Monday, March 29, 2010

Caught In A Teen Dream

Every decade we get a couple Teen Idols. At the end of last decade it was the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. But they don't come near Justin Timberlake or even the Backstreet Boys.
This decade is starting off with Justin Bieber, a decent enough teenager, who has the songs and a not-yet mature voice. Okay, as far as the latter I'm being kind. He has little voice. It actually sounds younger, and Bieber's only 16. Technology still helps young and old. Teenagers grow up and the acts have trouble adjusting to adulthood, that's why Teen Idol's don't last long, though I'm betting Cyrus can do it.
I like Bieber's chances only because his album is better than anything the JoBros have done. I'm not betting on him though. If his voice doesn't get any better he'll be musical history, but maybe acting will be his salvation. He could become the Hanson's who also crafted good Pop songs, but are now living in IndieLand.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Covering Hall & Oates

The fey vocals of Inara George might startle those who have never heard her, and they especially stick out on The Bird and the Bee's Hall & Oates tribute CD, Interpreting the Masters.
She sounds like Suzanne Vega, but that's besides the point. 8 H&O songs and 1 new one in their style make for kitsch for sure. The H&O ones are all the classics, but as a big fan of the duo, I got off on these covers. Indie-Rock acts grew up on H&O and have a better appreciation for them then the critic's at the time who wrote them off. But as we know H&O have been elevated, much like "Don't Stop Believin'", much to the chagrin of some of the old time music crits, to hipster status. Now let's get them in the Rock Hall, where they belong.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sinatra and the Rock Hall

The article I posted yesterday on the Rock Hall Nominating Committee and the meaning of "Rock" mentioned Frank Sinatra. If Nat King Cole is a Hall of Famer (and Billie Holiday, too) how can Sinatra be left out? I've advocated for years that he belongs, but I have a reason he's not in there. Sinatra hated "Rock & Roll". Oh sure, he covered some Rock songs, but he never cared for any of the people in that field. And I think the Nominating Committee is reminded of this anytime someone brings up his name.

But here's news to the Nominating Committee. Nat Cole didn't care for "Rock". Even did a song called, "Mr. Cole Won't Rock & Roll". Some people say Cole is doing this tongue in cheek, but listen to the below clip and feel the contempt for this new form of music that's taken over the charts.
I love Nat Cole and Holiday. But if they are in, you've got to have Sinatra.
YouTube - Nat King Cole - Mr. Cole Won't Rock and Roll (Live at the Sands) - R

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Dad

Happy Birthday to my Dad, who passed away in 2008. Today would have been his 77th birthday. His small, but diverse LP collection that he had taught me a lot about loving all types of music. So, any chance I get, I say thanks Dad and love you even more.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


It's always been a legend, but it was good to see (most of) the T.A.M.I. Show concert on PBS. No racial barriers here, even though it's still 1964. Just good music that teens (and adults) could find common ground on. But hasn't that always been the case when it comes to music. The crossing of racial boundaries.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

College Rock and the Rock Hall

You've got R.E.M. and then you've got no one else. Alternative/Indie/College Rock of the 80's is definitely a glaring missing piece of the Rock Hall. With today's Indie scene more alive than any other decade other than the 80's, the influence the original bands had can't be denied.
Among the names that need serious consideration, these spring to mind:

Husker Du
Sonic Youth
New Order/Joy Division
Jesus and Mary Chain
Depeche Mode

Pretty sure I'm missing someone. And I guess this year's nomination of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is supposed to be a nod to this decade, but there were bands before them, and better ones at that.

None of these have ever been nominated.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Playlist for 3/23

Broken Bells
George Jones - Lost Hits
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Jimi Hendrix - Carnival of Souls

Monday, March 22, 2010

Country for the Rock Hall

Oh and what about Country acts for the Rock Hall. Most of the greats that influenced Rock are in, but I can think of 2 that are long overdue:
Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline
Both have had a profound influence on today's Rock and or Pop singers.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Don't Forget R&B Acts for the Rock Hall

Most of blogs, articles, etc. I read on this year's Rock Hall induction had sections devoted to who is missing from the Rock Hall. By and large these all focused on Rock acts, and missed a lot of deserving R&B ones. So below I'll list some R&B acts that have had as much an influence on the History of Pop music as some less deserving "Rock" acts that are already in the Hall.

Barry White
Donna Summer
Kool & The Gang
"5" Royales
Dionne Warwick
Meters/Neville Brothers
Teddy Pendergrass
Luther Vandross
Whitney Houston
Janet Jackson
Percy Mayfield
Billy Ward & the Dominoes
Wynonie Harris
Rick James
Chaka Khan

and 2 Blue-Eyed Soul acts: Hall & Oates and Joe Cocker

Of those listed War, Donna Summer, Chic and the "5" Royales have all been nominated.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mission Impossible

Oh, this is creepy. I was just talking with someone last week about what is the greatest TV theme of all time. I said "Mission Impossible". Either that or "Hawaii Five-O". And then we find out that Peter Graves died this week. Anyway I'm sticking with his show for the best TV theme ever.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Charlie Gillett

Musicians scoff at them, but music buyers couldn't have gotten this far without them. Music critics. Charlie Gillett was one of the first. His book, Sound of the City, one of the first to treat Rock Music as Rock History. It's a great read and still in print. Because I've read a million music magazines and music books, a death of a rock critic means as much as a musician. You grow up with their words Gillett was one of the best. If there was a Rock Critic Hall of Fame, Gillett would be a charter member.

World music champion Charlie Gillett dies at 68 - San Jose Mercury News

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Alex Chilton

A hard one to pin down. I own all of the Big Star records, a Box Top comp and even more importantly a Rhino solo anthology. Was he a troubled genius or just tough to figure out. Rock historians can debate this all they want, but he sure straddled the musical line: he was blue-eyed soul or a power popper or just an 80's alternative Soul/Pop hybrid. It was a wild ride and frankly Chilton did little of interest in the 90's or 00's. But for a brief period he was a blast to try and keep up with.

P.S. the best song the Replacements ever did was called "Alex Chilton" a pure blast of power pop rock

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Playlist for 3/16

Ravenonettes - In and Out of Control
Was (Not Was) - Pick of the Litter
Daniel Merriweather - Love & War
Texas Tornados - Esta Bueno
I See Hawks in LA - Shoulda Been Gold

Hall Wrap Up

God, what a pompous ass Little Steven is? His intro to his Hollies speech not about the Hollies but about the biz and a bunch of stuff that no one cares about. Can we ban him from next year's ceremony. Now I know why I hated his solo records in the 80's.
As for the rest of the show, it was long. 4 hours long. Some good performances though, good songs.
Funniest part of the night was Iggy going into the front rows trying to wake up the Industry big-wigs who were sitting there.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jack White Live

The White Stripes' Under The Great White Northern Lights, is a live document of what could be their final tour, and it will serve its purpose until a proper compilation is released. Jack White was the artist of the 00's and he pounces through his catalog as if he knows he'll never reach those heights again.
This is a good live album, reminds me of Bob Seger's Nine Tonight. Seger's album was a contractual obligation that sold incredibly well because he had no compilation on the market. That was then. This album won't sell like that, you can go to Itunes and make your own Jack White compilation.
Still, like Nirvana's Live at Reading, this is a powerful remembrance of White and ex-Meg in all their power glory.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Worst American Idol Ever?

Ok, this could turn out to be the worst American Idol ever, although Crystal has potential. It's early and someone else could break out. But outside of her, I don't hear what Simon said he wanted at the beginning of the year-someone who will sell records. There's also no Adam Lambert. Will someone shake up the season? Hard to tell, but I doubt it.
It's his last season. He might want to leave sooner.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fixing a Hall

Holy crap! An actual good article about how to fix the Rock Hall!
How to Fix the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Page 1 - Music - New York - Villag

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hall Fix

The upcoming Rock Hall telecast will get a lot of RRHOF watchers back on the soap box about what the Hall should do, who they haven't inducted and if we need a Hall at all. This makes for a couple days of good internet reading, and then everything Hall disappears until this Fall when the 2011 nominees are announced. So, if you're a Hall junkie then get your fix next week. Because you will have a long 6 months ahead of you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Unearthed Hendrix

Valleys of Neptune is not quite the Holy Grail of lost Hendrix material. All things considered, unless you are a Hendrix nut, you'll think the album is a letdown. But it shows what many thought Hendrix would do as the 70's got started. More blues, maybe some Miles-style Jazz and moving away from the hippie-era jams that made him famous. So, while not essential, it is worth a peak into a mind that would have been a blast to follow. But we never got the chance.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Hall of Gram

Nice to see in that Village Voice article that other committee members think that Gram Parsons should be in. Major oversight by the Hall. But what else is new?

Best Song

Maybe it's best that they leave those Oscar songs off the telecast, but did they have to include the scores? The Crazy Heart song is pretty good, and I might be one of the few watching who knows who Ryan Bingham is, but the other songs weren't memorable. Why can't they just nominate the biggest hit songs that came from a movie?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Playlist for 3/9

Deniece Williams - Niecy
K.D. Lang - Recollection
Danny Barnes - Pizza Box
Ray Wylie Hubbard - Englightenment
Loudon Wainwright - High Wide and Lonesome
Patty Griffin - Downtown Chuch

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Dramatics

The name Ron Banks may not ring a bell. He was lead singer of the Dramatics and he died last week. I've always had an idea to do a Soul group tree. Putting together an A and B list of rankings. You'd have the Spinners and Temps in the A's and groups like the Manhattans and Dramatics in the B's. The Dramatics, like the even better Chi-Lites, never reached legendary status, but they played a part in the 70's Soul Group boom.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Texas Tornados

Listening to the relaunch of the Texas Tornados' Esta Bueno, I can't help but say that I miss both Freddy Fender and Doug Sahm. Both are alive and well on this CD, especially Fender, in some of his last recordings. But the sound that Sahm cultivated in the late 60's/early 70's is alive and well here. He was an original. A few years ago the Sir Douglas Quintet were nominated for the Rock Hall, amidst some snickers. They've never been nominated since. Too bad. I think his Tex-Mex sound has endured. Part of a great band of originals, his career deserves another reappraisal.

Saturday, March 06, 2010


What? No Rush? Gordon Lightfoot? Anne Murray? Oh well at least the Vancouver Closing Ceremonies didn't forget Neil Young. I liked his version of "Long May You Run" and hope he picks up some downloads for the single.

Friday, March 05, 2010


I glance at this site on a daily basis. SH Forums - Music Corner 2
Tough to get a new opinion going though. Most of the posters have been there from day one, so it's kind of tough going against popular opinion.
Case in point, a recent discussion "What A Fool Believes". The OP asked if anyone like the song. Looks like most hate Michael McDonald and what he did to the Doobies. But a few, take my opinion. He kept them alive and with songs like this made them better. The Tom Johnston era fans can scoff at McDonald's hits, but the facts are in his favor.
And "What A Fool Believes" is a great song. Not a Rock one, for sure, but a picture perfect pop one. With great lyrics and it still sounds good coming out of my oldies station.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Didn't realize this until I checked my bill, but Sirius charges a $5.79 royalty fee for their quarterly plan. Does this money go to record companies? How much to artists? And let's face it, that amount of money for a lot of music is a good deal. But I wonder how long that fee will stay that low.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Playlist for 3/2

Johnny Cash = American VI
John Coltrane - Ascension
Wynton Kelly - Kelly Blue
George Benson - Songs and Stories
George Winston - Autumn
Dailey & Vincent - Sing the Statler Brothers

Monday, March 01, 2010

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel is not showing up at the Rock Hall to be inducted with Genesis. Somehow I'm not surprised. Gabriel has always struck me as a complicated person. But in reality the Genesis being inducted into the Hall is not for the Gabriel era one, but the Collins one. And frankly, I'm more happy for Collins getting in than Gabriel. The latter, a critic's pet, while the former a critic's punching bag. Without the 80's hits, there is no induction. And without those hits, Genesis might be more loved by critics, but would not be nominated. They would be just another King Crimson.
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