Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Playlist for 11/27

Hip-Hop Evolution (Series 2) Netflix Documentary
Robert Christgau - Is It Still Good To Ya?  (Book)
Whitey Morgan - Hard Times and White Lines
Buck Owens - Sings Harlan Howard
Cecile McLorin Salvant - Window
Kandace Springs - Indigo
Culture Club - Life
Robyn - Honey

Saturday, November 24, 2018

My Predictions: 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Back to 15 nominees this year.

With that amount of nominees, I don't know how they'll play this.  I'll go with 5.  Always hoping for more.  With that in mind, I've included some Dark Horse picks.


Def Leppard -  Fan vote winner always gets in. This will be 7 out of 7.

Janet Jackson - Here's where I get skeptical about her chances.  When the nominees were announced, NomCom member Alan Light said Jackson deserved "one more chance" after the big year she had with Lifetime awards and World Tour.  What does that mean? That she had a low voting % in her 2 previous years?

Stevie Nicks - She's a solid 2nd with the fan vote.  But I've been thinking this isn't a sure thing.  Most will know she's already inducted.  And if they really think about her solo career, they could have second doubts.

Todd Rundgren -  Right, he's nominated as a Performer, but he's had a hand in so many other musical adventures, that voters are going to reward his whole career. Or maybe the Rock Hall will (hint: Musical Excellence) He's one of those guys who has seemed to work with everyone, and that includes many current Hall members. That's not always a guaranteed induction.  But he's also been a long-time snub, and sometimes that is more than enough.

Zombies - 4th try.  This well-loved band is this year's sentimental fave. They could be the last of the British Invasion bands that has any type of shot.  Fan favorites, and if they carry the Classic Rock vote, they could finally make it.

The Rest

Cure - Last nominated in 2012.  If Depeche Mode and the Smiths can't get in, then I don't think they will after two tries.  The current voting bloc (as of 2018) just doesn't go for British Alt-Rock (i.e. last year's Eurythmics nomination).

Devo -  Kind of cult favorites, with one big hit, who may be too much of a cult favorite to go in on their first nod.

John Prine - This year's surprise nominee.  He's a beloved figure among his peers.  I don't think there's enough of them to put him in right away. Tempted to list him as a Dark Horse, though.  One final thing:  I've been an advocate for Willie Nelson's Hall induction since 2012.  Not sure why he keeps getting bypassed.  The Country Outlaw movement had a distinct "Rock & Roll" attitude.

Kraftwerk -  You think R&B acts have a tough time getting in nowadays?  Now on their 5th try, they suffer at the ballot box from the voting bloc's lack of love for Electronic/Synth acts. No matter if they are German or British.

LL Cool J - He's a NomCom fave,  now on his 5th try.  I will, as I've done since his first nomination in 2010, say that his TV presence has diluted his musical legacy.  But some Rock Hall Watchers think this could be his year.  I hope they're right, but for now I can't quite pick him.  Dark Horse

MC5 - Just never enough support.  But they are a 4X nominee, so who knows?  And their music is as relevant today as it was in 1968.

Radiohead - You could hear gasps when the inductees for 2018 were announced and Radiohead weren't on there.  Are they running into the same Alt-Rock bias that Nine Inch Nails, Smiths, Cure and Depeche Mode encountered? Or maybe it's a British Rock thing. This year's results will be the answer.  Dark Horse candidate.

Rage Against the Machine - On their 2nd try, a band you shouldn't count out. Tom Morello seems to be everywhere.  Besides being a NomCom member, he's politically active, and keeps putting out music.

Roxy Music - This one has me puzzled.  Why am I not more sure about them?  Too British? Too affiliated with the Art-Rock movement?  Not enough U.S. success?  Something is keeping me (and I think voters) from picking them.  Dark Horse.

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan - We'll see what happens with Janet Jackson this year.  But truth is, 70's R&B continues to get treated like an afterthought by voters.  Again, good that the NomCom is sticking with them.  2 noms solo, 3 with Rufus.

Also: My post on the (maybe, somewhat new) Rock Hall Singles Category

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Playlist for 11/21

Alejandro Escovedo - Crossing
Todd Rundgren - Todd
Todd Rundgren - Initiation
Utopia - Adventures In Utopia
Roy Hargrove - Habana
Roy Hargrove - Hard Groove
Maria Muldaur - Don't You Feel My Leg

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Playlist for 11/15

Pistol Annies - Interstate Gospel
Elle King - Shake The Spirit
Daniel Bachman - Morning Star
Daniel Bachman - s/t
Becky Warren - Undesirable
Billy Gibbons - Big Bad Blues
Star Is Born - Soundtrack
Now 68 - Various
Peabo Bryson - Stand for Love

Monday, November 12, 2018

RIP Stan Lee

A legendary life.  And talk about becoming more famous in your later years.  Once Marvel began making movies of their classic characters in the early 00's, Lee's star grew larger-than-life.

Living in Germany in the early 70's, I began to devour comics, not just from Marvel, but DC as well.
This was just before music took over my life, and I outgrew comic books (but still loved all the characters).  I bought or borrowed all of 'em as soon as our Military bookstore got them in.  Among the Stan Lee creations:  Hulk, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Thor, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Doctor Strange.  And Captain America, which Lee didn't create, but did write some of the stories.
Over at DC: Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern.  All these characters were flawed, and that's what made Lee's creations so authentic.

This was a whole new world for an Elementary school kid.  As I got older, I lost interest in the comic books.  But when DC brought out the Superman movies and Batman in the late 70's/late 80's, I was once again taken back to my childhood.

And the good part about Marvel resurrecting its franchise with that first Spider-Man movie in 2002, is that the film was good.  As were most of the others Marvel brought back to the big screen,

So, I have to thank Stan Lee for opening up my imagination with his comic books. Those comic books, which were well-written and drawn up, were like classic novels to a 7-10 year old.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Playlist for 11/9

Tony Joe White - Bad Mouthin'
Hazel Dickens - Hard Hitting Songs for Hard Hit People
Suzy Bogguss - Somewhere Between
Shannon Shaw - Shannon in Nashville
Will Hoge - My American Dream
Flight of the Conchords - Live in London (HBO Special)
Masego - Lady Lady
Noname - Room 25

Thursday, November 08, 2018

B-52's Poll: 20 Greatest Songs

Latest Poll that I voted in was for the B-52's.  I haven't listened to their catalog in awhile, so this was a pleasant rediscovery.

Top 20 songs and Top 5 albums:

1.  Rock Lobster
2.  Roam
3.  Private Idaho
4.  Love Shack
5.  Dance This Mess Around
6.  Song For A Future Generation
7.  Give Me Back My Man
8.  Java
9.  Party Out Of Bounds
10.  Meet The Flintstones
11.  Summer of Love
12.  Whammy Kiss
13.  Good Stuff
14.  Planet Claire
15.  Deadbeat Club
16.  Strobe Lights
17.  52 Girls
18.  Is That You Mo-Dean?
19.  Funplex
20.  Mesopotamia

Top 5 Albums:
1.  B-52's - s/t
2.  Cosmic Thing
3.  Wild Planet
4.  Whammy
5.  Funplex

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Looking at the Rock Hall Singles Category

At the 2018 Steven Van Zandt announced a new Rock Hall category inducting Singles by artists not in the Hall of Fame.  His announcement didn't mention if this would be a yearly award, or just a one-off.  Apparently, a Singles/Records prize was brought up years ago.  But it was Van Zandt who made it a reality.

There are other questions about this category. Van Zandt said that the singles are by artists who are not yet, but may still be, inducted.  The award also appears to have been established to recognize classic singles by artists who fell short of a Rock Hall worthy career (Kingsmen, Jackie Brentson). Also, none of the acts involved with these songs were at the ceremony.  And we don't know if any of the initial 6 acts who had songs enshrined will be on forthcoming ballots.

I've got mixed feelings about this category.  It's nice to see these bypassed artists get some kind of recognition.  Especially on induction night. But I want Joe Tex,  Clovers, Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio, Dominoes, Dick Dale, Link Wray, etc., to get inducted for more than just one song.

Outside of the Zombies, there were no other mid-60's era acts nominated on the 2019 ballot.

For more on the Singles category, I refer you to this post from Future Rock Legends

And a special shout-out to Alex Voltaire who wrote a great post about this subject soon after the category was revealed at the 2018 induction night.

Also  Nick Bambach whose post takes the most thorough look at the category.
And  Jason Voight picks some singles contenders.

Here's are the first 6 singles inductees:

"Rocket 88" - Jackie Brentson
"Rumble" - Link Wray (nominated 2014, 2018)
"Twist"- Chubby Checker
"Louie Louie" - Kingsmen
"Whiter Shade of Pale" - Procol Harum   (nominated 2013)
"Born To Be Wild" - Steppenwolf  (nominated 2017)

What I'm going to do is assume that this will be a yearly category.  Using the same template that Van Zandt did, I'm picking songs by 50's & 60's acts that have yet to be inducted, and some who don't have a chance but had at least one undeniable single.  I'm using 1969 as my cutoff date.  I've also included the year an artist was nominated for the Hall:

"96 Tears" - ? & The Mysterians
"Alone Again Or" - Love
"At The Hop" - Danny & the Juniors
"Blue Moon" - Marcels
"Book of Love" - Monotones
"Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" - Neil Sedaka
"C.C. Rider" - Chuck Willis  (1986, '87, '88, '89, '90, 2011)
"Chantilly Lace" - Big Bopper
"Crazy" - Patsy Cline
"Da Doo Ron Ron" - Crystals
"Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly" - Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
"Do Wah Diddy Diddy" - Manfred Mann
"Do You Love Me" - Contours
"Duke of Earl"-  Gene Chandler
"Earth Angel" - Penguins
"Get A Job" - Silhouettes
"Gimme Some Lovin'" - Spencer Davis Group
"Gloria"- Them
"Good Rockin' Tonight"- Wynonie Harris
"Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite" - Spaniels
"Honky Tonk" - Bill Doggett
"Hungry" - Paul Revere and the Raiders
"I Fought The Law" - Bobby Fuller Four
"I Got You Babe" - Sonny & Cher
"I Put A Spell On You" - Screamin' Jay Hawkins
"I'm A Believer" - Monkees
"In The Still of the Night"- Five Satins
"Israelites" - Desmond Dekker
"It's My Party"- Lesley Gore
"It's Only Make Believe" - Conway Twitty (2005)
"Kansas City" - Wilbert Harrison
"Kick Out The Jams" - MC5   (2003, '17, '18)
"Leader of the Pack" - Shangri-Las
"Letter" - Box Tops
"Lion Sleeps Tonight" - Tokens
"Little Darlin'" - Gladiolas or Diamonds
"Loco-Motion" - Little Eva
"Love Is Strange" - Mickey & Sylvia
"Love Potion No. 9" - Clovers
"Maybe" - Chantels  (2002, 2010)
"Miserlou"- Dick Dale
"Money" - Barrett Strong
"Mony Mony" - Tommy James and the Shondells
"My Guy" - Mary Wells  (1986, 1987)
"My True Story" - Jive Five
"Needles and Pins" - Searchers
"Please Mr. Postman" - Marvelettes  (2013, 2015)
"Pyschotic Reaction" - Count Five
"Quarter to Three" - Gary U.S. Bonds
"Rock Island Line" - Lonnie Donegan
"She's About A Mover" - Sir Dougles Quintet (2006)
"Shotgun" - Junior Walker and the All Stars
"Show Me" - Joe Tex (1998, '06, '07, '11, '17)
"Since I Met You Baby" - Ivory Joe Hunter
"Sixty Minute Man" - Dominoes  (1997)
"Sleep Walk" - Santo & Johnny
"Speedo" - Cadillacs
"Stand By Me" - Ben E. King  (1986, '87, '88)
"Stay" - Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs
"Surf City"- Jan & Dean
"Surfin' Bird" - Trashmen
"Susie Q" - Dale Hawkins
"Tequila" - Champs
"Time of the Season" - Zombies (2014, '17, '18)
"Train Kept A-Rollin' - Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio
"Walk Away Renee" - Left Banke
"Walk On By" - Dionne Warwick
"Wichita Lineman" - Glen Campbell
"Wild Thing" - Troggs
"Wipe Out" - Surfaris
"Wooly Bully" - Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Playlist for 11/3

Jose James - Lean On Me
Anthony David - Songs of Bill Withers
Five Stairsteps - Stairsteps
Elvis Costello - Look Now
Bottle Rockets - Bit Logic
Kurt Vile - Bottle It In
John Hiatt - Eclipse Sessions
Colter Wall - Songs of the Plains

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