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) ;-)

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