Yeah, I’m still in a mood. Another video. Sorry, not sorry.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“You owe me money. I’m gonna get it all” – “You Owe Me Money” (Covert)
I used to love Halloween. I mean, really love it. I called it my favorite holiday. According to which definition of “holiday” you use, it may or may not be an actual holiday.
Wikipedia describes a holiday in the US: the word is used exclusively to refer to the nationally, religiously or culturally observed day(s) of rest or celebration, or the events themselves.
Merriam-Webster says: a day on which one is exempt from work; specifically: a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event.
Usually, we don’t shut down businesses for Halloween.
When I was a kid, there was nothing like it. Especially because we lived back in a hollow in West Virginia with no street lights on the road (only in folks’ yards and on houses). It was safe and we could roam about and be silly. There was this weird contest between my mother and my friends and me about who could scare the other party the most. She won more often than not. There was one time when she had borrowed this ridiculous mask that my uncle had and hid in the woods along the road. We all came through and she jumped out. We were all screaming like little girls and I was on the ground yelling that I wanted my mommy. No lie. Good times, those.
But, as I got older, I stopped caring about it gradually as time went on. And, now as a full-on adult, and yeah, I’ll say it, middle-aged, it’s really turned into a big ol’ nuisance. It’s an amateur drinking holiday. It brings out the wackos. It’s just not that fun for me anymore. 3B isn’t into a lot of the stuff so I can’t do what my mom did, plus, I’m afraid I’d be shot or something these days.
I don’t like jack o’ lanterns.
Sure, there are the movies, right? Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street. Or, the classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, The Blob, Night of the Living Dead. Or the newbies: The Grudge (or more specifically the superior Japanese version Ju-On), The Ring, Insidious, Paranormal Activity and on and on and on. I still love those. But, I can see those now at any time because of streaming and/or owning them.
Then there are the kids. I love my son and my nephews, but really, I don’t like kids. I haven’t liked kids for a while. They get on my nerves. There are exceptions but mostly, nah. We are lucky enough to not have kids in our neighborhood and we are far enough off the road that no one comes back here and just in case, we leave the lights off because lights off mean “closed for business” to Trick-or-Treaters. I don’t want them here.
So, if you’re going out tonight to do Halloween things, knock yourself out! Have fun. Have a ball. Eat, drink, be merry. But, be safe. If you’re going out with your kids tricking and treating, then have fun, be safe. If you’re watching “scary” films, turn the light off, grab your favorite beverage and your favorite person and watch away. If you like Halloween and everything there is about it. I hope it’s a great, fun and safe one. If you’re like me, turn off the lights, watch the football game and relish in the fact that it’s Friday Eve.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“It’s Halloween; everyone’s entitled to one good scare.” – Brackett from Halloween
AC/DC, Ace Frehley, Aerosmith, Alive!, Animalize, Anton Fig, Asylum, Bon Jovi, Bruce Fairbairn, Bruce Kulick, Carnival of Souls, Cinderella, Crazy Nights, Destroyer, Donnie Iris, Dressed to Kill, Gene Simmons, Hot in the Shade, Kevin Valentine, KISS, Lick It Up, Love Gun, Monster, Music, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Psycho Circus, Rant, Rolling Stone, Sonic Boom, Tommy Thayer, Tupac
The month of September is a huge month for KISS fans, even if they don’t know it. Why you may ask? Because the month of September is the anniversary month for the releases of TEN KISS albums. I’ve talked about Alive!, Animalize, Asylum, Paul, Gene, Ace, Peter, Lick It Up and Crazy Nights. Here’s the last one for September. It’s one of great debate, I’m sure. I am conflicted with it myself. And, I’m doing it a day early because Saturdays are scheduled for something else.
Heavens Sake, the band that I was in and still the proudest of (we were greatly influenced by KISS), was still happening in 1998. It was in and out but it was happening. I had seen MTV’s “Unplugged” featuring KISS, along with a reunion of the original members while at drummer Bob’s apartment. We saw KISS actually reunited in makeup on the Grammys, introduced by Tupac. They had a reunion tour and we went. So, it was inevitable that there would be an album. This was the “reunion” album, Psycho Circus, in 1998 on September 22.
I say that in quotations because Peter really only played on Ace’s “Into the Void.” And, current KISS “Spaceman” Tommy Thayer played leads on all but four tunes. And, Bruce Kulick, former KISS member, played bass on the title track and “Dreamin'” and played the backward guitar track on “Within” and rhythm guitar on “Dreamin’,” as well. The drums, this time, weren’t played by Anton Fig in Peter’s stead, this time it was Kevin Valentine (who played on Revenge and Hot in the Shade, as well), known from Donnie Iris & the Cruisers and he was a touring drummer with Cinderella for a bit. Valentine also is an Emmy award-winning composer.
Whilst it was supposed to be a “return of KISS,” even in sound and feel it wasn’t old KISS. There were a lot of aspects of Carnival of Souls, the grunge-metal hybrid they were working on before getting the wise idea of “putting the band back together,” still on here. “Within” is the prime example of that, and in fact was demoed for that album. They had stuff that really sounded like most of the 80s-era stuff, especially Crazy Nights and Hot in the Shade. Again, this was a reunion album in concept only.
When you go out and play American football with all the rules, the same team, the same players, and call your team the New York Yankees, it’s still American football. You can call it a return to the “old KISS” but when the same two people are in charge of the songwriting and the same players are in the studio, it’s still the “new KISS.” Now, all that being said, I’m glad.
I loved the new KISS. I loved the old KISS. I still love KISS. As I said, up until Hot in the Shade, they couldn’t do any wrong, and, even with a few hiccups since that album, I still love them. It’s like that uncle that you know does dumb stuff but you still love him. The band evolved. They grew. They regressed. They moved forward. They moved backward. They adapted and that’s probably their biggest sin, here. I don’t think it would have been possible to return to Destroyer or Love Gun. I don’t think they forgot how to play and write like that, I just think it wasn’t them. If you listen to Sonic Boom or Monster (more on those next month), it’s not far from the same sound as this album.
I think they loved the idea of a KISS reunion but didn’t love being reunited. In a Rolling Stone interview in 2009, Paul said, “We tried to do a Kiss album, and it was an ill-fated attempt because there was no real band. For a band to make a great album, it has to share a common purpose…and we didn’t have it.” It was also revealed that Ace and Peter were trying to negotiate more money out of the “partnership.” You don’t negotiate money with Gene and Paul, not anymore. They feel they’ve survived without Ace and Peter, they kept the name going – regardless of the circumstances, and I think they knew that it was only a matter of time before it all came to an end.
In a very tongue-in-cheek attempt to return to some semblance of the old KISS sound, what do they do? They hire Bruce Fairbairn who was known for Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet and New Jersey albums, Aerosmith’s Permanent Vacation, Pump and Get a Grip, and AC/DC’s The Razor’s Edge. Now, all of those are fine and decent albums but do any of them scream what KISS would have sounded like as “old KISS?” All of those are the slickly-produced, sugary popped, the 80s/early 90s hair band mess. Which, I am quite fond of, actually. But, most folks aren’t when it comes to a KISS reunion.
People were disappointed. I wasn’t. Is it my favorite KISS album? Absolutely not. Is it top 10? Absolutely not. Is it top 20? Well, considering there are only 20 studio albums, it kind of has to be, right? It ranks higher than does either Sonic Boom, Monster, Hot in the Shade, Ace or Peter’s solos, and the gasper for this whole thing, Dressed to Kill. Yeah, I’ve really always been so-so about that one. Live with it. I do. This was the last good KISS record to me.
Contrary to what my blog always sounds like, I’m not anti-Ace or anti-Peter, I just don’t care. They squandered their chance and it’s okay that they milk what they can from what they had: sober, not sober, whining, moaning, happy, in, out… whatever. But, I’m really indifferent about their involvement in the band. I felt a little down when they didn’t all play together on stage for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but I’m kind of glad at the same time. Upon the announcement of the “End of the Road” tour that is coming to be the actual retirement tour (we’ll see), people are calling for Ace and Peter to be part of it. Nah. They don’t deserve it in my eyes. Plus, even on the reunion and “farewell” tours, Peter couldn’t keep up and Ace was Ace. Tommy does the same licks, doesn’t mess them up and still has feeling in his playing. Just let it go. If you’re the “F.You without Peter and Ace,” then go back and listen to the old stuff and relish what you had but shut the heck up. Stop living in the past. Paul and Gene aren’t going to change their minds and they don’t care if you don’t give them money. You’re just grandstanding at that point.
My favorite tunes on this album are the title track, “We Are One,” “Dreamin'” (which got Paul and Bruce sued for copyright infringement from Alice Cooper, he won, they settled out of court) and “Journey of 1,000 Years.” I could have done without “You Wanted the Best” because I’m not a fan of “cheerleading” songs and that’s all it was. “Into the Void” was okay. I do actually like “Within,” but then again, I liked COS, too. The rest are okay, too. I like it. Most don’t. I get it, but oh well.
Tomorrow will be 20 years since this came out. To me, it’s still the “new KISS album.” It’s hard to count Monster and ESPECIALLY Sonic Boom. I just listened to Psycho Circus again for good measure.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“I’ve been waiting here to be your guide. So come, reveal the secrets that you keep inside. Step up! No one leaves until the night is done. The amplifier starts to hum. The carnival has just begun. You’re in the psycho circus. And I say welcome to the show.” – “Psycho Circus” (Stanley/Cuomo)
Yep, it’s Hopslam time. Some call it “hypeslam” because it’s a lot of hoops you have to jump through to get any. The bottle shops are one thing but only the bars with the big Bell’s sales get this.
You know I don’t like IPAs very much. Well, I don’t know about that, but they’re certainly not my favorite. Double IPAs, however, I do like a good bit. Still not my favorite, but a good bit.
And Hopslam is a good representation of that.
Every year, Hopslam is released in limited quantity and it’s a different recipe every year. This is 10% ABV, always a bonus. BeerAdvocate has it as 4.46 out of 5. Untappd has it at 4.35 caps out of 5. I liked it. I rated it at 4.75 out of 5.
Have you had it? What did you think? If you’ve not had it, or just have a hankering for more, you should head down to City Beverage and grab your sixer. But, you need to hurry because when they’re gone, they’re gone. This is a very limited edition. Hurry on down there.
Listen to this week’s episode of The Less Desirables and hear what Danielle, Bethany, Jeff and Tim think about it.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.” – Bell’s Brewery
Ok so hopefully this will be the last one of the woe is me posts.
So yesterdays post was about the fact that someone wasn’t happy with their service and were being compensated or what have you. Well, today I was called into a meeting with someone I was working through with the intention of discussion whether or not I should continue to be there; I was informed that I probably shouldn’t.
Sorry to be so cryptic but I don’t want there to be any chance that I’m perceived as bad-mouthing or otherwise not handling it well. I’m perfectly fine with the decision, although there are a few aspects that bother me. There’s a few things that will change about how I do things and that part does suck. But, overall, it is what it is and I’ll be fine. There’s no hard feelings. Bruised feelings, yes, but not hard feelings. And I’ll be quite fine. In fact, outside of this arena, I am on with some swell people to do something (many somethings, actually) awesome and you, Dear Reader, will hear about them when the time is right. You know I can’t pass an opportunity to pimp out what I’m working on, right!?
Well this one was a short one, and probably about time.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel at SOME blog time…
“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Dear Reader, I am in quite the bad mood this evening. Without going into details (at all) I just had a “job” situation go awry and didn’t even know it was such until after other factors had made it a) more inconvenient, b) more confusing and c) more devastating. OK, maybe devastating is a bit much, but the situation involved three others and they were somewhat displaced for a night and were not happy, at all. Some of it was my fault, but I accepted 100% because customer service is of utmost importance, although they may not think so.
I’ll say if it happened to me, I’d be absolutely furious as well, but I’d like to think that I’d understand what was being done to correct the problem. I’ll admit, it was, due to bad cell phone reception and the process of actually obtaining accommodations things didn’t go as quickly as even I’d have liked and what started at 10:30 didn’t get handled until 4:15 or so. I understand, I get it, I hate it.
Now, when things were at least put into a manner of compromise (which includes a substantial sum of $$ from my own pocket) and one of the people in question agree to said compromise, that should be adequate in the “making things right” department. I felt better afterwards and then got a call about how the hotel that I paid for to book them wasn’t on the beach and this was unacceptable, I can only apologize so much before I’m just pushed into a corner. I kept my cool. They did not. I still feel good about how I handled things and how things will probably work out, even with the loss of money. I’ll deal with that. I have to fix it. I have to make things right. I really want them to get what they wanted and I feel really, really bad about the discrepancy. I think when they get where they’re going they’ll feel better and hopefully all the bad is washed away. Only time will tell, though.
I know this was very vague, but that’s what you get with me sometimes. I’m not always crystal clear. Usually, actually, I’m as clear as a tar pit. Anywhat! That’s my day.
So until tomorrow, same blog channel at SOME blog time…
“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.“ – Yehuda Berg
“I hope you grow up and have a kid just like you!”
Who of us, dear reader, didn’t/hasn’t/won’t hear this from their parents? I know I did. “You’ll see what this is like.” For good kids, I guess that’s a blessing. For bad kids, it’s a foreboding. For kids like me, the ones that saddled the good horse while breaking the bad foal, it was hit or miss. Good or bad; close the eyes, spin around three times and pin the tail on the disposition.
We’ve seen posts about 3B before. And let me tell you, he’s a great kid: smart, witty. Even the good ones, though, have a hard time keeping their thick barrier of sense and sensibility when the evil monster rears its head. This monster’s name is puberty.
A genuine “tween,” sitting at the bench of 12 whilst waiting on 13, puberty is a biotch mistress to my boy. Not the getting pimples, oily skin, voice-changing puberty, at least not yet. No, this is the “all functioning brain cells must cease and desist” kind of puberty. You can almost hear the gears wind to a creaking stop. School work is down the drain, as is, obviously, any sense of truth telling. No amount of “grounding” is helping, either. It’s not like I didn’t think this day would come. No, I knew it would, but who could have known it would feel like this? I’m sure I’ve still got it better than some and I know that I’ve got to believe that this, too, shall pass. Frustration is hope’s cruel adversary.
Because I try not to dish out family gossip all I will say is there is going to be some deep searching for answers both for him and for me and The BCPF (who seems to be the actual rock in this situation) and 3B’s mother. It’s all I can do right now to not put my face through a plate glass window. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll chronicle more of these tromps as I go along in the NaBloPoMo. We’ll see. I know I’ll be visiting some of Ten to Twenty‘s ideas to see what others are going through and how they handle it. I may need some counseling, I don’t know.
I do it constantly to their faces but I’d like to publicly issue a heart-felt apology to my parents. If I was anything like this when I was growing up, then I truly am sorry for any pain or difficulty I caused. Insert heavy sigh, here.
He’ll be fine, I know it – if I let him live through all this.
So send me posi-vibes, dear reader, as I’m going to need them, for sure and until next time, same blog channel at SOME blog time…
“The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents– because they have a tame child-creature in their house.” – Frank Zappa
ABC, American Bandstand, Batman, Cartoons, CBS, CW, DC, Dungeons and Dragons, Filmation, Hanna-Barbera, He-Man, Herculoids, Hong Kong Phooey, Kenner, Life as It is, Marvel, Mr. T, NBC, Pac-Man, Plastic Man, Rant, Saturday morning, Schoolhouse Rock, Shazam, She-Ra, Shirt Tales, Smurfs, Snorks, Soul Train, Space Ghost, Spider-Man, Super Friends, Tarzan, television, Thundarr the Barbarian, Thundercats, Time for Timer, WCHS, WOAY, WOWK, WSAZ, WVVA
So, CW, the last bastion of Saturday morning cartoons, has ceased its showings of anything that resembles animated entertainment. It wasn’t even that long ago (ok 30+ years) that almost every American kid, aged 4-13 or even older, was getting up at some ridiculous hour on a Saturday to watch our favorite superheroes, mystery machine, little blue people, animals, underwater world or outer space adventure. This, after complaining that we had to get up early to go to school 5 days a week; we had no problem getting up for these hand drawn nuggets. I’m sure there will be animated commercials but not actual cartoons. So sad.
I remember back to when I was only about 4 or 5, my dad would get up to go to work in the coal mines, but before he did, he’d place a blanket over the seat and back of the couch. He’d then come get me out of bed, even carrying me, usually, lay me across the blanket and then wrap me like a caterpillar in a cocoon. He’d then turn the TV on to channel 4, WOAY, for those in WV, because that’s where the Super Friends could be seen. But before that, on the same channel Bugs Bunny and Yogi Bear would come on. Afterwards, I would work my way out of the very tight wound pocket I was resting in, have some cereal, I was (and if so inclined am still) a Fruity Pebbles kind of guy. Then maybe I’d work my way to channel 3 (WSAZ) or 6 (WVVA), both were NBC stations to see Sigmund and the Sea Monsters or, my grandfather’s fave, The Pink Panther. Maybe, I’d switch to Channel 8, WCHS (Now ABC, Channel 13, WOWK, eventually took over) for what CBS had: some Josie and the Pussycats or Speed Buggy or whatever. It started with ABC.
As I got older, my watching habits didn’t change, just what I watched, or at what time. I wasn’t wrapped like a birthday present anymore, but Dad still made sure I was up, or my mom may have been at that time. Super Friends moved to later time slots, but I still watched Bugs, Buggy, and Hong Kong Phooey. Even though it wasn’t animated, Land of the Lost was big at the time. Oh! and Shazam! I LOVED Shazam! and when Isis was addded, it was extra cool. Things like The Ghost Busters (with Larry Storch and Forrest Tucker, not the ’80s movie) and Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle and The New Adventures of Batman really turned my key. The latter was part of either Tarzan… or Batman and the Super 7. Even Plastic Man was so popular at this time, he had a 90 minute show! Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!? was brought back from the ’60s, as well. I’m longing for all that now, the more I write this.
When 1977 came along and Star Wars happened, every other commercial was about the action figures, play sets, breakfast cereals, clothing lines or anything else related to the brand. And that was OK. I never minded commercials during Saturday morning cartoons because it was stuff that always interested me. Speaking of space, NBC brought back the 60s hits Space Ghost and Herculoids to capitalize on the outer space phenomenon that was happening.
There was an educational element while Saturday morning cartoons were happening. ABC played the now-famous Schoolhouse Rock which I was barely old enough to use them for what they were meant for. The idea was to help students remember multiplication tables, and moved into American history, science and grammar. I was just going on 3 when they started and didn’t need all that education, but the other thing SR was supposed to do was entertain because that’s how many of us learned, heck, most of us, even. But, later, when reruns started back, I got through my 9th grade American Studies project of reciting the Preamble of the Constitution by singing it in my head. But, that wasn’t all. CBS had 30 Minutes and The CBS Saturday Film Festival. And Time for Timer!? Who didn’t love Time for Timer? And Chopper? I didn’t even know what Peoria was, but I knew I should do pushups if I did know. Hmmm… We learned and we didn’t mind it.
Even later in my cartoon watching career there was Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Thundarr the Barbarian, The Smurfs, Shirt Tales, Mr. T (he even had a cereal), Pac-Man (also a cereal), Snorks, and Laff-a-Lympics. I had plenty of Saturdays that my friends had spent the night before and we watched cartoons together, or when we went out to play, we’d talk about how Samurai saved Superman and Apache Chief by shouting the famous “Kaze no Yō ni Hayaku” a time or two and how Darkseid was thwarted because of it.
But, with all this, there was one thing for sure: American Bandstand meant it was time to go outside and play. We still did that. We went out and played. Not that I didn’t like American Bandstand. The first time I heard “Turn Me Loose” from Loverboy was on American Bandstand. I always thought it was weird that I had never heard any of the songs that Dick was polling the crowd about. And Soul Train, I liked watching the dancing. Still, usually, American Bandstand meant, OK! Saturday morning is over; let’s move on. And we did.
I can remember when things started to fall apart. It was still mid-’80s. When He-Man, She-Ra and their respective “universes”, or Dungeons and Dragons, Thundercats and, basically, all those first-run syndication cartoons started playing during weekday afternoons and they brought back the Saturday morning toons for syndication all during the week, many parents stopped letting the kids sit in the house and watch cartoons on Saturdays. They could watch cartoons all the time at this point. I loved and hated that. I loved that I could watch cartoons all the time (and I still watch the old ones when I get the chance) and hated that I could see it was the end of Saturday morning fun.
So back to the original thought here. Those were the “good ol’ days.” My son will never know the joys of WANTING to get up on a Saturday to watch cartoons. He’ll never know the elation of talking about those cartoons with his friends. Sitting under a blanket, in his Underoos or Superhero pajamas, eating cereal with feelings of suspense to see if Batman is going to escape the Riddler this time… won’t ever happen. I’m so thankful to my dad, mom, friends, Filmation, Hanna-Barbera, Kenner, Post, Kelloggs, DC, Marvel, ABC, CBS, NBC and many more for making my childhood the fantastic time that it was. I’m sad that time has passed, but like everything, all good things must come to an end. There’s still cartoons, yes, and some of them are really good, but NONE can compare with what we had on Saturday mornings.
What are your thoughts/memories of Saturday mornings, dear reader? I’d love to hear your stories. Comment, if you will.
Until next time, same blog channel at SOME blog time…
“Gathered together from the cosmic reaches of the universe – here in this great hall of justice – are the most powerful forces of good ever assembled.” – Ted Knight, Narrator, Super Friends
“When my ten gallon hat is feeling five gallons flat, I hanker for a hunk of cheese!” – Time for Timer
My updates were actually on track to be regular and something happened on the way to the forum…
That would be Merle Haggard. Damn you Merle!!! This is part 3 of a darn many chapters in my epic journey through the 500 Albums of All Time according to Rolling Stone Magazine.
A lot has happened; let me get going from where I left off:
#485 – Vitalogy by Pearl Jam. I have never been a fan of Pearl Jam, mainly because of Eddie Vedder. The music is generally good and the musicality is generally spot on. He’s just annoying. BUT… this album was actually good. I wouldn’t say great, but I won’t kick it out. I don’t own it, but I would. “Better Man” was a great song and truly, there wasn’t any real weak links that I remember. I dig it!
#484 – All the Young Dudes by Mott the Hoople. I’ve not had a lot of context of Ian Hunter other than he wrote “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” and sang on Freddie Mercury’s tribute show. I knew he was with Mott the Hoople. I was neither looking forward to nor dreading this album. I said to myself, “Self (sometimes I really do call myself that), this is a classic album and people talk about it all the time, let’s see what happens.” I won’t say that I was overly impressed, but did find it quite interesting. I have never been a fan of Lou Reed which will come later in the list but the version of “Sweet Jane” is quite vanilla compared to the Velvet Underground version. I’m a fan of Bowie so I was intrigued on his production and yes, he penned the title track after they turned down “Suffragette City.” Not a bad album at all. I’d listen to it again, but I’d not rush to do so. I dug it, but eh…
#483 – Entertainment by Gang of Four. THIS is punk I can get behind. It’s just fun. Is that the intention? I don’t think so, but it certainly is. To me, and this is only MY opinion, most punk is scattered and disjointed, which I get, is the point; nonconformity at its best! It is however, usually not for me. I do feel on this album they wanted to be that way and it just wouldn’t happen. Fun. I’d own it! I don’t know why things are now based on owning and listening again, but it’s worked its way into my blog, lol. My rules as I come up with them, I guess, lol. Oh, and I DIG it.
#482 – Guitar Town by Steve Earle. Ok, Eugene, I am sure you’re wanting to know about this one. The ONLY exposure to Mr. Earle I’d ever had was, of course, “Copperhead Road.” I was delighted that there was no inclusion of that song on this album as I want to put my face through a plate glass window every time I hear it. This album did not make me feel that way. Did I think it was wonderful? No. Did I find it entertaining? Yes. It’s good 70/80s Country Rock that was well above my expectations. I wouldn’t turn it off, but not interested in owning it. Dug.
#481 – Voodoo by D’Angelo. Boring. Slow jams are great, usually, and while the musicality is entertaining, they were in abundance. I never got what was supposed to be happening. It was like music was just… there. I didn’t get a lot of substance from it. Did not dig.
#479 – Maggot Brain by Funkadelic. Eddie Hazel is a genius! George Clinton is a genius! This album was right on and far out from note #1. The Parliament vocal work is wonderful. Hit me more Billy Bass! LSD laced lyrics, open head ideas and execution. Yummy! SO… yeah I dig it. I would own it. I want to own it. I want to hear it on vinyl. DUG!
#478 – All Time Greatest Hits by Loretta Lynn. Ok. I have to say this. I believe live albums and greatest hits albums should be excluded from this list. No exceptions, no matter how much I like them. Greatest hits are someone else’s idea of what the best songs were. And, yes, being in the record industry (artist) in the past, I know that the producer will generally take the collection of best songs recorded to put into a collection or “album.” This should not be here, but that being said, it wasn’t bad. I’ve never really cared one way or another about country music and this IS country music. Georgia Florida Line or whatever they call it and those like it are “settling pop wannabes.” No offense is intended to fans of those artists, just my opinion. It did take me back a bit to my childhood when my father would listen to nothing but. Well written, mostly clean fun and the not-so-hidden feminism that exudes from this Matriarch of C&W is worth a good listen. Dug.
#477 – Down Every Road by Merle Haggard. Oh, the bane of my existence. Not really. The fact that it was back-to-back with the other classic country (see #478) was a bit to take at one time. On top of that fact, this was a 4-disc (100 songs) collection, which as I said earlier, should NOT be here. Rhapsody, the music service I subscribe to and which makes it possible for me to listen to full albums at a time, did not have this available. So I had to go to Amazon and find the disc’s track listing and manually insert all 100 songs (actually only about 96, I had to go to YouTube for 4 songs that couldn’t be found on Rhapsody) into my playlist. So what I did was split it into 4 different listens – one for each disc. I listen in about 4 different places so while one computer had this lined up, I continued the listening journey on other computers. This did hold me up since I wanted to do a full review. Ok, to make a short story longer, this, too, was reminiscent of my childhood; not necessarily in a good way, but definitely not in a bad way. I recognized, as I did with Loretta, many of the songs. Catchy, if not sometimes depressing, little ditties which lend to the all-encompassing moniker and genre called, “Tear in my Beer” music. “Okie from Muskogee,” “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” and “I Wonder If They Think of Me” are just a few gems in this long trek of an album that I really remember. At times, I’ll admit I wanted to just skip and I had several people who know me come into the office to stare confused at why this was coming from speakers that were close to my ears. I personally know someone named Irma Jackson, too. Weird. Overall, I liked it, but again, it shouldn’t have been on here. Dug.
#476 – Life After Death by Notorious B.I.G. I put that it’s by Biggie, but is it really? I can find that Biggie is only on about half of this record. The other half is someone else doing all the work and him taking credit for it. But really, what is he taking credit for? Many… MANY of the songs “feature” this person or that person. Almost a shame to call it his. There’s 24 tracks on this record and I don’t think there was one single track without the “N” word in it. Look, I know I’m white. I may have said the word before, but DAMN! I can’t stand to hear it, especially repeatedly and abundantly. It made it difficult to listen to and I certainly didn’t enjoy it. Artistic or creative license and what have you, I don’t care. It was horrible and disgusting to listen to. Hated it. F-
#475 – Armed Forces by Elvis Costello & The Attractions. After the audible debacle that was #476, it was good to get back to music that didn’t make me want to lose my lunch. He born Declan MacManus, which I think is a much more impressive and cool name, has always been in my ears as one who changes his sound often and that includes vocal styles. He can sound like Elvis Costello in one instance and a whole different Elvis Costello in the next. I’ll never consider myself a connoisseur of his music or claim to really know much about him. I have three EC albums, one being a greatest hits – and that doesn’t count, remember? – and am happy with two of them. So to compare this to other things he’s done and where he stood in his life and career at the time would be pointless and lying. I will say, however, that “Accidents Will Happen” and “(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” are two of my faves from EC. I’d add this to my EC collection and I really dug it!
#474 –Próxima Estación: Esperanza by Manu Chao. Um… I don’t get it. I’m not knocking it, I just didn’t get it. I heard some good musicianship but I just couldn’t feel it. Sorry.
#473 – The Smiths by The Smiths. I have always poked at The Smiths and especially Morrissey, mainly to aggravate the Near Mrs (get it). She told me as a caveat, “this isn’t their best album.” To this I replied, “there’s a good one?” And then, I’m smacked hard, upon my face and torso with extreme prejudice. Not really. This wasn’t bad. I didn’t hate it. It’s Morrissey in his usual moaning mood that is what makes him unique and, I’ll admit, somewhat cool. Even if that’s not what he wanted. Life in Manchester really took its toll on him and the band, or so it seems. His tongue-in-cheek disdain for just about everything is offset by awesome music by Johnny Marr and pals. And if you didn’t know, some of the keyboards were played by Paul Carrack. I enjoyed listening to it and would own it. Shhh, don’t tell The BCPF.
#472 – Faith by George Michael. No matter what you think/feel about his personal life, stance, views, etc., the man can write! His first full-length foray after the break up of Wham!, Faith is an album that I certainly already had, loved, and fell in love with, again. “I Want Your Sex,” “Father Figure,” “One More Try,” “Faith,” and “Monkey” were all chart toppers. The songs that didn’t make it on the charts were quite listenable as well and my favorite song on the whole album, “Kissing a Fool,” is one that at the time I just thought cool, then others did covers, notably Michael Buble, and the coolness went through the roof. I love standard jazz-style songs like this. One of my top 30 albums of all time, this is just good stuff start to finish. DUG in every way.
#471 – I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight by Richard & Linda Thompson. Whoa! This is some haunting stuff. Not saying it is my favorite, but I can see where some of this would lead to stuff that BCPF started digging years later. Someone refers to it as wrist-slitting music in one review I read. That’s what I refer to a lot of stuff that BCPF listens to. I can hear some similarities. I have to get her to listen to it, now. Richard is renown in the spectrum of folk/alt-folk world. I don’t know how long they stayed married but I don’t think it was long. What little time they did make music, was decent stuff. I get chills listening to “The Great Valerio.” Some of it is quite Celtic in nature, at least in my ears. Dug.
I’m sorry this is so long and I’m also sorry it took so long. But don’t blame me, blame it on the Okie!
Until next time, same blog channel at SOME blog time… Scorp out!!
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