Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-Leap Day And RIP Davy Jones

76 Views in a hour?  That should put a bump up on the ratings.  Thanks to all that helped out.

Don't mind comments but getting a bit tired of the spammers.

Some news of note: Vince Gill is exiting MCA Nashville after 23 years and countless albums.  Lyle Lovett has handed in his last album for Curb/Universal.  Roy Estrada, convicted child molester will spent 25 years in jail for his third offense, which means he'll be 93 when he gets out.  That is if he lives that long.  Pretty pathetic for a guy highly regarded in The Mothers Of Invention and Little Feat will be a poor judgement and become a pedophile.  He's lost my respect. Forever.

So here it is, that rare top ten that comes every four years and then some.  A leap year top ten.

1.  Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get-The Dramatics 1971  Soul music of the late 60s and early 70s was the best, before rap reared its ugly head and pretty much killed black music as we know it.  Certainly there was rap back in the 70s, in the spirit of The Last Poets which could make NWA sound tame in comparison, Yep that's debatable I guess but The Dramatics was super soul that made records for Stax/Volt and although most of their music really didn't appeal to me, I do dig this top ten hit from them in May of 1971.  Had a decent followup with In The Rain.

2.  22 Days Is Too Long-Adam Hood 2009  Pete Anderson produced this twangster in 2009 and had a minor country hit with this song.  Anything that is produced by Pete Anderson is always worth listening to, after all he produced Dwight Yoakam till they had a following out around 1999.  Anderson plays a mean slide guitar on this one.

3.  The Promised Land-Bruce Springsteen 1978  New Bruce comes out next week and I guess it's his most angriest album since Darkness On The Edge Of  Town and perhaps Bruce can be angry.  After all he lost the big man on Sax last year and it's hard to replace a legend.  I donno, I wasn't that impressed with We Take Care Of Our Own so I went back to Darkness.....for the fun of it.  Again, future record head Jimmy Iovine gave a shitty mix to this album, even the new remasters didn't get the muck out of the mix.  Still a hard album for me to listen to all the way.  Sometimes I do.

4.  Chase (from midnight express)-Giorgio Moroder 1978  Midnight Express the movie got some great music from Donna Summer's choice producer and Moroder been studying his Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream on this 8:46 song, which was released as a disco extended mix which I used to have.  I don't consider this a true disco song, if that's the case, then Tangerine Dream is a disco band too.

5.  Money Love Time-Dash Rip Rock 1989  They were wilder than anything that came from Louisiana when Fred LeBlanc and Billy Davis played together and Ace Of Clubs was their peak record, LeBlanc leaving to form Cowboy Mouth which was a term off Johnny Ace, another track from Ace Of Clubs.  Have to agree in the facet of life, I think I rather have more time than love or money, the last two you can replace and get, time you don't.  A drawback of living on Earth.

6.  Without You-The Doobie Brothers 1973  Ya know I'm sick of China Grove, I'm sick of Black Water, I'm sick of Listen To The Music and I also sick of Takin It To The Streets.  Classic rock radio will forever shove those tracks down our throats but once in a while The Fox will play this B side to Long Train Runnin' another overplayed song.  One of the very rare occasions that the Doobies could really rock out with the boogie too.  You'll be happy to know that Chicago will be touring with the Doobies this summer and both bands will sit in on some numbers, one won't be Without You but I'll keep a open mind.

7.  Since You Broke My Heart-The Searchers 1964   I should pay more attention to what I have in my collection.  Between stacks, I had The Complete Collection Of The Searchers, which came out on Castle years ago and I can't recall where I picked this up (probably the Madison Goodwill but don't know).  This is a cover of the Everly Brothers B side to Let It Be Me.

8.  I Can't Figure You Out-The Gin Blossoms 1996  A failed hit but not so much a failure that I heard this on Goodwill Radio when I was up there last weekend.  They never recovered from Doug Hopkins' death musicwise but they still make decent albums but time has passed them by on the radio.  I still love them.

9.  Weed Bus-The Stairs 1992  Pointless to tell you about these UK garage rockers but they sound like they loved The Choclate Watch Band, The Leaves and 60's garage rock.  They took it to a point to record their album in mono which wasn't cutting edge but rather a nod to the past of monaural recording.  A one and done album but basically there are still UK bands that record that way.  Len Price 3 comes to mind.

10.  Into The Void-Black Sabbath 1971   I really don't see anything good coming out of the usual will they or will they not get back together to record a new album and do a tour with the original lineup.  Bill Ward isn't happy the way he's being treated.  And Sharon Osborne that there will be a Sabbath show in the US but I'm guessing Ward won't be a part of it.  Such a shame really, if Van Halen and David Lee Roth can bury the hatchet and make a great comeback album why not the original Sabs?  So I guess in the meantime we'll have to settle for this album cut that some airplay on the radio in the early 70s.  Classic rock radio or whatever that is KRNA thinks they only made one album Paranoid and that's the only album they ever play which pisses the masses off.  Always thought Masters Of Reality was the better of the two and Volume 4 came very close.  As they say, in the case of Bill Ward, pay the man.

Urgent is the cause for Mick Jones to go to the hospital to take care of some health issues.  Jerry Gaskill of King's X is recovering from a heart attack.

Davy Jones, who was the cute Monkee who all the girls loved has passed away from a heart attack at age 66.   We don't certainly get many folk passing away on Leap Day but Jones might be the more famous.  The Monkees have been touring off and on (without Mike Nesmith who's retired from the biz) but without Davy Jones charisma and charm, The Monkees will be missing a very important part of their band.  They should be in the hall of fame.  Get your head out of your ass Jann Wanner, induct The Monkees.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Black History Month: Louis Jordan

I know it's late in the month but it has been Black History Month.

Black Music has shaped music as we know it today, mostly good, some bad.  Mostly rap had to do with that, but in the early years they called it jive.  Cab Calloway might be the first true rapper.  But for myself Louis Jordan might have a hand in rap in the beginning.  He was funny and he was sharp.  And his rhythm and blues are the seeds that would become rock and roll.

Louis Jordan has been well preserved on CD.  My first introduction to him was Joe Jackson's 1981 Jumpin Jive which he pays tribute to Jordan and Calloway on the title track.  Jordan glory years was on Decca and MCA/Universal has kept his Best Of Louis Jordan in print which has the wonderful Choo Choo Cha Boogie, Run Joe, Early In The Morning and Beware Brother Beware.  Rhino tries to do a good job with an overview Just Say Moe which cherry picks the Decca/Aladdin/X/Mercury years.  One Guy Named Louis (Capitol Jazz) has the complete Aladdin singles and shows Jordan falling out of place with the music that made him famous, Rock And Roll Call (Bluebird/RCA) has him mismashed with the pop sound that RCA saddled him with and might be the least of his music, which isn't bad.  Rock N Roll (retitled No Moe)(Verve/Mercury) has Mickey Baker playing wild guitar as Jordan revisits his past hits and makes them rock out with Quincy Jones producing. Underrated but later years showed Jordan on Ray Charles Tangerine Label and 1973 his last minor hit with I Believe In Music.

Bear Family has the complete Decca recordings and it's very very pricey and may be too much for the casual fan to get into (it's a 9 Cd Set).  JSP and Proper have much cheaper box sets out there, the JSP is a 5 CD set but the Proper 4 CD Jivin With Jordan is the better buy, with much more emphasis on his Decca hits rather then big band early years of the JSP   Louis Jordan & His Tympani Five Box.  The Proper Set sells at around 21 dollars but I got mine for 7 dollars at Half Priced Books a few years ago.  And the sound quality despite the cheap price is pretty good.  Proper does a good job in quality remastering, just like JSP does.

Jasmine Records, another import label takes a look at the Rock And Roll Years, which deals with Jordan's time at RCA and Mercury.  Disc 1 is the RCA/X years and towards the end it's more pop standards than rock, but the disc 2 Mercury years is more spirited and more fun.  Quincy Jones seemed to have more of a knack to understand and respect Jordan and Mickey Baker is the unsung hero of these sessions.  My favorite remains not the rock versions of Choo Choo Ca Boogie or Beware but rather the mambo influenced Morning Light or the bluesy A Man Ain't A Man which was done more jazzier with Chris Barber on the Rhino best of.  But it all goes to show that import labels such as Jasmine or Proper are more into the music than Universal is, which owns the Decca and Mercury masters of Jordan.

As it been stated, everybody should own a Louis Jordan album. The man has done more to shape rock and roll rhythm and blues and even rap.  He even was instrumental in making music videos too.  Just Say Moe! The Rhino Anthology tries its best to even his music output from Five Guys Named Moe to I Believe In Music and includes Ain't That Just Like A Woman, to which Universal didn't include on the two best of Louis Jordan albums but did on Number 1's.  And it has less tracks than the 20 Best Of Louis Jordan.  So in the end, I'd go with the Best rather than Number 1's. and Amazon has that and the Best Of Volume 2 aka Five Guys Named Moe for a price of a 45.   Likewise the bare bones 20th Century Masters that's out of print but it is a cheap way to acquire some of Louis' hits without overdoing it.

The only Jordan sides that haven't been available to the public are the Ray Charles Tangerine Recordings and if and when Joe Adams, the guy behind those records decides to release them we probably be all dead. Most of his later day stuff is import only, the Chris Barber sessions more jazz than jump blues and I Believe In Music is a farewell ending, haven't heard anything other than the title track.  Whatever the case may be, there's lots of Louis out there to be discovered.  He may not agree with the rappers of today nor the screaming sirens of R n B but whatever you hear nowadays, chances are Louis Jordan was behind it.  Just ask Chuck Berry.

One Day Records has joined in the Louis Jordan reissue wagon by putting together a 50 song called Louis Jordan-The Anthology and while it's okay, it still leaves off key tracks.  In the long run, The Proper 4 CD Jivin With Jordan remains the best overview for those on a budget if you want more than just the MCA/Geffen stuff out there.  The majority of songs that Joe Jackson did for his Jordan tribute Jumpin Jive, a lot of them can be found on the Proper box.  



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-News & Views

Songs of note:

1.  Good Vibrations-The Beach Boys 1966   I'm still not sure what to think of that performance that they put together at the GrammyTM awards last week and Bob Lefsetz was full of shit of anyway.  Let's face it, he's not a big fan of Foster The People and even the odious Maroon 5 did a good Beach Boys cover.  But it's creepy to see Neo Republican Mike Love prancing around the stage, scaring away anybody under 12 as if your parents were telling you this the type of person to stay away from.  (Nay Nay, Mike Love Stay Away).  And if the Beach Boy's 50th Concert party doesn't get canceled the way Black Sabbath's was I'll be surprised.  Certainly Al and Bruce were rocking about like they would at a Beach Boys concert but Brian Wilson looked as if he didn't want no part of this and quickly got off the stage as soon the song was over.  This is not the 60s anymore people, it's basically a couple of greedy managers and a couple of washed up musicians who played minor roles in the band trying to ride the $$$ train and nostalgia for those who want to pay big bucks to relive 50 years of what they used to be.  They're not the same anymore, you're not the same anymore, I'm not the same anymore.  Lost too many brain cells along the way.

2.  Draggin The Line-Tommy James 1971  My dog Sam eats Purple Flowers, ain't got much but what we got towers...hippy dippy lines from the last number 2 song that Tommy James recorded and yes it's still a good song that gets played a lot on oldies radio.  Something about 40 year old songs that still get played regularly that's better than most that comes out today.  I've seen the critics darling band Sleigh Bells on Saturday Night Live on their second song and it was about as bad as Lana Del Rey although not that bad for me to check out unlike Del Rey who continues to get slagged from the critical elite.    Chick singer from Sleigh Bells needs a few more tattoos.  Besides what is the point of tattoos on around the neck?  I'm seeing more of that from women and it just screams at me how much you want to bet that they live in the hood, have 3 children from 3 different daddies and spend their money on cigarettes when they get their food stamps?   Tattoos are nice but they do shrink and pull when you get older or have more kids and by the time you reach my age, they look gross.  Mark Walburg sez it best, that tattoo removal hurts like hell so think before you add the ink folks.  Ink is forever.   Yep, I'm getting off subject here, REM does a fine version of this song, sung by Mike Mills and you can only find it on the Austin Powers Spy That Shagged Me Soundtrack.

3.  The Good, The Bad & The Ugly-Hugo Montenegro 1968   Where Clint Eastwood becomes the cult hero in the Man With No Name spaghetti westerns and the bizarre music of Ennio Morricone which may have started kraut rock before it was even born, Kraut music for Itlatian?  Bullshit R.S.  It's fun to speculate I guess but doesn't cost the world like a oil speculator on Wall Street playing on fear to jack the gas prices up and up more.  Five bucks a gallon? Fucking Wall Street will do their damnest to make it a reality and get Obama out of the White House in favor of some GOP prick who rather control a woman's body than to have cheap oil prices.  Newt Gingrich says make me POTUS, and we can return to 2.50 a gallon gas and take away your birth control too.  Not exactly a fair exchange I don't think.  Economy is getting better, dow over 13,000 which means the gas prices went up another 10 cents.  Even good news it goes up.  I hope in the next world we can live together in peaceful harmony and not have to rely on gas prices to decide if we are going anyplace else but work and Wally World.  Way things are going we may not have any more record stores.  Have to rely on Goodwill, such as where I found a copy of Music from Good, Bad & Ugly.  Actually they're easy to find there, you just hope they don't have a scratched up copy.  Had the 45 years ago.  Still sounds good on vinyl.  Sony Music should consider putting out a surround sound mix of this song.

4.  Party Line-Prism 1980  They were from Canada and made some lite rock albums of the late 70s and early 80s and made 5 albums for Capitol.  Didn't pay too much attention to them since they had no radio airplay back then but they had more rock credo than originally thought.  Bruce Fairbairn produced their albums, Jim Vallance sang lead vocal on their debut as Rodney Higgs (while he was working on a career as songwriter and co writer with Bryan Adams) and Bob Rock recorded some of their albums.  While they were better known in Canada, the US folk didn't pay too much attention to them.  In fact their best known single was Don't Let Him Know written by Vallance/Adams and sung by newbie Henry Small and produced by John Carter (RIP).  Basically the end of the band, the next album Beat Street was actually Small and hired hands and basically a junk album.  Vocalist Ron Tabak died in 1984 who sings on this track.  Prism today has no original members left, Al Harlow keeps the band going from time to time and they tour Canada a couple months out of the year.  I'm surprised that Renaissance didn't add Young And Restless as a track to their best of Prism that came out back in 1996, it did win a JUNO for best song.

5.  Congo-Genesis 1997  If you had your doubts when Phil Collins took over for Peter Gaberial, at least he got me to listen to their albums of 1980s.  Genesis of the 1970s when Peter was dressing up in odd costumes concept albums like Lamb Lies Down On Broadway made me think they really overrated and it's still hard for me to sit through that or Selling England By The Pound, they bored the hell out of me.  Collins took over in 1976 and stumbled through a hit with Follow You, Follow Me and Duke was a concept album that had a radio ready singles with Misunderstanding and Turn It On Again.  Their 1983 album and the no prog rock at all sounding Invisible Touch are the only two albums I could sit through and listen.  Less said about We Can't Dance the better but when Collins left the band, they continued on with Ray Wilson and made perhaps their worst album in their career with Calling All Stations.  In his defense Wilson more akin to Gaberial than Collins in vocals but Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks gave him very little to work with for actual songs.  You get 11 songs pushing 68 minutes and it's a chore to listen to it all.  For drummers they borrowed the one from Spock's Beard and some other dude and it's faceless as they come.  But then again I found the cd for 1 dollar so it really doesn't matter what I think.  Something to play once, slam the hell out of it and donate it back to Goodwill and holler NEXT.  Congo did get some FM airplay for about a week and Atlantic tacked it on to Turn It On Again, The Hits.  Calling All Stations was tacked on the 3 CD album All The Genesis you can stomach.

6.  Seduced By Money-The Thieves 1989
7.  I'm Just A Rebel-Billy Hill 1989

Another two fer to talk you about.  From a couple bands that made one album that didn't sell but you can find in the curiosity bins at your local junk shop.  In fact, this is the fun of collecting music, to see what forgotten bands that nobody knows about so I can talk about and nobody still knows who they are.  Hell, I'm sure I don't even know who their are but here goes.

The Thieves were signed to Capitol on the fledgeling Bug label that gave us the Johnny Otis Capitol years, some Marshall Crenshaw inspired Hillbilly comps and bands on the cutting edge.  The Thieves were produced by Crenshaw and recorded by James Ball, who recorded The Smithereens and that crappy Aerosmith Live album to which Joey Kramer was playing bad electric disco drums but Ball adds a nice crack to the drums of Jeff Finlin.  The leader of this band was Gwil Owen, who at his best does a nice Jason Ringlingburg (Yes I know, I misspelled Jason's name) and when the Thieves are on it, they sound like Jason & The Scorchers or better yet, The Questionnaires who also made two good but forgotten albums for EMI. But The Thieves sold less copies than either band and that damned hair spray look their label had them dressed up pegged them as hair metal although they owed more to Americana than Poison although the lead guitarist does sound like CC Deville at times.  Anyway, Seduced By Money was their one and done (the s/t track is great except for that goofy ending) album and nobody would hear the album till I spent 40 cents on it at a junkshop last week.  The drummer Jeff Finlin would pick up the guitar and make his own singer songwriting albums with about of sales and airplay equal to The Thieves.

Billy Hill, is a country minor supergroup that made a album for Reprise in 1989 and it too got some good reviews for those who heard it.  As you can tell it was a play on the word Hill Billy or hillbilly spelled backwards but this is the brainchild of John Scott Sherrill and Dennis Robbins, who played guitar for The Rockets who had a some hits for RSO in the 1980s.  Robbins plays a mean slide guitar but his vocals are not as distinct as radio would like them to be and so radio ignored this album and the two that he made for Giant in the 1990s.  Bob DiPiero would go on to a highly successful Nashville songwriting career, writing hits for Garth Brooks and Brooks And Dunn for a couple examples.  If you think about it, take away the fiddles on I Am Just A Rebel and it could come across a Americana album like The Thieves too.  But again it came down to the major label not knowing where to peddle these albums to the right radio stations.  So in the end, it comes down to this, they were both alternative bands.  And had no radio station that could play their stuff. Marty Stuart covered Too Much Month At The End Of The Money.

8.  There's No Me Without You-Glen Campbell 2011  While Glen Campbell continues to play on his final tour before Alzheimer's claims him his Ghost On The Canvas album remains one of the best albums that he's ever done.  More rock than county I think.  I read on the wires that his most famous producer Al DeLory passed away at age 82 on February 5.  You can read about it here.

9.  From The Beginning-Emerson Lake & Palmer 1972  I have to comment about the latest reissue news from ELP, who have reissued their albums more times than anybody else I know and that would include Motley Crue and Elvis Costello.  Originally on Atlantic, they move their reissued albums over to punk label Victory in the early 90s, and then moved them over to Rhino and then over to Shout Factory.  And now ELP fans, you can now rebuy their reissues as they move them over to a fifth label Razor & Tie.  And we can't even get fucking Universal to reissue The Brains album at all.  By now, everybody has have the ELP remasters and a fifth time reissue reeks of greed and idiocy,  no wonder cd sales are in the tank.  Are we supposed to get rewowed over bonus tracks?  Expended editions.  I like ELP just as much as the next guy but I never see the reason to replace my Victory copy of Trilogy or the Shout Factory version of Takus.  And I was wondering about seeing cut outs of the Shout Factory stuff but I know now the reason.  Razor & Tie may have put together the best best of ELP but geezus who cares anymore?

10.  Borderline-MC5 1968  A moment of silence for Michael Davis' passing.  There's a forty five version of this song but I have yet to see it on a best of so we'll settle for the version off Kick Out The Jams.

Let me bore you some more about this album.  I never knew much about the Motor City 5, and came across them via the Heavy Metal Superstars Of The 70s comp that Warner Special Products put out.  Only time I came across that album was when I found it for a 1.97 at Zaire's in Springfield around 74.   This was pretty heavy shit that I heard the rest of the album and my dad was in the room when I was playing the bizarre 2nd side and he called it the biggest pile of shit he's ever heard of.  Ya think at age 35 he would have been more open minded but although he did like the J.Geils Live album of Full House, Kick Out The Jams he hated.  No accounting for taste I don't suppose but what stood out was how off tune the guitars were and all that feedback to boot.   Good thing I didn't have any Sun Ra in the house.  Nevertheless, Kick Out The Jams was a very punk radical album, maybe so the first punk album I came across, more punk than the Stooges but real rock and roll as well.  Pure rebellion.   In the 80s I outgrew the album and my punk tendencies and traded that, most of my Ramones and Devo albums to a used record store to which would go out of business soon afterwards and regret my decision.  Hell,  I had the Elektra Butterfly label copy and the Ramones ABC/Sire label version.  Eventually, Elektra would reissue The MC5 a few years later and I got the album back.  However I scored a Japan CD version of Kick Out The Jams, when I traded away a picture CD copy of Neil Young's Freedom to get the Japanese version and still have it to this day.  Nevertheless, Elektra in the US reissued Kick Out The Jams on a cheaper reissue version.

And that's the latest top ten for this week.  Next week I promise not to be so long winded.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Observations From The Forefront: Yes, Mike Davis, Blue Cheer

It's business as usual and the show must go on for Yes, who decided to replace Benoit David with Jon Davison. Kind of nice of Yes not to let David in on the secret that he was out but then again it comes down to old farts trying to live past glories.  Keep the money rolling in, get a Jon Andersen soundalike and get back on tour.  I still cannot get much into Fly From Here, it has its moments but I'm beginning to think that Chris Squire is blowing his wad on sound a likes rather than making up with Jon Andersen.  To which Squire sez that he does forsee working with Jon in the near future, not now though.

In another case of a band with no original members left, the manager of Blue Cheer has announced that they will go on without Dickie Peterson who died in 2009. Tony Rainier will take over vocals and leadership.  Not too many people are on board with this but it does remind me of Molly Hatchet who has gone on without any original members left.  Bobby Ingram leads that tribute band.  Only pre Danny Joe Brown Hatchet album worth hearing was Devil's Canyon, the rest simply a heavy metal southern rock mess that has no identity of its own.

Micheal Davis was part of the MC5 and later worked with Destroy All Monsters and Rich Hopkins passed away from liver failure at age 68.  Only remaining members are Dennis Thompson and Wayne Kramer.

Finally the Whitney Houston funeral was on TV Saturday but basically I didn't catch any of it.  And of course I Will Always Love You has once again hit the charts to further annoy the folks of that earworm song.  Like Michael Jackson, the cable news channel and everything else ran it into the ground which made watching TV painful if your not a fan of I will always love you.  Fucking song is still in my head a good 10 days after her death and even I can't listen to the Dolly Parton version either.  Some places even had their flags down to half mast in her tribute which is a bit too much.  In terms of theory, that should be reserved for soldiers who are dying in the damn wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.  It is sad to see drugs and alcohol take another musician's life and perhaps if it wasn't for her there would be no Mariah  Carey.  But she's dead now and will somebody please play something else besides I will always love you?

Ratings are going to be around 1500 views thereabouts.  I don't really see anything to pop it over 1,800 views the past two months but I could be wrong.   But then again it's kinda hard to type on my GF's computer, which seems to hiccup and delay a lot here.  The Brains Blog continue to get the majority of views, and the 3rd best overall of the month is Best Of 2009 blog to which it gets twice more views than the 2011 best of.  But then again I feel like I more or less competing with the old blogs when I do a new one up.  Geez folks if you want to add some views, then add the 2011 or Best of 2008 to which nobody has even read judging by the ratings of them all.  Later in the week another top ten to throw at you.  And maybe a couple more surprises.

Whatever they are.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Crabb Bits; The Mac, Bargains Of The Week

Radio heads, and I don't mean Radiohead fans, out and about around Iowa City, this radio station begin to creep through after the fading of KMRY.  It's called The Mac and it is based out of Muscatine.

Basically their calling is 80s and 90s music but they had a interesting mix of Black Velvet along with Come On Eileen to Train In Vain.  I wouldn't say that they play Everything, they're no Radio Maierburg, but they are worthy to hang around for more than two songs at a time.

For the thrift store shopper dude like me and you, finding bargains can be a hit or miss, even more so when you drive up to Waterloo and their puny collection of picked over stuff.  They need a Half Priced Bookstore as Davenport.  Iowa City not much so since they have plenty of junk shops such as the Junkshop at Sycamore Mall, Housewerks, Sweet Living Antiques and Record Collector.  I guess the find of the day is The Thieves Seduced By Money CD for Capitol/Bug in 1988 to which I got from Stuff Etc for 40 cents.  It was produced by Marshall Crenshaw and features the singing and songwriting of Geil Owen in the grand style of Jason And The Scorchers or a more harder rocking Questionnaires who made two albums for EMI around that time.  This band only made one album but a couple of the guys would be better known, Kelly Looney who played in Steve Earle and The Dukes and Webb Wilder and Jeff Finlin, the drummer who would retire from the drumset and pick up a guitar and became a better known singer than Owen who still plays music though  the years.

Anyway found a couple of still sealed country albums from Goodwill.
Merle Haggard/George Jones/Willie Nelson-Walking The Line
Willie Nelson-Island In The Sea

I'm guessing they came from the Columbia Record Club as there was a George Strait and Oak Ridge Boys with the CRC on the side.

Jerry Reed-Collector Series  (The RCA vinyl albums always seem to have more songs  than on the CD versions, got this for his whacked out version called The Bird but wished they could have tacked on Senorita).
Hugo Montengero-The Good, The Bad And The Ugly-Had this on vinyl years ago but I think my brother took it off my hands and haven't found a decent copy of it till today.

From Housewerks I found these:
Earl Scruggs & Tom T Hall-The Storyteller and The Banjo Man-I think Wounded Bird issued this on CD but I found the LP instead.
The Records-Crashes
Prism-Young And Restless-Pop rock band from Canada and I been buying their albums one by one since their Best Of Prism CD.  Some people think that this is their best album ever.  Produced by Bruce Fairbairn who you'll hear about later.
Paul Desmond Quintet-Live  A 1975 2 LP set that showcased a couple live dates.  I have yet to hear anything subpar from Paul on anything.

CD Stuff:
Cheater Slicks-Skidmarks:  Some off the wall crap on the Crypt label that paints them a clash of MC5/Misfits and Cramps/Stooges sludge.  I'm guessing one of their favorite songs had to be We Will Fall, one of the lesser Stooges songs out there.

Van Halen-Balance  Bruce Fairbairn produced this and still remains a chore to listen all the way through.  Neither Eddie or Sammy was having fun.

My Bloody Valentine-Loveless
Genesis-Calling All Stations
Bush-Golden State
Trout Fishing In America-Family Music Party

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-The Lesser Known

Okay kiddies, time for another top ten of the week and this time we're digging deep in the archives for some forgotten favorites as well as another track from the Van Halen Different Kind Of Truth album.

1.  Wide Eyed Kids-Eddie & The Hot Rods 1980  Next to Rockpile, Eddie & The Hot Rods were my favorite band of my high school years.  Made two great to good albums for Island and a third that wasn't released in the US which was uneven.  Imagine my surprise when they reappeared on EMI the next year with Al Kooper producing.  But somewhere along the way,  Punk rock left them behind and they couldn't figure out what to do with New Wave and Fish N Chips, the LP fell flat on its face.  Closer inspection revealed that perhaps this is more of a Pub Rock album than Punk or New Wave but nevertheless they lost a major player when Paul Gray left them for the Dammed (and later UFO) and replaced by Tony Craney aka T.C.  This would be the last time the US would hear of Eddie & The Hot Rods and they would later break up.  Later reformed and still going to this day although Barrie Masters remains the only original member left playing.  Haven't heard any of their later day stuff although a demo of this song came out on Link UK years later and showing more of punk edge than the Al Kooper super shine production and keyboard tweeking.

2.  Talked To God-The Uninvited 1998   Forgotten band that made a album for Atlantic and I think I described them as The Rainmakers for the Weezer crowd.  Perhaps they were too smart for radio's good, hell I never heard any of this album till I saw it in the dollar bin at the pawnshop.  Not to be confused with Wisconsin's Uninvited that had a CD called Our Two Cents Worth, which is what they're probably charging for this at the Salvation Army.

3.  Soul Experience-Iron Butterfly 1970  Kudos and a shout out to Bob Dorr for actually playing this song on his Saturday Night show Backtracks on KUNI.  He always played Let It Rain by Eric Clapton and Little Gandy Dancer by Bachman Turner Overdrive.  Like I said, the man knows music. Nobody cares much about Iron Butterfly anymore except for In Da Gadda Da Vadda but thought I go with a lesser known song that did get some AM radio play before Cumulus and Clear Channel bought everything up and turned them into robot radio.

4.  Go Now-Mighty Joe Plum 1997   Had a hit with Live Through This (15 Stories)  and that has been playing in my head for the last four days. This might have been a worthy followup but Atlantic never did promote them after Live Through This.  Not a cover of the Moody Blues oldie but moldie hit.

5.  If You Don't Know I Ain't Gonna Tell You-George Hamilton IV  1963  He was groomed to be a teen idol (Rose & A Baby Ruth anyone?)  till he struck a top ten hit with Abilene on RCA and became more of a country star.  But I also believe that George had a eye on the folk scene, he covered a few of Gordon Lightfoot's songs.  This is his own song written for the Abliene album which really is much better than the one hit and everything else.  He got some good songs from Wayne Walker and Harlan Howard.  Even Jimmy Brown The Newsboy and You Are My Sunshine are not throwaways on this album. Collectibles issued it long time ago but George Hamilton IV has been sadly overlook on the CD compilation department.

6.  Crazy Babies-Ozzy Osbourne 1988  No Rest For The Wicked is my favorite Ozzy album, it seemed to rock harder and more than on his more famous albums with Randy Rhodes but then again I always liked Zak Wydde from the start.  Liked the production that Roy Thomas Baker gave this although we get the usual complaints of it being too 80s dated.

7.  Hamp's Hump-Galactic 1998  Jam band that puts more emphasis on jazzy, funky Meter's type of music.

8.  She's The Woman-Van Halen 2012
     Up Next-Chickenfoot 2011
     Amsterdam-Van Hagar 1996

By the time they got around to Balance Sammy and Eddie simply got tired of each other and even though Balance remains the weakest of the Van Hagar albums it does have their moments although they are not the ballads or the overlong Feelin that closes the chaotic Balance.  And so for the next 15 years, there would be another lead vocal change (Gary Cherone on VH3) and Sammy doing his usual solo albums and the usual badmouthing of Van Halen.  So what happens?  David Lee Roth returns and Eddie tolerates him long enough to make the best Van Halen album in over 30 years and despite what Hagar thinks about it, it rocks hard.  Even Wolfgang Van Halen adds some sweet bass on the beginning on She's The Woman, which won the best VH track from a online mag.  Chickenfoot, the Sammy band with Joe Satriani on guitar have made two listenable and fun albums but still get overshadowed by A Different Kind Of Truth.  Eddie had something to prove and he came though but Sammy still doesn't like the new album.  To which the world has this to say...Shut up Sammy.

9.  I'll Always Love You-The Spinners 1970  It's been a long weekend after the passing of Whitney Houston. My brain is still killing me with I Will Always Love You or I Wanna Dance With Somebody and I don't even have any of them fucking songs.   My X Clarice loved the former song to the point she called it our song, which didn't bode well for our future together.  To which I dedicated this song to her after we broke up..on Valentine's Day 1998 after she told me she was seeing somebody for six weeks.  No wonder I had all this time to myself.  The Spinners at this point was led by G C Cameron who now sings for The Temptations, Cameron was the lead singer for the Stevie Wonder penned It's A Shame which was their biggest hit for VIP/Motown, the followup bombed.  Cameron went on a solo career, replaced by Phillip Wynne who would take them in a different direction, a new label and MFSB as their backing band.  As for Whitney Houston, sorry she's dead but I am sick of hearing I Will Always Love You, from her or anybody including Dolly Parton.

10.  No Matter What Goes Right-Trout Fishing In America 1998  Dedicated to Clyde Clifford and the late great Beaker Street who sometimes ended his show with this song.  I'm guessing he did the 1991 studio version, this comes from the live Family Music Party which is part country, part kiddie tunes and part hippy dippy.  And 100 percent coming from the heart too.

Some Grammy Final Thoughts.
Paul McCartney and Wings Band On The Run won best Historical album.
Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs best Surround Sound Mix album.
While Jerry Ragovay was mention as the ones departed from us, they didn't mention Howard Tate at all.

Personal to Andy McKie, The Rock And Roll And The Brains blog has exceeded 9,000 views.  Release their fucking album pronto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crabb Bits: Grammy Wrap Up

I really could care less about the GrammysTM but since my GF wanted to watch it and there wasn't anything else worth seeing I decided to be a capture audience.

In the end Adele pretty much cleaned house and she was majestic on stage when she sang Rolling In The Deep. Yep, I heard this song time and time again on KDAT or even KZIA and who knows, she might be here to stay.  As for that Nicky Miraj train wreck before the album of the year.  It was over the top and it was bad.  Bad in its own particular way.  She's a flash in the pan and her performance is as bad memorable as was Bruno Mars who was great memorable.  Put away the autotuner and plastic beats and stick him in a R and B band that James Brown had in his years and Mars will be a legend.

Whitney Houston's death may have cast a big shadow over the whole events but it's not the end of the world.  Even if I Will Always Love You changed your life, it became a earworm for me all day as I continue to hear the grand finale in my ears for the past three hours.  Leave it to Bonnie Raitt to tell folks that Etta James also passed away.  Gotta hand it to Bonnie, she's the caretaker of the blues.  And we love her for it.

As much as seeing the Beach Boys on stage, meaning Al Jardine, Brian Wilson and the odious Mike Love gave a sense of Wilson was getting on stage jitters or he was getting already tired of Love's goofing around on Good Vibrations.  Perhaps it is time to retire The Beach Boys for good although it was good to see Glen Campbell smiling and waving to them from the crowd.

I think The Civil Wars got their point and song across in one minute more than Nicky Miraj did in that 10 minute whatever the fuck she was doing on stage.  I've seen better performances at cat houses than that freakfest of Miraj.

Bob Lefsetz didn't like Adam Levine or the guy from Foster The People very well.  But then again they are not his type of music.  They're about 40 years too late to his party.

I wasn't wowed by Bruce Springsteen's lead off song but I was impressed of the Abbey Road Medley that Paul McCartney did with Bruce, Rusty Anderson, Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh who looked like he was having mucho fun on stage.

The Glen Campbell medley was another Lefsetz boo hiss, and The Band Perry may have been overwhelmed by Gentle On My Mind, they probably would have done better with Try A Little Kindness but I thought Blake Shelton did a fine job of Southern Nights.  Even though Glen blew a few words in Rhinestone Cowboy, he had lot of fun signing with the other folk and telling somebody to shut up after admitting he forgot a word or two and improvised. 

Overall, we had the good with the bad and Lady Gaga with another outrageous outfit although I didn't think she took home any awards.  But even she couldn't overtake the country cool and class of Miranda.  And so it goes.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Crabb Bits: Whitney Houston, Jeff Higgins, Cannabis Sativa Revisited

Whitney Houston was found dead in a motel room yesterday, she was 48. 

I am not a big Whitney Houston fan but she did have a great singing voice.  Daughter to Cissy Houston of The Sweet Inspirations, Whitney hit it big on her 1986 debut album which had her big hit Saving My Love For You.  And then followed it up with a 1987 album called Whitney and had another hit with I want To Dance With Somebody.  She married Bobby Brown of New Edition fame and then divorced him around 2007.  Her drug habits ruined her high pitched vocals and more recent albums didn't sell very well.  She had her fans and will be missed.

Jeff Higgins from the Groove Sandwich site has put together a album called Profit Prophet and you can listen to it or buy it from this site  Some of the pieces that he does reminds me of the

Cannabis Sativa

by Head which was used as a background theme on the old Beaker Street program.  You can hear that version here which is the full 17 minute version.  Not sure if Jeff would agree with me on that but sometimes I do like that as background music.  If you can't handle the full 17, how bout a 10 minute edited version?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Old Fart Rock And Roll: Springsteen, Sabbath & Van Halen

Some things on the table:

Bruce Springsteen has finally decided to replace the big man Clarence Clemons with Jake Clemons who is a nephew and Ed Manion, the Kingfish as they call him in Southside Johnny's Asbury  Jukes band (GD I wish I can type and not have to backspace every damn time I type a sentence out, no wonder why people quit blogging).  Seems like Springsteen is going all out for The E Street Band tour this spring.  I still cannot get into his new song, yeah I be mad too if  I lost the best damn saxophone and team player in my band too.

Black Sabbath minus Bill Ward?  Except for the two studio tracks on the live Sabbath album Ward hasn't played on any other albums from Sabbath since Born Again, the bizarre outing with Ian Gillan and Sabbath Management is trying to get Ward to play for less than minimum wage, which lead to a Facebook page of Sabbath fans for Ward.  Usual finger pointing although this time Sharon Osborne isn't the villan, don't blame me she says I only manage Ozzy.   Bill's son Aron put together his version of things and he really does a good job of explaining things to the haters out there.  After all for every 9 good people out there, there's always a troll or two being themselves.  Aron's take is here

Point is that the early Black Sabbath recordings were original in their own way and style.  Nothing remotely reminded the world what hard rock is when the first Black Sabbath record came out, recorded very quickly and to the point.  Bill Ward may not be been the most trained drummer but like Keith Moon of The Who that when Ward play the drums, you know it was a Black Sabbath record.  That speedway drumming on Supernaut is just as hard to play as a Neil Peart solo.  Next to Moon, Ward may have been one of the better cymbal hitters in rock history.    Even if you didn't like Never Say Die, Bill Ward still gave it a ID that like, Tony Iommi, Geezer and Ozzy still made it a Sabbath album, not a throwaway album but I still play it from time to time.  I'm sure the blame Sharon idea came up when Ozzy's drummer Rick Chefolos was mentioned as a replacement.  Time is getting short Sabbath Management and everything is going up in price so it shouldn't be that big of a deal if Bill Ward wants a bit more credibility and more pay since he gave Black Sabbath the original drive and beat.  Guy has to earn a living too.  Geez why do drummers get no credit and are the first to be discredited?

The new Van Halen Different Kind Of Truth really does rock and it might just be the best guitar album that Eddie Van Halen has ever done hard to believe right?  Despite all the backlash from former employee and Chickenfoot leader Sammy Hagar this goes toe to toe with the latest Chickenfoot album in term of real rock and roll.  So Sammy does it really matter that the majority of songs came from previous songs that didn't make it on the earlier VH albums?  Certainly Micheal Anthony is missed but Wolfgang Van Halen hold his own on bass and actually kicks Mike's can on She's The Woman intro.  Look, the kids may not know this, their attention span is about a milla second  anyway but back in our day when Van Halen put a album out it was a big event, meaning 79 or 80 and when Eddie vowed never to work with Diamond Dave again, we actually believed that.  Of course it does help when you get good production too, the Glen Ballard produced songs for the Van Halen best of were the worst songs ever done by the DLR band, nobody ever plays Me Wise Magic anyway and Can't Get This Stuff No More was more tossed off then anything off Balance.  So basically I was skeptical when I started reading the early reviews slamming Different Kind Of Truth.

If ADKOT was supposed to be a tossed off affair, Eddie came prepared even though Tattoo remains one of the least lead off songs Van Halen ever did.  They get the ball rolling on She's The Woman and they never let up for the majority of the album.  Sure, David Lee Roth can't hit the high notes, when you pushing sixty that's hard to do but his sly humor is all around the album.  There are a couple missteps (honeybabysweetiedoll, Tattoo) and John Shanks and Ross Hogarth are no Ted Templeman and Donn Landee.  In fact if Truth has Templeman and Landee's sound of the early VH albums this would have sounded even better.  But that's nitpicking, somehow getting Eddie and Diamond Dave back in the same room actually got Eddie to play mean and loud and this time he delivers with great intensity.

The biggest argument for the aging baby boomers that grew up in the rock and roll era is that in this age of auto tuned rap top forty garbage and southern rock that is country today is that there's really no rock and roll bands anymore and although there are some that kinda rock like in the old days (Foxy Shazam with their brand of Queen via Sparks, The Darkness with the over the top Queen/AC/DC vibe that didn't strike a chord with the 00's crown but are making a comeback, Radio Moscow with their ode to Blue Cheer and Frank Marino)  Van Halen still remains a real rock and roll band.  Perhaps it's the lead singers, the former Sammy Hagar whose a bit more serious than than the wink and nod party antics of David Lee Roth.  Or perhaps it's Hagar hoping that Different Kind Of Truth will fall on its face since he's not partaking in the record.  In the end he got the VH original bass player but what he didn't get was Eddie playing with something to prove.  A Different Kind Of Truth may not be the classic Van Halen, after all everybody knows classic rock radio will not play the new Van Halen, but if there's a AOR station still around this would get more airplay with selected album cuts.   I don't expect a GRAND STATEMENT from David Lee or Eddie but I do expect to ROCK OUT and A Different Kind Of Truth does that.  I certainly think it's the best they have done since Women And Children First.

And that is saying something.

Reissue: Iron Butterfly-Evolution 1970  If you have the oversized Light And Heavy Comp, you don't need this. The only cut that didn't make it on that album Slower Than Guns is boring but what you do get is a sampling of their big hit In  A Gadda Da Vida in it's 3 minute 45 form.  But you also get some hard rock goodies like Soul Experience, Stone Believer and the Iron Butterfly Theme.  They started out hippy dippy, and by the time they got to hard rock, they were done.  Rhino/Flashback has quietly reissued this and can be found in the local 5 dollar bins at your local Best Buy.

Grade B

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-Shoot The Birdie

Very strange week indeed here.  I haven't been much online and really haven't been much into posting.  More bad news forthcoming, gas prices have gone up from 2.97 to 3.33 a GD gallon the past two weeks.  If this keeps up we won't be doing much bargain hunting outside of the jumping in front of the computer and ordering from there.

Best Buy's music section keeps going down but their bargain bins have been going up if you can believe that.  They have quietly added some Rush CD's to the 4.99 bins, namely Hemispheres and 2112 for starters.  Seems like just last week they were at 7.99.  I'm sure the folk at Barnes & Noble also have increased their 5 dollar special too.  Too damn bad the major labels didn't do this about 10 years ago eh?


Picking up garbage in around the house, I was needed to borrow somebody's big garbage box outside of a business when the dude at Dairy Queen threw a bloody fit about using his bin, "for business purposes only" to which I told him I was sorry and then tried to get the bag out while Mr. Business Owner stood and stared.  Should have left the damn bag in there, regardless dude you still have to pay it be it how full or empty it gets.  Funny, people bitch about trash all around the area but use their garbage bins and they howl even more.  Got annoyed with Mr. Business Owner as he gave the old Eyeball as me and GF drove away, to which I...shoot the birdie at him.  Have a nice day asshole.  Next time in searching for a bin have to be more discreet and not noticeable in the day time.

I didn't bother to watch Madonna's Super Bowl Halftime Show, my dad flipped the channel over to Pawn Stars so we missed out on MIA's...shoot the birdie on the TV screen to which The NFL and NBC apologies soon afterward.  Basically it's all blown over, MIA was just showing her IQ.

My GF was pissed that the Giants won of the fact they beat her Cowboys twice and then upended the 49ers in the Championship.  I like Tom Coughlin as coach, the NY faithful was calling for his head when they were stumbling around in November.  Eli Manning, is as good as his brother Peyton but I also think he's a prima donna who bitched and moaned when San Diego drafted him as QB but then again I can see his point of not wanting to play for A.J (Ass Jack) Smith, the overweight doo doo head GM of San Diego.  Eventually the Giants drafted Phillip Rivers and made the trade to San Diego for Eli.  I guess AJ can take stock in the fact that two former San Diego QB's have won the Super Bowl back to back and Eli has come a long way.  As a Charger fan Eli bothers me a bit but with 2 Super Bowl victories, he is a shoo in for the Hall Of Fame 15 years down the road.

For the past three weeks, our workplace has had a sparrow that had free rein over our printing area and our co workers tried their best to capture this bird and set it free, since it wondered into our department from the Warehouse, from an open door and made it home, till this weekend when our higher ups, tired of birdshit and Mr. Sparrow laughing his ass off while we tried to capture him, called in pest control and they......SHOT THE BIRDIE!  Sonya, our co worker was pissed about that and i'm sure was crying about it when she went home.

That's the way it goes sometimes.

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1.  Twist  Of The Knife-The Fabulous Thunderbirds 1989   This was Kim Wilson's band more than it was Jimmie Vaughn and after the success of Powerful Stuff, Jimmie left to do work for his brother Stevie Ray as the Vaughn Brothers and was replaced by Duke Robillard who brought more blues than rock.  Walk That Walk, Talk That Talk, produced by Steve Jordan was an uneven album but this song got a bit of airplay on the old 99 plus from Muscatine.  Wilson continues to keep the Fab Birds going from time to time but the 80's band still remains classic.

2.  Flat Tire-Athenaeum 1998  Our favorite forgotten one hit wonder band comes back for the second week in a row for the followup and too bad this song failed to make the chart.  I think Nic Brown had mentioned that this song was the better of the other single (What I Didn't Know) and why it failed probably had something to do with him leaving to get a better paying job somewhere down the road.   Gone but not forgotten, just like a few other 90s bands.

3.  Can't Change That-Sand Rubies 2007   Formerly known as the Sidewinders that made a couple fine albums for Mammoth/RCA, they had the misfortune to be sued by a GD covers band so they changed their name to Sand Rubies and limped on with another fine but overblown album for Atlas/Polydor and then broke up, then reformed then broke up and then reformed again in 2007 with the hard to find Mas Cuacha which seems to translate into More Crap.  Being a Sand Rubies fan I had to go find it and did a special AZ trip to finally get a copy at the Zia's Records in Tucson, The Sand Rubies home base.  I donno, I played it a few times and find it to be their least interesting album but even their least interesting album is better than what passes for Alternative rock these days.  This could have been a big hit single had the Sand Rubies been on a major label.

4.  Hello Hello-Talk Show 1997  Tired of Scott Wieland's antics, The Stone Temple Pilots replaced him with Dave Coutts, formerly of Ten Inch Men and made a so so album for Atlantic which didn't sell.  This was the single taken off the album.  A interesting combination of STP, Beatles and Oasis, since Coutts sounded a bit like like Liam Gallagher.  Look hard in the dollar bins and you may come across a copy of Talk Show.

5.  Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit Done Got Out Of Hand-Waylon Jennings 1978  If you haven't known by now, Waylon has been dead for 10 years this weekend.  Of course we get the usual Waylon Tributes this week from the folks at Average Joe's Records to which the Jennings family distanced themselves from it.  After all I don't think WGDJ would like that Colt Ford rap that he does.  Don't plan to hear the Waylon Tribute 2 myself, I'll stick with the original source.

6.  Music Man-Doobie Brothers 1975  I love the Doobies as much as the other guy but classic rock has played some of their songs to the point that I just use the fast forward button everytime Long Train Runnin, China Grove or Black Water comes on.  So my go to album is Stampede which had a top ten hit with Take Me In Your Arms and lesser known Sweet Maxine and if you can believe this, I Cheat The Hangman to which might appear on the next installment of Singles Going Steady. This could have fit quite nice on the classic rock radio too, heck most of side 1 is radio ready.  One of those pick em songs.

7.  Darkness-Leonard Cohen 2012  The old fart is back and better than ever.  After the misstep that was Dear Heather, Cohen takes 8 years off to record the followup, called Old Ideas and incorporates the blues on this album track.  For 77 years old, Cohen has a more tuneful croak then Bob Dylan, love them both ya kno, but Cohen sounds more inspired on his latest effort.  Live Like We're Dying Kris Allen?  Take notes dude and BTW, Half Priced Books has send your crappy S/T CD to the dollar bins.

8.  Gallows Pole-Led Zeppelin 1970   Guess you can call this Heavy Acoustic.  The S/T redefined rock and roll and the blues and made it heavier, the second balances ballads and heavy blues and rock.  So what to make of Led Zep 3?  To which most of side 2 is acoustic music.  Had a friend that had the first 2 Led Zep albums but not the third, he called it too wimpy and took me a few years down the road to finally get a copy of it and it turns out that 3 remains my most played Zeppelin.  I guess Jimmy Page and Robert Plant was listening to lot of Pentangle or Fairport Convention, to which they would borrow Sandy Denny for The Battle Of Evermore on the next album.  But they were also listening and borrowing from Leadbelly too as the source point for this song.  Fun fact: some of the album was recorded by Terry Manning (later of ZZ Top fame and giving us that hard drum sound of the late 80s, more examples see Fab Bird's Powerful Stuff, Angel City Beyond Salvation or Molly Hatchet Deed Is Done), but I'm guessing Andy Johns had more to do with this song since it boasts that echoey sound that Johns is famous for (example see Free-Heartbreaker, West Bruce Lang Why Don't Cha).

9.  Beats Workin'-Van Halen 2012  New Van Halen who cares?  Hush your mouth son, some of us old timers do.  Van Halen came roaring out of nowhere and from our 8 tracks in 1978 with the debut and proceeded to rewrite the rock and roll book with the next five albums ending with 1984 and a parting of the ways of Diamond Dave to which Sammy Hagar tried to replace and came close a couple times (5150, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge) but despite what Chickenfoot has done and they have done good, ya can't beat the original VH, although Mike Anthony is missing.  In an era that the classic rock dinosaur is still moving, we still love something new from the bands we grew up listening to.  Anyway, you'll be happy to know that A Different Type Of Truth is their best album since Women & Children First and this time Eddie left the keyboards in the closet.  I'm sure Sammy Hagar is jealous too.

10.  Heaven's Trail (No Way Out)-Tesla 1988  In the course of rock history, time has treated Tesla a lot better than most of the hair metal bands that they were limped in at that time but Tesla owed more to hard rock than pop metal, after all they did name themselves after Nikola Tesla, the original father of radio.  This got plenty of radio play on Headbanger's Ball on MTV, back when MTV was into music, which is long before most of you were born and when I was a twenty something going through my third childhood.  Born to kick ass indeed.

PS:  The majors came late into the bargain CD to which most people have gone on to download from the great internet jukebox in the skies.  Universal has jumped on the Sony/Warner music bandwagon and added many of our classic rock albums in  the 5 dollar bins at Best Buy.  Here's a partial list of what you can buy for five bucks or less.

Whitesnake: Slide It In, Whitesnake
Scorpions: Love At First Sting, Blackout, Animal Magnetism
Tesla: The Great Radio Controversy
Rush, Rush, Caress Of Steel, Fly By Night, 2112, Hemispheres, A Farewell To Kings, Hold Your Fire, Moving Pictures
Iron Butterfly: Best Of: Evolution.
Bee Gees: Main Course
Pearl Jam: No Code, Riot Act
Beastie Boys: License To Ill

It's cheaper than downloading them for 10 bucks don't ya think?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Crabb Bits: Winter Dance Party, Super Bowl

Kind of a small blog.

The Super Bowl is tomorrow and really I don't really care that much about it.  GF wants the Patriots to win.

The Surf's annual Winter Dance Party took place this weekend and 52 years after the fact there's not much for artists who are still alive but the headliner Saturday was none other than Pat Boone and The Bobbetts of Mr. Lee fame.  The Flamingos featuring Terry Johnson and Danny and The Juniors played Thursday.  Danny committed suicide years ago.  Friday had Tommy Allsup making his annual appearance. Allsup being alive today due to losing a coin flip to JP Richardson on a plane ride in a blizzard.  JP Richardson Jr. showed up as well.  I have never been up there, they sell out weeks in advance.

One of the artists who performed on that ill fated 59 trip to Blizzard Land Iowa was Dion, who go on a fabled career of pop and then the blues before being born again and then returning to rock and roll and the blues.  Lately he has return to the delta blues that he loved so much and his latest album continues in that vein. I have yet to find that album since Best Buy doesn't seem to be interested of stocking that.  I guess when you get to be over 50 and play in a band you have to grow a beard or goatee to be rock n roll and Dion last I checked sported a full grown beard.  To each their own I guess.  Nevertheless, there is a story on his website that Dion actually won the coin flip but when he found that the plane cost 36 bucks to fly, he passed and Richie Valens took his place.  And the rest is history.

There's so many variations to the story of the coin toss and who won or lost but only Tommy Allsup and Dion know the details. We'll leave that up to your imagination of what really happened.

For the TE project, the music is there but the lyrics are not.  Songwriter's block has really hampered things.  I'm certain something will be finished before it's over.  In the meantime thanks to Diggy Kat at Radio Buzzed for playing some of the music on their radio show.

A year ago, was the final broadcast of Beaker Street.  Just a reminder that time flies.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-2/1/12

1. 2112 Overture-Rush 1976  Perfect way to start the month with a little bit of Rush from the 2112 album to which today is 2/1/12 or 2112!   Last month was the most viewed in the history of The Crabb Top Ten and can't understand the popularity of top tens but it sure benefited The Rock N Roll And The Brains blog and dammit Tom Gray, I'm doing my damnest to get your CD reissued but Andy McKie isn't taking any phone calls from me.  Geez we need more enforcements!

2.  Talk To Ya Later-Tubes 1981  They were A&M for years and never got much mentioning although White Punks On Dope and Don't Touch Me There got some airplay, so they went over to Capitol and hooked up with David Foster and finally scored a hit single with this although when I bought the 45 it was a fucking edited version.  Radio 1980 didn't play it too often but classic rock radio does nowadays.   David Foster would go on to ruin Chicago with their keyboard driven pop for Warner/Full Moon.

3.  Baseline-Black Uhuru 1992  The original lineup didn't stay very long and the replacements Michael Rose and Puma Jones gave them some mighty fine albums for Island in the 1980s but Rose moved on to a solo career and Jone would die from cancer in 1990 and then Duckie Simpson got the original two back in the fold for a series of albums for Mesa/Bluemoon in the early 90s.  I'm guessing Mystical Truth was the best selling of them all to which this track comes from.

4.  Bowling Green-The Everly Brothers 1968  Teen idols in the late 50s and early 60s but by the time the hippie movement came around the Everlys were just about forgotten.  Made some fine singles although I tend to think that Roots, their 1968 album was more hype than good.  This was their final top thirty single to which KMRY has been playing quite a bit the past week or so.

5.  Born To Die-Lana Del Rey 2012   Her performance on SNL was so bad that you had to see it to believe it, and to a point that it was so bad that I had to buy her new album to see if it was so bad it was good.  Turns out that she can sing very well, she has a voice that somewhat channels Stevie Nicks/Beth Orton but on her lesser known she tries for that Britney Spears sound that just doesn't work very well.  Production is all over the place here but you can be relieved to know that the title track might be her best track.  I'm sure radio will try to promote the chaotic Video Games which the studio version trumps the SNL version.

6.  Rough Justice-The Rolling Stones 2005  Are y'all sick of me putting Stones songs on the top ten the past month?  Well, that's what I have been listening to for the most part and I really wished that Best Buy would stock some of their early 60s albums, they seem to stop at Flowers, their oddball collection to which I had the album years ago, found it at the old Salvation Army up in downtown Marion.  Basically I have been on a Stones kick anyway and still find A Bigger Bang to be one of their better latter day albums.  But then again I have no life anyway.

7.  Don't Worry Baby-Los Lobos 1984   Found How Will The Wolf Survive in the 99 cent bins up at Stuff Etc and it's basically a steal.  Los Lobos certainly is one of the best Latino rock and roll bands ever in the grand tradition of Richie Valens.  I still like their 80s garage rock more than the 1990's Kiko sound that Mitchell Froom got out of them but it's all good if you think about it.  If you want to hear how weird they can get, find the 2 Latin Playboys CDs and wonder too.

8.  Mess Around-Ray Charles  1953   At any given time on cable you can always catch the 2004 movie Ray, starring Jamie Foxx.  Last week it was on BET and the next day on ION TV.  It also shows that I was lacking in motivation too, it's a good movie but they run it into the ground.  Ray loved music but he also love lots of pussy and poison heroin which got him into trouble with the law but he quit that cold turkey.  I also noticed once he did kick the habit that his late 60's stuff for ABC showed him in a deeper vocal so to speak.  He started out trying to be another Charles Brown or Nat King Cole but once he got to Atlantic, he begin to redefine music.  This was one of his early hits.

9.  What I Didn't Know-Athenaeum  1998  A one hit wonder from a band whose name is hard to pronounce. They came on board the second wave of power pop that got some airplay on the radio (Gin Blossoms, Fastball). Made a pretty good album (Radiance) but the followup stiffed and the majority of that album was a disappointment.  Nic Brown, the drummer would leave for college and moved to Iowa to be part of the Iowa Writers Workshop and later wrote two books.  He now lives in Colorado.

10.  A Rebel Of Babylon-Metallica 2012  Out take from Death  Magnetic that came on a EP.  I know a lot of y'all out there don't care for the Bob Rock years but I still find Load to be a fun listen and the black album has its moments but they needed a change in direction and Rick Rubin stripped them down and turn the whole mess up to 11.  Beyond Magnetic is a EP of 4 songs that last about almost a half hour and sells for 5 bucks.  I think the speed metal is long gone, Lars Ulrich just cannot go that fast anymore but he does a good improvising at times to compensate.  But then again I can't play as fast as I use to either and we can blame that on old age and lack of practice.   But everybody gets old.  Beats the alternative ya kno?