Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week: Happy Birthday Tad

It's been years since I went out and got a more recent car but this weekend I finally did it and acquired a 2013 Chevy Impala with all the extra goodies that I have forgotten about.  An air conditioner that works, not only an actual radio but satellite radio as well and great sounding speakers and an OnStar service that the car has it's own phone. My Gawd I'm in the 21st century.  With car payments now forthcoming it's a given that I won't be doing much buying new stuff but as long as there's cheap things in the dollar bins at the thrift store I'm guessing I'll continue to find things I overlooked.  For new music, really not much out there but I have found a couple of 50 dollar Best Buy giftcards in my cleaning up the hoarder house.

Five days remain in the printing department before I return to the road to Iowa City to the other Pearson place but a judge has halted the city of Iowa City's plans of trying to take over some of Pearson's property for a pipe dream they call economic development, the Moss Ridge Campus at Moss Ridge Road.  For the time being, Iowa City cannot use the eminent domain monkier since you can't use economic development since there's no business out there. So for now that's one less hassle to deal with while driving down highway 1 and trying to fight traffic, red lights, the fucking roundabout at highway 30 (another dumb idea) and deer trying to rearrange the car.  The Press Citizen as always got it home, it's known as Pearson, NCS died a long time ago after Pearson bought them out.  And things went downhill after that.  Moving on. 

On the followup, Apollo Records who bought the 250,000 thousand collection of albums, they did managed to find some interesting things, Beatles, Led Zeppelin among the junk in the house.  A Carl Perkins EP will fetch some big bucks in the process.   Sorry to say folks my collection is nowhere near that bad.

Passings: Paul Michaels, radio broadcaster at KXEL at age 65, natural causes.


Rodney Long, on the run killed by a homeowner defending his home. Long escaped from a minimum security prison shot a deputy and broke into a home looking for another way to get out of town but overstayed his welcome. Reading the DM article (I'd post it but Gannett owns it and you've been stuck with those annoying adds to subscribe to their shitty newspaper messages) a former GF of Long mentioned that when she knew him, he was nice and quiet and do anything for anybody, yeah they all do sweetheart, till they do home invasion and threaten to kill you, then they'll not so nice and quiet then. Casey Riedel, living in fantasy land said she wished he'd come out of the cornfield so she could talk to him.  Good thing he didn't, Casey Riedel  would be in the obituary.  I don't think Rodney Long would have stopped for tea sweetheart.  This brings the valid argument that the right to bear arms in your home come into play.  If the owner didn't pop Long between the eyes, Long wouldn't hesitate to shoot him.  People change in the 14 years you haven't seen them, sometimes they're not as mild mannered and friendly as they used to be. If you think about it, nobody is.

Best Buy continues to shrink their anemic CD selection now down to two aisles, and of course they didn't have the Fleetwood Mac Then Play On reissue.  It's getting to the point that going there for new music is a disappointment.  Looks like from here on out, we'll take our chances on the net and Collector's Choice Music.

Lester Chambers has filed a 5 million dollar lawsuit against the psycho bitch who jumped the stage and pushed him over plus the blues festival and the city that hosted it due to lack of security.  He does a point of lack of security from the video that was provided, there as hardly any security seen anywhere when  Dinalynn Andrews-Potter high on bath salts and PBR jumped the stage and pushed Chambers. And the odd thing is that DAP made a beeline to the stage without anybody blocking her way.  I'm sure there'll be more to this story as it happens.  We shall see:

Still, the ratings haven't been all that cheery either.  If we make it out of 2,000 I'll be surprised.  Maybe I'll cancel myself and go driving around the U.S.

1.  Something Better-The Dirt Drifters 2011   I think in the archives of alt country rock and roll that the Dirt Drifters have joined the likes of The Randy Cliffs, Big Back Forty and 17 Candle as bands that made fine debut albums but imploded soon afterwards, the biggest mystery is the Drifters who made an 2012 announcement that it was all over, you can get This Is My Blood at their website for 3.99 now.  They were way ahead of the odious country toppers like Florida Georgia Line but they owed a lot more to Mellencamp and Earle than country hacks that write those truck songs.  I like to thank Chris Stapleton for actually picking my brain in trying to find idea songwriters should Petty make that country album if and when he gets time to do so.

2.  A Little Bit Crazy-Eddy Raven  1982  Raven enjoyed some radio played success in the 1980s, wrote a couple big country sellers for Don Gibson in the 70s as well, but country has ignored him like the rest. Originally on Elektra, but Warner Brothers issued this on a greatest hits that is brief (the odious Curb label put another very best of that is just as uneven)  Raven is in dire need of a decent overview, RCA made a half assed best of and then replaced it with a couple additions and deletions (I Could Use Another You in, Operator Operator out) and the best CD came out on Westside in the UK and sells for big bucks. A Little Bit Crazy is the best single of his type of zydeco Cajun country and it's the best off the Warner/Curb Greatest Hits.

3.  Tornado Warning-Pure Prairie League 1976  I may have been harsh on them in previous blogs and of course I heard about it when the comments were open to the public but I guess they can't figure out the code to post, nobody can figure out the Captcha code most of the time but before the budget went toward the down payment on the new car, I could keep an eye open out on PPL league albums that I may have overlooked.  Doubt if Half Priced Books will have another copy of Can't Hold Back, the 1979 reissue featuring the up and coming Vince Gill.  Moving to Casablanca (the after disco Casablanca label mind you) they scored soft rock gold with Let Me Love You Tonight  and I'm Almost Ready.  I'm surprised that RCA didn't issued Tornado Warning as a single, I think it would have done well on the charts. From the forgotten album Dance, never issued on CD that I know about.  Renaissance reissued the first two PPL album and like the Taking The Stage Live CD commands big bucks as well.  Could have used both of them CDs as down payment on the new car.

4.  Laredo Radio-The Swimming Pool Q's 1986  Ah Southern Alternative Rock in the mid 80s was a happening thing and the Pool Q's was one of them you couldn't categorize.   If the B 52s were brought up more on southern rock than Devo, that would be the sound of the Q's and their albums on A&M didn't see the light of day on CD till this year.  Somebody must have payed the bounty to Universal to reissue both albums and they're a must have. But the Digipak and the superglue that holds the CD holder sucks. Thank you Cipher Bureau, whoever you are for the reissue, now convince the Universal fucks to reissue The Brains album.

5.  Some Other Man Instead-Spin Doctors 2013  They never really went away although radio has quit playing anything from them except Two Princes which gets plenty of bad jokes from failed comedians still living at home with mommy and daddy (see VH1).  They have gone from jam band to a blues band and the new album If The River Was Whiskey has been getting excellent reviews from various blues magazines. Of course I found the new album as a promo, Best Buy doesn't seem to have it (like many other new CDs).  I wouldn't call it a big comeback or record of the year but it is quite listenable more than Pocket Full Of  Kryptonite ever was.

6.   You Got Me Runnin-Parker McGee 1976  Gene Cotton covered this and got the bigger hit (number 33 1976) and McGee only had one hit single to his name (I Can't Say No To You #42 1977) but Dan Seals and John Ford Coley had hits with I Would Really Love To See You Tonight and Nights Are Forever.  His solo album is a dead ringer for sounding like England Dan/John Ford Coley or Seals & Crofts, mellow soft rock of the late 70s.  His only album sells for big bucks on out of print Japan CD's but I did find this on vinyl.

7.  Walking On The Sidewalks-Queens Of The Stone Age 1998  After the groan and drone that was Kyuss, Josh Homme took the Kyuss drummer along with him to start this new project which would become a full fledgling band but I find him hard to take at times.  The first album was hard to find even in print but Josh reissued it with a few more bonus tracks to add to the madness.  There's still plenty of a Kyuss clumsy dinosaur sounds on this to even the riff is repeated a good two minutes over and over but I find it charming myself. 

8.  Seventh Son-John Baldry 1972  Everything Stops For Tea, the followup to his well known It Ain't Easy LP has Rod Stewart and Elton John producing again, with EJ having side 1 and Rod the Mod on side 2 and even playing banjo on one cut! (this is the same guy that gave us the crappy Great American Songbook album of the last decade?).  The American public didn't care, he was way too British for their tastes and ESFT was in the cut out bins before you knew it.  The Canada based Stony Plain reissued both albums with bonus cuts as well since Baldry recorded for that label before he passed away in 2005.  Both albums are worth listening just to hear the up and coming Stewart and Elton John and their bands helping out.

9.  Radio Ass Kiss-The Wonder Stuff 1989  This band is far down the list of the late 80s British bands that came across the pond that I cared much about and I had their so called classic Never Loved Elvis but I think I donated it a long time ago, never thinking I wanted to hear it again.  In the big collection that is the LPs that I have I came across Hup, and revisited that record.  At times they sounded like The Stone Roses but with a more annoying singer but any band that gives Corporate Radio the bird gets Crabb points.  Here's to you.

10.  Singing Cowboy-Love 1969  It's not a country song, it's just an excuse for the drummer to try out his china crash at the end. Arthur Lee we hardly knew ye.

The Party Never Ends:

That's The Way I Like It-KC And The Sunshine Band 1975
Weirdo-The Charlatans UK 1992
Mama Coco-Gino Vannelli  1975
Paper Doll World-The Backsliders 1997
You-REM 1994


The Essential Gino Vannelli (Hip O)

Blue eyed progressive soul is the best way to describe it and Gino was the second white guy to appear on Soul Train is meaning something but also remembered as Eugene Levy parodied him on a SCTV skit. But you gotta give him props for hanging outside Herb Alpert's A&M studios in a attempt to get noticed, he couldn't do that today, Interscope would have security on his butt.  Thankfully, this Hip O overview covered the highlights of his A&M period as well hit singles from Arista and CBS to boot.   The early stuff is silly and a bit on the overwrought side but there's a certain charm to Mama Coco (brother Joe adds keyboard and counterpoint) and hit single People Gotta Move.  A move to Arista damn near broke him although he did score a top ten hit with Living Inside  Myself  but that label didn't like his followup and for the next five years disappeared from the face of the earth.   But to this day Vannelli has continue to reinvent himself via opera and lite jazz to which this best of doesn't explore.

For myself, he remains an acquired taste but my favorite songs come from the CBS albums he recorded. the new waveish' Black Cars but final hit was his finest, Wild Horses.  That's his claim to fame and for me why this best of is the one to get.  But it also shows the good and the bad of what made G.V. such a treat to listen to, brother Joe's assistance and musical arrangement.  It was ahead of its time, even worth the chance of outrunning the security guard to get to Herb Alpert.   And he's done quite well afterward too.

Grade B+
Pick hits: Black Cars, Wild Horses, People Gotta Move

A late add: A rant on playing classic albums in their entirety at concerts:

Finally, I want to wish a happy birthday to the biggest supporter and commentator and all around great guy Tad and continue to thank him for his support of the blogs for the past couple years.  If only we can get a few more of them in here.  Cheers and hope you have a happy one!



TAD said...

Crabbster, I hardly know what to say, except Many Thanks. Your blog has given me MANY hours of reading- and music-trivia-knowledge pleasure.... Wow, my cellphone and my bank ATM knew it was my birthday, and now this....
Agree, "Singing Cowboy" is just plain weird, but worth hearing. Think the drugz really got to Arthur....
We played a couple Gino Vanelli albums back in my record store days. "Livin' Inside Myself" was OK I guess, and "People Gotta Move." But like you said, a lotta the rest was kinda overwrought, and a little too MOR for me. I thought Gino was kinda self-absorbed, seemed like he had a pretty big ego, ya know. But I guess you'd havta have a big ego to be a solo act....
Many thanx, and rock on!

drewzepmeister said...

Happy birthday Tad!

R S Crabb said...

Well Tad it's been you and Drew giving out the most support on this blog for a few now, thought I give ya a shout out in the best way possible. I can always count on you for some comments from time to time.

You're right about Gino being a bit pompous in those A&M days and although it's a bit dated, I still like Wild Horses a lot. Mama Coco bizarre beyond belief. Likewise Four Sail the last Love LP that I didn't get till now. it's okay but it's no Forever Changes. Cheers!