Tracy Chapman at The Hammerstein Ballroom on Fri. Aug. 7. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $37.50 – $57.50.
Marc Anthony at Jones Beach on Sat. Aug. 22. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event)
Snow Patrol with Plain White T’s at The Beacon Theater on Tues. & Wed. Sept. 22 & 23. Pre-sale tickets begin this morning at 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Password is: HESUNS. General public tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. $34.50, $39.50 and $49.50.
Earth Wind & Fire at PNC Bank Arts Center on Fri. Aug. 28 and at Jones Beach on Sun. Aug. 30. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).
Rebelution at Gramercy Theater on Sat. Aug. 22. Tickets on sale tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).
Happy Mondays with The Psychedelic Furs at Roseland Ballroom on Fri. Rocktober 10. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $38 ($40 day of show).
Mat Kearney at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Tues. Sept. 29. Tickets on today at noon. (Live Nation Event).
David Cook at Nokia Theater on Thurs. Aug. 6. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only on now until noon tomorrow. General public on sale tomorrow at noon. $29.50.
Keb’ Mo’ at Nokia Theater on Wed. Rocktober 21. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders only on now until noon tomorrow. General public on sale tomorrow at noon. $39.50, $44.50 and $49.50.
Erykah Badu at The Beach at Governor’s Island on Tues. Aug. 4. Tickets on sale tomorrow at noon. $52.
Mos Def at The Beach at Governor’s Island on Sat. Sept. 12. Pre-sale tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. Password is: Casabey. General public on sale is this Monday at 10:00 a.m. $35 ($40 day of show) Also includes VIP of $150.
The Misfits at BB Kings on Sat. Rocktober 31. Tickets on sale next Wed. July 1 at 10:00 a.m. $26.50 ($30 day of show).
KC & The Sunshine Band at BB Kings on Mon. Aug. 24. Tickets on sale now. $35 ($40 day of show).
Styx at Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood N.J. on Thurs. Aug. 13 Tickets went on sale at 6:00 a.m. this morning. $29, $39, $69, $79 and $99.
Sunny Day Real Estate at Terminal 5 on Sun. Sept. 27. Pre-sale for American Express cardholders on until 12:00 noon today. General public on sale at noon today. $30.
I am in complete and utter shock on the passing of the legend, Mr. Michael Jackson. My thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family (including his children) and friends. (And also to the family and friends of Farrah Fawcett). There are certain times in your life when you feel the pain and sadness when an “Icon” passes away. Yesterday will certainly go down as one of those days. I can remember the day when Elvis died, I’ll never forget the day that Thurman Munson died and of course I’ll never forget the morning I turned over the Tuesday morning newspaper on Dec. 9, 1980 when John Lennon was killed the night before. This is totally shocking news and I have so much sympathy for his family. He left us all way too soon, he was so young. When you think of what this man has done in his career, it really is hard to compare anyone to what he has accomplished. Think about it, he was a part of your life since he was six years old. Remember the smile he would put on your face when he performed with his brothers as the main attraction of The Jackson 5? Talk about someone who had the music in him? It’s really unbelievable the talent this man possessed and how much his influence has been passed on (or will forever be passed on) to generation after generation.
We watched him grow and who didn’t want to be him when he was with the Jackson 5? The entire world was engulfed with his smile, talent and energy. They had their own TV show. I even watched the Saturday morning cartoon that depicted the Jackson 5. He was everywhere. Then as he grew, was there any doubt that he would be the greatest dancer in the world? His first solo album “Off The Wall” was pure perfection. And then the incomparable, best selling album of all time- “Thriller.” (All-time??!! Imagine doing that?) I can remember watching in complete awe as he moon-walked into every living room across the U.S. on the night of Mar. 23, 1983 on the “Motown 25” special during the performance of arguably one of the best songs ever recorded in music history- “Billie Jean.”(That performance will forever be known as one of the greatest moments ever in music history). Could he get any better? The answer is (and always was) a resounding Yes!! Here he was in his mid to late 20’s and arguably was the best recording artist in the history of music. He completely dominated radio for a period of at least 10 years during his solo career. In my opinion, he reached the highest level of achievement in music history out of any star there ever was. (With no offense to the many other legends this world has seen).
I can remember my grandfather and my dad saying that they had witnessed some of the greatest legends in their prime, including Sinatra and Elvis (and of course all the baseball stars that I wish I could have seen-DiMaggio, Mantle, Mays, Aaron, etc.). Now I can say that I will always remember the biggest pop star ever when he was in his prime as I am only 6 years younger than Michael. The world has lost someone who exhibited the most untouchable talent ever with his dancing ability, his extraordinary talent in composing some of the greatest songs ever recorded in music history and in his prime- was there anyone better? June 25, 2009 will go down in history as one of the most shocking and saddest days ever as we all struggle to comprehend what has happened. Michael: may you rest in peace and I want to personally thank you for having such a positive impact on my life. Thank you for your records which I will be sure to pass on down to my children and I’m sure they will pass it on down to their children. You will never be forgotten. This really is a sad day…..
Rob Thomas has set up a national tour which will come in the fall and will stop in the Tri-State area with specific dates of Fri. Nov. 6 in Atlantic City, Sat. Nov. 7 at Mohegan Sun and New York City on Thurs. Nov. 12. Further information to follow, his new (second) solo album “Cradlesong” will be released this comingTuesday, June 30.
Kid Rock was originally going to try and get his latest work out the door by the end of this year but has decided to work with the “Zen-Man” Rick Rubin and that will undoubtedly slow things way down which the Kid is OK with. Mr. Rubin wants to make sure that every song that goes on the record is great, so he is making Kid go back and re-record, etc.
Kiss is reportedly done with eleven new tracks for their first new work since 1998’s “Psycho Circus” and Paul Stanley has said that the new album is “classic” Kiss. Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer both have lead singing parts on it. Rumor has it the album will be released exclusively through Walmart. Thanks Gene.
Cher is returning to the big screen with a new movie called “Burlesque” after a ten year hiatus and the movie will co-star Christina Aguilera. A release date has not been announced.
There are “lots of good vibes” coming from all directions on the new Cheap Trick album “The Latest” which you can order from their website www.cheaptrick.com or Amazon. You can also order “vinyl” and “8-track” versions of this album on a limited availability basis from their website. Good reviews on this album from all across the nation. The boys from Rockford still “got it.”
My favorite old school song of the week is “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)” by John Fred and His Playboys. I forgot how great this song is; I heard the other day on some oldies station and was blown away by the overall arrangement of this song. This song moves and could be used as a work-out song in some capacity. It really is a fun song- go out and get it!! This song was a parody to the Beatles “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” as John thought it was “Lucy in disguise with diamonds.” It was a number one song on the Billboard charts for two weeks in 1968.
My favorite “metal” song of the week is “Creeping Death” by Metallica. How freakin’ phenomenal is this song? “So let it be written, let it be done!!!” I can remember back around 1998 or so, MTV had this show that was hosted by Matt Pinfield and some lucky dude was plucked from the audience that night to sing this song. And let me tell you, he performed it perfectly-you could see that the music was in him and he had the whole look and actions down pact. He knew the song-word-for-word, hit every drum note (in the air) and also “air-guitared” his way through the whole song. That is something I will never forget. James (and even Lars) stated that he did a fantastic job. \m/ \m/
Jet has released a new single “She’s A Genius” and this should be a hit in no time. The song rocks and the guitar solo sparkles, the video is kind of strange. Check it out at http://new.music.yahoo.com/videos/Jet/She%27s+A+Genius–217246044
My favorite “new” song of the week is “Why R U” by Amerie. Wow this song has some groove, this should be big in no time soon. In the immortal words of Mr. Randy Jackson: “That’s HOT!!”
The Beastie Boys will release their eighth studio album – “Hot Sauce Committee Part I”- on Sept. 15 and will include a song done with Santogold- “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win” and a song with Nas “Too Many Rappers.” The album will have 17 tracks.
Jim James, front man for My Morning Jacket, will be touring this summer and will be performing covers by George Harrison and will release a “Tribute To” EP under the name “Yim Yames” on August 4. Tracks covered include four songs from “All Things Must Pass” and two songs for when George was with The Beatles. Mr. James recorded the songs a few days after George passed away in November 2001. I can’t wait to hear his take on George’s tunes.
Ben Moody, who co-founded Evanesence with Amy Lee, has reformed a new band with former band mates John LeCompt (guitars) & Rocky Gray (drums) and have added Marty O’Brien on bass. The band is called “We are the Fallen” and features Carly Smithson on vocals. She was a finalist on American Idol in season 7 and she had that wicked tattoo on her arm. Ben has stated that their music will go in a different direction than Evanesence. They have a single “Bury Me Alive” which is available on their website wearethefallen.com. I was going to listen but they want you to fill out some information, so I left.
Album Review: “Shangri-La Dee Da” by The Stone Temple Pilots released on June 19, 2001.
This week’s I-POD shuffle landed on “Hello It’s Late” by the Stone Temple Pilots and it set me on a course to go through the Pilots library. This journey still brings me to the opinion, (against the entire planet I would guess), that this album-“Shangri-La Dee Da” is their best work. I know you are screaming and cursing while calling me derogatory words but this album is my personal favorite. I know, I know… but what about their debut album-“Core”? Yes I love it as well. (How cool is “Crackerman?”)What about “Purple?” you ask? Yes I also love that one. (“Vasoline” is phenomenal) I know what you’re thinking-even “Tiny Music.. Songs from the Vatican Shop” is better than this one. (I friggin’ love “Tumble in the Rough” from Tiny). Even “No. 4” rocks your ears off with tracks like “Heaven & Hot Rods”-Errol, what can you be thinking? Yes I hear all that and clearly recognize those great albums but again for me.. Shangri-La Dee Da has “got it.”
Now I will admit that on every one of their albums there are songs that I skip over (I’m sorry but I have to be honest) because sometimes they just seem like “fillers.”(C’mon even on the classic “Purple”- how many times have you listened to “Kitchenware & Candybars”- be honest; same can be said for “Where the River Goes” off of “Core”- again be honest). So on “Shangri” I would say that there are two songs that I don’t listen to as much (“Bi-Polar Bear” and “Long Way Home”) but the other songs more than make-up for those two songs, again this is all in my opinion.
Now I know what you’re thinking- that Shangri is not heavy enough and I would agree with that statement but for those who have been following along you know that I like the ballad-types that have a lower key. (I like the second CD by the Foo Fighters on “In Your Honor” better than the first one, so that tells you something). Having children changes your life in so many ways and Scott Weiland during this album just became a father for the first time (he became a father again later on) and his song “A Song for Sleeping” resonates with me so much that it takes me back to when my children were in their “high chairs” mashing their hands in their baby food. I know that “Shangri” was a total commercial flop as they didn’t even sell 400,000 copies but again this makes no difference to me, as I picked “Amorica” last week by the Black Crowes as their best but it was not a commercial success, so I guess I will make it two weeks in a row that I go “against the grain.” Again, if it moves you, if you feel it-then that’s what it’s all about. So if you want to stop reading the rest of the review, by all means, but if you give this album a chance I think you will see (hear) what I am talking about.
The album starts off with “Dumb Love” and this is one of the few songs that “kick it into gear” and the head bangers really can’t complain about this track. This definitely rocks the house with the heavy bass and rhythm riffs. I can picture Rocky pounding the hanging meat inside the freezer when I hear this song and also jumping rope as he prepares for a huge match. “Days of the Week”- go ahead and laugh and say that this is a “sell-out” song but I don’t care, I love it. It has such a catchy hook and chorus that I find myself enjoying this song immensely. OK so it’s pop, so what? I like all sorts of music (as you can tell). “I gotta find a way to find her… where can she be?” Dean DeLeo cranks up “Coma” with a blistering riff that has to get every head banger wailing their neck back and forth. His brother, Robert, jams with him on the bass and Eric Kretz wails on the drums in a frenzied state- how can anyone say that this track is not heavy enough? I think not-now granted after this track there is not a song as heavy as this one- but… what can you do? “Hollywood Bitch” has a cool groove that keeps you rocking and the transformation to the chorus is effortless. So for the first four tracks, you’re rocking your butt off, what’s the complaint? Track # 5- “Wonderful” is my favorite song on the album and I will go on record and state that this is my all time favorite STP song. (Not sure who is taking notes but there it is). Talk about a deep song..whew.. the opening lyrics get me all the time- “If I were to die this morning, would you tell me things that you wouldn’t have.. would you be my navigator?”How can anyone not like this song? It’s impossible especially with the lyrics “You’re the wonder in everything that’s wonderful.” This is a beautiful, spectacular song, period end of story. The “ballad” type songs continue with the sleeper on the album- “Black Again.” Ok I admit the lyrics seem a bit gloomy but ends on a good note as Scott proclaims “But she never really be alone as long as I’m beside her.” The arrangement seems simple enough but there is a lot going on behind the scenes if you listen carefully, the chorus is addicting. “Hello it’s Late” is my second favorite song on the album (and yes my second favorite all time STP song). Yes this is not the Stone Temple Pilots that we are all use to but again… they can not be expected to make the same songs year after year, album after album (yes I know AC/DC and I love that but that’s them). This is “growth” my friends. Yes I know this is even “lite” for “Lite FM 106.7” in New York but this is a demonstration of what is on the inside of these guys. This absolutely works for me and if you give it a chance it should work for you. “Too Cool Queenie” gets back to a somewhat rocking riff, the groove is finger snapping while the drums get you to bash your head up & down and the guitar solo is “lights out.” This song was written for Courtney Love-“and she made lots of money and some of his too but still she thinks she can do no wrong..” (The Foo Fighters also wrote a song about Courtney on the song “Stacked Actors”).
Track 9-“Regeneration” is one of their “signature” sounding songs where they repeat either the chorus and/or chords which seem to run on but in this case, I really like this song. The bass line part as they sing “To the fields where lesser mice go.. To the fields where men follow” really changes gears and makes the song that much better. Then the guitar slides in with a nice solo and you’re thinking “man this song is good.” As previously mentioned “Bi-Polar Bear” is a song that is OK but I seem to skip over this one but not as much as I skip over “Long Way Home.” I really have to be in the mood to listen to “Bi-Polar Bear” (you know you have songs like that). Track # 11- “Transmissions from a Lonely Room” sounds like Weiland is singing in a bathroom or some place where the acoustics are similar; this song is different from any other on the album-very good track. “A Song for Sleeping” is my third favorite track on this album (and yes my third favorite all time). If you have children, there is no way that you can not like this track. Guys-remember the wait time for the baby to arrive? The nine months seem like forever (but that quickly changes), right? (I know the woman is involved too but the focus-for this second- is on the “guys”). The opening lyrics are so “on”- “Finally I’ve met you, the day has come, you’re more than beautiful and you’re my son.” C’mon are you kidding me?-tears in the eyes as I think back to the days that my boys were born. This song is so special and really should have been the song to end this album. But I guess the thinking was to add a slow crunching guitar groove to take the album to its end with “Long Way Home.” But for me, this is like being at a party and the DJ plays a few good songs and then plays that song where everyone clears the dance floor-you know what I’m talking about. As mentioned, STP seemed to put these type of songs on every one of their albums. No offense but I wanted it to end on a high note with “A Song for Sleeping” and I usually stop the CD after that song.
So go ahead- tell me I’m crazy, tell me I missed the mark on this one-(on a separate note that has been happening to me a lot recently since I have been certified as a baseball umpire-I guess I’m getting what I dished out on all those other umpires-sorry umps-again youth clouds the vision). But I have to tell you how I feel and this album is my favorite- that’s just the way it is. I am one of the few fans that liked the direction of where STP was headed before they broke up (hey Metallica did the “Load” days for a while, right? Not all was bad) and the song “All in the Suit that you Wear” off of their greatest hits CD is a sound that I love. So it will be interesting to listen to the new album which hopefully will be here before the year is out. I am a huge fan of STP (all their CD’s) and was upset that we lost these past few years but hopefully the separation has made them stronger. This is where they belong-back together.
I guess I am on a “top 10” kick the last few months and I see no reason to stop as there are thousands of artists/acts that I could do but I decided to make it tough on myself again as I am picking one of my favorite all time bands this week- The Cars. For those of you who don’t know by now, I know (knew) every single song that The Cars made up until the album “Heartbeat City.”(Effectively right around 1982). Now Heartbeat did have a couple of good songs but I kind of felt that they were getting too popular (and “poppy”) but that will never take away the love and respect that I have for this band. (I did the same thing with The Police when they released “Synchronicity.”) It’s really such a shame that Benjamin Orr is no longer with us to maybe give us a “reunion.” (Not the “New Cars”- I’m sorry).So here they are my favorite songs from the Cars from ten to one:
10. Misfit Kid– There’s something about this song that gets me every time I hear it. I love the drumming, I think that is what first caught me attention. It’s not a rocking song but it’s not a ballad either, somewhere in the middle and of course Elliot Easton’s guitar solo is spot on-as usual. The simple beat is addictive.
9. Since I Held You– Easton starts off this classic and then Ric Ocasek chimes in with his distinctive voice as he sings “I really love the way you talk..” The arrangement of this song is spectacular and the chorus is so addictive. The Cars have always been infamous for background vocal harmonizing and this song could be the “poster child” for this fact.
8. Moving in Stereo-One of the coolest songs ever written and in 1978 it was very different from anything out in the music scene. The part where Ben Orr sounds like he’s singing into your upper right ear and then spreads over the rest of your ears and body is something that can’t be replicated. Freakin’ phenomenal.
7. Touch And Go– This awkward sounding song with the misguided beats with the stops and starts reminds me of one of those kids who was a “genius” in your high school days but maybe did not have the social skills honed yet (OK yes a “nerd”) but the more you dig deeper you realize that he or she is something special, sort of like this song. In the beginning you kind of blow it off but the more you listen, the more you realize that this is one of their best songs ever recorded.
6. You’re All I’ve Got Tonight– I’d put this rock song up against any band, any time, any place. It can go “toe-to-toe” (to use a “Rocky” quote) with the best of ‘em and shine brightly. Please I beg of you- PUT ON A GREAT PAIR OF HEADPHONES and tell me this song isn’t GREAT??!!! “I don’t wanna feel sorry for you-hoo” and once you think the song is going to end it morphs into one of the best guitar solos that Elliot has ever recorded.(Elliot was born in Brooklyn by the way- was there any question?)
5. All Mixed Up– I think I have probably listened to this Car song the most in my whole life. If I had to point to one song that Ben Orr did the best, this would be it. (no offense to “Drive”). “She shadows me in the mirror and she never leaves on the light..” You can feel his passion bleeding through the speakers and his work on the bass is nothing to sneeze at as well.
4. Got A Lot on My Head– One of the few “head banging” Car songs that really gets the juices flowing. I could this song word-for-word; drum beat-for-drum beat, guitar lick-for guitar lick and of course the organ on any karaoke night near you. I love the job that Greg Hawkes does with the keyboards and synthesizer, he does that part that always reminds me of someone sliding into home plate. (Don’t ask me why… I don’t know).
3. Since You’re Gone– I love this song, it reminds me of my high school days as it came out in late 1981 but really took off in 1982. The arrangement of this song is top notch. Ric Ocasek does a masterful job on the vocals and this song just might be his best ever. “I can’t help it, everythings a mess..” I love when he croons “Well.. the moonlight ain’t so great…”
2. Night Spots– Flat out, the best song on “Candy-O.” If I were to start a station on Sirius/XM for The Cars, this would be the first song I would play to kick it off. (and probably the most played as well). Elliot’s guitar solo knocks you right off your feet and Greg’s psychedelic keyboards/synthesizer is the chocolate topping on an ice cream sundae. How cool is when they say “It’s just an automatic line.” At the time it came out in 1980, this was by far the best “new wave” song, it may not sound that way now (because it’s a classic) but believe me this song is the perfect “alternate” and rock & roll song you will find.
1. It’s All I Can Do-. OK I know it’s the “sappy” one that gets me all the time but what can I say? By now, you know that is right up my alley. Benjamin’s vocals get me all the time and Easton’s guitar solo is so flawless, even though it is a short solo, it’s just so… perfect!! This song also takes me back to my teenage days and for a couple of years back then the words really meant something to me as I waited for something that never happened. (How great is “Candy-O” by the way?).
Answers from last week:
1. Otis Redding
2. Gretchen Wilson
3. “Time Will Tell” off of “The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.”
4. Oasis (both bands have a history a “bad blood” between brothers).
This week’s trivia (The Cars)
1. In 1984, MTV (sorry Eddie) held their first video music awards and The Cars won “Video of the Year” for which song?
2. Who designed the cover of “Candy-O” for The Cars?
3. True or False: The Cars performed for Live Aid in 1985?
4. Real tough one: What DJ in New York (both on WPLJ and WNEW FM) loved The Cars and would often state that they were one of his favorite bands?
Back on this day in 1975, Sonny & Cher’s divorce was finalized.
Back on this day in 1977, Elvis had his last concert in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Back on this day in 1979, Elvis’s dad, Vernon, passed away.
If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with Billy Davis Jr. (Fifth Dimension)