Monday, March 13, 2017

Week In Review: Townedger Radio 28, Passings

So far 2017 is worse than last year, go figure.  Blogspot continues to tout the same five postings from December, ignoring the latter day stuff and this computer is a even bigger joke.  We replaced the Blue Frowny FU face with now the OH SNAP something happened message while on Facebook.  I now call this piece of shit Lenovo made in China shit, TRUMP.   And in the meantime, our washer's motor burned up so I'm now hand washing my clothes.  And we ended up getting 6 inches of snow Sunday night too. Mother Nature's way of saying it's still winter here.

With daylight savings time here upon us, we get another of daylight at the expense of losing an hour of sleep and while I like the idea of more daylight, I have found myself more groggy and more annoyed than usual.  A common side effect. The do nothing GOP would like to take away DST (along with your healthcare and minimum wage increases) and have white folk make more babies, another comical comment from the racist from the west side of the state Steve King.  And yet while GOP controls everything, they still blame the Democrats for problems to which the GOP has no solution. But to give more tax cuts to the 1 percent. Enough is enough.

Passings this week: Joey Alves, rhythm guitar extraordinaire for Y and T passed away from ulcers Sunday, he was 63.  Joni Sledge was found dead in her Phoenix home on Saturday, you know her from We Are Family Sister Sledge fame, she was 60.  And Paul Ryan and the FRS still live on. On March 6, it was reported that Valerie Carter who had a minor hit with OOH Child and made a couple of albums for Columbia in the 1970s passed away from a heart attack, she was 64.  Lyle Ritz, bass player for The Wrecking Crew  and  “Father of the Jazz Ukulele.”  died after a lon illness. He was 87.

Tommy LiPuma, famed producer who formed Blue Thumb Records back in the 1960s and worked on Leon Russell's last album Life's Journey, passed away Tuesday from a short illness.  He was 80.

James Cotton, famed harmonica player who played in Muddy Waters and Johnny Winters band as well his own passed away from Phenomena on Thursday, he was 81.

Meanwhile we continue to monitor the Steve Alford chokejob in March, whereas his UCLA Bruins got pounded by Arizona 86-75 Friday Night in the Pac 12 Tournament to which Bruin nation is rolling their eyes and hoping he leaves for Indiana soon after Tom Crean gets released.  UCLA is 29-4 this season and had a great roster of players including the coach's son.  Alford has always had this albatross around his neck of having great seasons only to stumble and fall in the NCAA's.  Granted he had some sort of magic for Iowa back in the early years of the Big Ten Tournaments, winning the first one and then runner up the next year.  In 2006 while trying to fend off the Iowa hateful, Iowa won the 2006 Big Ten Tournament (the last time they ever made the final game) and then got upset by Northeast Louisiana in the first round, so much for the 26 win season, to which people remember the NE LA upset rather than the magical year.  Seeing the pitchforks coming closer, he bolted for New Mexico to where he would continue the great season and lackluster playoffs games, only making Sweet 16 once and getting upset along the way before UCLA came a calling and threw a bunch of money his way.  Last season UCLA disappointed many and pissed off Bruin Nation (they really do have very low tolerance for subpar seasons, John Wooden spoiled them), but the AD held on to him and UCLA won 29 games so far, but Bruin Nation will remember the Arizona win more than they will of the regular season and anything short of making the Elite 8 or Final 4 is unacceptable.  So Rumorland has Alford being interested of the Indiana head coach position since Tom Crean is on the hot seat and it has gotten microwave hotter  with a lackluster record and a second round loss to Wisconsin, their best game of the year was the game they shot 71 percent in the second half to win over Iowa in the Hawkeyes' annual one and done appearance in the tourneys.

As expected Iowa didn't make the NCAA Tourney but they are seeded number 1 in the NIT. Which means they will have home field as long as they win games till they hit New York.  First up will be South Dakota, a team in the same league as with Nebraska Omaha which did beat the Hawks earlier in the year.  South Dakota also has former Hawkeye Trey Dickerson at point guard.  But it's a new season, where you either win or call it a season.  It's a good feeling to be a number 1 seed in the NIT regardless.  Here's hoping they'll make a run toward the Big Apple.

The SXSW event happens this week in Austin, which means total chaos will be down there.  Up and coming prog rockers King Buffalo played Fubar at St Louis Saturday Night and robbers broke into their van and stole 750 dollars and some personal belongings.  The band managed to have their musical equipment and gear still in tact (a rarity) but as they say another 10 minutes and King Buffalo may have come to a empty van.  St Louis has been getting a might bad rap for bands getting their stuff stolen in the middle of the night and of course King Buffalo is becoming one of many bands finding out the hard way that all around protection to watch your stuff is the way to go.  They have set up a Go Fund Me page to try to get some sort of money back used for the SXSW showcase and pending European Tour.

Bob Dorr is hanging up The Blue Band after 35 years and countless band members coming and going. But Bob will continue to keep the band going till Jan 12-13, 2018 when The Blue Band concludes at The Riverside Casino.  Bob will continue to do his shows on KUNI, namely BackTracks and Beatles Medley and a few others.  And will make the usual showing up at Parlor City on Tuesday Night Blues Jam.  He's not done yet.

Seems like whoever I follow on Blogspot is like the kiss of death. Josh Schott has decided to shut down his Country Perspective site in favor of new opportunities I.E. something that actually pays.  I wish him well. But we move on.

Tad has finally found me in Facebook land (lucky for him) but he continues to take over reviewing strange bad albums of the past, most particularly the infamous Cromagnon Cave Rock CD that I pawned off on him and continue to hear about it (hahahahahaha!)  He calls it the Environments sounds for the Zombie Apocalypse and yes it's beyond belief. Especially when you get children chant Freedom for about five minutes on a segment "song piece"  I wrote about the album a few years ago and it's in the archives.   I'm surprised he took a listen to ELP Works Volume 1, the bloated and pompous 2 album set of wanking off and I hope I scared him away of Love Beach forever, it still sucks Tad.  However, if you're interested, Works Volume 2 is a much better listen and actually has songs of note, I managed to find a cutout of that CD when Shout Factory deleted the catalog when ELP moved over to Razor and Tie and now BMG to become the most reissued band ever.  I think we disagree on Gaucho, I liked it more than he did although it's no Aja or even Katy Lied for that matter. As for Hatfield And The North, it's a fragmented album and a shame some of the songs didn't get more developed. The Beach Boys Friends is a hodgepodge of Trans-mediation bullshit, title track was probably the best of the bunch. Bought the CD simply of 20/20 being the other album and well that album should had led off the CD.  Friends is only 25 minutes long but it feels twice as long. The LA album might have been their worst but Friends might be their worst Capitol album of all time.  UK's Danger Money sucked from the word go when I first heard it, Terry Bozzio replaces Bill Bruford, Alan Holdsworth moves on to other things and John Wetton auditions for what would be Asia a few years later.  But Danger Money is better than Love Beach.  Tad also throws his thoughts on Barclay James Harvest, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and other bands of note in his latest blog.

Singles Going Steady Medley: Uncharted and unloved

It's So Easy!-The Crickets (Brunswick 9-55094)  1958

I find it hard to believe this didn't chart on the Billboards.  One of the more garage sounding songs of the 1950s Buddy Holly did invent garage rock on the Brunswick singles.  My copy is a reference copy, scratchy as hell and seen better days.

You're Making A Mistake-The Platters (Mercury 71320)  #50 1958

My thought that My Old Flame was the A Side and I was more familiar with that song rather than Mistake was made top fifty but never heard that song.  As I get older and more nostalgic about the good ole days (if there were any of those even back then) I find my collection being peppered by a lot of Bobby Darin and Platters singles.  The distinctive vocals of Tony Williams was a great selling point and perhaps the most I D'ed singer of The Platters and Mistake does pale next to classics like The Great Pretender and Only You.  But I don't think buyers cared much of the whistling dude on the break.  Rarely gets heard on the radio or for that matter, appears on any Platters best of (unless Bear Family issues a best of).

The Greatest Builder-Bobby Darin (Decca 9-30031)  1956

I suppose to make a Singles Going Steady thingy is to include Bobby Darin on it eh?  Actually, I think I have found most of all what I'm looking for although I  yet to have any of his Capitol singles in my collection.  Before jumping on Atlantic, Bobby spent a couple years on Decca with hardly much success (Silly Willy, the single before this hinted toward teen pop with Splish Splash, which Decca would reissue after the success of the bathtub song) but The Greatest Builder  is a semi gospel number complete with syrupy strings and chorus done by Jack Pleis, Decca's version of a Dick Jacobs, It shows Darin could make something out of a bland gospel number, or at least he believed in the song enough to make it a gallant try.  B side Ring Them Bells (written by the odious Mort Garson) is more of the same blandness.  Found this 45 many years ago with the original Decca sleeve for a quarter at Goodwill and it still plays in mint condition. I wonder why.

Pop, Let Me Have The Car-Carl Perkins (Columbia 4-41207)  1958

While Johnny Cash got better famous on Columbia when he continued his country sound, Perkins hard rockabilly somehow never took off, but I do think Perkins had some real hard rock and roll on these sides, especially this song and B side Levi Jacket, to which only The Beatles were listening long and hard enough, but even they picked his Sun Sides.   Like It's So Easy!, Let Me Have The Car only bubbled under, a shame really cause it's my favorite Carl Perkins song of all time.  I'm Surprised Dave Edmunds didn't cover this song.  I can't recall where I bought the forty five, it may have been the Salvation Army up town Marion many years ago and sat in my dad's collection. While it looks beat up, it plays and sounds a lot better than the trashed copy of It's So Easy!

Town Crier-Tommy Roe (ABC Paramount 45-10379)   1963

Sheila got him in Buddy Holly territory, but by Town Crier, producer Felton Jarvis had him covering pop stuff, somewhat like label mate Brian Hyland and while Town Crier got some sort of regional top 30 loving, the Billboard charts kept it under the top 100.  B side Rainbow is another mismatch song that originally done by Roy Hamilton (Don't Let Go).  Next single the The Folk Singer (written by Vic Maile who later became one of the best producers of all time with his work with The Pirates, Inmates, Godfathers and Dr. Feelgood) staggered to number 84 on the charts before Everybody made it to number 3 later in the year.  Steve Barri would guide Roe to the top of the charts with songs like Dizzy, Jack And Jill and Jam Up And Jelly Tight (co written with Freddy Weller).

Record Reviews:

Various Artists: The Real Kansas City Of The 20's, 30's, 40's (Columbia 1996)

Twenty years ago there was so so movie called Kansas City that was supposed to be about the jazz music scene and the shady folks that ran the speakeasys down there but I don't think I ever saw the movie but had enough interest to put out an album of authentic Kansas City inspired Jazz.  Of course the heavy hitters are on this (Bennie Moten, Count Basie who gets four songs here, Jesse Stone (later revamped Atlantic R and B with Shake Rattle And Roll, sung by Big Joe Turner who has two songs included under the leadership of Pete Johnson, including Cherry Red and Baby Look At You Now, later known as Roll Em Pete).  The term is more Swing Band than absolute jazz, although the blues would come in later from Jay McSwann and Ernie Fields (who later revamped In The Mood to a rock and roll beat thanks to Earl Palmer).  The girls stand out, Julia Lee, Mary Lou Williams and even Billie Holiday contribute some fine songs  like Little Joe From Chicago, and Long Gone Blues.  Two decades later, not much interest is out there anymore for Kansas City Jazz but The Real Kansas City Jazz of those three decades were real and swinging jazz.
Grade B+

Atlantic Jazz Legends Volume 1 (Rhino/Atlantic 1993)

Atlantic was instrumental in the development of jazz of the 1950s and later 60s, but in a attempt to lure buyers to seek out the originals, Rhino Records put out the first volume of a series of jazz standards and greatest hits so to speak. While there was never a proper volume 2, Volume 1 collects some outstanding tracks from Ray Charles (Sweet Sixteen Bars), John Coltrane with McCoy Tyler taking a good five minutes of his own soloing on My Favorite Things, the lesser known Yusef Lateef with a funk jazz of Nubian Lady, Rahsaan Roland Kirk's Inflated Tear and the economical and to the point: Mose Alison's Your Mind's On Vacation. And the FM classic Compared To What by Les McCann and Eddie Harris. Ornotte Coleman's Ramblin is one of his more straight ahead jazz numbers, he's usually out there doing some sort of free jazz freakouts.  The MJQ's Golden Striker might be their best number and I can't complain with Herbie Mann's Comin Home Baby.  For those who might not like jazz and only want to hear a sample of the better Atlantic numbers from such artists, it's worth seeking out.
Grade A-

Atlantic Jazz Keyboards (Rhino/Atlantic 1994)

If Jazz Legends Volume 1 is essential, Jazz Keyboards is more of a luxury.  Jimmy Yancey, was a great boogie woogie piano player of the the 30s and 40s but by How Long Blues, he was at the end of his career and it's one of the better songs to start out.  Errol Garner's The Way You Look Tonight is more uptempo than usual for him and Evidence from Theolonious Monk and Art Blakey has been done better before from Monk but still worthwhile to hear Art Blakey to add his off the wall drum taps.  Some of the piano pieces borderline on New Age boredom and the Chick Corea  avant garde free jazz freakout of Straight Up And Down is better suited for a Free Jazz comp, this sticks out too much like a sore thumb.  Other highlights include John Lewis, Little Girl Blue, Mitchell Ruff' Trio's Catbird Seat, Les McCann's Doin That Thing and Junior Mance's Sweet Georgia Brown and of course The Genius After Hours by Ray Charles.   Joel Dorn who compiled this, adds four of his own productions to this collection. Which tends to shift this collection to a more dispensable but an entertaining compilation.
Grade B

The Monkees-Forever (Rhino 2016)

Fearing the end of the Monkees since the guys are now in their 70s, Rhino decided to quick rush out a best of after Good Times was completed and in reality Good Times was their best album in years. She Makes Me Laugh was picked from that album and they could have gone with You Set The Summer too.  This time out, Listen To The Band was taken off in favor of You Just Might Be The One from Mike Nesmith and again the argument could have been both songs could have fit on this best of as well.  Basically the Davy Jones ballads are limited to Daydream Believer.  It picks most of the best known songs from the Monkees from Last Train To Clarksville, I'm A Believer up to their 1985 comeback bubblegum hit That Was Then, This Is Now to which at that time Arista, who had their masters issued a couple albums, and when Rhino signed them up, issued the rest.  Pool It! still sucks but Heart And Soul does rock fairly well.  Look, I'm a fan as much as the next person and even think that Changes is a worthy addition to your record collection, but any compilation that can tack on Words and Goin Down, is bonus points.  Even if the whacked out saxophone at the end does get tiring.
Grade B+

Vince Gill-Down To My Last Bad Habit (MCA 2016)

I don't know.  Gill is one of the nice guys of music but his albums never seem to move me past playing them twice and then donating them away.  Goodwill had his latest in the 2 buck bin so I decided to listen to it on my trip back from Dubuque which I left empty handed at Moondog Music. I can't say this is country but more toward Blues pop rock starting with  Reasons For The Tears I Cry, which rips off a Keith Richard chord (or maybe Chuck Berry, of course it's Chuck, he started the whole thing).  It has a rock slant with Steve Jordan and Willie Weeks being the rhythm section, and of course Vince writes all of the songs with help from Al Anderson and Ashley Monroe on others.  I like Vince when he rocks out, not much so when he goes all balladry and this record is full of dull ballads, including the turd with Chris Botti. The only true country song is the one dedicated to George Jones.  And the bonus cuts (from the deluxe edition) help a lot, the blues slanted Rock In My Shoe and Lonesome Dove In The Moonlight (the obligatory Sheryl Crow duet, which she does a good job in backing vocal).  If you get the original album without the bonus cuts you're missing out but with the bonus cuts, Gill has simply too many slow tempo songs to recommend it wholeheartedly.
Grade B-

Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young-Roosevelt Raceway Westbury New York 1974 (Aircuts 2015)

A radio broadcast from the Cocaine Tour to which David Crosby and Steven Stills were half bombed on drugs and Graham Nash and Neil Young trying to piece it all together.  In fact, Young's songs are the best of the bunch with a good cover of Walk On, but whoever's is screeching the backing vocals on Helpless needs to lay off the coke.  Doesn't help when Stills switches the first verse of Love The One Your With to the last and you wish David Crosby would shut up on Almost Cut My Hair.  Nash saves the album from total chaos with a better version of Our House than on Four Way Street. The sudden silent pauses between songs gives this a bootleg feeling ala Live At Leeds from The Who but the lesser known songs from CSNY are simply boring.   Haven't heard the Live 1974 box set from Reprise and don't plan to. Too many drugs and stoned vocals and playing, no wonder Neil Young needed to leave and CSN would wait another couple years to put another album out.
Grade: C

Albums From My Youth-The Looking Glass (Epic 1972)

Eliot Lurie might have gotten the big hit with Brandy but it was Pieter Sweval's songs that made this record work, starting out with the driving Jenny Lynn and the slow building up to the end boogie of Catherine Street that Pieter wrote.  The fact that Brandy was more of a throwaway and the big success of said song the guys didn't figure it would end up being the main song. Lurie's songwriting was more pop but he tried a more country sound with Golden Rainbow and perhaps a better pop followup with Don't It Make You Feel Good. Sweval was more rock and roll with Dealing With The Devil and moody album closer One By One was goes on a bit too long. The original album was 8 songs but Collectibles issued it with six bonus cuts from the very disappointing second album Subway Serenade which despite Jimmy Loves Mary Anne, their number 33 chart showing the rest of the songs was lackluster and Lurie departed for a solo career to which he eventually scored movies and TV shows.  Meanwhile new members came into the band (Joe X Dube, replaced Jeff Grob) and eventually they became the Fallen Angels before reinventing themselves as Starz. Still for an unassuming album like The Looking Glass, you'd hardly would know them to be the gang that would end up putting out Cherry Baby as Starz on Capitol four years later.
Grade B+

Townedger Radio 28  Broadcast on Lucky Star Radio 3/16/17  Playlist

Leroy Sent Me-Joe Brown
Bad Motor Scooter-Montrose
Tallahassee Lassie-Freddy Cannon
Guaranteed-The Godz
Tell Him No-Travis & Bob
No Love Have I-Webb Pierce
Listen To Love-The Townedgers
For What It's Worth-Buffalo Springfield
Lightning's Girl-Nancy Sinatra
Summertime Blues-The Who
Dreams That I'll Never See-Molly Hatchet
So Fine-The Fiestas
Heart Healer-Mel Tillis
Barbed Wire Fence-The Townedgers
I Do-The Marvellows
Everybody's Talking-Fred Neil
First Cut Is The Deepest-Keith Hampshire
Powderfinger-The Beat Farmers
Stone City-The Townedgers

1 comment:

TAD said...

Hi Crabby and thanx for the link. I might try to listen to some actually GOOD music next time around. That bad stuff gets tough after a few minutes....