Thursday, May 30, 2013

Richard Thompson

This was the 2nd time I've seen Richard Thompson.  The first was part of a festival in the 90's.  Here at the show I caught in Monterey, billed as the Richard Thompson Electric Trio, he was full of humor and full of guitar virtuosity. and acknowledging the power trio look doing an encore of "White Room".

Thompson will always be on the cusp of super stardom.  Among musicians and a hardcore fan base he remains one of the great guitarist/songwriters.  But lacking any sort of hit single, he failed to reach household name status.

So, my suggestion is any chance you can to see him, whether live or through YouTube it would be worth your time to check out his vast catalog. First with the Fairport Convention, then his solo career with and without ex-wife Linda.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Playlist for 5/27

Savages - s/t
Lady Antebellum - Golden
Seeds - s/t
Daft Punk -Random Access Memories
Fleetwood Mac - EP & 30th Anniversary Rumours Live songs
Vampire Weekend -Modern Vampires of the City

Saturday, May 25, 2013

RIAA Streams

The RIAA is now going to count Online Streams as part of awarding Gold and Platinum singles.  100 streams equals one download is the formula.  How they came about this is very complicated and vaguely explained in the link below.  Having already added ringtones, streams might have seemed inevitable.  More consumers (like me) are streaming, and most do it before buying.  

But streaming a song is not the same as buying it, even if you subscribe to Spotify, Rhapsody, etc.  So, it will be interesting to see how this affects the Billboard single charts.

RIAA Streams

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Essential American Idol Article

Probably the best article ever written about American Idol.  Harry Connick Jr. was a mentor to the final 4 women and came away scratching his head at the clueless display of vocal pyrotechnics.  Connick would make a great judge on one of these singing shows.

Read it here:  Harry Connick Jr. On American Idol

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Donna Summer & Chic & Rock Hall

After watching the HBO 2013 Rock Hall Induction Ceremony (edited from the actual show), I can tell you that I'm still ticked off at the anti-Disco voters who only cast a vote for Donna Summer after she died. Those that failed to vote for her before must have felt great about themselves for getting her in.  I'm not impressed with these voters.  She was nominated 4 times before.  Where were these people?

Some have asked me if Summer was alive, and nominated last year, would she have gotten in, and my answer remains no.  But a less sturdy no than in year's past.  While I believe she was getting close to induction, I still think the biased Disco voters would have kept her out for at least one more year.

The behavior of these voters is pretty disgusting, but look at what they are doing to Chic.  The genius of Nile Rodgers' highly influential Dance band has been rightly recognized by the NomCom. Yet, 7 nominations and foolish voters have been blinded by Chic being branded as "Disco" era novelty.    But here's what surprises me.  Nile is well known among current Hall of Famers.  But I don't think their vote alone can get him in.  The "industry people", whoever they are, will have to put him over.  There's a feeling that 2014 will be Chic's year.  Nile is highly visible now with his work on the Daft Punk album.  It has to be enough.  It better be.

Playlist for 5/19

Michael Buble - To Be Loved
Phoenix - Bankrupt
George Jones - Shine On/Picture Of Me/Nothing Ever Hurt Me
Styx - II
Birmingham Sound Vol. 1
Gregg Allman - Laid Back

Friday, May 17, 2013

Worst Season Of American Idol

Who do I blame for the worst season of American Idol? Oh, the judges are always easy targets. And we can blame the Producers for hiring the bland Keith Urban, bringing back the awful Randy Jackson, spending tons on the snoozy Mariah Carey, and while Nicki Minaj had opinions, her lack of chemistry  with the panel proved to be an annoyance by season's end.

Or maybe I blame past his American Idol prime Exec Producer Nigel Lythgoe, who I believe has a larger say in who advances than most viewer's know. Do you really know think the judges are wholly  responsible for letting the disastrous Lazaro onto the show?

But in the end the show got what it wanted. A female winner, for the first time in 5 years.   Certainly Candice  Glover is a fine singer, but can she sell records? im not yet convinced. Here's what we should and could get  for 2014: all new judges and more gimmicks to appeal to younger viewers who are ditching the show for NBC's the Voice.

Hopefully the rumors are true, that the show will not be spending millions on divas who can't judge.  But as far as not hiring star power judges, I remain skeptical that they will bring in 4 judges and not one will be a big star.

This show still gets ratings, so Fox can keep it around for years, but its a far cry from its glory Simon Cowell-led years. Oh, and I didn't even mention Ryan Seacrest. Don't get me started.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Missing R&B Acts From Rock Hall (Updated 2013)

So, there's a mysterious R&B Hall of Fame opening this Summer in . I wish this Hall luck, but that first class of inductees has some dubious names.  And I've yet to hear how the first class of inductees was chosen.

Anyway, back to the Rock Hall and its growing list of missing R&B names.  I first published a list back in March 2010, and since then only Donna Summer has been inducted.

The fate of the artists below remains a big question.  Hopefully, new NomCom members will get some of these names nominated.  But I remain skeptical about that.  Most of my picks will remain in limbo forever.
Yet, a strong case can be made for each of them.

Below is an updated list for 2013. Of these Chuck Willis, Chantels, Mary Wells, Chic, Chaka Khan, War, "5" Royales, Meters, Joe Tex, Marvelettes and Billy Ward & the Dominoes have been nominated.


Barry White

Kool & The Gang
"5" Royales
Dionne Warwick
Commodores/Lionel Richie
Meters/Neville Brothers
Teddy Pendergrass/Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
Luther Vandross
Rick James
Joe Tex
Lou Rawls
Whitney Houston
Ohio Players
Gap Band
Patti LaBelle
Janet Jackson
Mary Wells
Jr. Walker & The All Stars
Billy Ward & the Dominoes
Chuck Willis
Wynonie Harris
Chaka Khan

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why I Love My Mom

One day when I was a teenager, I had the radio on in my room and my Mom walked in and said she always liked the song that was playing.  Now my Mom's taste in music was  Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck,Neil Diamond and Elvis Presley.

But the song playing on the radio that day was Procol Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale".  When I was even younger I can remember sitting in the car waiting on my Dad and that song coming on the car radio and she telling me she liked it.

I've never talked to her about this.  Doubt she would remember it.  But it's a musical memory of my Mom that I will always cherish.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Playlist for 5/10

Knife - Shaking the Habitual
Steve Forbert - Alive on Arrival/Jackrabbit Slim
Bombino - Nomad
Steve Martin/Edie Brickell -Love Has Come For You
Yeah Yeah Yeahs -Mosquito
Swamp Dogg - Total Destruction to Your Mind/Rat On

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Music Hoarding

Music Hoarding: NPR

Well, I can tell you that even with a huge selection of Vinyl I never considered myself over-indulgent when it came to buying records.

The same goes for CD's.
But thanks to the magical world of streaming, I've been able to hear before I buy, which is helping my pocketbook from taking chances on CD's I would have no use for.

Like this article says, there are records buried in my collection that I haven't looked at in years.  Some are just there to round out artist catalogs, some are from one-hit wonders whose albums are good (why get rid of 'em) and some are nostalgia pieces, because that's what music does best: bring back memories.

I've only had to move once with my collection and yes, it was a pain.
I pity those who live in apartments and move a lot.
Digital is saving those folks.  But I still like music to be physical, which is why I rarely purchase anything other than lone tracks from Itunes.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

49 and Holding

Jerry Lee Lewis had a Country hit with a song called "39 and Holding" about a guy, well, holding on to his youth as he gets older.

Here I am turning 49 and on the cusp of the half-century mark, and while I'm not trying to hang to my life in the 20's, I know the feeling of getting older.

Little things start to pop-up health wise that were never there when you're younger.   Physically I feel good, and mentally as well.

But the days get faster as you get up there, that's for sure.
I'm looking forward to rounding the bases and sliding in at #50 next year.  Boy, are these years going by fast.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Playlist for 5/4

Jake Bugg - s/t
Band Perry - Pioneer
James Blake -Overgrown
Masked Marauders - s/t
Willie Nelson - Let's Face The Music
Rilo Kiley - Rkives
LeRoy Bell - Rock 'N Soul

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Spinners Tribute

The death on April 10th of this year of Bobby Smith, a founding member of the Spinners, had me going back to listen to a lot of their classic 70's Atlantic output.  They had quite a run, but are now down to their last original member, Henry Fambrough.  So, I thought I'd put together a little Spinners tribute of their best songs.  I kept it at a solid 20.  Mostly singles and a few album cuts.  2 pre-Atlantic songs and 2 post Philippe Wynne ones.

As probably the biggest supporter for their Rock Hall induction, I remain puzzled as to why it took until 2012 for them to be nominated.  I still like their chances, but each year I grow more frustrated, even though many people tell me they should already be in.

So, here's 20 ranked songs for any doubters of their credentials:

1.  Games People Play (They Just Can't Stop It)
2.  Could It Be I'm Falling In Love
3.  One of A Kind (Love Affair)
4.  Love Don't Love Nobody
5.  Mighty Love
6.  I'll Be Around
7.  Then Came You  w/Dionne Warwick
8.  It's A Shame
9.  Rubberband Man
10.  Sadie
11.  Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl
12.  Ghetto Child
13.  Honest I Do
14.  Living A Little, Laughing A Little
15. How Could I Let You Get Away
16. Since I Been Gone
17. Cupid/I've Loved You For A Long Time
18. He'll Never Love You Like I Do
19. I'm Coming Home
20. That's What Girls Are Made For

Four of their studio albums from 1972-1975 are highly recommended.  Spinners, Mighty Love, New and Improved & Pick of the Litter.  As for compilations there are many but Rhino's Very Best of and Definitive Soul (2CD) are the best in print.  The best comp is the out-of-print, but easy to get used 2CD, One of A Kind Love Affair: Anthology.
And finally in 2003, Rhino put out a 3CD box set strangely titled Chrome Collection,  which is also out of print.  The box covered the years 61-89.  Not as definitive as the 2CD sets above, as it runs out steam halfway through the 3rd disc.  For die-hard fans only.  Like me.

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