Monday, October 3, 2016

Week In Review: Madison, Hell, Iowa stinks again

I have decided that I am in Hell.  It seems that no matter what I do, I'm always either get inconsiderate drivers either going too fast, or too slow, mother nature hates us. The GD tree is shedding it's leaves and they seem to go into every crack around my car, windows, doors, under the hood, trunk, etc.  This fucking computer continues to mess up, fuck up and even while typing the keyboard doesn't work, and this Lenovo piece of shit is not even a year and half old.  A bit of good news, the rivers are returning to their banks, Rumors has their popcorn jam on for Sunday (if I'm there i'll blog about it) and that's about it.

Each week The Iowa Hawkeyes continue to stink and suck and Saturday was no exception, Northwestern going hog wild (with plenty of help from the referees) and Iowa offense line can't stop nobody.  They're very good being look out blockers to which C J Bethard got nailed 6 times and countless more after trying to pass. 38-31 Northwestern won it but Kirk Ferenez will be around for another 10 years.  Good thing Gene Barta gave him that decade long extension.  Can't blame Beth Mowins for this suckjob, she was in California.  It didn't help Iowa lost Matt VandeneBerg in practice but the so called great Iowa running game was non existant once again despite Akem Wadley scoring two touchdowns.  With no Iowa blocking they were stymied once again, and Iowa's run defense couldn't stop NW running backs either.   To quote Colin Cockadoodledoo: please don't talk about Iowa being any sort of contender anymore this season. If they stay above 500 that will be a miracle.  Iowa State can play 3 quarters to which they had Baylor 35-21 and looked great (at least the offense did). But teams that only play 3 quarters don't win ballgames and Baylor came back with 17 unanswered points and the victory.   Didn't help that the Cyclone offense quit after the 3rd quarter.  Baylor is the real deal, Iowa State has a very long road to go before they have any sort of credibility.  Too bad they didn't play Iowa Saturday, they might have won that game.  And Arizona State showed the world why they're in last place in pass defense.  USC blew them out of LA 40-21.

On the good side of things, The Chicago Cubs finished the year winning 103 games and coming from behind to beat Cincinnati 7-4.  It's the first time the Cubs won 103 games since 1910 and sorry folks I wasn't around to witness that, nor the 1908 Cubs winning it all.   A lot of people are saying that this is the best chance that The Cubs have had getting to the World Series, while we cannot deny the heroics of Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Dexter Fowler, Addison Russell, it's been Miguel Montoro and the old man Dan Ross providing some much need RBI's.  While Jason Hayward's bat couldn't get past .235, his defense in the outfield helped in gunning baserunners out at the plate.  For those was thinking of a St. Louis/Chicago rematch, that didn't take place.  The Cardinals never seem to break out in any major winning streaks and while they did lead the league in home runs it seems, they didn't have the pitching this season.  So, for the wild card teams it ended up San Francisco which kept winning where needed and the Cubs nemesis The New York Mets.   For now The Cubs can earn some time off, but come Friday they'll start on their conquest to make the World Series, and hopefully win the last game of the year. 

Madison this time out...did I mention I live in Hell?  Madison is the 6th tier of Dante's Inferno.  Last time was a much better time, did the WNBR in June but this time without no nude bikers around, I just walked around Lake Monona and scanned through record stores looking for music to write about.  And then I had to deal with constant idiot bike riders riding through stop lights and stop signs, had dumbass people walk behind my car as I tried to get out the of thrift stores, or had walker walk out in front of me while trying to turn. I'm surprised that I didn't hit nobody or got hit.  Then it rained on Friday, the damn rain came from Lake Michigan.  Strange weather but it goes along with this strange year.  I did find some cool stuff but I come to find out that I did have David Johansen's Then Came The Night on CD at home when I found a copy for 2 dollars.  Reviews are down below of course, as soon as I can type the fucking things.

It's been a while since I posted some eye candy, so we will go with the new singer for Lez Zeppelin, Marlain Angelides.   Lez Zeppelin is an all girl tribute band to you know who.

A week ago, the HESCO barriers were in place and Tornados was fighting the flood with sandbags. This Monday shows the T Shirt place (with the gas pump now back in place) and Tornados surviving the flood aftermath.  The 16th Avenue bridge over the Cedar to Czech Village is now open.  Parlor City Blues Jam not ready to go this Tuesday Night but Daddy O and DJ Johnson will be playing Thursday Night.  Getting somewhat back to normal now.  (Photo from Red Ball Printing)

The flooding did put an end to Coopers Mill/Best Western, which decided to close their doors and sell themselves off to the City of Cedar Rapids for 2.2 Million or so it seems.  Coopers Mill Restaurant did have some nice breakfast menus and their pancakes were the city's best.

Best Buy continues to shrink their CD selection, now they're down to about a 10 feet section over by the refrigerators and perhaps its best just to order online, from someplace else.  At least they did have the new Drive By Truckers' CD American Band.  I think I like their last album better but American Band isn't that bad.

Another sign of the times, our wonderful shitty cable company has ended analog service, which means my TV has now 53 channels of snow.  I really see no point of having cable anymore, or upgrade to 100 channels of digital nothing on the tube.  The sporting events are clogged up by shitty GMO beer and Big Pharma shoving E.D. drugs down your throat.  I'll leave it up to my brother to upgrade to overpriced digital cable but for myself I have killed my television once and for all.  No more political bullshit, no more Viagra.  And I think I'll be much better off than the dumbing down of America be it, CNN, Fox news or whatever the hell Trump spews out.  Up theirs ass once and for all.

Passings: Rod Temperton, songwriter for Heatwave (Boogie Nights) and Michael Jackson (Thriller) died from cancer Monday.  He was 66. 

And it was 20 years ago that the movie That Thing You Do came out. One of the great fiction music movies ever, I think I like it better than This Is Spinal Tap (and I do like TIST a lot)  

And now, let's ride with.....Record Reviews Of Mad City stuff:

Steve Forbert-Little Stevie Orbit (Nemperor 1980)

The Missing piece of the Steve Forbert  catalog is this oddball album which got overlooked on the What Kinda Guy best of and perhaps there's a good reason why.  While Steve is a decent folk soft rocker, he goes Springsteen on this, or is a parody?  Fuck I don't know and it's so freaking weird it might be his Metal Machine Music.   Get Well Soon is so over the top, it makes Springsteen sound like Tennessee Ernie Ford.  Cellophane City might have been picked as a single but it's ruined by the ending.  I think I'm An Automobile the most straightforward song on this.  Reviews seem to be favorable and it's a album you have to listen multiple times to "get it". It's different but I'll stick with Alive On Arrival or Jackrabbit Slim  Excellent recording from Steve Brown though.
Grade C+

The Golliwogs Pre Creedence (Fantasy 1975)

Funny how Fantasy continues to rehash Creedence albums but for the early edition of CCR known as The Golliwogs, their output was part of a Creedence Clearwater Revival boxset and the stand alone album has been sought after from record collectors or curio record hoarders.  And there's a good reason why John Fogerty became main songwriter/singer-brother Tom's songs do not stand out.  To be honest Tom Fogerty had his eyes on the British Invasion, You Better Be Careful is a nod to The Zombies, Brown Eyed Girl (the first song John sings on this), is not the Van Morrison cover but rather an original that borrows from Them.  Side 1, there's plenty of doo wop songs and a couple times that Tom Fogerty borrows from The Beatles or Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas.  The only Tom Fogerty song that does stand out is the garage rocker Fight Fire, which found its way on a Nuggets box set, which hints at the future of CCR via The Shadows Of Knight.  Side 2 finds little brother John taking over the band and even if the songs are a bit rough in the Americana side of things (Fragile Child is John's last attempt at garage rock before moving toward the CCR sound), it's plainly clear that John was the better of the songwriters and it shows on Porterville, which eventually became the start of the CCR sound (B side Call It Pretending is a throwaway).  I do think there's more of a full band participation as Stu,Tom, John and perhaps even Doug Clifford adding harmonies on the songs. John may have been  an  tyrant in the band, but even Doug and Stu know that the songs John wrote for CCR still generates plenty of revenue and airplay on radio enough to tour as the ultimate CCR tribute band, I'm sure they're not playing anything from the Golliwogs era.  Even though The Golliwogs Pre Creedence might be a minor work from CCR, it's still a historical album showing the transformation of a band going from a doo wop garage rock band to a more original and rocking band.  One may disagree with me, but paying 25 dollars for a DJ used copy still is a bargain compared to the prices that I have seen on Ebay and Amazon.  Perhaps Concord should issue this as a stand alone CD.
Grade B+

Streetwalkers-Red Card (Mercury 1975)

Another dollar special find, The Streetwalkers was a short lived band featuring the likes of Roger Chapman (Family), teaming up with Bobby Tench (Jeff Beck Group, Humble Pie)  and Nicko McBrain (later of Iron Maiden fame) putting together an album of something sort of what Humble Pie was doing around Tinderbox/Smokin timeframe.  I think it's somewhat by the numbers boogie rock blues, but they don't alter the mid tempo of the songs.  Chapman's vocals can be a bit hard to take, he's part Steve Marriott, part Joe Cocker and a bit of John Baldry.  I tend to like Run for Cover which does echo Tinderbox Humble Pie and Daddy Rolling Stone is a nifty cover, mixed to mono for fun and giggles.  Like latter day Humble Pie when The Streetwalkers fall into a funk (as in snoozer type of boogie) it tends to plod on by. Christgau called them Aerosmith for grownups and it is their best album of the three they issue.  I'll go along with that.
Grade B

The Police-Outlandos d'Amour (A&M 1979)

It's funny how in my senior year of high school, music was so varied.  I mean I listen to the boogie of Foghat, the by now classic rock cliche of Journey and REO Speedwagon on the albums that made them becoming headliners and still found time for up and comers like Van Halen, and touted The Godz 2nd album as if it was the new Beatles.  Silly me.  But The Police was one of those bands that I took a chance on due to the name.  At that time, Roxanne was yet to be played on the radio and the song that FM radio did play was Next To You, which was punk rock masquerading as regular rock. At that time Andy Summers was the better known, playing in The Animals around the time Love Is came out and then played with the eccentric Kevin Coyne.  Stewart Copeland's dad was Miles Copeland, manager of Wishbone Ash and later formed IRS Records in the late 70s (or Illegal Records, where John Cale and Tom Robinson made their albums for) and the punk was Gordon Summer aka Sting who had a love of punk and reggae.  In 1979 I loved this album, 36 summers later, not so much love but rather tolerate.  Classic rock didn't do Roxanne any favors by overplaying it like they do today, and while Masoro Tanga was one my favorite songs before bedtime back then, it kinda dated itself today and I don't play it as much.  In fact I did look up a dollar CD copy to revisit the album and the songs at hand.  Next To You still comes out rocking, Hole In My Life is reggae jam fun and Peanuts is more goofy pub rock than goofy punk rock.  Make no mistake and even if Sting pretty much washes his hands of this band, the contributions of Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland are not to be avoided.  In fact, Copeland is one of the best drummers out there, one of the best reggae white boy drummers at that time.  Side 2 tends to weaken itself after Can't Stand Losing You, and the ode to the blow up doll sounds a bit more creepy then it used to be. Still Masoro Tanga ends the record on a positive note and even if its a throwaway, Copeland's drummer is still damn good.   Out of all their albums, this remains their most punkish. And rocking as well.
Grade B+

Soft Boys-Underwater Moonlight (Rykodisc 1980)

The second album from Robyn Hitchock and Kimberly Rew is their overall best. That is if you like weird lyrical consent from Hitchcock, but somehow I Wanna Destroy You brings out the mutation of The Byrds crossed with The Kaleidoscope.  The original ten song album could have been the answer to Side Trips from the former band mention above.  College radio did love them for the 2 minute Byrds tribute Queen Of Eyes, (with a nod toward The Cramps) but where the hell Robyn thought up of Old Pervert, Kim Rew adds mad guitar.  The Rykodisc adds 8 bonus tracks to really throw everything up in a chaoic loop (the drawn out Where Are The Prawns?), but it still doesn't deter the original the original album itself.  Later issued on Yep Roc.
Grade A- 

Green Day-Revolution Radio (Reprise 2016)

Given their persona over the years, they have become The Who, otherwise old farts disguised as old punks, what else to describes the woahs and shout along Ouis to Bang Bang or even the title track.  Billy Joe Armstrong still wants you young kids to know that they can still be punks, even though the parents that grooved to Dookie and Insomniac probably have moved on something else. Somewhere New shows more of a Pete Townsend slashing guitar riffs.  And while Bang Bang was touted as the next big single, it has actually bombed on the alternative and modern rock charts.  I didn't even know it was out as a single till I stumbled upon it in the shortened Best Buy CD section.  Say what you want about those trio of albums that they stuck out in 2012, it would have been a nice single Uno/Dos/Tres  CD.  There is a misstep on this album, and that is Outlaws, to which it is a desperate attempt to make top 40 radio or even modern rock for that matter, but for 5 minutes it lacks anything memorable to a 21 Guns off 21st Century Breakdown, Green Day's less interesting album of this century.  The second half of the album does get better, and Forever Now is another Billy Joe Armstrong mini opera which gets redeemed at the end with  a very complex Tre Cool drum attack before things conclude with an acoustic farewell called Ordinary World.  For back to the basics of what Green Day can do and do well, and that is to rock out full volume, Revolution Radio isn't all bad.  It won't make you forget Dookie, but it does suggest that any band that cites The Who as an influence and play like The Who when they were in their prime is doing something right.  And it's not a concept album too.  Maybe their answer to Who Are You.  Maybe.
Grade B

From Robert Christgau.

Drive-By Truckers: American Band (ATO) In part because the Hood-to-Cooley ratio is back up and in part because they're less relaxed as the Obama Age ends, this superb song collection is raggedier than the last superb song collection. But in recompense it's more explicit and bereaved. Having resettled in Oregon just in time to detail an Umpqua massacre preceded by a victim's nice morning and idyllic weekend, Hood also spends 6:27 in Ferguson and its branches nationwide. Cooley opens with "Ramon Casiano," which minimal Googling makes clear is an assault on the NRA, and soon follows with "Surrender Under Protest," about the actual outcome of that war the starry-eyed say ended at Appomattox. Then there's the finale that begins "I was listening to the radio when they said that you were gone." Gotta be Merle, right? Uh-uh—Robin Williams. It's about mood swings and depression out of control, a somatic heritage Hood tells us he knows firsthand. A


2000 Man said...

Still like that Police album. I kind of like them all. I used to play them all the time, but as time has passed I play them less, but they were kind of mainstream at the same time as Tom Petty and I think they made more good records than he did (for the record I think he made two good records and one damned near perfect one and then just repeated himself, to this very day).

I've got the Matador two cd version of Underwater Moonlight. It's all the Robyn Hitchcock I have, and I should get some more. Every time I play that I think, "This is fucking GREAT!" It ages really well and I think it's a killer.

Hey, I found the second Pirates album, Skull Wars. Really great stuff, thanks for the recommendation. I'll keep an eye out for the first one for sure.

R S Crabb said...

howdy 2000 Man and mucho kudos on finding The Pirates Skull Wars. I think I was the only person in town that ever listened to The Pirates at that time. I bought it for the cool cover and then got lucky that the music was excellent.

It's funny how The Police and Tom Petty were under the radar in 1979 and I did play their first album most of the time in the car (on cassette). Like Petty, they were more a collective cool band nobody knew much about, Petty's You're Gonna Get It I still love to this day and eagerly waiting for his next album, which was Damn The Torpedoes, still worthy of five stars, despite Refugee and Don't Do Me Like That being on the radio overkill list. I continue to buy Petty's albums over time but only one that grew on me was Let Me Up I Had Enough and to a lesser extent Into The Great Wide Open, which alas, Jeff Lynne made him sound like ELO.

Most of Robyn Hitchcock's albums are available through Yep Roc but I stumbled upon many of his albums via cut outs and discounted CDs. Wasn't much of a fan of the first Soft Boys album A Can A Bees (I need to revisit that one in the future). Nevertheless, the Rykodisc of Underwater Moonlight was found and that might have been the Soft Boys finest moments. Robyn Hitchcock tends to go all over the map with his music, and he seems to not like Groovy Deco, the 1985 album which really wasn't that bad IMO. The A&M albums, I would go with Globe Of Frogs over Queen Elvis or Respect, although the hard to find Robyn Hitchcock Greatest Hits pretty much captures the highlights from that label.

For the albums to get, I suggest Fegmania (originally on Slash Records on vinyl), the live Gotta Let This Hen Out and the acoustic Eye (On Twin/Tone) The Rhino CDs have plenty of bonus tracks and alternative takes, Robyn is very generous of opening up the vaults it seems. As far I know, you might find them on Yep Roc (they might be available on vinyl). Underwater Moonlight might be his signature album (as well as the Soft Boys).