Allow me to bother you one more time before the month is out. Ya think that those who do these June festivals would hold off another month. Glastonbury got buried in much rain over the weekend but to those who went there probably think it was worth the effort to see Jake Bugg, Jack White, Metallica, The Libertines and Lana Del Ray to mention a few. Over here, no shortage of rain and more fucking rain. The Rhythm and Booms on the lake in Madison actually got done without any rain delays but not me going to the Cedar Rapids Kernels game on Pearson night, having two hamburgers and a hot dog and cussing out the weather as the rains came and stayed throughout the shortened game. Bryan Haas hit 2 home runs and a grand slam and CR won 9-5. Although the rain delay showcase the Kernels having a grand time sliding on the wet tarp and the Kernel Strike Force happily dancing about in the rain, yours truly was not amused of Mother Nature's bullshit of rain and being soaked. I make no bones about how much I hate rain, hate it even more when I go to outdoor events and even more so when it pours for two fucking hours. Stalled fronts and continual heavy rains for the past three weeks makes anybody grumpy. But then again for the past 11 years the world has known how much I hate rain so that's nothing new. Our hope is for July to come around and dry out like it did last year. I recalled a year ago being out in the Arizona sun and fun and having the basement have a fucking river going through it. Which is why I didn't partake into a Arizona getaway this year. If we waterproof the mutherfucking basement and not see no more rain come in that would help. A lot.
I came across this site by accident from a record collecting friend. Global Dog Productions really does a fine job in putting together discographies from labels of yesterday on 45s. More throuough than 45 cat if you can believe that.
The Kings Of The Sun to me were one of the best bands to come out of Australia in the 80s and made two sloppy excellent albums for RCA and a third that may have been their best. Led by Clifford and Jeffery Hoad, Serpentine and Drop The Gun should be playing on the classic rock stations around here. The Hoad Brothers continued to make music throughout the years but Jeff decided he had enough of the rock and roll lifestyle and retire but Clifford Hoad has been working his ass off trying to spread the word that the Kings Of The Sun are still around. Their latest Rock Till Ya Die brings back the energy of the first two KOTS albums of long ago and Cliff has turned out to be a decent vocalist in his own ways but still remains one of the best bad ass drummers out there. One of the very few that ever followed me on Facebook, Clifford spends a lot of time on Facebook and having updates and new pictures and videos. One of the hardest working dudes in rock but hardly anybody around here knows about him. I'm doing my best to get the word out. http://www.kingsofthesunband.com/
While sorting through piles of hoarder shit around here, I found some archival stuff of note. When Cal Menge was reissuing The Sand Rubies stuff on his Contingency label in the early 2000s, he had a list of folks that would submit the year's best and I gave him two lists. The Best of 2000, and 2001. Now in the 14 years since the first one I noticed that some of the best CDs I don't have anymore. Elastica and The Royal Crowns number 1 and 10. For nostalgia's sake the best of 2000
1. Elastica-The Menance (Atlantic)
2. The Backsliders-Southern Lines (Mammoth)
3. Steve Earle-Transcendental Blues (E Squared)
4. Chumbawamba-WYSIWYG (Universal)
5. Bad Religion-The New America (Atlantic)
6. Ass Ponys-Some Stupid With A Flare Gun (Checkered Past)
7. MXPX-The Everlasting Moment (A&M)
8. Big In Iowa-Banging And Knocking (Blue Rose)
9. Randy Weeks-Madeline (Hightone)
10. The Amazing Royal Crowns-Royal (Time Bomb)
Best of 2001
1. Love And Theft-Bob Dylan (Columbia)
2. Green Day-International Superhits (Reprise)
3. Jerry Butler-The Complete Philadelphia Sessions (Mercury)
4. Fresh Young Fellows Vs Minus Five-Because We Hate You (Mammoth/Malt)
5. Blue Mountain-Roots (Blue Mountain Music)
6. Yayhoos-Fear Not The Obvious (Bloodshot)
7. Puddle Of Mudd-Come Clean (Geffen)
8. Elton John-Songs From The West Coast (Mercury)
9. Doyle Bramhall-Welcome (RCA)
10. Stevie Ray Vaughn-Live At Montreax (Epic)
With Elastica and The Royal Crowns I just outgrew that type of music and like the rest of the folks out there donated them to charity. There's not much in documenting of that time either, I didn't have a working blog so therefore the turds of 2000 and 2001 were not considered. I do recall hearing The Strokes Is This It? up in Seattle and wondering what the fuss was all about. And Coldplay and The White Stripes were still under the radar. 3 of the 10 from 2001 were reissues whereas 2000 wasn't. I had a few in mind that would replace the now jettisoned Elastica and Royal Crowns: Best Of Blur and the Best Of John Hiatt the A&M Years. The sore thumb album would be Puddle Of Mudd, their first album I still like to this day although the lead singer has becomed a drug addicted asshole but at that time, he had his Nirvana/Layne Staley influences down pat. Not a substitute for the real thing mind you but it wasn't that bad. Until he repeated himself from thereafter. Chumbawamba, best known for Tubthumping made a much better album with W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. but the fragmented songs and anti corporation rants turned everybody off waiting for a Tubthumper followup. But taken as a whole, the putdowns of Reality TV really foretold more of the future than it did back then.
For some reason I also listening to a lot of punk pop back then and most of it has dated quite badly years later. MXPX for example carried on the Green Day type of music although the drummer played faster and sloppier than Tre Cool and I don't know if anybody still plays Life In General anymore, their 1996 album that had alternative hits like Move To Bremerton and Chick Magnet. A&M signed them up and MXPX made three albums, the best was The Everlasting Moment which for that brief moment actually topped Green Day's effort and was helped by Dave Grohl on a couple numbers. My Life Story probably their best song ever to which I bopped around town playing at full volume and having oddball looks from people. The record didn't sell and MXPX last album for A&M found them to be second rate Good Charlotte, which guys from that band produced that album. MXPX is still around but the guys are now pushing into their late 30s and have families to boot but still do put out the occasional album from time to time.
For the old farts, Elton John came back with Songs From The West Coast and made his best album in decades. After dinking around with a rewording of Candle In The Wind and the slow and bore of The Big Picture, Elton found some inspiration, partly from the senseless killing of Matthew Shepherd and dealing with his own demons but does help when Davey Johnstone adds more guitar to the mix too. Next album Nigel Olsson returned back to the drums and part of the classic E.J Band reunited (except for Dee Murray who passed). Peachtree Road was uneven, the Captain And the Kid was better but for me the best E.J. record of the 2000s was Good Morning To The Night, a remix album with P'nau.
But I donno. The 2000's became the decade of the most corporate and least essential music ever. With auto tuner, pro tools sucking the life out of the music. And the major labels not even attempting to carve out careers for the starving artists, just forgettable singles that the most of us have forgotten. Or would rather stick with what we grew up with in the 50s on to the 90s. Today's musicians do have their work cut out, you have to compete with whats' out there in the internet that your practically competing against just about everything that has been recorded that you can find. The EDM Bro Country hasn't help either. But I don't think looking at these best of 2000 and 2001 are the demise of the music world. I do play The Backsliders or Bob Dylan or Steve Earle or even Chumbawamba from time to time. 13 years ago things were a lot different than they are now. At least we have record stores in town to go to and Wherehouse Music was still around as well as the overpriced but fun to go into Tower Records. It doesn't make any difference but these archival finds of the best of those years showed that my tastes in music was at and have been altered a bit today.
And so it goes.