Monday, March 29, 2010

Killer on the Rampage

Eddy Grant's most popular album, 1982's Killer on the Rampage, was an international hit, slaying its way into the Top Ten in the U.S. The album spun off the smash hit "Electric Avenue," while two further tracks — "I Don't Wanna Dance" and "War Party" — also hit in the U.K. This self-composed, performed, and produced album was a magical feat by Grant which he never repeated, but it was absolutely brilliant. Generous helpings of pop are lavished across the record, foamy concoctions of strong synth beats and bright melodies, all spiced with smatterings of rock, funk, and wave. For a single, shining moment, Grant was at one with the entire music continuum, creating a nigh on perfect hybrid twining together music's strongest strands.   By the time 1983 had rolled around, homercat had to buy another copy of this album because it had been played to death.  At every party this one made the trip to the turntable and of course someone eventually spilled their beer on it as they were taking it out of the sleeve.  Nobody ever fessed up to that one.  Classic album.

Killer on the Rampage
I Don't Wanna Dance
Buy It

Funny Toon

Friday, March 26, 2010


When he was just 17, Rick Derringer's band The McCoys recorded "Hang on Sloopy" in the summer of 1965, which became the number one song in America before "Yesterday" by The Beatles knocked it out of the top spot.

Derringer also recorded and played with a version of Johnny Winter's band called "Johnny Winter And ..." and both Edgar Winter's White Trash and The Edgar Winter Group. Derringer also had a successful solo career, and his solo version of "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" was a hit single. He also recorded extensively with Steely Dan, playing lead guitar on songs such as "Show Biz Kids".

n the 1980s, Derringer expanded his producing skills, discovering "Weird Al" Yankovic as well as Mason Ruffner. Rick was "Weird Al" Yankovic's lead guitarist for five years, before being replaced by Jim West.

In 1976 Rick created the Derringer Band which featured Kenny Aaronson, Danny Johnson, and Vinny Appice. He released four albums with the Derringer band and in '83 returned to his solo career with the LP, Good Dirty Fun. Derringer was the first album with these guys and was released in 1976. A versatile guitarist, singer, songwriter, session man and producer, Derringer has an extensive catalog and is a great often overlooked guitarist.

Let Me In
Beyond the Universe
Buy It

Funny Toon

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Powder Blues played the local Vancouver club scene for 18 months and by 1979 the band had recorded their debut album, Uncut, and ended up releasing it on their own Blue Wave label after being turned down by all the major record labels. But the band generated enough buzz on their own causing RCA to re-release the album in 1980 and the band toured Canada and the U.S. on strength of four Top-10 singles. Uncut was certified double platinum in February 1981 and the band went on to win Best New Group at the Juno Awards. Album exports began helping 'Uncut' receive significant airplay on the BBC and elsewhere like Europe. These real-life Blues Brothers(Two of the founders are brothers) dependably deliver fun, danceable tunes in a classic jump blues groove that evokes images of Kansas City and Chicago. This is a great (out of Print) album that I scored at a great price.

Doin' It Right
What've I Been Drinkin'
Buy some Powder Blues

Funny Toon

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Lines are Open

The Arrows were a popular 1980s new wave band from Toronto, Canada. The Arrows were formed in 1981 by vocalist Dean McTaggart and drummer Michael Sloski. Following the Daniel Lanois-produced independent song "Misunderstood", the band landed a deal with A&M Records.

With the help of producer/songwriter David Tyson, their 1984 debut album Stand Back was a national success, providing a top 40 hit with "Meet Me in the Middle". The album sold well, and the band found themselves as the opening act on the UK leg of Chris de Burgh's 1984 tour.

Upon returning home, they went back to the studio for work on their second album The Lines are Open, which saw its release in October 1985. The singles "Heart of the City", "Talk Talk" and "Chains" all saw success in Canada, but pressures from management for a breakout hit were causing problems within the band, and following a cross-Canada tour, the group called it quits at the end of 1986. Out of print of course and Only available on vinyl.   This is another gem I came across in Mrs. homercat's vinyl collection.  I have given up all hope of out of print stuff ever being available again so I have once again decided to buy the majority of my music on vinyl now(like I did in the seventies and eighties).  I've been finding great stuff at thrift stores in near mint condition, paying an average price of 80 cents an album.  So instead of buying that old  album in cd format for an inflated price, I'm going to find it used and maybe pay a buck for it.  I'm getting fairly good at ripping these vinyl albums and have fallen in love with vinyl all over again.  This is an issue I'm going to rant about in an upcoming post so I don't want to go off right now.  For now, enjoy some out of print music.

Heart of the City
Talk Talk

Funny Toon

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kiss me I'm Homercat

Yep, St Pattys Day is today and on a day when everyone seems or claims to be Irish, the green beer will be flowing like raging rivers of spring floods. I know I haven't been posting a lot but real world stuff like work and real life gets in the way. There's no way I could miss a post about St. Patrick's Day.The songs I'm serving up today are some classic Irish drinking songs and may well have been featured here before at one time or another. 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 wherever you decide to hang your hat then you may have went to a lame party. Just Sayin'. In homercat's humble opinion these songs are essential to a successful St Patty's Day party.

The Black Velvet Band by The Irish Rovers
Company of Fools by Great Big Sea  (co-written by Russell Crowe, yes that Russell Crowe.  Crowe is a fan and friend of Great Big Sea and co-wrote "Company Of Fools" on their recent Fortune's Favour album. Crowe first met the band members six years ago in Toronto, and he also joined them on stage in their hometown of St. John's, Nfld. at O'Reilly's Pub in 2005.)
Whiskey in the Jar by Jimmy the King  (The Irish Elvis impersonator)
The Irish Rover by Johnny Logan

and finally, this song is a must have
Kiss My Irish Ass by Frank Mackey and the Keltic Cowboys

Funny Toon

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Music For the Hard of Thinking

Possibly no other band in Canadian history matches the presence and good-time feeling generated when listening to Doug and the Slugs. Music For The Hard Of Thinking was the third album by Doug and the Slugs being released in 1983. It wasn't really until the "Making It Work" single from this album that the US really got to hear Doug and The Slugs. The album helped them get nominated for a 'Most Promising Group' Juno award in Canada. Masterful harmonies behind "Making It Work" and the slick hit "Who Knows How" solidified them as the country's number one band for just good times, playing non-stop for the better part of the next year all across Canada as well as in the States.

Even after their heyday these guys toured constantly up to 2004 and even played shows way up north in the Yukon and Northwest territories where most bands fear to go.  Unfortunately Canada lost arguably their best singing comic, and most original performer on October 16, 2004 when Doug Bennett passed away in a Calgary hospital. He was admitted a week earlier and slipped into a coma, where he remained on life support until falling victim to complications from a long-standing heart ailment. Fine musicianship always ran through the band, regardless of who the other Slugs have been. But it was the live presence that kept Doug and The Slugs at the cream of the Canadian music crop for nearly three decades. Their no-nonsense, 'gotta make my feet move' party atmosphere put them above the rest. There was never been anyone better.

Unfortunately their stuff is a bitch to find and has long been out of print. I found this vinyl copy at a used record store about a month ago and am currently trying to locate the rest of their catalog.

If You Don't Come
Making it Work
St. Laurent Summer
Buy It

Funny Toon

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

Today we're going way back.

In the 60's you couldn't turn on the radio without hearing a tune by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Alpert's achievements may have gone unnoticed by many, especially by today's generation, but his musical accomplishments include five number one hits, twenty-eight albums on the Billboard charts, eight Grammy Awards, fourteen Platinum albums and fifteen Gold albums. As of 1996, Alpert had sold 72 million albums worldwide. In 1966 the Guinness Book of World Records recognized that Alpert set a new record by placing five albums simultaneously on the Billboard Pop Album Chart, an accomplishment that has never been repeated. In April of that year, four of those albums were in the Top 10 simultaneously. Almost everyone knows the tunes, if not the actual names of the songs. On this Greatest Hits album there isn't one tune that won't have you humming along and tapping your feet. Whether you're a young whippersnapper who may not even realize you've heard this dudes stuff all over the place without knowing it, or an old fogie like the homercat, everyone should have this album lying around somewhere because it's so damn fun to listen to. Just try and listen without tapping your toes or humming along.

Whipped Cream
Spanish Flea
Tijuana Taxi
Buy It

Funny Toon