Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ed's Retirement

Observations from the forefront:

After 16 years of being part of the printing room operations Ed Schneiter has decided to retire next friday. Basically he remains a very special part of this life for it was Ed who was my first trainee when he got hired fulltime when we were in Iowa City. I knew it was coming for he told me once he turned 65 that he would retire. I will miss his rant and ravings about the printers, the co workers and seeing that old red flannel shirt and baseball cap as he would walk around the area. I'll certainly miss the dude come monday.

August is going to be a very slow month for new music so therefore I don't forsee any big trips to the big cities before the Arizona trip. It will also give me some time to straighten up the music room and rooting out music that I don't play anymore. Somebody at the Salvation Army is going to reap the rewards here. And since August is a slow month in the music chat and blog area, I'll going to take it easy and perhaps take a few off in here too. But I'm sure when I get to my third home at Half Priced Books in town I'm certain that I'll keep finding forgotten music of the past. I'm still working on finalizing the AZ trip and places of where I'm going. Looks like it's Kingman again via Flagstaff. And of course an afternoon of meditation at Crookton Pass Bridge. And then visit the Hastings stores as a farewell. I look at Hastings like I do FYE, yeah they are a big box used store and yes their prices are outrageous and I still pissed Hastings closed up in Ames but I also know that I have found many many cheap CDs that are part of my ongoing showcase called Pawnshoppe Classics, therefore I go there just because.

I have put the word out of when I'll be in AZ and where I'll be staying. As much as I would like to visit with them and have a drink or two I will not bother them if they don't want to be bothered or if they want to spend quality time with their sons. I respect their privacy and besides I'll be hitting the ground running once the plane rolls into Mesa. You have a month, if I don't hear from any of my arizona friends I do have a plan B in place and roll on down the line. After all, a moment being bored to death with somebody going through the motions is a moment taken away looking for cds at Zia's or FYE or Hastings. Maybe I'll look up the famous Stinkweeds down in AZ for the first time ever. I'm hoping the body will not fall apart like it did when I walked to downtown Flagstaff and back to my hotel room and getting rigor mortis the next day.

We all know had I lived in Tempe all these years my cd collection would 20,000. The amazing part of AZ is that in everytime I have gone there I found the intended cds I was looking for. And to have this come and go freedom to do so has been lotsa fun. But like Ed, I made the decision to retire at age 50 from flying out and buying out every cd store that i have come across. Times are changing and nowadays downloading is the way of most folks. Not mine, I have yet to own an IPOD or read a Kindle and even have a cellphone to text back and forth. And being the old set in ways coot I don't see myself running to the Itunes store anytime soon. I still enjoy the lure of finding the actual album or cd and reading the liner notes although I have to keep getting a different set of reading glasses to read the small print.

I'd love to do this another 10 years but while the spirit is willing the body isn't as sure and usually I pay for it at the end of trip. It happened last year there and it happened this year in Michigan. Yeah, I thought last year's 10 Days was the end but this year is a bonus and perhaps the exclaimation point to something I have done the last 20 plus years of going on vacation. It always lead to Arizona (except for a year that Portland and Seattle was the destination). And I really don't mind the heat there, it's usually the rains I have a problem with since they tend to follow me from up here. But I'm hoping that I'll get there and we won't have to deal with the monsoons after dealing with them up here in June and July.

But in the meantime, I still have four weeks to go.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Flooding On

A collection of thoughts before the top ten.

Mother Nature did us no favors last weekend, Lake Delhi's dam failed and broke and now there is no Lake Delhi, only the Maquoketa River going through a mud spot. While the news station gave it all gloom and doom, the Wapsi at Anamosa crested at 23.9 feet a foot under the 2008 record and the Maquoketa River at Maquoketa city around 34 feet which ranked number one in highest crest. Thankfully the rains held off this weekend but the Grand Funk/Styx/Joan Jett show at Jones County in Monticello was canceled due to flooding concerns. Still while it could have been worse for Anamosa, the folks down river in Olin got flooded out for the second time in two years and finally there's some folks who had enough of living in a floodland. Yes, the Wapsi is a mighty beautiful river but I don't love it enough for it to love me enough to pay me a visit and leave behind a muddy mess after 10 inches of rain upstream.

Mark Prindle remains a great reviewer but ever since his supposedly soul mate wife left him after 15 years, he hasn't been much fun lately. Prindle raped all over the post death Hendrix albums and seemed to have a hard on for Nine To The Universe, that 1980 bottom of the barrel scraper of Hendrix jams and whatnot. I think I share his opinion that the Valleys Of Neptune isn't that great and remains a cash in from the Hendrix Estate. I like Hendrix just as much as the next person but Valleys Of Neptune is most certainly scraping the bottom of the barrel and although they claim there's still 10 years worth of Hendrix unreleased stuff to dish out, unless we really want to hear a half thought out version of Sunshine Of Your Love, think I'll stick with the originals and...ahem...Nine To The Universe. And I sure hope Mark Prindle will find that special somebody soon.

New Sheryl Crow? No thank you. Not a fan.

Plenty of music but only ten selections so a few are going have to be omitted till next week.

1. Old Man-Neil Young 1972 Dedicated to Ben Keith who died Monday at age 72. Out of all the musicians that ever worked with Neil Young, Ben Keith was his favorite to jam with, to create songs with. In concert Monday night, Neil dedicated this song to him. Keith also played steel guitar on Patsy Cline's I Fall To Pieces. In 1994 Ben Keith recorded his only known album, the Christmas themed Seven Gates, an all star album featuring Neil Young, Johnny Cash, J J Cale and many others.

2. Real Enough-Doug & The Slugs 1982 Goofballs from Canada that sounded a bit like Huey Lewis & The News and The E Street Band and Doug was Doug Bennett who may or may not have been the Producer on some of the albums from Hawkwind or Stiff Little Fingers. This got some airplay in 1982 on FM radio. I have the forty five somewhere in my collection. One of two albums that were recorded for RCA and later reissued via One Way Records.

3. Oh Yeah-Yello 1985 Kraut rock done disco style in the mid 80s, this band featured Boris Blank and the mysterious Deiter Meier and at first Mercury/Polygram wanted nothing to do with them in the US, so Elektra issued two of them, one was total nonsense and the second is their classic called Stella. However, this song didn't take it till it was used in a commercial and then the final scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off to which the defeated principal had to walk to the back of the bus and had to sit next to the freaky girl with the warm gummy bears in her pocket and runny nose to boot. Yuck.

4. Yesterday's Gone-Chad & Jeremy 1964 They weren't rock, nor they were all that much folk but rather middle of the road pop music and not a critics favorite. But they did have big hits with this song and Summer Song, which is one of the most prettiest songs of the 60s. Recorded for World Artists and then moved over to Columbia with mixed results. Found their best of in the dollar bins at Madison the other day and had a nice conversation with the dude who said they did a nice version of World Without Love to which I corrected him that was Peter and Gordon. Which isn't the same thing at all.

5. Chain Gang-Bobby Lee Springfield 1987 Rick's brother ha ha. But actually a rockabilly artist with a love of hillbilly music who recorded a one off for Epic in 1987 and even gets Eddie Arnold to introduce What's He Doing In My World but the guy wasn't all that great and Epic dropped him. Found the vinyl for a buck at the Madison Goodwill Store. There was a CD of this at Half Priced Books but really don't see the need to get that.

At this point, my computer took a shit so have to redo the last top five.

6. Tom Sawyer-Rush 1981 From Moving Pictures. You hear it on the radio all the time so why include it on a top ten. Cuz I lost the other choice and too tired to redo it all over. Thus, you get the hit.

7. Use Somebody-Kings Of Leon 2008 Watch out for bird poop. Band played at St. Louis last weekend and got pooped on by a irate pigeon. After three songs they walked off leaving a few pissed off people in the wake but they did get their refund back.

8. The Middle-Jimmy Eat World 2001 Band from Tempe and their best known hit. Originally known as Bleed American but changed over to Jimmy Eat World due to 9/11.

9. I'll Get You-The Beatles 1964

10. The Dujon Song-Gomez 1999 From an EP that was the bonus disc off their 2000 compilation of B sides, BBC recordings and alt takes. Sounds like a shorter version of Pink Floyd's Echoes.

Till next time folks, if the computer is willing to print my whole top ten and not just the first five.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Madison Notes

We managed to have three days of no rain so I decided to chance it and go up to Madison Monday to see what I can find and see what's going on.

First of all, the flood problems remain around here. The Wapsipinicon was 25 feet and pretty much covered most of Shaw Rd, both the north route going into town and the south route. The river shallowed up the quarry at 151 and also surrounded the old Vet place about 50 feet from the riverbed. I didn't go into Anamosa to really check. But I did not see the road closed sign at Cty Road E34.

For Monitcello, it looks like it could have been worse. The North Fork MaQ around Cascade quickly has gone down but highway 136 South is still closed due to high water in the low spots.

Driving to Dubuque the creek is back in its banks as well as the creek in Plattville, however you can see mud from the cornstalks indicating how far up and how ranging the creek was last friday when they got 10 inches of rain. There is standing water in the cornfields but so far the corn hasn't died. That's the one thing about summer floods. At least with above normal temps, if it does flood it doesn't stay around long.

Madison is tore up with all the road construction out there. Again finding things were hit and miss. Last March when I went up there I didn't find much at HP Books and didn't buy anything at either location. This time out, I didn't find anything at Mad City Music Exchange but did at both HP Books. And didn't find nothing at PrePlayed so didn't bother to go to the other one on the east side of town.

At the old Circuit City place, is a new pawnshop Pawn America and this place had a big selection of used cds. More than four rows! Mostly a lotta crap but I did managed to find a few cheap bargain in the process. But I was very disappointed once again that Cracker Barrel once again ran out of Dumplings so had to order something else. I don't think I'll ever return there again in Madison. Told the waitress always seems like they never have dumplings or they ran out everytime I go there. I seem to have that problem too going to Davenport for Chicken and Dumplins but this is the second straight time I've been up there and was told there was no Dumplins yet.

Did the Lake Monona walk after going to Mad City Music Exchange and walked up to State Street and walked up and down that downtown area. Gawd the change shakers were out in full force always begging for change. I noticed the park area downtown was fenced off, so I'm guessing that there will be new buildings on that patch of land. Such a shame, I liked hanging out in that area...before the panhandlers and change shakers took over. The good news for record stores is that vinyl has been making a big comeback whereas the CD section get less and less space in the stores. I kinda figured by the time I got done looking at The Exclusive Company that I wouldn't have time to go to Strictly Discs unless I wanted to spend the night but didn't. So I went back to Lake Monona.

And the reason I went up there in the first place. It was the full moon cycle tonight and got a treat watching the moon rise above the high rise in Monona and had a nice breeze blowing off the lake. Unfortunely after leaving Madison, I hit every GD red light from there to Dubuque and finally took the long way out of town to avoid anymore lights. And the effort paid off. From that road to home, I had nobody behind me. Only the moon racing me on the way home and no clouds to cover it.

In other words a perfect night.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Jones County Fair Time

The halfway point of summer is the Great Jones County Fair which is this week. Which is also the weekend slated for the Great Madison Bargain hunt of Summer. Weather permitting of course. Major acts include a soldout show of Lady Antebellum/Phil Vasser on Thursday. Friday you get Alan Jackson and Saturday rock and roll show is Grand Funk Railroad, Styx and Joan Jett and The Blackhearts. I think Styx played there a few years ago and I think Alan Jackson is on his second go around here but this is the first time Joan Jett has been out in the boonies. Should be a wonderful time if you going. Cost 10 dollars to get in and if your lucky you might find a nice view from the hill should you want to see Lady Antebellum from afar. I'm sure my GF would be the first to go.

Plenty of interesting stuff on the player. And I do miss TAD and his wonderful comments. And still yet to hear from Brooksie about hosting a top ten sometime down the road but nobody's heard from her in about a year. Maybe I'll dust off a old favorite from her just for old time's sake.

1. Don't Stop Now-The Maine 2010 A promising new act from my old stomping grounds Tempe Arizona, home of The Gin Blossoms, The Refreshments/AZ Peacemakers, Jimmy Eat World and the list goes on. This is radio ready and I'm sure you'll get to hear them on top forty soon. Lead singer sounds like a bit like Steven Tyler. I have their debut Black And While and I like it very much. Might be a classic for the second decade of Y2K. Just like New Miserable Exp. was for the Gin Bunnies back in 1992 and Bleed American was for Jimmy Eat World in 2k1.

2. Let The Day Begin-The Call 1988 Had this album a long time ago and outside the title track can't recall much from it, till I picked up their Best Of and found that a couple more songs off that album were on that album. You Ran was a minor hit and Surrender I faintly remember. Al Gore used this song for his 2000 run for the office. Side Note: Mike Been's son is part of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. A contrast of styles indeed.

3. Too Much Paranoia-Devo 1978 Dedicated to Tom Warren who seems to be acting from too much paranoia. So tell me Mr. Warren, has Hal Million paid you a visit yet? Back to the song, Mark Mothersbaugh rethinks the world about going to Burger King to soothe that Big Mack Attack. Would have been a hoot had Burger King used this song in a commerical instead of old stale Foreinger's Hot Blooded.

4. Hoedown from Rodeo-Leonard Bernstein 1960 Recorded for Aaron Copland's 60th birthday celebration and yes I have this old Columbia Masterworks album for proof. Found a mint copy of it at Goodwill a few years ago and although I'm not much into classical music I do like bits and pieces of certain things. But everytime I hear this song, I keep thinking that Robert Mitchem is going to say afterwards "Beef, it's what for dinner". Later Emerson Lake & Palmer did their very own version of Hoedown.

5. Bang On The Drum All Day-Todd Rundgren 1982 Like What I Like About You, this song didn't take off till much later when somebody decided to play it at some sporting event and now you can't escape it. I think Todd did this as a throwaway in a attempt to close out his contract with Bearsville but in the process this has paid some of his bills in later life. Probably paid for his move out to Hawaii too.

6. Shadowland-k.d.lang 1988 Last week, I found a whole bunch of albums in the dollar bins at Goodwill and Half Priced Books. Shadowland was one of them. I think this was the last album that Owen Bradley would produce and k.d. got some of Nashville's finest to play on this. Buddy Harman on drums, Buddy Emmons on steel guitar, Pig Robbins on piano, Jimmy Capps on Guitar and Harold Bradley on upright bass. Even got the Jordanaires and Tennessee on backing vocals too. And for one cut, you have Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn and Brenda Lee singing. Funny seeing a track from this album making it on MTV's 120 Minutes one night. Dedicated to my GF.

7. I'm A Rocker-Bruce Springsteen 1980 I'm not a big Bruce fan, never cared much for Born To Run, got burned out on Born In The USA and if I never hear Hungry Heart again it wouldn't break my heart. There are some of Bruce's songs that I enjoy the hell out of from The River, Two Hearts, You Can Look But You Cannot Touch, Crush On You come to mind. Critics don't seem to care bout those song since they think they're throwaway but to me they are not. They rocked hard and so does I'm A Rocker, which makes me sing along to the E Streeters as they respond to Bruce's call. Later, this track would be featured on the compliation Rock And Roll Fantasy, the only compliation album I guarantee you that has stuff from The Who, Led Zeppelin, Wings, Moody Blues, John Mellencamp, Bryan Adams, Bruce, Tom Petty & Jethro Tull. A one of a kind album for the ages.

8. Painted Moon-The Silencers 1987 Another vinyl piece picked up, this band had two albums for RCA and then stayed back over the pond. Sounded a bit like Cactus World News and U2 although I think they lot like Diesel Park West, who made one EMI album. I think this was their hit off that album. I think.

9. Saved-Bob Dylan 1980 EEEEEEK! Gospel Dylan! Come on kids, Saved wasn't that bad of an album. Fact I think I liked it better than Slow Train Comin but then again I liked Shot Of Love the next year. Take away those annoying black gospel singers on this album and you can probably listen to it more than one time. Last week I added a song from Down In The Groove and now I added a track from Saved. So when the hell am I going to add a song from a great Dylan album you ask. Keep watching this space for more details...........

10. Must Of Got Lost-J. Geils Band 1974 For years I have been treated to the single version of said song till I got the Nightmares album and found out it was 2 minites longer. Just like Listen To The Music we got screwed out of hearing the long version. When I got the airplane while visiting my GF up in Romulus (we didn't go to Detroit in my time there) the convience store that we went was playing a J. Geils Song. Good to those that the Motor City radio station hasn't forgotten Peter Wolf and company.

Good to know.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Freak In Today's Society

Twitter is a very interesting place to hang out when i get bored from playing Bejeweled and it's the only place I can chat with my significant other when I'm at work. I have music friends and Cubs fans that are on there but I also have about 70 percent left wing friends and about 20 percent from the right. I try not to talk politics as much as I try but something always will get me going and usually it comes from the right wing fools such as Newt Gingrich, the 2 timing scum that is thinking of running for president in 2012 and of course he's gotta make his presence known when he comes up here. Let's face it I hate the guy and most GOPers since they look after their own interests rather than mine. Tim Pawlenty? Put a 20 foot high fence on the Iowa Minnesota border and keep him out of here. Sarah Palin? Don't get me started. When somebody commands a big price tag to go see her in person, she's no better than any other money grubbing fool running for office. And of course my significant other loves it when I go on a triade about our very own, the out of touch Charles Grassley, who will win another term although Roxanne Conlin will give it her best. But while I sit there and pooh pooled the right, I'm not 100 percent liberal either. I can't stand Nancy Pelosi. We got a dufus for a governor here Chet Culver. People compared his handling of the 2008 CR Flood to Dubya's Katrina. And so to save us we have Terry Branstad running for Governor to which he was once Governor, and to which we have ads saying he cooked the books while governor. Oh yes, we have those fucking political ads running now till November which are worse than the rains that we have suffered through. Ridiclous.

While one of my rants I was giving the FU to Newt for his comments about the governor, I had some wiseass fire back with this meth induced comment.

that's right, you moron. Flood the market with another Hal million unemployed, trained killers.

Really dude, somebody needs to lay off the Red Bull and Liquid Plummer. Maybe his Location out in netland have these trained umemployed killers named Hal Millions ready to blow us away if we're not careful. Then again I thought I give this halfwit a chance to explain himself but he never did get back to me and finally had enough and blocked him. Can't argue with somebody who doesn't have a clue and enjoys a threesome with Sarah and Bristol.

But I got a responce from another Right Winger who didn't care about my comment about something other so I got at him and saying you're a conserative, a Sarah Palin fan and a Yankee fan, that's three strikes against you. But onlike the hotair that was Tomas P Warren, this guy had a sense of humor and he replied " I can't help it. I was born that way".

I did crack a smile and I wrote back that I liked his way of thinking although I disagreed with it. I forgot the last part to that but that's okay. About an hour later he wrote back and said "I'm a freak in today's society, gotta find the man dude. LOL. And for the first time, I finally met a conservative that actually sat down and talk to me straight, instead of the usual name calling. And he got me to thinking a little bit that I can see where they're coming from. Like myself he's working hard to keep what he's got, trying to provide for his son and do the best he can out of life, without begging for a handout. I have read some of his postings and while we disagree on a few things, I will defend his right to say them. I do look for 2 sides of the story and sometimes I get a little tired of the Obama lovers saying how great of a job he's doing (I think he's doing his best but the last couple months I have not been that big of a supporter). But I still think he's a better alternative than what the GOP brought up in the last election.

But what will stand out is the comment and Patrick S is right: that in this day and age most of us hard working Americans are "the freaks of Society". Who want to live the American Dream and not have to worry about the next five generations trying to pay off a damn debt that is out of this world. To try to teach our children between right and wrong and hope that they don't be stupid and write graffiti over God's Green Earth and get caught in the act. And live without government taking away all our freedoms.

The thing for me is that, I want our government to listen to us when it comes to the problems that we face, be it the weather, undocumented aliens, oil spills, hurricanes and not have to answer to Wall Street or the lobbyists out there. This is what I don't like about the Chuck Grassleys or the Nancy Pelosis of this congress. This is why I favored a two term limit so that the Good Old Boys don't keep getting elected and keep getting things their way. To keep jobs over here and not over seas or south of the border.

There I go again talking politics and getting myself in trouble. But I'll say this: To Patrick S. you're not the only freak in this society. So am I. about those cowboys..... ;)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Sick Of Summer Ready For Fall

Hope everybody is enjoying the summer. Wish I can say that I am, but we have too much rain for me to to enjoy this summer. In fact, we are our fourth straight wet summer. Once again we have about six days of 14 here in July of rain, and of course monday, we had four inches of the wet crap in two hours, flooding roads and the entrance to Marion on old 151. We all wonder when the hell it's going to dry out, we have had above normal precipitation since October of last year and basically if it never rained again it wouldn't break my heart. But it will.

So this brings us to another edition of Crabb's Top Ten Of The Week. To which I take my mind off the rain and flood and onto the one thing I enjoy most. Tunes and finding them. And this week there's no shortage of that thanks to our buddies at Half Priced Books who continue to stick things in the clarance bins that I overlook and have to get.

And I guess that Marco's Pizza is done in the Cedar Rapids area. Such a shame. I loved their pizzas best. I can't say if Little Ceasar's drove them out of town with the five dollar specials or Dominos 5.99 special or Pizza Huts 2 for 10 but I'm sorry to see them go. I miss their buffets, so I guess it will be back to Naso's. Or Leo's Pizzeria if they can stay in biz.

RIP Harvey Fuqua, the leader behind the old doowop band The Moonglows and later a producer for Motown, died of a heart attack at age 80.

The songs of the week.

1. I Think She Likes Me-Treat Her Right 1988 Gotta love a band that took their name from Roy Head's biggest hit. Mark Sandman, the late great leader of Morphine was part of this band and he did this cult favorite and he sounds more like a nasal Mark Knopfler. Treat Her Right made two albums for RCA and one for Rounder before calling it a day and Sandman and the drummer would do the jazzgrade Morphine before collasping on stage in 1999 during a concert. Side note: THR was one of many bands that I discovered in the cheap bins at Mister Money pawnshop in Davenport. This place had boatloads of forgotten cds of forgotten bands of the 80s and 90s and you can buy them 10 for 20 dollars. Which explains why I have such a big collection then.

2. The Ocean/On The Rocks-Lez Zeppelin 2007 An all female band doing suggestive Zeppelin covers and getting it produced by Eddie Kramer. Certainly you can't fault the girls for that, most chicks can sing like Robert Plant if done right (Ann Wilson comes to mind and (don't laugh) Gretchen Wilson too) but this band comes across like lesbians for Led Zeppelin or Bi chicks, probably the latter. But I donno, the best female Zeppelin tribute band remains Moby Chick. Lez Zeppelin ain't bad but it's not something I'd play over and over. I would stick with the original source of inspiration.

3. Tell Them Willie Boy Is A'Comin-Tommy James 1972 Without the Shondells mind you, TJ went to Nashville to do a country album and had it produced by Pete Drake, the guy behind the talking steel guitar and would produce Ringo Starr and Slim Whitman and a few others. This doesn't sound country, it has that signature Tommy James sound and the Nashville Session Guys and The Nashville Edition, that backing vocal group would sound like The Shondells which is no small feat in itself. From the My Head, My Bed And My Guitar reissue that came out on CD for the first time this year.

4. Good Feelin To Know-Poco 1973 Country music today as we know wouldn't exist if it wasn't for this forgotten supergroup and the spinoff The Eagles. Poco has always had great harmonies but their albums were spotty at best. Whereas The Eagles had better songs and of course Best Of My Love and Lyin Eyes to which the best Poco would come up would be this top forty hit and You Better Think Twice a couple years earlier. Used to hear this on underground FM radio and better rock stations around the area before Clear Channel and Cumulus bought everything up and made the radio station cookie cutter soundalikes.

5. Here's To You-Dio 1994 Last Friday, was Ronnie's 68th birthday. From Strange Highways this could have been a hit had it been promoted right but Martin Daniels tells me that it sounds more like Stand Up And Shout Part 2.

6. The Last Of The Steam-Powered Train-The Kinks 1968 For the sake of argument The Kinks may have rivaled The Beatles in great albums of the 1960s although The Kinks records did not sell well here in the states. In fact, most of their albums that I did find was in the cutout bins. During the late 60s, the Kinks made three five star albums, Something Else, Preservation Society and Arthur and I love them all but I think Preservation Society would be my desert island album of choice if needed to choose one Kinks album. This track was the hardest rocking of that album. That's what I think.

7. Better Than Nothing-Jennifer Trynin 1994 Dammed by bad timing, Jennifer was supposed to be the next big girl singer except a certain Miss Morrisette came out with Jagged Little Pill and all promotion went to that album, leaving Jennifer and her Cockanamie album in the dollar section in record time. But so kind of Warner Brothers to give Jennifer another album chance before dropping her soon after that got released. This song can be heard on finer 90s retro stations on the net. But not on your local radio station.

8. The Ugliest Girl In The World-Bob Dylan 1988 From the lost weekend album known as Down In The Groove and nobody liked that album all that much. In fact, I don't think Bob gives that album much thought either. Co written with Robert Hunter and features the oil and water rhythm section of Steve Jordan and American Idol judge Randy Jackson, who really is a great bass player. But so another Randy Jackson who plays for the 80's Rush soundalike band Zebra too. I don't think Down In The Groove is the all time worst Dylan album, (that honor goes to Dylan & The Dead or Bob at Budokan). Like Self Portrait it has a charm all its own. But like Self Portrait, not something I would play all the time.

9. Baby Ran-54-40 1985 25 years ago, 54-40 came from canada to record their first album for Reprise/Warner which has been only availble on CD as a Canadian import till Wounded Bird Records is finally reissuing it here for the first time. They pingponged between the R and WB for their albums before moving over to Sony Canada and having most of their stuff stay north of the border. Another band that I discovered via the Pawnshop.

10. Whole Lotta Rosie AC/DC 1977 Radio wasn't too kind to them in the late 70s. In fact, I didn't think I heard AC DC on the radio till Highway To Hell but I remember buying Powerage at K Mart as one of those curio buys and then bought them all soon afterwards. Come to think of it, the first AC DC album I ever bought was the 1978 live If You Want Blood You Got It. These guys were not punk, nor progressive but rather the same three chords played over and over with sly winking lyrics from Bon Scott. But in the end, my fave album remains the muddy sounding Let There Be Rock and even when George Marino cleaned up the mix a bit for CD reissue, it still sounds like the amps were all the way up to ten. I also like Let There Be Rock the album most of all since radio doesn't overkill it the way they do Back In Black. Even though Bon Scott has moved on in the great drinking establishment in the sky, AC DC still is around, still banging out those same three chords that they been doing the past 35 plus years. And we wouldn't want it any other way either.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The 10 Days In Arizona Revisited

Got into Mesa yesterday and headed to my fave record stores and ate at Pancho's Mexican Buffet. Talked to Dennis Lancaster for about 10 minutes last night, guess he came home from a 7 hour flight from New York and was up for 24 hours. He's going to spend the day with his sons before getting back to work tomorrow and we won't be getting together this time out.

Mesa seems to be a ghost town from where i was staying at, Best Buy moved across the street to Fiesta Mall and most of the buildings on that area are now empty although Staples is still there and Borders. Haven't gone into Borders, they had not much of a music selection anymore.

This morning I took a bit of a walk around the La Quinta area and then got on the road to Globe and took some pictures of downtown and the drive in that is still operating. However getting over to Tucson on highway 77, I ended up getting my rental car stuck in one of those Runaway Stops that you see on steep hills in Arizona. If you have a car, stay the fuck away from this area because once you get into the rocks, you'll never get out in a KIA. Thank God that a guy in a jeep saw me cussing at the heavens and towed me out and didn't ask for any money. That guy was an guardian angel and I definitely owe him a beer or two or three. For had he not came over and helped I'd still be there, I would have been probably picked apart by buzzards swarming around me.

And then I got stuck behind a fucking stoplight on INA street in Tucson that had a train coming at me at around 50 miles and hour so had to high tail it to the side and get onto the I 10.
Day three found me talking with Barbara, a friend that I met in Face book via Farm town. We decided to meet at the mall and she was about 45 minutes late but we managed to talk for a couple hours and it was nice to meet her.

Drove to Tombstone soon after and I waited a bit too late since when I got there most of the town closed up but managed to snap some pictures in the process. Saw a horrific accident on the I-10 back up to Tucson; some SUV landed on its top on the side with half of it torn off. May have been due to a heavy monsoon rain and whoever drove it was going way too fast. Surprised if anybody survived that crash.

It always seems like when I go to Tombstone it rains. It rained back in 2002 when I was there and it rained there yesterday. Good old monsoon storm developed on top of the town and while I did managed to take a moonshot picture, the skies darkened and we got to see lots of wind, lightning and the rains. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Boot Hill, it was closed when I got there. Seems like every other tourist town, it's like that. They rolled up the sidewalks at 5 and everybody goes home at 6. Hopefully the next time when I go back there it won't fucking rain.

Surprise, I didn't buy any new cds although I did checked out the final Bookman's and Zia's. Maybe I was burned out or it was the lateness of the hour. Usually the Phoenix stores stay open till 11, here in Tucson they close at 10.

Good thing we have unlimited mileage on the rental. I'm already closing in on 500 miles so far in three days. And still got another week to go, on the way back to Mesa and Kingman and points in between. This is not all about bargain hunts, it's about seeing plenty of desert and tourist traps.

And hope that I don't get into anymore surprise monsoons.The monsoon has followed me up to Flagstaff yesterday. But first, went to Jerome to take some pictures only to find that the battery went low and died on me so had to cough up thirty bucks to get a replacement battery since I forgot to pack the battery charger. So I lost out taking some cool pictures at Jerome and at Flagstaff.

I've settled at Flagstaff last night and took a walk downtown to old Flagstaff which is full of Motels and restaurants and a train station. Ended up getting soaking wet about a half mile from the motel I was staying at. Some dark cloud opened up on me.

Stopped over Crookton Pass bridge and hung out there and watch lightning and thunderstorms coming all around me and counted about four trains. And then it rained all the way into Seligman, to which last time I visited Angel Dedillago he mentioned they hadn't had any rain in about five months. Told him next time I visited I'd bring some for him. And I delivered big time. It poured for about an hour. So I moved on down to Kingman to spend the next two days.

I didn't sleep very well last night and ended up getting some back spams while walking out to the car. So I don't think I'll do too much today, just kick back in the motel room and take a nap and then put a new battery in the camera and go try to get some decent sunsets on old Route 66 and then head over to Hastings to see what bargains I can find. So far, I have found lots of bargains and have yet to figure out how I'm going to get them all home in one piece.

Another day, another monsoon to deal with. Rained a bit in Bullhead City and then came into a ghost town Oatman with a howling wind and a downpour. Amazing thing about Oatman is that i heard a lotta banging and howling wind while walking down a quiet boardwalk hearing footsteps behind me and seeing nothing. Even the burros were not to be found. Basically frustrated I stopped in at the only open bar and for the first time in ten years had a beer.

Lake Havasau City was hopping. 108 degrees and plenty of people and boats on the water. For the first time, I saw lots of scantly dressed ladies in simply shorts and doods with bigger bellies and man boobs then myself walking up and down the path alongside the lake. Perhaps I should have made this place a stopover rather than the two nights at Kingman. Lots of tanned bodies, oodles of tattoos and plenty of beer and rap music blasting on the waterway. And ladies bouncing to the beatbox. Gawd I miss the days of rock and roll.

Bullhead City was even hotter, 110 degrees and a spotty shower that actually felt good, it wasn't those gully washers that I had to contend with in Tombstone or Seligman. Last year when I was here, the Hastings store didn't have jack shit. This year I found plenty of stuff in the clearance bins and probably bought about 20 cds in the process. Some good, some sucked and will be donated to the Goodwill in Mesa on Monday. Don't ask me why i bought Travis tritt in the first place. But the Hastings store surprised me enough with cds in the five dollar range that perhaps a Ames trip might be forthcoming.

I seem to blend with the crowd on Route 66. Came across some Germans looking for the ghost town on the copper mine about a mile away from Oatman. Although I wasn't much help I still think that Oatman is a haunted ghost town when the shops close up around five and that perhaps the steps behind me were Oatie paying me a visit since the Oatman Hotel was closed by the time I got there in a howling wind.

Finally got some nice moonshots as well outside of Kingman right before the sun set. With a replacement battery I plan to head to Seligman and Crookton Pass and take some pics before returning back to Phoenix Mesa to conclude this trip.

I'm also not feeling well, had major back spams last night and didn't sleep at all. Then my nose screwed up on me as well. This has been the nadir of the trip so far, the fucking back spams that started at Flagstaff and have continued on and off since then. And I still have two more days before I return home, so here's hoping for a major miracle that i get to feel better before then. I know the damn flight home is going to suck with this. Then my feet broke out in a rash too, so my body is going to hell in a hand basket.

We must have had a power outage last night at the motel room. Everything was blinking and the local channels were knocked off. I'm not too impressed with this motel either. They switched to a much smaller pillow and i couldn't get comfortable either. Plus they're remodeling too so I can't take the famous Highway 66 logo. Not a great indication that I might be here again next time i'm in the desert.
The Fourth Of July I returned back to Phoenix/Mesa via route 66 and a stop at Seligman and got to see Angel Delgadillo riding his bike around town. The guy is 82 years old and he's running circles around me. I ended up having major back spams the last couple days of the trip so I didn't do much walking anywhere, but I did managed to spend an hour at Crookton Pass bridge and took a couple pictures and got to see a couple trains. I didn't bother Angel since he was out bike riding but it was nice to see him one more time. I also need to send him the picture of us taken together last year.

After Crookton Pass I drove down to Prescott and spent a couple hours at the Hastings store and found nothing. But in the long run, this year the Hastings stores that I visited on this trip had some cheap cds and some mid priced ones at 4.99.

I didn't sleep very well that Friday night at Kingman. The Comfort Inn was a disappointment simply of the fact that they had a power outage and all we could get on the tv was the Dish Network on how to program your TV. I nodded a few times driving to Prescott and finally had to load up on the Pepsi trying to keep awake. I think once I got to the Mesa LA Quita Inn I did take a nap and did managed to find some nifty fireworks show outside the window as the Tempe Fire Works Show was beautiful to watch and didn't have to venture out to see it.

Sunday, I went to Phoenix to Metro Center to the Jade Express for some chicken fried rice. Always loved their food the best although it did give me gas most of the day. Then found the last of the Bookman stores and Zia's and found a few more cds of value. But it must have been orgy night since most of the couples that I saw were sucking face, hell I had two couples in front and back of me sucking face. Geezus will they get a fucking room and go fuck?!? Must have been Romper Room night at ZIAs as we had kids running up and down the aisle and dammed if one of the suckface couples follow me down to ZIAs. Can't get away from these jokers.

Monday took it easy and soaked in the hot tub but only to find that a lizard was in my skibbies. Never seen that before, put the undies out to dry and then there was a small lizard who high tailed it into the AC unit. But then again, made a big mistake of going to Sarro's for some spaghetti wearing nothing but white. White pants, white shirt and yeah got plenty of tomato sauce all over it.

In the end, while the 10 days In Arizona was fun at times, it was draining and I think we didn't have the best of luck. I think getting stuck in the Truck Runaway Lane outside of Globe took a bit of fun out of it and so did getting back spams in Kingman on Wed and couldn't shake them whatsoever. I did find bargains and plenty of cds and records but I also donated about 7 useless cds back to Goodwill. The Tragically Hip 2007 album was a piece of shit, and London Wainright the 3rd, first album for Atlantic wasn't all great either. Quicksilver Messenger Service is a dated band and although i did find their cd for a dollar at Goodwill on the first night, I re donated it back. QMS is a boring band. And Travis Tritt?, what was I thinking?

I think in the end, I got disgusted of seeing too many public display of affection and although I'm all for love, I'd rather not see folk tying their tongues in knots at the music store, nor seeing unruly brats and uncaring parents who ready to pop another one out. See way too much of that. Plus I also seen way too many butt cracks too. Nothing more gross than seeing some 50 year old woman, wearing something that was too short and seeing something that I'd rather not see. That or man boobs.

Did I do too much down there? The grand total of miles driven in those 10 days was 1,650 miles. Lotta driving from Mesa to Globe to Tucson to Tombstone back to Tucson and then to Tempe and then up to Cottonwood, Sedona, Flagstaff, Kingman, Lake Havasau City, Bullhead City, to Oatman to Kingman and back on Route 66 to Prescott and to Phoenix.

Perhaps i should have spent the night in Lake Havasu City. Driving 1,650 miles in 10 days probably wore me out and once I got back to Mesa I pretty much took it easy. But Phoenix did lose another record store. Memory Lane Records, based in Tempe is now a memory but as far as I have seen ZIA and Hastings and FYE did pretty well in CD sales. The Best Buy in Mesa moved across the street to Fiesta Mall and now sell music instruments. But it always seem like everytime i went somewhere I always have to have some help hounding me about wanting help. I have 6.000 cds what I am looking for they don't have anyway.

And so it goes. We learn to never say never. I'd like to return back to the desert in the future but only God knows if and when I do. In the 10 days in AZ, only one was spent in Phoenix if you could believe that. Most of the time I based myself over in Tempe/mesa/chandler and spent two days in Tucson. And managed to meet up with Barbara, a co player of Farmtown and we chatted for a couple hours. Didn't meet up with Dennis and perhaps next time we will get together. If there is.

Gas prices were affordable. 2.67 the norm but they varied from 2.38 to 2.43 a gallon so I got lucky. I did find that great Mexican restaurant in Tucson next to Bookmans which name escapes me so i snapped a picture of the place in my digital cameras. El Molinito its called. Best Mexican food in Tucson, highly recommended.

Well that concludes the 10 days in AZ vacation. Over just like that. It wore me out, I ended up having one too many monsoon storms for my liking but I did find bargains. And in the end, did have a good time regardless.

2010 Update: Thought I share the highlights of the vacation of last year before returning to the desert for yet another go around the music stores and hangouts one last time. It's a good thing I managed to type this all down for I have forgotten most of what I did last year.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-The Good The Bad And Me

Sorting through all the things found at Dubuque and Iowa City and coming to the conclusion that most of it I could have lived without. Oh well, the life of a bargain hunter. Sometimes you find the deals, sometimes you don't.

So Prince thinks the internet is over and everybody is going back to landlines and 8 tracks? Personally I haven't found anything from Prince worth listening to since the infamous Black Album and even though I still have the CD, I don't think I ever played it. Perhaps Wal Mart will stock it in the five dollar section along with Parade or Around The World In A Day?

Witty Twitter exchange between me and my other half.

ME: I didn't know that The Outlaws are still around, I thought they disbanded after Hughie Thomassen's death. Well, upon further review Henry Paul is back and fronting it. I wonder if they going to be playing here anytime soon.

GF: Are the outlaws bringing the inlaws?

The Linn County Country Fair is this weekend up in Central City. And we welcome The Bellamy Brothers who will play Friday Night. The Bellamy Brothers have been around for over 35 years and are best known for Let Your Love Flow, which was the top selling 45 in 1976. They had other hits like Lovin On, I Need More Of You, For All The Wrong Reasons and most recently resigned with Curb Records for a forth time.

I don't have a problem with the Made In Mexico CDs that the majors are now shoving down our throats but I do have with those Made In China crap jewel cases to which the tray isn't full secured and pops out with along with the cd. The consumer is getting mighty tired of subpar made shit from China and poorly recorded Mexican CDs. The labels have been going in the toilet ever since the Rootkit Copy Protect pieces of shit they gave us five years ago. But then again what is made in the USA anymore? Besides Lesko Fans?

The Top Ten Of The Week

1. Kites Are Fun-The Free Design 1967 Soft rock produced by Enoch Light and the only song that they ever recorded that made the top 200. Sounds more like muzak to me or a more laid back Sergio Mendes & Brazil 66. What made this stood out was that Light recorded this band on 35mm magentic film which sounded great on vinyl but okay on CD. Enoch Light was head of Project 3 Records to which he had his own projects such as the Enoch Light and The Light Brigade and you can still find those album at Goodwill or Salvation Army. Varase Vintage put together a Best of The Free Design if you're into soft pop muzak.

2. The Fourth Of July-Dave Alvin 1987 Probably the best known song from Dave after he left The Blasters for a solo career that still goes to this day and it has been covered by Robert Earl Keen and Alejandro Escovedo (more about him later). Off Romeo's Escape which Epic put out in 1987, then reissued via Razor & Tie and then re reissued on Lucky Dog (a division of Epic and Sony Nashville).

3. All That You Dream-Little Feat 1977 For all intent purposes Warner Brothers screwed up Waiting For Columbus when they issued this on CD, they left two songs off that album and it was one of the most crappy sounding CDs ever made. The songs left off would be tacked on as bonus cuts on selected Feat albums. However, Rhino Records returned the album to a 2 CD format and not only return the songs as on the 2 record set, they added more stuff and songs from Hoy Hoy, the career span 2 record set released in 1981. Found the record for 2 bucks at CDs 4 Change and then found an still sealed CD copy at Half Priced Books for 8 bucks the next day. Best Buy had it for 25 bucks. On a side note: when I went to Iowa City, it was the first time in five visits that I didn't run into Tim, one of my friends who used to hang at Relics back in the 1990s. I'm surprised I never run into him at HP Books.

4. It's Only A Paper Moon-Miles Davis 1951 Featuring a mighty steller lineup with Sonny Rollins on saxophone and Art Blakey on drums. I do play jazz when I feel the need to wind down after a day of dealing with crappy printers and driving home and not trying to get run off the road by soccer moms driving SUVs and yakking on cellphones. Nevertheless, hard to believe this song is just about 60 years old and sounds just as great back then. Taken off The Jazz Giants Play Harold Arlen: Blues In The Night, a 1998 compliation on Prestige/Fantasy and found at Mister. Money Pawnshop around that time. Used to be that Mister Money had lots and lots of CDs stacked up to the roof and it was fun to discover things that I wouldn't bought for 12.99 or 8 bucks used. Alas, Mister Money quit taking CDs around 2004 and outside of a bunch of shitty forgotten rappers or pop tarts nobody wants, there's no reason to go up there again although I do make a tri-monthly appearance just in case somebody pawned their collection off for beer money.

5. Telegram-Nazareth 1976 They were never a critics band and would have been a footnote in music history had Hair Of The Dog and Love Hurts didn't hit the top ten. Don McCaffery had a voice either you could tolerate or hated but somebody must have enjoyed their music judging that they were at A & M Records for 12 years. The followup Close Enough For Rock And Roll had this little ode to the road and playing live and this gets played on classic rock radio as that closet classic but its a rare occasion.

6. Faith-Alejandro Escovedo 2010 To which he moves from a EMI/Manhattan to Fantasy/Concord and makes a hard rocking album. His most hard rocking since the days of The True Believers. Gets help from Ian Hunter and the Boss. Street Songs Of Love is the name of the album and it just might make the top 5 of the year.

7. The Last DJ-Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 2002 Critics call The Last DJ his worst album but I disagree. I think this album is dead on when Tom sings about the lament of the DJ and the radio station that had a open playlist and the DJ would play something off the wall that people would like. That would be around the late 60s and early 70s for FM radio for those who care and even up till 1993 when we lost our last freeform FM station. KFMH 99 Plus it was called before it got bought out and became KBOB, a crappy country station and later a top forty crappy station. I like Tom Petty not only of the fact that he's a great musician but also a big fan of music enough to go out and buy it. I also like him when he played Lucky Klineschmidt on the late, great King Of The Hill.

8. Wolf Creek Pass-C W McCall 1974 This gets weird folks and the guilty pleasure of the week. C.W. McCall sang trucker songs and had a big assed number one hit with Convoy which gave us the B movie of the same name. Before Convoy, he had trucker hits such as this song, Crispy Critters and Old Home Filler-Up An' Keep On Trucker Cafe and There'll Be No Country Music (There'll Be No Rock n Roll) which Al Gore got for inspiration of global warming. Side note: Chip Davis, who composed the music would later start up a little something called Manheim Steamroller to which you would know best as their Christmas In The Aire series. But before that we had C.W and the Country Corn, to which C.W. would recite a story line and then we would get some backing singers who would sing the chorus. Hasn't dated very well but this does put a smile on my face when I do hear it (and then want to donate the CD back to Goodwill and disavow any knowledge of it).

9. Levee Song-Darden Smith 2000 He was one of these up and coming singer songwriters of the late 80s that was supposed to be the start of a new neo country movement (even got Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel to produce his S/T Epic album) but Sony Nashville had no clue of promoting him and after three albums gave up and he was set free. In 2000, he signed with Valley Records out of Santa Fe New Mexico and made a acoustic album of some of his favorite songs of the Epic/Columbia years. However, Santa Fe New Mexico wasn't the hotbed of music entertainment, Valley closed up shop and Darden moved on to a couple records for Nashville's Dualtone Records.

10. Dear Mr. Fantasy-Traffic 1968 For all that jazz rock they were famous for, their first album was mostly hippie dippy in the manor of Sgt Pepper or Moody Blues aka In Search Of The Lost Chord but when they put their mind to it, they could rock out with the best of them. Came out on United Artists and called Heaven Is In Your Mind then later renamed Mr. Fantasy and later reissued on Island. Then Universal Island in 2000 reissued this in two versions. The stereo version was called Heaven Is In Your Mind whereas the mono version is Mr. Fantasy.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

On The Subject of-Cubs, 4th Of July etc.

I'm playing Dave Alvin's wonderful Fourth Of July from his forgotten album of 1987 and it reminded me of this glorious time of year we celebrate with lots of fireworks, music and monsoons which seems to be the norm around this area. Fact of the matter is my GF doesn't even talk to me when I go on rants about the damn rains around here and good reason. Every 4th of July we seem to get hammered with rain, just like we did in June. I believe that I didn't sign up for this fate of fucking rain all the time, I think I mentioned I wanted dry and dusty and that fell on deaf ears. I do not like rain for the fact that the last three years and counting that we have gotten flooded out in one place or another in this damn state we call Iowa. I don't buy this global warming jive but perhaps this may have altered the damn jet stream on top of us so that we get the infamous highway of storms every fucking June/July. Amazingly we had seven dry days in a row before yet another 2 inch monsoon soaked everything down and that fucking mud puddle we had that dried up is back to being a mini lake again. And so it goes.

The 4th also brings memories of long ago back into this life. The biggest fireworks happened on July 4, 1996 when my ex GF Clairese blew up a big tantrum while fighting her ex and her three screaming boys and I picked the wrong time to go over there. Prior to that we had two years and three months of happiness but after that little explosion, we started on the long road to decline before finally putting that relationship out of its misery on Feb 14,1998 when Clairese said that she was seeing somebody else for six weeks but didn't know how to tell me this. That led to a splitting of the ways and constant badgering to finally get my name off that damn trailer i co-signed and I vowed never to ever go down that road again.

I wasted another day watching the damn Chicago Cubs get whopped by the Cincinnati Reds and thank God I don't follow The Muckrakers anymore or I'd be hearing how great the Reds are with Dusty Baker, who got ran out of town by the Cubs in 2005. It's bad to see the Reds hit 7 home runs in a game to which the Cubs only had Tyler Corwin doing any hitting and lots of bad baseball and bad umpiring. Certainly Cincinnati didn't need no umpire help but at this point of the year, the Cubs are not going to the playoffs. They can't hit, nor they can pitch. Carlos Silva has been a great pickup and done fine, Carlos Marmol, though wild and unpredictable has been a good closer. Marlon Byrd is the only Cub going to the All Star Game and the rest outside of Tyler Corwin, the less said the better. Derrick Lee has become Double Play Lee for all the DPs he's been hitting into, and Amaris Ramirez has the bad case of the swats, swatting at everything and striking out. It's pretty damn bad to watch a game to which after two outs in the 7th the damn Reds scored 8 runs and Jeff Stevens couldn't get a damn out, hell he couldn't throw a strike unless somebody was hitting out on Waveland Avenue. Used to be Lou Pinella would go out and fight and yell and scream in the past but nowadays, he makes excuse after excuse and rarely gets off his ass and argue close plays to which two of them went against the Cubs. The Cubs have been awful but the Orioles are worse and they will lose over 100 games this year. The Cubs might lose 90 this year judging by their lackluster June and shitty July. With the season becoming lost, perhaps its time to have a fire sale and unload the Derrick Lee who has lost his batting touch and Ryan Theriot whose no longer the darling but dead weight and a very poor baserunner. I'll give him this, he was safe at third but I would have fined his ass for bad baserunning. And it's time for Lou to retire, he simply doesn't care anymore this year and neither do I. I may as well start work on my next recording project and not waste anymore time watching the Cubs find ways to lose and lose bad.

This Saturday I did go up to Dubuque, to may the old hippie at Moondog a visit and find vinyl at CDs 4 Change but I'm a bit miffed at the old hippie for have a 4th of July sale to which you buy 2 used CDs and get a 3rd free. But then again that has been the story of this year. No miracles whatsoever, too much rain and a wet basement and bad baseball to boot. But then it's better there than going to Iowa City and deal with a different set of bullshit. But at least Moondog had the new Alejandro Escovedo CD for 12.99 and I managed to catch a bit of the Blue Angels flying overhead above the Mississippi River, but never did find the Blood Sweat & Tears/3 Dog Night concert and just went home instead. But at least in the music chat, our old buddy Steve Anthony returned to hang with us for 3 hours, first time he's done that in over a year.

And finally, I don't consider the 4th of July the halfway point of the summer, that would be either the Jones County Fair or Madison Summer Trip later in the month. The end of summer will be the Arizona Buyout and I predict that I will find about 40 cds to jam out to in the desert. As for the Immigration Boycott by California, don't think I'll be paying California a visit and Arizona remains a fun place to find things. But don't go near the border around Nogales. Drug wars are going on and lots of human trafficking too. I'll keep my eyes opens and know my whereabouts too but where I hang out I'll should be safe.

But in the meantime it is raining again and trying my patience. Guess I'll go back to building my ark....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bullshit Logic-July.

In June it rained 21 of the 30 days, over half of those days we got an inch and half or more. It gets pretty damn depressing to wonder if the fucking skies are ever going to throwing all this rain down here. We had to suffer through this shit in 2008 and 1993 and this year seemed to be once again another wet year. If there's any drought going on, it sure won't be here. We have four dry days in a row, first time since Memorial Day (I think I mentioned that in the top ten report) and should be dry till Sunday (4th of July) so that we can have our weather fuck up the fire works. Thank the wonderful storm system known as Alex so I'm sure we'll be drying out the basement till fucking October way things are going.

The earwigs suck as always. All this fucking heavy rain has given us a surplus of the fucking annoying creatures and they tend to be in places that you wouldn't think they would be at. Microwave? The Freezer? Inside my box of toilet paper? Gotta note from a classmate of mine, Ken Carsner whose smirking from arizona, Rain? What Rain? If there was any justice out there, the monsoon season would pay him a visit with about three inches of rain in a hour and see if he likes to dry out his house, or have a scorpion or black widow pay him a visit. But then again it's hard to sip a margarita when the sun's blazing down on you with 100 degree temps. For my fate, I would perfer sun and dryness rather than 21 days of fucking rain in June. Sure in the fuck better not be 21 days of rain in July, otherwise I'll be back out in the desert once again.

It sucks to be a fan of the Chicago Cubs but geez what about the Blackhawks who won the Stanley Cup and then preceded to have a fire sale and got rid of everybody? Guess some can't handle winning eh?

For the last of the folk that still goes out for the new releases on New Release Tuesday, it's getting frustrating to go up to Best Buy only to find that they don't have any of the artists that I was looking for and had the latest Alejandro Escovedo album for 16.99 for fuck's sake. It's getting to the point that the music hunter has to rely on getting it from or go for that audio breakthrough that is MP3 or Digital Downloads. As much as Bob Lefsetz would tell you its the wave of the future, it's my duty to tell him I still perfer music in hand with liner notes, fuck off anyway. But we're not getting the reissues like we once did, Best Buy sucks when it comes to their CD section but Wal Mart's is much worse. With no record stores within walking distance I'm doomed to either do a road trip to Dubuque or Madison to get new music, or just stay at home and order from Collector's Choice Music, or Heartland or whatever Second Spin has in stock. I try not to do Iowa City, since the lights down there suck, it's hard to find a decent parking spot and FYE closed the only decent store they had in Coral Ridge. Since discovering Moondog in Dubuque, I find that better to go, since there is less traffic lights to piss you off and you don't have to contend with dumbfuck students at the U of I walking out in front of you after having a few too many beers or snorting nutmeg. I still enjoy going to the thrift stores or music stores to find something that I might like to listen. After all, 10,000 cds and albums are not enough for me. But I rather go to places that are easier to get to and Dubuque seems to fit my critera. And I'm sure the old hippie at Moondog's will have the new Alejandro Escovedo CD cheaper than 16 fucking 99 Best Buy.

If it wasn't for Half Priced Books here in town, Madison would be a every other month trip. With a town with no more mom and pop music stores I still am amazed of what is found in the clarence bins at HP Books. I know in the Michigan trip I badgered my GF to take me to a couple of FYEs and a couple choice music stores in Ann Arbor but as a music bargain hunter even a trip to see her relatives, also needed to curb my music fix by going to such stores. Basically the FYEs were not as good as the Coral Ridge Mall was and hard to wonder why Trans Union would close the one near Brownstown but keep the less attractive Taylor Mall one open but then again, FYE still has one open in Moline and I'm sure I'll find the Jordons Grove mall in Des Moines if and when I can stomach a trip to DM. Sure the clerks are pushy and they bother you more often then not but FYE I go to for one reason and that's of the fact that FYE does have a good used CD section and look hard enough you can find them. That's where I found The Undertones first CD, The New York Dolls In Too Much Too Soon and the first Tom Petty album. You'll never know what you find. And that's why when the AZ trip comes up, I'll be not only going to the FYE out in Tempe/Chandler/Mesa but the evil empire Hastings stores up northern arizona. The lure of CDs 2.99 or less. And the projection will be that I'll find about 30 to 50 Cds in those bins when I do go there.

And I am not the only one out there looking for that hard to find cd that nobody knows about or album. I've met a few at the local Goodwill. We're a dying breed, the men and women looking for record in hand. I can't drink anymore, nor have no desire to go out looking for a one nighter, too old to do that and simply just too old to go to those damn disco or rap bars. I live to find that last cd or album that i've been looking for but can't tell you what I 'm looking for but know it when I see it.

So be on the lookout for me. You might find me in the clarence bins.

And finally Robert Christgau liked The National and Dead Weather albums better than I did, Gave them A- and B+ in that order. I gave both a C+, whereas Them Crooked Vultures he gave a B-, I gave it a B+. Guess we won't be doing lunch anytime soon....