Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Things To Do In 2009

The music has all been reviewed, the observations duly noted.  A few reminders to myself to do next year.
Review the Ashton Shephard album.  If Freedom Du Luc sez it's better than the James McMurtry album and if Miranda Lambert likes it, then perhaps it is worth a look.  But then again, I did take a listen to the songs on Amazon and though it's a nice record and worthy of praises, I just didn't see the need to rush down to Wally World before midnight to review it before the year is out.  Perhaps if I find a used copy, I'll give it the go ahead.

Take a more closer look to the recordings of Paul Kelly.  He's very big in Austrailia and a cult artist here.  I have some of his A and M albums and finding a 1998 album at Goodwill for two bucks makes me think that I'm missing a few pieces of the puzzle there. But I'm not about to blow fifty bucks on the latest import.  Which is why I didn't get to review the latest Living End album, it wasn't released in the US.

Watch a lot less Judge TV shows.  Always seems like I have been basising my day around Divorce Court, or Joe Brown or Judge Alex Ferrar.

Revisit the archives more often than I do.  I buy and buy but reserve time to listen to music less and less. And something ain't right on that equation.

Other final year thoughts to consider.

The FYE Store in Crossroads/Waterloo is closing so everything was off fifty percent.  Which meant that I got the Jesus And Mary Chain Power Of Negative Thinking box set for 30 bucks.  Which will leave Best Buy as the only place to go for new CDs and CDs Plus up there to find them used.  The pawnshops have nil for used CDs anymore.  Maybe they have gone by the way of 8 tracks.

Somebody didn't care much for Portishead 3, since I found it for two bucks at Goodwill used Monday and decided to revisit that record.  It sounds better with each new play, it sounds like a lost horror soundtrack but for some prevered reason it sounded good on the way home from Coralville.  I am also not that sure that Ray Davies last album was worth number ten on the ten best albums of this year.

The owners of the mexican restraunt in Sycamore Mall and the one in Independence are owned by the same people.  Irony at its mad best but when I was up at Indpendence last night at 7, I was the only one there.  As was Taco Time this afternoon.  I'd really like to see more people frequent Taco Time, cuz I rather not drive two and half hours to Ames for a crunchy taco.  And the manager up there is very nice,despite hearing the opposite from some disgrunted worker on break up there.

Perhaps next year I'll try to be a bit more selective in terms of finding music that nobody cares about, but I love a good two dollar bargain like y'all do.  Even in the age of downloading, I still remain impressed of what people get rid of in terms of cds and we all know that the next trip to Madison or AZ, I'll always find something that will make me go wow.  But as for you dear readers, you're free to pick and choose at your own free will.  Such is life and ain't it wonderful?

Happy new year y'all.

Replies from The Vinyl King.

 While I was doing my update to my pages I realized that my music buying has going in the toilet. I used to buy a ton of music in Reno, but this music wasteland I call Walla Walla is pathetic. Two music stores. One has a limited amount of music, and the other charges prices that you would think they were made of gold. The thrift shops have a non-existent music selection. Heck in Reno I could luck out once in awhile in a thrift shop. One place was five import Zeppelin, one place a ton of sealed or pristine Stax and Enterprise albums, and the list goes on. Most of my music has come through trades for albums I've been looking around for years.

Lizzy Williams (Liz Chaffe) says.

 Well, if you have to quit doing your Top 10 of the week so be long as you still do Blogs.
I like to read them and think that you should consider a Talk Radio Show for the local musicians in the most musically populated area near to you or like a College Radio Show.
Didn't you do that once before? Like recently?
Anyway, that's all I have to say. :)

Love ya Liz!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top Ten Of The Week-Last Call for 2008

Greetings one and all, all for one. 

We made it.  Another year another top ten.  Six years of giving y'all the insight of what the cd player was playing here on the crabb player.  You think ten songs, fifty two weeks a year comes out 520 songs but take into consideration 6 years of this and you come up with a amazing 3120 songs.  The mind boggles if we did a top thirty.

Everything has a beginning has a end.  Just as life is.  Or a tv show.  Or buying out the music stores, there's a beginning and there's a end.  Putting together a top ten does take a commitment and a dedication and a love for records to show the world what's in the player.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it didn't.  I did a top ten in the mingles' site one time and people looked at me as if I was a freak.  Sure didn't get any dates out of that mess.  But I know in the first two years of the Roose and one year at My Space I did managed to trade top tens with some of my good friends and everybody learned something new.   I didn't expect to get this far six years later.  I was surprised with myself it survived the first year.  Imagine my surprise when it made five years running.

I remember in my young age that The Gazette Newspaper would put out a KCRG Super 30 survey  an for all intent purposes I would clip them out and I did managed to save most of 1971.  It was fun to see what type of songs were on the list and sometimes when we all made the big trip downtown to Woolworth's I'd pick up the KLWW top 30 which varied just a bit but growing up me and my friends would fight to see what station we listen to, 1600 or 1450.  Back when music was great, back when we had AM stations that played the latest and sometimes sneek in a blast from the past.  Back then we all lived for the radio and the chance to run down to the record store to pick up the latest forty five.  And make up our own top ten lists.  I even did that when I was in the fifth grade, dedicated enought to put a top 30 of my own.  I had lots of ambition then.

My Top Ten was only a window to my world, an extension to share to you the wonders of what's out there besides the usual overplayed stuff that we got tired of long ago before the umpteeth classic rock station came on board.  Sometimes we all got a good laugh and good discussions on some of them.  Some weeks, I can go back as far as the 1920s for a selection as well as pick out a song from the latest.  All for the love of good music.  And hopefully got you my friends to seek out the album.  I know some tracks that some of y'all put down managed to get me to search for particluar cuts.  Certainly some of the suggestions that Hoop or Harvey or Starman or Brooksie talked about figured into this.  Even got me to complete The Ocean Blue output that way.

1.  Gonna Send You Back To Walker-The Animals 1964   The first forty five that I have ever had when I was type, or at least the first one that I noticed, I remember my folks having this record and I played it on my record player and after that breaking it just a three year old brat not knowing what he did and was mad I couldn't play it anymore.  Oh I tried to find another copy but the next animals record i got was Inside Looking Out to which I didn't break.  But I managed to find a good copy on EBAY and can't wait to finally get this record back into my collection, forty four years after the fact.  Perhaps you can go home again.

2.  Tallahassee Lassie-Freddy Cannon 1959  Did ya know that there's a longer version of this song off the Best Of 50s Party CD?  The longer version goes up to 2:30 but on Freddy's Rhino best of, it's the 2:10 edit.  But this was one of many records that my mom had in her collection of 45s.  The CD that I got at Half Priced books seemed to be autographed by Freddy himself but then again I may have said that last week.  Song is so good I had to add it twice already.

3.  Come On Come Over-Sam and Dave with Jaco Pastorius 1976  By then, the great soul Atlantic artists were dropped from the label or just moonlighting such as this little funk fusion number done by the Jimi Hendrix of the Bass guitar, whose talents were wasted 12 years later by too many drugs and a bad attitude.  Eventually Sam and Dave would break up after a nasty fight themselves but Sam Moore still lives and plays on.

4.  I Get So Weary-BB King 2008  The last of the original bluesmen, BB continues to amaze and amuse us by still playing the blues the way they're meant to be played.  I wouldn't say this is the comeback album of the year but again to be 85 years old and still making decent records is nothing short of a miracle.  BB outlived John lee Hooker for goodness sakes.  And guess what?  This album has no cameos by Carrie Underwood or the flavor of the day on it either.  Carrie wouldn't understand the blues.  Take that Miss Everything.

5.  Just Pass It On-Joe Cocker 2008    Joe can sing the telephone book in his own way and if you think about it, his voice hasn't changed in the forty years he's been around.  Only Lemmy from Motorhead still sounds the same after all these years too.  Yeh, I know, you don't care too much bout either one but at least Joe Cocker managed to find some cool cover versions this time out.  And left the U2 song catalog alone for a change.

6.  A Piece Of What You Need-Teddy Thompson 2008  Yes, I have been playing a lotta albums from this year this month and it does show up on this list.  There's still good music out there but it's not on TV or on The Radio, but it is getting to be a chore trying not to buy American Idol inspired pap.  This song has a horn chart dating back to Sgt Pepper, but the music is today rather than yesterday.  His mom is Linda Thompson, his dad Richard but Teddy sounds a lot like Rufus Wainwright.  Certainly in this decade there hasn't been too many artists and bands with staying power but Teddy seems to have done fairly well.

7.  Doctor Gee-The Len Price 3 2007  Out of all the albums that I played this year that I enjoyed the hell out of, this British band ranks up high.  With vocals that recall early Who and this song that sounds like a cross between the Byrds and Kinks, this song was forty years behind the times and AM radio.   I'd wouldn't mind hearing more from these guys but i'm sure the next album their damn record label would put it in a oversized digipak. And did I mention that digipak sucks?

8.  Sixteen Tons-Bo Diddley 1960  This year we lost a lotta people and nothing was more major than Bo Diddley who never recovered from a stroke he had last year.  Bo was a big influence on my music but also in the music that I've listened to. 

9.  Heaven Help Us All-Stevie Wonder 1970  Once everything is said and done, I think my favorite years of music still remain the 1965 to 1975 range.  I think it had to do with 45s and AM radio and hearing Stevie play this song on the transistor that I snuck into bed around that time.  Why does it seem that back then we had more music then we do now with more channels but less music?  Doesn't make sense.

10.  Ride In Peace-The Marshall Tucker Band 1982  And so we come to the final track.  I can't think of any other songs that could put things in perpective than this little tribute that MTB did 26 years ago.    Kind of reminds me being on a train that goes from coast to coast and comes to the end of the line.  A strange adventure going from peaks to valleys in a single setting.  The type of songs that would get me fired from a regular radio station since I'm from the time that being a DJ would be able to select what he think the public would like and not the corporate CSers that have killed radio as we know it today.

And thus endth the 2008 season of top tens from here in Crabbland .  Thanks to countless emails to continue this journey of music, we shall return next year with weekly reasons to give argument that Music is your best entertainment value.  After all we shouldn't kill something that for six years has been the alternative to the garbage that passes as top ten elsewhere on the net or those hopeless crap Best Year Ever things that 40 something still living at home rent free.

At least I moved out of the house and into my own basement to which we're paying rent. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Music of 2008-The Best Records Of The Year

For what it's worth. My ten best of albums of 2008.

10. Ray Davies-Working Man's Cafe (New West) Working with Nashville studio musicians, Davies still managed to make one hard rocking effort which does improve from his Other People Lives solo of a few years ago. He's getting to be one old crank but even old cranks can be entertaining and rocking at the same time.

9. BB King-One Kind Favor (Geffen) He might be 85 years old but this record is a back to basics blues that BB haven't done in forty years. Credit John Henry (T Bone) Burnett if you want but also Howlin Wolf, the other T Bone (Walker), and The Mississippi Shreiks for inspiration. Wish I could sound this good when I'm 85 but chances are that I'll be dead before then. If that's the case, see that my grave is kept clean too.

8. Teddy Thompson-A Piece Of What You Need (Verve) This album Teddy come into his own with some excellent and off the wall production from Marius De Viles. He certainly does Mom and Pop Thompson proud too. And I'm sure Dad plays guitar on a couple of these numbers too.

7. Coldplay-Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends (Capitol) The surprise of the year. Critics poo pooed this and finally after hearing about Jon Parales rip into them, I had to check this out. At least they're adding a bit more rock to their music instead of the usual Radiohead and U2. I'm sure in some way Joe Satriani gave them some new musical input in his own way.

6. Mudcrutch (Reprise) Tom Petty returns to his original band and with a more country rock sound. Crystal River is a song that's crying for the old FM underground radio station of long ago and far away.

5. The Townedgers-Pawnshops For Olivia (Radio Maierburg) Perhaps the most ragged album the band ever made, Rod Smith revisits memories of a old time girlfriend and just about alienates the whole band in the process. Not for the faint of heart but not all gloom and doom. And perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel is beyond the sun as the final song suggests.

4. Steve Winwood-Nine Lives (Columbia) This record recalls the long grooves of the old Traffic years via Low Spark and even gets Eric Clapton to play the best guitar he's ever played in thirty plus years in Dirty City. Nine songs total just about 57 minites. And he can still sing pretty good too.

3. The Sound Of The Smiths (Sire/Rhino) Certainly there are other Smiths compliations out there but this one finally gives the best picture and sound of what Morrissey and Johnny Marrs did for Brit guitar music of the 80s.

2. Alejandro Escovedo-Real Animal (Manhattan/Back Porch) This album is somewhat like The Boxing Mirror but on this one, Escovedo rocks out and fondly remembers The Nuns and Rank And File, the most forgotten of the early americana bands of the 80s. He certainly paid his dues to get this far in life and this is his most assured album.

1. James McMurtry-Just Us Kids (Lightning Rod) James remains the best protest singer of the Bush era, that is if you can call him a protest singer. Cheney's Toy is even more bitter than We Can't Make It Here Anymore. If he was throwing shoes, he would have scored a direct hit on Mr. Cheney Do. But also McMurtry can rock too on Bayou Tortous and make a good story song on Ruby And Carlos. But still, nobody has have a better viewpoint of the evil Bush empire than James. This is the best album of the year.

Honorable mentions
11. Mettallica-Death Magnetic (Warner Bros)
12. Snow Patrol-A Hundred Million Suns (Fiction)
13. Jordan Zevon-Insides Out (New West)
14. The Roots-Rising Down (Def Jam)
15. Bo Ramsey-Fragile (BR Recordings)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Crabb Bits: Revolutions In Sound, Bette Page

To me, box sets are something that I play one time and file away.  Most of the time box sets have the best moments plus album cuts or alternative or live versions and you get a decent booklet.  Sometimes a box set can be worthwhile but the catch remains if you can find it used so it doesn't cost you a second mortage on your home.  And sometimes a box set can be too much.

Revolutions in Sound: Warner Bros. Records - The First 50 Years is a mammoth 10 cd box set that glorifies fifty years of the WB being a record label but in the first ten years, Warner Brothers Records was laughable.  In fact, their biggest selling albums at that time were comedy albums from the likes of Bob Newhart, Allan Sherman, Bill Cosby (who somehow doesn't have a track on this set) and Tom Lehner.  Warner Brothers managed to get the Everly Brothers from Cadance Records for a million bucks but the Everly's, despite getting a number one hit with Cathy's Clown had more misses than hits for the WB.  Warner Brothers also did fairly well with folk music with Peter Paul And Mary getting top ten hits likewise although The Folk Quintet and The Mitchell Trio (featuring John Denver) are not on this box set.  Fact of the matter was that Reprise (formed by Frank Sinarta) was the place that had the hits although mostly pop from the likes of the Rat Pack (Frank, Sammy and Dean) and gritty girl pop from Nancy Sinarta and other oddites from Don Ho and Napoloen XIV.  It's strange to hear Tiny Bubbles and then They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha Haa! on one disc.

Hearing the first three disc of this big 10 cd set you can trace the beginnings of a Label spinning in the mud and finally getting a groove but the majority of the early year cuts come from Reprise to which Mo Ostin gave the artist creative freedom to do their type of music, long before the corporate stuffsuits changed the rules and mergers cheapen the music to being nothing more than videos rather than videos in the mind.  With the beginning of Jimi Hendrix and the Electric Prunes and Grateful Dead, Warner/Reprise became the cool label to be on, and even more cooler when Fleetwood Mac came over from Epic (if you remember back that far) or Jethro Tull (Originally on the Big R label)or even Roxy Music (first album on Reprise, second came out on WB).  You can feel the change after Sammy Davis Jr's I Gotta Be Me going into Oh Well by The Mac and Peter Green.  If nothing else, the first two CDs of this set remain the best definite collection of what made Warner Brother Records great.  The diversity and the ability to go from schmaltz (Tiny Tim's Tip Toe) to soul (JJ Jackson's But It's Alright) to psychedelia (Norman Greenbaum's Spirit In the Sky) to prog rock (Locomotive Breath) to boogie (Face's Stay With Me) although Black Sabbath is nowhere to be found on this compilation.

Disc three begins the drive from classic hard rock to corporate rock beginning with Smoke On The Water to School's Out to Captian Beefheart to Little Feet and then goes south.  Classic rock is the theme with Hello It's Me (Todd Rungren) to Summer Breeze (Seals And Croft) and the unescapeable China Grove.  But for all good songs, there's schmaltz (Midnight At The Oasis).  But we get satallite labels from Bearsville (Todd Rungren, Foghat), Curtom (The Staple Singers yucky Let's Do It Again) Capricorn when they were WB distrubted (Allman Brothers Blue Sky, Elvin Bishop Fooled Around And Fell In Love), Geffen (Asia), Sire (Talking Heads, Yaz, Modern English, Ramones), Island (Grace Jones, Steve Winwood), Slash (Violent Femmes, Los Lobos) and even Def American (Sir Mix A Lot).

For every good song, we are reminded why WB sucked at times (You Light Up My Life-Debby Boone's insufferable 1978 hit), (Take On Me-A Ha) (The Taste Of Ink by The Used), and why they are revered (Someday Somewhere, Marshall Crenshaw), (Once In A Lifetime-Talking Heads), (Alex Chilton by The Replacement).  You get jazz (Tutu-Miles Davis, IGY, Donald Fagen), country (Big and Rich, Travis Tritt, John Anderson), new wave (B 52s), alternative (Uncle Tupelo, Green Day), Nu-Metal (Disturbed, Faith No More), Girl singers (Michelle Branch, Alanis Morrisette, Paula Cole) and Rock and roll hall of famers past their prime (Elton John, Eric Clapton, John Fogerty, Tom Petty) and of course, Metallica with a new track off their WB album to sum things up.

In other words, this is a big mammoth 10 cd box set with loads of your favorite tunes and a shitload of crappy songs but it does put in perspective that Warner Brothers does have a rightful place in the history of music.  From Tab Hunter to Metallica, even I couldn't program such a massive stock of musical things. Certainly there are artists who were left out of the fold (The Music Man, Jennifer Trynin, Husker Du, Chicago), and there are some that should have been forgotten but Revolutions In Sound does get it right in what made the WB label the coolest label this side of Atlantic.  But nobody can afford this.

But it's worth four stars just reading the titles alone.

 Bettie Page, the original pin up naughty girl of the fifites has died from a heart attack. She was 85.  Funny how fifty years ago she was the sex bomb of that era and her pictures, though bawdy still were tasteful.  Unlike the so called pop tart sex bombouts of today such as Britney, or Paris or Jessica Simpson.  Bettie Page was sexy and smart unlike the Brits or Paris or Jessica who are sexy and just plain dumb.  A quote from her...  "God approves of nudity. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were naked as jaybirds."

The Music of 2008

Nobody needs to tell you that this year was a downer in everything. Nobody needs to say that the music of 2008 was probaly the worst it has ever been in the history of music. Sales were even worse than last year, the quality of top forty was twice more than last and all it generated to me was a big headache. But actually the wheels were beginning to fall off back in 2005 when SONY/BMG and EMI gave us copy protected CDs that ended up making our computers a big virus magent and once credibility was lost, CD sales went down year by year. Let's face it, the CD is just about dead, but downloading lives on and thrives! Thus signaling the end of the CD buyer since Wal Mart and Target are providing less cd shelf space and more for DVDs and the independent record store can only be found in college towns. Doesn't mean that's that end for the CD bargain hunter since Half Priced Books in town continue to have a decent used CD selection but even the minimum wage earner at CDs Plus is even lamenting about the impending death of the CD.

Let's face it, there's still a lotta music released this year, most of it sucks. There's hardly any outlet for new music to be heard from the rock artist. The Telecommunications act of 1996 killed radio to which nobody can get their new music out there unless you become a big hit on My Space or You Tube. The Telecom 1996 gave Clear Channel, Cumunius (SIC), and other media overlords to buy up the alt radio stations and now everything sounds the same today. And you can blame Bill Clinton (and the Republicans that were in office back then) for the downfall of music today. Not that everything sucked, there's still a lotta good music out there, you just don't hear it on the radio all that much.

I think it was five years that Mya made that godawful My Love Is Like ...Woo that popped up as one of the most annoying songs of 2004. Four years later, you have to google that song since top forty radio played it and moved on to the flavor of the month. At least twenty years ago you can remember a top forty song but try to remember anything from this year outside All Summer Long or I Kissed A Girl and you'll be doing better than I am. Used to be that I would slam Kid Rock on every turn but listening to his past couple albums and it appears that he's more in tune with Rock n Roll than what is played on KRNA or Rock 108. But Kid Rock had the brains to merge Warewolves Of London and Sweet Home Alabama to create the perfect sing along song of summer. And although Katy Perry is destined to be a one hit wonder artist with her Benetar lite version of I Kissed A Girl and championing the wonderful taste of Cherry Chapstick on a female, to which I'm sure guys (and dolls) probaly stocked up on Cherry flavored Chapstick. Maybe it might work for me. Probaly not.

This year, the music world had the better artists on the country side of things. Not all the hats won out, Taylor Swift came out to be the IT girl for a year with a big selling debut of two years ago that kept selling right up to her new release of Fearless and still remains the IT girl. In some ways Taylor wins over Katy Perry in terms of being honest and there for her fans, fact was that she was the first performer to perform in Cedar Rapids after the historic and destructive floods of 2008. Most of the year we were treated to too much Hanna Montana and just in time to be replaced by the odious and isn't her fifteen minites up yet Britney Spears who represents the worst of music and why people don't pay attention to anything new anymore. Because what the major labels promote, or the reality channel MTV or VH1 no longer are music first but rather bores us with spoiled rotten has beens, never was or TMZ approved trainwrecks who can't keep a marriage after six months. Who use MTV to try to make themselves look good and in the process managed to get their album debut at number 3 on the Billboards before it slides off the charts, and into the dollar bins at all finer pawnshops.

This year we finally got to witness Guns And Roses Chinese Democracy after 17 years and countless release dates and canceled release dates and it didn't mean squat, although most music best of lists put the damn thing on their ten best list of the year. I listened to three songs and thought that was two songs too many to listen to. True Axl Roses still screams like a baying mule then and maybe some critic will call it a lost classic but in essence The Spegetti Incident will remain GnR's epitaph, unless the original members get back together. And anything is possible. Even The Smiths since Morrissey and Johnny Marrs are on friendly terms now.

But there were much better albums out there this year. AC DC came back and made the same album they been doing for over 30 years but it turned out to be their best album in twenty five. Mettallica finally quit plandering for the radio and returned to make their most intense album in twenty, only to have it blown by a crappy mix. On the local front, Bo Ramsey made his first album of orginal material in ten years and was more rock and roll than John Fogerty's last album. Senior citizens Willie Nelson and 84 year old BB King made their most enjoyable album in years. Even old crank Wreckless Eric Goldman married cult artist Amy Rigby and put out a decent album. There was no shortage of dinosaur rockers this year, Steve Winwood, REM, Motorhead, John Hiatt, all made good albums and for a brief moment Winwood's Dirty City got airplay on the radio for a change.

But the majority of top ten best albums this year, that are on SPIN or Pitchfolk Media will not be on my faves. And begs the question why is Universal is more prone to promote TV on The Radio more than The Fratellis. Even what No Depression posted as their best, most I heard with passing interest but not enough to buy it. I did buy The Hold Steady Stay Positive, played it a few times and shrugged them off although the guy I sold the CD to called it "Their best ever". And the new Ryan Adams Cardinology was met with indifference,not unlike his EP of last year. And the Felix Cavalarde/Steve Cropper Nudge It Up An Notch, which was raved on by another name magazine, when I heard it, I felled asleep and have to play a couple more times and still couldn't keep awake. And the Kings Of Leon still remain a bit overrated although they may have given us their most rocking song since their EP.

This year I bought 69 albums to review of this year, the lowest amount of reviews since 1984 when I didn't have a job and couldn't review as much as I wanted to. This year, with shotty digipaks that fell apart when I got them home, and continuing manipulation by the major labels with expended editions, reissues with bonus tracks not on the original album and simply just bad music all around, it was a chore trying to even listen to what I bought. Certainly not a lack of music, lots of music around but perhaps way too much music and way too many My Space bands trying to get me to listen to their music, and though some of it did catch my ears, the majority of it just wasn't that memorable. And the biggest problem was if there was music out there, Best Buy didn't it, nor Wal Mart. So I didn't review the latest Blue Mountain album simply of the fact that it wasn't availble or it may have been a digipak that was flimsey. Also trying to find the Coolest Songs In The World series, I had to go to FYE instead of Best Buy since BB ended the promtion of Wicked Cool Records but with Wicked Cool going with a very bad digipak that scratched up the CD upon getting it out, chances are not good that I'll continue to review anymore of The Coolest Songs In The World series from Little Steven. Screw with the public and they're save up their bucks in time for the next great depression which is happening now.

If the major labels are worried now about crappy sales all I can say it going to get worse next year. Sony/BMG did slash prices on a lot of their back catalog to which you can buy on the cheap at Amazon.Com and some titles at Wally World but it's too late for them. I think in the end people are fed up, and there's much more in life than going to Best Buy for some crappy, overcompressed sounding new cds anymore. Music is no longer the main thing anymore. Once upon a time we listen to the radio for the new hit single or go to the independent music store to hear a album to impress us to get it. Not anymore. Radio continues to stink, playlist of rock radio are about thirty/forty years old and even the "real rock" stations play more Nirvana than Theroy Of A Deadman or ;-) the new Guns And Roses. We don't hear the new music like we once did, and since the old baby boomers don't care or like the new rap which has been the same old rap for 20 plus years that you hear on top forty, they don't listen to radio or bitch about it when it's played at work. They don't wanna hear it. Even the new kids today would rather fire up a old Led Zep song or Beatles since that music still remains as fresh as it did back then.

Which comes back to the question of My Love is Woo. That 'song' just doesn't have the same staying power as I Wanna Hold Your Hand or Rock n Roll. Which comes back to Rehab by Rhianna, it's a product of this time and it's product not music and nobody will remember it a year from now. The young generation has a big problem now and it's they don't have anybody that will make music with staying power and that includes Kanye West or Britney. Kanye remains the Terrill Owens of music/rap, all mouth and no substance. Britney is like the rash that keeps coming back at certain times, you think you're rid of her then she returns, triumphed in knowning that she scored the number three album of this week. Misson accomplished baby.

Music is no longer the choice of a new generation unless they're jamming to a faux paus band in Rock Star on the Playstation jamming to songs from the past. Maybe someday radio will grant the younger generation their own Kurt Cobain or Elvis Costello, or Presley, or even Jeff Buckley. But judging from what I see or read in the papers/net, or hear that's not going to happen anytime soon.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crabb Bits: Britney, Julieanne Hough, 3rd Street Live Closing

It must be decemeber, must be time for Britney to crawl out of that hole she's been hiding in and declaring that she's the kinder and gentler Britney Spears.  Yeah and they don't call her BS for nothing.

Leave it to MTV and the taboids to continue to extend the fifteen minites of fame that has expired a long time ago on this overexposed pop tart.  Now she's yapping about wanting to get married and finding a "father figure" for her children. More BS from BS, Kevin Federline has been a better dad than the poor excuse of a mother that had them.  How about being a "mother figure" for once in your life BS.  And cover up when you go out too, I've seen more of your C section than I'd care to.  I'm sure this also has something to do with a new BS album that came out this week and if Britney plays it right, it may sell more than the Guns And Roses Chinese Dudbomb that had all the rats running out of Best Buy last weekend.  But even so, this year sucked for new music anyway, Britney ain't going save the music industry no way or how.  Please, MTV, TMZ and The Enquirer, just leave Britney alone.  We'll be better off for it.

Another sign of torture was hearing Julieanne Hough's country debut at CDs Plus last week.  More country cliches and semental Hallmark like BS from a person, whose shining moment was winning Dancing With The Stars.  Good looks, faux paus country twang, check and check.  Somewhere along the Nashville dives, there must be a female country singer that can write and sing them the honest way but since she didn't win Dancing With The Stars or American Idol, she has to earn her living the hard way.  Having your own My Space site doesn't grant you instant fame and fortune, just ask The Townedgers on that one.  If you want sheer country honesty, well you can't go wrong with Miranda Lambert or Ashton Shepard (although I have to admit that I didn't review the AS album due to deadlines and though she writes her own songs, there was a bit more country cliche that made me decide to pass on it).  Or if you love that country cliche 8.1 well Carrie Underwood come on down.  But I get stone cold on the chick country of today, too many pinups and no substance for music.  Strange to say that Elizabeth Cook is now considered a elder, although her Hey Y'all album is about six years old.   But I'm off topic as is.

But EC remains a more viable country star than the Julie Houghs of the world, readymade pinup Barbie dolls that make flavor of the day country cliches and disappear a year from now. Which will be the fate of Julie Hough.  But if Universal Music drops her from the roster, I'm sure she can get her old job back.   Or try to latch on with the Carrie Underwood trainers out there.  Dreams can come true for American Idol winners if they pick the right niche.  Way things been going for CU, you can say it's like her winning the lottery.
You don't have to be good, just lucky and at the right spot.  Just like Carrie.

On the subject of 3rd street live becoming 1st Avenue Live.
A Letter from Rocky

To our friends and fans, The Real Story - 3rd Street Live! Will no longer exist as Iowa's premiere live Music venue as we, the owners of 3rd Street LIVE! have been forced out by the Chrome Horse and Bad Boyz Inc., who own the building, due "according to them" to the damage they sustained during the June flooding. We will open in another location in the Town & Country Shopping Center called "1st Ave. LIVE!" on Jan 16th. This new venue will have one purpose, the support and preservation of all types of live music in our area. There will be a cover charge, and 100% of that fee will go to the performers that evening, to ensure they can receive the compensation they deserve for creating thier fan base. Bands should realize that playing in clubs that do not charge a cover charge for live music is only making their value as performers worth less, in the very competitive market. To the fans of live music, it is you that make live music what it is, the cover charge you pay to see live music is very much appreciated by the performers. It goes to maintain equipment and other expenses bands incur to bring you the best show they possibly can, and to repay to you, the fans for your loyalty to live music. Thanks for your support in the past, and we are looking forward to your support in this new endeavor. We promise to maintain the top quality live entertainment we have provided you in the past, only in a newer, cleaner and easier to access venue.See you in January, Rocky

Monday, December 1, 2008

2008-The Worst Year Ever

As I sit here and try to summerize a year that has been one of the most extremes in history it boggles the mind to see how crappy this year was. Musicwise, it was perhaps the worst in terms of new music. The final tally was 69 albums reviewed this year, I reviewed 92 last year, 122 in 2006. Can't blame it all on illegal downloading with all the majors did was release crap after crap album this year, and nobody bought much of anything. The new Guns And Roses album has been a bust, moving only 220,000 copies. That's pretty bad for something that was hyped up after 17 years of waiting for it, and going to Best Buy to hear it, it deemed a waste of time and line to even comment on it. Looks like future rock and roll hall of famer Kanye West will have the top spot.

The year started out crappy with the 2nd most snowiest winter on record to which I was sick most of the first two months of this year. And then we ended up getting one of the wettest spring on record. Rained every day it seemed starting in April, melting that 59 inches of the white crap and each of the next three months, ended up having water in the basement every other weekend. And then, the Parkersburg/New Hartford tornado wiped out half the area around highway 20, and then two straight weekends of 10 inch rainfall and the Cedar River wiped out most of downtown Cedar Rapids. 31 feet of raging Red Cedar, and Czech Village was history. And five months later, parts of CR remain a warzone although there is hope with the opening of Sav A Lot and Erine's in Czech Village but it's a long way to go. The Wapsipinicon River wasn't too kind either, moving up to 26 feet in Anamosa and doing a bit of damage there too. Basically, we didn't have much of a summer here, since everybody had to clean up all the flood damage around the floodplains. Had I still lived in the old Broadcast Manor Duplex on N Street, I'm sure we would have lost most of what we got. Looking at the river now, it's hard to fathom 31 feet of angry river, since the rains finally let up around August and we managed to stayed dry.

It was a bad year for driving here. I blew out three tires and on a trip to Madison, one of the replacement tires got a knot on the sidewall so had to replaced that. On top of having the transmission repaired and now having a leaking brakeline, I'm hoping the car will survive another winter, I'd rather not buy a new car, only to have it being rusted out by all the salt and winter crap due to our first snowfall already this year.

In August, my best friend's house caught on fire and they lost two cats in the smoke. But at least their dogs survived and the only cat that did survived the fire was Smokey who was outside on the prowl. Earlier in the month, one of our maple trees split apart and took out what remained of our raspberry plants (which we lost when we had to put a new septic system couple years ago) and then the next week, I was outside and seen the other part of the tree split and took out more fence. We lost part of another tree due to a icestorm earlier in the year but I sit and wonder if the other side of that tree will fall and take out part of the neighbor's house next door. Hope to God that doesn't happen anytime soon.

This year we also seen our greedy government run us all into debt. Gas prices driven by speculators and greedy bastards raised the price up to an ungodly 4.19 a gallon by summer. And then the bottom fell out. It's now at 1.69 a gallon but with jobs cuts left and right, nobody did much driving in these times. These are dark times but with Obama becoming president, he has to undo the shite that the Bush cronies got us into. It's been a two year depression actually, but it took everybody till October to finally see that things were not going well. And now we have to bailout the overpaid CSers at Wall Street and I think we got taken. I see it when I turn on a soccer game and see some team being sponsered by AIG. Money well spent, not.

So, as I try to assess the final observation of this year, I don't have a favorable opinion of this year. It sucked from day one and the sooner this year ended the better. As the month moves on, I'll try to find some highlights.

But not now.

Forgotten album from the past-The DB's Like This