More snow, more cold, and freezing rain now. This winter continues to wallow in the typical winter years of suck. But spring training has started in Arizona and Florida. Already Arizona is bitching about the high 80s down there. Don't like it send it up here. BTW Saturday gave us another 2 inches and Monday another 8 inches. The winter of discontent 2014 continues! I wouldn't bitch so much if we didn't have fucking storms every other fucking day. We'll settle for 5 straight days of sunshine if that's possible. Wonder why I can't get out of the driveway? Here's proof!
There has been some worthy concerts around the area despite the 25 Alberta Clippers we had this winter. Somehow Kacey Musgraves managed to sneak under the radar and played in Madison. And Neutral Milk Motel played to a sold out Majestic Theater crowd. Never got into them at all. However this weekend on the 22nd Mad City will get to see the one and only Richard Thompson with his son Teddy opening up and is worth going to although I doubt we will go due to the 10 foot snowdrift behind the car. For the local casino Bret Michaels played a sold out show and even David Cassidy popped in. For the summertime festivals, George Thorogood will be at the Deleware County Fair in July. Weather permitting of course.
Death never takes a day off. Bob Casale, part of the great Devo band has passed from heart failure. Devo everybody knows from Whip It but managed to make a great record and visual career. Their robotic video of Can't Get No Satisfaction to me remains their best video.
Done in by his own hand and mishandling of snakes: Jamie Coots, reality star of a National Geographic show that I've never seen and pastor of an Kentucky Church was fatally bitten by a poisonous snake and refused treatment for the snake thinking God would save him. God was tending to other business and Coots was called up yonder. However the snake that bit Coots will be used for the next service says son Cody. In the meantime The WBC, will be there to protest on Coot's burial despite overlooking the Bible's passage of love your neighbor. When I added a PS that snakes will be provided for the WBC, that tweet got retweeted twice by them, to which I deleted that remark. They apparently don't know the irony of my comment or too blind to see it. Or maybe the Kentucky congregation were going to give them free rattlesnakes for showing up. God bless them if they did but if when I go to church I tend to avoid the ones that play with the vipers and the ones that promote hatred from within. Your beliefs will vary too.
The parade of clippers and snowstorms has not enabled me to go out and search for new stuff. In fact another Iowa City venture turned out to be yet another car ride with nothing found. Kirk at Record Collector is probably laughing at me since I didn't stop in but his inventory has been thin last time I was there. And basically since Iowa City charges outrageous prices on the parking meters it's beginning to be not worth going downtown. Half Priced Books threw a few things in the 3 dollar bins, most notably Paul Allen And The Underwriters-Everywhere At Once (Legacy) which is a busman's holiday for the Microsoft Man and kinds of reminds me of Peter Gammon's all star Rounder album of a few years ago, but Allen has a better sound and better help from Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Joe Walsh, Derek Trucks and Ivan Neville to name a few. My mind begins to wonder later in the album when Allen decides for the blues and R & B rather than rock of Six Strings From Hell featuring Walsh and easily the best thing Joe has done in years. The CD goes on too long but it's still a decent listen before it winds to a halt on Another Sunset.
I'm not sure what the record is for the longest time of not buying anything new but we're more than halfway through this miserable year and still have yet to buy anything new. Anything on a major label is libel to suck And GAC continues to show the same old videos of Bro country acts and the usual plot of sun, pickups, half naked or Daisy Dukes wearing models being the love interest of some wallet chain swinging douchebag. No fewer than five videos had the same scenario; Waylon Jennings is rolling in his grave. And of course it's topped off by a Brantley Gilbert video in the tradition of Scarface. The only time GAC varied the videos was Kacey Musgraves Follow Your Arrow, to which her backing band of guys dressing like Gram Parsons and The Buckeroos clashing with the Bro Country of That's My Kind Of Night, or whoever Cassandra Pope is. Jana Kramer becoming a distant memory after she broke it off with the OG wannabe B.G. If this is the best that country has to offer, like rock and roll it's going to be a long year for new music and my interest is waning more every day.
Of course the bands that I do like have new albums out, but imports only. Kings Of The Sun/Rock Till You Die and it's still straight ahead rock and roll but with Clifford Hoad taking over lead vocals over retired brother Jeffrey, in some ways returning back to their 1988 S/T sound. The hour and four minute album may be a bit too much for the economical but I never grow tired of three chords and rock and roll. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3p14_wP39c&feature=youtu.be&a
The other The Len Price 3/Nobody Knows (due March 4) continues their love of 60 British Invasion Rock in the form of The Who and The Kinks and a grumbling concern that Wicked Cool which issued their first three albums will take a pass in favor of Cocktail Slippers. For the rest of us, if you're into new music comps, Diggy Kat's Songs That Made An Impact 2014 is out as a free download and of course The Townedgers are on it, with their hit single Cannery Row. Other favorites include Vufcup, Garret Rein, Parker Rose and the enigmatic Stephanie Andreis who's still working on the promotion side God bless her. http://www.mediafire.com/download/8knzlr4osvzwggl/SongsThatMadeAnImpact2014.zip
It's fun to have some vinyl lovin partys. But since we were not invited, here's some of the latest reviews of past stuff. Well son of a bitch the picture disappeared! Guess I'll find another eye candy. Let's try this one!
The Best Of The Dells (Tristar/JCI)
One of the best doo wops (when they were on Vee Jay) The Chicago Dells moved over to Cadet/Chess and made a few top ten quiet storm type of songs that would ushered in better seducers like Barry White. (Charles Barksdale's slow raps at the beginning of Oh What A Night may have influenced Barry White come to think of it). Their best album 1968's uneven There Is showed their strengths and weaknesses in terms of the uptempo and great Wear It On Our Face to which Charles Stepney would recycled and slowed down for Please Don't Change Me Now, the b side. Although the late great Marvin Junior was main vocalist, John Carter had that high helium tenor vocals that brought out the punctuation of the 6 minute remake of Stay In My Corner which Cadet/Chess had the full 6 minutes on the 45. One of the longest lasting doo wop band, they would remain together for over 5 decades before the passing of Marvin Junior last year (John Carter left us in 2009). Once Junior passed on The Dells called it a day. The Best Of The Dells, is a very cheap and poorly recorded artifact of their Cadet/Chess hits and mostly slower ballads which will not be those who like their R and B rocking. But I still have a fondness for Stay In My Corner, or Oh What A Night and the canned applause of Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation, their 1973 chart topper (produced with Don Davis who later produced two albums from Robin Trower!). The CD mastering is awful (which seems to the nadir of Tristar/JCI since it seems they got the resources from third rate cassette versions of the hits). Grade C+
Paul Jones-Starting All Over Again (Collector's Choice 2009)
Once the distinctive voice of the Manfred Mann EMI/Ascot years (Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Sha La La) Jones made a comeback album with Carla Olson (The Textones) producing and for all that matters, it's a so so subpar blues effort. Featuring Eric Clapton on two tracks and Percy Sledge on Big Blue Diamonds, it's a record you play once and then file away. The title track gets bogged down by an overzealous drummer and Clapton must have been on a coffee break to lay the the tracks down. Jones can still play the harmonica though. Grade C
The Crickets-In Style With The Crickets (Coral)
The death of Buddy Holly robbed The Crickets on the one distinct thing that made them one of the best pioneering garage rock bands of the 50s, to which somehow doomed replacement David Box managed to capture a more nicer Buddy Holly sound on Peggy Sue Got Married and Don't Cha Know before Earl Spinks came on board to record a pedestrian garage rock album that the world really didn't need another Great Balls Of Fire or Rock n Roll Phenomena but at time echoed the foundation that Buddy laid down previously with inspired Buddy imitations like Ting A Ling or A Sweet Love. It's the bonus cuts that make this album a keeper, with the original I Fought The Law and Love's Made A Fool Of You, the latter cut that Bobby Fuller used for his own hit a few years later before mysterious circumstances cut his life short. After that, the Crickets went pop and for the worst but In Style is the missing piece that bridges the gaps before the great downfall. And maybe the future was with David Box. (later reissued on Bear Family and Jasmin in various configurations) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovo-RVDtT0E
Peggy Sue Got Married (Complete Version) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7JmlyaGYVg
B side Don't Cha Know (David Box Vocals) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuK7z6mOwJ8
House On Pooh Corner-Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Baby Please Don't Go-Nancy Sinarta
Train Kept A Rolling-Jeff Golub with Brian Auger
Shake Off The Demon-Brewer & Shipley
Give It To Me-J. Geils Band
Your Own Backyard-Mott The Hoople
New Twist-Frank Frost
Reason To Believe-Tim Hardin
Dust My Broom-Elmore James (1951)
Night Time-George Thorogood & The Destroyers