Saturday, January 30, 2016

Singles Going Steady 28-You Remember 45s Don't Ya?

1  I Don't Need You No More-J. Geils Band (Atlantic 45-2843)  1971

Upon their MTV hit years, their more grittier R and B driven early 70s stuff for Atlantic were better and harder rocking.  First album showed them working with Dave Crawford better known for his work with BB King and a love of John Lee Hooker as well.  Second album has them working with Bill Szymczyk (James Gang, B B King), who at that time was behind the scenes and later became the Eagles' choice producer.  I don't AM radio played this very much, if they did you would have heard it more in Chicago via WLS, or KIOA Des Moines, although the Peoria station played it before the top of the hour.  A nice rocker, but Atlantic provided more promo power to the next single Looking For A Love which can be found as Atlantic Single number 2844.  Which meant that Don't Need You No More got dropped in favor of the other song.  And Looking For A Love managed to make it to number 39, in late December 1971.

2.  Pretzel Logic-Steely Dan (ABC 12033)  1974  #57

They have been the most sophisticated bunch of guys who ever hit the top ten, giving us perhaps the best introduction to a song in Do It Again, making Elliot Randall a guitar god on Reelin In The Years or making us remember Horace Silver in Rikki Don't Lose That Number but this followup to the number 4 Rikki turned out to be a disappointment.  Radio loss' anyway, I always enjoyed the super cool blues of Logic with Donald Fagen's off the wall lyrics about hoping to meet Napoleon if he could find the time.  Mr. Fagen has not had the best of luck lately, especially seeing his marriage coming to an end. But then again it's been a rough year for everybody involved in music it seems.  Except for Kayne West which we all wish he would go away as well.  I've no interest in he comes up on the autotuner or seeing his wife's butt on the internet every other day.  We didn't have to deal with this back in 1974. (the good old days)

3.   In  The Midnight Hour-Cross County (The Tokens)  (Atco 45-6934)  #30

For some reason the guys known as The Tokens decided that a name change and a more country sound would help their image.  Last time they came across our radar was their second top 100 Warner Brothers single It's A Happening World before another label pit stop at Buddah gave them two more meandering top 100 afterthoughts.  I recall seeing them as Cross Country on some In Concert show in the mid 70s, they could have been on The Midnight Special for that matter.  Anyway, this countrified version of the old Wilson Pickett soul burner was a pretty good song, enough for me to buy the single in my last summer vacation in Lincoln Illinois back when all of my grandparents were still alive and still like to see their grandson for a week or two. And Lincoln had a Woodworths and a specialty record store too to which used 45s could be brought cheap.  The LP reviews of Cross Country were not so inviting, in fact one local crank gave them a D grade and said that they made Crosby, Stills Nash and Young sound like Crosby and Young.  Which BTW, the same Crank reviewer continues to review more world music and rap artists then he does rock acts.  But then again rock acts are so 1973 anyway.

4.  Kings Of Speed-Hawkwind  (Atco 45-7017)  1975

In the blink or you miss it department, Hawkwind after making a few sides for United Artists decided to pack up and go over to Atlantic for one album (Warrior On The Edge Of Time), which came out on Atco and Kings Of Speed was printed up on a few DJ promos and thrown in with a bunch of other 45s to dump on people at drive ins during special promotions nights to win.  Atco/Atlantic was a very interesting label to be on in 1975, where else could you share the roster with the likes of Black Oak Arkansas, The Tokens (who went back to that name after the Cross Country novelty wore off), Clint Holmes, Blue Magic, and even The Easybeats Stevie Wright, whose Hard Road was Atco 7016, one ahead of Dave Brock and company. And Atco 7018  was Roxy Music The Thrill Of It All.  No wonder the 70s were the golden age of classic rock and roll, especially 1973-1976.  Kings Of Speed was probably the better of the songs off the prog rock influenced Warrior On Edge Of Time, however the stock copy remains the holy grail of Hawkwind, the B side is Ian Kilmister written Motorhead, which blew the rest of the album away to the point that it was left off as a b side, plus Dave Brock didn't care for Kilmister's love of speed on said song.  Good luck trying to find that ATCO single now that Lemmy has departed from this world.

5.  Rock And Roll High-Duke And The Drivers (ABC 12152)  1975

Next to J. Giels Band, Duke The Drivers were one of the more harder rocking R and B dudes out there, but they could never get that proper push that J Geils gotten while being on Atlantic.  The guys in J Giels wrote better songs and did better covers although Duke and Drivers did win out on What You Got, the old Soul Brothers Six cover, and managed to get all the way up to number 95 on the charts.  For their reward, ABC chose the album lead off track Rock and Roll High as the next single, which flopped.   A rather pedestrian type of rocker, the song really doesn't build up much in terms of getting people excited about getting out on the dance floor, and even with Eddie Kramer behind the control boards, he can't find the right sound to get people off their seats and boogie.  One album later and Duke and The Drivers went back to the bars.

6.  Sixteen Tons-Don Harrison Band (Atlantic 45-3323) 1976  #47

A definition of a one hit wonder but there is an connection to CCR.  Sixteen Tons, a cover of the old Merle Travis/Tennessee Ernie Ford classic, Don Harrison hooked up with Stu Cook and Doug Clifford of CCR fame and made a fairly decent first album and this song did get ample airplay in 1976.  No denying of Cook/Clifford's playing they make everything sound so CCR without John Fogerty in the way.  This was a short lived victory lap, the followup, the likable  Rock And Roll Records (ATL-3348) flopped.   

7.  It's No Secret-Jefferson Airplane (RCA Victor 47-8769)  1966

Upon the passings of both Paul Kantner and Siege Anderson  of the Airplane it seems a good reason to include a song from the Airplane and from their first album. But if you think about it, it was fifty years ago that Jefferson Airplane did take off with this debut single this month to regional chart action but not on the regular top 100.   But it was a whole different world back then.  And wish we could return to those days once again too.

8.  Rock And Roll Queen-Mott The Hoople (Atlantic 45-2749)  1970

In the history of butchered edited songs, this rare 2 and half minute version would make Lizzy Borden happy and perfect for AM radio had AM radio even had a copy.  But then again Mott The Hoople has a few other cases of butchered edited versions of their songs.  One Of The Boys came out as a 2:48 edit version, although Columbia did put it out in it's full 5:35 glory.   But then again Atlantic didn't pay too much mind to this song anyway, since there has not been any regular stock copies of this forgotten single although if there is one the B side is probably Road To Birmingham.  Germany Island issued a 3:17 edit and I'm guessing that was the one used for a very early Mott The Hoople best of that came out on Island UK years ago.  Make no mistake, there's no substitution for the whole 4:58 that I have come to know and love.  Opinions do vary.

9.  Paranoid-Black Sabbath (Warner Bros. 7437)  #61  1971

In the spiffy pop world of AM radio, Black Sabbath was nothing like The Candy Man or Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes.  Even for more hard rock of Steppenwolf,  Paranoid was simply too much for AM radio to be played at, although KCRG would eventually play the followup Iron Man which managed to snake up to number 52, it made top 10 here via KCRG.  But for 2 minutes and fifty seconds you get to hear the ravings of Ozzy Osbourne spilling out his troubles.  45 years later Black Sabbath is out to make their "final" tour, once again without Bill Ward on drums and forever on the sidelines unless something of a miracle comes and they can be on stage when the final curtain comes down.  B side is The Wizard.  Thus making Paranoid/The Wizard one of the all time best 45s ever made.  Or least I think it is.

10.  Get Out Of Denver-Eddie And The Hot Rods  (Island IS-082) 1976

One of the more rare 45s out there was this speed rocker cover of a Bob Segar song sped up all the way to 100 miles an hour down a highway with no brakes and a be dammed attitude.   Yet another edit of a song, this was recorded live and eventually found on the US edition of Teenage Depression, to which the title song was the B side.  Now on some college radio stations and a handful of FM stations, they did flip the record over to play as a A side.  I discovered this track as a cut from the Rock And Roll High School Soundtrack featuring the Ramones.  And it's a shame that Marion TV and Records didn't have this record in stock.  I would have bought five copies.

Reference on these singles came from 45 cat.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Rock and Roll and The End Of The World

It's been a bittersweet month here at Record World/Crabb Review Site.  For each day I have remaining here, till the end of the month will be the best ever for this site.  To go this far in and see over 5,000 views and even breaking 6,000 has not been thought of or even expected.  If the views tracker is just plain fabricated, I can still live with the results.   Even if Russia has been the most patrons of this site, this old Yankee Crabb thanks you for at least looking through a decade's worth of whatever comes to mind.   This is not a money making venture that's for sure, and the time vetted could have been put to better use.  But once in a while a blog will make a impact and so I continue to blog on.

I didn't intend to do 10 plus blogs here in the month but the weather has been crappy, and I spent the last ten days getting over yet another GD cold that sucked the life out of me and canceled birthday plans to go see bands.  And I rather be dead than deal with another lifesucking cold flu that's a constant post nasal drip hell and copious amounts of cold meds don't help and I did get a fucking flu shot.  And when I'm sick, nothing gets done, sleep all day, stay awake all night and fight a body that doesn't respond to anything I do.

2016 has already been hell on earth.  Bad music, pointless music news about pop rappers getting into other pop rappers on pointless jibs and jabs at each other.  Steven Tyler's ill fated attempt to go Bro Country, Mackelmore's bloated comments about Elvis still ripping off black singers and he's been dead for 38 plus years now.  Black Sabbath going on without Bill Ward and the music mags still bringing that up.  It's going to end Black Sabbath without Bill Ward anyway.  Reminds me of Keith Moon when he was in The Who, both Bill and Keith gave their bands that added manic style of drumming which wasn't built to last.  Even in Keith's last years his drumming, while still distinctive, was deteriorating and he barely got by on Who Are You.  Which sound like Bill's effect of the 1983 Born Again album.   If only we can be young and play like that all over again.  I wish I can play like I once did 31 years ago in my old band too.  It's a bitch getting old and a shame that Bill and Sabbath couldn't find a common ground to give it one last go before the curtain falls down for a last time.

The state of music today is awful, especially on major labels.  Bad raps, 3rd grade level bro country pandering done by backward baseball cap frat boys and calling it country, the noise they call alternative rock and torturing us via radio has finally made me turn in my reviewing new music card. I find it more rewarding to stick to local bands and listen to their music, since we are one and the same.  We still like good new music and the local bands are more friendly than some upjohn with a beanie flooding the inbox with halfassed rap lyrics on Facebook or Twitter.   There's no shortage of new music and new bands, but time is short and I'm not about to jump on what NME or Rolling Stone is touting the flavor of the day.  At some point, our life is running down and if the music doesn't  grab my attention after a half minute it's time to move on to something more familiar or more rocking.

I still believe in the power of rock and roll and 50 years ago the music scene was changing for the better.  And 50 years later the power of The Kinks or The Who or even Jerry Jaye and millions in between still resonates, hell even 20 years ago there was still viable rock and roll out there, but not anymore.   The rules have changed, and we became our grandparents big band music.  I do not fit in to a world of Five Finger Death Punch or Andriana Grande or Florida Georgia Line.

The world is changing as well.  And not for the better.  The hatred of seeing Donald Trump throwing his barbed wire propaganda through this state, the equally polarizing Ted Cruz who is more dangerous than the Donald, making American great again?  With these fools running around, we're not even so so anymore.  Money pays top dollar to a congressman who will dance to the strings of the money puppeteer, you can't drink the water in Flint anymore and meanwhile social media pays attention to the Shrill known as Sarah Palin, whose  dumbass daughter keeps falling on dicks and getting preggo, and son beats up his girlfriend and blames Obama for his problems.  And meanwhile the greed that is man continues to rape and pillage this world for more oil and polluted fracking water poisons the well.  It's not a beautiful world I'm seeing anymore, it gets uglier each day.  And one day Mother Earth will eventually   cleanse and remove mankind from this world. It's bound to happen and it will happen.

And looks like our little days of over 100 views is over.  So this blog can return back to normal now.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Week In Review: Paul Kantner, Sick and 55, Jimmy Bain, RAGBRAI

Sunday I turned 55.  Worst fucking birthday ever.  I been stuck with the fucking winter cold.

Since being sick, I could not attend any of the bands playing that weekend.  Julie And The Mad Dogs in Anamosa Saturday and missing out on Wooden Nickel Lottery on Sunday after promising that I would show up.  I hate making promises and not following through due to illness.  You can sit there and get a flu shot and still get pneumonia regardless.  This shit started happening around Wednesday with a scratchy throat and then things deteriorated each day.  Watery eyes, a persistent cough, fucking post nasal drip, when this shit came full bloom on Sunday everything was ruined and I basically stayed home and sang the praises to high heaven.

Flus are a bitch.  You either sleep all day or stay up all night and never get a certain medium to tolerate this shit.  The post nasal drip is the big wood sliver under your fingernails.  And once things dry up, another sneeze or 13 puts you back to hack and cough land once again.  Better off dead so you don't have to deal with post nasal drip.   And winter flu really makes me that much more cranky, and just right now, another sneeze, all over the keyboard, all over myself.  Yeah, this is going to be one fucking great week for all involved.

The major headlines is yet another rock and roller passed; Paul Kantner suffered a major heart attack and departed the world on Wednesday, he was 74.  Kantner defined Jefferson Airplane into somewhat of a space rock and roll band but they started out kinda folkish rock in 1966 with Takes Off and Paul has his own distinctive voice on Let Me In.  Perhaps the key to their success would be on the failed single Ballad Of You And Me And Pooneil on album number 3, After Bathing At Baxter's which really was a departure from Surrealistic Pillow, still their best overall album.  After the Airplane imploded, Paul put out Blows Against The Empire and two albums with Grace Slick before reforming and renaming the band Jefferson Starship.  But by then, they did become more corporate rock, while Kantner did pen their most rocking songs (Ride The Tiger) to contradict the MOR pop of Miracles.  The final goodbye came around 1979 when Mickey Thomas joined up and they become classic rock heroes with Jane or Find Your Way Back.  I have fond memories of that lineup including Anysley Dunbar pounding on the drums till after they removed him from the banal Winds Of Change album.  Kantner remained onboard for the crappy Nuclear Furniture with minor hit Layin It On The Line, but bailed out when Starship had their biggest hit in 1985 with We Built This City.  Throughout it all, Paul did have his own version of Jefferson Starship, that played the hits of long ago and far away.  I don't have much to say about the last true Jefferson Starship album that came out about 10 years ago on Fuel 2000, the only good thing about that one was that Marty Balin was on the best song of that album.  Paul had been in ill health the last five years and his heart attack over the weekend eventually finished him.  His legacy will still be intact on the albums that he did for the Airplane and Starship, as long as Jefferson is in front of either names. 

On the same day, the original female vocalist of the Airplane Signe Anderson died as well. She was 74 and suffered from various health issues.  She was part of the band on the Jefferson Airplane Takes Off album but she didn't trust Matthew Katz and had him put in a waver to free her from the band should she decided she had enough of the band.  She later joined The Natural Gas Company band and stayed with them for about 9 years.  Signe would appear as a special guest in Jefferson Starship on rare occasions in the 1990s. 

Jimmy Bain passed away on Saturday. He was 68.  Played on albums by Rainbow and Ronnie James Dio.  He won't have to worry about any more colds and flu.  Lucky guy, he'll be missed.

The passing of Gail Zappa has freed up of a reissue of an long out of print album that has been getting big bucks on EBAY, notably An Evening With Wild Man Fischer, to which Gonzo Entertainment has now reissued this week.  Originally on Bizarre Records, to which Frank Zappa owned the rights, a royalty disagreement between Frank and Wild Man Larry Fischer ended up the album being pulled and even after Frank's passing in 1993, Gail Zappa, who overseen the reissues struck down any notion of reissue.  Fischer is a one man oddball singer who had suffered from mental problems through his life till his passing in 2011 at age 66.  In some ways, this album is similar to David Lannen's Street Singer but not as extreme and didn't have Frank Zappa to really make it more barbed. If anybody to be compared with Wild Man is more in tune with Wesley Willis, who managed to make his own Lo Fi recordings on various labels before he too passed away in 2003.  An acquired taste so to speak, An Evening With Wild Man Fischer speaks levels of schizophrenic induced music. In some ways it makes Trout Mask Replica sound normal.  Approach with caution.

The new Steven Tyler country single is the old dude trying to be Bro Country.  And makes you wonder why he even tried in the first place.  Hell this makes Just Push Play sound like Rocks. And that's saying something.  He's also getting a lot of backlash for mentioning he got Guns And Roses back together again, as well as Jon Bon Jovi.  GnR are not amused but they thank you all the same.

Bert Berns is being recognized in the rock and roll hall of fame this year, being voted in as well.  Berns, who passed away in 1967 from a heart attack was instrumental in getting great songs to the likes of The Drifters, Ben E King and later formed Bang Records.  He should have been in there earlier too. 

Not much better is the Iggy Pop/Josh Homme song Gardenia off their forthcoming new album.

This years RAGBRAI bike route takes a far southern tour of the great state of Iowa, starting in Glenwood and going through Shenandoah, Creston, Leon, Centerville, Ottumawa, Washington  and ending at Muscatine, which the closest town to here.

The Iowa men's team beat Purdue once again 83-71 to remain unbeaten in the Big Ten and the last time they gone this far undefeated you have to go back to the Miller Six Pack era 1969-1970 Hawkeyes which was lead by Fred Brown and John Johnson who recently passed away last week.  Despite what Colin Cowpie says, the Big Ten Basketball teams rival just about anybody in terms of great schools with great teams.  There is no cupcakes, no frauds in basketball and Iowa continues to play the best teams with Maryland, Indiana and Michigan all coming up.  I don't forsee the Hawks run the undefeated route but if they did that would be a big accomplishment while the ESPN reject would find ways to call anything Iowa Frauds.   Too bad he didn't get suffocated under that 30 plus inches of snow that they had out on the Eastern coast last weekend. On a side note, Iowa is now rated number 3 on the top 25 teams.  I'm sure Colin will find some fault to that as well.

So far the novelty hasn't wore off yet but Record World has had 100 views every day for the past 33 days.  I'm sure it will end soon but thanks to our friends out in Russia, The Ukraine, South Korea, Mexico, Poland and France and Germany for reading abroad.

Record Reviews:

David Bowie: blackstar (Columbia/ISO 2016)

Hearing the Thin White Duke's final album in his lifetime is somewhat a mixed blessing.  I wouldn't consider this to be in the top 5 Bowie albums of all times or even 10 but at seven songs and 37 minutes it's easier to take than The Next Day.  And actually grows on you better, although the close to 10 minutes of the title track will try patience.   I like it better than say Sue or Tis A Pity She's a Whore but the highlight is either Lazarus or I Can't Give Everything Away, played to a more uptempo beat. 

Grade B+

Chad Mitchell Trio-Mighty Day On Campus (Kapp 1961)

Alternative music which was folk music in 1961 and this album basically started the folk music boom along with Kingston Trio, though nobody talks much about Chad Mitchell anymore.  It really was a big deal back then.  Featuring future Byrd superstar Jim McGuinn on five string banjo.  There's even an answer to the Kingston Trio's MTA (Super Skier) and oddball humor, the unpolitical correct of Lizzie Borden (which Kapp issued as a single no doubt) and the uptempo of Putting On Style  or Tale Toddle makes the record a big of nostalgic fun.  However time has not treated When Johnny Comes Marching In aka Johnnie and at five minutes feels more like a funeral procession rather than hootenanny fun, and live folk music of the 1960s are a very dated piece anyway.  But at one time The Chad Mitchell Trio was a big deal and you had to be there to hear it in person rather than looking from afar 5 and half decades after it was released.
Grade B

Roger McGuinn-Back From Rio (Arista 1991)

For being the main constant in the Byrds, McGuinn's solo catalog was a step down from the high quality years of Dylan and even if a certain Russian reviewer thinks that Sweetheart Of The Rodeo is overrated, that album did show enough charm to start a country rock movement.  Twenty five years ago, the major labels touted this as a major comeback, but in an era of En Vogue and MC Hammer and the beginnings of Nirvana, Back From Rio turned out to be a major flop.  Compare this to most of McGuinn's solo stuff and this holds up a lot better than say, Peace On You or Thunderbyrd, though I rather give a nod to Cardiff Rose for being something different.  Back From Rio has Roger with some of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers on board to help out (the exiled Stan Lynch on drums) and even Elvis Costello is happy to send Roger a new song for support, the not bad You Bowed Down.  Also John Jougerson from Desert Rose Band helps out on guitar too. Not a full blown Byrds reunion, although at that time, David Crosby and Chris Hillman did get together with Roger to do a couple new songs for a Byrds box set and they both sing back up on a couple numbers.  And Tom Petty provides counterpoint for King Of The Hill.   Certainly there are protest numbers, The Trees Are All Gone, really shapes up about the world today better in 2016 then it did back in 1991 although it could have used a better arrangement.  And there's a same sound to most of these songs, uptempo four four with elements of raga folk rock and power pop.  I'm thinking the best song is If We Never Meet Again, written by Jules Shear that states it best and that McGuinn believes the best is yet to come.  And to think about it, Back From Rio would be McGuinn's last true album of looking back at his Byrds roots and incorporating them to the ones who played on this album.  In spite of it all, Arista dropped him after the failure of King Of The Hill making any chart action and this cd would be found in many cut out bins in stores.  But I do recall giving this a better grade than the Columbia mix CD of Born To Rock And Roll, which Columbia pieced together McGuinn's solo highlights and finding these 10 songs sounded better than the ones chosen for Born To Rock And Roll.  And if I compared both CDs, I would side with Back From Rio for the better of the two.  Back From Rio won't take the place of 5th Dimension  or Younger Than Yesterday but it still makes a nice album driving home from work on selected evenings.
Grade B+

Allen Collins Band-Here There And Back (MCA 1983)

Half Skynyrd, plus Derek Hess and Barry Harwood, guys who shaped up the two Rossington Collins Band albums before plus the underrated Jimmy Daughtery from Alias, who made a so so album for Mercury in 1979, Here There and Back is a nice memento of what could have been.  It does start out strong with a potential hit in Just Trouble, a nice rocker in the Atlanta Rhythm Section mood and One Known Soldier, things really fall apart after that and they never quite recover.  The usually reliable Harwood, who saved some of the best songs from This Is The Way, the last RCB album could only come up with This Ride's On Me.  Side 2 does get better with Chapter One and Commitments being the standouts. While Daugherty might have been the best vocalist outside of Ronnie Van Zant, his songwriting lacks the dry wit that Ronnie is famous for.  What saves the record is the Skynyrd guys (Allen Collins, Leon Wilkerson and Billy Powell) and their Southern rock and roll and kudos to Randall Hall for helping Allen out lead and slide guitar and putting some oomph into songs like Just Trouble and Ready To Roll.  Even against cliche' lyrics, they do know how to roll the rock.
Grade B

Elvis Presley-I Was The One (RCA 1983)

Great songs they are, but somebody at RCA thought that overdubbing new drums and bass parts was a great idea.  It wasn't.  It did managed to get Elvis a slight single with You're So Square (baby I don't care).  Technology gone a muck.  Seek the originals.
Grade C

The Cars-Moving In Stereo-The Very Best Of (Rhino/Elektra 2016)

Leaving out tracks off Move Like This dilutes the overview, although if you want a live version of Sad Song here ya go.  Ric Osacek has always been the alpha songwriter but without the late great Ben Orr, they wouldn't have the gigantic hits like Drive or Let's Go or Just What I Needed.  Rehashing best ofs really don't serve a purpose anymore, even as scattershot as this money grab, which leaves off key tracks (Magic, Gimme Some Slack, All I Can Do), and adds filler disguised as hits (Don't Tell Me No, Dangerous Type).  The best overview remains Complete Greatest Hits, or just get the first two Cars albums.   This qualifies as a not cost effective mix tape.
Grade C

Top Ten Playlist:

1).  The Life We Lead-The Townedgers
2).  Beauty Is Only Skin Deep-The Temptations
3).  That Is What Life Is All About-Paul Collins Beat
4).  My Man Is Gone Now-Nina Simone
5).  She Don't Love Nobody-Nick Lowe
6).  In The Midnight Hour-The Rascals
7).  Don't Let Me Down-The Animals
8).  Just What I Need-Big Back Forty
9).  My Wife (Live from Two's Missing)-The Who
10) The Weight-The Band

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week In Review: Townedger Radio 16, Blue Scratch Band, Horror Bar Story

This new year has been a lot better than last year although I did leave my car keys in the GD car while en route to doing some new songs with Rod Albaugh.  The ratings have been very high here and on historical propositions, not only are we going to crack 5000 views we going to smash through it.  It's nice to think that our friends out in Russia are sorting through the archives to get caught up on the history of rock and roll from this side of the fence.  But I have seen the peaks and valleys that is the stats board and I'm remain skeptical that we'll do over 5000 on a regular basis.  The key remains having 100 plus views per day but I can attest and predict that we'll be back in double digits once the novelty wears off and our Russian friends move on to something else.  I seldom get comments (except for 2000 Man and Tad but Tad has been quiet of late) and I could open up posting the best from the ones who want to be secret.

Blue Scratch-Checker's 1/15/16 (Photo:Julie Gordon)

One thing for certain is that I'm not the quiet oddball that has frequent the Sunday afternoon jam session, word does get around and I been out and seeing my local musician friends hit the stage on the weekend from time to time.  Friday I had off and had a couple bands in mind to see.  On the facebook site my friends bombard me with where they're playing at, and since I have a regular job Friday nights off are few and far between.  Jay plays in Blue Scratch, and I've been meaning to see his band play for a while, I missed out on a winery showcase, somehow over the weekend he made an inquiry about yours truly maybe playing drums in the future.   With my night time work arrangement I thought that might be impossible but it could work out if I filled in from time to time.  But if you know the songs and the arrangements then practicing would be limited.  Still I wanted to see them. Jay is a great bass player, holds the rhythm down quite well.  The guitarist is Jeorgia Robison, and is mostly known as a blues player, she has done popcorn jams songs like Crossroads or Stormy Monday.   Friday night Gig, which was at Checkers Tavern was somewhat of  emotional being, Catey Beth Recker, the original singer played the first two sets before saying that this would be her final appearance for awhile, she was going back to school to finish up getting her degree.  In her place for the rest of the gig would be Julie Gordon.

For the most part, songs were divided up between Jeorgia and Catey, with Julie replacing the latter, Blue Scratch became more of a rock and roll band than blues.   Julie has played in many of bands around the CR area, mostly with the late Kyle Oyloe  with Julie And The Mad Dogs.  She's also plays in the Acoustic Kitties on the Wednesday night unplugged jam at Checker.  While I was supposed to leave between sets to see the Surf Zombies I stayed the whole night.  Later Tim Duffy came to play harmonica on a couple songs as well before things wound down with a robust cover of the ZZ Top barband fave Tush.  Julie tells me that she's been a bit apprehensive about playing the blues but she's not fooling me.  She can play the blues.

I did managed to slip in to see the final set of Brook Hoover and the Surf Zombies.  Like Julie, Brook is very much one of those wild guitarists that isn't content with bar band overplay, The Surf Zombies are a honest to God surf band with a bit of Pulp Fiction to their music and while Blue Scratch is blues rock, The Zombies are instrumental through and through.  The last set featured a few songs from their latest album It's A Thing to which I remembered some of the songs but not the titles, they do sound familiar.  That's where I met up with my best friend and I managed to chat with them before the hour struck and I went home to piece together what I heard.  Brook is the anti classic rocker, oh he can play it all right, but his heart remains near and dear to the Surf Zombies and the memory of the Meekats, where the late Kyle Oyloe is the link between Julie and Brook.  As for future employment with Blue Scratch, I love their music and would help if I can should they not find a suitable drummer.  But there's deep pool of talent drummers in this town.

I don't watch much TV, but Last Man On Earth is one of those shows that I do take in from time to time.  Will Forte really takes things half and half on this latest photo, which might be a teaser for the next installment of that show. (Photo: Getty Images)

Is the Iowa Hawkeyes men's team the real deal?  The question was asked last week and the answer seems to be a resounding YES after they went up to East Lansing and swept Michigan State for the first time in twenty plus years whopping them 76-59.  And then Sunday outlasting Michigan 82-71.  While Michigan did make a game out of it and going ahead by a few points in the second half, Iowa stormed back with a 16-3 run to seal another victory.  Michigan upsetted Maryland 70-67 three days ago and gave Iowa fits.  With the Hawks winning, they're now ranked in the top 10 poll for this week at number 9.  And have won 10 straight Big Ten games dating back to last year, their best since 1970.   And winning their first five Big Ten games in a row in 19 years.

John Cale is still alive and has issued a new update on his Music For A New Society or F:ANS as he calls the new album.  The Guardian interviews him:

More Bowie news:

Abi Ann's Future Ex Boyfriend, a former number 1 on Lucky Star Radio, the video has been in regular rotation on GAC.  If this song was released in 1986 it would have been a new wave rock song. Nowadays it's a country song.   But it rocks hard.

Passing's: Clarence Reid aka Blowfly, one of the pioneers in rap passed away Saturday, another victim of cancer, he was 79.

Dale Griffin, drummer for Mott The Hoople and later became the recording engineer for live at the BBC studio recordings for bands passed away in his sleep after having Alzheimer's disease a few  years Sunday Night.  He was 67.  Buffin as he's been called, had that sloppy drum style that I copied in playing in my own bands, he was an influence on me as well.  The classic Mott The Hoople albums from the S/T on through All The Young Dudes are worth getting.

Mic Gillette, horn player for Tower Of Power Band RIP:

Gary Loizzo, American Breed (Wake Me Shake Me) also lost his battle with pancreatic cancer Sunday, he was 70.  Loizzo also ran Pumpkin Studios and did live sound for Styx as well in their formative years.  Todd Sucherman writes:

Gary Loizzo, RIP my dear friend. This is a hard one to write as it’s one of our own. Gary Loizzo has been our front of house engineer since I joined the band 20 years ago but before that he was the (Grammy nominated) recording engineer on many of the Styx records of the 70s and 80s (and 90s and 00s.) And before that he was the lead singer of The American Breed, most famous for the song “Bend Me, Shape Me.” He was a man of exceptional taste, wonderful musicianship, eagle sharp ears, but most of all he was a shining example as how to conduct yourself as a man, a professional, a husband and father. In 20 years I never saw him lose his cool or raise his voice to anyone, and believe me, the road can be frustrating at times. He just made everyone feel good. He was a magical person and I know everyone in our organization feels they are a better human being having had the privilege to wok along his side.

Can we please cure cancer? Enough already.

Gary stopped touring with us in early summer 2015. When we played Chicago on September 5th, Gary and his amazing wife, Diane and the whole family came out to the gig for a party before show time. We had worked up “Bend Me Shape Me” and brought him on stage to sing it mid set. The large screen behind us displayed an image of Gary from the late 60s as he came out on stage with the energy of a teenager, all smiles, and sang the hell out of his hit song in front of 20,000 people in his home town. What a send off my dear, dear friend! I love you, and you will continue to be an inspiration and a shining example of how to live life.

Glenn Frey, guitarist and de factor leader of The Eagles had various ailments that contributed to his death on Monday, he was 67.  Frey also had hits on his own (I Found Somebody, Smuggler's Blues, The All Nighter) and also dabbed in acting (Miami Vice and a short lived series that lasted one episode) but it was The Eagles that he shall be remembered for.

Pat Geasland, voted loudest drummer last year by the Crabby Awards (TM), plays in Flex, a modern day rock/metal band.  In the coldest of winters this weekend, the band played at Rubys Bar in Center Point.  He shares the usual nightmare story of playing a gig in front of a indifferent and bitchy owner. Which makes me think twice about playing live again.  I forgot about the shyster bar owners that has the Pay To Play thinking that makes us seek regular paying jobs.

"So last night was interesting. flex played at Rubys in center point. We agreed on 400 $ and "hospitality" We have played there before opening up for Divinion a METAL BAND this last fall. They knew what our style of music was.

Immediately we were greeted and told by the bartenders and husband of Ruby that we would need to be volume controlled. We play ACOUSTIC 2 sets and 1 electric. It was less than a warm welcome. WE hadn't even played yet and we were too loud.

After set up, I proceeded to go to bar to get my "hospitality" drinks and immediately it was an issue as the owners husband wouldnt confirm our free drinks. I started a tab at that point.

Through out the night, the bartender and owners husband were very rude to us as a band......very unprofessional. Telling us to "calm down" numerous times. Saying were "too loud for the regulars" " driving out business" and said "shut up" ....OUR LEVELS WERE LOW...WE PLAYED THE SAME WE ALWAYS PLAY AND NEVER HAVE AN ISSUE. ANYWHERE! Mind you the place was packed stand room only at one point. Dance floor packed. The bar was hopping. People singing.....the bar did well making a ton off our people we bring in on our own.

At the end of the night the owners husband laid down f bomb after f bomb and personally insulted us saying we "suck" were "terrible" and we're assholes cause we wouldn't calm down...... for being to loud.....(the juke box was louder). Seriously.'s rock n roll....Foo fighters don't write calm music....war pigs is not a calm song...from whom the bell tolls. get it.. they more than made out well on the night. We brought IN the business they had.

Bottom line the old man and old lady didn't like our music. But the rest of the place loved us.
So warning. If you play at rubies be ready to deal with unprofessional staff who want you to play music quietly....and cater to the "regulars" a whole 6 people with AARP cards And want country music at elevator levels. Sorry but we're a rock band. That bar can kiss my ass hardcore and we will never be back."

Record Reviews: (brought to you by Cocaine Toothache Drops)

Brotherhood (RCA 1968)

Leaving Paul Revere And The Raiders, Drake Levin, Phil Volk and Mike Smith formed this new version and the recording is a bit of a departure from Paul Revere And The Raiders.  In fact this owes more to The Monkees and The Beatles Sargent Pepper era and muzak if you can believe that.  This record is part of a 2 CD from Real Gone Music called The Complete RCA Albums.  The reason why it didn't sell as well as The Monkees or The Beatles or even Paul Revere was that the sound was all over the place.  They even jazz it up on Pastel Blue.  Another problem, most of the songs weren't that good, in the end what saves this record from being a disappointment is failed hit single Jump Out The Window and the moody Forever.  Their next album would be a slight bit better.
Grade B-

Randy Newman-Little Criminals (Warner Brothers 1978)

Short people turned out to be Randy's big selling 45 but I think it's one of the lesser songs on this record.  Better remembered for having members of The Eagles sitting in and singing  on Short People but to better effect on Rider On The Rain and Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh playing guitar throughout the album.  Walsh turns out some of his fine trademark slide lead on Kathleen and the title track and Baltimore, one of Newman's all time best is here as well.  Another fine album from one of the most all around cranky guys in music.
Grade A-

Albums of my youth: Eddie And The Hot Rods-Life On The Line (Island 1978)

In my 8th month of participating in jam sessions all across town, I am somewhat dismayed of the host keeping in tune with the same classic bar band rock and roll songs I get tired of hearing on the radio. Last Sunday for the first time in my playing career I jammed on a couple songs I never done before, Hotel California by The Eagles which turned out to be a tribute song when Glenn Frey passing away and I Want You To Want Me, the Budokan version, with some goatee looking dude saying I was playing the song too GD fast. Upon hearing the live version I was right in the way it was played but if I never played it again it wouldn't break my heart.  That said, in my high school years I grew tired of the same songs that would have a stranglehold on Corporate rock radio.  College radio was a relief, KUNI played The Ramones from time to time and pub rock and roll, Dr. Feelgood, Dave Edmunds and so forth.  Eddie And The Hot Rods, I remember seeing Life On The Line at the old Big Apple Records store in the cutouts for I think 2.99 or something like that.  Now, their first album Teenage Depression (the US version) was different than the UK version, a couple of covers (Show Me) was left off and one other, in their place Island US issued the live EP with a scathing covers of 96 Tears and a speed metal Get Out Of Denver and the closer Gloria/Satisfaction.   Life On The Line on the other hand, is a complete album, with a bit more punk rock sound.  There was a minor hit Do What You Wanna Do (There's a butchered 2:55 edit out there on 45).  The Hot Rods got themselves a new guitarist (Graeme Douglas from the Kursaal Flyers) and he added some lead guitar.  While reviews were lukewarm (Bob Christgau gave it a B minus), the caffeinated drums of Steve Nicol really drive the album into high speed overdrive and both sides had great opening tracks and side enders,  Ignore Them (Still Life) is from Bernie Masters said was a disastrous gig that they got thrown in jail but the driving beat of Nicol and the bass of Paul Gray makes a perfect counterpoint to Douglas' lead guitar work.  The title track leading off side 2 is more in your face rock and roll but my favorite songs is the 8 minute 16 jam that is The Beginning Of The End, which is more pub rock than punk.  After all punk rock was more 2 and half minutes rather than 8.  Alas trying to find the lyrics posted online has proved to be non existent.  We were almost young, when you pushed us RIGHT OUT OF THE WAAAAAAAY, Masters yelled right before more crazed Douglas leads trying to keep with the runaway beat of Nicol and Gray.  But still a close second for best song is Ignore Them, with the lasting line Don't take no shit from noone just keep on having fun.  Inspirational chorus: So listen to me closely now , I tell you what to say,  they never really mattered, ignore them anyway.   The perfect antidote  to the tired classic rock boredom of the same bar band songs.
Grade A

NOTE: Captain Oi reissued the Island album and added plenty of bonus cuts and UK B sides to make it a must add to your CD collection.  Overall, both Teenage Depression and Life On The Line are must haves.

NOTE 2. Steve Lillywhite recorded the album.  Side note 3, on the US version of Life On The Line LP, there's a couple added seconds of We Sing...The Cross, nothing substantial I guess but the final fade out is a Keith Moon type drum roll from Steve Nicol, one of the most underrated drummers of that era.

Townedger Radio 16  (Broadcast 1/20/16 on Lucky Star Radio)

This month's edition is the new release of The Townedgers Fitting Finales album with a few variations of the songs listed.


Better Off Alone (New Mix)
I Know About Me, Don't Know About You (Version 1)
Different  Paths (New Mix)
Just To Satisfy You
May Not Be A Next Time
The Life We Lead (Version 1)
Faygo Revisited (Bonus track)
It's My Time (Bonus Track)
I Know You Rider
Some New Highway (Bonus Track)
From A Motel 6
Get It Over With (Corrected Version)
A Satisfied Mind
Love Tonight
Let's Work Together (Acoustic Version)
Grandiose Failures
Fitting Finales (Version 2) 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Crabb Bits: More Bowie, Stan Kroenke

Stan Kroenke is the most hated man in St Louis today, as the NFL has granted the cash hoarding, money strapped asshat to move the Rams back to Los Angeles, thus ending a 20 year association with the city after Georgia Frontier moved them from Anaheim.  Kroenke was the snake in the grass that would buy the Rams and do his damnest to move them back to L.A. at any means necessary.  Once again St. Louis sees another team leave town and perhaps it was as well for the Rams to return home.  Just like the San Diego Chargers returning back to L.A. after 55 years removed, but unlike the Rams, the Charger faithful supported the Chargers.  The Chargers did make the first AFL championship but attendance was lousy, on a good day they bought in about 8,000 fans.  Which means I will looking for a new team to root for and will be donating my Chargers stuff to Goodwill.  And root for another tream, perhaps Kansas City, maybe Pittsburgh, or maybe don't give a shit about the NFL anymore.  I really haven't paid much attention to the NFL all year due to other interests going on.  I find I can live without the endless E.D Big Pharma and Budweiser spots just as fine too.

Despite the Rose Bowl blowout, The Iowa Hawkeyes still managed to finish 9th in the top 25 college football teams this year, a nice reward for a 12-0 regular season despite playing so so teams.  So we are now spared of any more ratings baiting bullshit from Colin Colonoscopy Cowherd, forever.  I don't watch him on FOX sports.  And besides there's nothing on cable anymore anyway.  On a related note Sirius XM continues to hound me by calling twice a day and filling up the recorder with clicks and silence.   They may not like me when I pick up the phone and tell them where to stick their overpriced pay radio service.

I'm sure this will have Colin Colonoscopy Cowturd in a uproar but the Iowa Hawkeyes Basketball team has swept the Michigan State Spartans for the first time since 1993, defeating them in East Lansing 76-59.  The Hawks were shooting lights out basketball, hitting 9 three bombs and had lead by 22 at the half.  And this was the return of Denzel Valentine back to the lineup too.  You can say that Sparty had gotten a bad case of Jok itch, as Peter Jok had 23 points in the game.   The next time they might meet again will be in the Big Ten Tournament in March.  Perhaps it's time that Colin says that this men's Hawkeye team is not playing cupcakes as the football team did last fall.  And they might be...for real?

Ian Kilmister's passing has not gone on in vein.  From now on, ordering a Jack and Coke will renamed a Lemmy (although I cannot drink Jack n Cokes anymore due to a deteriorating liver and quit drinking coke too). But Jack Daniels has put together a very limited collector's item of their famed Lemmy whiskey.  And all of the bottles have been bought out so you may have to wait for the limited edition version, I'm sure EBAY jackrobbers will have some up for bids at very high prices. 

And now the unthinkable.  The fine folks in Russia has been reading up on the latest of happenings here at Record World to the point that I might see this site crack 5,000 views barrier.  Certainly the land of Putin has been the most readers here, even more than the US folks.  Since December 22th I enjoyed 100 plus views each day but I still think the bottom will drop out.  But I do thank the Russian folks for catching up what is music news here.  If things continue to grow like this, the prediction will be I might see 6,000 or even more.  I still think the bottom will drop out and we'll return back to the the average number of 50 views per day, 2,000 a month. Or till the Russia once again tightens the censorship over there.

Giorgio Gomelsky famed manager and producer for The Yardbirds and later produced the likes of Brian Auger and the Trinity and Gong passed away at age 82.   Another victim of cancer, Giorgio was the manager for The Rolling Stones before Andrew Loog Oldham replaced him.

Alan Rickman actor best known on Die Hard, another victim to cancer died Wednesday.  He was 69.

"I'm shocked. I'm in disbelief. I'm devastated. I can't stop crying. Alan Rickman was a beloved part of my childhood and teen years, ranging from Hans Gruber in Die Hard, to Professor Snape in "Harry Potter", and most recently starring and directing in "A Little Chaos". I fell in love with his acting style, especially the way that he spoke that would make you hang onto his every word. I fell in love with the way that he brought Snape to life from the pages of my favourite books. I was fascinated by how his love for Lily was undying. He will always be my Professor till the end. "After all this time? ...ALWAYS"

RIP Alan Rickman. You shall be deeply missed "  (from Ivy Doomkitty)

Lawrence Phillips was a great running back coming out of Nebraska but his NFL career was haphazard at best and he could never stay out of trouble.  Anger issues caused him to be thrown in jail and he eventually killed an inmate. On Wednesday, Phillips killed himself.  He was 40

The death of David Bowie prompted somebody to compose a meme about the aging rock stars that are still around and it's still an impressive list although it's getting shorter and shorter each year.   Chances are that some of the names on this list will leave us but it would be interesting to see Chuck Berry make 90.  Little Richard is missing from this list though and he's still around as I type this.

David Bowie was cremated Wednesday in a very quiet and private setting.

Sterling Campbell, was one of David Bowie's best known drummers, his thoughts:

Alas, finally, I did not win the lottery and neither did you but somebody in California won it.  Yeah I tend to think it's all rigged anyway, especially when the lottery machine kept picking the same GD numbers in different sequence.   So nice of the lottery committee add more numbers to the whole thing.  A big line of bullshit, the more numbers the better chances of winning.  Yeah Right!

Record Reviews Of The Week:

Tyler Reed-Only Rock And Roll Can Save Us Now (Pop Opera 2007)

Originally on Immoral/Virgin, this new blend of rock and roll is more of the new bands at that time, Puddle Of Mudd, Blink 182, Saving Abel though Tyler Read was a bit more poppy.  Southern Rock for the 21st Century so to speak, let's just call it Redbull Rock.   There's moments that they almost burst out of their comfort zone, Baby's Got A Temper (and she takes it out on me) Private School Girls does come close to topping Puddle Of Mudd.  Otherwise like most Southern Rock bands of the 2000s the album is a fun listen for a couple of times before you move on the next big thing, or for that matter go back to the original sources of Southern Rock.  They since renamed themselves Lush Sunshine and the Spirit Animals.
Grade B-

Motorhead-Another Perfect Day (Mercury 1983)

Sandwiched in between the two classic eras, is Brian Robertson replacing Fast Eddie Clarke who moved on to Fastway and made a classic album and a good album before the wheels fell off.  Robertson came from Thin Lizzy and while Motorhead fans dismissed this album,  I think it still holds up quite well, although Robertson never did change much of his high pitched chorus phased guitar work.  And most songs are midtempo except for the crazed Meanwhile Back At The Funny Farm and Die You Bastard.   This does sound conspicuously like Thin Lizzy at times, especially on lead track I Got Mine and Rock It.  I also like the slow blues cooker One Track Mind right up to the very end where one thought it was going to fade out, Lemmy shouts a HA! and the ending is louder. It might have caught Tony Platt the producer off guard.  Nevertheless Brian Robertson was not long for the band, he simply couldn't or wouldn't play Overkill or Stay Clean so he had to go.  For that one moment of getting together Another Perfect Day remains a listenable curio, and a underrated album too.
Grade B+

Black Oak Arkansas (Atco 1971)

Next to the beloved Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Black Oak Arkansas was a different type of southern rock, led by Jim Dandy Mangrum and they were produced by Lee Dorman and Mike Pinera (Iron Butterfly).  There are two classics on this record, Uncle Elijah and Lord Have Mercy On My Soul, the former a minor top 30 charting single and the latter an FM staple although that has fallen by the wayside.  The production holds things down though, Hot And Nasty, a failed single would get a second life and a better production live mix from Tom Dowd as well as the bizarre boogie of When Electricity Came To Arkansas, with Jim Dandy wailing away on washboard.  Another reason why the live album was better, Tommy Aldridge came on board.
Grade B


Monday, January 11, 2016

Top Ten Of The Week:David Bowie Remembered

Photo credit: Jimmy King

I was talking to Mark Prindle about the new album from D.B.  Blackstar and asked for his opinion of it and he gave me the answer that I would like it.

Well I guess I have to buy it after all.

The loss of David Bowie to liver cancer, a couple days after he turned 69 and released his final album at the same time has hit the music world quite hard.  Hell, we just got done burying Lemmy Sunday.  And it appears that Bowie had been in ill health, fighting the cancer that would claim him after 14 months.

Bowie was uncompromising in his music and his art.  At times I find him somewhat hard to take with so many personalities and alter egos he'd go through.  The Ziggy Stardust era, The Thin White Duke, the white soul singer of Young Americans, or the Berlin trilogies, and he would reinvent himself through and through. I heard his early stuff for Deram, the forgotten Warner Brothers single Can't Help Thinking About Myself and then finding himself on Mercury, the original Space Oddity, seeing the 8 Track of The Man Who Sold The World and not really setting the world on fire till RCA grabbed him and then Ziggy came into view.  My first Bowie 45 was a juke box copy of Space Oddity and Man Who Sold The World.  What to think of Space Oddity, is it glam rock or it progressive rock or is it plain rock and roll.  It certainly was different to hear on AM radio in 1973 but Bowie had been getting airplay on the FM dial.

What makes D.B. an icon is how he lend a hand to musicians and bands trying to make it.  He helped Lou Reed in Transformer, he orchestrated the comeback of Mott The Hoople with All The Young Dudes, originally Suffrage City he offered but they took Dudes instead.  When Stevie  Ray Vaughn got booed at Montreaux in 1982, he consoled him and later tapped him to play guitar on Bowie's 1983 comeback album Let's Dance.  His support of Stevie Ray is reason enough for me to consider David an ICON.   And now David gets to jam with Stevie Ray in the great beyond.

For myself the glory period was 1976 and Station To Station, a sprawling 6 song album with the 10 minute title track and five and half minute TVC15 to be highlights, as well as top ten hit Golden Years and FM track Stay, and a haunting version of Wild Is The Wind.  RCA also issued Changes Bowie, at that time one of the best best ofs that was issued on record.  And does contain the two choice cuts from the uneven Diamond Dogs album, the title track and Rebel Rebel, the latter my fave Bowie number. Mick Ronson's guitar work, Ansley Dunbar laying down the beat, this is pure 70s rock and roll.   Then Bowie switches directions for the blue eyed soul of Young Americans and the John Lennon/Carlos Alomar song Fame.  While there have been updates to versions of Changes, via Rykodisc and later Virgin/Parlophone I still consider the RCA Changes to be definitive.

1977 though Bowie switched to a more Euro type of rock, somewhere along Roxy Music and Brian Eno and while Low got great reviews, this period also bought out skepticism on the albums at hand Low, Heroes and Lodger.  I never got into Low, but do have the single of Sound And Vision, and later FM staples Heroes, Fashion and Boys Keep Swinging.  At that point Bowie was one of first pioneers to do music videos

RCA put out Changes Two, which scraped up some earlier songs (Starman) and tacked on the better known late 70s singles (Sound And Vision, Fashion, Ashes To Ashes) although I not too pleased in RCA leaving off TVC15.  While critics remain united that Scary Monsters is a classic, I look at that album at the same way I look at The Next Day, the first new Bowie album since Reality at that time.  It is deserving of recognition but I more inclined to put on the 1987 flop Never Let Me Down or 1993's Black Tie White Noise.  But Bowie's classic album remains Let's Dance at that time.  But I do have a fondness for the 1989 Tin Machine band that David formed with Reese Gobbels  and the Hunt Brothers, as Bowie went straight rock and roll this time.  The reviews were harsh but  I liked the album just fine.  But David had his own sound and vision and return back to the solo route with mixed results.  Hours and Outside had moments but my attention span went elsewhere and I did buy Heathen and Reality just to see how they sounded, Reality remained the better of the latter day Bowie before he walked away for a decade.

The face of rock and roll as I know it is getting old, the superstars of the 60s and 70s are now senior citizens or dead and today's youth will never experience  the types of music I grew up with.  There will not be another David Bowie;  the major labels are not interested in finding such a artist anymore. With his passing, future generations can still play his music or watch the videos but there was nobody quite like David Bowie.  He was the perfect chameleon of music, capable of crooning one minute, screaming the next and still moving on to the next persona, rock and roll's true actor.  You can't replace him.


Top Ten Of The Week; David Bowie's Greatest Songs (or most heard here)

1)  New Killer Star
2)  Lazarus
3)  Space Oddity
4)  Oh You Pretty Things
5)  TVC15
6)  Time Will Crawl
7)  Modern Love
8)  Sound And Vision
9)  Fashion
10) Rebel Rebel 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

On the subject of Otis Clay and Joey And Rory Feek

2016 picks up where 2015 left behind.  More people dying but Donald Trump,  Rush Pimpsickle, and The GOP keep sucking on life and things ain't never fair.  Otis Clay suffered a heart attack and died Friday he was 73.  He was a R and B shouter that worked with Billy Price.  But if anybody been paying attention to the social media of late, they may have been reading the blogs of Rory Feek, whose wife and singing partner Joey Feek has been in Hospice care the past two month and slowly dying from stage IV cancer. They have recorded a few albums and gospel albums and once hosted a country show on Rural Farm Network, and Joey had to fight cancer back then before it got in remission but then came back more aggressive than before.    It's a tough feeling to know what Rory is going through, I've never had anybody that young that ended up the damn C and waste away before their very eyes and powerless to do anything about it.  Joey is only 40 years old.  In a world that wants to know the next time Kim Kadashian farts or shows off her ass or touts her auto tuned king hubby Kayne Kadashian West, behind the glam and fake posing of today's stars,  Rory is documenting the last days of his wife being on this planet and fighting the heartbreak and tears to do so. In a parallel universe Kim,  and Kayne would have their roles reversed.  Not to bring ill will to the media whore hounds that is Kasdashianmania but there are more important things in life to live for.

And no life is not fair and everybody dies.  Your time's coming, Mine's coming is so on down the line.  This world has become so GD me first and the rest can fend for themselves.  One and the same, Trump make America work again, ISIS join us or die, Bernie the Socalist going destroy America whereas the GOP controlled congress is doing that in front of your own very eyes and nobody gives a shit.  Money rules all.  Hilary Clinton running for POTUS, the lesser of the evils but still it's an evil. Heathcare for everybody but good ole  Blue Cross/Blue Sheild/Anthem/Etc continued to raise the rates every GD insurance out there.  Prices go up, but nobody wants to raise the minimum rage, and nobody takes account of the cost of living.  Even then you still cannot afford to die.

Getting back to subject, The Feeks are a rare sight on social media, they're in love, they got married and stayed in love and made country music.  Among the bro country crap that GAC pukes up on TV, I have noticed that GAC has quietly put back in rotation When You're Gone, a song that they did in 2012 for an album called His & Hers that came out on Sugar Hill.  Three years later, this song is quietly making the rounds again, not only on country but to a lesser extent on soft rock KDAT.   I won't say that this song will be the second coming of Amazing Grace but it will make you take stock in what you have in life and who's in your life.   If this song doesn't make you shed a tear or two, then you're probably Donald Trump or the NRA.   No, it's not rock n roll but the video to the song, you will relate to losing somebody when illness claims them.   Even more so, when you're seeing the love of your life, the one you dedicate a life of music and marriage and children, soon will be leaving you behind, not by choice but by a disease that would not go away.   In the end, Rory trying to pick up the pieces and try to live his life the best way possible.

And life will go on, though the void will never be fully replaced.  There'll be a grieving process and by the grace of God Rory will survive.  He has put on a brave face baring his soul and the pain for all to read.   I don't know him nor Joey but even from a far it's a emotional read.  So far Joey has really put up a big fight to continue to live in her grave condition.  It'd be a major miracle should the unthinkable happen and watch her get better but as we all know that does not work at all.  So all I can do is send a thought and a prayer and keep them to my heart, even as a total stranger. And if it's time to walk a little closer to Thee an go with Jesus back to home in the great beyond,  then Joey will depart.  If there's a miracle, When I'm Gone will be one of the new hymns that people will sing in the future.  So shall it be.

Otis Clay:

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Forgotten Bands Of The 60s-The Creation

What is it about bands of long ago and far away that they appeared on the scene, make a couple singles and then disappear off the face of the earth, but those who heard of these forgotten bands made such an impression that they actually would remember them by naming a record label after them?  Such is the case of The Creation.

Lead by Eddie Phillips one of the best unknown guitar players of all time, his use of the violin bow on his guitar would later be used by Jimmy Page although Phillips may have been the first the use this.   Phillips was so good, that The Who considered having him join Pete Townsend in their band, but Eddie declined.  Like The Who, The Creation used Shel Talmy on their classic hits, they had better luck in the UK rather in the USA.  Two singles were released via Planet Records (not the Richard Perry run label of the late 70s and early 80s but an offshoot label distributed by Jay Gee (Jubilee)), and two singles for Decca.  In the UK Polydor was their label.

Perhaps one of the best riffs since You Really Got Me, Making Time is done by Phillips, and the vocals were done by Kenny Pickett.  The followup, Painter Man was a bit more poppy with the B Side Biff Bang Pop, which somebody like so much they named a music magazine and a band after said song.   But The Creation suffered from many lineup changes to even which Eddie Phillips walked away for a time and Kenny Pickett returned and an up and coming guitar wizard named Ronnie Wood would join up.  Bob Garner would take over the lead vocal for the Decca singles Nightmares/If I Stay Too Long and How Does It Feel To Feel, the latter managing to bubble under in late 1967 but not going past the top 100.  But this song has been covered by UK bands The Godfathers and Ride, the latter band that would record for Alan McGee's Creation label.

In the US, The Creation did not have (as far as I know) any albums and the four singles on Planet and Decca are their domestic output.   For the band themselves they had The Who sound a little bit, Jack Jones was not as wild as Keith Moon but he kept a driving beat in his own way but they also borrowed a bit from The Kinks and Small Faces.  The failure of their singles to chart in the US we missed out on UK classics such as Life Is Just Beginning, and Can I Join Your Band.  Retroactive in the us issued two comps of most of The Creation's output, Making Time and Biff Bang Pow. Repertoire in Germany issued the import only We Are Paintermen with 12 bonus cuts of varying degree: the US version of How Does It Feel To Feel is there but not the UK version and leaves off key tracks.  The album that I do have, the 1998 Diablo/Edsel CD of Our Music Is Red With Purple Flashes does have the Planet/Polydor/Decca 1966-1968 singles and probably is the best overview.  Their cover versions are the weakest songs (Hey Joe, Cool Jerk, Like A Rolling Stone, done as an afterthought and sounds like it) but their original versions of Making Time, Biff Bang Pow, Painter Man, Nightmares and How Does It Feel To Feel do stand up next to what The Who or The Kinks or even for that matter The Easybeats, to which the backing vocals to Nightmares may have came from hearing Friday On My Mind. But we'll never know.

Eddie Phillips did reunite the band back in 1994 along with Jack Jones and Lenny Pickett and Bob Garner, but Pickett passed away in 1997 and Garner took over vocals till 2001.  In the early 80s, Phillips did managed to have John Dalton and Mick Avory from The Kinks as the rhythm section and a few songs were recorded but nothing came of them till Psychedelic Rose the great lost Creation album that Cherry Red issued in 2007.  Power Surge was the 1990 comeback album which I not heard but it can be found fairly cheap via Amazon.   Certainly if you're a fan of 1960s British Rock, you certainly do need a Creation best of.   And the go to album for me is Our Music Is Red With Purple Flashes. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week In Review-New Year Same Shit

No expectations, no disappointments

So here we are, five days into 2016 and already I'm on my third posting of the new year.  Already new deaths to report.  My Aunt Lois passed away on Saturday, Robert Stiegwood, once the guy behind the Bee Gees and RSO Records and produced the first Cream album died.  He was 81.  Late week, while SPIN and Rolling Stone were too busy giving Kendrick Lamar record of the year honors, Joe Houston, famous sax player of the 1950s passed away at age 89. He had been in ill health.  Best known for the honking All Night Long, Drag Race and Flying Home, the latter song, the man blows so hard, you can hear his tonsils coming through the sax.  They don't make music like that anymore.
 Jason Mackenroth, drummer for Mother Superior and later part of Rollins Band died from prostate cancer. Jason was was part of the Las Vegas version of the Blue Men Group.

Sunday Paul Bley, free jazz artist who played with many avent garde jazz artists in his lifetime passed away Sunday.  He was 83

Kitty Kallen, best known for Little Things Mean A Lot passed on Tuesday age 93.  Troy Shondell, better known for This Time passed away Thursday at age 76, and Red Simpson, better known for being one of Buck Owen's songwriters and having the hit single I'm A Truck died Friday at age 81.  He was in the mist of finishing up his first album of new music in over 30 years. 

College football season has ended, the crashing of the Iowa Hawkeyes in Pasadena was heard around the world and everybody agreed that line them up with a elite team and they wouldn't hang long and they didn't.  Disappointment number 2, The Arizona State Sun Devils had no fucking defense all year and it showed again, even playing at home for the Cactus Bowl that West Virginia ran up and down the field, having 676 total yards, and the West Virginia QB throwing something like 560 yards. And they won 43-42.  So there you have it, a tale of two games, one a blowout, another a one point loss due to a crappy defense.  Arizona State was a damn disappointment, a defense that couldn't tackle or defend and an offense that stalled out in the red zone, a misuse of Steve Bercovici who probably has seen the end of his QB career.

While the Iowa football team imploded all over Pasadena, the only good news was Desmond King passed up a potential first round pick and money to come back for his senior year.  On the basketball court, Iowa took out Michigan State and then went to Purdue and came from 19 points behind to win that game in West Lafayette.  They're now 3-0 in Big Ten play with a win over Nebraska  and get to rest up for the return to East Lansing and game number 2 with Michigan State.  Sparty will be itching for revenge but the basketball Hawks are looking good so far this season.  We'll see how far they're go this year.

Ever since December 22th, I managed to get at least 100 views, with the last two days of the year being the most viewed all year.  The fine folks in Russia I'm sure had a hand in that, somehow they're still stuck in the August side of things with Townedger Radio 11 leading the way.  Take away the best of 2015 and the next five blogs are from August.  And I can't predict why that month had the best ratings.  But then again I take too much stock in the stats that Blogspot provides.  The prediction is that I'll be back under 100 views once the August novelty wears thin, just like it did in 2013 when Record World finished strong.   Further blogs will be more Singles Going Steady, Forgotten Bands Of Rock And Roll and where the bargain hunts take me.  The future remains unwritten on what will happen but there'll be more rants and ravings about sports.  And I predict that more deaths will be coming in 2016 but I cannot reveal who.  But I predict when you go out in the rain you'll get wet.

I'll continue to try to better my life in the best way I know how.  If this piece of shit Lenovo keeps pissing me off, I'll buy a new Dell and retire this to the scrap heap. I'll continue to support local live music the best I can but I owe no allegiance  to what the Big 3 Record Labels will put out for new artists.  I have 60 years of rock and roll to choose from and will mine the archives for the obscure.  If the big news is Guns And Roses reuniting, meaning Slash, Axel Rose, Duff, Izzy or the drummer of choice, then I'll leave that to the music publications and the fans to continue their support. I've never been a big fan and don't plan to start now although Use Your Illusion would have made a nice single CD.  Lemmy's dead, and so is Motorhead and that part of my rock and roll remains in the music Lemmy left behind.  I do not care about any of the Kahdashians, nor Kayne and not to start now either.  Leave them to E! and the trash bins.  I will not talk about Bristol Cream Palin and her attempt to have as many babies from many dads and try to whitewash about abstinence since she doesn't practice what she preaches.   I will not waste my breath on Donald Trump or any of the GOP idiots although I'll give Trump some points of being honest.  But then again Bernie Sanders is more honest than any of the snakes out there.  If nothing else, the good thing about 2015 was gas prices came down and somehow managed to stay down, even to dollar seventy one a gallon, but I predict they will go back up.   And everything will go up and you'll get less in return.

40 years ago it was the bicentennial, and I'm sure I'll make some fond memory about that in the future.  10 years ago, I moved Record World/Crabb Top 10 to My Space and dammed if My Space didn't delete all of the posts.  I trust Blogspot will be around much longer, they actually were when I wrote my first blog here and it's still there.  And I should have kept the blog over here.  Rest assured, if I continue to hold interest, I'll keep Record World as long as I feel it's worth the effort.   Because I know there'll be bands that the major blogs will overlook.  And that's where I come in.  To let least shed some light on those bands that should have made more of an impact before the Telecom act of 1996 took their freedoms away and into the dollar bins at you local thrift store.

So be it.

And already Axel Rose is pulling off his no show shit again canceling his appearance on Jimmy Kimmer about 'a major announcement'.  Oh he loves Taco Bell.  While Guns And Roses might have been your life changing event of rock and roll, they did nothing for me. I guess their first album is beloved by the 80s kiddies but for me the intro to Sweet Child O Mine is a run to the bathroom or a change of the station.  I'm still waiting for that great Slash record and the only time anybody from that band kept my interest was Izzy Stradlin who is not taking part of this so called reunion.  And so the bastard love child from Kathleen Turner and Truman Capote gets media attention loving just by staying at home and doing nothing,except going to Taco Bell at 2 AM to get his seven layer burrito fix.  So be it Axel but for me life goes on and better bands and newcomers to take the place of the prankster who might have given Taco Bell free commercial time.

However Rose did confirm that Slash and Duff will be with him when GNR plays Coachella. Then again I'm more interested in Ride and Lush returning so there you go.  News that nobody can use.

David Palmer, part time vocalist for Steely Dan and later lyricist with Carole King continues his life by photography and he has a wonderful website to show some of his work:

Dream girl of the month: Zoe Jay.

A pinup beauty that will acknowledge you when you comment on her pictures via Facebook, instragram or whatever is the social media rage.


Kasey Chambers-Bittersweet (Essence Group/ Sugar Hill 2014)

This came out in August but Sugar Hill issued this in 2015 and it fell through the cracks of the best of 2015, therefore the record is in limbo and won't be considered for best of 2016.  Chambers has always that cult star status, people talk fondly of her Warner Brother albums and The Captain and while all were nice, they seemed too nice for me.  Like Alison Moorer, Chambers also saw her marriage crumble and on this recent effort replaced brother Nash Chambers in favor of Nick Didia (Stone Temple Pilots) and for the effort, she comes across like Lucinda Williams, though I think this is her most realized effort, a dark and dreary matter but with a wicked sense of humor.  The harder rocking Wheelbarrow, she wonders Is God Real? and gives us a latter day Christmas song that might work itself along the likes of Rocking Around The Christmas Tree and Holly Jolly Christmas.   There's also a perverse dry wit of the bluegrass rock of Stalker, to which I'd believe that she would actually stalk whoever she has her eye on.  Like Moorer's Down To Believing, Bittersweet is a very honest, straight from the heart and cuts you like a knife as well, questioning the existence of God while still believing and getting over the heartbreaks as in the title song.  End track I'm Alive, Chambers reveals that she has lived to that tale and promises to tell more in the future.  If that's the case, I look forward into hearing more.

Grade A

The Exits-The Legendary Lost Exits Album (Rev Ola 2007)

Legends in their own mind, The Exits made one hard to find single The Fashion Plague before their record label went belly up and Colin Swan managed to keep the masters of that and the B side and slew of demos that might have comprised the first album.  While power pop is printed on the CD cover, this is more pub rock in the vein of Elvis Costello fronting The Rumor and Swan does have that Brit voice in the way of Elvis C or Graham Parker.  It would have benefited to have a Robert John Lange or a Martin Rushent to produce, the demos have some of melody (We Broke Up Today and Mood Walk probably the best), they do pale in comparison to The Fashion Plague, but like the review said, that song is a fresh faced, confident approach but the song isn't up to much.  Kinda like the rest of the album.
Grade C+

Steely Dan-The Definitive  Collection (Geffen 2006)

I had Show Biz Kids, the 2 CD overview one time ago and it got ruined when that and about 50 of my choice CDs fell into two inches of water in the basement, most of my Steely Dan collection got wiped out.  Somebody at work had this for sale for a dollar so I thought why not.  Pretzel Logic is missed (the single that is, the album I could do without) but it does have FM and perhaps the two best tracks off the Reprise/Giant years (which also is  debatable).  I don't think classic rock radio has killed off the overplayed Reeling In The Years and Do It Again, which remains one of the most infectious intros ever (the latter song).  And of course Rikki Don't Lose That Number which makes me appreciates Horace Silver (Song For My Father, the introduction to Rikki).  Robert Christgau mentions that Donald Fagen should have rhymed I cried when I wrote this song, and changed the next verse sue me if I play it too long to sue me if I played it wrong.  But then Christgau would have wanted lyrical credit too.  If you're looking for a good overview, it has flaws but it is better than Gold.
Grade B+

 Mike Zito & The Wheel-Keep Coming Back (Ruf 2015)

Zito has done wonderful things for blues rock, hanging with Royal Southern Brotherhood, producing Samantha Fish as well as continuing his own solo career and he has that roadhouse blues style down part if you like your music a little more rougher than Joe Bonamossa or Jeff Healy. Andes Osbourne helps adds meat to three songs including duet I Was Drunk.  Although he has produced before, Trina Shoemaker (Queens Of The Stone Age, Sheryl Crow) is behind the producer's chair and she gives Keep Coming Back that Road house feel.  And the record starts out great the title track and Keep Coming Back serving up some of the greasy blues feel, and adds something to Get Out Of Denver, the old Bob Seger song and gives CCR's Bootleg a funkier guitar workout.  Between Get Out Of Denver and Bootleg lies the problem, a soul sister moaning and groaning on Nothing But The Truth and Zito spins his wheels on the overlong What's On Your Mind (apparently nothing).  Which tends the be the problem of blues rock albums that go on too long and while Keep Coming Back is a good first half of the album, the second half makes the claim that sometimes what prevents a good blues rock artist from being great is one too many so so songs tends to make the mind wander and a good blues album so so. Fortunately for Zito, Andres Osborne helps Keep Coming Back from being an total so so album.
Grade B

Lee Michaels-Nice Day For Something (Columbia 1973)

If you've noticed, Lee's A&M albums have been reissued via Manifesto, but his Columbia albums have been MIA for many years. And with good reason although I can't vouch for his 1974 Tailface LP, Nice Day For Something really finds Lee trying to come up something other than the "same old song" which turned out to be a flop 45. And he sounds bored out of his mind too. Same Old Song is interesting for the flubbed instrumental chorus, or if it was intentional or not, Keith Knudsen (later of The Doobie Brothers, and Southern Pacific) plays drums (Frosty would return on Tail Face).  I think this record is somewhat part 5th, where I believe his label wanted that big hit single, but it's more of an extension of Space And First Takes, to which Mr. Michaels switches over to guitar for the side 2 closer Nothing Matters (But It Doesn't Matter), which sounds like he thought up right on the spot.  No wonder Lee hardly mentions this album. Outside of High Wind and Same Old Song, it's a bore.
Grade C

Album of my youth; Pink Floyd Dark Side Of The Moon (Harvest 1973)

The timeless quality of Dark Side has been noted by many a blogger and rock magazine and for epic and scope I don't doubt the last quality of this album.  Alan Parsons captured the moments quite well between the clock beginning of Time  and the oddball heartbeat on On The Run. One can't complain about Money, with Parson's cash registers flowing in stereo remains a stoner classic.  That said, Dark Side remains a album that would not be on my desert island list.  While my stoner friends consider Dark Side classic, I find it boring at times and Clare Torry's moans and screams on Great Gig In The Sky is what a fast forward button is for.  Never like it much although somebody at Dole thought highly of it to make a commercial out of it (don't know if it exists on You Tube but it that spot did winded up on a DVD Commercials best of).  Impeccably played of course and praise worthy especially Parson's recording but it's an album that I have never bothered to get on CD.
Grade B 

The Return Of The Top Ten Playlist of selected songs of the week: (Sponsored by Blatz Beer)
Really, no shortage of music that I listen to but I really haven't done much playlist of the music of the week.  The archives have chock full of classics both known and unknown.  Most are still up with some pictures, unless the statue of limitations ran out and all you see is a red X or nothing.  But it does show that I do listen to music rather than spending countless hours passed out in front of the TV set or putting together blogs.   Same as before, a mini survey of tunes to groove.  I'm sure this will be a off and on thing, like anything else here.

1)  Jukebox (don't play another song)-The Flirts
2)  What's Going On-Marvin Gaye
3)  Wheelbarrow-Kasey Chambers
4)  Compared To What-Les McCann/Eddie Harris
5)  Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)-Jimi Hendrix
6)  Fall Down Blues-Wooden Nickel Lottery
7)  Already Gone-Eagles
8)  Song For My Father-Horace Silver
9)  He-The McGuire Sisters
10) It's So Hard-The Elvis Brothers

Farewell Starlin Castro.  For five seasons Starlin played shortstop and on his first at bat hit a HR off Homer Bailey.  Last season Addison Russell replaced him at shortstop, but Starlin had a second chance playing second base and hit .426 in the waning months of the year to get the Cubs into the playoffs.  He may had his ups and downs but he did come through when needed.  He says goodbye to Chicago in this note.  May he have success in Yankees pinstripes (just not against the Cubs) ;-)

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Rose Bowl-Same As It Ever Was

Happy New Year.

And we continue to pick up where we left off from last year.  Any prospect of a brand new exciting year was dashed by Iowa's Godawful performance in yet another Rose Bowl blowout, at the hands of the Stanford Cardinals 45-16.  And how Christian McCaffery managed to tear up Iowa defenders with long punt returns for touchdowns and not win the Heisman is beyond me.  His 75 yard TD catch on the first play ended the game right there and then. 172 rush yards, 105 receiving, 91 return yards and two touchdowns.  360 total yards, a Rose Bowl record and perhaps the last time in my lifetime that Iowa will return back there.  Like the previous four times they been there since 1981, the Hawks got way behind and never caught up.  Of course arguments came from a bass playing friend saying that the refs fixed the game with non calls, and there were a few missed calls.  But whatever the case, the Hawkeyes couldn't tackle, couldn't cover, couldn't catch the ball, blockers couldn't block and McCaffery turned the game into his personal best and what the ratings whores have been saying all along that Iowa was a 12-0 garbage team that played subpar teams and when they got to play a decent team they got their ass handed back to them on a plate.  Can't blame the refs for that.

At halftime the Stanford Band managed to rile the already pissed off Iowa crowd by cueing up part of the Farmers Only. com music and put out a bizarre looking cow to tip over.  ESPN cutted away to a commercial break before the whole thing ended.  Stanford Marching Band as always done this in the past, throwing barbs at Ohio State a few years ago but in all fairness the Iowa Marching Band won the battle of the bands, without resorting to below the belt standards but I do admire Stanford for at least trying.  But the running joke was that the Iowa Trombone Section came closer to the Stanford end zone than the offense in the first quarter.   Even though CJ Bethard did managed to make the game closer than it actually was, Marshall Koehn, Mr. 57 yard FG kicker once again missed on a extra point.  One hopes that the next Iowa kicker will be a bit more consistent than Mr. Koehn, but the Cardinals would score on a 37 yard TD past before the game was over.

So what have we learned from this lopsided Stanford victory?  Despite being 12-0, the problem remains that Iowa didn't beat a quality team, but then again the computer is to blame for the soft and easy season.  Iowa caught Wisconsin and Nebraska on off days and Northwestern was very erratic up till them getting blown out by Tennessee, that same team that wiped Iowa off the map in the TaxWhatever Bowl that made 2015 a shitty start to the year.   They played Michigan State tough but ran out of gas and thank their lucky stars that they did not go play Alabama, which wiped Michigan State off the map New Year's Eve.  The consolation prize was the Rose Bowl for the first time in 25 years, the bowl selection committee rewarding Iowa over Ohio State, the latter the best team of the Big Ten and would have given Stanford a better game.  Christian McCaffery would have had an outstanding game against anybody today, he was simply unstoppable.   But while the faithful called for Alabama, Stanford's season is over.  Northwestern beating them 16-6 earlier in the year and a 38-36 Oregon win  kept them out of any serious consideration for the national championship, win either one, and they would have been in the Final Four playoffs.  They'll have to settle for being number 5 in the nation.  And McCaffery should have won the Heisman.

Blame expansion in the Big Ten for the easy Iowa season as well.  Had Maryland and Rutgers not get in, Iowa would have to play Michigan regardless and maybe Ohio State.  Hell if Michigan was in the Big Ten West, they would have been 11-0 going into Ohio State/Michigan finale.  If Jake Rudock would have stayed for that final season, he'd be on the bench rather than kicking Florida all over the Citrus Bowl in his final game as QB and perhaps a NFL career as well.  CJ Bethard started strong, then got hurt and never really found that groove in the last couple games of the year.  Despite what the hatred that ESPN and ratings flunkie Colin Cowherd said all year about being a fluke, going 12-0 was not what I thought Iowa would be.   All Iowa had to do was beat the elite team that was Stanford and that would have shut them up for a moment.  But instead the blowout instead proved Colin Cowpie and Kirk Herbstreit were right, Iowa was not a championship caliber team, but an slightly above average team that benefited from a lighter than normal schedule.  It didn't help that Iowa lost Drew Ott, a major injury to which the defense never recovered from.  But Iowa had to win the bowl game to get some sort of respectability and they did not.  And like 2015, Iowa got blown out in a bowl game.  And from their bowl record the past four years, it's doubtful that ESPN or FOX Sports will ever take them seriously again.  As if they ever did.

I'm sure ESPN and Colin Cowdung will be smirking at the 2016 football schedule as well.  The trophy case has never been this full, but all four teams that lost the trophy games will be back with a vengeance.  All four will be tougher, Tommie Armstong will be back for Nebraska, Iowa State has a new coach, Minnesota will be in transition and Wisconsin will have a new QB since Joel Starve graduates.   Maryland is traded for Rutgers and Indiana is replaced by Michigan and Penn State returns as well.  North Dakota State will be a very tough FBS school to beat.  C J Bethard will return as well as Akim Wadley but the guess is that Desmond King will go for the money and declare for the NFL.  Although Bethard says that the Hawks will be going into 2016 with a big chip on their shoulder, the hope is that it doesn't get knocked off and shoved down their throat like it did in the Rose Bowl.  One thing is clear, they will not go 12-0 and if they go 12-0,  Carly Fiorina will be elected President.   And it was strange of her being a Stanford grad rooting for the Hawkeyes, which may have been a curse right off the bat.

Stanford loses Kevin Hogan, but McCaffery will be back and he'll be better than ever, pending if he doesn't tear a ACL or get hurt.  David Shaw will find a way to get them back to Pasadena next year.

Despite the blowout, Iowa did have damn fine season and 12-0 in the B1G Ten West in 2015 is for the ages and not a fraud.  The road back to Pasadena (or a playoff bowl) is going to be a lot rockier and more harder to do for next season.  And the critics are going to be much more harsher as well.  If you're going to beat an elite team next year, it's best to have a whole healthy squad.  It also helps to have blockers that can protect C J as well.  The man took some nasty hits this season.

2015 was a tale of two seasons: the 12-0 regular season and the glaring 0-2 in championship and bowl games. And some ways more people and history is going to remember the latter.  Let's us hope that this time next year they'll win the last game of the year rather than giving another player from the opposite team their game for the ages.