Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-The Hobbyist

Allow me to invade your inbox once again all three of you followers out there.

It's been a much more busier month here in Crabby Top Ten Mania Land since I'm back to padding the archives with happenings in 2009 and now 2008 and they're there for reminding me what was going on back then and who passed on and so on.  I noticed I did a lot more bitching in the My Space blogs so a majority of that stuff have been thrown to the trash.  Still do that to this day.  Halfway through the month I only made one major label purchase, a forgotten album for 5 bucks and no new music to speak of.  Only interesting things so far was the Bowie album for March and the Black Sabbath 13 CD for the springtime but I think I'm done with the new music exploration but don't despair;  we still have plenty of undiscovered stuff in the used bins waiting to be heard.

I guess after all these years, of playing Townedgers Music and making top tens and buying music has made me a hobbyist instead of a music informer.  Let's face it, we'll never be rich and famous for either one but at least the internet has kept me from being bored to the TV on my days off.  There's plenty of other music blog sites as well and we're nowhere near to the top, the king crank remains Bob Lefsetz and you'd think he be ushering in a new kind of internet sensation of the wave of the future, like the guy and some of the things he say but really he's not one of us, we don't hubnub with the stars and we don't ski at Aspen. I'm just hanging in the Clarence bins at Half Priced Books and once in a while get a moment when Samantha Fish comes off the stage to play guitar in front of me.  Or meeting Doug Phelps of the Kentucky Headhunters and shaking his hand when he came off the stage at Shell Rock last summer.  Or having a good laugh with Bugs Gonzalez of Los Lobos.  The things that make you become a bigger fan of their music.

Sometimes the reverse can happen, when a musician or radio personality decides that you're not good for them.  The slightest thing can make you forever change opinion of them. Which is why I don't listen to Backtracks anymore or play The Blue Band.  But what do they care, they'll just nominate themselves for another place on the Iowa Rock n Roll HOF to make them think they're the real rock Messiahs of this great state or All Time Radio Personality.  I donno, Richie Valens did more for rock n roll in his short time on earth than Elvis In Paraguay ever did for music here. Or Buddy Holly, or even JP Richardson.  No Bob Dorr not even the greatest sacrifice that you can do will earn trip to Cleveland to the Rolling Stones RnR HOF, so enjoy your three time noms here locally.  They're not even mentioning you in the real RnR HOF.

So basically if you haven't made it locally and you have been doing this kind of garage rock for 30 years, it's considered a hobby and basically do it for yourself and the fan base that you have.  Or for the fun of it.  Cuz if you don't even like what you're doing....may as well dig a hole and jump in.

Or continue to do what people come back here for, see what 10 songs made the list this week.  Here ya go.

1.  Road Song-Charlie Rich 1976  Of course this didn't make the Single Going Steady 10 blog nor last week but eventually I would pick this forgotten top 40 hit for Charlie back in 1976, or forgotten hit anyway.  I have never seen this on any greatest hits package which is a shame really, it's more darker than Behind Closed Doors which gave Charlie instant country stardom but he was more R and B than country and of course his award winning reaction to John Denver winning a country award remains more rock rebellion than country conservative.  B side was Grass Is Always Greener which is more blues than country.  Great lyrics provided by Margaret Rich, Charlie's wife.

2.  Harold Knows (Better Than You)-Octopus 1969  Out of all the ESP Disk bands that was on that label, this band of unknowns was the most straight forward of them all although they did do their own freakout stuff on the second side of their only album Fruk Juice.  Despite the oddball cover this is not Caveman Rock, but rather garage blues with a bit of MC5 thrown in for radical measure.   It didn't take much to get on ESP Disk, just have a sense of noise sense and you may get mention in a blog somewhere years later.

3.  Hell On Wheels-Cinderella 1986  They got a bad rap in the beginning, Bon Jovi got Mercury to sign them up and they made a great first album but the way they looked they got limped in the hair metal craze. While Tom Keifer vocals made him sound like Brian Johnson of AC/DC, in theory he's more in line with Dan McCaffery of Nazareth which probably why critics never liked this band.  Cinderella owed more to hard rock of the 70s since Andy Johns (Free, Led Zeppelin) produced.  Not to be confused with Hell On Heels by Pistol Annies.

4.  Papa Was Too-Joe Tex 1966  One of the most overlooked and underrated soul singers of the 60s has got to be Joe Tex.  Even I have been guilty of overlooking some of his music, had plenty of his 45s growing up and we can't seem to get a decent overview of his hits (personal to Real Gone, how bout a reissue of Joe Tex's complete singles? I'd buy). Only decent cd of his best work came out on Oh Boy (a much cheaper and less worthwhile comp came out on David Allen Coe's label) to which Joe's answer to Lowell Folsom's Tramp got some top forty loving on the R and B charts.  Never heard this on our radio stations though.

5.  Outlaw Man-David Blue 1973  The Eagles had a FM hit with this, meaning you heard this on the FM stations in the 1970s but even in the classic rock age of the overplayed The Fox seldom does.  David Blue, the original songwriter did put this out as a single but it got zilch airplay.  Ragged Records had a copy of this song produced by Graham Nash and sounds like Stephen Stills plays guitar on this and Nash is doing backing vocals.  Don't have the album so this is a guess.  Thought about putting this on the top ten last week but somehow we got carried away by the blues.......


6.  Play The Breaks-The Plimsouls 1983   More of a critics' fave band, Peter Case and company made a couple decent albums, one for Planet which is hard to find and one for Geffen which got some airplay on the college stations in the early 80s to which Mr. Dorr would play on occasion back then, or Al Sherles of KUNI fame.  This was the B side to A Million Miles Away which never did went past the number 80 mark on the Billboard top 100.  A shame really, I think I liked this song better than Million Miles Away.  Back then I was still buying 45s new and Camelot at Westdale always had the more obscure stuff, likewise the old Musicland Sam Goody too, back when Westdale was a actual mall and not this dark and dingy place it is now. Of course there's no more music stores in either Westdale or Lindale or that for that matter Sycamore Mall and Coral Ridge Mall.  Really those were the best of times for me actually.  We survived the internet quite well since it was a top secret whatchamacallit and basically off limits, unless you had a computer. And only the brainiacs  had them.

7.  Turn It Loose-The Doobie Brothers 1976  Another fave B side of mine, this one was the flip of It Keeps You Runnin' another overplayed classic rock staple, this got airplay on Q103, the top forty station which we thought was going to be a hit but never was.  It was the only song that Tom Johnston did on Takin It To The Streets which ushered in the Michael McDonald Doobie era.  Ah, pre Corporate rock era radio, it was pretty good before Cumulus and Clear Channel took over the airwaves.

8.  I'll Make You Happy-Divinyls 1985  At times when they were good, The Divinyls could give AC/DC or Midnight Oil a run for best Australian band ever, and that's saying a lot.  They had a charismatic singer in Christina Amphlett who could also be the most dangerous woman in rock ever.  You never knew what to expect from her, she dabbed in total weirdness when she hit the stage.  They made three uneven Chrysalis albums but they tore through this old Easybeats number.  But Divinyls will be forever known for that 1991 ode to masturbation I Touch Myself, their first and only top ten hit for Virgin Records.  When that song hit number 1 here, EMI put together a Best Of Divinyls-The Chrysalis Years to which they cherry picked 12 random songs of varying degree.  Eventually, EMI would acquire Virgin Records and redo The Best Of Divinyls that includes their biggest hit.   

9.  The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia-Vic Chestnutt 1995  For the past three weeks I've been including sections from the Pravda Records tribute to K Tel Star Power and not that remains their best compilation overall, but there's more memorable songs on this than on the previous two attempts they did of various artists.  Vic Chestnutt has always been a very eccentric musician and this cover of the Vicky Lawrence hit reminds me of the way that John Cale took Heartbreak Hotel and turned it into a gloom and doom song.  Written by Bobby Russell of Saturday Morning Confusion fame and of course, the morbid Honey, voted one of the more puke inducing songs ever penned.

10.  The Outsiders-Needtobreathe 2009   I guess it's all one word.  To these ears it's probably considered alternative rock if there's such a thing but these guys are more in line with the contemporary Christian Music that you hear on Life 101.9 and for all intent purposes, Christian Music is just as boring and same sounding as Top Forty, just less autotuner.  This CD sat in the Clarence bins for a good couple of months before I sampled some song titles via Amazon and decided to check the rest out since this song was actually very good considering the rest of the album was moreorless same sounding with more praise songs toward the end of this CD.  Hard to believe these guys are still on Atlantic, which really doesn't have the time nor patience for bands for more than two albums, they have made three so far. For Contemporary Christian Music, not bad.

honorable mentions:

Slick-Herb Alpert 1968
Outsider-Ramones 1983
Hot And Nasty (Live Version)-Black Oak Arkansas 1973
Down In  The Swamp-Samantha Fish 2011
Woo Hoo-Rock A Teens 1958

Quote Of The Day: Tony Visconti on the Bob Lefsetz' rant on David Bowie: (Link Provided)

"Well, he used to be cutting-edge but he's an old jerk now. He is so out of touch with what people want. This album is already No. 1 in 20 countries and it hasn't even been released yet, so that's evidence that the album is the way to go. It might be not be for everybody because, honestly, people don't write enough good material to fill an album anymore. So Lefsetz is a complete asshole. At one time, a few years ago, he had his day in the sun, but now he is basically an old fart, and I am bored with what he says."

Steve Howe leaves Asia again to divide his time between Yes and his solo projects.  The reunited Asia managed to make three proper albums before Howe's leaving, Sam Coulson replaces him.

Elton John is writing new songs with Bernie Tarpin for a upcoming album this spring.  Black Sabbath's 13 is completed with Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine) playing drums instead of Bill Ward.  We really haven't had a proper Sabbath album with the original lineup since the two tracks that was part of the Live Black Sabbath that Epic put out years ago.  I'm somewhat interested to hear the new Eric Burdon album but since I'm cutting way back on new releases it's not high on my list of things to listen to.  Unless it's in the used bins at Half Priced Books or whatever record store has it.

Read of the week: Bottom Of The Glass, Douchey Bob's Best of 2012:

FINALLY: There has been a shake up in the All Time Ten Most Read Blogs here: after being a mainstay on the chart for an amazing run, The Sick Of Summer Ready For Fun has dropped out as well as the Alternatives Blog in favor of The Mexican Jumping Beans Top Ten, which celebrates the legendary Mexican band and early garage rock classic Don't Leave Me Like This that nobody knows about till I discovered it by accident a couple months ago and The Strange Case Of Bobby Fuller also pops in the top ten as well.  Samantha Fish continues to be the most searched word here but moving up on the charts is Pat Travers which has really taken off the last week or so.  Can't figure that one out, I haven't been touting PT as much as I have SF.  No Depression recently put out another winning critique of her Runaway album and she recently completed her little Midwestern tour which included three stops in Iowa to which the above photo of her taken came from the Gas Light in Des Moines.

I think I have done a very good job getting the word out about S.F and perhaps if I was 30 years younger and working at some music mag, I'd be following her and spreading the news out.  Too bad that Stevie Ray Vaughan isn't around to hear her, I'm sure he'd be taking her places as opening act.  As long people continue to search her name out in Google land or Bing, she'll continue to get great promotion from myself when they click on the links to her Davenport show or whatever comes up.  Who knows maybe we'll cross paths again if Samantha comes back or if I find myself in a crowded Kansas City bar to hear her play.  But in the meantime I continue to seek what's out there in the Clarence bins and maybe might find something just as worthwhile.  It's on the next thing sitting close to my eyesight but rest assured, Runaway will be getting airplay on my stereo, and the next new album whenever that comes out.

As they say, play on.


TAD said...

Crabby: Very nice as always ("Outlaw Man" & the Divinyls were nice surprises -- Christina Amphlett: GRRRRRR!), but I still think you're writing posts that aren't actually posting ... unless you're storing a couple away for the future...? Please advise....

R S Crabb said...

That's kinda bizarre Tad about those ghost postings, I haven't done much blogging or archival work since I posted the DC Thingy. Must be blog spooks out there ;)