Monday, October 24, 2016

Week In Review: The Crabbys 2016, Bob Dylan Nobel Prize Winner

The feel good story of the year is the Cubs winning the pennant and now made the World Series for the first time since 1945 and they meet the Cleveland Indians.  I blogged about it earlier and got that out of the way.  Now it's back to reality.


And the reality is that the Iowa Hawkeyes are not very good.  Wisconsin came into town and reclaimed the Heartland Trophy for their sixth straight victory at Iowa City with a  17-9 victory. And still fell out of the top 10 in the Coaches poll.  Had Wisconsin made their two FGs and didn't fumble in the end zone it would have been a blow out.  It's a question if Wisconsin had a stellar defense (they really do) or if the Hawkeyes are terrible on offense, ranking 106th in total offense.  Plenty of injuries for sure but the offense line was poor in the beginning even with the first team starters. But with the replacements, all they could do was shout Look out as Badgers raced through their feeble blocks.  When they had chances to get in the game Iowa shot themselves in the foot, after a kick to the Badgers 35, George Kittle was flagged for offside and the Hawks went backwards. Freshman Keith Duncan missed a chip shot FG and the Hawkeye Defense couldn't tackle either.  Iowa has a bye week to figure out if they have anything left in the tank to make it to a bowl game, but they will not be in the Championship, that will be up to Nebraska and Wisconsin to see if they play either Ohio State or Michigan. Next game at Penn State.  Iowa has lost three games at home and probably two more.

Arizona State is also falling out of favor and players too. Washington State with big mouth coach Mike Leech came in and defeated them 37-32 in a not so happy homecoming.  Leech opened up his mouth and accused of ASU of stealing signals to which Todd Graham kept quiet but was steaming red, congratulating Leech but calling him a chickenshit at the end. Leech might have walked away a winner, but he's 10,000 dollars poorer, being fined by the Pac 12 for those stealing comments. Look for Graham to mark the next date they play in Pullman next season. You can bet he wants to win there and win big.  As for Leech, he did keep his big mouth shut after the game while being interviewed.  Probably the smartest thing he's done all week.

Music news; Bill Wyman has joined the 80 club.  He Turned 80 on Monday.

For those who missed out on the Rykodisc Yoko Ono, Onobox set, Strictly Canadian is reissuing her albums, three at a time in November.  You know you need these in your collection

The 2017 Winter Dance Party has been announced and with the original rockers dwindling down to select few (Bobby Vee now gone) not much of them are still. The party starts on Wednesday February first with the usual history lesson, Thursday Lloyd Price and Jack Scott and Tommy Allsup will appear. Friday The Whitesidewalls play with Roy Orbinson and Everly Brothers tribute bands, and the Saturday lineup will be Johnny Rivers, The Fireballs with Jimmy Gilmer and George Tomsco and Albert Lee and Friends. If you're going, better check with the Surf Ballroom for details.  The rules are complicated.

Passsing: Bobby Vee. Teen idol who's career started by replacing Buddy Holly on the illfated 1959 Winter Tour and then having a few hits on Liberty in the 60s passed away from Alzheimer's on Monday. He was 73.

Pete Burns, singer for Dead Or Alive, that had the 1980's disco hit You Spin Me Round, died from a heart attack, he was 57.  (Seems like 57 has been a number for people passing away of late)

John Zacherle, who had a hit with Dinner With Drac for Cameo in the late 50s but became a cult star hosting monster movies for five decades, passed from natural causes.  He lived to be 98.

Buck Ornsby of The Fabulous Wailers:

Get off my lawn department:  Phil Collins has been on a tirade lately, blasting Paul McCartney when Phil wanted Mac to autograph a 45 of his and Paul made fun of the situation.  He also cringed at taking part of the disastrous Live Aid 85 reunion of Led Zeppelin, saying he was playing air drums on Rock and Roll and threw the late Tony Thompson under the bus for Thompson's heavy handed drumming.  I'm guessing Phil didn't pay much attention to his drumming on Robert Plant's solo albums and 'ahem' Eric Clapton's August.  But the biggest laugh came when he said he would have taken over for Keith Moon in The Who after Moon's OD. Never mind that Kenny Jones and Simon Phillips were on drums during various tenures.  Jones a very good drummer was ridiculed, but judging by the material of The Who, I don't think neither he or Keith would made a difference.  Bring cheese to combat Collins' whine, it doesn't make him look good in the eye of the reader of the nit picking that he has done; if anything Collins did contribute a lot to the 80s with success as a solo artist or with Genesis but when you hear Collins go off, it makes him sound like an grumpy old fuck.  Phil also complains about not being able to play drums anymore, using somebody else when he goes on tour. If Rick Allen can lose an arm and still play one handed, there's no reason why Phil can't do it. But then again he'll find one more thing to bitch about to which you can read about in his new cranky autobiography Not Dead Yet (but get off my lawn anyway).

What Paul Macca thinks about that: (get on with your life)

Bob Dylan won the Noble Peace Prize in literature which shocked the whole book world.  Dylan hasn't been impressed about the honor. they have tried to get a hold of him but he continues to ignore them.

 (Photo: Panoramio courtesy of King Hawk Fan, sometime in the early 2000s, the windows to the gym have been opened since 1997)

The Viola School has been abandoned for 18 years and have had a change of ownership four times.  The plan to make it into apartments fell through and the Stone City Art Foundation was going to make it somewhat of place for artists to hang out but then they found out it was in worse shape. A new owner had the idea of doing a ghost hunters type of seance to call out the ghost in that school.  At last count, they have counted 22 entities of high energy, and the stories I heard were interesting. A school teacher that thinks it's 1930, a ghost that jumps from the teachers lounge to the auditorium and thinks it's 1982 and a janitor that whispers to ghost hunters to get out have been a few examples.  The owner of the school wanted to do a ghost hunting fundraiser to pay for a new roof and much needed repairs, then Linn County Planning and Development nixed the project and deemed the place unsuitable and unsafe for the events planned for last and this weekend.  In true fashion, the Deputies have stepped up their presence around the area to keep people from going inside but I've seen a few that sneaked into the school after hours.  The guess is that the owner might still plan to hold tours after November 1st, technical issues that my brother tried to explained to me but I didn't get much of it (something about taxes).  Alas, the 30 dollar tours did sell out in the two weekends prior, people do tend to like going to old abandoned buildings and maybe find a ghost or two.   It's a shame that in 1997, the Viola School looked well kept before the Anamosa school district closed it down and it's been decaying, but some things are still in tact.  The red drapes in the gym are still up and intact and in good shape, which is hard to believe since the window to the gym has been opened for 18 years.  The new owners paid 10,000 dollars to acquire the building and hoped to preserve it...and the 22 ghosts that occupy that grand old haunted place.

 (Photo: RAGBRAI Ian Cullis with Isabella Barbuzza during the 2012 Ragbrai festival with plans to turn the school into a place for artists to create art, which plans would eventually fall through)

Due to a big work load at my place of employment, I have been basically doing other things of note and not tending to this blog as much as I have, although I had to post the Cubs blog and threw together a Singles Going Steady.  I continue to buy new music and some cool used CDs, but the weather has been nice and I've been trying to take advantage of the fall weather before the winter comes.  I did the Kyle Oyloe Tribute Jam Sunday and many of Kyle's family and friends joined Julie And The Mad Dogs with Terry McDowell at Rumors.  Talking with my friend Mike Serbousek, who drums for them, he said that their gig at Knuckleheads was canceled due to the place having their liquor license being taken away and things need to be squared out before bands play again.   I don't think he was too happy of being out in the audience the first hour.  He was on a mission, pounding the drums to an angry version of Fairies Wear Boots before leaving for a family emergency.  Trevor Worcel worked on four songs with newcomer Ron LaFleur and wowed the crowd.  It was a fun jam I suppose but not everybody was happy.  Buddy, Dakota's father wasn't too happy about logging his sons stuff back to Anamosa after the show, or Buddy got yelled at by the owner for playing too loud.  Hell my ears are still ringing and I wore ear plugs. Anyway, that might be my last jam for a while, until the workload dwindles down.  Good news, our operations manager said that our company is starting back on the upswing after laying 10 percent of the workforce earlier in the summer and we should all be gainfully employed.  Downside: I can't play rock star except for the usual jams or Townedgers Recording sessions.  

One month after the big flood, Cedar Rapids' New Bo district is getting back to normal. The sand bags have been taken away from that area and the Kickstand has reopened once again. Still part of the bike trail still have Hasco barriers in tact, but the earthen temporary dam is now gone from Sinclair Park.  Still plenty of sand around though.

For new releases, I have heard the new Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker (Columbia 2016) and he continues to make pretty good album despite his age and declining health.  The title track might be one of the strongest songs he's ever made in quite a while.  The songs do deal with resentment about religion or God, but even if Leonard is not convinced about the Almighty he does comes to terms about the higher power at the reprise of Treaty. The strings and the fiddle on side 2 tend to slow the proceedings down to a crawl but the first half has the strongest songs.  I'm thinking more of a strong B plus but don't be surprised if I end up putting this on the ten best of the year.

Blackberry Smoke-Like An Arrow (Thirty Tigers 2016) While good, pales in comparison to Holding All The Roses.  There's no Help You Find The Door, no Wish In One Hand and the closest songs capturing that good time feel would be Waiting For The Thunder or Let It Burn.  Problem is that they sound a bit too complacent and not as hungry.  Greg Allman adds value to the final track Free On The Wing.  Working For The Man somewhat redeems the record to a more positive level and a B plus is not bad a grade, but this record will need a few more listens before it all comes together. I recommend it but with some reservations.  Let's hope it does get better with repeated listens.  But it remains me too much of the Georgia Satellites' Open All Night, which side 2 rendered it a good but not great album. A weak B plus.

Happy trails to Trucker Kitty, who has discontinued her blog on Blogspot.  I wish her good fortune in wherever her road leads. 

(photo: Al Dimeola)

Record Reviews:

James Brown-Please Please Please (King 1960)

Early crude doo wop R and B with a bit more emphasis on the slower numbers, the title track is what defined J.B, crying, pleading and rapping over a slow groove.  Try Me the other well known number is more in Little Willie John territory.   The uptempo stuff there's not enough of it for me to really play this again (Chonnie-On-Chod, No, No No No with the staggered 8 beats), and Brown bascially stole Honky Tonk to add lyrics of his own making in there too  (Let's Make It).  Everybody's gotta start from somehwere and Please Please Please is James' first album.  A promise of things to come
Grade B

Willie Nelson-Make Way For Willie Nelson/My Own Peculiar Way (Wounded Bird 2012)

These albums are problematic.  While Chet Atkins might have done wonders for Jim Reeves and any other RCA artists, he couldn't find a suitable way to promote Willie and the Anita Kerr Singers or Nashville Edition didn't help things either.  Nelson turned out to be somewhat darker songwriter, somewhere along the likes of Don Gibson but with a more dry sense of humor.  Make Way only has one Willie song (One In A Row) which is the best of the bunch.  He does turn in a credible version of Born To Lose and a few other standards of note (Mansion On  A Hill, What Now My Love) but overall, it's spotty.  My Own Peculiar Way brings Danny Davis (Nashville Brass) into co producing and there's an attempt to put Willie into Elvis territory with awful results (I Just Dropped Big). On that album, Willie does write half the songs and if Atkins or Davis would have based him with a stripped down sort of arrangements, it would have been better.  Even Nelson didn't think much of the production, he sounds a bit bored by it all.   Wounded Bird, not exactly putting big bucks in the liner notes ended up putting the original album covers so small you needed a microscope to read the notes.
Still, no wonder why RCA couldn't promote Willie at all.  He was way ahead of the times, despite
 the polished production.
Grade B-

Singles Going Steady Medley-Dubuque 25 Cent finds.

Promises Promises-Lynn Anderson (Chart 59-1010)  #4 country in 1968, song issued in 1967

Lynn had plenty of hits on the country side prior to Rose Garden but this was a top ten country hit for her and one of her best if not her best song.  At that point Chart Records was under RCA distribution, which might explains why this song ended up on a RCA country compilation that my dad had in his collection, although a later collection found this being under the Sony music banner.  Lynn is the daughter of Liz Anderson who was a very prolific singer songwriter of her own too. 

To Sir With Love-Lulu (Epic 5-10187)  #1  1967

An almost near mint copy of the Lulu's top charting single, but I got it simply to hear her cover of Neil Diamond's The Boat That I Row, which mirrors Neil's.

I'll Meet You In Denver-Bonnie Guitar (Dot 17249)  1969
Kind of a dull country ballad.  B side Perfect Stranger isn't much better.

(photo: Helen Caunt-Discogs)

Wild Thing-Fancy (Big Tree BT-15004) #14  1974

Surprise top ten hit here on the local scene, Helen Caunt, former Penthouse poster girl purred and cooed her way through the Troggs remake.  B side Fancy showed her having a bit of sassy bad, like Chrissie Hynde of unlike Chrissie, Helen didn't have the true vocals style if she ever did have any vocals. More of a Mike Hurst band project that featured Ray Fenwick (Spencer Davis Group).  Anne Cavanaugh would take over for Helen on followup single Touch Me.  Ray Fenwick would later go on to join Ian Gillan's Band and Fancy drummer Les Blinks would join Judas Priest for two albums on Columbia in the late 70s.  For porn rock Caunt did things quite orgasmic on Wild Thing.

The Crabbys 2016

It's that time once again for yours truly to put together the best places to find music.  The list keeps getting shorter although Cedar Rapids will have the Vinyl Vault, a new place for vinyl.

Is it pointless to continue to talk about best places to find CDs or LPs, when most are streaming.  But there's some that would want to get the fuck off the computer and turn on a stereo to play their music, and I'm one of them.  No shortage of finding used music, the thrift stores have plenty of them.  But a caveat is that it seems to me that the local Salvation Army or Goodwill seems to hold on more of the rock and roll albums than they do of country or God Forbid the gospel stuff, the Mantovini, the Herb Alpert and so on.  The Marion SA had a copy of Wings At The Speed Of Sound for thirty dollars still sealed.  And Goodwill has continued on their downward spiral of being a trendy store, but they tend cram their LPs, CDs. Tape and 45s into a small space.  It's mind bogging to see them stamp a scratchy old 45 to a 1.88 or priced albums from 1.88 to 3.88 if it's rock and any condition. Defeats the sense of purpose to the point that maybe I should quit going to Goodwill since the returns aren't worth the drive nor effort.  And Best Buy has shrunk their CD section to a half row, even they can't be trusted for new music.  Or the 3 major labels either. So we're basically on our own to see what donations can be found for used music.

Again, the best records stores are in a 2 and half hour drive from here and while I know the Madison stores, I had no interest of putting up with the crappy Des Moines traffic to see what Half Priced Books had in the clearance bins, or even taking a chance on the closest FYE store.  Even on a good day FYE has been hit and miss. Or where the good record stores are at in Des Moines.  So basically I stick around the area next to the Mississippi.   Every record store has its good and bad points, it's no different than it was the first time I did the Crabby Awards.      They're mentioned for the reason that I frequent them when I'm in the neighborhood.  But they're rated in what I would recommend if your are passing through.   Support all of them if you can but in the order that I place them.

Best Record Stores:

Moondog Music (Dubuque)
Like last year they topped the list due to keeping up with new releases and having a used Cd section that does vary everytime I stopped in.  Their vinyl section might not be as big as Ragged Records or even CDs 4 Change, down the road from them. The prices are in line what Relics used to be, they vary, but if you're looking for the new Blackberry Smoke or Whiskey Myers CD, this is the place that would have them.  Usually 45s are marked a dollar apiece. And sometimes I can find bargains to take home.  Sometimes the sales help can be a bit pushy but they mean well.

Ragged Records (Davenport)
You can't beat this place for new vinyl and Bob Herrington does a fine job keeping up with new vinyl releases but the drawback is that he doesn't sell new CDs from the majors, to which you're better off crossing the river to Co Op Records in Moline.  Ragged does have a cheap bin that has promo CDs for 4 dollars or less, which makes the ultimate crate digging of finding Holding All The Roses from Blackberry Smoke.  Unlike Moondog, Ragged sells used CDs but out of print CDs will cost you more than the 7.99 price tag for some of them.  They also sell 45s but beware of the unmarked ones, to which if you fished them out of the record room, they usually look up the value of the 45 on the internet and price accordingly, or the Rich Rosen method. On a whole getting Cruel World from Don Hollinger for 10 dollars was fair but paying four dollars for Leapy Lee Here Comes The Rain, or a scratchy 10 dollar Rocky Top from The Dillard/Clark Exposition is dollar foolish.  Ragged is very friendly to local bands and have their own label Cartouche Records that features local artists.  They were also the first place to turn me on to The Dawn.

Co Op Records (Moline)

Reid Robinson has continued to work this place for 20 years now.  Co Op does have new CD releases as well but they're a bit more expensive 15 or 16 dollars but if you don't want to pay for that, you're free to roam to somewhere else.   Co Op also has a vinyl selection although not as extensive as Ragged Records.  Davenport recently revived Co Op over there but the selection is suspect at best. If you look hard enough you can find out of print CDs at regular prices, which is how I found Robyn Hitchcock's Fegmania! Rhino Record Version for 12 dollars.

CDs 4 Change (Dubuque)
More of a vinyl place than Cds, but I did find Love's Real to Reel on CD.  They got new vinyl, but not new CDs but rather used ones.  Beware of the 45s selection when they're not marked for prices.

Record Collector (Iowa City)
The last record store standing in Iowa City and Kirk continues to rack in with some decent used Cds and albums.  His 45's are marked as priced.  The used CD section varies at times.  A good place for used jazz CDs.

Best Thrift Stores:

Half Priced Books (Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Madison)

Unlike Hastings Entertainment, Half Priced Books continues to thrive in this town, and still remains my second home 10 years after they opened one here in town.  CDs have a short life in the 5.99 and above price range and the less sellers get demoted to the 2 dollars or less bins.  To which my collection has ballooned with plenty of them.  They gotten also into the new vinyl field as well, mostly around 19 or 20 dollars for new ones and plenty of imports as well.  Let's hope that Half Priced Books will stay around a while. Otherwise I'd be bored to death.

The Source Bookstore (Davenport)

Their CD selection cost 5 dollars per disc but I managed to find some out of print classics up there, as well as some cheap LPs.  They got the good stuff, i.e. expensive stuff downstairs and it's always fun to sneak down there and dig deep.  The basement stuff is more expensive though.  Prices on 45s I think are a quarter a piece.  Most have seen better days.

Stuff Etc (CR, Iowa City, Coralville, Ankeny, Davenport, Waterloo)

Hit and miss most of the time but the better places to find CDs remains the CR and Coralville stores. Madison has Savers, which is Stuff Etc but not as cool.

St. Vincent De Paul (Waterloo, Madison)

Both stores have cheap 45s but they too vary in sound and quality but the prices I think are about 25 to 50 cents per record.  Cedar Rapids has one but they never have 45s.

Salvation Army (Davenport, Marion, Cedar Rapids)

Very hit and miss, even more so since the vinyl revival.  The Davenport junk SA store is where I have good luck finding 45s.  Marion and Cedar Rapids not much so.

Goodwill (various locations)

Don't care much for the new Goodwill, but sometimes somebody will donate a great 45 collection.  And I'll find a CD or two.  The Maquoketa Goodwill had The Godz CD.  Which is why I continue to shop Goodwill from time to time.

Sweet Living Antiques (Iowa City)

Plenty of records to chose from, sometimes I will find 45s up there too.

Crowded Closet (Iowa City)

They been lacking of late, I haven't bought anything from them in well over a year.  Sticking a price tag on a 45 isn't a good idea either.

James Moriarty took this picture of Ivy Doomkitty.  Or maybe she did.  Since you asked, she's still around.  This month's eye candy.

The Dawn's Set List of Led Zeppelin cover songs-Daytrotter 10/31/16

Thank you all so much for hanging with us last night. We had an absolute blast!!!! We really can't thank you enough!!!!!! Thanks to the entire Daytrotter staff, Soap, Sister Wife and Blind Baker Lighting for all of their hard work! Also, a huge thanks to The Tripp Brothers!

The Dawn- Daytrotter 10/31/16

Good Times Bad Times, Ramble On, Tangerine, Guitar Violin Bow Solo> Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Misty Mountain Hop, Over The Hills And Far Away> No Quarter, The Ocean, Houses Of The Holy, Trampled Under Foot, Kashmir*, Fool In The Rain

*= w/ Tripp Brothers

No comments: