Errols Weekly Music Update.

February 27, 2009

Weekly Update – 02/27/2009

Plain White T’s at the Blender Theater on Fri. April 17. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. (Live Nation event)

Keane at Radio City Music Hall at on Wed. May 27. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.  $37 – $60.

Seal at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. Apr. 16. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders begins tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. and runs until next Fri. Mar. 6 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale is next Sat. Mar. 7 at 10:00 a.m.  $39.50 – $119.50.

Jennifer Hudson and Robin Thicke at The WAMU Theater (in Madison Square Garden) on Fri. April 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 – $79.50

Phoebe Snow at BB Kings on Fri. June 26. Tickets on sale next Tues. Mar. 3 at 10:00 a.m.$35

Avant at BB KingsThurs. May 14. Tickets on sale this Monday Mar. 2 at noon. $26 ($30 day of show)

Protest The Hero at The Blender Theater on Sat. May 9. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00. (Live Nation)

Def Leppard, Poison and special guests Cheap Trick will tour this summer and will be at PNC Arts Center on Wed. July 1 and then Jones Beach on Wed. July 8. Pre-sale tickets for Citi private pass members will begin next Wed. Mar. 4 at 10:00 a.m. (go to ) General public tickets on sale next Fri. Mar. 6 at 10:00 a.m.(Live Nation Event)

TV on the Radio at the Central Park Summerstage on Fri. June 5. Tickets on sale today at noon. $30. (If you have an American Express card you can get pre-sale tickets up until 11:00 this morning).

Tom Jones at the Beacon Theater on Tues. July 21. Tickets on sale now. $35 – $95.

Other items:

If you are a 1980’s “hair band” fan, you may want to take a trip down to Columbia Maryland to the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sat. May 30 for the M3 Rock Festival. Tickets are on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m for the following bands that are scheduled to perform: Twisted Sister, Ratt, Gilby Clarke, Slaughter, Extreme, Dokken, Jani Lane, Bulletboys, L.A. Guns and more.

Motley Crue has confirmed that there will be a second CrueFest summer tour- The White Trash Circus. Supporting acts have not been announced but keep your eye out at They’ll hit NJ on Sun. July 19 at the Susquehanna Bank Center. Ticket info to follow.

Barenaked Ladies lead singer Steven Page has left the band. On the band’s website it states that a mutual decision was made to part ways. Mr. Page was arrested in NYC last summer and it has not been determined if that factored into the decision.

Faith No More will reunite for the first time in 10 years but so far a tour has only been planned in Europe as of right now. I will keep you posted if there is a return to the States.

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich credits the Rolling Stones with saving them from splitting up. With James Hetfiled taking time off to straighten things out, Lars thought it was all over but then received a call from Mick & the boys and the rest is history as the story goes.

Thank goodness America voted off Nick Mitchell from American Idol last night. Whew, I thought we were headed down the “Sanjaya” road again. I was also surprised that Matt Breitzke did not make one of the final three contestants.

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “ Love Ain’t For Keeping” by The Who from their legendary 5th studio album “Who’s Next.” Now just like the Stones, Zep and the Beatles it is really hard to pick their best work because there is so much to choose from. “Tommy” is a flat out masterpiece. “Live at Leeds” still is considered the best live album EVER. There’s no denying “Quadrophenia’s” place in music history either. “Who By Numbers” is a very underrated album but if you listen closely, it is solid as it creeps up on you and leaves you wanting more. I also love “Who Are You.” The first four songs of “Who Are You” ranks up there with the best of them, it would have been a perfect album side in my opinion, except that the last song- “Music Must Change”- doesn’t really cut it. However, given all this material I still have to say that “Who’s Next” is their best work- again- this is very hard. I will state that my all time favorite song from The Who is “The Real Me” from Quadrophenia. The bass work from John Entwistle (has to rank in the top three bassists ever) is flat out phenomenal in this song and so is the drumming by Keith Moon. So now back to “Who’s Next.”

First off, it is hard to find a better album cover than this one. It starts off with the “Baba O’Reilly”- arguably their greatest song ever- and one of the best rock songs ever. It is five minutes of pure perfection and we all know the opening lyrics- can we all sing together now- “Out here in the fields, I fight for my meals…” There are so many moments of grandeur during the song you really can’t pick what the best part is. However, I will go out on a limb and say that the last minute of the song is my favorite. When the tempo picks up and Moon’s drumming just takes off… well I’m exhausted. I clearly remember my friend Johnny in the backseat of my then bride-to-be car shaking his head (and the whole car) while hand drumming on the back of her seat uncontrollably to this song as we were stuck in traffic on the “Inter-boro” parkway (now know as The Jackie Robinson) headed to a Mets game back in 1989 or so. “Bargain” features the great vocal skills of Mr. Roger Daltrey and contains a chorus that is hard to get out of your head. One of the things that I love about the Who is that they share vocals within the same song and approximately a little more than a minute and a half into the song, Pete Townsend, steps in after Roger was screaming and slows down the tune with “I sit looking round.. one and one make one..” The arrangement of the song is stellar. (and again Moon is just doing his thing as usual-it’s a constant-friggin’ great). Then it’s on to my favorite track on this album, the aforementioned “Love Ain’t for Keeping.” Don’t ask me why but there is something that gets me every time I hear this song. I love the slow groove and Roger’s vocals are spot on. Pete’s guitar solo has me air guitaring right now as it is blasting out of the speakers. For the next song- “My Wife” – listen to this with an old pair of headphones and try and tell me that this is not rock and roll at its best. The song was written by Entwistle and is supposedly based on a story that he was out partying, of course he came home late. Husbands we know what that will get you, right? This is my 2nd favorite song on the album. Side one ends with the classic beauty “This Song is Over” and it really showcases Pete Townsends all around talents as a songwriter, singer and guitar player. This time Roger steps in after Pete takes the opening and puts his mark on the song as well. The dynamics of their songs, which can quickly go from super hard and loud to a calming vibe in a flash, is what distinguishes them from any other band, in my opinion. This song exemplifies this theory.

Side two starts off with “Getting In Tune” a beautiful song which could be Daltrey’s finest vocal work on any Who composition.I love the background vocal effect from Pete as well. Similar to Baba the song really picks up the tempo towards the end.Track number two startswith the slick cool sound of Pete playing acoustic guitar, along with Mr. Moon keeping the groove going throughout on “Going Mobile.” When I hear this song for some reason I can picture driving a car down a country road, going a decent speed, with a dog’s head sticking out the back window as its ears fly back while I’m trying to sing the song in key. Moon’s drumming shines bright. Track # 3 on side 2- “Behind Blue Eyes” is so good that I’m at a loss for words. This is a song that no one should ever try to re-record (obviously Limp Bizkit did not heed this advice. By the way, on a separate note- “American Pie” by Don McClean is the number one song of all time that should NEVER be recorded- the version by Madonna should be erased from history). I’m back…Of course the last song on Who’s next is the colossal “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Now every time I hear this song I just picture all the firemen in the crowd at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 20, 2001 singing and air-guitaring their way out of all the pain from losing their colleagues in the September 11th attacks. No matter how many times you hear it, you know you have to listen to the whole song. Don’t you just love it when Daltrey’s screams “Yeeeaaahh!!!” .. “and the parting on the left is now parting on the right…” Again Mr. Moon is there every step of the way banging the crap out of the drums.. I can’t get enough…the walls are screaming!!! Hey this song is on “Rock Band” and my son’s have nailed it down!! I watch in amazement.

As I mentioned it is hard to pick their best stuff and they have so many songs.. it’s endless. So do yourself a favor and run out and buy this classic if you don’t have it. And I’m not usually big on “reissues” but there is a double CD which is labeled a deluxe (it’s on I-Tunes for $9.99- you can’t beat that with a stick). There is a cover of the Marvin Gaye song “Baby Don’t You Do It” (written by the tandem of Holland-Dozier-Holland) which ROCKS!!! Again put a good set of headphones and push your hands into your ears as hard as you can and listen to this fantastic cover-you’ll be dancing all over the place- Mr. Leslie West joined them for this tune and plays lead. “Who’s Next” has been voted the 28th best album of al-time by Rolling Stone magazine and finished at #3 according to Guitar World. The Who- what else can one say? These guys are etched in rock and roll history forever!!

Remember a while back, my older son gave me the idea of listing my top 10 songs from a band or artist, well for some reason Pat Benatar popped into my head this week and I wanted to do it. So here goes:

10. Invincible– Remember this song? I heard it again for the first time in years and forgot how much I like it, especially the drum work.

9. At This Time– A slick acoustic hard rocking song off of her lesser known 1997 album- “Innamorata.”

8. Shadows of the Night– The chorus is addictive and the overall arrangement of this song is very good.

7. Treat Me Right– Love the attitude in this song. If you don’t watch yourself, she’ll kick your ass.

6. Fire and Ice– “Ooh you’re giving me the fever tonight..” doesn’t get much better than this. Love the bass on this tune and her vocals are flawless.

5. Heartbreaker– C’mon this is head-banging at it’s best!! Her first single could arguably be her best. CRANK IT UP!!!

4. Crazy– Love this rock/blues fusion, a foot stomping unknown classic. We used this song in Spin class all the time.

3. Precious Time– How cool is this song? Love the lyrics in this song. The groove is infectious and is a stadium anthem type of song. I can picture thousands fist pumping fans as the chorus begins “Life is too short.. so why waste Precious Time?” Six minutes flies by.

2. All Fired Up– When is the last time you heard this friggin’ song? Talk about getting pumped up? This song FLAT OUT ROCKS THE HOUSE… CRANK IT UP!!!

1. You Better Run– Even though this is a cover of the Rascals classic, I think this version is better. I can’t even hear right now as I am typing because I have this so loud.

A box set of rarities from Janes Addiction will be released on April 21. It will include three CDs and one DVD and showcase unreleased demos from 1986 and 1987; covers of the Grateful Dead, Stooges and Sly & Family Stone. The DVD will feature “Soul Kiss”- a documentary previously unavailable and the video “Mountain Song” which was banned by MTV.

Back on this day in 1980, Michael Jackson won his first grammy for “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.” Donna Summer won a grammy that same year with “Hot Stuff.” Earth Wind & Fire also won with “After The Love Has Gone.” The song of the year was the Doobie Brothers “What a Fool Believes.”

Back on this day in 1970, Jefferson Airplane was fined $1,000 for using profanity during a concert in Oklahoma City.

Back on this day in 1984, the infamous Pepsi commercial with Michael Jackson premiered.


February 20, 2009

Weekly Update – 02/20/2009

Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood at the Izod Center on Wed. June 10. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $65 – $185.

The Hold Steady at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Mon. March 30. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (This is a “Live Nation” event and they don’t print ticket prices before it goes on sale)

Obituary at the Blender Theater on Tues. Sept. 29. Tickets on sale Thurs. Feb. 26 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation)

Akon at The Prudential Center (The Rock) on Wed. March 25. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 – $99.50.

Blue October at Webster Hall on Fri. May 1. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only on right now until 11:00 tomorrow morning. General public on sale is Sat. Feb. 21 at noon. $30.

Vetiver at The Bowery Ballroom on Sun. May 3. Tickets on sale today at noon. $15

Penny Wise and Pepper at Terminal 5 on Sat. May 16. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25

Gavin DeGraw and Honeyhoney at The Highline Ballroom on Mon. Apr. 20. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. Apx. $21.

Ub40 at Nokia Theater on Thur. May 7. Pre-sale for American Express cardholders on now. General public tickets on sale today at noon. $46

Stratovarius at Nokia Theater on Thurs. Sept. 17. Tickets on sale Fri. March 20 at noon.  $37.50.

Jennifer Hudson and Robin Thicke will tour together this spring and they will hit the tri-state area beginning in April. They will perform at the NJPAC in Newark on Thurs. Apr. 2 and at the WAMU Theater of Madison Square Garden on Fri. April 10. Further information to follow. Ticket prices for their show in Albany NY range from $37 – $67.

Raul Malo will be at BB Kings on Fri. April 10 Also at the Ridgefield Playhouse on Sat. Apr. 4. Tickets on sale now. $27 for BB’s. $47.50 for Ridgefield.

Dennis DeYoung at BB Kings on Fri. June 5. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.  $55.

Lil Wayne at the Prudential Center (The “Rock”) on Thurs. Mar. 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $89.75 – $200.75.

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Estelle Bennett, an original member of The Ronettes and the older sister of Veronica (“Ronnie”) Spector (Bennett was her maiden name until she married Phil Spector), who passed away at the young age of 67 at her home in Englewood N.J. Take a look at this 1965 video of “Be My Baby” (Estelle is to the right of Ronnie) . She was part of music history as the Ronettes were one of the most popular “girl” groups ever. Sadly, her career after the Ronettes was filled with many troubles and at some points she was homeless. Ben Sisario, a writer for the NY Times, put out a poignant article of her fame and tribulations this past Tuesday, please read this. (I have saved this article). Estelle, may you rest in peace.

J.D. Fortune, who was selected by the remaining members of INXS to be their singer on the show “Rockstar: INXS” was kicked out of the band, allegedly for his addiction to cocaine. Reports are out that he now lives in his car. He was at the airport in Hong Kong when he was told that he was no longer a member of the band. He had been touring with them for the past two years.

Shinedown just continues to amaze, yes I said amaze. This may be a little late but have you heard their version of the U2 classic “One?” I heard the other day on the best radio station in America, WCCC 106.9 FM out of Hartford CT and was blown away. (OK yes I know I’m partial to these guys) But hey take a look and listen for yourself at

This past Monday, I took my wife and boys to the New York Annex of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, located at 76 Mercer Street in Soho NY. (R or W train to Prince Street; E or C train to Spring Street). First off, I will assert that the Rock and Roll HOF did their “homework” because there is no better location than Soho for the Annex to reside. As we handed in our jackets with the attendant operating the coat check booth, I immediately asked how I could get a job there. Sadly, she informed me that there was a hiring freeze. (“No… Really?….”) As you all probably could presume, I was like a “child in a candy store.” We arrived at 10:30 a.m. (the first opening is at 11:00 a.m.- they are open Wed. – Sun. but are open for some holidays, like President’s Day) and the nice gentleman let us in early so that we could escape the cold. For approximately 15 minutes, we were the only people in the store they have when you exit the exhibit. There were some really fashionable T-shirts, some more expensive than others, along with some rock and roll paraphernalia where prices ranged from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. (i.e.- a sportscoat/jacket worn by Tom Petty that was going for a cool $15,000).

As 11:00 approached I was getting “antsy” and proceeded to stay near the front of the line as the Annex started to become more crowded. Then right at 11:00, the customers were allowed to enter “The Land of Oz.” We entered a room that was shaped like an upside down “U.” On the walls of this room are perfect silver rectangles which included the names of the artists who have been elected in the Hall. From left to right high above the rectangles were the years since the Hall started elections, beginning with 1986. Songs from these artists surround you like you have headphones on and their names light up in illuminate colors that attract your attention immediately. Songs from Sam Cooke- look over to 1986- to Madonna-just elected last year. What I was most proud of was the fact that my boys knew almost every song and every artist that was played while we were there. They also seemed to be as interested in the place as I was. After approximately 10 minutes, another door opened and everyone walked into a small auditorium with “bar” seats positioned in three sections-left, midde and right of the stage. There were movie screens that stretched to both ends of the seats and in your peripheral vision you could see the artists highlighted as well. Everyone gets to watch a short documentary film on the artists that are included in the Hall of Fame. Chuck Berry, The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, etc. are profiled and as you sit there, the sound is crystal clear. Whenever your favorite artist is highlighted you can feel a sense of joy & pride as the film depicts them in the prime of their careers. In my opinion, the band that created the most energy was Queen. I believe the footage is taken from Wembley Stadium in 1986 and you can feel the drums pounding to “We Will Rock You” and your eyes focus on the seemingly millions of people in the stadium watching the performance as it surrounds your whole head. I was so pumped!! (speaking of Queen- how great is “Tie Your Mother Down?”). As the film ends, I wanted more- I could have sat there for at least two hours-you know they have more than enough artists to make a long, long documentary.

The third leg of the Annex includes receiving a very cool set of headphones with easy to follow volume adjustments. You put these headphones on and as you stand in front of the exhibits that display the various artists and their music will be piped into your ears. (I was having a hard time picking up Billy Joel because right next to his section was John Lennon- so every time I picked up Billy it would quickly turn to “Imagine” by Lennon-oh well). Anyway as in any “museum” you can take your time, spread out and take all the time you need to read the information on your favorite acts. Rock memorabilia is all over the place, including the awning of the CBGB club- you feel like you could walk into the club itself-very cool.

Currently, there is a separate exhibit (a whole room) dedicated to the band, The Clash. So if you are a fan, you need to get there quick as I’m assuming this display will be changed every few months to spotlight other acts. Overall I have to say that I enjoyed myself and I know my wife & boys did as well. This has definitely ignited my interest in heading to Cleveland to visit the Hall itself. I can’t imagine how great it must be. As I mentioned, the area of Soho is great to walk around and we ended up getting pizza at Famous Ben’s Pizza on Spring Street. Now I have lived in the suburbs for the past 18 years (NJ and CT), so you know when I tasted their pizza I was “back home.” No one makes pizza like New York does. Period, end of story!

This week’s I-POD shuffle landed on “Don’t Forget to Remember” by The Bee Gees and instantaneously I stopped in my tracks and listened to this beautiful classic. Do you know this song? If not, you should really take a listen. Now I usually recommend an album (or albums) from an artist that I like. With the Bee Gees I would recommend that you purchase their greatest hits- “The Record” – red & black cover. (I know their fans are screaming at the screen right now but to get their best it would be hard to compile from all their albums). And I do recognize their body of work that includes some spectacular little known songs but I can’t ignore their “greatest” hits. Now the Bee Gees-a singing trio of brothers: Barry, Maurice and Robin- can be considered the best “three-part” harmonizing singers of all time. Their sound is instantly recognizable around the globe.

Most folks recognize Barry, as he sang lead on many songs after they reinvented their career in the late 1970’s with their explosion into the disco scene, particularly the smash movie (and soundtrack) “Saturday Night Fever.” Robin provided the clear vibrato lead that was a hallmark of their pre-disco music; (these are my favorite songs from the boys who were born in England but grew up in Australia); Maurice sang high and low harmonies throughout their career. The three brothers co-wrote most of their hits, and they said that they felt like they became ’one person’ when they were writing. The group’s name was retired after Maurice died suddenly in January 2003.

The Bee Gees actually started out as a 5-man band in the late 1960’s and by 1969, sensing that Barry was being favored as the leader of the group; Robin departed the group to establish his solo career. However by late 1970, the boys reunited and wound up with their first number one hit in America- “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?” Many of their songs during this time period dealt with heartache and loneliness. (This is one of the reasons my wife likes the “disco” Bee Gees better than the early Bee Gees, she says many of their songs are depressing- on the flip side I say that these songs are magnificent).

There are so many favorites or me but “New York Mining Disaster1941” is a song that resonates inside me and I have to sing along every time. “In the event of something happening to me… Have you seen my wife Mr. Jones?..”This was their first single which was released in Britain in 1967. Their second single “To Love Somebody” was actually written for the legendary Otis Redding but Barry put his signature soulful style on this classic ballad which has been covered by many artists, including Rod Stewart, Janis Joplin and Michael Bolton. I absolutely love this song. “Holiday” is a pleasing tune that takes you away. “Massachusetts” is superb and the overall arrangement is spectacular. Or what about the magnificent “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You?”- I can’t get enough of this song and usually listen to it two times in a row. “I Started a Joke” is one of their best recordings in my opinion. You can feel Robin’s passion.

“Lonely Days” reached number 3 on the U.S. charts in 1970 and I am perplexed on why it wasn’t ever number one. This song is phenomenal, period end of story!! Then in 1975, they were urged by more than a few people to record rhythmic disco songs. What transpired were songs like “Jive Talking” and “Nights on Broadway.” Freaking “Jive Talking” brings me back to the summers in Otisville NY where I spent the greatest days as a youth with my grandmother, uncle and brother. If you haven’t heard this song in a while, you will be blown away on how fresh it still sounds today- again a good set of headphones is required. I’m trying to dance while I type away it is blasting out of the speakers of my PC. “Here we are in a room full of strangers” kicks off “Nights” and I had forgotten how good this song is. It is constructed very well and has an infectious chorus.

Their colossal achievement and turning point in their career is obviously the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, where they contributed such classics as “Staying Alive” “How Deep is Your Love” “You Should Be Dancing” and “Night Fever.” This is the best selling soundtrack of all time and has sold more than 15 million copies in the U.S. alone. (It also ranked as the 131 out of the top 500 albums of all time according to Rolling Stone magazine). “Staying Alive” gets me every time I hear it, no matter how many times I have heard it. Now back in those days, as a “tweener” I never admitted to anyone that I loved the soundtrack (I was a “rocker”) but would listen to it constantly at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Staten Island, every time I visited them. Who didn’t want to be Travolta? Come on now. Ok, back to the Bee Gees, they also wrote the hit “If I Can’t Have You” recorded by Yvonne Elliman for the movie. (I bet you didn’t know that). “How Deep Is Your Love” is my favorite Bee Gee song in their disco era. Can any song top their harmonizing on this amazing song? “Night Fever” could also be one of their best recordings ever. How can one band have so many phenomenal songs? Again I wish I knew how to dance.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Barry & Robin put out some solo stuff but kept the Bee Gee train rolling; but how could any band be expected to surpass the success of arguably the greatest album in music history? In my opinion, there was no need to. They continued what they loved to do-make music. In 1988, they lost their younger brother, Andy, at the young age of 30. Andy was set to join the brothers as they were to become a foursome but sadly it never happened. Then on January 12, 2003 came the shocking death of Maurice and in the beginning they stated the “show” would still go on. However as time passed by, they decided to retire The Bee Gees name.

In 1997, they were indicted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and their presenter that night was Brain Wilson. What else can be said about The Bee Gees? They are the sixth best selling artists of all time, having sold more than 200 million albums world wide. Do you see that number? I’ll write it out for you –200,000,000. They have won nine Grammy awards. NINE!!! They are a worldwide treasure and it’s impossible to not like one of their songs, I’m sorry!! Here’s a partial list of songs they wrote that were made famous by other acts: “Grease” by Frankie Valli; “Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton; “Come On Over” by Olivia Newton John; “Chain Reaction” by Diana Ross; “Guilty” by Barbara Streisand (I know Barry is on it as well) and “Immortality” by Celine Dion.

The remaining members of The Bee Gees are living legends and if you don’t have any of their songs in your music library- all I can say is- “shame on you!!”

This week I-Tunes “free song” is “I’m Bad” by Last Vegas and is the first free song that I have down loaded in a long time. I’m still trying to figure out what it sounds like, especially the beginning. I like it, kind of reminds me of a modern version of Tora Tora. Oh wait ,now I know what it is similar to- “Walkin’ Shoes” by Tora Tora. I knew there was a reason why I enjoy the song.

If you’re a rocker with a soft side then look no further than the March 24 release of the “Now” series- Now that’s What I Call Power Ballads– will have songs by Aerosmith, Poison, Def Leppard, Scorpions, Tesla, Boston and many others. I have almost all the songs already!!

Collective Soul is back in the studio creating “their best material” according to Ed Roland for their upcoming eighth album to hopefully be released by this summer. They will take a break next month to perform a benefit concert for the victims of violence in Darfur on March 27 at the Tabernacle in Atlanta. (one of their favorite spots).

My favorite old school song of the week is “It’s All Right” by The Impressions. This is R&B at its best!!

The more I listen to Theory of a Deadman, I swear they sound like Puddle of Mudd. This band is really growing on me. I wish their lyrics were more mature but I like their sound. They are currently touring with Motley Crue.

I’ve been listening all week to the greatest hits by Glen Campbell– yes Glen Campbell. The man had some huge hits and is still going strong. There’s no denying “Whichita Lineman” occupies a space in the history of music. “By The Time I Get to Phoenix” is another classic that can’t be denied. “Gentle on My Mind” is a flat out masterpiece. “Galveston” and “Southern Nights” are really good tunes as well. And who can forget “Rhinestone Cowboy.” Go ahead and laugh but you know I’m right!!

Listen to this new band line-up: Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick) on drums, James Iha (former guitarist for Smashing Pumpkins), Adam Schlesinger on bass (Fountains Of Wayne) and Taylor Hanson (yes from those “MMM Bop” Hanson Brothers) as the singer. The band name is Tinted Windows and their album is due out this spring.

Back on this day in 1974, Cher files separation papers from husband Sonny Bono.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same date with Walter Becker (Steely Dan) and Jerome Geils (J. Geils Band). Happy Birthday to all.

February 13, 2009

Weekly Update – 02/13/2009

Jeff Beck at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Thurs. & Fri. Apr. 9 and 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.  (This is a “Live Nation” event and they don’t print ticket prices before it goes on sale)

Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood at the Izod Center on Wed. June 10. Tickets on sale Sat. Feb. 21 at 10:00 a.m. Further information to come.

PJ Harvey at the The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Thurs. March 26. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation)

Mayhem at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Thurs. May 21. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. Apx. $25. (Live Nation)

North Mississippi Allstars at The Highline Ballroom on Thurs. Apr. 9. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $24

Shawn Mullins at The Highline Ballroom on Thurs. Apr. 16. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25

Celtic Thunder at The Beacon Theater on Wed. Apr. 1. Tickets on sale today at noon. $48.50 – $68.50.

The Decemberists at Radio City Music Hall on Wed. June 10. Tickets on sale today at noon. $39.50. (Their new album “The Hazards of Love” comes out on March 24).

Gordon Lightfoot at The Town Hall on Sat. June 27. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  $45 – $55.

Chris Cornell at Webster Hall on Tues. & Wed. April 7 & 8. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $44

Buckethead at BB Kings on Sat. May 30. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25

Other items:

Congratulations to Paul Stanley and his wife, Erin, on the Jan. 28 birth of their daughter Sarah Brianna. They also have a two year old boy. Stanley has a 14 year old son from his first marriage.

Grammy’s review- First off I’m sorry but Mars Volta’s “Wax Simulacra” should not have beaten “Inside The Fire” by Disturbed or even “Saints of Los Angeles” by Motley Crue. The song sounds like cats screaming. Second, my wife and my sons were out of their minds that Robert Plant & Alison Krauss won 5 Grammy awards. They said if you have trouble falling asleep, you should put “Raising Sand” on and you will nod out before the first song ends. Even I have to admit that it’s hard to believe that they won song and album of the year. It’s a good album but the best?

I also have to say that you know I usually like everything, but there really were not any spectacular performances that stand out in my memory. The most memorable moments for me as I sit here writing about it 4 days later, were Jennifer Hudson’s “You Pulled Me Through” and Lil Wayne with Robin Thicke performing “Tie My Hands.”(and also the tribute to New Orleans).

I could hardly hear U2 when they kicked it off- thank goodness there were words behind Bono as he sang because I had no idea what he was saying. Speaking of not knowing what they were saying: the “Swagga Like Us” performance by Kayne, T.I., Jay-Z and Lil Wayne with M.I.A. (how bad was her outfit?) was in my opinion-horrible.

I had a funny feeling things were not going to go so well when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tried to joke about “The Beatle Fighters??!!” I wanted to throw up. C’mon Rock who wrote that for you?

Performers I still don’t get: Coldplay– yes I know they’re great but I just don’t get it. I don’t know what type of music they play. It doesn’t rock, it surely doesn’t roll but hey maybe it’s me…. Radiohead… I know it is “sac-religious” to say but I have tried and tried to listen to these guys… maybe one day I will see the light but their performance did absolutely nothing for me. I was bored to tears…I’ll use a “Faganism”- “If they played in my backyard I wouldn’t watch them.” Jonas Brothers… speechless….

I’m still scratching my head on the terrible performance by Neil Diamond. What was he doing? Was he trying his best “spoken word” version of his song? You have to be kidding me.

Biggest “slight” of the night: Boyz to Men get introduced with Al Green and Justin and they don’t even “spotlight” them once. They were limited to background vocals??… are you kidding me? Why introduce them?

Biggest “ham” of the night: Whitney Houston– Could she have figured a way to stay up on stage a little longer? And what is it with Clive Davis at every event? Did he invent music? C’mon it’s enough with him already.

Biggest “scratch your head” moment: Metallica being put in the category of best “rock album.” Even so, they should have NEVER lost out to Coldplay but they should have not been in that category.

Biggest “oversight”: Forgetting to mention LeRoi Moore, saxophonist for the Dave Matthews Band, as one of the musicians who passed away over the past year.

Artist who made me stand up and pay attention: Adele– I will now go back and listen to this fantastic voice. I thank the Grammy’s for opening my eyes.

If you haven’t heard the news yet, Ticket Master is merging with Live Nation. I’m telling you right now- this is what is wrong with our country (yes that’s right I’m on a HUGE soap box). The government doesn’t care unless it affects their wallet. How can one entity, Ticket Master, rule for so long and finally now there is competition and what happens? They create a merger to keep the monopoly going full steam ahead. (Look what has happened with satellite radio between XM & Sirius and now they are close to bankruptcy). And now to boot, Ticket Master has a subsidiary Ticket Now, who specializes in really ripping off the customer. Why does everyone look the other way? The customer has no other option but this 800 lb. gorilla and no one seems to care. The head of Ticket Master made some “lame excuse” apology for what happened in the Bruce Springsteen case. It hasn’t just happened with Bruce, it’s almost with every act. I was fully behind Pearl Jam when they went to battle against Ticket Master way back when and shame on every other band that did not get behind them. Ticket Master burns my “behind” so bad… and I guess they will continue to do so with the newly formed Live Nation Entertainment.

The long awaited follow up to “American Idiot” by Green Day is supposedly set to arrive in May. “21st Century Breakdown” will have 16 songs that will be broken into three sections. Song titles include “Know Your Enemy” and “Viva La Gloria.”

My favorite “old school” songs of the week are “Show and Tell” by Al Wilson and “Sideshow” by Blue Magic. Al Wilson’s song is so magnificent that I don’t even have the right words to describe how I feel about this song. No one makes songs like this anymore. This song is one of the best, if not the best, of the 1970’s. “Sideshow” is a lost classic I discovered on my I-Pod shuffle and again no one makes songs like this anymore. This is pure perfection and what an infectious arrangement. “So let the sideshow begin.. hurry, hurry, step right on in.. can’t afford to pass it by..” This could be the second best song of the 1970’s.

Fans of the band Filter will be able to call into the nationally syndicated show “Rockline” on Monday March 30 at 11:30 p.m. (1-800-344-ROCK). Their “greatest” hits package will be coming out on Mar. 31st.

There will be no “OzzFest” this year.

My favorite “head banging” song this week is “Moon Baby” by Godsmack. I’m about due for some Godsmack soon; hopefully they will churn out something this year, along with a tour.

Limp Bizkit is reuniting after 8 years with the original line-up (including Wes Borland). New album and tour to follow.

The White Stripes will play Conan O’Brien on Friday Feb. 20. This will be their first appearance since 2007, when Meg was diagnosed with acute anxiety.

Did you know that the Righteous Brother’s song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” has been the most played song on U.S. radio with more than 8 million turns? The Associations “Never My Love” is second with over 7 million turns. In England, the most played song ever is Procal Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale.”

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

Side 1 of “Fear Of Music” by The Talking Heads

By the time I was 14, I was already deep into bands like Kiss, The Cars and Foreigner. I was then introduced to “new wave” bands like The B-52’s and The Talking Heads by my uncle. (He bought me my first rock album- Foreigner’s debut). At first, I thought the music was strange but there was something that pulled me in and kept me coming back for more. (Though I have to admit this is my only album from the Talking Heads- I also have their “greatest Hits” but that doesn’t count). Trying to lure my friends in with The B-52’s and Talking Heads did not work-they headed straight for Ozzy and never looked back. (I eventually got there but took a different path- a path that was “open” to different sounds). “Fear of Music” was their third studio album and was released in August 1979.You want to talk about different sounds? Put on the first track “I Zimbra” and you’ll be scratching your head on why I am stating that this is a classic album side. David Byrne is multi-talented and his voice is so distinctive and on this tune he kind of “raps.” The beat of the song will have you dancing around the room in no time. (It was a dance track hit at the clubs back in 1979) Track # 2 “Mind” is flat out addictive and is the best song on the album. “I have got the faintest idea. Ahhh ya..ya..yaa.. I need something to change your mind..”It has a very simple arrangement and actually has a pretty heavy guitar solo towards the end that is  impressive.“Paper” is psychedelic song that starts off slow then gets fast and continues this format for the two and a half minutes. “Hold On to that Paper…go ahead tear up, tear up the paper..” You can’t just listen to this song once. Track # 4- “Cities” is a song you should all be familiar with- once you hear it you’ll be saying “Oh yeah I like this song.” This song kicks right into gear and in my opinion had a definite influence on bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and Weezer. This song flat out rocks and again the guitar solo is solid. This is a great song for your next Spin class. “I’m checking them out… Good points.. some bad points..” What I love about the Talking Heads is their great lyrics-very different from any other band that was out there- and this song has them. “Life During War Time” is one of my all time favorite songs and I know this song- word for word- and can out do anyone (except Mr. Byrne) in a karaoke contest. (And of course when I was 14 the best part was “This Ain’t No Disco..” again maturity was not a strong point at 14). “We dress like students, we dress like house wives.. or in a suit and a tie…” How many times was this song played on classic rock radio in 1979 and 1980? (deservedly so). The first side ends with the rockin’ & groovin’ classic “Memories Can’t Wait.” (Living Colour covered this on their classic “Vivid” album and does a fantastic job). This song was co-written by Jerry Harrison, who played keyboards and guitar. The bridge to the chorus is flat out phenomenal. This song surrounds you, lifts you up by your face and takes you to a far off land. I can’t get enough of it!! Thus ends the perfect album side by The Talking Heads. Side two has some cool tracks (“Heaven” “Animals”) and overall the album is a definite purchase but side 1 is the real deal. You see Gary, I listen to you!!

I borrowed the “Folie a Deux” CD by Fall Out Boy from my youngest son. I have been listening to it all this week and have to say that it is good, I like it. They have a very distinctive style and their songs tend to sound similar but overall I have enjoyed listening to it. I previously informed you that I did purchase the single “America’s Suitehearts” (track # 4 on the album) and I crank it up loud whenever I hear it. Tracks that stand out for me are “I Don’t Care” “She’s My Winona” “Head First Slide Into Cooperstown on a Bad Bet” (weird I know) “W.A.M.S.” and “West Coast Smoker.” My favorite track is “What a Catch, Donnie.” It’s a slow song but their vocals shine bright in this one. In my opinion, these guys are the modern day Duran Duran with a twist of Living Colour. (pop music with heavy spurts of rock and funk). This band has made a good impression on me and I consider them one of the better “new” bands out there today. If you like their sound, you will like this latest release.

This week’s issue of “Blender” magazine (with T.I.) on the cover has a “bracketology” of the worst band names ever and I have to admit I was intrigued. The one category which I did not know a single band came from the “Shock and Ugh” grouping. I was kind of surprised to see The Beatles and Metallica on the list because I always thought those two names were ingenious. I expected Limp Bizkit and Puddle of Mudd but in the end it was Toad the Wet Sprocket losing out to Hoobastank. If you view the brackets, I think you will find that they pretty much have it correct for each “stand-off.” (including the elite 8 and then the final 4).

U2 will perform for five nights in a row on the David Letterman show beginning on March 2 – 6… very strange.

Madonna took in a whopping $242M for her tour in 2008 and was the leader in the “money maker” list, according to Billboard. Neil Diamond still has it, as he was seventh on the list and pulled in over $82M. The usual suspects: Bon Jovi, Bruce, The Police and The Eagles are on the list. So is the Aussie Band- AC/DC- who came in at number 13 with $56.5M. Journey made a strong comeback with $44.8 and finished 17 out of 20 in 2008. The most surprising act for me that made the list was Miley Cyrus, who pulled in at number 15 with a huge dollar amount- $49M.

Sadly back on this day in 2002, Waylon Jennings (who gave up his seat to the Big Bopper on that tragic flight with Buddy Holly) passed away from complications from diabetes. Waylon was an original member of The Crickets.

Back on this day in 1983, Marvin Gaye sang the National Anthem in Los Angeles for the NBA All Star Game.

If you are celebrating your birthday today you share the same date with Peter Tork of The Monkees (he turns 65- are you kidding me?), Peter Gabriel and the late great “Tennessee” Ernie Ford– who would have turned 90 years old today.

February 6, 2009

Weekly Update – 02/06/09

Filed under: CD Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — ea0217 @ 7:31 am

Shinedown at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza on Tues. Mar. 31. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (I’m so IN even if I go by myself again)

Van Morrison at the Beacon Theater on Wed. & Thurs. Mar. 3 & 4. Pre-sale begins tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. for American Express cardholders only until Thurs. Feb. 12 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale is next Friday Feb. 13 at 9:00 a.m.  $90 -$350.

Franz Ferdinand at the Roseland Ballroom on Thurs. May 7. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  $27.50.

Ne-Yo with Musiq Soulchild and Jasmine Sullivan at Radio City Music Hall on Sun. Feb. 22. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. (says 11:00 but I would check at 10:00 just to be safe) $39.50 – $79.50.

Disturbed at The Izod Center on Wed. Apr. 22. Tickets on sale next Fri. Feb. 13 at 10:00 a.m. $36.50 – $46.50. This is the “Music as a Weapon Tour” and will also feature Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil and Chimaira.

Ratatat at Terminal 5 on Tues. April 21. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Pre-sale for American Express ends at 11:00 a.m this morning) $23.00.

Other items:

Today is my younger brother’s wedding; our whole family could not be more excited for him and his bride. Weddings are always a fun time and usually one of the highlights is the couples’ first dance. I’ve polled some of my friends and here are some of the wedding songs that span the last 40 years or so. OK so the first song that I did not recognize and I know I’ll take some heat for this (but at least I’m honest, right?) is from the legendary Stevie Wonder– “Ribbon In The Sky.” I know, I know, you can stop yelling at your computer screen and after listening to it I give it a total two thumbs up!! After just one listen I can tell it’s a Stevie masterpiece. (Ok you can start to breathe slowly as you calm down).Another song that I didn’t recognize (yes it does happen contrary to popular belief) is the beautiful “For You” by Kenny Lattimore. This is a beautiful song!! Keeping with the theme of the songs that I didn’t know- my other brother’s wedding song was “Beautiful in My Eyes” by Joshua Kadison. This song came out in 1993 and the only time I heard it was at his wedding and now while researching it on I-Tunes. Again total two thumbs up on this tune as well. My cousin’s song “I’ll Still Be Loving You” by Restless Heart is a song that I am unfamiliar with but again when I listen to it, I can see why it was picked as their first dance song. My mother and father’s wedding song was “When We Get Married” by The Dreamlovers and even though I didn’t know it, it goes without saying that I love it. My mom was also a fan of doo-wop and as you all know how much my Dad still loves it to this day.

Ok songs that I recognized:Here’s one for you that really is that perfect wedding hall song – “After All” by Cher and Peter Cetera. Definite tear jerker for family and friends as they watch the couple embrace on the dance floor. “All My Life” by Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville is another picture perfect song -actually my wife and I danced to this in the “middle” of our wedding. My wife wanted this to be our wedding song but I was too keen on “I Don’t Want to Live Without You” by Foreigner. (Have I told you I wanted to be Lou Gramm?).My cousin and her husband could not decide on one song so they had “All My Life” and also “Love Will Keep Us Alive” by The Eagles. Wow I love that song!!! It puts me in a trance. “Heaven” by Bryan Adams is a flat out phenomenal song and I want to get married again so that I can dance with my wife to this song. “I’ve been waiting for so long for something to arrive, for love to come along…” “At Last” by Etta James is still as stunning today as it was when it was released back in 1961. Beyonce’s version at the Inauguration was fantastic but I always come back to Etta’s version. “What a Wonderful World” by the incomparable Louis Armstrong gives me chills every time I hear it. Whenever and wherever I am, I immediately stop what I’m doing and just listen to this timeless classic. Really doesn’t get much better than this song. “Cherish” by The Association is one of my all time favorite songs (I know, I know, I say that about every song). Go back and listen to this memorable tune by one of the best vocal bands ever. “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King– don’t you just love the beginning of that song? I have to admit that I love the version by John Lennon as well. Not too many can sing it like Mr. King but John comes close.

Now there are so many songs to pick from because it really is a personal choice by you and your partner. But here are some classic wedding songs: “Always and Forever” by Heatwave (more than half of Brooklyn’s population had this as their wedding song from the 1970’s through 2000). “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross (stunningly beautiful); “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frankie (Frank Sinatra– this and many other songs that he has done, probably have been played at more weddings than any other performer? You think?) Oh but hold on I know the fans of The King- Elvis– are screaming at their PC right now saying what about “Can’t Help But Falling In Love?” Relax I agree.. What an immortal song. This puts tears in my eyes every time. “Only You (And You Alone) by The Platters reminds me of my Dad and how much he loves this song. I grew up on “Doo Wop” and am forever grateful. “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers; (brings tears to my eyes as this was one of my mother’s favorite songs); “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole; (nothing to say I’m speechless); “You Are Everything” by The Stylistics (awesome tune, I always wished I could hit those high notes that Mr. Thompkins did so gracefully); “Here and Now” by Luther Vandross (one of the best male vocalists ever); “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston (powerful voice but yet so gentle- originally done by Dolly Parton); “If” by Bread; (My aunt and uncle’s wedding song back in 1970’s- another song that really touches the heart); “That’s Amore” by Dean Martin (here’s the other half of Brooklyn’s wedding song); “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker (written by Mr. Preston but made famous by Joe; can’t get enough of this song); “When You Say Nothing at All” by Alison Krauss (angelic voice-‘nuff said); “You and I” by Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle (perfect song for marriage).

I also received some funny comments for songs: “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy; “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC; “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett; “I Hate Everything About You” by Ugly Kid Joe; OK I’ll stop… that’s just not right….

Not only has Tickemaster been ripping us all off for years, now they have a subsidiary called TicketsNow. Beware: you have been forewarned. They are out to screw you. Apparently fans of Bruce were re-directed to this site, where supposed tickets were on sale for many times the “face value.” A NJ congressman, Bill Pascrell, has written a letter to the FTC and The Department of Justice to look into the relationship between the two entities. I hope they take them down.

Marilyn Manson is filming a new video for his 9 minute song “I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies.” New album is called “The High End of Low.” No release date has been announced.

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “Rock Me” by Steppenwolf. This band floats under the radar but had some really good tunes. “Rock Me” has that psychedelic feel to it, especially the bongo and drum solo towards the end. Groovy man!! “Magic Carpet Ride” brings down the house every time as well.

I forgot to mention in last week’s “One Hit Wonder” topic in the “flower power” era one of my favorites- “In The Summertime” by Mungo Jerry. I make my sons sing this song with me every time I hear it- they have no choice- and how cool is the band’s name? One has to like it just based on their name. “Alright Alright.. ccchh, cccch, ungh..”

Rumor has it that Van Halen will record some brand new tunes this year. Eddie has said that after Wolfie graduates and he gets married in June, he will jam with his son & brother Alex and ask Diamond Dave if he’s doing anything. If not, he says that Dave is more than welcome to record with them and possibly reunite for another tour. I’m greedy- I hope they do it and I’ll be there again!!!

Disturbed’s “Inside The Fire” should win the category for best “hard rock song” for the Grammy’s this Sunday night. They are up against Motley Crue, Mars Volta and Rob Zombie.

Aerosmith will be inducting Run DMC for this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame festivities on April 4. How cool is that?

I’m so disappointed in Etta James for ripping into Beyonce and the President because they used her song “At Last” for the inauguration. Frankly I’m shocked that someone at her age could say something so juvenile. I know she may have been upset but her outburst was uncalled for.

Roy Clark, Barbara Mandrell and Charlie McCoy were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Roy Clark is a legend and one of the best guitarists ever!!! His spot on “The Odd Couple” is flat out phenomenal.

My favorite song of the week is “I Hear You Knocking” from Wynonna Judd from her new album “Sing Chapter 1.” She has jumped into the fray of recording cover tunes and I have to admit there are more than a few songs that she hits out of the park- this being one of them. She gives Dave Edmunds a run for his money on his cover of this classic Fats Domino song.(On a separate note do you know that you can’t get Edmunds original version of this song on I-Tunes, very frustrating) Check out her passionate filled version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” and I’m letting you know right now that you will be very impressed.

Eminem is back and has released a new single “Crack a Bottle” featuring Dr. Dre (of course) and 50 Cent. I have given it a few listens and it’s not that bad.

Melinda Doolittle has put out her new album “Coming Back to You” and all I can say is “wow!!” Do you want some “old school” R&B? Look no further than this solid effort. The first track “Fundamental Things” will grab you in a head lock and not let go. You will take notice from this former American Idol and before long you will think that you have been listening to a seasoned veteran R&B singer. Check out the song “Wonderful”- it will blow you away. “I Will Be” will definitely become a huge hit. “Declaration of Love” – sounds like- dare I say- something that The Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha, would perform. Yes, I went there. “I’ll Never Stop Loving You” is probably the best tune on the CD. This could be a future “first dance” song at weddings to come. Not for nothing just plunge for the entire album because I’m telling you right now this album and her career will take off in no time. I took the plunge and know I won’t be disappointed. Buy It NOW!!!!

Did you catch the stirring rendition of The Star Spangle Banner performed by Jennifer Hudson before the Super Bowl? I have to say that ranks up there with the colossal version performed way back by Whitney Houston. Jennifer’s version is now available on I-Tunes. Bruce was also in top form during the halftime show.

Back on this day in 1981, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney began recording “All Those Years Ago” as a tribute to John Lennon.

Back on this day in 2005, Paul McCartney performed at halftime for SuperBowlXXXIX.

Sadly back on this day in 1998, Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys (“God Only Knows”) passed away from complications of cancer.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with Natalie Cole and Fabian (also known as Fabiano Anthony Forte).

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