Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-Doing Nothing Again

By this time we're finally know who will win the election but we all know we all lose in the end with a fucking do nothing congress that voted themselves another raise again.  Great job Boehner.  Hopefully the people will finally cast the right votes to vote the clowns that do nothing out again but I don't have high hopes for this or who gets back in.  I have a strange feeling that Batshit Crazy Bachman and Fuckface Steve King will pull it out again.  Two more years of craziness.

Blue Oyster Cult's original members got together to play a 40th anniversary date Monday night and wish I could have been there to see them perform.  Had I stayed in Madison on Monday could have seen Bruce Springsteen and Obama together in the AM and at night Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler at the Alliant Center.   Martin Daniels was asking me if we'll do another Madison bargain hunt next year, even though I mentioned this weekend was the last bargain hunt, don't believe that it was the last.  As long as I breathe there's always more bargain hunts to do. 

Top ten anybody?

1.  Ain't That Just Like Me-The Searchers 1964  Found this at Goodwill in Madison and it's in pretty bad shape but Mad City Music X had another copy for 15 dollars.  This came out on Mercury and the hit was Sweets For My Sweet but I think I already mentioned it in a previous top ten so decided to go with their cover of a Coasters song.  Recorded at the Star Club right around the time that the US labels were looking for the next Beatles.  The Searchers would eventually record more songs but for Kapp Records.  A very underrated band, they made a strong comeback with two excellent albums for Sire Records in the late 70s.

2.  Don't Talk To Me About Work-Lou Reed 1982  My thoughts exactly Lou.

3.  Twisted Road-Neil Young & Crazy Horse 2012  WORT shocked the hell out of me by playing the 27 minute marathon Driftin Back when I was up at Mad City Music X (I think I mentioned that in the hardly read Madison blog previously) and I commend Neil for going all out for a half hour jam but I'm sure it would piss off the locals that don't like 30 minute jams that should have been cut down in half.  Rest of us will settle for the three minute songs of hearing Like A Rolling Stone on radio.  And wondering what the hell that was. And changing the way we listen to music once and for all.

4.  Farewell My Summer Love-Michael Jackson 1984  The first MJ song to ever grace my top ten list doesn't come from the Epic epic Thriller but rather one of the lesser known songs that Motown put out to capitalize on the success  of Billie Jean and Thriller, it's really not that bad since it came from the early 70s and still has that trademark Motown sound although the remixers added more keyboards and a drummer that loved to hit cymbals every other beat.  I don't think it charted very high and none of the CCC owned crap stations ever play it, doesn't meet their standards I gather.  One of those 45s that I found at HP books for fifty cents.

5.  Flower Punk-Mothers Of Invention 1968  Over the weekend I finally got to hear Frank Zappa's opus and middle finger to the counter hippie culture that was We're Only In It For The Money and he may have hit the nail on the head with a slight rewording of Hey Joe, FZ really didn't like the hippies very much during that time.  But his vision was miles ahead then the limitations of The original Mothers Of Invention who could play on feel but not read music which probably was why Lumpy Gravy was done with other musicians (including Shelly Manne!), but MOI still could bring it as they would later on with Burnt Weeny Sandwich and Uncle Meat.  Zappa would get more cynical and more juvenile as the years progressed onward as I listen to Sheik Yerbouti 11 years after the fact.  By then Zappa could get the best musicians out there and he scored big with Adrian Belew, Tommy Mars, Patrick OHearn, and Terry Bozzio, it goes on and on.  After Sheik, I didn't care much for the overblown Tinseltown Rebellion or You Are What You Is and The Mothers Of Prevention 1986 effort was mostly FZ and his syn-clavier which bored the hell out of me. In It For The Money took a few more listens to really get into it but I can see it being the overall classic Mothers album although for actual songs, I still take Freak Out over it.

6.  Just Between You And Me-Lou Gramm 1989  I'm sick of Foreigner and the overplayed Cold As Ice or Feels Like The First Time or the Burger King hit of Double Vision or Hot Blooded, don't this make you just want to firebomb your local Cumulus or Clear Channel Radio Station?  Got my Molotov Cocktails all ready to go.  Once upon a time while Foreigner was on hiatus, Gramm recorded two albums for Atlantic both which were product of the times, cheesy keyboards and whammy bar guitars,  Ready Or Not actually sold pretty good but Long Hard Look, the followup bombed but this song was a top 30 hit here although the Billboard chart has it lower than that.  Too tired to look it up. Mick Jones went with Johnathan Edwards for the crappy Unusual Heat and then got back together with Gramm on the Mr Moonlight album to which I have not heard.  And probably won't.  But we always got Cold As Ice playing somewhere out there.

7.  Slow Down-Dave & The Stone Hearts 1965  Originally done by Larry Williams and covered by The Beatles this comes from a garage band that I have no idea who they are but it's off one of those garage rock comps called Teenage Shutdown.  This borderlines on punk rock actually, the drummer loves to crash that old cymbal left and right, even sloppier than Keith Moon would ever thought of playing but I love this song for pure attitude.  The liner notes notes that the producer of this mess was the band's girlfriends at the time.  The other side was a shaky version of The Byrds I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better. 

8.  We're Desperate-X  1981  Another punk band that took me years to get into, X got many rave reviews and had Ray Manzerek from The Doors to produce their best albums. This came out years ago in a different version for the legendary Dangerhouse label, more abstract to the point that I didn't recognize it when I had the Dangerhouse collection on CD years ago.  The Slash version is more streamlined.  And you can sing along to the chorus, We're Desperate, Get Used To It.  Something like the feeling I get when I'm at work.

9.  Heart's Done Time-Aerosmith 1987  Once upon a time Aerosmith was the best rock band in town but in this day and age they been trying to reclaim past glories and it's not working judging by their latest pile of rubbish.  For a album that's supposed to be THE COMEBACK and where they GET BACK TO ROCKING, the FOX played one of the most lame tracks off that new pile of stool What Could Have Been Love and it's sounds like Steve Tyler got too influenced by American Idol. Next time leave Marti Fredericksen out of the production and let Jack Douglas produced the whole thing.  They had two glorious periods of their career, 1) the classic 70s albums and songs from Get Your Wings to Draw The Line and 2) the actual comeback with Bruce Fairbairn (RIP) producing.  Permanent Vacation was their return and it remains their blueprint on being successful but at the same time sealing their fate for those prissy ballads that made them kings of KDAT.  The album still remains a love/hate for me but they came roaring out of the gate with this back to rocking basics, something that didn't happen on Music From Another Dimension.  I'm sure Joe Perry will kick me off his Twitter followers page if he hasn't already but before ya do Joe, I still say your S/T solo album was more rocking than any of the last five Aerosmith album (excepting Honkin On Bobo their last good album despite another Marti Frediksen produced ballad that just about sunk that album).

10.  I Have Been In You/Flakes/Broken Hearts Are For Assholes/I'm So Cute-Frank Zappa 1979  Side 1 of Sheik Yerbouti to which the new remaster restores the final freakout of I'm So Cute that somehow cuts into Jones Crusher on the Rykodisc version pissing many a FZ fan and collector out there.  To me this was Frank's final hoorah.  Hard to pick a final song so I just included the whole side since they all go into the next song.  So far the folks from the Steve Hoffman website have marveled at the mastering job Bob Ludwig has given this but the real reason why it sounds good is it doesn't have the LOUDNESS factor that tends to kill off new releases and reissues.   The last truly good Zappa album before the synclaver took over.

Bonus Cut: Election Year Rag-Steve Goodman 1976  The late great Steve Goodman, putting in what we all agree that whoever wins is somebody else is and the losers are us  Unless it's the creepy rich puppet that gets in, then we're all doomed.

Bubbling under:

Move It-The Twiliters with Bill Kennedy 1966
I Call My Baby STP-The Del-vetts 1966
Beautiful Noise-Neil Diamond 1976
House On Pooh Corner-Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 1970
New Millennium-Dream Theater 1997

More top ten fun and games next week.  I promise to you 20 faithful readers out there ;)


TAD said...

What's this? "House on Pooh Corner" is a runner-up? The Dirt Band ROCKS, man....
Ah well, the X song is pretty good -- the only thing of theirs I've ever heard, far as I know. Pretty good stuff. What was all the fuss about?
Suprised you didn't include Arlo Guthrie's "Presidential Rag," every schoolkid's favorite anti-Nixon song ever.
Hey, at least you've got 20 faithful readers! Right now I've got about 6....

R S Crabb said...

hey Tad

Uncle Charlie and His Dog CD is very interesting the way they added the songs between the banjo numbers and Charlie talking. The AM station played Pooh Corner when it may the top 30 but nobody does anymore. One of those dollar cds that Pawn America had. That Eagles Long Road Out Of Eden is a 2 CD snooze.

X to me sounded like punk Jefferson Airplane and was lukewarm to most of their albums when I was younger. Their late 80s albums they tried to be punk metal and it didn't really work but I think I'm one of the few that still likes their 1992 washout Hey Zeus.

Never heard the Arlo Guthrie number. The Steve Goodman song I still have on a 45.

We missed a couple of folk, only made it to 15 views on the last one. I might scare more away with the next blog. They'll miss me when I'm gone ;)