Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week: New Highs And Downloads

Another record breaking month of views and to celebrate it, we give you another Top Ten Of The Week!

Watta Guy!

I spent the day in Davenport, going through crates of records at the Salvation Army and of course down to Ragged Records for more 45s a couple out of print CDs.  Bob at Ragged knows how to price and what sells although the two Vandenberg CD's were over 15 dollars,  he still had the first album at 9 dollars used.  Ragged continues to solve my 45 puzzle with 2 more singles from my youth that are in better condition than my old copies.  Those got played to the point that the grooves were gone.  Then it was off to Co Op in Moline to where I found a couple of out of print CDs.  Most of the day I was fighting such a frigging headache and the car didn't have working AC so I'm surprised I survived the trip.  Didn't see a need to go to FYE or Books A Million this trip.

With RAGBRAI over and July done, we're now in the final months of summer and county fairs with the Iowa State Fair in a couple weeks.  Still plan to do a couple more out and abouts to these events (Styx is at Bremer County Fair Thursday) and maybe a return to Iowa City for more scouring of the scratchy black circles we call 45s before the college kids return and fuck things up down there.  And of course the big event.  Coming soon.  Stay tuned..

1.  Never Been In Love-Randy Meisner 1982  For a guy who played in both Poco and The Eagles Meisner still remains anonymous even though he had a couple hits off One More Song and this failed top forty for Epic in the 80s.  Nobody really cares anymore since the Salvation Army in Moline had this single there the past 4 months begging me to pick it up for a good home.  For the S/T 1982 album Meisner employed the guys from Heart plus Denny Carmissi on drums and Ann And Nancy Wilson doing backup.  In a perfect world this song would still be played on classic rock radio but since the triple C's Corporation won't approve it you won't hear it.  And yes the 45 has a edit to it so you don't hear the last minute and half of the song.  Which may have been the reason why I quit buying 45s (new) at around 1985.  But now do if the used 7 inch black circle is still in playable shape.

2.  Jack The Ripper-Link Wray  1961   Punk rock in the early 60s, this song was so ahead of the times that it wouldn't be release till 1963 on the old Swan label, to which I found the 45 at the Moline Salvation Army.  This copy is basically a reference copy, meaning it's been played so many times before and it's in bad shape but heck I've never seen anything from Link Wray anywhere.  Rest assured that Rhino put both this song and The Black Widow, the b side on the Best Of Link Wray Rumble collection.  Back when Rhino put together great comps and not the rehashed crap they're famous for nowadays.  Back in the 60s, there were 3 great guitar players that rocked.  Duane Eddy, the nice guy, Dick Dale, the surfing wildman and then there's Link Wray, bad all the way.  Later The Raybeats took a crack at it and just about upstaged the original.  Which is saying a lot.

3.  Money-Pink Floyd 1973  Overplayed?  Yes!  But I was going through the archive and came across a freebie CD that came with the 500th edition of Rolling Stone of some hits of the classic rock era and Norah Jones on a Super Audio CD and somehow Rolling Stone got Pink Floyd to contribute a track to this.  I have no use for Dark Side Of The Moon, it's not one of my favorite albums and classic rock radio plays the majority of the stuff off that album on the radio too.  But I give Alan Parsons a lot of credit of the sound collage of all that change and cash registers in between both speakers and Dick Parry and David Gilmour duking it out on the instrumental break still is worth the price of admission. 

4.  Let That Liar Alone-Golden Gate Quartet   1938  Another oddball find was a Bluebird overview of a forgotten Gospel group that recorded for Bluebird/Victor in the late 30's.  If you go by what Billy Altman was singing that perhaps that the GGQ may have pioneered rap music but then again, you have to include Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Louis Armstrong for that type of scat talk.  The Nylons, I think got their inspiration from the Golden Gaters in the way they used their vocals for no music instruments.  Later on Ray Charles would change the words of this song for the secular Leave My Woman Alone  (later done by the Everly Brothers and Dave Edmunds).

5.  Gravity-Soul Asylum 2012   New Soul Asylum are they still around you ask?  Sure are and they made their best album in years with Delayed Reaction.  It has a Replacements type of vibe to it, maybe Tommy Stinson playing bass has something to do with it.  Dave Pirner at times gets a little lax and sometimes their albums go all over the map but I like their new album.

6.  Relentless-DLR Band 1998.  Say what you want about Diamond David Lee Roth but the guy is a total showman, even though sometimes his albums go over the map like Soul Asylum.  Eat Them And Smile got my nod over 5150 as the best album in the David Lee Vs Van Hagar era although 5150 turned out to be the best of the Van Hagar era.  Didn't pay much attention to the rest of Warner/Reprise DLR era and the two tracks he added on the Best Of Van Halen album were filler.  But in 1998, he quietly got some guys together to make the DLR Band aka Betty Page album and for the most part much of the album rocked.  This got some airplay in 98 on Rock 108 and it turned out that it kicked both Van Halen 3 and the Sammy Hagar Mas Tequlia album's can.  Nobody talks about the DLR Band album all that much and I found a copy of it for a dollar at the pawnshop.  Stirred up some memories it did.

7.  Caravan-Inspiral  Carpets 1991  A forgotten band on the Madchester music scene, The Carpets paled in comparison with The Charlatans UK, Stone Roses, Dylans, Happy Mondays but they had a sound of their own in a cheesy Vox like organ that kinda reminded one of a spaced out Doors.  For the most part their albums really didn't stand out, Life was their best, Devil Hopping their worst and The Beast Inside featuring this song was somewhere in the middle.  Haven't heard the Revenge Of The Goldfish although I'm sure it's out there in the cheap bins should I decide to hunt for it.  The sound is dated but it's when alternative was alternative and not what passes for alternative at your local Clear Channel/Cumulus station.  Teenagers today don't have a clue who the Inspiral Carpets are....come to think of it most of y'all out there probably don't either. One of those dollar finds at Pawn America during the Madison grab bag hunt.

8.  The World Ain't Changed-Warden & The Fugitives 1965  In the garage punk world of the 60s, bands were grouped into three groups.  One was the Nuggets Group, a collection of semi famous people playing in bands before they went on to bigger and better things.  Originally it was a 2 record set on Elektra (later Sire) before Rhino reissued it as a big 4 CD box  set.  The second group was the Pebbles bands, lesser known bands with regional hits to which AIP did their own box set of music.  The third and final group was Teenage Shutdown, a German label that managed to collect the most unknown of garage bands on a series of CDs that could be found at the local Half Priced Book Store in your area.  Most of these bands only managed to make one or two 45s before getting real jobs but in some ways these recordings are more rawer and unpolished than either the Nuggets or Pebbles groups.  Little is known about this band although most of the melody and delivery of the words reminds me of a rewrite of I Can't Get No Satisfaction by The Stones.

9.  Let There Be Music-Orleans 1975  Larry Hoppen died last week, he was the voice of Orleans and even though I have tired of hearing Dance With Me or Still The One, I usually end up playing this song if I want to hear Orleans.  Didn't like their 1979 Love Takes Time for Infinity/MCA but I did enjoy One In A Million which came out on the ill-fated Radio Records in 1982  The forty five version takes most of the guitar lead out.  Which is why I stopped buying singles for a while.

10.  Dedicated To You But You Weren't Listening-The Soft Machine 1969  From the second album and I guess this is where Prog Rock started, either that or In The Court Of The Crimson King by rivals King Crimson.  I can see why fans are taken by Robert Wyatt, probably one of the best cult artists out there. Hugh Hopper replaces Kevin Ayers on this one.  Rumor has it that Frank Zappa's Absolutely Free played a big role in the sound of this album.  Originally on Probe (an Command/ABC offshoot label) and came out on One Way in the 90s now finds a new home on Sundazed.  Maybe I'll chance it on the first album. Or maybe the third when The Soft Machine retooled their sound into a more jazz fusion.  Or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

Throwing Five More Into The Fray:

Sweets For My Sweet-The Drifters 1960
Against The Grain-Shadowfax 1988
The Midnight Special-Harry Belafonte 1962
Candy Man Blues-Little Feat 2012
Sweet Emotion-Aerosmith 1975

The magic number: 2,235

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crabb Bits: Ragbrai wrap up, My Verona/The Knack

Not a lot to talk about so basically it's a wrap up of the month and what the next month will bring.

My brother told me that they were still wailing away with the blues when he got home during the RAGBRAI blues fest at Viola Schoolgrounds.  If I knew that was going to happen I would have stayed here to watch a bit more.  It was a fun day to be in this town and I'm sure we won't have this again, unless the bike route comes back sometime in the future.  And also a salute to the few that have rode all forty RAGBRAI events and still live to tell about it.

Another classmate has passed on.  Randy Oldenburger lost his battle with cancer at age 50. I went to school with him, was probably in the infamous American Studies class with him and the girls that made life a living hell for me back then (Anne Luzum and the one that probably made me undesirable for anybody after that, Miss Janice Berns).  I knew him as a causal person but he lived a full life and will be missed by his family and friends.  http://obitsforlife.com/obituary/546853/Oldenburger-Randy.php

Well the Peregrine Owner Russ Wasendorf Jr is now in bigger hot water.  After bilking from costumers and trying to kill himself off, he's now accused of stealing The Knack's My Sharona song for that infamous My Verona Restaurant jingle and not paying a a cent for royalites.  I'm surprised that The Knack didn't know anything about their song being used for a commercial that seemed to run every day for about 5 years.  I mean somebody had to know about this (internet helloooo?).

Thanks to everybody for putting this site over 2,000 views for the second straight month.  I would like to think that we'll getting close to the prime time but again most of the views went for the Rock n Roll Brains blog which continues to get views and may close in around 5,000 views sometime later in the year.  I had to modify some things so I don't get many comments as I used to.  Maybe I'll relax the rules and return the Anonymous comments but since none of them have been music related it's basically not worth the time or hassle to read about some new porn site or how to get more followers.  Still, although I haven't wrote as much as I had the last month, I'm still amazed that we have managed to achieve viewership but then again we have plenty of archives to discover.

What does the next month have in store?  More Top Tens, more Singles Going Steady and maybe Music Of My Years.  And more adventures.  Stay tuned. 

Friday, July 27, 2012


This is the time of year that folks flock to Iowa to start the great bikeride across Iowa and it has been a tradition here for 40 years now.  This is not the first time that RAGBRAI has come across this area, I think it was here back in the late 90s but this year the bike path goes through the heart of Crabbland, after last night in Cedar Rapids and today going to Anamosa for the 40 mile trip that takes one through most of the driving place I get to.  Mount Vernon, Springville, Viole, Fairview.  It may be a while before RAGBRAI returns to this area but it is a marvel to see all these bike riders passing though this town.

Nothing much ever happens up here, last time this town made the news was when the house across the street caught fire.  And that was about 6 years ago.  The banjo barons then moved into it after it was rebuilt and stayed for a couple years but now moved a couple blocks away and so there's these rebuilders putting some cheap appliances to get somebody to buy the place which I hope stays empty a while.  And it might will if anybody who buys the place doesn't know that the septic tank needs to be brought up to code and everytime we get heavy rain the place across the streets floods in the basement anyway.

Viola has been selected as a watering hole for the bike rider, which means free water for the tiring biker who is about 3/4th of a way through this state.  Some bikers even get up at 4 AM and start making their way through the predawn light to get to Anamosa and then the journey ends when they arrive at Clinton.  But RAGBRAI 40 went through some of the towns I grew up in years ago.  Webster City was where we lived from 68 to 69.  I haven't been to Webster City since we left there and it would be cool to go up there just to see how things have changed in the 40 plus years that I lived there.  Marshalltown, on the way to Nevada, another town along the way.  I'm surprised on how this route has intertwined with this life and never thought much of it till now.

I always wanted to take part in this bike ride across the great state but got lazy in the process.  I know my folk said hell no on the first time back when this started up about doing this but then again I was 11 years old.  It's come a long way since the early years of wearing the same clothes and see who can outstink one another after 7 days of traveling in hot weather, monsoons and everything in between.  Today is perfect for a bike ride, 75 degrees, NW winds blowing at 15 to 20 miles per hour.   I did my bike riding last weekend in Madison, and almost wiped out somebody coming across a blind curve too.  Thus ending another bike riding career for another 10 years it seems.

But it is fun to sit back and watch the riders pass on through town on their destination to the host city.  But I'm sure I'm not going anywhere near Anamosa for today, maybe tomorrow too.  It was kinda hard to get around Cedar Rapids yesterday and the host town is considerably smaller and more cramped too.  But that won't stop the riders from getting there, hitting the bars and then watch some band crank out the overplayed classic rock stuff tonight before setting off their final journey to Clinton and the end of RAGBRAI 40.  It's a safe bet that RAGBRAI 41 won't be in the area and that's okay.  It will be easier to drive on the highway.

For now Crabbland is busy with all these bicyclists but it does make me wonder when the they finally dip their wheels in the Mississippi if they either bikeride all the way back to where they came from.  Or just get in the minivan and return the same way most of us do?

It boggles the mind sometimes.

PS:  My brother's best friend Chris Lent stopped by and we chatted for a spell.  He was only riding part of the trip, not the whole statewide thing.

The place was hopping with the Scary Old Men Blues Band featuring Tom Giblin on keyboards and Bryce Janey playing guitar and I forgot the harmonica player although he has a new blues CD coming out as well as the bass player.  I had a bicyclist commenting to me that for a couple folks both in the Iowa rock HOF and Blues HOF that their type of blues was very boring to hear.  Craig Erickson would later join up to jam on Barefootin' and he may have started the second set of the Blues at Viola Schoolgrounds but by then I had to get on the road and off to work.  Later on, Billy Lee Janey joined his son at Anamosa for more blues and then some.

Last time Ragbrai came through town we weren't a watering hole or playing music or serving up eggrolls and steamed seafood stuff (Yuck) so by the time I headed to work they were down the road.  This time out around 3, the bike traffic coming from Mount Vernon on the backway to Springville was still going strong and thankfully I was the last car movin on before they stopped traffic to let the bicyclists to cross the infamous 151/Springville Road turnoff.  Some of them did venture to the west to Whittier to stop at the market there and some hardy souls moved down to Waukee to F n B for beer and other things.  No word if The Blue Band was playing there (I doubt it).

Tomorrow it all ends at Clinton as the bicyclist moved on down the road from Anamosa to Lost Nation, Hale,Oxford Junction and down 136.  I'm guessing they'll be going past the 61 Drive In. And then the long trek to Clinton where it will end another ride across the state.   Watching the bike riders ride past this afternoon made me kinda wish I can join them on the trek across the state next year.  But knowing myself, I'll probably blow it off.  Anyway, it won't be in this neck of the woods.  But for weather you couldn't ask for perfect riding today.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-RAGBRAI Time

This week features the annual bicycle ride across Iowa and they been doing this for over 40 years now.  And for the first time in years, the bike ride will come through on our roads on the way for an Anamosa Friday night stopover.  Thursday Cedar Rapids will be the host to spend the night and Counting Crows will be playing.  It means that getting to work on Friday might be a bit tricky but then again it should be fun for the bike riders to pass through this town, co worker Doug Schrum will be taking part of the bike ride as he has been for the past 15 years (and then some).

Despite me posting less blogs, the viewership here has been excellent.  Still a good chance we might clear 2,000 for the second straight month but riding on the blog that has gotten me there.  Wish I can find another blog that can do that well, otherwise I might be more than just a speck on the blog site. Hey Folks, thanks for stopping by our wonderful town.  Here's a happy couple in front of the old Viola School.


The summer heat and blustering temps has pretty wrecked the corn crop for the farmers here and I have enjoyed the sunshine a lot more than the Farmers and Ashley Hinson/Nicole Agee of KCRG with them continue to cry and bitch about no rain.  To which I actually starting changing my TV watching habits and not watch them at 11.  I am trying to not do anymore Pepsi due their stupid commercials and with Nicki No Talent Minaj.
You're not going to get a big concert when you open a can and drink the corrosive crap like the third grader director who thought of that jingle.  There's other drinks I can choose that has that corn sugar to go with.  But then again, if the drought is killing all the corn, they may have to cut out the high fructose corn crap too if you think about it.  Or super unleaded gas.

The week's Top Ten.

1.  Hot And Nasty-Black Oak Arkansas 1971  There's hardly any love for Black Oak and Jim Dandy, who influenced David Lee Roth as the legend goes but back in the old days their Southern Rock Boogie was done by Jim Dandy Mangrum' ugly vocals.  That's not a slam on him, in fact Keep The Faith was one of most played 8 tracks in my collection with that Awwwwwww RIIIIIIIIIIGHT intro that he was famous for.  When this came out on 45 in 1971, AM radio passed on it and it didn't chart at all.  Produced by Lee Dorman and Mike Pinera of Iron Butterfly fame.  Atco reissued a live version of this (45 I do have) that got a bit more airplay on FM and it is more wild and free, but it does stay true to the studio version (but with an extra verse to boot).

2.  Heart Attack And Vine-Tom Waits 1980  Heard on a Madison underground FM station and the title track to his final 1980 Asylum effort and you can start hearing the sounds that would shape more into his breakout Island years.  Basically I have no use for radio anymore; if you're stuck in this neck of the woods, any place you go to has that shitty soft rock KDAT and their Train 2 fers or Mr Mister's Broken Wings or the Boss' Glory Days which is fast approaching Hungry Heart as songs that I never want to hear again.  But when I go short distance and can't use the CD discman, I'll pop the radio on and see what's on (nothing).  The station was 91.7 but never did the call letters but they played a while variety of tunes of reggae, George Jones White Lightning, bluegrass and Tom Waits.  And new age Sunday Mornings.  The only radio station that I listened to for more than 10 minutes up there.

3.  I Know How You Feel-Asia 2012  You do know that Asia has a new album out don't ya?  And you do know that the original guys have been back for a good five years right?  So what does your local classic rock station play for Asia, do they mention the new album?  Nope but they'll play you Heat Of The Moment.  The original Asia have made their third straight album without any additions or subtractions of key members and XXX has gotten great reviews from people who have heard the album.  Omega, the last album was in the same way but nobody mentions that one.  Phoenix, the first of the comeback albums was kinda lackluster but when I was listening to that album in the car, I remember one of the tires blown out.   Since Clear Channel/Cumulus has restrictions on new music, nobody is going to hear XXX unless you go get a copy of the album at your local Wally World or Best Buy is you still have a Best Buy in business.  And if they don't have a copy then you're SOL.  But the fool DJ at the classic rock station might  mention there's a new Asia album out and it sounds like this (puts on The Smile Has Left Your Eyes).   http://blog.billkopp.com/?p=833

4.  World Upside Down-Jimmy Cliff 2012   I actually  thought Jimmy died a few years ago (maybe that was his music career) but surprise he's back and he may have made his best album since The Harder They Come or Wonderful World Beautiful People and he may have found a perfect ally in Tim Armstrong, the mohawk hair dude from Rancid.  Never liked Rancid all that much, Armstrong's vocal never did anything for me but as a producer he knew what sound to get into making Rebirth, the new Cliff album to which Armstrong produced.  The guy knows his ska and reggae for sure.  It's another new album from a artist that nobody cares about except hard core fans or fans that actually like music better than auto tuner.  It might get my vote for record of the year and I did get myself a copy of this album from Best Buy..............up in Madison. Fucking Cedar Rapids didn't have it.

5.  Hell Cat-The Bellamy Brothers 1976  They had the best song for 1976 (Let Your Love Flow) which was radio ready for the masses, still remains catchy as hell and can be heard on KHAK and the dammed KDAT as well as KMRY.  Hard to tell what Curb/Warner wanted to marketed them as, country or soft rock and so the followup single they choose this little rock number to which is my favorite track off their debut album and believe it or not the old FOX 100.7 (known as G100) played this for a couple weeks in the middle part of July.  Made it to number 70 on the rock charts.  Third single Satin Sheets (written by Willis Alan Ramsey) Limped to number 73 (never seen the single myself) and Highway 2-18 didn't even chart.  After that they gave up on the rock pop and went country and made it back to number 1 with If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me.  And continued to make fine country music to this day.  But I still like the lesser known and most of their first album.

6.  I'm A Man-The Yardbirds 1966  One of the first albums I ever got was The Yardbirds Greatest Hits for a quarter at a garage sale years and years ago as a 11 year old and I still have it to this day.  The greatest band in the world that the greatest guitar players, the best years was when Jeff Beck was tearing it up for them.  Used to be that the Old Gold station now KFMW (crappy modern crock) played this a few times in the early 70s which makes my heart grow fonder for the long forgotten underground and oldies that nobody seldom plays anymore.  One of most potent three minute songs ever recorded and even tops Bo Diddley if you can believe that.

7.   Thunder Island-Jay Ferguson 1977  After years of toiling about, Jay got a big top ten hit with this song to which I think I wore out about 3 45s of this (for some reason The PRC Asylum 45s always were made shitty and didn't last over five plays.  So I bought the album and it turned out to be pretty boring.  I liked the previous album and his Jo Jo Gunne stuff but Thunder Island the album just turn out to be a MOR mess.  Found the CD to see if my opinion would be different but it really hasn't.  Out of print and collectors are looking for this although Moondog Music had this for 5 dollars the past year or so.

8.  Echoes-Camel 1978   I'm sure Tad knows more about Camel than I do.  Rhino put together a collection of choice cuts but I found their 1984 farewell live album Pressure Points and compelled me to seek out anything within reach.  Nude, the 1981 album I didn't quite know how to take and while Decca in the UK put their music, Janus and Arista did the releasing over here.  Breathless the album showcase them more as a poppier Pink Floyd and this cut isn't the Pink Floyd marathon from Meddle but Camel's version is at 7 minutes and flows quite well.

9.  Cadillac-The Kinks 1964  Certainly Bo Diddley is one of the greatest names in rock and roll that he might have been more celebrated and cherished by the British bands, The Pretty Things taking their name from one of Bo's songs.  Hell Bo may have started heavy metal (or Elmore James) for all we know.  The Kinks would later become one of the best bands but at the beginning they were feeling their way through.  On a side note there was talk that Jon Lord played the piano on You Really Got Me but looking at Jon Mendelson's Kink Kronicles, his tragically flawed Kinks book  Arthur Greensleeves comes up as the piano player, not Lord or Nicky Hopkins.  And so does a couple other books, you gotta love the internet for that urban legend or myth.  And Bobby Graham plays drums as well.  Their first album You Really Got Me, was the sign of the times, make a great hit single and add plenty of covers although I have no idea what prompt the Kinks into not only doing the crappy Bald Headed Woman but worse the Driving On Bald Mountain, two turds contributed by Sal Talmy.  But this rave up song of Bo Diddley is a fun listen.  Basically recorded in mono, Rhino issued the album in stereo and the mix is annoying, including when the harmonica goes from one speaker to the other and doesn't get back to where it was till part of the last verse.

10.  Fire Ball-Mercy 1968  B side to Love Can Make You Happy, one of more sappy songs to ever hit number 1, they throw an about face and does a guitar surf number with plenty of fuzz to make it Nuggets worthy.  I had  a cousin in Illinois that had a bunch of 45s and of course they had Love Can Make You Happy but I played the other side to see how it sounded and it just about blew me away.  Kind of like Thunderbolt, the B side to Tommy James' Hanky Panky.  Due to the high charting position of the A side, Warner Brothers made Mercy record about 10 other sappy love songs but Fire Ball remains their defiant rebel punk rock son.  And a cult favorite judging by how many versions of this song is out on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87XUhR4BHRc

Five other things.
Water Song-Dennis Wilson 1978
Justine-Ocean Colour Scene 1992
Capsule-Dan Kibler 1998
So Fine-The Mugwumps 1965
If Anybody's Gonna Get Funked Up (It's Gonna Be You) (Colin Wolf Mix)-George Clinton 1996


Love And Theft (RCA-Sony Nashville)

A lot has happen to these guys since the last album and their big hit Runaway, they lost a member and Disney booted them off their label roster.  So in a attempt to claim some of that classic country everybody loves, ya know babes shaking it, trucks and more babes and making love to babes, Love And Theft has thrown their lot into the trailer trash country rock that is the normal nowadays.

The album starts out okay with their top thirty hit Angel Eyes, the best track off this album by the way, they explore something of a John Mellencamp type of rock and country with Inside Out, the second best track.  And then after that, it goes downhill in a hurry, they throw in another so so rocker with Running Out Of Air and then have more songs about sex with a babe with Amen. and then three ballads in a row concluding with the bizarre Town Drunk.

After that it's a desperate attempt to try to get something played on the radio. She's Amazing sounds like a throwaway Lonestar wouldn't touch and then, you have the final act of desperation with Girls Like To Shake It (inspirational chorus: Shake it shake it shake it all night, Shake it shake it till the morning light)  and then teaming up with the worthless Warren Brothers (co wrote Red Solo Cup) for Girls Look Hot In Trucks which namechecks George Strait and George Jones for country value.  And gets the wrath from the dude from Farce The Music.

Yes I like a good country album myself from time to time. Pistol Annies come to mind, so does the latest from Don Williams but Love And Theft remind me of another band that started out good and then went down the loo, The Lost Trailers.  They made a decent album for Universal/Republic that didn't sell and then went to Sony Nashville and the dreaded BNA label for two turd albums.  World Wide Open, kinda reminded me of The Gin Blossoms if they went Nashville, which is a compliment, but the S/T Love And Theft goes down the same road that derailed The Lost Trailers.  Girls Like To Shake It is something like Acky Breaky Heart, it's mindless fun.  But not something you want to be caught at home listening to.   As well as the rest of this album.  Now they're recording with Dallas Davidson's Bro Country crap songs.  They're no better than Florida Georgia Line.

Grade: C-

Select cuts: Angel Eyes, Inside Out.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Madison Bargain Hunt In The Summer

Everything is brown up there.

You think that things are bleak here in Iowa, anyplace you look up in Madison is brown or dirt.  Needless to say the drought is bigtime.  However the 100 temps never made it up there, it was cloudy most of the day Saturday and it rained Sunday Morning but I managed to scour most if not all the places that still had CDs although the Pawn America finds were spotty but most of the time I was dodging somebody's brat riding a bike inside the pawnshop.  Another brat screaming and carrying on while his stupid parents continued to ignore him was at the East Side Half Priced Books.

I did managed to find some 45s, (about 20 of them go figure and most were found at the St Vincent De Paul on Williamson Street) and a couple of dollar albums (Joe Walsh, Smoker You Drink, Blood Sweat and Tears Child Is Father To The Man) but I did find a DJ copy of Brownsville Station's No BS for WB for 13 bucks.

I did try to bid on The Tempest rare 45 Look Away but came up a dollar short on the bidding which pissed me off.  You hope if you get outbid it's not a crappy assed dollar and if I was around a computer I would have bumped the price up just to make the winning bid pay a bit more.  But I have enough things to listen to.

I didn't have a good time up there, I tried but unfortunely some biker tried to wipe me out while I was out bike riding for a change.  Fucking blind curves.  However, there were times at Mad City Music X that they had plenty of people in there to browse.  When I got back to the motel I founded out that I didn't pack any underwear so had to go next door to Goodwill to pick some up.

Found some CDs of note at Pre Played as well as the complete Texan Series but the guy in his haste to try to find the Killing Joke cd forgot to put in the Poco Head Over Heels one, so had to make a special trip back over there the next day.

For hot and steamy weather, it stayed away the two days I was up there but once I got back home the 95 degree temps welcomed me back.  And another screaming kid at some Mexican place in Dubuque.  I seem to attract them no matter where I go.  I'm sure they'll be waiting for me on the third and final trip later in the year.

Overall a good bargain hunt but could have been much better.

The 45's will be on a later Singles Going Steady Segment.  But in the meantime, albums and CDs

What was found:
Dennis Wilson-Pacific Ocean Blue (Platteville Goodwill)
Jay Ferguson-Thunder Island (Moondog Music)
Hot Tuna-America's Choice (Moondog Music)
Joey Ramone-Ya Know (Pre Played-Madison)
Poco-Head Over Heels (Pre Played-Madison)
Camel-Breathless (Strictly Discs-Madison)
Soft Machine 2 (Strictly Discs-Madison)
Little Feat-Rooster Blues (Strictly Discs-Madison)
George Clinton-TAPOAFOM (Goodwill-Madison East)
Black Uhuru-Iron Storm (Mad City Music X)
Teenage Shutdown-Get A Move On (HP Books-Madison East)
DLR Band (HP Books-Madison East)

Pawn America Dollar Cds:

Ocean Colour Scene
Steely Dan-Gaucho
Dan Fogelberg-The Wild Places
Inspiral Carpets-The Best Inside
Dan Kibler

Albums Galore:
Blood Sweat & Tears-Child Is Father To The Man
Joe Walsh-Smoker You Drink, Player You Get
Brownsville Station-No BS
New Riders Of The Purple Sage-Who Are These Guys
Loggins & Messina-Best Of Friends
The Richard Holly Band-I'm Lost Between Love And The Open Road

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-10 Decades Of Tunes

Here at the Crabb Top Ten Of The Week, we take great pride in trying to seek out the music that nobody else would play or know about.  Even though music may have been around as early as the early 1900s (the original Aughts) most of the tunes you know about you hear from the CCC network.  Back in the original aughts we were introduced to the one sided 78 to which they sold for 98 cents at the local Woolworth's (just guessing here since I wasn't around back then)  But in the 1920s, jazz and blues begin to take hold over the classical stuff or John Phillip Sousa who recorded for Victor in the aughts.

Basically the Crabb Top Ten has only been around for one decade and time will tell if we ever made a dent in preserving the forgotten oldie.  To which our early years focused around AM radio on KWWL in 1968 to which my best friend's brother made a comment about how that must have been the dark ages.  It wasn't, there was more chances to hear regional hits rather than the Clear Channel/Cumulus playlist of limited songs.  I'm still learning all the time of the forgotten singles that are preserved on You Tube.  And have returned to my roots of scratchy 45s from a collection that I should have taken better care of.  The past couple years I been scouring the junk stores, EBAY, specialty record stores to find the 45's of my youth and still fight the others on EBAY to outbid on a 45 nobody else knows about except seasoned collectors.  And they're out there, I've seen them.

While Ron, my BFF's brother may have looked at that past years of my youth Big Band era, I had to remind him that was the only way to hear music.  That we had no access to FM and if we did the old stereo didn't bring the signal in very well but we survived on KWWL AM or KIOA or KCRG/KLWW or WIRL.  I mean we did well with what was played, from British Invasion to R and B to rock and yes even Herb Alpert and The Carpenters, Ron's favorite band of that time.  It wasn't the dark ages, we went outside and played till dusk and tried to get home before the boogie man got us, or an angry mom.  And then go home and play records till Mom said one more before bed and then put on a long 7 minute song like MacArthur Park or Hey Jude.

We live by music and I'm sure I'll die by music in one way or another.  Or throwing suggestions left and right to drive the most knowledgeable up the wall and unfriend you on Facebook when they host their Saturday Night showcase.  Which means we basically on our own in preserving the forgotten tunes.  For me my best years of music were the late 60s and 70s and the second coming of the 1990s till Limp Bizkit and Universal killed music and Clear Channel and Cumulus took advantage of lax laws to buy up all the radio stations we known to make them sound all the same.
But then again, the 50s took hold since my folks had ample 45s and I still remain faithful to a fault of music the new Millennium up to 2012 although it's a losing battle.  At some point there'll be a end to this but music will go on.  Whatever I put up is merely suggestions.  We'll never be well known to have our own Public Radio station since we're not associated with any second rate blues band or will never be in the Iowa Rock Hall Of Fame but rest assured that this is one alternative to whats' out there.  If we failed we can at least said we tried and as long as blogspot stays up, there'll be one reference for the world to see.

So let's go through the decade one song at a time per decade and see what we come up with eh?

1.  Crazy Blues-Mamie Smith  1920  This is probably the earliest recording that I have in my collection and it came from Blues Story.  This is where the story starts, it's an early ragtime blues number.  Back in the era to which Louis Armstrong was in his prime and Jelly Roll Morton was doing ragtime jazz, but this is what is considered to be the very first true blues recording. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6473116

2.  Honey In The Bee Ball-Louis Jordan 1938    Back in 1981, Joe Jackson recorded a album of jump blues in the style of Louis Jordan called Jumpin' Jive  to which opened the floodgates for me to listen to music before Elvis.  Jackson at that time was making new wave punk music and after the failure of Beat Crazy, Jackson retired that band and did a tribute album to music that his folks listen to.  Fats Waller and Louis Jordan played a big role in that but upon further research that Louis Jordan wasn't only the forefather of rock and roll but also had a hand in rappin, him an Cab Calloway were good at that known as jive.  Jordan's glory years was in the 40s and by the time rock and roll did take hold in 54, Jordan was just about forgotten although he still made some decent sides for Aladdin and Mercury (he had Mickey Baker playing guitar and Quincy Jones producing by then).  If you really want to know who started the rock and roll thing, you need some Louis Jordan in your collection.  And Big Joe Turner too.

3.  Do Re Mi-Woody Guthrie 1940  Woody would have turned 100 this year had he lived and he was ahead of his time too, his Dust Bowl Ballads remains one of the all time best folk albums ever and of course that would influence another folkie named Bob Dylan.  Back then Guthrie was labeled a Communist by the ones that were too narrowed minded to see the truth, kinda like the GOP of today.  I'm sure if Woody was still alive Mittens Romney would have have him tried for treason or deported. Although Woody sang this 70 years ago, the lyrics still ring true today.

4.  The House Of Blue Lights-Chuck Miller 1955  I'm not sure who or where I heard this from at first; never did hear the Ella Mae Morse original till I got the CD,  played it one time and then traded it in to which it still remains at Half Priced Books which disappoints me.  I'm sure somebody would have picked it up by now but anyway. Maybe George Thorogood or Chuck Berry but my favorite version is Chuck's version to which it made number 9 on the charts in 55.  Some of the most crazed piano playing this side of Jerry Lee Lewis.  It came out on a rockabilly comp that K Tel put out in the 80s and later on Polygram put it on Rock n Roll Relix, to which is home to The Eagles (the black r n b band, not Henley and company), Crew Cuts, Georgia Gibbs, The Platters and more.  I have a scratchy 45 reference copy but did see somebody donated a 78 of this song to the Salvation Army the other day.

5.  All I Really Want To Do-Bob Dylan 1964  Among the biggest question back then is how long would Bob Dylan would last in the folk age.  I don't think anybody would have guessed that Bob would still be around 50 years after the first album was made and Bob went from Woody Guthrie's folk replacement to going electric and embracing rock and roll at Newport and introducing Scarlet Rivera to the world the next decade.  Of course The Byrds covered this for a top 50 single and so did Cher but the definite version is Bob, having fun yodeling and cracking up at the punch line chorus all I really want to dooooooooooooooo, is maybe be friends with you.  While the Freewheeling Bob Dylan  gets more kudos and praises I tend to enjoy Another Side Of Bob Dylan more, simply of the fact that Bob sounds more into and having fun. And this album does tend to nod toward the direction of rock and roll although it's mostly Bob and guitar.

6.  I Can't Move No Mountains-Blood, Sweat & Tears 1972  This is the song that got me criticized for not following protocol at Besides It's A B Side, a Facebook outlet for obscure b sides and forgotten singles.  Jerry Fisher replaced David Clayton Thomas and the album was called New Blood.  I think the DJ dude at Progression played this one night at the old OLD GOLD 107.9 station, and it may gotten airplay in bigger cities.  Never did find the single till Saturday when I went to Salvation Army and found a good copy of the 45 and unleashed it to the world on B Sides.  And got reminded that it didn't fit the criteria of B sides, since it was a A side and even though it didn't chart at all, it was a A side.  They did that me one time before on another lesser known hit.  Told the dude that's twice you jumped my ass on posting tunes, there's not going to be a third.  From here on out, whatever I find, I'll just post on my site.  Good music, it's all the same regardless if it was a Flop hit, album cut or A side that didn't chart. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1PJO6dPITk

7.  Big Big Sky-The Screaming Blue Messiahs 1989  They had minor hits with Wild Blue Yonder and I Wanna Be A Flintstone and the late great Vic Maile produced their first two albums but I didn't like the first album and the second one I never did around reviewing and really didn't know what compelled me into buying Totality Religious (Maile passed away before sessions began) but that album remains my fave.  Howard Gray and Rob Stevens throws gobs and gobs of echo on the drums.  This song got some airplay on KRUI which may have enticed me into buying the CD. By then Elektra dropped them. The link below explains the rest of the story (as well as the beginning)  http://www.screamingbluemessiahs.com/band.htm

8.  Please Read The Letter-Robert Plant & Jimmy Page 1998  Not a lot good things were said about The Page and Plant Walking Into Clarkdale  which went on too long, and Steve Albini stuck an ugly mix that didn't help things much either but some of the songs held up over time, to a point that Plant redid this song with Alison Krauss on his Raising Sand comeback album.  There was supposed to be a second album but things fell apart and Plant moved on with Band Of Joy which featured Nancy Griffith who critics to love but her A&M album did nothing for me.  Plant ended up marrying Griffith last year.  If your lucky you can find Nancy and Robert peaking through records at your local record store should they come into your neck of the woods to play.

9.  Punkrocker-Teddy Bears with Iggy Pop 2006  I'm not much into dance music of today, too much autotuner and the likes of Jessie J and Nicki No Talent Minaj makes me forever the old crabb fart that yells at the teens to get off my yard and my old folks blog ha ha.  I can't tell you what processed me to buy The Teddy Bears Soft Machine album, unless it was their tribute to the old prog rock band but most of this is dance music with some rappers and reggae rappers to beats and bass but actually this is a very good album with nods to Kraftwerk, Can and Neu on the lesser tracks not destined for the radio.  Iggy Pop appears on this rocking track and while it's not as memorable as Cobrastyle with Mad Cobra rapping away or the Nenah Cherry cameo Yours To Keep, it still rock and roll to me.  Although I'm sure Teddy Bears would deny that.

10.  Six To One-New Riders Of The Purple Sage 2012  And here we are, the tenth song from ten decades of music and we pick one from the reunified New Riders and off their latest 17 Pine Avenue.  They always have had a uneven music career, liked their first album okay, Gypsy Cowboy not so much and Powerglide somewhere in between.  Their MCA years even more uneven and the A&M album a waste of time.  Never heard any of the Relix albums but surprise surprise, Where I Came From reinvented them as Boogie Grateful Dead.  Helps when you have Robert Hunter helping out with the lyrics too. 17 Pine Avenue continues that trend.  The hippies are getting old but they can still rock it out when they get the urge to do so.

And here you go.  You're back in the present again.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jon Lord

Black Monday returned and took three highly regarded musicians and singers that defined music in their own way.  Kitty Wells, the original Queen of country music passed away from complications of a stroke and joins her hubby Johnnie Wright in the Great Opry In The Skies at 92.

Bob Babbitt, who replaced James Jamerson on some of the funkier Motown recordings and Dennis Coffey and The Detroit Guitar Band died at age 74.  He kept somewhat busy in the later years appearing on the Phil Collins Going Home CD of 2010.  The rumbling bass on Ball Of Confusion by The Temptations?  That was Bob. According to Bob there were more to the story of Papa Was A Rolling Stone. http://www.bobbabbitt.com/smf/index.php?topic=234.0

And there's Jon Lord.  I grew up being a big Deep Purple fans back in the days of Rod Evans being lead singer and the singles that introduced me to them.  More so on Kentucky Woman than Hush although the former I heard in a Fort Dodge Diner years ago and then Hush was found as a 4 for a dollar 45 but I also enjoyed the B side One More Rainy Day to which I think Lord did contribute more backing vocals than he would when Ian Gillan joined up.

The early years had Lord competing with Richie Blackmore on the solos and intro, the long beginning to River Deep Mountain High, I think most of April is more Jon than Richie and of course Mandrake Root to which the song extended jam would appear more so down the line on the 20 minute Space Truckin.  The original Deep Purple In Rock, Lord's intro to Speed King was taken out (later restored on the Deepest Purple Best of) and perhaps the best known song he's associated with: Child In Time.  Jon was behind the Concerto For Group And Orchestra concept to which was the final 8 track that their old label put out and the new label Warner Brothers took over but it wasn't promoted very well but it remains one of the things that Jon was most proud of.  Made In Japan, an album that people still call the definite DP remains the best way to hear DP in live setting, even though I don't play it much myself.

With each new album after that, Lord was beginning to be more in the background and the change from Gillan to David Coverdale/Glenn Hughes still showed signs of life in Burn although Stormbringer the less said the better. And then the confusion period when Blackmore left and doomed guitar specialist Tommy Bolin gave us Come Taste The Band and Deep Purple was history.

It's hard to think of Lord being in Whitesnake now and depending on who you ask or read in interviews it was either Lord begging to join the Snake or Coverdale begging Lord to help out but I always thought that when Lord joined up that Whitesnake returned to that Deep Purple sound that they created on Burn but with more guitar and even if Jon thought he was a sideman he still enhanced the albums he was on.  And when Ian Paice joined up for their best album Ready And Willing (1980 Mirage, never issued on CD in the US for some stupid reason) and got Martin Birch to produce it was kinda like a DP reunion of sorts.  Come And Get It sounded too much like Foreigner but it did have a couple album cuts of note like Wine Women And Song driven by Lord's piano playing and Don't Break My Heart Again.  Paice would exit after Saints & Sinners and Lord would rejoin the reunion Deep Purple after Slide It In and Perfect Strangers was a triumph return to the charts and to the fans. And Jon Lord would remain with them till leaving in 2002 to concentrate  more on the classical side of things and less hectic touring.

For side projects there's First Of The Big Bands, a 1974 album with the late great Tony Ashton (reissued on Wounded Bird in 2009) with help from Peter Frampton, Ronnie Wood and Cozy Powell although the album never did reveal who played what.  I've never heard Malice In Wonderland with Ian Paice playing drums, nor Gemini Suite, nor the long forgotten and hard to find Last Rebel with Roy Dyke on drums.  Jon could be heard on Alvin Lee's Detroit Diesel and Ride's 1994 Carnival Of Light, playing on 2 tracks.

If nothing else, Jon Lord can be credited as the first heavy metal Hammond organ player since that was his keyboard of choice back in those days.  Did you know that after his original organ died he ended up buying Christine McVie's keyboard and still played it through Whitesnake and DP the comeback?  There are plenty of sites that have Jon Lord talking about DP, Whitesnake and his keyboard set up.  He remain quite accessible via the net till the day he passed on.

Another original that can't be replaced.  RIP Jon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Out On The Town:Woodyfest And Caravan Of Thieves

It's been a dry summer.  Four years ago a raging flood damn near tore apart Cedar Rapids but now we haven't much rain to speak of.  But it rained a bit yesterday morning and today got another gentle quarter inch of rain.  Supposed to be hot and muggy once again.

I haven't really put much effort into writing this mouth although the ratings might assure of another 2,000 views per month.  I'm sure the Rock n Roll And The Brains blog will carry the burden.

At my second home at Half Priced Books, I didn't find anything but some dude wanted me to help him sell some books up there since he was underage and offered to split the profits.  Not much you can get for 2.50 so I let him have it all.  Then proceeded to head down to Woodyfest, a new folk festival on the old brownfields of where Iowa Steel used to be.  For 20 bucks to get in, it was a very sparse crowd and hardly any food or drink so I basically walked on by and down to Sinclair Park to walk around the walking trail a few times before heading back across the bridge to the reopening of Czech Museum, which was a causality of the 2008 flood.  So they moved the building about 15 feet uphill and it looks pretty nice.  They had a band Caravan Of Thieves which played a very interesting selection of what they call gypsy jazz.  I do remember they did a medley of Sympathy For The Devil with Devil Inside from INXS and the fiddle player did the solo from Devil Went Down To Georgia.  Folks at Our Vinyl does a write up about them.  http://ourvinyl.com/caravan-of-thieves/   Their main site is here.  http://caravanofthieves.com/

On the vinyl front, not a lot to speak of.  Salvation Army up in Marion had some interesting 78s of note, Chuck Miller's House Of Blues Lights on Mercury and Louis Prima  Oh Marie on Hit Music which dates back to the 40s.  Since I don't have a 78 player, they'd only would take up space but there were others from that era, Perry Como, Ames Brothers, Doris Day, even a Bob Wills 78 was in there.  I'm sure the next time I hit the road it will be Mad City but with temps going back over 90 degrees tomorrow, won't be going.

While some of you out there are giving their thoughts on the best music of 2012, I haven't even thought of one yet.  I may just sit this one out.

Next weekend is the Great Jones County Fair with Lynyrd Skynyrd/Heart on Thursday, Blake Shelton/Josh Thompson on Friday and Toby Keith/Thomas Rhett on Saturday.  Weather should be hot and sticky.

Other things:  I have decided not to post any more songs on the Besides It's A B Side website since I can't seem to get the dates right or the type of days they have. Flop Friday, Album Cut Wed, it's all the same to me.  Somebody took issue of a song that wasn't a hit but should have been posted on flop friday and GIVE ME A BREAK!  I just found the GD song today!  Knowing my age and habits I forget to post it on Flop Friday.  Here's the deal, I post songs that I think the folks will enjoy, there are no rules or regulations, my tastes vary and they are all over the place I know that you know that.  So from here on out, if there's a 45 single or album that I like I just post on my Facebook site or over here.  At least I won't get reprimanded either.

Bob Dorr's Backtracks remains a Saturday Night funfest on KUNI and I was waiting to email him some requests but turned out that he's no longer showing up on my FB friends list,  so guess we'll just delete Backtracks from Crabb Radio.  Business not personal you understand but I thank you very much for including some suggestions to your fine show. All the best.

Stay tuned for the next top ten blog of 10 decades of music.  It might be the last top ten that I ever do way things are going.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-This And That And The Other Thing RIP

Stolen from Jerry Scott.  Jerry, the former head of Relics Records has a new Antique store on 1st Avenue called This And That And The Other Thing, located in the Ottinger's old used music store site in Cedar Rapids.  If you're in the area, pay the old Relic a visit and tell them Crabby sent ya. Update: Jerry sold the store to his partner up there from what Carol told me. So anyway, now that I got your attention we'll return you to the rest of the blog already in progress. Update June 2015, this place closed up and now is yet another empty building on 1 st Avenue.

Not much to report for new bargains as I made my way down to Iowa City and found three things at Record Collector as the zit face dude behind the counter was playing some kind of death goth metal which really made me wish to hear Soul Sister by Train.  Let's say I have little tolerance for somebody screaming on loud guitars and bad casino imitations of a mellotron .  Fucking awful crap.  I really don't want to hear Dante's Inferno The 10th Stage on CD anymore dude.

The Vinyl making comeback hasn't helped some of our record store friends across the mighty pond.  The guy from Retrobloke had a big summer madness sale and said nobody showed up. This is their posting off Facebook.
Our stock is better than its ever been, but nobody is coming to see it. What I hate most of all is 'Indie Record Shop Day', we see no benefit of that at all, while HMV make a big thing of it and get loads of extra sales - you can't really call HMV a record shop. It's a sad fact that many record collectors bemoan the demise of vinyl shops, but still buy all their vinyl on ebay. They'll say how much they missed us when we're all gone, but it was their lack of support which made it happen. In a way I can't blame them, the convenience of typing in a name on the internet and finding two or three copies of exactly what you're looking for is pretty hard to beat. Maybe Ebay actually killed 'browsing'. Who wants to browse any more when you can get so specific. Sure, we've got a great site, and we sell on ebay, but I spent my teenage years dreaming of owning a record shop, playing records all day and chatting about great music. I'd love those days to come back, but it's looking less than doubtful.....Retrobloke 

Times are tough all over and in the dying art of record collecting, there's not a lot of them left.  In our case you have to drive to get a vinyl shop which is about 45 minutes to an hour from here.  Half Priced Books remains the only vinyl place in town and although they do get some interesting imports (Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street Import 23.99) Cedar Rapids has none of their own.  With gas prices always rising, we have to combine other things to go with our bargain hunts, which means stopping at Big Lots in Davenport or Audi's in Dubuque.  Besides I can assure you that no record store would have had that Chuck Murphy 45 that has eluded me all these years which is why EBAY comes in handy.  Sorry to say Barnet England is no where near Crabbland Iowa.  I too had grand dreams of owning a record store and talk tunes with folks for days on end, but rap and the internet came around, Universal started buying out all the other labels and nobody can make memorable music anymore.  It's a fucking dying career to even if I did open up a store, I'd end up getting the wrong crowd or having to deal with Universal's pricing of their shitty new music.  Just better to open up a junk shop and stack plenty of records and hope word gets around.

After hitting 2,000 views last month it looks like we're back in the usual 1500 range. As much as we love that cashcow Brains Blog getting all the views and the Brian Howe Fan Club keeping that one going at second place it boggles the mind that the 2009 best albums gets more views than 2011 which has yet to crack the top ten.  I'm still working on some Music Of My Years stuff, perhaps some more things in the Consortium blog.  I could also take down the restrictions of posting but then the pornstuff spam would return.   I can also retire.....

Life continues on for those who used to be in the Yardbird's Roost, now a lovingly remembered thing of the past.  I really don't hear much from Hoop, Vinyl King is more into the Right side of politics and ELO Mark Snider announced that he's a grandfather now.  I've never started having any of my own.  And never will. 

Barton Peterson passed away here in town.  He played in various cover bands in Cedar Rapids most associated with Tracer The Fun Band.  Also, our late great friend from classic rock Trooper (who passed in 2000), his mom who kept his legacy alive has joined him in the great beyond.

Top Ten Of The Week:

1.  Place Your Hands-Reef  1997   They were from the UK but they're more into the classic rock of Led Zeppelin or Black Crowes rather than Oasis so they didn't sell much although this would be at home on the classic rock 90s stations and it should be.  Their first album sucked and the second one was more of the same but it rocked harder and they did get The Black Crowes producer on Glow and I like it much better.  One of a few CDs that I bought at Erin Tapken's Alter Ego after she opened up the store when Relics closed down.  She doesn't sell Cds anymore but she does very well selling comic books and the like.  I haven't paid Erin a visit in about a couple years maybe I should see how she's doing. http://www.alteregoia.com/

2.  Need Your Love-The Hawks 1981  Homestate band makes good, signs big record contract with a major label, makes a pretty good debut, gets little promo but sells enough to warrant another album then gets dropped from label.  Not everybody can be Slipknot I guess but then again Otho is no Des Moines either.  It's kinda odd to see no Hawks CBS albums reissued on CD; Not Lame issued something called Perfect World Radio that may have been the third album.  B side to Right Away.  However they did a much rougher take of this song as a bonus track to PWR which was why Tom Werman did wonders with the Columbia version.  After CBS dropped them, The Hawks renamed themselves Junior Wild and made a couple demos for a local station to win a contract with the even worse EMI America label and submitted Runaway Girl which rocked hard but ended up losing out to some new wave crapper All His Friends Are Spies by some Josie Cotton wannabe.  The 80s were brutal to power pop rock bands.

3.  In The Year 2525-Zager & Evans 1969  If you looked up the definition of one hit wonder, look no further on this future shock statement on how machines were going to take over man.  But in all honesty I don't forsee man being around by then.  Wars, sucking the oil dry, extreme weather kinda scary if you think about it.  Best way to describe this duo is what if Art Garfunkel was the main singer songwriter instead of Paul Simon.  Wounded Bird reissued their two RCA albums on one disc and the 2525 album is hippy dippy folk rock.  Follow up single was something called Mister Turnkey on their S/T second album.  Cd was found for five dollars at Record Collector.

4.  Soul Shoes-Graham Parker & The Rumour 1976  Nothing against Elvis Costello but out of all the pub/punk rockers of the mid 70s the lesser of them all got into the rock and roll hall of fame.  I've always had problems even with his best known albums and even his best ofs take a lot to get used to.  I'm more into Nick Lowe and Graham Parker side of the fence, Parker being more of the R and B influenced pubbers.  He even out riffs the Rolling Stones on this nice little rock number to which Bob Dorr played for us a couple weeks ago on Backtracks and made me go seek out the Cd of Howling Wind and revisit a lost classic.  While Costello continues to reap the rewards of being in the public eye and Nick Lowe becoming Bing Crosby, Parker still remains true to his R and B and R n R roots, putting out albums for Bloodshot from time to time.

5.  Louisiana Coo Coo-The Kentucky Headhunters 2001   Since I saw them last week in Shell Rock I have to give them some sort of kudos and shout out.  When I told a friend I went to see them play she looked at me and said are they still around?  Guess my friend doesn't get out too often, the Headhunters are still alive and doing well on the summer fair tour.  Right next to Los Lobos, these guys have moved a lot in my book of favorite bands, like Los Lobos they are personal and easy to chat to when you see them go off stage and (are you listening Tommy Lee?) you can get your picture taken with them!  Country Radio won't play them today, they're too rock and of course you all know rock radio won't touch them with a ten foot pole either.  Richard Young's frog croaking on this tune is the worth the admission price alone.

6.  Take It Like A Man-Bachman Turner Overdrive 1975  What would classic rock radio be without Takin Care Of Business or You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet and both songs I can do without even though I'm a fan.  So us fans go with the lesser known as this top 40 hit from the Bicentennial year, got to be number 1 on the KCAM charts here in the sticks.  And the piano player is none other than Little Richard Penniman. WOO! 

7.  Saturday Night-Ram Jam 1978  Judging from who you ask Portrait Of A Young Artist As A Young Ram is either a piece of shit or one of the best metal albums ever.  I have this on vinyl but bought the CD when I saw at the other day and it's the mastering job will give you a earache.  While some folk consider this to be the weakest track since it borrows from the Saturday Night Fever tag line but it's one of the more easier to take songs off this album.  But it's one of those songs that if I want to hear it I'll pull the album out.  Or maybe the 8 track if I still had a 8 track player.  I guess there's not a lot of love for Ram Jam since our tribute to them in the Consortium has generated one view in the week I put it up.  C'mon folks they weren't that bad.

8.  You Were With Me-The Open Highway Band 1983  Taken from the Paraphernalia Years CD, they had to change the name to a more user friendly and to get bar gigs as well which was few and far between.  The song was written after a three week trial and error with a girl that wasn't too happy with her boyfriend choosing his 4 by 4 over her and somehow she managed to strike up a conversation with the drummer in the band which happened 30 years ago as we speak.  Drummer would eventually get tired of being the "other guy" tells her so and ends the whole thing soon after but writes this song.  Girl would return to her 4X4 dude, marry him and have two girls in the process while Drummer runs into her at some concert downtown.  This song got submitted for a crappy 4 song EP that the winner would get a contract with EMI or least hoping to hear it on the radio but never do.  The Townedgers would later cover it for the 1998 Art Of Deception CD. Dedicated to Amy Holtz.

9.  Route 66-Asleep At The Wheel 1976  Texas swing music never got any better in the 70s with Ray Benson and company holding the boogie down and Bobby Troup's homage to the Mother Road is one of the songs you can't mess up, heck even John Mayer did a good version of this.  A top ten KHAK song to which they would never play it in this day and age.  And the 45 version remains one of the all time best sounding discs ever.  I mean the 7 inch black circle y'all.  

10.  Bad Boys-Inner Circle 1992  Among the cheap stuff I found at Half Priced Books this week was this CD classic for a buck, course you know it as the theme from  COPS but Inner Circle go way back into the 70s when the late great Jacob Miller was making music with them before a car accident claimed his life in 1980.  When COPS became a reality show series, they used this song for the introduction and it would be another 4 years before it was finally released as a top ten hit song.  An overnight success but the followup bombed and Inner Circle went back into the shadows again.  The other big thing I found was a 3 dollar book Reggae And Caribbean Music written by Dave Thompson and  although there's better books out there, this one sorely reviews most of the Reggae stars and they gave Bad Boys the album a 7. Bad Boys originally was recorded in 1987, rerecorded in 1989 for WB and then redone again for the RAS album Bad To The Bone (according to Thompson in this book).  Atlantic picked the album up, retitled it Bad Boys (what else) and it sold fairly well although most copies of this album can be found in dollar bins everywhere. Later albums and followups were less and less.

The next five.

We Should Get Along Together Fine-The Sorrows 1965
Flowers On The Wall-Lew DeWitt 1985
I Can't Help You I'm Falling Too-Skeeter Davis 1960
Fele (Crack)-Identity 1989 
Hold On-Yes 1983

Next week: 10 decades of music, from 1920 to the present.  And to conclude it all, Take a trip into the center of your mind with Pinocchio and the Puppets Fusion (Mercury 72659)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1HkfDzU7QA

Thanks to Flower Bomb Songs for mentioning this Hippy Dippy Classic.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Kentucky Headhunters At Shell Rock 4th Of July

Fredd Young isn't your typical musician.  When I came up to the stage in prep for the Kentucky Headhunters show, Young was standing by the the side of the fence, he had a hat on, blue jeans pretty much like everybody else there but what made him stand out is his long flowing sideburns.  Bald on top but Young is the electric drummer of this band and it would have been so much fun to go up and bullshit with him and ask him about his old time looking drumset but I thought I would let the man be and let him check out the opening act Chocolate Krackers which was I'm guessing one of the better cover bands up around Waterloo.  They weren't bad but they may have overstayed their welcome as the crowd was waiting for the Headhunters to appear.

The Kentucky Headhunters are not country, they are pure rock and roll with the love of blues but they managed to go under the radar and became the Up And Coming Country Artists of 1990 with their number one hit Dumas Walker.  They were country via Ricky Phelps's twangy vocals, he would later leave with his brother Doug to form Brother Phelps, while Anthony Kenny and Mark Orr replaced them to make Rave On and That'll Work a album with the late great Jimmie Johnson.  Brother Phelps made two albums and Ricky became a preacher while Doug returned to the Headhunters for the BNA album Stompin Grounds, their last attempt to reconnect with the country crowd. When that failed they moreorless went back to a rocking boogie blues to this day remains their bread and butter.

I have tried to see them in recent past, one in 1996 when they were at the Great Jones County Fair and at another county fair but bad weather came from the latter and the former unexplained reasons.  I caught wind of them being at the Fourth Of July Party up in Waverly/Shell Rock, which is about a half hour drive from Waterloo which is a hour drive from my place.  Had I known that 380 was down to two lanes I would have taken another rain check but since I made it up that far.

I don't know who the guy that introduced the band was, I think he was some DJ at some new country station across the Minnesota border and introduced them as a country act but we all know the Dumas Walker that he is wouldn't play their new album on the radio.  It's not truck country or telling scantly clad chicks to shake it to the boom boom speakers.  Dixie Lullabies has more in common with real southern rock than country, but when they took the stage in the 85 degree temps, Fredd Young had his trademark coonskin cap on to start the show.  It didn't stay on very long; I think after two songs.  It was hot, it was humid and even I was covered in my own sweat.

I had a bird's eye view of Fredd Young and the dude may be 60 years old but he tore it up on the double bass drums to which as one point during Spirit In The Sky, Young was fighting his high hat was falling upon his lap and he was still keeping a beat.  On Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Young managed to drop one of his drumsticks but still kept the beat while fishing for another stick in the drummer bag.  During the drum solo which preceded Oh Lonesome Me, he was bashing away using his hands aka John Bonham, which I kinda figured that the drum solo was coming up when he slip a portable tambourine on the high hat.  To which the guys from the band came off stage and chatted a few fans and signed autographs and Greg Martin kinda looked at me and smiled.  As if to say it sure gets hot around here.  This year it has.

Richard Young at times takes over the vocals for Doug Phelps on the blues song Have You Ever Loved  A Woman and Louisiana Coo Coo to which his frog croaks on that songs was fun rock, while Doug added a bit of woo hoo for counterpoint.  Richard also did a song off the new album Tumbling Roses, and I do believe they also did Dixie Lullabies which the title track of the hard to find latest album.  Most of the songs did come from Picking On Nashville but my favorite moment was when Phelps belted out Big Boss Man a song he mentioned got some airplay on CMT, back when CMT was showing videos.  But that song has more in common with Bo Diddley then Country.  Yeah they did their share of country covers, Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine, Oh Lonesome Me they also did House Of The Rising Sun, incorporated Eleanor Rigby in the medley of Spirit In The Sky (to which Doug sang Yes I'm a Sinner and I have sinned but I got a friend named Jesus the way Ricky did it on Electric Barnyard) which the Headhunters went straight into Dumas Walker.

But they weren't done yet.  They did The Ballad Of Davy Crockett before concluding the show with Don't Let Me Down by The Beatles.  To which by then the crowd started gathering by the Shell Rock River to witness an half hour's worth of fire works.  Greg Martin, crazy from the heat walked on past heading for a tall cool one, and the wellwishers were chatting up a storm with the Young dudes, Richard lightning up a old stoogie for pleasure and some dude was chatting with Fredd Young about his son who plays drums or something to that effect.  Ready to walk on, I got to meet face to face with Doug Phelps and got to shake his hand and told him they put on a great show.

He gave me a big smile and put his other hand on my shoulder and said thank ya brother!

Perfect ending to a rocking show.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Top Ten Of The Week-Baked Crabb

Crazy from the heat yet?  Not me, I love this even though everything is baking to a crisp.  I haven't had to mow the yard the last two and half weeks  All across the nation everybody is getting all this hot weather and sometimes you get a damn severe storm as well. Friday night we had one of those monsoon storms with 90 mile an hour winds that took out our neighbor's travel trailer as a tree smashed it in half and the neighbor's wooded fence got knocked off in places and the usual tree limbs and pine cones scattered about.    Ever changed a tire in the dark when the dew point is as warm as the temps?  That was more fucking fun I could live without.


With the hot weather out and about, our bug friends the earwigs are making their summer trek into the house and on  my lap, never seemed to get them over at the old place.  Nevertheless it's going to be a very hot week with 90s and above all week.  The electric bill might be even bigger than the house payment this month.

Another icon dead, Andy Griffith passed away Tuesday morning at age 86.  Everybody wishes they could lived in Mayberry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyKvMDYeQmo  BTW he could sell a mean Ritz Cracker too. MMMMMMM Gooooood cracker.

With the 4th of July coming up, it also means we're on the downward slide to winter although y'all will be wanting this weather when December rolls around and we'll be below zero.  Not looking forward to that.  In the meantime life goes on, the chick from Civil Wars popped a baby out, Adele has one in the oven, Rudy Sarzo has left Blue Oyster Cult (didn't even know he played in BOC), Kasim Sulton (Utopia) takes his place and it was one year ago that I lost my good friend Dennis Pusateri to which his mom followed him in the Great Beyond and joined him and Matt three weeks later.  Life and death, one dies another one is born.   The summer Mad City bargain hunt will be sometime this month, hopefully if temps go around 80 or so but I still haven't finalized any Arizona trip as of this writing.  As they say, life goes on and so begins another top ten of songs off the player.  Don't know why I keep doing it but we'll call it a force of habit and it's fun too.  Keeps me out of trouble.

1.  Let The Music Begin-Linn County  1970  And what better way to start out the top ten with a rebel rousing call to arms tune about tuning up and letting go from a band that came from Linn County.  Of course you can read about them in my other blog The Music Consortium.  A case of small town band makes good, signs a big 50 thousand dollar contract and goes out to San Francisco to fit in and so on.  The hippies used to rave about Linn County in the late 70s when I go down to the record store and seek out new music but their albums were very hard to find and when I did find one, it was all scratched up and so so.  I did find the 45 to this song at a Goodwill store and picked it up on a whim and it just might be one of the best songs Stephen Miller ever did.  Very country and gospel sounding unlike the hard driven blues that the band was more famous for.  At times they sounded like Quicksilver Messenger Service with a sax player.  But I doubt if Universal will ever give us that elusive Linn Country 20th Century Masters Collection that we demand.  It's probably on line with The Brains as to be released on June 31, 2013.  There's sarcasm in that last line.

2.  Going Going Gone-Information Society   1992  Hard to figure these guys out.  They have a massive hit based on a Leonard Nemoy Star Trek moment and then they lose their chick singer to The Golden Palominos and turn around and made a album more Neu than Downtown Julie Brown and everybody got off the bus by the time Peace & Love Inc came out.  In some ways it's like the first album but with more of the better bits from Hack for experimentation and at the tail end of the CD pays tribute to Lou Reed's Unlistenable  Metal Machine Music (300bps, N,8,1) which might rid all the rodents and earwigs from a three block radius when played.  For dance pop, the words really do hit home (Now she's going going gone, and I did nothing wrong).  I think the dark lyrics had something to do with the song not making it on the charts but at least you can dance to it with tears in your eyes.  Produced by Mike Throne who produced Wire's historic EMI albums of the late 70s.

3.  Best Of Both Worlds-Van Halen 1986  To which the new guy Sammy Hagar takes over for Diamond Dave and gives the boys a much needed boost and a platinum record too.  Sammy wore out his welcome very quickly since OU812 is one album I never bought since what I heard I didn't like much. 5150 was what we begin to expect from Van Hagar, hard charging rockers and prissy ballads with plenty of cheese keyboards that Eddie was doing but when he put the keyboards down and the guitar back up, he could still wail away.  5150 remains the best non Diamond Dave project from the Van Hagars, (although I originally like F.U.C.K album it sounds more juvenile and dated).

4.  Traveling Shoes-Elvin Bishop  1973  Me and my old lady ain't been getting along sings the Ol' Devil.  Bishop was part of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, then went out on his own for Bill Graham's Fillmore label (Sundazed issued those albums a few years ago but now out of print) and the highlights might still be on Crabshaw Rising that Sony Music put out.  Bishop made his best stuff for Capricorn in the 70s starting with Let It Flow and ended with the classic Struttin My Stuff with the general annoying Micky Thomas who moved on to Starship.  No Mickey on the early years and on this fun song which got some airplay, but then again Elvin Bishop has always been more about fun and rocking the blues than Thomas who pretty much bored the crowd up at the Dubque Riverfest last month.

5.  The Nature Of The Game-Dan Fogelberg  2009  Time flies when people pass on and can believe when it's been just about 5 years since Dan moved into the Great Beyond but he was working on a set of songs that didn't get released till after he died.  And it turned out to be one of the best albums he's ever done although it sold nil.  Yeah he had the soft rock sounds down pat and while I loved some of his stuff (Phoenix) and didn't care much for the 2 record Innocent Age and High Country Snows was overrated.  Netherlands underrated and you get the picture.  But what I didn't expect that Love In Time turn out to be the perfect swan song for a artist that never got his due and of course Mr. Pussy Pants Jann Wanner would never get him into the rock n roll hall of fame either.  But this song reminds me of Blues Man, from the Manassas album that Steve Stills did and it shows a different side of Fogelberg we rarely see.  An moody piece, just Dan and his 12 string.  Too bad you never heard this album folks.  You'd remember it too.  Probably one of the best albums to come from a decade of waste that nobody remembers.

6.  That's All Right Baby aka Roll em Pete-Big Joe Turner  1938  If you go by what the compilers on the Hoy Hoy Rock Before Elvis Collection you would get the feeling that Big Joe is really the founder of Rock & Roll and with Pete Johnson playing the 88's they certainly were boogie pioneers just themselves.  This comes from the landmark 1938 Carnegie Hall showcase From Spirituals To Swing.   But Big Joe would revisit this song a few more times in his lifetime and The Blasters even did their own version of said song.

7.  Runaway-Love And Theft 2009  Pity the poor country artists who live for the moment and are gone the next.  I remember I used to tout the praises of Jennifer Henson who had a hit with Beautiful Goodbye and have her label mess with her before releasing the album a good 7 months after that song hit the charts.  Come to think of it, it was 10 years ago that Elizabeth Cook made her major debut with the charming Hey Y'all but Atlantic closed their Nashville doors (at that time) and Cook found herself on Warner Brothers who did their best not to promote it.  Henson hasn't been heard from although Universal South screwed her over with a digital only album that nobody got to hear but Cook has done much better on a independent label that at least promotes her, her new gospel album is quite good.  But Love & Theft got plenty of press around 2009 and their World Wide Open remains a fun listen three years later, take away the fiddles and steel guitar and banjo and they had a album that the Gin Blossoms would die for.  Runaway did make the top ten here at KHAK and a respectable 65 on the pop charts but their main problem was being on the worst country label this side of Curb, Hollywood's Lyric Street/Carolwood label.  Losing a band member Brian Bandas, the remaining two have continued to record, with a new album coming out July 26 on RCA/Sony Nashville.  Will it be any good?  Stay tuned.

8.  Magic Fingers-Frank Zappa  1971  From 200 Motels.  Featuring Flo And Eddie on lead vocals, this era of Mothers remains very hard to take at times and nobody told me about the 2 CD which is more opera than rock opera.  TCM showed 200 Motels late night last year which I tried to watch but ended up falling asleep and I missed most of it.  One of those rare CDs that I spent twenty bucks on used just to see what the fuss was about.  This was a bonus track to the Cd.  Originally on United Artists but later came out on MCA Classics which may had something to do with MCA owning the MGM catalog at the time.  Rykodisc issued it on CD but hard to tell if Universal will ever put it out to the masses again.  They tend to sit on things as we know too often.


9.  Shining Light-Toots & The Maytals 1964 thereabouts  Heartbeat Records was Rounder's Reggae label and they issued a few things from various Jamaica label that were part of the developing sound known as Ska and there was a cutout comp called Go Ska Go which featured early to mid 60s cuts from the likes of Toots and Bob Marley And The Wailers and many more that were on Coxsome Dodd's Studio One label.  Everybody had to start somewhere right? And Toots has been one of the longest lasting Reggae artists of the past 50 years but at that time they toiled in somewhat obscurity before Chris Blackwell and Island Records took notice. Toots Hibbert has been known as the Reggae Otis Redding which is all you need to know how good he really is.  And still is today.

10.  Fourth Of July-Dave Alvin 1988  It's that time of year again.  Thought you might like to know.

Some other time five

Sinsemilla-Black Uhuru  1980
Hand Picked-Richard Betts 1974
Tragedy-For You-Front 242  1991
Town's Edge Rock Again-The Townedgers 2007
Did You See Her Eyes-The Illusion 1969

Finally, another passing to tell you about.  RIP Big Bad Ben Davidson, former terror of the Oakland Raiders who tried many times to rearrange the face of Joe Namath and Len Dawson (you can't forget the Chief/Raiders series of the late 60s and early 70s and of course the infamous Heidi Bowl game of 1968).  If you google his name and see images you'll probably will see the one that Davidson kept giving Bob Griese some mud facials in the 1970 Mud Bowl in Oakland.  Davidson passed away from prostate cancer at age 72.  He also was famous for having a bitching handlebar mustache and being part of the famous Lite Beer Commercials of the 1970s.  He will be missed.