Monday, January 5, 2015

The Week In Review: Booyah! (For Stuart Scott)

2015 has already kicked in and already I've seen a few more people check out of this world.  Elle Mae Clampett or better known as Donna Douglas has passed away, she was 81.  The great Little Jimmy Dickens made it past his 94th birthday before exiting stage left and beyond the sunset.  Always will be known as the guy that gave us May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.

Most of the sportscasters on Sports Center are fucking annoying.  John Buccigross, John Anderson, Neil Everett even old timer Chris (Boomer) Berman are reasons why I don't watch it anymore.  The shock value or waiting for one of them TO START YELLING for some idiotic reason makes me turn the channel.  I can tolerate the bald man Scott Van Pelt but when Stuart Scott passed away from cancer at age 49 gave me even more reason to say no.  Stuart was the best in using terms and coining the phase BOOYAH when somebody scored a TD or hit a home room and was "cool as the other side of the pillow".  Or when a NFL player made a heck of a tackle, he'd yelled up JACKED UP too. Scott died way too young.  You can clone about a 100 Neil Everetts or 1000 Buccigrosses but they'll never equal one Stuart Scott.

After a snow-less December, Mother Nature is making up for lost time by throwing a couple storms and then throwing an arctic front through here, knocking temps down to below zero.  Which was predicted by the Old Farmer's Almanac.  We should come to expect this shitty weather at this time every year, but never get used to it.  Of course, our Florida friends have to rub it in on us, baking in 80 degree temps with the car roof down, Ron Lemieke, former Kansas City resident and now Florida snowbird has continued his Jimmy Buffet styled tribute music and getting many Florida fans to flock to his shows, and countless remakes of Margaritaville as the air conditioner keeps him cool.  Which makes me wish that he would step on a pop top while walking the sands by the ocean.

No joy in Hawkeye country in football, The Iowa Hawkeyes concluded their season of flop and suck with a 45-28 kick in the ass by Tennessee, one of the lesser of the SEC teams with a 500 record, now 7-6 but they were on the up while Iowa went on the down with a dismal November.  Or in the words of Coach Mediocrity  Kirk Ferenez, that's football.  Or in my observation, that's bad football, the defense couldn't tackle anybody after the Northwestern game, and the offense had no consistency.  Jake (the flake) Rudock, the apple of KF's eye at QB stuck up the joint and let Nebraska back in the final game and C.J. Bethard who had a better arm sat too long on the bench to be of any use.  In the Taxslayer (Gator) Bowl,  Rudock wilted in the eyes of the fans and TV audience and Tennessee ran away and hid with a 42-7 score before Bethard came in and made the score less laughable. Rick Canzeri had a good game and could figure a lot for next season but questions remain if C.J. remains with Iowa or as his dad says, move on to another college team.  Gene Barta, the Iowa AD continues to throw his support with K.F. to which unless Kirk retires or quit (which isn't happening) he'll be back and we'll once again get to see another rebuilding year and hopefully try to recruit somebody that can fucking tackle the ball carrier.  And it doesn't look good for next season, since Iowa will a much more tougher schedule which means Ohio State and Michigan and Michigan State.  With Michigan getting Jim Harbaugh, they won't be pushovers like they were in 2014.  If Iowa finishes 6-6 will be a miracle itself.   At least Arizona State won their bowl game, although Duke lost on a desperation pass that was intercepted and ASU held on to a 36-31 victory.  They lose Taylor Kelly but Steve Bercovici will return at QB and so will D J Foster.  Coach Todd Graham had his second 10 win season in three years and next year's team will be even more stronger and should be serious contenders for the Pac 12.  But still Oregon remains alpha team in there.

New year, some new finds.  One album Blackstone (Epic 1971) I picked up as a curio. A unknown band they made one album of something that sounded like progressive rock or what Jethro Tull was doing before Thick As A Brick.  Tom Flynn's operatic vocals kinda reminds me of Dicky Peterson of Blue Cheer and they do have some kind of hooks going on, on opening track Love, Love Love, name-checking Moondog on Moon Dog and KC Funk wouldn't sound out of place on a Grand Funk album or even The Yes Album.  It's not bad but Epic never promoted this band and it was a one and one album.  One member of this band would go on to other things, namely being the backbeat to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, one Max Weinberg, who actually brings more of rocking and rolling style aka Don Farner or Carmine Appice than the straight ahead beat that he would perfect with The E Street Band.  Blackstone is no relation to Black Stone Cherry, but for an only album, it's really not bad but a product of what CBS was doing back then, signing bands left and right and writing the majority of these failed bands as tax write offs.   Never released on CD.

Continuing tradition in a condensed  form: WGN announced that they'll continue to broadcast Chicago Cubs baseball till 2019, basically 47 games whereas another station gets 23 other games.  The demise of cable and WGN moreorless.  Used to be I could watch up to 175 games about thirty years ago, when cable was the brave new world and not Corporate World Inc giving more time to commercials than programming.  It seems that half of a show is dedicated to commercials or in sports more drugs to solve your ED problems. While I continue to hear the usual grumblings on how The Cubs suck, I think this year they will actually be a competitive team.  WGN used to be my favorite channel to watch baseball but with them doing half Cubs and half White Sox and the rest of the time repeats of America's Funniest Videos, In The Heat Of The Night or How I Met Your Mother, I hardly watch WGN at all.  The line of thinking is that 2019 the Cubs management will finally everything back in one package to offer at premium prices for their own Cubs network.  Sign of the time and all hail money.  By then, for myself it won't matter. Baseball continues to take a back seat to music and record collecting.  And studies have shown we can live without baseball.

And this week if he was still living, Elvis Presley would have turned 80 years old.  But he continues to live in the music that is out there and the countless recycles of his RCA masters.

More reviews:

Dr. Feelgood-Down By The Jetty (United Artists 1975)

Forty years ago, this pub band made it's debut and ushered in the Pub Rock movement which laid the foundation of punk rock.  Led by Wilko Johnson's cutting guitar work and Lee Brilleaux's gruff vocal and harmonica, Dr. Feelgood became a cult hero band, and so damn true to their roots that they recorded the whole thing in mono. In the states the U.A. label had no use for it and so it was import only.  Although they owe a lot to Chuck Berry, John Lee Hooker and big bad Bo Diddley himself, Wilko's guitar work inspired a new generation of punk rockers with his repetitive guitar sound, often imitated but never duplicated and you can hear it on Roxette and She Does It Right.  Produced by Vic Maile the late great legendary producer and recorded by Dave Charles (Dave Edmunds's drummer of the 1980s and later shaped up the sound of The Charlatans UK) the idea to record in mono was beginning a rare thing and in a colorized world of sound, this had a black and white sound and attitude.  In typical Vic Maile fashion, he'd record a live track (like he did with Eddie And The Hot Rods and The Pirates, other legends of the pub rock sound) and Boney Maroney/Tequila medley, got two members of Brinsley Schwartz to play horns and you had to be there to see it.  Wilko's songs were dry humorous songs (The More I Give, the less I get) were perfect for the band. The mono recording through the whole album has it's pros and cons, but for a debut Down By The Jetty shows promise, Dr Feelgood's next album Malpractice would be considered the best of the Wilko Johnson era and even though United Artists USA passed on that, Columbia issued it in the states (in stereo), but by album 3 Sneaking Suspicion. Wilko would move on to other things.  Hard to find anymore in its original UA mono format (I got mine for 5 dollars at the old Relics) Grand, the label responsible for Dr Feelgood reissues did put this out on CD.

Grade B+

And from 2000 Man, his review.

Joe Vitale-Plantation Harbor (Asylum 1980, Wounded Bird Reissue 2002)

Another tax write off for Asylum, I did see Plantation Harbor as an LP back in 1980 but never thought about picking it up.  It's no different than Joe Walsh was doing back then, after all Joe V played drums for Joe W throughout the 70s and had a drumming style that did fit Walsh.  Joe V did issue a long lost Atlantic album in 1974 (Roller Coaster Weekend) I've never heard but Plantation Harbor....think of it as But Seriously Folks but with Joe V doing the vocals instead of Joe W.  And it starts out fine with the title track although I could really do without the screaming chick singer on Man Gonna Love You or Never Gonna Leave You Alone. (Marilyn Martin?  Ricky Washington? Mickey Thomas who sings on Never Gonna Leave You Alone). A cast of all stars appears on this album, including Joe Walsh who saves the best for side 2 after Marilyn Martin retired for the night, a goofy phone call from Walsh telling Vitale he's got the ideal guitar riff comes on Sailor Man (His Greatest Riff the notes say).  And the record finishes strong with I'm Flyin.  It also helps that Don Felder, helps out on guitar as well.   A fun party and an underrated forgotten gem from Vitale, who sounds a bit like Mr. Walsh.

Grade B+

Rod Stewart-Time (Capitol 2013)

The return to rock and roll as advertised but in reality Rod the rocker hasn't existed since Out Of Order and although some albums had hints of rock, most of the time Rod was singing standards or rehashing old classic rock songs for Clive Davis and the Great American Songbook Series reeked of desperation. Somewhat autobiographical be it for the love of rock and roll (Don't Stop Me Now) or perhaps love gone world or divorces (It's Over co written with John 5 for shock value) Time is NOT the complete rock and roll album he would like you to think it is.  There's a power pop sense in lead off track She Makes Me Happy or the guitar riffs noteworthy of Faces and Ronnie Wood (Live The Life) but they really could have used Ronnie Wood to help out, or The Faces themselves.  I heard stories that Stewart wanted to record with The Faces after Time but with Ian McLagan now dead that's not going to happen anytime soon, unless Rod puts a call for Kenny and Woody to show, which ain't going to happen anytime soon either.  I can always go for a Rod Stewart rock album but that's not going to happen anymore, so what you get is a album that's as rock as Rod will allow it to happen.  Things fall apart on side 2, especially on the unsexy Sexual Religion or Make Love To Me Tonight which makes Do Ya Think I'm Sexy sound like Every Picture Tells A Story.  And then ends things on the sugary Pure Love.  Take the last three songs out and then it could be considered his most listenable in years.  But a return to rock and roll?  It's no Gasoline Alley or Maggie May, no matter how much Rod wishes it could be.

Grade B-

2000 Man writes about the latest album from Wussy.  Next time I go to Dubuque or Davenport I'll see if either Moondog Music or Ragged Records has it.

Looking for a band and you play guitar, here's a Des Moines based band that wants you.  Doug lives there. It'll be perfect for him.

Guitarists needed for glam-country band DOUCHES of HAZZYRD!!! (frat house near you)

We're aware that no pros are actually surfing craigslist. Well, we're not looking for pros! If you have a pointy headstock guitar in a neon color you NEED to be in this band.

We play both kinds of music, bro AND country. If you still wish you were in high school, then this is the band for you! Here's a little secret, musicianship DOESN'T effing MATTER!!! The "pros" around town play for tips. We are all about image and marketability. If you act like a rock star, the ignorant masses will start treating you like one! That's just lesson #1...join the band for more advanced secrets to ruling local car dealerships.

You'll notice that we're only advertising for guitar players. So, no, we don't need anything else. We have a drummer. We will assemble 5 guitar players and the worst one will hold a bass and probably won't even be put through the PA. Who cares?!? People just like to see a party on stage!

We're working on expanding our repertoire and sound...currently, that means playing SRV tunes with "our" sound of double humbucking guitars being run through Boss Metal Zone and Phaser pedals. If you don't have those two pedals, then GTFO!

Please get in touch ASAP as spots will fill up quickly; and always remember, at DOUCHES of HAZZYRD WE HEAR YOU!!!

P.S. - If your name is Robbie, don't bother responding again...we kicked your @$$ out and have moved on to bigger and better things!


2000 Man said...

Man, I LOVE Dr. Feelgood, and Down by the Jetty is one of my favorite records. I've had the cd for years, my friend's sister had the record back in the 70's. I found a decent reissue on vinyl last year, so that ended my search for a deece original one. When my 50 dollar bid didn't win an auction at Jerry's I decdied I needed to just find a reissue. It's not an audiophile's dream, but if you're a garage rocker at heart, it's one of the best albums ever. Wilko has always been one of my favorite guitar players.

R S Crabb said...

Good thing I kept my copy of Down By The Jetty eh? And even with a 50 dollar bid you didn't get it? Must be some hard core collectors out there.

Somebody actually was talking about that album on a music collector's page so i decided to revisit Down By The Jetty. And come to appreciate Wiiko's guitar playing more than ever. Next to Mick Green of the Pirates you can always tell of his playing. They just don't make them like that anymore.