Saturday, December 20, 2008

MUSIC: Faves Of 2008

There are good albums every year and this year was no exception. But for reasons I have yet to exactly figure out, most new music just didn’t “taste” as good to me this year and new albums on the whole didn’t do it for me in 2008. Maybe this was just one of those years where the reissues were far more interesting, with Doll By Doll, The Move, Dennis Wilson, and The Replacements leading the way for me on that front, with plenty of others right behind them.

So with the above caveat in mind, here are a few new albums I liked in 2008, in alphabetical order:

The Baseball Project---Volume 1: Frozen Ropes And Dying Quails

Cobra Verde---Haven’t Slept All Year

Ray Davies---Workingman’s CafĂ©

Alejandro Escovedo---Real Animal

Future Clouds And Radar---Peoria

The High Dials---Moon Country

Magnolia Summer---Lines From The Frame

Primal Scream---Beautiful Future


Raphael Saadiq---The Way I See It

Sparks---Exotic Creatures Of The Deep

Steve Wynn---Crossing The Dragon Bridge

No song moved me more on an emotionally sentimental level this year than “Sensitive Boys” from Alejandro Escovedo’s fantastic Real Animal album. If back in the ‘80’s you were in a two guitars, bass, & drums American rock band that wore vintage thrift store clothes, then maybe this song moved you in the same way it moved me.

In my opinion the greatest accomplishment in rock music in 2008 had to be Sparks 21 date run last May & June in London. They called it Sparks Spectacular (click the "more" icon after each album cover), and indeed it was. Over the course of the 21 dates they played every single song in chronological order off every album in their legendary 21 album catalog. As they posted on their website, “That’s approximately 250 songs, or for you musicians, 4 million, 825 thousand, 273 notes.” They had a live web cam thingy going for the shows, and the times I was able to tune in they blew me away no matter what album they were performing that evening. The Maels' top notch band (including Redd Kross' Steven McDonald on bass!) handled the ever changing musical directions of the Sparks’ history quite well, Ron Mael was as genius as always, and Russel Mael’s herculean singing earns him my vote for Musician Of The Year. All of it just total mind blowing stuff on so many levels. A “Sparks Spectacular" search on YouTube will land you all sorts of amateur videos from the shows of varying quality, so fingers are crossed in hopes the product-savvy Maels will release some sort of worthy official document of the event sometime soon.

I saw an embarrassing small number of live shows in 2008. Ian McLagan & The Bump Band at The Duck Room and Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 at Off Broadway were both great, but by far the best rock show I saw in 2008 was Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band at the Scott Trade Center. Best Springsteen show I’ve seen since 1975, and the fanatics are calling it the “best night of the tour” (scroll down to the 8/23 entry).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Turning Curious Rip Download On Power Pop! Criminal$

The Power Pop! Criminal$ website has a rip download posted of the record we cut in 1984 with Mitch Easter, here. The record's pretty scarce these days so give it a spin here if you like, but skip that whack blurb and it's dodgy research! Mitch and Let's Active were never "labelmates" with us on Metro-America, and for the record Turning Curious was Nick Rudd, Jeff Evans, Berni Proeschl, and myself. Dave Wisniewski, now of the Midwest Music Liquidators, also played on these recordings, as Jeff was away from the band and returned to the lineup in the summer of 1984.

Monday, November 17, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Steve Wynn And The Miracle 3, The Love Experts, And Rough Shop At Off Broadway, 11/15

Best Miracle 3 show I've ever seen.
Best Rough Shop show I've ever seen.
And we Love Experts had a pretty good night too...

Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3

(left to right) Jason Victor, Steve Wynn, Jason Victor, Dave DeCastro

The Love Experts

(left to right) Dave Collett, Steve Carosello, Bob Trammel, Dominic Finocchio, Steve Scariano

So old I have to sit down to play our lengthy new one,

Love Experts photos by Donna Shaw

Rough Shop
(left to right) Andy Ploof, Anne Tkach, John Wendland, Spencer Marquart

Givin' the drummers some. Bob Trammel & Linda Pitmon

Steve & Steve blurry after a long night of rock...

Photo by Jason Victor

MUSIC: Steve Wynn And The Miracle 3 At Euclid Records 11/15

Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 played the first of the store's new
In-Store Sessions series.

(left to right) Jason Victor, Linda Pitmon, Steve Wynn, Dave De Castro

Linda recruited Love Experts drummer Bob Trammel for a little maraca help.

Baseball Project members Steve & Linda pose with our display for their album.

MUSIC: Steve Wynn And The Miracle 3 At The John Wendland Surprise Party, Wood House 11/14

Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 played a surprise birthday party at the Wood House for John Wendland of Rough Shop and Memphis To Manchester fame. The Miracle 3 played a fantastic set, about 80% of it requests from the crowd, including bassist Dave DeCastro's spirited lead vocal on the band's impromptu stab at Foghat's "Slow Ride."

(left to right) Jason Victor, Linda Pitmon, Steve Wynn, Dave DeCastro

Jason Victor and Frosty.

The very surprised birthday boy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Upcoming Love Experts Show

Saturday, November 15th at Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave St. Louis MO, 63118:

Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3
The Love Experts
Rough Shop

It's our first live show in two years. If you like scorching electric guitars in your rock music, then you really need to see Steve & the fabulous Miracle 3. They are one of the best live bands in the world today, and lead guitarist Jason Victor will blow your mind. If you like The Band, then you really need to see Rough Shop. It promises to be a special evening of rock, we hope you can make it down. The music starts with Rough Shop at 9pm.

And Mr. Carosello has written a far more eloquent blurb on the show on our MySpace blog.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

POLITICS: My Favorite Celebration Scene From Election Night

Loved seeing the massive crowd outside The White House last night chanting YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! No amount of scotch and Ambien could have knocked W. out and allowed him to sleep over that volume.

Take it away, P-Funk!

POLITICS: Did You Hear It?

10:00pm (CST): Barack Obama wins the election.

10:01pm (CST): The world exhales.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

POLITICS: Put The Message In The Box And VOTE!!!

Here's a video for World Party's "Put The Message In The Box," my favorite song about the act of voting. Now get out there and DO IT!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Yma Sumac, RIP

The Peruvian Songbird's incomparable journey of octaves has come to an end.

Amazing Yma Sumac videos via You Tube, here.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rudy Ray Moore, RIP

The great Rudy Ray Moore has passed. Rudy was a close friend of Vintage Vinyl co-owner Tom Ray, my former employer. I'll never forget the morning I strolled into the Vintage Vinyl office and found Rudy sleeping on the couch with his briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. Does it get any more old school than that? Rudy was definitely an American original, we'll never see talent of his kind again...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

POLITICS: 100,000 For Obama In St. Louis!

Very proud of my city today. Very proud indeed!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake In Chicago Friday Night

Ok Chitown, the Cubs and White Sox are out of the playoffs so there's no excuse to stay home. Prisonshake plays the Empty Bottle this Friday night, October 10th. More info, here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

STEVE ROCK: More Shake Stuff

Prisonshake is #2 on the charts this week over on Howard Thompson's online radio station, North Fork Sound.

Griff has a bunch of interviews and Dirty Moons reviews up on his blog, here.

And here are some photos from our Columbus show, snapped by Doug's sister Carol Enkler:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Shake Stuff

Review of Prisonshake's show in Cleveland on I Rock Cleveland.

A You Tube video from our (bit of a trainwreck) show in Columbus, pics of us in Cleveland taken by Cobra Verde's John Petkovic, and a recap of our weekend in Ohio on Griff's blog, Where The Rock Is.

Hopefully these sights & sounds will put a lot of you in the mood to come see us this Friday night (9/26) at The Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103. If you've never been to The Bluebird do check out the directions on their website---you're gonna need them. We play at 11:30pm, though come early if you can and check out Psychotronics. I'm sure everyone will be needing a drink or two or three after the presidential debate, so come on down to the rock.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Upcoming Prisonshake Shows

Come see our rock:

Friday, September 19th The Summit Columbus, Ohio

Saturday, September 20th Grog Shop Cleveland, Ohio

*Friday, September 26th The Bluebird St. Louis, Missouri

Friday, October 10th Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois

*---This is also the night of the first presidential debate. We are playing last on the bill and the debate will be long over by the time we go on.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake We Have The Technology Interview

Lengthy Prisonshake interview in Cleveland blog-zine We Have The Technology, here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

POLITICS: The View From Over There

A call to arms from my good friend, Tom Lunt:

I've just spent over a week in the United Kingdom, where the prevailing opinion is this: if McCain/Palin are elected, the American experiment is over. They were willing to give us the benefit of the doubt for the last eight years and still have have great hopes for an Obama administration pulling the US out of the fundamentalist swamp, but if he doesn't pull it off, the US will become the permanent pariah of the world–China will control our economy, India will surpass us in technology and education, Russia in military might and the EU and Japan in cultural export. Americans as "stupid, fat, bigoted religious zealots" will no longer be a running joke, it will be an indisputable fact. The world will just write us off. The world is planning–right now– to write us off.

If you haven't given a few bucks to the Obama Campaign, do so immediately. If you have, dig deeper. If you're supporting McPalin, you really should be in a re-education gulag in some bitter-cold, lands-end nowhere. Like Alaska.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake's Dirty Moons Out Now!

Does someone need a punch in the mouth?
"Fuck Your Self Esteem" (Enkler-Griffin), Dirty Moons Side 4, Cut 3.

Or maybe just a crazy kick ass rock n' roll record instead? The kind of old school double album like the ones you grew up with. You remember those records. You'd hit the bong a couple of times, put the headphones on, and then proceed to lose yourself in suspended belief over what you were hearing, all the while wondering what the hell they must have been smoking in order to create such a wonderful noise. Well it took us a few years, but I think we've delivered that kind of album.

In her feature on us in last week's Riverfront Times, Annie Zaleski described Dirty Moons as a record with "Hints of other artists — like Dinosaur Jr, the Stooges, Shellac, Guided By Voices, Bowie, Superchunk, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath — pass by but never linger, forming an oddly alluring, haphazard patchwork quilt of textures and sounds."
Dunno about Dinosaur Jr. (never was a fan), but I think a case can be made for Annie's comparisons, and it's an honor to be mentioned among them. Now of course some folks may disagree and not find the various jams we've laid down on Dirty Moons to be in alignment with their particular sensibilities of rock---and that's OK. There's a ton of information to absorb on Dirty Moons and it may be wise to ignore any immediate impressions until after a dozen listens or so before deciding what turns you off or on about the album. Heck, I don't even know what songs I like better than others, as that list seems to change everyday. Though each side has it's own vibe, feel free to drop the needle anywhere and let 'er rip. Again, there's a lot of variety. And don't let the various levels of lo, mid, and hi fi scare you. Unlike what you hear on most modern sounding records these days, our goal was to keep it real and not mix the passion out.

So here it is, folks. We'd love for everyone to pick up a copy or two or three. And please be aware of the love and care that went into the mastering, pressing, and packaging of the vinyl version of Dirty Moons. Those of you who swing vinyl will definitely be pleased. You should be able to find Dirty Moons in better record stores everywhere, and don't forget the easiest way to get it is always directly from Scat Records, here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

POLITICS: Get Down And Get With It With The Obama-Biden Ticket

In the immortal words of my beloved Slade, it's time to get down and get with it with the Obama-Biden ticket.

I'm very happy with the Obama-Biden ticket. Are you? What's that you say, you're not so thrilled? That's fine, you're a Democrat---it's all about the nit picking and hand wringing with us. So I'm giving you 60 seconds to get all of your bitching, moaning, and crying over it not being Hillary or someone else out of your system. Ok, go:

Stop---time's up! There now, feel better? Good. Because it's time to quit fucking around and get on board. There is only one choice now: You're either with McCain or against him. So unless you're cool with the continuation and acceleration of ANY AND ALL of the Bush-Cheney policies of the last 8 years, then that choice is obvious. Time to get down and get with it and get against McCain. And that means really fucking hard against McCain! Are you still getting any of that "I just don't know about Obama..." silliness from people in your personal universe? Or maybe you're buying into some of that mess yourself? Fine. What you do know, or should know real clearly by now, is what John McCain is all about. So start spreading that word if it's more comfortable for you, but geez folks, by all means start spreading the word. ENGAGE, BABY! Don't fear it. The opposition certainly doesn't and they have no problem telling those they come in contact with everything they consider to be the potential evils of an Obama presidency. So it's up to you to counter back. You know the horrors that a McCain presidency will bring, so speak up! You never know who is actually listening to you and who you might be able to sway. The opposition may want to see Obama defeated way more than they want to see McCain elected, but that still means a McCain presidency. And that is simply UNACCEPTABLE ON EVERY LEVEL!!! The stakes are too high and the choice is clear. Get down and get with it...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake Feature In The Riverfront Times

Annie Zaleski interviews The Griff, here. And that live action photo, snapped by the great Doug Teramura, is one of my all-time favorites of us.

Friday, August 01, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake Dirty Moons Pre-Order

Ok kids, be the first on your block to get our double album of total mammoth rock by pre-ordering it directly from Scat Records, here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer Means Fun

Me with new friend in Love Experts drummer Bob Trammel's pool, 7/5/08.

(Photo by Lisa Perez)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

POLITICS/DRINKING: Mr. Smith Does It Again

The latest happening at my favorite local watering hole, The Royale.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy 9th Birthday Boomer & Soda Can!


Soda Can

Monday, May 05, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Two New Prisonshake Sites

We've entered the world of MySpace with a band page:

Robert has also put up a blog for our Dirty Moons album and other Shake related stuff.
Check it out:

And Dirty Moons has a new release date, as Robert explains on the Scat Records site, here.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

POLITICS: Greatest Jon Stewart Bit Ever?

Someone please pin a medal on the guy. Watch the video, here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Finn's Motel Play Record Store Day At Euclid Records

Thanks to all who came out for the big Record Store Day celebration---we had a blast! Definitely one of our most fun gigs ever as we kicked it three piece today while Matt's away on tour with the Ded Bugs.

(Photos by Diane Paglusch)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Upcoming Finn's Motel Show

Finn's Motel joins Euclid Record's celebration of national Record Store Day, with a live in-store performance at 2pm, this Saturday, April 19th. Euclid Records is located at 601 E. Lockwood in Webster Groves. What's Record Store Day? Euclid Records owner Joe Schwab gives an explanation on the store's blog, here.

Complete schedule of all the artists playing Euclid's Record Store Day celebration, and further info on the day's activities at the store, here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

STEVE ROCK: What Rock and Roll Sounds Like?

Chris Hornbostel, known affectionately to some of us as "The Kid," serves up some nice words on Prisonshake on his very fine pop culture blog Pop Narcotic, here.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake Album Release Date

July 29th is the big day for our Dirty Moons double album. Official word (and dig that album cover!) from the Scat Records site, here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

POLITICS: Obama's Speech On "A More Perfect Union"

Such a long home run, the ball still hasn't landed.

Full transcript & video, here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

POLITICS: Keith Olbermann's Special Comment On Hillary Clinton's Campaign

We're handing McCain the election. Really, we are. So yeah, what Keith said!

Video by way of the Countdown website, here.

Transcript, here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

STEVE ROCK: New Prisonshake Streams

Three new Prisonshake streams from our forthcoming Dirty Moons album, by way of Scat Records, here.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I've been wanting a short scale bass for a while now, and I decided to go with the Waterstone Indra. Waterstone is the cool Nashville based company that also manufactures the Tom Petersson 12 String Bass Series. The Indra's a groovy little bass, and as my good friend Tom Lunt says, "Very Ronnie Lane!"

Check it out:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

STEVE ROCK: Finn's Motel At The Ten Mile House, February 23rd

Finn's Motel play the The Ten Mile House on Saturday night, February 23rd. The Ten Mile House is located at 9420 Gravois Rd in the heart of Affton, MO. Joining us on the bill are Bill Boll and The Museum Mutters, currently my favorite band in all of St. Louis. Should be a fun show, and there is always plenty of free and safe parking at The Ten Mile House.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

POLITICS: For Barack Obama

You should (hopefully) know where Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stand on the issues by now, so I'll keep it simple by posing the following two questions:

1. After two terms of Bush-Cheney, are you ready for another co-presidency? The Clintons are making no bones that this is what will be if Senator Clinton is elected.

2. Who do you think has the most realistic chance of beating John McCain? If you don't think electability may be the most important issue of all, then take a look at what the Republicans are doing. They are holding their collective noses and nominating John McCain because they know he is their only candidate that can not only defeat The Clintons, but defeat them convincingly. If The Clintons are nominated and then lose to McCain, it will not only be a disaster for the country, but it will render the Democratic Party impotent for another 20 years and maybe even obsolete. As of today, national polling shows McCain defeating The Clintons, while Obama defeats McCain. In the debate last Thursday, Obama took the lead and continually took it to McCain by fearlessly and effectively attacking him. Yes, if Obama is the nominee the Republicans will come as hard and ugly against him as they will against The Clintons, but hard reality is showing the GOP are terrified of having to run against Obama. Terrified.

If you are voting in a primary on Tuesday, cast a vote against fear. Please vote for Barack Obama.

Here's the view from where I stood among 20,000 people last night at the Obama rally at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

POLITICS: "It’s about the past versus the future."

This time Obama takes it up a notch, as his South Carolina victory speech hits the bullseye and zings with the vintage sharp edge of the music of fellow Chicagoan Curtis Mayfield.

Full video of the speech:
Part 1
Part 2

And please read Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Obama from the Opinion page of the New York Times, here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

MUSIC: Happy Sex Pistols Anniversary!

It dawned on me this morning that Sunday (Jan. 6) was the 30th anniversary of many of us from St. Louis trekking down to Memphis to see the Sex Pistols. I can honestly say that every memory of it has remained vivid for me down through the years, from sitting in Dave Thomas' living room that morning before we all hit the road and watching a clip on the Today Show of their first show the night before in Atlanta, to post show cocktails with Alex Chilton. The coverage on the Today Show was significant and really blew our minds, as it just poured gasoline on our already raging fires of anticipation. It's hard to remember the time before there was 24 hour cable news coverage, etc., so the fact that the Today Show showed a clip was a really, really big deal. My favorite memory of the entire experience was Johnny Rotten's opening salvo: "I'm not here for your amusement, you're here for miiiiiiiine!!!!!!!"

Friday, January 04, 2008

POLITICS: Obama's Stirring Victory Speech

If you need a musical comparison for Obama's fantastic Iowa victory speech last night, think Otis Redding's multi faceted historic performance at Monterey.

Video of Obama's speech, here.