Saturday, March 28, 2015

Books I've Read (Updated)

Going Into The City - Robert Christgau
Mad World: Oral History of New Wave Artists - Lori Majewski & Jonathan Bernstein
Rebel Yell: Oral History of Southern Rock - Michael Buffalo Smith
Bobbie Gentry's Ode To Billie Joe (33 1/3 Series)  - Tara Murtha
Play On: Power Pop Heroes Vol. 1 - Ken Sharp

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Playlist for 3/25

North Mississippi All Stars & Anders Osborne - NMO
American Flyer - s/t
Aaron Watson - Underdog

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Best Longest Songs Poll

Here's a strange Poll I voted in:  the best songs over 10 minutes long.  So the poll is the best Epic songs.
Also, there was a set list of nominees to choose from.
Vote for as many as 50.

1.  James Brown - Sex Machine
2.  Sugar Hill Gang - Rapper's Delight
3.  Elton John - Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
4.  Donna Summer - Love To Love You Baby
5.  Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond
6.  Television - Marquee Moon
7.  Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird (One From The Road 1976)
8.  Bob Dylan - Desolation Row
9.  Allman Brothers - Whipping Post (Fillmore East)
10.  Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant
11. Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Chile
12. Thelonious Monk - Straight, No Chaser
13. War - World Is A Ghetto
14. Traffic - Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys
15.  Kraftwerk - Autobahn
16.  Crusaders - Street Life
17.  Boz Scaggs - Loan Me A Dime
18,  Doors - The End
19.  John Coltrane - My Favorite Things
20.  Peter Frampton - Do You Feel Like I Do
21.  Stevie Wonder - Do I Do
22.  Velvet Underground - Sister Ray
23.  Bob Dylan - Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
24.  Funkadelic - Knee Deep
25.  Yes - And You and I
26.  Neil Young - Cowgirl In The Sand
27.  Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick, Part 1
28.  Donna Summer - McArthur Park Suite
29.  Fela Kuti - Zombie
30.  Eric Dolphy - Out To Lunch
31.  Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vidda
32.  CCR - I Heard It Through The Grapevine
33.  Isaac Hayes - Walk On By
34.  Herbie Hancock - Chameleon
35.  Sheila E.  - Love Bizarre
36.  Terry Riley - Rainbow In Curved Air
37.  Sylvester - I (Who Have Nothing)
38.  Led Zeppelin - Achilles Last Stand
39.  Rush - 2112
40.  Gil Scott-Heron - B Movie
41.  Dire Straits - Telegraph Road
42. John Coltrane - Ascension
43. Genesis - Supper's Ready
44. David Bowie - Station To Station
45. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
46. Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace
47. Deep Purple - Child In Time
48. Cerrone - Supernature
49. Funkadelic - Maggot Brain
50. John McLaughlin - Devotion

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Playlist for 3/18

X-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescents
Jerry Lee Lewis - Complete London Sessions
Kid Rock - First Kiss
Madonna - Rebel Heart
Noel Gallagher - Chasing Yesterday
Oscar Peterson Trio Plus 1: Clark Terry

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Should Have Been Top 10's Poll

This is from a Facebook group I joined called H&z Rock's I.R.S.  They do a Poll every year asking which songs should have been Top 10 songs.  You can list as many as you want.  I was going to stop at 100, 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. Eventually I had to stop because the list could have gone on forever.  I also tried not to list too many songs by one artist (Elvis, Elton John, etc.) that missed the Top 10.   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. Super Freak - Rick James
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. Faithfully - Journey
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. Strange Magic - ELO
77. Serpentine Fire - Earth, Wind & Fire
78. Games People Play - Joe South
79. Summer Rain - Johnny Rivers
80. One Of A Kind (Love Affair) - Spinners
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. Any Day Now - Chuck Jackson
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
101.  Tequila Sunrise - Eagles
102.  This Is It - Kenny Loggins
103.  Bluer Than Blue - Michael Johnson
104.  Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer
105.  (Don't Fear) The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
106.  Livin' Thing - ELO
107.  Fool (If You Think It's Over) - Chris Rea
108.  Green, Green Grass Of Home - Tom Jones
109.  I Can't Stand The Rain - Ann Peebles
110.  White Wedding - Billy Idol
111.  Viva Las Vegas - Elvis Presley
112.  More Love - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
113.  Through The Years - Kenny Rogers
114.  Darling Be Home Soon - Lovin' Spoonful
115.  Dance With My Father - Luther Vandross
116.  Girl On Fire - Alicia Keys
117.  Guitar Man - Bread
118.  Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
119.  Young Hearts Run Free - Candi Staton
120.  Flash Light - Parliament
121.  Bitter Sweet Symphony - Verve
122.  Somebody To Love - Queen
123.  Mama Said Knock You Out - LL Cool J
124.  It's A Miracle - Barry Manilow
125.  Every Time I Think Of You - Babys
126.  Roll Over Beethoven - Chuck Berry

Saturday, March 14, 2015

My Mom One Year Later

The day before she died, my Mom seemed fine.  Tired, yes, but her spirits were high.  When I left her she smiled like she always did and I looked back one last time.  Another thing I made a habit of doing.  But inside she wasn't the same prideful German Mom that we all knew.

Some deaths are not like the ones you see in the movies.  Not everybody is there for the last breath of a loved one.  The thing about parents is that they were always there for you.  Mine were.  If I needed something or just some good old parental advice, they were just 5 minutes away.  Or a quick call.  Then one day you realize they aren't there anymore.  It's been 7 years since my Dad died.
And today it's been 1 year since my Mom passed.  Little things you will miss when your parents die.  My Dad and I talked about sports or what was happening in the world at least twice a week.  My Mom and I always had a Sunday lunch date.  In the last years of her life I don't think we missed more than a couple of those.

So, I miss and regret things about my life with my parents.  But their absence has made me love them even more.  Too many memories will tear your psyche apart, so you have to move on.  But I'm holding on to a few memories.  My parents weren't the overly sentimental type.  I only hope they are looking down and smiling at the legacy they left behind.  It was greater than they knew.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Playlist for 3/11

Dailey & Vincent - Sing the Statler Brothers
Don Covay - Mercy
Charlie Wilson - Forever Charlie
Pops Staples - Don't Lose This
Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear
James McMurtry - Complicated Game
Blackberry Smoke - Holding All The Roses

Monday, March 09, 2015

We Are The World At 30

Last week was the 30th anniversary of the release of "We Are The World".  Everyone from Rolling Stone, Yahoo, USA Today and Vulture have published articles.  But when it comes to the actual song, I'm probably in the minority, but I still like.  I'm not surprised it wasn't as well-received.  It's a big 7 minute epic, with a video full of stars both loved and loathed by music critics at that time.  You can't go wrong with the legends who were on it at that time:  Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan.  But on the other end not loved-by-the critics acts like Kenny Loggins, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel, Al Jarreau, Steve Perry.  So, the song was a mix of many of that era's popular singers (and manager Ken Kragen's clients were featured prominently) and established legends.

Still, I fell for the whole package.  And grew even more to love the project when HBO ran a 1 hour documentary on it soon after the single and album were released.  But then I'm a fan of Top 40 radio.  As Dave Marsh rightly pointed out, "We Are The World" was not loved by many in the Rock and Roll community because it wasn't a Rock song.  It was a Pop song. The song's words didn't express anti-establishment views.  But they expected that with a song written by Michael Jackson/Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones?

Yet, even as a Pop anthem, the most jaded would have a hard time to knock the performances.  Springsteen and Stevie are great.  Steve Perry and Daryl Hall show off their impressive vocals.  Cyndi Lauper goes all Cyndi Lauper with her line.  And James Ingram and Ray Charles bring it home. Oh, and there was an album released too.  Full of unreleased songs by performers on the single.  And Prince,  Who famously decided not to show up for the recording.
So, if you haven't heard the song in a long time, and frankly you'll never hear it on the radio, go back and watch the video.  Or even better, watch the making-of which can be found on You Tube.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Playlist for 3/6

Natalie Prass - s/t
Rhiannon Giddens - Tomorrow Is My Turn
Robert Earl Keen - Bluegrass Sessions
Bob Dylan -  Shadows In The Night
JD McPherson - Let The Good Times Roll
Now 53
Steve Reich - Rewrite

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Missing From the Songwriters Hall of Fame (Updated March 2015)

The 2015 Songwriters Hall of Fame Inductees were announced today:  Cyndi Lauper, Linda Perry, Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter, Bobby Braddock, Willie Dixon and Toby Keith.

All I'm going to say is I have no idea who votes for this Hall or what the demographics are.

But, this article by Roger Friedman fills in some of the questions I have about this Hall.  According to Friedman, the Song Hall once had an "unspoken" rule about no posthumous inductees.  Which would explain how George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix and others have failed to get in.  But with the 2015 induction of Jerry Garcia and Willie Dixon they've now changed that rule.
Take a look at the names below.  None of these are in the Songwriters Hall of Fame as of 2015.

It's an incredible list.  And you think the Rock Hall is missing some names.

Not inducted as of 2015:

Pete Townshend
Neil Young
Cat Stevens
George Harrison

Jimi Hendrix
Sly Stone
Rod Stewart
Dion DiMucci
Rod Temperton
Walter Becker/Donald Fagen
Warren Zevon
Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards
Bobby Womack
Elvis Costello
Tom Petty
Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks/Christine McVie
Jeff Lynne
Steve Miller
John Hiatt
John Mellencamp
David Gates
Led Zeppelin

Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds

Luther Vandross
Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder/Pete Bellotte
Roger Waters/David Gilmour
George Michael
Robbie Robertson
Steve Perry/Neal Schon/Jonathan Cain 
Tom T. Hall
Waylon Jennings
John Prine

Billy Joe Shaver
Townes Van Zandt
Bert Berns
Harry Nilsson
Steve Winwood
Robert "Mutt" Lange
Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis
Chrissie Hynde
Joe South
Tony Joe White

Dan Fogelberg
Rodney Crowell
B.B. King
J.J. Cale
Peter Gabriel
Harry Wayne Casey

Alan Jackson
Steve Miller
Boz Scaggs 

BTW- In some cases I put the whole group down, which is what this Hall did when they inducted all the members of Queen.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Playlist for 3/1

Eric Johnson & Mike Stern - Eclectic
Steve Earle - Terraplane
Diana Krall - Wallflower
Decemberists - What A Terrible World
Run The Jewels 2
Company Freak - Le Disco Social
Jellyfish - Spilt Milk/Bellybutton
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