Sunday, December 24, 2006

Year End Wrap Up

Today in Music History:

1971, Slade appeared at London's Marquee Club, for a Christmas Eve party night.
Time to wrap things up for 2006, take some time off and start fresh in 2007. seems like it's a requirement to do a best of or worst of list for the ending year. Almost everyone has their lists compiled from magazines to tv etc blah, blah. Just finished reading Rolling Stone's list of the 100 best songs of 2006. Personally I wasn't too impressed, although a couple on the list I had to agree with. Honestly though if this was a representation of the best of the year then the music industry is in more trouble than it thinks it is. It was refreshing to see Weird Al at #77 with Trapped in the Drive Thru, a 10 minute opus in which a couple strives to get dinner. Done in a hilarious spoof of R Kelly which borders on genius.

So homercat dishes up his top Ten albums of 2006. No gnarls, monkeys or illinoise here. No apologies either. Homercat admits he's turning into an old fart and maybe doesn't get it anymore. As many times as he listened to Crazy he just didn't think it was great. Half decent maybe and I was left scratching my head over what the big deal was about. Old age and senility is no excuse to start listening to bad music, just because everyone else is. Speaking of bad music, what the hell happened to Gwen Stefani? Her first solo album blew me away and I listened to it over and over again. With high expectations I listened to her new album and could find no redeeming qualities and wondered where she came up with this garbage. It made me sad.
Top Ten Albums of 2006

1 Streets of New York by Willie Nile
Hands down the best thing I heard all year. Nothing comes close, excepmaybe number 2 on the list
Asking Annie Out by Willie Nile

2 Nothing but the Water by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
A Hammond never sounded so sexy and that voice, ahheeee the shivers down me back.
Nothing but the Water by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

3 and 4 The Monkees and More of the Monkees
Rhino's 40th anniversary remastered and deluxe double disc editions of The Monkees first two albums make the list because they have done such a superb job here and the music sounds almost new. Magnificent

5 Wolfmother
Folks this is what rock n roll sounds like. Balls to the wall, in your face rock. There may be a future for music if this band has any say.

6 Taking the Long Way by the Dixie Chicks
A few years ago the chicks spoke their mind about Bush and the war. The backlash from conservative America was inmmediate and resounding. They literally took a beating. In 2006 Americans got their heads out of their asses and opened their eyes and it seems the chicks were pretty much right all along. In this disc the Chicks show they are not ready to make nice and respond to the last few years with Colbert sized balls. Natalie Maines sounds almost punk at times.
Not Ready to Make Nice by the Dixie Chicks

7 Modern Times by Bob Dylan
I've only heard three cuts from this album but they are incredible. I'm waiting till after the holidays to get the disc. If these three songs are any indication maybe I should have given it the top spot.

8 Living With War by Neil Young
The guitars, the lyrics, and someone who actually had to balls to speak up about an administration gone terribly wrong.

9 Sinner by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Because I lub her and next to Neil has one of the greatest anti Bush songs ever on it.
Riddles by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

10 Rockford by Cheap Trick
Certainly not the best these guys have ever done, but it's Cheap Trick in fine form and once again reminding us that they are one of the greatest bands ever. Anything they do is top ten in my book.
Every Night and Every Day by Cheap Trick

Well like it or lump it, that's my say. I would like to personally thank those of you who took time out of your busy schedules to visit this little rag through the year. Hope to see y'all again in 2007 as Rockin' gears up for another year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and stay safe.

Funny Toon #1


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Best Christmas Song Ever

Today in Music History:

In 1957, Elvis Presley had his draft notice served on him for the US Army. He went on to join the 32nd Tank Battalion third Armor Corps based in Germany.
The insanity and madness that is gripping the North American continent will soon be over. I don't know what it's like in other parts of the world right now, so I can only speak of present experience. This will be the last posting to feature Christmas music this year. Homercat will probably grace these pages one more time this week and then it will be vacation time until 2007.

Good Rockin recently passed it's three year mark of bringing you the best of rocking goodness. Homercat doesn't exactly get the goods out on a daily basis, but unlike many other fine music blogs who have closed up shop, he is still around. So it is kind of a Christmas tradition here to once again post up the best Christmas song that I know of. Those of you who have followed Rockin' for more than a year will be familiar with this one. It gets upped every year just in case someone has missed it or for those who have never heard it. t's not a Joy to the World or Silent Night type song. In fact it should get some different lyrics and be a song I can listen to year round. It's a classic Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors song. This song is full of double entendres and is probably not your typical kid friendly Christmas song. But it is awesome. The horns and piano in this song absolutely rock. It's kind of a jazzy, funky, r and b type thing that will get your booty shaking. I listen to this song year round and damn if it doesn't make me want to get up and dance. Trust me this is one song you'll want to keep on your playlist year round.
It's Christmas Time by Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors
Buy It

I've also got a choice cut for you metalheads out there. This tune may very well have already been featured on better blogs than mine. It should have anyway. Twisted Sister recently released their own Christmas album. The Long Island quintet melds classic Christmas tunes with their favorite heavy metal songs to create a disc like no other. For instance, singer Dee Snider realized that the chorus to the band's biggest hit "We're Not Gonna Take It" is almost note-for-note the same as the melody to "O Come All Ye Faithful." So the band played the backing music for the Twisted song, while Snider sung the traditional hymn lyrics, and the result is an instant holiday classic. Out of the 11 tracks, the one original track, "Heavy Metal Christmas," is a Twisted interpretation of The Twelve Days Of Christmas ("Four quarts of Jack, three studded belts, two pairs of spandex pants, and a tattoo of Ozzy.") It also has ferocious bass riffing by Mark "The Animal" Mendoza that alone is worth the price of the disc.
Heavy Metal Christmas by Twisted Sister.
Buy It

Finally one last Christmas song. It's one no one has probably ever heard, unless you were around last year. It comes from Angel, a highly overlooked band from the seventies. I have featured them a couple of times through the years. For pics and an idea what Angel looked like check out their official web site. They rocked purty good. This cut was actually a redo from their White Hot album called the Winter Song. They renamed it the Christmas song, reworked the lyrics, added a few bells and Voila a Christmas Song. These three tunes are destined to become tradition here at Good Rockin'.
The Christmas Song by Angel
Buy It

Funny Toon

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy Holidays

Today in Music History:

Born on this day in 1949, Cliff Williams, bass player for AC/DC (he replaced Mark Evans in 1977).
Billy IdolJohnny Rotten once dubbed Billy Idol "the Perry Como of punk", but surely he can't have suspected that 1977's Gen Xer would one day record a Christmas album. Even more bizarre than swapping White Wedding for White Christmas, Sir William has traded in his Rebel Yell for a faux Bing Crosby croon. During Frosty the Snowman and other festive staples awash with unfortunate druggy double entendres, he struggles to keep a straight face. Admittedly, this may be because the album was recorded in a Los Angeles heatwave. Clearly Billy Idol just loves Christmas. So much so that he avoided the beaches this summer, bunkered down in the studio, festooned the mixing desk with tinsel and put his tree up. Billy is almost in lounge lizard mode here, almost as cheesey as Dick Cheese. In 2005 Billy served up the best album of his career as well as the best album of the year with Devil's Playground. It featured an awesome, rockin' Christmas tune called Yellin' at the Christmas Tree(Santa’s balls are jingling, Mommy’s hips a-wiggling). Why he felt he needed to record an album of Christmas favorites, I'll never know. Maybe it's a secret requirement of all musical artists that they must record a Christmas album sometime in their career.

There's an undeniably surreal appeal to Idol's Silent Night, the bonkers narratives ("Hello, this is Billy Idol") and a sherry-sodden Auld Lang Syne. The music doesn't stray from their original versions which is ok. Personally I tend to get sick and tired of the same old Christmas songs being recorded over and over again. Let's write some new ones. Be that as it may, you bold adventureous Idol fans may want to hunt down a copy of Happy Holidays.

Happy Holidays by Billy Idol 2006
Silent Night
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Blue Christmas (rs)
Buy It

Devil's Playground
Yellin' at the Xmas Tree
Buy It

Bill has even done a few cheesey videos for his Xmas album. Head over to you tube to catch Jingle Bell Rock which is almost funny and frightening at the same time.

Funny Toon

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Extra Cheese Please

Today in Music History:

In 1970, The Doors played what would be their last ever live show with Jim Morrison when they played in New Orleans.
Back in the seventies, homercat never missed an episode of Saturday Night Live. Everyone has their favorites from that era, but my favorite has to be Bill Murray. His character Nick the lounge singer was his best. I loved the way Murray would get into perfect lounge lizard form. I kinda like that lounge lizard sound. Recently people have been searching Rockin' frantically for Christmas tunes so I can kill two birds here by presenting to you one Richard Cheese, America's loudest lounge singer.

Dick CheeseRichard Cheese presents the perfect mix of music, martini, and madcap. With his swanky swing band, his tiger-striped tuxedo, and his enormous microphone, Cheese sings lounge-style covers of rock/rap hits, turning everyone's favorite songs into traditional pop vocal standards. Just imagine Sinatra singing a Nirvana song, and you've got Dick.

The finger-snapping, liquor-lapping, night-capping crooner first stepped into the spotlight in 2000 with his "LOUNGE AGAINST THE MACHINE" CD. This critically acclaimed album featured "swankified" versions of alternative rock songs, such as Radiohead's CREEP and Limp Bizkit's NOOKIE, all uncensored and all unbelievably Cheesey.

In 2002, Cheese was back in blacktie with his "TUXICITY" CD, an album of alternative, rap, and pop covers, including loungey remakes of Sir Mix-A-Lot's BABY GOT BACK and Van Halen's HOT FOR TEACHER. Dick's popularity grew with sell-out concerts around the U.S.A., appearances on The Opie & Anthony Show and The Howard Stern show, Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends Morning Show," and a regular gig as the Vegas house band on NBC's "Last Call With Carson Daly" show.

Cheese returned in 2004 with his "I'D LIKE A VIRGIN" CD, an intuxicating collection of "loungified" covers of Snoop Dogg's GIN & JUICE, Coldplay's YELLOW, and Michael Jackson's BEAT IT accompanied by a children's choir. That same year, Dick appeared on ABC-TV's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," and his cheesey version of Disturbed's song DOWN WITH THE SICKNESS was featured in the Universal Motion picture "Dawn Of The Dead."

In 2005, Dick released his fourth album, "APERITIF FOR DESTRUCTION," an all-new CD of kooky covers for lounge lovers. This 18-track record includes Vegas versions of songs originally by Guns 'N' Roses, U2, Black Eyed Peas, The Beastie Boys, Alanis Morissette, Metallica, Alice In Chains, Slipknot, and many more. From 2 Live Crew's ME SO HORNY to Green Day's AMERICAN IDIOT, Cheese served up another "fromage homage" to the hottest hits in music.

RC also released a greatest hits CD, "THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE MOON: THE BEST OF RICHARD CHEESE," featuring 10 all-new recordings plus 8 of Dick's cheesiest favorites. The album boasted newly re-recorded 2006 versions of Cheese classics RAPE ME, CLOSER, CREEP, NOOKIE, COME OUT AND PLAY, and FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT! Backed by a big band and a bigger sound, this was the biggest Dick yet!

Now, Cheese is back with his sixth CD, "SILENT NIGHTCLUB," a collection of happenin' holiday hits just in time for Christmas. This all-new album, released by Surfdog Records, includes 14 spirited covers of songs like HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA, DO THEY KNOW IT'S CHRISTMAS, PERSONAL JESUS, I MELT WITH YOU, LIKE A VIRGIN, NAUGHTY GIRL, IMAGINE and ICE ICE BABY. Plus, Richard Cheese has written and recorded an all-new original song called CHRISTMAS IN LAS VEGAS, destined to be a Christmas classic!

The line-up of the band consists of:

* Richard Cheese: vocals
* Gordon Brie: double bass
* Buddy Gouda/Frank Feta: drums
* Bobby Ricotta: keyboards

The names are all pseudonyms, and new band members adopt the pseudonym of the player they replace. The only constant band member is Cheese himself, who is really a Los Angeles-based comedian and entrepreneur named Mark Jonathan Davis. When the drummer Buddy Gouda (Charles Byler) left the band in 2004, he was replaced by Brian Fishler who changed the stagename for the drummer to Frank Feta. The role of pianist and musical director Bobby Ricotta is currently played by Noel Melanio, but was previously played by David Adler. The role of bass player Gordon Brie is played by Louis Allen, and was previously portrayed by Christopher Monaco.

Cheese's pseudonym is a slang reference to smegma, as Richard can be shortened to Dick, making his name "dick cheese".

Now, after six CDs, a dozen tours, a hundred concerts, and a million martinis, Richard Cheese has earned a prominent place in that prestigious pantheon of lounge legends:
Frank ... Sammy ... Dean .......... and Dick.

Not only are these tunes swanky and loungey, they are incredibly good also. Some of them are downright hilarious covers and extremely well done. For example, one would never think of the Dead Kennedy's Holiday in Cambodia as a Christmas song, yet Cheese makes it work and it sounds like a natural Xmas tune. So I will serve up a few examples of Cheese including a few off of his new Christmas album for your listening pleasure. Homercat recommends you track down some of his discs and get to buying.

Closer (NIN cover)
Buy It

Me So Horny (Two Live Crew cover)
Buy It

Rock the Casbah (the Clash cover)
Buy It

Christmas tunes

Holiday in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys)
Christmas in Las Vegas (original)
The Trees (Rush)
Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice)
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, December 08, 2006


Today in Music History:

Elton John hits #2 with "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," the title track from a double album that would itself reach #1 and remain on the album charts for two years.
Time to finish up my quadtastic lineup of classic Canadian bands. People have been searching the heck out of Christmas music, so starting next week I'll probably put up a few to satisfy the googlers. Honestly though I've just about had it up to here with the whole holiday thing. When I got to shop for necessities I have to wait in lines for at least a half hour and I swear everyone decides to put on their dipshit hats for the holidays. Folks just plain forget how to drive and the pedestrians just hop out in front of you without even a looksee. Homercat is going to hibernate all weekend so he can stay the hell away from all these Christmas tards. On to the music.

HelixHelix is a heavy metal band that formed in 1974 for a Battle of the Bands contest in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada and is best known for their 1984 single "Rock You". The original lineup consisted of singer Brian Vollmer, guitarists Brent Doerner and Paul Hackman, bassist Keith Zurbrigg and drummer Brian Doerner. Yep those Doerner guys are twins. Helix will never be known as progressive or thinking man's metal but who cares? Besides you gotta love a band that can mix a harmonica in with the metal.

After touring the southern Ontario clubs for a few years, the band decided to record and release their material on their own. Their first independent release, 'Breaking Loos'e, was released on their own H&S Records label in 1979. Two years and two member changes later, they released their second H&S album,'White Lace & Black Leather'. In 1982 they were signed to Capitol Records worldwide and 1983 saw the release of their first international album, 'No Rest For The Wicked'. Over the next ten years they released six more albums, five for Capitol, including a best-of compilation, and one on Aquarius/EMI. They did several international tours with the likes of Kiss, Aerosmith, Rush, Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Night Ranger, Heart, Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P., and Motorhead, and headlined a few of their own Canadian tours as well.

In 1991, co-founding member Brent Doerner decided to call it quits after 15 years on the road and his replacement was found in northern New York in Balicki. Balicki only played live with them, however, and when the band went back into the studio in 1992 to cut 'It's A Business Doing Pleasure', Doerner came out of retirement and rejoined his old cohorts. Also appearing on that album were guests such as Kim Mitchell, Lee Aaron, and Jaymz Bee, among many others. On July 5, 1992, a bus carrying some band members and crew went off the road suddenly near Kamloops, BC, and plunged down a 40 foot precipice. Two crew members were seriously injured and bassist Gray escaped with minor injuries, but guitarist and co-founding member Paul Hackman was killed in the crash. Services were held five days later near Kitchener, and long-time friend Ray Lyell sang during the service. After taking some time off, the remaining members decided that Hackman would have wanted them to continue, so they recruited Brighton Rock guitarist Greg Fraser to join their ranks. The first single off the album, "That Day Is Gonna Come", was written as a tribute to Hackman, and the video for the song featured unique Super 8 and video footage shot by Vollmer on the road over the years.

The lead singer and sole member to remain in the band throughout their career is Brian Vollmer. Currently Brian manages every aspect of the Helix organization from booking tours to distributing Helix merchandise. He also teaches the classical vocal technique Bel Canto in Kitchener, as well as singing classical music at weddings and funerals throughout southern Ontario.

Rock You by Helix 1984
Make Me Do anything You Want by Helix 1984
Buy It

Rockin' in My Outer Space by Helix 2004
Buy It

F.U.G.L.Y. by Brian Vollmer (solo) 1999
Buy It

So back on November 15 I started this Canadian retro thingy with my post on Prism and here I have ended up with Helix. Here's the reason. About a month ago the ladycat of the house won us two tickets and VIP passes to a New Year's Eve Bash at Bear Mountain Arena in which four bands will be performing. PRISM, HARLEQUIN, THE HEADPINS AND HELIX. I'm not sure but I believe this will be one New Year's Rockin' Eve. Dick Clark ain't got shit on this. The VIP passes entitle us to food, champagne and schmoozing with band members. If I'm lucky I may get an interview or two as I will surely be wearing my press hat. Photo's seem very likely to be taken. I doubt if I bootleg it though. Journeying back and relistening to these classic albums has got homercat pumped for this new years party. So rock out people and be safe this weekend.

Funny Toon

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Another edition of Canadiana

Today in Music History:

In 1973 Slade hits #1 in the UK with "Merry Christmas Everybody." It will remain at #1 for five weeks and becomes the group's biggest single, recharting every year between 1981-6.
harlequinHarlequin was a Canadian rock band that formed in Winnipeg in 1975 and lasted until the mid 1980s.
The original members of Harlequin were vocalist George Belanger, guitarist Glen Willows, keyboard player Gary Golden, drummer David Budzak and bassist Ralph James. Harlequin signed with Epic Records in 1979 and had a string of hit singles in Canada.

Their debut album, VICTIM OF A SONG was produced by Jack Douglas, who'd previously worked with the likes of Cheap Trick, Patti Smith, Aerosmith and John Lennon. Released that fall, it immediately made an impression with both the critics and the fans alike. "Sweet Things In Life" and "You Are The Light" both became instant radio staples across the country and Harlequin was rewarded with a debut gold record. Backed by the solid writing of other tracks like "Turn Around" and their first single "Survive", the band was heralded as one of the country's most promising new groups.

Following a year long tour which saw them open for such heavyweights as April Wine & BTO, they returned to the studios for LOVE CRIMES, released in the summer of 1980. Again, the airwaves were filled with the tight harmonies and catchy rhythms of the singles "Innocence" and "Thinking Of You". After Hannah left to join Streetheart in 1980, Harlequin came back with CRIMES OF PASSION later that year. Fuelled by new guitarist Glen Willows, tracks like the singles "Innocence", "Take This Heart" and "Thinking Of You" put to rest any fears the group couldn't function through problems like personnel changes. The band was now taking its straight forward rock and roll message all across Canada, and into the rest of the world.

It would be nearly two full years before their third record, ONE FALSE MOVE would hit the shelves. By this time Denton Young had replaced Budzak on drums. Back for his third consecutive stint behind the controls was Douglas and the fans' wait was justified by what many considered to be their best effort yet. "I Did It For Love", "Superstitious Feeling" and the ballad "Heart Gone Cold" pushed them to the elite status of only having three records, but all going gold.

They released a self-titled album in '85 which featured new keyboardist John White and John Hannah, ex of Streetheart, returning on guitars. "Take This Heart" was featured as the lead track and first single. Their second life was short-lived however, as the band called it quits shortly after the end of a North American tour which saw them share the stage with the likes of Loverboy and Streetheart. By 1986 the rigors of the road had taken their toll on the band, and they called it quits later that year.

Belanger and company all but disappeared until the mid 90's, when the advent of the 'classic rock' weekend festival brought them back to the stage. They currently still make their rounds around the country, playing to packed houses and outdoor concerts. They released a new album entitled HARLEQUIN II in 2005, which was met by rave reviews. "Sometimes I Feel", "Let Me In" and "Trust The One" have been heralded as some of the best new rock in years.

I always wondered why I had never heard of this band as a young un as they put forth some solid pop/rock, rivalling most of anything that was going on in the states at that time. Hopefully this post will introduce this band to a few folks outside of Canada.

Innocence by Harlequin
Thinking of You by Harlequin (rs)

Funny Toon

Friday, December 01, 2006

Screamin' Canadian Rock

Today in Music History:

In 1969 A free concert is organized by the Rolling Stones at Altamont Speedway, outside San Francisco. The event turns ugly when sets are disrupted by violence from Hell's Angels, Marty Balin is knocked unconscious, and a concert-goer is stabbed to death.
HeadpinsThe Headpins are the head instructors in Canadian Kick Ass Rock 101 - and school is in session. This ain't no snow day kitties. Originally formed by Brian MacLeod and Ab Bryant as a sort of 'side project' from Chilliwack, the group was rounded out by drummer Bernie Aubin and vocalist Darby Mills, one of the west coast's hottest new singers. Their impact was immediate even before they'd landed a record deal - the band's live magnetism was rivalled by few and they soon became one of the hottest commodities in Canadian rock, beginning with their first show in hometown Vancouver backing up Blackmore's Rainbow. After winning a local radio contest, the group released TURN IT LOUD on the independent Solid Gold Records in 1982. Co-produced by Bill Henderson, who Bryant and MacLeod played with in Chilliwack, the record allowed the Headpins to hit the scene with an experienced master behind the controls. Charged with emotions, MacLeod's guitars rang predominant, almost a friendly battle with Mills' immediately signature voice. The lead-off title-track grabbed you by the balls and refused to let go, and would soon find its place in rock history as one of rock's greatest anthems of all time.

Mills' style became known as the growl and would go on to lead the charge in their energized live show, compared more to Robert Plant or David Coverdale than, say Ann Wilson or Janis Joplin. "Don't It Make Ya Feel" turned the FM stations upside down, and deservedly so, the tune is simply crazy good. The Headpins had arrived and were soon rewarded with a gold record. Word of the band's raucous live show spread and by the time TURN IT LOUD turned platinum just a few short months later, the band had already toured most of North America. The debut would go on to sell over a quarter-million copies in Canada alone and be certified double platinum, making it one of the most successful debut albums by a Canadian group ever.

The band came back in '83 with their follow-up, LINE OF FIRE. Backed by the single, "Feel It (Feel My Body)" and "Don't Stand In The Line Of Fire", the album stayed true to the course its predecessor laid out the year before. LINE OF FIRE not only played the same chords at varying volumes as TURN IT LOUD, but the group also showed growth and diversity with "Feel It", incorporating synthesizers as well as a horn section. Another extended tour ensued, including dates with the likes of KISS, Billy Squier, Helix, Quiet Riot and Whitesnake.

Nearly two years would pass before the Headpins would emerge from the studios again. The result was HEAD OVER HEELS. Typical Headpins, it served up a healthy dose of MacLeod's blazing riffs and once again Mills' unmistakeable voice rang true on "Still The One" and "Death Of Me". Again the band enjoyed sales of nearly 100,000 copies at home alone, making HEAD OVER HEELS their third straight album certified gold or better.

The band went into hiatus for the next couple of years, with each member venturing out to do outside projects, including Mills' 1991 solo effort NEVER LOOK BACK. The rock world was saddened the next year, when Brian MacLeod lost his bout with cancer. The group reformed later that decade and the result was unanimous - people still loved the live magnetism only they can bring to a party.

The band is still packing the houses and kicking ass like no others. A greatest hits package was finally released to the delight of classic rock fans in 2002. The only compilation currently available to span all 3 records, THE COMPLETE GREATEST HITS is a multi-media event - 14 killer tracks that helped shape Canadian rock, as well as the videos for "Just One More Time" and "Don't It Make Ya Feel". Me likey that rock n roll.

Don't It Make Ya Feel by the Headpins
Mine All Mine by the Headpins
Buy It

Funny Toon

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What the....F***

Today in Music History:

2001 George Harrison dies at the age of 58 after a long battle with cancer.
The beginning of a messSee in my last post I mentioned how moderate the weather was here and how it never snows and itrains a lot. Booyah, man did we get a whole buttload of snow. Shoulda kept me yapper shut. It started snowing Sunday morning. In this pic here it shows the beginning of our snow event from homercat's balcony, around noonish I think. Then around twoish, a transformer across the street exploded and there were live wires in the street. They were hissing and humming and we wuz without the electrics. It finally came back on around 8 that night and we were luckier than most. Some people here on the Island are still without power. When the event was over our fair city lay under a blanket of about 16 inches of snow. Monday morning this was one dead city. The one snowplow we have here was working it's butt off. Since snow is a rarity here, the natives totally freak out when the white stuff makes an appearance.

a different angle of homercat's streetOne things for certain, these folks don't have a friggin clue how to drive it. Lawdy lawdy, what a mess.It can be kind of fun to watch folks who are not used to it try to finagle their way around. To top off everything it got seven below zero and everything was rock solid this morning. I know that don't sound too bad to some of you prairie folk who routinely get those thirty below temps, but we're spoiled out here. Here it is in the pm and the snow is falling again. Music lovers this is highly unusual for these parts. It has reminded homercat just how much he detests these cold and snowy conditions.
bus go slippity slidy
As a result of all this all I can think about is snow. Let's see if we can conjure up some snow themed music. I wanted to steer clear of any Christmassy stuff, and that was hard to do. It seems that if snow is mentioned it turns into a Christmas song. So I threw in cold and winter for good measure.

Snowball in Hell by They Might Be Giants
Buy It

Sometimes it Snows in April by Prince
Buy It

Let it Snow
by Billy Idol
Buy It

Snowman by the Barenaked Ladies
Buy It

Snowblind by Ace Frehley
Buy It

Song for a Winter's Night by Gordon Lightfoot
Buy It

Too Cold At Home by Mark Chestnutt

Maybe some of you could suggest some snow songs that don't have anything to do with Christmas, because I'm drawing a blank. Hope your weather is better than out here.

Funny Toon

Friday, November 24, 2006

In Which Homercat Reflects

Today in Music History:

In 1983, Irish group The Undertones split up. Lead singer Feargal Sharkey went on to have a No.1 UK single as a solo artist with 'A Good Heart'.
Homercat decided that today he would just write stuff and try to tie in some music somehow. My friend over at the Hits keep on a comin' recently wrote about an article that listed the top 10 worst songs of all time and he offered up a list of 5 of what he considered to be the worst. I happened to agree with 4 of them, I'll throw up my list of 5 and see how many agree with me.
1. In My Place-Coldplay reason: it sucks
2. Clocks-Coldplay reason: it sucks
3. Speed of Sound-Coldplay reason: Sucks more
4. Talk-Coldplay reason: Sucking Bad
5. Fix You-Coldplay reason: Sucks so bad, my ears bleed

As a matter of fact worst band ever sounds good.

This version of this song sucks pretty bad too.
Shock the Monkey by Don Ho

In the last two years the homeless in this city has exploded. Being that we live in a temperate climate makes it easy to live outdoors I guess. While I am sympathetic to their plight to a certain degree, I'm just about fed up. I think Mr. Beer from Dope City has been handing out free tickets for the ferry so they can clean up their city before the big Olympics. You owe me a beer dude. You cannot walk downtown anymore. Every ten feet is someone begging for money. Downtown Victoria has a very distinct piss odor. We've heard about this on the news, but they are sugar coating it by saying that it's because bar patrons are leaving the pubs with the express purpose of pissing everywhere. They report it this way because tourism is huge here and they don't want reports of homeless people overrunning the city and pissing and shitting everywhere to get back to the tourists. I work at a place downtown once a week doing maintenance and It never fails I have to clean up dirty needles, shit, piss and all other sorts of crap. They are getting aggressive now that there's so many of them.
A couple of weeks ago the city put in some urinals in a couple of places so the "bar patrons" would have a place to piss and they were excited that the first weekend 300 people used them. They don't even hide anymore while they're shooting up and although I used to shop downtown occasionally, I don't anymore. I wonder what the tourists think? It's a problem Our fair city can't sugarcoat or pretend doesn't exist anymore. Between the homeless and the parking nazis, downtown is el sucko.

Back Home by Willie Nile
Buy It

Hometown Band by Valdy
Buy It

My mind and senses have been assaulted and barraged since November 1st by Christmas this and that and I am sick to death of it. I heard on the radio today that since today is the day after Thanksgiving in the States, there's like big sales and stuff and people run out and act like idiots for a day, seeing how much they can rack up on their credit cards in one day. I already knew this and during this spot on the news they were saying how one woman rented a U Haul to haul all her loot around in. Yes folks, a candidate for Moron of the Year. People waiting in line for hours for a store to open. More morons. Green Day's American Idiot has been overplayed since it came out so I have to go the other way here. This song actually is very complimentary to Canucks.
Canadian Idiot by Weird Al

And finally My good friend Mr Beer had this to say about my last post.
For me Roxy Roller is on a par with the Undertone's Teenage Kicks so far as perfect rock songs go.
I couldn't agree more with that statement, yet I have a song to add that joins that list. I was reminded of it when homercat's better half was telling me a story about seeing two names in an obituary as surviving some dude who had passed away. It struck her as she was sure I had played her a song with similar words. The names were Rael and Rhiann, I thought holy cow Rael Rean. I told her the song and she said yeah it's a great song and so it is.
Rael Rean by 999
Buy It

Well enough is enough, now go enjoy the weekend and don't pee on the street when you leave the bar.

Funny Toon

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Retro Canadiana

Today in Music History:

In 1987, Billy Idol knocked Tiffany from the No.1 single position on the US singles chart with his version of Tommy James ' Mony Mony'. Tiffany had been at No.1 with another Tommy James song ' I Think We're Alone Now.'

Remember that guy Nick Gilder who had that one hit wonder, Hot Child in the City? Before recording that majestic piece of pop goodness he was in a band Canadian glam-like outfit called Sweeney Todd. Soon after releasing their debut album Sweeney Todd quickly ruled the Great White North. Clark Perry took over the lead role and the band recorded a different rendering of "Roxy Roller". Almost immediately Chrysalis Records wooed Gilder and guitarist Jim McCulloch to Los Angeles and the duo bolted, leaving Sweeney Todd without a creative anything. They eventually recruited this young 16 yr old upstart by the name of Bryan Adams to take over lead vocal duties. Perhaps you've heard of him. I think Sweeney Todd released only two albums and Adams fell out of favor with Sweeney Todd after exhaustive touring in support of their second album, and split to return to high school. A year later, in 1978, Adams happened upon his soon-to-be songwriting partner, Prism's Jim Vallance, in a music store.

Sweeney Todd's biggest hit, Roxy Roller, has several different versions. The first with Nick Gilder. Clark Perry took over the lead role right after Gilder and the band recorded a different rendering of "Roxy Roller" before Perry was replaced by Bryan Adams. The story goes that Adams went to see a band called 'Sweeney Todd', the lead singer at that time (Perry)wasn't meant to be that good and word has it that Bryan told him so during the gig. The singer said that if he could do any better he should come up and try. Adams did just that and remained the bands lead singer. Adams sang on yet another "Roxy Roller" and accepted a Juno award on behalf of the original Gilder version. In addition Gilder released a 4th version on his first solo album. Confused yet? Sweeney Todd's second album If Wishes Were Horses features the earliest Bryan Adams' songs, as well as holdovers from Gilder and McCulloch (including the excellent "Tantalize"). "Song for a Star" details Adams' attempts at mimicking the Bolan-like-brainiac Gilder.

Is or was Roxy Roller a good enough pop tune to have been recorded 4 different times? A decent enough song I suppose but the listener would have to judge for himself. I believe this is the first original version.

Roxy Roller by Sweeney Todd
Buy It

Funny Toon

Monday, November 20, 2006

Oh Jeez, um, no title

Today in Music History:

In 1955 Elvis Presley's contract with Sun Records, including all previously released and recorded material, is sold to the New York-based RCA label for $35,000.
I have been negligent, but I have a reason. As an independent operator without a buttload of advertising on my site, It is my pockets that hosting all these mp3 files comes out of. Except for my good friends, some unlisted, most listed in my sidebar, almost no one else will even leave a thank you for what they find here. Yet my bandwidth usage continues to increase and for all you folks who come in and grab without thanking the poster, it costs money. I am not a rich man and when the provider says bandwidth usage is almost exceeded, it means that I will have a bigger bill. Thus you sometimes see other party options such as rapidshare or megaupload being employed here.

I could go the way of other music blogs and saturate my site with so much advertising that the music would be difficult to find. if the page would ever load. One of my favorite music blogs went that way and as a result I no longer read his blog and deleted it from my sidebar. I was never in this for money or exposure. Just my personal pleasure of exposing cool music to other people.

But reality forces a poor man to look for other user friendly(free) options for hosting his music files. So I have been experimenting with a site that looks promising, yet I feel is not friendly enough for my readers. Although I see some huge potential for something.

So I'm throwing up some stuff here not oft heard, without no rhyme or reason and asking all to be patient while I sort out my hosting options.

Jesus Brother Bob by The Arrogant Worms
Buy It

Life is Shit
by The Dead Milkmen
Buy It

Bully Bully by Off Broadway
Buy It

Funny Toon

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Today in Music History:

In 1969, Janis Joplin was arrested during a gig in Tampa, Florida, after badmouthing a policeman and using vulgar and indecent language. Joplin was pissed off after police moved into the hall forcing fans to move back to their seats. As the singer left the stage she confronted a detective calling him 'a son of a bitch' and told him she would kick his face in.
When I went to work this morning, it was pouring down rain and the man on the radio also said there was a wind warning in effect and because of an earthquake in Japan we were under a tsunami watch. I thought what the hell is this, Armageddon? Which got me thinking about the best end of the world song ever written.

Prism TodayArmageddon is arguably the biggest hit by Canadian retro rockers, Prism. Researching the history of this band I relied heavily on the bio page from the Prism website, as there aren't too many pages to go to about these guys. So don't go thinking I'm some amazing writer or blogger.

Guitarist Lindsay Mitchell conceived the tune Armageddon in August 1978 in Memphis, when Prism played a concert to the combined backdrop of the sometimes violent Memphis police strike and all the hoopla surrounding the first anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.

Prism is another one of those bands whose lineup has constantly changed over the years. Hailing from Vancouver, the original lineup went like this
* Ron Tabak - Lead vocals
* Lindsay Mitchell - Lead guitar, vocals
* Tom Lavin - Rhythm guitar, vocals (later formed the Powder Blues Band)
* John Hall - Keyboards
* Ab Bryant - Bass (later joined Chilliwack and the Headpins)
* Rodney Higgs - Drums, keyboards (Real name: Jim Vallance, later went on to form one of the most successful Canadian songwriting duos in history with Bryan Adams)
* Bruce Fairbairn - Horns (later went on to be one the industry's premier producers)
* Tom Keenlyside - Horns (later went on to the Powder Blues Band)

In July 1975, Prism went into the studio for their first recording session. In what can be considered the first Prism song, Open Soul Surgery would long stand as a concert favorite showcasing the hard-nosed rock attitude of Ron Tabak and Lindsay Mitchell. It was on the strength of their first recorded song that Prism landed a record contract with the now defunct GRT records.

As they headed to the studio to record their second album, Prism recruited Al Harlow from his own band. Harlow brought a new facet to the powerful rock quintet as they entered the studio in early 1978 to record their second album, See Forever Eyes. The new album would set the stage for a series of releases that would take Prism through a series of harsh high and lows. Despite a continued struggle in the direction of the band, See Forever Eyes was an instant success going platinum nearly overnight. The new album bubbled with 10 tracks full of commercial potential and produced 3 powerful singles. The band had begun to makes its mark as a powerhouse on stage but was straying too far into the lightweight pop field.

The Prism lineup from 1978-1980

* Ron Tabak - Lead vocals
* Lindsay Mitchell - Lead guitar, vocals
* Al Harlow - Rhythm guitar, vocals, bass
* John Hall - Keyboards
* Rocket Norton - Drums

1979 finally saw Prism take hold of itself and launch the album highlight of their careers. Armageddon. However, the Armageddon tour would have a long, difficult haul to keep the momentum that Prism had built the previous year while opening in major U.S. markets for Meatloaf. In it's first month prior to its U.S. release, Armageddon sold 150,000 copies in Canada making it one of the best selling Canadian albums in 1979. The first two albums had now sold a combined total of over half a million copies in the U.S. and the market was ready for them. However, gas shortages, rising energy costs, and truck stop violence would make the tour difficult at best.

Armageddon brought the band double-platinum awards for sales in excess of 500,000 copies. At the time, the album set sales records and there is accounting of sales somewhere around 700,000 copies. But as the sales of the album were peaking, GRT went into receivership and the true sales numbers will never be known. Judging by the fact that the album is still in demand and actively sold in music stores, it is entirely likely that sales have exceeded 1 million copies.

One highlight to the new album was songwriting contributions by a 19-year-old Vancouver whiz-kid songwriter named Bryan Adams, who had just recently signed a new management contract with Bruce Allen Talent.

Following hot on the footsteps of a monster success with Armageddon, the band once again returned to the studio to record their fourth album, Young and Restless. 1980 also saw Prism win 2 Juno Awards for Group of the Year, and Bruce Fairbairn's Producer of the Year for Armageddon. Rumours had begun to circulate that all was not well in the band. Prism had begun to take its toll on its members. The relentless touring schedule, and internal songwriting battles began to fracture the group. A falling out between Ron Tabak and Bruce Allen late in 1980 led to Tabak's departure from the band and became a flashpoint for all of the band's tensions.

In June 1981, Prism, with new lead vocalist Henry Small, went into Sunset Sound in Los Angeles to record the band's sixth album, Small Change. At the time, it seemed to signal the end of Prism. Small Change was a well-rounded album with some good songs but it just wasn't Prism.

The members of Prism decided that they had enough and disbanded in 1982. However, Henry Small, Prism's management and label then recorded Beat Street, essentially a solo album. Prism's original fan base had abandoned the band by this time, and the project itself soon disbanded.

In early 1984, the 5 original members of Prism began to collect themselves and put the pieces back together again. The members had begun to discuss the possibility of reforming the band, and Ron Tabak had beaten some personal demons that had nearly destroyed his career.

But disaster struck on Christmas Eve, 1984. Ron Tabak was cycling across Vancouver to visit his friend and fellow bandmember Al Harlow. The two had planned to spend Christmas together. Harlow last saw Tabak on the afternoon of the 24th when he picked up some of his belongings in his car. Tabak decided he would cycle to Harlow's Kitsilano apartment as part of his "fitness program". Tabak was struck on the head as he was brushed by a passing vehicle at about 8pm. He had also been injured in a mugging the week earlier and already had stitches on the back of his head. He was brought to hospital by ambulance but was told there was nothing wrong with him. Tabak became abusive and was arrested by police who happened to be there at the time. Early Christmas Day, Tabak's mother was advised by telephone that he had been found unconscious in the police cells and had been returned to Burnaby Hospital and then transferred to Vancouver General.

Vancouver General told Mrs. Tabak her son's condition was grave: A scan examination had shown a blood clot on the right side of his brain, and a neurosurgeon was preparing to operate. He did not regain consciousness and died December 26, 1984.

With the death of their lead vocalist, Prism remained silent until May, 1988 when Al Harlow, Lindsay Mitchell, and Rocket Norton entered the studio with local artists Darcy Deutsch and Andy Lorimer to record a new single, Good to be Back. The new track, written by Harlow, Jim Vallance and Bryan Adams, outlines the 13 year history of the band including a small tribute to the late Ron Tabak. However, the strength of the new single was not enough to land a new record deal. But the band drove on and finally recorded a new album, Jericho, in 1992.

Prism is still rocking on stage playing outdoor concerts, festivals and clubs. The glory days of 80's Stadium Rock may be gone but Prism continues to deliver on stage wherever they play. As a matter of fact, homercat will be seeing these guys in the near future. I'll have more about this in subsequent posts. Prism's current roster includes:

* Al Harlow - Bass, Guitar, Lead Vocals
* Gary Grace - Drums
* Steve-O - Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
* Tim Hewitt - Bass

Armageddon by Prism
Buy It
Nightmare by Prism?(Henry Small)
Buy It

Funny Toon

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Final Flogging

Today in Music History:

In 1967 Jann Wenner publishes the first issue of 'Rolling Stone' in San Francisco.
I hate to flog a dead crazy horse one more time, but after seeing a video today, I'm going to feature The Osmonds one more time. I promise to not mention them for at least three of four months after this post.

The Osmonds' breakthrough US hit, "One Bad Apple", featuring lead vocals by Merrill and Donny, was released in early 1971. Some say it bore an uncanny similarity to the 'bubblegum soul' sound of their contemporaries, The Jackson 5. The song spent five weeks at No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1971, and even hit #6 on the R&B chart. The Osmond Brothers' similarities to The Jackson 5 have been a source of both criticism and humour throughout the years. Critics charge that the Osmonds were subconsciously mimicking the Jacksons' sound for a white audience, while the group's fans contend that their best work is equal to, or at least more ambitious than, the J5's hits. Both groups started performing in the early 60's. In spite of their squeaky clean Mormon image, the Osmonds had a soulful, sometimes raucous sound which was a precursor of the power pop of later years.

Imagine this, in 1971 The Osmonds released 5 albums. The following year, 1972, five more albums were released. Admittedly a couple of those albums were Donny Osmond solo albums, but all the brothers performed on those. Which was a thorn in a couple of the brothers sides. Two years, Ten albums. Compare that output to todays standard of an album every two or three years. By their fifth album they were writing, playing all instruments instead of the occasional session musicians, even producing their own albums in their home studio. While some of the early albums were a bit on the bubblegum side, by the time they released the Phase III album towards the end of 1971, they were rocking pretty hard with their own material.

So you have all heard my out of print rants so I won't rehash my rant but rather than have someone fork out a couple hundred dollars to get one of these gems from some greedy collector, here's another Osmond offering from the homercat. This was their fourth album released in 1971, called Homemade. I believe that they had bullt their recording studio by now, thus the title, but I could very well be wrong. There's some good music here folks. Another vinyl rip. Excellent sound.

192 kbps

1 The Honey Bee Song 2:20
2 Carrie 2:48
3 Double Lovin' 2:30
4 Chilly Winds 2:54
5 Sho Would Be Nice 3:30
6 The Promised Land 2:45
7 If You're Gonna Leave Me 3:27
8 We Never Said Forever 2:48
9 She Makes Me Warm 2:24
10 Shuckin' and Jivin' 2:10

Homemade by The Osmonds (rs)
For the first time in over 30 years this album is now available on CD for the first time ever.

This was all brought on by Weird Al Yankovic's recent video for his new song White and Nerdy. Throughout the years Donny Osmond has maintained a sense of humour about his teen idol days. In a 2005 Sprint PCS advertisement, a still youthful-looking Donny himself jokes that Sprint allows him to save whenever he calls family members including Jimmy, Marie, and Tito Jackson. Weird Al's new video has Donny poking fun at himself again as he is extremely white and dancing very nerdy behind and with Al. The video is a comic masterpiece and while I hate to put those youtubey video things on my site because I am annoyed by them, I feel I have to put this one up as it is too damn good to miss. Look for Donny to make his first appearance about halfway through.

White and Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic
Buy It

Funny Toon

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A New Dawn over America

Today in Music History:

In 1975, David Bowie made his US TV debut performing 'Fame', on the Cher CBS-TV show.
As you all may know by now, yesterday signalled a day of change for America. For some of us a new hope for the future has opened up, for others sadness reigns as the two majority parties no longer exist as one. Of course I speak of the impending divorce of Britney Spears and hot new rap artist KFed. What hope can any of us expect to have if true love such as that can only last for two years. I had a terrific post about Rock n Roll frontmen all lined up, but homercat has been devastated. KFed gave hope to lazy, no account men everywhere that all your dreams could come true by marrying a rich, young female, ensuring a life of slothful, leechiness for the rest of your life. Who could have foreseen that this blessed union would end so suddenly and without no warning whatsoever. Homercat must take a day to recuperate. Meanwhile, Britney in all seriousness, for you to realize finally that you married the sorriest excuse for a homo sapien, well you must be feeling Lucky.

Some of you may well be shocked that such a tune exists on the homercat's playlist, well it was a moment of weakness.

Funny Toon

Friday, November 03, 2006

Rainy Days and Fridays

Today in Music History:

In 1997, Metallica came to a out of court agreement with a fan who claimed he lost his sense of smell after being dropped on his head by fans at one of their shows four years earlier.
Fall has officially arrived on the rock. The rain has started and us folks on the Island have 4 to 5 months of rain to look forward to as winter comes and goes. As compensation for enduring tyhe wet rainy season, we don't have to endure chilling temperatures or any of that dreaded white stuff (snow, not blow). Nice gloomy gray days which isn't exactly conducive to the creative juices. When this weather starts homercat immediately thinks of The Carpenters as the song Rainy Days and Mondays starts playing in my brain. I immediately begin to feel better and meander over to the CD shelf and pluck a Carpenters disc and begin listening to some light, airy melodies.

The Carpenters stood in direct contrast with the excessive, gaudy pop/rock of the '70s; Karen Carpenter's calm, pretty voice was the most distinctive element of their music, mixing perfectly with the precise, lush arrangements provided by her brother Richard. The duo's sound drew more from pre-rock pop than rock & roll, but that didn't prevent the Carpenters from appealing to a variety of audiences, particularly Top 40, easy listening, and adult contemporary. Even appealing to a hard rocker like homercat. Listening to them today, the Carpenters music sounds better than it did thirty years ago and for some reason my spirits seem to lift even as Karen sings some of those sadder ones.

Sometimes I think it should be a law that everyone own at least one album by The Carpenters. I don't think any of us realized how good they were until these many years later. Whatever the case, sample a couple irresistible tunes as we march on towards the weekend festivities (work).
The Carpenters
Rainy Days and Mondays
Close to You
All You Get From Love is a Love Song (rs)
Buy It

Funny Toon

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Yearly Bitch Session

Today in Music History:

In 1975 Patti Smith's landmark debut album, Horses, is released. Beat poetry and garage rock meet in this early blueprint for rock and New Wave.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Bullshit announced on Monday their latest batch of nominees for 2007; Patti Smith, R.E.M., Van Halen, Chic, the Dave Clark Five, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, the Ronettes, the Stooges and Joe Tex. Only five will make it and once again I am bamboozled. I would say that although the above artists may well deserve a spot(Most notably Smith), the list of groundbreaking artists who should have been inducted well before any of the above is massive. Once again here's a short list of artists who I guess aren't rock and roll enough. Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, The Doobie Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, Heart, Jethro Tull, KISS, The MC5, The Monkees, Rush, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Three Dog Night, Link Wray, Warren Zevon, and War. Just a few examples of glaring omissions. If you look at the list of folks who have been iducted since the initial ceremony, a few of the inductees leaves one scratching their head.

For REM to get a nod before any of the artists mentioned above is a load of crap. No offense to any REM fans, I own a few of their albums myself. But right is right. One can search the archives to reread my yearly rants from previous years. Personally i think a boycott should be in effect until Cooper, Link Wray and Rush are inducted. Nominating Patti Smith is a step in the right direction and like I repeat every year, maybe some of these artists will get their due next year.

High School by The MC5
Buy It

Please Me by Grand Funk
Buy It

White Lightning and Wine by Heart
Buy It

One by Three Dog Night
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, October 27, 2006

Trick or Treat

Today in Music History:

In 1975, the unknown Bruce Springsteen had the rare honour of simultaneous covers on both Time and Newsweek magazines in the US.
Ok let's getthis show on the road. I knows some of youse got halloween parties and such planned for this weekend and we need a few more weenie worthy tunes to fill that disc up. I've got a perfect opening track for said Halloween disc. A buddy of mine put together this little piece with sounds, creepy voice and such. It sets the mood excellently for the rest of the evening.

Every year someone overplays Monster Mash thinking it's the best ever song for Halloween. Homercat offers up an alternative that first appeared here last year and is destined to become a classic.
Monster Ass

Personally I wouldn't think of celebrating Halloween without this song.
What you eatin' there boy? Crayons?
The Martian Boogie by Brownsville Station
Buy It

I beg to serve, your wish is my law
Now close those eyes and let me love you to death
Love You to Death by Type O Negative
Buy It

I cut the flesh
And make it bleed
Fresh skin
Is what I need

House of 1000 Corpses by Rob Zombie
Buy It

Living somewhere
Between dead and dying
Praying to the Aliens by Gary Numan and Tubeway Army

Sin sin ha! ha! come on sin sin do the sinister
Do the Sinister by Infectious Grooves
Buy It

A great cover of this song by Ronnie James Dio
Welcome to my nightmare
Welcome to my breakdown
I hope I didn't scare you
Welcome to My Nightmare by Ronnie James Dio
Buy It

I'm in a hurry, can you tell? All you ghouls and goblins have a scary weekend and don't drink too much blood.

Funny Toon

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Take This OOP And Run

Today in Music History:

In 1965 The Beatles are awarded England's prestigious MBE (Members of the Order of the British Empire). John comments, 'I thought you had to drive tanks and win wars to get the MBE.'
I've had a bug up my ass since I wrote last Friday's post. Once again this has to do with out of print material. When I posted the Osmonds song last week, I mentioned that you could get it at Amazon from a third party for 500 bucks. Here's the deal though. The Osmonds Crazy Horses album was never released on CD. So this fella has pirated it in some way or just ripped it from vinyl to CDR and has the gall to charge 500 bucks. This seems a might shady to me. Knowing that the artist isn't seeing a penny of this outrageous asking price.

Here's another thing, why out of print? I realize that this album came out in 1972 but this album is not "easy listening" or cheesy bubblegum my fellow rock n' roll fans! This is some very inspiring rock n' roll! The words, melody, and music are all complimented by gutsy distorted guitars and great full thundering sound of drums. There are ballads here but even metal guys put ballads on their discs. The album rocks, rolls, and kicks butt! After listening to "CRAZY HORSES" or "HOLD HER TIGHT" tell me it doesn't rock. So it's a disgrace and a sham that this LP never saw the light of CD. I know myself and many folks from my generation would line up to buy remastered and expanded edition of this album. Their whole back catalog even. Don't even get me started on the many compilation albums out there. They suck. Are any of you record companies listening??? This music should be brought to the masses and since it's an out of print album I give you a limited time chance to download the album. It has been ripped from vinyl and is an excellent sounding rip. No scratches or hisses.

The Osmonds

1 Hold Her Tight 3:18
2 Utah 2:20
3 Girl 3:38
4 What Could It Be 3:20
5 We All Fall Down 2:50
6 And You Love Me 3:40
7 Crazy Horses 2:40
8 Life Is Hard Enough Without Goodbyes 3:45
9 Hey, Mr. Taxi 3:05
10 That's My Girl 3:12
11 Julie 3:14
12 Big Finish :18

The Osmonds-Crazy Horses full album pw=homercat

For the first time in over thirty years, this album is now available on CD for the first time ever. Scoop it up before it goes out of print again!!!!

Funny Toon

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The King of Spooky

Today in Music History:

In 1992, twenty years after the release of his milestone 'Harvest,' Neil Young issues a sequel, 'Harvest Moon.' It becomes his first million-seller since 1979's 'Rust Never Sleeps.'
Dwight FryThere is one artist that I have done to death on this site and that is the shockmeister himself, Alice Cooper. One could conclude that homercat likes his Coop and one would be correct. Past posts include this one and this other one. If you are compiling a Halloween compilation for a party or other reasons then a failure to include any Alice material would be a sham. One of the scariest things about Alice is his ultra conservative views, for example recently opening a christian summer camp or being a Bush supporter. Still he is the master of the creepy song.

I mentioned earlier the ultra creepy album DaDa which seems to be a concept album of sorts. There seems to be a recurring theme about the father and the brother that is kept locked away. I've already said the opening track is very spooky and it doesn't end there. 1983's Dada, reunited Cooper with Bob Ezrin, who produced most of his '70's albums. It turned out to be Cooper's strongest album in a decade. Alice was still struggling with alcoholism at this point, and the tone of this album is rather dark. His trademark shock lyrics have an unsettlingly serious undertone on "No Man's Land" and "Pass The Gun Around". The gruesome songs are dressed up in lush arrangements including prominent strings and keyboards. "Former Lee Warmer" is rather spooky, almost supernatural sounding, conveying the feel of loneliness and darkness. This is right in with the context of the song, which talks about a brother being locked up in an upstairs room of a house to which only the "storyteller" has possession. The final track "Pass the gun around" deals with the subject of wasting time and getting drunk - feeling like there is nothing worth living for . It might almost have a biographical aspect to it, considering Alice's position at the time. The song has an underlying sadness and despair to it and when the song ends with the sound of a gun going off it really does leave the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. You also get a sense of the turmoil in Alice's life at the time. Dada is an overlooked masterpiece and many Cooper fans will tell you it's one of his best albums. I would rank it in the top 5 myself.
Former Lee Warmer by Alice Cooper
Pass the Gun Around by Alice Cooper (rs)
Buy It

Here's a song off of another highly overlooked album. It's not really a spooky song but it's kind of neat opening with a spooky organ riff. Everytime I hear it I see visions of all these creepy looking skeletons dancing around in a maniacal frenzy. Sounds like Halloween to me.
Skeletons in the Closet by Alice Cooper
Buy It

A few more must have creeptastic Cooper tunes to round off this post.
Ballad of Dwight Fry
Buy It

The Awakening(bonus alternate version) (rs)
Buy It

Unfinished Sweet
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, October 20, 2006

Deceptively Creepy

Today in Music History:

In 1962, Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Crypt Kickers started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Monster Mash'.
headless HomercatLet us continue with our Halloween theme and serve up some more creepy songs for the listening pleasure of the headless homercat. There are some songs that when first heard you would think, hey that's a nice upbeat tune. On repeated listens you finally figure out the lyrics and are horrified by what the song is actually about. These type of songs don't usually sound dark or morose in any way, but the lyrics sends chills down your spine.

My first example of such a song is by The Kinks. The song is called Art Lover and sounds very nice and mellowish and very pleasant. By the end of the song you realize it's about a pedophile stalking his prey. By the time Ray Davies sings
Little girl dont notice me
Watching as she innocently plays.
She cant see me staring at her
Because Im always wearing shades
one is totally creeped out. A song that first sounded so nice, now gives you the heebies.
Art Lover by The Kinks
Buy It

The Talking Heads explored all kinds of music forms and managed to get into the rock and Roll Hall of Fame before Alice Cooper or KISS. One song off their Little Creatures album is a deceptively upbeat song about torturing a little baby by keeping it awake 'all night long'!"
Stay Up Late by The Talking Heads
Buy It

The textbook American cult band of the 1980s, the Violent Femmes captured the essence of teen angst with remarkable precision; raw and jittery, the trio's music found little commercial success but nonetheless emerged as the soundtrack for the lives of troubled adolescents everywhere. Country Death Song from the album "Hallowed Ground" goes down that upbeat, eerie road.
You wanna know how to take a short trip to Hell? Just take your lovely daughter and throw her in a well.
The dynamics of this song are incredible. The intense build up of the singer's utter dispair really pulls you into the story. Turn the volume way up on this one so you can feel the crash as the little girls body hits bottom!
Country Death Song by The Violent Femmes (rs)
Buy It

Oingo Boingo had success in the eighties with their quirky, danceable tunes. One gets the sense that the band was always far more interested in having fun with their music than anything else. While almost all of their stuff very uptempo and very slam danceable, most of the lyrics were horrible awful stuff. Very dark and despairing. In Just Another Day, Elfman sings,
I had a dream last night / The world was set on fire
And everywhere I ran / There wasn't any water
The temperature increased / The sky was crimson red
The clouds turned into smoke / And everyone was dead

That's some apocalyptic stuff and depressing but the music is jammin. My favorite Boingo song is Dead Man's Party, sounds very up yet once again Elfman sings,
I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go
Walkin' with a dead man over my shoulder
Waiting for an invitation to arrive
Goin' to a party where no one's still alive

Just Another Day by Oingo Boingo
Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo
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The Tragically Hip are Canada's best kept secret, a national treasure that haven't become big anywhere else and that's just the way they like it. The band is immensely popular in Canada. They have never found great success in the United States, but have never specifically sought it. In addition to their energetic live performances, the band are also noted for their often improvisational renditions of songs. Lead singer Gordon Downie often strays from the lyrical path to rant to the audience or wander off into fictitious monologues and conversations. The most famous live monologue is the "killerwhaletank" version of "New Orleans is Sinking", recorded at The Roxy Theatre, LA, May 3, 1991. During the song, Downie tells the story of how he worked as a diver in a killer whale tank only to have his arm ripped off. Other notable monologues include the "Police Frogman" version of "New Orleans is Sinking" (Gord rescues a family trapped in their car at the bottom of a frozen lake), the "Double Suicide" version of "Highway Girl" (in which Downie "accidentally" shoots his girlfriend) and the "Japanese Exchange Student" version of "At the Hundredth Meridian" (the day before Halloween, Downie accidentally shoots a Japanese student trick or treating). Seems like Gord likes to rant on about death in some kind of incarnation. I've got the Highway Girl/Double Suicide version which I'll post here.
Highway Girl/Double Suicide by The Tragically Hip
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We're winding down here so I'm going to leave off with those types of tuunes and go on to a couple of others. So you say you want scary. Here comes scary. Why is it scary you ask? Well it's so damn good it's scary. Especially considering who did this song. It's got a chugging riff, a guitar and keyboard that will rip your ears off and a metal vibe that kicks ass. What makes this song so scary is that it's an Osmonds song, who knew they could rock so damn hard? Homercat did!! The Osmonds never got the props they deserved. They actually wrote their own music and played their own instruments. yeah, some of their songs are treacly, but alot of them rock and rock nasty hard like this track. You can pick up this album at Amazon for $500.
Crazy Horses by The Osmonds
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Finally for a really creepy freak your head scary tune to close this post with, I have to turn to the master of all creepines, Alice Cooper. Actually these are two different songs but have to be listened to together as one to hear the full story and get the full "chill your bones" effect. Although they stand well on their own. Truly a classic moment in creep rock.
Years Ago by Alice Cooper
Steven by Alice Cooper
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Everyone have a safe weekend and I'll try to get over this dang cold I've acquired and be back to finish up this series next week.

Funny Toon