Friday, March 30, 2007

Just For Fun

Today in Music History:

In 1974 The Ramones give their first live show at the Performance Studio in New York.
I had a gooder all lined up for Friday and then I got to fooling around with the template and rewriting html and then the day has disappeared. So homercat is just putting up a fun one for friday. Nothing serious just a good fun tune that my good friend Senor Wick passed along to me and as a plus it's a song about a cat. Be patient while the changes occur and see you next week.

Senor El Gato by Kelly Hogan

Funny Toon

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Keller Williams

Today in Music History:

In 1980 Gary Numan hits #9 in the US with "Cars"
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Keller Williams is literally a one-man jam band. His live shows feature him solo on-stage with a Gibson Echoplex Digital Pro looping unit, and he creates his backing loops in the moment, building and improvising as he goes on his custom-made ten-string guitar, and thanks to his quirky, upbeat, and semi-surreal songs (which he frequently weaves into extended, half-improvised medleys) and his warm, friendly tenor singing voice, Williams is a unique performer whose musical eccentricities don't keep him from being immediately accessible. Williams is a fascinating artist, and his somewhat wacky take on the world, coupled with his amazing and eccentric guitar talents, makes him a refreshing performer.

When Williams started thinking about recording his ninth studio album, he started scratching out a "dream" list of artists he would love to collaborate with in the studio. He told himself "It can’t hurt to dream." To his surprise when he started asking around everyone seemed eager to back him up and thus we have his latest album, Dream. Visitors like String Cheese Incident and Bela Fleck slide in on the jam and jazz grooves, adding texture and body to the skeletal guitar riffs and who-needs-a-rhythm-section solo frenzies. The tracks are quirky and eclectic, mashing up funk, bluegrass, rock and reggae, and Williams's lyrics can be eccentric, as on "Restraint" --"I wanna jump your bones, but you're on the phone and it sounds kind of important." Grateful Dead founder Bob Weir guests on "Cadillac," which imagines cruising with Allah, Buddha, and Santa with Jesus in the back "cuz he knows there ain't no bad seat in my cadillac." How cool of a lyric is that?

In the liner notes Williams writes, "Hello and thank you for buying listening and reading. Welcome to my dream come true. The concept of this recording was to collaborate with my heroes and make a record that I would be proud to crank out in my pimped out golf cart when I'm 80." Actually the list of excellent musicians is too long for my arthritic fingers to type out in one day. The liner notes are great as Keller tells us the impetus for each song on the album and how his guests affected how they went about recording and such.

Myself, I was ignorant of William's existence until my friend John pointed him out to me, he was also was responsible for turning me on to the amazing Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and I am very thankful he did. I understand Dream is a bit of a departure from his earlier work but it has garnered one cat's attention and now I'm going to have to check out some of his other stuff now. Homercat gives Dream four tail wags and recommends it to the cool cats who visit Good Rockin'. The cut I'm featuring here is the first cut on the disc out of 16. The story behind this song is great and explains why the f word is bleeped out, among other things. That's also Williams chunking out that terrific bass riff.


Play This
by Keller Williams
Buy It

Funny Toon

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Nerd Rock for Nerds

Today in Music History:

In 1974 'Apostrophe,' Frank Zappa's highest-charting album, is released. It reaches #10 and becomes Zappa's second consecutive gold album.
Nerd CatI mean nerd in the nicest way possible of course. As I am a registered member of the nerd class. As a young fella I was in band, read science fiction books, watched Star Trek incessantly and saw Star Wars about 25 times at the theater. Yet in high school I wasn't quite nerdy enough to belong to that crowd, I certainly wasn't in the cool crowd, and the stoners wouldn't have me either. I think I belonged in the loner crowd with 3 other cats. While I likey the rock and roll, I also like the nerdier forms of rock. In fact here of late I have been overindulging in Gary Numan synth pop. I have to do it in secret as homercat's better half can't stand him. When I'm feeling particularly geeky, I really get into his science fiction-orientated lyrics and synthesizer-based rhythms. His album The Pleasure Principle brought us the classic, Cars, in late 1979. I had already been a fan when I heard his prior album, Replicas. His fat synthesizer sound and occasionally nihilistic lyrics had a major impact on the goth rock and industrial acts that came to prominence in the mid-nineties such as Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor has even said that while recording Pretty Hate Machine, he listened to Numan's Telekon album every day. While The Pleasure Principle is arguably his best selling album, I prefer almost every other album in his catalog, except for maybe Warriors. After years of ridicule in the press and by critics, Numan has found himself cited as "the godfather of electronic music" and an artist respected by his peers. In 1994 Numan re-evaluated his career and went in a harsher, more industrial direction with his songwriting on the album Sacrifice; for the first time, he played almost all the instruments himself. The move was critically well-received and several of his albums since have been praised by critics. So here's a couple of my favorites that I highly recommend, especially I Can't Breathe, killer industrial track. Long Live Geek Rock.

The Aircrash Bureau by Gary Numan (sorry it's a rapidshare link) 1980
Buy It

I, Assassin by Gary Numan 1982
Buy It

An Alien Cure by Gary Numan 1998
Buy It

I Can't Breathe
by Gary Numan 2000
Buy It

You Are In My Vision
by Gary Numan and Tubeway Army 1979
Buy It


Funny Toon

Friday, March 16, 2007

Kiss the Irish Cat

Today in Music History:

In 1992, during a Metallica gig at Orlando Arena fans dangled an usher by his ankles from the balcony as trouble broke out at the concert. The band was charged $38,000 for repairs and cleaning after the audience trashed the building.

Over last weekend I read an article about blogging that was interesting. The article said that this "fad" has peaked and that from 2006 to the present over 200 million blogs have been abandoned. The bottom line seemed to be that it ended up being too much like work and people have better things to do with their time. Homercat has seen many a fine music blog hang up it's hat in the last few years. Most recently the RIAA has discovered music blogs and have started it's crusade against us folks who promote their artists for free. Without so much as a warning to the person running the site, the RIAA is going straight to the ISP providers and telling them to suspend their sites. This site has discovered many new artists through other blogs and has purchased their albums. So in another marketing coup the record industry is shutting down the free promotion that bloggers such as myself offer.

Homercat has slowed down his postings here yet he will continue to slog on once or twice a week and try to bring you the finest of oldies and new discoveries. Hopefully some of you have found something here you were unaware of and went out and purchased someones music I have featured here. That has been the intention of this site from the very beginning. Even though I find that I have less and less time to sit here and write, Good Rockin' will continue promoting the music it loves until those bastards at the RIAA shut me down. If it didn't take me so long to write, I could pump out a few more a week, but it takes me hours to write one post as I'm not very good at it.

I could rant on and on about the idiocies of the RIAA for days but it seems like there's some kind of party atmosphere heating up for this weekend. Yep, St Pattys Day is on Saturday this year and on a day when everyone seems or claims to be Irish, the green beer will be flowing like raging rivers of spring floods. Even the place I work at is having a huge bash featuring the Newfie Trio and the Kokanee Glacier Girls and lots of Guiness and green beer. If you clicked on the Newfie link you will notice that they recorded that album at same pub where homercat hangs his hat. The songs I'm serving up today are some classic Irish drinking songs and may well have been featured here before. In fact they may be featured on many sites right now. If you celebrate St. Patricks Day and you do not hear one of these songs then you went to a lame party. These three songs are essential to a successfull St Pattys Day.

The Night Pat Murphy Died
by Great Big Sea
Buy It

Kiss My Irish Ass by Frank Mackey and the Keltic Cowboys
Buy It

The Unicorn Song by The Irish Rovers
Buy It

If that Great Big Sea tune grabbed your attention you might want to clicky to hear more.

Funny Toon

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bad Romance

Today in Music History:

In 1972 Isaac Hayes wins an Academy Award for "Theme from ‘Shaft,’" making him the first African-American composer to be so honored. It also won two Grammys, a Golden Globe award and the NAACP Image Award.
Joanna DeanFor some folks this entry into Good Rockin' may sound familiar. I have long sung the praises of Joanna Dean, rock n roll goddess. If you've never heard her you'll be floored at the raspy,gritty,soulful power of her voice. Joanna Dean released her first album in 1988 called Misbehavin', which is very hard to find now and is a killer album. I posted it on this site a while back and had some great feedback about that particular album. Joanna Dean is a rare talent that most people will never have the pleasure of knowing. Not since the likes of Janis Joplin, has there been a singer that put as much of her soul in a song. With only two albums to her credit it is impossible to compare her to Janis, but she is close.

For Joanna's 1991 second album, Code of Honor, she put together a band called Bad Romance. The album touches on issues such as alcoholism and suicide and has a rather somber tone. The sound on the "Code of Honor" album was more pure rock n' roll than her debut album. However, Joanna's voice is bluesy so it still had her sound. One tune, a cover of "Love Hurts," was recorded as a duet with Tom Kiefer of Cinderella. Don't let the dark somber tone fool you. This album is categorized as heavy metal and from the opening track it packs a helluva punch. The album received much more press than her first album, including full-page ads in METAL EDGE magazine. The couple reviews I saw of the album were excellent. But unfortunately, the album went pretty much un-noticed....much like her first one. Another toughie to find. If you liked the other stuff I put up here from Joanna, you're gonna love this. These two tracks are the first two cuts from her second album. Joanna where are you now? Please come back and rock us again.

Up and Coming by Bad Romance
The House of My Father by Bad Romance
Info

Funny Toon

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Toronto

Today in Music History:

In 1993 MTV debuts "Beavis and Butt-Head," an original animated series starring two suburban misfits.
TorontoToronto, not the city but the band formed in the late 70's and had several moderate hits through the time that they had their run till around 1985. Fronted by singer Holly Woods, the band consistently went through line up changes. A native of Durham, North Carolina, Anne Woods moved to Ontario as a teen and began singing in bars and lounges almost as soon as she was of legal age. Soon she started going by Holly Woods. Toronto formed in the late 1970s in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when singer Annie "Holly" Woods met guitarist Brian Allen.

Their third album spawned what would be their biggest and most recognizable hit with Your Daddy Don't Know, which was later covered by The New Pornographers on the film soundtrack FUBAR: The Album. In a little twist of what could have brought Toronto international fame, the song "What About Love" was originally recorded by Toronto, having been written by band members Sheron Alton and Brian Allen along with outside collaborator Jim Vallance. The band elected not to release this recording, and the difficulty Allen and Alton faced in getting this and other material onto Toronto's albums eventually led to their departure from the group. In 1985, the song was offered to Heart, who turned "What About Love" into an international top 10 hit. Toronto's version was eventually released in 2002, as a bonus track on various CD resissues of their albums. I bet all of them were slapping themselves silly when Heart turned one of their reject songs into a smash hit.

Toronto's sound has been compared to Pat Benatar and Heart and there is no doubt that Holly Woods has a set of pipes on her. The music is definitely all eighties though and may sound a bit dated, but songs like Your Daddy Don't Know or Girls Night Out are definitely guilty pleasures. In case you may be unfamiliar with this Canadian band or just want to revisit them I've put up a few tracks for your enjoyment. Good luck if you're trying to track down any of their albums even though there have been reissues I've never been able to locate them.

Your Daddy Don't Know by Toronto
Girl's Night Out by Toronto
New Romance by Toronto

Funny Toon

Friday, March 02, 2007

Goth Metalists

Today in Music History:

In 1988 the album 'Jazz from Hell' wins Frank Zappa a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental. Even though it was an instrumental album with no lyrics it receives a parental advisory sticker.
Type O NegativeHomercat is going to try out some of the new blogger features for customizing and the site may go through some strangeness in upcoming days. In an efort to may things easier for guests of this page. In the meantime, for the most part I'm not much a goth metal person. Most of it seems to be gloom and doom and dronus maximus lameus. For some reason though I thoroughly enjoy the goth metal band Type O Negative. Type O Negative is a gothic doom metal band from Brooklyn, New York. The band is well known for their dry, morbid and self-ironic sense of humour and their often slow and brooding music. Homercat has been spinning their discs quite frequently for the last couple of weeks. It's odd that I find them quite relaxing. With their Beatlesque pop melodies wallowing in goth clich├ęs like sex, death, Christianity, vampires, more sex, and death. Lead singer Peter Steele sings most of the stuff in an intentional vampiric croon straight from the bottom of an old wooden coffin. This is a band that you either like or hate, not much middle ground. Homercat digs it and you might dig these tunes as they're quite gothy.

Summer Breeze by Type O Negative
Buy It

My Girlfriends Girlfriend by Type O Negative
Love You to Death by Type O Negative (RS)
Buy It


Funny Toon