Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at Giants Stadium on Wed. Sept. 30 and Fri. & Sat. Rocktober 2 & 3. Tickets on sale this Monday June 1 at 10:00 a.m. $33, $65 and $98. (eight ticket limit per person).
The Dead Weather at Terminal 5 on Fri. July 17. Tickets on sale today at noon. $30. (Good luck trying to get these tickets, if you do- you are good!! Jack White’s new band).
Steely Dan at the Beacon Theater on Tues., Wed. Fri. & Sat. July 28, 29, 31 and Aug. 1. They will perform some of their greatest hits including the following albums in their entirety for each night specified: 28th-“Aja”; 29th– “Gaucho” and 31st -“The Royal Scam.” On Aug. 1, they will perform songs picked by ticket holders via an internet vote. (now that’s cool). Pre-sale tickets for American Express Cardholders only go on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. until Fri. June 5 at 10:00 p.m. General public on sale Sat. June 6 at 10:00 a.m. $74 – $240.
Pete Yorn at Webster Hall (125 East 11th street off of 3rd Avenue) on Tues. & Wed. July 28 & 29. Tickets on sale today at noon. $27.50 ($32.50 day of show)
Coldplay at Jones Beach on Mon. July 27. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.
The Killers at Jones Beach and PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. & Wed. Sept. 1 and 2. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Jones- $35, $50, $60 and $75; PNC-$29.25 and $59.25.
Incubus at the Mohegan Sun on Sun. Aug. 2. Tickets on sale next Fri. June 5 at 10:00 a.m. $45. (If you are part of the Incubus fan club you should have received your pass-word to purchase “pre-sale” tickets).
Asher Roth and Kid Cudi at Nokia Theater on Wed. July 15. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only until noon today. General public on sale begins at noon. $27.50.
CKY at the Gramercy Theater on Thurs. Aug. 13. Tickets on sale today at noon. (Live Nation Event)
Counting Crowes at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park on Thurs. Sept. 3. Pre-sale for Citicard holders on now. General public on sale is next Fri. June 5 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation)
Hall & Oates at The Mohegan Sun on Sat. Aug. 8. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)
Staind with Shinedown & Chevelle at the Chevrolet Theater on Thurs. July 16. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m.
Blink 182 with Weezer, Taking Back Sunday and Chester French at Comcast Theater (formerly “The Meadows”) in Hartford, CT on Sat. Aug. 29. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.(Pre-sale available now for Citi card holders only) $26, $31, $55 and $69.
The Cult at Terminal 5 on Fri. Sept. 11. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $29.50 ($35 day of show). They will be performing their classic “Love” album in it’s entirety plus other hits.
Dream Theater with Zappa Plays Zappa, Pain of Salvation and Beardfish at Brookhaven Amphitheater (Farmingdale NY) on Sat. Aug. 8. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25, $65 and $95.
Kina Grannis at the Hiro Ballroom (in the Maritime Hotel located at 371 West 16th street, near 9th Avenue) on Fri. June 5. Tickets on sale today at noon. $13 ($15 day of show). This woman has some voice. Guaranteed good time. Take a listen to some of her songs: “Walking Away” and “Ours to Keep.”
Our Lady Peace at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Tues. July 21. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)
If you have no plans tonight and you are a “Metal” fan you may want to head on over to the Mercury Lounge (217 East Houston Street #A) and watch all women bands pay tribute to King Diamond (“Queen Diamond”), Metallica (“Misstallica”) and Motley Crue (“Girls, Girls, Girls”). $13 at the door tonight.
My aunt and uncle took a flight to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago and guess who was sitting next to my aunt for the five-hour trip? That’s right-Mr. Troy Luccketta– the drummer for one of my favorite bands-Tesla. They were probably headed home to California before their international part of the tour starts up in June. How cool is that? Man I wish I could have been on that flight. If you remember (I can’t forget) my review of their show last fall at the Blender Theater ended up on the front page of their website for two weeks straight!! Check out their first “concept” video for the song “Falling Apart” which is off of their solid new effort- “Forever More” here at http://teslastaging.com/index.php
New York Kiss fans Unite!! The boys have decided to start up the tour again beginning in September. Now the catch is they have hooked up with a social networking site, Eventful, which is holding a “fan-routed” vote tour. Apparently the top 10 cities so far are in Canada? What no New York, L.A. or Chicago? C’mon are you kidding me? Where is the New York Kiss Army? I’ve already cast my vote for New York City, now it’s time to do your part- go to http://eventful.com/performers/kiss-/P0-001-000062428-9/competitions and VOTE NOW!!! Oh and by the way, Buckcherry has been tapped as the opener.
Lots of buzz being created by the Brooklyn band, Grizzly Bear, who have released their third studio album- “Veckatimest”- and I have seen positive reviews all over the place. I-Tune listeners have given it a five star rating and the song “Two Weeks” seems to be the most popular. I have to say that just by listening to the 30 second samples (and then searching the net for the whole tune) it’s pretty good. Supposedly this is their best work to date.
Zakk Wylde will perform the National Anthem tonight before the Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers game. He’s already done it for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MP8Gl_nqqc
Deep Purple fans get ready for a DVD release this coming Tuesday June 2 as “History, Hits & Highlights 1968- 1976” gives the fan the line-up changes during that time plus a revealing look at the band. If you are a fan, supposedly this is a “must-buy.”
I don’t know if you know that the sports channel “MSG” shows concerts almost every week and this week they have been running the Meatloaf concert. I have to tell you I was so turned off by the Loaf-man with his behavior-his arrogance and the way he treats the people around him was a big turn-off. By the time they were going to go to the concert footage, I had already turned the channel. The part that really had me disgusted is when I believe his “voice” coach asked him to get rid of his gum and the Meat proceeded to spit the gum from his mouth right on to the man. Is he kidding me? I guess my image of him is now ruined. Mr. Loaf- it’s 2009, not 1979-you’re really not that relevant these days to be “getting away” with acts like that.
My favorite “old school” song of the week (well not that old) is “Hold Me Now” by the Thompson Twins. I heard this song the other day for the first time in I don’t know how long and it just clicked. I love the background vocals… “Hold Me Now…”
Fans of Cheap Trick listen up, go to their website www.cheaptrick.com and pre-order their new album “The Latest.” It is a 13 track album recorded over the past year with producer Julian Raymond. They are marketing to the consumer and will sell it over time as opposed to releasing it to the general public. If you have ordered any Cheap Trick merchandise in the past you should receive a notice to purchase the new album, slated for release on June 23.
Album(s) Review: “Lynyrd Skynyrd-Pronounced Leh-Nerd-Skin-Nerd” and “Second Helping” by Lynyrd Skynyrd released on Aug. 13, 1973 and April 15, 1974.
OK as you can probably tell I had a heavy dosage of Lynyrd Skynyrd this past week because I heard my favorite all time Skynyrd song –“Don’t Ask Me No Questions”- on my I-Pod shuffle and was going to list my top ten all time favorite songs from them but then decided that I could not ignore their albums. Then I ran into another problem- picking their best album. Now my focus here is only with the original band which included the incredible singer and songwriter Mr. Ronnie Van Zant. Now when I say “original” I mean that loosely as Skynyrd always had a revolving door for its band members but you get the picture. Lynyrd recorded five albums with Ronnie, so that is the bunch that I am picking from. Now don’t get me wrong, the three other albums-“Nuthin’ Fancy”, “Gimme Back My Bullets” and “Street Survivors” are all solid albums but the first two are American classics which everyone should own. So instead of doing one review, I couldn’t choose between the debut self titled album or their second-appropriately named “Second Helping” so here is a look at both of them. Now folks these two albums combined spawned some of the greatest songs in rock & roll history. There can not be any denial of this fact-you may not like them (which I find impossible) but you have to respect their impact –in a real short time, I must say- on the history of music. Songs like “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Free Bird,” and “Gimme Three Steps” will remain timeless classics for every generation to love and behold. Unfortunately as most everyone knows, on October 20, 1977 there was a plane crash which took the lives of Mr. Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines and injured the other members of the band. The cause was due to the plane running out of fuel. It’s one of the saddest stories in rock and roll history and only leaves you with the question- “What might have been” but on the bright side we do have the first five albums and then Ronnie’s younger brother, Johnny, took over the reigns for the re-united Skynyrd-who are still going strong and touring this summer!!!
Lynyrd Skynyrd– This powerful-rock-southern rock-country rock- whatever you want to call it-album kicks off with “I Ain’t the One” which has a funky slick blues guitar lick that will have you groovin’ in no time. It sounds as raw, crisp and passionate as it did back in 1973. (Love that little whistle in the beginning).There was going to be nothing that got in the way of Mr. Van Zant and his band-mates from becoming the superstars that they set out to be. They had the music in them and that is all they needed. Talk about just good ole time rock and roll- this song just flat out makes you move your body!! “Tuesday’s Gone” is freakin’ phenomenal. What else can one say? Listen to the beauty of this song and tell me you don’t float away? The piano and guitar work is flawless. There could be an argument made that this is the best song they ever recorded. “Tuesday, you see, she had to be free…But somehow I’ve got to carry on.” Really, does it get any better? “Gimme Three Steps” ranks up real high in my all time favorite songs by this band-yes no matter how many times I hear it (or have heard it). The infamous guitar introduction gets me every time. Listen to how tight this song is. Ronnie’s vocals and the lyrics are classic- this is a “first” album folks-they sounded like they were seasoned veterans already-classic from the very beginning. “I said exxxcuuuussse me” …“Show me the back door..” Side one ends with the landmark recording “Simple Man.” Think about it- the last three songs on the first side are immortal masterpieces. I’m sorry there is no other way to describe it. “Boy, don’t you worry.. you’ll find yourself.. follow your heart and nothing else..”
Side two starts off with “Things Goin’ On” which is too cool. The keyboards by Mr. Billy Powell shines brightly. This song reminds me of being at a Country Fair with rides, cotton candy, and farm animals on a hot summer day with this song blasting from the old time speakers high up on a pole. As you walk around with your family or friends you find yourself bopping your head up & down wondering who sings this song. Yes it’s the boys from Southern Florida. “Mississippi Kid” is the sleeper on this album. It is pure blues but it makes you feel good. How can that be you ask? Well put it on and tell me you don’t feel it. C’mon you know you are smiling from ear to ear when you hear this song. Pure fun. “Poison Whiskey” gets back to the heavy guitar riffs with that southern twang from Ronnie. Now do I dare say that his vocals remind me of Mr. Gregg Allman? I know the battles that raged on when I was in school-who did you like-The Allman’s or Skynyrd? I like(d) both- I know, that’s not the answer the die-hard Skynyrd fan wants to hear. But he does remind me of Gregg. They also perfect the “Zeppelin” thing whereby Mr. Van Zant sings along with the guitar, especially towards the end of the song. Now we all know the final song on side 2 is the legendary “Free Bird.” Most people prefer the “live” version (similar to Kiss with “Rock and Roll All Night”) but I also enjoy the studio version of this song. What else can be said about this song?
Second Helping– This album was the first album where they introduced the “triple guitar” sound. Now I recognize that I probably have heard “Sweet Home Alabama” more than any other song in my entire life but I have to admit that when I don’t hear it for a while and then it comes on the radio, I will listen to it with fervor. As I mentioned this song is etched in the halls of rock and roll and will last forever. The song was written in response to Neil Young’s “Southern Man” and “Alabama” whose lyrics indicated racism in the South. Trying to stick up for the southern man, even their own lyrics were taken out of context as Governor Wallace was in favor of segregation. Ronnie said that the words “boo boo boo” after mentioning the Governor are often over looked and “Now we did all we could” was meant to say that the residents of Alabama did all they could to get rid of him. If you listen closely –with a set of headphones- you can hear the producer-Al Kooper- singing lightly the words “Southern Man” after Ronnie says “well I hope Neil Young will remember..” (about 55 seconds into the song). “I Need You” is along the lines of “Tuesday’s Gone” and “Simple Man” and is a slow heartfelt song about love. Track # 3- “Don’t Ask Me No Questions” in my opinion the best song Lynyrd has ever recorded. The mix of the guitars, horns and piano creates such a perfect blend of rock and roll. This song was obviously directed to the press as Skynyrd was growing in popularity and wanted to keep them off of their back. The boys had a tendency to talk their mind freely and were often attacked as arrogant and cocky- which is probably exactly what they were. And they also took on their own record company with “Working for MCA” which is a very sarcastic rant on the executives of the music company who they accuse of stealing their money. You can really hear the “triple guitar” on this song.
Side two starts off with the impressive “The Ballad of Curtis Loew.” Listen to this song carefully and you’ll be blown away by the quality of the playing of the guitars, piano and drums. This song moves along very nicely and tells the story of people that lived in Mr. Van Zant’s neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL. (Little bit of history- this song was performed only once live before the fatal plane crash and was not performed again until the Tribute Tour with Johnny Van Zant). “Swamp Music” starts off like something Johnny Cash would perform if he plugged in his acoustic guitar into the electric socket and jammed away. This song rocks and the piano adds the spice. “The Needle and the Spoon” is a rocking song that depicts the struggle of an addict trying to save his life by quitting drugs. The sound coming off this track is crystal clear and makes you feel like you are in the studio when they recorded it. (again-headphones people). The last track on side two is Skynyrd’s cover of the J.J.Cale classic “Call Me the Breeze” which is a hand clapping, foot stomping blazing version of the original and seems perfectly suited for this band. I can’t get enough of this song. The piano solo by Billy Powell may be the best work at the piano for a rock and roll song in the history of musical recordings.
Lynyrd Skynyrd is one of the best rock and roll bands to ever hit the music scene (I won’t limit it to “Southern Rock”) and everyone has to have at least one song or one album that they like or own. If you want to have a good time at your next house party or BBQ you have more than a few songs to pick from to “get the party started.” Next question- What are you waiting for? Go out and get you some Skynyrd, baby!!
This week I also was listening to a heavy dosage of John Lennon and have decided to put down my favorite top ten songs from the legend that was taken from us way too soon.
10. How Do You Sleep– OK I know it’s an attack on Paul but again, it’s the music for me in most cases. His lyric “jump when your mama tell you anything” is not fair though, doesn’t everyone do that, especially for your mom?
9. Oh My Love– The “dark horse” on the album “Imagine.” This song is so pleasing to the ear, the man was a gift to us all.
8. Mother– Gut wrenching song which immediately stops me in my tracks, drop everything and listen so attentively, it is scary. Pure perfection in my opinion.
7. Power to the People– Love the groove in this song and of course Billy Preston is involved on piano.
6. Give Peace a Chance– Keeping with the same theme, I love this song in so many ways and wish the whole world could heed this advice… forever.
5. Woman– I wanted this to be my wedding song because “I am forever in your (my wife’s) debt.” This song is superb.
4. Imagine– Can this song not be in anyone’s top 10 songs for Mr. Lennon? I think not. Spectacular, ageless and unforgettable.
3. Beautiful Boy– This song gets me all the time, I automatically think about Sean and how he lost his dad at a young age. And then when my son’s were born, I associated this song for them. This is the perfect song from a father to a son.
2. Stand By Me– Even though he did not write this song, I believe his version is the best ever made. I love the guitar work, so simple but yet so extraordinary. Listen to his voice, does it get any better?
1. Happy Christmas (War is Over)- This song, for me, has to be in my top ten songs of all time, even though it’s seasonal. I wish the war was over. The melody is so magnificent and it puts a smile on my face every time.
Answers from last week:
1. Tommy Thayer (Guitar) and Eric Singer (Drummer)
2. The Commodores
3. False. The bassist, John Deacon, retired from music business in 1997.
4. The Ray Davies Quartet- who later on became The Kinks.
This week’s trivia (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
1. Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother, Donnie, is a co-founder of what band?
2. How did the group get their name?
3. True or False. Leslie West auditioned to become a guitarist for Lynyrd Skynryd.
4. True or False. Neil Young was a rival of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Sadly back on this day in 1989, John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service passed away at the young age of 45 from chronic emphysema.
Sadly back on this day in 1997, Jeff Buckley passed away at the young age of 30 as he drowned in Mud Island in Memphis TN.
Sadly back on this day in 1999, the remains of Iron Butterfly’s Phillip Taylor Kramer are found at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu, CA four years after his disappearance. His death was ruled a suicide.
Back on this day in 1971, the Rolling Stones had the number one hit with “Brown Sugar.”
Back on this day in 1979, Donna Summer had the number one hit with “Hot Stuff.”
Back on this day in 1995, Bryan Adams had the number one hit with “Have You Really Ever Loved a Woman.”
If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Gary Brooker (Procol Harum), Melissa Etheridge, Noel Gallagher, Chand Kinchla (Blues Traveler) and Dave Buckner (Papa Roach).