Saturday, June 24, 2017

Singles Going Steady-Madison Picks And B Sides

Madison last week was the WNBR, but as well plenty of new 45s were found at various locations. The best picks came from the new location of Mad City Music Exchange which moved from Williamson Street and further up north, not too far from Sugar Shack Records. 

In essence, this may have been some of the best finds since the Great Davenport Buddy Holly/Bob Dylan finds of a couple years ago.  Although I had to pass on the In The Court Of The Crimson King and Would You Go All The Way For The USA by Zappa on Bizarre, I think I found better finds at a much cheaper price.  On the other side of things I have expanded my Paul Anka collection by about 5 records, which might be 4 too many for those who like their rock and roll.  Comparing Lonely Boy from the ABC to the RCA remake, the RCA has it's a more mature charm but Paul had a bigger hit when he recorded for ABC Paramount.  Round here I keep a more open mind than the average record collector.  The biggest Hoot and Holler 45 was Crow's Something In Your Blood and of course I could have gotten a copy off EBAY but for two dollars at Mad City Music X, it was about 6 dollars cheaper.  A few other oddities popped up as well.  I also did score a few singles two weeks ago at a garage sale and yet to post them.  But this SGS segment features sorely on the Mad City 45's 

1)  Something In Your Blood-Crow (Amaret 45-1338)  1971

Their major hits were in 1970 and 1971 Evil Woman the best known and highest charting and Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll. Although Something In Your Blood didn't chart here, it showed some regional top 30 chart action, the folks at WIRL playing it a few times during my summer stay with my grandparents in Illinois in 1971.  It came from the movie HUD but this song has never appeared on any Crow album or Best ofs.  Dave Wagner played this during a concert back in the 80s when Crow toured with Jan And Dean but for whatever reason this never made any best ofs. A shame actually. Dave Wagner still tours under the Crow name. 

2)   Wild Thing-Senator Bobby (The Hardly Worth It Players featuring Bill Minkin) Parkway P-127
# 20  1967

Parodies of Senators back in the 60s was commonplace, especially if you were a Kennedy and on this Bill Minkin appears as Senator Bobby and even the songwriter Chip Taylor managed to produced this side as well the B side to which Everett McKinley gets parodied.  In the end Senator Bobby won out, it's a bit more funnier than the McKinley parody.  But then again I suppose you can live without it too. 

3)    Everybody-Tommy Roe (ABC Paramount 45-10478)  #3 1963

Felton Jarvis got more rock and rockabilly out of Roe than Steve Barri ever did.  In fact, Barri basically steered Roe into bubblegum territory, more so than usual but even in early 60s AM radio Everybody sounded tailored made for the radio, although I could have done without the soprano woman at the end.  Roe was inspired to redo Everybody in a different set of tempo and words as a followup, known as Come On, which made number 36 in early 1964, including soprano singer at the end of that song as well.  You hardly hear Come On anywhere anymore.

4)   Daddy I Know-Dr West Medicine Show And Junk Band (Norman Greenbaum) 
(Gregar 71-0100)  1970

Greenbaum had a major hit with Spirit In The Sky to which a former label decided to release some of the early stuff to cash in on the success of said song but the A Side Gondoliers, Shakespeares,  Overseers, Playboys And Bums was interesting only for the title.  In fact Daddy I Know would have been the better pick, since the folks at Varese Vintage put this song before the A side on Greenbaum's best of.   With Dr West Medicine Show, Greenbaum wrote off the wall ditties (The Eggplant That Ate Chicago, Weird) and RCA was interested to issue Daddy I Know and Gondoliers as a single but it failed to do much of anything.  In theory, Spirit In The Sky was the ultimate one hit wonder for Norman, he did managed to place two more singles in the top 100 but nobody ever plays them either.   Or Daddy I Know for that matter.

5)   Stand Up-Underworld (Sire/WB  7-22852)  #67 1989

Later on, they were techno wizards but in the late 80s they tried for a alt rock sound with real drums, and while critical praise was few and far between I tend to like Change The Weather, their album with Stand Up on it more than the Under The Radar, their first album.  KFMW had this song in regular rotation but the comparisons to other techno bands (Depeche Mode, New Order) rendered Underworld to be second tier new wave.  Underworld later would ditch the drums for a more militant dance sound but I have yet to hear those albums.  And it's not high on my list of things to listen to so that will have to wait.

6)   Waitin' On You-Dave Mason (Blue Thumb 7122)  1970
       Walk To The Point-Dave Mason & Cass Elliot (ABC/Dunhill D-4271)  1969

It's weird to ever think that the late great Mama Cass Elliot did worked with Dave Mason on a album but it mostly her singing background to Mason's song, to which Walk To The Point is more Mason than Mama Cass Elliot.  I've never seen the Dunhill single before and for two dollars it was worth picking up I think.  Walk To The Point did managed to make it to a one  of the quick buck Dave Mason Blue Thumb Best of's after Columbia threw more money his way, but the A side Too Much Truth, Too Much Love is ho hum.  Waitin' On You was the lead off track from Alone Together and it's one of the more tougher rocking numbers Mason has ever come up with.  I was surprised it was released as a single in the first place.

7)   Who Do You Love-Juicy Lucy  (Atco 45-6751)  1970

I came across this song via the Bronze overview A Quiet Night In.... to which Gerry Bron, who formed Bronze Records produced and Atlantic acquired the master to issue on Atco.  It did some FM airplay, but it had more to do with Ronnie Hawkins rather than Bo Diddley.  Juicy Lucy did record a few albums but mostly they were a bit too British for the American public to get behind with.  

8)  Jewel Eyed Judy/Station Man-Fleetwood Mac  (Reprise 0984) 1970

Danny Kirwan could write some great songs (Bare Trees, Child Of Mine) but Jewel Eyed Judy wasn't one of his better numbers.  Station Man was much better and was a FM album cut in the early 70s.  The 45 version of Station Man edits out the 45 second fade in but for the most part it still clocks at 5:49.  Plus that 45 is fairly hard to find.  Not as 50 dollars hard to find as Tell Me You Love Me by Frank Zappa/Mothers but for four dollars a worthy addition to my collection.

9)   Red Eye Blues-Redeye  (Pentagram PE-206)  #78 1971

This placed on the regional top 30 after the success of their other hit Games, and although I had a copy of this, mine disappeared over the years and I couldn't locate another copy till Mad City Music X had this for three dollars.  I think I liked the B side The Making Of A Hero better though.

10)   Hide Nor Hair- #20
        At The Club- #44   Ray Charles (ABC Paramount 45-10314)  1962

It seems back in the early 60s  Brother Ray could have both sides of his 45s make the top 50 but with the exception of Hit The Road Jack and couple others, you would never know he had many more hits that charted.  Ray's ABC Paramount singles have been sighted more often on occasion but this single would be one of the his last attempts for straight R and B before updating country music to his own style, which a lot do sound dated from all the strings arrangements. Both songs were written by the late great Percy Mayfield to which Ray continue to tap Percy for new songs and even recorded Percy for his own Tangerine label in the 60s.  Steve Hoffman used both songs on the original Dunhill CD Ray Charles Greatest Hits Volume 1 and 2  and later Concord Music would render those albums useless by putting the complete ABC Paramount Singles a few years ago.   I haven't played that collection all that much but I'm glad I have it just in case.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Notes From The Underground: The Week In Review

The big story was having The Failed Reality Star popping into our little town to clog traffic up and tell everybody that everything is great.  There was protesting out on the streets but most of it was peaceful.  In the meantime while this was going on, Ryan's Steak House and Buffet closed their doors. I kind of expected that since the last few times I ate there, the food was subpar.  But I guess I will miss the Rice and Gravy Special that I would made for myself when I couldn't find anything edible to eat.  Ryan's is the one of a few places that have closed that was located on Collins Road, Burger King closed (if anybody needs another BK, there's a new one opening on Blairs Ferry Road), Pizza Hut closed (no more pizza buffets in town here) and Village Inn.

In the meantime summer is here, and so is the Bar B Q Roundup this weekend with a few of my fellow musicians playing on stage, the likes of Wooden Nickel Lottery, Flex and JC Project to name a few.  Basically I was disappointed that Madison didn't have this kind of celebrations going on when I was there but I'm sure they will something on the weekend to bring out the masses.

For the first time all year we finally got some decent new music out there.  Great new albums from Steve Earle, Kasey Chambers has a very good 2 CD set called Dragonfly, which one cd is produced by Paul Kelly and the other by her brother Nash Chambers and while it's not as creepy classic as Bittersweet is, it remains a good listen.  Ride returns with a new album Weather Diaries, which was, as if, Carnival Of Light and Tarantula never existed.  Funny thing about shoegazer albums is that they have their charm but in this day and age that early 90s alternative sound is badly dated.  While Pitchfork lambasted Tarantula, and Creation deleted the record a week after its release, I still find that record to be a enjoyable but somewhat so so modern rock album.  In fact, Black Light Crash remains a classic cut but the rest is ho hum. Weather Diaries starts out strong, the highlights are when Ride channel the power pop excursions of Going Blank Again.  Ride is at their best if they keep it under four minutes, when they balloon songs over 6 minutes the listener nods off to sleep. I'm not sure if White Sands is a perfect song to end this comeback and while Weather Diaries will not make the masses forget Going Blank Again or Nowhere but I do think this would have been a better followup to Going Blank Again rather than Carnival Of Light.   And it did help getting Alan Moulder to mix the album too.

I also liked the new Buckingham/McVie album as well.  Despite the absence of Stevie Nicks, it's mostly the return of Fleetwood Mac (although Mick and John are missing on a couple number therefore the change of name) and at 10 songs it's much more easier to listen to than the overblown Say You Will, to which Ms. McVie was missed.  It's mostly Lindsay's show, Christine adds a couple of love songs at the end.  I'm always happy to listen to a new album of Fleetwood Mac once Christine rejoins and yes Stevie is missed, but still for later day pop and rock, it's recommended.

After 30 radio broadcasts on Lucky Star Radio. Townedger Radio signed off the air.  It was a fun ride but I ran out of CDs and patience to keep on doing it.  Perhaps some later time I'll return with a more underground sounding show but for now, real life happens.

Loretta Lynn had to cancel shows this summer, she suffered a stroke and has been trying to recover from that.  If she's well enough, she has a September 6th show but as of the moment I'll send some good vibes her way.

Albums from my youth:  Golden Earring-To The Hilt (MCA 1976)

These guys has been around for over five decades and the only songs you ever hear remain Radar Love and Twilight Zone.  The Earrings never had much label support be it Atlantic, MCA or Polydor and the idiots at MCA deleted Just Like Vince Taylor from the Moontan album. But sometimes they needed a good edit, Atlantic did managed to make their 20 minute version of Eight Miles High into a much more easier to take two and half minutes.  Which shows the rub on the Earrings, their jamming tended to be a bit more pointless and off the melody although the whole Radar Love song does have a nice jam before MCA edited that out but still remained over 5 minutes.   I bought To The Hilt on the cover art done by Hipnosis, which managed to do great cover art for the likes of UFO, Pink Floyd and many others.  Reviews were so so but I like this album a bit more than Moontan, although that album had better songs.  In fact Sleepwalking is a rewrite of Radar Love in terms of melody and it bombed as a single (edited of course). Highlights remain Why Me, which is a typical G.E. jam up to the ending, and all but the title track are over five minutes, and the 10 minute closer Violins which has a herky jerky guitar riff at the beginning before the band goes into a whole different sound at the end including, crazy violins playing in the background, a Bernard Herrman sort of arrangement.  The CD has never been in print in the US but Golden Earrings main label Red Bullet reissued this and I found this for 3 dollars at the new Mad City Music Exchange and thought it would worth it hearing it again out in the car. To the ones that are looking for a good overview, you're better off with The Continuing Story Of Radar Love, but To The Hilt remains my favorite Golden Earring album.  Even without their main hit.
Grade B+


Rolling Stones-Some Girls (Live In Texas 78)  (Eagle Music 2017)

As they have gotten older, The Stones has actually been opening up their vaults of vintage past concerts and basically it's buyer beware.  But in theory, this 1978 concert blows away the 1977 Love You Live album and perhaps Some Girls Live might have been the final great concert that The Stones ever recorded, although I'm sure that is open to debate. It does steal 7 tracks from Some Girls (but not the title track, nor Lies, nor Before They Made Me Run, the three less dubious tracks from that album) but there's a sense of urgency and The Stones playing is on fire.  In fact this might rival Get Your Ya Yas Out in terms of best overall Stones live album.  It's interesting to hear how the new songs play on, since The Stones didn't overkill Miss You or Beast Of Burden at that time.  Interesting that they decided to play Star Star rather than Satisfaction but that's all right by me.  Yeah, it would have been fun to see Keith and Ronnie trade sloppy guitar licks but with Charlie Watts holding the beat down, they can't get too sloppy.  Perhaps the reason why this album was available as bootleg only due to more than half of Some Girls made up the setlist but I think there's not a bad cut from those songs, except maybe the corniness of Far Away Eyes but it can be tolerated. This recording does give valid arguments that The Stones could be the world's greatest rock and roll band when they want to be.  And it may have been their last truly great live album before pretentiousness and the almighty dollar took over.
Grade A-

Monday, June 19, 2017

WNBR Madison Notes

The 8th annual Madison World Naked Bike Ride is now in the history books.  It started out cloudy but once the sun came out I got burnt to a crisp riding the 12 mile bike route through Madison and the usual twice around the Capitol. I'm guessing the turn out was slightly less than the 160 bikers that was with us last year.  It was also the first time I rode a bike since last year's WNBR.  But on sight there was about 40 people that returned, including the crazy skating woman and the other one, I'm terrible with names but if you google WNBR Madison, you would see her face.  But for the most part guys outnumber the girls about 2 to 1.

On the plus side, I didn't cramp up.  Last year, my downfall was doing a 10 mile bike ride before the main event.  While I went full frontal last year, I opted for having silk boxers and a floppy hat.  While there was reports of people getting offended when some of the bikers shouted out "join us and go naked" but the only thing I saw was some girl covering her eyes and looking downward on her bike as everybody passed on by.   Like last year, the meeting place was the UW parking lot and the staging place the co operate house near the hotel that I stayed at.  Elijan, who was one of the folks living there said that anybody can live there for 515 dollars a month. You get room and board, all things paid, and it's like living in a commute. If I was younger I would considered moving there.

Once again plenty of road construction everywhere and the road that had The Graduate Hotel was tore up.  For 183 dollars a night, I decided to park the car there. There's not too many parking spots down in the basement and I didn't care about parking a block away. I think I stayed at the same room last year, room 202.  But any hotel in downtown Madison is going to pricey, but The Graduate is two blocks from the staging area.  Perfect place to hang out.

I have to say that giving up TV has been the best thing for me.  I tried my best to watch something but ended up watching old Gomer Pyle reruns and Turner Classic Movies.  The Big Pharma monopoly of drug commercials is epidemic, 8 out of 10 spots were drug related, for your pets and for your limp dick.  I never thought I've seen TV go this far down the shitter.  You get tired of it, I know I do, thank the Cialis and Viagra stiff necks for forever keeping the TV off over here. Don't need it anymore.

Once the bike ride was done, I stayed around looking bored for about 15 minutes and then made my way back to the hotel, took a nap, then tried a Five Guys Cheeseburger (overrated), then rented a bike to do another 15 miles ride.  The change chasers all over the place.  I don't think I ever seen so many beggers on State Street shaking their cups and asking for spare change.  Plenty of people sleeping on the side walks and in front of closed businesses   And there was a few musicians playing for change as well, one woman was playing her violin for a good eight hours Saturday.  That's dedication. But there was a great Chinese place upstairs across the street from a convenience store, and they were real Chinese food all the way down to the chopsticks at hand.  For Saturday, I managed to do plenty of walking up and down State Street all the way to the hotel by Lake Monona to which a massive sinkhole started after all the heavy rain Friday Night.  Of course on the Terrance, plenty of people getting married and taking plenty of photos, even had a couple dancing on M L King Street in front of the capitol and then somebody rented the Orpheum  Theater for their own wedding reception. Good luck to them.

The bargains this time out was pretty good for 45s, but there were a few museum 45s as well. One was King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King (Part 1 and 2) to which I would have loved to hear how Atlantic chopped that 9 and half minute song into a 4 and half minute edited 45, but that sold for 25 dollars.  The other was Frank Zappa Tell Me You Love Me on Bizarre for 40 dollars (a steal) and they were sold at the new location of Mad City Music Exchange which moved from Williamson Street to Atwood Drive close to the Majestic theater.  While the new location is more roomy than the old place, I like the old location due to its closeness to Lake Monona.  Despite the high prices of both 45s, both were gone the next day I return back there.  While I didn't get those two museum pieces, I did managed to find 10 other 45s of more sentimental value, including Crow's Something In Your Blood, which I have been searching for, for many many years.  I will have to compile that later for a Singles Going Steady blog. I did also find some decent CDs too.   Pawn America was a bust, either they are remodeling or ready to close up shop.  They finally threw out the crappy CDs that they couldn't sell.   Strange when they opened up, I found 100 cds in the first three years.  Now they simply don't sell CDs.  Even Half Priced Books East Side chopped their CD bins in half.   Ain't gonna be much for CDs anymore.  LPs, I didn't find anything and although I did find a good copy of Black Oak Arkansas' Keep The Faith, I forgot all about it while 45 crate digging and left it behind.  When I realized what I've done, Mad City was closed.

The way it goes.

Gas prices averaged 2.17 a gallon.  Most of Verona road going out of Madison still had road construction but over all it wasn't that bad getting through it.   On the west side of Madison, Copps closed their grocery store, so the only thing around was Big Lots and they didn't have shit either.  They're becoming a disappointment.  

So that's the WNBR Madison 2017 story in a nutshell. People riding nude and not much came from it.  Nothing to see.

The Video.  I appear at the 1:23 mark.  I'm wearing the silk boxes as promised. ;)
Too bad you can't see it, it's been removed due to decency rules here :(
But I'm sure it's out on You Tube if you look hard enough.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kyle Bookholz

Kyle Bookholz was part of the folks that made up the Besides it's a B Side Facebook site and even I got bounced from that site we remained friends.  He had a deep musical knowledge and we both shared a love of nostalgia and old baseball parks.  He died Tuesday from cancer.  He will be missed.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Robert Christgau On The New Chuck Berry Album

Chuck Berry: The Definitive Collection (Geffen/Chess) I hope a few young folks out there are aware that the inventor of rock and roll made his bones with six genre- and generation-defining '50s hits: "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven," "School Day," "Rock and Roll Music," "Sweet Little Sixteen," and "Johnny B. Goode." I also hope they'll believe that he later wrote three equally titanic songs: "Almost Grown" and "You Never Can Tell," in which his patented American teenager goes out on his own and gets married, and the sub rosa celebration of the Freedom Rides "Promised Land." And I hope they won't be surprised to learn that those nine titles are only the cream of a 10-buck, 30-tracks-in-75-minutes collection whose most dubious selection both the Kinks and the Rolling Stones thought choice enough to cover. ("Beautiful Delilah," to be precise—I've come around on Berry's sole #1, the naughty 1972 sing-along "My Ding-a-Ling.") Bo Diddley excepted, Berry was the most spectacular guitarist of the rock and roll era, and every '60s band learned his licks. His bassist-producer was the capo of Chicago blues, his pianist entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on his own recognizance, and his drummers were huge. Yet though the size of his sound was unprecedented, the penetrating lightness of his unslurred vocals was as boyish as the young Eminem's because the crystalline words meant even more than the irresistible music. In the hall of mirrors that is Chuck Berry's catalogue, this is where to get oriented. But be forewarned that there's also a 71-track three-CD box that slightly overplays his blues pretensions and Nat King Cole dreams, and that this one could tempt a person to covet that consumable too. I dare you to find out. A PLUS

Chuck Berry: Chuck (Dualtone) In the first 89 years of his life, Chuck Berry recorded two full-length albums worthy of the name, neither currently available for under a C-note although one is set for reissue: 1964's St. Louis to Liverpool, three comeback classics plus seven keepers that include the atypically companionable "You Two" and the atypically familial "Little Marie" as well as two atypically engaging instrumentals. The other is the 1979 groove album Rockit, sharpened by two back-end songs skewering the racist society he'd striven so audaciously to integrate and enlighten. That was his last record for 38 years, when he generated this de facto farewell, which stands as both a summation he put his all into and a little something he might have followed up if he hadn't up and died at 90. Mischievous and horny and locked in, he plays undiminished guitar as a few subtle guest shots add texture. His timbre has deepened—on the recitative "Dutchman," he's a relaxed near-bass. But he's hale vocally and acute verbally on eight well-crafted new ones and two savvy covers that indicate he's learned a few things—the warm songs to the long-suffering wife he married in 1948 and the progeny who chime in like they've earned it have the kind of detail he always reserved for his fictions, musical and otherwise. I've never stopped loving Chuck Berry as an artist, but it's been a while since I thought the old reprobate was anything but a fucked up human being. This miracle gives me second thoughts. A MINUS

Steve Earle: So You Wannabe an Outlaw (Warner Bros.) He's tried the outlaw thing, and on his best album in 15 years sets out to tell the world why it ain't all that. Your buddies on those roughneck temp gigs always head elsewhere. When the news from home is bad, and it will be, there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Hitchhiking is so over a fella could write a keeper about it. And to sum up: "Everybody reckons that they want to be free / Nobody wants to be alone." A guy who's been married seven times is more likely to know nothing about women than everything. But from "Comes to love fallin' is the easy part" to "You can't pretend / The line between a secret and a lie ain't razor thin," he gets a keeper out of that too. While I surely do agree that in love a secret and a lie are the same thing, I hope it will interest him to be told that the secret of not being alone is to let yourself keep falling—for the same one. A MINUS