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. http://www.cracked.com/article_20256_5-things-record-labels-dont-want-you-to-know-they-do.html

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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/2013/02/16/76d3ebba-5f44-11e2-a389-ee565c81c565_story.html

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 You.to 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.


TAD said...

Hey, nice job on The Association, 1 of my guilty pleasures. I'm a sucker 4 "Windy" & "Everything That Touches You." "Along Comes Mary"'s pretty great, but have you heard "Pandora's Golden Heebie-Jeebies"? You're right, there was some hippy in them -- & they're still touring, with The Turtles!
...& can I cast a vote 4 More Cheesecake?

R S Crabb said...

Of course Tad we can always add some more smiles from time to time. ;)

The Association had more going for them than being just pop artists at the time, even though their later WB albums didn't sell or had major hits they have a nice laid back country rock sound that wasn't anything different from what David Gates and Bread was doing. Or America. I actually like the later albums better than say Birthday or Along Comes The Association. Sadly overlooked in this day and age. Cheers!