Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week:Hanging With The Band

It's kind of a strange and surreal happening but after the Richard Thompson showcase Friday Night I basically had to sit back and take in the nightlife of Iowa City that I haven't pursued since God knows when.  After shaking hands with Taras Podaniuk and thanking him for a great show I ended up following the drummer Mike Jerome back to to the hotel two blocks from the main stage.  Interesting to find that if you're not a well known musician you can blend into the crowd and not get noticed too much.  Certainly nice of Taras to acknowledge me and chat a bit before letting him go retire for the night but I didn't hang around to see if Richard Thompson did the same thing.  I'm sure he would have been hounded a bit more than Taras or Mike.

Old 97's in Iowa City.  A new picture replacing the old one that disappeared.

A week and half before Arizona and tired of the rain and tired of the cold and wetness that has been spring of 2013, I haven't even put the AC in the window of yet, we really don't need it.  And overdoing it on the NyQuil and Dayquil to get rid of an hindering allergy attack hasn't help either, breaking out into the rash and hives that seem to be too commonplace for myself.  But I'm determined to get over this crap before I head to the desert and soak up 100 degree temps and make one more trip to my favorite digs at the local Hastings or FYE or Zia's.  I was talking with Martin Daniels about the last bargain hunt as we call it.  I know I've been saying that for the past 4 years but this time out, it feels different like we are about to do it one final time before riding out into the sunset.  Changes are in the wind, perhaps a new job and a new location, maybe a new relationship or even the end of life.  Last year we found more than we bargain for, I don't expect to come home with 100 cds or 50 45s like I did but you never know.  I have an idea what I'm looking for but won't know till I find it at some offbeat store.  BTW, this is a tornado taken near Belmond Iowa today. Lovely weather we're having. NOT.

Outside of Bruce being generous and giving me a free cd for the stuff I bought last week at Seigel's it's been slim pickings at the pawnshop and at Half Priced Books which really has gotten bare over the course of the month. Which is a good thing cuz it has more money to spend down in the desert but in the meantime, I'm still listening to lots of music from my vast archives.  No shortage whatsoever.

Top Ten Time but first a bit of Ivy Doomkitty playing the role of catwoman. MEOW!

1.   Right Off-Miles Davis 1971  Perhaps Miles' greatest rock attempt ever, Tribute To Jack Johnson is two sides of two songs totaling 52:20 and if you thought that Neil Young was doing something different with the 28 minute of Driftin Back, Miles actually had him beat beforehand.  Major difference is that Miles song is 27 minutes barely and better put together although it starts out as a jam between John McLaughlin, Mike Henderson and Billy Cobham jamming together before Miles got to the recording studio. Radio would never play this ever in this day and age but a long time ago, I did hear this on a FM station in the early 70s, either KUNI or KFMW did play the whole thing.  But since I was 12 at the time, I got bored after awhile and forgot all about it.  In my later years I tend to favor long form songs when I'm working or doing the Sunday Night Late Show.  Sony Music did issued a box set of the Jack Johnson Sessions for the more adventurous but you really want to hear about good jazz fusion or rock jazz, the single CD of Jack Johnson will do wonders for you too.

2.  Over The Hills And Far Away-Led Zeppelin 1973  The big argument is that 1973 was the epic year of classic rock but to me the cream of everything that great about rock and roll started around 1968 and concluded around 1976 but hell everything back then sounded great on the radio, except for The DiFranco Family or Olivia Newton John's I Honestly Love You but we made no bones about the fact that when Led Zeppelin put out a new album it was a very big event, something to the effect that the world stopped turning. At that time, I was still into singles and of course when I found a copy of this song I bought it right off the bat as well as followup Dyer Maker to sadly ended up getting cracked.  As far as I know, all the Led Zeppelin stuff that came out on 45 was the album version and not an edit.  For all the airplay you hear on classic rock radio I'm surprised this only managed to make it to number 51 on the billboards.  I think KCRG had it in their super 30 at one time, I may have to check the archives out on that.

3.  Nothingman-Pearl Jam 1994  I don't consider myself a lover of grunge music, I didn't like Soundgarden or Alice In Chains although I did a better job listening to the latter band than former and Nirvana still remains a go to if I want to revisit the grunge sound but not too often.  Pearl Jam fell in between Soundgarden and AIC but after Vitalogy I quit listening.  The bad digipacks that the albums came in was part of that reason and Vitalogy is uneven at best although I gave it a A minus years ago, it's more a straight B grade, too many subpar goofy shit and Hey Foxy Mop Top a waste of CD space if ever there was one. Even though KRNA plays great slabs of this album they have never played this tune which is my favorite all time Pearl Jam number.  I might even request this to be played at my funeral if and when that ever happens.

4.  Dimming Of The Day-Tom Jones 2013
     I'll Never Give It Up-Richard Thompson 2007

Another my favorite all time songs, Dimming Of The Day remains my favorite love song ever and of course the ones who ended up going with me have heard this song from time to time. Richard Thompson has performed it live on acoustic guitar all by himself and it touched me to my soul to the point of tears from time to time, moreso in 2005 and again as a encore alone last weekend.  Although he wrote it, Linda Thompson still owns it and if she ever came up here to sing and sang that one she would have me weeping along as well.  Sir Tom Jones has covered it on his latest album as well, it's good but as they said, you can't beat the original.

5.  The Silent Sun-Genesis 1968  I'm sure I left Bruce scratching his head on me buying that Genesis CD when I was up there last week but I had to hear the original band as they set out on their own under the watchful eye of Jonathan King (Everybody's Gone To The Moon) and making an album for London Records but this single came out on Parrot instead.  This song owes more to the sound of the Bee Gees rather than prog rock and they were basically trying to find their own sound, but in a way remains me also of the Moody Blues.  Of course it didn't chart anywhere.  Nobody knew what to think of it.

6.  Claudette-Dwight Yoakam 1997  Basically another shout out to the bass playing talents of Taras Podaniuk who for many years was part of the classic D.Y lineup of the 1990s and was kind enough to take some time out to chat with me as well.  The benefits of running into me at any certain music event.  Part of the reason why I bought Dwight's albums was that anything with a Pete Anderson production was a sign of quality music. Nothing against Dwight's last album 3 Pears, it's good in its own way but had Pete Anderson and of course Taras playing bass it would have been at least a A album.  From Under The Covers, a great remake of Roy Oribinson's song.

7.  The Overnight Cafe-Chicago 1980  After the death of Terry Kath and the beginning of David Foster, Chicago continued to make decent records but no sales whatsoever although I still like Hot Streets, 13 despite Peter Cetera's mind bogging PC Conlee alias that made those songs sound like shit and 14 aka the fingerprint album which is probably the least selling but more foretelling of the future.  Way too many ballads on side one, but side 2 shows a bit more experimenting with their sound, with Cetera going for a metallic sound on opener Hold On (a song I still like) and this reggae type song  which new guitarist Chris Pinnick puts to great use.  I also believe Pinnick would have fit in quite nicely with the new Chicago but by 1982 he was replaced by Bill Champlin.  I also still think that this album was cause for the new sound, David Foster taking the ballads that overburden this album and used them with more synthesizers and less horns for the comeback 16 album to which Chicago would gain bigger sales but losing part of their audience in the process me included.  They sold their soul to the devil.

8.  I Sat By The Ocean-Queens Of The Stone Age 2013  New Josh Homme album and critics and fans are falling over themselves praising it.  Their idea of rock and roll in this day and age.  If modern rock radio played anything off the new album this would be it.

9.  Not Going To Be Around Here-The Blue Rags 1997  The most offbeat band to ever come out of the Carolinas and signed with Sub Pop, they were piano driven and owed more to Pete Johnson than Kurt Cobain. One of a few bands that I managed to go see at Gabe's in the late 90s and best remembered for the guitar player that tripped over my feet while he playing guitar out in the crowd.  I actually still have the promo flyer hanging up in my mancave too.  Guess I'm dedicated to bands that I follow eh?

10.  Viva Sea-Tac-Robyn Hitchcock 1999  I didn't get into the Hitchcock catalog till I found his 1999 album in the cheap bins at Goodwill and decided he was worth the trouble to hear even though his eccentrics does take a bit of effect to get used to.  Too eccentric for Warner Brothers who released three of his albums before turning him loose again, he gives great praise to the great city of Seattle to which I would actually go visit in the summer of 2001 to which every day was not rainy but clear crystal blue skies to which I spent about five days running through most of the record stores that were existence up there but sad to say most of them are memories now.  Cellophane Square, Wherehouse Music, Tower all had something to offer as I was being entertained with my crazy ex who had a collection of pet snakes and we'd go into these stores and show them off to people who either ran away or wanted to check them out.  It's been 12 years since I've been up in Seattle and would love to go up there one more time if and when I win the lottery.

5 Richard Thompson Songs That Stand Out and was played during his Iowa City show

Can't Win-1988
Shoot Out The Lights-1982
Bad Things Happen To Good People 2013
Tear Stained Letter-1983
White Room-Cover of Cream's Song 1968

Some things I don't understand, the second most viewed blog is the No Deposit Casinos Suck Blog which has nothing to do with No Deposit Casinos whatsover, it overtook the Brian Howe Bad Company Blog today.  If it brings in viewership whatever works.  Even though I don't think the clickers even have a clue what the blog is all about.  Apparently Best Russian Girls dot com thinks the world of it since 60 of them have been the referring site all along.  I'm sure some lonely Russian chick sure going to find Mr Right here in the Crabb Music and Review Site in that No Deposit Casinos Sites Suck blog too. "shaking my head"

I love Drive Ins and going to them although I haven't been to the Maquoketa 61 drive in about 7 years 2007 the last time I do believe.  The Twixt Town Drive In was in my back yard years ago and we spent a few times there in the late 70s, watching Up In Smoke and some piece of shit thing called Looking For Mr Goodbar.  Wasn't around when a straight line winds or a tornado that did some damage to the screen but a 1965 photo shows the original layout of the Twixt Town. In the early 70s it was showing adult movies to which we would actually would watch from afar.  Hoping somebody will find some better pics of the Twixt Town for us to share.  It eventually got leveled in 1984 for the mall that now houses The Collins Road Theater  and of course my second home Half Priced Books.

The Collins Road Drive In was farther down Collins Rd, past Council St which the Happy Joe's Parking Lot we could grab a pizza and watch in their parking lot.  It was state of the art in 1982 but in a few years it would be bought out and turned into a used car lot and the old Econono Foods (now Thiesen's) in its spot.

The fabled Cedar Rapids Drive In on the outskirts of town used to be where the former K Mart is now located.  This existed back in the 50s and 60s before it was taken down by a tornado in 1965, the biggest guess was that this may have been the same set of storms that also did damage to the Twixt Town. But here, was a promo of a dusk to dawn Vincent Price movie a thon back in the 60s. Photo credit:W.Sasser.(if it shows up).

 Cedar Rapids Drive-In

Record Reviews:

Black Sabbath-13  (Vertigo)

Take it for what its worth Black Sabbath's new album is where they go back to the source of their early albums for inspiration and  End Of The Beginning almost sounds a bit like Black Sabbath (the song) from their first album.  And throughout the record, Sabbath does add bits of their classic albums into the 9 song 53 minute album to which the total time actually was our old phone number when I lived in Marion. Irony eh?  Zeitgeist also recalls Planet Caravan's acoustic guitar solo too.  Although not a full reunion (Bill Ward sits this one out due to a money dispute, Brad Wilk does a fine job on drums) this is basically Black Sabbath as we used to know and love, seven minute songs that tend to drag around like a lost dinosaur and then romp into a jam.  Even Ozzy seems have to gone back to sing like he did around Masters Of Reality although Geezer Butler writes the lyrics.  Rick Rubin manages not to get in the way of the production and even managed to get 13 sound like Masters Of Reality although the production is a bit slick at times.   Nonetheless,  metal fans have been waiting for this for years and even though Ward is missed there was a bit of concern that he couldn't keep the beat anymore, he did okay on the two studio tracks, the last time the original Sabbath was in the studios (they were on the overblown B.S. Live). Will people remember 13 a week from now, year etc, hard to tell.  But for myself I think it's better than the Heaven And Hell, The Devil You Know, the final testament from Ronnie James Dio, the songs a bit better this time out.  It's vintage Sabbath regardless and that's all that matters to me.

Grade B+
I choose: Live Forever, Damaged Soul

Goo Goo Dolls-Magnetic (WB)

20 years ago, The Goos came into their own with the excellent Super Star Carwash and then followed it up with Boy Named Goo and I became a fan.  The early Goos were punk rockers from Buffalo with a love of The Replacements and Junk Monkeys they made some ass kicking records but at that time Robby was the vocalist. On SuperStar Car Wash, the tide turned and in their attempt at radio domination, John Resznik sang the majority of the vocals but the gamble didn't pay off till Dizzy Up The Girl went up the charts and the Goos begin to look at top forty and struck number 1 with Iris and since then I tend to look at them as being the Alternative Journey, heartfelt ballads and those love songs of desperation like it still 1997.  However, the Goos have been on Warner Brothers for two decades, a hard to believe feat upon itself and to still lay claim to soft rock or AAA radio they have put out 11 radio ready songs for your pleasure, or for better or worse.

Working with Greg Wattenberg (Five For Fighting, Train's puke inducing Save Me San Francisco) and having Mark Endert (Train again) mix it for radio consumption I expected the worst from the Goos and their new single Rebel Beat would work wonders for top forty radio, or get Florida/Georgia Line to cover it, it would be a number 1 country single for them.  And Magnetic is geared for the radio, The GGD know their corporate rock and roll and When The World Breaks Your Heart and Bulletproofangel KDAT would play in a heartbeat, it has that balladry that made Iris their bread and butter.  But not everything is all pop music, The GGD when they put their mind to it can still rock like they did in the Boy Named Goo/Super Star Car Wash era with Robby singing on Bringing On The Light.  Although their last album had the best song Sweetest Lie, Magnetic has the better overall album song for song.  Even though Wattenberg is despised for Save Me San Francisco, he does a better production job although John Shanks (Van Halen, Bon Jovi) adds his two cents worth on three tracks.  Even though I still enjoy the Goo Goo Dolls phase one era (before Dizzy Up The Girl)  the commercial era, while trying does have moments.  I may have a change of heart later on, but Magnetic is probably as good as Dizzy Up The Girl.  As for hits, time and age are against them to which you can blame Warner Brothers for lack of promoting.   At least it sounds honest.

Grade B
Pick hits: Caught In The Storm, Bringing On The Light

By Request, the return of Bettie Page and the record player.


TAD said...

Crabby: I dunno about the Top 10 (all of which I read), but you DO have the best models. Is that Betty Page showing off massive cleavage & lotsa leg next 2 the old record player (which I hardly noticed)? Very nice....

R S Crabb said...

The one and only Bettie Page. They don't make them like that anymore ;)

One Dog said...

If you start a new relationship good luck with that. Hope it works out for you.

R S Crabb said...

As they say if it happens it happens. Not really looking but ya never know. ;)