Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Streetheart s/t

Streetheart was a Canadian rock band from Regina, Saskatchewan. In 1975, vocalist Ken Shields, keyboard player Daryl Gutheil and bassist Ken Sinnaeve formed the band Wascana. After being renamed Witness, the group became Streetheart when guitarist Paul Dean and drummer Matt Frenette joined in 1977. The band released Meanwhile Back in Paris the following year and Under Heaven over Hell in 1979, but Frenette and Dean dropped out soon after to found Loverboy. The all time best seller for Streetheart was their self titled fifth studio album which was also the debut of Jeff Neill as guitarist and came out in 1982. Loaded with many great songs this album has the classic hits What Kind Of Love Is This, Look In Your Eyes, One More Time, Miss Plaza Suite and Snow White. One of those albums where every track could have been a huge hit for them. If you can find a copy of this cd, one listen will have you hooked on the Streetheart sound. The vocal of Kenny Shields brings so much extra to each song, and the classic music that the band has created will keep you listening for hours, and wanting more, which may be tough as their stuff is extremely hard to locate. Well worth the effort if you can track them down.

Miss Plaza Suite
Look In Your Eyes
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just Fred

Fred Schneider is best known as the front man of the rock band The B-52s, of which he is a founding member. He also has two solo albums to his credit, one which has already been posted here and this is his second one. Just Fred came out in 1996 and is a little different than his first solo effort or even his work with the B 52's. He leaves behind the dance-influenced of his debut and he hired indie-rock star Steve Albini to produce. Schneider and Albini recorded the album in less than a month with most every song a first taker. Backing Fred on this album are three different edgy guitar rock bands. Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, Six Finger Satellite, and Deadly Cupcake. The result is a surprisingly enjoyable fusion of Schneider's bizarre charm and lean, loud alternative rock that proudly illustrates his punk roots. With Fred writing the lyrics you know you're in for some quirky odd lyrics. Almost every critic gave this release favorable reviews and deservedly so. This grunge/punk hybrid with Fred's hysterically awesome voice makes this a must for fans of Fred and would be good for a gander if you're into alternative punk. Even if you're not into the B's one might find this surprisingly good.

Sugar In My Hog
Radioactive Lady Eyeball
Buy It

Funny Toon

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

On Earth As It Is In Heaven is Angel's 3rd album from 1977 and some would say their overall best. I tend to disagree with that on one level and that is the woeful production values applied here, otherwise it would have been their best. This marks the last album with Mickie Jones who was Angel's bass player since 1974. It was produced by Eddie Kramer (shame on you Mr. Kramer for the production of this album) and recorded in an actual castle in the Hollywood Hills. After releasing 2 albums of progressive styled rock with Greg Guiffria's keyboards driving the songs, on this release Punky Meadows started contributing riffs that became the framework for more straightforward glam rock and powerpop. The closing 2 numbers Cast the First Stone and Just a Dream still nod heavily to their previous work but songs like That Magic Touch, Telephone Exchange, and You're Not Fooling Me were efforts at cracking the top 40 at the time. Catchy power pop that would be the band's new direction with their follow up effort, White Hot. I don't think there is a dud on this album, although some songs are better than the others. For flat out rockers you can't go wrong with Can You Feel It, White Lightning and On the Rocks, some great stuff. 4 of the album songs went on to become concert favorites, the 3 rockers and Telephone Exchange. Some complain that the album has no direction but I have to disagree. This is an album where Angel were testing the waters of AM radio and looking for that big hit while still treading in the deep waters with their early progressive rock styling. I remember buying this on LP when it first came out and playing the crap out of it. Angel were supposed to be the complete opposite of KISS at the time(even though they were similar) and this album is way more adventurous than anything KISS has ever attempted. This is a 9 out of 10 record it is that good despite the horrible production. For better or for worse, Angel was quite influential in their own way, particularly on the glam metal boom of the 1980s, and represent a kind of missing link between keyboard-driven hard rock bands of the ’70s such as Uriah Heep and ’80s acts like Poison.

White Lightning
Cast the First Stone
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, February 13, 2009

Megatop Phoenix

After Mick Jones was fired from the Clash in 1983, he formed Big Audio Dynamite (B.A.D.) one year later with video artist Don Letts (effects and vocals), Greg Roberts (drums), Dan Donovan (keyboards), and Leo "E-Zee Kill" Williams (bass). B.A.D. debuted on record with the single "The Bottom Line" in September 1985. The group followed the more experimental funk elements of the Clash's Combat Rock, adding samplers, dance tracks, and found sounds to Jones' concise pop songwriting. Jones suffered from a near-fatal bout of pneumonia in 1988, but bounced back with 1989's Megatop Phoenix.

On Megatop Phoenix which was the fourth and last studio album by the original line-up, Jones delves even further into a dance-influenced, cut-and-paste approach to pop music that manages to capture all of the inventiveness of late-'80s dance music without losing sight of the melodies that have always been his strength.

Megatop Phoenix takes the BAD sound we all know and like, and mixes it with the Acid sound of the time, its a great album to dance to and just feel happy.

Union, Jack
Buy It

Funny Toon

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Reload is the title of an album, released in 1999 by Welsh singer Tom Jones, not to be confused with the turd of an album by Metallica. This Reload is great.

After a lengthy career, and a notable absence from the music charts for several years, Jones resurrected his career with this album of 15 cover versions and 2 original tracks (Sexbomb, Looking Out My Window) recorded as duets with current artists. To ensure that the finished product retained the sound of these artists, he also recorded the tracks in the same studios these artists used, and also used their record producers.

The album became the highest seller of Jones' career, reaching number one on the British charts in 1999 and again in 2000. It has sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. The album was not released immediately in the US because Jones' US record company complained that many of the artists were not known outside of the UK and they were reluctant to release it. Once again a major label record company shows it's stupidity. Jones probably doesn't swivel, shake or do knee drops like he used to, but he sure as hell does have some vocal chops. Jones is in the uncomfortable position of being more of a retro novelty, and although he may not ignite the U.S. charts anymore, his music remains as contemporary and driving as ever. There are some killer tunes on this album. Homercat luvs it and remains a fan of da man.

Burning Down the House (with The Cardigans, written by David Byrne / Tina Weymouth / Chris Frantz / Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads)

Little Green Bag (with Barenaked Ladies, original by George Baker Selection)
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, February 06, 2009

You Bought it, You Name It

Joe Walsh has been around for a while. James Gang, the Eagles, his solo work and even a recurring role on the Drew Carey Show. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe back in the mid 80's. A friend of mine was a radio dj in Memphis and one night we drove to Memphis and arrived around 2 in the morning. We drove to the station where said friend was working that night. Sitting in that night was Joe. I had been a huge fan since I first heard Funk #49. I will admit I was a bit star struck. Over the course of the next few days I had several conversations with Joe. He has a kind of goofy charm and let's admit it he's a brilliant musician. Throughout his career I have always preferred his solo work. Today's song is from the album You Bought it, You Name it. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what the song title is referring to and I post it here today because it's really a fun humorous type song. Plus you'll never hear this one on the radio.

ILBTs by Joe Walsh

You can also find this song on Look What I Did!: The Joe Walsh Anthology. This anthology is a great retrospective of Joe's career and is a must have for any music fan.

Funny Toon

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Perfect Debut

Cheap TrickI'm in a kinda Trickster mood this week so as I covered my least favorite Cheap Trick album last post, now I cover my favorite one.

Cheap Trick's debut album was released in 1977. Most of its songs are rawer and deal with more extreme subject matter than on any of their later albums. Songs about youth-culture cynicism ("Elo Kiddies"), pedophilia ("Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School"), mass murder ("The Ballad of TV Violence"), and gigolos ("He's a Whore"), not to mention an amazing cover of Terry Reid's "Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace." The latter starts out with a kinda mellow guitar riff and then Bun e and Tom kick in with the rhythm and it builds then Rick Nielsen kicks in with the raunchiest nasty one chord guitar riff that just slays me every time I hear it. As the songs last chord rings out it segues into the massive chord cruncher "He's a Whore," which may possibly be a candidate for best song ever. This album is everything a good rock and roll record should be. heavy guitar songs that contain some of the most catchy and addictive melody lines in music history. From the first track to the last, this album is very nearly perfect, and captures the wild, infectious energy that Cheap Trick lets loose in their stage shows, better than any other album they've ever made has been able to. This album can be at any given moment: hard, frenetic, insane, wild, edgy, chaotic, sexy, and outrageous. Most fans consider this to be one of Cheap Trick's best albums, if not their best. One could argue that it's one of the best debut albums by any band, period. Ladies and gentlemen this is perfection.

Daddy Should Have Stayed in High School
The Ballad of TV Violence (I'm Not the Only Boy)
Buy It

Funny Toon