Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Playlist 4-9-14 Shotgun Blues

On Saturday, it marked 20 years ago that the grunge experience would end when Kurt Cobain took a shotgun and ended Nirvana and his time on Earth.  There are plenty of background events that we call the Day The Music Died, and in a way it did died.  But recently the Seattle PD issued some more disturbing pictures of Cobain's shotgun mess and we were spared of the original but there were two, one featuring Cobain's sneaker which he was still wearing (with socks too) and another of a blood stained shirt. I have no willingness to show the pictures but you can find them on the net in various places.  Even though there was a suicide note, basically In Utero was Kurt's actual suicide note in a album form. That was my first impression upon hearing that album and the original review was that I wouldn't be surprised if he was gone six months from now (Original review was in September).  It took him seven, after a failed drug OD, but this time the plan B was a shotgun if the heroin didn't work.

So 20 years later the surviving guys (exception Jason Everman) will partake their place in Jann Wanner Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, Courtney Love is thinking up of a stage play of her dead hubby in music and out in the great unknown, hopefully Kurt is free of the torment that plagued him through his 27 years in the world.  While I'm not the biggest Nirvana fan out there, I do like, not love their work, I do believe they served a great need in 90s rock and roll to rid of the hair spray metal that was clogging up the charts.  It was a whole different world back then.  We had record stores and no fussy old farts like Bob Lefsetz trying to tell us they're irreverent and that subscription to Spotify was the wave of the future.

Baseball season is here and the usual is happening. Cubs are 2-6 and are destined to lose another 100 games since they can't hit or when they do hit their pitching sucks and vice versa.  So instead of wasting Sunday Afternoon watching another Cubs lost (they actually won), I went to see the new 2014 edition of the Cedar Rapids Kernels and it was a chilly afternoon, the sun stayed in the clouds and we had sprinkles toward the end, I was in the 1,019 crowd and seen them win 4-2 on a couple of HRs.  For the first time in going to the games I actually got a foul ball.  It went whizzing by my head by about 2 feet and some kid in the stands actually threw it back on the field.  However, somebody from the dugout tossed it over the dugout and it landed two seats from myself.  So I actually picked it up and looked it over and gave it to a 8 year old girl, which her bratty brother snatched from her hand and went running down the aisle, laughing gleefully.  Later on Mr Shucks, the Kernels mascot caught a foul ball himself too.  It was the only April Sunday game for the home team (they're off on Easter) and as the weather warms up the crowds will return, they usually do.  But I certainly enjoy the sparse crowds of chilly April afternoon.  And when they win.

Ratings here have relied on the archives and not much on the new I guess.  The biggest jump came from the My City Is Gone Marion segment of last year which I took some pictures from a FB site and added them to be preserved.  So far the 78 views have been noted. Whereas 13 views were for the last playlist.  The word may have been out for Marion locals to check out the My City Is Gone Blog and they have.  Marion the town has gone to hell in a handbasket, buying up certain property and tearing down old houses and what used to bes, a former RV place got brought out and bulldozed for some kind of street project that the area ran along the now forgotten and abandoned Milwaukee Road railroad line.  Some more bright ideas include another worthless roundabout on 7th Avenue across Country Kitchen and buying out the tanning salon.  This all the name of progress bullshit has not yield anything of jobs and the skyscraper they're erecting up across Pizza Hut is basically another empty building for the rats to roost.  The usual mantra of Jobs Jobs Jobs, the same shit reason that people voted for the Cedar Rapids Casino (put up the words Jobs Jobs Jobs and people will actually think you'll get jobs by voting yes) is being the reason for the new roundabout, the new skyscraper and the city council trying to get the Marion Taxpayers to clean up the brownlands after Marion Iron get relocated out into an abandoned cornfield on the edge of town is the usual buffoonery that you get to see in Washington DC and the state capital of where you live at.  Big wealthy ex town city planners and councilmen paying off the young ones messing up the town for their pet projects.  And leaving us with the bills while the wealthy sit on their ass and count their money, or buy out the worthless Marion mayor Snooki Whatshisname. And the meantime you got a nice fancy assed roundabout on 29th street that leads nowhere but the road that goes to it is pothole hell, just like it is on the main drag.  Fucking Marion Iowa is no better than Cedar Rapids and the worthless Tom Corbett. Got no money to fix the fucking streets but boy we can put up good looking buildings and cheesy roundabouts.

Not much for music news, Sunday has the American Crappy Music awards (formerly American Country Music), and the highlights are posted here, since the rest is Bro country hack acts.  Kacey Musgraves won album of the year with her Same Park Different Trailer album. Miranda Lambert took 3 awards home including best female.

Entertainer of the year was to George Strait, which the Bro Country conspirators were up and arms, including Luke Bryan's merchandise junk pusher Hunter Jobes  with the classic line:  It's called Entertainer Of The Year not how's your career. Unreal ACMs, Not an entertainer.   This is why people hate bro country and hate asshole merchandise managers like Jobes who has no clue on how to make good music but would gladly sell you Made In China shit from hacks who pass themselves as country stars. Oh by the way Hunter, see picture below.  BTW, Hunter later deleted his Twitter account but once it gets on the net, it's forever. (Farce the music photo credit above)

Joseph Yule Jr. passed away Sunday.  Better known as Mickey Rooney he was 93 and one of the longest working actors, with a TV and movie career lasting 80 plus years. For me his best known stuff was Babes In Toyland and the Andy Hardy movie series.  He also starred in some TV shows including The Twilight Zone. RIP

B B King is 88 and played in St Louis over the weekend and perhaps this show might have been one of the worst shows he's ever did.  After being off for a couple months, King and his band brought the house down, and some left after not being on the same page and poor sound, a lack of band support gave some of the crowd with a lack of patience to tell the living blues legend to "play some music".  Review:

(from B B King's management)

B.B. King and his management have become aware of some criticism expressed following his performance at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis, MO on April 4.

This performance was Mr. King's first after a 4 week off time period -- and was also preceded by 24-hour/1,600 mile bus trip to Saint Louis from his home in Las Vegas.

To complicate matters further, Mr. King (who is 88 years old) suffers from diabetes -- and he mistakenly missed a dose of his prescribed medication on the show day.

The combination of the rigors of the very long drive and high blood sugar due to his medication error resulted in a performance that did not match Mr. King’s usual standard of excellence.

Simply put, it was a bad night for one of America's living blues legends – and Mr. King apologizes and humbly asks for the understanding of his fans.

Archives: 1971, the worst year in Frank Zappa's life?  A story about 200 Motels, some stupid with a flaregun, and a psycho named Trevor Howells.

Dave Clark, celebrated himself and the band on a PBS special Tuesday Night, from the archives we take a look at The Dave Clark 5, a group of musicians working for the man, for better or for worse:

Vinyl Lovin

Mike Metheny-Day In-Day Out (Impulse 1986)
Al Di Meola-Orange And Blue (Bluemoon 1994)

A long time ago, WMT FM had something called Gentle Jazz, to which they would play some of the upcoming jazz albums or jazz that pass off for muzak since WMT FM was a muzak station and not KISS Country, where Bro Country reins supreme.  Impulse Records was the cutting edge of jazz in the 60s but by the time MCA brought out the ABC roster of labels, Impulse was on life support, so to usher in the CD age, they revived Impulse and signed a few people up, one was Pat Metheny's brother Mike, who played the trumpet and french horn.  Pat helps out on guitar while Mike plays the horn but the songs take too long to build up and half the time it sounds like Mike is doing his best to make fart noises on the horn. Once in a while a couple songs will wake me up from my sleep (Segment, Saudade) or Pat plugs in the guitar to shake things up a bit but overall Day In-Day Out reminds me of Gentle Jazz on the radio, background music to fall asleep to.

Al Di Meola is one of the best fusion guitar players out there, his late 70s Columbia albums showed why he was master of the Les Paul guitar but in the 80s he was moving toward world music and new age.  Never got into his EMI Manhattan albums, too much new age and "gentle jazz" but when he signed up with Tomato/Rhino he got a second wind and actually was doing more Spanish/Acoustic guitar playing but at times would return (at times) to the blazing  jazz fusion of Kiss My Axe.  But his label continued to throw him to different labels (Rhino, Mesa, Bluemoon) and lack of promotion didn't help either.  Orange And Blue isn't blazing fusion like Kiss My Axe was, Di Meola usually plays acoustic or in this case, a Gibson specially made hollow body guitar and sometimes takes a stab at prog rock on the seven minute opener Paradisio.  The argument is that Di Meola sounds a bit too much like the aforementioned Pat Metheny.  As always Al always has some of the finest jazz drummers out there and Peter Erkstine, Steve Gadd and Manu Katche are there on various songs, Pino Palladino (Pink Floyd, The Who) plays bass and guest vocals from Noa and Heman Romano gives it some coloring on the music.  In no ways it's Al Di Meola's best album, it goes on too long and too many gentle jazz numbers makes me tend to nod off. But when he plays guitar, even if it's Metheny influenced, you still take notice.

Day In-Day Out C
Orange And Blue B

Brown & Roach Incorporated (Emarcy 1994)

If you're looking for great jazz hookups of the 1950s, one of the best was the pairing of Clifford Brown with perhaps one of the best jazz drummers of all time, the legendary Max Roach and even back then Max played with some of the best ever, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus but with Clifford Brown always have brought out the best in both men from this 1954 session beginning with the band jam Sweet Clifford to which Cliff and Max would trade riffs and solos off one another.  But this doesn't only feature them but also Richie Powell on keys on I'll String Along With You and Harold Land on tenor sax on Darn That Dream. Max's drum composition Mildama has elements and echoes of a drum solo you could hear later on from John Bonham and Carmine Appice.  I have yet to hear a subpar Roach/Clifford album (Max Roach And Plus Four is another great introduction to classic jazz of the 50s, anything with Sonny Rollins is worth hearing too)  and this one doesn't disappoints.

Grade A- 


Sweet Sugar Thing-Kokomo
The Last DJ-Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
The Bear-John Mayall
How The Story Goes-The Redwalls
Electric Rendezvous-Al Di Meola
Take It Or Leave It-The Searchers
Let Me In-Jefferson Airplane
All The Girls Love Alice-Elton John
I'm Not Your Stepping Stone-Sand Rubies
Settling The Score-Robin Trower

   "I'm forever near a stereo saying, 'What the fuck is this garbage?' And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers." ~ Nick Cave

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