Monday, December 23, 2013

Top Ten Of The Week:Gist Of The Gemini

So first day of winter and another major winter storm and the 7th snowstorm as said month and it's a fucking bitch.   Great name for a winter storm Gemini don't ya think?  Split personality bitch, tornado in one sector, heavy rain, the other, snow and ice as well. Guess which one we got?

The surpluses that we have of winter storms this year has really soured on even a lack of Christmas spirit this year.  Mostly consumerism for the latest in Made In China crap and the onslaught of the overplayed Christmas crap songs from this camp has even made Scrooge look like Norman Vincent Peale in his most bah humbug way.  The extreme weather of this winter has more than made up for the easy two winters that we enjoyed and begged for more but naysayers who wanted snow and ice got their wish in droves and I fucking slid across an icy Dairy Queen parking lot for a Fruit Smoothie cussing out the elements and Mother Nature's wild side.  I really don't give two fucks about The Weather Channel's naming winter storms as if they're puppies, cats or idiot bastard sons (or daughters).  But every storm has a personality, just like Spring Storm Fuckoff and Gemini the Bitch Winter Storm was a big bitch covering just about the half of the country. Not sure if global warming or a fucking jet stream highway of storms going one after another but this fucking winter is a return to the cold and shit that plagued us before the reprieve of 2011 and 2012 which weather stayed nice and warm and still had grass growing in December.  In other words, back to a typical winter time in this state.

It's hard to keep up with the antics of the hardest working blues woman out there Samantha Fish, but her last minute stops in Keokuk took everybody by surprise and Saturday's House Of Bricks show in Des Moines was called off by snow and ice and rain.  Gotta give me at least a week's notice if you're be in the neighborhood Sam.   And it would really help if you came out in a month when  it does not snow.

Again, Death takes no holiday and have taken away David Richards, producer for Queen and David Bowie and my third grade teacher Mrs. Huey when I went to Emerson after moving from Cedar Rapids in 1970. And thus the roots of staying stuck here in Eastern Iowa begins.

This week songs of note.

1.   My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You-Ray Price 1977  Losing last of the original country and western superstars of the 50s and a direct link to Hank Williams has been the major story of the week here.  The folks at Willie's Roadhouse, the classic country channel on XM radio has been paying Ray a great tribute by broadcasting some of his radio appearances with Bill Anderson and Willie Nelson.  Amazing how Ray would just shrug off the tributes with an oh gosh, I'm just one of you folks comment, he made you feel he was just like you.  Unlike the halfwit Bro acts of country today.  Ray's late 50s hits were pioneering honky tonk and the man could sing the phone book and make it sound like a classic too.  Originally a 1957 hit, Ray revisits this song 30 years later on the forgotten Dot album Reunited with the Cherokee Cowboys LP which is only available on vinyl.  Ray, on his death bed mentioned about having a new CD coming out and he says it was his best in a long time. But of course will be released after his passing.  If it does come out.

2.  Gee-The Crows 1954
     The Monkey Time-Major Lance 1963

In my ten years of doing the top ten, I admit I have overlooked the doowop and R&B artists that I grew up listening to, not that it's anything like Phil Robertson says about gays or such, but I have neglected the omissions of great black music that somehow died when rap came the be the choice instead of soul music.  This week I managed to blow the dust off a couple of old compilation soul music, Epic's 1982 Okeh Soul which gives about 8 selections to the great Major Lance (with help from Curtis Mayfield) to which Monkey Time was went to number 8 on the charts.  Another of his hits, Um um um um um um was number 5 but I had a remake of that song from the obscure Thomas Henry on the cheapo Hit Records label which I liked a little better.   The Crows were a early doo wop band that made the ultra catchy Gee in the beginning of the rock and roll era which somehow somebody thought 54 was the beginning of rock and roll although it's been around early than that (credit Joe Turner and Louis Jordan for that).  When Rhino was serious about preserving the older rock and roll and R&B they put out the classic Best Of Doo Wop Uptempo to which Gee can be found on.   And BTW, it was 40 years that American Graffiti came out on movie, which was the start of the love of old time R&B and R&R.  Too bad we all can't go back to 1962, but if you did you would have to leave the cellphone and computer behind.

3.  Shout It Out Loud-KISS  2009  Yes I know it came out in 1976 on Destroyer but I decided to go with the 2009 version from the Wal Mart special Sonic Boom album to which Gene and Paul gave a bonus CD of KISS KLASSICS (their spelling)  and it's pretty good, of course it has to be. They been playing these songs for so long they can do them in their sleep. You know by now the fans voted them in the rock and roll HOF and there may be a chance that you might see Ace and Peter join Paul and Mr. Money worshiper on stage.

4.  Big Railroad Blues-The Grateful Dead 1971  This song escaped my mind till Deep Tracks off XM played this and it comes from the S/T album aka Skull and Roses if I'm correct (which rarely is judging from what I read  in the comments section).  Out of all the oodles of live albums and boot leg GD have put out, the S/T remained my live album of choice.  Strange how I never heard this on the Grateful Dead channel when I have it on (although I'm sure they have played it). The Grateful Dead's music is great to seal books with when I am at work, you can just drift away and let the music take you there........

5.  She Satisfies-Shoes 1981  Perhaps the best basement band ever formed.  The things they could do with just a reel to reel player and a couple microphones.  So how come they're not in the Rock And Roll HOF? (I know, Jan Wanner hates power pop music).

6.  As Kind As Summer-The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band  1968  Starman made me this album along with the classic Pussy Plays album (which I still cannot find GD IT!) and I kinda forgotten it till this week when I was playing some of the Hippie Dippy albums of the week (David Peel, The Hello People) and I managed to come across A Child's Guide To Good And Evil in a stack of CDs and took it to work.  For being a label that Frank Sinatra formed so he could play his own music, Reprise has been very instrumental in bringing out some of the bizarre music of the late 60s and The West Coast Etc Band is as oddball as The Fugs or for that matter Frank Zappa could be.  Even Jimmy Bowen  produced a couple tracks for this band, Bowen of Kenny Rogers and of course Frank S fame. Those were the most daring of times and even for a obscure band like West Coast Pop Art Exp Band managed to get their albums reissued via Sundazed for a time being.  For fun and games, The Millennium or The Association did it better but this track featuring a crazy Alvin Chipmunk soundalike has be heard to be believed.  Gives me memories of Funky Tonk from Moby Grape.


7.   Don't Deserve You-Randy Rogers Band 2013   Perhaps the single of the year in my voting but you have never heard it on the radio.  I know I included this a while ago and while it comes from a country band, this has more rock pop going for it than actual country although the fiddles hidden deep in the mix considers this country anyway.  Not that KHAK will play it nor KISS 96, this is not Bro country.  It has more melody and I love it enough to keep their album Trouble on regular rotation on my player.

8.  Future Shock-Hello People 1974  My last review blog had their Fusion album but for myself I liked The Handsome Devils LP more despite the ugly picture of Larry Tasse in front, looking so mid 1970s.  There's a reason why you don't see mime bands anymore, they probably get punched out in the dark alley after the show.  Or worse being heckled on Tosh 2.0, we live in new and dangerous times.  Anyway, ND Smart looks very uncomfortable on the back picture and the two other original members of said band (or played on Fusion are on there as well).  Out of all the albums that they did, The Handsome Devils made it to 145 on the Billboard top 200 and Future Shock limped up to number 71 although KLWW played it a few times on their station, KCRG did not.   I think Gordon Anderson should place a call to Universal to issue this album, and while he's at it, tell them to issue that lost new wave masterpiece The Brains as well.  If you're going to reissue the DiFranco Family for Fuck's sakes.........

9.  A Night In Tunisia-Art Blakey, Elvin Jones & Charlie Persip 1961  An interesting find in the jazz section led me to Gretsch Drum Night At Birdland which Roulette Jazz put out in the early 60s (Blue Note reissued it in 1991) and a very interesting drums only rendition of the Dizzy Gillespie classic (the liner notes suggested that the horns and piano and bass parts were edited out due to time restraints) but Blakey/Jones/Persip arranged this so perfect that you didn't need the other guys.  A lotta jungle beats, and some voodoo thrown in for good measure it's perhaps the highlight of this album.  Unless you're not a fan of drums,  Then you'd be bored.

10.  The Gospel-Wilderness Road 1973  And in four parts: Which Key Does The Good Lord Sing In/Sunday Sunday/Mouth Jive/Heavily Into Jesus, this is what we call one of most underground songs of the 1970s, Very much a parody of gospel radio back then but with an eye that foretold the future as well.  This song is damn perfect for the times that it scares me. I still stand by my remarks that Wilderness Road sounded like Poco after getting a sugar buzz or too much energy drinks.  Too good for their own cause, even their so called radical record label couldn't bother promoting it, writing it off as a tax loss and saying adios.  But if you haven't heard it, it's new to you.  As well to me.

Stolen from Mark Prindle, his best of the year (in no particular order)

Motorhead - Aftershock
Melvins - Tres Cabrones
Obits - Bed & Bugs
Paul McCartney - New
Flaming Lips - The Terror
Sebadoh - Defend Yourself
Pasadena Napalm Division - S/T
Bad Religion - True North
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away
The Fall - Re-Mit 

Once in a while, I'll put up a song or comment on a forgotten album of long ago, in this case the Iowa Comp 3 that I previewed once again and gave thumbs up to Turn by Moveable Feast.  Gotta note from Dave Hansen from said band on what he's doing nowadays.  A new band No Good Turn. Thought I'll share it with you.  And BTW congrats on being a Grandpa to twins. Rock On!

Hey, thanks for the mention of the Poptastic song I wrote "Turn" by Movable Feast. We always seemed to lurk in the shadows of HOLS, Dangtrippers, and FFF. Since my kids are grown up, I'm back at it with a new band No Good Deed, now that I turned 50 I can't seem to pogo as high as I used to!


Doug Hansen


R S Crabb said...

Oh hell TAD, i deleted your post by accident. F. My luck and life.

I hate winter too, I gladly take your fifty degrees and sunshine over -10 degrees and a wind chill factor of 30 below. And it's not even january either. Fook Winter indeed.

TAD said...

S'OK Crabbster, yer hands were probably too cold to be able to type right....

R S Crabb said...

Yep, the computer was frozen. ;)