Errols Weekly Music Update.

May 22, 2009

Weekly Update – 05/22/2009

Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band at Giants Stadium on Wed. Sept. 30 and Fri. & Sat. Rocktober 2 & 3. Tickets on sale Mon. June 1 at 10:00 a.m. $33 – $98

Motorhead at Roseland Ballroom on Wed. Sept. 9. Now this is a good one: Ticketmaster has it listed and when you click on it, you are directed to LiveNation- but the page can not be found. So it looks like they are playing on Sept. 9. I will try and follow up on ticket info.

The Killers at Jones Beach and PNC Bank Arts Center on Tues. & Wed. Sept. 1 and 2. Tickets on sale next Sat. May 30 at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Blink 182 and Weezer at PNC Bank Arts Center and Jones Beach on Tues. Aug. 25 and Mon. Aug. 31. Tickets on sale Sat. June 6 at 10:00 a.m. (pre-sale tickets for Citi card members on sale June 4. More ticket info to follow). (Live Nation Event). (Weezer should be the headliner).

Kenny Rogers at McNeice Theater in Sparta N.J. on Thurs. Aug. 20. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $68 – $98.

The Borgota Event Center will have the following acts and tickets for these shows go on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Events).

     Stone Temple Pilots on Sat. July 18.

     Jackson Browne on Sat. July 25.

     Hall & Oates on Fri. July 31.

     Crosby, Stills & Nash on Fri. Aug. 7.

     Steely Dan on Sat. Aug. 8.

     Moody Blues on Fri. Aug. 21.

Mick Taylor at BB Kings on Wed. July 29. Tickets on sale now. $26.

Journey at the Chevrolet Theater on Sun. Sept. 13. Ticket info to follow.

Other items:

Congratulations to Kris Allen on winning this year’s “American Idol.” I believe his “sweet spot” will be the same type of song-“Kiss a Girl” that he performed with Keith Urban. I thought he and Adam did a phenomenal job singing with Queen on the classic “We Are The Champions.” I like to see him when he’s “upbeat” because sometimes I think he’s way too laid back when he performs those soft songs. Hats off to Adam Lambert as well, and I have to admit it was somewhat of a surprise that he lost because in my opinion Kris didn’t do that much on Tuesday night to take the crown from him. But like I said last week, I think Adam lost it as opposed to Kris beating him. He became so obsessed with trying to be that “rock” star that it clouded his vision and he was screaming way too much, especially in the last three or four weeks. It’s ironic- I believe that the soft songs are Adam’s strength and the more upbeat songs are better suited for Kris-although I do admit that Adam can be a “rockstar.”

You really have to hand it to the producers of American Idol. The season finale show has “to me” (using Randy’s words) become the “Super Bowl” of American TV viewing. They continually raise the bar with each season ending episode and Wednesday night’s show may have been the best one yet. (Ok you guessed it –yes because of KISS!!!) No but seriously, the final show was so entertaining that I did not want it to end-even Kris’s mother said that she forgot why she was there because they were having such a good time- so was I and my whole family-we LOVED it. My oldest son said Queen and Jason Mraz were the highlights but we will ignore that because we all know that KISS was the highlight-period end of story. You had to see how excited my 11 year old son was when Kiss hit the stage. Now I have to hope that Kiss extends their never ending tour again, so I can take him to see the spectacle called KISS. “YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST, THE HOTTEST BAND IN THE WORLD…. KIIIISSSSS!!!” Ok I digressed.. I’m back..

The surprises that kept coming were so much fun and even the “skits” were good, especially when Kara DioGuardi took revenge on the bikini girl-that was the best!! I didn’t know she could sing like that- Wow!! The Black Eyed Peas were “hot baby.” And how about Lionel Richie? This man is unbelievable, his “staying power” is something to behold-this guy was a star in the 1970’s, are you kidding me? Yes I know… the same can be said for Rod Stewart and he goes back to the 1960’s. Both men sound the same after all these years. What about Cyndi Lauper with Allison? I loved it, I know my younger son couldn’t wait for it to end-the only thing he thought was worse was when Steve Martin came out with Michael Sarver and Joy Megan. (Was that “Hee-Haw?” Her tattoo is still very disturbing). Kris’s performance with Keith Urban was fantastic. Jason Mraz is too cool, he’s got it. (Anoop-lose the ‘stache).

But now the highlight: when Adam came out with those “boots” and started singing “Beth” we all knew it. Then when the explosions started happening, we all jumped out of our seats (except my oldest- well what can I say) and started singing “I feel up tight on a Saturday night.” I have to admit Adam was rock solid. How much fun did we have watching that? I don’t what it is- maybe it’s the fact that Kiss is now “accepted” and gets a lot of air time-that was not the case back in the late 1970’s. (are you kidding me it took the press so many years to get a picture of them without their make-up on, remember that? It would be front page news if they thought they had a picture of one of the four without their make-up on). Every time I get to see them on TV or perform live, they just put the word “excite” into excitement!!! And I don’t even care how many times you have heard “Rock and Roll All Night”- it was like there was a whole new audience that probably heard the song for the first time Wednesday night and that’s what gets me pumped!!! Seeing Adam singing along with Gene and Paul was freaking phenomenal. I tell you what I can’t wait until next year’s final to see what is up the producers’ sleeve.

Staying with the Idol theme, Ruben Studdard has put out a new album “Love Is” which is getting some real positive reviews. It is a mixture of new songs along with some covers. His version of “More Than Words” by Extreme may be better than the original.

Linkin’ Park has released a new single –“New Divide” for the second and upcoming movie “Transformers”-which my youngest son has already informed me that we will be seeing it the first day it is out-June 24. The song has a similar feel to “What I’ve Done” which was released on the first “Transformers” soundtrack.

Rob Thomas has released a new single “Her Diamonds” and I have to say this guy also “has it.” Does he make any bad songs? He is super solid.

My favorite new song of the week is “Note to God” by Charice. She appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show performing this song and I was blown away. (My wife tapes Oprah-take it easy). This song is stunning. Buy it now!!!

If you didn’t get a chance to see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood last year at Madison Square Garden, you can now purchase a CD that recorded the shows. It just came out this past Tuesday.

Aerosmith is reportedly considering playing one of their albums in its entirety. Joe Perry in an recent interview stated that they have picked an album and will play it “front to back.” I’d be up for “Draw the Line,” “Toys in the Attic” or “Pump.” Speculation is that it might be the new album which they did not get out in time for their upcoming tour with ZZ Top. For everyone going to see Motley Crue this summer, they are going to play “Dr. Feelgood” from start to finish.

Album Review: “21st Century Breakdown”- Green Day released on May 15, 2009

OK I did not try and rush to get a review out for this album after its release last Friday. I wanted to give it a few turns to let it settle in and I have to tell you, I’m glad I did. Now I have seen very positive reviews- the N.Y. Times called it a “masterpiece” and as I mentioned last week Rolling Stone magazine editor Rob Sheffield said “American Idiot” was a “warm-up” compared to 21st Century. On the flip side I have also witnessed some criticism that focuses on the “storyline” of the album, which I kind of agree that it’s hard to follow. It is a “concept” album that has been made famous by David Bowie, The Who and Queen. This story line is of a young couple, Christian and Gloria, (the class of 2013-which by the way is my oldest son’s graduating class) who experiences the trials and tribulations of life in the U.S. after the George Bush era. Now if you have been following along, Green Day started the “Bush-bashing” on “American Idiot” and I guess this is Act II. (Personally I hope this is the end of all their frustration with Mr. Bush.. but I still love the concept album.. hopefully Act III will be a different topic).

Anyway, back to the album- I will state this: Musically this album IS a masterpiece. My only hesitation to call it a total masterpiece is due to some of the “damaging” lyrics-particularly the cursing that appears on almost every song of “Act 3”-which begins with “Horseshoes and Handgrenades.” Now I get the whole “punk” thing associated with Rock and Roll and the need to “curse the system.” But Green Day has surpassed all expectations with “American Idiot.” And now with “21st Century” they have grown so much that you can feel all the hard work, with every drop of sweat and tears that went into the production of this album. Who expected Green Day to become the band that every other band aspires to be like? These last two albums have put them into the upper echelon of the Rock Gods. And my assumption would be as you grow, there would not be a need to have a “parental advisory explicit content” sticker on your CD because of the numerous “F” bombs that occur (really only towards the end of the album). But… I’m sorry I just don’t get it. Call me a prude, call me a square, call me whatever you want- but it takes away from the brilliant arrangements and musicianship that is evident in every song on the album. At this stage since they are “growing” I just don’t think there is no need for the offensive language. (I want to be able to play all their songs around my boys). Now that all said-obviously I purchased the CD with that tag on it and listen to every song and love it. So it is an automatic “BUY and HOLD” album that in years to come will be viewed in the same eye as “Ziggy Stardust,” “Night at The Opera” or “Quadrophenia.”

The album starts off with “Song of the Century” which takes you back to the old days of the antique radio where you search for a station that comes in and the production sounds like the song was actually made in the early 1900’s. So my guess is the message starts with the “old” and then breaks in with the “new” (Act I- Heroes and Cons) as “21st Century” begins with piano chords while the buildup of the drums creeps up on you and then BAM- it’s on!!! This song will become one of their “classics” in no time. It’s so melodic, so well arranged that you’d say that there is no way you thought Green Day would still be pushing the envelope like they are, then just like that- it takes a turn and becomes that heavy punk sound that we all are familiar with. There is one part of the song where the drums sound like “pistons” on a car and I can just visualize all the pistons going up and down in perfect unison. The song then takes another turn and slows down to a majestic feel (think “Bohemian Rhapsody”) where you will be singing from the pit of your stomach to try to match Billie Joe Armstrong’s passion. What a way to start off the album!!! Tre Cool then pounds his way into to your ears with his clean crisp skills on the skins for the “already classic” tune- “Know Your Enemy.” The one thing that is so clear about this band is that they are always “tight” and you can feel the “energy” bursting through the speakers and I believe this song demonstrates this perfectly. This song is so good, there is no way you can listen to it just once. I’ve already played it three times as I sit here and try to describe how perfect this song is. Put this song on and tell me you don’t “bounce?” Track #4 ‘Viva La Gloria” again starts off with the piano and images of Billie sitting behind the piano like Elton come into your head as he “heart-fully” sings “Hey Gloria Are you standing close to the edge?” Is this really Green Day? Again the sharp twists and turns (a la Metallica) come into the picture as the “headbanging” begins a little over a minute into the song. I believe the picture on the back of the CD cover depicts this song very well. The two teenagers kiss and embrace on top of a car while it appears the city is on fire. “Before the Lobotomy” is one of the highlights of this CD and one of my favorites. The slow guitar chords kind of reminds me of the beginning of the Kiss song “I Want You.” After a few listens of this song you will realize how addicting this song can be and before long you will be singing “Dreaming.. I was only dreaming.” Again the song starts off quietly and swiftly kicks into gear with the big heavy guitar riffs as well as the pounding drums. As the song transitions towards its epic ending, the vocals of “I was only dreaming” meshes with the slow driving drums along with this dramatic wall of sound created by the guitar is something that will blow your mind. “Christians Inferno” starts off like a “NIN” song and this is the traditional sound of Green Day that we all have loved from the very beginning. I’m not sure I get the “I am the Atom Bomb.. I am the Chosen One ..Toxin Your Reservoir” reference but maybe I’m getting old. The very cool ending of the song leads into their most beautiful songs they have ever done-“Last Night on Earth”- this song will rival their smash ballad “Good Riddance.” This song has a “Beatle-ish” flavor to it. I really could picture George doing the vocals on this song without a doubt. If this song isn’t one of their biggest hits over the next year or so, then I will need to stop doing this blog. So ends Act I.

Act II- Charlatans & Saints- The second act gets better, if you can believe that. “East Jesus Nowhere” could arguably be the best track on the album but again the lyrics for me are a bit strong. No cursing but attacks religion and the sarcasm drips all over the place. But musically-phenomenal. “Peacemaker” is an upbeat song that will have you bopping your head up and down trying to keep up with the pace of Mike Dirnt on Bass and Tre Cool on drums. In my opinion , this is one of the most unique songs that Green Day has ever done, it has this “Mediterranean” feeling to it. “Last of the American Girls” flat out grooves, it’s so good I can’t even explain it. It has a simple but effective arrangement that grabs you by the hands and makes you “air-drum” throughout the entire song. Track # 11- “Murder City” is a blazing song with an excellent bass line that keeps the drive going strong. You will be singing “desperate but not hopeless” in no time. This is also one of the best tracks on the album. “Viva La Gloria Little Girl” is an excellent song with a European twist mixed in with American rock. The last song of Act II – “Restless Heart Syndrome” is my favorite track on the entire album and could be my all-time favorite from these guys. When I first listen to an album I don’t read song titles or lyrics- I just listen and then listen again. Track # 13 kept standing out and then when I read the lyrics and sang along to the song, it just solidified my position. Billie Joe’s vocals are top notch and the string arrangement backing the song really adds a nice touch. The guitar solo sounds like he’s being electrocuted and as usual the drumming is dazzling.

Act III- Horseshoes and Handgrenades- The title for the act kicks off Act III and like I said I really could do without the cursing but musically the song rocks!! It kind of reminds me of something Pearl Jam would perform; I could definitely see Eddie Vedder ripping through this song. This song will be a fan favorite at their live shows. “The Static Age” is another fast moving song that creeps up on you and just might turn out to be your favorite song. This is a definite “car song”- meaning: windows or top down with blasting stereo system during the summer as you drive past the beach (or on it). “21 Guns” is another one of my favorites and will definitely be on the radio or a video on MTV or VH1. “Do you know what’s worth fighting for when it’s not worth dying for?” Billie asks. I can’t put my finger on it but I feel like I have heard this song before (but by someone else). I predict this will be one of their biggest hits as well, a guaranteed “live” show favorite. You will not be able to get the chorus out of your head. The mix between the softness and the “gruff” is fused together so well in this tune. Act III ends with two songs, with the first being broken out into and “A” and “B” parts-as they did in “American Idiot.” “American Eulogy XIII” goes back to the “old time” sound that you hear when you first put the album on, signifying that the message that they want to get out is nearing its end. Part “A”-“Mass Hysteria” definitely brings me back to “American idiot” as it sounds similar to one of the songs on that album, although I can’t seem to identify it. This song reads like the title, there doesn’t seem to be too much hope but then again maybe I don’t “get it.” The song morphs into “B”-“Modern World” and the chant is loud and clear- Billie doesn’t want to “live in the modern world.” Parents: take cover for the “F” bomb and another nice clear curse. After all the negativity, the last song on the disc seems to indicate that hope may be on the horizon or at least they just want to “See The Light.” “But it’s gone forever but never too late.. where the ever after is in the hands of fate”…nicely stated.

This album is meant to be heard in its entirety and there is truly not one song that you will want to skip over. The more you listen to it, the more you realize how much hard work and passion went into it. You can feel Billie’s enthusiasm as he takes you into his world; he lifts you up off the ground and takes you into this amazing journey where he commands your attention. No, there is no way off of this ride-so don’t ask the man to stop the ride, so you can get off. Sit back and enjoy the passage. Let Billie take you to that place where he intended all of us to go. I have read recently that they have performed “21st Century” in its entirety in concert and it takes a toll on Billie every night. I can definitely see why- I’m exhausted just trying to sing, “headbang,” “air-guitar” and “air-drum” along to every song for more than an hour. I absolutely love “American Idiot” but I believe that I will come to love this album more and that is no small feat for them to accomplish. Green Day are now in a zone where the classic rock bands like The Stones and The Who were back in their day, where they blazed the path of making incredible albums either “back to back” or “three out of four” in a 5 – 10 year period. There’s no telling what Green Day has in store for us in the coming years and I for one, can not wait for their next body of work but in the meantime I have one of the best, if not the best album of 2009 to enjoy for the rest of my life. Green Day has grabbed the mantle away from U2 or Bruce and they are now the “Icons”, yes I said Icons. They have taken over the 9:00 p.m. slot on Thursday night on the NBC line-up- remember “Cheers”, then “Seinfeld”, “Friends” and now “The Office.” Now it is Green Day’s turn to sit all alone at the top of the music world, in the most coveted spot and in my opinion will be there for a really long time. Think about it, do you think we’d be saying that before “American Idiot” came out? They are now a “first ballot” entrant into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (By the way they are playing in Central Park this morning as part of “Good Morning America’s” Summer Concert series).

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     Billy Preston

2.     Kris Kristofferson

3.     The Beverly Hills Hotel (sometimes referred as the “Pink Hotel.”)

4.     Credenece Clearwater Revival

This week’s trivia (Guests on the American Idol Finale)

1.     Who are now the lead guitarist and drummer for Kiss, now that Ace and Peter have been replaced?

2.     What band was Lionel Richie from?

3.     True or False. The remaining original three members of Queen performed on Wednesday night with Adam and Kris.

4.     Rod Stewart joined what quartet in 1962 as the lead singer? This band went on (without him as lead singer) to be very successful.

Back on this day in 1954, Bob Dylan had his bar mitzvah in Hibbing, Minnesota.

Back on this day in 1966, Percy Sledge had the number one hit with “When a Man Loves a Woman.” How great is that song?

Back on this day in 1971, the Rolling Stones had the number one album with “Sticky Fingers.”

Back on this day in 1972, the Chi-Lites had the number one hit with “Oh Girl.” This song brings me back to the days when I worked with my uncle in the butcher shop, whenever this song would come on all the butchers would use their knives as fake microphones, form a circle and belt out this classic tune.

If it is your birthday today you share the same birth date with Morrissey (Steven Patrick), and Bernie Taupin.

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