RSTs Mk II: Getting More Tale

#809: “Limited Edition” 2

A sequel to Record Store Tales Part 188:  “Limited Edition”

 

GETTING MORE TALE #809:  “Limited Edition” 2

When we first discussed “limited edition” albums in 2013, we arrived at the conclusion that very few things truly are limited in any significant way.  Even Record Store Day has done little to change the view.  Yes, some Record Store Day items are really hard to get after the fact, but most sadly are not.  For example, Iron Maiden’s single for “Empire of the Clouds” can be found easily on Discogs.  71 copies available, ranging from $16 and up.  Yet strangely, something like Alice Cooper’s “Keepin’ Halloween Alive” is rarely seen under $50.  Releases like Cooper are the exception.  What we have learned in the intervening years is that nothing has really changed in the world of limited editions.  Most are not all that limited and can be found later on.  Others truly are rare, and you can’t really predict which will be which.

But we’re collectors here.  We don’t buy these things to sell later.  We buy them to have, appreciate and enjoy.  Sometimes to show off.

When something is limited and numbered, collectors enjoy comparing their numbers and seeing who has the lowest.  A friend of ours just scored a fairly low numbered Gene Simmons Vault which I think is pretty cool.  I have a bunch of numbered items, and I’ve posted some here.  It’s easy to see which are numbered because, hey, there’s the number right there on the back!  And according to the numbers I have one of the last copies of Deep Purple’s “Above and Beyond” single:  1934 of 2000.  Neat.  I just wanted the bonus track “Space Truckin'” live in Italy, but the numbers give us collectors the jollies.  It’s just a little added perk to the packaging.

When is a packaging perk not a packaging perk?  When it’s not on the packaging!

Deep Purple have been issuing “limited edition series” live albums recently.  Our good friend the Heavy Metal Overlord recently acquired the Newcastle set.  Limited to 20,000 copies worldwide, he got #8616, handily printed on the back.  He’ll always know which copy he got.

I was disappointed when I received my first Deep Purple “limited edition series”, which is Rome, the second one in the line (Newcastle being the first).  I ripped open my parcel from Amazon to find that the number wasn’t printed on the CD, but on a sticker affixed to the shrinkwrap!

What is the point of that?  Who, aside from nutbar collectors like myself, is going to keep the sticker?  Nobody, that’s who.  So again:  what is the point?  I’ll be one of the few people who knows what number mine is, if I manage to keep this sticker with its CD.  It seems stupid to provide that information as part of something you throw in the garbage.

It’s not going to be worth anything.  My number #1872 of 20,000 isn’t going to be worth more money than HMO’s #8616.  That’s not the point.  The point is a simple “why”?  HMO figures it was probably a manufacturing oversight, that it’s not printed on the sleeve.

It’s also worth pointing out that 20,000 copies is substantial for an archival live album from a band like Deep Purple.  It’ll be a long time before that pressing sells out.

Don’t be fooled into spending too much money on these things.  I have a copy of Newcastle on order; it’s not sold out.  You can often do well by seeing how the prices go, sitting and waiting for the right opportunity.  And don’t put too much significance into those numbers.  If the record company can’t be bothered to even print them on the sleeve, they can’t be that important.

#808.5: “Rare Rush”

Many years ago…I think I was still living with my parents…there was an amazing website with mp3s of just about everything Rush that you could imagine.  The site went down soon after, and I was unable to download any full concerts.  What I did get was all the singles and bonus tracks they had available.

I burned these tracks to a double CD and called it Rare Rush.  I printed the tracklist on brown paper so it would somewhat match with Chronicles.

Most of these tracks are alternate versions, some from promo releases.  The website had all the details, so they are now lost.  However I know some of these are very special versions.  “The Weapon” is the famous single version featuring Count Floyd (Joe Flaherty).

 

The quality varies from track to track depending on the original source (some are from cassette).  All are interesting to obsessive Rush fans.

Who wants to read a review of Rare Rush?

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#808: Remembering Neil – Ten of his Best

Forever I’ll be grateful for Neil Peart.  If there was ever one shining example of a rock star you’d want to emulate, it was Neil Peart.  He was a giant.  Musically he was untouchable.  Considering Rush have 19 studio albums and other odds and ends in their discography, it’s a daunting task to make a list of the best.

Probably half the list fell together immediately.  The other half was agonizing.  Focusing on songs, not necessarily solos, made it a simpler task.  Any one of Neil’s big live solos are essential listening anyway.  “The Rhythm Method” on Different Stages comes highly recommended.

At one point I had nine tracks and needed one more.  I asked Facebook for help.  Facebook responded with so many great runners-up that I have to list them.

  • “War Paint” (T-Rev)
  • “The Pass” (Leo)
  • “Afterimage” (Leo)
  • “The Body Electric” (Jamie)
  • “Xanadu” (Jamie)
  • “Mystic Rhythms” (Jamie)
  • “Animate” (Jamie)
  • “Between the Wheels” (HMO)
  • All of Hemispheres (Uncle Meat)
  • “Natural Science” (Scotty G)

A good showing for Presto tunes there, notably.  T-Rev always loved that album.  Ultimately I used none of these suggestions and completed the list below.  A list that I believe are the 10 best songs to represent Neil Peart.

All of these songs (above and below) will enrich your lives.  Enjoy.  And rest in peace, Neil Peart OC (Order of Canada), one of our proudest native sons.


Novelty #11: 

The Hockey Theme

I use the term “novelty” with a caveat: really, only because the song is 70 seconds long.  Neil’s arrangement of the classic Hockey Night in Canada theme written by Dolores Claman deserves note as one of very few tracks credited to him as a solo artist.  This track shows off his roots and his ability to make anything sound heavy!  Yet dig in and listen to his meticulously arranged drum part.  He put just as much creativity into this as he did any of Rush’s originals.


#10:

“One Little Victory”

A victory indeed!  Neil suffered immeasurable tragedy in the late 1990s when he lost both his wife and daughter.  He disappeared on a motorcycle, remaining out of sight for five years, the wind on his back as he sought healing.  His return was “One Little Victory” from Vapor Trails with a crescendo of power drumming.  It’s Rush saying, “He’s back, baby.  The Professor is back!”


#9:

“Bravado”

This track from Roll the Bones is a personal favourite.  Well, they all are, but this one is for just one moment in time. At 3:50 of the song, Peart performs a drum roll that I can only describe as pure ecstasy.

And if the music stops, there’s only the sound of the rain.


#8:

“Red Sector A”

80s Rush rules! Neil was using more and more electronic percussion, but to no less lethal effect. Give this number from Grace Under Pressure a spin.  The programmed pulse of synth topped by the crashing clank of Neil’s electronic drums give this track a digital, otherworldly feeling.  By this time, Peart’s cymbal work was just as interesting as what he was doing elsewhere on the kit.  Listen to him ride that beat and accent it with the perfect touch.


#7:

“The Spirit of Radio”

This enduring track from Permanent Waves is a lyrical and rhythmic triumph.  It’s easy for cynics to mock descriptive phrases like “Invisible airwaves crackle with life, bright antennae bristle with the energy.”  But there is no denying the truth that is “Emotional feedback on a timeless wavelength, bearing a gift beyond price, almost free.”  Music.


#6:

“Cygnus X-1”

A Farewell to Kings was Rush during their progressive peak, a stream of albums with side-long concepts.  “Cygnus X-1” utilises such Peart favourites as bells.  And it’s 11 minutes about a black hole.


#5:

“Cotton Tail”

In 1994, Neil Peart organized the Buddy Rich tribute album Burning For Buddy, uniting the Buddy Rich Big Band with drummers such as Dave Weckl, Steve Smith, Matt Sorum, Simon Phillips, and of course Neil with his debut in the jazz section.  His groove on “Cotton Tail” is unlike anything he’s done in Rush. It’s unreal that he could master both rock and jazz like this.


#4:

“Vital Signs”

80s Rush rules!  Introducing reggae vibes seems natural in hindsight given Neil’s willingness to explore new rhythms.  Peart’s creativity knew no bounds.  His delicate touch on the Police-like “Vital Signs” (from Moving Pictures) is so good that it should probably be higher on this list.  But there are some key tracks still to come.


#3:

“YYZ”

Rush’s most famous instrumental.  This number showcases all three of Rush’s members.  Of course Neil Peart’s drums are in integral part of it all.  And there’s a reason they call him “The Professor”.  According to minds more musical than mine, “The piece’s introduction, played in a time signature of 10/8, repeatedly renders “Y-Y-Z” in Morse Code using various musical arrangements.”


#2:

“Subdivisions”

This track from Signals exemplifies Neil’s philosophy of drums as an active part of the composition of a song.  Every beat matters; everything the stick hits is a hook.  Never before have the drums been so integral a part of what makes a song truly great.


#1:

“Tom Sawyer”

The quintessential Neil Peart song.  Iconic, untouchable.  Barenaked Ladies even quoted his famous drum part in their song “Grade Nine”. When people think of Rush 100 years from now, it’ll be the image of them jamming “Tom Sawyer” at Le Studio, with Neil framed by that big window and snowy landscape behind.

 

 


Epilogue:  Meanwhile, in England…

Sarge from the piercing shop Metal Fatigue in Bournemouth tells us “I have been listening to Rush…ALL DAY.  Really loud.  He added, “I did 40-odd piercings today with that soundtrack!!”  Absolutely brilliant.

#807: Freestylin’ 3 – V.I.P.-stylin’ (plus vote results)

GETTING MORE TALE #807: Freestylin’ 3 – V.I.P.-stylin’

As a family tradition, any time there is a new Star Wars saga film, my sister and I have to take my mom and dad out to see it.  My dad won’t go see movies very often.  After all, he did make a scene at Lord of the Rings.  He just doesn’t like going, and doesn’t enjoy sitting still for two hours watching just one thing.

But we got him out to Rise of Skywalker, and to make it a treat for everyone, my mom decided she wanted to do the V.I.P. experience.  This V.I.P. stuff was new to my dad and I as well.

There are a number of things to talk about with this experience, so get a warm coffee and let’s go.

We went to a noon matinee.  Nobody ever seems to go to movies at noon on a weekend; it’s the perfect time.  I was told that the V.I.P. section had a full menu of food and service right to your seat, so I skipped lunch that day intending to make the movie theater my lunch.  I was not disappointed.

We went upstairs to the V.I.P. area where I was stunned by a cool looking lounge/bar/restaurant setup.  I suddenly felt under-dressed in my khakis and “Pickle Rick” T-shirt.

The seats in the V.I.P. theater are like individual recliners.  They were so incredibly comfortable that I just plopped right down, and didn’t move for the next two or three hours.  Who doesn’t shift around in an uncomfortable and too small movie seat?  The V.I.P. section eliminates that.  The serving staff (all friendly and helpful) got our drink orders right away.  My mom ordered wine.  Once we decided on food, we just paid by debit.  Well, my dad paid for me — apparently it was his treat.  We split a pizza with olives, tomatoes and feta cheese, and my mom ordered Hawaiian, finishing half.  My sister and her mainman Drew had beer, chicken wings and popcorn, and the wings smelled amazing.

“This is the best pizza I’ve ever had,” I said incredulously.  Who goes to a movie theater and says that?  I love pizza, folks.  I’ve never been to Italy, or even New York or Chicago, but I’ve eaten a lot of pizza.  That was a good one, right there.  I’m not saying “best in the world” or anything like that, but certainly “best in my limited Canadian experience.”  I’m saying that unless you’re from Naples or New York, you’re going to like the pizza.

We arrived early when the theater had just opened up so we’d have plenty of time to finish our lunch.  (We sat through the same boring trailers as last time, so I’ll warn you now:  there’s a new Harrison Ford version of Call of the Wild coming out with a CG dog and it looks utter shite.  I cannae understand why they used a fake looking CG dog.)  The lights stayed on until the trailers were over and the movie rolled, because I don’t think you want to be working your way through pulled-pork tacos or calamari in the dark.

On went the 3D glasses.  Since I’ve already reviewed the movie I’ll just talk about a few things that we didn’t discuss before.  The Rise of Skywalker doesn’t need to be seen in 3D.  While I enjoy it, I find things look less sharp in 3D, and there were few scenes that really jumped in 3D.  For The Rise of Skywalker, it’s not necessary like it is for, say, Avatar.

My father did say if they ever have a theatrical re-release for Lord of the Rings in 3D, he’d go out to see a movie again.  Make it happen, Peter Jackson.

He really enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker.  “That was the best movie I ever saw!” he said at the end.  I’m sure that’s the rush of coming out of a theater.  I don’t think The Rise of Skywalker will really replace The Lives of a Bengal Lancer or Beau Geste for him in the long term.  The point is, he liked it.  And he didn’t like The Last Jedi very much at all.

In our post-movie discussions, I pointed out that J.J. Abrams seemed to stick it to Rian Johnson a bit.  Luke Skywalker says “I was wrong,” in regards to his decisions seen in The Last Jedi.  “I felt like it was J.J. saying The Last Jedi was wrong,” I told my sister who agreed.

One of the guys at work complained to me that The Rise of Skywalker is too similar to Return of the Jedi, in the sense that the state of the galaxy is returned similar to the way things were at the conclusion of that earlier film.  “Of course,” I explained.  “That was always going to be the case.  The sequel trilogy was never planned like Lucas makes it sound.  It was always tacked on.  Return of the Jedi was his intended conclusion.”  It tied up two threads that he originally set up for a sequel trilogy, which is the search for the Emperor, and the search for Luke’s sister.  Instead of saving those for the three sequel movies, Lucas concluded the saga in Return of the Jedi.  Period.  Oh sure, Lucas had story ideas for a sequel trilogy featuring midichlorians and a proto-Rey named KiraRey and the Midichlorians of Doom, I call it.  So let’s all cool our jets a bit when talking about the sequel trilogy.  We all played with Star Wars toys as kids.  We all had our own ideas for a sequel trilogy.  J.J. came up with a decent one, and while I am sure there is better fanfic out there, I’ll remind you that in the early 90s there was also far better fanfic depicting the prequels, too.  Because we never thought we’d get those either.  My own ideas for the prequels had Vader turning evil in Episode II, falling into a volcano then.  By Episode III he was already in the armor, hunting Obi-Wan and the Jedi.  To me this would explain why Obi-Wan immediately recognized Vader in his armor in Episode IV – he had encountered it before.  And my prequel series would have been better than George’s, just like your sequel trilogy would be better than J.J.’s.  We all think that.

Funny enough, the sequel trilogy ends the same way as Lucas’ original concept for Episode IX.  The hero slays the Emperor.  That’s how he envisioned it when he sketched outlines for nine films in the late 70s.  His midichlorian trilogy idea with Rey/Kira was something he concocted later, after Return of the Jedi already ended the saga.  Like it or not, that’s the sequence of events.

I will say that The Rise of Skywalker, like many Star Wars movies, was better the second time.  There are cameos and clues to pick up on, not to mention that incredible John Williams score.  The triumphant anthems during the final space battle really bring a tear to the eye.

Exiting the V.I.P. theater, we chatted with the manager a bit.  Apparently you can just saddle up in the restaurant area for dinner if you just want a nice movie theater pizza, or sit at the bar.  She said they have special super-hot pizza ovens there which helps explain why mine was so good.

This experience was an early new year highlight.  Usually I walk out of a theater with a sore neck, sore back, or both.  I admit I did have sort of a mild headache behind my eyes; this happens sometimes with 3D movies.  Or it could be that I only had five hours’ sleep.  Don’t know; just sayin’.  The point is, I want to do it again sooner rather than later.

One problem.  There’s absolutely nothing coming out that I want to spend that kind of money seeing.  Nothing.  Oh sure, the new Bond looks badass and Daniel Craig is cool, but I can never follow the twisted plots of those movies.

So I don’t know when I’ll be doing this again.  If James Cameron comes out with Avatar 2 anytime soon, I bet I could drag my dad out for that one!

 

 


UPDATE!

VHS Archives vote results!

You guys chose DAVID LEE ROTH for the next instalment of VHS Archives!  Your wish is my command.  One third of you wanted Roth, which is a good one from 1988, the Skyscraper tour.  The interview is by Steve Anthony.  I’ll post that one next in the coming days!

I do want to comment on a couple things and maybe scold you readers a little bit.

Nobody voted for Kane Roberts and Alice Cooper.  For shame!  That is one of the best in my entire collection.  Two very, very funny guys there, like a comedy team.  Sample quote.

“Alice has an incredible presence on stage, and he gives me some of those presents every once in a while.”

Come on, that’s funny stuff!

And technically nobody voted for Paul Stanley either, because that’s my vote and it only got one.  Shame!  Dan Gallagher did that whole interview in Gene’s makeup, and then Mark Slaughter and Dana Strum also sat in.

Roth is next on the VHS Archives, thanks for voting!

#806: Freestylin’ in 2 the New Year

A followup to #804:  Freestylin’

 

GETTING MORE TALE #806: Freestylin’ in 2 the New Year

Here we are, friends!  Only a few days into the new year and new decade.  Doesn’t really feel like it, does it?

One of the last things I did in 2019 was hang out with the ever-entertaining Uncle Meat.  The newest musical addiction he’s got me started on is a YouTube channel called Todd in the Shadows.  Todd has two series that we are currently enjoying:  Trainwreckords, and One Hit Wonderland.  Both series have been immensely entertaining and informative.

I’ll give you an example.  Remember the New Radicals?  They had a single hit at the end of the 1990s called “You Get What You Give”.  At the time, people thought singer Gregg Alexander was the next Mick Jagger, but the thing that caught the attention of the press were these lines:

Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson,
Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson,
You’re all fakes, run to your mansions,
Come around, we’ll kick your ass in!

Manson was pissed off just to be mentioned in the same line as Courtney Love, who was far less amused.  The media focused only on those lines, and none of the rest, like “Health insurance rip off lying, FDA big bankers buying.”  The New Radicals split before they released their second single, with Alexander having achieved everything he set to accomplish.  He then moved behind the scenes, where he became an even bigger success.

Bigger success?  Indeed, Alexander’s songs have been recorded by Santana, America, Mandy Moore, Hall & Oates, Enrique Iglesias, Rod Stewart, some of the Spice Girls, Rivers Cuomo, and even Hanson who held no grudges.  The guy is definitely getting the last laugh.

I was aware of none of these things except for the media hype.  I wrote off Gregg Alexander as a poser with a dumb hat.  Well, he ditched the hat and found his niche.   Thanks to Todd in the Shadows, I know more about the New Radicals and I even like their second single, “Someday We’ll Know” as covered by Hall & Oates.

Todd in the Shadows also has excellent episodes on Van Halen III, Hootie and the Blowfish’s sophomore record, Mungo Jerry, Cyberpunk by Billy Idol, and CCR‘s Mardi Gras among many.  Did you know Mungo Jerry re-recorded “In the Summertime” as an 80s song?  While I don’t always agree with Todd, it’s remarkable how often our thought-paths do cross.  We had many similar misgivings about Van Halen III, including the lack of Michael Anthony’s vocals.  He concludes that it could just be that the Van Halen brothers are assholes.

Meat and I ended the decade by surfing the Tube, and enjoying a few laughs.  It occurred to me, you could just record us talking and put it online as-is, like a four-hour podcast.  I don’t want to start recording the conversations I have with friends, but that’s exactly what it is like.  At one point I said to myself “It’s almost a waste that I’m not recording all this talk.”  But then I smacked myself in the head and said, “No fucking way do I want to do that.”

It’s like I mentioned a few chapters back.  I can’t just write about music, or talk about music.  I have to spend more time just listening to it.  And it’s the same with friendships.  Just because he speaks solid gold every time he opens his mouth, that doesn’t mean I have record it for posterity.  In a way it’s too bad, because our discussions would blow away 90% of the podcasts already out there, but life matters more.  You gotta just live it, not constantly worry about missing an opportunity to post something and get hits.

Even though it would be awesome.

In 2020, I aim to live a little bit more, and search for content a little less.  Some folks (not naming names) feel that perhaps I’ve become too critical – that I can’t enjoy things without critiquing them.  While I’ve always been writing reviews, perhaps my gears are a little stuck.

Two more things I’d like to change:

  • Less politics
  • Less time on social media

Neither of those two things have made my world a better place.  They suck up too much time and energy.  It might be hard to be less political in 2020 knowing what it yet to come, but it’s not like a political rant is going to make the world a better place.

Don’t mistake this for “resolutions”.  New Year Resolutions are just lies we tell ourselves for a few weeks before we slowly but surely resume business as usual.  I’m not planning on ditching any of my bad habits, just some unproductive behaviours.

Music can make the world a better place.  So let’s consume more of it!  Let’s chat like Uncle Meat and I can, about all the great stuff out there that’s filling our ears!

 

The Stats That Killed 2019

It’s a New Year’s Day tradition: sharing boring numbers while you nurse your hangover!

Top 5 New Posts of 2019:

1. TV REVIEW:  American Dad – “Persona Assistant” – 1517 hits

3. #738: Mike and Bob’s Cross-Kitchener Adventure – 857 hits

Old classics from past years continued to make a showing, year after year after year!

In general, views were down this year from 2017 and 2018, back to the levels of 2016 (which were not bad).  403 posts were published in 2019.


Top Ten Countries by Hits in 2019:


YouTube views:

For the first time, I have YouTube stats to share.  From the VHS Archives, here are the Top Five YouTube Videos by views:

1. VHS Archives #26: Motley Crue spill the dirt on Vince Neil’s car crash
2. VHS Archives #43: The best Blackie Lawless interview you’ll ever see
3. VHS Archives #38: Slash N’ Duff interview
4. VHS Archives #55: One of the best interviews with Bret Michaels that you’ll find
5. VHS Archives #53: Motley Crue interviews from Much Spotlight

Although the VHS Archives have been great for YouTube views, they don’t result in a lot of clicks directly on this site, which is the bread and butter.  That’s probably because I post them here without a lot of pictures, which tend to result in multiple hits from singular readers.  It’s also because someone watching on YouTube isn’t necessarily going to come to this site just because of a video they liked.  And no, I’m not changing platforms to a YouTube channel.  My videos aren’t monetised because they have copyrighted musical content.


Guest Shots of 2019:

There were new guest contributors in 2019, and plenty of regulars from the past too.  Not including the annual year end lists, we saw contributions by:

New guy Max The Axe’s Stunt Double with two Sunday Chuckles.

Thussy also had a Sunday Chuckle and wrote the true story of what happened to his Vince Neil guitar.

Dr. Kathryn had some photos and words from a Cheap Trick concert.

Musician Derek Kortepeter returned with a killer Van Halen – Balance review.

Uncle Meat wrote the Claypool-Lennon Delirium concert review and also penned a review on the Mighty Kiss!

And finally Holen MaGroin went above and beyond as usual with some great stuff.  He wrote:

A big thanks to all these folks for their contributions in 2019!


A Look Ahead:

The goal in 2020 is to resume growth.  In 2019 I tried adding some new features and that maintained the status quo but didn’t really bring in new readers.  How do we do that in 2020?  I’m not a big fan of tagging artists for attention when I write reviews.  I write these reviews for you and for me, and artists can sometimes take offence, and I’m not here to put that in their faces.  A hard rock bass player contacted me because he was upset I didn’t mention his bass parts in a review.  Kenny Hotz once asked me how my show was doing when I tagged him in a review.  I’d rather just throw this stuff into the ether and whoever finds it, finds it.  I don’t want the niggling thoughts of an artists’ impressions in my head when I write.

How do you suggest we grow this site in 2020?

Unlike last year, I have don’t have new gimmicks lined up.  The only plan is to keep writing stories and keep reviewing albums.  The collection has many dusty corners yet to explore.  Many discographies yet to be written.  A number of good bands that remain untouched on this site.  Will this be the year I finish all the remaining Judas Priest reviews?  Or perhaps it will be one to write up all the Zeppelin deluxe editions?

Let’s see what 2020 brings and try to make it a big one.

 

Happy New Year!

Mike

 

LeBrain’s Top List of 2019 n’ More

GETTING MORE TALE #805(.5):  LeBrain’s Top List of 2019 n’ More

Preamble:  The Year in Review (and Reviewing)

2019 was the seventh year of life for this site, and we do thank you for that!  Getting tired with the same old way of doing things, I became bored.   The solution was throwing some new content into the mix and seeing what happened!

The first thing I planned was an informal new series called Just Listening.  Though people confused these writings with reviews, it’s essentially just my thoughts as I listened to an album.  Sometimes I would revisit an old record I already reviewed and see if I felt any different.  There were 10 instalments of Just Listening in 2019.  I intend to continue doing this, as sometimes I just have a few ideas to jot down after playing an album.  Reviews will remain as in-depth and intense as you’ve come to expect.  I love writing reviews, and there are a few lined up for early January that I hope you’ll enjoy too.  At the same time, it’s increasingly important for me to just listen to music.  My collection has dusty corners that miss my attention.

Second, in 2019 I bought a bunch of new tech.  Why not, right?  It’s kind of funny.  I grew up in the 70s and 80s; back when you debated for months or years over in which home video system to invest .  Tech is far more disposable today.  The worst thing that can happen is a relatively painless, postage-paid Amazon return.

So a waterproof camera was added to my arsenal.  This enabled me to make a bunch of cool videos this past summer, including what I think is the best Sausagefest video yet.  One of the immense joys of that summer gathering is the fresh, cool water of the Beaver river.  For the first time this was captured for you up close and personal.

It’s easy to sit here tootin’ my own horn but I feel the 2019 video gets you closer to the feeling of actually attending a Sausagefest yourself.  You can imagine sitting in the river with us, drinking or smoking whatever you fancy.

A new dashcam enabled me to start another video “series” called Dashcam Idiots.  I honestly thought, living in Kitchener Ontario, that I’d have a lot more content to post by now.  (I did get a cool late-night video of a deer on a country road that I thankfully didn’t hit.)  I suppose it’s a good thing that I don’t have a multitude of dashcam videos to upload.


The biggest and most important new series was a long time wish of mine:  my VHS Archives.

The new tech this time was a cheap USB video capture device.  This enabled me, after many years of promises, to share my personal Pepsi Power Hour videos with you from the late 80s and early 90s.  It has been a culmination of a decades-long dream:  taking this rather large VHS library and getting the rarest and most valuable content online.  As of writing this, I’m 82 instalments deep.

And because this is supposed to be a list of lists, here are what I consider to be the Top Five Best/Most Significant of the 2019 VHS Archives.  You’d be remiss not to play these.

1. Blackie Lawless (W.A.S.P.) interviewed by Erica Ehm – 1989
The best interview with Blackie that I’ve ever seen.

2. Bruce Dickinson and Dave Murray (Iron Maiden) interviewed by Erica Ehm – 1988

3. Bruce Kuclick and Gene Simmons (Kiss) interviewed by MuchMusic – 1992
Reposted by Bruce!

4. Rik Emmett of Triumph co-hosting the Pepsi Power Hour with Erica Ehm including two musical performances – 1988

5. MuchMusic Hear N’ Aid special featuring Ronnie James Dio (1986)

And of course the VHS Archives allowed me to finally present my own music video for Poison’s “Nothing But A Good Time” that we made in highschool in 1989!  A long time I have waited and in 2019 I scratched it off the list.

There’s lots left on these tapes so the VHS Archives will continue into 2020!  I’ve left some “big guns” in reserve for future posts.  As long as none of these tapes break!  One or two of them are in very, very rough shape now.  Others are still pristine.

Want a taste of what’s still to come?  Here’s a preview.

Which of these interviews would you like to see first?  Vote below!

 


2019 LISTS

 

The Movies I Saw Don’t expect a comprehensive list!

1. The Avengers: Endgame

2. Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

3. El Camino

4. Captain Marvel

5. Spider-Man: Far From Home

Nothing but sequels and spinoffs!

 

Top TV Shows of 2019:  I don’t watch a lot of shows.

1. Stranger Things 3

2. Star Trek: Discovery season 2

3. American Dad! season 16

4. Rick and Morty season 4 (part one)

5. The Mandalorian season 1

I’ve been talking The Mandalorian on social media quite a bit, and I’ve been quite critical of the show.  It’s #5 by default.

 


Top Five Albums of 2019 (and more)

1. Tom Keifer Band – Rise

2. Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood

3. Marillion – With Friends From the Orchestra

4. Tool – Fear Inoculum

5. Jim Crean – The London Fog

The new Tom Keifer Band is really remarkable.  With soul, roots n’ blues yet also a foot in classic Cinderella rock.  The heart of the Keifer Band made it an easy #1.  Whitesnake put out a strong effort; probably their best since Slip of the Tongue or even 1987.  Marillion may have re-recorded old songs with an orchestra, but in doing so it’s possible that they have recorded the definitive versions.  Tool is Tool is Tool is Tool.  And Jim Crean deserves a shout-out for his guest-laden original album The London Fog, better than a lot of well known releases in 2019.

 

 

Best Japanese import of 2019:

Hollywood Vampires – Rise
A three CD set with a bonus double live album!
Unprecedented value in terms of extras.

 

Best Boxed Set of 2019:

Def Leppard – Volume Two
Some guy gave them some cool live tracks to release.

 

 

Best Improvised:

Kathryn Ladano – Masked
Don’t just take it from me.

 

 

 

Most Baffling Album of 2019:

The Darkness – Easter is Cancelled
I have not been able to wrap my head around this album. I’ve steadfastly stood by this band through five albums, often in quick succession, but this time they’ve thrown a curve. Perhaps it’ll grow on me in 2020.

 

Worst thing to happen in music in 2019:

Motley Crue – The Dirt

 

 

…And I haven’t even seen The Dirt.  I just feel that strongly about it.

I hate the look of the guys playing The Crue, I hate the idea of a biopic, and I hope to make it through another year without seeing it.  I’m happy with my copy of the book — the only Dirt you really need.

 


…A Look Ahead at 2020

Motley Crue will be a towering part of the 2020 tour scene, as they look ahead to their big “Stadium Tour” with Def Leppard, Poison, and Joan Jett.  Meanwhile the Robinson brothers Chris and Rich have formed a new version of The Black Crowes, who will be playing all of Shake Your Money Maker live.  Far more interestingly, Mr. Bungle (now featuring Scott Ian and Dave Lombardo) will be reuniting and playing only three shows, featuring their cassette demo The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny played in full for the first time.  Even the original BulletBoys have reunited.

The big news, so they say, is still to be announcd.  Keep your ears to the ground for a full-on 2020 AC/DC tour with Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd back in the fold.  Reliable sources have stated that the band are finishing up old Malcolm Young song ideas for album release.

Stay safe this New Year’s Eve and we’ll chat in 2020!

 

Iron Tom’s New Sh!t That Ain’t Bad 2019

Whether you know it or not, the only list you should care about every year is Iron Tom Sharpe‘s.  If you only listen to 20 albums this year…make them these 20.


  • Brant Bjork – Jacoozzi
  • Steve Earle – Guy
  • Opeth- In Cauda Venenum
  • Death Angel – Humanicide
  • John Garcia – John Garcia & The Band Of Gold
  • Elder – Gold and Silver Sessions
  • Queensryche – The Verdict
  • Black Mountain – Destroyer
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Colorado
  • Redscale – Feed Them To The Lions
  • Frozen Planet….1969 – Meltdown On The Horizon
  • Green Lung – Woodland Rites
  • Tool – Fear Inoculum
  • King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Infest the Rats’ Nest
  • Ian Blurton – Signals Through the Flame
  • Valley Of The Sun – Old Gods
  • Jimi Hendrix – Songs For Groovy Children
  • Villagers of Ioannina City – Age of Aquarius (Thanks Johnny Cheddar)
  • Church Of The Cosmic Skull – Everybody’s Going To Die
  • I concur with Meat…The Talking Heads are still the shit!
  • Add Dream Theater (Distance Over Time)…just listening to it now again.  It needs to be included.

Not a great year overall…nothing truly blew me away…these are merely ones that people should check out. – Iron Tom

 

Select Sausagefester’s Lists of 2019

You can always trust a Sausagefester to recommend good music. Today I bring you two lists, from Frank the Tank and from Max the Axe’s Stunt Double (also known as “Michael”). Frank listens to more new music than I do, and MTASD sees way more concerts. Enjoy these lists!


 

FRANK THE TANK

 

FRANK THE TANK’S FAVOURITE SONGS OF 2019

“Sorry Mike!  Not sure what happened to the list of songs I was keeping.  I tried to recreate it, but it is a sad attempt at this point.”


FRANK THE TANK’S FAVOURITE MOVIES OF 2019

“I did miss a lot and the list would change, for example I havn’t seen the new Star Wars yet but i feel confident it would be on the list.”

  • Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • John Wick 3
  • Once Upon a time in Hollywood
  • Knives Out
  • Yesterday

 

 


 

MAX THE AXE’S STUNT DOUBLE

 

MAX THE AXE’S STUNT DOUBLE’S TOP TEN CONCERTS OF 2019

J the Vinyl Daft Dad’s Top Ten Albums of 2019

Here is J, the Vinyl Daft Dad, with his annual Top Ten Albums list!

Hunt Sales Memorial – Get Your Shit Together 
Hunt Sales is quite an interesting fella.  He has played with Todd Rundgren, Charlie Sexton, Iggy Pop and David Bowie.  He was integral to Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life; so much so, that David Bowie asked him to be involved in Tin Machine. This, though, is his frst solo album.  It’s urgent, visceral and full of swagger – you’ll find rock n’ roll, soul, blues, punk, and truth in every groove of songs about life, addiction, relationships, and self reflection. Probably one of the best albums released this decade if you ask me.

The Claypool Lennon Dilerium – South of Reality
Better than the first album? I dunno, but Les Claypool and his pal Sean Lennon are exploring their version of this universe a bit further on their second album. Like the previous efforts, their sounds illuminate their surroundings. Absolutely exceptionally played and produced. Loads to get lost in and repeated listens really do reveal so much.

Mark Lanegan Band – Somebody’s Knocking
It’s hard to believe that this is Lanegan’s 5th album in 7 years (not counting collaborations with his cosmic soul brother Duke Garwood). While not as immedietely great as Blues Funeral, Somebody Knocking has grown on me quite a bit and it’s definitely worth sticking with.  Not just some of Lanegan’s best Lanegan Band moments, but some his best non-Lanegan Band moments too.

Perry Farrell – Kind Heaven
Say what you will about Perry Farrell, but he always aims his rocket ship at the moon and, whether he lands on there or not doesn’t really matter.  He’s fully committed.  If he ends up playing among the stars he’s in good company.  He glows when he talks about humans and the Universe and he gets to do that here.  Kind Heaven is, I guess, an extension of Satellite Party, with it evolving into The Kind Heaven Orchestra.  While Extreme’s Nuno left the fold of that band due to how it was evolving with Perry’s wife, here she’s celebrating and celebrated.  There may be no Nuno, but the support cast is exceptional.

The Flaming Lips – King’s Mouth
Released earlier in the year, King’s Mouth is a joyous return for Coyne & Co on the soundtrack for Coyne’s book and art installation.  The concept is rather brilliantly bonkers – there’s a giant King, folks love him, he dies, they cut off his head and carry it through the streets, preserve it in steel and, cause there’s all these swirling storms of psychedelic colours and suchlike inside his head, eh, people climb inside his mouth and watch. That’s narrated by Mick Jones, too.  Yeah, that Mick Jones.  Anyhoo, the songs are really rather brilliant, with “The Sparrow”, “All for the Life of the City”, “Feedaloodum Beedle Dot”  particularly being examples of The Flaming Lips at their best.

Jonas Munk & Nicklas Sorensen – Always Already Here
Sorensen’s Solo was one of my favourite albums of the last few years and it’s been a regular listen until this collaborative effort took over.  Sorensen’s trademark intricate and complex guitar tracking weaves with some subtle synth to create this beautifully melodic hypnotic 5 track long player.


Black Mountain – Destroyer
Not much to say about it’s inclusion here.  Right good slabs of Sabbath riffage with some synth shenanigans thrown in for good measure. I dig. Big time.

Keb Mo’ – Oklahoma
I’ve never really listened to Keb Mo’, but this one grabbed my attention and I thought I’d jump in.  It’s exceptional and there are strong collaborations on there. It’s a powerful album with strong messages and, hopefully, the kind that can inspire positive moments for those who delve in to its 10 songs, as he shines a spotlight on the environment, immigration, and mental health.

Big Wreck – …but for the sun
Well, this was unexpected. I can’t say I’d ever really paid much attention to Big Wreck prior to this release, but my pal SuperDekes gave this one a glowing report and I figured I’d check it out.  I’m glad I did.  It’s full of great riffs, big choruses and great hooks.  Plus, that Thornley guy has got the vocal chops to carry the tunes.  It left me wondering why no-one told me about these guys sooner.

Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains
After a 10 year absence David Berman was back with new music. The album is a remarkable and a weighty one that dealt with Berman’s struggles (including losing his mother and the separation from his wife), but he retains his wit and charm despite laying himself so bare.