Errols Weekly Music Update.

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) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ONH3hIjO3c . 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/arts/music/17rone.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Estelle%20Bennett&st=cse

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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz6Cm6PJVWo

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.

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2 Comments »

  1. I still appreciate the songs of the Beegees, as their songs are toucching to my feeling everytime I heard some of their masterpiece. Even when some other artist cooperate with them or sings their songs. I also appreciate much to Kenny Roger who has sung together with Dolly parton or Barbara Streisand.
    I can feel how strong those songs influences my soul. A joy that is traansfered to his fans.
    Say Hello to Kenny Roger.

    Best regards from me in Indonesia!

    Comment by joseph R — March 2, 2009 @ 12:29 am

  2. Sorry this is my right E mail aaddress

    Comment by joseph R — March 2, 2009 @ 12:37 am


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