Let It Bee remains their best album and the other two you can probaly live without.

8.  Last Time I Saw Her-Robert Plant 2002  You know his stuff with Led Zep but his solo career was a lot more interesting than the other two Zep heads but I find Dreamland, the album which this song appears on to be bloated and tuneless and can't understand the high ratings it gets.  One of the few times that the remix that is the bonus track on the reissue of this album is better than the album version.  Nevertheless, his pairing with Alison Krauss is much better than Dreamland, the 2002 album he did for Universal but the next album Mighty Rearranger was much better.

9.  Runaround Man-Motorhead 2008  And more vital then the Rolling Fucking Stones...and Magazine.  From the new album Motorzier Diggy!  New Motorhead dude!

10. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (edited special edit radio mix) Negativland 1991?  And finally the odd song of the week.  This band managed to get a radio check of Casey Kasem throwing a few F bombs about the band U2 and these jokers managed to re edit everything to combine a interesting  collage of music and chat.  I guess U2 didn't mind it that much but Island Records and Kasem himself raised a big stinkbomb to the point of sueing this band and the songs in question disappeared....till ten years later when the practial jokers of Negativland reissued it as These Guys Are From England And Who Gives A Shit and as of this writing still in print.  After a while it does get tedious to listen to the same soundbits for sixty five minites but here, they stuck on sound effects to cover up the naughty words and it's funny as hell.  At the end, fast forward the cd to about 15 seconds to the end and hear Casey screw up a sound byte.  American Top Forty at Two....FK.  Appently U2 isn't one of Casey's favorite bands.
That's the letter U and the numbero 2.


More about Negativland

http://www.negativland.com/

And happy birthday to Paul Harvey who turned 90 today and still delivers the news.  Also, 82 years young BB King may have turned in his finest album in years with One Kind Favor to which I'll look at later on the month.  But Paul Harvey News And Comment have been a family mainstay for 30 plus years. As Paul Harvey would say, Good Day!

Diggy Kat sez:
 omg! Russ' house caught on fire?!?! EEP! >.< so glad everyone was ok!!

i really need to check out some Buddy Rich stuff! soooo much music and only 24 hours in a day! GRR!
yay! Bad Religion, that's one of my all-time favourite songs by them!!

Starz! i have their self-titled cd and Violator lol

Jerry Reed...man =( RIP. i was listening to Old Dogs today (was it 'cuz Waylon was apart of it? um...no? lol) i am sooooo glad i never tried smoking!!! hell i gotta be as healthy as possible since i'm going to be 150!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hot Air, McCain, Arizona Wrap Up, Motorhead

The sad reality is that it's time to get back to work and to the crappy printers and the HBP and stress.  Looks like today will be the last of the hot days before a big cold front goes through and reminds us that summer is just about over.

Looks like Hurricane Gus wasn't going to be the Hurricane Goddam that we thought it would be but like Fay, whereever its at you're going to get lots of rain.  Which is why I'll never move to the gulf coast.  But before we celebrate good riddence to Gus, there are three other storm systems out there that going to become hurricanes so there's Hanna, Ike and Josephine.  BTW it's the peak week for hurricanes. Give thanks to Gus for sparing the oil wells and giving the finger to OPEC and the oil barons.  But I'm sure the OPEC will find ways of trying to keep the oil prices high.

With the last of the hot humid air here, it gives me the longing to return back to the deserts, even to the blistering dry hot air of Bullhead City or the cooler temps of Kingman.  I still consider Crookton Point Bridge as sacred as the Chain Of Rocks Bridge in St Louis.  If you're a follower of the Route 66 mystic, you'll know what I mean.  Too bad I live too far away to escape to that desolate place out there.

Back to reality and what goes on.  On the subject of McCain's running mate and her 17 year old daughter having one in the oven and ready to pop out, what does this have to do with the price of food or gas other than one more mouth to feed.  I swear politics are worser than Perez Hilton or TMZ.  Nobody has viable solutions for the problems of the world but they'll sure dig up dirt on somebody's teenage daughter having sex and getting knocked up.  News flash Geraldo Rivera, everybody has sex including sleezebag FOX cocks.  And Palin's daughter will get married to the daddy and probaly divorced three years and three kids later but that is life.  And I tend to fear hurricanes and tornados more than I do with dumb kids not using protection. (Of course it didn't last Bristol and the creature she messed around parted ways, but Dude Johnson continued to be fruitful and multiply with the next one, and the next one.....)

Polenia's Meat Market in Czech Village will not reopen.  A victim from the 40 days and nights of rains and floods in the spring.  It's a shame, they had some of the finest meats you can buy.  Almost makes you want to go  vegatarian.


When I was going through shops in Phoenix to find things, I had a bad time having a sneeze attacks or having a runny nose that wouldn't stop when I was at Bookman's, AZ's answer to Half Priced Books although there is one in Phoenix but didn't go look for it.  I think I sneezed about 9 times saturday at the one at 19th Ave.  I'm not sure the dryer air helped my sinus problems but I do know when you run the AC all day down there and night the damn nose dries up.  One night too much AC had me doing the shivers.  Not a lot of fun if you ask me, so I turned the temp up a couple degrees and got sweated out.  It's a dry heat most of the time (except monsoon season to which it felt like the midwest in june) but if you shut the AC off for five minites, it becomes a sweatbox.  I do like staying at the Quality Inn in Kingman but they didn't give me a compliment bag after I left and there's no eating places within a mile of it.  Used to be one called Nick's on 66 but Nick has gone down the road someplace else and the building is empty.  Still, next time in Kingman I'll be there, as long as they have a working computer so I can clean out the junk emails.

The Cubs are stinking up the tube once again. Everytime I got to see them on TV they lost.  They better start getting their act together or Milwaukee might go past them.

RIP Killer Kowalski, one of the legends of wrestling.  He was 81.

I have reviewed 49 albums so far this year, the bulk of them coming the last two months. (actually 20).  So we might up the total to around 65 to 70 looks like but a lotta albums are coming out in digipaks and I'm not too crazy about reviewing stuff in digipaks.  Plus the compressed sound from the new albums sucks.  The new Blue Mountain albums are in digipaks, so is the new Motorhead and even though there have been glowing reviews about Lemmy's new CD, what I heard I thought sounded bland.  Sure it's in your face and it rocks but it doesn't rock like it did on the last album Kiss Of Death.  I'm sure after 30 years making the same album, you might lose a bit of inspiration at least a couple times and Motorizer seems to be that album of clunkiness.  Is it four stars as AMG has it? Definly not.  I'm thinking Mark Prindle had it better as he gave it a B.  If it comes up used perhaps then but it's not a high priority for me to get.  Sorry Lemmy.

I'm also thinking that somebody blew it on the Robert Plant Dreamland CD that I finally got around hearing after buying it in AZ.  It might be a two and half star album at best.  Plant has had some surprising albums (his last with Alison Krauss) and some disappointments (Jimmy Page on Walking To Clarksdale to which I'm thinking Steve Albini gave them a shitty mix on that album) but Dreamland even with the two boner cuts at the end is a slightly overrated album. Just like the new Charlatans UK album to which they touted it up so much on their My Space site you thought it would be the album of the year.  Then I heard it.  So you see kiddies, the reason why CD and music sales are down is that the quality of music of this age and time just isn't memorable and as disposible as last year's cellphone.  Even Kid Rock noticed that when he made his summertime record of the year All Summer Long, he referenced the beats from Werewolves of London and Sweet Home Alabama, the latter a great song but now overplayed to death.  Two years ago it was Gnarls Barkley with Crazy as Summer song of the year but I can't remember what passed for summer song of the year last year.  And that's why nobody remembers anything anymore in terms of song.  Shit the songs playing constantly in my head are from the 60s or 70s.  You might think Kid Rock is a asshole but he's a lot more rock and roll nowadays then what passes on rock radio.

I heard the new Slipknot song on KUPD last week and have to say I'm impressed that these guys  are actually rocking a bit more but that was only one song.  Corey Taylor does do good things sometimes with the Slipknotters and Stone Sour and he still calls Iowa home so I don't get on him.  Of course, being stuck in that fucking Des Moines traffic can make you think nasty thoughts and good to see that he got some gold records out of the process.  And I still think Slipknot can become a good prog rock band too when they all hit thirty and beyond, can you picture a 50 year old Slipknotter singing about skullbanging?!?

But then again the Des Moines traffic will do that to you.

As for why I didn't comment on the songs from last week, I was on a shared computer at the motel room and had a guy waiting for me to get off the computer so I just named the songs.  The next top ten will deal with what I heard out there and more songs of note.  I didn't add a top ten to the Yardbird's Roost last week, I took a week off over there and the readership over there has slipped a lot.  Top Tens are fun but when nobody comments on them after a while, it just becomes a personal list for me.  And I do enjoy a good conversation.

And finally for now, to name withheld out there, dating after age 40 is a hassle.  I'm sure Neil Hubbard and E harmony has somebody out there for somebody, but if you set the bar too high and expect too much, nobody gonna give you a second date or look.  Life is loneliness and here I'm alone about 70 percent of the time but I make the best use of my time by bargain hunting or discovering how to ride a bike.  If it happens fine, if not life shouldn't end due to bad relationships or what have ye.  Only you know what you want from life and from potential dating.  Compromise a little and see what happens, otherwise you might find yourself alone for a little while longer................................

Motorhead-Motorizer (SPV)
Thirty five years onward, the new Motorhead is like the last Motorhead is like the last one right till the first album that came out.  At 62 Lemmy still sounds like he was when he was 32 and I'm sure if he was 2 years old still would have that gravelpit voice that we all know and love.  When I first heard this at the music store I wasn't impressed but we can blame that on a subpar stereo they had up there or probaly in MP3 sound.  But it's still Motorhead bashing away with Lemmy's bass starting things out and then Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee follow behind, or Mikkey throws out a drum solo at the beginning of the song.  I think their last album Kiss Of Death was pretty good, and this does come close.  And they do vary their sound a bit more, with a Thin Lizzy shuffle beat on Back On The Chain.  And then....

Runaround Man is your standard lead off, Mikkey does a fill, the guyscome in and Lemmy bellows them out and adds some of the most ugly backing vocals to the song.  Rock Out is the long lost cousin to Ace Of Spades.  One Short Life is a bloozefest, reminds me of a staggering drunk at the bar.  The stop start of English Rose which turns out to be somewhat of a metal pop number (somthing like Christine from Kiss of Death).  Even adds a slide to Thousand Names Of God.  Perhaps the complaint is that Lemmy doesn't vary too much and some of the lesser songs are a bit tossed off and the ladies might be put off by the last chorus to Rock Out (with your cock out/impress your lady friends) but that shouldn't stop the Motorhead fans out there to jam away.  But with Motorhead what you hear is what you get, three chord rock and roll turned up to ten with distinct Lemmy vocals that we all know and love.  And if this a slight album as some of the critics out there might say, it still is miles ahead of the last Who or Rolling Stones album.  And even if Lemmy is still around ten or twenty years from now, he'll still look the same and sound the same unlike the Mick Jaggers or Roger Daltrys of the world.  And like AC/DC, Motorhead is still ROCK N ROLL, still guaranteed to piss off your parents...to which they probaly were listening to Ace Of Spades and pissing off their parents.  Motorizer might be a slighter than Kiss Of Death but it still rocks out.

Grade B plus

Bother your neighbors with: Runaround Man, A Thousand Names Of God, English Rose

Monday, September 1, 2008

Arizona Wrap Up 2008, Bill Melendez RIP

It's kind of a culture shock after being away from home for a week to live the life of a vagabond, driving on Arizona byways and pass-ways and lose myself into the desert skies and air.  I've drove 1,135 miles in my trip around Phoenix and up to the north country to Kingman and back.  So many people live there, the roads are congested when the sun is out and even if Sedona is good therapy for the zen crowd, the fucking traffic and one lane BS made it feel like rush hour on the Black Canyon Freeway.  Muzak lives on up there. KAHM 102.1 is that station and is used for that peaceful easy feeling while dealing with wall to wall traffic there.
http://www.kahm.info/


The other was KZKE 103.7 Route 66 Goodtime Oldies, to which they would play one or two overplayed oldies and then stick 10 minutes of public service commercials afterwards.  It moves over to 104.9 at Kingman.  Once upon a time, the good time oldies format was one reason of keeping music alive but all it does is replay the same 200 songs per day.  In reality kiddies, radio in the 50s and 60s played a little bit more music than what is out there now.  Somewhere on the radio wasteland Bennie And The Jets or The Joker is playing 24/7.  And as I said before, if we knew that these good time oldies would be played on a regular basis, the record collection would be a bit more thin.
Update 2015: KZKE is no different than of the Corporate Classic Rock and Oldies stations out there, basically covering the number 1 hits of the 60s and 70s without the lesser known songs that made oldies radio the way it used to be when AM radio was the rage.  The ads are misleading, I'm sure they don't have it all.  Basically this station reminds me of a Four Tops song that's perfect for Corporate Oldies/Rock and KZKE, it's the same old song. Even if it's based out Seligman Arizona, it sounds like nobody bothered to bring any more records to that place since 1975.

http://www.kgmn.net/KZKE.htm

The freedom of coming and going up around Kingman was to get away from the stress and strains of life here.  For a town of 20 thousand, Kingman is a bigger city then say of Marion since things are spread out.  Most of the convenience stores we know are around Strougten Hill (Sic) Road, or at the tail end of Andy Devine Blvd.  No Best Buy or Target but they do have a K Mart or Safeway although some fool thinks Hastings is their version of Best Buy.  It is so quiet walking on old 66 roadway over to the KFC/Long John Silvers and most of that part is in the dark.  It's so dusty around the poles that when I came back to the motel room, I looked in the mirror and see I have wiped so much dust around my face that I was painted white and looked like one of the guys from Slipknot.  No wonder the folk at KFC were freaking out a bit.  But even in the night, I still felt at home as hearing train whistles blowing off and on in the night that I rather prefer the lonesome lifestyle of downtown Kingman rather than the traffic jams of Sedona and Prescott, although while pretty from the mountains and red rocks, there's simply too many people and cars to live a long life there.

If Arizona, the final (?) tour ended up being, in the end it proved that the CD era is over.  That the pawnshops don't have the selection that they used to be, Hastings overprices their used stuff and even Zia's selection was hit and miss.  The internet may have killed off the independent record dealers but i did notice that Zia's record selection was bigger than the last time I was there. It would have been nice to get the Neu! 2 CD but since it's back in print, I can just as well order it online rather than trying to stuff another cd into the carryon.  Rockaway Records is now for the ages, they're history just like Wherehouse Music.  And the FYE stores that took over the Wherehouse franchise are beginning to feel like FYE stores, with pushy clerks bothering you every five minutes and it's a bit unnerving to see a security guard at the Tempe store.  Probably there to protect the clerks when angry customers come back to bitch bout the used cd that they bought for 8 bucks is scratched up.

Which leads me back to Crookton Overpass Bridge that I spent a couple hours at on the way and back to Phoenix.  The feeling of zen as you get out of the car and all you hear is the wind blowing through your hair, seeing high cirrus clouds float lazily by as you see thunderheads from the monsoons not being let in by the mountains surrounding the pass.  They tell me it doesn't rain all that much up around here.  And that was the reason why I came up from the valley below.  The perfect feeling of being alone without much traffic going by, to watch trains fly by below and thinking i can hang out here a while.  And wishing I can stay out there longer, maybe a lifetime if I could....................

A day later after coming back home, I still have a feeling of being a guest instead of being the occupant of home again and feeling a bit out of place.  I don't think I was missed all that much, there wasn't much in my inbox when I checked it Thursday and the TE website reminds me of being back at Crookton Pass, nobody came by to visit it.  I donno, I haven't posted much over there.  Nothing going on, nothing will be goin on for a while I guess.  I played a bit of Email tag with Russ here but I guess most of the myspacers are playing Gangsters and don't keep up with the latest dealings over here.  I didn't meet any Minglers out in the desert.   There were chances but nobody responded to any offers of meeting so I kept busy and did my zen thing around the high country.  But I couldn't get over the humidness of Mesa and the only time we got that hot dry heat was Bullhead City.

So here I am back home again, keeping up on the dealings of Hurricane Goddam (Gustav is such a dumbfuck name,  should have called it Gus, so I renamed it Goddam since all it's doing is making OPEC rich and destroying the gulf coast) and noticed that Judge Joe Brown has been replaced by the fucking Info-commercials at 11 at the Fox station.  And debating whether or not to return to a five day work week.  It's September now, the weather will be changing in a hurry, and this is the last official weekend of Summer, which began on Memorial Day during F5 Tornadoes and 40 days and nights of rains and floods.  Too bad the weather wasn't this nice at the beginning.

So life is back to what it was before escaping to Arizona.  I have a peaceful feeling but I do know that I'll be back to being a crabbapple when I head to work tomorrow. It's important to me to document things now, for if I don't, I won't remember them like I once did.  Despite heading and coming back with a banshee screaming kid and a punk rock daddy on the verge of being smacked around by angry customers, the trip once I got out of the airport was a pretty good trip.  Uneventful mostly, but that's the way I like it.
I'm sure if I go back to the desert be it Vegas or Phoenix, I'll return to Kingman and the Route 66 road to visit once again.  I think it was the only time I really smiled and meant it.


Bill Melendez made the Peanuts characters come to life with the TV shows and movies that starred Charlie Brown and the others.  He managed to keep them alive after Charles Schultz passed away.  The comics haven't been the same since the passing of Charles and now Bill.  He was 91.