Thursday, July 3, 2014

Notes: Shit Weather Part 3, Vanilla Fudge

So far 2014 summer is shaping up to be the worst in history.  The fucking monsoon floods, washed out roads and two weeks straight of water in the basement and more fucking rain coming.  Which was one reason why I didn't do vacation this year.

Don't know where to start but Saturday, it was Pearson night at the ball club and I managed to fork over 20 dollars for all you can eat burgers, hot dogs and whatever comes to mind.  Biggest complaint was that the ball club went from 16 oz bottles of RC to 12 oz of Dr. Pepper.  Nevertheless mother nature showed her PMS and rain started up around the fourth inning and despite a half hour rain delay they got the game in despite more fucking rain and being wet from standing out of it.  Kernels won 9-5 and all around cool guy Jason Kanzler was out in the rain taking to some wet fans and then before they called the game about 10 Kernels players did their Rick Dempsey tribute by sliding up and down the tarp.

Sunday Night, another fucking monsoon storm came out around 10 PM and gave us another 6 inches of the fucking not needed shit, flooding the basement and in the process of trying to move a shelf, about 50 CDs fell into the water.  CD's are fine but the liner notes and inserts all got water damaged.  Therefore I say goodbye to most of my Dio, King's X, Steely Dan and Little Feat.  It's tough enough to try to move shit and pull carpets up to let the fucking river go through the living room and laundry area.  Nevertheless, mother nature may have finally convince me that I have way too many CDs and need to cut this in half.  Therefore if you get around the CR/I.C area you might come across a gold mine of classic rock favorites.  I don't need them anymore, they're always on the radio.  But the worst was not over.

Monday afternoon: 3 PM. My brother calls up and says that he is seeing green clouds rolling out this way. KCRG is warning the power is going to go out.  The computer gets shut down and I took a look outside to see some real dark clouds heading this way.  And then Hell erupts.  At 3 15, the winds howled up to 90 MPH, rain was coming from all directions and I begin to see trees uproot from their areas going everything  Straight line winds a river of flood going through the driveway and then the old dead pine tree came falling down upon our house in front of me, just lodging underneath the power line.  The other pine tree also toppled upon the side and the old piece of shit tree that kept dumping branches and shit over the year, that too came unbuckled from its side and took out our fence but thankfully not our house or our fuckface neighbor next door.  Piles of shingles were blowing in the wind, somebody's metal shed was scattered about in the yard and most of everybody lost their trees in this town.  I don't believe it was a tornado but rather straight line winds was the cause of this. And hope to fuck we never have to go through this shit ever again.

And then the power did go out.  And we were in the dark for 18 hours.  By then, the second wave of water in the basement came and went everywhere.  I have a fighting chance to deal with this shit if we have power, but when it goes out. you cannot do a fucking thing.   The fucking hurricane experience finally ended a half hour later to which we came out to see leaves and branches and trees scattered all over the place.  But we were not the only place.  Anamosa was dark except for McDonald and Wal Mart and the one single gas station place open and a line of cars went all the way back to 151.  A semi was overturned down on 151, Shaw Rd you couldn't get through due to a large maple tree blocking the road and somebody's driveway got washed away.  On hwy 1, part of the road got washed away at a culvert, and the bridge over a creek in the backway got washed away too.  Cedar Rapids got hit hard in the usual spots with flood waters.

With all this record fucking rainfall for the month 15 inches, all time record and every year we seem to top it (fucking global warming climate change bullshit).  And we're back in the usual shit of floods on the Wapsi, floods on the Cedar and now flooding on the Iowa river that affecting Iowa City/Coralville.  And any other river that is in this part of the state.  

So once again I'm back down to clean up yet another fucking water mess and dealing with ants, earwigs, flies and other annoyances around the house  I may as well keep the fucking carpets off the floor.  It's defeating the sense of purpose and you can't have nothing nice anyway.  I'm not in the mood to go bargain hunting but rather trying to see what CDs or LPs that I'm not going to listen to anymore and donating them or try to sell them and get pennies back on return.  Seems like every fucking weekend we have rain either on Saturday, Sunday or both.  The west is burning up, but here we're drowning in this mess, or having a fucking monsoon or tornado go by.  We NEED dry days and not one dry day and 10 wet days in a row.  This is bullshit.

Or if you don't hear from me, it's either a tornado blew me away or I got drowned in the basement.  Maybe we'll talk tunes next time around.  But I'm sure it will be another bitch about the fucking weather blog.


Steve Walsh is leaving Kansas, he resigned as lead singer/keyboardist.  His last show will be in Sioux City IA August 16th (weather permitting).

So far the new Robert Plant single is boring.  Different yes, but boring.  The new Yes album has been labeled very boring.  This doesn't bore well for them.

And it was three years ago on the 4th that I lost one of my best friends Dennis Pusateri. And still miss him.


The Vanilla Fudge-Complete Atco Singles Collection (Real Gone)
Psychedelic Sundae-The Best Of The Vanilla Fudge (Rhino)

I tend to have mixed feelings about The Fudge and their recording legacy.  Were they pomp rock or prog rock?  Where they supposed to slow down You Keep Me Hanging On to a crawl, I tend to think that song may have inspired The Melvins in one way or another.  Anyway, the folks at Real Gone Music managed to take the time to once again come up with an ace introduction of Vanilla Fudge's ATCO singles and most of them are in mono sound.  And it starts out with You Keep Me Hanging On, a three minute edit of their most famous cover version, a deconstruction of the Supremes' Motown hit. And then following it up with a whacking of Patti Labelle and The Bluebells' Take Me For A Little While (I do have their version too).  While the record label chopped the hell out of Shotgun (a 2:30 edit of a 6 minute jam), they kept the full 7:42 seconds of Some Velvet Morning, the Lee Hazelwood cover which does echo prog rock and is longer than Mac Arthur Park.  Which, come to think of it, too bad the Fudge didn't attempt to do Mac Arthur Park.  Although I wasn't too keen on Come By Day, Come By Night, the B side to the reissued Keep Me Hangin On, I come to enjoy it more in my older age but Thoughts, Vince Martell's song actually does bring to mind what Uriah Heep would do later on when David Byron was still alive.  And screaming away.  However, sometime the over the top ness gets a little annoying, more so on The Windmills Of Your Mind which Dusty Springfield still owns.  Or People.  While some people welcome the 1984 failed single Mystery from their flop comeback album of that year I tend to find The Fudge sadly out of the times.  But give Real Gone credit for adding that song, and of course a chopped bonus single edit of Some Velvet Morning.

But in the 80s, Atco, put together The Very Best Of The Vanilla Fudge and it cherry picks the hits and gives us the whole 6 minutes of Shotgun (Carmine Appice plays his butt off on that track) and includes the Shadow Morton poetry reading on Season Of The Witch  but that album also  includes the annoying Illusions Of My Childhood which weaves in and out of You Keep Me Hangin On and Take Me For A Little While.  10 Years later, Rhino revisits and puts out the Psychedelic Sundae best of and also runs close to the Complete Atco Singles, with People, Windmills Of Your Mind and the 1984 singles left off. But all it's worth, it's the perfect overview of what the Fudge could do album wise.  And I do find their albums to be very spotty. And so did they, they disowned The Beat Goes On, which was Shadow Morton's idea.   And giving the world 23 minutes of Break Song from Near The Beginning showed that they were running out of ideas before Rock And Roll and adding four so so tracks from that to Sundae, Need Love almost the same arrangement as Shotgun.  But still I do get a kick out of their attempt to go gospel with Lord In The Country and Faceless People (from Renaissance) showed they could give Cream a run for the overblown jams.  That said, if you have an open mind and a love of 45 mono sound The Complete Atco Singles can't be beat.  I bought Sundae instead.  It was cheaper and a good overview.  But you could blame them for giving the world Pomp rock too.

Grade B+

Best Of The Sand Rubies and Rock Sidewinders (San Jacinto)

They finally threw in the towel after the disappointing Mas Cuacha but they will forever remain the best rock band to come out of Tucson Arizona.  Rich Hopkins' stinging guitar lines and David Slutes' angry vocals have always been the trademark but their band is the stuff of what many bands went through, cult following in town, getting noticed by the labels, signing with an up and coming independent label, made two albums before getting sued by a fucking cover band of all things, losing their contract, signing with another independent label that went under before the record got done, finally signs on another label, gets record out, record stiffs, they break up and then get back together off and on and made a couple more.  The Best Of The Sand Rubies/Rock Sidewinders is everything that I know about this band and all their best known stuff is on here, beginning with their first album which they called Shit, which wasn't that.  Hopkins always had that desert dry wit to go with his Neil Young on Steroids guitar leads. Solitary Man is hard garage rock and remains the best cover of that Neil Diamond song, and also they do cover the other Neil,  Young on Interstate which appears on their 1993 flop.  Originally, a band that featured fairly good female drummers, Andrea Curtis and later Diane Padilla, when they got Bruce Halper pounding away on the second version of What She Said (from Witchdoctor) they found their sound right then and there.   Their big hit was We Don't Do That Anymore, which managed to get some airplay on KFMH and MTV's 120 Minutes and that was from their best album 1990's Auntie Ramos Pool Hall.  Goodbye from their Sand Rubies debut should have been just as big on the radio too.  While Hopkins continues to record with the Luminarios (he has a new album out which I have not heard, the Luminarios' albums tend to be all over the place), the Sidewinders/Sand Rubies band is his testament and legacy to what could have been if luck was with him and not having some shit cover band taking the wind out of their sails and some band up in the hell hole called Tempe not beat them to the charts (that would be the much beloved Gin Blossoms). Most anything you could want is on this best of.  But if the price is a bit too deep for you, you can still find Witchdoctor, Auntie Ramos Pool Hall and The Sand Rubies for about half the cost.  Buy two just in case you lose one.

Grade A-

1 comment:

2000 Man said...

Man, I hope your weather improves! It's been an odd summmer whee we've hardly needed the AC, but it's been pleasant enough, I guess. At least I haven't lost any records or cd's. I'd be bummed if my Steely Dan was wrecked. I like them a lot. I've got a Dio album, and I almost played it the other night. It may be time soon!