Thursday, September 19, 2013

Big Mouth Strikes Again-Presenting My 800th Entry

Basically this is my 800th blog posting here in Blogspot.  If history has kept everything that I did for My Space, MSN Groups and Multiply I'd be over 1000, maybe even 1500.  No wonder I have carpel tunnel.

I've also been guilty of over 33,000 tweets in Twitter, mostly F bombs and bad football or baseball commentary, sometimes an occasional CD or LP review, but mostly it's sports related.  I should consider shutting that down since Bob Lefsetz sez nobody worthwhile tweets that much on Twitter anyway.

I haven't posted much this month, I've been kinda burned out by all the blogging of this month and with the guys in Townedgers band trying to get me to write more music instead of bitching about it, I should take them up on that offer.

 I think in terms of blogging, you gotta have a love of doing this and hoping you'll get others to read them and comment and eventually trade music stories with each other.  I don't expect to be the big blog expert like a Bob Lefsetz, who seems to be losing steam himself with the music biz.  In this day and age of Social Media, making a living doing this is out of the question, even Mark Prindle gave up on this to raise a family.  But with me going past 50 years now, it makes no sense of me to stop doing this as a whole and disappear into my vast collection of hoarder house crap and yell at meth heads to get off my property as they search for a place to make their meth.  I still believe in the time that I have left that there's music and stories that I think should be preserved and for the ages although if Blog spot shuts down we will be digital garbage out in never never land along with underground FM stations, record labels that promoted bands and cable TV when there were no commercials on it.  And that my friends was a long time ago.  Before the internet.  Back when if you wanted the new music you would go to Arlan's and K Mart, which leads into the next news item here.

I guess we're working on seeing the last K mart leaving town, in such case, the Eastern Big K Mart on Collins Rd, which has been a staple of me buying 45s and LPs of the 70s and early 80s, later CDs later.  But I haven't stepped foot in any K Marts of late, they're overpriced and most of the time on a good day the store is empty, quite a reversal in fortune of the bygone era.  The Blue Light Special, Little Caesar's opening up a store after the K Mart Cafe closed down and the cheap 44 cent LPs are what I used to remember from. I'd buy shoes there once in a while but in reality their music section leaves a lot to be desired and when Sears bought them out, K Mart's time here would become extinct. The SW side K Mart closed last year and still remains an empty building although Dollar General and Changing Hands Thrift Store are in that strip mall.  Times are changing and K Mart is joining Arlan's, Wells, Jacks and Woolworth's in the past.  But then again Sears is closing their location at the Mall in Moline too.

So where are the jobs at Mr. Speaker Of The House?  A) Overseas due to offshoring.

Rank And File-The Slash Years (Wounded Bird)

Ah yes, the roots of Americana are here in the band that once had both The Kinman Brothers and Alejandro Escovedo  on the all time classic debut of Sundown, to which the namesong of their band Rank And File grabbed my ears on public radio one night and would not let go till I found that album.  For myself this album and Jason And The Scorchers debut are the two definitive statements of Cowpunk, being it that Tony and his brother Chip came to Austin via L.A and was in the punk band The Dils. While Jason and Company were hard assed rockers dressed up in country, Rank And File was the more country sounding and their debut remains their testament.  Follow up album Long Gone Dead was recorded after Alejandro left under acrimonious circumstances and former Tom Petty/Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch played on the 2nd album.  Long Gone Dead pales a bit but still has choice moments like a cover of Lefty Frizzell's I'm An Old Man and the failed single title track. For whatever reason, the album didn't sell  and Slash/WB dropped Rank And File.  The Kinman Brothers would return to make a more metallic album for Rhino but is not on this history lesson of Rank And File on Slash Records.  Originally part of the limited edition Rhino Handmade series, Wounded Bird has reissued this album, with both Sundown and Long Gone Dead in tact plus B sides and live numbers.    It's essential to those who want to understand the mixture of Punk and country and when done right is a classic album in its own way.  Not like the trailer trash tanline hick hop that is country today, The Slash Years is still a revelation and will never date like what passes for country music today.  And I'm looking at you Jason Aldean.

Grade A

Jimmy Guterman's blog about the Slash Years album: 

In praise of Rank And File:

For the last few years, Robert Christgau continued to review albums and write for Expert Witness in a MSN site now being discontinued.  I'm sure Robert will continue to surface somewhere in net land but this is a statement from him about the situation at hand.

 Just woke up so I won't go into too much detail at the moment, but now I can make it official. As rumored, Expert Witness will be no more at MSN as of October 1. As I understand it, Microsoft is shutting down the entire MSN freelance arts operation at that time, including its film coverage, where the estimable Glenn Kenny has done so much good work, as well as my music colleagues Maura Johnston, Alan Light, and the other bloggers. I got this news 12 days ago, at which time I'd stockpiled enough reviews to get me through my last scheduled post on September 27, and since I do write for money stopped all CG-style writing at that time. I'll have more to say in the hours and days to come, but that's the nub of it. Thanks to all who comment here and all who lurk and all who never look at the comments because in the online world that's usually such a waste of time, as it has never been here.

And if you read this far. Robert Christgau's review of the original Nuggets (Originally on Elektra 1972, later reissued by Sire and later by Rhino)

Crammed onto one CD, here are Lenny Kaye's 27 selections for the first of more garage-protopunk crate-digs (multivolume series dubbed Pebbles, Flashback, etc.) than any sane person could count. Kaye's terrific notes are included, as is a useful addendum from Elektra's Jac Holzman. Assembled just a few years after the singles it comprises were first released, this is punk's Anthology of American Folk Music, the most influential rock comp ever. And some of it is absolutely classic: for me, the Standells' "Dirty Water," the Knickerbockers' "Lies," the Castaways' "Liar, Liar," the Seeds' "Pushin' Too Hard," maybe the Electric Prunes' "I Had Too Much to Dream," and definitely the Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction," the only one of the 27 to go top 10. In fact, note that all of my six designated classics went top 40, while a mere five of the remaining 21 did. With early efforts by Roky Erickson and Todd Rundgren, this signifies nothing. But too many of these records were marginal because they weren't all that good, and are now evocative period pieces only. As Kaye contextualizes them, they make a hell of a variety show, with plenty to say about mass bohemia hippie-style. As a dream to build a band on, they have limits rockin' guitar crazies have been failing to get a bead on ever since. A MINUS

Counterpoint:  For a period piece of garage rock NUGGETS (Rhino) was historical in value that Lenny Kaye took the overlooked and unappreciated garage rock anthems of the mid to late 60s, where else could you find You're Gonna Miss Me, My World Fell Down, as well as Night Time or I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night?  In other words a picture of late night AM radio up here in the great Midwestern waste land.  Not all of it is perfect, The Remains have done better songs and Blues Magoos' Tobacco Road is a head scratcher and Magicians Invitation To Cry  3rd rate garage pop. But that's a bit of quibble and bitching over here, but Kaye does have a particular flow to the whole album.  It gave the world a peek into the crazed guitar work of Theodore Nugent on Baby Please Don't Go, more album cut than single or Leslie West on The Vagrants Respect which follows Otis Redding more than Aretha.  For a silly song like Let's Talk About Girls, there comes a helluva hooky call and response that's all you would need to own from The Chocolate Watch Band. But Nuggets was the first time I heard You're Gonna Miss Me from the 13th Floor Elevators, the ultimate hippie dippy band.  But those three chords opening up the song made me want to learn to play punk guitar and so did many other countless kids wanting to play.  Nevertheless, Nuggets was the first true punk garage comp, that spawn many of copycats and more primitive bands of that era (Pebbles, Teenage Shutdown, Coolest Songs In The World come to mind) and compilations that pale next to the original Nuggets album although all have moments of greatness.  But this is where it started and although you can live without the bloated 4 CD box set Rhino put out, the original Nuggets album is garage rock history that everybody should have a copy.  I myself, still have and recommend either the Elektra or Sire album that the songs were in stereo rather than the straight Mono sound that Rhino issued.   Take notes and then form your own band.
Grade A-


2000 Man said...

I've got those first two Rank and File albums. Not that I was cool and knew who they were until maybe four or five years ago, but the first one in particular is pretty terrific. I don't think I've got Jason and the Scorcher's fist album, but I've got an EP and another one that I like.

R S Crabb said...

Sundown remains a hands down classic here although I like Long Gone Dead in parts, I thought it fell a bit short to the first album. They disappeared till 1987 while living in Arizona KUPD played Black Book off their new album which I went to each and every record store to find that LP. Still enjoy that one although the metallic guitars and loud drums date the songs. Just like that they disappeared till The Kinman brothers return as Blackbird and made a odd sounding album in 1992 that sold nil. Most recently they been known as Cowboy Nation and making old time country music in the trad of Gene Autry or Riders In The Skies.

As for Jason N the Scorchers if I'm thinking right you have the Frevor and Lost and Found albums that came out on EMI. Reckless Country Soul, originally on Praxis in 1982 was reissued in 1996 on Mammoth and it's much rawer sounding than the EMI albums. The CD is somewhat easy to find, the Praxis vinyl not so much.

TAD said...

Crabby: Hey, I've got a copy of NUGGETS. But was playing one of the records awhile back, dropped it like a klutz, it landed edge-first on the floor and shattered like a piece of glass or an old ceramic coffee cup.
Am keeping the other record, tho. There's some good stuff on there -- I've always been a sucker for The Mojo Men's "Sit Down I Think I Love You" and The Electric Prunes' "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night"....

R S Crabb said...

That sucks when you lose the second record and miss out on You're Gonna Miss Me! ;)

I still have the 2 CD LP promo that Elektra put out and don't know how I came to get this certain record but it got wet by a damn flood in the basement but still plays fine. Used to have it on Cassette. Maybe I still do, I have to look for it sometime in the future....