Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week: Willie 80

Upon the big news that George Jones has left the world still remains a shock but even at age 81 it remains a feat upon itself that he lived that long.  I spent most of the weekend arguing with the Twitter under 20 crowd to show some respect to their elders for some day you will be 81 and the youngster will look down upon you as well.  The ignorance of the world and the US continues when some brain dead blonde makes a comment like oooh George Jones was a alcoholic country star that would snort drugs and punch out cameramen when he got stopped for OWI.  That was years ago Sweetheart now go back to take more duckface pictures of yourself while you're posting for those cheap porn sites.

Two weeks after the damn rainfest, the downstairs room remains a jungled mess and I can't find half of what I'm looking for.  I was trying to find Becky Hobbs 1988 song Jones On The Jukebox but it's among the 11,000 misplaced CDs around here.  Logic tells me that bargain hunting is going have to become less and less unless I get rid of the stuff that I don't play anymore.  And looking at the cleared space on my entertainment center, I have seen that I have two copies of The Five Americans Progressions CD, thought I had a Western Union CD unless my brother replaced it but I don't think he's into The Five Americans.

 Mark Prindle has a new interview here:  http://this-is-your-life-now.tumblr.com/post/48956231296/mark-prindle-interview

Mark Prindle also announced that he married his long time girlfriend Chloe last weekend. Congrats Mark and here's hoping you and Chloe and your handsome son have a everlasting love and life of togetherness.

I don't have a Linkedin account but I do Tumblr but I hardly post there.  It's usually Twitter or here or Facebook that have drained a lot of my years away.  Ratings here been mighty good, with over 2800 views (2879 final tally, 2nd best all time) and most of it going to the Brains blog which continues to be like Haley's comet and streak away from the rest of the pack. Deleting that blog would send us back to under 1,000 club and we don't want to do that right?  The best top ten ever, Mexican Jumping Beans has its  sights on 3rd place and right behind that is The First And Last Crabb Fashion Show which gets 3 times as many viewers than the The Return Of The Crabb Fashion Show which bombed this month.  Guess we might as well retire that since everybody wants the original.  I get a lot of referring URLs from the questionable sites, Vampire Stats, Filmhill even Viagra Online and Ciaslis For You, which has nothing to do with music at all.  Wish these GD ED drugs get banned from TV, Radio and even here.  Never trust a site that has Viagra or Cilais and especially from any site with a RU in the line either.  That shit poison will kill brain cells and make you go blind but you'll get a four hour erection for your trouble.

The Top Of The Week:


1.  Brothers Of The Bottle-George Jones 2012  What do you say that we start out the top ten and pay tribute to the best country singer of our era.  Of course everybody talks about He Stopped Loving Her Today as the best country song ever but I must disagree with that, even Curly Putnam and Bobby Braddock said they wrote better songs, it just that Jones took an average song and shook every emotion you can get out of it.  If you wanted to write a perfect beer song and get somebody to sing it, you'd get Jones to do it. Written by Leon Payne and recorded sometime in the mid 60s, this came out on the Time Life mid priced Heartaches And Hangovers, a somewhat concept album about bars and beer. This sounds a bit like Misery Loves Company by Porter Waggoner who also left this world a few years ago. (photo credit: Farce The Music)

2.  Cold Feelings-Social Distortion 1992  Time and the internet has a way of relieving you and me of what time we have left on this planet.  Before the computer and the net I spent many a time and energy at the local record stores in town and we had at least 7 of them to choose from, nowadays if you want to go to a town that has seven more more music stores you'd go to Madison but thanks to Mother Nature and stalled fronts and 30 hour rainfall straight, I wasted two days cleaning the basement.  And people wonder why I hate rain?!  Getting back to subject Social D was a big deal when their second album came out on Epic and 21 years after the fact it still sounds as vital as before.  As of this writing I'm having somebody trying to convince Jerry Scott to go back into starting up a music store. If he follows through we'll see.

3.  Bombollini-Chris Rea 1984  A cult artist if there ever was one, Chris Rea best known for Fool If You Think It's Over back in 1978 but he's been hanging around for many many years, and enjoyed a comeback of sorts in the 1990s with The Road To Hell and Auberge but Americans never really took hold of him. His guitar playing is Mark Knoplfer and had a whiskey type of vocal but for the most part Rea played it too much MOR ish to be considered nothing more than a curio, however I have about 8 of his albums, even though I haven't paid much attention to him after the flop Expressio Logic for East West in 1993/4.  But his catalog has always been available as imports as with Wired To The Moon to which I don't think got issued in the US, I found this as a 2 dollar bargain bin special and it's all things Rea good and bad.  He always starts out with a great lead off song which Bombollini is, then coasts most of the way through.  Side note: Rea signed with Motown in 1986 with the better Dancing With Strangers album (found that on CD in the cut outs at the old Camelot store in Westdale (the valley of death) Mall in the 90s. Then on to Geffen for the overview New Light Through Old Windows (hits: Working On It, Let's Dance, a Beaker Street staple) and to Atco/East West and then oblivion.

4.  It's Not For Me To Understand-Willie Nelson 1971  From Yesterday's Wine.  Willie has a new album out Let's Face The Music And Dance and for being 80 years old it's a good listen but I thought I go back into the archives and pick out one of his more obscure songs from a classic but overlooked album.


5.  We All Get Old-Johnny Law 1991  Basically all but forgotten, Johnny Law came out of the Austin TX music circuit and their Georgia Satellites/Rolling Stones rock booze boogie really didn't stand out much in front.  In fact Brendan OBrien must have thought it was cute to mix Erik Larson's vocals deep into the mix as well.  An oddity in the Metal Blade catalog and released though Reprise Records.  They did sound a lot like Georgia Satellites since they borrowed the drummer to record the album (I'm guessing Brendan O Brien didn't like the original drummer and didn't use him) and Rick Richards plays guitar and sings backup to this

Ron Wood cover.

6.  Two Fingers-Jake Bugg 2013  You know you're getting older when you're hearing an up and coming 19 year old paying homage to the sounds of Bob Dylan, The Everly Brothers and Richie Valens  rather than Justin Beaverbiscuits but it does give me hope that some of today's youth is rediscovering the golden age of rock and roll to bring it to the masses.  I dismissed Bugg as yet another faceless singer till I heard bits and pieces of his new album off the Rolling Stone page and decided to give him a go and his new album is quite good although it kinda peters out toward the end.  I thought he was singing something like I got two fingers up the ass to where the lyrics corrected me about giving two fingers to yesterday. Winston Churchill demonstrates the proper use of the insulting two finger salute.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_sign

7.  Three Ways From Tomorrow-Spanky And Out Gang 1969  In a perfect world we would be able to get a decent overview from Spanky McFarland and company but Universal continues to fuck them over like they continue to fuck over The Brains but least Spanky And Our Gang managed to get their albums reissued.  Had Spanky Greatest Hit on CD twice but sold them both and ended up finding finally a decent vinyl copy of said album  One of Lefty Baker's better songs, it made Greatest Hit but not the replacement CD Greatest Hits (they added the S on the followup) or the even more disappointing 20th Century Masters to which they omitted a few more songs.  The original album the strange Without Rhyme Or Reason Or Anything You Choose was their best studio album which reminded me a lot of a more poppier Jefferson Airplane crossed with The Association and for many years BJ Records had it in the cut out section an nobody bought it.  I did locate a decent copy at Goodwill years after BJ Records closed down.


8.  Sehnsucht-Rammstein 1997  Beyond description Rammstein remains the best German industrial metal band and their second album sold tons and got airplay on KRNA.   They have great influences all around their tunes, Neu! here, Ministry there, Killing Joke and Nine Inch Nails figure greatly as well with a touch of Rage Against The Machine.  They really didn't cater to the needs of the US fanbase, most of their music they sang in German but the music is aggressive upon itself.  Nowadays KRNA nor KFMW will not touch them with a ten foot pole, Cumulus Corporate Radio forbids anything Rammstein it seems.  Side note: I found a few things along with Rammstein at Half Priced Books this weekend in the 2 buck bins,  Steve Winwood's Chronicles on Island/Warner that wasn't a BMG club copy, a piece of crap from aggro/metal punks I AM WAR (after 3 songs I redonated it back to charity) and the Sunrays Andrea.  In other words, your typical hoarder variety of tunes that sounded good at the time.

9.  Tiger In Your Tank-Muddy Waters 1960  One of the more hard driving boogie blues rockers that Muddy ever laid down this is damn near close to heavy metal.  Derek See from his website added this as the song of the day and hearing this convinced me that I should include this on the top ten.  Strange to see out of all the best of Muddy Waters albums out there that this never made any of them including the 3 cd Chess Box set that I bought years ago and really don't play that much.  I managed only to find this on a throwaway cheapo Blues Legends CD that MCA threw out in the bargain bins years ago. Chess 45 1765  http://dereksdaily45.blogspot.com/2013/04/muddy-waters-tiger-in-your-tank.html

10.  Summertime Blues-The Who 1970  Funny how a year changes things including the weather.  Last year it was nice and warm and sunny and no rain although the farmers and the KCRG shrill sister kept crying about needing rain and having stupid shit like signs that say pray for rain. Motherfuckers got their wish and then some this spring to which we are still in early March pattern and forecasts call for more fucking rain all week.  And so we're nervously watching the skies and hoping we don't get another 24 hour straight rainfall to have the GD water in the basement the last two months.  Warm weather what warm weather?  Been fucking chilly all GD spring.  The year sucked from January 5 when I spent the night in a motel room after the car broke down and it hasn't gotten better, in fact it has gotten progressively worse but I'm repeating myself. So I'm going to institute another pray for no more rain prayer and hopefully that will work.  I'm sick and tired of trying to dry out a basement that refuses to stay dry to yet another fucking stationary front and cold fucking weather. In the meantime think good thoughts as we play a track off Live At Leeds, the greatest live album ever made.

For the effort of making it to his 80th birthday we'll give some Willie Nelson loving with 5 more favorites from his long and lasting career

I Have To Be Crazy-1976
Uncloudy Day 1974 released 1977
Blue Skies 1978
Across The Borderline 1993
Write Your Own Songs 1984

From Willie himself!

Thank you so much for the many birthday greetings, cards, tributes, videos and gifts that I received from people all over the world for my 80th birthday. I love and will cherish them all.

I would like to especially thank all those who showed up the other night to the benefit concert at The Backyard in Austin and supported the Abbott and West Fire Departments. Being able to help these real heroes was the best birthday present I could have ever hoped for. Thank you again for making it all possible.

Love Willie
And now Pat's pick, Pat Travers song of the week:

God Bird Change-Al Di Meola 1982
I have a cool story to go along with today's "Rx". I was in NYC sometime in 1980 doing some PR and I bumped into my co-producer/engineer Dennis MacKay. He was working with Al Di Meola doing some overdubs for a new album at Electric Lady Land studios and invited me to come down and meet Al. Well I was super excited about being able to finally see the famous studio built by Jimi Hendrix but kind of intimidated about meeting the Reigning Fusion King Guitarist Al Di Meola. Dennis assured me that Al was very cool and would enjoy meeting me. Turns out, as usual, Al was nothing like the snooty Jazz musician I expected and was really a lot like me. We're the same age and he was a cig smoking, beer drinking, F-bomb dropping fool just like me! Anyway, so they take me down to the control room and friggin' Jan hammer is in the recording booth with his Oberheim synthesizer running through a 100 watt Marshall half-stack and he's warming up for an over dub! They rolled this tune on the Studer 24 track tape machine and Jan just blistered through the whole thing in one take. At the end he looked up at the three of us and asked if he should do another one. We all looked and each other and shook our heads in unison "NO"! So let's have us a listen to some classic Jazz/Rock Fusion from 1980/81... for today's "Musical Rx"...Its my good buddy Al Di Meola...from the Electric Rendevouz album..."God Bird Change"
The guy from World Party throws a comment at Bob Lefsetz on the album format (dead but we still buy anyway)
On this album thing…..
Yes its a dead format (especially on the CD) but I would like to think that it is possible to release viable collections of songs
and not just the chart single thing which to my mind is just as marginalized as the album.
We live in a cultural desert. There has to be a way of giving people more substantial musical feed than the bullshit currently offered……
The biz needs to be deconstructed…..musicians need to be interesting and CREATIVE and stop getting seduced by the bullsh*t.
But to say there is no mileage in song cycles of any kind is like saying we only want the first movement of the Eroica and forget the funeral march!!!!!
Karl Wallinger
World Party

Friday, April 26, 2013

George Jones

If you think about it, it's amazing that he lived that long to tell it all.

George Jones was the voice of country music and his long and chaotic 81 years he had some of most honky tonk sounding and then later on some of the lush smoothed out country pop of his career with Epic Records. Basically he was the VOICE of country as far as I am concerned.

He may have made the most compelling country song ever with He Stopped Loving Her Today from the I Am What I Am album of 1980 but for myself I liked his uptempo stuff even more.  He could have made a decent rockabilly artist with his 1959 version of White Lightning or Revenoor Man which is to me is more rock than country but his sides recorded with the opportunistic Pappy Daily for Starday (Later farmed out to Musicor or RCA) are the stuff that legends are made of.  He married Tammy Wynette and moved to her label Epic and a twenty year plus working relationship with Billy Sherrill before they dropped him and he moved to MCA for the majority of 1990s.  His last big hit was Choices for Asylum in 1999.

His antics are legendary if you read his I Lived To Tell It All autobiography you'll come across a guy that out could out destroy a motel room or tour bus faster than Joe Walsh and Keith Moon together.  Drugs and alcohol damn near finished him back in the 1970s and a SUV crash in 1999 almost claimed him as well. A 1982 arrest for drunk driving was filmed and it showed perhaps the most unflattering video of Jones as he cursed the camera man and looked wasted and evil at the same time.  The volatile marriage to Tammy didn't last but Jones managed to find a keeper in Nancy Sepevlua (sic) his wife till the very end.   Although the hits dried up and country radio wouldn't play him anymore (the new country stations that is), Jones continued to tour to big crowds whereever he went.  Even after 81 years, his body simply wore out and George has moved on the Hillbilly Heaven in the skies with Buck, Waylon, Johnny and Hank.

A one of kind, never to be replaced.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-RIP Jack Bonus

Rain rain rain rain.  All month of it.  I'm sick of rain as much as you are sick of reading this. Surprised I still get any viewers left.

(record store day pictures taken off by the original poster, basically a bunch of folks waiting to get into Record Collector, one picture inside full of people scanning through albums, nothing more to say)

Record Collector was very busy on Record Store Day, but they been busy last time I blew through town.  This is what happened while I was cleaning up the basement.  I was there in spirit like I was at Mad City Music Exchange, Moondog, Ragged Records, Cd's 4 Change, Zia's etc etc. Sorry about the bizarre posting of this, I'm still not too good in posting pictures in their rightful spot.

The big news was the Boston Marathon bombing of last week and the big Friday chase of one of the suspects, some Russian prick along with his brother who basically killed himself.  That's the problem of the world today, you take your live in your own hands whenever you go anywhere for any event.  Terrorism can be anywhere.  Great job by the Boston Police and First Responders and those who gave their lives to get this bastard.

Madison bargain hunts didn't take hold because of you know what and only time I can do it before the Phoenix trip would be the weekend since I took 2 vacation days to deal with Mother Nature's fucking rain storm.   Last time I bitched about this at great length was 2008 (you can guess what happened afterwards). Drought is over and if the Shrill Sisters cry about wanting more rain or the asshole who put up that Pray For Rain sign, may they get inundated with all the water in their basement.  Fuck this and fuck them.


Mott The Hoople will be doing a summer tour with everybody but Dale Griffin in tow, Dale too ill to play from Alzheimer's but Martin Chambers from The Pretenders will man the beat.  

From the archives, a review of the forgotten and buried in the ground King Of Kings (Geffen 1992)

I must have missed something by reading the reviews and such, or maybe the CD I had was something else, but there's nothing on this cowpie CD that I want to listen to ever again. Tuneless songs that go on forever and have not one shred of melody whatsoever. This album almost singlehandedly ruined the production career of Roy Thomas Baker. King of Kings? More like Krap of Krap. Shred this in your CD shredder.
Grade D-

Side Note: Desmond Horn made a follow up for DGC but since the first album stiffed it was shelved. He mentioned that the second album was titled Who's Your Guru? and a track from it "Sleepless" can be found on You Tube, it's kinda a cross between King's X and Black Sabbath and a lot more focused than the first album.  Opus Discordia  shows more of a nod to Hawkwind/Sabbath and Bad Plantation sounds like an attempt to get on radio but actually I do like these songs than anything off the first album. This would have been a solid three star album.


On Monday, it was reported that Chrissy Amphlett, lead singer of the Divinyls passed away from breast cancer and MS.  She was 53 and was married to Charley Drayton who played in Keith Richards band (Talk Is Cheap) and Bob Dylan at times. Divinyls best known for that 1991 porn like video of I Touch Myself. She'll be missed.

Top Ten Time:


1.  Sweet Caroline-Neil Diamond 1969  Song of the week, month, year etc and Boston always plays this at ball games, to which Neil himself sings along with himself at Fenway Park last Saturday.  The man is beyond great!.


2.  So You Ran-Orion The Hunter 1984  An interesting one off band featuring former Boston guitarist Barry Gourdeau, future Boston vocalist Fran Cosmo and former Heart drummer Mike Deroiser, one of the most underrated drummer out there, this song got some airplay on the rock stations of the 1980s.  Deroiser now plays in a Heart like band called Heart By Heart but recently went back to the Wilson sisters when Heart got inducted into the RnR HOF.  This is him bashing away on the drums.  Great superman shirt and Clark Kent glasses, he was always one of a kind.  As for Barry, old employer Tom Schlotz has sued him for using the Guitarist for Boston moniker when Barry tours when he should have added "former guitarist" for Boston.  Or better yet "the former guitarist that didn't have a giant sized ego" for Boston.

3.  Sliver Naked Ladies-Paul Westerburg  1993  The Replacements have been spotty in my book, they made some great albums like Let It Be or Pleased To Be Me but they lost their edge after that.  Westerburg's solo career is even more uneven and the only time he did anything for me was his underrated 14 Songs which was better than the previous two Replacements albums.  They have a new EP out that I have yet to hear, thought about picking up during Record Store Day but Mother Nature decided to drown us and I never did hit any music stores although the record stores did survive without me.


4.  You're Mine-The Black Angels 2013  Hippie Dippy music is still around and damn right I like it better than the autotuner shit that is radio today.  Rolling Stone Mag gave their album two and half stars which means it must be better than that and it is.  Somewhat in the tradition of The Ravonettes (they are part of The Orchard which released the first three Ravonettes albums) The Black Angels have a love of 60s acid rock, the Airplane and The Butterfly and 13th Floor Elevators.  With that alone, they get an extra star for that.

5.  Barrel Chested-Slobberbone 1997   These guys were very well routed in the Americana music scene and owed a lot to Uncle Tupelo and Neil Young/Crazy Horse for that drunken sound that also gave us Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown and The Jayhawks although Slobberbone was more straightforwarded rock and roll.  One of a handful of CDs that I got up in Spokane on my illfated 2001 October trip to which spent that week, staying one step ahead of snowstorms, rainstorms and a girlfriend half wacked out on methadone. That trip also introduced me to the Hastings Stores to which I tend to visit the ones out in Arizona if and when I pass that way.  Love to go back to Pacific Northwest but doubt if that will happen again.

6. A Sailor's Life-Fairport Convention 1969  35 years ago Sunday, we lost Sandy Denny due to a tragic fall down the stairs and a brain tumor but along with Linda Thompson, Denny was 1,2 in my favorite female vocalists of all time.  Speaks volumes when Led Zeppelin tapped her to do vocals on The Battle Of Evermore but sad to say booze and cigarettes made her lose a few precious tones in her vocals. A fun fact is that when she did Sailor's Life, she had a major cold and told the producer Joe Boyd that she could do one or two at the best but upon hearing this you can't tell if she did have a cold.  Kinda drags at the beginning but they do jam away for about 12 minutes.

7.  I'm Not Your Stepping Stone-Paul Revere & The Raiders 1966  Of course The Monkees had the hit but The Raiders version blows them out of the water.  And Sony Music continues to jack them around and not putting this on the Essential Paul Revere & The Raiders 2 CD set that came out a couple years ago but they did issue this on a best of back in the 90s that if you see you better pick up. When Mark Lindsay took over production a couple years later, they became more country pop than actual rock and roll but I think I enjoy them during the 65-68 era when they were scoring top ten hits left and right.  At age 75  Paul Revere remains one of the oldest rock and rollers still putting on a show, although he's the the sole remaining original member, his band has been together longer than the actual band back then.


8.  Jesus Loves You.....But I Don't-The Almighty 1993  One of those bands that never took hold but made a heck of a metal album back in 1993, this did get some airplay on the harder rock stations.  Brought it as a cutout somewhere, don't remember if it was Best Buy when they were selling cutouts or even the old Only Deals store in the old Town N Country Shopping Center for a couple bucks and has been on the player in irregular rotation.  I guess in the PC Cumulus Corporate owned radio world this is taboo but MTV Headbanger's Ball played the video....back when MTV was doing videos but even in 1993 standards they were cutting back.  They played at Dillon's (3rd Street Live) that year before the floods of that year made a mess and canceled most events.  Can't recall if they opened for somebody or was main act.

9.  If I Can Find A Clean Shirt-Waylon & Willie 1991  Even outlaws grow old and by the time this came out, country music moved on to the next new wave of country acts to which they are sporting a bit of gray beneath their cowboy hats, unless you're Alan Jackson and don't get gray har har.  Waylon's decline was showing when he left MCA to Epic and the Epic albums may have been his more countrypolitan sounding ever. He got a hit with Wrong but I think the reason why CBS signed Waylon was to pair him up with Willie to do more duet albums but the only one that came out was Clean Shirt and although it's fun to listen to, it's reminds me of a concept album about two old sidewinders trying to fit in to the new country world and can't.  The single tanked.  On another subject, Willie turns 80 on the 30th. I'll try to do a Willie Nelson Tribute to that either here or in the Consortium.

10.  Constantine's Dream-Patti Smith 2012   I really never got that enthused about Patti and her music through her years and her best of that came out a few years ago captures everything a casual fan could want although to me her signature song would be a revised Gloria rather than Bruce Springsteen's overwrought Because The Night.  I have a fond memory of her late 80s comeback Dream Of Life to by then she relieved herself of Alan Lanier of BOC and married Fred 'Sonic' Smith of the MC5 and had a happy life together before Fred passed away.  Looking back Patti was a secret weapon of songwriters that made Blue Oyster Cult one of the best rock bands ever (yes ever) and her duet with Al Bouchard on Vera Gemini is spooky fun.  As punk poet on her own, her best music was made with Lenny Kaye and Jay Dee Daughtery in the band to which they still are on Banga, in my view her best, it's dark, it's moody and it has that vibe that made the Blue Oyster Cult albums fun too.  Somehow, this epic 10 and half minute song is vintage Patti, a Gloria like vibe to which it speeds up like a train without brakes and picking up speed to a chaotic end.  You don't get very much anymore.  Perfect for that pirate radio station (are you listening KFMH 99 Plus?).

Another wet five:

Burning Man-Queensryche 1999
Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You-Led Zeppelin 1969
Remember Me-Steve Earle 2013
Sorry-The Moody Blues 1983
War Paint-Rush 1989

Richie Havens passed away Monday from a heart attack, he was 72.  Best known for playing a marathon set at Woodstock which gave the world an underground hit with Freedom but he also made top ten here with Here Comes The Sun.


Steve Earle-The Low Highway (New West)

I almost gave up on Earle after his move to New York and making the underachieving Washington Square Serenade, the decent Townes which pays tribute to his mentor Townes Van Zant and I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive another album that had more questions than answers but I was encouraged to hear that Steve reunited with Ray Kennedy and getting the Dukes (and Duchesses) back together to make the back to basis Low Highway and it is perhaps his best record since El Corazon way back in 1997, not that the stuff in between were turds, they were far from it, John Henry T Bone Burnett as producer for Never Get Out Of This World Alive clashed with Earle's vision.  The Low Highway is fairly a country like with a tringe of rock and roll on the side, he does rock out on Calico Country which seems to be an updated version of Copperhead Road but damn Earle is very good at telling stories of losers who can't get a job and stay at home and do meth.  I also find his throwaway bluegrass number Warren Hellman's Banjo to be fun as well. Some of Earle's most potent songs can be found on Burning It Down which makes I Ain't Ever Satisfied sound like Norman Vincent Peale.  But perhaps the most telling song is Remember Me which may have been written with Justin Townes Earle in mind to which the moral is never to forget, even if the times at hand of being around may have not been the best of times.  Nevertheless, Earle's best is when Ray Kennedy is behind the boards.  Welcome back. (Side note: Earle himself admitted that Remember Me was dedicated to his two year son who is autistic)

Grade A-
Pick Hits: Calico Country, Invisible, Remember Me


It's hard to keep up with the going ons in music and trying to stay current where keeping an eye back in the past to know that even the lesser known musicians pass on and Rolling Stone or Spin don't even acknowledge them.  The internet has continued to keep the lesser known going on even after the world passed on by.  Jack Bonus is one of these artists that nobody knows much about and I never did till Steve Anthony aka (Hoop or Yardbird) gave me a cd and LP of Jack Bonus first and only album that he recorded for Grunt Records back in the 1970s.  Jerry Garcia covered Hobo Song for the bluegrass all star album Old And In The Way years ago but for the most part Bonus was a cult artist that had his share of fans all over the world.  Bonus did write to one of my friends in classic rock chat (Starman spent some time tracking him down) back around 2001. A 45 St Louis Missouri Boy was issued but failed to chart and Bonus disappeared into the world.  A email reported that Bonus passed away 4/21 at Marin General Hospital and was surrounded by loved ones, he lived in the Forest Knolls California area.

Finally, happy birthday to old crank music blogger Bob Lefsetz who's in a bitchy mood and hates vinyl and radio and new music and other things.  He's right on some of this but most of the time it sounds like he needs a change of Depends.  http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2013/04/24/bugging-me/

A note from Jim Valley on being part of Paul Revere And The Raiders: 
Just for the record...when I was hired by Revere... at first ..he said "why don't your just take a leave of absense from the Goodtimes for like six months....nah! that didn't feel right. So Revere says what we'll do is hire you for this 40 day Dick Clark tour and then if the band likes you ..we'll keep for for six months and then if the fans like you more than Drake ..you'll be in for good! OK..so after three days...Revere says "you're in for good! We've never felt so good as a group or sounded as good!" So this "stuff" that gets printed that I was just a temporary member is bullshit! During my year with the group turned out to be their heyday. Derek Taylor informed me as I was leaving that I recieved twice as much fanmail as the rest of the Raiders combined. They were afraid to let me know that... as they, Revere, thought I would deserve to have my songs recorded. Cheers,Jim

Friday, April 19, 2013

News: RSD, Pat Travers 1, Morgan Reese, Rain Sux

The big rainfall started up around 5 AM Wed. morning didn't get done till about 10 clock Thursday morning and it was a fucking mess in the basement.  I did my best to try to nip this in the bud but the fucking rain was so bad off and on that the usual side of the basement became a indoor creek and everything got wet all the way halfway though the Man Cave.  So I spent about 36 hours after coming home from work and sopping up the fucking water in the basement and watched a stream come underneath the steps.  For this effort I managed to waste 2 more vacation days no thanks to mother nature and a fucked up spring to which we have not seen the sun but for 3 days out of April.  And it's supposed to rain again the weekend again.  Fun never stops here.

It wasn't much better in Iowa City, they had a mudslide behind Mayflower where the students live at and the river rose up to cover part of Dubuque Street as well.  Heavy rain also got Indian Creek in Marion to leave its banks and flood folks around the golf course area and of course Thomas Park.  The New Bo District, always getting it when it rains too much, some of the business lost some inventory as water flooded their basement and one of the business lost about 10,000 dollars worth of wine and food. But we weren't the only place to get flooded and water in the basement.  Missouri got hard hit, Oklahoma had tornadoes and even Michigan got rained on a lot.  Friday, we had snow flurries most of the day.  This was supposed to be our Madison trip in time for Record Store Day tomorrow but looks like we won't be going anywhere to celebrate getting overpriced limited edition vinyl albums.  Don't think we really need anymore.  Ever try to locate part of 12,000 CDs to get them out of harm's way of the water?  Which really didn't help much on my back, I've been fighting muscle spams a week prior before all this fun in the water to the point that I couldn't get out of bed for all this tight muscle.  Felt like rigor mortis in action.  So they upped the dosage to my muscle relaxers and maybe I'll feel better, but till then  I think I sopped about 100 gallons of ground water from a eight inch rainfall.

So anyway since the Weather Channel named their winter storms I think I will do the same and last week we had Spring Storm Asshole come into view, this storm we'll call Spring Storm Bitch cuz it was a bitch to get through if you lived in any part of the USA.  I hope this isn't a repeat performance every fucking week but we got our list out and here ya go, The 2012 Spring Storm Names (the first six that is)


And I'm sure more to come.  This year has just sucked ever since Davenport and hasn't gotten any better.

Pat Travers is now the most searched musician here on The Crabb Site and the guy is amazing.  So in our appreciation, we give you a pic where he's with the great Billy F Gibbons of ZZ Top..

We haven't forgotten Samantha Fish is now in 2nd place and getting further back in the pack but she wants to show you another new guitar for your pleasure and which you might get to see her play it when she comes to your town.

Record Store Day is here but I doubt if I'll go anywhere but I found a few articles to pay some kind of tribute to the vanishing record store.  One of them is here: http://www.complex.com/city-guide/2013/04/requiem-for-a-record-store

Another viewpoint from across the pond, they take their records more seriously than than the dim witted downloaders here http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/music/news-and-features/beer-vs-records-a-tough-record-store-day-choice-1-2888169?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

And finally, while talking about the rain and how I can't make it to the nearest store I managed to get that tweet favored and Retweeted by Morgan Reese of all people!  Thanks for thinking and retweeting one of my many many tweets that most of the time don't go anywhere.

 Note: This is actually Morgan Reese Fairhead who's just as nice looking as the other one whose more revealing of herself  (See blog before this). Had to replace the picture since it disappeared again.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top Ten: Wet Dreams From The Basement

Crappy weather, rain, cold, thought springtime was supposed to be here.  Even the tulips are having a hard time coming out of the ground.

For the most part I've been starting the Top Tens earlier than usual rather than trying to hold things in my head and then forgetting most of them when it was time to think up of ten songs I've been listening to. Ten years into doing this you'd think there would be a easier way of doing things but until I start my own podcast this will have to do.

Sad to say that I missed the jam session for the Mike Swearingen tribute show that they had at the Eagle's Club, a place that sits on top of a hill overlooking the Ellis Golf Course, I spent over an hour driving in circles before stopping at The Best Western and got directions and finally made it later in the afternoon. Ron was there but Russ wasn't, opting to stay at home to watch The Masters but I did talk to a couple of Mike's friends about music and for the most part stayed an hour before boredom got the best of me and I needed to stop at Sav A Lot to pick up some things before they closed.  I really didn't feel like Karaoke anyway, but hopefully this will help Mike pay off some medical bills and get him back on the road to recovery.  Love ya bro.

Tad this week provided some of his favorite B Sides at his website. But he also points out another website about the Moody Blues and a new book about them and the authors have invited comments from us to which Tad added his two cents worth.  Their site:  http://moodiesbook.wordpress.com/

Tad's Site: http://tadsbackupplan.blogspot.com/2013/04/653-church-of-moody-blues.html

For those out in New York Bleaker Bob's Record Stores are closing up. Another victim of the double edge technology we call the internet and MP3s.  As far as I know all Zia's out in AZ and Vegas are doing quite well and will be there when I visit the great desert region in June.  Right in the middle of 100 degree temps and plenty of sun.  Too bad I can't take this back home when the damn rains wet up the basement.

 Goot Evening,  this week, an overplayed classic, some new ones and Jones on the jukebox.

1.  Maggie May-Rod Stewart 1971  Cumulus is taking over my top ten they must have bought me out and now we will have the same old same old right?  One of Rod's best songs ever that got destroyed by being in regular rotation for over forty years on rock radio and it's on every Rod Stewart best of too.  I'd go with Every Picture Tells A Story for best Rod song ever but since Mother named her late great German Shepard after this song  I pretty much put this on in Maggie's memory.  A fun and smart doggie who played frisbee up till her passing.  Getting back to the song, this starts out the cheapo Class Reunion 1971 comp that Polygram put out in their cheap bins and it begins with the guitar interlude before the song starts playing.  And Stewart had a helluva band backing him up, the forgotten Martin Q on acoustic, Ron Wood on other guitar, Pete Sears (later of Jefferson Starship) on bass and Micky Waller, one of the best unknown drummers ever.  Of course when this comes on the radio station I turn it, but when I have it on CD I'll play it once per year and file it away.  Guess I'm done now.

2.  Bad Love-Kings Of The Sun 1988  Another great drummer you never heard is Cliff Hoad and he may have been more closer to Keith Moon than Clem Burke or Rod Smith, the guy was a beast and the two albums that they did for RCA should have been rock classics, more so than Guns N Roses to which The Kings got booted off opening for them when Jeff Hoad said some unflattering things about them.  That may have killed all that was going for them.  Their first album was great, next one was even better and then they disappeared.  RCA dropped them and their third album sells for big bucks on Ebay.  The Hoad brothers have continued on with The Rich And Famous and made a couple albums that I never heard either.  On his website Cliff mentioned that there's a new KOTN album coming out this year.  Hopefully some day I'll get around finding a copy and hearing it.

3.  White Lightning-George Jones 1965 (released in 1973)  The first version was the closest thing ole' George got to rockabilly  but it was the 2nd version that I first heard and it came via the late great KOEL FM station in Oelwein before they got bought out and became yet another faceless top forty autotuned farce station.  Technical notes indicated that this came out on RCA Victor but since George didn't record for RCA, it actually came from Pappy Daly and Musicor and it has also been on budget labels as well.  Best use of fiddles, they're a hook upon themselves when you hear this masterpiece, written by the late great and never forgotten J P Richardson (The Big Bopper).  From the Time Life concept cheapo CD Heartaches And Hangovers which best describes the old Possum back then.

4. Lucifer Sam-Pink Floyd 1967  I may be in the minority here but I'll take the Syd Barrett led band Piper At The Gates Of Dawn over Dark Side Of The Moon any day.  There's a strange magical charm in that first album that always captures me especially this track which sounds like it could have been at home in a James Bond movie.  And it's one of those CDs that the first version still kicks major ass hard to believe right?  Well back then they didn't compress and LOUD things up like they do now.  Didn't get into Floyd till I was out in AZ in 86 and brought A Nice Pair in the cheap bins to which I still have the album.  I think I bought the CD at Relics years ago used as well.


5.  Guess I'm Falling In Love-The Velvet Underground 1967 released 1986  Judging by who you talk to, The Velvets are either the best band ever or the most overrated (Mark Prindle thinks the latter) but VU the 1984 collection of a unreleased album would have been great even back then but the spotty Another View which scrapes the bottom of the barrel is for fans only.  World really didn't need one version, much less two of Hey Mr Rain and Coney Island Steeple Chase and Ferryboat Bill is half based as they come. Only stuff I can tell you about that's worth a listen is We're Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together which might have worked as a single, a rough run through of Rock And Roll but with a different ending than the Loaded version and this loud jam that would have found a home on White Light/White Heat.  There might be a vocal version of this song but I'll stick to this instrumental to which the VU threatened to cave the recording studio inwards with this up to 10 sound.  Here's a even rougher version featuring vocals if you're interested https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDSJggL5FB0  

And a live version to boot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt0WsXQkwN4

The Another View version done faster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-bYKWwgphg

There ya go, a threesome of this song.  You're welcome.

6.  Rock N Roll Ruby-Warren Smith 1956  I have a lot of Sun Rockabilly compilations on my shelves and one can't have enough Sun Rockabilly if you want to know about real rock and roll of the 50s but this was written by Johnny Cash and recorded by Warren Smith, one of the more harder rockabilly artists of that time.  Better known for Ubangi Stomp, this was released as a single and did fairly well on the local charts.


7.  Come On-Agents Of Good Roots 1998  One of those bands that RCA signed up to compliment the jam band craze at that time The Good Roots sounded more like a cross between Dave Matthews and the Fiji Mariners and had a lead singer that made Tom Waits sound tuneful. I think they did the HOARDE tour thing as well but this record sank like a stone to the depths of one dollar CD land to which I still think it's worth it if you find it.  A word of warning though, there's a annoying chick singer on a couple tracks.  Hard to believe this came out 15 years ago, where DOES the time fly?

8.  One Too Many Mornings-The Association  1970  How can a band that was so much played to death on AM radio in the late 70s and is fondly remembered for that but anything after Birthday didn't sell?  Their last two WB albums and Waterbeds In Trinidad! the sole Columbia offering showed a more country rock then the Middle of the road soft pop of Windy or Cherish.  But I also think The Association, like Chicago served a purpose in rock and roll, after all they were a rock and country vocal band and like Chicago won't make it to the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame unless they pay admission fare in.  A live take of Bob Dylan's song to which The Beau Brummels did better on a failed 45 attempt (also for Warners). An side note: some guy did buy the 2.99 double album vinyl at Half Priced Books but failed to see the Japanese CD selling for two bucks in the bargain bin.  Worth picking up for the sole purpose of the Japanese's interpretation of the lyrics and most of the time they were nowhere near of the original verses (oh you focking American tink you so smart).  Even in this day and age the Japanese CD still sells for 40 plus bucks anyway.


9.  Prodigal-Craig Erickson 2012  Home town nice guy and blues guitar ace Craig returns with a fairly new album that nobody had till I seen it used at you know where.  He returns back to Mike Varney's Blues Bureau International label after a decade of self releases on little known labels and he ditched his side kick violin playing Molly Nova (formerly of The Blue Band featuring you know who) in favor of a power trio of him, bass player and drummer.   If he was anywhere else (New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago) he would be a name you all know but since he's Cedar Rapids based only the locals and myself know him.  And he still works at The Music Loft as well.  Great all around guy and somebody you can actually talk to without being talked down or in other cases get unfriended from Twitter or Facebook.  Not naming names.

10.  Denver Daydream-Robey, Fauk & Bod 1972  One of the folk rock bands that CBS signed and ignored this trio remains a mystery since they only released one album and better known for one of the early albums ever produced by Tom Werman who later would rack up a impressive roster of bands on his resume (Ted Nugent, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Motley Crue, The Tearaways etc etc) and Glen Spreen who was better known at that time.  RFB had that high pitched  Poco influenced vocal sound but they were more easy listening country rock than Poco themselves.  This song by far is their most rocking though.  Dean Sciarra took it upon himself to remastered and released this album himself on CD via It's About Music and he's did a fine job too. http://www.itsaboutmusic.com/

Hi Five Dude!

Ain't It So-New York City 1973
Valley Of Freedom-Needtobreathe 2009
Used-Ashley Monroe 2013
In The Jailhouse Now-Jimmie Rogers 1929
The Troublemaker-Willie Nelson 1974

And Willie Nelson makes his way to The Paramount Theater this week.  Tickets are a pricey 64 dollars and I'll wait for the DVD to come out.

Record Review: Alvin Lee-Still On The Road To Freedom (Rainman)

A sad way farewell that a few months after issuing this album that we lost Alvin Lee in March and he'll forever will be remembered for I'm Going Home which brought the house down at Woodstock years ago.  Last time he made a dent in the charts was the rambling Detroit Diesel in 1986 and then did one more album for Ten Years After, the forgettable Terry Manning produced About Time, but while Ten Years After continued to solder on with a new singer and guitar player, Lee continue to follow his own muse and made more albums over the course of his lifetime, the final chapter Still On The Road To Freedom and it's a uneven but heartfelt album that explores more variety than he ever did with TYA.  Never a prolific songwriter, his lyrics were uneven at best, but his guitar playing was as fluid as ever.  The title track features the late Ian Wallace playing the drums (PS he plays on Listen To Your Radio Station) and would find a home on Cricklewood Green but Lee goes for a Rockpile feeling on I'm A Lucky Man and even does a fine J J Cale soundalike with Nice And Easy.  If all else fails, he does play the blues and does it well.  I'm not sure if the world needed a update with Love Like A Man but you could do worse.

Grade B
Pick Hits: Still On The Road To Freedom, Nice And Easy.

I don't watch much daytime TV which means I miss out on the Kaplin crap Commercials that drive the rest of us up the world if we can't find a job without any experience.  They should use this one for those who wasted 4500 dollars trying to better themselves in the real world.

 And now, the last word comes from Mike Swearingen from the Sunday benefit for him.

We want to thank everyone who took part in the benefit yesterday...i want you all to know we delivered over 275 lbs of food to the food bank today and so many kids will go to sleep less hungry because of you... Majoli and I are so humbled to know people like you all and so proud to know we have you as part of our lives...we can never thank you enough and hope your lives can be as blessed as ours for having friends like you...
thank you again
Majoli and Mike

Friday, April 12, 2013

Observations: Jonathan Winters RIP, Job Situation

It must be April.  Storms in the area, water in the basement tornado going through St Louis.  I had a plan on going to St Louis this month but seems like all the crap weather we have been having, they been having the tornadoes and they had three or four going through Florissant, Hazelwood, Alton Illinois area.  May just say the hell with it and wait till October to go down there.  If we do Record Store Day, Madison might be the intended target next week.  The drought is over, we had 6 inches of rain since the start of this month and I'm sure the forecast calls for more storms this weekend.  Still whatever happens I'm still sopping up water out of the basement, car etc.  I return back to the desert last week in June.  Places to be determined outside of the usual hangouts in Mesa/Chandler.  Coming to a record store near you down there, Zia's (ya know it)

Another passing, Jonathan Winters has passed away at age 87 from natural causes. One of the best improviser of Comedy ever Winters was a one of a kind.  He will be missed.

Mick Jagger is finding out the hard way that nobody wants new music anymore and wants to hear new music, just the hits. He's doesn't think the world needs a new Stones album but Keith Richard disagrees. The world needs new Stones albums says Mr. Richard, so do I (meaning Keith, jury is still out on what I think).

The fallout of Margaret Thatcher's death continues with the BBC deciding to ban Judy Garland's 1939 hit Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead on their radio, which really makes no sense but you can probably request Morrissey's Margaret On The Guillotine or The English Beat's Stand Down Margaret anytime you want.  Or maybe The Fifth Estate's version of Ding Dong. http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=802142&ocid=rr-mus-news

 Evie Branan is 79 years old and woke up from a coma and wanting to go to a Bob Seger concert to which she did last night and got to meet with him after the show.  She had a great time and Alto Reed (the great sax player for Bob's band) said it was a pleasure meeting her.

A website Bob at work told me about. http://www.mp3jam.org/

Last month we had a meeting from head hot dog Dave Hansen about the status of printing and it's going to Minnesota and you can join up if you like provided if we get back to you which he never did. Would you like to work for a person like that who don't return phone calls or emails? Show you how highly they think of you in Corporate World so the ones who couldn't or wouldn't go up there we all got thrown back in the pool of where we going to when this is all done.  As always the last person taken or moving on or getting the scraps, I almost got drafted for 3rd shift Packaging which would have meant me retiring from there.  I cannot do the graveyard shift, my Sunday nights of The R Smith Show would be over and when you work 11 to 7 graveyard you have to plan sleep time only to get up feeling like a zombie and getting nothing done around the house.  It would have been some nights working 2nd but no, again the body couldn't hold up that type of punishment.  It would be packaging all year all time.  I've been there for 25 years you think you get some type of appreciation and then get demoted like that.  Reminds me a lot of going out football and finding yourself going from A to B to C and D team no matter how hard you did your best.  When I heard that, I was beginning to start taking inventory to start up my own antique store (or crap house) and prepare for life after being in the Corporate World for all this time.

But after my boss called me into his office for that bit of good news (not), he then said that there's was a opening upon 2nd shift for scanning and they were going to send me there which for the first time all year I finally had something to cheer about instead of the usual bullshit that has been hounding me since day one of 2013.  The fly in the ointment is that we get to drive back to Iowa City once again (like we did before 1998) and deal with 40 minute drive but at the same time if work isn't there, we'll be back up at the CR place in packaging once again in the later months to which I'll still be fighting with Pauley if life situations happen.  But I will be reunited with Ellen, the manager down there again and I always enjoyed working with her.  She's funny and got a good sense of humor to boot and easier to talk to when the weather continues to send water in the basement like it usually does this time of year.  And I've done scanning in the past.  Of course driving all that time to Iowa City will once again cut in any bargain hunting trips elsewhere but it will keep me in contact with Record Collector or Housewerks if I get up early enough to go see what they have for bargains.

But I don't know.  The printing sector side of things has a window of 4 years before they think digital takes over printing and its in Minnesota for fuck's sake.  Scanning I believe we can probably hold out there for another couple years, maybe longer although I'm sure we'll all eventually be drafted  to Pauleyland (aka Packaging).  Going to Iowa City is only going be a year at best before they move it all into the our printing department.  And the printing family will still be there till end of August to which Kenneth moves up to Minnesota to continue printing.  It's the sign of the times I guess and it could be worse, we could have been Hostess.  And not have a job.

But for now, there's things that need to be done and I in need of a new car.  Time to retire both cars since one like to spit out antifreeze and the other likes to have a fucking jacuzzi on the driver's side and I need to shop vacuum that shit up once again.  I'm not in poverty and don't need poverty cars that been outdated for 10 years now.  But at least we still have  a job and a decent one at best.  We'll see where the road goes from here.

Review: Craig Erickson-Galactic Roadhouse (Blues Bureau)

Craig Erickson, nice guy, great person and the go to guy when you visit The Music Loft in Cedar Rapids.  An excellent guitar player, influenced by Jimi Hendrix but tends to overplay like Frank Marino does. And thus the problem of his recent album Galactic Roadhouse which recalls at times the best of Hendrix but the nadir is that he brings out the worst overplaying this side of the late great Jeff Healy and Frank Marino.

After being away from Mike Varney and the folks at Shrapnel/Blues Bureau International, Erickson returns with a vengeance and off the bat tears a new one into the illegal downloaders who download his music for free on Torrential Download Blues and wonder what's he going to do when nobody buys his records? Problem is Cedar Rapids has no more local mom and pop record stores and I'm sure he doesn't think highly of the folk who buy his CD used either.  But he does a point about the struggling musicians trying to make it big in a an internet world.  But like this song and majority of other tracks when he rocks out or plays the blues he tends to over do playing lead guitar after every note or every line of lyric which tends to grate on my nerves at times.  Remember in the words of Van Morrison  Keep It Simple?  On the instrumental Deep, Erickson releases his inner Joe Santrini in him and even overplays that as well.  And the recording and production is a bit heavy and harsh on the bass  side, another problem of Mike Varney getting in the way of the artist.  A clash of ego so to speak.

Still Erickson works best in a power trio format.  The leads still get in the way, even on the jamming Engine #7 and Earthquakes and Hurricanes, but if you like loads of lead guitar screaming this album is for you.  But as for me, I prefer the subtle Prodigal, which reminds me of Third Week In The Chelsea from Jefferson Airplane and one of the very few times that Erickson doesn't throw leads after every word.  I wish we can get more of that on the next album, provided Mike Varney lets him record before all the record labels get shut down from all those Torrential Downloaders out there.

Grade C+
Pick Hits: Prodigal, Back At The Roadhouse    

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week: See You Real Soon

If we could roll back the calender that I wish I could, I wish we can just forget this year.  It's even more crappier than the year before that.  It didn't get any better when my headphones at work made the ultimate sacrifice which started to a loose screw that would tighten and I tried to get a pair of pliers and the damn thing wasn't big enough, so went back to the toolbox that got stuck by a GD cabinet door that didn't open and it when it did, good old fucking gravity took hold and the tool box fell all over the place CRASH to which knocked my headphones off my head and broke into two on the ground.  Hope the folks up in Minnesota can deal with our top of the line second hand pieces of shit we have here.  Sit on that and spin while you play more golf in the snow Mr. Hansen.



I have been pretty ticked off at the mail carrier bitch (still am a week later) who threw our box of CDs on the mud last Friday and good thing I didn't go to Madison. (I may have repeated myself in a earlier blog, so I have to take that entry out) otherwise it probably be in a ditch after a monsoon rainfall.  The USPS has been a joke ever since we switched from Viola to Springville address and the carrier comes from Marion!  No wonder everything is so fucked up here.  Basically I'm afraid to order any more music or boxes since the delivery driver is too fucking lazy to get out of her car to put it in the door or the overhang like they used to years ago.  Guess we'll have to blame Obama on that one too. Or more so the fucking dumbass Republicans who work for KOCH and believe money is God.  And continue to spill that tar shale oil from Canada from cheap Made In China pipelines that leak every which way.

Miranda Lambert did pretty well in the ACMs on Sunday, but it's a joke when Florida Georgia Line wins for best new "country" band.  Waylon Jennings just turned over in his grave.

In the meantime here's the latest top ten to brighten your day, or turn you into the incredible hulk.

1.  I'm Bad I'm Nationwide-Z Z Top 1979  Cynical old fool Bob Lefsetz, I can tell when he gets off his meds, he bitches about new artists filling his inbox with their crappy music and telling everybody to please quit learning to play music  we have too much to choose from and your music is boring just like his blog is from a cranky old poop who can't fit in anymore. But he still tends to write a great blog about great music of the past which he did this weekend while doing a podcast for Rhino about Deguello, their 1979 classic album to which they would hit gold again with El Loco and then blew up with the 1983 Eliminator to which is banned from my collection.  And he's right about Deguello, it's full of classic Billy Gibbons lines to which make you want to listen to ZZ Top, although their last album was overrated and lacking tunes.  But back then Z Z Top was still a cult band and they were great before Gibbons and Hill started tripping over their overlong beards.


2.  Blowin' Smoke-Kacey Musgraves 2013  OMG another sexy looking chick in the Nashville country scene ain't they a dime a dozen and all sound the same?  Jana Kramer blew her wad when she married trailer trash king Brantley Gilbert (see her tattoo with his name on her arm at the ACMs?), we can't escape Carrie Underwood and Gretchen Wilson has a new album out but she can't get arrested anymore.  Miranda Lambert still remains the best songwriter of them all and I heard good things about her Pistol Annie bandmate Ashley Monroe although Best Buy doesn't have her damn album (how are we going to keep up to date on new music when Best Buy can't stock the latest fucking releases?) but they do have the new one from an up and coming woman named Kacey Musgraves which has been getting decent reviews on the net. Robert Christgau gave the album Same Trailer Different Park (that's gotta win record of the year on title alone) an A minus while throwing those 100 dollar words nobody can make heads of tails what the fuck he is saying most of the time.  Kacey is young but her songwriting is in the same league as Miranda Lambert which does bode well for the future for her, if Universal Mercury promotes her as a serious singer songwriter and not such a Pinup Hot Nashville Chick Singer Of The Month like they usually do.  Here's hoping Kacey makes it, and steers clear away from The Peach Pickers hack songwriters group, or Florida Georgia Line.

3.  Don't Cha Know-Bill Cosby 1967  One of my all time favorite people ever in movies or comedy or music, Bill Cosby has really done it all.  His early comedy albums rank with the best of them (Bill Cosby Is  Very Funny Fellow, RIGHT, Why Is There Air, To Russell My Brother Whom I Slept With) but back then he had so much clout that he even talked Warner Brothers into doing a music album.  Silver Throat the end result, relies way too much on Jimmy Reed, (Cosby did a whole side of Reed covers) but he got a top forty hit with Little Old Man which was based on Stevie Wonder's Uptight and it's the best song on that album. Best song number two was the B side to which Bill wrote and does a good job of it.  Cosby would do another music album with the Watts 103rd Street Band with Hooray For The Salvation Army Band which is more funkier and then another album with Quincy Jones.  Cosby has also signed off on jazz albums as well. More to him than just Dr. Huxable from The Cosby Show which elevated him to a new and higher level.

4.  Nag Nag Nag-Cabaret Voltaire   1978  Or the beginning of the industrial revolution here. Playing this song or anything off the Industrial Strength Machine Music compilation that Rhino (fucking spell checker working overtime here) put out in 1999, C.V along with the interesting but unlistenable Throbbing Gristle are the early pioneers of this type of noise.  Don't listen to this while working on machinery, you'll turn into the Incredible Hulk like I did last Friday. (HULK SMASH!!!)

5.  Star Machine-Bob Mould 2012  The dude is old, with balding gray to go with his sliver beard but he's never sounded this close to his old band Husker Du like he did on his latest record Silver Age to which Half Priced Books in town put in the 2 dollar bin, I had to pick it up anyway since it was cheap.  I think it's a safe bet we'll never see Husker Du play on stage ever again or Sugar for that matter.  Silver Age got great reviews and make many a top ten best of 2012 list of last year.  I like it fine myself, it probably would have been in my top 20 best come to think of it but when we start comparing his stuff to Husker Du I then add in the next sentence, it's too bad Grant Hart wasn't around to add a few of his songs to this, then it would have been a great Husker Du record.

6.  Slick Titty Boom-Elvin Bishop 1976  Elvin has been around for over 50 years playing in Butterfield Blues Band before striking out on his own and his Capricorn albums remain classic gold especially Struttin My Stuff, which credit should be given to future Starship leader Mickey Thomas.  The B side to Fool Around And Fell In Love was this 5 minute freakout over a ugly starstuck groupie with the fun line She's Yours, She's Mine? She's Somebody Elses too and  I managed to convince Bob Dorr to play this on Backtracks years ago. Elvin Bishop continues to put out albums when he feels like it, Mickey Thomas is more at home at the Casinos playing old Jefferson Starship songs and We Built This City he can have all to himself.  But it was never as fun as Slick Titty Boom.  Dedicated to the 15 year tramp at Kum N Go whose throng was bigger than the shorts she had on.  She got a few evil looks from some of the 40 something women waiting in line. Kinda looked like something like this:

7.  Johnny Come Home-Fine Young Cannibals 1986  Sonya at work: I like the way they play but I can't stand the way the guy sings.  Not too many people did.  They made two albums and then disappeared. Andy Cox and David Steele did participate in the return of The English Beat they reunited a while ago.  As for Gift, he has recorded a solo album and did do a FYC band without the other two guys but for the most part he's been under the radar for a long long time. Movin on.

8. Anna Sun-Walk The Moon 2012  I have added this song a couple times to the bubbling under five and yes this is what passes for pop music nowadays but almost a year after releasing this song I still find it to be kinda kitschy and a lot of fun including getting to the hook laden chorus, in a way that made OK GO the flavor of the month a few years ago although I still play that cd too. I don't think KZIA played this on their autotuned craptastic forty station but this did make it in one of those Now That's What I Call Music Series that everybody buys, plays it and then either donates it or turn into something you put your drink on.  WTM does have that OK GO vibe as well a bit of Weezer and Pavement into the equation.  But then again history has shown that bands like WTM does have a very limited shelf life and probably be forgotten in another month or two.

9.  Jump Start-Jethro Tull 1987  They continue to be the butt of jokes when it comes to winning the GrammyTM for best heavy metal album overcoming Metallica and the like and NARAS got it wrong.  This is more folk rock than hard metal rock and while I continue to read the negative comments from the net about their album Crest Of A Knave I find it to be a pretty good comeback album for Ian Anderson and company.  It seemed to spur them on making two more albums in that wake: 1989 uneven Rock Island and Catfish Rising which was an improvement. Roots And Branches their 1995 effort was boring.


10. Stand Down Margaret-The English Beat 1982  I don't have a high opinion of Maggie Thatcher and even 30 years after the fact, the Irish and a lot of British folks still don't like her or her policies.  And don't expect Morrissey to come give her eulogy at her funeral either, or the English Beat which originally did this song off their 1980 I Just Can't Stop It album which ushered in the British Ska Punk craze of 1980 along with The Specials, The Selector etc.  Thatcher died from a stroke at age 87.  I think I'm inclined to remember Andy Johns or Robert Ebert more.  Nothing more to say about this but somebody did http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatcher-dead---now-1818150

Which leaves me to tell you a story of Jerry and Relics.  I used to trade a lot of music up there and half the time I end up buying a lot of promos he didn't think would sell out of his used bins. He had the comeback Killing Joke album pandemonium used as well as Face To Face Big Choice and both bands I bought their new music when it came out.  I also turned Jerry on to Denzil's 1994 forgotten classic Pub that came out on Giant Records.  Denzil Thomas sounded a lot like Nick Lowe and had that English sound that was like Nick and Graham Parker and Thomas did come into this state a few times. Sad to say like most of the great albums of the 1990s that didn't make it (distributions, label problems, payola etc etc, bad promotion) Pub felled by the wayside and I don't think Denzil Thomas ever made another proper album again.  He does have a twitter account but for the most part is basically forgotten except for those who still have Pub in their collection.  As for Denzil himself, I believe he works here at this place. BCL a management consultant company.   I posted a link to it originally but it's now restricted. It's not rock and roll. 

The bubbling under five.

Good Morning To The Light-Elton John Vs Pnau 2012
Stop The Show-The Shake 2007
Alabama Song-The Doors 1967
I'm A King Bee-Slim Harpo 1957
Background To History-Monty Python 1973

Tad continues to blog a lot over at his site and he's been into the Motown stuff of late http://tadsbackupplan.blogspot.com/2013/04/651-songs-of-adoration.html

Tad is right about one thing.  Don't You Worry About A Thing isn't on any of the best ofs out there. Which is the reason why I still have Innervisions in my collection to go with the first two Greatest Hits packages that Motown put out way back in the 70s.  Surprised to say that I have never really heard Fingertips Part 1.  Part 2, too many times....The Four Tops had a resurgence of hits after leaving Motown for ABC Dunhill in 1972. Since Universal owns both the Motown and ABC/MCA catalog they have tend to keep both eras on separate labels although a combination of the best of the labels came via Hip O and the uneven Essential Collection that I once had and traded in for The Ultimate Motown Collection.  The Essential Collection cherry picks the best known from Motown, ABC/Dunhill, and Casablanca (When She Was My Girl) but also adds the crappy I Believe In You And Me which gives me nightmares of Whitney and Celine doing that. Only Marvin Gaye CDs I have is the 15 song Super Hits that I found on CD years ago  and a Tribute To Nat King Cole, a curio and off the wall album.  What's Going On I have on LP somewhere in this mess.

Joe Bonamassa continues to play havoc with me since I can't spell his name and always fuck it up every time I get a thought or two from him but he has really been cranking albums out, something like 15 in the past decade.  A great guitarist with ego to boot, Black Country Communion put out 3 albums and a live one before Joe had enough of lead screamer Glen Hughes, I always thought there should have been more Joe singing and less Glenn screaming although Jason Bonham plays drums and worth hearing.  Producer Kevin Shirley brought out the best in Joe in the last two albums including Racing Toward The Daylight which would have been big 30 years ago when this type of blues rock was the norm.  He's really never made a bad album, only slight when Glenn Hughes comes to pay a visit.

Finally, a moment silence for Andy Johns was moved from this world at age 61 from liver failure. Johns was a great producer who produced the best bands of the 70s and even Cinderella for that matter.  But we also bid a fond farewell to Annette Funicello who finally lost her battle with MS at age 70.  Who didn't grow up in the early 60s to which The Mickey Mouse Club was played in repeats and everybody wanted to be a part of that or being Annette's boyfriend?  She's best known for Beach Blanket Bingo to which Frankie Avalon played her sidekick more or less.  The sad fact of life is too bad we can't relive the past of a more innocent time.  Too bad the kids today missed out.  See you real soon too Annette XOXO