Errols Weekly Music Update.

July 24, 2009

Weekly Update: 07/24/2009

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary show at Madison Square Garden on Thurs. & Fri. Rocktober 29 and 30th. Thursday’s show will feature Bruce Springsteen & E-Street Band, Simon & Garfunkle, Stevie Wonder and Crosby Stills & Nash. Friday’s show will feature Aretha Franklin, U2, Eric Clapton and Metallica. More guests will be announced soon. Pre-sale tickets for American Express cardholders go on sale this Mon. July 27 at 9:00 a.m. General public on sale is Mon. Aug. 3 at 9:00 a.m. $79.50 – $2,504.50. (It’s a benefit concert and the proceeds will go to the endowment of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and museum in Cleveland OH).

Nine Inch Nails at Terminal 5 on Tues. & Wed. Aug. 25 & 26. Pre-sale tickets on sale today at 5:00 p.m. until next Fri. July 31 at 4:00 p.m. Password is “byebye.” General public tickets on sale Fri. July 31 at 5:00 p.m. This is a paperless ticket tour. You will be required to bring your credit card and Government-Issued ID to the venue, if not you will not be allowed in, no excuses. $55.

3 Oh! 3 at the Starland Ballroom on Fri. Sept. 11. Tickets on sale today at noon. $22.50.

The Get Up Kids at the New York Fillmore at Irving Plaza on Sat. Rocktober 31. Tickets on sale now. $23 ($26 day of show).

Yo La Tengo at the Roseland Ballroom on Fri. Sept. 25. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. (Live Nation Event).

Tiesto at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thurs.-Sat. Sept. 24-26 at 10:00 p.m. Tickets on sale this morning at 10:00 a.m. $37.50-$125.

The Whispers and Friends at The Capital One Theater in Westbury NY on Fri. Nov. 27. Tickets on sale this Sun. July 26 at 12:30 p.m. $50 and $69.

Other items:

My favorite “old pop rock” song of the week is “The Kid is Hot Tonight” by Loverboy. Go ahead make fun of it but I love it. I saw these guys a few times in their “hey-day” and just like a Bon Jovi show- guys were outnumbered at least ten-to-one by females. Still laughing?

This past week I went back listening to “No Line on the Horizon” by U2 and I am still blown away on how good that CD is. I say it ranks up there with “Joshua Tree” that’s right I said “Joshua Tree.” From top to bottom, there is not a bad song. “Get on your boots” is great, go back and give it another try. “Fez: Being Born,” “Stand Up Comedy”… what are you waiting for? (And most of you know that I wasn’t the biggest U2 fan to begin with but this album is stellar). And there is an animated video for the song “I’ll go crazy if I don’t go crazy tonight.” You can see it on U2.com.

There was a listening party this past Tuesday in Lincoln Center for the upcoming Whitney Houston album –“I Look to You” that was hosted by her mentor Clive Davis and attended by many music and TV personalities. She does a cover of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” as well as nine other new songs. Look for it in September.

John Fogerty will release an album of his favorite songs on Sept. 1 called “The Blue Ridge Rangers Ride Again” and will feature help from Bruce Springsteen and The Eagles. Springsteen duets with John on the classic “When Will I Be Loved” by The Everly Brothers while Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmidt help harmonize on the Rick Nelson classic “Garden Party.”

Eddie Van Halen is recovering from surgery on his left hand but is expected to make complete recovery. It was initially thought that he had arthritis but then he was discovered to have a bone spur (very painful I had one in my shoulder) a twisted tendon and a cyst in the joint of his left thumb.

Album Review: “Low Budget” by The Kinks released on July 10, 1979.

This week’s I-Pod shuffle landed on “Catch Me Now I’m Falling” by The Kinks and I was reminded how much I loved the album that generated this song- “Low Budget,” so you know I had to go back and listen to it in its entirety. Now I know for the “die-hard” fan there are probably better albums for them and to be quite honest, this is the only Kinks album that I own (I don’t consider a “greatest hits” an album but I have that as well). In 1979, I was only 14 and the Kinks were formed before I was born and we all know that they have some real classic tunes. “You Really Got Me,” “Well Respected Man,” “Tired of Waiting for You,” “Waterloo Sunset” and many others. These guys didn’t get as much attention that the “other British bands” were commanding but they were right there in the thick of things and should hold their heads high as they were an integral part of the British movement in the U.S. music industry. In 1979, they made their “commercial” comeback with “Low Budget” as they were kind of dormant during the mid 1970’s. They had achieved huge success in the mid-to late- 1960’s and in my opinion picked up many new fans (including myself) with this almost of a masterpiece album. To give the younger audience some perspective the world in the late 1970’s had suffered from a national oil crisis with rising gas prices and limited supply, poor health-care system and a weak economy. Oh wait you can relate now, right? So anyway many of the songs on this album reflect on these topics. In my opinion, there were some really good albums put out in 1979 and this one was right at the top for me. And we can’t forget “disco” which was also very prevalent in 1979 which made its way on to this album.

The album starts off with probably the weakest song, in my opinion, on the album-“Attitude” (I know what you’re thinking how could it be a classic if it doesn’t start off that good but the rest of the album will make you forget that it started off…well “not so great.”). The singing in the beginning of the song almost makes me skip right to the second song but if you can get past it, the song isn’t so bad. It has its rockin’ moments but dare I say that this is almost a “filler.” Anyway on to the rest of the album the aforementioned “Catch Me..” I remember that 102.7 WNEW-FM radio use to play this song all the time and I was immediately hooked when I first heard it. “I bailed you out when you were down on your knees”- how apropos, no? Anyway I loved the Captain America reference as he is begging for help after assisting America for so long and now he was down on his luck. I know this song has to hit a nerve across the U.S. right now. Getting back to the music, I like the way they plugged in the saxophone with the nice guitar work and the song has the pounding drums throughout with an addicting chorus. Dave Davies, who at last check was not part of the reunion, plays a mean guitar throughout this album and makes this song so good. Track # 3-“Pressure” will immediately get you out of your seat and have you dancing in no time. It has a driving beat and is probably the closest song that they can say is “head-banging.” Doesn’t it seem all the fast and rocking songs are always the shortest? As this one is, it lasts only almost 2.5 minutes but again you will be singing, dancing and hand clapping along. This is classic rock and roll which will make you forget about the “pressure.” This is a perfect workout song-either “boot camp” or “Spin.” “National Health” could be the best song on the album, now when I first heard it I thought it was the weirdest, strangest song and thought I would never like it. But the more I listened, the more it seeped into my system and is now one of the songs I love best. Ray Davies makes some strange noises with the organ but it definitely works and Mick Avory’s work on the drums keeps you moving in all different directions, very cool song.

Side one ends with disco song “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman”- talk about a song with an addicting chorus- I guarantee once you hear this song again you will be singing all day long –“Superman, Superman I want to fly like Superman..” Now in 1979 it was hard to admit I liked disco because I was a “rocker.” But at the time disco was so popular that it made its way into at least one song for albums done by some of the biggest rock bands around. Think about it-“Some Girls” by the Stones; “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen; “I Was Made for Loving You” by Kiss (which gave many fans an “out” for them, including myself but that was only done to go along with the crowd because I never really left the Kiss bandwagon) and “Do You Think I’m Sexy” by Rod Stewart-yes he’s was the Rock Rod Stewart back then). So in my mind it was cool for me to like “Superman” because it had the guitars but I knew there were other “extended” versions of this song that made it into the dance clubs back then-but I ignored that fact and concentrated on the rock. (Of course I don’t think like that now, right?).

Side two begins with the classic rocker-“Low Budget.” There is no other way to listen to this song but… LOUD!!!! I love the guitar riff-gets me all the time and I have to crank it up. “Cheap is small and not too steep..” I love Ray Davies vocals on this song more than any other song the Kinks have ever done. “They squeeze me so tight that I can’t take no more They’re size 28 but I take 34…” The lyrics are very funny but at the same time are so real. This is another song that I could do on a karaoke night in some local pub and hit every “nook and cranny.” This song would crack my top 100 songs of all time.“In a Space” is a cool grooving song that has a bluesy feel to it. I love the part where Ray sings “seconds into minutes…” and by the “forever” part he just screams. This song should be covered by every “bar” band around the world, this is a perfect song for a small local pub on a Friday night after a long work week and people are just looking for some release-this is it. Then it’s on to my favorite song on the album-“Little Bit of Emotion”- I know another slow song but it’s such a great song all around- the music, the lyrics and the “feeling.” You feel it right near your heart- do the two hits to your chest and point your right arm towards the sky. I love Ray’s vocals as he almost disappears as he says “Look at that looney with a smile on his face He knows no shame and feels no disgrace..” The saxophone work done by Nick Newell is so delicate that you don’t even realize that its there but the song would not be the same without it. “A Gallon of Gas” gets back to the bluesy rocking sound and don’t even tell me you don’t like this song, it’s not allowed. Crank it up baby!!! “A Gallon of Gas can’t be purchased anywhere..” Remember that folks? Man the lines for gas were city blocks long and people were so tightly wound that any disagreement could lead to gun fire in a moments notice, it was crazy. At this point you start to realize that this album is something else and you’re nine songs deep into it. “Misery” is a blistering rocking song that again has to get you out of your seat. The guitar work by Dave is flawless and the piano adds the nice touch as this is another “pub” song where everyone should be singing, dancing and having a blast. The last track on the album is “Moving Pictures” and this could be the second disco song on the album as the groove is very easy to move your feet and shoulders. When you hear Ray’s voice it will really remind you of the Christmas song they do –“Father Time”- I don’t know why, but it will. When you sing the chorus it will sound like you’re mumbling “Life is only a moving picture”- I just picture those disco lights where the liquid in one side would flow down to the other side and then you’d pick up and make it go the other way-don’t ask why-that’s what I feel. The bridge to the chorus is picture perfect in this song.

Like I mentioned, this is the only Kinks album that I have (they have over two dozen) but I wore it out. If not for the first song, this would be a masterpiece, so I consider this a “classic.” I recommend going out and getting many songs, albums from these guys (I-Tunes is severely lacking with these guys but it’s probably the bands prerogative) as they were on the ground floor with the British invasion. They are a classic rock band that deserves their time in the “spotlight.” And in my opinion, “Low Budget” should be included in your library of music- you can’t be disappointed-it’s that good.

I have to say that in 2009 the one artist that I have really gravitated to with such enthusiasm has been David Bowie. I can’t get enough of his early albums and the more I listen the more I wonder how I could have gone this long without really feeling his impact on the music world. He is freaking phenomenal. So I will now try and do the near impossible and list my favorite top ten songs from this living legend. This is tough but here goes:

10.     A Song for Bob Dylan-The third song on side two of “Hunky Dory” is for me a classic tune which highlights Mr. Bowie’s singing capabilities, he’s perfect on this tune as he pays homage to another legend. It’s a simple but yet very addictive song that keeps me coming back for more. If you listen to the beginning guitar work along with the piano, you’d think that Skynyrd was paying close attention to this song as “Freebird” sounds a little bit like this. Take a listen for yourself.

9.     Unwashed and Somewhat Slightly Dazed– This has the Beatles and Dylan influence all over it and if I had to pick a song that could maybe define David Bowie as an artist, this just may have to be it. Put on a great set of headphones and let this song take you away. This is the second of the “one-two” punch that kicks off the “Space Oddity” album released in 1972.

8.     The Width of a Circle-Pure masterpiece from “The Man Who Sold the World.” Mick Ronson’s work on guitar can match up to any song ever recorded. This is definitely a “progressive” rock song and probably was a major influence on bands like Rush and Yes. This is the heavier side of David and if you don’t know this side of Bowie, you are really missing out.

7.     After All– A cut from the same album-“The Man Who..”; there is something about this song which just makes me sit at attention and listen very closely. It sort of reminds me something that the Beatles would do and I could picture this song on the recent “Love” CD. It is a slow psychedelic song but is so good that I’m mesmerized every time I put it on.

6.     Kooks-Another song from the super solid “Hunky Dory” and this is the “softer” side of David that I also love. It has a catchy hook with perfect piano playing throughout. “Will you stay in my lovers story.. If you stay you won’t be sorry..”

5.     Space Oddity– One of my all time favorite songs ever recorded, it is so funny my wife and kids can’t stand when I put this song on but I don’t care- I force them to listen because I know eventually they will come around (well my boys anyway). To be quite honest I am surprised that any of the many American Idol contestants hasn’t attempted to cover this epic tune. Now I know there are David Bowie fans who are very happy about that but if it could grab more fans, I say why not?

4.     Starman-The last few months I have been playing “Ziggy” endlessly and I think I’ve convinced my oldest son that it is a classic and it is probably because of this song. They told me that I needed to cool it for a while because I kept saying “booo.. gey” instead of boogie. This song is friggin’ phenomenal, if you don’t own it, well what are you waiting for?

3.     Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide– Another song which stops me dead in my tracks and I have to listen with no other noise around and try to match Mr. Bowie’s fervor. “You’re Not Alone!!!” I feel like ripping my shirt like the Incredible Hulk would do but wouldn’t want others to laugh-that would take away from the song-but you get the picture.

2.     Life on Mars– I finally succeeded in getting my boys to like this song and I hope that they will treasure it as much as I do. This is a flat out masterpiece. I’m really amazed on how many times that I can listen to this song and not ever get sick of it. I love the whole production of this song and give it a standing ovation every time it finishes!!!

1.     The Jean Genie –This could be the coolest song ever made. I just saw the “video” the other day on “VH1 classic” and screamed at my youngest son to run into the room and watch it with me. You have to see Mick Woodmansey on the drums- all you see is his hands and arms like pounding a hammer- so friggin’ cool. This song rocks and again if this doesn’t get you psyched, nothing will. It’s from the 1973 classic album “Aladdin Sane.”

Trivia Questions

Answers from last week:

1.     KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park

2.     Tom Synder’s “The Tomorrow Show.”

3.     Mr. Edward Van Halen.

4.     “Christine Sixteen”

This week’s trivia (Random)

1.     Which female rocker trained at Julliard as an opera singer?

2.     What country band sang background vocals on Paul Simon’s “Slip Sliding Away?”

3.     Who has 18 number one hits in the U.S. but has never won a Grammy?

4.     She played Danny Glover’s wife in all four “Lethal Weapon” movies and was part of a girl band in the 1960’s, who is she?

Name That Tune

Answers from last week:

1.     “Run Like Hell”- Pink Floyd

2.     “Hey There Delilah”-Plain White T’s

3.      “Against All Odds”-Phil Collins

4.     “Not Ready to Make Nice”- Dixie Chicks

Can you guess the title from the following lyrics from part of the song?

1.     “She can tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye…”

2.     “If you want to play hide and seek with love, let me remind you…”

3.     “On the sidewalk one Sunday morning lies a body oozin life…”

4.     “I opened doors for little old ladies.. I helped the blind to see…”

Back on this day in 1985, a section of Washington Boulevard in Detroit was renamed “Aretha Franklin’s Freeway of Love” in her honor.

Back on this day in 1978, the film version of “Sgt. Peppers Lonley Hearts Club Band,” starring Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees debuted.

Back on this day in 1987, “La Bamba” hit the movie screens depicting the life of Ritchie Valens. Was it that long ago? Wow…

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1 Comment »

  1. ok, so I only knew #3 & 4 and had to look up 1 and 2.

    1. Pat Benatar (briefly)
    2. Oak Ridge Boys
    3. Diana Ross
    4. Darlene Love

    Comment by Tricia — July 24, 2009 @ 9:59 am


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