Monday, November 24, 2014

PLAYLIST: Turds Of The Year

As November concludes with shitty weather that messed things up from Nov. 10 onward, it's time for me to come up the best of 2014.  Usually we start things out with the Turds of the year. But first, sports

Arizona State outlasted Washington State 52-31 down in Tempe which by now is not the 100 degree oven it is in August/September.  Sun Devils got 38 points off 5 WSU turnovers and Taylor Kelly threw 4 TD passes. The loss at Oregon State may have done on ASU chances for a championship but next Friday it's the instate rivalry with Arizona for the Cup.  The Iowa Hawkeyes' off and on year continues.  Losing all of their star linebackers last year came back and hurt them bigtime.  Once again Wisconsin, like Minnesota did exploited the linebacker weaknesses with Marvelous Melvin Gordon running for 100 plus years and despite Jake Rudock's 311 yard and two TD passes, the defense simply couldn't stop the Badgers.  Having a "dream" schedule and not having to play the hated Ohio State and Michigan State, the Hawkeyes simply couldn't overcome their weakness of green linebackers. And Wisconsin wins 26-24

The big story is Bill Cosby and the alleged rape accusations.  In today's modern media world where the internet will expose those old secrets from the past that will come to haunt you if you're big and famous. And everybody loves Bill, or so they did before the stories started coming out left and right including Janice Dickerson who one might look at with suspicion but a NPR story which Cosby was on after donating some artwork for charity was asked about allegations, he simply kept silent or shook his head no.

I myself has always been a big fan of Cosby's comedy routines. Some of it is classic, The side long about him and Russell, his brother when they were sharing the bedroom and ticking off his dad reminds me of my and my brother sharing a room growing up and not being able to sleep would do the same things Cosby spoke of. His first album with Noah RIGHT is also classic comedy and who can't forget his 1982 thereabouts movie about bringing up his own kids are just as good.  The kindergarden  segment off Why Is Their Air always makes me laugh.  Cosby is also very well read in jazz, a tribute album to his departed son is heartfelt. But everybody knows him from The Cosby Show, which NBC was going to do a 30th Reunion type of show before the rape allegations pop up and them and Netflix canceled it.  I remain on the fence on this but if they become true, they'll be a black eye on Cosby's face and reputation.

The AMA's were on Sunday Night and I caught the ending when Iggy and Jenny were rubbing their butts on stage for Lopez's Big Booty song.  You just hope neither one farted during that routine. Who won awards?  I really don't care.

With snow on the ground, the bargain hunts are done for the year.  Unless we get a major warmup before Christmas.  And and KDAT is now in Christmas music mode.  Which means hearing Do You Hear What I Hear from Whitney or Vanessa every fucking hour half.

And now the main report.  Turds of the year.  There's not many to speak of.  In this day and age, I don't go out buy en masse, most of the new music is shit anyway and if you really listen to what's out on the major labels, there's no personality, it all sounds the same be it top forty, country, rock, pop or gospel.  The genres of music is so polluted with different styles that nothing stands out.  By far the biggest turd album is Florida Georgia Line Anything Goes (Universal Republic) which is basically date rape Bro Country.  And so far the buying public agrees that FGL may have been a one hit blunder, record sales have been disappointing. Which probably explains why Sony Music has been sitting on the latest Love And Theft disposal.

Runner up is Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence (Polydor/Interscope).  Her last album had enough variety to make it a decent listening but this new trainwreck produced by Dan Auerbach who should have known better, making 11 songs using the same plodding beat and Del Rey's shrieking vocal.  Jim Fabar calls her the sad Marilyn Monroe, the babe in distress that can be saved by only you....and your dollars.  The four star review bestowed upon it by All Music makes me wonder if they had a whole different CD.  This thing did nothing for me and thus begins a sign of distrust for anything AMG or Rolling Stone has for four stars or five.

Kaiser Chiefs-Education Education Education And War (ATO) hits number 3.  The Chiefs were part of the upcoming garage hype rock that gave the world The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and The Chiefs but it seems that that type of music is just as forgettable as the rest of them.  Second rate Clash or The Jam.

When Alice In Chains came back with Black Gives Way To Blue, it was actually a pretty good comeback record.  With Jerry Cantrell around they still had that doom grunge down pat and whatever Willem De Foe brings, does made a decent Layne Staley facsimile  The Devil Put Dinosaurs Down Here (Capitol) is not the second coming of Black Gives Way To Blue and if you lead your album out with the best song and if it turns out to be the only decent song, it could lead to a very long and painful listen, especially when the whole thing is 67 minutes long.  To which brings the old crab ass Bob Lefsetz saying that singles are the future makes him right on that one.  To which each and every song sounds like a dying dinosaur plodding around one step at a time before he falls forever to become future generations of oil.  Nothing stinks more than old grunge updated for the kids who don't care anymore.  Just ask Soundgarten and their new crappy song.

The problem of old rock and rollers is that they tend to overstay their welcome.  Or to quote another crank Everything Rocks And Nothing Ever Dies.  Such as Yes Heaven And Earth (Frontiers). Jon Davison might be a Jon Anderson clone in terms of vocals, but he doesn't have Anderson's lyrical sense. But even with legendary producer Roy Thomas Baker on board, the band simply doesn't rock out. This may be the most disappointing YES album ever made.  Time to retire?

Coldplay has their critics and have been compared to Nickelback for being useless; on the contrary I actually liked their last two albums, however Ghost Stories (Atlantic/Parlophone) shows Coldplay trying to decide to join up to Top Forty (which failed) or trying their alternative rock lite moods (which also failed).  I'm guessing the songs were based upon Chris Martin's breaking up with  Miss Paltrow   but the sleepy way the band plays on these songs put me to sleep. (I don't have any Nickle-back in my collection whatsoever, I don't hate them, I just don't get into their music that's all).

That pretty much sums up the Turds of the year.  But of course I have to include in the Turds of the year, the shitty digipaks of albums from the likes of The Foo Fighters, Neil Young's albums, John Mayall's A Special Life and The Kentucky Headhunters's Snapshot.  Anything you have to open from within is a invitation to crash your car if you're not careful while changing the CD in the car.   Special mention for the Pink Floyd packaging to their reissues and new albums.

Also, for number 8 on the list: Overpriced vinyl and raising CD prices two dollars.   The world can't afford a 70 dollar Neil Young Storyville album or a 35 dollar Robert Plant album.  The cheapest vinyl at 15.98 seems to be overpriced as well.  Makes you wish for the days of the 5.98 or 6.98 album.  With CD sales declining all over the place the bright minds at the major labels decide to raise prices of CDs 2 dollars.  Which makes no fucking sense unless they are out to kill what's left of the buying public.  But then again the bottom line of the majors is dollars and no sense. I have no use to hear the New Basement Tapes at 16 dollars new or 20 dollars at Barnes And Noble.  But then the labels don't give new bands a chance to build up their albums either, going back to the vaults for those luxury 2 CD sets of The Kinks or Led Zeppelin.  Or yet another Who Greatest Hits which is Who Hits 50.  They should have gotten it right in the first place instead of rehashing the best ofs from The Who at least 50 other times.  Classic rockers are at retirement age folks, time to either shit or get off the pot Sony, Universal and Warner Music Group.  And we all have to pay bills and eat.

Number 9 The Complete Bruce Springsteen/Foreigner Albums or any other artist series.  Since record labels can't nurture and promote bands anymore, most are either one or two albums then done, they go back to reissuing albums from bands from the classic rock era, which now a forgotten memory with each and every time THE FOX or Cumulus plays Dancing In The Dark or Hot Blooded.  The folks at Warner Music Group loves Foreigner a lot it seems, their albums have been reissued time and time again and now Mick Jones is rehashing the songs for yet another release nobody needs.  If anybody had the Corporate Rock sound down pat, it's Foreigner.

The tenth and final biggest turd: Corporate Radio. Cumulus sucks, John Tesh sucks, and when I'm dead and gone I'm going to haunt Pat Monahan for every day of every month of hearing Hey Soul Sister.  And KDAT with the John Tesh Show sucks.  F.U. Newt Gingrich and Slick Willie for that Telecom 1996 act that has given us shit radio.


Show Don't Tell-Rush (Presto)
Die, All Right-The Hives (Veni Vidi Vicious)
I Am A River-Foo Fighters (Sonic Highways)
Emily-Los Lobos (The Neighborhood)
Paper Doll World-The Backsliders (Throwing Rocks At The Moon)
Slipping Away-Jean Shepherd (Greatest Hits)
Silent E-Tom Lehrer (Revisited)
Bottle Of Smoke-The Pogues (If I Should Fall From Grace With God)
Leave Them All Behind-Ride (Going Blank Again)
If Rain Is What You Want-Slipknot (5. The Gray Chapter)


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Crabb Bits: Riff West, Jimmy Ruffin, TE Radio 2

I got news on Wednesday via Riff West's Facebook page that West passed away from complications stemming from a car accident that eventually cause lung failure.  Riff West one of the good guys of rock and roll played in Molly Hatchet beginning with No Guts No Glory and concluding with Lightning Strikes Twice.  He also played bass in Foghat for a time in the early 90s (The Dave Peverett led band before the original guys got back together a few years later).  West was instrumental behind the Jamming For DJB project which got most of the original Molly Hatchet band back together when Danny Joe Brown was still alive but slowed by a stroke. West started out in a band called White Witch before Molly Hatchet.  Later played on Gator County with Jimmy Farrar (DJB's replacement in Molly Hatchet in 1980) and Paul Chapman of UFO Fame.  He'll be missed.

Jimmy Ruffin, the older brother of David Ruffin who had a top ten hit of What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted passed away at age 78.  He later had a hit with Hold On To My Love which had help from the Bee Gees in 1980.  One of the more underrated soul singers of the Motown era.

I forgot to mention that Rick Rosas also died last week.  He was the choice bass player for Neil Young and played on the last Crazy Horse tour when Billy Talbot couldn't go.  Rosas also played for Joe Walsh, Crosby Stills and Nash and many others.

After two successful radio shows, Townedger Radio has it's own site where you can read the playlists and see videos of music and bands that I think should get some airplay, instead of Barracuda every damn day.  Or You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, or Hungry Heart.  The biggest pain in the ass is on air announcing.  Not much of a speaker myself but the songs speak for themselves.  Thanks to my editor and A and R director Diggy Kat, he edited show number 2 and despite a slow computer stuck on XP and constant freeze ups and Shockware not working, the show went on without a hitch.  However, I destroyed a mouse in the process and a 11 30 run to the Anamosa Wally World saved me from missing out.  Got a few likes and kudos from the faithful.  Thanks for your support.

Townedger Radio Playlist 11/19/14

Living For The Depression-Flipper
Gas Girl-The Bottle Rockets
Don't Take It So Hard-Paul Revere And The Raiders
Sugar Song-Masters Of Reality
Bill's Song-Bill Amesbury
Babs Uvula Who-Green Day
Faygo (Version 1)-The Townedgers
You Better Check Yourself-Soul Brothers Six
Paingiver-Full Fathom Five
Dust-Fleetwood Mac
Razor's Edge-Angel City
Drivin' Blues-Frijid Pink
Devil In Disguise-J J Cale
Don't Talk To Me About Work-Lou Reed
Jack The Ripper-The Raybeats
Love's Made A Fool Out Of You-The Townedgers
Talk About You-Senseless Things

The Mojo Gurus-Who Asked You? (Red River)

I guess greasy boogie blues is still alive and well from these Florida southern rockers.  Led by Kevin Steele, whose vocals remind me of David Thomas of Pere Ubu fame and the odd time mutant blues of Way Over My Head sums up everything quite well about the music biz.  They certainly have their Rolling Stones influence down pat and a love of old time rock and roll with The Last Rock And Roll Show and I enjoy the Dick Dale meets Morricone on the song Bandito. or attempting vintage acoustic blues on Bad Attitude but Who Asked You is not for the radio ready masses but rather for folks who like an idea of Pere Ubu meeting with the Rolling Stones to make greasy boogie blues.  A good time when you see them play live.  And pay for it the morning after.
Grade B-

Slipknot-5  The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner)

The passing of Paul Gray became the subject at hand of this new album from Corey Taylor and the collective group known as Slipknot.  And yes Slipknot is the best known band that hit the big time that came from the great state of Iowa but their abrasive thrash prog metal albums never did much for me, (generation gap ya know?) but I actually come to find myself listening to the whole album. Sometimes tuneful and Corey Taylor seems to carry a tune, even on the screamalongs such as The Negative One and Skeptic which really praises the departed Gray and rips him a new one as well.  Losing one to drug overdoses will do that to you.  The goth doom metallic Killpop is not a love song that's normal, especially on the final coda DIE AND FUCKING LOVE ME!   No matter what people think of Joey Jordison's missing on this album, the new drummer can speed metal with the best of them and there's a bit of evil fun on Custer with the Cut Cut Cut Me up, Fuck Fuck Fuck Me Up shouts which splits at the ends to sound like echophonics gone astray. However final cut If It's Rain That You Want is a perfect way to end this dark and touching tribute to Gray.  The recording is brutal but there's heart to it.
Grade B+

The New Basement Tapes-Down By The River (Harvest)

On the flip side of reissue of The Basement Tapes Raw is this overhyped collective put together by John Henry (T Bone)  Burnette and a cast of characters which has Elvis Costello, Jim James, a Mumford And Sons dude, a Carolina Chocolate Drop and the main singer from Dawes using unfinished Dylan song lyrics that came from The Basement Tapes years.  Perhaps a good reason why the Dylan lyrics were never recorded was that they didn't fit to Dylan's standards.  Which doesn't mean this is as bad as the 1973 Dylan album that Columbia threw at the world and sells for more it's value worth, but it has they typical T Bone Burnett production that's he's recycled since O Brother Where Art Thou.  And a lot of the songs are just plain weird.  Rhiannon Giddens oddball shriek to Costello on track 2, Married To My Hack, the even more oddball Six Months In Kansas City (Liberty Street), in fact the Costello adds a weirdness that has been his trademark over the past decade and not in a good way.  Unlike the Dylan/Band Basement Tapes, which kept it simple, Burnett and company tries to cram different types of instruments and arrangements to make the songs stand out but a lot of the songs just don't have enough melody to keep my attention going.  There are some moments worth revisiting, Jim James' lead off Down On The Bottom is probably the only song that feel at home on the original Basement Tapes.  And too much of Costello and Marcus Munford and not enough of Taylor Goldsmith who holds his own with Liberty Street and Card Shark. If you're going to throw music to unfinished Dylan lyrics at least give them some melody. There's a 20 song deluxe edition that probably tells the story much better but then again I don't think much of the deluxe vs single album debate that seems to be a part of music now.  There's probably one or two songs that could have given Down By The River a bigger kick in the pants than the 15 songs selected.  For the casual listener who might have 20 bucks to throw away, you're better off sticking with the original Basement Tapes by the Dylan and the Band.  This is okay, but not essential.
Grade C+

Sunday, November 16, 2014

PLAYLIST: January Weather In November Sucks

First major snowstorm of the fall had arrived Saturday and gave this wonderful state 3 inches of the white shit. Looks like it's going to be a long cold winter, although we at the halfway point of fall.  For the most part over here in Record World land, I'm in need of a brand new entertainment center since the leaning tower of pieceofshit is falling apart.  More re-arraigning of CDs, more moving albums and knowing too damn well I need to unload more stuff.  January weather in November sucks.

The best of 2014 is going to be a short list of best ofs.  We're getting to the  end of the deadline to submit the best of (coming in December)  I did buy the new Pink Floyd Endless River CD and for a new age type of album it's listenable.  But you won't hear it on classic rock radio.  Or any radio for that matter.

Hippie Chick Carol keeps telling me to quit glorifying them but the big story is Kim Dardashian baring all for Paper Magazine.  Which prompted other copy cats to show off their ass.  Since you want ass, I'll show you more ass

Moving on.
I have yet to preview the new Foo Fighters album but I do like Dave Grohl trying to get the word out about music.  He don't give a fuck if you pay a dollar or ten for it, for as long as you listen and also, support your local starving band. His HBO show has been quite entertaining.  But I keep forgetting it's on and have missed the last few shows.  But I have been some weekend overtime past couple weekends as well.  Won't be doing that this Sunday, I'm snowed in already.

Football Follies: Arizona State controlled their own destiny but slit their own throat as Oregon State beat them, on a pick six late in the game. Played in sub teens weather in Corvallis didn't help but neither did the defense as they gave up a long TD pass to give the Beavers the lead.  And won 35-27. which basically ends the Sun Devils chances of making the final four playoffs. Meanwhile, the other up and down team Iowa went to Illinois and defeated them 30-14  As they say the Hawkeyes control their own destiny if they win the next two games, both at home but they are against a very touch Wisconsin team, with Melvin Gordon torching the mighty Corn with 408 yards in the Mad City snow and blowing out Nebraska 52-17.  One can hope that Gordon will be wore out when he comes to Iowa City next week.  And one hopes that the Shredded Corn defense will be there two weeks from now.

And what the hell is a hanna hornover?  That searchword appeared three times on this blog. As well as tenrussianporn. Like that has anything to do with music. 

Catholic Girls-1982 (MCA/Renaissance)

Gail Peterson has one of the most distinctive voices in rock music.  Although this band never was more than a cult favorite, they had their fans and folks enough to want this reissued on CD.  MCA originally signed them up and then bounced them when their S/T album didn't go anywhere.  Renaissance reissued the album plus 6 more bonus tracks from a later session and guess which ones I enjoyed more?  The bonus tracks.  Turns out Peterson's vocals you either like or you don't, somewhat angelic but a fluttering type of vocal in terms of  a Kate Bush or Yoko Ono (not a slam but comparison) if they were leading Scandal.  The songs don't stand out all that much, same chords, same beat until final track God Made You For Me which veers into Jim Steinman territory.  Overall, with Peterson leading the way, The Catholic Girls made tougher girl rock than say The Go Gos were doing at that time and managed to get themselves banned from the state of Rhode Island after a conservative priest blasted the band for Blasphemy (go figure).  The bonus tracks are tougher sounding than the 1982 MCA album but still has that dated digital sound that screams the 1980s.  Better songs (Vampire, Back In Russia) but that's debatable among the fans of this band.  In the end, The Go Gos had more memorable songs, and better promotion.

Grade B

Pink Floyd-The Endless River (Columbia)

If this is the last true Pink Floyd album, which one hopes that David Gilmour goes through with that promise, then it's bound to disappoint the masses.  Basically this is their farewell to Rick Wright who died a few years ago and this collection of New Age ambient light rock makes a nice listen to the fallen snowflakes that were falling all around me during the first of many blizzards this year.  Of course Roger Waters wanted nothing to do with this, but Roger hasn't impressed us with his output since leaving Floyd either. At least A Monetary Lapse Of Reason had a couple decent songs on that, The Division Bell did nothing for me.  But I had to buy it since the reviews compared it to such forgotten albums like Obscured By Clouds and More which were wrong, those albums had some rock to them.  Endless River is basically outtakes and David and Nick sweeten them up.  In fact only Gilmour sings on the final track Louder Than Words which doesn't stray from the tired slow beats that Nick Mason is famous for.  Only other vocal track is from Stephen Hawking (Talkin' Hawkin'). I didn't think much of Louder Than Words, it seems like the finale felt unfinished, as if there would be a To Be Continued and leave us hanging for the next installment of Pink Floyd. To which if there's anything of value left in the vaults, then the greedy record label will probably cobble them together.  The Endless River does have Nick and David and Rick play out certain themes from the previous Pink Floyd albums, quoting Saucerful Of Secrets, Ummagumma, Wish You Were Here, Meddle and of course the more popular albums and half the fun is to guess what album you heard the riff came from.  Upon a second and third listening Louder Than Words sounds better, although I still think the end sounds a bit unfinished.  I won't say if it's better than Lapse Of Reason, but I do know this beats The Division Bell. 

Grade B


I Ain't Got You-Jimmy Reed (Big Boss Man)
Tighten Up-Archie Bell And The Drells (Best Of Archie Bell & Drells)
Lowdown-Chicago (Take Me Back To Chicago)
Louder Than Words-Pink Floyd (The Endless River)
Heart Of The City (Live)-Nick Lowe (Jesus Of Cool)
Road Fever-Foghat (S/T aka Rock And Roll)
You Really Got Me-Mott The Hoople (Two Miles From Heaven)
Who Wrote  Holden Caulfield?-Green Day (Kerplunk)
I Am The Dance Of The Ages-Argent (All Together Now)
Sometimes I Do-The Townedgers (The Road Less Traveled)


RIP to my old gym teacher Ray Brainard who lived to be 91.  Junior high was a very new and scary scenario after being at Longfellow School from Grades 4 through 6 and I still contend those years to be the very best. It was easier being a kid and going up to downtown Marion for records and The Salvation Army for quarter finds (I miss the old woman that used to call me the record boy), but Ray was very instrumental in being a positive part of 7th and 8th grade.  He was a football coach and when I went out for football, the team would later dominate the Wamac in 1978, alas, I wasn't a part of that, I was going down the alphabet in football and couldn't make the D squad. Ray was a successful PE teacher and a devoted Cubs fan, Iowa Hawkeyes and Marion Indians supporter.  I'd post the Gazette obituary but their links become obsolete so I'll go with this from Murdoch.

15 plus 1 years ago, there used to be a hot chat room at of classic rock fans, to which they let this freak of nature come in and challenge them to more obscure stuff rather than the overplayed.  We all swore that we would keep it together forever but times changed and so do people.  While most of them followed over to Multiply and later here Blogspot and supported my efforts, one by one started disappearing from the face of the internet.  Last month I talked bout Donna aka Brooksie and still wonder if she's doing well.  But in the heydays of Classic Rock, Greg Warren aka The Vinyl King actually rivaled me in terms of music and a large record collection.  But unlike me, Greg lived a life of a family man and had to deal with issues that most family guys do, get divorced, get remarried and so on.  His Vinyl Kingdom was a fun read but I don't believe it exists anymore.  We're Facebook friends but he  doesn't talk to me all that much anymore.  If he reads Record World I'd be surprised. He's a lot more spiritual and now is seeing a new person who I hope makes his life worth living.  After all, that's the point in life, to find that someone special to share a life with.   As for myself I continue to do what I do best, finding music nobody plays and blog about it.  No need to pray for me, my fate is sealed.

Tequila Grill didn't last too long in Anamosa.  There was a for sale sign in front of the window. Originally slated to open in August, they didn't till October and only lasted about 6 weeks. The previous owners El Tequila basically left town in the middle of the night and didn't bother pay their bills. Which is a shame, since El Tequila  dinner platters had an excellent cheese sauce to go with the burritos. It's hard to have a decent mom and pop Mexican food place in Anamosa, since there have been 3 different owners at that location in the past 2 years.  Chances are not that great for a 4th Mexican place in that location but if there happens to be one that pops up, I'll be the first in line to try it out.  Just as long as they stay open longer than a month as in the case of Tequila Grill.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The End Times: Streaming And Overpriced Albums

The big issue of the week was Taylor Swift pulling her stuff off Spotify and pretty much raising the ire of Bob Lefsetz her estranged fan and now stalker troll who continues to tout Spotify as the future and if you're buying records, you're the problem than solution.  Which this stalker troll comes out of the woodwork to remind the Old Poop to take his meds and go listen to the first Crosby Stills and Nash album.  Or just go to Aspen and go ski with his girlfriend. Basically this touchy subject has even moved on to other blogs, Sal from his site was talking about Spotify  Namely Sal from Burning Wood:

The dilemma of today; streaming.  Today's kids and generation who think music is and should be free regardless and the oldsters who lived their lives at various record stores and continue to search to find music that nobody else plays.  Which is real easy to do if you're fucking stuck hearing Corporate owned radio at work and have be subjected to hear Don't Stop Believin' every two hours, or Killer Queen every 27 minutes like The Fox did and raised my ire and put them down as 2014's worst radio station.  KDAT isn't much better with Broken Wings by Mr Mister or Soul Sister by Train every night either.  Somebody at Cumulus didn't get the memo about a new Train album and that Mr Mister sucks.  Corporate owned anything forcefeeds us with the mundane and overplayed to the point that we want to throw the radio across the room, or hope somebody doesn't change it to K Hack and the same goddammed country song played over and over again.  To which I asked my partner in crime is there any uptempo country song they play after 10 PM?  It could be worse, we could be stuck with Pandora, which working Sunday Night Overtime gave us the Micheal Jackson channel, every other song was MJ with stuff by Prince or overplayed Motown, then changed over The FOX channel which Sweet Child O Mine was song number 2 and Back In Black number 4 and then the worst of it, the Garth Brooks channel which we heard canned applause of Garth songs among the slow tempo country crap.  In fact the most uptempo was Boot Scoot Boogie, another song I can do without.  Songs you hate can make the night go by even more slower, it also doesn't help when the so called boss refuses to let you have a half hour lunch, in this department it's 25 minutes if you're lucky.  And doing exercises before going back to work, which I want to tell Big Boss Man that being on your feet 8 hours stocking books is exercise itself and a 15 minute sit on your ass break to recuperate would work wonders.  But that's another touchy subject for another time.

We now live in an era, that the best things are on the internet and everything you hear or see on TV is Corporate owned, even down to each and every reality crap you see on TV and the 21 songs played constantly on radio.  Satellite radio isn't much better, so I'm not renewing my Sirius/XM for another year. Variety is a thing of the past there too.  I guess it's mandatory if you're going to have a XM channel, you have to have Bruce Springsteen on there, he's there on my favorite channels, Outlaw Country, Deep Tracks, Underground Garage and the E Street Channel.  If they can find a way, they would throw Bruce on Ozzy's Boneyard and Opera.  We also live in an era that social media balloons things up to make the non news a big event.  Like Kim Kadashian's baring her butt and letting the world know that Kanye West owns that. We live in an era that we get the conserves saying Freedom isn't free, but then pop a tampon when Dave Grohl and Bruce Springsteen (there's that man again) performs Fortunate Son which best describes the conservative CSers of today.  We live in an era that we get a chance to vote the assholes out that do nothing, only to have the masses stay home and the idiots that had a 10 percent approval rating get reelected once again. The biggest head scrather   of this election year.  And then have fuckhead John Boehner trying to get this Keystone pipleline approved so China can have oil.  Nothing makes sense anymore.

We live in a era that Mircosoft kills the XP program, which means you have to upgrade to a new computer or else suffer through an endless onslaught of ads up the arse when you're trying to read an article and have to deal with pop ups or cut ins, shit ads that appear out of nowhere.  And dealing with frozen screens, the usual shockware flash isn't working that's now commonplace for even reading the Day In Rock Report or whatever the LA weekly pukes up for articles. Or Rolling Stone for that matter.  But don't get me started on that, or what Robert Wheeler has in store for Net neutrality.   I have a feeling he and the other Corporate CSers would like to tip that in his favor, or pocket book for that matter.

The Spotify issue is a very touchy one, and it doesn't put Daniel Ek in a good role either.  Seems to me that them paying 2 billion for royalties for the overplayed songs are a drop in the bucket thing for him. The 10 dollars monthly fee seems to be reasonable, unlike paying 18 dollars for the New Basement Tapes supergroup CD which is a waste of money and time considering the source and sources.  As much as I would love to try to support vinyl or CDs, the high price of vinyl from a Neil Young or Robert Plant is fucking ridiculous.70 dollars for the new Storyville from Mr. Neil?  I don't think so. 40 dollars for Lullaby? You gotta be kidding me.  It's no Led Zeppelin 4.  So if you can't afford that, you can still buy them on CD?  Guess what children, if the bottom line of CD sales keep declining year an year out wouldn't it be better to knock the price down?  Not with the major labels, they raise the price of CDs 2 fucking dollars.

It amazes me to no end on how Trickle Down economics  benefits only the 1 percent and the rest of us get nix, nil and none.  In this day and age, watching our paychecks getting less and less and watching prices go higher and higher that we simply cannot budget and afford the tactics of major label incompetence and greed. Neil Young might be a rock God, but there comes a time we have to say enough and bypass his latest stuff because it's not good enough me to sign off  a half day's pay on a subpar love letter to his new girlfriend, who has been around the block a few times.   But then again we can blame Warner Music Group for the high prices as well.  The demise of the record stores isn't going to come down to boycotting them or illegal downloads from the comforts of home (although the latter of this does) but rather the overpricing of the major labels for subpar shit.  To which they do not promote but in case of name association of Neil Young or Percy Plant hoping that the hardcore will forgo a few meals just to get Storyville on the turntable.  But I'm not buying it.  And neither will you.

In the case of Taylor Swift, she's the media darling of the month and while I don't have a need for her music, I did noticed that her 1989 album can be had for 14.99 on vinyl (at the moment-available December 4). But by taking her songs off Spotify, the old crank Bob Lefsetz tore into her even more so than he ever did.  His postings is about 80 percent old fart talking but there's a 20 percent of truth into a couple things.  Basically the main point is money and how to make money.  And how the smart ones go into banking and the underclass dumbasses go into reality TV and bad music.  And music of the 60s was so much more.

Simple reason:  rock back then was anti corporate. It was the middle finger to the old guard. Nowadays the baby boomers are the old guard and hang on to those old songs to stick into commercials or for that matter become old fuck programmers who haven't changed their playlist on Cumulus Radio.  Back then the music was art.  New music today sounds the same and has a lasting flavor as made in China bubblegum.  And it's all about the money.

But as for myself, I cannot change my statue or the things  that I grew up doing.  Which is continue to find the obscure song and artist and tout them, not sticking with the same old tired songs that I moved on to other things since I have no use for Back In Black or Blinded By The Light, great songs in their own wake, but I don't want to continue to hear them for 40 plus years, or like Dream On.  Pleasant memories of the past get eroded away by overplay.

Stream away you like but I'll stick with The Randy Cliffs,  or Chuck Murphy.

Monday, November 10, 2014

PLAYLIST: Goodbye Floyd

Proving last week's blowout of Northwestern was a fluke, Iowa went up to Minnesota and got their ass kicked left Floyd Of Rosedale behind.  51-14 was the final score and the score itself seems to be a bit light. Even a bigger head scratch-er was Vegas had the Hawkeyes favored.  Never again this season, Minnesota ran them out of the stadium. Hard to believe that Minnesota's defense which was "poor" against the run, and got beat by Illinois two weeks ago, stuffed Mark Weisman and others. Iowa scored a TD against the Gophers' D squad but by then, the regulars were partying up with the brass pig.

Minnesota has the Little Brown Jug and Rosedale in their trophy case and now hope to get Paul Bunyan's Axe when Wisconsin comes calling.  As for Iowa, the for rent sign is now hanging in their trophy case.  There'll might be even more room when Nebraska plays them on Black Friday.   It wasn't much better in the land of the Cyclone as Kansas whopped Iowa State 34-14, thus putting Paul Rhodes on the hot seat.  He may be gone end of the year.  Sorry Cy, you can't play Iowa every week.  But on a high note for Iowa College Teams, Northern Iowa took out North Dakota State 23-3 at the Uni done Saturday, ending ND state's 33 game winning streak.  To which at this point, Northern Iowa is foaming at the mouth for another crack at Iowa.  But not this year.

While Iowa is going south, Arizona State continues to defy the odds and win, and this time out, they took advantage of five Notre Dame turnovers and outlasted the Irish 55-31.  With a 34 point halftime lead, ASU did coast to victory but not before The Irish made a game of it and came within 10 points, before another pick six sealed the game.  Arizona State continues to win and continues to control their own destiny.  There's still an outside chance to make the college football playoffs, but that UCLA wipeout has kinda hurt their chances.  Next week, the Sun Devils take their act to Oregon State, who lost this week and a depleted but still dangerous Washington State at home.  And then, the Cup game vs Arizona.

As I get older, the less I have time for shitty music but thank our lucky stars that Luke Giordano has taken up that job of pointing out sucky music.  I think he has his own website of note but I refer to his tumblr account for the latest of shitty music.  This week, he takes on Black Veil Brides.
And I thank him very much, cuz I know I wouldn't make it through ten seconds of the latest crap the major labels puke up with.

We're not that young anymore and for many years I actually managed to try to look younger than I actually am, but ever since turning 50 that time and age are catching up on me. Everybody gets old, that's been the reality ever since the creation of this planet, that once young and vibrant we're now old to the point that we can't do the things we used to do.  The slowly erosion of the body, the continuing wrinkles on the face and the graying and losing all kinds of hair to the point of being bald before turning 55.  The great practical joke of seeing your hair go south but not staying on top of your head.  Nose hair I can do without, so is chest hair and anything down south. I don't see anything golden about the golden years although I have just entered into that part of life now.  The dating scene non existent, the idea girl is two decades behind, most of who I know are now grandmothers, or coming to be one.   Basically history has shown that I wasn't much of a boyfriend either.  Time is passing faster and faster, 15 years ago I went to Portland to meet up with somebody and to see what record stores that they had out there.  It was a fun time and wish it could be like that once again.  But it never will.  Most of the record stores are now gone, with perhaps a Music Millennium or Everyday Music still around.  That special somebody eventually came out here before the start of the new millennium and decided a balmy 20 degrees in the shade was more than enough and went back home.  Well we stayed in touch for a few more years but by then, she ended up getting married again and having a daughter of her own and trying to keep that together.  Even for friendship we had to end it.  Even I couldn't cheer her up anymore.

That's the way life is; some people want companionship and another person in their life, others like myself are content to be the lone wolf in life and continue to blog and buy cheap music and thinking that I'm making a difference in the internet age.  And trying to find substance in throwaway music.  Even in this day and age of thinking I have it all, I do manage to find something in the 2 dollar bins that suggest that I don't have it all.  And maybe some of the stuff found will hang around more than a couple plays here and there and back to the donating pile.  No shortage of that.

Being in this mind fame, I cannot continue to be forcefed of the same old tired classic rock that THE FOX has continued to bestowed upon us, including multiple plays of 40 year old songs that didn't appeal to me in the first place (Killer Queen, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, Dream On) and hearing Killer Queen twice in a half hour span is just plain fucking stupid.  And the reason why Newt Gingrich's baby, The Telecom Act of 1996 (and one of the things Bill Clinton sucked at was to sign this shit into law, paving the way for repetition radio and Cumulus own 4 out of the 5 stations in this area, thus giving us Killer Queen multiple plays in a half hour) that things suck more than they did back twenty years ago.  The shrinking of the major labels, and not a spot of variety found anymore in the mundane crap that is music itself, be it the processed beats of top forty or hip hop, or the lameness frat Bro Country crap that Nashville bestowed upon us being autotuned dummies like Luke Bryan or the dumb and dumber tandem of Florida Georgia Line which Luke G managed to smack down on their latest "country" song.  I have no time left to invest in dumb stuff anymore, better to leave it to the youngsters and try to live out this life with the least amount of stress, which seems to not be working well for me.

In the meantime, the rockers and the bands of the 60s and 70s are now senior citizens themselves and since the major labels will not commit to the younger bands outside of singles, they go into their archives and rehash greatest hits packages and hope they can sucker the buying public once again, such as the Led Zeppelin 2 CD remasters, The Who Hits 50, or The Essential Kinks or the 2 CD Lola Vs Powerman.  And it's really not working, key band members are dead, in the case of Zeppelin, Robert Plant isn't interested of rehashing songs for profit anymore.  Only reissue that made sense was The Basement Tapes Complete but that's not going to sell either.  Dylan is over 70 now, and even the big songwriters of the past are even hitting 80, the likes of John Mayall and Leonard Cohen.  And baby boomers who now spend their money on meds and trying to keep a roof over their heads are not interested in new music anymore.  Even a music liberal like me tend to be more selective of the new stuff, and the only band that has any of the passion and energy of the rock era are The Strypes.  But even they can't get airplay on the radio.  It's reserved for Cumulus approved crap only.

When my Sirius XM subscription ends this November, I will not be renewing it.  For the past year I have tried to get into the programs and format that they play but in the end their playlist are no more different than regular FM radio, they have their favorites and they play them to death. Somewhere in Sirius Land Bruce Springsteen has a song playing. And I can only take so much of the boss himself.   In the terms of cost effectiveness, satellite radio isn't the salvation that people claim it to be, the merger of Sirius and XM radio once again killed off creativity.   I will miss hearing Steve Earle on Country Outlaws or the wonderful Ko Melina (probably misspelled her name) on Underground Garage or Tom Petty's show via Deep Tracks and Bob Dylan.  In fact, Dylan and Petty would make wonderful program directors at a eccentric radio station.  At least they would skip Killer Queen in favor of something else.


Kentucky Headhunters-Snapshot  (Hickory)

The biggest causality of the flood of 2014 was that I lost 100 CDs in the water in the basement, which I said bye bye to King's X, Dio, Jesus And Mary Chain and The Kentucky Headhunters' albums, to which I may have to replace one at a time.  Never a country band, The Headhunters were rock and roll through and through despite Dumas Walker being country song of 1989 or 1990, I'm too lazy to look it up. After Pickin On Nashville, Nashville never embraced them and Ricky Lee Phelps left to become a minister.  Further lineup chances saw Doug Phelps returning as lead singer and they were bounced between minor labels that didn't give a shit about them.  On Audium they rocked harder than before and then went with the blues and soul on the next album till that label went belly up.  The CMJ label, to which is part of the revitalized Hickory label, The Headhunters managed to have free rein at the extensive song catalog and made Big Boss Man and Flying Underneath The Radar managed to steal the best of the post Mercury years.  They lost their twang when Ricky Lee left but got their grit back when Doug return and this midline priced 10 song sampler captures The Headhunters running through John Hiatt's Sure As I'm Sitting Here with boogie notions, does a blues take on Walkin After Midnight and manages to find some rock and roll value in the Buck Owens throwaway Made In Japan.  And turns Hank Williams into the long lost rock and roller inside of that man on Hey Good Lookin and  Honky Tonk Blues.  In the end, Flying Underneath The Radar is the better buy, the digipak layoff sucks, and there's no recording information or who is playing what.  Plus having collectable snapshots of the band is pointless too.  The Snapshot series I think is part of a agreement with Wal Mart on something, Gretchen Wilson has her own Snapshot album featuring stuff from her albums on Redneck Records and it sells for 7 dollars.   But then again I didn't know anything about the Headhunters CD till I seen it and picked it up for review.  Love the Headhunters but can their record label do something more than this cheaply and poorly made compilation?

Grade B


This Week's Playlist:

NY You Got Me Dancing-Andrea True Connection (White Witch)
Rocking Down The Highway-Doobie Brothers/Brad Paisley (Southbound)
I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight-The Fresh Young Fellows (Because We Hate You)
I Don't Wanna Grow Up-Ramones (Adios Amigos)
Shuffleboard Rag-Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant (Stratosphere Boogie)
Sit Yourself Down-Stephen Stills (S/T)
Great Big Kiss-New York Dolls (I'm A Human Being (live))
I Shall Be Released-Bob Dylan & The Band (The Basement Tapes Raw)
Crossfire-Johnny & The Hurricanes (Twangs For The Memory)
I Don't Know What You Got-Little Richard (Best Of The Vee Jay Years Volume 1)

Just in case you wondering, Winter's coming.



Friday, November 7, 2014

The Crabbys 2014

It's that time again folks.  Time to give out awards for the best and worst places and things of this wonderful year.  With daylight savings time now on hiatus till March and daylight ends around 5 O clock, there's not much going on when the sun goes down and we all the darkness to partake into playing records or blogging about mindless things that 40 or 50 people view per month and some blogs continue to prosper.  Which probably meant that I have chosen the right photo from Google to get more views.  But we continue to lose more record stores (RIP Apop Records, St Louis), more mom and pop restaurants in favor of Corporate own entities (Jimmy John's, Poncheros) and seeing a revolving door of Mexican food eateries in this area, there's no shortages of places to eat.  There's also no shortages of getting sick or getting a roast beef sandwich tougher than shoe leather either, which was another reason why the Jimmy John's across from Pearson's got booted from favorite places to eat.  They're fast, so fast that somebody lost one of their shoes to make that roast beef sandwich that I threw away after getting it.

But basically, this list is my favorites (and not so favorites of the year).  Take it for what's it worth. Another blog written by a bored middle age old coot that continues to believe he's making a difference in the Record World.

Favorite Cos player and dream date:

Ivy Doomkitty

By far my most favorite cos player model/actress/pinup model, Ivy remains one of the favorites here in Record World, surpassing the likes of London Andrews, Samantha Fish, Maxey Greene and Bo Vixxen although Vixxen got some votes from y'all as well.  She's very popular at Comic Book Conventions, you can find her at her website or on You Tube or on Twitter.  One of the most down to earth people, she'll even mention you or favor a tweet you posted on Twitter. You might get lucky and get a picture with her taken at a Comic Book Convention.  She takes her comic books poses very seriously and can make a convincing Sheena or Star Trekkie or Velma from Scooby Doo.  If all of them could be as fun as Ivy is.

Best Used Store To Hang Out.

Half Priced Books  (Cedar Rapids, Madison, Des Moines, Chesterfield)

For 9 years HP Books in town has been my second home.  I have found many many many CDs and LPs and 45s of note and the majority of them have been in the 2 dollar bins.  In a town that no longer has a record store in walking distance, Half Priced Books does sometimes have new LPs that are somewhat cheaper than record stores but I enjoy the fact that the folks there have treated me as if  I do live there.  And they have been mighty helpful and letting me thin out my collection and giving me some sizable cash for the stuff that I do bring in.   The runner up store is Stuff Etc (CR, Iowa City/Coralville, Davenport, Waterloo, Ankeny) where LPs go for 99 cents and CDs for 1.99.  As with thrift stores they are hit and miss but plan it right and you can go home with a Willis Alan Ramsey for a dollar or A gold disc of Dave Brubeck for two dollars.  Honorable mention:  Houseworks: Iowa City.

Best Record Store (in the area)

Ragged Records-Davenport

A tough one to say  which is the best record store.  There's a few I can recommend, Record Collector (Iowa City), Moondog Music (Dubuque), CD's 4 Change (Dubuque), Co Op (Moline IL, Clinton IA) St Louis has Euclid Records, Record Exchange and Vintage Vinyl and Madison, you have to go to Mad City Music X and Strictly Vinyl.  But in the end, Bob Herrington and Ben Crabb (no relation to RS Crabb) has always made me feel welcome whenever I get down to the Quad Cities.  While their CD selection is fairly big and I have found some interesting out of print stuff there, their forte is vinyl albums.  Their 45 selection area isn't too shabby either.

Best Net Radio Station:

Lucky Star Radio
Runner Up: KFMH 99 Plus 
Yes I'm biased but I like a radio station that plays a wide variety of music and Lucky Star Radio does have that shock value of playing the classics along with developing and upcoming artists.  After a few years being on Radio Buzz'd Diggy Kat has taken his act to his own radio station via Live 365 and bringing a lot of the shows from the old Radio Buzz'd to Lucky Star, yours truly included with Townedger Radio.  Sometimes it can be extreme, going from Neil Young To Slipknot to Waylon Jennings to Gemini Syndrome to Dave Brubeck, but I love it when they give unknown bands to hear their music via the net.  Somewhat radio used to be till Cumulus and Clear Channel brought them all up to become the same old shit station, which leads to.

Worst  Radio Station


KKRQ The Fox
Runner Up: KRNA

The sad state of affairs that is Corporate Rock is the nadir of Classic Rock Radio: A playlist that hasn't changed since 1995 and the same tired songs that we all got sick and tired of hearing are played over and over.  I know you love Killer Queen but hearing it being played twice in a half hour is just plain dumb, as well as Dream On three times a row in a night.  Nothing like The Fox touting the new Bob Seger CD and guess what song they play?  Old Time Rock And Roll.  Only time The Fox is worth hearing is the All Request Lunch Hour to which they will dig deep into the archives and play a Momma Let Him Play, before one O'clock rolls around and it's Crazy Over You by Heart once again.  Which has been in regular rotation since it came out in 1976   Runner up KRNA changed over to Alternative Rock from Modern Rock earlier this fall, which means you get to hear less Boston, but more Red Hot Chili Peppers and Candlebox, as well as more crap passing as alternative rock.  Lucky you.

Best Mexican Restaurant

El Rancero  Iowa City

Another tough call, there are plenty to choose from, from Si Senor (Mount Vernon), to Las Palmas (Platteville), Cancun (CR), Villa's Patio (Marion) Hacienda Los Glorias (C.R) and I can eat at any of them forever but El Rancero in Iowa City is the most recommended. They have the best salsa in anywhere.

Best Pizza Place

Naso's  (Marion)
Runner Up: Marco's (Boyson Road, CR)

The older I get, the more I tend to shy away from foods I used to live on.  Burgers, was a big fan of them but lately I get sick very easy anymore and pizza's are in that category as well.   While Zoey's Pizza continues to get high marks from the local newspapers I tend to find their pizzas to be like sinkers, they stick with you for a couple days.  And basically nowadays, the Corporate owned pizza joints are uneven at best, Papa John's and Dominos can go from good to disappointing in a matter of days.  The demise of the Pizza buffets are evident as Cici's closed up shop but we still have Pizza Ranch in many locations, or if you want quick and easy, there's Casey's take out or Happy Joe's although the poor service at one location made me swear off going there in favor of a better Mexican place in downtown Maquoketa.    Marco's is one of the smaller Corporate pizza places, but a few years ago, they were in Town And Country and had hands down the best buffet before they closed up shop.  For the most part the new Marco's usually is next door to a Family Video place and you get a free rental movie for every pizza you order.  But I'm biased, I love Marco's, although I do get a kick out of the dude showing off the newly baked pizza in the box before handing it over to a hungry bargain hunter.  For family owned, it's always been Naso's on 7th Avenue in Marion, which was a hangout in my high school years and after working at the old Coastal Mart now a distant memory although the trains that used to go through town, replaced by endless roundabouts that go nowhere.  For greasy pizza, it's bit more pricey than it used to be,  but it's the way that I remember it.  Plenty of garlic and plenty of cheese.

Best Chinese Food

Bamboo Garden-Anamosa Iowa
Runner Up: Peking Buffet Coralville Iowa

Bamboo Garden in downtown Anamosa is close by and is perfect for lunch when your on the go.  But I come to find that Chinese buffets don't stay open very long, Buffet King comes to mind, so does Green Leaves which managed to call Anamosa it's home for two months then folded up.  Lucky Star in Dubuque closed up shop as well, but Asian King remains open down the road from Moondog Music.  Avoid the disappointing and too expensive Metro Buffet in Cedar Rapids, you have better food options then to spend 12 dollars for a dinner meal there.  The Marion Chinese Buffet across from Wally World is also a hit and miss affair. While buffets come and go, The Bamboo in Anamosa has managed to defy the odds and remain open for a long time.  Plus they're ultra fast on take out too.

Other favorite places to eat:

Rudy Tacos (Davenport/Moline)
Cracker Barrel (Davenport/Madison)
McOtto's (Anamosa)
Culver's (Marion)
Salsa's (Dubuque)
Noodles And Company (C.R/Madison)
Taco Time (Ames if it's still there)

Book and record stores:

Frugal Muse (Madison)
Source Book Store (Davenport)
Sweet Living Antiques (Iowa City)
Hastings (Kirksville MO)
FYE (Quincy/St. Louis/Des Moines)
Salvation Army (Marion, Davenport, Moline)
Goodwill (whatever is close by)
St. Vincent De Paul (Madison, Waterloo, C.R, Asbury)

And so on.......

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Crabb Bits: The Conservative Radical, Phill Rudd, Andrea True

Basically the mud slinging, attack ads, are now a thing of the past till 2015 rolls around.  Perhaps the most mind boggling reality of people continue to give this do nothing congress a less than 10 percent rating and have the chance to change things, didn't.  Either they stayed home in droves or Citizens United paid them off. Every Conservative scumbag got re elected once again.

So here in the prospective state of Iowa, we have Emperor for life Terry Branstad being the longest serving Governor ever, if he makes it to 2015, and even longer. But then again he didn't have much of a rival, Jack Hatch who ran low on funds and therefore could not continue the mudslinging shit that Citizens United did for their owned candidate.  Branstad has shown to work with Democrats on issues and I don't think he was doing that bad of a job, unlike the pork and grab that is Florida's Rick Scott who could have been had, if the Democrats didn't decide on Charlie Crist.  Or Texas going for Greg Abbott.  Or Wisconsin giving future Presidential bidder Scott Walker another term, who I think very much for letting me come up to the capital and using the restrooms without incident.     But we have our own problems now, one Joni Ernst who vows to make Washington squeal when she gets there. *cue up dueling banjos*.  The dream or hope is to have these folk try to vote for our own best interests, but since they are Pro life, pro rape, pro guns, Anti Government, anti Obama bla bla, I don't see that happening..  So in the words of my pro Conservative buddy David, it's going to be one big ride and to enjoy it.  Like coming down a roller coaster only to find that the rails have broken off and you're in a free fall into oblivion, to which I won't be enjoying it much.  But since I voted, Ms. Joni will be hearing me out everytime she talks propaganda on FOX news.


With that out of the way, let's get back to reality and music.  Phil Rudd, the straight lined beat drummer for AC/DC is in big trouble once again, he got arrested for plotting to commit murder and procession of meth.  Which means we have seen the last of him in AC/DC.  Rudd left in 1983 under a different set of circumstances but came back in 95 to appear on Ballbreaker and albums after that.  With AC DC having a new album completed and done, speculation are abound and perhaps a return by Chris Slade is in order although there is still love for Simon Wright who moved on to play in UFO for a day and then Dio.  Phil Rudd's simple but somewhat unique drum pattern (basically a straight 4/4 with cymbal accents than drum rolls, only other person that can do the simple/complicated pattern would be the late Tommy Ramone or to a lesser extent, the sloppy Meg White), worked perfectly on albums such as Powerage to Black In Black to Flick Of The Switch but I tend to find his work on Ballbreaker onward to be somewhat dull.  We have an update on this:

The Cream reunion one last time:  Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton made it to Jack Bruce's funeral yesterday and no punches were thrown by the old cranky drummer.  In fact it was quite heartwarming to see Baker with Clapton once again as they buried their bass playing singing partner.   While Eric has been laying low, Baker has actually been touring behind his new album Why?.  But with the passing of Bruce any more Cream reunion talk is just that.

This week the big release was The Complete Basement Tapes, the 1967 sessions with Bob Dylan and The Band recorded  in upstate New York and Sony Music issued a massive 6 CD set of everything as well as a cherrypicked 2 CD called Basement Tapes Raw which will not make you replace the original 1975 album. And it's nice to see the songs in raw form without overdubs.  You would need a full month to decipher the whole thing but it's clear that The Basement Tapes is really the first true Americana album, that even in demo form, Dylan and The Band had something mighty special going on. Which leads into a new all star band lineup called The New Basement Tapes, featuring Elvis Costello, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (guess what band), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) and of course John Henry (T Bone) Burnett (Alpha Band, legendary producer) . The album starts out strong but then kinda wonders along the way.  Which is typical of Elvis Costello lately, or for that matter, John Henry Burnett.

Update on The New Basement Tapes and Pink Floyd too

Going through a bunch of records to trade back to Half Priced Books and free up more shelve space, I came across a 1981 album called Heartland USA, which the fondly remembered Prairie Sun Mag put out as a 10 song tribute to the working bands across the Midwest at that time. Most of the bands were local favorites, none really made it into the big time although Dave Chastain Band did play the Quad Cities from time to time. Monterrey, whose She's Bad Luck got some FM play here managed to score a contract with Cleveland International but never did make a proper album.  The legendary Mondo Vers and his band (The Vers) also got a bit of airplay with the new wave tongue in cheek I Can't Get No Medication.  Cedar Falls' Shatter song Sharlot, is the best southern rock song ever to come out Eastern Iowa, one part Mason Profit, one part Buffalo Springfield/Poco but I don't recall them ever playing around here in 81.  And Crow Carroll's I Can't Help But Smile is very good folk rock, despite the bad dated disco drums of this song (think Anita Ward's Ring My Bell, or Simon Kirke's drumming on Evil Wind).  Cicero Slim's Get This Floor Out Of My Face a good rip on Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks.  For a compilation album of that era, it has stood up over the years.  Heartland USA was sold at Co Op Music for 3.99.  And I'm surprised that somebody actually has a copy of this album outside myself.

On Friday will mark three years after the passing of Andrea True, former porn star and rock and roll singer.  That's right rock and roll singer although More More More was a big disco hit for her in 1976.  She grew tired of the porn industry and wanted to try something else so More More More came the end result and a number 2 hit here on the regional chart.  Buddah issued a couple CDs to remember her by in  the late 90s but one was basically More More More with 12 in remixes and extended versions. The other was a repackage of her only two albums for Buddah.  Since nobody remembers her much you can find the LPs for cheap at local thrift stores.  Upon stumbling across a pristine copy of More More More, I come to find it a paint by numbers disco album with True repeating the same lines over and over, especially on the 10 minute Fill Me Up. The record flip flops the hit single, it's on side 1, not side 2 as the liner notes indicate. Most will disagree with me but I find her followup White Witch to be the better of the two, she get better production from Michael Zager and two fine disco rock songs in What's Your Name, What's Your Number and NY You Got Me Dancing.  By then, the buying public moved on and despite a 1981 import only release War Machine, which was more of a rock punk album, True disappeared.  Len sampled a part of More More More on their 1999 chart topper Steal My Sunshine.  Ever so much the definition of a one hit wonder, True managed to score some royalty checks for More More More although it did bother her that the American buying public were more fickle than the European crowd.  But I remember her and thought it would be the perfect ending to this blog.  For disco music, More More More was the perfect emphasis on the New York disco scene, Studio 54 included.

Bob Dylan/The Band-The Basement Tapes Raw  (Columbia/Legacy)

For all the grief that Robbie Robertson that took with the 1975 album, to which The Band added some overdubs to sweeten the pot, The Basement Tapes Raw is as advertised, a stripped down affair to which the seeds of Americana were sown and anything remotely country rock, these sessions are that, the beginning.  And certainly the demos of This Wheels On Fire, You Ain't Going Nowhere, Please Mrs Henry, Don't You Tell Henry and One Too Many Mornings were great enough to be covered by those who did, be it, The Byrds, Beau Brummels, Brian Auger And The Trinity and Manfred Mann got some hits from them.  Quinn The Eskimo indeed.  Oh yes, some songs are not on the 2 CD best of, regulated to the Complete 6 Cd set  and even for causal fans of Americana might be a bit too much sorting through it all.  The big sticker price also figures on this, therefore the 2 CD set will work wonders. Compare the rawness of Basement Tapes Raw to the 2 record 1975 set sparkle and polish of Robertson and company but I wouldn't throw away the early album at all.  It serves as a counterpoint of what Dylan and Band set out to do, and that's to have fun doing some covers and demos.  Myself, I think I enjoy hearing Dylan crack up on the lyrics such as Get Your Rocks Off, or Lo! and Behold and calling the Band basement noise on the You Ain't Going Nowhere.  This comp is slanted more on Dylan himself rather than The Band but that's okay, The Band hold their own on Tears Of Rage or I Shall Be Released.  And we can't blame Dylan for giving Blowin In The Wind a straight blues run through.  But let's not underestimate the late Rick Danko and especially Richard Manuel for adding some vocal color as well.  And Garth Hudson for pushing the record button as well.  My vote for reissue of the year.

Grade A

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

PLAYLIST: Welcome To The Dark Ages Once Again

Tyler Hubbard is a dink:

Outside of the death of Wayne Static from Static X, it has been a slow news week.  Usual ramblings from Sammy Hagar that Chickenfoot is done and he is ready to get back with Van Halen again (yawn).  Black Sabbath will do one final album and tour (got that out of the way) and David Crosby still hates Neil Young's new love interest which means no CSNY reunion.  Graham Nash thinks otherwise but general rule of thumb is that when Neil Young is mad at you, he stays mad at you.  Wayne Static passed away Friday in his sleep at age 48.

Football week: The Iowa Hawkeyes dominated Northwestern 48-7, the first time in years that Iowa took the lead and ran off and hid.  Northwestern in recent years have had Iowa's number in football games to the point it became a rivary and every game hard fought. Not this one.  Iowa played just about perfect, with the exception of butterfingers Dillon Kidd mishandling a snap to punt it, and NW got a score out of it. Although outplayed Mark McHugh made an amazing one handed catch that was number 2 in the top ten highlights of Sportscenter but this game belong to Jake Rudock who was 12 for 19 in passing and a touchdown, Mark Weisman who rambled for 94 yards and 3 TDs. and introducing Akrum Wadley who became the first Iowa RB to go over 100 yards in a game (106) and a TD.  Iowa defense had five sacks, including 3 from Louis Trinca-Pasat (LTP which is better than typing his full last name out).  Arizona State had to go into overtime to defeat Utah 19-16.and maintain on top of the Pac 12 South.  ASU still trying to get used to Taylor Perry back as QB, the offense was still struggling to find it's identity.  The Utah kicker one of the best kickers in the NCAA's missed two FGs in overtime, which paved the way for ASU to kick the game winner.  While ASU has won 11 straight against Utah, the Utes much improved team gave them fits and almost beat them.  ASU now controls their own destiny but they got Notre Dame next week and that's not going to be a easy game.  Sitting pretty on top of the standings also makes you a perfect target to get knocked off too.  Be wary.


Grace Jones-Hurricane (Pias Wall Of Sound-2009)

An interesting find in the two dollar section while dumping off about 50 dollars worth of CDs and LPs that I'll never listen to again (thank you Half Priced Books) I came across this album which got released in the states in 2011 under a different cover and that one had an extra cd of Dubs, which can only mean one thing:  Grace got back with Sly And Robbie, the two guys who shaped her best albums for Island in the 1980s.  And as if the EMI Manhattan albums never happened it picks up where Slave To The Rhythm left off although I think this is more of a continuance of her best album Nightclubbing.  Plenty of all stars on this (Bruce Woolley, Eno!, Barry Reynolds from Marianne Faithful's best band) the record starts out strong with This Is, going into Williams' Blood which plays on Amazing Grace, with a hook filled chorus worth the price of the two dollars paid for this.  The Sly and Robbie groove keeps things moving on quite well with Corporate Cannibal to which this is Grace at her mad best and hard grooving.  I also liked her rock number with Reynolds (Well Well Well), which gives me sweet dreams of his work with Marianne Faithful (Broken English, her best).  The title track with Tricky tries to be like an actual hurricane, the soft beginning, the chaotic ending, but for myself it was kind of a let down, even with Eno's white noise it just didn't happen for me. The rest of the album kinda goes through the reggae rhythms of Sunset Sunrise before ending with the trance doom of Devil In My Life which may or may not be about Grace herself.  But in the end, Hurricane really is a nice reunion to the days of Nightclubbing and Warm Leatherette. Enough weirdness that you can dance to and done the old fashioned way.  Who needs to autotune and plastic beats when Sly and Robbie with Grace can do it for you?  A welcome comeback album that nobody knew nothing about here.

Grade A-

Doobie Brothers-Southbound (Arista Nashville)

For all intent purposes, The Doobie Brothers are a feel good nostalgia act, kinda like any of the 70s bands still around, Foghat comes to mind.  But while Foghat has returned to their blues roots, The Doobies have been more country based than boogie oogie, and they gone through changes as well. Biker rock, then blue eyed soul and then reunited to return to country soft rock, although I still like their boogie oogie of Without You or Rockin Down The Highway, the B side to Jesus Is Just Alright.  Recording their last album World Wide Open, it become clear to them that perhaps they should take up  the country side a bit more and then to sweeten the pot add some of country's best known stars for yet another tribute to the oldies via Nashville. I dismissed this on first sight but upon finding a copy of this (at Wal Mart of course, Best Buy didn't have it) found myself actually digging this beginning with Black Water done with The Zac Brown Band.  Which sets the pace of this album, kinda of Best Of The Doobies with a couple of Michael McDonald numbers thrown in.  Plus he gets the ladies, Sara Evans guest starring on When A Fool Believes and does a fairly good job and Donna Summer's daughter Amanda Ramirez sings on You Belong To Me although I prefer Carly Simon. But she's too old and not a Country star.  The big story is that McDonald returns to do three songs on Southbound (he did appear on the last album and despite what is said, he did depart from the Doobies on good terms) and teaches Love And Theft how to do it with that blue eyed soul croon/growl/scream on Takin It To The Street, which Love And Theft checks their bro country at the door.  Believe it or not Southbound is country only by name association, The Doobies still can rock it and although they have done these songs many many times before, they sound like they are having fun, and the guest stars as well, although Brad Paisley can't help but elbow his way in on guitar on Rockin Down The Highway, which rocks harder than the original version (go figure).  Actually, Southbound rocks harder than anything they done since Brotherhood, their second Capitol album of the early 90s. The only misstep as far as I can tell is Take Me In Your Arms, which redneck crazy Tyler Farr sounds out of place, bro country he knows, soul music he don't.  Don't look for Southbound to bound up the charts, be it country or rock but take it for what it's worth, an alternative to the overplayed classic rock hits and a chance to bond with the country stars of today.  Plus, it's good music to go rocking down the highway with.

Grade B+

Out Of This World Flying Saucers! (Concert Products 2004)

I admit that I'm a sucker for those novelty answer records that Dickie Goodman used to popularize in the 50s and 60s, his later stuff was dated and half assed most of the time (Hey ET) before he offed himself out of this world. There was a comp out there that was better but it wasn't mastered very well and the end of the CD the songs skipped.    Not much is known about this compilation of Flying Saucers, the historic Flying Saucers with Buchanan and Goodman is here as well as most of the followups, and of course some knockoffs as well.  Best ones, if you can call them that, Vik Venus Moonflight is a Buddah 45 that uses the bubblegum hits from that label, Captain Zap/Motortown Cut Up's Luney Landing is Motown's answer record, And You Eff Oh is strictly has country and western numbers and probably the best next to the Goodman Buchanan Flying Saucers records.  Problem is that there are three different variations of Flying Saucer from other groups, which is basically the same thing, either sped up or slowed down although we do hear the rare Coral single The Space Man to which Allan Freed himself with Steve Allen actually doing real music to the cut up originally done by Goodman.  But if a answer novelty record gets boring, it sucks the life out of the room such as The Merry Martian with The Marching Band and Antique Circus' Flying Saucers In Brooklyn 2 part crapfest.  Or the embarrassing Little Space Girl from Jesse Lee Turner.  Or the subpar Alfred Hitchcock parody of Henry Goes To The Moon by Ruff N Ready.  Another thing: the mastering of this CD sucks, too much bass sounding and basically done as an afterthought.  But you hardly ever hear of novelty cut in songs anymore, due to copyright issues which is summed by by Jon Goodmans' 1998 Return Of The Flying Saucer to which Goodman meets the dark master, who ends the whole thing on Due to copyright issues this record will not continue remark.  Which is the sign of the times.  Or perhaps the dark master is the copyrights lawyer for The Eagles.  Or maybe Don Henley himself.  About the funniest thing on this CD is the warning that if you illegally make another copy of this monstrosity, that the flying saucers will take you away or they will make you listen to this CD over again and that will drive you crazy.  At last, truth in advertising.

Grade C


January-Pilot (S/T)
Four Wheel Drive-Bachman Turner Overdrive (Four Wheel Drive)
Yet Here Comes Another Day-The Kinks (Everybody's In Show Business)
Gina Gina-The Ramonos (Hi Single 2035-V)
The Space Ship-The Missiles (Out Of This World Flying Saucers)
No One Came-Deep Purple (Fireball)
Sharlot-Shatter (Heartland USA)
Sixty Minute Man-Rufus Thomas (Do The Funky Chicken)
Low Down And Dirty-Poppa Chubby (Booty And The Beast)
Cheating-The Animals (Very Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals Volume 2)

Embedded image permalink

The elections are now done and over with and if you're a Koch Brother you'll love the results. Just about anything and everything Republican won, which means they control both the house and senate, which means you can count upon the next great depression happening.  Earlier in the year everybody wanted to vote Mitch The Bitch McConnell out, how soon they forget, Turtle face got reelected once again.  The vile Rick Scott got reelected once again, no accounting for Florida's taste.   Ann Coulter is in orgasmic heaven.

Joni Ernst won too.  So did nutjob Steve King.  Just about everybody Republican won, except Marianne  Miller Meeks to which Dave Lobesack remains the sole Democrat remaining. Anything to stick it to Obama, the voters did.  And boy did they ever.  Not that Obama has done a great job this term, but then again you're stuck with ideology from one side, and an Republican control House that did nothing but shut the country down and continued to take vacations and time off.  Never have we seen a Congress that did  absolutely nothing get rewarded with more Conservatives.  Freaky Rick Scott won another term and while Wendy Davis was the better choice, she got ran out of Texas by Red neck Greg Abbott. What is the appeal of these folks, I just don't see it. The future don't look so bright now.  I predict gas prices will hit 5 dollars a gallon when everything said and done, the 1 percent will get tax cuts and the working stiffs get screwed more often than not, and perhaps the lamest excuse will lead to another war in the Middle East.  I hope I'm wrong about that but I don't believe I will be.  I suppose this will lead Jeb Bush to become POTUS in 2016, to which I leave you with this observation.

"I see in the near future a crisis that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the republic destroyed." - Abraham Lincoln  (he actually didn't say it, according to legend but it does paint a perfect picture of American Politics 2014)

But on a good note, the political ads are done.

Since I can't put into words, I'll leave the final quote to this from my high school classmate Jill Cram, who's now having to deal with another term of Rick Scott.

C'est la vie, c'est la gare...the voters have spoken and now we have to live with the results for the next two
years. Buckle up, y'all.

 Embedded image permalink

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.