Fall is in the air here, the days are getting much shorter, the sun sets now before 7 PM and the farmers are out in the fields. As you can tell, I'm back behind the scenes here with a few more blogs this month, having caught up in the archives of The Townedgers over at blogspot, although the typing day in and day out is beginning to take a toll on these fingers. The My City Is Gone original post garnered enough requests to do a followup. A third in the series is planned, but this one will feature more of my archives rather than others on the net. But that's still in the planning department.
The end of days must be coming, The Chicago Cubs did the unthinkable and after dropping the first game, won the next three and defeated the St Louis Cardinals 6-4. After the Cards tied it up, Anthony Rizzo then took a pitch out into the bleachers and later Kyle Scharber smacked a long one into the stands. Stat of the day was that the Cubs hit 15 Home runs in the series and a hard to believe 6 of them in game three, which the wind was blowing out of Wrigley. For the first time in history, the Cubs won a deciding game in the playoffs at Wrigley ever. I'm not going to get into the superstition of Back To The Future Part 2, but at least we can finally put Steve Bartman to rest. History is that and the future looks promising, with Kris Bryant, Kyle Scharber, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell (who got hurt in game 3), Javy Baez, Jorge Soler being the bright future that the future came into play much earlier than expected. And of course veterans such as Dexter Fowler, Starlin Castro had time timely hitting and home runs as well. I also was impressed that the bullpen did a fairly good job holding the feared Redbirds in check. Perhaps it was Joe Maddon playing his hunches and putting the relief pitchers in the perfect slot, Travis Wood, Trevor Cahill, Clayton Richard, even Pedro Strop and Fernando Rodney pitched great to get the game to Hector Rondon to save the game and striking out up and coming Steve Piscotty to end the game. Will this be the year for The Cubs? I hope so.
Aftermath: (No idea why things are highlighted)
Kyle Schwarber's boom shot to the Budweiser sign out in the bleachers was found by an employee cleaning up the place the next day. They decided to keep it up there as a reminder to the opposing pitcher what can happen if they hang a curve ball.
It's up here.
I'm winding down on my weekly jam sessions with the fellow musicians. This Sunday I took the day off and went up to Dubuque to hang around the Mississippi and count trains off the river walk. I'm not sure if doing The Crabby Awards for best places are worth doing but this year's best record store, I'm casting my vote for Moondog Music. The usual places that I frequent are still worth going to, Ragged Records in Davenport, Co Op in Moline, Record Collector in Iowa City and CD's 4 Change, the other store in Dubuque as well. But in the end, Moondog Music wins out because, next to Co Op Moline, they're open on Sundays and up till 9 PM, and I managed to find a bunch of 45s for a dollar apiece. Where else can you find Get Me To The World On Time by The Electric Prunes and Sagittarius' My World Fell Down for that price. Plus Moondog still makes an effort to get the new releases on CD as well. And did I mention that they stay open till 9 on the weekends? It's nice to have a record store that conforms to my schedule rather than try to plan around the 10 to 5 or 11 to 7 that most record stores employ around here today. It'd be different if I still lived in Arizona, they would have my own little space at Zia's Records.
Best Record Stores in the area
1. Moondog Music (DBQ)
2. Ragged Records (Davenport)
3. Co Op Records (Moline, Clinton)
4. CDs 4 Change (DBQ)
5. Record Collector (IC)
6. The Source Bookstore (Davenport)
7. Barnes And Noble (CR)
8. Books A Million (DBQ, Quad Cities)
9. Big Box Stores (Best Buy, Target, Wally World, K Mart, Shopko)
Best places for used records/CDs
1. Half Priced Books (CR-Marion)
2. Stuff Etc (CR, IC, Waterloo, Davenport, Ankeny)
3. Sweet Living Antiques (IC)
4. St Vincent De Paul (Waterloo, Madison)
5. Goodwill (CR, Marion, IC, Quad Cities, etc)
6. Salvation Army (Marion)
The thrift stores remain spotty and if you're there at the right place right time, you're bound to find something of value, to which I have always have had some sort of decent luck. While vinyl sales have continued to go up, over 15 percent from last year, they still remain a niche buy and they remain overpriced although audiophiles will continue to tout their findings. Problem is that some places do overprice their used vinyl and no matter how much I'd love to get the Fantasy S/T album, I'm not paying over 20 dollars for one. So it reminds the kindness of donors who drop their collection at the thrift stores to find the ones that got away. For me it's the ones off the beaten track, independent country 45s or something that won't get airplay on the radio. LPs and CDs the same thing; you really have to sort through all the gospel praise stuff or pop crap, sometimes I do find a lost classic in Horace Silver Song For My Father for fifty cents at a Salvation Army Bargains store.
If your traveling up to Madison, beware of the stop lights and bad drivers and head over to 1) Mad City Music Exchange on Williamson Street, 2) Strictly Discs in the University District, 3) Sugar Shack Records. Of course The St Vincent De Paul on Williamson Street is the place to get cheap 45s and LPs and while both Half Priced Books are hit and miss they do have a inventory and selection of cheap music to seek. Same as Frugal Muse in the Target Square. The Goodwill and Salvation Army stores you're on your own.
Passings: Steve McKay, saxophone player for The Stooges Fun House album and rejoined the band passed away from sepsis, he was 66. Smokin Joe Kubek, blues guitarist extraordinaire suffered a heart attack prior before playing Tuesday Night, he was 58.
Whatever happened to Preston Hubbard, famed bass player for the Fabulous Thunderbirds? Read here: http://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis/st-louis-stepped-up-to-help-this-famous-musician-but-did-he-actually-need-it/Content?oid=3029480&showFullText=true
I took Tuesday off from work to watch the Cubs play at Parlor City and I don't usually hang with the crowd to watch a ball game, I get very vocal and liberal on the F Bombs but when the final out was recorded, I sat back in shock to see what has happened, while most of the crowd cheered. There were a few Cardinals fans in tow but once the Cub won out, the more vocal were Cubs fans. It was also the Tuesday Night Jam Session, to which legendary Bob Dorr showed up with his drum set. While navigating the closed roads around New Bo, and trying to find a place to park up close, I waited for him to pass by while I was parking the car. You can't miss him, he drives a SUV with Blue 40 for plates. Eventually I must have gotten into the door before he arrived. And he's perhaps the first person I seen, toting his drumset already put together through the door, although he didn't have a floor tom to beat, basically a small drums, a couple cymbals and high hat. While he tell folk otherwise, he does keep a beat, and what better way to lead off a jam session with Sweet Home Chicago. Even on a Tuesday Night and some of the best blues players in town, the crowd was half empty, although I did leave after three songs to get to the Wrigleyville Jams that I frequent and participate most of the time. Certainly Dorr with Dan Johnson, T Bone Giblin and others put down that patented jazz blues groove that Bob does so well with The Blue Band, he knows his groove, it was just that I made an commitment to the Wrigleyville jams. Highlights included Mike Lint doing a good job of Drift Away, with me on drums, with us trading spots for Cant' Get Enough and me singing lead on a couple others, with the round mound of beats Terry McDowell working on the drums. Somebody did post a video of Drift Away with me on drums, but even with dual jams around town, crowds was sparse at Wrigleyville as well. Passing up a chance to jam with Bob Dorr in favor of the other place, I must have been out of my mind but in the end, I had better friends and musicians at the other place. Hopefully I can do a jam session with Dan Johnson at Parlor City if and when time allows and if and when there's not a jam session at Wrigleyville on the same night.
Blackberry Smoke-The Whippoorwill (Southern Ground 2012)
While reviews of this album called this the best of 2012, I tend to approach cautiously. I do think their latest remains the best of the year but The Whippoorwill, while good, was B.S. trying to find their own groove. At times they sound like a smarter Georgia Satellites, or a in transit Kentucky Headhunters, or the younger brother of The Bottlerockets. A good cheating song is Little White Lie and it shows that Charlie Starr has been taking notes of Brian Henneman, the Bottlerockets leader, who's new album will be next on the review list. Certainly Starr is too smart for Bro country and Lucky Seven and Leave a Scar are closer to southern rock than Americana country. I'd probably like this record a lot more if they left off the moaning female soul singers that make listening to Crimson Moon or Everybody Knows She's Mine a chore to sit through. Thankfully that got corrected on the next album, but in any case The Whippoorwill is a nice stepping stone to the classic record that would be Holding All The Roses.
Elephants Memory-Songs From Midnight Cowboy (Buddah 1969)
Meeting up with John And Yoko would be the undoing of them, but in the late 60s, Neil Bogart signed them to his bubblegum label Buddah and Wes Farrell (The Partridge Family, Wayne Newton) would produce their first album. Although they owed much to New Vaudeville Band and Blood Sweat and Tears, they also had a ear for Mothers Of Invention type of freakouts such as Super Heep and Old Man Willow. While Carly Simon was once a member, Michal Shapiro is the female vocal and she re-imagines Everybody's Talking from a woman's point of view although it won't make you forget Nilsson or Spanky And Our Game. There's some silly shit on here, Yogurt Song comes to mind, but overall I like the oddball Don't Put Me On Trial No More and Shapiro's revised lyrics to Crossroads Of The Stepping Stones. Strange pairing of this band being on a label famous for bubblegum and a producer who more into teen pop, but this record does work well. Too bad Frank Zappa never recorded them for Straight/Bizarre, they would have been a perfect band for him.
The Bottlerockets-South Broadway Athletic Club (Bloodshot 2015)
Something about Roscoe Ambel that gets the best out of Brian Henneman, who writes from a Midwestern point of view, more worldly than Bruce Springsteen in this day and age. He could also do a children's album if he wanted too as evidenced by "Dog". He speaks for all of us in lead off track Mondays (Everytime I Turn Around) that we hate Mondays, especially if you have day time jobs and have to give up early. He speaks for the worker who's in it for the money on Building Chrysler's, which might apply to the Volkswagen fiasco of the past summer of rates and hell with quality control. But he believes in love and Big Lotsa Love. While The Bottlerockets still made decent albums, none of them really stood out for me, but South Broadway Athletic Club is a fine return to form that made the 1990s album such as 24 Hours A Day a joy to listen to. It's their best since that album.
Conterpoint: Robert Christgau:
Alt-country vet Brian Henneman is one of those guys who likes writing songs too much to quit. Weary evocations of the persistence of Monday and airbag duty at the Chrysler plant convince you music isn't his day job whether it is or not. Similarly, the long-haul passion of "Big Lotsa Love" makes you hope the perfect breakup lamentation "Something Good" is just poetry he couldn't resist whether it is or not: "World turns/Rome burns/Can't you hear that fiddle sound/Time flies/Elvis dies/It's all over but the shoutin' now." If you notice the material weakening toward the end, give him a break. He's beat. A MINUS
From Dan Johnson on the Tuesday Night Blues Jam
The best Parlor City Pub & Eatery Jam we've had in a long time. Great job by Bob Bob Dorr and Jeff Petersen. Sheryl Petersen and some of the Blue band gang in the house. Charlie Morgan did a set with some family- Vince on harp, Tom on git. Barb Barb Myers
realized a bucket listing doing Beatles with Bob, and immortalized him
and the jammers with more Parlor City Jam Pizza Box Art. Some new faces,
and Mike Swearingen sat in on a couple. And Greg Francisco with a bagpipe finale. Fun. Next week: Ryan Phelan and Richard Wagor. Thanks for your support.
I got to jam with Charlie Morgan on a few blues numbers back in 1993 thereabouts and Charlie has been one of my favorite musicians to jam with. Had I known that our vocalist Mike Swearingen was there I would have waited.and jammed with him as well. But I made a promise to show up to the Wrigleyville jam session. A little advance warning and there could have been another mini Paraphernalia/Tyrus reunion. Maybe next time.
Final word from Bob Dorr about performing Spoonful next time he's in town.
careful what you wish for! Let's give this a try on Dec. 15.
Next Jam: The Acoustic Kitties host the Rumors Sunday show. They're fun to watch and you too can join in the fun by jamming a few songs as well.