Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Best Halloween Song

Lots of Halloween type songs played on Halloween, and for a long time I held up writing about which ones are my favorites.  So, below are 5 of my favorites.  I haven't delved into Halloween music as much as I have Xmas tunes, but this is a decent Top 5, even if it includes no obscurities.

1.  Michael Jackson - Thriller  (video, too)
2.  Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Monster Mash
3.  Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You
4.  Ray Parker Jr. - Ghostbusters
5.  Blue Oyster Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Picks: 2013 Rock Hall Ballot

This is how I rank this year's Rock Hall nominees.

This was indeed a tough ballot to choose from. And many of the names at the bottom half all would get a vote.  I actually feel bad that some are ranked so low.   

Remember these aren't my predictions, just who I would vote for.  The Hall went with 6 names last year. 

1.  Donna Summer -  Her death gives her a better chance this year than any other year.
2.  Randy Newman -  His movie scores might still be a problem with some, but listen to his catalog of non-soundtracks.  Great stuff.
3.  Chic -  Anti-Disco voters seem confused that they continue to get nominated.   I feel sorry for those voters.
4.  Heart -  Those 80's MTV mega-hits may have hurt them with voters last year.
5.  Public Enemy - Don't forget about the Bomb Squad.
6.  Rush -  Anybody remember their one and only Top 40 hit from 1982, "New World Man"?  Peaked at #21.

7.  Meters - I guess we get no Neville Brothers until the Meters get in.  But these guys could also go in as sidemen.
8.  Deep Purple -  Listen to their early stuff before going to Machine Head.  They already had the riffs.  
9.  Albert King - As a Stevie Ray Vaughan  & Blues Rock fan, I can tell you he was very highly regarded
10. Marvelettes - Blessed with  2 wonderful lead vocalists.  They were one of the era's great Girl Groups.
11.  Procol Harum - A very, very good band.  And they have a deeper catalog than that one song everyone knows.
12.  Kraftwerk -  You hear their sound all over the current EDM scene
13.  Joan Jett & The Blackhearts- Like Patti Smith and Chrissie Hynde, an influence on many a tough girl singer.
14.  Paul Butterfield Blues Band - Like I said,  I feel bad putting them this low.   Tough ballot.
15. N.W.A. -  This year's Eric B. & Rakim nomination.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Playlist for 10/28

Donald Fagen - Sunken Condos
Diana Krall -Glad Rag Doll
Jamey Johnson - Tribute to Hank Cochran
Iris Dement -Sing the Delta
Jerrrod Niemann- Free the Music
Bettye Lavette -Thankful N Thoughtful

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Some clueless writer/critic has written a Journey put-down piece for Slate.
Yes, in 2012 we are still getting clueless crap like this.

Note to any other rock critic who wants to take shots at the great Steve Perry & Co:  we didn't care what you thought in the 80's and we don't care what you think in 2012.

article below:

RIP Monterey Blues Festival

I've been going to the Monterey Blues Festival for 10 years straight.  But I could tell they were going to have financial problems after viewing the crowd on the final Sunday.

Third tier acts playing to a barely filled Main Arena?  Not going to cut it.  And while the 2 stages of free music was okay it too was filled with recycled acts from past years.

To make matters worse, some of the free stage acts were booked to play the Main arena.

The Festival organizers can blame it on a down economy, but people will show up if you give them a reason too.

I'm sad to see it end.  27 years is a good ride.
But let this be a lesson to anyone who might have plans on reviving the Festival.  Make sure you book acts that can bring in the traffic.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Prediciting The 2013 Rock Hall Inductees

These are my predictions, not who I want inducted.
While I'm pretty sure about my Top 3, that still leaves 2 or 3 slots open.
And the remaining 12 acts are for the most part pretty close in my rankings.
Yes, this is a tough ballot to figure out.

I'm going with 6 names this year, because that's how many got in last year.

1.  Donna Summer - Sadly, her death will get her the votes she missed in the past.
2.  Rush -  Actually all the publicity they've gotten over the years for not getting in has helped them.
3.  Public Enemy - Too much of a critical favorite to be ignored.
4.  Heart -  They've been out promoting a new album, new book.  It feels right for them this time.
5.  Randy Newman - Nominated back in 2005, yet many probably don't remember that.
6.  Albert King -Will the Hall pull another switch like they did with Freddie King, and put Albert in as an Early Influence?  If so, then my #7 becomes my #6 pick.

And the rest:
7.  Deep Purple - A nod to baby boomers and especially metal fans.  Like Rush, one of those bands fans have been asking for.  But is that enough to get them in first time nominated?
8. Procol Harum - They had other great songs.  But come on, this is all about that song.  Could pick up massive Baby Boomer votes.
9.  Chic - 7 times nominated.  The Hall can't keep nominating them and seeing them fail to get in.  It's going to get too embarrassing.  But 2 Disco acts inducted in the same year?
10.  Meters - Nominated so long ago in 1997, that many think this is their 1st.  But will it be enough this time?  If the Hall wanted they could induct them as sidemen, but I doubt it.
11.  Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Could surprise some, especially now that they are on the ballot again.
12.   Paul Butterfield Blues Band -  Their greatness was short-lived, and they were nominated back in 2006.                                                                                                                                      13.Kraftwerk -  With the current EDM scene all over the place this year, their influence is apparent.  But do voters know that?
14. Marvelettes - Never underestimate the power of the Motown vote, but seems like a first time nominated induction is too soon
15.  NWA - This year's Eric B. & Rakim nomination.  And when will LL Cool J show up again?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Playlist for 10/20

John Hiatt - Mystic Pinball
Green Day - Uno
Pretty Things - S.F. Sorrow
XTC - Drums and Wires
Captain Beyond - s/t
Johnny Cash - Soul of Truth

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mom's Birthday

Today my Mom turned 83 years old.  Still strong of mind and healthy.

My sister had a bunch of 45 singles that she used to play over and over.
When she moved out she left them behind for me.
I too would play them, at least until I replaced them with better versions years later.

One of those singles was "Whiter Shade of Pale".
My Mom would hear me playing that single and always tell me how much she liked that song.
I was young and never asked her why she liked it so much.
This was pretty much the same with my Dad who had a love for "Hey Jude".  Again, no clue what made them gravitate to these things.

But with my Mom it always interested me.  I'm guessing it was the sound of the song.  I doubt she paid too much attention to the lyrics.  But no matter, whenever that song came on the turntable, and if she was around to hear it, she always made a positive comment about it.

Happy 83rd Birthday Mom!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2013 Songwriters Hall of Fame Nominees

I wrote a blog piece on the incredible list of names not inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame:

It's a pretty stunning list of names.  I don't know the demographics of the voting bloc or how many people vote or whatever.  But that list keeps getting bigger.  They will need to do a mass induction if they ever want to get caught up.

It's great to see Jeff Lynne and Rod Temperton nominated this year.  But whether they have a chance is beyond me.  There are other superb writers on this list.  Remember this:  Bon Jovi are in this Hall, but not Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Prince or Led Zeppelin, etc. etc.

But like I said above, the list of MIA's from this Hall is just hard to comprehend.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

3 Good NomCom Replacements (Updated 10/29)

Now that NomCom member and Rock Hall curator Jim Henke is stepping down from that position, it is still up in the air what his future with the Hall is.  One article I read says he's staying on as a consultant.
We shall see.
Also Rock Hall President, and another NomCom member, Terry Stewart is leaving, for sure, at the end of 2013.
Don't know if he or Henke will stay on with the NomCom, either.
I don't know who these 2 supported, and got on the ballot, but I'm all for fresh voices to be heard on that often criticized group.

But who could replace them?
There's a lot of candidates among non-writers, but for now I'm sticking with journalists.
I've always thought of 2 names that would make excellent choices.  What's strange is I don't think either one is even a voter.
And, no, one of them is not Eddie Trunk, thank you very much.

The two are Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield and NPR's Ann Powers.  Powers, 48, has written for many music pubs and like Sheffield has also written music related books.
Sheffield, 46,  main expertise appears to be the 80's-forward.  But he has also reviewed older stuff.
Powers has written many things about the Hall.
Both are very open-minded when it comes to what "Rock" is.  I'd take them over some of the dead weight that is hanging on with that committee (Robert Hilburn, Seymour Stein).

I'd also add Chuck Eddy to that list.  I know he always says he could care less about the Hall, but whenever I've said people like Chic or Donna Summer belong he always wonders why they aren't in.
Eddy used to be the Village Voice music editor.  He writes for reviews for Spin, Rolling Stone, Rhapsody.
He's written 3 great books (1 on metal, 1 anthology of his work & 1 on everything music).
Another open-minded voice the Hall could use.

Ann Powers tweeted that she can't take a NomCom job while employed at NPR.  Too bad.  Maybe some day down the road?

I should also state that I indeed thought of legendary music critics like Greil Marcus and Robert Christgau and others from that first generation of Rock critics.  I'm guessing they were asked when the Hall started.  My thinking is more in lines with critics who started out in the 80's-today.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Playlist for 10/13

Chris Knight - Little Victories
Little Big Town - Tornado
Mavericks -Suited Up and Ready E.P.
Roxy Music - Stranded, Manifesto, Flesh + Blood
Bob Dylan - s/t
Patterson Hood - Heat Lightening
Dwight Yoakam - 3 Pears

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Daryl Hall Birthday Spotify Playlist

I don't know who has a Spotify account.  It's easy and it's free, so why not stream tons of albums and tracks.

Anyway today was Daryl Hall's 66th Birthday and All Music Guide did a Spotify playlist for Hall (& Oates).

Subscribe to the playlist and you can add songs to it.

There list was rather short, so I added a ton of songs, albums cuts + the big hits.

Link at top of this post.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rock Hall Fan Vote

Not a bad idea.

But we already know who's going to get the top votes.  With this year's nominees Rock acts will rule.  Although when I last check a few days ago Albert King had more votes than Public Enemy.  And names people know little about like Kraftwerk and the Marvelettes were near the bottom.  Chic are no surprise at the bottom either.

One vote out of the 600 or so.  And the Hall is right, this shouldn't turn into American Idol.

How did I vote in this thing?
Chic, Meters, Donna Summer, Randy Newman & Albert King.  Marvelettes would have been next.

That's not necessarily how my final ballot will look, but I decided to vote for names that need all the help they can get.

BTW- I am not a voter for the Rock Hall.  The above names were just for the Fan vote.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Shoo-In's & Other Thoughts

This 2013 ballot is strong, but will it be tough to predict and choose?

The shoo-in's appear to be Rush & Public Enemy.  With Donna Summer also getting mentioned.

Maybe the long abscence from nomination will help Deep Purple.

Will the Marvelettes be a surprise pick or this year's Chaka Khan & Spinners?

There are 8 returning nominees.  Outside of Summer, Heart and Chic, some haven't been nominated in so long that many out there thought they were first time nominees.

Will that gap between nominations be kinder to Paul Butterfield, Meters, Kraftwerk and Randy Newman?  Could newer voters push any of those over?

As I said in my Albert King post, we also don't know what the Rock Hall has up its sleeve in order to get more names inducted.  Push Albert to the Early Influence category?

Will there be 5 or 6 inductees from this ballot.  Or 7 if you add King.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Albert King's Nomination

So, Albert and Freddie King cut released their first records in the early 50's.  Albert in 1953, Freddie in 1956 (although he cut sides earlier), yet Albert is being put on the Nominee list just as Freddie did last year.  

Freddie ends up getting inducted in the Early Influence category, thereby giving the Hall a chance to induct another name.  Frankly, we don't know how all this went down last year.  Whether Freddie had the votes to get in, or if he didn't, and the Hall decided to put him in the EI category by default.

Yet, the thing with Albert is crazy.  Ever since they inducted Wanda Jackson as an EI, and she too was on the nomination ballot that year, the category has been redefined by the Hall.  So, the question becomes will the Hall slot Albert in the EI category or not this year.

Frankly, I could never understand how Albert King was not in the Hall.  He was a major influence on Stevie Ray Vaughan, that's for sure, and many other Rock guitarists too.  Just like Freddie King was.
It's possible we will get no SRV nomination until Albert gets inducted. 

So, I'm torn when I say this, but I don't care how they get him in there, EI or as a 6th nominee, but just get him in there.  He is as worthy as any other name on this year's ballot.

And because I'm gambling that they might do a Freddie with Albert, my own ballot will reflect that.  

Friday, October 05, 2012

CD Turns 30

The first CD to go on sale was in Japan, Billy Joel's 52nd Street.

The first CD I bought was Elton John's Greatest Hits at a Wherehouse in California.  Expensive at the time.  And that's been the CD's problem since its inception.  Price.  That's why Napster was born.

There was some news about this 30th anniversary of the CD.   Most of it centered around the fact that sales are down, digital is the future, and, well, CD's could be dead soon.

That may happen.  If it does I'll adjust.  Just like I did when vinyl went dead and CD's took over.  I'll keep buying albums (yes, albums!!), even though a lot of people just buy digital tracks.

But there is hope for the album as album.  Mumford & Sons sold over 600,000 copies of their album this week.  Give people something they like and they will still buy good old albums.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

2013 Rock Hall Nominees Reaction

Nope, not surprised the Spinners are not back on the ballot.  But Dave Marsh, who is a big supporter of R&B Vocal groups getting inducted will be getting an email.

As for the others, not too much of a surprise on the returning nominees from last year's ballot:  Heart, Donna Summer, even Joan Jett.  All 3 were on my prediction ballot. And  good sleuth work by Future Rock Legends, who saw that the 2012 Nominee pages for those 3 were missing this week, thereby guessing that they might be on the 2013 ballot.

As for the rest:  Rush and Deep Purple aren't a surprise. But Procol Harum are. Prog Rock fans will be happy.
Thinking a group like ELO won't get nominated until a group like Procol Harum get in.  But that's just early musings on my part.

Stevie Ray Vaughan will have to wait until all other Blues acts that he was influenced by get in.  Last year was Freddie King.   But Albert King may be the last of that bunch (Johnny Winter next?).

Can the Motown magic put the Marvelettes in as well?

The returnees include the Meters, Paul Butterfield, Randy Newman, Chic, Joan Jett, Donna Summer,  Heart and Kraftwerk.

Both Public Enemy and N.W.A. are first time nominees, again no surprise.

And all those people who thought the Hall would be persuaded by the Grim Reaper:  no Monkees or Whitney Houston nomination for you.

How is this all going to go down with voters?  Are Public Enemy and Donna Summer shoo-ins?  Will Baby Boomer voters flock to Rush, Procol and Deep Purple?   Will anti-Disco voters wake up?  Of the 15 nominees, 8 are returning.

My prediction ballot will be interesting.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Playlist for 10/1

Pink - Truth About Love
Mumford & Sons - Babel
Dwight Yoakam - 3 Pears
xx- Coexist
Joe Jackson -Jumpin' Jive
Michael Jackson - Bad (reissue)

Add to Technorati Favorites