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


TAD said...

Crabby: Nice Top 10 as always, suprised 2 C the Moodies' "Sorry" in yer Bonus 5 -- I think Ray Thomas's stuff with the Moodies is pretty underrated.
I was never a big Patti Smith fan either back in the day, but I think the 1st side of WAVE is a pretty solid compromise Btween commercialism & her preferred anarchy -- & I'm a sucker 4 "Frederick."
Fairport's got some great, timeless stuff, & Sandy did 2 or 3 great songs on her own, but 1 thing I notice is reviewers never mention how uneven they were -- you pick up their best-of's & they sound like world-beaters (& they were). But when you hear the albums 1 by 1, then maybe not so much. & Sandy's solo records were even less inspired. Her SANDY (1972) has 2 GREAT songs on it, & the rest is ho-hum. Great voice tho, 2 bad she never found her way outta her problems....
Heard Steve Earle on Letterman a couple nites ago, he still sounds good tho his song was kinda low-key. & saw Richard Thompson on Letterman last week, & he's more awake than he's been in years....
Nice work. Keep rockin'!

R S Crabb said...

Thanks always for your comments TAD.

Patti Smith is always been an acquired taste even for these ears however Banga the album must have grabbed my attention, they just don't make music like this anymore. I may cast my lot with Horses since critics call that her best.

Your right about Sandy Denny's albums, they tend to be uneven as hell, had Randevous for a while but best to hear Sandy is her best of be it A&M or Hannibal. Fairport's albums are like that too (Try What We Did On Our Holidays or to a lesser extent Unhalfbricking, Racing With the Moon the Sandy Denny reunion album is another disappointment)but it is a shame that nobody back then could save her from the brain tumor that eventually would kill her.

Steve Earle has really mellowed over the past few years, he's not the angry old man on revolution starts now or Jerusalem, or the rebel without a clue days of Guitar town or Copperhead Road but as an elder statesman of country rock the new album works very well. Plus he's still alive too. ;)

TAD said...

Hey Crabby: Based on the sample you provided thru the link, I just subscribed 2 THE LEFSETZ LETTER. He's kinda funny, in a cranky way. Another grumpy old reviewer? Oh, whythehellnot? I hope I don't live 2 regret this....

R S Crabb said...

Lefsetz is always good for a laugh but he's also insightful and more right than wrong. He gets pissed off at all these up and comers who think he's going to break them into the music world but he couldn't pick the right single for WASP when he was A and R for Sanctuary Records 10 years ago. I still can't believe he got pissed off at me when he was touting some off the wall software last year, I'm usually calling him a old prick when he bashes vinyl or new music. ;)

Starman62 said...

Hello Crabby,
Thanks for the nod to the great Jack Bonus. I got a call last night from Steve to inform me of his passing. I have been looking around the net for an obituary, but so far nothing. What a great obscure and totally original treasure, and I thank our great friend Steve for introducing me to that classic album. RIP George Jones too. Take care Crabb!