Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crabb Bits: End Of Month Thoughts

This month has a been a success.  1,200 views from y'all out there and perhaps seeing The Rock N Roll N The Brains Blog blog go over the golden 500 view mark. Good news on that, not so good news is that the more recent blogs only average 15 views.  June Bugs with 19, One Thousand Views at 15 and anything else varies. Guess nobody really cares about The Offspring judging by the anemic views.

Michelle Bachman hasn't made very many friends when she uses their music.  Tom Petty told her not to use American Girl anymore and even Katrina & The Waves gave her an evil eye on Walking On Sunshine.  Nevetheless Ted Nugent will come to her rescue and said she can use Stranglehold or Wang Dang Sweet Pootang anytime she wants.  Knowing her, I'd go with Out Of Control, Smokescreen, Name Your Poison or Flying Lip Lock.  Or Yank Me Crank Me.   Ted Nugent remains a laugh a minute but he still hasn't made a listenable album since leaving Epic Records.

I haven't compiled a best of 2011 since I have not been too impressed with the new music out there and most of it I played once and filed away or sold off.   Overall, I'd go with REM Collapse Into Now, Mike Eldred Trio 61 And 49 and overall best the reissue of Neil Diamond Bang Recordings.  Anything else is up to the listener at hand.

I'm sure my GF is  tired of hearing me talking about it, but I'm still debating about going out to the desert sometime late summer, however I've been dealing with health issues that may make this more of a dream than reality.  The thinking is going to Vegas then drive on down 95 to the usual Northwestern Arizona area and perhaps a quick pop into the old stomping grounds in Mesa/Chandler.  More of a reality will be Madison in middle of July for a couple days since it's close by and still has about 10 decent music stores to check out.  Mad City Music Exchange still amazes me with their dollar LPs and even though they been picked clean the Pawn America out by the interstate still is worth the 2 hours of sorting through the crap to get to the classic stuff.  And of course, 2 Half Priced Books Stores as well.  Still hoping to catch some live music out in the fairs although the only one so far penciled in is John Anderson at Linn County the 8th but that's basically her idea.

She's been here a month now.  And still it's growing pains for me.  Years of being a lone wolf here and still do the things I'm used of doing.  She hasn't been much over at the trailer, she's still crashes on the couch when she gets home.  I'm still trying to find a comfortable norm in spending time over here as well as over there and I'm sure I'll be there more often due to that strange fuck neighbor that lives next door.  In terms of theory it takes 20 minutes to get to work there then the 35 minutes here.  But I noticed that I do more driving since she moved down here.   I'm still working on a plan there but I noticed my brain doesn't work as well as it used to and half the time she's asking me about things I usually have a blank look.  But the things we do for love.  Can't complain but ya know, I'm still looking at that cheap 44 dollar flight to Vegas (Excluding all those hidden fees) and still thinking................

The Buzz (Razor & Tie) was one of those quicky comps that Razor & Tie threw out in 2 CD mail order or just plain 1 CD.  Personally Razor & Tie had that scattershot feeling like K Tel did back in the 70s.  The Buzz reminds me of what 90's radio was like, with some great stuff from REM (What's The Frequency Kenneth), or Belly's Feed The Tree (a song I didn't like too much till much later, now it's part of my top ten at times).  I can't complain about the inclusion of Semisonic's Closing Time and Better Than Ezra's Good from their only album that I enjoyed.  The missteps remain Third Eye Blind's Godawful How It's Gonna Be, Cranberries Zombie (never got into them) and Seven Mary Three's Cumbersome which hasn't aged very well.  Surprised Razor & Tie couldn't get Sister Hazel's All For You.  Overall, like a good K Tel comp, The Buzz has classic among the crap.  Your opinion will vary.

Non Stop Party Rock (Razor & Tie) WTF somebody there must love Runaway Train so much to repeat it on this cd.  LEN Steal My Sunshine remains one of the best songs on a album that the rest was filler and The Gin Blossoms and Counting Crows have their best known (if not best) songs in the form of Hey Jealousy and Mr. Jones.  One hit wonders from the likes of Marcy Playground (Sex & Candy), Eagle Eye Cherry's Stay Tonight and of course Deep Blue Something's Breakfast At Tiffany's. Or Dog Eye View Everything Falls Apart, the only time they ever topped Matchbox 20.  But all these songs that I mentioned basically are the best songs off their albums since anything else from DBS, or DEV or MP was filler.  The reason why Green Day nor Nirvana didn't make it was due to licensing issues, meaning they couldn't afford the price.  But I'm still surprised that Warner Music Group didn't give the go ahead to include Jennifer Trynin's Better Than Nothing on either one.  She was supposed to be the It girl, till Alanis Morrisette popped up with You Oughta Know and  Better Than Nothing became a lost classic.

Probably the Best of the bunch 90's Rock (Time Life)  which yet is another cd that has Soul Asylum's Runaway Train but it does include All For You, Smashmouth's Walking On The Sun, The New Radicals You Get What You Give and Tal Bachman's She's So High along with Breakfast At Tiffany's Hey Jealousy, Mr. Jones. A bit more toward the Atlantic/Warner side of things but Every Morning by Sugar Ray is a fun summertime song to sing along when in the mood.  But then again I tend to avoid any 90s complition that has Mambo Number 5, or Ice Ice Baby (Frequency 99-Greatest Hits of the 90's-Capitol), or Macrena or mmmBop (Vh1's I Love The 90s (which makes me hate the 90s)-Rhino).  The Casey Casem 90s Rocks is interesting for including a Hootie And Blowfish (Let Her Cry) number or Goo Goo Dolls (Name) or Blues Traveler (Run Around), even Oasis figures in this (Wonderwall).

But as they say buyer beware. Or you may have four dupes of Runaway Train against your wishes.

PS  Bands I Outgrew-Suicide Machines, Unwritten Law, Reel Big Fish & Punk Pop Bands Of the 1990s.

I think around 1996 I was beginning to relive my fourth childhood with listening to lots of punk bands that sprung up.  At that time, record labels were signing them to figure who would be the next Green Day since they broke big with Dookie.  I bought the first Sugar Ray album, the uneven Lemonade & Brownies which may have been the second dumbest album title before Limp Bizkit came around and gave the world Chocolate Starfish & The Hot Dog Flavored Water.  At that time Sugar Ray was trying to become the next Red Hot Chili Peppers or perhaps Butthole Surfers with Mean Machine being the played song off their debut.  When that album failed, David Kahne moved them over a more sunny pop sound with Fly and Every Morning, both songs still holding up fairly well but basically the only other album I bought was the 2001 S/T album with Answer The Phone.  Being number 2 to Hootie And The Blowfish in terms of selling the most Atlantic albums not associated with Led Zeppelin really did them well but judging by most of what was sold in the dollar bins, the fickle public moved on to the next big thing. 

The Suicide Machines managed to get themselves signed to Hollywood/Disney in 1996 and made the hard rocking Destruction By Definition, which was mixed by Jerry Finn (Green Day) but perhaps that album is famous for all the F bombs thrown left and right.  I'm not sure Mickey Mouse would approve but the skateboard punks didn't mind it.  But with Urban Hymms (1998) the songs got a bit more darker and there was too much goofing off to consider it anything but passing interest.  The 1999 S/T album I'm guessing their label wanted them to sound more like Blink 182, or CIV and despite having a minor hit with Sometimes I Don't Mind and failed hit single Permanent Holiday the record never took off despite going more toward a punk pop sound.  Steal This Record was a bit better but by then Hollywood and The Machines would part after a best of and they went on to Side One Dummy for a couple more records and retirement despite War Profiteering Is Killing Us All being considered their finest hour.

As for Unwritten Law, they always seem to be at wrong place wrong time.  Suzanne was a fun tune off the Greg Graffin produced Oz Factor but like Blue Room, nothing really stood out.  Their finest moment was the 1997 Unwritten Law LP with California Sky getting airplay on modern rock radio and my fave remains Genocide but then it moves on the bizarre 418 which I could really do without.  Elva, their biggest seller gave them a couple hits and a sound away from So Cal Punk, but the album did nothing for me.

Reel Big Fish started out as a fun band, somewhat like No Doubt and Turn The Radio Off with the hilarious cover art remains their shining moment.  Sell Out, while tongue in cheek remains their best known but they also pay homage to the 2 Tone Ska bands of the 80s. 241 shows their influence in The Specials.  They lost their humor a bit in Why Do They Rock So Hard but came back with Cheer Up, a much better effort.  Funny how everybody talks about No Doubt but nobody ever mentions Reel Big Fish.  Oh well, if I grew up in high school at that time they would have been one of my Go To Bands.  But at my age, they were a passing interest.  Still a lot of fun when I think about it though.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-One Thousand Views

Don't know how we did it but this month has been the most viewed for this site ever.  Over 1,025 views and still counting.  Of course just under a half of those have been checking out the Rock & Roll & The Brains site. I pretty much have given up on trying to figure out why some blogs are more popular than others, one in the top five is pretty pointless but it keeps getting hits.  Basically the new blogs and top tens have been in the usual 10 to 15 views whereas RNR & The Brains will go over 450 views and might just make it to the 500 views before it's all said and done.  Is it worth reading?  Yep, Is it worth all those views?  Somebody does.

This month will go down as the most read ever here in Crabbland and I think everybody who put up a link or commented or checked things out.  I really don't know what to do for a encore.  I'm at that thought process that perhaps the top ten has done its job and it is time for me to retire but hell I say that every six months.  The halfway point of the year is next week and while there has been some decent new music out there, I have to also say that most of it sucks or isn't memorable.  No matter how much Bon Iver or the Fleet Foxes changed your lives, they haven't done much to mine.  The younger generation has their tunes, I have mine.

Interesting to see that Best Buy has knocked the price down on the Chickenfoot album to 49 cents and the white album 98 cents.  They also knocked the EPs of the Cars, Bad Company, 3 Doors Down, STP, Weezer and Counting Crows to 49 cents as well. The Chickenfoot album is worth the 49 cents should you consider making a purchase.

Rastro over at La Historia De La Musica Rock made some interesting points about the corporate radio and why it sucks.

I think he did a much better job explaining it better than I could.  And to the readers out there born after 1985, radio before hand actually did play a wide variety of tunes before the Clear Channel buyouts and the Tele Comm Act of 1996 which killed off any attempt to the return of the days of the new and exciting.  AM radio of the late 60s had rock to pop to soul.  And the Rat Pack too.  Nowadays, you're just stuck with the one type of music.  Don't get me started on country.

 And this radio station is the ultimate pits.  Anybody that plays Daniel Powter's pukeathon Bad Day is a shit station.  But every damn place around here has it on.  KDAT, today's home for the overplayed Crap.

The Songs Of The Week:
1.  You Can't Be True Dear-Mary Kaye Trio 1959   In my time of searching for things, I tend to buy 45's that are in decent shape, especially from the late 50s.  Mary Kaye was a pretty good guitar player who fronted a Las Vegas Band that borderlined on Louis Prima styled songs, but her band was a trio.  I don't think this is on album but not too bad for Las Vegas Lounge type rock and roll.  Norman Kaye the dude vocalist is her brother. Once upon a time in a collection of donated LPs, there was something called Jackpot! to which can be found in thrift stores or EBAY.  Had a goofy cover shot.  But I think one of our neighbors ended up taking it off my hands.  No big loss since it wasn't that great.

2.  Never In My Life-Mountain 1970  How did me for following Mary Kaye Trio with a flat out rocker from Leslie West and Company?  Once upon a time when I moved to Arizona in 1986 the rock station used to play this on a regular basis.  But that was before Clear Channel bought it out and made it yet another generic classic rock station and this didn't make the 300 song cut.

3.  Ohio-Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young 1971  From the live 4 Way Street album to which I prefer this live ragged version over the more familiar studio recording.  I also remember finding a used album of this at the old Record Realm in C.R back in the late 70s and used to play the electric side more than I did the acoustic part.  Not the place to start if your looking for those CSNY harmonies that you love so much.

4.  Get Started-Queensryche 2011  Like Rush, these guys I didn't care much for till much later in their career and the album that won me over was the Hear In The Now Frontier album to which Toby Wright gave it a turd mix in a attempt to scuff up the sound.  Their albums still remain spotty for me, can't do the screaming years of the mid 80's but like the Empire and Promised Land efforts.  It's been said their new album is more of a return to the glory days (I'm guessing Empire) but it's not a concept album.  Actually I enjoy most of it.  Which probably means that the metal critics out there will think it will suck.  What do they know?  I like this better than say Black Country Communion.  But then again since I'm not into Bon Iver or Radiohead, my critics credentials have been taken away.  

5.  She's A Rocket-Mike Eldred Trio 2011  I haven't too impressed with the new music this year.  I guess it's so bad that the new Radiohead is selling for 6 dollars at Best Buy this week.  I think I have more fun hitting the dollar bins at the used book store to find new stuff.  Big find was the latest from California Blues Rocker Mike Eldred on a little known blues label and he does have that Stevie Ray/Jimmie Vaughn sound down pretty damn good.  Course it helps when he lands the rhythm section from The Blasters too.  Billy F Gibbons gives this guy high praise.  That's good enough for me although this does rock just as hard too.

6.  Born To Run-Emily Lou Harris 1982  In the mid 80s she managed to score a few hits on Country Radio although you wouldn't know that now since Country Radio don't play her too often and if they do, I wouldn't know it.  I do have the forty five to this top 30 hit, written by Paul Kennerly, one of the better C & W songwriters of the 80s, who managed to write songs for Emily Lou plus Dave Edmunds.

7.  Speed Kills-Ten Years After 1969  Dedicated to Ryan Dunne.  Taken from Stonedhedge perhaps my favorite 10 Years After album.  Or close to it.

8.  Burning Airlines Gives You So Much More-Eno 1974  With Rastro's comments on why classic rock radio doesn't play such folk as Nick Drake or Can or Brian Eno  it's because it's too oddball and too obscure for them to even consider that.  Not that I really listen much to Can nor Brian Eno although I do have five of his albums on my collection and finally got around to listen to Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy and perhaps it's true that Eno may have been silenced by Bryan Ferry during the Roxy Music years.  Anyway this song wouldn't give any airplay on the radio, Thought he was saying Virginia but in actually he's singing Vagina!

9.  Turn To Me-Lou Reed 1984  From New Sensations, perhaps Lou was trying to be more radio friendly.  After all he did give a minor hit with I Love You Suzanne but I decided on this little tongue in cheek number.  He would not be so warm and friendly after this effort.

10. Invisible Light-Scissor Sisters 2010  I'm surprised these guys haven't gotten bigger than they are.  Course they never did ever top their Tits On The Radio song from their first album but Night Work overall is their most listenable.  Flashes of Kraftwerk and Neu! can be heard in this album closer.  Which is why you don't hear it on the radio.  No commercial potential.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Observations From The Forefront-June

Imagine that, this month has blew on by.  After battling a week of back spams I can now tell you that I'm just about over them.  Just in time to mow the yard and have them flare up again.  The GF is now been down here a month and so far things are going well.  Tomorrow we're hoping that the Denver Mattress Company will finally send out the bed and sofa that was brought three weeks ago and she can now have a bed to sleep in besides the musty old couch in the basement here.  Basically I'm still trying to get used of having somebody around more than once every five months.  I'm still working out details of trying to accommodate time of being over at her places and still over at mine and trying to find a happy medium.   Things at work really took lots of time of my things to do list over at my place and still yet to find time to donate some stuff that I outgrew to listen to musicwise.  And as trying to help her move into her new place (I keep calling it Your place rather than ours simply of the fact that it's more hers than mine) whereas being worthless in terms of repairing things or doing home repair and not having a clue on what to do, no matter how many times Home Depot tries to explain it to me.

Habits are hard to break.  Certainly Nicole would love me to move right in to her, that's not going to happen and may take longer than she would like.  It goes simply down to I have way too much stuff to transfer over and even when we get her stuff in, there's not enough room for my stuff.  Which means I'll be paying storage to my brother for anything that remains behind.  And I got way too much stuff as I found out while going to the music room to fetch a box of kitchen stuff that Nicole could use more than I would.  For me, things will be moved in a piece at a time.  Plus the fact that I have still have to maintain my own place for the summer.  Certainly I'd love to have a day off and stay home for a change but gotta go over to her place tomorrow to cut grass since it hasn't been cut in a couple weeks and the Squaw Creek Management getting a bit livid over that.  Next time we hope to find a place that can do it for us and not charge 50 bucks in the process. 

It's time of year again, the fucking earwigs are out and now invading the basement this week.  Seen a few of them fucking things in the basement and never did find the time to pick up and clean up.  Chloe, her doggie, doesn't like the shop vac's loud noise when I suck up the damn bugs after drowning them in bug spray.   Hopefully, the trailer won't have to deal with the earwigs but where I'm at, the fuckers have been a pain in the ass the past 8 years.  Can't wait to open up an album and have a damn earwigs fall out in my lap.  One more thing to bitch about.  And if anybody knows me, there's no shortage of things to bitch about.

I'm still livid about missing out the big Iowa City art festival but next week, the Iowa City Jazz Festival returns.  Not too high on my list of things to see and do but I do owe myself a visit to I.C.  Since there's no big AZ trip this year, I may take a week off and then head up to Madison for the annual Summerfest in July.  Las Vegas is tempting, and Allegiant Air does have some flights as low as 88 dollars but that doesn't include the fees that they pile on, fee for check in, fee for baggage, fee for getting strip search, fee for a window seat, fee for an isle seat, fee for peanuts, fee for fee's sake.  Plus I really hate to fly anymore thanks to the security and hoarded to and from like cattle. Although seeing a one way fare of 66 dollars is really tempting the hell out of me...........(And Vegas as fares as low as 44 dollars! oh agony)

For new music this year and reissues, the major labels have done very little to entice me of buying things.  20th anniversity of Nevermind?  Pass.  Or The Paul McCartney reissues, naw.  How many times must one buy of Pink Floyd with bonus tracks to make you part with your money?  Only thing of marginal interest is the return of Jimi Hendrix In The West that Sony/Legacy is reissuing along with a box set of Live At Winterland by Hendrix.  Does the world really need an expanded edition of The Spin Doctors Pocket Full Of Kryptonite when you can get the single cd for a dollar at a garage sale?  I think not.  Rockpile Live At Montreaux might be worth getting since I have been a big Dave Edmunds/Nick Lowe fan.  Universal's ICON series are a waste of time but that hasn't stopped them from reissuing the same things from the 20th Century Masters, just slightly taking off a lesser known track and replacing it with a lesser known track is just corporate greed and adds nothing to the equation. 

Taking a look at the ratings, a good chance that this may be the most viewed month of the Crabb blogspot site and that has to do with Rock And Roll & The Brains Blog that has been over 350 views.  I've been getting lots of hits from  Type in rscrabb and you'll get the latest blogs I gather.  Something new and something different but the majority of stuff still comes from TAD's site or Drew's Odds And Sods.  Never heard of Refzip till this week but they might be the wave of the future since Google can't keep up with the latest from Crabby.

Hard to believe we are at the halfway point of this year already.  Wonder what the second half of the year is going to be like......

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Still Got The Blues

The big news of the week was Clarence Clemons passing away from a stroke he suffered last week and died Saturday.  Which means that the E Street Band as we know it is over.  You can't replace Mr. C, I mean who is Bruce going to get?  The dude from John Caffery's Beaver Brown Band?  Anyway, this week, found plenty of new blues cds in the 2 dollar bins up at Half Priced Books.  Even got the GF hooked on Too Slim & The Taildragger's Shiver CD.   Anyway, she had to work last night so she missed out on my Sunday Night Rock n Roll show but Chloe The Wonder Dog, did jump into the rocking chair with me and we rocked out to some Black Country Communion.  And then she didn't mind some Thelonious Monk too.

Plenty of tunes to talk about, and only 10 openings.

1.  I Want A New Drug-Huey Lewis & The News 1983  Oh the MTV era to which they played music videos, long before most of you downloaders from the internet were born.  The internet has been fun but I think it also took away the majority of record stores that I used to hang out.  Record Bar out in Westdale used to partnered up with MTV for some music deals, only problem was we didn't get MTV here till September of 1983.  Huey Lewis beforehand played harmonica for Dave Edmunds and Thin Lizzy before putting his own band together and struck it big with this top ten hit single.  But while up at the dentists last week, crap radio station KDAT played this song before going back to overplayed American Idol shit song by some oversinging female.   Seems like every GD place you go in CR has KDAT in the background.

2.  Amber Jean-Neil Young 1985 (released 2011)  Neil has been very busy reissuing some of his archival works and the new one focuses on his International Harvesters Band of 1985.  Recorded during Old Ways but not issued till this live version can be found on his A Treasure CD, which is more country than rock.  Still rocks in its own way.

3.  Stoned Again-Too Slim & The Taildraggers 2011  I think KUNI played this on their Blues Alley show on Sundays and it was one of those 2 dollar CDs that was worth a listen.  Imagine my surprise when Nicole woke up from her sleep and asking what I was playing.  And she really liked it.  Kinda has that ZZ Top vibe if you think about it.

4.  Amazed-The Offspring 1997  Yes radio overplays their better known hits.  And basically I never cared all that much till I found Ixnay On The Hombre at the pawnshop about a week after this got released back in 1997.  Reviews and sales were so so but I recall giving this a B plus and calling it a pretty good listen.  I'm still surprised that radio never played this song, I think I liked this better than Gone Away which was a hit.

5.  Watching The River Flow-Ben Waters With The Rolling Stones 2011  Another 2 dollar buy was Boogie 4 Stu, a tribute to Ian Stewart, the late great piano player for The Rolling Stones.  I don't know much about Ben Waters, I think he's more a British jazz musician but got involved with this project that celebrates the music influences of Stewart that he managed to get Charlie Watts to play drums on the majority of the tracks and on this Bob Dylan cover, even got Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Bill Wyman to record the first song that this lineup has done since Steel Wheels.  First time Jagger actually did anything this bluesy since Let It Bleed.  Which is saying something.

6.  The Battle For Hadrian's Wall-Black Country Communion 2011  Heavier than their first and not to sit back on their laurels BCC went right back into the studio and pumped this album out.  Glenn Hughes pretty much sings on most of the tracks but on here it's Joe Bonamassa doing the lead singing.  Joe's been very busy of late, only a few months ago, he put out his own solo album out Dust Bowl in April.  BCC 2, would sound nice on the radio if modern rock ever promotes them.  But then again you're better off hearing them on satellite radio than on KRNA or KFMW.  Ixnay on KDAT smartypants.

7.  N.S.U.-Cream 1967  Not the 10 minute version on Live Cream but rather the much shorter that appears on Fresh Cream.

8. Sleep-Flight 16 1998  The reason why I like cheap cd's is that it lets me listen to bands on the cheap.  Flight 16 was one of many bands signed to a major label in the late 90's, made a tax loss album and then disappeared from the limelight.  All Music Guide didn't give them a good review but in essence I have been playing their forgotten album for 550/Sony Music quite a bit this year.  Sounding a bit like a lighter Alice In Chains (or poppier) you have to dig deep into the CD to get to this creepy track with plenty of delay guitar work here.  For a pawn shop classic, this would qualify as one since there's plenty of them on sale for 3 bucks shipping and handling from Amazon dot com.  Half Priced Books had one in the buck bins for ages.

9.  Diggin A Hole-Big Sugar 1996  Highly regarded in Canada but mostly ignored in the States, Gordie Johnson has lead this Blues/Reagge band through some pretty good albums although 500 Pounds and Heated were the only 2 that was released in the US. Spent most of the last decade helping out Gov't Mule and Warren Haynes but sounds like he's returned back to Big Sugar.  Hard to tell if he's a blues man or a Jam artist, my guess is the latter.  Gary Lowe, the dreadlocked bass player has been with him for years and had a revolving door of drummers (one of which Crash Morgan was killed in a car accident in Waterloo IA around 95 or 96) but my fave is Alan Cross, who bashes away on the cymbals on Ride Like Hell.

10.  Bluebird-Buffalo Springfield 1968  Finally, this is not the version on BS Again, but rather that long jam version that came out on the 2 LP Buffalo Springfield and the Heavy Metal Superstars Of The 70's comp that Warner Music put out in the mid 70's that has a much brighter mix than the Atco version.  With the interplay of guitars between Stephen Stills and Neil Young this actually foretells of the jamming that would be forthcoming on the Four Way Street live album as CSNY.  The 8 Track Version of Blue Bird was chopped into 2 parts on the Heavy Metal  LP.  Buffalo Springfield regrouped to do some live dates after a successful reunion last year, but missing Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin who both passed away.

Looks like The Rock n Roll And The Brains Blog has now made it to 300 views, making it the most read or accessed blog in the R.S. Crabb blogspot site.  I'm certain somebody out there must have linked it to their site or something other. Whereas the Offspring site only had four views.  Way things are going we may clear 900 views this month here, maybe a 1,000 which would be a first.  Still would love to see Andy McKie release the damn album before we're all dead but Hip O Select hasn't returned any of my calls, but they did reissue Teena Marie's stuff for Motown.   Not the same thing at all..................................

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rock And Roll And The Offspring

The 1990s was the last true decade of new music that the radio stations would play.  Perhaps the final frontier was reached after Kurt Cobain blew his head off 1994 did showcase the aftermath of grunge or punk bands trying to make it into radio once last time before Corporate Buyup and Sellout would make listening to the same 300 songs per day worse than all day Marah Carey or KDAT.  And MTV was just about ready from showing music videos to becoming a bad lifestyle reality channel.

At that time I was more into the punk scene.  Green Day, Face to Face were the two bands I pretty much followed on a regular basis.  Everybody knows Green Day,  perhaps the best of the bunch with Kerplunk leading to Dookie and my fave Insomniac, and later sellout Nimrod.  Face To Face on the other hand sold for their fans with Don't Turn Away to Big Choice and the 1996 A & M S/T. but the buying public not into the same rushed tempos.  Which leads us to The Offspring to which they were more metal than punk. 

Today's rock radio still plays the majority of their hits from the 1994 break out Smash although I was put off by the off key wailing of Dexter Gordon.  Perhaps the biggest selling independent album in history, Smash had the hits with Come Out & Play, Self Esteem and Gotta Get Away but for me the fun off key Something To Believe In and the over the top Genoside. Which basically shows why they are considered more metal than punk since they don't do speed punk very well.  Smash I didn't like all that much when it came out but later on warmed up to it to a point that it deserves it's place in 90s rock history. 

With money thrown in their direction they decided to go with Sony Columbia and believe it or not, I enjoyed their Inxay On The Hombre CD a bit more than Smash although punk purists cried sellout and cringed at the polished Dave Jerden production.  Gone Away was the big hit but had Sony issued Amazed as the followup single the record would have broke bigger.  The record is more metallic and darker than Smash with Cool To Hate to be their punk number, Don't Pick It Up, fun reggae ska and Jello Biafara's introduction to Disclaimer, Inxay remains the underground classic.  Americana on the other hand was much more poppier and more corporate approved and Dexter showed more humor on the Pretty Fly For A White Guy and Why Don't You Get A Job?  And perhaps their cover of Feelings is more goof than serious.  Nevertheless Americana may have been their last good record.

With the usually reliable Brendan O'Brien on board, Conspiracy Of One didn't do a lot for me.  Special Delivery samples the Chugga Ougga line from Blue Swede's Hooked On A Feeling and outside of a Mike Love sampled beginning I don't remember much of this record and pretty much passed on the rest of their albums, basically thinking their time has gone past.  Sony released Greatest Hits and added the ones from Smash to sweeten the pot and like any good best of it shows a band going from speed punk to hard rock and pop and not miss a beat.  Since there was no hits prior to Smash, there's nothing from the first two.  Still with Gotta Get Away with Come Out And Play with Gone Away and Pretty Fly this is probably the place to start if you really want to hear the hits, or listen to KRNA.  But it also salvages the O'Brien produced tracks from the albums he produced and we're better off for it.  As for the Bob Rock produced Rise & Fall, Rage & Grace, I haven't heard most of it but what songs I have shows them more into modern rock than the punk of the 1990s.  But then again they are too old for the punk rock of their 90's period. 

You have to give them credit for being around this long, but if nothing else Smash made them the radio stars they are today.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Crabb Cheapo Cheapo Reviews: Neil Young, BCC, Ben Waters

It's been a quiet week here in Crabbland to the point that my GF was actually begging me to play some damn tunes instead of me ranting at the weatherman and their shitty weather forecast.  Lotta things found at Half Priced Books in the cheap selection, new Joe Jackson for 2 bucks?  Ben Waters' tribute to Ian Stewart and of course new Black Country Communion.  So anyway, thought I do a review of what's out there. 

Neil Young International Harvesters-A Treasure (Reprise)

New from the Neil Young Archives, we get a 1985 snapshot of Neil going country but getting to the end of the album he was getting bored with the fiddles and banjo and rocked out to a future looking Gray Angels at the end of the cd.  While reviewers tend to rave about the Buffalo Springfield remake of Flying On The Ground Is Wrong, I prefer the country revisions of his Re Act Or stuff, although Southern Pacific Rufus Thebedoux adds more Orange Blossom Special to his fiddle work.  At over 7 minutes long this does tend to wear out the welcome toward the end but Motor City seems more at home here than on Re Act Or.  Too bad that Geffen shelved the original intent of Old Ways, for I think A Treasure gives the listener what that record would have sounded rather then the hastily redid version.  Are You Ready For The Country still is the better version than Get Back To The Country.  In the end, A Treasure makes better sense of Old Ways, due to the fact that Neil's backing band was underrated and country strong.  And Amber Lynn, the leadoff would have worked wonders for Neil as country star had country radio embraced him (which they didn't) or perhaps Vince Gill had he decided to do a version himself.

Grade B+

Black Country Communion-2 (J & R Adventures)
More heavier than their first (if you can believe that) it didn't take long for Joe Bonamossa, Glenn Hughes, Jason Bonham and Derek Shernian  to return to bash these 11 pieces of hard rock out, in fact they got that Led Zep vibe down quite well on The Outsider and Save Me.   In fact Bonamossa could pass for a smokier blues croon over Hughes' banshee screaming which tends to tire me out after 62 minutes.  In fact, the average time of the song average out over 5 minutes to which if your not into the boogie blooze of Zeppelin or Bad Company or Rainbow, you're free to return to the original resources for inspriation.  If the first album tended to be more of a band collective, 2 has Hughes singing the majority of songs, which is fine if he doesn't strain himself to the point of screaming, to which gets him in trouble (that's goes all the way back to Trapeze or Mark 3 Deep Purple).  What saves him is Bonamossa's Page like riffs and Jason Bonham sounding like his dad at times.  Overall, I think 2 is a bit better than the first. Although I doubt I'll be playing anything after I Can See Your Spirit since Hughes's blues tends to drag a bit too long......

Grade B

Joe Jackson Trio-Live Music 2011 (Razor & Tie)

Next to Elvis Costello, Jackson remains one of the more frustrating artists that I listen to.  He's never topped his Look Sharp/I'm The Man era although he'll be playing more Night And Day than either one, I do enjoy his jazzier remakes of Sunday Papers and a more tame but swinging Got The Time. He relies too much on the Night And Day tracks although I enjoyed the majority of them but can really do without A Slow Song that ends this record.  The surprises is when he covers Ian Dury and David Bowie and tops Bowie on Scary Monsters.  This album features the original members from his 1979 years (except Gary Sanford who opted out for family life and retirement) and while this live cd isn't as consistent nor entertaining as his Maby/Burke Summer In The City album, or Afterlife which did feature Sanford, this does have some good moments. 

Grade B

Ben Waters: Boogie 4 Stu A Tribute To Ian Stewart (Eagle)

Ian Stewart was the Rolling Stones piano player that played behind the scenes when Mick and company decided to tour.  Fact of the matter was the highlight of Dirty Work, was the untitled piano piece at the tail end of the record.  That was Stewart playing.  Ben Waters decided to put together a tribute album of sorts and basically showcases the influences of Stewart (Albert Ammons, Big Maceo, Pete Johnson). Highlights include PJ Harvey guesting on the Ray Charles' Lonely Avenue, Charlie Watts plays drums and even The Rolling Stones themselves (with Bill Wyman) appear on a cover of Bob Dylan's Watching The River Flow, the first time Mick Jagger has ever sounded this bluesy since Sticky Fingers. And from the grave Stewart concludes it all with Sam Cooke's Bring It On Home To Me.  All reet then.

Grade B+

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-The Rainy Season Returns

It must be that time of year again.  To which we get the typical stalled stationary fronts and trains of rainstorms that floods everything where it storms at.  I think you heard that last year at this point of Sick Of Summer.  Three years ago, there was only one road that could get me to road from here since everything else was under water.  I don't like rain, I hate thunderstorms and I loathe the 5 inch gullywashers that get water in the basement.  Too bad you folk out there in the dry west don't have to deal with this shit.  Not sure if I'd go with the dry and hot but if given a choice I'd take that over GD rain each and every day in June.

And yes, if you haven't known about it now, I do get more cranky when it rains every day in June too.

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1.  Get Across To You-Eddie & The Hot Rods 1977  Radio tortures me.  When I go into town with my GF, I am constantly pushing buttons and bitching about the same old same old on each and every Cumulus owned and operated FM stations in this God forsaking rain country.  Margaritaville again? Somewhere in this Cumulus owned radio world some station is playing Jimmy Buffet and making him more rich through royalites. And of course the last blog complained about Killer Queen twice in a half hour too, fucking radio kills me.  For the first and only time that Saturday Night Bob Dorr from KUNI came to my rescue and played this hard rocking track from the forgotten Eddie n the Hot Rods thus making me smile for about 2 minutes and 44 seconds.  God Bless You Bob.

2.  Hound Dog-Big Mama Thornton 1952  So damn primitive she may have started grunge before any of the Seattle rockers were even born.  Stripped down blues with arrangement by the great Johnny Otis, Big Mama was the female shouter answer to Big Joe Turner.   Even I was surprised this came out in the early 50's.  Had to get a kick out of Chloe as she was listening to all the doggie calls at the end of the song.

3.  Rock And Roll DJ-Clarence Clemons & The Red Bank Rockers 1983  He made Springsteen what he is today with those crazy sax solos and of course the albums and the overplayed, but his solo career never really took off all that much.  His 1983 debut featured drums up front and a gritty vocalist in J T Bowen.  Which Bowen was really needed on the 1985 Hero LP which gave The Big Man a top ten hit.  Rock And Roll DJ did get some airplay, but I thought I bought the vinyl for 2 bucks at Target if memory serves me well.

4.  Down Down-Status Quo 1974  Funny how in terms of Boogie, Foghat got more airplay whereas The Quo was more famous over the pond then over here.  Even 40 years down the road, I still enjoy the boogiesonics of The Quo or Foghat over anything by My Morning Jacket or Iron & Wine.  The Quo should have a new album ready sometime later in the year from what I heard.  Chances are they'll have it out before Aerosmith does.

5.  A Mother's Prayer-Ralph Stanley 2011  At 84, Stanley still remains Bluegrass' biggest treasures and with a new bluegrass album of old gospel favorites.  The voice is weathered and sounds like being on this planet 84 years.  Even gets me to believe that the afterlife would be worth looking forward to.  Just as long it doesn't rain every day up in the great beyond.....

6.  Friends Of Mine-The Zombies 1968   As much as I like Time Of The Season, I have to file that song in the overplayed file from our wonderful radio stations but this track is under played and remains my fave off the Odyssey & Oracle album.

7.  Nothing I Can Do About It Now-Willie Nelson 1989  From A Horse Called Music which still sells for over 10 dollars at, this would be his final number 1 song from the 80's.  Written by Beth Neilsen Chapman instead of the man himself.  Has that dated 80's production that used to be cutting edge back then.  As for the album Horse Called Music itself, he's done better and he's done worse.  But I do noticed lots of strings on this cd.  Which I do not care much for.

8.  Everybody Is A Star-Sly & The Family Stone 1970  Probably the last gasp feel good single before There's A Riot Going On, this did get some airplay on the radio but today I rarely hear it unless I put it on the turntable and play it myself.

9.  Excitable Boy-Warren Zevon 1979 Sometimes the things that I do................

10.  Woman Of A 1,000 Years-Fleetwood Mac 1972  Finally, Martin Rushent, the famed producer behind Future Games as well as producing the likes of The Buzzcocks, Ian Gomm, The Go Go's and Flop passed away last week so I thought I'd give him praise by adding one of the more beautiful tracks that Danny Kirwan ever wrote for The Mac.  Thinking about this also annoys me about classic rock radio and how they only play Rumours and the 1975 S/T but rarely ever go earlier before that.  You certainly don't hear any Peter Green Fleetwood Mac songs on the radio, unless it's Santana.

Birthday greetings to Drew who I thank for adding a link to this site so I can get the ratings that I do. Without him or TAD, I'd be in the 100 views only range.  Gotta give credit where credit is due ya kno?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crabb Updates: Classic Rot, Brains Ratings, Mr. C

Carl Gardner was the lead singer of The Coasters who had some big hits in the late 50s with Searchin, Yakety Yak, Charlie Brown.  He passed away at age 83 from poor health. He will be missed.

In this weekend of driving around town with Nicole, I was pretty subjected to the most pious pieces of crap that is known as music radio.  Classic Rock is now classic rot and it's pretty damn bad when one classic rot station plays Killer Queen and the other station follows it up 20 minutes later.  We have so much music out there and the Clear Channels and Cumulus owned stations have a outdated playlist of 100 that they will not change the damn song.  I grew up listening to classic rock in that era but there was a lot more going on besides the same 100 that The Fox or 105.7 sticks out there.  Thank God for Bob Dorr who played Eddie And The Hot Rods' Get Across To You and got my mind off the crappy drivers for about three minutes.

Nothing against Queen folks but I never been a big fan of Killer Queen and can tolerate it once a year, just not twice a night and twenty minutes after The Fox played it.

The month ratings for the Rock N Roll And The Brains Blog is a unbelievable 173 views.  Nothing has ever came close to the 100 views range here in the Crabb Music blog and really doubt if it can be topped.  Perhaps Tom and Delta Moon have something to do with that or Margaret from The Brains Site or word of mouth.  Can't say but perhaps we should enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Just in, Clarence Clemons, the famed sax player to the E Street Band had suffered a stroke and I don't know much of the details right now, this is very new, here's hoping that he can recover from this.  Strokes are a life changing event and usually not for the best.  Unless you're The Strokes band making a new album so that Rolling Stone can give four stars every time they make an album.

Dallas defeated Miami to win the 2011 NBA Championship and is last team standing.   Basically I'm not a Heat fan and all that hoopla that LeBum James did last year on ESPN and that GD goofy introduction that they did made me hope that they would not win it.  Wait till next year Queen James and never mention him in the same sentence with Michael Jordan.

Even with my GF in town, the bargain hunts continue and managed to find some more fun stuff at HP Books and elsewhere.  Willie Nelson-Horse Called Music which somehow commands big bucks on Amazon, Badlands for 2 bucks, that band featuring Jake E Lee and the late Ray Gillen always gets you twenty bucks. Stuff Etc, had two Zombie CDs of note, a singles collection and their Odyssey and Oracle and a Best of Big Mama Thornton on MCA.   I would have bought more,  the first three Wire albums of the late 70's. The first Undertones on EMI, but already had them.  Turned out to be a fun run while Nicole was out and about getting some needed things for the trailer.  Her place is looking more like home but I wish to hell we can stop that GD leaky faucet in the kitchen........

And finally, it was three years ago that we had the big flood of CR. To which 31 feet of Mad Cedar River came and destroyed just about everything in town.  Three years later, many places remain abandoned and forsaken and probably will never be the same again, but there's a bit of progress to be made.  And I still hope we never had to deal with that ever again.

Floods suck.

UPDATE: The Big Man passed away on Saturday the 17th of June from complications from his stroke.  Another end to an era.  The E Street Band will never be the same again.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sick Of The Rainy Season And It Is Not Even Summer Yet

Fuck this rain.

I haven't been in a very good mood of the past week.  Ended up taking three days off from work, one to help my GF move into her trailer court and then the next two days trying to get over a fucking toothache to which the dentist said he had to refer me to a specialist and it won't be taken care of till July 1.  So basically I have been living on a cocktail of antibiotics and pain meds to which accumulated into a full blown flu with fever and chills and sweats to boot.  So there went another day.  And now the fucking rainy season has arrived, with us getting three and half inches of the wet shit for the past couple days.  Felt better yesterday but today the tooth pain persists and I'm washing bed stuff to get rid of the shitty sweaty smell that came with the Thursday flu.   I haven't talked much to Nicole this past couple days, I was basically up for an hour then back to bed to sleep and repeated the process for that day.

Tooth pain is worse than getting thwacked in the nuts.  At least that goes away, this GD tooth pain has been ongoing since Monday when I couldn't even eat my favorite meal, pizza.  So for the most part it's been tea this, tea that or a chocolate shake.  Being sick hasn't enabled me to really go over to the trailer and help her do some things like putting up the shades, or trying to fix a fucking GD leak that will not stop.  The problem is that I am not a fix it guy, all thumbs when it comes to home repair.  Bless her heart for doing that work but so much more work is needed there.  The GD shed is falling apart. Needs a new front door, needs screen windows, locks etc etc etc.   God bless my best friend Steve and his family for helping out when they can but I really don't want to burden them with each and every thing that needs to be fixed.  And I told Nicole that although my brother doesn't mind to help out, ya have to realize that the weekend is his time off and he needs to take care of his own things.   This is going to be the true test of true love.  The belief of having a great guy but also having to deal with his bad habits on a everyday basis.  And it's much harder than it looks.

I haven't done much music tunes of late unless I'm going to work and listening to it via discman in either the grey car with no AC, or the purple one that has AC but a fucked up speakers that don't work half the fucking time.  I get annoyed at the little things it seems but the fucking purple car shit speakers have made three car radios useless in as many months and I decided not to tell my brother about that.  Speakers are not his specialty and besides it's over 285,000 miles anyway.  Usually when I get here at my place, Nicole is pretty much sacked on the couch with her four legged daughter close by and this doggie has been a sweetheart ever since she arrived.  You really never noticed her being around unless you go for snacks or open a can of soup, then she's alive then.  She's been a nice houseguest.  But I'm sure my brother is thinking he would like to have an empty basement to come to so he can do laundry on his own free time and not have to wait till I get better. 

As this summer progresses onward and with the coming of our wonderful fucked up thing we call the rainy season I don't forsee much in terms of vacation anywhere.  Hell, I didn't even know that Foghat was playing in Dubuque yesterday till I ran across it by accident.  Ever since The Gazette discontinued their Weekend section every Thursday, I rarely get caught up in the latest happenings of whose coming to town.  I think this year's Freedom Festival will bring Loverboy to this area but since I'm not a big fan of theirs, will forgo that.  Jones County Fair has the return of Lady Antebellum and just like last year it is a sold out show.  And Jason Aldean sucks, nothing spells more country like some dude, in a cowboy hat, wearing a grunge goatee and promoting whatever he's wearing or chewing for product.  For the rock and roll, Seether, Darkest Days and Hinder.  Delaware County Fair has Joan Jett for 60 bucks which includes all you can eat but way too pricey for my liking. Craig Morgan is at Jackson County Fair as a main attraction.  Missing out last week's Iowa City Arts Festival pretty much bummed me out.  So what this summer will amount to be is pretty much taking time off and trying to get my GF's place more livable.  Which means more work and more cussing out of the little things that seem to boil me.

Nevertheless, I'm surprised that the ratings this month are a lot better than last month and perhaps we might crack the 1000 mark in total views.  I'm still very surprised that The Brains Blog is still getting many reads, leaving all others in the dust.  Wish I can write more blogs that can command that much of readership.  The Top Tens Of The Week, while does have that 15 to 20 readership, really lacks the big numbers if I do lists of albums from the past or comment on forgotten bands.  I still wonder although the power of the Rock n Roll n The Brains Blog has been great, sometimes I wonder if there's a link to that from another site and maybe I'll go with that direction, comment on forgotten bands.  I also noticed that The Last Beeker Street Notes has continue a downward slide to which it was at number 4 just last month is now in danger of dropping out of the top ten altogether. And so be it since it has been four months since the last broadcast of Beeker Street and no signs of Clyde Clifford finding anything to get him going again. 

But anyway with Nicole now down here, I will be walking a tightrope to deliver the music news and views and working around something that I'm not familiar with.  Trying to maintain a relationship on a regular basis while balancing work and other oddities while being pulled from four different directions.  Eventually the pieces of the puzzle will fit together, or I may end up being in the looney bin or worse, getting a stroke out of this. 

True love rides a gravel road and one bump may make us fall off but Chloe doesn't seem to mind.  She's made herself home on the couch and been a perfect little furball.  Anyway, I shall return again......

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week: Not Sick Of Summer If It Does Not Rain

Andrew Gold passed away from a heart attack at age 59.  Best known for the 1977 hit single Lonely Boy and playing with Graham Gouldmann in Wax UK in the mid 80s.

1.  Rock Anthem For The Retarded Teenage Hipster Population-Smile 1994  Before we start I want to say that we are done...So begins the start of a forgotten grunge pop song from a band nobody really knew about outside of Tustin California.  The album is called Maquee which came out on Headhunter/Cargo before Atlantic Records picked it up for a tax write off.  Somewhere between the left of Mudhoney and the right of Melvins.  When I worked at Relics the album got some instore play.  I don't believe any videos were made of this song although you can find a 1995 performance at the Desert Sky Pavilion in Phoenix on a nice hot sunny day in September via You Tube.

2.  World Gone Crazy-Doobie Brothers 2010  It's a different world when this song makes the top twenty country countdown on GAC rather than the rock charts but that's the way it is anymore.  Yep The Doobies are still around, yes Tom Johnston still leads them and yes Pat Simmons does the other songs too and of course John McFee still hangs around.  Album didn't exactly sell very many copies though.

3.  Feeling Satisfied-Boston 1978  The ultimate garage band, all their recordings (well, most of them) came from Tom Scholtz's basement and featuring the late great Brad Delp doing the vocals.  Scholtz always thought that his record label rushed this out too early but if they hadn't I'm sure he would have worked on it for another four years.  They only have had five albums released and a couple greatest hits comps to boot.  This song didn't chart as high as Don't Look Back but I do have a 45 promo of this in my collection somewhere.  And Brad Delp is still badly missed.

4.  Straight From The Heart-The Allman Brothers Band 1980-RIP David Frank  Toler who sat in on drums on their Brothers Of The Road album LP and for a while they called a day while Greg did his own band and so did Dickie Betts. Toler plays on the I'm No Angel song.  However the secret weapon of getting the Allman Brothers Band back together was in Betts' band, Warren Haynes.

5.  Hey You-Bachman Turner Overdrive 1975  It was simple back then and BTO kept it simple.  Three chords and the truth but while Four Wheel Drive was being poo pooed for recycling the same riffs that made the previous three sell many times over, I found that this record was my favorite.  Really didn't bother me of hearing this song four or five times a day back then.  But then again I was much more tolerant of the overplayed back then, never knowing that 36 years later the classic rock format hasn't changed at all since then.

6.  I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart  Anymore-The Young Rascals 1966  So Quit It........

7.  Fool's Bargain-The Why Store 1996  Funny how when I don't play the stereo that I get certain songs inside my head all dang week.  Like this particular song.  They came from Muncie Indiana and made a couple of pretty good albums for MCA/Way Cool before disappearing.  Best known for their only hit Lack Of Water which was tacked on the album at the tail end.

8. Get Your Biscuits In The Oven And Your Buns In Bed-Kinky Friedman 1973  From Sold American.  Dude at Half Priced Books put some decent CDs in the 2 dollar bins today and while waiting to go to the dentist I decided to waste an hour.  Somebody dumped some blues CDs as well but since I had most of them anyway.   I suppose you can call this one country.

9.  US Blues-The Grateful Dead 1974  I don't think this gets used much in the million of Dead best ofs out there but I think this was one of their better songs from the ill fated United Artists stint.  But then again Dead Heads always have their favorites as well.  So to speak.

10.  Comforting Sounds-Mew 2003  This is prog rock in the Y2K age I guess.  Kind of hard to peg these guys, Radiohead seems to be one source point, The Droves the other and neither band I have any use of.  They also seem to like Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd to which this song owes it's 8 minute length from.   But then again give me three chords and a simple melody and I'll be happy.  And leave The Killers to the young ones out there.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Casey's Takeover

Ever noticed that when gas prices goes up it's usually in dimes and quarters but when it goes down it usually nickels and pennies?  The big fly in the ointment this month is that gas prices have not gone down as predicted.  The damn Casey's General Stores have only downsized it from 3.94 to 3.79 and now they have announced that they will buy 22 Kum & Go Stores throughout the state to increase their monopoly in Iowa.  And mergers don't do shit to anybody but share holders.

Casey's around here have taken over The Short Stop store in Marion, The Shell station across from Wally World, and Handi Mart a couple years ago.  Casey's are becoming the Wally World of one stop stores.  There's a Kum & Go in Marion that I usually stop and get a hot dog on the go or a74 cent soda  to keep me going most of the day and I would be very cross if these Casey's fools took that one over.  In a era of convenience but not much variety, we would only have more Casey's to choose from.  Just like having a McDonalds in every other stop, or around here Hardee's.  I'm all in favor of making profits but it's becoming that everything is being the same and it feels like even Russia might have more choices than we have been getting.  We do need some variety.  We just don't need anymore Casey's General Stores takeovers.

Other thoughts:

Still don't see the attraction of My GF Think I Should Blog More Often to warrant it a number 3 most read blog.  But the Brains Blog continues to leave The Best Of 2010 in the dust  as it solidify its number 1 rating.

James Arness passed away at age 88.  Marshall Dillon of Gunsmoke fame.  Originally John Wayne was approached but he declined and suggested James instead.  The more people that I know from growing up watching TV dying, the more older I feel.

Year of tornado continues. I saw the Springfield Mass, twister forming in the Conn River and then imploding downtown.  Certainly the Joplin, Tuscaloosa/Birmingham, St Louis Tornadoes have been destructive and ugly in their own way but perhaps the Springfield Mass twister is the most interesting  as I have seen videos of it.  I think it's safe to say we're all sick of tornadoes this year but if you hadn't had enough things to worry about, hurricane season just started.

Finally, missing out the great Iowa City Art Festival.  Joe Ely played last night and of course today features Teddy Thompson, Bottle Rockets and Al Escovedo and myself having to work today.  I'm still surprised I can juggle work, music, GF and this blog and do it fairly well.  Haven't done much music reviewing at home lately, she's still hanging on the couch sleeping with her 4 legged daughter but with Chloe around I really haven't noticed her all that much.  Unless I'm eating or opening a can, then she appears.

But the ratings have been very good at the start of the month and hopefully we'll keep them going with more interesting things and the top ten of the week which brings out the faithful.

And the question of the day, whatever happened to Lizzy Williams?

Response from Tony Offerman:

Rodney you stole the words right out of my mouth. I hate Caseys gas stations. Soon they will be able to control everything including prices. It's weird how the big cities gas prices fell some 30 cents when oil prices declined and Casey dropped a total of 10 cents over a two month period.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Flashback With The Grateful Dead

Since Nicole has moved down here, I have not have much time to scope out anything new, unless it's on the way home from work and usually that's Wally World.  Didn't find much in terms of Half Priced Book's 20 percent off sale last weekend but did noticed that Wal Mart added a couple more cd's in their cheap bins.  One being Boston's Don't Look Back and something from Rhino/Flashback called Flashback With The Grateful Dead.  I used to recall that Boston's Don't Look Back ushered in the 8.98 era when CBS assigned the FE prefix to it back in 1978 but 34 years later it has been regulated to the five dollar bin at Wally World  either shows how old it is or how CD's are now becoming so passe. 

Maybe Bob Lefsetz is right when he says the time has been long past for the CD and we should embrace anything new from the great jukebox on the internet skies.  And that it's 1967 all over again.  Wrong Bob, radio is still stuck in that classic rut for the past 30 years and new rock is crud anyway.

We've seen many of Grateful Dead best ofs and what have you.  The Best Of The Grateful Dead has been replaced by a more up to date version so what does Flashback With The Grateful Dead have to offer?  Truckin' and Touch Of Gray are the two best known songs here, plus you get US Blues and the rocking Alabama Getaway, perhaps the only good track off 1980's Go To Heaven LP.  I basically got it for Throwing Stones, their minor 1988 hit off In The Dark.  I'm guessing The Music Never Stopped was a tie in to the movie of the same name, therefore it's appearance here.  But then again I wasn't that fond of this particular track either.

So in the end Flashback With The Grateful Dead serves only as a sampler of their music and not to be taken as a best of.  After all, most cheap five dollar best of stuff out there is one or two hits and the rest filler.  But I'll grant them this, Truckin' as never sounded more fuller and more fun than on this version.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-June Bugs

We have now moving into the halfway part of the year, weather getting warmer, the bugs are out.  Can't go mowing the yard without a GD gnat in your face or a skeeter trying to bite you as well.  I'm learning to adjust to my new life as having a GF around.  I don't sleep all that much since when she leaves for work, Chloe cries and I have to go keep her company till Nicole gets back.  Chloe will lay in the waterbed but she tends to moves around and I never get much sleep anyway.

Went to Half Priced Books over the weekend and found Johnny Nash I Can See Clearly Now and The New Christy Minstrels Ramblin for 2 bucks.  I'm sure if we went on Thursday I would have found a few more but basically I have it all, anything else is just extras.

Well the lightning bugs are a week early but have yet to see the dammed earwigs.  They'll be here in another two weeks. Or sooner.

Not a lot to talk about music wise.  Roger Waters says he don't forsee a Pink Floyd reunion anything soon.  But there might be some appearances by David Gilmour and Nick Mason if you keep an open mind....Don't expect a full blown Faces reunion either till Ronnie Wood gives up his job as money grabber for The Rolling Stones according to Rod Stewart....And New Black Stone Cherry this weekend.  Just because I have a GF doesn't mean I've given up on new music.  Even though Bob Lefsetz would want me to.

The Top Ten Of The Week.

1.  Hello Old Friend-Eric Clapton 1976  Long time ago I bought this at one of the Goodwill stores here (I am thinking the old one at Marion Shopping Center)  and still have a fondness for this forgotten top forty tune. Certainly one cannot the importance of 461 Ocean Boulevard but sometimes I think there's more to E.C. besides the same ole same ole you hear on the FOX.

2.  There Are More Questions Than Answers-Johnny Nash 1972  While doing this top ten, my wonderful GF pops wakes up from her nap and is throwing suggestions to me about who to consider on the top ten.  In fact, I think I woke her up by playing Stir It Up.  After 10 different suggestions I told her she should do her own top ten and she replied I gave you about 20 suggestions.   So I went with this failed single from Johnny Nash to which I'm sure she has never heard before.  Once upon a time, Nash was marketed as a teen idol for ABC Paramount then went to Jamaica and did the reggae classic Hold Me Tight and then hit number 1 with I Can See Clearly Now to which is heard anywhere in the road. Bob Marley figured in the music on this.  Here in Crabby Land we tend to go for the more obscure. Thank you hon for the suggestions now go back to sleep! ;)

3.  It Happened Today-REM 2011  Funny how new music gets released one month and then the next is forgotten.  This came out in March and already been committed for the archives.  Yes I played it, then filed it and then got it out to listen to on the way to work but had to play this track twice in a row.  REM has seemed to got their groove back, made two back to back decent albums for the first time since Monster and New Adventures In Hi Fi.  And yes I liked both albums.  But I also think that Gareth (Jack Knife) Lee had been the best suited Producer for them since Scott Litt too.

4.  Life In London-Pat Travers Band 1990  Originally recorded in 1978 but I went with the 1990 version to which Pat hooked up with Jerry Riggs and Mars Cowling for his best band since Pat Thrall and Tommy Aldridge were in it.   Still if you haven't checked it out, PT has his own Facebook site.

5. Ramblin-New Christy Minstrels 1963  I bet your parents or had a neighbor that had this on LP.  I know a neighbor did and borrowed it to tape record Green Green and never paid much attention to the rest of the album till Collector's Choice Music picked the best for that 2 CD Definitive Collection which had some decent songs on it but also a lot of crappy ones too.  Could done without the French or German versions but this was probably as close to rock and roll as they got.  Ended disc one of Definite and lead off as the title track to Ramblin.   They also benefited from Barry McGuire's presence.

6.  White Trash Millionaire-Black Stone Cherry 2011  New music bands I really have a passing interest but their lasting value is about as much as chewing gum, unless you like Flaming Lips or Radiohead.  One reason I like BSC is that some of them are related to The Kentucky Headhunters.  The new album seems to be their heaviest and it seems to have more of a Godsmack sound and Nickelback to boot, which means it won't get much airplay around my house but this would sound at home on a Kid Rock album.

7.  Can't Stop The Bleeding-Lock Up 1989  Long forgotten band that made an album for Geffen and I don't recall if I added this one before but too lazy to look it up on the archives section but I'm sure I had.  Best known for Tom Morello's first band before moving on to Rage Against The Machine and even back then he had his guitar noises down pretty good.  Lock Up's only album Something Bitchin This Way Comes came out on Geffen and later reissued via Manifesto.

8.  Baby What You Want Me To Do-Jimmy Reed 1959  The blues as we know it is getting more and more in the background but Bob Dorr played this on his blues show the other night when me and Nicole were out and about and I think I spent half that time cussing out the GD shit speakers that didn't work in the rear of the purple car.   But then again we don't get cars that make it to 285,000 miles, certainly not here in the great rustbucket we call Iowa.

9.  Ghost Riders In The Skies-The Outlaws 1980  When Freddy Salem joined up, they got to be a bit more heavy metal as case in point of their last top forty hit.  Funny how when classic rock radio plays Outlaws it's usually this song and then they call them a one hit wonder.  Doesn't anybody remember Green Grass & High Tides?!?

10. Highlands-Bob Dylan 1997  Concluding this top ten is the long 16 minute episode from Time Out Of Mind to which Dylan encounters a bitchy waitress that he is mistaken as a artist and get mad when she finds he did a stick drawing, or that how I interpreted it.  Perhaps I could have done a second top ten of Dylan's songs and maybe I'll do it for later top tens.  Anyway I prefer this over Brownsville Girl, the long looping side ender of his flop Knocked Out Loaded album of the late 80s.  Too bad he didn't decide to do a complete album with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers as originally thought.

Review: Black Stone Cherry-Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (Roadrunner)

I guess you can still call them southern rock although with each album they continue to slide into modern rock territory. White Trash Millionaire wouldn't sound out of place on Kid Rock's album and Killing Floor screams more of Godsmack than Kentucky Headhunters or Blackfoot. Blame It On The Boom Boom more Hinder than CCR but that's the fun of trying to figure out BSC.  The ballads tend to echo a bit too much Nickleback and while to my ears tend to be the weakest songs on this album, they're good enough to justify a top ten single if Roadrunner decides to put them out to radio.  Like Saliva, they switched producers: from Bob Marlette to Howard Benson, perhaps in a attempt to break more into mainstream and the polished production belies the goodtimeness of The Kentucky Headhunters to which John Fred Young is the son of the guitar playing Richard Young.  But unlike Saliva, whose time may have passed, BSC still is capable of growing into one of the best post millenium new rock bands thanks to Chris Robertson's vocals which is a dead ringer with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame.  Although there's no songs that stand out like Please Come In or Reverend Wrinkle that made their last album my go to album, they do rethink Toy Caldwell's Can't You See into a nifty little heavy metal number.  All I'm Dreamin Of could be reinvented into a country song if BSC decides to go that way.    Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea tends to be their most heaviest album as they would like to tell you to believe but it's also more simple minded lyric wise too.  I'd say this is their weakest album but I wouldn't count them out yet.  Unless their meddling label sticks them with Glen Ballard the next time around.  To which I hope that doesn't come true.

Grade B-

Pick Hits: White Trash Millionaire, Such A Shame, Can't You See, Let Me See You Shake