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.

 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.

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    

1 comment:

TAD said...

Crabby: Thanx 4 the namecheck & I liked the Top 10, 2. I'd even agree that PIPER is the best Pink Floyd album -- it's certainly the most unusual.
& I still let "Maggie Mae" play if I've got the radio on. Tho I'd agree it's overplayed, some songs R just indestructible.... But wouldn't it be a kick if they played "Handbags and Gladrags" instead?
Keep rockin....