Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Ventures - Swamp Rock

I'm back from vacation and ready to take on some more records. It's a massive task. I just realized that not only do I have that whole record shelving unit to go though, but there's a bunch more in one of John's closets and in a record cabinet that haven't been "rotated into" the general population yet. I'd better get crackin'.

Tonight's record, The Ventures. Like most of these records I've been pulling out, I can't say I know all that much about The Ventures. But, being all instrumentals and being a group that has been around for so long, I wonder how many personnel changes there have been.

This record had to have been released around the late 60's, I would guess. I've never been a fan of "Swamp Rock" myself. Never cared for CCR, and I HATE "Honky Tonk Woman" by the Stones. (I know, I know. Terrible, right?) I don't like "Brown Sugar" either. Go figure. Not my sound.

Track Listing:

Side A:
Carry Me Back
Honky Tonk Woman
Muddy Mississippi Line
Swamp Rock
Niki Hoeky

Side B:
Green River
Suspicious Minds
Catfish Mud Dance
Proud Mary
Plaquemines Parish

Overall, this isn't an album I'd probably listen to again. The Ventures are pros, of course, but it's just not for me. I do like, however, that they covered "Suspicious Minds", one of my very favorite Elvis tunes.

I give it two and one half stars.


Where did you buy this record and when?

"It was before I was working at Izzy's...so probably '94 or '95. It's cool to see Izzy's handwriting again..."

Do you own it in any other format?


What is your over-all impression of this album?

"It's not one of my favorite Ventures albums. This is probably the first time I've listened to it since I bought it. Very countryish. I quite like 'Gumbo'."

Favorite Track?


How many stars out of five?

"Three stars for 'Gumbo'...the rest of it's kinda bland."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Robert Plant - Now and Zen

Webster's Dictionary defines zen as...ugh, never mind.

Tonight's installment is "Now and Zen" by Mr. Robert Plant. Officially one of the most BORING records I have ever heard.

Side One:
Heaven Knows
Dance on My Own
Tall Cool One
The Way I Feel

Side Two:
Helen of Troy
Billy's Revenge
Ship of Fools
White, Clean and Neat

I have to say, I've always liked "Tall Cool One". I feel that the song is the one redeeming quality of this album. But, is it due to the fact that it samples Zeppelin? It's a cool 80's rock tune. Everything else is...meah. (That's the best description I can find.) I'm sure somebody out there thinks this is genius, but for me, I just don't feel it, ya know?

But, I did find another receipt gem in the album:

Purchased in March of 1988, by young John.

In 1988, this was me:

I didn't know who Zeppelin was. Or Robert Plant. I was too busy watching Woody Woodpecker and Kids Incorporated, coloring, and pretending I was a singer/actress to my stuffed animals. :-P

One and 1/2 stars.


Where did you buy this record and when?

So, obviously we know you bought this in 1988. Where at? "Looks like Sound-a-Rama in downtown Rahway. If not there, at the mall somewhere."

Do you own it in any other format?

"I have a few songs on that 2-cd Robert Plant comp/best of."

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"I don't really like it anymore. 'Tall Cool One' is interesting, but it sounds totally 80's. It's just kind of boring.
I saw him on that tour in July of '88. Cheap Trick opened. My sister's friend made us late and we only saw the very end of Cheap Trick. I really don't remember a lot of the songs Robert Plant played, it was kind of dull. I remember 'Communication Breakdown' was the encore and everybody got excited 'cause they thought it was Jimmy Page that was there, but it was just a member of Plant's band wearing a long coat."

Favorite Track?

"Tall Cool One....that's about it."

How many stars out of five?

"Three...and that's being nice."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moo

Honestly, when I first met John and I found out he liked Pink Floyd, I was like, "Eh?" What little I knew of Pink Floyd is probably what most of the average music listening population know. And that knowledge led me to be not much of a fan.

My most vivid memory of listening to Pink Floyd was sitting in the back of my brother Robert's car with my best friend Jennie in 8th grade listening to "The Wall". It scared Jennie. "This music is really creepy..." she said as she laughed and cowered in her seat. I didn't think it was scary, just a tad boring. (Now I'll duck as all die-hard Pink Floyd fans throw garbage at me.)

So, thankfully, John opened my eyes to the difference that is Pink Floyd in the Syd Barrett era. According to some 'Teen mags I have from the 60's, they were known as 'The' Pink Floyd. And to me, I think that's how it should be.

I can also honestly say that I'm not a huge psychedelic music fan. My personal tastes are a bit quirky. I like melodic music, but that's not to say a heavy guitar/jumble of sounds track can't spark my interest. In fact, psychedelic music can be a bit quirky in and of itself.

Tonight, my musical journey brings me to...

Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moo

Yes, a boot. (Shhhh...)

Track listing:

Side A:
Astronomy Domine
Candy and a Currant Bun
Apples and Oranges
It Would Be So Nice
Intersteller Overdrive
Scream Thy Last Scream

Side B:
Heart Beat, Pig Meat
Crumbling Land
Point Me at the Sky
Come in Number 51, Your Time is Up
Mademoiselle Knobs

Just typing some of those song titles had me laughing...ah, sorry.

Anyway, back to the show.

I think this album is....ok. I'm not that well versed in Pink Floyd, so I'm sure that someone who is would have much more interesting things to say about the production of these songs and maybe even the stories behind them. So, I won't burden anyone with my analysis because I'm sure it would be entirely off-base. I did enjoy "Apples and Oranges", "It Would Be So Nice", "Crumbling Land", and really liked "Point Me at the Sky" (which really quite rocks). They have a bit of that British melodic touch that I do enjoy. I just can't get with the whole, "Let's go on for quite some time and not really go anywhere" type song. Maybe I have a short attention span when it comes to music, but then again, that's just personal preference rearing it's head again.

I give it two stars.

Yo, John...

Where did you buy this record and when?

(First, I have to show you this:)

(Cool, huh? Occasionally, when I'm rooting through John's music or books, I'll come across a receipt from the purchase. I find this both amusing and endearing. Looks like he bought a copy of Goldmine, a Them album, and a Pretty Things album. Interesting that they just listed this as "Records". Oh, and I have to mention, that by 2/25/89, I'd just turned eight. Hehe.)

So it was purchased it Vintage Vinyl in 1989. At 12:27pm.

Do you own it in any other format?

"I have a lot of the early singles on a CD now."

What is your over-all impression of this album?

"You know my feelings about Pink Floyd...I love the Syd Barrett stuff and the pre-Dark Side of the Moon stuff. Just don't get into the dreamy-stoner type stuff."

Favorite Track?

"I love 'Point Me at the Sky', and I like the alternate take of 'Interstellar Overdrive'."

How many stars out of five?