Monday, February 16, 2015

Week In Review: Townedger Radio 5, Lesley Gore, SNF 40

For those are waiting with baited breath, Carl Sentence is the new lead singer of Nazareth.  Why yes,they're still around why'd you ask?

Love that chicken from Popeyes?  I wouldn't know but the big thing going on in town is the opening of one in Cedar Rapids, to which the masses responded with a traffic jam stemming back as far as Lindale Drive on the first day. A week later, I still counted cars waiting to go through the drive in, off Blairs Fairly about five cars deep on the road but eventually the novelty will wear off.  I am not that hard up to try them out, I probably get in and out by going to Waterloo, which had one operating for many years and you can get in and out sooner instead of holding up traffic down here. 

The Saturday Night Life 40 show or Let's Kiss Lorne Michaels' Ass aired on Sunday and if this is what they have for best moments I'll take my memories instead.  A couple things stood out, Bill Murray revived his lounge singer act, Jane Curtin's returning to the Weekend Update field (to throw a zinger at FOX news) and Wayne's World which they took a few lighthearted shots at Kanye West.  But the whole show was an exercise of trying to stay awake among the five minutes of commercials to which Michaels, if he was such a cutting edge genius would have added more skits and the funny SNL spoofs instead of doing a couple screen shots of them in a meaningless mash them together segments.  Way too much time spent on the unfunny SNL skits of this decade, Bill Hader way too much love and not enough for the not ready for prime time players.  And I always been creeped out by the Belushi Don't Look Back At Anger spot which they saved toward the end.  What Michaels failed to show was the old Taste Buds commercial sketch which may have been one of the best things that Budweiser ever signed off on.  Or the The killer Bees. Or the edgy Chevy Chase/Richard Pryor Word Association, leading up to Chase saying the N word and Pryor coming back with Dead Honkie! But the sign of the times that the original cast 40 years later are all gray hair or bald or dead.  Paul Simon singing Still Crazy After All These Years ruined by an overblown saxophone solo.  Miley Cyrus hashing up 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover to the groans of the old farts used to Simon's original.  Still, if anybody would have said that Saturday Night Live would survive after 40 years, would have been laughed at.  But the persistence of Michaels continuing to bring new comedians to the show is perhaps the theme of the show, even though SNL hasn't been as viable since the original cast left for the movies and TV shows many many decades ago. Lorne could never replace a John Belushi (who also got folks to buy the original soul music by playing Joliet Jake  Blues in the Blues Brothers) although Chris Farley did come close.  Looking back upon this, Saturday Night Live did out last a lot of the copy cat comedy troupe shows of the 70s, (ABC's Fridays) but the original inspiration and source of SNL Second City TV, still remained the better of the two shows to which Shout Factory basically released most of that on a few DVDs years ago that I managed to get as cutouts.  Even then, Lorne Michaels couldn't top the Eugene Levy, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis, Dave Thomas, Andrea Martin and Catherine O'Hara lineup of SCTV when the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players were on at that time.  Michaels could go on for another 40 years and stop can't top SCTV no matter what he did.  But the Not Ready For Prime Time Players were special in their own way too. But Michaels continues to pat himself on the back 35 years  later and recycling the warhorse that is SNL, so that people will remember him.  Kudos to Eddie Murphy for passing on parody Bill Cosby and his situation that's continues to go on.

Lesley Gore died Monday, aged 68 and from lung cancer.  Another victim of cigarettes. Gore has always to me been a different type of female singer, something more deep inside of her, the woman you can never tame.  Maybe it had something to do with her coming out being lesbian in the late 2000s but it always wondered me why no guy was with her during her hit making years with Quincy Jones and Mercury. Records.  However my favorite song of hers was not anything by Quincy but rather a obscure non album cut called I Don't Know If I Can which was perhaps a swipe at Shelby Singleton Jr who took over production for this and Young Love a number 50 charting single.  Basically known for It's My Party and Judy's Turn To Cry the smartasses out there wondering if Lesley wanted Judy more than she did of Johnny.  Over the years, I actually found some decent 45s of some of her lesser known stuff, I Don't Want To Be A Loser and an VG plus copy of a sleeveless 45 of  Off And Running which I got at a Mad City Half Priced Bookstore for 50 cents.  Alas it only made it up to 106 or 108 on the bubbling over chart in late 1966, which is surprising considering how upbeat the music is and was written by Carol Bayer and Toni Wine, one of the more trusted songwriters of the 60s and arranged by Jack Nitzche.   By then, Gore was all but forgotten after the glory years of 1963, which her first four singles hit the top ten.  Oldies radio still plays those and You Don't Own Me, which could be considered the forerunner of Feminist music, in the style of I Am Woman. Her last top ten California Nights (#16 in 1967) is rarely heard anywhere.  While Universal has kept a Lesley Gore best of in print over the years, the best one, the 2 CD It's My Party captures just about Lesley's best moments on Mercury although after Brink Of Disaster, Gore tries more of a contemporary pop something like Petula Clark's stuff but not as memorable or enjoyable.   I heard good things about her 1975 comeback album for A&M with Quincy Jones helping out, Jones always seems to bring out the best in Lesley than anybody else but that album didn't sell either.  In 2007 Lesley returned with Ever Since, which garnered good reviews as well and then came out of the closet.  For the most part, Gore was content to play the oldies circuit and give the fans what they wanted to hear.  While today's youth and music has forgotten Lesley, history will show that she was a lot better than most of the teenie boppers of that era, Quincy Jones alone really helped shape her music into what it is today.  It's fairly easy to find Lesley's 45s and LPs in the used bins even after death. There's more to her than just the Judy and Johnny saga of It's My Party.  I found that out after hearing Off And Running, and eventually sought out the 2 CD retrospective, despite it being scratched up for 20 dollars used and a record club copy to boot.

Record Porn: Tra Le La Le La Triangle/Leavin On Your Mind by Patsy Cline

About six years ago, Cedar Rapids had two Salvation Army stores to go to. the one on 3rd Avenue is still in tact but their record selection is always picked clean and what remains is the usual crap that nobody listens to under the age of 74, the other was located in Czech Village.  I really miss that place, they seem to have a better selection.  But anyway, the last time I was down there, I donated a bunch of LPs and most of my cassettes that I seldom played anymore.  But the last time I stopped in there, somebody dropped off a few country 45s of varying degree.  I picked up two, one was a Ray Price number and the other was this Promo copy of perhaps the most pop sounding song that Patsy would record, Tra Le La Le La Triange although I think the B side Leavin On Your Mind has managed to get more airplay on Willie's Roadhouse on Sirius XM.  No introduction necessary when it comes to Pasty, perhaps one of more emotional singers who you can feel the pain in the way she sings songs like Leavin On Your Mind or perhaps playing Miss Innocent on Triangle.  Whoever owned this copy didn't think much of Leavin and decided to go with Triangle, which made him in the minority.  Leavin On Your Mind made it to number 8 on the country charts in January of 1963.   I bought this record a week before the major flood of 2008 took out most of Cedar Rapids and The Salvation Army store, to which I'm guessing that my donated cassettes and LPs went down the river.  An interesting story behind purchasing the record.

A couple things to read:
A article that states Miranda Lambert continues to kick bro country's ass.  And of course how shitty bro country is, which reminds me that the new Love And Theft and Blackberry Smoke is out but Best Buy didn't have the the B.S. album, nor the new Steve Earle but they did have LAT. So far this year is shaping up to be even more shittier in new music than last year.

A story on Garret Rein:

As part of looking for new artists, Rein has been very supportive of me and my efforts on Townedger Radio and he can be heard via Lucky Star Radio and a few other net radio outlets.  At age 33 he's considered to be a long shot in making it into hard rock but he has built up a following via social media outlets.  Thought I would give him a shout out. Side note, Garret makes a comment about a slight mistake in the article."It's Supposed to say "Alvin Taylor toured with Little Richard and bunch of other credentials. David Keckhut was the Lead Vocalist who worked with Michael Devin (Bass Player) of Whitesnake and Johnny G. (Bass Player) with Slash, shortly after Guns n Roses, Slash created his own band Slash's Snakepit"


For an everyday hoarder/collector, every day is record store day when I visit Ragged Records or Half Priced Books or the thrift stores.  I tend to think that RSD exclusives are overpriced and most I have on CD or vintage album vinyl.  The problem is the lack of close by record stores to hang out.  Unless I open up one myself.  It would be a money pit but perhaps if I get enough record fans perhaps I could eek out a living for about a month or two.

Wednesday Night is Townedger Radio, my little show on Lucky Star Radio.  Every 3rd Wed Night at Midnight CST, 10 Pacific I continue my losing effort to showcase music that is hardly played anymore and I think this show may have been the best one yet.  Check it out at this link:  or if that don't work

The Playlist for 10/18/15  TE Radio 5

Black Night Crash-Ride
IOU-The Replacements
You Can Look But You Better Not Touch-Bruce Springsteen
Takes A Lot To Rock You-Dwight Yoakam
Gimme Gimme Good Lovin-Crazy Elephant
Turning On Blue-Tommy Keene
Just Enough Love-The Townedgers
Android-Green Day
Detroit Made-Bob Seger
Two People In A Room-Wire
Go Home Little Girl-Dash Rip Rock
Dogs Part 2-The Who
That's What She Said-The Greenberry Woods
Loud And Clear-The Empty Hearts
Oh No-The Mothers Of Invention
Budweiser-The Crew Cuts
The Mighty Quinn-Bob Dylan And The Band
Say It-Voice Of The Beehive
Bring It To Light-The Townedgers
Lawyers, Guns And Money-Warren Zevon
Free Jazz (excerpt)-Ornette Coleman


TAD said...

Always loved Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me," it made up for her other big hits. Interesting subtext too, since I didn't realize she'd come out....
And she co-wrote a couple songs for the movie FAME -- I think "Out Here On My Own" was one of them....

R S Crabb said...

Lesley kept her sexuality in secret quite well, she didn't flaunt it like Melissa Ethridge did, or go through many companions like Rosie O'Donnell. That song that she wrote for Fame did garner a Grammy nomination.

Certainly You Don't Own Me has a more defiant attitude than the novelty of the Johnny and Judy saga songs and Judy's Turn To Cry has that dated and cheesy feel. But I think there's more to her than just It's My Party too. Overall, I tend to favor her over say, Darlene Love or Dusty Springfield but that's only my opinion.