Monday, January 12, 2015

Week In Review: Callie Rustbucket, Euphonic Bridge, Collector's Frenzy

There's not much music out there to check out in January.  It's too cold to bargain hunt outside of town and the week of snow and ice is taking a toll not only on me but on the car, which i slid out of control and the side of the curb on Ski jump ramp in the work parking lot.  Now the damn car is making a vibration now.  Fucking cold weather.  And the other car needs brakes and something to replace a leaky fuel line. So far 2015 continues where 2014 left off, shit luck and shit weather.

The neighbor's dog who always came over for treats and munchies got ran over a day before New Year's Eve, which is why I haven't seen her.  For 14 years Chelsea Leigh was a fixture in the front door looking in. The neighbors would let her run around town which may not been the best thing for a dog in the teens, I was more surprised that her dumb three legged friend down the road would have been the first road kill. Over the past couple weeks an abandoned cat has now appeared on my doorstep, a gray, green eyed calico tabby which I named Callie Rustbucket.  We have feral cats running around and all i have to do is open the door and look at them cross eyed and they speed off, not Callie.  She sat there, stared a while and purred up into the house.  To which I put her out again, and give her some kibble and bits to keep meat on the bones.  I'm not a cat fan, I don't like the majority of them.  My best friend has about three of them over at their house which I don't go over much.  Callie might be the sole exception, she so damn friendly and always purring, always singing and if I do take her in, she tends to lay on my lap and get in the way.  Me and my brother we talk about what to do with this wayward cat.  There's a no kill shelter in town but they're never open and although dropping it off at the other humane society they'll put her to sleep within a week if not adopted.  So we watch over her and if she's still around by friday, take her butt to get fixed.  We don't want no more wild pussy running around the yard.  She seems a good judge of character, she likes me and brother, she likes the guy across the street that feeds her, she hates dogs (she would hiss at Chelsea when she came over for a dog bone) and she certainly don't like the neighbors living in the meth house.  She was growing at them when I was out getting the mail.  She's got taste, now if she would quit sitting her butt on my new car we might be able to get along better.....

I haven't spent much time on Twitter lately but a new follower came on my site and might be worth checking out.  They're called Euphonic Bridge and they just started up.  Another alternative music and arts site you might get a kick out of.  

Another record site, a place where you can see where the albums went to the highest bidder.  you might have  a goldmine and you may not know it.:

As I grow older I tend to look back at my youth and wondered where did the time fly.  In my previous blogs of the past couple years I added some eye candy, although trying to find ones that don't overdo (or underdo) things.  The past couple years Maxey Greene has been one of the cutest plus sized models out there.  And at times  I try my best to show pictures of them off, but lately pictures continue to disappear and in record numbers, especially on the Top Ten Of The Week blogs of the early 2010's  Hindsight tells me that perhaps I should have stored them on the computer before posting them.  I'm not about to turn this back into Cheese Cake World rather than Record World, but if I find a beautiful pic of an Ivy Doomkitty or Maxey Greene, then I would.  I may kill the harddrive in this old warhorse computer but at least I'll get to see the pictures and not have them disappear while using Google for picture resources.

Clifford Hoard has decided to retire The Kings Of The Sun band name after making the comeback Rock Til You Die CD of last year.  However there might be some friction coming from his brother Jeffrey Hoad who has taken up the KOTS banner.  I don't know much about Jeffrey, but Clifford has been a gracious and good host of his site and we have been facebook friends for about a year now.  Cliff still remains a helluva drummer.  On a related note, The Black Crowes have called it a day, Rich Robinson making the announcement after Chris Robinson the former Mr. Kate Hudson, decided to add ridiculous demands to the band, and may have been attributed to him smoking some wacky mushrooms.   Didn't think much of the latter day albums but I still think By Your Side is their classic album.


12 Million Sellers (Forum/Roulette 1962)

In the early days of rock and roll, the major labels treated the genre more of a fad than anything everlasting and if they did issue anything, it would be on the 1.98 loss leader.  Forum Records was basically a budget lined label from Morris Levy and Roulette and I remember my dad bringing home a box of forgotten crappy budget priced garbage from the likes of Richmond (a 1.98 offshoot of London Records) and Forum (there were two interesting albums, one was Oriental Delight from the Hank Mardigian Sextet, (Forum 9010) which was jazz played by use of a oud that Hank was famous for and Jazz for Dancing by Maynard Ferguson (F-9035) which I never played, and I think I gave a bunch of those album to a neighbor lady down the road.  I recall a couple of German music comps via Forum Circle, less said the better.  But going to the downtown Antique mall I found 12 Million Sellers, actually a pretty good budget priced album of some of the early rock songs from the Roulette/End/Gee/Gone labels, owned by Levy but I think was put out due to the Twist craze, judging by the lead off and barely over a minute Hey Let's Twist by Joey Dee and The Starlighters, kinda lightweight if you asked me and followed by the cheesy Jo Ann by The Playmates (my mom had the forty five of this). Some of the stuff I've never heard before, Eddie Cooley's Priscilla and First Anniversary by Kathy Carr.  Some fun stuff from the likes of Ronnie Hawkins (Mary Lou), The Rock-a-teens one hit wonder Woo Hoo, The Cleftones Heart And Soul and the doo wop punk chaos of Barbara Ann from The Regents, a song that Robert Christgau never liked much, but the latter two songs would find their way on a very important soundtrack that would come out in 1973, American Graffiti.  The liner notes are hilariously funny, I really don't think that Cooley's Priscilla (misspelled on the back side) nor Crazy For You from The Heartbeats sold a million copies but perhaps all 12 of these golden oldies might have sold a million copies all together.  However it sounds like a 1.98 album, a quickie mastering job and out they went to the local cheap bins at the local Woolworths.  You can find most of them on better remastered jobs later in life but as record hoarder, this is the kind of album that gives me a foolish pleasure into acquiring and playing.  In other words, the seeds that would spring American Graffiti a decade later, and rekindled America's love affair of music of the 50s and early 60s.
Grade B+ 

Wishbone Ash-Blue Horizon (Solid Rockhouse/Intergroove) 2014

Given the fact that Andy Powell and Muddy Manninen (plus Bob Skeat on bass) have been guitar players longer in this version of The Ash longer than the original lineup pretty much sums up chemistry and although I didn't pay much attention to them between the 1982 Fantasy issue of Twin Barrels Burning and 2006's Clan Destiny which the latter album I did buy and thought it was worthy of their long legacy.  Blue Horizon continues the fact that Wishbone Ash remains one of the better guitar bands of this era, which is a dying art in itself.  In fact Blue Horizon wouldn't feel out of place if you compared it to their classic album Argus.  It also helps that Powell can still sing very well despite being in his 60s now.  If FM radio of the 70s still exists today, Blue Horizon the album would figure into the playlist of Beaker Street or perhaps KSHE although I have heard Take It Back, the leadoff track played on Deep Cuts.  The argument can be that Wishbone Ash can balloon a song to over five minutes with extended jamming and that's okay in my book.  Certainly the title track has enough lead guitar and a rhythm hook that keep you listening to the whole thing, even towards the end.  Certainly the ZZ Top shuffle of Deep Blues can make Billy Gibbons smile as well. Or moving to a more progressive rock on the next track Strange How Things Come Back Around. The rest of the record isn't boring either.   In other words, what I come to expect from a Wishbone Ash album.  Guitar rock that nobody plays much anymore.  Or in other words, Twin Barrels Are Still Burning.

Grade B+

The Rolling Stones-Get Your Ya Yas Out (London 1970)

For the so called World's Greatest Rock And Roll Band, their live offerings have been scattershot at best. Got Live If You Want It was poorly recorded from what I remembered it, and later offerings showed a trainwreck in progress although Flashpoint I can listen to once in a while.  But my favorite live Stones remains this Madison Square Garden show and the highlight is Charlie Watts simplistic but driving drumming. Using a strange lineup of high hats on side and two on the other I always loved this version of Jumpin Jack Flash.  New guy Mick Taylor tends to keep the music going whereas Keith is lighting up another cig before the next song.  Scoff all you want but I also prefer this version of Sympathy For The Devil to which (again) Watts leads the song all the way through.  As always Mick is hilarious, winking to girls about not having his trousers being ripped.  The recording varies and seems to get more muddier as it goes on, leading up to a grungy Street Fighting Man till Keef gets bored and stops playing guitar and the band calls it a day.  I had this on CD but lost it in the flood of June, but I ended up getting the vinyl back this week and I think it's better to hear this in vinyl form.  Ronnie Wood may have lasted the longest but I tend to think that when Mick Taylor joined, it's evidential that the early years when Taylor was in The Stones, they did become a damn good live band.   Ragged but right.

Grade A-

The King-Gravelands (Ark 21 1999)

Last week, the original king turned 80 and as we all know all too well the world is never short of Elvis impersonators.  And no substitute for the real thing.  There was a creepy Elvis impersonator Orion that made a few albums for Sun Records in the 70s, Ronnie McDowell a country singer did The King Is Gone in the Elvis mode and later became a modest selling country singer and let's not forget Dread Zeppelin, who had a lead singer that sang like Elvis, a strange case of what would have been had Elvis fronted Led Zeppelin.  And on this effort, a guy from Belfast named (ironically)   James Brown tackles on Nirvana, Sweet, Ac/Dc and Skynyrd.  And for the effort, it's all done seriously on Come As You Are, as if one wonders what would happened had Elvis would have done Nirvana, which had Elvis lived I doubt that he would.  Alas, the Bap Kennedy led band is no TCB band and while Brown's makes a semi interesting Elvis clone, his band fails him, more so on Voodoo Child, a song that Elvis would have never touched if he was alive (and for the record Elvis P left alone).  The record becomes a parody when Kennedy adds the theme from 2001 to the ending of Whole Lotta Rosie. Or whoever thought they should cover No Woman No Cry.  And Brown does messes up on the words on the songs too. The only real time Gravelands cooks up is on (what else) That's All Right, to which Brown and Kennedy does a fair job of capturing That's All Right Mama to a time that Elvis did jam with Scotty Moore on guitar alone.  And then you go to the real source soon afterward.  I really can't recommend this CD but consider this along the lines of The Fab Four doing Christmas songs in the way The Beatles would do them.  It's different but not something you'd listen to on a regular basis.

Grade C+

Willie Dixon-I Am The Blues (Columbia 1970)

Willie was perhaps the best known writer of the blues that propelled Chess Records in the 50s and give influence to white guys across the pond in the 60s, without Willie there wouldn't be a Led Zeppelin or Cream. But being a great songwriter and decent acoustic bass player (he's on the legendary tracks from Howling Wolf, which the Rocking Chair album IMHO the best overall album of Dixon penned numbers, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and many many others) but as a vocalist, he was the least of the Chess men, although put his vocals in the right situations it did work well, example: Koko Taylor's Wang Dang Doodle. For this Columbia one off, he enlists a hand picked collection of Chicago musicians which on the CD doesn't tell you who played what but further research shows the likes of Lafayette Leake and Sunnyland Slim on piano,  Walter Horton on harmonica,  Johnny Shines on guitar and Clifton James on drums, and of course Dixon on bass,  all have played on Chess records sessions years before.  My original thinking upon hearing this the first time would call it exploitation, why else would Columbia issue this into getting the kids listening to Zeppelin or Cream to invest in this, but upon research and a second listen I come to conclude if you were in Chicago in 1970 and managed to catch a jam session with the bluesmen mentioned this is what it would sounded like although I'm sure the recording would not be as polished.  Dixon does speed up Little Red Rooster and I Ain't Superstitious and he rides the feeling to double the length of Back Door Man and I Can't Quit You Baby.  But since Columbia was footing the bill of this recording, Dixon and his band had fun with it.  For historians and blues fans for a curio listen, fun but inessential.

Grade B

RIP Tim Drummond, bass player who appeared on a few Neil Young albums.  He was 74.

The Second Disc has revamped their website and is where I get my information about new reissues and releases.  And now they're teaming up with Gordon Anderson and Real Gone Records for their own label named.....Second Disc Records.  Their inaugural release is the Johnny Mathis Complete Thom Bell Sessions which sparked a hit in Life's A Song Worth Singing  in 1973 and will make available the album I'm Coming Home, which I think was a nice updated soul album from Mathis. Also, the hard to find Complete Columbia Singles which commands for big bucks on EBAY will be reissued via Friday Music in February. 


TAD said...

Cheesecake World! I love it! Where do I subscribe...?

R S Crabb said...

For some reason somebody keeps coming in and stealing my cheese cake photos from previous blogs (a lotta old pics disappearing for no reason at all, damn google chrome) so I had to resort into downloading the picture to my computer and then posting them afterward. I do think that Maxey Greene is highly stunning in this picture ya kno? ;)

TAD said...

Maxey IS stunning. Good lookin out for New Talent....