Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed

Is curmudgeon too nice a word to describe Lou Reed?  Prickly is another one. Not many other musicians hated music journalists as much as Reed.  Go Google some of his interviews and I'm sure you'll see what I'm talking about.

But about the music.  All 4 of the Velvet Underground's albums are essential.  His solo career was more hit and miss which is usually the case when you record too many albums.  The best from all the ones I've heard, and looking over his discography I didn't miss much:  Transformer, New York, Blue Mask, maybe Coney Island Baby.   It's a decent solo catalog, even if it never reached the VU heights.

Reed was twice nominated for the Rock Hall as a solo artist, but the last one came in 2001.  Death may bring him back to the ballot, never can tell, but it seems the NomCom forgot about him or didn't think his solo work was worthy.
Velvet Underground were inducted in 1996.

TV Update (Fall 2013)

New season means some shows have gotten cancelled.  So, this is updated for the Fall 2013 season.  Sad to say some of my faves have been axed (e.g. Glades, Killing + Treme is ending its run).  But some new ones have taken their place.  My DVR is always busy.

Boardwalk Empire
Walking Dead
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
True Blood
Little Couple
Game of Thrones
Parks and Recreation
Saturday Night Live
Falling Skies
House of Cards
House of Lies
New Girl
Raising Hope
American Idol
X Factor
The Voice
So You Think You Can Dance
Amazing Race
American Pickers
Little Couple
Storage Wars
Raising Hope
Strike Back
Eastbound and Down
Hell on Wheels
Life & Times of Tim
Real Time with Bill Maher
Mad Men
Moone Boy
The Fall
Orange Is The New Black
Ray Donovan
Masters of Sex
30 for 30
Key & Peele
Hello Ladies
Sleepy Hollow
Dan Rather Reports
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Late Show with David Letterman
60 Minutes Sports on Showtime
Family Tree

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Playlist for 10/31

Paul McCartney - New
Willie Nelson - To All The Girls
Miley Cyrus -Bangerz
Pearl Jam- Lightning Bolt
Old 97's  & Waylon Jennings EP

Friday, October 25, 2013

Music Books

These are books that I can recommend.  Most came out this year, some last, and some I bought and others found in my local library.  Must say you can skip the memoirs written by Pete Townshend and Neil Young.  Oddly enough the Clive Davis one is better than both.

Pops (Life of Louis Armstrong) - Terry Teachout
I'm Your Man - Life of Leonard Cohen - Sylvie Simmons
The Doors - Greil Marcus
Soundtrack of my Life - Clive Davis
Turn Around Bright Eyes - Rob Sheffield
Mo' Meta Blues - Questlove
Return of the King - Gillian S. Gaar
Merle Haggard - David Cantwell
Outlaw Waylon, Willie, Kris and the Renegades of Nashville - Michael Streissguth
Rhino Records Story - Harold Bronson

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rhino Records Book

Harold Bronson's Rhino Records Story can be a dry read sometimes, especially when it comes to contract talk, but it's still a valuable read.  Bronson, along with Richard Foos, co-founded Rhino Records, the greatest reissue label ever.   He's got a story to tell and this takes you from the label's small origins to its days rubbing shoulders with the majors.

No doubt helped by the CD boom of the 80's, Rhino pretty much had the reissue business to itself until the major saw that catalog could indeed sell.  But what made Rhino so great was that it put out quality stuff.  And, unlike all others, thought outside the box.  Hell, the liner notes themselves were worthy of awards.

Eventually, as with most things music related, the majors got involved and while Rhino product was still worthy, finding good things to release began to dry up.

Back before the internet, the Rhino mail-order catalog was a trip to the mailbox worth taking.  I ordered my share of things through it, and the best part was looking at the track listings of titles you were interested in.

I wouldn't say Bronson's book is for music geeks only.  It's an old rags to riches music label story.  A great label worth cheering for.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

2014 Rock Hall Reaction: Who's Missing

Always lots to ponder when it comes to the Rock Hall's latest nominees.

The only surprise snub from last year among the 16 nominees is the absence of Joan Jett.  Thought she would be a perennial nominee.

Questlove's first year as a NomCom member and it looks like he got Hall & Oates finally nominated.  But I remember when Cliff Burnstein got the Spinners on the ballot.  They haven't returned.

No R&B vocal groups (e.g. Spinners) from any era nominated.  Wonder what Dave Marsh thinks of that.  He's vocal on this.

And no R&B singers from any era nominated.  Puzzling and disappointed.

Even huge 80's names like Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston can't get nominated. Might be years for both.  Although Questlove tweeted when Whitney died that she should be in the Hall.  But list is growing.

Procol Harum get bumped by Yes? Or one-year wonder?

The Replacements take the 80's prize over the Cure or the Smiths or Depeche Mode.

I'm still in the dark when someone like the Smiths will get nominated.

Once Yes get in, maybe Roxy Music is next.  I know they aren't Prog Rock, but some see them as Art Rock.

Hard Rock fans should be happy.  KISS and Deep Purple nominated.  But if you want more names from that era in, then at least 1 of those names has to get in soon.

Monkees fans thought Jann would give in this year.

Zombies are this year's Hollies/Dave Clark Five nominee.  A great Brit-Invasion band that should appeal to Baby Boomers. I think they took the Monkees spot.

Looks like Link Wray took the guitar hero slot we keep thinking Stevie Ray Vaughan will get every year.
Having said that, I think the Hall might move him to an Early Influence slot to make room for another inductee.
Your guess is as good as mine as to what is holding up a Vaughan nomination. I've run out of theories.

The Rap NomCom members (Toure) are gonna keep NWA on until they get in.  The other slot will keep fluctuating.  This year it was LL Cool J.

Shouldn't a Country act finally get nominated again? Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell would be strong picks. Both would go right in.

Still lots of deserving names left to nominate and induct.  Don't listen to anyone out there who tells you that the Hall is running out of deserving names.  They aren't.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rock Hall 2014 Nominees Reaction

16 nominees this year.

At one point I thought the Hall would pass on Linda Ronstadt.  The NomCom has a way of doing strange things.  But now she's a shoo-in.

Some long-wanted names make their appearance and 1 shows up again.  But putting KISS on the same ballot with Deep Purple means someone won't get in.

Link Wray takes this year's annual Stevie Ray slot.  He's got a great chance.  A guitar hero to many of the  inductees.

Hall & Oates are another long-needed nomination.  Nice to see a Pop oriented hit machine getting some recognition.  Thank you Questlove?

Peter Gabriel is a huge critic fave and also had hit records.  But is his nomination to close to Genesis getting inducted (2010)?

The Hall really wants the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in, but voters are lukewarm.  Same with the Meters.  I think the Neville Brothers would go in first ballot.  But I wish voters did their research on the Meters.  Fabulous band.

You know the running joke about the NomCom.  Always need to have a singer-songwriter on the ballot.  Welcome back past nominee Cat Stevens.

And we knew that there would be 2 rap acts nominated.  NWA and someone else.  It's the return of LL Cool J.

The nomination of the Replacements might not be such a shocker considering that 2 of the remaining members staged a mini-reunion tour this Summer. But getting them inducted might heighten he chances for Sonic Youth, another critical/not commercial Alternative Indie band of the 80's.

Once Rush got in, then it was time for the next Prog act and it had to be Yes.  The Zombies nomination has all the markings of a Little Steven push.  If the Hollies, Dave Clark Five and Lovin' Spoonful can get in, why not the Zombies?

Nothing more to add about Nirvana and Chic.  The former sails in, and if Nile Rodgers can't get in, after the type of year he had, then there is no hope for his band.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Playlist for 10/15

Lorde - Pure Heroine
Neal McCoy - Pride
Haim - Days Are Gone
Sleigh Bells  - Bitter Rivals
Amanda Shires -Down Fell The Doves

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Joel Whitburn

Every home should have a copy.  Whether you spring for his Top Pop Hits or the condensed Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits.  However you get there, get there.  I just updated 3 books:  Pop Hits, Country & Soul.  I was in dire need of an update on the last 2, although not so much on the first one.  But I went for it.
Yes, you can get Whitburn's books in E-form now, but there's no fun in that.  I like the hard copies.  And yes you can find all chart info with the click of your mouse, but there's no fun in that.

I'm Old School this way.  I like the hard copies of his books.  Let me say that Whitburn is one of the heroes of Rock Music research.  There's no one better.

No, his books aren't real cheap, but they are a bargain.  Go to and you'll find something for your tastes.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

2014 Songwriters Hall of Fame Nominees

2014 Songwriters Hall Nominees

Ok, remember this:  Neil Young, Pete Townshend, George Harrison, Prince, Sly Stone, Jeff Lynne, Elvis Costello,  Ray Davies, Chrissie Hynde.  None are in this Hall.  And why are 3 non-performers chosen every year, but only 2 from the performer category?  I have no idea how many voters there are a year, nor the demographics.  But below is a link to my 2013 updated list of people not in the Song Hall.  It's an incredible list of names.  This Hall has plenty of catching up to do, and plenty of questions regarding who's missing to answer.

MIA From the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2013 Updated version)

Playlist for 10/10

Moby - Innocents
High Cotton Tribute to Alabama - Various
Frank Turner -Tape Deck Heart
Beth Hart - Bang Bang Boom
Cher -Closer to the Truth
Alan Jackson -Bluegrass Album
Elvis Costello/Roots -Wise Up Ghost

Sunday, October 06, 2013

How We Listen To Music

Okay, I'm guilty.  A question that pops up often along social media sites.  Do people still listen to music, like the used to?  We used to devour albums (vinyl).  We had to.  You had to flip the damn thing over to get to Side B.  Then came CD's and you could hear the whole thing in one sitting.  Now comes streaming.  You can do the same, right?  Not really.  Because most of us listen to albums, or streaming radio, while doing something online.

I'm guilty of this.  I've streamed many albums in the background.  But my technique is still the same as it was during the vinyl days.  When something hits me, I sit up and take notice.  Bad background music is still bad music.

What it comes down to is how you adopt to the changing tech world.  I have and have no complaints.  I'm still able to weed out good and bad music.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Playlist for 10/3

Sheryl Crow -Feels Like Home
EWF - Now Then & Forever 
Keith Urban - Fuse
Arctic Monkeys - AM
Trombone Shorty -Say That To Say This
Avicii - True

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


Been seeing articles lately about the rise from the ashes life of the good old cassette.  The great thing about cassettes is they were the ultimate mix-tape medium.  Small and easy to stuff in your pocket, and to pass along to someone else.  Plus, people with older cars didn't always have CD players installed, but they most likely had a cassette player.

I made my last cassette mix tape in the early 2000's, and then gave away a bunch of the ones I had made over the years.  You see the problem with tape is that it easily damaged.  And if you didn't keep your cassettes in the case that's what would happen.  Plus it became harder to find them as the year's went by.

But I can see the sentimentality over them.  For vinyl lovers the lure is the sound and artwork.  For cassette lovers it's the days of making your own mixes.  They set the stage for the Ipod playlists and everything that came afterwards.

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