Thursday, March 27, 2014

Playlist for 3/27

Nile Rodgers - Adventures In The Land
Nile Rodgers - B Movie Matinee
Small Faces - s/t (1967)
Gregory Isaacs - Night Nurse

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dad at 81

My Dad would have turned 81 today. I've blogged before about how his small, but eclectic record collection shaped my own tastes in music. While he didn't gave any Rock records, he had plenty of Pop, Country and a little bit of Soul.

But he had more Country than others, except for Elvis.  My Dad was born in Pennsylvania, but I don't think that's where he grew to live Country music. Being in the Army, he was stationed in Kentucky in the late 50's and then in North Carolina throughout the 60's until 1971, when we moved to Germany for 4 years.

It was this time in those Southern states that he must have been surrounded by Country music. In North Carolina, I have memories of going to Country concerts by Merle Haggard, George Jones and Charley Pride. All made up a good amount of his LP collection.

So even though he is not here with me physically, he's still influencing me musically spiritually. Whenever I see or hear one of those legendary singers, I thank him for the music.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Should Have Been Top 10 Hits Poll

A Facebook group I joined called H&z Rock's I.R.S. does a Poll every year asking which songs should have been Top 10 songs.  You can list up to 100.  I was going to stop at 50, but then became shocked  to find out some songs I thought were Top 10's (Five Satins, Skyliners, etc.) didn't make it.  So, I kept going to 100.  These are supposed to be ranked, but that was a tough task.  Consider Marvin & Tammi a lock at the top, and then every one else.

1.  Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
2.  Solitary Man - Neil Diamond
3.  Tiny Dancer - Elton John
4.  Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again - Fortunes
5.  Take It Easy - Eagles
6.  Always and Forever - Heatwave
7.  At Last - Etta James
8.  Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - McFadden & Whitehead
9.  In The Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
10. I Melt With You -  Modern English
11. I Wanna Be Your Lover - Prince
12. To Love Somebody - Bee Gees
13. Wonderful World - Sam Cooke
14. Baby I Need You Loving - Four Tops
15. I Only Have Eyes For You - Flamingos
16. God Only Knows - Beach Boys
17. This Magic Moment - Drifters
18. Kentucky Rain - Elvis Presley
19. Way You Do The Things You Do - Temptations
20. Respect Yourself - Staple Singers
21. It's My Life - Animals
22. I'm Every Woman - Chaka Khan
23. Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel - Tavares
24. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
25. What I Like About You - Romantics
26. In The Still Of The Nite - Five Satins
27. Don't Make Me Over - Dionne Warwick
28. Sex Machine - James Brown
29. Oye Como Va - Santana
30. Holiday - Madonna
31. Disco Inferno - Trammps
32. Tutti-Frutti - Little Richard
33. I Saw Her Standing There - Beatles
34. Since I Don't Have You - Skyliners
35. Reet Petite - Jackie Wilson
36. I Only Want To Be With You - Dusty Springfield
37. Hold On I'm A Comin' - Sam & Dave
38. SOS - Abba
39. By The Time I Get To Phoenix - Glen Campbell
40. Any Day Now - Chuck Jackson
41. All My Loving  - Beatles
42. In The Air Tonight - Phil Collins
43. Fever - Little Willie John
44. For The Good Times - Ray Price
45. It's A Shame - Spinners
46. Wild Night - Van Morrison
47. Lies - Knickerbockers
48. Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
49. Piano Man - Billy Joel
50. Maybe Baby - Buddy Holly
51. Walking In The Rain - Ronettes
52. But It's Alright - J.J. Jackson
53. Carry On Wayward Son - Kansas
54. Sincerely - Moonglows
55. Ooh Baby Baby - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
56. So Very Hard To Go - Tower of Power
57. Just What I Needed - Cars
58. Our Lips Are Sealed - Go-Go's
59. River Deep-Mountain High - Ike & Tina Turner
60. Love The One You're With - Stephen Stills
61. Wild World - Cat Stevens
62. Listen To The Music - Doobie Brothers
63. Baby I Love Your Way (live) - Peter Frampton
64. Into The Night - Benny Mardones
65. Different Drum - Linda Ronstadt
66. This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
67. Look Through Any Window - Hollies
68. Undun- Guess Who
69. Just Like Me - Paul Revere & The Raiders
70. I Can't Stand The Rain - Ann Peebles
71. Free Ride - Edgar Winter Group
72. Time Has Come Today - Chambers Brothers
73. I've Been Lonely Too Long - Rascals
74. Tired Of Being Alone - Al Green
75. You Are My Lady - Freddie Jackson
76. Livin' Thing - ELO
77. Serpentine Fire - Earth, Wind & Fire
78. Flash Light - Parliament
79. Summer Rain - Johnny Rivers
80. Darling Be Home Soon - Lovin' Spoonful
81. Sunny Afternoon - Kinks
82. Rock and Roll All Nite (Live) - Kiss
83. Let's Spend The Night Together - Rolling Stones
84. Blue Bayou - Roy Orbison
85. Tuesday Afternoon - Moody Blues
86. Steppin' Stone - Monkees
87. So Far Away - Carole King
88. Itchycoo Park - Small Faces
89. Super Freak - Rick James
90. Crazy On You - Heart
91. Forget Me Nots - Patrice Rushen
92. Let's Have A Party - Wanda Jackson
93. Treat Me Nice - Elvis Presley
94. Killer Queen - Queen
95. I Saw The Light - Todd Rundgren
96. Having A Party - Sam Cooke
97. I'm Into Something Good - Herman's Hermits
98. Operator - Jim Croce
99. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting - Elton John
100. Slow Ride - Foghat

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pink Floyd Note

A final word on that Pink Floyd Tracks Poll that I posted about last week.  Pink Floyd are another one of those bands I liked, but never loved when I was younger.  While I had the vinyl of The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, I never ventured beyond that.  Guessing as a teenager most of their lyrics went over my head.
As I got older that changed, and now I think they are great.

I've written before that the same thing happened with the Grateful Dead.  So, today I'm quick not to dismiss something unless I've done some sort of research into that artists catalog.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rock Hall Band Members Inductees

I wonder if anything is going to change down the road regarding multiple band members getting inducted.  It's pretty clear the Hall itself doesn't know how to handle any of this.  The carelessness of past snubs has never been corrected.  Anyway there's this bit of NomCom history:

Former NomCom member Jeff Tamarkin wrote this on his Facebook page:

As much as I despise Kiss, Paul Stanley is actually correct when he says that the R&R Hall of Fame bends its rules at whim. He cites the Grateful Dead's induction and his take on that is 100% accurate. I was on the Hall's nominating committee when the Dead were being inducted. Jon Landau, Bruce's manager and one of the big shots at the Hall, asked me to find out from the Dead which members they wanted included. The word came back from their spokesman: "all or none." And so Robert Hunter, their chief songwriter who was never an official band member, was inducted along with, I think, 11 or 12 others. That even included Vince Welnick, who had only been playing keyboards with them for several years.

Similar situations have occurred with other bands, and then there has been the opposite: many instances where a lead singer was inducted but not the band members (which is why the E Street Band are going in now), or situations where key members were inducted but not later or earlier ones (as with Jefferson Airplane, who chose to induct only the best known six members from their prime years, shunning Skip Spence, Signe Anderson, Papa John Creach, Joey Covington and John Barbata).

In other words, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame remains a big joke.

Also for all you Dave Marsh haters, more from Tamarkin:

Jeff Tamarkin ....that doesn't explain why only six of the Airplane's full-time members were inducted. In each case it was left up to the bands to decide. And having been a member of the committee when both of them were nominated, I can tell you that there was some definite opposition--mostly from the loudmouth likes of Dave Marsh, who hates most West Coast music--against nominating the Dead, the Doors and others from both halves of the state.

Playlist for 3/16

Hard Working Americans - s/t
Pharrell - GIRL
Real Estate - Atlas
Lake Street Dive - Bad Self Portraits/Fun Machine
Neneh Cherry - Blank Project
St. Vincent - s/t

Saturday, March 15, 2014


My Dad passed away in 2008.  He taught me a lot about life through his years in the Military.  How to handle tough situations.  That's what Dad's are all about.
My Mom passed away on March 14th this year.  Mom's are different.  They are the ones you fall back on when you are having a rough time.  They give you a smile, a hug and a kiss and you feel like all your burdens are lifted.

My own Mom was like this.  As the year's went by and her health worsened, the fragility of life began to show in her face.  Always a proud German, she never liked to complain about anything that was bothering her.  She was more concerned with what was bothering her own family. She passed at the age of 84.  But while her body became more fragile, she was still strong mentally.  Some people have told me she lived a good, long life.  But I still say she was too young to die.  She had so much more to live for.

This is what you miss when your parents die.  While they are alive you always have that comfort of a parent to fall back on.
Now I'm not truly on my own.  A wonderful wife, son, niece and many relatives.  But my parents are gone.  And for the first time that comforting shadow is no longer there.  But they are always in my heart.  Every day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pink Floyd Poll

Latest poll is on Pink Floyd. A simple Top 20.

1. Wish You Were Here
2. Comfortably Numb
3. Time
4. See Emily Play
5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond
6. Hey You
7. Money
8. Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2
9. Echoes
10. Bike
11. Run Like Hell
12. Is There Anybody Out There?
13. Arnold Layne
14. One Of These Days
15. Brain Damage/Eclipse
16. Pigs
17. Us and Them
18. Breathe
19. Lucifer Sam
20. Fearless

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dave Marsh's Updated Thoughts on KISS & Their Rock Hall Induction

In case you think Dave Marsh has mellowed over the years regarding KISS, think again.  The article below is taken from his Rock & Rap Confidential newsletter, which was released today.   Not all the artists listed at the end of the article were picked by Marsh.

Marsh on KISS (2014):

WHY KISS AIN’T ON OUR LIST... Dave Marsh writes: In the fall of 1973, recently arrived in New York City and besotted by the extraordinary shows I’d seen by the New York Dolls in Queens and downtown Manhattan, I decided I wanted to investigate who the city’s best bands other than the Dolls might be. This wound up being a story that ran first in Newsday, the Long Island daily where I had the pop music beat; then Creem, which I was no longer editing but still writing for; and finally the British weekly, Melody Maker.

            The article, which may have been headlined Great White Rock in its first appearance, boasted that there were currently a dozen “excellent” rock acts in the New York City area, and talked about eight of those I had seen. In order of appearance they were: The Dynomiters, Harlots of 42nd Street, Kiss, Luger, Elliott Murphy’s Aqua Show, New York Central, Queen Elizabeth featuring Wayne County and Teenage Lust. (I can’t remember why I didn’t mention the Miamis. I loved the Miamis—on stage anyway, like so many of these bands, that group was never captured right on tape.) 

             Coming up with a punk icon (Wayne County), one of the key New York singer-songwriters of the period whose career has lasted forty years (Elliott Murphy), and a huge pop success in the space of 2,500 words isn’t bad. But history—helped along by Wikipedia which at least three people have tried to amend for accuracy, all rejected by the mysterian Wikiprocess—remembers none of this. If it did, the Kiss Army might salute me rather than flooding my website with what amounts to “nyah, nyah, nyah,” now that Kiss is finally going to get into the Hall of Fame. 

             Because that article was the first mention of Kiss in the press, and it was not hostile. In its entirety it reads:

            “This group looks as if it just stepped out of the underground movie Pink Flamingos, leading me to believe that I was right all along in thinking that the glitter craze was an ugliness contest.

“But Kiss's music sounds as if it is the most thought-out, controlled sound around, and the stage show is just as professional. And, they say, Eddie Kramer (of Led Zeppelin and Electric Ladyland) wants to produce them. Heavy metal meets El Topo.”

OK, I called them ugly. Why the fuck did you think they added the face paint? Other than that, it’s at least a kind of backhanded praise. It’s honest, too. I didn’t like Kiss, but I recognized what they had going for them (though I wish I had mentioned manager Bill Aucoin, a great market manipulator who’s been cheated out of almost all credit thanks to the megalomania infesting that band’s camp.)

Musically, I was done with them before I ever turned the first album over to the second side. Kiss had an extraordinary aptitude for adopting every cliché in hard rock history, and a complete absence of any ability to create so much as a hint of a new one. (I suppose maybe they were the model for Motley Crue?) The most interesting of their studio albums is Destroyer, and it’s not all that interesting, except as an example of the highly professional output of producer Bob Ezrin and guitarist Dick Wagner during the mid-‘70s. On their own, they were not clever at coming up with riffs, the beats are as repetitious as punk but without the energy,  and their most interesting lyric is “Beth” which is nothing more than third-rate Bob Seger blended with second-rate Billy Joel, or maybe “Detroit Rock City” which is a clumsy J. Geils swipe...and so forth except for the disco album, I guess.

            But they have the best make-up in the Hall. Until Insane Clown Posse is inducted, at least.

            I realize this paints Kiss as more mediocre than incompetent, but....well, if the only qualification is having made a record at least 25 years before the ballots got mailed out, they are qualified, and perhaps I shall be fortunate enough not to live to see the advent of Justin Bieber and One Day in the Hall's once formidable list of inductees.  

            And yeah, Kiss inspired a lot of kids to want to be in bands. So did half a dozen girls (and boys!) in every high school graduating class.

            All that mediocrity was harmless enough until the boastful bassist decided to turn it into a propaganda machine for the only two things he’s ever loved: Gene Simmons and money. Sex Money Kiss, his book on how to become a rich success, offers a stupendous (or maybe I mean stupefying) blend of preposterous career advice, dangerously over-simplified and inaccurate economic information and advice, and an account of human intercourse—by which I don’t mean just sex--that verifies emotional stagnation at the age of maybe fourteen. You could figure the same stuff out in maybe fifteen minutes of watching his dumb-ass TV show.  (Yes, this means I passed on reading the other two. Pointless repetition is one of the worst things about Kiss.)

            Alas, Simmons also has politics, of a sort, though I’d sure he would deny anything of the kind because that might alienate part of the audience—although since he views the rest of the species as essentially a chain of ATMs, maybe not. He is basically a cheerleader for capitalism and spreading the U.S. system abroad in ways that make Bono look like John Maynard Keynes.

            Then there are his sexual politics, which amount to “Bend over, meat” and I mean that literally. It is true that Simmons imagines all other human beings (except his sainted mama and perhaps his kids) as inherently inferior to himself, but he has a particular  contempt for women. I stopped being amused by this along about the time that he began to boast about his Polaroid collection. The misogynist misanthropy  reaches a pinnacle in his 2008 book, Ladies of the Night: A Historical and Personal Perspective on the Oldest Profession in the World.

            It seems odd that he didn’t write the book he’s best qualified for on this topic, which would be a history of pimping.  Because if Simmons isn’t an evangelist he is certainly a peddler, and he practices the hard sell and the emotional con. Kiss didn’t have fans, it had an Army because they were the biggest band of their era. The truth is, Kiss never sold more than 2 million copies of a studio album although that was precisely the time when the Bee Gees and Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and a bunch of others began to sell 10 million (and more). One reason Kiss’s audience is early teenagers-- though these days that is true more often emotionally than chronologically, of course—is that only someone stuck there would be so militantly gullible.

            Why shouldn’t Kiss be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? Because they have added not the slightest musical value to rock, which is why they were not especially huge record sellers. And because, so far, in one way or another, the Hall has avoided honoring the music at its most mercantile and shallow.

            But above all because there are so many worthy candidates who are not in the Hall of Fame. At the snail ‘s pace at which the Hall parcels out induction, many of the artists in the list below will be dead before they are even on the ballot. In Kiss’s own genre and time, by which I mean 1970s hard rock, almost every fan of it as a whole (as opposed to the Kiss Army) would agree that at least Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and Motorhead are not just more deserving, but far, far better choices. Not every one of these fifty artists, who operated at more or less the same time as Kiss, are going to end up in the Hall of Fame nor should they. But they’re all better than Kiss.

Alice in Chains
Bad Brains
Bad Company
Black Oak Arkansas
Black Crowes
Blue Oyster Cult
Body Count
Bootsy’s Rubber Band
Canned Heat
Cheap Trick
The Commodores
Deep Purple
Def Leppard
J. Geils Band
Humble Pie
Iron Maiden
The James Gang
Rick James 
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Judas Priest
Living Colour
Molly Hatchet
Mother’s Finest
Mott the Hoople
New York Dolls
Ted Nugent / Amboy Dukes
Ohio Players
Procol Harum
The Scorpions
Social Distortion
Twisted Sister
Ten Years After
Thin Lizzy
The Time
White Zombie

(This list was compiled by RRC, not Dave Marsh alone.)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

KISS & Daryl Hall

"It's all political isn't it? It's run by people who have their own agendas. I wasn't part of their agendas and now I'm a part of their agenda. - Daryl Hall

"Their attitude is elitist and it doesn't reflect the public."  - Paul Stanley

Neither Hall & Oates or KISS were critical favorites.  But they were public ones.  KISS has the bigger fan base, but H&O's first ballot induction showed that they were very popular with fellow Hall inductees.

But in their heyday, neither one came close to topping any year-end critic lists.  What Daryl Hall & Paul Stanley are really talking about are the group of critics (i.e. Rolling Stone magazine, maybe Village Voice ones and some other magazines that were around at that time like Creem and Crawdaddy) that shunned them when they were at their peak and now must bow down to them as they get the Rock Hall honor.

I'd say Hall & Oates have gotten the better reviews for the music, while KISS have gotten the better notices for their tours.
But when KISS' induction was announced last December I was not surprised to see Rock Hall voters and music critics taking shots at them.  Decades past their prime, they still rile up critics.

But Hall & Oates was a more pleasant reaction.  Their nomination didn't elicit much grumbling and quite the opposite. It actually brought out a more respectful tone.  I'm not sure this would have happened when H&O were first eligible for the Hall back in 1998.  Since then they were inducted in to the Songwriters Hall in 2005 and Daryl Hall started his web-only (now on TV) Live at Daryl's House.  It also helped that a lot of newer voters were added to the Rock Hall's rolls.

Oh, and of course it helped that the Roots' Questlove became a NomCom member, and got them on the ballot.

But back to Hall and Stanley's original quotes.  Both make valid points.  The NomCom is indeed a problematic mess at times.  The addition and reduction of members hasn't changed that.  Yet, what Hall & Stanley are mostly doing here is taking the populist view of the whole situation.  Kind of what Rush did last year.  We'll accept your honor even though you really didn't want us.  It's all for the fans, etc. etc.  But I believe they really do care about getting inducted.  It's obvious KISS have thought about this day for some time.  And H&O have been asked why they aren't in the Hall many times.  Neither act needed the HOF honor to validate their career.  Or to fill more seats on tour.  But personally, they are proud (I say this about all acts who always say an induction means nothing, but you know it does).

Now that the moment is here, they are ready to unload.  But being the true pro's they are, will gladly accept for all of us that wanted them in.  So let's see if they call out  the HOF in their induction speeches.  I don't think Hall will, but Stanley might.  It's the type of drama the HOF wants.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Playlist for 3/5

Michael Bloomfield - From His Head to His Heart to His Hands (box set)
Lydia Loveless -Somewhere Else
Civil Wars - Between the Bars
Broken Bells - After the Disco
Paul Rodgers - Royal Sessions

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Magazine Update (2014)

New year, a good time to update what I read from the printed world.

Rolling Stone
Down Beat


Big TakeoverMagnet
RelixUgly ThingsShindig
American Songwriter
Blues Revue
Under the Radar
Wax Poetics
Echoes of the Past
Oxford American  

Guitar Player
Elvis The Man and His Music
Blue Suede News 
Record Collector
Texas Music
Vanity Fair
New Yorker
New York  Magazine
Prog  (UK)
Blues Magazine (UK)
Country Music Magazine (UK)
Vintage Rock  (UK)

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