Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-My Rock, Your Roll

Must be Wednesday, must be time for Crabby's top ten. I'm surprised my GF didn't make any comments about the Brooks & Dunn track last week.

1. I Know-Dionne Farris 1994 If I really thought about what passed for music and what gets played on radio and on my stereo I'd be wasting everybody's time and mine. It just music and sometimes I do like songs that are catchy and do get overplayed on radio. This was a giant hit for Dionne and then she disappeared forevermore. You could probably called this alternative rock but if you hear the rest of this album it's run of the mill R & B. Which is why you see her album in the dollar bins all around town. Fun fact: Randy Jackson was co executive producer. Yeah, the American Idol judge and not to be confused with Randy Jackson of Zebra. Which is rock and roll.

2. Head Like A Hole-Nine Inch Nails 1989 I'm not a big fan of Trent Reznor and most of his stuff is too off the wall for me but when I do want to hear some of this aggro techno industrial what you may call it, I put on Pretty Hate Machine to which that it will be reissued for the third time via Universal. Guess he had problems with Rykodisc when he reissued it for the second time. My copy is the Rykodisc version, found for 2 bucks in Mad City back in the summer.

3. Holy Water-Bad Company 1990 When I did the discography of Bad Company, I pretty much didn't take into account of the Brian Howe era but I kinda threw a thought or two on the albums that were out there, Fame And Fortune sucked, Dangerous Age showed promise and Holy Water was the best of the Howe years. Couldn't tell it apart from Foreigner but back then it sold decently. Wounded Bird actually reissued the CD as well as Here Comes Trouble, the followup but I found the vinyl in the dollar bins in my Madison Farewell bargain hunt and picked it up since I didn't think I would ever see it again. Fun fact number 2: got to see the Brian Howe led Bad Company when they were part of a tour with Damn Yankees.

4. Night Nurse-Gregory Isaacs 1982 RIP. Isaacs passed away from lung cancer at age 59 this week. This is his best known hit.

5. Hot And Nasty-Black Oak Arkansas 1973 For fun and games listen to the live version of this on Raunch & Roll, their biggest selling album at that time. Supposedly Jim Dandy was the inspiration of David Lee Roth and that could run good or bad. This was released at a single and the single 45 edit has a much louder mix. If you can find it.

6. I Hate To Be You On That Fateful Day-Bob Dylan 1962 The big CD of the week was Columbia reissuing The Whitmark Demos, a collection of songs that Bob recorded for ideas and thoughts for his albums but since he signed on with a music publisher, he could record his songs for ideas or for giving out to other singers and songwriters. Listening to these songs you can actually see how versatile Dylan really was. Also, Sony Music put out a box set of Bob's early albums in pristine mono. 9 Cds might be too much unless your a fanatic of BD, but there is a single cd of selected better known songs in mono for 10 bucks. Back then everything seemed to sound better in mono. Or least it did on the radio.

7. Pull Me Under-Dream Theater 1992
8. America-YES 1973

Progressive rock I can listen to at certain times. My best friend is a big YES fan and I do love Yes at times. But their mid 70's period started to reek of pretentiousness. I liked Close To The Edge, passed on Topographic Oceans and did find Relayer in the dollar section at Pawn America. Drew from Drew's Odds And Sods gives a much better review and more positive of it more than I can. I thought it was kinda noisy and disjointed although the jazzy Sound Chaser stood out better then the side long The Gates Of Delirium and failed single Soon which was basically the ending of that song. Nevertheless, I decided to pick instead their 1973 cover of Paul Simon's song which can be found as a bonus track on the remastered Fragile. Had the forty five of that song but it got cracked. Dream Theater on the other hand is prog rock of the 1990's and they have managed to have a devoted following but to be honest I haven't really gotten into these guys. Even after finding Images And Words in the dollar bins at the pawnshop, three weeks later I have yet to play that through. I tend to perfer Steven Wilson's Porcupine Tree or Spock's Beard with Neil Morse. Plus there seems to be a nasty divorce between drummer great Mike Portnoy and the rest of DT since he moved over to Sevendust another different band with a different sound.

9. You Came, You Saw, You Conquered-The Ronettes 1969 This didn't do very well on the charts, it didn't come out on Phillies but A & M around the time Ike & Tina's River Deep Mountain High. I guess it just didn't sound right for 1969 but more in line of 1964, when PS was making those Back To Mono recordings that sounded good on radio.

10. Balls To The Wall-Accept 1984 The story of my life and perhaps their best known song. They sounded a cross between AC/DC and Judas Priest to me but to you, I really don't know.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Randy Cliffs-Trixie's Trailer Sales

In this day and age it's hard to get into all of the music that is out there. If you include the original rock and roll era to today you have 6 decades to choose from and if you have a even bigger and open mind adding the stuff from the 20's to 40's and you may as well say goodbye to your spouse.

Upon my summer bargainhunting tour of Madison, I came across an CD in the dollar bins at Half Priced Books that caught my attention. Some band called The Randy Cliffs and the title was Trixie's Trailer Sales so I figured that this might be worth checking into. After playing this the first time on the way home, I did something that I rarely do, play the whole thing a second time and then a third. Good lord they don't make this kind of music anymore. 34 minutes of barband rock and roll, blessed by a bit of southern rock and The Bottle Rockets and driven by the punk and roll of the New York Dolls, The Stooges and even the Island era Mott The Hoople. So damn sloppy and so damn rocking that if I owned a record label or was influential like Bruce Springsteen I would have bugged the record company to put this out.

There's isn't much on The Randy Cliffs, they were formed in Madison around 2000 and put TTS out the tail end of 2003 and it got good reviews on the local papers but outside of Madison and Wisconsin nothing much was said about them. Starting out with the Southern Culture On The Skids sounding Trucker's Lullaby, it never lets up till the fadeout Rust Belt Town. Juke Joint reminds me of Mott's The Moon Upstairs in terms on how ragged it sounds, as if the wheels are ready to fall off a speeding 18 wheeler. On Fire, gives a wink to AM era Wilco, with the volume turned up to 10 and Whole Way Down, reminds me of The Sand Rubies/Sidewinders from Auntie Ramos Pool Hall. Ending with my favorite song Rust Belt Town which has a bit of Replacements and Uncle Tupelo with Johnny Thunders & Heartbreakers for rock fun.

On my fall trip to Madison I had to seek out and pick up a copy for my friend who is into the Bottle Rockets and I'm sure he won't be disappointed. I guess The Randy Cliffs broke up soon after the making of this album and sometimes do get back together for a reunion but the last time they did that was in 2009.

In annuals of rock after Kurt Cobain offed himself, there are three albums that stand out that not too many know about that qualify as rock and roll greatness. The first is Blue Mountain S/T album, the 2nd Big Back Forty Bested that came out in 1997 and the third is The Randy Cliffs TTS. I'm sure they can be found the dollar section of your local pawnshop if you look hard enough. It would be a dollar well spent in the spirit of rowdy rock n roll.



It's been a very slow time in the printing department where I work at so for most of the month we have been shipped out to packaging, a place where you stand on your feet for 8 hours and in my case pack books, used plastic wrap on them and ship them down the line to which I get to hear Mike bitch, moan sigh and make fun of me playing Bejeweled when I have time off.

Needless to say we don't like it there, neither does the rest of the printing crowd. But as they say it pays the bills an keeps the paycheck coming although I have saved enough to warrant a leave of absence if need be. Why is it so bad you ask well the attitude is different. The people down there while friendly at times, the majority of them look down upon us. The pretty girls there who are seniors, Wendy in particular. Who always seems when I look up she always staring at our way. Stand there look pretty Wendy, that's what you do best most of the time. Basically not my type of woman. When Mike decides to take a day or two off, my assistant is Abdullah, a guy that always has a goofy smile and laughs when you talk to him. I do like him but can't understand a single word he says. Brooke is our senior or Norman. Or Val. Brooke tends to bitch about the little things, where's your badge at? No open containers. Such petty things. Val is the more nicer. Norman oversees the NAEP booklet distribution and we do go way back to when Rock and Bach music was open and he told me that he used to hang there for hours. I seem to recall him but back then I think he had a mullet. Ended up marrying Jim Hanson's daughter. They got divorced later. I ran into her at HP Books once and she remembered me, but I didn't know her. She didn't have much good things to say about their union together. Norm is the biggest Chargers fan in the building, even more than I am. I think he was so mad about them losing to the Rams that he didn't wear anything Chargers for four days. I haven't worn anything Chargers at all this season which is how bad they suck this year.

We hate the fact of being in Packaging of the set rules down there. 10 minute breaks, five minutes doing exercises that don't work and then having a early lunch at 7. God forbid if you don't get there on time or five minutes late but then again Jeff Pauley hasn't bothered me at all so far. But see the look on Cindy's face or Miss Congeniality known as Wendy after doing a walk around a building or take a dump and coming back to miss exercises. But so far they hasn't said a word but I do noticed them as they stare and probably complain to one another. No wonder my back feels funny, must be all that backstabbing that they do.

There's a temp lady named Tammy down there. She's a big girl, reminds me of my GF, kinda looks like her too except of the fact that Tammy smokes way too much and mine don't. Told her
that I do not date smokers. When you have to deal with the puffy puffers everytime you go out walking or go past a bar or get behind some asshole smoker in the car or SUV in front of you, you too would say no to smokers. So basically in a nutshell I told her nope I don't date workmates nor smokers and I have a GF, don't need anymore than one. Thank you and get back to work.

Bill, our senior had to pull books and by the end of the first day his back was killing him, by friday he took the day off. I'm sure he can't handle all that work and end up going home with a sore back, a pissed off attitude and boot feet. Could be worse, you could come home, with boot feet, sore back and smelling like burnt plastic. I hate to say this if this is the wave of future and we can't get any printing work soon, we'll be stuck over there the rest of the fucking year, to have to deal with Wendy and sit there looking pretty and doing nothing. Or hearing some other of them stressing to make rate and me telling them the way it is. We'll make it if it ain't some out of the stratosphere figure, or better yet, having to sign in with Tandy making a comment about not having a time sheet ready for him or why my badge don't have barcodes. I can really do without this kindergarden shit. Show me the work, let me do it and leave me alone. Then we'll all get along.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reviews:Neil Young, Frampton, Brains, Rants.

Interesting facts this stat tracker is. I think me and TAD were trading barbs about the worthiness of it since we get about 30 views one night and the rest of the week is like a music store out in Baghdad Arizona or in Anamosa Iowa. I don't think I can reword this to the point that the folks at Pitchfork or Spin or Rolling Stone will ever take notice but I don't believe it will get me out of the bottom ten in the Blogspot ratings.

Say a certain word or place and it does get noticed I guess. Seemed we got high ratings on the Madison Bargain Hunt and hanging at Monona Terrance after sundown. Geez ya think mentioning Pawn America would get them a bigger business in the dollar cd bins.

On The Brains. One of my earliest blogs was about this great 80s band that made a great debut and a so so followup. One of the Stats told me of a website that actually gives a better of Electronic Eden than I did. http://funderglass.blogspot.com/2010/01/brains-electronic-eden.html

I wish to fuck that Andy McKie of the Universal Reissue Department would convince the bean counters at Universal to just release The Brains album, even on a Hip O Select basis for a limited time and I'll be happy to pick up a copy or two or ten. But they're too fucking busy of reissuing Elvis Costello or Motley Crud for the 10th time. People get tired of waiting for stuff to be released and have to rip a copy off an old album or cassette. I think we have tried to a email writing, a letter writing campaign but nothing ever materializes. Even Tom Gray offered to buy the masters back and put it out but UME gave a seven digit price for that and that fell through. This is the reason people fucking hate the major labels, they continue to fuck with music lovers years later. We do not need deluxe editions of the same old albums that keep popping out. Give the fans what they want. Even the Suicide Commandos managed to have their album reissued for a time on Mercury when Polygram was doing that. Fucking Universal Music only wants to give us the same old same old everytime out. So get with it Andy McKie and Jimmy Iovine, we're getting old here and may be dead before The Brains finally get their due. But then again Tom Gray is keeping music alive with the great Delta Moon but fans do want to know how he got there from here.

Ari Up passed away, she was the leader of the Gurrl band The Slits which made an 1979 album for Island/Antilles (reissued via Koch in 2000 thereabouts) and whose mother is married to Johnny Lydon. Cut, the album, was ahead of its time and pioneered the girl punk movement. Not for the faint of heart but you either was drawn to it or ran away screaming. Either way it got its message across.

For new music, I heard the new Foghat Last Train Home and sorry to say I didn't like it all that much. Problem was that Foghat covered a few of the songs in earlier albums and did better versions. What they do best and jam and boogie and 495 Boogie is the best song of the bunch. But they do a good cover of Savoy Brown Needle And Spoon and Eddie Kirkland provides vocal relief for Charlie Huhn. The new Kings Of Leon Come Around Sundown goes further into U2 territory and not a good sign. It does mirror Only By The Night but that album had better songs. Radioactive kinda reminds me of the good old days but then again you have Pickup Truck that sounds like Use Somebody Part Two. It should crack the Billboard Top 10 but then again it just doesn't have the staying power as OBTN. Elton John/Leon Russell The Union is actually quite listenable, Elton is in fine singing form and Leon seems be more awake then on his last 10 albums. Some of the songs are ruined by a whiny screaming America Idol wannabe gospel singer which kills Hey Arab and almost sinks Monkey Suit and if John Henry (T BONE) Burnett had something to do with that he oughta be bitchslapped. Or give us an unplugged without the Over The Top Gospel screamers, guess he didn't learn from the mistakes Bob Dylan did in the mid 80s. On a plus, the dueling pianos of Leon and Elton are a marvel at times and yeah, we got the ballad radio ready if they ever play it. Tell you one thing though you'll never hear Leon Russell this excited ever again. And speaking of Bob Dylan, The Best Of The Mono Recordings really do sound warm and expressive in that mono mix but not enough for me to spring for the whole 9 cd box set that Sony Music is betting that you want to get. In other words, The Best Of Bob Dylan in Mono with a few add ons and though I'll never warm up to John Wesley Harding as much as the fans do, I must say that this works pretty damn good in its own way.

Foghat-Last Train Home C+
Kings Of Leon-Come Around Sundown C+
Elton John/Leon Russell-The Union B+
Bob Dylan-Best Of The Mono Recordings A

More reviews.

Neil Young-Le Noise (Reprise) This might be his best of this millennium although I think Chrome Dreams 2 left a more lasting impression in the last decade. Noisy as hell and I'm still in the minority about having a rhythm section but this is best heard on vinyl. Still have issues with Daniel Lanois Productions but Neil hasn't written such great songs since perhaps Ragged Glory. Originally I gave it a C+ at first listen but it has crept up to a formidable A-

Jim Ed Brown & The Browns (Dot 1986) Believe the title, Jim Ed dominates on lead vocals, Maxine and Bonnie are merely background singers just above the Nashville Edition. Billy Strange produced this although it really doesn't differ from anything that came out of Nashville in the late 80s. Revisits The Old Lampliter and Pop A Top but it hardly got noticed. In fact I didn't know anything about this till I found this LP in the dollar bins. I guess back in the 80's MCA restarted up Dot Records and signed a few C & W artists (Porter Wagoner, Asleep At The Wheel, T Bone Burnett and John Hartford) but would shut it down a couple years later. This record isn't bad but if you really want to hear how The Browns were so great, find their 1960 Town And Country album (came out on a BMG Import for about a week) or Collector's Choice Best Of The RCA Years for a indication of how Maxine and Bonnie played a bigger role in the music rather than just background singers. B

Peter Frampton-Thank You Mr. Churchill (A & M 2010) Against all odds, Frampton put together a pretty damn good and hard rocking album of this year although the only track I heard off this album, the mellow Vaudeville Nanna & The Banjolele which I didn't care much for. Just in case Road To The Sun, I'm A Due You and Asleep At The Wheel is rock and roll and he learned a bit from being in The Herd and Humble Pie and of course Frampton Comes Alive which Peter can live off the royalties since somewhere in FM land Show Me The Way or Baby I Love Your Way is playing. I don't think Frampton gets enough credit, he can play guitar too. This record is his best since a certain live album to which everybody got sick of hearing. You won't have that problem with TYMC it is the essence of what rock used to be. A-

The Volebeats- In a year that also showcased a new Outrageous Cherry, Matthew Smith rejoins Jeff Oakes band to record more fun music of a cross between surf, country and Flaming Groovies. Best track is Me and You to which I downloaded as a free track from Amazon.com Rest of the record is not as good as their last album 2005's spooky and sad Like Her but the new album still is good garage country rock fun. B+

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Here, There Everywhere

No shortage of finding things in the cutouts and in the pawnshops. Plus new music to contend with. Gotta feed the frenzy of my five favorite followers. You know who you are.

1. Bad Company-Bad Company 1974 Yeah, I heard the new version from Five Finger Death Punch and like Limp Bizkit deconstructing The Who's Behind Blue Eyes a few years ago makes this unlistenable. Wasn't a hit for Bad Company but classic rock radio plays it to death too.

2. Monkey Suit-Elton John & Leon Russell 2010 I'm sure most of you don't give a shit but when I heard that Sir Elton was making an album with Brother Leon I had to add it on my list of things to listen to. Actually The Union is pretty good, not that Elton has been making bad ones, I did enjoy The Captain And The Kid but Leon needed a good album since he's been putting out turds for the past two decades. Elton gets more soulful with age and least Leon sounds like he's awake this time out. John Henry Burnett production gets in the way sometimes and hasn't he learned from the Bob Dylan albums of the 80s not to use soul sisters screaming in the background? Good album but leave the soul sisters at the church next time T Bone.

3. Stupid Girl-Rolling Stones 1966 Even if they never put out another album The Stones have reminded us at times why they were known as The Greatest Rock and Roll Band Ever which is debatable since I grew up a hardcore Who fan. Eagle Rock has put out Ladies & Gentlemen...The Rolling Stones on DVD and blue ray and with Mick Taylor in tow, they did rock hard and often. I never considered getting Aftermath till hearing this song on XM radio in Arizona and it reminds me more of Sam The Sham then Muddy Waters. Which isn't a knock since I love Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs. Found this on DSD which adds a bit more clarity but since Dave Hassinger recorded everything in a bowling alley tends to date itself.

4. Bye Bye Love-Simon & Garfunkel 1970 Found this on gold disc at the pawnshop and this knocks even the re remaster out of the way. Bridge Over Troubled Water is a love hate album for me, some of the songs I like, some I don't and the title track I can take or leave. But when Paul and Art cover The Everly Brothers I do take notice. My favorite track off that album hands down.

5. 495 Boogie-Foghat 2010 For the past three months I have been getting emails from the Foghat site at Facebook to buy their blues based Last Train Home and kept throwing good reviews so finally I caved in and decided to check it out and just like I figured, I didn't like it much. It's one thing to cover the blues and they did it good when Lonesome Dave and Rod Price was around but Charlie Huhn doesn't have it. Bryan Bassett knows how to play guitar and did helped Molly Hatchet make one decent album before joining Foghat. We really don't need another cover of It Hurts Me Too or Feels So Bad, Dave sang it better. But what they should have done was make it a blues instrumental album, then that would have been something to hear. Last Train Home isn't a bad album but it's not something that's going to be in regular rotation on my player. Sorry guys.

6. Red Dirt Road-Brooks & Dunn 2003 My GF tells me that I don't listen to enough new country to which I tell her but dear new country sucks, well most of it anyway. I do tend to pull something out once in a while from Keith Urban or Love & Theft and Blackhawk's first album still remains on the shelf. Hard to fathom 20 years ago just about that B and D gave us that GD Boot Scoot Boogie which gives me nightmares of spending too much time at Desoda's and thinking that I was going to get lucky and going home disappointed. I am really not a big fan of B & D but thankfully they gotten away with that numbskull line dance number and gave us better songs. Red Dirt Road is one of the few songs that I do play from time to time and don't change the channel on KHAK which is rare. And I put this song up just to see if she's still reading the top ten like she says she does. Love ya too dear.

7. Temptation-Joan Armatrading 1985 Stolen from TAD's list of songs, I did buy this on 45 years ago but not sure if the FM stations played it all that much. Public Radio did. I think her biggest hit was Drop The Pilot but then again radio didn't play it all that much either.

8. Whole Way Down-The Randy Cliffs 2003 For a dollar CD this has been the most played this year. Something about sloppy barroom rock and roll always does that to me. They were from Madison or hung around there but by the time I found their classic Trixie's Trailer Sales they broke up and then reunited once again and broke up again. If Kings Of Leon were this sloppy good I'd be a fan for life too. That reminds me....I need to get the new Kings Of Leon CD.

9. Wives & Lovers-Jack Jones 1963 Another forgotten pop classic till I came across on a budget compliation called Jackpot! The Las Vegas Story which came out on Rhino years ago. Came with miniature dice to boot. To which I think this top ten reminds me of radio in the 60s. We played just about everything....except Bad Company by Five Finger Death Punch.

10. Transmission-Joy Division 1978 Sure Love Will Tear Us Apart is a classic but for good paranoid fun I perfer this little nifty number that Ian Curtis gave the world. Too damn bad he had to hang himself. Joy Division has had more best ofs than actual albums but Substance, the first one that Quincy Jones put out remains my go to when I want to hear Ian and company. As for New Order.....I have yet to buy their albums. Maybe someday.....


Monday, October 18, 2010

Davenport October Bargain Hunting Notes

Took the day off, went to Davenport to look for more things I didn't need.

Stopped in Lowden to visit Ben's grave.  hard to believe he's been gone for over two years.  He finally has a headstone and his picture on it.  Has a nice view of Lowden.

Number of trains seen on Highway 30 to and from Davenport, Zero.

At the Moline Salvation Army, they had animal control in there trying to catch a runaway cat.  I don't think they caught it, it may have ran out the door.  But I did see Mr Pussycat darting around the area.

Walking on the biketrail on the Davenport side of the Mississippi, I saw something in the water drifting towards shore and it was a snake!  Threw a nice boulder at it and watched it get knocked out for a bit before retreating back over the illinois side of the river.

The old Fuddruckers' is now a TGIF Friday's.

Mister Money in Moline suprised me with 50 cent cds and found a whole bunch of Ventures and Bobby Vee CDs.  Im sure if I don't need them somebody out there will want them.

CO-OP Records in moline has the worst selection of 8 dollar cds.  A lotta of old 90s crap bands that nobody cared about in the first place.  Since i found a lotta cheap CDs at Mister Money I didn't see the need to go to CO OP in Davenport or the Moline FYE.

Went to Los Rodeo for mexican tonight and should have went to Cracker Barrell instead.  They had a damn football game at the Brady Street Stadium and when I got done with supper, the game was over.  Took about 20 minites to get the hell out of town.

Was treated to a beautfiul sunset along the Mississippi.  Think I spent too much time at the Moline CO OP, was there a hard to believe two and half hours.  And didn't find much for music at the Salvation Army.    Somebody must have donated their collection that was in the flood, too much mold, mildew and yuck to consider  them.

A fun trip,  good weather, not too buggy and around 60 degrees but i did forget my damn jacket but had a long sleeved shirt on so didn't freeze.  Would have been much more fun if I had my other half with me.  Bargain hunts aren't much fun when the one you love isn't around to see them ;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-My Version Of Classic Rock

Anything released after last week counts as my version of classic rock. Yours may vary.

1. Witchy Woman-The Eagles 1972 Dedicated to the toothless hag that frequents State Street and tried to pick a fight with me. There's a reason why your homeless witch. It's hard to take pictures when some toothless skank blows smoke in your face and tells her homeless friends to watch out for that crabb. I thought about driving deep in my pockets with all my change, throw it up and the air and say something hey folks, here's some change for your crack habit or smokes. Rock on.

2. I Will Dare-The Replacements 1984 While walking through Madison on State Street, I had some pasta at Noodles & Company and they actually played this song. Despite the evil voodoo hag bothering the working folk and tourists, it's a pretty happening place when the light comes up and the sun goes down. In fact when I was at Noodles & Company, I thought I seen Margaret Cho, getting an order of something, this woman was Oriental and she had tattoos all over her in spots that reminded me that it might have been Ms. Cho. She's supposed to do a comedy show in Madison on Thursday but I figured not to bother her. Who knows, it could have been Margaret's double for all I know.

3. God Knows I Love You-Solomon Burke 1970 By now you know that Burke died at age 70 of natural causes en-route to a show in Stockholm. I think I read that he had like 21 children, goodness we all know what he liked to do in his spare time. Better known for his hits on Atlantic this little number was his last single for Bell Records and produced by Mac Davis who co wrote this with Delaney Bramlett. Remember the days of the 10 45s for 2 dollars? They would sandwich two big hit 45s and the middle would stuff it with singles that didn't sell. This was one of the mystery 45's in a box collection that Grandma Ambrose brought me at around 1971. Grandma would have been 92 this year.

4. The Ballad Of Evermore-Led Zeppelin 1971 Going to Pawn America, that super pawnshop that opened up in the old Circuit City in Madison yielded some amazing cds that I found for a buck apiece and goodness I found plenty. They even had the remastered reissued of Led Zep IV or ZOSO and I really didn't need it but it was in like new shape and so I bought it. Funny how everytime I hear songs off that album on classic rock radio bores me but when I play the album in the car in its entirety it sounds better. And it's still an A plus album. Of course it helps Sandy Denny adds her vocals to this. That woman could sing.

5. Omaha-Moby Grape 1967 I didn't tell you but the find of last week was going to Goodwill and coming across a copy of Moby Grape's first album with the Don Stevenson middle finger picture for a dollar fifty. Of course the album was well played but side one was actually kinda listenable and I didn't see much scratches that would make the record skip but side 2 looked pretty beat. But it's the album cover which I would never see again in my lifetime so had to get it. The record was mono, so the introduction kinda loses its flash beginning from left to right speaker.

6. MTV-Deep Purple 2006 You gotta credit Ian Gillan for a dry sense of humor as he recounts a meeting with a classic rock radio station more interested in Smoke On The Water rather than Rapture Of The Deep, which was the last DP album. Pretty much says about the current affairs of FM radio today like it did four years ago.

7. Stargazing-Spectacle 1998 I'm sure nobody knows about this band so I'm wasting my time telling you about this lost classic from the 90s. This was the final stages of alternative rock before Limp Bizkit and the Telecomm Act of 1996 killed it off but Spectacle sounded a bit like Ride via Stone Roses with a bit of Brian Wilson thrown in for good measure. Came out on Island/Supreme just before Polygram got bought out by Universal and Spectacle went to the dollar bins soon after. Worth seeking if you have a open mind.

8. Rock On-David Essex 1973 On the way from Madison, I stopped at Mineral Point to look for the haunted Walker House that's down the hill from Downtown MP and this song was actually playing when I stopped and took some midnight pics hoping to find a ghost or shadow in the picture that I took. Too dark to see. For the adventurous, The Walker House is up for sale so if you're not afraid of ghosts or things that go bump in the night, here you go.

9. Kid Gloves-Rush 1984 Grace Under Pressure didn't get all that great reviews since it was following a bunch of classic Rush albums (Moving Pictures, Signals) and even my best friend whose the biggest Rush fan I known wasn't that crazy about it but I don't mind the new wave sound of this song. Or the album for that matter but it would get worse. Power Windows and Hold Your Fire anyone?

10. Buzz Buzz Buzz-The Primitives 1988 I suppose with these 10 songs this week I'd be fired from a classic rock station for the inclusion of a Deep Purple song that's not from Machine Head and throwing Solomon Burke and the Replacements as curves but rock and roll knows no era especially classic rock. But then again I think outside the concept more often than Clear Channel or Cumulus Radio and their shitty format. Alternative rock can be considered classic rock and in my world that's classic rock to me. I remember hearing this being played on the alt rock station in Phoenix back around 1990 when Rockaway Records was at the hopping Fiesta Village, which now sits empty for the past 11 years. And didn't know who did it till I found the cd in the buck bins at HP Books and now I so impressed I'm off the find the followup to this album. It rocks, it rolls and that's all you need to know.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Last Bargain Hunt-Madison Part 3

Heading to Madison one last time before the winter comes through, I decided that The Madison Bargain Hunts would be the final time I would do this. And they have must have known that I was coming.

Pawn America, the superstore pawnshop had CDs for 99 cents, every single one no questions asked unless it was a boxed set and I didn't see any. With six rows of Cds stacked to the brim, it took me about 3 hours yesterday and another 2 and half hours on the comeback. It amazed me of what I found. Parts 1 through 4 of Black Sabbath's Under Wheels Of Confusion box set (Cds only, no booklet to be found). Led Zeppelin 4, Rolling Stones Some Girls, Levon Helm Electric Dirt, Ben Orr's The Lace was few of the 35 CDs that was found there. I wasn't the only one scouring through the bins like buzzards picking apart roadkill, I saw some dude that had 2 baskets of CDs racing through, and throwing them into the basket without regard. I saw some of them that I passed over since I thought they were too scratched up and he loaded up on the Ozzy and whatever Metallica had out but heh heh, he missed that like new ZOSO Zeppelin cd.

For vinyl, I did get the Neil Young Le Noise and Belle & Sebastian Write About Love since I didn't want digipaks and some dollar stuff of no real value (Bad Company Holy Water, Jim Ed Brown & The Browns, Steve Miller Born T.B. Blue (passed on Italian X-Rays, that one sucked)), but overall the grand total was more than Arizona to which I decided that I'll be listening to most of this till end of year. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to Strictly Discs, thought he closed at 9, he closed at 8 and therefore couldn't buy him out. Sorry Steve, I didn't find the Slade CD that you wanted but if you have a record player you can have my vinyl copy of Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply.....

The weather was perfect, nice sunny and warm? In the middle of October the temps hit 80 degrees both days I was up there but I kinda wished for some wind to stir the waters up on Lake Monona, too much green sentiment and it reeked. Both nights, I parked the car on Williamson Street and did the mile trek to State Street, and tonight went all the way into the UW campus. But of course I almost got ran over by some black idiot on a moped that didn't yield the right of way, another dumb black idiot bumped into me and he got a few choice words thrown at him, told him to get the fuck over and called him a ignoramus. While taking some photos of the capital at night had some homeless toothless old hag telling her blow buddy homeless freak to watch me to which I looked at her and mention she should consider putting her GD teeth in her mouth and perhaps she should change her tampon once more than every other century but then again that would put a cramp on her cigarette budget. Told her unless you have a bar of soap on you, I seriously doubt that you have anything I remotely would consider. Do us a favor and die of cancer please. Again, I'm a nice guy, it's toothless hag smokers and dumb black that don't watch where they're going that piss me off. And my rant and raving mode almost got ran over by a car. I love Madison but GD, I'm surprised that I'm not ran over yet.

It was very nice on the overlook at Monona Terrace to which I saw a pretty half quarter moon and a slight breeze. I'm thinking my GF would have loved to been there and perhaps the next time she might be. For the most part I think I did too much walking so I'm pretty sore in the legs. Plus I didn't sleep all that great at the Microtel so I'm sure I'll be sleeping fine. On a good note, Cracker Barrel did have chicken and dumplings. Plus I had pancakes the next day. Pancakes always sound good but they seem to fill me up sooner than I like.

So ends the Madison Bargain Hunts for the last time this year. Been fun but I think I have enough tunes to keep me occupied for a while. That's for sure.

PS: Pawn America---I enjoy sorting through six rows of CDs but didn't care much for the Autotuner Rap/Dance music channel they had piped through the store.

On the way home I decided to stop in Mineral Point and take some night photos of the haunted Walker House, which is up for sale. I don't know if they will turn out but it sounded like a good idea at the time.

Fiesta Village in Mesa-20 years ago when I went to Arizona for the yearly vacation, I would stop at this old area when Rockaway Records was still in business and hang out there for hours on end but in 1999 after the Fiesta Village Movie House closed up shop, the whole place went to hell in a handbasket and they eventually fenced everything off. Such a shame, there was a comic book store next to Rockaway and Applebee's was there too, till they closed it down. Anyway, the Mesa City Council has now ordered the development company that owns it to clean it up or else. I don't really see anything coming out of it since it's been in that shape in over 10 years. Down there they tend to abandon things in favor of the more newer and fancier places. That area hasn't been the same since they closed that and Tower Records went out of business across the street. It just feels like a ghost town when I walk past that area.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top Ten Of The Week-Big In Russia?

I see that Blogspot has a brand new setting that you can now see who reads your blogs and such. Not that the ratings have been that big but I noticed that I have gotten something like 33 views from our friends in Russia, second only to the 40 views in the US and I'm sure I'm responsible for about half of that with reviewing and editing and adding other thoughts. Anyway, it's good to know somebody out there is reading them.

There's a new Mexican restaurant in town called La Cantina located in downtown Cedar Rapids. Kinda nice to see something new come that way, this town hasn't been much since the damn Floods of 2008 just about killed off anything downtown. I discovered downtown once again after being chased away from the trails outside of town due to the damn gnats and hostile redwings so discovering the walking trail going through downtown CR. I usually park the car at the entrance of Czech Village and use the walking trail that borders the Cedar River to downtown and past Quaker Oats to Cedar Lake and back again. I think it's a five mile walk but it is longer than the C Street from Tait Cummings Park to Highway 30 and back again.

Next week, the annual fall foliage to Madison for the final bargain hunt of the year. After that I stay in town. Now, this weeks bunch of music that has been playing from the stereo.

1. Cuz You're Gone-Goo Goo Dolls 1993 Don't you miss the days that the Goos sounded like a more bastardized Replacements than the popsters that they want to be today although the new album is better than Let Love In, but I still enjoy Superstar Car Wash. I remember Jerry at Relics Records playing this nonstop in the summer of 93 and saying that they would be big someday. And they did and still are if you think about it, but their latest is flying south off the charts and people won't remember it much. The new album started out great with Sweetest Lie and then tried to make a play at corporate radio. And failed to do so.

2. Vampire-Kings Of The Sun 1990 Full Frontal Attack is over 20 years old? Fuck Almighty where does the time fly? Loved this album, still do, it was so sloppy and so loose and made AC/DC sounded polished. On a different subject, I went to see Vampires Suck the movie, and it did. It was me and one other guy in there and I don't we laughed all that much except when the girl hero farted on the screen and knocked her vampire lover out the window. Fifty years old and I still laugh at fart jokes. Maybe that's why I like watching Family Guy reruns on TV.

3. Scorpio-Dennis Coffey & The Detroit Guitar Band 1971 His biggest hit and oh so funky too. Coffey made a couple other minor hits (Taurus, Getting It On) that followed the same pattern of guitar breaks and extended conga solos though I like Taurus better than Scorpio but found a Time Life best of for two dollars and had this forgotten gem on it. Coffey was part of the later 60s-early 70s Motown band I think but he recorded for Sussex/Buddah Records. Later became a new age jazz guitar player and made a CD for EMI in the late 80s which bored me to sleep.

4. Stand Up For Love-The Cross 1988 This was Roger Taylor's baby in the late 80s. I think he was trying to either be a white rapper or trying for dance music in the tradition of Another One Bites The Dust to which over half the songs off this album, called Shove It, sounds like. However when I hear this song I can picture Scissors Sisters doing this song. Sounds tailored (Taylor'ed) made for them.

5. Ship Of Dreams-Nazareth 1980 From Malice In Wonderland. They did tried to update their sound from the metal that was Expect No Mercy or Hair Of The Dog and they got Zal Cleminson from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band on this effort. Jeff Baxter from the Doobie Brothers produced this and it did get credible reviews from critics. Kinda unNazarethlike for them I think but it's one of the highlights of that album.

6. So Far Away-Social Distortion 1990 Mike Ness sells out to the corporate label and makes the first of three for Epic. It's held up the test of time I think.

7. Do It Again-The Kinks 1984 Kink fans have been lukewarm about The Kinks Arista period, to which concept albums were put away and they just turned the amps up to 10 and rocked out half the time. I still like side one of Word Of Mouth and even though if they ripped themselves off by redoing the guitar riff of She's Got Everything so be it. This turned out to be a top 50 hit for them and the first featuring Bob Henrit of Argent fame on drums. Word Of Mouth was the final Arista album and The Kinks moved on to MCA and later Columbia for same sounding and less satisfying albums.

8. All Together Now-The Beatles 1968 The first Beatles album I bought was Yellow Submarine. At that time, I just turned 16 and started to buy albums rather than 45s but like every good music lover would complete The Beatles collection over time. Even with throwaways The Beatles still made damn good music.

9. Hippie Dream-Neil Young 1986 The Geffen years are Neil's lost era and he threw curve balls all over the place. Doing techno Devo rock on Trans, going doowop 50s rock on Everybody's Rocking and straight country on Old Ways and back to rock on Life but Landing On Water seems to be the consensus for all time worst Neil album. Ain't that bad kids, I still like it more than you do and like it more than Le Noise, to which Mark Prindle gave it a high 8. As far as I know, Landing On Water was such a bomb for Geffen/Warner at that time, it became a cut out a few months later. Drums were played by a unknown Steve Jordan.

10. Don't Hold Your Breath-Deep Purple 1996 The band of the month here in Crabbland. Ritchie Blackmore finally leaves once and for all and the band replaced him with Steve Morse. The amazing fact that Perpendicular, was better than The Battle Rages On, to which the battle of egos would be fought and Ian Gillan would win out. I also liked The Battle Rages On too but then again I'm a big Deep Purple fan so any of their albums gets high ratings for me. Except for perhaps Slaves & Masters, the 1990 RCA flop featuring Joe Lynn Turner or 1974's Stormbringer, great title track but the rest floundered under too much of a funk feel and Blackmore might be right on that. Don't Hold Your Breath is the hidden track of Perpendicular and supposedly it may have been spurned on by somebody asking Gillan if Blackmore would be back. But that's just speculation folks. Only Ian Gillan knows the true meaning of that song and he's not talking. This track actually got airplay on the better rock stations, notably KUPD in Phoenix played it from time to time for a few years and me hearing it around 1999.

So it goes y'all. Thanks Russia and Poland for your views.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Observations From The Forefront-Unfinished Biz

TAD, my friend from the great northwest popped in to give a few observations of some of the top ten songs of the week. He doesn't pop in too often but when he does he gives great discussions. If only I can get a few more musically inclined lovers out there that can do that. Don't worry about the novel replies, they're always a fun read.

The King Crimson Islands album is hard to figure and remains the black sheep of the Fripp family of albums known as King Crimson. Boz Burrell may have been the most ill suited vocalist. Ladies Of The Road remains the only track I play off that album, the rest just float on by.......

Now for The Present......Mark Prindle, the critic turned karaoke singer loved this album enough to give it an 8 and like most Moody Blues fans consider that the last true great album before Polygram redesigned them The Justin Hayward/John Lodge band with hired hands (for more fun facts seek out the Mark Prindle website and click on Moody Blues and read on). As a band concept The Present was perhaps the final group effort, with G. Edge adding one song of his and Ray Thomas finishing it up with interlude and song of his own. For myself who grew up on the Tony Clarke produced stuff, it took me a good 10 years to warm up to Long Distance Voyager and The Present will probably take that twice that long but I do think it has staying power unlike anything after beginning with The Other Side Of Life, an album that I have seen in the dollar bins but passed on. If you do find The Present in the used bins it worth a listen but anything after that you can live without. Decemeber, the Christmas album that they did isn't bad and I thought about Strange Times but Prindle lowered the grade to a B and called it somewhat boring.

I'm surprised that It's A Beautiful Day didn't go after royalites when Deep Purple did the introduction to that song for Child In Time but back then bands didn't go sue each other for lifting melodies off songs like they do in these desperate times. Like Moby Grape IABD was doomed by Matthew Katz and his sue-happy tendicies and Columbia/CBS deleted their stuff rather than dealing with the senile old coot. Basically I'm surprised Katz didn't sue DP for that either but then again DP had better lawyers to tell him to flake off. White Bird still gets played on Beaker Street from time to time (as well as Child In Time and Bombay Calling). And both IABD albums get issued from time to time via Katz's San Francisco Sound label but people complain that the recording is subpar at best. One can only hope that Matthew Katz will die off and the world will finally see the IABD and Moby Grape albums remain in print.