Friday, August 31, 2012

My Pitchfork Top CD List asked their readers to list their favorite albums from 1996-2011.  List more than 20, but no more than 100.

I came up with 59 albums.  But I'm sure I missed a few.  But this is a good sampler of what I liked from that era.

As for the final list itself, the link is below:

And it's pretty boring.  But remember Pitchfork is an Indie site, so its readers are Indie lovers.  Which means most of the albums listed are by Indie Rock bands.

Most of 'em I don't care for, some others I like and really it's no different than when Rolling Stone does one of their rather dull lists.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Playlist for 8/29

Doc Pomus - Singer and Songwriter
Grimes - Visions
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
Chorus Line - Broadway cast
Dan Bern - Drifter

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Anyone else think this will be the most scrutinized Rock Hall Nominee ballot, when it's announced next month.
What with metal fans like Eddie Trunk ready to pounce if a Deep Purple, Rush or KISS don't get on the ballot.
And then there's the ones who died this year like Davy Jones, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and Don Cornelius.
There are those who think that the Monkees and Whitney will now sail on to the ballot.  I'm still not sure, especially with Houston.  Won't make up my mind until I make my prediction's in a couple of weeks.

While Donna Summer's nomination is a sure thing, the question is will she get enough of the anti-disco voters to go her way.  I will say I'm less skeptical about her chances than in any other year she's been nominated.

As for Don Cornelius, the people who run the non-performer category should at least have him on their radar this year, shouldn't they?

But its the genres that people feel are being neglected that will prompt the most outcry if names don't show up on the ballot.  Prog, Metal and R&B are the ones that I heard the most about last year.  Prog and Metal are there every year in people's minds, but R&B was a new one to me last year.  Most likely brought on by the Spinners nomination.  I can tell you Dave Marsh told me in an email that the lack of these vocal groups to get anywhere with the NomCom has frustrated him.

You could say that every year the NomCom ballot is scrutinized, but this year it just feels like things are about to explode.  In a good way?  Depends who you are rooting for.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong

This isn't a post about music, but about heroes.  I had a G.I. Joe Astronaut when I was young.  My sister sold it at a Garage sale years later without telling me, and I still wish I had it.

But the Golden Age of the Space Program was part of my Elementary school youth.  I can remember making Space modules out of , and of course, using my G.I. Astronaut as the leader of the mission.

The landing on the moon, and being the first to walk on the moon is what started all this.  Neil Armstrong and that first wave of Astronauts were all heroes to me.  Read The Right Stuff, or see the movie to understand why.

Armstrong was the reluctant hero of the whole bunch.  The first to walk on the moon, and to utter a phrase that would last for centuries, he rarely did interviews and was rarely seen anywhere year after year.

So, when he died yesterday, those of us who grew up during the race for the Moon, had a lump in our throat.  These were our heroes, back when the Space program meant something, back when every kid wanted to grow up to be an Astronaut.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Playlist for 8/24

Joss Stone - Soul Sessions Vol. 2
Jimmy Cliff - Rebirth
Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again
Kasey Chambers - Storybook
Now 43
Fat Boys - s/t

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Randy Travis

I don't doubt that Randy Travis is a rich man.  But career wise?  Travis is only 53 years old.  But Country music has never been kind, chart-wise, to its elders.  George Strait and Reba have been able to continue to chart.
But Travis hasn't had a Top 40 Country hit, on his own  since  2002.  And has mostly recorded a bunch of Gospel albums.
And now, with his 2nd DUI bust, and the one on August 7th the most reported, he's battling personal demons.
Is it brought on by his chart decline? Or by lawsuits with his ex-wife?  I think Travis still does well on the concert circuit.
His last album was one of those all-star duet things.  It was okay, and Travis is in good voice.  But it never caught fire the way I thought it would.
But here's the deal.  Randy Travis was one of the great Country artists of the 80's and mid-90's.  Especially vocally. Easily in my Top tier of artists from that genre. I still jump at the chance to hear what he's doing, even if he no longer puts out much Country stuff.
But the guy has got some demons in his closet. There's a great Country album in all this.  Maybe Randy Travis will find it when he cleans himself up.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Now Series

Earlier this month Now 43 was released.  The U.K. version of this series is twice as long.  But I've purchased every single one of these since if started in the U.S. 14 years ago.

Think of this series as one of those K-tel collections from the 70's.  I used to own some of those vinyl collections.  This is similar.

I'm still surprised that in this day and age of people buying more and more digital singles that this series continues to sell.  But it must be the made-for-consumer mix tape feel of it.

I'll keep buying until it runs out of gas.  But I bet it gets to #50 before it does.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

New Yorker Springsteen Piece

A few weeks ago, the New Yorker ran an excellent piece titled "Bruce Springsteen at 62".  Inside, was mention of his recent album Wrecking Ball.  How it sold well its first week and then faded.  Because, let's face it, Springsteen isn't much of  a chart presence anymore.  He still has enough fans to skirt Gold record status, but that's about it.
Wrecking Ball might just be his best in some time.   But it doesn't matter.  Even the ones attending his sold out 2012 tour probably never bought it.
Yet, Springsteen isn't about record sales anymore, at least for new product.  In fact, no heritage act is.  It's all about touring.  That's where the money is.  But good on him and any other classic act that wants to keep putting out music.  I know there are some, like Bob Lefsetz, who say these acts should just tour and never release any more records.  But I disagree.  It's not their fault these new records don't move.  It's the fractured, monstrous record industry set up that has done them in.  Itunes has created the atmosphere of people not wanting singles but albums.  And when albums do sell it's comfort food type ones.  Lionel Richie's  duet remake album with Country stars is 2012's biggest selling albums.
Of course there's always an Adele that sneaks in and grabs the public's attention.
Below is the link to the Springsteen article:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Playlist for 8/17

Rory Gallagher - Deuce & Calling Card
Passion Pit - Gossamer
Traffic - s/t
Chuck Berry - St. Louis to Liverpool
James Gang - Rides Again
Talking Heads - Naked
Buggles - Age of Plastic
M - New York-London

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Elvis On Tour

On the 35th Anniversary of his death, I re-watched (for the millionth time) the 1972 tour-documentary Elvis on Tour.  This is a somewhat bittersweet film.  Elvis still looks good, the voice is still strong, but not as strong as it was on the 1970 tour-doc, That's the Way It Is, and yet there are warning signs.
The Memphis Mafia is in full bloom, there are times Elvis looks out of it, but not as bad as he would later on.    This is the same year he went to "visit" Richard Nixon at the White House. The setlist is becoming less Rock and more Gospel/Pop/Country.  He seems less interested in anything Rock and Roll.  When he debuts "Burning Love" in concert he blows through it with force but with an odd reluctance that he never would have on his '68 Special.

But the movie serves its purpose despite the coming darkness.  The best parts are the spoken word reminisces from Elvis on his early days, stuff he rarely talked about post-Army.  And for those wondering what life was like in the Elvis bubble,  before the decline, you get non-stop touring, bad jokes, hanger-on's, tons of jump suits, and exceptional rehearsals of Gospel songs, then this remains a fascinating document even for an Elvis newbie.

Elvis 35 Years Later

As someone who visited Graceland in June, I can tell you the King's hold on those of us who loved him is still strong.
Today is the 35th anniversary of his death.
As I do each year on his birthday and  passing, I offer a forgotten goodie from his catalog.

Just Pretend from 1970

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TV Update 2012

 Time for a TV Update:  these are the shows that pile up on my DVR.

Breaking Bad
Boardwalk Empire
Walking Dead
Curb Your Enthusiasm
True Blood
The Glades
Game of Thrones
Parks and Recreation
Falling Skies
New Girl
Raising Hope
American Idol
X Factor
The Voice
So You Think You Can Dance
Amazing Race
American Pickers
Little Couple
Hawaii Five-0
Storage Wars
No Reservations
Raising Hope
New Girl
Hell's Kitchen
Strike Back
Eastbound and Down
Hell on Wheels
Big C
Life & Times of Tim
Real Time with Bill Maher
Mad Men

Friday, August 10, 2012

Playlist for 8/10

Old Crow Medicine Show - Take Me Back
Zac Brown - Uncaged
Japandroids - Celebration Rock
Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Susanna Hoffs - Someday
Jazz Punks - Smashups
Chris Smither - Hundred Dollar Valentine
Bobby Womack - Bravest Man In The Universe

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Rory Gallagher

A friend of mine gave me a bunch of Rory Gallagher CD's to listen too.  He's a guitarist and was always intrigued by him, so he downloaded some of his catalog, and burned some CD's for me.
I only had one live album by Gallagher, although I've heard some collections that are out there.  Those never satisfied me, but his non-comp albums I've just heard were good.  All 70's stuff.  Can't say he recorded a classic album though.
And he's a better guitarist than singer.  His voice sounds too similar to Eric Clapton's.

Gallagher is placed at a very respectable #57 in Rolling Stone's most recent 100 Greatest Guitarists, and he has a cult.  Now you're going to ask about the Hall of Fame.  Don't think he'll make it and if he ever did if will be way down the road, but that high ranking in Rolling Stone shouldn't be discounted.    Among white Blues Guitarists I expect Stevie Ray and Johnny Winter to go next.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Playlist for 8/3

R. Kelly - Write Me Back
Maroon 5 - Overexposed
Lumineers - s/t
Neneh Cherry - Cherry Thing
Alejandro Escovedo - Big Station
Hot Chip - In Our Heads
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