Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week: The Frostbite Express

We got two weeks before Christmas and I haven't started yet. Suppose I should but first.


Scott Floman has a review site if you're into seeking out record review sites and he's been around but this is the first time I've came across this site. Scott doesn't review every album from the bands he listens to but does offer up a pretty good counterpoint to the Rolling Stone Review Guide.

Basically no Christmas spirit here either. The weather is too cold and I rather stay home and crank up the record player.

Goodbye Charlie turned out to be one of the better top tens of the week. In fact the best, moving into 3rd place with 282 views and counting. If I can get the rest of the blogs to do that well, I'd continue to do this on a regular basis.  But still  it has been so successful that my last top ten blog only got a hundredth of what that blog got. Only 15 views for the last top ten The Real High Fidelity people? Really? Boo Hiss on xolodremont a spammer site that topped the referring site list behind spam king Vampirestat. Search Keyword are a bigger laugh. older pussy, 16xxxasia, and of course Bobbie Brown Cherry Pie topping this month's too.  May as well redo this a porn site since that's all I seem to get. On a related subject, the Crabb Fashion Show blogs both been retired.


Bo Vixxen writes and says mermaids are real.  She might be right ;) 

The Top Ten

1.  Is It Like Today-World Party 1993  I admit that I buy a lot of cheap CDs with the intent of trying to find something from the past that I missed.  Sometimes I'll find a band that impresses me enough to buy their back catalog (this year's winning band Curve, their Virgin/Charisma albums of the early 90s, the later stuff meh) and there's the other side of fence, bands that you see their albums in the dollar bins and a good reason why. Mistake number 1 was the live Judy Henske farce to which gave me visions of Mrs Miller's Downtown farce.  It may have been funny and entertaining in 1966 but the constant screaming and oversinging made me stop listening after track 3.  The other farce comes from Kurt Wallinger's World Party Bang album which the single was quite listenable but the rest of the album is utter garbage. I heard that Goodbye Jumbo is the best but not inclined to go after this since I stopped this POS album after the 7th song.  At least I got a nice jewel case in the process.

2.  Sweet Violets-Homer And Jethro 1961  From time to time in the ten years of top ten compiling, I have tried with no success point out some of the best music out there nobody knows about. I could have a nice career in music if I had my own show to showcase some of the forgotten and lesser known. Today's Xer's and Aughter's (aka those born after 2000) have no idea of the variety of music in my time of growing up although I missed out on the Big Band Era.  And in Nashville, RCA led the way in many many artists and groups being on that label 10, 20 years and putting out 2 or 3 albums per year.  Can't do that now unless you have autotuner and listen to Conway and T Pain. or Hank and Drake.  Homer And Jethro were the Weird Al Yankovic of their time, parodying songs into funnies and they had Chet Atkins producing and acting straight man too.  Found a copy of Songs My Mother Never Sang (art cover by Jack Davis who contributed to the success of Mad Magazine) and although it's not as good as Life Can Be Miserable or the hilarious Live At The Country Club it does have its moments.  Such as this song about a strip tease babe but the suggested words taken out for the next verse.  Kinda like Shaving Cream by Benny Bell. Historic fact: Songs My Mother Never Sang may have been the first album that included false starts and studio chatter before the song starts.  Fun fact: this record was found for 75 cents at the downtown Salvation Army but there's a sticker from the long gone Kenny Hofer Music Mart.  Hofer was also famed for playing clarinet in his own big band and having a radio show of his own (KCRG AM) long before you were born.  He passed away in 1986 from a heart attack at age 63.

3.  Lickskillet-Radio Moscow 2007  The hippie from Story City Iowa, Parker remains the sole constant in Radio Moscow, a three piece band dedicated to the sounds of late 60s hippie dippy and the stoner rock of Blue Cheer, Hendrix and to a certain amount, Frank Marino and to his credit made three albums of varying degree for Alive Natural Sound.  Even in Iowa, nobody bothered to play Radio Moscow (although KUNI did play some of the first album when it came out) since it had more to do with Blue Cheer than it did with Slipknot, the best known Iowa band (sorry Bob Dorr, even better known than your Blue Band). Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys produced the first album and it remains their best.  The next two albums took the Blue Cheer factor a bit too far.  But I give Parker Griggs credit for being a My Space friend when I had a My Space site.  Back when My Space was relevant, which was about 6 years ago. By the way, this weekend PBS was doing their annual pledge drive by dusting off that old DVD of rockers from the 50s and 60s and got to see about 15 minutes of Davy Jones playing on stage and about 50 minutes of babber from PBS hosts and Bob Dorr, looking pretty old on camera saying you can get that old DVD and a 5 CD boxset of the same old repackaged hits of the 60s for about 250 dollars pledge.  At least it's not him hocking a box set of The Blue Band's 20 CD box set of everything they have done.  You can't afford that (time and money both).

4.  Rumors In The Air-Night Ranger 1983  Granted Night Ranger had some cool hits of the 80s and on a certain day or two I can pull out Dawn Patrol or their best of, which is a snapsnot of 80s arena rock all down to Brad Gillis' whammy bar leads.  Their first two albums were excellent, the rest not so much. This song got some KRNA airplay back in the 80s but research says this never charted. Which surprises me.

5.  Common People-William Shatner 2004   Can't say I heard Bill's latest album, produced by Billy Sherwood but he did one with Ben Folds producing and having some special guest stars along the way, in this case Joe Jackson shows up.  Of course nothing tops Hey Mr Tambourine Man......


6.  Never Enough-Toto 1992   The last album that has Jeff Porcaro playing drums, Kingdom Of Desire was their most hard rock sounding.  Oh sure their hits were MOR and classic rock fodder (Hold The Line, Rosanna, 99 etc.) but the guys had a progressive rock vibe in them that showed up from time to time (fan favorite Turn Back, Kingdom Of Desire).  Sony Music refused to released this on Columbia (not enough hits they said although Toto did add a couple ballads that fell on deaf ears) but they did let the rap label Relativity to put this out and it didn't sell and many copies were thrown in bargain bins in the early 90s.  Steve Lukather is the main singer on this album and most of the time the music speaks for itself as Toto goes through classic rock, arena rock, jazz fusion  and the aforementioned progressive rock and the 12 songs finishes up to about 69 minutes of jamming.  Next album would find Toto back on Sony (reissued via Legacy) but the death of Jeff Porcaro from a heart attack left the band scrambling for a replacement and found it in Simon Phillips.  They were actually quite good and have to more to offer than the 80s ballads they were famous for.

7.  The Decline And Fall Of Me-Sparks 1982  Another band that defines definition Sparks went through the gauntlet of glam rock to disco rock to plain foolishness and although that Sparks 2 CD best of that Rhino put out tried to make sense of it all, they failed to add key hits to the collection to make it worthwhile (Rhino left off Eaten By The Monster Of Love for fuck's sake). So basically I had to seek out the original album on CD and paid 10 bucks for a scratched up copy which plays but you know how I feel about paying prices for scratched up CDs no matter how "rare" it is.  Not so much to find a better copy for five bucks at a trustworthy FYE store in Quincy last month.  On LP, was the start of a three album deal for Atlantic to which Cool Places was the highest charting single but I Predict had airplay.  This is one of my favorite album cuts off the silly Angst In My Pants, right before my favorite track Monster Of Love.

8.  Slumville Sunrise-Jake Bugg 2013  Jake has been very busy this year, releasing two albums, raising the ire of Bob Lefsetz and you know how he feels about albums anymore.  At age 19, Jake is still up and coming and sounding wise beyond his years and I have heard his two albums; the first started out good but bogged down on the second half and something was missing so he got Rick Rubin to produce his second album, the improved Sophomoric effort  Shangri  La  and this track which Paul McCartney himself sang the praises of this song.  Didn't translate much into CD sales here in the states to which Mr. Lefsetz was last heard sneering I Told You So, while he was skiing in Aspen over the weekend while dodging trees and starving musicians texting him to hear their music and make them famous.  To which he'll be back to write a blog how to make it in the music world...oh he already did. http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2013/12/04/the-mainstream/

9.  How Soon Is Now-The Smiths 1985 From Morrissey's book this transcript: "I ran from the studio with a final mix and jumped into a black cab, piling out of Collier Street, where I took the stairs five at a time and powered into Geoff's office," Morrissey writes. "Geoff swivels in a large chair and I balance on a footstool as the song plays. 'How Soon Is Now?' struck me as a new landmark, but once the track ended, Geoff broke his silence: 'WHAT is Johnny doing?' he said. "THAT is just NOISE.'" 

10. Heaven On Earth-Boston 2013  The reviews of said album been cold, complaints of the electric drums buried into the mix to the point you can't hear them and Pop Dose's scathing review might mean that Tom might postpone the next album til 2033.  Doesn't help that Tom redoes three songs from Corporate America and about 4 songs with the More Than A Feeling riff but I still find the album to be as good as the previous one and better than Third Stage.  With Brad Delp gone since 2007, I sure hope Tom has enough leftovers of Brad's voice in the can for further us but then again Boston has always been a basement band and got lucky when the first batch of demos turned out to be the money making venture that Tom continues to bring out every 8 to 10 years.  But Heaven On Earth is a good single, with that trademark sound of excellent guitars and subpar drums since Tom can't deal with real drums anymore.  But basically, the original Boston band really never existed, if they did then there would have been a live album put out years ago.  My aunt Cindy saw them when they were touring behind the first album and said they were great.  And the tribute band that had the lead vocalist from Stryper playing at Jones County Fair years ago weren't bad either.  Guess you'll have to rely on your memories for that.  And wished that Brad Delp would have been put to better use before he gave up in life in 2007.  And ended up being a voice heard from the grave on the new effort.

Passings: Richard Coughlan, drummer for Caravan.and one of the more better prog rock drummers come to think of it. His playing on For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night is the stuff of legends made of. He was 66......Chick Willis, blues and soul singer who had a hit with Stoop Down Baby in 1972 also passed away. Cancer got him at age 79.


Luke Bryan brings his country act.The Autotuners up to the UNI Dome in February of 2014. Lee Bice and Cole Swindell open up.  I doubt they will use the poster above for promotion.  I also have no idea why the last few paragraphs went white but piss on it anyway. Just another annoyance in a blog nobody reads.

And finally the best news of the year:  My best friend's son Matt proposed to his girlfriend after being together for a very long time, seven years I think.  Nothing better to do that while in single digit temps at Soldier Field as the Bears were whopping the Cowboys.  I have seen Matt grow up in the past twenty years and become one of best sons a parent could ever had.  Congratulations Matt and Rachel and may you have a long life of love together. Of course it helps when the Bears win right Matt? ;-)


TAD said...

I'm bummed about Richard Coughlin dying -- FOR GIRLS is one of my favorite albums ever.
And I wouldn't say nobody reads you...

R S Crabb said...

You're probably one of my biggest supporters to this party Tad. Can't exclude y'all. ;)