Category Archives: Sounds like bull to me

A smaller Christmas, Day 22

Tonight, we present “Scrooge.”

In the two years since we last enjoyed watching George Thorogood and the Destroyers frolicking on the MTV set in 1985, that clip has been removed from YouTube. It was the one with John Lee Hooker as Santa, the one with Martha Quinn dancing with Santa, and the one with Mark Goodman getting a nice long smooch from a cutie under the mistletoe. Bummer.

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Sorry about that? Oh, come on. Guess we don’t want new generations to enjoy a classic.

On to Billy Squier, then! Let’s watch him lip-sync it with the MTV VJs and crew. As always, the question remains: Nina Blackwood or Martha Quinn?

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“Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You,” Billy Squier, 1981, from “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas,” 1995.

Yeah, this CD is still around, and it’s still one of the best compilations. I saw it at Barnes & Noble earlier this month.

Your Christmas music requests in the comments, please.

Please visit our other blog, The Midnight Tracker, for more vintage vinyl, one side at a time.

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Filed under Christmas music, December 2012, Sounds, Sounds like bull to me

Oh, yeah, and get off my lawn, too

It started innocently enough on Facebook earlier today.

My friend Gary shared a link to the Tap ‘N’ Run 4K, a series of short races in the Midwest in which the runners dress in costume and stop for beer along the way.

“It’s like they developed this event just for me!” Gary said.

I saw that and said “You’ve not heard of the Beer Belly Two?”

The Beer Belly has been a Green Bay tradition for the last 23 years, offering beer, root beer or water at rest stops along the two-mile course.

Until this year, that is.

“Beer Belly doesn’t let you drink during the race anymore,” Gary’s friend wrote.

Sad but true. Even though there had never been a problem in any of the previous 23 years, the authorities nixed the beer on the Beer Belly course for this morning’s race. Oooh, it violates the open container ordinance, they fretted. Oooh, there might be underage drinking, they fretted.

Which comes as no surprise from a community that also has banned skateboarding downtown.

We now call Mr. Dave Edmunds to the stand.

I’m tired of you telling me what I ought to do
Stickin’ your nose in my business, don’t concern you
It’s my own business, it’s my own business
Seems like the ones that want to tell you
They don’t ever know as much as you

“It’s My Own Business,” Dave Edmunds, from “Tracks On Wax 4,” 1978. It’s out of print but is available digitally.

It’s a cover of a little-known Chuck Berry song off his “Fresh Berrys” LP from 1966. It covers some of the same ground as “Too Much Monkey Business,” another of my fave Chuck Berry tunes from 1956.

Please visit our other blog, The Midnight Tracker, for more vintage vinyl, one side at a time.

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Filed under June 2012, Sounds, Sounds like bull to me

Saturday Single, still alive

In the sometimes bizarro landscape of the Internet, one of our regular stops has gone missing.

Our friend Whiteray’s fine blog, Echoes in the Wind, was — as we say in the newspaper biz — spiked the other day. It apparently had been on double secret probation with the Blogger folks.

Thankfully, it is only temporary insanity. Whiteray says he’ll be back next week with a new blog host. Echoes in the Wind returns Tuesday, thanks to our friends at WordPress.

One of the regular features we enjoyed at Whiteray’s blog was the Saturday Single.

Here, then, is a Saturday Single to tide you over until Echoes in the Wind returns to its regular programming. Whiteray graciously sent it our way when we needed it a while back. We’re delighted to return the favor.

It’s delightfully appropriate, too. We invoked it last summer when a certain gunslinging quarterback wouldn’t stay retired. I suspect Whiteray might want to invoke it regarding his former blog host.

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“I’m Doin’ Fine Now,” New York City, from “I’m Doin’ Fine Now,” 1973. A delightful slice of early ’70s R&B/soul/pop, produced by Thom Bell and released on 7-inch single as Chelsea 0113.

(The buy link is to a 1993 CD reissue with five extra songs. Buyer beware, though. The sound quality is said to be lacking.)

Oh, and one more thing: Happy birthday, Whiteray.

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Filed under September 2009, Sounds, Sounds like bull to me

Plenty cheesy

You may have heard in the news last week that a certain professional athlete seems to be having a tough time making up his mind.

When we last wrote about this athlete, he had decided to retire and leave our town — Green Bay, Wisconsin — for good, or so it seemed. That occasion brought to mind just one tune. I don’t have it, so enjoy this video.

“I’m Tired,” as performed by Madeline Kahn in the 1974 film “Blazing Saddles.”

“I’m tired/Tired of playing the game/Ain’t it a crying shame/I’m so tired/God dammit I’m exhausted”

“Tired, tired of playing the game/Ain’t it a crying shame/I’m so tired”

Now, however, this athlete apparently is no longer tired. That brings to mind one more tune, and one tune only. I don’t have this one, either, so enjoy this video.

“Release Me,” Englebert Humperdinck, from his 1969-70 television show.

“Please release me, let me go/For I don’t love you anymore/To waste our lives would be a sin/So release me and let me love again

“Please release me, can’t you see?/You’d be a fool to cling to me/To live a life would bring us pain/So release me and let me love again”

For those of us who must continue to report about this athlete, and for the many fans of his team, the latest news brings to mind another tune, and one tune only. Again, I don’t have this one, so enjoy the video.

“I’m Doing Fine Now,” New York City, from 1973.

“I’m doing fine now, without you, baby”

A perfect song in, oh, so many ways.

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Filed under July 2008, Sounds like bull to me

I’m (no longer) Eighteen

Last month, undecided about whether to go see Alice Cooper when he came to town, I wrote a post about that. I confessed that I’d passed on previous opportunities to see Alice, saying I was just a casual fan. Still, the consensus was that I should go. So I went last night.

I have to be honest with you. It was one of the most disappointing shows I’ve seen in a long time.

Please don’t think I was naive about what I was going to see. Horror chiller thriller theater combined with hard rock. That it was. And, yes, it did have its moments, but not enough of them.

Easily the best thing was Eric Singer’s terrific drumming. A big sound, energetically delivered. Quite a treat.

They played most everything you’d want to hear, so no complaints there.

That said …

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Alice was OK, but it’s hard to buy his stage persona when he’s so otherwise intent on selling himself as nice guy, family man, golf fanatic, radio host, businessman. (Gene Simmons has the same problem these days.)

The rest of the band played with lots of energy, but the guitarists seemed in tune for only the first half of the show. If not that, then the sound mix left something to be desired.

The problem may be that Alice’s albums often are so lushly produced, so lushly orchestrated, that it’s impossible to reproduce that sound on the live stage with just two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer. The live show lacks the nuances of the albums, the quiet moments that give the shocks more sudden impact. Then again, that may be on purpose, old tunes given a new interpretation I really don’t dig.

After last month’s post, Willie left a comment that he’d seen Alice do an all-request show with no costumes or theatrics.

I’d rather have seen that show.

Easily the most disturbing thing was this: Anytime there was make-believe violence of any kind on stage, a young guy off to my left went absolutely ape shit. I don’t want to know what’s in that guy’s head.

Easily the scariest thing was this: One of our local TV anchors, wearing a biker’s black cutoff T-shirt, jeans and pointy-toed boots.

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Yeah, this guy.

If you’re curious about the visual aspect of Alice’s show, check out this blog and these photos, both from Alice’s show at the Missouri State Fair on Aug. 11. The show here looked much the same. (The photo of Alice is by Chuck Zimmerman, from his AgWired blog, also from last week’s show at the Missouri State Fair.)

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Filed under August 2007, Sounds like bull to me

My oldies station does not want me

Well, maybe it would like me to listen. But it clearly does not want my opinion about the music it plays.

The other night, I received a call from a woman with a honeyed Southern accent, asking whether I’d be willing to attend a local gathering to help rate music. Sure, I said.

Then she asked what radio station I most often listened to. I told her WAPL, our local rock dinosaur in this corner of Wisconsin (and whose playlist certainly can be described as “oldies”).

Then she asked whether I listened to an oldies station. Sure, from time to time, I said. She asked me which one. I drew a blank.

Oh, OK. Never mind. Thanks, but no thanks. Uninvited.

Shunned by what I am guessing is WOGB. It’s owned by Cumulus Media, based in Atlanta. That would explain the honeyed Southern accent.

I ran this past a friend who knows a lot more about radio than I do. He assured me it’s standard procedure. He also can explain it much better than I can:

“My guess is that for some reason they want to exclude people who cross over between ‘APL and whatever the oldies station is up there, although for what reason I don’t know. … These focus groups generally rely heavily on the station’s core listeners, because they’re the people most likely to have opinions about the station; the vast majority of people like their favorite stations but don’t obsess about it.”

OK, I’ll buy that. After all, I might have suggested they play oldies like …

One from 1969: “Kick Out The Jams,” by the MC5. You really ought to.

Or one from 1971: “We Got To Have Peace,” by Curtis Mayfield. Yes, we do.

Or one from 1974: “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” by Gil Scott-Heron. Hey, I heard it on FM radio in Wausau, Wisconsin, when it came out in 1974, so why not now?

Or one from 1975: “Fight The Power (Part I),” by the Isley Brothers.

Nah, they’ll never play any of that. Talk about your bullshit going down.

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Filed under April 2007, Sounds like bull to me

The big tent is closed

Today was a bittersweet day here in Green Bay, and it had nothing to do with a snowstorm in the middle of April.

The Packers’ schedule came out, so everyone can plan their social calendar for the rest of the year.

However, our local casino announced it was ending the summer concert series at its outdoor pavilion after six years, leaving a gaping hole in my social calendar.

The shows I saw in the big tent at Oneida: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Little Richard, Lynyrd Skynyrd w/Cross Canadian Ragweed, Cheap Trick, Skynyrd w/Sammy Hagar and the Wabos, Boston, Dwight Yoakam, Billy Idol, Velvet Revolver, the Go-Gos, Sammy Hagar w/the Wabos and Michael Anthony (it’s Van Hagar!), a five-band ’80s extravaganza (Gene Loves Jezebel, Tommy Tutone, Animotion, When In Rome and Flock of Seagulls) and the Allman Brothers Band w/Gov’t Mule.

All just 10 minutes from my house.

Oh, they’ll still have shows at the casino — Johnny Winter, George Jones and Alice Cooper look interesting. They’ll be in the ballroom, though. It’s not quite the same, especially in the summer.

Now I may have to drive an hour to Oshkosh for the Waterfest shows at their outdoor pavilion. Among the possibilities: Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad and an interesting double bill of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Los Straitjackets. Last summer, I couldn’t get off work to see the one show I most wanted to see there — another interesting double bill of the Smithereens and Joan Jett.

Ah, so it goes. I’m tempted to go without tunes tonight to protest the end of Pavilion Nights, but I won’t.

Thought I’d never have a chance to see this national treasure, but I did.

In the big tent. Shut up!

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“Good Golly Miss Molly,” Little Richard, from “The Essential Little Richard,” 1985.

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Filed under April 2007, Sounds like bull to me