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The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Music news, rumors, what you're listening to, how you're listening to it and whether it's all on the up-and-up.

Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Igor » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:28 am

dave esmond wrote:I wish I would have known about the Easybeats when I was 13.


Oh yeah - back to the Easybeats. I anxiously await the reviews of Flash and The Pan, who I'm pretty sure invented rap or the spoken word or something.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kenneth Burns » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:34 am

Years ago my alt-country band the Junkers used to play the Eagles' "Peaceful Easy Feeling" at shows. Someone asked why we played the Eagles and not Gram Parsons. Answer: We liked "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and never bothered to learn any Gram Parsons.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kyle Motor » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:39 am

Igor wrote:
dave esmond wrote:I wish I would have known about the Easybeats when I was 13.


Oh yeah - back to the Easybeats. I anxiously await the reviews of Flash and The Pan, who I'm pretty sure invented rap or the spoken word or something.

I picked up (or minicat gave me) a Flash and The Pan LP. Now that was some awful, synthy, 80s'ed-out sludge. No thanks.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:46 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:Glenn Frey is underrated as a singer.
Evidence, please.

Igor wrote:As I believe I have said here before, when the best musician in your band is the drunk guy, you may not be a very good band.
I am totally stealing this.

Igor wrote:It cannot be overstated how much Hotel California and The Long Run got overplayed on local radio.
No need for the past tense, at least as far as "Hotel" is concerned. That shows up on the radio nearly every time I'm out driving still. And I generally leave it on.

dave esmond wrote:My love of Joe Walsh allows me to ignore his being in the Eagles.
Yep. Pretty much how I feel. And let's be honest: Joe Walsh solo records aren't exactly solid from start to finish anyway. Handful of awesome surrounded by a lot of too-long dullness, sometimes in the same song.

dave esmond wrote:Jackson Browne had David Lindley.
He can keep him.

Igor wrote:I anxiously await the reviews of Flash and The Pan, who I'm pretty sure invented rap or the spoken word or something.
Gonna be a long wait, I'm sorry to say. I don't own any. I've checked out a handful of their songs over the years that folks have recommended, but nothing's ever clicked for me.

Igor wrote:Sorry for causing some of the tangents, but I think that is (partly) the point.
Nah -- that's pretty much the whole point, actually.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kenneth Burns » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:50 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Kenneth Burns wrote:Glenn Frey is underrated as a singer.
Evidence, please.

That he's underrated? Or that he's ... a singer?
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby dave esmond » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:54 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Yep. Pretty much how I feel. And let's be honest: Joe Walsh solo records aren't exactly solid from start to finish anyway. Handful of awesome surrounded by a lot of too-long dullness, sometimes in the same song.


Spot on.

Honestly there's more low and medium spots then high. But the highs are SO high.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby minicat » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:17 pm

Kyle Motor wrote:
Igor wrote:
dave esmond wrote:I wish I would have known about the Easybeats when I was 13.


Oh yeah - back to the Easybeats. I anxiously await the reviews of Flash and The Pan, who I'm pretty sure invented rap or the spoken word or something.

I picked up (or minicat gave me) a Flash and The Pan LP. Now that was some awful, synthy, 80s'ed-out sludge. No thanks.


Yeah, I gave that to you as a warning that we can apparently ignore Flash & the Pan. I've read over the years that they're good, but I've yet to hear much of any evidence of it.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby flanneljammies » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:23 pm

I remember liking the record I have, but then I haven't listened to it in almost 30 years.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Marvell » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:36 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
dave esmond wrote:Jackson Browne had David Lindley.

He can keep him.


Oh, snap!

Those El-Rayo X albums are pretty great, or at least the first two are. Very Greasy is a little less so - Linda Ronstadt produced the album, so maybe it's all her fault.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby acereraser » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:47 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
Kenneth Burns wrote:Glenn Frey is underrated as a singer.
Evidence, please.

That he's underrated? Or that he's ... a singer?


Here is some evidence. See, when he's shaving in the bathroom stall? Sure looks like he's singing.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby scratch » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:17 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:Years ago my alt-country band the Junkers used to play the Eagles' "Peaceful Easy Feeling" at shows. Someone asked why we played the Eagles and not Gram Parsons. Answer: We liked "Peaceful Easy Feeling" and never bothered to learn any Gram Parsons.


Kenneth, was this a utilitarian choice or do you and your bandmates simply not much care for the Grievous Angel's oeuvre? He seems to have occasionally been a bit much for others to put up with in person, but I thought liking GP's stuff was kind of an article of faith in alt-country.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:33 pm

I admire him more than I enjoy his music, I think because he wasn't that strong a singer. He indeed prefigured much thin alt-country warbling to come. The article of faith in our band was liking Waylon Jennings.
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:57 am

Billy Eckstine -- I am not sure when or why I acquired this CD, and while it's packed with performances from lots of great jazz folks I admire (Earl Hines, Art Blakely, Dizzy Gillespie, Gene Ammons, Budd Johnson, etc.) and I like a lot of big band/bop stuff, I wasn't particularly enamored of this disc. And the best way to describe what dragged it down for me -- as odd as this sounds coming from a guy who admits to preferring music recorded before he was born -- is that it sounds really, really dated. Big band always sounds somewhat dated, of course, but it's really Eckstine's vocals that I find so ancient sounding. He's very mannered and sounds almost unnatural. This was my fave track on here (probably cuz it's mostly instrumental). The liner notes assure me that Eckstine's big band was on the cutting edge, being one of the first bop groups in that format, but to me, this mostly sounds like soundtrack music to a not-particularly-hip old Hollywood movie.

Duane Eddy -- I'm guessing some of my guitar-player friends will jump in to tell me how brilliant this stuff is, but beyond the obvious fact that Eddy is technically great, he didn't make very interesting records, IMHO. On CD, I own Have "Twangy" Guitar Will Travel, $1,000,000,000 Worth Of Twang Vol. II, and a disc of collected singles and odds and ends. There's no denying the guy's a great guitar player, but ridiculous song selection, cheeseball arrangements, and a lot of sameyness make for pretty dull listening in large chunks. 2½ minutes at a time is great. 150 minutes at a stretch? Not so much.

Dave Edmunds -- Sadly for this project, I don't have Tracks On Wax 4 on CD, as that's probably my favorite of his albums, but still, what I do have is mostly pretty great, and representative of my favorite kind of roots-rock-n-countryish-roll. Edmunds has great taste and a fantastic, underrated voice.
1971's (mostly) one-man-band Rockpile album is pretty neat -- great song selection and loopy charm. Kicking off with a great version of "Down Down Down the album is chockful of delights, including a fantastic version of Dylan's "Outlaw Blues". The CD bonus tracks round out a pretty-great solo debut (we'll get to his pre-solo band Love Sculpture eventually. Strange stuff.)
The only other two albums of his I have on CD are 1977's Get It and 1979's Repeat When Necessary (the latter being a full-fledged Rockpile album.) Both are fantastic. Get It features Dave's awesome version of Bob Seger's "Get Out Of Denver" (which Rockpile rocked the shit out of live), a version of Nick Lowe's "I Knew The Bride", which I prefer to Lowe's later re-recording, some straight-up country roots-rock like "Worn Out Suits, Brand New Pockets", the always-welcome "Juju Man" (I can't find the Edmunds version online, but here he is sharing the vocals with Billy Bremner in Rockpile) and lots more pleasures.
Repeat When Necessary is in some ways even better, now that Rockpile is a full-time, full-fledged band with a couple years of jamming under their belts. The new wave influences are stronger and there's more straight-up power pop. It kicks off with his magnificient version of Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk", dives into the driving rock and roll showstopper "Crawling From The Wreckage" (which Rockpile played at a truly breakneck speed live), and then just gets weirder. I could do without "Queen Of Hearts", but the version of "Take Me For A Little While" is interesting, and Huey Lewis's "Bad Is Bad" which closes the record (thankfully) sounds nothing like the later hit version from Sports.
The rest of what I have on CD is leftover tracks from the Rhino 2CD best-of. Stray cuts from 1975's Subtle As A Flying Mallet and 1978's Tracks On Wax 4 (like the fantastic "Trouble Boys" and "Never Been In Love") bump elbows with decidedly inferior dreck from his ill-conceived Jeff Lynne-(over)produced garbage dumps from '83 and '84. In between are highlights from 1981's Twangin', which features the death throes of Rockpile (plus the emergence of The Stray Cats) and 1982's DE7, which alternates between inspired covers like Springsteen's "From Small Things, Big Things Come" and insipid ones like "Me And The Boys".
I could ramble on about how much I love this kind of stuff all day, but instead I'll just leave you with this sensational Edmunds/Lowe-penned single from 1976. Perfect.

Willie Egan -- Wow Wow is the disc I have, and it is some really fucking great, hard-rockin' R&B. Highlights: "Wear Your Black Dress", "Wow Wow", and "I Don't Know Where She Went", which is unfortunately unavailable on YouTube.

The 8th Day -- decidedly second-rate Holland-Dozier-Holland stuff from their Invictus label. "She's Not Just Another Woman" is a snappy single, but the two-albums-on-one-CD I have gets bogged down in drippy ballads and Jesus-loving. The second album has more jazzy instrumentals, but none of it really catches fire. For completists only.

Elastica -- Boy, I haven't listened to this is a loooooong time. The best stuff -- "Line Up" and "Connection", for example -- still sound pretty great (I always have loved Wire...) but there's some dire stuff here too (I'm looking at you "Indian Song".) Apart from the self-titled LP, I also have the "Stutter" CD single and the Waking Up EP. I don't think I'll wait another 15 years to listen again, but I doubt this'll end up in heavy rotation, either.

Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie -- I have the Roy And Diz CD and it is delightful. I find I don't really have the vocabulary or knowledge for talking jazz with much depth, but I really enjoyed jamming this, which I'd completely forgotten I owned.

Next up... Electric Light Orchestra!
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby scratch » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:07 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:[bNext up... Electric Light Orchestra!


Can Emerson, Lake, and Palmer be far behind? Break out the No-Doz!

I enjoyed your Edmunds and Eddy assessments. Now I'm starting to regret divesting of my Edmunds vinyl (which was all the Dave Edmunds I had...)
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Re: The Giant Wagstaff CD Listening Project Thread

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:57 pm

I just checked my shelf to be sure... nope, no Emerson, Lake and Palmer (or Powell, for that matter.) Whew!

The ELO jam is in full swing, but I'll wait until I've finished and give them the full review they deserve. The next shelf (which won't even finish out the letter E) has a bunch of heavily represented big guns coming up, most notably Duke Ellington, which is gonna be quite a project in and of itself.
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