Monday, April 29, 2013

iTunes at 10

Even though more people are turning to streaming, it's still good to have ITunes around even if you use it different than me.

I mostly use it for stray tracks, and not for whole albums.  I still like the physical over the cloud, but if physical disappears, I'd go the way of the cloud.

I also like looking at the ITunes Charts, which are a better snapshot of the record buying public than the Billboard charts.

Apple  may have an inkling that buying is not the future, and streaming sites like Spotify are. Which is why they'll be some changes made during the Summer.

Seems like a long time since the original Napster, doesn't it?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

40 Favorite George Jones Songs

George Jones' catalog is huge, but unfortunately, a lot of it is out of print.  Not even streaming sites have his back catalog.  But if you just go with compilations of his 50's-90's recordings, you can find many gems.
Joel Whitburn has Jones ranked #2 behind Eddy Arnold on the All Time Country chart list.

This list of my 40 favorite Jones songs is taken from his singles charts.  But be on the look out for online postings for his deeper catalog songs.

1.  He Stopped Loving Her Today
2.  She Thinks I Still Care
3.  Race Is On
4.  Grand Tour
5.  Window Up Above
6.  Golden Ring  (w/Tammy Wynette)
7.  Tender Years
8.  If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me
9.  Good Year for the Roses
10. White Lightning
11. Picture of Me
12. Why Baby Why
13. King Is Gone
14. The Door
15. We're Gonna Hold On  (w/Tammy Wynette)
16. Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes
17. I Always Get Lucky With You
18. Just One More
19. Her Name Is....
20. We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds  (w/Melba Montgomery)
21. Love Bug
22. If My Heart Had Windows
23. I'm A One Woman Man
24. Still Doin' Time
25. Choices
26. Where Grass Won't Grow
27. Bartender's Blues
28.  Few Ole Country Boys  (w/Randy Travis)
29. The Battle
30. Tennessee Whiskey
31.  Right Left Hand
32. Accidentally On Purpose
33. No Money In This Deal
34. Who Shot Sam
35. One I Loved Back Then
36.  Near You  (w/Tammy Wynette)
37.  Sometimes You Just Can't Win
38.  Once You've Had The Best
39. Open Pit Mine
40. You Couldn't Get The Picture

Saturday, April 27, 2013

LL's Rock Hall Chances After "Accidental Racist"

Did LL Cool J kill his chances at getting into the Rock Hall with his clunky rap on Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist"?

LL has been nominated twice before and has a big supporter in Toure on the NomCom, but his rap on Paisley's song has been so derided (and deservedly so), that I would be curious to see what will happen when his name shows up again as a nominee.  And Toure himself called a LL verse in the duet a "possibly career-ending moment."

Who knows when he'll get back on the ballot. His last time was in 2011.  By the time he appears again the embarrassment over his collaboration could die. I'm betting that this will have little effect on his chances because another thing will keep him out.

I've said before that LL isn't in yet because most voters view him as an Actor now and less a rap artist. Doesn't matter that he was once the biggest male hip-hop artist on the planet, or how influential he was, he's seen more on that NCIS show than on any recent music shows.

And no new album is going to change that.

Let's see if Toure can get him on a ballot again. And then let's see if voters will forgive/forget.

Friday, April 26, 2013

RIP George Jones

George Jones was arguably the greatest Male Country singer ever. Hank Sr., Lefty Frizzell and Merle Haggard could also lay claim, but Jones was a stylist like no other.
In fact, I'd put him on a shortlist of All-Time singers in any genre.

In my own Country collection, Jones occupies space with Haggard and Willie among most albums owned by me of a Country act.

Pick up any Jones recording and you will be struck how Hard Country his voice was. He never crossed over, and stayed true to what he did best until the end.

"He Stopped Loving Her Tiday" is the masterpiece, but you have to hear "Grand Tour", "She Thinks I Still Care", or "Window Up Above" to get a feel for his vocal genius.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Playlist for 4/25

Relatives -Electric Word
Kurt Vile -Wakin On A Pretty Daze
Alice Smith -She
Dawes -Stories Don't End
Band Perry -Pioneer
Brad Paisley -Wheelhouse
Gretchen Wilson -Right on Time
Milk Carton Kids - Ash & Clay

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

25th Wedding Anniversary

So, what's the secret to staying married for 25 years?  In the immortal words of Axl Rose, "just a little Patience".  Oh, and the usual stuff you can hear on a Dr. Phil show.   But always remember that there are 2 different people in a relationship.  Two different personalities no matter what if you have some of the same tastes.
Oh, and don't let the little things blow up to something bigger.

But this is a music blog and here's a little something for my memory bank.  The slow dance song played at our reception was the Stylistics' "You Make Me Feel Brand New", played by a local band we hired (and picked out by me). They did a good job.

And the song that most reminds us of our pre-marriage years?  Gregory Abbott's 1986 #1 "Shake You Down".  Used to hear that everywhere we went when we first went out in 1986.

But the song stuck in my head lately has been the Little River Band's "Happy Anniversary".  And that one is for my wife. Here's to 25 more!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Playlist for 4/17

Charles Bradley - Victim of Love
Peter Stampfel - Sound of America
Gene Clark - No Other
Terry Riley - Rainbow in Curved Air
Kris Kristofferson/Rita Coolidge -Breakaway
My Bloody Valentine -Isn't Anything
Dan Fogelberg - Nether Lands

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Albums As Hit Singles

Huey Lewis has been all over the Internet recently talking up the 30th Anniversary of his classic Sports album.  He'll be performing it in its entirety on tour and there 's a CD reissue coming.
But here's the most revealing fact in all his interviews.  He perceived Sports as an album of singles.  To him it was the band's last chance with Chrysalis records.
You remember when having hit singles wasn't a bad thing?  But the thing? This was the beginning of the era of multiple singles per album.  Thriller, Purple Rain, Born in the USA.  Almost every song a hit single.

The difference with Huey is that he didn't get the critical respect that others did.  To some Sports was just a bunch of disposable Pop music chart hits.  But noticed I said classic in my description of the album.  Only 9 songs, 5 singles, the age before CD's made everyone turn of 70 minutes of music they didn't have in them.

The critic's mostly balked.  While Robert Christgau gave it a surprising B+, Rolling Stone gave it a whopping 2 stars.  2 stars!  But that's no shock, seeing that albums like this were never going to top year end polls.

But I always loved the album.  And so what if the followup, Fore, was a 2nd rate imitation.  With Sports the buying public was right, and the initial and maybe continued critical resistance that may exist today were wrong.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2013 Country Hall Inductees

In 2001, the Country Hall of Fame, realizing a huge backlog, inducted 12 names as a catch up member. Since then they've gone back to 3 names a year: Modern Era, Veterans and Non-Performer.

And guess what has happened in the last 12 years? A backlog has started again.
This year they are inducting Kenny Rogers, Bobby Bare and Cowboy Jack Clement. All names that should have been in there already.

But left behind with this 1 name a category scenario are major names like a Ronnie Milsap, Oak Ridge Boys, Hank Williams Jr., Randy Travis, John Anderson, Charlie Rich, Stanley Brothers, Tanya Tucker, Doc Watson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Ricky Skaggs, etc.

Unlike the Rock Hall backlog, the Country one will not number in triple digits because the genre is smaller. But, surely, they can get more than 3 names a year in there.

And I should also point out that unlike the Rock Hall, the Country Hall does not announce its nominees.  Although if you look hard enough you might be able to find a leaked list online.  Every leaked list I've seen shows that voters have 5 names in each category to choose from.

There is a growing outcry to get more in there, but the Hall seems intent on its recent course.
But the grumbling is growing.

Playlist for 4/10

Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt
Blake Shelton - Based On A True Story
Ten Years After - Undead
Beth Lee - One More Time Again
Billy Bragg - Tooth & Nail
Shout Out Louds -Optica
Phosphorescent -Muchacho
Marnie Stern - Chronicles of Marnia

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Another Year of the Voice

Three incarnations of The Voice and they have yet to produce one viable recording star.  After season 2, Adam Levine said he was worried about  this.  But doing press for season 4, he said something about how these shows are getting people started.  And isn't that good enough?
Yea, right.  The only good part of the Voice are the audition rounds.  After that it's just another singing talent show.  Now it's on twice a year.  The overkill is already starting.  And few seem to care that not one contestant has broken out from the pack.

But who are we kidding.  These shows aren't about crowning any future recording star.  Sure, American Idol  has managed to get some of their recent winners and runner-ups on to the national stage.  But the X Factor and the Voice have both hurled no-hitters.
No, these shows are all about the judges.  Why else would Idol pay $18 million for the awful critiques of Mariah Carey?   No, artists are willing to do these shows because it gets them in front of millions of people every week.  Remember when JLo and Steven Tyler were on Idol?  For a minute there people cared about their careers.  Now that they are gone from the show, nobody cares.

The worst part about all these shows is when they introduce the judges at the beginning, and the judges come out and wave and then walk to their seats.  I don't remember this happening when Idol first started out.  Now all 3 shows do it.  You see the judges are the stars.

As long as you remember that you can enjoy the entertainment they provide.  Just remember to hit the mute button the minute Randy "Can you believe I'm still on this show?" Jackson starts talking.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Thom Bell

Al Kooper has a weekly column in which he posts 10 songs on a given subject. The death a few weeks ago of the Spinners' Bobbie Smith made me think of his tribute to Thom Bell.

Bell played a huge part in both the Spinners and Stylistics chart run in the 70's. I doubt he'll ever get a Rock Hall nod, I mean the Spinners aren't in either, but he is in the Songwriters Hall.

Anyway click on his name below for the link:

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Roger Ebert

I paid no attention to movie critic's until Roger Ebert & Gene Siskel's At the Movies came on PBS.  I was in my early 20's, and until then barely paid attention to movie reviews, even the ones in my newspaper.  But Ebert & Siskel opened my eyes to movies beyond the blockbusters.  And their show coincided with the advent of VHS Rentals, and so when they would recommend an Indie film, I was always thrilled to find it at the Video Store.

Later their recommendations would show up on Cable, as it broadened its channel output.  Outside of Ebert & Siskel the only other critic from that era that I read the most was the New Yorker's Pauline Kael.
The thing is that I didn't always agree with all 3 but was always interested in what they wrote.

It's the same with music critic's.  The ones whose work shaped Rock criticism like Marsh, Christgau, Marcus, Bangs and others from that first wave had tastes that ran opposite of mine, yet I always found something in there positive reviews that I wanted to check out.

The death of Roger Ebert closes the chapter on the generation of Movie Critic as Celebrity.  Siskel died in 1999, Kael in 2001.

Among the ones active today I still like Peter Travers the most, but rarely check the byline on whose reviewing what in Newspapers, Magazines or online.

Yep, major thumbs up for Ebert & Siskel.  They helped shape our views of movies, movie stars and the whole movie-making machinery.

Playlist for 4/4

Justin Timberlake - 20/20 Experience
Pink Floyd - Meddle
Eric Clapton - Old Sock
Spinners - Live
Gurf Morlix - Finds the Present Tense
Samantha Crain - Kid Face
Delfonics - Adrian Younge Presents

Monday, April 01, 2013

Ian Gillan's Rock Hall Answer

Deep Purple

Ian Gillan doesn't know that the Monkees aren't in the Rock Hall.  So, his comments about them and the NomCom aren't worthy of much discussion.

But he does understand what getting into the Rock Hall means to people close to the artists involved. them.
You see it's a big deal, as he and  I have said, for family, friends and fans.

Every year at induction time, I get a kick out of people who say they don't care about the Rock Hall.  Maybe you should think about the artists supporters before dismissing their induction outright.

Link about Gillan's Hall answer above.

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