Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 232

Emmylou Harris- Pieces Of The Sky

I listened to this last night after Hall & Oates, but it was after midnight so technically it was today.

This was Emmylou's first solo album following the death of longtime collaborator, Gram Parsons. I got it for super cheap (.50 cents) because it looks completely ratted, but the record itself is scratch free. That's really all that matters to me.

Really good record too. But then just about all of Emmylou's records are really good. Unfortunately this is the only one I have on vinyl, but got some others on my hard drive.

I had the pleasure of seeing her a few years ago with Linda Ronstadt at Bass. Man, talk about a great show. Then this year, I didn't make it in time to see her at Antone's during SXSW, but she was standing near us before the Old 97's show. I'm not sure how old she is now, but damn she still looks good! Sammy Llanas wrote the song "Looking For Me Somewhere" about his crush on Emmylou Harris and I can understand why.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 231

Hall & Oates- Rock 'N Soul Part 1

I think they got ahead of themselves when they added the "Part 1" to the title of this album. Still waiting on "Part 2", dudes.

I kid. This is a great "Greatest Hits" album to have. All the big ones are on here. Think of a Hall and Oates song right off the top of your head and more than likely it's on here.

Really though, I'm just happy that "You Make My Dreams" is on here. That song just makes me happy. I can listen to it over and over again.

This greatest hits album did include two new songs that went on to be hits also: "Say It Isn't So" and "Adult Education". Definitely worth picking up.

So my finger has swollen up even moreso now. I don't think it's broken, but just jammed. We'll see though. If it's not looking any better by this weekend, I'll go have a doctor check it out. Hell, I can type at least obviously.

Day 230

Sammy Hagar- Three Lock Box

I did listen to this last night after my softball game, but I didn't post because I think I may have broken my finger. Still hurts like hell. I may have to go to the doctor if it doesn't feel better in a couple of days. Hoping it's just a jam.

After listening to my third and final Sammy Hagar album, I've decided that I do like him live more than on record. At least the 80's solo stuff. Way too many cheesy keyboards kills the tunes.

Speaking of seeing him live, the year the Super Bowl was in Houston, we drove down there to take part in the party activities and got lucky enough to be part of the Hagar stage show. He has a good chunk of his fans be up on stage in the background. Pretty cool. We helped ourselves to the onstage margarita machine with Cabo Wabo tequila of course. What was also pretty bizarre is that after a few songs, I looked to my right and realized that I was standing just a few feet on the stage from Christie Brinkley and Toby Keith. Now I don't give two shits about Toby Keith, but damn, Christie Brinkley is still incredibly hot. We didn't bug her though.

Only two real good tunes on here. "Three Lock Box" and "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy". In fact, "Three Lock Box" was the first ever Hagar song I heard. I remember thinking it was really weird and unlike anything else I heard, but it really grew on me. But I really didn't become a Sammy fan until VOA came out. I still do want to get that on vinyl.



Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 229

Sammy Hagar- Standing Hampton

Oh Sammy, did you really have to end this album with a cover of "Piece Of My Heart" with a really cheesy sax solo? Oy. That really put the stamp on Side 2 of this record just being completely awful.

Which is a shame because Side 1 is awesome. Can't beat leading off with one of my favorite Hagar tunes in "I'll Fall In Love Again" immediately followed by "There's Only One Way To Rock". Killer stuff.

At least he knows how to end the first side of the album with "Heavy Metal". So if you pick up this album and you see those three songs on it, you will more than likely buy it, but just fair warning that Side 1 is all you really want to listen to.

I guess because this album is so uneven, I'll have to give it a C. Sorry, Sammy.

Here's Hagar doing "There's Only One Way To Rock" when he was in Van Halen.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Day 228

Sammy Hagar- Danger Zone

I thought I was pretty knowledgeable on Sammy's solo career, but now that I'm listening to his last record from his Capitol years, I realize that I don't know any of his tunes from these days. It's pretty cool, because now it's like listening to a record that's new to me even though it came out 31 years ago.

And it's a pretty good record too. A couple of snoozers, but good, dirty rock n' roll overall. I really dug the tune, "Mommy Says, Daddy Says".

Pretty amazing how much Hagar I have spread out through my collection. Besides the 3 solo albums I have of his, there is also the Van Halen albums, Montrose, and the track he has on Footloose. I think I'm forgetting something too. I almost bought the HSAS record he did with Neal Schon the other day, but passed. I still might though.

So obviously I'm a Sammy fan. I think he got a bad rap because most people prefer David Lee Roth Van Halen. I do too, but I still like the Hagar VH as well. The dude has just been consistent for what now, like 40 years? Give the dude his credit.

I can't wait to get his new autobiography Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock. I've read snippets online and you know that Sammy is a straight shooter. I'm sure the Van Halen brothers don't like it at all, but Sammy has always come off as a really cool guy to me. I know I'd like to hang out with him. I'm going to pick it up this weekend. I've been on a really big music biography kick lately. It started with Keith Richards book, and then Don Felder. Now I've just finished Dave Mustaine's book and almost finished with Dean Wareham's. So yeah, Sammy's is next. Let me know of any others I should read.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 227

Guns N' Roses- G N' R Lies

I know I just said that I would not be doing these on the weekends, but I feel like I have to catch up a little bit after the turntable fiasco. Plus this is only an EP so it was easy to breeze through.

I guess for those of you who aren't familiar with this record, the first side is the 1986 EP Live ?!*@ Like A Suicide and the second side is 4 acoustic numbers they recorded in 1988. This side has "Patience" on it. Which I still think is a fantastic song.

I like all 8 songs on here actually. I love the raw and gritty rock n' roll tunes on Side 1 and then the acoustic side really shows that Guns were some super talented dudes.

Y'know now that I've listened to the only two GnR albums I have, I think I want to go get Use Your Illusion Vol. 1 and II. I have never ever owned them in any format. Like I said last night, I got really tired of Guns and it only escalated with the double album. I blame MTV. I couldn't stand that song "November Rain". But now, I think it's really cool. I guess selfishly, it was a good thing that Axl took those 15 years off. I learned to appreciate Guns N' Roses again. Well, that is until I heard Chinese Democracy.

I forgot to do this last night, but this is the last of my "G" records. So as I do at the end of each letter, here's a list of other bands/artists in the G's that I need:
Galaxie 500, David Gilmour, Gin Blossoms (Hey, I still like them), Go-Betweens, Gojira, Jose Gonzalez, and Guided By Voices.

Let me know if I'm forgetting anybody.



Day 226

Guns 'N' Roses- Appetite For Destruction

I'm pretty positive that I was the first kid in my Junior High to get this record. I remember seeing the video for "Welcome To The Jungle on Headbanger' Ball on Saturday night, and by Monday I was at Camelot Music in Richardson Square Mall buying this on vinyl for $5.98. I'll always remember that price because I couldn't believe how dirt cheap it was. I even brought it to school to show everyone the new kick ass record I just bought.

This was also the last album I bought on vinyl. It wasn't long after that I got my first ever CD Player for my birthday. It tripped me out how cool CD's were. That you didn't have to get up to flip a record or a cassette. Or that all you had to do was hit a button to skip to the next song automatically. The future was awesome!
I was just a kid. What did I really know about sound at the time?

Just like a lot of my friends did, I ended up getting really sick of Guns N' Roses pretty quick. We were all tired of seeing their videos constantly on MTV and all the girls we had crushes on talking about how hot Axl and Slash were. We couldn't compete with that. I grew to hate GNR so much that I gave away my copy of this album away for free and even bailed on seeing them last minute at Texas Stadium.

But now that I'm older and wiser, I can easily admit that this is the best album of the 80's hands down. Not necessarily my favorite, but definitely the best. I know that's argumentative, but tell me one better? Thriller? Please. Every song on this record is an absolute gem. Seriously, "Sweet Child O' Mine" may be one of the greatest rock n' roll songs of all time. I don't think I've ever met anyone who hates it. The only thing wrong with it is Sheryl Crow's version. What a prick.

Y'know a lot of people like to accuse(or applaud) Nirvana for killing Hair Metal. Well, Nirvana may have killed it, but GnR put the knife in it's back and twisted it. Guns are another band that gets unfairly placed in that "Hair Metal" category which is just stupid. Before this album came out in '87, all those dudes ever wrote about was partying and getting laid. Then here comes this album to kick everyone's ass in LA. Just listen to the lyrical content. Axl was singing about real life, not cherry pies or girls in the summertime.

So yeah Nirvana killed Hair Metal, but they didn't kill GnR. Guns went on to still be huge even after Nirvana broke big. If only Axl could have been somewhat decent and kept this band together, they really would have been my generation's Rolling Stones. You don't get that distinction when you wait 15 years between album releases. Such a waste.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 225

Great White- Once Bitten

I always thought that Great White were a bit underrated. They did write good tunes and Jack Russell can sing his ass off. I just think they've always had a string of bad luck. One, they shouldn't have gone all hair metal back in the 80's. They really don't have that sound (they were more blues based), but they adopted the look. Two, it's unfortunate that they are most known for covering Ian Hunter's "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" tune. I'm sure he's still enjoying the royalty checks. And finally their was the fire that happened in Rhode Island. People are still making jokes about that. Shit just isn't funny.

This album here is Great White's third record and the one that gained them a bit of fame due in part to the tunes "Rock Me" and Save Your Love". Best song on the record if you ask me though is "Lady Red Light".

I also got to see them on this tour when they opened for Whitesnake. Or as we called it, "The Great White Snake" tour. Good show and the only time I've seen them, but I'd check them out again if they came this way. But, bands like this hardly ever come to Austin. They'd much rather go to San Antonio or Dallas. Sometimes Austin is too indie for it's own good.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 224

Original Soundtrack- Grease

Oy, double LP for this soundtrack. That's a little too much Grease for me.

So before you laugh when you see that I have this record, let me tell you how I came to buy it. When I first started collecting vinyl again a couple of years ago, I was obsessed with building my collection rather quickly and probably should have used better judgment on some of the records I did buy. Like this one for example. I was at Savers one day and they were selling all their records for .50 cents. I figured that's too good of a dead to pass up so I ended up buying this record along with other not really gems albums like Madness and Orleans. Like I said that was a couple of years ago and this is the first time I'm listening to this record. At least I'm watching the NBA playoffs on mute while I'm listening to it though.

I'm not intending to rip this record. It's not really bad, just too much. And hell, I always liked Grease 2 better anyways. C-O-O-L R-I-D-E-R!
All the big hits are on Side 1 too. I barely even recognize the rest of the songs on the other three sides. And no, it does not make me want to go back and watch this movie.

But I am going to keep it just in case I need to bust it out for any special occasion. I recently purchased some milk crates and am now keeping my "crap but keepers"records in them now. It really makes my bookcase full of the good stuff look really sharp now.

I'm not including a video tonight. Everyone knows Grease.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 223 Take 2

David Gray- Foundling

Woo-hoo! All is right with the world!

I went down to Waterloo tonight and got a new pre-amp, hooked her up, and the turntable is as good as new. Whew!

Now I can not only start up this blog again, but also listen to the 13 Record Store Day releases I bought on Saturday. You have no idea how bummed I was that I couldn't listen to my records for the last 3 days.

I may get some ribbing from some of my friends who don't know I own this album, but I don't care. I'm a big fan of songwriters and David Gray is one of the best in my book.

I first got into David Gray with White Ladder, just like a lot of people did. His song "Babylon", is still one of my all time favorite songs and I'm sure it always will be. From there, I went out and got all of his earlier stuff and every thing he's released since. It's great that he's now releasing his albums on vinyl. I really hope White Ladder gets the re-release treatment.

I really like this album a lot. It's more stripped down and quiet, but still a very solid and strong 11 songs. If you like your music with a little heartbreak, go pick it up.

Good to be back!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 223

My turntable is busted. I'm pretty pissed because it's not even that old. I think the pre-amp blew. I don't know now if I should just try to get this one fixed or just go buy a new turntable. Either way, there will be a new "Day 223" soon. I'm super bummed that I haven't been able to blog the last few days.

And what a crappy time for it to break. I still haven't really had a chance to listen to all the records I got on Record Store Day. Super lame.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 222

Grateful Dead- American Beauty

I spent a lot of hours trying to track down this record in the used bins. For months, this was my #1 target every time I went on the hunt. It's that good of an album.

And I'm not a "deadhead" at all. In fact, this is probably the only studio record of theirs I'll ever need. Other than that, I'd probably pick up a Greatest Hits record or something.

But damn, it's a good one. I have the show Freaks & Geeks to thank for it too. The scene when Lindsey is listening to "Box of Rain" for the first time is so perfect to me. I knew the song before that, but I don't know what it was, but that episode made me see this album in a whole new light. I first bought it on the deluxe CD and it was cool with the extra tracks and whatnot, but I knew I needed this on vinyl.

I'm gonna call out my Dad right now since I know he reads this regularly. Dad, you should get this album. You'd love it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 221

The Grass Roots- Their 16 Greatest Hits

I'm actually surprised that I'm blogging on my personal site tonight. The interview I did with Candy Golde back during SXSW is due tomorrow and of course I've procrastinated and am just now getting to it. Oh well, I work better under pressure. Be sure to go to thevinyldistrict.com tomorrow to read it. Hopefully I won't be up all night transcribing. I hate the sound of my own voice.

But first, I'm procrastinating even moreso by blogging the Grass Roots record. I bought specifically because I think "Sooner or Later" is one of the best happy feel good love songs of all time. That tune just always puts me in a great mood. Of the 16 songs on here though, their is a surprising number of songs that I know that I just never knew were Grass Roots songs. Like "Where Were You When I Needed You", "Midnight Confessions", "Let's Live For Today", and "Lovin' Things". So pretty damn good find if you ask me.

And yes in case you were wondering, this is the band that Creed from The Office was in. Good stuff.

Ok, 10:30pm now. Time to get serious about writing up this interview piece.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 220

Grand Funk Railroad- Good Singin' Good Playin'

Terrible name for an album, but the album itself is pretty good. This is the last record that Grand Funk Railroad put out before breaking up and was produced by Frank Zappa, which is weird to me. I guess I should say when they broke up the first time in the 70's since all bands get back together now. Doesn't seem right without Mark Farner in the band though. Crazy that Bruce Kulick, from KISS fame has been in the band since 2000 as his replacement.

It was pretty interesting reading up on this record. They had actually broken up before recording this album and it was Frank Zappa that convinced them to get back together because he wanted to produce the album. So they did hoping for a big record, but it didn't quite live up to expectations and they broke up anyways. I don't think they even toured this record. None of the songs are recognizable, so no "hits", but a lot of good rock n' roll songs. I especially dig the tune, "Release Your Love". .

So I decided this weekend for my own sanity, that I'm going to take weekends off from blogging for the most part. I kind of learned this too from being the editor for TVD Austin. We don't blog on weekends there because there is no traffic and I'm realizing that on here as well. My weekday stats are like a 100 a day (not bad in my book!) compared to single digits on weekends. So what's the point? I really enjoyed the break this weekend from it and being able to play whatever record I wanted too.

Oh and I got rid of that Goldfrapp record already.

Not my turntable in case you were wondering:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 219

Bobby Goldsboro- Greatest Hits

I remember the first time I heard his hit, "Honey", I was in the car with my Dad when we were living in Richardson. I was just a teenager and when this came on his KLUV, I swear it was the worst song I've ever heard. Ever!

I still think it's an absolutely horrible song, but now I find it so stupid, I kind of like it. You should read the lyrics sometime. I know, I know, it's about a man's wife dying, but still...

So that's why I kept this record. Just for that one song. But actually, it's not a bad easy listening album at all. The second tune, "The Straight Life" is really fun. Lyrics are still corny as hell though.

Bobby Goldsboro did/has lived a pretty interesting life. Before he became a successful singer in the 60's, he was a guitar player in Roy Orbison's band and also had his own variety show. Now he's a professional painter. Good for him. Kinda strange when you think about it that most people probably don't know who he is now.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 218

Goldfrapp- Head First

This really isn't my bag, but it was listenable. I never have been much of a fan of the Euro, electro dance pop stuff. This wasn't bad, but it's not like it's going to make me get up and start dancing or anything.

I got it for free and I guess it was given to me because there is a decent size blotch on Side 1 that effects two songs. No biggie though. Those songs weren't that good.

I did dig the first song, "Rocket". Very 80's vibe. It's easy to see why they released it as the first single.

So do the kids listen to this kind of stuff in the clubs? Or is it not dumb enough? I guess they are pretty popular in Europe. Hell, I don't know I'm old. Let me know if you want this record. I have no problem giving it up. Just remember the blotch on Side 1.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 217

Golden Smog- Down By The Old Mainstream

I'm bummed I haven't done this the last two nights, but I got a case of the shingles and the pain was pretty intense. I'm better now that I got some pain meds from the doctor.

Very happy to own this record. I didn't even know it was released on vinyl until two weeks ago. I bought it in a heartbeat. There is a pretty good chance that I listened to this album more than any other in the 90's.

Ok quick history lesson for those of you who don't know Golden Smog. This was a "supergroup" of sorts that consisted at the time of this record of Gary Louris and Marc Perlman from The Jayhawks, Dan Murphy from Soul Asylum, Jeff Tweedy from Wilco, Kraig Johnson of Run Westy Run, and Noah Levy from The Honeydogs. All great Minneapolis bands save Wilco, who are from Chicago. So if you are a fan of Midwest Rock, this album is for you.

It was also because of this album that I first heard a Ronnie Lane tune, "Glad and Sorry". It was always one of my favorite tunes on this record so I had to hear the original. Also, one of my all time favorite Tweedy songs, "Radio King" is on this record. Such a fun song to sing along too. The other cool thing about this band is that Louris, Tweedy, Murphy, and Johnson all shared lead vocal duties.

Golden Smog are still occasionally releasing albums, with the last coming out in 2007, but there is no way they can top this 1996 classic. I think the lineup now just consists of Perlman, Louris, Murphy and Johnson with guest players. I'd love to see Tweedy and either Levy or Jody Stephens come back for one more album. They did do Weird Tales together in 1998, and it was just ok, but I'd love to hear another one now. I got the chance to see this lineup play Austin Music Hall at SXSW (1997?) and it was fantastic. It was pretty weird that the next night at the same venue was Son Volt. A little strange to see Tweedy one night and Farrar the next. I remember hoping for one or the other to come out and do a special guest thing. One day hopefully we'll get that Uncle Tupelo reunion too.

Crappy video, but decent live recording of "Radio King".

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 216

Golden Earring- Cut

This album isn't as good as I hoped it'd be. I guess I was hoping it would be as awesome as the tune "Twilight Zone" is. Guess they are still making a pretty penny off that one song. Well that and "Radar Love".

There are a couple of other good tunes on here though. I dug "Last Of The Mohicans" and "Lost and Found" to go along with "Twilight Zone".

A couple of things surprised me when I was listening to this record and doing my research on Golden Earring. One, I never knew they were Dutch. I always just assumed they were a British band.

And two, who knew that they have been around since 1961 and are still together? Now that really surprised me! Fifty years on and they are still doing it. Gotta give them credit for that. That's longer than the Stones!

Although I give this album a C+, I'd be interested in hearing some of their other stuff. Obviously they are doing something right to be around still. Just too bad they haven't broken big in the States after all these years.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 215

Godspeed You! Black Emperor- Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada

Mysterious E.P. from GYBE. Nowhere on the record, does it say the band's name, no songs are listed, and you have no idea which side is Side 1. All that being said, I love this record!

So not much I can really say about this album. If you aren't familiar with GYBE, they are an instrumental rock band from Montreal. In the vein of Explosions In The Sky and This Will Destroy You. But they were doing it well before both of these bands. Guess that puts them up there with Mogwai and Mono.

I'm pretty happy to see that they have finally gotten back together and are going on a full North American tour this year. I have no doubt they'll make it to Austin. I missed them the last time they came down here. That must have been 2002 or so.

This is the only album I've bought from Backspin Records, which is a real shame since they do have a really nice selection. It's just hard for me to shop at other record stores when I have so many buddies at Waterloo. I should go back and see if they have any other GYBE.