Monday, August 4, 2014

Playlist: Talking To The Stars

An unreal week of events.  Plus a couple of musicians from my favorite bands stopping by and talking to me.  Which is why I'm  a big fan of their music and bands.  When they stop by and leave a message it makes me a even bigger fan.  Check the mailbag down the blog ;) 

A funny thing has happened along the way last month, we exceeded over 2400 views and four days were over 100.  Best showing that we have since December of last year.  Don't know what it is or if the Xolodremont dudes are actually helping the cause.  I call bullshit myself.  Besides you can't get rid of me.  I keep returning.  And of course who do read these blogs, although I think that 2400 number is a bit inflated, I'm sure it's more like 240 readers.  Thanks for reading, it gives me some incentive to continue to keep this music/record review/lifestyle blog going.  Can't understand some of the blogs being read, Dennis Farina has been dead for over a year and that blog was the most viewed of last month.  What the fuck?!  In the meantime I'll be working on some new things, another ICON band to talk about, forgotten bands, territorial bitchings, whoever dies etc etc etc. Maybe more Ivy Doomkitty pics and a top ten from her if she success in getting a few more referring sites talking about her.  And who in the hell is Madison Ivy?  Her name popped up about four times in the referring sites keyword.  I sure don't get many for rock bands and musicians but porn stars seem to be pop up more often.  This is Record World.....HELLO. However inflated ratings do help the ego here, the Swinging Steaks blog logged over 65 views so far, if it translated to record sales for this band they'd be as famous as Moe.


Somebody took notice and the Swinging Steaks themselves have provided a direct link from their site about my piece on them.  As always anything to get the word out about bands that I love to hear that everybody else forgot about.  Thanks for the shout out Steaks!

I know you're sick of hearing the antics of Teddy The Peddy Nugent still trying to promote his latest album which isn't bad but he continues to run his month more times than not. Dig the latest Ted Vs the Left installment here:

Who's buying up all the records in the world you ask?  Perhaps this guy.

It's August, we went from 13 inches of rain for June to less than half of that.  After the July 5th 3 inch rainfall, we managed to eek out an inch and a quarter for the rest of the month.  I'm happy but I'm sure we'll return to a more wetter pattern than last month.  Monsoon season down in Arizona has been like June in Iowa.  Plenty of floods, heavy rains and dust storms to the point that winds blew over a couple trailers in the Buckeye trailer court area.  In the meantime, Zia Records has moved their Chandler location over to Alma School/Eliot Street, which used to be a mile from where I used to live at with my Aunt Sarge before she threw me out.  I hope to return back there before I'm dead to check out that new place, the new Tempe Zia's and their bargain store on University Avenue, where I spent many a time and trying to dodge the pan handlers out there.

A few festivals remain before school is back in session.  Our wonderful town Springville is having Springville Days this weekend which Saturday Night somebody secured enough money to get Little Texas to come down here to play.  About 20 years ago, they were playing out at Jones County Fair and the ex wanted me to get tickets to go see them play but I never did get around buying them. Jake McVey opens up.  Friday Night is the truck and tractor pull, that will be a sellout.  If that fails, there's always Karaoke by Good Times if Little Texas doesn't do the trick.  I've never been much of a fan of them.

August 5th is 1998 all over again at the Geese Droppings Amphitheater (I.E. McGrath Amphitheater) with Spacehog, Soul Asylum, Everclear and Eve 6 being the bands of note.  Never been a Everclear fan, nor Spacehog but Soul Asylum's last album was pretty good and Eve 6 well, I managed to still have all their albums including their last album Speak In Code. Since it falls on a Tuesday, I'll have to pass on that.

Another reason why Bro Country sucks:


Spanky And Our Gang-The Complete Mercury Singles Collection (Real Gone)
Ronnie Dove-The Complete Chart Hits 1964-1969 (Real Gone)

Let it to the folks at Real Gone to compile the lesser known.  Ronnie Dove recorded for Diamond Records and had a impressive streak of chart hits although he hit the top twenty the highest chart position for him was a number 14 offerning for Right Or Wrong and One Kiss For All Time Sake.  Upon hearing them almost 50 years later, they sound like a dated time piece of the early 60s.  Early listening pop that borders on lite country as his cover of I Don't Really Want To Know sounds like.  But to these ears he falls in the Pat Boone/Frankie Laine territory of crossover MOR pop.

Spanky And Our Gang will always have a soft spot in my heart for Lazy Day, the sweet sounding summertime hit that sums up the summer of love in the way that it should have been.  Universal has slipped in and out some best ofs over the years and most have been problematic (The 20th Century Masters managed to chop off one song off the late 90s Very Best Of Spanky & Our Gang).  They were a very good singles band we finally get to hear the original Sunday Morning including the oddball ending which sounded better on a 45.  Also for the first time we get to hear their cover of And Your Bird Can Sing, which doesn't sound any ordinary as The Association covering One Too Many Mornings, but not as good as the original songwriters. (Beatles, Dylan).  But it does has its own charm.  Two things did the band in, one was the 1969 PSA announcement known as Give A Damn which really riled up the conservatives at that time and managed to savatage it from top ten status, but losing Malcolm Hale, the spirit behind the band from CO2 poisoning was the end.  I still find their last album, Anything You Choose/Without Rhyme Or Reason to be a guilty pleasure as the songs blended into another via Tony Clarke/Moody Blues, Lefty Baker and Kenny Hodges wrote nice songs but without Hale's interesting vocals and arrangements they lacked the top forty magic of Like To Get To Know You or Lazy Day.  On Complete Mercury Singles you're treated to two versions of Echoes Of My Mind (Everybody's Talking), one with the sounds of the sea (B side to Sunday Morning) and one without, which like Lazy Day has Not Necesserity (I know, can't fucking spell it) Byrd Avenue which sounds like Segrio Mendes and Brazil 66 on Prozac. But unlike the so called best of  we have the return of Three Ways From Tomorrow, one of their better b sides and songs.  In this day and age I wouldn't call Spanky And Our Gang essential, but growing up I loved most of their songs and Give A Damn too.  And the mono sound might put a lot of folk off too.  But for nostalgic and historic value, The Complete Mercury Singles shows that Spanky And Our Gang deserves their spot for AM radio ear candy.

Ronnie Dove Complete Chart Years: B-
Spanky And Our Gang-Complete Mercury Singles: B+

Inxs-Kick (Rhino)

INXS has always been a band that to me, was a product of the 80s and even more so a dance band masquerading as a rock band.  They were also a great singles band, but made spotty albums. Kick is considered to be their best but I tend to disagree with that.  I always enjoyed Sabooh Sababad (whatever it was called too lazy to look the record up) and the Kick followup X more so than Kick itself.  At times they could equal anything on radio with the dance club favorite New Sensation or the disco hopping Devil Inside.but God this record is so damn erratic.  Need You Tonight is a fine standalone track in itself but Meditate is boring as hell.  Granted Chris Thomas took Never Tear Us Apart up a notch by adding strings and moodiness but anything after that is stale dance rock or even more stale Rolling Stones, including album closer Tiny Daggers.  The bonus tracks are outtakes and Move On would have given Kick a slight kick in the pants, but there's a reason why Jesus Was A Man and The Trap were left off, the former goes on too long and the latter lacks melody.  But the hits makes this album but you can do better by buying the best of. You get more.

Grade B-


From Clifford Hoad (Kings Of The Sun)  Writing about Full Frontal Attack the album.  He was very kind enough to respond.

 Here ya go Rodney Smith, I'll never forget being back stage at Sydney entertainment centre, we had just got off the plane from L.A. that afternoon and were invited to see the AEROSMITH show. STEVE TYLER had a copy of Full Frontal Attack on his then modern cd pod playing "Drop The Gun", he had an equalizer on it that could turn the vocal down so he could sing along. He told me he used to be a drummer and asked about the drum fill that I played in "Drop The Gun" where I use the cowbell and where I put that cowbell. He told me , it was the funkiest drum fill he'd ever heard, and said "where's your head at man, how did you beam that one down haha !!!, I said "its all Gene Krupa's fault". I noticed he was wearing black nail polish and chrome. Really charming guy, full of energy, true Rockstar. You've gotta be around people like that, just to learn how its done, like a mechanic or a doctor. This was the true school of rock !
One of the greatest heavy rock songs ever, self proclaimed! Jeff and I peaked with this song, has all the elements, great riff, fantastic lyrics and a tick tock feel that is typically Australian Rock. This song was done in a aircraft hanger down in the L.A. jungle. Can anyone see our giant banner behind us ?

Jeff got some tips from Bruce Willis in his hair raising flee from the bullets, however he did jump 20 feet into cardboard boxes, yes girls , he does all his own stunt work and kissing scenes. At the end, after he stands on my bass drum, a bone of contention by the way, RCA Records at the time bought me another bass drum just so he could do it, how's that for backing your artists, only in the USA. At the end, its Jimmy Cagney all the way, "Look at me Ma, I'm on top of the world" finally plummeting onto the boot of a 69 Dodge Charger which they also paid for, just for the prop. Jeff and I gave it to one of the camera dolly assistants who worked just as hard as us from 6am to 9pm . 27 takes near killed me, I'd never want to be a movie star, no wonder they all flip out.

Our 2nd album KINGS OF THE SUN, "Full Frontal Attack", your hearing Hendrix's Electric Lady Land studios mix. An underground river runs under the studio giving it, its echoee watery sound. Micheal Chapman was there when we were doing the mixing, our producer, Englishman Bill Wittman, and he were playing the tracks back so loud that Jeff or I couldn't stay in the room, Madness but thats the result, an incredible sound. I hope this puts some light on the subject. Thanks everyone for buying the album and loving it!

From Jamie Walker (singer songwriter of the Swinging Steaks) on the Forgotten Bands Of The 90s-The Swinging Steaks Blog.

We appreciate your good taste!
Seriously, it's nice to have some new material to point people towards and yours is very complimentary. We thank you.
We also hope you have checked out Live in '93, the most recent CD releases in 2011
Look for future shows in 2015.
All The Best,
Jamie Walker


Never In My Life-Mountain (Climbing!)
Electric Funeral-Black Sabbath (Paranoid)
Like A Sunday In Salem-Gene Cotton (Save The Dancer)
Games-Redeye (Super Hits Of The 70s-Have A Nice Day Volume 5)
It's Only Money (Part 1 and 2)-Argent (Encore)
Can't Go Down-Jesse Valenzuela (Tunes Young People Will Enjoy)
New Sensation-Inxs (Kick)
Workin' Cheap-Waylon Jennings (The Eagle)
Never Stop Believing-Christopher Cross (Back Of My Mind)
Open Up Your Door-The Romantics (In Heat)

Iowa State Fair Line Up Of Bands:

Aug 8: Happy Together Tour: Flo And Eddie of The Turtles, Gary US Bonds, Gary Lewis, Mitch Ryder, Chuck Negron of 3 Dog Night Fame.

Aug 9: Goo Goo Dolls, Plain White T's, Daughtery

Aug 10: Duck Dynasty Dudes

Aug 12: Florida Georgia Line/Colt Ford (SOLD OUT-imagine that)

Aug 14: Jake Owen, Eli Young Band, Cadillac Three

Aug 15: Chevelle/Halestorm

Aug 16: Lady Antebellum, Billy Currington

Aug 17, Foreigner and Styx  

Aug. 7: Newsboys with Matthew West, 8 p.m., contemporary Christian; $30
Aug. 8: Happy Together Tour: The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie; Chuck Negron formerly of Three Dog Night; Gary U.S. Bonds; Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels; Gary Lewis & The Playboys, 8 p.m., classic rock; $25
Aug. 9: Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry with Plain White T's; 8 p.m. $39
Aug. 10: Winged Sprint Cars: 10:30 a.m. hot laps; 11 a.m. races; $15 adults, $5 ages 6 to 11, free ages 5 and under
Aug. 10: The Stars of A & E's "Duck Dynasty" in A Conversation with the Robertsons: Willie, Korie and Si, 8 p.m., $32
Aug. 11: Deery Brothers Summer Series classes: Late Models, IMCA Sport Mods, IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA Hobby Stocks and Karl Chevrolet Dirt Trucks; 5:30 p.m. hot laps, 6 p.m. races, $17 adults, $5 children ages 6 to 11, free for ages 5 and under
Aug. 12: Florida Georgia Line with Colt Ford, 8 p.m., $40 SOLD OUT
Aug. 13: Grand Outlaw National Tractor and Truck Pull, 2 p.m., $20 adults, $10 ages 6 to 11, free ages 5 and under.
Aug. 14: Jake Owen & Eli Young Band with The Cadillac Three, 7 p.m., country, $40
Aug. 15: Chevelle and Halestorm with Savile Row, 8 p.m., hard rock, $35
Aug. 16: Demolition Derby: modified weld, stock weld and compact weld; Figure Eight: front wheel drive and rear wheel drive, 11:30 a.m., $15 adults, $5 ages 6 to 11, free ages 5 and under
Aug. 16: Lady Antebellum with Billy Currington and Kelsey K, 8 p.m., country, $49
Aug. 17: Foreigner and Styx, 8 p.m., rock, $39
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