Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week: Tunes From The Tornado

Limping along in this month it has been a bit of extremes here at Crabb Music Center.  The peak was May 15, the 45 anniversary of the Charles City/Oelwein tornadoes and 183 viewers to this blog in the form of X BOX and no deposit casino fans crowding to see an old 3 year old blog that had nothing to do with neither.  So what do I do?  I savataged (sic) the ratings and changed it over to foreboding This Is A Music Blog and nothing to do with no deposit casino Sites and tanked the ratings there.  Why do I do it you ask?  I didn't want people to get the impression that I was promoting this kind of nonsense.  But crying for years for ratings from music sites and maybe that happen some day but till then we gotta deal with nonsense from the likes of vietfun, vk, vampire, and no deposit casino sites that refer people to here but still don't had anything to the equation. Despite my efforts we might have a pretty good month viewership here.

Nicki No Talent Minaj is leaving American Idol. Like we really care.

The first weekend to welcome summer will be upon us, Memorial Day Weekend and already Big Oil has savataged that as well, with gas prices going up an fucking unbelievable and over the top price of 3.94 (subject to change) from 3.39 beginning to this fucked up month.  Big Oil knew what they were doing when they shut down 2 major refineries from "maintence" and "mixing up summer blend fuel" right in time for the weekend so speculators could jack it up into a panic on Wall Street, in a attempt for Big Oil to get record profits again.  Endless greed.  By the way, somebody in Florida won that big 550 million dollar lottery, whereas you and I didn't.  And I know you didn't cuz you wouldn't be wasting your time reading this blog too.

I also haven't been too happy with the continuation of bullshit drug emails from black market drug companies that I continue to get in my hotmail account.  No wonder why millions of people have been leaving hotmail. When you get continuous shit from nonexistent email places like ;asfd;h@asdf; you just want to punch kittens.  I'm a man too but GOD i'm so tired of the Get Viagra now or Enlarge It emails that continue to flood my junk box.  That shit will make you go blind and have your dick fall off.  The more you block them, the more they send.  The earwigs of hotmail or outlook as its called now.  Kill one and ten more replace it.  Save us Ivy Doomkitty.


Spring Storm Enema has been a tornado making bitch of late.  I spent most of Sunday Afternoon watching the internet and chasing two F4 Tornadoes in Oklahoma, one formed in Edmond and then wrecked havoc along route 66, and then another one forming in Norman and becoming a monster storm tearing up Shawnee and a motor home court.  Up here a tornado was sighted in Des Moines and Huxley. More storms formed Monday night but thankfully they petered out before they reached here.  If you have a scanner you might find these handy:

Country Music today has really took a hit from the traditionalists out there and you can see why from the likes of craptastic country artists like Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and the no talent at any level without autotuner Florida/Georgia Line  15 big reasons why country music sucks today here: 

While Oklahoma was being destroyed by F4 tornadoes and ravaging floods from Spring Storm Enema, Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist of The Doors and later producer to X passed away from bile duct cancer at age 74.  He had a distinctive sound all his own as kind of a soul/jazz organist while using the bass petals as bass since The Doors didn't have a bass player most of the time. After Jim Morrison passed away, Ray continued The Doors name with 2 more albums (the uneven Other voices and Full Circle which had a minor hit with Get Up And Dance) and then reformed The Doors later on although John Densmore didn't rejoin and sued them for using the Doors name (they eventually renamed it Doors Of The 21st Century with Ian Astbury of the Cult replacing Morrison)  Manzarek, would help shape the sound of X as he produced some of their classic albums of the 1980s (Los Angeles, Under The Big Black Sun to name a couple) but in later years would write a book on his association with Jim Morrison with Light My Fire.  With Ray's passing this will probably shut close The Doors for good now.

Top Ten Of The Week:


1.  New Vibration-Collective Soul 2008  Something found in the 50 cent CD pile from Madison a couple weeks ago, hard to believe it's been that long and I'm already wishing for another get away trip and the only Collective Soul album that I didn't buy new.  Never a hip mag band fave (Rolling Stone, Pitchfork come to mind) Ed Roland has been doing his thing for just about 20 years now and outside of the lackluster Blender and hard to figure Youth, the rest of their albums have been quality listening although Afterwords, their 2008 album didn't sell very well despite a bit marketing ploy with Target only having dubs on this album.  When that failed they went back on a major, doing one album for Roadrunner.  And far as I know their only one for that label.

2.  Easy Evil-John Kay 1973  Alan O'Day passed away over the weekend.  He wrote this song which was a minor hit for John Kay and later Three Dog Night took a whack at it on their ill fated American Pastime album for ABC.  O'Day was a workmanlike songwriter that managed to get a top ten hit with Undercover Angel in 1977.  Never paid much attention to his solo work, his 1977 album reminded me of  an Andrew Gold with a dirtier mind, but I have heard parts of his 2008 comeback CD I Hear Voices and would have been a worthy followup to Appetizers had he released it then and not 30 years later.  John Kay, took a break from Steppenwolf to do a solo career and this got played on the AM dial for a while in summer of 73. Later reformed Steppenwolf to which he still performs to this day.


3.  Georgia Rain-The Questionnaires 1991  Another rock band out of Nashville that was out of place in the music world in the 90s, these guys like Jason & The Scorchers got signed to EMI American and like that band, their label had no clue on how to promote them.  I remember that longbox editions of Window To The World spent a sad and lonely life at Best Buy and nobody bought it and forgot all about them till the infamous Pawn Shop years to which I found both their albums in the cheap bins at Mister Money, (one in Davenport the other up in Madison)  Window To The World, the first was mismatched by Pat Moran's outdated 80s sound and even today while good can't figure out why they went to Rockfield across the pond to do it  in the first place.  Anything Can Happen, the 2nd and best, they stayed close to home at Southern Track under the watchful eye of 38 Special and Skynyrd producer Rodney Mills..The record was released and forgotten soon afterwards but these guys deserved a better fate.  Elements of Rolling Stones, The Romantics and 80s rock are heard and even got some songwriting help from Jim Peterik and Jay Joyce who produced The Wallflowers last album.  Didn't help and by the end of 91, the band broke up and went back to being Nashville sessionmen.


4.  Love Me Hard-Dust 1970  Their two albums on CD have had collectors overpaying through the nose to get them so Sony/Legacy finally issued both of them on one cd.  Purveyors of the power trio hard rock they owed a lot to Blue Cheer and later on Budgie but could also be blamed for the forthcomings of such notables like Truth And Janey and Triumph.  Better than Blue Cheer (and Triumph for that matter) but not as good as Budgie, Dush toiled for two albums on Karma Sutra  and even had this out on 45. Marc Bell smashing cymbals left and right just like the Blue Cheer drummer on Summertime Blues. Richie Wise, lead singer would later go into production and producing two albums for KISS.  Kenny Aaronson would become a in demand bass player (Foghat, Billy Squier, Sammy Hagar) and Marc Bell would be instrumental in punk music, starting out with Richard Hell And The Voioids and later The Ramones (Marky Ramone).  A far cry from the acid hippie dippy rock of Dust.

5.  I'll Still Be Loving You-Restless Heart 1985  A bland country vocal band I was trying to remember what song that top forty radio played back in the mid 80s and end up buying the brief but to the point The Best Of Restless Heart (you heard it on the radio) and it is the last song on this cd.  They sounded like Exile, another country vocal band that had hits as well but they didn't cross over to pop like Restless Heart did.  Got played at many a prom and social gatherings.  And the less said the better although this song would really not be considered country today.  It has no rap nor autotuner in it whatsoever.


6.  Jones On The Jukebox-Becky Hobbs 1988  I admit if this was to be a radio podcast, the extreme song suggestions would probably kill off everybody but one's with warped open minds. but it is what it is, a place where I let people know what I'm listening to when I'm at work or at home. Who else would add Collective Soul, Dust and Restless Heart to their top ten?  Basically, it took me about three days to compile the last top ten and it has turned out to be one of the least read top tens in history and I added pictures to it as well. So we keep plugging away and maybe somebody who reads this will seek out the artist via You Tube or other ways and means.  Becky Hobbs came from Oklahoma, the land of tornadoes and had a deal with MTM Music (which somehow is connected with Mary Tyler Moore) and made a decent but period sounding album called All Keyed Up to which RCA later picked up when MTM shut their doors added a couple new songs and deleted a couple off the original album.  Hobbs wrote her own songs and could play the piano with the best of them.  Nevertheless, a tribute to George Jones via the barroom. Imagine that.

7.  A Salty Dog-Procol Harum 1969  Some people consider this to be their best overall song, more so than A White Shade Of Pale and since there's no underground FM stations anymore you don't hear this either. Considered one hit wonders by Cumulus of course, P.H. were around a good 10 years and made about as many albums as well but for me they were always a acquired taste at best, even A Salty Dog album is hard to get through if you're not a fan. But they always had a great vocalist in Gary Brooker, Robin Trower played guitar and the underrated and late great Barrie Wilson was so good he was considered to be a part of Led Zeppelin.  But as we all go into the Senior Citizen circuit, the 60s are five lightyears behind us now, one can't deny the diversity of music styles of that bygone era.  All this generation has nowadays is autotuner, rap and processed beats.  Maybe the good old days were better than the days of now.


8.  Frayed-Junk Monkeys 1991  They were good but they borrowed way too much from Soul Asylum and The Replacements combined.  They were from Detroit, got signed to Metal Blade an their attempt to find an alternative band for them to marketed but Metal Blade either couldn't or David Bierman didn't want to leave his home to go on tours, reasons unknown.  They did make three albums for Metal Blade and then disappeared from the public eye.  From the album Bliss which could pass as a Soul Asylum tribute or Replacements tribute album.  And that's good praise.


9.  Wild Eyed And Wound Up-True Believers 1988 but released in 1994  After leaving Rank And File, Alejandro Escovedo  and brother Javier form this harder edged  cowpunk band and made two albums that Rykodisc released as Hard Road.  The S/T True Believers was very loose and ragged and Rounder issued it but when EMI signed them up, they bungled the second album right off the bat and it never got released proper. Problem with the second album was Jeff Glixman's ill advised decision to replace the rhythm section and getting a drummer that didn't have a clue and played 4/4 straight through on all the songs.  EMI America was one of the worst labels ever but a step above Curb or BNA, EMI had Jason And The Scorchers and The Questionnaires and didn't promote them either. However Alejandro and Javier have gotten back together with John Dee Graham for a series of one off's down in Austin the past couple years.  Wouldn't mind seeing a new album from these guys too.

10. The Three Of Us-Streetlight Manifesto 2013  Think Chicago as punk ska and you'll get the picture of this NJ band.  They been around for 10 years which I didn't know about but I knew their latest album came out with a bit of controversy, there was a acoustic version LP of The Hands That Thieve but their record label killed that off and basically made this band a life of hell so they decided that this would be their last for Victory and move on to other things.  Actually pretty good this CD is, these guys also throw elements of prog rock into their punk ska.  Another person said they reminded him of The Gaslight Anthem but with horns which is good praise if you ask me.  But then again I'm not much of a fan of Gaslight Anthem although their last album I still have on my shelf and play from time to time.

Concluding this:

Drifting Back (all 27 minutes of it)-Neil Young & Crazy Horse 2012
Chick A Boom-Dewdrop 1971
Hands Like Rain-James McMurtry 1992
Albatross/Colonel Stopping It-Monty Python 1976
I'll Follow The Sun-The Beatles 1964

Bonus Track from Pat Travers's Wife (Becha it's a PT song)
I'd Rather See You Dead-Pat Travers 1982
Okay.. so you know I had to do this one!!! I was 13 when this came out & was a total MTV Head, but never saw this on there. Bastards!! Anyways.. the whole Black Pearl album was one of his best.. you can tell Pat put his all in it & what did the record company do?? They turned their backs!!! Oh well.... Pat will have the last laugh.. his due is coming!!!! Can you tell I love that man?? So..... today's Musical Rx & video enjoyment is Pat Travers, "I'd Rather See You Dead" w/ of course Mars & Sandy Gennaro!! Enjoy!!

Craptastic Weather remains the best viewed blog of the month but a lot of this month's blog haven't gotten out of the 20 views mark.  A distant second is the Pearson 25 tribute. So far this top ten of the week is under 10 views, despite promoting it via the usual media sites.  Maybe I should get the folks at No Deposit Casino to come back and tout this.  The best top ten ever, Mexican Jumping Beans is now in 3rd place.

Music journalism is going down the toilet from what I have seen.  Paris Hilton now signed to Cash Money, Lil' Wayne's hope of Limp Bizkit as well.  That's all you need to know.  Kim K, complaining about her balloon lips while carrying Kayne West's child.  Make another reality show of that on E sweetheart. And Bob Lefsetz continues to rail against albums and record labels.  Meanwhile the world is going to hell in a handbasket, F5 Oklahoma Tornadoes and some Islamic asshole chopped the head off some British soldier and saying something like it's Allah's will.  Meanwhile, Ann Coulter, snorting bath salts mused on Twitter this little thought provoking tidbit: "Liberals still hoping London machete attack was committed by a white guy."
I know, I gave this attention seeking whore man what she wanted.  In other words, another overpaid moron C word with a penis.  Smoke some more bath salts freak.

While this is going on Trevor Bolder passes away at age 62 from Cancer.  A part of Bowie's Spiders From Mars but most recently holding the bass for Uriah Heep, we lose yet another rock and roller  And in the meantime the crazies are taking over the world.


Airbourne-Black Dog Barking (Road Runner)

So tell me folks what does rock and roll music mean to you now?  Do you, like myself continue to seek out the new bands that continue to redo the same three chords power rock that AC/DC made famous years ago, or do you basically have given up and hung on to Back In Black and refuse to listen to anything else?  It's a tough world today as hip music magazines continue to praise autotuner crap bands or fall over themselves praising the new Daft Punk CD while Airbourne continues to rock and roll all night and party every day with the sex, drugs and booze that adds up to their 3rd platter Black Dog Barking.  I'm surprised that All Music Guide gave this an extra star whereas they poo pooed No Guts No Glory, an album that is a bit more fun than Black Dog Barking.  It's what they call junk rock, you don't think much about it but you can rock and roll and get drunk to it.  Joel O'keefe draws a lot from Bon and Brian but also Jimmy Barnes and Sam Kinison on various songs and the band doesn't stray far from Ac/Dc riffs and backing shout a longs.  The second side gets along better with the title track and Woman Like That but Airbourne isn't out to save the world, they take rock and roll more seriously about getting drunk and laid more rather than whatever Bono is doing with U2, and they're a throwback to 70s rock and roll moreso than the crap modern rock bands that hinder KRNA although I'm sure they'll play the new track Ready To Rock before pawning the CD off on somebody when they call in to win the new Airbourne CD to once again wear out another copy of Back In Black (I can never get that fucking title right, I always type Black In Back every fucking time).  Hopefully there'll be newbies out there that will call Airbourne their own Ac/Dc and draw upon them as inspiration and start their own band of three chords turned up to 11.  And stay the fuck away from The Voice and American Idol.

Grade B

Pick Hits: Woman Like That, Ready To Rock

"People say all my playing still sounds like The Doors, but did I sound like The Doors or did The Doors sound like me?"

RIP Ray Manzarek



TAD said...

Hey Crabby -- Suprised 2 C Procol Harum here, not 2 mention Daddy Dewdrop!
Agree about Procol being an acquired taste -- "Salty Dog" is almost really good, pretty dramatic singing from Gary Brooker, but I think the band lets him down, they should B MORE forceful. I can't get thru the album, tho there's Good Stuff on it -- my pick is "Wreck of the Hesperus," which is also huge & dramatic & coulda been a hit -- but it's let down by Matthew Fisher's weak singing & the production's kinda muddy.
I dunno, PH's best & worst stuff always went hand-in-hand. Great drummer in B.J. Wilson tho, & some great guitar work from Robin Trower. Brooker was a good singer -- 2 bad he hadta sing Keith Reid's sometimes silly lyrics....
Rock on!

R S Crabb said...

Hey Tad I found that Daddy Dewdrop as a 45 up in Madison when I up there, had it on an old K Tel 22 explosive hits and KCRG used to play it a lot in 1971. A guilty pleasure.

A Salty Dog LP has its fans I guess, but I think I enjoy the title track better when it was done live as a b side to Conquistador and didn't play it too often back then, it kinda bored me since i was 11 at the time. I did play A Salty Dog, the album and still find it uneven. I think i enjoyed them better on Whiskey Train or B side throwaway Long Gone Geek. You're also right that Keith Reid's lyrics were goofy at times. Nuff said ;)

Starman62 said...

I consider their song A Salty Dog to be a masterpiece of sorts. It boggles the mind to think that this type of songwriting and performance was coming from young people in their early 20s at the time. The song is very moving and poignant. Compare it to say Stairway To Heaven, and you realize how much depth the song has. The album is a little spotty, and I find myself preferring Shine On Brightly. The Greatest Hits (1996) compilation is a good place to start for someone just getting into them.