Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-Time Poverty

Time poverty=So much music out there and so little time and less as the days go by.

Bill Kopp, I stumbled upon his work while looking for some Redd Kross to research and the guy already reviewed the new album already.  He has a music blog that's worth reading since he likes a lot of the same bands that I do.

Colony Records in New York is closing up shop.  I made a observation that another record store closing and one less place to go to if you're a record collector, never been there since I've never been to New York but Mark Prindle must have been there.  He left this fond farewell in my FB inbox.

I never understood how that overpriced place survived. Preying on rich, dumb tourists, i guess...MP (new Dad)  BTW, Prindle is the dad of newborn Nicholas Prindle.  Congrats!

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1.   This Is Your Country-Luka Bloom 1992  A cult artist with a rabid cult following to the point that somebody corrected me on the date of when the album Acoustic Motorbike came out.  Basically I haven't done very well this week with the misconception of what Bob Lefsetz was touting and then missing up the date of the this album.  He's made a few more for Reprise and Shanachie and most can be found via the cheap bins.  I could probably do more research but then again it's taken me most of the week to get through this album.  Time poverty remember?

2.  One Day At A Time-Lynyrd Skynyrd 2012  The rebel red rockers are back with a brand new album full of slogans that are ready made for the Tea Party members and in fact they were supposed to play the RNC in Tampa before Hurricane Isaac fucked up everybody's plans and jacked the gas prices up 20 cents overnight.  Gotta love Mother Nature and her wonderful storms. I'm also sure that if I didn't plan the AZ 30 trip that Isaac may have just done a right turn and head out to sea again but since I'm gong to the desert it decided to pay New Orleans a visit and all those offshore oil wells.  My left wing friends have boycotted the new Skynyrd and their last album was a attempt to try to modernize their sound which made them sound like a Nickleback Tribute band.  This time out, they stay true to the roots of Ronnie Van Zant and added more of a country flavor although they have more cliche than original thought.  Still the new album is their best in years and this song could get some airplay on the radio somewhere.  Maybe KHAK might play it.

3.  Hitchcock Railway-Joe Cocker 1971   Cocker has always had a keen eye and ear of other songwriters and may have been better of picking songs than Three Dog Night although back in the early years 3 Dog had a great winning streak up until Seven Separate Fools but Cocker continues to pick them very well.  Originally done by the unknown duo of Don Dunn and Tony Mc Cashen and released on Capitol, to which I actually had in a forgotten tin of 45s.  Cocker's version is better known.

4.  Don't Go Home With Your Hard On-Leonard Cohen 1977  From Death Of A Ladies Man, the first and only album Cohen did for Warner Brothers (Yes Columbia reissued it years later but originally it was on the WB) and had freak nut job Phil Spector arranged it which was a clash in styles to the point that when Cohen complied the Essential Leonard Cohen he didn't include a single track off DOALM.  There's a strange sinister beauty and charm on this album and that on this song he sounds a bit like John Cale.  Somewhere along the mix lies Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg shouting along with Cohen who still had a singing voice left. Critics didn't know what to think of it and it became the poorest selling album that Cohen ever had and Warner's dropped him soon after.  Spector would go on to hold the Ramones hostage for End Of The Century and Cohen after making another album for Passport (later reissued by Columbia) did return back to Columbia for the 1988 comeback I'm Your Man.

5.  Eat My Dust You Insensitive Fuck-Catherine Wheel  1995  Started out shoegazer trance with the wonderful Ferment and then got heavier as the years went by till they had a surprise hit with the album Happy Days and top 20 alternative faves Waydown and Judy Staring At The Sun.  This probably would have been a big hit hadn't Rob Dickerson used a F bomb for a title which means no radio play whatsoever.  This sounds like something that Radiohead would be doing for OK Computer years later.  But then again I never seen when people heard off OK Computer that elevated Radiohead into a critics fave.

6.  Every Inch Of You-The Darkness 2012  Hey kids, have you heard that The Darkness are back and so the original bass player Eddie looking eversomuch like a gay porno star.  And what to make of the freaky look Justin Hawkins has going for him, looks like Neil Peart with the handlebar mustache that will make the modern rock stations play this...not.   But then again the modern rock stations here are Cumulus controlled crap anyway or Clear Channel, there's not a market for AC/DC riffs with a Freddie Mercury/David Bryon type of vocals that go all over the place. David Bryon being the ill fated screamer of Uriah Heep and Stealin fame.  Remember that, I'm sure you don't, you weren't even born back then you downloading fools.  Hot Cakes returns The Darkness to the glam rock camp that made Permission To Land such a fun record to listen to but I'll guarantee you that this won't get any airplay either due to Mr Hawkins yelling in a soprano to suck his johnson just like those porn groupies used to do in the classic rock era.  Meaning girls that is, although I'm not sure if Eddie the bass player would rather had the guys to do that. I must like the album so much that I included another track off it two weeks in a row.   Or maybe next time I should proof read last week's top ten.

7.  Shadow Days-John Mayer 2012  I don't believe Katy Perry would like this song, in fact I think she probably thinks it's all bullshit just like he's all bullshit.  I'm sure he's a good guy with a good heart as he sings here. Just don't try to make him you love interest Katy.  Just ask Taylor Swift.   

8.  Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young-Faron Young 1964  Remake of his Capitol hit for Mercury and tacked on at the last minute for the first and long gone Faron Young Greatest Hits LP and Nick Lowe would cover years later.  Sadly Faron died at his own hand in 1996.  Not very familiar with his Capitol stuff but his Mercury efforts had some fine uptempo honky tonks and some nice mellower stuff thanks to Jerry Kennedy's production (It's Four In The Morning) but also been known to record creepy stuff like This Little Girl Of Mine to which Universal saw fit to include in both of Faron's meager (meaning 30 minutes or less of music) best ofs.  He should have been represented better.

9.  Zig Zag Walk-Foghat 1983  Boogie blues has always been the credo of Foghat until 1980 when Dave Peverett decided to incorporate a bit more new wave to the mix leaving Rod Price to leave the band a year later after Tight Shoes bombed.  It was kind of a strange era to even when Craig McGregor would also leave and Nick Jameson returned to play bass for the next two and final Bearsville albums, In the Mood For Something Rude and the odd ball of their career Zig Zag Walk which sounds more like Huey Lewis than Smiley Lewis and many a Foghat fan and Roger Earl never liked it.  Me on the other hand thought it was neato and played this a few times in 1983.  I think Lonesome Dave may have been taken by the Stray Cats as well since he suggested to Earl to use less drums.  ZZW died a cruel and horrible death on the charts and not soon after Bearsville and Foghat parted ways leaving us with no new music till the original lineup (with Tony Stevens!) came back for the Jameson produced (after Rick Rubin couldn't do it) Return Of The Boogie Men which was back to Boogie than New Wave.  I think in 1989 on a hot sunny summer day in Oklahoma City that Foghat did play at a festival with Blue Oyster Cult, Atlanta Rhythm Section and Leon Russell with Edgar Winter and at that time Erik Cartwright was still in the band but Eric Burgeson was doing vocals.  Lonesome Dave passed away in 2000, and Rod Price five years later from a fall down the steps.  Earl continues Foghat with Charlie Huhn (Ted Nugent, Humble Pie) on vocals and Craig McGregor back on bass.

10. Sundown-Gordon Lightfoot 1974  Time has been good to this song and some of his highest charting hits of the 70s (If You Could Read My Mind one of the best bitter breakup songs which came to mind here most of May). He is great with melody but even better with irony (even better than Elvis Costello who I can only take so much at a time) and Sometimes I think it's a sin when I feel like I'm  winning when I'm losing again pretty much sums up the week and the weekend that I had.    Hope you have a better week (or life) than I did.

To finish it up, five more from the divine archive.

Wondering When It's Going End-Bobby Darin 1972
Hollywood-Tiny Town 1998
She Belongs To Me (Live 1966 Acoustic Version)-Bob Dylan
It Ain't Easy-John Baldry 1971
Victory-Eric Johnson 1986

A UK based website with a eye on Rockabilly and old time rock and roll.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Music Of My Years- 1999

People has always talked about the end of the world and no matter how many times they have predicted that the world will end (just ask the fool asshole who predicted it twice last year) the sun rises for another day tomorrow.

In 1999 we had Y2K.  that computers would fall apart and would never work again.  Back then I had a old junky thing that was brought at Computer Renaissance and would shut itself down with illegal opeartions time and time again.  Two days after my mom's birthday I went out and purchased this POS computer and was introduced to the world of AOL.  Before then the internet could be accessed at work but only through somebody that could get on the net.  In 1998, I begin to get access and started looking through the websites and music sites that were out there.  Porn sites were a no no but I spent many a friday night chatting with some classic rock fans from   They would become buddies and friends over the years with everybody staying up till the crack of dawn.

My best friend told me of some cool social networking sites that you can connect with others for potential dates or interests at hand.  I really wasn't interested in dating anybody although the net has enabled me to do that a couple times in the past 10 plus years of internet life.  I met Olivia through one of these, she was into music, loved Information Society and lot of other dance club hits but she shared a liking of bargain hunting as well.  Meeting her through my best friend she managed to convince me to come up to the West Coast since they had more music stores to speak of than down here.  More Wherehouse Music stores?  Okay I'm game.

It wasn't Arizona for sure, the first week I was out there it was sunny when I got off the plane but the rest of the vacation and bargain hunts was high winds and plenty of rains coming off the ocean.  One night the wooden fence blew down from her neighbor's yard.  But I was introduced to Everyday Music, the main music stores up there as well as a couple forgotten record stores and also Taco Time.   I managed to convince her to come on down here, since we had some cool pawnshops and Mister Money was taking CDs at the time so she arrived here in late December of 99.  Nevertheless the cold winters made it clear that moving out here wasn't an option but she didn't managed to outbuy me a couple times at the pawnshop.

To spend New Year's Eve, My best friend and his GF joined us at East Dubuque and we strolled down the old red light district of titty bars and honky tonks and had dinner at some cafe and then we celebrated the New Years with champagne and pizza I think.   And then headed out to Galena the next morning for pancakes.  We did survive the Y2K scare.

I think it was the best of times before the elections and Bush Jr came upon the horizon.  Life was fun, gas was still at around a dollar a gallon and we weren't in any wars.  And the WTC was still around.  When we got back to home we watched the old black and white horror movie 13 Ghosts (The William Castle movie, not the horrid remake) and it was kinda fun watching Olivia getting spooked out to the point she jumped out of her chair at the end of the movie.  Nevertheless, she didn't like the cold and winter snow and after one more get together in March of buying out the pawnshops and Wherehouse Music we would move on to other things, but we still chat from time to time.

The Best Of The Bobby Fuller Four (Mustang)
Chris Rea-God's Great Banana Skin (East West)
The Easybeats-Gonna Have A Good Time (Sin-core)
The Backsliders-Throwing Rocks At The Moon/Southern Lines (Mammoth)
Blue Rodeo-Lost Together (Atlantic)
Smash Mouth-Astro Lounge (Interscope)
Big Back Forty-Bested (Polydor)
Steve Earle-The Best Of Steve Earle (MCA)
Information Society-Hack (Tommy Boy/Reprise)
Mach Five (Island)

The Backsliders-Abe Lincoln

Bobby Fuller Four-Never To Be Forgotten

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-Everlasting Gobstoppers Of Tunes

August is winding down, school is starting and Arizona is on the crosshairs of the destination of Mr. S and the Bargain Hunting Network.  Since the last trip was a blur, I decided to add two more days to the trip and maybe that will get me back to the north country to hang with the folks at Kingman or Seligman and do a zen trip to Crookton Pass once again.  Even with the add on fees that Allegiant is notorious for, I still managed to snag a pass and a car to once again hit into the desert for fun in the sun.  By then the monsoons will be done.

With the Arizona trip a month away this will mean that St Louis is not on the map this year.  By adding two more days to the vacation it may mean less time to get the hell away from Packaging,  the last spot of Dante's Inferno at our workplace when they start popping up and getting busy.  Hell they even yelled at somebody who got back there two days after being somewhere else for hearing headphones and listening to tunes.  The crap that we have to look forward to when the rest of Lucifer's gang return from wherever they were at.  Madison will still be a place of destination before the snow flies.  Forthcoming bargains will be one in Dubuque  and perhaps Davenport when the talented Sam Fish makes a appearance October 18.   Samantha has also become the most searched person on the Crabb site, passing my namesake and the now dead Domur Ru spam site she overtook over the weekend.  Strange how things take off, it was two months ago that I found her latest album in the cheap bins and talked about it and then the viewers came out.  Sad to say that it doesn't translate into record sales, Sam is on the German Ruf Label and nobody seems to carry any of the albums here.  But in Kansas City, Sam is like the new Bonnie Raitt but with a Stevie Ray twist on guitar.  She's only going to get better.

And the hardest working musician out there is Joe Bonamassa (GD it I can't spell his last name) who not only has a new live double coming out but a new Black Country Communion (their third in as many years) album next month.  And there was a live BCC album this year as well.  He just recently put out a new album Racing Toward The Daylight.  I like his solo stuff quite well but Black Country I just can't get into since Glenn Hughes does the majority of lead vocals and basically he one of the vocalists that I can only take one song at a time which is why he best used in the Deep Purple Third Edition.

Coming to this state: brother Leon Russell in Iowa City August 30 and the next night Tommy Roe at Dubuque the 31st.

There was a house fire in Cedar Rapids that somebody I knew had to get out.  Robin Bailey was one of the little tykes that I used to watch over at the old St. Wincesalus  Daycare Center way back in 1979 back when I  had a stupid idea of a career in daycare.  The daycare thing only lasted one summer and I got booted out for being a bad influence on the kids said the Gestapo Ruth Mund who was head of that.  Time went on, I think there was a fire that gutted that daycare, hard to say but it got torn down years later.  Anyway Robin is now 38 years old and has a family of four to contend with but her and her companion and the kids got out safe.
Hell I can't picture Robin with 4 kids but then again I may have seen her from time to time going to the pawnshop since they live down there in that part of town.  Which isn't exactly the safest part of town.

This week's trax

1.  Shine On Brightly-Starcastle 1978  Illinois' answer to Yes, they made four albums of varying degree and quality although Citadel, the third album was beginning to show more of a pop direction than the first two albums of prog rock.  And really the vocals of Terry Luttrell are a far cry than the rock screamings he did on the first REO Speedwagon album, in this band he's more a mild mannered Jon Anderson which sometimes plays it too straight.  Starcastle didn't sell a ton of albums but they did hang on to the Epic Records roster up till the 1979 Real To Reel (I'm sure I got the title backasswards like I usually do but too tired to look it up). In this day and age Epic would have dropped them after the first album but back then record labels did try to nurtured and let the band developed on their own.   Terry now sings with the Tons O' Fun Band.

2.  Do It In The Name Of Love-Micky Dolenz & Davy Jones 1970  Bonus track from the Monkees Changes album.  From what I read in review guides that Changes, the last Monkees album got bad reviews and can't figure out why that was.  They lost Mike Nesmith previously after the lackluster The Monkees Present and by then the teenie boppers moved on to other teen idols, namely David Cassidy or Donny Osmond.  Changes was a return to the bubblegum sound of the first two albums and Jeff Berry produced it.  Legend has it that the songs were from a scrapped Andy Kim album but I liked it fine.  It was released and pulled from circulation a month or two later.  With one last shot Micky and Davy recorded this fine but failed forgotten power pop song with nice harmonies from Boyce and Hart.  To which all four would record a Capitol album five years later nobody bought.  In the great rediscovery of the Monkees back in the late 80s Rhino reissued all of the Monkees albums and then some got deleted. Friday Music has reissued Changes to which I found already used at the Goodwill store.  Bargain hunters know a good thing when they see it or if they don't they can resell it via amazon and at least make a small profit if lucky.  But not gouge the consumer unlike some greedy fuck selling the Gary Myrick first Cd for 1,000 dollars on Amazon.

3.  Christie Lee-Billy Joel 1983  For somebody that has had 8 of his albums in my collection I'm not a big Billy Joel fan, thought he New Yawk Rawk was a bit over the top but history has shown that Joel in the late 70s and early 80s had made some wonderful albums but I still refuse to have anything to do with Piano Man, one of the most self serving and overplayed classic crap still being played to death.  But he has a way with style with 1980s going new wave with Glass Houses, getting serious on the overwrought Nylon Curtain and returning to a love of doowop and soul music on An Innocent Man to which I didn't buy till HP Books had it in the dollar bins.  This may have been the only time he ever trumped Bruce Springsteen on the playful Christie Lee to which may be a song about a certain high priced Uptown Girl.  And it turned out that maybe the piano man was the best fit for this certain high priced Uptown Girl.

4.  Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed-Josh White 1933  Gospel blues done by a blues artist who was more in line with folk blues or gospel blues than the hardcore blues that Charley Patton did or Blind Willie McTell but more in common with Blind Willie Johnson, the best gospel blues singer ever played and was the angel blues player to the devil Robert Johnson although neither Johnsons was related.   Led Zeppelin would steal a few of the verses to make up In My Time Of Dying 40 years down the road.  White would record right up to the sixties for Elektra (and beyond).

5.  Looking For Girls-The Pursuit Of Happiness 1988  Moe Berg had a unique of way of putting things before stating his real intentions.  You can pretty much guess the end result.

6.  Ballad Of A Thin Man-Bob Dylan 1966  I was watching the DVD of the infamous Dylan Electric Tour of 1966 which changed the face of music as we know it.  Mickey Jones, who replaced a pissed off Levon Helm (he got tired of the booing before the world tour ensured) documented and took his camera to record some of the fun times and places he went to during that trip and although he sheds some light into the Judas statement and still doesn't know who muttered the Play Fucking Loud comment (he says it wasn't Dylan that said that) but his snare crack at the start of the song is like thunder of an oncoming monsoon.  Jones played for Trini Lopez (That's him on the Live at PJs album) and Johnny Rivers before signing on to do the 1966 tour.  The DVD could be found for five bucks at Half Priced Books.  While Jones never did return to The Band after the tour (Dylan would wipe himself out on a motorcycle crash and would be out of commission for a good 10 months) he went on to join Kenny Rogers and the First Edition band and be a part of that for 10 years before making a career change and went into the big screen, usually playing bad guys or bikers.  He best known for Pete Bilker in  Home Improvement.  However in recent years he is battling kidney failure and is looking for a donator.  Here's hoping he can find one.

7. Save Your Loving (For Me)-Foghat 1975  Sure they're mindless but in my generation they were mindless boogie fun.  Dave Peverett may have not been Paul McCartney but I'm sure he gave David Coverdale a run for the money with memorable lines like Rock On Until The Break Of Day...hey yeah!  Foghat was my favorite band of the early high school years and although I don't play them very often, but when I do, I have a cheesy grin on my face when I hear them.  B side to Slow Ride, it did get some airplay on the more liberal FM stations of the late 70s.

8.  Everybody Have A Good Time-The Darkness 2012  Hey everybody guess who is back in town again.  The Darkness with helium vocalist extraordinaire Justin Hawkins and boy does he got his Freddy Mercury going on for him.  Or is that David Bryon from Uriah Heep?  Hell, ya gotta love this band, they love their glam, they love their AC/DC and they love Queen. So much more into the 70s than any other band out there and they got their new album out on Wind Up, which is the first album that I ever brought from that label that gave the world Evanescence, Finger Eleven and some band named Creed.  The new album is a throwback to Permission To Land after the last album broke them up for a while.  I doubt if modern rock radio will give The Darkness any airplay since most of those dumfuck DJs used to poke fun at Hawkins for that OTT vocal exercise.  I'm sure I'll probably play this song more than KRNA or KFMW ever will.  Welcome back Justin.

9.  Willie The Pimp-Frank Zappa 1969  Featuring Captain Howling Wolf Beefheart on vocals it's the only track off Hot Rats that has vocals and this showcases Zappa's excellent lead guitar playing.  Make no mistake Zappa can play guitar when he wants to.  After making three albums with The Mothers Of Invention, Zappa branched out to Hot Rats to which he added more jazz and fusion to his music.  I think this is the most metallic he got up till Directly From My Heart To You on Weasels Ripped My Flesh.  Both albums you either love or hate, no in between.

10.  Both Sides Of The Line-Jason & The Scorchers 1982  Celebrating the life and times of Perry Baggs, who is one of the best drummers you never heard, he made his mark playing for Jason & company and when the original Scorchers got together, nobody could touch them.  Terry Manning overproduced them on the Lost And Found album and managed to turn the drums up even on the Fervor EP that EMI put out as a feeler if there was a market for such cowpunk and roll.  Co written with then unknown Michael Stripe, the lyrics are a bit cornball but the music is driving, in your face rock and roll to which wouldn't be heard by the masses but those who did got influenced enough to form their own band.  While REM got bigger and bigger, Jason And The Scorchers remained a cult favorite which isn't bad but not enough to move to the ritzy part of town.   Even at age 50, Baggs left us way too early.  A sad event of times when the people we used to listen to when we were young are not longer around.

The next five:

Rockin Is Ma Business-The Four Horsemen 1991
When Animals Attack-Institute 2005
Stranger In My Home Town-Foghat 1980
Knife And A Fork-Rockpile 1980
This Old Heart Of Mine-Isley Brothers 1966

Selected albums that I have been listening to this week:

Changes-The Monkees  (Friday Reissue)
Last Of A Dyin Breed-Lynyrd Skynyrd (Roadrunner new album)
Preaching The Gospel-Holy Blues (Roots n Blues/Columbia)
Live 66-Bob Dylan (Columbia)
Hot Cakes-The Darkness (Wind Up)

More Half Priced Books Findings:

Billy Joel-An Innocent Man
David Lee Roth-A Little Ain't Enough
Count Basie-Basie Meets Bond
The Pursuit Of Happiness-Love Junk

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Observations From The Forefront:CD 25 Elvis 35

Bob Birch, the bass player for Elton John killed himself yesterday.  He was one of the longest lasting bass players in that band, playing in EJ's band for over 20 years.

And now on other things.  I got word that Multiply might be shutting down so I am in the process of importing some of the blogs over there to my various sites here at Blogspot.  On the other site, you can read what is considered my Greatest Blogs or highlights on the Consortium page.  I used to blog a bit over at Multiply but since it really never took off over there, I quit doing that about a couple years ago.

35 years ago, Elvis Presley was found dead at his home at Graceland.  Everybody thought at that time that music really died that day too.  His Moody Blue album came out about a month ago I think and when he died, you couldn't find any Elvis records anywhere, they would be flying out of stores.  I did managed to find a cutout of Elvis The Sun Sessions but a week later RCA did restock the Elvis albums and the world rejoiced again.  My review of Moody Blue wasn't that fond that record, I didn't like Unchained Melody and on Little Darling, it sounded like he was backing out quarterback signals in a football game.  I did note that he did a firey take on Let Me Be There, Way Down was goofy fun especially with the bass vocalist going waayyyyyy on dooooowwwwwwwn at the end and the title track  pleasant.  But not exactly a grand way to end a career and gave it a B minus.  Since then, Sony Music continues to mine and rehash the Elvis stuff and repackage them in their usual way.  Latest is the ho hum I Am A Elvis Fan.

This year marks a special occasion of 25 years of buying CDs.  Hard to believe that time has flown by this fast as babies being born at that time now have families of their own.  There's a blog about a 20th Anniversary of CD collecting but since I cannot find it nor Bing or Google thinking its any important I pretty much forced to recollect the whole shebang from scratch again.   Long time ago, the CD was created in response of making the most perfect form of recording storage and that this was the wave of the future, if you could afford CDs at 25 bucks a pop.

You saw the demonstrations of scratching them up or some yayhoo putting jelly on them and they would still play.  Which was a hoot upon itself.   While CDs can still play while being scratched up (and there's some that I found at pawnshops that looked like they been dragged on a gravel road a few times but still played alright) they were not perfect.  A good scratch around the area in a circular motion would make it skip.  CDs at the beginning were limited to 72 minutes of data, later on industry rules relaxed the rules so that you can fit about 80 minutes of music on a single cd but I noticed that sometimes if a cd is running out of space, it would hiccup or hesitate toward the end (case in point: the last song on The Who's Kids Are Alright and The Best Of Luna).   Usually 77 minutes full is the limit but I have known a few CDs that have gone over 80 minutes and not miss a beat (EMI's Best Of the 1970s).

For the most part CDs in the early to mid 80s was an oddity.  I've saw them in a special section at Target or K Mart but the cheapest CD player was at around 500 dollars.  I was a vinyl person through and through and resisted temptation to buy any of them till 1987 when I saw a Best Of The Vee Jay Years on Motown that you couldn't get on vinyl and so therefore on a beautiful August day, 10 years after the death of Elvis, I bought a Sony Discman and purchased the first two cds ever, Lynyrd Skynyrd's Nuttin Fancy and Pete Townsend's Deep End Live and then the Best Of Vee Jay at BJ's Records for 17 dollars.  And then you can guess the rest.

The Sony Discman was 200 dollars and had a rechargeable battery and was perfect to take to work and jam out while processing Pell Grants and bullshitting with the late great Dennis Pusateri.  But the discman wasn't perfect, CDs would skip if a certain speck of dust was positioned right.  You couldn't take it while walking or jogging, there was G protection and the damn thing would skip and skip some more.  Over the years the fine folks in China would find ways to delay the song in a buffer and you could go for a walk and not having it to skip. I have had a old Discman with this type of technology for over 12 years and it still works great although sometimes the buffer doesn't work like it should.  Got a newer player and it works better but it does tend to eat batteries more than the older one.

The car Discman is a Godsend for those who don't like the radio.  I'm not a big fan of the built in CD player in the car radio, they tend to leave a mark after you get done playing the cd if you take it out wrong.  But in today's world, the CD has been rendered obsolete due to downloading and MP3s and IPODs or Smart Phones.  But back in 1987, the CD was up and coming and the future begins now.

Over that time, many a title that was on album has been reissued on CD and over the years we would look forward to see what was being reissued out on CD.  I traded half a box of my most prized albums for the 4 CD boxset of Led Zeppelin Remasters in 1991 and for a good decade and a half didn't buy any records of sort.  Throughout the 90s we had plenty of music stores to seek out or buy cutouts at reduced prices.  Or see what Relics had or the anti Relics store CD plus had.  It's safe to say that the 90s was the peak of CDs.

In 2000, the nasty Metallica vs Napster episode changed many a buyer's habit.  The advantage of the CD became it's downfall as people started ripping their favorite songs and putting them out on Napster and the bands and the labels begin to howl that it was taking their money away.  CD sales declined and then in 2005, Sony BMG and EMI did the one thing that started the downfall of CD sales, they introduced the copy protect CD.  Oh people found ways to get around that but the big problem was that SONY BMG had a nasty Rootkit virus that killed a lot of people's computers.  It also killed many a band's career too in the process.

After that, people quit buying in droves.  Sales tanked, music stores started closing up and people downloaded even more.  Most of the 90s and part of the early 2000's I started going to pawnshops to find the more lesser known CDs,  The Mister Money stores in Davenport had a treasure trove of forgotten classic that from 1999 to 2002 I started buying these forgotten bands.  But then pawnshops quit taking CDs and going to them proved to be a waste of time and gas.  However in this day and age of junkshops and the arrival of Half Priced Books in 2006, despite the closings of all the record stores in town as well as Sam Goody, FYE, Wherehouse Music, CD Warehouse bla bla, that I continue to find some interesting stuff on CD.  For the most part, the prices on CD have come down from 25 bucks to now ten bucks new and you can still find some of the classic rock stuff for 5 bucks at Best Buy or Wally World, that is if a Best Buy will be around years from now.   While the major magazines tout that the CD will be extinct very soon, I doubt that will happen and that, like vinyl, will still be around.

I haven't given up buying vinyl, on the contrary I have been buying lots of 45s and albums that I found at the local junkshop or the record stores still around in this area.  After 15 years, I did buy a turntable at Best Buy for 100 dollars.  I am now going through my second childhood of rediscovering 45s.  But when I go to work, I take about 7 or 8 CDs just to get through the day or when I go driving somewhere load up the car discman with tunes and off we go.  Yeah, I'm sure it'd be easier to have a MP3 player and ready made songs but I still enjoy the freedom of the undiscovered song off a forgotten album found for a buck at HP Books.

If life treats us well I'm sure I'll write a blog about 30 years of CDs and 40 years since Elvis left the building. But you'll have to wait for that.   

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-Mother Music For Yo Momma

Happy birthday Mom

Halfway through the month and we're losing daylight.  But still have enough of that to enjoy the day unless it rains.  To which it actually did most of Sunday.

With the Zappa reissues coming out, I have been listening to what has been out there although Best Buy has yet to get Uncle Meat or We're Only In It For The Money in stock.  I may attempt to do something on Zappa for the Consortium if and when I feel up to it.

Killing Joke fans are not too pleased about the stint of Jaz Coleman disappearing and dissing The Cult and The Mission on a tour that KJ decided not to go on when Coleman left without a word.  For me its not a life or death if I ever seen Killing Joke play live.  But regardless of the fact you have to wonder if this going to blow up in their faces in the near future.  Over there of course, back in America they haven't even issued the latest album domestic.

More chest beating from your friends at KI$$  Hell, I'm surprised that they lasted this long myself.  I still think their last album was the best in years.  I'll give Monster a listen....if it comes out.  Sometimes that's not a given, just ask Aerosmith.

"We were a moment in time and now it's over".  Says Fred Durst of the most hated band in history Limp Bizkit.  Seems like the band doesn't want to tour the US since most of the people think that they suck and if you ignore them they will go away.  But then again if you listen to radio nowadays, the crap you hear on nu rock and top forty makes Limp Bizkit sound like The Beatles today.  But Limp Bizkit was one of two things that killed music and radio back in the late 90s, the other the POS Telecommunications Act of 1996 to which Clear Channel and Cumulus started buying everything up and making it sound like robot radio.

Meanwhile after taking most of the month off, Tad returns with some of his faves and raves and nays on his site  Lotta talk about Moody Blues and Kansas on these two.  Support music bloggers.

And what you came here for: The Top Ten Of The Week.

1.  At The Hop-Danny And The Juniors 1958  If your on any part of Route 66 chances are that you going to hear this rocking little romper at the local Snow Cap in Seligman Arizona and maybe Angel might have it on his newly restored jukebox in the process.  Anyway I do miss going down there to chat with him and the woman that works there the last three times I been there.  As the days go slipping by and no attempt of even looking at plane fares going to Arizona I pretty much taking my memories and putting them to good use.  Seligman Arizona is a small town, no bigger than Springville and their gas prices are the most expensive in town but it's close by to my favorite zen place, Crookton Pass Bridge to which we can bake in the sun and count trains passing by and some of most breathtaking views outside of the Grand Canyon.  Been two years since I been down there and probably be three but I did managed to see the living legend of Arizona 66 riding his bike and almost running into him by accident.  This song also goes way back for me too, it was one of many of Mom's records that I got exposed to in the early childhood years.

2.  Directly From My Heart To You-The Mothers Of Invention 1970  For somebody who hated rock and roll Frank Zappa could play it when he felt like it and straight up too although on this song you can tell Frank is adding different chords  toward the end as Sugarcane Harris sings this Little Richard cover.  Quite heavy metal too considering the fact that Harris playing insane violin to Frank's metal chords.  One of the few times that Don Preston was held in check.

3. Walk Tall-Faron Young  1965  I think Faron came more into his own when he went with Mercury in the early 60s than he did when he was with Capitol beforehand, he was best with honky tonk and prison songs. Collector's Choice years ago compiled the best of the Capitol years (which is now a Collector's item mind you) but Universal can't seem to piece together a decent overview of the Mercury years.  Sequel UK tried years ago but even that was haphazard.  I suppose the best possible solution would compile the better of The Hits and The 20th Century Masters into one compact disc that still would be under 45 minutes. Both comps features key cuts and omissions to which this isn't on The Hits (Walk Tall that is).  But somebody decided to add the puke inducing This Little Girl Of Mine on both comps.

4.  Feelin' Alright-Samantha Fish 2011  Somebody out there must like Sam Fish enough to the point that the cross references that I see on the ratings that her name is now number 3 on the most searched keywords , passing RS Crabb in the process and ready to overtake the now demised Dumor Ru spam site that almost destroyed any credibility of this site. And RS Crabb Blogspot site too.  Even I'm losing out to Samantha in my own site it seems.  Too bad this doesn't translate to more sales of her Runaway album that's out on Ruf Records.  This song is kinda of a torch ballad with a crazy spin at the end of the song.   Anything I can do to promote one of the best up and coming blues players will try to do.  Sometimes it doesn't translate into record sales, just ask Mike Eldred on that one.

5.  Nowhere Road-The Troggs 1992   Back in the 90s, The Troggs got together with members of REM to do a new album of sorts, which came out on Rhino but went to the cutouts in record time.  And no, I didn't pay much attention to it either but I found a 2 dollar copy at Stuff Etc and figured I hear it out.  Reg Presley has a original style of vocals but as he got older he sounded more like Wreckless Eric to which is an acquired taste for those who rather have Wild Thing or Love Is All Around.  I'm guessing REM sans Mike Stripe helped out and played on some of the songs such as this one.  It's a good song but it won't make you forget Wild Thing, or With A Girl Like You.

6.  Toast And Marmalade For Tea-Tin Tin 1970  Starman Dan talked very fondly of this forgotten AM hit of the early 70s and basically when I first heard it, reminded me of the Bee Gees and with good reason.  Maurice Gibb produced this little gem of lies and deception done in by one of the distinct guitar intros to grace a song.  Got played a lot on KCRG way back in 1970 as did followup Is That The Way.  Found a nice copy of the 45 at Ragged Records over the weekend but it can be found on Eric Records Hard To Find 45's On CD Volume 12 if anybody really gives a shit.  Some do.

7.  The Mountain Man And Me-Dennis Robbins 1986  Hard luck country star started out playing guitar in the Rockets (not the Danny Whitten band but the Detroit band featuring Jim McCartney and Johnny Bee) and making some fine albums for RSO and Elektra before Robbins decided to venture out on a country career that didn't pan out although he recorded three albums for MCA and Giant and one with the band Billy Hill for Reprise.  This song from the album The First Of Me is actually pretty good country with a bit of southern rock thrown in but it's the earliest album I know that features Warren Haynes who plays a harder edge slide guitar to Robbin's more clean and country sounding.  Produced by Eddie Kilroy (Eddie Rabbit) along with Dennis.  Didn't know anything about this album's existence till I saw it at the Source Book Store last week.


8.  Save My Soul-Jack Scott  1958   I don't think Jack Scott gets enough credit for being a damn good rockabilly star like say, a Gene Vincent or a Eddie Cochran or Hell even Elvis. Scott is better known as a balladeer, with Burning Bridges or My True Love or Goodbye Baby but he can rock just as hard if not harder, with Leroy, The Way I Walk or Geraldine.  This is a burning gospel number that would kick Elvis' can all over heaven with his own shoes and it only lasts at under two minutes.

9.  Not Fade Away-The Crickets  1957 BTW, if you really want to know how garage rock really started, may I direct you to this barebones version which was the B Side to Oh Boy!  Everything sounds better on a scratchy forty five.

10.  Give It Up Or Turn It Loose (Jazzy Jay Edit Mix 2005) James Brown 1970   I'm not a fan of rap or samples although back in the early days, rappers and mixers had ample access to the whole collection of music before lawyers and labels and angry bands put an end to that.  Nobody out there was sampled as much as Soul Brother Numbero Uno, the Late Great James Brown who could do it to death or for hours and not miss a beat.  Originally on In  A Jungle Groove, this features super drummer Clyde Stubblefield keeping the beat while James raps, screams and uh's it for over 6 minutes.  This version comes off the cheapo comp Hip Hop Roots which appeared on Tommy Boy Records. Even with the remix, Soul Brother One commands it all.  You might be hard pressed to find a heavier groove than this one. And given the vast collection of tunes left behind by Brown, that's a grand statement of purpose.  Scream on, rap on.  Ain't it funky now indeed.

More Mother Five From The Mothers Of Invention/Frank Zappa

King Kong 1968  (From Uncle Meat)
Oh No 1970 (From Weasels Ripped My Flesh)
Willie The Pimp 1969  (From Hot Rats)
Plastic People 1967 (From Absolutely Free)
Help I'm A Rock/It Can't Happen Here 1966 (From Freak Out)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Crabb Bits: Ragged Records Sale, Can Of Records

Another trip to Davenport since Bob sent me a email about 30 percent off music at Ragged Records, so I took the long way, stopped at Iowa City and picked up a couple of CDs.

Lester Flatt-RCA Legends
The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads
Floyd Lloyd-Tear It Up The Ska Album

Usually Stuff Etc doesn't have much in CDs but I found three of note

Faron Young-20th Century Masters
Johnny Horton-Country Legend
The Troggs-Athens and Andover

Muscatine simply has no music stores to speak of, so I took highway 22 that runs along the Mississippi River up to Davenport.  Ragged Records had a four sale and got there at around 6 and they had a acoustic dude playing and he was awful as I made my way into the 45's room and stayed there throughout that and the Puddle Jumpers, a local band who was doing their first show since releasing an EP and I would say that they were entertaining and LOUD.  But I guess I lost track of the time for by the time I got done, I ended up getting about 25 dollars worth of forgotten forty fives but found a better copy of Tallahassee Lassie by Freddy Cannon and The Cricket's Not Fade Away fairly cheap, the latter replaces a warped reference copy and the former replaced a forty five that I wore the grooves off.  And was the long version.

Had time to stopped at Best Buy and picked up Frank Zappa Hot Rats and Freak Out.  Donno why I bought Freak Out since I had the original Rykodisc version but a slight variation on the booklet differs a bit.  The Rykodisc had a bad picture of Frank being blacked out, The UM/Zappa version has a clearer picture and chops Help I'm A Rock to the beginning of It Can't Happen Here.  The Son Of Monster Magnet, which takes up side 4 on the album is a throwaway I think but Freak Out is still worth getting, one way or another.

Finally, I did go up to pay final respect to Evelyn Schminkey,  Duwayne's mom who adopted us as one of her own when we were in a band over there, and using their house as a practicing place and got to trade stories with Duwayne and Tom LeHew who used to listen to our attempt at music.  A slight band reunion as Doug Bonesteel, our former guitar player came all the way from Des Moines and we chatted for a bit.  I can still recall Momma Schminkey being so proud of us when we played at the old Pink Elephant years ago, telling and poking everybody "that's my boys!"   I'm sure going to miss her like everybody else will.

And that's the weekend that was.

Looking at the week's ratings, there's seems to be a spike of interest coming up on Samantha Fish, whose latest album came out last year but the folk at HP Books didn't think it would sell so they put it in the dollar bin. While Runaway (Ruf) may have her as eye candy, this girl with guitar can play the hell out of it.  In a different era and age, Sam Fish would be just as well known as Susan Tedeschi-Trucks but since we live in a era of overplayed classic crock and autotuned top forty Corporate Radio shit by either/or Clear Channel/Cumulus, you'll never know how great she is unless you rely on a blogger who hoards things and has a love of finding and playing the unknown.   I'd call up Bob Dorr and bug the hell out of him to play Sam Fish Runaway on Blues Avenue but he not taken any of my calls or requests.  For now, you can probably catch Samantha at around the Kansas City area or select blues fest around town.  I think she's still on for a show in Evanston Illinois and Davenport in October.  Also it was three years ago I started seeing Nicole and three months ago we called it a day.  Time flies.

The Londoner was a bar/diner in Cedar Rapids which enjoyed a good clientele and a FB friend of mine that worked there, closed up without any explanation from the owner which caused a bit of outcry from the now unemployed FB friend of mine.  This does sound fishy, without the fish and chips

Finally, going through a set of tins, I came across a bunch of records that even I didn't know that I had or maybe my mom picked up at a garage sale but I was in the process of donating the tins when it felt and i looked in and ....More records!  Mostly the shape of them were dusty or too damn scratchy but thought I post the findings and the noted.

Paul Petersen-My Dad  (Colpix CP 663) not suitable for play, too many scratches.

Billy Duke-Ain't She Pretty (20th Fox 301)  Ugh, jive finger popping crap that I played about a minute and couldn't take anymore.

Piney Brown-Bring It On Home (Sound Stage 7-SS7-2644)  Tough soul music with plenty of UH! and All Right to go with it.  Might be worth a keeper if the needle holds up.

Mitch Miller-Trapeze (Columbia 4-40715)

Slim Whitman-Rainbows Are Back In Style (Imperial 66283)  Whoever had this must have been into pop music or was combating a Martian invasion.

Dave Clark Five-Over And Over (Epic 5-9863)  Larry Bartels must have loved this song, Grooves are wore off.

Earl Jean-I'm Into Something Good (Colpix CP-729)  Record looks okay but I have a better copy somewhere around here.

The Diamonds-My Judge And My Jury (Mercury 70983) Lots of dust making it unplayable.

Stonewall Jackson-Don't Be Angry (Columbia 4-43076)  Great song but record is poor condition.

J. Frank Wilson-Six Boys (Josie 45-929)  This guy sucks.  Had a big hit with Last Kiss and follows it up with another crappy tragedy song.  Surprised I didn't use this as a frisbee.

Abba-Dancing Queen (Atlantic 3372)  Seems like everybody had this in their collection except for me.

Kelly Gordon-Let Me Tell You Jack (Mercury 72215)  Nothing more annoying than having some three year old write all over the record that so you can't play it.

Major Wiley-Rockin Chair (Verve Forecast KF 5110)  Uninteresting soul music

In the end, I came up with the best three out of the can:

Dave Kirby-Her And The Car And The Mobile Home (Monument 1168)  Honky tonk from the trailer court which  might have been a very minor country hit.

Mary Wells-Use Your Head/Everloving Boy (20th Century Fox 555)  She had major hits for Motown but somehow fell out of favor and moved over to 20th Century for a series of Motown soundalikes and maybe some of the Motown funk brothers does play on this.  Good Motown sound although not as inspired.

 Mary Wells- Ain't It The Truth (20th Century 544) Probably the best pre Motown song Wells ever did although 20th Century Fox Records didn't know how to promote Wells at all.  If Berry Gordy had produced this one, you'd be hearing this all over oldies radio like My Guy or You Beat Me To The Punch.

Dunn & Mc Cashen-Hitchcock Railway  (Capitol 2563)  They sound a bit like Brewer & Shipley with a bit of CSN thrown in for good measure but I don't think I ever heard this on the radio back in the late 60s when this came out.  However Joe Cocker did and he covered it.

 Probably the best of the bunch, although I noticed that There Ray Charles, Rolling Stones and Muddy Waters in the can but those were mine and wore the grooves off them.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Crabb Bits: Updates, , Zappa

Summer is winding down.  The rainy season never came and in the process killed off the morning glories and most of the corn crop around here.  Two months of blistering 90 degree temps and even a day or two of 100 didn't help.  Only rain we got were the monsoons that toppled trees and down power lines.  I tend to be one of the skeptics of global warming but thinking more of Mother Nature holding things off.  After all, four years ago it never stopped raining and everything was under water.  Now you can just about walk across the Red Cedar River but I wouldn't try it.  There's some deep holes in that peaceful water.  Some fisherman tried to do that on the Des Moines River and fell into a 20 foot deep river hole.

Wonder how the settlers managed to survive trying to cross these rivers on the way out west.

Weekend is Springville Days to which people come in, drink too much, eat too much and listen to Black Diamond cover country music.  As for myself, I'll be doing one more bargain hunt in Iowa City before the freaks come back to school.  Sorry Des Moines, I don't forsee the RS Crabb Bargain Hunting Network coming to your town, unless there's a new record store that you're dying to tell me that exists out there.  Not even sure FYE is worth going to your place since it's not in Moline.  That's all the updates for now, we take you back to the original blog already in progess.

From a Steve Gibbons song:
What Does It Take To Turn You On
It Takes All Kinds.

Must be a slow day in musicland when I talk about stuff like that.

The first round of Frank Zappa's remasters have made their way to the store via Universal but it's still on the Zappa label and not Verve as originally thought.  I really didn't see the need to replace the Rykodisc of Freak Out but I did buy Absolutely Free which seems to tie in from the Little Miss Toot segment.  Best Buy had a few other Zappa stuff but I only picked up the 1970 Weasels Ripped My Flesh after A.F.  Frank Zappa was way ahead of the times and perhaps his satire ranked close to The Fugs in terms of satire and filth, although Zappa's commentary on the L.A. hippie style would figure more into We're Only In It For The Money.  In some ways Absolutely Free owes more to the second record of Freak Out than Money (remember Freak Out was a two record set?) but even back then Zappa challanged the Mothers Of Invention to keep up with his music by adding different time changes on his songs as well as skits and more commentary, a good album but falls in comparison to the first album.

Weasels Ripped My Flesh was Zappa's final goodbye to the original Mothers and although the previous album Burnt Weeny Sandwich was more jazz doo wop than the avant-garde  fusion jazz of most of Weasels although highlights include Sugarcane Harris' singing the Little Richard Directly From My Heart To You which sounds very heavy metal to Zappa's My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama which did appear as a single.  Perhaps the best was Ray Collins' Oh No, which may have been the best two minute argument against Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or All You Need Is Love.  And then the title track is Zappa's answer to The Stooges LA Blues which ended a concert in Birmingham UK and you had to be there.

To which afterwards, Zappa got rid of all the original Mothers (except Ian Underwood) and added Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman from the Turtles to form a new Mothers which Zappa took his smutty overviews to further extreme but before that gave the world Hot Rats, which some say was Frank's best loved album. And the most jazziest although I have yet to hear it.  If you have the Rykodisc stuff of these albums, you probably don't need the new remasters and Crusin With Ruben And The Jets has that cold crappy remix of new bass and drums from the 1985 sessions.  Next month promises more Zappa stuff of the 70s and Overnite Sensation but that's down the road and whenever Best Buy decides to stock the damn CD.

And Best Buy didn't have the new Redd Kross CD either.  Hard to really give a shit about new albums when there's hardly any record stores left in town and Best Buy is more miss than hit.  I seriously doubt if they will have the Complete Columbia Recordings of Johnny Cash, which has a whopping 63 CDs at a retail price of 395 dollars at  Of course, some out there will pay for it since they want it.  I'll stick with what I had.

Rush continues to mark their Cds down.  Their Atlantic albums can now be had at 5 dollars at Best Buy or Wally World if they have them in stock.  A big IF mind you.

And if we make it far down the line, ZZ Top and Bob Dylan's new albums will be in stores on 9/11/12.  The Vaccines on October 2.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-So Long Momma Schminkey

Presenting our 100th post for this year.

Of behalf of myself, and The Townedgers,  we give a final salute and farewell to Evelyn Schminkey.  Once upon a time when I was playing in the Open Highway Band, later Paraphernalia, Duwayne's mom and dad would let us practice over at their house for most of 1982 and got to see us play at the old Pink Elephant in Cedar Rapids.  She always called the band "my boys" and was a wonderful lady.  She passed away today at age 78.  On behalf of myself, Martin Daniels, Jack Orbit, Geoff Redding and Mark Glarington we say thank you Momma Schminkey and will miss you from the bottom of our hearts.

School starts in another week so perhaps if another bargain hunt planned for Iowa City, we should consider hitting there before the students get back?  Working the weekend has zapped a lot of energy out of me and basically haven't felt that inclined to go there.  Steve Earle might be a reason to go there since he's in town.

In the meantime this top ten showcases more obscure stuff and vinyl bought at Davenport/Moline.  I was bidding on a Searchers 45 but got outbid by the owner of said disc.  If that's the case, fuck him, don't need it since I have it on CD.

1.  Eighties-Killing Joke 1985  The band has been quiet since Jaz Coleman's conniption and meltdown of how The Mission and The Cult suck and haven't made anything worth a shit and then Coleman disappeared. No word of where he went but maybe Iceland has something to do with it?  A shame really since their latest album is quite good and continues the winning streak that KJ has been on since reforming in the 1990s.  This is their best known song of the 80s to which Kurt Cobain used the baseline for Come As You Are.  Dave Ghorl repayed the debt by playing on the S/T 2003 album.

2.  Hey Babe, Have You Been Cheatin'-Eric Andersen 1977  From Best Songs, a album that I found at Moline Salvation Army in pretty good shape considering that most albums that they do have there are scratched, thrown across the room and stepped on a few times.  Nobody gives records respect anymore.  Best known for Blue River, this best of actually takes 2 tracks off that album as well as a couple cuts from his Arista period and some live remakes of his Vanguard stuff.  Andersen tends to be too laid back for my liking at times but this lively country number shows he can step it up a notch.

3.  Burning Heart-Vandenberg  1983  Excellent guitar player but most of his albums were hair metal with a nod toward Judas Priest vocalwise.  But in the early 80s Adrian Vandenberg hit top 30 with this rock ballad which is one of the better hair metal ballads that never made any of those Razor & Tie Monster Ballads collections.  Of course the 45 cuts out half the guitar solo so had to go find the album which was a chore upon itself.   Still gets airplay on the real rock station.

4.  I'm With The Wrong One-George Jones & Jeanette Hicks 1957  The B Side to Yearning and recorded for Starday but later showed up on a cheap Mercury/Wing loss leader Country Boys & Country Girls. This is pure hillbilly music that you will not hear on country radio.  Time Life later put together a 40 Years Of Duets of George Jones and special guests, most featured Tammy Wynette and Melba Montgomery and worth your time if you should come across it in the cut out bins at your fast disappearing record store. Yearnin' can be heard, The Wrong One not much so.  One of those rare what is he talking about selections that I'm good for.

5.  Heat In The Street-Axe 1983  Best known for Rock N Roll Party In The Streets, this was the followup single and failed to capture the ears and hearts of America.  Started out making a album or two for the crap Curb label, then got rid of Mike Curb and started to rock out hard on their two Atco albums. While Offering was the better seller, Nemesis was better put together and had help from the guitarist from Blackfoot on a couple selections.  But this album made a bee line to the cutouts within 6 months.  Mike Osborne was killed in a car accident a year later.  Barth later made the uninteresting Two Hearts One Beat in 1986 and reformed Axe for a brief spell in the 90s.

6.  Solitary Man-T.G.Sheppard  1976  Never cared for his Warner Brothers albums since he sang mostly about cheating and loving cheaters but once upon a time he was one of the newbies that formed Melodyland/Hitsville, Barry Gordy's move into the country field, which basically had stars past their prime (Dorsey Burnette, Pat Boone) or oddball Ray Stevens type of corn porm (Jud Struck's Biggest Parakeets In Town).  Sheppard was the biggest seller for the Motown country  scoring hits with Lovin On (1977), Motels And Memories (1975) and this cover of Neil Diamond's song.  You really cannot fuck this song up, I heard great versions from The Sidewinders and the man himself.   The B side Pigskin Charade is just plain dumb as it uses cheating as football jargon.   Sheppard would top the charts with the I Loved Them All for the WB.  In other words, more cheating songs.....

7.  The Party Starts Now-Manitoba's Wild Kingdom 1990  Handsome Dick Manitoba used to hang out with The Dictators who made a few albums for Epic and Asylum but then this made this bargain bin classic for a MCA offshoot label called Popular Metaphysics (started by Sandy Pearlman of BOC production fame), home to another forgotten band called World  Entertainment War or something to that effect, they sounded somewhat like a Guerrilla Information Society.  I think I used a couple of their skits on the 1995 project called Underground Radio, which was hour long cassettes peppered with commercials and odd bits.   Nevertheless, Daniel Rey played guitar, left and then was replaced by Ross The Boss to which they actually became the Dictators again.  Andy Sheroff produced this and it fits in well with the Dictators sound.  American Beat reissued the CD in around 2008.

8.  Reruns-Chicago 1979  Been a while since I posted a Chicago song.  Taken off the forgotten 13 album.  Some fans and critics don't like that album but I always have although Phil Ramone's production never fit the Chicago sound quite well as James Guercio.   Less said about David Foster the better.

9.  Footsi Footsi-Wir(e)  1991  Robert Gotobed sat that album out so the guys in Wire renamed themselves Wir and made The First Letter for Mute/Elektra in 1991 which didn't sell and left many a fan scratching their head but actually I found this to be more listenable than Manscape or the unbearable Drill CD, The First letter isn't a total waste. KRUI played this a few times on the alternative Saturday Night show they used to have back in the early 90s.  Since the record didn't sell Wir was retired for another 10 years before Gotobed returned and Wire made a comeback album of sorts with Send. And still around although Bruce Gilbert left in 2004 and was replaced by Margaret Field.  Their last album sounded a bit like Roxy Music although I never did buy it.

10.  The Entertainer-Marvin Hamlisch  1974  And we end the top ten with another tribute to a legend who has left us.  Marvin Hamlisch is one of the all time best composer of movies and music has passed away at age 68.  Always seems that when we do a top ten at least one song is shared about the memory of a musician who passed on to the next world.  One of my favorite forty fives of the 1970s, everybody knows it was used in The Sting, which was adapted from Scott Joplin, one of the earliest musicians of the 1900s.  With the success of The Sting, there was a call for Joplin music or ragtime. Hamlisch also wrote The Way We Were which was a big hit for Barbara Streisand in 1974 as well.  Hamlisch continued to work on plays and movies up till his passing.  He was slated to work on something about Liberace.  The plus side The Entertainer, Marvin introduced us to Scott Joplin's works, on the down side, the song is used for ice cream trucks that drive through town.  Guess ya gotta take the good with the bad.

The next five.

Tall Cool One-The Wailers 1963
TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)-MFSB featuring The Three Degrees 1974
Why-Robert Plant 1988
What's The Matter With You-Split Enz 1980
Rainy Night In Vancouver-Christopher Cross 1998

RIP  Stuart Swanlund.

Post Script:

I didn't make it to the Steve Earle book signing and recital of his new book or his concert afterwards, since I took last Monday off, I decided to hold off going to Iowa City till this weekend which will be just in time for the students coming back to University Of Iowa to start fall classes.

Tommy Roe plays in Dubuque later in the month so I may go see him play at the Mississippi Moon Bar.  

Arizona  this fall?  Looking more no than yes.  Stay tuned for the unexpected on this and other things that come into play.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Singles Going Steady-The Fifth Installment

I sure like finding and documenting those scratchy 45's of yesterday.  Even to the point of including two of them in the last top ten.  If you think about it a lot of the choice cuts used for the top ten have come from singles.  It really boggles the mind to see how many have come out on labels that even I don't know about.  And some of those will pay big bucks to get them in.  I didn't get The Tempests Look Away since I hit my limit of 35 dollars but could have went up to fifty bucks.  But I was in Madison and found plenty enough to keep my attention span going over there.

So here's ten more found at various places or came from my collection.  Most come from the glory years and even one makes it that came out in 1994.  They're still making them as we speak.

1.   Tear It Up-Johnny Burnette & The Rock And Roll Trio   1956  Coral 9-61651  For music collectors you have sort through a lot of scratched up 45s and a lot of pop and country stuff to even try to get to the rock and roll 45s that collectors play top dollar to get in their collection regardless of shape.  The hardcore will for go any of the pop stuff to get to the rocking stuff but if you're open minded like me you might take a chance on a Billy Williams Sit Right Down And Write Myself a letter.  Or Ken Noble, Or Teresa Brewer. But it is the rock and rollers that get the big bucks.  I sometimes come across a Buddy Holly It Don't Matter Anymore or Peggy Sue but rarely if ever do I find a Johnny Burnette anywhere.  The only one I did find I picked up at Goodwill in Marion of all places.  The condition is a step up from the road grated Jack The Ripper from Link Wray (Swan 4137) but still it's a original version. However most of Johnny Burnette's Coral 45s have been reissued via Amazon and has the same orange label although slight variations.  Plus they're not as scratchy as the original either.

2.  Inside Looking Out-The Animals 1966  MGM K-13468  If you have been following the history of record collecting from myself, you may have noticed that I always have had a fondness of the songs that I grew up listening to in my kid years.  And don't we all wish for the days to go back to the four for a dollar or 29 cent records Wells or Arlans used to have.  Now the kids of today and their downloads don't know of all the good fun of discovering the library or the junkshop for music.  This record dates back to our first time living in Waterloo on Huntington Rd to where the orgins of this record came from, may have been Wells Department Store.  Back then I was trying to find a replacement copy of Gonna Send You Back To Walker (MGM K-13242) that got broke years ago and although the label looked the same, the song wasn't.  One of the most wildest songs that Eric Burdon and company came up with and although it would take another 40 years to get the first Animals record, Ragged Records had a nice replacement copy for Inside Looking Out, to which I played so many times back then, there were no grooves left to play.

4.  Alley Cat-Bent Fabric And His Piano 1962  Atco 45-6226   Part of the fun of going to Ragged is to see the look on Bob's face as I show him what was found up there. Trying to find a connection between Bent Fabric, Duane Eddy, The Wailers and Link Wray may have concluded that either I was trying to get back to when radio and records were fun to listen to, or just some crazy scarey old guy hoarding things.  Could be worse, I could have about 100 cats running around the house as well.  Atco in the early 60s was basically used for pop recordings from abroad (Acker Bilk and Bent Fabric) done as instrumentals.  And then they started using Atco for soul and rock.  At this time Fabric climbed the top of the charts with this infectious tune that climbed all the way up to number 7 on the Top 100.  Originally called  Omkring et Flygel in Denmark (translated Around A Piano) and came out on his Metronone label.  Follow up Chicken Feed made it to number 63 and each single sold less but Fabric remained on Atco throughout the 60s releasing such interesting stuff like Never Tease Tigers, The Drunken Monkey and The Happy Puppy.  Taragon released a Best Of The Atco Years for those who wasn to seek more than just Alley Cat.  Won GrammyTM as Best Rock Album in 1962.  Fun fact: Jorgen Ingmann, fellow Metronone recording artist and discovery also recorded for Atco in the 60s.

5.  Mirrors Of Your Mind-The Definitive Rock Chorale  1967  Phillips 40486  This record was tucked away at the CR Goodwill store for a while so on a return trip there, it was still there so I picked it up.  To most, a DJ Promo copy doesn't say much, but if you dig a bit deeper into the net or You Tube, chances are good that somebody else knows more about it than you do.  This outfit recorded a couple of 45s for Phillips and the vocalist on this record just might be Ron Dante, later of The Archies and a solo career.  One of the female vocals in the background is Ellie Greenwich who was one of the finest backing singers rock has ever known.  Toni Wine might figured in this too since she worked a lot with Ellie and Ron Dante.  This song sounds like a cross of On Broadway if the Mamas and Papas covered it.

6.  Motherless Child-Eric Clapton  1994  Reprise/Duck  7-18044   I thought they quit making 45s in the 1990s but I found a copy of this song that got plenty of airplay in the 1990s but somehow classic rock radio doesn't play it anymore.  Guess it don't fit CCC rules.  From...from the cradle album to which Clapton decided to revisit the blues that he loved so much.

7.  Noah-Bob Seger System  1969   Capitol 2576  The Best Of Bob Seger has a very noticeable gap between Ramblin Gamblin Man and Beautiful Loser, as if those years never existed.  I know Seger loves those Over The Top ballads and rockers that made Night Moves and Stranger In Town and Live Bullet must haves in your collection of 70s music.  I also think Seger shortchanges himself as well, after all his late 60s and early 70s rockers were just as good if not better than his Detroit brothers Grand Funk, The Stooges or MC5.  In fact Ramblin Gamblin Man, the album shows why Detroit had some of the toughest stuff coming out at that time.  With Noah, the album, something happened and Seger disowned most of that album and perhaps he had a point but I think at that time Noah was the answer to Marti Gras, the CCR album to which everybody chips in on writing and singing.  Good idea in theory but didn't translate well on the record results.  B side Lennie Johnson shows why Seger may have wanted to forget the whole thing, it stinks.  But Noah, the title track and A side of the 45 is a pretty good rocker in it's own way.

8.  Muskrat Love-America  1973  Warner Bros WB 7725  The Captain and Tennile may have ruin this song forevermore with Mr. Dragon's bizarre sound effects to the point that Willis Alan Ramsey may have disown writing the thing in the first place but his version and America's was more folk and easier to take.  While this made it on America's Greatest Hits or History, I have no recall of hearing it on the radio and thought it was a album cut till I found a Promo 45 of it at St Vincent De Paul Junkshop in Mad City.

9.  You Really Got Me-Van Halen 1978   Warner Bros WBS-8515  Where the world first heard Van Halen, on a 45 that the folks at Marion TV and Records had up there when it first came out but I never did buy it till Ragged Records had the promo.  If I would have known back then, I probably would have bought the record and wore the grooves out, but waited till a trip to Nashville and we bought the Van Halen 8 track.  The 45 mix and sound is still awesome.

10.  Peter Gunn-Duane Eddy  1965  Jamie  1168 If I seen this song on the jukebox, I be playing this about 10 times in a row.  I grew up listening to Duane Eddy and although the RCA and Reprise albums tended to be too pop than rock, I don't think he ever topped this version.  Mixed loud to be played loud, Peter Gunn was played to me by a baby sitter when we lived in Waterloo years ago and I did find a 45 of it at a Goodwill a few years later and played the heck out of it.  Here's your turn to enjoy it too.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bargain Hunting Ethics

Bargain hunting for the music collector is getting a bit more trying in this age of digital downloads and the continuation of record stores closing up due to no business or hardly any although the folks at Ragged Records had a decent turnout when I was there on Monday.  The specialty junkshops and thrift stores are basically hit and miss.

Goodwill used to be the place to really seek out the stuff.  But I noticed that they have redone their stores to resemble a Bed, Bath And Beyond.  The creates and record holders have been replaced by some cheapassed wire shelves and the Salvation Army, the stacks of records were thoughtlessly thrown in and scattered all about.  I guess there's no love for the Frank Fontaine or the forgotten Gospel artist of the 60s or 70s anymore and the gospel chick Honeytree looks creepy 30 years beyond her glory years.

I don't see the music collector at these stores too often, but I know they come around and pretty much pick apart anything in the rock and roll section and bypass the scratched up Ktel comps of years ago.  Funny how things we used to grow up and got us through the times are now forgotten, ridiculed and  used for frisbees.  Grandma and Grandpa are no longer around so their family has no use for Mitch Miller anymore.  Or that 50 Timeless Classics that used to be shown in the afternoon before Time Life and their half hour infocommercials took over.  But nobody hardly bothers with the Reader's Digest box set of 5 long playing albums of complete works or Mozart or Slim Whitman.

We live in a world that the next new thing is replaced the next week and old fart bloggers tout about.  Myself I think I stopped caring after the CD came into play and have yet to invest in a IPOD or Smartphone.  Don't even have a cellphone although I should if the purple piece of shit stalls on the highway or hits shrapnel and blows a tire or two.  But having a car that gets me to the thrift store or HP Books to find more bargains still is vital.  But this summer, even our HP Books store hasn't had much in terms of music to listen to.  I managed to snag a couple of the Teenage Shutdown CDs before the collectors elsewhere bought them up.  With no real no CDs out there to get, we turn our attention to vinyl or to records to see what got donated or no longer needed.

45s are a bit harder to acquire than albums since most of the 45s I come across have been played or overplayed or left out in the elements too long.  Or if you return to the Salvation Army two months later and still see some of them still around but more wore down due to kids, or uncaring collectors,  which explains the Randy Meisner Never Been In Love 45 of years ago, still in good shape but would have better had I picked it up two months earlier.  Or Jack The Ripper by Link Wray, probably in a condition that would rival my dad's copy of One Beer.  But still cool to find.  On the long players, mostly country artists, TG Shepard's Motels And Memories and a couple of Dave Dudley albums that today's kids and parents know nothing about.  The only album not country was Eric Andersen's Best Song (Arista 1977) which included two songs off his Columbia 1972 release of Blue River.

Since I like the old country and western of the honky tonk era I still keep an eye out for vinyl that is in great shape although I noticed the majority of those album were mono copies and not stereo.  Mono being a dollar cheaper back in the 60s I'm guessing.  Wynn Stewart's classic Bakersfield country songs were on Gene Autry's Challenge label, his Capitol stuff shows him growing more slower tempo as heard on Love's Gonna Happen To Me (Capitol 1965) but perhaps the find of the day was a Mercury/Wing cheapo comp of Country Boys and Country Girls (Wing 1964) which has George Jones dueting with a couple unknown women (Jeanette Hicks and Virginia Spurlock).  The rest of the album have even more unknown women (Connie Hall, Betty Amos, Margie Bowes) and for the guys Jimmie Skinner and the unheard James O'Gwynn doing Mule Skinner Blues fine.  I'm also guessing that some of these artists actually recorded for Starday to which Mercury had access too.  For a cheapo cheapo comp, the record looks actually brand new despite it's almost 50 years of existence. But surprise it was the only country album that had that processed fake stereo, making the mono recordings sound like they were recorded from Mars.

Also from the Davenport Salvation Army came Harry Belenfonte's Midnight Special which skipped all over the place as well as Hanson Cargill's Skip A Rope album. Guess I didn't inspect it well enough.  But a mercy buy had to be Henry Lee Summer 1988 S/T album for CBS which was a promo copy but even had a picture of Summer's mullet back when mullets were cool.  I guess there's no love for Mr Summer, but for Bon Jovi Lite, you could do worse with I Wish I Had A Girl.

Davenport really didn't have much in terms of CDs either although I did get Vandenberg's 1983 Atco album via Wounded Bird (now out of print) as well as the out of print Axe Nemesis at Co Op Moline.  I did leave a couple potential buys back with the intent of picking them up next time I get back to town.  Wounded Bird Records have done a excellent job of putting things back in print but at times due to copyright limitations some of their stuff go right out of print.  Gary Myrick comes to mind, his 1980 S/T album came out on CD which surprised me not only because it included the album but a live album of the songs as well making it one of the must buys of last year's Arizona bargain hunts.  But now that CD has gone out of print, having some Yayhoo outfit in Georgia selling it for a Thousand Dollars!  I don't understand the logic behind that, no CD is worth a thousand dollars.  Wounded Bird also reissued The Blasters album but now have put their 1985 classic album Hard Line out of print as well.  Which goes to show, if something comes out as reissue, you better pick it up.  You might say it's for a limited time only deal.  But then again I don't think I picked that Gary Myrick CD up in Arizona, I think I got it from Import CDs last year after coming home from AZ.  Most of the stuff I found down there was used and not new.

For this month, the bargain hunter takes a break from the constant running around the tri state area.  Maybe next week, I might go to Iowa City to look on the day that Steve Earle comes to town to promote his new book and play live later on.  Problem is The Bargain Hunter would like to take a break, but then the old traveling bone starts going and we're off and running again.  Cause you never know what might be discovered in that stack of scratchy 45s and tossed off albums.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I've been pretty much dragging of late and still trying to recover from the heat exhaustion of the Monday Davenport Bargain Hunt.  To which I got a email from the folks at Ragged Records of a storewide sale next Friday night from 4 to 8.  If I had known that, I would have postponed going there on Monday.  Doubt if I will be going.

Steve Earle does a meet and great at Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City prior to his concert at the Englert Theater next Tuesday the 7th.  A slight problem has arrived, we have gotten mighty busy at work with all projects coming in just before school starts and a good bet that I'll be working the weekend, probably to pay off the big electric bill for running the AC all month of July.  We didn't get much rain at all and therefore the corn crops are toast.  Which means higher prices at the store.

Among other things, the folks' German Shepard, Miss Maggie May at age 12 is on his last legs it seems.  Time and age have really crept up on her and even though she still loves having her frisbee thrown to her, she gets a bit confused as if she doesn't know where she's at.  I noticed the last couple times I was over at my folks house, I managed to sneak into the house and watch her sleep in front of the fan and it would take her a while to figure out I was there.  I'm sure Mom would love to keep Maggie living as long as she possibly can and who knows she might live another year or two but she really has slowed down a lot this year.  But then again, there hasn't been too many German Shepards that lived 12 years.  Duke, our long departed GS doggie only made it 9 years after the fact.

Upon discussions with Martin Daniels about any Arizona trip, if I do finally sign off on going to the desert one more time this year, the last window chance for that to happen would have to be late September if ever this year.  Or try to make it to Crookton Pass so I can jump off the bridge to go out in style.  But we all know I wouldn't go and do  that, then who would take over for me for the forgotten forty fives out there?   And besides, the new Vaccines will be out next month, as well as the new Bob Dylan.

My well being has also been taken into question by my co workers, since I have zero tolerance of the stupid things that Marvelous Marvin Anderson does or Stink Boy Frank not bothering to clean the cutters after using it or emptying the damn tray, since the poor boy can't lift over 10 pounds.  Or so he says.  But then again he's been known to do as little as possible.  Marvin on the other hand continues to fuck up and have a worse attitude then me when it comes down to being farmed out to the dammed packaging department.  I don't know, I love Marvin like a brother but sometimes brothers do get on each other nerves and he does a fine job of that.  But then again, we been working nonstraight for two weeks now and maybe it is time for a  vacation of some sorts. 

I think there's times I just rather be in the confines of a record store, going through a bunch of old boxes to see what is in there, or just be here at home, looking at what I did buy and forgot all about.  Or coming to term to my morality by finding old 45s that I used to have and buying again since the original 45s that I do have have been played so many times the grooves have wore off.  I don't think y'all, the readers out there really could care about a Nick Noble or the famous Goofers with their Goofy Dry Bones 45 that is on my wish list, but for every oddball single that I grew up and reacquiring (Chuck Murphy-One Beer), there's the other rock and roll singles that affirm the old days of my mom and her sister's massive 45 collection although I don't think neither one of them would have Jack The Ripper by Link Wray in their procession.

And there's so much music in this life that I have come across.  How the hell did I start listening to 10 decades of stuff that go all the way back to the 1920's?  When for the most of this life, it was rock and roll and good old soul music of the 60s into the 70s and living through all phases.  The disco wasn't the death all, not like it was in 1998 when Limp Bizkit came into play and Universal bought out Polygram to start the music downfall.  To which all of a sudden, I'm starting to see and play more Dave Dudley or Harry Belafonte after finding their albums at the Salvation Army.  Or the endless playlist of what is found at the cheap bins all across the Tri State here?

I don't know it makes no sense but I continue to do it and document it with the Singles Going Steady series.  A collection of 45s of songs that actually are on 45s and not a figment of imagination. Or trying to draw a line between Black Uhuru, The Soft Machine, Gaslight Anthem or Arthur Conley.  Or Chuck Murphy, Or Nick Noble whoever he is.  Bob Dorr may not like it, but perhaps even he couldn't compete with my oddball assortment of tunes of every known styles (except rap and opera) and my odd ability to find the forgotten single or champion of a long lost band whose dollar cd found at Half Priced Book started a blog about that lost band from Wisconsin.  Maybe I'm too overqualified to make it to any half thought of rock and roll hall of fame in Iowa.  It's not overconfidence, just a long lasting love of music for the past 50 years that's been the saving grace and kept me from a early grave.

I was asked at one time by some drunk woman at a bar after playing there years ago as a musician what type of music fits me the best, she said well since Bob Dorr is in the Blue Band, he must be considered a blues artist eh?

If you can call it that, I said.

I'm not a bluesman by any means.  Not country either.  My forte is rock and roll.  I'm a rock and roller first and foremost.  It came from the garage, not from some pseudo blues bar that's not blues but rather an imitation for entertainment value.  Can't speak for him but my influences come from The Who, Garage Rock and Buddy Holly, there might be a John Lee Hooker or Bo Diddley type of sound but mine was three chords and the truth.  Perhaps I could have made a better career of it or a cover band but my heart and soul was in the record store first and foremost.  It made killed my music career but it did made me what I am today.  A audiophile record collector that would love to spread the gospel of good music.  But in the end, have to settle for a blog that a few read and a couple comment from time to time.  Maybe some day when I retire from this or pass on maybe it will make sense of what the Top Ten was all about.  In the end, I resign to the fact that I'll never rich or famous or even semi known.  Just a blogger with a closet cult following.

It's really not that bad.