Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 343

Krokus-The Blitz

This is the album that first got me into Krokus. The 12 year old in me still loves it, but the soon to be 40 year old me cringed through half the record. There are still some good tracks, but definitely sounds like Krokus decided to go for the LA hair metal sound with this album. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I think Krokus would have been better off staying with the Headhunter sound instead of polishing things up.

Oh and in case you are curious, this album's cover song is Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz". 

It was also on this album's tour that I went to my first ever concert. Have I told you this story before? Well if I have, here it is again:

It was April 30th, 1985 at the Dallas Convention Center. Opening acts were Coney Hatch and Accept, so pretty good triple bill. I went with my older (by four years) brother and his friends so I was the tag along little brother that Jim really did not want around, but he knew I loved Krokus so he took me anyways.

I was having the time of my life at that show, even though I was basically on my own since my brother and his friends decided to sit one row behind me. At one point, I turn around to my brother and what do I see? My bro smoking a joint.

Remember now, I was only 12, at my first concert, and had never seen a person smoking weed before. So what do I do? I cry like a little baby.

I have no idea why I cried. I wasn't mad or sad. Nor did telling our parents ever cross my mind. Guess I was just shocked. But of course this pissed off my brother, but he tried to be cool about it while also being a dick. He was being cool, because he didn't want me to tell Mom, but he was being a dick because I was crying at a rock concert while Krokus is on and everyone in our section is staring at me. Shit, I really can't blame him.

Well that ends the Krokus run. I used to have their live album, Alive and Screamin', but I gave it to my brother when I saw him in Japan back in March because he's on the back cover smoking a joint. Just kidding about the joint part. The photo was taken at the '86 Texxas Jam and my brother is front row to the right of the stage. Far, far away from where I had to sit.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 342

Krokus- Headhunter

Far and away, this is Krokus' best album. It features the track they are best known for, "Screaming in the Night" that everybody knows even if you don't know who Krokus are. But also plenty of other good gems on here like "Eat The Rich", "Headhunter", "Night Wolf" and the cover (of  course) version of BTO's "Stayed Awake All Night". How much money had Randy Bachmann made off of Krokus?

So if you are sort of a Krokus fan, but not really, this is the album to get. Or you can get one of their greatest hits albums, but hell half those songs are on this record anyways.

This video still rules:


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 341

Krokus- One Vice At A Time

This is the album where Krokus started getting their shit together. I still say that "Long Stick Goes Boom" is one of their best songs. But, this is also the first album where they (or their label more likely) decided to add at least one cover song. In this case the honor goes to the Guess Who's "American Woman". Not a bad cover, but was it necessary? The album is still pretty strong if you take it off and ad an original composition in it's place.

Other favorite tracks on this record are "To The Top" and "Bad Boys, Rag Dolls". But dudes, don't rip off Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" on a song that you also call "Rock and Roll". That wasn't cool.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 340

Krokus- Hardware

Fair warning: Krokus week

Krokus will always be an important band to me for one simple reason: They were the first concert I ever went to. April 30th, 1985 at the Dallas Convention Center with Accept and Coney Hatch as the openers. Thousands of shows have followed since, but I never have had the chance to see Krokus again. But I would in a heartbeat if they ever came down this way. So yeah, I am still a fan. I'm even on their mailing list.

This album was the precursor to the Krokus "golden age". It's a decent record, but nowhere near as good as the next three that follow. I'd recommend it only on the cheap.

I probably won't ever listen to it again, but I'm still going to hold on to it. And will more than likely add other Krokus albums to my collection that I find down the road.

Coolest song on the album:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 339

Kris Kristofferson- Border Lord

Well shit, had I known that Krstofferson's albums were this good, I'd have more than just two of his records. I put this one on late last night and contemplated playing it twice before I realized the time and didn't want to wake up my wife. Plus I still had Homeland and Dexter to watch.

Is this and The Silver Tongued Devil and I his best albums? What else should I get? All I know is, I'll start paying more attention to the Country section now when I'm record hunting.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 338

Kris Kristofferson- The Silver Tongued Devil and I

Sometimes it just takes awhile to have to listen to a record from a genre that isn't necessarily your favorite. That was the case with this one. I like country music all right, but it's down in the pecking order of my musical preferences. Plus, it really doesn't help that since the last time I blogged, I've been on a huuuuuge Jazz kick. Basically only type of music I've listened to 98% of the time this Fall.

So this record was a nice break (and complete opposite) from Jazz music. And I think it made me enjoy it more. I've always known Kristofferson the actor more than Kristofferson the singer/songwriter. My first exposure to him was the movie Convoy which totally kicked ass.

I've had this record and another one of his in my collection for quite some time now, but have always blown it off. Which is a shame because this really was a good album. I'm sure you country fans already know that.

Anyways, I do plan on putting the other album I have of his on the turntable over the weekend. But make no promises of doing this consistently any longer!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 337

Mark Kozelek- Lost Verses Live

My third and final Kozelek album and second live one that I have. Same format as the other live album I have, just him and his guitar, but still worth owning if you are a fan of his. The set list f or the most part are different.

Speaking of Kozelek performing solo, I did go to see him this past Friday night at the Scottish Rite Theatre. Which is a very cool room, by the way. Also really cool to see that the show sold out. I of course loved it, but I think Jessica was a little bored although she swears she liked it but was tired.

So here's a heads up that this will be my last post for at least a month. We're already packing up for our move into our new home. We close on our house on October 8th, but I already started packing up all my records. Plus, I'm not that ready to listen to Krokus for 5 nights in a row.

See ya in a month.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 336

Mark Kozelek- Live at Union Chapel & Sodra Teatern

Here's a live album from Kozelek's 2010 European tour that was recorded in London and Stockholm. Pretty nice collection of tunes throughout his career and also includes the Thin Lizzy song, "Randolph's Tango" as the album closer. Leave it to Kozelek to do a cover of a more obscure Thin Lizzy song.

It's a good live album that gives you a taste of what to expect at a Mark Kozelek show, but one of the things that I love about seeing him live is his in between song banter which is missing on this album. I've never seen someone as good as Kozelek at breaking your heart during the songs and cracking you up between them.

I repeat, I can't wait to see him again on September 21st at the Scottish Rite Theatre. Be there!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 335

Mark Kozelek- Finally

Took me awhile but here I am. Blame Pink Floyd and The Shout Out Louds. Those are the two bands I've been listening to non-stop lately. But we'll get to them much much later.

So I'm a huge Kozelek fan. I mean, a HUUUUUUGE Kozelek fan. Ever since I first heard the Red House Painters back in the day, I've been hooked on everything he's done with his career. Some of you all may remember him as the bass player for Stillwater in the movie Almost Famous. And if that is all you know him from, go buy a Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon, Desertshore or one of his solo albums asap,

Kozelek often records covers on his albums, but makes the songs his own. He's done whole albums of AC/DC tunes and another one of all Modest Mouse songs. Frankly, I prefer his versions of the Modest Mouse tunes over the originals.

For this album, it's a collection of covers from artists ranging from Frank Sinatra (Send In The Clowns) to Husker Du (Celebrated Summer). Plus he has two original instrumentals on here that are absolutely beautiful.

I can't wait for him to come to town  on September 21st. Hope to see you there.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 334

Leo Kottke- Ice Water

Look at me! Two days in a row!

I'm digging this Leo Kottke record better than the one I listened to yesterday. Which was a live album, by the way. His vocals come across a lot better on a studio album. Saying that though, I still would prefer to hear an all instrumental Leo Kottke record. Do they even exist? I only have these two records of his. I can't help but think of that time when Joe Satriani released Flying In A Blue Dream and decided to add his own vocals on some tracks. Fail. I'm not saying Kottke is that bad, but still.

It's been so long since I've done this that I forgot to add a video last night. So here's one to make up for it:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 333

 Leo Kottke- My Feet Are Smiling

Ok so it's been 4 months since I've done this. Just fell out of sync with it when I came back from Japan. And then got lazy. You gotta have energy to write a blog while listening to a record! I'll try to keep it going more often than not now though.

You gotta give me some credit though. When I noticed this was the record I'd be listening to to start this back up, I was less than enthused. Not saying Leo Kottke sucks, but I wanted to hear something a bit more rockin' tonight. But you gotta admit that he's an incredible acoustic guitar player. I definitely prefer the instrumental numbers over the songs on this album with vocals.

That's enough for tonight. Got to ease back into this thing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 332

Mark Knopfler- Local Hero

I only bought this because I figured it had to be decent since it was a score done by Mark Knopfler. Man, was I wrong.

This is one super boring record. Glad I only paid .67 cents for it.

I don't know anything about this movie either, so if it's any good, let me know.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Day 331

The Knack- Get The Knack

I think it's surprising that The Knack are one hit wonders. After listening to this record again, you'd think they at least could have had the career that The Romantics had (two hits).

Maybe if "My Sharona" didn't become a huge international hit and instead was a minor hit, they'd have a longer career. Overall this is a really solid power-pop record. Sure, they ain't no Big Star, but still pretty solid.

It has me interested now in hearing their other records. Especially the follow up to this one. Just curious if it really sucks or is really underrated.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 330

Earl Klugh- Living Inside Your Love

Here's another one of those albums I have and not sure why I do. When I pulled it out last night to put on the turntable, I was actually kind of surprised that it was next up. I was like, "Where the hell did this come from?"

I don't want to sound like I'm anti-Earl Klugh because I'm not. He's a perfectly fine guitar player and I'm sure if I was more into smooth jazz than I am (do like some of it), I would totally dig this record.

There were a couple of tunes that grabbed my attention, but overall I was bored with it. I was actually really digging his cover of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" until a few minutes into the song, female vocals came in. That completely ruined it for me. The first track, "Captain Caribe" had a nice Caribbean feel to it. (Obviously). But my favorite tune was "The April Fools" where it's just him on acoustic. I much preferred that over all the other songs with a full band. If the whole record was like that, I'd say this was a gem.

Does anyone know of any Earl Klugh records where its just him acoustically? I could be interested in picking some up if there are.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 329

KISS- Music from The Elder

It took me awhile to listen to this one because it sucks so bad and then it took me awhile afterwards to write this because again, it sucks so bad.

Pretty funny that I only own two KISS records on vinyl and this is one of them. But I did do that intentionally because I knew if I waited to buy this one, I probably never would have.

It really does blow my mind trying to imagine what the hell they were thinking when they made this record. It's not only the worst KISS record, it may be the worst record period. The only song that get's a pass is album closer "I". Peter Criss must be so glad that he had nothing to do with this album.

Anytime I've heard "Odyssey" which aren't many, I either laugh at how bad it is or shake my head in disgust at how bad it is. You be the judge. Here's a clip:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 328

KISS- Hotter Than Hell

I've intentionally avoided doing this blog the past few weeks for the purpose of giving me time to find more KISS records before I got to them.

Unfortunately I only made it to the record stores twice in that time span and couldn't find any used vinyl. So sad to say, I only own two KISS records. How lame of me.

But really though, I was late to the KISS party. During their peak years, I was both pretty young and living overseas so I didn't really know the hype. When we moved back Stateside in 1982, they were already on their decline and they didn't do much for me. My first real memory of KISS is the "I Love It Loud" video. I thought it was cool, but didn't love it. This was around the same time as Billy Squier's "Everybody Wants You" single and I was way more into that.

But just like every other 10 year old kid in 1983, I watched with amazement on MTV when they appeared sans makeup. After that, I did get into Lick It Up, Animalize and Asylum for a spell, but they didn't have any real lasting power for me.

So from 1985 through 2007, KISS didn't matter to me at all. Sure I liked a few of their older tunes, but didn't geek out about the reunion at all in 1996. So what happened in 2007? Funny story actually. I had broken my collarbone in four places and was laid out for quite a long time. One day, I had to go to CVS to pick up my prescriptions and while I was waiting I found The Best of KISS: The Millenium Collection on CD for $5.99 in a close out bin and figured hell, I'll buy that at that price.

Well, that opened up a whole can of worms. I couldn't stop listening to it. Go check out all the kick ass songs on their to know what I mean. Soon after, I'm buying as many KISS albums I could find (make-up years) and even bought the first three Kissology's on DVD. I became obsessed. One year I was even trying to grow my hair long in time for Halloween just to dress up as Ace. (Couldn't get it long enough in time so I nixed, the idea).

And finally in 2009, I got to see KISS live. They didn't disappoint. I'm just bummed I never got to see Ace and Peter play in the band. So yeah it sucks that I didn't jump on the bandwagon until I was 33, but hey, better late than never!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 327

Kevn Kinney- Macdougal Blues

As weird as it may sound, this is the album that got me into folk music. Sure I had heard folk music before this record, but at age 17, I thought folk music was super boring.

So what was it about this album? Well mainly it was because it's Kevn Kinney. I was (and still am) a huge Drivin' N' Cryin' fan so when I heard Kinney was putting out a solo album, I bought it before I heard anything on it.

Yeah at first I was a bit like WTF?, but I still gave it a chance and it just grew on me more and more. DnC always had a few numbers that weren't very rocking so it wasn't a total shock, but I didn't expect a whole album's worth of folk music. Nowadays, "Macdougal Blues" is one of my all time favorite Kevn Kinney song whether it's his solo material or Drivin' N' Cryin'.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 326

Kingdom Come- Kingdom Come

Other than their hit, "Get it On", this is one unmemorable album. And "Get It On" was really only memorable because of it's blatant ripoff of Led Zeppelin.

I thought it was funny when Lenny Wolf would do interviews and say that they sounding nothing like Zeppelin. C'mon Lenny, own up to it!

I did own this on cassette when it first came out because 1) I thought "Get It On" was a cool tune for about 5 minutes and 2) since they were going to be on The Monsters of Rock tour in 1988, I wanted to get more familiar with them before going to the show. They sucked. At least Metallica was on the bill.

This album is going in the "taking up space so it's going to Goodwill" pile.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 325

King's X- Gretchen Goes to Nebraska

I never really got into King's X back in the 80's except for "Over My Head" because honestly, I just didn't get it. Teenagers that aren't aspiring musicians have a hard time understanding prog metal.

But now at 39 (yikes!) and still not an aspiring musician, I do at least get it and love it. Sure it took me awhile, but this album really does rule.

Luckily, I only picked it up on vinyl because of the song, "Over My Head", but that's probably the worst song on the record. But it's also probably the most radio friendly, hence it being the single. When I was listening to this yesterday, I honestly kept waiting for it to turn to shit, but it never did. Every song just killed.

Oh crap. Just looked up their tour dates and they are coming through Austin in late March. I'll be out of town. Damn! Guess it gives me more time to get more of their catalog before they come back through.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 324

Keep of Kalessin- Kolossus

The coolest thing about this record is that it came with a Keep of Kalessin patch! If only I were 17 again and still wore denim jackets.

Just kidding, I actually like this record. For those of you who are unfamiliar, KoK is a Norwegian black metal band, but they are a bit more diverse that most black metal bands. I did the use of acoustics and orchestration throughout the album and these guys themselves can really play. I also like that it's not guttural vocals throughout. I know that's a staple of black metal, but it does get kinda old after awhile.

I first got into these guys back in 2008 when I saw them open for Behemoth and Dimmu Borgir at Stubbs. I had no idea who they were but came away impressed. I had no idea that they've been around since 1993. Here I was thinking they were a new band. Shows you how little I know of the Norwegian black metal scene.

They've come through Austin numerous times since, which is strange for a Norwegian band, but I've yet to catch them again or buy their newest album, Reptilian, which I've heard is really good also. It's on my list to buy.

Here's a pretty terrible video for a really cool song:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 323

Tommy Keene- Based on Happy Times

Of all the Tommy Keene albums I own on either vinyl or cd, this is my least favorite of his. And it's still not bad, but if I'm in a mood for some Tommy Keene, this would always be the last choice in his catalog I'd put on the stereo.

This was also his last on a major label (Geffen) so I guess they felt the same way about.

Being that I already knew this was my least favorite of his, I really just had it on as background noise while I cleaned house, so really wasn't paying much attention. I really dig "Nothing Can Change You" the first track, but then I lose interest so this is all I'll say about this album.

I'm even going to leave off a video. But that's mainly because I'm being lazy at work right now, and don't feel like searching for one on youtube.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 322

Tommy Keene- Run Now

Whoa, look at me posting multiple days in a row! I'm feeling good about doing this blog again. I admit I was stuck in a rut, but now I'm coming home excited about putting on the next record that's up. Well that is until I come across having way too many crappy albums by the same crappy band. It's coming, trust me.

But for now, I am more than happy to be listening to my Tommy Keen records. This one is also an EP that came out the same year (1986) as Songs From The Film. Not sure which came first, so they could be out of order, but no biggie.

6 songs with the title track being the best. It also has a live version of Tommy and band covering Lou Reed's "Kill Your Sons". Another record you can easily find for dirt cheap in the used bins.

As you can see in the clip below, "Run Now" was on the soundtrack for the Anthony Michael Hall classic, Out of Bounds.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 321

Tommy Keene- Songs From The Film

This album was Tommy's first major label full length record. One of my all time favorites, "Places That Are Gone" is also on this record, so that makes at least 3 different Keene albums I have that has that song on it. Hey, it's that good.

The whole album is really good and it should be a record that you can find in the used bins for super cheap. Other personal faves on this record are "In Our Lives", and "Listen To Me". So the first three tracks are especially killer. But don't get me wrong, Side 2 is awesome too.

Looking forward to the rest of the Tommy Keene records I have since I haven't listened to some of these albums in years.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 320

Tommy Keene- Places That Are Gone

Finally! Back to an album that I thoroughly love and was more than happy to listen to again. Maybe it's just me, but can you think of a more criminally underrated artist in the last 30 years than Tommy Keene? That is, if you even know who he is. Which is the point I'm making. But if you like power pop, then you aren't going to find anyone better at it than Mr. Keene.

This is a 6 song EP he released back in 1984 and every song is outstanding. Two of my all time Tommy Keene faves are on this record. The title track and his cover of Alex Chilton's "Hey! Little Child". Call me crazy, but I like Tommy's version better.

Here's a clip:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 319

Keel- The Final Frontier

Some albums really do not withstand the test of time. And I admit, I really liked this band when I was 14. I even thought there cover of "Because the Night" ruled. God, I was a really dumb kid.

So why did I buy this album (again) then? Well it was only 99 cents and I really did want to hear their version of "Because The Night" again. I don't think I need to hear it again for another 25 years.

You'd think if I were going to spend 99 cents on a Keel record, it'd at least be The Right To Rock. Yeah, I'll probably end up with that one too.

So if you are that interested in Keel, you should know if you don't already that they have gotten back together and recently put out a new album called, Streets of Rock n' Roll. Hopefully it wasn't released on vinyl or I may have to buy that one too. For 99 cents.

Check out this dumb looking acoustic Ron Keel is playing in this video. Also has some seriously classic hard rock moves featured:

Can't believe I used to like this shit.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Days 317-318

Kansas- Point of No Return & Two For The Show

Yeah, yeah I know. It's been forever since my last post. I got a laundry list of excuses as to why, but do you really want to hear them? Let's just say that I'm still committed to seeing this through, but I make no promises on how often I'll post.

So with that being said, I'm done with Kansas. Point of No Return was a great listen, but I found Two For The Show a little long and boring. It literally took me a month to go from the first lp to the second one. Putting that second one on felt like a chore I didn't want to do. But it's behind me now. Whew!

That's all I'm going to say for now. I'm easing myself back into this and really, I'm not sure if you want to read me dissecting down these two albums.