Monday, March 27, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Songs Of The Week, 2017: 3/18-3/24



Human- The Pretenders
A Fine Day For A Parade- Fountains Of Wayne
That's Right Baby- Marianne Faithful
Get Down Make Love- Nine Inch Nails
Miranda- Fleetwood Mac
Tulane- Chuck Berry
Back On My Feet- Paul McCartney

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Friday, March 24, 2017

The Other 100: 66-70




66. Bob Dylan- Shot Of Love

"Blood On The Tracks" is my favorite Dylan record. Of course, there is the Holy Trinity of "Highway 61 Revisited," "Bringing It All Back Home" and "Blonde On Blonde." Pretty good run, no? But the truth is, I play "Shot Of Love" more than any of them. I could care less if it's a Jesus record. This is Dylan's "Thriller!" There are at least six singles on this record. It rocks. It's radio-friendly. It has "Every Grain Of Sand" AND Ringo. This is Bob's neglected treasure.






67. Faces- Ooh La La

The Faces made four records and it's always the other three that get all the kudos. "Ooh La La" has the stories attached to it. Band unhappy with front man's solo career. More drinking than the usual drinking. I don't even think the band likes this record. Too bad. "Ooh La La" is my fave. It's a sloppy mess of a party, with the band out-Stones-ing Mick and Keith and it has not one, but three of my favorite tunes- "Silicone Grown," and the two beauties that are "Glad & Sorry" and the title track. To my ears, "Ooh La La" represents all that the Faces were about.





68. Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen

Jon Cleary left his home in England after falling in love with the sounds of New Orleans rhythm and blues. Finding a home in the Crescent City and working for beer and free admission to the Maple Leaf Club, which employed him, he soaked in all of the sights and sounds. After working as a session man, he formed his own band and began releasing his own music, and 2002's eponymous release is Cleary's best. This is another of those records that for me, defines the vibe of that great city. The Monster Gentlemen are...well...monsters. They can funk it up like The Meters. They can take it to Sly Stone and his Family's heights. They can lay back and write quick and catchy tunes that would not feel out of place on Steely Dan's "Royal Scam" or any Taj Mahal record, who Cleary has toured and recorded with. I love this record. I love all of Cleary's records, but I love this record.





69. Aerosmith- Rocks

Greatest hard rock record of all time. Period.  That's it. I mean it! There were just the right amount of drugs and money, fueling this masterpiece of riffs and sleaze, with all five members of the band at the top of their game. From the opening screech of Steven Tyler on "Back In The Saddle" to the impossible sounds and grooves on "Nobody's Fault," to the relentless thrash of "Rats In The Cellar," Aerosmith's "Rocks" is one of a kind and still sounds fresh 40 years later.






70. T. Rex- The Slider

One of the first three 8-track tapes I bought at Happy Tunes on West 8th Street in Greenwich Village. (The other two were Mott The Hoople's "Mott" and "Abbey Road.") It was 1973 and I was slowly pushing my Beatles and Stones records to the side, to make room for Bowie, Mott and Marc Bolan. I think "The Slider" has more peaks than "Electric Warrior" and has stronger songs than "Tanx," but man, what a trio of records. "The Slider" gets my vote because I can listen to it still and it feels like there is no filler. T.Rex at their best.


61-65

51-60

46-50

41-45

36-40

31-35

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21-25

16-20

11-15

6-10

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Other 100: 61-65



61. Fairport Convention-Unhalfbricking

I have sung the praises of both Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny many times on these pages. RT, for his otherworldly guitar playing and Miss Denny for having one of the purest voices in music. But it is on "Unhalfbricking" where the entire crew of Fairport Convention rise up for one of the greatest records of all time. The band's version of Dylan's "Percy's Song" is definitive. And you'd be hard-pressed to find a song more beautiful than "Who Knows Where The Time Goes."







62. Al Green- I'm Still In Love With You

Between 1971-1975, the Reverend Al Green was a hit machine, releasing six near-perfect soul records helmed by the master, Willie Mitchell as producer and backed by the amazing Hi Rhythm Section. I can't say for certain if any of these records appear on the usual 100 lists, but in my mind, they do not. As wonderful as these records are, it wasn't difficult to pick a favorite. 1972's "I'm Still In Love With You" is the one. "Let's Stay Together" might be Al Green's signature tune, but if I can't have them all, I want the one with "Love & Happiness" and "For The Good Times," and "Simply Beautiful," which is a stunner," and "Look What You Done For Me" and of course, the title track. Damn! Might have to listen to this right now!






63. World Party- Goodbye Jumbo

Karl Wallinger is a genius, and that may be the problem. Releasing only 5 records in 30 years might also be the problem. As leader of World Party, Wallinger has created a perfect hybrid of his favorite artists- John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Prince, and on 1990's "Goodbye Jumbo," he nailed the recipe. This is a perfect record, with nary a stinker in the lot. Sure, occasionally he's a bit too much like his heroes, making it difficult to separate the brilliance from parody. But if you had to have one, "Goodbye Jumbo" covers all the bases.






64. CC Adcock & The Lafayette Marquis

About 5 years before my first trip to New Orleans, a CD had been floating around my shop.  It was priced, along with hundreds of others that I knew nothing about, and it sat in the used bins for months, until an employee pulled it out and put it on.  I was transformed. I truly had never heard anything like this before. It felt like it could be a Rolling Stones record of "Exile" outtakes, but with a distinctive, southern feel. It was CC Adcock. I played that CD non-stop, until I finally made it to New Orleans where I got to see and hear CC in person for the first time. In 2004, CC released his sophomore record and it was even better. "CC Adcock & The Lafayettee Marquis" kicks off with a filthy groove and never lets up. This is Cajun rock, southern soul, swampy R&B, country ballads and dirty-ass rock and roll. It is one of my essential New Orleans records and one still gets heavy rotation 13 years later.






65. Bad Brains- I Against I

The Bad Brains debut might be the greatest hardcore record ever released, though it is much more than that. But it is their 1986 release, "I Against I" that perfects the formula of punk, funk, metal and reggae. Jimmy Page-like riffs played with ferocity. Dub grooves that are so deep, you might lose your shoes. And balls-out energy and passion that will make your speakers sweat. Seeing the Brains live at CBGBs took years off of my life. I still haven't recovered. But if the term "hardcore" scares you, I suggest "I Against I," if you're curious.


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11-15

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017



For those waiting impatiently for the next five records of my "Other 100" list, 61-65 will be here tomorrow. Until then, please enjoy a track from my new record "A New Set Of Downs," featuring the songs of singer and guitarist, John Dunbar, backed by Sal Maida on bass and yours truly on drums and harmonies. CDs and vinyl coming soon.

(Please forgive the self-promotion. I'm allowed...occasionally.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Other 100: 46-60 and Songs Of The Week, 2017: 3/11-3/17




46-60

Surprise, Surprise- Rolling Stones
Any Time At All- The Beatles
The Chase Is Better Than The Catch- Motorhead
Baby Lemonade- Syd Barrett
I Can't Reach You- The Who
St. Elmo's Fire- Brian Eno
Indoor Fireworks- Elvis Costello
Terrapin- Syd Barrett
Crazy Mama- Rolling Stones
Next Time Round- Elvis Costello
Girls In Their Summer Clothes- Bruce Springsteen
Water From An Ancient Well- Stanton Moore
Books Are Burning- XTC
Blue, Red & Grey- The Who
Here Come The Warm Jets- Brian Eno

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SOTW

Groove Making- George Perkins
A Little Bit Of Green- Elvis Presley
I Like My Toys- The Idle Race
Pickles- Allen Toussaint
Misdemeanor- Foster Sylvers
8:05- Moby Grape
See You Tonite- Gene Simmons

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chuck Berry, 1926-2017



He was 90, and yet his passing still comes as a shock. I just assumed he would always be there, just like his words and music.

Some time back, there was a discussion here about great songwriters and the usual names came up. But, so did Chuck Berry, a not so usual suggestion when discussing Bob Dylan or Cole Porter or John and Paul. As much as we love rock and roll and Chuck Berry, we take that "Johnny B. Goode" riff for granted. But underneath it all, were real stories.

Without Chuck Berry, well...I don't want to think about it.




Long distance information, give me Memphis Tennessee
Help me find the party trying to get in touch with me
She could not leave her number, but I know who placed the call
'Cause my uncle took the message and he wrote it on the wall

Help me, information, get in touch with my Marie
She's the only one who'd phone me here from Memphis Tennessee
Her home is on the south side, high up on a ridge
Just a half a mile from the Mississippi Bridge

Help me, information, more than that I cannot add
Only that I miss her and all the fun we had
But we were pulled apart because her mom did not agree
And tore apart our happy home in Memphis Tennessee

Last time I saw Marie she's waving me good-bye
With hurry home drops on her cheek that trickled from her eye
Marie is only six years old, information please
Try to put me through to her in Memphis Tennessee



I got lumps in my throat
When I saw her comin' down the aisle
I got the wiggles in my knees
When she looked at me and sweetly smiled
There she is again
Standin' over by the record machine
Looking like a model
On the cover of a magazine
She's too cute to be a minute over seventeen
Meanwhile I was thinkin'
If she's in the mood no need to break it
I got the chance and I oughta take it
If she can dance we can make it
C'mon queenie let's shake it

Tell me who's the queen
Standin' over by the record machine
Looking like a model
On the cover of a magazine
She's too cute to be a minute over seventeen
Meanwhile, I was still thinkin'
If it's a slow song, we'll omit it
If it's a rocker, then we'll get it
And if it's good, she'll admit it
C'mon queenie, let's get with it





And how about this filthy little groove!