Sunday, April 29, 2007

Enjoy Her While You Can

You better enjoy Miranda Lambert's music before the Nashville machine screws with her. Her debut, Kerosene, brought a fresh young voice with songwriting skills. Now on her second album, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, she does it again. Co-writing 8 of 11, it's a fine sequel. And Lambert is getting noticed by the Rock Press that usually doesn't pay attention to what's charting Country. But I wonder if she can keep it up, at least on the songwriting front. She's already expressed frustration with finding time to write and constant touring (which is where the real money is for Country singers). And considering that no single from her debut went Top 10 and the title track from this one tanked, I can see the Nashville suits forcing her to do songs she doesn't like just to get her on more stations. But Lambert is just spunky enough to rise above all that. She might give in on future albums, but the best songs will be her own. On the new one, "Gunpowder and Lead" is tougher than anything from the mouth's of today's Country hunks. But I bet you never hear it on your local station. So, let's enjoy her while we can.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Playlist for 4/27

Todd Snider - Peace Love and Anarchy
Prince - "Case Of You"
Bright Eyes - Cassadega
Ryan Shaw - This Is
Rush - Moving Pictures
Elvis Presley - Essential

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sincerely Derivative

Newcomer Ryan Shaw love 60's Soul music. In fact his debut, This Is Ryan Shaw, is the most passionate tribute to that genre since Terence Trent D'Arby's debut. Only 3 of the 12 are original's, so Shaw has set himself up to be asked his own question: Who is Ryan Shaw? But he gives his all on each track that it doesn't sound like a tribute. Shaw's own songs are so strong that his eventual 2nd album will have to be heavier on them to ward off copycat calls. And I'm rooting for him.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Why Not Neil?

Speaking of strange, but not really anymore, Neil Sedaka was plugging a compilation on QVC last night. It was a good hour of music from someone who belongs in the RRHOF. The compilation promises to be the first overview of Sedaka's career on one CD, but its 60's songs are remakes. Another blown compilation chance. Anyway artist's showing up on QVC is not unusual anymore. Most of these acts are past their hit days. But some aren't Bon Jovi has popped up there. Sedaka was so engaging that I almost bought a copy. Until I did my research and realized that some of the songs aren't the real hits. Hey, if Gene Pitney can get in the Hall then Sedaka, a more deserving choice, should've been there year's ago.


Flipping the channels the other night, I landed on RFDTV. Calling itself rural America's most important channel, it's only use to me are its music programs. Outside of recent Branson stuff, you can catch old Porter Wagoner and Osborne Brother shows. And then there's Pop Goes The Country. In the 70's Country music singers were rarely shown on TV. Outside of Hee Haw, shows like Pop Goes were where we saw them. Now watching them again, it's hard to believe that Country music was ever like it. Anyway, I caught a show from the fall of 1975, and one of its guests was Gary Stewart. The late great Honky Tonker was coming off a #1 record, and his vocals and performance on the show now seem alien to me. Stewart never quite fit in with the Nashville ties, and on this show his honky tonk heart is in full bloom.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Two Nightmare Reunions

Lost amid all the reunion press for the Police and the non-reunion of Van Halen, I came across the realization that the newly reformed Rage Against The Machine and Living Colour will once again be polluting my ears or eyes. I've always hated both groups. Rage were Rolling Stone crit faves and Living Colour were East Coast darlings, but both were pompous drags to me. The big problem were the lead singers. Zach de la Rocha and Corey Glover were just awful whenever I saw them live on TV. So, why were these groups so loved by critics? I figured it was their left-leaning politics. That's all fine, but you need songs to bring it over, and these groups had few. Tom Morello did much better in the less-praised Audioslave.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Imus and VH1

When VH1 first went on the air in the mid 80's, Don Imus was one of their VJ's. With its production budget at zero, Imus and other VJ's sat in what looked like a control booth, and introduced videos. These were the days when you could see videos 24 hours a day. Imus, with his grumpy face and who cares attitude, always looked out of place as a VJ. And truth be told, the only memorable thing he said during his run was that Sade looked like a "black grape". Someone believes that he said "brown grape", but I remember it otherwise. Whether you think that's racist or not, it sure didn't sound that way back then. Today, as a VJ, it would raise hell. Twenty years ago, it was a blip on my TV set.

Playlist for 4/14

Chris Knight - Trailer Tapes
Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
Cold War Kids - Robbers and Cowards
Fountains of Wayne - Traffic and Weather
Ponys - Turn The Lights Out
Fleetwood Mac - Kiln House
Genesis - Selling England By The Pound
Alison Krauss - Collection

Friday, April 13, 2007

Sweet Surrender

I'm big on Guilty Pleasures. So any list that mentions that phrase gets my attention. This Internet only one from Rolling Stone is pretty good. It's missing some big GP names (e.g. Carpenters, KC & The Sunshine Band). But any list that includes Bread in the Top 10 is worthy of a mention.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

And Then The CD's

In addition to dumping all my remaining vinyl, I also got rid of a bunch of CD's. Most of these weren't worth a damn. One hit wonders, which means a lot of rap and Country stuff. The one-hitter's I burned to my external hard drive for digital storage. Some, I gave away. Surprised that people were interested in some titles but not others. I didn't weed out my entire collection. But it felt good to rid myself of mediocre titles.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend's

Well, I had to do it. I weeded out all the vinyl records I no longer needed. Since I was running out of room for all my other stuff in my music room, it was time to get rid of bad records. I did save a couple of my prized possessions that have never been released on CD: Elvis 1976 Sun Sessions and the Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl. Outside of that, I bought all the good stuff on CD years ago. I can't say it was tough to unload all my vinyl. Looking at some titles, I remember listening to them more than I do my CD's today. But back then, there was no work only school and free weekends and summer's. Time moves on, and some of those records are still ingrained in my life. But move on you must.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Fountains Weather The Storm

Although the reviews for Fountains of Wayne's Traffic and Weather haven't been as glowing as on their previous ones, it's still a better record than many American bands will release this year. Their specialty remains the mundane stuff: DMV, anchormen, Stewardess. They haven't strayed from their formula. All of this is wrapped in the best power pop of our generation. No other American band is doing this type of music. There's no "Stacey's Mom" here, but then that was a fluke. Propelled by a hormone-inducing video, it will be their only Top 40 hit. For a band that's been around for nearly 10 years, they remain pretty anonymous. Sure, Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood have written for movies and other artists, but have you ever seen them grace a magazine cover. So, each album is widely anticipated by someone who's been smitten since their debut. Buy it and keep them in business.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

#1 With A Format Bullet

Flipping through the XM channels on AOL radio, I came across a Casey Kasem countdown show from the 80's on that genre channel. This got me thinking about how Kasem's Top 40 countdown got me interested in all genres of music. By the time the mid-80's rolled around, radio was starting to get generalized. Country songs and old school R&B were no longer crossing over. Listen to the AT Top 40 now, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, and listen to the old Kasem shows, and you'll see why radio is so screwed up. The shuffle play on your Ipod is legend for a reason. Radio thinks fans only want to hear a certain genre, but most music fans like all styles. Kasem eventually bailed out of the Top 40 and now hosts an AC countdown one, But back in the day, his weekly shows ruled my AM transistor radio world.
Add to Technorati Favorites