Saturday, December 3, 2016

Week In Review: December, 800 Views, More 45s

Yeah, I'm still around.  I have been working on some band projects of late to which you can catch up on the Townedgers blogspot side of things.  But I really didn't see a need to flood band activities over here.  Technically it's music news but it's also my own personal band and from what I have seen nobody cares much about The Townedgers side of things.

It's December and it looks like we will finally get the snows that have been forthcoming.  And we have been lucky so far, till you get two to four inches of the white shit and the trail walking season comes to an end.   Unless things melt off.  But the weather forecasts for more snow and ice and other crap the next couple days.  I'm not looking forward to it, but the bargain hunting season is finally over, there's a Dubuque run after I get the car serviced.  I have no desire to pop into a Stuff Etc with Christmas music blaring, or KDAT giving us ten versions of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.  So I guess from here on out, Record World will look back at this year and lament of all the happenings and passings that came to be.  I'm sure next year we'll continue to lose more musicians and friends and family.  The price we pay for hanging around for 55 years I guess.  Some day it will come to an end here.  The snow finally ended, and we got six inches of the white wet shit, making it heart attack snow to shovel.  Or another way to fuck up your back.  Welcome to winter.

I have no hope for 2017, now that the voting public voted for the failed reality star and that's how I'm going to call this fraud.  The GOP controls, the house, the senate and you can pretty much kiss whatever freedoms you had away too.  I have seen the failed reality star and his choice of picks to head this country and I'm not surprised.  I have right wing friends pleading to give this failed reality star a chance and so far he's failed to impress me and he's not even in the damn white house yet. Draining the swamp?  More like flooding it with the same old same old.  I did vote and therefore I still reserve the right to bitch about this wrongheadedness this country has become.  If we're not in another war or not in another great depression it will be a miracle.  But it's hard to judge anything I see on social media, most of it is bullshit and I'm too tired to  separate the real from the fake.

On the football side of things, Wisconsin blew a 28-7 lead and Penn State rallied to win 38-31. The final four picks should be Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and......Washington.   Why not? Except for a USC upset, they have proven to be a worthy Pac 12 team, blowing out Colorado in the Pac 12 Championship game.  I just don't see the Big 10 having two teams in the final four.  Penn State did beat Ohio State, but Michigan blew out Penn State 49-10, and any blow out will look back for a final four team.  Iowa will head to Florida, to play Florida in the Outback Bowl, nothing like going to a bowl game and have to play a team based out of that state, but Iowa has done that twice before.  What's another third time playing the same team in January.

On the basketball side of things.  Iowa's men team sucks, they can't play defense, they can talk of the NIT but I'm looking at a 20 loss season.  It may cost Fran McCaffery his job if they don't attempt to play defense.

As much as people rave about the new Rolling Stones Blue And Lonesome album, their first in 11 years, I find it commendable but not enough to give it a place on the best of 2016.  It might have benefited them around 1996 or 2005 for that matter.  But honestly, I just can't get excited about Blue And Lonesome.  At least Mick Jagger is playing more harmonica this time out.   Let Rolling Stone and All Music give them the four and half stars rating.  I'll go as far as a B Plus, but we all know that it's a album destined for the shelves after playing it once or twice.  It's honest, but the original sources is where I'll go to should I want to listen to Hate To See You Go or Willie Dixon.

November found the Record World under the Mendoza line or 2,000 views and even with the 200 plus views today (for the first time in two months so says Blogger Stats) it's too little too late for ole Crabby to give much thought.  I look at Record World as a nice diary of what happened in the music biz, or the teams that I root for.  Or where the bargains are at or the road trips to them.  Or the eye candy wallpaper that I sometimes come across.  Anybody that has a blog, spends copious amount of time to get the word out and that becomes time poverty to other things.  Let's face it, I'm nowhere near Bob Lefsetz in terms of statue or satire.  I'm not hip to what he likes for new music or for that matter whatever radio puts out, but also let it be known that I'm not hip to what NME or SPIN touts for new music either.  I have local favorites, I have a big archives of past music and there's always interesting things found on the cheap too.  Records, CDs, Tapes, it will never end.  Till the day I die, I will continue to tout the lesser known and bitch about corporate radio playing Bohemian Rhapsody four times in a day.  Nothing like hearing 40 year old songs over and over.

So, 205 plus views today might be considered great news, but things run in cycles and I haven't posted in over a week, so getting 200 plus views for doing nothing is suspicion in my views.   Most don't comment, unless it's the absent anonymous dude hiding behind the blogger banner touting E.D. pills, or hook up dates or porn sites, which is not what Record World is about.   It's a place for discovering the lost bands, The Brains/Delta Moon project of Tom Gray, discovering Mom's Apple Pie or giving props to Swinging Steaks or Gene Cotton or a forgotten 45 that somebody decided to use for their own enjoyment on 45 cat.   And after a while, bloggers do give up, or get off the computer, to live life again, to be grandparents to a newborn or to get out in the open.  Certainly, there are more time gaps between blogs over here.  I would love to devote more time to the C.R. Music scene and the musicians out there, but I have my own band to contend with too.  For next year I cannot tell where I'm going to be, or if I'm still going to have a job or if I'm still going to be alive.  At this point, it really doesn't matter what I think or do.  When I mentioned that something special was going to happen this year, it actually did happen.  The Chicago Cubs won the pennant, went to the World Series and won The World Series.  I would have loved to find that special somebody in my life or join that super new band but things didn't pan out that way.  If i could find that special somebody, chances are I wouldn't be on the computer all that much but I think the year I posted the most was when I had somebody in my life.   I certainly didn't do her any favors by hogging the computer back then.  But I thought I had some important things to say.  Looking at the ratings I was proven wrong.

When you give 15 years of your life to talk about music and life, that turned out to be 27 percent of your time on this planet, it was a bold attempt to preserve and keep the lesser music alive.  The Mach Fives, The Big Back Forty, Robyn Hitchcock, Dramarama, Translator, Rank And File, Blackberry Smoke, Trio, Gene Cotton, Chuck Murphy, there was no point of me talking about Pink Floyd or Queen since many others do that.  I'm more interested in The Fugs or 54-40, although I have used the ICON for The Who and Aerosmith but in all fairness it's another glorified attempt to pay homage to the bands I grew up listening to.   Yes, Record World has been a place for top ten songs of the week, review of albums I listened to during the week and some of the entries have been good reference to gather information with.   And every year at this point, I reflect on if I should invest another year of my time and typing skills to do a whole year of news and views.  Since 2002, it was decided that I should renew my commitment and sign on for another year.  If I can count on 205 views a day, it might be worth the effort but once things wind under 100 views for almost a whole month, I should say fuck it and conclude things.  But then again, maybe I should thank Blogger for inflating those views one in a while and be happy with it.  But I noticed Blogger doesn't update the all time views at all. And we all know the Swinging Steaks blog, should be in the top fucking five, they certainly got more than the less than 200 views that Blogger says it has all time.  I call bullshit on that blog not in the top ten, and the Swinging Steaks even have a link to that blog.

So for now, let's consider this a new update and go from there.   I know there's a few more entries to add and I'll continue to update things here as prescribed by law.    At some point, as Charlie Rich sang there won't be anymore.   We just don't know when yet.

Update: 822 views today. Imagine that. More views today then the last two and half weeks. Thanks to those who read the archives. Which means we should finish the year in grand style.  And no comments (except from the mysterous Blogger person who throws bullshit spam ads in the mailbox, you know they're not going to get approved don't ya, mysterous Blogger person?).

Passings: Sean McKeough

Record Reviews:

Motorhead-Clean Your Clock (UDR 2016)

It's hard to believe how Lemmy who was so full of pain during the last few concerts of last year that he manages to make it through the songs, and while the 1981 No Sleep Till Hammersmith remains the ultimate ear splitting Motorhead experience, the music here is just as intense. Of course you can't replace Fast Eddie Clarke or Phil Taylor but for the past 30 years Phil Campbell has been side by side with Lemmy and Mikkey Dee was pounding on the drums for 2 plus decades as well. Though March Or Die was the first album featuring Mikkey Dee, Motorhead needed to get off Epic to put out their classic album Bastards, which ranks next to Ace Of Spades as best overall Motorhead album. Lemmy is good spirits, politely thanking the faithful while making them all deaf all the way to show closer Overkill, to which Mikkey Dee's controlled drumming keeps the band firing on all four cylinders, although I will enjoy Taylor's chaotic beginnings of said song.  There's a guitar solo and in tribute to Taylor who then died around the time of this recording, Dee plows into a drum solo on Dr Rock.  Except for Motorhead (the song), most of their best known songs are here, with a few surprises (Over The Top, Rock It) and of course Whorehouse Blues, that rare unplugged number before Overkill ends on a 4 minute feedback binge beginning with Campbell and ending with Lemmy's deathknell bass squeals.  In true rock and roll spirit, Lemmy shows the world that even in the end, he was going out on his own terms.  R.I.P.
Grade A- 

The Kentucky Headhunters-On Safari (Practice House/Plowboy 2016)

God bless them, they're still around, and like their last album Richard Young is still doing lead vocals, which is becoming their disadvantage, he doesn't have much of a voice.  Doug Phelps does the bulk of the lead singing and at this point in time, The Headhunters are lost the country twang of their hit making years, but they had a rock thunder in Fred K Young's drums, and he still is rock solid.  They cover a Alice Cooper number (Caught In  A Dream), and revisits Mark Orr's Beaver Creek Mansion, (Orr wrote it a while ago), which Doug skirts into bro country word wise, but the music is southern rock.  Like their last album, there's a inconsistency that doesn't rise it to the levels of Grass String Ranch, Doug Phelps's high water mark, (since Ricky Lee did the earlier stuff it doesn't make sense to bring up Pickin On Nashville or Electric Barnyard).   But it does end on a good note with God Loves A Rolling Stone and the instrumental Governor's Cup, a rare glimpse into the Headhunters pickin and a grinning.
Grade B+

The Rolling Stones-Blue And Lonesome (Polydor 2016)

God bless them too, a nice tossed off effort of getting back to the what made the Stones so powerful in the first place, they knew how to redo the blues into white boy R and B back in the 60s, although this time out, Mick Jagger decides to avoid the straight r and b and do mostly Chicago blues.  And for their four and half star Rolling Stone Mag ratings, it is overrated.  Consider a more modest three and a half or perhaps a solid four stars.  Arguments still prevail over the last true classic Stones album. For myself Some Girls was their last major statement, Bill Kopp disagrees and thinks It's Only Rock And Roll was their last hoorah and Martin Daniels sided with Black And Blue.  There have been good latter day albums, Voodoo Lounge, had they knocked off the filler or perhaps Steel Wheels if I'm in a forgiving mood.  Yeah, Don Was polishes things up a tad bit too clean and this is not going to make me give up my Little Walter collection at all, but at least Mick Jagger is blowing more harmonica and actually singing more rather than striking a pose and jiving all over the place.  Call it three days of fun jamming and revisiting their roots, their first new album in 11 years, and it could be their last, like any band out there,  Deep Purple who have hint their next album will be their last, Willie Nelson who continues to put out two or three albums per year and will continue to do so till he keels over, or Leonard Cohen and David Bowie, who both checked out of this world after finishing their last albums.   At least with Blue And Lonesome, The Stones go full circle with the blues.  It won't make me forget Some Girls but at least it's a bit better to remember them by than say...A Bigger Bang.
Grade B

Singles Going Steady Medley-Goodwill 45's-Dubuque Store

Here we go again.  The last of an very uneven find that BDW hasn't had anything of note for the past two months and the Salvation Army Store in Davenport had nil too.  It's odd to find that the Dubuque Goodwill has even had anything of note, although some are pop stuff, and more big band confetti.  Let's see if Bullfrogspond has any insight on the lesser known stuff.

 I'll Take Romance-Edie Gorme (ABC Paramount 45-9780)  #65 1957
Sure you want to Edie, I would too;  that's why we love ya. Wait till you hear the five octave outro.  B Side-First Impression is a lush piano torch ballad.  It's not rock and roll. It's actually quite boring.

That Ole Black Magic-Louis Prima/Keely Smith  (Capitol F-4063) #18 1958

Louis is more into rock than pop and it's odd to note this is the first of two Capitol singles that ever made the top 100, this was his only top 20 showing for Capitol, a less interesting take of Wonderland By Night made number 15 for Dot but by then Randy Wood was too busy making Louis more muzak than rocking.  His slapstick to Keely's straight singing has always made these songs classic. Had he lived, he'd be 116 today.  B Side, You Are My Love, is Keely and Nelson Riddle doing a torch ballad.

Star Dust Mambo-Richard Maltby and Orchestra (X-4X-0075)  1954

Oh yeah, Papa loves mambo ya know?  Big band music.  As is B side Strictly Instrumental.

Music To Think By-Morty Craft and his Orchestra (Smash S-2087)  1967

The answer to Music to watch girls by?  I guess they call it swinging go go pop.   B side A Man And A Woman, is more of that swinging dated 60s pop too.  Something a kin to a Doris Day movie I gather.   Sometimes I wish we can all go back 50 years and live that all over again.  Or maybe not.

Where Are They Now-Robin Wilson (A&M  959)  1968
Female singer that made three singles for A&M, somewhat like a cross between Petula Clark and Vickie Carr.  Produced by Allen Stanton who produced The Byrds Eight Miles High.  B Side House Is Not A Home written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, probably more suited for Dionne Warwick. Next.

A Tribute To The Four Seasons-Society's Children (Atco 45-6618) 1968

The strange 45 out of the bunch.  Society's Children did record a few singles for Atco, including a version of White Christmas, but they decided to do a medley of Four Seasons songs for shits and giggles, including canned applause.  B Side Golden Child......more of that sunshine pop that seemed to be the sign of the times of 1968.  Just as forgettable as Yummy Yummy Yummy.

Sunshine Girl-The Parade (A&M  841)  #20  1967

A one hit wonder power pop classic from a band featuring Jerry Riopelle, who wrote and produced this song.  This has been on a compilation album, although I thought it was on Nuggets, it's not on the box set of Nuggets Rhino put out but rather the 1988 More Nuggets.  I knew I'd find it eventually.

Back On The Street  Again-The Sunshine Company (Imperial 66260)  #36 1967

Another sad power pop song in the grand style of the Mamas and Papas, although the bass player and drummer would find employment with Loggins and Messina and later Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  While Larry Sims and Merel Bregante were the rhythm section, it does sound like the Wrecking Crew backing them up.  Could be wrong.  B side I Just Want To Be Your Friend was written by Curt Boettenger, who later be responsible for Sagittarius and The Millennium bands. 

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