Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-New Music For Old People

This week's fill in for myself is the legendary Al Kooper as he picks ten favorite songs from his New Music For Old People site to which you can find at Morton Report via Facebook.

1. "The Lonely Surfer" — Jack Nitzsche (2:11)
Sadly, this is the only top-tenner under his own name. Jack was a persuasive, cognitive wheel in the studio antics of Phil Spector and the early to mid-period Rolling Stones. His arrangements adorned many hits by Jackie DeShannon, Gene Pitney, Darlene Love, The Crystals, The Righteous Brothers, Neil Young, etc. This was a sweeping instrumental, worthy of a better title, that raised the quality of the hits of 1963. Later, he would win an Oscar for co-composing "Up Where We Belong."

2. "(These Are) Some of the Things" — Howard Tate (2:15)
A rare non-Jerry Ragovoy-produced track helmed by multi-hit artist Lloyd Price on his signature Turntable label in 1970. It was part of a full album they collaborated on entitled Reaction. This followed a string of hits supervised by Ragovoy from 1966-68 on Verve. Jerry and Howard reunited again in 1972 on Atlantic. This was the best track from the Lloyd Price album. In hindsight, Tate’s best work was when he was partnered with Ragovoy. His last three albums (all without Jerry) are comparatively non-listenable and yielded no sales or airplay. This track contained signature Tate spark and stands up nowadaze.

3. "Train of Fools" — John Fogerty (3:43)
Mr. Clearwater is back again with catalog duets and a few new tunes on his latest release, Wrote a Song for Everyone. I prefer the new tunes and here’s one, albeit devoid of his trademark snarling vocal sound.

4. "99" — Toto (3:55)
This is my fave Toto track and I celebrate the opening of their 35th anniversary tour this week. I checked with Steve Lukather and he says the song is NOT about Barbara Feldon, Maxwell Smart’s girlfriend. It was more a reaction to the first Coppola film where the populace’s names were numbers. I will NEVER tire of this track (funny wordplay #816).

5. "In Germany Before the War" — Marianne Faithfull (3:39)
The combo of this Randy Newman composition and the mature Marianne’s voice is perfection. The arrangement by Steve Weisberg is very Kurt Weill, and if ever Hal Wilner more perfectly produced anything else, lemme know. The track is culled from Easy Come Easy Go, an MF album from 2009 that I shall listen to more carefully after this discovery.

6. "I'm A-Leavin' You" — Paul Rodgers (2:57)
My favorite band of all time is Free and I don’t mean “All Right Now.” Their catalog is more amazing. So I listen to various spin-offs, hoping for something. I bought a CD which I now can’t find but it was European and this song was on it. I have a copy of just this song from it on iTunes. I think it was the only one that got me on that album. I can’t find any trace of it online so I guess it’s rare. I still like it and if you’re a true Free fan, chances are you’ll like it too... however, I’m not too keen on his new look

7. "I Wanna Stay Home" — Jellyfish (3:15)
When I was compiling a CD of other people doing Nilsson songs, I asked Harry who I should call. The only act he suggested was Jellyfish. They were in their infancy at the time, but they had already gotten to Harry. This is from their second album Bellybutton. It’s a title I should have written since I hardly leave the house, but they beat me to it.

8. "With Any Sort of Certainty" — Streetlight Manifesto (3:09)
I’m in it for the horns and the enthusiasm. This is new
9. "Some Other Man Instead" — Spin Doctors (4:08)
They’re back! The good news is they’re stripped down and sticking with the basics. This is tasty and worthy of a weathered welcome.

10. "Up on the Bandstand" — Al Kooper feat. Mickey Thomas (4:19)
This is from the rarely heard jam album I cut in the ‘80s, Championship Wrestling. A Randall Bramblett tune I always loved, it gave me a rare chance to employ the vocal skills of Mickey, who gave Elvin Bishop a big hit with his vocal on "Fooled Around and Fell In Love." No such luck for me, but great fun playing baritone guitar and clavinet alongside guitars by Jeff Baxter and the rest of the studio players gang! This was produced by Bill Szymczyk, who coincidentally produced the Elvin Bishop single.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crabb Bits: A&W RIP, Summer, Giving Up

So here I am during the last minute before The Last Bargain Hunt In Arizona TM and looking at the stats and throwing my hands up in the air, you know the one that everybody in Coupon land and Russian Women Looking For A Green Card dot com continues to look at.  Giving up the irony, I just said the hell with it and returned the title back to Reviews Of Neil Young instead of Casino Sites Suck or Beware of Russian Ladys Looking for a sugar daddy to leave their country.  It's the second most viewed blog, maybe somebody of musical importance will pick it up for a link and maybe that will give me more views than No Deposit Coins Casinos or Norcalvex dot whatever the fuck they are.

Time has ran out for the Ellis Blvd A&W, since the city council has voted 3-0 to bulldoze it down.  The river claimed it in 2008 and for the last 5 years we had shady investors making promises to get it going again but the latest collapse from another shady investor has doomed it.  Before the 2008 flood, the A&W Ellis had the best burgers and you can either use it as a drive in like they used to or go in to eat like I used to.  Another sad ending to a part of my history that is becoming more of a memory now.  And the A&W out in the Casey's on the way to the airport isn't worth going to, their burgers suck.  (Update: The Ellis Blvd A&W was bulldozed down on September 18,2013)

After a very wet April and May, June has turned out to be much more dryer here although certain areas got hit with some heavy rains that gotten the Cedar River out of its banks again to cover up Otis Rd again but now back in its banks.  With the full moon cycle coming up, it's going to make nights in Arizona look beautiful.  And hot too. Forecast in Cowpie Iowa is going to be a hot and steamy summer with our favorite nighttime storms driving people crazy once again. Not me I won't be here to enjoy that.  But in other words another typical summertime in Iowa. I'm sure I'll be putting the AC back in the window once I get home and then the next big thing to finally retire the POS purple car and the Silver car with no AC in it.  I was kinda looking at some cars at Junge Ford's Lindale Car sale and right off the bat some salesman was in my face talking about making a deal already.  Already I'm catching flack about not having a cellphone on The Last Bargain Hunt In Arizona TM but that's the way I've been doing that, no cellphone no worries.  If and when I get around a computer then I'll check in.  The AZ trip, I'll be lone wolf again, nobody out there really made much of an effort to want to get together but I'm sure the Zia's Folk, The FYE folk and The Hastings folk will be happy of more time spent in their business.

But a real treat was getting to see the Space Station tonight at work while on break.  We have actually been seeing it a couple times this month, yesterday even at 9:15 it was too bright and too many clouds obscured it. But tonight it came from the NW going SSE and basically on top of me.  I'm sure we had other nights to see it up close and personal but never to a point that I could see it overhead, and on a almost full moon to boot. A perfect way to get us into summer.  And now the days get shorter again but for now you won't notice it.

Till late July ;-)

Last minute add: Vattica played to a sold out crowd.  They followed The Townedgers Queen Of Anamosa with their song on the latest Songs That Made An Impact 2013.

Say goodbye to Paula Deen as she made one too many racist comments. The Food Network gave her THE AX after she made a show about how to make a sambo burger on white rice.  Yep, it's a bad joke.

And finally at the Linn County Fair for next week, you get Alien Ant Farm playing. For country Tracy Lawrence and Blackjack Billy

And if you see an odd sort looking fellow with a Mouse Tracks t shirt looking at the cheap stuff at your local FYE or Hastings or Zia's Records, you have come face to face with Da Crabb!  Lucky you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-Reviews Don't Matter

Before I return back to the desert one more time I thought I give you this week's songs of note.  More new music and some classic stuff from my library of endless music.  So tell me Bob Lefsetz why I need Spotify?


1.   No Easy Way Out-Robert Tepper 1986  A product of the 80s with the beat machine going on full tilt and a whammy bar specialist to boot, I actually enjoyed this as a single but as album whole not really.  Tepper had a voice like Michael Bolton or Lou Gramm and could have replaced Gramm when Foreigner was looking for a new vocalist.  The typical one hit wonder, Tepper was never heard from again.


2.  Somewhere Far Away-Lowen & Navarro 1990  Too bad these guys never got bigger than just being a cult band and Eric Lowen's passing has silenced them forever but I actually found a vinyl copy of Walking On A Wire their Chameleon debut for a dollar and when I hear their voices I feel sad at times.   Funny how people want to have more money but as myself I'd rather trade my money for more time and about 20 years ago too.  You can't take money with you when you leave this world.  Somebody tell that to the rich bitches out there.

3.   Monkey Gone To Heaven-The Pixies 1989  Looks like I'm in a 80s mood eh since the first three have come from the late 80s or early 90s, that will be changing in the next one but the big news that Kim Deal aka Mrs. John Murphy has departed the band to probably focus on The Breeders a band I never got into anyway but if you in a 80s mood you'll be happy to know that Tommy Stinson and Paul Westerberg aka The Replacements are getting back together sans Chris Mars who's retired from music and Slim Dunlap still recovering from his illness and Bob Stinson dead.  I really don't have an opinion on that nor do I do about Kayne West and Kim K popping out another reality star as well.  The Pixies have been back together touring although the only new thing they did was a 7 inch single. Since discovering Surfer Rosa from the cheap bins, I decided that I'll give The Pixies catalog a spin and look at and Doolittle was the second pick up for me. I still think they were the ultimate alternative band but don't ask me about Frank Black's solo stuff, not that interested to go that far although I've been known to have a change of heart.

4.  Caught In The Storm-Goo Goo Dolls 2013  After the wettest of May and the other two months, June has actually been a dry month 15 days into and of course with Arizona coming up, I'll be there just in time to do the monsoon season, not exactly what I'm looking for.  Basically I've been jawing with some of my facebook friends about rain, they think we're getting dry, I still say we're still trying to dry out the damn basement.  The weekend they promised that we were going to hit with big rains and a flood watch was issued for some of this area but the rain split into two and went different directions before it made it here. Oh we got some rain but thankfully no downpours.  But in the meantime while the press was raving about the new Black Sabbath (more about that later) album and the great black hope that is Kanye West with his blasphemy titled album Yeezus coming into stores next week (who cares I don't) the Goos as I call them have a new album out Magnetic to which you probably read my review that it might be worth a hear. It's no different from Dizzy Up The Girl although there's more use of Pro Tools and some autotuner than I would like it to be. But I think it's an improvement over the last couple albums they had out.  At least they're not hanging with the odious Glen Ballard anymore.  A step in the right direction.

5.  Fire Walk With Me (Theme from twin peaks)-Angelo Badalamenti 1992.  Pure Moods, remember that album?  Virgin's answer to K Tel or That's What I Call New Age Music, The first volume of Pure Moods sold a ton (at the same time you can find for a dollar at junk shops too) and had my favorite Enya song (guess which one) but Pure Moods had two turds from Enigma (the god awful Return To Innocence) and a bunch of new age nonsense that was just as bad to listen to as that Rhino comp of industrial music.  Amazingly for all the Virgin Records artists, Pure Moods never included anything from Tangerine Dream, I'm sure something from White Eagle would have been better than Return To Innocence. Back in the early 90s there was this bizarre David Lynch TV show Twin Peaks to which a guy at work used to watch and tell me about the next day, like I really cared but I recall the theme to be quite listenable and for inclusion on this top ten.  As for Pure Moods the album, will I listen ever again or will I donate it back to the junk shop.  I think we all know the answer to that one.  Donated back to Goodwill (that didn't take long).

6.  Heard It In A Love Song-Marshall Tucker Band 1977  Upon discovering a long lost high school crush online it took me back into a time to which Marion Iowa was a happening place and not some shell of itself. While she was a year behind when she left town she didn't add any of her friends from High school which is kind of peculiar to me but some people are like that.  I guess this was our theme song which describes more about myself than any other song especially the words.  Marshall Tucker Band was varied in style, a little Bob Wills here, some southern rock there and plenty of blues gospel but this was a country song on rock radio hard to believe 36 years ago.  From the Country Tucker best of, that K Tel put out years ago and although they put in the edited Long Hard Ride and This Old Cowboy, this is the long version.  The Single version popped on the Love Songs album that Shout Factory put out a couple years ago.

7.  Indian Lake-Cowsills 1968  The original Partridge Family you might say The Cowsills was a working family band and when you think about it, they were probably the best of that power pop bubblegum that we used to make fun of when we were younger but what did we know?  When you hear songs like Indian Lake it does take you back to those glory days of AM radio.  But as they got older, the hits became less and less and The Osmonds took their place on the radio chart.  Freddy Weller, taking time off from Paul Revere And The Raiders had a country hit with this too.

8.  Empty-Montgomery Gentry 2011  New country is a GD joke and most of what KHAK plays is not the country that we grew up with and even the groups and artists of the early 00's have fallen by the wayside.  Montgomery Gentry after a decade at Sony Nashville moved over to Average Joe's for Rebels On The Run and let's face it folks, Montgomery Gentry is more southern rock than actual country, don't believe me take away the faux paus banjo and steel guitar and add more keyboard and they're up Lynyrd Skynyrd's alley (the Johnny Van Zant led L.S) or Charlie Daniels to which M.G. has shared musicians and CD himself.  But like ex labelmate Gretchen Wilson, they can't get arrested on new country radio anymore even though both new albums have continued the time honored tradition of being proud of veterans, America and unlike the Brantley Gilbert and Jason Aldean take the time to chat with fans after the show.  Eddie Montgomery ended up having back luck with illness and a wife that bailed on him but with the help of fans and band managed to keep his head up high.  The first two Montgomery Gentry albums remain their best and can be found in cheap bins and your opinion might vary, I still look at them as southern rock with a country twist.  Even more so today given the crap that is new country.  And they don't song about boom boom speakers and trucks although Damn Baby could have been the inspiration of  Dayum Baby from Florida Georgia Line.  Buyer Beware.


9.  Just My Imagination-Rolling Stones 1978   Public radio has been sucking of late as well. I can't tell half the shit they play and most of it is so bad that I end up switching the channel back to the overplayed classic rock of The Fox or KMRY which isn't much better and that new station from Muscatine that you pick up on the same frequency as KMRY when you go into Iowa City is no better then either The Fox or KMRY.  We have more music now then ever and radio continues to bore us with the same overplayed crapola.  The World Cafe comes on at 10 on KUNI and we finally get to hear something besides techno or bad crap from other side of the pond but somebody made a mistake and actually played this off Some Girls, the last true classic Rolling Stones album.  It also reminded me of the discovery of my old high school crush years ago. Turns out that she's a president or VP of a Ladies Auxiliary down in Texas, a big clash of differences between her and me.  Which forever will remain a mystery, why she picked me or picked on me during high school about going steady.   It never happened, hell my high school sweetheart had to ask me to the dance party.  Memories................

10.  Black Sabbath 1970/End Of The Beginning  Black Sabbath 2013  Before Kayne West's masterpiece comes out, Black Sabbath's new album should be the number 1 debut on the Billboard chart and even though Bill Ward doesn't play on it, Brad Wilk follows the lead quite well. It also amazing how End Of The Beginning   starts out with practically the same melody that begins Black Sabbath (the song) from Black Sabbath (the album), the former scared the hell out of me when I first heard it on 8 track but not so much as I get older but when you first heard it, you know you have heard nothing like that sort before.  But too bad that Bill Ward didn't partake into the new album, with the original four together it would have been an A minus album.  But still worth a hear if you're into Black Sabbath.

More western melodies:

Arizona Nights-The Route 66 Band 1983
Bertha-The Grateful Dead 1972
Got To Move-Elmore James 1962
Out Of The Blue-Tommy James 1967
Puzzles-The Yardbirds 1968

Chet Flippo, one of the best opinionated music editors passed away today.  Up till 6-6 this year he would write under the Nashville Skyline  columns.  This was his next to last entry about the outlaws of Nashville, (Willie and Waylon)

And his last:

Reviews don't matter anymore  proclaims Bob Lefsetz in one of his latest blog rants

Basically the problem is prog rock hater Rob Sheffield who if anybody read or saw the last Rolling Stone Review Guide Sheffield one star anything that was prog rock or one word bands.  We get it Rob you don't like prog rock, let somebody else who knows more or likes it to review it and leave the bad comedy act at the local comedy club.

As somebody that has like 14 YES albums I tend to take people like Sheffield with a grain of salt and a six pack of Tall boys to stomach much of his prog rock hatred.  He was born too late anyway to see the grand theatrics of Genesis and Peter Gaberial and whole album concepts like Thick As A Brick or Remember The Future or 23 minutes of Takus from ELP, if you are not a fan of Prog rock it will not be for you either. But you start out your hatred of it by quoting Oscar Wilde, you're either bankrupt for ideas or trying to be funny. Banish Sheffield to the cellar and play that 24 hour marathon song that The Flaming Lips did a while back. They who not know is advised to shut the fuck up and off for that matter.  Rob Sheffield is perhaps the worst reviewer in the history of Rolling Stone, not that Rolling Stone is cutting edge anymore, their record reviews edited down to Twitter form or in three sentences or less. Lefsetz may be right, reviews don't matter anymore, especially when Rob Sheffield makes light of anything that's rock and roll and from the 70s.

Ben Crabb is one of the employees at Ragged Records and they're doing a benefit for him and his girlfriend Sarah Campbell and Pete Sedlak at RIBCO the 25th of this month.  They were victims of a apartment fire on the 16th to which they lost their living quarters.

So the RIBCO aka Rock Island Brewing Company and Ragged Records will host a benefit which a few bands will play and a silent action will be happening.

The ratings will probably be over 2500 views but I don't think they will make it past 3,000 as I begin to prepare myself for The Last Bargain Hunt In Arizona trip but the Russian Women seemed to think that Online Casinos Suck Blog is going net them a man to which it has become the second overall most viewed blog, which makes me think they're either stupid or don't know that blog is basically reviews of some albums. It's one thing to be lonely and desperate and looking for a green card but it's another when you just click on something that has nothing to do with the dating scene.  Even though I have written more blogs this month, the only one that's cracked the top ten from this month was last week's top ten.  Again the top three are The Brains, Casinos Suck and Mexican Jumping Beans like they have been the previous month.  Maybe Lefsetz is right.  Blogs don't matter. Below, probably the one who's been reading the Casinos Suck Blog.  The things you do for glove.

Finally some of you might think that I have a new love steady but in reality I don't. 

Next week, a fill in for a top ten and if I have computer around my area I'll be broadcasting the events as they happen.  For the ten days, first two days: Mesa/Chandler/Phoenix, Sunday: Phoenix/Lk Havasau City/Kingman, Monday: Kingman/Bullhead City;  Tuesday-Wed Not sure:  Thursday: Tucson before wrapping the weekend up with a return to Mesa/Tempe.  Look out Hastings/FYE/Zia's I'm coming your way!  Just in time for the full moon/late quarter to take place.

And no, you don't live forever:  Slim Whitman the iconic country singer yodeling 90 year old which back in the 1980s enjoyed a resurgence of popularity with a string of TV commercials called All My Best past away. But at one time he was the biggest selling artist of the 50s in the UK.  He recorded for Imperial (later Liberty/United Artists), RCA and Cleveland International/Epic. And later saved the world from Martians with his music  in Mars Attacks!  Died of heart failure.

Even though he may have been the butt of many Johnny Carson jokes, or indifference from the youngsters, Whitman was one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet even right up to the end. But then my dad discovered his music and proceeded to torture us within earshot of trying to yodel with Slim when he was doing his famous echophonic recordings to which Dad would sing with the record, record on 8 track and mailed them off to relatives, as if they ever listened to it.   Once upon a time, Slim Whitman did outsell The Beatles in the UK but in the 50s and has always maintain a rabid following from over there. Rose Marie was on the UK charts at number 1 for 11 weeks in 1955.  The oddity of his All My Best selling 4 million copies in the 1980s had a lot to do with the midnight showings of his TV commercial and Songs I Love To Sing charted at number 25 in 1980.  The Novelty wore off and Whitman return back to his cult following status soon after.  In 2010 Whitman recorded his last album Twilight On The Trail.

Slim Whitman had his share of fans, from Michael Jackson to George Harrison to Daniel Johnston to Rob Zombie.  But as long as we have Indian Love Call in our collection, we do have a defense against invading Mars army if ever such a thing comes up.  But SlimWhitman may have the distinction of being that rare artist that never made the headlines the wrong way, and no musician who ever worked with him or been around him has ever said a bad word about him.  No controversy or scandal.  That rare artist.  Another voice that you can never replace   God bless Slim Whitman.