Wood Burning

I Ain't Raisin' No Sand

Monday, November 24, 2014

To Foo, Or Not To Foo

It's not often that a cover version improves upon the original. 

On my return flight, the trusty ol' iPod shuffled into a tune by Australian pop rocker Michael Carpenter, a man who has released a good share of meaty power pop records, as well as at least 5 albums of covers. I obviously have these covers, because one of them, the Foo Fighters' "Everlong," began to play. I did not recognize the song or the artist, but I was mesmerized.

As my love for Dave Grohl grows deeper with each passing episode of "Sonic Highways," I decided to revisit some of the earlier Foo Fighters material that I recall liking, but have rarely returned to since its release. I listened to "Everlong," which I recall being a hit.

Grohl said this about "Everlong":

“That song’s about a girl that I’d fallen in love with and it was basically about being connected to someone so much, that not only do you love them physically and spiritually, but when you sing along with them you harmonise perfectly.”

I love the lyrics, but I am not in love with the Foos arrangement. I'm getting more out of Michael Carpenter's version of "Everlong." 

Carpenter's is up top and the Foos is below.

See what you think.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Songs Of The Week 6.0: 11/8-11/21

On The Road Again- Pete Townshend
Next To You- Hans Rotenberry & Brad Jones
Honky Tonk- Levon & The Hawks
Same Old Thing- The Olympics
Ghetto Child- The Spinners
The Phone Call- The Pretenders
Neurotic World- Liam Finn
Halo- Depeche Mode
Let Me Go- Heaven 17
What's He Building?- Tom Waits
Last Boy Over The Moon- Sutherland Bros. & Quiver
Cold Ethyl- Alice Cooper
Heaven's Falling- Cheap Trick
I Understand- The Ink Spots


Friday, November 21, 2014

Turning on the lights, dusting off the furniture. See you tomorrow, up and running.

Glad to be back.

Friday, November 14, 2014


It's been a long time coming. I am leaving town for a week. Traveling with some of the best guys I know to visit some more of the best guys I know.

Please keep the place tidy while I'm gone. Maybe dig through the archives and find something good you might have missed. Be nice to Todd.

I will return.

In the meantime, here's a little something to listen to.


Vacation- John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (feat. Mick Taylor)
Vacation Time- Chuck Berry
Flying- The Beatles
Florida- Chris Ligon
One Sunny Day- Fleetwood Mac
Sunny Afternoon (BBC)- The Kinks
Talking A Vacation From Myself- Ingrid Lucia
Sunny Feeling- Wilco
Sunny- Stevie Wonder
Flying- Faces
On The Sunny Side Of The Street- Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins
Good Vibrations- The Beach Boys


See you next week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stream Baby Stream

The death of the compact disc was inevitable.

"Everything dies baby, that's a fact."

During my heyday as a retailer, I did not see it coming. Maybe I didn't want to see it. This particular occupation was something I had planned on doing for many years to come. When it all began to go to hell in a handbasket, my business partner and I wrote about our woes. You can read that HERE.

It was easy to blame illegal downloading, but after spending 12 hours a day for 15 years talking to music lovers, very few stopped buying music because they were on a BitTorrent site grabbing the new Jessica Simpson CD. People stopped buying CDs because CDs became too expensive and to add insult to injury, the loyal music buyers began to feel betrayed when the labels began repackaging the same music over and over, with promises of "new and unreleased material" that had already been purchased.

Illegal downloading was the scapegoat for label greed. Maybe it turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy. But fans who would sneak cassette players into concert halls to tape their favorite bands still bought every single release. No one was substituting a copy of "Led Zeppelin IV" with a fair sounding bootleg from a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970.

I'm thinking about this now in the wake of the Spotify backlash. You can read that HERE. The message is simple: Spotify does not pay out enough royalties to artists. "Streaming is killing the music industry."

Oh please! You cannot kill something twice.

Seven years after my shop shut its doors for good, I spend 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, searching for records, cleaning records, photographing records and listing records all with the hope of selling records. It is a far cry from owning a shop. People used to come to me. Now I have to find them. But through it all, through the everyday schlep and the disappointing returns, I still spend a portion of what little I make on music. I have to. Understand?

I love Spotify. I pay for Spotify. And as long as Scott Muni and Alison Steele remain dead, Spotify will serve as my radio. And if I get to hear the new Tommy Keene record on Spotify and I like it, I am buying it. I still believe that practice takes place.

Then there is the case of Robert Plant. And Neil Young. And so many other major artists who release their music on this new hot format called vinyl at $40 a clip. So in these instances, maybe I am just streaming, though I would have happily purchased the Robert Plant album if it didn't cost four times more than my average copay at my doctor.

A respected musician, a guitar player who is against Spotify and its business model, said this on a Facebook thread,  "If I had a dollar everytime I heard the word exposure..." He also mentions how as a session player and a writer, he has had close to a million streams but has only received an embarrassing payout.  When you read each individual story, and find out first hand just what goes into being a working musician and just how little compensation there is, you can sympathize. But with all due respect to this one musician and to this one story, his situation, with his status, would most likely have been exactly the same, less the one million hits.

I don't believe Spotify is the enemy.

What is the answer? Certainly not the circus that is Taylor Swift's principles.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Love That Bob? Make Room For Zimmy?

Just when I finally come around to Dylan's Christian period. I find out he had a "slapstick period." According to Rolling Stone magazine, "Producer and writer Larry Charles has revealed that he and Bob Dylan conceived a surrealist comedy series for HBO in the Nineties that never came to fruition. "He'd gotten deeply into Jerry Lewis, and he wanted to make a slapstick comedy," the TV vet said. Moreover, Charles revealed that "he wanted to star in it, almost like a Buster Keaton or something."

You can read all about it here.

I find this hard to believe, just like most of Volume One of Dylan's memoirs, but boy, the possibilities are endless.

And then there's this

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Songs Of The Week 6.0: 11/1-11/7

April 5th- Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash & Kris Kristofferson
Tragedy- Peter Wolf & ShelbyLynne
Baker Street- Foo Fighters
Ev'rybody Has The Right To Be Wrong- Frank Sinatra
Standing In The Shadow- Adrian Belew
Postcard- Blossom Toes
The End Of The End- Paul McCartney