Friday, October 9, 2015

"It's An Honor To Be Nominated": A Cheap Trick Weekend Mix

Yes, it's that time of year again, when the heated debating begins over who should or should not be in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

"Yes and Deep Purple, finally!"

"Janet Jackson isn't rock and roll."

"What? Billy Squier forgotten again?!"

I really don't care, though I can make a better argument for NWA getting in than Los Lobos, even though I love Los Lobos and have no interest at all in NWA. But as my friend Jeff M. put it, "The RNRHOF is bizarre and full of contradictions, but what can i say- I do like to see at least some of my musical heroes and sentimental favorites get wider recognition."

That is true and that is why I am thrilled at Cheap Trick's nomination. I guess it could happen. Why not? Every hard rock, heavy metal and power pop band loves CT, not to mention the birthday boy, John Lennon. So, maybe the Hall loves them, too. 

If you've only ever listened to "Surrender" and "I Want You To Want Me," or you find yourself leaping like Usain Bolt to shut off your radio when "The Flame" or "If You Want My Love" comes on, maybe spend an hour with this mix. These boys are something else.


Back N Blue
Say Goodbye
Everything Works If You Let It
Just Got Back
You're All I Wanna Do
I Can't Take It
Oh Candy
Reactionary Girl (Robin Zander solo)
Way Of The World
Heaven Tonight
Let Go
Southern Girls
Heaven's Falling


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

There Will Soon Be Room On My Bucket List

Long time readers of these pages might recall that The Zombies "Odessey & Oracle" is a Top Ten of all time for me. The band, which includes original members Colin Blunstone, Rod Argent and amazingly, bassist Chris White, are performing the album in its entirety for the first time in the U.S.. Needless to say, I am coming out of my skin with excitement.

My friend Dan caught them in Boston last night and his positive review has erased some of my doubts about the upcoming event. But he did say one thing, having nothing to do with "Odessey & Oracle," that I found interesting.

"(The Zombies played) 2 sets - the first mostly new stuff with a few defining hits sprinkled in. I usually want to flee when 60s bands do new stuff, but I thought most of the stuff off the forthcoming album was nice and solid - that never happens."

I started thinking of other 60's bands who had released "nice and solid" new material long after the fact and came up with exactly none. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough or maybe I just want you to do it. I am interested in your suggestions.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Reentry With Benny

I want to thank Jeff for holding down the fort. As always, his posts were nothing short of fab.

I need a day to get reacquainted with my surroundings, but in the meantime, have a listen to "Airmail Special," featuring the great Benny Goodman Quartet of Teddy Wilson on piano, Lionel Hampton on vibes, Gene Krupa on drums and Goodman on clarinet, backing up Charlie Christian on guitar.

I've had this song in my head since Sunday evening after seeing Jason Marsalis and his band recreate some of the best performances of this classic 1930's lineup. As Marsalis put it, so many think of Benny Goodman as this commercial lightweight who somehow got christened "The King Of Swing." This is usually based on a handful of big band recordings that became pop standards. But few realize that this particular quartet was not only one of the first (or maybe "the" first) integrated bands of the 30's (which was illegal back then), but was a band that cooked with the best of them.

Marsalis and his band, which featured Joel Goldberg playing Benny's part and Marsails, a drummer, playing Hamp's part on vibes, knocked me out. It's unlikely that this unit will ever make it out of New Orleans, which is unfortunate. But at least you can explore more of the original quartet's recordings, if you dig this.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Squeeze Me

My typical work day is about 17 hours, six or seven days a week. If I were to divide it into blocks, it would come out to something like this:
*25 percent of the time solving the Hiss Case;
*75 percent of the time, wasting time.

The latter would be subdivided into:

*10 percent exercise
*15 percent practicing the ukulele
*24 percent the Mets
*24 percent just fucking around on the computer
*24 percent listening and finding music while doing all of the above.
* trace percentages eating, reading, doing good works, walking dogs, doing household chores and sitting on the toilet

This is a long introduction to my song of the month by a band that used to be one of my very favorites: Squeeze. I say used to because after the first few albums I felt they lost their spark and consistency. I heard some of it start to return with Tilbrook's last solo album, which was recorded while he was barely eeking out an existence by playing in peoples' living rooms.

Maybe hard times have brought their mojo back. I should say that Brother Sal is probably going to have something to say about the record, and he might tell everyone that I am full of shit, and that it stinks, that I suck, that the Mets suck and that Alger Hiss was guilty. That wouldn't surprise me. He's a lot smarter than I am, and besides, this is his space, but this is Friday, it's the weekend, we have these new celebratory laws in Oregon and the news in Oregon besides that yesterday really really sucked, so in honor of all those things and as an ode to the subdivision of my work day — and anybody's work day and anybody looking forward to the weekend, and  anybody still enjoying summer songs of yore, I present this ear candy song from the new album.

I think it's Squeeze at its Squeeziest, although come to think about it, there might be a couple of songs on the album that are even  Squeezier.

Click here to be deliciously Squeezed.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Something Else to Burn

Hi folks, Jeff here:

There are celebrations in this country and there are celebrations. You have your New Years, Thanksgiving, Mardi Gras and of course, Take Your Secretary to a Motel Day, but here in Portland, we're about to have a party that might dwarf them all.

It happens in two days on October 1. That is the day that possession of recreational marijuana becomes legal in Oregon. Already people are lining up by the "dispensaries" like Apple fanboys waiting for their iphones. The front page of the Oregonian is featuring videos on how to roll a joint or the kind of strain that is best for beginners (this from a paper that still requires drug testing for the few reporters that are still left on staff).

From what I'm told, the dispensaries all have several clerks who show you the different strains they carry in cans behind the counter. Typical Oregon, they are especially proud of their local products. After asking you what kind of effect you are looking for — medicinal, intense, sleep inducing, spiritual —  they will show you that strain. A friend in Vancouver says that "Berry Plush" worked nicely for him. If they ask me, I'd probably say, "I don't know; I just want to get fucked up." Having lived through the '60s when Texas hippies were sentenced to life in the can for three seeds, I can honestly say I never thought I'd live to see this day. And I don't even indulge -- well hardly anyway. Since 2000, I have smoked dope exactly four times -- on the night of each presidential election. I mean how else was I going to get through it? "Oh, Dick Cheney, he's really a beautiful man."

Anyway, with all the advice for newcomers about how not to Bogart a joint and the kind of munchies one should stock up on, I haven't seen any stories on the best soundtrack to accompany toking up.

Who else to ask but our loyal Burning Wood readers?

Do we start with your San Francisco bands, the Airplane and Country Joe or does their music tend toward the acidic? Mid-life Beatles? Your Rubber Soul? I'm open to suggestions. Maybe we can even put together a soundtrack for Thursday night when for the first time in a non-presidential year I, and the rest of this city intend to be one toke over the line, sweet Jesus.

Monday, September 28, 2015

See Ya Later, Alligators

Heading to the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans for a much needed break from it all.

For the next few days, you will be in the very capable hands of my pals Jeff & Alan, AKA Jeff & BuzzBabyJesus.

Be a friend to these boys, but also miss me.