Sunday, May 30, 2010

Big Ho-Hum

Music critic once wrote about another great CCR album, "Ho hum another Creedence album". Crit fatigue sets in soon with most artists. Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and Costello are three I always think of. What happens is that while looking for the newest sounds, music critics tend to overlook the more established acts lastest work. Today's artists are no exception. Before they went AWOL, the Fountains of Wayne were putting out excellent albums, but critics were losing interest by the last one. Los Lobos can be added to this conversation. And newer groups like the Hold Steady and the Black Keys now suffer from this. What usually happens? These acts will break through with something that will catch the crit community. And then they'll be back in good graces.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Playlist for 5/28

Guy Clark - Old No. 1/Texas Cookin'
Dennis Brown - Best of
Kris Kristofferson - Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends
LCD Soundsystem -Home
Black Keys -Brothers

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A.I.E.N.D. (The Thank God Post)

I get to write this before the finale of this year's American Idol. I hope Crystal doesn't win. I don't think she cares if she does. She'll do better without the crown. Poor old Lee is a frightening cross between Kris Allen and Taylor Hicks. Just the type of down home, guy next door, that voters always fall for. Like they did with Hicks and Allen.
But this was a crappy season. I've already talked about the awful judges. Even Simon went through the motions. Now he'll be gone and who will watch in 2011? I'm not saying I won't, but only if the talent is better.
Viewers got the message early about this AI crew. Each week they tuned in less. Crystal was the fave from the start, but the judges got tired of her consistency. So, they jumped on the Lee train. And the song choices this year. How many times do you say to yourself, "with so many songs to choose from, why do they pick the same ones every year"?
Again, let me make this clear, I hope Crystal does not win, and the bland Lee does. Besides, he wanted it more than her. She can't wait to get out on her own, away from having to do those stupid group songs on Wednesday, and maybe having a career as a travelling Guitar playing troubadour. Lee, well, poor Lee, will fade into obscurity.
Oh, and don't get me started on King Pompous Show Host himself.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Too Much Product

It should surprise no one that few people are buying music anymore. Last week was the lowest CD sales week since 1991. Too many choices coupled with little incentive to go into stores. Why would the average music buyer care?

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Oh, so that's why Tom Petty tickets are so expensive. LiveNation paid him a nice upfront fee, and to recoup their costs, they pass it along to the ticket buyer. And Petty sales have been slow. I'm going next month, and I'll be interested in seeing how many empty seats there are. Glad I got the ticket as a gift.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Playlist for 5/21

Apples In Stereo - Travellers In Space
James Hand - Shadow on the Ground
John Anderson - Mississippi Rainstorm
Beatles Beginnings Vol. 1
Holmes Brothers - Feed My Soul
Court Yard Hounds

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Earlier this year a metal friend of mine burned me a copy of Heaven and Hell, Ronnie James Dio's first Black Sabbath album. The surprise was that it was as good as he told me it would be. Never a big fan of Dio the band nor his Rainbow stint, I think this is his crowning achievement. But on this Sabbath album, he puts it all together. Dio died Sunday of stomach cancer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Concert

For my Birthday, my wife got me a concert ticket. I haven't been to a concert in 2 years. Too expensive and I don't feel like driving an hour to get to nearest venue. But I'll be going with 3 other people. And it's Tom Petty with Joe Cocker opening. Noticed the price of the ticket was $94 with a $14 handling charge or whatever they call it nowadays. Now I know why I don't go to many concerts. This is on June 4, so it should be interesting.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Playlist for 5/14

Hold Steady - Heaven Is Whenever
New Pornographers - Together
EPMD - Strictly Business
Hole - Somebody Else's Bed
Kate Nash - My Best Friend

Thursday, May 13, 2010


One of life's little pleasures. Putting together a great mix tape. Even in this day of Ipod mixes, some of us still do things the old-fashioned way. I've been making some R&B CD-R's the past week for a friend to play at work, and after painstakingly poring over hundreds of tracks, I whittled it down to 3 CD's. Saving the rest for later. But they turned out, for me at least, pretty find. I hope whoever hears them feels the same.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Holding Steady

New York City by way of Minneapolis. Picture that sound in your head and you'll have a good idea of what the Hold Steady sound like. I've been smitten since their debut in 2004. Now on their 5th studio album, Heaven Is Whenever, and the stories Lead singer/guitarist Craig Finn tells are still full of Classic Rock meets the Alt-Rock of the 80's groups like the Replacements. The band is at its greatest when the melding of the two meets the right songs. On their last album it kind of sounded forced, but here they are back on track.
I've often cited the Hold Steady when people tell me that they don't make bands like they used to. So, if you haven't caught up yet, the band's latest is a good time to start.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Free. That's what music apps people are downloading. They want free streaming of songs and radio stations. All of my music apps are the free ones. I doubt I'll ever pay for something, unless it's cheap. But free streaming is where the action is. Apple is shutting down their site, which had easy access to songs. But they will probably replace it. Let's hope.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Playlist for 5/7

Roky Erikson/Okervill River - True Love ...
Carrie Rodriguez - Love and Circumstance
Senses Working Overtime - Various
Dubs - Could This Be Magic

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

British Rock Hall of Fame

Remember the British Music Hall of Fame? It didn't last long. I remember seeing a couple of Induction shows on TV. It ceased operations a few years ago. But some good soul at SH Forums - Music Corner 2 has been doing his own, with the help of readers of that site.
It's a good idea, and a lot of unknown English acts get nominated. But I have to admit, that it's mostly big names getting inducted. And I will also admit that I knew very little of some of the names that the poster came up with, although I've heard of them all. But what the heck, it's all for fun. Link below to actual post. Oh and you have to be a member of the site to vote.

The theoretical British Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame YEAR SIX! - SH Forums

Monday, May 03, 2010


It's going to be a seminal video. But what about the song? Hmmm, I'm still working on that. And that's always been my problem with Crit-fave MIA. Her 8 minute "Born Free" Video is powerful alright. I suggest watching it without first reading any articles about it. MIA the artist is another matter. I loved her first album, but found her second disappointing. But she is one of those artists you want to hear from. Like I said, she's now a Crit-proof free act. Meaning her albums are always going to get raves, even though some of us will scratch our heads. But like I said, she does a seminal video in her canon.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Heroes Take A Fall

It's always tough when your heroes let you down. For me it's been Prince attacking his fans for posting videos on You Tube. Then there's Joni Mitchell. She's been a mean-spirited woman for most of the past 2 decades. The same old story in interviews: Record Company man done her wrong and new artists who love her should just go away. The recent LA Times interview in which she slams Bob Dylan sums her up pretty well. She's a sad spectacle. But with heroes we remember their glory years. I still love Prince and still love Joni Mitchell. But every time their names pop up in music news I know it won't be for something good.

Joni Mitchell - LA Times
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