Thursday, July 27, 2006

Not for the Timid

Today in Music History:

In 1968 The Amboy Dukes, featuring "Motor City Madman" Ted Nugent, hit #16 with "Journey to the Center of Your Mind."
I recently took a swim in the death metal pool just out of curiosities sake. I pretty much draw the line at Iron Maiden type metal. Anything harder than that and it's just beyond me how folks can listen to that stuff, but they do and the fans of hardcore metal are die hard fans. Having watched Metal: A Headbanger's Journey
recently, I found it to be very interesting and enlightening. So much so that I thought I would personally delve into world hard ass metal. Being no fool, I asked a friend if I could borrow some of their stuff to listen to because I pretty much figured that I wouldn't want to be purchasing any death metal anytime soon.

Cannibal CorpseSo I borrowed a couple of discs and gave a listen. Like I said I won't be spending any big bucks anytime soon, but it was interesting. I just borrowed two bands, Cannibal Corpse and Hypocrisy. Cannibal Corpse hails from Buffalo, NY and Hypocrisy is from Sweden.

A critic once said this about Cannibal Corpse's music, "If vomit were a movie, this would be the soundtrack." Too a certain extent this is pretty much true. The band sports some of the sickest album art and song titles of all time. Graphic album artwork and song titles have attracted much controversy which has resulted in their albums being banned in many places. These tactics worked perfectly and record sales soared.Their extremity has given them a cult fan base and they were one of the most popular death metal bands of the 90's. It's worth saying to people unfamiliar with the band that this stuff isn't for the lighthearted and shouldn't be taken too seriously. Typical death metal pummeling drums and guitars abound and I found that the lead vocals reminded me of a cookie monster on steroids. Although the lyrics are quite vile you really can't understand them unless you have the lyric sheet in front of you. Generally not taken seriously in many metal quarters due to their fascination with cartoonish gore, Cannibal Corpse has somehow managed to outlast many of their more critically accepted contemporaries.

Hypocrisy was formed in Sweden in 1990 when Peter TÃĪgtgren returned to Sweden after he had been in Florida where he had been inspired by that state's flourishing death metal scene (bands like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Death, and Obituary). Typical death metal abounds with not as much blood and guts.

While I will never be a rabid fan of this genre of music, some people seem to love it and to each his own. I may occasionaly walk down that road though if I'm feeling particularly vile. So I submit for experimental purposes only, a trip down death metal lane.

Chambers of Blood by Cannibal Corpse
Buy It

Scrutinized by Hypocrisy
Buy It


Funny Toon

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Gems Heard One Night

Today in Music History:

In 1965 Bob Dylan strode onstage at the Newport Festival with an electric guitar in hand and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band backing him up. He is booed off the stage.
homer priestWhen working the graveyards, I slip the dial to one of the rock stations available with the satellite TV. I'm not sure which one it's called but it covers the years, playing well known and obscure rock n roll. Having been working a lot of these graveyards lately I found that these commercial free stations were as predictable as regular radio. While at first I found the selections to be fresh and varied, after a month of listening it seemed that the playlist never varied. You could count on hearing Neil Young at 3:15 am and Montrose at 4:30 followed by Metallica at 4:35. Then the other night a magical trio assaulted my eardrums probably never to be repeated anywhere. What are the odds of these three songs being played back to back ,let alone being played at all.

The first song of the trio came on and I nearly flipped. Personally I had never heard it played on any radio station ever, although I was probably too young in the 60's when it did receive some airplay, I recently received as a gift from a good friend of mine an album of material from these guys. I've heard other versions of the song but not the original by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.
Shakin All Over by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
Buy It

Then the second tune came on and it was none other than from those guys from Rockford IL. A song which I hadn't heard on the radio in ages. Although I have heard it once in a while. Usually you only hear about 4 songs from these guys ever played and you know of which songs I speak of.
She's Tight by Cheap Trick
Buy It

Then to complete the trifecta a song from an early Judas Priest album which you don't hear too often, at least not the original studio version.
The Ripper by Judas Priest
Buy It

That night I was pleasantly surprised and ended up going home and listening to stuff from all three of these artists. It was a pretty good mix and I daresay you will ever hardly hear these three songs played in a row very often.


Funny Toon

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Nocturnal Bliss

Today in Music History:

In 1954 Sun Records releases the first Elvis Presley single "That's All Right" with "Blue Moon of Kentucky" as the flipside, backed by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black.
Grace Potter and the NocturnalsEvery once in a while you hear a new artist that knocks your socks off. While Good Rockin' tends to focus on older tuneage, when homercat hears something new that rocks his world he's gonna spread the word. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are currently rocking my world. Specifically their new album, Nothing But the Water. Grace Potter is a 23 year old from Vermont and let me tell you folks, not only does Baby Got Voice, Grace is pretty easy on the eyes as a bonus, and the band is tight as hell. Getting ahead of myself here, let's get a little background before I tell ya about this fine album.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are a Hammond B-3 organ-fueled blues-rock quartet with a panache for music from decades past. The quartet is led by 23-year-old Grace Potter, whose vocals sound like a cross between Joanna Dean, Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin, while her work behind the B-3 are reminiscent of a Billy Preston or Steve Winwood. The Nocturnals, are Scott Tournet (lead guitar, harmonica, vocals), Bryan Dondero (upright/electric bass) and Matthew Burr (drums/percussion). Potter grew up and still lives in a woodsy plot of land and dwellings in Waitsfield, VT,(pop. 1659) that locals refer to as "Hobbittville"; Grace and the Nocturnals now all live there together. Potter and Burr started playing together in 2002 while students at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York while Potter was still a film student, and their sound gradually evolved from cover material to originals. The wheels started spinning when Tournet came aboard in the fall of 2003, and Potter started playing the B-3, giving her songs and the band's sound a rich and resonant character. The new album are all originals penned by Potter with the help of the Nocturnals.

Upon first listen of the album I was at once mesmerized and blown away by Potter's vocal. I kept thinking how is that voice coming out of that young 'un. The album has a soulful bluesy feel to it probably enhanced by the fact that it was recorded in a nearly 150-year-old barn on the campus of Goddard College. The first cut, Toothbrush and my Table, immediately has Potter getting brassy and sassy and totally sucks you in and makes you want to hear more and the second track is the aptly named Some Kind of Ride and by now you know that is exactly what this band is going to do, give you a heckuva musical ride. The first half of the album is very strong while the second half slows down a bit and the disc finishes off strongly with Nothing But the Water (II) which in my opinion is worth the purchase price for just that song. I'm not going to post that song here but check out this video of Grace and the band at the Boston Music awards. The first three minutes is Grace singing acapella (part 1) and then the band kicks in and they proceed to kick some serious musical ass, gave me chills it did. There are great things coming for this band, and I for one can't wait for the next studio album and I hope like hell I get a chance to see them soon. A definite must have with 5 tail wags from the homercat. Destined for 2006 top ten status.

Toothbrush and My Table by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Treat Me Right by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, July 14, 2006

On the Radio

Today in Music History:

In 1973, a long-simmering feud between the two Everly brothers erupts onstage during a concert in California. Their breakup is announced to the crowd by Don Everly, who completes the concert with a solo set.
DJ homercatHowdy and welcome to Friday. Today DJ homercat is gonna spin some moldy oldies for your rockin' selves for a nostalgic trip down the old am radio dial. Actually I am a wee bit embarassed to admit that I own one or two of todays selections. Like it or not these tracks were all at the number 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 during this week in July.

Back in the day before mp3's, ipods, CD's, satellite radio, FM radio and other fancy electronic equipment, we just had good ole am radio. Chock full of static and mono goodness. Sometimes you couldn't wait until it got dark because (here comes technical jargon)AM signals travel by groundwave, diffracting around the curve of the earth over a distance up to a few hundred miles (or kilometers) from the signal transmitter. However, after sunset, changes in the ionosphere cause AM signals to travel by skywave, enabling AM radio stations to be heard much farther from their point of origin than is normal during the day. We could listen to much cooler stations at night with the really good music. Stations weren't as listener specific as they are now. Now we have AOR, MOR, alternative, metal, rap, r and b, oldies, christian, rock and on and on. With the old am radio you could be exposed to funk, rock, country, pop, jazz, soft rock and on and on. Thus you were exposed to a broader range of music. In the early 70's FM radio stations were few and many were mannned by rogue dj's who played what they wanted to play. Some stations played whole albums.

The death clock started ticking for music based am radio in 1973 when car radios were required by law to receive FM stereo. From that year on, more and more FM stations were being born and the AM stations were being phased out or being replaced by talk radio. As FM gained popularity the dj's found they no longer were able to play what they wanted as they had in the past. Program directors and station formats took it out of the hands of the dj's and into the corporate mucky muck. In the early seventies I never went anywhere without my old transistor radio hanging from my bicycle handlebars. I woke up and went to sleep listening to the am radio. It's all we had and you just couldn't afford to go down to the record store and pick up every 45 of every song you heard. So us old geezers do have a fondness for those days. The sound was shit, sometimes the music was shit, but it was ours and that's the only way we heard our music, unless you had an older, cool brother or sister. So you young uns must forgive us our reminiscin'.

Take a walk with homercat if you will down memory lane as we check into the Hot 100 number 1 songs for this week(or thereabouts) playing On the Radio. Sooner or later all the good stuff shows up on KCAT radio.

1967
Windy by The Association
Buy It

1970
Mama Told Me(Not to Come) by Three Dog Night
Buy It

1973
Will It Go Round in Circles by Billy Preston
Buy It

1975
Love Will Keep Us Together by Capatain and Tennille
Buy It

1976
Afternoon Delight by Starland Vocal Band
Buy It

1977
Da Doo Ron Ron by Shaun Cassidy (homercat cringes)
Buy It

1979
Bad Girls by Donna Summer
Buy It

Bonus-AM Radio by Everclear (pretty much explains it all)

That covers a few years anyway. If you have any AM radio stories to share, a favorite station, an old memory or a request, shout it out to dj homercat. As always play safe this weekend. See Y'all next week.

Funny Toon

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Trashy Fun

Today in Music History:

In 1969, Elvis Presley was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, on sale for 35 Cents.
Toward the end of the eighties there was a serious glut of hair metal bands. Seems like everytime you blinked there was another one. Each one was worse than the one before, making me wonder how in the hell did these guys get a contract. All was not bad though, every once in a while a decent one emerged.

Faster PussycatIn 1987 whilst browsing in a record store, homercat came across an album that caught his eye. The first thing that I noticed was the name of the band. Lifted straight from a Russ Meyer flick, or at least I hoped. Looking at the band, I groaned inwardly and thought oh no, another hair metal band, although they had a glammish look about them.. Back then I was willing to buy albums without having ever heard of the artist. The name of the band, the cover and the song titles had me forking over money in no time.

Upon returning home I played this new disc by this group called Faster Pussycat. I was immediately struck by how this band had lifted most of it's licks from the New York Dolls and the lyrics were mostly juvenile, almost sleazy and yes it was definitely glam rock. Gosh darnit, I loved this album, even though every fiber of my being screamed ...must hate pussycat...I played the piss out of this album and everyone I played it for loved it. From the first chords of "Don't Change that Song" to the rocker "Bottle In Front Of Me" Faster Pussycat shows why sleazy rock and roll is fun. It's a shame a lot of folks missed out on what is one of the best glam rock album of the 80's. The songs are campy and fun, songs like "Bathroom Wall" and "Babylon" show the campy side , while "Smash Alley" and "City Has No Heart" so they can write more than songs about sex.

This Hollywood metal band (whose name was indeed lifted from a Russ Meyer flick)were signed by Elektra in 1986 and released their debut album in 1987. Unfortunately they peaked commercially two years later with the gold album Wake Me When It's Over, and the Top 40 single "House of Pain." Although their next album, 1992's Whipped, hit number 90 on the charts, it fell off quickly and pussycat was then doomed. Here came the flannel clad, grunge artists, which effectively killed most of the eighties bands. The hard rock audience had changed and had no patience for Faster Pussycat's trashy glam metal. I never really got the grunge thing and really disliked most of it. So much so that I actually went into my country music phase, because I couldn't stand this new stuff. How exciting to watch a bunch of guys in flannel, hardly moving when they played their songs about how bad their rich lives were.

So Faster Pussycat split, and singer Taime Downe formed the industrial/goth outfit the Newlydeads (along with a former member of another former L.A. glam pop outfit, Bang Tango's Kyle Kyle)With America experiencing a resurging interest in '80s glam pop by the early 21st century, Faster Pussycat reunited for a tour, which was a definite hit with America's thriving metal underground. But instead of an album of all-new material coinciding with the tour, a collection of old tracks remade as techno remixes was issued, entitled Between the Valley of the Ultra Pussy, which for all intents and purposes killed this band for good. This album was absolutely horrid and it was unlistenable. One of the worst things I ever heard and I've heard a lot of crap. 11 Faster Pussycat classics remade into a den of industrial dance buffoonery. Vestiges of the original tracks leave their ghostly signature -- a guitar riff here, a snatch of lyrical catch phrase there. But mostly, Ultra Pussy is a short-circuited mess.

Be that as it may to this day their 1987 debut album is still a favorite of mine and if by chance you've never heard it then check out these two tracks. If you're into glam you'll probably end up hunting down this album.

Babylon by Faster Pussycat
Bathroom Wall by Faster Pussycat
Buy It


Funny Toon

Monday, July 10, 2006

Redneckin'

Today in Music History:

In 1977, Cher gave birth to a baby girl Elijah Blue. Gregg Allman from The Allman Brothers was the father.
The Redneck Games, a ten-year-old tradition in East Dublin, Georgia, drew thousands of people this weekend for a lowbrow celebration of all things tacky. I had planned to attend to compete in the arm pit serenade contest, but it wasn't meant to be. A local radio station started the event in 1996 as a spoof of the Summer Olympics in Atlanta. It's grown in popularity over the years, garnering media attention from around the world, and last year drew more than 15,000 visitors according to organizers.

Featured competitions include mud-pit belly flopping, toilet-lid tossing and the "arm pit serenade." The top prize for most events is a trophy topped with a crushed Bud Light can. Since I couldn't be there to defend my crown, it got me to reminiscing about some of my favorite redneck rockers.marshall tucker band My favorite redneckers have always been Molly Hatchet. Everyone thought the sun rose and set on Lynyrd Skynyrd, Yet I found them to be only OK. By 1978 I had kicked Skynryd to the curb when Molly Hatchet released their debut album. It kicked ass. I was at the point that if I heard Freebird one more time it would have sent me postal. During the mid 70's there were alot of southern rockers kickin' around.

One group that I never payed much attention to was the Marshall Tucker Band. They wuz a bit mellow for my tastes. Turning into an old codger I have learned to appreciate their music and wish I had indulged much earlier. I really dig the way they sneak that flute into their stuff, like it naturally belongs in a southern rock song.

The Marshall Tucker Band was formed in Spartanburg, SC, in 1971 when Doug Gray teamed up with Tommy Caldwell and Toy Caldwell, Paul T. Riddle, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks. Her's an interesting anecdote about how they chose their name. When MTB first got together in their native Spartanburg they were rehearsing in an old warehouse. They had yet to decide on a name and were discussing what they should call themselves one evening. Someone looked at the tag on the key and it said "Marshall Tucker" and it was suggested they call themselves the Marshall Tucker Band, not knowing it was a real person's name. Because it was time to go to dinner and everyone was hungry they said "sounds great" and the rest is history.
A few years later they found out that Marshall Tucker was the name of the person who rented the building before them. His name was still on the key tag because the warehouse owner hadn't changed it yet. Mr. Tucker was a blind piano tuner, who, along with his partner, used the building for their piano business.

In 1972, they signed with Capricorn Records, the same label that guided The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and others to national fame. The MTB opened shows for The Allman Brothers in 1973, and the following year, they began to headline their own shows across America due to the platinum-plus sales of their debut album. The group's style combined rock, country, and jazz and featured extended instrumental passages on which lead guitarist Toy Caldwell shone. Most of their albums have gone gold or platinum.

The band was slowed down by the death of Tommy Caldwell in a car accident in 1980 and faded from the album charts after 1982. As one might expect there have been several lineup changes through the years, but the Marshall Tucker Band have never stopped touring or recording. I believe their last studio album came out in 2004, but I may be mistaken. Here's a couple old classics in honor of the Redneck games.

This one is one of my all time favorite songs. Never get tired of it.
Can't You See by The Marshall Tucker Band

We're starting to see some forest fires up this way so this song is fits the bill
Fire On the Mountain by The Marshall Tucker Band
Buy It

My apologies for being away so long. Normalcy has almost returned.

Funny Toon

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Music for Sparklers

Today in Music History:

In 1976,On the very day of the U.S. bicentennial, the Ramones kick off their first British tour at London’s Roundhouse, lighting a fire under the fledgling punk movement by inspiring groups like the Sex Pistols, the Buzzcocks and the Clash. It is a notable moment in punk-rock history.
Homey likey sparkliesBar B Ques, Beer and fireworks. The day America declared it's independence. I had something else to write about but I figure a nod to our friends to the south is in order. Before I continue though, about 10 minutes ago as homercat was preparing to write we had us a lil old fashioned earthquake. In fact it happened as I was uploading my picture of my sparkler enjoyment. You can check here for more info on our earthquake. It made my tummy rumbly.

Most people on this continent are doing holiday stuff, what with Canada Day and the Fourth of July. Most folks are probably too busy knockin back a few cold brewski's, trying hard to blow up some fingers, rather than blog surfing. Just thought I would throw out one of my favorite pieces of Americana for the Yanks. What's more American than hot dogs and apple pie? Well Elvis Presley of course. Pure d all American boy from the heartland. The horns at the end give me chillbumps.
An American Trilogy by Elvis Presley
Buy It

Then there's the opposite end of the spectrum, a lad from the UK, maybe you've heard of him. David Bowie with a not so much patriotic song. Good tune though.
I'm Afraid of Americans by David Bowie
Buy It

Celebrate Safely!


Funny Toon

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Grab some back bacon and your toques

Canada Day

I Am Canadian, Molson ad

I Am Canadian Anthem
Molson

I am not Canadian Molson parody

I Am Chinese Molson parody



Funny Toon