Monday, January 31, 2011

Observations From the Forefront-Winter Storm Dance Party-Lost Hits

It's too early to tell what the winter storms are going to do here and storm number one is passing through as we speak. The storm has decided to take a more northerly track so the guess is going to be about a inch or two for today. Storm number 2 will take place tomorrow and its track is still unknown, it's one of those infamous Oklahoma Hook Storms that develop in the rockies and heads SE to the sooner state and then rides from SW to NE. Guess is that 8-12 inches is on tap but then again if the track goes more south, it will be less but if it comes up more north then we could get more. We managed to have not too many of these snowstorms this year but it's winter.

This time of year brings us the Winter Dance Party which has sold out the last few years up in Clear Lake at the Surf Ballroom. We all know the story of 51 years ago when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper took that ill fated trip in a blizzard but their legend lives on at the Surf and this year the big headline is Jerry Lee Lewis with Roy Head on Saturday Night. Gary Troxel's Fleetwoods, Little Peggy March and our good friend Kevin Montgomery will perform. The Thursday Night show will give us Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Harold Winley and what's left of The Original Clovers and The Collins Kids (to which 50 years onward they're not but Larry Collins back then had a voice that rivals Wanda Jackson-ah puberty back then). The Friday Show has 50's retro rockers Flash Cadillac along with Tommy Allsup doing the musical honors. Allsup is the direct link from the Buddy Holly Surf era as you know he gave up his plane seat to The Big Bopper on the coin flip. Of course this is all weather permitting but it's that rare big event in winter that people make the trek up to Clear Lake. The concerts are sold out but there are other events to see and do. Bring lots of money if you go.

Next week at the Point will be the final Beaker Street broadcasting from that station by Clyde Clifford. And then The Point will return with the same 20 songs that they couldn't play at that time. Classic Rock Radio isn't that much better than the insufferable root canal that is KDAT here. With Beaker Street at least you get to hear the album cuts from albums that FM radio used to play after hours. Or what music did before the corporate takeovers of the 80s and 90s. Their playlist is documented on their archives site

Ever since discovering You Tube, I am simply amazed of what I have found in terms of forgotten music of my youth. Music that Oldies Radio don't play, classic rock don't play. But somehow the dedicated out there have preserved in their own special way. Although I have yet to find Duke & The Drivers's Watch You Got on the net, the original Soul Brothers Six version is available. But I do want to share three songs taken from You Tube of forgotten singles. I'd add more but don't want to overdo it.  If this works perhaps I'll might make it  a habit of choosing more  forgotten singles. After all you can't rely on your neighborhood corporate radio station to ever play these. Unless Little Steven plays them on his Underground Garage Show.  These singles pretty much give you a peek into my record collection when I was growing up and shows you how unconventional when it comes to playing music.  

I Need Love-The Third Booth 1967 Remember those old box set of 10 45s you could get for 2 bucks? They put a top ten single and and then add a bunch of forgotten or uncharted singles from forgotten bands. The Third Booth was one of those singles that I got in a box set one time. Actually this had some decent singles at the time (Al Green You Say It, Music Machine-Double Yellow Line) in this box set. The Third Booth came from Peoria and made a single that recalls a meeting between Paul Revere & The Raiders and a melody along the lines of Gloria. I have the scratchy 45 but somebody in You Tube land had a better sounding copy. Produced by Jerry Allison or Buddy Holly's drummer. At least that's what I'm thinking. Independence Record 86

Neal Ford & The Fanatics-Shame On You 1966  Came out on Hickory Records 1433 and I found a promo copy at the old Salvation Army.  I'm surprised that The Pebbles series never included this little number which is as freaky as they come.  Has all the markings of a garage rock classic, complete with Neal Ford's sinister voice before Alice Cooper.  Ford and company recorded a few more singles for Hickory but none ever came close to the bizarre as this song.

Bobby Brant-Piano Nellie 1958  And my last offering into the past comes from Texas rockabilly that recorded for White Rock out in Texas and had a backing band featuring Big Al Downing on piano. Another single that was grouped into a package of ten records for 2 bucks  (this box set included Ben E King's Let The Water Run Down, Ray Agee-The Gamble, Ray Charles Smack Dab In The Middle), this actually sounds more like Sun Records and Downing wails away on the keys like a demented but more disciplined Jerry Lee Lewis.  Atlantic picked the record up for distribution but assigned it on the lesser known East West Label (EW 124).  I still have the single but it has seen better days and would love a better copy but not going to pay 85 bucks for one.  We'll have to settle on this link.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rolling On-More Albums Of My Youth

As the 70's become more of a fading dream, like my memory I have omitted some of the albums that shaped my youth. If you noticed that I didn't include anything before 1975 or after 1979 simply of the fact yes I did play pre 75 stuff the albums, I just left with the stuff released at the time I was in high school. Otherwise the list would be much longer.

Call it select memory loss but I do remember certain albums that did stand out. One while talking to Janice my so called High school sweetheart one night she was playing The Ramones in the background which threw a curve. I didn't think she was into that type of music. I wasn't much into the Sex Pistols till I finally bought Never Mind The Bollocks and found that actually rocked pretty good. For the most part, most of my classmates were listening to KISS (although Russ might deny that, he can't deny that he dressed up and played air guitar to a KISS song playing in the background during the Quill show. Or that he sang Mandy by Barry Manilow. Or my friend Doug playing Singing In The Kitchen by Bobby Bare and having a kiddie choir behind him. Or forcing Russ to listen to Evolution by Journey when he wanted to hear Frank Marino Live for the 37th straight time.

Given the circumstances today of what passes for music, I'm glad to say that I lived through the best of times of music, although the best tunes were 10 years removed, 1975-1979 really did have their share of influential value to this day. Of course, while making the first list, I left off a few more albums that provide quality driving time (although on 8 tracks but later on CDs). But as a teenager 1975-76 I was mostly buying 45s. But ended up having to buy the albums since the 45s that came out on Atlantic or Columbia or WB got scratchy after 10 plays. But some bands that did have albums out, I didn't listen to since I didn't like them that much (Rush, Molly Hatchet comes to mind). But did later. And there were a few misfires along the way (Tuff Darts, Village People, Fotomaker) but that was the 70s for ya. We went from extreme to another on the next platter played at high school dances or at home.

I'm not saying that the high school years were the best years of my life (they were not) but the music did get me through the day. Even back then I did find them whenever I could. Although the 8 tracks were the worst entertainment value (If you come across the Blue Chrysalis 8 track of Robin Trower's Bridge Of Sighs, you will get a very bad edit of Little Bit Of Sympathy to which the lead guitar at the end got spliced in twice!) I think we did okay.

More forgotten favorite albums

Boz Scaggs-Silk Degrees
REO Speedwagon-REO, You Can Tune A Piano But You Can't Tuna Fish, Nine Lives
UFO-Strangers In The Night
Thin Lizzy-Live And Dangerous, Jailbreak, Black Rose-A Rock Legend
Ducks Deluxe-Don't Mind Rocking Tonight
Wire-Pink Flag, 154
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band-Live
The Doobie Brothers-Takin It To The Streets, Best Of The Doobies
Cheap Trick-Heaven Tonight, Live At Budokan, Dream Police
Alan Parsons Project-Tales Of Mystery & Imagination, I Robot
Rusty Weir-Don't It Make You Wanna Dance
Jim Capaldi-Short Cut Draw Blood
Joe Walsh-But Seriously Folks, Best Of Joe Walsh
Boston & Don't Look Back
Marshall Tucker Band-Long Hard Ride
The Rockets-Turn Up The Radio
The Sports-Don't Throw Stones
The Rumour-Frogs, Sprouts, Clogs & Krauts
Beckmeier Brothers
Flash And The Pan
Fleetwood Mac, S/T, Rumours, Tusk
Rolling Stones-Black & Blue, Some Girls
Crack The Sky-Animal Notes, Live Sky
The Kinks-Sleepwalker
Neil Young-Rust Never Sleeps

A Little Remodeling.

If you haven't noticed already, overnight I have changed the title of this place from Thoughts of R. Smith to R S Crabb Music Review & Top Ten Site. I really wanted to do that much sooner than now but stumbled upon how to do it last night. On the old sites I'm known as The Crabb or Da Crabb or RS Crabb and some of the oldschoolers thought that I should return to that. The old schoolers don't like change very well. One year I changed my chat name from Crabby to Townedger and freaked everybody out to the point I rechanged it back to Crabby. So I guess I'm stuck with it.

And so are you.

Some things of note: The highlight of the month was hearing from The Real Brooksie in the month. I know she's very busy with work but when she was reviewing and writing her blogs I made it a habit to read her insights. Last time we actually chatted, she was more into satellite radio side of things and The Grateful Dead channel. I did borrow one of her blogs to post last year and I'm still working on getting her to do a new one, just for old times sake. She remains of my favorite bloggers. Thanks for stopping by and come back often.

To my Roostie fans, I haven't been on Multiply for the past month. Kinda forgotten about that place and it really got boring just to post and not get much response so after the Christmas one, never really returned back. I know its there but if there's enough interest to keep it going, let me know. Otherwise I'll be here.

Personal to TAD: The Townedgers is a band from Iowa that makes Low Fi recordings and were very active on the recording scene, with the classic period from 1991-1993 although the most recent recording came from 2008. But basically the leader of that band has spent most of his time going to pawnshops and used music stores and buying music and blogging about it. You can find their 1991 album Diamonds In The Skies from this link.

However, TAD if you want the most recent, stuff I forward a note to the band to see if they will send you out a copy of the most recent. Not available in stores though, or Best Buy although Best Buy don't have squat anyway for music.

So as they say, Pardon Our Progess while we do a little remodeling..... ;)

"I don't know what I'm doing. But I can't stop doing it." -- Patti Smith (sounds like my blog site too) ;-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Consider The Source

Some news first.

The Blue Man Group who was supposed to play tonight up at Gallagher-Bluedorn on the UNI campus is canceled due to busted water pipes that flooded the stage. Hopefully they will try to make up the dates sometime this year.

KDAT sucks. This awful POS station is played everywhere I go in the greater C.R area. The worst GD playlist although I managed to go to Dollar General and was spared of hearing Hey Soul Sister by Train, the most annoying song recorded by a band that I once followed. When my other half called the other night the first thing she mentioned was "now I know how you feel about a certain song on the radio and in commercials". Train made a very good debut and some so so albums but their album was crap inside and out and I'm sure Dan Monahan can retire from those royalty checks from Hey Soul Sister. But anything that is crap and overplayed is always on KDAT 104.5. Maybe KDAT is paying Dollar General or my dentist to have their crappy radio station on so we can hear Footloose for the 57th time this year or I Need You Now, a song that I didn't mind much but there's much more out there that Lady Antebellum has out. I know my other half likes that but I tend to draw the line when I hear a song more than ten times a day or hour. Never have I seen or lived in a era that we have so much music out there and the playlist remains the same 100 songs per day. KDAT represents of what's wrong with radio today. And they have John Tesh too. Enough said.

And I suppose it is a big deal turning 50 once again. Thanks to all for the birthday wishes.

Songs of the week:

1. Shakin All Over-Wanda Jackson 2011 One of the most hears of the year, to the point that I ignored my own warning of not buying digipacks and had to hear this. Jack White as a producer did wonderful things with Loretta Lynn about 7 years ago but this time out, he takes on the original Queen of Rock and Roll and collides head on. At age 72, Wanda can belt them out bigger and better than guys her age and then some. This actually ties Johnny Kidd and The Pirates and The Who all together down to the widespread tremolo of the chorus line. This is not your lady Cougar's Auto tuner, this is Big Mama Bad showing y'all how they rocked and rolled before MTV and Autotuner. In a streetfight Jackson would kick Lady Gaga's ass all over the place. Dig it.

2. Boys-The Beatles 1962 Why is it that 50 years ago The Beatles still sound like they recorded it yesterday? I mean they defy history everytime I play anything from them including their first album Please Please Me. Long time ago, EMI looked at them as a loss leader and just let the independents release it themselves. It originally came out on Vee-Jay, the old Chicago blues label that was only second to Chess in terms of great Chi town blues. Even with old Ringo singing away, ole Paul is having much fun doing that backing vocal. The difference between corporate rock and fun rock, this is fun rock.

3. Extra-Climax Blues Band 1977 They were on Sire for many years, they sold a bit here and a bit there but they never "couldn't get it right" till they came out with Gold Plated, an album that was their biggest seller (before Flying The Flag which featured I Love You-might be wrong but too tired to look it up) but had more of an eye for the radio then previous releases. If you had the LP (like I did) it left off the Freddie Mercury/Queen like beginning of the song but then again I don't we were missing much on the record till I heard the whole version on the reissued CD. I think this is their most straight line boogie song of that album. Nevertheless the CBB got put in the back seat while Mr. Stein got on board the Punk rock train and gave the world the wonderful Ramones, Talking Heads and a few others while the next CBB album Shine On bombed. They moved to Warner Brothers for a couple more and the wedding classic I Love You. Reissued via Plum/K Tel, later Fuel 2000.

4. Every Dog Has Its Day-Let's Active 1988 Ah yes, Mitch Easler. The guy best known for co producing REM's classic albums of the early 1980s (Reckoning & Murmur) but also had his own band that recorded three albums and an EP for IRS Records (probably a reward for putting REM on the map) but this the title track to his last Let's Active album. Easler has been an acquired taste, he can play the hell out of his guitars but the guy's vocals really couldn't cut it. At least to my ears. However this is a good song. One of a few dollars cds that I found on my 50th BDay Bargain Bash. Later reissued via Collector's Choice Music but now out of print again.

5. The Highway Is For Dreamers-The Townedgers 2000 Throughout the month I've been listening once again to the output that was the TEs and although this may have been TE overkill this month, I think this song pretty much speaks volumes of the way Rod Smith looks at being 50, even though this song was written over 10 years ago. I have outlived all my idols, and I've seen the good die young goes one part of the song and it's true that when live to a certain age, you do tend to look back and see whose still around. Not too many people make it to fifty, some burn out before their time, some fade away and some decide they had enough. And as time speeds ever so fastly, our youth slips so far far away, another true statement of life today. Not saying it one of the better songs the TE has ever done but it fits into the mood that is life today and the special day of hitting the big Five Zero. And never knowing how we got here when we don't know where we been indeed. The meaning of life.

6. Pilgrimage-REM 1982 If they had never made another album they still would be highly regarded and half the fun back then was trying to figure out what the hell Mike Stripe was saying. Thank God for the internet eh? Your luck....two headed cow.....

7. The Painter-Neil Young 2005 I guess Prairie Wind was more in kin with Harvest with Harvest Moon ever was and that might be true. Like Harvest, Prairie Wind didn't click with me till years later till I found a dollar CD of it at Stuff Etc on the Great 50th Birthday Bargain Hunt Bash. Six years after the fact Prairie Wind still seems a bit prickly to me and too many songs have a toss out feel but this is one of the better songs off that album. And we all miss Ben Keith's steel guitar playing too.

8. Jive Turkey-Ohio Players 1974 Remember the days to which you could hear great soul music alongside of rock and roll on the FM dial? Of course that was before my GF was even born so she missed out some interesting tunes. The Ohio Players made the strange Funky Worm in 1973 for Westbound Records and then went to Mercury and this one of the top 30 hits for them on the soul chart. Always have a big complaint about their Gold record which had the 45 edits and not complete version till Universal rectify that and put out the 20th Century Collection which does have the 7 and half minute funk fest Jive Turkey. They have the complete Love Rollercoaster and not the cheap 3 minute you hear on Gold. Nevertheless their version trumps The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

9. Open The Gates (Out Of The Way Of The People)-Dave Brubeck 1972 I really didn't get into jazz till the late 90's, I had jazz albums via a big box that my dad bought home and kinda wished that I kept some of them (The original All The Cats Join In-A Buck Clayton Jam Session but Columbia reissued the outtakes instead in 1988) (Or Gerald Wilson's Brass Bag, an import on Fontana which includes the great title track and a cool version of Dizzy Gillespie's Ow! anybody knows of a copy I can get, get a hold of me). Dave Brubeck, the guy is genius and of course you all know about Time Out but by the time the 70's rolled around, he moved to Atlantic for a few albums. Yes I bought Time Out and then went off and bought them as I came across them but kinda held off on the Atlantic period till I found the We Are All Together For The First Time and decided to check out The Last Set At Newport to which this song comes from. Alas, the classic lineup wasn't here but from what I heard that Alan Dawson and Jack Six might have been better than Joe Mollero and Eugene Wright on the rhythm section. I also tend to think that Brubeck has never made a bad album either. On a side note: the folks at Collector's Choice Music has a 5 cd box set of Brubecks best known Columbia albums for the low low price of 27 dollars. But I'll hold out and get the ones that I don't have yet (Time In, Countdown: Time In Other Space and Time Changes to which I have a scratchy vinyl album of that).

10. Catherine Street-The Looking Glass 1972 Brandy, You're a fine girl yeah yeah yeah yeah. Eliot Lurie was the nice guy but my favorite songs were the ones done by Peter Sweval who sang lead vocal on Jenny Lynne and this track that came after Brandy. It's kind of a moody piece about living in a poor part of town and there's no relief from the GD heat. But Sweval changes the tempo as he yells Oh My Gawd on the jam ending of song. They were a lot more rock to the pop it seems but FM radio didn't play this very much. Lurie also had the followup hit Jimmy Loves Mary Anne and went on to movie scoring. The rest of guys would rechange and rethink their career and became Starz and made 4 albums of varying degree for Capitol. In fact they actually signed with Rock Steady Productions, the guys behind the world domination of KISS. Eliot Lurie did reform The Looking Glass and they play from time to time in the oldies tours. Their Epic albums have been reissued via Wounded Bird (the first Looking Glass album was on Collectibles with the best of the tracks from the 2nd album), but the liner notes are pretty spotty. No mentioning of Starz whatsoever. Fun fact: Starz did have a minor hit in 1977 with Cherry Baby.

Addendum: I had to google The Townedgers just to see what I came up with and I came to find that there's a lotta stuff out there for a band that's not much on the map. What really freaked me out was the Ilike site which has most if not all of the songs written. I'm thinking Diggy Kat is behind this since the songs missing are not from the cds given to him yet. However the Jamendo site does have the complete download of the 1991 comeback album Diamonds In The Skies for free download. Or you can listen for free although I have noticed that most of the curious got off the bus by the time Being There came around. The My Space site has a couple tracks from Pawnshops For Olivia CD plus a remix of Frosted Flakes. There's talk about a new album in the works but there might be a best of that will focus on the last decade. But I'm sure if the artist won't get around to it, I'm sure Diggy Kat will. The guy has a one track mind of his own.

PS. Brains drummer Charles Wolff died on Sept 10, 2010. RIP. I remember he stopped by my old My Space site to wish me a happy birthday. His My Space is still up. Absolutely loved his drumming on The Brains recordings.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The big five Oh.

It's official.

At 10:50 my time I hit the big fifty mark. Fifty years old. Fifty times around the sun.

I can't say if this was extraordinary, just basically another day. Spent it at Pizza Ranch during the buffet with my mom, then going over and throwing the frisbee with Maggie May the 11 year old wonderdog. Then to the bank, cash my paycheck and paying a visit to Bruce at the pawnshop but since he was busy and not in a good mood I moved back over to my 2nd home Half Priced Books and assorted Goodwill and Stuff Etc in search of bargains. Just another day in the life of Crabby.

In some ways it is a special event. I outlived a few of my favorite idols and musicians. Jimi Hendrix, Keith Moon, John Bonham, Buddy Holly never got this far in life even through they made a big contribution to music. It is the halfway point to 100 years. I'm sure my life is more than halfway through, maybe 75 percent perhaps but that just speculation. But I do know a couple times I almost bought the farm. Once on a icy road in 1978 going way too fast and then spinning out of control and somehow not crashing into the ditch and the other when my appendix almost blew up and had to have emergency surgery. But here I am.

The first 25 years of life was slow going but the last 25 have been a blur and being on the net most of the time had something to do with losing track of time. But there's still so much to do and so much to discover that I really wish I can have 25 more years tacked on this life in order to complete my musical journey but that's up to the Higher Power.

Jerry Scott said once that you turned 30 it was borrowed time but I really think once the big 50 comes around you begin to keep track of your time left. Still I waste my way too much on TV and sports and seem to neglect the musical side of things but after the first of this year I was going to make a better effort to listen to more music and I think I have done that although I'm sure Nicole would have requested more music instead of those GD football games. I'm not sure if I'll be reviewing much new music, I'm not buying anything digipack which means unless Social Distortion or Greg Allman has it on vinyl it ain't going be in my collection (unless it's used). But I still have a back log of archives and old cds to get me through the rest of these years.

From this point onward, I'm sure we'll be losing a few more before it's all over but I do enjoy & treasure the friends I have met online and in real time. Even the Lone Crab acknowledges his friends out there. But it's business as usual and I have found some stuff in the 2 dollar bins at Half Priced Books I'm checking out right now.

Somebody's gotta do it, right?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

From The Archives-My 30th High School Reunion

So it has come to past the 30th HS reunion of Marion. The class of 1979.

For no shows Jeff Kewley and Russ, my best friend chose not to come. Maybe they didn't feel like shelling out 30 bucks for another overpriced dinner at the Country Club. Kinda disappointed but that their decesion. But for the most part, I got plenty of hugs and plenty of handshakes from my fellow classmates and got to see Mark Prouty for the first time in 30 years.

I think with Facebook enabled us to reach out to past classmates to once we weren't that close but became friends due to finding each other via FB. I think I spent the most time with Al Heeren, Steve Fry, Joe Greene and Kevin Herren. But then again usually on reunions I spent the most time with them anyway.

I think the second nite we were still trying to recover from closing down Bill's last night. Traci Gusendorf was a bit more behaved unlike her outrageous self to which Janeen Machen drove her home. Karl Hudson did the acoustic show of the night. Janeen thinks a lot of him, the rest of us pretty much spent most of the time out on the deck. I think Karl could have used a full band.

I can't get over the fact that Al is now a grandpa.

Mark Kloppenstein brought his 1952 Chevy Pickup for those to see around midnight. He mentioned that they had a daughter that just got married and two hours they're putting through ISU in Ames and had to get up early to get them to the dorm. He and the former Cheryl Barker have been married for 25 plus years. I think Steve Willard and Diane have been married 30 years. Cheryl didn't say much to me but she was friendly.

Donna Grant brought her boyfriend David Neu up there, David is handicapped and I think he felt left out since he didn't know anybody there but he did proved to be a good sport about things. Donna and Sara Mellegren took many pictures up there and hopefully some will turn out.

Janeen Machen still looks like she did when I first met her in third grade at Emerson, except her hair more gray than it was but she still remains a tiny girl. She worked her butt off on the Reunion plans but we didn't have that great of a turnout at the Country Club. We had more ppl at Bills than the previous get together.

I think i pretty much talked to everybody that was there except for a few of the stuck up women of HS who still are (they shall remain nameless). But the biggest surprise was seeing Frank White who was one of the most hairyest guys around showed up with a shaved head. I talked to Sherri Clark who sat at the dinner table with me, Lori Miller, Al, Kent Meyer and his wife and Sara. Don't recall much of seeing Sherri at high school but most often caught up with her during the reunion thingy. Cheryl Twachman and Mary Katzmark married much older guys and they were there at the country club. Sherri says she wants to do the next reunion and they would like to rent out a barn and do something farm related instead of the country club thing which was why the turnout was so low. We had 80 folks in our 1999 reunion, but i think it was about 50 this time around.

I didn't take the tour of the jr and sr high schools and perhaps i should have. Frank White said that he didn't remember much of junior high but more of High school once he got though the doors. They said outside of the remodeling of the gym, High school pretty much looks the same. I don't remember much of Junior High either, I remember vagne things of being at Home Room and Mr Harry Schley the 7th grade math teacher who Frank called a asshole. I really didn't think Harry was all that bad, he did impose tough love but was willing to work with you on occasion. I do remember Mr Campbell with Social Studies but I spent most of the time looking out the window and watching the trains go through town. One thing about going to school was trying to cross the tracks before the train came through.

Dave Shindell, who married Lynn Roby remembers that he was in my American Studies Class with Mr Messerli and I think he was. I also think Dave was in my Psychology class with Mr Tesar, one of many classes I got a D minus from. He and Lynn have been married for 20 plus years too. They still look good together.

And like that it's all over. Mark Prouty will return back to Utah, and the rest will jump on a airplane and go home that way. And the rest of us will return back to the mundane life of jobs, family and trying to keep our heads above water in uncertain times. Myself I will return back to bargain hunting, blogging about music and trying to do errands on the weekends. And I'm missing my classmates already.

I can't believe while looking through the old yearbook how much I changed. There's a picture of our final day at school, and here i was, long hair and a big nose and thin as a stick looking at it all. It's funny how going to school we couldn't wait to get the hell out but when the reunion comes around can't wait to see the familar faces, getting older and fatter and more gray or bald.

And we had some interesting times in previous reunions. in 1984, our five year reunion was marked by me having a severe nosebleed. In 1989 we saw Cheryl Comried make a fool out of herself and her husband as she plopped herself on the student athletes at the time. I wore black lether pants that reunion. There wasn't a 15th reunion. 10 years ago we did the reunion at the Country Club, it was the last time that my two best friends Steve Willard And Russ was there. in 2004, it was held at Coe College and I got there at the last minite after saying i wasn't going. Amazingly some ppl took pictures of me there, don't recall how they were done it must have been when I was leaving. And now this time around.

Good times and good people. Now the next objective is to make it to the next one five years from now and then the 40th which might be a bigger reach. But I'll do my best to get to the next one.

And to Steve Fry, didn't you say you weren't coming to this one too? ;-)
Betcha will next time ago bro!

The 30th year HS reunion now in the books I was more surprised of the way Facebook have gotten most of us reconnected. Eversomuch the fact that a few of the FB friends were not people I associated myself with. But it's never too late to gain a friend from the past.

Certainly your going to get the snooty stuck up types with holier than thou attitude (that can't be helped) and I know who they are and they know who they are so you really can't change them but what surprised me is that I did talk with the majority of the 1979 classmates. Still a few ppl would still look the same (Steve O'Neill, and I'm sure Diane look the same as when we gradurated) and some completely changed (Shawn Bolden, Frank White) and some trying to be sexy as they were back then in high school (but time and age kinda did a shock job on them) and not exactly succeeding. Its funny when Steve Fry made this observation that when he took two of the classmates home 20th years ago he would jump into the sack with them but nowadays he'd rather give them a ride and a quick hug and hit the road. Nevertheless it was fun getting hugs and talking bout the old times (if we can remember them) and also seeing Mrs. Moore the PE teacher from Jr High and her actually remembering me (although I couldn't recall her-don't remember much from jr high). We did have a big turnout Friday night but I think about a quarter of them stayed home the next day. Could have been that nobody wanted to pay 30 bucks to get their picture taken and have country club food, which was good actually but not worth that much.

I don't anybody seen me play live when my band played the OK Lounge. I think Ken Deburkehart or Mark Floyd may been there but since that was 25 years ago I don't think I know who was there either.

No shows at the Reunion: Joe Ickes, Russ, Jeff Kewley and Steve Carter most noted. Steve Willard said he would try to get there on Saturday never did, probably due to not get out of his job.

Once upon a time Shawn Bolden and Joe Greene were a couple, although not married they went steady awhile and I'm sure it's always awkward to see your ex GF at a reunion which thank God I dated the ones a year later. I'm sure it weighs a bit on Joe's mind of what if, but I don't think Joe really has dated all that much since he and shawn went separate ways. I had grade school GFs that are in the class of 79 and I don't really talk to neither one either. I think I said Hi to Janice Kinchloe and Cheryl Kloppenstein or at least acknowledged their presence but in essence I think I talked more to Mark.

I didn't know Janice Kinchloe smoked. I remember her in school growing up faster bodywise and she was a bit more chunky. In Junior High us boys would go around snapping the girls bras (alongside getting into fights left and right, I think that's how I met the other Janice, Berns that is; me and Chris Cox were scrapping around and I ran into her) and I unhooked her bra with a good snap. Us boys would go smacking other guys under the chin with something called a Tweety and many a time home I come home with a sore red chin. Miss Kinchloe has slimmed down quite a bit since then and is probably considered one of those uppity folk. But I also admit that I didn't know her when I saw her along with Sheri Morgan when we were walking into the country club.

For some reason I kept getting Kim Smith confused with Donna Anderson who was at the bar friday night. Miss Anderson has aged quite a bit, whereas Kim hasn't changed all that much but if Kim had her patented glasses from high school I would have known her right off the start.

Tom Bowler made a comment that he didn't like the way downtown Marion got bulldozed down in favor of that strip mall that they put up. Those buildings that got torn down were places we hung out, The Shoe Horn, Marion TV n Records, the original Town Square Bookstore, Ole's Ham & Egger, the old Salvation Army and some old head shop where hippies would hang out at the beginning of 1970. The things we miss later on in life. The Twixt Town Drive In, Saint Joe's Fun Days, the summer days up downtown when the fair came in. The trains that went through town.

The things I remember about my life in Marion. Hearing the church bells ring at 8, noon and 5 PM. Going to Mays Drugs for the latest albums on sale, or going to Marion TV n Records and checking out the latest singles there. The big deal was going downtown to Woolworth's, that was my version of going to Madison. Walking Cheryl Barker home from school. Hanging out with Russ and Jeff till Jeff and I fought over Cheryl. Russ and me playing basketball, Cheryl and me playing basketball. Collecting beer cans in 8th grade. Working at the old APCO, then Derby. In between working at Applegate's Landing as a lowly dishwasher and having a ex gf being a cook and seeing her taking great delight of giving you dirty dishes to clean up. Learning to drive and then going to Record Realm for the latest.

And in the time we graduated, we grew up and went separate ways. Going into the service for some, college for others, while I took a couple years to figure out what to do and playing a band and thinking I'm going to make it big. People get married, got divorced and got married again, some stayed married, some never did. It's funny to look at a town that I've lived in and seen the changes. And now some of my classmates are now grandmas and grandpas.

In short reunions are fun but when I think about it, it shows that we all eventually changed into the persons that we were rebelled against. Funny how in 4th grade Russ, Jeff and I would do this No Girls Allowed club and always thought we would be the Big 3 that ran this town of Marion. But then, we all grew up. Reunions are a way that remind us how far we have become and although it was 30 years ago that we graduated, it only seems like last month we were kids become young men and women.

It was a long time ago but it doesn't seem that long ago......

From The Archives-A look at the end of last decade (Taken from My Space)

2011 NOTE: This was taken from my My Space blog about the end of the last decade. It was written 12-26-2010 and gives a better account of the closing of the decade. Does it add anything not really but when I read it, it tends to jog my memories on some things. I tend to bring back some of my best blogs from My Space from time to time. R.S.

We're five days away from the end of a decade that will go down as the worst in music history and so forth. I am just about four years done here at My Space of comment, thought and top tens.

I am watching it snow. Big fluffy flakes, not unlike the cold wet crap that gave us 14 inches two weeks ago, nor the inch and half of rain and freeze of this week but the kind of fluffy flakes to which people dream of white Christmases and hope they don't get into the ditch on icy roads. It's been a strange year, a year that begin with change and still got the same old Governmental runaround. Turns out that Obama wasn't the saviour as people predicted, we forgot the idiots in the house and senate looking after the lobbyists interest and not you and me. And of course the FOX News Fucks kept pointing that out and they're still POed after the Halfwit and Neo Nazi got kicked to the curb. And it turned out that the Neo Nazi was running things.

I'm surprised that I have survived this decade of 8 years of one of the worst presidents we ever had and by far the worst VP the world has seen. I saw greed running rampant even to this day. Crappy movies, crappy albums and American Idol to boot. As I look back on this decade, I don't remember with fondness about anything all that much, in fact the more I forget about this decade the better. Two major ice storms in 2006 and 2007 that wiped power out of here for a week, The dammed Parkersburg/New Hartford tornado that wiped out half of Parkersburg but somehow spared the Honorable Chuck Grassley pig farm. And the tornado made it as far as around Dike to which had another tornado a year ago. And the tornado that rocked through Iowa City and another around Anamosa in 2006 but somehow spared the new Wal Mart. And 2008, the worst year ever in terms of weather, go from 62 inches of snow on the ground in April to a damn wet spring of rain every other day till 10 inches of rain on a swollen Cedar River, ballooned it to 31.3 feet and damn near took out most of the low lying areas in Cedar Rapids. Appently the 1993 flood wasn't enough we had to have a 500 year flood to go with that 100 year flood. And I hope to God that I never had to deal such extreme weather shit ever again.

There wasn't very many highlights in this decade. We bring in the new decade with my best friend and his wife and ex GF Olivia up in Dubuque and spent New Years going to Galena. That was the high point and then things changed. Losing Olivia to the next guy that she would eventually marry, then seeing my best friend getting married to his date a year later. I did eventually start dating another west coast woman in 2001 but once 9/11 came around and a week long trip to Seattle became a wasted time something changed in her or she was too wacked on drugs, we parted on bad terms. Eventually drugs would get the best of her in 2004 and she's into the next world. And for the next 8 years I didn't show much interest in falling in love and basically wrote the decade off by going on bargain hunts to Madison and Phoenix and watching technology bypass the CD into obsoleteness. The Pawnshops quit having big inventories of cds for me to check out but then again we were starting to lose the record stores around here, Relics, Rock n Bach, Ratz, Co Op all started shutting their doors up here, and the chain stores such as CDs Plus, CD Warehouse, Wherehouse Music, Sam Goody, Tower Records and FYE closing them down left and right. In the end Best Buy won out but for the record and cd collector such as myself, I had to pretty much hit the road to find decent music stores.

And we lost plenty of decent eateries along the way. MiCasa in Mount Vernon, best Mexican Food place ever in this state closed up in 2003, Moreno's in 2006, Jimmy Jack's and Taco Time here this year. Shakey's in Coralville was gone too. But I managed to find other replacements to go to, Villa's Patio for one, Marco's Pizza another, El Rancho in IC likewise. Something new will come around and replace the old and the cycle will repeat on and on.

Musicwise, I did okay finding things at Half Priced Books, which has become my second home and a much needed alternative music to find cheap as well as Goodwill and Salvation Army. But after 35 years of reviewing new music and finding most of it wasn't that great, I threw in the towel and starting next year will focus strictly on music of the past and yet to be discovered. We have 80 years to choose from and besides, the major labels don't put out great or even good music anymore, it's all crap and all rap and autotuned pap smear pop. And after years of trying to find what's so musicial about Kid A or Yankee Hotel Foxtrot as these critics calls them the best albums ever in this decade, I shrugged my shoulders and said they suck and turned in my reviewers' card. To me the best album of the decade remained The Beatles' 1 or Brian Wilson Presents Smile. Radiohead didn't change my view at all, it just made me go back to listening to Pink Floyd from time to time.

My life is at the crossroads as after the infamous 2008 flood, I found myself three months later at Crookton Pass Bridge, outside of Seligman in late august and listening to the silence of the night and watching stars from above while trains came and gone. I was alone at that time and figure that this was as good as it gets and really didn't want to return home. I was tired of trying to keep the basement dry from all the damn water in the basement due to constant rains in May and June, tired of shitty winters and tired of remembering past realtionships that didn't go nowhere or thinking of past GFs that forgotten me long time ago. Last time i did go out to meet somebody was four years ago and unfortunly two days before meeting up, my wisdom tooth shattered and I spent most of that time under a OxyCondin haze and the worst tooth pain imaginable.
So after that and almost getting scammed by some Russian chick, I became a Solitary Man.

To which my biggest supporter of the blogs took notice of this. Not that I really cared all that much actually I did, but I met her during the 2000 St Louis Mingles Party and we chatted online off and on for most of this decade till she took a shot a courage and asked me out in August. Like Brooksie, Sassy was a contributor to the top ten and little did I know that she was thinking of big plans for being together. And so the St Louis Mingles Reunion Party of 2009 was only me and her but we did managed to see the sights, the music stores and in the end she became mine in the end. Wasn't expecting that but it was planned that way.

So as we close down this decade, it looks like that I will bring in the new year's with my best friend and his wife but also with a new woman that has been here all along most of the ride. I don't know what the next decade will bring, there will be chaos, there'll be tornados and floods and hurricanes and high gas prices to contend with. I may not make it back here ten years from now. I also can't say if I will continue to blog and put top tens together like i have been the last four years here and the last seven at the end of this year. I remain hopeful, thats all we can do.

In 2010 I'm sure the Crabb Music Review will continue onward but with a more eye towards the past and bands that I think should be noticed. Im not here on My Space all that much and sometimes when I do go take a look at some of your profiles that I noticed that you haven't had old Crabby in your top friends list or you somehow booted him off while you added more friends to your list and basically that's your right. Crabby says that the door is always open for you to leave comments and drop by to say hello.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teenage Depression-Albums Of My Youth

My life has been pretty much been music this and music that and growing up, I had the privilege of having record stores up town and the big event was going to Woolworths in downtown CR or at that time in the old Town & Country Shopping Center, but I really didn't discover the albums till listening to the old Beaker Street show on KAAY (still running on FM but The Point will conclude that run on 2/6/11) and the old KFMW Progression that was on Saturday nights.

Highlights would be going over to my friend Jeff Kewley's place and seeing what his brother in his collection which turned out to be Led Zeppelin, early Rolling Stones (dude had the old red London Mono recordings) and Jethro Tull to name a few. For the most part, what I brought came from reviews of Creem Magazine or Rolling Stone when they were into rock and roll culture and not trying to be a lame version of People Mag or SPIN.

1977 became the first real time that I started buying albums on a regular basis which continues to this day. Sometimes I saved up to ride the bike out to Target and buy a couple at a time. I think the first weekend I did that was brought Led Zeppelin Presence, Steve Miller-Fly Like An Eagle and The Chamber Brothers Greatest Hits. But the albums that I played the most at that time were Foghat's Night Shift, for some reason that album got me through my sophomore year in high school. And of course Aerosmith Rocks. Throughout my high school year it was Foghat and Aerosmith most of the time.

When I learned to drive, that actually got me out of Marion to go to the great city of Cedar Rapids and the music stores of note were Record Realm and Big Apple (later Krackers). Both stores had a decent cut out bin of 2 dollar albums that might be of note and Record Realm sometimes had promo copies of the latest stuff for less. My Aunt Cindy was into The Moody Blues so I completed my collection by getting one or two at a time. I also brought 8 tracks which introduced me to The Alan Parsons Project I Robot.

As I gotten older I started getting a bit more into the punk rock happenings. I remember KUNI playing The Ramones for the first time and it was fun and so simple that I had to search for the record but Target and K Mart never had it but Record Realm did so I bought the original ABC/Sire album to which I foolishly gave away to a friend and never got it back. I was also into Blue Oyster Cult to which I know that some of you think they never made much great original albums but I must say that Spectres is one of my all time favorites. Being stood up for a homecoming dance I think I played I Love The Night about 20 times that night.

A lot of my friends were into Pink Floyd, at that time I wasn't. I wasn't much into KISS either but I was more into The Godz, a biker band from Columbus that made an album for Millenium. I recall the look of horror on my best friend's face when I told him this was the future of rock and roll to which I may have missed the mark on that. Heck couldn't wait for the followup, Nothing Is Sacred to which I called the best album of 1979. I may have been overrating that one but I really loved to rock out to Love Cage to which my best friend called it the worst bass played song he ever heard.

My senior year in high school I was introduced to AC/DC, a band that didn't the big time just yet but K Mart had their albums and I bought Powerage and was blown away by the riffs of the Young Brothers and Bon Scott's vocals. Seeing Tom Petty on The Midnight Special made me run and buy You're Gonna Get It to which I still like it more than the average fan and critic. If I would have saved my money instead of buying cheap made cassettes and 8 tracks I would have made a down payment on a house. But the cutouts also introduced me to the British Punks like Eddie & The Hot Rods, which Life On The Life I bought at Krackers one day and liked so much that I ended up getting Teenage Depression.

I guess you can say that my record collection was a lot like anybody's out there at that time. Maybe a bit more diverse but basically it's classic rock with a bit of punk thrown in. And of course Foghat.

A few of the old favorites. 1975-1979

Aerosmith-Toys In The Attic, Rocks, Draw The Line, Bootleg Live
Foghat-Fool For The City, Night Shift, Live, Stone Blue
Lynyrd Skynyrd-Nuthin Fancy, Gimme Back My Bullets, Street Survivors
Blue Oyster Cult-Agents Of Fortune, Spectres, Some Enchanted Evening
The Godz-The Godz, Nothing Is Sacred
Head East-Flat As A Pancake, Head East, Head East Live
Led Zeppelin-Physical Graffiti, Presence
The Who-Who Are You, The Kids Are Alright Soundtrack
Deep Purple-Stormbringer, Live In Europe
Bad Company-Run With The Pack, Desolation Angels
Nick Lowe-Pure Pop For Now People, Labour Of Lust
Dave Edmunds-Get It, Tracks On Wax 4, Repeat When Necessary
Blackfoot-No Reservations, Flying High
Steve Miller Band-Fly Like An Eagle, Book Of Dreams
Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush-Live
The Ramones-The Ramones, Rocket To Russia
Climax Blues Band-Gold Plated
Elton John-Rock Of The Westies
Van Halen
The Moody Blues-Octave
The Outlaws
The Bellamy Brothers-Let Your Love Flow & Others
The Four Seasons-Who Loves You
Chicago-Hot Streets, 13
Steve Gibbons Band-Rollin On, Caught In The Act, Down In The Bunker
Burton Cummings-Dream Of A Child
AC/DC-Powerage, Let There Be Rock, If You Want Blood You Got It, Highway To Hell
Steely Dan-Aja
BTO-Four Wheel Drive, Head On, Street Action, Rock And Roll Nights
Ian Gomm-Gone With The Wind
John Cale-Guts
Eddie & The Hot Rods-Teenage Depression, Life On The Line, Thriller!
Devo-Are We Not Men, We Are Devo!, Duty Now For The Future.
Grand Funk Railroad-Hits, Good Singing, Good Playing
Tom Petty-You're Gonna Get It, Damn The Torpedos
Z Z Top-Fandango!, Tejas
Bob Marley & The Wailers-Live!
Ted Nugent
Duke & The Drivers-Crusin, Rolling On
Dr. Feelgood-Malpractice
The Trammps-Where The Happy People Go
Joe Jackson-I'm The Man, Look Sharp!
Ram Jam-Ram Jam, Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Ram
Black Sabbath-Never Say Die
Golden Earring-To The Hilt
Savoy Brown-Savage Return
The Pirates-Out Of Their Skulls, Skull Wars

and a few more that escape my mind....

Top Ten Of The Week-Cannabis Sativa Or What Was That Noise?

Wish I had a voice like Arnel Pineda of Journey. So I could sing Journey songs-comment from the last entry added on for shock value.

Further proof that the 70's are long gone: Don Kirshner passed away from heart failure at age 76. Best known for his Rock Concert series of the 70's which got us through that decade (and still amazes me that with 3 channels and PBS we had better programming than the 300 plus digital cable channels out there today. Started as part of the Brill Building song publisher, he later became known for putting together such packaged acts as The Archies, The Monkees and even signed Kansas to his own imprint back in the 70s (again). The man could do it all it seems.

With the passing of Kirshner we can finally bury the past and all of the people that made rock and roll available to the masses via TV. I really don't think rock music in particular today has much lasting value, nor has the movers and shakers getting the music out. There's still a few folk still living from those glorious times of discovering and giving us new music and still playing the forgotten but nowadays is just automated and programmed to certain overplayed songs.

Mexico seems to be the big place to avoid at all costs. Case in point: I was reading a story on two Mexican musicians who got murdered because they refused to play more songs at a bar down there. To Jon Martinez and Gustavo Alejandro of La Excelencia, they gave their life to music, only to get cut down by drug dealing gang bangers. Such a sad state of affairs when you play in the drug battlefield of Mexico making people feel good and have no brained cokefiends offing you even after when it was time to shut down. Perhaps they should have played Closing Time and maybe that would give an indication. But then again, the fucking fools had grenades in their possession too.

They say this is the most depressing time of year. It's cold and when it's not cold it's snowing and when it's not snowing, it's 10 below zero. I didn't think we had that much snow till I looked outside and had to wade knee deep in the GD snowdrift to get the mail. Forecast calls for more snow and more 10 below this week. Sure hope it's warmer where y'all at folks. It could be worse I guess, it could be raining everyday and flooding everything out. Oh wait, that'll be here come springtime. Lucky us.

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1. When Time Runs Out-The Dangtrippers 1988 The more I think about it, the more it seems that Iowa City best time of music was the late 80s. Full Fathom Five was making loud and noisy albums for Link, Tripmaster Monkey was a few years away for making two records with Sire and Slipknot was still learning how to play their instruments. And The Townedgers were known as Route 66, making some low fi classics on their own. Perhaps the best of the bunch was The Dangtrippers who came from Iowa City and made a nice power pop record on a label that was overseen by REM. Back then they had Devin Hill doing the lead vocals and they went to the recording metropolis known as Cedar Falls to make Days Between Stations. Hard to find nowadays but I remember when Dog Gone Records went out of biz, most copies went to the 3 dollar Clarence bins at Camelot Music. Was never the same when Hill left to a solo career and made two so so efforts for Big Deal. Dangtrippers would go make one more album and would go through a few more personel to become Head Candy, later Bent Scepters and now Diplomats Of Solid Sound.

2. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts1-7) 1975 Pink Floyd I had a copy of Wish You Were Here but can't seem to find it in my vast collection of CD artifacts and I have a feeling that perhaps it got put in the donation bin at Goodwill back in November by mistake. However I still have Echoes, that massive 2 CD best of that has this 17 minute version which is longer than edited 16 minute Echoes. Next time when I donate I need to double check.

3. The Only One I Know-The Charlatans UK 1991 I still can't over the fact that this song is now 20 years old which goes to show when you spend 15 plus hours on the net that time has a way of slipping away and the next decade was the last decade. You can call them a one hit wonder although they are still around today and still making music.

4. Alright-Electric Light Orchestra 2001 It isn't any different than Armchair Theater, Jeff Lynne's 1991 Reprise recording and the only other ELO member still playing is Richard Tandy. This owes more to Traveling Wilburys than Roll Over Beethoven or Evil Woman. Got slammed in reviews but really it's not that bad.

5. Baby It's Cold Outside-Homer & Jethro with June Carter 1949 My other half has been on a Homer & Jethro kick ever since I played her We Didn't Sink The Bismarck to which she got a kick out of but didn't cared much for the Spike Jones cover of Tennessee Waltz. Unfortunately that song didn't make the best of that Razor & Tie issued but this a hilarious retooled of that winter classic featuring a young and sassy June Carter. This song pretty sums up most of this month and winter. Cold.


6. Troubled By These Days And Times-Savoy Brown 1971 Seems like we are at the end days with all the happenings out there (Floods, rains, Sarah "Screech" Palin) and the forecast of 2012 to be the end all. I'm sure the world will survive it all, not so sure about us but that's a bit more down the road. This song can be heard from time to time on Beaker Street, the long running show that I have been talking about the last couple months. I'm sure you wouldn't hear it on corporate rock The Point (taking a jab at those Yayhoos) after they pulled the plug on Beaker Street and told most of the listeners to take a hike.

7. Country Road-James Taylor 1970 Basically the followup to Fire & Rain and got a bit of airplay on the AM station in the early 70s. Heck I hear Mexico more often than Country Road and Mexico wasn't that big of a hit back in 75. Yes I admit, I do play James Taylor's Greatest Hits from time to time, it's one of the essential soft folk rock album of the 70's.

8. Peace Of Mind-The Ocean Blue 1993 The darlings of Hersey Pennsylvania, this comes from their third and final and to my ears their best for Sire Records. But then again they never did make a bad record. And on their web site they hopefully thinking of recording a new album for this year. We shall see.

9. Teenage Depression-Eddie & The Hot Rods 1977 One of those odd bands I had to check out after hearing this on the Rock And Roll High School S/T of 1979 featuring the Ramones. They were more Pub than punk but I became a fan and bought their albums soon afterwards. Produced by the late, great Vic Maile.

10. Black Metallic-Catherine Wheel 1991 Alt rock had their share of great moments and none were much better than this 7 minute anthem. Fitted in with the so called shoegazer moment but Catherine Wheel would go more towards a alt metal sound with each album and with me being less interested. In reality Alt rock in the early 90s was the last frontier of exciting music, eventually losing out to grunge and then whatever mutated into music soon afterward. If you have been following the Top Ten thru history, this song has made it in about four or five times.

Bonus track: Cannabis Sativa-Head 1970 thereabouts Those who follow Beaker Street know about the background noise that Clyde Clifford would use between songs. I don't know much about this outfit but the album was released on the Buddah label around 1970 and sounds a bit like the Krautrock of later band such as Neu! or Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream. It's probably New Age before New Age. But that's the beauty of Google or the internet, it finally solves a long time question of what Clyde plays. (Buddah Records BDS-5062). To hear a 10 minute edit from You Tube, copy and paste and you too can have your very own version of Beaker Street.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Observations From The Forefront-January

Beaker Street

It's a long running and perhaps the last album originated rock show hosted by Clyde Clifford. It's best known as that strange show that I came across back in the mid 70s looking for decent music on the AM side, back when AM radio was playing music and not right wing rhetoric. However the show has survived on Arkansas FM rock stations up till the announcement that The Point has canceled the show due to not enough sponsorship. Or ratings. Nevertheless, there has been a Facebook site dedicated to get Clyde Clifford over to another willing station.

A long time ago, I went to junior college to break into the broadcasting field and hopefully some day become a disc jockey and play music along the lines of Beaker Street but since everything is corporate or robot radio I'd be starving in the streets. I have no faith in the new music anymore but I do hope that Clyde Clifford and Beaker Street will survive after his last broadcast on the Point on the first Sunday night of February.

Another reason why I like Clyde Clifford and Beaker Street..Every request that I sent to him he played it. Even Master Of The Universe by Hawkwind.


For a unpromoted blog such as The Thoughts Of R Smith, I seem to do very well with the folks from Denmark and The Netherlands coming in at 2 and 3 on a regular basis. Some day I would love to visit Amsterdam and see the happenings but with music and radio I was born too late. Would have been great to see it in the happening 60's. I thought about changing this to The Thoughts of Crabby, since I'm better known as Crabby in other music chats but since I'm too used to posting here, it will remain the same. Looking at the most popular blogs that I have done, can't complain about The Best CDs of 2010 but 2 and 3, I don't understand the popularity of those.


Not much activity going on over there, especially on the last few postings. When MSN Groups shut down the original place I posted, I lost a lotta funny stuff over there and moving to My Space for a couple years was fun but every other month they changed the format and it was harder to access everything. The new My Space sucks, it's cumbersome and can't wait for the day it shuts down but then what I posted will be lost forever too. So I alternated between here and Multiply the last couple years. I still get the 5 or 6 dedicated followers over there so I added a link to over here. Even though I encouraged folk to take over a week to post a top ten or comment on things, I didn't get much back in return so even though it's not shut down over there, I just haven't been over there as much to post.


It's always weather permitting and once the snows hit and stay on the ground I usually hang around Half Priced Books or Goodwill in town. I have tried to go to Dubuque but every time I think I can make it up there, we get a winter storm that makes the roads slippery to get there and The Que City has lots of hills to contend with. And it's snowing once again today so If I get up there it will probably be in February, or March or when my mechanic will get the brakeline fixed on the gray car....


The comment posting. I can't believe how much spam we get in Blogspot for even such a unknown site such as mine. I seem to get the same ones for Jock Itch Jam and they got a link to Viagra or something other although I was tempted to post the link for that Russian fashion site.

But I do read and approve the ones not spam. And of course it made my night reading a comment from Brooksie. She had some great top tens posted on her own from the old MSN Groups years as well as My Space. We traded music from time to time and must say that her postings did top some of my own with some of the way out stuff she was into to which i posted one of her old top tens for proof. It's still remains a big event when we hear from her. Maybe some day I'll get her to do a guest top ten for old time's sake.


Nothing right now worth getting. I got March penciled in for the new New York Dolls and I'm sure there's a couple things that might stand out but in reality I do have enough stuff to listen to.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-1/11/11 Or Don't Stop Believing

Since we won't this day and time ever again I thought I would make a very early special Top Ten Of The Week. Usually I do this on Wednesday but can't pass this up.

Some interesting spam comments, I did thought about putting that Russian shopping site up.

Much love and respect to Clyde Clifford and Beaker Street. If I owned a radio station I'd penciled in the 7 to Midnight slot for his show. It's been a long time staple down in Arkansas and thank God for the internet so I can hear it when I'm on Explorer.

More passing to tell you about. David Nelson, Rick's older brother and last living member of Ozzie & Harriet died from colon cancer at age 74. The Nelsons are all reunited in the great TV Land in the sky.

Pat Moran, sang for The 70's band Spring but more famous for producing and recording Robert Plant but also did work for Danny Wilde (Any Man's Hunger), The Searchers 2 albums for Sire Records, John Kilzer's second album for Geffen, Lou Gramm's Ready Or Not and The Questionnaires 1988 EMI album Window To The World died from longtime illness.

Phil Kennemore, bass player for Y & T from lung cancer. He was 57.

I got into a spirited conversation with a Steve Perry fan while making an observation about Perry's leaving the band in 1996. Supposely he was forced out of the band but couldn't play on the Trail By Fire 1996 tour due to Hip surgery. And basically made a comment that he may have been hard to get along with the other Journey members. And this woman accused me of disrespecting the guy. Far from it but then again Journey as always been a band of egos. Goes back to the mid 80s when it became The Steve Perry Band and having Ross Valory and Steve Smith removed out of the band in favor of Randy Jackson and Mike Baird for what would become the Raised On Radio CD. I guess around 2005 Perry approached Herbie Herbert to rejoin the band but Herbie was still miffed at Perry from the 1996 fiasco to which Steve Augeri took over. And later replaced by John Scott Soto then Arnel Pineda.

For the record Journey wouldn't be Journey without Steve Perry and that hi voice of his that shaped the albums Infinity up to Raised On Radio although anything after Escape I didn't get much into. I even thought Street Talk was actually better than Frontiers or ROR. Love Of Strange Medicine another story. I'm sure there's egos on both sides of the fence and Perry has refrained from slamming the other guys so I'll give him that. Before Perry, Journey was a fairly decent jam band but without a distinct singer (although I do enjoy all three of the before Perry albums mind you, especially Next), and what he gave that band was that distinct sound that sold records. People talk Escape the shining moment but for me, I think it was either Infinity or Evolution. I give him this, the man could sing back then.

The Top Ten Of The Week.

1. Fall Of The Peacemakers-Molly Hatchet 1983 Dedicated to Gabby Giffords and the people shot in Tucson last Saturday which killed six people plus a 9 year old girl. I haven't reported much on this tragedy here, I don't think anything I could say would even echo the sentiments of this Molly Hatchet classic written 27 years beforehand. How many times must good men die (or women), how many times will the children cry till we suffer no more sadness. Stop the madness. Stop the madness indeed.

2. Slow Ride-Foghat 1975 Overplayed classic time. And yes I play this from time to time, it sounded like a good idea to do it sunday night and I did. I perfer the live version myself but your opinion may vary. Probably one of the very few songs that has lead breathing on the bridge leading to Rowdy Rod Price go all out on guitar. I remember some big shot DJ passing out free 45's of this song at some high school dance I went to. My best friend got a copy. I didn't.

3. Hard Times In The Land Of Plenty-Omar & The Howlers 1987 Probably the best known song from Omar Dykes and company and I got to see the video on MTV back when MTV was playing music videos. Stevie Ray Vaughn played a role of getting Omar signed to Columbia (from what I heard) and they made two for that label before Omar returned to the independent music label scene. Omar plays a mean guitar and sounds a lot like Howlin Wolf. Which is why I like this guy.

4. Free-Chicago 1971 One for the pleasures of growing up is hearing all these new songs when they got played on AM radio back then AM radio was playing music instead of being the wasteland of hot air right wing radio and faux paus ESPN wanna be sports station. I perfer the Chicago of this era, plenty of horns and plenty of hot guitar playing from Terry Kath. I'm sure you miss those days too.

5. Green Onions-Roy Buchanan 1977 The guy can burn on guitar too. Heard this on an underground FM radio station to which Roy trades guitar leads with Steve Cropper and even gets Don Duck Dunn on bass too. But no Booker T on organ nor Al Jackson Jr on drums. David Garbardi plays drums instead and the organ is by Malcolm Lukens.

6. Hosannas From The Basement Of Hell-Killing Joke 2006 I've been meaning to get the new Killing Joke but have yet to find it anywhere in town. I heard bits and pieces of the new record and it's good but it nowhere near as great as Hosannas and the killer self titled track. This does sound like the end of the world.

7. Come Into My Life/29 Palms-Robert Plant 1993 The first track features the only meeting between Mr. Plant and Richard Thompson one of the best unknown guitarists out there. The second track is Plant's best showing on the rock charts and it still remains catchy and easy to sing to. Plant doesn't seem to be interested of going back to his band anytime soon.

8. Honest With Me-Bob Dylan 2001 Mr. Dylan was in a pretty jovial mood when he wrote this song and gets great backing from his band too.

9. Mighty Joe-The Shocking Blue 1970 Venus was their bread and butter and this was the followup which didn't do half as well. Band was never heard from again. Bought this 45 at the old Salvation Army in downtown Marion in the early 70s from an elderly lady who worked there and gave me a nickname of Record Boy. Forgot her name but she was a total sweetheart.

10. Doesn't Anybody Believe-The Sidewinders (Sand Rubies) 1990 Band from Tucson that had a minor hit with We Don't Do That Anymore and made two albums for RCA/Mammoth before being dropped by RCA and then got sued by a Top Forty Bar Band in NC for use of The Sidewinders name so they changed it to The Sand Rubies and continued to make music off and on for other labels (Ensign/Chysalis, Polydor/Atlas, Contingency, San Jacinto) .

Sunday, January 9, 2011

WOW, Thank You

I just want to take the time to say thank you to my cult following and the word must be getting spread out since I noticed that I am getting a bigger spike in readership. I'm sure there must be a word of mouth going on at there at the Remroom in Russia or those who clicked on the link at Drew's Odds And Sods and Funderglass I think everybody for at least checking out to see what's going down in the music world from an old music bluff who likes his tunes from the last 6 decades out there.

It used to be back in the old days that if you searched for an album or Cd you have to go take your chances at the local music store, before the internet came and made it much easier to find that obscure single or album. Case in point: in 1975 I looked over God's Green Acre for a copy of Katfish Dear Prudence and didn't find one till a 1982 trip to a AZ record store finally found a scratched up DJ copy. Now you can hear it via You Tube. The internet is a wonderful thing unless you own a record store and striving to stay alive, then it's not so great. Living in this town if I want a cd than I have to hope that Wally World or Best Buy or Target has it. Or hopefully if Half Priced Books has a copy, otherwise I have to order it from the web since gas prices are now over three bucks a gallon and driving to the better stores take at least a half tank of gas.

As we begin our 7th decade of rock and roll, I don't have much hope for the new bands out there but there's still enough of the old music yet to be discovered so I don't think there'll ever be a shortage of music. If you haven't heard it, it's new to you. True I have enough music in my collection to last a couple years all told but it's hard to break a habit of going to Goodwill or HP Books to see what they have in the buck bins. And sometimes I do find interesting artifacts. And sometimes I'll share them with my GF to see what she thinks of them.

When I started blogging in 2003, the rules were like they are today: comment on music, make a top ten and see if anybody cares or follows. And so far, I don't have the high ratings nor X rated commentary of some of them. Nor use the 20 dollar words that Robert Christgau uses for his reviews but basically this comes from the mind of myself. Sometimes I get a reaction from some of the readers if I make a bash of some band on a song that matters. The fact is that what I write comes from my perspective and if those who disagree or want to start arguments are advised to start their own site if they don't like what they read. I love reading reviews from the likes of Christgau or Mark Prindle or the fools at Rolling Stone or SPIN, doesn't mean I agree with them all the time but sometimes I'm convinced to buy a 4 star album from the sources and see if I agree with them or not. But more often I come to conclude that Prindle is right a lot more than the Pitchfork or Rolling Stones fools.

I don't take a lotta stock in what I hear for new rock or modern rock anymore. I think the country artists of today have a bit more lasting value but I still remain very choicey in what to get. And sometimes I can be wrong in first assuming. Miranda Lambert is that one singer songwriter that I misjudged; thought she was another beautiful blonde just in there for looks but on a second listen and hearing Kerosene the first time, realized that this woman had substance in her songwriting and rooted for her to succeed in making it in Nashville. She certainly has gone further than the winner that Nashville Star season she was part on, Buddy Jewell. Whereas Jewell disappeared after two albums, Lambert has gotten more and more better following. And she remains more down to earth, unlike others I will not name. It's funny how five years ago Gretchen Wilson was on top of Nashville, now it seems like Wilson is a afterthought, and it's too bad. She actually made a very good album last year that nobody bought. And Wilson does wail away on her version of Barracuda, that old 1977 hit for Heart that you can hear on Gretchen's Greatest Hits.

This site, I don't expect to be in the top 10 or 100 or even 1000 in the rating list at Blogspot. It's basically another website for me to document what I'm hearing or what is going on at the time. I rarely toot my own horn on other sites, sometimes I will report the link at Twitter just to see how many who actually reads the stuff but so far 144 hits on the Best of 2010 link and better than average ratings on the last couple blogs encourages me to keep blogging and keep writing bout the obscure song or band, or sticking an overplayed number on the top ten. But with 28 reads on my last top ten blog and 18 on yesterday's posting of the Lost Decade albums shows that there is an audience that reads them. Somebody actually keyed in Fresh Air, the 1973 country rock band that made one album for Columbia so I'm not the only one out there that remembers this band, so it's a good thing to talk about a band that is barely remembered in this day and age.

So we'll see where this leads and what the next top ten will be. I have been listening to a lot more music lately and it will show on the next top ten. I can't say if we'll get more people to read this, or they will get bored and move on to something other. People do have short attention spans nowadays, but I'm sure I'll still be blogging about something that tickles my fancy. It's what I do best. I think.

Thanks for your support.

The last lost Decade. Some albums of the 00's of note.

Let's face it folks, the last decade was really a lost cause in terms of classic albums. With the major labels either investing their hard earned money on government lobbying and the RIAA or giving us flavor of the week autotuned rap garbage, the rock and roller growing up on radio and album rock was left out in the cold.

The last decade gave us the MP3, the LOUD CD, the Copy protect cd, Pro Tools and Auto Tuner but for memorable music, not a lot was heard through all that compressed loud sound. True I bought the Coldplay albums but don't really play them that much. I never did jump on the Radiohead band wagon, I still think Kid A is the most overrated album this side of Is This It by The Strokes. Basically the last decade didn't have an Nirvana, or a Metallica or a Led Zeppelin or Beatles to give it it's own personality. Basically all we got was fragments of what could have been. The last decade also showed MTV and VH1 devoting their time and energy to crap reality shows that nobody in their right minds would have watched. So the only outlet to hear new music was either NPR or from the web. The up and coming bands that Pitchfork or SPIN touted didn't do much for me. I tried to hear what's the next big thing but end in the process got bored with it all. The Grizzly Bear album I heard one good song at Best Buy and bought that, only to find that song was the only decent thing on that album. The Fleet Foxes copied that CSN vocal sound pretty good but it all did was make me go back to the original source.

So what stood out from the last decade here? Let's see.

1. Childish Things-James McMurtry 2006 I'm thinking Just Us Kids was the better album but no song best described the chaos and anger of the decade with We Can't Make It Here which was J.M's retort against the so called Bush policies of that time. And that song still sounds vital two years into the Obama era. McMurtry was on Columbia for most of the 90s with a little help from John Mellencamp but he didn't start making the classic stuff till he moved on to Sugar Hill. If this was the 60's McMurtry might be known as well as Bob Dylan. James would deny this but he is the best protest singer of the 00's, if you don't believe me then look up Cheney's Toy on Just Us Kids for proof. But Childish Things was the more consistent effort.

2. The Stabilisers-Wanna Do The Wild Plastic Brane Love Thing 2007 When Little Steven partnered with Best Buy with his Wicked Cool project albums and bands, I signed on. The dude from E Street Band and The Sopranos had a deep love for the garage rock music of the 60s but still was open minded to hear the latest bands that wouldn't be suitable for the major labels. In fact the best way to hear Little Steven's bands is to check out The Coolest Songs In The World Series (Volume 1 remains the best). And he did put out albums from the likes of Chesterfield Kings, Hawaiian Mud Bombers, The Len Price 3 and The Stabilisers, a UK band that has one part Buzzcocks, one part Sex Pistols and one part MC5 to make a very fine and listenable punk album of 2007 to which I included as the best of that year. Sad to say that the partnership with Best Buy didn't work out and I'm sure the major labels will not even consider releasing this album. Still, the record is worth seeking out for She's A Goth to which this band outrocks The Cramps.

3. The Randy Cliffs-Trixie's Trailer Sales 2003 There's plenty of albums out there that fell under the rader and way under the watchful eye of Billboard or Pitchfork and this band was so much of a local favorite that by the time I got a copy of this album, The Randy Cliffs broke up and then reunited for a couple nights and broke up again. But this is in the spirit of Uncle Tupelo or The Bottlerockets. Meaning three chord guitars turned up and band drunk on PBR and too much smokes make it what it is. It's barstool rock and roll and not for the autotuner rappers out there. It's one of those albums that I brought for a dollar last summer and ended up playing it three times in a row in a single setting. In every decade there's always a band like The Randy Cliffs playing somewhere in a garage and one of the reasons that give me hope for the next decade that some band is playing three chord rowdy roadhouse rock.

4. The Darkness-Permission To Land (edited version) 2003 In terms of hype The Strokes were the most hype, promising us back to basics rock and roll but The Darkness was a close runner up with their over the top rock and Justin Hawkins's vocals that recall Freddie Mercury and probably influencing Adam Lambert in the process. Funny how our radio station was praising The Darkness as the up and coming rock and roll saviors but then slamming them all over the place when the record bombed. Gotta love these back stabbing corporate rock stations eh? But what The Darkness did do was make rock music that was fun again, that I don't think they took themselves that seriously. If they did then they would have not made a G rated version of this record and replaced the F bomb with like sounding catch phases (That Dog Don't Give A Duck) or replacing the C word with another C word (coconut). This does echo the pompous of the late 70s and what Queen was famous for but on the other hand they knew their AC DC chords too. You do see the original F bomb album around in the dollar bins but try to find the hilarious edited version to which they even fuzz out the naked model on front.

5. Delta Moon-Clear Blue Flame 2007 Tom Gray used to be the keyboard playing lead singer for The Brains back in the 80s but after they broke up he picked up a steel guitar and learned to play and also was rediscovered the blues and formed Delta Moon around 2000 (which had the late great Charles Wolff of The Brains on drums). First three albums he had a female singer to provide counterpoint but after Moanin, decided to just sing the songs himself. It's a tossup to which DM would be the best of the decade (Hellbound Train and Going Back Home are just as good) but I decided to go with this album which does include Money Changes Everything done in a bluesier way. Delta moon reminds me also of Creedence Clearwater Revival around the Green River time. This wouldn't sound out of place on John Fogerty albums, in fact I think Tom Gray has done a better job than John has on his last couple efforts. That's saying something.

6. The Townedgers-Pawnshops For Olivia 2008 The second decade of TE rock showed a shift more over toward acoustic rock than the electric feedback of There's Nothing Left (2000) or the power pop goodness of 2002's The Road Less Traveled by the time this album came out the bitterness of broken love and failed relationships almost got the best of Rodney Smith and this record was the result of cleaning out the emotional closet that was his personal life. The interesting part was that much of the recording was taken place during the infamous spring floods to which after recording, the band would go downstairs and try to dry out the basement. And then after the release, the massive 31 foot flood of Cedar Rapids came and damn near destroyed the town. The record remains a powerful statement about love and loss but perhaps the telling part of the album is the final track Behind The Sun. As one relationship dies another begins.

7. Bob Dylan-Love & Theft 2001 While there's good argument that Modern Times was the better of the two, I enjoyed this one a lot more since Bob was in a great playful mood on this record and even if he didn't consider Bush & Cheney to be Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, no other song could sum up the years of Bush & Cheney than that song. Then again Dylan had a great backing band with him too. My opinion this record was his best since 1975's Blood On The Tracks and he still plays a lot of these songs off L&T in concert to this day. That accounts for something.

8. Miranda Lambert-Crazy Ex Girlfriend 2007 While I'm glad that the CMA and Country Music in particular is finally recognizing what this little Texas firecracker did on her Revolution album, they should have acknowledged her on this rough and tumble album. She was part of the Nashville Star show that gave us the big winner Buddy Jewell. But while Buddy made two bland albums for Columbia and disappeared, Miranda made three albums of tough than leather but gentle as a summer breeze songwriting and good country and good rock and roll. In fact Miranda is more rock than country in my estimation and when she gave Steve Earle songwriting credit on her Kerosene song it was clear that she was the real deal. Revolution is still in the BB top 200 and though it's good, Crazy Ex Girlfriend is her classic.

9. Radio Moscow 2007 Budgie/Blue Cheer/Black Sabbath late 60's Psychedelic rock from Story City/Ames Iowa that got released on Alive Records which was home to The Black Keys. And Dan Auerback produced this debut. Parker Griggs is the mastermind of this and I'm certain he must have listened to his dad's music collection to get this vibe. One of the early few of My Space bands that I got floored away by this type of tunes that reminds me of Black Sabbath debut and Budgie's debut. Great debut although the followup album lacked that black magic that made the first such a treat to listen to.

10. Killing Joke-Hosannas From The Basement Of Hell 2006 Before the original guys got back together, they made a one off with Dave Grohl in their S/T 2003 pounding on the drums and then made this 70 minute slab of death metal rock and roll. The Light Bringer goes for 8 plus minutes and never lets up. Killing Joke may have made their two best albums ever in the lost decade, and that was before Youth and Paul Ferguson rejoined. Their latest wasn't bad but it's hard to top this one.

Other albums of note from the lost decade.

REM-Accelerate 2008
Jason & The Scorchers-Halcyon Times 2010
Long-View-Mercury 2003
Them Crooked Vultures 2009
Idlewild-Make Another World 2007
The White Stripes-Elephant 2003
Loretta Lynn-Van Leer Rose 2004
Band Of Bees-Free The Bees 2005
Porcupine Tree-The Incident 2009
Black Stone Cherry-Folklore & Superstition 2008
Belle & Sebastian-The Life Pursuit 2006
Secret Machines-Now Here Is Nowhere 2004
Warren Zevon-The Wind 2003
Teddy Thompson-A Piece Of What You Need 2008
Neil Young-Chrome Dreams 2 2007
Len Price 3-Rentacrowd 2007
The Coolest Songs In The World Volume 1-2007
Alejandro Escovedo-Street Songs Of Love 2010
Wire-Send 2003
Ray Scott-My Kind Of Country 2005
Oasis-Don't Believe The Truth 2005

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Top Ten Of The Year-Beginning Year Nine

In 2003, I got the bright idea of starting my very own blog and put 10 songs of note of what I listen to every week. It began in the old MSN Groups under Yardbird's Roost, then branched out to My Space for four years and then I moved it over here to Blogspot since My Space went down the shitter.

Basically, I have another site over at Multiply from time to time I'll add something to there but the membership there is pretty low, just like it is over here. I'm sure I could have been a contender and put together the best damn website of music out there but I keep it low key and made a note that it's here and kept going from the most loyal of fans, namely my GF and those who added the link to their site. The rules are simple here, I used to do news tidbits, add a observation here, more comments there and then add 10 songs that have been on my player or what I heard on the radio or at the local restaurant. It's usually ten songs that I like, although sometimes I will put a song I detest and bash it. For the most part 90 percent of what I choose are actually album cuts or forgotten songs that radio don't play but sometimes I will had a Listen To The Music or Takin Care Of Business if I did play it. Comments are welcome although they are monitored for content. Name calling gets no consideration. I don't mind a good discussion and sometimes we do get those from time to time.

I wish I could quit my shitty job and open up my own music store/radio station but since those are about as certain and stable as a Jessica Simpson relationship, it's best that I continue with just doing the top ten with comment. And my favorite type of music comes from the golden age of rock and roll to the end of the shoegazer movement, which is 1954 to about 1998 before Fred Durst and Limp Bizkit came along and killed the music momentum once and for all. But I do add plenty of stuff from the lost decade (the 2000's) and new music but also stuff before 1954. Most of it is rock and roll but I do challenge the faithful by throwing in a blues number or country or jazz. I also tend to favor the forgotten artist or the flavor of the month back in the mid 90s before Limp Bizkit or American Idol. If I can get people to seek out the obscure on their own then my job is done.

This is a hobby and it's a attempt to keep the good music alive. Now let's see what 10 goodies we got in the bag for y'all.

1. I Can Hear You Calling-3 Dog Night 1970 When my GF was in town last week she asked if I was continue to do the top ten and I kinda shrugged and said yeah I'm sure it will continue. After all it's a hard habit to break so she offered a couple song suggestions and one of them was Joy To The World, the most overplayed 3 Dog Night song out there. Used to like it but after 100,000 plays and forty years later I tend to get sick of it mighty easy. However I did like the B side to that song which is this little boogie number to which KCRG would play a couple times between the 10 and 11 oclock hour before signing off for the night, before they went 24 hours. 3 Dog Night was famous for picking great songs from other bands and singer songwriters of note (Free, Spooky Tooth, Hoyt Axton, Nilsson). This song was originally done by Bush, a band featuring Roy Kenner, Dominic Troiano and the rhythm section of Pakash John and Whitey Glen who backed Lou Reed on the Rock And Roll Animal album. Choice quality stuff if you can find the original version. But 3 Dog Night does a nice job on this song. Roy Kenner went on to The James Gang and later The Law.

2. BOOGALOO-Diplomats Of Solid Sound 2010 Long time ago they were part of the Bend Scepters and Dangtrippers of the late 80s and early 90s before changing their name and their sound to offer a more Booker T and The MG's instrumental soul sound. On their last album they decided to add some female vocals and they got Sarah Cram from The Derelicts (a rockabilly band) to do this. Kinda reminds me of what would have happened if LaBelle would have sang in from of Booker T and Company.

3. Gonna Be Some Changes Made-Bruce Hornsby 2004 More of a cult artist now then when he was hitting the airwaves with The Way It Is, Hornsby has gone more into a jazzier side of things the last decade and while he played around trying for a feeble attempt to hit the charts, he did more experimenting on Hot House and on Halycon Days which was a flop for Columbia. Couldn't decide if he wanted to be Leon Russell or Elton John so he did a bit of both and then became Randy Newman Jr. on later tracks. Halycon Days is long album and hard to get through if you're not a big Bruce fan. Did a much better album a couple years later with Ricky Scaggs.

4. The Mighty Quinn-Manfred Mann 1967 As I get older I can't remember what I did the week before the prior but back in my growing up years, I always remember what was playing on the radio and this was one of those songs that when I first heard it, I was floored by the opening flute solo. I think this did better than Do Wah Diddy Diddy. Did find this on a forty five in the 3 for a dollar bins at Woolworth's in Fort Dodge in 68. Or maybe Arlan's at Cedar Rapids a couple years later, kinda fuzzy on that. BTW, my GF requested this number.

5. Yo Canto-Los Lobos 2010 Hard to say what the big comeback of last year was, but I do know that I never did buy into the Justin Bieber phenomenon that the media shoved down our throat. Or Twitter for that matter but however Los Lobos made their best album last year with Tin Can Trust. I also come to find out that I do like the spanish numbers that Cesar Rojas adds while giving David Hildago some rest. Great song to eat a burrito buy.

6. Everyone's Agreed That Everything Will Turn Out Fine-Stealer's Wheel 1973 Sad to report that Gerry Rafferty, the leader of this band died yesterday at age 63. This was the follow up to Stuck In The Middle With You but the problem was this song sounded to same so they redid a more rocking version for the LP. I perfer the single version myself but your opinion may vary.

7. Time Changes Everything-Bob Wills with Tommy Duncan 1963 One of many many versions recorded for various labels but my guess this came out around the time Wills was recording for Liberty Records. You're guaranteed quality when Wills lets out his famous howls and calls and scatting and he does this a plenty. Course his best recording do feature Duncan doing the lead vocals but then again your opinion may vary on that. This was a part of the 2 Record Hall Of Fame Series that United Aritsts put out in 1973 but later Steve Hoffman would remaster and reissue this via S & P Records in the early 2000's. Found this as a cutout at Half Priced Books. Go figure.

8. I Don't Know What You Got But It's Got Me-Little Richard 1965 Mr. Penniman didn't do much for a while after denouncing rock and roll in 57, he became a minister and preached against the evils of rock and roll before getting the rock and rolls again and recorded for Vee Jay which were basically recorded versions of his earlier hits but they did pack a wallop of rock and soul. However, he did managed to do this Don Covey penned song to which Covey sang backup vocals and one James Marshall Hendrix played guitar on this. I actually had the forty five to this to which side one would fade out and side two came on with the vocals faded out becoming together again. Perhaps my favorite Little Richard song of all time. You can find this on the new Jimi Hendrix box set or the deleted Motown CD of Vee Jay's Greatest Hits. Either way you need this.

9. Bring It To Light-The Townedgers 2001 My GF thinks I should play more TE's. Perhaps she's right.

10. Hope-Mason Profit 1971 Best known for Two Hangmen, this actually got some airplay on AM radio and was a sizeable hit for Mason Profit. Came out on Ampex Records which was actually a company that specializes in making the cutting edge technology at that time called 8 Track Tapes! Later moved on to Warner Brothers after Ampex went belly up. Guess the future wasn't to be with the damned 8 Tracks which would not last very long. Thank God for Cd's eh?

And finally we say a fond farewell to Mick Karn of Japan fame who lost his battle with cancer at age 52. One of the best fretless bass players out there. And Anne Francis, that sexy woman who played Honey West and starred with Leslie Neilsen on Forbidden Planet in the late 50s also has departed from this world. She was 80. Both will be missed.