Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Record World Playlist 1-29-14

The Grammys came and went with the usual trainwrecks, commercials, rhetoric and once in a while some good music.  Kasey Musgraves beat out Taylor Swift in a best country category, Paul McCartney cleaned up house with a few awards, The Sound City Reel To Reel project from Dave Grohl won an award and so did Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath.  Best blues was the Charlie Musselwhite/Ben Harper get together on Stax. And Rolling Stones' Charlie Is My Uncle and the Complete Bill Withers on Sussex/Columbia best historical albums.  33 couples both gay and straight tied the knot in a Macklemore song with appearances from Queen Latifah and Madonna giving the Queen a smack on the lips too, Mary Lambert showing the world she's a great looking plus size Lesbian singer.  Highlights include Metallica hooking up with Lang Lang a classical pianist which turned their song One into a work of art in itself. Miranda Lambert (no relation to Mary BTW) took the place of Norah Jones with Billy Joe Armstrong on a version of When Will I Be Loved, Lambert looking a bit more trimmer and angelic as ever.  And of course the all star lineup of Josh Homme, Trent Reznor, Lindsay Buckingham and Dave Grohl doing two songs at the end of show to which CBS cut away for commercials which Reznor responded in his way a big F you to the Grammys.  And if anybody is interested, the two robots who are Daft Punk won record of the year.  Bore me some more.  And who was that old freak up there with Smokey Robinson looking like that creepy dude from Big Trouble In Little China?  None other than Steven Tyler, old fart from Aerosmith.

Being macho and smoking Marlboros in the 70s and 80s may have giving them fame and recognition but it also kills you.  Eric Lawson found that out the hard way as he died from COPD and other smoking related illnesses at age 72. Which comes on the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General's report that smoking causes cancer and thus begins the anti smoking campaign and eventual banning of cigarette commercials from radio and TV around 1971.  Replaced by Viagra, other E.D and pharmaceutical drugs that clog up the national news cast.  We sure came a long way baby.

Love will keep us together?  More like love will tear us apart and that's what happened to The Captain and Tennile, after 39 years, Darryl Dragon and Toni Tennile are calling it quits.  Which in this day and age being together isn't what its cracked up to be.   Meanwhile, transplanted Canuck and soon to be washed up teen idol Justin Bieber has been arrested for speeding and taking into jail to which the Miley Cyrus lookalike smiled while they were taking his mug shot and later freed.  But he has been in a downward spiral of late, his movie bombed, the last album didn't sell and he's pushing 20.  And time hasn't been too kind for the one dimensional pop artist who relies too much on autotuner and canned beats.  Besides his fan base is growing up and either going into college or taking on life itself.  Sure hope the dude saved up for his after music fund.  He's going to need it.

The weather continues to suck. Since our last together, six Alberta Clippers and two Arctic blasts has turned this place into a 20 below zero outlet with no sign of letting up.  Sunday's storm didn't give much new snow, about a half inch at best but what fell from the other night (3 inches) and 50 MPH winds made going anywhere an adventure with whiteout conditions and I couldn't see the main road. But now we are stuck once again in 10 below temps before noon, the sixth time these past two months that we have gotten arctic blasted and with propane prices at 4.50 a gallon taking a toll on the heating bill.  That's what happens you laspe out on the contract and forget to renew it like my brother found out the hard way. And now paying for it bigtime.

Simon Phillips has left Toto after replacing Jeff Porcaro for 20 years.  Strange choice in Keith Carlock (Steely Dan) replacing Phillips, since Carlock doesn't have an overkill drumset like Simon has but Carlock is very good in the groove when he's in Steely Dan.

And Pete Seeger passed away at age 94.  Boy the stories he could tell.  One of the best folk singers that revolutionized folk protest music Seeger continued to record into his 90s via Appleseed Recordings.

Vinyl Lovin:
The Beatles-Meet The Beatles (Capitol 1964)
And yes this is where it begins, even though Vee Jay did beat them by issuing Introducing The Beatles and then getting into hot water that basically killed that label, Meet The Beatles is the first of many albums that would change the face of rock and roll forever.  With the intro of I Want To Hold Your Hand, life would never be the same again, even though clunky old Capitol/EMI had to be dragged  kicking and screaming into this, and then finding out this is what the teens were screaming for and would dissemble the Beatles UK albums into four varying albums, much to the band's chagrin.  For historical value, us yanks still find pleasure in the lead off single and B side I Saw Her Standing There and screamer I Wanna Be Your Man which The Rolling Stones would cover a bit later on and of course the ballads of This Boy and Not A Second Time are nice and not too sugary, in the hands of Pat Boone or Bobby Vinton would have been. The UK albums are better since the songs sound more at home there then on this album and the three others that came out in 1964.  But you had to be there 50 years ago, where teens would play Meet The Beatles till the grooves wore down to gray and asked for more and got it.  Still ranks an A in my book.

Lee Oskar-Before The Rain (Avenue 78)
He does great things in War, as a solo artist goes more MOR and this drags, the title track goes on too long. Greg Errico, former Family Stone drummer produces and drums most of the way but outside of the somewhat funky San Francisco Bay and Sing Song,  it's a snoozer.  C

Playlist:
Children Of The Land (edited version)-Styx
Conquistador-Procol Harum
Ups And Downs-Paul Revere And The Raiders
Speaking In Tongues-The Elms
Rocking Phenomena And The Boogie Woogie Flu-Aerosmith
Johnny Ace-Dash Rip Rock
Don't Bother Me-The Beatles
Naked Eye/Water-The Who
Bad Motor Scooter-Montrose
Nice To Be With You-Gallery  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Record World Play List 1-22-14

This winter has been brutally cold and as I'm trying to resurrect my music career and trying to stay fit while having Arctic Blast Number 5 go by a month into winter and wishing the hell things would stay above 10 degrees.  The west has been dry as a bone and laugh at us with "look at us we got 75 degrees in the desert".
I have finally brought something new this month, first CD of the year is Bob Dylan's Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid S/T from 1973.  There's nothing new that really impresses me, be it reissues or new albums.  It just the way things goes anymore and although I still forsee some kind of bargain hunts coming, it's simply too cold to do anything about it.

Nobody cares but Slowdive, the 90s era Shoegazers opened up a Twitter account but yet to post anything. Out of all of the Shoegazer bands of that forgotten era, they were the least favorite of all, perhaps I didn't take the right combination of drugs to get them but their Just For A Day CD didn't connect with me. Some people still think they're better than My Bloody Valentine.  Fair enough but I prefer Curve or Lush.  And Slowdive never did have their own Soon (MBV's best song).

Neil Diamond returns to Universal after a 40 year career with Columbia and he's bringing all his masters with him to the revived Capitol label.  Which means of course the repackaging and reissuing of Neil's back catalog that everybody pretty much has anyway.  At age 72, Diamond is working on new material and still remains one of the more fun singer songwriters out there, Rick Rubin gave Neil a shot in a arm with the comeback 12 Songs LP in 2005 but Sony Music gave Neil a burr in the butt for the rootkit problem.  This brings all of Neil's output under one major label roof since Universal controlled Neil's Uni/MCA stuff but the Columbia stuff and Bang Masters remain Neil's.  For myself Diamond hasn't really made any new albums that totality interest me although I did buy 12 Songs but also picked up the overblown Tennessee Moon which was overburdened with poor American Idol duets with unknown female singers but the uptempo country numbers was passable and the Peter Asher produced Three Chord Opera, all Neil Diamond songs but mostly MOR pap and boring as hell.  But Neil and I share the same birthday so if and when I see something cheap and available I'll check it out.  He turns 73 on Friday.

3rd Street Resale has closed their doors in the New Bo area.  It was a good place to find old 45s.

Vinyl Lovin:

Belle And Sebastian-Write About Love (Matador)
They could do no wrong with their Brit pop that combines the best of Ray Davies and Nick Drake but their 2010 album is their least in the catalog, to which Stuart Murdock resorts to more cliche sounds than what we expect from B&S and  Mr. Stravoian poo pooed it in his Only Solitaire blog as his least favorite.  Tinkering with I Didn't See It Coming tips the record into a mini overkill, Norah Jones sounds out of  place on Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John and side 1 is a mess.  Side 2 starts out better with the title track, I'm Not Living In The Real World and Ghost Of Rockschool. And though I like Read The Blessed Pages it sounds unfinished.  For any other band this would be a good effort but since it's Belle And Sebastian we expect more from them.

PFM-Choclate Kings  (Asylum)
Prog rock band from Italy that sounded so much like Emerson Lake And Palmer that said band signed them to their Manticore label (somehow assigned to Asylum which made them stand out like a sore thumb). Side 1 had the better stuff with 2 7 minute plus workouts (From Under and Harlequin) which has a nice element of surprise.  Side 2, not so much although Out Of The Roundabout is decent, Paper Charms sounds like an Italian version of Peter Gaberial Genesis.  Which is just as unlistenable as the real thing.

Mike Rutherford-Acting Very Strange (Atlantic)
While Phil and Peter were pursuing solo careers,  Mike did this busman's holiday version of a album featuring Stuart Copeland (The Police) on drums and for these ears the best anything that Genesis put out in the 80s solo or otherwise, but the record was a gigantic flop and made the cutouts in a half year.  It's more new wave than prog rock and Rutherford knows a good hook (Couldn't Get Arrested) or a rock riff (Maxine) and of course New Wave (Halfway There). It also hints at a future that Mike would have better success with, the odious Mike And The Mechanics with the final track Hideaway.  An ambitious failure on the charts but remains a decent listen 30 years after the fact.

Reissue:
The Velvet Underground-Golden Archive Series (Sundazed)
A MGM version of their "greatest hits" but in all fairness this comp is a decent overview of the more mellower songs that the VU did, which might give the listener an impression that they were a pop band.  And it might have worked had Heroin or White Light White Heat was left off.  Some of the most mellow stuff they ever did is here (Candy Says, Jesus) and even the playful After Hours is here as well.  No quibble with the other songs here but this is pretty useless considering that the albums are out there and better comps are as well.   A curio for the completelists out there but really you really don't need this unless you want to see how inept Mike Curb really is when he was head of MGM, and a big part of its demise. 

Playlist:

Behind Blue Eyes-The Who
Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)-Stevie Ray Vaughn/Double Trouble
Knife's Edge-Emerson, Lake & Palmer
I Know You Rider-The Emergency Crew (Grateful Dead)
Knocking On Heaven's Door-Bob Dylan
Primal-Slowdive
Change The Weather-Underworld
Money Is Not Our God-Killing Joke
Baby Look At You-Pete Johnson & His Boogie Woogie Boys
Tristar-Sun Ra 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Overrated: Springsteen, Genesis

In light of the situation Bruce Springsteen has a new album out and Rolling Stone falls over their ass to praise each and every one of them since the beginning.  For the first time, High Hopes didn't get the converted and overrated 5 stars that Rolling Stone usually puts out, it was only four and half stars. Such a disappointment.  Bruce can make a album of farts and it would give five stars.

I never been a big Springsteen fan myself although I have the 'classics' but even after picking up a Japan CD import of Born To Run have yet to hear it.  The desperate call to arms which could lay claim of the return of Bob Seger.  Darkness On The Edge Of Town was ruined by a muddy Jimmy Iovine mess (later CD versions gave it a brighter sound) and The River went on too long for two albums although I liked the throwaway rockers like Crush On You, You Can Look But You Better Not Touch better than the overplayed Hungry Heart.  And Born In The USA was his crowned achievement, finally tacking the critics heart, the buying public radio and even the dreaded MTV although once again the lesser known and lesser played songs like No Surrender and Darlington County were the highlights.  The darker and more sinister Nebraska released earlier in the 80s may have been Springsteen's acoustic achievement as well.  But you couldn't escape Born In The USA and the major hits off that one. 

To me, Bruce's last classic was Tunnel Of Love and most anything after that despite what Rolling Stone told you was at best 3 and a half stars or less.  The Ghost Of Tom Joad disappointed me so much that the best version of that song Rage Against The Machine did better but the rest of that album I can't tell you about, I fell asleep.

The Rising and Devils And Dust to me were the last two good Springsteen albums, the former a response to the 9/11 tragedy in song, but somehow sounds a bit more dated today than 12 years ago. Working with Brendan O'Brien, producer to the 90s stars started out fresh and rocking but each album it became more stale and pandering to radio that wouldn't play any of the albums.  After Magic, I gave up and quit buying Springsteen's album, no matter how much Rolling Stone or his appearances on TV wanted me to go buy them.  Plus the digipak packaging was awful.  Sirius Radio loved Bruce's new album so much that Deep Tracks and Underground Garage played tracks off that record, which basically got me to change the station. Which come to think of it when somebody plays Hungry Heart or Born To Run, I change stations anyway. But didn't when the Garage played You Can Look But Don't Touch.  I'll give Bruce points for having a good laugh with Jimmy Fallon when they did a parody of the Chris Christie Bridge Gate mess set to the tune of Born To Run.

And Genesis,  Ah 2000 Man got the ball rolling on this one when he was talking about one of their albums.  Another band you couldn't escape in the 80s, Genesis remains the most frustrating prog rock bands that I have ever heard.   For all the talk of the ground breaking Peter Gaberial years, I still don't see what the fuss was all about, listening through the bloated Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, the oddball Genesis Live (originally came out on Buddha) and the flawed Selling England By The Pound to which back in 1973 was featured a lot on the old KLWW FM station after hours and it may have been their best of the 70s.  The Jonathan King produced And The Word Was Genesis, done for Parrot/London years ago shows more Bee Gees than theater and perhaps I might chance it on Foxtrot, their only ABC album release before moving to Charisma and later Atlantic.

When Peter Gaberial left to go solo, the band soldered on with Phil Collins at vocals, stumbling around for Trick Of The Tail, Wind And Weathering (heard good things bout them) and And Then There Were Three, when Steve Hackett said bye bye and all of a sudden, the hits were starting to come.  The less prog rock they did, the more famous they got and with 1980's Duke they finally hit gold with hits Misunderstanding and Turn It On Again, but the rest of the album was a bore and Aracab wasn't much better, by then Genesis dropped the prog rock and went with more album rock (whatever that means)  Aracab I liked the single edit better than the boring ending which goes on too long and makes you wonder when the hell they going fade the damn thing out.  Genesis, the S/T 1983 album gave us the creepy Mama, a single that I did buy but really couldn't never understand the meaning of that song and Phil's ha ha ad libbing which gives me visions of Hannibal meeting up with Jodie Foster in that movie Silence Of The Lambs.  While the band dab a bit of prog rock in Second Home By The Sea it was more of a afterthought and the cheap stab Illegal Alien would be blacklisted off radio in this day and age. Invisible Touch is not prog rock despite the ten minute Domino would like you to think it is, in fact the album is more MOR in the way Chicago was MOR, selling out for the hits and they got them with Throwing It All Away and In Too Deep.  Phil Collins left after We Can't Dance and basically I never heard the whole thing and don't intend too.   But I did check out Calling All Stations and by then Genesis lost their way, I guess it was an attempt to return to a Prog Rock style but nobody bought the thing and when I found a dollar copy of it I could see why. An hour long snoozefest.  Only Congo was worth hearing a couple more times, the rest sucked.

Phil Collins career at times were better than Genesis in the 80s and why not. Face Value and Hello I Must Be Going were pop extensions of Aracab and formalted pop singles boasted by the all familiar drum roll of In The Air Tonight, another overplayed classic rock song.  Phil had a undying love of Motown (You Can't Hurry Love) and made a Motown album of sorts with Goin Back but on that album he played it much too safe.  Collins was a very busy man in the 80s, guesting on Robert Plant's first two album, and Eric Clapton's August.  And of course playing in Live Aid in England and jetting across the ocean to end it in the US in 1985, no wonder he burned out or people got tired of him. I thought his 1996 album Dance Into The Light was quite good and some tracks he discovers garage power pop. It hasn't aged as bad as say, Hello I Must Be Going or Face Value but the overall picture of Phil Collins is you either like him or loathe him, and there's a fifty fifty split in the results. 

There are two Genesis best ofs out there and both of them are flawed.  The more known Turn It On Again The Hits is the best overview but it shortchanges Peter Gaberial, only two songs including an updated 1999 The Carpet Crawlers and perhaps the best PG Genesis song in I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe and even Ray Wilson gets some love on Congo but the album is overrun with too much MOR crap from Invisible Touch and We Can't Dance and leaves out Paperlate.  The 3 CD Platinum Collection is bloated but it does capture the best (and worst) of the Gaberial era (Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, The Cinema Show, Supper's Ready) some of the lesser known 70s album after P.G. and another disc of the hits. 

For all its worth, The Platinum Collection falls shorts, tries to hard to cover most of the albums and basics (except for And The Word Was album) and if nothing else shows Genesis who they really are.

A very frustrating prog rock band that became a hit singles band that continued to frustrate the masses while adding some new fans.  And continues to frustrate us all to this day. 



Friday, January 17, 2014

The Last Bargain Hunt-Westdale Mall

 


They have started taking a wrecking ball to what used to be Montgomery Wards out in Westdale Mall, what used to be the place to be when it opened in 1979 to the titled Mall Of Death since everybody just about packed up and left this place once other malls opened up in the area, namely the Coral Ridge Mall.  But since FYE left there I hardly go there anymore.

In much more innocent time (or so we thought) Westdale was the go to place to hang out and join the crowd and of course checking out the girls there while hanging at the record store.  When first opened they had The Record Store, which moved down from Lindale, at that time still an open air mall.  The other was Musicland, which was a big deal, the first true big box record store to come here.  And we didn't have to trek to Iowa City to go there.  Musicland was overpriced, so was Record Store but Musicland had a huge selection of 45s and somebody ordered about 20 copies of Dave Edmunds' Girls Talk, which I failed to pick up.  The Record Store never really had that great of a selection of music and they closed up shop a year or so later, replaced by Camelot Music.  They were much better than Musicland, and they had a cut out selection to where you can buy albums at 1.99 or 2.99  They were the first place to offer cut out CDs, mostly Atlantic stuff or associated Warner Music Group stuff at around 7.88 or 5.88 and the cheap 2.88 introduction price. Tons of off the wall stuff I found there was Wire Chairs Missing which completed my Wire collection. A lot of minor bands that had contracts on Atlantic/Warners, well their album would be released and then off into the cutouts about a half year later.  I don't think The Raindogs Border Drive In Theater was even that when I bought it for 3 bucks new.  Nevertheless Camelot Music was a hangout, moreso than Musicland later renamed to Sam Goody, to which they were grossly overpriced, 20 bucks for new cds that weren't on sale and those that were was 16 dollars.



While Westdale Mall at that time was a hang out, it was shrouded in mystery and bad vibes and it goes back to December of 1979 when a local girl Michelle Martinko was murdered in the parking lot and to this day nobody has been arrested and it has been rumored that her spirit walks among the walls of that place.  And many places who have been in Westdale never seem to stay there very long.  The Steak house across from Chick Fil A which ironically has been the longest tenured eatery place there, (been there from the beginning I believe), McDonalds and Hardee's both had indoor restaurants, Bishops Buffet, and a Chinese food place I used to eat till they closed up there 10 years ago and Suncoast.  Jim Henson tried three times to open up a Rock and Bach store in that area, and three times he closed up shop and eventually settled into buying the Maid Rite and had better luck serving food.  Rock n Bach as a stand alone store managed to be a part of the CR record scene for about 20 years, starting at Ellis Blvd and basically moving down the road to the other side of town, which I spent many a Saturday night there when it was next door the meet market known as DeSodas. 



The demise and closure of Camelot Music in the late 90s (not sure on the date but it may came around the time of the opening of Coral Ridge Mall) was the beginning of the end of my time of being at Westdale. Sam Goody managed to stay afloat till around 2005 but once they closed their doors no other record store replaced it.  For a time being just about half of Westdale Mall had empty stores and no takers.  The rent was outrageous and people went to other places.  And developers are trying their best to do a remake of Westdale and make it up to date.  But it's a whole different time and era and the days of the mallrats and hanging there are over.  Not that I did much of that rather than making a bee line to Camelot to see the latest they had in the cutout section. 

Who knows,maybe the new Westdale will make a comeback but I doubt it.   It was a different time back then.  And now.

When I walked through the hollowed halls of Westdale Mall, I am humbled and discouraged of seeing a mall that is 60 percent empty and basically used as a walking trail since it's too cold and snowy to hit the Nature Center.  It's sad to see a place where I spent 30 years going to Camelot and pointing out the places that used to be there, Waldenbooks which was a big deal before Barnes and Noble and the late Borders, Suncoast where you could buy overpriced DVDs and VHS movies that they didn't show on TV, the old Aladdin's Cave where video games were the thing rather than staying at home and playing them on computer (Cheaper in this day and age but there's no interaction very much on the net). What surprised me was that the Chinese place is still open (as well as Cik Fill-A) and Bed Bath And Beyond had the whole row of downtown stores by themselves but looked like a ghost town, probably the only BBAB store not busy.  A Sports Memorabilia, selling overpriced autographed sports pictures is still around but closed that Sunday I was there. But for myself, going to Westdale is like being inside of a dead carcass, nothing inside and what remains is rotting away.  But at least you can get some exercise walking around and guess where the stores used to be at.

A sign of the times. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Music World Week In Review 1/14/14

January is a very slow month for music and I have no use or intend to buy High Hopes from Bruce Springsteen although I have heard tracks off it from the XM stations of Underground Garage and Deep Tracks.  Springsteen hasn't wowed me since The Rising and doing a covers album will suit his fans and buddies on the pay radio circuit.  Here we are halfway through in the new year and I have yet to buy anything new or used.  So this might be a CD free month after all, or record free month. First time that's happened since March of 2008 I think.

The big news is Christine McVie rejoining her bandmates in Fleetwood Mac and good for her.  While the haters over the net howl over this I always liked her smokey tinged vocals and this will be great for business for The Mac as well.  I also noticed a lotta hate for Stevie Nicks and I don't think that's justified either. While Crystal Visions (Reprise) is the best overview of Stevie, it also reveals the faults of her, especially on the over the top endings of her live version of Edge Of Seventeen too. But in another way, she never did top her best song ever written which is included on this CD, the B side Silver Springs which is better than Dreams or Rhiannon or Edge Of Seventeen.

Tim McGraw.... http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/tim-mcgraws-lookin-for-that-girl-a-rant

Cable TV and satellite for that matter has been a total ripoff the past 15/20 years and continues to get worse and worse with daily rate increases with the laughable cost of programming and content BS line.  You want to confront these overpaid CEOs with "what programming and content".  Shitty reality shows of asshole dumpster diving or greedy pricks buying abandoned storage spaces and seeing how much they can make? More reality shit crap about Mob Wives, Basketball Wives, Real Wives of LA, people you just want to run over when they crossed the streets.  Pregnant and 16?  Are kids today that gung ho of being grow up and living in poverty after they lose their favor with MTV when they turn 18?  I don't need to watch that shit and I don't.  But what really annoys the hell out of me is the continuing commercial interruption every five minutes and we have nothing more than 5 minutes of that.  You can't watch Spike TV without that, you can probaly go take a dump, wash dishes, play a few hands of solitaire on the computer and mow the yard and come back and you haven't missed a thing.  WGN and USA showing Law And Order reruns at the same time, guessing what station will show The Shawnshrink Redemption again (yes I know I misspelled it).  And the propaganda news channel FOX and the even more worthless FOX business (the only new channel our shitty cable company added on that nobody here watches).  We don't even get Tru TV or the fucked up ESPNU which has the basketball games we would like to watch but can't since ESPN or ESPN2 is showing World Series of Poker.  Never have we had so many channels and have nothing to watch.

But a crisis is at hand, DirecTV, the other worthless satellite provider has dropped the Weather Channel and everybody seems to be up in arms with that.  It's like Panic time once again, what are we going to do in case of bad weather and won't be able to pick it up on DirecTV since Weather Channel's price is too high?  If you have a computer, you have many different options to choose from.  With Intellicast or Accuweather. you can catch up with the latest in weather happenings or in Tornado outbreaks, Google name the place and time and they will have a TV feed to keep you up to date, just like the Moore Tornado outbreak of last May.  Or get a weather radio.  The Weather Channel has been quite laughable the past few years by going to original programming (reality shows)  that gets repeated 100 times afterwards so yo basically don't know if a tornado or hurricane is coming if they're rehashing When Weather Attacks or Full Force Nature.  Plus TWC has plenty of commercial breaks as well.    The Weather Channel does not have a monopoly on the weather. Try Weather Nation.  At least they're not hitting you with 40 percent of reality crap shows.

This season's Family Guy has continued the downward spiral of being around past the expiration date and like the rest of you I fell for the Brian gets killed off episode but he would return due to the magic of animation domination and cartoons.  The earlier years of Family Guy were cutting edge and once in a while will strike up a zinger or two but when the jokes fall flat, it brings a awkwardness that borderlines on creepy. The skit of Peter Griffin doing Book Talk on Public Radio may have been the worst thing Seth McFarlane ever thought up and I get tired of seeing blood and guts that is a part of Family Guy.  But I continue to watch for sometime something might come up and make me laugh.  It's usually when somebody farts on the show.

Not a lot here for future projects although I do show up from time to time to focus on issues that caught my attention.  For sure the ratings will be half of what they were last month.  The top tens of note are the Circumstances Beyond Control, Tunes From The Tornado and Hairball with a few more inquiries about Morgan Reese  and Ivy Doomkitty.   But throw a suggestion and I may consider it.




Sunday, January 12, 2014

News: J&R Classical Music Closed, Stupid Drivers

I used to order a few things from J&R Music World.  When I couldn't find cassette tapes here I would order them from J&R but I haven't done that very much lately.  But the big news coming out is that J&R has closed their classical music selection and at the same point changed their name to J&R Computer World.  Not that it really matters since I don't follow Classical but J&R also has closed down the jazz and world music section as well.  Another causality and yet another reminder that the recording world is becoming more and more in into the passe.  Don't believe me take a look at what Best Buy has for sale.  Nothing.

http://www.wqxr.org/#!/story/j-r-new-yorks-last-classical-record-store-faces-uncertain-future/?utm_source=sharedUrl&utm_media=metatag&utm_campaign=sharedUrl

The world is a dangerous place to live in, especially in the warmer states.  I had a co worker friend that moved to Florida and while her and her mom were out and about some 15 year old ran a red light and T boned the car that would kill her mom.  Charges are pending against the 15 year old but I think that should applied to the brat's mom, 32 year old  Becky Bancato who thought it would be nice to let Junior take the car out for a spin or either he freaked out or too busy texting to not notice the red light and other cars going the other direction. Once again it means nothing other than my friend making funeral arrangements for her mom while some stupid red light runner gets away with a slap on a wrist.  Ain't it great to live in America where you can drive like an idiot and get away with things. What a country!

But then again nobody drives worth a fuck up here either, judging by Friday's icy weather.  Nothing like going down US 30 on a gazed road and have two semi's going 70 passing by, spitting up that salt solution shit that rusts your car out in record time and about 4 idiots in 4X4 pick up trucks going 80.  Honestly I really don't know how they managed stay on the road, with some whacked out semi drivers half crocked on cocaine, coffee and Red Bull and going over the speed limit in crappy weather when you're supposed to drive defenselessly.  So basically you're taking your life in your own hands when you get in the car to get somewhere and have to deal with the belligerent, the assholes and the aggressive drivers of today.  And there's no guarantee that you'll get to your destination in one piece.

So while Becky Bencato's brat might be to blame for the death of my friend's Mother, Bencato is just as much fault if not more for even letting him drive and woe besieges her if the brat had no driver's license. He's 15 years old, should not be driving in the first fucking place.  But the way things goes, they might just give Becky and her brat her own Reality show on A&E, I got a nice title for them if that happens.  It's called Being Stupid.

What a country......
 http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-teen-driver-fatal-crash-20140111,0,5983317.story
 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Record World

A new year upon us and after having the most views ever, this month will return back to under 2,000 views.  It's no big deal, this site was never top 10 anything in Blogger's World, unless the bogus russian site Xowhatever or Vampirestat puffed the numbers up.  Through with the Top Ten, I stuffed that into mothballs and filed it away, happy at the notion that I managed to keep at a project for 10 years. So why did I change it over to Record World?  It sounded better plus it took off pressure to find and comment on 10 songs of the week and add pictures to enhance things.  It didn't exactly helped the situation but did the get the top ten views to around 20 or 30 more views.  Plus, I can't type worth a shit anyway, I wore out the spellchecker and backspace key on my computer and now moved on to my third keyboard in as many years.

And 95 percent of the time, the GD words that I typed out had letters turned around on Spellchecker, which trying to type the (and end up with teh 8 times out of 10) and bashing the keyboard till letter keys go flying every which way, it got to be no fun even typing things and I'm still struggling with this.  So, I figured if there was a actual need to do more blogging, wait till something comes around or have an major event.  This week, the polar express came through town and Monday we had a all time High of minus 12.  Fucking cold if you asked me while trying to start the cars and keep them going.  You don't want to be out in minus 40 degree wind chill but I don't know if you can tell the difference between 40 or 50 below or worse.  You just hope and pray that the power doesn't go out and your pipes get frozen.  Thankfully we didn't get the 8 to 10 inches of snow that seems to arrive with polar expresses, that went further south and east of here.  So we got the lesser of evils.  But I heard of 120 temps in the land down under and I guess we'll worry about that six months from now. But I never bitch about how hot it is.

Last year was my last commitment to new music, therefore I will not be sucked in to hear mediocre crap that the NME, Spin or Rolling Stone raves about.   I have my faves that nobody knows about but I blog on a regular basis but then I get tired of promoting my faves and telling about it via their FB sites or their record label and get no thank you or kiss my ass comments so I started unfollowing them, the Bob Dorr rule as it's called.  And it makes you think differently of them after they rub you the wrong way, to see the smug Dorr mugging at the camera during IPTV's national pledge drive after playing the DVD of Old Time Doo Woppers of the 50s five years in a row makes you just want to donate to the local animal shelter for dog food.   But then again if you do stop at their FB site, you end up seeing more pics of their precious grandchildren.  Which is not exactly rock and roll to me.   Back to subject at hand.....But first Only Solitairie Blog tears apart Bob Dylan's Saved. An album that garnered a C plus in my book.
. If it is not a failure, it is an insult. If it is not an insult, it is a failure.
http://only-solitaire.blogspot.com/2014/01/bob-dylan-saved.html


I spent lots of time and money at Best Buy listening to what they had for up and coming artists and most of the time the cd gets played once or twice and then gets donated down the road at Goodwill and traded in for a few cents at Half Priced Books.  The investment return of time and money isn't worth it anymore, especially on turds like Kings Of Leon Mechanical Bull or David Bowie's Next Day.  And what passes for music on Carson Daly's late show makes me wonder what the fuss is.  One can only buy so many reissues before you throw in the town and stick to what you have for tunes.  And there's real no shortage of tunes here.  With the independent record stores about an hour away and Best Buy shrinking their CD section month and month again, it hasn't become cost efficient.  So basically I said the hell with it and stopped shopping every week.  I debated about not buying any CDs this month but with a 5 dollar coupon and plenty of gift cards to HP Books I don't forsee that happening.  But it has been too cold to even go out and visit them. I have a low tolerance level for screaming brats showing their goofy dad a Brad Paisley CD and wanting it and he's saying No.  It makes me glad that I never had any of my own.

I'm sure 2014 will have a good share of tunes that I missed the first time or purchasing again a second time after getting of them the first time.  I was kinda tempted to hear that Paul Harvey spoken word album on Word in the late 50s but since Word Records is a Christian Gospel label, it'd be too preachy to me.  But I always loved hearing Paul Harvey on his news and comment on the noon hour when he was alive.  On New Year's Eve I did stopped at Sweet Living Antiques and despite the owner's bratty stepkids standing on a pile of 5 dollar albums, I did buy a couple of albums.  Devo's 1984 schattershot Shout (not all that bad as Robert Christgau would like you to think but it's a more watered down dance techno version of Oh No! It's Devo, which I still like) and The Housemartins London 0, Hull 4 which I could have found cheaper on CD but factor in gas prices of getting somewhere not that big of a bargain.  Since I was short of time, I didn't really sort through it all but who knows when another venture into Iowa City will be forthcoming I'll pick up where I left behind.  And hope that Junior Brat stays off the record stacks.

The way to go will be the 2 dollar cds that are in the bargain bins at thrift stores or Stuff Etc and I managed to find a few before the year was out.  Sad to say somebody bought the Throbbing Gristle  Better Living Through Pain CD but left behind The Weathermen Beyond The Beyond (Mute) which sounds like smart ass Depeche Mode with smarter beats.  Plus the guy sounds a bit like Lou Reed.

I love me some shoegazer music but Slowdive Just For A Day (Creation/SBK) isn't one of them. Yeah it's dreamy, like a good Choetau  Twins (Can't type the fucking name, Blogspot keeps messing with the damn error messages, another reason why I'm cutting back on the blogging) but at it's worse ventures too much into new age territory.  Lush and Curve and Jesus And Mary Chain did this better, although I heard good things about the Slowdive spin off Mojave 3.  But Just For A Day really doesn't do much till the end song which somebody thought it would be funny to turn the volume up towards the end of Primal. To which it just annoys than entertains.

The Monty Python Instant Record Collection (Arista) is a hodgepodge collection of their highlights of being on that label but more of a Contractual Obligation than the album of same name years ago. But it does have the tasteless Sit On My Face and the only place you can find the bad Farewell To John Denver skit. Which got left off on the remaster of Contractual Obligation CD due to Denver's passing in 1998.  Highlights include the Nudge Nudge and Argument Clinc from the Live At City Center LP.

Anyway, that's the up to date happenings of yours truly.  Yes I still check the ratings and I will miss that 927 views that I gotten on Dec 12 of last year, that mountain will disappear after this week and the ratings will really go down.  Except for one bump over 100, everything has been under 100 and that's the way things will be.  However, the rising star of this Record World has been Ivy Doomkitty who has now passed Samantha Fish and her amazing guitar into third place on the most searched keyword.  On a interesting note a keyword of Black Pussy was mentioned a couple times.  I'm guess that is the stoner rock band your talking about.  I guess they have opened up for Chino Vista (the former Kyuss lives band) a few times.  So here you go, a little Black Pussy for you.





Friday, January 3, 2014

Phil Everly And What The Everly Brothers Mean To Me

The death of Phil Everly starts out the new year on a sad note.  And probably not the best way to start a new year but I must tell you that if it wasn't for The Everly Brothers, music today would not be the same. The perfect brother harmonies were never really topped by anybody.  But the brothers have had a interesting music career, like brothers when firing on all six, nobody could beat their Nashville type of country rock, but when when they were at each others' throats the results were disastrous.

In everybody's home there was always a Everly Brothers  best of laying around.  The Cadence best of remains one of the most essential rock and roll albums ever made, rivaling that of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Bo Diddley. With some of Nashville's finest session players available, the hits was there on the radio. Bye Bye Love, When Will I Be Loved, Wake Up Little Susie, Problems, the list goes on.  They could get away with a tender ballad (Let It Be Me) and on the flip side put some tough sounding rockabilly that could have been a hit as well (Since You Broke My Heart).  Rhino Records continues to keep the 20 Greatest Hits (The Cadence Years) over the years and that's a good thing. The first two albums (The Everly Brothers and The Fabulous Style Of The Everly Brothers) adds a few missing pieces to the equation (Leave My Woman Alone comes to mind) but are more of a luxury and you could probably live without them. Songs That Our Daddy Taught Us was an okay album but Norah Jones and Billy Joe Armstrong liked that album enough to do a song by song cover for Reprise last year, a good attempt but it didn't sell.

With a great track record of sales, Warner Brothers snapped them up and gave them the biggest contract at that time and while the hits continued on the first album (Cathy's Clown, Crying In The Rain) the Warner albums are an exercise in their label throwing various styles and fads and coming up short.  Didn't help that they got rid of their manager which kept them from accessing teh Acuff-Rose songs out there but it was not a total washout.  In fact through the 60s, The Everly's did some great songs although not chart toppers, the songs Man With Money was covered by The Who, Price Of Love was done by Bryan Ferry and Gone Gone Gone was done by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss  The 50 song section of Walk Right Back-Best Of The Warner Brothers Years showed that The Everly's still made great singles despite the majority of them not making the charts.  Collectors Choice Music managed to issue the Warner Brothers albums and most are now out of print.  But keep an eye out for In Our Image, The Hit Sound of The Everly Brothers and Two Yanks In England to which The Hollies wrote the majority of the songs under an alias but it also includes the absurd Fifi The Flea which might be the worst thing Phil And Don ever recorded.  While Roots might be included in the trailblazing Americana sound, I come to find that album somewhat too bizarre and hippy dippy for my liking.  But it's worth a listen.

I can't tell you much about the RCA albums, where the Everly's went after Warner Brothers but they're a bit more country sounding than rock although the odd Christmas Eve Can Kill You made it to a Christmas Compilation but One Way did issue Stories We Could Tell and Pass The Chicken And Listen.  And then the brothers went their own ways after a major blowup at a concert strained their relationship and music for about 12 years till a highly publicized reunion got them to record once again and with Dave Edmunds producing them and Paul McCartney giving them On The Wings Of A Nightingale on the comeback EB 84 album for Mercury.  While Born Yesterday may have been good as EB 84, their finale 1990 album Some Hearts was awful, very dated 80's production and they sounded bored with the whole thing.  And that was it.  Universal/Polygram cherry picked the best known stuff for The Mercury Years and an Millennium Collection that has fallen out of print (another 20th Century Masters Comp is out but that deals with the Cadence singles and if you have the Rhino album you don't need this).  And outside of a handful of state fair shows, the Everly's were basically retired from rock and roll.

For myself, The Everlys are a big influence on my music and like Buddy Holly, The Who and garage rock in particular if I haven't heard of them, I probably be fixing cars for a living.  But the harmonies and their music was second to none.  Even on the strengths of the Cadence hits, had the Everly's never recorded anything else, they would still have a place in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and The Country Music Hall Of Fame for that matter.   With Phil's passing, that chapter is forever closed, but we will always have the music and why it mattered so much so.

RIP Phil.