Saturday, June 28, 2008
It starts and ends with the same U2 Police inspired riff called "Life In Technicolor", that gives it a sense of cohesiveness thoroughout the disc. The songs are arranged on the CD in the correct order, this is one of the those discs that need to be played from beginning to end in one setting (like "Dark Side" or "Abbey Road").
"Cemeteries of London" is one of a number of their songs that changes tempo a couple of times through the tune, this is a very nice song with some great guitar chops and great lyrics "...save the nightime for your weeping". This is one of many songs on the release that has a coda. Just when you think the song is done, it shifts gears again.
"Lost!" is a great U2 song with a heavy organ presence..."just because I'm hurting doesn't mean I'm hurt" That cutting "Edge" guitar in the middle makes it one of the more heavy songs. This one has emerged recently as one of my favorites on the record.
"42" is my favorite so far. Starts off sweetly with just Chris Martin and a piano, then at the 90 second mark takes off like a Zep rocket with the refrain of ...."you didn't get to heaven but you made it close", this one's a killer, then all of a sudden it stops. I just wish it was longer.
"Lovers In Japan/Reign of Love" is another one that sounds like it could be a great U2 song, and there's nothing wrong with that. It could be the influence of Brian Eno more than anything. This song would fit on "The Unforgettable Fire" real well. "Reign of Love" has a real seventies Cat Stevens feel to it, another excellent song.
"Yes" is my second favorite song, well produced and sounding more like Coldplay than anything else, nice tasty string break to separate the verses. Another coda that has noting to do with the song. It's almost annoying. Almost.
"Viva La Vida" is one of the best pop songs I've heard in a long time. This was the song that got me interested in this in that Itunes commercial. So, yes, I've succumbed to the cheap advertising ploy thrown my way. They got me hook, line and sinker.
"Violet Hill" This their dark Pink Floydish track. "It was a long, cold, dark December..." Nice gutar work, here. Stops down with just Chris Martin and a piano at the end of the song.
"Strawberry Swing" is one of the better tracks on the CD, well produced and well played with great dynamics. This song sounds great, such great sonic landscapes painted by Brian Eno, very Beatle-esque.
"Death and All His Friends" This is a great way to end the disk, another Floyd sounding tune until it breaks wide open in the middle. Another quality recording and the coda to the whole body of work.
The tunes are catchy, full of hooks and the dynamics on this record make it one enjoyable ride. It sounds good, the producing and mastering by Bob Ludwig are first rate. The only problem I see is reproducing this on stage. There will be lots of pre-recorded stuff in concert.
Not the masterpiece they were shooting for, but I'll give them credit for coming close. A fine release that make Coldplay maybe the best band out there (apologies to U2).
It's weird how I have kind of morphed into my father. He would have has rigid rituals. Certain things had to be a certain way at a certain time. I'm even starting toi look like him.
I applaud the passengers on the flight that was cancelled on the tarmack. They didn't leave the plane to protest. The only bad thing about it is that it happened in China. It needs to start happening here.
Where have America's thinkers gone? I am talking about the kind of people who would take the initiative to get us out of our addiction to oil. This started happening 35 years ago, and we're still stuck. What happened to us? Where are the Edison's, the Einstein's, the people who took the lead and invented or developed something in all this time? I don't understand how someone couldn't have come up with an alternative to gas in thirty five years.
All we better off now than eight years ago? The next president has a lot of work to do. I don't remember a time since the seventies where this country has been as fucked up as it is now. Housing mess, stock mess, gas prices mess, Iraq mess, crisis of confidence mess... and the band played on. I get the vision of Nero who fiddled while Rome burned. I think this may be the most out of touch administration in the last one hundred fifty years. The silence from Washington is deafening.
The proposed sale of AB to InBev, if it happens, will turn St. Louis into Dayton. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with Dayton but St. Louis has always been a Cleveland sort of town. If AB goes (and if the sale goes through, it will), the entire heart and core along with the civic pride in this city will deteriorate. Contrary to what's coming out of Belgium, the first thing InBev will do is cut, cut, and cut some more. It won't be good for this region. St. Louis in recent years has lost a number of Fortune 500 headquarters (May Company, ATT, etc) but this will be like roling them all into one. I wish the board members at AB good luck. They are going to need it.
The Cardinals get swept by the Royals at home, go to Boston and win two (almost three) out of three and then get beat be the Royals again. They've lost three in a row, hope this isn't a trend.
I wonder what kind of conversations God and George Carlin have gotten into. Like to be a fly on the wall there.
I got an email from someone who wanted to know if I still look like my picture on the profile. Are you kidding? Sure, I do....not. It was taken about twelve years and I'm just havin some fun. My new one is my last "publicity shot" at KSHE. I didn't care for it much but Abby Pollay said, ..."it's so you." And as usual, Abby was right. A little less hair and it's certainly a different colour.
Friday, June 27, 2008
THIS IS A FIRE RAINBOW - THE RAREST OF ALL NATURALLY OCCURRING ATMOSPHERIC PHENOMENA. THE PICTURE WAS CAPTURED THIS WEEK ON THE IDAHO/WASHINGTON BORDER. THE EVENT LASTED ABOUT 1 HOUR. CLOUDS HAVE TO BE CIRRUS, AT LEAST 20K FEET IN THE AIR, WITH JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF ICE CRYSTALS AND THE SUN HAS TO HIT THE CLOUDS AT PRECISELY 58 DEGREES. Thanks, Beth
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Here's one that ranks in my top 50. Suave and capturing the feeling of 1976, pre disco music. For some reason, the memory I have of this is being with the ex wife at a drive in burger joint in Milan Il. Later, of course, I used this release as a fine "let's go back to the apartment" selection.
This CD is really the first time we heard what became Toto with the trio of Paich, Porcaro and Hungate getting a lot of time on this. David Paich also wrote a number of these songs. Also featured is session man Fred Tackett who went on to join Little Feat in the 80s. In a cameo role, one of my favorite underrated guitarists (Les Dudek) is featured.
Boz is nothing but class and this is one of the classiest releases of the 70s. With "What Can I Say" kicking it off, the cooler than cool "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" on the same damn record along with "Harbor Lights" and "We're All Alone" and the very funky Allen Toussaint number "What Do You Want The Girl To Do", Boz was never better. This one brings back fine memories of a very unfine time....if ya know what I mean...
I met Boz at the Pageant and brought along this LP for him to sign.."For Randy, thanks for all the years.." is what he wrote. It's hanging in my office as we speak.
George Carlin 1937-2008 Good bye, my friend and companion. I pray for your family.
Here's his best work in years..
My favorite Carlin bit. The difference between baseball and football
Goodbye Wally Lando. Thanks for all the laughter.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.
Horatio Alger, twist in your grave.
The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance.
The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year's presidential election.Each contender offers a sense of order — and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, "Yes, we can."
Even so, a battered public seems discouraged by the onslaught of dispiriting things. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says a barrel-scraping 17 percent of people surveyed believe the country is moving in the right direction. That is the lowest reading since the survey began in 2003.
An ABC News-Washington Post survey put that figure at 14 percent, tying the low in more than three decades of taking soundings on the national mood.
"It is pretty scary," said Charles Truxal, 64, a retired corporate manager in Rochester, Minn. "People are thinking things are going to get better, and they haven't been. And then you go hide in your basement because tornadoes are coming through. If you think about things, you have very little power to make it change."
Recent natural disasters around the world dwarf anything afflicting the U.S. Consider that more than 69,000 people died in the China earthquake, and that 78,000 were killed and 56,000 missing from the Myanmar cyclone.
Americans need do no more than check the weather, look in their wallets or turn on the news for their daily reality check on a world gone haywire.
Floods engulf Midwestern river towns. Is it global warming, the gradual degradation of a planet's weather that man seems powerless to stop or just a freakish late-spring deluge?
It hardly matters to those in the path. Just ask the people of New Orleans who survived Hurricane Katrina. They are living in a city where, 1,000 days after the storm, entire neighborhoods remain abandoned, a national embarrassment that evokes disbelief from visitors.
Food is becoming scarcer and more expensive on a worldwide scale, due to increased consumption in growing countries such as China and India and rising fuel costs. That can-do solution to energy needs — turning corn into fuel — is sapping fields of plenty once devoted to crops that people need to eat. Shortages have sparked riots. In the U.S., rice prices tripled and some stores rationed the staple.
Residents of the nation's capital and its suburbs repeatedly lose power for extended periods as mere thunderstorms rumble through. In California, leaders warn people to use less water in the unrelenting drought.
Want to get away from it all? The weak U.S. dollar makes travel abroad forbiddingly expensive. To add insult to injury, some airlines now charge to check luggage.
Want to escape on the couch? A writers' strike halted favorite TV shows for half a season. The newspaper on the table may soon be a relic of the Internet age. Just as video stores are falling by the wayside as people get their movies online or in the mail.
But there's always sports, right?
The moorings seem to be coming loose here, too.
Baseball stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens stand accused of enhancing their heroics with drugs. Basketball referees are suspected of cheating.
Stay tuned for less than pristine tales from the drug-addled Tour de France and who knows what from the Summer Olympics.
It's not the first time Americans have felt a loss of control.
Alger, the dime-novel author whose heroes overcame adversity to gain riches and fame, played to similar anxieties when the U.S. was becoming an industrial society in the late 1800s.
American University historian Allan J. Lichtman notes that the U.S. has endured comparable periods and worse, including the economic stagflation (stagnant growth combined with inflation) and Iran hostage crisis of 1980; the dawn of the Cold War, the Korean War and the hysterical hunts for domestic Communists in the late 1940s and early 1950s; and the Depression of the 1930s.
"All those periods were followed by much more optimistic periods in which the American people had their confidence restored," he said. "Of course, that doesn't mean it will happen again."
Each period also was followed by a change in the party controlling the White House.
This period has seen intense interest in the presidential primaries, especially the Democrats' five-month duel between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Records were shattered by voters showing up at polling places, yearning for a voice in who will next guide the country as it confronts the uncontrollable.
Never mind that their views of their current leaders are near rock bottom, reflecting a frustration with Washington's inability to solve anything. President Bush barely gets the approval of three in 10 people, and it's even worse for the Democratic-led Congress.
Why the vulnerability? After all, this is the 21st century, not a more primitive past when little in life was assured. Surely people know how to fix problems now.
Maybe. And maybe this is what the 21st century will be about — a great unraveling of some things long taken for granted.
I stopped at my buddy Tom Young's place "Now Hear This" in downtown Kirkwood today and picked up "Viva La Vida" from Coldplay and a couple of obscure REO releases on one CD ("Riding The Storm Out" and "Lost In A Dream"). So far, the word for Coldplay is "interesting". I could almost say it is a masterpiece but allow me more listens.
Chris Martin sounds to me like he's trying to write a masterpiece, but it so far has kept my attention. I'll check back later.
I could not tell you another song these guys have done. I do remember about 1983 and KY102 was conflicted on which way to go. The Kansas City powerhouse station cut it's teeth on REO, Van Halen, Journey and such but this "new wave" stuff out of England was now all over MTV and how do we counter that? In a move that probably was the first death nell of the station, we were forced to capitulate and play a lot of it. This one was one we may have played for a week in 1984, but something about this song rocks my world. Don't ask me why but when this came on the Ipod while running today, I had a better spring in the step.
Style Council's story
Charlie Jones was in my house a lot as a kid. I lived in either Ava, Mo. or the Quad Cities while growing up. For the NFL, it was The Cardinals or The Bears, but in the AFL, it could be the Buffalo Bills, The Chargers, Chiefs or Broncos. Charlie would call that game. Charlie's on the right in the picture and once again, he died of a massive heart attack and was dead quickly. He was 78.
here's Charlie's story
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