Saturday, August 13, 2016

Crabb Bits: KRNA, All Time Best Albums, FB And Company

Summer is winding down as you can tell.  The sun keeps setting sooner and we lost about 15 minutes of evening day time since August 1.  The turning of the tide, the butterflies making their suicide run to Mexico and monsoons a plenty.  Thursday Night, our area at work at six inches of rain and the the drainage system in the parking had a massive whirlpool going on and a waterfall in our falling apart place of employment that got the eastern end of the department all wet.  The sewers couldn't keep up and failed at Solon and at Coggin and plenty of roadways were under water.  I found that out the hard way going home and took Kirkwood Blvd and saw a raging waterflow into the street about a foot and half high.  Thankfully the car didn't stall.   I haven't been in a great mood anyway and the weather made it worse, as well as the messed up lights in town that seem to stay red longer than ever before.  No fucking fun, having the damn things changed in front of you and nobody is coming from the other direction.  Even if you do get a green light, nobody stops at them, I had three cars plus a Linn County Deputy waltzed out in front of me the other day.  Too much playing pokemon and yacking on the cellphones they are doing anything but driving.

The Saturday Night Sweet Corn Festival ended early when about 70 teenagers started getting into fights and things went downhill soon after.  It's the way of the world it seems anymore.

Bands a plenty going on, so I had to go out to see them.  First up is The Shadow, a new band project featuring Tommy Bruner and Bart Carfizzi from Past Masters teaming up with John Stepanek (The Twist And Shout) and Fossiltones leader Joe Hutchcroft playing drums.  Their first gig was Rumors Friday Night and for their first time they did sound pretty good.  I'll give Joe this, he can do the beginning of We're An American Band very well, at least he did when I heard him.  It was a strange night anyway, somebody spilled beer on Tom Miller, who usually pops up for the Elvis Medley but John Stepanek did fine.  And what to make of a woman making moves on the floor like somebody does at a strip club and watching her dancing partner getting wore down by her dancing.  The guy had to helped off the floor.   Most of the elite of CR was gone by the time I made it up there.  Of course Tommy Bruner's new album comes out this month and the Past Masters remain their day job, but The Shadow is a fun oldies band all their own when there's idle time.   Their Saturday show, local newsanchor Scott Sanborn of KGAN played drums to Roadhouse Blues.  Scott is a excellent drummer too.

Saturday, across the street from Crabb central, the church was having their bluegrass gospel fest going on and I managed to catch a couple sets, the best coming from a guy and multi-racial group to which a black girl played decent violin, and two black boys playing steel guitar.  It's nice to see them doing bluegrass rather than the usual gangsta rap garbage that's now commonplace.  There was a Spinal Tap moment on the exchange of banjo and guitar to Dueling Banjos, a guitar on a stand blew over by a 20 MPH wind.  However the grand moment was hearing them sing I'll Fly Away and Are You Washed In The Blood, for old gospel staples the 12 year old girl had a nice high lonesome vocal.  After that, I went into town to check out the Barks and Brew fest at New Bo and two bands were up there, one was Action Figures, which played 90s alt rock with the likes of Jane's Addiction or Cake.  You gotta admire them for even covering Reel Big Fish but I kinda got bored with their type of music before they close things down with Weezer's Hash Pipe.   Avery Riot suffered from sound problems from the onset, you can hear Stephanie Reynolds vocals very well, but you couldn't hear the drummer and the guitar player though.  Hopefully, their next gig (in September at the Chome Horse) they'll have better luck.  Finally, I concluded the Saturday Band Hopping with Skin Kandy playing outdoors at Cedar River Landing to a mostly packed bunch of motorcycle riders trying to win a 14 thousand dollar brand spanking new Harley Davidson.  Unfortunately for Chris Walters who won the bike but then lost out since he/she went home and some guy named Chuck won it.   Skin Kandy is hard metal rock and with a replacement drummer a bit more metallic than usual but thankfully his refusal to play anything Poison  kept me hanging around till the winner of the motorcycle was named and as they fire up Welcome To The Jungle, I called it a night, to which by then it was too late to partake a trip to Waubeek to see Dennis McMurrin, Tony Brown and Dan Johnson at F B and Company.   Even though I live close by, I never ventured to F B & Company but perhaps I should some day.  Perhaps I should check out their Saturday Night Jams too, maybe you should too.

With that out of the way, the big announcement comes from 94.1 KRNA to which the big mouth DJ, who kept wasting my time with his rhetoric and unfunny jokes (including F Bombs since he was lacking anything to say) at the Skin Kandy outdoors thingy, is that after two years of giving us alternative garbage crap rock is now they're going back to classic rock, which has brought out the Alt fans in droves, leaving nasty messages on their FB site and complaining even more.  The new station manager is Mike  Ferris who had good luck with stations in Madison and Norfolk Virginia.  And certainly KRNA needed a kick in a ass, the 2 year "alternative" (and I use that term loosely) rock simply didn't bring in the ratings and KRNA found themselves in the lower regions of the the charts.  So Ferris decided the best way was to revisit the classic rock format.  If you live in this area, there are no shortage of classic rock stations, 100.7 The Fox is classic rock and really doesn't vary their song list outside of the same 200 songs, with the exception of Lunchtime to which you might hear Momma Let Him Play or even Stealin', but even with Nikki Sixx's Sixth Sense, the songs are classic rock overplayed to the max.  KMRY has also gone stale with their classic rock/oldies format, likewise KOKZ 105.7.  So far the best classic rock I heard was Fazoil's playlist to which they managed to play, the likes of Uriah Heep Stealin' and Drivin Wheel by Foghat, not exactly obscure by any means. But still even with an obscure classic, it's back to Show Me The Way or I love Rock and Roll.

If anything Mike Ferris, does take this seriously about changing the classic rock format and adding more songs.  A look at the most recent played songs do show slightly more obscure stuff, Guns And Roses Mr. Brownstone has popped up, Deep Purple's Highway Star, (It's still off Machine Head), and Stone In Love by Journey and Fool For The City by Foghat although the songs are still coming off the so called classic albums.  I don't see a return to free form days of FM radio, and Brian does locate a copy of Full House by J. Geils Band or even a Status Quo song from the 1970 boogie days, or even Rory Gallagher  I might nominate him for President.   He even repiled to my comment about adding some Rory or Quo.

I hear you loud and clear. Keep checking in as I think you'll be pleasantly surprised the more you listen. I appreciate your feedback. - Mike Ferris

So at least he's listening to the listeners out there.  

If nothing else, it means I can actually listen to KRNA once again. 

Best albums of all time?

If I have to pick just 10 records to spend the eternity with  I'd be taking all of eternity just to pick 10.  I think we have had these discussions from time to time in the 14 years of blogging.  Let's just forget the all time great albums that get picked time and time again. Pet Sounds, Dark Side, LZ 4, Exile On Main Street.  All are worthy and must hear, but can you live without them.  If you have classic rock radio you can hear, Free Bird, Welcome To The Jungle, Walk This Way etc etc. and not have to worry about buying the albums or best ofs of these songs.  They'd be at your disposal 24/7.

And then there are the influences, (Elvis, Buddy Holly, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Redding, Jimi etc etc) and then you have to make space for their go to albums.  If Time Life could ever come up with the ultimate box set of the best all time 60s singles that would occupy a space too.  But at least check they have yet to release Gonna Send You Back To Walker, My Girl Josephine, The Last Time and I'm sure trying to clear clearance and performer rights is a nightmare itself.   If the criteria just limits to the usual suspects then, basically it's all a moot point.  But then again I think of the overall picture and not just the trail blazers.  Sometimes an imitator or bar band does more wonders for me than Sgt Pepper or the like.

So let's just say fuck it and pick the ones that I play the most.  It's not perfect nor open for debate.  These get the most plays and make me happy.

Howlin Wolf (the rocking chair album) 1962 
The Very Best Of The Bobby Fuller Four (1st Rhino attempt of a best of) 1990
Love-Forever Changes (Elektra 1967)
The Animals-Retrospective 
The Complete Buddy Holly And The Crickets
The Randy Cliffs-Trixie Trailer Sales (2002)
The Townedgers-Forthcoming Trains (2014)
The Who Live At Leeds (1970)
Mott The Hoople-Backsliding Fearlessly (Best of the Atlantic Years)
Ozark Mountain Daredevils first album

For better or for worse, this is the best that I can come up with.  To put my own band and The Randy Cliffs on top of Led Zeppelin or The Beatles might be blasphemous to rock and roll and to Elvis.  It's also a matter of taste too.    The only reason why Buddy Holly didn't make it is because of Bobby Fuller.  The Who won out simply of I liked them better than the Stones, Beatles, Kinks.  The Randy Cliffs won out due to their punk Americana bar rock and roll over The Ramones and Replacements.  While Mott's All The Young Dudes made them well loved, I enjoyed their sloppy songs for Island Atlantic.  Brain Capers over Dude?  How could you?  How could I?  It's my ten best all time. That's why.

The anything goes country rock of OMD did managed them to sneak up to grab the final top ten spot. The weirdness of Chicken Train, the cowboy Psychedelia of If You Want To Get To Heaven, the folk start of Colorado Song before ending on a rock out fade.  The record speaks volumes for me more so than The Velvet Underground and Nico, which I didn't discovered till 1985 and even though I loved most of the songs, I didn't worship it like the critics out there today.

And with only choosing 10 albums, I didn't even scratch the surface of jazz nor country, nor prog rock, nor pop music for that matter.  It's kind of like debating the best Billy Joel album, I can't stand Piano Man the song, his best to me was Glass Houses but that's nowhere near the top 50 nor 100 best. or Pink Floyd and how Dark Side Of The Moon changed your life but it didn't mine.  I was in the minority on Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, which does make the top 25 all time best.  But I'm not going to reveal the rest of the 90 best albums of all time,  They are interchangeable and would place simply of the fact that I remembered the titles of said albums.  I like jazz and I love Motown but as you can tell for only 10 spots, there was no room at the inn.

But in the long run, I'm better off just grabbing 10 random CDs on the shelf and heading out on the road and calling those my all time ten best but I doubt Steven Tyler's latest would even be considered. But for simply the 10 albums that would be taking with me to the next life, the ones that were mentioned, I think I could live with what I picked.

But of course your opinion will vary much different than mine.   And that's okay.   

Popcorn Jam this week was with Kenny Webb, Captain Kurt and my old Open Highway bandmate Dewayne Schminkey.  Basically we did rough go through songs like Can't You See, plus Oh Boy and We Belong Together sang by D.W.  and a couple of oddball jams between me and Kenny Webb while we were waiting for the other guys to come up with some songs.  

Coming later in the week. TE Radio, the 1976 Version.  

Photo found somewhere, this fan reminded me of Chris Walters who left before their name came up to win the 14,000 dollar Harley Davidson but don't feel too bad.  Some fan didn't get his nap in time and missed out having John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl pop up to photobomb him.  Just as bad as being tea bagged?  I'll be back later in the week.



TAD said...

Hey Crabby, I like your list. The Ten Best have got to be YOUR Ten Best, or else what's the point? It's gotta be the ten albums that "spoke to you" most clearly. That's why the stuff on my list is mostly from high school years and shortly after. The number of "great" albums I've heard in the last decade is one (SMILE) -- and half of it I was hearing around high school, too. So.
If we were to pick out the "generally accepted" Greatest Albums Ever, it'd be a WAY different list -- SGT. PEPPER, DARK SIDE, LEDZEP4, RUMOURS, etc., all of them NOT perfect. You can pick what's most commercial, "best" artistically, etc. And tomorrow you might change your mind.
It's all gotta come down to what touches you, what moves you the most. When I say "the best," that's what I mean. The Best for ME. And there's no more need to explain.
That's why I like your list, because it's what YOU like. Like Chuck Berry said: "Nothing but the best, and later for the garbage."
...And I like some Howlin' Wolf songs: Sittin' on Top of the World, 300 Pounds of Joy, Evil, Smokestack Lightning. I admit it took me awhile to get used to his voice. But "Sittin'"s a classic and "300 Pounds" is hilarious.
Yours for more better Lists....

R S Crabb said...

Thanks for your support Tad.

It's really hard to come up with the right all time best but I think this is about the best I can do. I think my list is a bit more believable than the Rolling Stone or SPIN, but mine is personally chosen. Just like yours. ;)