Saturday, May 28, 2011

Crabb Bits On The Memorial Day Weekend.

It's been a very busy week week for me in my new state of adventure.  With my GF now moved down here I've been trying to adjust the best way possible between dog sitting and work and still trying to maintain some kind of music observation here.  I'm still planning to see what Half Priced Books has for 20 percent off this week.

Vincent Price would have been 100 today.  I grew up watching most of his horror films with Roger Corman and my favorites remain the Edgar Allen Poe stuff (The Raven, Pit & Tales Of Horror come to mind)  but he also starred in The Ten Commandments, and he stayed active up till Edward Scissor-hands.  He also played a music role, doing the voice over on Michael Jackson's Thriller and Alice Cooper's Welcome To My Nightmare.  But I never get tired of watching his movies, even the Dr. Goldfoot goof fests.

Next week is the Iowa City Art Festival to which I think I told you about Alejandro Escovedo, The Bottle Rockets, Teddy Thompson and a few others will be playing but it looks like we may have to work this weekend.  And I'm not too happy about that, looks like I might be cheated out of seeing the Bottle Rockets again.  But I'm sure we'll also trying to get my GF moved into her new place.

It's funny how word of month has gotten The Rock N Roll & The Brains blog come out of nowhere to become the number one all time read blog here at the Crabb site.  Somebody is getting the word out and really don't know who but it took over first place and leaving the last blog in the dust.

As I type this, my little adopted daughter is taking a snooze on the couch.  I never thought I'd be cut out to be a step dad once again but Chloe seems to be taking it all in stride.  I told Nicole that if her daughter didn't like me this would not work out but the little bugger first saw me and then curled up in a  ball on my lap.  Chloe is a five year old beagle mix, a little bit watch dog and little bit lap dog.  She loves going in the car and going bye bye, and whatever she can find on the floor.  She's very good natured and has a way of stealing your heart if your not careful.  She misses her mom when she goes to work, she likes to stare out the window.  I was sleeping this morning when her whining to get in the waterbed and had reservations about it but she got herself situated quite well and since I'm the only person around, she follows me around.  Right now the little furball is napping on the pillow on the couch that Nicole has been sleeping on.

I don't know, I'm still trying to get over the shock of having my GF down here so soon but Chloe seems to have done a much better job of that.  I dated women over the internet and gotten nowhere with the majority of them but Nicole is that rare exception of knowing what she wants and chasing him till she got him.  She's known me for about 11 years and started chasing me till I finally agreed to meet her in St Louis in 2009 and here we are.

Guess her daughter gave her seal of approval looking at her now ;).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Is It Rolling Bob?

Tuesday it will be Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday which is hard to believe that he has survived that long.  And for his effort I dedicate a full top ten of music to Mr. Zimmerman.  I'm sure he'd care less what I think or what the masses think but first and foremost Dylan has always been a big fan of music.  Just listen to his XM show it goes way back to the early years.

It's hard to categorize the man.  He started out a Woody Guthrie like singer and then blew up bigtime with albums such as The Freewheeling Bob Dylan,  Highway 61 Revisited, Blood On The Track, Time Out of Mind, Modern Times.  While some people find fault with Self Portrait, I tend to listen to that one a bit more than Blonde On Blonde if you can believe that.  But then again I don't expect you too, Self Portrait usually doesn't get played that much here either.  But it is on my shelf for reference.  Still his greatest two record set may be The Basement Tapes to which didn't come out till 1975 and still made best ofs on just about every magazine out there.  For every Blood On The Track, there's a Knocked Out Loaded, for every Oh Mercy, there's a Under The Red Sky and for every John Wesley Harding, there's World Gone Wrong.  Certainly Down In The Groove and Empire Burlesque doesn't hold up to say Highway 61 Revisited but I can find I can listen to those.  And what about those Born Again albums?  Saved and Slow Train Coming are for the believers and the hardcore Dylan followers who follow wherever he takes you.  Sometimes it may not be the best road traveled but the road less traveled to me the always the way to go.

This top ten isn't the best Dylan songs ever, but rather the ones that I have noted and have played and if I don't include Rainy Day Women #12 and 35 or Like A Rolling Stone, it's not that I don't like them but I do think everybody has those on their best of Dylan songs.  But if you don't agree with what I have down, your are free to compile your own best of Dylan songs.  I'm sure he won't mind.

1.  Knockin On Heaven's Door (Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid Soundtrack or Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Volume 3) 1973  When I hear this version on the dreadful money grab Dylan & The Dead it makes me forever disown this song but when when I hear the original 2 minute single version it stands out as Dylan classic.  Makes you believe that long dark cloud is coming down upon you.

2.  Highway 61 Revisited (Real Live) 1984  I didn't pay much attention to Dylan in the 80's except for this money grab live album that featured Mick Taylor on guitar and sounded a bit like Dylan doing the Rolling Stones (Compare Jumpin Jack Flash from Get Your Ya Yas Out for reference).  KUNI played this when the album got released in 1984 a few times. Nothing does beat the original version I guess but this showed that Dylan could get his rocks out if he wanted to.  But I do admit the way he sings this, he ain't giving it a second thought.

3.  Tweedie Dee & Tweedie Dum (Love & Theft) 2001  If Time Out Of Mind was his dark album, Love & Theft was his comedy album and he lighten up to show a sense of humor with a nod and a wink.  But in some way I always considered this song to be a nod at Dubya Bush and Neo Nazi Cheney to which I'm sure Dylan won't say it was but I'm sure he was thinking of them that way.  I believe I gave this album an A plus and it still earns that grade, I think it still remains A plus over Blood On The Tracks or Blonde On Blonde.  One of the best bands that Dylan ever played in.

4.  Shot Of Love (Shot Of Love) 1981  By then Bobby D was beginning to tire of the sacred songs that he was singing around that time and although Shot Of Love is considered the final of the scared albums, I don't look at that record as gospel like Slow Train Comin but still this song could be considered Gotta Serve Somebody Revisited and Rewritten.  Robert Randolph does a fine cover of this last year.

5.  Most Of The Time (Oh Mercy 1989)  Between Shot Of Love and Oh Mercy, the 80s showed Dylan in search of a style and song. The year before he scared most of his fanbase away with contractual obligations such as Knocked Out Loaded, Down In The Groove or Dylan & The Dead, probably the worst thing he ever done (unless you count the 1973 Columbia finale Dylan while he moved to Asylum for Planet Waves or 1979 Budokan fiasco) but Oh Mercy, while not completely perfect was at least a return of what made him what he is today.  This song pretty much got me through a bad breakup with an ex high school sweetheart which tells it better than I ever could.  Daniel Lanois adds a spooky dark overtone which enhances the song quite well.

6.  It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (Bringing It All Back Home) 1965 The beginning of his classic electric years and yes like Highway 61 Revisited this is just about a perfect album but in light of all I enjoy this acoustic classic. Was more familiar with the Roger McGuinn version that can be heard on the Easy Rider Soundtrack.

7.  On A Night Like This (Planet Waves) 1974  Yeah there are much better Dylan songs out there but I have this one of 45 that I bought years ago in the cheap bins.  I guess you have to be a real record collector or audiophile to have something from Asylum Records.

8.  Lily, Rosemary & The Jack Of Hearts (Blood On The Tracks) 1975  What Bob Dylan can do is write a story that takes you into the whole scene like a movie and this song always gives me the image of being in that town and watching the story unfolding between the players involved.  A good song will provide you with your imagination.  This was before MTV.  We did well before it came.

9.  The Ballad Of Hollis Brown (Live At Brandeis University) 1963  From a then unreleased performance recently reissued, you can feel the tension builds from Bob's two note guitar sound and the tale of impending doom of a desperate unemployed farmer whose ready to take the easy way out.  At this time, Bob was just an unknown folk singer but bigger things were on the horizon.  And sooner than expected.

10.  Like A Rolling Stone (Live 66) 1966  I wasn't going to include this song since it is already in everybody's top ten and then some.  But the more I thought about it the more it was needed to be pointed out that the most interesting version of this song came at the tail end of a frustrating 1966 concert in the UK. The first set, Dylan was alone with guitar and the fans went wild but on the second half he bought out The Hawks with the future Home Improvement actor playing drums (Micky Jones would go on to play in Kenny Rogers and the First Edition) and turned things up and slowed the songs down some.  Certainly the 6 minute single version was a much more jollier affair, this version sounded like a death march as somebody yells "play fucking loud" and they did.  But perhaps the chilling part of the song is the ending to which song is over, there's a mild applause and the strange silence of the crowd as they shuffled out the door wondering what they just heard. 

To have Bob Dylan still alive and celebrating his 70th Birthday is a celebration of a musician who continued to break the rules and challenged his listeners to follow him for the good or the bad and of course that Christmas Album to which he pays back Mitch Miller.  Who thought that the folk singer on Bob Dylan (the first album) would become the electric folkie (Highway 61 Revisited) and go Nashville (Nashville Skyline) and make a 2 record set of arguably his best (Blonde On Blonde) or worst (Self Portrait) and then return to his folk roots (Blood On The Track) before losing himself in the late 70's and most of the 80's before Oh Mercy showed the world he still had a good album in him and Time Out Of Mind and Love & Theft still make a classic album as well.  So for all that effort of the past maybe he was entitled to make a turd album such as Knocked Out Loaded or Under A Red Sky or even Christmas In The Air.  He's earned that right.

In short, Bob Dylan makes timeless music because it's what he was feeling at the time.  And that's all right by me.  Happy Birthday Mr. Zimmerman.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Notes On Tornadoes

This year has been the most deadliest of terms of super tornadoes such as the case of this weekend's Joplin/Minneapolis super outbreak.  Even here in Iowa there was a tornado on the ground to the north and west of North Liberty at around 3:45 PM.  If we thought the Tuscaloosa/Birmingham was bad, the Joplin tornado slammed into the Joplin Hospital and it looked like something out of nuclear bomb destruction.  Today, Greg Forbes has given a 9 on a 10 scale to the area from east of Oklahoma City to Kansas City.   I have included the ten most deadliest and the ten biggest outbreak of Tornado Days. The deadliest ones are here.

  • Mar. 18, 1925 (Tri-State Tornado): 695
  • May 6, 1840 (Natchez, Miss.): 317
  • May 27, 1896 (St. Louis, Mo.): 255
  • Apr. 5, 1936 (Tupelo, Miss.): 216
  • Apr. 6, 1936 (Gainesville, Ga.): 203
  • Apr. 9, 1947 (Woodward, Okla.): 181
  • Apr. 24, 1908 (Amite, La., Purvis, Miss.): 143
  • May 22, 2011 (Joplin, Mo.): 156
  • Jun. 12, 1899 (New Richmond, Wisc.): 117
  • Jun. 8, 1953 (Flint, Mich.): 115

    And now the 10 biggest outbreaks

  • April 27, 2011 (Ala., Tenn., Ga., Miss., Va.): 315
  • April 3, 1974 ("Super Outbreak"): 307
  • April 11, 1965 ("Palm Sunday Outbreak"): 260
  • March 21, 1952: 202
  • June 8, 1953 (Flint, Mich., etc.): 142
  • May 11, 1953 (Waco, Tex, etc.): 127
  • Feb. 21, 1971: 121
  • May 22, 2011 (Joplin, Mo...Mpls./St. Paul, Minn.): 119
  • May 25, 1955 (Udall, Kan., etc.): 102
  • June 9, 1953 (Worcester, Mass.): 90
Here's hoping that this won't be needing any updates.
  • The Joplin Tornado is now number 7 on the list of most deadly tornadoes.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crabb Bits:Iowa City Music Fest , GF, Even More Brains/Delta Moon

On the subject of:

This year's Iowa City Music Fest, slated for June 4 has got to be one of the all time best that they ever put together.  I thought the Richard Thompson 2006 show was the be all well, this year his son Teddy Thompson will be playing there.  Along with The Bottle Rockets (EEEEEK!) and the legendary Alejandro Escovedo, one time Rank And File and True Believer and now having a cult status as a solo artist (his last album Street Songs Of Love highly recommended) will be here on that Saturday.  Weather permitting and with or without my GF I'm going.

Which brings us to the shock of the week. My girlfriend of almost a year and a half called up and said that she found a job down here and is moving down here on Sunday, which is today, which is I'm still in shock of having this come about.  Never mind the fact that it has been a long distance relationship to which we would see each other every five months and then keep it up by email tag and the internet.  The original plan was to have her here around July, hopefully past our peak printing season and she couldn't pick a more inconvenient time to do this although the Texas project got finished up to the point that I didn't have to work Sunday.

This is a new beginning for me.  For years I have had relationships that last three weeks at most.  The one that lasted the longest 3 years almost ended up getting me in the poor house with a shit credit rating.  The last woman I was with had snakes for pets and a nasty drug habit she couldn't break out of and it eventually ended in the chatroom where she was telling whoever was listening that I left her for somebody else and I confronted her about that.  Basically that was it, I wasn't going get myself into another going nowhere relationship to which the bottom line was money grabbing druggies or two timers or golddiggers trying to get dollars out of me and only getting pennies and nickels.  The only exception was Nicole and I banked on the fact that I was too old for her at that time we got together at a singles party in 2000, when she was with somebody else and I was with Snakelady.  But we kept in touch throughout the years, even after when our collective significant others moved on.   I have to say that Nicole was chasing me more than I was with her. In my time of isolation, I was comfortable in my surroundings of being in the basement out here in the country and the usual bargain hunts and summer trips out to Vegas or Phoenix. Not having a GF was high on my list of things.

Till Nicole decided to take things up a notch and see where it lead.  So in 2009 after a late night chat she decided that she wanted to be a bigger part of this life than she's actually was.  So we threw a dart in the US Map and it landed on St. Louis and we met there in September of 09 and to my surprise she became the next significant other.  And now she's moving down here to be with the love of her life.  Which will lead us down the road to togetherness.  She's a stubborn woman to the point of giving her life up in Michigan to be down here in Cowpie Iowa with a cantankerous Crabb with a penchant for the bargain hunts and buying 2 dollar albums and cd's and making a blog about it.  I know I have to change some part of my thinking.   It's not going to stop me from hitting Madison from time to time but anything else we'll wait and see how its done.  I'm sure I may have uproot my surroundings for a place for her and I to be in together.  So many decisions to be happen in the coming summer but it won't mean the end of the Crabb Blog of Music Top Ten and Forgotten Bands Appreciation Society.   It's only the beginning..........

With all the ratings going on for The Brains segment that's been out for over 3 and a half years it has now made it's way into the top 5 all time and setting its sights on the Best Of 2009 and the famous My GF Thinks I Should Blog More Often bitchfest which has been either 1 or 2 before the explosion of Best Of 2010 overtook it.  It's a big deal to me when I get comments from musicians that I have loved and respected from listening to their albums.  I know in 2006 when the internet became a vast information of the lost and forgotten and while talking to Margaret who maintained The Brains' My Space Website that she sent me some old demos of The Brains recordings of the past.  Since Universal has sat on the 1980 album for so long, I ended up just copying a cassette copy into CD with Dancing Under Streetlights and Tanya for bonus tracks and lived with that instead.  In the end Margaret kept in touch for a while but I haven't been on My Space at all and whatever My Space touts as The Brains music, ended up to be two other bands, one punk and one Limp Bizkit like nu Metal, these are not The Brains of Money Changes Everything.

In the CD era, The Brains are long forgotten whereas Motley Crud gets their albums reissued every other year, we get expanded editions of other bands.  Hell, even Scott Wilk & The Walls and Gary Myrick got their albums reissued on CD whereas Universal doesn't seem to care anything about The Brains which really rakes the fans off.  I actually emailed Andy McKaie, the dude behind the reissues of Hip O/Universal (which controls Mercury Records) if you just reissue 1,000 copies or even 2500 I would probably spring for about 100 of them and I know other collectors would do the same.  But in typical major label attitude, he never replied or see the need to.  However, hardcore collectors will not let The Brains die for there are plenty of their songs on You Tube (but be careful, The other Faux Paus Brains bands are on there too).  Through Margaret she did introduce me to Charles Wolff one day and he did wished me a happy birthday in 2007.

The music world is a messed up biz.  We pay too much attention to the overexposed and not enough for the ones that got me through my life.  Motley Crue didn't save my life, neither did Radiohead or the pop tart autotuned rats of today.  The lesser known such as Paul Collins Beat or Treat Her Right or The Godz and The Brains kept my world rocking long after the mainstream gave up on them.  In 2006, while looking up whatever happened to the members of The Brains, took me to Delta Moon and the reinvention of Tom Gray to National Steel Guitar but by then Delta Moon had been around for most of that time.  And got me reconnected with him and the band once again.  Yes there is life after The Brains but you would never hear that from Rolling Stone or Spin or Pitchfork.  Or Bob Lefsetz for that matter.  In the case of Delta Moon I discovered them from the internet and by accident.  And judging by the spike of people reading The Brains piece that was written almost four years ago, fans and the hardcore don't forget.  And if Andy McKaie don't get it when people email him about reissuing Money Changes Everything the Album, the hell with him.  In fact, Tom Gray did redid Money Changes Everything in a smokey blues setting and it sounds as good as the original.

Being a music fan, discovering all the side bands, did make me check out The Swimming Pool Q's who made a few albums for A & M and DB/Capitol in the late 80s and still play today.  Delta Moon continues to defy the mainstream with their back to basics rock and blues.  If it takes a small blog from a music bargain hunter to get the word out, I'm honored to do so.  Blog writing is usually hit and miss but when it strikes a chord with somebody and the ratings go up, then the blog takes a meaning of its own.  And when I get a comment from on my favorite bands, then it really makes my day.

And it really did.  Thanks Tom!

Working on the next Top Ten which will deal with Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday bash and some of the songs that made him what he is today.  I'm sure mine will be a bit different than the Rolling Stones 70 Greatest Songs Of Dylan, might even include something from Down In The Groove just to piss them off.  So there.

Update: Rock n Roll And The Brains are flying past the top ten at number, ready to overtake My GF Thinks I Should Blog blogsprout.  Still it's got a long way to before overtaking the number 1 post of Best Of 2010.  Thanks for reading folks.  When you read them, you're supporting forgotten music.

Update 2: The Brains blog has overtaken the second spot and is within 18 spots from the number 1 position.  I can't imagine where everything is coming from but still amazed of how many fans of the band are reading this three year old  piece.  Now if Universal would get off their fat major label ass and reissue The Brains.....

FINAL UPDATE: The Brains blog has taken over the top spot of all time most read. I'm sure some of y'all Delta Moon fans had something to do with this.  The Best Of 2010 seemed to be forever on top but it has been knocked down to 2nd.  Somewhere out there Margaret is smiling.....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Crabb Bits: The Brains, Rapture (Updated)

Interesting to see in my ratings in the number one most viewed this week is the 2006 Tribute to The Brains, the great 1980's band that gave us Money Changes Everything.  I'm hoping with the more views that this will give another chance for the band to finally get their album reissued on CD or digital format.  God knows I have been trying to get the Universal folk to reissue it, even if it's a limited copy run of 1000, I'd buy a hundred myself.  Tom Gray is still rocking them down in his band Delta Moon which doesn't sound like The Brains but if The Brains were playing steel slide guitars instead of keyboards they would sound like Delta Moon.  I look at it this way, a view on that blog is a support for The Brains.  As of Saturday, this post has managed to crack the all time top 5 most view blogs . Thanks again and I'm sure if Tom Gray gets the memo he'll thank you too.

I thank it may have been a big mistake naming the Top Ten Full Moon Fire since I have had that song stuck in my head all week.  Even on my favorite songs I hate them getting stuck in my head for countless hours. I'm really tempted to rename that blog if this keeps up.

The Sahara Hotel in Vegas has closed its doors on Monday.  Basically the last of its kind going back to the days of the Frank, Dean and Jerry Lewis to which this Labor Day Telethon for MDA will be his last after 45 years of hosting it.  The Sahara had been my choice of staying when I was in Vegas and was there when Mingles hosted their 2004 and 2005 get togethers. Even in 2005 it did seem to be a relic from the past but the buffets were first rate and always enjoyed their music in the background from the golden age of rock.  I will miss the Sahara. RIP.

Been a stressful week.  The end of the world is coming this weekend.  Also my GF is moving down here. I knew she was coming down here this summer but thought it would be more into July but she informed me that she found a job next week and that has thrown things into a tizzy.  As they say life happens.  Couldn't pick a more inconvenient time with Texas coming up and even maybe a threat of working Memorial Day Weekend.  But it won't matter if the Rapture happens tomorrow (Saturday). But Ole Crabby will be keeping an eye on things to see if Jesus does come down from the heavens.  He's always welcome to stop by....

Update: It's 5:30 CDT.  The sun is shining and everything looks like it did beforehand.  Sorry Harold Cashing. You failed again.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Racing With The Full Moon

After a week of hearing Walter Egan's song, I decided I had enough and renamed the blog to a different name.  Here's finally hoping I don't have to hear that fucking earworm song again till I play it when I want to hear it.  Enuff said.

I like this time of month when there's no rain, the skies are clear blue and when the sun sits the moon rises from the south east.  It's perfect when I can open up the curtains and see the moon from my desk and keyboard. We haven't had the big rains of the year, it has stayed very cool most of the spring.  I guess you can call me the moon child since I was born in the night, in a blizzard but certain under the full moon cycle.

With winter gone I can now say that this winter I didn't get sick with a sore throat or hacking cough, first time that's happen in years and no I didn't get a flu shot.  If I get a bit of a sore throat I took about 4 Vitamin C pills and Night Quill.  Somehow that got me through a long and cold winter.  But this springtime was the latest I have seen the Tulips pop up, most didn't start budding till last week of April.  Even the leaves didn't sprouting on trees till this weekend.  Supposed to have more frost tonight but that's okay by me.  The nice weather should last till the weekend when we'll get another stalled front and have rain for the next week.  Hope it don't happen.  But for now I'll enjoy the Moon making its way across my window pane for the next hour.

It was 32 years ago that I graduated from high school, which meant I was finishing up my freshman year.  I hated high school, too many bullies, too many fights and too many stuck up floozies. I still have hatred for the class bully which shall remain nameless.  I feel sorry for the people who get bullied upon.  Couldn't go anywhere without Mr. Greg  and his buddies throwing tomatoes at me and then taking an air gun another time.  Should have reported the bastard to the higher ups but I know nothing would have gotten done.  If I had the same frame of mind I do now, it would be his funeral or me giving him a good kick in the nutz so he wouldn't never breed again. But that's history and we'll never have to deal with him again. But I'm sure if we ever met again, he would be fearing me.  The problem with being a freshman in high school and the bully a couple grades higher.  High school years were the worst although junior high wasn't worth a shit either.

Still watching the moon slide ever so slowly past the trees and thinking of moon songs, The Moonbeam Song from Nilsson, Off Broadway usa Full Moon Turn My Head Around, and of course Water Egan's Full Moon Fire. Or Moon Child by King Crimson although it goes on too long.  Which reminds me that Robert Fripp turned 65 on Monday and Bill Bruford turned 62.  Roger Earl turned 65 too.  All our classic rockers are hitting the golden age, the retirement years, The Medicare Years.  I doubt if I'll see that, by then the damn country will be bankrupt and we'll be out in the street.  I told my GF that she'll be my caretaker one of these days.  She seems to be looking forward to that.  I begin to dream more about moon songs, Bad Side Of The Moon by Elton John, Moon Shadow from Cat Stevens,  still watching the moon as it now goes behind the crabapple tree.  And realizing I'd better get back to my music news and views and top ten of the week.

If everyday could be this nice.

I was reading Bob Lefsetz  giving praise to part of the new Stevie Nicks album and I agree with him that the album a bit too long with too many songs, but had she paired it down to 8 or 9, it would have been her best ever.  But then again in this day and age, the concept of the album is much different than it was 10 or 20 years ago.  Which is why I haven't recorded much new music for my band.  It's a whole new ballgame out there but it's also for the younger folk.   Speaking of which, the son I have never had Diggy Kat's birthday is this Saturday.  Happy Birthday Son! ha ha ha ha ha ha

If anybody cares, Hollywood Records will reissue Queen's album in expanded 2 CD form.  Really that's for hardcore fans only.  I don't indulge of the buying each and every album all over again although I did enough of that for the Derek and the Dominoes Layla album and Love's Forever Changes, although the latter only cost me 5 bucks.  The major labels would rather reissue things in expanded edition over and over but will not promote and groom the new artists out there.  I bought the Queen albums when they were found in the used bins and remain happy with those, as well as the Universal reissued Thin Lizzy albums.   For all this shit, I'd rather much have 20 years back of this life to relisten to everything out there again.  You can always get more money or more stuff but you can't buy time back.  And my time is limited, as well as yours.

The Top Ten Of The Week.

1.  Howling At The Moon (Sha la la)-Ramones 1984  Holdovers from last week, I chose this minor hit from their 1984 Too Tough To Die which this song was produced by Dave Stewart who did the new Stevie Nicks project as well.  I'm thinking KRNA did play this late night.

2.  Sleepwalking-Golden Earring 1976  Forever blessed (and cursed) by Radar Love and The Twilight Zone, Golden Earring never made much impact on the radio here although MCA continue to put out their albums in the 70's.  Released as a single but never heard this anywhere.  In my first trip ever to Arizona, some forgotten record store had this on 45 that I bought.  I'm guessing the reason why it didn't sell was that it sounded a bit too much like Radar Love.

3.  Hanging By A Moment-Lifehouse 2000 Time has gone by so freaking fast that it's hard for me to believe that this came out 11 years ago!  The price we pay for spending most of our waking hours on the net I guess. This CD always seems to find its way back to my CD collection, got rid of it twice before and here it is again. I think this is probably their best single.  One of the early artists signed to Dreamworks then moved over to Geffen/Interscope after Dreamworks folded.

4.  Who Shot Sam-Roger Miller 1960  Written by George Jones but I'm more familiar with this version by the late great Roger Miller.  Has a nice rocking honky tonk piano and wouldn't been out of place on a Dave Edmunds/Rockpile song had Dave known about this.  My dad has a copy of 25 all time great country hits, which was a mail order album and I played this song a lot.  The folks at Starday have reissued this song on various Roger Miller cheapo compilations a few times.  Fun stuff, although the one LP I got, The Amazing Roger Miller has 10 songs and a running time of barely 20 minutes.

5.  Sad Song-The Cars 2011  New Cars?!?  Alrighty then.  Move Like This is very good although Ben Orr is sadly missed, the guys used his bass guitar on the song so Orr was there in a way.  I didn't pay much attention to them after Shake It Up, I wasn't a big fan of Heartbeat City and Door To Door but I did buy Ric Ocasek's solo stuff and Ben Orr's The Lace, to which I still have the vinyl copy.  Although Greg Hawkes has played on some of Ric's solo albums, this is the first time the original living guys got together since Door To Door.

6.  Shadow Boy-Scruffy The Cat 1987  I miss the days of Alternative rock of the late 80s and Scruffy The Cat was highly touted although my favorite song of theirs Happiness To Go never appeared on a CD but on two EPs to which my friend Bruce had on Cassette and he wouldn't tell me who or what the album was but I eventually figured the songs out and found them on album.  Moons Of Jupiter is highly thought of but I like Tiny Days a bit more, it's not as polished and more fun. Charlie Chesterman went on to a cult solo career in the 90s.  If he's still playing I'm sure he'll leave something in the comments for y'all to read.  It may happen, after all Bob Wiseman stopped by to let us know he's still alive.

7.  The Changeling-The Doors 1971  I was never so broke that I had to leave town, I just moved back home for a few! Ray Manserek's keyboard work I dig on this a lot.

8.  How Long Must You Keep Me A Secret-Leroy Van Dyke 1962  More honky tonk from Leroy as he tried to follow up his monster 1961 hit Walk On By and basically the same song with a different set of lyrics.  Did fairly well on the country charts.  Actually heard this one day at Cracker Barrel which kinda surprised me. Side note: found this on a scratchy 45 that I brought for my dad at a church sale along with the infamous and harder to find One Beer by Chuck Murphy.  Side Note Two: Barry Mann famed songwriter of Who Put The Bomp and You Lost That Loving Feeling co-wrote this.

9.  Black Sheep-Saliva 2007  Nu Metal heads that I didn't care much for at the time.  Basically rap nu metal does nothing for me but I liked their Blood Stained Love Letter enough to buy the album and play it from time to time and followed them ever since.  I guess it's better than Hinder.

10.  Spanish Moon-Arc Angels 1992  This should have been a classic.  Little Steven produced it, Tonio K co wrote some songs with Charlie Beat So Lonely Sexton and Doyle Bramhall II making a great team.  And of course Double Trouble, it proved that there could be life after Stevie Ray Vaughan.  Bramhall ended up getting into drugs, Charlie Sexton started jamming in Bob Dylan's band and Double Trouble moved on to David Grissom and Storyville.  Yeah the album goes on forever but for that hour there's not a wasted jam on this album.  Children this is rock and roll.  Too bad you missed out.

And as the moon disappears into the night, so does me.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

More Crabb Updates: Tim, Blogspot Down, Ramones, Weather

Lloyd Knibb.  If you heard the early ska music of the 60's you would have heard his odd time drumming for The Skatallites  and early ska recordings for Toots & The Maytals and Bob Marley & The Wailers. Passed away from liver cancer at age 80.

Jack Richardson: Produced The Guess Who, and later Poco an the last Badfinger album Say No More. Dead at 81.  Also worked in advertising to which in Canada oversee up and coming bands sing the praises of Coca Cola. Produced Alice Cooper's Love It To Death in 1971.

When I go bargain hunting in music stores I always seem to run into Tim (last name I don't know).  I managed to run into him out of town at the Iowa City music stores (the former FYE in Coral Ridge RIP, and Real Records) but we go way back to when we used to hang at Relics Records in town and we always managed to run a good conversation of music things.  Tim being more into Henry Rollins and anything punk has actually graduated into more conventional music (Little Feat, Eagles (?)) and yesterday when he was buying Leadbelly's Last Sessions for the version of Black Betty.  He asked for my opinion to what to get for Hawkwind (Space Ritual, In Search Of Space & Quirk, Strangeness & Charm my answer).  In the small circle of friends that I do let in, Tim has been a great person to trade music ideas off from.  Even though CR does not have a viable bricks and mortar music store, it seems most of the music buyers do hang at HP Books.   Good thing we do have a HP Books in town, if there wasn't be no place else to find the bargains.  Just ask Jim Kibler on that one.

Blogspot was down the past couple days but I wasn't around much to post anything but I am a little pissed off about some comments being left out.  Starman wrote about the infamous ZZ Top remix and the Ozzy re recordings of his first two solo albums to which I'll never get around listening to anyway.  I look at re recordings as alternating their art, kinda like Painting the Mona Lisa as a blonde or having a smirk.  When the CD first came out in the 80's the Z Z Top Six Pack was a combination of their London albums with an updated drum sound that sticks out like a sore thumb in this day and age.  I'm guessing that Rhino/WB decided to revert back to the original drum sound on the reissues but I really don't see the need to rebuy everything all over again.  The only album it did improve was Tejas, since the original mix was flat but then again I haven't heard the original London album in years but I do have a 45 of It's Only Love.  As for the Ozzy stuff, I think this is the fifth time he has reissue the GD albums and again I have the second updated version and they work for me.  Sharon and Ozzy are going have to come up with another way to get our money.  Again if the thrift store has any newer issues of ZZ Top for 2 bucks or less I'll chance it then. 

I do follow and read posts from my followers and other folk and the way that I do that is sometimes throw a song in the top ten just to let ya know that whatever your writing I have read.  Rastro's wonderful blog on Heard It On The X and the beloved Wolfman Jack whose XERB legend made me wished that he would have followed that format rather than the overplayed he was playing before he passed away in the mid 90s'.  American Graffiti was the perfect soundtrack that began the great oldies renaissance back in 1973, not that it was dormant before then.  The budget label Pickwick always had some kind of LPs in the 3 dollar bins, one of which The Happy Days Of Rock n Roll gave us a different version of Five O Clock World by The Vogues and Tommy Roe's Sheila (not the ABC Version but the early rare version) but also Chuck Berry's Mercury recoup of Johnny B Goode (ugh).  Where were you in 62? I was learning how to walk.  Sure Time Life has since taken over with late night info commercials of the overplayed (and with better sound too, wait till Half Priced Books has them in the budget section before you take a second mortage out) but the MCA American Graffiti and the followup More A.G. were essential at that time and gotten the youngsters who missed out to buy the 45's once again.  I doubt if today's generation really cares about music or anything new that doesn't have to do with cell phones or wireless but I still say before the net, there was this little piece of heaven called the music section at Woolworth's and you can get them 3 for a dollar or 4 for a buck at Arlens.   That's how I discovered Jimi Hendrix and Ray Charles.

American Graffiti gave the world the talents of Wolfman Jack and I did buy Clap For The Wolfman by The Guess Who and The Stampeders Hit The Road Jack (with the Wolfman making a appearance) and did listen to his syndicated radio show in the 80s.  I also remembered his last appearance (thank God for spellchecker) on Married With Children.  His passing was part of the reason why the music died just a little before Limp Bizkit, Britney Spears and the Autotuner killed it all.  But that's another orange slice to be sucked on for another time and place.

Which leads us to The Ramones (or just plain Ramones).  I don't claim to be a hardcore fan but more casual although having 10 of their albums makes me a fan all the same.  And I still kick myself for trading in the original ABC distributed Sire debut.  Something about that all yellow album and the purple S hypnotizing me on the turntable but whatever.  Britzkeg Bop has been overplayed at every sports arena and minor league ballpark (which is why I don't do much minor league baseball anymore) and still prefer Loudmouth or I Don't Wanna Walk With You (the first Ramones song I ever heard) over B.Bop.  But once Tommy Ramone retired to produce full time, they kinda lost me on Road To Ruin and End Of The Century still doesn't move me.  Pleasant Dreams has sounded better over the years to which Subterranean Jungle got that dated 80's drum sound that clashes with the classic Ramones sound.  Then they blew everybody away with Too Tough To Die, their last classic album which cemented their place as rock and roll punks.  Anything after that was revisiting their roots without breaking a sweat although their version of Spiderman and I Don't Want To Grow Up on their Adios Amigos do rock hard. But now they're all gone, except for the drummers and C.J.

Rastro continues to provide great comment insight and good counterpoint.  But I seem to lost my copy of Steve Miller Band's Children Of The Future for I've been tearing up the house and the 10 compartments of vinyl storage to find one fucking album that I have misplaced or hope I didn't donate it to Goodwill. Can you imagine the anger of me at 4 AM yelling I KNOW IT'S HERE SOMEWHERE and still coming up empty.  So I'm going to try to look for the GD thing one more time before placing a order to get a replacement copy. Can't figure out why it's missing and I still have Born 2B Blue in the collection.

Finally, great to hear from TAD once again.  The weather here has been cool and cloudy and rainy half the time but none of those godawful monsoons with tornadoes like they have been down south and in St Louis.  I won't bitch about our weather, it rained most of the day yesterday but it was a rain that was there but not in sheets.  I tend to get a bit more nervous about the four inch gullywashers and thunderstorms that keep you up most of the night.  I don't foresee the ratings to be too high this month, there's going to be a decline by a couple hundred.  Still cannot figure out why my second most read blog is My Girlfriend Thinks I Should Blog More Often, I think it's probably the worst blog I have done and for that reward get placed number 2 in the all time read.  And why Best of 2010 and 2009 are in the top five but Best of 2008 is not even in the top ten.  Sometimes shit outsells substance in the modern day world, which is what I think of MGTISBMO.  But it is interesting to watch Beaker Street Notes duking it out with Teenage Depression, My Albums Of My Youth for fourth place.  I could  delete it but since it does so great being number 2 may as well leave it up there to see if it overtakes Best Records of 2010 for shits and giggles.

Ah, the joys of seeing our worthless neighbor's kid, playing basketball, texting, skateboarding and smoking a cigarette.  And is a proud stay at home do nothing dad.  Guess it helps having mommy and daddy giving him free room and board since he's too lazy to find a job that's the youth of today.  One minute he's fighting and throwing papers at to the woman he donated his jizz, next they're playing basketball.  Makes you feel sorry for the poor baby born into this.  Not exactly the winner of the lucky sperm club.  Oh well, I'd asked Junior if  he wants to make a quick fifty bucks for diapers and formula to mow my freaking yard but he just looked at me funny and kept shooting his basketball.  Thank God I never had kids, I'd probably end up with somebody like him.  Maybe not, I'd would thrown him out or sign him up with Uncle Sam.  I do things a bit differently around here.

And now since I can't find my Children Of The Future album other things I have been listening to.
Tony Ashton/Jon Lord-Battle Of The Bands  (something I found at K Mart years ago in the dollar bins)
Julie Brown-Trapped In The Body Of A White Girl (I like them big and stupid, good for a laugh)
Scruffy The Cat-Boom Boom Boom Bingo
The Amazing Roger Miller  (Who Shot Sam, Jimmy Brown The Newsboy)
Famous Duets (a strange collection of duets by Melba Montgomery, George Jones and Gene Pitney)
Golden Earring-To The Hilt (of my favorite album covers of all time)

The Ashton/Lord album is not like Deep Purple, it's more R and B sounding since Tony Ashton is more of a soulful singer than the Deep Purple screamers that Lord was working with and this effort has more piano as well.Wounded Bird Records reissued this on CD. They did one more effort with Ian Paice called Malice In Wonderland but I have yet to hear it.  Julie Brown, once upon a time an MTV VJ (no relation to Downtown Julie Brown) made a album for Sire that I came across at Goodwill.  Scruffy The Cat, my friend Bruce had a cassette copy of this album with Happiness To Go but it took me years to actually find the EP and this live EP. One of the forgotten band of the early alt rock years (late 80s). The Amazing Roger Miller is from a budget line Nashville/Starday LP found for 50 cents and was in remarkable shape being a budge line album.  Starday was one of the best independent labels from Nashville started up by Don Pierce and the most hillbilly sounding label of that time.  Who Shot Sam was actually written by George Jones but I was more familiar with the Roger Miller version since it was on a old country comp that my dad had in his collection.  The Musicor Famous Duets was another oddity found at the Salvation Army that featured an in the round duet of Jones/Pitney, Pitney/Montgomery, Montgomery/Jones and Montgomery/Pitney with all three getting one song of their own.  Most of the Jones songs are uptempo (I'm A People), Pitney gives us a very dark sounding If I Were and Gene and Jones tackle Ray Price and Melba sounds a bit like a female Buck Owens.  A bit of fun in it's own way although Musicor didn't give us the better known I Got Five Dollars (and it's Saturday Night) from Gene and George nor Let's Invite Them Over from Melba and George.  But then again I perhaps gave this album more credit than actually worth.

And finally, Golden Earring's To The Hilt was not one of their better selling albums but KUNI actually played Violins one night.  I could never figure out if these guys wanted to be prog rock or trying for the charts (the single from this was Sleepwalking) with four of the seven songs going over 7 minutes long. Hipnosis, the place known for Pink Floyd and UFO album covers design the art to which I basically bought for it.  But it always been my go to Golden Earring album for years more often than Moontan.  But to each their own I guess.

Farewell Sahara Hotel in Vegas.  They're closing down. More about them in another blog.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Crabb Bits: Russian Inflated Ratings On Out Outdated Blog.

Observations From The Forefront:

Update:  Well Fuck, I write a new Singles Going Steady blog and this gets 200  more views than that?  What is the fucking deal with this blog after three years people are either reading this from afar, or is this yet another puff up the ratings attempt by some unknowns?  So the next big step: rewrite the blog and replace the original.  Take that Russian spam sites!

Friday Night Chat:  After seven months of being away I returned to the Yardbird's Roost to the company of Tom and Harvey, the two diehards who kept the place going despite it being dead most of the time and we chatted for about a half hour or so.  Although I won't be so much of a regular or hosting it I am sure that it will not be another seven months before coming back.  I do miss talking to them.

The new Warren Haynes album:  Warren Haynes has been the MVP of the music biz of the new millennium or not so new.  He's has given renewed interest in The Allman Brothers Band, made Phil Lesh's Columbia album a thing of beauty to listen to and of course you all know about Gov't Mule his other band.  It took him 18 years to follow up his first solo album with Man In Motion (Stax/Concord) and he has gone for more of a soulful jam than the usual avant garde that is associated with Gov't Mule.  But I think Warren has never made an album that wasn't under the hour mark (unless you count the dub Mighty High fiasco a few years ago) and Man In Motion clocks at over 75 minutes long for 12 songs (I got the Best Buy version with two bonus tracks).  Like the Leon/Elton Union album one song gets shot down by an overzealous soul sister, another track features some avant garde sax player sounding like he's underwater and when Warren slows it down on A Real Lonely Night, it drags insteads of jamming.  But then again that's always been the M.O. of Haynes be it solo or Gov't Mule he's a better rocker than balladeer.  But on the River's Gonna Rise he sounds like a Stax natural with that Booker T. type organ groove.  I can never get too down on Haynes he can jam boogie blues like the best of them.  Seek the Best Buy version to which the last track, the gospel tinged Save Me and the acoustic River's Gonna Rise and Frozen Fear to which it's just Warren and his guitar, stripped of the overdone, giving you the updated Memphis sound.  The album goes on too long but then again Haynes does give you your money's worth of tunes and southern fried soul.

Vinyl:  The Grassroots Their 16 Greatest Hits (MCA)  I used to like them a lot on AM radio and some of their singles still sound great today as they did yesterday (Where Were You When I Needed You, Let's Live For Today). With PF Sloan co producing them, they sounded right for the times but when Steve Barri took over full time, he turned them into The Spiral Staircase.  Some of it worked (Midnight Confessions, I'd Wait A Million Years,Heaven Knows) some it didn't (Sooner Or Later, The River Is Wide, Two Divided By Love which somehow isn't on this best of).  And sometimes they threw a curve in there (Bella Linda, the Neil Diamond influenced Things I Should Have Said). This compilation is uneven and incomplete (the best overall Grassroots best of was the Rhino 2 CD set long deleted) and reminds me that it's too bad that PF Sloan didn't stay on.  With Sloan they were more a harder rocking band, with Steve Barri, they were bubblegum, and like bubblegum good at times, stale in others.

 My Space was the happening place five years ago, but their site is so un user friendly that I don't go there anymore.  They even made it impossible to search out the archives so I may have to freaking start at the end and delete everything till I reached the beginning.  My Space isn't your time, nor mine so that's why I don't tout it here.  But you can Google it and I'm sure you'll get there eventually.  Till I delete the account.  Update: I haven't been on My Space in three years, not after Justin Timberlake bought it out and deleted my blogs there.  Lotta good stuff is now in the great black hole in internet land. I haven't been there in three years and since my blogs were deleted and were the reason why I went back there to archive them, I haven't returned back to My Space.  A waste of time.

The wonderful advantages of having a 10 year old computer is to retype things that crashed upon researching the Russian sites that have seem to reference Record World without comments.  2Kata has something to do with games and play stations, how they tie themselves with a cranky record collector is beyond me.  Kinda like that blog of Peter Frampton years ago that they potted the ratings up higher.  Perhaps there's a secret code that they use using the first letter of each sentence, just like they're doing with this one. has an IP address coming out of the British Virgin Islands but they seem to be safe. Bolshe is Netherlands based but all of these come from the Russian federation.   I'm sure the Record World Ru site might have something to do with that.  Since I get no comments from over there they could be plotting world domination from sites nobody reads about, or throwing secret codes to solve puzzles on how to play Farm Animals. But I see no real value in prompting up a almost 4 year old entry that has nothing to do with Russian or PS3 game stations. And at the same time, nobody commenting on why this entry is worthy of 114 views the past week.  For fun and giggles I'm tempted to put up a NSFW picture and see what happens.  But for the meantime I'm just simply going to bitch about this and ignore it for the time being.  Unless I decide to enlist the help of Little Miss Toot to combat the Ruskies.   In the meantime, read on and if you Russians read this far.  Putin would be a Republican from Texas here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Give Our Regards To Henry

The title is a dedication to the great British boxer Sir Henry Cooper who knocked Cassius Clay on his can in one round.  Blessed with a left hook but cursed by soft tissues around the eyes Cooper could have  been champion of the world had Clay not found the soft spots and bloodied Sir Henry.  But still a great legend, if you're ever in the UK give our regards to Henry.  Would have loved to meet the man.

Looks like the Crabb ratings are going to be a bit down this month.  I'm sure it has to do with the weather warming up and yardwork  but I do have a few things I'm working on before the end of the month.  Missing our good friend Tad and Drew popping in to comment from time to time but Rastro has given some insightful comments from his side of the fence.

The weather has gone from chilly and cloudy & cold to summer, muggy 85 degree temps and storms.  Nothing like going from winter to summer in a week.  I really don't care for such extremes, especially this time of year to which we might get the damn midnight monsoons and get no sleep in the process.  We do not need to see what the folk in Missouri and Ohio Valley been getting, countless days of rain rain rain and floods to the point of extreme.  Seems to be the norm nowadays, predict where the big floods are going to be at and you don't have to look far if your next to the Mississippi or live in Grand Forks.  Or Fargo.  Or Cairo.

For new music this week, the new Cars is out but I'm more inclined to listen to the new Warren Haynes album Man In Motion, released through Stax/Concord, although it looks like it's an over an hour with ten songs.  Peter Case, cult hero has a comp out on Alive but he tends to be uneven at best.  Greg Brown after years on Red House makes his Yep Roc debut and Canadian power poppers Sloan has a new album out too. Whatever Best Buy has in stock we'll plan accordingly.  But in the meantime, we still have plenty of candidates for the top ten.

1.  Maybe I Will-Rule 62 1997  1, 2, 1234,WAAAAAAAAAAAA. WTF was that folks, screaming one note guitar, a bass line between breaks and then a screaming one note again.  It sounds a bit like Nirvana in a way but this came years after Kurt put himself to rest.  This band was on Madonna's label and they had a bit of airplay with Down but too bad the record label didn't decide to stick this out as a single.  I started many a R.Smith Rock Hour Show with this song.  Not that anybody listened to it, unless you were my next door neighbor. Or my brother telling me to turn the fucking thing down.

2.  We Want The Airwaves-Ramones 1981  I think I was turned off the by Phil Spector mess End Of The Century that I wouldn't revisit our punk rock dudes till 1984's Too Tough To Die which still remains a latter day classic.  Perhaps I was turned off by the lukewarm reviews and calling Pleasant Dreams a heavy metal album, which isn't the case.  Johnny Ramone added a few more chords to his three and the truth and Graham Gouldman I thought got further than Spector did but that's for debate for the Ramones scholars out there. Found the CD in the pawnshop the other day along with Subterranean Jungle and decided to revisit it.  Pleasant Dreams has not aged all that bad unlike Sub Jungle, which the 80's dated production and is that Marky Ramone playing electric drums on it?  In the end, Pleasant Dreams wins out for me.  This track was featured on Airheads, the 1994 movie to which you had to see to believe.  In fact I have the soundtrack to Airheads. Doesn't mean that you have to but perhaps soon I'll pull that out to listen to.

3.  In Your Dreams-Stevie Nicks 2011  The album goes on too long but the title track outrocks everything else on the album and the last Fleetwood Mac album Say You Will.  Too bad Stevie didn't stick to keep it simple and under four minutes so you don't bore me.

4.  Heard It On The X-Z Z Top 1975  Dedicated to Rastro, who put a long story about this song on his web site and in great detail.  I have to agree that this song is my favorite off Fandango!  But wasn't too impressed when Z Z Top decided to redo the drums for the CD version and Frank Beard didn't even bother to redo it beat by beat.  I guess Rhino reissued it on CD later with the original mix but rather don't see the need to trade my copy for that.  Besides, the original mix is on The Best Of ZZ Top (1978).  Had this on 8 track years ago.

5.  Do You Believe In Magic-Dion 1978  Dion has been perhaps one of the best original rock and rollers that don't get enough credit.  I Wonder Why, Runaround Sue still get airplay on the oldies station or memory lane but he went from doowop to the blues to folk.  I could care less about Abraham Martin & John but the b side Daddy Rollin (in your arms) is steeped in Robert Johnson Blues (more about him later).  Dion then went folk and then kinda lost his way no thanks to Phil Spector but Return Of The Wanderer is a underrated classic in itself, which to me actually pays back the tribute that Bruce Springsteen did on Born To Run.  At this time, Dion was signed to Lifesong and had a nice backup band in the style of The E Street Band and he even dares to cover Tom Waits but I think Lifesong issued this as a single which got some airplay in New Jersey.  The album bombed, and Dion went back to gospel music for 10 years before Dave Edmunds produced Yo Frankie, his 1989 Arista comeback.  Which was okay, but Return Of The Wanderer was much much better. This even cuts Shawn Cassidy's version.

6.  Love In Vain-Robert Johnson 1937  100 years ago last Sunday, the King of the Delta Blues was born and although had a very brief recording career, influenced enough British musicians out there to become a legend from their songs.  Eric Clapton wouldn't be who he was without Johnson. Or Foghat's Rod Price.  The Rolling Stones had a cover with this song.  But then again had he not penned Sweet Home Chicago there would be no Blues Brothers.  And if Johnson was messing with another man's woman he would have lived longer too.

7.  Blind Date-The Boomtown Rats 1978  Bob Geldof's crew and most of their stuff I ignore.  I Don't Like Mondays was never my favorite song so what compelled me to buy A Tonic For The Troops?  It's uneven and they do remind me of the Rumour without Graham Parker or a boorish Elvis Costello.  There's a comparison to Nick Lowe and if that's the case this song is the best example of it. Originally came out on Columbia but later reissued via Universal.

8.  Lost Love-The Pentangle 1985  Next to Fairport Convention, this band was my 2nd favorite British Folk band but in the late 60s' they featured two great acoustic guitar players and a acoustic bass player.  In fact their first three albums are excellent or if you want a decent overview Light Flight is the way to go.  They broke up in 1973 and then reformed 12 years later but without John Renbourn and made a album called Open The Door to which I found a used copy and gave it a B plus on my twitter account.  Imagine my surprise when band management replied "B plus is not a bad grade" :-P  To which I replied back if you like that great, you'll love the A grades I gave The 1968 album and Sweet Child.  To which I have to hear back from them.  Geezus Bizkit, good thing that they didn't caught wind that I gave Sweet Child a C plus.  I'm sure they would have turned me into the Critics Bureau.  No seriously, guys I love your work.  I might give it an A if the dudes at Pentangle Band can locate me a better copy of Open The Door with the Gd scratch on this track.

9.  Open Up Your Eyes-Tonic 1996  A gigantic hit for them back in the mid late 90s  but I didn't care much for this band till I had to find the album for a friend that wanted this song.  And basically I tend to like it more now than back then.  They kinda reminded me of The Verve Pipe but with a little bit more rock and grunge to them.  Had a bigger hit with If You Can Only See (but the better version was the acoustic version which isn't on Lemon Parade)

10.  That's Life-Frank Sinatra 1966  If you want to hear how the song is done you have to go to the master to hear it.  That's all.

Blogger has been having problems of late which is why I seen that my friend Starman's comments and mine comments have been taken off for some reason.  I didn't remove it Blogger did.

This just in: John Carter you may not know the name but more of the surname Carter who produced hits for Sammy Hagar and Bob Welch for Capitol in the late 70's and Prism's best known hit Don't Let Him Know has passed away at age 65 from cancer.  Later jump started Tina Turner's career with Private Dancer.  Bob Lefsetz speaks very highly of him.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Crabb Bits: The LOST issue, OBL, Robert Johnson

Many things on my mind this week:

By now the folks in Linn County had voted no to extending the local option sales tax for 20 years to build a big flood wall to keep the Cedar River out and supposedly road repair to which that town really needs it.  It lost by 216 votes so I'm sure the CR higher ups will try to once again shoved that one cent tax down our throats another year and a half from now to which the money they did spent trying to bullshit us could have been used to repair the damn streets.  While some towns did vote yes on it (my wonderful town did vote yes, I was one of the 60 no votes) the unincorporated areas, Fairfax (or was it Walford) and a block vote from CR and Marion voted no. Amazingly the ones in the flood areas did vote no.  I don't know what it is with Ron Corbett but his gung ho of buying up the Five Seasons Motel and this new medical mall which will take out part of Second Avenue hasn't set very well with me.  We pretty much had to endure all these Vote Yes commercials (to which the money spent on that could have improved the roads just as well) to which Corbett stressed the importance of building a flood wall on the east side (but not the west) to keep the Cedar River in its banks.   One of the rules of living next to a river is that water seeks its own level, especially during the rainy season and no flood wall high enough will keep all the water out.  Live in the Time Check neighborhood and they had to deal with minor flooding even on dry months.  As much as I love seeing the river, I do not love the river that much to live next to it and it have it pay me a visit when Cedar Rapids gets a 5 inch rainfall overnight.  And Cedar Rapids has flooded in the past (1929, 1961,1993 and of course the big 1,000 flood of 2008).  If you live by the river you have to live by the rules of living on the floodplain.

Problem was they had the LOST Tax set for 20 years.  And I'm sure Corbett and his cronies would still find a way to jack up property taxes had it passed anyway.  And Corbett's gang like the usual Republican way of things want it their way and not compromise. Time to engage the voters and not enrage them Corbett.  Whatever the penny option that we get back won't be saved but put in the tank of the car from another 4 dollar gallon gas prices.

Osama Bin Laden is finally caught and killed, almost 10 years after 9/11 the most significant day of infamy that I lived through.  Funny how all the world came together that fateful day and there would be a vow to get the SOB who taught these infidels to drive airplanes into the World Trade Center and kill innocent lives.  And most of the world rejoiced when OBL got his head blown off in a surprise move and ended the decade long escape from justice for the bearded moneybags whose hatred of America was shown in that day but he also killed Muslims too.  In the great beyond one only hopes for the fate of taking lives and that OBL has joined Mohammed Atta in the place where evil killers will be.  If their paradise is 72 virgins I'm hoping they all look like W or Dick Cheney.  But the world hasn't come together, GOP thinks that W should get credit, others say OBL isn't dead.  Now Pakistan is mad that it happened on their own soil, that OBL was killed in sovereign territory.  Yeah, well consider this, what OBL did as well as Mohammed (fuck him) Atta was attack innocent people in a Sovereign state as well, that the passengers were killed against their will, every person killed by a suicide attacker was killed against their will as well.  This world and some of the leaders have no clue of what goes on, from the Donald Trump racists birther issues (and Sarah Screech Palin too).  Osama was not a religious man, but rather a killer whose time has come and it may disappoint the followers that he wasn't living in a cave but in luxury out in a Pakistan suburb in a fortified mansion.  To preach the word of killing anybody isn't true Islam, they always seem to look over the passages that Thou Shalt Not Kill or Beware Of False Prophets.  And how could Pakistan leaders not know that OBL was living right under their nose in plain sight?  Surely they can't be that naive or dumb could they?  If that's the case, then the US should ask for a refund of that 10 billion dollars that they have given Pakistan.   

So for now, Obama is the hero of the people but if gas prices keep getting higher and higher and everything else his approval rating will once again go down the toilet just like Bush Sr, when he saved Kuwait from Saddam Hussein in 1991. But you have to admit when Obama said he was going to kill Osama in a 2008 debate he came through with that.  Something that W failed to do.  Now about getting those damn gas prices back down under three bucks........

  Come Sunday it will be the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Johnson perhaps the pioneer of blues as we know it and of course to celebrate that Sony Music has reissued the Robert Johnson 100th Collection. To which really adds nothing to The Complete Recordings, if you have that collection you don't need the new collection.  There was state of the art recordings back in the 30's, it was done in hotel rooms or radio stations with a recorder that weighed about 50 pounds or more.  It was recorded in mono, with one microphone.  Johnson was a hell of a slide player for sure and some of the songs such as Preachin Blues or Dust My Broom he did sound like there was a hell-hound on his trail.  I don't listen to The Complete Recordings all that much unless its for a reference or if I want to read the booklet that came with the cds. If I did, I usually pull out Crossroads by Cream or Foghat's Terra-plane Blues, or Blue Mountain If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day.  But maybe on Sunday night, I pull out Johnson's version and make a comment about it in the next top ten.

Basically I know you don't care (few do) but the new Whitesnake Forevermore (Frontiers) is pretty good although I still like their Good At Being Bad much better.  Once again whoever mastered the cd is GOT SO DAMN LOUD IT DISTORTS THE STEREO and the blaring mix ruins the album.  David Coverdale has come a long way from the smokey blues of Deep Purple and the Ready and Willing Whitesnake era to become your standard dinosaur hard rock and good party time band.  Coverdale will not win any poetry awards for his lyrics, they been the same since Trouble, that's not the point.  What sells is that he's got a good guitar foil in Doug Aldrich who like the last album comes up with some nifty guitar riffs.  The title track might be Whitesnake's answer to Kashmir and for me the highlight of the record although I don't think there's not a bad track on this although the 64 minute time of record might be a bit too much.  I also confess that I wasn't much of a fan of the John Sykes years or the Steve Vai led Slip Of The Tongue. But not since Slide It In and the S/T album has Coverdale made two pretty good albums in a row with Good To Be Bad and now Forevermore and he can still hit the high notes.  Had it been mixed right and a little less in the red Forevermore could have been the classic high water mark.  Still a bit of good fun.

Stevie Nicks-In Your Dreams (Reprise)

What got me to buy this album was the reviewers said this sounded like a Fleetwood Mac album, of course if Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham plays on some of the songs it does and the first few songs tend to be right.  In fact, it sounds more Mac than Say You Will, the overblown album they did back around 2005 thereabouts.  When she rocks out as on the opener Secret Love and the title track it does feel that had the songs been on Say You Will it would have made that album much more memorable.  But the two glaring problems of In Your Dreams is the over hour timing on 13 songs, some of the songs needed a good fade out and that some of them are so long that they overstay their welcome.  In fact the best songs are Secret Love and In Your Dreams which are under four minutes, something to consider next time Nicks does another album. Nine of the 13 songs go over 4 and a half minutes.  Problem number two: Glen Ballard.  This guy can suck the life out of any album that he touches (Goo Goo Dolls Let Love In anyone?), which maybe why Dave Stewart figures into co producing, but even he goes for the bombastic in the last four songs of In Your Dreams.  With Stevie Nicks, she still has the voice and the imagery of her tales of love and woe and mystic pop that made her a pinup dream in the 70s.  And for the first half of the album I paid attention. But after Soldier's Angel, the duet with Buckingham in tow, the last four went on for too long that I simply quit paying attention.  Lesser songs and a shorter playtime would have done wonders.  Much wonders.

Grade B-
Selected songs: Secret Love, In Your Dreams

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Top Ten Of The Week-Singles Going Steady

It's prom week so I decided to break out the 45's and toast back to the days to which going to our junior high prom they played 45's instead of CDs or albums or too cheap to get a band in to play. I never did go to any of my high school proms. Basically a waste of time and nobody I really wanted to go to the prom with.

It's no secret that I hated high school. I either was being picked on by the upperclassmen or being harassed by the lower grades. None of my high school sweethearts are worth mentioning, although one of them was a good person in HS but when we reconnected 10 years down the road, she was a bartender and had three other guys she was doing with. The other moved to Texas and became a lesbian. Or she married somebody that looked a lot like me in Texas, hell i don't know, it's all water under the bridge. Or I told the story one too many times and got tired of telling it. Or perhaps I found the one that finally put to rest of all of the others that got away.

So in honor of the proms that I never went to, I figured it's time to pull out some 45s. Because it sounded like a good idea at the time.

1. You Were On My Mind-We Five 1966 (A&M 770) I'd love to play you this song but it has a crack on it so I guess you'll have to settle for the cd version. The followup was Let's Get Together but it didn't do so well. The Youngbloods would have a higher chart position with it. When I bought this 45 at Sweet Living Antiques I could have swore it didn't have a crack but then again maybe I didn't pay attention to that.

2. Saturday Night At The Movies-Ray Stevens (Mercury 72039) 1962 I added another Ray Stevens 45 to my collection after bidding a dollar on this from a EBAY site and forgot all about it till I got an email saying that I actually won it. The other side Further More limped up to number 91 on the charts. I think Ray was going for the Roger Miller sound since it sounds a bit like Dang Me. Even back then Ray had a knack of being a great ear of other people's songs and incorporating into his own. Saturday Night At The Movies sounds a bit more like Gene Pitney to which Ray's love interest develops a crush on a movie star only to be disappointed after meeting the dude with his toupee falling off his head. Hell, Ray tells it better than I can blog it.

3. Your Graduation Means Goodbye-The Cardigans (Mercury 71251) 1958 For a collector like myself I like to go buy things on groovy names or name association. Sometimes that can be a good thing, other times not so much. Mercury Records back in the 50's was one of the biggest record companies to come out of Chicago and many a regional act would get their stuff released from that label. While waiting to go to my co worker's wake last Friday I stopped at Sweet Living Antiques and sorted through some 45s of varying degree, the majority of them scratched up or too moldy to keep or in the case of We Five had a crack that ole Blind Eyes didn't pick up at the time. I know nothing of this version of The Cardigans but they sounded like a white doo wop band. Not to be confused of the 90's Cardigans who had a hit Love Fool that was released on Mercury as well. The 45, despite no jacket to protect was in pristine condition. The way I like them.

4. Money Changes Everything-The Brains (Mercury 76065) 1980 Certainly God bless Cyndi Lauper for having a hit version of this although I never cared much for her over the top video that MTV played back in the early 80's but let's face it, I prefer the original version that appeared on their S/T album (also released on Mercury, Geez is this getting the be the Mercury hour?). Tom Gray got enough royalties to learn how to play the steel guitar and reinvent himself via Delta Moon. Wished that Universal would get off their collective asses and reissue The Brains albums but they don't seem to be too interested of doing so. The original version of Money Changes Everything was issued on Radar Records in the UK (I've seen a copy of it years ago but never picked it up).

5. Stranger In Town-Toto (CBS CBSA 4461 UK) 1984 Toto gets a bad rap as a mellow soft rock band but I think they had some sort of rock and roll in them. On this record they recruited Fergie Frederiksen (who used to sing in such high profile bands such as Trillion and LeRoux) for Isolation and he gives the high octane vocals on the chorus. The song surprisingly bombed on the charts. Can't figure out why, I love this tune.

6. Remember The Future-Nektar (Passport PPA-7902) 1973 They did managed to edit the album down to 3 and a half minutes. Back in the mid 70's concept albums seemed to be the rage with Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick and the lesser Passion Play. The edit of Remember The Future isn't that bad, in fact it's preferable to the 10 minute edit that came out on the CD years later. Unfortunately the US 45 edit may have gotten thrown out with the trash, as ABC policy back then was that once a 45 edit's job was done, then they threw it away. The folk at ABC were never bright half the time.

7. Money-Pink Floyd (Harvest 3609) 1973 I never considered Pink Floyd all that great while growing up. I got bored real easy with 10 minute songs on the radio. To this day I still don't have Dark Side Of The Moon and still don't need it. However during the last year of going over to my grandparents in Lincoln Illinois in 1974, they had a record store that had a bunch of 45's they couldn't return to where I found a forty five of Money. And yes Roger Waters does utter the word bullshit on this song. But it is a edited version so we only get part of David Gilmour's lead guitar. Back then, most great songs got edited down for airplay but since I wasn't familiar with albums, I wasn't that concern till I got that 3 and half minute edited version of Long Time by Boston. Then decided it was time to quit wasting money on certain songs in their butchered version.

8. Fins-Jimmy Buffett (MCA-41109) 1979 I'm not a big Buffett fan and if I never hear Margaritaville again in this lifetime it would not break my heart. However there are some of Jimmy's stuff that I do like and Fins is one of them. It got played both on the AM rock station and country too back then. But neither plays it now but they will Margaritaville. Rest assured somewhere in the world it's being played.

9. I Had It-Fanny (Casablanca NEB 0009) 1974 All female rock and rollers at the end of their rope. Made four albums for Reprise and then moved over to Casablanca for Rock And Roll Survivors and then broke up. This was a cover of the old Bell Notes hit and it got some airplay on KLWW. Produced by Vini Poncia who would go on to produce KISS and Ringo Starr. Alice DeBurr the drummer was an Iowa native (just thought I point that out).

10. Are 'Friends' Electric?-Gary Numan & Tubeaway Army (Atco 7209) 1979 Finally, some oddity from Mr. Numan to which this song actually got issued after Cars became a hit although I cannot recall any radio station playing Friends. Numan's band used keyboards only and no guitars (although they did have a bass player)and for a while the cool folk had The Pleasure Principle in their collection before Numan became uncool and most copies went to Goodwill or the local record store (when we had record stores). But even in my bargain hunting adventures to other states, I still tended to buy 45's and this one came from a store in Oklahoma. Hard to figure Numan's music, is it prog or kraut rock or pop? I think it was unique in itself. And so it goes.

Other noteworty singles

11. Blind Eye-Wishbone Ash (Decca 32826) 1970
12. Buffalo Girls-Malcolm McLaren (Island 7-99941) 1983
13. Mirror Star-Fabulous Poodles (Epic 8-50666) 1978
14. Hey St. Peter-Flash & The Pan (Midland International JB-10934) 1977
15. Rubber Bullets-10cc (UK 45-49015) 1973

Final Five

16. Ride With Me-Steppenwolf (Dunhill ABC D-4283) 1971
17. Roundabout-Yes (Atlantic 2654) 1972
18. I'm On Fire-Dwight Twilley Band (Shelter SR 40380) 1975
19. Money Man-Martha Velez (Sire SAA-735) 1976 Produced by Bob Marley
20. Don't Let Him Know-Prism (Capitol B-5082) 1982

Reference to Ray Stevens  Saturday Night At The Movies.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Crabb Bits: May Day, Jim Rogers Memorial Bargain Hunt, Sir Henry Cooper

Happy May Day folks. The sun is shining which seems to be a rare happening in this area. But thankfully no big tornadoes and big storms to worry about.

The ratings are in and last month I had the second most readers out there checking out blogs, thank you for reading. That's the good news. I could generate more ratings if I promoted them over FB or Twitter but I tend to keep things low key. Certainly I don't have the outrageous reviews and observations of Mark Prindle who I do chat from time to time on FB (he's very active over there), or other sites which uses videos and pictures. Certainly I don't call too much attention to myself and maybe it's better that way. People would get tired of seeing tweets of me going check this out and posting the link every other tweet. Despite that, 875 of y'all made a visit to just another music and blow steam off site and having the second best month ever makes it fun to continue. So we will. However the past couple weeks,I have been having some bad carpel tunnel pain in the wrists so I have been cutting back a bit. Plus this is our busiest month in printing land, that'll be another reason the blogs will be down. But don't fret, we got some bargain hunts to talk about, this week's top ten is our annual prom 10 and if anything major happens I'll comment on that and those too. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying the sun for now and when get back will pick up where i left off.

Friday I went to the Jim Rogers Memorial Wake and chatted a bit with my former boss Denny Ballard of course our boss's boss was there as well. Not surprising there was tears and hugs when I gave Shannon a good hug and we're not trying to lose it but the old voice cracked. Funerals are not much fun, you see the departed laying in state and if you looked too long you get to feel sad as well. Jim's wife seemed to be more relaxed and the rest of the family was friendly. Couldn't say that for our former co workers in scanning, Leonard making a fifty yard dash out the door. The guy used to be all gray but now seeps in hair coloring to the point of ridiculous. But then again he's always been a oddball at best. Tim, our old third shift senior was in front of me but never said anything to me. So be it, Tim and his wife have been piling on the pounds of late and I'm sure Tim outweighs me now. Our boss's boss I think has only talked to me twice at work and one of them was cleaning my clock out for overdoing the video games. Kinda wished that Tony Woods would have been there or Terry Carsner, at least we could share a joke or two. Not Leonard though. Maybe I'll volunteer myself for scanning this week so I can go bother Leonard just like the old days.

But in these days and times I still made it an effort to go find more music and did just that. Going up to Record Collector and picking up a Dave Brubeck and Fraternity Of Man LP and the to Sweet Living Antiques for a few albums and some 45s but kept it short since the wake started at 3 and then had to get to work. But took the long way and stopped at Stuff Etc. and found a Pink Floyd The Wall Soundtrack Bootleg and a Fabulous Poodles Best Of.

Finally Sir Henry Cooper, great fighter for the UK and fought two bouts with Muhammad Ali in 1963 and 1966 only to lose to technical knockouts (basically they had the stop the fight since Cooper's face was bloodied beyond belief and he was actually leading both bouts). Ended his career in 1971 controversial fight with Joe Bugner with losing by a half point Cooper retired. He was knighted in 2000, but declining health and the passing of his wife in 2009 didn't help things and he passed away on Saturday. He was 76. Would have loved to meet this gentleman.

As I was typing this the message came on from the President that Osama Bin Laden is dead. Almost 10 years after 9/11, fate and the determination of our armed forces finally got the terrorist and shot him in the head. It was a long time coming.