Saturday, December 27, 2014

Good Riddence 2014

Never had I've seen a year that I wished would go away would be this year.  I thought that 2013 was bad enough, 2014 went one step further with one too many flooding rains and to top it all off, had a tornado that swept through this area and taking all of the trees down, knocking power off, and having 6 inches of rain in thirty minutes that flooded the basement and I lost about 100 CDs in the damn water.  Which lead to a big decision to waterproof the basement once and for all in October of this year.  Eight thousand dollars from the retirement fund and hopefully that the next rainy season next spring we won't have to worry about moving everything out of the basement that I did four times this year and the basement is still not in order.

The job situation wasn't much better.  Another Gordon meeting with the company idiot in June prompt yet another layoff and many people taking the buyouts, but what Mr Gordon didn't forsee that we had a shortage in help that almost made us miss important deadlines of meeting our contractual fulfillments, and a piss poor way of doing business.  The scanning department did made the move back up to Cedar Rapids and the year long paradise of being down in Iowa City went away with the usual paranoid practices and us being moved to other departments and doing the other departments' jobs while they sit on their collective asses and did little.  So much for showing that department how things were done in Iowa City, they don't work up here and alas my boss found that out the hard way as our privileges and perks were taken away by having things supposed to be kept secret fell into foreign ears and got back to their bosses.  Problem remains that the do nothings continue to get jobs and kudos while the working stiffs get stiffed.  The main person for town meetings retired, to replaced by none other than Gordon himself, which means more fucking layoffs for next year.  The bastards aren't happy till they sabotage everything we all worked up for.

The continuing problem of Record World is the disappearing of certain pictures, to which instead of replacing the pictures, I deleted the blog.  It seemed that just about everything that I posted in pictures have disappeared in various blogs and continues to suck the life out trying to maintain this blog.  Ivy Doomkitty had a few pictures gone, so did Samantha Fish and Bo Vixxen.  But what pisses me off is the disappearances of pictures that I took that I posted and disappeared.  I'm not sure if this is a Google thing or a Firefox thing or Chrome thing or whatever the fuck it was so basically i found the backup photos and kept them on my computer just in case.  I think it's more important to hang on the old 45s pictures then of some half naked eye candy.  Perhaps Record World got too close to Perez Hilton and TMZ territory, so basically the eye candy got shoved into the background and the emphasis was on music and records.  Which should have been the case in the first place.  I noticed on their Tumblr and Facebook sites that a lot of the eye candy babe were big complainers and whiners and basically wouldn't give you the time of day should you meet them.  I don't have time for that, I don't have much time to deal with whiners anyway.  The only woman who was kind enough to keep a smile on her face and acknowledged her fans was Ivy Doomkitty.  But the ones that I did my best to tout their work ended being less gracious and I quit touting their work, even though they might be one of the best upcoming blues guitar players out there. Still I continue to keep blogs of their importance, even on a cold January night that I didn't make it home.  It was a fun night before the car broke down and the year started on the downhill spiral, just like it did this year.  And just like me smacking the old silver POS car into the bumper of my brother's truck and had to pay 400 dollars to fix it.

The music scene this year was hampered by a major fire at 3rd Street Live/The Chrome Horse that shut down a major place to hear music and live bands.   A half year later and they still cleaning up the mess and there's hope that the bar will open up again sometime in the spring of 2015.  But Cedar Rapids still had their share of concerts, most notably Starship/Boston that sold out the Five Seasons Center, never mind the fact that Brad Delp left us 7 years prior.  Steve Earle played solo in Iowa City this summer and it turned out to be a good time.  But it was the only concert I went to.  Oh, and I wasted a couple nights trying to set in at the Bacon Jam but all I did was appear in the background for two seconds at the beginning of a show you can see on You Tube.  You'll have to search for it, I'm too tired to dig it up.  But this year we once again seen many music and movie stars leave this planet, from Lois Johnson (Loving You Will Never Grow Old her big hit in 1974), Phil Everly, Robin Williams, Bobby Keys, James Garner,  Ian McLagan and just last week Joe Cocker, just a few to say.  In my lifetime, two friends and classmates also passed on, classmate Mark Chalstrom and Steve Fry, the latter one of my better friends, a victim of Marlboro Reds.  A helluva guy.

This year people had the chance to change the government and get rid of the deadbeat conservatives, only the have most of them re-elected once again, the dreaded Mitch the Bitch McConnell, the fucking freakazoid Rick Scott of Florida, Scott Walker and some dick from Texas became Governor as well. Emperor for life Terry Branstad got to a record term as well although Brandstad is the lesser of all the mentioned above.  You couldn't escape the bullshit political ads from February to November to which new hack Joni Ernst beat Bruce Braley to replace Tom Harkin, who decided he was too old to run anymore.  And too bad Chuck Grassley won't do, retire.  But throughout the bullshit, the main story was seeing gas prices go under two dollars a gallon to 1.97 on the final week of 2014, before the GOP house and senate take over and mark my words, next year the price will be back to 4 dollars again.  And the usual do nothing cocksuckers in congress taking lobbyist money and kickbacks from Koch Industries and vote for money rather than common sense.

There were some highlights to this year although they were few and far between.  Perhaps the highlight was the August bargain hunt in Davenport that somehow I managed to find some ultimate 45s of long ago and far away, best described in the Davenport Bargain Hunts blog of late August.  This hard to believe find actually made me go back a week later to pick up the remaining ones that I left behind only to have them all gone by another collector.  But I'm sure that I picked the cream of the crop, the likes of which I will never ever see again in my lifetime.  It also planted a bright idea of me going to other thrift stores in the area to see if I could find more 45s and I racked up 200 more miles on the car and only finding roller rink skating 45s and country juke box 45s.  This year I only went to Madison twice this year and after the second time in July, I never did go back for the fall hunts, I went to St Louis instead and managed to spend 5 and a half hours at Record Exchange and blowing 50 dollars on scratchy 45s. 

The St Louis bargain hunt was the first time I was down there since 2009 and I welcomed the chance to hang at the Chain Of Rocks Bridge for a while.  But things have changed down there; the Missouri side was blocked off, so you had to cross the river to park on the Illinois side and the fire engine that was nicely restored and displayed about 10 years ago, is now scrapheap and tagged as well as other signs and the usual vandalism that associated with taggers and thugs who are hell bent on destroying things.  On a plus side, I did managed to be there on the day of a partial eclipse and took some pictures.  One place I did avoid was Ferguson, which was the scene of angry riots and burning and looting after a policeman shot and killed a black person down there, and that happened a few weeks after I was there.  Ferguson was out of the way so I didn't venture up there, but I did get lost in East St Louis, which is still a no man's land and somehow came out of that town, into the coal plants and dirty coal smell of Madison (Illinois)  and into Granite City which I did find a couple obscure stuff and 45s but not the haul that I had back in 2009.

In January, my old band Paraphernalia reunited on Facebook on a series of  photos of the old OK Lounge show that we did 30 years ago on the 7th of December.  Most everybody took part in the nostalgic trip, even Shawn Ster looked me up a few months later via Facebook.  As always there was talk about getting a band together but I tend to think my best friend dreams a lot about that ever happening again.  And I keep telling them, there's always the weekend jam we can go play at. Which seems to fall on deaf ears.  And in October I started up my own radio show Townedger Radio on the Lucky Star Radio Net Radio.  It's nice to hear songs that I want to hear instead of the usual 50 songs that The Fox will play on a infinite basis.  Corporate Radio Sucks.  But you already knew that.

And of course places come and they go.  FYE in Moline closed their doors, so did Apop in St. Louis. La Tequila changed owners and became Tequila House for about a month in Anamosa and closed, Si Senior in Mount Vernon got a change of owners and better food but perhaps the surprise was Frida Kahlo and their food in Solon.  Anamosa got Hacienda House (as well as Monticello, must be the same owners) in the location that used to be Hardee's.  And the return of Marco's Pizza in Cedar Rapids next to Family Video although this place doesn't have the pizza buffet at the former spot on First Avenue.  Also, my co worker and good friend Sonya Madden managed to have her daughter that she gave up for adoption years ago, come seek her out and they have bonded quite well over the years.  A happy ending to a crappy year so to speak.

And as the year winds down, I have had the flu and cold for the past couple days, another slap in the face by reality even though I got a flu shot, it never seems to fail that however much we try, we still get sick no matter what we do.

So this is where I ponder about what 2015 has in store for me and for you.  I hope next year will be a lot better than this year but I foresee more changes and perhaps even more passings from friends and musicians that I grew up listening to.  I also foresee  me continuing to find bargains in CDs and LPs and 45s when they become available and if I'm lucky to stumble upon them before the next collector gets them.  The vinyl revival of this year has even cause a lot of things being snapped up at the thrift stores and Half Priced Books.  Collectors and vinyl hounds are out there in droves.  When I think I have found it all, I found a couple more things that I wasn't aware of and then document them on this blog.  The Record World Blog in it's first year has done fairly well, I do very well in December as the last three years have indicated and even seeing a surge in readership in France has been a welcome change.  The past year, I have switched over to a playlist and just mentioning 10 things that I have been listening to on that week.  Next year there will be more focus on music and bands and not just a weekly playlist.  Since I have a net radio show Townedger Radio, I'll just post a playlist of that broadcast and leave it as a once a month thing.  I have been writing less, this year I only wrote up 100 blogs and took a month off a far cry from the 147 of last year.  I don't know if this will be a trend of doing less but whatever comes to mind or whatever band I want to spotlight or have a new Singles Going Steady, or ICON blog I'm sure I will do that.  But I'm also due for a new computer, this POS is outdated, has XP and hangs up way too many times and I have it for over 10 years now.  Which is hard to believe considering how much I'm on this thing.   I don't plan to invest in IPhones or Smartphones, I rather not do deal with texting with I'm with friends when we go out for supper.  I tend to live in the past and enjoy it more.  And God knows I spend way too much time on the internet.

Thanks to everybody who has continued to support this blog by reading this I thank you all, even if the ratings are a bit inflated.  Even though I don't have the high ratings of Bob Lefsetz I also like to believe that I'm not a stoic old crank like him who hates folks that buy vinyl but tries his best to jump on the bandwagon on bro country.  Each to their own.  But I try my best to remember the bands that got passed on, or were cult favorites and never made the limelight but once in a while I'll put up a blog of certain bands that get back to the original band members themselves and they'll point it out to their fans.  To the Swinging Steaks,  thanks for the shout out and posting the link of my blog.  If I can convert a new fan to their music then I done my job right then.  To 2000 Man and to Tad, you both have continued to support and comment from time to time. Another mission, to have chat with folks about music, which was the reason why I started this blog back in 2002.  And thanks to Drew and Rastro for their support as well.  And to Starman Dan and the wonderful Donna aka Brooksie, I miss you both.

Let's hope 2015 to be a better year than this one.

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