Saturday, September 28, 2013

Playlist for 9/28

Rod Stewart - Rarities
Janelle Monae -Electric Lady
Elton John - Diving Board
John Legend -Love In The Future
North Mississippi All Stars -World Boogie Is Coming
Okkervil River - Silver Gymnasium

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Best Music Writing Series?

Best Music Writing

There was a Kickstarter campaign started to fund  a 2012 edition of the fine books series Best Music Writing.  I bought all these books which rounded up the previous years best articles.  So, when I found out they were doing a Kickstarter to keep the series alive (after not getting anyone else to publish it), I donated a little bit of money.  To be honest, it was so long ago I forgot, but it was definitely under $50.  2012 and half of 2013 went by and I had completely forgot about the whole thing.  Until an article showed up from Vice wondering what happened to the over $17,000 that was raised for the book.

It turns out the book project had been dead for awhile.  Critic Daphne Carr underestimated how much trouble self-publishing a book that required getting permission for articles from other sources would be. But the Vice article also shed light on the biggest problem here: why hadn't Carr notified us backers about the plight of the book?  And why did it take an article for her to come clean.

Now she is promising to return the money to all backers.  Fair enough.  But in the end, the saddest thing about this story is that the Best Music Writing book series appears dead.  Most likely another casualty of the Internet age.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tom Jones & Rock Hall

Well, this is news to me, if you believe Tom Jones' story.  In the Fall 2013 Beatles special edition of Goldmine, Jones states in an interview that he's been considered for the Hall, but never gets past the initial talking phase.

Here's his quote from a question about how to define his music:

"Sometimes that's a double-edged sword.  I'm not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for instance.  I know the fellow that runs it in Cleveland and he tells me, "You know, your name is always put forward."  But you've got to have people in the business to second and third it.  So he says, "You get knocked back, and I think that the reason is people don't think of you as a rock singer, even though you've always sung rock tunes." But there are other people in there who don't sing rock-soul singers and artists who sing different types of thing.  That's an example of how, if you do a wide variety of music, and do it well, thank God, it's sometimes hard for people to say what kind of singer you are...if you're not doing the same things all the time."

Take his word or not on whether his name is a serious conversation.  As a Tom Jones fan, I'd have no problem with it, but yes, that Vegas image will be too much to overcome. And I just realized that I don't have him listed in my names of people I want inducted.  Even though Neil Diamond was able to overcome his Adult Contemporary years.  Diamond did Rock music early in his career, which was enough to overcome his AC image.

Playlist for 9/22

Robert Palmer - Clues
T. Rex - Slider
New Order - Power Corruption Lies
20/20 - s/t
Neko Case - Worse Things Get
Bob Dylan - Another Self Portrait
Big E- Salute to Buddy Emmons
Various - Rediscovering Eddy Arnold

Questlove on NomCom

So, the Roots' Questlove (Ahmir-Kalib Thompston) is a new member of the NomCom.  I'm not really surprised, since his stint on the Jimmy Fallon show and his book from this year (which is very good), Mo Meta Blues, show him to be more than just a student of Hip Hop.  Which of course he is and that's why they put him on the hip hop subcommittee.

But the Hall would be making a mistake just keeping him there.  Read his book and you'll see he loves all kinds of genres and knows his musical history.

Among  names the Hall should add to the NomCom, I submit Rolling Stone magazine critic Rob Sheffield as a prime candidate.  Let's get rid of some of these old names with their old ideas and add some fresh insight to the NomCom process.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ranking the Now Series

Ranking of all 47 Now Volumes

The above link was written by someone at Buzzfeed. It deserves a link because I have all 47 volumes of the U.S. version of the Now series.
And because we both agree that the best titles were the earliest.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Playlist for 9/15

Franz Ferdinand - Right Thoughs
Rolling Stones - Live at Hyde Park 2013
Tedeschi Trucks Band - Made Up Mind
Glen Campbell - See You There
John Mayer - Paradise Valley
Superchunk - I Hate Music

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Best Stax Records

Another Poll.  This one on the best Stax records.  Top 25.

1.  Otis Redding - Dock of the Bay
2.  Sam & Dave - Soul Man
3.  Booker T. & The MG's - Green Onions
4.  Isaac Hayes - Shaft
5.  Johnnie Taylor - Who's Making Love
6.  Eddie Floyd - Knock On Wood
7.  Staple Singers - I'll Take You There
8.  Albert King - Born Under A Bad Sign
9.  Otis Redding - Try A Little Tenderness
10. Sam & Dave - Hold On I'm Coming
11. William Bell - You Don't Miss Your Water
12. Bar-Kays - Soul Finger
13. Dramatics - In The Rain
14. Mel & Tim - Starting All Over Again
15. Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz
16. Rufus Thomas - Walking the Dog
17. Shirley Brown - Woman to Woman
18. Jean Knight - Mr. Big Stuff
19. Mar-Keys - Last Night
20. Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - Tramp
21. Dramatics - Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
22. Linda Lyndell - What A Man
23. William Bell - I Forgot To Be Your Lover
24. Staple Singers - Respect Yourself
25. Johnnie Taylor - Cheaper To Keep Her

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Playlist for 9/8

Harry Nilsson - Harry/The Point/Knnillssonn
Buddy Guy -Rhythm & Blues
Gogol Bordello - Pura Vida Conspiracy
Valerie June -Pushin' Against A Stone
KT Tunstall - Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon
Ariel Pink - Mature Themes

Friday, September 06, 2013

Elton John's Best Songs Poll

20 songs is too little for  Elton John, who happens to be one of my Top 10 artists of all time.  This list has nothing beyond 1983.  Had I been able to list 30, it would have.  Elton's classic period of 1970-76 is heavily represented.  He was just on a roll in those years.  There's good stuff from 1984 and beyond, but the classics are just too good to ignore.  Below the songs are my Top 5 Elton albums.  

1.  Bennie and the Jets
2.  Philadelphia Freedom
3.  Your Song
4.  Tiny Dancer
5.  Don't Go Breaking My Heart
6.  Rocket Man
7.  Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
8.  Bitch Is Back
9.  Honky Cat
10. Someone Saved My Life Tonight
11. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
12. Levon
13. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
14. Daniel
15. Funeral for A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
16. Crocodile Rock
17. Mama Can't Buy You Love
18. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
19. Island Girl
20. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

1.  Honky Chateau
2.  Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
3.  Rock of the Westies
4.  Tumbleweed Connection
5.  Madman Across The Water

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

2014 Rock Hall Nomination Predictions

Didn't know if I would do this because Future Rock Legends picked most of the names that I would have chosen. Plus I'm terrible at predicting who the NomCom will choose. I have no inside info on what they're going to do, nor does anyone else.  The secrecy surrounding the whole before and after nomination process remains quite comical.  We keep hearing about NomCom members who support certain acts (e.g. Chicago), making speechesnfor their candidacy, yet these acts never get nominated.

And like I always say every year.  The final ballot will include the usual surprises and head-scratchers.
Also, I have to admit, my runner-ups would make a pretty good nomination list, too.

15 picks:

Nirvana - Nothing new to add. Easiest pick this year.

Chic - Nile Rodgers has had a huge year. Now it will be up to the anti-Disco voters to come through.

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Every year since he's been eligible I've slotted him. Now after Albert & Freddie King have gone in, this feels even more obvious. Unless the NomCom gives the Blues category a rest this year.

Gram Parsons - Loved by the NomCom, but not by the voters.

Linda Ronstadt - Her recent Parkinson's announcement woke up a lot of people to the fact that she's not in. But can sympathy get you on the ballot? If she's on she's going in right away.

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Another one of those that the NomCom wants in. She could be a mainstay on the ballot until she gets inducted.

NWA -  Is there an anti-Rap faction out there big enough to keep them waiting?

Deep Purple - Representing the Classic Rock era.

Monkees - Again, this has to happen sometime. If it does they could go in first ballot. Is that what Jann is afraid of?

Bon Jovi - Not quite sure if the NomCom will go for a 2nd Prog Rock act in a row.  So, bypassing Yes, I'll give the nod to a hugely popular band that they like.

Kraftwerk - Being influential to today's EDM didn't get them there last year. But they'll be back on the ballot this year.

"5" Royales - They've been nominated before.  These types of 50's nominations give the NomCom a chance to show that they haven't forgotten the early pioneers of Rock and Roll. (that last sentence is somewhat sarcastic)

Cure - Either them or the Smiths or Depeche Mode, but eventually voters are going to have to recognize this era.

Cat Stevens - This one's for the "they always nominate a 70's Singer-Songwriter" crowd. (BTW- I think if Warren Zevon got this slot he'd go in first time nominated, and FWIW, it's the 10th anniversary of his death)

Spinners - Passed over last year after getting on the ballot in 2012.  70's R&B acts are sorely missing from the Hall.

Other names I considered:
Roxy Music
Joe Tex
Depeche Mode
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Chuck Willis
Warren Zevon
Willie Nelson
Glen Campbell
Neil Sedaka
Teddy Pendergrass

Stevie Ray Vaughan's Turn?

The Importance of Stevie Ray Vaughan

As we get closer to another Rock Hall nomination ballot, it's always good to get caught up on when Stevie Ray Vaughan will get nominated.  Eligible since 2008, he has been passed up the last 5 years while the Hall has looked for other Blues acts to induct.  So, Freddie & Albert King have been inducted, and rightly so.  I just don't know who else the Hall wants in before Stevie.  Johnny Winter?  Most likely the twice nominated Paul Butterfield Blues Band.  But the well will eventually run dry and they'll put Vaughan on the ballot.  Where he will be inducted first ballot.  The NomCom knows he'll get in right away, that's why they've kept him off for now, while focusing on past Blues acts.

The above article, written by Ted Drozdowski,  is a good summation in 2013 of the greatness of Vaughan and why he was such a titanic figure in Blues history.  Soon, the Rock Hall will have no choice but to join his fan club.
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