Sunday, August 29, 2010

Most Ignorant Rock Hall Rant Ever?

The Dark Elf File: The Rock and Roll Hall of Shame, or The Crock and Faux Hall

This has to be the most ignorant post about the Rock Hall that I've read this year. And as someone who has read a lot about the Hall, I've seen some beauties. But this is ignorant beyond belief. I don't know who the blogger is, and after reading this don't care to find out.

But if you think Humble Pie, Harry Chapin and Uriah Heep belong in the Rock Hall, then you've just found a new friend.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Stevie Ray

Almost hard to believe how time flies. 20 years ago, Stevie Ray Vaughan died. What I remember most about Vaughan is that I was just starting to get into his music. Fortunately, he left enough great stuff behind to justify his legend.
And what a Blues musician he was. He could play the Blues because he had lived it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

VH1 Top 100 Artists Updated For 2010

VH1 2010 Top 100 Artists of All Time

Always hard to take these lists seriously. VH1 has updated their 1998 list. I'm all for updating. There are some howlers, as usual. Alicia Keys at #100. Think about that. And someone thought Nirvana was more important than, well, a ton of legendary artists.
Led Zeppelin and Prince are ranked higher than Elvis Presley.

Others that made me howl: Sade at #50 and Cheap Trick at #58. I like 'em both, but come on, they are ranked ahead of Van Morrison and Otis Redding.

A Rolling Stone updated list would be much different. VH1 wants to make a good TV show out of their lists. While Rolling Stone would honor Rock History more. I doubt they would include Hall & Oates (#99), a pick by VH1 I love, actually. Also Journey at #96 wouldn't make their list.

But, come on, let's not kid ourselves. You want to know why I don't put much heft on this list?

#43 Ray Charles. Enough said.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rock Hall Revisited: Addendum

Oh, one quick update on that Rock Hall Revisited thing.
It does indeed say "Influences" on the site, but the initial goal was to induct pre-Rock era musicians. That's how I and others saw it.

This all changed when Patsy Cline got inducted in 1997, and became more prominent when Bobby "Blue " Bland made it in 2002. After that, people saw fit to nominate any name they deemed influential, regardless of the unwritten rule of only inducting pre-Rock era acts.

So, that's how John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, the Kingston Trio, Little Willie John, Ravi Shankar and Willie Nelson snuck in. All of these should have been Performer inductees.
Also Bobby "Blue" Bland and Buddy Guy had to get in as an Influences because not enough people were voting for them as Performers. Thus, an easier way to get inducted was found.

Another problem with this category, as well as the sideman one, was pure boredom. Coming up with 2 worthy names a year is tough. Even the Rock Hall doesn't do that. So, to alleviate the boredom of digging in the crates for 2 real Influences every year., people decided to jump the pre-Rock era and take their chances. And it worked. How else to explain votes for the Silver Apples, who didn't make a record until 1968, that someone tried to push as an Influence, before giving up and trying to get them in as Performers. And lack of support for Sonny Boy Williamson II (first record 1951) and Jelly Roll Morton. Real pre-Rock Pioneers.

The Rock Hall itself did this in 2009 by somehow making us believe that Wanda Jackson was an Early Influence, when they really just wanted to get her inducted, so they changed their own rules. Oddly enough, I expect the Rock Hall might pull more of these stunts in the future.

I once suggested that Frankie Lymon should be voted on as an Influence at Revisited and someone got upset at the prospect of doing this. Guess who was right.**

To justify some of these post-Rock era names that pop up , the voting bloc wants me to believe that they really meant all along that it's anybody who influenced anybody that should get an Influence nod. But I'm not buying it. How generic is that term anyway? Most of us knew what it meant. Others had no idea.

By that account, I would add these names of acts that I wanted to see inducted at Revisited, that started out in the 60's, and therefore should have been given an Influence nod:

Mott the Hoople (first record 1969)
Righteous Brothers (1963)
Brenda Lee (1956)
Del Shannon (1961)


**Postscript: Lymon was inducted in the 2012 Rock Hall Projected class as a Performer. An embarrassing long wait for such a Pioneer.

Sonny Boy Williamson was inducted in 2013 as an Early Influence. Oh, I mean Influence.





Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Playlist for 8/24

Brian Wilson - Reimagines Gershwin
John Mellencamp - No Better Than This
Ray Lamontagne - God Willin'
Robert Wyatt - Rock Botton

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gram Parsons

Poor Gram Parsons. If there was one name I thought I could get inducted during my voting days at Rock Hall Revisited, it was Parsons.
The Rock Hall has yet to induct him, even though some nominating committee members want him in, the voters just yawn.
At the Revisited site I ran into some voters who just didn't think he was important enough to vote for. And he's overrated or not really much of an influence on the Country-Rock that came after him, like the Eagles. Well, duh, that's the whole point. Parsons Country-Rock adheres more to traditional Country than the Eagles and their imitators were doing. And still, what Parsons did with the Byrds and Burrito Brothers did make an impression on Poco and the Eagles. But my guess is that voters at the Revisited site and RRHOF voters don't know much about Americana music. And that's why Parsons hasn't been inducted. But if I told you that Parsons is the father of Americana or Country Alternative Rock, would that change your mind. At Revisited if went nowhere. Okay, how about the Father of Country Rock as well. Any takers?

But what hurts Parsons? His solo career was short. Just 2 albums. Kind of like the Ritchie Valens syndrome. It took him awhile to get in, and some people still think his short career isn't worthy of induction. It doesn't matter that both those albums were incredibly influential. Just too damn short for some voters. If you add his stints with the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers it's a hell of a legacy. I think you can take into account multiple groups when voting on these things. I'm guessing that Traffic got a lot of votes, not because voters loved them, as much as voters loved Steve Winwood's career. And I have no problem with that.

I wish the Hall would do what they did with Black Sabbath and the Stooges. Just keep Parsons on the ballot until he gets in.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dylan Concert

My 2nd concert of the Summer turns out to be Bob Dylan, who made a surprise appearance in Monterey. We don't get many legends here, so for $75 I jumped at the chance.
It was a good concert, but I'm still trying to figure out why it wasn't a great one. Dylan was in typical form. Gargling his way through a set filled with mostly classics, yet light on "hits". So we got "To Ramona" but not "Lay Lady Lay", or "Positively 4th Street", it was that kind of set list.
Dylan goes from one song to the next, played for 1 hour 45 minutes, and only talked to the audience once to introduce the band. And he only played guitar once, the rest playing an organ.
Then it was over, "Like A Rolling Stone" the last song of an encore. The audience reaction was they wanted to hear more of the Popular Dylan and less of the catalog Dylan.

I agree with the sentiment. But this was a Bob Dylan concert. Never expect the expected.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

2011 Rock Hall Prediction

With about a month to go before the Rock Hall announces its 2011 nominees, it's a good time to make predictions. Frankly, figuring out what the Nominating Committee is going to do is pretty futile, so take these 12 names with some trepidation.

Donna Summer
Stevie Ray Vaughan
KISS
Darlene Love
Beastie Boys
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gram Parsons
Joe Tex
Smiths
Kraftwerk
"5" Royales
War

Substitutions:
If not Kraftwerk than Yes or ELO or Rush
If not "5" Royales than Chantels
If not the Smiths than Depeche Mode or the Cure
If not Gram Parsons than Randy Newman, Dr. John or Cat Stevens
If not War than Barry White or Bill Withers
If not KISS than Deep Purple

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rock Hall Revisted: Epilogue

Rock Hall Revisited came to an end with the 2011 election, although it is continuing and is now called Rock Hall Projected.
Anyway, with the end of the initial project I will give out my Good and Bad awards for all 4 categories.
One thing all these acts have in common is that none are in the Rock Hall.

Best Performer Induction: ELO and the Spinners. With Roxy Music runner-up.

Best Early Influence: "5" Royales and Wynonie Harris

Best Non- Performer: Wolfman Jack and Don Cornelius. With Casey Kasem runner-up.

Best Sideman: The Meters and Sly & Robbie

Best Act that I nominated that no one else voted for: MFSB (sidemen)
They were the studio band on all those Gamble & Huff/Thom Bell productions in the 70's. Went over the heads of the other voters.

Best Overall Pick: The Spinners. Because they have never even been considered by the Rock Hall Nominating Committee.

Now for the Worst. In the Performer category I only picked 1 cringe-inducting act, although Devo, Cheap Trick, Duran Duran and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were inducted too soon. For the most part I have few problems with the names inducted. More with the names NOT inducted, but that would make for a long, boring post.

And in the Early Influence I only came up with one, although Cab Calloway is very suspect. And some of the names chosen are not "Early" Influences. Meaning pre-Rock era. That includes acts like Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson.

Worst Performer: Iron Maiden

Worst Non-Performer: Brian Epstein and Lang, Roberts, Rosenman & Kornfeld (Yep, the Woodstock guys) Runner-up: Lou Adler

Worst Early Influence : Ravi Shankar

Worst Sideman: Charlie Daniels, Carmine Appice & Steve Vai (A 3 Stooges Monstrosity)

Worst Oversight: Failing to induct Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers during the Revisited era (Lymon was inducted by the RRHOF in 1993)

Most Overlooked: Gram Parsons

Worst Overall Pick: Charlie Daniels as a Sideman. Doesn't that sentence speak for itself.
Runner up: Those Woodstock Guys

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Beatles Itunes.

Of course it would have to come out of the mouth of Yoko Ono that the Beatles aren't anywhere close to showing up on Itunes. I bet she's the lone holdout. How ironic that a group that was so ahead of the game with recording techonology in the 60's is so out of touch with technology of the today.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Playlist for 8/17

Arcade Fire - Suburbs
Best Coast - Crazy For You
Eilen Jewell - Butcher Holler
Tokyo Police Club - Champ
Dr. John - Tribal

Monday, August 16, 2010

R.I.P. Elvis

33 years since Elvis died. Yep, I remember that day very well. Was just coming back from seeing Star Wars. Got in the car, turned on the radio, and heard Elvis songs. Switched the station and heard a DJ said he died.
From then on, Elvis became my #1 artist. Still is.

So every year on his Birthday (Jan. 5) and this one I post some forgotten Elvis song that I liked maybe more than others. Most of these are from the 70's and taken from forgotten albums he pumped out 2 or 3 times a year. But there's hidden gold in those albums.

"I Can Help" cover of Billy Swan's hit. Taken from 1975 album called Today.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Is One Hour Too Much

Good album that Arcade Fire Suburbs. But just a little too long at 60 minutes. Why do bands still think they have an hour of music in them when 45 minutes would do just fine. A lot of the classic albums from the past never went past that mark. Suburbs starts to drag near the end, but it won't stop it from being the #1 album on all the year end polls. But it could have been a masterpiece. Instead it's still a pretty great album. And of their 3 albums it's my favorite. Maybe it's just my attention span as I get older.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Playlist for 8/8

Sheryl Crow - 100 Miles
Tom Jones - Praise and Blame
Jerrod Niemann - Judge Jerrod
Lee Brice - Love LIke Crazy
Los Lobos - Tin Can Trust
Marc Cohn - 1970
Big Boi - Sir Lucious

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Rock and Roll Enemy

Mitch Miller lived to 99. He died this week. A lot was written about all the things he did in the Pop area of music in the 50's/60's. Too much of it rosy. USA Today didn't even mention the most important thing that stained a big part of his career.
Mitch Miller was also one of the earliest opponents of this new sound known as "Rock & Roll". Like Frank Sinatra, Miller saw this new form of music as nothing but noise. Even though as head of A&R at Columbia Records he stole many of its defining elements for his own gain.
"Rock & Roll" outlasted Miller. Myself, the only memorable thing I remember about him was my parents owning his Sing Along Christmas album. Outside of that, to many Rock fans, he was already forgotten.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

More On Billboard

I actually haven't paid attention to a Billboard chart in years. I just don't think they are as accurate as they used to be. In fact you can go online and find better alternatives. AMERICA'S MUSIC CHARTS -- 0 6 . 2 2 . 1 0 -- powered by MEDIABASE is one I use and it's free to browse.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Playlist for 8/1

Maya - s/t
REM - Fables of the Reconstruction
Eric Bibb - Booker's Guitar
Steve Miller - Bingo
Muddy Waters -Electric Mud
Muddy Waters -King Bee
Howlin Wolf - Back Door Wolf
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