Monday, October 10, 2016

Week In Review: Cubs Win Again, Hurricane Brat, Floyd Stays Home, Desert Trip

And here we are again.  As with last week, this blog will be updated when the time comes or when something news worthy comes around or I have music to review.  Someday it will come to an end but for now I move onward.

The big story was Hurricane Matthew tearing the hell out of the east coast, from Florida to Georgia to the Carolinas.  It wasn't exactly the storm of the century but rather powerful enough to cause major damage and messes and so far at least 10 people lost their lives.

 (photo: Willow Blu Dickinson-St. Augustine under water)

At the same time, there was Hurricane Nicole off to the side of Matthew.  Now, during the big hurricane of the past couple days, there have been a few smartasses out there making funny meme's about this storm and the closeness between Matthew and Nicole, which Nicole won't be causing havoc in the states but rather keeping a close eye and safe distance from Matthew.  Bermuda might be the closest country if Nicole keeps going on but it projected that Nicole will steer north and east as a cold front begins to shred away at Matthew.  There was talk about the meeting of Matthew and Nicole at some point but that's not going to happen.  Nicole will be far and away into the Atlantic, and the hurricane love affair will come to an end. But not before Matthew floods the east coast.

And so it goes.

(photo: AP)

On the football side, Iowa gets to keep Floyd Of Rosedale for another year as they outlasted Minnesota 14-7 in yet another uninspired performance, saved only by Akim Wadley's 54 yard Touchdown run to put Iowa ahead and a successful two point conversion.  Mitch Leidner, the 5th year senior QB did drive the Gophers down the field with time running out but then he threw four incomplete passes and the much maligned Iowa defense kept them out of the end zone.  While kudos is praised on the Iowa O line, CJ Betherd continued to get hammered at every chance he threw the ball, he managed to get sacked one time.  I don't think it much as a defense battle as it was a lack of offensive output from both teams, except when Wadley did his game winning TD run with 5:38 seconds left in the game. Iowa dropped three passes that stalled drives and they had to settle for two FGs before Minnesota went ahead 7-6.  Usually Leidner had some stellar games against the Hawks, two years ago he went 10-13 passing in the 51-14 rout two years ago, and last year shredded the defense for 259 yards but came up short in a 40-35 Iowa win.  This time out, Leidner went 13-33 for 159 yards passing but didn't complete a pass till late in the second quarter.  For his final game against the Hawks it would be his worst showing, and in the end got to watch Floyd and the Hawkeyes wave bye bye as they go back to Iowa City, another year for Floyd to call Iowa City its home.  Next up, Purdue, the Hawks should win that.  On a side note Rutgers which lost to Iowa by the same 14-7 score got beheaded by Michigan 78-0.  Iowa gets to play Michigan sometime this year.

Arizona State beat UCLA 23-20 in a upset, but ASU is now 5-1 and we didn't see that one coming at all. Zane Gonzales kicked three field goals and ASU held the Bruins off.  ASU also lost their second string QB Brady White to an injury.  Gonzales now hold the FBS record for most FG made. The road gets harder as ASU goes to Boulder and play a much improved Colorado team. Without Brady White or Wilkens Jr, the QB might be very iffy and there's no cupcakes to play either.  Washington State blew out Stanford at Stanford 42-16 as hot shot RB Christian McCaffery got hurt and his streak of 100 yard games came into an end.  As well as his Heisman chances.


(Photo: Chicago Cubs)

In the meantime Chicago took the first two games from the San Francisco Giants in Chicago.  Friday Night  Javier Baez hit a home run and Jon Lester outdueled Johnny Cueto 1-0.  Saturday, The Cubs greeted former Cubs pitcher Jeff Smaritzja rudely, Travis Wood hit a home run, the first cubs player to do that since Kerry Wood and took game two 5-2.  It's out to San Francisco to see if the Cubs can put them away and move on to the finals.  Game three  The Cubs blew a 3 run lead, Jake Arrieta hit a 3 run Homer and the rest of the team couldn't get anymore runs till the ninth when Kris Bryant hit a HR to tie the game but San Francisco would win in 13 innings after the Cubs put two on and promptly hit into a double play. Game four, San Francisco had their way with the Cubs for 8 innings till The Cubs came through big time, scoring 4 runs in the 9th inning.  The Giant relievers simply couldn't not put the Cubs away, neither Derek Law, whose antics pissed off a late night crowd, nor 4 other pictures to which Javier Baez, drove in Jason Hayward with the winning run, and Aroldis Chapman came back big time to strike out three Giants with power pitching and The Cubs take the series with a 6-5 victory.  Chapman does pitch better when nobody is on base, unlike game 3 which he had to inherit runners to try to get six outs.  For the first time in 11 elimination games The Giants lost.  The Cubs move on the division finals and for the first time, the loss could not be blamed on goats or Bartman.  The key is to win the last game of the season.  Cubs have 8 to go in order to do that.  The competition will not be easy, but the trick is to keep winning.  We'll see if history will be made.

(Photo; Ronnie Wood)

(Photo: Anna Rumer)

There is music to talk about.  Big event is the Desert Trip playing this weekend which there has been some surprises from the likes of Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and The Who. Neil Young gave them a 25 minute workout of Down By The River (no word if he did the full hour version of Love And Only Love) and quip to the people to come back tomorrow and see Roger Waters build the wall and make Mexico again.  Bob Dylan did a decent run through of his songs but his interaction with the crowd was non existant.  The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger did more moving around the stage in 30 seconds than what Dylan did the whole show.  The Stones actually did cover a Beatles song, Come Together.   Perhaps the highlight was a rousing You Can't Always Get What You Want.  For 70 year old men, The Rolling Stones can still put a surprise or two, even if Bob Dylan acts like he'd rather go to bed or something to that effect. Neil Young set, with the new Crazy Horse known as The Promise Of Real might have outdone themselves and even getting Paul McCartney to come up to sing Give Peace A Chance.  Neil might be old and cranky but he's always been his best railing against Corporations and idiots like Donald Trump. Paul McCartney did a excellent set which Neil Young did pop up on a couple numbers.  We'll see how the Who and Roger Waters do later in the blog.

From reports The Who did a workmanlike set list of their best known stuff but Roger Waters let his feelings known for Donald Trump in a spirited performance.  I'm sure the Donald will probably wake up at 3 AM and post his displeasure but Waters may have been the best of the Desert Trip festival, which will take place again next weekend.


Passings:  Joan Marie Johnson, singer for the Dixie Cups (Chapel Of Love) died from heart failure Sunday.  She was 72.

If it means anything I have left Besides It's A B Side site after 5 or 6 years.  Guess Mark decided I didn't look good in those T Shirts and unfriended me somewhere along the way, he was very quiet on my timeline despite us being cubs fans.  Can't please them all I guess.  We'll all live on. 

Record Reviews:

Porter Wagoner-The Definitive Collection (Real Gone 2016)

Finally it took somebody to finally capture just about all of the best solo stuff that Porter put out in his 3 decades of being with RCA.  The Essential Porter Wagoner and the RCA Legends as well as the Pair best ofs, had highlights but this is the complete of where you can get his barstool classics (I Enjoyed As Much Of This As I Can Stand, Misery Loves Company) and some of the more graphic bizarre story songs Porter is famous for (Cold Hard Facts Of Live, Julie, The First Mrs Jones, two of them written by Whispering Bill Anderson, Julie by Waylon Jennings).  In today's world country would not touch The Carroll County Accident or The Rubber Room, the latter probably the only psychedelic country song ever known. Or Cold Dark Waters, which is one of more direct songs about suicide ever recorded.  This 2 CD overview defines Wagoner, as narrator (Confessions Of  A Broken Man, Skid Row Joe, What Would You Do (if Jesus came to your door) but for the first time anywhere, the original version of Uncle Pen makes its debut.  Wagoner was also excellent at bluegrass as well.  This doesn't cover all of the RCA years, it ends with Highway Headed South which is just as well, Porter did lose his way after Dolly Pardon moved on.  Nevertheless, this compilation does show that Porter Wagoner was one of the best honky tonk country artists of the 1960s, even in the dark mood of Cold Dark Waters, or the stalker going after The First Mrs Jones, Wagoner was one of a kind and could provide some uptempo knee slappers (Company's Coming, Howdy Neighbor Howdy) and could leave you With A Satisfied Mind.
Grade A

Webb Pierce-The Essential Hits  (Primo 2015)

Leave it to a import budget label to issue one of country music's all time chart topping stars of the 1950s, Universal's best of cheats the world out of Webb's late 50 and early 60s honky tonk, to which I like a bit more than the mundane disc one,  despite major hits like Why Baby Why or There Stands The Glass, and Sparking Brown Eyes has a falsetto worthy of Slim Whitman.  It also helps that Webb covered some songs by an up and coming songwriter named Mel Tillis which gave him a big hit with I Ain't Never and personal favorite No Love Have I.  It's also worthy of hearing Webb cover Bye Bye Love, which the Everly Brothers would get a major hit.  Nothing wrong with disc 1, with Webb taking the Hank Sr vibe during the early 50s but once Webb opened himself up to more uptempo honky tonk songs he does catch fire.  Like budget imports the sound is all over the place and of course buyer beware.  But since we can't get a decent overview of the one of the best selling country artists of the 1950s, this would have to do, warts and all and subpar 3rd generation scratchy 45 versions.
Grade B+

Kirsty MacColl-Kite (Greatpress/Charisma 1989)

I think she's always been more of a new wave star rather than pop, her collaborations with Johnny Marr confirms this.  The best songs are with Marr, even copping Mel Graynor (Simple Minds) on drums shows her new wave roots.  The cover of You Just Haven't Earned It Baby is great, the cover of Days is just as good.  For the rest of the album, MacColl's sly word play is worth hearing (Free World, Fifteen Minutes). I think Galore, her 1995 best of, is the one the seek out if you want to know about her time at Charisma, plus it has her They Don't Know song which Tracy Ullman had the bigger hit. Her studio solo albums tends to wander all over the place.  The French songs I can do without.
Grade B

Barry Gibb-In The Now (Columbia 2016)

Not bad for the last brother Gibb standing, who has his siblings helping out on the songs this time out.  Side 1 does rock out a lot bit harder than the average Bee Gees album (Blowin A Fuse, In The Now) and Starcrossed Lovers actually is nice decent ballad reminding one of How Deep Is Your Love.  Side 2 crumbles over too many ballads, although I'll give him credit for End Of The Rainbow, a nice farewell to Maurice and Robin Gibb plus Andy, all now in the great beyond.   The high falsetto tend to grate after a while, Barry has known to sing it straight before stumbling on the high notes that became Bee Gees trademark vocal starting with Main Course and afterward.  Another problem is that some of the songs go on forever (Shadows comes to mind) and at 54 and half minutes the ballads will tend to make your mind wonder.  I'm sure the nostalgic fans will buy this album enough for it to place on the top 100 and then play it once or twice and file it away.   That is if there are fans out there that still buy CDs.
Grade B-

Forgotten issues:

Three years ago, I decided to do a little camping the hard way.  A night spent in Seminole Valley Park, in the forbidden zone.  Never go past open gates into the woods, you may have to wait till morning to get out, that is if you can find somebody to let you out. Hillary insures.

Marion Indians are assured of their first winning season in over three years by upsetting Clear Creek/Amana 15-14 in overtime when Marion opted to go for two and succeeded.  They have three games remaining, three tough ones but still have an outside chance of making the football playoffs.

Finally, Hurricane Brat aka Nicole, after a couple days of spinning around the Atlantic and regained strength into becoming a Category 4 Hurricane after Hurricane Matthew disappeared and is ready to cause havoc on Bermuda this week.  There have been other Hurricane Nicoles in the past, but this one might be the better known of them all if predictions come true.  But if Hurricane Nicole is the brat of the two, Matthew is the bastard, with 17 people losing their lives.   I don't know, I tend to think of if and when I retire, it will be back out into the desert rather than on the east coast.  They don't have as many hurricanes as they do around Florida or Bermuda.   Stay safe everybody, next week is the monthly Townedger Radio playlist .  Plus other assorted observations.

(photo: AP)

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