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.

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