Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Top Ten-Quad Cities River Bandits 2013 Champions

In the case of strange weather, it rained every other day from March to June here, but since July 1st, we haven't had much of the wet stuff.  But the folks in Boulder got a shit load of it, 12 to 14 inches of it and plenty of flooded roads, torrent rivers and streams and houses initiated with lots of water. Just like we had to deal with during our rainy season four times.  Believe me I feel for ya. Been there and done that.  Today, the A&W Ellis Blvd is being torn down.  Another picture that has disappeared from here, just like about another 69 pictures on this site that have disappeared.  This shit is getting old.

Summer is winding down.  After hitting the hottest spell late August and early September, temps reached 99 degrees twice here this month, I think its safe to say that the hot weather is going back south and fall will be forthcoming next week.  We also lose 80 minutes of daylight this month.  Love the blue skies we get here but not the advancement of darkness.  Anyway, the Iowa City Soul Festival played on Friday the 13th with 77 year old Buddy Guy playing that night but I had to work.  Over in Keosauqua  Miss Samantha Fish came back to play to promote her new album, she's on her way across the pond to open for The Royal Southern Brotherhood late this month.  For the new album I guess we'll have to order it or hope that Half Priced Books has a used promo, somehow they been getting promos of all of the Ruf Records roster there with the exception of Devon Allman. Otherwise I wouldn't know who Bret Walker or Jimmy Bowskill were.  Or Oli Brown.

The Quad Cities River Bandits are the 2013 Midwest League A ball champions defeating South Bend 4-2 on a chilly Saturday Night at the ballpark next to the Mississippi River.  Didn't plan on going but since I was in the neighborhood and since it only cost five dollars to get in, I decided to forgo the trip to Big Lots and take in a game. Woodmans Park is an interesting stadium, situated next to the Big Muddy off the Centennial Bridge, you can actually look into the field from center field although the usher kicks everybody over to the picnic table around the 9th inning.  A South Bend player smacked a HR that barely was fair into the river but Andrew Walter managed to settled down and shut them down for the sweep and the title.  In the 2013 year I've seen QC three times to the four that I went to see the hometown team but Quad Cities I saw three straight times of going to the ball park.  Final tally of records, QC 2-1 to the 1-3 record of CR.

Passings: Jackie Lomax who had a uneven solo career, best known for Is This What You Want record for Apple died at the age of 69.  Words to live by from Jackie:  “I don’t want to sound like anybody else … If you don’t write your own material, you’re kind of wasting your time. I think originality is the focus of the game, you know?”


Most searched keyword here this week. Pussy. I'm thinking it's about that obscure prog rock band of the late 60s and not something other than that.   Second most searched word: Ivy Doomkitty. 

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1.  Lone Star Beer And Bob Wills Music-Red Stegall 1976
     With Tears In My Eyes-Bob Wills And The Texas Playboys 1957

One can get spoiled rotten listening to Willie's Roadhouse on XM radio and all the forgotten country hits of yesterday although KDST in Dyersville throw a few surprises (then lose cred when they play crap like Luke Bryan's My Kind Of Night, with mind numbing lyrics like a little Conway Twitty and T Pain in the same sentence line (FU Dallas Davidson)). The Road house played Lone Star Beer on the way home one night and then Bob Wills was next.  For those stuck in Florida Georgia Line school of hick hop, Bob Wills is the king of Western Swing music.  You could tell when ole Bob got into the music by his hooping and hollering and scatting and providing counterpoint to Tommy Duncan or anybody else who sang lead, such as was Billy Bowman on Tears In My Eyes.  Merle Haggard got on his hands and knees to beg Bob to become a honorary Texas Playboy on Wills' finale For The Last Time in 1973.  Took me years to really seek out the music of Bob Wills, though I had the Asleep At The Wheel 45 of Fat Boy Rag, a Wills staple.  Good thing Bob Wills isn't alive today to hear Luke Bryan's crapfest of Conway/T Pain, he probably would shove his bow up Bryan's ass.

2.  Be Your Man-White Lies 2013  Descendants from the new wave that was once Joy Division, The Cure and bits of Echo And The Bunnyman plus taking cues from Coldplay and The Killers, this is New Wave 2000s and for people my age, the majority would stick with the original sources.  There's actually a bit of a melody and hook that keeps the song before going into a Killers' like bombast or Interpol for that matter.  Not for everybody although White Lies album All Music calls their best and gives three stars.  Funny how the album before that they gave it a so so review but awarded it four stars.  No wonder everybody gets confused on album reviews anymore.  Useless trivia: White Lies is on Polydor in the UK but in the US, Universal has reassigned them from Geffen to the revived Harvest Label which was once home to Pink Floyd, Deep Purple (in the UK that is) and Duran Duran to name a few.  Basically it is not the same Harvest like it once was.  RIP EMI.

3.  Mr. Richard-Belle And Sebastian 2013  From the odds and sods The Third Eye Centre, B&S hasn't had a new album since Write About Love, a album that I bought on vinyl and have yet to play and that was about 3 years ago!   B&S seldom rock as hard as they do on this tribute to Keith Richard and The Rolling Stones on this song, another song has them doing surf music. Nevertheless, this band's B sides and outtakes are better than most of the new stuff that's out there.  And in the tradition of B&S, the album is housed in a book like case and plenty of liner notes and lyrics to boot.  Stuart Murdoch never misses a beat.  And of course a bunch of unknowns grace the album cover and booklet with the band in the background.  Which is another Belle And Sebastian tradition.

4.  Moritat-Sonny Rollins 1956   Rollins remains a legend of the tenor saxophone before and after John Coltrane came and went, he even did a session on Impulse with Coltrane's rhythm section of Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones.  His classic period to me was the time that he hooked with Max Roach, Clifford Brown and Tommy Flanagan in Roach's Plus 4, Max Roach when paired with Sonny was classic jazz as Saxophone Colossus would turn out to be.  This is a take on which would become Mack The Knife, later a hit for Bobby Darin.  On the RVG remaster though, there's a recording glitch at the 2:25-2:35 mark that sounds like the headphones are going out.  The OJC classic 1st edition doesn't seem to have that.  There's a Steve Hoffman mastered DCC gold disc which might be the one to get but has been out of print and very pricey. In the end, may as well stick with what I got, or wait till I can find a more suitable version, be it OJC or DCC.  Next.....

5.   What I Am (Say I Am) The Fireballs 1966   The 60s on 6, the XM specialty station of 60s music played the Tommy James version this afternoon and ain't it nice to have a radio station that goes beyond Mony Mony or Crimson And Clover, at least it brings back AM memories of my own.  Of course I have the Tommy James 45 in my collection but the original version done by Jimmy Gilmer And The Fireballs is much more tougher and stronger sounding.  And really, The Fireballs were a damn fine band too.  If XM would have played the Fireballs version I'd probably crash my car from the the shock.

6.  What It Is-Mark Knopfler  2000  Bob Lefstez is bitching about Twitter not being cool anymore, bitching about how everybody's on it and how nobody says anything but do you think he'll close his account?  I doubt it and I'm shaking my head over him blowing a nut over some outdated app last year (it's free yeah I know Mark, I'm bout as bright with Smart phones like you were picking hits for WASP burnnnnnnn) with yours truly.  Sometimes he talks music and sometimes he gets me to listen to something that I had a while back and sold it off and then getting it back.  Life after Dire Straits has been steady for Will D Slide, making albums here and there (Mercury in the UK Warner/Reprise here till Universal finally put it out under their label, not Mercury but Verve).  IDK, but major label status don't mean shit anymore, kinda like Universal getting Harvest out of mothballs but means nothing in this day and age.  The recent album Privateering isn't bad but I don't care much for the penny whistle songs much.  Sailing To Philadelphia is probably Mark's best album since retiring Dire Straits, kinda like On Every Street but better melodies. Co produced with Chuck Ainsley  who has produced the majority of albums Knopfler has done.

7.  Western Union-The Five Americans 1967  A little band from Oklahoma that had a nice run of hits in the mid 60s and recorded for Abnak.  This was their biggest hit though. Reading the liner notes the band offered the song to Western Union to use for commercial purposes but got turned down.  Side note:  I was down at Ragged Records and found a HBR 45 of Evol Not Love but it was in poor shape.  I wasn't too pleased of the CDs that I paid 8 bucks for and the Sweetwater one skipped in the car player but played better on the other players.  If I'm going to pay top dollar for out of print stuff, CD better be in like new shape.

8.  Way Back When-Kevin Montgomery 2004  I haven't talked much with Kevin but he seems to seek me out when I hanging at My Space and later Twitter.  Not a lot of musicians really do take the time to chat with you with the exception of Lizzy Chaffe or Tom Gray from Delta Moon and Diggy Kat but Montgomery has been around for a good 20 years going back to a hard to find CD for A&M in the early 90s.  For this 2004 effort called 2:30 AM Robert Reynolds (Mavericks) co produced this and most of the Mavericks do play on this album with the exception of Raul Malo.  Kevin is in the league of Steve Earle of the Americana type of tunes and although it doesn't rock as hard as Earle, it's more reflective laid back groove.  Perfect for the road.

9.  Scarred-Dream Theater 1994  A Dream Theater fan is forever liking every thing that they have done in the course of their 2 and half decades of prog rock but for myself, I found a lot of their albums uneven. I like Images And Words and Six Degrees In Inner Turbulence, love Train Of Thought but found their last album a snoozer and Awake a muddled mess where Scarred comes from.  You can tell they're prog rock, the catalog number is one after Yes 90125 (which came out in 1983), James Labrie was in his Geoff Tate screamer mode at that time and the rest of the band were playing can you top this on every song.  Mike Portenoy relies way too much on technique, just like on his latest project The Winery Dogs.  But for the Dreamers of the early 90s Atlantic kept reassigning them to offshoot label, Atco, East West and then Elektra before they moved over to the more prog friendly Roadrunner.  And Atlantic has had a bad history of not knowing what to do with Prog bands on their label (Porcupine Tree, Rush, Yes, Queensryche come to mind).

10.  Goodbye Doesn't Mean Forever-The Townedgers 2013  Although sometimes it does. Originally on No Exit but since the band didn't like the way it sounded it was time to revisit and reedit and rearrange the songs to make it sound better and the end result is called 30, to which comes from that they have been around for three decades, a big feat upon itself.  But somehow the song is a perfect song to conclude our last week in printing before moving to a different department and co workers.  Hard to believe that 20 years of printing is coming to an end here but sad to say money and corporations dictate the way things are to be. But being employed is the bottom line here as well.  But don't despair, we'll return back to C.R. in about 9 months down the road 

Music Review: Crash My Party-Luke Bryan (Universal/Capitol)

Country hairball with perhaps the worst song ever thought up by anybody and that's saying something with the likes of Broken Wings or Feelings or Hey Soul Sister.  The odious thought of anybody mentioning Conway Twitty and T Pain in the same line brings thoughts of Armageddon beginning and you don't know it.  For a guy who made an album called I'll Stay Me, he sure hasn't with his ode to popping chicks in daisy dukes in his pick up truck and drinking lots of beer Bryan sold out faster than Train did on the crap that was Save Me San Francisco. By all means country music today isn't like it was 20 or 10 or even 5 years ago; the thought of hip hop and country together was unimaginable till some uppity A&R kid at Universal Capitol decided that perhaps they should get a rapper into the fiddles and banjos and that let to at least 22 weeks of Cruise (featuring Nelly) by Florida Georgia Autotuner Line.  If you thought that was bad, meet That's My Kind Of Night, the worst all time song ever. Then again anything with a Dallas Davidson co write is about as worthless as a Diane Warren song too. But hey, if you don't like it, the joke's on you while Bryan and Davidson go laughing to the bank with the number 1 song.  Thank our lucky stars for Willie's Roadhouse on XM or any remaining real country stations around here.  Nevertheless if you like the endless spring break with scantly clad chicks bopping to Mr. Hip Shaking Bryan, they're all waiting for you then, beer in tow and mud racing soon to follow, it's the new country hick hop that seems to be sweeping the nation and pissing off country minded folks as well.  But in the end only Chris Stapleton's Drink A Beer is the only keeper and the song to counter point the four Dallas Davidson's keg anthems, that somebody didn't make it home after the party's over.   And Conway and T Pain don't mix either.  Drink on that.
Grade C-

BB King turns 88 on Monday.  The legendary Blues artist continues to pack em in concert halls and bars and still remains a powerful force.  For a live blues album, the cavernous sounding Live At The Regal remains a classic listen, taken when BB King was at his forceful best and booming vocals on Worry Worry, pleading one minute, bullhorn soul screaming the next is the stuff of legends made of.  ABC actually gave BB his own label of sorts with BluesWay and where he scored his biggest hit The Thrill Is Gone but my introduction to him was I'm Gonna Do The Same Thing They Did To Me a failed 45 single. King would hook up with the Crusaders on some late 70s efforts (There Must Be A Better World Somewhere) and though I didn't buy everything from him, some stand outs was 1992's There Is Always One More Time and 2000 Making Love Is Good For You.  I didn't pay much attention to the star studded 80 album and the last album I did buy was One Kind Favor (produced by John Henry T Bone Burnett).  But it still the reality of BB still alive and playing that remains a marvel upon itself, he still has Lucille, and can still belt the blues out better than most of the younger ones.  BB remains the last living link between now and the blues players that were big back then, the John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and the other living blues legend next to him is 77 year old Buddy Guy who played in Iowa City Friday Night.  So if BB King comes your way, make a special trip to see him.  He may not past this way again.

Brubeck/Bennett  The White House Sessions 1962 (RPM/Columbia)

One of the great lost sessions tucked away in the classical section at Sony Music, this 1962 date features the meeting of the minds of jazz and pop, Dave Brubeck being the cult fan favorite and Tony Bennett coming off his biggest hit I Left My Heart In San Francisco.  I'm a big fan of the classic Brubeck years but when it comes to Tony Bennett I can take or leave him;  he tends to get a little over the top on the vocals, even on the stripped down sounds of the Ralph Sharon Trio who backs him up after Brubeck and company tear through a half hour set, with a whirlwild Take Five and letting the White House crowd get used to him on the 11 minute Nomad before returning to the 5/4 time of Castillan Blues which really isn't.  Bennett saves the best for last with a spirited One For My Baby and finishing up with San Francisco.  Taking on Brubeck, Tony has to speed up the vocals a bit, especially on There'll Never Be Another You. But even if the four songs that both Dave and Tony are thought up on the spot and improvised,  Bennett was up for the task and manage to hold his own.  For historical purposes, The White House Sessions is legendary and shows that JFK had good tastes to bring to the White House.  Should you own this?  If you're into both Tony Bennett and Dave Brubeck yeah you should.  Take Five is done much faster than the original and shows that Paul Desmond was important too, and Eugene Wright and Joe Morello bought out the best in everybody, including Tony on the final four songs, which is too bad that they never did do a proper album together.   But on their sole get together, The White House Sessions shines.
Grade A-

COWPIE: The art of writing a shitty song.

Writing a shitty song doesn't take much expertise.  Writing a shitty song that makes it to number 1 on the country chart and making $$$ in the process takes luck and the right autotuner and singer to make it work.  Dallas Davidson might be the most cliche of the trailer trash country type song that managed to get hits from the likes of Blake Shelton, Montgomery Gentry and Trace Adkins (Honky Tonk Badadonk anybody?). If Dallas is writing from experience of his daily life, he can now buy the trailer court he lives in right?  I'm sure Dallas doesn't give two shits about what Zac Brown says or Alan Jackson or the majority of blog writers who know that That's My Kinda Night is the worst POS song ever written but like Miley Cyrus he's laughing all the way to the bank cashing those big checks of his hits. Don't like it write you own damn song and try to sell it to Luke Bryan or Jason Aldean, whose thin skinned response to this is the stuff that make country purist hack a loogie in his direction. The "wallet chain" country that Aldean favors, fiddles, banjos and heavy metal guitar and pounding drums isn't considered real country although the failure of his 1994 titled song might indicate that Aldean's expiration date may be here at last, just as it will for today's hick hop acts.  But I'm beginning to believe that Chris Stapleton might be the savior songwriter to the anti Christ that is Dallas Davidson and the lame Peach Pickers Songwriters Consortium, at least Luke Bryan managed to do a Chris Stapleton song on his latest and it's the best song off that album.  Perhaps to earn better street cred, maybe Davidson should have added little Conway and ICE T to that crappy line and it wouldn't be much better but at least it's a bit more believable, since no real country boy would ever listen to T Pain, like T Pain knows who the F is Conway.  But that's the dumbing down of corporate country radio today, to be cool and up to date, add bad rap to bad country.  And watch the money roll in.  Right Dallas?

Up Yours Mr. Aldean

And with Bob Lefsetz jumping on the Miley Cyrus bandwagon, ain't you a little creepy in your old age for that?

As much as we love to wonder about the value of Sheryl Crow, she has moved on from what used to be known as A&M to Warner Brothers for a feeble attempt for the country market. But think about this, she would have been a natural had Tuesday Night Music Club would have been tailored made for the country market even back then 20 years ago. Comparisons to Darius Rucker going country are just about the same however, Rucker's albums have done fairly well on the country side of things to the point that he's the best known black country singer since Charley Pride.  But so far, the sales of her Feels Like Home album are good enough to warrant number 3 as a debut on Soundscan, selling 37,000 copies. But of course it could have  helped  that she would enlist Dallas Davidson to write that special song about wearing Daisy Dukes, Drinking Bud Lime and a little Loretta/Queen Latifa in a chorus line. That might have top the charts. Still the problem remains that the rock music world got burned out on Sheryl Crow making her way into guest star on albums from Eric Clapton or Fleetwood Mac where Lindsay Buckingham lobbied to get her to replace Christine McVie in that band (according to rumour).  She also did not  endure us on the good side when she mentioned about the three square toilet paper use, good thing to know that her body has a better system than you and I.  We also got sick and tired of hearing her lame version of First Cut Is The Deepest every day on KDAT either as well as the rest of her overplayed MOR hits of the 90s.  I'm hoping that Sheryl does make an impression on country radio but the odds are stacked against her, she's approaching middle age and so far GAC hasn't played her video Easy all that much (but then again GAC doesn't play much new country unless it's the top 20 videos of the weekend late night but most of the time they're showing the same reality crap that CMT is now famous for.  As for Feels Like Home, it does fit at home on country radio and KDAT for that matter, but they won't play it.  As an anti fan, it'd be easy to call her bluff and call her a sellout, but Feels Like Home might be her best sounding album since The Globe Sessions, and she sounds like she's on a mission. But it also would sound at home on soft rock radio either. So I'll give her album three stars and wish her well. And give her credit for bringing Chris Singleton on board to write a song as well.

But the day that I use three squares for toilet paper is the day she becomes Country Entertainer Of The Year. Not going to happen, not with our eating habits!

Dallas Davidson meme pic from Farce The Music. 


TAD said...

Hey Crabby, a nice, solid, well-rounded Top 10. Something for everyone. Ivy Doomkitty even got in there -- would love to see HER album! You ought to be getting paid for this stuff....

R S Crabb said...

Oh that would be nice Tad! ;-)