Errols Weekly Music Update.

August 29, 2008

Weekly Update – 08/29/2008

Chuck Berry at BB Kings on Sat. Nov. 22. Tickets on sale now.$98.

Levon Helm, David Johansen, Hubert Sumlin and other guests at BB Kings on Wed. Nov. 26. Tickets on sale this coming Tues. Sept. 2 at 8:00 p.m. (yes it says 8:00 p.m.) $32.50

Staind with Seether and Papa Roach at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Tues. Nov. 18. Pre-sale starts next Tues. Sept. 2 at 10:00 a.m. and ends Fri. Sept. 5 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale Sat. Sept. 6 at 10:00 a.m. $40.

Michael Buble at Madison Square Garden on Fri. Dec. 5. Pre-sale for fan club members start next Tues. Sept 2 at 10:00 a.m. and ends Thurs. Sept. 4 at 5:00 p.m. General public on sale Mon. Sept. 8 at 10:00 a.m.$67 – $120.

Pepper at The Fillmore New York on Sun. Rocktober 26. Tickets on sale now. $25.

Shwayze at Blender Theater on Wed. Rocktober 8. Tickets on sale now. $22.50. Also at the Nokia Theater on Wed. Rocktober 29. Ticket info to follow.I have to admit the video for “Corona and Lime” is cool and the song is growing on me.

Alejandro Escovedo at the Bowery Ballroom on Thurs. Nov. 13. Ticket info to follow.

Carly Simon at the Borgota Event Center on Sat. Rocktober 18. Tickets on sale this Sat. Aug. 30 at 10:00 a.m.

David Byrne at Borgota Event Center on Sat. Nov. 1. Tickets on sale this Sat. Aug. 30 at 10:00 a.m.

Dragonforce with Turisas at Roseland Ballroom on Tues. Nov. 25. Tickets on sale next Fri. Sept. 5 at 10:00 a.m. $26.

Other items:

Have you heard the new single from AC/DC “Rock and Roll Train” yet? (more on the boys from Australia down below) If not, you can listen right here http://www.acdc.com/acdc101/

I like it a lot. The song will be used as a promo for the CBS show Criminal Minds. Can’t wait for Rocktober 20 when “Black Ice” is released. (But on the other hand I just realized that only Walmart is selling it….)

Talk about a stand up guy- Neil Diamond has offered fans that attended his Aug. 25 show at Ohio State University a refund. Turns out his voice was rhaspy and he has acute laryngitis. He apologized to his fans on his web site and offered up the refund.

I-Tunes and Metallica are releasing songs each week before the whole album becomes available on Sept. 12. This week’s single is “My Apocalypse” and it takes me back to “Battery” off of Master of Puppets. Have to tell you I’m getting PSYCHED for this release. \m/ \m/

Dare I say that I am thisclose to purchasing the new album from Slipknot– “All Hope is Gone?” My wife is scared and I have to admit I’m a little scared myself. My kids ran away when I sampled the 30 seconds from I-Tunes. I probably won’t but it has peaked my interest- especially “Psychosocial,” “Gehenna”-which sounds like AIC, and “Snuff.” I know what you’re thinking- Stone Sour.

My new favorite song of the week is “If You’re Out There” by John Legend. You need to purchase it RIGHT NOW. This guy is great and this song is as well. This is the second single released from his upcoming album- Evolver- to be released on Rocktober 28.

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “Crazy Love” by Poco. How great is this song?

How busy is T. Bone Burnett? He seems to be everywhere and he has produced the latest album from B.B. King called “One Kind Favor.” Have to tell you it sounds great from the 30-second previews on I-Tunes and has received 5 stars as the average rating. If you have yet to see him in concert- You are MISSSING OUT BIG TIME!!!! Check out this album if you love the blues and no one sings the blues like BB.

Another release this week that has caught my attention is from a band from San Diego called Delta Spirit and the album is called “Ode to Sunshine.” Sounds good to me. Check it out.

Motorhead has released “Motorized” and if you’re a fan you’ll like it. I-Tunes for some reason is only selling the “clean” version. How can you sell a clean version from Motorhead- just on principal you have to buy the CD as opposed to buying it from I-Tunes. What’s up with that?

Have you seen what Fred Durst has been up to lately? The former frontman for Limp Bizkit has directed the new movie “The Longshots” based on a true story of a girl who plays football. Wow, I was blown away on how good this movie is and was totally shocked when the credits rolled and I saw his name. Ice Cube was solid as well.

ZZ Top have signed with Rick Rubin’s American Recording label and plan on cutting an album with the Zen-man later this year.

Australian rockers Wolfmother have split up as the bass guitarist and the drummer left over musical differences with frontman Andrew Stockdale. Stockdale plans on using the Wolfmother name going forward.

OK I was in a real “head-banging” mood this week and had to listen to one of the all-time best albums ever made: “Back in Black” by AC/DC is a desert island disc and my all-time favorite with Brian Johnson on lead vocals. (Picking a favorite Bon Scott album is a little tougher). This album ranks second in the history of album sales and is still going strong at 42 million copies.From the opening bells on “Hells Bells” I am consumed with “psychness” (is this a word? oh well you get the picture). I immediately have to crank the volume to a wall-shattering factor that has my wife yelling at me to turn it down.“I’m a rolling thunder, pouring rain.. I’m coming on like a hurricane..” Now I know there is no in-between with AC/DC. You either hate them or love them and I LOVE THEM!!! You don’t know how many times have I put this album on by myself when no one is home and work up a sweat as I “air-guitar” and “air-drum” around the house- running from one end to the other. Then it’s on to the high energy “Shoot to Thrill” as Angus Young’s guitar work kicks it into gear. “I’m like evil just like a bomb that’s ready to blow..” We used this song once for boot camp back in the day at MBIA and I think I was the only one who was rocking out, oh well. My favorite part of the song occurs around three and half minutes into it as Phil Rudd takes over on drums and I love it when Brian screeches “Shoot you..” Track #3 “Honey What do you do for Money.” This is one song that will wear out your vocal chords (and the reason why they record a new album every five years or so). How friggin’ phenomenal is “Givin the Dog A Bone”- talk about head banging- this song brings me back to the Garden when I saw about 7 or 8 long hair dudes all in front of me in the next row banging their heads up and down in unison. They would have won a gold medal- synchronized head banging. The last track on side 1 is the classic “Let Me Put My Love Into You.” Man this song grooves. Cliff Williams bass work on this song is flat out phenomenal. “Let me cut your cake with my knife..” as Angus struts his stuff with a stinging guitar solo. The ending of this song is so good. You get a little breather with this song but then when you turn over to start side 2… watch out.

Side 2 starts off with the never say die song- “Back in Black”. How many times have you heard this song blasting from someone’s car as they drove by you. (It was probably me). No matter how many times I hear this song I have to CRANK IT!!! The song really gets going with about a minute and a half left and you can’t tell me you have never sang the words “Out of sight” just once? Then it’s on to arguably their most popular song ever- “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Again this is another song that I can’t get enough of. This song was the highlight of my wedding party and I can just picture Porgy “air-guitaring” his way down the wooden floor as everyone else jammed with him on the dance floor. (Yes I had headbanging songs at my wedding- what did you think? And the original tunes- no band should ever attempt this song).Track # 3- “Have a Drink on Me” slows it down a little bit but still kicks butt. “Yes my glass is getting shorter on whiskey, ice and water.. come on all the boys make a noise.” Again Phil Rudd’s drumming takes center stage on the next song, “Shake a Leg”- c’mon can I put the volume any louder? With this song you have to find a way to make the volume that much higher. Brian Johnson’s vocals are unrelenting on this song and I don’t know how he his voice box has survived. Angus’ solo makes me want to play guitar!!!Whew at this point I’m out of breath and I’m able to relax somewhat with the slow driving “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.” I LOVE this song!!! The bass work is great and the duo of Brian Johnson and Angus Young just puts a smile on my face.

OK people did you see that this album has sold 42 million copies and is second only to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Please tell me that this is in your album collection? If not, I will say- as Ricky use to tell Lucy- “You have some explaining to do.” I was rather pissed at the time when Rollingstone magazine had this album listed # 73 in their top 500 albums of all-time back in 2003. This is a timeless classic album and has to be in the top 25 albums of all-time. Should be # 2 according to sales, no?

Back on this day in 1966, the Beatles performed their last live show at San Fransico’s Candlestick Park.

Birthday wishes today for Michael Jackson who turns 50 years old.

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August 22, 2008

Weekly Update – 08/22/2008

Neil Young with Wilco at Madison Square Garden on Mon. Dec. 15. Ticket information to follow.

The Black Crowes with the Patti Smith Band at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thurs. & Fri. Rocktober 30 and 31. Tickets on sale today at noon. $50.00

The Academy Is and We The Kings will be at Roseland Ballroom on Wed. Nov. 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow Sat. Aug. 23 at 11:00 a.m. $23.

TV on The Radio at Brooklyn Masonic Temple (317 Clermont Ave) on Thurs. Rocktober 16. Tickets on sale now. $25. (No seats-all standing)

Drive By Truckers and Hold Steady at Terminal 5 on Thurs. & Fri. Nov. 6 and 7. Tickets on sale now. $30.

Sevendust with Taproot at New York Fillmore on Tues. Rocktober 7. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $23.50.

Bad Brains at New York Fillmore on Thurs. Nov. 6. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $26.50

Other items:

Metallica has released a single through I-Tunes from their upcoming album “Death Magnetic” and it is called “The Day that Never Comes.” The sound is crisp and Hetfield vocals are very clear. The song starts off slow and builds up speed towards the end of the song, with Hammett and Ulrich jamming old school style. For whatever reason there are all these Metallica haters out there and I’ve seen all the negative comments already. Give me a friggin’ break, if you like Metallica- you will like this song- period- end of story. For all the complaints that Hammett did not have any solos on St. Anger- he’s back in a big way on this song. I have to admit I am worried about the sound of the next album because it was produced by the Zen man, Rick Rubin, but if this single is any indication on how the rest of the album will be, then I will be happy. Trujillo is a monster on bass as well and they seem to be a tight unit right now. They should “ride the lightning.”

Glen Campbell has released a new album “Meet Glen Campbell” and it’s a list of his favorite songs done by other artists and I have to tell you the songs sound real good. If you visit his web page there are a few songs you can listen to in its entirety. The song “Sing” is very good. He does a cover of the Foo Fighter’s “Times Like These” (he sort of turns it into Rhinestone Cowboy a little bit) and also a cover of Green Day’s “Good Riddance.”

Black Stone Cherry has released “Folklore and Superstition” and the reviews on I-Tunes are very positive. I saw these guys a few weeks ago and walked away impressed. “Blind Man” seems to be the most popular song from the disc so far. This band has lots of energy.

Pink has released a new single “So What” and I have to admit I like it. She has an edge to her that I find intriguing and for you parents out there- she’s not for your younger children (maybe not even your older children). Her lyrics are very to the point and not meant for younger ears. Her new album “Funhouse” will be released on Rocktober 28.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family members of LeRoi Moore and also to the members of the Dave Matthews Band. Mr. Moore, 46, died this week from complications from an all-terrain vehicle accident, which occurred back in June. Mr. Moore was already an accomplished jazz musician when Dave Matthews asked him to record some songs he had written. Moore, a talented arranger, later received writing credits for the hits “Too Much” and “Stay.” He was not only a saxophonist but also an accomplished flute, bass clarinet and a wooden penny whistle player.

This week’s I-POD shuffle landed on “The Chain” from Fleetwood Mac and of course I had to go and listen to the classic album “Rumours.” Now I am not a huge Fleetwood Mac fan and by the time they made Rumours, they already had a long history. But I love this album and it was part of my teenage years. Rumours was the 13th studio album recorded by Fleetwood Mac and released in 1977. The band started out in 1967 and had so many different members that there was not a period longer than two years (up until 1974) that the band had the same personnel. The only member present in the band from the very beginning is its namesake drummer-Mick Fleetwood. (Did you know at one time he and George Harrison were brother-in-laws?) John McVie the second half of the name joined in 1968 and has been there since. Christie McVie, who was married to John, joined the band in 1970 and left in 1998. Two other members, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band in 1975 and both left and rejoined the band in 1997 for their reunion. Without a doubt, Rumours is their signature album and similar to the White Album by the Beatles, this compilation has songs written by individuals, except the aforementioned “The Chain” which was written by all the members of the group at the time. The album won a Grammy in 1978 and is number 22 on the best selling albums of all-time, it has sold over 30 million copies. (Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is number one by the way with over 108 million copies sold). Rollingstone magazine had it ranked number 25, in their top 500 albums of all-time issue back in 2003.

This classic album, something everyone should own, starts off with a song written by Buckingham- “Second Hand News.” Starts off with acoustic guitar and has a finger snapping beat. Mick’s drumming in this song really stands out and keeps this song moving along nicely. Perfect warmup song for a “Spin” class for all you spinners out there. The second track, “Dreams” could arguably be one song that I have heard the most times in my life, either by the album or on the radio. This song was on the radio incessantly during the summer of 1977. I have to say I love the chorus “Oh Thunder only happens when it’s raining… players only love you…”(This is a great song by Ms. Nicks).“Never Going Back” is my second favorite song on the album. (written by Buckingham) Very short and simple but I love it, especially the part “been down one time, been down two times… never going back again…” The acoustic guitar work is mesmerizing and I can listen to this song over and over again. Track # 4 “Don’t Stop” written by Christie McVie about her divorce from John. I really like her songs most on the album and this is the first, we all know that Bill Clinton used this as his campaign song in 1996. This is another song that is right up there as a song that I have heard more times than any other song in my lifetime. “Go Your Own Way” a song written by Buckingham was actually released as a single before the album was, is the most “rockin’” song on the album and is another great spinning song. Stevie Nicks thought the song was written about her and their relationship together. Christine McVie remarked that they were all writing songs about each other, hence the title of the album. They didn’t realize this immediately, but later realized that they had created such a good album together that it lifted them out of their misery. This song was also used in the movie “Forrest Gump” when Forrest was doing his around the country run. The last track on side one is my favorite song on the album – “Songbird.” Christie’s voice is mesmerizing and the background piano has a soothing effect that makes you go off into another stratosphere.

The Chain starts off side two and how can you not love the bass drum beat? This is an infectious song that keeps you coming back for more. It has a way of building up the tempo and in a way becomes very forceful as Mick’s drumming turns it from being a soft song to one that rocks. Track two of side two is another great Christie McVie song- “You Make Loving Fun.” This was another song that received endless radio play back in the day. “Don’t.. don’t break the spell..” I love the part when the guitar kicks in after she says “You make loving fun.” “I Don’t Wanna Know” is a fun song written by Nicks. How can you not love the hook in this song? This song makes me want to play guitar. “Finally baby the truth has been told…” Play this song LOUD!!! Sorry to keep harping on spin songs, but this is another good song to use as a warm up.“Oh Daddy” song written by Christie is a reference about Mick and how he kept the band together during their turbulent times.

“Gold Dust Woman” written by Nicks is a song that to me epitimizes the sound of what Fleetwood Mac is all about. When you hear it, you know instantly that it is Fleetwood Mac. The background vocals are spot on in this song and the quality of the recording is near perfection. “Did she make you cry, make you break down…” Nicks voice fades out over the guitars as the song ends and you have just witnessed greatness.

Now as I mentioned, I was not a huge Fleetwood Mac fan. In fact this is the only album I own of theirs, but what an album. More than 30 million people can’t be wrong, can they? This is a timeless classic album that was never really topped by Fleetwood Mac themselves. So if you have it, go back and listen to it now. If you don’t own it, you need to run out and purchase it. This time the whole album, you can’t go wrong.

I am going to give you another classic album from 1977- “Point of Know Return” (or “POKR”) by Kansas. This was their fifth studio album and my personal favorite Kansas album. Now I know my older brethren would state that their first two albums are their best and I would not argue with that statement. They were known as a “progressive rock” band back in the 1970’s (akin to bands like Yes, Genesis and ELP) and on POKR they mixed in some “pop” on this album along with the instrumental arrangements that signified the early 1970’s sound. Long compositions were the norm back then and we all know that In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly was a whole album side back in the day. Now this album only has two songs longer than six minutes, so not your traditional “prog” rock. This album has sold over 4 million copies since it’s release.

The album kicks off with the title track and was one of the last songs to be added to the album. Steve Walsh sang most of the songs for Kansas with Kerry Livgren writing many of their songs. The difference for Kansas is that they had a viloinist in the band, Robby Steinhardt, and he stands out in their recordings as well as their live shows. (Tull had a flute, Kansas a viloin). I love the beginning of the songs as the cymbals crash with the guitar and violin. The violin really kicks in after Walsh sings “How long.” The bridge of “Your Father, he says he needs you” is my favorite part of the song and this song really brings me back to the good old days. I can’t get enough of it. Song # 2 is a kick-butt fusion of guitar and violin at its best- “Paradox” (another great “spin” song). Check out the dueling guitar and violin towards the end of the track- flat out phenomenal. It flows then right into “The Spider” and I have to tell you if any song sounds like a spider- this is it. The first 20 seconds of this song will make you feel like you see a spider crawling up a web. This instrumental is solid and these guys are “fluent in jamming.” Track # 4 – Portrait (He Knew) starts off instrumentally for the first minute or so and then Walsh’s vocals enters smoothly as he sings “He had a thousand ideas…” This song was written about Albert Einstein. You have to listen to this song LOUD and Phil Ehart’s drumming on this song is nothing short of spectacular. Rock riffs with viloin riffs, how cool is that? My favorite song on this album (and definitely cracks my top ten favorite songs of all-time) is “Closet Chronicles.” This song is a tale about Mr. Howard Hughes, maybe a strange topic for a PROG band but it worked. This song has so many changes and at times you feel like you’re relaxing on a cloud and then the next minute you feel the anger of a storm. I love the beginning when Walsh sings, “Once carried through the current” while the organ plays in the background.This is six minutes and thirty-one seconds of pure genius. Listen to the guitar solo about three minutes into the song and tell me this doesn’t get you psyched? Again listen LOUD and OFTEN!!! The back and forth between guitar, organ and viloin is perfect and like oreo cookies with milk- it hits the spot!!

Side two kicks off with the electric “Lightning’s Hand” and Robby Steinhardt takes over on vocals. I’m not sure anyone can match their prowess when they are jamming because their timing changes are endless and every time you think you have the jam down, they go ahead and change it on you. The soft and beautiful “Dust in the Wind” is arguably their best-known song (I know you are screaming “Carry On Wayward Son”) because it was played on all types of radio formats back in 1977. It was played on WPLJ (before it went Pop) and on WCBS-FM (oldies station)and Lite FM. My parents even liked the song when it came out (and they were stuck in the 1950’s). This is a time-less classic song, which will live on forever. “Sparks of the Tempest” is a funky song that explodes with power as Steinhardt and Walsh share the vocal spotlights. It’s a colossal fusion of vocals, guitars, violins and organ. It leads right into the majestic sounding “Nobody’s Home” – another ballad that really spotlights the vocal range of Steve Walsh. The violin work of Mr. Steinhardt really stands out in this piece. This classic album ends with the epic-like “Hopelessly Human” and if you are a fan of “Leftoverture” this song is exactly something that could appear on that album. Just as in Closet Chronicles, this song has calmness along with a frantic pace.

1977 was a very good year (sorry Frank) for music and includes these two classic albums that I have pointed out for you. If you do not own either, trust me run out and buy them now; You will not be disappointed.

Back on this day in 1968, Cynthia Lennon sued John Lennon for divorce, citing his relationship with Yoko Ono.

If you were born on August 22, you share a birthday with Tori Amos.

August 15, 2008

Concert Review: Cheap Trick, Heart & Journey at Nikon Theater at Jones Beach – 08/14/08

Concert Review: Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey at the Nikon Jones Beach Theater on Thursday Aug. 14, 2008.

You know sometimes when you are so psyched up for an event, any event, that you don’t even think of something that could get in the way? My wife and I, along with two very good friends of ours, were so set for a night out (doesn’t come that often and those with children know exactly what I am talking about). What could be better for us? Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey all together for an outdoor summer concert at Jones Beach. Last thing on my mind was that it could rain. And boy did it rain. Our trek to Jones Beach took more than 3 hours from Southwest Connecticut. The Cross Island parkway basically became small lakes, taking out one, two or all three lanes. As I looked in my rearview mirror, the clouds seem to break but not over the Nikon Theater. It poured and the show, which was supposed to start at 7:00 p.m., was close to being all together cancelled. With the rain and wind still swirling, Cheap Trick took the stage at 8:30 p.m.

Now put yourself in the shoes of Cheap Trick for a second. You know there is a deadline of midnight in the state of NY for shows to end and you know there are three bands that need roadies to breakdown and put back up the sets for each band to perform. You’d feel a little rushed too. Now to their credit, as the professional they are, they did their job and for me, admirably. You could tell it was on their minds though, as Ric Nielsen told the crowd that due to the weather they had to cut their set short. The crowd was still trying to hide from the rain and for most of their set; they played to many empty seats up in the front. I was somewhat taken back that many folks did not seem to know their songs. Now if you didn’t recognize the songs last night, you probably shouldn’t see them when they play by themselves for one night. Now being a realist, I was not looking for “Baby Loves to Rock,” I knew that “I Want You to Want Me” was coming and I still loved it. The beginning of their set included “That 70’s song (In the Street)” which people probably recognized from the TV show (which kills me.. but anyway). And when the opening chords of “California Man” came on, I was pumped and almost stood up in my chair and realized that I was the only one in the section that recognized the song. I rocked out anyway. “Going to a party, meet me out after school…” Then they pulled out their ballad, “The Flame” which in all the times I have seen Cheap Trick, they did not play it. Now this song did get some folks attention and there was a sing along atmosphere as people were swaying back and forth. Now when “Surrender” came on I thought the crowd would totally flip out and some did but again the majority of the crowd did not recognize the tune. Now I’m not sure if it was the sound system or whatever but it seemed the crowd was not getting the boys from Rockford, IL. I still love it when Nielsen throws out the Kiss records to the audience as mom and dad are rolling on the couch. “Goodnight Ladies and Gentlemen” signaled the end of the show for the boys but they did do one more- “Dream Police” and yes the dream police live inside my head. “You know that talk is cheap and those rumors ain’t nice…” All in all, I enjoyed Cheap Trick. Have I seen them perform better- you betcha- but again with all that was stacked up in front of them- they still rock. \m/ \m/

From our vantage point in the arena, we could see two swans swimming near the stage and my wife mentioned that they swam away as Cheap Trick played. She said she wanted to swim away with them. (Oh well, what can I do?) She was waiting for her favorite band- Heart. As I mentioned before, when I see people get psyched up and sing along to their favorite band songs, it brings a smile to my face. I was getting pumped for Heart to take the stage because I knew how much she was waiting for them. We have not seen them in a long time and wanted to help the roadies set the stage so they could get on quick. As Ann and Nancy Wilson took the stage, the two large screens on each side, showed the band. (Cheap Trick did not have that for some reason). As the opening chords of “Magic Man” came on, you could sense a change around the arena. It stopped raining and more people were filling in the seats and by the end of Magic Man it was jammed with the crowd I expected. “Straight On” was phenomenal. “Now I know.. I got to play my hand… What the winner don’t know…a gambler understands.” Now the reason Ann and Nancy are still great after all these years is because of their passion. When you have passion, I can feel it and others can feel it as well. Ann Wilson, in my opinion is the best female vocalist ever in rock and roll history (and I shouldn’t limit it to rock and roll, this woman can flat out sing). Their love of music bleeds with every note played and octave sung. And what can you say about Nancy Wilson? Friggin’ phenomenal on guitar and she can also sing. They feed off of each other and you can feel the love & respect they have for each other. Nancy took lead vocals for “These Dreams” and brought down the house. The highlight for their set for me was “Alone”- all I have to say is “Wow.” Words can’t describe the energy and passion Ann put into this song, especially towards the end of the song as she basically sang a cappella. She ripped the cover off of the ball. By this time I forgot about the miserable rain and everything was right where I expected it to be. (By the way, the swans stayed for Heart’s entire set).

Now the one thing that this band can pull off and always have been is the ability to dare cover songs from legendary bands. The reason for this is that fact one- they are fans of rock and roll music and second- they treat the songs with respect and three- they can play them, period end of story!!As I hear the opening piano chords to “Love Reign O’er Me” by The Who, I look over to my wife and tell her it’s a cover of the Who- she says no way. Yes way!! Now just picture, a dark night with lights hitting the band surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean with a cool wind in the air- are you there yet? Then Ann vocals slip in very unassuming as she sings “Only Love….” But you know her voice is going to change and when she rips into “Looovvveee Reign on Me”- man you just wish you could bottle up that moment and hold on to it whenever you need it. Then as Nancy plays the opening chords of “Barracuda” the crowd is head banging in unison. No matter how many times you hear this song, it gets you pumped. “Crazy on You” highlighted Nancy’s ability on guitar and this is another song that I can’t get enough of. Love everything about it. Performed to a “T.” You knew they were going to a song by Zep, as they usually do, and the cover of “Going to California” should convince Robert Plant (after he finishes touring with Krauss) that he needs to record something with Ann.

Wow what can I say about Heart? We are definitely going to see them again as many times that they will come to the tri-state area. Again the word here is passion. Now I have to admit that I was not there to see Journey as much as I was Cheap Trick and Heart. I knew that Steve Perry and Steve Augeri were both gone and had heard some noise that there was someone who sounded like Perry, now singing for them. Neal Schon discovered the new front man, Arnel Pineda, a Filipino; via You Tube as Pineda sang Journey cover songs. The word for the performance of Journey was ENERGY!!! This kid was phenomenal and I swear if you closed your eyes (not your mind) and listened you would have thought that Steve Perry was singing last night. His energy on stage reminded me of a combination of Steven Tyler and David Lee Roth. This kid really blew me away and you could tell his energy made the rest of the band perform that much better. The highlight of the show for me was “Stone in Love”- man I totally forgot about this song and hadn’t heard it in such a long time- but just like riding a bike- the words flowed effortlessly as I remembered every one. Journey’s stage was set up like the headliners that they performed like. The drummer was perched up on a three step circular elevated small stage and the rest of the stage was empty as Pineda roamed with reckless abandon. Neal Schon’s guitar solo had me air-guitaring and I have to say this man can shred. Now this was suppose to be a “greatest hit” kind of show and you open yourself to criticism if you dare play any new tunes. But you know what, they pulled it off and to be completely honest- I may just have to walk into Walmart and purchase their new CD- “Revelation.” (there I said it… I did say “maybe”). But seriously folks, these guys are back in a big way and there will be no reunion with Mr. Perry- there isn’t any need. This kid has given them new life and they should run with it as long as they can. New songs performed “Never Walk Away” and “Change for the Better” are future “classics” for all of their shows. They did the staples “Wheel In the Sky,” “Lights” “Open Arms” “Faithfully” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” After seeing Journey last night, those words are ring loudly for them (as well as everyone else)- “Don’t Stop Believing… Hold on to that feeling.” I know I will.

Weekly Update – 08/15/2008

Metallica will be at Nassau Coliseum and Prudential Center on Thurs. & Sat. Jan. 29 & 31 2009. Machine Head and The Sword will be the openers. Ticket info to follow.

Mary J. Blige at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. Rocktober 2. Pre-sale tickets on now until 10:00 p.m. tonight for fan club and Citicard members. General public on sale tomorrow at noon. $69.50 – $165.50.

Death Cab for Cutie at Chevrolet Theater in Wallingford CT on Sat. Rocktober 4 and Radio City Music Hall on Mon. Rocktober 6. Tickets on sale today at 10:00 a.m.  $30.50 for Chevrolet and  $39.50 – $44.50 for Radio City.

Reba & Kelly Clarkson at the Harbor Yard Arena in Bridgeport CT on Sat. Nov. 1. Pre-sale fan club tickets on sale Wed. Aug. 20 at 10:00 a.m. to Fri. Aug. 22 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale Sat. Aug. 23 at 10:00 a.m. $64.50.

Five Finger Death Punch with In This Moment, Bury Your Dead and Another Black Day at the Fillmore New York on Thurs. Rocktober 23. Tickets on sale tomorrow Sat. Aug. 16 at 10:00 a.m. FFDP’s new video “Never Enough” is disturbing and should have an “R” rating on it.

Susan Tedeschi and James Hunter at the Fillmore New York on Wed. Nov. 12. Tickets on sale today at 10:00 a.m.  $31.50

The Black Crowes with the Patti Smith Band at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thurs. & Fri. Rocktober 30 and 31. Pre-sale begins today at noon. General public on sale next Sat. Aug. 23.

War at BB Kings on Wed. Nov. 5. Tickets on sale this Sunday Aug. 17 at noon. $30 ($35 day of show).

Zebra at BB Kings on Sat. Nov. 29. Tickets on sale next Mon. Aug. 18 at 11:00 a.m.$28 ($30 day of show).

The Roots with Gym Class Heroes at Roseland Ballroom on Tues. Rocktober 28. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $43.50.

The Cult at Roseland Ballroom on Sun. Sept. 14. Tickets on sale now.$39.50

Motorhead at Roseland Ballroom on Sat. Sept. 20. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00.$37.

Yngwie Malmsteen at the Blender Theater on Sun. Rocktober 26. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00.$26.50

Other items:

Extreme has released it’s first studio album in 13 years called “Saudades De Rock.” I have always like these guys and the average I-Tunes review is 4 stars. “Run” sounds good (at least the 30 seconds offered by I-Tunes) and so does “King of the Ladies.” “Comfortably Dumb” is no doubt a dig at our President.

Rumor has it that Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band will be playing halftime at the 43rd Superbowl next Feb. 1.

Also in the rumor mill, Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis set to perform together at the closing ceremony of the Olympics on Aug. 24.

Tesla will release it’s seventh studio album on Rocktober 7th called “Forever More.” The first single “I Want to Live” will hit the airwaves next week.

Paul Stanley and his wife, Erin, are expecting their second child due this November. The couple was married in 2005 and has a son named Colin. Stanley also has a 14-year-old son from another marriage.

My favorite “old school” song of the week comes from the very underrated band- Sweet– with their song “Fox On the Run.” You have to listen to this song LOUD, like I’m doing right now!!! C’mon it’s a fun song, you know it.

Jackson Browne is suing John McCain for using his song “Running on Empty” in a recent TV commercial. Browne, a lifelong Democrat, is seeking unspecified damages as well as a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of “Running on Empty” in any form by the McCain campaign.

American Idol runner up- David Archuleta has released his first single, Crush, and it is already the number one song on I-Tunes. Sounds decent and fits his style that he presented on the show this year.

Rollingstone Magazine will switch to a smaller size format on Rocktober 17.

Also from this week’s Rollingstone magazine’s “The Smoking Section” states that the new AC/DC album “Black Ice” is “earthshaking.” The boys from down under will be touring the States later this year. The first single is called “Rock ‘N Roll Train.” The song RS cites that will “tear you to pieces” is “War Machine.” I am soooooo psyched for the new album and tour. Can’t wait.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Isaac Hayes who passed away this week at the age of 65. Best known for his composition for the theme song for the movie Shaft, Hayes was remembered by many for his contribution to soul music.

Lenny Kravitz has stated that he is not the next lead singer for Velvet Revolver. Thank the heavens. Lenny needs to stay his own band. Don’t ruin it by joining another band, especially this one.

Fleetwood Mac is going to tour again in 2009. Rehearsals for the tour will begin in January. This will be their first tour since 2004.

Kid Rock is having such good success without using I-Tunes that some acts are thinking of leaving I-Tunes for their next album. His smash hit “All Summer Long” (which I told you about last year!!!) has charted on rock, country, top 40 and adult contemporary radio and has sold over 1.3 million copies. Weird thing is that the Kid owns stock in Apple but states “that it’s just not American to me when Apple tells you how they want to sell your product and tell you what it is worth.”

This week’s I-POD shuffle landed on “I’m Living in Shame,” from one of the greatest female vocal bands of all-time- The Supremes. Do you know this song? If you don’t- you need to. The groove is infectious and the lyrics deal with a woman who was ashamed of her mother and then realized how much she loved her after she passed away. Take a look at this clip back in 1969 from the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EagtrDBlzKgThis is almost my favorite song from the Supremes. (There are so many to choose from.) Since I don’t have a particular album to review- consider this a “greatest” hits review. The album I would recommend to purchase is: The Ultimate Collection Diana Ross & The Supremes. Now I know Diana Ross is a living legend and she is responsible for some of the most memorable songs in music history but this is a review of the Supremes- a group for which she was a part of.

The Supremes started off as a quartet from Detroit Michigan in 1959, originally called The Primettes. The four originals were Florence Ballard, Betty McGlown, Diana Ross and Mary Wilson. They were the sister act to the Primes, made up of Paul Williams and Eddie Kendricks, who would go on to form the Temptations. In 1960, Barbara Martin replaced McGlown and the group signed with Motown in 1961 but then Martin left in early 1962, so the band continued as a trio. And talk about a trio, the Supremes were the second most successful vocal groups of the 1960’s (the Beatles were first). They had twelve number one hits in their career. In 1967, Cynthia Birdsong replaced Florence Ballard. Sadly, Ballard died at the young age of 32 (in 1976) as she basically lived in poverty the last five years of her life. She suffered from depression and alcoholism (basically after Diana Ross was placed in front of the band), which led to her being replaced. For the first two years with Motown they did not have a hit and it wasn’t until “Where Did Our Love Go” that would start one of the best four to five year periods in American music history. Come on think about it for a second; think about their impact on music. It brought joy in a time of turbulent happenings. Songs like “Stop! In the Name of Love” has to bring a smile to your face- no matter how many times you have heard it. The production of the song is top notch and still sounds fresh today. How about “Baby Love?”- talk about a classic song? “Instead of breaking up, let’s do some kissing and making up…” Ross’ vocals are spectacular and the background vocals of Ballard & Wilson can’t be topped. “Come See About Me” was one of their twelve hits that reached number one in 1964. Infectious is the word that keeps coming to mind- their songs had a way of gripping you tight and not letting go.

How about “My World is Empty Without You”- even though it wasn’t a number one hit, it is still a great song. Most times, die-hard fans of artists love the lesser-known hits than the big ones. “I Hear a Symphony” is another sing-along song that you can’t get out of your head- again listen to the production- like it was made this year. One of my other favorites is “You Keep Me Hanging On” (a perfect “Spin” song for you spinners out there). The Funk Brothers, who were a flat out solid band, performed most of their music. “Love is Here and Now You’re Gone” has a finger snapping groove and makes you wish you could sing like Miss Ross. The team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, who were Motown’s main song writing and production team, wrote most of the Supreme songs. The production on “The Happening” is superb and just a fun song. “Reflections” was released in 1968 after Berry Gordy decided to rename the band and call them Diana Ross & The Supremes.

I could go on and on about their songs but I will point out some of their other great songs: “In and Out of Love,” “Love Child” (freaking phenomenal song) and “When the Lovelight Starts Shining through His Eyes.” My absolute favorite song by Diana Ross & The Supremes is “Someday We’ll Be Together.” Reason I wrote it that way is because the song was released in 1969 (change in the band’s name) and neither Birdsong & Wilson sang background vocals. Maxine Waters, Julia Waters and Johnny Bristol did the background vocals. Johnny Bristol, Jackey Beavers and Harvey Fuqua originally wrote the song back in 1961. The song took on a whole new meaning for me after the death of my mother in 2004 and I know in my heart that someday we’ll be together again.

As I have been hammering away on these updates for the past few years, we need to keep the music of our forefathers (or mothers in this case) going on to the next generation and to our grand children’s generation. If you don’t own any songs by the Supremes, shame on you. But the great thing about music is that you can jump aboard anytime you want, so what are you waiting for? The music of the Supremes will live on forever and each of us has a favorite song by them. The memories associated with their songs will never leave us- we just have to make sure we pass it on down for generations to come.

Back on this day in 1968, the Rascals had the number one hit with “People Got to Be Free.” Band member Felix Cavaliere wrote the song following the assassinations of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Back on this day in 1969, the historic Woodstock concert opened in Bethel New York.

August 8, 2008

Weekly Update – 08/08/2008

Mary J. Blige at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. Rocktober 2. Pre-sale tickets on now for Citi card members until this Friday Aug. 15 at 10:00 p.m.  Fan club and VIP pre-sale begins Wed. Aug. 13 at 10:00 a.m. until Friday at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale this Saturday Aug. 16 at noon.  $69.50 – $165.50.  

Weezer at Madison Square Garden on Wed. Sept. 24 and the Borgota in Atlantic City on Fri. Sept. 26 and the Susquehanna Center in Camden NJ on Sat. Sept. 27. Angels and Airwaves along with Tokyo Police Club will be the openers. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders go on sale this Monday Aug. 11 at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Wed. Aug. 13. I-Tunes pre-sale on Thurs. Aug. 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. General public on sale next Friday Aug. 15 at 10:00 a.m. $54.50

Jackson Browne at the United Palace Theater on Sat. Sept. 20. Tickets on sale this coming Monday Aug. 11 at 10:00 a.m.

Biohazard at Fillmore New York on Sun. Rocktober 5. Tickets on sale Sat. Aug. 16 at 10:00 a.m.

Alanis Morissette at Music Box at the Borgota in Atlantic City on Sat. Sept. 27. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

Mars Volta at the Starland Ballroom on Thurs. Sept. 18. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $34.50.

Beck with MGMT at United Palace Theater on Friday Rocktober 10. Tickets on sale now. $49.

Rockband Live featuring Panic at the Disco, Dashboard Confessional and Plain White T’s at Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport CT on Fri. Rocktober 28 and also at the Prudential Center or the “Rock” in Newark, NJ. Tickets on sale at 10:00 a.m. $29.95 – $39.95

Kings of Leon at Webster Hall (125 East 11th street in NYC) on Tues. Sept. 23. Tickets on sale next Friday Aug. 15 at noon. $35. Their new album “Only by the Night” will be released on the same day.

Other items:

Metallica’s new disc, “Death Magnetic” will be released on Friday Sept. 12. Typically all new albums are released on a Tuesday but this is the second time that Metallica has gone against the norm- the other being “St. Anger.” Anger took a long time for me to like but I finally came around.

Tesla is one of rock’s enduring bands, and their history will be saluted on the digitally remastered “Gold” collection. The two-disc set features such longtime favorites as “Modern Day Cowboy,” “Luttle Suzi,” “Heaven’s Trail (No Way Out),” “Love Song,” “Signs,” “Song & Emotion,” and “What You Give.” Also included are such previously unreleased or non-album b-sides as “Love In Vain,” “I Ain’t Superstitious,” “Rock The Nation,” “Children’s Heritage,” and “Cotton Fields.” An August 26th release is expected.

AC/DC will embark on an 18-month world tour in October, the hard rock band’s first since 2000/2001, their agent said this week. A single is expected to hit radio this month. AC/DC released its last album, “Stiff Upper Lip,” in 2000, and launched a year long tour of 17 countries.

The second single to be released off the incredible “The Sound of Madness” by Shinedown is “Second Chance.” I haven’t stopped listening to this disc since it came out in late June. There will be multiple “single” releases from this outstanding third effort from the boys from Jacksonville, Fla. The video for “Devour” can be seen on Fuse and MTV2.

Alicia Keys and Jack White have recorded the theme song for the new James Bond movie. The ’No One’ singer and The White Stripes frontman have joined forces on ’Another Way to Die’, which will appear on the soundtrack of ’Quantum of Solace’.

Seether has released hits and rarities plus interview clips with the band exclusively through I-Tunes. The show was recorded this past May 19. They also perform a cover of the Beatles “Across the Universe.”

The Black Crowes have a complaint against Gretchen Wilson and her new single “Work Hard, Play Harder.” They say it bears an uncanny resemblance to their first single “Jealous Again.” I will take it a step further and say that it is a complete rip-off. If George Harrison can be found guilty of plagiarism for supposedly copying the Chiffon’s hit “He’s So Fine” for one of his most popular hits- “My Sweet Lord,” then Gretchen needs to IMMEDIATELY AND CONTINOUSLY hand over any profits she makes from this song to the Black Crowes. Check out her version at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASq-UZnErB0and then check out the Crowes at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mir_awnzhI

and tell me it’s not a rip-off?

Thanks to technology, a number of Country stars will be able to sing Christmas songs with Elvis Presley. The new album “Elvis Presley Christmas Duets” will be out on Rocktober 14. Artists include Carrie Underwood, the aforementioned Gretchen Wilson, Martina McBride, LeAnn Rimes, Amy Grant and Anne Murray.

This week’s classic album review is my personal favorite Beatles album: The Beatles, otherwise known as the “White Album.” This was their ninth studio album and was their first after the death of its manager, Brian Epstein. Now it is very hard to pick the “best” Beatles album because there are so many. Revolver and Rubber Soul quickly come to mind, but if I’m stuck on a desert and had to pick only one Beatles composition, the White Album does it for me. What I love about this double disc is the obscure songs such as “Wild Honey Pie”, “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill,” “Piggies,” “Don’t Pass Me By,” (my favorite Starkey song) and my personal favorite “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey.” Believe it or not, the “Monkey” song was the tune that had my youngest son jump on the Beatles bandwagon and now he can’t get enough of them. This album ranked number 10 in the top 500 albums of all time that Rollingstone magazine did back in 2003. It is also the Beatles best selling album of all time and tenth best selling album ever in the United States. Even though this was the Beatles as a group, the whole album is made up of individual compositions and there is not one Lennon/McCartney composition. The last combined song from the powerful duo was “I’ve Got a Feeling” which appears on Let It Be. (another great album). We all know that Lennon’s tunes have an edge to them and Paul not so much. George was just gearing up for his massive solo explosion on “All Things Must Pass” and this album is where he begins to come out of shadow of John and Paul. Even Ringo had his own song-“Don’t Pass Me By” composed entirely by himself. However, Ringo at one point quit the band and the recording session in Aug. 1968 (the album was recorded between May and October of 1968).He felt his role in the band was minimized compared to that of the other members and he was also tired of waiting around during the sessions. He was coaxed into returning a few weeks later but during his absence Paul played drums and his skin skills ended up on the recording of “Back in the U.S.S.R” and “Dear Prudence.”

OK so we start with side 1- oh and by the way if you don’t own this album or are one of those who don’t like the Beatles- please don’t make me laugh- there is no bigger musical influence in the history of sound- yes even back to the days of Nikola. I’m back- yes side 1- album kicks off with a Beach Boy homage with “Back in the U.S.S.R.” a song by Paul. “Dear Prudence” a song from John written about Mia Farrow’s sister- Prudence- who had both accompanied the Beatles on their transcendental mediation trip taught by the Maharishi Yoga on their spring of 1968 trip to India.Prudence apparently stayed in her room during most of the trip meditating, so John was asking her to “come out and play.” “Glass Onion” is a sarcastic hit at the fans of the Beatles, whom John felt read too much into their lyrics. “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” is such a fun song and the hook is mesmerizing. This song was my mother’s favorite Beatle song- she loved the part of “Ha Ha Ha” before Paul sang “happy ever after..” “Wild Honey Pie” is 53 seconds of greatness and leads into the amusing “Bungalow Bill” … “all the children sing..” This is the first Beatle song with female singers as Yoko, Pattie Harrison and Maureen Starkey all took part in the background vocals. The first song from the quiet Beatle, George, is “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and we all know that Eric Clapton played lead guitar for this track. George would reciprocate by contributing to the song “Badge” for Cream on their last album “Goodbye.” George expresses concern over being “bought and sold,” a theme in later songs about Harrison himself, such as “Handle with Care”, recorded with the Traveling Wilbury’s. Side 1 ends with the eerie “Happiness is a Warm Gun”- a song supposedly written about drug usage but we all know what happened on that awful night in December of 1980.

Side 2 is my personal favorite of the album and starts off with the excellent “Martha My Dear”- I can’t say enough about this song- it’s pure. And then what can I say about “I’m So Tired?”- this could be one of the best songs that Lennon ever wrote. I love the part“You’d say I’m putting you on…” You have to crank the volume way up on this one. “Blackbird” is another pure beautiful song. Then how cool is George’s take on society with “Piggies?” I can’t get enough of this song and always have to hear it twice. Love the harmonizing vocals that begin with “Everywhere there’s lots of piggies living piggy lives….” Now I know “Rocky Racoon” gets many wrinkled faces when they hear it and the response is how can you like this song? I can’t get enough of it. If I could sing, this would be my ultimate karaoke performance. Then it’s on to the aforementioned “Don’t Pass Me By” by Ringo. “I listen for your footsteps coming up the drive…” Love the violins, the Beatles doing Country. The last three songs on side two I must have listened to a million times in my lifetime. “Why don’t we do it in the road” (no explanation here) “I Will” – love song by Paul and the beautiful “Julia” by John about his mother. Whew talk about a classic album side (WNEW-FM based in New York, “back in the day,” use to have those all the time).

Side 3 could also be a classic album side and has everyone’s favorite song on the day you were born – “Birthday”- come on this song kicks you into gear and was used in boot camp as well. “Yer Blues” is not really an uplifting song (song about dying) but it’s a song you can’t skip over. As a matter of fact my walls are shaking right now and my wife is telling me to turn it down. Then it quickly gets quiet with Paul’s “Mother Nature’s Son.” The walls are shaking again as my favorite song of the entire album comes on- “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey.” I love the bass work by Paul and the wailing background vocals- “woo”- this is John at his best. “Sexy Sadie” is a song written by John and expresses his anger over supposedly being personally betrayed by Maharishi whom had made sexual advances toward Mia Farrow. “Helter Skelter” could arguably be the first song of “metal” and this one song totally rips those “nay-sayers” out there who call the Beatles a pop band. This song is friggin’ phenomenal and is my second favorite song on the album. Talk about having the volume up. “I got blisters on my fingers!!!” Side 3 ends with the soft “Long, Long Long” by Harrison, another beautiful song.

Side 4 begins with “Revolution 1”- did you know that this version was the original recording? John wanted it released as a single but the others objected because they thought it was too slow. So Revolution 1 was re-recorded (faster) and was the B-side to “Hey Jude.” Hey Jude was recorded during the White album sessions but was released as a stand alone single (with Revolution again being the flip side to the .45). “Honey Pie” this version is different from Wild Honey Pie and if you are following along- Wild Honey Pie is the 5th song from the beginning of the album and Honey Pie is the 5th song from the end. This version reminds me of something that Tony Orlando would do at his shows. Harrison’s “Savory Truffle” is something that sounds like something John or Paul would write and sounds like a “Beatle” song- if you know what I mean. “Cry Baby Cry” is classic John. Now “Revolution 9” has been debated for many years as something that is classic or a mess. Personally I say it’s a mess and it is one song that I skip over. Sorry my fellow “Beatle-ites.” I can’t do it. This classic album ends with “Good Night” a mesmerizing song that takes you far away and a perfect ending song.

Now I know that there are many people who are tired about hearing about the Beatles (hear me out Beatle fans) and I do admit that they are in many, many conversations amongst many different people. But what does that tell you? Nearly a half a century later, we are all still talking about the Beatles as if they just recorded something. This generation has taken a turn and now gets most of its music from I-Tunes. (myself included). Guess who is not on I-Tunes? The Beatles. If I-Tunes can somehow manage to get them aboard- what band do you think will have the most songs sold on I-Tunes? ‘Nuff said.

Back on this day in 1969, the cover photo for the Beatles “Abbey Road” was taken.

Back on this day in 1992, Axl Rose set off a riot in Canada by walking off the stage because he had a sore throat. Problem was that James Hetfield from Metallica, the opening act that night, was severely burned from pyrotechnics and Metallica had to cut their set short (pretty obvious why). So Axl and Guns had a chance to be kings for one night and they blew it. The Canadian fans went berserk when he walked off stage.

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