Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week In Review: TE Radio 4

Passings this week include Dallas Taylor, the drummer who did so much drugs that even Keith Moon took notice and told him to stop and managed to get kick out of Crosby, Stills Nash and Young for that.  He did play drums for Stephen Stills and the project with Chris Hillman Manassas.  However, Taylor did eventually quit drinking and drugs and became an outspoken drug counselor
and did a very good job in that.  But the toll of the rock star years would led him to have a liver transplant and a kidney transplant from his girl friend which kept him alive but his body wore out anyway.  He was 66.

Daryl Coble was a (well still is) a friend and co worker of mine. I used to get him the latest music cds at best buy and let him use some of mine till he scratched up way too many of them.  But he was a reliable co worker and we used to lean on each other on realtionships when our GFs at the time weren't so nice.  The Keswick native Coble passed away Monday at age 43 from a sudden illness.  http://www.hollandcoblefuneralhome.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2920341&fh_id=14005

 There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address.  Edgar Froese RIP.  Edgar was the mainstay and leader of Tangerine Dream, their best albums were with Virgin Records in the 70s.  They also did some quality soundtrack to movies as well (Sorcerer).  Tangerine Dream continued on after the departure of Peter Baumann and Christopher Franke, Jonas Schannonberg replaced Baumann and for a time Steve Joeffe was employed as a lead singer on the 1978 Cyclone album which featured Klaus Kreger who later joined Iggy Pop's band on New Values and Soldier albums.  Tangerine Dream would later record for Baumann's Private label in the late 80s.  Nevertheless Edgar continued T.D. with his son in tow up till the very end.  

California Breed, a band featuring Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham formed after Joe Bonamossa left to return to his solo work is no more.  They recorded one album and while touring on that album Bonham bailed out to do other things, (hanging with Sammy Hagar for one) and Joey Costello (QOTSA) took over and finished the tour.  It continues the saga of Hughes, former Deep Purple bass player and high note singer, who either seem to never find the right folk or maybe an ego problem.   Black Country Communion, the band which Bonamossa formed with Hughes and Jason made three albums and a live album before Joe's departure.  Even in his stints with Trapeze and Deep Purple a little Glenn Hughes goes a long way.  But it is beginning to appear that if Jason Bonham does decide to join your band, don't look for him to hang around.

The past week, I've been talking to friends about The Pirates and Dr Feelgood that I thought I would subject their last albums, the latter with Wilko Johnson taking leave after a severe falling out with the band on Sneaking Suspicion (Columbia 1977)  After two albums with Vic Maile producing, the Drs. went with Bert DeCoteaux  and while the sound isn't all that different from Malpractice or Down By The Jetty, there's a very uneasy tension between Wilko and the band, the most interesting song is written and sung by Wilko is Paradise which Johnson says he doesn't mind loving two women and even names them as well. The title track was issued as a UK single (I don't think Columbia ever released anything by Dr Feelgood on 45, unless it was promo only).  Johnson wrote half of the album's songs, and on the cover versions at least four of them came from Chess Records artists including an obscure Lights Out, written by one Dr. John. And the other, which cause Johnson to bail was Lew Lewis' Lucky Seven.  To these ears I think this one sounds a bit better than a rather lackluster version of You'll Be Mine, a latter day Bo Diddley throwaway in Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut, (I'd would have gone with I Said Shut Up Woman), and decent cover of Eddie Fontaine Ain't Nothing Shakin But The Leaves On The Trees.   Johnson's contributions of Sneaking Suspicion and Walking On The Edge also gives note that he's not happy with the band if you read into the lines.  Out of the three albums Wilko did with Feelgood, this one is the most disposable although there's enough hooks and melody to emit a few more listens.  It also shows the band coming unglued at the hinges. And Johnson would never settle the differences with Lee Brilleaux up till Lee's passing in the 1990s.  Worth a listen if you can find the record.  But the glossy production of DeCoteaux and recording by Pat Moran (later to work on albums by Robert Plant) tends to clash with the rough sound that was perfect for them by Maile.  Not sure where I picked my copy up but I'm guessing it may have brought at Zia's when I lived in Arizona in 87.  I give the record a solid B,

The Pirates' time with Warner Brothers up, they moved over to Pacific Arts for Hard Ride (Happy Birthday Rock And Roll, the UK name of said record) and like Dr Feelgood's album recorded at Rockfield but with Bill House (later The Rumour and Beach Boys) overseeing production although Vic Maile is on 1:30 2:30.  The choice of House was a more polished affair with an eye on the charts although the single Lady (Put The Light On Me) didn't chart (side note Brownsville Station had a minor hit with it in 1977).  While their version of Going Back Home (which Mick Green wrote with Wilko Johnson a few years ago) is a bit more sped up, I tend to favor Dr. Feelgood's version more from Malpractice.  Out of the trio of albums done, Hard Ride, like Sneaking Suspicion is their lesser effort although it's not without moments.  But the nostalgia tone of Happy Birthday Rock And Roll and Golden Oldies may have been a turn off for the punk rock crowd that got knocked out by Out Of Their Skulls/Skull Wars and wanted more of that. Nothing wrong with nostalgia but if you regulated to do a half inspired You Can't Sit Down and missing those days of Golden Oldies, it's not going to get the kids to ante up for this.  Again, I give this record a solid B or a weak B plus, and unless you have the other two albums, you really don't need this unless you have to hear it all.  And some folks do.

Back in the 80s, BJ Records in Iowa City had a big selection of cut outs or albums you could get for 4.99 or less, somehow that's where I managed to score The Beatles Let It Be or The Kinks, Arthur/Preservation Society/Something Else/Live Kinks and plenty others.  A 2.99 blues album of Lowell Folsom Soul (Kent) was a mercy buy.  Lowell had some minor hits on Checker but this hastily compiled selection of music from the late 50s and early 60s showed that Lowell could play the blues but he didn't shout the blues as well as he would straight sing them.  Don't know who F. Washington was, but he wrote or co wrote the majority of songs on this but the one I remember most is Andrew Hogg's Too Many Drivers.  The album is somewhere in the style of B B King although the folks at Kent Records give no indication of who did what on this album.  A fine album in its own right but somebody at EMI loved Black Nights so much that they added the song twice on the Tramp/Soul 2 on 1 CD that Flair/Virgin issued in 1991 and then added the song again on two EMI based bargain bin Blues compilations as well.  An A minus album still.

A site about record sleeves: http://45-sleeves.com/index.html

Retro picture:  Third drumset, I got for Christmas in 1969.  Only 10.99 at the time, it came with a flashing light inside the bass drum.  I eventually destroyed the drumset but how I love playing it.  Wish I still have it around.

Various Artists: Sixty Minute Man-The Madison Records Story (One Day/Not Now 2014)

I have to say that the folks at Not Now Music are doing an excellent job of finding obscure labels and artists that nobody in the states care much about anymore.  And while they're hard to find in music stores, Half Priced Books seems to get these compilations in bulk.  I passed on The Monument and The Swan Records comps simply of the fact that those had a wee bit too many pop and pap and not enough rock for me to invest upon hearing.  I also have to say that outside of the Viscounts and Bell Notes, I don't really know much about the rest of artists at hand although the guessing is that The Untouchables (not to be mistaken for the ska band of the 80s) were white guys covering the race records as the Billy Ward and The Dominoes and The Spaniels version of 60 Minute Man or Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight.  The Bell Notes known for I Had It (and they never topped it) gives us a shaky Shortnin' Bread and the followup of Real Wild Child is a decent cover of a Jerry Allison (Ivan) number.  Despite the pin up cover art, which makes you think this is cool music, the majority of the songs are either subpar covers, so so instrumentals (although Harlem Nocturne is vintage classic instrumental rock) or just plain fucking weird.  I doubt if the 20 foot Moon women that Buddy Clinton (no relation to Bill or George) swoons about would give him the time of day on the hilariously bad Take Me To Your Ladder (I'll see your leader later) pun novelty act. Or perhaps There Was A Fungus Among Us by Hugh Barrett & The Victors is Hugh himself.  But nothing more is more chilling or creepy as Jimmy Rand's Peggy Peggy to which jealous boyfriend kills his girlfriend and then pleads for forgiveness as his vocals fade out before the music ends.  And somewhere between all this mess is Motorcycle by Tico And The Triumphs which Paul Simon is incognito and his first billboard placing single.  It popped in at number 99 for one week.  An interesting footnote that Larry Uttal, who formed Madison Records would have better success forming a new label, Bell Records in the 60s and later Private Stock in the 70s.  60 Minute Man, The Madison Records Story taken as a whole is interesting as a historical artifact but for a valued comp, it isn't.  But listening to the covers you'd think that the Crew Cuts would be the Beatles and that Fabian is Elvis.  But the vintage pinup girls cover art is the price of admission alone.
Grade B-   

Townedger Radio Show Number 4 Playlist 1-21-15

Still in Love With You Baby-The Kitchen Cinq
When Time Runs Out-The Dangtrippers
Wiener Schnitzel-The Descendents
Greenback Dollar-The Men They Couldn't Hang
Rocking Down The Highway-The Doobie Brothers/Brad Paisley
Punk Out-The Suicide Machines
Good Intentions-For Love Not Lisa
Guns Are For Pussies-311
Teri (2002 version)-The Townedgers
Love's Not Here-The Townedgers
Norgaard-The Vaccines
Boys Don't Lie-Shoes
The Silent Sun-Genesis
Freedom Highway-Brian Auger/Julie Tippet
Rendezvous-The DBs
Back Again-The Townedgers
Down Down Down-Tom Waits
MB 20-The Townedgers
Bike Age-Descendents
Buzz Buzz Buzz-Primitives     

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