Friday, March 30, 2012

Crabb Bits: Best Buy, Books A Million, Springville Junk Shop, Eric Lowen

So it has come to pass that Best Buy is planning to close 50 of their big box stores across the US.  The cracks are beginning to appear and this might be the start of the long decline that eventually will consume Best Buy just like it did with Circuit City in 2009.  I don't think that they will all go out of business, but it seems that Best Buy feels like going to a Circuit City the way things are leveled out inside.  Some of the music buying folk would love to see BB suffer the same fate that the mom and pop bricks and mortar music stores had when BB started buying up property and so on.  After all the parking spot used to be where Relics Records was at, 20 years ago where I called my very own place of residence.

From the ashes of Borders has come the arrival of Books A Million to which they have also replaced the Borders at Ames and Davenport on 53rd.  BAM as they are called remind me of a Borders or Barnes & Noble, but with a slight exception of having more vinyl albums in their inventory.  To which I brought Elvin Jones Midnight Walk (Atlantic) and It Is Finished by Nina Simone (RCA).  The Midnight Walk album mastered quite nicely and plays very well on the turntable, It Is Finished on the other hand suffers too much of a compressed mix on Side 1.  Another vinyl purchase Richard Hell & The Voidoids Blank Generation (Sire) has a very bad and crappy mix of the drums.  Seems like whoever put it on vinyl didn't EQ it right, for the drums lost their bright sound on the original mix years ago.  I'm sure the CD doesn't sound that muffled either. 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl isn't going to save a crap mix either.  Save the 12.99 for something else.

Small town Iowa doesn't have much in terms of music stores but rather they're called Antique stores, or better yet Junk Shops.  In Springville, there was a garage sale of sorts at the old Hardware Grocery store on the old 151 highway and the old guy there had cds for 2 bucks and I brought a few.  I think he told me to get the word at, that he's going try to get this store off the ground to sell things.  Didn't have time to check the DVDs and the LP's were your run of the mill vinyl of what your grandparents listen to.  I also surprised that the old guy had some punk rock, something from LA's hardcore punks The Fartz.   So if you're ever on the way to Cedar Rapids from Dubuque or vice versa and is looking for more stuff to hoard around, take a drive off the beaten path into Springville on X20 and turn right and go down three blocks.  You can't miss it. 

Needless to say we didn't win that 640 million dollar Mega Millions, we weren't in Maryland to get the winning ticket.  I would have been happy with a 10th of that.  I'm sure I could have lived nicely.

Last week, you may have missed it among the usual Sammy Hagar bashings of Van Halen or Stephen Adler bashing Axl Rose but Eric Lowen, half of the acoustic folk rockers Lowen & Navarro passed away at age 60 from ALS or the infamous Lou Gehrig Disease.  It actually got me to thinking and replaying Pendulum, their 1995 album for Mercury on the way to work today.  Their best known song We Belong (covered by Pat Benetar) is on Walking On A Wire but perhaps the best way to hear them was on Interchord's reissue of Live Wire, a live performance that got them signed to Chameleon in 1989.  All of their albums have something worthwhile to listen to and the better recording featuring Jim Scott producing and recording.  Eric Lowen will be missed.  RIP.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-Down And Dirty

Here at the Rock n Roll Hoarder Place we have many things to choose from and many more to come our way.  No shortage of tunes whatsoever.

Major news of the day is the passing of Earl Scruggs at age 88.  Country bluegrass lost a giant today, but he's up in the great beyond jamming with Lester Flatt again.  *cues up Beverly Hillbillies Theme*

Songs of the week that matter:

1.  Two Lane Highway-Pure Prairie League 1975   One of many singles that I collected from the place that used jukebox 45's.  By this time, Craig Fuller left and Larry Goshorn and George Powell were trying to pick up the pieces left behind.  Amie, was a belated release that got plenty of airplay in 1974 but not much so when it originally came out.  2 Lane Highway was a decent charting single although classic rock radio doesn't play it.  Hard to figure how RCA back then stuck with this band up till 1979 when Vince Gill joined up but after the lackluster Can't Hold Back, PPL moved to Casablanca with the MOR hit Let Me Love You Tonight and Poco wannabee I'm Almost Ready.   The Casablanca albums are snoozers,(Something In The Night keeps putting me to sleep) but Two Lane Highway the album actually has held up over time.  Your opinion will vary (see comments below)  Still country radio still won't play them regardless, Amie or no Amie.

PS: I may have been a bit harsh on some of the observations of this classic song but it all goes to show that back in the 70's RCA did let PPL grow and flourish through the 70s. In this day and age Sony Music would have shown them out the door after two albums.

PPS: I still can't get into Firin' Up so does it make me a bad reviewer?  Donno but I think All Music had it right when they gave it a 2 and half star rating.

2.  Lycra Too?-Elvin Jones 1967  The return of vinyl is evident if you know where to look or if you have a record store in your neighborhood.  The death of Borders made way for BAM (Books A Million) and they have a surprising good vinyl selection with some decent rock, blues and jazz for around 13 bucks or less.  Picked up a few things, It Is Finished by Nina Simone for one, Richard Hell And The Voidods  Blank Generation and an Atlantic album by Elvin Jones, the greatest jazz drummer ever. (John Coltraine anybody?)  Midnight Walk came out in 1967 after Jones, tired of the avant garde direction and Rasheed Ali moved on to do this album with Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd overseeing the project.  Don't think this album seen CD reissue but Rhino/Scorpio has quietly put this out on 180 gram vinyl.  Excellent sound if I do believe.

3.  Get Me Outta Here-Jet 2003  After being together for over 10 years and a great leadoff rock album and two turds afterward, Jet has called it a day.  Budweiser was very kind to them and used one of their song in a beer commercial and modern rock radio still plays the hits off Get Born.  They were supposed to catch fire but Elektra folded into Atlantic and Shine On was dull and unmemorable.  Shaka Rock pretty much killed it for me and if I want to hear Jet, it will be Get Born or nothing at all.

4.  Don't Let Nobody-Baby 1974  More fun rock goodness from a band from Texas whose commercial for their S/T album was played regularly on Beaker Street on KAAY back in the 70s and I wouldn't find a copy of that album till I came across a scratchy copy for a dollar at Record Realm in 77.  Sold well enough that Mercury released it in 1975.  I have more luck finding the Lone Starr LP than Mercury.  Your typical boogie blooze from Texas, which critics and kids of today can't understand the fascination.  Produced by none other than Norman Petty of Buddy Holly and The Fireballs fame.

5.  No One Came-Deep Purple 2011  Original is on Fireball and better heard that way I guess but Ian Gillan seems to have fun singing this since this makes a second appearance on the Montreux Live albums (1996 too).

6.  Graceland-Willie Nelson 1993  From Across The Borderline with Paul Simon and Roy Halee helping out and producing as well.  Very faithful to the original Paul Simon song.  The album goes on too long (Xnay on Sinead O'Connor on Don't Give Up, the Peter Gaberial copy) but it does earn it's kudos on being of Nelson's better and final albums for Columbia before moving over to Island/Lost Highway.  Nelson has return to Sony Music and Legacy for a new album in May.  He'll be recording into his 90s.  Hell he outlive us all.

7.  Ghouldiggers-Ministry 2012   After a five year hiatus, Al Jourgenson has regroup Ministry and his beat boxes from hell, turn them up to double tap times 2 beats and throwing out industrial metal like it was 1991 all over again.  The reviews call it his best since Land Of Rape And Honey but that's a bit far back to even consider that.  This time Al takes on former labels, managers, ex band mates, girlfriends, wives.  Moral of song: things sell better after your dead, just ask Jimi, Janis, Kurt, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse to which Al name checks.   Relapse, the new Ministry is Al's best since Houses Of The Mole.  Well it was either that or the new Madonna, and Lord knows I'm not that desperate to hear the old dance queen.  Heard she zings Lady Gaga good on a song.

8.  Windy City Breakdown-Johnathan Cain Band 1977  I think he did his best work in The Babys more than Journey  to which he would join four years down the road but at this time, he was fronting his own band and singing lead.  Bearsville released this on vinyl and Wounded Bird put it out on CD in 2006 but you can probably live without it.  Sounds like The Babys but he could have used John Waite on this album.

9.  Leaving Here-Eddie Holland 1964  Ace Records has issued It Moves Me, the complete recordings of Eddie Holland when he was trying to make it as a solo artist.  His vocal style was more Jackie Wilson and Little Willie John but on this number he turns it up notch.  This has to be the hardest rocking Motown song ever recorded, The Funk Brothers playing speed metal and the chick singers counterpointing Holland at the chorus. Later covered by The Who and Motorhead but even they couldn't outrock Earl Van Dyke and The Funk Brothers on this song.  Holland later gave up a solo career to be a hit songwriter with Holland, Dozier and Holland and had major hits by The Motown artists of that time.


10.  Cabin In The Hills-Flatt & Scruggs 1959  It's tough to say goodbye to another legend, seems like I do this on a Top Ten Of The Week every month, lose a influential artist and pay respects with a song.  Foggy Mountain Breakdown will forever enshrined Earl's banjo picking but this might be my favorite song from Lester and Earl.  88 years is a long time and Earl lived a great life.  He's not really gone, he just Gone Home to The Cabin On The Hills.  Like we all will some day.

PPL Point/Counterpoint to follow.  Everybody has opinions.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Crabb Bits: Bad Music, Da Hood, Deep Purple

Spring arrived on Tuesday but it actually came two weeks earlier and there's a dire possiblilty of mowing the yard before April since the grass is growing, the bugs are out and going to Matsell's is a good way of coming out there covered in ticks.  So basically, I've been trying to spring clean the house and see what I can donate to our local goodwill store in terms of music and CDs brought for a buck, played halfway through and kept the jewel case.

I was reading the best albums of the 2000 century and not to my surprise I didn't have very many and some of the ones they posted showed me more why this decade sucked more then empowered me.  Kid A for one. I'll go with Throbbing Gristle before Kid A anyday.  And Yankee Hotel Foxtrot still has never grown on me and basically turned me off on Wilco that I don't associate with them at all.  Everybody has their critic favorites and I have mine, you don't see them on the 20 best of.  I'll go with The White Stripes Elephant, at least Jack White had his eye back on the rock and roll and not the arty farty of Kid A or Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.  Miranda Lambert's Crazy Ex Girlfriend is another great album of the century, she remains the best that ever came out of the TV Make Me A Star shows (American Idol, Nashville Star, The Voice, X Factor, etc etc) and she's never made a bad album, or anything under a B plus.  Brad Paisley America Saturday Night is his classic, over This Is Country Music but Keith Urban's Love, Pain And The Whole Dang Thing, bloated at it is, I enjoy more.  No Carrie Underwood in the way (sorry Carrie Nation, although she's a good singer, she goes over the top way too much for me).  After that, anything Jay Z, or Kanye West  or Tricky or Lil Carter isn't even considered.  Don't like their beats and rap and less said the better.  We here at Crabb Central love our outdated rock and roll and the only place you'll find that The Randy Cliffs Trixie Trailer Sales their 2003 boozefest remains a century classic and trumps anything that's da hood, tats and processed autotuner beats.

Too bad that 40 years ago, black music was funky, beat driven and added some horns to the mix and James Brown to boot.  Or Curtis Mayfield.  Nowadays it's all rap and filling my car up with cheap 3.69 a gallon gas in the bad part of town, ended up behind my back hearing two black dudes yelling and screaming and jiving with F bombs and a bad rap playing in the background that it came to me that the Chicago Transit Jive that moved into Wellington has taken our down to ghetto proportions.  It wasn't much better in 1994 when I used to visit a friend down there and seeing the jive on the step of the apartment at 2 AM and wondering if I could make it to my car without being mugged.   There's some hope for black music in Bruno Mars but to the rappers more concerned about their tats and smacking their bitch up, that crap is a dime a dozen.

You may not noticed but there's a new Deep Purple Live album out called Montreux 2011 and this time out they brought themselves a orchestra.  There are no shortages of live DP out there, and they did made an album with an  Orchestra on the 1970 Concerto For Group n Orchestra to which I have the original Tentagammon 8 track.   And on paper this would have worked a lot better had they done this back in 1996 or even 2005 to which Eagle Rock recorded and put out on DVD or Cd.  Problem is that Ian Gillan had pretty blown out his voice to which the world is spared of Child In Time.  Also the orchestra wasn't used to the best advantage either.   Oh, they crank it up on Highway Star or Knocking At Your Back Door or Perfect Strangers but half the time it misses the mark.  And the usually reliable Steve Morse is doing recycled Eddie Van Halen riffs or going through the motions.  Montreux has never been a good place to record but Ian Paice's drums sound almost like he's drumming on cardboard boxes, it certainly could have used a Martin Birch mix of Made In Japan.   And what used to be a 20 minute version of Space Truckin, with all the showboating solos and what not (Blackmore is missed on that) we get a sparse 5 minute version to which Gillan ad libs here and there and sings in a lower tone since he can't scream them out.  Or messes up the words to Highway Star or Strange Kind Of Woman.

In all fairness time and age has a way to tone down the excess that made Deep Purple a fun band to hear and listen although I really have no use for Made In Japan anymore (had that on 8 track too, CD you can now get for five bucks at Best Buy) although it made Deep Purple what they are today, for better or worse.  Like Montreux 96, 2011 revisits a couple obscure numbers (No One Came, When A Blind Man Cries)  pulls out Hard Lovin Man from In Rock and Gillan even covers Hush  (although he'll be dammed if he ever covers anything from David Coverdale although I would love for Gillan to take on Burn some day).  The whole live performance sounds like they're on autopilot till they get to their anthem Smoke On The Water to which when the orchestra jams with Morse on the guitar signature riff, it all comes together and then they catch fire for the encore of Hush and the 9 minute Black Night to which they recreate the sound of what made Made In Japan a fun listen.  A bass solo here, drum solo there (doesn't last too long) and Gillan sounds like he's having fun regardless.  To which after the final note is over and done with, you wish that Deep Purple could have sounded like that at the beginning of the show as well.  It all came together too late.  But then again I still remain a big fan of the Gillan/Glover DP years more than others, Gillan was the gas to Blackmore's water and their explosive personalities makes one wish for the early years (but we'll never get since Blackmore refuses to have anything to do with Gillan ever again).  Montreux 2011 with Orchestra remains a curio listen, there's potential, there's promise and at the tail end it comes together but you kinda wished that it would have happen earlier on before the masses got bored and moved on to other things.

Grade B-

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Radio Buzz D Shout Out

This is the radio station that my good friend Diggy Kat is doing the tunes from.

I owe him  a favor since he plays a few of my tunes and requests.  Check him out whenever you can.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Ten of The Week-Spring Ahead

Strange weather and a strange winter.  We have had 4 straight record days temps of 80 degrees or warmer if you can believe that.   So it actually feels like the last day of spring rather than winter.  And I'm sure we'll pay for it later in the year.

1.  It's Monk Time-The Monks 1999   It took them over 30 years to finally make their way to the US, strange considering they were a US bunch of guys that had a bigger following over in Germany than over here. Hell, I never heard of them till I saw their Black Monk Time out on Infinite Zero/American Recordings and figure that Henry Rollins had a lot to do with reissuing their album  Light In the Attic took over the reissue department after Infinite Zero closed their doors.  I'm guessing the original album was out on Polydor years ago.  This is from their Cavestomp appearance of 1999 and for a bunch of old men, they got the groove down pat.  Pere Ubu owes them for the quirky vocals of Gary Burger.

2.  St. Vitus Dance-Black Sabbath 1972  Betcha didn't think these guys could do a country tune?  At least is sounds like Tony Iommi trying to do a country number but it still sounds like heavy metal.  Seems like Bill Ward doesn't quite know how to take the beat here, so he resigns to a lot of cymbal crashes and half beats.  I'm sure this is Sharon Osbourne's argument that he can't play drums very well and it may be but you can't fault the over the top bashing that he does on Supernaut.  To be original doesn't necessary mean you have to be good all the time but being sloppy in the right places.  And there ya go.

3.  Canyons Of Your Mind-Bonzo Dog Band 1969  Before Monty Python there was the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and even the Brits didn't know what to take or think of these comedy rockers.  On the History Of The Bonzo's there's even a introduction which went missing on later comps. Keith Moon produced some of their work and although he is mention as Producer of this song on the History Album, Gerry Bron seems to be the real producer of choice although the Ba Ba bas might be Moonie himself.  Speculation is nice and wonderful but it doesn't pay very well....unless you're a oil speculator on Wall Street playing to the fears of the public which is why gas prices continue to go up up up.  But I'm getting off topic anyway. The Bonzo's were way ahead of their time but most of their stuff is classic.  Except for Slush, which even the Brits couldn't figure that one out either.

4.  Everytime You Walk Into The Room-The Searchers 1964  A off the all compliment to Bob Dorr to which when he's live in the studio he will play the Dusty Springfield version of said song.  He says it's a running joke and there are those out there that know about it.   As for myself, I think I like the Searchers' Byrd version more than Springfield's Phil Spector like arrangements.

5.  Jesus Built My Hot Rod-Ministry 1991  This is where Al Jorgensen makes his industrial metal classic and has Gibby Hayes from Butthole Surfers scat and scream around swirling guitars and straight ahead pounding beats.  Took Ministry a good year to complete the album which goes under a couple different names, myself I call it the S/T album.  Easier to type than Psalm 69, the way to succeed and a way to suck eggs. Or the Clock album, Or the naked angel album, or KENSIHO (ah fuck it can't spell it anyway).....


6.  Cuz You're Gone/Torn Apart-Goo Goo Dolls 1995  From a live radio performance in Milwaukee, they were promoting their Boy Named Goo album at the time.  To which this version they stop after a fight broke out in the audience and the boys help keep the peace.  This is probably their last attempt to be The Replacements after The Replacements went soft (or Westerburg broke them up) before reinventing themselves as the Emo Journey on Dizzy Up The Girl and hitting gold.  Also probably the last time they performed anything off their first album to which Torn Apart came from.  Got this as a bootleg CD at the old Relics Records years ago and Jerry used to have a great collection of bootleg CDs.  I missed those days.

7.  Voices In My Mind-Mrs. Hippie 1999  From the dudes at Metal Blade Records and I really didn't know much about it when I bought it for a dollar at Half Priced Books about a couple years ago. Further research reveals that this was the first band featuring Joacim Cans who later joined HammerFall.  Nevertheless, this is fairly decent, bass sludge metal and Cans has this voice like Ronnie James Dio or Geoff Tate.  Heard stories he really unleashed the banshee in him in HammerFall but I have yet to hear any of their metal.  Not high on my list though although Voices In My Head is one of the better tracks of their album Lotus.

8.  Soul Searching Time-The Trammps 1976  Regarding of the passing of Jimmy Ellis, lead singer of The Trammps, I have never considered The Trammps a disco band before Disco Inferno turned them into a disco band afterwards.  They were the more jamming equal of The Spinners who at that time were borrowing some of The Trammps on their songs and shared MFSB, the Philly International house band, whereas The Spinners songs were three or minutes long, The Trammps were about 5 or 6 minutes long due to the extended beat.   The secret weapon to both Spinners and The Trammps was Earl Young playing drums on both bands. For albums Where The Happy People Go had more jam and funky beats than Disco Inferno and to this day can't consider them a disco band.  Things fell apart in a hurry after that and by the time The Trammps recorded the throwaway Mixing It Up in 1980, disco was dead.  Rhino records did put out a best of The Trammps but edited most of the songs down to a 3 minute edit which didn't work for me, I enjoyed their long versions more but shows the world they were a top notch R N B band.  Makes me wonder had Jimmy Ellis taken over for Phillippe Wynne instead of Johnnie Edwards how The Spinners would have sounded like.

9.  Industrial Town-The Men They Couldn't Hang 1989 From the Domino Club album.  Fun name for a band, in fact Shane McGowan was going to name The Pogues after that according to rumor, either that or After Pogues band but went with Shane McGowan And The Popes.  This band made two albums for Silvertone/Jive and have yet to find the first album.  Back in 1999 thereabouts, I found a Mister Money store in Davenport that had plenty of forgotten albums of the late 80s to which nobody seem to buy except for me. The Domino Club was one of them.

10.  Living In America-James Brown 1985  The comeback of Soul Bro Number 1.  The 80s weren't too kind to the greatest showman ever.  Seemed a bit degrading to go from Polydor to Scotti Brothers, the hack label of the 80s and working with Dan (Instant Replay) Hartman (RIP), but Gravity to me was a fun album, although it could have been much better than cliche stuff of some of the songs Hartman and Charlie Midnight gave James.  This was a top 20 hit and if memory serves me correct, Stevie Ray Vaughn plays guitar in the video.

Bonus Track:  Here Today, Gone Tomorrow-The Ramones 1977  It's a rare occasion when I add a bonus cut. Basically this week I did things a bit different, put the lists of songs together and see what I come up with. And in the end I had a extra cut.  Been playing a bit more Ramones stuff and reading the bargain bin book On The Road With The Ramones as well, found it for 10 bucks at Half Priced Books and there's a new autobiography on the late Johnny Ramone who was the de facto leader and hard ass Conservative who thought Ronnie Reagan was the best president ever.  Johnny had his favorites and there were some albums that he didn't like (Brain Drain) and he didn't like the black mohawk dude who produced Animal Boy, he didn't like the production of Jean Benviour.  Didn't like Phil Spector's production on End Of The Century and Graham Goldman on Sweet Dreams either. A tough nut to crack but Johnny did mention that he loved this cut from Rocket To Russia.  The Ramones would survive till 1996 and once Joey Ramone passed away in 2001 the domino effect came and Dee Dee and Johnny would be dead within 5 years.  You have your Ramones faves and I have mine, The first three albums are pure simple rock and roll with punk leanings. Road To Ruin has moments and there's a change in sound and direction.  End Of The Century, Spector ruined the sound and despite what Johnny thinks Sweet Dreams is enjoyable.  Subterranean Jungle  suffers from a dated 80s mix by Glen Kolotokin  (can't spell worth a fuck today) and Kenny Laguna  and Tommy Ramone and gets the guys to make their last album classic Too Tough To Die.  Anything else you're on your own. There are good moments on every album but I never heard Halfway To Insanity, Brain Drain is spotty and the Radioactive years I can take or leave (Adios Amigos my fave with a blazing Spiderman cover).

I guess in the long run, my go to album is Rocket To Russia since it was the first Ramones album I bought (at the old Record Realm) to the point that I had to get the 180 gram vinyl album all over again (CD didn't really cut it), or the first album (Wish I could have kept that ABC/Sire version of that album, Why Rod why?).  Anyway since the revival of the vinyl, you can actually get the first four Ramones for 12 bucks which is cheap.  CDs are about 7 or 8 dollars, or even as cheap as 5 bucks.  Guess you can say The Ramones were our Beatles of my generation.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Winter Is Over (?)

We had a record high of 82 today, first time we ever hit 80 in many years. I guess it's safe to say that winter is over, has been in over ten days.  Global warming has existed this year and this winter.  Don't like it this warm this time of year, but beats the alternative and we know that too well the last five winters.  So basically this winter was owed to us.  We didn't get any major snowstorms and blizzards (that might be a first although we had a couple storms that dumped 4 inches of snow) but we did get a few icestorms that iced up the road.  But nothing real major, in fact I don't think I took a snow day at work at all this year.

The big storms and tornadoes have stayed south of here, in Missouri, where a Twister tore through Branson.  I have a Aunt/Uncle that lives in Kimmerling City and despite the power getting knocked out for a couple days, they didn't have any no storm damage.  They were one of the lucky ones.  Seems like St. Louis has been getting hit with more storms the past couple years too.   Wouldn't mind going back there but picking a day or two to avoid the storms has been a challenge.

Nevertheless, the mid 70s and 82 degree days has brought out the Tulips growing and the Daffodils as well. But I'm thinking they're coming up too early,   I'm thinking that we are due for another cold spell that might wipe them out in early April.  Yes, I complain a lot but then again I'm also thankful that we have nice weather and a mild winter as well.

Here's hoping the weather stays nice.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-The Pig

 In the never ending cycle of the week, it must be time for another ten songs of note.  Thanks to Tad for the real comments, the rest were porn spam.  That feels great time to go take a shower.  And I am still deleting two more spam crap emails.

Another award winning radio station to tell you about. THE PIG. KPIG from Freedom California, the closest station to free form radio the way it used to be.

But if you liked those overplayed classic oldies try this one. 

1.  Ready To Roll-Jet Black Stare 2008   Modern rock and roll blows today, I'm spending too much time arguing with the dumbass at Hot 101 in Steambath Arkansas about how Rush doesn't get any airplay anymore and his radio station plays real rock. Bullshit Jackson, nobody is going to be remember half of the crap you play anyway (Hinder anybody?).  I still give a shit about real rock, provided if I find real rock and real rock isn't played too often on the so called real rock stations anymore.  BTW hotshot radio programmer at Hot 101, Rush gets plenty of airplay on the classic rock radio.  New bands today are like new bands of the last decade, make one album and get bounced.  Jet Black Stare is one band that got hooked up to Island and made a one off album that didn't sell and they are quickly forgotten but thanked their label for the cool tattoos and new gear.  I still like In This Life in spots but seems to me all three of their uptempo numbers sound the same with little variation.  And they couldn't decide to go in a Saliva  mode or Jonas brothers or their more successful labelmates Hoobastank in the ballads department.  Probably would have been better in their favor had they got Howard Benson to produced instead of Gordini and Jeff Johnson but perhaps Island's budget wouldn't allowed that to happen.  Perhaps they thought they would have gotten to make a second album.  And they thought wrong.

2.  She's The One-The Buzzards 1982   This is where I give big thanks and kudos to Bob Dorr again for his Saturday Night Backtracks show which was better explained in my last blog.  The Buzzards were from Iowa City and got to make a 3 song 45 to which this was also featured in a Battle Of The Bands LP as well.  Lead singer Nick Strika actually continues to play as a solo artist and sometimes in the fan favorite band Dogs On Skis.

3.  Niggers Are Scared Of Revolution-The Last Poets 1970  Originally on a Douglas 3 8 track that I found at Goodwill years ago, The Last Poets are basically the first true rappers but they didn't use a beat box or stolen beats but a percussion player instead.  40 years after the fact, Omar Ben Hassen's raps remain very true and dead on. Don't shoot the messenger folks, this the actual title of rap. Don't like it, change the station.

 4.   Space Cowboy-Spinout 1991  More one album silly shit that you have to hear to believe.  But first, I wrote a review about another one album band by the name of Starclub and I gave it a one star review and called it a waste of time in Amazon and basically 1 out of 5 folk thought the review helped them.  Well to the four who disagreed with me, I'm still waiting for your opinion of that album and why I should rebuy it since it sucked in the first place.  At least Spinout had a certain charm that enables me to revisit it when I get a dead moment.  Spinout the band incorporates a bit of MC5 here, Steve Miller there (on this little tune to which lead singer screams out YOU SUCK at the beginning of the song) and makes Miller sound like Elvis Pop in the end.  Spinal Tap they're not, but after this album they would regroup under the name Acetone and made a couple albums of Shoegazer/Alt country  type music before the lead singer committed suicide in 2001 and Acetone came to a screeching halt.

5.  Hard Knocks-Joe Cocker 2012  Guess who's back with a new recording?  Hold it down y'all!  Cocker still has that rough edge vocals although on this album his producer reshaped it using Pro Tools.  Matt Serletic produced it and I think Ethan Johns did a better job getting more out of Joe on the Hymm To My Soul album of 2007. 

6.  17 Pine Avenue-New Riders Of The Purple Sage 2012   Holy fuck more hippie dippy shit from another hippy dippy band.   Hey kids, The New Riders always had a bad knock against them, they were Jerry Garcia's offshoot band when he got tired of Grateful Dead and they were acid country when John Dawson and David Nelson took over.  The Columbia albums started out great and got erratic as the year progressed (I liked Adventures Of Pamana Red and Powerglide, Gypsy Cowboy not much so) and the MCA albums were boring at best and by the time they got to A & M they had no clue or tunes to be considered a second listen.  Like any other bands, they reformed in 2005 and with Nelson and Buddy Cage from the original Columbia years still in tact, they enlisted Robert Hunter to write the lyrics and Where I Came From their 2009 album turned out to be their best since Jerry was alive and well.  Their new album 17 Pine Avenue continues the winning streak and although it's not as good as Where I Come From, it still beats most of their back catalog.  Credit Mike Falzarano (Former Hot Tuna player) production which combines Grateful Dead speedway boogie and Hot Tuna electric jamming as well.  Title track finally might be Robert Hunter's answer to The Grateful Dead's Truckin.  Worth seeking out if you can find the album.

7.  Knife's Edge-Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1971  I suppose I probably gave them too much kudos this month but ELP was better than I originally thought.  Their glory years were the first four albums and anything after that, you're on your own.   Since nobody had Brain Salad Surgery, I decided on the new ELP best of Come And See The Show and it steals good moments from that album and the first but nothing from Taukus (their loss) and Love Beach (everybody wins).

8.  Hollywood Swinging-Kool & The Gang 1974  Earworm of the week and you know how I feel about earworm music.  Love this song but not hearing it 6 hours straight in a row.  If my brains keeps this up, I'm going back to drinking Long Island Teas & Jack n Cokes.

9.  Show Me The Way-Peter Frampton 1975  Not the overplayed Comes Alive version, hell everybody is sick of hearing it but rather the original version from the Frampton album.  Life after Humble Pie and before Frampton Comes Alive, he was a journeyman cult favorite and I remember hearing this on the old G100 radio station (now the Cumulus owned FOX to which they'll play the live version but not the studio-fuck them).  Also the original Baby I Love Your Way is on Frampton as well.  Side note: Andy Bown plays bass on this album, who would later join the Status Quo.

10. It's Not Too Late-The Monkees 1996  I was to include this on last week's top ten in fitting tribute to the late great Davy Jones but lack of braincells prohibited me from doing so till it came back to me a few days later.  Which is why I need to start writing things down.  This is off the 1996 Justus album which all 4 Monkees got back to the studio for new songs and although it didn't sell, it was much better than the 1986 throwaway Pool It!  This concluded Justus, just Davy doing what he does best.  Sing love songs and tells you that it's not too late.  Till you're dead and gone.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crabb Bits: Dubuque Part 3.0, Backtracks, Glen Campbell, NRPS

No I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth.  I spent the weekend over at Nicole's and since her computer is so damn slow, I really don't get on there much.  And yes dear it is a slow computer to the point that I use the backspace more than I do other keys.  We decided to go up to Dubuque and spent some time in the Diamond Jo Casino.  Not into Casinos mind you and while she won 30 dollars, Mr. No Luck blew 50 of his and with that couldn't go to one record store due to time and 50 less dollars.  Nevertheless I had to visit the old hippie at Moondog Music and get the new New Riders Of The Purple Sage, which is their second straight great album.  Never mind their Columbia years, which was erratic at best or the MCA/A&M years which were downright boring, their comeback album of a few years Where I Came From finally showed them that they could compete with the other jam bands of today.  But Best Buy wouldn't have it anyway, so I figured that Moondog Music would.  17 Pine Avenue, continues the good times and the jams although it's the slightest of the two album but still blows anything they've done since Panama Red.

Another new album or reissue is Meet Glen Campbell (Capitol) which expands on the original album with two remixes of his biggest hits (Gentle On My Mind, Galveston) and three cuts from a AOL session which I can take or leave.  Basically the brainchild of Julian Raymond, better known as A n R behind the careers of Less Than Jake or Suicide Machines, he picks and chooses some of the newer stuff for Glen and Glen shines on the U2 cover of All I Want Is You, Green Day's Time Of Your Life and Foo Fighters Days Like These.  Raymond comes across a Al Delory of the day but like Al, Julian tends to overdo the strings and horns on songs like Grow Old With Me and a questionable version of the Velvet Underground's Jesus. But you can't fault the man for trying and Glen sounds like he's at home with them.  Of course they took it up a notch with Ghost On The Canvas (to which the interludes kinda ruins it for me but it's his finest moment since My World Fell Down or Gentle On My Mind.  Capitol dropped the ball on this one when originally released back in 2009 and they try to make it up with remixes and AOL Session bonus cuts.  But with Glen's Alzheimer's overtaking him, Meet Glen Campbell and Ghost On The Canvas shows that when faced with the eventual end, he faces it with a smile and determination with God's Blessings.  Thank Raymond for getting the best of out of Glen, even though Raymond's excessive brings of what Glen's recordings were 40 years ago.  Still take it for what it's worth, a good pop album, not country but pop.  And Glen would surprise one more time before the curtain falls.

The Ratings are taking a hit, looks like The Rock N Roll And The Brains blog has finally come to the end of the line with 3,239 views and has been stagnated for the last week.  At it stands, we might clear 1,200 views this month on other things but I'm thinking somewhere out there, we lost a sponsor, or a fan site got shut down.

Big props to Bob Dorr of Iowa Public Radio for playing six songs that I suggested on his Saturday night Back Tracks show.  I'd settle for one but he played Bad Motor Scooter and Space Station Number 5 from the Montrose album (A LITTE MONTROSE FOR YA, we got the message Shawn, shut up) but he also played not only the Thin Lizzy version of Rosalie but the original Bob Seger version plus Kill For Peace by The Fugs and Post Toastee by Tommy Bolin.  A couple missteps, wasn't too impressed with the Roy Wood 14 minute Meet Me At The Jailhouse and it won't get me to buy any of Wood's Wizzard stuff and the Soft Machine selection came from a later and less interesting edition of the band but hell the rest of the show rocked hard.  And even included Van Morrison's Here Comes The Night from It's Too Late To Stop Now

From the ashes of Borders, comes Books A Million in it's spot and you can't tell the difference.  BAM haven't changed that much the interior and there's a new Cafe house for your cuppacino fix. But they do have vinyl albums and they have a decent selection of Vee Jay artists (John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed), jazz from Coltraine and Monk and The Dictators and Richard Hell's Blank Generation to boot at 13 bucks, which doesn't vary much from the CD I guess.  BAM is a bit more expensive on their CDs though, the cutouts are 'yawn' and they still have Christmas Crap CDs that nobody wants but Books A Million might survive and give Moondog or CD's 4 Change a run for the vinyl money.  Where else could you get Pearl Jam 10 for 16.99?

Finally, you will not believe what you'll find in the budget bins at Best Buy now.  Too bad the damn recording industry didn't do this shit long time ago, but they slashed prices on the hard to believe.  This week's 5 dollar special includes Peter Frampton Frampton album, Best of Mike And The Mechanics and Deep Purple's Made In Japan which I bought on 8 track for 12 dollars back in 76.  Hell the album was 12.99 for 2 record set. But now you can get the 77 minute behemoth for five bucks now.  But the MP3 remains at 11.49.  Seems to me that the labels are now taking to gouge the public for the digital download.  Better to buy the CD for half off.

And So It Goes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-Flush Rush

Business as usual here in Crabb Land.  Big fuss is about the Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut on his radio program to which a backlash of twitter people took to the site and call for his advertisers to pull their ads off his show.  Seems to be working, something like 26 companies have pulled their ads and Twitter Left Nation continues to hound Clear Channel to take his vile show off the air.  I don't forsee that to happen. Clear Channel tends to like those ratings and the 33 million that they give blowhard Rush per year to call women sluts and to make sex videos when they use contraception.

My take, I never liked Rush, I tend to slam him everytime I get the chance.  Guy makes boucoup bucks throwing his women hating rants, and popping his Viagra-Oxycondin pill habits.  Never liked him, when he had his BS show on TV in the 1990s.  He just strikes me as unlikeable. Joe McCartney would have loved him.  My old dentist used to have his crappy show on the radio when I went to get my teeth fixed.  He's a blowhard and a fat fuck that loves to blow cigar smoke in the face of women and left wingers and I'm sure he'd love to do that to Obama.  I hate the guy.  If you think about it, it's just like winning the lottery and Rush makes all this money to throw his BS on the airwaves and there's no in between on this dude.  You either worship him or you hate him.

But I also believe this, that despite it all, he still has a right to say things that pop up in that Viagra induced little head of his and that he should have his own show if there's a viewership for it.  That's why there's four other buttons on the radio, you're free to listen to something else than this RWBSer that has the GOP up in his pocket and he can smoke them like his big cigars should they criticize him.  And they don't  want to criticize Uncle Rushbo, which is what we get from Booze Boehner who shakes a finger at the big fat fuck saying you shouldn't say nasty things to little girls.  Meanwhile Twitter Nation is raking Rush over the coals over his so called humor of Sandra Fluke, proving that it is not a fluke that he's always had a woman complex and this time it may not save his ass nor his radio show.  But life goes on, Clear Channel will not pull his show and as of this moment WMT continues to have the Rush Viagra show going and still will be.  I expect to hear more Viagra, Cilisis or anything with E.D. on his show.  And Peter Gabieral is pissed at Rush for using Sludgehammer as his cue music, although I actually heard Rush (the band) Spirit Of Radio for Rush's going to commercial.

In the end, it will come down to the Left vs Right on this and most of my Twitter Friends are on the left so there is a bit of bias.  If they can flush Rush off the radio, more power to them but I think he will prevail on the strength of his rabid fans and listeners.  It's entertainment, cheap as that reality shit you see on every damn channel.  Amusing at times but more fucking annoying for me.  I like him as much as Sean Hannity, another useless waste of airtime but I choose not to listen to them both.  Simple as that.

Another musician that passed away this weekend was Jamie Campbell who was part of the Cedar Rapids music scene in the 80s and 90s.  He played in a variety of cover bands, Mr Meaner the best known.  He was 47.  I may have caught a couple of his bands when he played at the Dark Horse, which was CR's roughest bar and perhaps he lived the rock style of booze and smokes and everything caught up to him.  Funny how you're young, you're Superman and nothing can stop ya.  I know through experience and jack and cokes.  They make you feel like your playing better and at times I did but then waking up after a drunken stupor and seeing my hands all bloodied up from bashing them on the cymbals and drums.  No, I cannot drink anymore, an enlarged liver will wake you up and I never did smoke although that second hand smoke would have gotten me lung cancer anyway.  Nevertheless, Jamie Campbell a true rock and roll original drummer,  And a great handyman.  RIP.

And the music continues:

But first: Drew has a new site.  Gotta hand it to him for putting his collection out like that.  Hell it would take about 2 years to sort out half the crap in my collection.

1.  Bad Motor Scooter-Montrose 1973   Later done by Paraphernalia on their infamous 1984 show Live Under A Full Moon.  All in all a perfect introduction of the guitar noises that Ronnie used to make and later became an influence on Eddie Van Halen half decade later.  It all ties together.

2.  Jammin & Jumpin-Bullmoose Jackson 1945  Rock n roll existed before 1954 in a different form.  Mostly jump blues with a more swinging wild sound than jazz. Bullmoose Jackson, great bandleader, one of the best blues shouters out there with Big Ten Inch Record to which The FOX played one night before the Aerosmith version came on.  Kind of a nice tribute to a forgotten R and B singer.  Hell of a sax player too.  Most of you probably don't know who Bullmoose is and I'm too lazy to look things up on You Tube for suggestions so your on your own.  Contains a wild drum solo from Panama Francis who would drum on a lot of early Atlantic recordings of various blues singers i.e. Big Joe Turner or The Clovers.

3.  Desde La Vida-3 1988  Last month I've been on a Emerson Lake And Palmer kick finding some of their lesser known stuff and off projects and revisiting their music.  Basically this is Carl and Keith without Greg but Robert Berry (whoever he was) and going for more of a sound like Asia had although 3 was more poppier.  Their sole Geffen album remains a prog pop mess but when Keith starts firing up the Moog, I can't help but having a cheesy grin on my face too. Certainly To The Power Of 3 is not Brain Salad Surgery, but it is loads better than Love Beach.

4.  The World We Know-The Smithereens 1988 Staying in the year of the 88 I give ya a album track from Green Thoughts featuring the guest vocals of Del Shannon who would take his life a couple years later.  Wished he never did that, he was loved a lot more than he thought he was.  Used to have the CD of Green Thoughts but somehow somewhere I have the vinyl version.  Life is wonderful.

5.  Post Toastee-Tommy Bolin 1976  Deep Purple and drugs killed him (living up to Richie Blackmore in that band could do that, unless your Steve Morse, whose done just fine) and in his lifetime, he only recorded two proper solo albums, Teaser and the more jazzier Private Eyes which featured Norma Jean Bell on saxophone, (whose is still rocking up a storm in the Detroit area).  My favorite Tommy Bolin track.

6.  Distant Early Warning-Rush 1984  This is the kind of Rush I can get into.  Not the big blow hard on Clear Channel though.


7.  Hoe-Down-Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic 1960  Later done by Emerson Lake And Palmer but my choice goes Leonard and his classical version.  After all I don't post a lot of classical music if ever and if I did I'm sure Aaron Copeland had something to do with it.  It's fun music and everytime I hear the ending I just want to yell out these inspirational words of wisdom in the style of Robert Mitchum.  BEEF IT'S WHAT FOR DINNER!  Hard habits are hard to break ya know?

8.  Scarecrow-Brave Belt 1970  Randy Bachman bored with The Guess Who leaves to form his own band to make a country rock album and manages to hook up with former lead singer of the Guess Who before Burton Cummings, Chad Allen.  I think  Randy wanted Brave Belt to sound like Buffalo Springfield and ended up sounding more like the first Poco album.  Good in spots but boring in others.  This song which ends the first Brave Belt album comes across like a Crazy Horse/Mason Profit track.  Fred Turner would replace Chad Allen on the second Brave Belt album on the way to become what you would all know as Bachman Turner Overdrive, boogie rockers extraordinaire but at the beginning, they were country rock.

9.  Just To Satisfy You-Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson 1982  Music Choice plays this way too much but I still enjoy this hit from Waylon and Willie although their hit making years are about to come to an end here.

10.  Can't You Hear The Cows-The Turtles 1968.  Moo Baby!


Monday, March 5, 2012

A Little Montrose For Ya!

Look, I admit it.  I was late into the game of Ronnie Montrose and his first album which came out in 1973 but didn't get around hearing it till the guys in the band I used to play in was jamming around Make It Last or Bad Motor Scooter to which our lead singer Mike wanted us to play but I didn't want to, since the drumming seemed to be out of my league.

Montrose is one of the best ever guitar players in the world, he could play fusion jazz and turn around and play rock and roll in a heartbeat.  He plays on Tupelo Honey by Van Morrison and then became part of the Edgar Winter Group with the 1972 classic album They Only Come Out At Night with fun stuff like Hanging Around, Round And Round, Frankenstein and Free Ride.  Then he formed his namesake band with a unknown Sam Hagar.  My best friend traded me a copy of Paper Money for a KISS record and while I liked some of the fiery rocking I Got The Fire and cover version of Underground (though some say it was a bit too poppy).  Hagar left to do a solo career, Bob Evans replaced him and Montrose soldered on the 1975's lacking Warner Brothers Present Montrose and Jump On It, which I never heard, nor Open Fire, the reunion album with Edgar Winter producing.  But I did pick up with him when he formed Gamma with Denny Caramisi on drums and Davy Patterson on vocals.  The first album was so so but the second album, which might be the best cover art album of 1980 was hard rock produced by Gary Lyons with Four Horsemen getting some FM airplay.  Voyager was the choice cut.  A third Gamma album showed Ronnie moving more toward new wave rock and critics didn't like it much but there was a couple tracks that got some airplay.  GNP Crescendo somehow complied the best moments of the Elektra Gamma albums into a bloated but fun comp CD which is now out of print and command big bucks on EBAY.

Ronnie then pretty went from solo albums to Montrose reunion albums on Enigma but something was missing. Mean was bland and the Diva Station was competent background music.

Our guitar player Dennis, had Montrose the 1973 album which rewrote the book on hard rock and roll.  Without it, there would be no Van Halen although it's bizarre how Sammy Hagar would join that band 12 years after the fact of the first Montrose album.  And it was chock full of straight ahead rock and roll in just over 32 minutes.  It went by fast.

Anyway, the band I was in, was looking for ideas and songs to do.  Most of my originals the guys vetoed and with good reason, the drinking public wanted to hear good cover versions to get drunk to.  So we learned two songs.  One, the aforementioned Bad Motor Scooter and Make It Last and they turned out to be the best songs that we covered.  Don't understand why, we worked our ass off Hold On Loosely, the overplayed 38 Special song which the lead singer kept coming in the offbeat and Make It Last which followed  was much better.  After all he played it in his other bands from time to time.

It is kind of a running joke when I talk about the songs that everytime we started them out, either he or our hired hand guitar player shouting "A LITTLE MONTROSE FOR YA!"  as if the buying public really cared or if he was trying to to be a annoying DJ on the annoying top forty radio station.  When I listen to our version of Make It Last, I'm surprised of how fast we actually played it.  Like we were all caffeinated to the point that we played everything faster and louder than anything else.  Being a youthful drummer, I experimented with changing the beat to fast to even faster on the coda fade out.  Sounds like overkill today but that's how I played it and amazingly it holds well today.

Bad Motor Scooter, the song that I refused to learn how to play to they forcefed it down my throat is another warhorse all together.  Dennis does a nice slide guitar throughout the beginning and of course Mr. Hired Hand Shawn yells into the mic A LITTLE MONTROSE FOR YA, BAD MOTOR SCOOTER to which some chick in the audience woos and screams to the point that she must have had a orgasm at the tail at the song, Good job rock and roll!  But when Big Mouth yells out A LITTLE MORE MONTROSE FOR YA, you wan to tell him to SHUT THE FUCK UP and LET THE MUSIC DO THE TALKING, but then again, the goofball took enough uppers to bounce off the walls and stage till our base player cold cocks him in the head at the tail end.  He actually did that on Taking Care Of Business.

I don't think Ronnie Montrose ever had the intention of playing B.M.S. that fast.  Listening to it today, even I can't believe how fast and loose I played the drums on that.  Maybe having 2 liters of Pepsi had something to do with that but I think we did pretty good version of it.  It's too bad, that our band didn't keep the momentum going for after that show we all broke the band up since we were losing our bass player back to The Marines.

In the end, Montrose, the 1973 album did more to show the world how to play rock and roll, but it inspired me to actually learn to play it and rock as hard as the band did.  I'm sure Ronnie Montrose wanted to be known more than just a rock n roll axeman and he was, but Montrose the album inspired everybody in some way or another how to play it hard and fast.  Many a band in Cedar Rapids in the 70s and 80s covered something off that album, even a band called themselves Rock Kandy after one of the songs.  Bad Motor Scooter?  Hell we Rock The Nation and Make It Last to the best of our abilities.  Even if we really wanted to smack the overzealous hired hand whammy bar specialist yelling A LITTLE MONTROSE FOR YA! before and after the songs we did learn how to play.  We still love ya Mr. Shawn, even though after the show he passed out from too many drinks and uppers and having his groupie hangeron trying to revive him from the bottom of the floor.  Ya have to be there to see it to believe it.  Even to this day, the hired hand became more of the creepy middle age dude playing acoustic stuff at Cocktails and Company and still trying to pick up the 20 somethings and making a bigger fool of himself than the skinny tied goof yelling the overblown title over and over as if nobody didn't know that by now.  Even if they did have the first Montrose album.

RIP Ronnie..

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Always seems like when I get to the beginning of the month I return to the crossroads and try to figure out what road I'm going to take and where it leads the next 31 days.  It's been a long month for me, with my mom coming off from shoulder surgery and now having to deal with the tornado that ripped apart part of Kimberly City/Branson.  My aunt and uncle lives in that neck of the woods and I have yet to hear about their whereabouts.

I haven't been writing anything new for The Towndgers album.  It seems that I cannot write music anymore and that the songwriter's block is so bad that nothing works and nothing rhymes or even make sense.  Somewhat like this entry.  I am beginning to think that the writing is on the wall and perhaps I should retire from it all, music, record collecting to live out my years in blissful ignorance watching crappy cable TV reality shows.  Bristol Palin has a new reality show?  Is this why cable rates go up?  For programming shit like this?  Is it even worth to turn on the TV to watch the news only to get bombarded by commericals of places that I hate.  Kaplin University?  fuck them!  Home Choice Health Care?  Fuck them too!  Century Link? Shove this up your ass Mr. Smug dude!  And let's not get into all them drug commercials that they throw at us?  I don't give a fuck for Lupitor nor Viagra.  Watching sports anymore is a damn chore if you don't have the remote around.  We can't get rid of the Palins.  If it ain't Sarah the Screech on FOX spewing her right wing bullshit, it's her peanut butter spreading legs daughter Bristol Creme talking about absence.  Practice what you preach sweetheart.  I thought you went back to Alaska to get away from the public and the cameras but like your mom you want to be noticed once again.  Go fucking away and leave us be.

Being a blogger of music news and views the past 10 years may have robbed me a decade of living real time life but then again what would I be doing had I haven't had the computer?  I've seen some of my favorite bloggers talk tunes and get bored with it and move on to other things, I've seen my former chat buddies in the music chat rooms returning to real time life with their grandchildren or family and have no time to stay up late night to talk tunes anymore.  Funny how times changed.

February the gas prices kept going up every week or every other five days.  Never seen such greed on the part of Wall Street and the Oil Speculators playing the fear card to make themselves richer whereas we get poorer and can't go anywhere.  So much for Arizona, I just don't see the need to travel out there on airport and get fee'd over to spend 5 bucks a gallon searching for things I could probably find at home for less.  I might be the only person that likes to go to Hastings but they been known to have a 3 or 4 dollar cd that is on the want list.  Ya think looking at my stacks that there's not much left to seek but there is.  The local Half Priced Bookstore reminds me of that.

The death of Davy Jones from the Monkees has once again set the tone of our morality and how much time we have left on this planet and 66 years is not a long time, nor was 53 when my friend Dennis died last July.  And I haven't recovered over that.  Losing a part of your life isn't replaceable.   But Davy Jones goes back to watching The Monkees on TV Saturday mornings and his death is another piece of myself that has died too.  In my perfect world, things would begin and end in the 60s or 70s, of things taken for granted (Drive Ins, Record Stores) and then missing them once they are part of history.  I'm beginning to recede from this world, waking up and just wishing I could remain home and not drive God's green Earth to a job that pays the bills but dealing with crap printers that break and traffic that tries my patience.  There's a breaking point and a vanishing point and I think I'm passing one and coming up to another.  I recall a coworker, Glarice who succumb to this lifestyle, working at a job and tired of dealing with the idiots and machines, suddenly quits and spends the rest of her days, avoiding everybody.  I think I'm slowly falling into her trap.  But I do go out there to visit her gravesite just to let her know that she was a part of this life for a few short moments.

I think I spend too much time on the internet and have been the last 10 years or so.  Guess you can say I'm a net addict and bullshit myself that I won't be spending so much time in the days to follow.  I have to sort out more music to donate that I don't listen to anymore.  But at the same time, planning for another Mad City trip to replace what is donated and the cycle repeats itself.   I think the Top Ten Of The Week has been a habit and  routine which is why it has continue.  Yep, I get bored with it easily too but people tend to read them.  It's a out for me but they take so much time and effort that sometimes I wonder if spending two hours research and putting them up means anything.  I'm sure once Blogspot becomes history they'll be gone for the ages and everything will be gone just like MSN forums.  The Classic Rock folk at About.Com didn't care for my stuff, I didn't play only to the classic rock era and thought that the Kings Of The Sun were more rock and roll than Guns & Roses.  It's a tough lonely road trying to get the fuckers at Universal to reissue The Brains albums and not get anywhere but they'll reissue Motley Crue or Elvis Costello five times over.  Maybe I'm trying and getting carpel tunnel for no good reason otherwise to piss off the status quo and the Classic Rock Forums who don't think outside of China Grove or Sweet Home Alabama.  Try an fail at the same time and wonder what good was it in the first place.

So Jerry Gaskill of King's X suffers a heart attack but he should be back on the mend and hope that he is but Davy Jones has a heart attack and checks out of this world.  Ya never know when your time is up and neither do I.  As I look around this God forsaken world we live in, driven by Wall Street Oil Speculators betting on 5 dollar a gallon gas and Republicans idea of jobs is to take over a woman's body and enforce stupid laws since they're pissed that a black man is now president and they couldn't find a decent half thinking person to defeat him.  And gas prices keep going up day by day.  Sometimes and some days I look at this situation and wish I can say "beam me up Scotty, no intelligent life down here".  But all I can do is just blank about it and watch my thoughts fade away like the blank look on my face.

If we ever meet again, I'm sure we'll pick up where we left off but sometimes you need a break to assess what you have and where it leads.

And hope you have enough time to enjoy it too.

PS.  I noticed that the last five spam responses came from porn sites.  Let me explain the situation before I block this off.  This is a music site with commentary about other things, porn not one of them.  Anything remotely linking to porn sites will be deleted with no second thought about it.  I have no interest in porn sites and neither does the readership here.  This is why I had to redo the comments and read them first for approval.   But I'm sure this won't stop them.