Friday, July 31, 2009

25 Years of Rock Hall

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to celebrate its 25th year with 2 concerts in October.
Springsteen, U2, Metallica set for Hall of Fame benefit concerts TV, movie a

I've got no problem with this, but did think of this zinger:
Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame: 25 Years of Snubbing Worthy Artists

Thursday, July 30, 2009

100 Ignored Bands

I'm fascinated by pre-Internet indie bands. Can you remember when you used to have to look through indie mags and mail order obscure bands. The Internet changed all that. But I liked the old way better.
Anyway the August issue of Spin has 100 unjustly obscure artists and most of the interesting ones for me were the pre-Internet ones. Worth a look.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Twitter Etiquette

I'm still new to Twitter, but I've noticed some things. I follow some people and have tried to get them to follow me, but to no avail. And we have the same interests. I've sent them emails but get no response. I'm not going to dump them from my Twitter page, but rude is rude, right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chart Essay

Read the link below, it talks about the same thing I've been saying for years. The music charts aren't like they used to be, but we still care what's #1. Don't we?

Pitchfork: Poptimist: Poptimist #23

Monday, July 27, 2009

Marley's Legend

I remember buying the vinyl of Bob Marley's Legend in 1984. 25 years later it goes 10 million.
Good article below:

Chart Watch Extra: The Most Unlikely 10-Million Seller Ever - Chart Watch

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Never Ending McCartney

McCartney's Fireman album from 2008 will go down as one of his most underrated projects. He's doing a song from it on his Summer tour. McCartney hasn't slowed down. He's still touring, putting out records, showing up all over the place. And that's good. He's 67 now, but acting 27. You may not think his new music is up to the old classics. He probably doesn't either. But he keeps going, not content to let time defeat him.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Playlist for 7/25

Daughtry - Leave This Town
Dead Weather -Horehound
Odetta -Ballads and Blues
Sleepy John Estes -Someday Baby Blues
Devo - Greatest Misses
Otis Taylor - Pentatonic Wars

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tom's Playlist

I like IMEEM so much that I put together a quick playlist of forgotten top 40 hits of the 70's. It's a work in progress. Give a listen and suggestions. One caveat: I can only use songs that are in Imeem's library, but I've been able to find most of what I already have.

Forgotten Top 40 From The 70's

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Most of my random thoughts on my Tweeter page.

Tom Lane on Twitter

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Down Beat Hall of Fame

Strange choices on the reader's ballot at You get B.B., Muddy and Robert Johnson, but no Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Return to Forever or George Benson. NONE of these (including my reader's pick, Chick Corea) appeared on the critic's results. Benson has been derided by jazz critic's for years, but reader's would give him a break. He's like the Jazz version of Kenny Rogers. Dismissed by critic's and loved by fans. But why are critic's dismissing the other names I listed? They've all contributed to the Jazz heritage.
In other words another crazy Hall of Fame post.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We Welcome You To Crackerbox Palace

Finally, a career spanning George Harrison collection. But you know how comps are, there's always something missing. And frankly when I saw the track list I wasn't surprised that one of my fave Harrison songs, "Crackerbox Palace" wasn't listed.

Why was I surprised? Even people I know who are Beatles fans have a hard time remembering that song. "Blow Away" did make the cut, but very few remember that one, either.

Still, it doesn't matter to me. "Crackerbox Palace" got to #19 in 1977. But I like the song's humor and just plain strangeness (remember the promo video?) What to get rid of to make room for it? For one thing, the 3 live takes on his Beatle songs don't need to be here. Without them you can add "Love Comes To Everyone", "Crackerbox" or a live cut from his Japan disc.

Harrison's solo career was good but not great. His albums after All Things Must Pass are dicey, at least until Cloud Nine, and this comp is geared not for the Harrison-fanatics but for the casual consumer who wants something simple to play in their car or the Ipod. But damn I was rooting for you "Crackerbox Palace".

Monday, July 20, 2009

Moon Shots

July 20, 1969
First Man On The Moon

Marvin Gaye - "Inner City Blues" (1971)
Rockets, Moon Shots
Spend It On The Have Nots

or Gil Scott-Heron
YouTube - Whitey on the moon - gil scott-heron

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Purple Reign

Now this is an anniversary worth remembering. It was 25 years ago that Purple Rain was released, in fact this month the movie was released. Without going in to a movie review, well, the movie was good and still holds up.
The album was a monster, it's Prince's Thriller. He may have topped it artistically with Sign 'O The Times (I still prefer Purple Rain), but never reached the mass public again. And his other 2 movies sucked.
But, while I liked Prince before the movie, I loved him more afterward. Now, he was a major artist. And like other major artists you couldn't wait for what he was going to do next, because you always knew it would be different.
When one thinks of Prince today, it's Purple Rain that first comes to mind. The imagery, the music, a phenomenon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Playlist for 7/18

Maxwell -Blacksummersnight
Jayhawks -Anthology
Art Brut - vs. Satan
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus

Friday, July 17, 2009


Desperate for a replacement for, which has shut down, I came up with this oldie but goodie Cashbox Magazine Music Charts. Hey, I remember during music's heyday when there were 3 magazines vying for your chart bucks: Billboard, Record World and Cashbox. Anyway, their site is okay, but for recurrents I had to go back to Billboard's lousy online charts, which only list 10 recurrents, and then want you to subscribe to get the rest.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jayhawks Compilation

Outside of the Sweet Anthology on Shout, my other favorite compilation this year is by the Jayhawks. But what's amazing about Anthology (American) is that it shows two different bands. When Mark Olson was in the band, they were a great Americana band. When he left Gary Louris turned it in to more of a Pop band. Either way it makes for a great listen. My only complaint is that I wish they could have made room for their cover of "Bad Time", the Grand Funk song. So, seek that out, and this comp too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Both Sides Now

Pre-Internet the only way to find out about the sound quality on oldies CD's was through ICE magazine or Both Sides Now's newsletter. The latter ceased publication once the Internet took off, and ICE hung in there but eventually got overtaken too.
ICE's main concept can still be found at IMWAN • Index page, while Both Sides Now still has a forum going Both Sides Now Stereo Chat Board. No, it's not the same, at least for me, as sitting down and digesting the latest issues of these relics. But for a nostalgic guy like me just knowing that there are still remnants left puts a smile on my face.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rock Cliches

I've been waiting for one of these posts.
Downloading Michael Jackson's Biggest Hits
The guy who wrote this for used to be rock critic but is now a technology writer. On page 2 of his post he spouts the old rock critic line about how Elvis' Post Army stuff wasn't very good, Dylan didn't do anything good after his motorcycle accident and tells us Michael Jackson didn't do anything good after Thriller.
It's cliche music journalism and lazy at that. What was perfected on Thriller could never be done again, although Jackson tried, but that doesn't mean that his post-Thriller songs wouldn't have sounded good on that album.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tom the Twitter

I don't text, so any updates to my Twitter page will be done through the web. Can't say how often I'll update it, but when I'm listening to something, I'll post.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Disco (didn't) Sucks

30 years ago today at Comsikey Park in Chicago and the end of Disco as it was known. But Disco didn't die. It became House, Rave and mostly known as just plain Dance music today. And it has also outlasted Steve Dahl.

When ‘Disco Sucks!’ echoed around the world

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Playlist for 7/11

Now 30
Wilco - The Album
Moby - Wait for Me
Rob Thomas - Cradlesong
Levon Helm - Electric Dirt
Brad Paisley - American Saturday Night

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vibe Magazine R.I.P.

I was a charter subscriber to Vibe, and hung in there until the early 00's, when I noticed it started focusing more on Hip Hop artists, less on classic soul ones, and cutting back its reviews. Eventually the reviews were gone and so was I. It became even more of a fashion magazine than Rolling Stone. It's too bad, really. There aren't many Black music magazines worth buying. Most are hip-hop ones. You could try Wax Poetics. It's pricey but well done.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Muscle Shoals For Rock Hall

After reading the testimonials at the below link, I'm convinced now more than ever that the Muscle Shoals Rhythm section should get a sidemen induction into the Rock Hall. And what's really sad is that until Barry Beckett died last month, I didn't even think about them.

More Barry Beckett

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Michael Jackson Memorial

Best performance: Usher
Better performance than I thought it would be: Jermaine Jackson
Best speech: Michael's Daughter
Best speech by someone not related to Michael: parts of Al Sharpton's

btw-the Michael version of "Smile" is pretty good and on his History set.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Allen Klein

Read this post about Allen Klein if you want to know how a man could love his clients so much that he didn't mind screwing them over.
In reality all I remember about Klein is that for years his ABKCO records were unavailable on CD. Outside of that I paid him no mind, remembering only that the Stones hated him.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Monterey Bay Blues Festival

Made my yearly Sunday visit to the Monterey Bay Blues Festival and noticed that the crowds were less this year. Must be the economy. This festival didn't have any big names to push the gate, either. The Neville Brothers were the Main stage headliners Sunday, and since they were just here a few years ago, I skipped them and instead roamed the side stages.
So, it's either the economy or lack of good gate names that kept this year's festival from being memorable.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Casey Kasem

The end of Casey Kasem should come as no suprise. Since, he stopped doing American Top 40, he's sounded lost doing the AC countdowns. But the end is the end. In the early 70's, his countdown was the only link to what was happening on the charts. By the late 80's you could feel the end coming. But in between his show was the best Countdown show ever.

Casey Kasem To Reach For The Stars For The Last Time

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Playlist for 7/4

Johnny Shines- Too Wet To Plow
Eric Church -Carolina
Rancid -Let The Dominoes Fall
Holly Williams -Here With Me
Johnny Cash -Best of Johnny Cash TV Show

Friday, July 03, 2009

Deep Catalog Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's catalog isn't as steep as James Brown's or Ray Charles, to name 2 major R&B acts that died in the last few years. But if you dig deep, you'll find a lot of great stuff that you won't hear, even on Sirius or many online stations.
So here are a few of my deep cuts by Michael Jackson, solo and with his brothers. Some of these were singles that didn't chart high or have been forgotten. Others are album cuts.

Who's Lovin' You
Ain't No Sunshine
Maybe Tomorrow
Eeenie Meenie
Show You The Way To Go
Blame It On The Boogie
Heartbreak Hotel (a.k.a. This Place Hotel)
Working Day and Night
Stranger In Moscow
Earth Song
Leave Me Alone
Gone Too Soon
Heal The World
In The Closet
State of Shock (w/Mick Jagger)
Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming (Jermaine's duet with Michael)
Lady In My Life (probably his most famous album cut)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Michael Jackson Summary

Lots of good pieces from major to minor to other critic's I've never heard of on the death of Michael Jackson. There's been a lot to digest. Basically, I want to hear from a lot of legendary music critic's, but so far have heard nothing from Dave Marsh or Greil Marcus. But a Robert Christgau link is below. And in his article he has a link from a Nelson George blog.

Two good links for these:
The Allmusic Blog » MJ Insight Aggregator has summaries
ARTicles: Robert Christgau
has that critic's farewell and other links

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Elvis, Beatles and Michael Jackson?

How many musicians changed music and society? I count only 2: Elvis Presley and the Beatles.
Frank Sinatra in the 40's came close. And so did the Michael Jackson of the 80's. He certainly changed music, more the music industry. Blockbuster albums became the norm. But did he change society? He had a worldwide reach, and even today he's more loved overseas than in the U.S. Does he belong with Elvis and the Beatles? My first reaction was that he falls just a little short. But after seeing the response to his death, and reading a ton of essays on his life, I'm now convinced that he's up there with Elvis and the Beatles.
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