Back to work after the holiday, which means you probably need to rock even more than usual. Four new songs break into my Weekly Top 40 on Spotify with the latest update.

Missing songs this week:
None

New to the Spotify list this week:
Atlas, Rise – Metallica,  Darkness – GFM, The Last Time – From Ashes To New, Dark Nights – Dorothy

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Open Your Eyes – Disturbed, Moth To Flame — Metallica, It’s Over — Trapt, Beyond The Stars — Spoken

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s over a half dozen additions including new songs from Flaw and Varna, an album cut from September Mourning, and more.    You can find it at this link 

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after rivalry week)

Ah, rivalry week.  Where the intensity rises, the hits are a little harder, the play a little chippier, and the hot seats sometimes a lot warmer.

Iron Bowl saw Auburn keep it close for a good while, yet we never really felt like Bama was threatened … Ohio State rallies and outlasts Michigan, though not without a little officiating help.  A very good game in terms of drama, top-notch football maybe not so much so … Washington jumped on their Apple Cup rival and put themselves right in the middle of the post-season discussion in the process … Clemson beat down a clearly overmatched SC, but the nagging question for an inquiring mind might be why the Tigers are capable of that yet don’t bring it every week … Wisconsin struggled early before letting Minnesota’s QB turn back into a pumpkin … Colorado continued to be one of the season’s best stories … Louisville showed once again why I’ve called them the most overrated team of 2016 … LSU did enough to make their new coach official, Texas did enough to make a new coach mandatory, though I don’t think the Longhorns hired anything more than the next guy they’ll be firing in about three years …

As for my day, while keeping an eye on teams with games that actually matter in the big picture, it started out with such promise for me as a fan.   Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat (graciously aided by an equally mediocre opponent more than once), it was a great day to be a Yellow Jacket in Athens.  There isn’t much that’s more satisfying than hearing the pained yelps of those mangy mutts, even if a rational voice kept whispering that it would have been better long term to lose the game & get one step closer to getting rid of CPJ.  And then suddenly things really went downhill.

The Egg Bowl was a disaster, thankfully it was the final time we’ll have to endure seeing the overmatched Dave Wommack completely bewildered by an offense.   Hugh Freeze should have fired that clown weeks ago, he certainly coached (and I use the term loosely) like he retired after last season anyway, and Freeze deserves to feel a much warmer seat for failing to do so .  Compounded the sudden problems for Freeze is the inexplicably idiotic decision to waste a redshirt year for a promising QB.  The season was already pretty much lost by the time that decision was made, and the move smacked of extreme desperation regardless of the outcome.

And then there’s poor Tennessee, I’m not sure how much more exposed Butch Baby can get at this point.  He’s out of his depth, he’s done all he can (and the rebuilding process was enormous, I’ll give him that), but last night’s debacle should be the end of his regime, with a full scale house cleaning in order.   It wasn’t lack of talent that did in the Vols season, it was lack of preparation, lack of motivation, lack of coaching.   He’s welcome, I suppose, to coaching a meaningless bowl game as a reward of sorts but it’s time for him to go immediately afterwards.

Plenty of action in the rankings this week, as the season winds toward a close.  Let’s shuffle the deck, account for the flop(s), and reveal the latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25  (previous week J3C ranking follows their name)

1. Alabama (1)
2. Ohio State (2)
3. Clemson (4)
4. Washington (6)
5. Michigan (3)
6. Wisconsin (5)
7. Colorado (8)
8. Oklahoma (7)
9. Penn State (9)
10. Oklahoma State (14)
11. Florida State (15)
12. Western Michigan (12)
13. USC (14)
14. West Virginia (20)
15. Florida (11)
16. Stanford (Un)
17. Auburn (17)
18. Virginia Tech (Un)
19. LSU (22)
20. Navy (Un)
21. Louisville (13)
22. Iowa (Un)
23. Nebraska (16)
24. South Florida (Un)
25. Utah (18)
Dropped:  Houston (19),Boise State (21), Washington State (23), Texas A&M (24), North Carolina (25)

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

All good stuff, no turkeys, on the perfect playlist to rock your Thanksgiving (and Black Friday).  Two new songs are stuffed into my Weekly Top 40 on Spotify with the latest update.

Missing songs this week:
None

New to the Spotify list this week:
The Duke – Lamb of God, The Broken – 3 Doors Down

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Real – Of Mice & Men, This Light I Hold — Memphis May Fire (re-entry)

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s new Shallow Side and new Three Days Grace among nearly a half dozen additions.    You can find it at this link 

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week twelve)

Close calls hither and yon, but most of the serious hopefuls managed to avoid disaster.

While Alabama took it easy on a little sister, both Ohio State and Michigan had more trouble than they would have liked against als0-rans.  It eventually worked out for both of them but neither can be especially happy going into their head to head confrontation … Louisville was not so fortunate, getting exposed badly on Thursday night … Oklahoma and Colorado both overcame challenges and kept themselves in contention for at least a major bowl bid, the latter hooking up for a pretty dandy game with Washington State … Florida gets by LSU and earns a date with Alabama later.   Not sure that’s exactly a “reward” though … Utah was not so lucky, suffering a bad loss, while San Diego State couldn’t stand their brief flirtation with notoriety … Tennessee pulls away from Missouri despite the absence of anything that resembled run defense,  Georgia Tech manages to beat a bad team while Ole Miss endured one of the more embarrassing losses in recent memory.  The kind of loss that should spell the end for an overmatched Dave Wommack as defensive coordinator.  There simply isn’t any acceptable excuse for allowing Vanderbilt to score their most points in a conference game in over two years, a piss poor showing that now makes the Egg Bowl make or break for the Rebs to avoid an outright disastrous season.

Now, with the appropriate tweaks and adjustments, time for the latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25  (previous week J3C ranking follows their name)

1. Alabama (1)
2. Ohio State (2)
3. Michigan (3)
4. Clemson (4)
5. Wisconsin (6)
6. Washington (7)
7. Oklahoma (8)
8. Colorado (9)
9. Penn State (12)
10. Oklahoma State (14)
11. Florida (17)
12. Western Michigan (13)
13. Louisville (5)
14. USC (16)
15. Florida State (18)
16. Nebraska (19)
17. Auburn (21)
18. Utah (11)
19. Houston (Un)
20. West Virginia (10)
21. Boise State (23)
22. LSU (15)
23. Washington State (20)
24. Texas A&M (22)
25. North Carolina (24)

Dropped:  San Diego State (25)

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Album Review – Joe Yeoman “Those Were The Days”

We are all shaped by our experiences.  What we’ve seen and heard influences our expectations about pretty much everything.  How much influence varies with the situation and topic but it’s difficult to be a truly blank slate.   Album reviews are really no different.

When I was asked for thoughts about the new release Those Were The Days from Newnan, Georgia’s Joe Yeoman, I brought some expectations to the table with me.   I’ve heard his work in the past, either live or via video, admittedly more often covers than originals.   We’ve talked numerous times about the current state of country music, about various performers and styles, about what appeals to him both as an artist and as a fan.  I sat down to listen with all that input creating certain expectations about what I would hear.  Pretty reasonable I’d say … except, you know, for the parts where I got surprised.

The album overall evokes Skynyrd, The Eagles, and Marshall Tucker a lot more than it brings to mind Haggard and Jones, or even a more modern-era reference like Stapleton. The more country sides of those icons most frequently, but those are the influences that appeared clearly and repeatedly to me.  There’s more ball cap than cowboy hat if you will.

That might not surprise those more familiar with his live performances but for me it quickly stood some expectations on their head.  Good thing really, because as the album progresses there were more surprises in store.

Most albums these days seem to be front-loaded, with the better material clustered at the beginning, but if anything I found the album to grow stronger the deeper it went.  That’s not a criticism of the first few songs — indeed “All I Really Need (To Party)” is perhaps the most “radio-ready” track on the disc while “Closer To A Sinner” highlights the songwriter element of his skills —  but I mean it as a testament to what follows.

The midpoint of the album, “I’ll Be Me” brings things to another level, where the performance, the writing, the production, everything comes together to go from “good” to “special”.  From there, quickly enough “Let’s Start Tonight” adds another standout track to the list of highlights.  Two more strongpoints follow in rapid succession, with arguably his strongest songwriting taking center stage on “Where Can You Go” and the bluesy track “The Man” proving to be the most sophisticated cut as it sounds far more upbeat instrumentally than the dark subject matter of the lyrics would typically be paired with.

Expectations and surprises.   With more than two years of effort in the album, by someone that takes notions like work ethic like very seriously, I’m not the least bit surprised by the final product.  I already knew he could sing, I already knew he could write, so I’m not the least bit surprised by those things being displayed here either.  But it is a debut album, in a frequently cookie-cutter genre.  There are more nuances than here than I might have reasonably expected, more angles of approach, more depth than you’d normally find.

I’m prone to comparisons so I might as well make one more.   Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to hear quite a few artists in the very early stages of their career, more often than not you have a pretty good notion of their ceiling.  First albums are often the best work of an artists’ career, especially in terms of writing, because they’ve literally been a lifetime in the making rather than just a small portion of a lifetime.  The one that most frequently came to my mind while listening to Those Were The Days was Danny Shirley, who would later become better known as the front man and face of Confederate Railroad.  With him, as with Joe Yeoman here, there was a sense that there was more to come, that while things were already good we still hadn’t seen the best that was yet to come.

There’s certainly more than enough here to enjoy as it stands, it’s a solid effort … but it’s hard to not start looking forward to what might come next.

 

You can keep track of Joe on social media at

and https://twitter.com/joe_yeoman
and at his website  http://www.joeyeoman.com/

You can pick up Joe’s new album at
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/those-were-the-days/id1171247291

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Busy busy busy, three new songs pop into my Weekly Top 40 on Spotify, along with a pair of re-entries.

Missing songs this week:
None

New to the Spotify list this week:
Divided, Conquer Them– Nonpoint, Stay With Me – Boiling Point, Dark Daze – Sylar (re-entry), This Light I Hold — Memphis May Fire (re-entry), Animal– Badflower

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Feel Invincible – Skillet, Push — Thousand Foot Krutch, Alabaster Jar – Drive Thru Society, Devils Calling – Parkway Drive, Even Though I Say – Saint Asonia

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s nearly a dozen new adds including new Blacklite District, Disciple, Hessler, Dream Theater, fantastic newcomers from Florida GFM (short for Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh) and more.   You can find it at this link 

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after week eleven)

Well that was a mess.

Alabama comes out of the weekend looking more and more like they deserve at least a first round bye, among the few teams in the upper echelon that came out of the weekend in one piece at all … Michigan, Washington, Clemson all drew the “Go Back Three Spaces” card and present a virtual reset opportunity for the playoff committee, and for me … It wasn’t much better for Auburn or Texas A&M or North Carolina or Virginia Tech or Baylor, most of whom had bad losses with the difference being that they had less at stake … A good day for quarterbacks making their first start for Ole Miss and Georgia Tech at least.

Oddly enough though, the damage to any one team with playoff hopes is likely minimized by the damage suffered by so many of the others.

In the end, far less change in the latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25 than the chaos might have been expected to produce (previous week J3C ranking follows their name)

1. Alabama (1)
2. Ohio State (5)
3. Michigan (2)
4. Clemson (4)
5. Louisville (6)
6. Wisconsin (7)
7. Washington (3)
8. Oklahoma (10)
9. Colorado (13)
10. West Virginia (11)
11. Utah (14)
12. Penn State (16)
13.Western Michigan (15)
14. Oklahoma State (17)
15. LSU (18)
16. USC (Un)
17. Florida (19)
18. Florida State (20)
19. Nebraska (21)
20. Washington State (22)
21. Auburn (8)
22. Texas A&M (9)
23. Boise State (25)
24. North Carolina (12)
25. San Diego State (Un)

Dropped:  Virginia Tech (23), Baylor (24)

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