Friday, February 24, 2006

Cruising with the Cat

Today in Music History:

In 2002 Joey Ramone’s solo album, 'Don’t Worry About Me,' is released. Joey had died of cancer on April 15, 2001.
homercat cruising for pussyIt's near the end of Feb and a young cat's fancy starts thinking about spring which has to be just around the corner, anticipating that first truly warm day when one can hop in the car, put the top down, crank up the tunes and go cruising, just to enjoy the day. Lest one gets caught unawares you should have your mix CD ready of the best driving songs of all time. Not necessarily songs about driving, but songs that really get your juices flowing and make you want to put the pedal to the metal. I know lots of you have those mp3 players, ipods or phones or cd decks that play mp3 discs, whatever. In this case we're sticking to your traditional CD, where you can get roughly 15 to 20 songs on it. Why? Because I don't own any of those fancy gadgets and probably will never be able to afford them. Just got a cassette deck and a portable CD player with an adapter for this cat's vehicle. How bout the top 20 best songs to cruise with of all time. Tall order and I shall undoubtedly need help. Warning, the following songs are not allowed in this category: I can't Drive 55, Radar Love, and Life is a Highway, they just don't cut it. Admittedly this is simply the current crop, my list would probably be different if I wrote this two weeks ago. Not only that, but I could have listed 50 in a heartbeat, but you gots to draw the line somewhere. I have room for two more on my CD. Any suggestions or do I have the perfect list already? For these songs to be really effective they must be played at maximum volume. In no particular order, here they are:

Saturday Night Shoot-Out by The Pirates
Good for when you're just starting down the road, this sounds simply amazing in my car.
Buy It

Home for A Rest by Spirit of the West
The dangers of vacations when you party so much you must go home for rest. Loud and raucous.
Buy It

Blue Highway by Billy Idol
This song has always been a favorite of mine, Steve Stevens really tears it up here.
Buy It

Bounty Hunter by Molly Hatchet
Loudest concert I've ever been to. Makes me want to jump in the car and chase down bad guys.
Buy It

Rockaway Beach
by The Ramones
Whenever I hear this I picture a bunch of guys hoppin in a car to get to the beach where there's lots of bikini clad girls, which in turn makes me drive faster.
Buy It

Follow Your Daughter Home by The Guess Who
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)
An unlikely choice with a strange summery vibe to it, reminds me of racing to get your high school date home before her curfew, thus subconciously making me drive fast.
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Wango Tango
by Ted Nugent
One of my least favorite Nugent songs, but cranked up loud in the car, something changes, the song suddenly becomes like a mantra. Maybe it's when Nuge says You got to pretend your face is a Maserati. By the end of the song I'm driving like a frickin maniac. The lyrics are really something else too.
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Bounce by Danko Jones
Power trio from Canada with one of the best songs I've ever heard.
I love your black dress, your red lips, your long legs, your high heels
I love your thigh high boots and your snakeskin one piece suit
Yeah you really get me going when you put it all on
But I like it a little better when you take it all off.
Yowsa, simply awesome. Most excellent driving song.
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Voodoo Thing by Colin James
Colin James shows off his chop with this turbocharged hard driving track. One of the most overlooked musician in the world.
Buy It

I'll Believe in You(or I'll be leaving You Tonight) by The Tragically Hip
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)
The Canadian group with an excellent track to boogie down the road with.
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Ordinary Day
by Great Big Sea
A great sing a long with great vocals and harmonies and everyone loves to sing along in their cars right?
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Clampdown
by The Clash
Man it's taking me all day to do this post. A classic track from the best rock n roll album ever, London Calling.
Buy It

He's a Whore
by Cheap Trick
Actually Cheap Trick's entire first album should be on this list, but no room for it all.
Buy It

The Seventh Seal
by Van Halen
Simply my favorite Van Halen song. The guitars crunch and Sammy's vocal is in top notch paint peelin' mode and when played loud is almost orgasmic.
Buy It

Plastic Jesus by Billy Idol
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)
The best version of this song I've ever heard from one of the best albums of 2005. A nice break for when you need to cool the engine down.
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Another Hit and Run by Def Leppard
Before the Leppards hit it big with Pyromania, this cut from Hign n Dry takes driving to another whole level of existence. Honestly though don't Hit and Run, it's not nice.
Buy It

What's Next to the Moon
by AC/DC
You knew these guys had to be on here somewhere, from the Powerage album which I am quite fond of. Bon and the boys in excellent form.
Buy It

Feed My Frankenstein by Alice Cooper
For this lyric alone if nothing else:
You don’t want to talk
So baby shut up
And let me drink the wine from your fur tea cup
Velcro candy, sticky sweet
Make my tattoos melt in the heat
Well, I ain’t no veggie
Like my flesh on the bone
Alive and lickin’ on your ice cream cone

Buy It

Got Love if You Want It by Angel
And finally you gotta have some Angel to make it all legit. It also makes people wonder as you drive by, wow that sounded great, I wonder who it was.
Buy It

There you have it. The post that took 6 hours to write. Maybe this will keep you all busy until Monday. I hope you've enjoyed my observations and remember I need help completing my perfect cruising CD. I need two more songs. Have a good weekend everyone.

Funny Toon
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Thursday, February 23, 2006

That Motor City Crazy Dude

Today in Music History:

In 1998, all members of Oasis were banned for life from flying Cathay Pacific Airlines after "abusive and disgusting behavior" during a flight from Hong Kong to Perth, Australia.
As Rock n Roll history shows us, outrageous antics and extreme behavior are essential ingredients for kick ass rock n roll. Today's artist is no exception, but in different ways. Ted Nugent is known for his wildman guitar antics on stage. His crazy stage persona screams out sex drugs and rock n roll, yet Ted is and always has been anti drug and anti alcohol. It's his nonmusical endeavors that have caused Ted the most trouble from the public, (his pro-right wing beliefs, pro-gun advocacy, appreciation of hunting animals, Damn Yankees, etc.). Whatever one has to say about the Nuge, one thing is undeniable, He can play the shit out of a guitar. When talking about seventies rockers, Ted ruled the latter half of the seventies. His was the top grossing tour of 1977, 78 and 79.

I got to thinking about Ted while I was contemplating writing a piece on perfect rock songs, which will be a post in the future. In my opinion Ted is the author of one of those rare breed songs, perfection. What song that is I'll leave up to you guys to guess. How Ted went about being raised by a strict disciplinarian father to forming the Amboy Dukes is a story I'd like to hear. Nugent, a strict teetotaler, formed the Amboy Dukes with a bunch of dudes who didn't exactly share Nugent's clean-living lifestyle, as proven by their psychedelic hit single "Journey to the Center of the Mind," which Nugent claimed he didn't know at the time was about being "under the influence." His last album with the Dukes was Tooth, Fang and Claw which is one of my favorite albums. It didn't contain the perfect song though, that was a different album. Oh by the way I'm not posting that perfect tune today. Nugent's third "solo" album Cat Scratch Fever took the airwaves by storm and was a helluva piece of workmanship. Who can forget the Double Live Gonzo album (one of the finest live albums out there)where Ted addresses the audience before "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" and he says
Anybody that wants to get mellow you can turn around and get the fuck outta here, alright! Do you hear me! This is a love song we'd like to dedicate to all that Nashville Pussy
Classic Nugent
homercat nugent
Ted Nugent is one of those rock stars that you either love or hate. Let'’s face it, the guy plays a mean guitar, had a string of classic albums in the 1970's, and has remained at the forefront of hard rock/metal guitar music for three decades. Unfortunately he's also somewhat of an eccentric madman with his outspoken beliefs on a multitude of topics ranging from gun laws, animal rights, hunting, women'’s rights, politics and his brief stint in the ill fated group Damn Yankees(can't forgive you for that Nuge). Yes, to some he's a bit of an asshole, but he could and still does rock like a motherf**ker. For that reason we have a cut from Live Gonzo that originally appeared on Tooth Fang and Claw which is a total Ted classic.

Great White Buffalo by Ted Nugent
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Funny Toon
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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Head East

Today in Music History:

In 1990 Tom Petty wins his first Grammy when the Traveling Wilburys’ debut album takes the category “Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.”
Head EastBeen tied up watching the Olympians quest for precious medals. Is it just me or do those medals like colorful CDs. Seems like reggae is not a fave subject of homercat's readers so I had to dig up another classic 70's group for today's installment.

Midwest rockers Head East were alumni of the University of Illinois and finally got their act together in the St Louis area in the mid 70's. They recorded their debut album, Flat As a Pancake, independently and released it on their own Pyramid Records label in early 1975. Another impressive debut album from an unknown band. When a certain track on the album began to attract radio airplay, AM records signed the band and re released the album in June 1975. The title of the album pokes fun at their midwest origins due to it being mostly flatland. The album is a real corker and it seems like every kid in school had a copy. The stand out track being Never Been Any Reason, which is a perfect song to crank up the volume and cruise the strip. Although subsequent efforts never matched the success of that first album, it's a testament to the band that their debut album is available on CD, owing to that one massive hit. More than that though it's a solid album with no klunkers on it. Head East released their last official studio album in 1980 and AM dropped them whcich essentially killed the band, but Head East can still be found out and about and typically play 30 to 40 shows a year although there's only one dude left from the original lineup. Flat As A Pancake is one of those classic must own albums from the seventies.

Never Been Any Reason by Head East
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Funny Toon
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Eddy Grant

Today in Music History:

In 1969 the hotly anticipated, self-titled debut album by Led Zeppelin enters the album charts, ultimately reaching #10.
eddy grantOnce upon a time I went through this huge reggae phase. Actually you couldn't even call it that. Calypso, reggae, soca, dancehall, I was soaking it all up as fast as I could get hold of it. Some of my faves are Peter Tosh, Yellowman, Jimmy Cliff, Harry Belafonte and of course Eddy Grant. Some of you may be thinking what, no Marley? You're out of your mind homercat. Bob's ok, just not one of my favorites. Go figure.

Eddy Grant has had a huge career and he's been around forever. Most of you might remember his huge eighties hit, Electric Avenue. He's been making music since 1965 and is still recording today under his label Ice Records. Grant was born in Plaisance, Guyana, and when he was 12 the family emigrated to England. Eddy formed the band The Equals in 1965 after making a guitar in shop class and became the first of Britain's multiracial bands to receive any recognition. The Clash recorded an old Equals song on their album Sandinista. Police on My Back. In fact Grant was working his ass off with the band and also hhaving formed formed his own label, Torpedo Records, which concentrated on British reggae artists. On New Year's day in 1971, Grant, all of 23 years old, suffered a heart attack and a collapsed lung. Not because of any vices such as drugs or alcohol, he never touched the stuff and was a vegetarian. It was from pure overwork. He quit the group at this point and the Equals soldiered on into the shadows without him. He sold Torpedo as well and with the proceeds opened up his own recording studio, The Coach House, in 1972. Grant continued to produce other artists and release their records through his newly launched Ice label, finally releasing his first solo album in 1977. In 1979 he released his second Walking on Sunshine, which a lot of folks will say is one of the greatest albums of that decade. In 82 Grant made it huge with Electric Avenue which went big time in America and England. Grant eventually moved to Barbados where he has created his own mini empire with his Ice label. Besides giving new stars-to-be a helping hand, Grant also moved into music publishing, specializing in calypso's legends and unique among Caribbean artists, Grant has maintained control over his own music. Across Grant's solo career, the artist has continued to experiment with different styles in ever-changing combinations. Pop, funk, new wave, reggae, Caribbean, African, and even country have all been melded into his sound. His studio is at the center of his drive to record, promote and market Classic Calypso, Soca and ‘Ringbang’. A new genre that has taken the Caribbean by storm; a distinctly Caribbean musical concept that Grant has developed, that he loosely defines as a "bridge between rhythms, focusing one’s attention on rhythm and the part it plays internationally. What Ringbang seeks to do is envelop all the rhythms that have originated from Africa so that they become one.

So Eddy's been a busy dude all these years and I really dig his stuff. So let's check out some classic Caribbean rythms.

Give Me Hope Joanna by Eddy Grant
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)
It's All in You by Eddy Grant
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Funny Toon


What's your favorite reggae tune or artist?
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Monday, February 13, 2006

Today in Music History:

In 1980, Police raided the home of former Sex Pistol John Lydon who greeted them waving a ceremonial sword, the only illegal item they found was a canister of tear gas, claimed to be for defence
So sad. Yep Saddest song ever recorded. Ever. There is no contender. Think there is one sadder than this, then tell me I'm wrong. Actually, instead of just grabbing and run, tell me what you think is the saddest song ever. If you have the guts. Most folks don't. They Just grab and ggggggo So let's set a a new example today. Somebody out there tell me I'm wrong, tell me what is a sadder song than this one..

He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones

Anyone miss the toon?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Essential Rock n Roll

Today in Music History:

In 1977, The Clash start recording sessions for their debut album at CBS studio's in London.
When people think about lists for best albums or must have albums one band seems to get lost in the shuffle. In fact if you are a true connisseur of rock n roll, then you must own the debut album from Montrose. No collection would be complete without it. A guitar, a bass, some drums and a singer whose vocal could peel paint. A simple formula for hard rock that served as a template for hard rock bands that followed. One of the first American-bred hard rock groups to challenge British supremacy in the early '70s.

Guitarist Ronnie Montrose worked with Van Morrison and Edgar Winter in the early seventies before he decided to form his own band in 1973 with a couple session pros and an upstart, talented kid from California on vocals. Some guy named Sammy Hagar. Ronnie was a magician with that Les Paul of his and one listen to their debut album and you see what I mean by must have music. I'm talking about up tempo, foot tapping, beer drinking rock and roll songs that simply scream at you to be played at maximum volume.

Sammy Hagar did not do any guitar work on this album, all of which was left to Ronnie Montrose and was one of the reasons which led to unrest between the two of them and the bands eventual splitting up in 1975 with Hagar leaving to pursue a solo career.
Things between Hagar and Montrose had become so strained just prior to the split, that for the last dates of their final tour they refused to stand anywhere near each other on the stage. What a shame. Montrose underwent several personnel changes through the rest of its span in the seventies. After the band split up for good in 76, Montrose took time off to hunt and formed the band Gamma in the early eighties.

I believe Sammy and Ronnie have patched things up now, as a matter of fact, Ronnie has agreed to participate on Sammy's, “First Annual Cabo Wabo Cruise” and will be jamming on the cruise with the Waboritas as well as joining Sammy onstage at the Cabo Cantina. If I only had a couple thousand laying around, I'd be booking a seat on that cruise. As it is, it's almost sold out.

Definitely a rock masterpiece. No important message, no subtlety, just straight-ahead, balls-to-the-wall rock. Just the way it should be.
Rock Candy by Montrose
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)
and of course you knew I would have to include this cover of a classic song/blog.

Good Rockin' Tonight by Montrose
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Funny Toon
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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Looking Glass

Today in Music History:

In 1990 Del Shannon dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at home in Santa Clara, California.
looking glassNo rocking hard today, time to look at another one of those timeless one hit wonders. Well actually this band was pricipally hard rock but in 1972 Looking Glass, a band from Jersey, accidently had a huge #1 hit with this laid back, mellow melody. "Brandy" was originally released as the B-side of "Don't It Make You Feel Good" in early 1972, "Brandy" was overlooked (along with the A-side) until Harv Moore, a disc jockey in the District of Columbia, flipped the single over and took it up as a personal cause. The record broke out in the city of Washington and spread rapidly, peaking six months after its release at the number one position. The band was actually a hard rock outfit. Their live shows sounded nothing like their smash hit which turned off concertgoers who wanted to hear Brandy like stuff. As a result their first album sold decently but by 1974 no one even cared who Looking Glass was.

You have to admit it's a dandy of a song, even if it is mellow. When one hears it you can't help but sing along. Revisit if you well the seventies when this song ruled AM radio.

Brandy (You're A Fine Girl) by Looking Glass

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Funny Toon
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Monday, February 06, 2006

1984(2006)

Today in Music History:

Feb 5, 2006 The Rolling Stones are censored during their performance at the half time show at Super Bowl 40, seems the word cocks is too harsh for the American public.
One time you were my baby chicken
Now you've grown into a fox
Once upon a time I was your little rooster
But am I just one of your cocks

Yes this was such an insidious lyric that the Super Bowl Gods deemed this unfit for American consumption and censored Mick. Granted it's a little suggestive but no more so than an episode of CSI I watched and they showed a used condom on the nightstand and dude said, looks like he came before he went. Maybe Mick voluntarily bowed to the money god and merely mouthed the offensive chicken term so he could collect his paycheck. Whatever the case it was wrong on so many levels that as an American I am disgusted on so many levels that I am sick. As a Canadian I find it hilarious because for a country that claims to be free, they have so many restrictions on what their populace can see or hear, Any way every rock history show will tell you how the Stones or the Doors were so dangerous that when they appeared on TV back in the 60's they were told to change their lyrics.

So I guess The Stones are still too dangerous for the general populace. Maybe that's a good thing. The religious powers that control the US think that cocks is horrible. So the bad boys are still bad boys. On the other hand it's the 2000's and questionable words are taboo but guns are great. That's just ignorant. I feel censorship in any way shape or form is the worst. Why? Because that's when the higher ups start telling you what you can see, hear ,read and Which brings us to a little tune from a movie called 1984 which this song emanates, the 1984 version of this classic novel, which was also Richard Burton's last movie.

SexCrime1984 by the Eurythmics
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Funny Toon

Friday, February 03, 2006

He Is...I Said

Today in Music History:

In 1959 after performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy Holly charters a plane to fly him to Fargo, North Dakota. Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashes eight miles northwest of the airfield, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. Richardson (a.k.a. The Big Bopper) and pilot Roger Peterson.
neil diamondI've been sitting here for two hours with about 10 windows open doing research for this entry and I'm not sure where to start. There is just too much info about Neil Diamond and my mind is in mental meltdown. One of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time. Neil's so damned good that he uses guys like Chris Martin and Bono to wipe his ass. Not only is he an outstanding solo artist but the list of performers who have recorded his songs ranges from pop, rock, R&B, folk, country, jazz, reggae, punk, heavy metal, alternative, easy listening, and new age. The sheer volume of artists who have recorded his stuff is staggering. In a career that spans 45 years, Neil is still kicking ass. Over 120 million records sold and yet another artist with no Hall of Fame recognition.

So rather than rehash his entire career just a few tidbits. Diamond was born and raised in Brooklyn, attending high school with Barbra Streisand (and singing with her in the school choir). He learned to play guitar after receiving one as a gift on his 16th birthday. In the early sixties he worked as a songwriter at the Brill Building in New York City which was like a song factory, before branching out and singing his own stuff. Neil's early stuff killed, I still get chills when I hear songs like Cherry, Cherry or Holly Holy. Back in the day he also was an amazing performer to see live. Granted he's a little older now, but I hear his shows are still excellent. Neil starred in the movie remake The Jazz Singer in 1980 and the movie was a total flop, but the soundtrack was a blockbuster hit. In 2001 he made a cameo in the movie Saving Silverman, a movie starring Jack Black and some other guys who are in a Neil Diamond cover band. The movie is hilarious if you haven't seen it.

Neil came back in a big way with his album 12 Songs in 2005. The album was produced by Rick Rubin and I've heard a lot of folks say it's the best thing he's done in thirty years. I can't vouch for that yet because my pauper status doesn't allow the cat for many new music purchases. You can bet it's on my list of must get soon albums. This page has an excellent bio on Diamond's life. It took me thirty minutes to read it I swear. Revisit with me if you will a couple of classics from the master.

Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show by Neil Diamond
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

I Am I Said by Neil Diamond
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Some of you may be thinking, homercat I love Neil Diamond too, but it's Friday and I need something hard because I'm in a headbangin' mood. Ok I hear ya. I love this next band. Anyone who can take a chainsaw and turn it into a musical instrument is AOK in my book. I covered these guys a while back.

The Lumberjack by Jackyl
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Funny Toon

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bubblegum is Sweet

Today in Music History:

In 1979 Sid Vicious, the Sex Pistols' bassist, is found dead in a Manhattan apartment of a heroin overdose. At the time he was facing a second-degree murder charge for the fatal knifing of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.
Let's be not so serious and enjoy the sugary sweet sounds of bubblegum. Back in the late 60's when music was drifting towards an edgier sound, Buddah Records house producers Jerry Kasenetz and Jeff Katz came up with the bubblegum concept and enlisted anonymous studio musicians to record lightweight, fluffy pop songs figuring not everyone was into the tuning in, turning on thing. The formula worked and the Kasenetz-Katz team scored their first major hit, the 1968 Top Five smash "Simon Says," launching the bubblegum craze; that same year they also scored with the singles "1, 2, 3 Red Light" and "Goody Goody Gumdrops," all three issued as title tracks from the group's first trio of LPs. At the same time they had launched the Ohio Express and vocalist Joey Levine was doing double duty in both bands. For about two years this pop bubblegum craze was raking in the dough, but by 1969 it had all but died. You have to admit that you just can't help but sing a long when you hear one of these tunes. To this day I enjoys me a little catchy pop tune. Remember that catchy Mmm Bop song.

1, 2, 3, Redlight by 1910 Fruitgum Co
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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That was so yummy, might as well give up one from the sibling of the fruitgummers.

Down at Lulu's by the Ohio Express
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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My goodness what would one hit wonder Wednesday be like if I didn't include a classic one hit treasure.

Winchester Cathedral by New Vaudeville Band
(File taken down, check current posts for some more great music)

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Funny Toon
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