Sunday, October 30, 2011

Diamond Dogs - It's Most Likely The Diamond Dogs - #46

Diamond Dogs - It's Most Likely The Diamond Dogs

One of the weirder items in my Dr Feelgood/Wilko Johnson collection is this CD by Swedish Rolling Stones wannabes Diamond Dogs. Mind you, it's not a bad album, it rocks, it rolls, they just forgot originality. I can listen to it, without getting rashes on the skin. But there is one outstanding track on this CD though, a ditty called "Wilko Johnson's Eyes".

It's not remarkable in the way that you haven't heard a better song since the beginning of 20th century popular music, but just because our guitar hero is mentioned in a song (and title). Who would have thought? This 2008 release was buried deep inside one of my shelves and only came to light recently again. Is this something of a must have? Definitely yes! If you call yourself a Wilko Johnson fan, then you'll need this.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bootlegs - #45


The cover story in November's Uncut is "Uncovered! The 50 Greatest Bootlegs. "Rock's Most Mythical Records". Not one of these albums is in my collection, although I do have a fair share of bootlegs. Mine just don't seem to be "Rock's Most Mythical Records". That's it. But then, I don't want to have these, I want good stuff. And that's were it's lacking. Most bootlegs are just not worth bothering, with a few exceptions. I've said it on my website, the best bootleg I've heard so far is a Pete Gage band project (that was named "Dr Feelgood") and the CD is "They Do It Right", apparently recorded during their European tour in 1999.

In fact, this is not a real bootleg, as it is a CD-R. But the soundquality is superior to any other live recording I've heard before. I don't know wether it's still available, because I haven't seen this for a while. A couple of years at least (around ten or so). But if you can get your hand on this, don't hesitate. Good Pete Gage performance with a bunch of backing musicians. When you listen to the CD, you get the idea, that the band is standing there, playing live in your livingroom.

With regard to "real" bootlegs (meaning pressed CDs or LPs) of Dr Feelgood and Wilko Johnson, there's very little available. I need to present the few items here, in a future message.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Alice Cooper - Live October 16, 2011 in Winterthur / Switzerland - #44

Alice Cooper - Live October 16, 2011 in Winterthur / Switzerland

Originally, the gig should have been in Basel. I suppose, they were looking for a smaller venue due to low advance ticket sales and the Eulachhalle in Winterthur happened to be available. Alice has played the Z7 in Pratteln a few times, but even that venue would have been one or two sizes to big this time. The Z7 holds around 1500 people and, a good guess, there wasn't a full thousand present in Winterthur. And the Eulachhalle is really a sports hall and it looks the part. Rock'n'Roll is the furthest from your mind when you're there. Although the original ACG has played there as well. Never mind, The Coop is just not drawing masses of fans anymore.

Special guest from the U.K. was The Treatment. A hardrockband that sounded like a leftover from the 80's. Not bad, but really, we've heard this kind of music. Some good songs, but who really needs the antics of a band like this. They were certainly not used to such a big stage and you could be forgiven to think, that they were in training for the New York marathon.

Alice Cooper. Strange that they would be playing AC's new CD during the break between The Treatment and the headliner. Usually you just don't do it. But that was maybe because it was also some sort of marketing, at least you could buy the new LP/CD at the merchandise stand. AC in top form. The band, with the new woman guitarist, smoking. Hard hitting and precise. But, and this is a big but, it was one of these greatest hits shows. I've seen one of these last year and it was actually one of the most forgettable events involving The Coop. I was afraid something like this was going to happen again, and I was right. One hit song after the other makes this fan a bit tired. Mr Cooper can do better. I've seen (and heard) him do it, so no excuses here. About halfway through (around "Halo Of Flies"), I thought of the whole shebang as a toned down show. Once more getting the cheapo version in Switzerland. You can always tell, because Alice does the cane pointing and posing far to often. I was really surprised when he got beheaded, because just minutes before that, I told someone that they could forget about Alice being killed that evening.

This was the "No More Mr. Nice Guy" tour, so there were not a lot of new songs on offer (from his album "Welcome 2 My Nightmare"). Having seen Alice Cooper on stage more than I can remember, I was still pleasantly surprised about a few things. One song in particular. "School's Out" with "Another Brick In The Wall" thrown in somewhere in the middle. Although I'm not a fan of Pink Floyd and I believe "A Brick In The Wall" to be a mediocre album at the most, I was grinning. Us Alice working such a ditty into one of his classic songs. Chapeau, Mr. Cooper, an excellent idea and it fit your own song like a glove. At around 2200hrs it was all over and once more Alice Cooper had paid his annual visit to the land of cheese and chocolate. Next time, it's probably going to be a club gig, because even less people will attend.

A very nice evening, good music, although the whole gig was more or less without a red thread, which made it a bit unremarkable. I wouldn't call this a highlight of all the AC gigs I've been to, in my list, this is rather somewhere at the bottom, but I'm complaining on a high level here, because I just know, AC can do better. And I missed "Be My Lover". Well, maybe next time, but then we can expect more songs from his current album. And yes, the lady on guitar is a nice looking gal.



Friday, October 14, 2011

Candye Kane - Sister Vagabond - #43

Candye Kane - Sister Vagabond

I welcome each new release from Candye Kane. However, with Mrs Kane, you sometimes get a very polished version of the Blues (and whatever else she fancies at the moment), bordering on Easy Listening. But I do like her for her diversity and I don't carry the Blues police badge anyway. The latest CD features a certain Laura Chavez throughout (on guitar) and this lady has also co-written nine out of the thirteen tracks on offer. The other four being cover versions.

What you can hear, is actually an album that is far grittier than any other Candye Kane release I could name off the top of my head. This is still not the heads down no nonsense mindless Boogie Bluesrock offering, but it gets pretty close (at least compared to other releases of the lady). Wether this is her best album of her career (as some reviewer had it) is open for debate, but it certainly makes for a change. The CD sits easily among her top three releases.

The swingin' bit is not lost, not by a long shot. It's coming through as ordered and there is again this relaxing feeling that most of the songs carry across. Top songwiting as usual and the coverversions are not to be sneered at either. "Sweet Nothin's" (the old Brenda Lee chestnut) is a surprise appearance here. And what an excellent version that is. The CD clocks in at about 45 minutes and is well worth every cent. In case you haven't heard of Candy Kane before (things happen that way), you can't go wrong by choosing this one as your entry into her musical world and then you can work your way backwards to the beginning.

Now, if Mrs Kane would just make a live appearance around here in the foreseeable future? It's been a while since I saw her live on stage.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marketing B.S. - #42

Marketing B.S.

I really believe, despite the fact that I'm one of the minority to actually buy LPs and CDs, that the music industry has earned it's downfall. And every cent of it. As a collector, I realise, I'm being had, because I have to shell out my hard earned cash every second week for an apparently "new" release with a "never before heard" mix (not on Shellac anyway)) and this must have "unreleased" track (which translates as the biggest hit of the artist, but this time it's live [the 574th version], recorded in some dive in the hinterland of Afghanistan). I do not shed a tear when the industry whines about the illegal downloading (although I couldn't care less myself) and predicts the end of music in the near future.

Today I've seen an ad for a rerelease of King Crimson's "In The Wake Of Poseidon". I won't bore you to death with the stupidity in their attempt to sell the same product to the public for the umpteenth time. Just wait a few weeks, there'll be another edition round the corner. But what made my day is the following: "Each copy includes unique code for mp3 download of a copy of an original 1970 vinyl pressing". I rest my case. There's absolutely nothing to say about this anymore.



Saturday, October 8, 2011

HeadCat - Walk The Walk ... Talk The Talk - #41

HeadCat - Walk The Walk ... Talk The Talk - #41

A Rockabilly album by the likes of Lemmy Kilmister (Motörhead) and Slim Jim Phantom (ex Stray Cats) with the help of Danny B Harvey is bound to lean more towards Lemmy than any other musician in this setup. Rumble Rockabilly it is, with Lemmy "singing". What works fine for Motörhead is, surprisingly, also fine here. Lemmy's bass pushing everything forward and his vocal style, well, he's just Lemmy. What did you expect? Although Slim Jim and Danny do a good job, they really fall by the wayside. It's a Mr. Kilmister album in disguise. A mellowed down Motörhead affair, you might be tempted to say.

The CD clocks in at just under 28 minutes, which makes me mark this down one notch. Another reason for a slight downgrade is the fact, that only two songs are originals (of which I really don't count "The Eagle Flies On Friday" as such, although they do claim writing credits). Well, I'm almost done with the negative aspects, but there's one more. Really guys, although I rate "Shakin' All Over" as unkaputtbar, you come bloody close to sink this hook, line and sinker. And "Something Else", well, friends and neighbours, I actually do prefer Eddie's version.

Being done with that, I need to say, that the CD is nevertheless a fine entertainment product. This is not going to shake the foundations of the Rock'n'Roll world, but is a welcome addition. An overall rating would be eight out of ten points. The old Cream chestnut "Crossroads", sorry about that, but I almost forgot, is not much of a highlight either. How come I rate this rather high despite having to say so little about it's positive sides? One: It's Lemmy and via his Motörhead dayjob, he has an advantage. Two: The album is fun even with the few negative points thrown in. Three: There's so much b.s. on the market these days, even a halfway decent recording stands out. Go out and buy this from your local record dealer.



Friday, October 7, 2011

Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare - Part 3 - #40

Alice Cooper - Welcome 2 My Nightmare - Part 2 - #40

I'm not yet sure about this album, but it doesn't represent an Alice Cooper album to me. There are a few good songs, but even those don't seem to belong on a latter day AC LP/CD. Just a tad to many gimmicks, I think. The album is musically really torn and not what one could expect from The Coop in 2011. I would have bet some money, that he was to follow the formula of the last couple of albums, but no, what we get is a bunch of ditties that are more easy listening than anything else and don't know how to spell R-O-C-K! O.K. to listen to when you're in your car and have still a couple of hundred kilometers ahead of you.

I'm still hoping I get it, and I'm not fundamentally against it, but I don't see this as THE highlight as some fans would have this to be. An entertaining album, in some ways, but nothing to write home about. On October 16, 2011 I'll be at the Alice Cooper gig in Winterthur. Actually I wanted to take this CD with me on the road (roundtrip about 300 km) but on 2nd thought, I'd rather pick something else. Probably some bootleg. "Go To Hell" comes to mind.