Saturday, December 1, 2012

Year Wrap up-From The Big Muddy

I'm attracted to the Big Muddy Mississippi as I endured a foggy, cloudy and drizzly day in  Dubuque, finishing up some last second bargain hunts at Moondog or CDs 4 Change and bitching at the dude there for buying scratchy CDs at inflated prices.  At least they play this time out.  Dubuque's Best Buy sucks, they still have no Frank Zappa reissues whatsoever.

Ah December in Dubuque, foggy and 55 degrees?!?  Usually we are buried in a foot of snow and ten below but we have had another above normal temps again this year and basically I enjoy a nice stroll by the river when I get a chance.  It was kinda spooky to see the fog rising off the Mississippi and engulfing the Riverwalk with a spooky like fog and I was the only one out there talking a walk but chatting with a guest from the third floor window of the overpriced hotel next to the river walk.

So I'm back home trying to come up with a end of the year music blog about the music of 2012. I think I have a general idea of what's going to make the list and it's going to be a lot more blues based than last year, but then again I managed to find a few more new blues cds in the cheap bins since I'm thinking the guys from KCCK tend to donate what doesn't fit their blues format.  Hell I think the most rock sounding albums I heard came from the blues artists this year, most notably from the bands that recorded for Ruf Records.  The final best won't be revealed till the 15th.

Forthcoming stuff probably will be micro-reviews on the Consortium side of Crabbland so be sure to take a peak over there.  And of course whatever comes to mind and we were quite busy last month.  I don't forsee a repeat but then again you never know.

Stay tuned.

Add ons:  By now you know that Metallica has decided to cut loose from Warner Brothers, taken all their masters and videos and whatever to form their own company Blackened with distribution from Rhino Entertainment............which still is a part of Warner Music Group if I'm not mistaken.

Glen Campbell might return for a some 2013 shows if he's feeling up to it.  Even with coping with Alzheimer's he still manages to do very well during this year's tour.  Here's hoping that Glen can still do it.

If you want the latest in double talk from the Bobber, he puts together another winner on this latest rant blog. But with Time Poverty becoming more and more obvious maybe we all don't have time to wade through another year's full of new albums and music while trying to maintain some kind of order on the 7 decades of rock and roll and the three before that.  Nobody has time to check them all out, ya gotta pick and choose. 

Need more music or money, it'd be nice, but I think I really need more time to sort through it all.

RIP Earl Carroll, the lead singer of The Cadillacs, big hit was Speedo which was about Speedo Carroll, or Mr. Earl.  He died last Sunday at age 75.

Link of the day: Don Felder, he made the Eagles sound great but got railroaded in 2001 but doesn't have a bad thing to say about them.  Go figure.

The Velvet Underground-Scepter Studio Sessions (Polydor)

I didn't pay much attention to what was offered for Record Store Day Black Friday which is a ripoff half the time, paying 8 dollars for limited editions 45s that won't be valuable for another ten years or so and whatever came out on vinyl album for 15 16 bucks you could get on CD for twice less the price.  The only thing that really interest me enough was a reissue of a hard to find Acetate of The Velvet's 1966 sessions at Scepter studios on April 25, 1966 to which a rough mix was drafted and given to a person to see if any major label would be interested, imagine their surprise when Mitch Miller or a lesser higher up saying hell no to this.

There's stories on the net about the originality of the acetate to which a music hunter found for 75 cents and then sold it on Ebay for 220,000 dollars so to speak.  Bootleg copies were made, a very poor Japanese version was peddled but even I forgot all about this till I came across one of those RSD version to which Moondog Music had two copies of for 20 bucks.  It was either that or pay a ungodly 76 dollars for the Neil Young Psychedelic Pill 3 record set (Hell, no!).

There's a much dryer and darker mix and sound to some of the alternative versions of VU songs that would make it on the Banana Album and to these ears, Nico's vocals are much different on this.  She fumbles her way through I'll Be Your Mirror and the Femme Fatale has extra backing vocals.  If Andy Warhol had any say, he'd rather have the chaotic European Son leading the whole thing off, this version is two minutes longer and not all over the place but I wasn't a big fan of that song in any version.  Heroin, on the other hand is much darker sounding and Mo Tucker's drums are even primitive than the other version that made the banana album, I think I prefer this version.  Run Run Run has a much dirtier mix and sound as the guitars just about overpower Lou Reed's vocals even it's the same song that appear on the finished product.

To which the question remains is getting this album worth the time or trouble.  If you're a VU fan or a completeist, it's worth a listen to although I doubt they'll issue this as a stand alone CD.  But there's a good reason why Columbia didn't chance it with Lou and company, it's very unnerving and dark for the groovy sounds of 1966.  The world wasn't ready for them, even with Verve finally signed them up and issued the record, with a couple add ons to sweeten the sound if you can believe that (There She Goes Again and Sunday Morning are the omissions) it didn't sell very well although the rumor was that for whoever bought the album started their own band.  The Scepter Studio Sessions still remains a powerful document of a band that was ahead of their time.

Grade A-

Power cuts: Heroin, Femme Fatale, Waiting For The Man


TAD said...

Yes, Crabby, but what about "All Tomorrow's Parties"? Is it on there? It's my all-time VU fave, the 1 I can't live without. REALLY. I think it woulda sounded great coming outta the radio right after "Eight Miles High" or something like that....

R S Crabb said...

Yes All Tomorrows Parties is on this too although I think it's a alternative mix Tad ;)