Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week In Review: TE Radio 22, Eagles Snub, Cubs Win

(Photo: SB Nation)

So ends the last weekend of summer.  New Bo park hosted the first ever harvest moon fest with local bands SaLOONatics, JC Project, Crankshaft in front of a small circle of musician friends and family.  I basically stayed home to watch Iowa get manhandled by North Dakota State (see last blog about that experience) and mowed the yard.  Almost fall and the grass still grows.  Friday Night sports, Marion's two game winning streak came to an end up in Dubuque as Wahlert beat them 17-13,  Arizona State almost got upset by University of Texas-San Antonio but managed to win on a last second Ballage TD and nuff said.  That would have been a more big upset than North Dakota State's so called shock heard around the world but then again ESPN or Fox sports don't hate ASU as much as they do of the Iowa Pretenders known as the Hawkeyes. ASU is 3-0, but their next foe is Cal, who managed to upset University of Texas-Austin (the real TX team).  Given how both teams have no defense whatsoever, it should be another basketball score in the making.

(photo: Getty Images)

The Chicago Cubs, managed to win the Central Division Friday when they beat Milwaukee, the fastest time they won the pennant since my grandpa was in grade school. Joe Maddon decided to give the guys time off over the weekend and Milwaukee whopped them on Saturday after yet another Jake Arrieta sub par pitching performance, he simply hasn't been the same since his Cy Young winning season of last year, in fact he's fading to be the number 3 ace behind Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester. Sunday, Hendricks got outpitched by a pitcher with a 5.91 era, to which Maddon decided vacation is over and played the regulars Monday for a win over the lowly Cincinnati Reds.

(Credit: Bob Yeazel) http://www.bobyeazel.com/Hyperlinks.htm

Jerry Corbetta passed away, he was 68 and had Pick's Syndrome.   Best known as the vocalist for Chocolate Hair, later known as Sugarloaf since their record label didn't like the original name.  Big hit was Green Eyed Lady, which fit on AM radio, FM radio, underground radio, classic rock radio, oldies radio and so on. Later singles didn't figure much but their final top 2 hit, 1975's Don't Call Us We'll Call You used the phone number to CBS Records in New York as a ring tone, kinda of a novelty hit but the song really deal with (back then) bands trying to break into a major label and getting rejected.   Corbetta later would join the Four Seasons before touring as part of the Legends Of Rock groups that played state fairs around the country.

The Kennedy Center had announced that Bernie Leadon, Randy Meisner and Don Felder should not be included when The Eagles get honored in that televised gala  Kennedy Center Honors crap in December.  Probably a decision that Don Henley may have suggested since his feud with Felder has been tabloid fodder for the past 2 decades.  It was decided that Henley, Joe Walsh, Tim Schmit and the late Glenn Frey, casting his vote from beyond the grave, were the ones carrying the torch would be honored.  It way it goes. Say what you want about Felder, but if it wasn't for him kicking the Eagles in the ass to get that guitar lead sound right on the overplayed Hotel California, the Eagles would not sound the same.  Meisner played a crucial role as well as we all know from another overplayed song Take It To The Limit.  Without Bernie Leadon, they would be a very minor country rock band.  I won't take away Frey and Henley's role of perfecting those harmonies, but without Leadon, they'd be nothing.  And you won't see or hear that on the Kennedy Center Asskissing Honors show.  I love Joe Walsh, I can tolerate Tim Schmit, but on a whole, it remains the Henley/Frey show. They work well for live shows and excellent paydays, but that last Eagles album really was boring. If I want to celebrate their legacy, I'll just throw on any of their first three albums.

Places to go eat when you want something different.https://www.aroundiowa.com/blog/2016/09/see-why-crowds-wait-for-hours-to-eat-at-this-delicious-and-unique-iowa-restaurant/#.V-0HSslXSUk

And the ratings so far this month, no views over 200 since September 7, hell no views over 100 since September 7.  If it wasn't for the Bruce Stanley Tribute blog, I might not have 100 views at all this month. Rest assured it'll be another 2,000 views but I rather not do another death blog about a good friend if this means higher ratings.   Usually the rule of thumb is that out of every 10 blogs I do write for the past month, only 1 or 2 get read.  Unless it's one of the ole reliable blogs (Circumstances beyond our control, Hanging With The Band) that continue to pop up in the most viewed, to which I probably blame some picture of a model for that.  And I still can't get into that candy apple red hair that Ivy Doomkitty has been sporting lately.

John D Loudermilk, one of the best all time songwriters known (Tobacco Road, Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, Break My Mind, It's My Time covered by The Townedgers) passed away Tuesday from a heart attack. He was 82. http://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2016/09/22/songwriter-john-d-loudermilk-dead-82/90826022/?hootPostID=e9f84132f8151ec03cc7c4b682b59bec

Record Reviews:

Aaron Lewis-Sinner (Dot/Big Machine 2016)

Given the fact that Aaron is better known for Staind, the Nu Metal band of the 1990s he tends to come across as yet another rocker trying to make it in country music but unlike Steven Tyler or Bret Michaels Aaron at least is making a valiant effort to come across as a country singer. He certainly is outlaw enough to be a convincing David Allen Coe, although I tend to think Coe is more imposter than Waylon and Willie  or Hank Jr. as all four plus Johnny and June and George Jones gets namechecked on That Ain't Country.  While Aaron gets bounty points for calling out fake Bro Country imposters such as FGL to which he shares the same label with, simply being on Big Machine does give suspicions if Lewis is actually country enough to really care about.   Lewis gets credit by adding Willie Nelson (sounding even more  of his 80 plus years voice on the title track) and hooking up with Buddy Cannon, who did produce albums from Willie and George Jones when the possum was still alive.  And likewise tapping Vince Gill and Alison Krauss for vocal support.  The downside is that being on Big Machine, Lewis is probably required to write a song about trucks and back roads and we get that on Northern Redneck, probably Lewis's trying to appease the Bro Country crowd, but I think it comes across as tongue in cheek rather than horse manure that FGL or Luke Bryan is known for.  Another downside is that there's quite a bit of slow tempo outlaw songs that meander on the second side of the album.  Plus there's a Straind  like bellow on Mama that suggest Lewis is trying too hard to hit those out of reach notes in the chorus.  In the end, the record wins out, due to that Lewis took on a Chris Stapleton song in Whiskey And You and it sounds fine, but what wins me over is daughter Zoe covering Bruce Robison's Travelin' Soldier, originally done by The Dixie Chicks.  For being 13 years old, Zoe sounds right at home with the traditional country sound.   It's still hard for me to even think ever about listening or even buying Aaron Lewis's album, given that I never cared much for Staind.  Since Aaron was adamant about blasting the bro country crowd and that the folks at Saving Country Music even talked about this gave me the reason to listen to Sinner. He does show himself to be more David Allen Coe than the original outlaws of country, and even if Coe is the least of them all, it's not that bad to be compared to Coe.   It's rough around the edges like Willie and Waylon and a bit inconsistent like David Allen Coe, but it's a hell of a lot more honest than Steven Tyler's country attempt.  It is a good country album.
Grade B

John Fogerty-Centerfield (Warner Brothers 1984, later issued via Dreamworks/Geffen)

With CCR, Fogerty made some of the best swamp rock albums in the history of music, to which his vision or the music clashed with the CCR rhythm section and after Marti Gra, John cut them loose and begin somewhat of decade an half exile, throwing together DIY projects like The Blue Ridge Rangers and a Asylum album that has disappeared from sight.  That Asylum J.F. album had a great song in Almost Saturday Night and a good one with Rockin All Over The World but the rest of that album I can't remember.  And then for 9 years he'd disappear to the point that Joe Strummer actually requested that John would come up with something new and John did, by surprising the world with Centerfield, a album that seemed to pick up where Marti Gras left off, but without Doug and Stu hanging around.  I guess they are missed from a fan's viewpoint but John thought good riddence.  In fact The Old Man Down The Road is so damn CCR sounding you have to check the credits and no, that's John doing all instruments and vocals.   Take away the electric drums and you would swear it was 1969 all over again.  I think the title track remains a bit corny, Vanz Can't Danz might have ole Zal Zentz still spinning in his grave but even for the disco beat and goofy drum solo I like it fine and the short and simple songs of Big Train From Memphis and I Saw It on TV are vintage Fogerty, even though he did add some Creedence riffs to Saw It On TV.  John has managed to stick around and put out more albums in the next few years and finally learned to embrace the magic sounds of Creedence and has become more of a better tribute artist to that band than his estranged bandmates, but I do admit I haven't had much interest in the past two albums that Fogerty has done.  If his Asylum 1975 effort was a misstep, Centerfield was a full fledged return back to the basis and the fact that simple three chord rock and roll if done right can remain timeless.  By far Centerfield, is John's solo masterpiece.
Grade A-

Frank Zappa-ZAPPatite (Zappa 2016)

I don't think there'll be a best of Frank Zappa album we can all be happy with.  Strictly Commercial, the Rykodisc 90s best of, is probably is the best of the bunch and Zappa tried to compile a best of the Mothers with Mothermania  but Zappatite, while adventurous, pales next to Commercial, and poor choice of songs from Overnight Sensation (trading Montana for Dirty Love), perhaps I'm The Slime makes a great lead off song and probably says more about Zappa's output overall. Zappa could play it straight, although rare,  Peaches En Regalia might be his best overall song ever, and Trouble Comin Every Day his best rock song overall.  And of course his usual progressive rock fun of Cosmic Debrik and Titties And Beer.  G Spot Tornado, hints of a synclavier future we could do without and Strictly Genteel is Zappa reaching to be a classical composer.  For a sampler of what Zappa was, it's uneven as hell, but if you're looking for something that has Peaches, I'm The Slime, Valley Girl, and Joe's Garage here you go.  But Strictly Commercial is a much better overview.
Grade B-

Adele-21 (Columbia 2011)

I know.  She's got a good voice and lord almighty she can belt out those heartbreaking torch songs, but she doesn't rock enough for me and the sob songs get tiring after a while. Rolling In The Deep and Rumor Has It are excellent songs, the former probably the best song she's ever done and she has enough variety to Rumor Has It that  it's worth to hear a few more times.  Whitney Houston also had a great voice and I would have liked her better had she not shout and scream out of control.  The uptempo stuff, there's much of, outside of Take It All and Rolling and Rumor.  Her last album probably had the same amount of ballads as well and I think I liked it better than 25.  But for a 1.88 special, it's one of those albums that I had to listen just to see what the fuss is about.   21, Adele puts her heart and soul into these songs but I think I prefer Amy Rigby or Linda Thompson if I want to hear love gone wrong songs.
Grade C+

Doc Holliday-Doc Holliday Rides Again (A&M 1981-later issued on Rock Candy 2006)

Strange how some albums are yet to be issued on CD (The Brains....) but some minor stuff has seen CD reissued.  Doc Holliday was a Southern rock styled band from Texas that made two albums for A & M but even I knew nothing about them back then.  Legend has it that Jerry Moss wasn't too thrilled of hearing Tom Allom's original production and David Anderle remixed it judging from the exhaustive liner notes.  Perhaps Mr. Moss had a point.  Doc Holliday is like the 2nd tier Southern Rock bands of the late 70s and early 80s that made pleasant enough rock and roll but not enough to stand out, somewhat like Arista era Point Blank or Great Southern or early 38 Special before Jim Peterik came to give them some much needed hit singles.  Somewhat of a poor man's Blackfoot (Southern Man, Last Ride) Doc Holliday didn't do ballads very well and Let Me Be Your Lover issued as a failed single shows it.  Jerry Moss wrote them off as a tax loss anyway although there was enough interest for Rock Candy to reissue it on CD with two bonus tracks: covers of Whiskey Train and Travelin' Band, sounding like a bar band on a Saturday Night when the lead singer had a bit too much of Jack Daniels.
Grade C+

Music Of My Years-Cinderella Night Songs (Mercury 1987)

This is too hard rock for me consider it to be hair metal.  Tom Keifer had more Nazareth in him than Bon Jovi, who was instrumental of getting Cinderella on Mercury Records.  Certainly a lot of Aerosmith comes into play, but credit Andy Johns (RIP) for giving them the hard rock and roll sound that wasn't hair metal.  The hard rock riffs of Push Push and hit singles Somebody Save Me and Shake Me  were head banging fun, although Keifer's lyrics are very simpleminded.  If Nobody's Fool reminded one of Bringing On The Heartbreak by Def Leppard, Leifer channels his inner Dan McCaffery to make it sound harder than Poison or Motley Crue for that matter.  Hell On Wheels even sounds a bit like Blackfoot's Warped although I'm sure Keifer and the boys would ever deny of hearing Blackfoot, maybe Ted Nugent was thought of?  No matter, I tend to enjoy Cinderella's first album more than Motley Crue and Poison or even Ratt for that matter, but with Long Cold Winter and otherwise I never paid much attention.  Night Songs remains their bona fide classic album.  Their poofy hairdo might have made them come across as Hair Metal but in reality, Cinderella was pure hard rock and roll.
Grade B+

Townedger Radio 22-Broadcast via Lucky Star Radio 9/22/16  http://www.luckystarradio.com/


Listen-Screaming Jay Hawkins
Trying To Forget You-Howlin Wolf
It Don't Come Easy-The Smithereens
Aging Eyes-Tommy Bruner
Nickels And Dimes-Wooden Nickel Lottery
Orion Subsiding-King Buffalo 
Different Shade Of Blue-The Townedgers
Myth Of Love-The Georgia Satellites
Feel This/No Fat Burger-Descendants
Him Or Me-Bun E. Carlos
Black Rose (A Rock Legend)-Thin Lizzy

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