Mar 202021
A mono fetishist captured in the wild

The other day, EPG exulted in passing about having scored a mono copy of “Blonde On Blonde.” At first, I was like, whatever, you’re a record dealer, Dylan crazies will probably pay you a jillion dollars for that album, good for you, etc.

Then I got to wondering: is Gergley one of those people who thinks that mono is inherently superior to stereo? Such people do exist. I believe Joey Ramone was one — the lead singer guy from the Lyres was another. But there are others.

I’m not talking about people who think that music originally mixed in mono should be listened to in mono. I’m one of those people. I’m especially one of those people when it comes to the Beatles, up to the White Album. The Beatles themselves presided over their mixes, tweaking them to their detailed specifications, in mono. Then they went out to have a beer while the boffins dragged all the instruments over to this channel, and all the vocals to that one, and made the band’s stereo “mixes.” No thank you!

But I’m not asking whether you agree with me about the Beatles mono vs. stereo mixes. Anybody who disagrees with me there has rocks in his head. I’m wondering whether there are any arguments to be made for mono’s inherent superiority over stereo, in any circumstance. What do you think?

I look forward to your responses.


Mar 172021

I remember a conversation I had at a record store with an owner that knew me well and when I was buying some music she said, “You really like live albums, don’t you?” I said, “I suppose, but doesn’t everyone?” She was emphatic when she said that so far as she could tell most people didn’t like them at all. Since I was thinking about it, I decided I’d take a look when I got home and see how many live albums I really have. If I include The Stones, it’s a ton but I wasn’t thinking specifically about them. I was thinking more about everyone else. She was right. I seem to like live albums.

Right now, I’m listening to one of the two AC/DC albums I have. I have Back in Black and If You Want Blood. I haven’t played Back in Black in 25 years and I doubt I’ve listened to If You Want Blood in a long time, either. I didn’t have to get far in my record collection to come across my first live album, and it wasn’t even AC/DC, that was the second one. While I’m listening to it I remember why I bought it. When I was in school AC/DC was one of the newer bands kids listened to, and I never really liked their sound. They sound so produced and artificially gigantic on their studio records. A friend had the ‘74 Jailbreak record and I seem to remember that was hard to find or expensive, but I liked that one because they sounded like I thought they should. My friend told me this one was easier to find, and I’d probably like it just as much. It’s never been one of my most played records, but I definitely like this better than all their studio records. They sound like 5 guys blasting some decent rock ‘n roll and not some polished studio product.

I think the first live album I ever bought was either Joe Walsh’s You Can’t Argue With a Sick Mind or Bob Seger’s Live Bullet. We used to call that one Double Live Bullet when we were kids. I don’t know why the amount of records in the package was added, but we definitely called it that. That Joe Walsh album was one of my favorites when I was 14. I had it on 8-track and I took it everywhere with my Panasonic Dynamite 8. I seem to remember having Bob Seger on vinyl but it’s definitely not the same copy I own now. Those were really huge records in Cleveland in the middle of the ’70s. I bet the Classic Rock station still plays songs from the Bob Seger album every day. Bob’s Beautiful Loser album was actually a thing in Cleveland but not half the thing those songs became when the live album came out.

I still buy live albums. If someone asks me what Rory Gallagher they should check out on Spotify I used to tell them Irish Tour ’74, but now I tell them Check Shirt Wizard, which is the same band he had in ’74, but it’s recorded in 78 and Rory dissolved that band after this tour. It’s some tight, loud Blues Rock that’s probably a little faster than the more straight Blues from ’74. Then, Neil Young is releasing practically every concert he ever recorded lately. I stay clear of the ones with just Neil and an acoustic guitar and I had written Neil of well before Ragged Glory, but the recent release with Crazy Horse, Way Down in the Rust Bucket, has been getting a lot of attention from me since it came out. I liked his Tuscaloosa album with the Stray Gators a lot, too.

As I look at my records, I see I definitely have a lot from the ’70s. I suppose that’s kind of the heyday for live albums. Some of them aren’t really even all that “live.” Get Your Ya-Ya’s Out has a lot of extra studio work to it. Jumpin’ Jack Flash sounds completely reworked. It’s a great record, though. I don’t really know why so many people don’t seem to like live records. There’s good ones coming out all the time. If you look for the Live at Third Man Records series you can find some newer bands in that series and they sound real good and they’re really inexpensive. I’ve got Blitzen Trapper from 2016, and I play it pretty often. They have a ton of them, from Wanda Jackson to Waxahatchee. Then there’s the New West Live From Austin City Limits series. Man, these are great!  I’ve got Steve Earle, Neko Case, and Tony Joe White and I’d definitely buy more.

Do you like live albums? Does it matter if they have studio work done to make them “better?” If you don’t like them, why not?

Mar 142021

Let’s take a break from talking about the quality of certain artists and whether cheese is palatable or not and talk about what everyone really cares about: aesthetics. Who cares if you have technical skill if you’re not looking snazzy while doing it. In all seriousness, I’d love to hear what your opinions are on some of the best looking or coolest guitars, basses, drums, or whatever other instruments are.

I suppose it wouldn’t be fair for me to ask without contributing something, so I’m going to give two. First would be this weird Strat that Todd Mohr is using here. I don’t know if I actually like the upside down headstock and f-hole on the Strat, or if it’s just so weird that I can’t help but admire it.

Second has to be all this custom synth housing in the Crowded House live-from-home video. The arrangement of it all and the variety of sound that you can get from shoving different electronics in the same body is interesting. Again, I have my doubts about this one, but I admire his commitment to finding a style that works for him and hammering it into the ground.

That’s enough out of me and my takes, I’d like to hear everyone else’s.

Mar 122021

Here’s the place to do your thing, whether it’s to share a link or an interesting aside or to go on a free-form trolling expedition because you are incapable of finding a way into others’ threads!

Mar 112021

We do it all the time: mention a band at a party, or over a beer, and somebody — probably you — will trot out some tired old anecdote involving scandal, madness, debauchery, or cruelty to show that you know what you’re supposed to know about the artist in question. Like Mikey dying from drinking a coke after eating Pop Rocks, it may or may not actually be true, but who cares? It’s a story everybody knows, so it becomes lingua franca.

But let’s make this a bit more fun, shall we? Imagine you’re at a party, and someone says:

“What was the name of that band/artist… you know, the one…”

…followed by a shallow, regurgitated bit of lore, like:

“… that shoved a freshly caught mackerel into a groupie’s cooter?”

Okay, that one is easy. But try these on for size. Or add your own! But do let us know what band or artist the party bore is jawboning about.

  1. “… where the lead singer freaked out on acid and started to believe that dogs were Gods because they were spelled the same, backwards.” — ANSWER: SKY SAXON

2. “…. where the guy killed himself by throwing himself in front of an oncoming train.”

3. “… where the guy’s mom made him get electro-shock therapy, after he tried to jump off the roof at a party.”


5. “… where the lead singer and guitarist took so many drugs, they paid to have their entire blood supply replaced, just so they’d survive touring.” — ANSWER: AEROSMITH

6. “… where the lead singer used to come out on stage wearing nothing but a bed sheet with a hole cut in it. He’d lift the sheet up while singing, and get blow jobs from the chicks in the audience. That’s why the band’s performances used to be rated X!” — ANSWER: GEORGE CLINTON

7. “…where the guy used to cut himself with broken glass on stage.” — ANSWER: IGGY POP

8. “… where the guy, like, stayed in bed for, like, ten years or something.” — ANSWER: BRIAN WILSON

9. “…where the lead guitarist used to get panties thrown at him at every show. He was like a huge sex symbol back in the 70s, but he’s a nobody now.”

10. “… where the guy supposedly had the biggest dick in show business back in the 40s and 50s.”

11. “…where the guy got so turned on by the plaster mold the ‘plaster casters’ were using to get a model of his wang, that he started fucking it!” — ANSWER: HENDRIX

I look forward to your responses.


Mar 092021

Once in a while, I feel like something’s going on that I’m not getting. In the words of Elvis’s second greatest hits package, “50 million fans can’t be wrong.”

Avalon, Roxy Music.

The wife and I are obsessed with the TV show Doc Martin. Can’t get enough of it. We’re on the 6th season, and it just keeps getting better and better. And that more or less goes for just about anything we’ve seen recently from the BBC. Don’t know much about how they function, but it seems like there’s some kind of stipulation in project contracts stating characters must look, sound, and act like real people. Doc, played by Martin Clunes, is best described as homely and doesn’t suffer fools; his wife is pleasantly attractive and talented, definitely not a Barbie bimbo; Bert, who can’t cook to save his life, weighs more than Haystacks Calhoun; and Bert’s son and business partner is the twin of one my most beloved grade partners (yet another reason why I’m hooked, I miss the guy). In short, they’re real.


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