Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Back In The Thousand Again

The last day in November is here and hard to believe one more month till the year is over.  Plenty of things await y'all.  Basically the year in review and the records of the year.   Thanks everybody for getting me over the 1,000 views mark for the first time since August.   In fact, we actually past August for the most views, so we're in the top three anyway.  1,205 views for the month.  Third best all time.  Not too shabby eh?

Hardee's has closed up shops in Marion, Anamosa, Monticello and Maquoketa, the last three was owned by somebody who I forgot the name.  The Marion one closed due to a forthcoming CVS Drugstore and a empty mall, the Monitcello one closed since they didn't think the renovation would bring any more business since the bypass took away the majority of the business.  But the Anamosa closing makes no sense since it's off highway 151 and I think they remodeled it a few years ago.

Mark Lasack was our IBM machine repairman for the past 25 years.  He passed away on Friday due to a sudden illness (heart attack), he was 60.

Football wise once again all my teams lost.  Hawkeyes, Sun Devils, Chargers.  In the meanwhile Drew Brees is still kicking can in New Orleans whereas Philip (Joan) Rivers continues to struggle behind San Diego famed Look Out Blockers.  Hawkeyes getting outplayed by the Mighty Corn and Arizona State doing the final collapse: losing their last five games.  They controlled their own dynasty, only to slit their throat and get beaten by UCLA, Washington State, Arizona and Cal.  To which after seeing this, Dennis Erickson was told to hit the road. The Chargers got Tebowed by once again fucking around in OT, and on a 3 and 6, in OT, super brain Norm Turner told them to do a run and Tolbert got nailed for a 5 yard loss, resulting in a 54 yard FG that was out of the kicker's range.  And then Super Tebow lead the Broncos down the field for a game winning FG.  5 games in a row lost by the so called Super Chargers but you can get to see them fuck up once again Monday Night against Jacksonville.   Look for Norm Turner to get the ax if they can't turn this around but best they can do is 9-7 but they split the series between Kansas City and Denver and Oakland has swept them. In other words they have to win it all, and Rivers has gotta stop playing like Joan Rivers.  And I still say AJ (Ass Jack) Smith should have kept Brees.

Links of interest:  G G Allin was a one of a kind.  Interesting story on the life and times of this one of a kind person.

Tad reviews Florence And The Machine
Worth a read since this might be the first new band that he has listened to.

After years of not to, I finally got a chance to hear Trout Mask Replica, Captain Beefheart's debut for Straight Records (reissued via Reprise) which was produced by Frank Zappa.  As much as I liked Lick My Decals Off Baby or Clear Spot, Trout Mask is just too weird for me to listen to all the way.  Not to say it's a bad album, I still give it a B plus and its worth its pull on the Rolling Stone 500 all time greatest albums ever but even I can tolerate such craziness.

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1.  Full Frontal Contrapuntal-Al Di Meola 2011   You probably don't know that he's got a new album out, nobody does really but Al has continue to delight his followers with his type of music that knows no boundaries.  Made some nice fusion albums of the 70s for Columbia and then in the 80s went more toward a spanish guitar sound although his EMI best of shows him dangerously close to new age.  Rebounded a  lot with the underrated Kiss My Axe for Tomato but his new album shows a balance of prog-fusion and the spanish guitar sounds he's been doing most of the time.   I think he enjoys that more than plugging in.

2.  Solid Rock-Goanna  1983 A surprising big hit in Australia in 1982, the US a year later, Goanna is a mystery of a band itself.  Main writer Shane Howard went missing during a tour in 1985 and the band broke up.  Howard has resurfaced since then, pretty much releasing a few albums in the land Down Under in the last decade.  Last album he did was called Goanna Dreaming, part of it recorded in Sydney, the rest in Tucson Arizona. (Note: the Sydney recording is just a guess, it might be in Melbourne or elsewhere).  Actually found the CD Spirit Of Place in the dollar bins at Pawn America in Mad City and it has a few more bonus tracks added on.

3.  Making Time-The Creation 1966  I have a love hate when it comes to commercials using songs of the past.  Sometimes they bring out the good in the obscure (Nick Drake comes to mind) sometimes they simply annoy me (that annoying Nissan song by Foster The People, anything Sheryl Crow peddles).  It saddens me to see this failed song of the 60s get recycled for a crappy beer commercial (Thank you and fuck you Bud Light or is it Coors Light). The Creation was the closest band that could sound like The Who and they had a great guitarist in Eddie Phillips, one of the earliest who used a violin bow.  Another connection to The Who:  Shel Talmy.

4.  Coke Song/I'm Okay You're Okay-The Cooties 1997   A minor super punk band featuring members of MXPX and 90 Pound Wuss singing the praises of Coca Cola and the next song which would appear on the next MXPX album Going By The Way Of The Buffalo.  You can probably find this album Let's Play House in the local dollar bins at your local junkshop.

5.  Om-Ray Stevens 1976  Haven't heard much from the Ray Stevens Tribute page of late but then again he's got better things to do in maintaining all things Ray.  This was the B side to Honky Tonk Waltz and remains one of my favorite unknown Ray Stevens songs.  No, it's not a cover of the Moody Blues number but Ray playing live telling the audience to sing along whenever necessary.

6.  Stonehenge, Who Knows?-Nik Turner 1994   Better known as the sax player in Hawkwind for many years, Turner's albums have been kinda hard to find but actually he was more in tune of keeping the space sound alive better than Dave Brock did in the 90s although the hippy dippyness kinda makes it unlistenable for both Turner and Hawkwind 90s.  I still dig this.

7.  I Put Away My Idols-Dion 1983   Tired of the pop rock business, Dion went straight into gospel rock and while most of it is your usual Jesus Praise, Dion would actually pepper it up with a bit more rock on some songs including this title track which I think won a GrammyTM for best Gospel Song.  Eventually Dion would return to secular rock with the failed 1989 Yo Frankie for Arista (overproduced by Dave Edmunds if you can believe that) but Dion would actually rediscover delta blues and do tribute albums to that style.

8.  Nausea-X 1980  Another dollar find CD at Pawnamerica last week up in Mad City.  Los Angeles by X is a classic punk rock album.

9.  At My Most Beautiful-REM 1998  Yep, they seem to be making frequent appearances on the top ten ain't they?  From Up, another dollar CD from Pawn America.  Get them before they're gone.

10.  Hots On From Nowhere-Led Zeppelin 1976  This got plenty of airplay on Q 103 back in 76 however it wasn't released as a single, rather Candy Store Rock got the nod and didn't place very high on the chart.  Hell, I tried looking for the single but ended up buying the album instead.  Still, have the album to this day and never did get the CD itself.

Finally, we bid Mike Davison goodbye as he leaves Pearson Inc for the green pastures of Go Daddy dot com.   Hope things go well for y'all.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Singles Going Steady-The Sequel

In the greatness that we call the era of the 45. (Began around 1955, ended 1990 thereabouts) we have many selected singles that made it to the charts but we also had the majority of singles that didn't chart.   That became forgotten favorites from selected blogs.  That are fondly remembered, even though they didn't chart.  That were found as DJ copies and made the list the hard way.  Which is where most of them have popped up.  On the Crabb Singles Going Steady Series.

Our original blog which was part of the Top Ten Of The Week series took a while to catch on, but in the top ten of the month, The Singles Going Steady Blog has endure a cult following and even a response from a reader.

On the subject of Flash And The Pan Hey St. Peter which originally came out in 1977 on Midland International.  The song is basically the same version that you hear on the Epic 1979 LP, with the DJ 45 of this song has both long and short versions.  A moot point since radio never played it here but to these ears, the short version fades out at the final chorus.  So basically dear readers you not missing anything different than the You Tube version of the four minute version.

So here we are again.  Time to pick 10 singles from the archives from the great rock era up to around 1990. Some you may have heard, most you haven't.  If the SGS series keeps getting good ratings, we'll continue a part three in the future.  If not, we tried.

1.  In The Summertime-Mungo Jerry  (Janus J-125) 1970  A record found for free up at Record Collector, it was in very good condition despite it being a DJ copy and getting airplay from a forgotten AM station.  One of the best songs of summer ever written and it still has that summertime song magic that makes it fun to hear once in a while.  Of course, your friendly oldies station still has it in regular rotation. Request it often.

2.  Got It Made-Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Atlantic 7-88966) 1988  It would been easier to include a more recognizable track from the classic rock years but I chose to go with this sorta hit from their American Dream flop and it's probably a rare track since both Steven Stills and Neil Young wrote this. Stills with the main music, Young with the bridge and middle 8 which kinda really doesn't fit the song all that well.  You can't beat the CSN harmonies though and even though this was more mainstream, I still think it was one of the highlights of American Dream.  Maybe someday I'll revisit American Dream but for now I'll stick with this single.

3.  Fly Away-The Original Blues Project (MCA 40154) 1973   The Blues Project only made two albums proper (Projections and the Al Kooper less Planned Obsolescence, anything else was live or compilations) but in 1973 Al Kooper decided to reunite the boys in Central Park and made a hard to find double LP for MCA Records which One Way reissued on CD for a year or two.  This live recording was released on 45 but radio never played this either and the only example was me finding a DJ copy of this.  One of Kooper's best sung songs ever.  At this time Kooper was having better luck producing Lynyrd Skynyrd and being a in demand producer.  But the black eye was Kooper's crappy 1979 Four On The Floor disco album for Casablanca which was beyond belief and almost ruin Kooper's credentials forever.  It's that bad.  Lately Kooper has done a blog called New Music For Old People for the Morton Report, to which he picks 10 forgotten songs or songs you should hear and has his own jukebox for it.  Example here
A side note: Glenn Hughes (Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Mountain Communion) sings on the dreaded Four On The Floor LP but is uncredited, he didn't want no part of that monstrosity.  It's a rare LP of the fact that it sucks.  Pay anything over a penny for it and you'll be ripped off.  

4.  Heavy Music-Bob Seger (Abkco 4031)  1967   Originally Cameo 494.  Before he started doing the Springsteen ballad rock and roll sounds of Night Moves or Stranger In Town, Seger was a hard rocking Detroiter that made a couple singles for the old Cameo Parkway label before moving over to Capitol.  Hard to understand why Bob has never included this on any of his best ofs (he had to include Ramblin Gamblin Man or he would have been lynched by the faithful).  A great bass introduction and a melody to get y'all out on the dance floor.  Heavy Music Part 2 is considered a alternative version.  The folks at Abkco reissued this sometime in the 70s.  Reference:  

5.  On The Way Home-Buffalo Springfield  (Atco 45-6615)  1968  Another freebie single given to me by the Record Collector folk, this is one of the lesser charting songs from Buffalo Springfield, written by Neil Young but sung by Richie Furay with Neil in the background.  Later redone by Crosby Stills Nash & Young on the Four Way Street LP

6.  Lookin For A Love-J. Geils Band  (Atlantic 45-2844)  1971  My first introduction to J. Geils Band came via WLS in Chicago when they played this 3:30 edit from The Morning After (I know neither KCRG or KLWW ever played it or if they did I knew nothing about it).  The frenzy live version from Full House was played on the underground FM station later.  I also remember seeing The J. Geils Band on the ABC In Concert series and even back then Peter Wolf was a force to be reckon with on stage.  Had a few more Atlantic singles that went to the top thirty and then they got big with a certain album called Freeze Frame.  But I prefer their rock and boogie of the early 70s more. Fun fact: Steven Bladd playing Zickos Drums on this live version.

7.  Listen To The Band-The Monkees (Colgems 66-5004) 1969  Every teenie bopper of the late 60s had The Monkees 45's in their collection.  Our cousins had them, so did the girl next door and yes I grew up watching their TV show on Saturday Mornings too.  But by the time this song came out Peter Tork left, the show got canceled and their movie Head was released to questionable reviews.  One of the very few songs that Mike Nesmith sang on that got released as A side (might be the only one but I'm too tired or lazy to look it up).  Mike would leave to form his own band and have a bigger hit with Joanne.

8.  Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy-Freddy Cannon (Swan 4050) 1960  Mr. Cannon has been highly influential in my 45's listening habits, since my mom had copies of Tallahassee Lassie and Way Down In New Orleans, it was always fun to find anything that Cannon released although I never did find very many of his sides later in life and in the 4 for a dollar bins.  This is actually a not too bad cover of the Red Foley country number.  Found this at Mad City Music Exchange Tuesday and would kill to get a copy of the Kookie Hat 45.

9.  Up From The Skies-Jimi Hendrix Experience (Reprise 665) 1968  Name association was always one my ways of getting 45's into my collection or con my mother into buying me some of the 4 for a buck specials that Arlans would have or Woolworth's (Yep I miss Woolworths).  Jimi Hendrix was one artist that even when I was 7 or 8 years old, I would seek what was out there on 45 and going to the record section at Arlans would bring out the freaks playing the jukebox (the dude that played Sookie Sookie 10 times and dancing about remains firm in my mind) but somehow on a trip to Fort Dodge nobody bothered to pick up this 45 from Jimi and company.  Like The Doors, Jimi is regarded as rock royality but back in 69 his and the Doors 45s were easily found for 29 cents apiece.  And I'm sure command a bit more in price.  My copy is pretty well played and wouldn't get much for but it's the value of having it in my collection remains precious to me.

10.  That's The Way A Woman Is-Messengers (Rare Earth R-5032)  1971  They were from Milwaukee and got a regional hit although it took me forty years to finally find a 45 of this song.  They were one of a few rock acts that were on the Rare Earth label, the label Motown reserved for rock bands or progressive rock (UFO actually had their first album out on Rare Earth).  Basically, your typical one hit wonder, and it's pure pop rock fun. 
PS: Ended up being a major hit in Japan.  Video is kind of corny.

Bonus cut:  Romeo And Juliet by Micheal And The Messengers (USA 874) Featuring Wayne Beckner on lead vocals.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Rah Rah-Turkey Ah A Carte

There's something wrong when we went home from our parents house and seeing the Wal Mart parking lot full on Thanksgiving Evening.  Nicole was thinking about going there at 10 to find something but decided it wouldn't be a good idea when she saw no parking space available.

Thanksgiving was like dinner at The Bickersons, Nicole tried to explain me what was going on between my parents but I shook my head and drove on.

I'm reading an article that 2011 might be the year of the Music Industry Recovery.  When CD sales only fall by 3.5 percent and vinyl sales goes up by 30 percent ya think the vinyl age has returned.  I'm sure the returns would be better if we had a music store in town instead of driving 2 and half hours to Madison.  Most of the sales were from digital downloads, this generation's version of the 45 and they can have their digital downloads.  Dave White of gives his two cents worth.

I Basically think it's a pipe dream although if I was more into downloading I'd be jumping up and down of the so called good news.  For the CD buyer, we still have another year or two to continue to buy and find but at this point maybe its best to say that I think I'm getting my fill of what's out there.  Been doing this for 25 years of the CD era and until somebody issues The Brains CD or Brownsville Station's 1977 album on CD, I won't be jumping up and down at the numbers like the -3.5 percent of cd loss.

Usually at Thanksgiving time I usually add something we call the Turkey Shoot, albums of this year that were turkeys.  Two pieces of crap stand out, one was Saga's Heads Or Tails Live to which the band does that album in its entirety but the problem was Mike Sadler wasn't lead vocalist.  And the whammy bar guitars gave me a headache.  But nothing prepared me for the suckfest that was Sin-arta, the all star hair metal tribute to Frank Sinatra that had no songs worth hearing again and may be the worst all time POS CD ever reviewed in my years of buying and reviewing music.  But nobody really heard much of that album anyway so that was a moot point.

Which leads us to the disappointments, albums that had one or two great songs but the rest forgettable, Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams (Reprise) started out with three great to good songs and then the rest kept going on and on, (Most of the songs were over four minutes) until I lost interest.   NY Dolls-Dancing Backward  In High Heals (429/Savoy)   was so uninspired, it made Buster Poindexter sound like Johnny Thunders.  Losing two members from the previous rocking albums took the rock out.  Hot Tuna-Steady As She Goes (Red House) was more acoustic blues than blues boogie and if they did rock out, it didn't stand out.

I love Nick Lowe when he was the Jesus Of Cool and with Rockpile but as a solo artist in the new decade, he's going more toward MOR pop country and That Old Magic (Yep Roc) had none of the magic of the glory years.  Lou Reed and Metallica's Lulu (WB) was something different, but it a failed something different.  The Jayhawks reunited with Mockingbird Time (Rounder) and although the harmonies were great, the songs were not so great.  Perhaps the most overrated album might be Paul Simon So Beautiful Or So What (Hear Music) to which it's was the latter for me than the former.  I guess if you want to hear great Paul Simon, Legacy/Sony has reacquired Simon's back catalog.

Outside the biggest turkey is the digiapaks that has the CD inside the mini LP jacket slot. Which includes the Pink Floyd re re remasters.  Or the freaky Chickenfoot 3 layout.  Digipaks:  The most worthless POS for CD storage.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Madison Rocks

I've been under the weather and a sore throat and a running fever but it did not stop me from jumping in the car and do one more trip to Madison for some bargain hunting and getaway for the day.  Sick of packaging, only been down there running the plastic wrap and already they're harping rate already.  Well, if somebody would have ordered the GD form first and if the GD wrapper would wrap the books and not leave so many holes we could have done that.  Sad to say we're stuck down there the rest of the year going from wrapping to sealing the books with sticky shit that will make me not type so well.  Plus I've been sick the past couple days thanks to a combination of things, basically Jenna's hacking and coughing, or the dog sneezing in my face or going outside with wet hair or not having socks on my feet which gets so cold they can keep your drink cold.

Madison was cloudy most of the day, but I did managed to complete the Brian Howe Bad Company years (envy me) plus getting the Ray Charles complete ABC singles Box set so I'll be taking a listen to that for a whole week.  I thought going there before Black Friday made more sense.  Besides, I'm not impressed of what is out there for Black Friday specials and really do not plan to make any more road trips this year.

Gas prices were so so, 3.21 in some Mad City spots.  The Recall Scott Walker force was out in droves, although I did noticed that when the bearded dude asked if I wanted to sign and told him I couldn't, love to but I'm out of state, he kinda made a beeline away, like I was a Walker supporter.  I'd love to write my name down and rent a loft in town just so I can do that.  But somehow, I get the impression that these folks seem to look out for their own best interests instead of talking to me.  Dammed if you do, or don't.  Anyway I did stop at Ian's Pizza for a slice of pizza then off to The Exclusive Company for the Ray Charles box set.

Most of the bargains found was at Pawn America.  They had a bit of a turnover from last time and I picked up about 9 of them for a dollar.  Pre Played still had that Dragnet 1968 Season DVD collection there so I picked that up.

But it does seem that Walker's time that a lot of places have closed up shop.  The Point Supper Club on 151 had a for sale sign on it.  Fucking Home Depot, when they opened their new location over by the Beltway on the west end of town, they threw out most of the tenants at the strip mall that used to be there (Half Priced Books used to have a bookstore at that end before moving over to Whitney Way).  Along with Cub Foods these two worthless stores uprooted everybody there.  Now both of them are now gone and what remains is empty buildings to which will remain empty for some time, (Home Depot has reopened since then)

Even though it was dark, the Capitol was open and I managed to go in there and took a little walk around to find the bathroom.  Last time I was there, security was tight with the protesters taking up space and singing We Shall Overcome.  This time, they had a couple policemen there and things looked back to normal although I noticed that the homeless were around with their bags and carts and bikes.

To the dumb black skateboarder  doing stunts in the middle of the highway, get off the fucking road unless you want to go flying 40 feet in the air when you fall off your skateboard in front of a bus.  Idiot.

Dammit, I was a week too early to catch Social Distortion at the Orpheum Theatre.

And finally a sad farewell to Andrea True, the porn star turned disco singer who had a top 4 hit with More More More.  She died Tuesday at age 68 in Nashville.  Cause is unknown.

Basically I've given up Football for both college and pro.  Chargers got beat again, this time by The Chicago Bears and Arizona State Sun Devils are doing their usual late season fade, losing yet again to Arizona.  What started to be a promising year has now gotten them a 6-5 record with Cal coming up this friday night.  On a plus side The Iowa Hawkeyes won a road game at Purdue. 31-21.

So far, I'm surprised I haven't gotten anything from my last blog on how much we love KRNA and if you like my little conversation with the dumb robot DJ at that station, I bow to your honor.  But basically we're all sick and tired of same sounding stations around here and where your at.    Blame the fucking Telecom Act of 1996 which should have been repealed so that Cumulus and Clear Channel would not have a fucking monopoly and us getting stuck with the same ole same ole.  Up yours Telecom Act 1996 which was one of the days of the week that the music died.

What else is new?  The Top Ten Of The Week.

1.  When The Whip Comes Down-The Rolling Stones 1978  New expanded edition of Some Girls?  No thank you but if somebody gets the bonus cuts only CD, I'll buy then.  My Virgin Reissue copy sounds quite good still.  Some Girls is considered to be the final classic album that Mick and the boys put out.  I'll let you be the judge on that, however my friend up at Mad City Music Exchange was actually playing the old Atlantic vinyl copy while some customer was buying the CD expanded set.  Look, I fell  into that trap overplaying for the Layla 40th Reissue expanded edition.  So I am refraining from buying anymore reissues or overpriced expanded editions of anything.  They're basically not cost effective.  On a different note I thought about getting the Eric Burdon/Animals Winds Of Change and Love Is that One Way put out years ago, but since both albums were not that great, I passed.  Mad City Music Exchange has did a bit of remodeling and now more vinyl areas than CDs.  I did sort through the dollar bins, and only came up with Night Of The Living Dregs by The Dixie Dregs.  There was Four On The Floor, a disco album done by Jeff Skunk Baxter and Al Kooper for Casablanca in 1979 and what I heard, I considered it a piece of shit.  Another was Cobra First Strike for Epic in 1983 but it was hair metal that was gawd awful.  So I bought some 45s instead.  Mad City Music Exchange we salute you.

2.  Alice's Restaurant  (The Massacree  Revisited)-Arlo Guthrie 1996   To be honest, I really never heard the original version but I only got the Rerecorded album when I saw it in the dollar bins.  I actually saw the movie Alice's Restaurant on TCM late night so I actually followed the song quite well, since I knew the story line.  Reprise still has the original version of this, but I like the Revisited version much more, especially when Arlo Guthrie talks about Richard Nixon's 18 minute gap on the White House Tapes and there was a copy of Alice Restaurant found there (or so he says).  And Arlo has this feeling that perhaps ole Tricky Dick recorded the side long side on one of them.  This song goes well with Thanksgiving but I doubt if our friendly Cumulus owned radio station will allow 23 minutes on this song.  After all, it seems they have station breaks at around 20 minutes after the hour on most stations here.

3.  Black Dog-Led Zeppelin 1971   Well I was going to save this one for the singles going steady blog that has yet to be prepared but this is a nod to 40 years ago, The Zoso album (or Led Zeppelin 4) was released to the world.  Cumulus has not done anybody any favors for overplaying this death but when I get a moment to miss the good ole day when Zep was the exception to the radio and not the rule it was fun to play.  Still is since I have the 45 somewhere.  Now I gotta pick another replacement for the Singles Going Steady Blog.

4.  Baby Blue Airplane-Gus 1999  From the dollar CD find of the week Word Of Mouth Parade.  Guy has a vocal somewhat like Robin Wilson of Gin Blossoms fame and this song rocks as most of the album although when he starts sing falsetto he annoys.  Somebody actually mention one of his songs as a lost classic so I kept my eyes and ears open.  Gus recorded two albums for the ill fated ALMO Sounds, the label Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss started up after Universal bought their A & M label and perhaps Gus would have better luck on that label until Sheryl Crow won the lottery and gave the world her puke inducing earworm songs. 

5.  Riddles Are Abound Tonight-Sausage 1994  One of many many side projects of Les Claypool to which I was exposed to this via Beavis And Butthead.  In reality this is the original Primus under the Sausage banner for one album for Prawn Song/Interscope  and like any other Primus album, Les' bass dominates.  Jay Lane is now back playing for Primus and uses some of the oddest cymbals every collected called Hammerax Cymbals, an up and coming cymbal company

6.  How Long-Information Society 1990  My ex GF loves this band, to which they had a hit with What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) and then made somewhat of a concept album called Hack which sounds to me more dance along the lines of Thompson Twins but with more keyboards and samplers.  Parts of this album does give Ministry or Nine Inch Nails a run for the industrial noise but this song actually takes them more back into Thompson Twins territory.  Though I betcha both bands would deny that.  The MP3 download to this from Amazon is 11:49 which is too fucking much for a digital download.  Better to pay a dollar for the CD instead.  I also kind of wished that they had this in 5.1 surround sound.  Bet that would be a trip to listen to.

7.  Wishin Well-Kentucky Headhunters 1991  Are we stuck in the 90s or what?  Seems that way since this is the fifth song taken from that glorious decade. The Headhunters have a new album out if you can find it and I betcha you can't.  To me these guys were southern rock and roll all the way through, don't let Dumas Walker fool you, even that had a rock overtone that fooled the country folk and today wouldn't get airplay thanks to the Brantley Gilbert Country Cowporn Cliche Crap that is country today, or Jason (what should I endorse today) Aldean.  From Electric Barnyard, this is more toward KRNA than KHAK.  Ricky Phelps, who was the voice of the first two albums would leave with his brother to form the more country sounding Brother Phelps who made two decent albums for Asylum in the 90s and is now a preacher.  Brother Doug returned to the Headhunters back in 1996.

8.  Hammering Heart-Del Amitri 1985   Started out on Chrysalis Records and made one that is more in line with the Housemartins with a bit of Elvis Costello too but at that time Justin Currie sang higher and with more of a Glasgow accent which would disappear by the time the band made it with Kiss This Thing Goodbye in 1989.  I always loved this band and still do but they have broken up and moved on and Justin Currie made one album as a solo artist for Rykodisc but I never got around hearing it.  The first Dels album has been reissued three times, the last having a few more B sides thrown in for good measure.  It may not be for everybody but I like the first fine myself.

9.  Cop Party-John Hiatt 1980  Another artist that it took a while for me to warm up to had to be Mr. Hiatt, who was always a great songwriter but every label that he's been with, they tried to make him something that he wasn't.  Epic tried to make him the second coming of Randy Newman (Overcoats) and when that failed he went to MCA and they tried to make him the angry new waver for two albums and then Geffen let him wonder about for three more before he found his mark at A & M as a Americana singer.  From the interesting Two Bit Monsters, this is Hiatt being the next Graham Parker or Elvis Costello and although the liner notes are vague, it does sound a bit like The Rumour backing him up (which is not the case but he did have Howie Epstein playing bass on this album).  Some even say that this is his hardest rocking album ever.

10.  Stop The Clocks-Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds 2011  Life after Oasis hasn't been easy for both the Gallagher brothers. Liam and most of Oasis went to become Beady Eye and Noel continue to write songs and arranged them the way he did with Oasis.  I wouldn't say this track is one of the better songs off the new High Flying Birds album and if you combine the best of Beady Eye and this album you might come up with a decent Oasis album and I did like the last two CDs.  I just figured it would be the perfect song to end this top ten.

Link of the day: Best Rock Songs (or most overplayed) of 2011 from your friends at Banana 101.5

From my experiences of KRNA, I'm sure I hear them all (The Foos song been played three times one night in packaging hell) but to those who miss the good ole days of good old rock and roll, this is the alternative and what you missed.  Which may not be much.  I'm sure if Jason Aldean caught hold of Seether's Country Song, I'm sure he could arrange it with lots of fiddles and steel guitar and it will be number on the charts.

Next week: The Singles Going Steady Return.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Radio Fuckall & You Give Love A Bad Name-More Of The Overplayed

I want to share something with you folks.  I found this little video via YouTube via Ultimate Classic Rock about a cover band trying to find some sort of reason to continue on by playing overplayed 80s hair rock.  This is the only version of You Give Love A Bad Name via London Calling.  Check it out.

I can sympathize with him.  Playing in front of a sparse crowd and a out of tune lead singer whose lack of words to say after the guitarist does a Paul Simonsen, smash his guitar on the amp and throws it out into the floor.  Rock and roll is a loser's game Ian Hunter once sang (or wrote about it) and you have to be in it for the love of music.  Although I'm sure the guitarist would rather do his own music instead of Bon Jovi's overplayed hair classic.

Maybe the guy was listening to Mix 96.5 to which our Clear Channel owned station thought it would be wise to play You Give Love A Bad Name at the same fucking time the last three fucking nights.  I had to hear that crap in Packaging the other night and drives me insane to hear some song of 25 years ago still in regular rotation since some CC clown thinks it's a bright idea to overplay You Give Love  A Bad Name.  I used to hate that song but over time and getting Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits maybe it was a fun song to play every other year.  But with the overplayed the past three nights, my hatred of that song has returned.  No more.

Radio Fuckall, a great name for the Clear Channel owned station of 96.5 whatever the fuck they call it (WMT it used to be and used to be a muzak station, before changing the format around 1985.  Radio here is so pathetic, so cliche and so GD saturated with the same 500 songs on each and every CC and Cumulus owned station in this GD hell hole town that it really bothers the fuck out of me when I turn on the radio with my GF in tow.  Cuz she knows I'll be bitching about some overplayed piece of crap on Mix 96.5 or KDAT or KZIA 102.9, the top forty station of American Idol oversingers, bad rap and autotuner.  But then again, my rage is thrown at the so called modern rock stations of KFMW and KRNA.

First of all KRNA sucks.

If I knew that this piece of shite station was going to play AC DC Back In Black every fucking day for the 30 years after it was issued to the world, I'd never would have bought it in the first place.  At some point, they will play Hells Bells, Shoot To Thrill, Back In Black, You Shook Me All Night Long and Rock n Roll Ain't Noise Pollution at some point twice a day, every day for the past 30 years.  31 if you want to get technical. We live in a world of so much music and so much out there and all the media outlets controlled by Clear Channel or Cumulus has such a restricted playlist of the usual 500 songs.  For fun sake's I called up the KRNA doods to issue a request.  It went something to this effect.

KRNA: Hello, KRNA!
Crabby:  Am I really on the air?
KRNA:  Yes you are,  welcome to the request line, what would you like to hear?
Crabby:  Ya know I love ya guys (Bullshit) and listen to you all the time (only at work at gunpoint) and I would love it if you can play some AC/DC, I was thinking Ballbreaker.
KRNA:   Sorry bout we don't have that album, how bout some Back In Black for ya?
Crabby:  Ya know guys, I'm really kinda sick of hearing that album, how bout something else from another album?  Surprise me if you can.
KRNA:  Very well, we'll set ya up with a lost classic.  Thanks for calling.
Crabby:  Rock n Roll DOOOD!

What did they play?   Shoot To Thrill!  Off (you guessed it)  Back In Black. 

KRNA:  Request Line.
Crabby:  Dude?  Thought you weren't going to play anything off Back In Black.
KRNA:  Well you said that you want to hear a track off Back In Black.
Crabby:  Ummmmmmmm, no I seem to recall I told Y'all that to play some AC DC but not from Back In Black.  You know you could have floored me and played Whole Lotta Rosie or Go Down off Let There Be Rock, or I'd settle for Guns For Hire off Flick Of The Switch. Little variety.  Or Put The Finger On You from For Those About To Rock.  Hell, you play that song a lot I figured ya had the cd close by.
KRNA:  We're sorry but you only allow one request per week due to stations rules.  I'm sure the next AC DC song you'll dig.
Crabby:  Dude?  You're killing me.  Have a Nice Day and fuck off often please.

PS:  About two months later while being tortured to death by the crapfest of Save Yourself by Stabbing Westward or something from Staind, they actually played Put The Finger On You. 

I didn't requested it though.  The DJ made a mistake on that one.

KRNA still sucks.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reissues On Catalog Labels-One Reason That CDs Won't Be Gone

Pros hope oldies can still spin gold

Reissues, a booming side of the major labels' business during the CD era, have gone into eclipse with the waning of the format, but a new breed of catalog imprint run by veteran execs -- most of them former chieftains at major catalog divisions -- is enthusiastically picking up the slack. New labels like Real Gone, Omnivore Recordings and Rock Beat Records, run by the likes of former Collectors' Choice Music exec Gordon Anderson, former Rhino Entertainment execs Cheryl Pawelski and Arny Schorr, and ex-Warner/Chappell Music senior VP Brad Rosenberger, are targeting collectors with the music they grew up on -- and selling it on vinyl as well as CD -- even as the industry moves to newer distribution models.
"Not only did the market diminish and the retail space (for reissues) diminish, but the staffs diminished," notes Pawelski, former Rhino VP of A&R. "There was no longer a commitment, if you will, to running through the vaults and finding things that could be sold."

All the new reissue lines go through conventional retail distribution channels -- Real Gone through Sony-distributed Razor & Tie, Rock Beat through E1 Entertainment, Omnivore through EMI. Their operators know they are taking a slice of a diminished market, and their sales objectives are modest.
"How much can we move? I'm confident that we will move, over the course of the titles, 3,000 to 5,000 (copies)," says Anderson.

Says Schorr, "It could be 750 units, it could be 2,000 units. There'll be things like Moving Sidewalks where the potential is there … that we can sell considerably more than that. But we're being very judicious about what we release."

For the most part, the new-look reissue companies launched by doing what comes naturally. Real Gone, formed by Anderson (who exited Collectors' Choice at the end of 2010, shortly after parent company Infinity Resource was sold to wholesaler Super D) and Gabby Castellana (whose own reissue-oriented distributorship Hep Cat Records was also owned by Infinity), is packaging collections of '60s singles by pop singers Joanie Sommers, Shelby Flint and Connie Stevens.

"At Collectors' Choice, we found there was a real market for singles collections of early-'60s and mid-'60s acts," Anderson says. "Those are the versions that people heard on the radio back when they were teenagers, and those are the versions that those grown-up teenagers who are now collectors or enthusiasts want to hear."

Real Gone debuted its first LPs this month: re-releases of two sets by the '60s garage band ? and the Mysterians. Anderson says the potential field of reissue candidates is exponentially increased with the market growth of vinyl, and adds the Real Gone will be reissuing as many as a quarter of its collections in that format.
Real Gone was also happy to pick up the "Dick's Picks" series of authorized Grateful Dead live bootlegs. While the Dead enjoy an exclusive arrangement with Rhino, the Warner Music catalog division licensed the titles to the start-up.

"Rhino wants to focus on high-visibility and higher-ticket titles," Anderson notes. "They've got bigger fish to fry with the Dead" -- meaning projects that bring in greater revenues than do bootleg concert compilations.
Meanwhile, true to its Rhino roots, Rock Beat -- formed by former Rhino homevideo exec Schorr and Richard Foos, Rhino co-founder and CEO of Shout! Factory (with ex-Rhino A&R exec James Austin overseeing the release schedule) -- is pursuing an eclectic release schedule. Its offerings have encompassed vintage blues and R&B (T-Bone Walker, Ike & Tina Turner), roots music (the Blasters, Big Sandy), country (Rodney Crowell, Travis Tritt, Buck Owens) and pop (Billy Vera, Jackie DeShannon). There's even a naughty '50s "party record" by Faye Richmonde.

"We're being very judicious about what we release," Schorr maintains. We're trying to do as many enhanced releases as we can." As an example of the latter type of product, he cites the label's re-release of San Francisco psychedelic band Quicksilver Messenger Service's self-titled 1968 debut, augmented with nine additional tracks.

Omnivore, too, has rolled out a diverse release schedule. The label, formed by Pawelski, Rosenberger and graphic designer Greg Allen, debuted on Record Store Day this year with a limited-edition LP version of cult rock band Big Star's much-cherished third album, and has rare releases like Leon Russell's "Live in Japan" and the Motels' "Apocalypso" on tap.

"It was never our intent to be a label that just repurposes material," Pawelski says. "I'm more interested in material that has a story and that is not available. The Leon Russell (album) -- half of it was very obscure, and the other half of it was not available. The Motels record was totally shelved since 1981. The things that we put out have got to have a great story."

Of all the new imprints, Omnivore has been the one to embrace vinyl most enthusiastically. "The concept dictates the configuration," Pawelski says. It has issued colored-vinyl versions of the Motels album and funk compilations by Darondo and the Two Things in One; in January, it will offer first-time LP releases of '90s rock-pop act Jellyfish's two albums.

As for Rock Beat, Schorr says vinyl releases are going to be done selectively. So far the company has issued LP versions of rap titles by Ice Cube and Ice-T, and plans to release a two-LP rendering of the rare and much-bootlegged album by the Moving Sidewalks, the '60s Texas band fronted by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.
Adds Omnivore's Pawelski: "A lot of the music I'm interested in might not have that broad a market anymore. And I'm OK with that. But it's gotta make sense. … If we sell 5,000 to 10,000 units on something, that's a great day. That's a hit!"

And if any of the catalog reissue labels reissue The Brains 1980 album they would sell at least 5,000.  But nobody wants to.

From Variety Mag.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The End Of The Cd's Are Coming! Are You Prepared?

From the original link:

You read it well. The major labels plan to abandon the CD-format by the end of 2012 (or even earlier) and replace it with download/stream only releases via iTunes and related music services. The only CD-formats that will be left over will be the limited edition ones, which will of course not be available for every artist. The distribution model for these remaining CD releases would be primarily Amazon which is already the biggest CD retailer worldwide anyhow.

3 weeks ago we heard it for the first time and since then we have tried getting some feedback from EMI, Universal and Sony. All declined to comment.

The news doesn't come as a surprise to those who have been working in the business. In a piece that was published in a q&a with the Alfa Matrix people back in June 2011 in the 1st issue of "Matrix Revelations", our chief editor Bernard Van Isacker said the following when asked if a CD would still exist in 5 years: "Yes, but in a different format. Normal CDs will no longer be available because they don't offer enough value, limited editions on the other hand will remain available and in demand for quite a few more years. I for one buy only limited editions because of the added value they offer: a nice design, extra bonus gadgets, etc. The album as we know it now however will be dead within 5 years, if it isn't even sooner. I predict that downloads will have replaced the CD album within the next 2 years. I don't see that as something negative, it just has run its course, let's leave the space to limited editions (including vinyl runs for bigger acts) and downloads instead."

It's a move that makes completely sense. CD's cost money, even when they don't sell because there is stock storage to be paid; a label also pays money to distributors when CDs get returned to the labels when not sold and so on. In short, abandoning the CD-format will make it possible to just focus on the release and the marketing of it and no longer focus on the distribution (since aggregators will do the work as far as dispatching the releases to services worldwide) and - expensive - stock maintenance. In the long run it will most surely mean the end for many music shops worldwide that only stock and sell CD releases. In the UK for instance HMV has problems paying the labels already and more will follow. It makes the distribution of CDs no longer worth it.

Also Amazon will benefit from this as it will surely become the one and only player when it comes to distribution of the remaining CD productions from labels. Packaged next to regular album downloads via its own Amazon MP3 service it will offer a complimentary service.

The next monument to fall? That will be printed magazines as people will want to consume their information online where they also read most of the news.

 Update: We were approached by several people working with major labels, who indeed re-confirm that plans do exist to give up the CD. We keep on trying to get an official confirmation, but it seems that the matter is very controversial, especially after Side-Line brought out the story.

..If that's the case then friends what this mean is that there won't be anymore places to discover music in town be it Wally World, Target or Best Buy which actually did kill off the whatever record stores we used to have in town.  CD's are higher in cost since the great three Giant labels have moved their CD operations south of the border.  Most new CDs are manufactured in Mexico and of course that's why the big brain trust never tells you.  Takes money to move them and gas prices have been too fucking high since the Bush 2 era.  And of course most new CDs sound like shit anyway due to the LOUDNESS Factor.  Another problem is that the major labels manufactured too many CDs that nobody wants (anybody listen to the American Idol Runner ups season 7 lately?).  Of the flavor of the week that everybody plays one day and gets rid of the next (American Hi Fi got it right with their tragedy accurate Flavor Of The Weak and then whatever they put out went to the dollar bins).  Problem number three: The internet, effectively makes it easy just to get up from bed and plop on the computer and order from your own home.

What does this mean for me?  Well, looks like I'm going have to come up with another hobby to pass the time with.  Although there's enough CDs out there in the world that will enable me to continue to find things if and when they come through the used book store or pawnshop. Those will not be gone away too soon but as time passes on, CDs like 45s or albums or 78s will eventually become more less and less.  I had a discussion with somebody at some other site about this.  Even though if the 3 Majors have their way and end CDs in 2012 or sooner, there'll still be enough CDs out there to at least keep a open mind or ear on what's out there.

Even as the years progressed, CDs manufacturing have been shoddy, especially from the folks at DADC, who used to make some of the best jewel cases of the 1990s, but nowadays, their made in china jewel cases are so GD flimsy, that most of the time the CD holder is never secured.  Nothing pisses me off more than trying to take a CD out of the case only to have the rest of the piece of shit holder come out too.

In the end I still believe that CDs will be made but in a lesser capacity from the specialty labels that put out reissues (Wounded Bird, Real Gone, Varese Vintage).  But if the labels are only interested of rehashing everything on a crappy MP3 format, I just convert what I got to MP3 myself, tell the labels and Itunes to shove it up their ass with a wire brush and live out my retirement years on scratchy albums and what CDs I have.

And tell Bob Lefsetz he can keep his fucking Spotify and that so called music revolution he keeps talking about that  we all have been waiting to see.  Only to be disappointed again when it hasn't happen.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Between The Hear And Now

The year has gone by fast hasn't it?

Judging by our ratings I'm thinking the viewership will be between 800 and 900 thereabouts, unless I start writing everyday and then it may hit 1,000 but then again most of the viewership seem to be going for the tried and true rather than the here and now.  Everytime I look at the 10 all time, the Ides Of March and Blanda Blackmore Blues keep knocking each other off the final spot.  But the Crabb Bits on Paul Revere is making a charge up the charts.  And of course the usual My GF Thinks I Should Blog and Brains blog remaining definite reads.  No word on the whereabouts of the Rock and Roll and The Offspring is at.  Most new posts get about 10 views per blog, sometimes 15 but not what we would call groundbreaking and basically just the usual gang following.  I do notice a bit of a spike in spam mail and did add some to make up a funny comment from myself but still thinking I should do a Spam blog and let them hock their wares there.

Black Friday coming up and does it mean I'll be doing a bargain hunting trip to a record store that day? Not really.  I haven't seen any thing that the major labels have drummed up to get me going to buy some overpriced 7 inch 45 or promo CD.  Best Buy has something going on about 4.99 CDs and judging from what I have seen, it's basically the same albums that you can find for 4.99 every day.  Aerosmith Classics Live 1 and 2 (not recommended unless your a fan) or selected 20th Century Masters from Universal although Guns & Roses Greatest Hits might be up your alley should you decide to fight the crowds.  To which I'm not.  Barnes & Noble seem to have a better selection of 4.99 stuff (Paul Desmond Take Ten, Ray Stevens All Time Hits) and they did have Graham Nash Songs For Beginners for 7.99 likewise ole stoner David Crosby If Only I Can Remember My Name to which for that price I'll chance it since I have never heard it before.  Robert Christgau hated it and so did Rolling Stone Mag.

In Box Set mania, I haven't had much interest in the Pink Floyd reissues which only serves a fact that the difference is that the CDs are made in Mexico and put in crappy digipaks the worst GD format that makes people download more.  The latest Pink Floyd Best Of A Foot In The Door is made for the person who has yet to own any Pink Floyd and it only has one Syd Barrett song on there and of course The Great Gig In The Sky aka Dole Pineapple Commercial of 1973.  Tad gave a great review of Smile  if you missed it the first time.

The new REM farewell overview is now out as well as a updated Quadrapenia from The Who Director's Cut but I admire that album from a distance, no matter how much Pete Townsend says how fucking brilliant it is. Reissue of the year might be Beach Boys Smile but I'll go with Wounded Bird Records reissue of The Fugs Reprise albums.  
/?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150954953605525_27620795_10150955075210525  Can't be a year without the usual the end of the CD is coming article.  Believe me CDs will still be around in some way or another.  As long there's junkshops, record stores (what's left of them) and the net, you'll find them and they'll still be manufactured.  As for the major labels its going to come down who'll be last label standing and that will probably be Universal vs Sony Music since both of them carved up EMI.  And the other guy Warner Music Group.  No freaking wonder why music sucks and the world is still stuck on a playlist of 1985 that will not go away no matter how many formats that is out there and come and gone. 

And for those who wondered, Dan Brinkley of Hit Dan Back is gay.  Now you can sleep better at night knowing that.

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1.  Ramblin Gamblin Man-Bob Seger System 1968  Can't understand the reasoning beyond Bob's not interested in his early albums but this album rocks hard.  Perhaps it has something to do that Bob didn't care much for this band after the 2nd album fiasco known as Noah and having somebody else do lead vocals but on this album and hit single Bob sings all but one track.  He might be put off by the jacking off by the engineer pinging drums and cymbals from left to right speaker but still that's a small complaint.  The mono single is on the new Bob Seger best of, should you want to spring the bucks for it.

2.  Operation Spirit (the Tyranny Of Tradition)-Live 1991  In the spirit of 20th anniversary albums how bout this from the band from Pennsylvania striking gold on their first album and later on the bigger but not necessarily better  Throwing Copper, an album that I liked a lot at first but then soured upon it later.  Live never really meant much to me soon afterward but I still have their first album Mental Jewelry and still do play it on occasion.  Unlike the rest of y'all.

3.  Take Ten-Paul Desmond 1963  Went solo and did an answer to his big hit for Dave Brubeck (Take Five of course) this features no drum solos but nice interplay between Paul and Jim Hall on guitar and borrows Eugene Wright on this track.  But who holds it all together?  The drummer to which was the legendary Connie Kay.

4.  The Garden Is Open-The Fugs 1967  Guaranteed to offend The Fugs have been that band and they did it in style. However, they did have musicians that could jam with the best of them, and this track off Tenderness Junction shows they could keep up with The Grateful Dead if they wanted to.  Their first two albums have been reissued via Fantasy but their more famous stuff for Reprise has been now reissued by the kind folks at Wounded Bird Records.  Too bad they're not around.  Occupy Wall Street could really use them.

5.  Unsung-Helmet 1992  Time and rock radio have forgotten them but 20 years ago they struck a deal with Interscope and Meantime came roaring out to the masses.  With Page Hamilton drill Sargent bellowing and hard hitting guitar chords and screeches it was ahead of the Tom Morello Rage Against The Machine by a year.  This did generate some airplay on the radio but nowadays Cumulus Radio ignores it.  Which is bullshit.  Meantime and Strap It On still blows anything from Interscope in this day and age.  Page Hamilton is still around but his last three Helmet albums have done nothing for me.

6.  Go Where You Wanna Go-The Bees 2011  Nice cover of the Mamas and Papas number.  The Bees are back with a brand new album Every Step's A Yes and most of the time they don't rock out, in fact most of the songs kinda go by like a stoned dude.  In fact it was so damn mellow it put me to sleep and I almost crashed into the ditch on the way home.  That wouldn't been a good thing.

7.  Where Is My Mind-Vanilla Fudge 1968  It's been the way I've been feeling of late.  Especially at work when I'm trying to learn something and every word coming out from the instructor sounds foreign.  It's too early in my years for Alzheimer's.

8.  Supersonic Sex Machine-Steel Panther 2011  More silly hair metal comedy from this band that takes their cue from Motley Crue and Poison and other hair metal bands of that era but adds more of a sexual overtone to their music.  If you can believe that.

9.  Cafe-Malo 1972  They made a damn good debut for Warner Brothers in 1972 and had a top ten hit with Suavecito.  But they owe a lot to Santana, since Carlos' brother Jorge plays guitar in this band and they managed to borrow two of the percussionists from the Santana Band to give this record a more jamming latino groove.

10.  Key To The Highway-Steve Miller Band 1968  Finally a nod and a wink to Rastro on this one.  I never did find the vinyl LP of Children Of The Future but Kirk at Record Collector had this on CD so I picked it up and still think that this might be the slowest version of Little Walter's song to the point that it makes The Melvins sound like Metallica if you can believe that.  I don't know I still find the album good in spots, think the side long suite on side 1 is a bit tedious and the best songs remain Boz Scaggs' contributions leading off side two.  But I'm sure Rastro would disagree with me.

This from Jeff Higgins of Groove Sandwich.  He writes about Coldplay plus Nickelback equals Plain Yoghourt. The link don't work anymore but he basically said it was like yogurt or chewing gum.  Good on the first listen but loses its flavor the more you play it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Going From Four To Three-EMI Sold To Universal/Sony Music

The recording industry is getting to be centralized as EMI has been sold off to both Sony Music and Universal, thus eliminating four down to three.  Which means music is going to suck even more as we count the clock down to music Armageddon.

It also going to mean that EMI overseas is going lose a lot more jobs as Universal tries to cut down costs and of course making the fat cats who invest in Wall Street richer again.  If the merger goes through, Universal will then control about 37 percent of the music that had been recorded.  Sony Music will get the publishing side of things.

This sounds like a merger that may not go through if there's proof of a monopoly taking place.  It did happen when the Commission blocked  Warner Music Group's offer in around 2000.   Nevertheless Sony Music will make out like a bandit due to EMI's extensive and lucrative back catalog. 

Still the merger and sell off needs to be approved and the deal might not go through.   But then again, stranger things have happened in the music industry.  But as i said before, mergers never help anybody but share holders and board of directors.  After 80 years EMI is no longer an independent.  And it's not all the better for it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Not Owned By Cumulus In Any Way

Ah Cumulus Radio.  Where Margaritaville plays every hour on the hour on various stations across the globe.  They own 4 radio stations of note: KHAK, KRNA KRQN and of course everybody's favorite KDAT.  Neverthless, Clear Channel has six of them here too although they tend not to annoy me as much as Cumulus. Can't understand that logic and neither do you.

So that means 10 stations here are owned by Clear Channel or Cumulus.  Which explains why radio sucks around here.  So Rick Sellers you better not sell KMRY anytime soon.  But then again he's been known to play Margaritaville too.

This is November and after a dull and boring most of the year, new releases have actually kicked on in.  Which will probably complicate a few things on my best of list of 2011.  Forthcoming new stuff from the likes of The Bees, Kentucky Headhunters, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Steel Panther and whatever comes to mind.  Of course I keep forgetting to look for the final Dave Brubeck Quintet For The Last Time, but I'm sure Best Buy still wouldn't have it.   TAD talks about the Smile Sessions CD here:

In terms of reissues, we have yet another Pink Floyd Best Of : A Foot In The Door and unless you don't have any Floyd, I cannot recommend buying this.  Echoes did a better job but then again I found that CD for a dollar at the pawnshop and it has done its job quite well.  I still remain more partial to 1987's Works comp that showcases more of the off the wall stuff then A Collection Of Great Dance Songs which probably serves as a decent best of.  Also Legacy/Sony is issuing Hell Yeah, The Very Best Of Neil Diamond which tries to serve as a definite overview of Neil's career.

I don't think this would make me trade in the MCA Collection, nor the definite Bang Years CD but it does add a couple tracks from the comeback Rick Rubin produced albums.

Top Ten Of The Week:

1.  She's Not There-The Road 1969   I was more familiar with this version more than The Zombies version since I had this on 45 which I think I got for about a quarter at some forgotten record store in Lincoln Illinois.  A lot of influences on this, starts out with a riff off The Doors Soul Kitchen and then goes into a Vanilla Fudge type of introduction that would give the Fudge a run for the money.  Plus a bass line that recalls Midnight Confessions by The Grassroots.  Why this didn't do better on the charts is a mystery to me.  B side was the fun instrumental A Bummer.  The album was selling for 99 cents up at Kresge's but never picked it up.  From you tube, found the long version with the long forgotten Road Introduction and stereo mix.  You gotta love You Tube for preserving the music that Cumulus won't.

2.  I Want You To Be My Baby-Louis Jordan  1953  The father of rock and roll.  His big bands were into jump blues and for the most of the 40's Jordan was in the top ten with his music but as the 50's rolled around his popularity was waning.   Which is a sad thing really.  The next to last 45 he recorded for Decca before moving on to Aladdin and later X and Mercury.

3.  Pretty Girls Go Insane-Outrageous Cherry 2004  Closer to the Velvet Underground than Partridge Family, this band has been around for a good 16 years plus.  But you wouldn't know that since they don't get no airplay on the radio.  From Our Love Can Change The World, perky harmonies to go with jingly guitars.

4.  Tallahassee Lassie-Freddy Cannon 1959  One of the songs that forever corrupted my mind to the point that my life's calling would be rock and roll and records.  I think my mom bought this when she was a teenager and couple other Freddy Cannon songs.  This is the long version all 2:28 of it.  Dedicated to my Sassy half.

5.  I'll Shut Up Now-The Dirt Drifters 2011  I really knew nothing about these guys till Robert Christgau gave them a B plus on their Warner's debut and I went to about 10 different stores trying to find their album.  They're considered country although they owe a lot to John Mellencamp and Guitar Town Steve Earle.  This is a great song but we all know Cumulus would bitch if KHAK ever played this.  Willie Nelson shows up on the studio version which I haven't found.  This is a live version.

6.  If You Want To Be A Bird-Holy Modal Rounders 1969  Of course you heard this in the Easy Rider Movie.  But then again I got stoned and missed it.

7.   For The Country-Dumptruck 1987  Seth Tiven's band was coming to an end when they recorded this album which is considered to be their best.  I think Kevin Salem who joins this band on this recording helped a lot too.  Salem would go on a solo career to which he played in Iowa City in 1994 opening up for Blue Mountain at Gabes one particular night.  Tiven would reform Dumptruck later in 90s and then reissued the Big Time albums via Rykodisc.

8.  But It's Alright-Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons 1981  Cover of the J J Jackson hit, this version was produced by H.W. Casey aka Casey of the KC and The Sunshine Band fame. Jo Jo Zep had a following down in Australia which lead to a recording deal and two albums with Columbia/CBS both of which is pretty good blue eyed soul for the down under crowd.  Has a nice sax solo that differs from both J J Jackson and Huey Lewis and The News which did hit the top ten.

9.  She's A Mystery-Journey 2011  I haven't paid much attention to Journey over the past years since Steve Perry got booted out of the band but what I have heard they have gotten a bit more heavier sounding and more progressive rock on their latest album Eclipse.  But in some ways they do remind me of YES, losing their classic rock vocalist to more of a imitator although critics and fans thinks it's a sellout and a mockery of the classic rock sound, just like Benoit David replacing Jon Anderson,  Arnel Pineda sounds like Steve Perry although he's not Over The Top like Perry could get on the more pompous numbers.  In some ways Eclipse sounds like the followup to Escape that Frontiers wasn't.  Comparing the new Journey to Yes, I think the end results are a tossup.  It's good in spots but not exactly something I'd listen to on a regular basis.  On a different note, another new live Rush CD is out in stores.  As well as yet another Deep Purple in Montreaux live album too.

10.  Growin In It-Diplomats Of Solid Sound 2004  These guys have survived longer as this band then when they were known as the Dangtrippers, Head Candy and Bent Scepters, all three played a big role in the Iowa City Alternative rock of the late 80s and early 90s but I think Doug Robertson is more at home playing Booker T styled instrumental soul rock.  Their albums vary but the last two, they added Sarah Cram and Kathy Ruestow as vocalists. But on this track it's Robertson's Steve Cropper guitar style going alongside Nathan Basinger's Booker T organ and David Basinger's King Curtis sax.  Hardly anybody does it this way in this day and age but then again that's a good thing.  One should never forget the Stax groove, or how soul music used to be before Rap and bad R and B made it a thing of the past.

Post Script:  I tried to shake things up by posting some songs with links from You Tube.  Alas to my disappointment, I lost the most of the top ten but thanks to quick thinking and cut and paste everything was saved.  Usually the posting gets released to public consumption on Wed morning but as you can see this got posted on Tuesday.    Also, as you can tell I try to post the more obscure songs via You Tube.  I figured that the average reader can seek out the videos and music on their own free will unless it's something that you just gotta hear, then I post the link myself.   But I do find trying to post links from reliable sources can be very much time consuming.  In my own way I still try my best to preserve the legacy of Louis Jordan or The Road in some way or another but it's good to know I'm not the only one that feels the same way.  After all, I had at least 5 different sources of She's Not There to choose from and chose the best one.  And so it goes.

And finally, it was 40 years ago this week that Led Zeppelin 4 was released to the public with glowing reviews.   And that my friends was a big event as you can tell!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Junkshop In The Mall

I thought about going to Madison this month but with Daylight Savings Time coming to an end, I really don't see the need to go up there and not get time to jog alongside Lake Monona.  I made a comment about it on FB last night about Mad City Sounds Good To Me, but when the morning came up, it was cloudy, windy and cold so I junked the idea.  And went to Iowa City before going to work.

Tom who lives down there told me about a place in the mall that had Cd's stacked to the skies and it was in Sycamore Mall.  In this day and age CD's places are getting hard to find and the thrift stores have the junk that nobody wants, crap from the 90's rappers, bad country etc.  So when I got there, I didn't expect a whole lot to see and yes the place had plenty of cds but the majority were crap or the CD's were scratched beyond belief but I did picked up Banjo & Sullivan, a Easy Rider S/T and Diplomats Of Solid Sound from 2004.  I did find a Louis Jordan 45 too.  Spent a hour and half sorting and scrounging around but it was fun just the fact of seeing what I can find for scratchy 45s and wishing that whoeever had them should have taken better care of them.  Can't tell you the name of this place but if you're a hoarder and want some more stuff to clutter up your house, here tis.

I couldn't find my copy of Children Of The Future by Steve Miller Band but Record Collector had a CD of that so I picked it up.  Kirk had some free 45s of note: picked up On The Way Home By Buffalo Springfield and In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry and Playmate Of The Year from the Sunsets (written by Gary Usher).

The gutted out buildings from the Bruggel's fire of last month is still visible although the new hi rise seemed to escape it, but the adjoining building next to it on the other street got burned out too judging by what's used to be a roof on top of it.   It is also hard to believe that it was 20 years ago that some whacked out gook by the name of Gang Li, went on a shooting spree, killing 4 teachers and administrators and one student before killing himself. More history about it can be read here.  

I donno.  It seems like the record stores that I all know will be gone within 5 years.   Best Buy and Wal Mart are not to be trusted.  Thought the Coralville BB had the Dirt Drifters CD that Robert Christgau was raving about but they didn't and neither did any Wally Worlds.  Only The Cedar Rapids BB had it.  If you wanted a copy of Smile by The Beach Boys, CR didn't have the 2 CD set but had the whole Sessions box set for 140 dollars and somebody snagged that up.  Coralville had the 2 CD set but I didn't buy it.  I figured I'll just put it down on the want list and maybe get that for Christmas from the family (hint hint).  Used to be we had 10 decent music stores in town and nowadays all we have is 10 stores but you have to fucking drive to get there.  What's left of my future of music remains at the thrift stores or the dollar bins at Half Priced Books.  Hell, I don't think I'll be around in five years way things are going.  You never know.

Hell I don't know.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Lulu Owes You Nothing

Pete Townsend's John Peel Lecture. It's a bit wordy though.

So it's November.  Hard to figure where the time went.  Some thoughts before the usual.

Haven't heard the Lou Reed Lulu album with Metallica which fans of the latter would like Lou's head on a platter. To which I say Metallica owes you nothing and neither does Lou Reed.  You pretty much have to accept them on their own terms or not at all.  Basically you can't go back to Master Of Puppets or in Lou's case Rock And Roll Animal.  I am probably in the minority on this but I do like Load and to some extent the black album.  Lou on the other hand can be too prickly for the casual fan to care about.  But even on his most accessible albums he has been known to throw a curve (Like A Possum, his 19 minute tribute to Metal Machine Music on the 2000 Ecstasy album, Metal Machine Music itself) but then again Lou Reed doesn't conform to anybody. 

Gotta email from Dennis Lancaster saying 9 months after open heart surgery that he celebrated by riding his bike around ASU in Tempe and hiked to the top of Hayden Butte (the mountain with an A on the top of it). Ain't modern medicine wonderful?

Los Compandes Mexican Restaurant:  I usually eat there once a week but I haven't seen Hayley up there anymore.  I think she quit one time and they begged her to come back but now I think she's gone again.  She was mentioning that she was going to move to Colorado soon after graduating from Kirkwood Community College, maybe she did finally leave.  Anyway, we'll miss ya.

Silly Love Songs is fucking annoying.  Especially when your at the buffet and the POS Cumulus Station KDAT plays the 9 Minute version.  I think it's 6 minutes but it feels like going on for  nine minutes or 90 minutes.  I didn't much care for it when it came out in 1976.

Strange how Best Buy didn't have the Smile Sessions 2 CD set from the Beach Boys but they did have the big box of Complete Smile Sessions for 140 dollars.  I think I'm more inclined to hear the single CD version of that album but in the end may just say the hell with it and stick with the 2004 Brian Wilson Nonesuch Smile album instead.  Wish EMI USA would quit fucking around and just give us the single version of Smile Sessions instead of the 2 CD deluxe edition.  If you want the single CD you'll have to get it as an import.

There might be another Madison trip before the snows hit.  Question is when.

Top Ten Of The Week:

1.  The Monster Mash-Bobby "Boris" Pickett 1962   Charted three times in the history of rock music although I know it placed at number 1 in 1973 on the KCRG Super 30.  Sure it's schlock but everytime I hear this tune it does put a smile on my face.  Pretty much went around the workplace last night singing like ole Boris Pickett in that bad Karoff imitation.  Used to be you can get a autograph copy of said song but after April of 2007 you couldn't.  Pickett died on April 25, 2007 but wouldn't it be spooky if it was actually autographed?  Boooooooooooooooooo.

2.  I Predict-Sparks 1982  These guys were erratic as hell and predate Queen in terms of sheer weirdness.  I had vivid memories of them bouncing around the stage on American Bandstand as they did No More Mr Nice Guys a track of their first album but they have been around for years with stop offs on various labels (Bearsville, Island, Columbia, Elektra, Curb) before beginning what may have been their most successful time at Atlantic.  I had the album Angst In My Pants (bought it as a 1.66 cutout at Target) but didn't like it much outside of this song and the followup Eaten By The Monster Of Love.  They do have one thing in common with Queen and that they had Mack as producer.   In the long run, Queen made more consistent albums.

3.  I'm Gonna Change The World-The Animals 1965   I know in the time of putting up top tens that I tend to forgot to add a lot of the music that I grew up with in the 60s.  It's hard trying to compile 7 decades of rock and roll and trying to get each and every decade.  In fact, I think the majority are around 1980 or 1990.  Not that it was supposed to be that way, it's just that happened that way.  Back in the 60s, The Animals were my favorite band, more so than the Beatles but band implosions robbed The Animals of what they could have been.  Eric Burdon wrote this and this was the B side to It's My Life, another song of purpose.

4.  Same Old You-Miranda Lambert 2011  She's been a busy girl lately.  Just two months ago she released her side band project The Pistol Annie's Hell On Heels, which finally came out on CD and then today issued her new album Four The Record which might be her slightest album to date but that's a good thing and it's still a good album that you should buy.  For a country record there's not a single fiddle about and the songs are bit more alt country than actual.  But this little number she's here to remind you that she can do a mean old honky tonk as well.  Hubby Blake Shelton does sing backing vocals though out the album.

5.  Just Like Strange Rain-Elton John 1969  My good friend Tad points out that radio overplays his hits (Bennie And The Jets, Crocodile Rock, Philadelphia Freedom) to the point that I just fastforwarded them on the CDs that I do have and tend to go more toward the obscure and less played.  I have heard his covers album (16 Legendary Covers from 1969-1970 on Akarma although another version was on a different label). And those covers although they were covers, he was beginning to incorporate them or the style on his first album.  Before he did signed up with Uni, he made some failed 45s for Congress but I think this song was only availble on Phillips as a import.  As EJ got famous, DJM reissued some of his forgotten singles on a 8 track only comp called Lady Samantha, which did see CD release in the 90s.  Polydor issued them as Rare Masters and then later Island/Rocket reissued the EJ albums with B side bonus cuts.  Just Like Strange Rain found a new home on the Empty Sky reissue.  I still enjoy Lady Samantha as is.

6.  Landed-Ben Folds 2005  This version does Elton John well although Ben will be the first to tell you that it isn't a Elton John song.  Strings sound like Paul Buckmaster arranged them although it doesn't say it in the liner notes.  Ben owes more to Joe Jackson than Elton I think but opinions will vary.

7..  Dirty Bird-Brant Bjork 2010  As much as I was a fan of the first Radio Moscow album, the last one and the new one exercises so much hippy dippy that I dismissed both of them of overdoing it.  Not that Parker Griggs is bad, he's actually very good at recreating that 60's dirty blues psychedelia that recalls Blue Cheer being fronted by Frank Marino.  Brant Bjork on the other hand has more of a mellower vibe that owes more to Robin Trower or Mountain.  Originally the drummer for Kyuss, Brant left to join up Desert stoners Fu Manchu and then started a solo career that only the hardcore Kyuss or Fu Manchu fan would know about.  Even I never know about this till I found his latest album Gods & Goodesses in the dollar bins at Half Priced Books.  Since it came out in April of 2010 it won't make my ten best of the year but I have been playing this more often than most of the new stuff.  Since the release of this album, Bjork has gone back playing drums for Kyuss Lives which is Kyuss without guitar extraordinare Josh Homme who's not giving up his other job, being leader of Queens Of The Stone Age.  The guys in Kyuss Lives wish someday Homme will return then they can be Kyuss all over again.  Never say never, after all The Stone Roses did reform......

8.  Sad But True-Metallica 1991   Metallica owes you nothing folks.  Think I told you that already.

9.  I Am The World-The Elms 2006  Former Christian Rockers make a play into the rock and roll world but ended up signing with Universal South and marketed them as a country band or something to that effect, make one album them and then retreated back to the minors for one more album and then calling it a day.

10.  How Do I End This-The Rascals UK 2008  Not to be confused with The Rascals of People Gotta Be Free but rather a minor UK band that made one album for Deltasonic.  Miles Kane played in a band that featured Arctic Monkeys Alex Turner (The Last Shadow Puppets) to which I never heard anything from.  This is one of those bargain bin cds that captured my fancy and was 2 bucks (The HP Books 2 dollar bins seem to have some oddities that attract me).  Kind of a Franz Ferdinand/Oasis/Julian Cope vibe to it.

Lou Reed & Metallica-Lulu (WB)

Give Uncle Lou credit for taking a bold step on this daring and ambitious but failed experiment of metal machine music and Metallica joining on in the fun and it's worth a listen before trading it in or move it down the line.  This is Lou's album more than Metallica which the average Metallica fan will not comprehend.  But for the average Lou Reed fan even sitting though the whole 2 CD 89 minute excursion can be overwhelming.  When Reed goes over 15 minutes on anything he tends to tries people's patience. And even though Frustration does rock hard, it takes a good 2 and half minutes before Lou decides to bring the boys in.  And the boys do go home in the middle of Junior Dad to which the last 8 minutes or so relies on cello masquerating as feedback, starts up, fades off and starts up again.  Which seems to be the pattern of most songs on this album.  While Lou sings in a persona of an aging and abused woman looking through back her life it seems to be  clash of ideas,especially when Lou is shouting lines though a Metallica speed metal tune.  It does give an impression of a grumpy old man trying to do speed metal but then again Lou Reed like Metallica doesn't owe you a thing or a reprise of Transformer or them doing Masters Of Puppets.  Yep, Lulu is a bit more melodic than Metal Machine Music, that 4 sided anti major label FU Reed gave to his label.   Lulu, is not as bad as the Metallica fan would like you to think it is, you have to credit Metallica for at least thinking outside of the heavy metal box.  The problem is that songs overwhelm you and dismisses you if you don't or can't get into the songs.  Hell Lou's been fucking with the world since Metal Machine Music (remember the 18 and half minute Like A Possum that I still can't listen to off Ecstasy) and fine if you don't like it and FU if you do.  But even with the ending of Junior Dad,  it makes me wonder if the long cello notes makes me wonder if Lou and company did intend this to be a one listen and done effort.  I listened to it, now it's on the next album.

Grade C+
Picks:  Brandenburg Gate, Frustration.