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+