Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crying Over Stevie Ray

For 2 years in a row I've stared at the Rock Hall nominees thinking that there was a typo, a mistake. I'd go to other web sites thinking his name would be there. But it's not. And I can't figure out why. Last year the reasoning was that Jeff Beck took the guitar hero slot on the nominee list. But in 2010? I see no guitar heroes on this list. Too many Rockers? Kiss and Genesis cater to the Classic Rock crowd. But Stevie Ray was more than Classic Rock. He was a Blues trailblazer. Taking a genre that needed a lift and bringing it into the 80's with an energy that it was sorely missing.
How has he been passed up? I'm thinking that some on the NomCom just think he wasn't that "original". Vaughan was often plagued with being called a Hendrix clone. Maybe some think his records weren't as good as his live shows. Ah, what the Hell. Screw 'em. If LL Cool J can get nominated his first year eligible. If the freakin' Red Hot Chili Peppers the same, then how can these friggin' people leave off someone who really was influential and original? Aren't those 2 criteria for induction?
Let's just say that I now have a cause. It's to make sure that no one forgets that Vaughan has been snubbed by the NomCom members.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My 2010 Rock Hall Predicitons

I've had a week to think about this, but here are my Predictions for who the Rock Hall voters will choose: these aren't my picks.
My picks at

They are choosing 5 only this year. My prediction on who will get in:

Kiss, Donna Summer, Abba, Genesis, Laura Nyro

As for the other 7 not nominated. I think 3 acts have the best chance. The Hollies and the Stooges have the best chance. You could also substitute the Red Hot Chili Peppers who might get in over one of my 5. One problem with my 5 is that I think I have too many popular picks, which is why I picked a dark horse in Laura Nyro. Summer and Abba were nominated before and didn't get in, which makes me think one of them won't get in, and one of the above 3 will. I'm not feeling much for LL Cool J or Jimmy Cliff this year. And the Chantels and Darlene Love have been passed over before by the voters. Sometime before the inductees are announced in January, I might change my mind.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Playlist for 9/28

Drive By Truckers - Fine Print
Little Feat - Sailin' Shoes
Pearl Jam - Backspacer
Patty Loveless - Mountain Soul II
Rhonda Vincent - Destination Life

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Random Hall Thoughts

This is the craziest Rock Hall ballot in years. Of the 12, 7 are excellent. For me these are:
Abba, Genesis, Kiss, LL Cool J, Hollies, Stooges and Donna Summer

Then there are the other 5.  But my guess is that at least one of these will get in this year. These are:
Chantels, Darlene Love, Jimmy Cliff, Laura Nyro. As for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Let's just say my enthusiasm for them is mild. I'd prefer Bon Jovi. Who are just as popular and have better songs. But the Peppers got better reviews. Heck, I'd even prefer the Beastie Boys. Who were more innovative and also made better records.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Eddie Vedder Smiles

37 minutes. Isn't that all the Pearl Jam we need? That's what their latest album clocks in at. And it's a perfect length. A good album, too. This is like that last R.E.M. album. Short and to the point. But I think this one is better. I've had a love/hate relationship with Eddie Vedder. His solumn, dour, foggy, no-time-for-a-smile early years still get on my nerves. But as he got older, and the band sold less records, he lightened up. I think it was the cover of "Last Kiss" that made me think that Vedder had more in him than mumbling about how bad the world is.
Backspacer sounds like a tribute to an old classic rock album from the 70's. It's brevity is a welcome sign that Vedder realizes he doesn't need to fill a CD to get his points across. But this album is very political, but it does address mature themes.
Eddie Vedder smiles more these days. His interviews aren't the solumn musings that they were when he was in his 20's. Now self-deprecation seeps in. In his 40's, and no longer part of the biggest band in the U.S., he's realized that although the world he used to rail against hasn't gotten any better, at least he has things to be optimistic about.

Friday, September 25, 2009


In the end I had to order the Beatle Stereo box from Amazon. It had the cheaper price. The only catch is that it hasn't shipped yet. I'm on some sort of wait list. But being in no rush, I think saving a few bucks will be worth it, especially when you consider that the fall Box sets, compilations and other end of the year product makes the season an expensive one. Otherwise, as Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part. But as the cliche goes, patience is a virtue.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


If I seem too obsessed with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it's just that I've been obsessed with all Hall of Fame's. The NFL Network is running a weekly behind the scenes look at how this year's inductees will be picked. It's must viewing for me. Soon, the 2010 Country Music Hall of Famers (I'm guessing soon, might be early 2010), and I can't wait. Used to tick me off that Elvis or Tom T. Hall weren't in there. And now both are.
All the sports Halls interest me. Any music one out there catches my eye. Songwriters Hall, Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame. It's all eye candy.
But the Rock Hall caught my attention the moment the first class was announced. So, I'm still right there with 'em every year. I could do daily blogs on the Rock Hall. What needs to be fixed, etc.
The Future Rock Legends is still the best at this though. Like me, they were an early follower of the Hall. We've made it this far. We're not going back.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2010 Rock Hall Nominee Thoughts

You'll get a deeper analysis of all the Rock Hall Nominees at Future Rock Legends

As for me, here are my quick thoughts:
2 years in a row, Stevie Ray Vaughan has been snubbed. Why?
Good to see people that should be in the Hall getting nominated for the first time: Kiss, Genesis, Hollies
Good to see Abba back on the list for the 2nd time.
Jimmy Cliff is interesting. Made a great movie, some classic songs. But why am I not moved?
But there are some weak nominees here: Laura Nyro, Chantels, Darlene Love. I'm no big fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
I do like LL Cool J.
The Stooges are way overdue. But that's the understatment of the year.
Of all the nominees I'm rooting for Donna Summer.
People who say Prog-Rock gets no respect. This Genesis is for you.
Among the missing nominees from last year: Chic and War.

I could go on for days about who else should get nominated instead of Nyro, etc. Like Gram Parsons, Yes, Chic, Spinners. But for now this is all I'll rant about.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2010 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Ballot

This year's ballot has 3 more names than the ones from the past 3 years. But the Hall is still saying only 5 inductees, unless they do what they did last year and move a name to the Early Influence category. Go to Future Rock Legends for deeper discussions and analysis of this year's nominees.

Here's my choices from 1 to 12. These are not predictions but how I rank the nominees:

1. Donna Summer - perfect singles for a misunderstood era
2. Genesis - I want to see Phil Collins at the podium!
3. Kiss - I want to see Dave Marsh's face when Kiss takes the podium!
4. Abba - More looks of disbelief from the "Abba aren't Rock" crowd
5. Hollies - perfect singles for a cloudy day
6. Stooges - Iggy Pop: Only Rock and Roll could create a Cartoon like him
7. LL Cool J - The greatest Single artist in Rap?
8. Chantels - One of the first girl groups
9. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Great rhythm section, lead singer never moved me
10. Laura Nyro - one of the earliest female singer-songwriters who influenced later ones
11. Darlene Love - I didn't think the Ronettes belong, and I don't think she does either
12. Jimmy Cliff - one of the first Reggae artists to cross over. Great movie he was in, but a Hall of Famer?

My Record Collection

I always wondered if I have too many records in my collection. In fact, I've never thought of all the CD's I have as a collection. And I don't even know how many I have. There are certain ones that are out of print that I'm glad I own. All I know is, outside of some record company promos, there's a lot of money in my collection. And I don't want to know the answer to that either.
Anyway, check out the link below of someone who posted his collection on youtube. And then wonder if yours matches his. Mine doesn't come close.
YouTube - Rob's Music Tour

Monday, September 21, 2009

Playlist for 9/21

Elvis Presley - From Elvis In Memphis (reissue)
Tom Russell -Blood and Candle Smoke
Band of Heathens -One Foot In The Ether
Depeche Mode -Violator
Robert Cray- This Time
John Fogerty -Blue Ridge Rangers Ride Again

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beatle Watch

I was all ready to post a Playlist with 14 Beatle titles. But nowhere around here could I find a Stereo Box set. So, I'm now on Amazon's wait list. Unless I find it for near the same price at a Best Buy. I don't have many choices to shop. Target didn't carry the box. Borders is a joke on their prices. And there are a handful of Indy shops that I haven't been to in years, because of limited selection and high prices. At Best Buy, I could have bought all 14 titles for just under 200 bucks. But Amazon is 25 dollars cheaper. So, that's where I'm going. I'm in big rush to purchase these titles. I figure by Halloween you'll be tripping over all these Beatle discs in your favorite store. This time the hype to buy now and pay more didn't get me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ellen Too Generous?

As someone who watches every American Idol show I will not miss Paula Abdul. What she brought to the show was only sheer strangeness. That's the only way to describe her. I will admit in this last year she seemed to get a little bolder in her criticisms. Maybe the 4th judge freed her up. But usually she went along with whatever the other 2 judges said. No, she wasn't the worst judge on the show. That honor belonged to the horrid Randy Jackson. But miss her? No.
What to make of Ellen? When she guest-judged So You Think You Can Dance she was a major suck up. Liking everything. She was funny, but we already know that. My guess is that she'll be a major suck up on Idol, but just funny enough that she'll get away with those (like me) who will wonder when she's going to rag on a performance.
Either way, it promises to be more entertaining than listening to Kara. Or the "dawg".

Friday, September 18, 2009


Can Glee keep bringing the cheese? The renditions of Kanye West, Chic, Journey, etc. that are the best part of the show can put a smile on your face even though we know these songs by heart. If the show stays on the air, and people don't get tired of the formula, its various renditions of a guilty pleasure like Journey or a hip-hop classic like Kanye's will be the best hour of music on television. I'm rooting the for the show. But to be honest, its only the musical numbers that are standing out.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Little Steven On the Rock Hall

In the October 1, 2009 issue of Rolling Stone, Little Steven Van Zandt, who is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee is asked who should be in the Hall that isn't.

Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n Roll Trio, arguably the best of all the rockabilly bands, is one. There's dozens and dozens of early rock & roll groups that should be. I notice a bias toward the post-art-form rock critics' sensibility as opposed to the pre-art-form rock & roll sensibility. That's why I had so much difficulty getting the Rascals and the Dave Clark Five in. We'll probably never get Paul Revere and the Raiders in. Anybody who didn't eventually get into Important Personal Lyrics is not regarded seriously. It's very difficutl for me to justify the Talking Heads being in the Hall of Fame before the Hollies, or Michael Jackson being in before Johnny Burnette.


It sat in my DVR for 3 days before I played it. Although I saw bits of it when it aired. It wasn't always like this. I used to watch the MTV Video awards above anything else. But when they stopped playing videos I stopped tuning to MTV. No one watches these channels for videos nowadays anyway. We have instant access online to any video we want.
But MTV was the first, so they get to do the awards. The show? I found mediocre. The performances? Again nothing stuck out. The Michael tribute? Could have been better. The host? Like him better when he's unhinged. What can I say? The only 2 things people are talking about are the immature Kanye and the now-getting-tired Lady GaGa, which means its a win for MTV as they get more tune-in's on their repeat shows.
Me? I'm happy that I've finally deleted it from my DVR.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Would You Do?

As of this writing I counted 31 members on the Rock Hall Nominating Committee. What would you do if the Rock Hall called and said they chose you for #32. Every year fans, experts, musicologists, critics, etc. debate the NomCom's final nominees and wonder how they can leave out certain names. But if indeed all 31 of these people are sitting in a room (maybe some are on a conference call line), I think it would be impossible to avoid the politics that would invade the process.
Years ago, when the Baseball Veterans Committee met in private to vote on new inductees, there would always be reports of political bickering over final choices.
The Football Hall of Fame meets in much the same manner as the Rock Hall. People sit in a room and debate nominees. But they make the final choices for inductees.
If I were a nominee, I'm sure my choices would get a good working over. Would even half of the 30 other people there think my choices belonged?
I'm not here to defend the NomCom. It's not so much the process as it is who's on the panel. I strongly advocate changing members every 3 to 5 years. Either on a rotating basis (so you don't have the same group of 32 every year) or just bringing in 32 fresh voices every 3 to 5 years. Trust me, there are many people who could bring fresh perspective to the Rock Hall's nominating process.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

45rpm Specialists

Listening to old Casey Kasem shows from the 70's, I'm struck by how great singles oriented artists like the Carpenters, 3 Dog Night and someone like Bread sound. That's how I remembered hearing these types of 45rpm specialists back in the 70's. They weren't album artists, for sure. Specializing in singles, Chicago is another one, was no easy feat. But hearing these acts back some 30+ years later, you too will marvel at how great their best singles were.
Link below where you can listen to Kasem's shows. On Sundays at WOGL.
AOL Radio powered by CBS Radio

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2010 Rock Hall Predictions

The RRHOF is going to announcen their 12 nominees real soon. So I'm rushing this list of who's going to be on the ballot. Not too much thought went into this, but then the Hall's NomCom aren't any better at putting out a final ballot, either. In no order. And remember these are predictions, not who I want on the ballot.

Donna Summer
"5" Royales
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Alice Cooper
Beastie Boys
Gram Parsons
Red Hot Chili Peppers

I'll cheat and say if not Alice Cooper than Deep Purple.
If not 2 Disco acts than maybe a Cat Stevens or Tom Waits.
There enough of this, I figure I'm safe with a quarter of these and now I'm resting my brain.

Most Listened

The death of Michael Jackson, the re-release of the Beatles catalog. Woodstock's 40th. It's been a Summer of nostalgia. All of this had me wondering: what artists catalog have I listened to the most?
Okay, the first two are easy. Elvis Presley and the Beatles. But what about the rest? Judging by my record collection here are 8 others: Elton, Rod Stewart, Springsteen, Prince, Michael Jackson/Jacksons, Willie Nelson, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder.

What do all of these have in common? Big catalogs and long careers.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Playlist for 9/12

Earl Bostic - Best of
Doo Wop Vocal Groups - Various
Irma Thomas -50th Anniversary
Whitney Houston - I Look To You
Mayer Hawthorne - Strange Arrangement

Friday, September 11, 2009

Grammy's Americana

The Grammy's have added an Americana category. Previously, these types of acts get stuck in the Contemporary Folk category. But will they stick with big names who do Americana projects? This year Elvis Costello did one. John Fogerty has a covers album that is Americana. Or will they dig deep for Buddy & Julie Miller or Todd Snider?

Grammys will be putting Americana on the map -
and a link to the recent Americana charts
Last Week AMA Chart

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Motown's 50th

Earlier this I talked about Motown's 50th anniversary. I was expecting a big media campaign for it. But with the year screaming to an end, it looks like the big tribute won't be coming. This surprised me. I thought Rolling Stone would do something. I thought there would be a big concert. Some good reissues, some good books. Nothing.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Mad Dash

So, who's got $200 to spare? That's what all 14 Beatles remasters will cost you if you plan on getting them. Whether you buy the stereo box or get them separately. I've been saving up so I'll head out to Best Buy and see what I come up with. But I'm not going to panic. I'll get all 14 eventually. Since I already have the Beatles catalog on CD, it won't kill me if I go to a store and they don't have anything left. The first rush is the deepest when it comes to these things.
But Beatlemaniacs have waited a long time for the whole catalog to get redone. So, they'll snatch up the first batch. The rest of us will be content to wait. A perfect Christmas gift perhaps.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

End of the Decade

Holy crap. It's just hit me after looking at a couple of web sites. But the end of the decade is almost near. Which means I have to start thinking about my Top 10 albums and singles of the 2000's. Cliche time: where does the time go?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Welcome To The Future?

Brad Paisley says he wrote "Welcome To The Future" based on what he saw on Election Night 2008 from Times Square. But the verse in the song that has gotten the most press is this:

"I thought about him today,Everybody who’s seen what he’s seen,From a woman on a bus To a man with a dream.
He-e-ey…Wake up Martin Luther.Welcome to the future.He-e-ey…Glory glory hallelujah.Welcome to the future.

It's no question that Paisley is referencing the election and Obama, but he's smart enough not to mention either. If he did, I wonder, would it get airplay in the parts of the Country where Obama isn't well loved. Meaning the Country radio stations in the Deep South. I remember when Tim McGraw's "Red Rag Top" got in trouble with these same stations because of a reference to an abortion.
Will Paisley's song, which isn't a political song anyway, be hurt from going #1 by the MLK and Obama mention?
Or has Paisley once again proven himself a sly master of the sly single by sidestepping both and sneaking one to the top of the Country charts?
YouTube - Brad Paisley - Welcome To The Future

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Everybody Dance

Just finished a CDR of Dance/Disco classics of 70's. Came out pretty good. Have a song on there by Chic and Donna Summer. Both belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Both have been nominated. Chic many times, Summer once in 2007. Always fun to read the Disco haters comments on why Chic don't belong.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Decade in Pop

Music critic Tom Ewing's end of the decade look at Pop Music. It's a good read and I agree with him on most of his thoughts.

Pitchfork: Articles: The Decade in Pop

Friday, September 04, 2009

Playlist for 9/4

Maria Muldaur - Heart of Mine
Homer & Jethro - Best of
Bela Fleck - African Sessions Vol. 3
June Tabor - Airs and Graces
Leon McAuliffe - Tulsa Straight Ahead
Fabulous Thunderbirds - Tuff Enuff
Woody Guthrie - My Dusty Road

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Hollies

David Crosby was asked this question, as part of Rolling Stone magazine's on-going interview segment with participants of the forthcoming 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert. This is from the 9/17/09 issue.

Q: Is there anyone who isn't in the Hall of Fame who should be?

A: Well, there are quite a few people who think the Hollies (Nash's former band) should be in there. They had more hits than the Springfield and the Byrds put together. I think it's because they're too "pop". But then, so was Mikey Jackson.

Whitney's Comeback

Whitney Houston is 46 years old. But to most of us she's still the 20-something smiling and singing her heart out on her biggest 80's hits. But on her first album in 7 years, she's sounds older. And wiser. The voice isn't as pure as it was 20 years ago. There's a fray around the edges. Her life has played out in front of us, and recently it wasn't pretty. And now those years have caught up to her. But the roughness suits her. She now sounds like a woman, a 46 year old woman, who has lived and seen much more than she ever thought she would. Or maybe she now realizes how influential she really has been. No Mariah, Mary J., Beyonce without her? It's possible. Under the guidance of Clive Davis, she still gets the hippest names, if not the best songs. There are no classics here, but the Alicia Keys one that leads off is the best (and it's uptempo).
I Look To You is a surprise because my expectations were so low. And who would have thought that a few years ago?

Best Selling CD of 2009

What's the best selling album of 2009? Michael Jackson's catalog title Number Ones.
Michael Jackson's Number Ones Is Now the Bestselling Album of 2009
Okay, this wouldn't have happened had he not died. But still. The best selling non MJ album, by Taylor Swift, is close to 2 million. Here we are 9 months into the year, and no 2009 release (Taylor's came out late 2008) has gotten to 2 million.
Would this have happened 10 years ago? No. Now albums debut big, some at half million and then limp to double platinum status. Free music has changed everything.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Best of the 00's

I am now up to 24 albums and 25 singles for my best of the 00's. The old folks will tell you that there isn't much good music being made nowadays. But the 00's were as good a decade as many others. By the time I drop my list it will probably be a close to 50 on each side, maybe a little less. The old folks should take a peek at it.
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