Monday, July 28, 2014

Playlist-Up Yours Xolodremont

The Chrome Horse now sits in darken silence after last week's fire (see picture at end of blog). Although the owner of that place vows to reopen the place, the reality is that yet another music venue is out of circulation. The blacken kitchen area where the fire begin is still coated in black soot and it's going to be a good three months at least for it to be open anytime soon.  No word on they will use the outdoor stage for the Friday Night concerts.  Another setback to overcome.

The hard things in life is trying to overcome the situation at hand. This summer we had to deal with floods, monsoons, tornadoes and other inconveniences.  While last week was supposed to be my last week in Iowa City working at down there, I actually the week back in Cedar Rapids.  And will probably never see some of my favorite co workers down in that area.  The wonderful Vicki Burr, who used to be my Data Input senior always had a smile and minute to chat with.  Likewise with Laura Henry, who I have known since Pell and for being close to fifty she never has aged that much.  She still has the weavy perm hairdo and a cute smile and when she said hi to me on the way out, I just melt into place.  She will remain in the operations side of the old scanning area.  The nine months that I have spent down there was a fun time, it brought back original memories of when I first worked there in 1985 and half the fun trying to remember where the old Pell room was at, or where Data Input used to be.  It's nice to save gas and take 10 minutes and 20 miles less to get down there but I'll miss the place.  However I won't miss the Jimmy Johns to which the last time I ordered up a beef sandwich down there, the fucking meat was so damn tough, I thought they used a shoe than beef in that sandwich.  And the Subway in the mini mall wasn't much better.  It will also mean less time spent down there in the Goodwills or thrift stores, although I do admit i didn't go to Record Collector very often and when I did the last couple times, I didn't find anything to take home to listen to.  But then again, I do believe I think I just about got about everything I could want for music.  Anything I need can be found at Stuff Etc much cheaper.

One of the things to do before I die is to participate in a nude bike ride but I keep missing the dates. Last weekend St. Louis held the World Nude Bike Ride 2014 and of course people of all ages and gender stripped down to the bare minimum or in some cases some actually did ride in the buff.  I figured it'd be worth doing other than buying out record stores for cheap music, only to donate it back, like I did donating another 40 CDs and 10 LPs.

The world continues to be more fucked up then ever before.  ISIS, the anti Christian pro Islamic thugs are blowing up sacred places all around Iraq, Israel is blowing up Gaza and Hamas and the Republicans are going nuts over the illegal aliens coming from South America.  Ted Nugent continues to open his big mouth and putting his foot in it and the Indians that own the casinos in Washington state and Idaho canceled some of his shows.  Which made Terrible Ted freak out and call them choice names.  Keep it up Teddy and you'll be only playing NRA conventions and hanging at FOX news.  He's not taking his advice too seriously it seems, just shut up and jam.

Ivy Doomkitty continues to get searched around here in this blog, she's up to number 3 and gaining on yours truly and Pat Travers.  Samantha Fish is way back there at number 4 but hardly anybody searches for her name here anymore.  I like fashionable plus size folks just as much as you do, but I really don't put a lot of eye candy upon here that much outside of Ivy, but if you want to see up and coming folk like Inna Kulin you can see them and a few more from this website:


To the joke spam refer site Xolodremont, you suck, blow me, go away, thanks for the bump in the ratings. How bout referring some interesting sites over rather than you.  Translate that into Russian you worthless Ruskie fucks. On a positive note, thanks to everybody who has continued to read this website and the contents, it seems that I have been missed due to my 'retirement'.   But as you can see I have never really gone away.  And we passed 2000 views this month. Thanks to all that helped along the way.

Big Baby Corner:  Mike Portnoy, pretty good drummer but I have heard stories about him and not too flattering ones either.  He seems to be a diva and took to Twitter bitching about a fan wearing a post Portnoy era Dream Theater T shirt at a meet and greet which can be like going to the dentist for a root canal without pain meds.  Perhaps it was laundry day and the fan only had that to wear or maybe the guy was a prick and decided to hurt Mike's feelings with the new drummer, Mike Mangini who seems to be a better drummer in technique (that's going cause a bit of hurt of Portnoy gets wind of this, but since I'm a blogger with less than 2000 views per month I shouldn't figure) and attitude.  I wouldn't say if like Portnoy says it if 1 person tears me down, 100 comes to my rescue, that seems to be the other way around, for every 100 folks calling you a asshole, 1 person comes to your defense.  The aura of social networking that whatever you say, for good or for bad may come back to bite you in the ass (just ask Ted Nugent).  In this day and age, the internet doesn't let you hide from and Portnoy may have said these comments in jest or actually did feel pissed off that somebody slammed him by wearing the latest Dream Theater album T shirt.  It is what it is indeed, so suck it up buttercup and the next you do a meet and greet (Portnoy has been called a asshole by many for his antics at such meet and greets) put on a extra pair of depends.  And be thankful you can actually make a living playing drums in various bands.  A lot more talented musicians don't have that luxury or lucky streak.

Upon the passing of Johnny Winter, I had put on a copy of Johnny Winter And Live the other day and Johnny had a very good band backing him up on this.  Randy Joe Hobbs on bass, Rick Derringer on guitar and Bobby Caldwell bashing away on the drums.   One of the best drummers back in the 70s, Caldwell had a driving beat and excellent use of cymbal bashing.  He later appears in the first Captain Beyond album and later Armageddon with Keith Relf but has continue to play over the years.

 Shout Factory will bring back The Complete WKRP In Cincinnati Series with the original music intact. Those who bought the show on DVD got ripped off by music not in the show.  I guess the major labels finally relented and clear the rights to do this.  However if anything by the major bands (Pink Floyd, Zeppelin etc etc) was played on the show I doubt if it will show up on the reissue.  Shout Factory, the Rhino of the DVDs plan to issue this on Oct 28 (penciled in but don't be surprised if this gets moved back).  We all know too well how the Major labels like to squeeze every cent out of every song they have in their greedy hands.  


Rave On-The Coral Records Story (One Day Music)

Leave it to the import label of One Day/Not Now Records to spotlight forgotten record labels around here. Coral Records was a subsidiary of Decca Records and figured in two things.  One, a pop label of sorts led by Dick Jacobs, who dated 50's sound was the sign of the times, one step above Mitch Miller and nothing more, and second and most importantly, where Buddy Holly, The Rock And Roll Trio of Johnny and Dorsey Burnette with Paul Burleson rockabilly.  Of course the best songs are from the likes of Buddy Holly and the various versions of The Crickets including Peggy Sue Got Married which the late David Box was perhaps a better soundalike.  Sonny Curtis figures into the fray with More Than I Can Say and obscure single Talk About My Baby and even Jerry Allison, under the alias of Ivan gives us Real Wild Child and less interesting That'll Be Alright, which proves why Jerry was better playing drums than singing on that track.

That said, the pop numbers are better heard once and never again (I'm looking at you Dorothy Collins, Cool It Baby might be the worst "rockabilly" song ever), Debbie Reynold and Tammy has dated very badly in the 55 years since its release and any version of Black Demin Trousers And Motorcycle Boots is terrible although The Diamonds (later famous for Little Darlin and The Stroll, to which a version by The Lancers appears here instead of The Diamonds, since by then they signed to Mercury Records) almost has it down just like The Cheers did. Johnny Desmond's White Sport Coat (and a pink carnation) was the original version but Marty Robbins had a higher chart position and to these ears the better version. Patsy Cline appears on two Coral singles (Turn The Cards Slowly, I Love You Honey) she had the voice but the song selections were questionable.  The big sellers at that time were pop stars, The McGuire Sisters with Sugartime and Teresa Brewer who does  a cover of You Send Me with a couple variations on the words. The legendary Moon Mullican, revisits Moon's Rock (originally a hit on King Records) and does a country version of Jan And Arnie's Jenny Lee which actually does rock.  But Rave On-The Coral Story also gives us a taste of Dick Jacobs' arrangements, Buddy Holly's It Doesn't Matter Anymore is presented in full stereo to the silly vocal band The Goofers' cover of Hearts Of Stone, and the triple time horns of I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter from Billy Williams.  And perhaps a few others although the liner notes never mentions Mr. Jacobs. The doowop numbers are few and far between (The Explorers, The Enchanters), but you can hear what we call houserocking music from Jimmy Carvello and his Houserockers, And The Alan Freed Rock n Roll Band) and back then they did bring the house down.

One Day Music since their inception in 2011 has done a fabulous job in their 2 CD overviews of rockabilly bands and record labels of the past that meant something and there's a few more best ofs out there as well.  There's a 3 CD set of Atco and Epic Records but also 2 CD sets from the likes of Imperial, Capitol, MGM and so forth.  Rave On-The Coral Records Story is a erratic collection of the late 50s but a perfect representation of what kind of music they put out.  Eventually Decca would absorb Coral in the late 60s and it became a budget label of reissues.  Coral was a pop label, they just got lucky when Buddy Holly hit the top 10 charts, but still couldn't figure out how to market him, nor The Rock and Roll Trio.  In other words, a clash of styles in 50 selections of varying degree.

Grade B

The Definitive  Flying Burrito Brothers Collection (A&M)

Given how much Gram Parsons has contributed in his short music life, the flawed genius made two fine country rock albums, one for the Byrds (Sweetheart Of The Rodeo) and the Burritos (Guided Palace Of Sin) and then became such a hanger on groupie for the Rolling Stones that he lost his focus.  On the plus side Gram did get the Stones to make their two best albums of the 70s at that time (Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street) and while Parsons' participation  was not as much on Burrito Deluxe he did managed to turn in a fine version of Wild Horses who is just as good as the Stones version.  What The Collection does is finally give us both of Gilded Palace Of Sin and Burrito Deluxe with a couple of obscure 45s A and B sides that didn't make it to the album and in all fairness The Train Song is subpar and falls on its ass, and Close Up The Honky Tonks sounds like a demo but that's nitpicking.  While Further Along (The Best Of The Burritos) was a nice sampler what got me is that they left off My Uncle off.  It's great to hear the two Burrito albums in their entirety,  Burrito Deluxe is just as good if not slight then Gilded Palace but with Chris Hillman taking over more on vocals and songs, and with Mike Clarke on drums, this is where they recreate Younger Than Yesterday and at the same time with an eye toward toward the future of what Hillman would later do, country music but a little more slicker with his Desert Rose Band.  Also, Bernie Leadon picks up the slack from Parsons as well.  And also would dictate the future for himself when he moved on to The Eagles later, which popularize of what the Burritos were trying to do.   As for Parsons himself, he had a good eye and ear for covering certain songs, and if Do Right Woman,Do Right Man doesn't capture the feeling and spirit of something new and exciting, he nails it on Dark End Of The Street.  Sad to say too much time, money and drugs cost him his life but Gilded Palace Of Sin is his calling card  and his legacy.  And you can't take that away from him.

Grade A

Deep Purple-Hard Road The Mark 1 Studio Recordings (Parlophone)

When Ian Gillan and Roger Glover joined them, they rewrote hard rock but I still have a fondness for Rod Evans and Nick Simpler's version of the first lineup.  But box sets nowadays adds too much to the equation and takes out what memories that I used to have about Deep Purple all the way back till I had two of their three albums on cutout 8 Tracks from GRT.  The Mark 1 lineup was perhaps the most prog rock sounding and trying to find where to fit in, in the music world. Richie Blackmore, genius that he is, really made some of the most out of tune guitar playing that I heard and perhaps it may have meant something to play that way on Hard Road or We Can Work It Out but it still sounds woefully out of tune to me. And I never forgive him for showing Evans and Simpler out the door either.  But we all know that if they remained in the band they would have never reached the highs that they did on In Rock or Machine Head.  Anyway, Hard Rock is five discs of the three albums that Purple recorded that featured Evans/Simpler, two of them mono mixes of Deep Purple and Book Of Talesyn  and only the fanatics with a throwaway income need apply.  But the charm of Hush and Kentucky Woman still resonates to this day, Evans' Yeah yeah yeah on the opus of Jon Lord's solo on Kentucky Woman remains classic rock goodness. Bird Has Flown in album format shows they could do Prog rock and One More Rainy Day they could even do pop. The outtakes are just that, nothing ground shaking and single edits of Bird Has Flown and River Deep Mountain High shows why they didn't chart in the first place, though interesting to hear, especially the former done more in a Psychedelic way and the latter without the bombast beginning.  In other words, another cash grab from a label devoid of developing new acts and rather scrap the bottom of the barrel of historic bands.  You're better with the stand alone albums.
Grade B- 


Jumpin Jack Flash-Johnny Winter (Live)
Ju Ju Man-Dave Edmunds (Get It)
Back On The Street-Hawkwind (Return Of The Legendary Space Rangers)
Panic In The World-Be Bop Deluxe (Raiding The Divine Archive)
Talk About My Baby-Sonny Curtis (Rave On-The Coral Records Story)
Drinking Again-The Townedgers (Forthcoming Trains)
Fall So Far-Murray Attaway (In Trall)
This Bird's Gonna Fly-Los Lobos (Colossal Head)
The World Is Troubled-Dennis Brown (The Complete A&M Years)
Smokestack Lightning-The Yardbirds (Five Live Yardbirds)

RIP Dick Wagner guitar extraordinaire.

Finally, WWHP (the whip) from Farmer City Illinois, perhaps the most unique country/blues station out there has been sold off to yet another corporate wannabe and is changing their format over to (you guessed it) the same old tired Bro Country crap station that's no different than any other Bro Country crap station out there. The kind looking out for your interest buyers, Smah Hit  Media (whoever the fuck they are) pretty much told everybody to clear out their things as they install satellite equipment  for piped in shows.  WWHP may have been the last in line station off the beaten path with their type of music play list.  Since then they have changed over to classic rock.  Imagine that.  The old Whip station is now back land radio.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Singles Going Steady 17-A Peek Inside The Dark Realms

Over the week, I thinned out my 45s collection and some of the stuff I don't play anymore will find their way into the St Vincent De Paul donation bins and your best chance of picking up my scratchy worn to the nub stuff like Medicine Man or Roll On Down The Highway or Taking Care Of Business and much much more.  I really have no need for them since I don't play them but looking through countless of promo one shots I found a few more oddities that seem to be worth commenting.

In other words, forgotten bands forgotten 45s.

1.  Young People-Willie Mitchell  Hi 45-2158  1969 The Memphis Horns wrote this but the fabulous Hi Rhythm Section takes this instrumental soul classic to a funky groove.  Teeny Hodges who passed away a month ago is one of the best unknown guitar players around and you can hear him jamming away.  As a youngster, I'd buy 45s on name association and anything that has the great Willie Mitchell's name on it is a worthy buy.  About a decade ago, they put out The Best Of Willie Mitchell on CD.  It's called Soul Serenade and worth picking up.  Folks in the UK went one further and gave out Poppa Willie a 2 CD set.  Next to Booker T and the MGs, Willie Mitchell and the Hi Rhythm Section were the best soul instrumentalists out there.  To which Tad made a observation about his classic oldies station playing very few black artists anymore.  A disturbing trend that a lot of old soul music is being lost by the wayside. Up here, they still play a lot of black artists, usually the more visible ones  Growing up on AM radio in the 60s it was common to hear Arthur Conley Funky Street or Soul Finger from The Bar Kays  and even Soul Serenade from Mr. Mitchell but even with satellite radio the black artists that got marginal airplay are now forgotten unless you break out the record player.  In the world today it seems that any black artist is more a rapper or autotuned jiver but in the early years of soul music some of the best talent were black and on Motown or Atlantic or Stax.  Still, you don't hear much instrumentals like Young People anymore, unless it's background music for the DJ on Underground Garage or Soul Town.  And that's a damn shame.

2.  She's So Far Out She's In-The Power Plant   Diamond D-229  1967  Thanks to the internet certain songs, forgotten when released can take on a life of its own.  This record for me goes back to a long hot summer in Lincoln Illinois and picking this up for a quarter at the old Lincoln TV and Records store and I remember them well for they had the RCA dog above the door.  Funny how I can remember places and things better than forgetting where I left my car keys is at.  Seemed back in the 70s every town had two or three record stores with a batch of 45 they couldn't give away.   I bought this of the cool band name, Power Plant hey they rock.  A side didn't go anywhere on the charts and it was basically forgettable anyway  (I Can't Happen Without You).  Baker Knight wrote and produced both sides of this Diamond single and he was better known as a songwriter to the stars (Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin) and The Monkees attempted to record this song for Headquarters but only the instrumental track got released as a bonus cut.  Listening to the Power Plant version, the the cheesy organ introduction I can see why The Monkees would record this.  For more shit and giggles, play this and then refer over to Star Collector for comparison.

3.  Shape Of Things To Come-Aorta   Atlantic 45-2545   1968   What is missing from music today is that back in the 60s garage bands could get regional airplay on their local radio station, before Cumulus and Clear Channel bought everything up and gave the world the same 250 songs every day and sucking out the fun of hearing the unheard of.   Corporations are fine if you have stock or money tied up in it but for new music you're SOL. Aorta's beginnings came from Rockford Illinois (home of Cheap Trick) and a early version had Peter Cetera playing bass and later version of said band had Michael Been (later of The Call, R.I.P.) on bass.  Signed as part of the Dunwich Production team (The late Bill Traut produced their album and this single) Shape Of Things To Come came out on Atlantic  Jim Donlinger was the lead singer.  B side Strange was written by Dan Hoagland under the alias Danny Lee would be redone later for a failed Columbia single attempt.  Aorta 2, would find them on another label (Happy Tiger, home of Mason Profit at that time) going for a more country/gospel sound.

4.  (I'm a) Yo Yo Man-Rick Cunha  GAC  2016  1974  A definite version of a one hit wonder.  Cunha started out playing in Hearts And Flowers (who made a couple albums for Capitol) then branched out on his own  Although it made it to number 61 on the national chart, KCRG had this in the Super 30 survey of 1974.  Originally done by Tommy Smothers and Mason Williams, Cunha had the highest chart of said song. For you 45 hounds out there, there were two different B sides to Yo Yo Man, one was a version of Wild Side Of Life and my copy had the 1973 song I'm Ashamed.  Produced by Ken Mansfield (Waylon Jennings).  Later recorded a single for Columbia that nobody knew about and went back to session work soon after.

5.  You're All That I Need-Ace  Anchor AN-21004  1977   How Long is their claim to fame but Paul Carrack and Ace continued to make albums and singles for Anchor and hoping to return to the charts but never did.  I tend to have a soft spot in my heart for this band, Five A Side still can be found in the dollar bins and Varese did issue that album and a few stray cuts from the next two albums for a worthy Best Of Ace collection. I recall the followup Time For Another was drab and although I did picked up No Strings their final album for a dollar, I don't think I ever played that album at all.  Carrack would go on to better things (Squeeze, Nick Lowe, solo career).

6.  Media Man-Flash And The Pan Epic 9-50882  1980 The logic of the major record label back in the late 70s and early 80s was that they did issued a lot of singles over that course of time, problem was the majority of them didn't chart, or became discarded promo copies that nobody heard or wanted.   Now I was a fan of their first album, which was very off the wall new wave done by the team of Vanda And Young, former Easybeats participants and producers to The Angels and AC/DC but they continue to record on and off (Marcus Hook Roll Band which Rhino issued their album earlier in the year). The first Flash And The Pan sold enough for Epic to put up the dough for the next album which became Lights In The Night and had more of a Prog rock slant.but I always thought the lead off track Media Man could have made the chart had Epic promoted it better.  The whole Five and half minute song went on too long for radio so they shorted it by about two minutes.  But then again Harry Vanda's talking/rapping probably didn't fit in for radio at that time.  Therefore it didn't chart but I like the song myself.

7. On A Carousel-Glass Moon Radio Records RR-4022  1981  On the latest trip to Madison, I donated a bunch of 45s to the St Vincent De Paul on Williamson Street since I figured they had a better chance of finding a nice home rather taking them to Goodwill or The Salvation Army and have the idiots there use them as frisbees. Of course that didn't stop me from acquiring some new 45s, one of which was this forgotten cover of the Hollies from Glass Moon a band that Tad speaks highly of.  It made it to number 50 on the Billboard chart but I have no recollection of hearing this on the radio.  They recorded three albums, two for Radio Records which had enough money in the budget to put out a video for the song.  Like Starcastle, they had their influences in British progessive rock but whereas Starcastle used Yes, Glass Moon liked Genesis/Gentle Giant/PFM more so.  Like Starcastle they were American based, Starcastle from Illinois, Glass Moon from Raleigh North Carolina.  Southern prog rock you ask? Hard to say but this song has more of a new wave south then Prog.   And it's from the Hollies. Not exactly Prog Rock if you get my drift.

8.  The Fool-Sanford Clark  Dot 45-15481  1956  In my adventures of seeing what the thrift stores have for 45s, sometimes I buy things and never get around playing them although I do have them on various CD comps in my collection.  Over the past month you may have (or not have) heard that Dot Records is being taken out of mothballs again by Scott Borcetta of Big Machine and signed a couple bro country acts to use the Dot imprint.  Dot really does go back to the 50s to which Randy Wood signed up interesting acts of pop (Pat Boone) and nostalgia, signing Lawrence Welk, Vaughn Monroe and the late great Louis Prima but once in a while Wood actually signed up some early rock acts in the process, mostly surf bands like The Safaris and The Fireballs (Remember Say I Am What I AM?  I bet you don't).  Back in 56, Dot put out a collection of rockabilly singles from Sanford Clark which had Al Casey on guitar and produced by Lee Hazelwood the best known is this rocking guitar number from Mr. Clark.  The record I have looks pretty well played but the treat is seeing the 45 sleeve of some of the albums Dot put out at the time.  I am kinda interested to hear the Vincent Price-The Gallery LP if I can ever find that copy.  But even if I did, it probably sells for a few bucks. But who knows. Maybe somebody will donate a copy to the thrift store.  But as for Stanford Clark, Bear Family put out a very good comp of Clark's best known numbers when he recorded for Dot and Jamie Records.  To which he signed after a falling out with the stolic Wood over his image.

9.  Does Your Chewing Gun Lose It's Flavor (on the bedpost over night)-Lonnie Donegan Dot 45-15911  1959  Oh how did your parents and grandparents ever got through life without the internet?  Back then, we had these 7 inch plastic discs with a big hole in the middle that you bought new for a dollar or 4 for a dollar for the classics and they varied from every record store you had in town.  I recall Lincoln Illinois had at least four of them stores downtown, course they're all gone now.  But in the 50's there was much variation on the radio.  Pop standards, rock and roll, rhythm and blues and the specialty numbers, particularly this from Mr. Donegan and his skiffle band.  A big rage in the UK which started up copy cat bands including The Quarrymen who would rewrite rock history as you know who (The Beatles).  Skiffle is interesting, some rockabilly thrown in with acoustic blues and country, more Ledbelly than Muddy Waters.  Lonnie was a big deal back then, today mention the name to any bro country fan and you'll get blank stares.  Nothing exists in the US for his albums, but across the oceans there's a few decent overviews, The Primo Collection Series serves up 40 Donegan hits and misses and despite no liner notes serves as a cheap sampler.  B side Aunt Rhody is more rockabilly.

10.  Hello Walls/Congratulations-Faron Young  Capitol 4533  1961  A big massive hit for Faron which this 45 serves as a double serving of a certain songwriter who recently released his 500th studio album *wink*. A one Willie Nelson who was a starving songwriter who really gave away his songs.  The B side Congratulations is just as good if not more cynical, Nelson would revisit this in another song Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away.   But like most of the forty fives that I do find this late in life, I try to make sure that they are still in good shape and this 45 is.  Like the Lonnie Donegan selection above the original owner did take good care of them.  Although they came in a batch of discarded jukebox junkers, these didn't have the usual jukebox markings and overplayed grooves like some other 45s that I passed over (Billie and Lille The Monster, Bobby Darin-Lazy River, George Hamilton IV Urge For Going).  Faron Young is no stranger to the Singles Going Steady Series, he's had a couple others pop up on previous listings.  Fun travia: Congratulations, the B side made it to number 28 on the country chart, Hello Walls, number 1 country and even made it to number 12 on the pop charts. Something that is unheard of this day and age.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Playlist: Mad City Summertime

I don't deny this but going to Madison isn't much about bargain hunts anymore.   I figured going up there and rent a bike and hitting the trails just to clear my mind of the shit that I had to endure for this spring and summer.  Weather was beautiful and for the first time since the week before Easter in April it did not rain at all this weekend.  Somehow in the three months either it rained at some point on Saturday or Sunday or both. So what better way is to go up to the place that takes my mind off the bullshit than Mad City.

Well it's a big city and your going to run into dumbass drivers and red lights no matter where you go.  Some fuck keyed the passenger side of my new car Friday Night and I'm sure some jive fucks who may have been to the pawnshop done it.   Some juveniles ran a red light and almost ran into me when I was in the crosswalk going HA HA as they drove by.  So they got the number one.  Another carload of black women were yelling out the window down by Big Lots so they got the bird too.

Another thing that came up in my observations is how pissy the record clerk gets when you decline a bag for the records after buying.  Can't figure that one out, Kirk at Record Collector does that too, so did some hippie dude at Mad City Music X.  Whatever happened to save a tree don't bag it?  Some freaky help I'm encountering up there, at Ian's Pizza, I pointed out that I wanted a couple of Mushroom/Pepperoni slices and the freaky girl started waving her arms in the air.  The waitress over at Pizza Hut was much nicer for the pizza buffet but I forgot that Pizza Hut's thin crust pizza sucks.  They gave me three pieces but the rest of the pizza wasn't in the buffet.

For records I bought a few dollar ones Henry Paul Band's Anytime  with their hit Keeping Our Love Alive, The Kings Are Here, Keith Stykes I'm Not Strange I'm Just Like You  and Different Strokes, a Columbia best of that came out years ago for a dollar and had 19 selections, many butchered versions (Maggie-Redbone, Soapstone Mountain-It's A Beautiful Day under two minutes? WTF) but I got it of forgotten tracks by Bill Puka (Nothing At All) and Ballin Jack.  Those Columbia Rock Samplers bring back memories, the 3 record set The Music People is much better.  Sad to say the album skipped on side 2, back to donation bin.  And the Ballin' Jack song sucked.  I also did found The Plimsouls first album on Planet at Savers but didn't buy it, the record was warped.

Not a lot in terms of CDs, most were 20 cents at Pawn America and basically of bands nobody knows about (Judybats, Anthony Crawford) but I did snag a classic Squeeze albums, (East Side Story) and a not so classic (Play).  And for three dollars Joe King Carrasco and the Crowns Bordertown, his most underrated album.  However B Sides and Strictly Discs didn't have anything I really needed although I spent close to an hour in the basement and sorting through Strictly Disc's many many albums of forgotten bands.  I still recommend them if you're in Madison.

I did managed to hear the new John Hiatt and wasn't impressed to buy it. Ditto Eli Paperboy Reed's latest either.  I'm guess I'm getting picky for my old age and not really to settle for mediocre, which you play once and file away or trade away.  Half Priced Books continues to feed my vinyl and CD habit for less money although Mad City Music X's dollar selection was much better this time around.  But for future bargain hunts or road trips, the window of the obscure and obsolete bands continue to narrow.  And basically the better way to find bargains without wasting gas is to come into the living room and jump on the computer, or see what Collector's Choice Music has for new reissues that Best Buy can't seem to get.  And the 40 dollars paid for Dick's Picks from Real Gone was much cheaper than the 48 dollar price tag Strictly Disc or B Sides had for that box set.

But Madison in the summer time had some great bands coming up. Free show this week is from Cracker who seems to be up there as much as I am or Caravan Of Thieves who just played Cedar Rapids last week. YES plays this Friday Night with complete Close To The Edge and Fragile in all of their glory.  And Phil & Dave Alvin are at the High Noon Saloon as well.  I picked the wrong weekend to go.  No shortage of eye candy as scantly clad ladies riding their bikes and showing off their assets.  The weather was perfect for laying by Lake Monona, having the breeze blow off the water and keeping things rather cool.  20 years ago, I made my first trek into Madison and since then it's been a off and on again love/hate affair, I still love the city but the traffic and idiots ends up being a decision to wrap things up sooner than expected.  I spent the night at the Microtel and stayed way past my bedtime with MeTV and watching the cheesy monster movie night of House On Haunted Hill, to which I got on DVD for 2 bucks at Pawn America and then the all time cheesefest of Plan Nine From Other Space, the Ed Wood farce horror movie, the last movie of Bela Lugosi would appear, and he died during filming it and some stand in took over, keeping his face covered.  The movie has some merit of being a horror film but the god awful sound effects of the flying saucers makes it hard to even take this movie seriously.  Although the motel had no problem, the Howard Johnsons down the road, somebody shot and killed a traveler and that made the news.  Thankfully I didn't have to deal with that, we had enough of seeing eyeballs and shadows in the night going back to the motel from the pawn shop. A sign of the times and not a good one so to speak.

After hanging at the record stores, I finally found a rent a bike that I could have control over. (the regular bikes had the damn seat up about 5 feet that I couldn't reach the brakes and was out of control, joggers and other bikers had to scurry out of the way) and I managed to do the bike trails around State Street, the University district and Lake Monona and got a good workout.  But seen things I normally wouldn't see, including some woman out in the park giving oral pleasure to the guy she was with.  Or seeing another woman breast feeding her child at a sidewalk cafe.  Or the countless people checking their smart phones every other minute.  It's strange to see how much technology has taken over the past 20 years, where back then we didn't have such distractions or computers taking up our time. 20 years ago, I became in awe of all the bike riding college chicks on the UW campus and downtown.  It's depressing to think now that I'm simply too old for any of them, 20 years ago most of them were not even born.  Time goes on, and our youth slips away and you then realize you're simply too old for that anymore.  Nothing you can do is to look from afar and keep it to yourself.  As I move on to another record store I haven't been since the last time I was up here.

Life goes on elsewhere.  James Garner died at age 86.  The Rockford Files, Support Your Local Gunfighter, 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Daughter.  He was one of my favorite actors.

This just in, fire early Wed. morning broke out at the Chrome Horse causing a lot of damage to the place. But the line of thinking is that they will rebuild the area again.  Basically the last real place to see 2nd tier bands, The Horse used to be known as 3rd Street Live and Dillon's back in its heyday.  Seen Pat Travers rock the place in 1990 up there.  However, the open truck stage escaped fire damage since it was outside and in a converted truck bed.  Perhaps they'll continue to use that during their summer Friday night shows.

The Jones County Fair is now in the books and of course I had to deal with the Kid Rock crowd coming out of Monticello on the way home.  About 20 pickups came down the road like it was Redneck NASCAR.  Thankfully I missed the Luke Bryan chubniks that clogged the road on Friday.  And Miranda Lambert put on a great show.  She mentioned this is her 4th time playing at Jones County and will be back in the future.  Already next year's attractions will be Eric Church and Tim McGraw but who will be the Christian act or Rock act remains to be seen.

This month I came across a blogspot site called Burning Wood, a site that Sal Nunziato created to showcase some of the more obscure music of my years has decided that he had enough of the blog life and had decided to call it a day.  It's a shame really, losing another quality site.  The thing with blogging is that you have to be dedicated to continue to blog about things you like and get non existent ratings.  What keeps this going is the support for the dedicated followers who read the archives and comment from time to time.  It's not a money making venture, like everything else in life it's time consuming and not cost efficient.  And pointless babble like Xolodremont from Russia contributes nothing at all, unless they're hawking Russian Viagra. Traffic sources are pointless too, especially the keywords used to promote this site.  99 times out of 100 we remain under the 90 views mark.  And once you think nobody reads this, I get 150 views and think I'm back in business again.   Still, it's fun to document a bargain hunt to remember what I did, for when I go looking in the archives I read across something I forgot and it does jog the memory of mine, what's left of it.

I do hate to see Sal and Burning Wood go but I can agree with him about him taking time off.  But I'll give him this, he did like the new John Hiatt CD much more than I did.

Even in retirement, I still have a need to go on, and go on I do.

Somebody is sick of the overplayed oldies:

And for the first time since April, it did not rain on the weekend at all here.  Not one bit. Miracles do happen.

15 years ago, Woodstock 99, the end all and their answer to Altamont was held on a hot and steamy weekend in July somewhere around Rome NY.  A disaster from the word go and overpriced as hell, greedy promoters and Gestapo security staff would confiscate people's bottled drinks and after paying 150 dollars just to get in, then they say you can buy bottled water for five bucks inside.  If the original Woodstock tried to promote peace and love, Woodstock 99 promoted the all mighty dollar and people got tired of it in a hurry.  This is when Limp Bizkit became the band of the day and their brand of Nu Metal and rap didn't feel like a peace and love event but a event of survival of the fittest.  Somebody had a bright idea of passing out candles on a Red Hot Chilli Peppers number and pissed off horny guys started setting everything on fire.  To which the RHCP ended up playing a version of Fire.  Woodstock 99 remains a black eye and a black weekend in rock history.  Not much love when you hearing Fred Durst to burn the place down.

Link of the day: The radical Pink Tank:


The Jason Sinay Band (Tomato)

There's no shortage of musicians and bands that have CDs out that you can find for a dollar or two at the local thrift store.  I have grown up in a world of off the wall forgotten artists that never got much of a chance to shine due to corporate owned radio and record label indifference.  Most of the time, the things I find at Pawn America for a dollar or less are played once and gotten rid of, some do stay around a while longer.  Jason Sinay recorded a album for Tomato back in 2005. But the label went belly up and Jason never got much airplay and any copy of this album went to the dollar bins.  Actually this is a very good album with Sinay on side one showing his Tom Petty love to the point you could consider him to be a imitator. Down To You could have fit in with Wildflowers.  But he does cover a obscure J J Cale number (I'll Make Love To You) which sounds like Petty era Let Me Up I Had Enough.  Before we write him off as a Petty imitator, side 2 shows that Sinay has a Wilco influence on perhaps his best known song Chico and then covering the Grateful Dead's Scarlet Begonias as well.   The variation of influences makes this album a curio and a good listen as well.  It's really a shame that he never broke it big as his influences did.
Grade A-

Anthony Crawford (Little Dog)

Despite Pete Anderson's rep as Dwight Yoakam's side kick and excellent guitar player of Dwight's classic Reprise albums, Anderson could back just about anybody up and make them sound great.  He did that with Rosie Flores and what used to be The Lonesome Strangers but it was Crawford that Anderson decided that he would form his own label (Little Dog) to put out this one album for himself.   However history has shown that Crawford has wrote songs and played in some of the biggest stars  of country and rock (Neil Young, Stevie Winwood, Steve Forbert, Blackhawk, the list goes on and on) and a jack of all trades, that's his photo cover of Young's Chrome Dreams 2 that you see.  On his debut, Anthony has the full backing of Pete Anderson's band and as with most of Pete Anderson's produced albums there are some decent tracks of note, failed single Fit In, the closer Got To Be More are the highlights.  Although Crawford's vocals are more higher in the vocal range than Dwight's they tend to be the weakest link, especially when he tries to go high. Caught between the too rock for country, and vice versa and Little Dog Records a minor label, this record went nowhere. And Crawford still continues to play to this day in various bands and sometimes Neil Young would call him up for some country dates or have him play in Pegi Young's band.  Which means he must be pretty good eh?
Grade B+

Yes-Heaven And Earth (Frontiers)
Tom Petty-Hypnotic Eye (Reprise)

I suppose at some time in life that your music heroes should accept the fact that their hit making days are long gone and perhaps they should call it a day.  It may look good for them to make albums that Rolling Stone or Spin gives three stars after a listen but to the casual listener nothing stands out.  The superstars of the 60s and the 70s are now either 60 or 70 and barely hanging on.  The new Yes album is perhaps their most light sounding Since Topographic Oceans 40 years ago.  It sounds more muzak than prog rock, in fact Fly From Here the last album rocks harder than anything on Heaven And Earth.  The Roger Dean artwork is classic.  But the new vocalist Jon Davison may be their least effective vocalist, at least Benoit David made a decent Jon Anderson sound-alike.  But songs don't stand out, Subway Walls has echoes of the days of Close To The Edge or Fragile but for 9 minutes the object is trying to stay awake.  YES fans are up in arms about Billy Sherwood returning and the legendary Roy Thomas Baker doesn't bother to tinker with the YES sound.  The best comparison to this album would be the late 80s Moody Blues.  True Jon Anderson is missed but the new YES people would have to accept.  It makes pleasant background music for those would don't have muzak but I doubt if people will remember this record when it's all said and done with YES.

The return to form term is what they are calling the new Hypnotic Eye album from TP and The Heartbreakers, more rocking songs, more controversial songs, Petty takes on the church in one, the American Dream in another and he can really crank out the cranky songs.  Which is why I probably like Tom Petty, he fits in quite well in my life.  That said, Hypnotic Eye does rock a little harder than  Mojo.  .  Bob Lefsetz, taking a break from the Bro Country crap that he's not touting on his blogs (bitter old man trying to fit in the times) spent most of his blog wondering where's the hooks at on this album and I have to come to agree with the old senile coot at times.  But most of the album Petty is content with the mid tempo rock and some of the songs are worth a listen or two.  But he tends to lose my interest on the mellow stuff  (Sins Of The Youth).  He also didn't give up on the blues as he shows on Burnt Out Town which sounds more lively here than anything on Mojo.  And when he gets my interests back up, he ends the record on Shadow People which returns him back to the mid tempo rock and roll of this album, and plays it too safe I think.  Overall Hypnotic Eye isn't that bad but the last time Petty made a statement album of this kind it turned out to be The Last DJ, which was a better album.  By a hair.

Heaven And Earth B-
Hypnotic Eye B  

Squeeze-East Side Story (A&M)
Squeeze-Play (Reprise)
Ace-No Strings (Anchor)

If anything the Mad City Bargain Hunt 14 ended up concluding my reviewing the back catalog of Squeeze and East Side Story turned out to be their best album overall.  Credit Elvis Costello or Paul Carrack joining the band after Jools Holland left and gave them a more soulful sound with their big hit Tempted. However my favorite track was the Dave Edmunds produced In Quintessence which borrows the bass line from Can't Turn You Loose by the Blues Brothers.  Side 1 has the best songs since it feels more like a group effort, all the way down to Mr. Costello helping on backing vocals.  Side 2 falls apart, since Glenn Tillbrook adds the usual bizarre numbers that don't make this a total classic (Labelled With Love, Someone Else's Bell) but at least you can return to side 1 and wished Paul Carrack had more songs to sang.  Alas, 1992's Play, 11 years after East Side Story, shows Squeeze out of touch with alternative rock and on a new label (Reprise) and a clueless producer (Tony Berg).  The liner notes makes this out to be some kind of a bizarre play but the problem is that the songs are just boring.  Squeeze would continue with a dizzying array of band member changes that could rival Hawkwind at times.  Paul Carrack would return briefly for their return back to A&M, Some Fantastic Place, which was a slight improvement Play.

Speaking of Carrack, his old band Ace, better known for How Long and a fairly good debut (Five A Side) would put out two subpar albums, the last being No Strings which shows a band bankrupted of ideas and not changing the tempo much.  It starts out promising with Rock And Roll Singer, failed single You're All That I Need and concludes with the somewhat hooky Crazy World, the rest of the album loses it's spark and the listener falls asleep somewhere on side 2.  Carrack sounds like he'd rather be someplace else and the band sounds like they ready to pack it in.  Final song C'est La Vie shows them going out with a whimper.  Trevor Lawrence didn't help much with his production either.  Blah.

East Side Story A-
Play C+
No Strings C



She Was Magic-Glass Moon (Growing  In The Dark)
Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo-Johnny Winter And (Johnny Winter And)
Baba Jinde-Michael Babatunde Olatunji (Drums Of Passion)
In Quintessence-Squeeze (East Side Story)
Fit In-Anthony Crawford (Anthony Crawford)
Bin Bam-Sam Butera (Ultra Lounge Best Of Sam Butera And The Witnesses)
I.L.B.T.'s-Joe Walsh (You Brought It, You Name It)
Oceans Away-Elton John (The Diving Board)
Who Buy The Guns-Joe King Carrasco And The Crowns (Bordertown)
My Sunday Feeling-Jethro Tull (This Was)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Playlist-What I'm Listening To

Imagine my surprise to find that 152 hits were noted on the ratings on Monday, first time I hit over 100 views since God knows when.  Halfway through July, we're getting Seattle weather.  60 degrees for a high on July 15 is something you don't see often and maybe the new ice age is coming.  What we are hoping for is some dry days since we have had rain on the weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday or both since April. Meanwhile California burns and dries away, and out here we're getting flooded time and time again.   RAGBRAI starts up next week, closest place they'll be would be Independence on Friday Night but I won't be in the neighborhood.  This week is The Great Jones County Fair and for the first time in years, they won't have to worry about monsoons.  Miranda Lambert, bro country music star Luke (Country Girl Shake It For Me), Kid Rock and Chris Tomlin are the headliners.  Both Lambert and Bryan are sellouts, but none of the opening acts are worth a shit, Lambert getting Bro country psycho Tyler Farr and Bryan having Lee Brice as opener.  Only Kid Rock would be consider the rock act. The prices are outrageous, if you want to see Mr Shake Them Buns Bryan, it will set you back 60 to 75 dollars, Kid Rock just as pricy 50 to 60 dollars and Miranda the cheapest of the major stars at 40 to 50 dollars. Only Chris Tomlin 22-27 dollar price is the cheapest.  Tomlin is the Christian artist with Colton Dixon, a Billy Idol lookalike, opens.

It's been two weeks since we had straight line winds tearing up the place and knocking most of our trees down.  My brother and a tree expert have done double duty chopping and chainsawing their way through the brush and branches to make this place not so much looking like a war zone.  For the most part I have donated over 200 cds to various thrift stores and adding more selection to their crappy cd section.  As for selling cds, that's another story.  It's not a buyers market and I haven't sold very many.  Of course it don't help when I do sell that the USPS short changes me and they send them back with due postage and put it over the address to where it's supposed to go.  It pisses me off to think that I'm made out of money, just like the GD dentist that sent me a 26 dollar bill for something I didn't get.  I can't save any money where people and things are nickel and dimeing me to death.  It adds up and not in a good way.  Workwise, we should be back in Cedar Rapids in about a week.  The scanners are still not working up there but that's not my worry if they can't get them going.  But in the meantime, my manager has treated me well and our group managed to go out for supper a couple times last week.  I don't believe they were impressed of going to Eastwood's in Solon, after all it was  a bar and the personal pan pizza was from Tombstone and the flies were thick inside but the fish sandwiches and tenderloins were good from what I heard.

I was thinking of taking a break from water detail in the basement and head to Madison for the annual Summerfest this weekend, the weather is supposed to be dry and see what's going on up there.  Which means I'll be dropping off more unwanted items and picking up more things I don't need but I remain a bargain hunter regardless. With waterproofing taking all of the summer budget this year it will be the only vacation that I'll get till fall.

In defense of the CD:

Another musician has passed away: Johnny Winter, best known as one of the best blues rock guitarists (although some mag called him the 63rd best guitar player ever WTF?) died at age 70.  He was in the process of starting a late summer tour and a new album coming out September 2 called Step Back.  He had a great backing band in the early 70s that featured Rick Derringer and Bobby Caldwell, but Johnny was instrumental of jump starting Muddy Waters' career with the 1977 Hard Again album with a classic version of Mannish Boy.  Winter's YEAH yelling gives it more power.  He had recorded for Columbia, Blue Sky, MCA, Point Blank/Virgin and Megaforce.  And now is jamming with Muddy Waters once again. RIP. 


Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac Live At The BBC (Fleetwood/Castle/Sanctuary)

A collection of performances that were around the end of Green's tenure with the Mac and Jeremy Spencer's Kiln House sessions  the first CD starts out rocking with Rattlesnake Shake/Searching And Fighting For Madge and never lets up.  I rather play the rocking CD rather than the tedious blues Cd that is disc two.  Even though Jeremy Spencer has a genuine love of Elmore James, I prefer his Buddy Holly tributes more even down to that trademark Holly hiccup.  Danny Kirwan gets shortchanged but they do pick the best of his numbers from Then Play On, (Although The Sun Is Shining, Like Crying). The Kiln House songs begin to reveal a new Mac, more intent on playing rock and going away from the blues that was their calling in the early years.  It does point the way to where Fleetwood Mac would wind up, but their journey is just starting.   Not essential but is worth hearing.

Grade B

Grateful Dead-Dick's Picks Vol 18. (Madison, Cedar Falls Feb 1978) (Real Gone)

Legend has it that this is the best bootleg show of The Dead and it captures them in the dead of winter, traveling through blizzards in Madison and Milwaukee before coming to our neck of the woods, The Uni Done in Cedar Falls.  A very lengthy 3 CD set (over 3 and half hours of Dead music), Dead heads will tell you that the second cd that runs 70 and half minutes has a medley of them playing over an hour without taking a break.  And then disc three going through yet another hour long medley before concluding with Around and Around.  They tended to rely on Chuck Berry to end sets, Johnny B Goode ends disc 2.  But with 65 minute medley of Estimated Prophet/Eyes Of The World/Playing In The Band/The Wheel with Dark Star thrown in there, this is where you can picture Dead Heads dancing in the strobe lights while Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir trade off guitar leads.  While the reviewer says the songs on disc 1 are not as good, I beg to differ, they do ride the groove on Good Lovin, Passenger and Deal sound a bit more intense than on the 1982 Dead Set that Arista put out.  None of the songs are under four minutes, shortest being Johnny B Goode and Bob Weir kinda overdrags It's All Over Now but for going with the groove, the band was quite on.   Another note is that Donna Godchaux is almost absent, you hardly hear her except for the chorus and sometimes an oh yeah here and there, a far cry from her presence on Europe 72 Volume 2 to which you wanna turn her mic off, to which maybe somebody did on these 78 concert showings.  If you enjoy Jerry Garcia's lead guitar going into other space, you'll love the second CD, but if you're not a fan you'll be bored.  But still, when they played Dane County and the Uni Done, The Dead were sounding inspired and unified. Maybe I should have been there to see these shows, but didn't care for the foot of snow that hit Madison that night either.

Grade B+




On the Subject of Mach Five, I wrote a review about this band in Amazon years ago and forgot somebody did a reply to it.  Larry Davis responds to the original review posted here:

Hey, true that this should have been more successful than it was, BUT you didn't get the impression that M5 were Britpop-sounding?? If anything, this NY band was like Oasis but more straight-up powerpop. "Shiny Shirt" shoulda been a single. The 2 songs that really should have cracked it were "This And Back Again", a PERFECT powerpop gem completely, and "Here's A Call", driven by Beatlesque horns, shoulda been deemed a classic.

Here's the thing though...most people (if any) that know of the band locally in NY, knew that Jeff & the boys never stopped making music after being dropped...Jeff is prolific with his own studio...the band recorded 2 followup EP's themselves..."Tie Me Up & Hold Me Down" and "Save Your Soul", with more killer tunes like "Maybe You're A Product" and "Had About Enough"...drummer Don DiPaolo left the band for his own solo career and self-released a great record called "Everything You Wanted". All the band needed was a better publicist because the label was not enough and Jeff is like McCartney, in quality and prolificness, with his NY Britpop tunes that kill. I will make copies of the followup if needed...and Jeff fell off the planet it seems...he's a powerpop genius.

I do know that drummer Don DiPaolo, besides releasing a solo album became a DOCTOR...and Jeff, he supposedly changed the band's name to Varispeed or it was a new band entirely, but I THINK he left the music business...I found him on Facebook a couple years ago and he apparently entered the corporate world...the pic was him with a shirt and tie on, like you wouldn't think he was a musician at all or in a band...either he got fed up (chewed and spit out by the music biz), or pressure from his wife to get a "real job"...I HOPE he didn't sell his studio or guitars...

William Thibault on Three Dog Night review:

I always tripped out at the fact that It's for You was on here, but never heard that there was a longer version out there. Did they just extend the jam at the end? One of the most underrated songs is their version of Nobody, which i think was the first single. Didn't chart high, but they did a great version of it.

Since I managed to get over 100 views in a day, for your reward I get to tap into my playlist of songs that I have been playing over the week.  I get bored very easy with Satellite radio since they tend to overkill lesser songs of bands who classic rock overkill is the problem of free radio today.  Being somewhat retired from the top ten biz, I do like to share what's on the playlist:  Why not, if it gets people to seek them out on their own then I did my job.  That's all that matters eh?


PLAYLIST: (Photo: Jerry Doucette)

Let's Stick Together-Bryan Ferry (Let's Stick Together)
All That You Dream-Little Feat (Waiting For Columbus)
Trampoline-Joe Henry (Trampoline)
Living Through Another Cuba-XTC (Black Sea)
Samson And Delilah-Grateful Dead (Dick's Picks Volume 18)
I Fought The Law-The Crickets (Still In Style)
Ghost Riders In The Sky-Johnny Cash (Silver)
Although The Sun Is Shining-Fleetwood Mac (Then Play On)
Thoughts-Vanilla Fudge (Complete Atco Singles Collection)
Mama Let Him Play-Doucette (Mama Let Him Play)


Saturday, July 12, 2014

One For Charlie Haden and for Tommy Ramone

38 years ago, a band from Forest Hills/Queens came out and made perhaps the most simple rock album ever.  Who would ever thought that Blitzkeg Bop would end up being one of the more overplayed jock jams at local stadiums?  Hell, the C.R. Kernels always seem to play HEY HO LET'S GO every other time.  Anyway, you know this simple rock band as The Ramones and their 1976 Sire album would rewrite the book on punk rock. Although I consider them to be more garage rockers than punk rockers.  Now, with Tommy Ramone passing away from cancer at age 65, the original Ramones are now rocking in the great CBGB's in the sky somewhere.  Tommy Erderyi (probably misspelled) was also a producer who produced Tim by the Replacements and a album for Redd Kross but also helped recorded Jimi Hendrix when Jimi was alive.  But will forever be known for giving the Ramones that simple but had to play drum beat.  Later Tommy would leave to do production and later would form a bluegrass duo. With Tommy gone, there are no more original Ramones left.  But we still have Ritchie, Marky and C.J. around.  Mark Prindle interviews Tommy Ramone from a few years ago:

From Legs McNeil:

Another passing to tell you about is Charlie Haden, best known for his works as a solo artist and taking part of Ornette Coleman's Free Jazz album, and father to the Haden triplets  who played in that dog, also departed to the great beyond Thursday at age 76. In Free Jazz, Haden served as the one who kept the main notes going while Don Cherry, and Coleman would improvise, thus coining the phase Free Jazz.  Originally starting out as a country bass player (He played in Ozark Jubilee way back when), he went to a Charlie Parker concert than got turn on the jazz.  He has also jammed with Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheney and Jim Hall as well.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Notes: Steve Fry, John Spinks, Cliff Hoad

Funny how when disaster hits you, you don't know what is going on elsewhere.  After last week's monsoon, tornado hurricane whatever that took all the trees down here and flooded the basement, I missed the 4th of July celebrations around the area although our dumbfuck neighbor Allen was shooting off dynamite at 2 AM in the fucking morning and the neighbor methhead across the street was shooting one firecracker at a time. Some people take this fireworks shit to the extreme.  Nevertheless while trying to pick up tree limbs and trying to get over back spams I missed the Iowa City Jazz Festival Saturday (in a all day rain of course) and the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival in Davenport as well.  I haven't been much in a celebratory mood anyway. Dealing with the basement mess will do that to you.  And I probably will be to donating more CDs in the weeks forthcoming as well.  If you're looking for a certain cd, I just might have that for sale via rscrabb at  Nevertheless, the Dubuque Goodwill got a major CD upgrade from the crap that they had for sale.

Oh yes, there's still a few things that I did buy and regretted.  Leon And Mary Russell Wedding Album (Wounded Bird) for one.  Leon lost his way on this lovefest to his later ex wife Mary McCreary and it just sounds fucking weird.  Nick Lowe was raving about Jim Ford The Unreleased Capitol Album (Bear Family) and he did cover 36 Inches High and Bobby Womack (RIP) covered Harry Hippie but I come to find the album to be somewhat of a snoozefest.  Oh it starts out well, a groovy cover of Sam Cooke's Chain Gang a highlight but the problem of the album is that it needed a fadeout on some of the songs that go on forever, You Just A is about 3 minutes too long.  Big Mouth USA is probably my fave track off this album but it's your typical A and B side album, with side A has the best songs, and side B wonders all over the place.  The Johnny Cash/Carl Perkins/Jerry Lee Lewis The Survivors (Razor And Tie) is interesting for Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis making to a 1981 Johnny Cash show in Germany and did a bunch of sing along gospel songs like they did when they were at Sun Records and Elvis was alive.  It sounds tossed off, since Carl and Jerry Lee improvised on the spot, Cash's songs are the best with Get Rhythm starting off.  But sing along gospel numbers may have been fun, you had to be there to witness this and they haven't aged very well after the fact.  Best part is the Johnny Cash penned liner notes talking about Jerry Lee on his deathbed and Johnny and June Carter Cash were there to help him through. But Carl Perkins and both Johnny and June Carter have gone beyond the sunset and Jerry Lee Lewis ended up being the sole survivor.  He'll probably outlive me...or you.

Speaking of which...I lost another friend and classmate over the years.  My good friend Steven Fry died Monday from lung cancer  I think he was 54.  Same age as Dennis Pusateri.  Steve and I became friends in junior high, he was always the smartass, the guy that told the funny and dirtiest jokes out there, but he eventually would drop out of school and started a life of construction work and would eventually locate down around Sigourney Iowa.  We would meet up during high school reunions or at the John Wayne Festival in Winterset and bullshit a while.  He was a hard living guy, and perhaps what did him in was a love of Marlboro Reds, which seems to be the suicide of choice of smokers. A few of my other friends who died of cancer smoked them nasty things.  Anyway, on our 30th reunion get together, Steve did mention that he wouldn't make it to the 40th reunion, saying that he didn't think that he'd be alive to be there. Sad to say that turned out to be true.

I was thinking about Dennis the other day, and fell asleep on the couch, only to wake up and see his picture on the newscast.  Of course, Dennis left us three years ago, but it seemed like he was a victim of a hit and run, he was riding his motorcycle and a car or SUV pulled out in front of him and he ended up on the pavement.  Ended up having a blood clot on his brain that eventually ended his life.  Three years later, he still does not have a headstone up on his grave site to which I think he's buried with his parents and brother Matthew, who was murdered in 1988 and the killer remains at large to this day.  I guess the bar Dennis used to hang out, well his step son is trying to raise funds to get that long deserved headstone for Dennis. And was hoping that KCRG would repeat that story, but they never did.  And there's not a link either.  At least not for now.  But I'll keep searching just in case somebody has it up.  Whereever that might be.

Life is a fleeting moment, even while I'm bitching away cleaning up the water mess in the basement for the 50th time this decade and cussing each and every rainstorm that comes here.  But death is always around the corner and we all die but don't know when that time comes.  So we continue to do what we do best. Music and records.  And when you're my age, time becomes shorter and shorter by the minute of every day.  Things could be a lot worse, you could be in Gaza or Africa or some war torn nation.  Or living by the ocean in the Philippines and hoping that a tycoon don't blow you into oblivion.  But everybody shares one thing and that everybody dies. And you can't take your money nor your CD and LP collection with you either.  I have no idea how this life is going to pan out in the years, or when the music stops, the music stores all go away and the only way to hear music is the dreaded Spotify or streaming.  But this has always been my life and I simply don't see that going away anytime soon.

So I'll make a toast to the memory of Steve Fry, knowing that he is no longer suffering from cancer.  And hopefully I'll get to meet him and Dennis in the great beyond, telling bad jokes and listening to music as well.

RIP brothers.

(due to limitations of the links, I copied and paste the obituary from the local papers)

  Steve Wayne Fry, 54, died July 7, 2014 at University Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. He was born February 15, 1960 at St. Luke’s Hospital to Richard Dean and Betty Flanegin Fry. He attended Marion High School. Steve worked construction and did carpentry in the Marion and Cedar Rapids area He moved to the Sigourney over 30 years ago and was a self-employed carpenter and handy man. Steve loved the outdoors, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, mushroom hunting and making wine. 

    He is survived by his mother Betty Fry of Hayesville, two brothers Doug Fry of Ottumwa, Tim Fry of Hiawatha, and his loving companion of 18 years Deneal Walraven of Hayesville and her children April Dumermuth of What Cheer, Joseph Walraven of Williston Tennessee, of Sharmin Koppes of Waterloo.

Graveside Service: Friday 10:30 A.M. Conner Cemetery Sigourney

Visitation: Thursday 5:00 – 8:00 P.M. Holm Funeral Home Sigourney
A memorial fund has been established

Steve Fry

Ottumwa Courier
---- — HAYESVILLE — Steve Wayne Fry, 54, died July 7, 2014, at University Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City.
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Conner Cemetery, Sigourney.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at Holm Funeral Home, Sigourney.
A memorial fund has been established.
HAYESVILLE — Steve Wayne Fry, 54, died July 7, 2014, at University Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City.
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Conner Cemetery, Sigourney.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at Holm Funeral Home, Sigourney.
A memorial fund has been established.
- See more at:

Steve Fry, 54, died July 7, 2014, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City. Graveside service: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Conner Cemetery, southwest of Sigourney. Visitation: 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Holm Funeral Home, Sigourney.
Surviving are his mother, Betty Fry, Hayesville; two brothers, Doug Fry, Ottumwa, and Tim Fry, Hiawatha; and companion, Deneal Walraven, Hayesville.
- See more at:

Steve Fry, 54, died July 7, 2014, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City. Graveside service: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Conner Cemetery, southwest of Sigourney. Visitation: 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Holm Funeral Home, Sigourney.
Surviving are his mother, Betty Fry, Hayesville; two brothers, Doug Fry, Ottumwa, and Tim Fry, Hiawatha; and companion, Deneal Walraven, Hayesville.
- See more at:

Steve Fry, 54, died July 7, 2014, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City. Graveside service: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Conner Cemetery, southwest of Sigourney. Visitation: 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Holm Funeral Home, Sigourney.
Surviving are his mother, Betty Fry, Hayesville; two brothers, Doug Fry, Ottumwa, and Tim Fry, Hiawatha; and companion, Deneal Walraven, Hayesville.
- See more at:

Music Review:
JUDAS PRIEST-Redeemer Of Souls (Epic)

One thing about Rob Halford, he hasn't lost any of the vocal power, he can go from growl to scream in a matter of seconds.   But still Redeemer Of Souls is Judas Priest's best album since Point Of Entry, although these songs are more metal sounding than of said album of 33 years beyond.  Richie Faulkner has replaced retired and future golfer K K Downing and his playing inspires the band.  In some ways Redeemer Of Souls is like Black Sabbath's 13, both are metallic and doomy (March Of The Dammed and Crossfire do sound like they could fit on 13 had B.S. written them). But once Halford hits those high screaming notes on Halls Of Valhalla you know it's vintage Priest.  Even though it does goes over an hour total performance wise the whole album is somewhat a better listen than Nostradamus,  it's not as labored and the band sounds a bit more committed to ROS.  However the surprise track is The Beginning Of The End, which ends things on a subwhat mellower note, in some ways like Planet Caravan is to Sabbath (again).  There's a expanded edition of five more songs but for myself I'll settle with the single album and keep a positive thought that Judas Priest is back with a vengeance.  It could be the comeback album of 2014
Grade A-

THE CRICKETS-Still In Style (Bear Family)

Why we love Bear Family; they tend to dig deep in the archives and they do it very well on this CD of life after Buddy Holly.  Earl Sinks does have that Lubbock hiccup down pat although the biggest complaint was he couldn't do ballads very well.  Sonny Curtis was more country sounding than Earl judging by the alt takes of Smooth Guy and and So You're In Love, and more professional sounding too.  This collection goes beyond the original Coral release and is the missing piece between Buddy Holly and the just about forgotten Liberty years which was more pop than rock, including the last Norman Petty produced sessions, one Love's Made A Fool Out Of You stems from a Buddy Holly demo and a work in progress judging by Jerry Allison's drumming.  Legend has it that the band had a falling out with Petty after this got released as a B side to the ho hum Someone Someone and they never worked with him again.  Anyway, Still In Style collects all (with the exception of a couple lost maters) of the Earl Sinks, and Sonny Curtis sessions and although this pales next to you know who, the songs still remain top notch garage rock country.  It's important to note that this version of Love's Made A Fool Out Of You and I Fought The Law would be the songs that Bobby Fuller would cover to greater effort and of course covered by the likes of Hank Williams Jr and The Clash. But credit must be given to David Box who sings on The Crickets last single Peggy Sue Got Married/Don't Cha Know, the former featuring one of Jerry Allison's best drumming in his career.  And that somebody at MCA thought so highly of this song to include it on the 20 Greatest Hits that came out in tribute to Buddy Holly in 1978.  But like Buddy, David would end up on an ill-fated flight that would claim his life a few years later. Of course Still In Style will pale in comparison to The Chirping Crickets but that doesn't mean the music is less interesting.  In fact it does rock as hard at times, I Fought The Law for 1959 could be punk rock in that day and time.  As always, Bear Family liner notes and discography is first rate, the sound quality better than the scratchy old 45s. They may have lost Buddy but they always found the right vocalists to keep the Buddy Holly sound going.  And God bless David Box, and Earl Sinks wherever he may be.
Grade A-

John Spinks, the songwriter from The Outfield has passed away from liver cancer at age 60.  While The Outfield might be considered disposable corporate power pop, I have come to enjoy most of their albums. While Play Deep is their best known, my favorite remains Voices Of Babylon.  They later recorded for MCA, Platinum, and Side Winder where their About Time album in the late 2000's might have been their best.   Since radio didn't play it, we'll never know. RIP.

I see our Russian spam ref site xolodremont are back inflating the non existent ratings here again. Worthless pieces of shit that they are. 

Cymbal Talk from Clifford Hoad:

A fello drummer mate just asked me this question - 

"Debating on changing cymbal brands.... From Zildjian to Sabian ....I started on Paiste, then to Zildjian..Thoughts ?? "

" In my opinion , don't do it !!! As far as sound is concerned Avedis Zildjian are superior boasting a shrillness, plus full bodied sound , they are tempered at a much higher heat to get this, it does make them more brittle and more prone to cracking. Sabians are a much more economical cymbal tempered at a lower degree , more flexible not so brittle . With each cymbal being similar or the same in their casting just like Paiste. Avedis Zildjian on the other hand tend to all be different . This was told to me by one of the guys in the Zildjian factory in the USA . If you like to wack into your cymbals without a worry, go the Sabian , but if its the SOUND you want , recording etc, I would go the Avedis for a more personalized vibe. Avedis were originally a Jazz cymbal Buddy Rich etc and were never hit that hard but if you wanna hear classic Avedis sound , check out Doug Clifford's 16 inch Avedis Zildjian Crash on the track "HEARD IT THOUGH THE GRAPEVINE" by Creedence Clearwater Revival . MAGIC !!!! A Sabian will never sound like that !!!. The downside of this is in Australia, there is not much of a choice concerning Avedis Zildjian Cymbals & buying on the net could be disastrous as they are inconsistent in their sound where Sabian like Paiste an 18 inch crash will sound like a 18 inch crash . Its taken me 30yrs to get my fleet of cymbals. I recently bought a 26 inch ride , the seller sent me a soundscape on my request, this way I could hear it, thankgod when it got here, it sounded the same, unbelievable, its on my new album ROCK TIL YA DIE ! p.s. One other thing that bothers me about all the new cymbals is the mist of clear lacquer warding off dirty finger marks but suffocating the metal trying to breathe when its being hit , the great old Jazz drummers never cleaned their cymbals, I know Ginger Baker never cleaned his, I've seen some photos of where they looked green probably a build up of the smokey rooms of the past !
Kings Of The Sun - Clifford Hoad

I always thought that Doug Clifford played Paiste on the classic CCR recordings and that he favored a 602 16 inch crash.  Doug is known for having a hi hat set up of 18 inch cymbals as well.   Cliff Hoad on the other hand has been a Zildjian user for all of his recordings, most notably off the wall china and sizzle cymbals.  The latest Townedgers album, yours truly resorted back to an vintage Zildjian lineup.  Nothing wrong with the other cymbals, The Paiste lineup has its own sound but if one is brought up on a certain type of cymbals, they tend to stick to the old and vintage.