Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Joe Strummer

Seven years ago today Joe Strummer died suddenly in his home at Broomfield in Somerset, the victim of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. From the time I discovered the Clash in 1979 to the present day, Joe has been a defining force in my life. When I heard the news that Joe had passed away it was a devastating day for me as well as countless others. Most of us know the basic history of The Clash, one of the most important groups of our times. Yet Joe was a man of mystery, willfully reinventing himself to take part in the 1977's radical punk movement. The reality - which included a secret family past, enormous worldwide success, bleak years in the wilderness and a triumphant return to stardom - contained all the elements of Shakespearian tragedy. But through enormous personal struggle and resolve, Joe Strummer turned his life into an uplifting, epic story. I have often said that as the world was getting it's first look at punk via the Sex Pistols and parents being scared shitless by them, it was really the Clash that should have had the parents running scared. Joe Strummer was a man I much admired and one of the greatest poets of our generation if you will. There's really nothing more I could say that hasn't been said by better writers than homercat. Was he the greatest singer? Compared to many, no. Was he the greatest guitarist with the cleanest live performance? No way. But when you read the lyrics and see the raw artistic talent, it will make you involuntarily sit down and take your breath away. Thanks for the music Joe.

Willesden To Cricklewood
Global A Go-Go
buy stuff

Funny Toon

Friday, December 18, 2009

Horny Holidays

When my alarm went off this morning my local radio DJ said something like only seven days till Christmas, and my mind went holy crap where in heck did this month go. The insanity and madness that is gripping the North American continent will soon be over. I don't know what it's like in other parts of the world right now, so I can only speak of present experience. This will be my only posting to feature Christmas music this year. Homercat will probably grace these pages a couple more times this year and then it will be vacation time until 2010.

Good Rockin recently passed it's six year mark of bringing you the best of rocking goodness. Homercat doesn't exactly get the goods out on a daily basis, but unlike many other fine music blogs who have closed up shop, he is still around. So it has kind of been a Christmas tradition here to post up the best Christmas song that I know of. Those of you who have followed Rockin' for more than a year will be familiar of what I speak about. It has been upped every year just in case someone has missed it or for those who have never heard it. This year I'm going whole hog and putting up the whole damn album. If you are a Mojo fan, this is arguably his best CD. If you are looking for something different in your holiday music, here it is. This recording sounds like Mojo and the Toadliquors got together for a few (too many) drinks to rehearse, and just ended up recording that. It's a great mix of R&B, traditional, and a few original songs. The singing and playing may be a little sloppy, but the inspired piano playing by Wet Dawg more than makes up any musical short-comings. A Christmas album for the masses who despise Christmas albums. Mojo's interpretations and "re-wordings" of classic Christmas tunes, as well as some original tunes leads to a FUNKY-FINE CHRISTMAS!!! This is the best holiday album I own which contains the best Chritmas song ever which also may be one of the best songs ever in the song It's Christmas Time.

1. Happy Birthday
2. Trim Yo' Tree
3. Good King Wenceslas
4. Mr. Grinch
5. Head Crushing Yuletide Sing-A-Long
6. It's Christmas Time
7. Jingle Bells
8. Boogie Woogie Santa Clause
9. Santa Clause Go Straight To The Ghetto
10. Run Rudolf Run
11. We Three Kings
12. Everyday Will Be A Holiday
13. Sleigh Ride
14. Little Man Song
15. Go Tell It On A Mountain
16. 'Twas The Night Before Christmas

Copy and Paste this link into your browser to download

Christmas Wrapping by The Donnas
Song For a Winters Night by Sarah McLachlan
Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis by Tom Waits

Funny Toon

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thirsty Ears

For nearly three decades Powder Blues has been Canada’s favorite blues band. Their music incorporates elements of Swing, Blues, Jazz, Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues into their unique and instantly identifiable sound. This broad approach has resulted in an appeal whose demographic is so wide that it is not unusual to find people from seven to seventy swaying side by side at a Powder Blues concert. Throughout the years they have toured ceaselessly throughout Canada, the United States and overseas, spreading the joy of a music that makes people smile and dance. When they first burst upon the recording scene in late 1979, with their self-financed and self-produced debut album, ‘Uncut’, after nearly two years of wood shedding and honing their unique blend of sounds in Vancouver’s then flourishing nightclub scene, the established recording industry label giants shrugged their effort off as ‘not commercial’. The band was told there was ‘no market for the blues’.

Undiscouraged, the band pressed the album at their own expense and proceeded to sell it off stage and deliver it to radio stations. When the switchboards at the stations lit up with calls asking ‘who’s that?’ other stations followed suit. After selling nearly 30,000 copies in a matter of weeks, the major record labels came calling and entered a bidding war for the band’s services and the right to distribute this ‘non-commercial’ product nationally. RCA won the contract and to date that album has gone on to sell over a million copies worldwide. In June of 1981 The Powder Blues released their second album 'Thirsty Ears'. It shipped platinum and the first single reached Top 5 nationally. Their touring schedule continued at a pace of over 300 shows per year. You wanna hear something pathetic? The first time homercat ever heard these guys was the day after he got his new turntable and he started playing the Missus' old vinyl. When I put it on and listened I was enthralled. Very, very infectious stuff. So I had to rip and share my find. Now I'm haunting the the used record and thrift stores looking for more Powder Blues since all their stuff seems to be out of print. A Great album for people with "thirsty ears".

Thirsty Ears
Joy Ridin'
Secret Success

Funny Toon

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rooftops and Satellites

Six-time Juno award-winner Colin James has driven his 12-album, 25-year career with his blues influenced guitar mastery and soulful vocals. Colin has juggled his skills as a singer, guitarist and big-band leader so well over the years that diversity seems almost synonymous with his career. Throughout it all, Colin has always forged ahead, without regard to fads or trends, going wherever his muse takes him.

On his latest album, Rooftops and Satellites, Colin’s singing and guitar playing has never been more soulful and his new songs are among his most meaningful ever. This album came out the first week of October and I can't get enough. It’s not a breakthrough disc by any means or even a comeback record, because Colin’s an established rock and blues institution who’s never gone away. But it is an album that serves notice that Colin James just keeps on getting better and better with every studio outing. Searching the net I managed to find just a couple reviews of this album. One reviewer didn't like it as much as his 2005 album Limelight. I have to disagree. While there aren't any downright blistering blues riffs on this album, overall it is way better and every song is a keeper. Compared to Limelight which I felt had one or two throwaway tracks on it. In fact you could slap any song from the new album on the radio and it should be a hit. The songs are very stay in your head all day catchy and there is a perfect mix of horns, guitars and all the James trademarks his fans love. This disc is burning a hole in my head because I can't quit listening to it.

Homercat scrobbles his tracks over at Last FM and when I checked out his artist page I was shocked to see that I was one of only 47 listeners out of millions who have listened to this new album. That's shameful and I always try to rectify a situation where an artist doesn't have enough exposure. Rooftops and Satellites will be on my year end top ten list and more than likely will take the top spot. James is also one of those artists that sounds better live than on album. I've seen him every trip he's made through Victoria and his performances are nothing short of jaw dropping. So here's a suggestion, feed these couple of tunes through your ear canals, take a chance, buy the album for yourself or as a gift for the music lover on your Christmas list and you'll be glad you did. Better yet, If you can catch him live on this tour buy a ticket, you won't be sorry. You can thank me later eh.

Better Than I Can Imagine
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, December 04, 2009

Banned on Vulcan

Banned on Vulcan is a 4 song EP by the dark cabaret/darkwave artist Voltaire. It was released in 2001. Voltaire is a great fan of Star Trek, frequently attending conventions. All four tracks on this album relate to the Star Trek universe, and mention characters, places, and situations from the all the shows. Not to mention that this stuff is catchy and absolutely hilarious. Even if you're just a passing fan of Trek this is too good to miss and you'll want to track it down. I'm going to feature two of the songs from this EP and give a little description. Check em out and soon you'll be trying to find this classic gem at your local record store.

"Worf's Revenge (Klingon Rap)"
A gangsta rap-esque song celebrating the character Worf, a Klingon who first appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and later, Star Trek: Deep Space 9 extolling his physical strength, achievements, and sexual prowess, referencing his on-screen romances with Deanna Troi, Jadzia Dax and Ezri Dax.
"The U.S.S. Make Shit Up"
A song about treknobabble, Star Trek's tendency to use borderline nonsense to explain away technical details, and some inconsistencies within the Star Trek universe. It describes every series from The Original Series to Voyager. A live version of this song also appears on Voltaire's live album, Live!, and includes a "bonus verse" dealing with Enterprise.

Funny Toon

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A String of Pearls

Prairie Oyster is an award-winning Canadian country music group from Ontario. They were named Country Group or Duo of the year six times by both the Canadian Country Music Association and the Juno Awards. The band actually formed in 1974 as a trio playing live gigs and disbanded only to reform and release their debut album in 1986. The band released their first greatest hits album, String of Pearls, in 2000. This is just a terrific album if you like country music or you are unfamiliar with this great Canadian band. The singing is good, the writing is wonderful, and there's a range of different sounds on the album so you can listen all the way through and it doesn't get dull. Their albums are extremely hard to get a hold of besides this album and their most recent album which came out in 2006. All the other albums seem to be out of print and I can't find any of them. Too bad as I really enjoy this group. Not all is lost though, as I will be searching for them on vinyl whichg may be easier to find.

Black Eyed Susan
She Won't Be Lonely Long
Buy It

Funny Toon