Monday, December 31, 2012

Cromagnon-Cave Rock The Most Bizarre Album Ever

A while ago I actually did a review of Cave Rock and found the review while going through the archives. While Tad was begging me for some oddball music I decided to send this little gem his way.  He calls it the most disturbing album he's ever heard too.  It came from ESP Disk, the infamous NY label that was home to the Fugs and Albert Ayler.  The original  blog is as follows.....
In thirty years of reviewing albums, I have my share of reviewing the popular and the obscure and the bizarre.  There are bizarre albums that do start to sound good after I "get it", Wire 154 and XTC English Settlement are two of the many albums that I hated at first but now call classic after playing them.  Other albums such as MC5 Kick Out The Jams are guaranteed to offend your parents due to all the feedback and noise and F bombs.  However I think I may have encounter that first album that is so out there, so bizarre that even I wonder what in the hell did I buy it.
ESP Disk is the New York label that gave us The Fugs, The Godz and Albert Alyer, avart garde jazz and rock that isn't for those who enjoy Yummy Yummy Yummy.  But Cromagnon 1969 Cave Rock album is by far the most bizarre and weirdest album that I have ever encountered.  In fact the only song of any type is the leadoff track Caledonia which starts out with a shortwave radio feedback and a old record that sounds off way base, then it starts up with a tribal drums with a shout out vocals with lead bagpipe, to which Austin Grasmere sounds like Al Jorgensen of Ministry.  Is he shouting it out or whispering the word?  And then it ends with a jewsharp and crickets chirping.  No hit potential there.

Grasmere and Brian Eliot according to the liner notes were pop song writers who approached Bernard Stollman of ESP about doing an album, and Bernard asked them about what the theme of the album was to be,  Grasmere replied "everything at once" and Stollman gave the go ahead.

The next segment is something called Ritual Feast Of The Libido, which somebody screams in agony and torture with a single drumbeat and a shaker.  Unlistenable as hell.

Organic Sundown:  More chants and screams and shouts for about seven minites as we hear hammers and nails and more tribal drums.  Seven more minites of your life to which you'll never get back.  And the torture never stops (unless you listen to top forty radio today to which then I would perfer this over rap anyday)
Fantasy: Starts out with a Beach Boys like vocals, then more bizarre sound effects and laughter.  Have You Been there, somebody asks, I repiled nope and don't intend to return back there ever again.  At the 2:15 mark we hear a cuckoo clock and an police siren and other bizarre effects with a drum solo tacked back in the mix while somebody tunes their guitar and more voice overs and somebody turning the radio dial.  You think anybody from Captiol or Atlantic would ever release such bizarre shit on their label?  Not in the day and age. Around the six minite mark the guys start screaming Freedom to which the average listener by now would have taken the cd out of the player and shredded it.  Freedom From The Man! and then the track ends by doing a coda of the leadoff track.  Short Wave radio and a record player on its last legs.  End Of Side One

Crow Of The Back Tree-Starts out with an acoustic guitar with a heart beat in the background. Then a rabid bunch of grade school kids start out screaming Freedom.  Kids sound like they had way too much sugar.  And by now our faithful readers wonder why do I buy such weird shit like this?  It was only a buck in the clarence bins.  Next.

Genitalia-Sounds like the Pink Floyd Small Group Of Furry Animals Grooving With A Pict, with somebody singing like a crazed Alvin Chipmunk.  Did they mastered this cd from a scratchy record?  Lotta pops and cracks.  And Pink Floyd's version was better although this song dated a year before Ummagumma.
Toth, Scribe 1:  Caledonia slowed down and the recording reversed.

First World Of Bronze:  Sounds like The Chant Monks speeded up to 78 with a crazed guitar in the right side of the speaker which ends the album.  Cromagnon Cave Rock is that album to play if you want to get rid of unwanted guests or want to end a party, or end a blind date.  This album is so bizarre that they make the ESP Disk Godz sound like The Beatles.  If it was the intent of recording an bad acid trip without taking the acid, I'd say they done a fine job of hashing up the images and darkness of the segments (I don't dare say songs since only two of the 8 eight songs here can be faintly considered songs).  In some ways it does pave the way for noisemakers such as Trent Reznor or Al Jorgensen's Ministry of noise and avant garde.

Only this could ever come out on a Avant Garde label such as ESP Disk.  I had to play this CD twice just to believe how out there this is.

May you never have to hear this yourself.

Another View:

This CD was issued in 1992 on the german ZYX label when ZYX reissued the ESP Disk catalog but have now fallen out of print, with copies going as high as 50 bucks on EBAY.

ESP Disk has once again risen from the grave and have their own working website that continues to bring out the bizarre in free form jazz and noise excursions.  Not for the faint of heart.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Journey's End-Looking Back At 2012

And so here we are, we finally have made it to last days of 2012.  This may have been the most bizarre year for me.   I've lost a few friends along the way, musicians that I like and actors and actresses have checked out as well, too many to mention but their scattered about all through the archives of this year.  And here I am trying to remember the highlights of this year.

Last winter was the best winter for me weatherwise, we didn't get a major snowfall til January to which I spent many a time out on the trails on Matsell's or Indian Creek Nature Center.  And for the first time in the spring, we didn't get the severe weather and monsoons and heavy rains that usually flooded things around here.  The lack of rain this year put the state into drought conditions and The Red Cedar, Wapsi and Mississippi River had record low levels.  But wait a couple years and things will be turned around and we'll be flooded out again.  This year Cedar Rapids has rebounded and revived itself with the opening of the New Bo Market in September and the Paramount Theater opened up in November.  The Paramount looks great, let's hope it stays that way a while before the Red Cedar makes another unwanted appearance.

For all the advertisement you see about Sonic, they're not doing all that great. All the Sonics here closed down early in the year and basically the old buildings are still around.  For our reward, Zio Johnos put up a new place where the old Bar B Q was at on C Ave SW.   Just what we need another crappy imitation Italian place where their spaghetti sauce sucks so bad, you buy the noodles and then go to Hy Vee for a can of Ragu for sauce. Yuck.
February we lost Whitney Houston and Davy Jones but Van Halen came roaring back with Diamond Dave back in the vocal chair with their best album in years A Different Kind Of Truth.  They proved to the world that they still have it.


In March we went to recently opened Books A Million in Davenport which is where the old Borders used to be.  They kinda remind me of Borders in a way but their cd selection is non existent at the Dubuque location wheres the Davenport location reminded me of the CD section Borders left behind. Not much although BAM is a step up from Barnes & Noble in a way. Thank our lucky stars we have Half Priced Books in our neighborhood.

April came around, more notables left, Levon Helm, Dick Clark.  Chloe the wonder dog too. The Chicago Cubs were dead on arrival all year and it was the first of 3 bargain hunts in Madison, finding many dollar CDs at Pawn America, including two Pink Floyd CDs that weren't scratched up including Wish You Were Here to which I had a copy at home but it disappeared and may have been donated by accident.  It got up to 90 degrees in April too. Global warming blamed.

May was a low point, Boone Novy suffered a heart attack while mowing the yard the first week, Junior Seau killed himself and MCA from the Beasties checked out too.  Did a quick trip through Ann Arbor at Encore and discovered Ragged Records in Davenport a couple weeks later.  And The Source Bookstore in Downtown Davenport too. My perception of that town changed overnight.

In June I went to see Los Lobos at the Iowa City Artfest and managed to meet the guys later striking a nice conversation with Bugs Gonzalez the new drummer and Steve Berlin.  Bugs used to drum for Gloria Trevi, bet he some wonderful stories to tell about her.  And got to dance with a hippie chick on La Bamba. Also discovered the up and coming Samantha Fish at this time. Bob Welch decided to end his life on this month too.  Found a whole bunch of 45s at the Iowa City Salvation Army during the day of Los Lobos concert.

July highlights was seeing The Kentucky Headhunters tearing it up in Shell Rock and got to meet Doug Phelps and shook his hand as he came off stage.  Before the show, Fred Young, the drummer was hanging out watching the opening act while people didn't pay much attention to him.  The New Bo Market wasn't opened yet but they had Woodyfest going on with some acoustic and bluegrass folk playing to a sparse crowd, across the river the reopening of the Czech Museum had Caravan Of Thieves putting on a great show.  Another Madison bargain hunt trip which bought home more 45s but also a wild bicycle trip that almost had me running head on into another biker.  And then The Great Bike Ride Across Iowa came outside my back door to which we had plenty of bikers strolling through our neighborhood and some blues players jamming outside the old Viola School yard.  First time in years they managed to make that place look good.

August. Momma Schminkey passed away, she was the band's adopted mother.  Bob Dorr decided he was too good for me on Facebook so took all his music and donated them to charity.  And then got called out by Bob Lefsetz on a free app for a smart phone, of course his Direct Message to me on that proved that I messed that one up.  Still like to read Bob Lefsetz' blog and I thank him for not blocking me like Mr. Dorr did on Facebook.  Bob also gets credit for the Best Remark of 2012: Time Poverty. As in so much music but so little time to get through it all.   Mark Prindle, our favorite critic of music decided to hang it up but he did managed to find himself a great woman and became a Dad in August to a son Nicholas.  And still follows me on Facebook unlike you know who.  And of course more 45s found at another trip to Ragged Records again.

September came around, the summer went by fast didn't it?  New Bo Market opened, and another trip to Arizona and Vegas.  I may have scared myself off ever going to the strip again by the big fat black dude at Walgreens trying to scam money but I had to see the Pawnshop made famous on History.  Sad to say Rick wasn't there, the Old Man wasn't there nor was Chumlee but the girl who was fired for being part of the Suicide Girls website was there although at the time I didn't know that.  Fremont Street was much better, had a much better time, nobody hit me up for any money and got to see some cool things along the way too.  But for the most part the best part of Arizona trip was the two days hanging at Kingman Motel 6 Room 220 watching many a train past through town.  And of course buying about 60 CDs and 50 45s from various Half Priced Bookstores, Hastings, FYE and Zia's location along the way.

October, The Cubs season ended, The Orioles did well enough to make the playoffs, only to lose to the Yankees so we turn our attention to football.  The Iowa Hawkeyes turned out to be duds, they stumbled out the gate and even though they did beat Minnesota and Michigan State, they stunk up the tube most of the season.  The Arizona State Sun Devils started out strong, and kinda faded but won enough to make a bowl game.  Then beat Navy 62-28 in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco And then we lost Alex Karras that month.

November, the last of the Madison bargain hunts and last time going to the Exclusive Company, they're closing the State Street store, the third time wasn't the charm as most of what we found simply wasn't that great and got redonated back to charity.  Concluded that with a nice Schlitz Tall Boy watching the Hawks take the lead on Indiana in football only to leave because I knew they were going to blow the game (they did).   The next weekend saw 70 degree temps on the mighty Mississippi in Davenport for one more visit to Ragged Records and the Co Op Records in Moline to which I was the sole shopper on a Saturday Night.  My sixth grade teacher Marjorie Reynolds at age 85 goes into the Great Beyond and so did our  longtime neighbor Winnie Bulicek at age 99.

The first of December was 55 degrees as I went up to Dubuque to hang at the Casino and watch the fog rise above the mighty Mississippi and exchanged pleasantries with a dude on a third floor window at the casino/motel.  One more trip to Moondog Music and CD's 4 Change before the snow came and it came on December 20th.  We got our White Christmas.  Dave Brubeck passes away one day before his 92nd birthday and Ray Collins, the MOI vocalist extraordinaire also says goodbye for the last time.  But on a positive note: this Christmas was the first time in years was pretty good.  Papa commented Mom on a great dinner.  And I broke past 3,000 views for the first time ever.

So as we wind down this year.  It makes me look forward toward a new year and hopefully 13 will be lucky number unlike this year.  Oh, I can't complain when it comes to finding music, all along this year for 45s was the best in a era to which 45s are no longer made in abundance but I found plenty of them, including the holy grail of them all, Chuck Murphy's One Beer in excellent condition.  And John Mayall's Chicago Line on CD, Never thought I'd find another one under 30 bucks again.  As for those who inquired and have waited long this far into the year, you will be happy to know that I will return for more fun and top ten high jinx for next year.

What will next year bring for us I can't tell.  I have recording projects to come up, as well as maintaining the top ten of the week.  This past month there was enough interest to keep this blog site going and thanks to the efforts of Tad, Drew and of course Sassy Brat's contributions, I think we have finally stumbled upon something special here.  There will be bargains to find and I'm sure there will be trips to make and maybe we'll find something that the masses will enjoy to read.  Even I'm surprised that I have stuck with this for the past ten years.  Guess you can say that this is a hard habit to break.
So with this I'll leave you where I would love to be at once again, on the main street in Iowa City, dancing with a hippie chick I never seen before to Los Lobos La Bamba.  It does bring a good feeling to me when I think about it.   As for yourself, may your dreams become reality, even if it is a music blog that documents the sign of the times as they happen.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Crabb Bits: 3,000 Views!, Ray Collins Fontella Bass RIP

For the first time ever, we have clear 3000 views for the month!  Quite a feat upon itself!

Just two months ago, with rating drying up and really not getting much viewership here,  I made a comment about perhaps it's time to do a rethink and put this in the closet and make it become a archives for the bored.  But somehow and someway we have managed to really break out big time.  Of course we can blame it on the weather since it's too cold to do anything for bargain hunts.  It was a big deal when we hit the 1,000 mark the first time and then the 2,000 mark.  We had a nice summer but once the fall came around things drop off.  I did manage to make some slight adjustments to the blog.  With the help of Google and Bing I managed to find pictures and 45 covers (Courtesy of 45 Cat mind you) of the weekly top ten and it seemed like a good idea.   I actually kinda noticed that having pictures and illustrations have made the blogs a much more fun read.   Perhaps I should have done it sooner.  The pictures really come in handy. 

Rock and Roll And The Brains remains the biggest read with over 9,000 views and basically carry this website from being completely obscure.  I only wish it could translate it into getting The Brains 1980 album back in print, that would be wonderful. 

I have no idea what 2013 is going to bring, if I finally give up the ghost and just simply quit worrying about new music and just stick with what I have and what I know.  There's still plenty of obscure things and bands to cover and discover, I hope I can continue to do that.   While viewership is up, I haven't seen much in comments, perhaps the Captcha that Blogspot does is too complicated for even the anonymous readers to put up a comment but from past experiences the majority of them simply either troll or bitch too much even for me to make a logical reply back, or we simply have the porn spam that forced us to make adjustments.  Once in a while we'll get somebody to make a valid argument about a observation that they saw, such as the Pure Prairie League supporter.  Or the cousin of Sonny Lott that wrote a while back too.  If she's still around, I'm still here and still have Sonny in my prayers and thoughts.  I love the man, he made lunch breaks at NCS  fun when he was working there as a janitor.   You can post things incognito but you have to figure out what the hell the word is and the numbers that proceed it or ahead of it.  Otherwise I'd be fighting with the porn spam trolls all over again and still not in the mood for that.

2012 is going to go down in years as one of the more morbid years ever with the influx of people that I have known who have died.  Case in point: Ray Collins, original Mothers Of Invention lead vocalist who died at age 76 from a heart attack.  Ray to me, was the best vocalist that came out of Frank Zappa's bands who made Freak Out and Crusin With Ruben And The Jets classic albums in their own wake, but Ray didn't care much for Frank's Over The Top and goofy cynical-isms that became Absolutely Free and left soon afterwards although Collins would return for cameos on Uncle Meat and perhaps his most definite moment: Oh No from Weasels Ripped My Flesh.  Collins never did attempt to join other bands, simply dropping out to become a taxi driver and a dishwasher and ended up living a very frugal life,  a very private man but he did manage to take some time out and pose for a picture or two with fans of the MOI, to which if you ask Ray Collins what band he used to be in, he'd simply say MOI.

More Ray Collins stuff off the internet:

Fontella Bass, had a big hit with Rescue Me one of most recognizable soul tunes of the 1960s also has checked out at age 72 from a heart attack.

Thanks for the memories The Exclusive Company.  Will miss this place when I'm in Madison.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-10 Years Of Top Tens

Dave Zero at Mad City Music Exchange was kind enough to give us his Top albums of the year, I'm sure he's still trying to unbury himself out of that 16 inches of the white crap that buried Madison last week.

Although thinking this is my down time, I have been very busy watching some DVDs that I did get a while back and you may find this bizarre, I did like the Three Stooges remake.  When done right you can't fuck up the smacks and Yuk yuk yuks and Larry's goofy hair.  Most remakes are shit but I found myself laughing at most of the gags and jokes here.  I especially enjoyed the scene of Moe invading Jersey Shore.  Does get cheesy at the end but I think it stays true to the original form of the original Stooges.

Another DVD I watched was From Bizarre To Straight, a rock doc about Frank Zappa's forming his own label Bizarre/Straight and recording the likes of Captain Beefheart and Wildman Fischer.  Bizarre Records was that as Frank did his best to duplicate what the LA freak scene was all about.  A lot of commentary comes from John French and Bill Hackelroad, two members' of The Magic Band as they recall the pain and effort to record Trout Mask Replica which remains in print via Reprise but Lick My Decals Off Baby has only surfaced on Enigma/Retro in the late 80s on CD but the vinyl remains in print.  Dennis Dunaway and Neal Smith from Alice Cooper tell their side of how they signed up to Zappa's label and may have been the most mainstream oddball but the most successful of bands that made it big on the classic rock charts.  It's a very lengthy doc, two hours and forty minutes but it is worth the time and effort to watch it.  Pamela Des Barres (GTO)  and Essa Mohawk, plus Jeff Simmons (Easy Chair)  and Jerry Lawson from the Persuasions add their two cents worth to it.  Anything with Pam Des Barres' viewpoints is worth watching.  And she continues to be active with her own website.

People who have checked out:  Mike Scaccia, guitar player for Ministry, Jack Klugman Odd Couple, Quincy and Twlight Zone actor and Charles Durning who was one of the best character actors out there.  His appearance in Oh Brother Where Art Thou is worth the price of admission.

With this top ten, concluding this year I have fully committed myself 10 full years of top tens and viewpoint.  Not bad considering I always had a bad case of ADD and never seem to finish anything I started.  From what I have seen in the ratings and comments that everybody enjoys the pictures and makes reading these blogs all the more exciting.  Maybe the word is getting out.  In the grand course of a decade of nonstop top tens, that its hard to combine a perfect ten songs of the week but judging my tastes and boundaries, there is no limit of what's out there to listen to.  There's more to life than just the same Cumulus approved and only play these same 200 songs day in and day out.  Clear Channel's stock had dwindled down a lot and they're just as evil but the worst stations here, are the ones that say "a Cumulus Station".   Life is too short to listening to the same Sheryl Crow crap or even worst Autotuner Top forty.  No robot radio for me please, make mine original.

1.  Turn It On Again-Genesis 1980  Ah, the 80's to which you couldn't escape Phil Collins, he played a few other albums of note, Philip Bailey, Eric Clapton, Robert Plant come to mind, he was always a underrated drummer in my estimation.  Replacing Peter Gabriel, Genesis actually had better record sales and more accessible pop sound (Peter's Genesis period I can't much into).  You can't also can't escape In The Air Tonight (a Cumulus classic) and basically if I want to hear that I can turn on the FOX.  Like Genesis stuff Collins' albums I can take or leave although I had to say that Dance Into The Light remains my favorite P.C. CD.

2.   Tiger Rag-Al White 1963   The pros and cons of record buying throughout my life is that I always found time to listen to just about anything that was in my grasp and for the most part Ragtime or the good time jazz of Fire House Five Plus 2 are now history since Grandma and Grandpa are in the great beyond and anybody under 30 don't care for this type of dixieland jazz anymore.  This goes way back to 1917 when The Original Dixieland Jazz did it for Vocalion and reprised it the next year for Victor which became a hit. Many folk have covered it, Jeff Beck in 2011 with Imelda Ray singing it.  For me, I had this version on a cracked Capitol loss leader, The Big Hits Of 1963 to which I'm looking for a copy of 920 Special from Joe Bucci.  But never seen the single of Tiger Rag till founding a good copy of it at Salvation Army downtown CR to which it stayed there for a long time.  45 catalog number: Capitol 4887

3.  Out Of My Mind-Who Cares 2012  Upon the grab bag of greatest hits and other useless compilations one of the more interesting ones was the Who Cares 2 CD set that came out earlier in the year and featured a lineup of Tony Iommi, Jason Newsted, Nicko McBain, and the late Jon Lord backing up all time screamer Ian Gillan with a couple new songs plus some outtakes, hard to find live versions of hits either featuring Iommi or for the most part Ian Gillan.  Always loved Gillan's work but Best Buy never seemed to get this at any of their stores so I finally got a copy at Moondog Music and put it in one of my many stacks of CDs and forgot all about it till I came across it last week.  A metal who's who help out from the late Ronnie James Dio to OTT screamer Glenn Hughes who actually does well on the two contributions that he did with Iommi.  But not enough for me to purchase the new Black Country Communion album though.

4.  It Don't Get Any Better Than This-George Jones 1998  The man has lived 80 years which is probably the second most surprising thing next to Jerry Lee Lewis reaching his age and even though his best music years are behind him, he still tours from time to time.  Jones recorded 8 years for MCA before they let him go after this album to which ranks one of his best 90s albums.  By then his meddling label decided to pair him up with some country legends (Waylon, Willie, Merle, Bobby Bare and a Johnny Cash soundalike which damn near convince me it was JC himself before Johnny Counterfeit hacked up a hairball).  Still a fun song but it didn't chart.  Jones' next album would give him another top forty hit with Choices, recorded for a failing Asylum label the next year.

5.  Railroaded-The Townedgers 1996  A RS Crabb exclusive but then again everything from The TEs are exclusive since nobody else in the music world knows or cares about them.  The biggest bitch about the song was how tinny the drums were on the original mix, so therefore they went back into the studio to remix the song and it has changed more into a metallic number rather than the alt rock it originally served.  Look for next year to see them back with new music to which a new song Queen Of Anamosa might be played on Mouse Tracks on Radio Buzzed this Thursday Night.  Love this song but then again I'm biased.  I know these guys by heart!

6.  This Guy's In Love With You-Herb Alpert 1968  If you grew up in the 60s in tune with AM radio, you couldn't escape Herb and the Tijuana Brass but he had a massive hit on his own.  Mr. Burt B and Hal David penned this, and of course they had wrote hits for Dionne Warwick and Burt himself.  One of those songs that I didn't care much for as a kid but older I can dig it more.  Anything with no autotuner helps too.

7.  Pop Hates The Beatles-Allan Sherman 1964  Needless to say finding a lot in the discount bins at Half Priced Books really have enabled me to buy things that I won't full price and basically anywhere you go you can find Allan's albums in the dollar bins in thrift stores all around here, that's how I found his original Rhino best on on Vinyl years ago.  Sometimes funnier than Stan Freburg, sometimes not.  Back then anybody over 40 was making about those Beatles haircuts and how they needed one.

8. Baby Jesus-Matthew Sweet 1991  From Yuletunes one of the best Christmas albums of power pop ever, the songs here could also pass for anytime of year it seems.  Of course Matthew may have been listening to a lot of Beatles era Revolver to do this Yuletime favorite of mine.  Might be yours too if KDAT ever decides to play it (which will be never).

9. Private Life-Grace Jones 1980  You don't hear much from her anymore and her records vary from hideous to damn good, especially the two she did with Sly and Robbie backing her up and Barry Reynolds too from Marianne Faithful's Broken English era band too.  In some ways her two best albums Warm Leatherette and Nightclubbing has that same vibe that the Manifesto era Roxy Music had, slick and dark mood music, it rocks harder than the disco temporaries of the early 80s.  A moody remake of the Pretenders song.

10.  Mac Arthur Park-Jimmy Webb 1996  Richard Harris made history with this 7 minute single hitting the top of the charts and one of the things that I used to do when I was young and playing records that before 9 o'clock our bedtime, Mom would allow one more song before bed and of course trying to stretch as much as I could I would pick a long song to end things, sometimes Hey Jude came into play but I been known to play this 45 before bed.  Jimmy Webb wrote this and many many others for other singers and bands who would score hits but never him.  He was more of a cult artist than Leonard Cohen so to speak.  In 1996, Webb put out 10 Easy Pieces, an album of his best known songs (no Paper Cup though) but mostly done with him and piano only.  He stays very true to the original version but his goes 20 seconds longer than Harris' version.   He still remains a cult artist and acquired taste at best but I'm late into checking out his albums.  HP Books had his Elektra 1993 album Suspending Disbelief cheap too.  El Mirage was his best effort but his albums via Collector's Choice Music has gone out of print and some sell for big bucks.  

Five great songs of 2012 from albums that didn't make the cut.

Knock Knock-Band Of Horses (from Mirage Rock)
Hospital For Sinners-The Wallflowers (Glad All Over)
That's Why God Made The Radio-The Beach Boys (TWGMTR)
Researching The Blues-Redd Kross (RTB)
Downward Facing Dog-Moe. (What Happened To The La La)
Cover art of Christmas With The Townedgers 2006 (Photo taken by S.Gorss aka Seastarr) in christmas art by
For the first time, Christmas this year, spending time with the folks was one of the best ever.  Dad even complimented Mom on how good the roast beef was, which took me by surprise.  A quiet Christmas and a White Christmas to boot although I'd rather have last year's 45 degree temps and sunshine.  Christmas is over, the snow can all melt away for all I care.

RIP Ray Collins (Vocalist of The Mothers Of Invention)

Imagine that. I lost all GD pictures of this Top Ten.  So I threw a few together.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Archives: Ask To Speak To An American

 CRABB NOTES: While going through the archives, I came across this little entry about speaking to an American when you call up for something.  Basically this is a farce (no need to comment on this) but thought it was worth a laugh to the reader out there.  Snopes addresses that rumor here.
Even at work when our computer system goes down or if we forget our password we're usually transferred over to somebody in India which we can't understand half the time anyway.  So for the most part the rest of the blog is bullshit.  But you might get a kick reading it. Just like those online petitions, it might make you feel good to sign your name or forward on to 10 people so they can forward to 10 people that things will get done but in the end, nothing really gets done regardless.  Business as usual.  On to the original entry.  RS

A public service announcement.

Ask to speak to an American!

Try to remember this, EVERY TIME you have to talk to a customer service representative and you cannot understand them, Ask for an American!.

I did not know that we could do this, but I sure am going to try it. Help bring jobs back to the U.S.A.


How to save some American jobs and we can help!

Hi Everyone,

I want to share with you some great information that I found out purely by accident. I believe it can also save and create jobs in America while giving people better customer service.

So how many times have you called a company?s customer service phone line and found that the representative can barely speak English? Once with a major mortgage company it was so bad I demanded to speak with someone who spoke English. Right at that moment I broke the code, the secret password for customer service.

Come to find out that every American company using overseas operators must transfer you to an American representative by saying........

" I want to speak to a representative in America ". (Don't take no for an answer on this)

This was confirmed by the American representative that they must transfer you after that request. I've tried it on a half a dozen major companies including cable, bank, phone and mortgage companies. It works every time and I actually get my issues taken care of.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas 2012

A bit early but this is where I come in and say MERRY CHRISTMAS for y'all. This has been the best month ever for the Crabb Review Site with an all time viewership. Thanks everybody for reading!

(Photo: Christmas Train by Valerie Loop)

Haven't had much luck this week, I lost a gift certificate for a friend last weekend so had to rebuy it all over again.  The 8 inches of wet, icy and shitty snow we got didn't help my spirits either although we will have a White Christmas that the kids will be happy playing in it while I sit there cussing out the crap while being stuck in the driveway, which seems to be a Christmas time tradition with these December storms.

(Photo: K D Miner-Kingman)

Sitting here looking at the Kingman newspaper and seeing the happenings going up there, the pawnshop got broken into and the owner went up there with a gun looking for the assholes that did that.  I love downtown Kingman when I'm there during the summertime but I do notice that there's a few shady characters up there.

Did I mention we will have a White Christmas?
From Crabby!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Observations: Lee Dorman RIP,Blizzard, Anamosa, End Of World, Best Of 2012

Sad note to pass on. RIP Lee Dorman, Bass player for Iron Butterfly.  Dead at age 70.

Been home snowbound for the past two nights.  High Winds forced me to shut the computer down since the GD thing almost crashed and was feverishly trying to shut it down before a third power hiccup came along two minutes after I did.  It's not a pretty sight living out in the country when we get blizzards.  It also didn't help that we had a heavy snow mix to compound the problem, you can't shovel the wet shit without getting a back ache or heart attack and basically I slept most of the day since I was afraid to turn anything on.

On the Interstate it wasn't much better.  This was a slight 25 car/semi chain reaction that took place on the I-35 corridor up around the Ft.Dodge/Webster City exit.  80 and 380 had their share of fender benders and trucks and cars sliding off the roadway.  Me I stayed home, the snowplow has yet to pay us a visit.  Winds were gusting at around 50 MPH and the snow was drifting on any part of County Home Road to which a couple cars also slid off this road as well.  Last year we didn't have this major problem outside of a couple freezing drizzle nights and a five inch snowstorm that happened earlier in the year.  Guess we got too used and pampered to a above normal winter.  Back in the ice age again.  Lucky us.

The Weather Channel has decided to name this winter storm Draco whatever the fuck that supposed to be.  Us Mid westerners call it a different name, BITCH, Pain in the ass, Winterstorm Fuckoff you get the picture. Only the Weather Channel thought up that wonderful name so they can provide us with another faceless programming on when Weather Changed the World series that nobody ever watches.  Hell, spent most of yesterday when I was out and about trying to see where the storm was at but couldn't due to a repeat of Weather Rescuers and countless commercials.  Blizzards usually happen and they won't wait or take a time out like the WC to bore us with more drug commercials.
Winter Storm Names
But then again who thinks up these stupid fuck names?  Guess the Europeans have done this for years but this is a first for me to understand this.  Can't wait for IAGO to hit Iowa or Ukko but I give them props for naming one future storm after a cool 90s alt rock band.

Drew has come up with his best of 2012 songs. You can read his picks over here at this link:

So has the new and improved Crabb web site with pictures been an improvement over the lack of pictures?  I managed to hit the 2500 views the past few days with even 2600 views in a month.  With some new projects on the table and one last attempt to pay tribute to Anamosa's finest rock band ever The Townedgers (Via Marion IA) for next year,  I may finally take time off to do that and leave the Top Ten as an archival site.  With snow on the ground which will keep me off the walking trails (Matsell's is now reserved for hunting for the next couple months) I may finally sit down and convince the TEs to finally do some new tunes for the first time in 5 years, pending if the lead singer doesn't suck singing.  Not much is going on in Anamosa, it's usually the closest place for me to go if I don't go to work.

 Pictured above is where the El Ranchito is located at.  Their Chile Relleno are excellent.   Grant Wood is buried in Anamosa Cemetery that overlooks the Wapsipinicon River.  Their best known athlete is Marshall Yanda who plays for the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL.

Like any other small town, Anamosa back in the old days had a decent downtown area and a movie theater to boot. The Niles which became The Evans Movie House and  I did watch a movie up there a few years ago, Meet The Fockers but the movie theater is no longer operable.

Niles...Anamosa Iowa
 BTW.  we survived Doomsday as of this writing at midnight Friday 12/21/12. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-False Prophets

After having one brown Christmas, I think it's safe to say that we have a 90 percent chance of a White Christmas, making everybody happy as we slip and slide our ass on the way home from work tonight.  Folks in Flagstaff had about 15 inches of it already this year.  The Question remains if I will ever plan a winter AZ bargain hunt, the answer is not unless I win the lottery.  It's a bitch getting up I-17 without snowchains.
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I haven't commented on the tragedy of Friday's massacre at a Newtown school, this is basically a music review site but losing 20 children at the hands of a lowlife sickens me to no end.  What was even more outrageous was the beyond belief whacked out tendencies of Westboro Baptist Church planning to protest the children's funerals  to which Anonymous finally took control and hacked into their website and published the names and numbers of the offenders folk who continue to spew their hatefill muck on the rest of the world.  This may spell the end of the WBC?  I doubt it but I think this has served notice that the regular folk has had enough of Westboro and it's time for a dose of their own medicine.   And as the picture indicates, Anonymous provided a detail information of each Westboro member down to their job occupation and phone numbers, to which I'm sure all are ringing off the hook.  Makes you want to avoid going to Topeka at all.  I have never seen such a detail report of who's who Westboro Baptist.  I'm happy to report that during the funeral not one Westboro Baptist Church member dared to show up.   Perhaps  they were too busy changing their phone numbers after all the angry and crank phone calls that they did get.  And they are a hate group judging by their actions.  Old time poppycock.

Coming up this weekend, the end of the world, or so they say.

For the first time we have cleared 2500 views in a month by month basis and maybe adding pictures and links has something to do with that.  For this month it's been over 1500 which ensures over 2,000 views for December and with a couple more weeks left we may hit a record views.  Nevertheless, with winter storms fast approaching and bargain hunts all done for the season I will turn my focus on other things off the net and will be busy.  Forthcoming blogs include a wrap up of the year and adding more blogs from archives into their rightful place, I started importing the My Space top tens from 2009 and other happenings and that's going to take a while to complete.  I was kinda hoping I could do that all at once but Blogspot has a spam rule so can only add so many on a given day.  I should be done with that by 2015 way things are going.

Future bargain hunts will be limited to the local HP Book store.  Don't know why ours has the best bargains, Madison and Des Moines seems to be picked when I do visit them but even as of this writing I'm still finding great deals and bands (Allen Sherman, Electric Six, Jane's Addiction, Extreme, Mason Profit all come to mind).  But with the snows flying around I'll be home remastering some of my band's albums of the past and get them up to date.  More about that at a later time.

And the top ten rolls on.

1.  In The Mood-Ernie Fields Orchestra  1959  Growing up, I think I had more fun listening to instrumentals on the radio although during the AM era they usually played them before the top of the hour newscasts.  More like a R N B outfit rather than a real orchestra Ernie goes into the latter stages of the big band era before going out on his own and putting more rock into the standards.  The walking beat comes courtesy of Earl Palmer who played in just about everything back then.

2.  Go Down Gamblin-Blood, Sweat & Tears 1971  A band you love to hate BST, started out as a project of Al Kooper and then he got fired from the band he put together.  He likes to tell that story on his top ten site.  Had the second album on 8 Track and though it sold a ton and became their best selling album, critics slammed it to the ground.  Of course you can't escape Spinning Wheel on the oldies station.  This song was part of Columbia's massive three record giveaway The Music People which included the full 4 and half minute version instead of the 2:46 edit that became part of BST Greatest Hits.  And another 2 dollar cd find.

3.  Don't Tempt Me-Richard Thompson 1988  Another two dollar find was a 1988 concert entitled More Guitar to which RT was in fine form and stretching out with plenty of live mad guitar and featuring mad drummer Kenny Arnoff on drums to boot.  Due to the length of this album, a couple songs didn't make the final cut (Crash The Party which can be found on the Watching The Dark 3 CD set Hannibal put out in the early 90s, now out of print).  One of those direct to DAT efforts that would be issued on CD 15 years later.


4.  I Wanna See You Again-KO And The Knockouts 2002  Thanks to Steven Van Zandt who rescued their album and put it on his Wicked Cool label five years later, The Knockouts were one of the better garage rock bands coming from Detroit and Jim Diamond helped shape their sound.  Diamond is the ultimate garage rock producer it seems.  This reminds me a lot of a punked up Love Is Strange.  One of many Wicked Cool CDs that Best Buy threw in the dollar bins earlier this year.

5.  Dirty Rotten Bastards-Green Day 2012  The final set of the GD triad of albums released this year, the flame burned out after Billie Joe's Vegas tirade  this summer, this was supposed to be released next month. You knew they had to at least write up a six minute medley of songs and tie it into one song.

6.  Stop!-Jane's Addiction 1990  Like RHCP, Jane's Addiction is another band that I really have never caught on liking although I have the first 2 albums that they did.  Perry Farrell has that love it or hate it whine and Dave Navarro has always been the perfect foil for Farrell's schizo music.  Got plenty of airplay on MTV 120 Minutes and Headbangers Ball although JA is not metal.  Still not sure what they are.

7.  Locked Out Of Heaven-Bruno Mars 2012  Hell I thought it sounded like a Gotye song myself.  I don't care much to top forty radio and Bruno Mars is one of those exceptions, he kinda won me over on his Saturday Night Live performance.  I also think that I spent way too much time and money going to Best Buy to buy the latest albums of the week as well.  Perhaps getting back to my other love as musician might put a stop to that too.  You cannot believe how much trouble typing this top ten out is this week.  Thank God for spellchecker.

8.  Two Way Traffic-Status Quo 2011  It's hard to keep up with the Quo news since nobody in the US cares about them but Matt Letley after 12 years decided to move on since the Quo is reuniting with the original drummer and bass player for a 2013 UK Tour.  This remains a Crabb favorite track from last year's album.
9.  Kid Ego-Extreme 1989  They were actually pretty good, and most of their albums are a good time although they got limped in with the hair metal craze but to me Extreme was a lot like Saigon Kick although not as all over the map and Extreme was better than Mr Big or Skid Row to these ears.  Lotta consideration of their 3 Sides To Every Story to be their best overall but Prono Graffiti sold the most although you can find all of their albums in cheap bins at your local HP Book store.  Which includes their Greatest Hits/20th Century Masters to which I picked up for 2 bucks of course.  Gary Cherone would replace David Lee Roth in the ill fated Van Halen 3 era.
10.  Surfin Bird-The Trashmen 1963  If all else fails..
Since it's time for Christmas thought I put up the 5 songs Of Christmas this year.  Sad to say I didn't find any decent Christmas albums to hear but as always, I do tend to find some interesting yuletime treasures to boot.
Santa Claus Is Coming To Town-The Blues Magoos
Christmas Tears-Freddy King
The 12 Gifts Of Chirstmas-Allan Sherman
This Christmas-Shoes
Christmas Without You-The Townedgers

As always keep those cards and letters coming in.