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. http://www.npr.org/blogs/ombudsman/2014/11/20/365278923/asking-bill-cosby-if-he-is-a-serial-rapist?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=2046
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)