The last official weekend of winter has come and gone and snowstorm number 38 came through with a half inch of snow and 25 degree temps the next day. Hopefully winter is finally gone after this, although two more storms before the week is out and we can say we had 40 snowstorms this winter. Why not, we're that close anyway?
Facebook has been the major hangout for myself and I have plenty of friends and classmates that continue to follow the bitchings and crabbings that make me stand out like a 4 hour erection and not in a good way I guess. I tend to overbitch over there but have to relieve some anger. Sometimes it bothers me about friends unfriending due to a observation or comment that they didn't agree with (such as an over the hill radio personality that's been inducted in the IA Rock Hall of fame twice more than he actually should and plays in a so so blues band). Life goes on, but it seems this way that those who do that reminds me of rats leaving a sinking ship while the true friends that remain friends are the ones that will party with you till the final end. A fairweather friend so to speak. But it is true that most of who you know has or have had a facebook account at some time. Maybe it's a small world afterall.....unless your car breaks down in the desert, 50 miles from the nearest town. Then it's not.
So one of the earliest Mad City bargain hunts is now in the books and the usual cry of we came we saw and bought a few things, we went home was uttered. I'm sure the next one will be Davenport again when the car's oil change is due. No decision on the summer hunts in Arizona or maybe St. Louis. It depends on how I feel, health-wise. I didn't do so well on the Arizona trip last year with bad food at the former places I like to eat at a big issue.
The mayor of Turtle River Minnesota has died, Gary Burger better known as the lead singer for The Monks who made the cult favorite Black Monk Time back in 1966 passed away from pancreatic cancer at age 72. Black Monk Time was issued on Infinite Zero in the 1990s (later reissued on another label). The Monks, like the 13th Floor Elevators did with an electric jug, used a electric banjo for a different sound. The Monks did reunite for a few Cavestomp shows in the late 90s and early 00's.
The Jann Wanner Favorite Music Hall of fame (formerly The Rock and roll HOF (hahahahaha, quit laughing) has decided to tell Chad Channing to stay home when Nirvana takes their place with the others. They're getting to be like Disneyland, pick and choose who gets in and who doesn't. Chad played on Bleach, the first Nirvana album. Whoever in that HOF that decides who gets to show up are assholes. If I was Chad, I'd crash the stage and get up there or if I was Kris or Dave, invite him up there. That would be a FU to the Hall Of Fame Kremlin Powers To Be.
Scott Asheton passed away this weekend, the drummer for The Stooges, he was 64. Heart attack. Outside of Iggy Pop, the only original member of The Stooges, and this is probably end The Stooges as we know it. Their last album Ready To Die, the first to feature James Williamson back on guitar since Raw Power was better than The Menace, their messy 2006 album for Virgin, seems to the epitaph for Scott. Iggy and James has always had traumatic times in the band and hard to tell if they're work again. James is working on a new project of his own. Don't cry for Iggy, he'll stay busy.
Joe Lala, percussion drummer for Blues Image and later played on just about every album of the 70s also checked out Tuesday. Lung cancer at age 66. Chalk one up for the Marlboro man. Smoking may be cool and makes you look cool in pictures but it is a silent killer and eventually gets you if you don't stop or stop too late. Lala's help on the first Manassas album added more variety to the songs.
Big reissue news (if I can type it). Atlantic reissues the first three Led Zeppelin albums with a bonus disc. Hey Hey What Can I Do, not on the bonus LZ 3 CD. Doubt if I'll make any effort to rebuy the whole thing again.
Finally the Iowa Hawkeyes made it to the NCAA...as part of the First Four, which means they play in a Wed game against Tennessee. If they can win 7 games, the skies the limit but this season has been a disappointment. But they caught fire in the NIT last year so maybe it might happen again.....but it didn't. Tennessee with help from piss poor officials and yet another Hawkeye meltdown in overtime, got blown out 78-65 in OT in the NCAA play in game. If the Hawkeyes decided making the NCAA's in any shape or form was the way to go, then they succeeded but their piss poor second half showing and Northwestern whopping them in the B1G tourney turned out that this season was a disappointment. The Iowa Hawkeyes blew 9 (count em NINE) leads before the halftime only to lose which might be a record upon itself. Next season, they do have new players coming in to fine tune things and perhaps Aaron White and Adam Woodbury will show more signs of aggressiveness that was missing this season. We lose Roy Devyn Marble and Meshawn Basabe and the troubled Zach McCabe to graduation. Marble did have a pretty good season although none of his shots did go in during the NCAA Play in game.
Bob Lefsetz keeps thumbing his nose at PONO, the upcoming new and exciting idea from Neil Young, calling it pointless and thumbing his nose at you, the CD and record buyer consumer who is seeing less and less new product. If there's one thing I would love to see before I die, is to see a renaissance in buying records to the point that we can get some new stores started up. We want new and improve but some of us still like the 12 inch black disc moving around in a circle playing music. Bob's time here on the planet is even lesser than myself but he's always going after tomorrow's product today and people like myself cannot afford or have these things given to us as a promotion. I am not a fan of MP3's they sound like shit and even more so when i hear them on net radio. Give me the actual product instead of the great jukebox in the sky and in the damn CPU. This year, it's hard to even find the new stuff since Best Buy has cut back and from my time in Madison all of the record stores lacked certain new stuff for me to buy. But shut up already Lefsetz. I don't fucking care about your GD Spotify. Save that shit for the next lifetime. But in the meantime, SXSW has come and gone, the big story, some fucking drunk being chased by the police ran past a barricade and struck some people in the street and killed three of them. Throw the book at the stupid fuck. In the meantime feel free to waste your time on this article about the music sellouts or how Lady Gaga took the money and ran. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/business/media/a-new-model-for-music-big-bands-big-brands.html?hp&_r=0
The Grass Roots-The Complete Dunhill/ABC Singles (Real Gone)
Not really a complete overview mind you (No Smoke Without Fire, We Can't Dance To Your Music and Stealin Love are left off) but the folks at Real Gone have done a much better job than the idiots at MCA or Universal have done with shotty half assed comps and for the first time since the long missed Rhino 2 CD anthology we finally get a good idea who the Grass Roots were and that was the main person in the band was actually Steve Barri, the producer. Beginning the early years when Phil Sloan was writing the hits and they showed a more commercial folk/rock sound like the Byrds or Dylan, dusting out their own version of Mr. Jones. And of course Let's Live For Today in two versions (one would have been fine, like the fussy old crabbass that I'm am, I would have lobbied for No Smoke Without Fire since it did score on the KCRG Super 30 in 1973). Certainly the late great Rob Grilli had the charisma charm of a lead singer but they had good songwriters in Dennis Provisor and Warren Entner, but Steve Barri focused more on getting key songs from other songwriters and the band started adding more horns and AM radio ready hooks for big hits of Two Divided by Love (written by Dennis Lambert/Brian Potter), plus Temptation Eyes, Heaven Knows and Midnight Confessions. By 1972 most of the public moved on but they had regional hits like The Runaway and ultra catchy Love Is What You Make It, to which I ended up paying 10 dollars for the 1973 Lotta Mileage album and getting ripped of the process. It's not that great of a record. Which probably shows that The Grass Roots were one of the best singles band at that time out there. And hopefully Real Gone can go one further and reissued the B sides as the next project. But in the end, The Grass Roots was mostly Steve Barri's project, kinda like his answer to Three Dog Night. The best (and cheaper) overview since the Rhino Anthology went out of print.
Laszlo Gardony-The Legend Of Tsumi (Antilles)
What I love about finding cheap music is discovering something that I would have never bought full price. I get bored with classic rock, I get bored with overplayed music and is always looking for the lesser known when I decide to waste 2 hours at Pawn America, sorting through shitty and tossed aside CDs for 25 cents. I have no idea who Gardony is but when I was reading the booklet, i had the impression that this would be new age. But since it had a piano bass and drums trio I decided to chance it. Released through Island/Antilles New Directions back when Island was still looking for real artists and not Justin Bieber, The Legend Of Tsumi when first heard reminds me a lot of Dave Brubeck although further research shows a more Bill Evans influence. Beginning with the 8 minute Orange City, the time signature reminds me of Take Five till a more avant garde arrangement takes hold between Laszlo and Bill Moses on drums. Second favorite song is the very brief Trickster to which sorry only lasts a minute thirty eight and shows more band interplay. Still the inner beauty of the mellow tracks (Sunrise, Anne's Dream) are dreamy without falling into boring new age territory, and are probably more Bill Evans than Brubeck For a late 80's jazz piece, this album might be considered a classic in its own way, Gardony's piano work is impeccable and the band of Dave Holland on bass and the aforementioned Bill Moses on drums compliments greatly. For paying a quarter for this is quite a bargain indeed.
Thousand Yard Stare-Hands On (Polydor)
A Britpop band that didn't make it, this was the first of two albums that they did and basically it starts out quite good with the oddball title 0-0 a.e.t. or No Score After Extra Time and their sound wasn't much different than The Mighty Lemon Drops or The La's although somebody there must have been listening to The Ocean Blue as well. Produced by Steven Street (The Smiths, The Dylans) who at that time was one of the go to producers of Brit Pop. The Dylans were a little bit more hooky and more perferrable to Thousand Yard Stare but this record does have some moments of brilliance. Another 25 cent special from Pawn America to which I think we picked the bones clean on that place anyway.
Keith Relf may have been the weakest link on the Yardbirds but then again that band was legendary for their guitar players be it Eric, Jeff or Jimmy, plus they had one of the best bass player and later producer to the starts in Paul Samwell Smith and Jim McCarty a great drummer, but Relf's vocals were good in the Birds. With the Yardbirds imploding, Keith and Jim jumped ship leaving Jimmy Page to fend for himself but Jimmy got replacements that would rewrite rock and roll history. What Keith and Jim came up was Renaissance, a piano driven prog rock outfit that made a meandering album for Elektra. The 10 minute lead off Kings And Queens really isn't that bad as John Hawken's classical keyboards dominate the song and for that matter the album. Side 2 doesn't go much anywhere and Bullet, the final track makes King Crimson Moonchild seem like a rock and roll song although the strange ending kinda compensates a dull track. I give it points for creativity but it's a C plus overall album.
Everything Happens To Me-Sonny Rollins
Tell Me Why-Noel And The Red Wedge
Mr. Jones (Ballad Of A Thin Man) The Grass Roots
Foolish Heart-The Grateful Dead
Ich Bin Sin Auslander-Pop Will Eat Itself
Steal My Sunshine-Len
I'm Just Not The Man To Be Tied-Soup
Show Biz Blues-Fleetwood Mac
The Departed-Iggy And The Stooges
I have no idea what the hell happened to all the pictures posted. It's not worth the effort to repost them. again.