The Grammys came and went with the usual trainwrecks, commercials, rhetoric and once in a while some good music. Kasey Musgraves beat out Taylor Swift in a best country category, Paul McCartney cleaned up house with a few awards, The Sound City Reel To Reel project from Dave Grohl won an award and so did Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Best blues was the Charlie Musselwhite/Ben Harper get together on Stax. And Rolling Stones' Charlie Is My Uncle and the Complete Bill Withers on Sussex/Columbia best historical albums. 33 couples both gay and straight tied the knot in a Macklemore song with appearances from Queen Latifah and Madonna giving the Queen a smack on the lips too, Mary Lambert showing the world she's a great looking plus size Lesbian singer. Highlights include Metallica hooking up with Lang Lang a classical pianist which turned their song One into a work of art in itself. Miranda Lambert (no relation to Mary BTW) took the place of Norah Jones with Billy Joe Armstrong on a version of When Will I Be Loved, Lambert looking a bit more trimmer and angelic as ever. And of course the all star lineup of Josh Homme, Trent Reznor, Lindsay Buckingham and Dave Grohl doing two songs at the end of show to which CBS cut away for commercials which Reznor responded in his way a big F you to the Grammys. And if anybody is interested, the two robots who are Daft Punk won record of the year. Bore me some more. And who was that old freak up there with Smokey Robinson looking like that creepy dude from Big Trouble In Little China? None other than Steven Tyler, old fart from Aerosmith.
Being macho and smoking Marlboros in the 70s and 80s may have giving them fame and recognition but it also kills you. Eric Lawson found that out the hard way as he died from COPD and other smoking related illnesses at age 72. Which comes on the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General's report that smoking causes cancer and thus begins the anti smoking campaign and eventual banning of cigarette commercials from radio and TV around 1971. Replaced by Viagra, other E.D and pharmaceutical drugs that clog up the national news cast. We sure came a long way baby.
Love will keep us together? More like love will tear us apart and that's what happened to The Captain and Tennile, after 39 years, Darryl Dragon and Toni Tennile are calling it quits. Which in this day and age being together isn't what its cracked up to be. Meanwhile, transplanted Canuck and soon to be washed up teen idol Justin Bieber has been arrested for speeding and taking into jail to which the Miley Cyrus lookalike smiled while they were taking his mug shot and later freed. But he has been in a downward spiral of late, his movie bombed, the last album didn't sell and he's pushing 20. And time hasn't been too kind for the one dimensional pop artist who relies too much on autotuner and canned beats. Besides his fan base is growing up and either going into college or taking on life itself. Sure hope the dude saved up for his after music fund. He's going to need it.
The weather continues to suck. Since our last together, six Alberta Clippers and two Arctic blasts has turned this place into a 20 below zero outlet with no sign of letting up. Sunday's storm didn't give much new snow, about a half inch at best but what fell from the other night (3 inches) and 50 MPH winds made going anywhere an adventure with whiteout conditions and I couldn't see the main road. But now we are stuck once again in 10 below temps before noon, the sixth time these past two months that we have gotten arctic blasted and with propane prices at 4.50 a gallon taking a toll on the heating bill. That's what happens you laspe out on the contract and forget to renew it like my brother found out the hard way. And now paying for it bigtime.
Simon Phillips has left Toto after replacing Jeff Porcaro for 20 years. Strange choice in Keith Carlock (Steely Dan) replacing Phillips, since Carlock doesn't have an overkill drumset like Simon has but Carlock is very good in the groove when he's in Steely Dan.
And Pete Seeger passed away at age 94. Boy the stories he could tell. One of the best folk singers that revolutionized folk protest music Seeger continued to record into his 90s via Appleseed Recordings.
The Beatles-Meet The Beatles (Capitol 1964)
And yes this is where it begins, even though Vee Jay did beat them by issuing Introducing The Beatles and then getting into hot water that basically killed that label, Meet The Beatles is the first of many albums that would change the face of rock and roll forever. With the intro of I Want To Hold Your Hand, life would never be the same again, even though clunky old Capitol/EMI had to be dragged kicking and screaming into this, and then finding out this is what the teens were screaming for and would dissemble the Beatles UK albums into four varying albums, much to the band's chagrin. For historical value, us yanks still find pleasure in the lead off single and B side I Saw Her Standing There and screamer I Wanna Be Your Man which The Rolling Stones would cover a bit later on and of course the ballads of This Boy and Not A Second Time are nice and not too sugary, in the hands of Pat Boone or Bobby Vinton would have been. The UK albums are better since the songs sound more at home there then on this album and the three others that came out in 1964. But you had to be there 50 years ago, where teens would play Meet The Beatles till the grooves wore down to gray and asked for more and got it. Still ranks an A in my book.
Lee Oskar-Before The Rain (Avenue 78)
He does great things in War, as a solo artist goes more MOR and this drags, the title track goes on too long. Greg Errico, former Family Stone drummer produces and drums most of the way but outside of the somewhat funky San Francisco Bay and Sing Song, it's a snoozer. C
Children Of The Land (edited version)-Styx
Ups And Downs-Paul Revere And The Raiders
Speaking In Tongues-The Elms
Rocking Phenomena And The Boogie Woogie Flu-Aerosmith
Johnny Ace-Dash Rip Rock
Don't Bother Me-The Beatles
Naked Eye/Water-The Who
Bad Motor Scooter-Montrose
Nice To Be With You-Gallery