Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ramblings:-->Moon Martin - Paste Mag - The Avengers

"And here I sit so patiently...
waiting to find out what price
you have to pay to get out of...
going through all these things twice."
Moon Martin/courtesy B. Dylan

The highly respected music mag..."Paste" trying something different for the next couple of weeks. They are offering a full year subcription for the price of..."whatever you are willing to pay.” Very nice.
Following in the steps of...Radiohead..."Paste" is casting their line out to music fans...and seeing what they catch. Each issue also includes a tasty CD filled with a variety of tunes. Let your conscious be your guide, folks...and sign up.

Comic Corner:

Another vintage comic book find...courtesy of Prairie Dog Comics.
The Avengers #14 March 1965 (Marvel)

The ever-changing lineup for "Earth’s Mightiest Heroes" known as The Avengers ...consists this time of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Wasp, and Giant Man.

Wasp (has the ability to, upon shrinking, grow wings and fire blasts of energy, which she calls "wasp's stings.") is dying and diagnosed with only 48 hours to live.

The Avengers team's only option is to track down a certain physician from Norway who may have the unproven cure.

The nemesis facing The Avengers in this complete story is a ragtag lot of space aliens known as...The Kallu. Armed with weapons called "ice guns"... The Kallu try to slow The Avengers down.

Also...artwork is drawn by Jack Kirby recognized as one of the greatest comic artists by his peers and fans.

Good stuff!

Cover songs, to me, are like generic candy at Mr. Bulkys. They look delicious...but upon sampling a few...often leave a bad aftertaste in my mouth.

Yes...there are some pretty darn good cover songs out floating around in "Musicland", but the majority offered by well-intentioned artists are best left on the recording be swept into the creative crapper...and flushed.

Obviously...finding a terrific cover song is like your chances of twisting the cap off a Moutain Dew and discovering you're an instant winner. So...yes I approach these kind of musical recordings with more than a touch of cynicism.

However...I have stumbled upon a cover or two...that equals...or even betters the original. And, well...Man, that's gold, Ponyboy! And more often than not...the great cover comes from an artist you may least expect.

With this in mind...I will, from time-to-time, offer a fantastic cover song that has met my highly critical ears. Hope you enjoy them as much as I.

Oklahoma fun-time rocker...Moon a terrific jammer...with a cool voice. And perhaps an unfortunate name.
Moon Martin 2000
Moon may be best known for writing "Bad Case Of Loving You" made famous by Robert Palmer.

But Moon Martin albums are great in there own right...always filled with tasty hooks and catchy rockin' tunes to help keep your car running.
Sadly,...Moon never broke they say. Too bad.
Below is a fantastic cover of a Bob Dylan song by underrated...Moon Martin.
Good stuff!


Moon Martin:-->"Stuck Inside of Mobile..." (Lunar Samples) (2000) (Must Own)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ramblings:-->The IM Force - and The Late Great "Z" Man

"His comrades fought beside him...
Van Owen and the rest.
But of all the Thompson gunners...
Roland was the best."
Warren Zevon

Recently I discovered a couple of TV shows that I've had to add to my DVR for those times when I need a boob-tube fix. If you haven't watched these yet...put them on your must record list.

Mission Impossible - American Life (ALN) has begun running season one of this thoroughly cool b/w show. But don't expect to see Mr. Phelps choosing his team. He doesn't exist yet. Instead...the leader of the IM Force is...Mr Briggs.

That makes little difference. It's Rollin Hand (Martin Landau) who steals every scene and real-life wife Barbara Bain as Cinnamon isn't bad either.
Martin Landau & Barbara Bain
The premise:-->Our government (I think) assigns a very likely...impossible a trained covert team known as the IM Force. Their job usually involves other countries and politicians. And the kick in the teeth is..."As always, should you or any of your IM Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions." In other words...tough titty.

Mission Impossible is a well-written show and has aged extremely well. Good stuff.

Timeless - (MoJo channel) This is a 30 minute show divided into two stories. Each revolves around everyday people who have developed a love and skill for a certain sport that is often far and away removed from the major biggies.

Activities like stick ball or badminton. Knife-throwing or handicapping. It makes absolutely no difference what the focus is on. Timeless is one of the quickest and most rewarding shows on television. Simply fascinating.

If you haven't caught these on the boob-box them out and record a few episodes. You will be pleased you did.

A great site for listening and freely downloading musical performances is at...Internet Archive.

Internet Archive is filled with beau coup choices of live performances. Most by little heard of bands...But quite a few from well-known artists.

I spent a couple of hours just checking out the offerings from Warren Zevon captured live during many different points in his career.

The best features at Internet the ability to listen to individual songs performed during any given concert. And being able to download the entire concert...or cherry pick certain jams.

There is also a star rating allowed by visitors to give each performance...based on sound quality and the uniqueness of a performance or song. And a place to mention specific standout tracks, too. This is a sweet feature.

Internet Archive also has other types of media. Movies, audio, radio/podcasts and text can all be found here. And one can easily lose track of time exploring.
A must-visit. Good stuff!

The song below is just one of many fine live performances by Warren Zevon found at Internet Archive. This one is unique in that it has Warren playing a wonderful Beethoven ditty in mid-song. Zevon is great!
The Great "Z" Man
Finally, I never had the opportunity to see Warren Zevon in person. And I can't express how sad I am that I never got to show my appreciation. I was a late-comer and got on board the train...when Zevon was stepping off.

I don't mean a face-to-face meeting...but simply one fan from a thousand clapping and yelling props in hopes he would know how much joy he's given me. He's giving still.

Here is a link to a short and poignant review of when David Letterman devoted an entire show to his good friend...Warren Zevon. His last TV appearance. Unforgettable!


Warren Zevon:-->
Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner" (Live @ Wheeler Opera House 1996)
Buy any Zevon CD today!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Classic Pick:-->Rod Stewart - "Blondes Have More Fun" (1978)

"Did you think I'd take it sitting down
and let you walk all over me...
Thought you knew me much better than that...
I keep much better company."
Rod Stewart
I suppose this album has become known as the one where Rod Stewart..."Jumps The Shark". Turning off most rockers and lovers of FM music with equal aplomb.

Considered a huge sell-out by many fans...Stewart's infamous fey disco track..."Da Ya Think I'm Sexy"...went to number one anyway. This song has made the top-ten list for worst song...and for best disco song. So apparently what fans he lost in the rocking community...he equally gained from the dancing crowd.

Sadly...Rod Stewart lost mucho respect and would never be completely forgiven by his FM compatriots...and it goes.

However...if one cares to skip the opening disco track from "Blondes Have More Fun" have a rock solid album full of tasty venom and horn dog hunting. Throw in a couple of trademark Stewart ballads that are among his best...and you got yourself a pretty good disc to spin.

"You can keep your black and your red heads. You can keep your brunettes too. I wanna girl that's semi intelligent. Gimme a blonde that's six feet two, boy, and that ain't all.” ("Blondes Have More Fun") is a terrific rocker with tasty guitar and drums.

Another great rocker...“Dirty Weekend”...has the band sounding like a three minute race to the finish Rod sings...“You book the hotel, I'll pack the bags honey. You phone the airlines. I'll call a cab. When will you return... well that all depends. Just tell your mother that you're staying with friends.” It’s the kinda naughty little number that Stewart is known for.

“I been tailed, impaled, strung up and nailed and left without a stitch.” ("Ain’t Love A Bitch") is a lost gem. A sweet deprecating song that reminds us we’ve all been stung...but we keep on playing the game. A hard song to get out of your head.

Well-writen song by Rod Stewart (lame video though)

Stewart has two gorgeous ballads that hold up better after every listen.
“The Best Days Of My Life” is delivered in Stewart’s wonderful...“apologetic” manner. And “Scarred And Scared” captures Stewart at his most vulnerable as he admits...“I know I've let my daddy down...and I broke my mother's heart. I'd give anything to turn back time again...Just give me one more start.” A song of regrets and one of his best.

There’s a terrific...“kiss it where I sit” song ("Is That The Thanks I Get") that will have many nodding their heads as RS spews...“Just where did it get ya? What satisfaction was had? You kicked the shit right in my face. Is that all the thanks I get?"
is made to sing along. And just try to keep a smile off your face.

And Stewart turns in a terrific cover of The Four Tops'...”Standing in the Shadows of Love” and he very nearly owns it! Good stuff.

As for the rest...well...everything is catchy with plenty of hooks. A great collection of songs.

Now...about that disco song...”DYTIS”...the song strikes this rocker as being just a little too sissy for my taste. And with the “Rod Man” rumored to paddle from both sides of the boat...well...that’s an image in my mind I can do without.

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Jerry.”

Bottom Line: “Blondes Have More Fun” offers plenty of reasons to add this one to your collection.


Rod Stewart:-->“Is That The Thanks I Get” (Blondes Have More Fun) (1978) (Must Own)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Track Four:-->"Monolith" - T.Rex - Electric Warrior

"The throne of time
is a kingly...a kingly thing
from whence you know
We all do begin."
Track 4:
The fourth track on T Rex's 1971 album "Electric Warrior" is the gorgeous "Monolith".

Rolling Stone Magazine has this album ranked #160 in their list of the "500 greatest albums of all time."

One of Marc Bolan's best vocals is on the beautiful and rather cryptic poem-song... "Monolith". It's set to a simple melody...with Bolan adding some gorgeous psychedelic wah-wah guitar.

Bending and holding notes...Bolan snakes in and out with the perfect dosage of reverb.

Bolan seems to be singing about how time is happening...and before we know's gone.

A great 4th track...with a cocky guitar bite on intro to get our attention.

Good stuff!

I enjoy picking up a vintage comic book every once in awhile at my favorite shop...Prairie Dog Comics ...and this is the one I stumbled upon last week.
The Avengers #18 July 1965

The Avengers
(a superhero team from the MARVEL canon known as "Earth’s Mightiest Heroes") in this particular issue consists of Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and The Scarlet Witch.

The nemesis in this complete story is known as The Commissar, a communist leader with incredible size and strength. His goal is to destroy The Avengers in an attempt to prove to his citizens that the communists are stronger than the Americans.

Terrific vintage dialog throughout. Good stuff!

Check out bad-ass Bolan performing "Jeepster" from Electric Warrior.

Good stuff!


T.Rex:-->"Monolith" (Electric Warrior) (1971)
(Must Own)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Book Buzz:-->"On The Road" by Jack Kerouac (1957)

"I lived in no holy house, but the grand hotel.
The back streets of this old town I know so well.
And I drunk of no holy wine save muscatel...
Now my friend, I've got to go."

There is no plot in Jack Kerouac's classic novel. In fact, I find it a stretch to call it a novel at all. Not in the usual sense.

And before I go any further...let me add a warning. If you judge your reading knowledge based on the latest John Grisham novel. Stay away. You just will not get it.

But for those who enjoy a variety of flavors in their book genre intake, "On The Road" will be a pleasant diversion from the beaten path by a member of the Beat Generation.

"On The Road" is an easy 320 page read...but not one to rush through.

In fact, when I tackled this story...I read it softly...aloud. Taking my time to let the words carry me along...with no expectations. Much like listening to a nice jazz record for the first time. Soothing one moment. Frenetic the next. Only to somehow bring it all together.

My take on Jack Kerouac's novel may be over-simplified. And I certainly add nothing new. (After all..."On The Road" has been analyzed and diced into infinity) But..."On The Road" seems to be a metaphor for...freedom.

To simply "GO". Right now! Stop planning ahead for every single event in your life. Live Now! Not after you graduate. Not after you find your dream job. Not after you have the proverbial "wife and two kids". Right Now! Go!

So beautiful. So scary. And practically impossible.

Since grade school we have been guided in the direction most acceptable by society. And before we know it...we're hooked like a flashing rainbow trout. No way to escape.
I suppose I'm just another fish.

But enough philosophizing.

"On The Road" is filled with descriptive moments. A stop-off at a jazz club in San Francisco is really amazing. And the drive into Mexico is not to be missed.

From New York to New Orleans. California to Denver. And back to New York. Friends ...on the road.

Freedom is represented by the two main characters...Sal and Dean...who live their lives fearlessly...and with a rare passion.

Is this the right way to go through life. Maybe. Probably not. Who knows.
"On The Road"
isn't about answers. It's only meant to gently remind us...that life is still a choice.

Good stuff.


"Head Over Hills" is a collection of 11 soothing country/rock songs by Poco released in 1975.

Members of Poco on this CD were Paul Cotton, Rusty Young, George Grantham and Timothy B. Schmidt (who would later join The Eagles).

Poco went through so many different members...shuffling in and out...listeners surely had a hard time finding the combination they liked best.

This isn't a bad place to start. And...after listening to this release with fresh ears...this CD sounds better than ever. Good Stuff.

Hard to find cheap anymore. (unless you dig around the used cd bins)...But is well worth seeking out.
Poco:-->"Dallas" (Head Over Heels) (1975) (Must Own)

Monday, October 15, 2007

100th Post:-->Billy Joe Shaver

"Nobody here will ever find me,
But I will always be around.
Just like the songs I leave behind me...
I'm gonna live forever now."
Billy Joe & Eddy Shaver
My 100th post had to throw props to someone truly special. Like my first post with John Prine.

Billy Joe Shaver is the real deal. A true "hoss".
A dues-paying country outlaw that sings what he lives.

And an unjustly ignored songwriter (except by his peers) who writes and sings songs just made for sitting on the porch sharing a cold one with friends. Pick up anything by Billy Joe. He never disappoints. See below for my recommendation.

This is post 100 in my journey of blogging. It's come pretty fast and has been much more time consuming than I originally believed.

For those who have reached this milestone...I throw props your direction...and I'm sure you understand how I'm feeling.

Let me thank all my regular readers who find my jumble of words somewhat entertaining.

And those who find the time to leave a comment every once in a while...Thank you!

A hundred posts and I still get excited when I find a comment has been left under my tree.
Validation...What can I say?

The blogs I list along the side of my own...I consider family...And highly recommend new visitors to explore a few of them.

I realize this simple blog is small potatoes in the large "blog-world" scheme of things.

But THE MUSIC...THE BOOKS...& THE DVDs I choose to review...are important to me...and have given me great joy.

Finally, for any artist who may google their name and stumble upon my blog...I do this because I love your work...and want others to love it, too.

Billy Joe Shaver:-->"Live Forever" (Unshaven: Live at Smith's Olde Bar) (1995) (Must Own)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Classic Pick:-->Fleetwood Mac - "Mystery To Me (1973)

"Now there's too much Warhol hanging off the wall.
And the mystery that there used to be is gone."
~ Fleetwood Mac ~
Many are not familiar with Fleetwood Mac prior to the Buckingham/Nicks era...and that's a real shame. After all...Fleetwood Mac have been together since 1967.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie have been with the band from conception. And keyboardist...songwriter...and vocals Christie McVie has been on all but 2 albums.
McVie & Fleetwood
I'm not going to retell the member history of the band...except to say they went through a number of really good lead guitarists...most notably Peter Green.

But it is important to note the musical evolution of Fleetwood Mac...from blues (early years) jazzy rock (mid years) and pop rock (present). And they were good at what they tried to do...all along the way. Quite respected by peers.

But the album that should have broke the band wide open...filled with one great song after another...was during the guitarist Bob Welch era..."Mystery To Me".

Adding a more jazzy/pop feel...Fleetwood Mac offered the public an album of 12 songs filled with beautiful...biting...haunting...and fun songs that should have easily been on the radio.
B. Welch, C. McVie, J. McVie, M. Fleetwood, B. Weston

And I would rank this album as high as third in Fleetwood Mac’s catalog.

Christine McVie (easily one of the top 10 female rockers of all time)...wrote some of her best songs on this CD...and she never sounded better.
“Crazy Love” and “Believe Me” are songs that would fit easily on any Mac concert tour.
And Christie also wrote 2 of her most beautiful songs. “But it's too late and I know I'm making a fool, a fool of myself. But I can't conceal the way that I feel. (The Way I Feel) is vintage stuff from CM.

“There's no use in crying, it's all over. But I know there'll always be another day. Well my heart will rise up with the morning sun...And the hurt I feel will simply melt away.” (Why) is perhaps her best written and delivered song. And if this one doesn’t make your heart ache...WOW!

Christie also sings a song penned by Bob Welch...”Keep On Going”...and it’s a great...”kiss-it-if-you-don’t-like-it” song.

And the songs performed and written by Bob Welch on “Mystery To Me”...are nothing short of amazing. And short time member Bob Weston plays pretty mean guitar as well.
Bob Welch
Opening with the lovely “Emerald Eyes”, Welch gives a nice jazzy/pop sound that sets the tone for the entire album...and should have been a hit. This is also where the title of the CD comes from.

“Now it's not a meaningless question to ask if they've been and gone. I remember a talk about North Carolina and a strange, strange pond.” (Hypnotize) is the classic gem from this CD.

The song is so mysterious and haunting...with Welch’s guitar fluttering in and out...and the tasty drums delivered by Mick...makes this one of the greatest and most underrated songs of all time. I never tire of it.

And listen to the lick Welch intros on “The City”. Very tasty and will make you pick up your guitar and try to match it.

“You can bend over backwards...I ain't gonna kiss your ring.” (Somebody) is another lost gem that deserves airplay. And you can almost hear Welch and Christie let loose a laugh on this song. Must have been a running joke with this number.

And on “Miles Away”, Welch gives the band a song that every member can jam on. This is a song made for the highway. It builds and builds until you just don’t want the song to end. Good stuff!

Finally, bassist John McVie gets a rare chance to shine on his self-penned song, "Forever"...a light almost Jamaican feel that is rather nice.

This version of Fleetwood Mac surely sounds different from the future pop-laden Nicks/ Buckingham songs that pervade the airwaves.
But the songs from "Mystery To Me" hold up quite well and should be in everyone’s musical crayon box. Good stuff!


Fleetwood Mac:-->“Miles Away” (Mystery To Me) (1973) (Must Own)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ramblings:-->Top 4 James - With a Slice of Bolin

"Bittersweet and starlit dreams...
Come from blood red wine.
Save yours,
it seems from another time."
James Gang
My Top 4 James:
  • James Dean - I like to think I have a touch of Dean attitude myself.

James at 15

There is an interesting site - The 20x200 Blog - and it offers art lovers a chance to own a piece of work on the down-low. The idea is great...and maybe you'll see something you like.

A blog I visit daily is - Keep The Coffee Coming. Kat is a model of consistency, offering a variety of interesting artists to check out. Along with old black-n-white photos and an occasional short well-written memory. Highly recommended.

Take a look over at - Some Velvet Blog. Another cool blog...and this time he's found some terrifically odd YouTube offerings of Patti Smith, Kiss, and Cheap Trick captured on a kiddie TV show. Good Stuff.


James Gang:-->"From Another Time" (Bang) (1973)
(Must Own)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Book Buzz:-->"Map Of Bones" by James Rollins (2005)

"There’s a crisis in the kitchen,
But that don’t stop you bitchin’...
You’re a bastard.
You got that yellow jacket touch,
With the stings that hurt so much...
You’re such a bastard.
Ian Hunter
"Map Of Bones" is an out-of-the-gate...non-stop action thriller by one of the best... James Rollins. And he allows for very little downtime in this tour-de-force.

In this winner...a crime involving the theft of priceless religious antiquities and a mass murder by unidentified monks during a Catholic mass...has the Vatican on edge. As well as a top-secret U.S agency called..."Sigma".

Filled with facts...and a lot of hypothesis...we learn of the Dragon Court...a secret society dating back to the Middle Ages. And they may be close to solving ancient mysteries hidden by the Catholic Church. Mysteries that could lead to Armageddon.

There is plenty of symbolism and strange codes that must be solved...which should please the numerous religious conspiracy theorists.

Making this 560 page journey even juicier...Rollins throws in double and triple crosses along the way. Add to this mud pie...a couple of moles and the shifting of allegiances and you have a tasty thriller stew. Good stuff!


If you haven't had the chance to hear Ian Hunter...(sans Mott The Hoople)...then "You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic" (1979) is the perfect introduction.

With the help of drummer Max Weinberg and keyboardist Roy Bittan (from the E Street Band) and the late guitarist, Mick Ronson (Ziggy Stardust fame)...Hunter sticks it in your face.

And all you can do is shake your head and wonder how this gem of a CD got tossed into the discount bin.

From the fire and piss of "Just Another Night" and "Bastard" with some tasty Les Paul from the classic rock n roll of "Cleveland Rocks"...Ian Hunter delivers.

The easy sound of "When The Daylight Comes" is a great sing along...and the gorgeous ballad "Ships"...about Hunter's relationship with his father..(that Barry Manilow covered and butchered) is a must hear.

Great lyrics and mixed perfectly. Good stuff!


Ian Hunter:-->"Bastard" (You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic) (1979) (Must Own)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Track 4:-->Steve Miller CD -- (The Joker)

"I heard him shout...
As he cut out.
Well you ain't lost nothin'
What you cryin' about?"
Steve Miller
On Steve Miller's classic 1973 album..."The Joker"...track 4 is the silly/good time song..."Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash".

One of four songs released as a single from "The Joker", Steve Miller was obviously having some fun recording this number...adding police whistles, car horns and street sounds.

Not to mention Miller reminding the listener..."Yeah, you may have heard about the Gangster of Love and the Space Cowboy...but I'm gonna whip a cat on you right now...".

The vintage..."Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash"...was a remake of The Clovers 1954 recording.

And props must go to the author...Charles Calhoun (aka, Jesse Stone)...who is most famous for writing the classic..."Shake, Rattle & Roll".
Good stuff!


Steve Miller:-->"Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash" (The Joker) (1973) Must Own)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ramblings:-->Star Trek:TNG Guilty Pleasure Episodes -&- Track Four

"Tea. Earl Grey. Hot."
~ Captain Picard ~

Ten Guilty Pleasure ST:TNG Episodes
(No 2-Parters)

1. The Game (Season 5) Riker brings back a game so threatens the safety of the Enterprise. (Go Wes).

2. The Most Toys (Season 3) -------Data becomes a nutty collector's newest artifact and is on his own to escape.

3. Conspiracy (Season 1) ------ Captain Picard is sent to check-out a few Starfleet Admirals and finds they are being controlled by bug-like parasites. Not good!

4. Justice (Season 1) -----Wesley mistakenly breaks a law on a "Pleasure Planet". And all laws broken...are punished by death. Wesley spoils the fun.

5. A Matter Of Honor
(Season 2) ----- First Officers from the Enterprise and the Klingon ship switch places for purposes of better understanding the other's culture.
6. A Fistful Of Datas (Season 6) ----- Worf and Alexander spend a day in the holodeck (old west style) with disastrous results.

7. The Royale
(Season 2) ----- Riker, Worf and Data transport over to a floating structure that resembles a Las Vegas casino...with no way out.
8. Brothers (Season 4) ----- Data meets his father and brother Lore.

9. Elementary, Dear Data
(Season 2) ----- One of many Holodeck problems where Data's Sherlock Holmes program malfunctions and Professor Moriarty becomes a real adversary.

10. The Next Phase (Season 5) ----- Geordi & Ro are thought dead and witness their own funeral.


"Track Four"
is my small way of paying homage to my dad.

While he was in college...when anyone picked up a new was tradition to play..."Track Four"...first. Supposedly..."Track Four"...was symbolic of whatever album one was listening too.

Where this started is unknown. And any actual statistics on this particular track would be purely subjective. But anyway...I think it's kinda a "freaky long-haired' sorta way.

Track Four: "Taurus" --  Spirit / self-titled debut (1968).

"Taurus" is a beautiful instrumental guitar piece provided by lead guitarist...Randy California. There are some nice backing strings as the song a progressive rock sound. Very nice ambiance.

Randy California once played with Jimi Hendrix in one of his early bands...and it was Jimi who gave Randy his last name.

It is this song..."Taurus"...that Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin is accused of lifting the guitar intro for their 1971 classic..."Stairway To Heaven".

Page has always denied this...but listening to "Taurus"...does cause one to pause. Listen and see what you think.

Either way..."Taurus" is an excellent song.

Good stuff.

Casey Chambers
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