Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week: Looking For The Good Times

Peter Haycock, part of the Climax Blues Band and their best known songs Couldn't Get It Right and of course I Love You has passed away at age 62.  Bobby Parker, famed for Watch Your Step also departed at age 76.  Soon only people left here are the untalented.

This might be the article that forever shuts up Bob Lefsetz and his love and support of Spotify.  It could also mean that the struggling musician would have to find a real job to keep his music aspirations alive. Like I had to.
But you see this article may not be only for music but also blogging or putting up videos on You Tube.  The mind boggles that you have to compete against anything that has been history and documented and put up on the internet.  Sad part of life is that most of what we do is basically a secret stashed away in the great hoarder house we call the internet.  It's you against the world and no matter how much you try to get the word out, you are just screaming into the wind.  Unless you get lucky like Sixto Rodriguez did and have fans that seeked him out and had a independent label put out the obscure albums once again.  In other words, you got better odds winning the lottery.  Good luck with that.  Don't believe me, ask Mike Franklin...and read his blog here.  It will change your life.

This weekend marked the closing of the Spring House in Cedar Rapids, one of the best places to eat breakfast at although it escaped my mind on my camping trip out to Seminole Valley Park a few weeks back  Even the worst President in history ate there at one time back in 2005, not mentioning any names.  But the owner has left everything in tact for the next person to take over the eatery should they take up the challenge

Goodbye El Ranchito hello La Tequila, the new Mexican place to eat in Anamosa.  The new owners have actually painted their side of the building in tequila green which reflects off the street lights very well.  Some differences, they were a bit chintzy on the salsa but the waitress kept refilling the cokes one after another.  And they are open on Sunday Nights, how long I donno.  Not a lot of clientele in Anamosa for Mexican food even on Fridays and Saturdays nights but as long as they keep an open Sunday Night it might mean supper for me once in a while.  And the food that came out was much hotter, meaning hot from the oven than the other place.  I will miss El Ranchito's wonderful Pollo Cremea but I think La Tequila has it under a different name.  Maybe next time I'll try it.  And here's hoping that they'll be around longer than the other people.  And the food was pretty good.  And hot.

CMAs anybody?  Their idea of country, bad autotuned hick hop and odes to tanlines, pick up trucks and wallet chains songs.  Not mine.  On a similar note Florida Georgia Line played at the 5.  Julie Harriman kind enough to send a picture of them preparing for the CMA's later in the week.

Paramount Records was the ultimate label of the 1920s.  Gotta credit Jack White for preserving some of the memorable songs.  Very pricey collection though at 400 dollars   The JSP import has put out three different Paramount box sets but the sound I am told varies quite badly.  Buyer beware.

Alas, we lost a lotta fucking pictures from this blog, due to disappearing acts.  Fucking frustrating when I have to deal with shit like this. The Top Ten follows.  And hope to fuck we don't lose anymore fucking pictures. 

1.  I'm Just An Old Cowhand-Sonny Rollins 1957  I've been sick most of last week but managed to feel a bit better to show up to John's farewell party at Ernie's and got treated to some of the worst Karaoke singing ever.   At a practicing musician I'm not a fan of karaoke. That and bad radio has killed off the creative bands around here and just leaving the bands still playing the same crappy classics we were doing 30 years ago. It was so nice going home listening to the classic jazz settings of Sonny Rollins on this song off Way Out West, his one and only session with Shelley Manne and Ray Brown.  Comparing Shelley to Max Roach is that Manne is the more straight ahead drummer but Roach cuts him deep on the drum solos.  Still Manne was one of the top jazz drummers of our time so he must have done something right.  Sometimes remaster reissues are not better than the original intent.  I heard bad things about Concord's remastering of said album. Complaints about the bass being turned up way too loud.  I'll keep my OJC original thank you very much.

2.  I'm Not Amused-Galactic Cowboys 1991  Never paid much attention to these guys.  They were signed by the same label that signed a certain band from Aberdeen Washington state. Of course the other band skyrocketed to fame, G.C. struggled for another Geffen album and got turned loose to Metal Blade before they closed up shop.  Produced by Sam Taylor of King's X fame The Cowboys had those harmonies down fairly well but they a bit more heavier sounding, hell they could have been grunge for that matter the way their first album sounds like.  But like the majority of Sam Taylor's production and that includes Kings X and Atomic Opera, going for a more pompous over the top ending which falls upon indifference and deaf ears. I'm Not Amused did get some airplay on alternative stations. Another dollar find at the bottom of the barrel section of our favorite music store.

3.  Goin Mad Blues-John Lee Hooker 1948 released 2004   Next to Lightning Slim, Hooker recorded so many sides for so many labels the late 40s, early 50s that it's hard to keep tabs.  Reading the liner notes to the Low Down Midnite Boogie Comp that Savoy issued in the early 00's a couple years after Hooker boogied on out of here, this song came out on the Delta John alias via Regent Records.  It usually worked that way, peel off a wad of money and John would think of a song on the spot.  Nevertheless Hooker did managed to carve out a decent living and if it wasn't for him inventing the boogie blues, music as we know it today would be a lot different.

4.  I'll Keep It With Mine-Greg Trooper 1998  As we continue to ride into the sunset in this what we have called the Top Ten Music And News Survey which nobody reads much, I still enjoy seeing what I can find for a dollar or less for CDs.  This week's oddball find comes from a singer songwriter that sounds a bit like Jeff Henneman of the BottleRockets and Chris Knight and of course some blogger from No Depression was raving about Greg Trooper, so since Half Priced Books had his 1998 album in the dollar bin for the past year or so I thought it would be worth a listen to.  He got some heavy hitters on this album Popular Demons, Emmy Lou Harris and the distinctive drawl of Steve Earle on this Bob Dylan cover.  So I say it was worth 100 pennies on good taste alone. Maybe I will research him more before I decide to hang it up.

5.  It Wasn't Me-George Thorogood & The Destroyers 1978  Credit Jeff Kewley for turning me on to George when we were in high school.  Jeff's brother had the coolest record collection, old Rolling Stones albums on the mono London label and say he was going get big bucks of those and of course older brother had the Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull and strange, Mothers Of Invention Absolutely Free.  I recall the Move It On Over cassette had a different lineup, Who Do You Love was on side 2 and not side 1.  I think George played the Midnight Special one night after I got home after closing down Applegate's Landing and caught some of George's stuff and thought highly enough to buy the cassette.  Originally started out playing blues, Lonesome George is more about picking great songs from the likes of Hank Williams, Elmore James, his mentor Bo Diddley and this obscure Chuck Berry number to which I think George may have a copy of Fresh Berries, Chuck's forgotten 1965? album.  Yes Chuck has better earlier stuff, but I did wore the grooves off this album.

6.  Turpentine-Kevin Coyne 1976  One of the more interesting dollar finds of this career of finding music was that KCOE clearing out their vinyl collection and seeing Kevin Coyne Live In Living Black And White.  A cult artist by degree Coyne was in Siren before going solo and signing up with Virgin Records to make at least 3 oddball albums and while this was a double LP in the UK, CBS slashed it to a single and wrote it off as a tax loss.  Had a crack touring band of that time of Zoot Money, Steve Thompson, the crazed Peter Woolf on drums and Andy Summers from the New Animals on guitar.  The album is so wild out it makes Peter Gaberial sound like Dean Martin.  Even though it was done live it was produced by Robert John Lange, producer to the stars later on. Summers would move on The Police.

7.  Camel Toe-Go! Tsunami  2009 Another scorching track from Off The Deep End from Deep Eddy Records, this is surf music of the fairly new millennium.  And perhaps the only song with this title name.  Sounds like Davie Allen meeting The Cramps after popping sweet tarts and getting a sugar buzz.

8.  Queen Of The Damned-Motorhead 2013  So what if it's a rewrite of Ace Of Spades this does rock pretty hard.  Thank your lucky stars that Lemmy is still around to do such things.  I've heard that his lifestyle of Cokes, Marlboros and Jack Daniels and groupie loving is finally catching up to him.  Nobody lives forever just ask Lou Reed

9.  Statesboro Blues-John Hammond 1975  Son of the legendary John Sr, John Jr has been one of the better interpreters of the blues of Robert Johnson, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson and many many others and I don't think he's ever made a bad album.  He's more steeped in blues than George Thorogood, and on his Can't Beat The Kid album, one side is donated to the acoustic blues of the pre war bluesmen.  He's been quiet of late, after making a bunch of albums for Virgin/Back Porch but upon hearing this song, I'm inclined to revisit his catalog, by meaning the ones that I have on my shelf.   I did revisit his 2007 album produced with G Love, the usually laid back Stephen Hodges on drums shows off his cymbal collection in spades.  Too bad Martin Hannett wasn't alive and producing, he banned Mr. Hodges to the basement.

10.  Below-Shriekback 1992  Although they never lived up to the hype that bestowed upon them when form, Dave Allen from Gang Of Four meeting up with XTC's Barry Andrews who toiled in the background when Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding were doing all of the songwriting, The Shriekers actually had some listenable albums and although Allen was absent on the much hated Go Bang, I thought that album was a lot better for dance music than what was actually playing in the clubs back then.  Allen rejoined for this forgotten 1992 album Sacred City and they reconnect their inner Roxy Music to their dance beats.  Or murky mood pieces such as this one.  

Odds and ends:

 A scene from the 2012 Fun Run in Kingman. Similar scenes are expected next August, along with about 10,000 visitors, when Kingman hosts the Route 66 International Festival. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

Next year Kingman hosts the Route 66 International Festival August 14-17 to which many Route 66 fans all over the world will invade the city for car shows,  fun runs and a few other things to get you to the Arizona town.  If you do go, better reserve your rooms, I suggest the Motel 6 on Andy Devine, they have the greatest help there, they always make me feel welcome.  Plus if you get too bored, you can sit back in the shade and count trains that go through the town. 

In my 400 joy ride across uncharted Missouri territories in the last bargain hunt of the season, I spent most of that time finally listening to what XM radio had to offer.  And come to conclusion that perhaps it's worth keeping although the song selection could be a lot better than as advertised.  I have no use for Sweet Home Alabama or Satisfaction on pay radio and wish Deep Tracks would just spin Pink Floyd off to their own channel, just like the new David Bowie channel that debuted this week (I have little use for him either but some do). Still a lot of repeats on stations (Tales Of Brave Ulysses played twice on Underground Garage and then Classic Vinyl) but the biggest surprise was hearing John Entwistle My Size, the type of music that makes Deep Tracks enjoyable.  And before I forget, Standing On The Rock by Ozark Mountain Daredevils (love). Willie's Roadhouse is the best country station of vintage stuff but I noticed they tend to play Pure Love/Ronnie Milsap or Woverton Mountain a few times too many. But hearing obscure stuff like Borrowed Angel (Mel Street RIP) and hearing all the lesser known artists like Darrel McCall and even Warren Smith, they both borrow a lot from Ray Price.  And Ray Price of the 1950s may have been more influential than given credit.  I have no use for the so called new country, so I don't listen to The Highway which may as well be renamed Truck and Tan.

Which reminds me how bad new country music is nowadays is going to Dollar General and hearing them play that tired trucks, beer and tan lines songs over and over from the local station being it KHACK or KISS off 96.5 which struck a exposed nerve when for the third straight time, Luke Bryan's crapfilled My Kind Of Night somehow sneaks itself upon the speakers.  With Dallas Davidson putting both Conway and T Pain in the same sentence has sent shock waves of pain and woe and anger on the country traditionalists.  But then again the world's been saying country since Garth Brooks showed up, Brooks and Dunn and their boot scoot boogie and in the last decade Sugarland got the wrath.  But in this decade, the frat boy hick hop of Florida Georgia Line (to which some call the Nickleback of country, ouch), coupled with wallet chains, 100 dollar designer jeans and faux paus fiddles and autotuner and memories of drinking beer, impressing scantly clad college chicks with home boy's pickup trucks and other assorted crap that Dallas Davidson thinks up while laughing all the way to the bank (advice Mr. Dallas hope you invest in the future with your hit for they may dry up before you know it). But sorry to say folks this is new country that brings them out in droves, as it showed when FGL played to a sold out 5 Seasons Center on the 2nd. As for myself, I like my country with a more darker edge and without the goofy truck references and tan lines and endless supply of beer.  Yours will vary.

No comments: