Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson

I've come not to praise MJ but to bury him.

Seems like anything and everything the news has been on Michael Jackson.  North Korea and Iran might have started world war 3 but you'd never hear it from all the MJ news and views on every channel.  Of course, the self serving Sheryl Crow pops on about her having her son and all this and that bla bla.  Nice to know we can sleep better knowing that.  Of course if it wasn't for MJ giving the Miss Queen of The Universe a spot on her tour, she'd be a unknown from Armpit Missouri.    Arizona might have to shut down the government here since they're running out of money but that's secondary to countless reports of MJ's second autopsy.

It's not for me to say to doubt the legacy of MJ.  He died like Elvis Presley.  At least EP was spared the internet and the countless cookie cutter news channels that seem to dwell on each and every irrevant thing out there.  At least Elvis didn't have Perez Hilton or TMZ. His high point remained Off The Wall, his 1979 Epic debut which would ballooned into Thriller, the all time best selling album till The Eagles Greatest Hits 1 knocked it off the top spot.  Jackson's death will get it back to the top.  After Thriller, MJ couldn't followed it up although Bad was a good followup and the rest trying to keep up with the new techology but ending up something like product rather than classic stuff.  Perhaps the biggest highlight of his life was the Motown 25th special on TV when he moonwalked and raised the stakes to the level that even he could never ever top again.

MJ was the MTV's version of The Beatles and Elvis and although it gave MJ the fame and fortune, it also took away any privacy he had left in this life.  Basically he was a kid at heart even at his age but the world looked upon that as him being the most unsavory character and the least trustworthy to watch over your kids.  Which span many a lawsuit from so-called Moms and dads who claimed child abuse.  I'd doubt that. 

In the end, he died from either a heart attack or a drug induced heart attack but in the end you can say he died of a broken heart.   So now the world mourns him after they shunned him the past twenty years.

In the end, everybody dies.  Billy Mays the K-Tel/Ronco spokesman of this decade hits his head on a rough plane and though laughs it off, it kills him at age 50, same age as MJ. Gale Storm, the long time actress and singer of the 50s passes away at age 87 and is a footnote as well.  Countless others passed away too but everything takes a backseat to the passing of MJ.  That's all I have seen on the newscast.

Finally, is MJ better than Elvis or The Beatles?  The people who lived through through those decades will doubt that will the children of the MTV generation (when MTV played music videos) will say yes.  He's gone now folks, and all the harboring and news speculation will not bring him back.  I'm sure MJ himself would rather not come back since the CNN or FOX or MSNBC runs this into the ground.

The King Of Pop is gone, and no amount of magic fairy dust will bring him back.  Didn't work with Elvis either.  Otherwise he'd be here and we'd be getting his thoughts on the subject.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top Ten Of The Week-King Of Bitching And Beers

My Last Top Ten Of The Week

I hope in the next world that we go to in the next life that everybody can live together in harmony without the usual bullshit that has plagued the world since Adam And Eve.  I hope in the next world, we can drive in cars that don't rust out on compressed air that gives out oxygen that helps the plants grow.  I hope in the next world that greed and hatred are non existant.  I hope in the next world that we can have a music station that plays great music rather than the cheap rap and the reliance on pro tools and pitch shifters that have made today's music as useful as cowpie on the plate.  And I hope that the music we can play is without restrictions and threats of lawsuits from the RIAA and the major labels.

That said, welcome to reality.  My take on the Iran contest is that A-Jad, for better or worse proabably still would have won the election but with about 52 percent of the vote. But then if Obama is the Bush that AJad complains about, then A-Jad is the Dick Cheney of Iran.  Pot, kettle black eh.  Although A-Jad is better looking than the death warmed over Cheney.   The general feeling of Irianians is that most of them do want a workable relationship with the US but unfortunly the US had a dictator named the Shah in there and Iranians, well most of the government heads there have been pissed off of the fact that the US supported the Shah even though his politics were worst then the Ayatollah and A Jad.  It's a no win situtaion for the US, even if Mosavi would have won the election, he too was part of the islamic revolution 30 years ago and he too did take part in many of those Death to America rallys that we all seen so much of.  That shit is more upstaged than Jerry Springer and the WWE put together.  They cry when we don't help but if we do help we then get accused of meddling into their affairs.  It's called opinion assholes and we have the freedom to do that, unlike the Iran folk who get whacked upside the head with batons or get shot at.  If A Jad did win with 64 percent of the vote then the minority who protested all week are very vocal indeed.  But it won't change a thing regardless due to the Ayatollah and the Revolutory Guard much in control.   The major difference between now and 1979 is that everybody hated the Shah and everybody loved Ayatollah Khomeini despite his backward thinking ways.  So much for him and so that for that.  Basically we got a much bigger pain in the ass and that's Kim Jong Ill.  Should have voted for McCain and Palin so they would have wiped him off the map with a couple nukes.

I'm not sure if the American Way has worked very well either.  Greed seems to be business as usual in Wall Street and if the Republicant's are still bitching about Obama, they can still go have affairs such as that Nevada Republican Dickhead and Mark Sanford, Mr I Dont Want A Stimilus Package so I'll take it to South America and see my mistress and then goes in front of the camera just like Jimmy Swaggart and do that act.  What a fucking hypocrite.  Mr High And Mighty got caught poking somebody in a different country. I'm sure FOX news will have something to justify for his actions or have another excuse to show Ann Coulter and her adam apple jabberjawing with her right wing rhetoric which is no different than A Jad and his rhetoric.  Same bullshit different religion.

And here in our very own state, The coach for Aplington/Parkersburg who guided the team to the title last year after a F5 tornado almost wiped Parkersburg off the map is shot and killed by some halfwit who vandalized a home and Cedar Falls and goes on a high speed chase which ended when a deer sacificed his life to take out this douchebag hits the car.  Dumbass goes to the hospital for observation and the hospital doesn't notify the police that he was released.  Next day, Douchebag Mark No Pecker Becker shoots the coach in the head and is arrested.  Thank you Covenient Medical in Cedar Falls for your wonderful judgement.  Problem of the world is that these assholes get caught but then get let go cuz of stupidity or techinicallites and then tragedy comes out. Wonderful world we live in.  Beam me up Scotty, no intelligent life here, especially in the government sector or FOX news.

After six and half years of commenting on the music side of things and putting together a top ten listing of music on my player, I have decided that this is my final top ten for a while.  I am amazed myself of even how long I have stayed with this, long after everybody else moved on to other things.   The past month without having my own car and looking at each and every new release and having to deal with crappy digipak albums, it got to the point that this wasn't as much fun as it was when I first started out and had something to say.  Since it's summer, people would rather do other things than read a blog from a unknown blogger whose been in the shadows for seven years. But in the seven years of doing top tens of the week, I also seen the merger of BMG and Sony Music that caused great damage with their copy protected crap of 2005 which blew up in their face which cause the great migration to downloading on the net.  Which also led to the closing of a lot of music stores (Wherehouse Music, CD Warehouse, Relics, Tower, Sam Goody/Musicland, Rockaway, Virgin Megastore and lots more) and CD sales went into the toilet to the point that even pawnshops CD collections got thinned out.  Instead of boasting of our collection of songs, I was documenting the end of music as I know it and the countless banter from downloaders of MP3s even getting on my case of even buying cds or albums.   This is what I do best kiddies, the thrill of going to music stores and finding something cool to listen to.  You don't get that from downloading and true it may free up lots of room in your house, you still don't get the thrill of opening up a new vinyl record or popping a cd of an album you didn't think existed on CD.

So basically the top ten meant that I gave you ten suggestions from the archives and if you did your homework well, even you could make up your ten best of the week.  I think I gave y'all some suggestions out there and with my reasons.  I think I gave y'all plenty of resourses to choose from.  Your job: seek them out, you have the net and you have the music stores (or thrift stores).

Now go.

1.  Vavoom: Ted The Mechanic-Deep Purple 1996   People said that Deep Purple was dead once Richie Blackmore left after The Battle Rages On and they were wrong.  In some ways Steve Morse added a bit more guitar work to the band on Purpendicular, their comeback album of 1996.  And it did get some airplay believe it or not before Newt Gingerich's wonderful Telecom Act of 1996 killed off radio as we used to enjoy listening to.   Purple continues to rock on although Ian Paice remains the only connection to the original lineup (That would be Kentucky Woman/Hush era Purple).

2.  Hell Driver-UFO 2009  And people also said that UFO was washed up when Michael Schneiker left too but they too found a guitar virtuoso in Vinnie Moore whose been a part of UFO since You Are Here in 2003.  UFO has gone more bluesy in their wake since Moore joined up.  You gotta admire a band forty years on still coming up with new albums and new music and not redoing K Tel versions of their classic rock hits.   However, their label just declared bankruptcy last month and how long SPV remains in business remains to be seen.  This is the first UFO album since the 1985 hair metal spoof Missdemenor that Pete Way has not been involved with.  We wish him well.

3.  Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is-Chicago Transit Authority 1970  Overplayed it is but I always that piano introduction that Robert Lamm does before going into the song.   I also heard rumours that Lamm have been jamming with Peter Cetera off and on but don't expect Mr. Next Time I Fall In Love to rejoin Chicago anytime soon.  Fun fact, Chicago wanted to be known as the CTA before the real Chicago CTA said no and threatened them bodily harm if they didn't.  So they became Chicago and trademarked that.

4.  Listen To The Flower People-Spinal Tap 2009  I have no idea why bands return to make albums to redo them in the first place rather to make money on the subject.  The Tappers, as I called them made this rockamockery in 1984 called Spinal Tap, a metal version of The Rutles and it's one of the all time great rockmocks ever made.  They also made a spoof album but the fun fact was that it was a  great album.  What made it work was that Rob Reiner co wrote some of the funny lyrics.  Anyway the Tappers are back with a remake of their first album called Back From The Dead and it's a step up from Break Like The Wind.  They do a reggae version of this song.  You can probably live without this album too.

5.  Girls Like Me-Bonnie Hayes 1982  This still remains the lost classic of the girl bands of the early 80s and surprised that Wounded Bird found it and reissued it.  If your record store has a copy of this, let me know where this store is at so I can visit it.

6.  Only Love Can Break A Heart-Neil Young 1971  For all his hits and misses, Neil Young has always managed to stay on the cutting edge of music for most of his forty plus years of rock and roll.  For some reason he didn't include this on his Decade album but did on his Greatest Hits.  I have seen his big Archives Volume 1 on Blu Ray. Gawd, that would make a very expensive door stop.

7. Stranger-The Black Lips 2007  Garage rock in this decade, recorded in front of a Mexican audience which has to be heard to be believed.  The Lips along with Radio Moscow have been the best of the garage rockers that I have heard too.

8.  Middle Of Hell-Queensryche 2009  Geez in seven years of compiling the list I have got to check the name of this band before I write them down.  Can't seem to spell them right at all.  Their new album is called American Soldier and it's their best in years.  Better than the Operation Mindcrime 2 followup.  If my ex GF Isabella taught me anything, it would be that this band actually made some good albums.  Just like Rush, you have to get used to them first.

9.  We Play Rock And Roll-Five Men Electrical Band 1972  Forever known as the guys who did Signs, this band had some nice string of hits up in their native Canada.  After all these years, they finally have their very own best of released in the US and I haven't seen it but I did pony up some bucks to get their Absolutely Right best of that came out on Canada Polydor ten years ago.  Personal to TAD, yeah I remember those hits you mentioned, I remember good radio when we had good radio.

10.  Remember Me I'm Gone-Motorhead 1984
Finally, I guess this is as good as putting together a final piece to the puzzle that has been a top ten of the week.  B Side to Dancing On Your Grave, Roadrunner Records added this as a bonus track to Another Perfect Day, their one off with Brian Robertson as guitarist. 

Final passings to Ed McMahon who passed at age 86, the perfect sidekick and perfect pitchman for Budweiser  (Budweiser is the king of beers, but you knew that).  And to Farrah Fawcett, who in 1977 was every teenager boy's favorite poster girl and had the hairdo that most of the girls in high school had.  Dead of cancer at age 62.

Final thoughts, I'm sick of that Will I AM video of Forever Young for Pepsi.  It wasn't that good in the first place. Yo yo yo, you suck hows that?  Black Eye Peas suck too.

Gotta get back to packing and taking the emptys back to City Carton and the spray the fucking earwigs bugs (the mini A-Jads as i call them).   See y'all when I get back.

RIP Sky Saxon, from the Seeds (Pushin Too Hard, Mr. Farmer, Can't Seem To Make You Mine).

RIP Michael Jackson (Thriller, Off The Wall, Jackson Five) 
 you have an amazingly fun and awesome time!! wish i was there too, gotta love Mesa!
when you get back, let's do some talking about working on that song together for the Vufcup cd.
have fun!!! =D

Sunday, June 21, 2009

RIP Glarice Kula

Glarice Kula was a co worker that was part of our printing operations team for about two years before quitting in February due to poor health issues.  Thursday, we got the news that Glarice passed away due to kidney and liver failure.  She was only 49 years old.

It seems that the older we get the more we take note that when friends or family or co workers pass away.  It also shows that time as you get older seems to go by much faster unlike the days of being a kid and time dragging away as we wished to be older.

There are two certain things in a person's live which is birth and death.  Death is only thing that is certain upon each and every one of us.  We just don't know when the end comes.  There are times in life that I wish I can die but then keep on living to see where the next day takes me.   Every day is a new adventure, even for us old folk.

I've worked with Glarice for the past couple years and we got along pretty good.   She was a very hard worker and would worked in other departments when the print load was scarce.  She had a distinctive laugh and was easy to talk to sometimes.  Like the rest of us, she did have her pointed observations on how things were running in the department and also, like the rest of us,  could be critical of herself at times. 

She lived out past Anamosa on some old gravel road but every time we would get floods or rains she wouldn't be able to come to work.  Or if the roads were icy or snowy.  She didn't have the best of luck either.  One day at work last year, she had the misfortune of having Dick Cheney,the name of a skunk that was hanging around our place plowed up inside her engine while some idiot Animal Control dumbass trying to get it and ended up stinking her car up bigtime.  She also had to deal with plenty of her family problems although she never let on about that but it did take a emotional toll on her, which eventually would lead her to quit the printing department and live the last months of her life in reclusiveness.  Some would say that she gave up on life after quitting and when John, my boss told her how young she was when she died, I couldn't believe that.  I was thinking she was in her mid 50s.

Sometimes I think some people eventually will themselves to die, after going through so much.  Does it come to you at a certain age, that once you reach a certain age, there's no way of going back to what you was.  Growing old not to have children, having a job that pays your bills but nothing else, living in a state to which you haven't found a lover or a partner for ten plus years, and wondering if you made the right choice of what you wanted to do.  The refusal to give up the things you like, cigarettes, booze, drugs and not exercising, which leads to health complications and to some diabetes.  Or living in obscurity.  Or having to take care of your family when they aren't able to take care of themselves.  The price of living so long in life sometimes.  This decade has slid by so fast that even I cannot believe that here we are in 2009 and looking and seeing people that i know pass on by.  In Glarice's situation she was a smoker and though she did made a effort to give up smoking for a week, it was too hard or she maybe rather enjoy the smooth menthol flavor in the time left.  The case of death was kidney and liver failure but the overall final fact that she simply was just sick of life and just gave up.

Nevertheless  Glarice Kula was a good co worker and a good person and I was happy to know her in her time at Pearson Inc.   She will be missed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

History Of Music 2003

To which we discovered Elizabeth Cook, The Libertines and welcomed back Fleetwood Mac.  And a few others that I forgot about till I compiled this list and forgot them all over again.

1.  Elizabeth Cook-Hey Y'all (Warner Brothers 42:46) A-
2.  System Of A Down-Steal This Record (American 43:31) B+
3.  Porcupine Tree-In Absentia (Lava 68:18) A-
4.  House Of Large Sizes (What Are Records 39:03) B+
5.  Audioslave (Epic 65:26)  C+
6.  Jim & Jessie  First Sounds (Capitol 39:43) B+
7.  Semisonic-20th Century Masters (MCA 47:56) B+
8.  Primal Scream-Evil Heat (Epic 41:49) B
9.  Ministry-Animositisomina (Sanctuary 53:42) A-
10.Ozark Mountain Daredevils-20th Century Masters (Interscope 42:44) B+

11.  American Hi Fi-The Art Of Losing (Island 36:38) B-
12.  Jennifer Hanson (Capitol 43:33) A-
13.  Blue Oyster Cult-A Long Day's Night (Sanctuary 79:00) B
14.  King Crimson-USA (Caroline 68:39) A-
15.  King Crimson-Earthbound (Caroline 45:00) B-
16.  Humble Pie-Back On Track (Sanctuary 39:40) B+
17.  Boston-Corporate America (Armtemis 44:30) B+
18.  Foo Fighters-One By One (RCA 53:02) C+
19.  Warren Zevon-Genius (Rhino/Elektra 78:31) B+
20.  The Bad Plus-These Are The Times (Columbia 52:33) B-

21.  Hootie And The Blowfish (Atlantic 47:41) C+
22.  Hawks-Perfect World Radio (Not Lame 59:05) B
23.  Allman Brothers-Hitting The Note (Sanctuary/Peach 75:06) A-
24.  George Thorogood-Ride Till I Die (Eagle Rock 46:54) B+
25.  Amy Rigby-Till The Wheels Fall Off (Signature Sounds 51:55) B
26.  The Mooney Suzuki-Electric Sweat (Columbia 34:40) B+
27.  Libertines-Up The Bracket (Rough Trade 43:48) A-
28.  Fleetwood Mac-Say You Will (Reprise 76:05) B
29.  Leonard Cohen-The Essensial (Columbia 77:46-78:24) A-
30.  Bruce Cockburn-Anything Anytime Anywhere (Rounder 71:43) A-

31.  King Crimson-The Power To Believe (Sanctuary 51:11) B-
32.  The Thorns (Aware/Columbia 40:48) B-
33.  Rank And File-The Slash Years (Rhino Handmade 76:43) A+
34.  Less Than Jake-Anthem (Sire 43:50) A-
35.  Linda Thompson-One Clear Moment (Rhino Handmade 53:55) B+
36.  Led Zeppelin-How The West Was Won (Atlantic 56:05-53:10-40:50) A-
37.  The Donnas-Spend The Night (Atlantic 39:55) A-
38.  Kentucky Headhunters-Soul (Audium 48:29) B
39.  Richard Thompson-The Old Kilt Bag (Cooking Vinyl 58:46) B
40.  Roger Miller-All Time Greatest Hits (Mercury 50:25) A-

41.  Fountains Of Wayne-Welcome Interstate Managers (S Curve 55:00) A-
42.  Drive By Truckers-Decoration Day (New West 64:50) A-
43.  Bleu-Redhead (Aware 55:00) C-
44.  Mest (Maverick 49:00) B-
45.  Liz Phair (Capitol 50:16) B
46.  Dwight Yoakum-Population Me (Audium 31:51) B
47.  Temptations-Psycheldelic Soul (Motown 71:39-75:42) B+
48.  Foghat-Family Jewels (Fuel/Varese  57:25) B+
49.  Status Quo-Heavy Traffic (Hip O 52:27) B+
50.  Yardbirds-Birdland (Favored Nations 56:54) C

51.  Queensryche-Tribe (Sanctuary 41:35) B-
52.  Eve 6-It's All In Your Head (RCA 44:41) B-
53.  Fred McDowell-Heritage Of The Blues (Hightone 35:50) B+
54.  Killing Joke (Epic 59:18) A-
55.  Brothers Johnson-Strawberry Letter 23 Best Of (A&M 79:20) A-
56.  Kings Of Leon-Youth And Young Manhood (RCA 46:06) B+
57.  Grand Drive (Private Music 61:22) B+
58.  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-Take Them On Your Own (Virgin 55:50)B-
59.  Ravonettes-Chain Gang Of Love (Columbia 33:19) A-
60.  ZZ Top-Mescalero (RCA 66:15) B

61.  Andrew WK-The Wolf (Island 43:24) C+
62.  Ratt-Metal Hits (Flashback 41:50) B+
63.  Willie Nelson/Ray Price Run That By Me One More Time (Lost Highway 38:25) B
64.  Six Degrees Of Funk-Best Of George Clinton (Epic 72:56) B+
65.  MxPx-Before Everything And After (A&M 46:52) C
66.  A Perfect Circle-The Thirteen Step (Virgin 50:31) A-
67.  My Morning Jacket-It Still Moves (ATO 71:48) C+
68.  James Brown-50th Anniversity Collection (Polydor 77:05-79:27) A
69.  Fred McDowell-Heroes Of The Blues (Shout Factory 49:00) A
70.  When The Sun Goes Down-Poor Man's Heaven (RCA 73:05) B+

71.  Martin Scorace Presents Son House (Columbia 59:40) A-
72.  Martin Scorace Presents J B Lenoir (Chess/MCA 37:54) A-
73.  Martin Scorace Presents Keb Mo (Epic 60:45) B+
74.  John Mellencamp-Trouble No More (Columbia 46:41) B-
75.  Rev Gary Davis-Heroes Of The Blues (Shout Factory 60:35) B+
76.  Leadbelly-Take This Hammer (Bluebird 79:47) A-
77.  The Strokes-Room On Fire (RCA 33:00) B
78.  Bottle Rockets-Blue Sky (Sanctuary 42:52) A-
79.  David Bowie-Reality (ISO/Columbia 49:17) B+
80.  REM Best Of 1988-2003 (Warner Brothers 76:15) A-

81.  Jet-Get Born (Elektra 48:33) B+
82.  16 Horsepower-Olden (Jetset 63:22) B+
83.  Sonny Boy Williamson-Bluebird Blues (Bluebird 73:58) A-
84.  Blue Rodeo-Palace Of Gold (Rounder 69:56) B-
85.  Chris Knight-The Jealous Kind (Dualtone 45:56) B+
86.  Supergrass-Life On Other Planets (Island 42:17) A-
87.  Romantics-61/49 (Webb 36:53) A-
88.  Old And In The Gray (Acoustic Disc 51:20) A-
89.  Living Colour-Collide-scope (Sanctuary 60:39) C+
90.  Steely Dan-Everything Must Go (Reprise 42:24) B

91.  Legendary Shack Shakers-Cockadooledont (Bloodshot 33:30) B-
92.  Warren Zevon-The Wind (Sheridan Square 45:07) A-
93.  Iggy Pop-Skull Ring (Virgin 61:38) B+
94.  Beatles-Let It Be Naked (Apple 35:00) B
95.  Fefe Dobson (Island 49:57) B+
96.  Marshall Tucker Band-Stompin Room Only (Shout Factory 72:42) B
97.  Kid Rock (Atlantic 67:46) B-
98.  The Darkness-Permission To Land (Atlantic 38:10) A-


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Top Ten Of The Week-Berry Beckett RIP

Here to deliver the latest in terms of music of the week, your humble host comments and makes his usual observations despite low ratings on the web.   Old habits are hard to break it seems.

This is the AM radio station that I have been listening to of late since my borrowed car don't have a CD player.  This is a radio station from Canada that has a great big play list of forgotten songs of the past 80 years.  Even the songs they listed even surprise me.  You won't find a radio station like this in the US anywhere, unless you have KXEP or Radio Free Phoenix. 

Berry Beckett was one of the best keyboard players in the Muscle Shoals Band and was a great producer in his own right.  He died last week at age 66.

If Iran didn't have the US to blame their own fucking problems on, they be blaming somebody else.  I don't believe A-Jad (the name given for Mr. Horse Face's unwritable name) lost but I don't believe he had 65 percent of the vote.  The revolution is getting old brother, either change or get overthrown.  Oppressive governments don't work, neither does Self Government without self discipline.  Personal to A Jad, nobody wants to go back to the 7th century anyway.  That's as big as a myth as blowing yourself up and thinking your going to paradise whereas you're probaly recarnated as fly dung.  Iran, just another bunch of hypocrites just like Kim Jung Ill and his North Korean jackoffs.

And a big Crap to Kaplin University and their 20 commericals per hour on every channel in the afternoon.  More snake oil education from a fly by night half baked business college.  Maybe the Irianians are behind this too.

The songs of the week.

1.  Heart Of The Sunrise-Yes 1972    Prog rock classic from Fragile, my first introduction to Jon Anderson and company and would continue off and on for the last 30 plus years.

2.  Bam Balam-The Du Droppers 1953  This week, this top ten will be taking a long lost look at some of the uptempo R and B of the pre rock era and although this wasn't an hit, it was featured on the 1987 RCA compliation RCA Victor Blues And Rhythm Revue. Collectibles Records would issue an overview of their work and is highly collectible since it's now out of print.  Sorry kids, Fergie doesn't appear on any of the songs.

3.  I Need To Know Where I Stand-Rhett Miller 2009  Into the now with the latest song off the latest album from the Old 97's lead singer, Rhett's latest has been getting good reviews from the likes of Rolling Stone or Spin magazine and others.  His last label didn't give him much of a chance, cutting him loose three weeks after releasing it.  Here's hoping Shout Factory gives him another chance to issue another album.

4.  Freedom-Jimi Hendrix 1971  Dedicated to A-Jad and the Iranian Supreme beings. As LEN would say, you can't stop the rush........

5.  My Gal's A Jockey-Big Joe Turner 1946  This was played on the Canadian radio station the other night and yes, if I hear something on a radio that hasn't been heard from in a while, I'll put it down.  Big Joe is considered one of the pioneers of rock and roll before rock and roll got famous in 1954 but at the time it was called jump blues.  Big Joe would revisit this song and rename it Rebecca on his 1958 Big Joe Is Here jazz album for Atlantic.

6.  Will You Visit Me On Sundays-Merle Haggard 1968  Not to be confused with a song by The Peppermint Rainbow, which has practially the same melody and chorus but with an alter of the words, Merle's best moments came around the late 60s with his Capitol work.  This wasn't a hit but it can be found on the cheapo budget best of called Prison that was quietly put out in the early part of this decade. 

7.  Good Morning Blues-Leadbelly 1940  One of Leadbelly's better known blues songs. Why we sing the blues you ask?  Because we live in times that give us the blues.  Mississippi Fred McDowell actually redo this song on his I Do Not Play No Rock And Roll album.  Your job is to guess the name of the song.

8.  Snap-Flight 16 1998  Long forgotten rock band makes an album on a major label that uses it as a tax write off.  The problem with those late 90's unknown bands had to face.  No airplay, no promotion, no nothing.  It's really not an bad album.  Probably better than Altered State who at least made two albums for Warner Brothers.  And had a following enough to have their own My Space site.  Unlike Flight 16 who faded from view........

9.  Walk On Out Of My Mind-Waylon Jennings 1967  One of Ol' Waylon's better Nashville sounding songs of that time.  But Nashville was the roughest.....

10.  Summertime (is calling)-The Motors 1977   And yes it is.  It's summertime kiddies, let's go sweat a little.  ;-)

And finally, let's give a big FU to PETA.  Personally I would love to give PETA each and every fly and gnats that I come across with here while mowing the yard or going to McDonalds.  Or going to HP Books and having the single solitary fly buzzing around my head.  Fucking bastards anyway.  All the power to Obama of swatting those pesky A Jad Flies.   Fuck PETA.

Friday, June 12, 2009

RIP Virgin Megastore

The Virgin Megastore, the last one is closing this week at Union Square in New York.  Not that I'm going to get up there but last year the Virgin Megastore had a location at Arizona Mills.  I'm guessing not anymore.  Anyway, Rob gives us his thoughts on the subject.

The problem with BestBuy and Target, is that none of the clerks give a shit. And lets not forget the fact that every year they decrease the space devoted to music.
As great as the iPod is, and I have one, it killed the music store as well as the music industry. Yes, the horrible music being produced today has something to do with it. But now you don’t need to rush out to a store to buy a new album, instead you just click a button and to me that really sucks. No cool artwork to talk about, no discussing the new album with other fans. It’s horrible.

And basically that's the problem nowadays, The MP3 and the Internet along with the major labels and bad radio has killed off music as we know it today.  Certainly Virgin or Tower Records may have had high prices on most of their inventory but they did have some bargains if you knew where to find them.  And we kept up with the latest music and magazines too. 

It's bizarre to note that in the 7 years of me blogging online is that I pretty much instead talking bout the development of new music was in fact documenting the end of music stores as we know them today.  It goes way back to Wherehouse Music, Sam Goody, Relics Records, Tower, Rockaway and countless others that one after another closed up shop due to kids nowadays rather downloading a song then buying music.  But then again, this decade haven't given us the bands that could replaced the classic rock bands I've grew up with and now my best friends kids are listening to.  Rush, Led Zep, The Beatles, Pink Floyd remain the choice stuff.  Seven years of writing about the decline of music and it's like falling down a mine shaft.  When you think you hit bottom, it caves away and your freefalling all over again.

To the kids of today, too bad your bands suck.  Black music was great back in the 60s and 70s, today all it is nothing more than rap and whatever they can do with stolen processed beats.  To the kids of today, you got Black Eyed Peas for your legacy.  No wonder the Marion High School class of 2009 wanted to go with a old Queen song for their graduation number instead of something today.  And that's the sad fact of music today.  The lack of anything memorable.  And your stuck with rap music made by Pengrin Walkers who walk around with the pants down.

Envy us, for our generation knew a hook and memorable music.  And your stuck with Kanye West and whatever passes for the flavor of the minite on the radio.  How do ya like us now?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Top Ten Of The Week-After The Flood One Year Later

What a difference a year makes.  Last year it rained every damn day to the point that the river came crashing through at 31 feet and changed the face of Cedar Rapids.  This year Mother Nature has been much more kinder and though we had our chances of rain, thankfully the gullywashers has stayed away from here.  Things have been much dryer and that's all right by me.

And now time for me to reveal to you a top ten of songs from CDs that i have been playing this week.  Sorry kids, no Limp Bizkit in this collection but you'll happy to know that they're playing Vegas next month.  Which reminds me, the earwigs are out.  One more thing to smack around in the house.  Time to load up on the Paxil again.

1.  Rocks Off-The Rolling Stones 1972  They used to be good long time ago, used to be THE MOST IMPORTANT BAND IN THE WORLD and I'm sure y'all went out and purchased the remasters now on Universal for the forth time.  Money grubbing fucks anyway.  Well back in the early 70s The Stones made Sticky Fingers and topped it with one of the five all time double albums ever made called Exile On Main Street.  Everybody should have a copy of that album so a cheaper alternative would be a used Virgin or CBS album if you rather not spend another 13.99 for it.  Sometimes I think the critics tend to blow things out of whack.  Nobody spends 20 bucks on a CD anymore.  That's why they invented or Secondspin.  Your local used record store I'm sure might have a copy of Exile On Main Street somewhere.  That is IF you still have a local record store.

2.  Not Fazed-Ride 1992  Alternative rock was the final horizon back in the early 90s with a lotta shoegazer bands coming out of the woodwork, one of the better ones was Ride, a band lead by Andy Bell who now plays in Oasis and doesn't have to work too hard writing songs anymore.  Used to hear this on the ZONE, arizona's alternative station at that time, now another faceless modern rock station that's not worth the space printed on this line.

3.  I Don't Dig It-Big Joe Turner 1949  Rock n roll from the 40s is really no different than the rock of the 50s and so on, they called it boogie woogie instead.  Big Joe Turner has always been on my favorite early rock and roll singers from that long ago era along with Louis Jordan.  I'm sure he'd disagree but Fats Waller could be a early rock n roller too.  This JT Turner is bascially Roll Them Pete but with a slight variation on the words.

4.  Pitkin County Turnaround-Steve Martin 2009  The Wild And Crazy Guy finally makes that banjo bluegrass album he only hinted at when he made those comedy albums back in the late 70s.  Although he can be funny at times, I always enjoyed his banjo pieces on Lets Get Small (Ramblin Man).  Martin actually played banjoy on the Earl Scruggs and friends album he did about five years ago and it paved the way for this album that Rounder issued.  Don't look for any comedy routines on this album, just good old banjo grinning and picking.

5.  Let Your Love Go-Bread 1970  Give it up for soft rock of the 70s and Bread did make some catchy stuff back then. They could rock out sometimes too as this song does that.  Rock out. David Gates would go on to a solo career and a attempt to go country but nobody cared anymore.  Still remains a very good songwriter.

6.  There She Goes Again-The Velvet Underground 1967  This song has been covered a few times (The Beat Farmers, REM) but this may have been the VU's attempt for a pop hit although Verve Records didn't issue it on a 45 (they went with All Tomorrow's Parties instead). Should have.

7.  Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA-Devo 1979  Spud boys on the attack.

8.  Sundown In Nashville-Marty Stuart 2003  If anybody is trying to keep the old nashville sound going, Marty is the only one that I know of that's doing that.  Ain't had much luck with the major labels this decade, he made a one off on a ill fated reunion on Columbia and his deal with Universal South only gave us a couple albums, one a gospel country classic if you can find it.  He did a remake of this song on his new album, to which you can only get from his website and it's a bit more rougher than this version that came from the Columbia album.

9.  Everybody I Meet Is From California-America 1972  Another soft rock band that gotten raked over the coals by know it all critics, America in the early years sounded like a good knock off of the Crosby, Stills and Nash without the Crosby attitude.  This was a B Side to Horse With No Name and is many a fan's favorite.  I did buy the Definite Pop Collection 2 cd set for 8 bucks at HP Books and while the first cd is pretty good, their decline shows on the second cd, with a bit too much meddling from George Martin. 

10. Communion-Killing Joke 1994  The original band is back, for the better I don't know, I haven't heard anything from it.  This comes from their reunion album of 1994 with Youth and I guess this song was recorded in Egypt. Although not a critic favorite, Pandemonium got me hooked enough to buy their albums from hereonafter. 

One of the My Space bands that added me on as a friend but really never commented over here have called it quits.  The Muckrakers, Kentucky's very own alt rock band decided to throw in the towel.

Hey Dexter, what do you think about those gas prices going up?

Demos and Repub, two cheeks on the same butt and what come out between the two cheeks is reserved for the voters (and non voters)-Dexter on Will Gas hit 3 dollars a Gallon this year? (Answer yes).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Crabb Bits: Kenny Rankin, Rhett Miller, Etc.

I was reading through emails and things and Sassy wrote to me about the passing of Kenny Rankin, who made a few albums for Little David back in the 70s and managed to have a good career with his lite jazz.  Rankin died from lung cancer at age 69.  Famous for having George Carlin opening up some of his shows from the 70s, i have to say that I have never heard any albums from Rankin and Rolling Stone Review Guide never did give him much credit but then again, Jack Orbit recommends his Like A Seed or The Kenny Rankin Album.

This from TAD on his latest blog of the great lost singles.

Ghod Bless RS Crabb 4 confirming awhile back that he'd heard at least SOME of the "Great Lost Singles" I'd bn writing about -- course the 1st few that I wrote about, the 1's I'd practically SELL MY SOUL & mortgage the house I don't own 2 get my hands on -- those he apparently didn't read about. 
Tad (from his old website which is gone)

Perhaps I'll will him my collection of 45s then.  Most of the songs he suggested you can find on Rhino's Have A Nice Day Series.  Nope I have never heard of the Kracker song he mentioned that Rolling Stones put out on their own label.  Contrary to what he knows, I have read his Great Lost Singles blogs and note that Tad has a great memory of what he heard on the radio, just as much as I remember what I heard on the radio at that time.  As for the 5 Men Electrical Band, there's finally a US best of album that Collector's Choice Music is touting but I do have the Canadian Polydor best of that came out 10 years ago that has Julianna and I'm a Stranger Here but definly need to hear that album again although my initial reaction to Absolutely Right-The Best Of was that the this band has dated over the years but nevertheless, Tad knows his music from the  late 60s-early 70s era.  And I'm flattered that he remembered me.  Cheers!

I try not to comment on this John And Kate Plus Eight show to all of a sudden they break up and they become news for the Trash TV.  Nor do I really give a shit about Lindsay Lohan 's lovelife.  Or why Jennifer Anniston can't keep a man or why John Mayer plays the field.  John Mayer is what I can lottery winners.  Those who make the media with the littlest of efforts.  Carrie Underwood also falls in this catagory.  Mayer remains overrated in his music and he can do what he wants or bed any good looking chick he wants.  Jennifer Anniston seems to be high maintainence.  John Mayer wants to be in the spotlight too, hell he's funny at times but most of the time he just annoys me.  Great guitar player, subpar albums.  What can we say?

This weekend will be one year since The Flood of 2008 and KCRG has put together this website that gives you the play by play of those fateful turn of events.  Even the day before the Red Cedar tore through 114 city blocks of CR, this town got socked with another 2 inches of rain to go with the 10 inches that arrived on the Sunday before.  This is the very reason why I became anti rain.  No drought in the world would ever convince me of desiring another rainy day.  This website above gives you the reason why I'm anti rain.

A new season of Gene Simmons Family Jewels is upon us and even if you can't stand the Tongue Master Moneyman himself you gotta enjoy his family as they try to put up with his hijinx.  It won't make me go out and buy that new KI$$ album later in the year (Ace is not on it and a good KISS album has to have either him or Vinnie Vincent on it) but it sure in the hell beats John + Kate Plus 8 for reality fun although my dad might disagree on me on that.

New Alice In Chains in September and yes they're on a major label again. EMI/Virgin if you care.

An official Van Halen band is the one with David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony in it.  Eddie has been acting more like Axl Rose every year and although I'm sure he's honored to have Wolfgang in his band, it's still not the same with M.A.  As much as Eddie Van Halen can't stand Sammy Hagar, booting Mike out of the band just becuz he's jamming with Sammy on the side shouldn't mean you should blacklist him.  But then again maybe Eddie just can't put out a good VH album anymore.  He certainly hasn't since For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.  Or the song that was on the Twister soundtrack.

And now a word from Mr. Rhett Miller on his brand new album released today.

Today, my record drops. Who will be there to catch it?

I have made a number of these things. Records. The process still mystifies me. It starts with nothing. A hummed tune. A few words. A chorus line I can't extricate from my head.

Then it's a pile of songs. Too many, invariably. So the runts get shoved aside by the stronger of the litter. The castaways might grow up between now and the next record and find a home there. Some will become bonus tracks. Others will be forgotten. But the record? That's the thing. The monster that has just been summoned into existence. The beast about to draw its first breath.

I love the process of making records. The camaraderie. The common goal. The act of creation that links all involved. It's more fun now than when I made my first record way back in high school. And that was the most fun I'd ever had. What a thrill. To discover the meaning in a life. In my own life.

I am a lucky, lucky man.

I named this album after its dad. Rhett Miller.

Self-centered? Sure. But my favorite art happens when the lens is turned inward. I reveal bits of myself in order to reach out. To the shared consciousness. To the world. To you.

"My life was saved by rock and roll." It's not just a great lyric, it's the truth. I heard Joan Jett sing it on the King Biscuit Flower Hour one depressing Sunday night during my childhood. That night she introduced me to The Velvets AND Bowie. Thanks, Joan,

While I'm at it, I need to thank the good folks who have helped out even more recently...

This record started out as mine, but it became the property of a small group of us.

Salim Nourallah is my George Martin. I love him and depend on him. He nurtured this record so lovingly. His endless ideas; his willingness to hear input from all involved; his strength of vision... He made it all possible. And what a bedside manner! Salim has helped me learn to be a more conscious, present person. That's a full-service producer!

The first thing we laid down, not unusually, was the foundation. The drums. John Dufilho had studied the demos I'd made with the intensity of an FBI operative poring over vital intelligence reports. He came into the studio with a focus and determination that made me want to work hard enough that I would deserve his hard work and talent. John re-introduced me to my own songs. He rebuilt them. He saved their puny little lives and set them on the road towards maturation.

Billy Harvey is like a taller, good-looking Yoda. Quiet and intense. He embodies a Zen approach to life that inspires me. He could be the world's biggest show-off - his melodic and instrumental prowess is so profound. But, like a true Jedi, he only displays his brilliance when it is needed. He played the vast majority of the guitar parts on the album as well as some keys and some singing. To hear him create melody and nuance is to watch a master-craftsman at work. And we pushed him. Long hours. Hard work. He never complained. He never phoned it in.

Jon Brion, on the other hand, did phone it in. But only technically. He was in LA while we were in Dallas. He would get the tracks we had laid down and add his own fascinating, insane, beautiful flourishes wherever he saw fit. How lucky am I to count Jon among my friends? Supremely. And don't think I don't know it. Listen to the bass part on the album's opening cut. That's Jon Brion. Forever riding a wave of inspiration. Forever making the world a more beautiful place.

The backing vocals on the album are the sweet fruit of the thousands of hours my friend Paul Averitt spent honing that specific talent. And what a talent. Though he did mark up all my notebooks, writing FA and SO in the margins, I still heart him.

There were others, friends who swung by the studio and got recruited. Jason Garner from the Deathray Davies and the Paper Chase came in and ended up playing bass on one cut. John Lefler of the band Dashboard Confessional got roped into playing some late-night keyboard parts that might have just saved the album. Kristy Kreuger came in and sang on "Refusing Temptation", a song I'd originally written with the idea that it should be sung by a woman. And what a voice SHE has.

And then, amongst an arsenal of secret weapons, the most secret of all. Rip Rowan was not only the Geoff Emerick to Salim's George Martin, doing a fantastic job of engineering, but a great player as well. Keys, percussion, and ideas galore. His unflagging energy saved many a day.

And now the record is out. In the world. And the hard work of that team is documented for eternity.

I love music. I love records. I am a lucky, lucky man.

If my record is dropping, how come things are looking so UP?

Thank you Rhett.  And now Mr. Crabb reviews it.  Not as polished and as memorable as his last album, Rhett retains Salim Nourallah (The Old 97's Blame It On Gravity album) as producer and makes kind of a mellowed affair with the occasional fortay into hard rocking songs (Happy Birthday Don't Die) and the obvilous of failed love songs (Sometimes, Another Girlfriend).  Tuneful and reflective, it's nice that Shout Factory (home of Matthew Sweet) has given Rhett Miller an outlet for his music and if this record is slightest of his four album output, it is certainly much better than the latest from Elvis Costello whose tends to overstay his welcome.  With Rhett it's always a pleasure to hear from him.  Only wished he had more songs such as I Need To Know Where I Stand or If It's Not Love in him.  And wished radio would at least play his music.
Three stars.  Grade B plus

Afterthought:  Too bad that Rhett decided to cast his lot with Shout Factory for this one off for the label.  Many copies became dollar cutouts at the bargain stores around town.  Still holds up fairly well although I'm thinking it's a straight B album and not B plus.

Friday, June 5, 2009

30 Years Onward-Class of 79

Thirty years ago, we finally celebrated our freedom of 12 years plus kindergarten by graduating from Marion High School.  I remember the day being quite nice and sunny.  I also remembered the cap and gown that I wore was from when my Aunt Cindy graduated three years earlier.

It's funny how things begin at Black Hawk School in Waterloo and after stops in Nevada, back to Waterloo, Webster City and Cedar Rapids that the road would end in Marion going to Emerson and then to Longfellow.  Looking at old class pictures in Waterloo I can still remember my first grade school GF, who was Donna Hess, kind of a husky girl who seemed to chase me around the school yard on recess.  I remember the teacher paired us up on some kind of dance recital and had to hold her hand.  Odd to remember how sweaty and wet her hand was.  Later there was Tanya who became GF number 2 but before that went further we moved to Nevada and there was Michelle.  I had friends back then too but strange that i cant remember their name whereas I remember the girls.  Fact of the matter was that I did see Donna at Crossroads in 1980 when Marion won the 3A game, she looked lesbian with a short haircut and wearing overalls.  Maybe she wasn't but then again.

We got used to the fact of moving so much that things were kept in boxes half the time. We were only in Nevada for about eight months before moving back to Waterloo for a year and then to Webster City.  Out of all the places we used to live at, i have yet to return to WC.  Been to Nevada a couple times, Waterloo at least once a year and Cedar Rapids while driving down Mount Vernon Road, can still see the house we used to live in.  And then the road ended at Marion for the last of the school years.

As I get older I begin to lose memory of some of the things that I used to do.  At Emerson I developed crushes on some chick named Lila Somebody and I think Janeen Machen was at Emerson.  Lila was your typical stuck up spoiled little queen, whereas Janeen was more of a tomboy and at least you can talk to her.  What the fuck I saw in Lila was a weak moment I guess.  Once we moved over to Longfellow, the best three years of my school life began, and me and my friends would terrorize the teachers and develop girlfriend crushes and walked them home.  Hard to believe that Cheryl Barker was the girl of choice.  Was best friends with Russ and Jeff till me and Jeff had a following out over Cheryl.  Grade school competition but neither one of us ended up with her anyway.  Jeff found somebody much better and we did eventually mend fences and now have become friends again.  But throughout all that time Russ and myself were the sidekicks that played basketball, and football and I did play BB with Cheryl too.  She was only 4 foot 5 but she seem to run circles around me and won most of the games that we did play.

I don't remember much of Junior High.  Not that I really wanted to, I think I spent most time watching the trains go by town back when the Milwaukee Road/Union Pacific went through Marion.  The trains were annoying when they stopped in the middle of town.  We'd be late by a few minutes but I think I planned it just right.  By then Cheryl and I were going our separate ways, she became a overachieving BB star player while I quit football simply of the fact I didn't like to practice doing 100 pushups.  I guess that paved the way of me not being all that popular from here on out.

My freshman year at MHS sucked. Typical hazing and ended up being bullied by some upper class-men.  Seemed like everyday I was fighting with one of them or two.  G.K was a total douchebag.  He drove a old rustbucket Mercury and if he wasn't punching me in the hallway, the fuck was throwing Tomatos at me going home one day.  I regret the fact that I didn't fight back at this guy.  Hell, the cocksucker worked at Kroeske's when I looking through the dollar albums.  Should have reported him as harassing me and got him fired.  But he was in love with one of our neighbor's daughters and I guess she dumped him in the worst of ways so karma does have a way of getting revenge for you.  But he suffered from small penis syndrome.  I'm sure 30 years later GK has forgotten me and everything and I think he still lives in town. Thank our lucky stars we haven't ran into each other.   The other annoyance that I had to deal with in high school passed away a few years ago.

Being a sophomore wasn't much better.  I met a girl up in Michigan to save myself for her after graduation so we can be married and live a happy life (such fairy tales).  But I ended meeting two girls who would test my patience and perhaps made me what I am today.  And why I'm still single.  Anne Luzum was this smart mouth sister of Steve Luzum and she had her best friend in American Studies that I forgot to take as a freshman and unfortunately would pay for that mistake.  In terms of theory, Janice Berns remains either the one that got away or the female version of GK.  Janice somehow in the last three years became a major part of my life the wrong way.  She was a honor student, cheerleader and was actually very skinny but she had one of those Farrah Dos and the prettiest of eyes.  In terms of theory  she should have been the steady for me but since i was trying to save myself for the Michigan girl, I chose the wrong girl.  I can tell you this, that Janice did like me, perhaps even love me, she said that once after getting into a fight with her at the dance the other night since I didn't ask her to dance properly.   Looking back thirty years later I realize that Janice wasn't this monster annoyance but rather a freshman girl who seen something in somebody that lived across the tracks and didn't do sports and was a D/F student.  The biggest regret I did was never walking her home after school.  Instead I chose Sue Raue and look where it got me today. But when I think about it anymore, Janice was just a waste of time too.  Wish we would have never met.

I didn't date all that much in HS.  I walked Lisa Baumbarger home a couple times and the only girl that I did date was Penny.  Penny was your big girl, she wasn't a cheerleader nor into sports but rather a quiet girl with a funny laugh.  If Janice was the imagination GF, Penny was the more real GF that I did things with and we did managed to walk the halls and held hands sometimes.  But alas, I broke her heart a couple times and lived to regret that.  I guess history will show that Penny was my HS GF, for the fact that on homecoming on my senior year,while the bastards at Applegates made me work late into the night, Penny sacifirced her time waiting for me to get off work, covering in pizza grease and we spent most of the evening at my other best friend's Steve's apartment.   Then I stood her up the next day and broke her heart again.  I could be a real prick back then.  As they say Karma does get you back and it did.  She broke my heart in 1989.  Sometimes you can't make being wrong right again.  Another reunion in 93 proved just as bad.  Took us about 14 more years to get over that.  I think we'll on civil terms now but it took forever to get there.

My Junior Year sucked as well.  Tried out for Basketball and made it to the march intermurials or what ever they call them.  Didn't have to do jumping jacks.  I played a bit, didn't do a lot, terrible free throw shooter.  Just like little league, was going to be a star till my grandpa died and lost a whole week of practice and never did get a fucking hit whatsoever in my only year of playing little league.  I guess I was to ask Janice to the Homecoming in my junior year but didn't and ever since then if looks could kill she shoot those killer eyes at me, only to  bring me up from the dead only to shoot the look again.  I really thought about transferring to Linn Mar just to get away from her.  Got stuck with the worse teacher ever Bangs Bejecklia they called here.  Ended up taking a class over with a attempt to be class president.  Which everybody laughed, thankful that I wasted an hour with my rhetoric and then voted for somebody else in the end.  I don't think I got much votes.

Senior year, started out shit, 7 courses and a shit job dishwashing at Applegates.  Janice was a cook and she loved throwing those dirty dishes on the counter.  I remember an old classmate Cindy  hired as a dishwasher.  She was cute too but we never had much interests once she moved away when she was living in CR when I was going to third grade there.  Suffered a nervous breakdown around Thanksgiving, recovered, got fired at Applegates for making up a BIG R Special which was my version of a Long Island Tea.  And then got hired at Derby and did some social work at a daycare center. Me working with kids?  Well it was true.

When we finally graduated it become a relief that after 13 years in the school system that it was over and then the usual happened.  Some went into the service, some went to the U of I or Iowa State, most went to Kirkwood and myself I took a year off and worked at Derby till I moved over to Union 76 for three more years of hell of working with my dad and the Hatch brothers.  Actually the Hatch boys weren't that bad although I did get into a couple nasty fights with them.

I go to the reunions to meet up with the friends that I have forgotten.  Cheryl seldom ever talks to me anymore, I wasn't a jock I was into rock and roll and her family didn't like me much anyway.  Most have children, some are married, some are married a few times and a couple are grandmas and grandpas.  Nothing really changes in life, we set out to make changes but in the end we only change ourselves to be just like our parents.  I don't have to worry to see any of my ex GFs there, they were a year behind me anyway.  I doubt if I will ever see Janice again but on occasion I'll run into Penny and exchanges Hi and how are you.  As for Lisa Bambarger?  She's only went to one reunion and she never did like me all that much after I quit walking her home. 

We older, we're grayer and wider and even though I don't agree with some of the outcome of this life, can't complain too much bout the life that I live but it's hard to believe that it has been 30 years ago.

Since that sunny day out on the Thomas Park Football Field.  And me trying to keep my hat on top of my head since a good wind would keep blowing it off.  Back then, we were ready to take on the world.  School's out forever, come, let's leave.

A long time forgotten....but I still remember (some of it anyway)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Top Ten Of The Week-Remembering Koko Taylor

1.  Echoes-Pink Floyd 1971  A 20 minite song, like a two minite punk romp can be a worthwhile listening expierence whereas a four minite top forty crap tune masquerating as a song can be as painful as getting a root canal without novacaine.  I am not that big as a Pink Floyd fan as some of y'all out there, in fact I have never had Dark Side Of The Moon in my collection at any point in my lifetime.  But most of the better (and worse) moments made it to the two CD Echoes best of.  To which we got a 16 minite edit of the title track.  Which makes no sense whatsoever.  Should have just include the whole thing and leave off Marooned and Great Gig In The Sky off that best of.

2.  Chrissy From My Space-Mellow The Band 2006  In this latter part of the decade, a lot of bands that I listened to came from My Space and while there have been keepers that I came across (Lizzy Williams comes to mind), most of them simply didn't have it for me to keep a interest in (jah roots, M!SS CRAZY or the ones that kept badgering me to vote for them every freaking week).  MTB, reminds me of those forgotten pop vocal candy bands that made interesting Psyceldelic vocal pop albums of the late 60s. Reminds me of The Millenium or Jellyfish after listening to the self titled Assocation album of 1968 and drawing inspiration there.  MTB managed to get this record released though speciality label Renassiance last year but not much has happened since.

3.  Till I Can't Take It Anymore-Billy Joe Royal 1986  BJ Royal had some big hits in the late 60s with songs written by Joe South and then disappeared for a while before getting some marginal country hits for the country version of Atlantic Records.  Before Confederate Railroad, BJ Royal was the best selling country artist of Atlantic of the late 80s, selling even more than Glen Campbell who floundered at that time.  You can tell this song came from the 80s by the cold and digialized sound that country music favored.

4.  Years Of Tears-The Townedgers 1996  Sure I like to promote my music from time to time and if I want to, I could promote a TE song ever time I put up a top ten but I don't always listen to my music every day anyway.  Sometimes when I get discouraged about my own band situation I do put on a TE song just to remind myself that I can write a good song from time to time.  Certainly the TEs are still playing and still writing but history has shown that the best TE music came from the 90s.  I just hope that our music today rivals the Rolling Stones, meaning making classic albums and then pretty much marking time with subpar music that was a shell of itself of years past.

5.  Time Machine-Cracker 2009  Cracker soul today which is their most hard rocking since their first album way back in the early 90s.  David Lowery used to make hour long epic albums but on the new one, it comes across as a EP of sorts (Only 36 and a half minites long).  Basically without any major label noodling, there wasn't much left except to rock out and have fun. Will this be record of the year, probably not.  But we still are not half way through this year yet so I'm still waiting to be surprised.

6.  Hello Trouble-Buck Owens 1964  Without a cd player in the Pimpmobile that I'm borrowing from my brother, I'm forced to listen to whatever radio pukes up and I find that going home on cloudless nights turing into the WSM in Nashville, a country station that plays real country from time to time.  I can overlook Brad Paisley's He Didn't Have To Be to hear the guy there play not one but two Buck Owens songs back to back which is why I wish every country station around here would follow the lead and then I'd be a loyal listener.  Back in the 60s Buck had hit after hit after hit on the radio and we got a daily dose of Buck on the country charts.  Not today on KHAcK where Carrie Underwood reigns supreme.  But at least WSM in Nashville pays homage to the past.  And imagine my surprise when they played Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs back to back too.  Still I can't wait to get a car that I can listen to my beloved CDs but for now as long as I drive the deathtrap Crown Victoria at least going home I can at least listen to a radio station for more than five minites (commerical notwithstanding).

7.  Clare Blues-Vufcup 2008  Diggy Kat has been very busy with recording projects left and right but he did sent me a collection of songs he did last year in a compliation CD with his collective bands.  He keeps getting better with each new effort and as a fan of his tunes I'm honored to follow every new turn that he does with each new recording.  I'm sure he's also working on the followup to Songs That Made An Impact, the complation that showcased some of the best unknown bands around (and includes a certain eastern iowa band who I won't tell but the initials are T and E).  And I'm sure Shawn Ster is probably chomping at the bit that he didn't get included on such a fine compliation too ;).

8. Just To Satisfy You-Waylon Jennings/Willie Nelson 1981  The outlaw moment was over by then but Waylon and Willie still managed to make a chart topping single or two in the early part of the 80s.  A reworking of a minor hit that Waylon had around 66 or 67.

9.  Get Tough-The Del-Lords 1985  Hard rocking band from New York that featured Top Ten from the Dictators (Scott Kempner), Roscoe Ambel who would be Americana Producer Wonderkind and future Cracker drummer Frank Funero.  After twenty plus years their albums are being reissued on CD from the fine folk at Collector's Choice Music/American Beat Records.  Now will somebody issue The Brains first album before I'm dead and gone.

10.  Fork In The Road-Neil Young 2009  Finally it looks like that Neil Young finally has issued that long awaited Archives box set that hes been working on for the past twenty years.  The Blu Ray at 300 bucks will keep you up to date and it gives you just about everything Neil.  The downside is that most of his albums are on this big box set with one or two songs left off.  I have yet to see this big box set but there are a cheaper DVD set (200 bucks) and an 8 CD set around 80 bucks. Doubt if I'll "cough up the bucks" for this, even a 8 cd set would take a whole month to dissect and analize so I guess I will hang on to the cds I already have and his new album which is stuck in a shitty digipak that will give you a nasty papercut if you're not careful.  I'd sell mine but Secondspin is only offering a dollar for trade in.  Not exactly a good deal, especially when the cost of sending it to them cost more than trade.

Bonus Track-Wang Dang Doodle-Koko Taylor 1967  RIP Koko Taylor who died yesterday at the age of 80.  The Queen of The Blues, Koko is famous for a booming vocal and recorded for Checker and Alligator Records and has played at various blues festivals around the area.  She will be missed.