Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ballot

If you want all kinds of analysis on the 2011 Nominees go to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of the Future - News, Analysis, Voting & More - Future Rock Legends

Below are my ranked picks for 2011.

1. Donna Summer - Crafted some of the greatest singles in the late 70's/early 80's in any genre. She was Disco's biggest name during this period, even though her records became more R&B as she began topping the charts. And her albums weren't bad either. But Disco has been a hard sell to voters. Chic have been nominated 5X to no avail. This is Summer's 3rd time nominated. Maybe 3X lucky?

2. Neil Diamond - Pure chutzpah. That was Diamond. He wore you out with his Concerts and Records that you either loved him or hated him as some critics still do. But if you combine his songwriting, legendary concerts and the greatest of his records, then it's hard to imagine a Hall of Fame without him.

3. Chic - Now on their 6th year on the ballot. Ann Powers took my line, from her blog, that I've used about them in year's past. Not just a great Disco band, but a great band. And very influential to all dance artists that came after them.

4. Alice Cooper - Cooper's early records were so great, and his later ones not, that sometimes it's hard to believe how important a role he played in taking Rock and performance and making it sell. Yeah, all of his stage stuff seems tame now, but in the early 70's it was everything to a new generation of post 60's adolescents.

5. Dr. John - Outside of the Neville Brothers, the most recognizable New Orleans icon from the 70's until today. A great Rock character. The type of long-running artist that usually goes in first time nominated.

6. Joe Tex - His 4th nomination, and still not so familiar with many non-R&B fans. Tex had many hits from the mid-60's to early 70's. Dave Marsh, a NomCom member, wrote his bio on the allmusicguide.com page and calls him one of the most underrated Soul singers on his generation. Like Marsh said, he had one of the first Southern Soul crossover hits, and Rapped on many of his records. Still, as great as he was, it may not be enough to convince voters.

7. Bon Jovi - Loved by fans throughout the world, but hated by just as many critics. I don't think they will get in first time, but I wouldn't be surprised if their long-standing popularity puts them over.

8. LL Cool J - TV and Movie roles have muted his impact on Hip Hop. But he was the biggest solo Rap act from the 80's/early 90's.

9. Beastie Boys - Some voters might have trouble seeing beyond their initial frat-boy party phase. But that was only on their first 2 albums. But what albums! Groundbreaking hip-hop.
I never thought they should be first ballot material, and they didn't get in right away. Now in their 2nd year on the ballot

10. Donovan - Hippy Dippy Summer of Love Psychedelic Man. Donovan's fey Folk has proven more endurable than many thought. But even after waiting forever to get nominated, I'm not sold just yet.

11. Tom Waits - Longtime Crit Fave. He's now the singer-songwriter the Hall wants in. But Randy Newman should get in before him.

12. Chuck Willis - This year's 50's act will have many wondering who he is. Willis was a Blues/R&B singer and excellent songwriter who died at age 30 in 1958. Maybe not the most influential R&B artist to be nominated from the 50's, but this is his 5th nom, so the Hall wants him in there.

13. J. Geils Band - Until they had their biggest success with Freeze Frame, they were mostly known for their legendary concerts. But I think they come up short.

14. Laura Nyro - I know some are claiming her as a big influence, and I like some of her records and think she was a great songwriter. But she's 2nd level Hall material.

15. Darlene Love - 3rd time a charm? Love's 3rd nomination, and I still think she comes up short as a Hall of Famer, despite my love for many of her Spector records and of course "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)". For the record, I didn't support the Ronettes either.








































Jerry Lee at 75

Admit it, you never thought Jerry Lee Lewis would get to 75. Lewis' birthday milestone today has me wishing more people would check out his Country hits that he had in the late 60's/mid-70's. We know the Rock era cuts, but he had a career comeback in Country music.
Some critic once said that Lewis' genius was his brilliant off-handedness. There was always an improvisational nature to his recklessness on his Rock sides. On his Country ones he mostly plays it straight, but there is lots of Gold in those vaults.

Jerry Lee has a new duets album called Mean Old Man out in which he outshines all his guests, just as he did 2 years earlier on his Comeback duets set, Last Man Standing.

What you think you're going to upstage the Killer?


Monday, September 27, 2010

Playlist for 9/27

Robert Plant - Band of Joy
Mavis Staples - You Are Not Alone
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1 & 2
Ryan Bingham -Junky Star
Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
Shel Silverstein - Tribute Twistable Turnable Man

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Roy Trakin: A New NomCom Member?

By this time next week you might be able to add Roy Trakin to the list of Rock Hall Nominating Committee members. Why do I know this? On Trakin's Facebook page he posted that he was at the NomCom Meeting this month. He doesn't say he was a member, but that he was there. And he is a voter.

I hope he is a new voice, for he has championed Neil Diamond and Hall & Oates for the Hall in some of his posts.



I sent Trakin an email asking him about this and he didn't respond. Next I went to his Facebook page and sent him a message, and he responded. First, he's sworn not to reveal anything about the NomCom meeting until after the nominees are announced. Once they are, he will blog about his choices.



Here is what he wrote me:



" I'm kinda sworn to Omerta, but once the initial batch of nominees come out, I will go over my reasoning for my inductee candidates..."



But the kicker is that when I asked him if he's a member, his reply was a coy "Mmmmm....". When I told him that we already have a list of members up until last year he never replied back.



Below are 3 links about Trakin. He's a good critic/Editor and best of all a New York Jet fan. In the past he's blogged about the Rock Hall. He also has spoken about how Hall & Oates should be in the Rock Hall, and is one of the duo's biggest fans, as I stated above. I'm curious as to who he stumped for and what his role was at the NomCom meeting. Stay tuned.



Last year Toure tweeted to me that his main goal was to get LL Cool J nominated.



MySpace - Roy Trakin - 58 - Male - WOODLAND HILLS, CALIFORNIA - myspace.com/ro



HITS Daily Double: News



Facebook Roy Trakin



Roy Trakin: Rock's Backpages.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Outlaw Country

I can't remember the last time a Country singer released an album that was a double disc set. Vince Gill did a 43 song opus in 2006, spread out over 4 discs.
Jamey Johnson does it with Guitar Song. Johnson is the most recent Country singer to get the Outlaw stamp. I'm thinking the last was Toby Keith. But Keith's shtick has run dry. Johnson looks the Outlaw part and sings with a drawl straight out of a David Allen Coe vinyl LP.
He doesn't break any new ground on Guitar Song. Lyrically he covers the usual subjects that modern day Country albums do, in fact he was more daring on his breakthrough album That Lonesome Sound. But Johnson keeps you tuned in for most of the 25 songs because he's a good writer. And while I wish he'd Rock out a little more, the band sounds crisp.

Like Coe, Waylon, Paycheck and Toby Keith, Johnson may one day run this into the ground. For now he's a breath of newness that Nashville needs, even if he's mining some old source material.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010 VMA's

It took me awhile to finish watching the 2010 MTV VMA's. It didn't use to be like that. I use to watch these MTV Awards the day of, but now I DVR 'em. They just aren't immediate viewing.

The show was what you'd expect. Performances: not bad. Didn't care for Taylor Swift or Kanye West. Liked the Florence (of the Machines) better.

The host wasn't very good.
But it was a typical MTV show. Stolen, of course, by Lady Gaga, who had the all eyes on her, as she picked up every award. She's a huge star now. And with each hit song, and performance, she's dragging the naysayers into her world. Her talent's going to win you over. The image is to draw you in.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NFL Network and VH1 Top 100

Yeah, VH1 has another one of their dubious countdowns running now. Top 100 Artists, the updated edition. It's a pretty terrible list, making us believe that Cheap Trick, Notorious B.I.G. and LL Cool J are more important to music history than Sam Cooke B.B. King and the Temptations, among many other missing names.

I'm more ticked at the NFL Network's Top 100 players. At #100 my childhood hero Joe Namath. #100!!!

Ahead of him such non-legends like Michael Irvin, Fran Tarkenton and Derrick Brooks.

Screw that list!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

35 and Counting

The NOW series are the Rhino Have A Nice Day of our generation. They are now in their 2nd decade, having started in the U.S. (in the U.K. they started much earlier) in 1999.
I have all 35 volumes of this series. Much like I have all the volumes of the Rhino series (including the exemplary Soul compilations).

The latest NOW 35 is actually a dud, but mostly the series does what its supposed to do. Spotlight singles by artists you wouldn't dare waste your money on for an entire album. These are today's radio hits, and like the 70's comps, their are many hits and misses.

I'm at 35 and counting.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Playlist for 9/17

Gerald Levert - Best of
Richard Thompson - Dream Attic
Heart - Red Velvet Car
Jenny & Johnny -I'm Having Fun Now
Miracles - City of Angels
Now 35

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More on the Dumb Elfin

I love that Dumb Unicorn (you can find his link on my blog postings for this month), and thank him for giving me a chance to respond to his rebuttal of my post on his site. This all started because of the names below and his post on the Rock Hall. Get a load of the artists that the 3rd rate Tolkien groupie wants the Rock Hall to induct, and no I am not making these up:

Supertramp
Harry Chapin
Boston
Humble Pie
Rainbow
Foghat
Canned Heat
Jim Croce
Blue Oyster Cult
Pogues
Uriah Heep

Oh sure he picks a few other names I agree with. We could shake hands on Warren Zevon, Mott the Hoople and a couple others. But my problem with him (it?, she?) was the whole point of his post. And it was a classic of ignorance/stupidity, as I initially posted.

But wait, why pick on someone so clueless? It's true, I've read many similar posts, but something hit a nerve as I laughed my way through this debacle.

What got me ticked off was that he doesn't believe that Motown artists should be in the Hall. That's right, you read that correctly. R&B in the Rock Hall of Fame? Not according to this joker.
Stevie Wonder? No. Ray Charles? No. Outside of early influence names that he supports like Robert Johnson, his idea of Rock era names in the Rock Hall (non-Early Influence names) would be an all-White one. Save for Hendrix. His post backs this claim up. Any African-Americans worthy of getting into your "Rock" Hall in the Performer category? Yeah, didn't think so.

Johnny Cash? No. Pop or Rap? No.
If it don't Rawk, then dude, it ain't nothin'.


Without a doubt, if I could nominate one post about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 for most Clueless, Stupidest, Dumbest, Irrelevant, Mind-boggling idiocy it would have to be from the Dumb Elfin.


So when I blogged about R&B and Disco artists that should be in there, he ran with it. Because his knowledge of music is so limited he doesn't know that there is a world outside of his preferred genres, Prog and "Rock". So, he's posted my name on Rock forums and called me out. But you know the old cliche about payback? It's a .....

No, he's another one of those that think the "Rock" in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be only "Rock" artists. He doesn't have any idea what the definition of "Rock and Roll" is, so he fills up a page with his vacuous thoughts, puts it out on the Web, and doesn't expect anyone to challenge is moronic post. And now he's found someone who will. I'll take my list of R&B artists I want in the Hall and stack them up against his Rock names anytime.

Hey Elf! Want to debate me?

Had it not been for a Twitter post by Future Rock Legends I would not have known who this thing was.

P.S. Oh, Elfin. Check your facts better. The Jefferson Airplane are already in the Hall. And you spelled Woody Guthrie's first name wrong.

Rainbow!? I love you, brother! Keep up the good work!!

Mellencamp's Web Problem

John Mellencamp has a webpage, a Twitter page and a Facebook page.
So, what's with this?

Like a lot of older musicians, Mellencamp longs for the days when vinyl ruled and the only way to hear album tracks was seeking out FM channels or buying a whole album. You know what? I agree with him.

But this is 2010 and in order to compete you have to keep up with modern tech. Prince is another one who keeps fighting against the dreaded old Internet.

I love John Mellencamp, but if he doesn't like the Web then he should unplug all the sites he's using to promote himself.




Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Uriah Heep's #1 Groupie Disses Me

It appears that someone took over my blog and posted an apology to that Uriah Heep roadie 2nd rate Lord of the Ring Tolkien groupie wannabe who blogs as This Dumb Unicorn.


I don't know who posted this


but rest assured I will use all my resources to find out.

BTW- This a parody to anyone who took it seriously

Pasted

At the beginning of September, Paste magazine went out of business.
I used to subscribe to that, Harp, Magnet and others. Oh, and No Depression.
All gone.
The best Music mags come out of England. Do pick up Mojo first, then dip into Uncut, Record Collector and Classic Rock. They all cost about 10 bucks, not cheap in this day and age, but are worth seeking out.

What's left in the U.S. Not much. I still get Goldmine, Wax Poetics, Rolling Stone, Under the Radar, maybe a couple others. But most of my music reading comes online.
And that's why most mags are going under.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Please Forgive Me Dark Elf

Oh, Dark Elf, how I bow to your musical knowledge. For it is I who is the novice ignorant regarding all things of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I shall post your eloquent rebuttal. My stupidly written response to your inititial vast wisdom on the hallow Hall was a mistake that I shall always regret. The nights are darker now that you have reprimanded me in front of your followers. My weeping is constant. Help me Dark Elf. Help me see the light that you shone in your written word.


How shall you ever forgive me, Dark Elf, for it is I who is to blame for my ineptitude in seeing the greatness of Uriah Heep or Humble Pie.

How will I be able to repay you Sir? For the Dark Elf rules over all of us with his Rock Hall insight. I am now your follower, my Lord. This shall be my last written word on the Rock Hall, unless you, my Lord, should teach me the musical history that I, being of nothing, need so desperately to learn.

Sir, I bow at your feet.




Sunday, September 12, 2010

NFL 2010

Here we go again with another NFL season. Only this year my NY Jets are being hyped as a Super Bowl contender. But I've heard this all before. To be a Jet fan is to stumble through a year of heartbreaking losses, injuries to key players or just lackadaisical playing.

So, I'm not buying this hype. Sometime in January I'll post again with a big "I told 'em so", because that's how we Jet fans are. Pessimism rules.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rock Hall Revisited/Projected Footnote #1

Nice to see the folks at Future Rock Legends - Rock Hall Projected give a non-performer nod to Giorgio Moroder. And Gram Parsons, who I pushed harder than anyone for many years. I doubted then and still do today that many there ever heard his solo stuff. How sad, but not a surprise when you consider who got in before Parsons.
Both have something in common. Both have been shut out of the Cleveland Hall.

Guess it's time to pat myself on the back for this one. I first nominated Moroder on my 2011 ballot. And I was sure at the time, as I am now, that I was the first one to ever do this, (also Hall & Oates- I put them on the board first as well). I'm 99.9% sure that no one else nominated Moroder or H&O before me.

Anyway, I nominated Moroder and didn't think he'd get any traction. But since the '11 ballot (which was my last ballot, by the way) he must have picked up steam, because there he is inducted on the 2014 ballot.
Why didn't I think he'd ever get more than my vote? Well, Moroder was a Producer who made his mark with his landmark work on Donna Summer's Disco records in the 70's. You know that dreaded word: Disco! Those were thrilling productions, with Moroder pulling out all the stops and Summer reaching her greatest heights. And those records got noticed by musicians into the 80's and beyond. Besides, Disco remains a hard sell when it comes to the Cleveland Hall. (Summer is also in the Projected Hall).

He also had big hits with Blondie, Berlin and Irene Cara. But the reality is that it was the pioneering stuff he did with Summer that is his legacy.

I think Moroder has zero chance of ever getting in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, mostly because of the lack of Disco representation in there now. I do believe that Donna Summer will be the first Disco act inducted. But it may be a couple more years. Outside of her, only Chic has a chance. With Barry White a very, very long shot.

But Moroder? I've never heard much buzz for him. Yet, he belongs in there as much as any Producer they plan on putting in from the late 70's on.

But wait! At Revisited they just keep on voting, and I appreciate it because it gives me a good blog post. And the longer they vote the crazier it's getting. Some of the names that I've seen lately that these voters want in? Brace yourself for impact! These are not made up by me: Ozzy's solo career, Bad Company, Motley Crue, Joe Satriani (as a Sideman ha ha), Alice in Chains, Faith No More (!), Korn (!!). But then what can you expect when they've already put in Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Steve Vai (again as a Sideman ha ha ha) and, get this, Joan Baez as an "Influence" and Laura Nyro as a "Non-Performer". And why is Herbie Hancock getting votes in the "Influence" category? Who knows. But Holy Crap! Satriani and Vai = Caveat emptor. Hasn't anyone over there thought about Mott the Hoople, Richard Thompson, Los Lobos, Little Feat or the Neville Brothers? You want a non-performer that really isn't one, like Laura Nyro? Try a Harry Nilsson or John Prine. Maybe Jimmy Webb. If you're going to continue to pump out 7 performer inductees a year then think and try a little harder and you'd get a good balance of inductees.

And wait a minute, you mean Randy Newman, Brenda Lee, Del Shannon, Lovin' Spoonful, Lloyd Price and Pavement aren't in there yet, either?

Everyone who has ever voted at that site should realize that it would never have been a definitive alternative to the Cleveland Hall anyway because we don't know the makeup of the voting pool. Any African-Americans? How many women? Age groups? Country of origin? Knowledge of music history?
For better or worse at least the Cleveland Hall sends out its ballots to a wide array of musical people.

I also noticed at their recent comment section, not much of a discussion on R&B acts. That's because most don't know anything about the genre. According to this website, 1970's and beyond R&B slowly went extinct. So while an Alice In Chains, whose main feat is paving the way for post-grunge turds like Creed, get in right away, real pioneers of music like Barry White barely get a vote or two. Kind of feel sorry for that guy who keeps writing long ballots trying to get his R&B nominees noticed. Doesn't he know that those folks aren't paying attention to R&B anymore. Who needs the Marvelettes, Dionne Warwick, Barry White, Chic, Kool & The Gang, Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross, Stylistics or Whitney Houston? They are too busy debating the sterling Hall credentials of Massive Attack. Massive Attack?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Playlist for 9/9

Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
Little Big Town - Reason Why
Isaac Hayes - Isaac Hayes Movement
Wilson Pickett - In Philadelphia

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Rushed

That Rush documentary, Beyond the Lighted Stage, that has been making the rounds on cable had me thinking: Do you have to like a band to enjoy a documentary? And of course the answer is no. Remember that Metallica doc about how they all hated each other? I don't care for Metallica, but it was fascinating.
I like Rush better than Metallica, but I'm still not a huge fan. Have no idea what their recent stuff even sounds like. But it's a damn good bio, and I sat through the whole thing in one sitting, which definitely means something.

BTW- As for the inevitable, "Do they belong in the Rock Hall?" question, the answer is simple: Not until Yes get in first.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Going Top 40

What's great about Katy Perry's Teenage Dream CD is that she makes no excuses about her intentions. She wants hit singles, and she'll beat you over the head with her hooks until you submit. This was Lady Gaga's mission on her CD and EP.
Snobby critics still don't give artists like these, and their influence Madonna much love, because they wear their hits on their sleeves.

Since when did going for hit records mean that you couldn't get critical respect? The moment you went Top 40? The moment every single you had was a video?

What these 2 women are doing is making Top 40 fun to listen too whenever one of their songs come on. Me, I just want to hear a good single.


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Playlist for 9/2

Rob Sheffield - Talking to Girls about Duran Duran (Book)
Duran Duran - Seven and the Ragged Tiger
Bob Baldwin - Never Can Say Goodbye
Louis Armstrong/Duke Ellington - Great Summit

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