Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Black And Gold Friday

Music aside.

Who is this xolodremont site and how come they have padded the ratings to 60 today?  I doubt if they're anything than either a spam site or another Russian site for golddiggers. What will they do after I retire this blog?  The ratings for last month went over 2500, which was my best since 3700 views in July.  Again it didn't translate much into actual comments and new fans of music though.

Black Friday here was the usual.  Waited till after 3 PM to venture out and Half Priced Books and the thrift stores were actually quite empty although the big box stores were busy.  Not like the complete wall to wall cars at Wal Mart Thanksgiving evening.  No way in hell I was going to step foot anywhere in that neighborhood.  With 40 percent off certain items at HP Books, I ended up getting Neil Young's Journey Through The Past LP, but sad to say that side 4 had a GD circular scratch that skipped on one song. But Side 4 was unlistenable  anyway.  From an aborted movie, side 1 had some Buffalo Springfield performances but they sounded like they came from actual studio recordings.  About the only worthwhile stuff off that album was a better live version of Find The Cost Of Freedom/Ohio than the 4 Way Street album and a shorter Southern Man on Side 2.  But I can also see why Neil Young never put it out on CD. The album is basically pointless.  Unless you want to hear the 16 minute epic Words on side 3.  Still remains a C plus.  Another wasted buy was Cab Calloway Blues Make Me Happy (Coral 1958 thereabouts) to  which Cab, twenty years removed from the spotlight, gets bogged down in dated arrangements by Henry Jerome and Dick Jacobs and makes a muzak pop standard album.  Recording sounds great, the songs not so much.  And two Association CDs now out of print, Inside Out and Birthday, their most pop sounding thanks to Bones Howe.  If anything Inside Out is their cursed album, where their light and airy versions of Never My Love and Windy established them as pop stars and not the freaky avant garde band that they really wanted to be. Perhaps their best song wasn't the two hits but the moody anti war Requiem For The Masses which concludes the album.

Still bored, I moved to Stuff Etc to which I spent about 10 minutes talking to my co worker friend Ken about the work situation and even he admitted that our new scanner co workers, that most of them were pricks. Not all of them, I made some new friends in Jack and Jean, and although the rest have been somewhat helpful, a few of them are total jerks.  I found that out the hard way trying to QC books and had to redo the pallet since I put the fucking binding side of the books out, when they were supposed to be inward and pretty told JoAnna to go back to the buffet table since I got everything done by myself.  Can't figure her out, never says hi and always have a dirty look when you come into view.  But nevertheless Ken told me there were albums in the back and imagine that I found a few.  Mostly forgotten 80s bands (Fatal Flowers, John Wesley Harding, The Gateway) but I did get a decent copy of Dave Mason It's Like You Never Left. They were a dollar apiece.  Both Goodwills in town had nothing to offer.

This weekend may have been the best college football weekend ever.  Michigan and Ohio State played a classic game to which a big fight broke out, three players got ejected and one Buckeye gave the double birdie to the Michigan Fans on the way to the locker room.  Michigan lost when they went for two instead of a tying extra point and the Ohio State player intercepted and then OSU recovered the onside kick and won 42-41.  Michigan State proved to be the 2nd best Big Ten Team beating Minnesota 14-3 and then the shocker was Wisconsin being upset by Penn State at home 31-24. 


Arizona State put a big whopping on Arizona 58-21 and gets to host the Pac 12 Championship at home next week against Stanford.  And a bit of karma paying Alabama a visit when they had a second put back on the clock when it was evident that the RB went out of bounce with no time left. So the refs put a second back on the clock and Alabama tried a very long 58 yard FG attempt to which, the Auburn player took it in the end zone and ran it back 100 yards for the winning touchdown and knocking the Crimson Tide out of the BCS title championship.

It was a good day for Iowa Football teams, Iowa State beat West Virginia 52-44 in 3 overtimes, coming back from a 31-10 score.  The Cyclones won't be going to any bowls but at least they won the last game of the season.  But perhaps the story of the year was the Iowa Football team coming off a bad 4-8 season of last year and turned it around with an 8-4 record, taking apart Nebraska 38-17 for their first victory over the Cornhuskers since 1981 and first victory at Lincoln since 1943.  It was a nip and tuck game and although the Hawkeyes had a 17-10 lead going into the 3rd quarter, Nebraska was showing signs of life until Bo Pelini had  a mental meltdown, getting flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct call and then decided to go with a fake punt on forth down to which the Hawkeyes, stuffed the punter five years short of the first down.  After that the Hawks had the game in hand when they score a TD on that possession.  Interesting to say after the game Bo dared Nebraska to fire him but the AD said no and Bo still has a job and everybody is happy.

For the most part, I have to say that this team may have been Kirk Ferentz' best coaching year ever, despite the hacks at Sports Illustrated calling him one of the 5 worst coaches. I must admit that I didn't give the Hawkeyes much of a chance this season either, thinking we might win 3 games at the best.  But in fact the Hawkeyes fought each and every team and did an excellent job against the dammed Ohio State state and leading them for 3 quarters before falling apart and they were in every game although Michigan State and Wisconsin gave them fits.  But they won when it counted in the tail end of the season, taking out Northwestern in OT, blowing out Purdue and coming back 14 points down to Michigan to win and then taking it to The Mighty Corn on Friday.  I will miss the three linebackers of James Morris, Anthony Hutchens and Christen  Kirksey, for they were the the ones that kept the Iowa defense running at full tilt.  And the offense with workhorse Mark Weisman, CJ Ferdonicz and the up and coming Jake Rudock at QB managed to have some good games in the process.  In the end, The Hawkeyes, prevailed and willed themselves to a New Year's bowl game when nobody gave them any chance to win this season.  They got the CY Hawk, they kept Floyd Of Rosedale and then they added a new trophy to the case, the Heroes trophy.

It's good to have a winning football team again. Go Hawks!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week-Paying For The Good Times

The makings of a long cold winter, we ended up getting some bit of snow on Thursday, most of it melted away but then we have the second arctic blast in as many weeks setting up shop on top of us and having single digit temps most of the weekend.  So I basically sat on my butt and watched football on Saturday.  And got to see The Hawkeyes defeat Michigan 24-21 in a game of two halves, Jake Rudock trying to shake off two interceptions and and Iowa Defense that willed itself to win the game and stop Devan Gardner when it counted, Gardner's fumble sealed the victory for Iowa.  Perhaps changing over to Tom Harmon's famed 98 didn't help him much, it may have cursed him.  The other important game was Arizona State holding off UCLA 38-33 in a game that the Sun Devils almost blew a 35-13 halftime lead.  Either way this guarantees ASU a spot in the Pac 12 Championship, probably against Stanford.  But next week, the showdown with Arizona which blew out Oregon big time.  A major upset.

Oh The American Music Awards were on Sunday.  Glad to say I missed it.

BITCH BITCH BITCH. Just shut up and retire already Old Coot.

Some music news: Lemmy, the tough as nails Motorhead voice and leader admitted that his hard living of drugs, Jack Daniels, endless nookie and Marlboro Reds have caught up with him and he had to change his drink of choice to wine since JD may have rusted out Lemmy's iron clad liver.  But no regrets, Lemmy, you made it 66 years of rock and roll.  Paying for the good times.  I'm sure we'll all doing that as well.

Smoking can kill you, even more so in the non smoking section:  Wayne Mills, a influential singer songwriter was shot and killed at a Nashville bar over the fact that he was smoking in a non smoking section of the bar and the bar owner killed him in self defense, or so what the story says.  Although Mills was not as famous as the Nashville music stars you hear on the radio, he did let Blake Shelton and Jamey Johnson opened when they were up and coming.  Probably the best link to this story is here:
More followup to this story:

A bit of good news if you think about it, Christine McVie had so much fun playing with Fleetwood Mac on their UK tour is that she's open to the fact about rejoining the Mac in the future, which would be a big boost in that band....pending if John McVie can recover from his cancer problems.

Heard from the guys at the Foghat page and they liked that Atari Foghat ad that I posted on their site last week. That's how I used to listen to them. For a band of the 70s, their music did sound better on 8 tracks since we didn't have CDs at the time.  They have a new Christmas boogie version of Winter Wonderland. You can check  it out here:

During the past year I been touting the praises of Samantha Fish, the extraordinary guitar player from Kansas City and she's been a busy girl and for the most part I do try to get the word out but it seems like I'm in the lone wolf category in singing her praises.  The Sam Fish In Davenport blog that I went out on the night which the car decided to blow a radiator plug in the January night and made it known to her FB site but I don't think I ever heard back about her although while one net radio station got praise for including a new song off her album, not a shrug was noted when I posted the same song in last week's blog.  I can see why people get a little annoyed when you give praise and promote the starving artist and don't get acknowledged.  No, I don't expect to hear from her, even if I do believe her new album is one of the best of 2013.  If I do, I'll have a heart attack on the spot.  I also am thinking that label mate Bart Walker might make the best albums of the year, even though Ruf Records haven't mentioned him of late.  But they seem to sing the praises of Dana Fuchs, she's not bad, sounds like Janis Joplin, but I donno, I'd rather hear the original source, even though I have never been a big Janis fan.  Call it being cynical I guess.  Heard good things about Mike Zito latest album Gone To Texas. though, but still thinking Bart Walker's Waiting On Daylight is a better listen.  Mike's album is more bluesy, Bart's more like what Warren Haynes is doing.  And I love Warren Haynes.

The more I read of Bob Lefsetz, the more I'm thinking he's not right.  And Trucker Kitty's recent blogs are gotten more darker and a bit more bizarre.  But what does she care about some old Crabb making up top tens and playing to a field of 20 readers?  I'm thinking the 332 views on one day was a typo and that Vampire Stat was running amok. Would love more music minded readers but don't we all?

Tim Quirk used to be in Too Much Joy.  He's right on this post about Music in particular. Basically what I've been saying all along but he phases it better than I do:

Love stinks: example number 2013:

The Top Ten Of The Week:

1.   Johnny B Goode-Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush 1978  Here's a guitar player you don't hear much about anymore but back in my high school Senior year I used to play the Live album just about every night. You heard the story about Frank being in a accident and the ghost of Jimi Hendrix came to pay him a visit and all of a sudden Frank could pick up a guitar and play like Jimi.  The Jimi Lovefest that was Maxoom took the Hendrix love way too far but on Child Of The Novelty and Strange Universe, Marino managed to find his own "vibe" and a move from 20th Century to Columbia with Aerosmith's old management of Contemporary Communications ended up paying a gold record for Frank on Live to which he spent most of the back cover thanking everybody under the sun.  Of course on CD that got left out, but like anybody else I came across Frank via the California Jam concerts of the late 70s to which a different version of the Chuck Berry classic can be heard along with the War segment.  Make no bones about it, Frank could play the hell out of the guitar and his Mahogany Rush rhythm section was fucking great (Jim Ayoub, the second coming of Keith Moon on drums).  The next album Tales Of The Unexpected showed more jazz to the mix and of course his All Along The Watchtower was note for note Hendrix.  I still have all of his Columbia albums up to Juggernaut to which after that Frank moved on and still plays from time to time but I haven't paid much attention to.  Had a friend that saw him in Arizona in 87 and I guess he got too close to Frank and his guitar pedals and Frank gave him a dirty look.  My friend traded his albums to Zia's afterwards. Great interview with Frank here:

2.  Change Of Luck-Ministry  2013   Losing Mike Scaccia was the final blow to a band.  Yeah, Al Jorgensen kept tempting fate and death and survived it all, whereas Scaccia ended up having a massive heart attack last year.  So scraping up finished songs that would become From Beer To Eternity, Ministry ended up putting a more dirty sounding and unpolished mess of wild guitar and drum machines ready to explode in your ears.  If your into industrial metal, you can't go wrong and although people complained about Relapse, last year's album which made had the cheesiest video of Ghoul Diggers ever made but the song stands up fairly well I think I enjoy Relapse more than FBTE.  Al wrote this as a tribute to Mike so to speak.

3.  Midwest Midnight-Michael Stanley Band 1977   From Cleveland, MSB had a stronghold on that city but elsewhere in the midwest he was a cult artist at best, his bigger hits didn't come until later with He Can't Love You and 1983 fave My Town.  I found a promo of Ladies Choice by accident. A journeyman of sorts, Stanley bounced around from label to label and his last album for Epic was a 2 LP live set called Backstage Pass, which didn't make the top 200, Epic wrote off as a tax loss and sent Stanley packing. One of those albums that I've seen throughout my lifetime and never really around getting it till I found it for a dollar at CDs 4 Change.  Working class rock and roll, without the R and B leanings of J. Geils Band, but a bit more mainstream than the Iron City Houserockers.  Only other album I ever got from MSB was their EMI You Can't Fight Fashion which despite a respectable number 64 showing still got them cut loose from the label. (EMI at that time was a crappy label to be on anyway, just ask Jason And The Scorchers). But MSB fans still say that Backstage Pass is their album to get.

4.  You Got Nothing On Me-The Glitterati 2005  UK lads who were sadly out of the times with their hard rock and roll that recalls Guns & Roses of 1987 and wouldn't be out of place of bands such as Kix or Tesla but in 2005, they weren't classy enough to be mentioned in Pitchfork and basically Atlantic didn't think they would crack the US market so their album wasn't released in the States, but the import LP was found in the dollar section.  Owed more to the second generation glam rockers like The Vacation or The Darkness, But The Glitterati preferred the GnR sound rather than AC/DC.  Case in point: Mike Clink produced (Guns And Roses).  Too bad they didn't sign with Atlantic back in the 80s but back then, these dudes were still in diapers.   Even if they did signed with Atlantic back then, their album would have made a bee line to the cut outs. Atlantic was never a great label for the majority of bands outside of Led Zeppelin or Yes or Rush.

5.  The Look Of Love-Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66  1968  Growing up on AM radio, I was exposed to many many styles of music in one setting.  Which probably distorted me up and rather staying with rock and roll, moving into R and B and pop although Sergio Mendes wasn't one of my favorite bands of the 60s, usually it was channel changer till later in life and past 40 that hearing upon their best of, they were really really good.  Lani Hall, the secret weapon singer to which not only Herb Alpert produced the band, but eventually would win her over to become Mrs Herb Alpert.  Can't blame him for good taste eh?  Made it to number 4 on the top ten charts.

6.  I Never Dreamed-Lynyrd Skynyrd 1977  From top to bottom Street Survivors was their best album and even though this track may have been the filler track, I think it holds up quite well over the years now than when I used to pass over it on 8 Track.  I also think the drumless part of song is the best part.

7.  Sink-King Missile 1992   John S Hall is one of those weird singers that either shouted out or talked through songs and talked about detachable penises and Happy Hour I hated when I first heard it but imagine that, I warmed up to and play it from time to time.  Hall by then put together a nice little band backing him up but it would fall apart after the next album which bombed on the charts.  Too bad XM radio won't play this, or Detachable Penis.

8.  That's My Life-Roomful Of Blues  1977  This blues band has been around for 40 plus years and Duke Roblliard and Al Copley are the main members, this band also was the pipeline to The Fabulous Thunderbirds to which Preston Hubbard and later Duke would join up.  Chicago blues but with an eye on the big band blues sound of Big Joe Turner and Jimmie Witherspoon to which this band would back up when both were still alive. And they had influential people helping them out, the late great Doc Pomus produced their first album which would have sounded at home on Atlantic back in the 50s. Rich Lataille remains the sole original member.  ROB's first album has been reissued a few times, originally Island Records put it out, then Rounder, and the version I got was from Joel Dorn's 32 Records.

9.  Best Of Worst Intentions-Stevie Tombstone 2012  From the folks at Outlaw Magazine,this song leads off their playlist. Never heard of him but he's been around the Americana music scene.  This comes from his 2012 album Greenwood, which is too country for Autotuner country stations.  Sings like a cross of Johnny Cash and Steve Earle, looks like Tom Waits.

10.  Alice's Restaurant (revisited)-Arlo Guthrie 1996  What tends to be a Thanksgiving ritual, the finer music stations usually play the original 18 minute version of this classic piece to which I have the 1996 remake instead.  The folks at Deep Tracks gave us a 2 minute edit of this song (they have a sense of humor) and although Half Priced Books had a copy of the original Reprise album, nobody seems to want it since it's been up there for the past half year. If they stick it in the 2 dollar bins, I'll probably get it, that's how I got the 1996 updated version which adds about three more minutes to the story and I know I posted this a while ago, I enjoyed the update to which Chip Carter told Arlo that while cleaning out the things Nixon left behind they found his album and part of the story of Nixon taping things and having a 18 minute gap.  To which maybe Nixon did record the Alice's Restaurant Massacree after all and then erased it?  For fear that the RIAA might come after him for home taping music?  After all, home taping was killing music back then.  Not the internet since it didn't exist.  Don't you wish you can go back to those days?


Yeah Right.

Black Friday's Record Store sale happenings I have no idea where I'm going to go, probably nowhere. The offerings are overpriced and more or less dust collectors but an interesting one is Zabriskie Point which was part of the Rhino Movie Time Series partnered up with Turner Classic Movies and I have the 2 CD set, but I bought it used and the big book inside was gone.  No wonder why I got it cheap. Highlights include three Pink Floyd songs, a couple of Grateful Dead/Jerry Garcia pieces and the Kaleidoscope  Mostly dated Hippie Dippy music for a movie that nobody really saw.

The left field album of the week is Billie Joe Armstrong hooking up with Norah Jones on Foreverly (Reprise).which both of them pay tribute to the Everly Brothers' Songs That Our Daddy Taught Us LP.   And Billy Joe's Green Day snarl is held in check on an album that is faithful to the Everly Brothers versions. Quite nicely done however I don't forsee this being a big seller, and I wasn't that keen on the original EB's album, it just didn't rock enough for me.  I'll give them an A for effort though.

Next month we have the usual wrap up of the year, year in review, best of the year and maybe a other things to keep the interest going. The Top Ten Of Week's blogs have done well on their own, The Turkey Shoot so so, the Singles Going Steady Series not so well and the other blogs less than zero.  However, the comments have been favorable (of course they are, I weed out the trolls and approve anything within reason).  I could add the Anonymous back into the comments but last time I did that, I got flooded with spam.  Sometimes Anonymous folk might put in a valid comment about Ray Stevens or Pure Prairie League without resort to name calling, like the Justin Beaverbiscuits fanclub or Carrie Nation.  Besides I think I enjoy the peace and quiet better so guess I'll leave things in tact.

And to salute Foghat, my 8 track collection of their music. Take a slow ride on that!