Thursday, February 28, 2013

Crabb Bits:Goldmine, Mavericks, Nancy Sinatra

End of the month and the third straight night of going home on slick roads and a snowstorm that won't go away.  It left about 8 inches of snow the past three days but the temps have been 32 degrees.  But it's still annoying, but not as annoying as Sean Hannity.

You love Nancy Sinatra?  She's still around and taking from time to time. Nope she doesn't look like she used to, she's 72 but I always enjoyed her opinions and tweets.

Record Collector in Iowa City had a visitor come in today: Jonathan Richman, looking for the new MBV perhaps?  Maybe he'll have better luck getting that one, nobody still has the Richard Thompson Electric anywhere.
Jonathan Richman was here for awhile; nicest guy on the planet. He asked what's with this new band MBV. Seriously.
On the subject of the Fleetwood Mac Rumours reissue, my thoughts goes as follows.

I decided not to reup for another year's subscription to Goldmine magazine, which used to be a cutting edge record collector's mag but nowadays is skinnier than Kate Moss and basically paying 35 bucks a year for barely 60 pages for what used to be three times as thick a decade ago isn't cost effective.  Hell, I get more information from the latest edition of Collector's Choice Music, which has twenty more pages than Goldmine.  Plus they relocated from Wisconsin to some place in Florida.  If your a physical collector of cds or albums you're SOL.  Notice the slight change of the less and improved over the used to be great version.

Pretty good month for the Crabb Top Ten, over 2400 views despite this being a short month.  The Brains Blog and the 1999 Music Of My Years 1 and 2 in most viewed.  I don't get that.  Moving on.

Farce The Music did a big write up and gushed about the new Mavericks In Time (Valory) CD that I got it on their recommendation.  Their first new album in over ten years shows them going more into Tex Mex rock and country and Raul Malo can still sing, he also oversings a lot too.  At their best (Lies, Back In Your Arms Again) they showed the reason why What A Crying Shame is a classic album and at times they do recall Sir Douglas Quintet.  On the downside, Raul Malo begins to channel Roy Orbinson when Roy goes over the top.  The nadir is the 8 minute (Call Me) When You Get To Heaven, a strange gospel like number that recalls Roy's overblown coda at the end of Crying, but at least Roy didn't waste the last four minutes going through such vocal gymnastics that  Malo does and you're wishing that the damn thing will end after the soul chicks start screaming towards the unrelenting ending. When You Get To Heaven is one reason why I never sought out the rest of the Mavericks Catalog or Raul Malo's solo stuff, he tends to oversing.  Problem number two is that some of the songs are in need of a fadeout to which the band and Niko Bolas let them ride the groove.  Plus it has kinda of a demo feel too.  I'll be happy to hear Raul Malo when he sings in Spanish Come Into Me, but in the case of him and Roy, it's better to hear them in moderation.  I can hear the Los Lobos comparison but what makes Los Lobos better is that they know when to let loose and know when to show restraint. And I'm more inclined to play Los Lobos more than I would of The Mavericks.  In Time is good but it would have been better had they left the overplayed in the can, or at least save them for the expanded edition to which I'm sure the folks at Valory Music will reissue a few months from now should In Time take off.

Grade B-

Pick hits; Come Into Me, Lies

The Mouse N Kat Show can be heard on Radio Buzzd com. They continue to support new music and forgotten bands as well.  Shout out to Diggy And Brittney with much love and appreciation.

This just in. KFMH met it's goal of 20,000 dollars to start up their podcast site and a few bucks more. The Plus is coming back, too bad they couldn't go back to the original 99.7 FM Dial.  That would have been much better.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-Can't Stop The Top Ten

Coming to end of February and still getting snowstorms although it looks like Rocky Snowstorm kept down to the south of here, and Amarillo got 18 inches of snow on Monday, Update to this at end of the blog.

Bill Wyman seems to be disappointed that the Rolling Stones didn't ask him to do more than just two songs when he guest starred on their 50th Anniversary Tour in Britian. Strictly financial, if the Stones wanted Wyman to do more, he would have probably asked for more money.  Likewise Mick Taylor.  Glory days are gone and all we get is old farts on the Geritol tour.  We have better things to spend our money on.  Sadly too much if it is going to Big Oil and their damn high gas prices.

Once again, no shortage of tunes to consider.  I'm probably leaving out 1 or 2 but there's always next week, or the five bubbling under.

1.  The Revolution Will Not Be Televised-Gil Scott-Heron 1970  Next to The Last Poets, GSH is really one of the pioneers of rap although he had a mostly jazz band backing him up and this still does hold up although the references to old commercials dates this back to 1970.  A classic although you won't hear this on the radio anytime soon thanks to Whitey Cumulus and Old Fart Clear Channel Fat Cat Radio.

2.  Is This Love-Big In Iowa 1998  Bigger in Ohio though, they never did make it "Big In Iowa" since they never played here as far as I know but next to Big Back Forty was one of the best alt country rock bands to come from Ohio in the late 90s.  Bob Burns sounded like a Midwestern Van Morrison and the band played like the Rolling Stones aka Exile On Main Street era, which is a big statement.  Legend has it that Jerry Lee Lewis wanted the guitar player to play in his touring band and got turned down, saying that his band was "Big In Iowa".  They made four good to great album, Green Pop produced by Roscoe Ambel (to which I have never seen or heard). Ken Glidewell died in a motorcycle accident in 2006, however the band has been doing some selective reunion shows in Ohio this year.  More to come?  Side note: Bob Burns played in The Do's And Don'ts in Ohio, probably not the same Do's And Don'ts band that is from Iowa.  Confused?  I bet you are.

3.  Black Mule-Grant McLennan  1991  Once part of The Go Betweens with the more radical Robert Forrester, McLennan was the more pop sounding of the two and although I haven't really checked out any of the Go Betweens stuff, I'm aware of Forrester's Danger In The Past CD that I found for fifty cents at the pawnshop years ago.  Black Mule got some airplay on the Alternative rock stations of the early 90s.  This version is taken off the Money Is Not The Answer compilation CD that Beggar's Banquet put out in the early 90s via RCA/BMG. It also contains choice cuts from The Dylans, Buffalo Tom, The Charlatans UK and Robert Forrester himself.  Worth a dollar if you find it.

4.  Hypnotized-The Mighty Lemon Drops  1986  Echo And The Bunnymen Junior.  Their first album sounds a hell of lot like Crocodiles, Echo & The Bunnymen's 1980 album for Sire to which The Mighty Lemon Drops were also on Sire.  I bought their World Without End when it came out on Cd in 1988 at the old Iowa City Record Realm years ago to which Record Collector was a couple doors down from the the long gone Realm.  Happy Head the first album is still very good but World Without End is their classic album. They made three more albums but reviews have been more on the negative and still can be found as cut outs.  Wounded Bird, the specialty label, issued both Happy Head and the 8 song EP Out Of Hand as a 2 on 1 CD.  They also reissued the rest of The Lemon Drops catalog as well.  Still in print if you can believe that.

5.  Soul Man-Sam And Dave 1967  Thanks to The Blues Brothers, this song lives forever in the overplayed oldies format but it's still a damn good song regardless.  Play it Steve!

6.  Humor Me-Pere Ubu 1979  Were they punk rock or were they art rock?  Hard to tell and in my high school years I couldn't figure them out, Allen Ravenstine's bizarre noisemaking keyboards and David Thomas banshee vocals were not for the faint of heart.  Dub Housing originally came out on Chrysalis Records and while Robert Christgau gave it a A, Dave Marsh thought it was a piece of poo.  Time has actually treated Pere Ubu a lot better now than it did back then but their back catalog remains a mess, Geffen issued The Modern Dance and Terminal Tower, a collection of B sides, live stuff and failed experiments.  I guess Dave Thomas continues to lead Pere Ubu although the last time I was interested in their music was The Story Of My Life which is a lot more mainstream than the radical late 70s period Dub Housing. Which you can call it alternative too.

7.  Hound Dog-Scotty Moore 1964  Elvis' original guitar player extraordinaire finally jumps on the Elvis money making venture and made a one off album for Epic with Billy Sherrill producing.  Moore picks 12 of Presley's better known numbers and turns them into easy listening muzak.  It's no different then the Tom Tomlinson/Jerry Kennedy's guitar instrumental albums for Mercury/Smash of the early 60s, you have some of the in demand session-men of Nashville at the time, including the unmistakable sax sounds of Boots Randolph although the cd liner notes hardly mention any of them or who sings backing, The Jordanieres   although it also sounds like the Hi Lo's played a role in the singing, but that's speculation on my part.  Never seen the original Epic album of The Guitar That Changed The World but Razor And Tie reissued it on CD and sat for months at Half Priced Books before being banished into the Clarance bins. Guess who picked it up.

8.  The Great White Buffalo-Ted Nugent's Amboy Dukes 1974   The beginning of the Terrible Ted's classic period, first signing up with Herb Cohen's DiscReet label for two albums and then over to Epic.  Derek St Holmes would provide vocal relief since Terrible Ted isn't the best singer out there and every time I hear this song I hear irony along Ted's Right Wing Rhetoric which he's more of a parody then actual songwriter.  Ted hasn't made a listenable album since leaving Epic and you wish he would shut the hell up about Obama threatening to take away his guns.  I don't forsee that happening anytime soon.  Can't deny that he brings it on guitar, shut up and play Ted.  Rob Grange plays bass on this song.

9.  Jack The Ripper-Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 1992  Somebody on Twitter asked El Cranko Cave last week what's the best song he's ever written and he came up with this.  I find myself to limit myself on Cave's music, never thought much of him when he was leader of The Birthday Party to which I had the Hits Comp CD years ago, although his new album is quite good from what I have heard.  If I want to hear Cave I go to Henry's Dream, the album to which the late David Briggs (Neil Young's producer of choice and not the Nashville D.B musician) produced but Cave didn't think much of Briggs involvement or recording of Henry's Dream.  Brought a promo long time ago from the old Rockaway Records in Mesa then sold it.  Got a scratched up replacement at CD's 4 Change.

10.  Waiting-Santana 1969  If you haven't heard by now, Carlos has decided to bring back the original members of the Santana band (those who are still alive mind you) to do some new music for a forthcoming album.  Needless to say the original Santana knew their cuban-latin-fusion-jam rock very well as I decide to close this top ten with the B side to Evil Ways a forty five that still plays pretty good despite it's rough looking shape.

The bubbling five:

Johnny Can't Read-Don Henley 1982
Raspberry Beret-The Derailers 1997
Pass It Around-Smokey 1975
Rex Bob Lowenstein-Mark Germino & The Sluggers 1991
Travelin This Lonesome Road-Bill Monroe 1949

Other things:

At the end of month ratings, February will still be over 2200 views and not sure why the Olivia Blog is getting so many views at this point, even outnumbering the Whitesnake blog and being in 3rd place for most viewed this month, can't understand that one.  The All Time Views is a joke with Bobby Fuller Strange Case falling off the top ten although it comes up with 120 views on the another overview site. Then again The Whitesnake blog should be on the Consortium side of the ledger.  In terms of theory, the First And Last Crabb Fashion Show is better in my opinion.

The OscarsTM  was a travesty.  Seth McFarlane is better off just sticking his slapstick comedy to Family Guy/American Dad/Cleveland Show or whatever he has planned.  Pitty the poor actress who tripped on the stairs leading to the podium to get her OscarTM. Bob Lefsetz trashed the whole thing and even while commenting on Shirley Bassey doing Goldfinger 50 Years After The Fact, the young and curious took a wonder of who was this old woman singing, especially from one K J Testin who asked the Bob who was Shirley Bassey.  Testin got a backlash from the old guard on her lack of knowledge but you can't blame her since she wasn't around and perhaps her parents weren't around when Goldfinger was on the charts.  Got a laugh when Bob told her to ignore the haters (um Bob remember Vader??? *wink*). My question is...who is K J Testin?

This just in, Stone Temple Pilots have fired Scott Wieland.  Next up, a reunion of Army Of Anyone.  I'm sure STP will reunite with Scott when they realize they make more money with him in the band.  Casinos tend to pay pretty good from what I've heard.

The Temptations have been taking a beating of losing former members  First they lost Damon Harris, who replaced Eddie Kendricks and sings on Papa Was A Rolling Stone and most of the mid 70s Norman Whitfield albums passed away at age 62 from prostate cancer on February 18.   Richard Street, the third longest tenured Temptation died at age 70 on Wed, Street would sing in the background when Paul Williams couldn't sing and then replaced him altogether soon after, he too can be heard on Papa Was A Rolling Stone. Street would be a member till a falling out in 1993 and then took his act on the road, sometimes Damon Harris would help him out as well.  Street did perform overseas at 45 different concert dates.

Van Clyburn a cold war envoy and classical pianist also departed this world, from complications of bone cancer aged 78.  Clyburn's RCA albums have been known to pop up in the Salvation Army and Goodwill record bins from time to time.

Say goodbye to Pope Pervert Benedict.  Never liked him anyway.

Another week another snowstorm, this time Winter Storm Rocky playing havoc on the way home from work.  Took me an hour and ten minutes and taking back roads into Springville and hope to God blessed me enough to get me home and not take a gravel road with a 10 foot snowdrift in the middle of the road.  All told we got about 4 inches of the white shit and hope we are done with winter storms till December which I doubt.  We didn't get the 18 inches of Amarillo's white shit and Kansas probably got two feet of it.  Looks like the East Coast will get their forth straight storm, four straight weeks in a row.  Bet ya they're more sick of this than we are.

Could be worse could be a tornado.  Next week is Tornado awareness week here.  I'm sure when it gets warmer and the weather more unsettled we'll go from snowstorms to big assed thunderstorms.  The cycle never ends.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crabb Bits:Marion TV, Iowa City Bargain Hunting.

And so on.

Downtown Marion I'm guessing may have been in the early 80s maybe.  Long time ago the place to the left was my second home in Marion TV and Records to where I spent many a time and money buying the single of the week.  The Queen And Teen used to be the old Ben Franklin/Orphan Variety Store to which you could load up on sugar coated sweets in the my junior high years but I think they closed their doors in the late 70s and Queen And Teen replaced the store.  To the left was The Club Royale Bar, Bzenzencki's the restaurant to the right of Q&T and across the alley was The Shoe Horn and the new location of Town's Square Bookstore in the basement of  The Sewing Bee.  I'm also guessing this may have been taken on a Sunday since none of the stores were open on that day.

Bored and taking a break on recording the new TE record, went down to Iowa City  to the Record Collector, they got a new girl up there working Zoey and found a couple of vinyl albums to listen to.  For CDs, hardly any was found although I did picked up Sam and Dave's Soul Men and Alan Parsons Pyramid 1978 album.  Found a couple more vinyl albums at Housewerks, including the Pickwick Stars Of Hee Haw album that I gave Dad years ago and it's been played to death.  Found Walter Egan's 1979 The Last Stroll, and Greg Lake's 1983 Chrysalis album Manoeuvres.  And I also found 3 albums at Goodwill, including Shakin Stevens 1983 album, Charlie Daniels Midnight Wind and Del Shannon's 1981 Drop Down And Get Me. But going to Mister Money was pointless, they had nothing.

If anybody who reads this and is in the neighborhood, may I suggest going to El Ranchero in Iowa City. They have the best salsa anywhere.  Outside of Record Collector Iowa City is no longer the place to go with records since most of them have closed up and losing Real Records made us lose the record store that keeps up with the latest.  But I have noticed more vinyl hunters at Record Collector, it's been a while since I have seen that place that busy. Maybe vinyl is making a comeback, I've seen a couple that had at least 20 records they were buying at Housewerks when I was up there.

Interesting adventure but uneventful.

Can't Review Them All: Crappy Music

Florida-Georgia Line

Country music has really gone to the toilet of late and now as if we don't have enough things to worry about on Top 40, somebody from the Country music label decided that autotuner would be added to the fake country pop molded in with bad banjos and fiddles.  This kind of crap would have been unthinkable even about five years ago on radio but perhaps the success of Montgomery Gentry,  Brooks And Dunn or in this day and age the unsinkable Brantley Gilbert have paved the way for this half wit duo  Strange how Love And Theft's latest album bombed while this Here's To The Good Times burned up the charts. Cruise makes Boot Scoot Boogie sound like The Beatles.  With country ready singles like Dayum Baby, Get Your Shine On or the get drunk and turn the boom boom speakers up loud Tip It Back  To which Brooks and Dunn look way and the back and shake their heads. This is your new country boys and girls.  You can have it.

Our Lady Peace

They actually predated Nickleback with their type of Canadian Nu' rock and while trying to remember the big hit they had on the radio in the late 90s I ended up getting OLP-A Decade to which Columbia cherry picks their best known stuff.  At their best they are The Tragically Hip at their worst and after four songs into A Decade I put the CD away, OLP is not a band I can listen to at work, their aggressive alt Nu Rock is not for those in a bad mood when printers are not jamming or when the tower paper jams and messing the machines up even further.  Casual fans have suggested Happiness Is  Not A Fish You Can Catch or Clumsy. I'll leave that up to you.

A shout out to Angel' and his Route 66 shop in Seligman  .

I added more blogs and archival stuff from 2008, the June through August 2008 blogs are now completed.

Song Of The Day from Pat Travers: Dazed And Confused By Led Zeppelin.

I still remember the first time I heard this song. I was 15 and we were over at one my older brother's buddy's house down in the rec-room on a cold overcast November day. Man this music scared the s**t our of me. We used to play this one in my first band with Jeff Jordan doing awesome vocals. Jeff's a tall good looking guy and he got right into it. Cool frontman!
What's kinda cool is that Jimmy Page is using a Fender Telecaster on this album. This was before he got his Les Paul. For today's "Musical Rx" I going to present what I think is really the mold for so called "Heavy Metal" music to follow...from Led Zeppelin's first album..."Dazed And Confused"! Cheers, PT

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-Qribble And Bits

Saturday there was a police chase around this area and it turned out that we actually knew one of the people that got arrested.  They didn't stop when the police did a routine check on them and after a brief chase the car was ditched at a apartment and the driver fled but eventually was caught and arrested.  The passenger Leilani Irvine-Bolton was arrested for interfering with official acts and drug procession.  She used to work in our old department and was a part time singer for Greener.  

Upon talking with Mike Swearingen while visiting him at the hospital he gave me more insight into the jam get together that he posted on FB a month ago.  He was talking about getting band members in the CR area that are still alive to do jam and greet in March, the second week at The Eagle's Club.  He expressed that although he's no longer desiring to play in a band anymore (can't deal with band members egos, girl friends and wives that dictate things, drugs, booze, showing up late or not at all) he thought it would be nice to get all surviving musicians that played a role in Eastern Iowa bars scene one more time before we lose more of them.  Good idea, we'll see if it becomes reality.

Gas prices have gone up a whopping 75 cents from the first of the month and signs indicated that we will see 4 dollar a gallon here in the state for the first time ever.  Speculators and their GD fear factor, anything for the almighty dollar.  So when is Jesus coming down to take over this world?  Seems like Hell on Earth, especially the Pope resigning and taking refuge in the Vatican so he doesn't get hit up on child abuse charges.  Never like Benedict in the first place, he always seemed to be somebody that you didn't want to leave your children alone with, especially boys.  High gas prices pretty much puts a hamper on any bargain hunts this year although St Louis I'd love to visit this year since it's been 4 years since I been down there. If gas goes up to 5 bucks a gallon, we might be going to Wall Street to pick off a Speculator or two or three.

Link of the week:5 Things Record Labels Don't Want You To Know about from Cracked. For a parody, it's dead on most of them.

More deaths, Shadow Morton, producer of the Shangrai La's Leader Of The Pack dead at age 71.  He also produced The Vanilla Fudge's deconstruction of You Keep Me Hangin On and thought so much of Sonny and Cher's The Beat Goes On, that he got the Fudge to an concept album of that song.  Never heard it myself.  Also produced New York Dolls 1974 Too Much Too Soon.  Also Rick Huxley, bass player for the Dave Clark Five, emphysema complications at age 72.   Mindy McCready decided to end her life with a shotgun blast to the head, she leaves behind two boys. She was 37. Tony Sheridan also died, there was a picture about it here but it has since disappeared. Too tired to look up a picture, google it if you need to be.

After a mostly quiet January, this month has been a parade of snowstorms coming through the area with another iceslick storm on Monday and coming Thursday another big blizzard potential that might have us hunker down in the Crabb cave for the rest of the week.  Looks like we're gettin back to our typical wet pattern that was missing for the past couple years.  The drought is over, let the bitchings begin.

And Mike Love sucks.  Any Beach Boys line up with Mike Love only remains to be boycotted at all costs.  Retire creepy old dude.

Top Ten selections.

1.   Forgotten Town-The Christians 1988  Don't we all miss the 80s? I know I do, I was 3 decades younger back then too although I could have really done without Ronnie Reagan's 8 year sideshow.  Back then even corporate labels were buying out the independents that made music memorable in the 60s and 70s.  Late in the game Island Records still managed to put out some winning albums from bands nobody remembers, case in point, The Christians who I discovered on that Island 25th Anniversary Collection with a 45 edit of this song.  They were better known in the UK and had a few top ten hits, but over here they didn't chart too high.   Their S/T album still holds up very well in that Fine Young Cannibals type of music but with a bit of Isley Brothers influence as well.  Roger Christian passed away in around 2002 but it seems the band has regrouped once again with a new album, only available across the pond.  Round here everybody is more interested in Rhianna and Chris (Jackass) Brown back together again.  That's all I'm going to say about that last sentence.  Who cares? Not me.

2.  Gonna Roll Out The Red Carpet-Buck Owens And The Buckeroos 1966
3.  Play Me The Waltz Of The Angels-The Derailers 1999

A long time ago, if you listened to country radio in the 60s, chances are you would be hearing Buck Owens every hour on the hour and for my money he was the pioneer of the Bakersfield Sound as well as Merle Haggard.  Buck had a secret weapon in Don Rich, The Lennon/McCartney of Country Music, and perhaps maybe Buck and Don had a hand in the music of The Beatles' harmonies as well.  Don't look for Buck to be in the RnR HOF anytime soon, it took forever to get him into the Country Music HOF.  Sundazed had issued most of the early 60s Buck and Buckeroos albums and amazing how Buck would do four or five albums per year and not make a bad album and wrote the majority of songs with Don Rich or Red Simpson or Harlan Howard and ex wife Bonnie Owens.  I myself grew up on that Hee Haw Christmas album Capitol stuck out and was a big part of our Christmas.  Funny thing about the album Roll Out The Red Carpet For Buck Owens and his Buckeroos was there wasn't a top ten single off it but still remains a fun listen.  Folks at Half Priced Books got tired of it not selling so they stuck it in the Clarance bins and guess who took it?

The closest band that got to The Buckeroos sound was The Derailers who were big Buck fans and idolizers  as well as Dwight Yoakam but that's a different artist and a different story.  They made a few albums for Watermelon before signing on with the so called new and improved Sire Records and made two albums that was produced by Dave Alvin of The Blasters fame.  Somehow their country sound didn't fare with Country Music Radio and was ignored even with Buck himself appearing on Waltz Of The Angels.  Sire dropped them and they moved over to two forgettable albums on Lucky Dog while trying to appease the country radio heads. Tony Villanueva retired but the band soldered on, returning to the Baskersfield type of alt country and even did a Buck Owens tribute album after Buck passed away.  Brian Hofeldt continues to lead them.

4.  I Could've Had Religion-Rory Gallagher 1972  Long time ago I saw Rory play on In Concert when ABC was showing live music on Friday Nights and it was a great way to see these artists that didn't get any airplay on the radio.  Can't say why I never bought any of his albums although they remain in print be it from Buddah or Eagle Rock which put out a collection of Rory's appearance on the old German TV show Beat Club and called it (naturally) The Beat Club Sessions.  I had the Best Of Taste, Gallagher's band that made a couple albums for Atco/Polydor and didn't care for it much but upon listening to this live collection I might keep an eye out for Rory's mid 70s album that came out in Chrysalis and then later reissued via Capo/Eagle Rock.  He was a damn good guitar player.

5.  Along Comes Mary-The Association 1967  I disagree with the assumption that The Association was a junk band, whose big hits were Cherish or Never My Love but they had more hippy in them when they took this little ode to weed to the top of the charts.  Tandyn Almer, the eccentric writer of this song who died in January said it was about Maryjuwanna. It's no shame to like The Association, heck their last couple albums showed them going more country rock than sappy pop but nobody bought them, not even the classic Waterbeds In Trinidad!  More about Mr Almer who would co write the sweet Sail On Sailor for the Beach Boys and could only tolerate Mike Love for less the timing of the song.

6,  Daddy Cool-The Rays 1957  Music that I grew up with as a kid will forever remain a part of this staple in some shape or form but for years I tried to find this B side to Silhouettes of this doo wop group but had the note for note copy from The Diamonds but the original was sloppy fun, featuring the worst drummer this side of Meg White, The Rays couldn't duplicate that in future performances.  After seeing overpriced scratchy 45s on EBAY, I found a version for 2 bucks in the (where else?) Clarance bins at Half Priced Books off The Cruisin Story 1957 2 CD set that Not Now Music has been putting out and HP Books been putting in the cheap bins.  Perhaps the best call and response in rock history, Daddy who? Daddy Cool! Daddy Who? DADDY COOL.   Come to think of it my mom had a very cool record collection, that and her older dead sister.  They knew their music and passed it on to me.  I just took it a bit further than either one of them did.

7.  61 Highway-Mississippi Fred McDowell 1969  Upon trading suggestions to Samantha Fish about what she should get next for blues in her collection I pointed out she should seek out McDowell whose music remains some of my favorite all time blues but of course she pointed out that she did but the record store didn't have much Fred but plenty of R L Burnside instead.  I  am guessing that she probably has some of the Arhoolie stuff and maybe the decent Shout Factory Heroes Of The Blues but my first CD was the long deleted Live At The Mayfair Hotel to which Henry Rollins convinced and squandered big American Recordings and Warner Brothers dollars to get it released.  McDowell has recorded this a few times in his life but this is my favorite version from that Mayfair Hotel show case.  That walking guitar line, the stinging slide, even in his advancing years, you hear years of experience from his playing and singing.  One thing about Henry Rollins, he knows his music.


8.  Hey Baby-Ringo Starr 1977  Funny how all the ex Beatles I have for music, I only have three cds for Paul McCartney, two for George Harrison and even though he was the most prolific beatles I don't have any John Lennon solo stuff, used to have a couple but sold them but I do have six CDs from Ringo Starr.  The Pete Drake produced Beaucoup Of Blues had some country charm but Richard Perry's album played the best and since then most of Ringo's album had guest stars galore and seemed to be the creative outlet when Lennon or McCartney or Harrison gave Ringo songs that they didn't want to do.  I wouldn't say the phase two act when he left Apple for the major label hopping that he did was total garbage.  In fact some of it was charming such as this failed top forty single for Atlantic years ago and Rhino did a decent job in a Starr Struck Best Of Volume 2 overview.  Since then, EMI before they got broke up and sold off compiled the best Ringo overview with Photograph, The Very Best Of which adds a few of the wasted years tracks that comprised of the now forgotten Starr Struck best of 2.  I have no use for the Ringo All Star Band albums and although I liked Time Takes Time, his 1992 Private album comeback, i found the rest of his hook ups with Mark Hudson to be as forgettable as they come.  But for fun rock, Hey Baby is that.

9.  Bo Diddley Special-Eric Burdon 2013  The voice of the Animals is back with a new album and new pats on the back and at age 72 Burdon has come up with Senior Citizen classic with Till Your River Runs Dry, which Eric addresses the problems of the world with single Water being the perfect example of against Fracking for oil, a protest song of this day and age.  The best raw single of the 60s, Burdon fell apart with hippie dippy crap with The New Animals (although he would score a ringer once in a while with Sky Pilot and to a lesser extent, San Francisco Nights) and a even confusing time with upstarts War and later the Eric Burdon Band before the disaster that was the return of the original Animals in 1983.  For the most part Eric continued to make albums with a decent band featuring Tony Branangel on drums and Johnny Lee Schnell on guitar but I didn't pay much attention to them since you couldn't find them any where.  He returns to Abkco Records with perhaps his best album in years.  The man loves Bo Diddley enough to praise him a couple times on this album, shows he has good taste.

10.  Warning-Black Sabbath 1970  Black Sabbath has never been known much for covering songs, they did cover Crow's big hit Evil Woman Don't Play Your Games With Me to which was issued on the UK B.S. debut but not in the US and this cover who I can't think did it first.  A product of the times, it goes for about 10 minutes on the LP only We Sold Our Soul For Rock And Roll best of but the introduction A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village starts it out.  Tony Iommi's guitar solo is a mixture of styles and I figure he extends this out since they didn't have any more material to do, it may sound pointless to this day but I still like it fine. And then there's Billy Ward bashing away on drums although on this recording he may have just used one cymbal and hi hats for his assault.  He's always been a one of a kind drummer although it's too bad he couldn't put aside his differences to make it on the new B.S. album coming out in the summer with the overrated Rick Rubin overseeing the project.  I'm sure I'll buy it when I see it.  Problem is we're running out of music stores within driving distance and Best Buy has really really sucked when it comes to get new music in, they STILL don't have the new Richard Thompson Electric album.

Another five down memory lane:

Dishwater-Lee Morgan  1957
Give It Up-John Hiatt 2013
English Roundabout-XTC 1981
Occupation-Don Drummond 1965?
Nobody's Wedding-Richard Thompson 1972

With no bargain hunting trips forthcoming I been staying put in town or at the local Half Priced Books to which they continue to throw inventory into the two dollar bins.  For at least the crappy ones like Our Lady Peace-A Decade (Columbia 2007) at least the jewel case is in remarkable shape to replaced cracked ones. OLP was screamo Nu Metal from Canada and I thought I remember hearing some of their stuff on the radio and liked it enough, Not much so on this best of, to which after 4 songs I threw it back in the pile to donate.  Barkmarket-Vegas Throat (American Recordings 1992) was slightly more tolerable although the Nirvanaisms tend to get in the way.  Dave Sardy went on to a successful producer career.  The Inner Flame (Atlantic 1997) was a tribute album to Rainer Ptacek, an interesting slide guitar/Dobro player who died of a brain tumor the next year.  Robert Plant and Howe Gelb co produced and contributed as well as the likes like EmmyLou Harris, Jonathan Richman and Bill Janovitz, the Plant/Jimmy Page song is interesting but like the majority of tribute albums you play once and file away.

HP Books also threw some comps in the 2 bucks bins, namely The Cruisin Years 1957 and The London American Story of 1959 from One Day Music, most of I have in other configuerments but the former has Daddy Cool by The Rays (See the top ten of the week for more) and the latter Marilyn Monroe's I Want To Be Loved By which I don't even think is any other comps of the 50s.  Plenty other cheap compilations from the likes of Folio which been issuing some classic Chess albums now that Universal has deleted the majority of them out in the US.  As far as I know they seem to be legit since Universal's label is on the CD.  I did buy Otis Rush Door To Door CD since the one I got last summer was scratched and also Chess Soul which had Mama Didn't Lie from Jan Bradley and plenty more soul classic from Sugar Pie Deasano, The Radiants and many others.  Buyer Beware: the liner notes suck and unlike the US versions very little discography information.  For 2 bucks you can't beat it.  Likewise The Primo Collection from another incognito label from Denmark of all places.  HP Books has plenty of 2 CD collections from the likes of Marty Robbins, Don Gibson, Kingston Trio but I picked up Ska-The Essential Records which gives props to the great Skatalites who was the Motown of Jamaica Music including Lloyd Knibbs, Tommy McCook, Baba Brooks and the doomed Don Drummond, the best trombone player in reggae music.  Although there's a few vocal tracks from the likes of Toots & The Maytals, Justin Hinds & The Dominoes and The Ethiopians, it's strictly instrument with the trademark ska sound that was Jamaica early 60s mostly coming from Duke Reid and Treasure Isle Recordings but also Coxsome Dodd and Leslie Kong productions.  Of course this is all guesswork, there's no liner notes or discography of where the recordings came from.  Sound quality is so so but for cheap ska reggae you can't do any better.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Music Of My Years-The Moody Blues 1967-1972

When you live in a era of the 45, knowing what was out there on albums was like the great unknown.  When my Aunt Cindy moved in with us back in the mid 70s she didn't have a big record collection but when she was at work I would sneak up there to see what she had and played it and returned it before she got back home from work.  One of them was the 2 record set This Is The Moody Blues a collection of their better known hits and other oddities from their classic years.

If any band was progressive rock/classical that would be The Moody Blues.  When they started out, like any other British band the Moodies incorporated blues and pop songs into their music with Denny Laine and Mike Pinder doing the original songs.  They had a top five hit with Go Now then Laine and Clint Warwick departed.  Their replacements Justin Hayward and John Lodge would take them into a different direction.

While some people believe that Pink Floyd was the ultimate headphone classic band, I was in the minority that The Moody Blues were better, making better albums and with Tony Clarke's production of when one song ends another begins, kinda like movements in a orchestral piece. Nothing was more evident of this on their 1967 masterpiece Days Of Future Passed to which Peter Knight's orchestral beginnings would gave way to Dawn Is A Feeling and on to Another Morning and to the thrashing Peak Hour.  Even The Beatles never took classical to this type of rock settings and that was only side one.  The best song Tuesday Afternoon remains a Moody Blues classic with movement going into strings and Knight's arrangement leading to the mysterious Time To Get Away.  After perhaps the weakest track done by Mike Pinder, the album concludes with Nights In White Satin to which Peter Knight's orchestra meets up with the Moodies for the grand finale and a Graeme Edge poem to conclude it all.

The first album that I got was a Christmas present from my aunt and a note telling me to quit taking her dang albums was In Search Of The Lost Chord and from that album up to Seventh Sojourn, the concept album was set in stone. The strange Departure would lead into Ride My See Saw, Dr. Livingston I Presume, The House Of Four Doors and in between Legend Of A Mind, Ray Thomas' elegy to Timothy Leary.  I didn't play the second side all that much outside of Thinking Is The Best Way To Travel but a much later return showed that Voices In The Sky, Visions Of Paradise and The Actor had their strange and moody charm as well.  As with Om, Pinder's finale you either love it or hate it, probably best served with a bit of LSD to get the whole meaning, not so much with Red Bull, especially on the freak out middle of song.

On A Threshold Of A Dream, improves over In Search Of The Lost Chord although Edge's poetry hasn't aged well but certainly The Moody Blues could rock out  on Lovely To See You and To Share Our Love and the beautiful Never Comes The Day.  Ray Thomas was a underrated songwriter and it shows on Dear Diary and even co writes with Justin Hayward on Are You Sitting Comfortably? There's a country vibe on Send Me No Wine and Mike Pinder goes soul on So Deep Within You but he's also the one behind the long suffering Have You Heard/The Voyage.

To Our Children's Children's Children might be their masterpiece outside of Days Of Future Passed, many people have sang its praises, Mark Prindle gave it a 10 on his review site.  Beginning with the chaotic Higher And Higher, Grahame Edge begins to add poetry and set it to music and it's a wild ride into the nothingness and beginnings of the wonderful Eyes Of A Child Part 1 and another Ray Thomas winner Floating and into the reflective I Never Thought I Live To See A Hundred.  Side 2 might be the best Moody Blues side ever starting with the rumbling Hayward number Gypsy which leads into the best Ray Thomas song ever written Eternity Road and unto probably the best John Lodge song ever wrote Candle Of Life.  Even Pinder's Sun Is Still Shining is very good and after Hayward sings I Never thought I see A million (fat chance) it all ends with perhaps the most beautiful and haunting songs they ever did Watching And Waiting.  I can listen to this all eternity.

A Question Of Balance is another classic in it's own wake.  The hit single Question to which it starts out rocking and all out before Justin Hayward quiets it down for another reflective middle passage and back to rocking out before it goes into Pender's How Is It We Are Here. Even though Hayward and Lodge wrote the majority of songs, every member of the band contributed something of value Thomas adds the sweet and sad And The Tide Rushes In,  John Lodge adds the jamming Tortoise And The Hare and Minstrel Song and Justin Hayward gives us the excellent It's Up To You and Dawning Is The Day.  The last two songs, Pinder's overlong Melancholy Man and The Balance makes the album less than perfect it still remains a solid A grade.

Cracks were beginning and the next two albums while good, were not as good as the first five.  Every Good Boy Deserves Favour begins to show self indulgence.  The side one opener Procession is a variety of styles and words and where does it lead I don't know.  They can still rock out on the hit single Story In Your Eyes and on After You Came, The Moody Blues never made a harder rocking song that they did on that 4 minute 35 seconds of heavy metal.  Ray Thomas provides another winner with Our Guessing Game. Side 2 on the other hand outside of You Can Never Go Home and the Thomas throwaway Nice To Be Here was a snoozer, Pinder being the oddball continue to write the album ending turd that would become My Song.  One of the least favorite songs of this era.

Seventh Sojourn was their final masterpiece or so it seems.  It's a hard album to like, even impossible to love.  I think the boys were moving toward writing love songs like Ray Thomas did on the sappy For My Lady or Justin Hayward's New Horizons.  They could still rock like I'm Just A Singer (in a rock n roll band) but even better the Edge/Hayward You And Me and even Pender wrote a couple decent numbers When You're A Free Man and Stranger In A Strange Land.  But all in all this would be their final album as they would take six years off to return with the lackluster Octave.

In the meantime Decca UK would keep the Moody Blues alive with a live album that goes back to around 1969.  Caught Live Plus 5 is a decent Royal Albert Hall concert of December 1969 and added five studio tracks that really aren't that bad.  Decca/London would put out a album of lost singles and the five numbers into Prelude, which could have used that Tony Clarke segway  into the next song. Prelude adds the should have been hit single Fly Me High, the much rocking than usual Mike Pender I Really Haven't Got The Time. Pender also give us Love And Beauty and the underrated A Simple Game to which The Moody Blues actually back The Four Tops!  For the five unissued stuff that made the Plus 5 of the live album and side 2, Gimi A Little Something is the best of the bunch and the rest while good was not good enough to make the original albums it seems. 

But in the beginning for me it was This Is The Moody Blues the 2 record overview that enticed me enough to seek out the originals and even though that album is a curiosity piece it did provide the best sampler of the Moody Blues best era, to which they took the concept of mixing classical overtunes to their songs and making them more into suites than actual songs.  And they still hold up to this day much to the chagrin to the classic rock folks and Jann Wanner who still refuses to let them in the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame.  And that's his problem.  The Moody Blues continue to this day Justin, John and Graeme and I'm sure they're content to play the hits but one time they were true serious album artists making classic music in their own way.  And we all for the better of it.


Days Of Future Past (Deram 1967) A+
In Search Of The Lost Chord (Deram 1968) A-
On A Threshold Of A Dream (Deram 1969) A-
To Our Children's Children's Children (Threshold 1969) A+
A Question Of Balance (Threshold 1970) A
Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (Threshold 1971) B+
Seventh Sojourn (Threshold 1972) B
This Is The Moody Blues (Threshold 1974) B+
Caught Live Plus Five (London 1976) B
Prelude (London 1987) B+
Moody Blues Live At The Isle Of Wright Festival 1970 (Eagle Reissue 2008) B

Friday, February 15, 2013

Observations: BMG, KFMH Returns, Songs That Made An Impact 2013

Universal is selling off some of the other labels that they have acquired since their purchase of the EMI label, Parlophone was sold off to Warner Music Group.  And now Sanctuary label is been send back over to BMG Rights Management for 62.5 million. 10 years ago BMG did distribution for Sanctuary which has a big back catalog of some classic UK labels like Castle, Pye as well as the old folks label CMC and Metal Is, which is basically most of the Bronze Motorhead albums and some Iron Maiden music too.  This time out BMG Rights, if this wins approval will make them the biggest independent label out there next to Concord Music which has the Fantasy/Stax/Prestige/Riverside/Fantasy Jazz collection.  BMG Rights Management is also home of Mute Record, pending approval of course.

KFMH, the former 99 plus radio station of long ago and far is being revitalized for a fund raiser on March 1st on KCJJ to which Steve Bridges will bring back most of the DJ's and staff that made that radio station fun to listen to in hopes of raising money for a podcast radio station on the net.  Which is fine and dandy but I wish we can get these folks to get this back on a FM dial and get rid of the faceless Cumulus/Clear Channel crapfest of the same old shit 

Thursday Night, Diggy Kat and his beautiful sidekick Mouse went the full 9 hours and played every track that was featuring from Diggy's labor of love project Songs That Made An Impact from 2009 to 2013, the fifth installment to which I listen to most of it.  Former Nazareth guitar player Manny Charlton appears on a blues track and probably is the most recognized name out of the bands that are on this. As of press time you can probably can get it at CD Baby which proceeds due benefit keeping the project going and Diggy's radio show on Radio Buzzd. Included deep on CD 2, is Queen Of Anamosa by The Townedgers to which the song was given to the cause.  My favorite song is a band called August Rising which a song that kinda reminds me of power pop or a more melodic Snow Patrol but there's a lot of dance music, alternative and hard metal to go with the folk or girl power rock of Pi, which might be the best song she's ever done.    Stephanie Andreas did the promo video of this and continues a dance track as well

Update: CD baby doesn't have this for sale yet.

If you haven't been out and about, you may have noticed that gas prices have shot up 75 cents since the start of the month and some places back over 4 bucks a gallon, typical speculation ploy and usual politics involved.  It's gone from 2.94 to now 3.69 and still more hikes to come since it goes up 10 cents every fucking GD week.  I'm sure Tad agrees it's all BS but he has to put up with John  Q Public bitching about that to him when they fill up at his place of work.  News media doesn't make it better with their "Pain at the pump" crapola either.  More of Annoyance at the pump thanks to the speculators plundering and pillaging our wallets in the process. Too bad the the meteor didn't take out congress instead.

I am beginning to wonder if that radio active meltdown from Japan didn't come across the ocean and turn half the people's brains to cheese around this area.  I couldn't help but notice how many people I seen that went in 16 degree temps with a wind chill of 8, that didn't have coats on and wearing shorts while I'm shivering my way into Target.  Perhaps something about Red Bull that warms you up and makes you feel so warm and fuzzy that you need a coat.  Even seen some scantly clad teens bopping around Target wearing the flimsiest of clothes.  Maybe I don't it but perhaps maybe I'm too old for this shit anyway.  They can catch phenomena on thier own time while wearing shorts when the wind is blowing 20 miles from the NW.

Other notes:

Robert Christgau's confusing review of Vaccines Come Of Age:
 Why no-fail hookcraft is ideal for triangulating the not-enough‑-and also why it's not enough ("No Hope," "Change of Heart Pt. 2") B-

My take: Not as memorable as their first and even Ethan John's dry production doesn't work very well on this effect.  I gave it a B grade.

Samantha Fish wrote and said that she scored some blues cds on her trip out to Canada and picked up some R L Burnside, some Professor Longhair and Freddy King's Burglar album from the early 70s.  She like the suggestion of getting some Fred McDowell but said that the selection of his stuff was nil.  Next suggestion, pick up some Reverend Gary Davis.  But then again,  I think she knows more about the blues than what we give her credit for.

Finally, Mike Swearingen, beloved former lead singer of Paraphernalia has survived his brain operation and should be coming home on Monday.  In order to curb his cigarette habit, he's been smoking those E cigarettes and so far doing okay till he goes back to the real cancer sticks. In the meantime, we leave you with Brittney and Diggy with Glitter Rose.  A shout out. Looking good!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-Black History Month

This month is black history month and I was debating about who to do it about but in end didn't come up with much so this top ten, I celebrate Black History Month by making a all black top ten.  Hard to believe that back in the early era of rock and roll and jazz for that matter the pace setters were actually black artists.  Take a gander of this week's picks.

1.  Confessing The Blues-Walter Brown & Jay McShann 1941  72 years ago, Jay penned this modern blues classic with Walter Brown singing although later Chuck Berry and Little Walter would cover this number.  McShann is one of the premier jazz blues artists to emerge from Kansas City but in the 40s recorded for Decca. I enjoy his music better in a piano trio and not the full orchestra but to each their own.

2.  Ain't Gonna Be Your Tattoo-Shemekia Copeland & Buddy Guy 2012  Present day Chicago blues hasn't varied all that much from those who like their blues traditional rather than the modern style of beat boxes and autotuner. Copeland although later in the scene has grew up on the traditional and on her latest she cooks up with legendary Buddy Guy, the last link to the original Chess blues artists of long ago and far away and he is a national treasure, continuing to pack Buddy Guy's Legends when he's up on stage.  Copeland's latest made my best of 2012 to which people continue to read the 2009 best of for reasons unknown.

3.  Rockin Is Our Bizness-The Treniers 1953  Rock and roll before the golden edge of Rock, The Treniers were one tough rocking twins. Cliff and Claude Trenier may have pioneered the jam on this in your face jump blues to which the sax player Don Hill  blows so hard you're about ready to see his teeth pop out.  Ain't no joke when you rock this hard, only closest song that came this close to blowing your speakers off was Joe Brown's Leroy Sent Me which came out in the forties.

4.  Duppy Conqueror-Bob Marley & The Wailers 1970  Ah Bob Marley and The Wailers to which nobody knew much about in the early 70s before Chris Blackwell signed them to Island and history took over but for the most part The Wailers toiled in obscurity.  Originally on the Upsetter Label and produced by Lee Perry this version is much rougher then the one that would be re recorded for the Burnin album later on.  Ironic fact: Shelter Records issued this as Doppy Conquer 45 to which I never seen till I came across it by accident on night. (Shelter 7309) B side was The Upsetters' Justice.  I'm guessing this may have been Shelter's attempt to cash in on the reggae craze when the movie The Harder They Come came out.

5.  St. Louis Blues-Louis Armstrong 1929  Marti Gra  has started both in New Orleans and closer by to St Louis.  Seems like we hear more about the St Louis going ons than we do in New Orleans but I've never been to either martigra, too old and don't drink anyway, I wouldn't be much fun.  Back in the 20's Louis was the top jazz player and this was a big hit for him way back then.  Time and age would render him more into easy listening than outrageous jazz but I admit it, we did have Hello Dolly as a 45 years ago, or at least I think we did, and probably used it as a frisbee too.

6.  Samson And Delilah-Reverend Gary Davis  1971  His final recordings showed he lost some of his vocal powerness but this is the version that the Grateful Dead would use on their Dead Set album of 1982.

7.  Cult Of Personality-Living Colour 1988  For most of the past three decades black artists are more interested in rap or R and B rather than cranking their amps up to 10 and rocking out, there are very few black rock bands out there although Chuck Berry or Bo Diddley or Jimi Hendrix and Arthur Lee for that matter lead rock bands (okay Sly Stone and I'm sure there more out there I forgot about) but for a small time in 1988 Living Colour turned the black music on its ear with the classic Vivid album which still holds up very well 25 years on.  Still gets plenty of airplay on modern rock radio to this day.  They're still around although their last two albums I really didn't care much for.

8.  Stick Shift-The Duals 1961 thereabouts.  The big rarity:  surf music done by two black guys that made a decent album for Sue Records but of course that label couldn't figure out how to market it to the black audience out there. Excellent record for those who like The Ventures.

9.  Jet Airliner-Paul Pena  1973  issued 2000  Steve Miller had a big hit with this but Pena wrote in 1973 for Bearsville Records and then had the record not released for 27 years after Albert Grossman had a falling out with Pena's manager and later came out in Hybrid as an afterthought.  It has more lyrics and a bit more soulful than Miller's version and too bad.  This could have been a underground hit for Pena who passed in 2005.

10.  Temptation-Joan Armatrading 1985   There are lady black artists that are hard to pigeonhole and Joan is a lot like Nina Simone, Simone always gets lumped into the jazz side of things whereas she added soul and rock to her songs, Joan is the same way although she has more of a pop leanings.  This is my favorite song from her which got some airplay on MTV's 120 minutes, back when the M stands for Music and not Mindless which MTV is nowadays (don't get me started).

Soul Much More And So Little Time Five

Magic Carpet Ride-Mothers' Finest 1979
Ride-Dee Dee Sharp 1962
Put Our Love Together-Arthur Conley 1967
Cisco Kid-War 1973
People Are Meddling In Our Affairs-J B Lenoir 1951

CD's that I have found and reviewed.

Eric Burdon-Till Your River Runs Dry (Abkco 2013) B+
John Hiatt-Mystic Pinball (New West 2012) A-
John Coltrane-Giant Steps (MFSL Gold Disc 1959) A-
Buck Owens-Roll Out The Red Carpet (Capitol 1966) B+
The Christians (Island 1988) B+
The Derailers-Full Western Dress (Sire 1999) B+

Eric Burdon is back with his first decent album in decades.  At age 72 his voice tends to go all over the place for the most part a lotta songs deal with the destruction of the world, plus a love of Bo Diddley.  Can't complain about that.....John Hiatt Mystic Pinball is also his best in years with a world weary view of love gone wrong and getting older.  He wrote the soundtrack of my life of this year....If you can find a gold disc of anything John Coltrane I suggest to get it.  The bass on this CD is so strong that my brother commented that it drowned out the movie he was watching upstairs.  Considered the best of the Atlantic years I tend to favor My Favorite Things or John Coltrane Plays the Blues but it is worthy of its A rating, after all 1959 seemed to be the high water mark of jazz...Buck Owens made many many albums for Capitol in the 60s three or four at a time per year in the early and mid 60s and Roll Out The Carpet remains high quality Buck Owens with plenty of Don Rich harmonies and even Doyle Holly takes the lead on one cut.  Plus a couple of Don Rich instrumentals to boot....The Christians had a top 80 hit with Forgotten Town and Hooterville both tracks reached higher in the UK, but they're a lot like the soul vibe of Paul Young or Fine Young Cannibals but with a Isley Brothers influence too.....The Derailers may have been the best Buck Owens wannabe band of the 90s and made a couple decent albums for Watermelon and two on Sire produced by Dave Alvin.  I think I liked this record a little bit better back in 1999 and they were ahead of their time, they would have given The Mavericks a run for their money.  For some reason Sire never promoted them very well, and the Derailers would lose their way, making two bland albums for Lucky Dog/Sony Nashville before Tony Villeneava would leave and Brian Holfeld would continue on, returning to a more Bakersfield via Austin sound but without Tony losing some their soul. Contains a odd remake of Then She Kissed Me.

P.T.'s Pick:  Pat Travers picks a hit. Smokestack Lightning by Howlin Wolf!

Hey there! Got some awesome Chicago Blues for you today. The King of the Blues as far as I'm concerned. His vibrato on the harp is off the chart! And the voice and bearing, man now that's a man! For today's "Musical Rx" a little salve for your's Howlin' Wolf..."Smokestack Lighting"! Cheers, PT

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week: Are You Sick Of Winter Yet?

What was once a below average of snow winter this year we got hit with three straight Alberta Clippers which didn't bring much snow to the place this weekend but last Wed's Ice/Rain/Snow crapola made a mess of things going from 58 degrees to minus 5 in a matter of hours.  Every damn car door and even going outside the GD backdoor was frozen due to the rain feezing on the handle.  Embrace winter sez the Hippie girl?  We love ya but not when we trying to get back in due to the freezing shit.  To which begs the question: are you sick of winter yet?

The Super Bowl was entertaining to say the very least but in a attempt to get some Mexican at the local Anamosa restaurant I came to find it closed that night so the only choice to get some take out Chinese and they had Beyonce bouncing along but I didn't pay much attention to it but Bob Lefsetz did and made his usual either/or comments. Dave Lifton gives his response to his annual Bash Bob blog:

Former Paraphernalia vocalist Mike Swearingen's plans for a musical reunion fell through but he does plan a karaoke, his last for a while at the Sip N Stir before having minor brain surgery on the 14th.  Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.

Last weekend was our usual tribute to the fallen of the Winter Dance Party of 1959, which turned out to be the worst tour for anybody to endure at time, too bad that the brain dead trust who thought up of this, having musicians to suffer for days on end as they criss crossed a frozen and barren Midwestern tour on piece of shit buses whose heaters would not work and they be stranded on highways, as they zig zag from one part of Wisconsin to the other side of Minnesota or make a detour in Iowa, just like the last minute adding of the Surf Ballroom show which became the most famous of them all.  With Carl Bunch having to set out due to frostbitten feet, Buddy Holly would become a stand in drummer for Richie Valens which photos have been taken and can be found on the internet somewhere.  Such a shame we didn't have Smart phones to take pictures and record the show, we have to rely on hear say and recollections.  The GAC Company which did this disaster, I'm surprised never got sued for this.  Too bad The Big Bopper, Buddy and Richie had to experience our crummy weather of sub zero temps and Alberta Clippers coming in one after the after trying to make a living off a dollar twenty five admission, perhaps the biggest bargain in the history of music, since the next day they would for the ages.  The next show Bobby Vee and his band subbed and when the remainder of the Dance Party hit CR at Danceland, they got Frankie Avalon, Fabian  and Jimmy Clanton instead.  Not exactly a fair trade by any mean, but by then, the plane crash sucked the life out of that disaster anyway.  And nobody remembered much of the replacement acts that took over since I can't find any reviews of the WDP after Clear Lake.  Another reason why you don't see many rock acts invade this cold barren area in the wintertime.  Too fucking cold.  Even though Buddy, Richie and JP were not from here, they became honorary Iowans and forever a part of our Iowa Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame the hard way.  We'll remember them more in our hearts then some of the multi tri inductees that are from Iowa.

This week's ten:

1.  Spirits In The Night-Manfred Mann's Earth Band  1975  I'm not a good keeper of time but it has been two years since the last Beaker Street show and nothing to really report about if Clyde Clifford will return or simply retired from it all.  Podcasts and net radio seems to be the future of music and if I had a net ready smart phone I'd be listening to that more often than any of the crappy stations around here.  You can't fucking escape Kris Allen's pukemuncher Live Like Your Dying to which was blaring out of the speakers at the local Salvation Army and then again at the pizza joint the next day.  Originally on Nightingales and Bombers  Warner Brothers released this as the followup to Blinded By The Light on the notion that it would reach top ten like Blinded did.  The edited version sucks and didn't do very well on the charts but the album track was a Beaker Street special and can be heard on the FOX once in a while too.  Unlike Live Like Your Dying to which I would firebomb KKRQ if they dared played that crap.

2.  Remedy-Seether   2005  A poor man's Nirvana, Seether is actually a step above Puddle Of Mudd or Nickelback in the Nu Metal department, I mean I don't mind playing this once in a while although the rest of the album is a strain on the ears to get through.  Originally, they wanted to name this album Catering To Cowards which would have classic title but since they would offend a few folks, they decided on Karma And Effect.  Fun fact no. 2: their label Wind Up asked the lead singer not to use any F bombs on this album. And he didn't. But he would on the next effort.

3.  Charlie X-Information Society 1990  They were dance pop most of the time, when they had that chick singer in the band they gave The Thompson Twins a run for the money but when she left they got a bit more techno out there.  Not that techno works for me, most of techno I can't stand but I can listen to most of this album Hack and this song which might be the only one that samples both James Brown and The Beastie Boys.

4.  In Their Hearts Is Right-Bad Religion 2013  I know you don't care but I've been on a Bad Religion kick thanks to Mark Prindle and his love of this album and for the most part every album that I have from them have good moments and so so moments. True North might be in the all time top five BR albums out there, at least on this effort, it's full speed ahead and none of the pop moments that kinda hinder their last couple albums although I didn't mind their pop moments.

5.  Hurry Up-Richie Valens 1958  Life is never fair and to Richie who sad to say hopped on a flight with Buddy and JP to the Great Beyond would have more influential music in him, 17 years too young to die and there's not much out there that Richie left outside of a handful of singles and demos that Bob Keene would make into two albums, a best of and a couple more money grabbers in the process.  His uptempo numbers sound just about like punk rock in the 50s and a bit more tougher than the garage rock of Buddy Holly per say.  Even though the Winter Dance Party was hell on earth in 1959, what strikes me is how accessible everybody was after the meet and greet, and that Buddy, JP and Richie would be kind enough to pose for pictures and get autographs after the show.  As long as I shall live, I continue to pay tribute to all three of them at this time every year.   Forever Iowans, even though they didn't stay long.

6.  Learning The Game-Buddy Holly  Dec 1958 later overdubbed 1965 with The Fireballs.  Let's face it folks, you don't know how much Buddy influenced me in my lifetime of music.  No Buddy Holly, no R. Smith Bands regardless.  In six weeks, Buddy would be gone from the world but this came from the Apartment Tapes.  Leo Kottke's version sounds the closest to Buddy although I think there's other versions out there.

7.  Break On Through (To The Other Side) The Doors 1967  Since I haven't been out on bargain hunts (outside of Half Priced Books) I have been finding things I forgot I had on the shelves here.  Found the CD at a pawnshop years ago but I bought the album at a flea market for a quarter and found that in my vast collection of albums.  Surprised this didn't chart here since it remains one of my fave Doors songs ever.

8.  Spacehead-The Primitives 1988  A buzz bin band that MTV touted, I never paid much attention to them until I found Lovely in a dollar bins and became a late addition fan.  Has that echoey sound that sounded a bit like Jesus And Mary Chain but with a chick singer, or a mild mannered My Bloody Valentine, to which finally released their followup to Loveless this weekend.  BTW The Primitives are still around in England to which they about ready to reissue the Lazy Recordings once again (Castle/Sanctuary put it out in the early 00's, one of the last CD's bought at Real Records before they closed their doors).

9.  Fall From The Grace Of Love-Don Felder 2012  Q) Why did the last Eagles album suck so much?  A) Don Felder wasn't on it!  I tried to get into Long Road To Eden but the whole 2 CD set bored me to tears and I don't think I listen to the last couple songs before I stuck it in the CD section at Goodwill in Iowa City.  But since I liked Don's 1982 Airborne album a lot, I decided to check out his new album Road To Forever and for the most part it rocks although Felder goes a bit overboard on the mellow stuff towards the end of the album.  This would sound good on soft rock radio (unless it's Cumulus owned and then they would say no, unless he added Sheryl Crow to the sound, can't get on Cumulus unless you have Sheryl Crow guest star on a track, or Kris Allen *smirk*).

10.  The Orange County Lumber Truck (Part 2)-The Mothers Of Invention/Frank Zappa 1968  Zappa may have better lineups or ones that could play his complex music but his Uncle Meat edition of the Mothers were the best loved and most crazy.  There's a edited version of this song on the Weasels Ripped My Flesh album but this is the full 10 and half minute jam boogie to which is probably the closest thing to boogie jazz that Frank Zappa would ever do again.  From the rightfully titled Ahead Of Their Time CD that was the last of reissued Zappa albums that came out last year.

Bonus Track:
Chantilly Lace-The Big Bopper 1958  Because I remember him.

And four more to score.

I Don't Like Mondays-Boomtown Rats 1979
Wait-White Lion 1987
Mr. P.C.-John Coltrane 1959
Roundabout-Yes 1972

Other notes: I can't figure out the ratings and what gets viewed.  Somehow we have gotten 14 views for the False Prophets top ten of December where it's four behind last week's Eye To Ear Candy Top Ten which makes me think that adding cute models doesn't translate into more views.  The Mexican Jumping Beans Top ten is all time best one behind of the Samantha Fish, Irish Fest blog.  Samantha continues to be the most searched keyword but Pat Travers is closing in fast.  The All time most viewed blogs is a mystery how they do it, The Brains so far ahead but even though The Strange Case Of Bobby Fuller is in the mid 80s in views the overall on the other page shows it at 119 views.  The Winter Dance Party blogs pulled in about 25 views for both entries but I thought they would do much better than that.  What do I know.

Finally, I found a Gold Disc of John Coltrane's Giant Steps for 6 dollars which is cheap considering its a gold disc and the sound is much better than the actual Atlantic album.  The bass player comes in very clear, my brother pointed that out as he said it drowned out the TV upstairs even though I didn't have the volume up all that loud.  Other cheap finds was White Lion Pride for 95 cents at Salvation Army and a bunch of 2 dollar stuff that made the top ten this week. Easy to figure out which ones they are.  Can't say I'm a big Seether fan although Karma And Effect has its moments.  Sad to say The Everly Brothers 1989 Mercury album Some Hearts turned out to be their worst all time album, not a decent song in the bunch and it's stuck with that cold digital sound that was part of the late 80s recordings.  Their third and final album for Mercury didn't do much on the charts and it was the last original batch of songs that they recorded for a major label.  Not exactly the way to go out on, I gave up after the 7th song since Larrie London didn't help with the electronic drum sound either. If nothing else the Cadence stuff is still available.

Congrats to Diggy Kat for winning best DJ!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Archives: The Winter Dance Party Of 1959

Compiled from an earlier blog: (the original source got deleted)

This was the tour that had Buddy Holly, Dion, JP Richardson and Richie Valens on it and they decided to come through this cold state for a tour to pay their bills.  Of course you know the legend, Waylon Jennings lost out on a coin flip and became a legend.  Buddy, JP and Richie would become one for the ages.

Jan 23 - George Devine's Ballroom - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jan 24 - Eagles Ballroom - Kenosha, Wisconsin
Jan 25 - Kato Ballroom - Mankato, Minnesota
Jan 26 - Fournier's Ballroom - Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Jan 27 - Fiesta Ballroom - Montevideo, Minnesota
Jan 28 - Promenade Ballroom - St. Paul, Minnesota
Jan 29 - Capitol Theater - Davenport, Iowa
Jan 30 - Laramar Ballroom - Fort Dodge, Iowa
Jan 31 - Duluth Armory - Duluth, Minnesota
Feb 01 - Riverside Ballroom - Green Bay, Wisconsin
Feb 02 - Surf Ballroom - Clear Lake, Iowa
Feb 03 - The Armory - Moorhead, Minnesota
Feb 04 - Shore Acres Ballroom - Sioux City, Iowa
Feb 05 - Val Air Ballroom - Des Moines, Iowa
Feb 06 - Danceland Ballroom - Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Feb 07 - Les Buzz Ballroom - Spring Valley, Illinois
Feb 08 - Aragon Ballroom - Chicago, Illinois
Feb 09 - Hippodrome Auditorium - Waterloo, Iowa
Feb 10 - Melody Hill - Dubuque, Iowa
Feb 11 - Memorial Auditorium - Louisville, Kentucky
Feb 12 - Memorial Auditorium - Canton, Ohio
Feb 13 - Stanbaugh Auditorium - Youngstown, Ohio
Feb 14 - The Armory - Peoria, Illinois
Feb 15 - Illinois State Armory - Springfield, Illinois 

Buddy Holly Plane Crash 50 plus 4 years later

By Bruce Landsberg

Some accidents are burned into memory even decades after they happened. The sinking of the Titanic, the explosion of the Hindenburg, the accident at Tenerife, and the Challenger crash all bring back remembrances of unforgettable tragedies. “The day the music died,” wrote singer/songwriter Don McLean for his hit song, American Pie, in 1971 commemorated the loss of singer Buddy Holly in an aircraft accident. Charles Hardin Holley, better known as Buddy Holly, was and remains one of the giants in the music business. His may be the most-discussed pop music star aircraft accident in history. The impact on the music world and millions of fans still affects the public perception of general aviation two generations of pilots later. His life and death inspired numerous books, movies, and songs.
To say Holly was a star is an understatement. He has been described as, the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll. His style has influenced countless musicians, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. He exerted such a profound impact on popular music that Rolling Stone magazine ranked Holly number 13 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
He was only 22 at the time of his death, and yet his songwriting was so prolific that new albums and singles were released years after his passing. The story of his accident and others like it has been written many times—the outcomes don’t change.
In the early morning of February 3, 1959, Holly and two other rising stars, Ritchie Valens and J.P. Richardson (the Big Bopper), who were touring the country, had just finished a gig in Clear Lake, Iowa. They were scheduled to appear in Moorhead, Minnesota, that night but, because of bus trouble, the show headliners decided to go on to Moorhead by air. The group chartered a Beech Bonanza at the Mason City, Iowa, airport to fly to Fargo, the nearest airport to Moorhead.
The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), predecessor to the FAA and the NTSB, investigated the accident and the factual information is derived from the report.

Weather and preflight—Think It Over

Around 5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time the charter pilot went to the Air Traffic Communications Station (ATCS—the equivalent of today’s Flight Service Station and Air Route Traffic Control Center) at the airport administration building, to brief the flight. He was provided current weather for Mason City, Minneapolis; Redwood Falls; Alexandria, Minnesota; and the terminal forecast for Fargo, North Dakota. The briefer advised that all stations reported ceilings of 5,000 feet or better and visibility of 10 miles or above. However, the Fargo terminal forecast indicated the possibility of light snow showers after 2 a.m. and a cold frontal passage about 4 a.m. It all seemed reasonable for a VFR flight.
At 10 p.m. and again at 11:30 p.m. the pilot called ATCS to update weather. All stations had ceilings of 4,200 feet or better with visibility still 10 miles or greater. It was snowing in Minneapolis and the cold front that was previously forecast to pass Fargo at 4 a.m. was now expected to arrive at 2 a.m. At Mason City the ceiling was 6,000 overcast; visibility 15 miles plus; temperature 15 degrees F; dew point 8 degrees; wind south 25 to 32 knots; altimeter setting 29.96 inches.
At 11:55 p.m., the pilot, accompanied by the FBO/charter aircraft owner, a commercial/instrument-rated pilot, again went to ATCS for the latest weather update. With such important passengers on board one couldn’t be too careful. In the half-hour since the pilot had last checked, Mason City was now 5,000 overcast in light snow and the altimeter had dropped to 29.90. The weather was moving.

The flight—Peggy Sue

Holly, Richardson, and Valens arrived at the airport about 12:40 a.m., after the show, stowed their baggage, and boarded the aircraft. Although not noted in the CAB’s report, I speculate the weight and/or balance might have been outside the limits with any kind of fuel load. That would have made the V35 a handful in the turbulence the flight would later encounter.
The pilot stated he would file his VFR flight plan by radio when airborne. Taxiing to the end of Runway 17, the pilot called ATCS for a weather update. En route reports had not changed materially, but Mason City was coming down rapidly: The ceiling was now 3,000, sky obscured; visibility 6 miles, light snow; wind south 20 knots, gusts to 30 knots; altimeter setting 29.85 inches. The front had arrived.
The Bonanza was airborne at 12:55 a.m. and observed to make a left 180-degree turn and climb to approximately 800 feet. It passed east of the airport and turned northwesterly. Throughout most of the flight the aircraft’s tail light was visible to the FBO/charter aircraft owner. About five miles from the airport the light gradually descended and disappeared. When the pilot failed to open his flight plan by radio soon after takeoff, the communicator (controller), at the owner’s request, repeatedly tried to reach him but was unsuccessful. It was approximately 1 a.m.

The accident—It Doesn’t Matter Anymore

After reporting that the aircraft was missing at 3:30 a.m., the FBO/charter aircraft owner flew the aircraft’s planned route later that morning. He sighted the aircraft in an open field at 9:35 a.m. All four occupants had been killed, and the aircraft was demolished. The wreckage was covered with about four inches of snow. It’s a given, even today, that accident investigations are usually done in decent weather, half a day later. Note to self—be a little patient with weather, it will get better. Had the group left at 10 that morning, they still would have arrived in plenty of time for the show.

The Bonanza struck the ground in a steep right bank, nose-low attitude at high speed. There was no fire and no evidence of structural or flight control failure. The landing gear was retracted and the engine was producing cruise power at the time of impact. The attitude indicator showed a 90-degree right bank, nose-down attitude. The vertical speed indicator was pegged at a 3,000-feet-per-minute descent.

Pilot—Maybe, Baby

The pilot, 21 years old, was employed by the FBO as a commercial pilot and flight instructor, and had been with them about a year. He had started flying in October 1954, with 711 hours total time and 128 in Bonanza. He had approximately 52 hours of dual instrument training and had passed the instrument written examination, but he had failed an instrument flight check in March 1958, nine months prior to the accident. His instrument training had been in several aircraft, all equipped with a conventional artificial horizon, but he had no experience with the Sperry attitude gyro that was installed in Bonanza N3794N. These two instruments differ greatly in their pictorial display, and the CAB believed that he would have had difficulty interpreting a completely different display.

The aircraft—Rave On

The Beech Bonanza, model 35, was manufactured in October 1947 and the engine had only 40 hours since major overhaul. The aircraft was purchased by the FBO in July 1958, and was well equipped for its time with high- and low-frequency radios, a Narco “omnigator” (VOR), a Lear autopilot (recently installed but not operable), and a full panel of instruments used for instrument flying, including a Sperry F3 attitude gyro.
According to the CAB’s report, “The conventional artificial horizon provides a direct reading indication of the bank and pitch attitude of the aircraft which is accurately indicated by a miniature aircraft pictorially displayed against a horizon bar and as if observed from the rear. The Sperry F3 gyro also provides a direct reading indication of the bank and pitch attitude of the aircraft, but its pictorial presentation is achieved by using a stabilized sphere whose free-floating movements behind a miniature aircraft presents pitch information with a sensing exactly opposite from that depicted by the conventional artificial horizon.”

The weather, again—Take Your Time

The weather was quite a bit nastier than the briefed surface reports indicated. The surface weather chart for midnight February 3, 1959, showed a cold front extending from northwestern Minnesota through central Nebraska with a secondary cold front through North Dakota. Widespread snow shower activity was indicated in advance of these fronts. Temperatures aloft from Mason City to Fargo were below freezing at all levels with an inversion between 3,000 and 4,000 feet and abundant moisture present at all levels through 12,000 feet. Moderate to heavy icing and precipitation existed in the clouds along the route. Winds aloft below 10,000 feet were reported to be southwest at 30 to 50 knots.

A flash advisory (roughly equivalent to a sigmet) issued by the Weather Bureau at Minneapolis at 11:35 p.m. on February 2, noted, “Flash Advisory No. 5: A band of snow about 100 miles wide at 2335 from extreme northwestern Minnesota, northern North Dakota through Bismarck and south-southwestward through Black Hills of South Dakota with visibility generally below two miles in snow. This area or band moving southeastward about 25 knots. Cold front at 2335 from vicinity Winnipeg through Minot, Williston, moving southeastward 25 to 30 knots with surface winds following front north-northwest with 25 to gusts of 45. Valid until 0335.”

Another flash advisory issued out of Kansas City, Missouri, at 12:15 a.m. on February 3 noted: “Over eastern half of Kansas, ceilings are locally below one thousand feet, visibilities locally two miles or less in freezing drizzle, light snow, and fog. Moderate to locally heavy icing, areas of freezing drizzle and locally moderate icing in clouds below 10,000 feet over eastern portion Nebraska, Kansas, northwest Missouri and most of Iowa. Valid until 0515.”

Neither ATCS briefer mentioned these flash advisories to the pilot indicating the virtual certainty that instrument weather would be encountered.

Analysis—Raining in My Heart

The CAB report noted that the flash advisories were not conveyed to the pilot. The weather briefing consisted solely of reading current weather at en route terminal and terminal forecasts for the destination. Failure to “draw these advisories to the attention of the pilot and to emphasize their importance could readily lead the pilot to underestimate the severity of the weather situation.”

The FBO owner said, he “had confidence in the pilot and relied entirely on his operational judgment with respect to the planning and conduct of the flight.” That confidence was sadly misplaced. It happens too often that enthusiasm and a strong desire to complete a flight overcome what little experience/judgment a new pilot has. Sincerity, enthusiasm, and desire to please should never take a back seat to suspicious, skeptical contingency planning.

The CAB noted that with the obviously deteriorating weather at Mason City which could be seen by all, and the fact that the charter company was “certificated to fly in visual flight rules only…together with the pilot’s unproved ability to fly by instruments, made the decision to go…most imprudent.” That the pilot checked the weather so many times and that the owner went with him and then watched the flight depart shows that both of them probably had some serious misgivings. Note to self: Listen to that inner voice—it’s usually right!
The CAB’s assessment was that shortly after takeoff the flight entered complete darkness with no horizon, falling snow, and moderate turbulence from the high winds. This required flight by reference to instruments.
The pilot’s unfamiliarity with the Sperry F3 gyro, noted above, because of its unique presentation, likely caused spatial disorientation.

Probable cause—Not Fade Away

“The board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot’s unwise decision to embark on a flight which would necessitate flying solely by instruments when he was not properly certificated or qualified to do so. Contributing factors were serious deficiencies in the weather briefing, and the pilot’s unfamiliarity with the instrument which determines the attitude of the aircraft.”

This report could have been written last month, but it was a half-century ago. If the weather is bad where you are, despite a decent forecast, the weather is bad. Period. The board’s commentary: “This accident, like so many before it, was caused by the pilot’s decision to undertake a flight in which the likelihood of encountering instrument conditions existed, in the mistaken belief that he could cope with en route instrument weather conditions, without having the necessary familiarization with the instruments in the aircraft and without being properly certificated to fly solely by instruments.”

We may be the only beings who can learn from past mistakes and so often fail to do so. The lesson should not fade

(the original link to this story doesn't work anymore, 404 issues)