Thursday, November 26, 2015

Week In Review: Adele Vs Lefsetz, Winter Storm Bitchflakes, Turkey shoot

I look at snowstorms before Thanksgiving as pointless as Christmas Music before Thanksgiving. Friday Winter Storm Bitchflakes (The Weather Channel never names them right, but then again they're too busy with reality shows than reporting the weather) came out of the Rockies and gave us about 8 inches of the white shit.  Certain areas got a foot or more so it could have been worse down here.  The future forecast for this week is that the see the snow will melt (YAY) but by Thanksgiving Winter Storm Crapola will give us about two inches of rain.

So much sports news going on, I should consider this renaming this Sports World.  Let's start out with the good:  Northern Iowa in basketball upsets number 1 rated North Carolina 71-67.  Amazing of the fact that UNI was down 50-34 with 17 minutes left to play till UNI ran on a 29-8 run to come from behind to win.  It might have been a different story had Marcus Page would have played for UNC but since it was played up in Cedar Falls during Winter Storm Bitchflakes' wrath and the home crowd was quite loud, that also might have played a big role too.   It's early in the season and there might be a rematch during the NCAA tourneys but for now it's the big upset in the state.

It has been a disappointing season for Arizona State this season, big losses to USC, Texas A&M and Utah kept them out of the division title but if nothing else, they got the territorial cup back in their trophy case with a 52-37 victory over Arizona.  Two pick six interceptions by the Sun Devils helped defeat the Wildcats although ASU had problems all day with future all star in the making Brendon Dawkins, getting Arizona back in the game when ASU led 31-10 at the half and on a 95 yard TD pass, where the ASU defense played grabass, and the score became 31-23, before Steve Bercovici, playing his usual up and down game finally got them going for a late TD.  Then ASU Defense came through, getting two TDs from interceptions by Kareem Orr and Lloyd Carrington which finally put the game out of reach despite a late 25 yard TD run by Dawkins.  A strange incursion of events; last year ASU won 10 games but lost to Arizona, but this season beating the Wildcats and getting the cup was the high point of a 6-6 team that didn't live up to expectations but anytime you beat Arizona it makes a season that much better, even if you're a 500 team.

Curses, say Colin Cowpie Cowherd, Iowa wins again, defeating Purdue 40-20 and staying unbeaten and going up to number 3 on the top 25 teams in the NCAA. But once again The Hawkeyes didn't look impressive, especially on defense, the bottom dwelling Purdue team outgained   them 405 to 387. So it was up to the offense to score and they did that. C J Beathard threw three TD passes and Jordan Canzeri concluded the scoring and putting the game out of reach with a 42 yard touchdown run.  With Northwestern beating Wisconsin 13-7 (although the refs had a hand in that game, saying a late TD catch in the end zone was not, the WR didn't have it in his possession long enough although replays suggest otherwise), Iowa wins the Western Division Title.  While the Hawkeyes are now 11-0, the Black Friday match with Nebraska will be the telling point between a great season or the best season ever.  While Iowa players can now focus on that game, they better step it up on defense. One messup and Colin Cowherd, Iowa hater and FOX Sports news hack will have his knives out to cut this season up.   In other words, keep winning.

On the downside, Iowa State led Kansas State 35-28 and all they had to do was V formation and get out with a victory.  K State had not won a big 12 game all year and it looked like they would lose this. But a big fumble by the RB and Joe Huberner shot the Wildcats down for the tying score. Then Joel Lanning, I State QB fumbled and K State kicked the winning FG for a 38-35 victory.  The sad part was that Iowa State led 35-14 and seemed to have the game at hand.  But like they did against OK State was that they couldn't finish the game.  And with that, Paul Rhodes got fired the next day although he will stay on to coach against West Virginia.  Rhodes has been with Iowa State for almost 7 seasons and although his players have always loved him, they simply couldn't find ways to keep winning, although this season they did beat Texas. Out of the seasons, Rhodes only had one winning season, he did Iowa three of the past five seasons and did upset Oklahoma State in 2011.  Still, the Cyclones did not show much progress, even benching Sam B Richardson in favor of Joel Lanning who did provide a slight spark, but the Cyclone defense couldn't stop anybody.  A difference of opinion cost Mark Mangino the offensive coordinator spot, to which the fatman tweeted that the fat lady is now singing after blowing the K State lead, a bit slight  bitter after being let go. Still you wonder if the outcome would have been different had the fat man still been O.C.  Anyway, The Kansas State meltdown was Rhodes's demise and exit.  Don't feel sorry for Paul though, he will get a 4.6 million dollar buyout.  Tommy Mangino, the WRs coach and son of the fat man, did managed to coach three Iowa State receivers gain over 1,000 yards in catches with Quenton Bundrage, Allen Lezard and D'Vario Montgomery, and if Iowa State decides to let him go, he'll find a new team the next day.

 LaDainian Tomlinson, best San Diego Chargers running back had his number retired Sunday and that turned out to be the highlight of the game as San Diego went home after that.  Kansas City scalped them 33-3, in the worst showing that the Chargers have done this year, which is saying something since they have sucked the whole year and now lost 6 straight.  The original thought would be that they would lose 10 games, that's a given.  They're on par to lose 12 now.  The loudest cheers was for LT at halftime but once the second half came about and The Chargers looking lost and like shit, cheers turned into boos and perhaps LT should have suited up and play. Dontrelle Inman didn't do any favors by dropping a pass deep down the field, probably thinking of some jive end zone dance instead of catching the damn ball. Phillip Rivers, apparently colorblind threw a pick six in the third quarter and after that the Chargers quit.  Things don't get easier as they traveled to Jacksonville and in couple weeks go to Kansas City where they seldom win.    In the 11 years of being Charger QB Rivers has been slightly overrated, whereas crybaby Eli Manning refusing to be part of San Diego was moved to New York and won a couple super bowls and even Drew Brees has a ring for New Orleans whereas Rivers has yet to make the Super Bowl. While Rivers has done some good things for the bolts, my thinking still remains that had former jinx general manager A J Smith didn't trade Brees away and would have kept Darren Sporles things would have been different.  So far, new running back Melvin Gordon hasn't been the replacement of L.T, but neither was Ryan Matthews.  But then again Gordon never benefited from having a good offensive line, which was no match for K.C. as Gordon got stuffed time and time again.  Things don't change Mike McCoy will be joining Paul Rhodes on the unemployment line.

Eye candy picture of the month: A salute to the wounded female veterans who helped protect and serve our country.  And still look good.  Crabby and the Record World folks salute you!

Getting back to music.

Catamount Studios, the place in Iowa were many bands recorded their albums at, the likes of Hawks, Blue Band, Dangtrippers/Head Candy and many more others, has been sold off. Which sounds like they are closing the place after Dan Johnson reported that any bands that have masters or copies of their output should consider getting them back before they get thrown away. More about this story as it unfolds in the future.

Journey once again has a Steve back into the band;  Steve Smith.  Steve who has been keeping busy with his band Vital Information and being a in demand drummer for other jazz fusion folk has cleared a two year space of giving his Vital Information band time off, agreed to play drums for Journey till 2018, when he resumes his regular job again.  While pundits would like to see another Steve (Perry) return, Smith's rejoining will give Journey a more authentic sound back in the days of Frontiers, Escape, Departure and the other three albums he was on. (Evolution,  Captured and .....Dream After Dream, which came out as a import.

The music never stopped, Dead And Company which Bob Weir and the Dead drummers with John Mayer stepping in for Trey Anastasino concluded their Denver shows with a rousing closer and will be taking their act to the MGM Grand in Vegas.  Their set list and story here:

The runaway album will be Adele 25 which is on par to sell 2.5 million copies of it and Spotify spokesman Bob Lefsetz can't make up his mind rather to root for her selling CDs or damning her for not streaming it online.  I don't pay much attention to Bob all that much anymore, he repeats himself every month and rewords it that you hope you don't notice.  Perhaps if you're living 24/7 on your Smartphone like he does (and about 8 million other Americans for that matter) you can't live without your Spotify, and besides CDs are dying off, Target and Best Buy tries to see how much more space they can shrink in the CD section ever week and the BIG 3 labels simply don't promote the new artists.  With Adele, Sony Music actually took a prybar to their wallet and have promoted her album, you can't stop in a Books A Million or Barnes And Noble and seeing Adele's face.  With Corporate Radio owning everything and playing the same 30 songs of long ago and far away, most new bands are writeoffs and what passes on the radio, the new music stinks to high heaven. And not as memorable.  Besides there's more things on the net to waste your time, video games, Netflix, so much out there and the problem remains, more things to do but you have less time to enjoy it all. The reason why most music of this millennium is forgotten is that most of hits were flavors of the moment.  Adele shook things up by making two earlier albums that had songs that you could remember (Rolling In The Deep) and good enough to be on the overplayed list on KDAT.  But then again Lefsetz has been a double edge writer, he bitches about not enough great music out there, but then he bitches about people not having music on Spotify. When somebody tries to send him their music or what they think is good music, he becomes the "get off my lawn" old coot, or the crank that says that CD and record buyers who do not stream are not hip and therefore should not buy records or CDs.  Saying that makes you a hypocrite.  Perhaps Adele left a ton of money on the table if she didn't let Spotify stream her new album.  Knowing how well Spotify pays for royalties Adele might have to flip burgers to get any income should the CD flop.  Even with physical media to which Lefsetz hates with a passon, I think she'll be alright, despite Grandpa Get Off My Lawn chewing her up and down in a previous blog about not streaming (see Adele Not Streaming on his website) and forgetting to take his BP meds.  Major Lazer's Lean On gets 526 million plays on Spotify, which translates into about 47 cents from a Spotify check.  And we all know you can make pennies streaming your songs on Spotify, just ask the big stars.  Adele did sell 3.38 million copies of her album.  Not bad considering nobody stocks CDs anymore. (Behold the Target incredible shrinking CD section).

Whatever happened to:  June Millington

You might not know it but here in the Midwest we do have a music scene of bands trying to become the next big thing.  Somebody went to great trouble to compile the best of the Des Moines bands.  Next month Cedar Rapids/Iowa City? 

Passings:  Cynthia Robinson, trumpet player for Sly And The Family Stone and Graham Central Station died from cancer Monday, she was 69.

Singles Going Steady: Dear Prudence by Katfish 

Adele-25 (XL Recordings/Columbia 2015)

It's bizarre to think I'll would invest time and money into somebody which has universal love on reviews and fans, and of course the fickleness that Pitchfork gave this record, as if they were expecting another 21.  But I tend to somewhat agree that the weariness of lost love and the mellow piano and strings tend to make my mind wonder.  It's really simple; I prefer more rock and roll, and Adele is a damn good vocalist, although she gets into the Don't Yell At Me singer category that   makes me push the fast forward button, most of the songs are quite listenable.  In some ways 25 doesn't vary much from Lana Del Rey's latest, which begs for inclusion on the ten best of 2015, and Adele's subject of love gone wrong is probably that not believable considering in the four years from her last album and this, she has gotten married and become a mother, but still finds the time to break out the heartbreak with lead off track Hello or Send My Love (to your new lover).  Which is fine by me but the go to tracks for myself would be Sweetest Devotion, which as rock and roll as Adele gets, the Stevie Nicks influenced Water Under The Bridge and Danger Mouse produced River Lea, which all three tracks gets her out of the safe mode.  In the end, Lana Del Rey  latest wins out but 25 is a no shame album either.
Grade B+

Uncle Acid-The Night Creeper (Rise Above 2015)

I'm not much into concept albums but hearing bits and pieces of this album got me interested to buy the thing and play it out but damned if Kevin Starrs knows his Black Sabbath and yes Uncle Acid loves Black Sabbath, even to the point of The Night Creeper sounding like Starrs took notes on Mike Butcher's production and sound on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, to which this album based upon dime store detective novels and Jack The Ripper.  While Sabbath is the main influence, I can pick up Alice Cooper via the early 70s and on the repetitive riffs Hawkwind, as noted on lead off track Waiting For Blood.  Actually the first half of the album is a very good listen, Starrs and band having a keen ear for old heavy metal riffs.  The second half tends to wander off, and final track Slow Death does feel like the title says for the whole 8 minutes, which actually builds around the 6 minute mark.  Not for the faint of heart or so called modern rock and I certainly wish more bands would return to this type of psych metal.  While Sabbath does tend to change rhythm and melody in their songs, Uncle Acid keeps it more straight without consequences.  But even in the lyrics and melody The Night Creeper remains a foreboding trip till the world of dime store horror detective world of nobody gets out alive. And that speaks volumes.
Grade B+

The Best Of Fare Thee Well-Celebrating 50 Years Of The Grateful Dead (Rhino 2015)

Certainly the raggedness is their charm and it shows.  Bob Weir throws a F Bomb and then messes up a line in Truckin' a song that he could do in his sleep after performing it 40 of the 50 years of Dead Music.  While the stripped down 2 CD set varies greatly from the last complete show, to which you can get and the whole three nights at Soldier Field, it does captures what The Grateful Dead does in concert.   Doing medleys of songs that blend into one another that you hardly noticed till the chord changes.  It works quite nicely on the China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider Medley and it works on Truckin/Scarlet Begonias/Fire On The Mountain.  While Drums/Space tend to make a run to the bathroom on previous recordings, I could follow the whole 15 minutes.  Trey Anastacio  may not be Jerry Garcia, but he does a fine job regardless.  I suppose you had to be there and even if Touch Of Gray, like Truckin' sounds like it takes a while for them to get on the same page, they still find a way to get everybody to sing the ending line of We Will Get By.  Certainly for a finale, it does pale to their classic live stuff (the 1971 S/T skull and roses CD, the 1978 Cedar Falls/Madison shows) and you had to be there to experience it (which if nothing else you can spring the full 50 dollars for the DVD or Blue Ray Set) and don't think this is the last time you hear from them (in fact John Mayer has replaced Trey on the New York concerts in October) but to celebrate 50 years of Dead music, you couldn't found a better tribute band.
Grade A-

Lee Michaels-Heighty Hi-The Best Of (Manifesto 2015)

The forth attempt to provide a general overview of the original madman organ player and still the Columbia years are ignored.  Lee recorded two forgotten Columbia platters after leaving A&M and for whatever reason (more money perhaps) Nice Day For Something and Tailface have never seen the light of day on CD.  Which I somehow hoped that his forgotten Columbia single Same Old Song would have graced somebody's comp, Manifesto's attempt might be the best of the four out there although perhaps a single edit of Heighty Hi might have worked better than the album cut of 6 minutes which I still love.  Lee will be known for Do You Know What I Mean and followup Can I Get A Witness which I liked better.  Points are given for the inclusion of Murder In My Heart For The Judge.  The production might be a bit dated but at time Lee and his crazy drummer Frosty (later leaving to join Sweathog, then was last seen peddling vacuum cleaners) was really cutting edge although the hippy dippy stuff screams 1969.  Manifesto had worked out a deal with Lee to issue all of the A&M albums, and if you love the best ofs, you might enjoy the whole 7 albums that are now in one big box set.  Better get them fast, Lee has a habit of recalling his masters after a while, just as One Way (wait, you can't, they're out of business)
Grade B+

Bill Kopp reviews the complete A&M albums:

Live:  Past Masters-Wild Hogs 11/25/15

In the five months returning back to playing music locally I have spread time between watching my friends play in their bands.  Thirty years ago I view the other bands as competition and trying to top whatever they were playing, nowadays I don't look at that anymore.  When I do go out it's to hear what they play and how they do on stage or more importantly if they can get people on the dance floor.  I have known Bart Carfizzi and Tommy Bruner as fellow jam buddies and have jammed with them on occasion and sometimes Chad Johnson will partake a Sunday jam or two, however with the Past Masters he becomes a total entertainer running through the crowd and walking on your table with his Elvis Presley persona.  Nevertheless, Layne Goldsberry has a solid bass sound and Tom Miller, drummer extraordinaire keeps it simple but a nice powerful sound as well.  Past Masters do revisit the past and old 50s and 60s songs that we all know so well, even throwing a surprise as well, instead of Satisfaction they went with Get Off My Cloud.  There is a reason why they do travel far and wide, going to the casinos to South Dakota and Colorado, The Past Masters have a tight sound and professionally done.  Chad's interaction with the crowd, during the Tom Jones medley or Buddy Holly trilogy of songs.   They packed the place Halloween night, and the Thanksgiving Eve crowd was not as big but still it was high energy and the old folk were dancing to extended versions of Gimme Gimme Good Lovin.  A few of the regular jammers were out in the crowd, most notably Craig Dewitte fellow guitar jammer and full time crazy providing some quality entertainment and chat before wandering off into the night.  To which the band concluded things with their Beatles medley, and they did get by with a little help from their friends.

The Worst of 2015-Gobble Gobble Gobble

This may be the shortest list of the worst music of the year, not because I didn't buy much new music but rather stayed away from most of the garbage out there.  But what passed for turkeys were the usual bro country offerings, Old Dominion gets the distinction of  Turkey Of The Year with their debut album.  Farce The Music noticed enough to make fun of them on their website off and on, not as much as FGL, but even with Kacey Musgraves' producer, Old Dominion didn't distinct themselves from the rest of the Bro Country dude and most of their songs were the same, but different lyrics, some sound like second grade, most third but the more reflective ballads were more like fifth grade level.  For me, the disappointment of the year was Blues Traveler Blow Up The Moon (Loud N Proud) which bombed bigtime, basically guest stars being lead singers to Blues Traveler music. Even when I traded it in Half Priced Books, they only sold it off when they threw it in the two dollar bins.  Disappointment number 2 was Dwight Yoakam Second Hand Heart (WB), to which the Target Edition had the best song, a old 1989 demo of The Big Time, produced by Pete Anderson who was sorely missed.

Take away the Blues Traveler album which was a mistake by their manager, Second Hand Heart is not a total turkey turd biscuit, but a disappointment in the way the reviewers called this a big comeback.  To these ears, Dwight never recovered from booting Anderson out of his band and albums and went for a more Rolling Stones guitar sound on this.  The songs went on too long and my attention span went somewhere else.  Kacey Musgraves Pageant Material (Mercury) remains a three star album but compared to her Same Trailer Different Park, she played it too safe, and while Biscuits was a nice song, it wasn't as grabbing as Follow Your Arrow or Merry Go Round.  And Neil Young The Monsanto Years (Reprise) could have used a bit more refining of the lyrics, this could have been a grand statement on GMO and corporate greed but it sounds like Neil thought of them up on the spot and went with that.  Living With War was better put together but The Monsanto Years is not a total waste if your a Neil Young Diehard Fan.  Casual fans will likely step away, just like they did with Storyville.

If nothing else, we can give Old Dominion a break and say that the biggest turd of the year was Sirius XM raising their rates another 25 dollars and having less and less choice music which lead me to pull the plug on that overpriced service.  And then trying to cancel the whole thing and the Sirius operator continuing to plug in cheaper alternatives in five different packages but the end result would be the usual crap and Mike Des Barres boring us on Underground Garage.  With our wonderful place of employment threatening layoffs every year, even I'm cutting back on purchases and closing the doors on other things that have a hand in my wallet (I'm looking at you OnStar) and taking dollars that are needed elsewhere.  It's going to be a rough year if our place of employment don't get their shit together.  But as noted mergers don't do shit for variety and only benefits shareholders, and Sirius/XM have been noting more than pay corporate radio with lesser choices each passing year and each increase in subscription price.   And turkey number 2 is Bob Lefsetz and his ongoing Adele slogging and Spotify touting.  Hell with him and his streaming, I'll take actual physical product over bad sounding stream and MP3 files.

And if you turned you TV on at the wrong time, you might have seen Luke Bryan's awful Thanksgiving halftime show.  While the usual Positive Twitbots called it best performance ever, I love the man, you don't know good music if you hate Luke bla blah, the majority of the folks wrinkled their nose and went Foowie! To which Luke Baby wins the third spot of this year's Turkey Turds.  Good thing we didn't eat dinner before seeing that.

Gobble Gobble Gobble.

Monday, November 16, 2015

TE Radio 14, P F Sloan, Waterloo, 10-0 Hawkeyes, Night Flight

Explosions of Paris happened on Friday the 13th as the terrorist Islam cowards known as  ISIS crashed an concert by Eagles Of Death Metal and a couple other places and in usual pussy mode, killed over 150 people with their radical bullshit.  Among the dead was Nick Alexander, merchandise manager for Eagles Of Death Metal, however the band made it out safe.  However U2 and The Foo Fighters decided to call off concerts.  Whatever the situation might be, we're watching the world slowly dissolved into a religious war by ISIS is trying their best to throw everybody back into the 7th century.  However the world needs to come together and rid of these infidels of religious bullshit. The question remains who are they and where they can be destroyed at.  So far Anonymous, the cyber hackers from afar have found and exposed over 3800 twitter accounts of so called ISIS supporters and recruiters on the first day after declaring war on them.  While the GOP and fear mongers want to go to war on the first drop of the hat and not take in refugees, Anonymous is actually doing something to combat the ISIS haters of peace.   To which I say, go get them. 

While ISIS continues to throw their hate and fear around, we continue to live life the way we should. Another bargain hunt to Waterloo which St Vincent De Paul had some real vintage but scratched up 45s, the best of the bunch was Reet Petite by Jackie Wilson and Bill Haley's Rock Around The Clock, which was known as a fox trot back in 1954 since rock and roll wasn't a term yet. There were some other vintage 45s, a Johnny Winter 45 that I've never seen but it was too far gone to buy, scratches and all, Lotta Lovin from Gene Vincent which got lotta record player loving to the point of no grooves left. Only other worthy 45 was Marion Worth's Shake Me I Rattle, but I really didn't see the need for that particular song.  Nice to sort through and see what was there, but dumpster 45s are about as worthy as reference copies but hell on your record player's needle should you want to play them.  I found 6 CDs for 50 cents a piece at the pawnshop, but Stuff, Etc and Goodwill had junk and nothing worth getting.  One more bargain hunt will be in the works before the snow hits, or worse, the Christmas buying rush to which I forgo the stores and shop online.

The Iowa Hawkeyes are now 10-0 and have once again claimed ownership of Floyd Of Rosedale, outlasting Minnesota 40-35. While Lashaun Daniels ran wild for 195 yards and a couple TDs, his 51 yard run with two minutes left gave the Hawks the win although Minnesota ran it back down the field for a TD in 45 seconds and had a chance to pull it out, but the kicker's onside attempt sailed out of bounds, thus sealing a Hawks victory.  However, like the Indiana game, the Iowa defense looked below average, as Minnesota receivers constantly got open for big yards, thus will be fueling more complaints from Colin Coward, the FOX sports Hawkeye and Big Ten hater.  Although Mr. Coward's complaint about the soft teams Iowa has been playing, he forgets that both Indiana and Minnesota have given the Iowa defense fits, but for the second game in the row, the Iowa offense came through.  CJ Beathard being the competitive quarterback, and managing to play a great game although we all held our breath when CJ got hurt after a QB sneak and had to sit out a play.  On the other side of the Big Ten, Jake Rudock, former Hawkeye quarterback who took his business to Michigan rather than being second string, played his best game and setting a record for most touchdown passes by a Michigan QB (6) going 33 for 46 for 440 yards in a Michigan 2 overtime victory over Indiana  48-41. That should grant him Big ten offense player of the week over Daniels' 195 yards 3 touchdowns effort.  But then again, Jake Rudock did show some of his ability to come back from deficits as Hawk quarterback.

Your dream date of the month: Ashley Alexiss.  Certainly there's plenty of eye candy cheese cake to go around on the internet but Ashley has been one of those who does keep in touch via the social media outlets and of course she's at her most vocal when the New England Patriots win and go 9-0 so far as they managed to squeak by the New York Giants on a long 54 yard FG and on par to try for another undefeated season. I have no time for instragram or Tumblr (which I haven't been on in over a year) but Ashley does pop in on Facebook and wants you to know that New England is still number 1 in her book.

BTW, guess who is the second most searched keyword here in Record World Crabbland?

Chicago Cubs News: Kris Bryant was named Rookie Of The Year, the first Cub since Gevoany Soto in 2008.  He batted .275 while hitting 26 home runs and 99 RBIs, not bad considering he started out in AAA and could have drove in a 100 runs.  He also struck out 199 times as well.  Still, his power was there when he hit the ball and he won Rookie Of The Year with a unanimous vote, the first since Craig Kimbrel did it for the Atlanta Braves in 2011.  Also, Joe Maddon was named NL Manager of the year in his first season with the Cubs.  Certainly, Maddon should be considered for comeback player of the year since he went to a team that was in disarray but had enough youngsters that could turn the corner and the fortunes of the Cubs of 2015 to which they did the unthinkable and took out Pittsburgh and St. Louis in the playoffs before things came to an end.  Future looks bright for the men of blue, if this translates into going further next season and The World Series is still wishful thinking but at least the future has never been this bright since Tinkers to Evers To Chance, many many moons ago.

No surprise as Jake Arrieta won the Cy Young Award as best NL pitcher beating out Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw for the honor.  Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer, who despite pitching two no hitters came in fifth place.  Arrieta posted a 22-6 record with a 1.79 ERA.  Jake, after the all star break posted a 0.75 ERA and after August 4th a hard to fathom 0.41 ERA the lowest ever since records were kept. Plus no hitting the Los Angeles Dodgers in August. Jake becomes the first cub since Greg Maddux (1992) to win the Cy Young Award. While The Cubs posted three guys in winning awards they will not have a clean sweep of the awards since no Cubs player was mentioned for the MVP award.  For a team that wasn't supposed to be there, The Cubs managed to surprise and shock a few folks along the way.  Although history will suggest that Arrieta won't duplicate what he did this season, he should be a force to be reckon with next season.  As well as Kris Bryant, if he can cut his strikeouts in half.  Great job guys!

Site of the day: Night Flight.  The best thing that ever came out of USA Network in the early 80s, Night Flight was cutting edge movies and music and the late Peter Ivers' New Wave Theater.  They also have a website too.

Searching through the internet, in the case of the Dave Clark Five, their 45s were on Capitol but in Canada only.  Epic had the honor in the US.  Somebody in an outdated blogspot site was kind enough to scan a few of them here:

Bart Carfizzi from The Past Masters is back from his Cruise vacation and managed to photo bomb this picture from what I'm seeing here.  Just kidding ;-)  Anyway, weather permitting of course, he shall be back the Rumor's Sunday Afternoon Jam as well as playing in the Past Masters on a pre Thanksgiving show at Wild Hogs in Walford next Wed.  I plan to be permitting of course. They're predicting the first snowfall this Friday.  So much for a mild and dry winter....

Wooden Nickel Lottery opening for Anthony Gomes at The Redstone Room 11-6-15 (top,bottom)

Passings:  P.F.Sloan, perhaps one of the best known and unknown singer songwriters of our time passed away from liver cancer Sunday.  He was 70.  Best known for Eve Of Destruction, Sloan wrote You Baby and Let Me Be  for The Turtles, Take Me For What I'm Worth, covered by the Searchers and of course Where Were You When I Needed You by The Grassroots.  Sloan would record for Atco and Mums but basically stayed out of the music radar due to health issues and music label shenanigans.

Charlie Dick, husband to the late Patsy Cline passed away at age 81.  He later worked at Starday Records in the promotions department but all his life centered around the preserving the legacy and the music of Patsy Cline.  He now joins her in the great beyond.

Disgraced: Jared Fogle, ex Subway spokesman who's diet of eating Subway Sandwiches made him lose over a 100 pounds, and then ended  to be a child pedophile  and having sex with underaged children while trying to be the all around good guy on the Subway Commercials received a 15 year 8 month jail sentence, more than the 12 year sentence that the prosecution was asking for.  While Jared tried to convince a non-believing  judge about being sorry for his actions and saying that his ex wife was a victim of his idiocy, the judge reminded that Jared did give 7 million to his wife so she will be okay.  But not so much for Jared once he gets to prison and have to deal with the prison crowd, which will be unforgiving as well. That will give new meaning to 'eat fresh' eh?  Something about Fogle looked creepy from the Subway spots even before his evil doings, has actually made me even going to Subway anymore.  To be associated with that pedophile might have put a dent into Subway sales although I don't foresee them closing up shop anytime soon.  Anamosa still has two of them in town.  But it makes you think about eating at a place, with a guy that once did good but somehow the exposure and the money rolling in, may have changed Jared into the creepy guy with an eye on your 16 year old. But the lies and bullshit that Jared may have claimed, even blaming Subway themselves for his hyper-sexuality problem but the judge saw through that and gave him 188 months in prison.  He may talk a good talk about being a good father to his children and a better person but he should have considered that before taking advantage of the underage while hiding under the Jared Foundation banner.  It's too late to do that now Jared, the damage is done.

Over the weekend, my guitar playing buddy and jam bro Ray Robertson married Brandy Herman in a very private setting Sunday on a beautiful day.  All the best to you.

And Brooksie lives!  So nice to talk to her once again.  She's doing well.


Shawn Phillips-Faces (A&M 1972)

For a cult artist, Shawn has been uneven at best.  Even trying to sort through the songs on his Best Of, I tend to wonder what the fuss was all about.  But in actuality, Faces is by far, the album that I sit through and listen although the song that I recorded on a mixtape years ago, I can't find the song and any album I heard didn't have that song.  Faces is interesting for the role of a few folks that helped Elton John (Paul Buckmaster, Caleb Quaye) and is that Glenn Campbell on lead guitar Parisian Flight II?  Perhaps but no doubt that's Steve Winwood on organ.  I'm thinking that's the best track here, although Shawn does make an feeble attempt for radio airplay on Hey Miss Lonely and ecology song I Took A Walk.  To which I did like both songs but still find when Shawn tries for the high notes such as the tail end of Parisian   Flight II and We, I tend to wrinkle my nose.  But I probably would play this a bit more than, say Contribution or the Best of for that matter.
Grade B

Teenage Frames-More Songs Less Music (Rock And Roll Records 1996)

One of more honest titles to name a record, Teenage Frames straddled the lines of power pop and punk rock.  They were from Chicago and bore some sounds to Cheap Trick (but without the BS balladry that tends to overrate their Rockford brothers) although they might be been more in relation to the Suicide Commandos but with more polish.  They're punk since none of the songs go over 3 minutes, to which Lemon Drop is more rockabilly flash than New York Dolls trash.  They're power pop since their sound is too nice for punk, the guitars way too clean.  This CD relished in the 50 cent bin at the pawn shop for months, so I thought I buy it on and hear it on the way home.  At times there's flashes of brilliance (Down With The Kids) but when Frankie Delmane tries to convince me that We Hate It When We're Well Respected and tries sound punk, it just doesn't quite work.  For a power pop debut, it's not bad but would have been a bit better had the Frames slop it up a little, which was why the first Cheap Trick album was better (although it's debatable when people consider that one a power pop classic too)
Grade B-

Marshall Crenshaw-Field Day (Warner Bros. 1983)

In terms of power pop Marshall Crenshaw's classic album was this one, more so then the celebrated self titled with his hit Someday Someway.  Field Day didn't have that kind of it, but it had much better written songs.   However, while power pop purists bitched about Scott Litt's loud drum mix or Steve Lilywhite's echo laden production.  While Robert Christgau gave this a solid A Plus, I think an A Grade is more of a reality, some songs do go on forever (One Night With You) and while Whenever You're On My Mind wasn't as catchy as Someday Someway it did made a nice single although Our Town would have been better, or Monday Morning Rock.  Credit must be due to brother Robert Crenshaw's oddball drumming on the record and For Her Love.  While there was a attempt to remix some of the songs for better effect, I still like the Lilywhite/Litt sound on Field Day, an album that stands out even farther than the debut, you may not like the mix but you'll remember it from day one.
Grade A

Nina Simone-A Single Woman (Elektra 1993)

For Nina's final album she went pop standards.  Which I suppose was the direction she was heading for between her last album Baltimore and this one which came 15 years later.  By then she became more eccentric in her music an personal life. Gone was the sometimes rock and roll she would interpret in her own way and replaced by a eye toward light jazz and pop.  While A Single Woman has moments and like the rest of her albums, honest to her vision, it's also an album that I wouldn't play all that much.  Far too many songs go too much into muzak territory and I'm sure her French number will suit her France fans, it does nothing for me.   The record isn't a total waste, songs like Lonesome Cities and Love's Been Good To Me do sound like the soundtrack of her life and she can still do swinging jazz, just like she did on her debut album, the closer Marry Me is vintage Nina, although the piano player is Mike Melovin and not Nina but at least she sounds like she is having fun one last time before heading into the sunset.  Too bad there's not more of this on her finale.
Grade B-

Townedger Radio Playlist 11/18/15  (a tidal wave of hits)  Broadcast via Lucky Star Radio

Mama Let Him Play-Jerry Doucette
Does It Matter-The Townedgers
Slow Down-Dave And The Stone Hearts
The Shout-Robin Trower
Better Than Nothing-Jen Trynin
Blood-Big Back Forty
If You Don't Love Me (I'll Kill Myself)-Peter Droge
Shot Down-Kevin Salem
Weed Bus-The Stairs
Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine-Harry 'the hipster' Gibson
Gone Dead Train-Crazy Horse (without Neil Young)
Jeanette 15 Years Later-The Townedgers
Too Much Too Young-The Speicals
Before Too Long-Paul Kelly
World's Looking Lonely-Volbeats
Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White-Los Dilly Sisters

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Happy 70th Birthday Neil Young

Even Neil Young likes a little vinyl rock and roll from time to time.  Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Week In Review: Allen Toussaint, November Weather, Singles Going Steady

The final bargain hunt of the year to Davenport took place and while I didn't stop in at Ragged Records nor the Source Bookstore, somebody donated about 500 juke box 45s at the Salvation Army so I spent an hour sorting through them all while being subjected to Mix 96.1's Christmas Crap Music which they repeated Holly Jolly Christmas twice in a hour that I was there and of course Jingle Bell Rock and the usual suspects.   I had aspirations to get to the Redstone Room to see Wooden Nickle Lottery but they played Friday Night instead of Saturday Night and instead I saw Jason Carl and That Damn Band.  Missing their violin player they managed to do a nice show up till 10 oclock before souring the mood with a so so Ramble On and then a horrendous version of Monkey Man, The Rolling Stones song that rarely gets heard.  But on a plus side Jason Carl did some faithful versions of Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues and Like A Rolling Stone.   The crowd was beginning to thin out at around 10 PM after the raffle was done.  Outside of finding about 11 45s, the only CD I ended up getting was John McLaughlin's Electric Guitarist.  Slim pickings were noted at Stuff Etc.

While I was out and about, I did not watch the Iowa/Indiana game to which Iowa outlasted Indiana 35-27.  There was uneasiness about this game and where it was played at and Indiana matched Iowa toe to toe, even going out in front on the strength of two long touchdown runs by Jordan Howard, who shredded the defense for 174 yards. However,  C J Beathard, injured body and all then drove the team down to leap over Indiana's Defense for a TD and go ahead score.  Even though the Hawks went out in front 35-20, Indiana did mount one final TD drive before an unsuccessful onside kick ensured a Hawkeyes victory at 9-0.  Again the ESPN naysayers are complaining about the soft teams once again, never taking into fact that Indiana is a much better team than that 0-5 record in the B1G team.  They have played Ohio State tough as well as the Hawks and Michigan State.  While Iowa's defense was a bit shaky, it was the running game of Akim Wadley and Leshaun Daniels, Wadley's 65 yard TD run and 120 total yards of the game and Daniels 2 TDs as well as Beathard's QB play calling.  Next up, the Bacon Bowl with Minnesota on Saturday Night to which they're putting in a request for a change in address for Floyd Of Rosedale.

BTW ESPN, just in case you missed it........

Forty years ago Tuesday, marks the sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, immortalized by Gordon Lightfoot in a 1976 hit single.  To which 29 crew members lost their lives in a November storm in Lake Superior.  If anybody lives in the area, when the winds blow from the Northwest this time of year, the shipping lanes usually get closed down due to safety reasons. At that time, a cold front blew through our area which turned the Indian summer weather into a forthcoming windstorm.  Up around Lake Superior it was a occluded front to which winds went from the NE to straight NW with winds from 42 to 60 knots.  An interesting article about the change of weather can be found here.

75 years ago, a much more dangerous storm hit Minnesota and Wisconsin with the 1940 Armistice Day Blizzard.  This system came from the Pacific and caused the Tacoma Narrows Bridge to collapse before making its way across the US. The balmy 50 degree temps started out in the day with temps here in Anamosa rounded at at 52 degrees before the storms and winds came rushing through.  Two to three inches of rain fell in this area and a report of a tornado west of Davenport. Up to the north in Minneapolis the light rain and 50 degree temps changed with a 25 degree drop in a two hour time frame and Minneapolis getting 17 inches of snow when all was said and done.  49 people from Minnesota lost their lives, most notably duck hunters who wore light clothing.  It's been noted that there were plenty of ducks in that area, which is may have been a double edge sword, they were flying away from the impending storm.  Here, in Iowa this storm gave Winterset a big ice storm which took out the apple crops, at that time Iowa was second in the nation in Apples, with the destruction it was decided it would be too expensive to replace the apple crop and from here on out they would grow corn instead.  In the 52 degrees temp, Anamosa would see the temps drop down to 17 above the next day as most of the Midwest would try to dig out of the wrath of ice and snow that this storm left.

Looking back, The Armistice Storm and the one that took down the Edmund Fitzgerald are what we call the unusual November Storms that can cause major damage. Although most of November's weather is usually placid and uneventful, these two storms make it known even the worst weather does come this time of year.  As it is today, as we have a impeding speeding cold front, with tornado watches to the west and darkening clouds. This storm may not be as extreme as the 1940 storm, nor the 1975 Northern gale, but it is these types of fronts and storm systems that make me pay special attention to the sky and where the wind is blowing from. Basically the storm blew by around 5 30 PM, although with tornado warnings going on, it was strictly a wind and rain producer, one of the best definite looking comma shape storm in quite a while.

On October 30th, a massive fire broke out at a  Bucharest nightclub that killed 55 people, including four members of the metal band Goodbye To Gravity.  Only the vocalist Andrei Galut is still living. Guitarists Vlad Telea and Mihal Alexandru, bass player Alex Pascu and drummer Bodgan Enache all died from injuries substain from bad pyrotechnics display set fire to the stage.  180 folks were also injured.  In the aftermath, the Romania Prime Minister resigned and the club owners were arrested and charged with manslaughter and the mayor was briefly charged and held in jail on corruption and looking the other way as they say but he too later resigned under pressure.

Phil "Animal' Taylor, the original madman drummer for Motorhead passed away at age 61 Wed. He had been suffering from ill health for a time.  Next to Keith Moon, Taylor's wild, one of a kind drumming on such Motorhead classics as Ace Of Spades, Dancing On Your Grave and especially the live version of Overkill gave Motorhead that trademark heavy rock and roll style which cannot be duplicated.  He left Motorhead for a time and came back to play on the Rock And Roll album and up to 1916 which he then got thrown out of the band, even by Lemmy's standards Taylor took things to the extreme.  Taylor did play in other bands, most notably The Web Of Spider  from 2005 to 2008. And did appeared with Lemmy and Fast Eddie Clarke on stage one year ago for Ace Of Spades, only to wave to the crowd and then leaving.  His last and final appearance.

Passings: Eddie Hoh, session drummer for The Monkees, played on the Super Sessions with Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield and Steven Stills and The Mamas and Papas but disappeared once 1970 rolled around died at a nursing home in Illinois November 7.  He was 71.   He also played on recordings from Lee Michaels and Tim Buckley's Goodbye And Hello.  Perhaps his best known moment was Goin Down by The Monkees.  Alas, he became a acid causality and dropped out of the music scene.

Allen Toussaint passed away from a heart attack at age 77 Monday night.  One of the giants of New Orleans music Toussaint played a major role in arranging songs for the likes of Lee Dorsey, and even playing piano on some of Fats Domino's Imperial recordings.  He worked being the scenes rather than tooting his own horn, but his sounds are heard in the songs from Ernie K Doe, Chris Kenner, and groomed a up and coming band known as the Meters.  Glen Campbell got a number 1 hit with Southern Nights, a song Allen originally did on the Reprise album titled Southern Nights. He was on tour in Spain and had a heart attack after playing a set.  One of the pioneers and faces of New Orleans music, that is Allen Toussaint. RIP.

Andy White, session drummer who played on the Beatles' Love Me Do debut single and PS I Love You passed away Monday after suffering a stroke.  He was 85.

Carol Doda, legendary San Francisco burlesque dancer and stripper, and an icon in the San Fran area passed away on Monday from kidney failure.  She was 78.  She was one of the original strippers that did enhance her assets, going up to 44 D thereabouts, and was famous for dancing both topless and bottomless before California banned that in 1972.  She continue to dance (fully clothed) up to her passing.  

Sunday was another get together at Rumors for the Sunday Afternoon Jam featuring KICK IT, Dan Hartman and the guys were "kickin it" as they say.  I didn't plan to go up there, spending the afternoon for a long walk from New Bo to around Cedar Lake and back again, but I managed to do the whole thing before sundown and then went to Rumors.  Sure enough Dan got me on stage two songs after coming.  After that, I did the The Revenend Scotty Benefit at Otis Tailgator's, missing Flex but only stayed for three songs for Captain Punch, who did updated songs of Green Day and Blink 182 but it was too loud for this oldster's eardrums and even the drummer of Captain Punch stuck some earplugs in.  And we should have taken heed.  Nevertheless, I was put off by some freaky woman in a wheel chair and a stuffed toy doggie demanding to get out of her way.  To which I would have loved to push her in front of an oncoming truck off Center Point Road.  Still, there was a capacity crowd that came out for a good cause and here's hoping for the best for Scott "Hot Wheels" Hamer.  

And now your dream date of the Month. Alexandria The Red.  Cosplayers have more fun. 

The local news, Family Foods the 24 hour a day grocery shop in beautiful downtown Anamosa is closing up shop, the guess is that an unknown buyer was bought the store but regardless this soon will be closing.  Of course the blame on Wal Mart and Dollar General comes to mind but Family Foods was very expensive, three fifty for a can of Campbell's Chunky Soup?  Even on a good day, hardly anybody would be in the store when I went to pick up a few things.  Certainly it'd be nice to have a Aldi's to replace Family Foods but that's not going to happen.  So for the time being a new empty building will be forthcoming.  (shout out to Carol for noticing the slight misspelled word.  There's no such thing as a Audi's Supermarket, which shows somebody actually reads these blogs, love ya Carol, and thanks for reading) :)

With Chris Stapleton becoming the toast of the the CMAs last week, the backlash is beginning about him selling out to bro country or cheapen his value.  I doubt that would happen but Trigger at Saving Country Music wrote a thoughtful piece on the advice to Stapleton haters.

Al Di Meola master guitar player, checking out the sweets on tour.  


Singles Going Steady Medley: Best of the Davenport Juke Box 45s

Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie-The Al Soyka Orchestra (Fontana F-1558)  1966  

Everybody Polka!  It's hard to figure even in 1966 that a major label would be putting out polka 45s, but it's not that rare. Leo Greco had one for Dot. Soyka had a long music career, recording for RCA and Musicor as well as his very own labels Jan and Glo, but this a one off for Fontana.  Of course it bares no relation to the hit by Jay And The Techniques.  Soyka later moved to Florida to become a real estate broker but still found the time to do a polka show once in a while.  He was inducted into the Polka hall of fame in 1979.  He later died in April 5, 2013 at the age of 91.  

Pata Pata-Miriam Makeba  (Reprise 606) 1967 

 A number 12 chart placement on the Billboard, it was Miriam's biggest hit, the title meaning Touch Touch in English. It was one of those songs I always enjoyed hearing on the radio but since nobody mentioned her by name I never came across the record till this weekend in Davenport.  Makeba really lived a very interesting life and recorded for a few labels (RCA thanks in part to Harry Belafonte, also Kapp, Reprise, Warner Brothers). She's also known under the name of Mama Africa, to she partaken a few concerts with Belafonte.  For her big hit it also was her final song she sang; in 2008 she suffered a heart attack after singing it live and died soon afterward.  In my opinion next to Nina Simone, Makeba was one that did things her way.

If You're Gonna Be Dumb You Gotta Be Tough-Jill Hollier (Warner Nashville 7-27881) 1988 

Although she recorded for Warner Brothers for about 8 years, they issued no albums under her name, but she recorded a few singles off and on.  A bit more rocking than country radio wanted it to be, this disappeared without a trace in 1988.  It is a pretty good song, perhaps Carrie Underwood should take a stab at this.

I Wanna Know Her Again-Wagoneers (A&M 1215) 1988   

A&M made a feeble attempt to market this band as country in 1988 and they made two decent if unremarkable albums.  The lead singer was Monty Warden, who would go on into a so so solo career, but in some ways Wagoneers owed a bit to Buddy Holly but more country.  Problem was that this band was too rockabilly for regular country music but not alternative enough for the fledgling style known as Americana.  I've never seen the A&M single before. 

Sweet Little 66-Steve Earle (MCA-53182)  1988  

Basically the country singer moniker didn't work on Mr. Earle.  Even on Guitar Town, Steve was looking more than just to be limped into the hat acts of that time, perhaps Dwight Yoakam was the closest thing to what Earle was putting down, but Earle was more rock than the rockabilly of Yoakam.  This single failed to chart on the country charts and even MCA left it off the Essential Steve Earle.   This time out instead of channel Dwight, Earle was going for John Mellencamp.  Certainly he may have had MCA Nashville executives pulling their hair out trying to market him, but in the end he really a rock and roller at heart.

Me And Millie-Ronnie Sessions (MCA-40705)  1977    

Although history has suggested that Wiggle Wiggle was his claim to fame, this followup actually charted higher, number 15 to the number 16 Wiggle and Me And Millie was written by Bobby Goldsboro.  After that the hits stopped coming, even though I'm wondering if I Don't Go Around Mirrors is the Tom Waits song. A Tim Krekel song Juliet And Romeo made number 25 in 1979 but I don't recall KHAK ever playing it.   However, KHAK did play the B side The Losing End a couple times.  It may have been a double sided hit although the Billboard charts proved that to be false. I think my dad had this as a forty five and on drunken record playing parties he'd sang this with a few friends.  With disastrous results. 

When I Get You Baby-Ruth Brown (Atlantic 45-1140) 1957

The fun of bargain hunts is finding vintage 45s not too scratched up. Finding old Atlantic R and B of the late 50s is always fun although most have seen better days. Ruth Brown along with LaVern Baker were some of the best female R and B singers of the late 50s and had hits with Lucky Lips and Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean but When I Get You Baby went unnoticed on both the Pop and R and B chart.  Perhaps Ray Ellis' military march arrangements may been the reason for the failure, it even sounded out of place in 1957,  B side One More Time, is more standard blues based and might have gotten some chart action but overall, it was a failure after the number 25 chart placing of Lucky Lips.

Ida Red-Bob Wills And The Texas Playboys (Capitol 4332) 1976

A  live performance from the latter day Texas Playboys. Even after the passing of Bob Wills, the Texas Playboys kept performing till most of them passed away.  Produced by Tommy Allsup.

Flash Of Fire-Hoyt Axton (A&M 1811)  1976  

Universal really has made no attempt to preserve Hoyt's A&M singles and albums on CD, which is a shame.  He had hits with When The Morning Comes and Boney Fingers but by 1976 whatever he got on the charts were on the country charts, such as this number 18 song.  Which may be misleading.  I never heard this on the radio.

Can't Change My Heart-The Cate Brothers (Asylum E-45326)  1975

They were an odd fit for Asylum Records, more Memphis R and B than the Eagles/Linda Ronstadt pop country rock and although they got a number 24 hit with Union Man, this followup struggled to hit number 91 for 3 weeks and never cracked higher.  Produced by Steve Cropper and the drums sound like Al Jackson Jr playing them.  Good intentions and fairly good song met with public indifference. 

Look Through Any Window-The Mamas & Papas (Dunhill D-4050)  1966

I really never warmed up to John, Denny, Michelle and Mama Cass, perhaps being burned out by California Dreaming and Monday Monday might have something to do with that, or the corny Words Of Love.  There are some songs I enjoy, Go Where You Wanna Go for one but in all fairness they were never my favorite band.  Out of all the 1966 singles that Dunhill issued, this one only made it to number 24.  It may not have helped for the bizarre 58 second B side of Once There Was A Time I Thought, which screams out no commercial potential.  Even satellite radio has forgotten Look Through Any Window but for a curio single you could do worse.

For those who served.  We salute you veterans.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Week In Review: Dumb Jock ESPN Announcers, CMA Awards, Death And Music

It's the beginning of November but it feels like May.  It's hard to believe of having temps in the 70s and plenty of sunshine but the beginning of regular standard time is not too bad despite a 5 oclock sunset. Best way is to enjoy it before the snow and cold hits.

Crabby got his revenge as Kansas City took out The New York Mets in five games, which is one more than I predicted, basically I was ticked off as dem "mazing" Mets swept Chicago before.  I got to watch games 4 and 5 as Kansas City came from behind, I loved the Sunday Night when Kansas City scored two runs to tie it and then threw a Five Bomb in the 12th inning.  It was 30 years ago that Kansas City took out St Louis for the WS title too.  However Supermet Daniel Murphy who hit the ball out of sight in the NL games, made a costly error that propelled a couple of Royal runs proved that somebody must have put kyponite (sic) in his uniform and came down to earth in this series.  And with that we can close the 2015 Major League Baseball season.

From a recent jam session Brook Hoover and his out there guitar playing.  He's part of the Surf Zombies, Three Presidents and other various bands.

And so Marion gets a new mayor  Nick AbouAssaly defeated Jon Nieland and Joe Spinks for the honor.  In the meantime Marion continues to mess up the traffic by adding more roundabouts in the area. Roundabout hell for sure.  Cedar Rapids voters said NO to a 27 cent tax levy on Library improvements.  Look for another taxpayer waste of time special election to see if they can sneak that one through again.  Nobody knows the meaning of the word NO there, Ron Corbett I'm looking at you.

In the meantime Iowa continues to beat B1G ten teams and ESPN continues to cry about their soft opponents.  You'd never know it from the bad announcing of Kelly Stouffer as he continue to ass kiss Perry Hills, who may have been an upgrade from the under-performing other QB for Maryland but by the time he got the terps into the endzone, Iowa had a 21-7 lead.  Driving down the field, Perry would throw an pass into the arms of Desmond King who raced it back for a Pick Six Touchdown.  Certainly it may have been pride that Hills refused to have a helping hand from a Iowa defense line tackled after getting smacked after that interception, but knowing it was not going to be his day.  While Stouffer raved about Hills' remarkable comeback effort to score a late TD and 2 point run in, Stouffer forgot the fact that Maryland couldn't do anything in the first half and turned the ball over twice in their first two processions.   But what Kelly Stouffer overlooked was that it was Iowa's defense that kept Maryland out of the endzone in the first half and Iowa's Offense did enough to maintain a decent sized lead.  CJ Beathard, may have not been himself, still playing hurt but he did enough and Rakim Radley did enough to score when needed.  With ESPN and the Alabama world figuring an Iowa 8-0 record is the coming of end times, what ESPN and the Alabama clueless dude and his kids plus another ESPN hack Peter Burns saying (quote)
I am not ready to live in a world in which Iowa finishes a season undefeated in the sport of American college football.

He's either in denial or thinks Iowa is loading up on junior college teams.  Blame the computer then Peter, you play the teams the computer picks for you and this year Iowa got lucky and missed out on Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State teams in the East division.  Which I predict they will play all 3 next year.  By then CJ will graduated as well as most of the defense and Iowa will be in rebuilding mode.  And then ....wait for it....Burns will say I told you so.  Which he's chomping at the bit should Iowa stub their toe on the next games at hand.  Perhaps there's more to the Burns twitter comment that was taken out of context, or maybe he can't look past Alabama to see the surprise team in college football.  I know Minnesota, Purdue, Indiana and even Nebraska are capable of showing up and playing good football,  Minnesota almost beat Michigan and Purdue surprised Nebraska last weekend so anything is possible. The Iowa defense has been very good this season and one of the reasons why they're 8-0 and not because of cupcakes games.  But any upsets and you'll be seeing the I Told You Sos from the likes of Pete Burns and rest of the Disney employees at what used to be a good sports channel, now overpriced and overrated with ex dumb jocks that couldn't cut it as NFL QBs and couldn't find day jobs other than ESPN hacks such as Kelly Stouffer, voted number 29 in the worst NFL quarterbacks of all time, who sat out a year and not wanting to play for the St Louis Cardinals.  He eventually wound up being a bust for Seattle for a year or so.  In other words, a perfect fit for ESPN. 

Cat Logic:  Callie continues to call the backyard her home and as Alpha Pussy she seems to have a personality like mine:  she's a loner, screams at every cat that dares to come into the yard and when Adolf the fat white cat comes around she pops him in the face at every stare.  It's been almost a year since she made herself known around here and I have come to accept her.  She's been fixed, has her shots and rarely leaves the yard.  There are times I would like to kill her, especially after washing the car and having her muddy prints all over it, but I like her too much to do such a thing.  After all it was decided not to take her to a shelter, she's a plain jane cat and nobody would want her.  So she finds way of entertaining us and even in my dark days she does managed to make me laugh.  Such as jumping on the open back door of the station wagon.  She can be entertaining.

Death never takes a holiday:  Mike Pollack.  I remember Mike as the oddball looking dude with a one of those silver fillings on his front tooth and there was rumors that Mike hung himself by accident during a Halloween prank.  Mike went to our high school before moving over to a Catholic school. He served his country well in the Marines and led a nice quiet family life before passing away last Wed at age 55.  Semper Fi.

Al Molinaro, the wacky guy who played the policeman in The Odd Couple and better known as Big Al Delvecchio on Happy Days passed away at age 96.  He even shows up on Weezer's 1995 video of their hit Buddy Holly.  He lived a good long life.

Fred Thompson, the cranky old dude lawyer on Law And Order and later became a Conservative Senator and later ran unsuccessfully as President died Sunday at age 73, lymphoma cause of death.  Best known for Arthur Branch in Law And Order, Thompson did carve out a decent movie career as well.  He was on the staff for the Watergate Committee  and with Howard Baker, put a big crack and later the downfall of Richard Nixon.   While the left paints hims as somewhat too extreme right wing, while conservative of his voting, he wasn't that gung ho on religious rights and abortion issues.  Even in 2007 he said that he didn't vision himself as a career politician.  If nothing else he was a better actor than Ronnie Reagan.  His role in the Watergate hearings might have been his greatest accomplishment.

Tommy Overstreet.  One of my favorite pop country singers of the 1970s, he struck a chord with me with his hit single Gwen (Congratulations) and I Don't Know You Anymore.  His hits were on ABC/Dot records up till his last memorable hit Fading Out Fading In.  I actually managed to compiled a ideal greatest hits of his music and the folks Varese Sandabunde  did put that out as a best of in the late 1990s.  The Best Of Tommy Overstreet is a very good overview of the Dot years. He moved to Elektra to end out the 1970s and later Interchord.  Overstreet, took his music act to Branson Missouri for a few years before retiring out in Oregon.  He passed away Monday at age 78.

In terms of new music on CD, things are drying up here big time.  Target has practically done away their whole CD section except for a tiny sliver of a half space in the music section, with a handful of new releases and overpriced classic albums, in a attempt to phase them out and get the consumer to stream things.   Looks like I'll be ordering more things online from websites to get the music that I want.  Or see what the kindness of strangers donated to the thrift stores.

Taylor Swift got sued for 42 million dollars on claims that she stole her song Shake It Off from a unknown singer Jesse Braham aka Jesse Graham's song called Haters Gone Hate  that he wrote in 2013.  But then again there's probably one or two other unknown songwriters that probably wrote lyrics similar to Shake It Off.  This comes on the report that Taylor Swift is the highest paid musician this year, earning up to a million dollars a day.  Perhaps on wishful thinking that Braham should get songwriting credit, perhaps he should take her advice and "shake it off". To which the judge did tell Braham as she dismissed his lawsuit soon after.

Even more on the tabloids side of sleeze comes word that Gwen Sefiani, fresh from saying adios to Galvin Rossdale is now dating Blake Shelton at some get together over the weekend.   If I had my way and was Blake, I would have kept Miranda Lambert myself.  A matter of choice, which means nothing.  The country music awards were on and even though Shelton might have a new love he is not Best Male Vocalist Of The Year.  That honor went to Chris Stapleton, all around good guy and the best songwriter out there.  Stapleton took home two other awards (Best New Artist, Album Of The Year) and  stole the show with a two song duet with Justin Timberlake.  Little Big Town won single and song of the year with Girl Crush. Even though bro country still dominated, Luke Bryan-entertainer of the year, it was the left field win of Male Vocalist which shocked the public and perhaps Cole Swindells or the Duo (duds) of the year Florida Georgia Line.  It won't mean K-HACK or KissoffKountry 95 will play Traveler and perhaps winning Male Vocalist doesn't mean a thing, just ask Jamey Johnson. But perhaps it shows that maybe just maybe good songwriting and albums might bring about a better change in Country radio.  I didn't pay attention to the show, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood hosted it and there's a bit of tension about Miranda and Blake in the same building.  Shelton might have gotten the NO DOUBT singer, but in the long run Miranda Lambert took the high road.  Which in the end Miranda got her revenge in some way.  While Shelton lost out to Chris Stapleton in Male Artist, Miranda went home Best Female Artist once again.  And still a better dream date than Gwen Stefiani.

This Friday will see the release of the Bob Dylan box set On The Cutting Edge, in a few formats including standard 2 CD overview or the whole super box set that comprises the three Dylan albums of note: Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde. Anne Margaret Daniel gives us her take on reviewing the whole thing:

Next Up: Reviews

Cream-Fresh Cream (RSO 1967)

A long time ago, I brought the Mono LP at Rock n Bach for about 4 dollars. It was in VG shape, but when Best Buy had the CD in new, I tried to trade the mono album back to Rock n Bach to which Jim Henson declined to take it back.  In hindsight I should have kept the mono album.  Almost five decades on, the debut from the supergroup of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and grumpy Ginger Baker has sounded a bit dated and sloppy.  Given Baker's pissed off views at life, he probably will tell you he was held at gunpoint when he was in Cream.  I have to say that Robert Stigwood's production and recording in stereo is really odd, that this record is better heard in mono.  Bruce's vocals is buried in the mix on Sweet Wine, and on Cat's Squirrel's you can see why Baker was enraged of all the noise going on and that he was smashing cymbals trying to drown out Bruce's offkey harmonica and Clapton's loud guitar. Or the chaos that is Rolling And Tumbling which is basically Jack and Eric dueling one another and Baker bashing away on a odd rhythm.  I come to know NSU, Sleepy Time Time and Sweet Wine on the Live Cream album, which 15 minutes of Sweet Wine can be as annoying as Baker's 37 minute drum solo of Toad (actually it was 19 and half minutes off Wheels Of Fire but felt like 37 minutes long) to which it's more tolerable in the five minutes that is on this album.  Make no mistake, Ginger Baker is a legend upon drummers, both in rhythm technique and angry tirades, he wasn't a cymbal basher as say Keith Moon or John Bonham but more of a jazzier Elvin Jones type.  But for sloppy youthfulness Fresh Cream was a fine debut when it came out, but as and oldster like myself the sloppy youthfulness does suggest that Cream would get better on the next album.  But it's a bit too sloppy for be the blues album that Clapton wanted it to be, or the rock album that Bruce wanted it to be and too damn sloppy loud that Baker wanted it to be.  A flawed but listenable mini classic.
Grade B+

Wooden Nickel Lottery-On My Way (Violet Isle 2015)

There's plenty of blues rock bands out on the landscape.  I have my favorites, Delta Moon is one of them, Jimmy Bowskill Band is another and from a distance Joe Bonamassa and Johnny Lang.  I also have fond memories of Blue Mountain, to which Cary Hudson finally put that band to rest in 2013. Wooded Nickel Lottery is from Center Point Iowa, not exactly a mecca for blues rock bands but a well kept secret that is not such a well kept secret due to word of mouth and playing at Parlor City  every so often.  Like Blue Mountain, WNL has a husband wife team of Rich and Jess Toomsen, he is the main songwriter and lead guitar player, she is the bass player that plays behind her back, but WNL owes more to latter day blues Bonamassa favors.   Equal to the band is Rick Gallo's vocals and the steady drumming of Delayne Stallman, which Gallo does sound a bit like early John Popper and Lang.  These 11 songs have been refined during live performances, Slow It Down is a crowd and mine favorite.  Wait For Me is closer to Bad Company in classic rock sound. Since coming out of retirement and checking out the music scene here in town,  I can tell you that Wooden Nickel Lottery is an up and coming band and the blues rock world is taking notice, they're opening for Anthony Gomes  this Saturday in Davenport.  On My Way, is rightfully titled, they are on their way, this album is a nice introduction to a promising new band.  They would fit at home on Ruf Records (Are you listening Thomas Ruf?)
Grade A-

The Pentangle (Reprise 1968)
John Renbourn-Sir John Alot Of....(Transatlantic 1968/Lost Lake Arts Reissue 1984)

The original unplugged British Band of wonders, the late Bert Jansch and John Renbourn (who passed this year) were two of the best guitar players this side of Fairport Convention, Jacqul McShee was a haunting vocalist this side of Sandy Denny but Danny Thompson and Terry Cox were a great rhythm section.  This record was once part of the KCCK music library, KCCK meaning the jazz and blues station in town and somehow they were thinning their record collection.  I ended up getting this S/T album along with Renbourn's Sir John Alot Of ....which was reissued in 1984 via the new age label Lost Lake Arts/Windham Hill.  While side 1 tends to be a bit too much traditional folk ballads, side 2 gets a more to my liking thanks to Terry Cox's percussion work especially on Four Eight and Seven Up. While Renbourn's Lady And The Unicorn put me to sleep, Sir John Alot does manages to hold my attention span a lot longer than it should.  Which leaves us back to the first Pentangle album. While McShee is the main singer, it is the interplay between Jansch/Renbourn along with Thompson/Cox that make songs like Pentangling and Bells (including Cox drum solo) their best moments together.  I don't understand the logic of KCCK blacking out Bruton Town from their playlist, perhaps it borders too much on folk rock and approving Waltz for radio airplay which is progressive folk rock in a way.  But for a debut album, I think it's worthy of inclusion of all time great debut albums, alongside Led Zeppelin or The Velvet Underground's first album.  Fairport Convention may have been the more better known bands of the two, but The Pentangle's first album is better than the first Fairport Convention album (Which came out on Cotillion for you vinyl hounds-reissued on Polydor on CD years later) and that is saying something.  Castle/Sanctuary would issue The Pentangle on CD with bonus cuts in 2002, but the original album is damn near flawless.

The Pentangle A
Sir John Alot Of.... B

Old Dominion-Meat And Candy (RCA 2015)

The argument that country is the new rock and roll is lazy thinking.  While the traditionalists out there have no use for Sam Hunt, it's realized that the blending of rap beats to sluggish four four beats and making a list and passing them off as songs is now the major labels way of thinking.  While Steven Thomas Erwine might give this a four star rating and thinking this is slowly moving away from bro country to sweet pop rock, it's still bro country with the usual references to tanlines, beer, pick up lines and getting drunk and getting laid.  Not much variation on the songs either, stale EDM beats and half thought lyrics does not make a classic album than it does for a future  dollar bin sale CD. Basically to my recollection the only country bands that made albums that rocked was the Dirt Drifters who sadly broke up before the arrival of FGL and Blackberry Smoke who has a rock and roll band.  Old Dominion started out as songwriters to Dierks Bentley and The Band Perry, while Erwine raves about their success, they're no Chris Stapleton, but perhaps a more smarter Dallas Davidson which isn't saying much but Matthew Ramsey is a better lyricist than Mr. Dallas Dude. In fact Ramsey might have stumbled upon a potential hit with Said Nobody, although you can't tell the difference between that song and first two Snapback and Half Empty, which would sound at home on K HACK, Second best song is a ballad Song For Another Time, which mean that Old Dominion would sound better as a ballad band rather than the Bro Country Beer Can In A Truck Bed, which isn't as awful as the title suggests but it's is not very memorable.  Which is most of what Meat And Candy is, an album that, while the band worked behind the Nashville music scene and knows what radio wants (at this time) and getting a producer who knows how Country radio works (Shane McAnally)  Meat And Candy sounds like Nashville 2015 and will be a dated music piece in a year or two.  They even went back to a scratch and sniff label promo sticker that supposedly smells like bacon  but the purists think it smells like bullshit.
Grade D


Results of our little Halloween party of last Friday (from left to right. Rod Albaugh, Donna Smith, Brad Milner and Betty.  on the floor my boss, who has a wicked sense of humor.