Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Metal Master

Today in Music History:

In 1966 "The Monkees" series debuts on NBC-TV.
DioThe other night we rented a movie called Metal: A Headbanger's Journey. It's a documentary by a 30 year old anthropologist named Sam Dunn who hails from our fair city. He's also been a headbanger since he was twelve. Six years ago, he made the unusual switch from studying Guatemalan refugees to starring in his own film about long-haired, leather-clad, headbanging rockers. The film's aim, according to Dunn, is to explain why heavy metal, a style of rock music made popular by bands like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Slayer and known for heavy guitar riffs and controversial lyrics, has been maligned by critics while its millions of fans across the globe have been stereotyped as violent or Satanic. It's a pretty decent flick and I highly recommend it if you like any form of metal. The film is loaded with candid interviews with metal icons, including Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Dee Snider, Ronnie James Dio, Geddy Lee, Tony Iommi, Bruce Dickison, Lemmy Kilmister, and many more. Also lots of good headbangin metal. I like me some good metal, but I admit that some of the more hardcore stuff isn't to my taste. Speed, death, black (especially that Norweigian stuff) metal isn't for me. I like a good dark riff, vocals I can understand and a hint of a melody.

Watching the film I was stunned by how small a dude Ronnie James Dio is. I knew he was short but dang he's a small guy. How in the heck does that voice issue forth from that wee laddie. Many metal fans will tell you that Dio was the one that first to use the devil horns, or they'll even tell you that he invented it. Even though Gene Simmons claims he invented it. Dio explains all this in the movie. When he was growing up, he would be walking along with his grandmother and she would consistently flash the devil horns at people to ward off the evil eye. He always thought it was cool so he incorporated it into his persona. Now heavy metal and the devil horns go hand in hand. A metal concert wouldn't be the same without them.

Like Tenacious D says, Ronnie James Dio has rocked hard for a long, long time. He is one of heavy metal's most talented and instantly identifiable vocalists. There is no mistaking Dio's voice for someone elses. He formed his very first band all the way back in 1958, called Ronnie and The Rumblers. In the early seventies he belonged to a band called Elf, when Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple he was ready to launch a new project and shortly after first metting them, Blackmore invited most of Elf to join his new outfit, Rainbow. Thus Dio was introduced to the masses of metal fans. A few years later Blackmore made it clear that Rainbow was his band, and Dio jumped ship. Dio received word that Ozzy Osbourne had left Black Sabbath, and a tryout was arranged. Dio got the gig immediately, and helped Sabbath break out of their creative and commercial slump, resulting in such metal classics as 1980's Heaven & Hell and 1981's Mob Rules. With Sabbath enjoying their greatest success in years, Dio shocked the metal world by leaving the group. Dio was fed up with the 'singer for hire' tag that was bestowed upon him. He formed Dio with ex-Rainbow bassist Jimmy Bain and ex-Black Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice (Carmine Appice's brother), and ex-Sweet Savage guitar shredder Vivian Campbell. The group would retain the same subject matter that Ronnie James specialized in with his previous outfits, dungeons and dragons, swords and sorcery, damsels in distress, etc. Many years and platinum albums later Dio is still rocking hard. The backing band has gone through many changes over the years, but Dio's voice is still has the same identifiable mastery in it. So some Dio tracks from over the years seem to be in order for today. Sorry folks I don't have any Elf tracks so I'll start out with some Rainbow. This first track is a Rainbow tune but a lot of people have said it sounds a lot like Elf, so that's as closer as I can get.
If You Don't Like RockN Roll by Rainbow

Now this is a straight ahead Rainbow tune.
Man on the Silver Mountain by Rainbow
Buy it

From the Sabbath Days
Children of the Sea by Black Sabbath
Buy It

Most true metal fans consider Dio's first album, Holy Diver, to be a masterpiece. With good reason.
Rainbow in the Dark by Dio
Buy It

And finally Tenacious D's little ditty about Dio where they claim he should pass the torch to them.

Dio by Tenacious D
Buy It


Funny Toon

Friday, May 26, 2006

Don't Let Your Meat Loaf

Today in Music History:

In 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono conduct a bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. They record "Give Peace a Chance," with Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary and others.
homercat Out of HellTake screaming vocals, over-the-top arrangements, and a sense of rock & roll as Broadway theater and you end up with the massive and awesome Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf's epic 1977 album. When he sets his mind to it Jim Steinman can write a helluva song. With a mind boggling seven tracks on it, it was worth every cent I spent to have it on vinyl, 8 track, cassette and CD, Just for the title track alone. I must confess though I'm not too fond of that Paradise track. Then supposedly every album after that one sucked and he ended up filing bankruptcy. Then along came Bat #2. Once again Jim Steinman's over the top, musical compositions made the Meat a household word again. Meat disappears into obscurity again and with the two previous Hell albums selling over 45 million copies, well I guess Bat Hell #3 was a no brainer. A track from Meat's upcoming album, Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose has leaked and is making the rounds through the internet and music blogs. Do we need another Bat? Can't we come up with a great album under another concept?

It doesn't matter, I'll buy this one too, as I have bought every single one of Meatloaf's albums. Mr. Meat could sing nursery rhymes and I'd probably buy it. In fact beside the first Bat, the albums that supposedly slid Meat into bankruptcy are my favorite ones. There is some damn good shit on them. If you've only kept up with the Hell series and never bothered to purchase some of the other ones then you're in for a treat today. Some of these tracks aren't as thunderous, nor opus-like as the Hell compositions, that is Steinman's specialty. Never the less there have been some damn catchy pop rock tunes. I like his voice when it's not broke, there's no doubt that he can belt them out. The Steinman compositions tend to be more grandiose than some of the ones I'll have here today, but as you well know they can be over bearing as well.

Now this first cut, comes off the follow up to The first Bat, called Dead Ringer. There was actually supposed to be a sequel to Bat next, but the Steinman-Loaf machine couldn't quite get it together. Actually some time between the first and second Bat, Steinman actually sued MeatLoaf for somne reason or other. Anyway, Dead Ringer is a corker of a tune that features Cher in a duet. Read 'em and Weep is one of the finest ballads that Steinman ever wrote. Smacking a bit of Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad, to be honest, but doing it in it's own special way, Read 'em and Weep is as much of a classic as anything else that Meat has ever sung, including the stuff on the "Bat" albums. It's not a ballad in the most typical sense - not like "Heaven Can Wait" or "For Crying Out Loud" from the 1977 LP - it's got guitars and drums and the works, but it's still emotionally driven and quite touching.This album was considered a failure because it only sold 6 million copies compared to Bat Out of Hell's 30 million.
Dead Ringer by MeatLoaf(feat. Cher)
Read em and Weep by MeatLoaf
Buy It

These next couple of cuts come from his fourth album, if you're not counting his stints with Stoney and Ted Nugent(Say it Edward!). It's Called Bad Atitude and has Mr. Loaf teaming up with Roger Daltry on the title track. Simply glorious. This is a good album, the best of Meat's non-Jim collaborations (There are two Steinman penned songs, but he was absent from the studio). The sound is revitalized and very 80's rockish, Meat's 80's band, the Neverland Express, does a fantastic job at attempting to capture the bombast and spirit of Steinman's music.
Bad Atitude by MeatLoaf(feat Daltry)
Modern Girl by MeatLoaf
Buy It (if u can)


His Fifth album released in 1986, Blind Before I Stop, really took a beating and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why. I loved it, but of course I'm a fan of meat. It definitely has an eighties feel to it, but hey it was the eighties, everyone had that feel. I know a lot of people hate this album, but I can't seem to bring myself to do the same. There's certainly something about it that's infectious and enjoyable. Rock N' Roll Mercenaries is EASILY the best track on this CD, and one of the better Meat duets that he as done. British rocker John Parr helps Meat out on this one, and he sounds as good as ever here. There are lyrics that tell a lot about the music industry as of late, and they tell their case perfectly, and the quote "Money is power, and power is fame," is one of the best I've heard in a long time.
Blind Before I Stop by MeatLoaf
Rock N' Roll Mercenaries by MeatLoaf
Buy It

Well too much Meat can be a good or a bad thing. Now you'll be ready to scoop up Bat 3 when it comes out. Honestly though, these albums need more exposure, because they're still better than most of the crap that's making the rounds now(Gnarls Barkley comes to mind). They sure didn't get a fair shake when they came out. Hope this gets you through the weekend and darn it, play safe. Homercat Out.

Funny Toon

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Maximus Canadianus Lameus

Today in Music History:

In 1974 David Bowie releases the decadence-themed 'Diamond Dogs,' a true solo album on which he sings and plays most of the instruments.
One of the local radio stations is having a fundraiser this tomorrow to help raise money for some kids foundation and they'll play any song for a price. They've been using this one song as an example all week. Also you can make a song stop by pledging an even higher amount. All in good Fun. That one song example got me to thinking about a couple of one hit wonder Canadian artists from 1974. Albeit the songs are pretty lame but once again I can't help but like them. there's also some interesting history that you might not be aware of.

One HittersWinnipeg, Canada is responsible for Terry Jacks and the #1 with a bullet single Seasons in the Sun from 1974. It's an eerie take on Rod McKuen's translation of frenchman Jacques Brel's Seasons in the Sun. Although not quite a one hit wonder,Jacks and his wife, Susan, had a hit in 1970 recording as the Poppy Family, with the equally eerie Which Way You Goin' Billy? One more curious fact, that dark guitar riff on Seasons in the Sun is played by none other than guitar legend Link "Rumble" Wray, who passed away last November. Believe it or Not.

Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks
Buy It

Andy Kim was born in Montreal, Canada and managed to become a teen idol two separate times. In 68 he hit big in Canada with a remake of the Ronettes Baby, I love You. By 1974 his slide down to nobody status came to an end whenexecutives at Capitol records heard his personally financed recording of Rock Me Gently. Two months later it was a #1 hit. Something else you might not know about Andy Kim. He is the co writer of one of the best bubblegum songs ever, The Archies Sugar Sugar.

Rock Me Gently by Andy Kim
Buy It

Both quite enjoyable tunes if you're in the right frame of mind.

Funny Toon

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

On the Cover of Good Rockin' Tonight

Today in Music History:

In 1995 Jerry Lee Lewis releases his first rock and roll album of the Nineties, Young Blood, calling it "my best album ever!"
dr. HookSpeaking of AM pop radio's heyday of the '70s, one has to mention Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. The band was formed in Union City, NJ, in 1968, when a young singer/songwriter named Dennis Locorriere teamed up with Alabama-born country-rocker Ray Sawyer. Sawyer's distinctive stage presence stemmed from his enormous cowboy hat and an eye patch that hid injuries from a serious car accident in 1967. Sawyer's eye patch inspired the nickname Dr. Hook, after a certain character out of a children's novel; with the addition of more band members, the rest of the band was christened the Medicine Show (which may or may not have been a possible drug reference, duh.), they began playing some of the roughest bars in the Union City area, concentrating mostly on country-flavored pop/rock. The band recorded some demos, and in early 1970 their manager played the tapes for Ron Haffkine, who was working as musical director for the film Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? Haffkine had been looking for bands to perform the songs written for the soundtrack by Shel Silverstein, an ex-folkie, Playboy cartoonist, and children's author who'd penned Johnny Cash's hit "A Boy Named Sue." He took a liking to Locorriere's voice, and became the group's manager and producer.

Shel Silverstein ended up writing all the songs for Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's self-titled debut album, which was released in 1971. The single "Sylvia's Mother," a slight parody of teen-heartbreak weepie songs, flopped on first release, but with some more promotional muscle became the band's first million-seller and hit the Top Five in the summer of 1972. Their second album was called Sloppy Seconds. Ya gotta love that title, and was once again penned by Silverstein. It contained more risque stuff and the classic, The Cover of Rolling Stone. This song was written specifically to get them on the cover of said magazine and it worked. The title of their third album was Belly Up and that's exactly what they did, the band declared bankruptcy in 1974, mostly to get out of their contract with CBS. They reemerged in 1975 simply as Dr. Hook with a new album called Bankrupt which featured more original material, they weren't relying solely on Silversteins material. A cover of Sam Cooke's "Only Sixteen" returned them to the Top Ten in 1976 and revitalized their career, further hits followed over the next few years in "A Little Bit More," "Sharing the Night Together," "When You're in Love With a Woman," and "Sexy Eyes." 1979's Pleasure & Pain became their first gold album and now, during their peak years, they were just as famed for their crazed stage antics, which ranged from surreal banter to impersonating their own opening acts. For me though, these later hits really signaled the end of the band as it should have been. I really enjoyed the early albums and not the top 40 pablum of the late seventies. It was around 1980 when the band pretty much folded. Eye Patch guy left the band and other changes occurred and all was folded up by 1985. I think Eye patch guy still tours under the Dr. Hook moniker but he has to license it's use through Locorriere.
I was tempted to post up Sylvia's Mother, but decided to opt for a couple of lesser known tunes from the early years. Essential listening.

The Things I Didn't Say
by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
Acapulco Goldie by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, May 19, 2006

More AM Gold 1973

Today in Music History:

In 1973 Yes hits #12 in the US with 'Yessongs'.
Due to the hecticness of this week, homercat has been missing in action. I had a request from Mike for some more AM Gold and since his name is Mike, Playground in my Mind didn't go over well for him in his childhood jb said that particular single was the most embarrassing 45 in his collection. Mick preferred the Hot Chocolate version of Brother Louie and after hearing it, the verdict is still out. It does have it's good points and is actually quite different. Jeff wants to revisit the early J Geils Band and their awesome live show. Coming in the future. Mr. Beer and Hockey is still quite obsessed in Geddy Lee, and Humble Pie and Status Quo deserve their own posts. I've already done a lot of research for 1973 with last weeks post, so a quick run down about some more possibly embarrassing singles, classics and maybe one to jog your mind down memory lane. Homercat may be up to better form next week.

This first one may be the most embarassing 45 I ever owned. Why did I buy it? I'll never know why. Strangely, it still has a perplexing hold over me and it stays in my playlist in heavy rotation. There's no accounting for taste. Maybe it was just the long song title.
The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia by Vicki Lawrence

When you think of that year, a lot of tunes come to mind quickly. But he renowned horn-driven funk outfit Tower of Power may slip your mind. Not only are these guys still around, in addition to recording their own material, they were a much in-demand backing group for some of pop/rock's biggest names, including Elton John, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Huey Lewis, Little Feat, David Sanborn, Michelle Shocked, Paula Abdul, Aaron Neville, Aerosmith, Michael Bolton, Billy Preston, PiL, Rod Stewart, Toto, Merl Saunders, and others. These guys got cred.
So Very Hard to Go by Tower of Power

Most of you know by now what a huge fan i am of The Osmonds. I feature them now and again here and honestly they were a mainstay of my youth, along with Alice Copper, Black Sabbath, etc. etc. A nice little ballad that is pure Osmond.
Let Me In by The Osmond Brothers


A Canadian entry, this single sold well over a million copies and Edward Bear is not a dude or a bear but a Canadian group. The single was actually released in 72, but was still hanging around in 73. The group was formed in 67 and after the success of this single the band was pretty much finished
Last Song by Edward Bear


The first concert I ever went to was Seals and Crofts and they were one of the 1970s' most successful soft-rock acts. To this day one of my favorite albums of theirs, Get Closer, is still unavailable on CD. Someone please rectify this.
Diamond Girl by Seals and Crofts

A radical, left-wing, pot smoking, rebel rousing hippie is responsible for this next tune which met with censorship and was actually banned from some radio stations. The scary John Denver had the uppity ups panties in a twist for mentioning the word "high". A truly scary and dangerous role model for children. Don't Believe the hype. I'm with you John and know exactly where you're coming from. Whenever I see the Canadian Rockies they truly take my breath away and make me feel giddy. To me it's the most beautiful place I've ever seen and it gets me high baby! This song is an iron clad favorite of mine to this day.
Rocky Mountain High by John Denver

Wouldn't it be nice if their was a comprehensive boxset of classic tunes from 1973? Alot of stuff wasn't great and you would hate to buy that album for that one song. Most compilation albums for that year have 10 or 12 songs and don't even begin to cover the spectrum. Be that as it may you can buy this as a start or browse and maybe find that elusive boxset. I'm kinda likin this series and will feature more of the early seventies in later posts. Any suggestions or input is welcome, cause when you're a hack all help is appreciated. Everyone have a great weekend, especially you BC residents with your long weekend, or is it all Canada?

Funny Toon

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Forever Diamond

Today in Music History:

In 1984, Ozzy Osbourne was arrested in Memphis, Tennessee for ‘staggering drunk’ down Beale Street.
Diamond coversBack in Feb. of this year I did a post about one of my all time favorite artists. Neil Diamond. Trying to condense everything that is great about Neil into a short readable post is nearly impossible.There is just too much info about Neil Diamond and my mind goes into mental meltdown just trying to figure out how to begin writing. One of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time. Neil's so damned good that he makes my brain hurt (in a good way)thinking about it. 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. Judging by that list, these artists recognize a well-crafted song when they see one, no matter what musical genre they represent. Inarguably, Neil Diamond knows how to write a great song. 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. The Neil Diamond sound can be described like this: 1) a soft reflective intro 2) slow burn build up 3) and then a clouds-parting chorus that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. If by the third part your arms are not wanting to reach up high in triumphant gloryof the moment, then it's possible you have no soul.

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 Diamond became a star in 1966 with his first two hits as a solo performer “Solitary Man” and “Cherry, Cherry” followed by the release of his wildly popular album Touching You, Touching Me, but his first #1 single was achieved as a songwriter. TV pop stars The Monkees topped the charts with “I’m A Believer,” followed by “A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me” in 1967. Diamond became a permanent fixture on the Billboard charts both as a performer and a songwriter. In some occurrences, Diamond would watch a single song rise up the charts more than once – first as his own recording, then again as another performer’s recording. Both Diamond and rock band Deep Purple had hits with “Kentucky Woman,” Bobby Womack followed Diamond up the charts with his own version of “Sweet Caroline,” and Jr. Walker & The Allstars had a hit with Diamond’s “Holly Holy.” Releasing cover versions of other performers’ songs is certainly not unusual, but these singles were all released and rose up the charts within 1-3 years of each other, which attests to the strength of the songs themselves.

On May 23rd, Shout! Factory will celebrate the songwriting talents of superstar musician and performer Neil Diamond with a new collection of songs on CD. Recorded by a tremendously varied group of artists over an equally expansive period of time, Forever Neil Diamond showcases the wide appeal of 14 Diamond-penned classics. After listening to the album it's clear that many genres have been represented. acouple tracks on this collection are sure to be familiar to most listeners, such as the Monkees, Deep Purple, UB40 and Urge Overkill covers. Towards the end of his career Elvis Presley recorded a number of Neil Diamond songs. It was nice to see the not as well known, and the Grass won't Mind by the King being included here. Rarely has Elvis sounded so good. If you like some steamy sax playing thenJr. Walker and the All-Stars version of Holly Holy recorded in 1970 will get you hot. for this collection Shout! Factory dug up some less heard gems like Glory Road, The Boat that I Row and Ain't No Way. The 14 tracks here cover a span of years from the sixties to the current time frame with indie artists Crooked Fingers covering Solitary Man. Keep an eye out for the album, especially if you're a serious Diamond fan.

TRACK LIST:
The Monkees – “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You”
Bobby Womack – “Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)”
The Box Tops – “Ain’t No Way”
Urge Overkill – “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon”
Deep Purple – “Kentucky Woman”
Elvis Presley – “And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind”
Crooked Fingers – “Solitary Man”
Shane McGowan & The Popes – “Cracklin’ Rosie”
UB40 – “Red Red Wine”
Arthur Alexander – “Glory Road”
Four Tops – “I’m A Believer”
Lulu – “The Boat That I Row”
Jr. Walker & The All-Stars – “Holly Holy”
The Band with Neil Diamond – “Dry Your Eyes”

Solitary Man
by Crooked Fingers

Glory Road by Arthur Alexander
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, May 12, 2006

Low Nocturnal Temperatures in the Outback

Today in Music History:

In 1960 Elvis guest-stars on a Frank Sinatra-hosted TV special, Welcome Home Elvis, and cuts his first post-Army recordings in Nashville. They yield the hit album Elvis Is Back.

TriDog baby!Once upon a time a band took it's name from an Australian expression describing low nocturnal temperatures in the outback (the colder the night, the more dogs needed to keep warm while sleeping). Thus a Three Dog Night or around freezing or so. What would the seventies had been like if there were no TriDog to give us tunes about bullfrogs, scary parties, lonely numbers, some cat named Eli and a groovy place called Shambala.

Three Dog Night scored a succession of 21 hit singles, including eleven Top Tens, and twelve consecutive gold albums from 1969 to 1975. Wowza. In 1967, Danny Hutton conceived the idea of a three-vocalist group, and he and Cory Wells enlisted mutual friend Chuck Negron. After a few years and the addition of backing musicians they started their run in 1969 with the hit One(written by Harry Nilsson) and never looked back until 1976 when Negron had taken over most of the vocal duties, making Hutton an unhappy camper so he split. I'm sure there was some "experimental" drug use mixed in there which didn't help. I remember one summer when music was really starting to be a focal point in my life and about the only memories I have of that year is the music. The year was 1973 and summer vacation had descended across the land. WLS was the station of choice. That year was an exceptional one for music and that summer had some memorable tunes. I remember hearing Shambala all the time on that AM juggernaut.
Shambala by Three Dog Night
Buy It

In a multifaceted and entertaining continuance of this magical (not really) summer here are some other hits from June, July, and August of that year. First off here's a great tune that you hardly ever hear anymore from a wee Irish laddie.
Get Down by Gilbert O'Sullivan
Buy It

If you're going to mention any songs from that summer then this tune which is a tale of interracial romance from the band Stories has to be included. Though originally helmed by onetime Left Banke mastermind Michael Brown, Stories ironically scored their only hit after Brown had left the band.
Brother Louie by Stories

This 1973 hit was one of the more memorable songs by a one-hit wonder. Maybe cause it's kinda dumb and catchy. This song was originally released in June of 1972 and did a spectacular belly flop. In November a radio station in Kansas began playing it in conjunction with the holidays (apparently feeling that the sing-song nature of the track gave it a seasonal feel) and it drew a massive response, leading to more stations picking up on it. By June 1973, "Playground in My Mind" had climbed to number two, lodged behind Paul McCartney's "My Love" and sold over a million copies. For your displeasure.
Playground in my Mind by Clint Holmes
Buy It

Well my time grows short and I won't have time to go into detail about my next few choices but I just gotta put em up.

Feelin' Stronger Every Day by Chicago
Buy It

Behind Closed Doors by Charlie Rich
Buy It

Say Has Anybody Seen my Sweet Gypsy Rose by Tony Orlando and Dawn
Buy It

So really that's just a small sampling of some of the lesser knowns. We also had some monster hits from Grand Funk, Deep Purple, Wings, and the Carpenters. Not to mention the rest of the year which had some great stuff. So if I was making a greatest Hits of 1973 CD, these are a few I would put on there. Just out of curiosity I would be interested to hear what some of you guys favorites from that summer or year were.

Funny Toon

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Keef Lime in the Coconut

Today in Music History:

In 1981 Frank Zappa releases four albums in one day: 'Tinseltown Rebellion' (a double album), 'Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar,' 'Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar Some More,' and 'Return of the Son of Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar.'
I thought the internets wuz broke yesterday, or I would have thrown up something for you to read. Finally around five I figure out that the internets wasn't broke, I just needed to reboot my router. Duh.


Honestly, Keith Richards is an enigma. Rumours are rampant and reports are conflicting. After his Fiji coconut tree climbing escapades back in April(click pic for humour), there are some reports that he has had to undergo a second operation or he has brain damage or he's fine. It depends what you read and what you want to believe. This guy is 62 and through his 45 year career has filtered enough toxic chemicals through his body to kill a waste treatment plant and a coconut tree may be his demise? You gotta hand it to the guy, 62 and climbing trees. Just thinking about climbing a tree and I get tired. Back in 1998 Keef suffered a bizarre home accident when he broke three ribs and punctured a lung when he climbed a ladder in his library and was reaching for a book. Bloody Hell Keith. The old joke may be true, that the only things left on the planet after a nuclear holocaust will be cockroaches and Keith Richards. In honor of Keef's ariel acrobatics I thought a few coconut related songs would tie in quite nicely. And Keith, stay away from anything higher than the stage. Hope this post finds you well on your way to recovery old boy.

Day O
by Harry Belafonte
Buy It

Caribbean Amphibian by Jimmy Buffett and Kermit the Frog
Have no idea where this came from but it's great!

Coconut by Harry Nilsson
Buy It

Lone Palm by Jimmy Buffett
Buy It


Funny Toon

Monday, May 08, 2006

Soundalike my Ass

Today in Music History:

offspring
Ah yes the old rant fiasco, needless to say I hate cell phones with a passion. If I ever figure out a nice way of saying how much I hate them, I will repost the one I deleted. If I offended anyone then live with it. The Offspring. I remember when they went from indie to major label and all the fans were screaming sell out. i said good on ya. Be that as it may they have had some really decent output over the years. Need we create a new genre for them, say punk pop, or pop punk. No not really just good ole rock n roll is what I say. I can't help but love Noodles guitar. It's funny, the allmusic site describes the Offspring as a Nirvana soundalike band. This makes me laugh. I quote
The Nirvana sound-alike "Come Out and Play," the first single from the album, became an MTV hit in the summer of 1994, which paved the way to radio success.
I don't know who wrote that but he was so fucking clueless as a writer and reviewer he should be fired. I'm sorry but on that song alone Noodles is playing like Kurt Cobain wished he could. How could anyone compare the dick dale riffs to the I hate life and drudge, drudge, Teen Spirit, Puhleeze, that was crap. It's also funny that Noodles was the janitor at their old high school. I think he's great(he's my age) . Every Nirvana song I ever heard made me want to slit my wrists. First because it was depressing and second because it sucked. Jeez twenty years ago I was playing guitar badly and writing depressing lyrics. I should be a star.

Whereas The Offspring's music makes me want to party, have fun, and not be a whiny downer guy like Cobain. People elevate Cobain to godhood and I just don't get it. His angst and disillusion with society? Been there done that back in the seventies, didn't kill myself. Although I might have been tempted to kill myself with Courtney Love as my wife. His music? Well honestly it was kind of a three chord suck fest. Nirvana sound a like that's funny. Well I've pissed off the Cobainheads, but they may get over it once they quit wallowing in self pity. But hey on the bright side here's a tune from the Offspring which I definitely feel is their best and once you listen to the riff and the lyrics you may feel as I do, that it is one of the best songs ever. It's my oldlady's fave. I kinda agree with her. And if someone wants to explain how The Offspring sounds just like Nirvana, please do. If you want to explain how Nirvana is better, don't bother. Jee whiz this almost is a rant.

Spare Me the Details
by The Offspring
Buy it

Funny Toon

Friday, May 05, 2006

Lazy Cat Repost Alert

Today in Music History:

In 1956, Elvis Presley scored his first US No.1 single and album when 'Heartbreak Hotel' went to the top of the charts. His debut album also went to No.1.
Full out rants are not very becoming of the cat, so I got rid of that last one. Sometimes I just need to vent. Now I'm lazy and tired so here comes an oldie but goodie.
Remember this guy? If you've never heard of him and his band the Blockheads maybe you've heard the phrase sex and drugs and rock n roll. In 1977 Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll was released as a single, with little success even though now it's a classic must have song. In 1978 they released the album New Boots and Panties which no music connoisseur should be without. Today I'm featuring a song off that album. It's actually an ode to Gene Vincent. At the age of seven, Ian Dury was stricken with polio. After spending two years in hospital, he attended a school for the physically handicapped. He sang with a thick cockney accent and honestly was unable to carry a tune. His singing relied on the rhythm of the words and it worked well although sometimes you think "What the 'ells ee sayin'"

In May 1998, Dury announced that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer in 1995 and that the disease had spread to his liver. He decided to release the information the weekend of his 56th birthday, in hopes of offering encouragement for others battling the disease. For the next year, he battled the disease while keeping a public profile -- in the fall of 1999, he was inducted into Q magazine's songwriting hall of fame, and he appeared at the ceremony. Sadly, it was his last public appearance. Dury succumbed to cancer on March 27, 2000. He left behind a truly unique, individual body of work.

Here it is, but don't be fooled! The song starts out damn slow with a few verses then it pauses and then wham it hits you in the gut with a flat out rock n roll frenzy. Check out that piano and guitars. Halfway through the song you're thinking I must know the lyrics to this song so I will provide them below. One of my all time favorite songs. Enjoy!!

Sweet Gene Vincent by Ian Dury and the Blockheads

Like what you hear? Buy it!


Lyrics to Sweet Gene Vincent

blue gene baby

skinny white sailor, the chances were slender
the beauties were brief
shall I mourn you decline with some thunderbird wine
and a black hankerchief?
I miss your sad Virginia whisper
I miss the voice that called my heart
sweet gene vincent
young and old and gone
sweet gene vincent
(brief pause)

who, who, who slapped john?

white face, black shirt
white socks, black shoes
black hair, white strat
bled white, died black

sweet gene vincent
let the blue roll tonight
at the sock hop ball in the union hall
where the bop is there delight

here come duck-tailed Danny dragging Uncanny Annie
she's the one with the flying feet
you can break the peace daddy sickle grease
the beat is reet complete
and you jump back honey in the dungerees
tight sweater and a ponny tail
will you guess her age when she comes back stage?
the hoodlems bite thier nails

black gloves, white frost
black crepe, white lead
white sheet, black knight
jet black, dead white

sweet gene vincent
there's one in every town
and the devil drives 'till the hurse arrives
and you lay that pistol down

sweet gene vincent
there's nowhere left to hide
with lazy skin and ash-tray eyes
a perforated pride

so farewell mademoiselle, knicker-bocker hotel
farewell to money owed
but when your leg still hurts and you need more shirts
you got to get back on the road

Funny Toon

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Feed Me

Today in Music History:

In 1972 "Old Man," by Neil Young, peaks at #31 on the pop chart. It is the third and last time Young will crack the Top Forty
All thanks for the responses to the last post. You guys educated me on a few things. I couldn't believe all the suggestions that I had never heard before. I am humbled. Also I have to say this before continuing, Well Done Stephen Colbert, well done. You are my hero. What did those people expect? Did they really think he was a Bush supporter? Haven't they ever watched his show.

If I had to pick my favorite musical of all time, it would be a toss up between The Rocky Horror Picture Show (of course) and Little Shop of Horrors.audrey II They both have awesome music and both are a bit twisted. Little Shop is based on a stage production which was based on the Roger Corman film. The film, directed by Frank Oz, is generally faithful to both the original and the stage version of the story, except for the ending. The film's biggest change is its ending which was re-shot when it received negative reviews from test audiences. While the off-Broadway musical version, like the 1960 film, ends up with everyone dead, the 1986 film has a happy ending in which Audrey II is killed, while Seymour, Audrey and humanity survive. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song for the song, "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space", written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. It caused a small controversy at the Academy Awards because it was the first Oscar-nominated song to contain foul language and thus had to be censored for the show. (lyrics) Gotta love those Yanks and their censorship.

The film has become legendary for a widely-unseen 23-minute alternate ending that retains the darkness and B-movie roots of the original movie. Oz and his special effects team went to great lengths to create this dramatic finale during which Audrey II takes over New York City, attacks the Brooklyn Bridge, fights the U.S. Army, strangles the Statue of Liberty and - in an homage to the 1933 classic monster movie King Kong - scales the Empire State Building. The entire action sequence cost $5 million to produce. But 1986 preview audiences rejected this ending as too disturbing. Damn Pussies. Afterwards, director Oz commented: "They hated us when the main characters died." Little Shop of Horrors was the first DVD to be recalled for content. In 1998, Warner Bros. released a Special Edition DVD of the 1986 musical film. It contained a black and white rough cut of the "Plant Conquers The World" ending where all of the principal cast members bite the dust. This supplement was pulled by David Geffen who (depending on your source) either didn't like the quality of the print and wanted to prepare a special version himself(which he never has), or is just an evil asshole who hates people. Geffen became angry at Warner Bros. for including this footage on the DVD and as a result, the studio yanked it off the shelves in a matter of days and replaced with a second edition without the extra material. The original first edition DVD is now a much sought-after collector's item and sells for upwards of $150 on eBay. Several outstanding moments from the movie include Steve MartinSteve Martin as the twisted dentist and Bill Murray in Jack Nicholson's original role of the patient. Reportedly Murray ad libbed all his lines. Levi Stubbs from the Four Tops provides the voice of Audrey II. Excellent music, murder, carnivorous plants, camp, everything a person could want in a movie. A couple selections here with Steve Martin's song and the above mentioned too hot for TV song.

Mean Green Mother by Levi Stubbs
The Dentist by Steve Martin
Buy it

Funny Toon
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