Friday, March 3, 2017

A New Month Of Reviews

It's March and I'm sure my ratings will be back to under 100 views.  Blogger still only has 9 all time most view and there's gotta be a tenth best blog now wouldn't you think?  Yesterday I only had 123 views all day so we're getting back to normal.  I do think the Blogger tracker is broke. Take away the same 5 blogs appearing, and I'm sure we're in the double digits of viewership.  Ratings are nice but if Blogger only has 9 of the 10 all time views, something is not quite right. May as well call it Alternative ratings.

While Mr. 45 and the GOP continue to throw the US down the toilet, Tornadoes carved a path through Illinois, and Ottawa for that matter killing 3 people.  The weather here did feel like a humid spring day, with Iowa City getting hail but the tornadoes would cross the river instead. Since we are now into March, expect more weather like this as spring approaches.

Five months into no TV and the one thing you haven't seen much is sports, but that will probably change.  Spring Training is in full swing and Iowa Hawkeyes Men's basketball have once again caught fire, blowing out Maryland on Saturday and then dropping Wisconsin after a Jordan Bohannon 3 bomb to propel Iowa for a 59-57 victory.  It's been a very strange Big Ten season to which Purdue will win the title but also noted was Northwestern winning 21 games this season and a sure shot for the NCAA tournaments.  Although Peter Jok has led the Big Ten in scoring this year, the young Hawkeyes have managed to win some big games the past week, and while they are still on the bubble for the NCAA's they actually are winning at the end of the season.  Wisconsin  on the other hand have lost three straight games and five of their last six after being ranked 7th in the top 25.  It's a jumbled mess in the Big 10 and it might strengthen itself out during the B1G tournaments but it does make fine watching.

(Photo: S.J.U)

The new IT girl for Record World is Sarah Jean Underwood who seems to like making light of passing the ole gas.  Everybody does it.  EVERYBODY!

Arnold is leaving the Apprentice and hopefully that show is done.  Perhaps the next host should be Mark Cuban with a Donald dig as shown.  Think I'm beginning to like Mark even more. Rumors have it Oprah might be running for POTUS in 2020.  With all the alternative facts going on, it's hard to tell what's true and what's not.  

Record Reviews:

The Band's Greatest Hits (Capitol 2002)

Missing Don't Do It takes this grade down a notch but I think overall it does a fair job of rounding up the best known of Robbie Robertson's songs. I always will think Music From Big Pink is overrated but the followup, their best and the rest well you can research them for later.  Even if The S/T album is their best album, The Weight is the best song they ever did which came to be on Big Pink. The original Best Of The Band LP was choppy, it left off Ain't Got No Home in favor of Twilight.  The omission of Don't Do It does hurt but the lesser known songs (Acadian Driftwood, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Time To Kill) helps a bit. Still have reservations about It Make No Difference, but there isn't any other best ofs that do have Up On Cripple Creek, Stage Fright, Chest Fever, Ain't Got No Home and The Shape I'm In on it.  Life is a carnival indeed.
Grade B+

War-The World Is A Ghetto (Avenue 1973)

They made great singles, albums not much so.  I enjoy Cisco Kid and the title track but they are not Santana on the 13 minute  City, Country, City which flops along and the 8 and half minute snooze Four Cornered Room.  Thankfully United Artists would come to the rescue and put out War's Greatest Hits.
Grade C

Best Of Dennis Yost And The Classics IV (Taragon 2002)

Everything you can dream on of having all the Classics IV you can tolerate is on here, to which they begin as Four Seasons clones on the two Capitol singles that Joe South produced for them.  For minor songs they are recorded first rated. But of course the ball didn't get rolling till a certain riff gave Spooky that top ten single sound they needed and they would repeated time and time again (Failed followup Soul Train and higher charting Stormy). Eventually Dennis Yost would go a more MOR sound, away from rock (Everyday With You Girl, Traces, Midnight) and once United Artists decided to kill Imperial and then Liberty and move Classics IV to their label, the hits were gone.  EMI did put together the song list of this album but Taragon would reissue it, complete with discography and chart position.  You will need coke glasses to read them though.
Grade B

Drive By Truckers-Gangstabilly (New West 1996)

Hard to believe this is their first album, recorded over 20 years ago and in two days. This is Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley joining forces with long gone DBT players on a set of songs celebrating red neck trailer life, complete with a needle jumping on a scratchy record.  Like most DBT albums it takes a while getting going, but there's a sense of the new southern rock on such classics like Steve McQueen, 18 Wheels Of Love, Why Henry Drinks and Buttholeville, which screams out Crazy Horse.  Even back then Hood have a flair for writing such taboo subjects like Wife Beater and Late For Church.  Who knew that this record would the first of a long line of winners from a band that has now been doing this for over two decades?
Grade A-

White Boy Blues (Castle 1997)

Unless you like hearing Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton play Elmore James or Robert Johnson 12 bar blues over and over, this is mostly a cash in, that has been reissued time and time again under the Pickwick or Springboard or any other minor budget label.  John Mayall provides the only vocals on this album, the best is I'm Your Witchdoctor.  As for the All Stars, no names are provided but the guess is that Nicky Hopkins might be doing  the piano playing on the rolling Chuckles.  In other words, like being at the local jam on amateur night.
Grade C

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