Friday, November 22, 2013

Crabb Bits: Huntingtons, JFK 50, Can't Review Them All

The end of November coming.  Which means colder temps, snow and a yearning to go to where its warm.

Huntington's is closing their food place on December 22nd.  Located in downtown Marion in that ill fitting strip mall I have never been that impressed with their service but I know my mom went there to get burgers and things for the hungry at DC Auto.

50 years ago this date, we lost John F Kennedy in Dallas.  I was two at the time and probably outside swinging on the swingset in a old farmhouse outside of Lincoln Illinois and for some reason I was crying over something, don't remember too long ago and the memory isn't clear anymore.  But I recall seeing most of the reports on TV and getting madder cuz they pre empted the cartoons of that time.  The images are still known, Jackie's pink outfit covered in blood, seeing the Lincoln car speeding down a Dallas road to the hospital.  Then seeing them pick up Lee Harvey Oswald and seeing Jack Ruby finishing him off.  The procession and seeing John Jr saluting the casket.  Hard to believe he's dead too, so is Jackie.

It was a different time back then, back when we had plenty of hope and promise of the future. JFK and Kruschev and the Cuban Missile Crisis and the fear that War World 3 might break out in a nuclear war but somehow Kruschev did blink and gotten the missiles out of Cuba.   I think JFK did some great things, the Peace Corps for one but the nadir was Vietnam which became LBJ's problem and even though Lyndon Johnson did sign the Civil Rights Act, his role in the Vietnam mess made him less likable.  But JFK remains a myth of a long time ago when we had hope for the future.  Unlike today and the Afghanistan hell that's worse than Vietnam but for some reason The US will not end that fucking waste of time, money and lives to which even the Russians couldn't win.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, gas prices back over 3 dollars a gallon.  I hope in the next world, we'll never have to rely on Big Oil and gas to get us around from place to place.  The more I live in the world the more cynical I become.

Before the year is out, I'll turn in my latest of the best of 2013 in music and even though it's minimal at best, there have been a few releases that might be worth a listen or two after this year is through.   The ratings this month are better but the news of the future of the top ten isn't that great either.  The end of the year will mark our 10th year of top ten news and views.  But I think I have taken this as far as I could without resorting to the cliche.  What turned out to be a blog of celebrating the obscure and what's playing, ended up being more a end of the world decade to which we have seen the decline of the CD, the record store and even our listening habits.  But as each ensuring year ended, more music stores went out of business and the pawnshops moved on to something more worthwhile than forgotten crappy 90s bands and rappers that nobody gives a shit about anymore.  I'm not done yet, in fact I managed to discover some band that's I overlooked before, Fu Manchu and their stoner rock metal and Curve's shoegazer alt 90s music that put a smile on my face for a brief moment.  But let's face it, I don't forsee a resurgence of record stores anymore in this life and I don't think I can add anymore to the bargain hunts that pretty much go back to the usual spots.  Ragged Records, Moondog Music, CD's 4 Change, Record Collector, perhaps Co Op will continue to be around for a few more years although the Moline Co Op guy's face always looks of desperation and begging me to come back more often.

But things are changing around here as well.  There's not much out there anymore that I haven't already gotten or reviewed and Best Buy and Wal Mart's declining CD section isn't even worth driving into town for anymore.  I really believe that we are done with new music and whatever is out there I will rely on Collector's Choice Magazine on what to buy, or do the usual hard to break habit of hanging at Half Priced Books, easily the best thing that ever happened to this area when they moved here in 2005 or 2006. But in 2014, the old bargain hunter may have to take up a new hobby since when I do hit the music stores, I'm the oldest person in there.  Still wondering where the time went.

As much as I like to seek out what I missed, there are still a few bands that won't get the chance for me to check out their back catalog.  KoRn is one of them. I have never liked any of their music although their 2011 dubstep CD might be worth a hear, Brian "head' Welch is now back to the fold and they have return more to the nu Metal screamo that they are famous for.  Didn't fly for me back in 96, not about to in this year but I give them points for hanging around so long when we wrote them off back in 2000.

Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their EMI What Hits?! best of is the go to album to see what the fuss was about and they had their eyes on the funk way back when George Clinton produced Freaky Styley but got burned out by Higher Ground and Mother's Milk, the Mike Beinhorn produced breakthrough.  Then a new label, new producer and Rolling Stone Magazine love and they were on their way.  Always thought that their 1991 BloodSexMagicEtc was overrated and ran too long. but each to their own.

Not to leave anybody from the 70s out but Family is another band that I never got into.  Roger Chapman had a very distinctive voice like Peter Gaberial of Genesis, but like that era. I could either take or leave them. It's Only A Movie probably the Family album to get but I'm the wrong person to ask on that.  Simply pass on it all.

Interpol:  Another of those critic's darlings bands that made subpar albums.

Slipknot: The biggest record selling band that ever came roaring out of Iowa, Corey Taylor and company have exceeded expectations and managed to been around this long even while losing their bass player in around 2010 the doomed Paul Gray.  But unlike KoRn, Slipknot has branched out to be a very good prog rock band if they put their mind to it, Joey Jordansen being a influential drummer but Taylor doing many things as part of Stone Sour and whatever trips his fancy. I think it would have been interesting to see how he did with the Velvet Revolver project after Scott Wieland was let go.   But at least give Corey credit, even with him doing very well in music, he still manages to call Des Moines home, even in the damnest and coldest of winters here.

Sonic Youth:  Let's face it, I never been that interested in their noisefest albums of the early years, or the more experimental albums of later.  Daydream Nation? I rather listen to Metal Machine Music.  Their alt rock classics Goo or Dirty would be the ones I seek out in the future.  I credit their longevity and faithful fans and critics for keeping them around this long but as for myself, I really just don't care.  And not about to.

Can't Review Them All was started as reasons why I didn't get into a band or brought into their music. And throughout the forty years of reviewing music I just about reviewed things that really captured my fancy or what the evil review book Rolling Stone Review Guide mentioned to get.  As well as the cheap bins at pawnshops as well.   But sometimes you gotta let them go and if you see about 10 copies of Brian Seltzer's Dirty Boogie, there's a good reason why you see so many copies.  But do keep an open mind: sometimes Bringing Down The Horse can be worth listening to one time before donating it back to charity.

Happy Hunting.

And if you made it this far.  Julie Newmar pre Cat Woman!  Sweet!


2000 Man said...

It's not only how we buy music that's changed, but how we find out about it, read about it and share it. People don't just read blogs about music. Now they want a tweet with a link to a video, and they want it from their friend that knows what they like. They don't want to know something new. It's easier to just listen to the same stupid shit day in and day out. Face it, you can't know you don't like Korn until you spend a chunk of your life you won't get back finding out how bad they really are!

TAD said...

Hey, I thought Korn did 1 great song -- that cover of "Word Up" that's better than Cameo's original -- I laugh every time I hear it. But I've never heard anything else by them that was any good. As for the rest, well said. But keep writing....

R S Crabb said...

Never heard anything from Korn worth a second listen to myself. Basically a waste of time.

However, the new Nik Turner is the best sounding Hawkwind album in years. Plenty of weird sound effects and Turner's echoladen vocals that sound like from outer space and his band studied Space Ritual enough to be a good Hawkwind tribute band. I guess he played to a half empty bar in Phoenix a couple weeks ago. I would have gone had I known (and was in the neighborhood) ;)