Tuesday, April 29, 2014

That's It For The Other One

As they say for a beginning there's a end. For an end there's a beginning.
 

A collection of links for you to check out.



http://rscrabbmusicconsortium.blogspot.com/
Strictly music related about bands and albums of note.

http://negligibleinterest.blogspot.com/

2000 Man's albums of note.

http://tadsbackupplan.blogspot.com/

Tad's site of books and music.  He has been spending more time writing E books for Kindle but he does maintain this blog with some weekly insights as well.

http://only-solitaire.blogspot.com/

The biggest website of all, George continues to add two or three albums per day to this exhaustive site of the history of rock and roll and he just beginning to touch the C side of things. He has just about gotten finished with Bob Dylan's catalog.

https://www.facebook.com/billkopp.official
Bill Kopp amazes me.  He continues to keep tabs on the latest on reissues and had a recent interview with Graham Parker.  He has a website of his own too.  You can find it on his FB page. 

Finally:  https://www.facebook.com/markprindle

Mark continues to celebrate fatherhood and continues to get people's opinion on certain albums. His archives of his reviews are still up at www.markprindle.com.  And there's plenty more starving bloggers out there too, but these are the best ones I can think of at the moment.

And of course, a case of contradiction Mr. Lefsetz. His credibility keeps going out the window with each new blog, the Luke Bryan song perhaps the nadir.  Ya like that crap go on Bob, but keep us out of it. http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/ 

Or You can just skip it over ;) http://musicmachinery.com/2014/05/02/the-skip/



Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Last Bargain Hunt-Final Chapter

For the past couple years, I've been putting certain bargain hunts under the title of The Last Bargain Hunt, a series of reports of going to towns and talking about what I found.  I had thoughts of writing a book about it but since the ratings of The Last Bargain Hunts have never been all that great, I decided to end this series.

Usually it's me going to Iowa City and returning to the thrift stores and antique stores or Waterloo or The Quad Cities, even Kirksville came into play.  It's not that I'm retiring from bargain hunting, that will never be the cause as long as I live and as long as I see 45s or LPs or CDs on display somewhere.  For the 10 people that do read these blogs, I continue to support and let people know that Ragged Records or Record Collector or Moondog Music and CD's 4 Change would be a worthwhile drive should you ever come across the great Midwest, or if you're in Madison, Mad City Music X, Strictly Discs, Sugar Shack and B sides will satisfy your vinyl hunger. And of course the thrift stores.

There's no shortage of bargain hunters out there and any place you go to, you will have competition from local vinyl hounds or crate diggers.  I usually let them do their thing unless they're dragging around, then I jump in.  Like a precise surgeon I can cut through all the crap to find the worthwhile stuff and get around the Madison area and not get lost.   I haven't mentioned Minneapolis much, I have never been up there and probably won't although Hymies' Music Store has intrigued me and St Louis, I know where they're at, but I haven't been there in five years and probably need to check them out soon.  It's been so long that the FYE store in a St Louis Mall is not only gone, so is the mall itself.   Malls are a dying breed anyway, they used to be the hangout of the 80s and then the 90s came around and the internet and high rent has been the demise.

A lotta people don't like the Corporate Record Stores such as FYE or Hastings for that matter but believe me the places (provided if they're still open) do yield some cheap dollar cds from time to time.  I'm sure I get strange looks from folks that think I'm in Arizona going to Hastings or FYE is my idea of a vacation. Finding Jeff Beck Beck Ola for 3 bucks new is my idea of fun, or in the case of the other day the latest Pharrell Williams already donated to Goodwill.  I guess I'm a cheap date or easy to please but then again record collectors are easy to please.  Point them to the nearest record store and they'll be happy.

While Vinyl sales have gone up 30 percent the past year, it does sound great but before you open up that record store please be advised that Vinyl sales new still only account for 3 percent of sales, whereas CDs are still 51 percent and downloading 43 percent.  The day won't be long for downloads to overtake CDs but for myself, I don't download, I rather have the actual product in my hands. I love the guys at Ragged Records, Mad City Music X and even I have a love/hate affair with Kurt at Record Collector, I have always stop to visit them whenever I'm in town.  But it's adds too many miles to the cars that I have.

When I first started doing blogs back around 2000, we still had plenty of places to buy music from, but in the 14 years, I have seen the end of Wherehouse Music, CD Warehouse, FYE, Sam Goody, J and R Music World, People's Records, Hastings Ames and of course Tower Records.  And seen Relics, Rock and Bach and Ratz Records close up and Erin at Alter Ego saying FU to the major labels and records and selling only comic books instead.  And seen Best Buy and Wal Mart shrink their CD selection down to nothing.  Believe me it's not fun but what can you do about it?  The major labels are promoting only singles and crap rap and bro country, and the days of album rock bands having the luxury of making three or four albums and getting better are over.

I long for days of Woolworth's and their 4 for a dollar 45s that got me hooked in the first place.  Or Town Square Bookstore's quarter juke box records from the greasy spoon two doors down. Or even bullshitting with Jerry Scott or Bruce at Relics.  Bruce always seems to know what bands to get when I was wasting afternoons at the store.  I think I'm only happy at best, when I'm at the record store digging and searching for something to listen to.  But then again, things end.  Just like life does.  While the future seems to be streaming on Spotify or Pandora, I rather much seek out some forgotten CD or LP of a obscure artist or rediscovering a jazz artist from the 50s. Or even a forgotten comedian like David Steinburg.

So I continue to search.  Not because of being outdated and against the jukebox in the modem but because I've been doing this for 50 years now and it's a habit that I cannot or don't want to break.  Plus I get bored easy on life itself.  So, I'll leave you with this note.  Everyday is national record store day when I visit a music store and The Last Bargain Hunt is always a forthgoing project.

Who knows, if you should come into a lonely looking guy, on his knees searching through endless boxes of Sadler and Young, Lawrence Welk and forgotten gospel folks, and hoping to find something worthwhile, chances are that guy just might be me.

The End.

  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Playlist 4-23-14 Smashed Hits

I wouldn't say that this has a been a shit year but this month sure sucks monkey balls.  Last week we had 7 and half inches of water coming into the basement and seeing a few watersports in the process, and the week later trying to move the piece of shit nightstand, everything came crashing and breaking on the floor.  Welcome to my cursed life.  However, Easter Sunday has stayed dry, if it rains the old wives tale was that it would rain for the next 7 Sundays.  Last year it rained on Easter and it rained 10 straight weekends.

The archives are kicking the new entries all over the place in views.  Hairball and My City Is Gone has twice many views as the Brother Leon Playlist.  Guess nobody likes Leon Russell after all but they love Hairball.

Jack White on Record Store Day composed the fastest song and release it on the same day in 3 hours 55 minutes.  Playing it live, then getting it mixed and mastered and put on vinyl and back to his store in that time. Is it any good?  He does have a spotty track record.  In the meantime Jack also issued a new Neil Young LP on Third Man, recorded on old recorded equipment that dates back to the 1940s.  No word if Warner/Reprise will raise a big stink about this.  But Warner Brothers welcomes back Prince to their roster as he returns to pretty much redo and reissue his back catalog and maybe put out a new record or two.

Paul Weller is not impressed with RSD and the antics of the major labels printing up a handful of wanted releases and watching vinyl scalpers pick them up and sell them for bigger bucks on EBAY. It may have been a British thing since both Ragged and Co Op had Weller's single there for 7 dollars.

Ginger Baker, good drummer but never one of my favorites has built up a rep as a old crank and he pretty much gives two shits less to the reviewers in his one word comments or Grandpa blowups if asked about a Cream reunion.  He's got a jazz band featuring Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown) playing but don't ask the man any questions.  You'll live longer. 

Passings of note: Kevin Sharp, country singer of the mid 90s that had a hit with the cover of Nobody Knows passed away from stomach problems and probably related to the cancer that he had back then too. He was 43.  Cancer also claimed Rubin Hurricane Carter, prize fighter who got wrongly accused and sent to jail on a murder charge which became the basis of Bob Dylan's 1976 song Hurricane.

In this day and age, streaming seems to be the way to go although being an old record, cd and tape hoarder I beg to differ.  But I have this side project called The Townedgers and with the help of my friend out in Cally Diggy Kat he managed to put together a site that can let you hear some of our best known stuff.  In the infant stages, this is where you're bound to hear we sound like.  An hobby since it hasn't made me any money but that was never the intention.  But if you're bored of the same old, hear a different take on the same three chords the world has been recycling since the 50s.  https://soundcloud.com/thetownedgers

Vinyl Lovin:
The JudyBats-Native Son 1991
The JudyBats-Down In The Shacks Where The Satellites Grow 1992

In search for the next big Smiths, Sire has some pretty good imitators of that time, The Ocean Blue was one of them, and Knoxville Tennessee's JudyBats was the other.  Heard complaints about Pain Makes You Beautiful and Full Empty, the later 2 JudyBats albums that I have yet to hear but Ira Robbins from Trouser Press gives those two records a better review and All Music went for the first two and there you go.  Wounded Bird actually reissued Native Son and I went out and got that one to see what the fuss is all about. Native Son is your typical A and B side album, the best songs are on Side A and the filler is on Side B.  Daylight and Incognito are the highlights of Native Son although to me the best song was the cover of She Lives In A Time Of Her Own to which Sire forced them to record (it also appears on Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye, the Roky Erickson tribute album of that time).  Overall, Native Son is a mess, would have made a nice EP, but for a full 45 minute album, it will bore you, especially on side 2.

Down In The Shacks is a much better album and a product of the 1990s alternative times as well.  The Title track got some airplay and at times the record could rival the best of the Ocean Blue, but somebody was listening to grunge as by As Everything, which sounds like a bit like Stone Temple Pilots or Sonic Youth.  Margot Known As Missy has an interesting wordplay and could fit on a Pixies record too.  But most of the time The JudyBats are content to hang with the same groove like The Ocean Blue, or to a lesser extent, The Smiths.  They would solder on and make two more Sire albums to which I'll get around reviewing once I find copies of them.
Grade:
Native Son C+
Down In The Shacks Where The Satellites Grow B+

Brubeck & Desmond-1975 The Duets (Horizon)

They were meant for each other, Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, the ones that gave you Take Five and had a very long career but in 2 years Desmond would be dead from smoking too much.  It's Dave and Paul working together one more time as they revisit some of their better known songs (koto song,  You Go To My Head) in a reflective setting.  Not a most have but if you have always been a fan of both Dave and Paul, this is a worthy listen.
Grade B+

The Black Lips-Underneath The Rainbow (Vice 2014)

A lotta people get them mixed up with The Black Keys and with good reason, The Black Lips' type of garage rock is somewhat like the Keys but with more of an outrageous care free attitude that they have been doing for almost 10 years.  Who else would dare to waste Atlantic's dollars on a live album made in the sleezy side of Mexico?  Underneath The Rainbow, is a bit more polished and they have help with Patrick Carney (The Black Keys Drummer) as co producer on half the tracks.  At times they remind me more of Primal Scream (the rock side rather than dance side) and Do The Vibrate, they channel their inner Cramps. Side one is the better of the two with the tongue in cheek Funny and Drive By Buddy being the standouts. They show their love of the 60s by dumping their vinyl into a Tie Dye artwork.  Sounds nice on vinyl.
Grade B+

Joey Dee And His Starliters-All The World Is Twistin With Joey Dee And His Starliters  (Roulette 1962)

Yes I know.  It's music to twist by and is outdated as they come even down to the cheesy cover art.  But in reality Joey Dee's Starliters was a very tight upbeat band that makes you want to get down and groove, judging from their Peppermint Twist, which is not included on this album but it has a couple songs that do reference the twist, as evidenced by the title track.  The instrumentals borrow a few (actually steals a few songs), the You Can't Sit Down riff on Cyclone, My Baby pops up on Starlite Special and even Let's Go Trippin can be heard on Wing-Ding. We don't think much about a 4 minute song nowadays but in 1962 Goin To Chicago is that era's Echoes, and it's an okay blues.  But what Joey Dee does best is uptempo stuff and doing respectable covers of Irresistible You and Leave My Baby Alone (although Speak Up Mambo is silly). It also helps to have a powerhouse drummer and Dino Danelli (The Rascals) plays on this album, at least I think it's him on drum judging by the the hi hat accents and double time beats.  A fun album from a bygone time.

Grade B+  

Pharrell Williams-Girl (Columbia 2014)

I know, I know but I found it used for 2 bucks at Goodwill and thought I give it a spin and believe it or not, this is actually pretty good for what they call R and B of 2010's.  Williams owes more to Prince but as the dance hit Marilyn Monroe indicates he knows some things about hooks too.  I think Bruno Mars is more accessible but if you can keep my attention for more than 7 songs into this type of music that you must be doing a very good job.  The Alicia Keys duet is tolerable (at least she's not screaming all over the place like she was on that Beatles 50 special last month) and while I thought Williams was going in the chorus my love is like Kung Fu, it actually is My Love is Woo Woo.  Lyrically silly in spots but you never notice it while grooving to the beats.  Probably worth its $2.38.
Grade B+


 

Playlist:

Shot In The Head-Savoy Brown
Hurricane-Bob Dylan
Take The Money And Run-The Hoax
Zaar-Peter Gabriel
Today I Took Your Picture Down-Benmont Tench
Niggizz Can't Sing Rock And Roll-Mother's Finest
I'm Seventeen-Tommy Conwell
Gotta Get Away-Offspring
Midnight Run-The Townedgers
In A Hand Or A Face-The Who

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Record Store Day 2014-Davenport

The big news of the week was J & R Music World closing their doors, a few months after closing their classical music area.  For 43 years they served the New York Area and sometimes helped me get some needed cassettes for working on Townedger albums and projects.



But on a different subject Record Store Day took place, whereas you can get overpriced RSD exclusives at your local record store, provided if you have one to go to in your area. This time out I chose Davenport since I haven't been there since December.  And for the most part, Ragged Records remained pretty busy throughout the day till they kicked us out at 5 o clock. I got there about 4 :15 and figured if I limited myself to a quick look and not debate all day on what to get I'd still end up with enough music to keep me happy.  Ben Crabb mentioned that they opened up shop at 8 AM and there was a long line of folks waiting to snap up the most wanted stuff.  Even in the late stage of getting there, I passed on Joy Division's 1977 EP for 16 dollars but did pick up the Bob Wills Tiffany Transcriptions for 30 dollars which was in main intent of going to RSD.  I didn't see the need for the Green Day demos that comprised their Uno/Dos/Tres albums that they issued a year or so ago.  I did complete my Belle And Sebastian CD collection with Fold Your Arms You Look Like A Peasant, and the Rhino Camel Comp and the first Mothers' Finest LP.  But I didn't see the need to spend 35 dollars for the now out of print Crazy Horse Loose CD that Wounded Bird put out but now reissued Scratchy, the complete Reprise session which is much cheaper.  Not high on my list of things to get.  Co Op, in Moline had the High Hopes Bruce Springsteen LP on vinyl but the only thing I picked up was Beck Sea Change.



FYE in Moline has disappeared along with a bunch of other stores and the food court uprooted and I have no idea what's going on over there.  I recall a few years ago that FYE was gone during a trip but the next time I was there FYE was back in their old haunts.  Southpark Mall is going through another facelift?  Hard to tell but it felt like walking in Westdale Mall, however in the case of FYE there were no Going Out Of Business signs, no renovation messages, nothing.  In all honesty, FYE really had nothing to offer last couple times I was there.  But not too many people for FYE anyway, the closest one would be in Des Moines but again, that's not high on my destination for now.

The weather was beautiful, so I got the bargain hunting jones out of the way to take in a ball game at John O'Donnell, the ball park by the Mississippi River to see the Quad Cities get beat by South Bend 7-6, which the winning run was by a Daniel Patka home run, that sailed above my head.  It wasn't the first time that happened.  Almost 3,600 fans showed up, but it seemed that the crowd was much smaller than that.  Especially when I had my own seat out in the left field bar area.  But if I got too bored by the game, I could always look out to the Mississippi and see a goofy pelican fly above and then land in the river and then get uprooted by some crazy boat driver. And then a flock of 25 Pelicans flew overhead. The river was fairly high, not flood stage but high from all the rain from last weekend and the winter snow melt from Minnesota. I also seen a few other things, about one too many couple sucking face and a couple doing some serious heavy petting from behind the scoreboard.  Bet they got a room soon afterwards.

In my time of driving down to the QC and back, I finished up listening to two Julia Fordham albums and donated them back to Goodwill soon afterwards.  Both Porcelain (1989) and East-West (1997) shows that Jules as she affectionately known has a voice somewhere between Joni Mitchell, Christine McVie and Anita Baker and can write bittersweet dark love songs but she tends to oversing too much for my liking.  Another album was by Rear View Mirror that made one album for Palm Pictures in 2001 but I could only stomach two songs and donated that back to charity too.  But upon donating to Goodwill and Salvation Army, I didn't find anything of note at either one but I did find an odd album from the 60s from Joey Dee And The Starliters, The World Is Twistin.  Never seen it before, and may regret picking it up, but Dee had a big hit with Peppermint Twist and had Dino Daneli (later drummer for the Young Rascals) pounding that twisting beat.



Things Found:

Peter Gaberial-Passion (Stuff. Etc Davenport)
Beck-Sea Change (Co Op- Moline)
The World Is Twistin'-Joey Dee And The Starlighters (Goodwill, Bettendorf)
Buck Owens-Country (Wally World-Davenport)

Ragged Records:
Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond Duets
Mother's Finest
Bob Wills-Tiffany Transcriptions (RSD Version)
The Black Lips- Underneath The Rainbows
The Compact Camel
Belle & Sebastian-Fold Your Arms Child You Walk Like A Peasant

Imagine that. All the pictures that were posted on this blog have disappeared.  Too bad you can't see them no more.  All that hard work gone forever. FML. 
 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Playlist-Brother Leon

 

I love Leon Russell, most folks do.  He's had a long and storied career, being one of the main arrangers for some of the acts on Phillips/Liberty, Gary Lewis and The Playboys, Brian Hyland, and then became part of the Mad Dogs And Englishmen for Joe Cocker before forming his own label Shelter and putting together three very good albums and two turds.  And then the disaster with Mary McCreary and even more turds for Paradise/Warner Brothers.   I still think his 1992 effort Anything Is Possible for Virgin had its moments with Bruce Hornsby but Elton John hooking up with him on The Union somehow freed Russell and he helped Elton by putting a fine performance despite over the top gospel singers that sunk that album.  Thankfully the soul sisters took the day off and staying on Universal, Russell has put together his best album since Anything Is Possible with Life's Journey. Produced by Tommy LiPuma, and recorded by Al Schmitt, two of the finest jazz folks this also features the like of Budda Abe Lanoial Jr. (Paul McCarthney), Willie Weeks (famed session player) this record focuses in on what makes Leon Russell who he is.  Giving props to R and B he covers Fever (Little Willie John) and you know when Leon gets into it when he does that banshee scream he's famous for.  He can rock out when the time calls for it on Big Lips and pays homage to Ray Charles with not one but two of Ray's better known stuff (That Lucky Old Sun and Georgia On My Mind).  He can also do dixieland with the album closer Down In Dixieland, or go into blues with Come On In My Kitchen. Or big band jazz with I Got It Bad And That's Not Good.  The downside is that Russell tends to nod us off on the slower numbers, while good, three in a row tends to lose the momentum that the first five songs started out with.  However the Paul Anka cover is the nadir but that's nitpicking.  Leon tends to think that this album might be his last chapter and at age 72 he might be in the final stages of a long and industrious career with many highs and some lows, which you can probably tell by the cover picture of a thoughtful Leon, all long hair and scraggy beard and on the other side him reading the Bible.  He has been at peace with himself and always humble toward everybody.  I recall him playing in 1989 with Edgar Winter after a long hot day watching Foghat, Blue Oyster Cult, Atlanta Rhythm Section and a couple others, and remember seeing him dark sunglasses and cowboy hat making to the stage and he put on a pretty good show anyway.  But in the lateness of life, it's good to see him back in the spotlight, with Elton John providing support and making his second good record in a row, we just about gave up on him when those Paradise albums came out.  His voice may not be as powerful as it once was (usually folks 70 or over have that problem) but the man can still play the hell out of the grand piano.  Think Of Me he sings?  You Bet

Life's Journey
Grade B+

Okay so the lovefest that was the Jann Wanner Music Hall Of Fame went without a hitch although Bruce Springsteen's long winded speech killed the all star jam session but then again.....I think this if they still wanted to do an all star jam is to pack some out of the way bar and do it that way.  But this hall of fame is more like the No Fun Hall Of Fame, where rebellion is against the rules, which would have been fun had Ace done New York Groove instead of the Wanner approved Highway To Hoboken.  I don't comment much on that HOF anymore, it makes no sense.  You might hate Lars Ullrich from Metallica but he's got it right that Deep Purple should be in the hall.  And Paul Stanley right by saying the record buyers should have more pull, then than stuffed shirts who own the place.  Fuck them.

You folks in Waterloo/Cedar Falls I have no idea where you can get your new music fix at but for the first time in almost four years I returned back to that pitiful town in search of things I didn't have and walked away with 2 LPs, Orleans One Of A Kind and Trio's 1981 S/T.  The folks at St Vincent De Paul really cleaned up the record room from the last time and managed to arrange things.  But Stuff Etc, the pawnshops and Goodwill had nothing of note and I got to the Independence Goodwill too late to see what they have. It was a very warm and windy day but by 7:30 the storm clouds gather and surrounded me when I was in downtown Independence taking in a breather by the Wapsi.  Prior to the night, we have no rain whatsoever and was 7 inches in the red, in severe drought, but that's gone by the wayside since the hated rains returned for most of the night and most of Sunday.  We don't need to go from drought to flood.  But on a plus, this monsoon did stop the grass fires around the area.

Waterloo has changed big time in the last time I was there, the roads are more fucked up than ever before and the backroads to St. Martan Blvd have been eliminated, leaving with roadblocks to turn around and come back the way before, but the old houses on Huntington and Ridgeway where I used to live at are still standing, The traffic on Ridgeway continues to suck like it did in 1968 and the traffic lights worse.  Once upon a time Waterloo had some fine music stores, Cd Warehouse, Co Op and Cd's Plus were the go to places but they're now all distant memories.  Pizza Ranch I went for supper and ended up paying for it, and making an emergency stop to use a toilet along the way.  But then the fucking storm of the week may have also been the major cause of nerves here.  When people pray for rain, they usually get it but get way too much than needed.  I didn't ask for this shit.




So we lost some people along the way.  Jesse Winchester, the cult artist singer songwriter that became a draft dodger and didn't tour America in the 70s and lost all momentum died at age 69 from cancer.  Bob Lefsetz did a nice post on Jesse on his site mentioning that Jesse was on Ampex, the label most famous for making crappy 8 tracks that wouldn't last past 10 plays.  Actually, Jesse Winchester was on Bearsville for most of his career and Albert Grossman who ran that label tended to slight his roster.  Jesse's biggest hit was Say What which made it to number 32 in 1981.

As we continue to limp along through the month with subpar ratings and no 100 views for the past week, I was intrigued by some of the archives that made it in the top 10 of the day but it also brought back unwanted memories of the goth bitch that was Ditchell Williams, the infamous snatchapple that gave a neutral rating on a 2 dollar Johnny Guitar Watson Cd I should have just donated to Goodwill.  She also tried her hand of being a stand up comedian.  That failed. http://rscrabb.blogspot.com/2010/11/mcottos-2-dollar-cds-and-whatever-comes.html

Cumulus Corporate Radio sucks (but you knew that) but KKRQ's Classic Cafe at noon they managed to actually play some obscure album cuts and forgotten songs of the 70s and 80s or 90s for that matter. Mark Pitz has done a good job playing The Pusher by Steppenwolf, or Jerry Douchette's Mama Let Him Play (which made this playlist this week) and Quiet Riot.......Slick Black Cadillac.  Good stuff but a slight problem, Pitz seems to talk over the introduction, and what is it about The Pusher they use that they edited out the GD the Pusherman part?  Kinda reminds me of Underground Garage's butchering of Time Has Come Today by The Chambers Brothers. Classic Cafe, to which sometimes even I shut up and enjoy the music. Then after one I go back to CDs. Feel free to check out their site but knowing y'all you'll be staring at the foxy chicks eye candy. http://www.kkrq.com/main.html

BTW did you see the Blood Moon Monday night?  It kept me up way past my bedtime but I managed to hang in there and watch the moon being swallowed up the darkness till around 2 AM when for the next 45 minutes got to see the moon go from orange to pink to red.  The 25 degree temps made it hard to stay outside for very long (I actually managed to see it all from the comfort of my computer chair and window outside) but did manage to grab a coat and watch as the moon got darker and all the stars hidden from the moonlight begin to come out.  I think we have a few more chances of another moon eclipse in the next couple years but thankfully the rain was gone, the clouds disappear and we got to see it.

Red

Vinyl Lovin:

The Strypes-Snapsnot (Virgin/EMI/Island)

50 years ago, we had the Beatles conquering America but back in the UK young start ups like The Yardbirds and The Who would take things more radically.  Maximum R and B they call it and 50 years later this Irish band of upstarts show off their love of The Yardbirds and The Who as well as Pub rock geniuses Dr Feelgood.  I'm sure some of these lad's folks were not even born when the originals were roaming the pub scene. Ross Ferrelly's use of harmonica hasn't been used this much since Keith Relf was alive and did I mention that these guys are into Bo Diddley and Nick Lowe too?  When I saw that they did Heart Of The City on this CD, I had to buy this and see how it sounds and these guys tear it up. In some way The Strypes are like The Len Price 3, in the Max R and B style but while the LP3 like their Who and Kinks too, The Strypes perfer their Who and Yardbirds and pub rock too.  They owe nothing to the autotuner pro tools polish crap that is music today, it's punk raw and it's shocking that this came out on a major label (their management is associated with Elton John).  They're one up on the LP 3 this time out, they don't limit themselves to the 2 and half minute mantra that sometimes drags the other band's efforts.  And I haven't heard anything this radical on a major since The Godfathers were on Epic in the 80s. They know hooks, they know a good lyric (the lyric about not being bad as Lee Van Cleef on Angel Eyes is worth the price of admission alone) and their Rolling And Tumbling (their version although they do give Muddy Waters credit) is their nod to The Yardbirds (via Drinking Muddy Water) or even Cream for that matter.  Just when I'm about to give up on new music, a band like the Strypes will come along, borrow a thing or two from the past and turn it into their own sound and get me interested again.  Here's hoping we hear more from them in years to come. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/blogs/alternate-take/the-strypes-bring-maximum-r-b-to-new-york-20140320
Grade A-

Ruben And The Jets-Con Safos (Mercury 1973)

Not Frank Zappa's project but rather Ruben Guevara, who came up to Frank after a show and told him how much he love the Cruisin with Ruben And The Jets and somehow impressed Frank enough to let Ruben use the band name for two albums for Mercury.  This album not produced by Frank (the first one, For Real was Zappa produced) shows a West LA answer to J. Geils Band but with a heart more in in the doo wop rather than blues.  It's standard bar band music at the time and Con Safos pales next to For Real.  It's okay but it makes you want to seek out the original bands rather than this.  Fun fact: Guevera would appear in a few Cheech And Chong movies including playing the trumpet player on Up In Smoke. Durango, the final number would have worked wonders as a Yesca instrumental on Up In Smoke.
Grade B-

Orleans-One Of A Kind (Radio 1982)

Larry Hoppen would have been a good member of Chicago had he joined up with Bill Champlin when they did their comeback album 16 which David Foster also killed the fun and spirit in the process.  That's what I get the impression when I play this album from Orleans.  Five years ago they were on top of the charts with Still The One but I actually enjoyed their more rocking stuff (Let There Be Music) and John Hall's contributions before leaving for a solo career and later becoming a Congressman. Larry Hoppen and his brothers would continue the band, with stops at Infinity/MCA (1979's Love Takes Time, their last top ten hit) and moving over to Radio Records, house of Stars On 45, Badfinger and Glass Moon and putting out this last desperate attempt for another hit. But Radio Records despite the Stars on 45 hit medley's was falling apart and would go under soon after this record was made.  I do like the title track One Of A Kind, which would have been a hit had there been some kind of record promotion, but the rest of the album sounds no different than what Kenny Loggins was putting out, or what Peter Cetera would be doing later.  Even on vinyl, there seems to be no bass guitar in the mix or it's mixed way down or maybe they couldn't afford one.  Hoppen has always been a very good vocalist, no doubt, but the songs here just don't stand out.  Once in a while a chorus line with a minor hook will float on by (Gotta Lotta Money (big deal)) and Circles is a nice ballad that if given to an over the top American Idol woman singer would make it on KDAT, but One Of A Kind is more of One And The Same.  You play it once, file it away (or donate it back to Goodwill) and like the last song suggests Move On.  To other things.
Grade C


Mailbag:




 
Comments are always encouraged but please remember when you do take the time to do so, remember to use correct spelling, the below comment doesn't apply but does remind me of this little sign that somebody thought up on the spot at the local GOP get together.  Moving on to Big Baby Corner, Go Kev.





Kevin Carsner writes on my rant about this weekend's storm that dumped seven inches of rain in my basement and KCRG's 3.88 rain gauge mark (when we had more than six inches).

You may be aggravated but you should watch your language. Also the time you spent writing this you could have done something about the leak. And why is it KCRG's fault that it rained? Have a good day too!!!!
(he unfollowed me after that remark)



Dear Kevin. 

Piss off.
Seriously, piss off.

And try to help your brother with your ailing dad. But you won't, even though you're still in driving range here.


Rebuttal: From one of my bestest friends from Mingles, Miss Becky Robinson, comes to my defense.


Kevin instead of berating Rod YOU could have shown more compassion for his situation.. AND he never said it was KCRGs fault .. and MAYBE just maybe he was taking a break from bailing his basement out while he posted this .. I find your lack of compassion FAR more offensive than a few semi vulgar words ... SMH

We love ya Becks!




Playlist

Mama Let Him Play-Doucette
Inside Out (extended version)-Mighty Lemon Drops
Light Up Or Leave Me Alone-Traffic
One Of A Kind-Orleans
Rock Me With One Steady Roll-"half pint" Jackson
Electric Sweat-Mooney Suzuki
We're Here For A Good Time (not for a long time)-Trooper
Step Off-Kacey Musgraves
Angel Eyes-The Strypes
Gold Mother-James



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Forgotten Bands Of The 80s-Trio

uh huh uh huh uh huh

With that begins the electric drum beat that is their best known hit Da Da Da (I don't love you you don't love me aha aha aha) which was tacked on as a bonus cut on their 1983 Trio And Error LP.  But for myself I bought that record for Boom Boom which I saw on MTV as a video (back when MTV played music videos...light years ago).  New wave Kraut Rock, Trio played minimalist music, basically a straight beat, some guitar and keyboards and all three of their albums were produced by Klaus Voormann (Ringo Starr).  And their strange albums also reminded me a lot of the Flying Lizards or Roxy Music  as cheesy as it gets.

They recorded three albums, two of which were German only and the first album is very very crude. And it's hard to pin point, they go from avant garde stuff like Sabime Sabime Sabime (to which Stephan Remmeler is talking to somebody on the phone while a porn like sax plays in the background but leads into Da Da Da which is more German speaking then the US remix,  While I couldn't stay awake listening to the whole album I heard some things out of the ordinary, Broken Hearts For You And Me which is somewhat glam rock, Sunday You Need Love, Monday Be Alone which appears on the 1997 Da Da Da comp and a version of Ya Ya that wouldn't be out of place on a John Cale album.  It concludes with a 20 second snippet of Day O.  An odd record to say the very least.

Trio And Error  has the same type of song sequence but the oddball avant garde stuff that lead off both sides of Trio (the album) is left off and it starts out with Boom Boom but the rest of the album is quarky, Hearts Are Trump features either an oddball sax or a casino keyboard doing sax sounds (aka David Bowie) and Out In The Street has tape manipulation that sounds like the record is stuck. Bye Bye is an attempt to go reggae and side 1 closer Anna (letmeinletmeout) has Himmler reciting names of some girls and then the chorus of Let Me In Let Me Out which makes you wonder why Mercury bother to issue the album in the US in the first place, with all the German speaking words, this would go beyond the heads of most Americans.  Side 2 leads off with an instrumental of sorts, then Da Da Da (the American Remix Version) and a stripped down Trutti Frutti which that Little Richard would have sued for defacing the music and a song that sung in German that sounds like Ich Bien Rock and Roll (you can rock and roll) and then do a 360 and do a pop song  "Turaluraluralu - Ich mach BuBu was machst du" that could be their tribute to Petula Clark or she could sing it better I donno.  Trio And Error is curious listen but I actually enjoy the whole thing.

While they kept busy in Germany, making a flop movie, they return to make the hard to find What's The Password to which at that time Peter Behrens left the band and Trio called it a day.  While most of America never heard What's The Password, it's typical Trio but with an eye more toward dance music but it could be the soundtrack to the movie Three Against Three (Drei Gegen Drei) Behrens although pictured on the cover of the album, the drums were played by Curt Cress (Saga-Wildest Dreams era). It's a so so record, pales in comparison with Trio And Error and perhaps the first album.  And with that failure, Trio called it a day.

Until the Volkswagen folk used Da Da Da for a very successful commercial to which Polygram Mercury reissued Trio And Error, added a couple tracks (Girl Girl Girl and Sunday You Need Love....) and it did fairly well on the charts but most of who bought it ended up trading it in or donating it.  For myself it replaced a well worn Trio And Error.  Stephan Remmler has a website of his own but unless you can translate German, it will be of little use to you.

Trio isn't for everybody, unless you like a dry sense of humor to your minimalist rock and roll. But I do find some perverse fascination in Stephan Hemmler's vocals which sounds like a bored David Bryne from the Talking Heads. And it does have moments, there's just more on Trio And Error than on the other two.

Da da da.

Albums:
Trio (Phonogram/Mercury GmBH 1981) B
Trio And Error (Mercury 1983, later reissued at Da Da Da 1997) A-
What's The Password (Mercury GmBH 1985) B-  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Last Bargain Hunt-Stuff Etc Coralville

Technically, I'm not an angry person but rather a perfectionist in a imperfect world.  Which means the slightest things that happens gets taken personally and God hears about it.  The commandant about not taking the Lord's name in vain is broken just about every minute. After yesterday's FB tirade about getting to work made me really to bring the world down in GD and F bombs galore, the FB prude asked me if I'm always this angry.  Not really honey, but that time I was.  But I don't believe Miss Mellow would be been so nice and kind when she had to sit through 10 minutes of road construction, idiot farmers pulling out in front of you to go 40 MPH and then the stuff you wanted to recycle at work falls on the car floor 8 times and then falls out of your hand when you leave, and then having your recently new car's door, caught by the wind, proceeds to bleed itself on the car next to it.  But then again Miss Mellow is a Gemini woman and they are usually the worst kind for me. 

It's been a very hectic and shitty week, even when making the effort of doing a bargain hunt and having to deal with road construction that makes you sit and wait for 10 minutes or finally breaking free on the road to get the interstate, going about 70 and then having Miss Muffin Stuffin behind you riding your ass and playing with her pussy it seems.  When the brakes came on, she had to quit doing that before running into me.  If she was interested of getting together and wanting to have sex, it's better that she wasn't in my back seat of the car.  Objects may be closer than they seem but if I don't see headlights behind me than we have to do something drastic, new car fully insured, why not, hit the brakes and then kill them when they hit you.

The lure of bargain CDs is still out there but the stupidity and mindlessness of today's drivers in a fucking hurry to get somewhere and too bad if they run you over has started to take its toll and basically keeps us online to look for bargains.  Your chances of getting a stroke is less that way. But it was a nice day to go do something before work and I chose wrong.  After the episode with Miss Snatch's sexcapades I said that I better find something out of this mess.  And basically I did.

Iowa City and Coralville, like any other place now, the record stores are drying up and anything you find must be taken at thrift and consignment shops and Stuff Etc is so hit and miss but I did find three things, James 1990 Gold Mother album, which was replaced by the S/T album with three songs replacing Gold Mother, Peter Himmelman's Stage Diving, a 1996 live acoustic which has been fondly thought of due to Peter's live performances being unpredictable and maybe I'll do a review of his output and The Judybats Down At The Shacks Where The Satellite Dishes Grow, and don't know why.  I didn't care much for Native Son but upon trying to see if I still had that, I ended up donating it in Madison.  And then Housewerks had The Mighty Lemon Drops World Without End with bonus tracks, Dan Fogelberg Nether Lands and Foxy Shazam to which I tore up the house trying to find The Church Of Rock And Roll that they issued for IRS a couple years ago and have no idea where that CD went.  . If The Scissor Sisters were the Bee Gees of the 00's, then Foxy Shazam is the Queen of this era.  Strange to see them not making it big but usually when you hear bands of this sort, you tend to seek out the originals. 

And that was it.  Goodwill nor Salvation Army had much to offer although who ever priced the damn albums had an scratched up Elvis album for 50 dollars and a scratched up Kings Of Leon Only By The Night for 8 dollars needs to get their act together.  Records are making a comeback but we're not paying new prices for used scratched up vinyl.  The needle wouldn't like those bumps and pot holes on that disk.  But basically I was paying the price for the Mighty Lemon Drops who had the same three songs playing in my head for hours at a time. Earworms suck when you have to hear the same thing over and over and you can't go anywhere working on the slitter at work.  I have 20,000 other albums or CDs to listen to and the only songs that come up are the same three.  No wonder people blow their brains out to get away from hearing the same things over.  

And leads back to the angry guy issue. Am I really angry all the time like Miss Wilcox says?  I don't think I am, I try to stay positive, even though have the time I wearing out the backspace key on this blog, or dealing with asshole spudbuddies on the interstate (male or female) but I will tell you of my all time most pet peeve. Static.  When anything you touch you get a electric charge back, that's the thing I hate more.  But recently about 5 years ago, some other Satan influenced thing started happening with static, when you go to Casey's or Kum n Go or Circle K in need of a drink and you put your drink and take a drink and you get shocked on your tongue. That's when the f bombs start flying.  Or hitting 10 straight red lights. The static issue really pisses me off max. Does that even happen to you, get a drink at the store and you get zapped from within? 

Next week is Record Store Day (weather permitting of course) and although I have no idea where I will be, I'm sure it will be a city by the Mississippi River.  It's the 7th straight year of the idea of buying rare and overpriced vinyl made for the occasion and dealing with the crowds although it is great to see a record store full of people buying music regardless. And some will have local bands play a acoustic set or two.  And it does make me miss of the days of Relics and Rock n Bach in town.  For myself RSD is always a day when I make an appearance into your local record store and although I have bought some RSD vinyl (Velvet Underground Scepter Sessions) you really have to wow me with something worth getting.  Which means I usually arrive later in the day if I'm at your local Record store on RSD.

Might as well get this out of the way, The Jann Wanner Wiener Fest (rock and roll hall of fame induction) was on Thursday and KISS played nice, and kissed and made up, Paul Stanley giving a tensely worded dig at Jann Wanner and the suits about letting the people decide who gets in or not.  Darryl Hall saying more Philadelphia artists should be in as well and Nirvana returned with Dave and Courtney Love hugging one another but letting the women singers take over for their leader who couldn't make it for the usual reasons.  Joan Jett leading them through Smells Like Teen Spirit and Lorde on All Apologies. Andrew Loog Oldham playing the radical rocker skipped the ceremonies.  Brian Epstein like Kurt Cobain was indisposed and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band rambled on for so long about the history of that band that there was no time left for the all star jam. Which means we missed out on Ace Frehley leading the all star band through Highway To Hell and maybe stopping half way to go into the outlawed New York Groove.  If you wanted drama, you sure didn't find it as well as you did on the ACM's Sunday when Bro Country nation cried foul when George Strait was voted Entertainer Of The Year.

But over here, with declining ratings (this month might be the worst ever here (we haven't broken over 50 since scoring 80 six days ago) the weather is warming up and perhaps a more yearning to go someplace takes over.  I'm sure another playlist or two is forthcoming.  Or another ICON series to which 15 of you will probably take a look at. But for now, this will do.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Playlist 4-9-14 Shotgun Blues

On Saturday, it marked 20 years ago that the grunge experience would end when Kurt Cobain took a shotgun and ended Nirvana and his time on Earth.  There are plenty of background events that we call the Day The Music Died, and in a way it did died.  But recently the Seattle PD issued some more disturbing pictures of Cobain's shotgun mess and we were spared of the original but there were two, one featuring Cobain's sneaker which he was still wearing (with socks too) and another of a blood stained shirt. I have no willingness to show the pictures but you can find them on the net in various places.  Even though there was a suicide note, basically In Utero was Kurt's actual suicide note in a album form. That was my first impression upon hearing that album and the original review was that I wouldn't be surprised if he was gone six months from now (Original review was in September).  It took him seven, after a failed drug OD, but this time the plan B was a shotgun if the heroin didn't work.

So 20 years later the surviving guys (exception Jason Everman) will partake their place in Jann Wanner Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, Courtney Love is thinking up of a stage play of her dead hubby in music and out in the great unknown, hopefully Kurt is free of the torment that plagued him through his 27 years in the world.  While I'm not the biggest Nirvana fan out there, I do like, not love their work, I do believe they served a great need in 90s rock and roll to rid of the hair spray metal that was clogging up the charts.  It was a whole different world back then.  We had record stores and no fussy old farts like Bob Lefsetz trying to tell us they're irreverent and that subscription to Spotify was the wave of the future.

Baseball season is here and the usual is happening. Cubs are 2-6 and are destined to lose another 100 games since they can't hit or when they do hit their pitching sucks and vice versa.  So instead of wasting Sunday Afternoon watching another Cubs lost (they actually won), I went to see the new 2014 edition of the Cedar Rapids Kernels and it was a chilly afternoon, the sun stayed in the clouds and we had sprinkles toward the end, I was in the 1,019 crowd and seen them win 4-2 on a couple of HRs.  For the first time in going to the games I actually got a foul ball.  It went whizzing by my head by about 2 feet and some kid in the stands actually threw it back on the field.  However, somebody from the dugout tossed it over the dugout and it landed two seats from myself.  So I actually picked it up and looked it over and gave it to a 8 year old girl, which her bratty brother snatched from her hand and went running down the aisle, laughing gleefully.  Later on Mr Shucks, the Kernels mascot caught a foul ball himself too.  It was the only April Sunday game for the home team (they're off on Easter) and as the weather warms up the crowds will return, they usually do.  But I certainly enjoy the sparse crowds of chilly April afternoon.  And when they win.



Ratings here have relied on the archives and not much on the new I guess.  The biggest jump came from the My City Is Gone Marion segment of last year which I took some pictures from a FB site and added them to be preserved.  So far the 78 views have been noted. Whereas 13 views were for the last playlist.  The word may have been out for Marion locals to check out the My City Is Gone Blog and they have.  Marion the town has gone to hell in a handbasket, buying up certain property and tearing down old houses and what used to bes, a former RV place got brought out and bulldozed for some kind of street project that the area ran along the now forgotten and abandoned Milwaukee Road railroad line.  Some more bright ideas include another worthless roundabout on 7th Avenue across Country Kitchen and buying out the tanning salon.  This all the name of progress bullshit has not yield anything of jobs and the skyscraper they're erecting up across Pizza Hut is basically another empty building for the rats to roost.  The usual mantra of Jobs Jobs Jobs, the same shit reason that people voted for the Cedar Rapids Casino (put up the words Jobs Jobs Jobs and people will actually think you'll get jobs by voting yes) is being the reason for the new roundabout, the new skyscraper and the city council trying to get the Marion Taxpayers to clean up the brownlands after Marion Iron get relocated out into an abandoned cornfield on the edge of town is the usual buffoonery that you get to see in Washington DC and the state capital of where you live at.  Big wealthy ex town city planners and councilmen paying off the young ones messing up the town for their pet projects.  And leaving us with the bills while the wealthy sit on their ass and count their money, or buy out the worthless Marion mayor Snooki Whatshisname. And the meantime you got a nice fancy assed roundabout on 29th street that leads nowhere but the road that goes to it is pothole hell, just like it is on the main drag.  Fucking Marion Iowa is no better than Cedar Rapids and the worthless Tom Corbett. Got no money to fix the fucking streets but boy we can put up good looking buildings and cheesy roundabouts.



Not much for music news, Sunday has the American Crappy Music awards (formerly American Country Music), and the highlights are posted here, since the rest is Bro country hack acts.  Kacey Musgraves won album of the year with her Same Park Different Trailer album. Miranda Lambert took 3 awards home including best female.

 http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l0B6T2pyiSw/U0KrRliM3tI/AAAAAAAAKG0/yT0LlfhC7TA/s1600/LB.jpg

Entertainer of the year was to George Strait, which the Bro Country conspirators were up and arms, including Luke Bryan's merchandise junk pusher Hunter Jobes  with the classic line:  It's called Entertainer Of The Year not how's your career. Unreal ACMs, Not an entertainer.   This is why people hate bro country and hate asshole merchandise managers like Jobes who has no clue on how to make good music but would gladly sell you Made In China shit from hacks who pass themselves as country stars. Oh by the way Hunter, see picture below.  BTW, Hunter later deleted his Twitter account but once it gets on the net, it's forever. (Farce the music photo credit above)



Joseph Yule Jr. passed away Sunday.  Better known as Mickey Rooney he was 93 and one of the longest working actors, with a TV and movie career lasting 80 plus years. For me his best known stuff was Babes In Toyland and the Andy Hardy movie series.  He also starred in some TV shows including The Twilight Zone. RIP

B B King is 88 and played in St Louis over the weekend and perhaps this show might have been one of the worst shows he's ever did.  After being off for a couple months, King and his band brought the house down, and some left after not being on the same page and poor sound, a lack of band support gave some of the crowd with a lack of patience to tell the living blues legend to "play some music".  Review: http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/music/reviews/b-b-king-is-heckled-at-an-awkward-st-louis/article_59ade8eb-c431-55de-a138-66925bb8de3b.html

(from B B King's management)

B.B. King and his management have become aware of some criticism expressed following his performance at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis, MO on April 4.

This performance was Mr. King's first after a 4 week off time period -- and was also preceded by 24-hour/1,600 mile bus trip to Saint Louis from his home in Las Vegas.

To complicate matters further, Mr. King (who is 88 years old) suffers from diabetes -- and he mistakenly missed a dose of his prescribed medication on the show day.

The combination of the rigors of the very long drive and high blood sugar due to his medication error resulted in a performance that did not match Mr. King’s usual standard of excellence.

Simply put, it was a bad night for one of America's living blues legends – and Mr. King apologizes and humbly asks for the understanding of his fans.

Archives: 1971, the worst year in Frank Zappa's life?  A story about 200 Motels, some stupid with a flaregun, and a psycho named Trevor Howells. http://asithappens.hubpages.com/hub/1971WorstYearOfFrankZappasLife

Dave Clark, celebrated himself and the band on a PBS special Tuesday Night, from the archives we take a look at The Dave Clark 5, a group of musicians working for the man, for better or for worse: http://rscrabbmusicconsortium.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-dave-clark-five.html


Vinyl Lovin

Mike Metheny-Day In-Day Out (Impulse 1986)
Al Di Meola-Orange And Blue (Bluemoon 1994)

A long time ago, WMT FM had something called Gentle Jazz, to which they would play some of the upcoming jazz albums or jazz that pass off for muzak since WMT FM was a muzak station and not KISS Country, where Bro Country reins supreme.  Impulse Records was the cutting edge of jazz in the 60s but by the time MCA brought out the ABC roster of labels, Impulse was on life support, so to usher in the CD age, they revived Impulse and signed a few people up, one was Pat Metheny's brother Mike, who played the trumpet and french horn.  Pat helps out on guitar while Mike plays the horn but the songs take too long to build up and half the time it sounds like Mike is doing his best to make fart noises on the horn. Once in a while a couple songs will wake me up from my sleep (Segment, Saudade) or Pat plugs in the guitar to shake things up a bit but overall Day In-Day Out reminds me of Gentle Jazz on the radio, background music to fall asleep to.

Al Di Meola is one of the best fusion guitar players out there, his late 70s Columbia albums showed why he was master of the Les Paul guitar but in the 80s he was moving toward world music and new age.  Never got into his EMI Manhattan albums, too much new age and "gentle jazz" but when he signed up with Tomato/Rhino he got a second wind and actually was doing more Spanish/Acoustic guitar playing but at times would return (at times) to the blazing  jazz fusion of Kiss My Axe.  But his label continued to throw him to different labels (Rhino, Mesa, Bluemoon) and lack of promotion didn't help either.  Orange And Blue isn't blazing fusion like Kiss My Axe was, Di Meola usually plays acoustic or in this case, a Gibson specially made hollow body guitar and sometimes takes a stab at prog rock on the seven minute opener Paradisio.  The argument is that Di Meola sounds a bit too much like the aforementioned Pat Metheny.  As always Al always has some of the finest jazz drummers out there and Peter Erkstine, Steve Gadd and Manu Katche are there on various songs, Pino Palladino (Pink Floyd, The Who) plays bass and guest vocals from Noa and Heman Romano gives it some coloring on the music.  In no ways it's Al Di Meola's best album, it goes on too long and too many gentle jazz numbers makes me tend to nod off. But when he plays guitar, even if it's Metheny influenced, you still take notice.

Grades
Day In-Day Out C
Orange And Blue B

Brown & Roach Incorporated (Emarcy 1994)

If you're looking for great jazz hookups of the 1950s, one of the best was the pairing of Clifford Brown with perhaps one of the best jazz drummers of all time, the legendary Max Roach and even back then Max played with some of the best ever, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus but with Clifford Brown always have brought out the best in both men from this 1954 session beginning with the band jam Sweet Clifford to which Cliff and Max would trade riffs and solos off one another.  But this doesn't only feature them but also Richie Powell on keys on I'll String Along With You and Harold Land on tenor sax on Darn That Dream. Max's drum composition Mildama has elements and echoes of a drum solo you could hear later on from John Bonham and Carmine Appice.  I have yet to hear a subpar Roach/Clifford album (Max Roach And Plus Four is another great introduction to classic jazz of the 50s, anything with Sonny Rollins is worth hearing too)  and this one doesn't disappoints.

Grade A- 

Playlist

Sweet Sugar Thing-Kokomo
The Last DJ-Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
The Bear-John Mayall
How The Story Goes-The Redwalls
Electric Rendezvous-Al Di Meola
Take It Or Leave It-The Searchers
Let Me In-Jefferson Airplane
All The Girls Love Alice-Elton John
I'm Not Your Stepping Stone-Sand Rubies
Settling The Score-Robin Trower

   "I'm forever near a stereo saying, 'What the fuck is this garbage?' And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers." ~ Nick Cave