Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Had Any Lately?

I'm getting so behind in the blogs and trying to keep up on the latest from y'all. TAD keeps blogging them out left and right, Miss Melissa Mae is having fun with "the fireman" which I now got the George Strait song playing in my head. And I'm think I am coming down with a damn springtime flu, just in time for 70 degree temps and some nice sunny and windy days. Sorry to hear our friends on the east coast getting flooded out; I feel for y'all. Been through that all too much last four years. This month actually has been somewhat dry but I see dark clouds for the weekend. Let's hope we don't get rain on Easter, otherwise we'll be stuck with 7 straight weeks of the wet shit.

Iowa's new men's basketball coach is Fran McCaffery, the Siena coach who promises a more uptempo offense and unlike the last two coaches promises to bring back former Iowa players for their input. He sounds like the real deal, maybe then I can watch the Hawkeyes then and not fall asleep. I'm sure he'll turn it around, or at least win more than the football team.

And now, this week's songs of note. Comments are welcome.

1. Whenever You're Ready-Brian Auger Oblivion Express 1973 Unlike the boogie bands of that era, Brian was more into jazzier numbers and I did find a copy of Closer To It on vinyl a few years ago and then the CD in Madison last week. Upon further listenings I come to find that while good, I think I'm more interested of playing of the vinyl album more than I do of the CD. I think this was his biggest selling album for RCA but he made this after the departure of Alex Livengood and Robbie McIntosh, who went on to the Average White Band before suffering a drug overdose. The bass line at the end of the song recalls John Coltraine's A Love Supreme. The CD adds four alt takes.

2. Hittin' Where It Hurts-Webb Wilder 1989 I remember KFMH (99.7 in Muscatine, an old album rock station before they were bought out and became a crappy country station and later even worse top forty station) playing this song and I went out all over creation trying to find the album. I think I bought it at BJ's in Iowa City. Anyway, this was Webb's biggest selling and only album for Island, which was a strange fit. But then again that was tame to nowadays. I don't think Chris Blackwell would ever sign Mariah Carey or Justin Bieber to his label if he was still heading it. BTW, Miss Carey turned the big 40 last weekend. Time is flying people.

3. The Light-Humble Pie 1971 With Peter Frampton still in the band, The Pie was still somewhat split between the pop/rock stylings of As Safe As Yesterday and not yet the boogie monsters they would be with Rockin The Fillmore or Smokin but certainly once Frampton left the band, Steve Marriott took them down the boogie woogie highway. I guess there was talk that Frampton was ready to rejoin the Pie around 1990 before Marriott's unfortune passing. But you'll be happy to know that Frampton does have a brand new album coming out late April if all goes well. And I'm sure they will.

4. Don't Waste My Time-Status Quo 1973 Ah, the golden age of album rock and roll, 1973 to 1976, seems like I get more top ten songs up from that era more than anything else. The Quo never broke big in the US, Nixon probably saw to that the Quo were commies and not to be trusted. Or was it Spiro Agnew? After years of being hippy dippies, The Quo decides to rock out and do more blues and boogie with Piledriver,the first of many Quo albums to hit the UK top ten. In the US, this was the first of 3 albums to be on A & M Records to which one wonders why Humble Pie was topping the charts with Smokin, while The Quo was under the top 100 radar. KWWL FM had a underground rock show and sometimes they would play The Status Quo. The Quo remain rock gods in the UK, but over here nobody gives them much thought outside of me. There are two different versions of Piledriver out there, the Mercury Reissue (UK) has a live version of Don't Waste My Time, the Repitoire CD has two B sides Joanne and Lonely Night. Jes saying.

5. The Devil's Been Busy-Travelin Wilburys 1990 While trying to compare albums between this and George Harrison's Cloud 9, the aforementioned track was on the Volume 3 album of the T. Wilburys and once upon a time their CDs where hard to find cheap till Rhino reissued them with bonus cuts, which fans upgraded. The original thought was that Del Shannon would replace Roy Orbinson when Roy passed away but it never did happened. Del shot himself 2/8/1990, over twenty years ago. However, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty did help and play on Del's final album Rock On, to which Petty issued on his own Gone Gator label in 1991 (Silvertone in the UK).

6. Southern Girls-Saliva 2008 Nu Metal rockers trying to go for a more rock and less rap sound to which didn't sell and it does sound like a rewrite of Girls Girls Girls by Motley Crue but with a ZZ Top overtone. Too bad they didn't include this on their greatest hits album. It rocks.

7. Sun Hits The Sky-Supergrass 1997 These guys managed to hang around EMI for a good 15 years (although two of their albums were issued on Island/Def Jam) and made some very good glam rock of the 1990s which got them some airplay on the old MTV staple 120 Minites. I'm sure they were signed on the wave of Green Day Wannabes but Baz Coomes sounded more like Billy Corgan to these ears. Alongside Blur and Idlewild, Supergrass was one of the best to come out of the UK in the late 90s. One band that I didn't get into till real later on their career.

8. If I Had A Rocker Launcher-Bruce Cockburn 1983 The big hit was Wondering Where The Lions Are but this record did placed in the later half of the top 100 and the video got played on the old TBS's Night Tracks show, which played music videos after midnight. Ted Turner had plenty of ideas back then didn't he? But Night Tracks only lasted about two years. No realtion to the USA Network much missed Night Flight, one of the most cutting edge music shows that hit cable before the popularity of MTV.

9. Do Unto Others-Paul Revere & The Raiders 1969 The version I am familar with is on All Time Greatest Hits, which was a 2 record set that came out in the early 70s and I think this made it on Greatest Hits Volume 2 but the cheap bastards at CBS in 1990 failed to included it on that bloated Legend Of Paul Revere compliation. Would have settled for All Time Greatest Hits to be issued on CD but however the fine folks at Collector's Choice Music included it on the Complete Singles set that came out last year.

10. And I Like It-Jefferson Airplane 1966 If you have the Takes Off album you're familar with the three minite version but on the expended CD of Takes Off, you get the 7 minite version and I'm sure due to time restrictions, RCA decided to pass on this version, which is the most blues sounding and pointing to the later day Airplane and Hot Tuna syle. On Takes Off, Marty Balin is hands on but with each ensuring album his presence would be more in the background. With the arrival of Grace Slick on the next album, the Airplane would put San Francisco on the map and the place to be for the hippies and free love and so on but mostly on Takes Off, they were electric folkies with a purpose.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Madison Bargain Hunts

Better late than never I suppose but not a lot stood out in the Madison Bargain Hunts. Poorly planned and didn't start out very well, only had 2 and half hours sleep before I left there. First time I went up there and didn't find anything from both Half Priced Bookstores in Madison.

I wasn't feeling very well after having to go to the toilet and bottoming out not once but twice and of course my nose would plugged up and I couldn't breathe worth a shit. Not much for bands, missed out on Uncle Kracker and could have gone seen Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at High Noon Saloon. Didn't go to State Street and see what The Exclusive Company (say it with me) had to offer and after going to 10 other music stores decided to wait till later summer if and when my better half decided to come down here. Anyway, I was serenaded to Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica and probably lost half my hearing due to the dood cranking it out when I was in the dollar record section. But I did managed to find a few albums, such as Steve Winwood's Roll With It, a Mac Mcanally Finish Lines Geffen album, Badlands 1990 album featuring Jake Lee and the late great screamer Ray Gillen and the new Vampire Weekend Contra on vinyl. And then I took my stroll on the edge of Lake Monona, went to Strictly Discs to hang there till closing and then went to Barnes & Noble and hung there till closing and decided to get George Harrison's Cloud 9 for 20 bucks total to replace my copy which doesn't play very well on my stereo. Then I returned home.

In short, Madison remains the best place to find music but it was mostly hit and miss.

Some cd's found there.

Cactus (Wounded Bird/Atco 1970) the Vanilla Fudge rhythm section meets Mitch Ryder's guitarist Jim McCarty and ex Amboy Dukes lead screamer Rusty Day to make faceless boogie. Used to be the rage back in 1970 but nowadays it's pretty pointless. Grade C

Aynsley Dunbar Retallation-To Mum From Aynsley & The Boys (One Way 1994) More faceless bluesbased boogie from the former drummer of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and managed to get John Mayall to produce it. Somewhat a step above Cactus but not by much Grade C+

Great Speckled Bird (Collector's Choice Music/Bearsville 1970) Ian & Sylvia Tyson decided to make a band featuring future NRPS member Buddy Cage and Amos Garrett to make their answer to Sweetheart Of The Rodeo. Leans more toward The Band although I can't stand Sylvia's quivering vocal. Grade C+

Badlands (Atlantic 1989) Lost metal classic with Jake Lee and Ray Gillen. Also includes future KISS drummer Eric Singer. Badlands got lost among all the hair metal/spandex boys of that era, simply of the fact that Lee was more interested in the blooze based rock of Zeppelin and Deep Purple and was blessed that Ray Gillen can scream them out. Record didn't sell very well although MTV did play a couple of their videos. Singer replaced the late Eric Carr in KISS. In 2000, Koch Records reissued this on a limited basis with a bonus track which you could take or leave but the album itself is pretty damn good. Grade B+

Willie Nelson-Tougher Than Leather (Columbia 1983) Strange and boring concept album that had a hit with a Little Old Fashioned Karma. Great song but this album isn't one of his best. C+

The Who-Greatest Hits Live (Geffen 2010) Another cash-in by Universal this has two cds, one featuring the original band and although none of this really measures up to anything on Live At Leeds or The Kids Are Alright, even off nights having Keith Moon pounding away on the drums can be highly entertaining although he seems to be having problems keeping up on Won't Get Fooled Again. CD number 2 showcase The Who from 1989 onward and leaves Kenny Jones in the dust. And if Zak Starkey is supposed to be the second coming of Keith Moon, how come he's only featured on three tracks and the other five are by Simon Phillips? Cherry picks the infamous 1989 Join Together boxset and I do like the selections. For fans only. Grade B

Scorpions-Sting In The Tail (Universal 2010) The supposely final studio album from the longtime German metal rockers and if that's the case they leave a very good testament to the spirit of rock and roll although whoever recorded this on CD should be shot due to LOUDNESS factor. You don't need to be an expert to try to unlock the secrets of the songs such as Spirit Of Rock, Raised On Rock or Rock Zone but for a band saying farewell makes me wonder what do they mean by The Best Is Yet To Come? Dieter Dierks could've made this a classic to remember by had he produced it. Still, it's a nice way to end 45 years of rock and rolling. Grade B+

Saliva-Moving Forward In Reverse (Island 2010) Still raving against the world like it was 1999, Saliva's nu-metal could be good at times and for the rest would sound quite nice at WWE. In fact their second biggest hit was used for a commercial. Critics didn't like their by the numbers nu-metal which didn't make them stand out all that much from the kOrn or Godsmack but once in a while they could come up with a melodic song such as Broken Sunday or Southern Girls which sadly isn't included on this album. Even though their music may have dated, Saliva managed to hang with Island for five albums and a best of and that accounts for something. In the end, I think I perfer their 2007 Blood Stained Love Story but as they say if you only want the hits....
Grade B

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Sights & Sounds

Hi kids. Time for the weekly configuration we call The Top Ten Of The Week(R) to where I put them down and make funny comments. The Madison Bargain Hunt blog will be done later.

1. Horse With No Name-America 1971 While I was out walking on the trails at Matsell's I kept hearing a big whinney from time to time and wonder WTF was I hearing. Didn't think much of it at first till I looked up and actually saw a horse trotting down the trail! I don't think it was wild, it waltzed past me as it went on into the forest area. On the way back to the car, I once again saw it on the far side of the trail. Waved at it and said goodbye and it whinney back. The horse was sociable I guess but I wasn't about it go up to it. Not used to be around horses. But thought I do a dedicated to "the horse with no name"......

2. Coke Song-The Cooties 1997 Punk rockers with a love of the drink, not the drug.

3. Heard It In A Love Song-Marshall Tucker Band 1977 Their biggest selling hit and well known to the classic rock and country stations. MTB is the most country sounding of all southern rock bands at that time but they could thrown in a jazz number from time to time. For some reason the folks at Shout Factory decide to add the single version on MTB's last compliation Love Songs which is already in the cut out bins at Half Priced Books.

4. I Can See For Miles-The Who 1989 Join Together, The Who's big comeback box set was a corporate moneygrab and the band was over the top (background singers! Horns! PT playing acoustic guitar to save his hearing!) and I never did buy the album. However, Universal has included this version on Greatest Hits Live to which we get to hear live versions of hits. Wish that they could have included Baby Don't You Do It, the B Side to Come Together simply that has never existed on CD in the US but they did include CD 1 to the original band even though some of those songs paled next to Live At Leeds or The Kids Are Alright. The next cd includes the 1989 and beyond lineups and Kenny Jones wasn't even represented at all on this record. While Pete and Roger raved about Zak Starkey, he's only on three selections while Simon Phillps plays on five and again Kenny Jones was shut out. Originally only availble at Itunes, it came out on CD this week. Cheapest was found at Wally World in Plattville.

5. 157 Riverside Avenue-REO Speedwagon 1971 Back to the 70s again and back to the original lineup. Don't think it was released at a single (that went to Lay Me Down) but this has been a live staple when REO was jamming in the late 70s till Gary Richrath left the band. Never cared much for the show off live version from You Get What You Play For.

6. Get Out Of Denver-Bob Seger 1973 From Early Seger Volume 1 which is now only sold at Wally World, originally from Seven. Early Bob Seger was one of the hardest rocking folk to ever come screaming out of Detroit (or Lansing or Ann Arbor) and his early stuff proved that, although I can't understand why he made them out of print. Hopefully Bob will do another Early Seger Volume 2 and add his original version of Turn The Page, which was off Back in 72 which I found a used copy in Arizona a while ago.

7. Better Times Are Coming-Del Reeves 1963? In the dollar bins I found a old copy of 50 Hits! 50 Stars!, which was a mail order record that can be easily found in your local junk shops and my dad had this in his collection, pretty beat up very scratched up and can't play his. Del would score with Looking At The World Through A Windshield and a couple others for United Aritists but I think this was off a minor label but dammed if I know what it is. Anyway 50 Hits! etc. had the majority of songs from the old Starday label and most of their songs were hillbilly music at its heavenly best. Originally done by Bob Wills and later Jim & Jesse.

8. Good Day-Swinging Steaks 2006 Americana band that had an album for the restarted Capricorn label in the 1990s found themselves back on the indee circult again. I guess we can call this alt country but it sounds too smart to make it to regular country radio. Which really doesn't take that much effort.

9. Watch The Girl Destroy Me-Possum Dixon 1993 Remember this buzz bin band of the early 90s for MTV? When they played videos? You say you don't? Well those were the good old days. They made three albums for Interscope, and this was their best known hit. Produced by Earle Mankey of Sparks fame who also produced 20/20.

10. Tell Me You Love Me-Frank Zappa 1970 Up at Mad City Music Exchange I got to hear the infamous Trout Mask Replica from Captain Beefheart and it's not for everybody. Beefheart was on another level as he try to blow his lungs through his saxophone and may have shredded it in the process. In fact, I lost half my hearing it seems on the first three songs. Lick My Decals Off is not as insane but again anything from the Captain you either like or don't. The next album the guy played was Frank Zappa's 200 Motels, another of those albums that is way out there. The vocals are by Flo & Eddie who you know as Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman from The Turtles and they do the vocals on Tell Me You Love Me. They were part of The Mothers from 1969 to 1972 thereabouts and appeared on 200 Motels. Saw part of the movie on TCM and don't know if Flo & Eddie was on it (I'm sure they will). Think I fell asleep on some of it but do remember Jimmy Carl Black, the original Mothers drummer. I'm sure TCM will show it again, let's hope I can stay awake the next time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

on the subject of...Molly Hatchet, Movies, Bad drivers, Etc.

There's a new Molly Hatchet album coming out but if it is anything like their last album I'll pass. It hasn't been the same since Danny Joe Brown died and Bobby Ingram turned them into a hair metal band. Dave Hlubek returned as the sole original MH member so hopefully he'll smack some sense into Ingram and return it to the hard southern rock of years gone by.

My GF made a interesting blog about movie and movie remakes. I haven't gone to a movie since Star Trek and I still have a stack of DVDs to yet watch. I think Hollywood is so bankrupt for ideas that they're remaking remakes. You know a movie is going to suck when they show scenes of guy getting whacked in the nuts. Time Machine Hot Tub? Pass. At the rate they're going it will be a long time before I go back to the theater.

To the Van Diesel wannabe in that red sedan going down first avenue today, learn to fucking drive. There's a reason why there's the passing and slow lane, and it's not good practice to hang in my blind spot and when I pass you, you then speed up. Cocksuckers like you are the reason for road rage and you damn near got a 32 Oz Pepsi thrown into your lap. Too bad I didn't get your license plate number otherwise I'd post it for the world to see.

To the stupid bitch in the white car that turned in front of me.....last I checked I had the rightaway. It's not good practice to turn in front of people while you fucking yacking on the cellphone. There's a reason why you got flipped off. I just got my gray Corsica fixed due to an accident, learn to drive and stay off the damn cellphone snatchapple.

To the idiot couple at Half Priced Books tonight....If you have a crying baby, it's not good practice to have the Mother going up and down the record section while others trying to browse and have your other mistake running up and down the store while you think it's so cute. It's not. Watch your kids or better yet, keep them home so we don't have go deaf with their screaming. And to the fucktard talking loudly on the cellphone in there, go outside. You might think your important and such but like you and your wife, nobody cares and everybody gets annoyed when dealing with you and your little darlings running around the store. I know fucking well if I had children they would be behaving a helluva better than your brats. I also know they would be staying home if I was up at the bookstore.

Guess I will start preparing myself when I do the Mad City trip for I know there's more of them up there. Wish me luck.

And finally we give kudos to Northern Iowa who upset Kansas Saturday in the NCAA's and have a good chance of taking on Michigan State since The Spartans lost one of their star players due to a torn ACL. Also a shout out to the Iowa Women who finally defeated C Vivian Stringer for the first time she left Iowa for Rutgers. I'm sure after they play Stanford they'll be coming home but you gotta admire them for coming back after being 1-6 in the Big Ten before catching fire.

Sure I am diehard Hawkeye fan but I do support the other teams such as Northern Iowa or Iowa State.

This time out Go Panthers.

And BTW.. The Iowa Hawkeyes Wrestling team won the NCAA Championship. Number one and undefeated. Them and the Women's team got us through a long winter and a very bad Men's team. Go Hawks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

on the subject & death & Alex Chilton

Death belongs to everyone, it's the only thing that we have....The Mekons (Blow Your Tuneless Trumpet)

I was talking to Martin Daniels about the passing of Alex Chilton tonight, the power pop pioneer of Big Star but also a teenage blue eyed rock and soul teenager with The Box Tops. He passed away today at age 59 but also another musician Dan Ducey from Junkhouse also too suffered a heart attack and died as well. It got me to thinking about my life and all the ranting and raving that I do that even I'm surprised that I haven't suffered one or a stroke. I also pondered that idea while chatting with my girlfriend to which she begged me not to say anything more about that. She's not into hospitals.

Nobody knows when the time comes for us to depart the afterlife. Growing old is such a pain in the ass but the alternative isn't much better if you have loved ones you leave behind. If you're a musician that everybody knows, you get plenty of thought at Twitter and the music online sites. Alex Chilton was loved by the alternative rock crowd, The Replacements named a song after him and he played on Can't Hardly Wait on the next album they did. Big Star didn't sell many albums, they were on the poorly distrubuted Stax label and whoever got copies of #1 Record went on to form their own power pop bands. When I wanted to listen to Alex Chilton I usually put on The Box Tops Greatest Hits instead of Big Star's albums. Sister Lovers, the third Big Star album people consider his shining moment but for me it remains Neon Rainbow which was a minor hit but the imagery of that song does make you feel like your walking down a rainy evening on Beale Street under a neon rainbow of barlights and such. Sure the bigger hits you know by heart; The Letter, Cried Like a Baby but I also vouch for Soul Deep, Choo Choo Train, She Shot A Hole In My Heart and the B side to I Met Her In Church, People Gonna Talk. Sure Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham may have wrote the words but Chilton pours his soul into it. And his voice sounded much older than his 19 years. Teenage white boy soul done the best way possible. And now he's gone. 59 years is not a long time if you lived that long; I lived 49 and it seems like only yesterday I was a small boy spinning Choo Choo Train and rocking back and forth on my portible rocking chair. Big Star was slated to play in Memphis in May of this year but that's a moot point now. They lost their voice.

You love her and she loves him, and he loves somebody else you just can't win....J. Geils Band (Love Stinks)

If there's a place for a reality show it should be where I work at. It's never a dull moment at Testscores R Us Inc. Especially during spring processing, when we go into the ghetto and pull out some of the more finer gangbangers, dingbats and halfwits to drive us perms up the wall. Can't find a parking spot to save your ass in the winter months and of course nothing more fun that going out to the parking lot and having some whitethugga playing rap music or some Ho rattling her windows with Lil' Wayne. God, I miss the days before rap, when people actually played music. Basically I have a good friend that we all like, she's a bit LOUD and VOCAL and TALKS ALL THE TIME but the one thing she's not good of is that she really lacks good judgement. She's in love (or lust) with the black dude she co works with and the dude is a playa, I told her that, my other friend there tells her that, hell even the boss told her that. Romance in the officeplace is very much frown upon, especially if you're fighting over the other woman. And the other woman is another dumb blonde who likes to take a walk on the black side. And this chick will steal the fillings out of your mouth if your not careful and of course walks with a birth control patch just in case the moment is right. Makes a great reality show, maybe I could pitch it to MTV since they like to put that kind of crap out anyway.

Our friend is pushing thirty and the one thing she would like to have is her own baby, or two, or five?!? But she can't afford one much less five since she has a big fondness for booze. I've tried to sit her down and explain the situation that with this dude, that he's not going to settle down with anybody and will continue to have the roving eye and go pop Miss Dumb Blonde when my friend gets drunk and passes out. After all she started going out with him after he dropped his original girlfriend. I hope that for everybody's sake that she doesn't bring a child into this world. She's not ready, he's not interested and nobody wins especially the baby. And I've seen too much of that in my own backyard, with the doofus across the street not working and bringing the GF into the house to which they can live rentfree while he sits around skateboarding and smoking cigarettes and fighting with her. Our friend should deserves better but she's not the smartest cookie in the place and knowing how things are going to be, I'm sure she'll be an unwed mother within a year or so. You don't have to be a Nostradamus to figure these out, just sit back and observe.

Finding love is the hardest in the world to do. Took me a good 48 years and a few times of finding, falling and failing to finally find that special one. It's trial and error and E harmony and can't teach you that. There's a follower that I read that documents her dates and that takes some effort to do. I also think that she's a bit hard to please. It's one thing to set high standards, you don't want somebody whose going to be a two timer or a lazy bum who only makes you not want to date ever again. Or the split personality woman whose wacked out on drugs and goes behind your back and tells the chatroom that you left her instead. Or the one that doesn't know the value of the dollar since she's already spent it. Been there done that and if that didn't make me become a hermit or gay, those reasons make a good argument to stay single.

True love is work and it's everyday 24/7. You have to explain the rules and your wants and needs and see if your other half is going to be that compatible, or if they're trying to change you. Ain't going happen, you can't change yourself to accomindate others. You're just bullshitting yourself. You can't change you and you can't change her. So you have to compromise.

It's here in black and white and thankfully I have a woman that loves me still even after I explain of who I am and what I do best. I've known her over 9 years so she knows the situation. But unlike the last of my failed loves, she's willing to go the extra mile to work things out and to keep a open mind and to be a friend and lover whenever time is right. But she's a great supporter in the things that I do. To myself, love is taken one day at a time to which that you build a foundation and go down that long road of life together and overcome the problems and temptations that end relationships.

I don't look at death as the end but rather a new beginning. I believe that when I fall in love with somebody it will be forever just like Stevie Wonder sang a long time ago. And in the afterlife spend forever with the one that I love most.

That's my ideal of true love.

10-17-10 Top Ten Of The Week-Cheers!

Top of the morning to ye. It's Saint Paddy's Day, so have a bit of a pint and enjoy the day.

1. Whiskey In The Jar-The Dubliners 1968 Taken from the Irish Drinking Songs Cd that Sony Music put out in the 1990s, this is your typical drink em down and sing it loud songs that would have fit in quite well at Paddy O'Learys or The Irish Democrat here in town. Some of the fun is hearing some of the laddies trying to outshout one another when they sing this song. Me thinks the local band Wyde Night might be doing this at the Democrat today. A thousand apologies for not getting their name right but me thinks thy might be in the neighborhood.

2. Love Song-Elton John 1971 Written by the late great Lesley Duncan who passed away the other day after a bout with cancer at age 66 which Elton recorded it for Tumbleweed Connection and later had a minor hit with it off Here And There, an live album that I never bought. Duncan did record for Columbia and Mercury if me memory serves me well.

3. The Indifference Of Heaven-Warren Zevon 1993 To compare Warren's time with Giant Records is like Neil Young when he was on Geffen, Zevon did a fairly good album with Waddy Wachtel and then did a bunch of jamming around with REM and called it the Hindu Love Gods and then made a one man show with Learning To Flinch, an album that didn't get very good reviews. But still, here's another example that Warren was just more than Warewolves Of London, even though he did do a version of that on this album. You can find this in the 5.99 bins at Barnes & Noble. Or even cheaper at Amazon dot com. Heh, might even have a used copy you can buy from me too.

4. The Impression That I Get-The Mighty Mighty Bosstones 1997 In the 1990s, this has to be one of the most unusual songs ever to hit the top spot on radio. They were a ska punk band and got signed before No Doubt did but at the time, only The Untouchables had a recording contract (with ill-fated Restless/Enigma) that was doing that Ska-punk thingy. Dicky Barrett had a voice that sounded more like a tuneful Lemmy and best described as "sounding like he drank a bottle of Drano in the process" but the guy is a lotta fun. Hard to imagine The Bosstones even having a recording contract in this day and age and I betcha it would be fun to hear Barrett using autotuner with that voice. Number 1 record for a couple weeks, followup didn't even clear top fifty.

5. Got To Get Better In A Little While-Derek And The Dominoes 1971 The studio version appeared on that boxset Crossroads but I'm more familiar with the 14 minute version that appears on Derek & The Dominoes In Concert and paid something like 20 bucks at Rock n Bach for a scratchy album but once I got the CD set, tried to take it back to trade and Jim Henson didn't want it back. I think I unloaded it at at Relics with about 30 other albums to get then, the big 4 CD Led Zeppelin box set to which I think I played about 10 times since getting it. One of a few CDs that I took up on that ill fated Waterloo trip last weekend.

6. I'm In With The Out Crowd-Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs 1966 The guy was a total freak and then freaked out and ended up becoming a bible belting panhandler on some Memphis street but I'm sure he's getting some kind of royalties from Wooly Bully but this is a lesser known track b/w The Hair Of My Chinny Chin Chin aka Little Red Riding Hood Part 2. Polydor quietly reissued The Best Of Sam The Sham around 1987 and then Rhino did a more complete job a few years later with most of the hits. Both are now out of print but The Best Of was one of the first 10 CDs that I bought. I can relate to this song cuz it's about me. ha ha.

7. Favorite Son-Green Day 2004 Off the Rock Against Bush album, this wasn't on American Idiot but supposedly it's on a Japan Import. Back then, Fat Mike from Fat Wreck Chords was trying to get a grassroots campaign of getting musicians to contribute songs on his Rock Against Bush since George W Bush was not well liked but still the effort failed and W got another four years. Which leads to......

8. War-Edwin Starr 1970 A massive hit and first of two anti war songs drummed up by Norman Whitfield and sang with conviction by Starr. The followup Stop The War Now got a bit of airplay on the AM station but didn't chart as well.

9. The Party's Over-Willie Nelson 1966 Dedicated to Kate Winslet whose leaving her hubby after seven years. Amicable differences it's called. I don't buy that. Divorces or breakups are never that friendly, too much bickering and backstabbing and I guess Kate thought her husband was too boring and not outgoing as much as she is. Some guys are that way, get older and want to stick around the house. I used to have a big crush on Kate during the Titantic movie and really thought her body was the perfect type to have, not too skinny and a bit of shape to her. But once she lost most of that weight she became yet another lookalike skinny actress that probably smokes too much. I'm sure Kate will find another stud, hang out with him for a few months or years and then move on. Kinda like Kate Hudson all over again. The trick to everlasting true love is to roll with the changes and for better or worse. In Hollywood, it's usually till the one making the most money gets bored and moves on after the slight difference. And your typical hollywood actress is usually too much high maintenance and a pain in a ass, no matter how beautiful they are. Or so they think.

10. Third Week In The Chelsea-Jefferson Airplane 1971 To me, the ending of the Jefferson Airplane was the departure of Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassidy after Bark, the half classic album that came out in a brown paper bag. Most of the Paul Kantner, Grace Slick songs were forgettable but this song proved to be the highlight of that album. While Jorma and Jack moved on to Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane would crash into the ground and then arise from the ashes to become the corporate rockers Jefferson Starship and mutated into Starship. We built this city indeed. Third Week in The Chelsea proved that once and for all, the 60s were dead and gone.

And another passing to pass on. Alex Chilton, the lead singer from Big Star and the voice behind the Box Tops died from a heart attack. He was 59.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

on the subject of Todd Lickliter and the fall of the Iowa Men's BB Team.

It's been a long day after spending most of my waking hours following the firing of Iowa Basketball Coach Todd Lickliter, who after only three seasons took the Hawks to a record 22 losses and couldn't even equal the football team's 11 victories and a Orange Bowl victory. The glad-he's-gone folks have been rejoicing and them having visions of Bruce Pearl here next season in their dreams. Dream on. I have mixed emotions about this, my girlfriend getting the impression that I was bitching all day wasn't the case. The Hawks had a very good recuiting class coming in and things would be on the upswing. But you can't lose 22 games either. I find Todd Lickliter to be a fascinating person, a gracious person who tried to the best of what he had but sadly things didn't come together this season and it was a watershed from the word go.

It's hard to undo the damage that former AD Bob Bowlsby did when he didn't renew Tom Davis' contract when the Hawks made it to the sweet 16 and for our reward, bypassed Bruce Pearl who was really wanting to be coach here in favor of the hated Indiana pretty boy, one Steven Alford who never quite fit in the Iowa crowd due to his Indiana Hoosier roots. He did get the Hawks 25 victories in 2005-2006 but another first round exit from the NCAA's didn't endure the Iowa Boosters and after a subpar next season, he was off to New Mexico to which is he's now the big saviour with 29 victories and a number 3 rating and a fairly easy path to the sweet sixteen, IF he can get New Mexico past Montana but history will show that even if he does top Montana, he won't get past Marquette or Washington. Alford never got past the first round when he was the Iowa Coach, while Tom Davis managed to at least win one or two games. (Side note: Alford did make the second round of NCAA's in his second year). Still, New Mexico won 29 games, no small feat in itself and for a team picked fifth in the Mountain West, he's done wonders but he has players that can get the job done. Lickliter didn't have much when he took over and never did since he kept losing the leading scorers when the season was over. I still think Lickliter didn't get a fair shake and had Iowa at least win one or two Big Ten Tournament games he might still be here. I wish Todd well whereever he goes, I'm sure he's feeling pretty bad right now but with a 2.4 million buyout, he should take some time off and recharge his batteries. He will return and I think he'll do a lot better in his next coaching profession. Somehow it didn't work here.

The problem with Iowa Basketball remains this, thirty years ago, Lute Olson took a Iowa team that wasn't picked to do much and beat UNC Charlotte (featuring Cornbread Maxwell), Syracuse and Georgetown to make it the final four before they ran out of gas and Louisville with Darrell Griffith beat them and then finished fourth behind Purdue for then consolation game and people continue to rate every team after that against the 1979-1980 squad, which had to do it without Ronnie Lester. The expectations were so high that Lute Olson moved on to a 3-24 Arizona Wildcat squad and endless rounds of golf to be played and turned the Wildcats into a dynasty. In the meantime George Raveling came down and thrown into the fire and after three seasons he bolted for USC and sanity. And then Tom Davis managed to hang around for 14-15 seasons and although he had the 1986-1987 Hawks won a record 30 games before falling to UNLV, but that wasn't good enough. 11 of the 13 seasons Davis was there he won 19 or more games and always managed to at least the second round of the NCAA's. I think Iowa fans would welcome the days of having five straight 20 win seasons that Davis had before Bob (no balls) Bowlsby told him to hit the road. And pretty much started the downfall of Iowa Basketball.

In the defense of Alford, he must know something about basketball too, he only had one losing season here (the first). Fans and the college didn't care about the one and out in NCAA or NIT playoffs and New Mexico was the perfect time to get out. Once upon a time, Iowa Basketball was one of the better places to play and coach but since the 1980 Final Four Miracle Hawks, people expect way too much and perfection and that cannot be achived. Iowa isn't an Kansas, nor a Kentucky or even Ohio State. To get anybody to come play basketball in the dead of winter here in the great Icebox we call Iowa has gotta be a hell of a recuiter and bullshit artist. Maybe Todd Lickliter isn't that kind of a person. He didn't go after the AAU or junior college players like Davis or Alford would have done. His forte remains more defense than offense and the Hawks really had no inside game or go to person. And the so called three point shooter kept firing away cinderblocks that wouldn't go in and it seems to me that Carver Hawkeye Arena doesn't seem to have home friendly baskets. And having players defect didn't help although losing Anthony Tucker was really no big loss, the guy was a boozer but somehow Lickliter managed to lose a Tony Freeman or a Jake Kelly.

You know it's going to be a bad day when you arrive at Carver Hawkeye to meet with the AD and ten minites later your going home. And so, next season there will be a new coach and once again, just like the last three seasons the Iowa Hawkeye men's basketball team will be rebuilding once again. And the new coach will have to deal with the same issues as the ones before, trying to get back to the final four, trying to bring an exciting team that will get butts back into the seats. I have never seen Carver Hawkeye Arena being like a morgue all season. Again Bruce Pearl is out of the question, Tennessee is NOT going to let him get away and Kevin Stallings pussed out the last time. Rick Majerus? Give me a break. Keno Davis, I'm not so sold upon, although if Gene Barta hires him, it will be probably be trying to right a wrong that Bob Bowlsby did a decade and one year ago, plus Providence went 12-19. Barta has his work cut out for him.

But on the other hand, the lady Hawkeyes, lead by Lisa Bluder, went past expectations & injuries to make the NCAA women's tournament. And they get to play Rutgers, which is coached by C. Vivian Stringer, who used to be coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes back in the 80's. They started the big ten season on a downer but got hot and ran off about 8 straight victories and make it to the final game of the Big Ten Championships (before getting ripped off by the referees and lost to Ohio State) to earn that NCAA bid. Kachine Alexander, is super sparkplug whose all outness makes her I think the women's version of a Bob Sanders, gives up her body to make the play. Plus the Hawks have great 3 point shooter in Jaime Printy and Kamille Wahlin, another sparkplug that was drive you nutz one play and then restore your faith in her by hitting a clutch basket. These girls will get better next year as they mature. But with Bluder in control, the Hawks girls will continue to make things interesting and exciting.

But the Men's have hit rock bottom and things can only get better next season. I remain hopeful, just like the rest of Hawk Nation.

Go Hawks.

2015 Update:  The Hawkeyes under Fran McCaffery have done better but they continue to be as uneven as the football team was and getting beaten by Penn State in the B1G tournaments continued a tradition of Iowa backing out after one game in Chicago.  Perhaps they hate to play in Chicago since their most shitty games came from there this year.  Steve Alford became UCLA's coach a couple seasons ago and already he is beginning to wear out his welcome after the Bruins underachived this season and in danger of not making it to the NCAAs which is a no no the land of John Wooden, the legendary coach who still casts a big shadow even from beyond the grave.  Alford's son has been one of the better players on that team but still a poor showing in the Pac 12 raised ire from Bruin faithful.  While we continue to throw stones at Alford's tenure at Iowa (he never fit in due to being from the hated Indiana Hoosiers). He did somehow (in his early years get the Hawks further down the B1G tourneys than Todd or Fran although the 26-4 Hawks did a one and done in the "dance" which pissed off the faithful here.  After this season The Hawkeyes lose Aaron White and Gabe Oslenti (Josh Oglesby too although his 3 point shooting failed him this year) and all signs point to another rebuilding year unless Fran can get a decent point guard that can shoot free throws or Adam Woodbury will grow some balls and start dominating the boards instead of poking eyeballs out.  Hawkeye fans really don't ask for much but it seems they ask too much for Iowa to at least go more than one NCAA or B1G championship game.  If we were Kentucky fans we be in basketball heaven with the rent a squad going undefeated this year and my pick to be undefeated when it's all said and done.  They could probably take on a few NBA teams too.  As for Iowa, it's time for another winning streak.  You can always have another winning streak but one loss will be wait till next year again. 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Waterloo Bargain Hunts-Like Going To Hell

It's not a good time for the CD collector. In the past decade record stores that I used to go to either went bankrupt, closed up or got bought out by FYE and then closed up. It's getting to be a record wasteland when you drive an hour to the Waterloo and hitting the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores only to find that they been picked clean and the only thing you have is all the Montavoni's, Johnny Mathis and countless forgotten gospel acts. And CD's Plus may as well be CD's minus since I have a bigger collection than what they have for sale. And have been there so long that the cd title on the jewel case has been bleached clean by the sun. DVD's seem to the rage and even they are getting kicked to the side by Blu Ray.

Certainly the pawnshops have quit selling cds, except for that small corner which had the same titles from the last time I was there.....two years ago. The Goodwills up in that area stay open till 9, unlike ours which closes at 6 on Saturdays, 5 on Sundays but again unless your trying to complete your Statler Brothers collection, simply nothing to speak of. St. Vincent De Paul has a very big vinyl collection.....collection of crap that is. Although I still enjoy going to see what I can find, there's a big stink in the air, a cross between waffles and pee, and after a while I need to get outside for a spell of fresh air before going back in there and trying to sort through scratched up vinyl and 45s, and finding nothing outside of a Brian Wilson promo or Mylon Lefebre's 1970 single for Cotillion which I didn't buy, due to annoying black woman yacking on a damn cellphone while her hubby is sorting through old tapes and wishing too that she would go fucking away and take her yacking elsewhere. Cellphones are a gift from Hell, makes people that don't have them and want quiet a living hell, while she's yacking up a storm. Another guy pops up and found a decent Donald Byrd jazz album. But as for myself, I buy nothing and move on down the road.

Tried to find Mohair Pair, that Cedar Falls music store that sells vinyl but didn't find it. Was getting annoyed and hungry and after a half assed attempt going into Cedar Falls, went back on University back to some mexican place I saw next to Mister Money and thinking that might be a place to go eat. Big mistake, the service was slow and although she was good enough to get me a second Pepsi, I had to go to the can. Came back, and my table was already bussed and what remain of my food was gone. So I waited for 15 minites for somebody to explain, they bought out some chips and water but was getting livid and it was time to me to go before I made a scene and made the news the wrong way. They did take 10 percent off and they apologized for that but I left them no tip and made it clear that this was the first and last time I would patronize their place and wished them luck. The name of the place escapes me but if your in the area around Mr. Money on Leo Rooff Expressway, I would advise you not to go there. My friend Mark sez you're better off, they probably used the leftovers for brunch the next day. Told him I think they call it the Mexican Surprise.....

Waterloo frustrates me everytime I go there. I call it the mini Des Moines since most of the music record stores are now history and nobody drives worth a shit there. I remember back in 66, when we lived there, Mom had an accident to which some dumbfuck driver hit our Galaxie and I went flying and put a dent in the heater vent. Of course had to deal with some fucking idiot turning in front of me outside of the Independence Wal Mart and he got the number one and the horn. They used to have two CD Warehouse stores to which both are no longer around, The Co Op closed up shop and of course FYE which shut the Crossroads store down two years ago. So what remains is the hard to find Mohair Pear and if there's a next time I'll go seek it out but that's a waste of 125 miles on the car that could have been put to better use, namely Madison.

I used to live in Waterloo as a child, first couple years we lived on the west side on Huntington Road and it used to be a field but now Greenhill Blvd goes through it and Waterloo West High School is there. After a half year in Nevada, moved back there on Ridgeway and don't remember much there outside of the rental house they had an old radio i used to listen to the AM station there. Couple things stood out. I went to Black Hawk and after kindergarten, I took a extraordinary walk that lead me all the way down to the old Wells Store where College Square Mall is at and for a 5 year old, that was a very long trek and I made the news that night being lost. Of course I was just about on the way home to which they found me, I got hugs and then spanks for doing such a stupid thing like that. The other event was the 1968 Charles City tornado that happened in May. I remember having a big belly ache that day and it felt like one of those days that something was going to happen and it did and we went to the basement. They seem to get more tornados up there in that area, while down here we get floods. Pick your poison indeed.

So I usually go up to Waterloo for nostagia reasons. Remembering my first grade school sweetheart Donna Hess, we did some kind of dance recital and she had the sweatiest hands when we held hands. Think I saw her at Crossroads in 1981 when Marion won the 3A Football Title, she was dressed in farmer's clothes but had a haircut that suggested she may have been lesbian. Ridgeway Drive remains as busy as ever. Outside of a couple familar faces in my gradeschool pictures, the names have faded away from memory like print on a title of a unwanted cd that has been sitting too long at CDs Plus.

But after getting supper taken away from the mexican place I left Waterloo once again disgusted, tired, annoyed and should have just went to Independence for Mexican. At least they wait till your done. And didn't have anything to show for outside of Jefferson Airplane's Bark CD. So, it looks like that it will be a while before I ever return to that place.

Another disappointing trip to the wasteland again.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

On The Subject Of...Hendrix, Lickliter, DST.

The big news this week happened to be the recent discoveries of unrelased Jimi Hendrix material and that was the leadoff of Sony Legacy's taking over the Hendrix Masters. Valleys Of Neptune its called and when you read the reviews out there, you would think that this was the great lost album of great performances. And some of it is fine and even when practicing, Hendrix never seems to screws up, although his rhythm section trips over themselves trying to keep up. But save for a mean Hear My Train A Comin, there's nothing else on this album that would convince me to play it ever again and I sold my copy of the album off. The title track Valleys Of Neptune even sound unfinished, even in it's remix and remastering done by Eddie Kramer, who continues to oversees the recordings and gives it a tender loving care sound. But I still think that overall, there are better versions of most of these songs on other albums. Red House goes on for 8 minites and then Hendrix stops at the final verse and while I'm waiting for it to pick up again, it moves on to the next song. Unfinished and alt takes doesn't make an album and Valleys Of Neptune isn't the place to start should you want to discover the greatest guitarist of the late 60s. It also doesn't mean you should trade your MCA Cds just to get the remastered again CD with bonus DVD, unless you're a completeist or hardcore fan. Hendrix has been dead for almost forty years and in his lifetime recorded only three albums and was working on Cry Of Love which would become First Rays Of The New Rising Sun when he died. Seems like Jimi has had about 20 more albums that have come out plus having his original albums repackaged four times already. Janie Hendrix swears there's about 10 more years of undiscovered and unreleased stuff left and I'm sure I'll pay attention when they do come out but if they're anything like the demos and unfinished versions that is Valleys Of Neptune then perhaps we should stick with Jimi's 3 albums and Hendrix at Monterrey to remember what Jimi was could do when he's alive. Valleys Of Neptune sound like scrapings from the bottom of the barrel.

With Thursday's loss to Michigan (again) the Iowa Men's Basketball team's season has finally come to an end, with a historic 22 losses. The worst team ever since no other Hawkeye team lost twenty games in a season and the wrath of Hawkeye Nation is upon Todd Lickliter, the coach that was supposed to get the team back to respectibility after hot shot AD Gary Barta told Alford time to shit or get off the pot and Alford did get off the New Mexico to where he's now hailed as savior after guiding the Lobos to 29 wins this season, despite the fact that Alford can't win the first game of the NCAA tournaments. I do give Alford credit that when he was here at Iowa, they did managed to win four games of the Big Ten Championships to get into the BIG DANCE, but like every other team he guided (NCAA's or NIT) they would be one and done. For some reason, Alford rubbed people the wrong way in his tenure at Iowa (perhaps it was the year he took the names off player's jerseys), perhaps it was his cocky attitude hard saying but after winning 26 games in 2005-06, the big disappointment showed up in yet another one and done NCAA game and the next year New Mexico came to rescue him from angry Iowans who wanted more. And When Todd Lickliter was named head coach after a successful run at Butler, the Iowa fans were singing happy days are here again......

.... In three years since Alford's leaving, the Iowa team started having people leave, Tyler Smith the once promising NBA superstar now gun toting dumbass thug booted off Tennessee was one, Jake Kelly was another, and Tony Freeman although the less said about booze head Anthony Tucker the better and every year has been a rebuilding year since the Hawks kept losing their leading point scorer. Which lead to a very young and very inexpierenced team lead by Cory Payne, who couldn't hit free throws or hang on the ball. You think he was trying to build a career as a baker due to all the turnovers he would cause. And although the Hawks could hold their own at home, they were freaking awful on the road and didn't seem to show up on the games with Minnesota and no way anybody should lose to a subpar Michigan team either.

I figured that in three years the Hawks would have a 20 game season but didn't think it would be 22 losses while Alford continues to bask in the glory at New Mexico with 29 victories against various junior colleges and what passes for Mountain West competition although San Diego State beat NM yesterday. I like Todd Lickliter but in three years, it has been one big rebuilding year after another and the question remains who will bolt now that the season is over. And this year despite what Todd said about the team improving, whatever team he was watching differs from mine. And once used to be a sold out Carver Hawkeye is now basically a empty hallway, unless the Ohio State fools fill it up with their fans or Michigan or Illinois. Getting blown out of Wisconsin and Minnesota and Michigan will be the undoing and perhaps firing of Lickliter who'll walk away with a nice send off of 1.2 million dollars and the chance to go someplace else so maybe we're forced to sit through another rebuilding year and hope the incoming freshmen will get this team back to at least 500 and undo the mess that Alford left behind but that's been three years ago and next season will be Lickliter's fault or praise. But time is running out and Todd should thank the Wrestling squad for being number one in the NCAA's and Lisa Bluder for getting the Iowa women's BB team catching fire (although once again they lost to Ohio State due to bad officialing and the ones who did that game admitted they fucked up by not giving the PMS chick a techincal and a BS call that gave Alexander her forth foul-thus giving the buckeyes another championship game) while the guys keep stumbling, and throwing up cinderblocks from 3 point land. Three years isn't enough to develop your team but when you lose 22 in the third year, you may not get back for a 4th. I don't think they should fire Lickliter but anything less than a break even or NIT bid, time to cut losses and move on.

And finally this weekend is daylight savings time. Move the clock ahead a hour and enjoy the extra hour of sunshine (or clouds).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

3-10-10 Top Ten Of The Week-Bad News Beat

This weekend it's time to spring ahead and every spring we get the same bad news. And this year is no exception. First of all, the spring thaw is underway and we seem to be another wet rainy pattern. It shouldn't be that bad to the point we will have water in the basement, but we are in the mist of having a few rainstorms going over the area and the total of rainfall should be around a inch and a quarter by the end of Friday. To which we can probably handle. But with the snowmelt up north coming into creeks and rivers, looks like we will have some sort of minor flooding along the Wapsi, Iowa and Red Cedar Rivers here in this area. This weekend that should be it and we should have quiet weather for a few days. The longterm forecast looks for around normal rainfall and below normal temps.

Every year we get news about gas prices going back to three bucks a gallon this summer again and you don't need to be a fucking expert to know that. Hell, I could have told you that. Usual reasons, China buying up all the gas, Iran and their nuclear fucking around, Big Oil not getting record profits. So, we're saving up for the summertime trip out to the desert and Mad City road trip too. Seattle is not an option this year and doubt if I'll ever return to that glorious town anytime soon. Thanks for asking though.

This week's reissue finds the Jimi Hendrix Catalog moving over to Sony Music after being on Universal for about twenty years. Only thing that differs is that the re re remasters of Hendrix will have a bonus DVD to go with the CD. If you have the Universal collection, you don't need to upgrade but I did buy the Valleys Of Neptune album today but yet to have listen to it.

I haven't heard the latest Shooter Jennings album and it's not on my list to review but Steven King is part of the vocal segments. Shooter remains a acquired taste at best for me and I did buy the Waylon Jennings record that Shooter's band The 357s helped out but I didn't cared much for it. Too over the top for my liking.

And Best Buy don't have jack shit for cds anymore. Still don't have The Len Price 3, nor the new Liars, nor new Jason & The Scorchers but they had some Eric Clapton cd's for 8 bucks that I can now replace my moldy vinyl album that I got a couple weeks ago.

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1. Let Me Ride-REO Speedwagon 1972 Before they became wimpy soft rockers, REO was a gritty hard rocking outfit that made some modest selling albums and in today's world they would have not lasted 20 years being on Epic. In fact had the modern mindset was running the show, REO would have been bounced after album number two. Terry Luttrell was out, Kevin Cronin was in but his influence wouldn't be felt till 1976. The ballads do pay the bills as they say but I still enjoy more the hard rock that REO did on this song.

2. Young Blood-Norah Jones 2009 I guess you can call her last album The Fall a bomb but I still like this over Don't Know Why anyday simply of the fact that radio didn't overkill it like they did with Don't Know Why.

3. Good Clean Fun-The Allman Brothers 1990 Seven Turns became the return of the Allbros and even though I never did get the album till last year, it has enough hard rockin blues and boogie to make it a underrated classic. The fine folks at Beaker Street played the title track so I decided to go with track number one.

4. Gotta Get Back To You-Tommy James & The Shondells 1970 From the reissued Travelin album, this song bombed on the charts but I had the forty five and think its one of my faves from TJ and company. I'm surprised Billy Idol didn't cover this one either. Anyway, this was becoming the end of the Shondells, they decided to take a break and never came back. Tommy James would have a hit with Draggin The Line in 1971. The Shondells renamed themselves Hog Heaven and made a forgotten album for Roulette the same year. Side note: Buddy Cage played steel guitar on that album and then would leave to replace Jerry Garcia in New Riders Of The Purple Sage.


5. New York Is Alright If You Like Saxophones-Fear 1982 LA Punkers led by Lee Ving had a minor single with this song and they performed it on Peter Ivers' Punk Rock Theater in the early 80s. That was shown on the old USA's music related show Night Flight. Punk Rock Theater showcased the L A punk scene and we got to see such bands as X, The Blasters, The Angry Samonens. Alas, Peter Ivers was murdered around 82 and the show ended.

6. War Machine-Black Rebel Motorcycle Club 2010 New BRMC and they got that Jesus & mary Chain moperock down pat. They got a new female drummer and she sounds like the last dude they replaced. Just a example that I still buy new music. That is if Best Buy has anything worth getting.

7. Something's Gotta Give-Pere Ubu 1988 Pere Ubu was your typical Ohio avent garde rockers that critics couldn't get enough of but the buying public didn't care so they broke up a while and then returned in 1988 with The Tenement Year, which was still avent garde but they were trying for alt rock acceptence. They got enough interest to sign with Fontana/Polygram in 1989 and made their most accessible album ever Cloudland. You're either a fan or your not with this type of music and it does sound like Talking Heads on Red Bull. Then again David Bryne was never this off the wall like David Thomas ever was.

8. Bombay Calling-It's A Beautiful Day 1972 from their live album. Is it just me or did Deep Purple take the opening melody of this song and turned it into Child In Time? The songs are so similar in tone but I'm sure nobody could hit those high notes like Ian Gillan did on Child In Time back in his prime. But we don't see a lot of IABD's stuff on CD outside of the first two albums. Wonder if crusty old fuck Matthew Katz is behind that?

9. Hello, I Love You-The Doors 1968 I try to refrain from putting overplayed classic rock numbers simply of the fact that it's my duty to turn people on to other obscure stuff out there and I only have 10 spaces to do that. But I'm a big Doors fan and it goes back to the 60s and those blasted 45s that I would find in the 4 for a buck bins at Woolworth's or Arlans. But the Waterloo Ben Franklin used to sell new 45s for a dollar and I think I got Mom to buy me this song. She always knew that buying 45s would keep me out of trouble.

10. Crazy Country Hop-Eric Clapton 1983 Before he discovered dance music and Phil Collins, Eric put out Money & Cigarettes and it probably his last great album, at least that's what I think after hearing this album and this wonderful cover of the Johnny Otis number. Clapton has always had a good ear for the covers. Lately Clapton has been revisiting old friends and bands for live quickies or studio albums. Did that with Cream and Steve Winwood, plus did a studio album with JJ Cale. Lately, he's been hanging with Jeff Beck. Does this mean a reunion with the remainder of The Yardbirds is forthcoming, or even John Mayall? Tune in next week for the answer, if there is any.


Monday, March 8, 2010

on the subject, suicide, Tommy James

On friday nights, I host a chat from 11:30 to about 1 or whenever we get bored and everybody wants to call it a night. For years we were at MSN Groups till MSN pulled the plug on that (and about four years worth of blogs and top tens from myself and others) then moved over to Sparkpea. And since our movement over there in 2008, our participants have dwinded from 40 to about 5. Most of the participants are pretty good in knowledge of music but there's always one that tends to piss people off. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Doowop.

The guy has one era he likes, and that is late 50's Doowop music. Anything else he'll make his usual comment that was beyond my time. When I talk about finding things at the music store, he'll pop in with "I don't buy outdated music media such as CDs or vinyl or 45s". I don't know much about Doowop outside that he lives in a small studio apartment in sunny Florida and spends time downloading doowop music from his era. I'm sure he's a good guy but he's an arrogant prick when it comes to any other decade.

Case In Point: Talking albums. When the folk was telling what they were playing, I mentioned that I was listening to Justin Hayward's Songwriter, an album that came out in 1977. Doowop: I must say that was way after my time. Crabb: I know that, that's why I'm playing it fool.

So we making up jokes and I came across something that I liked. Doowop: Oh, I heard that joke before but don't let me stop you. Crabb: Thank you for killing the mood before I told the joke asshole. So after Doowop got bored and left, Tiger, the woman in there, mentioned ain't he a nice guy? Crabb: He's much nicer if he would have stayed home and watched his doowop movies.

I'm thinking that in the course of him joining up in chat, that we have lost about 15 members and donno if that has to do with the arrival of Doowop but he was the reason why I decided to take a month away from chat. But with narrow minded people like Doowop, he tends to zap the energy out of the chat and people leave. Nevertheless, sometimes I think its better if Doowop would remain in the other chatroom he frequents and leave the music chatter with open minds alone. After all, I perfer the outdated storage media like Cds and vinyl so I can read the liner notes. Can't get that when you download MP3s.

Final exchange: Doowop, How is Everyone? Crabb: Fine till you got here bro.

I read that the leader of Sparklehorse Mark Linkous shot himself in the heart over the weekend. He was either 47 or 48. Never got into the music of Sparklehorse myself but its been described as taking the ugly and making it beautiful. Linkous latest album, which he teamed up with Danger Mouse and David Lynch got held up under EMI red tape and is supposely ready to be finally released to the world. Dark Night Of The Soul its called and I'm sure it will get lots of great reviews. It's a shame to lose somebody that was this talented like Mark Linkous so one can only do is check out his output and decide for yourself. In the words of Mark....

"There's one thing we've still got, that's one last dance in this parking lot"

Collector's Choice Music has reissued some old Tommy James & The Shondells albums. I Think We're Alone Now, Getting Together and their final album Travelin' to which I got on vinyl and decided to get the CD. The albums proved that Tommy James was a great bubblegum pop singles artist but the albums themselves tend to have too much bubblegum than rock and most of the hits are better heard on the Anthology album that Rhino put out years ago. Travelin', on the other hand, shows more of a hippy dippy but a more grittier rock sound to it with the angry Bloody Water, or urgent Gotta Get Back To You and B side Red Rover. The Shondells never rocked harder with the title track or Talkin & Signifyin but the dated guitars on Early In The Morning or Moses & Me screams 1970. Make no mistake, The Shondell's lineup was their best, beginning with Crimson & Clover and ending with Travelin. While it's debateable Travelin is the best studio Tommy James & The Shondells album (My pick remains Crimson & Clover) this does improve on the chaos what was Cellophane Symphony and while James laments what could have happened had they stayed together, it does make a good finale to a band that never really seem to get over that dreaded "singles band" moniker. In essence they really were a singles band, but Travelin proved that they could put together a good side of music and call it a good album. Not essensial but worth a listen...or two.

I Think We're Alone Now (Collector's Choice 1967-2010) B-
Getting Together (Collector's Choice 1967, 2010 reissue) B
Travelin' (Collector's Choice 1970, 2010 reissue) B

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

3-3-10 Top Ten Of The Week- Food For Thought

I had to share this with y'all. Used to be music was the way to go, and nowadays all we like to do is to go out and eat for supper. I don't watch the Food Network all that much, my GF Nicole could tell you more about what's going on over there but it does ring true when I go bargain hunting one of the things that I love to do is eat out. Unfortunely, my guts think otherwise and if I overdo it, I have to make a way to the toilet. Sucks growing old and it all goes back to 1998, when I ate too much chinese and had to drop and blow em at the nature center and didn't have any wipes. The beginning of my decline so to speak but still, going to Davenport I have to make a stop at Cracker Barrel for some of their Chicken and dumplings platter. They also have Rudy's Tacos for good mexican food but if I feel the need to eat something quick, then it's Hardee's.

I have to agree with Bob Lefsetz that most of us can relate to the fact that most of the women that I know around here don't hang at the gym for six hours and then go veggie. That's never the case with me, in fact I perfer a chubby woman over a twig chick anyday. Can't relate to Kim Karsidian or Kate Gosselin or Octoslut. Show me your belly and I'll show you mine and we can go out for pizza for supper later. There's not much to do when you get older, at least in my case when all the pawn and thrift stores I hit don't have much to offer and going to Best Buy for new music is a waste of time. Ever seen a plus sized female country singer recently? Yeah right, they're not CMT or GAC folks, it's usually a pretty face and a stick figure. Miranda Lambert, I can relate to better, at least she has a bit of meat to the bone and so did Gretchen Wilson during her Redneck Woman days till she started losing the pounds. Maybe that's why her albums didn't sell after that. Kate Winslet in Titantic, yeah ideal type of woman; then she became skin and bone and she wasn't a good fantasy anymore. The fact remains that in life, I love a good pizza and a good Pollo Mole. I sing the praises of Marco's Pizza and the lamented Mi Casa and wish I can live in Tucson to frequent the best mexican restrauant out there El Molinito (good thing I have that place in my pictures section, can't remember shit anymore). Or Marley's out in Tempe, a great mexican buffet although the cashier is dumb as a box of rock turds. Good food, like good music is timeless and the reason why I have a 12 pack belly. But then again I have a great GF whose a good cook too so can't complain on that.

I like the comment moderations option myself. That way I get to read and approve what's related to the blogs. Always good to read them, even though they may not be on topic....

I read somewhere that John Cale says that there will never be a Velvet Underground reunion simply of the fact that Sterling Morrison isn't around and Cale basically can't get along with Lou Reed but then again that's nothing out of the ordinary. Reed has always been that cantankerous personality at times but Cale can be just as bullheaded too. After the Velvet Underground reunion of 1993, he swore he'd never work with Reed again and even on the Wrong Way Up CD with Brian Eno, Cale mentioned that Eno dominated the recordings as well. Such a shame actually since Wrong Way Up is by far the best thing Cale recorded since the Island era.

Looks like due to unforseens circumstances, the new Killing Joke album gets pushed way back to September.

Top Ten Of The Week.

1. Sister Anne-MC5 1971 These guys were never punk rock but rather a hard rocking outfit from Detroit with radical ideas and hung with John Sinclair in the infamous Kick Out The Jams album, an album that offended my dad to the point that he banned it from ever being played in the house but I hid it well. They got bounced from Elektra for being too radical and then Atlantic signed them and Jon Landau produced their tinny sounding Back In The USA album to which I still have the vinyl album. It didn't sell and the followup didn't even make the top 200 and the Motor City Five went seperate ways. When I hear High Time, I think I perfer it over Back In The USA and this may be the only recording of a hard rocking tune fading out to the Salvation Army band at the end of song. We all know damn well the new Atlantic Records would have never okayed such a thing. And so it goes.

2. Flood-Jars Of Clay 1995 Christian Rock! Arrrugh! The Jars have had a great career on Christian Radio but perhaps are noted for being one hit wonders on the alt rock scene with this Adrian Belew produced top ten single to which made me buy their Greatest Hits when I saw it used at the still open for business FYE in Moline. And then I realized I should have downloaded the single instead, or look for the CD single, or 45 but that's pushing it. The best song that Jars Of Clay ever released.

3. Have You Seen Your Mother Baby?(Standing In the Shadow)- Rolling Stones 1966 The Stones today are nothing like they were back in the late 60s. The music was darker and more strange and evil sounding and even though this may be up for discussion, I think this has to be the most strangest song that Mick and company ever came up with. The horns should like they came from Hell and how did they ever come up with that strange guitar piece at the end of song? Totality Schizo sounding and one of the best songs they ever came up with that isn't overplayed on radio.

4. Nazi Punks Fuck Off-The Dead Kennedys 1982 Not much into hardcore punk mind you but this remains one of the best 1 minite songs that Jello Biafa ever came up with. Inspiriation lyric and the Forth Reich, you'll be the first to go......unless you think. Dedicated to Glenn Beck.

5. A Man Like Me-Poco 1971 The Eagles made popular what Poco was putting down and that was high harmonies along with a good country rock beat. In fact Randy Meisner and later Tim Schmit would join The Eagles but at the time, Deliverin' was their biggest selling album and still remains in print. Shortly after this album Jim Messina left to form a duo with Kenny Loggins and Paul Cotton replaced him. Once upon a time Poco could be heard on underground rock radio but seems like classic rock radio has passed them by. Which is a shame really.

6. Drive-REM 1993 Hey Kids, Rock And Roll. Who would have thought that they would take that line from David Essex? Ya think they were trying to forget Shiny Happy People?

7. Lady Of The Lake-Starcastle 1976 A band from Illinois sounding like Yes? They actually did a pretty good job of that and they recorded their debut in the rocktopolis of the midwest, Pekin Illinois! Former REO Speedwagon lead singer Terry Luttrell did the vocals here and he could do a good Jon Anderson although nobody could hit the higher octaves like old Jon. Side Note: Starcastle did reform in the early 00's and the keyboardist was Oliver Wakeman, son of Rick Wakeman who did play in YES. Small world rock and roll is.

8. Level-Eli Young Band 2005 Alt country band making this album on the independent and sounding somewhat of a cross between Blues Traveler without the harmonica player and Sister Hazel, but with harmonies that come from Blackhawk or Lonestar, which isn't as ugly as it sounds. The guys joined up in my Twitter page as followers to which I wasn't familar with their music and therefore went to Best Buy to see what I should buy, their latest which is Jet Black & Jealous or Level to which I picked the latter. In some ways Eli Young Band remind me a lot of The Lost Trailers, a band that started out in the alt country field and then made a beeline for New Country Sound. Which is fine if you like bands that name check Ramblin Man, but as for myself if I want to hear a reference, I'll stick with the original. I'm sure the Eli Young Band will go far in terms of New Country, they got the look and the pose but for music, I'll stick with Level.

9. You Made Me Forget My Dreams-Belle & Sebastian 1997 Funny how this band's B sides sound much better than anything that's on the radio today. This is a very moody piece but toward the end, some bass feedback and a out of control disco beat box takes over and has to be heard to be believed. Later released on the Matador complation Push Barman To Open Old Wounds in 2005.

10. The Revolution Starts Now-Steve Earle 2004 Since he moved to New York and gotten married to Alison Moorer, Steve has moved into a more content groove although I liked it better when he was pissed off and rant and raving at the Bush/Cheney machine around the time they were campaigning for a second term to which we all know about the results. But in the end, like everything else, the revolution never did happen and never was televised either.

But it sounded like a good ideal at the time......

Monday, March 1, 2010

Davenport bargain hunt notes

Basically a wasted trip. Didn't find nothing at the Goodwill and Salvation Army; Borders had a very lousy cd sale bins and they may as well close down the Locust Street Co Op record store.
Even Big Lots had shit for bargains, so should have either gone back up to Dubuque or Madison.

Strange to see the FYE closed in Coral Ridge while it remains open at South Ridge in Moline. They're smaller than Coral Ridge and the selection isn't all that great but did find some things to at least going home tolerable with new tunes. Perhaps the reason of FYE closing Coral Ridge may have something to do with a rate increase in rent but who knows. So Moline's FYE remains the closest one near here and I'm sure Trans World might be looking at that to close up within a few years. I could return back to Des Moines and find that other FYE but I don't feel like a road trip back out there anytime soon.

If there's any other music stores outside of Co Op or FYE, I don't know anything about them. Borders have slashed their cd selection about 75 percent than the last time I was there. Even Dubuque kicked the Q cities' ass in selection.

Salvation Army store had two stores in a half block radius and the AS IS store had a interesting album in terms of Pat Boone's Texas Woman that came out on Hitsville back in the mid 70s. Now Hitsville/Melodyland was actually Barry Gordy's fortay into country music and did have some hits with Jud Strunk's Biggest Parakeets In Town, Dorsey Burnette's Molly (I ain't getting any younger)(a single that I have been searching for years and yet to find it) but mostly T G Sheppard whose Motels And Memories may have been the biggest chart hit for Hitsville. Although many compliations have been put out of Motown's hits, nothing has come about for the Hitsville/Melodyland music on CD. So I was shocked to see that Gordy signed Pat Boone to do a country album. Would have been interesting to pick it up and hear it but it was pretty scratched up.

Outside of that, seen some vinyl albums that would have been good to have if they not been so moldy and scratched up. Some old dude had Procol Harum's Broken Barricades and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton but a moldy cover pretty made that worthless.

Some CDs found.
Booker T Jones-The Runaway (MCA 1989) Booker T calls this a concept album and we get lots of that Booker T B3 Hammond Organ that we all love but this album has that 80's sound, which is lots of whammy bar guitar and a canned drum sound. Think he did better on Potatoe Hole, his 2009 effort with Drive By Truckers. Grade C+

Starcastle (Epic 1976) Terry Luttrell was the original lead vocalist of REO Speedwagon and made one album and left after that. Later returned in a six man band that specialized in a cross of Kansas Pomp with harmonies of YES. In fact it's a good YES tribute and it's better than ELP. But there wasn't much of a market for Prog rock bands from Illinois I guess and they never did go past cult artists. Surprised Sony Music even reissued their first. Later reissues were put out by Renaissance Records if anybody cares. Grade B

Jars Of Clay Greatest Hits (Essensial 2008) Christian rock band had a one hit wonder on regular radio with the Adrian Belew produced Flood and then return to Christian Radio and remained a fixture there. Uplifting yes, memorable, not really although I can hum along with what I hear. Grade B-