Thursday, April 30, 2009

Update On Lost AM Station

Well, the Nostalgia radio station that they took off the AM dial came back under a different name and further up the dial. It doesn't come in as clear as the other station, though, and I'm still not sure that its programming is the same. But, hell, at least I know where to go when I need a Sinatra-style fix.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Worst Part of 90's Music

At the back of every issue of Rolling Stone is a From The Vaults section. The Top singles/albums of a particular week/year. How come when a 90's segment comes up, especially the early 90's I get depressed. Was the music of this era the worst of the 90's? Laugh all you want at the Boy Band/Britney phase of the late 90's, but I'll swap Top 10's from the early 90's to the late 90's any day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Earth Below Us

Oh, I should note that the VH1 One Hits of the 80's special did get me to add Peter Schilling's great 1983 remake/remodel of "Space Oddity" called "Major Tom". At first though I panicked because I couldn't find it on any of my 80's compilations. In fact, it's not that easy to find on any of those 80's comps that are out there, but I did find it on a Living In Oblivion Cd. Ah, yes, the 80's.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ipod Update

I have 2 Ipods, one my wife uses which has a lot of R&B and one for myself. Mine is a 20GB and I've been able to get 4985 songs on it. I use it as my Hall of Fame library of music. From A to Z. All genres of music. But I keep finding things that I'm missing on it. Just last week I realized that these songs were missing:
She's Gone, I Can't Go For That, Garden Party, Highway Star and a whole bunch of Hank Williams Sr. songs.
I quickly corrected the problem, but in doing so I had to delete some songs from the Ipod. This wasn't that easy, but in the end some songs didn't speak to me like they did when I first uploaded them.
Right now I'm happy with lineup, but as anyone who owns an Ipod knows, there will surely be more cuts.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Little Steven At American Idol

Was that Little Steven Van Zandt at a taping of American Idol? Yep, it sure was. And boy can I count the contradictions in my opening sentence. Van Zandt is a guy who loves authenticity when it comes to his music. No phony boy band/girl singers for him. If it ain't pure, then it ain't music. That's what comes across in interviews and his radio gigs. So, what's he doing sitting in the audience clapping for Anoop?
Talk about your credibility gap. Van Zandt has as much now as Randy Jackson.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

ELO Video

Hey, this makes the best case for ELO's induction into the RRHOF that I've ever seen. I wonder if someone could email it to the nominating committee.

Playlist for 4/25

Susan Tedeschi - Back To The River
Shemekia Copeland - Never Going Back
Booker T -Potato Hole
Eleni Mandell - Artificial Fire
Ida Marie- Fortress Around My Heart
Bruce Cockburn - Slice O Life Live Solo

Friday, April 24, 2009

Obscure Music Critics Who Write About RRHOF

Why are some of the best articles about the RRHOF written by music critics that aren't writing for a National newspaper/magazine/Internet outlet?

This is pretty good, although oddly he's wrong about some of the names that are already in.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Record Store Day

Last Saturday was Record Store Day. A day when about a 1,000 Independent record stores let people know they still exist. Around here we have a small handful of these places left, but when I was younger there were more. Still, its heartening to drive past the stores that are still open. Downloading, Box Lot Stores? Nah, nothing beats the smell of an Indie one.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Singles Radio Action

Back in the days when I used to subscribe to Billboard, one of my favorite sections of the magazine was Singles Radio Action, where you could find out what songs were breaking in regions of the Country. I think they did away with this in the 80's, but in the 70's it was required reading to find out what songs were to be the next big hits.
Anyway, atBillboard - Google Book Search, you can browse some of the past magazines. And the ads will be priceless.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dylan's Best Interview?

I skimmed a Bob Dylan Rolling Stone Interview Book at Borders the other day. Yet, this Bob Dylan may be his best yet.

Monday, April 20, 2009

They Took A Radio Station Away From Us

It was called KIDD, on the AM dial, and it played the standards, swing music, you know like Sinatra, Nat King, Tony B., etc. It also threw in 70's style singers like Karen Carpenter. But it stood out. Here where I live, I could go up the AM dial and not find another station like it. The nearest one was 90 miles away, but its signal faded. It seemed like it would be on my presets forever. I can't say I listened to it all the time, but occasionally dialed it in to see what they were playing.
Two weeks ago they dumped the format for an oldies station. 50's-70's, billing itself as playing the Top 500 hits of the Rock era. Like the station it replaced, it too was a hard format to find on the AM dial. But the standards format was better. It played songs that you haven't heard a million times.
Of course, the change got a lot of anti-Rock letters in the paper. But at least its listeners were outraged.
You can go online or listen to a standards station on Sirius. But its not the same. For many of us, KIDD was right there, a click away in our car radio. On the AM dial. The great voices of the past coming at us as if it were the swing era all over again.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

With The Lights Out....

It kind of came and went, but April 4 was the 15th anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain. As I sit here listening to the reissued Pearl Jam Ten album, I can't help but think of what Cobain's future would have been had he lived. Certainly he would have grown out of the grunge sound and look. What was already apparent was that he could write. And he had a strong voice. In other words, pick any tragic death of a young musician and slot Cobain's name in with it. The loss of their music. Future sounds we never got to hear.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Playlist for 4/18

Sweet- Action The Sweet Anthology
Flatlanders - Hills and Valleys
Duran Duran - s/t
Leela James - Let's Do It Again
Michael Jackson - Gold
Buddy Guy - Definitive

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reissued Beatles

Hmmm, just in time for Christmas, the remastered Beatles catalog. I've got all the original 80's CD's, and will probably pony up for the reissues. Certainly their catalog needed redoing, but why now in 2009 during one of our worst years economically? Man, I better start saving now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

That's Why I'm Easy

I don't think I can do a list of my favorite Motown singles. I started it, but the damn thing kept growing. How can I narrow it down to just 25 (which is a number I like for lists). I noticed in the Dave Marsh 1994 New Book of Rock Lists that there is only 1 song after 1973 ("Super Freak"). Myself I would have included a few more like Brick House" or "Easy" or "I Wish" or a Debarge song, but even in 1994 critic's were saying that they didn't think much of post mid 70's Motown. I'm a lot kinder.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

33 1/3

Of all the books mentioned here, the only ones that interest me are the Aretha, Devo and ELO titles and maybe Television. The rest? Kinda boring. And my pick (but not my submission), Every Picture Tells A Story didn't make it. And as someone pointed out in a reply, neither did the Zombies.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Paul Williams

I've always felt music critic Paul Williams was underrated for his contribution to the rock canon. He founded Crawdaddy, the first rock magazine, and his writings on Dylan and the Beach Boys are worth hunting down. In the 90's he revived Crawdaddy as a 'zine and I subscribed to it. It didn't last long, but each issue was pretty good. Now, after suffering an accident in 1995, he's suffering from dementia and his family needs help. Read about it here Paul Williams.

Monday, April 13, 2009

It looks Like Harp....

It looks like Harp, reads like Harp, has some of the same writers, but it wasn't. There it was in Borders-the premiere issue it said. Blurt. Hey, that name seemed familiar. That's right, Harp changed its name to Blurt and went online. But what about this new magazine? Coming after the closing of Blender, I'm on the lookout for some new reading material. Blurt is similar to Harp because the editor is the same. They say they'll put out the magazine quarterly. In this bad environment for magazines that seems reasonable. If you're a music fan, wish them luck getting back in the printed world. If all else fails they can always go digital again.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Box Sets I'd Buy

I rarely buy box sets anymore. Mostly because the heyday of them has passed. All the good ones have box sets. There's not many left that are worthy of one. But the planned ones on John Mellencamp and Hall & Oates? I'm there. I'd be more interested in this than the long-delayed Neil Young archive series. And I want critics who've dismissed Mellencamp as a 2nd-rate Springsteen, and Hall & Oates as Top 40 lightweights to review them.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Playlist for 4/11

Peter, Bjorn & John -Living Thing
Keith Urban - Defying Gravity
Dailey & Vincent -Brothers From Different Mothers
Amadou & Mariam -Welcome To Mali
Prince - Lotusflower & Mplsound
JJ Cale - Roll On
Madeline Peyroux - Bare Bones
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper -You Don't Have To Like Them Both

Friday, April 10, 2009

No Oldies Rap Stations

This is the best quote I've heard this year:
"There are no oldies rap stations", from one hit wonder (actually 2) rapper Young MC commenting this year on the 20th anniversary of the immortal "Bust A Move". He's right, though, there are no oldies rap stations, and I'm not counting online or satellite ones. But I wonder who would listen to it. The people who bought rap music in the 80's, but have tuned it out since? Would today's rap buyers listen to an oldies rap station? This is something to ponder.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Latest Dave Marsh Rant

Dave Marsh recently called Bruce Springsteen's Working On A Dream album a "masterpiece". Now read this email posted on the Future Rock Legends site. Nothing new here. I've emailed him a couple of times and have gotten the same responses as this, but this gives you insight into the mind of RRHOF nominating member.

E-mail from D. Marsh (4/8/09)Kiss will get into the Hall of Fame as soon as they convince enough people who know the full scope of those eligible that they are as worthy/more worthy than the people who are on the ballot each year. I can’t stop them. I wouldn’t. But I won’t vote for them, and I’m certainly not going to back off on 40 years of honest criticism to say that they ought to get a past even though Gene Simmons makes Pat Boone look like a he-man when it comes to any kind of use for the music except the most contemptuous and contemptible exploitation. And I am not going to whisper it. That’s not my job. There are about 30 other votes that make up that ballot. Figure out the math. I am hardly a puppeteer. Alice Cooper bored me in Detroit. Deep Purple had a few good records, that one great single (and maybe “Hush” or something like that), but I don’t think enough to merit inclusion in the hall of fame. (I would like to see the Hall have a method of inducting singles—“Louie Louie” “Smoke on the Water,” whatever, in cases where the bands do not quite come up to the standard—or in the case of the Kingsmen, are miles away from making the standard). I didn’t like prog rock then, I don’t like it now. King Crimson is passable, ELP everything I despise about “art” in any medium (as opposed to art with less pretentious bullshit attached), if I were championing prog I’d go for early Roxy and Gabriel-period Genesis, but that’s me, not a fan (although I’d vote for Roxy and I might vote for Genesis, depending on what was on the ballot). I wrote reams about the Dolls and the Stooges when they were originally active, anyone who can’t figure out that part is totally ignorant of what I do support. (Although I will be disappointed if the Stooges get in before the MC5, because I knew both groups and their music very well and I have always thought that the Five were somewhat superior.) I didn’t like the most recent Stooges album; I have loved both of the Dolls comeback albums, and I will be somewhast surprised if I don’t at least like the Iggy soundtrack that’s coming out. Suzy Quatro is misspelled. The proper spelling is Joan Jett. DM

VH1 Tries To Trick Us Again

Oh, those crazy folks at VH1. Another list show. This time One Hit Wonders of the 80's. And like there other one on the all-time One Hit Wonders there are sloppy mistakes by their crack staff. Or are they mistakes? It appears VH1 thinks that a majority of their listeners who listened to radio in the 80's have short memories. And not many of them have a copy of a Joel Whitburn Billboard chart book. But I remember listening to the radio and watching videos in the 80's.
Take a look at these names that VH1 says are One-Hit wonders: Robbie Dupree, Outfield, John Parr, Eddy Grant, Robbie Nevil and even Eddie Murphy. Guess what? They all charted other songs inside the Top 30. And what to make of them including Neneh Cherry, Will To Power and Martika. All had another Top 10 single.
Maybe VH1 thinks that if the followup singles aren't getting played on radio today, that they can be considered one hit wonders. But with satellite and Internet radio someone is playing these followups.
Nice try VH1, but some of us do remember the 80's better than you think we do.
You can see the whole list here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Where Are You Big Kenny?

You'd think there was something more to John Rich's Son Of A Preacher Man after "Shuttin' Detroit Down", but the rest of the album is so bad that you'll finally realize how much you like Big Kenny.
"Shuttin' Detroit Down" is one of those guilty pleasure patriotic Country songs that you'll agree with even if you know better. Like Haggard's "Fightin' Side Of Me" or Charlie Daniels' "In America", maybe Garth Brooks' "American Honky-Tonk Bar Association", but not Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?" All of which means you'll forgive Rich for dissing New York City.
But the rest of the album? Rich must think he's the smartest man in Country music right now. And this album has been programmed to the letter. Soppy love songs that his old band Lonestar would have rejected. Uptempo ones with titles like "Trucker Man", "Preacher Man" and "Turn A Country Boy On" that are as bad as they read.
A big band one and of course a death song. Humor? Let's just say that throughout the album I cried out for Big Kenny like never before. But the sloppy lyrics are really prevalent on "The Good Lord and the Man" in which Rich tells us what would have happened had we lost World War II:

"Well I’m the grandson of a soldier and I’d fight the whole world over if duty called and freedoms on the line but thanks to the greatest generation and the ones still fighting for our nation I’ve never had to kill for my way of life"

Mr. Rich is 35 years old. Still young enough to suit up and fight for his Country. We've got some problems over there in that Middle East that he could take care of. Maybe he can take Lee Greenwood and Toby Keith with him.

So, buy the single and then ask yourself:
Where's Big Kenny when we need him most?

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Time For James Hetfield To Step Up

James Hetfield needs to talk call Elvis Costello and Max Weinberg. It's one thing to name acts that should be in the Hall in your induction speech, it would be something more special if he followed Costello and Weinberg and did something about it. Wanda Jackson's biggest supporter was Costello and DJ Fontana had Weinberg. Hetfield's inductee choices were names that we all know should be in the Hall, KISS and Alice Cooper among his picks, so why not work behind the scenes like those other two and make a case for them? Sometimes the nominating committee needs a little kick in the ass to get people nominated. Time for James Hetfield to step up.

2009 Songwriters Hall of Fame

Not sure how I missed this Songwriters Hall of Fame Announces 2009 Inductees - Vintage Vinyl News - MOG. But the names that sticks out at me: Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. As someone who wants Bon Joni in the Rock Hall I should be happy about this, until I remembered the names of classic rockers and Pop artists that aren't in the Songwriters Hall of Fame: Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, Cat Stevens and Ray Davies just to throw some names at you. Oh and David Gates and Abba. And Merle Haggard. Come on who are these voters, and how did Bon Jovi jump ahead of those names. BTW- I remember when the SHOF was broadcast on Bravo. It's been without a TV broadcast for a few years. Does anyone know they still exist?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Targeting Prince

Of the 2 Target-only Prince CD's that have been bundled, stick with the guitar-heavy Lotusflower. The best songs have Prince channeling Hendrix' guitar, which comes as a relief to all of us who wish he would rock out for a whole album. He doesn't, but comes damn close. The other Mplsound is more 80's funk/soul, which means its better than most of what passes for funk today, but I still prefer the rock disc.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Playlist for 4/3

Now 30
Sarah Borges - Stars Are Out
Pearl Jam - Ten (reissue)
Hank Mobley -Soul Station
Frank Sinatra - Where Are You
Keep Your Soul - Tribute To Doug Sahm

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Essential Nile Rodgers

Getting closer to another RRHOF ceremony, which should inspire a whole bunch of Hall rants from me. Speaking of which, did you know that Itunes has an Nile Rodgers Essentials list. Divided into 3 categories: Essentials, Deep cuts, next steps. The Chic sound extended far beyond the dance floor. Copies of this Itunes page should be sent to all the know-nothings who think Chic were nothing but a Disco band. And so what if they were? They were the best of its genre.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Marvin Gaye 25 Years Later

The death of Marvin Gaye, today 25 years on, hit me as hard as the death of John Lennon. And like Lennon, with all that is happening in the world today, Marvin's voice is sorely missed.

Not An April Fool's Post

As of right now, I have all 30 of the Now compilation series, to go along with my 25 cd collection of Rhino's Super Hits of the 70's. Anybody got a problem with that?
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