Errols Weekly Music Update.

April 24, 2009

Weekly Update – 04/24/2009

The Moody Blues at Radio City Music Hall on Thurs. Aug. 20. American Express pre-sale is on now until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Live Nation Pre-sale begins today at 10:00 a.m. and continues until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Password is: singer. Another pre-sale password is HEBLUES. General public on-sale is tomorrow at noon. $39.50 – $89.50.

Incubus at Radio City Music Hall on Tues. & Wed. Aug. 4 & 5. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $43 – $70. Also appearing at the PNC Arts Center on Fri. Aug. 7. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $30.25 – $45.25 (PNC is a Live Nation Event)

Kings of Leon at the Izod Center (formerly “Meadowlands”) on Sat. Sept. 12. Tickets on sale today at noon. $37.50 – $46.50.

Beyonce at Madison Square Garden on Sun. June 21 and at Mohegan Sun on Thurs. July 23. Pre-sale starts this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight and password is HEIAM for the Garden show. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.$20.75 – $175.75  (MSG)   $95.75 – $145.75 (Mohegan)

Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden on Thurs. June 11. Pre-sale for American Express cardholders only go on sale this Mon. Apr. 27 at 10:00 a.m. until next Thurs. Apr. 30 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale next Fri. May 1 at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 – $149.50.

Aerosmith and ZZ Top at Jones Beach on Fri. June 26. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $41, $95.50, $155.50 and $207.50.(Oooh Faaa I’ll sit up stairs thank you very much).

Third Eye Blind at the Roseland Ballroom on Tues. June 16. Tickets on sale Sat. May 9 at 10:00 a.m. More info to follow (Live Nation Event).

PJ Harveyand John Parish at the Beacon Theater on Tues. June 9. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $37.50 – $75.

Foreigner at the Nokia Theater on Fri. Rocktober 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $40 – $150. (Are you kidding me? $150 to see Mick Jones?)

Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sat. Aug. 8 @ 1:30 p.m. Tickets on sale this morning at 11:00 a.m. $25 – $54.50. Acts include: Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Killswitch Engage, Bullet for My Valentine and more.

Brad Paisley with Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne at the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT on Sat. June 13. Pre-sale on now for Citi card holders only. General public on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.$29.75 – $58.25.

Journey at Nassau Coliseum on Mon. Aug. 31 and Chevrolet Theater in Wallingford CT on Sun. Sept. 13. Ticket info to follow.

Wilco at Keyspan Park in Coney Island on Mon. July 13. Tickets on sale today at noon. $45

Jackson Browne at Ives Center in Danbury CT on Mon. July 13. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.  $35 – $75.

Other items:

Green Day has announced their tour to support their new album “21st Century Breakdown”- a three part concept album- and they will be in New York on Mon. July 27. Ticket info to follow. They will also be the musical guest on the final Saturday Night Live on May 16, the day after the album is released.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Josey Scott, lead singer of Saliva, who underwent ulcer surgery. Hopefully he’ll be able to do the New Jersey show this summer.

Timothy B. Schmit, bassist for the Eagles, will put out his first solo effort in eight years this fall and will get help from Kid Rock, Graham Nash, Garth Hudson (The Band) and Dwight Yoakam. Look for “Expando” later in the year.

Congratulations to Dave Grohl and his wife, Jordyn, on the birth of their second daughter. Harper Willow Grohl was born last Fri. Apr. 17 and weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz. Harper’s big sister, Violet Maye is three.

My favorite new song of the week is “Candy” by Paolo Nutini. This is a nice song, it has an “old school” sound to it, sort of “Eagle-ish” or early Rod Stewart. Take a listen and see if you like.

My other favorite new song of the week is “Wavin’ Flag” by K’naan, a Somali-Canadian rapper whose third album “Troubador” was released in February. I saw the video for “ABC’s” and was immediately hooked to his sound. The chorus for “Waving Flag” is addicting and my guess is this song is only going to get bigger in the next few weeks or months. I’ll tell you what this album is worth the purchase of $7.99 from I-Tunes as it features Kirk Hammett (yes from Metallica), Adam Levine, Damian Marley and Mos Def. The song “ABC’s” is fantastic and he gets help from Chubb Rock. Check it out, this is hot!!

I didn’t think Anoop Desai was going to be the next American Idol but he didn’t deserve to be booted off this past week. I agree that Lil had hit her peak (a few weeks back) but I strongly disagree with the fact that Allison Iraheta was in the “bottom two” on Wednesday. America wake up!! Matt Giraud should not have been saved last week and definitely should have been voted off this week. Next to go are Matt, Danny and then Kris. Again it’s a no doubter that Adam wins hands down. (he won about 6 weeks ago). Allison deserves to finish second. It’s enough with Danny already he sounds like Taylor Hicks and to me has hit his peak.

Rob Thomas will release his second solo album, “Cradlesong”, on June 30. The first single- “Her Diamonds” is already out and sounds good. His solo tour will be announced this summer for later on this year. He will appear on the “Today” show on Fri. morning July 3 to promote the new album. Thomas also gave the NBA his song “Give Me The Meltdown”(from Cradlesong) which ABC and ESPN have been using in their commercials to promote the playoffs.

EP Review: “The Open Door”- Death Cab for Cutie released on Mar. 31, 2009

OK I have to admit this is the first piece of work that I have purchased from the boys from Bellingham, Washington. I know that they have been around since 1997 and I almost took the plunge for “Narrow Stairs” which was released about a year ago. But the great thing about discovering music is that one can go back and dig deeper into the bands’ library of work and this is something that I might just have to explore. Again this is only five songs (plus the video of “Grapevine Fires” off of “Narrow Stairs.”) but is worth the $4.99 on I-Tunes.

“Little Bribes” kicks off the EP and this is the song which made me “stand up & notice.” There is something about this song which makes me say “man this is good.” I don’t know if this makes sense, but it is clear and crisp. The man behind the voice, Benjamin Gibbard, has something different that makes you think that you have heard his style before but after searching you come back to the fact that it really is only him that sounds like that. This song is finger snapping with an infectious groove that keeps you coming back for more. “A Diamond and a Tether” is sort of melancholy but the whole sound and arrangement works, it sort of has a Beatles influence if you listen carefully. You know how you come across people and you feel like you’ve known them all your life, well I feel this way about this song. The first time I heard it, I felt like it was one of my all time favorites. “My Mirror Speaks” kicks it up a bit and spotlight’s Mr. Gibbard’s vocals. Nicholas Harmer’s work on bass really stands out and the “hand-clapping” adds the spice to this fun song. “I Was Once a Loyal Lover” is an upbeat song that I have to admit that I probably would not have listened to when I was much younger and not as open as I am now to new sounds. The keyboards and drums take this song over and again the vocals (including background) are top notch. “Talking Bird” really reminds me of something the Beatles would do. This is a soft song with what sounds like a ukulele and Ben’s voice is picture perfect as you will drift far away with this one.

The added “video” – “Grapevine Fires” is eerie but I can’t stop watching it and again I don’t know why. It’s an animated video, very “primitive” drawings but with a very sad tale that grips you; to watch the main character’s girlfriend burn is so disturbing to me and I can’t understand why they made her pass away. Why he couldn’t help her is beyond me- you see what it does to you? I’m talking about a cartoon video…. and why the story was told in a certain way- just like when you don’t like a character that an actor or actress portrays in a movie or series, you forget that it’s fake. Whew I’m back.. By the way, the song “Grapevine Fires” is very good.I have to say that this EP has lured me into their world and I believe I will be “looking back” to see what else I like of theirs. “The Open Door” has let me in and so far I like what I hear (and see).

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

Side 2 of “Live at Budokan” by Cheap Trick which was recorded in Japan in April of 1978 and released in the U.S. in February 1979.

OK first off, I love this whole entire album…. But to be a “perfect” album side, there needs to be no “fillers” or “duds” and in this case-(even though it’s a live album- which some could consider a “greatest” hits..well so be it, I’m still recommending side 2 as a perfect album side)- side 2 contains some of their most popular songs ever. It starts off with their take on the song made popular by Fats Domino-“Ain’t That a Shame.” Before you put it on, make sure your volume is set on LOUD!!!! OK is it set on Loud? Well here comes one of the most under-rated drummers (in my opinion) in rock and roll, Mr. Bun E. Carlos, jamming through your speakers. (By the way Bun E. is now the drummer in the new band “Tinted Windows” and their debut was just released this past Tuesday). Mr. Carlos sets the tone for the entire album as he keeps the train rolling and on this song he is working the scales up and down. And as Sly Stone says “add a little guitar” to which Rick Nielsen obliges with his distinctive “wailing” to get the crowd out of their seat. (are you up yet?) If not, Bun E. will blast you out of your seat with some more of his drumming skills before Robin Zander takes over on vocals. “You made me cry when you said goodbye” totally different from the original as it clicks in your head that you have heard this song before. The boys from Rockford Illinois put their guitar driven spin on this classic. This song has it all- loud guitar, massive drums and great vocals. Of course the bass plays a huge role-especially during the last minute of the song as each non-singing member takes turns putting in their own little solo-switching from guitar-to bass- to drums ending with crowd going delirious. “I Want You to Want Me”- OK I know you have heard this song a “zillion” times but.. it’s SO GOOD.. that’s why you continue to listen to it again.. “Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you cryin’..”(I know they sold out and put this on a “Coke” commercial a few years back.. it took me a while to get over.. seems to be the way of the world). C’mon you know you have “air-guitared” to this song a million times and the chorus is so addicting that I know it will stay in my head the rest of the day and weekend. “This next one is the first song off our new album.. it just came out this week and the song is called Surrender.” “Mother told me yes she told me I’d meet girls like you”- do you need anymore? I love Bun E’s drumming in this song, can’t get enough. This is another song that I could do karaoke with my eyes closed. “We’re all right, we’re all alright!!” Then the blazing guitar strikes again as Robin’s cool rock and roll voice lets the crowd know that the show is coming to an end with “Goodnight” (same way they opened with “Hello There”). They sort of pull off the Who as they seem to be crashing the drums, smashing the guitar as the crowd awaits the encore. This classic album ends with my favorite track “Clock Strikes Ten.” This song friggin’ rocks!!! “Imagine what we’re doing tonight… clock strikes two.. not going home gonna stay out late..” You can not help but jam out and rock around your house (or in your car) because this song has to move you out of your seat. “On the drums.. Mr. Bun E. Carlos.” I’m head banging my way right until the end as the feedback from the guitar laying on the stage slowly fades away with the screams of the crowd.

Similar to Kiss, this live album catapulted them to stardom and they never looked back. I jumped on the band wagon with this album when I was 14 and have been a Trick faithful ever since. (Went to see them at Radio City Music and UFO was the opener-how cool is that?) These boys don’t get the respect that they deserve (again similar to Kiss). I don’t take any impoliteness directed towards Cheap Trick around me at any time, even when my own kids give me grief about them. (I hold them down and force them to listen to the nine minute live version of “Need Your Love” which is on side 1). Cheap Trick has cemented their place in rock and roll history- they have always done it their way with no regrets and they have always had FUN!! What else can one ask for? Sadly (but good for you) you can purchase this classic CD for $5.99 at Amazon. “Live at Budokan” is one of the greatest live albums ever and side 2 is a perfect album side. Run out and get this!!!

Tinted Windows (mentioned above) has released their debut album this past Tuesday. The band consists of the aforementioned Bun E. Carlos (drums), James Iha (guitarist) (Smashing Pumpkins), Adam Scheslinger (bass) (Fountains of Wayne) and Taylor Hanson (singer) (Yes the Hanson brothers of “MM Bop” fame). “Messing with my Head” seems to be the hit single along with “Kind of a Girl”, this seems to be right up all their alleys (except for Mr. Iha) as the theme is pop music.

Back on this day in 1961, Bob Dylan made his recording debut by playing harmonica for a Harry Belafonte album.

Back on this day in 1968, Apple records rejected David Bowie for their label.

Back on this day in 1977, The Talking Heads began their first tour ever by serving as openers for The Ramones. How cool is that?

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Barbara Streisand. She was born in Brooklyn!! (Like my uncle Gary!! Happy Birthday G!)


April 17, 2009

Weekly Update – 04/17/2009

Mary J. Blige at Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City on Fri. June 5. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Beyonce at Madison Square Garden on Sun. June 21. All sorts of pre-sales begin this Mon. Apr. 20. There is a “radio” pre-sale and a “ticket rush” pre-sale which begins next Fri. Apr. 24 at 10:00 a.m. General public on-sale is next Sat. Apr. 25 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event). More info to follow.

Aerosmith with ZZ Top at the Mohegan Sun on Sun. June 28. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $125 – $175. (recession? What recession?) They will also be at Jones Beach on Fri. June 26 and at PNC Arts Center on Sat. Sept. 12. Tickets for this show will be next Fri. April 24.  More info to follow.

Hank Williams Jr. at Mohegan Sun on Fri. May 29. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Andrea Bocelli at Mohegan Sun on Sat. June 20. Tickets on sale this Sun. Apr. 19 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

311 and Ziggy Marley at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park (5th and 69th street) on Thurs. June 25th at 6:00 p.m. and at PNC Arts Center on Sat. June 27. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $45 for CP and $25.25  (Lawn) – $45.25 for PNC.

The Zombies, The Yardbirds and The Spencer Davis Group (“Rock Royalty”) at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Fri. July 10. Pre-sale through Live Nation right now until next Thurs. Apr. 23 at 10:00 p.m. and the password is: singer. General public on sale next Fri. Apr. 24 at 10:00 a.m. $37.50 – $73.

Phish at Jones Beach on Tues. June 2. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Better than Ezra at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Fri. June 19. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. (Live Nation Event)

REO Speedwagon, Styx and .38 Special at Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City on Fri. June 26. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

The O’Jays at Borgota Event Center in Atlantic City on Fri. July 17. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Bonnie Raitt with Taj Mahal at the bandshell in Prospect Park (Brooklyn) on Wed. Aug. 12. Pre-sale tickets begin next Tues. Apr. 21 at 10:00 a.m. and go until Thur. Apr. 23 at 10:00 p.m. Password is Roulet. General public on sale is next Fri. Apr. 24 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event). Bonnie will appear by herself at the Chevrolet Theater on Sun. Aug. 9. Tickets on sale May 8 at 10:00 a.m.

Chickenfoot makes their NY debut at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Thur. May 28. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $52.50 (Live Nation)

Toby Keith with Trace Atkins at PNC Arts Center on Thurs. June 18. Pre-sale starts this morning for Citicard holders only. General public on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $33 (Lawn) – $68.

George Thorogood & The Destroyers with Jonny Lang at Nokia Theater on Fri. Aug. 14. Tickets on sale now. $49.50 – $59.50

Other items:

Thoughts and prayers go out to family & friends of Randy Cain-one of the founding members of The Delfonics– who passed away at the young age of 63, very sad. Those guys were great. Songs like “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” and “La-La Means I Love You” are timeless classics that will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Randy.

Have you heard the new Green Day single- “Know Your Enemy” – I’ll use Randy Jackson’s term “It’s hot baby!!” If this is any indication of how the rest of the album will be.. well then I can’t wait for the new album to come out on May. The video will premier on all MTV stations (sorry Eddie for mentioning MTV) next Friday April 24 at 8:00 p.m. across the globe.

Another single from Kate Voegele was released this past Tuesday and “99 Times” sounds real fresh, I really like her sound.

Same thing with Esmee Denters with her single “Outta Here” – this song will soon be one of the most popular songs on I-Tunes, mark my words.

The New York Dolls have released a single “’Cause I Sez so” and it rocks man. If you are a fan of these guys or rock and roll- you will like it.

Talk about an unlikely duo- Mr. Neil Diamond is supposedly hooking up with Limp Bizkit after Fred Durst twittered him and said he was a “big fan.”

George Harrison received his own “star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this past Tuesday. This past Tuesday? Are you kidding me? They could not give it to him when he was alive? He didn’t deserve it? I for one, do not acknowledge this, I’m sorry to his family and friends. It’s an insult.

Blondie and Pat Benatar are teaming up for a tour this summer. Look for them at a city near you.

The Killers are mapping out a U.S. city fall tour later this year and some have been announced already. I’ll keep you posted.

The New York Annex for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will have a “New York” John Lennon exhibit next month (replacing the current “Clash” exhibit). They will be changing exhibits throughout the year. You have to go if you are a Lennon fan.

Have you seen the on-line video tape of the show “Britain’s Got Talent” with the 47-year old woman, Susan Boyle? (you probably have as over 5 million viewers in the last few days have “hit” you-tube to watch. Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan, as well as everyone in the audience, were skeptical about her performance (based on her appearance) before she started. But as she started to sing, everyone watched in stunning amazement as this voice emerged with such beauty that it was hard to believe. If you have not seen it, go to this site to witness this astonishing spectacle. I was blown away and am thinking she probably has already received a recording contract.

“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 “Seconds of Pleasure” by Rockpile– released in Rocktober 1980.

Do you remember Rockpile? They formed for this one and only effort which spawned the semi-famous hit “Teacher, Teacher.” The band consisted of Dave Edmunds (guitar, vocals), Nick Lowe (bass, vocals), Billy Bremner (guitar, vocals) and Terry Williams (drums). In my opinion, Edmunds and Lowe were the 1980’s version of the Everly Brothers and when this album was released their music really wasn’t “what was happening at the time.” But I will say that it may have made it easier for a band like the Stray Cats to emerge (whom released their debut album in 1981) as it has that “rockabilly” sound to ignite one’s engine to dance around the room. Rockpile was a conglomerate of guys who just wanted to make rock and roll music the way they knew how and it didn’t matter if others did not think it was relevant. One key thing about music, if it is good- it will always be relevant and these guys were good. Now some of you may recognize Nick from the hit“Cruel to Be Kind” and Dave from “Girls Talk” or his remake of “I Hear You Knockin’.” This may be an obscure perfect album side in your mind but for me I wore out my record player with side one of this album. (Side two has some good tracks like “You Ain’t Nothing But Fine,” “When I Write the Book” and “Oh What a Thrill”).

Side one starts off with the aforementioned “Teacher, Teacher” and the beginning does sound like a faster version of “Cruel to Be Kind” but that is not a bad thing. I can remember WNEW-FM playing this song many times during their hey-day as New York’s best rock radio station (after WPLJ left us all flat). This song has an addicting chorus and the upbeat tempo will reel you in, as you will find it hard to get this song out of your head. “If Sugar was as Sweet As You” has a driving rock and roll beat and it is their take on a song written by Joe Tex. This definitely has that “rockabilly” I was talking about before and with a good set of headphones you will be rocking out. All these songs are short, sweet and to the heart of rock and roll. “Heart” is a song sung by Mr. Bremner and clearly has that 1950’s sound to it. I tried to get my dad back when this album came out to listen as I knew it had that old time rock & roll feel to it but of course it wasn’t as good as the guys and gals who performed in the 1950’s. “Now and Always” is definitely a song that Don and Phil Everly could have written in 1980, this tune has their signature all over it and especially that the song clocks out in less than two minutes. Track # 5 “Knife and Fork” is my favorite track of the whole album, I love that bluesy rocking beat. The lyrics are bit rough but I’m a music kind of guy and this song grooves with such ease that I can never listen to it just once. Side one ends with “Play That Fast Thing (One More Time)” and this song flat out rocks & rolls as you “twist” all around the room. And just like that, in less than 20 minutes, you have what I consider- a perfect album side.

My favorite song of the week is “Son of Detroit” by Kid Rock. (He’s not on I-Tunes, so you’ll have to get the CD just labeled “Kid Rock”). This song is the best. It brings back so many memories of boot camp at MBIA, man we played this song to death but every time we all loved it. Dave and I would trade versus- “Hey Dave how do you like your whiskey?” and like the song says “I like my whiskey straight up…daiquiris make me ill….if someone touches my beaver skins, I get mad enough to kill…” Take the piano solo Tricia!!! Rock on!!!

CD Review: Baby Darling Doll Face Honey (released Apr. 7)- The Band of Skulls

Remember when I told you last week that I liked what I heard from the 30 second previews on I-Tunes and that their debut album was only $5.99, well I took the plunge and it’s the best six dollars I have spent in a long time. This trio from Southampton U.K. will be the next hottest band to emerge from “across the pond.” Yes there will be comparisons to the White Stripes but I don’t think they will receive the backlash that the Stone Temple Pilots did when they first hit the scene and everyone painted them as “Pearl Jam wannabee’s.” First thing is that Emma plays a mean bass (unlike Meg who plays the skins) and no offense to Meg but she has better vocals. Yes, Russell Mardsen sounds a lot like Jack White on guitar and vocals on some songs but not all of them which allows them to blaze their own trail.

“Light of the Morning” actually starts off with an “ode to Led Zeppelin” as Russell sings along to the guitar, a la Mr. Robert Plant with Mr. Jimmy Page. This song will grow on you as it has an infectious groove and when the drums really kick into gear there is a wall of sound that surrounds you like a fog, where before long you will be singing “I want to see you in the morning.” This has the White Stripes all over it as the slow bass/drum groove will make you think Jack and Meg are behind this. “Death by Diamonds and Pearls” is a song that sounds like a band that has been around for a long time recorded and not by a “rookie” band. Again you will feel like you’re listening to the White Stripes, especially when you hear the guitar solo, but that’s not a bad thing, right? “I Know What I Am” was the free song on I-Tunes last week to try and hook you in and in my opinion is the best free song they have ever given away. Both Emma and Matt share the lead vocals on this simple but gripping song which will have you wanting more from this band. The fourth track, “Fires,” is where they start to spread out and this is one of the better tracks on the album. This sounds like something that U2 would record if they were just starting out in 2009. Emma background vocals really make the song that much better, she shadows his lead vocals like a cat. His vocal style is eerily similar to Bono. “Honest” is a very pleasing to the ears and on this song Emma sings a picturesque lead while Russell parallels his voice right behind hers, a flip-flop from the prior song. This song is destined for stardom, mark my words.

Track #6, “Patterns” is a rocking song which will have you feeling like you have heard this song before. It has twists and turns where you will feel like rocking out and then other parts where you feel calmness like there are in the slow U2 and Led Zeppelin songs. Then it’s back to the disorderly but yet melodic fusion which makes you stand up and take notice. “Bomb” is one of the better tracks on this debut as you will be snapping your head up & down while “air-guitaring” and “air-drumming” in no time. The song starts off with the sound of an old-time alarm clock where you have to wind it up to work. This band does not need any “winding up,” they are ready to rock you at a city near you very soon.The arrangement of this song is stellar and his guitar work is super solid. “Impossible” takes it down a bit as it is hard to distinguish who is singing lead vocals. This also will remind you of U2; I could swear that this could be included on the “No Line on the Horizon” album and one would not “blink an eye.” This song is the “dark horse” of the album and could become one of their most recognized songs in the very near future. Track # 9- “Blood” is also one of the better songs on this notable debut. Emma reminds me of Chrissy Hynde in this song as one can feel her passion bleed through the speakers. It has a psychedelic twist to it as you don’t know what’s coming next and then bam Russell is in your ears with a blistering solo. “Dull Gold Heart” takes a few turns to get use to but once you “get it” you will not be disappointed. It has a theatrical feel to it, like something Queen can do so well and I love Matt’s drumming in this song. The more I listen I actually think they may have listened to a lot of Soundgarden in their day.

“Cold Fame” ends this extraordinary album and this is my favorite track. All I can say is “wow”- take a listen to this beautiful song and tell me you don’t think its good?!! This song reminds me of My Morning Jacket and could have been placed on the “Evil Urges” album. In a weird twist, you might also hear “Oasis” in this tune, one of the more recent bands that made a huge splash out of England over the past decade or so. The background vocals add the chocolate syrup to this sundae as Russell’s passionate voice shines a very large light on the fact that this band has some extreme talent.

“Baby Darling Doll Face Honey” is the best release by a new artist so far in 2009 and in my opinion The Band of Skulls have the chance to generate as much excitement as Oasis once did, if not more. They already sound like a seasoned veteran band and if this is their first release, I honestly can’t wait to hear what is next from this trio. But let me not get too far ahead of myself, I have plenty of time to soak in this gem of a debut album and am eagerly awaiting their next trip to the U.S.

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Do The Evolution” by Pearl Jam off of their fifth studio album – “Yield” and it had me thinking that this album is really my favorite from these guys. Now I know this may be hard to believe, especially in light of their blockbuster debut, “Ten” and their super solid sophomore effort- “Vs.” Now these albums may be better (artistically and/or in popularity) but for me, Yield matches up “pound for pound” against any recording they have done. According to the band members themselves, things really started to open up once Eddie Vedder seemed to loosen up his control of the group by asking the others to contribute by writing more songs. Mr. Vedder had made the final decisions on “Vitalogy” & “No Code” (two previous albums) and wanted to release this pressure so he engaged his band mates to become a team with the end result being that “Yield” received critically acclaimed success. (although not a “smash” selling album with just over a million units sold as compared to “Ten” which sold over 13 million and “Vs.” sold over 7 million). With the friction dissipating, the recording of “Yield” goes back to the basics of just making good rock music and in my opinion this album set them back on course of becoming a “classic” rock band. I myself lost sight of this band after “Vitalogy” and didn’t even purchase “No Code.” But then my friend Steve lent me “Yield” (which I was reluctant to take) and told me that I wouldn’t be disappointed; he was right and eventually it became my most preferred Pearl Jam album. On a separate note, Steve and I were in the MBIA corporate box in Madison Square Garden to see the “Yield” tour and what a night it was. The box was over-packed and everyone who attended said it was one of the best concerts that they had ever been to, myself included.

The album kicks off with the explosive “Brain of J” a hard driving short song which packs a whale of a punch. Don’t ask me what Eddie is saying, all I understand is “The whole world will be different…” The guitar solo is electrifying and just like that the song ends. Track #2- “Faithful” really slows down and at first I was like “What happened? I was just head-banging with the best of them and now..” but you know what it works. It was a sign of maturity to me and also showed that they were in control of their arrangements. Before too long, you feel that edge and heavy guitar work in this song as well as you begin to “head-bang” albeit at a slower pace. The chorus is addictive and the fade out of the tune is classic, reminds me of The Who. (one of their biggest influences). Then it’s on to my favorite track of the album- “No Way.” There is something about this song that keeps me coming back for me. The groove is infectious- “I stopped trying to make a difference, I’m not trying to make a difference..” I love the guitar work in this song along with the twists and turns, you can not help but bop your head up and down. “Given to Fly” is probably one of the more recognizable tracks as I remember hearing this on the radio very often back in the late 1990’s. It has a U2 feel to it in the sense that there is a quiet period but then builds into this majestic aura that completely surrounds you and then quickly falls back to the solace place it started out. As I listen to this track, I’m thinking that Eddie maybe should have placed in my top ten screamers of all time, he definitely cracks the top 15. “Wishlist” is the “hit” from this album and deservedly so. The lyrics are phenomenal, especially “I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good” or “I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on.” The guitar work on this song is stellar, period end of story. Track # 6 –“Pilate” has a bluesy feel to it with a rocking ride from the bridge to the chorus. At times you wonder to yourself if it is the same song that you started out listening to because of the dwindling parts which quickly burgeon and then diminish again.

The aforementioned “Do the Evolution” comes right at you and the first time I heard it, I didn’t like it but after a few turns the light bulb clicked on and I was hooked. I love the “howl” in the beginning signifying a rooster and also for everyone to wake up because it’s an “evolution baby.” This song rocks and the driving force is enhanced by the sound of clicking drums. It’s another roller coaster ride as you don’t where you are going but you know its going to be fun and quick. I love his screaming/singing at the end of the song, rock the way it was intended to be- loose and loud!! There is a quick one minute interlude with no title which kind of reminds of something that the Beatles would do. The song just appears as a circle, 0. Track 9-“MFC” is the “traditional” sound of Pearl Jam and when you listen, you’ll know what I am talking about. “Low Light” should be a song you recognize as this was played a lot on the radio. Their “ballads” have always been excellent and this one is no different. There is a sense of beauty and passion that blinds you, almost as if you are walking in a snowstorm on a dirt road surrounded by trees- that’s what I feel when I hear this song. The softness continues with another “hit” from this album – “In Hiding” and even though the intensity picks up a bit, especially with the guitars, this is a magnificent song which is very pleasing to the ears. “I’m in hiding” exclaims Eddie as his passion bleeds through your headphones or speakers, the arrangement of this song from start to finish is incredible. Track #12- “Push Me, Pull Me” is a psychedelic fusion of Eddie’s deep vocals, guitars, drums and strange noises. Again I’m reminded of U2 for some reason; I could definitely see Bono and The Edge writing something like this. “Yield” ends as most of their albums do- with a long song- “All Those Yesterday’s” is seven minutes long and I have to tell you it conjures up images of the Beatles for me, I don’t know why but it does. I can feel George and John creeping into the picture, especially the guitar solo as I can picture George neatly sitting on a stool jamming away. The trick here is you need to stay tuned as that song ends quickly (about 3 minutes or so). Then with a little more than 2.5 minutes left you hear a “flamenco” like guitar joined by hand clapping and I am taken back to the episode of “The Odd Couple” where Oscar almost marries the Greek woman and the last scene is Felix dancing with the family members-this track is actually called “Hummus.”

Now you may not agree with my assessment that “Yield” is their best effort but it won’t change my opinion. From top to bottom, this album has no holes in it. Sometimes the most unassuming is the most inspiring.

Sadly back on this day in 1960, Eddie Cochran died in an automobile accident at the young age of 21.

Sadly back on this day in 1998, Linda McCartney passed away from cancer at the young age of 56.

Sadly on this day one year ago, Danny Federici-keyboardist for the Bruce Springsteen band, passed away at the young age of 58 from melanoma.

Back on this day in 1979, the number one song was “Knock on Wood” (remake) by Amii Stewart. (It’s not available on I-Tunes for some odd reason)

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with James Keenan (Tool) and the Rapper- Redman (Reggie Noble).

April 10, 2009

Weekly Update – 04/10/2009

Metallica at Madison Square Garden on Sat. Nov. 14. Pre-Sale starts today at 10:00 a.m – 10:00 p.m. and password is HEMETAL. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $54 – $74. The Nov. 14 show is completely sold out. Tickets for Nov. 15 are on sale this morning (Sat. Apr. 11) at 10:00 a.m. (there is no pre-sale for this event so you have a better chance to score good seats).

AC/DC at Giants Stadium on Fri. July 31. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $89.50.

The Offspring at Roseland Ballroom on Wed. July 8. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event) $39.50 – $42

A second show has been added for the “Unwigged and Unplugged” show featuring Spinal Tap for Wed. May 27 at The Beacon Theater. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $39.50 – $59.50.

Huey Lewis & The News at Capital One Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. June 19. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 (Live Nation Event)

Smokey Robinson at the Capital One Theater at Westbury NY on Sat. June 6. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.(Live Nation Event)

No Doubt and Paramore at Jones Beach on Sat. June 27. Tickets on sale now. (Live Nation) $29.50 – $90.

Z100 Zootopia ’09 featuring the Black Eyed Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Flo Rida, The All American Rejects and Soulja Boy and others at Izod Center on Sat. May 16. Tickets on sale next Tues. April 14 at 4:00 p.m. $27 – $257.

Motley Crue with Godsmack, Theory of a Deadman, Drowning Pool and Charm City Devils at the PNC Arts Center on Tues. Aug. 18. Tickets on sale now. $29.50 – $95. (Live Nation)

 Vamps at The New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Sat. July 11. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation)

REO Speedwagon with Styx at the Mohegan Sun on Wed. July 1. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $45. “Heard from a friend who, heard from a friend who…”

Other items:

This week’s free I-Tunes song, “I Know What I am” comes from a band called Band of Skulls and their new album “Baby Darling Doll Face Honey” sounds pretty good and for $5.99, you can’t beat it. Take the plunge I think you’ll like it. Two singers in the band, one female and one male and on some songs the male sounds like Bono to me. (I said sounds like, slow down). It’s like a fusion of many different influences, I can hear Jack White and Chrissy Hynde. The trio is from the U.K. and to take Randy Jackson’s words “It’s Hot Baby!!” I’m in.

Speaking of American Idol, Simon did the right thing by pulling the plug on Scott MacIntyre. No offense, but he lasted a lot longer than he should have. I give him all the credit in the world but the other seven are clearly more talented in the singing department than he is. Paula did say some poignant words at the end of his run and he deserved all the accolades but it was time for him to go.

I have to admit I am intrigued by Bat for Lashes with their second album “Two Suns. “ The song “Daniel” is very popular and “Pearl’s Dream” sounds pretty good too.

If you don’t have any Ray Charles in your record collection (shame on you first of all) you now have the chance to get “Genius- The Ultimate Collection of Ray Charles” album which just came out on Tuesday. It has 21 tracks and on I-Tunes you can get it for $9.99, how can you beat that? What are you waiting for?!!

Death Cab for Cutie has released an “EP” (remember those?) called “the Open Door” and again I have to admit I like the sound. (Here’s the $1.29 per song on I-Tunes, see below). I especially like “Little Bribes” and “A Diamond and a Tether.” Good stuff. I’m in.

Looking for something different? Take a listen to this beautiful voice – Ms. Melody Gardot – all I can say is “Wow.” She will make you stand up and take notice. Take a listen to “Baby I’m a Fool.” If you are having friends over for a dinner party or it’s just the two of you, any of her albums or songs would be perfect. Trust me, would I steer you wrong?

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “Love on a Two Way Street” by The Moments. When’s the last time you have heard that song? Awesome R&B.

My favorite song of the week is “Life is Beautiful” by Sixx:A.M. This is Nikki’s other band and they have some talent. Check it out.

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Loving Mother fo Ya” by Mr. John Mellencamp from his seventh studio album “Uh-huh.” I can’t even remember the last time I heard this song but once I did it jolted my memories of being 18 again and being back in Brooklyn. By the time 1983 rolled around, I was entrenched in the music world and at least once a week I would take the B-70 line (8th avenue bus) in Brooklyn to 86th street; walk down three avenues or so to “The Record Factory” (thanks Audrey) store near 5th avenue and search for the latest albums that had come out or prior releases that “I needed to have.” By the time the early ‘80’s arrived John Cougar had huge hits such as “I Need a Lover” “Hurts So Good” and “Jack and Diane” all over the radio airwaves that he was able to tell his record company that they needed to put his real name on the cover of “Uh-Huh.” So as to avoid any confusion, it was John Cougar Mellencamp and from that point forward it became Mellencamp. The band he assembled behind him flat out “rocked the house” and in my opinion could hold their own against any band during the 1980’s.

During one of my treks out to the Record Factory, I remember this dude (looked like Pat St. John, former DJ of WPLJ and WNEW in NY-currently on WCBS-FM) putting on “Pink Houses” and told everyone in the store that this was a brand new song from Mellencamp. Hearing that song for the very first time, at a very loud volume in a contained area is something I will never forget, as this guy danced around the store. I was immediately hooked, bought the album and jettisoned home so that I could listen to the entire record.

Side 1

“Crumblin’ Down” is the first track and I was electrified, I knew instantly that I was going to love this album no matter what. (If someone could start an album with this song I knew the rest was going to be great). He has so many great songs and this one ranks up way up high for me on his all time list. If this does not make you move your feet, nothing will. Then the opening acoustic chords to “Pink Houses” gets my so pumped (every time!!!) that I usually transform myself into a rock star and imagine myself up on stage performing this fantastic song. I look for the closest thing I kind find that resembles a guitar and start to strum away and sing “Ahh but ain’t that America for you and me baby, ain’t that America.. home of the free.” Track three, “Authority Song” is a rebel rouser and is how rock and roll was intended to be- a foot-stomping and hand-clapping affair. “I said Oh No…No, No, No, I said Oh No.. I fight authority..” exclaims John as Mr. Kenny Aronoff is pounding away on the drums. This song was used extensively in MBIA’s boot camp classes from 2003-2005. The first three songs on this album, pound for pound, can match up with any other records you can think of. “Warmer Place to Sleep” keeps the rocking moving forward as I can picture the Rolling Stones performing and/or recording this song. This tune sort of reminds me of “When the Whip Comes Down” off of “Some Girls.” The bass and drums are prevalent throughout the whole album and no exception in this case as they keep the train moving along.“Jackie O” is a very simple tune which really just utilizes a keyboard but has an appealing hook which reels you in and before long you will be singing this song all day long. I can picture being at a “penny social” (my grandmother use to take my brother and me when we were kids) and this song playing in the background as you wander from table to table looking for some good bargains.

Side 2

“Play Guitar” kicks off side two of this impressive album as John wryly points out that if one wants success, the best bet is to learn how to play guitar. This song grooves with a funky rock/blues fusion that will have your head boppin’ up and down. “All women around the world want a phony rock star.. who plays guitar” as the guitar solo wails in your ears. (How apropos). “Serious Business” definitely has that Keith Richards/Rolling Stones feel to it as one can tell that the Stones along with Dylan were a big influence on Mr. Mellencamp. His lyrics always tell a story and everyone knows John is a “no nonsense” kind of guy. He went along for the ride in the beginning, playing the game but only to get his foot in the door and then once his foot wedged that door-he blazed his own path from the point forward. “This is serious business, sex and violence and rock and roll..” no doubt reveals his sarcastic read on what sells in America. “Loving Mother fo Ya” is my favorite track on this album, I love the beginning with the drums blaring in the background and then quickly moving to the forefront as one can not help but dance around. It has a dirty, nasty feel to it and I get the feeling that they had much fun recording this rocking tune. This is one of the tunes that should be played at a party where people form that circle with individuals taking turns doing some silly dance solo, that’s how much fun this song is. “Golden Gates” takes it down a notch but does not lose its passion as this is one of John’s better slow songs he’s ever written and recorded. Take a listen and feel the raw beauty of this track. Before you know it, four minutes have passed by in the blink of an eye.

“Uh Huh” in my opinion was the catalyst that propelled John’s career in many ways. He was determined to take away the “Cougar” identity which was his “monkey” on his back. He clearly shook that off and proved to his record label (his fans already knew) that it was he who could make music that would make an impact with his listening audience without using a gimmick, such as a stage name. This album was one of the best in the 1980’s and still sounds as fresh as when it came out in 1983. I wore out the album sleeve because of the amount of times I played it and became a huge fan of his from 1983-1987 (still am but just identifying my peak interest). I remember seeing him at a sold out Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving night back in 1987 with a bunch of friends and having a great time. John was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame last year and is still going strong. If you are looking for a place to start with his music, get this album and then start exploring his catalog which is spectacular, the man is a living legend in my opinion.

Did you catch the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony last Saturday night? I thought it was a “well run” show however I believe the viewing audience can do without all the endless interviews by the co-hosts and there were way too many commercials which led to the show running over the allotted four hour time frame. (By the way, what’s up with Joe Perry’s hair?)I was so impressed by Wanda Jackson, of whom I was not familiar with but after seeing the video clips of her career, along with the nice induction speech by Roseanne Cash, that I became a fan- you see how great discovering music can be? I felt good for Little Anthony & the Imperials as they finally received the recognition they deserved. (There are still many other acts from the 1950’s “doo wop” era that need to be included in the Hall, so hopefully the voters will do their homework and get them in before it becomes a “memorial” induction). It was very touching to see the members of the group say a few words and you could sense how happy they were.

Eminem did a great job on his induction speech for Run-DMC. What I look for in these speeches is sincerity and the impact that a performer has made on the life of the presenter and you could clearly tell that Eminem was speaking from the heart. He was passionate in his description of the impact that DMC had on his life which led him on his journey into the world of music. And yeah so what Run-DMC is rap? Who cares? They totally mixed in the rock and roll music that influenced their life into the songs that they did, with great results. You can not tell me that their version of “Walk This Way” didn’t break down the barriers that existed back then and even the most hardened rocker has to admit that they liked the version. C’mon, give credit where credit is due. They had so many great tunes throughout their career and even changed holiday music with their own versions that have become classics we can’t live without. As Eminem keenly stated “Two tables and a microphone, that’s all it took to change the world.”

Now when Flea came out to introduce Metallica, I have to admit I was a little leery about his dedication to this bands’ impact on the music world. (My mistaken assumption was that there would be an individual from a newer band out there and not the Chili Peppers who have been around just as long as Metallica-give or take a few years- slown down OK?) But as soon as he walked out with his green hair, Metallica tee-shirt with a jacket to class it up, I knew before he spoke a word that he was so into it. His enthusiasm made me jump out of my seat; thrust my arm and hand up along with screaming “Oh Yeah that’s what I’m talking about!!” His speech was the best one I have ever seen (could have done without all the curse words but he was “in the moment”) in all the years that these induction ceremonies have been going on. (This is what I wanted to see when Van Halen was inducted and not the lame performance by the boys from Velvet Revolver-still pissed about that). I taped the show (it ran over by the way) and I had to watch his passionate speech all over again. He hit every aspect of how Metallica’s music makes an impact on the lives of the people who follow them- I admit I could not have said it any better- “friggin’ phenomenal.”

And how great was it to see Jason Newsted up there soaking it all in. At times it felt a little awkward (how could it not?) but when he was up there playing with them, you could sense how much it meant to him. It was a nice touch in letting Ray Burton, father of the late great bassist Cliff, saying a few words for his son. Kirk seemed a little overwhelmed up there as Robert appeared very appreciative of the whole event. (He is a perfect fit by the way for the band now, no offense to Jason). James’ speech was also heartfelt and you couldn’t help but feel very happy for him. Lars’ was great as well as you could sense that this was one of the best night’s in his life, a feeling of accomplishment from others that he appeared to want and need throughout his career. Vindication at last!!! \m/ \m/

I-Tunes this week unveiled some new pricing for songs. Songs can now be $1.29 or $0.69. A $0.30 cent swing in both directions. I just hope the newer CD’s don’t cost $12.99 instead of the nice $9.99 we have been use to. Oh well, you knew it was coming.

As you probably have heard all of the Beatles albums will be re-issued later this year-digitally re-mastered for the first time and to be released on the same day they will release “Rock Band”- 09/09/09.

Sadly back on this day in 1962, Stuart Sutcliffe-an original member of the Beatles, died from a brain hemorrhage in Germany. He was only 21.

Back on this day in 1967, Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra had the number one hit with “Something Stupid.”

Back on this day in 1970, Paul McCartney for the first time publicly announced the breakup of the Beatles.

Back on this day in 1977, “Don’t Give Up on Us Baby” was the number one hit from “Hutch”- Mr. David Soul. Man was it that long ago?

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Brian Setzer, Q-Tip (Jonathan Davis), BabyFace (Kenneth Edmonds) and Mandy Moore.

April 4, 2009

Concert Review: Bryan Adams at The Beacon Theater on Friday April 3, 2009

Concert Review: Bryan Adams at The Beacon Theater on Friday April 3, 2009

Beautifully Amazing

Sometimes the word “beautiful” can be used to describe a renovation of an historic building on the upper west side of Manhattan, complete with detailed trimmings, spectacular colors of gold and burgundy that is very pleasing to the eye along with the grandeur feeling of royalty that surrounds you as one recognizes all the hard work, which include all the amenities, that went into the restoration of the Beacon Theater. It can also be used to describe the performance of Mr. Bryan Adams last night, as the stage was completely stripped down to the bare bones with just a piano, a couple of music stands and a five lights that surrounded him which gave you the feeling that he was performing under street lamps on a New York City corner. So on one hand you had this massive new building (complete with new seats as Mr. Adams jokingly stated half way through the show) but yet on the stage was this simple setting and again the one word that comes to mind to describe both surroundings: beautiful. This was also a night of “firsts” for me as it was my oldest sons’ first concert ever and my first time seeing Bryan Adams in concert despite being of fan of his for the past 25 years, so you know this one ranks up there in my top ten shows of all time.

Every once in a while one needs to “go back to the basics” and I can guarantee that everyone who went to the show loved it just as much as I did because it brought the focus on the raw abilities of this one man to the forefront. His voice is amazing (like you’re putting on the album in your house or CD in your car); his song writing abilities shine through as they lyrics and meanings behind his songs are very powerful. How about his stage presence? He was larger than life up there with such comfort sharing his great sense of humor while contributing many New York related stories with the audience. He also kept a New York crowd quiet and that is a miracle in itself. Oh, and of course the man can play guitar. He can jam with the best of them and then take it down a notch like no other. He did receive some very complimentary assistance from the pianist in his band, Gary Briet.

This perfect night started off with no opening band just Bryan himself with the setting being very calm, almost like waiting for a Broadway play to begin. Lights turned off around 8:25 and he entered the stage almost having that “1968-Elvis comeback” look with the dark jeans and dark shirt with the guitar strung around his neck. The man is forever youthful and will become the “Dick Clark” of my generation. The familiar chords begin and in unison the crowd helps out “She says her love for me could never die” – the memorable “Run to You.” About two minutes into the song, the crowd also helped out by clapping the drum part, and then Bryan took over igniting everyone into a “sing along” right off the bat. He tells the audience that it was going to be a long night and that he’d play many of his songs although not everyone because “we’d be here until tomorrow morning.” (I don’t think anyone would have left if he did do it). He explained to the crowd that he was looking at Wikipedia about himself and he laughed at all the analysis behind his latest album “11.” “Basically it was my eleventh album” seemingly amused at all the different reasons why it was named “11.” He went into the first track off of the album “Tonight We Have the Stars” and I’m telling you right now the sound was extraordinary. Gary joined him for the third song- the upbeat “Back to You” and throughout the show he would remerge to lend Bryan a hand. One of the early highlights of the show was “When You Love Someone.” Bryan performed it brilliantly and like I mentioned, his writing ability really captures the essence of love and with my son sitting next to me, well I was moved to say the least.

Similar to the VH1 Storyteller series, Bryan went on to tell the audience that at one of his shows in Florida someone walked into his dressing room (“Ahh security?”) and gave him a note that said “Willie can you sign my guitar?” Realizing (or maybe not) that it wasn’t Mr. Nelson, he asked Bryan to sign it and I believe he said that a relative of his was in Iraq. Bryan decided to keep “Seven Spanish Angels” on his set from that point forward. The show was a perfect blend of up-tempo and amazing heartfelt songs. The audience was craving the 1980’s catalog and Bryan delivered with “Cuts Like a Knife.” To have the entire Beacon singing “Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, etc.” is something that my son will forever have in his memory bank.“This Time” is just a flat-out great song, period end of story!! His comfort with himself was evident in the song “Please Forgive Me” as he jokingly turned on a “country” voice and no one was upset. The crowd rose to its feet when Bryan was telling the story behind “Summer of ‘69” (not what you were thinking) and no matter how many times you have heard this song- you have to sing along. People were screaming out songs for him to play and he went all the way back to “Remember” from his debut album released in 1980. “Heaven” was like; well heaven- spectacular version of this often heard song. I found out his idol was Ray Charles and the inspiration for the song “The Right Place” which he wrote with Jim Vallance in 1986 but was recorded by Taylor Hicks on his 2006 debut album. Bryan actually sounded like Ray on this tune. The set ended with “The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You” which was super solid.

For the encores, he spliced in more stories about New York- a real good one where he could not catch a cab and had to take the NY subway to the Garden. As he boarded the train, he met a whole bunch of fans that were going to the show. Not believing it was him, there was only one person who walked up to him and eventually helped him get to the Garden. Everyone rose for the classic “Somebody” and sung word for word- “I thought I saw the Madonna when you walked in the room.” “I need somebody” resonated throughout the Beacon as I looked over to my son who was soaking it all in. After the song ended, someone screamed out “Free Bird” and believe it or not, Bryan launched into it. I was laughing because everyone always screams out “Freebird” (c’mon you know you have) and he did it. His shortened version ended and then he playfully started the opening guitar chord on “Stairway to Heaven” but quickly started to laugh. He then played my wife’s favorite song from him” Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman.” Again I’m at a loss for words on how to describe how beautiful this song was performed. The row of women in front of us all put their arms on the shoulders of each other to the left and right, swaying back & forth to the pleasing tune. The “moment” continued as I was completely blown away by “Never Let Go,” a song about complete self-sacrifice. He rightfully spotlighted the heroic efforts of the pilot, co-pilot and crew of the flight that crashed the plane into the Hudson back in January, calling it the most spectacular effort in “aeronautical” history. The audience kept asking for “Straight from the Heart” and he delivered. Again the entire audience sang word for word and I was in amazement that it was only him up there creating this wall of sound. The show ended with the majestic “All for Love” and I was in awe.

This was a memorable night for me, as the combination of his show and my son being with me could have not played out any better. Even though we were in this pretty big theater, he made us feel like we were in our own living room, singing along to his endless library of songs-some poignant and some rocking but most of all “straight from his heart.” Thanks Bryan for making this night so special. As my son left the theater he just said “Dad that was amazing.”

Set List:

1.        Run to You

2.        Tonight We Have the Stars

3.        Back to You

4.        Here I Am

5.        Let’s Make This A Night To Remember

6.        Can’t Stop This Thing We Started

7.        I Thought I’ve Seen Everything

8.        When You Love Someone

9.        Heat of the Night

10.     Seven Spanish Angels

11.     Not Romeo, Not Juliet

12.     You’re Still Beautiful to Me

13.     Cuts Like a Knife

14.     This Time

15.     Please Forgive Me

16.     Summer of ‘69

17.     Walk on By

18.     Remember

19.     Lonely Nights

20.     Heaven

21.     The Right Place

22.     The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me Is You


23.     Somebody

24.     Free Bird

25.     Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman

26.     Never Let Go

27.     Straight from the Heart

28.     All for One

April 3, 2009

Weekly Update – 04/03/2009

All Points West Festival is on again this year at Liberty State Park and it is three days beginning on Fri. July 31 – Sun. Aug. 2. So many bands with the Beastie Boys headlining on Friday; Tool on Saturday and Coldplay on Sunday. Tickets on sale today at noon.$199 for 3-day pass. $89 for single day pass. Click here for tickets: If pre-sale is still on the password is WRXP.For more information go to

U2 at Giants Stadium on Fri. Sept. 25. Tickets on sale this Mon. Apr. 6 at 10:00 a.m. $30 – $250.

Elvis Costello and The Sugarcanes at Beacon Theater on Wed. June 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 – $89.50.

Jackson Browne at the Prospect Park Bandshell on Tues. July 21. Tickets on sale Mon. Apr. 6 at 10:00 a.m. GA Lawn Standing – $45; Reserved seats- $79.50 – $100.

O.A.R. at Madison Square Garden on Sat. Aug. 15. Tickets on sale today at 10:00 a.m. $37.50 – $45.

Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic at Meadows Music Theater in Hartford CT on Sun. Aug. 30. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

Buckcherry at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Fri. May 15. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)

George Strait at PNC Arts Center on Fri. May 29. Pre-sale tickets for Citi-card members only today at 10:00 a.m. General public tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event) $33.50 – $78.50

Rick Springfield at Capital One Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. Aug. 7. Tickets on sale Sun. Apr. 5 at 12:30 p.m. (Live Nation Event)

Peter Frampton at the Capital One Theater at Westbury NY on Fri. Aug. 28. Tickets on sale Sun. Apr. 5 at 12:30 p.m.(Live Nation Event)

BB King and Buddy Guy at the Capital One Theater at Westbury NY on Sat. Aug. 29. Tickets on sale Sun. Apr. 5 at 12:30 p.m.(Live Nation Event)

MMRBQ festival at Susquehanna Bank Center on Sun. May 17 at 3:00 p.m. featuring the Offspring, ZZ Top, Papa Roach, Puddle of Mudd and Saliva. (Has to be a great show with this line-up) Tickets on sale now through $49.50 – $75.

Bad Company (Reuniting for summer tour) at Jones Beach on Sun. June 28 and at Resorts in Atlantic City on Sat. July 4. Ticket info to follow.

Jenny Lewis (she has some voice) will be at the Music Hall in Williamsburg Brooklyn on Tues. June 9. Tickets on sale today at noon. (pre-sale for American Express cardholders through 11:00 this morning)$22.

Korn at Starland Ballroom on Tues. May 19. Tickets on sale today at noon. $44.50

The Hold Steady at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall in Williamsburg Brooklyn on Mon. & Wed. June 8 and 10. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders on through 11:00 a.m. this morning. General public on sale at noon. $20.

The Average White Band (c’mon who doesn’t like “Pick up the Pieces?”)at BB Kings on Sat. Dec. 5. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $25 ($28 day of show).

Johnny Winter at BB Kings on Thurs. Sept. 17. Tickets on sale Mon. Apr. 6 at noon. $30 ($35 day of show)

Other items:

I’m taking my oldest son to his first concert tonight: Bryan Adams will be at the Beacon Theater for two shows with tonight being the first. I’m so excited and he is the one who picked the show, good taste I must say. “Every where I go the kids wanna rock!!!”

My favorite “old school” song of the week is “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League. Forgot how much I love this song and I heard it and immediately went to I-Tunes to download.

My other favorite “old school” song of the week is “Brand New Cadillac” by The Clash. I friggin’ love this rockin’ song. Two minutes of rock and roll the way it was meant to be.

The 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will take place live tomorrow night on FUSE TV beginning at 9:00 p.m. Metallica will be introduced by Flea; Run-DMC by Eminem; Jeff Beck by Jimmy Page; Little Anthony & The Imperials by Smokey Robinson and Bobby Womack by Ron Wood.

So disappointed that ABC pulled the plug on “Life on Mars”; the last episode appeared this Wednesday and was great as usual. Again the music was spectacular on this show and Wed. night it played near the end of the series the classic “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” by Elton John. How friggin’ great is that song? I can listen to it for days… see ya Sam.

“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 “Moving Pictures” by Rush released in Feb. 1981.

By the summer of 1981, I was entrenched into the world of rock music and possessed an insatiable appetite for discovering additional bands to add to my ever-growing compilation of albums. The first time I heard “Limelight” on the radio, I knew that this was only the appetizer and immediately bought the full course meal, the album-“Moving Pictures.” The opening guitar lick to “Limelight” gets me all the time; I still get psyched up hearing it today. Now I will say that this entire record is a classic album but for me, side one is a “perfect” album side. These four songs alone should be all the evidence needed to convince the voters of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, that this band, Rush, deserves to be incorporated into their prestigious place of residence. I would go as far as saying that the all instrumental “YYZ” track catapults them right into the Hall, sort of like the ball that sits in the Baseball Hall of Fame that Bucky Dent hit into the upper deck at Fenway.

This 1981 perfect album starts off with the incomparable “Tom Sawyer.” Yes I know you have heard this song one million times since 1981 but that’s why it is so good. Would a song that is not that good be played as often? I think not. You really have to step back when you hear this song and think about this fact for a second- there are only three guys producing this full body of work. You know you all “air-drum” the parts that Mr. Neil Peart does, especially the part about half way through the song. Mr. Alex Lifeson plays the phenomenal guitar licks throughout and in my opinion Mr. Geddy Lee is often under-appreciated with his work on the bass. He is spot on throughout this song with his skills as well as his vocals.

The second track, “Red Barchetta” is my favorite song on the album. In my opinion, this is a masterpiece, everything about it is perfect-the lyrics, the music, and the entire arrangement. “My uncle has a country place that no one knows about..” It’s soft and then rocks out with the heavy riffs as Geddy’s high pitch vocals keep the train moving along. Mr. Lifeson’s guitar solo adds the coal to the steam engine as Neil’s drumming will get you to the next station in no time, before you know it 6 minutes of your life has passed you by in what seems like seconds. I know I need to listen to that again, what about you?

The aforementioned “YYZ” hits you over the head like a brick and I remember the first time I ever heard this song, I was blown away. Talk about tempo changes? Friggin’ phenomenal is all I have to say. This song spotlights all of their talents- Geddy’s work on the bass had to have made John Entwistle smile; Neil’s work on the skins puts this man right up there as one of the best drummers the rock world has ever seen and heard. Alex’s shredding could be the best on any song that Rush has ever recorded. (I know what you’re thinking- “Working Man”- well Ok then second best?) The guitar sounds like it has a middle eastern flair complimented with the pounding sound of the western world. How fast does this song end? There is no way you can listen to this song just once, I have already listened three times while writing about it.

Track four- “Limelight” could arguably be their most popular song that they have ever recorded. Again how great is the opening lick to this song? You immediately know what song it is and can’t wait to exclaim “Living on a lighted stage approaches the unreal, for those who think and feel, in touch with some reality beyond the guilded cage.” I would think that this would be a great song to compete in an air-guitar competition or at least be included on “Rock Band” or “Guitar Hero.” The chorus is addicting and you will not be able to stop singing “living in a limelight the universal dream, for those who wish to seem..” Did you know that Mr. Peart writes the lyrics? The man not only is one of the best drummers on the planet but is an amazing song writer. Again, as we enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame weekend, my question to the voters after listening this perfect album side- How can Rush not be in the Hall?

Been thinking a lot about my mom lately and decided to do a tribute for her and list my top 10 songs from her favorite singer- Patsy Cline. Here are my favorites:

10.     Let The Teardrops Fall– Of course all of these songs are going to remind me of my mother. This song has a rocking beat and Patsy has a twinge of roughness in her voice which makes you realize she could sing in so many ways.

9.     Faded Love– This song puts me in a trance. “I miss you darling more & more everyday.” This song is pure magnificence.

8.     Love Letters in the Sand– The two things that stands out about Patsy is her passion and elegance. This is exactly what you’ll find on this tune.

7.     I’m Moving Along– Very simple and short song but also very catchy. With a good set of headphones, boy will her voice blow you away.

6.     Walking After Midnight– One of her most recognizable songs and still today it sounds as fresh as when it was recorded many years ago. Still being covered today, most recently on American Idol.

5.     I Fall to Pieces– Wow listen to this song and tell me you’re not a fan? Virtually impossible to not like this song.

4.     So Wrong– I can picture my mother singing passionately and seeing the music in her definitely had an impact on me in my appreciation of music. The music was in my mother. Music is meant to move you and she would move me the way she sang this song.

3.     Crazy– No matter how many times my mother played this song, I again had to listen to her and Patsy sing this all time classic. Flat out phenomenal song.

2.     Sweet Dreams (Of You)– This song is so tough to listen to without crying but this was my mother’s favorite Patsy Cline song. I can’t even move when I hear this song.

1.     Why Can’t He Be You– By far my all time favorite Patsy Cline song. I can listen to this tune all day long. I think this is my all time favorite recording by a female artist. Pure perfection with a spectacular arrangement.

Sadly back on this day in 1990, Sarah Vaughn passed at the age of 66.

On this day back in 1975, Steve Miller was arrested for setting fire to a “friend’s” possessions and then resisting arrest. (strange).

Back on this day in 1956, Elvis sang “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Heartbreak Hotel” on the Milton Berle show on NBC.

If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Tony Orlando.

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