Hurple Hoopla

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Yes, I know...

I have not posted anything here for a looooong time.  This has been a rough year, and my heart has just not been in it.  To see the reason why, read this blog which belongs to my wife.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Favorite Albums of 2012

Here's my list for 2012.  I haven't had the time to write anything for each individual album.  I'll get to that later, if I can.

Jack White - Blunderbuss
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
Old Crow Medicine Show - Carry Me Back
Green Day - Uno
John Hiatt - Mystic Pinball
Neil Young - Psychedelic Pill
The Avett Brothers - Carpenter
Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
Los Straitjackets - Jet Set
Mumford & Sons - Babel
Dr John - Locked Down

With honorable mentions going to

The Beach Boys - That's Why God Made Radio
Bob Dylan - Tempest
Ian Anderson - Thick As A Brick 2

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ray Bradbury - The Scythe

And then sobbing wildly, with a fierce unrelenting insanity of vengeance against Fate in every muscle, he rose above the grain again and again and hewed to left and to right and to left and to right and to left and to right. Over and over and over! Slicing out huge scars in green wheat and ripe wheat. With no selection and no care, cursing, over and over, swearing, laughing laughter that was not his own any more. The blade swung up in the rising sun and came down in the sun, singing and whistling.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Thoughts about Davy Jones and The Monkees

Several days have gone by since the passing of Davy Jones, and I think it's time I put some thoughts down about it. I have been a fan of the Monkees since I was a little kid, running into the house as soon as I got home from school to turn on the TV and catch the show on WZTV Channel 17 out of Nashville. I even used to sit there with a little cassette recorder on pause with a crappy handheld mic pointed right at the TV speaker waiting for the song at the end of each episode.

I have to be honest, here. Out of the 4 guys, Davy was always my least favorite. Not because I didn't like him, or didn't think he was funny, or didn't think he was talented. no, he was obviously all of that. He was my least favorite simply because what he believed would entertain people was not what I wanted to be entertained with. To put it more concisely, I love Peter's folky style, and Mike's country-pop-rock sound, and Mickey's bluesy jazzy thing. but, Davy tended to Broadway showtune-sounding stuff... and I HATE Broadway showtunes.

However, he was also the guy that sang "Star Collector" and "You And I" (featuring Neil Young on guitar!) and those are certainly not even remotely showtune-like. They're also my favorite Davy-sang tunes.

He was a nice, funny, extremely talented man who loved to entertain more than anything. He always had time and kind words for his fans. (Although not always for non-fans or celebrity chasers.) The world just seems to contain a little bit less fun than it was last week.

Now, some may be asking why a bitter old punk like me would ever like a band like The Monkees. Well, the kind of punk I am is the true anything-goes DiY punk aesthetic. I like the break the rules, fight the man, nobody controls me aspects of the punk movement. And, to tell the truth, I think very few acts represent that part of punk more than the pre-fab band that rebelled against the machine that controlled it. True, the Monkees had several great songs in their early days, "Stepping Stone" "She" "I'm A Believer" and several others are really awesome songs, but, once they took control of their own musical output they really began to shine. It started with "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" and steamrolled with "You Just May be The One" "Randy Scouse Git" "Star Collector" "Goin' Down" "Mommy & Daddy" "Circle Sky" and many many many more. That's the good stuff.

So long, and good journey David Jones. You didn't know me and never met me, but you changed my life forever, in a most tangible way. I wouldn't be living the life I am living now without you, and the rest of the group. Some of you reading this might even know exactly how the Monkees changed my life. Most won't. I'm not going to explain it here. Thank you, Davy. Thank you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

As If Anyone Cares... My Favorite Albums Of 2011

1. The Black Keys - El Camino

This spot really was theirs to lose, this year. This album is what it sounds like when a band hits the height of popularity at the exact same moment that they reach the height of their abilities.

2. Wilco - The Whole Love (Deluxe Edition)

And I do specifically mean the Deluxe Version of this album. That edition contains a few bonus tracks that I think are essential to the overall feel of this album.

3. Tom Waits - Bad as Me

You can always rely on Tom Waits to put out a good album. This one, however, might be my favorite from him... ever.

4. Band of Heathens - Top Hat Crown & The Clapmaster's Son

I had never heard of these guys prior to this album. I won a copy from a local radio station. I also won tickets to see these guys perform at a local club, but couldn't make it. Still kicking myself over that. This album could be a love letter to New Orleans... And then comes the song about the Katrina disaster. Devastating. And the way the singers voices blend when singing about it can bring tears to your eyes.

5. Seasick Steve - You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

Another artist I was unfamiliar with until earlier this year. I read an article about this guy in a British music magazine and decided to check him out. I am very glad I did. Pure blues, played by a guy that truly deserves to be singing them. And dud can play the HELL out of his guitar, too.

6. Superheavy - Superheavy

A supergroup that actually deserves the title. This is some of the most interesting music made in 2011.

7. John Hiatt - Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns

Welcome back Mr Hiatt. I missed you on those last few albums you released.

8. Ryan Adams - Ashes & Fire

Welcome back Mr Adams. I missed you on those last few albums you released.

9. R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now

Welcome back R.E.M. I missed you on those last few albums you released.

10. Warren Haynes - Man In Motion

Great music from a great musician with a great pickup band. What more do you need?

Best historical release:

The Beach Boys - SMiLE

Oh. My. GOD!

Biggest Disappointment:

The Who - Quadrophenia (Deluxe Edition)

This could have and should have so much more than it was. From the only bonus tracks being Pete Townshend demos (with newly overdubbed drums) to only getting 7 songs on the DVD-A 5.1 mix supplemental disc, almost everything about this was 2nd rate compared to other "Deluxe Editions" released in 2011.

Speaking of which...

Special Mention:

Jethro Tull - Aqualung (40th Anniversary Edition)

If you are a fan of this band or this album GO BUY THIS NOW! The remixing / remastering is quite possibly the best ever done for a reissue, ever. Finally, this album sounds like it should. Listen especially to Clive Bunker's drums and how they now boom instead of thud. Amazing and revelatory!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blame It On The Rain

I wonder how long they'll continue to push their narrative until they start to understand that the public is no longer buying it? Fox Blames Weather For Weak Turnout At Tea Party Rally

Monday, March 21, 2011

Great Article at Daily Kos

As I stand by in my support for the working people of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, ant the rest, I present a link to a nice little article at the Daily Kos website.

If strike we must, strike we will. The only way to make the bigwigs listen is to hit them where it hurts the most... their pockets.