ZZ Top at the Beacon Theater (2nd show added) on Mon. Sept. 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $39.50 – $79.50.
Brandon Flowers at the Highline Ballroom on Thurs. Aug. 26. Tickets on sale today at noon. $27.50.
B.o.B. at Irving Plaza on Tues. Aug. 16. Tickets on sale today at noon. $38.50
Brooks & Dunn with Merle Haggard at PNC Bank Arts Center on Sat. Aug. 28. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $25, $49.75 and $69.75
Scissor Sisters at Terminal 5 on Wed. Aug. 25. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35 ($40 day of show).
Miranda Lambert at Terminal 5 on Wed. Sept. 29. Tickets on sale today at noon. $29.50 ($30 day of show).
Guster at the Beacon Theateron Fri. Rocktober 29. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $39.50.
Chris Issak at the Bergen Performing Arts Center on Thurs. Dec. 2. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $29 – $109.
Eddie Money at BB Kings on Thurs. Nov. 18. Tickets on sale next Wed. July 28 at noon. $35 ($40 day of show)
The Good Rats at BB Kings on Sat. Apr. 16, 2011. (7:00 and 10:00 shows) Tickets on sale next Wed. July 28 at 10:00 a.m. $50 (first come first serve) and $75.
Forbes just recently listed the top earners in the music industry from June 2009 through June 2010 and the number one spot belongs to U2 who earned a whopping $130 million (after tax) due to their massive tour and each stop netted an additional $10M. AC/DC were pretty close behind, earning $114 million due to their 99 date tour. (Add in sales of merchandise and “other income” and it puts the number at $226 million in gross revenues). Bruce Springsteen took the fourth spot by earning $70 million after selling two million tickets on his tour. Lady GaGa-who used to play small clubs on East side of New York (and now sells out Madison Square Garden in a matter of seconds)- pulled in $62 million which landed her in the seventh spot. Madonna was close behind her at $58 million. Who says the ‘80’s bands are dead? Three of the top four were at the height of their careers in the 1980’s and Madonna has to be included in that as well.
Sheryl Crow’s new album-100 Miles from Memphis- didn’t receive such positive reviews from the listeners on I-Tunes. The overall grade was 3.5 stars which is a bit lower than what one is used to seeing on I-Tunes. I have to say that just listening to the 30 second samples, I liked what I heard and could see myself buying my first Sheryl Crow album (have some single songs) as she puts a nice R&B spin on this work. “Sideways” is a show stopper and elicits memories of that “old school” R&B sound.
Looking for something very cool and classic? Well then check out this week’s release of David Garrett’s release of “Rock Symphonies.” The guy is an unbelievable violinist and puts his “classical” spin on such rock classics as “Master of Puppets” by Metallica, “Smells Like teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “Kashmir” by the Mighty Led Zeppelin and “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith. The Nirvana cover is especially jaw dropping. Check it out.
My favorite “classic” rock song of the week is “Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)” by Robert Palmer. How great is this song?… and how many times was it played when it first came out in 1979? Wow this could be one of the most played songs in radio history. Such a shame that he passed away back in 2003 at the very young age of 54. This guy made some awesome songs in his career. Get to know some of them.
The Killers and Tom Jones collaboration? Yes it is true, Brandon Flowers has indicated that he admires what Mr. Jones has done in his career. I love it, I wish there would be more “odd” workings amongst different genre (or different time periods) of artists.
My favorite “new” song of the week is “Cold Fame” by the Band of Skulls. This is a phenomenal song, you will think that you may have heard the voice before, I can’t put my finger on it but it seems like a mix of Bono and Jack White. Their debut album-“Baby Darling Doll Face Honey”- is a super solid effort. This band is very good- you need to check them out. Need more convincing? Check out some of their songs done acoustically- listen to “Fires”- http://www.livedaily.com/sessions/72.html
Back in June Paul McCartney was honored with the Library of Congress Gershwin prize at the White House and there was a video of him performing “Hey Jude” and Mr. Obama sang along with him. Recently there was another video released with Jack White performing right in front of the President doing a fantastic cover of “Mother Nature’s Son.” By the way the entire event will be broadcast on PBS next Wednesday evening July 28. Check it out right here- http://www.billboard.com/#/news/jack-white-covers-beatles-mother-nature-1004105709.story?tag=hpfeed
Have you heard the song-“You Lost Me”-by Christina Aguilera? I know she has taken some heat for her new album-“Bionic”- for making songs like Lady Gaga. But this song will wipe out all the doubts on her singing ability and prove once and for all that she is one of the best-if not the best-female singer on the planet. Friggin’ unbelievable. Buy it now!!!
Album Review: “Rock and Roll Over” - KISS released on November 11, 1976
Ok as you all by now, KISS will always have a soft spot in my musical heart and even though there have been times when we drifted apart for some years-flash forward to the age of the “I-Pod” and the boys from New York have the second most songs on my “classic” I-Pod behind the Beatles. (Of course Gene will always throw out statistics that compare to KISS to the Beatles, so why not myself?). Let me take you back to 1976, I was back in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn after moving from Otisville N.Y. in 1975 and going to P.S. 169-which is still there on 44th street and 7th avenue. It was the sixth grade, I was eleven years old growing up in a house hold of “Doo-Wop” music (which I do like) and had no idea what was waiting for me when I opened the door to a different kind of rock and roll. As I entered, it was like when Dorothy first opened her front door after her house landed in Oz after being swept up in the tornado-a new beginning with colors blazing everywhere. Why there was white make-up along with black which depicting a devil, a cat, an alien and… well I never really knew what the “star” man represented but it was cool anyway. There was spitting red blood, psychedelic gray wings which blasted out “gold like” ammunition from his guitar and if you looked closely you could see the green in the eyes of the cat behind the drum kit as it seemed like he was in the forest ready to pounce on you in a moment’s notice.
Now think of the cover of “Rock and Roll Over”-can it get any more colorful? I can recall being so fascinated by this band that I knew I had to make them my “BFF” (oops that’s not 1976 lingo but you get the picture?). I started to purchase posters-the one that clearly stands out is the Bi-Centennial one-and hanging them all over my room. I started a KISS notebook where I collected newspaper articles, “Circus” magazine (remember that?) photos and any other outlet that I could get my hands on. My life at that time centered on playing baseball and KISS-that was it. I use to go over to a friend’s house-Rodney- and all we did was compare our KISS notes and listen to their albums. Now remember back then, there were never any photos of KISS without their make-up on and since there was no “TMZ” around, obtaining pictures of any one of these guys was the equivalent of trying to dig up dirt on Derek Jeter-it just didn’t happen. The grip that they had on the music world as well as NY during the late seventies was really something to experience and is a memory that I will always treasure. One of my favorite albums during that time period was “Rock and Roll Over” and to be quite honest I bought it because of the artwork contained on the cover-I figured the music had to be good because this was one of the best covers on any album that I had ever seen. (I still think that today). Now I like many of their albums but this week I am in the mood for this one (who knows in coming months I could be doing their debut-or “Dressed to Kill” or “Hotter than Hell”). This is an album that should be in your music library, period end of story.
“Rock and Roll Over” begins with the super cool-“I Want You”-I remember as a kid loving the beginning of the song because it starts off acoustically and then BAM-hard rock in your face just before you can take the needle off the record to try and skip to the next song. (Hey don’t do that!!!) “In the morning I raise my head…is… I WANT YOU..” This is always a show stopper at their shows as the fans will actually sing every word for Paul. I really think that on the album KISS was operating on all cylinders as Ace was light’s out with his work on the axe, while Peter was drumming from the bathroom-yes the bathroom-very true as one can clearly hear those “shower” acoustics in his drumming throughout the album. This is also one of Johnny Boy’s favorite KISS song (after “Beth” of course). I want you to go out and get this album just based on this song. Track # 2-“Take Me”- is pure rock and roll equipped with a driving beat along with some most excellent vocals from Paul. I love that “high pitch” guitar line that Ace employs towards the end of the song. This is a head stomping song that will also get you moving across the living room floor as you dance and also air guitar yourself around the room. “Take Me, break Me, love me…” Love it. “Calling Dr. Love” is one of the coolest songs ever written I’m sorry but I will take no arguments here. You know you love the guitar riff that introduces the song (along with the obligatory “cow bell”)-it could be one of the most recognizable songs on the planet. Excuse me while I turn up the volume… OK I’m back as Gene’s vocals are piercing my ears right now. I could argue that this might just be their most popular song after “Rock and Roll All Nite.” I remember hearing KISS for the first time on WABC radio on the AM dial-yes kiddies there used to be music played on the AM stations back in the day-and it was this song. It was funny listening to Harry Harrison introducing this song because it was so out of his normal play list. This was the one and only KISS finally getting some air play on the radio. Excuse me while I turn up the volume on Ace’s guitar solo- I feel like I’m flying to outer space (you see his costume really works)…I’m back again…any way I will forever remember this song while I spent my summer of 1977 in Otisville N.Y. while listening to WABC as they played this song at least 4 times a day. Love the part where Gene yells-“Haaahh!!!” C’mon folks this is great stuff right here. “Ladies Room”-Ok we all know about how KISS sometimes utilizes juvenile lyrics-case in point- but the focus here is on the music. Now I will admit that I do like the live version of this song and always like to hear this song when I see them in concert. The studio version sounds a bit slower than the live versions. The energy comes back for the last song-“Baby Driver”-on side one and the vocals are done by a slick cat-Peter Criss-like I said earlier these cats were at the top of their game on this album and Peter is perfect for this song because of his “raspy” voice which compliments the raucousness that surrounds him. Love the part where his voice echoes-“let chu in.. let chu in..”- ahead of their time as the echo thing would soon take over the disco genre. Also loves the way Peter screams in this song-it can’t be rock and roll if the drummer is not screaming while pounding away on the skins. “Go baby driver… go baby driver.. PUSH THE METAL TO THE FLOOR!!!…”
Side two starts off with the electrifying “Love and Leave ‘Em” and in my opinion this is one of the best songs that Gene has ever recorded with KISS. I love the driving beat and how he says “my limousine is awaiting and I see you coming my way Hey Hey Hey…” and then when he talks about setting up a reservation between ten and two-“How do you do??!!!”-I can’t get enough of this; excuse me while I start the song over again just so that I can listen to those parts again. Can I get any more psyched? Now again I’m not an advocate of the lyrics and it is again pretty juvenile but I love the musicianship (that’s right I said I love the musicianship of KISS) as Ace’s guitar solo will explode in your ears and you won’t believe that you actually love KISS. “Mr. Speed”-OK you can see a theme here again but just focus on the music. This is an actual sing along song-albeit while you are alone in your car-or at a KISS concert-I absolutely love when Paul says “Ah Ah”-you know I have to rewind to hear that again. The arrangement is simple but sometimes “Keeping It Simple Silly” (don’t like the word- “stupid”) is the best way. “See You in Your Dreams” is one of the “purest” KISS songs in the sense if I had to pick a song that depicts their “sound”-this would have to be one of the songs I would pick. It has their great background vocals, the pounding drums from Peter and a nice guitar solo by Ace. Gene has that real distinctive vocal and even though he is now a “reality TV star” you can’t take away the fact that back in the day (and still now) he has a perfect rock and roll voice. “Hard Luck Woman” was written by Paul and supposedly he wanted Rod Stewart to sing the vocals for them but thank goodness it wasn’t to be (no offense Mr. Stewart you know I have full respect for you) as this is probably the second most popular song in Peter’s repertoire after “Beth.” This is also one of Johnny Boy’s favorite songs as I can picture him singing –“If ever I met you…I never have seen you cry…” This is a good sing along song as you are sitting around the campfire. The last song that ends this solid album is-“Making Love”-and Ace is blazing all over this song-as well as Peter on drums. I love the “stop and go” sounds that Peter puts on display with his drumming as I go high then go low. Paul’s vocals are crystal clear-and if the kids are around you just may want to turn it down but when Ace’s guitar solo comes on it is mandatory that you put it as LOUD as you can stand it. The song has some “giddy-up” to it and I can picture one of your uncles at a wedding when they do that “Arm” dance- you know what I’m talking about-this is the song to do it to. This is a fun song to listen to as the musicianship is at a peak standard.
“Rock and Roll Over” has a great album cover and that is the reason I originally bought it but I’m here to tell you to purchase it for the music. If you don’t have any KISS in your library, I would recommend starting here with this album-I know many other fans are screaming for “Destroyer” or “Hotter than Hell” or “Dressed to Kill”- and honestly you won’t go wrong with anyone of those either. (Yes “Love Gun” as well just for “I Stole Your Love” alone). I spent many a day trying to draw a replication of this album cover (and should have kept at least one of them) and spent many more just listening to these songs. (No I don’t have any of those original posters or my scrap book- I know- I’m kicking myself). 1976 was a great year for KISS as they released “Destroyer” in March and then “Rock and Roll Over” in November and my guess is that you will play “Rock and Roll”-Over and Over. What are you waiting for? The KISS Army is still recruiting.
Ok I’m assuming most of you reading this page have been gripped in the midst of a summer heat wave where the temperatures have been a “scorcher” for the area that you reside in since the middle of June, right? Right here in the Tri-State area it has been so warm that there is be a chance that this July could go down as the hottest ever on record. To put it in perspective, when you emerge from the NYC subway after trudging through the lovely underground tunnel, it actually feels like a “cool” breeze has hit your face and you are pleased that you are outside on the burning city sidewalks. And since I covered the best songs of the “summer” last year, I figured this week I would name the top ten songs that contain the word “HOT” in the title of the song. (No, “Hotel” is not included) There may be some I miss but this is my list: (Note: KISS’s “Hotter than Hell” would be number 11):
10. Get It Hot- AC/DC- Who creates better heat than AC/DC?- I guarantee that if you see these guys live in concert you will be sweating. And for the die-hards if they pulled this song out their catalog (appears on “Highway to Hell”-you know it’s hot there) at one of their shows, the temperature would rise more than a few degrees- it would have to as your head will be banging up & down like those dudes on the commercial for the “J&R” music store. I’m sweating from head banging after replaying this song like four times already. The song is short and sweet but packs a powerful punch. Perfect song for your next hot BBQ!! \m/ \m/
9. Hot Child in the City-Nick Gilder- I had not heard this song for years until Chris threw it on one of his Spin CD’s for our MBIA classes back in the mid 2000’s (imagine that, we can now say “mid 2000’s”-I’m getting way too old) and since that time I can’t get enough of this song. I use to love this song “back in the day”-although it doesn’t cut the mustard with my kids-it’s not “hot” at all to them. I say-“what do they know?” If you don’t know this song, check it out I think you like it. Love it.
8. Hot, Hot, Hot- Buster Poindexter- C’mon you know you love this song inwardly even though outwardly you express the dismay on your face. Just think of the many weddings you have attended where your Aunt Mary or Uncle Joe have led the “ single file conga-line” to this song in-between the tables as those who didn’t get up and join the fun, pretend they don’t notice the entire guest list trying to squeeze behind their seat to get through as they eat their cake. This song gathers everyone out to the dance floor-Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces and Nephews-who doesn’t want to have fun? Next time I want you to grab a hold of someone’s back and get on that line-“Como esta???”
7. Hot Girls in Love- Loverboy- I love this song and always turn up the volume when I hear it. This song moves and is guaranteed to get your temperature up-you can add it to your exercise play list. Back in the day, these guys were high energy and it showed in their songs. It contains a sizzling guitar solo that should make you stand up and pay attention. Of course it has “hand claps” and that automatically makes it eligible for a spot on my top ten list any day.
6. Hot Stuff- Donna Summer- C’mon it is not summer time if you don’t hear this song at least once from Memorial Day until Labor Day. (This could be Brooklyn’s national anthem). Of course while growing up I denied ever liking this song but privately was wishing I could dance like Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever. My wife and her best friend-Roxanna-will sing and dance all night long to this song as well as the rest of her catalog. This is a pure fun song and perfect for your next “block party” or backyard BBQ as it is guaranteed to get more than a few people out of their seats.
5. Hot Fun in the Summertime- Sly & the Family Stone- The opening piano notes get me all the time as I drift away into one of the best summer songs ever. Can’t you just picture a whole bunch of people at an ice cream place at Cape Cod or the Jersey shore where the kids who are not keeping up with licking that cone will soon be dripping with chocolate or vanilla ice cream on their face and clothes? Or the people who hold up the line because they don’t know what to order? This has one of the finest grooves in music history. Hey recently my good friend Slats was able to hang out with “Cynthia” and “Jerry” from the Family Band at BB Kings. Now how cool is that? Maybe a bit cooler than that ice cream cone. “Hot fun in the summer time!!!”
4. Hot Pants, Pt. 1 – James Brown & the J.B.’s- This could be the best “blistering” grooves ever created in music history. How can one have a “Hot” list and not include James Brown? There is an episode of “Everybody Hates Chris” where Chris’s mother gyrates and dances all around the room when she hears the groove from Mr. Brown and that is how I wish I could dance when I hear this song. James makes you make parts of your body you didn’t even know existed. I can listen to this song for days straight. “Do the chicken all night long…”
3. Hot for Teacher – Van Halen- How great is this song? Doesn’t it seem like there are at least 3 guys playing the drums on this song? This could be one of Alex’s best recordings on the skins. Even though we don’t want to think about school right now, this song definitely makes the summer hotter with the incredible guitar riffs along with the blistering pace and of course the shenanigans that is going on in the background with Diamond Dave & the boys can only mean that summer is not that far off as this stuff wouldn’t happen in December, right? (Ok go with it…) By the time this song is finished you will sweating just a little more or if you’re like me- a whole lot more. \m/ \m/
2. Hot Blooded- Foreigner- I love this freaking song since the day it came out and it will forever be in my blood veins as it is arguably when of the best guitar driven songs in rock history. Forget what Joey Ramone said about these guys being corporate rock, if this is corporate rock then I’ll take another order of this kick ass rock and roll. (sorry for the bad language kids but I had to make a point). Lou Gramm was one of the best rock and roll singers during the 1970’s and 1980’s and this song is the proof in the pudding. He has conviction, passion and raw energy which are some of the necessary ingredients to bring the temperature up. Mick Jones guitar solo is righteous and I’m assuming this song is on “Guitar Hero” as it does not appear on “Rock Band”-this song is so good it deserves to be on both systems.
1. Hot Legs- Rod Stewart-For those who really know me you know this had to be number one, right? If you attended my wedding, where did all the attention turn to when the DJ put this song on? That’s right- my mother. I think she loved this track more than I did. When this song came on it was like the rock and roll was injected right into her body and she danced and moved so smoothly it was like she became Rod Stewart. I can remember when I first bought “Foot Loose & Fancy Free” and when this song came on, my mother told me to immediately open my bedroom door as she wanted to rock out to this tune just as much as I did. From the opening foot bass drum to the ending scream by Mr. Stewart we would become possessed and every time we watch our wedding video we all wait for the bass solo part where my mother can be seen lifting up both arms while moving those shoulders up and down with such joy-it really is a sight to behold and something I will never forget. Thanks Mom for the memories and I will always think of you when I hear it.
Answers from last week:
1. Cherilyn Sarkisian
2. Marvin Lee Aday
3. Saul Hudson
4. Gordon Sumner
This week’s trivia (“One Hit” Wonders)-
1. I had a one hit wonder during the 1990’s and the song is called “What I Am?” Who am I?
2. Our band had a one hit wonder in the 1970’s and we have played at weddings in Brooklyn. What was the hit and what is our name?
3. I wrote this one hit wonder in the late 1960’s and I lost the rights to this song and had to fight for many years to get it back. This major song has appeared in countless blockbuster movies and is even on the game-“Rockband”- and has made me a lot of money. What is the song and who am I?
4. We were supposed to be the next “Beatles” but things didn’t quite work out that way. That said, our one hit wonder is arguably the greatest one hit wonder ever and we made it in the 1970’s. Recently our lead singer passed away. What is the name of our band and what was our song?
Name That Tune
Answers from last week:
1. “Summertime”- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
2. “Summer Breeze”-Seals & Croft
3. “Saturday In the Park”-Chicago
4. “Rock the Boat” –The Hughes Corporation
Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?
1. “…so you try…try to stay in the middle…and then you cry…you cry just a little…then you both realize just how foolish you’ve been…”
2. “…whenever I…whenever I am away from you…I want to die…cause you know I want to stay with you…how do I know… maybe you’re trying to use me…”
3. “…I can think of younger days…when living for my life…was everything a man could want to do…I could never see tomorrow…”
4. “…I needed the shelter of someone’s arms…and there you were…I needed someone to understand my ups and downs…and there you were…”
Back on this Day .
Sadly back on this day in 1980, Keith Godchaux-keyboardist for Grateful Dead-was killed in a car accident at the very young age of 32.
Back on this day in 1955, Chuck Berry released his first single-“Maybellene”- and it went to number 5 on the Billboard charts.
Back on this day in 1981, Billy Squier received his first gold album for the “most excellent”-“Don’t Say No.” If you don’t have this album, shame on you.
Back on this day in 1989, Ringo Starr began his “All-Star Band” summer concert series (which is still going strong today) in Dallas TX and the all-stars included Joe Walsh, Billy Preston, Clarence Clemons and Dr. John. (nice line-up).
Back on this day in 1993, Nirvana played a surprise concert at the Roseland Ballroom in New York to showcase their new material from the upcoming release of “In Utero.”
Back on this day in 2003, the Sun Studios in Memphis TN was declared a national landmark by the U.S. registry of Historical Places.
If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Slash and Blair Thornton (guitarist for Bachman Turner Overdrive)