Errols Weekly Music Update.

April 30, 2010

Weekly Update – 04/30/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 5:33 am

(Seems that the pre-sale password for all Summer Concerts at PNC Bank Arts Center and Jones Beach until 10:00 p.m. tonight is: Popstar)

American Idols Tour 2010 at Jones Beach on Wed. July 7 and at the Prudential Center (“The Rock”) on Tues. July 20. Tickets on sale Sat. May 15 at 10:00 a.m. (more info to follow)

Harry Connick Jr. at the Neil Simon Theater (250 West 52nd street NY) from Thurs. July 15 through Mon. July 19 and then again from Wed. July 21 through Mon. July 26. All shows at 8:00 p.m. (except Sundays which start at 7:00 p.m.) Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders available now until 11:59 p.m. Mon. May 3. General public tickets on sale Tues. May 4 at 12:01 a.m. (that’s what it says). $50 and $135.

Crosby, Stills & Nash at PNC Bank Arts Center on Thurs. Aug. 19 and at Jones Beach on Fri. Aug. 20. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $26.25 – $151.25; Jones: $20.75 – $151.

Rascal Flatts with Kellie Pickler and Chris Young at the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sat. July 31. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card members available now. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $19 – $71.50.

Tim McGraw with Lady Antebellum and Love & Theft at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Thurs. July 15. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $34.50 and $64.50.

Shinedown with Chevelle, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd and 10 Years at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Thurs. Aug. 5. Pre-sale tickets available until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: Popstar.  General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $20, $32.50 and $42.50

Chicago and Doobie Brothers at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. July 9 and at Jones Beach on Sat. July 10. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $26.25, $45.25, $85.25 – $131. Jones: $39, $69, $89, $99 – $135.

KTU’s Beatstock at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. Aug. 7 and at Jones Beach on Sun. Aug. 8. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $30.25 – $81.25;Jones: $19 – $79.

50 Cent at The Oakdale Theater (Wallingford CT) on Wed. June 23. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $30.50.

Meatloaf at Jones Beach on Wed. July 14 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. July 16. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Jones: $22 – $72; PNC: $18.25 & $72.25

Foreigner with Styx and Kansas at Jones Beach on Sat. June 19. Pre-sale tickets available now for Citi card members. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $19, $29, $49, $79-$99.

Lynyrd Skynyrd with .38 Special and Bret Michaels (?) at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. July 2. Pre-sale tickets available now for Citi card members. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $25, $45.50 and $65.50.

David Gray and Ray Lamontagne at Jones Beach on Thurs. Aug. 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $25 – $75.

Modest Mouse at The Oakdale Theater on Sat. July 24. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $32.00

Jackson Browne at The Oakdale Theater on Fri. Aug. 27. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Gov’t Mule at the Central Park Summerstage on Wed. Aug. 11. Tickets on sale next Fri. May 7 at noon. $40.

311 with The Offspring at Jones Beach on Fri. July 9 and PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. July 10. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Jones: $26, $40 and $50; PNC: $30.25 and $50.25.

Rob Thomas at the Music Box at the Borgota in Atlantic City, NJ on Fri. Aug. 20 and Sat. Aug. 21. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Tony Bennett at The Oakdale Theater on Fri. Aug. 20. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card members available starting at 10:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale Mon. May 3 at 10:00 a.m. $51.50 – $71.50.

Peter Wolf and Betty LaVette at the Highline Ballroom on Wed. May 26. Tickets on sale now. $50.

The Fab Faux at the Beacon Theater on Sat. Sept. 25. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $49.50 – $125.

Cake at the Rumsey Playfield (Central Park) on Thurs. Sept. 16. Pre-sale tickets available now until 11:00 a.m. this morning for American Express cardholders. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50.

Muse at the Nassau Coliseum on Sat. Rocktober 23 and the Prudential Center on Sun. Rocktober 24. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. Nassau: $39 – $61.50;Prudential: $42.50 – $65.

Adam Lambert at Nokia Theater on Tues. June 22. Pre-sale tickets available for American Express cardholders until tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Pre-sale password for non American Express cardholders is “Entertainment.” General public on sale is tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $35. Also appearing at the Borgota Event Center on Sat. June 26. Tickets for this show on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Band of Horses with Grizzly Bear at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Sun. June 20. Pre-sale tickets available until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is Laredo. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.$30.

She & Him at Terminal 5 on Tues. July 6. Pre-sale tickets available now until 11:00 a.m. this morning for American Express cardholders. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $30. Also giving a free performance at Governor’s Island on Sun. July 4 at 1:00 p.m.

Widespread Panic at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. July 22. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Celtic Woman at PNC Bank Arts Center on Thurs. July 29. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $59.50 – $85.

Goo Goo Dolls at PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. July 27 and at Jones Beach on Mon. Aug. 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $31.25 – $53.25; Jones: $32.50 – $54.50. Also appearing at the Borgota Event Center on Sat. July 3. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Al Green at BB Kings on Thurs. Sept. 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $175 ($180 day of show). Oooouucchhh!!!

Jeffrey Osborne at BB Kings on Fri. Sept. 17. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 ($54 day of show).

Air Supply at BB Kings on Sat. July 24. (7:30 and 10:00 shows) Tickets on sale Mon. May 3 at noon. $35 ($40 day of show)

Other items:

According to his “MySpace” account, Bret Michaels is hoping to resume his tour by rescheduling his tour dates with May 26 as the targeted date to begin again. Wow I am amazed at that statement, (can this really be true?) it seemed really bleak over last weekend and now he is going to back on the road in less than a month and of course I am totally happy about this news as we need Bret doing what he likes best and that is to rock and roll. Other reports stated that he is lucky to be alive and is still not out of the woods. Take it slow Bret. \m/ \m/

Spin Magazine recently put out their list of the top 125 albums since 1985 (to celebrate their 25th anniversary) and you think I have some weird picks in my top ten? You ain’t seen nothing until you look at their list. Believe me there are some that definitely should be on the list and it just may be the way they have ranked them. According to them, the best album in the past 25 years is “Achtung Baby” by U2. Now recently I jumped back on their band wagon with their phenomenal “No Line on the Horizon” and in my opinion that is clearly better than Achtung but of course every U2 fan will point to the “Joshua Tree”- I could see an argument for Joshua before Achtung but again I like “No Line” better than either of those. The second best is “Sign O’ the Times” by Prince- again I am a fan of Prince but to be quite honest I never even heard of this album. (sorry to those Prince fans who want to strangle me right now). The list is filled with lots of “alternative”(in my mind) bands [The Smiths, Husker Du (who??!!!) Pavement, PJ Harvey, etc…] and of course Nirvana’s “Nevermind” made the fourth best since 1985. Now I completely understand the magnitude of this landmark album and get that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” changes the world forever back in 1991 but even the most die hard fan of Nirvana (including my oldest son and my brother Rich) have to admit that this is not their best work. I know there are some solid songs but is the entire album a classic? I really struggle with that, in my opinion there are some definite “fillers.” Oh well see for yourself, I was going to put their link down on my page but navigation around the site was nearly impossible for me, so I would not want to do that to you. You can just go to http://www.Spin . com.

OK remember last week when we (my boys and I) listed our favorite songs by Pearl Jam, well I received a list of 20 songs (in no particular order) from the “experts” on their music-Lisa and her husband Carmine. Lisa stated that there were many songs on her top ten list that were spread throughout my list and my two sons list. Here are the songs that Carmine listed: (The songs that are bolded are songs that made our lists as well) Release, Immortality, Hold On, Elderly Woman, The End, Rear View Mirror, No Way, Off He Goes, Inside Job, Footsteps, Crop Duster, Just Breathe, Faithful, Alone, W.M.A., Yellow Ledbetter, Dirty Frank, Crazy Mary, Black and Believe You Me.

Finally America voted the correct way on Wednesday night and Siobhan Magnus was the latest to say goodbye to being a contestant on American Idol. It’s not that I had something against her, she can sing (as long as it’s low key) but based on who is left in the competition, it had to be her to go. Folks, these last few weeks have made up for the lackluster year so far and the recent performances have been real good. Aaron Kelly really stepped it up this past week and maybe what Randy Jackson said is true- Country music may just be the avenue for him to pursue because he was real good with that Shania Twain song. Casey James worked his way back into the competition (even though he was part of the bottom two) and he will have to have another performance like he did this past Tuesday to remain in the fray. I don’t think Crytsal Bowersox’s performance was “bad” this past week, I just think it was the song itself seemed very bland (with no offense to Shania). The “sleeper” in this contest remains Lee DeWyze as he seems to be solidly cemented to make it to the final two. Can’t wait till next week when Harry Connick Jr. mentors the contestants on the songs of Frank Sinatra.

Apparently Slash is receiving a lot of heat from Guns & Roses “purists” who are very upset that he had the nerve to remake “Paradise City” with Cypress Hill and Fergie. I would consider myself a “purist” of Guns & Roses because as I have always said I have never experienced a “buzz” like they created when they first hit the scene in 1987 (yes even more than Nirvana) and I absolutely have no problem with this version. If you listen with a clear ear and mind you’d actually appreciate the nice job they all did with Slash’s guitar work being the focal point of this legendary song-his heavy riffs are flawless throughout. So what, they added a little “hip hop” flavor? (See Run DMC with Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way”). Only bad thing is that the song is available only in Japan,(included as an extra cut from his debut album) of course you can go to You Tube and listen to the version and hear for yourself. By the way, the video for “By the Sword” is out and is way cool. That’s all I’m going to say, you need to find it and listen and look for yourself. (This time I’m going to make you work looking for it).

The Stone Temple Pilots have released their next song from their upcoming album to hit on May 25. The song is called “Hickory Dichotomy” and of course I’m loving it- you know I wanted these guys back together 6 years ago. Take a listen for yourself at http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Temple-Pilots/e/B000ARC4TI

Godsmack’s “The Oracle” will be released on Tues. May 4 and they will appear on the Jimmy Kimmel the next night May 5 (actually early Thurs. morning May 6). “Crying Like a Bitch” has really grown on me, I’m looking forward to this release. Love the heavy bass lines. If you are going to be in Los Angeles CA next week you can get tickets here http://www.1iota.com/events,4797,Jimmy-Kimmel-Live-GODSMACK-Outdoor-mini-concert.html

Peter Frampton’s new album-“Thank You Mr. Churchill”- has received very favorable ratings from the listeners on I-Tunes. He does a song with his son-Julian- on a song called “Road to the Sun” (Smoking Gun also helps out on this tune). “Invisible Man” has a big R&B feel to it as well as a “Traffic” flavor. The man is good. Check it out.

My favorite “’70’s old school” song of the week (I feel a top ten list coming) belongs to Daddy Dewdrop with the super cool-“Chick-A-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes’ Love It).” Do you remember this song? I heard the other day on the oldies station and I did an immediate search-forget I-Tunes (sometimes they really don’t work because they offer “re-recordings” of these original classics). I finally found it on CD from someone in the U.S.-Amazon didn’t even have it in stock- and now I can listen to this great song as much as I want. Yes bazooka bubble gum music but you know you love those little gum square pieces.

Album Review: “Crazy Love” by Michael Buble released on Rocktober 9, 2009

 

Crazy Love

Ok so now I have all of you scratching your heads, right? Michael Buble? Are you kidding me? I can’t be for real writing about all these heavy metal bands for the past two years and now I am going to review an album by Michael Buble? But for those of you who have really been following closely, you know that I have some range in my diversity and have become more open to other genres as I enter “the back nine holes” of my life. Now I would like to point out that one of the producers on this album is none other than Mr. Bob Rock who has produced albums by Aerosmith, Motley Crue and of course Metallica. (of course all the Tallica haters out there are saying-“it figures he made Metallica soft so it makes sense he helped Michael Buble with his pop”). So go ahead and take your shots but I have listened more than a few times to this album and I have to tell you, this is perfect for your next dinner party or any kind of get together with family or friends. By no means do I consider myself an expert on Mr. Buble and his other albums but of course the song that dragged me in was the single-“Haven’t Met You Yet”-so I decided to give the entire album a try and like I said, this is an impressive arrangement of “classic” songs that he has reworked and in some cases wrote on his own with help from his buddies- Alan Chang and Amy Foster.

The album starts off with “Cry Me a River” which Michael wrote the arrangement in the beginning to make it sound like you are sitting in a cinema with that thematic, majestic sound in the vain of a James Bond movie-where you are expecting something big to happen and you know what?-it totally works because that mysterious bold approach hooks you in and you start to compare his version to the endless amount of covers of this American classic with a favorable acceptance. His voice embarks that “old school” sound of yesteryear where things seemed simpler back then, it evokes a feeling of those old great singers-Sinatra, Charles, Martin, Bennett, Cole and so many others standing at the microphone but then you realize it is from someone who was born in 1975. I have always admired guys like Michael and Harry Connick Jr. for keeping the torch alive. (even though ten years ago I would have never had any of their music in my library-hey I’m being honest and hopefully evolving in front of your eyes). We need these gentlemen to pass this genre down to the younger generations because this kind of music is needed for blood stream. You know you hear this music at some of the biggest moments in your life-marriage- for one, so never mind all that nonsense that this is “old” and not “hip.” “All of Me” is another American classic which he covers to perfection. This is a finger snapping tune which will remind you of one of the members of the “Rat pack” singing in a tuxedo up on stage and yearning to be as cool as they were. Actually Willie Nelson (another more recent favorite of mine) does a great version as well. If you are a fan of TV Land (like me) and you watch re-runs of “Sanford & Son” there is an episode where Fred sings this song while Scatman Crothers is on guitar and it is great. Anyway back to Michael’s version- this is like opening a bottle of your favorite wine and sipping its smoothness as the arrangement again harkens back to the “big band” era. “Georgia on My Mind” is the third track and I can’t say that his version is not good, it’s that I am so used to Mr. Ray Charles rendition that it is hard for me to put it into perspective as I don’t think any one comes close to Ray, not just Michael-there have been so many artists to cover this song but again, no one comes close in my opinion. Admiral cover though I will say.

“Crazy Love”-the title track- is the cover of the classic of Van Morrison as it appeared on his 1970 blockbuster album-“Moondance.” I like the way that Mr. Buble puts his contemporary touch on this classic, I know there may be plenty who like Van’s version better (especially his duet with Ray Charles, later on) but Michael picked these songs because they are songs he loves and he’s paying homage. Again my number 2 rule when covering a song is to treat that song with respect and to perform it in the same vain of the original recording. Dare I say that I like this version the best? “Haven’t Met You Yet” has to make any one smile, no? Ok call it cheesy, call it what you want but the production and the arrangement of the song is something that makes you want more-it just feels good. It is romantic and is the perfect song to share a slow dance with that someone special in your life. C’mon you know this is just like that Barry Manilow song that you can never admit to liking or listen to. But I will. “All I Do Is Dream of You”-is a song written back in 1931 and for those of you who are Marx Brother fans (I totally am) you can catch Chico performing this classic tune on their fantastic movie-“A Night at the Opera.” (or the classic movie “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly)Mr. Buble does a phenomenal job on the vocals as you will snap your finger throughout this two minute and change song-the horn arrangement is pure perfection behind this man’s voice. “Hold On” is the other song written by Mr. Buble (again with help from Chang and Foster) and if you are looking for a song to dance to at your wedding (or renewing your vows) then look no further than this track. This is a heart retching song but is very inspirational, think of those movies where you are near tears and that feeling you get-this song could have been played in the background. Track # 8-“Heartache Tonight”- a cover of an Eagles song off of “The Long Run”will conjure up memories of Joe Piscopo doing his spoof on Frankie during his high popularity of the Saturday Night Live days. I have to admit that taking a “rock” song and making it a lounge act sort of song is a hard pill for me to swallow and I can’t say that I listen to this track as much as I listen to the other songs. But this is perfect for the older generation to actually like some of the music we use to listen to when we were kids. Mr. Buble gets back to what he does best with his take on “You’re Nobody Till You Love Somebody” and really does a 360 with this version as you will not recognize it as the rendition that Dean does. It’s completely different and he slows it down to almost a standstill as I can picture a smoky filled blues bar room where you run into to those performers where you say-“what are you doing here?” (Billy Joel). And that’s exactly what I did as I was blown away by this performance (and I totally love Dean’s version the best) and said “who is this guy?” Kara (from American Idol) would love the fact that he changed up the song and made it his, and in my opinion is a complete homerun.

“Baby (You’ve Got What it Takes)” -(done with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings) just may be the best song on the album. For those of you out there who are used to the Brooke Benton and Dinah Washington version which was recorded back in 1960, you will be pleasantly surprised on how good this rendition is. This has some kick to it and should get you out of your seat and dance like those cool cats used to do back in the 1960’s. This has some funk as well as the classic rhythm and blues sound that made it special way back when. I applaud Michael for picking some of the best songs to re-record because we as a generation can not forget where it all started. Keep passing on down the torch, nice touch Michael. “At This Moment” goes all the way back to 1981 for this song originally done by Billy Vera and the Beaters. Remember the “Family Ties” episode where Alex Keaton (Michael Fox) and Ellen Reed (Tracy Pollan-his wife in real life) dance to this song. This episode caused the song to get some real airplay and I for one heard this song during the summer of 1981 at least 5 times a day on the radio. Now Michael doesn’t hit the passion like Mr. Vera (it felt like he was singing for his life-which is a great thing) but he follows the pattern of the song to perfection. That’s not to say that you don’t hear passion in Michael’s voice, you do-it’s just not as forceful- and he may have done this purposefully, (which is something that I admire) and he goes another way with it that totally works. This is a nice re-work of this great song. The last song-“Stardust”-(with Naturally 7)- has to have Frank Sinatra smiling from the heavens above (and the many other famous acts that have covered this 1927 song) as Michael’s voice is spellbinding and you will think that it is the holiday season because you should get a wonderful feeling inside. You have to grab the hand of that someone special and ask for the next dance as this song is simply spectacular. The bonus track-“Whatever It Takes” (with Ron Sexsmith) is a nice duet from Ron’s 2004 album-“Retriever” which to be honest has opened my eyes to more acts like Mr. Buble, who are keeping and passing on down that “a capella” feeling to their music, where the voice is the main focal point of the music. Folks, this is some good stuff right here.

Mr. Buble’s album-“Crazy Love”- is a fantastic work where he takes songs from long, long ago but also some more recent tunes that evoke the passion of the way music was intended to be. Sometimes dramatic, sometimes playful, and of course mostly romantic and who doesn’t need romance in their life? He also paints a new story with two songs of his own which some singer will re-record some thirty years from now and we’ll all say- remember how great that Michael Buble is? Now did I have some reservations when I decided to select something different from my usual music menu? Of course, but I made the right decision. Folks you will not be disappointed in this selection, especially if you like the likes of Frankie, Tony, Ray and Dean. He creates a pleasurable trip down memory lane while creating some of his own as well.

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Marvin Gaye

Today marks the two year anniversary for me starting this blog (I did it via e-mail to friends at least one year before finally putting it on the web at the insistence of those friends) and the first album review I did two years ago was the legendary “What’s Going On” by the incomparable Marvin Gaye. So in honor of this great artist, I wanted to try and list my favorite ten songs from this man who contributed so significantly to the world of music as well as making a humane social impact on society. Besides Dylan, the next artist that comes to mind that made such an outstanding impact on the social aspect of music is Mr. Marvin Gaye. What can I say about Marvin that hasn’t already been stated? Again I know there are much bigger (and more knowledgeable) fans out there than myself. I was a young boy when Marvin made his mark on the world, so there are plenty others out there who know his music more intimately than I do but his music has made a mark on me as well. My personal favorites are when he performed duets with Ms. Tammy Terrell because in my opinion their songs are something that are “national treasures” and can never be touched or replicated by anyone else. Marvin was devastated when Tammi tragically passed away at the very young age of 24 from a brain tumor and after her funeral he went into seclusion for two years. He emerged by making some of the most important songs in the history of music. He created a psychedelic R&B sound along with the “concept” album for his genre that was second to none. As always, the question always remains-“What if?”- What if he were still around today? It makes me sad to think of the way he died and as a parent I don’t know if I could ever live with the guilt of killing my son. His dad had to be wrecked with unbelievable guilt as he survived for 14 more years after Marvin was killed in April 1984. Anyway, I’m on an island and have been told that I can only have 10 songs from the legend we all know as Marvin Gaye, “These are Them:”

10.     How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)-He made so many great songs early on in his career that they can not be ignored and this is one of my favorites. He started out with The Moonglows and this song definitely has the “doo-wop” feel to it albeit with that classic R&B sound. This is a finger snapping feel good song that makes you sing along to every word. Written by the fantastic team of Holland-Dozier-Holland and the music is played by none other than the Funk Brothers. This is pure perfection, there have been others who have covered this classic (including James Taylor) but no one does it like Marvin.

9.     Keep on Loving Me Honey- a lesser known song between the dynamic duo of Marvin and Tammi. Even with just your ears you could feel the magic between the two of them, they had that something special for which again I can not think for the life of me, who matches them. This is R&B at its best and their harmonies are very special together. Take a listen to this beauty.

8.     Right On- This classic from “What’s Going On” puts me in a trance whenever I hear it. Marvin had this way of hypnotizing you with his talents which included very poignant messages about the human race. This tune makes me think that Steve Winwood and the rest of his band mates in Traffic are the backing band to this psychedelic tune which evokes that passion/turmoil of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. “…some of us are aware that it’s good for us to care…some of us feel the icy wind of poverty blowing in the air…”-these are some powerful words on the social struggles that existed in those days and arguably still exist today. Marvin set out to write about how he felt and isn’t that every artist dream? Instead of just listening to what the record company wanted you to perform, he had the command by that time to do what he wanted and the results were spectacular.

7.     God is Love (B-Side Version)-Don’t get me wrong, I love the original version which appears on “What’s Going On” but I think the longer version seems more like a “single” as opposed to the flow of the original album-which again is fantastic. This version has to hit you right in the heart and is something to behold. Think about the times that plagued our country when he was writing this kind of song-the Vietnam War, racial tensions and poverty- and this was one of his responses-you can’t get any better than this folks. This is a beautiful song that will last an eternity.

6.     If I Should Die Tonight-Another slow moving song but it’s something that just grips you and doesn’t let go. This could be the ultimate love song ever written. Marvin had a way with words which really go right to the heart of every matter that he discussed. When I hear this song it kind of reminds me of the Beatles classic “Happiness is a Warm Gun” where the irony that Lennon was killed by that warm gun and in this tune where Gaye writes-“if I should die tonight, love… darlin’ it would be far before my time”- it is that same kind of irony, as Marvin was taken from us far before his time. Another beautiful song.

5.     Come Get to This-Again you know I don’t like to write about such things but the groove in this song is too much to take and it has that old style “doo-wop” feel to it that Marvin injects into this song which has to pay homage to the artists that he looked up to. This is more upbeat than the others that I just mentioned and the “coolness” just exudes through your speakers. The flow is so smooth and the saxophone that follows Marvin in the background is the perfect touch that adds the flavor to this “comfort” food of a song. The current artist-“Joe”- covers this on his latest album-“Signature”- and does a nice job, he adds a little funk to the flavor.

4.     Can I Get a Witness-Again another classic written by tandem of Holland-Dozier-Holland which takes you back to “Hitsville” where Motown began and if you listen carefully to the background vocals you will hear The Supremes lending a hand on the background vocals. Marvin plays a mean piano on this track and gets help again from the Funk Brothers on the other instrument as you can hear that gospel influence loud and clear along with a twist of boogie to go with the main course of rhythm and blues. This is a hand clapping and foot stomping song which makes me think of the “line” that use to be performed on Soul Train, I can picture the men and women dancing down the aisle to this great tune.

3.     What’s Going On-Ok what can I say about this song that hasn’t already been said a million times over? This is arguably the greatest song ever written. And to think that Mr. Berry did not want to release this powerful song? What???!!! Thankfully Marvin stuck to his intuition and would not move forward until his music and words were respected by the powers that be. This made the number 4 song of all time according to the top 100 songs ever compiled by Rolling Stone magazine. An unbelievable masterpiece. ‘nuff said.

2.     Ain’t No Mountain High Enough-They had me on the opening notes of this epic song. I love the little scat of the drums and when Marvin sings “Listen baby…” well I just drift off and listen to one of the most important songs ever recorded in the history of music. Forget about any other version recorded (no offense Ms. Ross) this is the best rendition and can you imagine that Ms. Terrell was nervous and intimated because she hadn’t rehearsed the lyrics? I have to give credit where credit is due and this masterpiece was written by the team of Ashford & Simpson. I would have loved to been in the recording studio when this was completed, there had to be a feeling of exhilaration. Isn’t life weird? No one knows or understands why things happen but one has to be thankful for songs like this. To be taken at the young age of 24 and then 44 is totally mind numbing but we will always have these recordings to be passed on to generation after generation. This brings tears to my eyes, that’s how phenomenal this song is.

1.     Your All I Need to Get By-Words can’t even express the joy that this song gives me when I hear it. Tears are streaming down my face as I think of my wife and how I can relate to this song with her. Again written by the tandem of Ashford & Simpson this song is as equally as important as the aforementioned “Mountain” song and how moving are their voices-again there is no one that even comes close to singing it like Tammi and Marvin, it’s beyond words that I could ever express. Pure perfection. I know this is going to sound weird but when I hear this song I remember an episode of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” where Will’s aunt and uncle- Viv and Phillip dance to this song and you could feel how the song resonated with them. Even when I heard this song on a TV show, it gave me the chills. I’m assuming everyone on earth has this song so don’t even tell me if you don’t have it.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Mookie Blaylock

2.     Yes and he will now continue drumming for the “re-union-ized” Soundgarden as well as PJ.

3.     No, Pearl Jam has sold about 10 million more than Nirvana.

4.     “Love Reign O’er Me”

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     Name one of the three people who was asked by Crosby, Stills & Nash to join their group before the fourth person who was asked and accepted (Neil Young).

2.     Which lead guitarist had his finger cut off while chopping wood with his brother?

3.     Which rocker stated that he would never reach the age of 30 and wanted to die with his boots on?

4.     Which rock band includes Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Who Can It Be Now”- Men at Work

2.     “96 Tears”- ? and The Mysterians

3.     “Smile a Little Smile for Me”-The Flying Machine

4.     “Telephone” –Lady GaGa & Beyonce

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “…and when the world was through…then one by one the stars would all go out…then you and I would simply fly away…”

2.     “…sharing horizons that are new to us…watching the signs along the way…talking it over just the two of us…working together day to day…together…”

3.     “…my hands are shaking don’t let my heart keep breaking cause…I need your love…I want your love…say you’re in love and you’ll be my guy…if not I’ll just die…”

4.     “…but it’s alright now…I learned my lesson well… you see ya can’t please everyone… so you got to please yourself…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1983, the legendary Muddy Waters, died from a heart attack at the age of 68.

Sadly back on this day in 1999, Darrell Sweet, drummer for Nazareth, tragically died of a heart attack at the young age of 51 before a concert that Nazareth was going to perform in Indiana.

Back on this day in 1976, Keith Moon supposedly paid a few taxi cab drivers in NY $100 each to block off traffic on a city block so that he could empty the contents from his hotel room window on to the street below.

Back on this day in 1977, the Mighty Led Zeppelin set an outdoor concert attendance record-for a single act event-when more than 77,000 showed up at the Pontiac Silverdome.

Back on this day in 1983, “Beat It” by Michael Jackson became the number one hit (and would continue to do so for 3 weeks). Quincy Jones asked Eddie Van Halen to play guitar on the song and Eddie obliged and never accepted any payment for his services.

Back on this day in 1991, Nirvana signed a record deal with Geffen Records, they received an advance of $290,000.

Back on this day in 2001, a small plane carrying Sting and his manager skidded off a runway when landing in Italy, no one was injured.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Willie Nelson, Bobby Vee (“Take Good Care of My Baby”) and Wayne Kramer (MC5)

April 23, 2010

Weekly Update – 04/23/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 4:15 am

Roger Waters at Madison Square Garden on Tues. Rocktober 5, Nassau Coliseum on Tues. Rocktober 12 and the Izod Center on Wed. Nov. 3. (performing “The Wall”). Pre-sale tickets available for American Express cardholders beginning on Mon. May 3 at 10:00 a.m. until Sun. May 9 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale Mon. May 10 at 10:00 a.m. No ticket info on MSG yet; $55 – $250 for the other two venues.

Pearl Jam at the Prudential Center on Tues. May 18. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Jackson Browne at The Beacon Theater on Tues. Sept. 14. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $46 – $155. Also performing at Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City NJ on Sat. & Sun. Sept. 4 & 5. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Phil Collins at the Roseland Ballroom on Tues. June 22 through Fri. June 25. (4 nights) Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders available now. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $77

Carrie Underwood at the Nassau Coliseum on Fri. Nov. 5 and at the Prudential Center (the “Rock”) on Mon. Nov. 15. Pre-sale tickets available at 10:00 a.m. this morning until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: Temporary. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Nassau: $32, $42 and $52; Rock: $35.50, $45.50 and $55.50

Melissa Etheridge at the United Palace Theater on Wed. July 14. Pre-sale tickets on sale now with the caveat that you have to purchase her new album in addition to the rip off charges that Ticketmaster will force on you (sorry I had to get that out) and that will last until Wed. Apr. 28 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale Mon. May 3 at noon. $39, $59, $79 and $104.

Faith No More (reunited) at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg (North 8th street and Kent Avenue) on Fri. July 2. Tickets on sale today at noon. $44

Sting with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at PNC Bank Arts Center on Wed. July 7 and at Jones Beach on Tues. July 27. Pre-sale tickets available now until 10:00 p.m. tonight for American Express cardholders. General public on sale Mon. Apr. 26 at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $32.25, $76.25, $106.25 – $232.25;Jones: $43.50-$73.50, $107.50 and $233.50.

Erykah Badu at Roseland Ballroom on Tues. May 25. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $51 – $76.

Santana and Steve Winwood at Jones Beach on Sun. July 18 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. July 20. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders will begin next Wed. Apr. 28 at 10:00 a.m until next Fri. Apr. 30 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale next Sat. May 1 at 10:00 a.m. $25 – $125 for both venues.

Rihanna at Jones Beach on Sun. Aug. 15. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders will begin next Wed. Apr. 28 at 10:00 a.m until next Fri. Apr. 30 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale next Sat. May 1 at 10:00 a.m. $32.25 – $107.50.

O.A.R. at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. Aug. 6. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $23.75 and $33. 75; Also appearing at the Bethel Woods Center on Sat. Aug. 7. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $27.80 and $46.15.

Creed at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. Aug. 21 and at Jones Beach on Tues. Aug. 24. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders on until 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $16.25 and $26.25; Jones: $16 and $26.

Tears for Fears at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thurs. Aug. 19. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $41.50, $55, $65 and $75.

Cheap Trick and Squeeze at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. July 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $39.50 – $99.50. Also appearing at the State Theater in New Brunswick NJ (15 Livingston Avenue) on Sun. July 18. Tickets on sale at 9:00 a.m. this morning. $35, $58, $68 and $75.

The Script at Terminal 5 on Fri. Nov. 5. Pre-sale tickets available now until 11:00 a.m. this morning for American Express cardholders. General public tickets available at noon today. $25

Air Supply at the Theater in Westbury NY on Thurs. July 22. Tickets on sale Sun. Apr. 25 at 12:30 p.m. $49-$59

Little Feat with New Riders of the Purple Sage at the Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. July 30. Tickets on sale Sun. Apr. 25 at 12:30 p.m. $44.50.

Johnny Mathis at the Theater in Westbury NY on Thurs. Aug. 26. Tickets on sale Sun. Apr. 25 at 12:30 p.m. $61.50 – $71.50

Clay Aiken & Ruben Studdard at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Wed. Aug. 11. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders available now until next Thurs. Apr. 29 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale next Fri. Apr. 30 at 10:00 a.m. $42.50 – $72.50

Silversun Pickups at the Wellmont Theater on Thurs. June 24. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35 ($40 day of show). Also appearing at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg on Fri. June 25. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $35

Hole at the Wellmont Theater on Fri. June 25. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35 ($40 day of show).

Foreigner at the Wellmont Theater on Thurs. Aug. 26. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40, $55 and $70.

Ween at the Rumsey Playfield (Central Park) on Fri. Sept. 17. Tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50

Jason Derulo at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Wed. June 9. Tickets on sale today at noon. $26.50 (SRO- No seating)

Other items:

I am totally shocked and saddened by the recent news that Bret Michaels is in critical condition after suffering an apparent brain hemorrhage. I pray that Bret recovers and my thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends. I am at a loss for words. Stunned.

Ratt’s new album-“Infestation”- was released this past Tuesday and the fan’s opinion on I-Tunes are very favorable and the line so far is a 4.5 star out of 5 star rating. The album kicks off with the raucous “Eat Me Up Alive” which sounds like it could have been recorded back in the late 1980’s. Nice sound. “Last Call” has some “giddy-up” to it and of course the single-“Best of Me”- is exploding across the country. I feel like it’s 1987 all over again and that is a great thing!! \m/ \m/

“Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage” will be televised on VH1 and VH1 Classic on Sat. June 26. This documentary on the legendary band known as Rush (a sin that they are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) will include interviews with Gene Simmons, Kirk Hammett, Billy Corgan and other musicians.

Rumor of the week: Alice In Chains will tour this fall with the Deftones and Mastodon. More info supposedly out on Mon. May 3.

Another Rumor of the week: After their tour-“Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys”- the Black Crowes will supposedly take a long break or hiatus according to Rolling Stone magazine. The tour ends up in December and Rich Robinson was quoted as saying-“It would be good to have a 30th anniversary but we should walk away from this while everyone is in a good mood.” My guess is that the hiatus will not last as long as their last one.

Metallica has been able to keep their European tour going despite the Volcanic Ash that has totally shut down airplane destinations to almost everywhere around the globe. The boys are taking Tour Buses despite the fact that they hadn’t done so since the tragic death of Cliff Burton back in 1986 which was the result of a bus crash while they toured Europe. The band reportedly traveled 28 hours by bus from Oslo to Latvian capital of Riga in what should have been a two hour plane ride. Kirk was quoted as saying that the show must go on but stated that he still fears traveling by bus since the horrible accident 24 years ago.

Bon Jovi fans take notice, the band will reissue the first ten studio albums with some live tracks (recorded during the time the albums were out) and probably some “never before released cuts” on Tues. May 10. I believe Bon Jovi has the same manager as Kiss- are you starting to see a pattern between the two bands as far as making more money from its fans? I know I am.

I can’t figure out why either Rolling Stone Magazine or Blabbermouth (on line) did not review Slash’s solo album. Both of them totally ignored this super solid debut and I can’t for the life of me understand the reason why? There was not one staff member available to review it? Both of them waited more than a decade for Axl to release his solo album –“Chinese Democracy”-(albeit under the guise of “Guns & Roses”) and painstakingly went through it and if I’m not mistaken Rolling Stone gave it at least 3 stars. I did not want to do this-(meaning the comparison-if you noticed I did not once compare it to Axl when I did my review) but this slight to Slash will not go unnoticed in my book and his solo debut is light years ahead of Axl’s-so much better it ain’t even close. (and they probably used the same amount of musicians to record it even though Slash does not sing). I’m totally confused.

I actually watched the show “Glee” for the first time this past week (not for youngsters at all even though it is targeted to them) and I have to tell you I really liked the episode because it focused on the work of Madonna. The entire show was dedicated to the “power” of Madonna and their “re-takes” on her songs were actually very good. Their version of “Express Yourself” is most excellent and I loved the way they performed “4 Minutes”- a total thumbs up and all the cover songs are now available on I-Tunes, check it out.

The “American Idol Gives Back” show was solid as always and every one of the cases profiled were heart- breaking to watch and if you can donate what you can afford, it has to help. Here is the link to donate- http://www.americanidol.com/idolgivesback/Personally, I thought Alicia Keys was a bit off, she sounded like she had a cold or something but no disrespect intended because she is a phenomenal talent. The Black Eyed Peas are arguably the hottest act on the planet, they can’t seem to do no wrong. I loved the fact that a legend like Jeff Beck played along side a current star in Josh Stone-she has a spectacular voice. And what else can one say about Carrie Underwood? It is so unbelievable that just a few years ago she was a contestant on the show and now is the biggest star in Country music as she made history last Sunday night by becoming the first female to win “Entertainer of The Year” for the second year in a row. Second year in a row??!! Can you believe that? She is an unbelievable talent who basically freezes me every time she sings and she seems genuine in her respect for the American Idol show. And did I tell you last week that Mary J. Blige did a respectable cover of the Mighty Led Zeppelin song-“Stairway to Heaven”- you saw it for yourself on Wednesday night, she is just way too cool. Again I will stick to the thought that Crystal Bowersox will be this year’s winner. I was not surprised that Tim Urban was voted off this week, he definitely had performed better the last few weeks but he had to go based on who is left. Siobhan Magnus has to be next (to be voted off) but her fans are keeping her alive.

BOTTOM FEEDERS”:

Ok so this week I wanted to do something different, I wanted to throw all of you out there for a loop and change up the format somewhat, at least for this week. So no I do not have an album to review or a perfect album side but I wanted to do a piece on songs that I love for which my assumption is that either (a) these songs are unknown to most of you or (b) even if you know these songs you’d probably think they are the worst songs for that particular artist. Now my sons wanted me to do the “bottom ten” songs from an artist and they wanted me to start with the Beatles-(don’t worry my immediate stare into their eyes backed them off a bit) because they feel that the Beatles have made some of the “weirdest” songs ever. So it had me thinking that I could just name some songs that I think that most of you out there probably do not like but I can’t get enough of it. I won’t “rank” them in any particular order but I came up with the term-“Bottom Feeders”- to mean that these are songs from various artists that may not be considered some of their best work and may just land at the bottom of your list of songs (or should I say just recordings because some may not be considered songs) by these artists. Now again- I love these songs but you may not. So here goes in no particular order:

No Anchovies Please”- J. Geils Band- OK so this is really not a song-it’s a narration- one of the strangest stories ever told but I hang on every word and can not turn it off. It is a story of a young couple in Portland Maine where the wife takes out a can of anchovies and as she opens it the weirdness begins. Love the part “…he betrays her to the hands of three scientists who are engaged in diabolical, avant-garde experiments previously performed only on insects and other small, meaningless creatures…Then it comes to the end where the husband Don screams “Oh my God.. that bowling ball, it’s my wife..” Classic stuff from the“Love Stinks” album.

Be My Girl- -Sally”- The Police- Ok folks you know I do not like to write about such things but there is something about this song that just gets me every time. This is not for the younger ears in your family and to be quite honest I am a little embarrassed to be writing about this track but again there is something very fascinating about it. It’s like the Marx Brothers being very coy as I could picture Groucho and Chico writing about such things, albeit with an “R” rating. I don’t know how this song was approved by the producers or owners of the record company as again it’s really a narration of a very naughty topic.

She Hates Me”- Puddle of Mudd- Again I can’t believe I’m writing about this song as the “F” bombs are present throughout the entire song, along with some other word that describes “crap.” But you know what?-the chorus is so addictive that once you start singing it, you will be singing it all day long. It almost sounds like a country and western song gone bad with the guitar riff that parallel Wes’s “twangy” vocals.This is definitely not for the kiddies, keep them away and please only listen to it in your car by yourself. Yes of course I know the entire song word for word, again embarrassed to say.

Piggies”- The Beatles (well really George Harrison)- I remember the first time my boys (and my wife) heard this song, they all just “squished their eyes” like a bolt of sun had just been “laser-ed” upon them and all of them at the same time said “What is this?” Now admittedly it is obviously a weird topic to write about but the arrangement of this song is actually very good. It actually gets a little “rock and roll” with the part where George sings “…in the lives there is something lacking… what they need is a damn good whacking…” I love the ending when the other join in to help George sing the song and of course the pig noises at the end.

Rocky Racoon”- The Beatles- Staying with the same album and the very next song this is one of my favorite Beatle songs (Ok it did not make my top ten but it is up there). My wife and kids again made faces like they swallowed sour milk and asked about the lyric-“…her name was Magil and she called herself Lil but everyone knew her as Nancy…”- which they said made absolutely no sense. Maybe but that’s what it is. I will never forget I was out with a bunch of fellow “MBIA-er’s” at a local pub in Armonk NY more than a few years back and there was a guy with an acoustic guitar that was taking requests and I asked him to do this song and he obliged. Melissa and her husband Corey both looked at me like I was from a different planet as they had never heard of this song before (what??!!!) while complaining that I had killed the vibe of the night. I couldn’t stop laughing as I sang along word for word.

Hooked on a Feeling”-Blue Swede-I like this version better than the original by B.J. Thomas- don’t ask me why but I even love the “Ouga Chaka Ouga” part which everybody else seems to hate. This song was featured in Quentin Tarantino’s film- “Reservoir Dogs.”Such a great sing along song.

Billy Don’t Be a Hero”- Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods- I am not ashamed to admit that I use to love this song while I was growing up, this was played endlessly on WABC AM radio-yes so the first thing to note is that it was played on AM radio and could I have placed a bigger “L” on my head but you know what- even today I know every word to this song and feel sad at the end of the song when Billy died. Bubble gum music at its best!!!

I Was Made for Loving You”- Kiss-Ok now you all know what a huge KISS fan I was and am so when this song came out of course I had to go along with every body else and say “yeah I hate the fact that KISS went disco” but inwardly I actually liked the song but had to keep it quiet. I knew it was a “phase” just like Queen had with “Another One Bites the Dust” or The Stones with “Miss You.” Anywaythis song made my I-Pod library when I could have easily “unchecked” the box to have it downloaded. Check out this funny video at someone’s wedding choreographed to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1TVLEcBnwY&feature=pyv&ad=4652317421&kw=wedding

Until It Sleeps”- Metallica- I know, I know all the original fans of Metallica just passed out and may have crashed their head through their computer right now, so if you know of any you may want to see if they are conscious. Believe me, I know this is not their best work but I did not have such a huge problem with the direction that they took in the late 1990’s. To most of the die-hards this is “pop” and is not even recognized by many of the Tallica brethren. Admittedly I don’t go back to listen to “Load” or “Reload” as often as I do with their earlier albums but every once in a while I pop this open and it still sounds good to me.

Highly Suspicious”- My Morning Jacket- This song polarizes people into two separate groups- the folks that “hate” it and the folks that “love” it-there is no in-between. (talk about that fine line of love/hate, huh?). It sounds like Prince had been stepped on the foot by an elephant because the vocals coming out of the throat of Jim James are really high pitched. Again I will never forget this song on our road trip up to Cape Cod and I threw this CD in and immediately went to this track- at first my boys along with our good friend Angelina did not like the song but it slowly grew on them and became the “song” of the summer that year for us.

 “TOP TEN”:

 

Image of Pearl Jam

My younger son was upset with me that he didn’t get in on the “top ten” list for Shinedown songs, he said there were “a couple” (nice, huh?) of songs on my list that would have made his list. And I know he is a huge fan and knows the words to almost every one of their songs better than I do but the one thing that gets in the way is school. I want them to concentrate on school work as opposed to doing this kind of stuff (he said I should have waited until the summer so he could have done it with me-maybe a future segment of this page will be their top ten songs from artists that I might have already covered). Anyway, both of them are on spring break this week and since there is no school, my oldest son wanted us to pick a band or artists that we all could agree upon, so we went through my I-Tunes library and even though I have many different artists/genres, it was slim pickings. For example, we could have picked Billy Joel but my youngest son just rolled his eyes. Then we could have picked AC/DC (could have done pre and post Bon) but my oldest looked like he swallowed some spoiled milk. They finally both like the Beatles but I had done that already (you might see on this page in the future their favorite 10 Beatle songs). Black Sabbath-my oldest was out. Bryan Adams-my youngest was out. (you see a trend here??) Then I came across Green Day and since we all went to see them last year I figured it would be a slam dunk-nope, my oldest son was not in a “Green Day” mood this week (I know exactly what he’s talking about, sometimes you don’t want to listen to your most favorite bands or artists-happens to me). I have it- Maroon 5- thought this was perfect until I turned and saw this look of puzzlement on my youngest sons’ face. “I don’t like these guys Dad??!!” I said you used to but he made believe that he never did (he did folks). As we rummaged around the listings of bands in alphabetical order, all of a sudden when we arrived upon the letter “P”- we all said “Pearl Jam!!!”

Now admittedly I am not the biggest Pearl Jam fan there is- that honor belongs to Lisa and her husband, Carmine, as they are the experts on this band and have been part of the fan club for years. My other friend Scott is also a huge PJ fan and he has seen them live many times as well. In addition, it took me some time to get on their band wagon as at first I was resistant to the “Seattle grunge” era that was about to take over the world back in 1991, I was still holding out hope that Poison, Warrant and all those other “hair” bands were going to come out with something that was going to knock everyone’s socks off. Well I couldn’t stop the tidal wave, so I decided to grab a surf board and ride the wave of euphoria known as Pearl Jam.(but I never turned my back on the “hair” bands). For those who know me a long time, you know that I usually resist change, so I was one of the last ones to jump aboard on this whole idea of a CD player and listening to music from a little “flying saucer.” I loved the whole vinyl thing, especially with the big album folders/covers but I had to move along with the rest of the pack, so I finally purchased a CD player and the first CD that I ever bought was “Ten” by Pearl Jam. Another disclosure is that it did take me some time to get use to “Ten”-I know, I know- that is “sac-religious” to say but I have to be honest. Of course I knew “Jeremy” because MTV was playing the video about 25 times a day and slowly but surely I started to get all the hype. And just like when you were a kid at the beach trying to ride the waves in, I finally caught that one wave that took me all the way into the dry sand as the water washed upon the shore. It was easy to get the “hits” like “Evenflow” and “Alive” but I wanted the mysterious sounding songs like “Garden” and “Deep” to sink in so that I could listen to the whole album and it finally clicked. Then I couldn’t wait for “Vs.” to come out and when it hit, I was in “hook, line and sinker.” Eddie and the boys were at one point the band for me, I was absorbed into this band and again couldn’t wait for the next album. And then something happened… I know “Vitalolgy” is loved by many of their die hard fans (and my oldest son absolutely loves this album) but for me, it just didn’t cut it like the first two albums (except for a couple of cuts) and to be quite honest I may have had an overload of Pearl Jam and actually rolled over to Soundgarden. I did not purchase “No Code” and then like 5 years later I was back on board with “Yield” and have followed them since, although again, not the biggest fan out there.

Now as for seeing Pearl Jam live, they are right up there as one the “premier” bands in all the land and is an experience every rock fan needs to enjoy at least one time in their life. I have seen them a few times and each time was a mind altering occurrence. The first time I seen them it was at Madison Square Garden and I was a guest in the MBIA Corporate box (when they use to have it) along with about 25 other people, it was the most crowded concert I have ever attended for that “box” (and I have been to many a show in that corporate living room). Everyone was blown away at the show and it was something I’ll never forget. Pearl Jam is still going strong and Mr. Vedder has really become one of the best “front men” in all of rock history, it’s weird saying that now but honestly it’s true. I like some of Eddie’s solo stuff as well as “covers” and this list will include his solo stuff (yes covers are allowed) as well as his work with Pearl Jam, so here goes our list of the best ten Pearl Jam (Vedder) songs:

10.

Younger-     Once-This song is one of the most played Pearl Jam songs by any grunge fans. It’s a great song and the drumming in this song is so amazing “I could lose myself”.

Older-           Jeremy-Yes, I know this is probably the most overplayed Pearl Jam song of all time but for some reason I am always in the mood to hear it.The lyrics are very powerful and they get to me every time I hear the song.Most people don’t know the story behind this song, it’s about a boy named Jeremy who ended his life in front of a class (hence the line “Jeremy spoke in class today”) and if you read the whole story behind this boy its extremely sad.Eddie wrote this song for him and I read somewhere that Mr. Vedder said every time he sings this song he thinks about the child Jeremy, and when I read that I was really touched

Me-              Unemployable- Reminds me of something that the Beatles would do in the 2000 decade. The one constant with Vedder’s lyrics is that they cut to the bone and if you squint from things like that then it’s probably best that you don’t listen to his songs. There are parts of this song that hits home, I’ve been in and out of a job for the past few years and it’s not that I don’t feel unemployable but there are many people out there in this economy that have to relate to this song. “Well his wife and kids asleep but he’s still awake”- I know that has happened to me a few times. Anyway back to the music, this is the “grown up” sound by Pearl Jam that would have never appeared on their earlier albums, whenever this pops up on my I-Pod shuffle I forget how cool this song is and have to rewind it at least once.

9.

Younger-     Rearviewmirror--the upbeat guitar and Eddie’s vocals make this song on my top ten because it’s not such a “crazy” song. You can listen to this song with ease.

Older-           Why Go- Another track from the classic album “Ten” this is probably one of the most aggressive songs on the album.You can just feel Eddie’s pain and anger in his voice that is sometimes more powerful than any instruments playing.I love when Eddie is on the verge of screaming, his voice is so powerful and it’s so thrilling to listen to.My favorite parts are when he yells “Mother! Mother!” throughout the song.It’s awesome!

Me-                 Brain of J.- Now I know that when I did my review of “Yield” (my personal favorite album) I stated that my favorite song on the album was “No Way” but as I went through the 60+ songs in my library, this one kept pushing its way to the top ten. So what gives you ask? Well sometimes my mood changes and the only explanation that I can think of is when I wrote the review for Yield (a year ago today) I was addicted to “No Way.” I still love “No Way” but a year later, “Brain of J.” has jumped a few notches and lands here at number nine for me. These guys had a way of kicking off their albums with explosive songs that get the heart pumping and this one is no different. This is “head-banging” grunge (usually metal, right?) at its best and of course PJ is great at bringing it down and slamming it up again. This is a perfect song for your next Spin class.

8.

Younger-     Rats- the opening bass and drums make this song great. What’s even better is its awesome guitar solo. You have to give these guys credit for making such good music.

Older-           My City of Ruins (Eddie Vedder)- This solo cover of a Bruce Springsteen song is done so flawlessly by Mr. Vedder.This song just came out this year and the profits went to Haiti.Sometimes Pearl Jam’s finest moments are when the band lets Eddie take the stage alone with a guitar and his magnificent voice.Vedder sings this song with so much passion when you listen to it you will understand what I’m talking about.This is probably one of Eddie’s best solo performances ever.

Me-                Yellow Ledbetter- Remember when this song first hit the radio airwaves? It was like the biggest secret because most of the general population couldn’t get their hands on this as it did not make its way onto “Ten.” Now I know folks like Lisa and her husband and also Scott probably had this song because they were “in” with the band-they must have known someone in the band. Supposedly this song is one of the first written by the band members all together and the result is nothing short of spectacular. The bluesy rift is something to behold and you can feel Eddie’s passion bleed through your speakers. The guitar solo is righteous, you can’t go wrong with this track.

7.

Younger-     Glorified G-Like “Rearviewmirror,” Glorified G is an “easy-listening” rock song. Both of these songs are on the same album- “Vs.”-which is a great album even though the cover scared me when I was younger, but not as scary as the Collective Soul album-“Dosage.”

Older-           Immortality- This is off the experimental album “Vitalogy” and is one of its most powerful tracks.Many people will tell you this song is about the late Kurt Cobain and although Vedder has never said it is or isn’t about him some of the lines are obviously about him and his tragic death.This has one of the only guitar solos on the whole album and I’m glad it was used for this song.It gets me every time I hear Eddie whisper “Immortality…” and when he sings the last line, which is obviously about Cobain, “some die just to live.”

Me-               Parachutes- There is something about the “slower” Pearl Jam songs that really tug at the heart and the first time I heard this song, I knew it was going to be one of my favorites. The next time you and that someone special in your life are having a nice quiet candle light dinner (just do it) take the time out to ask for their hand and share a nice dance-so it would be a dinner and dancing night out. Hold that person tight and learn the words to this special song so that you can sing in their ear- especially the part-“…and love…what a different life… had I not found this love with you…”

6.

Younger-     Evenflow-Ah one of the greatest grunge songs ever played-“Even Flow.” Next to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit, Even Flow is the next best thing. This song has traveled with me my whole life. What I mean by that is that I’ve listened to this song since I can remember and it never gets old, so all those people who think it’s over played, it’s not.

Older-          Spin the Black Circle- If you ever want to put on a mindlessly crazy song that makes you jump around just put on this song.This song is just crazy whenever I hear it, it gets me pumped up!“Spin, spin, spin, the black circle!!” Put this in the stereo, blast it, and then just go crazy!

Me-               Alive-When I saw this performed live at Madison Square Garden in front of like 17,000 fans it was very special and something that I will never forget. Everyone in the whole place was singing it word for word and when I experience things like that I feel very lucky because that feeling doesn’t come along too often. People from all walks of life were smiling, singing and air-guitaring and when Eddie gets to the part where he says “Is something wrong she says.. of course there is… do I deserve to be.. and if so.. who Answered???!!!” well I thought the roof was coming off at the Garden. Of course the guitar solo that takes the song to its end was blazing and everyone at that point was making believe they were playing guitar, a sight to behold. Again if you have never seen them live, you have to see them just to hear this song-unbelievable experience you will feel like you could do anything- yes even fly.

5.

Younger-     Animal-This song is…is…well it can’t be described how awesome the guitar riff is in this song sometimes I can just listen to the opening guitar lick and that’s it.

Older-           04/20/02-This is probably one of the most personal songs Eddie Vedder wrote.It’s about Layne Staley’s death and 4/20 is the day Eddie found out he was dead (Layne had died on April 5th, about two weeks before this day but no one knew).Once again Eddie’s voice is fantastic in this aggressive ballad.Eddie’s voice is sad but the guitar is aggressive and it’s an odd combination but very effective.Every time I hear the opening chords I just stop and listen to this powerful song.The lyrics are phenomenal and the last verse always gets me.Anyone who is lucky enough to find this hidden gem on the “Lost Dogs” album knows what I am talking about.

Me-              Why Go- Love the way the drums start off this song and no matter what you want to call it-grunge, whatever-this is straight up rock and roll (in my book). The guitar work is flawless (next time you listen to it just follow the guitar and nothing else) and the funky groove is too much for me to take as I have to turn up the volume and repeat this song as many times as I can take it. The musicianship really shines brightly in this track as these guys are super talented and songs like this put them immediately on the map when they first came up through the minors. And what else can you say about Vedder? If I had to pick one song to display his “rock and roll” voice to someone who was unfamiliar with them (can there be someone out there?) then this is the song I would choose. Freaking phenomenal.

4.

Younger-     Spin the Black Circle-this song is just crazy and out of control. I just wanna take a broom and air guitar to this song and jump all around my room. One word-EPIC.

Older-            Yellow Ledbetter- I love the intro and outro to this song, I could listen to it all day long.The guitar work in this song is great especially the solo. This is one of their most ambitious songs and it sounds nothing like your average Pearl Jam song which makes it a winner!I love when Eddie says “make me cry” and the guitar solo kicks in.This song shows a much blues influenced side of the band that frankly I like even more than the grunge stuff.

Me-               Glorified G-First let’s go to the music-how great is the bass line in this song by Mr. Ament? (again just follow his part) The drumming in this song is so “on the mark” and makes me picture kids ripping open their presents on Christmas morning as the paper wrap is flying every where. I think this is one of their best songs where the background vocals really stands out-“…Life comes…I can feel your heart…”Second I love the fact that Eddie takes on the “gun enthusiasts” with his sarcastic lyrics such as “…don’t think… dumb is strength..” or “…feels so manly, when armed…” But of course with me, it is the music and I can listen to the groove in this song all day long, the lyrics are just the icing on the cake.

3.

Younger-     Go-Just listening to the bass gives you the chills. After I’m done mastering the guitar- I’m going straight to the bass because of this song. Not just the bass, every instrument in this song is perfect and the best way to start an album.

Older-            Black- This is probably one of the first Pearl Jam songs I really liked.When I first started playing guitar I played the simple chords to this song all the time pretending I was Eddie Vedder.Since I have played this song so many times I know every lyric by heart.I love the bluesy guitar in the background and once again Vedder’s voice towers over everything else.The lyrics are great and when Vedder yells “Why can’t it be me?” I get chills.This is just classic Pearl Jam.

Me-                 Wishlist-For some reason when I hear this song I feel like I am on a boat with an acoustic guitar. Now for those of you who know me you know I have been fishing just once in my life (yes I know I’m “Nordic” and it should be in my blood but it’s not) and that was because I felt guilty that I was the only son that did not spend a day fishing with my dad, so I went and on the calmest day ever-I was immediately sick and spent the whole day in the “bunker” with no hope of seeing land until at least 8 hours. Anyway this song strikes me right at the heart because sometimes I “wish” that I could make an impact on the lives of so many- “I wish I was the evidence, I wish I was the grounds… for 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky..” The melody is very pleasing to the ear and Eddie’s soft voice can light up a room. The only complaint I have is that the song is over before you know it.

2.

Younger-     Why Go-probably one of the best Pearl Jam songs ever made. I have most of the Ten album on Rock Band 2. Singing this song is the best felling you’ve ever had, except when you turn around and you see your brother just standing there jumping of the walls. It’s still one of the best and it will be remembered as one of their greatest songs.

Older-           Better Man- Yes this is a pop song.So what!Although Pearl Jam is famous for their grunge/hard rock sound it is songs like this that I love best.I have played this song a million times and never get tired of it.I also learned the chords to this song and sing it all the time.I love when Eddie screams “She loves him!”I also love the solo performance of this song that’s available on iTunes.This is one of the best songs by Pearl Jam as it shows off their softer side and was so close to being my number one.

Me-               You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away-(Vedder solo cover of the Beatles classic)-Ok I know this is a cover and yes I know it’s a cover of the legendary Beatles but his version brings me to a standstill. This song is from one of my all time favorite movies-“I Am Sam”- (with Sean Penn and Michele Pfeiffer) and I remember the first time I heard it while watching the movie-of course I knew it was immediately the voice of Mr. Vedder and dare I say that I like his version better? Can it be true? I’m trying so hard not to say that but his version is pure excellence and again my only complaint is that the song is over before you know it. If this doesn’t move you, then I give up.

1.

Younger-     Black-This song is the best. There is nothing else that can beat it. This song speaks to me so much. After listening to this song it helped me live and let go. This song has influenced me so much it literally helped me start a new life of mine where I could love myself and do the best that I could do. I know that there is a meaning in life where all of us can share love with everyone we meet- That’s what this song says to me.

Older-           Nothingman- The first time I heard this song was on a car ride somewhere.I had my iPod on shuffle and was starting to fall asleep but then I this song came up and it was one of those songs that was on my iPod but was never listened to.I sat up and listened very carefully to Eddie Vedder’s flawless vocals.His voice is so perfect for this song you won’t even want to sing along because you want to hear him so badly.As Eddie sings “now into the sun, and into the sun!” while I was looking out the car window I got a special feeling that I’ll always remember.This really is a special song that affected me a lot.

Me-                 Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town- Sometimes it is hard to put into words on how you feel about something and with this song I don’t know if I can do it justice (meaning expressing how I feel). When the opening note is sung by Eddie I am immediately put into a trance as I follow along the story line of a couple that once may have dated years ago and the “woman” stayed behind in this little town as he moved on and then revisited one day. Now for me, this brings me back to Brooklyn-so “Brooklyn” is the prior love in this story for me and I moved away back in 1990 and every time I re-visit, the ache in my heart sometimes is overwhelming as I go back in time when I was a child and every thing was seemingly so perfect. Long summer days where we would play stick ball on the streets (“three sewers” was an automatic homerun) totally ignoring the maniacal drivers speeding down the side streets just to get to the next avenue. (are you kidding me? I am so “soft” now due to living in the burbs that when I visit and see kids in the street I have to turn away and go into whomever friends house I am visiting because I can’t take it). Or how about playing “tackle” football on a main avenue (usually “7th Avenue” with traffic going in opposite directions) whenever the first big snowfall would cover the city streets? We “killed” each other and everyone wanted to be on Jay’s side (or Eddie’s side) because we didn’t want to have to tackle him. Or I think back to the days when I worked in “Dan’s Supermarket” and loved every minute of it as I think back to those special friends I had, that I don’t see too often these days. I remember all the girls would run back to their cash register when the local firefighters would come in to shop with each hoping that their line was empty so they could ring them up. Or I am taken back to playing baseball with the Flynn Celtics and I am telling you I played along side some of the best players in the borough-Frankie, Sean, Steve, Ron, Mike, Henry- the list goes on. Or how about the Outlaws football games- “c’mon Cheesy can you throw to someone that has our jersey on??!!!” Running back the kickoff’s with Eddie who was about the same size as me but has the heart of a lion and was totally fearless- he inspired me everyday I played with him. You see what this song does to me? In just a little over three minutes it takes me back to a lifetime of memories- this goes right to the heart. Flawless tune.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Bruce Springsteen

2.     Mick Jagger (still to this day Carly has never said who the song was about).

3.     “Dreams”

4.     Toni Tenille

This week’s trivia (Pearl Jam)-

1.     What was Pearl Jam’s original name, who was also the inspiration for their first album “Ten.” (Hint- that was his number)

2.     True or False: Matt Cameron the current drummer use to drum for Soundgarden

3.     Has Nirvana sold more records than Pearl Jam?

4.     What Who song does Pearl Jam cover masterfully? (Hint: It was my number one “scream” song)

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Eye of the Tiger”- Survivor

2.     “I Drink Alone”- George Thorogood

3.     “I Got You (I Feel Good)”-James Brown

4.     “I Got You Babe” –Sonny & Cher

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “…make no sound…tip toe across the floor…if he hears, he will knock all day…I’ll be trapped and here I’ll have to stay…”

2.     “…too many teardrops for one heart to be crying…too many teardrops for one heart to carry on… you’re way on top now since you left me…you’re always laughing way down at me…”

3.     “…what’s the use in crying…in a little while you’ll see Rose Marie you must keep on trying…I guess you’re lonely now, loves coming to an end…”

4.     “…stop calling… stop calling… I don’t wanna think anymore…I got my head and heart on the dance floor… stop callin’… stop callin’…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1975, Peter Ham of Badfinger committed suicide at the young age of 27. He co-wrote the song –“Without You”- which has been covered by many including Mariah Carey.

Sadly back on this day in 1991, Johnny Thunders-guitarist for the New York Dolls- passed away at the young age of 38 in New Orleans, foul play was rumored.

Back on this day in 1988, while performing in Los Angeles Bruce Springsteen had the entire audience sing Happy Birthday to someone attending his show that night, it was the legendary Roy Orbison.

Back on this day in 2003, Pearl Jam purchased a 1,400 square mile of rain forest in Madagascar to offset all the green house gas emissions that came along with their tour that year. Now that is going green before going green set in.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late great Roy Orbison, and the late Steve Clark (Def Leppard)

April 16, 2010

Weekly Update – 04/16/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 5:30 am

Hot 97 Summer Jam at New Meadowlands Stadium on Sun. June 6. The is an “internet” pre-sale until midnight tonight. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $40, $65, $99.50, $125 and $250. This year’s full lineup will be announced on Hot 97 on the Angie Martinez show at 4:00 p.m. on Monday May 3.

Crosby, Stills & Nash at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel NY on Tues. Aug. 31. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $40.50 – $81.45.

Phil Collins at the Roseland Ballroom on Tues. June 22 and Fri. June 25. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders go on sale this Mon. Apr. 19 at 10:00 a.m. General public tickets on sale next Sat. Apr. 24 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event but further ticket info to follow).

The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem featuring Korn, Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch and others at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Wed. July 28. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $20, $39.50 and $49.50.

The Lilith Fair Tour returns this summer and will stop at the PNC Bank Arts Center in NJ on Saturday July 31 and the Comcast Theater in CT on Sun. Aug. 1. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event). Each tour date will feature 11 artists and the only mainstay at each show will be Sarah McLachlan (co-founder). Other artists include Mary J. Blige, Heart, Erykah Badu, Ingrid Michaelson, Loretta Lynn, Colbie Caillat and many others.

Sting with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at The Metroplitan Opera on Tues. July 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $20 – $350.

John Mayer at Jones Beach on Wed. July 21 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. Aug. 3. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders on until 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public on sale tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. Jones: $49.50 and $79.50; PNC: $36 and $79.50.

Rush at Jones Beach on Sat. July 24 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. Sept. 3. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Jones: $36.50, $61.50, $91.50 and $151.50; PNC: $35.75, $56.25, $96.25 and $156.25.

Pat Benatar at the Nokia Theater on Wed. Aug. 25. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on until 10:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $45.

Cheap Trick and Squeeze at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. July 13. Further ticket information to follow.

Kings of Leon at the Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City, NJ on Sat. June 5. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Modest Mouse at Brooklyn Waterfront in Willaimsburg on Fri. July 23. Tickets on sale today at noon. $37. Also appearing at the Wellmont Theater on Thurs. July 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. $37

Lyle Lovett at the Wellmont Theater on Sun. Aug. 15. Tickets on sale today at noon. $40, $60 and $75.

Toby Keith with Trace Adkins and James Otto at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. June 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $39 and $74.

Lady Antebellum at Nokia Theater on Mon. May 10. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on until 10:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $44.50.

The Black Crowes at the Theater in Westbury NY on Wed. June 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow afternoon at noon. $49.50

Billy Idol at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Wed. Sept. 15. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders on until 10:00 p.m. tonight. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $45 and $65.

The Michael Schenker Group at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Sat, July 31. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $29.50

Dave Mason at BB Kings on Thurs. Sept. 30. Tickets on sale next Fri. Apr. 23 at 10:00 a.m. $33.50 ($36 day of show).

Cyndi Lauper at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Wed. July 28. Tickets on sale now. $85 and $95.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Peter Steele (front man for Type O Negative) who passed away on Wednesday at the young age of 48 and apparently it was from heart failure. This is a total shock and numbing, rest in peace Peter.   \m/ \m/     He was born in Brooklyn NY.

Bret Michaels had emergency appendectomy surgery this past week and is apparently doing fine now recovering in a hospital. He had severe abdominal pain and was rushed to a hospital in San Antonio TX and some of his shows for April have been rescheduled. Take it slow Bret and we’ll see you this summer.

Ok I have listened and digested Mary J. Blige’s version of the Mighty Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “Whole Lotta Love.” I’ll start with “Stairway”- now I have read the many negative comments and some people have reacted with a feeling that it is “sac-religious” to even touch a Zep song. Now you all know that I have put down my feelings on some songs that should never be re-worked (“American Pie” by Mr. McLean quickly comes to mind) and of course you all know how I feel about the Mighty Led Zeppelin. My oldest son is all over me for actually being OK with someone covering the “Mighty Led Zeppelin” (as I put it) and he doesn’t understand why I have accepted it and said the only reason I’m OK with it because it is Mary J. Blige- he says if it were any one else, I wouldn’t even acknowledge it. He may be right but you all know I have a soft spot for Mary. But I have to tell you, Mary treats this song with the respect that it deserves and it is very close to the original rendition, so she didn’t try to change the meaning and the tradition of this landmark song. To me that is always the first rule when trying to cover an epic tune, Ok the second rule-my first rule is that it should never be re-recorded-so yes I can understand those people who feel that the remaining members of the Mighty Led Zeppelin should have never given Mary permission to record her spin on the song. Now is it as good as the original? No, but no one could ever do it like Plant, Page, Bonham or Jones. The ending of her song is a bit theatrical but overall I would say she does a very good interpretation. By the way, the Steve Vai guitar solo in the middle of the song is “off the hook” and electrifying.

Now with “Whole Lotta Love”-I would say for all of you “rockers” out there-don’t even attempt to listen to this-you might become very angry. Now for all of you out there who do not know this song (can’t imagine who but I have to assume there are) you may like her take on it as she definitely changes the entire mood of the song and brings you to a club with dancing beats. So what is my take you ask? Well admittedly the first go around I was making squinting faces like I just swallowed some rotten milk but after a few more turns, it not as bad as I thought. Love the way she does the “Way down inside.. you need it….Loooovvveee” Again if you love the original don’t even go near this but if you can keep an open mind, it’s not so bad.

If you are a fan of Soulja Boy, you can ask him questions either now or live today at 2:00 p.m. through Twitter by tweeting to @billboarddotcom using the hashtag #bblivechat. He is a fixture on Twitter as he has over 2 million followers as well as at @souljaboytellem. So start tweeting away your questions now or at 2:00 p.m. today.

No offense to Andrew Garcia but finally… whew if he wasn’t gone after Wednesday I probably would have stopped watching American Idol… I’m completely baffled on why Katie Stevens was voted off (and even more confused on why Michael Lynche was standing next to her in the bottom three) because out of the remaining women, Siobhan Magnus deserved to be booted after her lackluster performance on Tuesday. My prediction now is that Crystal Bowersox will be the winner in 2010. I know this years’ competition has fallen short when compared to prior years but I have to say that now that we are in the final few, the performances have really been better and for all of you out there who haven’t been following-now’s the time to turn it on as we head for a winner in a month or so. Most everyone’s performance on Tuesday night was really good, except for Andrew and Siobhan (in my opinion)-although Casey James has to take it up a notch again, he can’t rest on the solid performance of “Jealous Guy” from last week.

My favorite “80’s song” of the week belongs to Men at Work with one of their most popular songs-“Who Can it Be Now?” When is the last time you have heard this tune? Boy it has been a while for me and I forgot how catchy this song is and I love the saxophone solo. (That should have been me, oh well) Great tune check it out!!!

Sheryl Crow’s new album-“100 Miles from Memphis”-is due out on July 20 and it is “a bit of an experiment” as it is filled with R&B influences. She says she grew up with heavy influence of Carla Thomas and Curtis Mayfield so she decided to pay homage to these vintages artists with her take on R&B. I am very intrigued and can’t wait to hear it.

Ozzy will release his 10th studio solo album-“Scream”- on June 15th and if you are a fan of CSI you may have heard his new single-“Let Me Hear You Scream”-which debuted this past Wednesday night on CBS. You can listen to the entire version of the song right here: http://www.noisecreep.com/2010/04/15/ozzy-osbourne-let-me-hear-you-scream-new-song/It is blistering and loud. Metal fans rejoice-Ozzy still has it. A tour will follow, I’ll keep you posted on Ozzfest.

My other favorite “80’s song” of the week is “One Thing Leads to Another” by The Fixx. Remember that song? Man this was the “bomb” back in 1983 and was part of that “new wave” revolution that made their stamp on the music world. The early ‘80’s music was special in my opinion because it was a period of time where an individual or a band could have really made a splash as it was a time where the road was wide open as genres like disco was being left behind (still not in Brooklyn though), classic rock was there but nothing new, so bands like The Fixx (B-52’s etc.) had a chance to make some cool songs and this is definitely one of them.

Have I mentioned how great the solo Slash album is? I can’t stop listening to this phenomenal album and now am obsessed with “Back to Cali” with Myles Kennedy. What’s up with Blabbermouth? They can’t review this phenomenal album? Check out this performance on the George Lopez “Tonight” show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrNsgfAPhQM

By the way, just a second on the song with Iggy Pop-“We’re all Gonna Die” (from the same album) and please take what I’m about to say as not a knock on Iggy, just want to make a point on something. We all know Iggy has made his impact on Punk rock and the world of rock with his time with The Stooges but definitely is an acquired taste and probably is not something you’ll have at your next tea party (no not the maniac Republican “get-togthers”), I’m talking regular tea that you drink. I just have to point out that one of my favorite bands-Kiss- has been ridiculed for their last album-Sonic Boom- as far as the juvenile lyrics and how can it be that Simmons & Stanley at their age write about such things. OK let’s compare- here are some lyrics to “Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect):” “…flip a coin.. is it heads or tails tonight.. you can’t bring this boy to his knees..” –admittedly kind of “teenage-like” lyrics. Now let’s take a look at “Gonna Die:””…I’m in the mood…so let’s intrude…pee on the ground.. and jump around..” Ok did you see those last two lines-pee on the ground and jump around- do I need say any more? I believe Iggy and Gene are about the same age, why is it OK for Iggy but not Gene?

My favorite “new song” of the week (thanks to my youngest son as he is now “schooling” me on all the latest “pop/rap” stuff out there-he’s 12, so who better, right?) is “Nothing On You” by B.o.B. I had not heard this song until yesterday and I have to say that it is very impressive. “Nice beat, nice vocals… Mr. Clark I would give that a 9 as my score.”

Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) has released a two minute version of one of his new songs-“Shark Attack”- through his twitter account and of course it is laced with all the nice words that you’d expect from him. I don’t know but this sounds awfully similar to what he released back in 1999 on his most popular album-“Significant Other”- so if you like that sound it is right up your alley. Sounds a little stale to me

“And 5, now this is most important, Rat…comes down to making out… whenever possible.. put on side 1 of Led Zeppelin IV

Side One of “Tapestry” by Carole King

Tapestry

Ok I know what you are thinking- how can I ignore side two of this landmark album? I’m not, I will state that every song on this album could be considered as “perfect.” But for my taste, there are some songs on side two that are good but just not perfect which I will not disclose due to fear of retribution out there on the part of some of you. Please do not be upset with me, catch your breath and just know that I acknowledge the entire album as an American classic. I especially love “Smackwater Jack” from side two and that is probably my favorite song on the disc. I acknowledge that this album is akin to a “greatest hits” collection even though it is an actual studio album. Carole put her signature on the world of music with this album and it deserves to be in everyone’s music library, if you don’t have it… well.. you still have time. This album is like water- you need it to survive.

Anyway about side one… it starts off with the electrifying “I Feel the Earth Move” and this has to rank way up there as one of the greatest songs ever recorded in the 20th Century and any other Century you’d like to throw in there. The opening piano notes are legendary and you immediately recognize it. Now this was recorded in 1971 but to hear today it still sounds as fresh as it was back then. This brings me back to my early days when I was growing up on 46th street in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn, this song was everywhere during my childhood and for some reason I immediately picture me standing in front of the apartment building that we lived in with my mother, with her “beehive” hairdo on a nice spring day taking a walk down to 5th avenue to shop because that’s what my mother loved to do. I love the way the song ends with “tum bum bling down…” Track # 2-“So Far Away” could possibly be another “greatest song ever written” in the history of music. This song brings me to a standstill and I can’t even move when I hear it, it gives me chills down the back of my neck. Think about how many people know this song? Think about how it has affected the lives of millions? Can you imagine if you wrote this? I can’t even envision what it is like to be Carole King after writing this song, I wonder if she knew what kind of world renowned acceptance she would receive from people from every corner of the globe. There’s no way that anyone can not like this song, I have declared it-“unallowed.” Now talk about a “1-2-3” lineup- the third song is “It’s Too Late.” What makes her songs so great is the easiness to start singing along to the lyrics, there is a certain comfortable “homey” feeling to it-the same feeling you get around the holidays-do you know what I’m saying? The arrangement of this song is so spectacular it just has the coolest grooves ever created. “…And it’s too late baby.. though we really tried to make it..” If you get a chance-buy tickets to her tour with James Taylor just to hear this song. Incredible.

Track # 4-“Home Again” could be used as a tranquilizer because it has this immediate effect of soothing one’s entire body-think of it as a full body massage. This is an absolute stunner and you have to search long and hard to find someone who sings with the passion as Ms. King. If this doesn’t move you, you may be from another planet. “Beautiful” is all about inspiration. It says that you need to love yourself and “show the world” how beautiful you really are. These are powerful words and have such a special meaning-“maybe love can end the madness”-that I wish the entire world would adhere to these words so that we could all live in harmony. This songjust brings a smile to my face and I wish I could have been in the studio when she recorded it, I’m assuming everyone had “goosebumps.” Another absolute stunner. The last song on side one is “Way Over Yonder” is a blues laden track filled with one of the best vocals performances you will ever find. For me this conjures up images of Aretha because I could picture her taking on this track and when the saxophone solo comes into play well I’m floating off into “La La” land and don’t want to come down. This brings tears to my eyes; that’s how good it is. Well folks just like that there you have it, side one is done and again side two is also fantastic but for me side one is perfect.

Carole King’s “Tapestry” remains one of the most important albums of all time and represents the longest charting album by a solo female in the history of music. (Think “Dark Side of the Moon” on the men’s side). It has sold over 25 million copies worldwide with over 10 million sold alone in the U.S. and was ranked the 36th greatest album of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003 when they named their top 500 ever. I have the vinyl and I love listening to this gem with all the “scratchiness”, timeless classic.

“TOP TEN”:

Image of Shinedown

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Burning Bright” by Shinedown from their debut album-“Leave a Whisper” and it had me thinking that I needed to put down their top ten songs. Now I know I wrote so much about them last year that many of you were probably thinking this was the “Shinedown Weekly” instead of “Errols Weekly.” But more recently I have not “sung their praises” (I know I did a review of their sophomore effort-“Us and Them” a few months back but that was “months”) so I figured it was time to try and get more of you on their bandwagon. This band was formed in 2001 in Jacksonville FL with four guys who had dreams of grandeur as rock stars and more recently they have reached that upper echelon of stardom as more and more of their songs are reaching the masses with some pretty good success. “Second Chance” went on to be a powerful hit and now that I am older I love the fact that it reached the “general” audience. Why? Because it will draw more fans in to what the die-hard Shinedown loyal already knows-this band has some serious talent. Now I was drawn into this band back in 2004 while vacationing down in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee and back then their cover of the Skynyrd classic-“Simple Man”- was all over the air waves. I tried to get my brother-in-law to go see them at a local club in Tennessee but he had never heard of them and wasn’t as intrigued as I was, so I did not end up going because I did not know my way around the area. Then in 2005, when they released “Us and Them” it was almost like a potion as I became engulfed with that entire album and I “got” what the original fan was talking about. When that little girl starts off by reciting “Whisper in the yard, turn the trees all into toys, lay there on the ground and turn the dirt into your joy…” I know I will be off into a dream state for at least an hour while taking a fantastic musical journey as their music is pumped into my bloodstream and I know this is good for my heart because it makes me feel great. There is something different about the passion that resides within Brent Smith (and the rest of the band but its Brent I hear singing) that gets me going like no other band out there.

After “Us and Them” they started their work on “The Sound of Madness” and somewhere along the line, the original foursome had something go wrong and sadly the original guitarist (Jasin Todd) and bassist (Brad Stewart) left the group. To this day I still don’t know what really happened as all parties have taken a page out of the Bill Belichick playbook by not saying a word about it. The band Shinedown still shines on and again they appear to be primed for bigger things in the years to come. I am here to convince you to listen to their music as last year they released “deluxe” versions of both “Leave a Whisper” and “Us and Them” which include more unreleased material plus a cover of the infamous U2 song-“One.” I absolutely love their version and I won’t say it is better than U2’s version because my oldest son has threatened to never read my blog again if I state that on this page and I wouldn’t want to lose him as a reader (or disappoint him). So here it is, I am on an island and have been told that I can only have 10 songs-“These are Them:” (Of course if I was able to take eleven that would be “Some Day”or “Yer Majesty”)

10.     Fly From the Inside- What a way to start off their career with this powerful knockout that begins their very impressive debut-“Leave a Whisper”-(2003) “It’s the weight of the world on my shoulders…on my shoulders..” wails Brent as you can immediately feel a twitch in your own shoulders as his voice surrounds you just like when you sit in front of a fan that blows your face and hair. You can hear the heavy influence of Soundgarden in this song-think the “Badmotorfinger” Soundgarden. Yes this is the “post grunge” sound with a twinge of “heavy metal rap” (think Linkin’ Park-a little bit). There is a heavy guitar riff that dominates the song but they take it down at points with some acoustic vibes that gives it that extra kick when they storm back up. “I don’t wear a mask and I have no regrets!!!” and as Kara (American Idol judge) would say-“Brent makes you believe that this song is “relate-able” to the experiences in his life.” Shinedown is “real.”

9.     Devour- They had me on the opening “high school marching band drums” sound that slowly gets louder as the slick guitar work creeps in and all along the piano is working its way in there as you prepare for a tornado as the pace intensifies with crashing of the pounding drums and before you know it you are in a mash pit with yourself spinning in circles looking for something to crash into. Talk about intensity? I’m assuming this song has to be on many a football player’s I-pod playlist before the big game to get them totally psyched. Every time I hear this song I am immediately taken back to the High Line Ballroom where I saw them perform this song in the summer of 2008 and I can just picture Brent’s face highlighted by a light while the rest of him remained in a shadow as I was blown away by his intensity, it’s a moment I will never forget. This pumps me up like no other song and after the week I have had, this works perfectly, as it was my “release.”

8.     Burning Bright- Whew…I coming down from the ride of “Devour” to the calming influence of this great tune from their debut album. Folks listen to this song and tell me you don’t feel the passion in Brent’s vocals??!! Especially the “bridge” part where he exudes the furor of “There’s nothing ever wrong but nothing’s ever right.. such a cruel contradiction..” How anyone can not like this song is beyond me. This is always a fan favorite at their live shows, some quality stuff right here.

7.     Atmosphere- The guitar melody is outstanding and how much more can I praise the massive skills as Brent Smith as a singer? He is freaking phenomenal. I wish I could get up on stage when they come back to NY again and sing this song with him (there is no way I could match his zeal) because he is the only singer out there today with the “younger” bands that has moved me (keep in mind I’m 45) and I would just once want to experience what he does up there on stage in front of the faithful followers, it has to be magical. It’s hard to put into words what this song does to me, it’s like I’m possessed-this is some powerful stuff folks-please join in on the fun.

6.     Stranger Inside- You know how when you hear the opening notes of a song that you really love and you get that incredible urge to turn the sound up as loud as you can and just savor the moment? I can just picture myself in an abandoned parking lot surrounded by a chain link fence about 10 feet high in the night time with a street light shining a circle on the ground while the rain is pouring and I have a microphone trying to emulate the dedication that Brent applies to each and everyone of his songs. Love the beginning of the song where he accentuates the word “breath” as he says “I just won’t relax I can’t catch my bray-eee-ethhh” His intensity is unmatched and the heavy riffs from the guitar is too much for me to take, this is too good to be true. This is some of the best stuff that was released in the decade of 2000, hands down-so don’t even try to argue the point.

5.     Breaking Inside- If this song doesn’t hook you into this band then nothing will. This song has it all-softness, heaviness, inspiration and a passionate display to make one self better. Don’t say nothing about that it is a pop ballad or any other nonsense like that because this is straight from the heart and anything from the heart which displays the devotion as this song does-then you need to pay attention. I want to say that this is Brent’s best ever vocal effort but I’d be lying because he gives the same effort on each song he sings, some may mean more to him but the effort is always there. Folks, he is the best singer/front man out there today, I’m sorry you can’t make songs like these and not be considered one of the best in the business. Beautiful song.

4.     Fake- Oh my Lord when I hear the beginning of this song I just lose it. Please I beg of you- next time you are in one of those music stores (FYE or whatever-we went through this already) go to the Shinedown section (pray that they have “Us and Them”) and go to track # 12 press play and squeeze those headphones (Ok you should bring one of those Lysol swipes to clean the headphones, I understand) as tight against your ears and slowly bring up the volume and I don’t care what 30 second section of the song it will play because you will be blown away. Then you can put down the headphones, buy the disc from the teenager behind the counter who looks confused, then run to your car, try to rip open the package (use your car keys that usually works for me) slip it into your CD player and quickly fast forward to track #12 and listen to this masterpiece in its entirety. “Because I’m bleeding and my hands are bruised… from the grip that I once had on you…And I’m open for a new way because there’s not much more I can fake…” This is so good, it brings tears to my eyes. Music is supposed to move you, this moves me.

3.     If You Only Knew- For those who have been following me for the last few years you know when I did a review for “The Sound of Madness” I told you that this was going to be the biggest song on the album (OK it didn’t go as far as “Second Chance” but there is still time) and I told the casual fan that if you didn’t like the heaviness of the other songs you’d have to love this track. This song evokes so many memories-the first being at their live show at The Highline in 2008 when Brent introduced the song as one of his favorites because he wrote it for his wife- the second being I hooked my cousin Michele (and Jenny too) into Shinedown and last year she sent me a birthday card and at the bottom of the card she wrote “.. it’s 4:03 and I can’t sleep without you next to me I toss and turn like the sea..” The smile that came across my face when I read the words to the song was from ear to ear. So this past Wednesday I woke up and didn’t have a job to go to again, so I couldn’t stay in the house so I went to the mall and was just walking around aimlessly and guess what song was playing over the speakers around the entire mall- yes- you have it-“If You Only Knew”- I said this has to be a sign of some sort-their music will help me get through this bump in the road. Thank you boys!!!

2.     Save Me- Wow this is colossal… majestic…grandiose…folks these have to be some of the best songs written during the 21st Century… if you don’t feel the passion in this song then I just don’t know what to say… this song is a “Cry for Help” (which is on my youngest son’s top ten list) for the many who struggle with their demons. “.. my hardest question to answer is WHY…WHY!!!!” I can’t decide which version of this song I like better- the original or the acoustic- they both are so incredibly stupendous. Tears are rolling down my face as I listen to this song and think of my mother’s brother who struggled so long to get off those demons but couldn’t, you always ask “what might have been?” I think to Layne Staley the lead singer of Alice In Chains and of his mother speaking to those living addicts on the “Celebrity Rehab” show. “What could have been?” Man the passion rips your heart right out of your chest-how many singers can do this like Brent? “How did I get here and what went wrong?”

1.     I Dare You- After “Save Me” comes “I Dare You” and I swear I feel like I could fly. I want to run right outside my house now and run and dive into the air with the feeling that I can fly high above the trees. I really feel that I could “walk through fire” when I hear this song. I feel like I can do anything when I hear this song. Folks this is some kind of special and if you don’t know these songs you are truly missing out. Again both versions-original and acoustic- are out of this world. If you remember (I do) Daughtry covered this song on his run with American Idol a few years back and did an admiral job but this song should never be officially “covered” by anyone-no one will ever do it justice the way Brent Smith does. This is absolutely stunning.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Elton John

2.     David Bowie

3.     Waylon Jennings gave his seat up to the Big Bopper

4.     “Ain’t Wasting Time No More”

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     Who wrote the Manfred Mann popular song-“Blinded by the Light?”

2.     Who sings backup on Carly Simon’s single-“You’re So Vain?”

3.     What is Fleetwood Mac’s only number one single in the U.S.?

4.     Who is the only female credited with backing vocals on Pink Floyd’s “The Wall?” (Hint: she played along side a piano player-no not Richard Carpenter)

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Fly Like An Eagle”- Steve Miller Band

2.     “Fly Me to the Moon”- Frank Sinatra

3.     “Gonna Fly Now”-Bill Conti (theme from “Rocky”)

4.     “Fly By Night” –Rush

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “…So many times, it happens so fast…you change your passion for glory…don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past…you must fight just to keep them alive…”

2.     “…Now every morning just before breakfast…I don’t want no coffee or tea…Just me and my good buddy Weiser…That’s all I’ll ever need…”

3.     “…when I hold you in my arms… I know that I can’t do no wrong…and when I hold you in my arms…my love won’t do you no harm…”

4.     “…I got flowers in the spring…I got you to wear my ring…And when I’m sad… you’re a clown…and if I get scared you’re always around…”

Back on this Day

Back on this day in 1965, The Hollies had their first concert in the U.S. at the New York Paramount.

Back on this day in 1969, Elektra Records dropped MC5 from their label after MC5 took out an ad in a local Detroit paper blasting a record store that did not carry their album.

Back on this day in 1972, the Electric Light Orchestra made their live debut at the Fox and Greyhound Pub in Croydon U.K.

Back on this day in 1974, Queen made their first live appearance in the U.S. when they opened for Mott the Hoople in Denver CO. (What a cool show that must have been).

Back on this day in 1993, David Lee Roth was arrested at Washington Square Park in NYC for buying a $10 bag of marijuana from an undercover police officer.

Back on this day in 1996, Kiss made an announcement from the Intrepid that they were getting back together for a reunion tour with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, leaving Bruce Kulick and Eric Singer in the cold. (Singer is now the drummer for Kiss). That tour went on to make $144 million.Can you imagine how much Gene and Paul are worth if that one tour made $144 million?

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late great Dusty Springfield, Bobby Vinton, Gerry Rafferty and John Bentley (Squeeze)

April 9, 2010

Weekly Update – 04/09/2010

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 4:42 am

Rihanna at Mohegan Sun on Wed. Aug. 11 and Madison Square Garden on Thurs. Aug. 12. Special guest is Ke$ha. Mohegan: Pre-sale tickets on sale now for Citi card holders. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $80-$110. The Garden: tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m. $39.50 – $139.50.

Bon Jovi with Kid Rock at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Fri. July 9. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on sale now until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Also the pre-sale password is: “Slippery”- for non American Express cardholders. General public tickets on sale this Mon. Apr. 12 at 10:00 a.m. $36.50, $66 – $150.

Rush at the Mohegan Sun on Mon. July 19; at Jones Beach on Sat. July 24; at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. Sept. 3. This will be the “Time Machine Tour” and will feature the playing of “Moving Pictures” in its entirety. Tickets on sale Sat. April 17. Further ticket information to follow.

Heart at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Tues. Aug. 3. Pre-sale tickets on sale now for Citi card holders until next Wed. April 14 at 10:00 p.m. General public tickets on sale next Fri. Apr. 16 at 10:00 a.m. $47, $57, $61.50, $81.50 and $91.50.

The Scorpions farewell tour stops at both PNC Bank Arts Center and Jones Beach. Cinderella is the opener. At PNC on Fri. June 18 and Jones Beach on Tues. June 22. Pre-sale tickets begin this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and the password is: “popstar.” General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. PNC: $19.25; $29.25; $59.25- $79.25; Jones: $25, $39, $59 and $79.

Ratt at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Mon. May 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $28.50 (SRO-no seats)

Maxwell and Jill Scott at the Mohegan Sun on Mon. June 21. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $57 – $77.

Maxwell and Erykah Badu at Madison Square Garden on Sat. June 26. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $41.50 – $256.50

Willie Nelson at the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center on Thurs. May 6. Tickets on sale this morning at 9:00 a.m.. $75.

Jack Johnson at The Comcast Theater on Fri. July 9. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $35 and $55. Also appearing at the PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. July 13. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $35 and $55. Also appearing at Madison Square Garden Wed. July 14. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $35, $49.50 and $70.

Jackson Browne at the MAC at Monmouth University (West Long Branch NJ) on Thurs. Sept. 2. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $175. ($175?? Are you kidding me? I’d stay home and listen to his albums).

Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum and Love & Theft at the Comcast Theater on Fri. July 16. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. Lawn: $24; $72.

Neil Young at the Oakdale Theater (Wallingford CT) on Sun. May 23. Tickets on sale now. $50.50, $90.50 and $130.50.

Yes and Peter Frampton at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. June 25 and at Jones Beach on Sat. June 26. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.PNC: $16.26 – $79.25; Jones: $19 – $79.

The Black Crowes at the Theater in Westbury NY on Wed. June 2. More ticket info to follow.

Backstreet Boys at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thurs. June 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $52.50 – $72.50. Also appearing at MAC at Monmouth University (West Long Branch NJ) on Sun. June 13 and at the Mohegan Sun on Sun. June 15. Tickets on sale this morning. MAC: $46.50; Mohegan: $40.

The Hold Steady at the Beacon Theater on Thurs. Rocktober 7. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $28.50 – $33.50 (This Brooklyn based band will release its 5th studio album-“Heaven is Whenever” on May 4)

Hell Yeah at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tues. April 27. Tickets on sale today at noon. $18 ($20 day of show)

Michael Franti & Spearhead at the beach on Governor’s Island on Thurs. June 3. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35 (plus $5 for roundtrip ferry ticket).

Crowded House at the Bowery Ballroom from Mon. –Wed. July 19-21 and also at the Wellmont Theater on Fri. July 23. Tickets on sale today at noon. Bowery: $56; Wellmont: $30, $45 and $55.

Huey Lewis & The News at the Wellmont Theater on Tues. July 13. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45, $75 and $90.

Concrete Blond at Webster Hall on Thurs. June 10. Tickets on sale today at noon. $30 ($35 day of show).

Wolf Parade at Terminal 5 on Tues. July 13. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $25 ($28 day of show).

Dion at the Theater at Westbury on Sat. July 24. Tickets on sale this Sun. Apr. 11 at 12:30 p.m. $40 – $50.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Malcolm McLaren who passed away yesterday at the age of 64. He was best known for being the manager for the Sex Pistols.

Biggest surprise for me this past Tuesday night on American Idol was a superb performance by Casey James who completely nailed John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.” At points you could hear a pin drop-that is how quiet the audience was- and I felt it at a certain point and realized that I was in the “moment.” This was a night to perform songs written by Lennon & McCartney (always bums me out that Harrison & Starkey are left out of the equation- for once I want to see someone perform “Piggies” or “Don’t Pass Me By.”) and I didn’t know what to expect from the contestants because this year has been sort of a “sleeper” for this show. I told my oldest son that unless Aaron Kelly wins this thing in May, come this summer I won’t even remember that he was on the show. I mean no offense because he can sing, it’s just many of this year’s participants have not left the audience with memorable moments. However as the pile is shrinking some have “stepped up to the plate” to snap some of the audience out of its doldrums to make them pay attention. I for one was blown away by the performance by Crystal Bowersox with her rendition of “Come Together”- I thought it was flat out amazing- I love the “hippie style” she has going on. And despite Simon’s weird assessment that Michael Lynche’s take on “Eleanor Rigby” was a musical and “sounded old fashion” I believe most would say that his performance was right up there with Casey and Crystal. I loved the way he turned “Eleanor” into this sort of R&B vibe. I would purchase all three songs (Casey, Crystal and Michael’s) if they are released as a “full single”- heck I might even purchase the “2 minute” version that will be offered on I-Tunes-that’s how good I thought all three were.

Just below the performances of the aforementioned three some, I have to give credit where credit is due and Siobhan Magnus did a nice job on “Across the Universe.” It was a tender moment and you could tell the words to this song affected her deeply. And for first time in a while there was no screaming. I thought Katie Stevens did enough to stay out of the bottom three this week with her performance of “Let it Be.” And I also have to nod my head with the performance by Tim Urban with “All My Loving”- I still don’t think he’ll win but he will survive another week. Andrew Garcia is in trouble of being the odd man out this week.

Then came Wednesday night and I don’t even know what America was thinking when they voted off Michael Lynche. Are you kidding me? I’m not saying that he is going to win it all (though I think he has a shot) and he is far superior singer than Andrew Garcia, Tim Urban, Aaron Kelly and Lee DeWyze. If the judges didn’t save him, I was strongly considering not watching the remaining shows for this year. I don’t know who is voting and why they are not voting for Mr. Lynche but it’s a travesty considering he is one of the very few bright spots this season. This is a singing contest, not a contest to see who has the cutest hair.

Did you notice who was playing lead guitar for the Rihanna performance of her new single-“Rockstar 101”- on American Idol on Wednesday night?-none other than Mr. Nuno Bettencourt. For those of you who do not know this slick guitarist, he made much of his fame with Extreme. After being in hibernation for some time, he’s been very busy lately doing the reunion tour with Extreme (finally), has made a music video for the show “How I Met Your Mother” and is now part of Rihanna’s band. Very cool to see him back in action.

Shinedown has released eight acoustic versions of songs from their monster album-“The Sound of Madness”- exclusively through I-Tunes. If there are still some of you out there who haven’t yet made the plunge to their bandwagon, these crystal clear acoustic versions of their songs just may move you to ask some of us to make room for you as you join the bandwagon. What are you waiting for? These guys are incredible.

Jacob Dylan has put out a new album-“Women and Country”- and is picking up very favorable reviews across the board. Many have said that they were waiting for an album from him like this and also have stated that his Dad should be really proud of this work. (not that he isn’t proud of his son but you know what I mean). He eerily sounds like his dad and so far the most popular song seems to be “Everybody’s Hurting.”

Peter Wolf has put out his first piece of work in eight years called –“Midnight Souvenirs”- and also has received some very positive reviews. Not for nothing, listening to the 30 second previews on I-Tunes sounds like something that I could really get into. If you are a fan of his days with J. Geils, I have a funny feeling you will not be disappointed with this album. He gets some help from Merle Haggard, Neko Case and Shelby Lynne. Check it out.

The first single from the new Stone Temple Pilots album (May 25) is “Between the Lines” and is out on the web (not hard to find) and streaming live somewhere near a site by you. I am very partial to this band (I wanted Scott back in STP when he did the Velvet stint) so you know that I already love it. Sounds very “polished” but still rocks out. I believe Scott recorded the vocals in a separate studio from the rest of the band, so that had to be a little tough but you obviously can not hear anything different in the final version of this track. I say “welcome back STP!!!”

On May 18 there will be a DVD of John Lennon that will include some rare and never seen before footage that traces his career through footage from rare videos and news reels, some which haven’t been seen in 40 years. It is the “Rare and Unseen” DVD collection, look for it.

Album Review: Slash by Slash released on April 6, 2010

Slash

How cool must it be to be just known as “Slash?” Think about that for a second. (I know there are also many others who are known by just one name-Elvis, Cher, Madonna, etc. but none like “Slash” right?). He’s known around the world as one of the premier guitarists of his generation but yet at the same time he seems to “remain in the background.” He doesn’t bring “negative” attention to himself and appears to be one of those guys who keep things to himself. (I always had that feeling that he was more comfortable on stage with his hair and hat over his eyes just playing guitar-I believe that was more than just “a look.’) In all the years of dealing with Axl, I still don’t think he has disparaged him in the press (I could be wrong) even though Slash (as well as the rest of the original members of G’N’R) was a huge part of the Guns success and ultimate climb to the top as one of the best hard rock bands of all time. That seems like a long time ago, huh? And even though he wasn’t part of that “monster” band he continued to do just what he loves to do-play guitar and make music. He was the main attraction in “Slash’s Snakepit”-I guess you have to be if the lead band name includes your own. Then with his years with Velvet Revolver he was involved with another lead singer who was traditionally a lot to handle and miraculously they made it through more than a few albums together as well as tours. But that eventually came to an end with Scott Weiland heading back to the Stone Temple Pilots.

So now here comes Slash with his first “solo” effort almost 25 years after being in the music business. He doesn’t have to deal with all the craziness that has surrounded him for much of his career, this is his album on his terms and music that he wanted to make and produce. He invited many of his friends to help out with the collaboration because I don’t think he wanted to go down the route of putting out just an entire album of instrumental songs (he has an amazing one with his buddy Duff McKagan on bass and Dave Grohl on drums). He does get help from almost every original member of Guns & Roses (can you guess who is the only one not on the album?) to help him make the songs. What I love about this album is the way Slash puts himself out there for different types of music, he doesn’t just do the “hard rock” genre that he will forever be known for. No, he asks Fergie to do a song with him and guess what? It totally works and I look forward to more collaboration between the two. Adam Levine joins the fray with his unbelievable vocals on a very slow style “pop” song and you will be blown away on how good that track is. Of course he has an “edge” to him so there are more raucous parties with the likes of Lemmy, Ozzy and Iggy. There are a few different versions of this album floating around the country as some I-Tunes versions “across the pond and down under” include a remake of “Paradise City” with Fergie taking the lead vocals. Which ever one you decide to go with, it is worth the money. One can tell that Slash put in an incredible amount of time and effort to this production (Think about how many different people he worked with to get this done?) and the result is a remarkable display of his talents on guitar as well as some really notable tunes. There is something for everyone on this album and as I soak this album up over the next few months, I have to say I am anxiously waiting for another record just like this with other “friends.” This is a definite purchase in my book. Here is my review, song by song:

1.     Ghost (featuring Ian Astbury-from The Cult)- The album kicks off with some good old fashion rock and roll that will take you back to the early days of the Cult. (The drum introduction actually sounds like the beginning of the song “Lights” by Styx with a few extra beats or so). Slash is prominently displayed with a continuous riff that sort of reminds me of an ambulance blazing down a local NYC street with its flashing lights and that “alarm” sound. Mr. Astbury is a phenomenal rock and roll front man and I can’t think of a better way to start this solid disc. It has that familiar Cult feel to it as there is a part where the music slows down and you have just Ian with that “Morrison” (Astbury also toured with the remaining members of The Doors a few years back) effect that he puts his seal on. Slash of course has a blazing guitar solo right in the middle and he is there to show you that this is his album with him at the control panel. Well done boys!!

2.     Crucify the Dead (featuring Ozzy-no need for intro, right?!!)- It really is amazing to me how Ozzy transforms himself when he sings on songs or when he performs in concert because most of the time I have a hard time understanding him when he just talks to someone who is interviewing him. You see that is what rock and roll does to him, you “plug” him in he is ready to go. At first I wasn’t so enthralled by the sound but the more I listened to it, the more I started to get it. This definitely has Ozzy’s more recent recordings feel to it, the pace is a bit slow but it picks up at points throughout the track. I could easily see Slash playing for Ozzy in a band as his blistering solo fits Ozzy like a glove. \m/ \m/

3.     Beautiful Dangerous (featuring Fergie-no need for intro, right??!!)- I love the fact that Slash did a song with Fergie because you’re kidding yourself if you didn’t think she could pull it off, Slash knew exactly what he was doing when he asked to write a song with her. In the immortal words of American Idol judge, Randy Jackson, this is “hot!!!” For some reason when I hear this song I just picture “Catwoman” from the Batman series because the tune has some mischievous to it, like someone is up to no good-don’t ask me why I just do. Yes kiddies Fergie can rock out with the best of ‘em. If I were Slash I may would just want to steal her away from the Black Eyed Peas, she’s that good. Of course Slash is “most excellent” on the guitar, he is a special talent.

4.     Back from Cali (featuring Myles Kennedy-from Alter-Bridge)- The tune starts off with this bluesy twist and not for nothing after listening to the whole disc, I can actually picture Kid Rock taking the lead vocals on this tune but Mr. Kennedy does a nice job. I could see this song having some real time on the local “new” rock stations across the U.S. Supposedly Slash is taking Myles out on tour with him to promote this album. Mr. Kennedy (for those of you who are not familiar) took over on vocals after three quarters of the band Creed left their lead singer Scott Stapp, formed Alter-Bridge and enlisted Myles as their lead singer. (That is obviously over now that Creed is back together). This is another solid song, so far-four for four.

5.     Promise (featuring Chris Cornell-from Soundgarden and Audioslave)-If you are a fan of Cornell’s days with Audioslave then this is right up your alley because it really sounds like them of course with Slash’s signature style on guitar rather than Tom Morello. Chris still can hit the high notes as he displays that pretty often throughout the song, obviously not like when he first came up through Temple of the Dog. The beginning bass line sort of sounds like Creed but then it changes directions with the riffs supplied by Slash. Mr. Cornell can still be the front man for any band he wants to play for in my opinion. The man has some serious vocal skills and I could easily see Slash asking him to record some more songs in the future. It’s a slow paced head-banger but none the less a very good song.

6.     By the Sword (featuring Andrew Stockdale-from Wolfmother)-OK folks I didn’t want to do this but this is the best track on the album. I don’t want to take anything away from the other songs recorded but this one is a notch ahead of everything. (just my opinion). This song has a “larger than life” feeling to it-(think “Paradise City” by Slash’s former band G’N’R-I’m not saying it sounds like that song but just the incredible status of that song in their library-do you get what I’m trying to say?). Slash and Andrew do their best Page-Plant imitation as Slash plays the same melody behind Stockdale’s vocals and actually I could picture a younger Plant doing this song, so who knows that may have been their inspiration. And I know Page would have to be impressed with Slash’s work on guitar on this track because he really nails this song down in two different ways-staying in the background when needed but shining brightly when it’s his turn to take the wheel. This has to be on the radio right now, it’s that good. This is going to be a HUGE hit. Check out the performance on the Craig Ferguson Late Night show at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owTpE16d0dY  Awesome \m/ \m/

7.     Gotten (featuring Adam Levine-do I need to tell you Maroon 5?)- Again I love the fact that Slash displays his musical taste and that it doesn’t just have to be “hard rock” or “Metal.” Of course Slash has a real nice “heavy” guitar solo in the middle but it works in the context of the song because there is a natural transition back to the nice soft tone that this song possesses. In my opinion, this song is guaranteed to be one of the most popular songs from this disc to appear on the radio and I could see this being the song for the “summer of 2010.” Adams vocals are spot on and the song will make you drift away with your thoughts or make you grab the hand of that someone special to ask them for this next dance. Now I admit it may be a little weird slow dancing with your partner when Slash’s solo comes into play but both of you can squeeze closer and just do that thing that some couples do (you know you’ve seen it at weddings) where they dance at a much slower pace than the song dictates because they are in their own world. This song will do that to you. The five minutes will be over before you know it. Excellent song.

8.     Doctor Alibi (featuring Lemmy-‘nuff said)-Ok you go from Adam Levine’s nice soft touch to Lemmy (this is like listening to my I-pod when it’s on a shuffle- you can get Tony Bennett on one song then the next track could be from Megadeth) and yes it is like taking a “full” shot of Jack Daniels which will make your face squint in anguish from the hard taste but you love it (and so does Lemmy). This is “head-banging” at its best. This ain’t no “filler” song, you can tell Lemmy (and Slash) put their all into it because the result is a raw and energetic. Lemmy voice is so raspy right around the 2:20 mark and he just makes the song that much better. I love this, I have to listen again!!! \m/ \m/

9.     Watch This (featuring Duff McKagan and Dave Grohl-no intro’s needed, right?)-This tune conjures up visions of Rush a little bit because typically on most of their albums there was always on instrumental song that would knock your socks off because it showcased their skills. Well folks, this song highlights the awesome talents of all three musicians and solidifies their position as true artists who are at the top of the game. The almost four minute track will fly by and actually I would put this song right up there with another instrumental- “Frankenstein”- yes that’s how good I think it is. Slash is righteous throughout with his partner Duff playing those heavy bass lines while Mr. Grohl is perfectly happy behind the drum set.

10.     Hold On (featuring Kid Rock- no intro needed!)- Ok admittedly when I heard that these two decided to do a song together I was thinking something along the lines of “Rock and Roll Jesus” figuring a raucous rock and roll song that you would hear at your local pub with some guys/gals that just want to have some fun playing on a Friday night after a long work week. And when I first heard the groove and realized this was not what I thought it was going to be, I was almost tempted to dismiss it but I couldn’t turn it off because it had that something special. I can’t put my finger on it but maybe this is what I am looking for from the Kid- a sign of maturity-songs that have a deeper meaning than “So Hott.” If you don’t know by now, Mr. Kid Rock can sing and when he does songs like this, in my eyes it makes him one of the best rock and roll vocalists out there today. I feel his passion and I am squeezing my fists and look up to the sky when he belts out “.. I refuse to let the hands of fate unfold… I hold on…” Awesome track.

11.     Nothing to Say (featuring M Shadows-Matthew is the lead singer for Avenged Sevenfold)- Ok kiddies put on your seat belt and hold on for dear life because both Slash and Matt will be taking you on a wild ride with fast paced bouncing metal beats which will not be for those who get squeamish on these types of expeditions. Think Megadeth all the way as far as the music, no offense Dave but Matt has the more melodic vocals. This is a perfect song for all you head bangers out there when the five o’clock whistle has blown on Friday afternoon and you get into your car with the idea of just rocking out with just yourself as you have the windows closed so as to not let the energy escape through the windows. This is not for the faint of heart. \m/\m/

12.     Starlight (featuring Myles Kennedy again)-After coming off the whiplash ride supplied by Mr. Shadows, you can relax and soak in the slower paced rock song that seems a bit “commercial” but there’s nothing wrong with that. Even though it is a “rock” song I kind of feel a bit of a R&B twinge in Myles voice and his vocals are nice when he sings at a lower pitch, sometimes when he hits that high note you might go to hold your ear like those passengers you see on the NYC subway when they hold their ears when a train is fast approaching your station. But all in all another solid effort, I like it.

13.     Saint is a Sinner Too (featuring Rocco DeLuca-from the “Indie” group The Burden)-At first-no offense intended Mr. DeLuca- but I though it was a woman’s voice that was starting the song because of the high pitch of the vocals. This is along the lines of Mr. Levine’s tune in the sense that is a ballad like tune but it definitely has that “indie” feel to it and that is what totally amazes me about Slash. Who would have “thunk” that he’s be doing Indie? But you know what?- He shines brightly as usual because he just knows how to handle the guitar. Folks this is the “sleeper” hit of the album. Most won’t think much of it but if you listen carefully, you won’t pass over it.

14.     We’re All Gonna Die (featuring Iggy Pop-no intro needed!!) Technically this is the last song on the album-if you buy the CD- (I have one more to go because I bought from I-Tunes) and what a perfect way to end the CD. This is pure punk from the King of punk. (another genre that Slash easily slides into). At points in the song you will think that Billy Idol slithers in there for some vocals but it’s all Iggy. Of course you have some “I don’t give a ___” type lyrics such as “we’re all gonna die so lets get high..” or “pee on the ground and jump around..” The chorus is very addictive and you will be singing this all day long and watch out for Slash’s blistering solo which you should at that point turn up the volume. This is some good stuff right here folks. Raucous punk rock, 2010 style.

15.     Mother Maria (featuring Beth Hart-American singer who has been compared to Janis Joplin). Now I didn’t know who Beth Hart is before she started to sing but I tell you what, after hearing her belt out this tune I will definitely look to explore more into her music. Folks I though this was just an “extra” song, sort of like those “B” sides that is offered on many artists CD’s as an after thought. Please don’t kid yourself into thinking that- this song is right up there as one of the best collaborations that Slash has ever done with someone not named Axl. This is a total homerun and I for one am totally blown away on how good this song is. No kidding folks, Slash knows talent when he hears it. This should be on the radio right now!!!

Folks I’m telling you now, you will not be disappointed in this solid effort by Slash. He put a lot of effort into this and it deserves your attention. Nice job Slash.

“TOP TEN”:

Gold

Now that March Madness has come to an end-No not College Basketball- I meant the annual March Madness shows performed by the legendary Allman Brothers Band, this year up at the United Palace Theater instead of the usual hangout- The Beacon Theater. (Actually the shows scheduled during the week of March 22-27 were cancelled due to an unforeseen family matter but they still did 8 shows from Mar. 11- Mar. 20) And after reading some posts on their website it appears that the United Palace was a “one and out” sort of thing as Gregg mentioned more than a few times that there will be a change come next year. (I had a funny feeling it wouldn’t work up there). Anyways back to this legendary band, now as I remember being a teenager growing up all the older guys in my neighborhood were huge Allman fans and many of you might remember the “battle” between picking the Allmans or Skynyrd? But you have to understand it was the Allman’s first… with no offense to the boys in Skynyrd, if it weren’t for the huge success of Duane, Gregg, Dickey, Berry, Butch and Jai before them, the road would have been a lot more bumpy for southern rock if not for the paved black top that the Allman’s slapped on to the American highways. I’m not here to resurrect the battle lines between the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s because they both are great bands but the focus today lies with Gregg and his band-mates. Now all the Allman fans always wonder –“What if?”- Yes what if Duane was never taken from the band and was still around? Most of his fans would agree that like fine wine, he would have only been better with age. He would have to be mentioned in the same breath as Clapton is these days, right? He was only 24 when he was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1971 and he ranked as the #2 guitarist of all-time, second to only Jimi Hendrix, in the Rolling Stone magazine list of the 100 greatest guitarists. Think about that for a second…. Jimi then Duane and he was only 24… has it sunk in yet?…. he was part of rock history with Eric Clapton of the “Derek & The Dominoes” fame and was actually offered a permanent position by Clapton but Duane never left the band he formed with his brother.

Now we all know that this band has been through an awful amount of life events throughout their storied career but the one thing that remains untouchable is their true love and spirit of the music that is inside all of the members of this band, former and present. And it is a treasured gift that they share with us all throughout the years with Duane, Dickey and now with two of the greatest guitarists today-Mr. Warren Hayes (ironic how it was Dickey who recommended Warren to the band and now it is he who is out) and Mr. Derek Trucks (nephew of original founding member Butch Trucks). Folks you are truly missing out if you have never seen the Allman’s at least once in your life, especially now with the talents of Hayes and Trucks on guitar. It is getting harder to see the Allman’s now due to the other commitments that the band members have to their own “side projects.” (But not really side projects, they are dedicated to their bands such as Gov’t Mule, Derek Trucks Band, etc.). Admittedly I am not a “die-hard” Allman fan and do not consider myself an expert on their music and history but have seen this band live at the Beacon many times and consider myself lucky to have witnessed one of the greatest American bands ever in the history of music. I will also admit that they can be an acquired taste but if you like the “jam” bands of today like Phish, Dave Matthews Band, Robert Randolph, etc. then you have to see this band at least one time because they are part of the foundation of the “jam band” genre. Ok I am on an island and told that I can have 10 songs by The Allman Brothers, “These Are Them:” (If I could pick eleven-number 11 would be “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More”)

10.     Trouble No More- Normally I don’t like to put down “covers” in my top ten list but their take on Muddy Water’s song is so phenomenal and dare I say that I like the original recording that appears on their debut album rather than the live version. The guitar work by Duane is out of this world and that double or triple sound guitar blending is what made the Allman’s so popular. Not for nothing but everyone needs to own their debut album-friggin’ phenomenal and it stands the test of time as it enters it 42nd year of gathering new listeners. (listen to the staggering guitar work on “Every Hungry Woman”).This cover has to help to convert more people into fans of this band. This is some classic stuff right here folks.

9.     Old Before My Time- This mesmerizing song from their 2003 “Hitting the Note” album is a joy to listen to. It seems to depict a portrait of Gregg’s life-“when I was younger, I thought I ruled the world.. it was an oyster at my feet, dancing to my own drum…”- as he looks back on his time spent as we all do as we become older and more mature. The song ends on the following lyrics-“There is a long hard road, it lies so far behind me…”- how true is that? Everyone can relate to this road we call life. Classic tune, ‘nuff said!!!

8.     Dreams-The title of this song is so perfect because once I put it on, I drift off to a dream and can feel myself being lifted to another place. (again I don’t do drugs, never have, never will…) There are some songs that are so good that you have a hard time explaining why you love it so much and this tune does it for me. Duane’s guitar work is so virtuoso that I really feel like I am floating in the clouds high above me and how great is the vocals of Gregg? This has to be one of his best recordings of his voice ever.“Pull myself together.. put on a new face…climb down off the hilltop baby…” This is the stuff that “Dreams” are made of right here.

7.     Blue Sky-This was the first time that Dickey Betts sang lead and he wrote the song for his native American girlfriend-“Sandy Blue Sky”-whom he married in 1973 but divorced two years later. All the Allman fans know the story behind the exit of Betts from the band so I won’t go there and sometimes it is hard to separate that kind of stuff but I have to admit that despite all that, this song has to land in my top ten list. The guitar work between Dickey and Duane is legendary as they both take turns performing the lead as well the rhythm parts. Again, another American classic.

6.     Black Hearted Woman- This is what rock and roll mixed with the blues is all about. Put on one of those huge set of headphones on your ears and squeeze as tight as you can trying to make your two hands touch while listening to the brilliant guitar work of Duane and Dickey. This song is freaking phenomenal!! (Have I mentioned you need to own their debut album??!!!). When the “drum solo” with the “bongos” come in to the song towards the end well I just lose it… can it get any better than this? I would have loved to see them perform this live back in the day when Duane was around, it must have been spiritual. It doesn’t seem like they wanted to stop recording this song because the guitars still seem to play as the music is slowed down to a whisper.

5.     One Way Out- Ok how can this song be left off my list-no matter how many times I have heard this over the years-and it has to be the live version for me. (And yes it is another cover but it can not be denied). How psyched does this song get you? I know it gets me crazed just like when you open a can of soda after dropping it. You can feel Gregg’s words come to life as I feel like I am trapped in that same house and the boogie groove created by Betts while Duane takes it over the top with that bottleneck slide guitar it something that can never be replicated. Ok all of us at the same time do the “Wayne’s World We Are Not Worthy Bow”… are you ready?.. Three… Two…One… bow and close your eyes and thank them for one of the greatest American songs that has ever reached your ears

4.     Melissa- How friggin’ great is this song? Take one listen to this song and tell me this guy doesn’t have something in him that most do not possess. This song is an absolute stunner and for some reason I love to hear this song in the summer time. It takes me back to my days of my childhood when visiting my grandparents and uncle in their home in Otisville NY. I can just lay in the field with a blade of grass in my teeth and look at the blue sky and just relax. Duane implored his brother to play “that song about the girl.” It ended up on “Eat a Peach” for which the album is dedicated to Duane’s memory. Awesome stuff.

3.     Midnight Rider- C’mon folks think about the quality of these songs from this band from Macon Georgia. This is another song that I love to listen to in the summer time- a hot summer day in August with a hint of a cool breeze as you picnic with your loved ones with this song playing in the background. Can it get any better? This is a time less classic and I’m assuming everyone who picks up an acoustic guitar aspires to perform the chords to this famous melody. Gregg’s vocals are amazing.

2.     Revival- Talk about an inspiring song? This has all the makings of having everyone around the world to grab hands and form the biggest human chain as the people of this universe unite to live as one. This is the immediate image I get when I hear the opening notes, it takes a little bit to get going but the words are bright and clear-“People can you feel it.. Love is everywhere..” And talk about a song everyone can sing and dance to? This is it. I use to play this song all the time for my boys when they were much younger when we went on some long road trips to Cape Cod and/or New Hampshire and when they hear it, they always say-“didn’t you play this song endlessly for us?” Perfect song for your next Spin class.

1.     Southbound- This song has everything- great guitars, sweet piano and just an all around brilliant groove that should shake most right out their bed. It brings me back to “The Forge” in Ringwood N.J.-the old watering hole for the members of the Orange Crush softball team-not that we went there too often but when we did I always made sure that I put this song on for my big brother Jay as he definitely was “old school” and was someone who appreciated the Allman’s music, better than I did. I could see it in the way he just grooved slightly that this track that he was in his element. Boy do I miss those days a lot. The guys on the Orange Crush were more than teammates to me, they are family and I will never forget family. Thanks for letting me play centerfield boys and Joe can you throw a strike already??!!! Then just recently I just went to see my “brother” Slats and his band “The Groove” back in Brooklyn and they tore down the roof at “Johnny Pumps” with a blistering rendition of this track while his cousin was having a blast dancing around the dance floor like nobody’s business. Dickey Betts is unbelievable on guitar while Chuck Leavell has one of the best solos on piano I have ever heard. This is a Betts classic, again can’t take that away from him. (Just wish the other stuff didn’t get in the way).

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     True, Gladys recommended to Gordy to sign The Jackson 5.

2.     “Beechwood 4-5789”

3.     False- Three from U.S., two from England (Harrison and Lynne)

4.     True

This week’s trivia (Random)-

1.     Who plays the piano on the Hollies classic “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother?”

2.     Who wrote the classic tune “All the Young Dudes” for Mott The Hoople?

3.     Who gave up his seat to the “Big Bopper” on the ill fated plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper?

4.     What song did Gregg Allman write for after his brother’s tragic death by motorcycle crash which appears on “Eat a Peach?”

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Jesus Take the Wheel”- Carrie Underwood

2.     “Note to God”- Charice Pempengco (written by Dianne Warren)

3.     “Peace Train”-Cat Stevens

4.     “My Sweet Lord” –George Harrison

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “…Feed the babies… who don’t have enough to eat… shoe the children… with no shoes on their feet… house the people… living in the street…”

2.     “…Fill my heart with song…Let me sing forever more…You are all I long for…All I worship and adore…In other words, please be true…”

3.     “…Trying hard now… it’s so hard now…trying hard now…Getting strong now…won’t be long now…getting strong now…”

4.     “…Start a new chapter…I find what I’m after…It’s changing everyday…The change of a season…Is enough of a reason…to want to get away…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 1988, Dave Prater-[of Sam and Dave (“Hold On I’m Coming”)] died in a car crash near Sycamore, Georgia. He was only 50 years old.

Back on this day in 1962, Henry Mancini wins an Academy Award for best song for “Moon River” in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Back on this day in 1965, Bruce Johnston permanently replaces Brian Wilson in the Beach Boys.

Back on this day in 1970, Paul McCartney quits The Beatles and the next day it is announced in the press that the band is breaking up.

Back on this day in 1997, the stunning announcement that Soundgarden had split up was made. (I remember that day like it was yesterday, I was so stunned and disappointed).

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with the late great Carl Perkins and Gene Parsons (The Byrds)

April 2, 2010

Weekly Update – 04/02/2010

Heart at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Tues. Aug. 3. Tickets on sale Fri. Apr. 16 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Phish at Jones Beach on Tues. & Wed. Aug. 17 & 18. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $50. Also appearing at the Comcast Theater on Fri. & Sat. June 17 & 18. Tickets on sale today at 1:00 p.m. $45.50

Jack Johnson at Madison Square Garden on Wed. July 14. Tickets on sale next Sat. Apr. 10 at 10:00 a.m. $35 – $70.

John Mayer at Jones Beach on Wed. July 21 and at PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. Aug. 3. Pre-sale tickets for Citi card holders begins on Wed. Apr. 14 at 10:00 a.m. General public on sale Sat. Apr. 17 at 10:00 a.m. More information to follow.

Green Day with AFI at the Comcast Theater on Thurs. Aug. 12. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. Lawn: $20-$35; Rear Pavilion: $49.50 – $59.50; Mid Pavilion: $59.50; Lower Pavilion: $69.50; Pit Area-SRO: $85

The Black Keys at the Central Park Summer Stage on Wed. July 28. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35

Tears for Fears at The Wellmont Theater on Sat. Aug. 21. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45, $75 and $95.

Earth Wind & Fire at Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City NJ on Fri. & Sat. June 11 & 12. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.(Live Nation Event).

Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sat. May 22. Tickets on sale today at noon. $30.

Delta Spirit at the Bowery Ballroom on Wed. June 30 and at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thurs. July 1. Tickets on sale today at noon. $16 ($18 day of show)

They Might Be Giants at the Town Hall on Sun. Sept. 26. Tickets on sale today at noon. $27 ($100 for family 4 packs)

Metric at Terminal 5 on Sun. May 16. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on sale now until 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $25.

Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders at the Gramercy Theater (formerly “The Blender”) on Thurs. May 6. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event).

Buzzcocks at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Thurs. May 13. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $29.50

Nas and Damien Marley at the Brooklyn Waterfront in Williamsburg Brooklyn on Sat. July 31. Tickets on sale today at noon.$39.50

Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Wed. Aug. 11. More info to follow.

Other items:

Janet Jackson’s new single-“Nothing”- from the movie “Why did I get Married Too” (which is out today) was released this past Tuesday and I like it. Her vocals are eerily similar to those of her late brother Michael and I immediately thought of him when I heard this track, very soothing song.

Christina Aguilera’s new single “Not Myself Tonight” is a definite “club” song and sort of reminds me of something Lady GaGa would do. (Ouch I know that hurts Christina but it sounds like that to me) Just picture walking into a NYC club with the dark room but with lights circling the room while the people are just dancing all over the place, this is that song. In the immortal words of Randy Jackson-“This is the bomb.” Check it out, I like it. Not for the kiddies though, especially with the moans and groans towards the end.

Have I mentioned how good the new Scorpions album-“Sting in the Tail” is? According to Billboard, it’s their biggest selling album ever as far as first week sales.

If you are an ‘80’s rock fan, you may want to head out to Oklahoma City for the weekend of July 23- 25 at the “Zoo Amphitheater” where The Scorpions, Ratt and Twisted Sister will headline the 3 day event. It is called the RockNAmerica.com and other bands featured are Warrant, Faster Pussycat, L.A. Guns (yes with Tracii), Dokken, Bullet Boys and others. Tickets go on sale next Sat. April 10 at Tickets.com

My favorite “new song” of the week belongs to Peter Frampton and the song is-“I Want It Back”- from his upcoming album-“Thank You Mr. Churchhill”-which will be released on April 27. Recently I have been on a Frampton kick, especially with his early days with Humble Pie, this man has the skills on guitar and this new song will rock your socks off. Buy it now!!!

Phish will appear on TV for the first time in 6 years on Thurs. May 13 when they will perform on the “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” covering one of the Rolling Stones songs from Exile on Main Street. This will be part of a week long tribute to the Stones, whose “Exile” will be re-released on May 18 and will include 10 songs previously unreleased. Phish has not stated what song they will cover for the Fallon show.

My other favorite “new song” of the week belongs to Amy Grant with her beautiful “Better Than a Hallelujah” from her new album-“Somewhere Down The Road.” What a perfect song to be released this special week as we head into Easter weekend. I can picture looking out a window on a rainy day as the rain drops slowly make their way down the glass.

My favorite “old school R&B” song of the week is the “blist-a-fying” “funk-a-fied” “25 Miles” by the late Edwin Starr. How great is this song? Man I can’t get enough of music like this, “they” don’t make music like this anymore. It sort of has this James Brown feel to it but Edwin clearly makes it his own. “I‘ve got fifteen miles to go now and I can hear my baby calling my name…” Awesome tune.

Duff McKagan (former bassist for G&R and Velvet Revolver) has officially joined Jane’s Addiction. They are now writing new material for an album to be released next year. I don’t know but that seems like a weird match to me, I always had the feeling that Perry Farrell wanted nothing to do with the “big rock star type” and with McKagan coming from Guns-arguably one of the biggest bands ever- I would think that goes against his grain. But maybe he’s changed and I’m wrong. And from Duff’s vantage point I would think that he likes the “heavier” stuff than what Jane’s Addiction has to offer, but again what do I know?

I-Tunes actually has another pretty cool free single of the week and it belongs to Paper Tongues and their song “Trinity.” It feels like a mixture of U2, Oasis and The Killers with a splash of dance music.

The first solo album by Slash is out next Tuesday and unbelievably you can listen to the entire CD already on AOL in the “new releases” section. Even though it goes against every bone in my body I quickly listened to samples of the album and I have to tell you I am real impressed with the range of music that Slash exhibits. He can totally “metal” it out with the likes of Lemmy but then take it down to the “pop ballad” with Adam Levine. You have to check out his unbelievable riffs on “Nothing to Say” featuring M. Shadows. Or “Watch This” the instrumental with the seemingly everywhere Mr. Dave Grohl and Duff McKagan. And the forever young Iggy Pop is all over the “We’re All Gonna Die” track with his usual badself. Looks like a definite buy on this one. Nice job Slash!!!

Album Review: “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3” by The Traveling Wilburys released on Rocktober 29, 1990

The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “You Took My Breath Away” by the Traveling Wilburys so I had to go back and listen to the whole Volume 3 (as well as Volume 1 but I’ll stick with 3, although you can’t go wrong with either). Now I feel terrible that my focus is on Volume 3 as Volume 1 contained the incomparable Roy Orbison (also known as “Lefty” Wilbury). Now before I head into Volume 3, you need to familiarize yourself with their first collaboration with specific focus on “Not Alone Any More,” “End of the Line,” “Handle With Care,” “Last Night” and “Rattled” as these songs all contain parts/solos by the legendary voice of Mr. Orbison. (The other songs of course contain Orbison’s background vocals). Now their first album was released in October 1988 but unfortunately “Lefty” passed away that December. I believe there was some talk to replace Lefty but how do you replace a Roy Orbison? With that, they decided to make one more album without a new Wilbury and recorded Volume 3 (even though it was the second volume, “Spike”-George- decided to mess with people’s minds by naming it “3” with four of the original five members-Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty.

Now take yourself back to late 1990… MTV was at its all time popularity still playing all the “hairband” video’s… (this was right before Nirvana came along the following year and wiped them out)… bands like Poison, Warrant, Winger, Billy Idol and the Damn Yankees ruled the airwaves.. on the “pop” side of things Madonna was at the top of the world, with Mariah not too far behind… Paula was known for her singing and dancing instead of her “Idol” fame…The New Kids on the Block were taking young girls breath away… Rap was not at its “gangsta” stage just yet, except for Public Enemy but a lot of it was MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice and what I would call “fun” rap…Salt N Pepa and En Vogue were blazing a trail for women’s vocal bands.. even Celion Dion and Yanni (remember him?) were popular at that time.. and then along comes this rock, country rock and folk band which contained four of the arguably greatest influences on music (five when you include “Lefty”) but yet at that time, they all seem to be “in the background.” Yes we all know about Harrison and Dylan-these two alone could be considered part of the premier acts of all time, with Dylan being the greatest writer ever. Mr. Petty had already put his dent into the rock music world and Mr. Lynne has flown circles around most with his experience in ELO but for some reason they were.. dare I say… almost ignored? There was not much fan fare that I remember and it wasn’t popular at the time but in a weird way I guess I was still OK with that because I was still kind of young at 25 with part of me not wanting the music that I listened to be considered “part of the masses.” But on the other hand, it drove me nuts that they weren’t put out there for all to see, so that we all could do the Wayne’s World “We Are Not Worthy” bow to four of the world’s best artists. Now don’t get me wrong, I realize that their albums sold over 4 million copies combined-which is nothing to sneeze at-but I feel that number should be at least doubled. So what I am saying is- you need to own both volumes of one of the greatest collaborations of Icons ever assembled.

Side one starts off with the blistering “She’s My Baby”- how great is this song? It is a fast paced mesh of rock and blues which will have you “air-strumming” the acoustic guitars and just for good measure there is an electrifying guitar solo by a special guest-Gary Moore. All four Wilbury’s take turns singing their parts-which is what made every great Wilbury song special-to hear each talented voice on most all of their songs is what makes this so pleasing to the ear. We used this song in our boot camp class at MBIA from 2003-2005, if this song doesn’t move you, well then I don’t know what to say. This is the heaviest I have ever heard Dylan, it’s almost like he’s out of his element but it suits him very well. (Many of you know that I am not the hugest Dylan fan but I love all his contributions to the Wilburys). Track # 2- “Inside Out”-just may be my favorite song on the album. Starts off with the melancholy voice of Dylan but when Petty comes in with the chorus, well it just puts me over the top. “Look down your dream pipe.. what color do you see?.. It’s got to be yellow.. don’t try and fool me…” Then when Harrison takes the bridge, you have to ask yourself-“Why didn’t these guys make more volumes?” This is pure perfection folks. “Ain’t no shadow of a doubt… and your downsides up, yeah your upsides right… when you’re inside out..” “If You Belonged to Me” definitely has Dylan’s footprint all over this one, especially with the harmonica (but then again Petty utilizes the harmonica). This is Boo’s (Dylan) baby with a little help from Jeff on vocals. This is a nice sing along song which also could be shouted out as a suggestion to your next visit to the local pub for that person taking requests while playing the acoustic guitar with the harmonica attached. “The Devil’s Been Busy” is a fast paced acoustic classic which espouses visions of sitting around the campfire on a nice summer night, with each one of your friends taking the separate parts by Clayton, Spike Boo and Muddy. My favorite part is when Clayton (Jeff) breaks in with “… they’re coming down Picadilly… dripping at the dash…wasting stick Willy..” These are the best sing along songs ever. “7 Deadly Sins” is not one of my favorites on this album but it’s not that bad because it champions the long lost art of “doo-wop” and I can picture these four guys on a corner in the Bronx singing a cappella to this track. This definitely has that Dion & The Belmonts feel to it. The last track on side 1 is “Poor House” and I forgot that this is my favorite song on this album. This is knee slapping, “rock-abilly” at its best. Next time you’re on a farm just grab some jugs and anything else that you can find to tap away and put this song on somehow and dance around like you never have before. If you listen closely towards the end of the song you can hear like this “scratchin’ effect” that makes it that much easier to move and slide your neck up and down as you try to have your chin touch your chest. This is AWESOME!! I can remember that my mother loved this song and she would always say “Turn it Up!!!” Great advise Mom, I just did!!! “They’re gonna put me in the poorhouse and throw away the key..”

Side two starts off with the ever cool “Where Were You Last Night?” The groove is super stupendous and I could picture this being played at Woodstock with all the “tie-dieds” dancing around in one big circle arms entwined with each person kicking their right foot, then their left foot, then the right and so on. Spike (George) has the coolest vocals, I’m sorry. The guitar work is flawless. The coolness continues with “Cool Dry Place” as this seems to be Muddy’s (Petty) baby because he does the majority of the vocals on this song. Folks you have to listen to this song just to hear the amazing guitar solo (I’m not sure who is playing-could be George) but it is lights out. For some reason, I feel like playing the accordion when I hear this track. “New Blue Moon” is Clayton’s baby as the sound takes you back to the 1960’s again with that doo-wop or a cappella style of yester-year. Nothing spectacular about this song but still a nice track. The aforementioned “You Took My Breath Away” is nothing short of spectacular. This could be one of the best “ballads” ever recorded. When I listen I can’t think of any other song where Petty sings the way he does, it is different from anything he’s ever done but my favorite part is when Lynne breaks in with “One day when the sun is shy—ahh—ing… there will be a silver lieeee-ning..” This is their masterpiece in my opinion. This fantastic album ends with the very energetic “Wilbury Twist.” How much fun is this song? Boy do I remember playing this song for my boys when they were much younger and dancing around the living room like a maniac-trying to emulate the words that were sung by Boo, Spike, Muddy and Clayton-especially George’s part where he says-“Lift your other foot up.. fall on your ass…” which I promptly did and they would laugh at their Dad. This was another song we used endlessly at MBIA with our early morning boot camp class for like three years. It is really hard not to move something when you hear this one. Again it’s weird to hear Boo singing something so brisk and fast but it works for him.

If not for any other reason than “Volume 3” was dedicated to the memory of Roy Orbison, you need to own this Traveling Wilbury classic as you know the four remaining members did their best to honor their family member. For some reason after 1990, these guys did not create more of their superb sound and after 2001 when Harrison passed away you knew this would be it, so folks this has to be in your music library. If not, run out and get it!!!

“TOP TEN”:

Since this week’s American Idol theme was “R&B” I decided to focus on two of the women bands (no offense to “The Pips”) who I feel blazed a trail for many women R&B artists to follow (as well as men). So this week’s top ten will be a combined Top 5 from Gladys Knight & The Pips and The Marvelettes. What else can be said about Gladys Knight [and The Pips- her brother Merald Knight and their cousins-Edward Patten (who passed away in 2005) and William Guest] that hasn’t been said already? She has been an American Icon for so long it is hard to believe that she has been performed in seven decades since the late 1950’s. Her legendary voice has made some of the best songs ever recorded in the history of music. She and The Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Vocal Hall of Fame in 2001. For those of you who do not know The Marvelettes, they were really the first successful female vocal band that paved the way for later acts such as The Supremes and Martha and The Vandellas. Their origin began in Michigan in the early 1960’s and they were initially called The Marvels-five women which included Gladys Horton, Georgia Dobbins, Georgeanna Tillman, Juanita Cowart and Katherine Anderson. Berry Gordy renamed them the “Marvelettes” and their first hit was “Please Mr. Postman” and the rest they say is history. From 1961 to 1969, they placed 25 singles on the pop charts. Gladys Horton left the group in 1967 and was replaced by Anne Bogan. Unfortunately today since Motown sold rights to their name none of the original members can use the name The Marvelettes-which is a travesty. But with the help of Mary Wilson (The Supremes) who fought hard to pass legislation that artists can not use the name of a band if not one of the original members are not part of the act. So now Gladys Horton, the only member still performing, may finally be able to use “The Marvelettes.” So I am on an island and am informed that I can have 5 songs from Gladys Knights & The Pips and The Marvelettes- “these are them:”

The Marvelettes

The Best of the Marvelettes: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection

5.     Too Many Fish In the Sea- This has Smokey Robinson all over this track as the beat is reminiscent of something that he would record. I grew up in a household that was filled with Doo Wop, Rock and Roll and of course Rhythm and Blues- this song serves as a perfect example of R&B. This upbeat song can be used at your next Spin class or at your next party to get folks out on to the dance floor. The story behind this song indicates that the Marvelettes may have gone with the wrong song choice because they were approached by the legendary writing team of Holland-Dozier-Holland to sing the song-“Where Did Our Love Go”- which eventually landed in the hands of The Supremes and went on to be a #1 song on both the R&B and Pop charts, while “Too Many” was a minor hit. And as the rest of the story goes, the Supremes remained supreme after that…

4.     Don’t Mess With Bill- I can remember that WCBS FM, the NY “oldies” radio station would play this song all the time and that’s another thing that occurred during my upbringing which was the fact that you could lose a finger or two if you tried to change the radio station. It was forever fixated on CBS and I actually find myself going back to this station to hear songs just like this. Folks this is classic stuff right here.

3.     Playboy-This 1962 classic starts out very similar to their biggest hit “Please Mr. Postman” but takes a different turn and it resulted in this track being one of their finest successes of their career. It has the obligatory hand claps, which is better than the cowbell in my book (next to whistling). I can picture my Mom and my Aunt sitting at the table singing along to these R&B classics, pure perfection

2.     Please Mr. Postman-OK how can anyone not like this song? In this “virtual” world we live in now it is virtually impossible to not like this tune. This song reached number one on both the “R&B” and “Pop” charts back in 1961 and when I listen to it today, the recording is so clean and clear that it stands the test of time. This has to be considered one of the best songs ever recorded during the 1960’s.

1.     Forever- Even though this did not do so well in the charts (you know that makes no difference to me by now, right?) it is a very moving song sung in that “doo wop” style that gets me all the time. (Yes Dad I really like Doo Wop even though you don’t think so). This is a song of unconditional love for that someone special no matter how hard they take you for granted. “I play the part of a fool… just to be with you forever..” Folks this is where it all started, they blazed the trail for the Supremes and so many girl groups that followed and deserve your respect.

Gladys Knight & The Pips

Image of Gladys Knight

5.     Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)- Gladys has this way of putting you into a trance when she sings those slow beautiful classics and this one is no different. She always commands my complete and utter attention when she sings songs like this. This song spent four weeks as the number one song on the Soul charts back in 1973 and was a “cross-over” hit on the Billboard Pop charts as it reached # 2. They won a Grammy for this song as well, ‘nuff said!!!

4.     Nitty Gritty- Now I would assume that if you ask most people they would assume that Gladys would say that she is a “ballad” singer but on this track (along with lots of others) she proves the point that she could rock and groove out with the best of them. Or should I say “funk”- James Brown had to have a smile on his face when he heard this song, are you kidding me? This is unreal-if this song doesn’t move you- you’ve no “soul” or “funk” for that matter. This is like your favorite pancake syrup spreading across your hot stack of cakes and I do mean this is HOT!!!

3.     Every Beat of My Heart- This was her (their) first hit back in 1961 (a cover tune) and sometimes the effort that goes into your first song or album has so much “hunger” that it usually turns out to be some of the best stuff that an artist will ever record. It sort of has that Etta James feel to it (not a bad thing to be compared to Ms. James, right?). This also has that classic “doo wop” sound and her vocals are absolutely stunning, I am completely mesmerized by this song. Folks, you need to own this song as it is absolutely and positively a flawless masterpiece.

2.     Midnight Train to Georgia- I just recently saw a piece on the mother of the young woman-Gabourey Sidibe-who portrayed “Precious” in the movie where Mo’Nique won an Academy Award last month. The mother-Alice Tan Ridley- is a soul singer and actually sings on the platforms of subway stations around New York City. Well, she was profiled on Good Morning America back in February and was asked what was the biggest “tip” that she ever received and Alice stated that a woman gave her $1,000 to keep singing the song-“Midnight Train to Georgia.” How cool is that? Anyway this has to be considered one of the greatest recordings ever in the history of music. This is another absolute stunner. Just jaw dropping on how friggin’ phenomenal this song is. “They” don’t make songs like these anymore.

1.     I Heard It Through The Grapevine- With no disrespect to the late great Marvin Gaye or Creedence Clearwater Revival, there is no better version of this song than done by Ms. Knight and her family. My oldest son just told me this week that he is tired already of this song as he says he hears it almost every time I turn on my computer and go to my I-Tunes collection. No other song gets me flaying my arms over my head while snapping my fingers, this has the greatest groove of any R&B song ever recorded-again just my opinion. I can listen to this song over and over-to me this is the best song that Gladys & her Pips ever recorded-of course with all due respect to the aforementioned songs (and other songs that I did not list here)-again in my opinion. Unbelievable what a timeless classic this song is and will always be.

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Randy Hogan

2.     George Martin

3.     False- Lauper was born in Queens N.Y.

4.     True- she was part of both “We are the World” recordings

This week’s trivia (Gladys Knight; Marvelettes and Traveling Wilburys)-

1.     True or False: Gladys Knight was the first person to suggest to Motown Mogul Berrry Gordy to sign a certain rising 5 boy band from Gary Indiana.

2.     Which Marvelette song was the most popular phone number up until Tommy Tuton’s 1982 pop song “867-5309?”

3.     True or False: In the original five member Traveling Wilburys band, there were three from England and two from the U.S.

4.     True or False: Traveling Wilburys Volume 1 landed in the top 100 albums of all time according to Rolling Stone Magazine.

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “ Turn It On Again”- Genesis

2.     “Turn The Page”-Bob Seger

3.     “Turn to Stone”-ELO

4.     “Turn The Beat Around” -Vicki Sue Robinson

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “… And the car came to a stop..she cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock…and for the first time in a long time she bowed her head to pray…”

2.     “…I’d pour my heart out on each page…I’d ask for war to end… for peace to mend this world…I’d say…I’d say…I’d say… give us the strength to make it through …”

3.     “…Now I have been smiling lately… dreaming about the world as one…And I believe it could be…some day its going to come …”

4.     “…I really want to see you… I really want to be with you… really want to show you…”

Back on this Day

Sadly back on this day in 2003, Edwin Starr-[“War” (War!! What is it good for?) and “25 Miles”-great songs] passed away at the young age of 61 from a heart attack.

Back on this day in 1964, The Beach Boys finished recording “I Get Around” and Brian Wilson gets so fed up with his father’s criticism of the band that he fires him as their manager.

Back on this day in 1967, Steve Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group to form Traffic.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Leon Russell and the late great Marvin Gaye.

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