Friday, January 29, 2010

TV Commercials

I liked the Phoenix song, "1901" when I first heard it, but it really came alive by being in a car commercial. Should I feel bad that commercials or TV programs are affecting my tastes? Not in this day and age of tons and tons of stuff to keep up with. Remember in the late 80's when having your song in a TV commercial meant you were selling out? Now heritage acts are all over the channels.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pazz & Jop

The 2009 Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll is up. Not much new that hasn't been seen in other polls, but you can view my ballot below:

Tom Lane Village Voice

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quote on TP

One of the best quotes I read about Teddy Pendergrass came from Neo-Soul singer Anthony Hamilton, who said that TP had "a man's voice". And that's what's missing from today's Soul singers. I love Maxwell as much as the next guy, but I also want another TP to rally around. Hamilton himself is more in the TP mode than the Maxwell one, but not quite in the former's league.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Thanks to a new computer coming with a one year free streaming from Napster, I've been able to listen to some crit-faves of 2009. Nothing got me excited. Anyway, odd to be back on Napster. Don't we all have fond memories of its heyday?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Playlist for 1/25

Vampire Weekend - Contra
Built For Spill -There Is No Enemy

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Maybe I'm just a sucker for these charity shows, but I thought the Haiti musical performances were pretty good. Jennifer Hudson being the best followed closely by Kid Rock/Sheryl Crow/Keith Urban. But just like the 9/11 concerts, everyone was in serious mode, singing serious songs. Noticed how many warhorses there were: "Let It Be", "Lean On Me" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water", etc., etc.
But I'm not complaining. It was a good show for a good cause. I donated and hope you did too.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Computer Update

Scratch that HP. Had problems with the screen. Went with Dell which was only a few dollars more. Not too thrilled with either company. But for basic computing stuff, these mid-priced computers seem to do the trick.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Computer

Just bought a new computer. Went from a Dell in 2004 to an HP. Was going to pull for an Apple, but finances dictated something cheaper. Amazing how cheap laptops are now compared to 2004. My Dell cost $1300 back then, and the HP is more than half that. And now they have netbooks. Which might have been perfect for me, as I'm no gamer, but do have lots of audio files. Regardless, I hope this one last longer than 5 years.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Playlist for 1/18

Vijay Iyer - Historicity
Jackson 5 - Dancing Machine
Girls - Album
XX -s/t

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Elvis Boxed

10 years ago, RCA put out a 3 CD Elvis box called, Artist of the Century. As usual, not a bad compilation, but 1 CD short. Now in 2010, for his 75th birthday, they are at it again with Elvis 75-Good Rockin' Tonight. Now at 4 CD's, it's the most complete overview yet. But even so they missed some songs. Sad to see his 1977 "Moody Blue" left off. And then there's "Fame and Fortune" or "Follow That Dream", 2 of my favorite early 60's songs. But that's what happens when you've had as many hits as Elvis. In fact, disc 4 of this comp leaves off all kinds of his last Top 40 songs.
But don't fear Elvis fans, RCA will come up with another Box in 5 or so years to mark another E anniversary. I have more Elvis box sets than any other artists. RCA has yet to find a concept not worth bundling. Until then, scoop up the $40 for this one.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wake Up Everybody

On this Martin Luther King Day, there is no better song than Harold Melvin's "Wake Up Everybody" for you to seek out and listen to. Then you get to honor both King and Teddy Pendergrass.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The X Factor Himself

Are we really going to watch American Idol without Simon Cowell? And will he really not be back next season for AI? He'll be off the air for 16 months until the launch of X Factor.
Regardless, American Idol without Simon Cowell. Has no appeal to me. We will tune in here and there. But will it be must viewing. I can't say I'm throwing in the towel on the whole thing. But like Golf without Tiger Woods, American Idol without Simon has diminished appeal.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Teddy's Best

Top 5 favorite Teddy Pendergrass Solo songs:

Close The Door
Love TKO
When Somebody Loves You Back
Turn Off The Lights
Only You

Friday, January 15, 2010

Teddy P.

It wasn't the car accident in 1982 that killed Teddy Pendergrass. But his career was never the same. He still made records afterwards, but they were smooth Soul. Pre-accident Teddy's records had an underlying fire that was missing in most of the other Soul singers of his era. He was indeed the prototype for the future R. Kelly's and Usher's.
For his solo career go with the TP album, probably the best Old School album by a male singer. It has great duets with Stephanie Mills and his best solo single, "Love TKO". After that go with any of his many compilations. Than dig deeper into his pre-accident catalog. For post-accident the best choice is 1986's Workin' It Back.
For Harold Melvin go to Itunes to download the many albums that aren't available on CD.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I liked Whitney Houston's comeback album in 2009. Critic Geoffrey Himes did too. But read his review of the album. It makes a strong case for Whitney in the Rock Hall of Fame. Why shouldn't she be there? Janet Jackson should be too. Both have been influential over the whole female Pop/R&B action that is out there today.

Geoffrey Himes writes:
Here's my prediction: When the history of recent pop music is written from the perspective of the mid-21st century, Houston will play a much bigger role in the narrative than Madonna. From that distance, all of Madonna's marketing gambits will look like quaint advertising fads, while Houston's extraordinary voice and heart-on-a-sleeve performances will still pack an emotional punch.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Long Term Memory

What I love about the Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion album is that, besides it being a good record, it was released in January 2009, and a lot of Poll voters remembered it at the end of the year. It's easy to forget stuff as the year goes on. But voters didn't. I think the same thing will happen with the Vampire Weekend's 2nd album, Contra. Out this month, it should make a good showing at the end of the year. This is like a good acting performance in a movie that comes out in the early part of the year. You hope it won't be forgotten come Movie awards season.
But the good news is that both the Vampire Weekend and the Animal Collective CD's are good. And that's why they won't and won't be erased from our memory come the end of the year.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Country Backlash

Brad Paisley and Miranda Lambert have taken over the year end critic's polls recently. They did it again in 2009. So you know what that means. Backlash time. As good as Paisley is, and he's consistently good, you just knew that he wouldn't be good enough for some Country critics. The same with Lambert, who is on her third album. Her latest isn't as good as her previous one, so despite her critical acclaim, she too must now face a stupid backlash. Both Paisley and Lambert have reached beyond Country music critics and have been embraced by Rock ones. They've been embraced because they make good, sometimes excellent records. So, why is the inner circle turning on them? I have no idea. Maybe they both aren't traditional enough. I don't care really. Unlike some, I'm hoping that neither releases a bad album. Keep the good things coming. Paisley has been a model of consistency. And I get the feeling that Lambert will too. Haters back off!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Jann's Coup Attempt

One more thing on Jann Wenner trying to shorten the induction period from 25 to 20 years. He must have kicked himself when he saw that KISS didn't get enough votes this year. What a ratings bonanza they would have bought. I'm wondering if this had something to do with his coup attempt. Problem is that once he gets Guns and Nirvana and Pearl Jam in there. What's left. Marginal people like Smashing Pumpkins? There are enough big names from the past that would bring in the ratings he seeks: KISS, Alice Cooper, Hall & Oates come to mind.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Nashville Scene

No real surprises in the 2009 Nashville Scene Poll, but glad to add my yearly vote.

Tom Lane Nashville Scene

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Rock Hall Eligibility Change

Jann Wenner considering upping the Rock Hall eligibility rule 5 years because of a weak upcoming class. Little Steven says they'll never get enough of the older acts in. They are both right, but Wenner is in the wrong. Next year's first year eligibles are pretty woeful. So, Wenner wants Guns, Nirvana in right now. Makes for a better show-bigger ratings. But where does that leave the older acts? Anyone who thinks Wenner doesn't run the Rock Hall show/nominations/inductees should no better, if he pulls this off.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Elvis at 75

It's Elvis' 75th Birthday. And I'll probably celebrate by listening to the Sirius Elvis channel. For me, he's still the #1 Rock artist of all time.
And as I do on his birthday and his death day. Here's a forgotten Elvis song that should be remembered:

"I'll Hold You In My Heart" 1969 taken from the album From Elvis In Memphis

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Made It

Whew, I made it. 100 songs and 100 albums in my decade best-of list. The ones at the bottom of each list might get bounced if I find better stuff from the 00's. But for now, and considering this is the first time I've done a decade list of this magnitude, I'm pretty happy with the final results.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Playlist for 1/6

Genesis - Trick of the Tail
Dale Watson - Whiskey or God
The Wall Re-Built Vol. 1,2 (Mojo Magazine)
Jay-Z -Blueprint 3

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Changing Lists

Let it be said that I have the right to change my mind on many of the year-end and/or decades lists that I posted. I won't with the top choices. But there could be movement on the decade one. Usually, I never fiddle with the year end ones.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Musical Event of the 00's

Well, okay, it's the Ipod. Has to be the big music changer of the 00's. You Tube would be 2nd on my list. But let's face it, without the Ipod, where would the music business be?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The 00's

The 00's. Every one can agree that it was not very memorable. How about musically? I'll have to say better than the 90's. For me personally the 00's were bittersweet. My Dad died in 2008, and not a day has gone by that I don't think of him.
I'm trying to think of the culture moment of the 00's. It wasn't nothing musical. Nothing theatrical. But tomorrow I'll post what I thought was the big moment of the 00's.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Catch Up Time

The routine is the same every year at this time: catch up, catch up, catch up. But surprisingly, January has some interesting albums coming, but not until later in the month. In the meantime, I go back, back, back.
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