Rob Thomas has added a third show at The Beacon Theater for Sat. Nov. 14. Tickets for this show go on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $45.50 – $105.50
Kelly Clarkson with The Veronicas and Parachute at Hammerstein Ballroom on Tues. Rocktober 6. Tickets on sale next Fri. Aug. 7 at 10:00 a.m. $49.50 – $75.
A.F.I. at the Starland Ballroom in Sayerville NJ on Sat. Rocktober 10. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. $28.
Robert Earl Keen at the Town Hall on Thurs. Rocktober 29 and Wellmont Theater (Montclair NJ) on Sat. Rocktober 31. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35.
The Decemberists at the Wellmont Theater on Mon. Sept. 21. Tickets on sale today at noon. $35. Guests include Laura Veirs and The Hall of Flames.
Monsters of Folk featuring Mike Mogis, Conor Oberst, M. Ward and Yim Yames at United Palace and the Beacon Theater on Fri. Nov. 6 and Sun Nov. 8. Tickets for both shows on sale today at noon. $40.50 (United Palace only) and $50.50.
Of Montreal at Terminal 5 on Fri. Sept. 18. Tickets on sale today at noon. $25 ($30 day of show).
Tesla at the Capital One Theater in Westbury NY on Thurs. Nov. 5. Tickets on sale now. $39.50
Colbie Caillat at Roseland Ballroom on Fri. Rocktober 16. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $28.50 ($30.50 day of show).
Push Play at New York Fillmore on Sat. Sept. 26. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $17.50 ($20 day of show).
Regina Spektor at Radio City Music Hall on Wed. Rocktober 14. Tickets on sale Mon. Aug. 10 at 10:00 a.m. (more ticket info to follow).
Ace Frehley has released his first single from his upcoming new album-“Anamoly”- which is scheduled for a Sept. 15 distribution through his own “Bronx Born Records” (he’s a part of the Bronx “Hall of Fame”) and the song is called “Outer Space.” The song can be listened to at this site http://www.idesignprod.com/AF/ I like it, sounds pretty good. It rocks!!
Zakk Wylde has asked that Ozzy “Man Up” and call him to tell him what the deal is. On a phone call with a radio station dude in Eugene, Oregon this past Wednesday, Zakk rambled on about Ozzy’s recent comments that stated he was auditioning for a new guitarist. That was news to Zakk as he has not heard a thing from the Oz man. Osbourne feels that his band is starting to sound more and more like “Black Label Society”-which is Zakk’s band. Ozzy did not deny the rumor that Rob Zombie’s guitarist-John 5- will be auditioning. It appears their partnership has ended, Zakk has been with Ozzy since he was 19.
The editor of Guitar Player has listened to five of the new songs on the upcoming Rocktober 6th release of the new Kiss album and says that “Stanley sings his ass off” while “Simmons finally plays all bass parts and has a driving sound.” As previously mentioned, Tommy Thayer has written and has lead vocals on one song while Eric Singer has lead vocals on another song. Rumor has it Gene has reached an agreement with Walmart to distribute the new album. Supposedly an entire section will be utilized to see Kiss albums and it will be labeled “Kiss Korner.” Looking forward to Rocktober 6. \m/ \m/
The Black Eyed Peas have set the record for “Billboard’s Hot 100” by having two consecutive number one songs for 17 weeks straight-the previous record was 16 by Boyz II Men. “I Gota Feeling” has been number one for five straight weeks after “Boom Boom Pow” spent 12 weeks there.
Anita Baker is supposedly collaborating with Snoop Dogg on a song for some new material to be released in 2010. She and Snoop are putting their spin on the Curtis Mayfield song-“Give Me Your Love (Love Song)” from the “Superfly” soundtrack. “Who knew that Snoop is madly in love with his wife” Ms. Baker was quoted as saying. It’s an intriguing duo and I am looking forward to it.
It’s been a while since I have written about Shinedown but I’m back. As you all should know by now “Second Chance” has hit the number one spot on the charts. (Actually it was the last number one song that Casey Kasem announced as he retired a few weeks back). They will be embarking on a new headliner tour-so far no tri-state area dates. The “Sound of Madness” was released as a single a few months back and now prepare yourself for “If You Only Knew” to be released as a single in a few weeks. Folks, before long every one will be singing “It’s 4:03 and I can’t sleep- without you next to me I toss and turn like the sea” –mark my words. This song will do better than “Second Chance” which is already a homerun.
After our game last weekend, a debate between who is (was) the better singer and the two candidates were Freddie Mercury (Queen) and Brad Delp (Boston). Now if I had to choose-this is so tough- but I’d have to say Freddie had more range. But this in no way means that I don’t love Delp’s voice-which I think is a great rock and roll voice. Mercury had a lot more material as well, Delp probably wanted more material to be released but worked with Tom Scholz, the notorious studio perfectionist. Either way, the rock and roll world lost two of the greatest singers in recent history way too early.
My favorite “new” song of the week is actually an old Frank Sinatra song –“The Way You Look Tonight” performed by Maroon 5. Not for nothing but this genre suits Adam Levine like a glove, he’s perfect. (But he knows it).
My favorite “old school” song of the week is “Get Ready” by The Temptations. When you really sit and think about it, this generation of Motown music may be the best recorded music ever and has never been replicated.
Album Review: “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC released on July 27, 1979.
In honor of AC/DC playing tonight at Giants Stadium, I decided to make this an AC/DC weekend and review one of their best albums- “Highway to Hell.”Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a classic album and if you are a fan, there is no excuse for you not to have this in your library. This was their sixth album and last one with Bon Scott as lead singer. This was also the first album not produced by Harry Vonda and George Young. (older brother of Angus and Malcolm).Eddie Kramer was set to produce it, but was fired before a single track was made. This set up the production to be performed by none other than Robert “Mutt” Lange, who went on to produce “Back in Black” and “For Those About to Rock.”
The album starts off with the title track and just like that you are out of your seat-head-banging, air-guitaring, dancing and singing all over the place. I had the DJ play this song at my wedding (yes I had to bring my albums as they did not have it). I can remember my friend, Robert, air-guitaring with me following along behind him as the people at my wedding could not believe that I had AC/DC being played at the reception, especially “Highway to Hell.” Track # 2 kicks it into high gear with the blazing “Girls Got Rhythm.” This song reminds me of this dude back in Brooklyn, Richie, (on 54th street) who was a short guy with long blond hair-sort of motorcycle dude and he loved this album and song. I can picture him sitting on his stoop blasting this song. Angus has a great solo and Bon’s vocals are so “rock and roll.” The next song is the very cool “Walk All Over You”-it starts off slow but you know what’s coming right? That’s right-straight out speed guitar riffs with a slamming drum beat that will have you jumping around in circles in no time. I think this is the perfect “bar band” song and if you have a band that like to play rock and roll-look no further than this song. I love the background vocals “Walk all over you” as it slows down again, then BOOM-blast off again. I can picture the necks of the AC/DC die hards moving a “break-neck” speed as everyone air-guitars Angus’ solo. Whew, I’m sweating already and it’s only the third track. Then it’s on to my personal favorite track on the entire album-“Touch Too Much.” A few months ago I put this CD in my car rotation and when this song came on; I had forgotten how much I loved it. The guitar sound is so different from any song on the album. “Too much for my body, too much for my brain…” Take your headphones and squeeze your hands into your ears as hard as you can and listen to this perfection. The last track on side one is the “funk-i-fied” break-neck groove of “Beating Around the Bush.” Folks it doesn’t get much better than this!!! The sweat is pouring down my face as I dance around the room trying to match the enthusiasm of Angus on guitar. Bon Scott is so freaking good on vocals, he really was the perfect singer for rock and roll.
Side two kicks into gear with the driving “Shot Down in Flames.” Phil Rudd, Malcolm Young and Cliff Williams keep feeding the coal that runs the train in this song. The focus is usually Angus and Bon (and now Brian) but those guys are the engine that runs AC/DC. Flat out phenomenal song. The bass line in the next song-“Get it Hot” will have you bouncing your head up and down. I could picture the Rolling Stones actually doing this song as the guitar riff sounds like something Keith Richards would crank out. Very simple beat but you won’t be able to sit still. Track # 3-the electrifying “If You Want Blood (You Got It).” If I had to pick a song from the Scott era to identify what AC/DC was all about- I think I would have to go with this one. This is a perfect “work-out” song for either boot camp class or Spin class. You will be rocking very fast for over four minutes. “I want you to bleed for me.. If you want blood, you got it!!” “Love Hungry Man” takes it down a bit and if you listen closely you’ll hear that this song is very different from any other on the album. I t is very melodic-I don’t mean that as a knock-so hopefully you get what I’m saying. If you are in your car with this song on, just roll down the windows (or pull down the roof), let the air blow your hair and blast this tune as loud as you can. People will be giving you the \m/ \m/ signs. The last track on the album-“Night Prowler” is a bluesy rocking song that always reminds me of being near an old cemetery late at night and you keep thinking that you are hearing noises as you try to get out of there as fast as you can…but that prowler still seems close by. Angus’s work on the guitar is so spot on, you kind of drift away as you sway from side to side in a slow groove as Bon’s vocals screech with the passion of a pure rock and roll singer, the song ends with “Shazz-bot” which is what Mork from the “Mork and Mindy” show would say all the time. And just like that- the fastest 41 minutes have gone by in a blink of an eye. I am saturated right now and need a shower.
“Highway to Hell” has sold over 7 million albums since its release in 1979 and was listed as the #199 album out of 500 greatest albums according to Rolling Stone Magazine in 2003. You know how I feel about this band and of course this album, everyone needs a little AC/DC in their diet every once in a while. (For me, I need a whole lot more but that’s me-if you need to ease your way into it-fine). “Highway to Hell” is a classic- I would not steer you wrong. After this one, work you’re way back into other great ones such as “Let There Be Rock” and “Powerage.”
This past week I have had a heavy dosage of Billy Squier, he was a favorite of mine way back in the 1980’s. I saw him open for Queen back in the day and he was fantastic. He was real close to my home this week appearing at the Ridgefield Playhouse but the prices were a bit steep, so I decided to have my own concert in my car and house. Here are my favorite ten songs from Mr. Squier, who I am glad that he is back on the road again and one of these days I will catch him again. Don’t kid yourself, during the early 1980’s Squier was as big as anyone out there.
10. All Night Long-The beginning of the song is so cool, sounds like a heavy piece of coil being thumped as well as a heavy heart beating. “Don’t You Wanna Live??” You know the guitar riffs are coming and they blast right into your headphones. Billy has the perfect rock and roll voice. Believe me you need to listen to the guitar solo with a great set of headphones, you won’t be disappointed. This song kicks off his 1984 super solid album “Signs Of Life.” Obviously “Don’t Say No” is his best album but this is no slouch either. This could be a great song for your next Spin class.
9. Learn How to Live– Third track of side one of his 1982 “Emotions in Motion”- another good album but I’d put “Signs of Life” ahead of this one. I love how it goes from an acoustic atmosphere to a rocking song. “Learn to forgive.. learn how to wait.. learn how to live before its too late” – poignant lyrics from Mr. Squier. This guy really can rock.
8. Eye on You-Love the beginning and the transition into a cool finger snappin’ song. How can you not like the chorus-it is so addictive-“I got my eyes on you.. got my eye on you..” The guy knows how to make some melodies and one can look to this song as near perfection.
7. My Kinda Lover– One of five songs in my top ten from “Don’t Say No” which is right up their in 1981 as one of the best albums of that year. Billy had this way of making huge accents on his songs (think “The Stroke”) and this song had them all over the place. I can remember being on the beach in Coney Island in 1981 and this song was on multiple radios (yes, not only mine) and it is something I will never forget. If this song doesn’t move you, you need to check yourself at the door.
6. Rock Me Tonite-I don’t care that MTV over played this video- there was a reason for it- it is so friggin’ good, how could they not play it all the time? “Take me in your arms-roll me through the night. Take me to your heart-Rock Me Tonite.” I defy you to say you don’t like this song, c’mon it’s that good!!! “Rock, Rock, Rock and Roll Me!!!”
5. I Need You– The next to last track on “Don’t Say No” and there is something about this song that puts me in a different world. I can’t explain it. You know when something is so good that you don’t know how to express how happy it makes you? This is that song for me. I love the bass line and the whole production of the song-this could be the best song he’s ever written. You don’t know how many times I have listened to this song in my lifetime, you wouldn’t believe me anyway.
4. Two Daze Gone-The last track on side one of “Don’t Say No.” If my mother were here to tell you, she would let you know how loud I played this song from my bedroom. (And she would say “Turn it up and open your door!!”). If you looked up the word “rock and roll,” the dictionary just might refer you to this track. “Gone through the games that you want me to play.. pass the point of caring.” The drumming is phenomenal and the keyboards adds the topping. Listen LOUD!!!
3. Lonely is the Night– Turn over to side two of “Don’t Say No” and listen to this masterpiece. I actually have to pause the song every ten seconds or so because I get so psyched up that I don’t want to lose that feeling. Do you know what I’m talking about? This song… is the ultimate friggin’ rock song!!! There is no way this can not pump you up. The guitar riff is flat out magical and my walls are shaking right now. My wife is screaming for me to turn it down but I can’t hear her…. I just listened to the vinyl version yesterday.. tears came to my eyes, that’s how good it sounded.
2. Nobody Knows– The song was written for John Lennon and this definitely ranks up in my top ten slow songs of all time. I get the chills every time I hear it. This is pure perfection folks and if you don’t own this song, you need to run out and buy it right now!!! I get choked up when I hear it now because I think of my mom. Talk about passion? This is by far Billy’s best vocal ever, you can feel his… well “everything” bleeding through the speakers. Priceless…
1. Don’t Say You Love Me –A freaking classic from his 1989 “Hear & Now” album. This song has it all- grooving beat, twists & turns, powerful guitar sound and perfect chorus with phenomenal background vocals. I jump up and down all the time when I hear this and would have joined the mosh pit at the Ridgefield Playhouse last night if I was there. And you know the only way to listen is?? YES YES YES!!! LOUD!!! LOUD!!! LOUD!!!
I’m telling you right now folks, Billy Squier has made some phenomenal songs in his career and is finally back again, so do yourself a favor, check out his library- but I-Tunes is not the place-they have a limited suplly of his songs and albums. You’ll have to do Amazon and get either the CD’s or vinyl. If you are a true fan, check out his 1993 album “Tell The Truth.” His record company, Capitol, did not promote it, causing Squier to walk away from the music business for at least five years. His albums are now finally be reprinted.
Answers from last week (Thanks Tricia you had them right!):
1. Pat Benatar
2. Oak Ridge Boys
3. Diana Ross.
4. Darlene Love
This week’s trivia (AC/DC and Billy Squier)
1. True or False: AC/DC has released a “greatest hits” collection.
2. What does AC/DC stand for?
3. Who played guitar on Billy Squier’s “(Another) 1984?”
4. Which video did Billy Squier say sank his career?
Name That Tune
Answers from last week:
1. “Dirty Laundry”- Don Henley
2. “Get Ready”-The Temptations
3. “Mack the Knife”-Bobby Darin
4. “No More Mr. Nice Guy”- Alice Cooper
Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?
1. “In the city ladies look pretty.. guys tell jokes so they can seem witty…”
2. “Little things that I should have said and done I just never took the time…”
3. “Mash potato, do the alligator, put your hands on your hips…”
4. “Ten true summers we’ll be there and laughing too.. twenty-four before my love”
Sadly back on this day in 1964, Jim Reeves (“He’ll Have to Go” and plenty of Christmas tunes including “Jingle Bells” which was featured in the movie “Elf”) died in a plance crash near Nashville, TN.
Back on this day in 1969, Elvis held his first concert in eight years at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
If it is your birthday today, you share the same birth date with the late Ahmed Ertegun, Gary Lewis (“This Diamond Ring”) Daniel Boone (“Beautiful Sunday”-love that song) Bob Welch and Donny Osmond Jr. (1979).