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: https://www.yahoo.com/music/s/ac-dc-drummer-lives-full-speed-among-retirees-060931503.html
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. http://nodepression.com/article/new-life-basement-tapes-modern-american-epic
Update on The New Basement Tapes and Pink Floyd too http://burnwoodtonite.blogspot.com/2014/11/this-just-in.html
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.