R.I.P. John Prine (1946-2020)

I’m not qualified to write this; Tom Morwood is the guy who should be eulogizing John Prine.  Many of us are crushed.  As much as Neil Peart hurt early in the year, so John Prine pains us now.

John Prine, age 73, has succumbed to Covid-19, the latest in a list of artists who did not survive the pandemic.  When this is all over the view will be very different.

When you have earned the praise of Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and Tom Morwood, you are the real deal.  Prine was that and more.

 

Rest in peace.

Covideo #5 – Feedback required!

Enjoy the video, and for those who also enjoy the live streams, your feedback is requested!

REVIEW: Thin Lizzy – Still Dangerous (2008 inc. bonus tracks)

THIN LIZZY – Still Dangerous (2008 VH1 classic, iTunes bonus tracks)

Think of this as a companion piece to Live and Dangerous.  Four tracks were previously released on that landmark live album.  Still Dangerous has a bunch more, purportedly recorded in October 1977 in Philly.  10 tracks; 12 if you got it on vinyl with bonus 7″, on iTunes, or in Japan.

Like Live and Dangerous, what you get is live Lizzy at their peak, well recorded, and charismatic as ever.  It’s interesting that they opened with “Soldier of Fortune” since it’s a slower number, though no less powerful than any others.  It merges into “Jailbreak”, leaving the audience no chance to breathe…only to be rocked.  Impressive guitar and drums on this one.

“Cowboy Song” and “Boys are Back in Town” are the same as Live and Dangerous; legendary!  Basically one long ongoing song.  Phil introduces their then-new single “Dancing in the Moonlight” as a song with some sax and sex.  Yet it has a youthful exuberance.  “Now we go steady to the pictures, I always get chocolate stains on my pants.”  You can picture that long, hot summer night.  The next track, the blistering metal of “Massacre” is from Live and Dangerous.  Just listen to Brian Downey on the drums, a prototypical metal machine.  Without “Massacre” there could be no Iron Maiden.

“Opium Trail” doesn’t let up the aural assault.  Brian Downey impresses once again with his creative fills and patterns.  Lizzy moves on to “Don’t Believe a Word”, an older classic but just slightly sluggish.  There are more energized versions out there.  “Baby Drives Me Crazy” is also a bit dull, with one of those long audience singalong sessions.  The standard CD closes with “Me and the Boys”, furiously fast and fun!  It’s a long jammer, but its caffeinated pace really keeps things moving.

The two iTunes bonus tracks (mastered annoyingly louder) are “Bad Reputation” and “Emerald”.  Only Emerald was previously available on Live and Dangerous.  “Bad Reputation” is pure smoke.

Since this album was mixed by Glyn Johns and Live and Dangerous was not, one must assume even the tracks from that album are presented differently here.  If you already know that album front to back, then enjoy the fresh sounds of Still Dangerous instead.

4/5 stars

The Author Reads series – Record Store Tales Part 7: A S****y Story

Since starting the Facebook Live streams, I thought maybe doing a reading of some of my own stories would be fun. The reaction was mixed but some of the comments are below.

Comments:

  • “I thought this stream would be about music but it is about poop and toilet paper. Pleasant surprise.” – Buried on Mars
  • “Story time with Bum Face?…This is gonna be a long stream.” – Uncle Meat
  • “The greatest story ever!!” – Chris

The live stream went down as only live streams could, spontaneously and hilariously.  I tried re-recording the reading to get better quality but that was impossible.  The only solution is to use the original live stream reading from the night of April 3 2020.  Since that was done on live video, you get the video of it as well as a bonus.

Please enjoy the slightly edited reading below!

RECORD STORE TALES Part 7:  A Shitty Story

 

Read the original text story below by clicking here!

* Pardon the mirrored video.  Still trying to fix that.
** The Starfleet captain’s uniform is me trying to come with different shirts each week.

Sunday Chuckle: Nooo springs!

Is live streaming in 2020 the new movie night?  The new concert?  The new drinks with friends?

My longtime friend Robert Daniels (I believe we met 35 years ago this year) has begun live streaming public domain movies on Wednesday nights at 7:00 pm.  His live stream on March 25 featured two films, including A Case of Spring Fever (1940).

Now it might be the isolation, or lack of anything better going on, but I thought A Case of Spring Fever was hilarious!  A man is fed up fixing his broken couch, and wishes he never had to see another spring again.  His wish is granted by “Coily”, an animated spring who makes all the rest of the springs in the world vanish!  The man can’t use a telephone or drive his car without all the springs that go into it.  Each time the man encounters a device that requires springs, Coily appears to taunt him!

“Noooo springs!” ridicules Coily.  “Heh heh heh!”

Eventually the man takes it all back and wishes for the world’s springs to be restored.  Then, with his golf buddies, he just won’t shut up about springs!  On and on he goes, about everything that relies on springs.

Maybe I am easily entertained, but I thought Coily and his friend were absolutely hilarious!  Tune in to Rob’s live stream on Wednesday nights, 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, for more public domain hilarity with commentary!

 

#826: Promo Postcards (From the Edge of Rock)

The trick is hanging onto the good stuff and throwing out the junk!  I’ve accumulated a lot of junk and not always made the wisest decisions when I throw things out.  Keeping things that don’t take up a lot of space is easiest, and postcards take up very little space.

These postcards came from a variety of sources and only one could be from the Record Store!  I’ve said it many times:  a used CD store gets nothing promotional.  Record companies assumed we would just turn around and sell it.  Which we made a point of never doing anyway.  But we rarely got anything from bands that I liked when we did get promo material.  It was the 90s after all.

I have two of these Test For Echo postcards from Rush.  You can tell I didn’t get them from my store since they’re from Future Shop for a MuchMusic contest.  I don’t know how I ended up with two.

I also have two of these Slik Toxik postcards.  My best guess is that these were packed inside my subscription of M.E.A.T Magazine.  There were perks to subscribing and I didn’t let my subscription lapse.  Slik Toxik were one of M.E.A.T’s pride and joys.  They were behind the band from a very early stage.

Another pair of postcards!  Deadline sent these to me for my birthdays in 1994 and 1995!  Little did they know that I’d still be promoting their band, 25 years later and long after they disappeared.

Then and now, I think this is a really cool touch.  It’s not like today, seeing somebody’s birthday on Facebook and wishing them a happy one.  Somebody had to keep a file with the fan club birthdays and mail these out at their expense.  Glad I hung onto these treasures; I even have my membership card!

 

Finally, the last few postcards here are from a mixture of sources.  I was a Sven Gali fan club member, and for Christmas they sent out of a fully signed postcard.  My membership must have expired shortly after.  The W.A.S.P. card is from their dreadful K.F.D. album, not a disc that I particularly treasure.   This is the only one that could have come from the Record Store, though it’s an unusual item for us.  And the Star Trek shuttlepod is there because I had room on the scanner bed.  No story; no idea where it came from.

Friday Live Stream – Don’t miss a beat of the virtual fun!

Due to popular demand and nothing better to do, I’ll be live streaming again tonight on Facebook.  This time the stream will start at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time and possibly run til 11:00.

Last Friday‘s stream was fun for all.  It included features such as:

  • Mike’s mom
  • Mike trying not to swear while his mom was listening and failing spectacularly
  • Guess That Beverage
  • Stories and Questions
  • Show & Tell
  • Harrison Gives LeBrain an Aneurism
  • Real prank calls by Max the Axe’s Stunt Double

What will tonight entail?  It’s entirely unscripted so who knows?  (I wanted to do an unboxing last week but that idea went down like the proverbial lead zeppelin.)

Check out Facebook (I’m “Michael” there) and tune into the live stream at 8:00 PM EST.

 

#825: Klassic Kwote – Carnival of Souls

GETTING MORE TALE #825:  Klassic Kwote – Carnival of Souls

 

We were encouraged to put stickers on CDs to draw attention to them at the Record Store.  When Kiss’ Carnival of Souls was released in 1997, I put a sticker on there that read “FINAL ALBUM WITH BRUCE & ERIC”.  Because why not.  Other stores did things like that.  Stickers are fun.  Bosses didn’t like my stickers, but I was the store manager and I wanted to make stickers.

A dude picked up the CD and asked me, “What does this mean?  Final album with Bruce and Eric?”

I didn’t know how to respond so I simply answered, “It’s the final album with Bruce & Eric.”

“Oh OK,” he said and put it down.

Ask a stupid question?

 

 

DEKE’S PALACE – THE MOVIE – Trailer (2020)

Deke’s Palace – The Movie official trailer!

A new “deke”-umentary film coming in 2020.

 

 

 

More on Deke’s Palace:

REVIEW: Black Sabbath – The Best of MusikLaden Live at the Beat Club

BLACK SABBATH – The Best of MusikLaden – Live at the Beat Club (1970 television performance)

When Black Sabbath released their Black Box in 2004 featuring all the original lineup’s studio albums in remastered form, they also included a bonus four-song DVD.  This disc was the oft-released television broadcast of a German show called Beat Club (later MusikLaden).  Sabbath made two appearances in 1970, and the Black Box was the most official release of them.  Before upgrading to the Black Box, I owned an earlier, unofficial DVD release.  I taped that DVD to cassette, and that’s what I’m listening to right now.

“Black Sabbath” is torrential, as intense as the young band was able.  Ozzy sounds as if possessed, truly terrified and warning us that something foreboding and terrible is coming.  “Paranoid” is strangely echoey and distant, but still as incendiary as 1970 Black Sabbath should be.  Interestingly, in this version it really does sound as if Ozzy is singing “end your life” instead of “enjoy life”.  A sparse “Iron Man” announces its arrival with evil Gibson guitar sonic bends.  This version of “Iron Man” is a little stiffer than others, but not for long.  Towards the end, Geezer Butler unleashes the hordes and the song stampedes to a close.

Finally and most notoriously is “Blue Suede Shoes”, a performance pretty much everybody has since disowned.  It’s not terrible, although it’s certainly uncharacteristic.  It’s as if Black Sabbath were suddenly encroaching upon ZZ Top’s territory.  Tony’s speedy solo is interesting if not typical, and the band really stepped it up.  I get why some would mock it; it’s kind of goofy and definitely not as impressive as the Sabbath originals.  But it’s…fun?  Is Sabbath allowed to be…fun?

3.5/5 stars