Monday, April 30, 2007

Classic Pick:-->Joe Ely - Love And Danger (1992)

"I only have a moment to explain,
Just a chance to let you know.
When its time for you to board the train,
There are two ways you can go."
Joe Ely

Alternative country has always been a bogus label given to certain types of music that doesn't exactly fit into the sorry cookie-cutter Nashville format.

And not surprising, it is college radio that generates a lot of airplay for this type of music. College radio has always been a voice against the powerful music moguls who spoon-feed its listeners the same tripe over and over again.

Such has been the fate of one, Joe Ely. Ely has been making music since the early 70’s and although Ely is little known to some, he has been asked to warm-up for acts as legendary as Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones. Not too shabby.

In 1992, Ely released a gem with “Love and Danger”. The record received strong reviews but unfortunately, too little air play and very little company push, caused this release to soon find itself drifting extremely close to the proverbial discount bins. The record has since had a rejuvenation thanks to new fans who missed it the first time around.

And no wonder! "Love and Danger" is filled with great songs delivered in a slightly cocky, sometime vulnerable, style that oozes with coolness.

Opening with a drum-driven rocker, Ely throws out metaphors like fastballs. “He had hair…black as a fiberglass speedboat./The morning air…was crisp as a brand new bank note.” (“Sleepless in Love”).

In the funky “Needles and Pins”, Ely begs “You better call me/Or I’ll go crazy”. This song is a lot of fun and will have you singing its refrain long after you’ve put the CD away.

Perhaps the best tracks are the two story songs that appear midway through the record. Written by the great R.E.Keen...Joe Ely plays and delivers both Keen songs as if this was his last chance to get your attention...totally making them his own.

“The Road Goes On Forever”, a descriptive song about Sherry and Sonny...a couple of beautiful losers on the wrong side of the law with picture-perfect lines. Check out this visual. “Main street after midnight, a brand new pack of cigs/A fresh one hanging from her lips, a beer between her legs”.

And in the gentle melody, “Whenever Kindness Fails”, we are surprised to learn the song is about a killer who justifies his murders by explaining “I only use my gun whenever kindness fails”. The musical engine that carries this song along is a highlight on the album.

On “I Wanna Slow You Down”, an Ely classic, he connects with the achingly beautiful ode to the hard-working woman. “I wanna smear the moonlight in your skin/I wanna slow you down”.

And finally, on the tender closing track, “Every Night About This Time”, we are reminded that every broken heart needs someone.

From beginning to end, “Love and Danger” delivers. The studio recording is top-notch and the CD insert includes complete lyrics along with some nice photos. Always a nice touch.

This is a "MUST OWN" for everyone's musical crayon box...and the perfect introduction to this traveling gypsy from Texas.


Joe Ely-->"Whenever Kindness Fails" off "Love And Danger" (1992) (Own This CD)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Lost Stream Gem: "House On Haunted Hill" (1959)

"I wanna be a Hare Krishna
Tattoo a dot right on my head
And the Prozac is my fixer
I am the living dead."    
Aerosmith ~

In the first five minutes of director William Castle's ( I swear that's his last name) film "House On Haunted Hill" (1959), viewers quickly discover they are in for some campy, appetizing chills and thrills. With the camera zoomed in on multimillionaire Frederick Loren's (Vincent Price) mug, he gleefully explains the premise of his little shindig.

Five strangers are invited to spend the night in a supposedly haunted mansion with the promise of a $10,000 reward to any guest who survives the night. Each invitee is driven to the party in their own individual hearse, forming what appears to be a funeral procession. Again, this is just the first five minutes of the movie. How can this NOT be any good?
Vincent Price

Vincent Price steals every scene with his usual over the top (although toned-down somewhat) acting style, and he's aided by an interesting cast of supporting characters around him.

Perhaps the funniest role (unintentional) is delivered by the wonderful Elisha Cook in his bid as Watson Pritchard, the male "Debbie Downer" of the bunch, spouting gloom and doom every time he opens his mouth.
Elisha Cook Jr.

And the jumpy Nora Manning (Carolyn Craig) has as many screams as she does lines. And for a visual dessert, Annabelle Loren (Carol Ohmart) provides some welcome risqué 1950s eye candy in between the scares and frights.
"Eye Candy"

"House On Haunted Hill" is full of camp-scare moments, some cliché, but with a few that genuinely make you jump. Obviously, this isn't Academy Award winning material, but it is lots of fun.

When the movie first ran in theaters, a skeleton would unexpectedly drop down from the ceiling and dangle over the crowd.  Castle was renown for his awesomely quirky moviehouse monkeyshines.

MUST SEE MOMENT: Watch Elisha Cook's face when Vincent Price finally gives this "Debbie Downer" a good, long overdue neck shake.

"The Farm" - Aerosmith / Nine Lives (1997)

There's a cockroach in my coffee
There's a needle in my arm
And I feel like New York Cittay
Get me to the farm

Get me to the farm
Get me to the farm
Somebody get me to the farm

I got terminal uniqueness
I'm an egocentric man
I get caught up in my freakness
But I ain't no Peter Pan
Get me to the farm

Buckle up straight jack
Sanity is such a drag
Jellybean thorazine
Transcendental jet lag

Sanity I ain't gotta
Feeling like a pi'ata
Sucker punch - blowin' lunch
Motherload - pigeonholed
I'm feeling like I'm gonna explode

I wanna be a Hare Krishna
Tattoo a dot right on my head
And the prozac is my fixer
I am the living dead

Take me to the farm
Take me to the farm
Somebody take me to the farm
Somebody take me to the farm

Casey Chambers
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Lost Book Gem: "The Devil In The White City" - Erik Larson (2004)

"Your life is white
And I don't think 
I like you hanging around."
~ Big Star ~

In this 447 page novel, Erik Larson has given his readers quite a creative historical perspective of late 1800s Chicago by combining two completely unrelated events that were occuring during the same period.

It was during this time, Daniel Burnham took on the almost impossible challenge of designing the "next" World's Fair. And while the whole world was watching, nearly everything that could go wrong...did.  Larsen makes the pressures of completing this task almost unbearable for the reader and quite the page-turner,

But, as I said, there are two events going on in this heavily researched story.
H.H. Holmes

While the construction of this legendary fair was being tackled...America's first documented serial killer, H.H. Holmes, was beginning his attack on women "mostly" and doing away with the bodies in uniquely creative methods (i.e. a homemade gas chamber, barrels of acid, black ovens...).  He would later confess to 27 murders.

In the back-and forth story plot, readers are taken on a journey that shows the comings and goings of Chicago during this busy time from two distinct view points. It should be noted that Larson chose to leave out the grisly details of the crimes without causing the story to suffer.
The first Ferris Wheel at the 1893 Chicago's World Fair.

Surprisingly, the challenges of putting on the Chicago's World's Fair is equally as fascinating as the pursuit of Holmes.

"Life Is White"  -  Big Star / Radio City (1974)

Don't like to see your face
don't like to hear you talk at all
I could be with Ann
but I'd just get bored

Can't even bring myself to call
and I don't want to see you now
cause I know what you lack
and I can't go back to that.

Whatever's all the same
now there's nobody to know
and I can't recall-recall your name
all I can say is so.

Your life is white
and I don't think I like
you hanging around.

Casey Chambers
Follow me on --> Twitter Facebook

Monday, April 23, 2007

Classic Pick: -->Pink Nasty - Mold The Gold (2006)

"May I stand here for a while...
and I don't get in anyone's way?"
Pink Nasty

There is a plethora of indie music being hyped and offered for sampling on the net, as you well know.

Unfortunately, (and perhaps this is what keeps us coming back), in order to find that small percentage of truly great and interesting bands or songs, one must wade thru a tumultuous sea of mp3 mediocrity to occasionally Sherlock a song with head-nodding appeal.

And because of the enormous number of song links one has to meander through to unwrap a choice cherry…it is without a doubt a sweet rush when the fates of fortune lead us to a goodie.

Such is the case of this latest gem find..."Mold The Gold".

Singer/songwriter “Pink Nasty“ (Sarah Beck) has set up shop in Austin, Texas and, along with her brother, “Black Nasty”, wrote all the songs on this 13 track offering. Pink’s vocals are a slice of Fiona & Jewel smothered in Chrissie Hynde swagger and delivered with more confidence than should be legally allowed.

Playing several instruments (guitar, keys, bass), Pink along with seasoned musicians Jeremy Snider (bass) and Steve Squire (drums, guitar) create a montage of clever and catchy pop rock jams with a west-of-Venus sense of humor that will spin easily in your car stereo and kick…just a little bit…of your academic ass.

On the terrific, “BTK Blues”, an ominous guitar sound draws in the listener as “Pink” sings of the indifferent lifestyle that permeated the city during his reign. There’s a killer on the loose / and I’m not even phased / who’d want me anyway? and a middle break that has a voice warning, “It’s dark now / you should head home.“ (The salivating killer mumbling to himself while looking for new “projects”, perhaps?) Also, the undercurrent of bass work is nicely done. This track easily makes my top-ten list of best indie songs of 2006.

“Ask me anything you want / ‘cause I don’t know” (“I Don’t Know”) Pink confesses on the radio-friendly opening track that will have your shoulders grooving before the second verse. And on “Dirty Soap“, Pink opines It’s hard to check-out when you’re checking in.”, a song the Pretenders could have easily cut.

“Golden Smoke” has a gorgeous folk sound, ala Stacey Earle.

And “Thirsty Thursday” has an eyebrow raising strange chord at the beginning with Pink promising, “It’s thirsty Thursday and I’m going to blow off your steam”. (Certainly a promise that requires further investigation on my part).
Pink Nasty working her tool. (Photo/Pat Kauchick)

The title track, “Mold The Gold” is epic in production with a stop/start break that is apocalyptic…and a personal favorite. A thousand cigarettes from your death” / “Kiss me behind the drum kit." (“Danny”) has Pink and Black talking, ala Jack and Meg (White Stripes) and is quite funny.

And finally, Pink duets with Will Oldham on a most refreshingly honest love song to close out this multifarious album.

This is a wonderful CD to add to your collection. My only complaint, and a personal peeve, is the lyrics are not provided. Being a lover of words, I can’t help wondering what I might be missing.
(Apologies for any mistakes in my lyric interpretation).

Overall, Pink Nasty has recorded some fine music that differs in attitude and direction just enough to give this disc some extremely high replay value. That elusive indie diamond-in-the-rough has once again shown its bashful little head, my babies…Good stuff!
(Edited 1st appear. Vantage/Newman U.)

-->Look for Pink Nasty at Kirby's Beer Store - Apr 26, 2007 - Wichita, Kansas!<--

Casey Chambers

Pink Nasty-->"Dirty Soap" off Mold The Gold (2006) (Own This CD)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

DVD Pick:--> "The Bad Seed" (1956)

"Look out! the sky is falling down!
Look out! the world is spinning round and round and round!
Look out! the sun is going black... black
Look out! its never, never, never coming back...Look out!"
Black Sabbath
This 1956 film directed by Mervyn LeRoy, has nothing to do with the supernatural or the occult as I was want to believe. Nor is it scary. Rather, it is an uncomfortable study of a young child who simply has no morals, scruples, or conscience. Hence, "The Bad Seed." AND!!!...It is pretty good stuff!

The story revolves around Rhoda (Patty McCormack), a manipulative, callous ten year old girl who has everyone believing that her poop don't stink.

That is, except the ornery and simpleminded gardener LeRoy (played perfectly by Henry Jones) who has the "little princess" figured out big time.

Different people seem to die mysterious deaths around her (including one victim from Wichita...props to my Wichita peeps). The injured party is usually a person who has something little Rhoda desires.

Viewers are left wondering throughout the film when this greedy "Bad Seed" will get her comeuppance...(in fact, we're depending on it!) and this is what holds our attention.

Some of the dialogue sounds stagey and rings false (especially early on) and would lose most viewers if not for the suspense created by the little girl who is annoyingly wonderful.
Leroy (Henry Jones) has little Rhoda...all figured out.

However, there are two supporting characters that really stand out. LeRoy, the gardner who steals every scene he's in, and Hortense Daigle (Eileen Heckart) gives a heartrending performance as a grief-stricken alcoholic mother. Although her screen time is brief, it is easy to see why she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Must See Moment:
Watch for the fantastic interactions between simple-minded LeRoy and the young girl...Absolutely NOT to to be missed.
And the last 15 minutes of the film are you are NOT to leave your seat.


Black Sabbath-->"Children Of The Sea" off Heaven and Hell (1980)
(Own This CD)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Book Buzz: The Journeyer by Gary Jennings (1984)

"Anything you want to be...
'Cause you give me hope
When you shine."
Charles & Eddie

An author who can weave well-researched historical facts into a work of fiction... so expertly... that it neither slows down the story...or worse...interrupts the pacing worth every penny they earn.

Gary Jennings and his 1984 offering...the epic "The Journeyer" achieves this in spades.

Based on the premise that Marco Polo had another journal...kept hidden...Jennings fills each page with accounts of breath-taking adventures and intriguing encounters with unforgettable characters.

Add some very risqué...sometimes taboo goings-on and interwoven story lines and one can easily see why Marco felt it necessary to keep some memories secret.

At 1024 pages, there is not a wasted word. "The Journeyer" takes the reader all across the "known world" during the 13th century with descriptions so vivid...I thought I was there.

By ship and by foot, Marco, along with his Father and Uncle travel the land and seas in hopes of bringing back many rare and valuable items back to their homeland for some beaucoup profit. But finding them and keeping them is easier said than done.

This novel is pure enjoyment and will have readers earmarking a few pages to return to for perusing. And absolutely, this epic will cause one to reflect on their very different...very mundane lives in comparison. Classic! Good stuff!


Charles & Eddie-->"Shine" off Duophonic (1992) (Own This CD)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ramblings: "Bad News" Brown Is Gone & Great Glass Elevator Has Arrived

"For my life's too short for waiting when I see the rising sun.
Then I know again that I must carry on."

On March 6th, another wrestling legend from my youth passed away. The tough as nails wrestler ... "Bad News" Brown (Allen Coage)...died after suffering from severe chest pains. He was 63.

Little mention of his death was provided by the media...And that is a real shame because he gave many me...plenty of reckless wrestling action to enjoy and argue about with friends all through the summers.

Every young boy knew who "Bad News" Brown was...if they were growing up during the '80's and '90's. WWF was just breaking out and it was huge. And "Bad News" Brown was just one of a short list of truly great wrestlers who put on terrific matches.

Although "Bad News" found himself on the losing end of most of the BIG matches...he never went to the mat easily. His toughness was unrivaled and he had a high threshold for pain. Other wrestlers have always given props to "Bad News" for making the matches look good. This meant that most of his punches connected and his body slams were seldom gentle...Not to mention his trademark finishing move..."The Ghetto Blaster".

His most famous victory came at Wrestlemania IV (held at the Trump Towers in Atlantic City in 1988) where he won the coveted 20-man Battle Royal. In the WWF, he also had some wicked ongoing feuds with Jake "The Snake" Roberts as well as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

His greatest achievement was his seldom-mentioned prowess outside the WWF. At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal..."Bad News" became the only American...EVER! win an Olympic medal in judo's heavyweight division. That's Oz!

How sad to learn another childhood hero of mine is gone.
Thanks for the memories, "Bad News".

Indie Introduction:

Great Glass Elevator...a 5 piece band out of Southern California have been honing their sound for just about 3 years. They're pretty good.

I especially enjoy the bass work (Andrew Honore) and nice synth (Matt Mason) that seems to drive the band, along with the drummer (Josh Stephens). who provides just the necessary poundage on the skins.

Tasty melodic vocals provide a nice timbre that carry some oft-times deliciously strange...often tongue-in-cheek lyrics. The song "Crocodile Tears" quickly comes to mind...A song about legends....Steve Irwin among them...and how they are glad Bob Dylan has three syllables and ends with "n", too. The music GGE gives us is all pretty good stuff!

Go HERE and freely download four songs and a video by Great Glass Elevator.

The songs immediately sound a fresh way...easy to warm up to. (pardon my ending preposition). Anyway...I've liked what I've heard. I think you will, too.

Badfinger-->"Carry On Till Tomorrow" off Magic Christian Music (1970) (Own This CD)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Classic Pick:-->Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang (2005)

"I walk the streets of love
And they're drenched with tears." Rolling Stones

A Bigger Bang
is a fitting title for the Rolling Stones’ latest album. It is their first album of new material in eight years, and their first of the 21st century.

While none of the Stones’ latter day albums have been on quite the same grand scale as their early 1970s work, there are still some that hold up much better than others.

Even though this would not rank with my top five favorite albums from the band, it is still their finest effort since Tattoo You (1981), which means that some of the Rolling Stones’ best music in nearly 25 years can be found here. You would never guess that these guy are in their sixties by hearing them crank on A Bigger Bang.

My favorite track is "Streets Of Love". It is a hauntingly beautiful ballad that shows that the Stones can be quite melodic. The chorus of the song is great and gives Mick Jagger the opportunity to show the wide range of his voice.

“Rain Fall Down” is another standout. It has a good groove, and will leave you searching for the repeat button.
The Stones also deliver some thoughtful, ponderous songs in the form of “Biggest Mistake” and “It Won’t Take Long”.

The former is a sad song that shows the regret one may feel after ending a relationship with someone who cares about them. The latter displays some philosophical lyrics that work well, especially when they are set against the pace of the music. “You can lose the love of a lifetime/ in a single roll/ you can gain a fortune in an instant/ or you can lose your soul.”

“She Saw Me Coming” is a catchy number and fun to sing along with...especially the 45 second fadeout. The lyrics show that the Stones still have a good sense of humor. “She busted in/and she burglarized my soul/but now the bad news/She’s out on parole.”

Other highlights include “Rough Justice”, the album’s ball-breaking opening rocker, and the satisfyingly melodic "Let Me Down Slow.”

Keith Richards sings lead vocal on two of the 16 tracks and shows he knows his way around a song. Taking center stage on “This Place Is Empty”...Keith throws down a worn and tender voice. While on “Infamy”, the album’s closer, he spins his funkyness with Jagger playing some good harmonica.

Sadly dismissed by much of the masses...all in all, this is a pretty solid and satisfying outing from The Worlds Greatest Rock and Roll Band. It’ll hurt you.
(1st appear. Vantage/Newman U.)


Rolling Stones-->"Streets Of Love" off A Bigger Bang (2005)
(Own This CD)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

DVD Pick -->Laura (1944)

"Across my home has grown the shadow
Of a cruel and senseless hand,
Though in some strong hearts
The love and truth remain."
Jackson Browne
In this black and white murder mystery where absolutely no one tells the truth and everyone has an ulterior motive, it is easy to get caught up in the web director Otto Preminger spins in his 1944 offering, "Laura".

This who-dun-it film revolves around a beautiful, well to do young woman named Laura who may or may not have been murdered.

When Detective Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) takes over the case, he discovers that the prime suspects include, but are not limited to, the snobbish Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb in an Oscar nominated role), and user/loser Shelby (a very young Vincent Price).
Price is known for playing every role as if he is keeping a naughty secret and can barely keep from blabbing. This has always been one of his endearing traits in the cult movie world.

Thankfully, in this film, he doesn't disappoint and delivers the pizza with the same toppings. Good stuff.
Det. McPherson admiring Laura's portrait.

Preminger purposely misdirects the viewer at every turn making it wonderfully difficult to pick out the true villain. In fact, everyone loves Laura, but the entire cast has such disturbing characteristics that they all make for a sorry lot.

But, oh, the fun of a good mystery!

Must See Moment: Watch for ladies' man wannabe Shelby try to work his mojo on the dames.


Jackson Browne-->"Our Lady Of The Well" off For Everyman (1973)
(Own This CD)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Lost Book Gem: "I Am Legend" - Richard Matheson (1954)

"You've done me no right,
But you've done me some wrong."
~ Rush ~

He's written acclaimed episodes for both Rod Serling's "Twilight Zone" and Gene Roddenberry's "Star Trek" and a host of other shows.  And he has been recognized as a major influence on beaucoup writers, most notably Stephen King.  That's pretty heady stuff right there.

But above all, Richard Matheson will forever be remembered for his esteemed novel, the iconic...I Am Legend.

Published in 1954, I Am Legend takes place in the future (the late 1970's) and revolves around Robert Neville...lone survivor of a horrific epidemic that has left his world filled with a kind of walking dead vampires.

Story ideas like this are quite common nowadays, but Matheson was one of the earlier contributors to the genre.

The pacing of the story runs fast with heavy claustrophobic shadows surrounding the reader. Cashing in at just over 200 pages, I Am Legend is absolutely perfect in its telling.

Along with tension (and a stunner ending)...the story will have you asking questions long after putting it down.  But that's what great stories do, isn't it?  They give...and take.  There are no "pansy swan benches" on this merry-go-round.

"Finding My Way" - Rush / Rush (debut 1974)

Yeah, oh yeah!
Ooh, said I,
I'm comin' out to get you.
Ooh, sit down.
I'm comin' out to find you.
Ooh, yeah. Ooh yeah.
Findin' my way!

I've been gone so long
I've lost count of the years.
Well, I sang some sad songs,
Oh yes, and cried some bad tears.

Look out! I'm comin'.

Whoa, whoa.
Look out! I'm comin'.
Whoa, yeah.
I'm runnin',
Finding my way back home.
Oh yeah!
Yeah, oh yeah!
Ooh, said I,
I'm comin' back to look for you.
Ooh, sit down.
I'm goin' by the back door.
Ooh, yeah. Ooh yeah.
Findin' my way!

You've done me no right,
But you've done me some wrong.
Left me lonely each night
While I sing my sad song.

Good stuff.
Casey Chambers

Friday, April 6, 2007

Classic Pick:-->Phish - Billy Breathes (1996)

"All the way home we felt we had a chance
To review the coulds before we were born.
And to invite a new game of can'ts."

I admit I am not the greatest follower of Phish. I’m by no means a part of the “Phish Phanatics“. You know the ones I’m speaking of. They have every one of the band’s live recordings pressed into plastic, both bootleg and commercial, along with an Ipod filled with even more Phish jams.

In fact, it was because of one Phish Phanatic, that I almost dismissed giving one of Phish’s CDs a chance.

Enter my good friend, Jared, wearing his Phish t-shirt and always driving around with his stereo blasting out a long line of live recordings of his favorite band. Since ninth grade, he has been making plans for us taking a road trip to catch Phish in concert somewhere. (A dream that may never be realized since members of Phish are now swimming in different directions).

The point is, I don’t especially enjoy listening to recorded live music, except in small doses. And that goes for Phish, as well as Frampton, Seger, Mathews, Kiss, ad nauseam.

My reasons are numerous. Live recordings are ususally never as clean as studio work to my ears, and bands tend to become more self-indulgent, dragging out songs far beyond where they should have ended.

Finally, for me, listening to a live recording of a band performing in front of an appreciative crowd only serves to remind me that I wasn’t a part of the fun. So, I pass on this form of punishment.

But here's where it gets good! The excellent “Billy Breathes”.

A wonderful studio album Phish recorded at New York’s Bearsville Studios in 1996, that makes a perfect introduction for those who may have shied away from this band simply because of their unfortunate reputation of being a band that is best heard live.
These guys are truly more than just a weekend jam-band. As I have gladly discovered. They play with spirit and create a unique sound that is both joyful and infectious.

“I’m floating in the blimp a lot”/ ("Free"), a funky number with goofy lyrics and ear-pleasing guitar opens the album. Trey Anastasio, lead guitarist and songwriter for the band, follows up with a terrific song about confusion and his solution being “I ought to see the man Mulcahey”/("Character Zero").

There are a couple of instrumental tracks that are first rate. “Cars, Trucks, Buses“ is driven by some choice organ playing that is definitely NOT lame. And an acoustical number, “Bliss”, suggestive of a Jimmy Page influence.

A sweet and simple love song “Waste”, is delivered in Anastasio’s wonderfully cracked voice, singing “Come waste your time with me”. And the title track, “Billy Breathes” receives star treatment with every member throwing in their two cents. A stand out!

The last track on this gem of a CD is the semi-gentle “Prince Caspian” with the wistful chant, “Oh, to be Prince Caspian afloat upon the waves”. A favorite of mine and a perfect way to end the album.

With bigger hooks than a Peter Pan pirate, “Billy Breathes” provides the unusual feeling of being taken on a hypnotic journey. Much the way a good Pink Floyd album will do.

With thirteen songs, there is not a throw-away track among them. I can not recommend this CD highly enough. (Docked a half point for the goofy Quasimodo cover).
(1st appear. Vantage/Newman U.)


Phish-->"Train Song" off Billy Breathes (1996) (Own This CD)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Lost Stream Gem: --> 'The Killing" (1956)

"You're just a bad loser.
And you'll never let go
and you're gonna go down."
~ Fleetwood Mac ~

Stanley Kubrick was just starting to get his directorial feet wet at the time of his third film, "The Killing" (1956).

Still, he managed to slip in enough unique ideas to announce him as an up and coming film-making maverick.

The movie revolves around a carefully planned robbery at a horse track by a gang of small time sad sacks. The film is presented in precise time frames allowing the viewer to see the crime unfold from many different perspectives.

Every detail of the crime is laid out to the minute, right down to a choreographed fight initiated by hired brute, Maurice...who bears a striking resemblance to the hairy backed, George "The Animal" Steele).
Absolutely no room for error.  And so, of course...

There is also a deliciously malfunctioning relationship subplot between mousey husband George (Elisha Cook Jr.) and his cheating beeotch of a wife, Sherry (Marie Windsor).

Both are fun to watch.  And although all the major players appear destined for failure, only the nasty duplicitous Sherry is truly deserving of her fate.

Must See Moment: Watch the edge-of-your-seat airport scene.

"Bad Loser" - Fleetwood Mac / Heroes Are Hard To Find (1974)

Well you thought you had a hold on me
But it's different now
Everything you done before has fell upon you now

Are you just a bad loser
But you never let go
(and you're gonna go down)
Yes you'll go down, but you'll never let it show

All the strings and strokes in the ocean
Won't buy you peice of mind
All because you did what you did
You're not the peaceful kind

You're just a bad loser
And you'll never let go
(and you're gonna go down)
Yes you'll go down, but you'll never, never let it show

I think you really know what I mean
But I'll tell you one more time
Oh cause it's the truth and you know it
That you're no friend of mine.

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers

Monday, April 2, 2007

Lost Book Gem: American Gods - Neil Gaiman (2001)

"How she ever gonna love you when
she can't parlez vous your Francais?"
~ New York Dolls ~

In American Gods...we are reminded that there was a time when people worshiped Gods. Mythology books are filled with them. And many people believed in fairies and leprechauns and endless legends about many kinds of something or others worthy of our adoration.

But that was then and this is now.

People who once kowtowed to these Gods of legend...have long since migrated to the United States. And there are new Gods now. Gods of Fashion. Gods of Hollywood. Gods of Internet...

Well, now the forgotten and ignored Gods are pissed.

Neil Gaiman (of The Sandman fame) weaves a 588 page story that carries the reader along the beaten paths of America via our hero...Shadow, a recently released jailbird...who is reluctantly thrown into an other-worldly storm that is brewing between the past and present.

"It's Too Late" - New York Dolls / Too Much Too Soon (1974)

Got the invitation to that seventies expose
But how she ever gonna love you when she can't parlez vous your Francais
You know that she can't stop dancin' and that's just about to make you scream
When you where actin' so damn fine
You tryin' hard not to be so mean
And you're tryin' to tell me

That how many times I gotta tell baby it's too late
It's too too late
I told you a thousand times baby it's too late

That's when I saw your mama and she's the blonde queen of the prom
And you're the little heiress to the kingdom from the flesh right down to the bone
Cause I saw you last night darlin' on the midnight flight to the stars
But you spend most your time in the powder room where you chit chat with Diana Doors
And you tryin to tell her

You invite us up to that B-trip (?) but that's nothing new on me
That reminds me of problems back in 1933
Now you where here when they crashed on down and the geckos (?) got smacked up
And now all of God's children,
They gettin' what they want
When they get the ticket

Good stuff!

Casey Chambers