Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Final Posting From Record World

And now a few final words from this blogger.

Last year we had 12,000 views and it was decided to keep this running for another year.  This year we cleared 2,000.  I think the ratings are a bit overblown but I tend to believe the 2,000 views better than the inflated one of last year. But still for 15 years, we had a great run.

While, blogs have come and gone, Tad, has continue to keep his going in the time that I started here.  He's been very supportive

As always, Half Price Books have been my number 1 place of finding off the wall CDs and bargain bin favorites.  Since the demise of Hastings, Borders, FYE and many others, HP Books bucks the trend.  They have now been here for over a decade.  The majority of reviews came from them.  I shall continue to live there as long as they stay in business.   Stuff Etc was another thrift store that I could find out of print albums as well from the kindness of people getting rid of their cds.  Of course I have to sort through all of the crappy rap albums and One Direction CDs but once in a while I come across something interesting.  I basically got my Leo Kotteke albums from Stuff Etc one August day.

To the record stores still existence.. Moondog Music in Dubuque, Mad City Music X and Strictly Discs in Madison, Ragged Records-Davenport, Co Op Records-Moline, Record Collector-Iowa City and Analog Vault and Vintage Vinyl in Cedar Rapids, I shall return as always.

I miss the days of going to Arizona and finding music but with Hastings closing their doors, it really doesn't seem much fun driving past the empty buildings in Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City and Kingman to name a few.  They still got Bookman's and they still got Zia's Records and they still got a ton of thrift stores.  The ever passive audiophile will know where to look.

The most fun this year was finding 45s and this year was one of the best, if not the best ever to find them.  Which is saying a lot since a lot of folks are buying records and finding any 45s have been few and far between.  But I got lucky a few times.  There might be a notion to continue to document them whenever I find more next year but on a whole I think things ran their course.  I don't think I'm setting the rock world on fire with all those Paul Anka finds.

I think the early years of Record World (Back when MSN had them up) were the best ones, full of sarcastic remarks and outrageous thoughts and most of disappeared and My Space was more of the same.  I didn't act quite fast enough and the 2006-2007 blogs are now in the black hole of cyberland. Ditto with Multiply, I lost the Neil Young Discography over  there, I have no intent of revisiting that.  Try Greatest Hits, then After The Gold Rush,  Rust Never Sleeps, Re-Act-ot, Ragged Glory, Harvest Moon, and then try your luck when you find the rest in the dollar bins at your local thrift store. Good luck.

The state of music today is that what you hear on top 40 radio, you won't remember the next week. I still think there is good music out there, but they have to compete with the classic albums of the 60s 70s etc and with Corporate interests owning all the major labels and most of radio, today's bands have a hard time getting noticed.   Yes, there's net radio, and of course the local bars and perhaps one day we might have a return to the good ole days that new music paved the new way.  But whatever SPIN or Pitchfork touts, I just cannot get into.  The Father John Misty, The Arcade Fire, and  certainly not new country, the Kane Brown, Old Dominion,  Walker Hayes,  it's easier to make fun of them but in reality if I can't get into their music, there's not point of saying how much they suck.   Public Radio hasn't wowed me with what they been playing either.   Maybe it's the end of music as I know it.  But I do know there's still much out there to be discovered from 60 years of rock and roll and another 40 of the beginnings.  I'll still continue to support the local artists and what they put out but as for rehashed reissues of albums I already have and autotuned chipmunks and kayne west wannabees are not for me. As my late IBM repairman Mark Lasack said, You're On Your Own.

And like the first blog that I did in 2002, we were going through 10 below temps and me trying to make use of my time to write about music and things that I wanted the world to know.  But something happened along the way this year that changed everything.  On the jam circuit I met my future girlfriend and it took a while to finally catch her.  I really did have to be patient to win her over.  We had a few false starts but this month she did finally wanted to be a part of this rock and roll record hoarder's life.  I wasn't sure if I was the one till November at the jam on a subpar night and going home, she caught me at the door, then invited me over to her place to work on some music.  And then things just fell into place.  She didn't have to worry about anybody else, I wasn't looking anyway.  Only her.

And now it's the last day of December, the last day of the year, it's 30 below wind chill and the GD starter went out of one of the cars and the other car is grunting and groaning.  I look in despair, that this month we started out above normal and now after Christmas we can't catch a break with below zero weather and fucking snow every day.  But the place is warm, my woman is in her bed sleeping with a smile on her face and I still got music playing on the box.   So things could be worse.

I no idea what 2018 will be like, but I do know is the music will continue and people will continue to die and there will be babies being born into a world that we have a Fraud as president in tow and a congress representing the 1 percent.  There'll be a revolution coming and people will either rise to the occasion and vote them out or stay home and let the evils and the hobbyists and bought out Congressmen, women continue to take away our way of living.  There'll be floods, and tornadoes and droughts and fires and hurricanes for next year.  Bands will come, bands will go, the trade mags will continue to hang on each word Liam and Noel Gallagher will spill out, and some will care what they say.  I don't.   Of course, the music world will continue to lose the hippies and music makers of the past seven decades, death never takes a holiday and as they say we never know when our time is up.  There'll be new blogs to replace the old blogs, newbies taking over for the oldsters.  It's not the end for me if I conclude Record World, it's been a fun ride and for a decade and a half too.  From here on out, it becomes the archives and I'm sure will be here longer than My Space or MSN put together.  The intent was to turn people on to music you have not heard or new music I know you have not heard or music and bands that were forgotten.  Once in a while it would strike a chord with somebody (Thanks to  Swinging Steaks, and the manager of Mom's Apple Pie), which meant I actually did my job.  The curtain falls but I'll be around somewhere.   If you read this far dear reader, thanks for your support.

I bid you all goodbye and Happy New Year 2018.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 A Look Back.

Well, here we are.  We made it to the end of the year.  Yes it's cold here.  Yes we have 10 below temps right now, yes we have snow.

2017 kinda slide on by, and I really didn't notice it that much.  Since giving up television, I am no longer slave to the Big Pharma Commercials, the crap reality shit shows on TV, the propaganda channels of FOX, CNN and MSNBC and basically had to deal with the crap that flooded my inbox at Facebook or Twitter.  I did enough of that back in the 2000s when we had W as POTUS. We sure have come a long way....backwards.

I continued to search the thrift stores for records and CDs and by golly I continued to find them.  It really does pay to have an open mind to give forgotten bands and local artists some airplay love.  For a while I had a internet radio show called Townedger Radio and managed to keep an interest to keep the forgotten music playing.  Till I ran out of CD R's and acoustic jams got the better of my mind.  But it was a fun run.

The bargain hunts this year were exceptional, especially finding 45s of my childhood days.  Two trips to Madison this year proved that if I waited long enough and kept going there more than three times, I might have completed the record collection that my mom had when we were growing up.  And most were under a quarter.  I had my other favorite places to hit, the St Vincent De Paul of Mad City, The Junk Salvation Army in Davenport, even the Dubuque Goodwill had some classic finds.  But the uptown Marion Antique Mall that housed BDW Records got booted out, and thus the BDW finds came to an end this summer.  But I still managed to find them.  People say the CD are out of style, I call bullshit and cleaned up with lots of decent finds, I don't think nobody as many Wounded Bird cutouts as I do.  Most were good, some were classic and a few stunk to high heaven.  For new music, you'll have read my Best of 2017 blog.

Thankfully, my family stayed healthy although my Aunt Fern is not long for this world, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are slowly taking their toll on her 93 years of being here on this planet.  I doubt if I'll make it that far.  I turn 57 next year.  The same year that one of my best friends Bruce Stanley took a nap on the couch and never woke up. Or Tommy Keene passing away in his sleep at age 59.   There were plenty of death's this year, Tom Petty the best known, Chuck Berry too, Mel Tillis, Kirk Walter of Record Collector, Malcolm Young, Dick Enburg, Grant Hart, Pat Dinizo, Chuck Barris, Clyde Stubblefield, Greg Trooper, Alan Holdsworth, John Wetton.  Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell decided they had enough to they took themselves out of this world.  But the most painful one was watching Col Bruce Hampton rocking out to Turn On Your Lovelight and on a guitar solo by a up and coming guitarist, simply gave up the ghost in mid tempo.  The best way to go out in life, on stage doing what you like.  I saw it on You Tube and cried afterward.   It still touches me today. Don Williams also let us, as did Glen Campbell who finally lost his battle with dementia,  And death will continue to take people into the next life, Rose Marie passed away today at age 94.  She lived a long and fruitful life.

On the sports side of things The Quad Cities River Bandits won the Midwestern League title and the Chicago Cubs did win the division title for the second straight year but they had nothing left to give in the playoffs and Los Angeles overtook them to go to the world series.  Arizona State improved to 7-5 and they still canned Todd Graham and hired Herman Edwards for next season.  Iowa ruined Ohio State's bid for the NCAA championship by whopping them 55-24 in November.  Even Colin Cowherd gave Iowa Credit.  And two weeks later Iowa whopped Nebraska 56-14 to earn a bid to a cold bowl game, the Pin Stripe Game in New York.  Nebraska then said goodbye to Mike Riley (who returned back to Oregon State as a assistant coach) and welcome back Scott Frost who might turn them around.  And then Iowa did end their bowl losing streak with a 27-20 victory over Boston College in the Pin Stripe Bowl.  Akim Wadley refused to lose on his final game as he became MVP with 223 all purpose yards.  And Josh Jackson capped a great season by getting his 8th interception joining the likes of Desmond King as most in a season (with a few others).  He'll make a good impact in the NFL.  (James Daniels, you best to stick around for another year in the college side of things).  Iowa State is going to a bowl game but like Iowa, their bowl game was going to Norman Oklahoma and derailing Heisman Award winning QB Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma 38-31 in October.  The experts said that wouldn't be possible.  Todd Graham goes 7-5 and gets fired and Herman Edwards takes over.  Todd's final game, North Carolina State creams ASU 52-31. And so it goes.

For Iowa State, they win the Liberty Bowl on a tipped pass to Allan Lazard, who might make an impact in the NFL and they outlasted the home team Memphis 21-10.  So with both Iowa and Iowa State winning, this makes a remarkable year for both teams.  It's hard to tell what game made the best impact, Iowa double nickels on Ohio State and taking the Buckeyes out of the playoffs picture, or The Cyclones going to Norman and defeating OU.  I'd say on the epic scale, Iowa wins out by a hair. Nevertheless Joel Lanning and Allan Lazard were true Cyclones to the end and both scored TDs. In his first year at linebacker Lanning made All American.  He'll be missed when he graduates.

For the Los Angeles Chargers, not having a kicker ruined their chances for the playoffs, They did beat Oakland 30-10, and getting Jack Del Rio fired but in the end, a shit kicker the first three games of the season is why they're watching the playoffs from home.

For personal fun, I did the World Naked Bike Ride Madison 2016 but wore my silk boxers and then rode off the the bargain stores for more music and fun.  Weather wise we stayed dry and no floods to speak of but we had tornadoes in the area, one tore a path about 20 miles from Alburnett to Prairieburg.  Even up on Madison in October while bike riding a small tornado paid a visit to some houses and store fronts on Washington Avenue over to the hotel I was staying at.  But for the most part, I particpated in a few jams in the area this summer, my band was the headliner in Vinton in September and in usual style, the band broke up soon afterwards.  I also was part of the Cabin Jam on The Wapsi this July.   And in the process managed to cast a spell on one of the local musicians.

And it should be the best store of 2017.  Five years after my breakup with the brat, I swore never to fall in love again, never to succumb to temptations of eve and certainly not give my heart away. But somehow it happened.  It's a case of she chased me till I caught her and for eight months of false starts, good intentions and awkward moments this month she finally decided she was ready to date. All I had to do was be patient.  And I couldn't ask for a better woman.   It's hard to tell what the future will bring and I have always a checkered past when it comes to love, but I know she's been around me for the past year or so in various jams and she made it known she wanted to know me better. So here we are.I don't have much to offer outside my big record collection and no money but she'll never find a more loyal person than me.  I think the seeds were sown back in 2016 when I saw her and her band playing at the Sanity Room and I struck up a conversation with her and she offered me a ride back to my car on the other side of the river.  And over that year and a half it grew into something more.   Some things you can't explain but all you can do is enjoy them when they come around.

I've been blogging for 15 years straight, the last three under the Record World banner, the rest under RS Crabb's top ten and review consortium for various blog sites around internet land and this has been my most steady exposure job ever.  No, it don't pay but it did provide an outlet for my favorite music and bands.  Once the top ten wore out its welcome, I then settled on buying 45s and documenting them.  And then the local bands, and then basically sports.  But I basically quit talking about politics (waste of time even when we have President Idiot or the Grab Our Pocketbook party) and as the months continued to go by even begin to lose interest in the things that I like to talk about. Things have changed in the 15 years that I have done this blog,  Blockbuster closed their doors, Tower Records likewise and pawnshop begin not to take in CDs anymore.  FYE shrunk their stores down to almost nothing but perhaps the  end all was Hastings Entertainment closing all their stores last year.  Not to mention that the Major labels shrunk down to 3 and whatever came out was rehashed greatest hits, countless reissues of the same old product and new bands sucking big time. As well as most of our rock and rollers who we grew up with passing away.  To which after this year it was decided that I have taken Record World as far as I could.

The ratings issue has been there.  Last year we had 12,546 views, very much inflated but it gave a false sense of hope that I was making an impact on the music blogging biz.  But this December we'll squeak past 2,000 views but hardly anybody makes comments, unless it's Blogger spam.  The writing was on the wall.  And our time has come and gone.

For the most part I'm proud to share the 45 finds most of all and rediscovered the music that I grew up with in some ways, the Madison bargain hunts proved that. I could continue doing that for 2018 but in reality, there's not much rock and roll in the finds that I did produce  most of the year and the Montavini Clair De Lune 45 was the most glaring example of hoarding.  But I was curious and next year will promise to more interesting 45s to be found.  Unless it's decided that I should be more serious in doing things with my better half.    But it's not over just quite left.  I'll do another entry and then head off into the next adventure.  And marvel at the fact that I have done this for 15 years.  Total dedication on a hobby that, like my music career, a attempt at exposure.   And perhaps I have succeeded.

(to be continued)

Worst country albums:

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas 2017

For the first time in three years, Mother Nature has given us a white Christmas.  The best kind,  An inch of snow to make everything white and not make the roads too slick.  So the kids are happy and the traditionalists happy as well.  We can all sleep better now.

We were spoiled by the warm weather of this winter before the reality set in and we now have a back to normal Christmas with cold sunshine and sub zero wind chills.  It's has been dry, we have been in a stage 3 level drought and a half inch of snow won't help things much.  Of course there might be a slight tick in the jet stream that might bring back the blizzards and snow that made previous years a living hell to live here.  But for now we can actually sing the words to White Christmas and feel good about it.

It's been a strange year with a Fake and a Fraud POTUS and a GOP party more concerned with the one percent than the rest of the world and basically I rather not talk about it.  It's supposed to be a day of peace and goodwill toward man, and not a middle finger to our government.   The future of net neutrality hangs up in the air to see if everything becomes a bundle package deal.   Let's face it, it's hard to come together when there's a radical split between Trump supporters and the Trump haters.  Needless to say, since I voted, neither Fraud 45, nor the incompetent Joni Ernst and the senile Chuck Grassley or Rod Blum are my congressmen nor government.  They do not support my ideas at all. Who decided that Joni baby should be in congress till 2020 should be hanged as well.

So now that tirade putting me in a dour mood, let's get back to the celebration of this special day. Christmas is supposed to be a time for family and friends.  Christmas is where we give thanks where thanks is due.  Sometimes I think about the previous girlfriends that I had in my life and hope they're doing well.  It's a shame that one year you can be truly in love with somebody and then the next year they're hated for life.  I have friends that have suffered through this ordeal.  At least they managed to raise decent children despite the negativity.

Gas prices are 2.29 a gallon at most places. But we all know that can change from year to year, especially when we had 4 dollars a gallon a few years ago.  It's easy getting to Mom and Dad's on 2.29 a gallon rather than 3.75

Christmas is the time we play Christmas with Buck Owens, family favorite and The Christmas Spirit from Johnny Cash. But there have been favorites along the way.  Sock It To Me Santa, Christmas Spirit?!?, Santa Claus from The Sonics, Jingle Bells from the Singing Dogs.  But I did buy the new Cheap Trick Christmas Christmas CD and by golly, these guys have really gotten back to playing power pop rock and roll without the balladry that almost ruined it for me.  It was good enough to be included on the best of 2017.  Yeah, Cheap Trick managed to get decent reviews of their albums after leaving Epic but once they latched on to Big Machine, they found their inner rock and roll groove all over again.  Bun E Carlos might be missed but Dax Nielsen has a powerful beat all his own. For a Christmas album, this one will be played alongside Buck Owens in the future.

I tend to favor rocking albums and with the passing of Pat Diznio, I pulled out Christmas With The Smithereens and it still holds up fairly well, but after that Christmas In The Heart from Bob Dylan kinda put a downer on the mood.  Must Be Santa is still fun but that voice doesn't do much justice to the old chestnuts everybody sings.  Perhaps it's not the album to play after Cheap Trick or Smithereens?  Yuletunes is much better.

It's hard to believe that The Townedgers did a Christmas album although Christmas With The Townedgers is still worth hearing on that drive into town although Jingle Bells may as well called Cheesy Bells since it sounds like cheese and nobody might get the Elvis reference on Merry Christmas Baby, but it's all good intentions.  In keeping with tradition, we also offer up some Christmas cheer with one of Santa's little helpers.  The thought that counts.

As we celebrate Christmas, death also continues to work on this holiday.  Dick Enberg, one of the all time great broadcasters ever had a heart attack over the weekend and left us at age 82.  I remember Dick replacing Kurt Gowdy in the football games of the 1970s with Merlin Olsen, his "oh my" the trademark next to Harry Carey's Holy Cow. Life goes on even after the thrill of living is gone.

But it's a new day and if you're still alive and celebrating Christmas, that's all that matters if you have somebody special to share it with.  Happy Holidays!

RIP Chickenman:

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The Best Of 2017 In Music

It's taken me a long time this year to sort out what I consider the best the best of 2017, not because of any shortage of music but rather my mind is now going back into the past to remember the forgotten albums and songs of yesterday.  I found myself I couldn't trust Pitchfork, nor SPIN, nor Rolling Stone or even No Depression for that matter.  It was simply that after 40 years of trying to keep up, I simply threw my hands up and became very picky on what to buy.

A lot of new stuff I bought came from established acts.  Chris Rea had a new album out, so I snatched that up, Alternative rockers Ride and The Dream Syndicate came out with new albums, Ride took 21 years, Dream Syndicate 30 years and perhaps the wait was worth it.  Or maybe not but both albums had some choice moments of note.  But the new rock and roll bands simply bored me.  Muse? ZZZ, Arcade Fire, wake me up and I have no use for Kendrick Lemar.  And of course Neil Young and Willie Nelson had to put out their usual two to three albums but The Visitor,  I felt that Neil Young dropped the ball on making a album which would flip the bird off to our worthless president, POTUS Fraud 45.  As for Willie, he's 83 and God's Problem Child turned out to be more of a snoozer than originally thought of.  But still I opened my wallet just to hear the new stuff.

But the problem for me was that most of the albums are now in overlong digitapacks that are hard to store than the usual Jewel case storage units and at that point I begin to pick and chose the more worthy ones.  Gregg Allman might have made his final farewell album but I never got around hearing it. I opted for Chris Hillman's latest which would be the last album Tom Petty would associate himself with before he died, and then we lost Tommy Keene and Pat Dinizio in consecutive months and I didn't care much for anything new anymore.  There were some nifty reissues,  A live Replacements, vintage Husker Du stuff, Duane Eddy's RCA singles but that was about it. 

But I don't know. I have to yet to get the new Delta Moon album and I know it's going to be a good album, Greg Allman's finale shows his final album he goes out in style and Neil Young is Neil Young.  Looking back on previous lists, I don't play the majority of the picks that I did made at the time.  Good music is timeless still, but as they say, so little time, so much music and it grows every year.

The Ten Best Of 2017

1.   So You Wanna Be An Outlaw-Steve Earle (Warner Brothers)

After years of marking time with so so albums, it took Alison Moorer to leave him to get him back to his country roots although this album is more rock and roll by nature.  It's country when he picks Willie Nelson and Johnny Bush to help out on the country numbers.  It's country heartbreak when Miranda Lambert is picked for the female duet number.  But it's pure rock and roll when Earle screams out that he's fixing to die and going to hell after he off's his love interest.   His best since El Corazon.

2.   Infinite-Deep Purple  (Ear/Eagle Rock)

If anybody was paying attention and look past the usual classic rock repeats of Smoke On The Water is that Ian Gillan and company have made some great hard rock albums as they approach 70 years old in that bad.  Senior Citizen Rock, does kick most of the youngster's ass anyway.  Perhaps Bob Ezrin was the answer that Deep Purple needed, he worked on their Now What?! album and that was was pretty good.  Say what you want about Richie Blackmore, but Steve Morse has quietly been the most stable guitar player Deep Purple ever had, without Blackmore's moodiness and drama, Deep Purple played better.  Infinite, like many albums might Deep Purple's last but if it is, it's a nice way to go out.  Of course Roadhouse Blues everybody plays it, but the band plays it in a more sly and dirtier tone than the Doors ever did. They even go prog rock on The Surprising and Time For Bedlam but don't let Johnny's Band fool you, it's is Deep Purple more so than Smoke On The Water ever was.

3.   Logic And Lies-The Townedgers (Maier)

Touting my own albums as one of the best of the year is not arrogance but rather the belief that if you make a good album, you'll play it a long time, even if it's The Beatles, Randy Cliffs, Blackberry Smoke or The Townedgers.  In fact the title track has taken a new life of its own   Like Pawnshops For Olivia and Drive In Blues, Logic And Lies is a concept album about the pros and cons of looking for love, finding love, getting rejected by love, ignoring love and then fall and then finding and falling in love and everything falls into place.  The Townedgers never played so emotionally well as they did on this album as your's truly ran the gauntlet of romance, rejection and resurrection.  It ends well but one of the songs casts a wary eye on the fake president and the coming of end days on Lately. Unlike Pawnshops For Olivia, which ends on the down note Logic And Lies ends on the opposite, in the end, the singer finally gets the girl at the end of the album.  A twisted Love Story for the ages.

4)   Wheeler Walker Jr-Redneck Shit (30 Tigers)

The best country album of the year from a comedian what used to have a show on Comedy Central.  Perhaps the best country album from a X rated mind.  The perfect heartbreak song of redemption called Fuck You Bitch?  Family Tree is a dysfunctional Family Tradition.  Drop Em Out, kicks Luke Bryan in the nuts.  Eatin Pussy/Kickin Ass winks at ZZ Top. And Can't Fuck You Off My Mind would bring Dwight Yoakam to teams. Which One Of You dedicated to Florida Georgia Line.

5)   Pinewood Smile-The Darkness (Cooking Vinyl)

If you want real classic rock and roll for newbies, consider The Darkness and their AC/DC via Queen music, to which they go out and get the son from the drummer of Queen to play drums.  Hard to believe The Darkness has been around for 10 years and yet classic rock radio still doesn't play them. Maybe in 2022 perhaps?  The Darkness rock with the best of them, even better than Steel Panther.  Solid Gold should be played on the radio I do believe.

6)  How Did I Find Myself Here-The Dream Syndicate (Anti)

Their first album in just about 3 decades and they return back to the original sound they conceived on The Days Of Wine And Roses, although I do miss the garage rock of Ghost Stories.  Even Kendra Smith came out of nowhere to help out on one song. While the 11 minute title track gets noticed by critics, I tend to find myself liking the rockers The Circle and Out Of My Head better.  Still a welcome comeback from a band I didn't think would ever return again.

7)  Chuck-Chuck Berry (Dualtone)

At age 89 and before his passing, Chuck Berry made his most enjoyable album since From St Louis To Liverpool and all he had to do was add a different set of lyrics to his patented guitar riffs that everybody learned from.  I think this was a better album than his Rockit album he recorded for Atco in 1979 (and reissued this year from Varese Vintage).  It's a family affair album with Ingrid, Chuck Jr and Chuck the 3rd helping out but also Tom Morello too and his long time backing band who could figure him out better than the better known hired hands of rock and roll.  In the end, the master of riffs rides out in the sunset on a winning note.

8)  Wooly-The Dawn (Carthrope)

This year there wasn't much for new music on the local circuit. Tommy Bruner and Wooden Nickel Lottery are both working on new material.  But in Davenport, local favorites The Dawn came up with a worthy followup to their amazing At First Light, to which Sean Ryan and company finally bridged the gap between The Grateful Dead to Phish and moe.  A bit of growing pains since new co vocalist Derek Fortin takes a few listens to get used to, But the best moments remain when Ryan takes over vocals on Dance All Night and 1984 and they get their inner jam freak on. And when they get their groove on, they even out rock Phish and moe.

9)  Memories-Ryan Phelan (self released)

The other new release came out this month from a local act barely made it to the best of 2017. Which in the case of last year Neil Young Peace Trail made it despite lukewarm reviews.  Ryan is a regular on the Parlor City jam circuit and he does wonderful things with his own band Dr. Z's Experiment to which someday I hope they can make a Cd of their own.  It could rival The Dawn for jam band improvisations.  On Ryan's solo album, he incorporates a series of New Age guitar work, some off the wall blues New Bo Jackson (featuring Jeremiah Murphy of Dr. Z' and Jon Wilson  on drums) and the country Rope And Ride.  Winter Highway is another whole matter, a CB talkathon that shows Ryan's off the wall sense of humor.  But on the later songs featuring various rappers (All Our Friends) Ryan shows more modern hip hop rock.  Which may or may not be a good thing for the traditional rock listener.

10)  I Knew You When-Bob Seger (Capitol)

Like Deep Purple, Bob Seger has hinted this may be his last album too and it was inspired by the passing of Glen Frey who is part of the songs here including the bonus track Glen's Song.  The drum mix is noted but Bob has not rocked out this hard in years.  His version of Busload Of Faith is dead on great, the Leonard Cohen Democracy not so much.  Of course, nobody is going to remember I Knew You When, when Night Moves and Stranger In Town and Turn The Page are playing somewhere at any given time, but I Knew You When could be a fitting finale for a Detroit rock and roller who can had been known to give it his all on occasion.

Reissues Of The Year.

The Replacements-For Sale: Live At Maxwells 1986 (Sire/Rhino)

Sloppy good before everything started to crash down.

The Grateful Dead-Cornell May 8, 1977 (Rhino)

It's debatable if this is essential Dead, they didn't play much of the hits but the interplay between everybody on Not Fade Away and even Dancing In The Streets shows they were "dead" on that night

The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands (Manifesto)

The Turtles as a surf band, rock band, country band, freak out band?  A rare album that gets better with the inclusion of bonus tracks that enhances more of the theory that The Turtles can do just about everything and I still get a chuckle out of hearing Umbassa The Dragon, voted of one of the worst all time B sides in music history, which isn't true.  But I also like the B side of Chicken Little Was Right better than the country honk.

Ladies And Gentlemen-The Rolling Stones (Eagle)
Some Girls Live 1978-The Rolling Stones (Eagle)
The Rolling Stones On Air at the BBC (Polydor)

Nothing will replace Get Your Ya Yas Out as the definite live album but Ladies And Gentlemen The Rolling Stones does show the Stones being sloppy fun and good. But by 1978 Some Girls Live, the Stones managed to polish themselves up for this date which does play the majority of that album.  It also brings light that Charlie Watts kept the whole band together, hell he had to.  To a lesser extent, the BBC On Air is a look back to the beginnings of the Stones and how they were still learning the game with covers of R and B and chess acts. The 2 CD set is better, but if you get the single CD like I did, it does show them to be a very competent R and B band.

Neil Young-Hitchhiker (Reprise)

He seemed to have his act together better under a quick recording session with David Briggs then he did with The Visitor with The Promise Of Real  In other words, when David Briggs passed on, Neil Young never made the classic albums like he once did, but rather fair to good albums. I doubt if Briggs would allow Neil to make half hour songs of noodling jams.

The Doors-Complete Elektra Singles (Rhino)

This includes everything, including the singles the band did after Jim Morrison's death and it's nice to have everything in tow.  A shame it took Elektra 45 years and as many compilations to tell the complete story of The Doors from the 7 inch side of things.  There are some missteps (Do It), but for an 2:45 edit, Light My Fire still rocks in its own way.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band-Fishin In The Dark (Warner/Rhino)

I was disappointed when I picked up the Certified Hits and finding Fishin In The Dark to be the live version since that version was on Warner's it better for Rhino just to license the Liberty/EMI stuff instead.  Deep in their heart the Dirt Band was always country than rock.

Another Night-Best Of The Searchers Sire Years (Omnivore)

Their time at Sire gave a new sound and meaning to the Searchers, they cover the Records, they covered Tom Petty back when he wasn't cool and they covered The Motors and Micky Jupp too.

The Best Of The Rest:

Cheap Trick-Christmas Christmas (Big Machine)
Cheap Trick-We're All Alright

We're All Alright continues the winning streak and being associated with Julian Raymond, Cheap Trick finally unloads the balladry crap that made me avoid their later albums.  However their Christmas album was even better than We're All Alright.  Except for the weird Silent Night and the family singalong Our Father Of Life, Cheap Trick reveals their inner glam rock with the Slade cover Merry Xmas Everybody and Roy Wood's I Wish Everyday Can Be Like Christmas and their own Merry Christmas Darlings and they keep it rocking all the way through Run Run Rudolf.  And even on their Ramones cover of Merry Christmas (I don't want to fight) they turned into what the song would be like had the Sex Pistols covered it.  If Christmas were like this, I would be more of a fan of Christmas too (too bad REO Speedwagon didn't do that when they put their turkey of an album out years ago)

Ringo Starr-Give More Love (UMG)

With the kind of personal, Ringo can still make a good album.  Usually Joe Walsh has something to do with that.  The new updates on Photograph is worth listening to.

Ryan Adams-Prisoner (Blue Note)

He can get tiring at times but at least on this effort he seems to be more awake and into the music.

Buckingham/McVie   (Atlantic)

Somewhat of  a Fleetwood Mac reunion album but without Stevie.  Too bad Stevie missed out.  This is their best album since Mirage.  Christine McVie was surely missed over the years.

Weather Diaries-Ride (Wichita)

Another band from the shoegazer pop movement, Ride's return is uneven at times, but it's always nice to hear Andy Bell's guitar

Collective Soul-Live (Suretone)

The early years of the hits are in the middle of this live double which is strange to me, but Where The River Flows and Gel never sounded more metallic.

Robert Plant-Carry Fire (Nonesuch)

You have to admit Robert continues to blaze his own path, even though it doesn't rock as he once did.

Body Count-Bloodlust (Century Media)

Ice T is back with Ernie C and they've never been more pissed off than before.

The Roots of Krokus-Big Rocks (Sony/Century Media)

They gotten better with age but on this effort they decided to pay tribute to the bands they grew up listening to. The best song?  Their own Backseat Rock And Roll.

Prophets Of Rage (Fantasy)

Chuck D in for Zach in a new version of Rage, which came together after Fraud 45 came to be POTUS.  A shame this wasn't as biting as they once was, but as long as the Failed Reality Star is taking up residence and the GOP making life hell for everybody the hope is that POR will get more sinister.  Perhaps Ice T should join in the fun?

The rest:

Chris Hillman-Biding My Time (Rounder)
Kasey Chambers-Dragonfly (Essential)
The Townedgers-Eminent Domain (Maier)
Bush-Black And White Rainbows (Caroline)
Black Stone Cherry-Black To Blues EP (Mascot)
Chris Rea-Road Songs For Lovers (BMG)
Lana Del Ray-Lust For Life (Polydor)
Weezer-Pacific Daydream (Crush)
Linkin Park-One More Light (Warner Bros)

Monday, December 18, 2017

Week In Review: Keely Smith, Dubuque Singles Going Steady

The Los Angeles Chargers proved the world that they are pretenders to the cause as Kansas City swept them 30-13 in K.C. on a above normal winter's day. They fail to close the deal once again. They still got an outside chance of making the playoffs but not beating the Chiefs this season might have regulated them to watching the playoffs on TV again.

Passings:  Keely Smith, female counterpoint to the late Louis Prima and a pretty good torch singer in her own right passed away from heart failure on Saturday at age 89.

Ralph Carney-Eccentric guitar player who was part of Tin Huey years ago, died Sunday from injuries received in a auto accident. He was 61.  Carney was part of Tom Waits's Island albums of the mid 80s (Rain Dogs, Frank's Wild Years)

On Monday, it will mark 20 years since Chris Farley passed away.  We still miss him.

What's one more bargain hunt?  So I went up to Dubuque to fight the Christmas crowd holding up the check out lines and screaming babies making everybody deaf.  I would like to say that the Mexican supper was good, but it really wasn't, it was dried out and luke warm but the help was gracious.  For next year, my new found girlfriend will restrict me to an organic and vegan sort of diet. We'll worry about that till she gets back from vacation.

Even if it's a week before Christmas, I did managed to find some 45s and a couple CDs.  Moondog had a buy 2 get one free and of course I found three, an early Johnny Rivers best of, Allman Brothers Peaking At The Beacon and Meet The Smithereens, their Beatles tribute album. For albums, I found A LeRoux Keep The Fire Buring and a New Life by Marshall Tucker but while debating to get Eliot Easton Change No Change LP and putting it back for a second, some dude came out of nowhere and picked it up under my face.   It's not that I'm hurting for new music, in fact I found 10 45s of note that compensate for the whole thing.  Alas, Susie Darling by Robin Luke was too scratchy to play the whole thing through.  That happens.

1.     The Blues-Henry Mancini (RCA 47-7785)  1960

Although Henry is associated with the light music as a composer, he would strike up some dark songs once in a while and perhaps a future look into his best moments would be in order Days Of Wine And Roses not withstanding.  His Peter Gunn composition has been used by the likes of Duane Eddy and The Pirates.  The Blues is a dark little number that would fit in well with Peter Gunn or Mr Lucky.  Since it was a very dark little number it didn't chart.  B side Big Noise From Winnetka has been a fox trot classic for anybody who plays it.

2)    Dum Dum-Brenda Lee (Decca 31272) #4  1961

Little Miss Dynamite was a constant chart topping rockabilly country singer and she was in a middle of peak years of putting out good songs.  This song Jackie DeShannon co wrote and of course she would go on to her own career.  Dum Dum is uptempo, b side Eventually is a I'm Sorry knockoff complete with the weeping strings in the background. That made number 56 on the charts.

3)   All Alone Am I-Brenda Lee (Decca 31424)  #3 1962

It seems in the past couple years Brenda Lee 45s have been found and documented here at SGS. My mom had a few of them in her collection but I have not warmed up to them as much but since they were a part of the early years, the inner hoarder in me would pick them up and listen to once and donate back to St Vincent De Paul.   Brenda Lee did specialize in picking heart break songs and All Alone Am I is one of them.  This doesn't depress me as much as Losing You did, but I wouldn't consider this to be essential listening.  Save All Your Lovin' For Me, the B side continues the ballad on one side, rock and roll on the other side mentality that Lee was famous for. I tend to favor the rock and rollers more so too.  This B side made number 53, but is never heard on the radio anymore.

4)   My Girl Sloopy-The Vibrations (Atlantic 2221)  #26 1964

I'm guessing a doo wop/r and b group in the style of The Rivingtons, they had a hit with The Watusi for Checker in 1961 (#25) and their last soul shot,  There's Love In Them Hills was written and produced by Gamble Huff and covered by the Pointer Sisters in the mid 70s, one of the most funkiest songs the Pointer's ever put out. Anyway, back to the subject, My Girl Sloopy actually predates The McCoy's version and was produced by Bert Berns, who at that time for Atlantic produced a few nifty singles from Ben E King.   The B side to the Atlantic Oldies Series to this song is Mr Lee by The Bobbettes (#6 1957). Would have been more fun had Atlantic tacked on I Shot Mr. Lee for fun and giggles. (Boom Boom, shot him in the head, Boom Boom now he's in heaven, inspirational lyric)
Note: check out the b side to Mr. Lee Look At The Stars, some of the toughest r and b from 16 year old female singers.

5)   Missing You-Ray Peterson (Dunes 45-2006)  #29 1961

Originally done by Red Sovine and Webb Pierce, this is Ray's attempt for the pop charts.

6)   There She Goes-Jerry Wallace (Challenge 59098)  #26 1961

7)   The Yard Went On Forever-Richard Harris (Dunhill D-4170)  #64 1968

Jimmy Webb, the guy behind MacArthur Park to which he shopped to The Association and they turned it down (too long they said) and so he gave this one to Richard Harris and had a number 2 hit. The first 7 minute song to made number 2 so to speak, so the followup was this goofy child choir song that I originally loved when I was 7 years old but nowadays the novelty has worn off.   One of those guilty pleasure songs.  Kinda like a prog rock Yummy Yummy Yummy.

8)   A Brand New Me-Dusty Springfield (Atlantic 45-2685)  #24 1969

Dusty's blue eyed soul was a perfect fit for the Gamble-Huff team as she covered this Jerry Butler hit and it sold fairly well.  While Atlantic has always been the best label for Soul music, their 45s tended to be a bit troublesome.  my copy came from Plastic Products out of Memphis, which did the Midwestern distribution for Atlantic product, and half the time the records were either warped, or the vinyl had imperfections, namely bullets, small dots in the plastic that didn't melt all the way through. Plus it wasn't pressed right either, the record weaves back and forth. Somebody took the time to decode the places where Atlantic got their records pressed.

9)  Lollipops And Roses-Jack Jones (Kapp K-435)  #66 1962

Pop singer with a muzak mushy type of song that better forgotten.  I like Husbands and Wives better, as well as The Race Is On.

10)  Sealed With A Kiss-Brian Hyland (ABC-Paramount 45-10336)  #3  1962

Out of the all teen idols of the 60s, the ones that have come into view for me lately have been Johnny Tilliotson and Brian himself and history will treat both of them as legitimate folks that made pretty good music.  The jury is still out on Bobby Vinton though although Bobby's version in 1972 wasn't bad either.  Of course it's Stanley Applebaum's dated arrangements which makes this song  forever associated with 1962 but even pop idol songs of that past, if there's a good melody and lyrical content people will remember them better.  As for today if this is the final edition of Singles Going Steady, I can't think of a more appropriate song  to conclude such vinyl finds. In the vinyl renaissance of this century, Brian Hyland 45's have played a role in compiling the SGS series.  My music tastes will continue to skate all over the place long after we said our goodbyes but  for off the wall things, I'd say Brian Hyland was one of the more interesting finds.   Even if they were straight ahead pop.

Record Reviews:

Wheeler Walker Jr-Redneck Bullshit (Thirty Tigers 2017)

This is by far the most un politically correct album ever made, it's a cream pie between the titties of corporate country radio and big vat of acid that scars bro country but it's so country honest and funny that I had to hear it twice to get the whole thing.   Ben Hoffman (formerly of Comedy Central's Ben Show) is a comedian masquerading as Wheeler Walker Jr and this album that released in February of this year is honky tonk smut, I mean it would offend the meek on such titles as Which One O You Queers Gonna Suck .....or for the ladies Sit On My Face (not the Monty Python song but rather a Walker original) and Family Tree is so sick it has to be heard to be believed.  Dave Cobb (Whiskey Myers) produces the album and gives it a real country honky tonk feel.   For heartbreak galore there's I Can't Fuck You Out Of My Mind but Walker's best song is a song about getting his heart broken.  It's called Fuck You Bitch.  Don't expect the bro country stations to play it but I just might enough to include it in the best of 2017.  Which shows you where my mind is at.
Grade A-

Bette Midler-Bathhouse Betty (Warner Bros 1996)

Somehow, It's The Girls was so good that it enticed me to find The Divine Miss M's other albums in the two dollar bins and Bathhouse Betty is one that comes up quite a bit.   I don't know, I tend to fall asleep on the ballads, and her hip hop moves have dated (Big Sox comes to mind).  She's great at the jazz standards and tin pin alley uptempo numbers that she doesn't do enough of.  But what sinks this for me is that One Monkey Don't Stop No Show isn't the Joe Tex number but rather Big Mama Thornton's.  Which is okay.  But David Foster is the reason this album goes back to the donation box at Goodwill.
Grade C+

The Dashboard Saviors-Love Sorrow Hatred Madness (Medium Cool/Twin Tone 1995)

One of those band that got caught up in the Americana craze of the 1990s but the feather in their cap was Peter Buck producing their first album.  I'm always a sucker for the boozy vocals, and Rolling Stone ripoff chords and Todd McBride sets things on fire with Just Like Geronimo.   They do sound like Athens' answer to the Gear Daddies or for that matter a harder Jayhawks.  The ballads on side 2 do drag a bit, but then they right that wrong with a sloppy Happy Camper that makes the Faces sound polished.  I may have to be on the lookout for their previous two albums.  This turned out to be their final effort before the money ran out.
Grade A-

Allman Brothers Band-Peaking At The Beacon (550 Music/Epic 2000)

For a moment, this live document was going to be a economical affair till we get the 27 minute High Falls which really goes nowhere, especially on the drum solo that goes on forever.  But for the final Dickie Betts album it's a bit historical and of course Seven Turns that despite a mix that buries the vocals is pleasant ear candy.  But I think it borrows a few too many songs off the first album and basically you had to be there to witness this.
Grade C+

Johnny Rivers-This Could Be The One (Jasmine 2013)

A few of these songs ended up on cheapo compilations on cheapo labels in the 60s (Pickwick, Spectrum, Design) and captures Johnny Rivers as an not too impressive impersonator of Elvis, Ricky Nelson or Buddy Holly for that matter.  In fact this doesn't even hit of the later live recordings that Imperial made that showed Rivers was a good covers artist.  He was certainly trying to be a Elvis wannabe on the Gone and Suede Recordings, and the band he was with was very cheesy at best, they weren't no Scotty, Bill or DJ for that matter. He did better by making White Cliffs Of Dover a uptempo number and had a more rock and roll vibe on the throwaway The Customary Thing, one of two singles recorded for Cub Records. Then on Chancellor Records they cheesed him up again although his version of Johnny Cash's So Doggone Lomesome proved he was more pop rock than pop teen idol which that the label responsible for Fabian and Frankie Avalon became a clash of ideas.  The last stop, at Capitol Records, he covered Long Black Veil with Nick Vinet producing and it wasn't bad.  In true fashion this compilation came out on the cheapo cheapo Jasmine label, a label that has done justice of finding such of River's forgotten and forgettable 45s and of course it's only for fans that are looking for off the wall stuff, or audiophiles or anthologists trying to piece together Rivers' career.   I still think the choice stuff, Pickwick cherry picked and did put out on the S/T Johnny Rivers album that was a part of my growing up years.  I still enjoy the Guyden one off Hole In The Ground with the catchy response "way down down" and the Elvis ripoffs are admirable but it's not an essential album you can live with.
Grade B-

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Week In Review: Rock and Roll HOF 2018 Winners, Pat Dizino

I have yet to start my Christmas shopping, just not in the spirit.  Dubuque got the first snow fall with 2 inches of snow from a clipper but down here we got some flurries along with lots of winds.  Most of the snows have been in the South and Florida.  Even Corpus Christi got a inch or two of snow (which did melt the next day)

While the Iowa Hawkeyes Basketball team has been a joke all year the surprise has been Arizona State which went to Kansas and defeated them 95-85 to remain undefeated in NCAA basketball.  Bobby Hurley has really got them playing great basketball.  Iowa on the other hand beat Southern, a 2-8 team, ending a four game skid.  But the way they been playing they're on par to lose 20 games this year.

While Josey Jewell and Josh Jackson continue to get awards, fans are not overjoyed about them going to New York for a cold weather bowl game, the Pin Stripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium Dec 27.  Only 2,000 tickets have been sold, half of that to players and coaches friends and family.  For myself, Iowa played their bowl game when they destroyed Ohio State 55-24 and their chances to the final four playoff.

The fires of California have destroyed forest and homes this year, both Trevor Horn and Simon Phillips lost their valuables as their homes burnt to the ground from nasty Santa Ana winds and very dry weather. Horn's recording studio went up in flames as well.   Sad.

Coming to the end of year, I promise a best of 2017 in music but I really have not been in the spirit of compiling the best CDs when I only bought about 20 at most.  But I can say there will not be any Kendrick Lamar on this list, nor Ed Sheehan, Queens Of The Stone Age, nor Father John Misty.  After this year if you want to know the best, try the music online sites and draw your own conclusion.

Yet another death to report.  Pat Dizinio, main songwriter of The Smithereens passed away Tuesday at age 62 from complications from a fall and never quite recovered from that accident.   Next to Tommy Keene, Pat's death hit home pretty hard, since I grew up playing songs like Drown In My Own Tears, House We Used To Live In and Tell Me When Did Things Go Wrong.  The big hit was A Girl Like You.  I tend to find their albums to be a bit same sounding but then again most of my albums are same sounding as well.  Pat will be missed.

Leon Rhodes , the last link the old time country music and to Ernest Tubb died Satruday. He was 82.  Leon was instrumental in Ernest Tubb's band but also the Grand Ole Opry and most importantly part of the Hee Haw Band.  One of the all time best country picking guitar players ever.

Ron Beitle, the drummer who inspired Wild Cherry to Play That Funky Music White Boy died from bladder cancer at age 63.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame made the 2018 selections and Bon Jovi was in on the fan's vote.  But also Dire Straits, The Cars, The Moody Blues, Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Nina Simone make their way into the hall.  I have no complaints about this lineup.

In the order of Importance for me.

The Moody Blues-With Denny Laine, they were more blue eyed soul and R and B, but when Justin Hayward and John Lodge placed Laine and Clint Warwick, they gave us Days Of Future Passed, the first of seven classic albums, that along with the late Tony Clarke, gave the Moody Blues their own style and sound. After 1972, The Moody Blues took a long time off and then came back with Octave, a so so album, Mike Pender left, Patrick Moraz joined up and with Long Distance Voyager reinvented themselves as polish AOR rockers.  They might have been more successful but in reality they couldn't top their late 60s and early 70s albums.

Nina Simone-Was she rock, was she soul, was she a militant protester, a country star? A Jazz artist?  Simone could record Tin Pin Alley songs and then cover the Bee Gees and even Rich Girl.  Her Bethlehem debut showcased her jazz side, the Colpix years her before she recorded Mississippi Goddam for Phillips in the early 60s, She continued her winning streak of albums with Nina Simone Sings The Blues for RCA and the unsettling It Is Finished.  After that, she recorded a one off with CTI with Rich Girl and her last album for Elektra A Single Woman in 1993 before retiring.

Dire Straits-Probably a surprise but with David Knopler in tow, the first two albums were pretty good.  Then Mark Knopfler would branch out with Making Movies, which included the bloated Tunnel Of Love and the rocking Skateaway.  My favorite track was Solid Rock.  Love Over Gold has the amazing Telegraph Road. With Terry Williams from Rockpile joining up, they recorded the fun Twisting By The Pool but Brothers In Arms broke them big but the album still sounds a bit cold to me. By then, Mark Knopfler was graduating over to a solo career. With some good moments along the way.  Still the first album with Sultans Of Swing remain essential listening.

The Cars-They were new wave but mostly power pop with a driving beat and synths and of course the first album classic rock radio still plays every hour on the hour. It did helped that the late Ben Orr did the vocals on the hits Let's Go, Good Times Roll and It's All I Can Do.  While not much love was for Panorama, I thought it was the equal to the other two although the dark overtones may have turned listeners off.  Shake It Up was more play it safe pop and then Mutt Lange made them MTV stars with Heartbeat City. Door To Door disappoints and then they broke up, Ric Osceak went on to a up and down career to which I found myself having most if not all of his albums.  The Cars did regroup for a new album but with the death of Ben Orr, it was revealed that Orr's absence really hurt that album. Not bad...for a Ocasek solo album though.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe-Great gospel singer, excellent slide guitar player.

Bon Jovi-The people's favorite but not my own. He's always been the lightweight Springsteen wanna be from New Jersey but Jon Bon Jovi has always a good heart.  I have tired of the overplayed Slippery When Wet album but of course Wanted Dead Or Alive will get people dancing and Wild In The Streets are pop metal anthems. Listening to Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits which Island put out a few years ago made me realize the importance that they have, but it also reaffirmed me the reason why I never bother to play in rock bands of the 1980s in You Give Love A Bad Name or I'll Be There For You. And besides, spandex made me break out in hives.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Week In Review: Bowl Fallout Johnny Halladay

Johnny Hallyday, legendary singer from across the pond or the Elvis of France passed away from cancer at age 74 on Tuesday.  Unknown in America but the French loved him

Could it be that the fired Todd Graham might be the Pac 12 coach of the year?  We don't know but on Monday Arizona State introduced Herman Edwards as his replacement.  Which sparked a lot of uproar from the ASU faithful.  This could either be Ray Anderson's achieving moment or it might be his Mike Riley, a out of left field pick that, in Nebraska's case undid them and that AD and Riley are now history.  The Cornhuskers have hired home town boy Scott Frost from UCF to turn their fortunes around, and this might be their last time to get any sort of return to the golden days of the Mighty Corn dominating the Big 8 years ago. They might have better luck staying in that Big 8 or Big 12 and keep the Oklahoma rivalry going.  If anybody can turn around the Nebraska program Scott Frost is your man.  As for Herman Edwards, it seems like a good idea hiring an ex NFL coach, even if Herm's record isn't all that great.  But I still think Todd Graham didn't need to be fired since he compiled a 7-5 record and beat Oregon and Washington and got ASU to a bowl game, the Sun Bowl in El Paso this year.

This weekend, Ohio State beat Wisconsin 27-21 for the Big Ten Championship but in the final four Alabama won out. Of course the Big Ten Haters (Paul Finebaum in particular) mentioned that it was good that no big ten team would be in the final four, since none of them were worthy as the SEC the Almighty conference, that in a perfect world the final four would be all SEC teams.  In some ways Wisconsin played the role that Iowa did two seasons ago, finished the Big Ten regular season undefeated and then lose out to Ohio State, which the Big Ten Haters told everybody I told you so and that the best Big Ten team would finished fourth in the SEC.  Ohio State's undoing was the 55-24 blowout in Iowa City, that big blot on their record for the season and no matter how much they blew out the other teams and won the Championship, the world shrugged and gave the reason why it OSU wasn't worthy, one bad game in Iowa City.  Basically Wisconsin had to win Saturday to get any sort of credit, like Iowa they didn't win in 2015 and therefore they were not worthy of a final spot.    Everybody goes a bowl game,  Ohio State plays USC, Wisconsin get Miami at the Orange Bowl which is a Miami home game anyway and Michigan gets the new year's game with South Carolina. For myself Iowa's bowl game was that 55-24 Blowout of Ohio State, but they'll be at Yankee Stadium for the Pinstripe Bowl against Boston College.  Iowa better win that one.

Final vote tab for the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame by you the voter.

Bon Jovi
Moody Blues
Dire Straits
The Cars
Judas Priest

Which means Bon Jovi will be one inductees on 12/13/17.  Guess We'll return to see who gets in and we can talk about it then.

Till then.

Record Review:

Rolling Stones-On Air  (Single Disc Version-ABKCO/Polydor 2017)

Amazing how over 50 years ago, The Stones were singing the praises of Chess Records, Don Covay and Arthur Alexander but I would have loved to have I Wanna Be Your Man on the single disc rather than the double.  Then again I found the single at Wally World.  There's still a sort of innocence sound here but some of this doesn't work very well (Cops And Robbers for one).  But it's cool to hear how Satisfaction sounds to the BBC Faithful or the rousing version of The Last Time although both versions won't make you miss the originals.  While the BBC recordings really don't do the songs much justice (they didn't do much favors for The Kinks, or Beatles or The Who for that matter), I still find this one of the missing pieces restored to the legacy of The Rolling Stones.  Even if it's soul or blues covers.
Grade B+

Sue Ellen-Mild Red (Self Released 2017)

Sue is one of our local jammers that plays from time to time at Whittier but during the summer she got together with Bryce Janey (The Janeys, Blue Band) to record a 14 song album, mostly covers but a couple of neat originals. Her voice is somewhat Joni Mitchell but she brings a element of surprise to U2's I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and Souvenirs (with Carl Meiners) a John Prine comp.  Janey adds a bit of lead guitar to counter Sue Ellen's vocals. She knows good covers (Soulshine, And It Stoned Me, Midnight Rider) but she shines on her originals, including Four Brown Eyes and Campfire Camaraderie, which could be about...let's see Whittier on jam night, or Stone City for that matter.

Grade B+

Monday, November 27, 2017

Week In Review: Popcorn Huskers

The winter weather driving season has begun but you couldn't tell it by the 71 degrees we had here on Friday, which broke the record for highest temp on 11/24/31.  And it looks to be above normal for at least the next week.

The up and down season of Iowa Hawkeyes continue.  After being manhandled by Purdue last week, The Hawks came into Lincoln pissed off and blew out the reeling Nebraska Cornhuskers 56-14 before a annoyed crowd. The Hawks did look lost for the first half and even the Popcorn Huskers led 14-7 before Iowa scored the next 49 points and promptly took back the Heroes trophy back to Iowa City for another year.  It was a game of sorts before the half but after the half, Iowa went 42-0 which sealed the fate for Mike Riley to be canned the next day.  First time since 1957 The Popcorn went 4-8 and there was no way that Riley was going to come back next season, especially with a new AD in tow and the one who hired Riley long gone.   Riley simply wasn't the right choice although he was much better but slightly in Oregon State and even was the Chargers coach for a time. 

It looked like Iowa two weeks in a row. Dropped passes, the not worth a fuck punter Colten Rasteter mishandling a punt and Nebraska recovery and later touchdown.  Iowa needs a punter that knows what he's doing next season and Rasteter has been more of a help to the other team than Iowa. Otherwise this would have been a 56-7 blowout and Riley would have fired on the spot after the game.  However, Iowa's defense finally tighten up and created havoc for Tanner Lee and Akim Wadley rushed for a couple TDs and back to back 1,000 yards rushing seasons.  Noah Funt might have glass hands 50 percent of the time but when he did catch the ball, he made things happen, scoring 2 TDs, a surprising 10 TDs overall.   Wadley had 3 TDs and 159 yard rushing on a nonexistent Popcorn defense.  In fact they scored 6 rushing TDs for the game, not since Northwestern in 2001.  The last two games Iowa's O line were Ole blockers, waving bye bye to passing linemen on the way to say hi to Nate Stanley.  This time, especially in the second half, they made mincemeat out of the Corn D.  And let's give credit to the D, who been criticized much of the year. Iowa led with 19 interceptions, four of them went for pick six TDs and Josh Jackson has taken over quite well for Desmond King.   Iowa finishes the season 7-5 and will go to a second tier bowl game, and the next step is to win a bowl game, something that Iowa hasn't done since 2010 and the Insight Bowl. Winning means big bucks, and Kirk Ferenz can score 800,000 G's if he can win a game. 

As for Nebraska, they are no longer the elite team, they lost that by moving over to the BIG 10 rather than staying in the Big 12 which rivalry games against Texas and Oklahoma were the stuff of legends.  Since coming over to the big 10, they have now gone through 3 coaches and on the lookout for a new one.  The rumors say Scott Frost might be the man to take over.  The positive is that Frost was on the 1997 Nebraska team and does have a familiarly with Cornhuskers tradition and pride. The negative is that he'll be in rebuilding mode once again.  He might be the last hope for the mighty corn to return to such lofty status.  The new AD would like to see Nebraska and Iowa be the big rival game and keep playing on Black Friday, Wisconsin takes over for a couple games in 2020 and 2021. But since we have Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa State as big rivals, he will have to take a back seat to this.  Iowa has won three straight from Nebraska in the Heroes Trophy series in Lincoln and taken three out of the last four. As for the poor Nebraska fan crying about being wiped off the field by Iowa the last two seasons, he should be reminded back in the 1980s, the Mighty Corn would do the same and more often than not. He may have not been around that 1915 52-7 blowout, nor the 57-0 shutout in 1980 at Memorial Stadium. For now, we'll enjoy the 56-14 whopping and thank his lucky stars that Colten Rastster was kind enough to give him 7 points to make the outcome a bit closer than it actually was.

Joesy Jewell won the Jack Lambert Award for best linebacker and Josh Jackson took the Jack Tatum Award for big 10 honors.   Congrats and well done mates

Minnesota and Wisconsin plays for something called the Paul Bunyan Ax. For the past 14 seasons Minnesota have yet to see this axe in their trophy case.  The Ax is taking up permanent residence in Madison as Wisconsin shuts out the Gophers 31-0.  The Ax is becoming a myth just like Paul Bunyan is a story to Minnesota.  As for Wisconsin, they are one of two undefeated teams still playing, the other is Central Florida.  Alabama got derailed by Auburn. So basically it comes down to Wisconsin playing Ohio State for the Championship. Wisconsin finds themselves in the department that while they are undefeated, they had a soft football secedule (sic) that didn't find them playing Penn State nor Ohio State, to which the Colin Cowherd method of the Badgers being pretenders, they played number 24 Michigan and won.  They did beat Northwestern and they manhandled Iowa two weeks ago, but as ESPN and NCAA folks want to know is what have you done lately.  So they find themselves like Iowa was back in 2015, Iowa went undefeated but didn't play Ohio State nor Michigan that season and wound up losing to Michigan State and then blown out of the Rose Bowl by Stanford and Christian McCaffery.   So Wisconsin needs to beat Ohio State regardless, since Iowa blew out Ohio State 55-24 two weeks ago, Ohio State has been playing pissed off football.  It's not going to be easy but if Wisconsin don't win this and the bowl game, they'll be the Fake ID team of the NCAAs.

The worst officiated game goes to the Kansas State Refs who picked up three flags and lifted the Wildcats to a 20-19 victory over Iowa State on the final play.  I don't think I ever seen a game that the officials would overturn on three calls on the home team and disregarded late hits on the ISU QB, and PIs on Allan Lazard to which I have to agree with him, Pass interference.  Nothing against Bill Snyder but he had the refs on his and Kansas State side all game.  Big 12 Refs are the worst, even more than the Pac 12 if you can believe it.  The Cyclones had 9 calls against them, KSU four.  Nevertheless, Iowa State will be going to their first bowl game since 2012.  Hopefully they will get better refs than Reggie Smith, who should just stick to his regular job at Popeye's or KFC.

Even though Todd Graham has been 7-5 this season and Arizona State improved a lot from last year's disaster, he thinks he will be let go by ASU after this season.  Which is a shame, Arizona State reclaimed the Governor's Cup by outlasting Arizona 42-30 in Tempe on Saturday.

(there goes Manny)

 Demario Richard ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns and Manny Wilkins threw for three scores.  It might have been different had Shau Brown scored on a 74 yard punt return and not had that called back due to a block in the back., which would have given Arizona the lead. Despite Brandon Dawkins 50 yard TD run, ASU put it away on a Wilkins to N'Keal Henry TD Pass.   At least Graham went out a winner and won four of the six cup games with Arizona, AD Ray Anderson fired him on Sunday.  The reason was perhaps a revolving door of other coaches, to which one is has now turned Memphis State around and the other is Auburn's Offense coach who played a role in Auburn beating Alabama in the Iron Bowl.  Although last season would have been better to let Todd go, ASU overachieved and managed to beat Oregon, Utah and Washington along with Arizona to go 7-5 and make it to a bowl game.  Still Todd Graham will get a nice hefty buyout (12 million perhaps?) and get to take a year or two off if he desires.  After six season ASU starts over again and the big stink is Kevin Sumlin will be the next coach down the line, a big step down considering how awful Texas A and M has been all season.

(Chargers Photo Credit-Having fun in Dallas after Desmond King's Pick Six)

In the NFL, The Los Angeles Chargers have been making rumbles of late to get to the playoffs.  They blew out Buffalo 54-24 and then on Thanksgiving Day went to Jerry's house and beat up the Dallas Cowboys 28-6. Phillip Rivers throwing for 434 yards and 3 touchdowns, one of his best games as a Charger.  Keenan Allen 172 pass receiving yards and a TD.  However, the Iowa connection was Desmond King, grabbing a interception and running it back 90 yards for a pick six TD.  In April Desmond predicted his first interception would be a pick six TD.  The Chargers won without a kicker, Nick Novak aggravated his back during a missed FG and the LA Chargers did all right without him. Drew Kaser, the punter had to perform the extra point. He went 1 for 3.  Chargers are in Cleveland this Sunday.

Passings:  Mitch Margo, singer of The Tokens (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) and Cross Country (In The Midnight Hour) passed away in his sleep during Thanksgiving week.  He was 70.

Jon Hendricks-jazz singer that started the Vocalese trend for the likes of the Manhattan Transfer and Al Jerreau and was part of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross jazz trio died on Wednesday.  He was 96.

Jim Nabors, the beloved Gomer Pyle of Mayberry and elsewhere an entertainer with a baritone voice that sold a few albums for Columbia in the 60s and 70s, passed away in Hawaii after a long illness.  He was 87.

George Avakian, A & R and  jazz producer for Columbia Records in the 1950s and produced the likes of Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck and Jimmy Rushing to name a few. He then later went over to Warner Brothers and signed The Everly Brothers and had a hand in The Button Down Mind Of Bob Newhart being a smash hit.  He later moved to RCA and had a hand in records by Sonny Rollins and Paul Desmond.  Avakian was instrumental in introducing the long playing album and reissuing some of the early jazz albums of the 40s and 50s as well. He died of natural causes at age 98 on Wednesday.

I tend to be selective when it comes to eye candy of the month or whenever I feel like blogging. But I always enjoyed the models that are  voluptuous.  Maxey Greene is one of these beautiful models that has managed to look pretty in what she wears.  For eye candy, I think she has the prettiest eyes I've ever seen.

Davenport-The Salvation Army Junk Shop had no 45s to speak of, but however the Salvation Army store up the road had a couple of CDs of note, notably Neil Young's 1991 answer to Metal Machine Music, Arc, that goes on for 31 minutes and is more boring than exciting.  Say what you want with Lou Reed's MMM, at least there some sort of arrangement there.  Here, we hear Neil tease everybody with a chorus from Like A Hurricane and then start saying I wanna about five times and repeats this nonsense a few times more.  With avant garde albums such as Trout Mask Republa or Free Jazz, at least there's some sort of melody and content, on Arc, all it is, is nothing more than patched up endings that go on forever and Crazy Horse the band has no clue on how to lively up things.  I remember the album Weld, had good songs but the endings went on forever.  Young did this on last year's Earth album with the 32 minute Love And Only Love to which he added 18 minutes of Arc noise nonsense.  Even on the way home listening to this, it damn near put me to sleep.  This was strictly a bargain hunt since I was out and about taking pictures of a beautiful sunset and didn't have time to frequent Ragged Records or The Source Bookstore since they close at 5.  CO OP was open till 9 so I went there and found a Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Best of that had Fishing In The Dark on it. Where Sam Goody used to be in North Park Mall is a used media place that had plenty of games, DVDs and a crappy selection of CDs but I found a couple of 45s for 50 cents.  The Moline Goodwill had a few 45s that I picked up.  The usual hit and miss of stuff found.  A new change of ownership at the Dynasty Buffet and the food wasn't that great and the service wasn't much better.  Plus I ended up losing 9 dollars in 15 minutes at Rhythm City Casino, a far cry from the 255 dollars that I won a year ago. If nothing else, the sunset along the Mississippi River was worth the price of admission.

Singles Going Steady Medley-Davenport Finds

I Am A Pilgrim-Tennessee Ernie Ford (Capitol F3135)  1955

This little gospel number has been recorded by the Byrds for Sweetheart Of The Rodeo years later but it shows Ernie was good at playing straight rockabilly country or straight gospel, though this arrangement wouldn't sound out of place on Ray Charles' country attempts of the early 60s. B side His Hands written by Stuart Hamblin (It's Ain't No Secret) shows more of the gospel pop Ford would do more of, to which ample copies of his albums are can be found in thrift stores all across America.  Gotta love his baritone although the song is a bit too syrupy for these ears. Thank you Billy May.

Thank You Girl-Street People (Musicor MU-1401)  #96 1970

Second single from this band featuring Rupert Holmes (Mr. Pina Colada man).  Has that bubble gum sound that we all made fun of back then. A dash of Tommy James here, a pinch of Five Americans there, but the lyrics are bubblegum silly. For some reason it makes me just want to sing the Coca Cola Song (it's the real thing).

I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself-Dionne Warwick (Scepter SCE-121670 #26 1966

Dionne with Burt Bacharach and Hal David had some fine silky soul classics and this one got covered by Elvis Costello years later.  You seldom hear this on oldies station anymore. One of a 5 for a 1.88 finds at the Moline Goodwill.  Worth saving for I guess.  B Side In Between Heartaches is so so.

My Side Of Town-Dennis Robbins (Giant 7-18786)  #59 Country 1992

Dennis was once part of The Rockets but then moved into a country solo career that peaked in the early 1990s and was part of Billy Hill as well.  A bit of MOR country rock that got some jukebox airplay.  Not much on the Corporate Radio side of things though. Co produced by Richard Landis who dismembered Poco a few years ago.

Just Call Me Lonesome-Radney Foster (Arista 12448-7) #10 Country 1992

Part of Foster and Lloyd duo that broke up, Foster went into a nice country career with this top ten honky tonk rocker. Somewhat in Dwight Yoakam territory.

Bethlehem Steel-Misty Morgan and Jack Blanchard (Wayside WS-1024)  1968

Misty and Jack was a husband and wife duo that scored a hit with Tennessee Bird Walk and Humphrey The Camel but it's odd to note while country radio played this in the late 60s it didn't chart at all. Probably too dark for radio anyway but I tend to love those dark songs as you can tell.

Boogie Down-Eddie Kendricks (Tamla T 54243F)  #2 1974

Eddie had a one two punch of Keep On Truckin (#1 1973) and this number 2 followup of Motown funk goodness.  They didn't make them like that anymore, and things would tilt more toward disco. Son Of Sagittarius went number 28 but I've never heard that one, nor the number 18 Shoeshine Boy. After 1976, Kendricks never hit the pop top 30 again.  Reunited with the Temptations in 1983 and then joined forces with David Ruffin for a RCA album that was uneven.

Loving Arms-Dobie Gray (MCA 40100) #61 1973

I'm surprised that this only made up to number 61 on the national charts although KCRG had it in their Super 30 in 1973. Produced by Mentor Williams who wrote Drift Away. Later MCA singles didn't chart as well and a stint with Capricorn came up empty.

Loving All Night-Rodney Crowell (Columbia 38-74290) #10 Country 1992

Coming toward the end of his top ten country hits winning streak, this peak at number 10.  Along the lines of Marty Stuart rockabilly country rock, I'm amazed on how good these songs were actually were compared to the grunge rock going on.

Anyway The Wind Blows-Southern Pacific (Warner Brothers 7-22965) 1989 #4 Country

A minor league supergroup of sorts, Southern Pacific had former Doobie Brothers Keith Kundsen and John McFee hooking up with Tim Goodman and former Elvis bass player Jerry Schieff and keyboardist Glen Hardin, but the lineup has been unstable and Schieff and Hardin went back to session work and Goodman went solo and got nowhere, which lead to them employing David Jenkins, former Pablo Cruise vocalist and CCR bass player Stu Cook and newbie Kurt Howell, Jenkins left and McFee took over the vocals.  Anyway The Wind Blows was good enough to be included on soft rock stations in 1989 but it failed to dent the top 100. This actually got me to buy S.P. Greatest Hits and then found Zuma and County Line in the cutouts and both albums are fairly good, the first two I never bothered getting.  Southern Pacific called it a day in 1991, McFee and Kundsen returned to the reformed Doobie Brothers, to which McFee is still a part of the band, Kundsen died in 2005.  Cook returned back to Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Howell went solo and then formed Burning Daylight that made on forgettable album for Curb.  I still have fond memories of Southern Pacific.  B side Reno Bound made number 9 in 1986 and like the A side made it to the Pink Cadillac Soundtrack that featured Clint Eastwood.  I always thought that movie was a bit cheesy.

Album Review:  Rare Earth-The 70s Live (Sony Music 2015)

Randy "Bird" Burgenoff is the bass player and manager of Rare Earth, which is now led by Gil Bridges, the sole remaining link to the Motown past, Bird got there a bit later.  Of course Pete Rivera remains the voice of Rare Earth and he is usually found at oldies package shows and rock cruises in the wintertime.  Randy on the other hand has now moved to Iowa City and as been seen at various jams, namely Rumors and he's mostly on guitar rather than bass.  I have yet to hear him play any Rare Earth songs at these jams. A couple years ago Sony Music came out with live albums from these bands, who's time has gone past and per usual, Sony gives no indication of where the album was recorded at or who plays, you have to hear the introduction to the band on Get Ready, which is only 15 minutes long and not 23 at it was on the In Concert or 21 minutes on the Get Ready album.  For a cash in album, it's competent but not memorable, in fact, the drummer can't seem to keep the time on Born To Wander to which he slows the beat down to almost a crawl and outside of the Nashville Teens, I have no use for Tobacco Road, either by Rare Earth or Edgar Winter.  There are some good moments, this version of Get Ready does boogie quite well before the obligatory drum solo. Papa Was A Rolling Stone which somehow plays true to the Temptations version.   But, the organ player is annoying on Hey Big Brother, and the long drawn out endings to  I Know I'm Losing You or Born To Wander are pointless, just end the song already.  The guesswork is that this album was recorded at a casino on  a week night when there wasn't too many playing the slots.  Randy can play the bass and does a nice workout on I Know I Losing You. But I think I heard better jammers playing these songs at Rumors on a Sunday then on this album it seems.
Grade C

Neil Young-Arc (Reprise 1991)

See above mini review in the Davenport Bargain Hunts paragraph.  Pointless noodling and countless teasing the folks with Like A Hurricane.  But Crazy Horse can't improvise very well either.  Metal Music Machine was more interesting.
Grade D+

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Week In Review; AMA's Warren Moore, Gobble Gobble Gobble

Warren William "Pete" Moore one of the original founders of the Miracles died Sunday from a short illness, he was 78.  After Smokey Robinson left the Miracles, Moore came up with Love Machine, which made number 2 on the local charts.  He also wrote Ain't That Peculiar for Marvin Gaye and It's Growing for The Temptations.

Della Reese, former jazz singer and later actress to Touched By An Angel passed away from Diabetes complications.  She was 83.

Wayne Cochran, powerful singer that played in Otis Redding band way back in the 50s and hanged with James Brown, then gave rock and roll up for the power of Jesus passed away from Cancer Tuesday.  He was 78.

For the past week there were rumors abound that David Cassidy passed away.  That became a reality on Tuesday, where the former heartthrob and teen idol died of liver failure at age 67.  Cassidy will forever be known as Keith Partridge of the Partridge Family fame, to which it used to be a TV series way back in the 1970s.   The Partridge Family had a number 1 hit with I Think I Love You, to which it was David singing lead and Shirley Jones adding backing vocals. David had his own covers of such wonderful songs such as Cherish, How Can I Be Sure and a couple others.  The Partridge Family might have been slighter than The Cowsills but they did have some pleasant fodder such as Friend And A Lover but by 1973, they were history and David trying to be taken more seriously went to RCA for a couple of failed albums.  Along the way he got too much into drinking and drugs which destroyed his liver and internal organs which cause his downfall. He was popular on the oldies scene and did have an interesting album out in 1992, Didn't You Used To Be David Cassidy that came out on Scotti Brothers but nobody bought it. With the death of David, it serves a notice that everybody dies in this life and who will be next is anybody's guess.  Sure hope it ain't you or me.

And then on Thanksgiving Morning Tommy Keene passed away in his sleep. He was 59.  Tommy was world renowned for some of the best power pop albums of the past 3 decades starting with Places That Are Gone but has recorded with the likes of Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices, Matthew Sweet and the Gin Blossoms.   Plus he had a love for Lou Reed and The Who, what more could you ask for?

And then there was the American Music Awards to which Bruno Mars took home 7 of those awards including Artist Of The Year.  Keith Urban also did fine as well winning three country awards. Imagine Dragons won best rock group (???) Linkin Park best Alt rock group, Little Big Town best country group and the female country artist was Carrie Underwood, beating out Miranda Lambert in a rare occasion. Diana Ross got lifetime achievement. Basically that's all you need to know about the AMA's

Which leads into our next story. The yearly turkey awards for crappy albums.  At this point in my life, I have refrained from reviewing a lot of new records that would have included the likes of Old Dominion, Florida Georgia Line, Five Finger Death Punch, rap acts, rock radio, top forty radio etc.  But in reality their music does not relate to me and basically it's pointless to talk about pointless music from the likes of OD,  Beyonce, Kane Brown and so forth.  It'd be easy to throw Taylor Swift into this, she's the IT star and her new album is a big event.   She might go through boyfriends like I go through CDs but deep inside she's a sweet girl.

So let's go with the real Gobble Gobble Gobbles and go with Radio being the biggest turkey with their limited playlist of different music styles.  Top Forty is all autotuned EDP Hip Rap Pop crap and if there's anything rock and roll on top forty I wouldn't know it.  The new Country is not Country but autotuned 2nd grade bullshit lyrics that Farce The Music does a better job slamming into the ground.  Classic rock radio is just as like a Chinese water torture test no matter how much you love Led Zeppelin or Paranoid album Black Sabbath and the Back In Black AC DC.  It's hard to tell what song will make me leave the area, Sweet Chile O Mine or Take On Me or Broken Wings.  All of the above.

The other, the oblong packaging of CDs into overlong mini album facsimiles that are skinnier and longer than the average jewel case, which Neil Young might think it's funny to have Peace Trail and Earth stick out in your collection but I have to store them face up since they don't fit in my cd collection.  The new Ride and Robert Plant also suffers from this oblong digital packing snafu as well. Say what you want about the jewel case but at least you can store them without the hassles of the digi pack.

Of course I have my share of  bargain bin CDs that turned out to be turkeys of their own. Richard Dyer-Bennett's album might be one example, but his Irish ballads might strike a better chord with more objective ears.   Prick was one album I couldn't even finish through the first song before chucking it into the Goodwill donation bin.  Mandala 1968 album for Atlantic and issued through Wounded Bird can be included.  It's second tier soul music from Canada.  But all these album were from the two dollar bin so, it was a buyer beware and not a stone cold gobble gobble gobble.

The biggest Gobble Gobble Gobble might be the Iowa Hawkeyes Football Team.  Who played their bowl game by running Ohio State out of Iowa City and then pat themselves on the back while Northwestern, Wisconsin and Purdue had their way with them.  Stick a fork in their ass. they're done.

Singles Going Steady Medley:  Gobble Gobble Gobble  Waterloo Turkeys

They really were.

1)    Somewhere Down The Road-Donna Loren (Warner Bros 7-29326)  1984

The Dr Pepper girl of the 1960s, Loren was mostly into what I call MOR type of music.  Her best known years was with Challenge Records, but also recorded for Capitol, and a brief spell for Reprise. And then this one off in 1984 for Warner Brothers.   Too bland for me to get through.  Fun fact: She was married to Lenny Waronker for about 18 years then they divorced.  She later married Jarad Cregman of the Fantastic Baggies group and they are still together after all these years.

2)    Bumpty Bump-David Carroll (Mercury 70444)  1954

Carroll was the turn of the pop (not rock) era arranger for such rock and rollers like the Crew Cuts and he's had a few singles that did chart.  This really creeps into Lawrence Welk territory.  Champagne music as they call it.  It's all over and done with in under two minutes.  This might have been used a couple times in the Flintstones TV show.  But I'm not about to find out if that's true or not.

3)   3 Chord  Country Song-Red Stegall (Elektra E-46590)  #31 Country 1980

He wrote Here We Go Again, which was a hit for Ray Charles and had a number 11 hit with Lone Star Beer And Bob Wills Music for ABC Dot in 1975 but Red was more western than country.  I never heard this song on the radio but somebody at a jam mentioned this song.  Probably the best find out of all these songs I that found.

4)   Hands Across The Sea-Modern English (Sire/4AD 7-29339)  #91 1984

It's weird how classic rock radio has embraced I Melt With You despite it's poor number 78 showing on the charts in 1983 and the follow up Hands Across The Sea which a video is still up for viewing on You Tube, ran out of gas at number 91.  Yeah, I recall seeing this video on MTV and thought it was quite corny, like most modern rock videos of that time.   Didn't care much for the album After The Roses, they sounded like a more stuffy Depache Mode or a less inspired Mighty Lemon Drops. At that time 4AD was a British label that Sire picked up for distribution, and then Warner Communications helped along the way to the point that After The Roses was reissued with a few more tracks.  Which didn't help the album all that much.  Six years later a re recorded I Melt With You  sputtered to number 76.  And we still prefer the original version.

5)  All The Lonely Women Of The World-Bill Anderson (Decca 32930)  1972  #5 Country

I think Bill had some fine songs of the 1970s and this was a favorite of mine off the jukebox.  I think the copy spent a few too many months in the St Vincent De Paul 45 bins.  I like the B side It Was Time For Me To Move On Anyway a bit more.  It could have been a country hit.

6)  Clair De Lune (Part 1)-Mantovani  (London 40304)  1950

And this is where the road ends on our short medley of oddball finds. It is rumored that Brian May was influenced by the sounds of Mantovani and his light musical arrangements and while anybody under 50 would want to listen to a Mantovani song, he at one point bigger than the Beatles, but then again that was in the early 50s and then he was replaced by Slim Whitman as the UK favorite at that time. For a 1950 cover of a Debussy number, I'm amazed on how quiet this recording was being made.  It's made in two parts since it was almost four minutes in length and back then 45s could only be recorded up to 3 minutes.    Sounds a bit of a lullaby, somewhat like a crescendo of a gentle rolling of the tide by the sea.  His big hit was the Moulin Rouge Theme (#8 1953).  He recorded up to 1975 and he passed away in 1980 but there is no shortage of Mantovani albums out there in thrift stores across the country and CDs as well. After all, the guy invented Muzak.

Record Reviews:

Bob Seger-I Knew You When (Capitol 2017)

It didn't occur to me till I looked up and seen that his Face The Promise album came out in 2006, 11 years ago.  I really thought it was a lot sooner but time flies anymore.  The power of being on the internet and seeing the years fly away.  Nevertheless, Glenn Frey gets plenty of love, in fact I can think about three other songs that could be some sort of dedication to the late great Eagle. Outside of that, Seger hasn't rocked this hard since God knows when  (Seven maybe?) but I do noticed that a lot of the tracks featured Richie Hayward (unless it's a new person, the Richie that I knew died a few years ago after being the drummer for Little Feat)  Alto Reed, Craig Frost and Mark Chatfield, those three who were part of the Silver Bullet Band for many years are on this.  And the guesswork is that these tracks were laying in the can to be used when the time is right.   I tend to like Bob when he's rocking and rolling hard although my opinion isn't universally agreed upon.  With Fraud 45 in the White House, Seger throws a few barbs at the Orange Donald with a version of Busload Of Faith (written by Lou Reed) and Leonard Cohen's Democracy.  I like the opening Gracie and the Lou Reed cover and The Highway, and unlike Ride Out, it's not overproduced although the loud booming drums does tend to drown out the songs.  And even if Runaway Train was done years ago, it does rock pretty good and makes its presence felt.  There's a couple of misguided efforts, one of them is one of the three bonus tracks (Forward Into The Past) but Glen's Song is a nice way to end the whole album. Bob's best since Against The Wind.
Grade A-

Rod Stewart-Still The Same-Great Rock Classics Of Our Time  (J 2006)

I passed on his Great American Song Book Series, not that they were laughable.  They weren't. I was not interested in them, but I did hold judgement upon if I saw Still The Same as a reasonably priced CD, i.e. thrift store copy and there was a dollar copy during Goodwill's dollar days.  For one thing, he meant business when he picked up Kenny Aronoff on drums.  Even if John Shanks produced this (the hack behind Bon Jovi's 2000s albums) I was willing to overlook on the autotuned vocal and polished recording.  Only I'll Stand By You didn't impressed me but I found myself singing along to Everything I Own, and If Not For You, which is more Olivia Newton John than Bob Dylan.  And I always like ONJ's version better.  If nothing else, Still The Same might be just like that local band down at the dive pub playing these songs, in fact, a local band Jiffy Pop actually did It's A Heartache.  I never doubted Rod could not do rock covers, he's done that before on his classic Mercury albums, at his age, he tends to go more towards the mellower songs, the Bread, Eagles, Seger etc.  We really don't need another Day After Day but if anybody's entitled to that, Stewart is the guy that can do it. Nice touch: he dedicated this album to Long John Baldry after Baldry passed away in 2006.  Rod produced the best moments off his album It Ain't Easy.
Grade B+

Queensryche Greatest Hits (Virgin 2000)

They started out as hard core Judas Priest knockoffs and Geoff Tate's over the top vocals which could clear out a room and then started moving through prog rock, adding Pink Floyd and Rush to the mix.  At the same time Tate's was beginning to be less interested of hitting those operatic vocals. I recall in 2001, while dating a oddball woman that was a big fan of theirs how she liked the first half of this album while I enjoyed the latter half more so on.  You can't get more extreme on the vocal range as Tate did on Take Hold Of The Flame or The Lady Wore Black   Nevertheless Queensryche was the longest lasting band on EMI American (outside of Lonesome George Thorogood) and corporate downsizing had them on Virgin for this Greatest Hits overview.  Their downward spirial or in my case, moving on to a more accessible sound, they really did get better with each album, to which Operation Mindcrime or Empire were their classic moments, Silent Lucidity perhaps the best Pink Floyd knockoff coming from a band from Seattle. By then when Promised Land came out, they were a shadow of the over the top screamfest of the early albums, either Tate couldn't sing the high notes or didn't want to.  They were late to the gunge movement and getting the Alice In Chains producer to mud up Hear In The Now Frontier didn't help much, nor losing Chris DeGarmo soon afterward. To which Geoff Tate started to take over the authoritarian de facto leader of the band to which a band revolt would remove him from the band and Todd La Torre would return the sound of early Ryche' to critical acclaim on the albums on Century Media. I still think they progressed mightly on in the 1990s with Empire through Promised Land and even Hear In The Now Frontier and their only Atlantic album Q2K showed that they could rock with the best intentions and pull off prog rock moves as well.  For a Greatest Hits mix Cd, it does reveal Queensryche highlights (good and bad) and best songs.  But for the first songs before Operation Mindcrime, it's better for me to listen to them at the end of the day rather than first thing in the morning.   They rock better.
Grade A-

Amazing Journey The Story Of The Who (Geffen 2008)

A best of that I got simply of the DVD of the same name.  Anything with the original Who will always be of interest for me.  But in typical Universal fashion the major hits are there and a couple of off the wall things (Sea And Sand, Amazing Journey/Sparks, Song Is Over) But it is pointless as they come.  Won't Get Fooled Again comes from one of John Entwistle's final shows and has Zak Starkey pounding on the drums, Zak probably the best of the replacement Who drummers since he was taught by the legendary Keith Moon.  This version  would probably make Looney Moony smile.  I can tolerate Real Good Looking Boy and Eminence Front is the only song from the Kenny Jones era. Tea And Theater puts me to sleep. In this day and era, everytime we get a Who Best of, they tend to disappoint me, including that big box set Universal put out, overpriced and still missing key tracks in favor of the pointless EP The Who did 10 years ago. The Who still remains my favorite band of the classic rock era, but Amazing Journey the album, isn't so amazing.  Unless you find this used for a dollar somewhere.  In other words a subpar Mix tape masquerading as a best of.
Grade B-

Never buy a Lenovo computer. They suck.  Lost another add on to this blog due to FU frowny face.
Maybe next time.