Saturday, December 29, 2007

Playlist for 12/29

Luther Vandross - Love Luther (box set)
Leonard Cohen - Songs of
National - Alligator
Judy Garland - At Carnegie Hall
Justice - Cross
Culture - Two Sevens Clash (reissue)

Friday, December 28, 2007

I Bought A Box Set

I got caught up in the Box Set boom of the early 90's. Looking at my CD collection even I can't figure out why I have box set's by Joe Cocker or Cheap Trick. Nothing against those people, but a single CD compilation would've done the trick. Eventually, box set's died when record label's released all they could from their catalog. Now your more likely to see compilation Box set's than single artist ones.
That's why this year's Love, Luther appealed to me. Finally a box set by an artist that I love. Sony has done right by him, also. Sure there are the usual box set quibbles. Remixes in favor of the proper track. An extended mix of "Never Too Much" when the original is just right. But you have to expect that with boxes. Biggest problem with the box. The liner notes are mediocre. But you do get lots of photos, and Sony put some thought in the unreleased stuff. It was worth my $35. I've finally added a box set to my collection that I feel I won't regret 15 years from now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Catch Up Time

Thanks to gift certificates and such, I spent the day ordering CD's that I've kept on the back burner for the year (and even previous ones). These titles will show up in future Playlists. But now is a good time to get caught up on stuff I've wanted to listen to but got sidetracked by. Most of these are older titles, some reissued, some I've been curious about for years. There's so much product released yearly, that no one can ever listen to all they want. But I have a few I always keep in mind. And for the next month, I plan on checking them out.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tom's Year End Lists

It took me until yesterday to finally get this where I liked it, but

Tom's Top CD's/Singles/Reissues of 2007

is finally ready. The Top 10 albums and singles were what I sent to the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critic poll, and if you adding the Top 5 reissues to the former Top 10's then you have the list I sent to Idolator year end critic poll.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Playlist for 12/20

Goin' Home - Tribute to Fats Domino
Gogol Bordello - Super Taranta
Mary J. Blige - Growing Pains
Dan Fogelberg - Innocent Age
Amy LaVere - Anchors & Anvils

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ballad of Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg success began just as the initial early 70's singer-songwriter boom was coming to an end. He held on through the mid-80's and then became a concert draw, occasionally making albums but living off the stage. As the year's went by, he became a whipping boy for the music crit-elite, often showing up on worst lists-either as a lyricist or for "Longer". To them he epitomized the worst of the wimpy 70's singer-songwriters. But I never cared. I find his Very Best of to be as listenable as any of the crit-elite's fave singer-songwriters. He was a guilty pleasure for sure. Love songs and sentimental odes aren't going to win you accolades. But they can win you long-term fans, and until the day he died Fogelberg kept his.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Lingering Hall Question for 2007

I've thought about this for the last couple of months, and am still puzzled. How did Afrika Bambaataa get nominated? And if his vote total is as low as I think it was, will the Hall forget about him for future nominations?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2009

Looking ahead to the class of 2009, there are 3 no-brainers that are eligible for the first time:
Run DMC, Stevie Ray Vaughan and the Smiths.
The Smiths present an interesting moment for the Hall. Hugely influential on both UK and US alternative groups, but more popular in the UK. I have a feeling they won't get nominated. But I hope I'm wrong.
Also eligible for the first time is Bon Jovi. Did you know that they're in the UK Hall of Fame? But I say they have no chance, despite their continued popularity. Critic's didn't like them. And that's the kiss of death when getting nominated.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Anti-Black Hall

I've heard some complaints that this year's inductees are missing a Black presence. I didn't see it that way when I first saw the list of inductees. Gamble & Huff and Little Walter are getting nods. But there is no mistaking the anti-disco bias of the Hall's voters. Chic and Donna Summer are as deserving as a dozen acts I can think of. But the Disco era still resonates with whoever these Hall voters are. I only hope Chic stay on the ballot long enough that the Hall's voters will put them in. And I only hope Summer isn't a one-ballot wonder like Cat Stevens, Abba, Paul Butterfield and others who've shown up once as nominee's then disappeared from future ballots.

More RRHOF Stupidity

Leonard Cohen has been eligible since 1993 and the Ventures have since the Hall's inaugural class, but it took both until 2007 for them to get on the ballot. And what happened? Both are inducted on their first try. Now, I've mentioned before that the Hall nominating committee is lazy when it comes to putting new names that have been eligible for years on the ballot. But what would happen if they woke up and put Alice Cooper or Roxy Music or KISS or the Spinners, etc. on the ballot for the first time? Do you think some of those names could get in on the first try?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Reaction

Well, what could we expect. For the second year in a row the Hall's Nominating Committee throws 9 names at us, and says 5 will be inducted. And for the 2nd year in a row we scratch our heads at the arrogance and laziness of the NC to come up with a ballot that will satisfy music fan's and even music critics. Think about it. This year the NC were so arrogant that they once again refused to nominate the acts the fans want to see (KISS, Alice Cooper, etc.) and they were even stupid enough no to nominated the acts that music critic's want to see (Gram Parsons, Stooges, etc.).

As for this year's inductees: Madonna was a no-brainer, Leonard Cohen satisfies the Rock crit-elite, Dave Clark Five were assured after 2007's controversy, John Mellencamp was no surprise but the Ventures were. So, that only leaves the Beastie Boys as this year's interesting left-out.

But why do we rag on the Hall so much? Take this year's non-performing inductees Gamble & Huff. They've been eligible for year's and have seen lesser light's inducted before them. How could the Hall wait until 2007 to put them in. I like Little Walter, but he shouldn't be in as a sidemen ahead of DJ Fontana or the Meters or Billy Preston. But Blues purists will say I'm wrong.

So, yeah I'm happy that the laggards at the Hall finally got Gamble & Huff in there, and I cheer the inductions of Mellencamp, Madonna and even Leonard Cohen. But the backlog of deserving artists continues to grow. And the outcry from all circles will too.

Ike's Dilemma

Ike Turner spent the last 14 years convincing any one who would listen that he really wasn't the monster that was portrayed in the Tina/Ike biopic. But while music writer's would give him a break, everyone else will remember him as the wife-beating/berating lunatic from the movie. That presents music writer's with a dilemma. While there's no question of Ike's importance in the history of Rock 'n' Roll's birth, he'll always be remembered for one thing more than the other. But if we are willing to give Michael Jackson a pass, can we do the same for Ike Turner?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Arrogant and Lazy

I've seen reports of music writer's not turning in their RRHOF ballot out of protest of this year's supposed weak candidates. No, this was not the strongest 9 names. But had it been expanded to 15, there would have been no problem. I think those voter's are foolish. Of the 9, I had no problem listing 5 strong. The Hall is in trouble with voter's because the nominating committee is full of arrogant and lazy minds. They won't nominate the act's that the public wants (KISS) or that even critic's want (Gram Parsons), so each year they put names on the ballot that make one scratch their head, while ignoring even the most obvious choices for nomination. Until a change is made at the top of the Nominating Committee or until the public outcry gets to huge that they'll have to nominate acts they don't want to (KISS), then nothing will change. Let's hope next year it does.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Old and New Xmax

You think only established artists make new Xmas records?
Check out this band's version of "Little Drummer Boy"
Mink Official Website ยป

Playlist for 12/7

Mary Gauthier - Between Heaven and Hell
Trace Adkins - Greatest Hits 2

John Anderson reissues from CCM
I Just Came Home, All The People, Eye of the Hurricane,Tokyo, Oklahoma, Countrified

Thursday, December 06, 2007


This month has marked the anniversary for two different milestone moments. Michael Jackson's Thriller and Nirvana's MTV Unplugged Live From New York. The latter finally gets its DVD release while the former is fondly remembered as having changed music. My memories of both fall along the latter. Jackson's Thriller just kept building in momentum even while getting off to a slow start because of the first single, "The Girl Is Mine." But once "Billie Jean" charted it was all over but the 20+million who bought it. Because almost every song was a single it changed the way record labels milked albums. No more 3 singles and done, here you could get 6 singles off of one album to go Top 10.

Kurt Cobain died 4 months after taping his Unplugged. But even by the time the album was releasesd their folllowup to Nevermind was in the stores, In Utero. It didn't have the same cultural effect that Nevermind did, but it was a great album. But for most of us, their Unplugged was the one and only time we got to see what a musical future with Kurt Cobain would've been like. I say he would've shown more of the melodic side he played on Unplugged. But there is no doubt that re-watching this performance that Cobain, like Jackson, were talents like we have never seen.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

This Hall Hangs Tough

I've liked the concept of this The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation ever since it first appeared in Goldmine. Some of the nominees are stranger. Are Foreigner, the Buffalo Springfield and the Guess Who vocal groups? And they spelled Traveling Wilburys wrong (it's not Travelin'). But I give 'em credit for inducting groups that the RRHOF and even the Rhythm and Blues Foundation skip.
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