Thursday, October 30, 2014

Singles Going Steady 20-St Louis Singles

Two months ago, I might have managed to have one of the best bargain hunts ever found in Davenport, which I documented in the last installment.  I made the comment that that August finds might have been the best overall finds in an era which the 45 is all but forgotten.  For the 45 crate digger, and there are some of you out there that enjoy the 45 as much as me, it's like finding a 20 dollar bill in a bar parking lot, or a gold nugget in your gravel, very few and far between and it's too bad that will never happen again.  You have to be in the right place at the right time and well heck, getting Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly 45s and in decent shape makes it all worthwhile.  But I also considered that to be a fluke, that 9 out of 10 bargain hunts what you do find in 45s are either scratched up or unworthy pop crap nobody cares about anymore.  Except for the 45 hoarder.

Last week's bargain hunt in St Louis was the Fall bargain hunt event.  Madison I was up there in July and wasn't too impressed with the stuff found so I turned my attention to St. Louis, home of the Cardinals, Chuck Berry and still a few great record stores.  The majority of stuff came from Record Exchange, home of the largest upstairs collection of 45s and I spent 5 and half hours combing through what was available and basically ignoring the dumpster 45s, the ones by the walls, not priced, no jacket and I'd still be up there if the owner gave me the free rein like he did last Friday.  Vintage Vinyl, had the second most vinyl records but the 45s were on the ground and while it was fun sorting through the dumpers, the problem was that shoppers were trying to get through my big fat behind while crate digging 45s.  But the thrift stores was where it was at but alas once again, The Salvation Army in Granite City, which had benefited from the closing of the Vintage Vinyl in that city and had some 45s rescued by me in 2009, their selection was no better than any other thrift store, although I did score up Tea For Two Cha Cha from Tommie Dorsey  (Decca 9-30704) a 1958 remake.  The B side My Baby Just Cares For Me, I am more familiar with Nina Simone's version.  The big band era was over in 58 but Dorsey still hung around to make singles but at that time getting on the cha cha craze that was sweeping the nation.  A bit of cheese but also some of historical value.

For the most part, the records found were to me historical documents as well.  Growing up, there was no shortage of 45s anywhere and those that my mom bought came from 4 for a dollar and the 10 pack of records that K mart had on sale.  But a lot of the EBAY records that I did comb over were either overpriced or didn't exist.  Which was the reason why I targeted going to St Louis and Record Exchange for forgotten 45s.  And I came up with some long sought after stuff.  After scaring away the employee by mentioning I was looking for a better copy of Cruel World by Don Hollinger, I did ask him what time he close shop and he mentioned 9 PM.  It was 3 05 when I begin my search.  And although they might have had that record, I did finally find Frankie Randall's Tears And Kisses (RCA 47-8434) as a DJ promo for three dollars.  And it's nice to finally have a copy that I can play without retributions from the grooves wrote off on my copy.  Randall, a pop singer, fairly does a nice job on a David Gates (Later the main songwriter of Bread's biggest hits) arrangement that echoes part motown and part Phil Spector.  I'm guessing Hal Blaine is playing drums on this song, noticed by his patented staggered eights beats on the fadeout.  I'm surprised this hasn't shown up in You Tube.

For those silly answer records that Dickie Goodman put out, there were others answer records that I did find.  One of those Report To The Nation by Winkly & Nutly (Jim Stag/Bob Mitchell doing a parody of Hunkley/Brinkley when those two were the toast of network news radio).  Report To The Nation (MK-101 1960)

Written by Bob Krasnow, rumor has this record peaking at  the charts at a lowly 91 in 1960. For a novelty record this has some of the up and coming radio and record executives, with Bob Mitchell later joining forces with the late Tom Donohue for Autumn Records and Krasnow forming Loma Records and Blue Thumb.

The Salvation Army in Marion had a beat up copy of Report To The Nation but I think they threw it out to the landfill, that copy was beat up, but Record Exchange had this for 10 dollars.  But it's one of those have to have singles.  The other answer record was The Great Debate by Ron Cameron Nazy interviewing Mr. Ickson, a play on Richard Nixon (3 Trey 45-3013 released 1960) and compare this to Report To The Nation kind of a disappointment and only clocks in at 1:30 rather than the 1:50 on the forty five

For thrift store 45s, Granite City Goodwill had more to choose from and I found a decent copy of Johnny Russell Red Necks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer (RCA Gold Standard GB-10168 1973), and Kenny Rogers/First Edition of Lady, Play Your Symphony (Jolly Rogers/MGM J-1001 1972) Rogers who had some hits with The First Edition moved over from Reprise to his own label Jolly Rogers, and promptly disappeared from view till 1975 which he became a country artist.  The Jolly Rogers 45s are somewhat hard to come by, although they're not worth much on the market.  I didn't expect to find much at the St Vincent DePaul but what I came up was Jackie Lee's aka Jacky  White Horses (Phillips 40533  1968) and a fairly decent copy of Billy Grammar's Gotta Travel On (Monument 45-400  1958).

I think I took home about 25 45s, for the best and unusual 10, I offer up these.

1.  I Wanna Take You Higher-Brian Auger & The Trinity (RCA 74-0381)  1970  RCA had the instrumental Listen Here as a promo but certain radio stations actually played the B side which was a cover of Sly And The Family Stone's album cut classic.  The gospel station KTOF actually did play some Brian Auger once in a while including this song and so did the mighty G100 (later KKRQ The Fox). Auger managed to have some fine singles out there that I did find at thrift stores and later on I did buy a few of his RCA albums and do think a couple of them are classics (Oblivion Express, Closer To It!) but in all honesty I liked the ones that didn't have Alex Livengood singing on them.  But that's a matter of opinion.

2.   I Can't Stop-The Smiths (Columbia 4-44494)  1968  No relation to the Marion Iowa band of the early 70s or the more popular legendary British band with Morrissey and Johnny Marrs but rather a band that made this one off for Columbia before shortening their name to Smith and picking up Gayle McCormick and making a couple of albums for Dunhill. I Can't Stop kinda reminds me of Paul Revere And The Raiders but with horns added in.  Never seen this 45 till I saw 2 copies over at Record Exchange.  Now they only have one left.

3.  Gator Tails And Monkey Ribs-The Spats (ABC Paramount 45-10585)  1964  For a garage rock band I have never heard this song prior to the internet but I can actually hear melodies from the likes of Louie Louie, Farmer John, The Game Of Love and so forth. Led by the Johnson Brothers, Dick on vocals, they recorded 5 singles and an album for ABC Paramount but in the CD era, forgotten.  Unless you get bored and start listening to 45s, or research the internet for forgotten garage rock classics.  Did well on the regional charts although on Billboard it appeared for one week at number 96.

4.  Those Fabulous Sixties-National Lampoon (Banana/Blue Thumb BTA 218)   1972
B side to the Les Crane parody Deteriorata, National Lampoon actually made some enjoyable funny albums of the 1970s, the Visa compiled Greatest Misses comes to mind.  To which this recording makes fun of those late night record ads  you see that now come from Time Life or Star Vista they're now called.  Whoever did the Bob Dylan vocal makes a better a Dylan than the Bob we know and love nowadays. You might know him as Christopher Guest who would later join forces with Rob "meathead" Reiner to do a spoof rock movie This Is Spinal Tap.  Another single that I have never seen till I came across it over at Euclid Records.

5.  Last Night Ska-Bryon Lee And The Ska Kings (Atlantic 45-2236)  1964  Before reggae there was something from Jamaica called Ska and in the early 60s that sound was the big thing going on down there. Up here in the US a different story although some minor Jamaica hits did come about, the most well known, Millie Small's My Boy Lollipop.  The Skatallies were perhaps the best and well known but Bryon Lee and his band (known moreso as The Dragonaires) were just as good as they covered some of the more finer jazz and R and B instrumental numbers.  This is a cover of the Mar Keys's classic number. Atlantic did issue an 1964 album called Jamaica Ska which features Bryon Lee and The Maytals and is very hard to find and if you do find it, very pricey.   The 45s are no less cheaper either.

6.  Darlene-Whispering Pigg  (East West EW-111)  1958  From the mind of Larry "Pigg" Randall and produced by Norman Petty (who'll appear later on in this list) this oddball number didn't do much on the charts.  Atlantic, interested in signing up some Petty acts I think, put this out on the short lived East West label to which it didn't do much.  Darlene was about Larry's girlfriend at the time who would leave him later on for Jimmy Bowen (Producer to the stars, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Waylon Jennings, later president of MCA Nashville) who had a minor successful recording career of his own.

7.  Baby,  Come Back-The Equals (RCA Victor 47-9583)  1968  Originally recorded in 1966 but issued two years later via RCA it made it up to number 32.  RCA did compiled the best of their output for President Records, an over the pond label for the album Baby Come Back, that record also featured Police On My Back, later covered by The Clash.  Eddy Grant would go on a solo career and a big 80s hit with Electric Avenue.

8.  California Blues-Redwing (Fantasy FANT-657)  1971  While it is known that Credence Clearwater Revival is the best selling band ever to be on Fantasy Records, they actually had some competition from Sacramento's Redwing, not to be confused with the bar band that was around Cedar Rapids in the early 80s.  Their music was more Poco than CCR but Redwing does have a few hardcore fans out there keeping their memory alive. Tim Schmidt did join up with Poco before Redwing started recording for Fantasy.  They made five listenable albums before calling it a day.  Strange about Fantasy Records rehashing and reissing and repacking out CCR albums but they never ever reissued a single Redwing album on CD (as far as I know).  A kind of injustice there if you ask me.

9.  Come On, React!-The Fireballs (Atco 45-6614)  1968  Perhaps the longest lasting band that Norman Petty produced, they were originally a instrumental surf band making a few recordings for Top Rank (later reissued via Sundazed).  Of course Jimmy Gilmer got a hit with Sugar Shack but still remained with the band till their breakup in around 1969.  They scored an off the wall hit with Bottle Of Wine and then managed to pop this song up to number 63 and on the regional charts managed to hit the top 30.  Certainly there was much more to The Fireballs then Sugar Shack, their version of Say I Am What I Am is better than Tommy James' version.

10.  God, Love, And Rock And Roll (We Believe)-Teegarden and Vanwinkle  (Plumm  68102)  1970
Also can be found under Westbound W-170   Perhaps one of the hardest to find 45s in an era that I grew up listening to, I came across the Plumm 45 version rather than the Westbound.label although I'm sure it's still the same song but on different labels.  Skip "Van Winkle" Knape plays some mighty cool organ on here and David Teegarden is one of the most underrated drummers out there. Both would play on Bob Seger's Smokin O.P.s LP for Palladium/Reprise (later reissued on Capitol) later on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Playlist: Jack Bruce RIP

Okay, so I was watching Ginger Baker pounding on his drums on PBS Friday Night and basically Rock's Original Grumpy Old Man had a nice jazz band put together led by Pee Wee Ellis on sax.  Ellis was once part of James Brown excellent band. The guys in the band seem to have a good time despite Baker who acted like he didn't want to be there. But at age 75 when asked about a Cream reunion and playing alongside Jack Bruce, he gave a FUCK No that'll never happen again snit.  Well, Ginger got his wish, he'll never have to deal with Jack Bruce ever again,  Bruce passed away Saturday at age 71. 

We'll never know if Baker was sincere about that but he did mention when he found out that Bruce was a great player and will be missed. Eric Clapton said that Bruce was a tremendous inspiration to him.  The legend of Cream may have been Clapton but it was Jack Bruce's singing and songs that made the band.  Certainly the highlights of Fresh Cream and the Second album came from Bruce's songs.  Sunshine Of Your Love, World Of Pain, NSU. the songs go on.  The nadir may have been the extension of songs over 10 minutes on the Live Cream album and the bloated live side of Wheels on Fire but Cream was one of a kind.  Bruce's solo career would not be as successful as Cream but he still managed to put out some nice albums on his own and hooking up with Robin Trower for a couple well received albums.  The perfect foil was Ginger Baker which would return off and on for projects, including the interesting BBM hookup with the late Gary Moore.  Of course Baker would complained about the loudness and never playing with Bruce again but 10 years later, Cream would reform for a handful of shows and an live album. Jack was 71.

And of course the tributes are coming in left and right, and why not.  Which also led to another Bob Lefsetz tirade at the tail end of said tribute to bitch about albums and radio and STFU nonsense.  Goodbye albums goodbye radio, goodbye youth.  There's no guarantees in life, there's a time limit for everything and for everybody.  It's great to see new and good albums from John Mayall and Leonard Cohen who at age 80 themselves continue to defy time and morality. But you don't need to hear it from me or from Lefsetz that you don't have much time left on this planet.  So you must make the most of what's left in your life.  I have no bias against new music like Bob Lefsetz but I get tired of hearing him bitch about nothing worth remembering and how people should just give up.  Which is the wrong thing to do and say in this life. New music don't jump out at us like it did back then, even for myself I come to know that what is new music I don't remember much afterwards, unless it really sucks and then then it sticks out.  Hey Soul Sister anybody?  You fucking can't escape that POS song if you go into a Cumulus owned radio station and it's still in regular rotation.  Of course I had to hear it over the speakers when I was in the St Vincent De Paul.  In this day and age, you don't have artist friendly labels anymore like Warner Reprise in the 60s or Island or Harvest Records to name a couple.  Atlantic didn't pay their black artists squat but who ever was on that label was there for years. Same as Chess Records or RCA with the country artists.  Longevity is a rare occasion for any band although Green Day has managed to hang on Reprise for 20 plus years and the dammed Train on Columbia for 15.  But the argument about albums is that when you buy one, you are investing 35 minutes of your life up to an 2 and half hours on a album pending if it's a single or a box set (meaning two or more cds).   Time is money and if you don't much much as you used to, you tend to be more picky of what to listen to.  You have to be. If you want to listen to the same shitty music, just turn on the radio.  No shortage of that.  But of course I can see his point of bands making pointless music. Foreigner for example.  Never running out of ideas to reissue their albums 20 times they have now announce that a new remake of their classic 4 album.  Read the fine print and they omit a few off that album, but replaced LuAnne (the failed 4th single off that album and I'm Gonna Win B Side in favor of yet another run through of Cold As Ice, Hot Blooded and the rest of the overplayed classic rock crap that we're all sick of hearing.  As pointless as they come.  They will not go away.

Death never takes a day off.  Oscar Taveras, star player for the St Louis Cardinals dies in a car crash at age 22, Marcia Strassman better known as Gabe Kaplin's wife on Welcome Back Kotter show and made other movies loses her battle with breast cancer at age 66.  RIP.  On a positive note, Wilko Johnson had a cancer tumor removed from him that weighed around 3 KG which took 11 hours to take out.  He says he's now cancer free. Let's hope so.

So we return back home after three good days in St Louis only to come back to the same old shit and demons that plagued us.  The endless computer freezes and hold ups and the computer is getting much worse as times goes on, not responding, the endless shockwave not working issues which I'm surprised that I haven't taken a hammer to this computer yet.  And the usual political bullshit commercials that never seems to end.  What else is new?   Anamosa, the local football team got blown out at Cascade 34-13 but they still made the playoffs for the first time in years.  They host New Hampton who ended Anamosa's season 41-0.  Cascade shut out West Burlington 42-0.

And as for Marion, they suffered their worst season in many years, going 1-8 and 0-6 in the conference, getting destroyed by the hated CR Xavier team 37-6

I had health issues and spent two nights in the hospital so didn't get the chance to see Widespread Panic at the Paramount last night, their first in CR since Michael Houser's last show in 2002.  Duane Trucks sat in on drums for Todd Nance. 

Set I: She Caught The Katy > Papa’s Home, Can’t Get High, Good People, Bear’s Gone Fishin’ > Ribs & Whiskey, Diner > Bust It Big > Love Tractor

Set II: Second Skin > Ophelia > Shape I’m In > Second Skin > Pilgrims > Driving Song > JAM > Time Is Free > Driving Song > Chilly Water

Enc: Use Me > Ace of Spades

Notes: With Duane Trucks on drums for Todd Nance

Another net radio to tell you about: Kill Radio.  Anti Corporate Music.  The way I like it.  So will you.

Speaking of pointless, record reviews!   What's new?

Scruffy The Cat-The Good Goodbye (Omnivore Recordings)

While sitting waiting for Sony Music to get off their ass and reissue the studio recordings, the folks at Omnivore came up with the alternative and issue a collection of 22 demos recorded between 1984 and 1990 when the final six songs on this comp were being shopped around various labels and got no takers. Which is a shame since they boasted one of the more tuneful singers in the late great Charlie Chesterman.  The early songs were interesting since Stona Fitch's electric banjo which could count Scruffy The Cat as a very eccentric band, kinda like the 13th Floor Elevators with Tommy Hall's electric jug. But basically, this songs are demos and works in progress.  Happiness To Go done as a slowed down ballad does not work very well, this song was sped up to punk rock speed on the two EPs that Relativity issued along with the 2 regular albums.  The key moment was Burns Stansfield's keyboards replacing Fitch's electric banjo and accordion, and Scruffy The Cat became a very good alternative rock band of the late 80s.  This fills in the gaps and until the actual release and reissues of that box set Sony promises to put out, the only way to hear what the fuss was all about.  Not essential but anything Charlie Chesterman and Scruffy puts out, is worth hearing.
Grade B

Primus & The Chocolate Factory With the Fungi Ensemble (ATO/Prawn Song)

Leave it to Les Claypool, he continues to be weird and all over the map.  What to do for an encore? Do a concept album about Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.  A good idea in concept but for an whole album it's tedious even for Primus standards. Golden Ticket is one of those na na da nana songs that Claypool sings over and over till you want to smack him or change to the next song.  And four variations on Oompa songs where the kids meet their punishments tend to drag.  But in the case of Primus, they should have been even more wilder.  After Farewell Wonkaites passes by, you barely remember it.

Grade C+



I Feel Free-Cream (RIP Jack Bruce, From Fresh Cream)
Middle Name-Rory Gallagher (Fresh Evidence)
Ju Ju Man-Webb Wilder (More Like Me)
Wild Blue Yonder-The Screaming Blue Messiahs (Gun Shy)
Inertia!-The Hustlers (Surf Legends And Rumors)
1984-Spirit (The Best Of Spirit)
Time On His Hand-James Blundell (Hand It Down)
Sooner Or Later-The Feelies (Time For A Witness)
Iko Iko-Dr. John (Gumbo)
I Do-Geils (Monkey Island)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Spirit Of St Louis Bargain Hunt

This fall's bargain hunt was a choice of either going to Madison for a third time or return to St Louis after not being there five years.  It's a story of legends made, or simply another attempt to give a eccentric record collection more off the wall stuff that you don't hear on the radio.  Let's pick the latter on this.

The drive down Highway 218 that's basically the Highway Of The Saints is four lanes all the way.  And the traffic remains tolerable till you get to Troy and then the St Louis crowd starts jamming up the roadways. But first I took a break and went through the river towns of Canton to take some shots of the elevators and farm co ops across the Mississippi.  A more interesting elevator can be found up river, which you can see from US 61.  They look so majestic standing out in the crisp and dusty late fall air.  Last year I made it as far as Palmyra and found they still have the signs up from long forgotten stores such as Ben Franklin and Gambles. Which has now been replaced by Antique junk shops in downtown Palmyra.

Driving down the road, there's a Half Priced Bookstore in Chesterfield which as always I must stop and see what they have to used stuff and did find a couple things, A Webb Wilder signed CD and a Best Of Doctor John.

About St Louis:  red lights and construction.  Every time you go into this town there's both going on and they had the riverfront all messed up, you couldn't cross the street to downtown since everything was fenced in due to new improvements.  A frustrated tourist came up to me and asked if there was anything leading out of the park that you can get to downtown St Louis. Told him there might be one where the stop lights are at but I wasn't that interested of going to downtown.  And that's another thing, anyplace that used to be free parking are now blocked off and prices go from 4 to 10 dollars just to park by the landing, a collection of cobblestone streets guaranteed to knock your car's alignment out.  Heaven forbid if you turned down a narrow street, have a Budweiser truck taking up half the room and another car coming from another direction. So basically I said the hell with it and paid the four bucks just to park the car next to the riverbank and hope I could get out of that without going into the river.

For race relations all of the black folks that waited on me were very friendly and helpful.  The dread locked guitar playing bluesman in University City, the dancing guy in the street on River Boat rides, the two that worked at Red Roof Inn, of course there was more than their share of homeless or ones begging for change. Many of them working on the islands leading to the interstates.  The interstates were full of NASCAR wannabees going 80 plus miles and cutting in front of semis or other drivers getting off the exit ramp.  Which was cause after going into Illinois to go to the Chain Of Rocks bridge, cut caught off and ending up in No Man's Land aka East St Louis itself.  The odd standing building, or others that were set on fire years ago and lay waste into ruin.  I curse at every four way stop signs, long delayed red lights and hoping that I wasn't car jacked.  Finally I located the 203 which  led me out of town into Venice, Madison and Granite City. The 203 snakes through these cities into the coal firing plants that turn everything into black soot and the stink they put off is about a couple steps ahead of the sewer plant.  An interest was seeing somebody washing their car off into Granite City and knowing they were fighting a losing battle. The story rains true for those who look for Route 66 is to keep their doors locked and look straight ahead.  Even when you were getting lost trying to get back on the main drag and what short cut that you do take is basically putting your life in your own hands.  Granite City does have a decent Goodwill and Salvation Army which five years ago, the Army benefitted from the closing of Vintage Vinyl in G.C, I found plenty of 45s there.  Five years ago it's back to the usual although I did pick up a Screaming Blue Messiahs CD and a couple 45s for a dollar 40.

The Chain Of Rocks bridge, which looked spiffy when it was reopened in 2000 and okay in 2009 has been falling back into deterioration once again.  You can NOT  have nothing nice around that area (thanks to the asshole Nando or Nanda who managed to defaced the fire engine on the bridge with his name, truly an fucking jerk for the ages).  The fire engine dedicated years ago, now looks like something from the salvage yard thanks to the local gangs and dipshits that thought it would be cute to carve their name into the sides.  Also, the beautiful 66 signs have been tagged by shitheads and basically defaced.  It's bittersweet to see that the main attraction that  is the reason for me to come out there, I can still walk the mile long bridge and back but with vandals and taggers destroying the beauty this would be my only time to walk on that bridge.  You can't park on the Missouri side, it's been fenced off and you really don't want to.  Your car may not be there when you get back. The Illinois side you can still park.  They put up a nice tribute marker which has a Bobby Troup recording of Route 66 playing in the back ground and the colors on this marker changes color.   But give the vandals and taggers time and they will destroy that too.  When I got there at 4 30 the clouds were rolling in but I managed to take some decent pics of clouds and the sun.  I didn't know it at the time but I noticed the sun looked oddshaped, like a football peaking through the clouds.  Turned out that I made it just in time for a partial eclipse of the sun.  Outside of a couple girls who were on the broken down fire engine and a hippie riding a bike, I basically had the bridge to myself.  Which was alright by me.

I went to about 8 Goodwills in St Louis and found the usual suspects on CD and records, mostly country based, mostly Lawrence Welk and plenty of gospel albums from long ago.  About 15 years ago, the old Blockbuster Music Store on Lemay Ferry Rd was a great place to find CDs but like Blockbuster Video they are now history and A St Vincent De Paul took its place. The old Wherehouse Music stores, all four of them now gone after FYE bought them up and now FYE has only one store on Hampton.  The CD era now over and gone, there's not a lot remain in terms of bargains but I did managed to find five CDs of note and a couple of 45s.  In fact, this trip I took home more 45s than anything else. But more about that later.  The St Louis area is losing another record store. Apop is closing their doors but I didn't go there.  They sold punk music more than anything else and I didn't think it would be worth the effort.  However the best stores remain Euclid, which is in a better part of Webster Groves, University City had Vintage Vinyl but if you wanted to seek out 45s.  It was the Record Exchange.  And for five hours on Friday I made the upstairs of that shop my home.

Vintage Vinyl had a great selection of 45s but they were all on the floor, upon boxes after boxes of them.  But Record Exchange upstairs of 45s is second to none.  I got there Wed night for an hour and decided I needed about a half day to see what they have.  A lot of these records have seen better days and some sold at regular CD prices.  But the fun was finding forgotten songs and getting to hear them on the record player upstairs. To spend 50 dollars on a stack of 45s may have seen a bit too extreme for some.  But I look at it this way, some folks go into St Louis and spend money going up to the Arch or Grants Farm or stroll down Union Station although the majority of stores and food places are now history.  My idea of tourist fun: spending five hours in 45 heaven.  To which I thank the owner of Record Exchange for that.  BTW, they have more records now in there than they used to have five years ago.  I could barely squeeze through the tight aisles full of vinyl albums and boxes of CDs.

The negative about St Louis, the stop lights.  They suck, and every one I come up to would change yellow red in a second, forcing me to put on the brakes and then see my fucking CD case go flying onto the floor.  That happened about 10 times.  The first night in St Louis I begin to wonder if coming down there was a mistake.  I put about 800 miles on the car, about 100 of that came from going down the wrong road getting to a destination and the Econo Lounge I stayed at, the room some dumb fuck that had it before me, unplugged not only the TV but  disconnected the cable so there was no TV that night. I told the night clerk that twice and although he said somebody would come up there to fixed, nobody did showed up.  But I must have been too tired to even notice or care.  But it did pissed me off to never return to that motel.  The Red Roof Inn, next to I-44 was much better although their cable channels sucked and it was pricey (120 Dollars on the weekend) but I didn't think adding another 100 unnecessary miles on the car to look for another place was cost efficient. 

The big story and headlines: The Ferguson protests.  Ferguson sits between 270 and 44 and well out of the way of my destinations so I didn't have to drive through that area.  The second big headlines was that some black son of a Congressman got arrested for robbing convenience stores in the St Louis area, to which the politician dad didn't comment but rather was campaigning.  However I had my share of Quik Trip sweet teas to get me through the trip and although most of the places I ate at were the usual, a Pasta House one night, Long John Silvers the next day, and a couple Mexican places.  For the most part, I didn't get sick although I had to make a run back to motel to use the toilet and onward to the next record store. On a side note gas prices were as cheap as 2.48 a gallon the average priced I would say was 2.79.

By Saturday I decided I had enough of the St Louis fun and returned home with a pit stop in Hannibal.  Since there's hardly any record stores anymore, these Antiques stores have been the place to go seek out vinyl.  I considered trying the Antique store in finding music and hitting a few antique malls to see what they look like.  Both Hannibal and the Granite City Goodwill stores have moved to different places, but they do things differently in Hannibal.  The Goodwill store was open and in a new place but the Salvation Army was closed on the weekends there.  I took a chance on going to a Swap And Shop a block away from downtown Hannibal and seeing what they had.  They had a big tub of 45s and 78s but most of the 45s were old scratchy country records, some Starday 45s would have been nice had they not looked like they were on the highway for a few days.  A lot of mercury Dave Dudley 45s but not in good shape and one was cracked.  Hannibal is a nice tourist trap but just like St Louis and the rest, the taggers and vandals made a mess out of things.  Of course the drivers have the right of way if you are trying to cross the street, you have a walk sign and watching two or three cars turn on ahead.  Nothing raised my ire more than seeing some fat ass cow bitch cut in front of me in her car with her welfare smoking daughter doing the deed and then parking in the spot after the light.  To which pleasantries were exchanged and the middle finger have a nice day ensured.

Overall, The St Louis bargain hunt was for all purposes served its intentions.  To get out of the house and go some place I haven't been before and get lost in a world of 45s and make believe.  And to walk on the Chain Of Rocks Bridge, even though the memory of once was Route 66 is fading away, just like the paint on the side of the bridge as some of it chips off and falls sadly into the river.  Despite it all, I did have a good time down there.

Monday, October 20, 2014

PLAYLIST: Ups And Downs

The fall foliage is peaking around here and we're getting some nice red and yellow and orange leaves in the trees....falling into the ground or getting stuck between the cracks of the windshield and  door sides of the car.  The good and bad of fall.

So far college football season has their share of ups and downs as well.  The good: Arizona State taking care of Stanford 26-10  and getting some sort of revenge on them for last season.  The Bad:  Iowa messing up a 14-0 lead and Maryland outscoring them in route to a 38-31 victory.  Iowa seems to enjoy giving new teams into the big ten wins and this was no exception.  Problem is Iowa's defense is not good against decent runners and they have yet to play Minnesota and Wisconsin, both teams that have powerful running backs.  As of this writing, Floyd Of Rosedale seems to be packing his bags to go up north.  After a lackadaisical start but still with a winning record,  Iowa is beginning to play better teams than most of the cupcakes that they packed in their schedule this year.  One of the teams that did beat Iowa, Iowa State seems to have problems playing other teams that don't have the Hawkeye logo.  Texas beat them on a last second field goal, a minute after State tied the game.   Sam Richardson had a great game as QB and probably would have taken the Cyclones down the field, but he only had 3 seconds left and the Cal/Stanford lateral play didn't work.


A tale of two schools, Anamosa won their 7th straight game and if they win next week they'll make the playoffs (I think).  It won't be easy, they'll be playing Cascade. On the down side, Marion, which was in the playoffs last season is 1-7 with a 7 game losing streak.   Number 8 will be next week against C.R. Xavier, and Tony Perkins still is behind Les Hipple for all time victories.  He may have to wait next year to break the all time wins, pending if he doesn't get fired.  However, the sophomore team blew out their opponent 40-0 so perhaps Marion's bad season is just a fluke. We'll see next year.


Miss Melisa Mae, long time Twitter friend and blogger has formed her own company called Kitten Lingerie. It's to bring out the sexy in you, or your significant other. Just passing along the word, after all she's had to put up with my football nonsense on Twitter for five plus years now.

The Xolodremont money train has taken itself out of here and I think we're back to our usual ratings instead of the inflated and patted numbers that I got too used to seeing.  We'll be back under 2000 views next month.

The final major bargain hunt will take this place this week but where I'm going I don't really know yet.  I have four choices to make:  St. Louis, Madison, Davenport or Des Moines.  Reading the double standard latest blog from Bob Lefsetz Time, he is spot on that we don't have much of it left, you can always have lots of money but you're time is at hand and every day you lose more of it.  Tell me something I don't already know Bob.


But then again Lefsetz is back to hounding how bad music has gotten and if you can continue to buy records and cds then you're part of the problem and not the solution if you're not streaming. To which a hearty fuck off Bob is warranted.  Since he's not interested in music anymore, he's talking about Red Bull.  But though the senility, a point is made that this year not one new release has sold a million copies.  The end result of mergers and old Baby Boomers that need to be put out to pasture at the last four labels standing. And the truth is, it's not going to get any better, only worse: 

In 1998, my last of Fantasy Football, I drafted Payton Manning in the draft and although he didn't give a lot of points that year it was enough for me to win the Fantasy title in my league for the second straight year but since then I haven't play it.  Years later Manning throws his record breaking 509 touchdown pass replacing Bret Favre, who ironically was my stating QB that season.  As you can tell a shortage of music news this week.  It's mostly sports.

For some reason I always get suckered into watching VH1's mainstay movie The Temptations everytime it comes on.  It's a very long 4 hour movie (2 and half hours if you cut out the commercial breaks VH1 is notorious for), originally a mini series.  Still inaccurate in some of the things David Ruffin died of a drug overdose and Mel Franklin, the lovable bass singer who died of heart failure in 1995 and not in the kitchen as this mini series suggested.  And David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks didn't do their solo deal till the mid 80s, when they did an album for RCA, with some help from Darryl Hall And John Oates helping them score a deal. (it was both Eddie and David that sang on Hall On Oates Live At The Apollo album). Despite the false provisions and how the movie depicted Ruffin, one thing stands clear: that The Temptations boasted three of the best soul singers in David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams (no relation to Otis Williams, the de facto leader of band).  And Smokey Robinson wrote the best suited song for Ruffin in My Girl, one of the best known and more recognized songs in oldies rock and soul.  Ruffins' self destructing ways and big ego and drug habits didn't help him

Equally as tragic was the suicide of Paul Williams in 1973.  A slightly more grittier vocalist than David Ruffin, Williams' vocal on Just My Imagination is one of his highlights, especially considering the circumstances of his heavy drinking and other illnesses that left him unable to perform most of the time.  Eddie Kendricks had a high sweet tenor but years of chain smoking would leave him to be a shell of himself and lung cancer claimed him in 1992.   While Otis Williams continued to lead various versions of the Temptations over the years, I think their best period was when Norman Whitfield worked with them on more socially consensus songs of the late 60s.  I find their studio albums a bit spotty but the Greatest Hits 1 and more so Greatest Hits 2 are the perfect introduction to what make the Temps so great. But Psychedelic Soul  a 2 CD set that is based upon the the best recordings that the band did with Whitfield is worth hearing as well, even as Whitfield continue to push the boundaries of soul funk with the full 12 minutes of Papa Was A Rolling Stone, to which a bass player and a drummer must had the total control and restraint of playing the same beat and simple bass notes that don't change during the whole song.  However, Whitfeld took it further with the almost 14 minutes of Masterpiece, to which the single edit was a much better listen.

After that the hits became few and far away, The Temps moved over to a disastrous time at Atlantic and made two subpar disco albums. Countless line ups continue to be in the band, even one time Spinners lead vocalist G C Cameron was in the band.  Their last top 100 appearance was The Motown Song, with Rod Stewart (#10 1991).  Basically they have become more of a slow jams R and B band and without the distinctive vocalists they once had, they simply became an oldies band.  As for the classic five lineup, only Otis Williams remains, the rest have passed on to the Great Beyond.

Playlist: (Peak Fall Foliage By The Cedar River: Photo from Trains Mag, too bad you can't see it, it disappeared) 

Rolling And Tumbling-The Strypes (Snapshot)  (Probably my favorite song of 2014)
Dust-Fleetwood Mac (Bare Trees)
I Can't Hide-Flaming Groovies (Shake Some Action)
Carry Me Back-The Rascals (See)
Long Hair Guys From England-Too Much Joy (Cereal Killers)
I Don't Care-Stevie Nicks (24 Karat Gold)
Running Gun-Marty Robbins (Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs)
Strangers-The Kinks (Lola Vs Powerman And The Moneygoround)
Detroit Made-Bob Seger (Ride Off)
Flight Of The Rat-Deep Purple (In Rock)

RIP Raphael Griffin-Ravenscroft.  That haunting saxophone you hear on Gerry Raffery's Baker Street?  That's his playing.  Also can be heard on Pink Floyd's The Final Cut and on a couple Bob Dylan albums.  Passed away yesterday from a heart attack.  Roy Anderson photo credit picture disappeared, what else is new?  Tired of replacing it so it was deleted.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Townedger Radio 1 and Scott Murray Remembered

Scott Murray was a one of kind person that if you were a musician in Cedar Rapids in the era of Carma Lou's House of Music, you have seen Scott from time to time,  I believe he was a guitar teacher there. Although I have seen him from time to time, and probably around when he was at 16th Avenue Music in Czech Village, I really don't have much memories to go on from Scott.  But I'll leave a few testimonials from some that did know the man.  Thanks to Steve Bray for compiling the best moments. Murray passed away on October 9th this year.

From Facebook. Chaz Hogue:

Scott always listened to music that I hadn't heard before. Early on it was stuff like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Gentle Giant, and Soft Machine. Stuff that the first time you heard it you realized that you weren't tapping your feet to it appropriately and so forth. Later it was Return to Forever and Paco De Lucia and such. Once we were at a party at Dick Kriz's place and one of the old jazz guys there asked Scott about what old jazz guys he was listening to. Embarrassed, Scott couldn't name any. The oldster laughed aloud. I was standing there with them and witnessed it. Soon after that Scott listened to everything he could get his hands on. Then he knew the answer. Oh God, then the Ornette Coleman days ensued....Anyway, Scott became a student of Jazz then and excelled at that just like everything else that he put his mind to....

 Of course there was always Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, Larry 'Wildman' Fischer, and the Fugs....

 Scott once told me a story about how he dealt with others in the lecture halls at the university of Iowa. He said that so many were just showing up and scribbling everything on paper rather than just listening to the lecture. He was disgusted by this activity all around him. So Scott decided to do something about it. He fashioned a sombrero-like hat from a paper bag and filled the brim of it with breakfast cereal. He wore it to a morning lecture and then reached up into it, multiple times, grabbing a piece, and then flung it with a spoon at others around him while they wrote furiously. Needless to say there were negative ramifications regarding his activity. Picture our Scott in a lecture hall wearing and doing that with his classic smirk on his face, all the while easily absorbing everything that was being said on the stage by the professor.

 A couple of months ago I stopped by to visit him at home. Jean showed me these casters on the chair he'd sit in while at the computer. They wouldn't spin and rotate anymore because they were all clogged up with Scott's 'steel wool' hair! There was no extracting it from them! We got new ones and put them on....

 Years ago there was this Conoco gas station on Old Marion Road NE. It was in the vicinity of the current Kool Moo ice cream and Stewart's Performance/car wash location. Scott got a job there pumping gas in the afternoons and early evenings. He had considerable 'down-time' between customers and used to sit behind this desk in the front room, playing his acoustic guitar. Once I ventured in to see 3 or 4 kids crawling around on the floor in front of him as he played "Tales from the Riverbank" which was the theme song from "Hammy" which aired weekdays on the Dr. Max show. The kids were mimicking the rodents which were the stars of the TV show with Scott roaring with laughter as he played to them.

 Scott had to wear this Conoco jump-suit at work; a pair of red coveralls with a logo on the front. Somewhere he acquired a red cape and he then started wearing it too. It was hilarious to watch him burst from the building, running out to a car at the pumps, with that red cape flying behind him.

 So one day I found and bought a "Johnny Lightning" helmet from the Salvation Army store. I took it to Scott at work and sure enough, the next customer was treated to Scott running from the building to the pumps wearing it along with the rest of his garb! I laughed so hard I thought I'd die!

The Mr. Ed Tilc story:

Back in the '70s in the Cedar Rapids school district there was a quirky old guy with a limp and a wooden cane who began showing up as a substitute science and math teacher during my junior high and then later my senior high school days. He was a very short little guy who wore very thick glasses with big black frames that magnified his eyes in an odd and peculiar fashion when you looked at him. He always wore a black suit, white shirt, and necktie. His thinning gray hair was short and combed straight back. He was knowledgeable, quite friendly and approachable, and very animated in his speech.

His name was Mr. Ed Tilc and he had been a research scientist for a large outfit like Dow chemical or perhaps Dial or similar. Kennedy high school chemistry teacher Mr. Bauman (sp?) had once worked for him and upon Mr. Tilc's retirement he suggested that Ed come to Iowa and teach the kids. Share some of his vast knowledge with the students. Remarkably he moved here from California and started attempting to do just that.

Mr. Tilc was delighted to be here and often became so excited during class that he would deviate from the curriculum in an effort to impart his vast knowledge. He would speak about how he wanted to establish a 'junior scientist club' and he would share many stories regarding his interactions with Hollywood stars and various popular musicians on the west coast. In particular, Mr. Tilc told us stories about his personal interactions with Lucile Ball and Frank Sinatra. He also once exclaimed that he walked with a limp because a cobra snake had once bitten him in one of his legs. He claimed that he had barely survived the incident and at the time was one of the few, perhaps the only one, that had.

Scott Murray was also very aware of Mr. Tilc. He had talked to Mr. Bauman extensively about him during chemistry classes at Kennedy while I was still in Junior high school. Mr. Tilc had huge credentials regardless of his unorthodox teaching approach. I'm convinced that Mr. Tilc was a substitute teacher unlike any other before or since around here.

Once while discussing Mr. Tilc with Scott, both of us quoting every seemingly outrageous statement that we'd ever heard him say, we decided to write a song about him. I used Scott's classical acoustic guitar to compose the melody in Randy Lovstuen's living room one afternoon. We doubled over in laughter as I played the most discordant and dissonant things that I could come up with. We eventually agreed with the content and then moved on to the lyrics, “Jello and Napalm too, toothpaste in a tube, repeat, Good friend Lucille Ball came to me and said, “Ed what can I do with my hair”, repeat, (Chorus) Junior scientist club always use a metal comb, repeat....and so on and so forth it went....We both knew a woman with a wonderful, trained, operatic voice and we fantasized about her singing this over an accompaniment that we might some day provide!

A few years later Scott called me up on the phone. He said, “I've been working on programming 'The Ed Tilc Song' on my PC using Qbasic." He said, “Here ya go, just listen to this!” Over the phone I listened to this monophonic synthesized rendition of the melody as it chugged and meandered along. Pretty funny stuff. Upon it's completion he said, “Well, what do you think about that?” Of course I told him that it was beautiful, and it was in its own way, representing hours of hard work and such. Later he e-mailed me an attachment of an updated version complete with a pan-potting spaceship-like noise in the background that wooshed by. It was wonderful!

 One wet and cold Fall day Scott and a few others were sitting in the Red Frog watching football on the TV when lo and behold Indiana University head basketball coach Bobby Knight walked in the front door. Scott looked to his right and then to his left, observing the dumbfounded expressions of those around him as they realized just who this guy was! Finally Scott broke the silence and asked the obvious, "Coach Knight, what in the world are you doing here in the Red Frog in Cedar Rapids, IA this afternoon?" In his best, gruff, court-side manner, Coach Knight explained that he was looking for a pheasant hunting guide that he knew from the past but had lost his contact information for. Apparently the guide was known to frequent the Red Frog tavern and grill. Coach Knight called the guide by name and someone there recognized the guy and was able to help with a phone number. Then just as quickly as he had appeared, back out the door he went and was gone. Everyone who had been there spent the rest of the afternoon trying to get others who showed up to believe them that Bobby Knight had stopped by.

 Scott used to yell out he car window "why aren't you naked?!!" One girl yelled back 'Why aren't you?!" Scott replied " I am...under these clothes!!! " That's the only one who yelled back at Scott. HAHAHAHAH!!!  (From Jayme Plank)

Scott was one of a kind: brilliant, odd, and hilariously funny. He was also - back in a day where most dudes were not- accepting of women playing guitar as equals. I can remember his one eyebrow glance if someone said something he found witty or intriguing as he processed what he heard and his follow up witticism. But my most vivid memory is Scott walking down Old Marion Road around this time of year, carrying a guitar and no shoes on his feet. As someone myself who spent as little time wearing shoes as possible, I found this very admirable with the autumn chill. As one of the more unique patches in the quilt of life, Scott will be missed.  (from Barb Myers)

Scott was very helpful to me in learning guitar, piano, music theory, programming my Roland XP50 work station keyboard, writing songs, computers and so much more! When he was injured in a mugging in '98 I was happy to organize a music benefit to raise thousands of dollars to pay his hospital bill. He was truly gifted! He was very instrumental in the lives of countless musicians!  (From Kraig  Wildcat  Spratt)

Scott was in "The Blue Sparks" from 1986 - 1989. Common venues were 'The Golden Palamino' in Marion, IA & 'King Tut Lounge' / 'Henry J's' in Cedar Rapids, IA. Other members of "Blue Sparks" were Nate Hines-guitar, Tom Bruner-guitar, Matt Daugherty-keyboards, Robert Wallace-vocals, Suzie Lind (later Cassie Lind, then Kelly Wood Hansel)-vocals, Mikey Timolea-drums, and a sax / horns section ! After "Blue Sparks", Scott was in "The Pete Turner Blues Band" (early 1990's) venue was typically 'Henry J's'.Scott taught guitar lessons from 1993 -2003 at '16th Avenue Music' in Czech Village. Prior to this, he was teachung guitar at 'Carma Lou's House of Music' on Center Point Road NE. Scott played extensively on a record album of Jim Reeves cover songs his friend Kirk 'The Turk' Witmeyer from Cedar Falls recorded (around the year 2000 ?)  (Nate Himes)

I've seen Scott down at 16th Avenue Music when Bruce Stanley was there and we would trade off CDs and music ideas.  Although I didn't quite know Scott as well as I did Bruce, he was a very original and off the wall kinda guy.  The funny one eye looks he gave are priceless.  In the things I should have done, I should have had Scott teach me a thing or two on guitar.  A great guy that will be missed.

Townedger Radio Programme Number 1 (aired on Lucky Star Radio Wed Night Playlist)

Last year I wrote in various blogs about having an all night radio station and promoted songs in the tradition of late night radio. An anything goes attitude. For the past year I discussed with Diggy Kat, who has his own net radio station Lucky Star Radio about a development of a show that I can program my favorites into making a show that might appeal to the net masses.  Not a get rich quick scheme but rather a promotion of the obscure, and of course promoting my own music songs as well.  The end result is Townedger Radio, that airs on the third Wed Night at Midnight central time.   This was the playlist of that first show.

Opening and introduction-Townedger Industrial Music
Songs played:

Runaway Girl-Junior Wild (1984)

Ain't Living Long Like This-Foghat
Fire Escape-Fastball

K-Tel Radio Spot

Can't Stop It-Mach Five
New Girl-Suicide Machines

End Of It All-The Townedgers
Edsel Radio Spot
Self Serving With A Purpose-MXPX

Hi Karate Commerical Spot  
Genocide-Unwritten Law

Don't You Worry My Little Pet-The Teddy Bears
My Girl Josephine-Jerry Jaye
Wolfie (Single mix)-The Townedgers

Get Out-Down By Law
What I Wanna Be-Klover
Blue Town-The Men

(Station Break)

Not In Kansas Anymore-Big Country (from The Buffalo Skinners)
Are You Gonna Be The One-The Townedgers

(Radio sign off)
The Way To Salvation-King Missile


Monday, October 13, 2014

PLAYLIST: Townedger Radio

In every home, in every neighborhood, there's always a neighbor from Hell.  Usually the one who lives next to you.

No love in CSNY land.  Neil Young saying he'll never tour with them again.  Word has it that David Crosby didn't care about Neil's new GF and mentioned it, and of course Neil heard about it.  New Neil Young album is him in front of a orchestra.  Hope it's better than A Letter Home, his low fi recording with Jack White.

Can't wait for November 5, when all the political bullshit ads end.  We had to deal with this shit since April.  Everybody here is sick of the Bruce Braley or Joni Ernst attack ads, the latter brought to you by Citizens United, a front for the Koch Brothers' propaganda crap. I'm not a fan of Ernst, she's another right wing shrill, but sometimes what the left throw out for propaganda aren't much better.  Rolling Stone wrote a scathing article about them Koch Brothers, which their response was less than cordial.  Rolling Stone gets the last word in rebuttal  here.

Ed Graham has left The Darkness after a decade and three albums playing drums.

Forgotten single from the past Too Easy To Love by Dahcotah. (1976) Recorded in Otho and a couple members would figure into the formation of Hawks.  You Tube has a speeded up version but this website has the corrected speed of Too Easy To Love, Charted number 25 via KLWW (I think).

And I am giving this more news that it should be but Izzy Azalea leads the American Music Awards with 6 nominations. Katy Perry, John Legend and Pharrell Williams has five apiece. Now that's out of the way, Ivy Doomkitty shakes the boredom up here.

(the continuing disappearances of pictures continues to piss me off more than you know.  Basically the Ivy Picture is from my archives and hopefully she won't disappear from here).

Ratings so far this month, better than expected, despite only 3 entries.  Looks like we're getting more fans from France of all places. Xolodremont continues to hog all of the referring URL's, to which I await their demise.


Sweet Blindness-Laura Nyro (Time And Love)
Shakedown-The Wild Flowers (Days Like These)
Long Long Time-Bo Ramsey (Live)
Ugly-Fishbone (Rhythm Come Forward Volume 2)
Hitch Hike-The Rolling Stones (Out Of Our Heads)
Day Tripper-Jimi Hendrix (BBC Sessions)
2D Gal In A 3D Town-Chuck Murphy (Coral Single 61014)
Hitch My Wagon-Hank (Are You Insane?)
Belfegore-Belfegore (S/T)
Shadow Boy-Scruffy The Cat (Tiny Days)


Radio Moscow-Magical Dirt (Alive Natural Sound)

In 1978 I came across a record ad touting the new Frank Marino Live and I played the hell out of it.  Marino blew the people away on the California Jam record that came out earlier that year, but he was a journeyman guitarist highly influenced by Jimi Hendrix but also Johnny Winter.  Sony Music has kept a couple albums in print but the ones to get is 20th Century Fox Records Child Of The Novelty and Strange Universe.  And Mahogany Rush IV.  Which leads us to the 21st century and the antics of Parker Griggs and his band Radio Moscow.  From Ames Iowa, their first album, produced by Dan Auerbach remains the perfect blend of Black Sabbath's first album, Blue Cheer, some Hendrix and the aforementioned Marino.  Four albums in, Griggs returns with Magical Dirt, an album that sounds like Mahogany Rush and Marino, all the way down to the stereo panning of wild lead guitar left and right.  Ain't no doubt about it, Griggs is a child of the late 60s early 70s of guitar rock.  At times he sounds like Frank Marino after too much Red Bull.  If you love the Axis Bold As Love Jimi Hendrix  and like Frank Marino, you'll might dig this too.  Griggs has that style down quite pat, problem is the songs themselves lack substance.  Griggs continues to play everything in the studio whereas live the bass and drummer are sidemen.  Ain't nothing wrong with style, but the songs on Magical Dirt, like the last couple albums showcase Griggs' wild style playing.  As for substance I'll stick with Frank Marino

Grade B-

Florida Georgia Line-Anything Goes (Big Machine)

And it goes out the window.  More autotuned bro country anthems that will be quickly played and forgotten and in the buck bins at your local thrift store.  But don't take my word for it, here's another opinion
If this fails, they could have a music career in EDM.  Stick a pink umbrella in that boys.

Grade D-

On Lucky Star Radio, I host my own show called Townedger Radio.  It will be a once a month thing, broadcasting on the third Wednesday of the month, it comes on at 12 Midnight CST.  Tonight's show I play some of my all time favorites from the Teddy Bears, Jerry Jaye plus tunes from Foghat, Unwritten Law, King Missle and others.  So check it out!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Musings: Rock Hall, Matt Getting Married, Jimmy Johns, Missing Brooksie

You would think that the rock Hall of Fame would consider putting Paul Revere And The Raiders on ballot but looking upon the ones they tap for inclusion, it's the usual bullshit again.  Most notables are Stevie Ray Vaughn, Green Day, War, Lou Reed, The Smiths, Joan Jett and a black punk band called NWA.  Deep Purple not a mentioned even though they came up short.  Let's all say it, Jann Wanner is a joke. And why wasn't Stevie Ray not in this mistake by the lake already is a joke upon itself.   I cannot see the reason why I continue to waste space on The Rock And Roll Hall Of  Fame (TM-FU) when the usual suspects are left out and the shit continue to get in there.  Draw your own conclusion to what shit bands are in there.

My boss told me that every time you go to a city, you see the same old corporate owned stores breaking ground on new stores of the same old same old.  The up and coming Jimmy Johns, known for their ultra fast delivery of gourmet i.e. expensive subs is opening two new stores; one in far away Kingman and the other where the old Kum N Go used to be in Marion.  I haven't eaten at one since the shoe beef episode in the final week of working in Iowa City and since cold sub sandwiches are not one of my favorite things to eat, it will be a while before I do hit another Jimmy Johns.  But at least it's something different than the three Subways that are in that two mile radius of Business 151 in Marion.  Hell hicktown Anamosa has two Subways.  Kinda like Casey's General Stores in Iowa, they seem to pop up more often like zits than any other convenience stores around here.

Back around 2003, while in the music room chatting tunes, I became friends with Donna aka Brooksie.  From time to time you would read some of her top tens here in Record World and elsewhere that I did have a music blog going.  I managed to go see her out in her area a decade ago.  Some weeks she would even rival me in what she would review and we traded music from time to time.  Time flies. She seemed to have disappeared from internet land, last time we talked was about a year ago.  I think she started taking up photography or spending time listening to the Grateful Dead music channel on Sirius XM radio.  Or perhaps she found herself a good guy and now is living life in real time.  I had her phone number but lost it along the way of moving things and reshaping the basement.  But if you're reading this Brooksie, we do miss you but hope things are going well for you.  To which we leave this with the customary SMOOOOOOCH  and a wink.


The Essential Kinks (Columbia/Legacy)

It's hard to put together 50 years of Kinks music into a 2 CD collection and call it essential and Ray Davies does a noble job.  Most of the usual suspects are here although Lola should have been included as a single rather than the 1980 Arista live version. Some surprises, Life On The Road and Life Goes On from Sleepwalker make the cut but not Shangri La and of course 20th Century Man and Yet Here Comes Another Day are my favorites too.  Dave Davies' Death Of A Clown and Living On A Thin Line remains Dave's best to the Kinks too.  Not as surprising is the omission of the MCA albums, not that you're missing much but radio did play How Do I Get Close from time to time and only Scattered in the sole cut from the bloated Phobia album that Columbia did put out.  For an overview warts and all, this does cover 90 percent of the Kinks best known, even down to the soap opera albums of the 70s that we didn't think much about.
Grade B+

Stevie Nicks-24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault (Reprise)

I think she's gotten better with age and time although she tends to add too many songs.  Which was the problem of the last album In Your Dreams, it started out great but after the fourth song  it went south.  This album is much better despite it being too long and too many songs.  This time out Dave Stewart doesn't go wacko like he did on In Your Dreams and of course anything with Waddy Wachtel helps plenty too.  And Davey Johnstone ditto ditto.  She gets good use from Lady Antebellum on Blue Water, one of the strongest tracks on this album and I love the Dixieland arrangement of Cathouse Blues and wished that Stevie would do more of this.  That said, some of the songs need a editor or a fade out, something that was lacking on the last album. I Don't Care goes on too long as well although I like it for the first three and half minutes. But sometimes Stevie can bring out the best in others' song, Vanessa Carlton's Carousel done as a tribute to Nick's departed mother. Final song She Loves Him Still ends the record on a subtle note.  In Stevie's heart she remains a mystic romantic too.   It's in the songs that she writes.  Sometimes I can relate to her on that too:  a hopeless romantic, but somebody that you can never get close to.  Kinda like me.

Three and half stars.   

Texas Hippie Coalition-Ride On (Carved Records)

When it comes to kick ass rock and roll, THC can't be beat.  But then again kick ass rock and roll 2014 is much more different than it was 10 or 20 years ago.  Finding a connection between hard southern rock and Pantera, Peacemaker was really fucking good as they say, but alas the pussy Real Rock stations didn't touch it. Certainly THC has more balls to the wall rather than the watered down Corporate dinks that KFMW plays day in and out. Big Daddy Ritch still bellows from the deep end and Cord Pool  makes Dimebag proud, but THC is more straight ahead rock than thrash.  Skidd Mills (Saving Abel) replaces Bob Marlette in the production board.  Comparing albums, Peacemaker is the better of the two, there's no Turn It Up but there are some nice Pantera like stompers such as Rock Ain't Dead or I Am The End.  There's also some dumb fun songs along the way (Go Pro, Fire In The Hole).  And nothing wrong with that, I tend to enjoy the dumb fun songs more often than the serious crap that U2 provides, after all I am a big fan of the Godz, the Eric Moore led biker band from Ohio that still plays from time to time.  But THC is part of the new biker rock of the 2000s (along with Brand New Sin till their lost their lead singer to other things) and Ride On provides that kick in the teeth that rock and roll needs from time to time.  You don't have to think too hard bout the lyrics of Big Daddy Ritch, just stand up and scream when he tells you too.

3 Stars.

On Saturday, my best friend's son Matt and his bride Rachel will walk down the aisle. It's hard to believe that I have sat from afar and watched Matthew grow up off and on in his 23 years of being here in this world. He's always been a very good kid despite his father (just kidding Russell, love ya too).  About 10 years ago, I sold off my drum set in an effort to get Matt into playing music but thankfully he chose a different profession.  At times I really wished I could have had a son just like Matt but sometimes that's not in the cards for us. I won't make it to the wedding but just the same I wish Matt and Rachel a long and healthy life together and may God bless you both.