Monday, April 17, 2017

Week In Review: TE Radio 29, RSD, Alan Holdsworth

For Record Store Day 2017, I went to Davenport a week early and basically found nothing of note.  New Feelies album, new Deep Purple album, some odds and ends.  Somebody bought in some old moldy 45s at the Salvation Army Moline store (the Davenport Collector's Store had four scratched up things worth mentioning but will they play?) and it's a shame that they were in such bad shape. Aside from a Leroy Van Dyke Dim Dark Places and a Dick Feller Asylum 45, most looked like they were fished out of the Mississippi River.  And the meantime I watch Marcus Wilson hit 2 home runs to propel Kane Country to a 8-4 win over Quad Cities in baseball.

In the meantime I forgot all about some of my friend's bands playing at local bars in the Q.C in favor of looking for the recently opened Blue Grass Drive In, which sits to the north and west of Blue Grass Iowa.  A strangely looking double screen it looks small and there's no marquee to let you know where you're at or what movies are playing. The guess is that it looks smaller than the 61 Drive In in Maquoketa and of course the screens you can't see from the highway.  Best route to get there is take Oak Street exit and take a right on Mayne Street and it's next door to Jenny's Dance Academy.  We still have three working drive ins, in this area, The Valle in Newton, of course the 61 Drive In and now The Blue Grass Drive In, which replaced the Grandview Drive in, which closed last year after a developer threw a bunch of money to the owners of the Grand View and they took it.  As always I hope the Blue Grass has a fighting chance to keep the movies coming for whose who desire watching them outdoors. 

It's the rainy season and on the way home from Davenport I ended up getting caught in a monsoon storm that had at least four stages of heavy rains, winds and lightning, which made getting home a chore upon itself.  While my time in Davenport stayed dry, they had Thunderstorm Warnings that didn't come into play till later.  We ended up with at least three inches of rain and a river going through the backyard.  So far, our 8,000 dollar investment of keeping the basement dry has paid off.  In previous weeks, I'd be moving fans to dry the place out. With the inner canals built from inside, the water stays in those canals and I no longer have creeks going through my bedroom anymore.  Ain't technology fun?

(Photo: Jalyn Souchek via KWWL)

During the Monsoon storm of Saturday Night, a EF-1 Tornado came out and destroyed a couple of farm building outside Amber, near Anamosa.

Passings: on Sunday Alan Holdsworth passed away, this came from his daughter Louise who didn't provide much of what Alan died from (heart attack perhaps) outside of  the usual announcement that he's now gone and the family request privacy.  Holdsworth was one of the premier progressive rock guitarists out there, performing as a solo artist as well playing in bands such as Gong, UK (to which he joins John Wetton in the great beyond) and Bill Bruford.   He was 70.

Cuba Gooding Sr, lead singer for The Main Ingredient was found dead in his car Thursday from a drug overdose.  He was 72.

Celebrations, Angel Delgadillo turns 90 on Wednesday.  He's still doing quite well out there in Seligman with his shop.  Record World salutes the Guardian of Route 66.

(Photo: Jotsen's)

You have to hand it to the jewelers who designed the Chicago Cubs' world series championship ring. Jotsen's Jewelers  ended up putting 108 diamonds into their rings and even included the billy goat on top of the ring.  So far, the Cubs have struggled a bit playing, they did take 2 out of 3 from St Louis and Los Angeles but their bullpen remains an questionmark, especially Petro Strop who the Pirates teed off on him Saturday as the bullpen blew the lead.  While Garret Cole continues to wonder if the Cubs are overrated that didn't stop Migel Montero from going up to bat and flashing off the world series ring on his hand saying don't you wish you could have one of these babies?   When you win the World Series, talk is cheap.  Just like Donald Trump.

Singles Going Steady Medley: Davenport Record Store Day Scratchy Records

Not A Lot found but some meddling pop ballads and such.

Cap And Gown-Marty Robbins (Columbia 4-40418)  #45 1959

Part of Marty Robbins' attempt to broaden his horizons on the pop chart and it did chart despite it's tepid arrangments.  I can also attest that I never heard this song ever.  I thought b side Last Night Was About This Time was the plug side, it sounds more of a rewrite of A White Sport Coat which did hit number 2.  Robbins would score big next time on his cowboy country ballad El Paso, which did topped the chart.

Remember When-The Platters (Mercury 71467)  #41 1959

They were on the decline when this smooth ballad came out.  Nothing wrong with it, great passionate vocals from Tony Williams, great arrangements from Buck Ram but the public had other things to buy it seems. B side has a big scratch on the groove so I couldn't play that one.

Race With The Wind-The Robbs (Mercury 72579)  1966

It's hard to find good 45s of jangly pop bands of the 60s in good shape.  And The Robbs had a few singles and albums on Mercury but I never heard any of those until I found this well worn copy that fits somewhere near The Turtles and The Byrds.  B side In A Funny Sort Of Way owes a bit to P F Sloan. Or Eric Andersen.

Your Used To Be-Brenda Lee (Decca 31454)  #32 1963

It seems that Brenda was getting into the heartbreak ballads as we have seen the past couple of SGS medley that we have thrown together.  Although pop in nature this song was tailor made for country radio with easy sing along chorus. And she was quite good with this sort of balladry, although when we rediscover these songs I can't understand why they charted so high. B side She'll Never Know made number 47, another heartbreak ballad.  Howard Greenfield wrote Your Used To Be with Jack Keller.  Both figured greatly in the music careers of Neil Sedaka and The Monkees.

Mountain Of Love-Bobby Brooks (Hit Record No. 156)  1964

From the folks at Spur Records and the incognito Nashville Sessionmen under various alias name, this is actually a nice cover of the Harold Dorman number although probably more toward Johnny Rivers' version. I tend to think that these forgotten cheap 45s sometimes do rival the original version, there's some thought to the music and it's not as throwaway as what Pickwick would come up for alternative cheap versions of the hit singles.  Even at 39 cents Hit Records couldn't give away most of these records, but there's a few choice collectors out there that will seek these songs out, your's truly for example.   B side Be Yourself by The Jalopy Five might be one of the few original songs that Spur/Hit issued, the giveaway is that it was written by Bobby Russell who did record a few songs under different alias for Hit Records before striking it big with his song called Honey that Bobby Goldsboro recorded and Russell scored his own hit with Saturday Morning Confusion in 1971.  Be Yourself sounds a bit like The Beach Boys' Be True To Your School.

New Reviews!

Deep Purple-Infinite (E.a.r. Music/Edel 2017)

I gotta hand it to Ian Gillan, the guy can be amazingly funny and scathing at the same time.  Johnny's Band might be Gillan's tongue in cheek song to his band (the punch line is the final line: and here we are singing along) and it may be a poke at their former guitar player.  Turns out this version of Deep Purple has been the longest lasting lineup since Bananas and since 1996 only one change: Don Airey for the late Jon Lord on keyboards and they have been making listenable albums, Purplendicular a damn fine one and Now What? came close.  But while fans will continue to say without Richie Blackmore it's not Deep Purple but really Steve Morse has done wonders with his own style.  Infinite is tagged as the best hard rock album of 2017 by the sticker on the CD and for old time hard rock and roll that may be true.  The only soso song is Birds Of Prey, and while the world really doesn't need another version of Roadhouse Blues, Deep Purple actually does a fine version of this song.  The Surprising sounds a bit prog rockish and that's all right.  There's a bit of jazz at the beginning of one song before it goes into a hard rock number (All I Got Is You) but that's all right.  If you're looking for another Smoke On The Water or Child In Time, as one DP song goes don't hold your breath but if you're looking for a hard rock album done by senior citizens pushing 70 and doing a fine job then Infinite is worth hearing.
Grade B+

The Feelies-In Between (Bar/None 2017)

The other big story, the return of The Feelies for a more low key album but still full of the simple licks that made them worth hearing.  For them it's more stripped down than usual, with shorter songs (Gone Gone Gone, Turn Back Time, In Between Part 1), Side 2 does step up the tempo and where else can you hear the reprise of In Between go for about 7 minutes long with plenty of guitar from Glenn Mercer.  In the end, if you're a fan, you'll be wanting a copy.
Grade A-

Brian Fallon-Painkillers (Island 2016)

To which Brian takes a sabbatical from The Gaslight Anthem and hook up with wunderkind producer Butch Walker (The Donnas, Marvelous 3) in a wide variety of rock and Americana blues.  I'm not a big fan of Walker's production and recording (the drums sound borrow too much from Munford And Sons) but for 12 songs going for 40 minutes it's not bad.  A couple songs do sound unfinished but when Fallon gets it right (Red Lights, Steve McQueen) it does rock a bit.  But if you want hard rock, better get Deep Purple's latest.
Grade B+

Past Masters-What Ever Happened To The Radio (Self Released 2016)

Local oldie classic rock cover band that managed to garner a following over the years turned out this self produced demo of some of their best covers plus the sole original, a title track that is dead on about the state of music and radio in particular.  It might have been better had they recorded this live. Perhaps they'll consider a live album next time.
Grade B

J E Sunde-Now I Feel Adored (Cartouche 2017)

I tend to think that the local music scene has some great up and coming artists.  Cedar Rapids has Tommy Bruner and Wooden Nickel Lottery and the Quad Cities has the beloved The Dawn and Bob Herrington not only has Ragged Records but also is in involved in Cartouche Records which he has The Multiple Cat and Sunde on this label.  Sunde is considered to be a more of a folk artist, although Pat Stolley (Multiple Cat) and Marty Bruggleman helping out on the mix.   At his best Sunde sounds a bit like Freedy Johnson and the dude from Del Amtri, at his least interesting, he comes across like Jeff Buckley and to a lesser extent Nick Drake.  But you'll only hear this via NPR or College Radio and it's a shame really that Corporate Radio has forsaken the new artists of today.  I'm not sure that Sunde's music is up my alley but he does end this album on a high note with Wedding Ring.  Which sounds more like a death song rather than a love song.  And sometimes I do like a death song better than a love song.
Grade B

Josie Cotton-Convertible Music/From The Hip (Collectibles 2002)

Teen age new wave bubblegum perhaps?  Cotton will forever be famous for her songs that made it on the movie Valley Girl and the two best songs, He Could Be The One and the more famous Johnny Are You Queer.  Collectibles issued her two Elektra albums on one CD and Convertible Music is the more fun of the two although there's way too much filler.  In some ways that album can be considered the kid sister of Bonnie Hayes' Good Clean Fun, although neither He Could Be The One nor Johnny Are You Queer was as rocking as Girls Like Me.  From The Hip, is a bit more darker and despite Prescott Niles and Don Heffington helping out, the only decent songs is her version of the Looking Glass' Jimmy Loves Mary Anne, with Lindsay Buckingham on guitar and final track Way Out West, which does have a bit of GO GO's pop to it. Despite better production, the songs were less than stellar and Come With Me shows that Josie is better a rocker and balladeer.  The problem with new wave music of the 1980s was most artists and bands could make a decent first album but could never follow it up proper, which after two albums, Elektra cut her loose.  But at least she's preserved in rock history by her appearance on Valley Girl and of course He Could Be The One and...ahem, Johnny Are You Queer.
Grade B-

Albums From My Youth-Pink Floyd The Wall (Pink Floyd Music 1979)

In these dangerous times, this album really speaks to me more about the idiot in the White House than ever before, although I'm sure Roger Waters never thought about The Failed Reality Star when he wrote this rock opera about a fucked up rock star and even though the The Wall itself is a clumsy story, I tend to like this album a bit more than Dark Side Of The Moon.  Of course the album has been reissued a few times, Columbia and EMI ping ponging back and forth of the rights of the album before Pink Floyd issued it under their own name and banner.   I did find the Columbia 2 CD reissue for 1.99 and the CD's were in pristine shape.  I'm sure we are all sick of hearing Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 on classic rock radio or perhaps Comfortably Numb, to which just about every hard rock band in town plays this song, my band included on jam nights but it still a rock and roll classic song. But I can identify with the song Mother, to which the subject at hand may have been smothered by his mommy while growing up but I do chuckle at the lines.  Everything comes together on Side 4 beginning with In The Flesh, to which I envision Donald Trump at a rally, then on to Run Like Hell, another song played to death by radio but I enjoy hearing Waiting For The Worms and The Trial because radio won't play those songs and somewhere in the mix lies Toni Tennile from you know who adding some backing vocals.  Perhaps Robert Christgau has a point of not getting the plot of the story or the music but he said the music wasn't bad.  I don't know, The Wall, (the Cd) remains a good listen and getting either the Columbia 1997 remaster or for that matter the latter day Harvest or Pink Floyd Music probably has better sound, but when I watch Pink Floyd The Wall (the movie) it left me cold and a bit disturbed, especially toward the end and the movie didn't work for me.  But The Wall, the album should be in your collection, just like Dark Side Of The Moon.  I have one but for the other, unless I find it for a 1.99 or less, I can live without it.
Grade B+

Townedger Radio 29 Broadcast (4-20-17)  On Lucky Star Radio


Asshole-Denis Leary
Mother In Law-Ernie K Doe
Good Lovin-The Olympics
Turn On Your Love Light-The Human Beinz
Rocking The Clock-The Open Highway Band
Shitty Record Deal-The Bloodhound Gang
U Can't Touch This-The Wapsipinicon Dreamers
Get Out Of Denver-Bob Seger
It Wasn't Me-Chuck Berry
Take A Look At The Boy-Izzy Stratlin and Ronnie Wood
It's Never Too Late-Steppenwolf
No Expectations-The Rolling Stones
Country Girls Ain't Cheap-Trailer Radio
I Can't Sleep-The La's
A Stranger To Himself-The Townedgers
Scream-Collective Soul

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