Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ramblings:-->Some Country - Some Ozzy - & Aldo Nova

"And the man that she loved
left her for somebody new.
And the girl, she dreams...
That if only they could've seen...
heart to heart."
Aldo Nova
If you like country music...People Online is allowing everyone to freely download a song from fifteen up-and-coming country singers. They're not bad either.

Sunny Sweeney and Luke Bryan and Eric Church were three that jumped out at me right away. But most all are pretty dang enjoyable. Good Stuff!

Over at "Doctor Mooney's 115th Dream"...I won a two-cd soundtrack of "I'm Not There"...(a movie bio about icon Bob Dylan)...and it's filled with 34 tracks of different artists covering BD songs.

And it's all over the board.
Doctor Mooney's contest was simply a request for one's favorite era or phase of this word smith. The winner was chosen randomly. 'Cause it's all good.

Anyway...check out
Doctor Mooney's musical blog loaded with tastefully eclectic artists. Good stuff!

I came across Ozzy Osbourne and his daughter, Kelly...performing "Changes"...on Top Of The Pops (I think) and thought it was simply awesome.

Fragile & scared...elder...rock legend father...retired in his chair and fragile & brave... rock loving daughter...looking up from floor pillows.

Say what you will...this was poignant, very sweet and nicely done.
Check it out.

Ozzy and Kelly - "Changes" Good stuff!

Every song on Aldo Nova's self-titled album should be making regular rotation on your friendly ne
ighborhood Classic Radio station.

Songs...catchy as hell...with some tasty guitar sauce sprinkled all over the disc.

It may be..that his videos were his worst enemy. Regardless...just try to keep your car under 70 while listening to this underrated gem.
Good stuff!

Aldo Nova:-->"Heart To Heart" (Aldo Nova) (1982) (Must Own)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Track Four:-->"Miracles Out Of Nowhere" - Kansas - Leftoverture (1976)

"I sang this song a hundred,
maybe a thousand years ago.
No one ever listens,
I just play and then I go...
Off into the sunset
like the western heroes do."

In 1976...the Midwest band…Kansas…was flexing their progressive rock muscle...showing their prog brothers overseas…and everywhere else…a thing or two…with their tasty classic …"Leftoverture".

Filled with delicious electric violin and solid guitar work…along with sweeping keyboard play, driving drums and some choice vocals... Kansas was taking no prisoners.

"Leftoverture" was majestic both in sound and power…as well as spiritually uplifting.

With leader Kerry Livgren (guitars, synthesizers, piano, and clavinet) writing some of his best stuff and singer Steve Walsh owning each song with his vocals…"Leftoverture" sounds nothing less than epic! Ageless!

The fourth track"Miracles Out of Nowhere" is progressive hard rock at its finest…and arguably the best song on this album.

"Miracles Out Of Nowhere" is six and a half minutes of pleasing tempo changes allowing for different instruments to chime in and out…without getting in the way.

Listen to the great and underrated bass work…that…along with some powerful keyboard and guitar…lead us to a perfect and most satisfying conclusion.

And the gorgeous vocalsfuhgedaboutit! The spiritual message is delivered in such simple terms, one can‘t help but smile as the catchy refrain hits us again and again.

Good stuff!


Kansas:-->"Miracles Out Of Nowhere" (Leftoverture) (1976) (Must Own)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Classic Pick:-->The Raconteurs - "Broken Boy Soldiers" (2006)

"When you're with me there's a light and I can see my way.
When you speak to me it's a song and I know what to say."
The Raconteurs
That rapscallion guitar whiz, Jack White (The White Stripes) has been keeping his hands very busy the last few years.

Jack’s over here. Jack’s over there. Jack's making a movie. Jack’s touring with his band, the White Stripes. Jack’s doing the talk show circuit. Jack’s working with Loretta Lynn.

getting into fights. Jack’s splitting coconuts with Renee Zellweger. Jack’s hanging with The Simpsons. Jack's comparing notes with Pete Townshend. (Feel free to continue the list).

So, to suggest Jack White has been stretching himself...“Nicole-thin”...would be a slight understatement.

And then...when I learned he was recording an album last year with some buddies under the guise, The Raconteurs, well...I have to admit...I was not expecting all that much.

In fact, after the initial media blitz and buzz, and an "Album Of The Year Award" from MOJO (among other awards)...the album dropped faster than a ball and biscuit. And I soon forgot about the whole mess.

Anyway...I did get around to picking up a copy of the 2006..."Broken Boy Soldiers" by The Raconteurs...and keeping an open mind gave the disc a spin. Dang it...if Jack White didn't capture lightning in a bottle again!

A "raconteur" is a person who tells entertaining stories and... these "Raconteurs"...do not disappoint. The songs are easier to get in to than an old worn gray pair of sweatpants...and listeners will have a field day counting the numerous musical influences.

Opening with a “time to grow up” message, White sings, “Your friends have shown a kink in the single life / You've had too much to think, now you need a wife.” (“Steady As She Goes“). The harmonizing through-out are aces and the catchphrase “Steady as..” is hard to shake.

The attention-grabbing “Hands” is filled with thunderclap guitar and vocals and is easy to imagine the Beatles sounding much the same had they stayed together. The Raconteurs are having a blast paying homage to their influences.

The title track...“Broken Boy Soldier” has Led Zeppelin stamped all over it with White wailing, ala Robert Plant, and repeating “I'm child and man and child again / The boy never gets older.”

“You want every morning to be just like the stories that you read but never write / You gotta learn to live and live and learn / You gotta learn to give and wait your turn.”
(“Together“) is a nice ballad with band mate, Brendan Benson singing lead with White echoing lyrics back.

For those who enjoy White’s tasty string spankings, “Store Bought Bones” provides a biting whip of guitar trade-offs with neither one wanting to be shown up and both declaring, “You can't buy what you can't find what you can't buy.”

“Can we just go our own separate ways? / 'Cos I'm cold and wet and I’m willing to bet / That you constructed this maze.”
(“Call It A Day“) is a good laugh with the rest of The Raconteurs harmonizing to White’s last words.

The last track is the Zeppelinesque... "Blue Veins" and is one of the best songs from Jack White and will easily be a crowd favorite. His powerful vocal performance equals anything done with the White Stripes.

The Raconteurs performing "Blue Vein" in Holland.
WoW! Chills!!

All of the songs on this CD are a blast to hear. Ten good songs, to be sure, but at $13 for 35 minutes of music begs for an explanation.

"Broken Boy Soldier" will spend plenty of time blasting out of your speakers...it's that good. But deciding whether to pick up the CD...or purchase each mp3 song individually...may be your hardest button to button.

Good stuff!


The Raconteurs:-->"Hands" (Broken Boy Soldiers) (2006) (Must Own)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Book Buzz:-->"Charleston" by John Jakes (2002)

"Well here's to your good looks baby...
now here's to my health.
Here's to the loaded places that we take ourselves.
When it comes to luck we make our own.
Tonight I got dirt on my hands...
but I'm building me a new home."
The Boss
Historical novels...when told well...can make for some of the best reading known to mankind. And John Jakes is just one of a small group of writers...I've come to rely on when needing a time-machine fix.

"Charleston" (2002) is another thumbs-up (sorry Roger) novel...written for those who enjoy curling up in their favorite chair...and drowning themselves in a tasty historical saga.

In this instance, John Jakes recounts a sweeping tale about the fictitious Bell family...that is carried over three generations.

Beginning from the Revolutionary War...until just after the Civil War...we see... through the eyes of those living in Charleston, South Carolina.

John Jakes has made a fine living of mixing interesting fictitious characters with well-researched historical facts...and spinning some tasty webs of intrigue and romance. Again...he does not disappoint.

"Charleston" is filled with 532 pages of courageous...and not so courageous actions...and plenty of surprises...with unexpected characters getting waxed in unexpected and sometimes unique ways.

From 1720 to 1866, the complexities of the south...and Charleston, South Carolina, in general, are captured in engrossing detail.

With characters you'll love and characters you won't..."Charleston" brings it.

Good stuff.


In 1992..."Lucky Town" was released...and to my mind...has become Bruce Springsteen's most underrated CD.

Maybe because fans felt he was deserting the "E Street Band". And at first...even I thought...whatever the CD sounded like...could never be as good with out the rest of the old gang.

For whatever reason..."Lucky Town" sadly (but quickly) hit the tradepost bins.

But here it is...2007...and the ten songs from "Lucky Town"...hold up better than Monkey Hooks at an art gallery. Pretty darn strong...and demands to be revisited.

vocals have rarely been so forceful. And his message...(after the last couple of CDs explored the fragile nature of relationships)...found him in a..."Hey look...I'm finally catching glimpses of some silver lining. I survived a bad-go...and I'm still standing!" kinda mood.

Simplistic perhaps...but when I need that extra push to get going myself..."Lucky Town" ...does the trick.

Good stuff!

The Boss:-->"Lucky Town" (Lucky Town) (1992)
(Must Own)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ramblings:-->One of Phil Lynott's best - & - Another DVR must

"Mama Nature said..."It's murder what you've done.
I sent you forth my brightest world...
Now it's nearly gone".
Mama Nature said..."You're guilty of this crime.
Now it's not just a matter of fact...
But a matter of time."
Thin Lizzy
One of my favorite classic rock songs...just happens to be about a controversial subject of late.

Our environment...and the possible damage caused by our neglect or selfishness.

Surprisingly...it was written by Phil Lynott and recorded by his band...Thin Lizzy ...way back in 1973.

It is the forgotten gem..."Mama Nature Said" (Vagabonds Of The Western World).

This tasty jam churns like all great "Lizzy" ones do. However...there does appear to be more than just a pinch of urgency heard in the vocals.

And the guitar/bass work going on throughout the song...flies out of the speakers with an immediacy that befits the message.

I'm not here to debate the findings of...Global Warming. Or the lack thereof. Numbers and graphs can be manipulated easily enough to prove either side of the fence you may be standing.

Irregardless...I find it ironic...how relevant the song is today.
Right now! 2007.
What a perfect battle cry for change. A kick-ass song.

Whatever your position..."Mama Nature Said" is good stuff! Check it out below.

I enjoy the half-hour sports show...PTI (Pardon The Interruption) that runs weekdays on ESPN.

The format is perfect. The two hosts (Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon) face-off on the big stories of the day. The best part...only 1 & 1/2 minutes are allotted for each subject. (Except for a spot called..."5 Good Minutes"...used to interview someone.)

The list of topics run down the right side of the screen...making it easy to see what the discussions will be on any given day...and is a nice feature.

Best of all...these two hosts speak like big sports fans...rather than the all to annoyingly common sport "no-it-alls".

I set my DVR to catch each episode. PTI is one of the quickest 30 minutes on television...and a must for sports fans. Good stuff!

I couldn't find "Mama Nature Said"...however this may
be the best "LIVE" version of "Jailbreak" ever captured.
Lynott & the boys definitely having a good time. Good stuff!


Thin Lizzy:-->
"Mama Nature Said" (Vagabonds Of The Western World) (1973) (Must Own)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Track Four:-->"Cut The Mustard" - Old Dogs (1998)

"And you ladies...you're watchin' me sing and play.
With my belly kinda flabby...and my hair kinda gray.
But I see you lookin' that old time way at me."
Old Dogs
This super group of "Old Dogs" is a blend of four country legends. Waylon Jennings...Mel Tillis...Jerry Reed & Bobby Bare. Good ol' boys who have long been members of the almost forgotten..."True Country" club.

This CD (Old Dogs) is filled with eleven good songs....(all written by Shel Silverstein)...about getting older and the unstoppable grains of sand dropping from the hourglass of time.

Yet the joy and fun these four singers are having...is quickly captured on this disc. And easily makes the subject matter go down as smooth as front porch cider.

Granted...this isn't Sgt. Pepper. But it never started out to be. This CD simply sounds like four best friends...getting together...taking turns singing a verse...and trying to make the world a better place.

Making some pocket change from the effort almost seems like a bonus. Except these guys are worth every penny!

And why not? These "Old Dogs"...(each in their 60s upon this recording)...have paid all the dues...that anyone could ever ask. And owe absolutely no one...anything...'cept maybe a good time. And that, they do deliver.

The 4th track on this classic country collage...is the hilarious ..."Cut The Mustard". Led by Mel Tillis...each of the boys are allowed to throw in a verse...and get downright silly at times, too. Funny thing is..."Cut The Mustard" is a terrific song that should of garnered some mucho airplay. Alas...but no.

Country Music has sadly forgotten many of the troubadours that carried the torch brightening the way for others to follow. The...Old Dogs. That's a sinful thing.

Young dogs need to hunt this CD down and pick up a copy. Good stuff!

Here is 1/4 of the Old Dogs - Bobby Bare doing a classic


Old Dogs:-->"Cut The Mustard" (Old Dogs) (1998)
(Must Own)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

DVD Pick:-->"Some Like It Hot" (1959)

"Today I do what must be done.
I give my time to total strangers."
Billy Joel

In May 1959, director Billy Wilder's infamous comedy, "Some Like It Hot", was heating up theatres and audiences all across the country.

However, the movie was putting the cool-freeze on our "hip" State of Kansas, where the film's (ah-hem) sexual innuendos and (gasp!) cross-dressing notoriety rendered it banned and canned.

The plot revolves around two struggling musicians...Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemon)...who unfortunately witness a Chicago mob hit and must go on the lam to avoid being murdered themselves.

In order to elude the gangsters...the duo must hitch a slow ride on a southbound train to Florida posing as members of a traveling all-girl jazz band. Joe becomes Josephine, and Jerry...Daphne. They're "walking on the wild side"...and Lou would have been proud.

It is while traveling that they first encounter the soft-hearted Sugar (Marilyn Monroe). And you can add me to the long list of guys..."in the 22nd row"...who have a hard sweet tooth.

While this 1950s pair of "Bosom Buddies" must keep their "filthy paws off (the) silky drawers"...their goo-goo eyes have no such limitations.
Joe E. Brown
I would be remiss if I didn't make mention of comedic actor...Joe E. Brown. His hilariously dead-on supporting role as wealthy, retired...happy-go-lucky...horndog on the hunt...Osgood Fielding III...is not to be missed.

Finally, if there was any doubt at all of Billy Wilder’s genius behind the camera, recognize how the many possibilities of sex throughout this film...are simply generated from your own imagination. While the master gently takes us on a harmless, if naughty, cat-and-mouse romp.

The DVD extras are interesting...if not a little bit disappointing. It would have been nice to have Billy Wilder talk about the film...but none-the-less...Tony Curtis does share his insight into the making of the movie.

Any lover of comedy and wit will appreciate this film like a good crock-pot of stew. And not pick out the carrots and lima beans. But our good old Sunflower State not only stirred the pot of stew back in ‘59...they spilt it.

Good Stuff!

Must See Moments:
Enjoy Daphne's hilariously confused jubilation when announcing his/her engagement.
Also, watch the genius of Marilyn as she naively describes her love of jazz music on the beach. "Yeah! Real Hot!"


Billy Joel:-->"Until The Night" (52nd Street) (1978)
(Must Own)