Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-10 Years Of Top Tens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RIP Ray Collins (Vocalist of The Mothers Of Invention)

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